|Benjamin in November 2006|
With Katherine missing her two front teeth, we've been interested in what our Solomon Islands neighbors do when they pull teeth. The Lavukal throw their teeth up on their leaf roof and sing a song (two notes, a minor third apart) to the geckos to bring the new tooth back quickly. "Kokomita de ngoneo, nam nganeo" (Gecko, take your tooth, give me my tooth.)
We asked some of our friends from different languages what they do with their teeth. Some of them throw the teeth on the roof, too, but sing different songs, like to the rats or to the toads. Our friends from Malaita told us they put the teeth in a banana tree where new fruit is growing. Why? I asked. Because bananas grow fast, and you want your new tooth to grow in quickly, too. I am amazed at the creativity and variety that exists among the different languages in the Solomon Islands!