Meet the people of the Solomon Islands who transform wood into beautiful carvings

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Drums, statuettes, war clubs and canoes line the walls of a small shop in Honiara.

While soaking up the local culture, the Nesia Dairy team came across a small carving shop run by a Malaitan man named Rex.


Rex first began turning wood into impressive sculptures in 2000. More than 20 years later, he owns his own shop and sells the pieces he spent hours creating.

While Rex tells the story, the sculptors sit in the back of the shop working on their next project that will soon be sold.

A wooden head carved from wood with fine carvings and containing shell fragments.
Each wooden head carving has an intricate design and features seashell sections across the face.()

Wooden heads are some of the many products sold at Rex’s store. Each head is intricately designed with shell sections across the face.

A light-colored wooden face carving with small carved details and shell fragments.
The head is usually placed at the front of the war canoe.()

He said heads are usually placed at the front of war canoes, and depending on the head, they indicate the intention of the canoe’s visit: war or peace.

A man stands proudly holding a large wooden seashell that he carved himself.
Rex proudly holds a rosewood clamshell that took him two months to carve. ()

Among the many sculptures that take pride of place on the store’s shelves, the largest piece currently on display and Rex’s favorite, a giant clam shell made of rosewood, is a must-have for carving. It took two months.

Rex said the rosewood clamshell costs $15,000 ($2,668), and while many people have expressed interest in the piece, he has no intention of changing the price.

Avid soccer fans are looking forward to the Pacific Games and will continue to support the Solomons team.

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