Solomon Islands languages collection: Manuscripts and old prints collected from Malaita. The Marist missionaries involved in the collection of these documents are:
Father Donatien Coicaud (1884-1957), born in Nantes, France, was in the Solomon Islands from 1912 to 1957. He founded the mission of Buma on Malaita in 1914 from where he was active in the whole of Central and North-Malaita until his death in 1957. He left lots of material behind, among other things on the languages of Langalanga, Kwaio and Lau. He understood Kwara'ae but did not use it much. After his death, Fr. Kamphuis took the material on Lau and other North-Malaita languages, the material on Langalanga and Kwaio stayed in Buma.
Father Christian Kamphuis (1916-2006), born in Oldenzaal, the Netherlands, was in the Solomon Islands from 1947 to 1996. He lived in Takwa, North-East Malaita, from 1948 to 1965 where he worked in the languages of Lau and Baegu'u. He was famous for his knowledge of the Lau language. He lived in Dala from 1972 to 1993 where he learned the Kwara'ae language.
Father Rinaldo Pavese (1886-1955), born in Italy, was in the Solomon Islands from 1910 to 1933, first on San Cristoval and from 1912 in Tangarare, South-West Guadalcanal. He had the reputation of having been an exceptional good Gari speaker.
Father Alois Brugmans (1899-1985), Dutch, was in the Solomon Islands from 1929 to 1942 and in Visale, West-Guadalcanal, 1936- 1942.
Father Jan Snijders (1928---), Dutch, was in the Solomon Islands 1954 to 1970, and in Dala, Kwara'ae, from 1956 to 1967. He was attached to the Marist Headhouse in Rome, 1970-1982, visiting and traveling in the pacific a lot, and then lecturer in philosophy at Holy Spirit Seminary, Bomana, PNG, 1983-1987.
The French Marist priest Donatien Coicaud joined his brother Jean in the Solomon Islands in 1912. In 1914 Donatien founded the mission of Buma, Central Malaita, where he stayed until his death. He was active all over North and Central Malaita. In the 1930's boys from all the villages he visited came to the boarding school in Buma. Father Coicaud taught them to read and write in their own languages and he had them write down the stories they had heard at home, each in his own language. They also at times translated parts of the catechism, Christian doctrine or Bible stories, probably from texts in the Gari language from Guadalcanal. Fr. Coicaud kept the best manuscripts carefully as source material for his study of the Malaita languages. Some were typed out later on. He had also collected other language documents from the other churches active in the area.
After Fr. Donatien's death Father Chris Kamphuis, who worked in North Malaita from 1948 to 1964, inherited the material from the North Malaita language areas. He kept it during the years when he was in Tanagai (Guadalcanal, 1965-1971) and Dala (Kwar’ae, Malaita, l972-1993) and took it with him when he retired to the Netherlands in 1996.
Documents gathered by Fr Jan Snijders and supplied to Dr Darrell Tryon, as follows:
Stories (Histoires) 1-7. “Put together in seven large envelopes just as they have been found among the papers of Father Kamphuis in 2006.” Consisting of word and phrase lists, folktales, customs, etc., in the languages of Lau, Kwara'ae, and others, written by Ben. Lusitaemu, Paulo Misiga, and others.
Docs. 1-4. Documents found among the papers of Fr. Kamphuis: Gari and Kwara'ae dictionaries and Kwara'ae spelling list.
Docs. 5-18. Kwara'ae, Gari, Lau, Malu (To’a Ba’ita) texts (catechism, scriptures, traditions, geography) and Kwara'ae grammars.
See Finding aids for further details.