War canoes from the western Solomon Islands were just as admired as the local head-hunters were feared by the first Europeans arriving in the islands, bartering steel axes for fresh supplies to their ships. Christian missionaries later prohibited the war canoes in an attempt to stop headhunting and convert the local population to Christianity. However, one recently built war canoe is sailing again, now carrying foreign tourists rather than searching for decapitated heads. The income from the tourists is used for the village school and other local community projects.
The book is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted by the author in 1995. It is suitable for educational purposes but is recommended for any reader interested in Pacific and maritime culture, and the colourful history and ethnic diversity of the South Pacific.