"Kakamora" - The "Hobbits" of Solomon Islands?
According to stories - or (if you like) myths, legends, folk tales - spun by the native Solomons, particularly by many inhabitants of the island of Makira (and - to a lesser extent - of the island of Guadalcanal), the area is populated by beings called Kakamora. They are characterised by small height (up to 120 centimetres or approx. four feet), thick hair cover and a peculiar way of communicating.
The locals claim that Kakamora live in caves in the jungle-covered interior of Makira, that they like the rain and the full Moon, that they do not know how to kindle or light a fire but they steal it from humans and that - for an unspecified reason - they are afraid of the colour white. According to descriptions of two British anthropologists who did research in Solomon Islands in 1920s, Dr C.E. Fox and Dr F.H. Drew, "Kakamora [...] are not quite human. They vary in height, from six inches [approx. 15 cm - WB] to three or four feet [approx. 95 to 125 cm - WB] [...]. Most of them are considered to be quite harmless, but sometimes they have been known to attack men. When they do so they use their fingers, which are furnished with long sharp nails with which they stab. They wander about the forest eating nuts, ripe fruit, and opossums: the last they are fond of. [...] They live in holes and caves, and sometimes in banyan trees [...]. They have a language, but not like Melanesian languages [...]". ["Beliefs and Tales of San Cristoval", 1926] Surprisingly many details for mythical or downright non-existent beings, isn't it so?
The first time I have come across Kakamora and with a description of these beings was not however during my stay in Solomon Islands in 2008 and not from reading the book by Fox and Drew, but having read a very useful informal globetrotters' guide to Solomon Islands, created by a group of Australians. They only devote literally two sentences to Kakamora (indicating, by the way, one of the Guadalcanal caves, not any of the Makirean ones), but that sufficed to arouse my interest in the subject.
Obviously it may apparently seem that an attempt to find Kakamora - or at least individuals who allegedly had some encounters with them - is firstly doomed to fail from the start, secondly is a child's play, chasing daydreams, waste of time and generally laughable and deplorable. I do admit that those mythical - or perhaps completely real? - beings are, when it comes to observing, photographing, filming or capturing them, almost equally ephemeral and fleeting as Solomon Islands giants.
Although obviously we are dealing here with a vicious circle of sorts and with a paradox (the existence of Kakamora cannot be proven without observing, filming or capturing them, and this in turn is not possible without (inter)action of people who believe in their existence, but this is only possible if Kakamora exist), and additionally the alleged places where Kakamora live are considered taboo by the locals, making it even more difficult to get to them - there are, however, some indirect proofs, or circumstantial evidence which indicate that tales about these strange and ephemeral beings may have more to do with actual, physical reality than with the mythical reality. On the other hand I need to honestly stress that these are only circumstances, conjectures and (more or less logical) reasoning which MAY, but DON'T HAVE TO, relate to the situation in Solomon Islands.
I can only add here again that the only way - although, in the case of Kakamora, not necessarily guaranteeing a success - to even attempt coming nearer to that mystery is to organise an expedition to the region, try to make contact with the local inhabitants and glean some information in the field, and then (if necessary, after offering a substantial gratification to the chiefs) to undertake some action with the aim to reach the secret beings themselves.
You can find more about the indirect proof and circumstantial evidence that I mention above by clicking on "Proof, Circumstantial Evidence".