When my family and I moved to Buka in 2016, I noticed the place had its natural beauty of pristine sea shores, multiple islands and turquoise waters.
The seas particularly past Sohano Island has many island after island ideal for island hoping and picnics.
Some bigger islands like Taeof had coconut plantations and villages.
I was mesmerised by natural beauty in that area and as a passionate video producer I did few video shots and underwater GoPro videos of wrecked planes and ships.
As I also had a DJI Pro 3 drone, I did few aerial videos.
The scenes were breath taking to say the least.
I invite you to go there for a holiday escape to swim, fish, sunbathe and or enjoy a barbeque on any island.
Check the locals there. Your first contact could be anyone of those boat skippers on Buka passage travelling between Buka and Kokopau.
Anyhow before I lose track, in my droning on Sohano Island and as I was trying to do an as the crow flies shot over the Buka passage (see image) from west to east, an eagle appeared from nowhere and was going to claw my copter.
I panicked, damn I was going to lose that AU$ 2000 drone.
I reacted swiftly and decisively by abruptly descending and the eagle flew away.
I didn’t want to take any more risk flying it to the oval on the island where I launched it.
I landed it on the shore next to a wrecked pontoon reported to be damaged during the start of the Bougainville civil war.
The potential attack on my drone had me asked a few questions and this was what I found.
In Buka, there are four major clans, the Naboin, Nakaripa, Nakas and Natasi.
The clan totem of Naboin is the Eagle and Nakaripa is the Fowl.
Nakas totem symbol is represented by a Dog but there is no particular totem for Natasi.
This is according to WikiMili free encyclopedia.
WikiMili says Nakaripa and Naboin are prestige classes.
The Buka people hold their cultural beliefs, customs and rituals so firmly connecting with their totems.
My wife is from Buka and her totem is the Eagle.
She assumes the attempt to attack my drone was to protect its territory.
Before I was to fly the copter, I should have hosted a feast and sought blessing from clan representatives.
Again from WikiMili, traditional beliefs are based on establishing good relationships between the living and the spirits of the dead, as well as wild and clan spirits (lilihane in Halia language) which are believed to inhabit every named geographical feature such as large rocks, tiny pools of water and passages in the reef that rings the island.
Now you know, it’s always important to consult locals there before you embark on anything.
The spiritual connection between the living and the dead is strong.