Biographical entry: Gorai, Patricio ( - 1969)

7 June 1969


Patricio Gorai was the son of Joni Gorai (q.v.) from Tumao village on Fauro in the Shortland Islands. When he died on 7 June 1969 he was thought to have been a hundred years old. Known locally as Koputui, or the man with one leg, he was the last of the great Shortlands chiefs and was legendary as a storyteller and for his customary knowledge. His memories included raiding parties sent to Bougainville. Patricio Gorai was also renowned as a shark-caller at the now partly submerged Tage Island, where he went to talk to the spirits of his ancestors. In his last years it was said he was visited every day by a little blue and green bird the size of a canary, called locally uri'ri'ri, that was supposed to be impossible to tame. He assisted his father in his business interests, learnt English and became an interpreter. He was also the first person to be baptised in the Shortlands. Patricio lost a leg and used a wooden one proficiently. (NS 15 June 1969)

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Published resources


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details