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Exploring Tikopia: A Cultural and Environmental Marvel

Updated on 10 December, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team


Tikopia, a small island in the southwestern Pacific, is a remarkable case study in sustainable living and cultural resilience. This passage explores Tikopia’s unique environmental practices, social structures, and historical significance, making it a perfect subject for IELTS reading test preparation.

Passage: "Tikopia: Harmony between Man and Nature"

In the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, there lies a small, teardrop-shaped island called Tikopia. Spanning just five square kilometers, Tikopia is part of the Solomon Islands and is home to a Polynesian culture dating back over 3,000 years. The island's inhabitants have long been lauded for their sustainable living practices and their harmonious relationship with nature.

One of the most notable aspects of Tikopian society is its effective natural resource management. Despite the limited land, the island sustains a population of about 1,200 people, thanks to their efficient use of the land and sea. The Tikopians practice a form of permaculture, meticulously managing their gardens to ensure a continuous supply of food. They plant a variety of crops, including yams, taro, and bananas, in a cyclical pattern that maximizes yield while preserving soil fertility.

Another key to their sustainability is their approach to fishing. Tikopians fish only in certain areas and use traditional methods, which helps maintain the marine ecosystem. They have a deep understanding of the ocean's rhythms and respect its boundaries, a practice passed down through generations.

The social structure of Tikopia is equally fascinating. The island is led by four hereditary chiefs, each governing their own district. These chiefs play a crucial role in maintaining social order and ensuring that the island's resources are managed judiciously. Their leadership is not just political but deeply spiritual, intertwined with the islanders' beliefs and traditions.

Tikopia's history is marked by resilience. The island has faced numerous cyclones and external threats, yet the community has always rebuilt and adapted. This resilience is rooted in a collective consciousness and a profound respect for their environment.

In studying Tikopia, one gains insight into a society that thrives by understanding and respecting its natural limits, a lesson increasingly relevant in our modern world.

Questions and Answers:

Q1. What is the primary method of agriculture practiced in Tikopia?

A) Commercial farming

B) Permaculture

C) Intensive farming

D) Monoculture

A1: B) Permaculture

Explanation: The passage mentions that Tikopians practice a form of permaculture, which is a sustainable agriculture practice emphasizing cyclical, no-waste food production.

Q2. Fill in the blank: Tikopia is part of the ________ Islands.

A2: Solomon Islands

Explanation: The passage states that Tikopia is part of the Solomon Islands, situating it in the southwestern Pacific.

Q3. True or False: Tikopians use modern fishing techniques to maintain the marine ecosystem.

A3: False

Explanation: The passage indicates that Tikopians use traditional fishing methods, not modern techniques, to help maintain the marine ecosystem.

Q4. How many chiefs lead Tikopia?

A) One

B) Two

C) Three

D) Four

A4: D) Four

Explanation: The passage describes that Tikopia is led by four hereditary chiefs, each governing their district.

Q5. Fill in the blank: The main crops grown in Tikopia include yams, ______, and bananas.

A5: Taro

Explanation: Taro, along with yams and bananas, is mentioned as one of the primary crops grown by the Tikopians.

Q6. What is the size of Tikopia?

A) 5 square kilometers

B) 10 square kilometers

C) 20 square kilometers

D) 30 square kilometers

A6: A) 5 square kilometers

Explanation: The passage specifies that Tikopia spans just five square kilometers.

Q7. True or False: Tikopia has a history of resilience against natural disasters and external threats.

A7: True

Explanation: The text highlights Tikopia's history of resilience, especially in facing cyclones and external threats.

Q8. Fill in the blank: The social order in Tikopia is maintained by the _______ of the island.

A8: Chiefs

Explanation: The passage mentions that the island's social order is maintained by its hereditary chiefs.

Q9. What is the population of Tikopia?

A) About 600 people

B) About 1,200 people

C) About 2,000 people

D) About 3,000 people

A9: B) About 1,200 people

Explanation: The passage indicates that Tikopia sustains a population of about 1,200 people.

Q10. Fill in the blank: Tikopian society is known for its effective ______ resource management.

A10: Natural

Explanation: The passage discusses Tikopian society's effective natural resource management.

Tips for Cracking the IELTS Reading Exam:

Tip 1: Skim the Passage First: Quickly skim the passage to get a general understanding of its content and tone before diving into the questions.

Tip 2: Identify Keywords: In both the questions and the passage, identify and highlight keywords or phrases to help locate information quickly.

Tip 3: Understand Question Types: Familiarize yourself with different types of questions (e.g., multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks) and develop strategies for each.

Tip 4: Practice Time Management: Allocate your time wisely, giving yourself enough time to read, answer questions, and review.

Tip 5: Develop Critical Thinking: Practice discerning implicit meanings and analyzing texts beyond their surface value to answer more complex questions.

Through this detailed passage about Tikopia and the accompanying questions and tips, IELTS learners can enhance their reading comprehension skills while gaining insight into effective exam strategies. The article is designed to not only provide practice material but also to cultivate an appreciation for diverse cultural and environmental practices.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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