Skull Islander
Skull Islander (Kong Skull Island).png
Others Skull Island Natives
Personal information
Species Human
Gender Variable
Current status Extinct
Critically Endangered
Body type Humanoid
Height Human sized
Diet Omnivore
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Behind the scenes
Universe King Kong
Created by Merian C. Cooper
Performed by Noble Johnson (1933)
Keny Long (1976)
Vicky Haughton
Jacinta Wawatai
Sam Manzanza[1]
Tamihana Nuku[2] (2005)
Ann Duong
Martin Sta Ana
Lexy Bernardo
Christine Milo
Kaylee Hottle (Jia) (Monsterverse)

Skull Islanders are humans native to Skull Island. In one film (2005 remake), they were eradicated in 1948, when the island sunk beneath the waves following a tremendous earthquake, killing all life upon it.

Overview[edit | edit source]

(Note: This description of the natives can only be explained in the 2005 remake.)

The exact origin of the natives were unknown. Their physiology did not closely match that of any of the region's inhabitants, and their myths hinted at a possible stranding, so it's conceivable they came very far away (possibly Micronesia). Their clothing is made of their own human hair, teeth, feather, and small animal bones. They feed on birds' eggs, fishes, and crustaceans. It was little wonder that the people of Skull Island, so punished by circumstance and hardship, lived in fear of the forces of their world and sought to appease the mighty Kong. They believed that in return for sacrifices, they might gain respite from his wrath. Emerging from the jungle to roar at the gates, the great ape was a power to fear and satisfy.

Seeking to appease him, the old shaman-women, who were the leaders of the islanders, dictated the sacrifices of worthy subjects. Young women were given to Kong as offerings, decorated like gifts. Once chosen for the sacrifice, a young women was torn from the arms of her family and dressed for the offering. As a means of reconciling grief and loss and the inevitability of their daughter's fate, a bride's relatives participated in the fashioning of her ceremonial necklace, a grim thing of hair, feather and bone. With pragmatic resignation families presented their daughters for sacrifice, sending their loved ones through the wall screaming or drugged in a macabre carnival of fire and chanting. The great wall with its carved visages and pitted effigies was set ablaze with oil-fueled fires in a terrifying spectacle that stained the sky with its violent amber glow. 

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The ancestry of the natives in a 1933 version is never really explained, although the setting suggests they are a South East Asian group. Their barbaric portrayal in the film has provoked complaints and controversy ever since the movie's release.
  • As in the original, the ancestry of the natives from the 1976 remake is never really explained and most seem to be West African.
  • The people of Skull Island in the 2005 version appear to be of a mixed Melanesian descent, although director Peter Jackson has stated that they are supposed to look like no other people on Earth and making them slimmer. They were originally gonna be castaways from the dutch ship and thus turning into the native, but it was scrapped.[3] They were largely portrayed by a number of actors with Maori descent and actors from Sudan, Polynesia, Fiji, Cambodia, and other countries from Asia but most of them do not speak English.[4] The actors and extras were sprayed with a brown paint to make all of their skin tones coincide. Many wear pieces of bone in some form (such as a necklace) and some even have smaller pieces of bone embedded or pierced in their flesh, such as through the nose. Artistic scarification is evident on a large number of Skull Islanders. Bright red eyes are a seemingly derived trait. Despite their terrifying and feral appearances, they were afraid of modern weapons including guns.
    • Their appearances were inspired by a National Geographic photograph of an African man with red eyes as a result of squished berries dropped into his sight as part of ceremonial occasions.[5]
  • In the 2017 film, the natives (who are called "Iwis") appear to have a more Southeast Asian appearance than the previous incarnations who have more darker skin. They often appeared to be almost silent and are emotionless people but can be friendly and harmless in some terms. Like some versions, the natives worshiped Kong as god and king. They were mostly played by Southeast Asian extras who have no acting experience.[6] Unfortunately the Iwis went almost completely extinct after an immense storm catasthropically marooned the entire Skull Island.

References[edit | edit source]

<references / <>

  1. The Making of King Kong: The Official Guide to the Motion Picture; The People of Skull Island
  2. The Making of King Kong: The Official Guide to the Motion Picture; The People of Skull Island
  3. Return to Skull Island, King Kong: Extended Edition
  4. Return to Skull Island, King Kong: Extended Edition
  5. The Making of King Kong: The Official Guide to the Motion Picture
  6. The Art of Kong: Skull Island
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