The Iwi were a tribe that inhabited Skull Island.


As revealed in Skull Island: The Birth of Kong and Godzilla vs. Kong - The Official Movie Novelization, the Iwi were originally not native to Skull Island. Thousands of years ago, their ancestors inhabited the Hollow Earth and formed a bond with Kong's, worshiping them as gods. The Iwi and the Kongs eventually came in conflict with Godzilla's species and their human supporters, engaging in a great war. The surviving members of Kong's species migrated to Skull Island, with the Iwi following them later. They arrived in time to witness Kong's parents towering above dead Skullcrawlers.


Kong: Skull Island

Shortly after Hank Marlow and Gunpei Ikari became stranded on Skull Island in 1944, they encounter the Iwi who provided them food and shelter. The Iwi taught Marlow and Ikari their culture and language, up until Ikari's death in the jaws of a Skullcrawler.

By 1973, a joint expedition between Monarch and Landsat encountered Iwi and Marlow after their helicopters were destroyed by Kong. Marlow explained that the reason why Kong attacked them was because the bombs they were setting off started to awaken the Skullcrawlers that the Iwi feared. They provided the expedition shelter for the night as they continued to build the boat Marlow and Ikari had been working on from the wreckage of Marlow's plane for nearly three decades. Upon finishing the boat the next day, Marlow and the expedition bid the Iwi farewell.

Skull Island: The Birth of Kong

In 1995, another Monarch expedition party led by Aaron Brooks, the son of Houston Brooks and San Lin, became stranded on Skull Island and encountered the Iwi after they were attacked by Psychovultures and Death Jackals. An Iwi boy named Ato explained to Aaron that some Iwi started to speak English following the 1973 expedition. They offer communion and pilgrimage with Kong, but Walter R. Riccio started to grow paranoid following the visions he had about the Iwi's arrival to Skull Island and how the Skullcrawlers slaughtered Kong's parents and the rest of his kind, believing that there should never be a wall between humanity and Kong. Riccio destroyed the wall of the Iwi village, attracting the attention of a pack of Mother Longlegs that started to massacre some Iwi. Eventually, Kong arrived to kill the Mother Longlegs and Riccio, leaving Aaron the only survivor of the expedition as he intended to stay on Skull Island to help the Iwi rebuild after sending a message to his father.

Godzilla vs. Kong

By 2024, many of the Iwi were wiped out when Camazotz ravaged Skull Island, leaving Jia orphaned and one of the few survivors of her people. With her family killed, she has been adopted by Ilene Andrews. She carries on the bond that her people have with Kong, having formed a unique relationship with him and communicating with him using sign language.


Originally, the Iwi had no formal language, and preferred to communicate with each other through gesturing and facial expressions; however, as revealed by Ato, during the events of Kong: Skull Island, Hank Marlow taught his father English, and his father taught it to him, in turn. This allowed the Iwi to evolve by developing their very own language.

The Iwi also worship Kong and his species as their gods and saviors, and fear the Skullcrawlers to the point of refusing to speak their true names.


Though not outright stated, or confirmed, it would appear there is something of a hierarchy in the Iwi's society, as Ato has blue tribal tattoos adorning him, and many others (presumably the various leaders) also featured blue tribal tattoos, whereas all the others had yellow tattoos.

Tactics and weapons

Due to their "primitive" lifestyle, the Iwi primarily use "ancient" weapons such as spears and bows. They also prefer to ambush their enemies, as many painted their skin to blend in with the stone architecture surrounding their village.

List of appearances




Kong: Skull Island