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Pacific Island Guide  >  Solomon Islands


The Solomon Islands is a scattered archipelago of mountainous islands and low lying coral atolls in the South Pacific. They lie east of Papua New Guinea and northeast of Australia. There are over a thousand islands in this archipelago, but not all are inhabited. Ontong Java, Rennel, and Santa Cruz Islands are part of the group, but lie further to the east. The capital, Honiara, is on Guadalcanal Island, which also has the highest Mountain. Most Solomon Islanders are Melanesian, with some Polynesians, Tuvaluans, and Chinese immigrants. The Islanders are good gardeners, and some cattle have been introduced to supplement the copra industry.

Historical Background

Solomon Islands fishermen by WWII wreck.jpg

1500s Mendana sails from Peru searching for the treasures of King Solomon, lands on the island.
1558 Mendana’s pilot, Hernan jGalleto, names Guadalcanal after his birthplace.
1589 Mendana starts a colony on his second voyage, which does not succeed.
1767 Frenchman Pilip Carteret arrives on the Swallow.
1893 The southern Solomon Islands become a British protectorate.
1898-1899 Other parts become a British protectorate.
1900 German rights to some of the northern islands are ceded to the British.
1944 Guadalcanal and New Georgia are fought over in WWII.
1976 Self government is granted.
1978 Full independence is granted.

2008 There are 231 LDS Church members in the Solomon Islands.

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