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Coordinates: 7°00′01″S 156°57′50″E / 7.00028°S 156.96389°E / -7.00028; 156.96389

Choiseul Province
—  Province  —
Coordinates: 7°0′1″S 156°57′50″E / 7.00028°S 156.96389°E / -7.00028; 156.96389
Country  Solomon Islands
Capital Taro Island
Area
 - Total 3,847 km2 (1,485.3 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 - Total 20,008
 - Density 5.2/km2 (13.5/sq mi)
Time zone +11 (UTC+11)
Choiseul and neighbouring islands

The Choiseul Province is one of the nine provinces of the Solomon Islands. It lies between the island of Bougainville (part of Papua New Guinea) and Santa Isabel in the west of the Solomon Islands.

It consists mainly of Choiseul Island with an area of 3 294 km² and further includes three small surrounding islands: Taro Island (100 km²), Vaghena (243  km²) and Rob Roy (200 km²). It has a population of 20,008 (1999). The capital is Taro, on Taro Island.

Contents

History

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Discovery and naming

When the Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira discovered this island in 1568 he named it San Marcos ('Saint Mark').

It was almost forgotten for 200 years until the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville rediscovered it and named it after the Minister of foreign affairs and statesman Choiseul.

Colonial era

Like Buka, Bougainville (both now part of Papua New Guinea's North Solomons Province), Santa Isabel, and Ontong Islands, it has been part of the German Solomon Islands till 1899, when Germany ceded all but the first two islands to become part of the British Solomon Islands, from then on sharing in their political fate until the independence from Britain (as Solomon Islands) on 7 July 1978. During World War II, Choiseul was partly occupied by Japanese military forces whose garrison was raided by US marine forces in October and November, 1943.

Independent era

On 25 February 1995, a separate Choiseul province was created by separation from the Western province.

It has had the following Premiers:

  • 1995 - 1996 Jonathan Vazara
  • 1996 - 1997 Clement Kengava
  • 1997 - 2003 Jackson Kiloe
  • 2003 - 2006 Kendra Kakalui
  • 2006 - 2009 Henry Shew

Culture

People

The people consists of several Melanesian tribes including the Gilbertese who live on Vaghena. In the 19th century head hunting and blackbirding were widespread in the Solomon Islands. This led to the extinction of the people on Vaghena in the 1870s. Even in the 20th century the Choiseul islanders were ill-reputed as brutal cannibals so that visitors only came with armed forces to that island. In 1916 there were brutal feuds between the several tribes which were ended by the peace treaty of Sasamungga on August 8, 1921. This event, called Kabule, is a holiday on Choiseul.

Football

The inhabitants of Choiseul are soccer enthusiasts. They have a team called Lauru Kuvojo, which in 2005 took part at the Solomon-Cup, the national football championship of the Solomon Islands. They have finished their participation already in the preliminary round.

Flora and Fauna

The flora and fauna are both characteristic of Australia and New Guinea. The biggest mammal is the endangered Dugong, a seacow which occurs in the waters near Rob Roy. The largest reptile is the Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) known from Australia. Known birds are the Sanford's Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus sanfordi), the Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), and the Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra). Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the only habitat of the now extinct Choiseul Crested Pigeon (Microgoura meeki). Choiseul is also an important breeding place for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). The flora is represented by mangroves and coconuts.

Islands

References

External links


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