Choiseul Island - History and Cultural Relations

No archaeological work has been done on Choiseul, but based on the linguistic variation, it has been estimated that the island has been occupied for about 3,500 years. It was sighted by European explorers in 1568 and in 1768 but it was not until the late 1800s that the people had significant Contact with persons other than the inhabitants of the neighboring islands, and their interactions with the latter were Typically hostile and violent. A major effect of contact with the outside world was uneven access to firearms, and that Development increased the deadliness of the intergroup conflict that was endemic on and between the islands of the Western Solomons. Choiseul and other islands were transferred from the German to the British colonial sphere in 1899. Christian missionaries then began to work the area, and they found its peoples ready and more or less willing to be pacified and Christianized. On Choiseul, intergroup warfare continued here and there into the 1920s, but well before the beginning of World War II the island was fully pacified and Christianized (in different areas by Methodists, Catholics, and Seventh-Day Adventists). Other forms of European penetration such as coconut plantations have been very limited and sporadic. Few Japanese or Allied troops set foot on Choiseul, so it was only indirectly affected by the World War II. The Solomons became an independent nation in 1978, but that had little effect on Choiseul, which remains isolated and severely underdeveloped.

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