Malaita was largely avoided in the early whaling and trading period (pre-1860) because of its inhospitable coastline and inhabitants. About 1870, Malaitans began to be kidnapped (and were later indentured) in the labor trade to Queensland, Fiji, Samoa, and New Caledonia plantations, a process notable for violent confrontations and heavy loss of life. Mission enclaves were established at the turn of the century. Pacification of Malaita began in 1909 but was not completed until 1927, after the assassination of a district officer by Kwaio warriors. Malaita was mostly spared the direct ravages of World War II, but laborers working with American troops were central in a postwar anticolonial resistance movement, Maasina ("Marching") Rule, focused on recognition of customary law and the codification of custom, indigenous representation in the process of administration, improved pay, dignity, and working conditions, and communal reorganization along military lines. The Solomon Islands gained Independence in 1978, and today Malaitans play many important roles in national life.