Malaita Province

Malaita Province is the most populous and one of the largest of the nine provinces of Solomon Islands. It is named after its largest island, Malaita (also known as "Big Malaita" or "Maramapaina").[1] Other islands include South Malaita Island (also called "Small Malaita" or "Maramasike"),[1] Sikaiana Island, and Ontong Java Atoll.[2] Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomons, including Malaita, and central government control of Malaita began in 1893, when Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands as a British Protectorate with the proclamation of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate.[3]

Malaita Province
Coordinates: 9°0′S 161°0′E
Country Solomon Islands
CapitalAuki
Government
  PremierDaniel Suidani (since June. 2019)
Area
  Total4,225 km2 (1,631 sq mi)
Population
 (2020 census)
  Total160,583
  Density38/km2 (98/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+11 (+11)

The provincial capital and largest urban center is Auki, which was established as the Administrative center for Malaita Province in 1909.[4] Tourism is largely underdeveloped in Malaita; Auki is near to the Langa Langa Lagoon, which provides opportunities for snorkeling, and the villagers provide shell making demonstrations.[5]

The population of the province is 122,620 (1999). The area of the province is 4,225 km2 (1,631 sq mi). The Melanesian population of Malaita has unique cultural traditions in social aspects of life. Brideprice is a tradition which is unique to Malaita compared to the other islands of the Solomon Islands. In this practice the groom's parents present customary money of shells and food to the bride's parents.