Solomon Islands is a nation of hundreds of islands in the South Pacific. Here are some basics facts about Solomon Islands, the island is known for its scuba diving and WWII era relics. Some of its well known diving destinations are the Marovo Lagoon and Iron Bottom Sound. These two areas are known to be littered with dozens of sunken warships. Melanesian ethnic group makes up 94.5% of the population.
Currency: Solomon Islands dollar
Population: 561,231 (2013) World Bank
Monarch: Elizabeth II
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Governor General: Frank Kabui
Prime Minister: Manasseh Sogavare
Random Facts About Solomon Islands
Here are 11 more random facts about Solomon Islands that will interest you.
1. NAME FROM MISTAKE
The island nation got its name from a mistake. Spanish explorer Alvaro de Neira visited the island and found some gold. This made him think that Biblical King Solomon must have got the gold with which he built his temple from this island. So he named the island after King Solomon.
2. VILLAGE DWELLERS
Only those with paid employment live in and around the capital city Honiara. 85% of the total population of Solomon Island lives in villages. And, of course, the growth rate of the population is only just about 3.5% percent.
3. THE COAT OF ARMS
The coat of arms displays three things which could be termed funny as representative of a people’s symbol. They are: A crocodile, a shark, a crown, an eagle, a turtle, a war shield, and some fighting spears. The first two animals are upholding the crown, representing government. The leaders of independence came up with these random things after the many ethnic groups failed to reach an agreement on symbolism.
4. MANY LANGUAGES
Every ethnic group has its own distinctive language. And there are over seventy languages. That means a population of just above 589,800 has over seventy ethnic groups and equal number of languages. Wow, right?
5. NO TOILETS
In the villages, houses do not have toilets in. The toilets are all outside, one for the women and one for the men. However, in the towns, houses tend to be western-style bungalows of three bedrooms with toilets in. This is seen as infracting the village traditions.
6. HOME/HOUSES ARRANGEMENTS
Large villages in rural areas are usually situated on tribal land. Like many other societies, villages comprise several individual families. And family houses are usually in an arrangement of relatives having their homes next to each other.
7. TRADITIONALISTS ABOUND
In some places (like the kwaio mountains on Malaita), traditional worship is still the order. In such places, men’s houses are built separate from the family house. This is probably because, in traditional religions, there are many taboos that could be contravened easily.
8. MENSES/BIRTH HOUSE
In such small settlements where traditional worships are still practiced, separate huts are built for things considered by traditional worship to be impure. The separate huts are called bisi and they are the places women go during menses and child birth.
9. DIFFERENT BREAKFASTS
On the number nine facts about Solomon Islands, in the urban areas, breakfast tends to be distinguished by the financial status of the family. For the family with limited income, breakfast is usually tea with left over from last night. For the rich urban family,
Breakfast is usually tea or coffee with bread rolls or biscuits.
10. BIG MEALS FOR OCCASIONS
There is a saying on the island that goes, “Everyone who goes to a feast must expect to eat.” Feasts are very special occasions on the island. So time is usually taken to make the preparations and get as food as needed ready to feed all.
11. LAND OWNERSHIP
On Solomon Islands, there is a general traditional notion that the people do not own the land; the land owns the people. Going by this, 85% of the land is managed under customary tenure. What that means is that local clans and members of clan groups have control over it.