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Malaita is the largest island of the Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands. A tropical and mountainous island, Malaita's pristine river systems and tropical forests have not been exploited. Malaita is the most populous island of the Solomon Islands, with 140,000 people or more than a third of the entire national population. The largest city and provincial capital is Auki, on the northwest coast.

Malaita was settled by Austronesian speakers between 5000 and 3500 years ago. The earlier Papuan speakers are thought to have only reached the western Solomon Islands. In fact,Malaita has not been archaeologically examined, and a chronology of its prehistory is difficult to establish.[31] In the traditional account of the Kwara'ae, their founding ancestor arrived about twenty generations ago, landed first on Guadalcanal, but followed a magical staff which led him on to the middle of Malaita, where he established their cultural norms. His descendents then dispersed to the lowland areas on the edges of the island.[32]

Malaita was first known to Europeans by the Spaniard Alvaro de Mendaña de Neira in 1568. An account by his chief pilot, Hernando Gallego, establishes that they called the island Malaita after its native name and explored much of the coast, though not the north side. The Maramasiki Passage was thought to be a river. At one point they were greeted with war canoes and fired at with arrows; they retaliated with shots and killed and wounded some.[33] However, after this discovery, the entire Solomon Islands chain was not found, and even its existence doubted, for two hundred years. roulette spielen