Introduction / History
Kwara'ae is the largest indigenous language in the Solomon Islands. The language is spoken by approximately 45,000 people living in the north-central part of Malaita Island. There are also a large number of Kwara'ae people living in Honiara, the capital of the Solomons on the Island of Guadacanal.
The Kwara'ae people's traditional religion was ancestor worship. They lived in hamlets, in which small groups of brothers worshipped important ancestors at family taboo sites. Before the British came in 1893, there were many inter-clan fights and revenge killings taking place. Many men were armed with guns. The British, however, pacified the area in the 1920's and 1930's. Around 1900, the first Christians arrived in the language area. These men were actually Solomon Islanders' who had been taken away to Australia to work in sugarcane fields. Many of these men became Christians while working in Australia. After a plea for help, two different churches came to start work in Malaita.
In the 1970's a revival broke out in the church of Malaita which caused the church to grow. Today, the churches are all indigenous and there are not many people who follow full-fledged traditional ancestor worship.
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