Bougainville Island
Overview
 
Bougainville Island is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

. This region is also known as Bougainville Province or the North Solomons. The population of the province is 175,160 (2000 census), which includes the adjacent island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Buka
Buka Island
Buka Island is the second largest island in the Papua New Guinean province of Bougainville.- History :Buka was first occupied by humans in paleolithic times, some 30,000 years ago...

 and assorted outlying islands including the Carterets
Carteret Islands
The Carteret Islands are Papua New Guinea islands located 86 km  north-east of Bougainville in the South Pacific...

. Although Bougainville Island is geographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago
Solomon Islands (archipelago)
The Solomon Islands are an archipelago in the South-Western Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia, in the region known as Melanesia. The archipelago is currently divided between two countries; Papua New Guinea, in which they make up the autonomous province of Bougainville; and the Solomon Islands,...

, the nation of the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 is a separate state.
The first human settlement of Bougainville occurred some 28,000 years ago from New Ireland
New Ireland (island)
New Ireland is a large island in Papua New Guinea, approximately 7,404 km² in area. It is the largest island of the New Ireland Province, lying northeast of the island of New Britain. Both islands are part of the Bismarck Archipelago, named after Otto von Bismarck, and they are separated by...

.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Bougainville Island is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

. This region is also known as Bougainville Province or the North Solomons. The population of the province is 175,160 (2000 census), which includes the adjacent island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Buka
Buka Island
Buka Island is the second largest island in the Papua New Guinean province of Bougainville.- History :Buka was first occupied by humans in paleolithic times, some 30,000 years ago...

 and assorted outlying islands including the Carterets
Carteret Islands
The Carteret Islands are Papua New Guinea islands located 86 km  north-east of Bougainville in the South Pacific...

. Although Bougainville Island is geographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago
Solomon Islands (archipelago)
The Solomon Islands are an archipelago in the South-Western Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia, in the region known as Melanesia. The archipelago is currently divided between two countries; Papua New Guinea, in which they make up the autonomous province of Bougainville; and the Solomon Islands,...

, the nation of the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 is a separate state.

History

The first human settlement of Bougainville occurred some 28,000 years ago from New Ireland
New Ireland (island)
New Ireland is a large island in Papua New Guinea, approximately 7,404 km² in area. It is the largest island of the New Ireland Province, lying northeast of the island of New Britain. Both islands are part of the Bismarck Archipelago, named after Otto von Bismarck, and they are separated by...

. Three to four thousand years ago, Austronesian people arrived, bringing with them domesticated pigs, chickens, dogs and obsidian tools. The first European contact with Bougainville was in 1768, when the French explorer Louis de Bougainville arrived and named the main island for himself.
Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 laid claim to Bougainville in 1899, annexing it into German New Guinea
German New Guinea
German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. It consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups...

. Christianity arrived on the island in 1902.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 occupied German New Guinea, including Bougainville, taking it over as part of a League of Nations mandate
League of Nations mandate
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League...

.

In 1942 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 invaded the island, but it was returned to Australian control in 1946. Bougainville became part of an independent Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 in 1975.

A civil war broke out, and the independence of Bougainville was declared twice, once in 1975 and once in 1990. Peace talks brokered by New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 began in 1997, leading to autonomy for the island.

Geography

Bougainville's physical geography
Physical geography
Physical geography is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the...

 and ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

 are similar. It is the largest island in the Solomon Islands archipelago in Melanesia
Melanesia
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately north and northeast of Australia...

. It is part of the Solomon Islands rain forests
Solomon Islands rain forests
The Solomon Islands rain forests are a terrestrial ecoregion which includes most of the Solomon Islands and the islands of Bougainville and Buka, which are part of Papua New Guinea. The Santa Cruz Islands, which lie to the east of the Solomons, are part of the Vanuatu rain forests ecoregion,...

 ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

. Bougainville and the nearby island of Buka are a single landmass
Landmass
A landmass is a contiguous area of land surrounded by ocean. Although it may be most often written as one word to distinguish it from the usage "land mass"—the measure of land area—it is also used as two words.Landmasses include:*supercontinents...

 separated by a shallow 800 metre-wide strait. The island is 9000 square kilometres, there are several active, dormant or inactive volcanoes which rise to 2400m. Mount Bagana in the north central part of Bougainville is conspicuously active, spewing out smoke that is visible many kilometres distant. Earthquakes are frequent, but cause little damage.

Demographics

The majority of people on Bougainville are Christian, an estimated 70% being Catholic. Few non-natives remain as most people were evacuated following the civil wars.

Languages

There are several indigenous languages in Bougainville Province. These include both Austronesian and Papuan (or Non-Austronesian) languages.

The most widely spoken Austronesian language is Halia and its dialects, spoken in the island of Buka
Buka Island
Buka Island is the second largest island in the Papua New Guinean province of Bougainville.- History :Buka was first occupied by humans in paleolithic times, some 30,000 years ago...

 and the Selau peninsula of Northern Bougainville. Other Austronesian languages include Nehan, Petats, Solos, Saposa/Taiof, Hahon and Tinputz, all spoken in the northern quarter of Bougainville, Buka and surrounding islands. These languages are closely related. Banoni and Torau are Austronesian languages not closely related to the former, which are spoken in the coastal areas of central and south Bougainville. In the nearby atolls of Mortlock Islands, is a Polynesian language.

The Papuan languages are confined to the main island of Bougainville. These include Rotokas
Rotokas language
Rotokas is an East Papuan language spoken by some 4000 people in Bougainville, an island to the east of New Guinea, part of Papua New Guinea. There are at least three dialects of the language: Central Rotokas , Aita Rotokas, and Pipipaia...

, a language with a very small inventory of phonemes, Eivo, Telei (Buin), Keriaka, Nasioi (Kieta), Nagovisi, Korokoro Motuna (Siwai), Baitsi (sometimes considered a dialect of Korokoro Motuna) Uisai (sometimes considered a dialect of Telei) and several others. They constitute the North Bougainville
North Bougainville languages
The North or West Bougainville languages are a small language family spoken on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. They were classified as East Papuan languages by Stephen Wurm, but this does not now seem tenable, and was abandoned in Ethnologue .The family includes the closely related...

 and South Bougainville
South Bougainville languages
The South or East Bougainville languages are a small language family spoken on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. They were classified as East Papuan languages by Wurm, but this does not now seem tenable, and was abandoned in Ethnologue .The languages include a closely related group...

 language families.

None of the languages are spoken by more than 20% of the population, and the larger languages such as Nasioi, Korokoro Motuna, Telei, and Halia are split into dialects that are not always mutually understandable. For general communication most Bougainvilleans use Tok Pisin
Tok Pisin
Tok Pisin is a creole spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in that country...

 as a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

, and at least in the coastal areas Tok Pisin is often learned by children in a bilingual environment. English and Tok Pisin are the languages of official business and government.

In popular culture

Bougainville and its 1990s struggle for independence is the setting for the 2006 novel Mister Pip
Mister Pip
Mister Pip is a novel by Lloyd Jones, a New Zealand author. It is named after a character in, and shaped by the plot of, Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations....

, by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones
Lloyd Jones (New Zealand author)
Lloyd Jones is a New Zealand author who currently resides in Wellington. His novel Mister Pip won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker.-Early life and education:...

.

Evergreen Island (2000), a film by Australian documentary filmmakers Amanda King and Fabio Cavadini of Frontyard Films
Frontyard Films
Frontyard Films is the film production company of Australian documentary filmmakers Amanda 'Mandy' King and Fabio Cavadini, who have been making films together for more than 20 years...

, showed the ingenuity with which the Bougainvillean people survived for almost a decade without trade or contact with the outside world.

A documentary about the struggle of the indigenous population to save their island from environmental destruction and gain independence was made in 1999, called The Coconut Revolution
The Coconut Revolution
The Coconut Revolution is a 2001 multi-award winning documentary film about the struggle of the indigenous peoples in the Bougainville Island...

.

Bougainville - Our Island Our Fight was a 1998 film by director Wayne Coles-Janess
Wayne Coles-Janess
Wayne Coles-Janess is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning producer, writer and director of drama and documentary programs. Producing films that define humanity in international situations and engage audiences across cultures and nations.-Life:...

. It featured footage of the war from behind the blockade.

See also

  • Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
    Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
    The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, on 1–2 November 1943—also known as the Battle of Gazelle Bay, Operation Cherry Blossom, and in Japanese sources as the Sea Battle of Bougainville Bay Shore —was a naval battle fought near the island of Bougainville...

  • Bougainville Province
    Bougainville Province
    The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, previously known as North Solomons, is an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. The largest island is Bougainville Island , and the province also includes the island of Buka and assorted outlying islands including the Carterets...

  • Bougainville Campaign
  • Bougainville Revolutionary Army
    Bougainville Revolutionary Army
    The Bougainville Revolutionary Army was formed in 1988 by Bougainvilleans seeking independence from Papua New Guinea .BRA leaders argue that Bougainville is ethnically part of the Solomon Islands and has not profited from the extensive mining that has occurred on the island...

  • Empress Augusta Bay
    Empress Augusta Bay
    Empress Augusta Bay is a major bay on the western side of the island of Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea, at . It is a major subsistence fishing area for the people of Bougainville. It is named after Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein, wife of German Emperor William II.In November 1943, the...

  • Francis Ona
    Francis Ona
    Francis Ona was a Bougainville secessionist leader who led an uprising against the Government of Papua New Guinea, motivated at least initially by his concerns over the operation of the Panguna mine by Bougainville Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Group...

  • North Solomon Islands
    North Solomon Islands
    The Northern Solomons were the more northerly group of islands in the Solomon Islands archipelago over which Germany declared a protectorate in 1885. Initially the German protectorate included Choiseul, Santa Isabel, the Shortlands and Ontong Java Islands, but in 1900 these islands were transferred...


Further reading

  • Robert Young Pelton, Hunter Hammer and Heaven, Journeys to Three Worlds Gone Mad. ISBN 1-58574-416-6

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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