The islands were settled at least as early as 900 BC, by people who made pottery known as Lapita.Archaeological research has shown that this pottery was made using local clay and sand from the island.At its independence in 1978, the protectorate became the sovereign state of the Solomon Islands.Honiara continued to function as the capital of the sovereign nation, and the inherited districts and councils remained until 1981, when the nation was reorganised into seven provinces by splitting some of the districts into provinces: the Central District was split into Central, Guadalcanal, and Isabel provinces, while the Eastern District was split into Makira-Ulawa and Temotu provinces.These Lapita people spread far as wide from the coastal area of Papua New Guinea to the islands of Tonga and Samoa; that is, throughout islands known as both Melanesia and Polynesia.Consequently, the people of Taumako experienced wide-ranging influences, and could be said to have been both Melanesian and Polynesian throughout their long history.Contact with outsiders comes by battery-powered marine radio and the regular monthly inter-island ship from Honiara.Studies of David Lewis and Marianne (Mimi) George uncovered that full traditional Polynesian navigational technique is still preserved in these islands (Finney and Lowe, 2006, p163).
Once married, the couple becomes adult members of the community and as such are expected to work with the community in numerous ways.
The other two districts, Western and Malaita, were also designated as provinces.
These new provinces corresponded to the councils of the districts before 1981.
In 1995, Choiseul Province was split from Western Province, and Rennell and Bellona Province was split from Central Province, resulting in the nine provinces of today.
The population census data is from the 1999 census; the 2009 population estimates are those provided by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office.