Simbo is the name of one of the Solomon Islands, and also the distinct language spoken by the island’s people.
The Solomon Islands as a whole have a significance, culturally and historically, that far outweighs their small size and out-of-the-way location. World War II alone would recommend the Solomon Islands to the history books, owing to Guadalcanal, John F. Kennedy, and Pappy Boyington’s Black Sheep Squadron.
However, even ignoring the events of the war, the Solomons are fascinating and complex. The islands are typically volcanic and covered with rainforests, making them both uniquely picturesque and an ideal spot for academic research and exploration.
The cultures of the Solomons are even more unique, reflecting Melanesia’s characteristic mixture and evolution of Papuan, Austronesian, and Lapita traditions. Over 70 languages are spoken, including Simbo, and ancient traditions and customs are handed down (with much less dilution than in many more cosmopolitan areas) even to the present day.
Skull Island, a sacred neighbor to Simbo, is the Oceanic equal of the catacombs of Paris or the monasteries of Mt. Athos.
The events of the 18th and 19th Century provide an all-too-classic example of the collision of Western colonialism with the native Melanesian mixture, but the 20th Century proved that the Solomons could quickly become the focus of international attention. The Solomons’ history is one of conflict and upheaval, both internally and as a response to outside forces.
Earthquakes and resultant tsunamis, political upsets, tensions and unexpected alliances with outside nations — all of these elements combine to make Simbo, and the Solomon Islands as a whole, a complex and fascinating subject. We’ll cover various examples of note in upcoming posts and pages, and welcome any input from interested readers.