Buka (formerly also Bouka ) is a 500 km ² island in the Pacific Ocean. It belongs geographically to the archipelago of the Solomon Islands, politically it is - lying there - along with its 8800 km ² large neighboring island of Bougainville, the only autonomous region of Papua New Guinea ( Autonomous Region of Bougainville ). Until the attainment of autonomy in 2005, the province under the name of North Solomons Province ( North Solomons Province) was known.
Buka is about 48 km long and up to 15 km wide; the highest point rises 498 m above sea level. The island is located north before Bougainville and is separated from it only by a one kilometer wide strait ( Buka Passage).
Exclusively Austronesian languages are spoken on Buka. The population on the east coast mainly lived in pre- colonial times at the foot of the cliff, because there was access to the sea easier than a source of food and water sources. Only gardens were laid out on the high plateau and visited when needed. After construction of the coastal road above the cliff, the population focus, however, has shifted away from the water to the higher ground level.
In a final statement of Great Britain and the German Empire over territorial claims in the Salomon group and the Shortland Islands Bouka was Imperial German on April 6, 1886 reserve. On 15 December, the administration of the island was transferred to the Berlin New Guinea 's Company, by charter, together with that of Bougainville, Choiseul and Ysabel. The Samoa Treaty ( 1899) the rich German claim was confirmed and Buka in the context of an administrative reform a part of German New Guinea, which remained there until the First World War.
During the Second World War Buka was between the armed forces of Australia, the United States and Japan hard-fought territory in the South Pacific.
The Hahalis Welfare Society, often referred to as cargo cult had contributed significantly in the years before independence to the development Bukas. 1956 finally went before the Australian government against the leaders of the movement, as this calling on their members to refuse the newly introduced poll tax. The Society was a predecessor of the independence movement, and other political and cultural clubs.