Welcome to North Solomons Province
In many ways, the islands that comprise the erstwhile North Solomons Province (Buka, Bougainville and a scattering of smaller atolls) feel different, and the influence of the PNG mainland is a distant memory. Look at a map, and you’ll see why: the islands are closer to the neighbouring Solomon Islands than they are to PNG. The international border between the two countries passes just a few kilometres south of Bougainville Island. The Shortland and Choiseul islanders in the Solomons are very close to Bougainvilleans, culturally and ethnically – both have jet-black skin. Around PNG, Bougainvilleans are known as ‘blackskins’ or ‘bukas’.