Biographical entry: Hingava ( - 1906)



Hingava was chief of Sisieta (Munda), and the most powerful man in Roviana Lagoon in New Georgia. He gained his power during the years that European traders operated in his area under his protection and that of neighbouring chiefs. He was also responsible for organising headhunting expeditions and associated rituals. Traders provided iron axe heads, which when mounted on long handles became ferocious weapons, perfect for headhunting. Hingava also had a significant arsenal of firearms. During the 1890s, Hingava presented himself to naval captains and to Resident Commissioner Woodford (q.v.) as assisting to bring the new law and order, and Woodford regarded him as 'paramount chief'. In truth his power was dependant on the cooperation of other chiefs from New Georgia and Simbo. In one raid to Choiseul in 1894, he mustered five hundred men and twenty-two war canoes, two English-built boats, three to four hundred rifles and five thousand rounds of ammunition. Hingava was also the first Solomon Islander to win a court case against a European, Jean Peter Pratt (q.v.). He was assisted by his advisor-priest Wangi and was succeeded on his death in 1906 by his nephew Gemu. (Bennett 1987, 88-91)

Published resources


  • Bennett, Judith A., Wealth of the Solomons: A History of a Pacific Archipelago, 1800-1978, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1987. Details