The Kwaio historically lived in small, autonomous groups in the interior of the large island of Malaita. Their religion was heavily based on ancestral deities and their maintenance of moral standards within the community. The Kwaio were notable for their fierce resistance to colonisation and Christianisation, which resulted a punitive expedition being mounted against them in 1927, during which their religious sites were deliberately desecrated. Subsequently, many Kwaio converted to Christianity, although around a third continue to adhere to their indigenous religion to this day.