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Encyclopedia > Melanesia
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Melanesia (from Greek: μέλας black, νῆσος island) is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western side of the West Pacific to the Arafura Sea, north and northeast of Australia. The term was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The definition of continental subregions in use by the United Nations. ... For other uses, see Oceania (disambiguation). ... As the Pacific straddles the ±180° longitude where East becomes West, the Asian side of the ocean (where latitudes are E) is correctly referred to as East Pacific and the opposite side (eastwards) where latitudes are W is the West Pacific. ... The Arafura Sea is the body of water that lies between Australia and New Guinea. ... This article is about the French explorer. ... Carving from the ridgepole of a Māori house, ca 1840 Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς many, νῆσος island) is a large grouping of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. ...


Today, d'Urville's racial classification is known to be inaccurate because it obscures the very great cultural, linguistic, and genetic diversity in the area and combines two quite distinct groups, the Austronesians (who have a much wider distribution than just Melanesia) and the Papuans (who themselves comprise a number of separate groups). A further complication is that the term Melanesian is sometimes used to refer solely to the Austronesian peoples of that region, especially when contrasting them with the Polynesians and Micronesians (both of whom are also Austronesian). For other uses, see Race (disambiguation). ... Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ... The Austronesian people are a population group in Oceania and Southeast Asia who speak or had ancestors who spoke one of the Austronesian languages. ... The term Papuan languages refers to those languages of the western Pacific which are neither Austronesian nor Australian. ...


In contrast, there is a widely used geopolitical conception of Melanesia. For example, the Melanesian Spearhead Group Preferential Trade Agreement is a regional trade treaty governing the states of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji. Melanesia is also current as a geographic term, used as a reference to the area when national, ethnic, and linguistic distinctions are not relevant.[1] Geopolitics is the study that analyzes geography, history and social science with reference to spatial politics and patterns at various scales (ranging from home, city, region, state to international and cosmopolitics). ... The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Preferential Trade Agreement is a trade treaty governing the four melanesian states of Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and recently, Fiji. ... We dont have an article called Preferential Trade Arrangement Start this article Search for Preferential Trade Arrangement in. ... Geography - (from the Greek words Geo (γη) or Gaea (γαία), both meaning Earth, and graphein (γράφειν) meaning to describe or to writeor to map) is the study of the earth and its features, inhabitants, and phenomena. ...

Contents

People

The original inhabitants of the islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the presentday Papuan-speaking people. These people are thought to have occupied New Guinea tens of millennia ago and reached the islands at least 35,000 years ago (according to radiocarbon dating). They appear to have occupied these islands as far east as the main islands in the Solomon Islands (i.e., including San Cristobal) and perhaps even to the smaller islands farther to the east.[2] San Cristóbal, the Spanish language name of St. ...


It was particularly along the north coast of New Guinea and in the islands north and east of New Guinea that the Austronesian people came into contact with these pre-existing populations of Papuan-speaking peoples, probably around 4000 years ago. There was probably a long period of interaction that resulted in many complex changes in genetics, languages, and culture.[3] It is likely that from this area a very small group of people (speaking an Austronesian language) departed to the east to become the forebears of the Polynesian people.[4] The Austronesian people are a population group in Oceania and Southeast Asia who speak or had ancestors who spoke one of the Austronesian languages. ...


Location

The following islands and groups of islands since the 19th century have been considered part of Melanesia:

Islands whose long-established inhabitants are of mixed ancestry who do not necessarily self-identify as Melanesian: The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean, named in honour of the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck and belonging to Papua New Guinea. ... Papua is a province of Indonesia comprising a majority part of the western half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands (see also Western New Guinea). ... Maluku redirects here. ... The Torres Strait Islands are a group of at least 274 small islands which lie in Torres Strait, the waterway separating far northern continental Australias Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea. ... For other uses, see Palau (disambiguation). ...

Some of the islands to the west of New Guinea such as Halmahera, Alor, and Pantar can also be considered to be part of Melanesia, although people in this area do not make use of the term. Map of Flores Island Flores (Portuguese for flowers) is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an island arc with an estimated area of 14,300 km² extending east from the Java island of Indonesia. ... The Lesser Sunda Islands; Sumba is in the center Sumba is an island in Indonesia, and is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands. ... Timor is an island at the south end of the Malay Archipelago, divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, part of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara with the surface of 11,883 sq mi (30,777 km²). The name is a variant of timur... Halmahera (also Jilolo or Gilolo) is the largest island in the Maluku Islands. ... Alor is the largest island in the Indonesia, which from the west include such islands as Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores Solor and Lomblen. ... Pantar is the second largest island in the Indonesian Alor archipelago. ...


References

  1. ^ Diamond, Jared and Ernst Mayr (2001). The Birds of Northern Melanesia: Speciation, Ecology, and Biogeography. N.Y.: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-514170-9. 
  2. ^ Dunn, Michael, Angela Terrill, Ger Reesink, Robert A. Foley, Stephen C. Levinson (2005). "Structural Phylogenetics and the Reconstruction of Ancient Language History". Science 309: 2072-2075. doi:10.1126/science.1114615. 
  3. ^ Spriggs, Matthew (1997). The Island Melanesians. Blackwell. ISBN 0631167277. 
  4. ^ Kayser, Manfred, Silke Brauer, Gunter Weiss, Peter A. Underhill, Lutz Rower, Wulf Schiefenhövel and Mark Stoneking (2000). "The Melanesian Origin of Polynesian Y chromosomes". Current Biology 10: 1237-1246. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(01)00029-X. 

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

See also

Papua is: Another name for New Guinea Papua (Australian territory): A former Australian territory comprising the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea, now the southern part of Papua New Guinea Papua (Indonesian province): An Indonesian province comprising the western half of the island of New Guinea Related Words... Ati woman Negrito refers a dwindling ethnic group which is now restricted to parts of Southeast Asia. ... The Bishop of Melanesia is the head of the Anglican Church of the Province of Melanesia. ... The Melanesian Brotherhood was formed in 1925 by Ini Kopuria, a policeman from Maravovo, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Conservation International Melanesia (161 words)
All of these wonders and mores can be found in the south-western corner of the tropical Pacific in the region known as "Melanesia."
Conservation International's Melanesia Center for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC) works throughout this region to foster the conservation of Melanesia's native biodiversity, natural ecosystems, and traditional cultures.
Conservation International (CI) believes that the Earth's natural heritage must be maintained if future generations are to thrive spiritually, culturally, and economically.
Wikipedia search result (779 words)
Melanesia (from Greek: μέλας fl, νῆσος island) is a region extending from the western side of the East Pacific to the Arafura Sea, north and north-east of Australia.
'Melanesia' is also current as a geographic term, to refer to the area when national, ethnic and linguistic distinctions are not relevant.
It is in Melanesia (particularly along the north coast of New Guinea and in the islands north and east of New Guinea) that the Austronesian people came into contact with these pre-existing populations of Papuan speaking peoples, probably around four thousand years ago.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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