Islands Of The South Pacific  

Melanesia      Micronesia      Polynesia

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Melanesia (from Greek "black islands") is a region extending from the western side of the the East Pacific to the Arafura Sea, north and north-east 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. Today d'Urville's racial classification is considered inaccurate because it obscures Melanesia's cultural, linguistic, and genetic diversity and today is simply used as a convenient geographical label.

Various genetic studies of the Pacific people in combination with earlier archaeological evidence have now clarified much of the confusion. The Melanesian people have a Y chromosome marker, H17, that is not found in Polynesians. Lapita pottery is Melanesian in origin, and can be found on islands since occupied by other people. Also, social status is generally based upon social skills and personal assets, whereas Polynesians use heredity to determine social status. Melanesians are considered the oldest of the Pacific peoples. They, like the Indigenous Australians, with whom Papuan Melanesians share a common ancestry, arrived some thousands of years BC.

The following islands and groups of islands are traditionally considered part of Melanesia: Fiji, Maluku Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Torres Strait Islands, and Vanuatu

Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and  Vanuatu

Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, Northern Mariana Islands,  Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau

American Samoa, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, The Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu and Wallis & Futuna


Adi Cakabau, early Twentieth Century Fijian Queen

Fiji Islands Travel Guide by Fiji Visitors Bureau
Fiji Government Online Portal
Fiji Village
Library of Congress Portals To The World: Fiji
Wikipedia Free Encylcopedia: Fiji

New Caledonia

Nineteenth Century painting of New Caledonia

Jane Resture's New Caledonia webpage
Library of Congress Portals To The World: New Caledonia
New Caledonia Tourism South
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia: New Caledonia

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Flag

Jane Resture's Papua New Guinea webpage
Library of Congress Portals To The World: Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Business & Tourism
Papua New Guinea Government
Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority
Papua New Guinea Virtual Library

Post Courier Online -New Guinea's #1 Newspaper
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia: Papua New Guinea

Solomon Islands

In the Solomon Islands

Jane Resture's Solomon Islands Webpage
Library of Congress Portals To The World: Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands Department of Commerce, Industries & Employment
Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau
Wikipedia Free Encylcopedia: Solomon Islands


Girl from Vanuatu

Jane Resture's Vanuatu Webpage
Library of Congress Portals To The World: Vanuatu
Vanuatu Online
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia: Vanuatu