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Related to Melanesia: Oceania


A division of Oceania in the southwest Pacific Ocean comprising the islands northeast of Australia and south of the equator. It includes the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Bismarck Archipelago, various other island groups, and sometimes New Guinea.


(Placename) one of the three divisions of islands in the Pacific (the others being Micronesia and Polynesia); the SW division of Oceania: includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Louisiade, Solomon, Santa Cruz, and Loyalty Islands, which all lie northeast of Australia
[C19: from Greek melas black + nēsos island; with reference to the dark skins of the inhabitants; on the model of Polynesia]


(ˌmɛl əˈni ʒə, -ʃə)

one of the three principal divisions of Oceania, comprising the island groups in the S Pacific NE of Australia.
Mel`a•ne′sian, adj., n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Melanesia - the islands in the southwestern part of OceaniaMelanesia - the islands in the southwestern part of Oceania
cargo cult - (Melanesia) the followers of one of several millenarian cults that believe salvation will come in the form of wealth (`cargo') brought by westerners; some ascribe divine attributes to westerners on first contact (especially to missionaries)
Fiji Islands, Fijis - a group of more than 800 islands (100 inhabited) in the southwestern Pacific; larger islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu) are of volcanic origin surrounded by coral reefs; smaller islands are coral
Oceania, Oceanica - a large group of islands in the south Pacific including Melanesia and Micronesia and Polynesia (and sometimes Australasia and the Malay Archipelago)
Austronesia - islands of central and South Pacific (Indonesia and Melanesia and Micronesia and Polynesia)
Bismarck Archipelago - a group of islands in the southwestern Pacific to the northeast of New Guinea; part of Papua New Guinea
New Caledonia - an island to the to the east of Australia and to the north of New Zealand
Solomons, Solomon Islands - the northernmost islands are part of Papua New Guinea; the remainder form an independent state within the British Commonwealth
New Hebrides, Republic of Vanuatu, Vanuatu - a volcanic island republic in Melanesia; independent since 1980
References in classic literature ?
His rounds took him into low-roofed cottages in which were fishing tackle and sails and here and there mementoes of deep-sea travelling, a lacquer box from Japan, spears and oars from Melanesia, or daggers from the bazaars of Stamboul; there was an air of romance in the stuffy little rooms, and the salt of the sea gave them a bitter freshness.
As this dandy of Melanesia leaped into the sunshine, the Snider rifle in his hands came into position, aimed from his hip, the generous muzzle bearing directly on Van Horn.
All he knew of the world was steamers, far-outlying south-sea isles, and his own island of King William in Melanesia.
He had been twenty-eight years in Melanesia, ranging from German New Guinea to the German Solomons, and so thoroughly had he become identified with that portion of the world, that he habitually spoke in that bastard lingo called "bech-de-mer.
Ethnographically it belongs to Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, because all the breeds of the South Pacific have gravitated to it by canoe-drift and intricately, degeneratively, and amazingly interbred.
The festival would also be attended by representative official of Vanuatu-based Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG), Marijan added.
The Dema and the Christ: My Engagement and Inner Dialogue with the Cultures and Religions of Melanesia.
The initial timing for, and extent of inter-regional contact between, human populations inhabiting the various islands of Southeast Asia (including Wallacea) and Melanesia is an ongoing debate.
This exploration of personhood and exchange across Melanesia was not so much ethnographic exposition as a means of examining and contesting many of the received concepts through which anthropologists and feminists had hitherto interpreted social life.
Description: The project is helping inhabitants on the island states of Micronesia and Melanesia, which are significantly affected by climate change, to understand climate risks and improve their ability to adapt to climate change.
Given to this conclusion and their findings, researchers have suggested that Tibetans' ancestors may interbred with Denisovan, which could explain why the presence of Denisovan haplotype outside Melanesia.
The Silver Discoverer's first itineraries include trips to Polynesia, Melanesia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and the Russian Far East.