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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 ?
All he knew of the world was steamers, far-outlying south-sea isles, and his own island of King William in Melanesia.
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.
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 first Canadian bishop to serve in Melanesia, Bishop Brown worked to improve ecumenical relations in Malaita province and has been involved in liturgical development and worship through the Liturgy and Worship Commission.
In eighteen chapters dealing with indigenous leadership across various church traditions, Lange covers each island group, starting in eastern Polynesia and moving westward through Polynesia to Micronesia and finally Melanesia.
Beginning on the island of Samurai, at the southeastern tip of Papua New Guinea, he immerses himself in the rich and varied cultures of Melanesia, where he discovers the persistance of sorcery as a strong social tradition and the region's rather disturbing history of cannibalism.
An overwhelming theme to emerge from these and other papers is how social complexity might be identified in early sequences from mainland and Island Melanesia, that processes of trade, interaction and change are likely to have been highly dynamic and have both indigenous and exogenous origins and lastly how Australianists need to take a more comparative view of the theoretical basis of what constitutes complex and non-complex societies.
Interchange is committed to a better future for Melanesia by offering nation-building telecommunications technologies and infrastructure to communities throughout the entire region.
The islands of Melanesia have a multitude of languages and cultures, many of which are being lost as Westernization infiltrates the society.
Archbishop Ellison Pogo of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, who heads the group told the Anglican Communion News Service: "We are working very hard to orient the conference around God's mission of transformation and reconciliation, seeing the bishops themselves as primary resources in this task.