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a group of kindred peoples constituting the indigenous population of Melanesia and numbering about 1.1 million (1970, estimate). They speak various Melanesian languages, and anthropologically they belong to the Melanesian race. Nominally the Melanesians are Christians, but traditional beliefs are still strong.

By the beginning of the 19th century the Melanesians had reached different stages of the disintegration of the primitive communal system and were skilled shipbuilders and navigators. The colonialists brought the slave trade, expropriation of land, and forced labor on plantations and in mines, and many Melanesian groups completely or partially died out. Only in the 1920’s and 1930’s did the Melanesian population begin to increase. The main occupations are tropical farming and fishing. After World War II the Melanesians began a national liberation struggle against the colonialists. A working class is arising in the major cities, and the amalgamation of previously separate tribes has intensified.


Narody Avstralii i Okeanii. Moscow, 1956.
Puchkov, P. I. Naselenie Okeanii. Moscow, 1967.
Puchkov, P. I. Formirovanie naseleniia Melanezii. Moscow, 1968.
Worsley, P. Kogda vostrubit truba. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover, Melanesian approaches to biblical texts recall, at least in my reading of these essays, the tradition of classic rabbinic exegesis, called midrash.
The prominent PNG thinker Bernard Narakobi has developed a well respected philosophy of 'the Melanesian Way' (Narokobi, 1980).
However, the fascination with Israel is not limited to Christian readings of the Old Testament or contemporary Melanesian claims of being a 'chosen nation' (Dundon 2011).
Besides Indonesia as the hosting nation, the upcoming festival would be attended by delegates from Melanesian countries consisted of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, Timor Leste, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, Cultural Director General at Indonesia's Education and Culture Ministry Kacung Marijan said here.
However, as he also points out, the emphasis in World Bank documents on 'modernisation' through land registration, property rights and land markets indicates continuing insensitivity to local needs in a Melanesian cultural context.
From the Melanesians he learned to accept the role of traditional healers, ancestors, and the special knowledge of women; the death of Christ could be interpreted as a version of the Dema story.
The project was sponsored by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and sought to examine vulnerability and resilience at household level in two Melanesian countries--the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
This phylogenetic study also demonstrates the existence of at least 2 subgroups strongly supported phylogenetically within the Melanesian clade: 1 comprising strains from Australia and Papua New Guinea and 1 comprising strains from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands (Figure 2).
However, the Melanesian population of the Solomon Islands, East of Papua New Guinea, differs from this trend.
Anglicans in Melanesia and Canada have been connected since 1963, when a Melanesian representative attended the Toronto Anglican Congress.
Contemporary faith-based organisations (FBOs) in the Melanesian societies of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea--whose populations were amongst the last in the world to receive Christian missions and European colonisers--include organised churches, formalised service providers, social networks, accredited non-governmental organisations (NGOs), collaborative entities, and even business and media divisions, which play multiple complementary and/or contradictory roles as promoters of the common interest and as protectors of sectarian interests.
Clashes with police and military are common in the Papuan region, where poorly armed separatist groups have for decades fought a low-level insurgency for the mostly ethnic Melanesian population.