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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 ?
The implication is that whiteman countries, such as Australia, are so purely modern as to have no culture, even if Melanesians know that the white gaze sees culture as something that constitutes others.
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.
Yet, he does not seem to question why the Melanesians have been able to maintain their form of political order and happiness for thousands of years while the West has had massive amounts of wars, destruction, and political collapses, let alone domestic crime, in such relatively short time periods.
The evidence came unexpectedly when Denisovian gene sequences turned up in the DNA of modern Melanesian Pacific islanders.
PM Natapei said he will raise Vanuatus concerns for the situation in West Papua at the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting.
Melanesians were anxious to withdraw from plantation labour, as soon as some form of local development became feasible (Adams 1990).
Melanesians were barred from acquiring the citizenship of either power.
Similar to the idea of efficacy, or sometimes better known as luck, the Melanesians thought all success was traced back to mana.
Melanesian men and women, wearing grass skirts and colourful headbands, carried the Bible in a miniature dugout canoe as they sang, moved and danced to the beating of drums from the High Altar to the Cathedral's Compass Rose.
Twenty years ago, the servicemen declared that they intervened to protect the interests of the Melanesian Fijians, which were seen by the nationalists as endangered by the accession to power of a multiracial government.
He communicates a sophisticated and acute understanding of, and even an affinity with, the Melanesian societies he studied.
All were in Melanesians living in the Northern Province, none of whom had traveled abroad, which suggests this area is another discrete focus of endemic melioidosis.