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Melanesia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The geographical extent of Melanesia

The three major cultural areas in the Pacific Ocean: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia

Mapa Melanesia.png

Melanesia (UK: /ˌmɛləˈnziə/US: /ˌmɛləˈnʒə/) is a subregion of Oceaniaextending from New Guinea island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji.

The region includes the four independent countries of Vanuatu, the Solomon IslandsFiji, and Papua New Guinea, as well as the French special collectivity of New Caledonia, and the Indonesian region of Western New Guinea. Most of the region is in the Southern Hemisphere, with a few small northwestern islands of Western New Guinea in the Northern Hemisphere.

The name Melanesia (in French Mélanésie) was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands whose inhabitants he thought were distinct from those of Micronesia and Polynesia.

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