Pacific Islander

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Pacific Islanders originate from countries within the Oceanian regions of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Oceania UN Geoscheme - Map with Zones.svg
Pacific Islanders originate from countries within the Oceanian regions of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia.

Pacific Islanders, Pasifika, Pasefika, Pacificans or rarely Pacificers are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. [1] As an ethnic/racial term, it is used to describe the original peoples—inhabitants and diasporas [1] —of any of the three major subregions of Oceania (Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia).


Melanesians include the Fijians (Fiji), Kanaks (New Caledonia), Ni-Vanuatu (Vanuatu), Papua New Guineans (Papua New Guinea), Solomon Islanders (Solomon Islands), and West Papuans (Indonesia's West Papua).

Micronesians include the Carolinians (Caroline Islands), Chamorros (Guam and Northern Mariana Islands), Chuukese (Chuuk), I-Kiribati (Kiribati), Kosraeans (Kosrae), Marshallese (Marshall Islands), Palauans (Palau), Pohnpeians (Pohnpei), and Yapese (Yap).

Polynesians include the New Zealand Māori (New Zealand), Native Hawaiians (Hawaii), Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Samoans (Samoa and American Samoa), Tahitians (Tahiti), Tokelauans (Tokelau), Niueans (Niue), Cook Islands Māori (Cook Islands) and Tongans (Tonga), Uveans and Futunans (Wallis and Futuna). [1] The term Pasifika was first used in New Zealand to designate the non-indigenous ethnic groups arriving from the aforementioned Pacific nations, excluding New Zealand itself; this term, when used in New Zealand, does not encompass the indigenous Māori people. [2]

Auckland in New Zealand has the world's largest concentration of urban Pacific Islanders living outside of their own countries, and is sometimes referred to as the "Polynesian capital of the world." [3] This came as result of a steady stream of immigration from Polynesian countries such as Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue, and French Polynesia in the 20th and 21st centuries. [3]

The umbrella terms Pacific Islands and Pacific Islanders may also take on several other meanings. [4] At times, the term Pacific Islands only refers to islands within the cultural regions of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, [5] [6] and to tropical islands with oceanic geology in general, such as Clipperton Island. [7] In some common uses, the term refers to the islands of the Pacific Ocean once colonized by the Portuguese, Spaniards, Dutch, British, French, Germans, Americans, and Japanese. [8] In other uses, it may refer to areas with Austronesian linguistic heritage like Taiwan, Indonesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and the Myanmar islands, which found their genesis in the Neolithic cultures of the island of Taiwan. [9] In an often geopolitical context, the term has been extended even further to include the large South Pacific landmass of Australia. [10]


In the North Pacific, non-tropical islands in and around Alaska, Japan and Russia were inhabited by people related to Indigenous American and Far East Asian groups, [11] with some Japanese ethnic groups also being theorized to be related to Indigenous Pacific groups. [12] In the South Pacific, the easternmost oceanic island with any human inhabitation was Easter Island, settled by the Polynesian Rapa Nui people. [13] Oceanic islands beyond that which neighbor Central America and South America (Galápagos, Revillagigedo, Juan Fernández Islands etc.) are among the last inhabitable places on earth to have been discovered by humans. [14] [15] All of these islands (excluding Clipperton) were annexed by Latin American nations a few hundred years after their discoveries, and initially were sometimes used as prisons for convicts. [16] Today only a small number of them are inhabited, mainly by Spanish-speaking mainlanders of mestizo or White Latin American origin. [16] These individuals are not considered Pacific Islanders under the standard ethnically based definition. [10] [11] In a broad sense, they could still possibly be seen as encompassing a small Spanish-speaking segment of Oceania, along with the Easter Island inhabitants, who were eventually colonized by Chileans. [16] [17] The 1996 book Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas notes that Spanish was once commonly spoken in the Pacific on the colonial-era Philippines, further stating, "at the present time, the Spanish language is not widely used in the South Pacific, being unknown outside of a handful of places. Spanish is spoken by a resident population only on the Ecuadorian Galápagos Islands, the Chilean possessions of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Juan Fernández Islands and a few other tiny islands. Most Pacific insular possessions of Latin American nations are either unpopulated or used as military outposts, staffed by natives of the mainland." [18]

Lord Howe Island, located between Australia and New Zealand, is one of the only other habitable oceanic islands to have had no contact with humans prior to European discovery. [19] The island is currently administered by Australia, and Its residents are primarily European Australians who originated from the mainland, with a small number also being Asian Australians. [20] Like with the Spanish-speaking islanders in the southeastern Pacific, they would not normally be considered Pacific Islanders under an ethnically based definition. Remote and uninhabitable islands in the central Pacific such as Baker Island were also generally isolated from humans prior to European discovery. [21] However, Pacific Islanders are believed to have possibly visited some of these locations, including Wake Island. [21] [22] In the case of Howland Island, there may have even been a brief attempt at settlement. [22]

The Official Journal of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) considers the term Pacific Islands to encompass American Samoa, Cook Islands, Easter Island, the Galápagos Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Salas y Gómez Island, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United States Minor Outlying Islands, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. [23] The 1982 edition of the South Pacific Handbook, by David Stanley, groups Australia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island and the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia under the more restrictive label of the "South Pacific Islands", even though Hawaii and most islands in Micronesia technically lie in the North Pacific. He additionally includes the Galápagos Islands in his definition of the South Pacific, but does not include any other islands located within the southeastern Pacific area, aside from Easter Island which is considered part of Polynesia. [24]

An exclusive economic zone map of the Pacific which includes all islands. Oceania Political Map (EEZ based).png
An exclusive economic zone map of the Pacific which includes all islands.
An exclusive economic zone map of the Pacific which excludes non-tropical islands north of Hawaii. Map of the Territorial Waters of the Pacific Ocean.png
An exclusive economic zone map of the Pacific which excludes non-tropical islands north of Hawaii.

Ian Todd's 1974 book Island Realm: A Pacific Panorama considers Oceania and the term "Pacific Islands" to also encompass the non-tropical Aleutian Islands, [25] as well as Clipperton Island, the Coral Sea Islands, the Desventuradas Islands, Guadalupe Island, the Juan Fernández Islands, the Revillagigedo Islands, Salas y Gómez Island and the Torres Strait Islands. He notes that the terms are sometimes taken to include Australia, New Zealand and the non-oceanic Papua New Guinea, however he does not consider them to encompass the Japanese archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Russia's Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Island or countries associated with Maritime Southeast Asia. The Philippines according to him are at a "cross-roads of the Pacific — a racial and geographic link connecting Oceania, Southeast Asia and Indonesia." [17] Debate exists over whether or not the Philippines should be categorized with Pacific Islands of shared Austronesian origin or with the mainland nations of Asia. [26] [27] [28] [29] The islands of the Philippines do not have oceanic geology, and instead sit on the continental shelf of Asia. As such, they are sometimes deemed as a geological extension of Asia. [25] In his 2012 book Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, American author James A. Banks claimed that, "although islands such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan and the Aleutian Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, islanders from these locales are not typically considered Pacific Islanders. They are usually considered Asian, with Aleuts considered Alaskan natives." [30] Thus, because proximity does not determine ethnicity, only through defined connections such as Maori(Polynesian) and Rapa Nui natives(Polynesian) it has to be evident that "islands" although nearby to Oceana, the inhabitants though distantly connected by similarities in language and practices similar to Melanesians, Micronesians and Polynesians are to be considered Southeast Asian, such as the Philippines.

The Pacific Islands Forum is the major governing organization for the Pacific Islands, and has been labelled as the "EU of the Pacific region". [31] Up until 2021, its member nations and associate members were American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. [32] Additionally, there have been pushes for Easter Island and Hawaii to join the Pacific Islands Forum, as they are primarily inhabited by Polynesian peoples. [33] Japan and Malay Archipelago countries such as East Timor, Indonesia and the Philippines are dialogue partners of the Pacific Islands Forum, with East Timor having observer status, but none are full members. [32] The nations of the Malay Archipelago have their own regional governing organization called ASEAN, which includes mainland Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam and Thailand. In July 2019, at the inaugural Indonesian Exposition held in Auckland, Indonesia launched its ‘Pacific Elevation’ program, which would encompass a new era of elevated engagement with the region, with the country also using the event to lay claim that Indonesia is culturally and ethnically linked to the Pacific islands. The event was attended by dignitaries from Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific island countries. [34]

Australia and New Zealand have been described as both continental landmasses and as Pacific Islands. New Zealand's native population, the Māori, are Polynesians, and thus considered Pacific Islanders. Australia's Indigenous population are loosely related to Melanesians and the United States Census categorize them under the Pacific Islander American umbrella. [35] [36] [37] In Island Realm: A Pacific Panorama (1974), Ian Todd states that, "New Zealand is uniquely gifted in its role as a Polynesian associate. A large section of its own indigenous population consists of Māori — a Polynesian race. Beyond her own sphere of association, New Zealand's trading influence is prominent in Tonga, Fiji and other areas of the Pacific with Commonwealth affiliations." Regarding Australia, he further wrote, "Australia plays a leading economic role in the south-west Pacific area — commonly known as Melanesia. Fiji, the New Hebrides, the Solomons, even French-controlled New Caledonia have a major trade connection with Australia. The thriving little republic of Nauru was administered by Australia before its recent independence. Further afield, in western Polynesia, Australia provides economic and technical aid in Tonga and Western Samoa. Much of Fiji's tourist trade comes from 'down under'. Among the oceanic islands which are part of the Commonwealth of Australia are Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, the Torres Strait Islands, the Willis Group and Coringa Islands." [17]

Pacific Islander regions

The Pacific islands consist of three main traditional regions.


Melanesia is the great arc of islands located north and east of Australia and south of the Equator. The name derives the Greek words melas ('black') and nēsos ('island') for the predominantly dark-skinned peoples of New Guinea island, the Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), New Caledonia, and Fiji. [38]

In addition those places listed above, Melanesia includes the Louisiade Archipelago, the Admiralty Islands, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, Western New Guinea (part of Indonesia), Maluku Island, Aru Islands, Kei Islands, the Santa Cruz Islands (part of the Solomon Islands), Loyalty Islands (part of New Caledonia) and various smaller islands. East Timor, while considered to be geographically Southeast Asian, is still generally accepted as being ethnoculturally part of Melanesia. The Torres Strait Islands are politically part of nearby Queensland, Australia, although the inhabitants are considered to be Melanesians rather than Indigenous Australians. [39] This is not the case with other Australian islands that were inhabited by Indigenous peoples prior to European discovery, such as Fraser Island, Great Palm Island and the Tiwi Islands. The Torres Strait Islands could be seen as a Melanesian territory in Australasia, similar to how East Timor is a Melanesian territory in Asia. Norfolk Island was uninhabited when discovered by Europeans, and later became politically integrated into Australia (and by extension, Australasia). [39] The remote island is still sometimes considered to be in Melanesia, as it is close to the region, and has archeological evidence of prehistoric inhabitation.

New Caledonia (and Vanuatu to a lesser extent) were under French colonial influence from the 19th century onward. [40] Most islands however have historically had close ties to Australia and the United Kingdom, with the United States having had little impact on the region. [40] [41]


Micronesia includes Kiribati, Nauru, the Marianas (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, all in the Caroline Islands).

The islands were under the influence of colonial powers such as Germany, Spain and Japan from the 16th century up until the end of World War II. Several of the island groups have since developed financially crucial political alignments with the United States. [40] Nauru's main political partner since World War I has been Australia, excluding a brief period of Japanese occupation in World War II. [40] [42]


The Polynesian islands are scattered across a triangle covering the east-central region of the Pacific Ocean. The triangle is bound by the Hawaiian Islands in the north, New Zealand in the west, and Easter Island in the east. The rest of Polynesia includes the Samoan islands (American Samoa and Samoa [formerly Western Samoa]); Cook Islands; French Polynesia (the Society Islands [ Tahiti], Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands, and Tuamotu); Niue Island; Tokelau and Tuvalu; Tonga; Wallis and Futuna; Rotuma Island; Pitcairn Island; Nukuoro; and Kapingamarangi. [38]

The majority of island groups are most closely aligned to New Zealand/Australia, with others being politically aligned to France or the United States. [40] Hawaii is geographically isolated from Polynesia, and is situated in the North Pacific, unlike the rest of Polynesia, which is in the South Pacific. They are still a part of the subregion for ethnocultural reasons. Easter Island is located in a remote part of the Pacific which is thousands of kilometers removed from both Polynesia and the South American continent. It was annexed by Chile in 1888, and Spanish is now commonly spoken in a bilingual manner, with some having race-mixed with Mestizo Chilean settlers. However, the inhabitants consider their island and its culture to be Polynesian, and do not view themselves as South Americans. [43] [10]

Ethnic groups

Peoples of the Pacific, published by Pacific House in San Francisco, 1940 Peoples of the Pacific (35048886141).jpg
Peoples of the Pacific, published by Pacific House in San Francisco, 1940

The population of the Pacific Islands is concentrated in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand (which has a majority of people of European descent), Hawaii, Fiji, and Solomon Islands. Most Pacific Islands are densely populated, and habitation tends to be concentrated along the coasts. [38]

Melanesians constitute over three quarters of the total indigenous population of the Pacific Islands; Polynesians account for more than one-sixth; and Micronesians make up about one-twentieth. [38]


Several hundred distinct languages are spoken in the Pacific Islands. In ethnolinguistic terms, the Pacific islanders of Oceania are divided into two different ethnic classifications: [38]

List of Pacific peoples

Terminology by country


In Australia, the term South Sea Islander was used to describe Australian descendants of people from the over-80 islands in the western Pacific who had been brought to Australia to work on the sugar fields of Queensland—these people were called Kanakas in the 19th century. [45]

The Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 was enacted to restrict entry of Pacific Islanders to Australia and to authorise their deportation. In this legislation, Pacific Islanders were defined as:

"Pacific Island Labourer" includes all natives not of European extraction of any island except the islands of New Zealand situated in the Pacific Ocean beyond the Commonwealth [of Australia] as constituted at the commencement of this Act. [46]

Despite this, Pacific Islanders were generally held in a much higher regard than Indigenous Australians were during the early 20th century. [40]

In 2008, a "Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme" was announced as a three-year pilot experiment. [47] It provides visas for workers from Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea to work in Australia. [48] Aside from Papua New Guinea, the scheme includes one country each from Melanesia (Vanuatu), Polynesia (Tonga), and Micronesia (Kiribati)—countries that already send workers to New Zealand under its seasonal labour scheme. [49] [50]

New Zealand

Cook Island dancers at Auckland's Pasifika Festival, 2010 Cook Island dancers at Auckland's Pacifica festival.jpg
Cook Island dancers at Auckland's Pasifika Festival, 2010

Local usage in New Zealand uses Pacific Islander (also called Pasifika, or formerly Pacific Polynesians, [51] ) to distinguish those who have emigrated from one of these areas in modern times from the New Zealand Māori, who are also Polynesian but are indigenous to New Zealand. [51]

In the 2013 New Zealand census, 7.4% of the New Zealand population identified with one or more Pacific ethnic groups, although 62.3% of these were born in New Zealand. [52] Those with a Samoan background make up the largest proportion, followed by Cook Islands Māori, Tongan, and Niuean. [52] Some smaller island populations such as Niue and Tokelau have the majority of their nationals living in New Zealand. [53]

To celebrate the diverse Pacific island cultures, the Auckland Region hosts several Pacific island festivals. Two of the major ones are Polyfest, which showcases performances of the secondary school cultural groups in the region, [54] and Pasifika, a festival that celebrates Pacific island heritage through traditional food, music, dance, and entertainment. [55]

United States

By the 1980s, the United States Census Bureau grouped persons of Asian ancestry and created the category " Asian-Pacific Islander ," which continued in the 1990s census. In 2000, " Asian " and "Pacific Islander" became two separate racial categories. [56]

According to the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program (PEP), a "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander" is,

A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific islands. It includes people who indicate their race as 'Native Hawaiian', 'Guamanian or Chamorro', 'Samoan', and 'Other Pacific Islander' or provide other detailed Pacific Islander responses. [57]

According to the Office of Management and Budget, "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. [56]

Eight out of 10 Pacific Islanders in the United States are native to the United States. Polynesians make up the largest group, including Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Tahitians, and Tongans. Micronesians make up the second largest, including primarily Chamoru from Guam; as well as other Chamoru, Carolinian from the Northern Mariana Islands, Marshallese, Palauans, and various others. Among Melanesians, Fijian Americans are the largest in this group. [58]

There are at least 39 different Pacific Island languages spoken as a second language in the American home. [58]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Pacific Islands</span>

The history of the Pacific Islands covers the history of the islands in the Pacific Ocean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Oceania</span>

The history of Oceania includes the history of Australia, Easter Island, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Western New Guinea and other Pacific island nations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oceania</span> Geographical region in the Pacific Ocean

Oceania is a geographical region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, at the centre of the water hemisphere, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of about 9,000,000 square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi) and a population of around 44.4 million as of 2022. When compared to the other continents, Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second-least populated after Antarctica.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Melanesia</span> Subregion of Oceania

Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from New Guinea in the west to the Fiji Islands in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea.

Polynesians are an ethnolinguistic group of closely related ethnic groups who are native to Polynesia, an expansive region of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. They trace their early prehistoric origins to Island Southeast Asia and form part of the larger Austronesian ethnolinguistic group with an Urheimat in Taiwan. They speak the Polynesian languages, a branch of the Oceanic subfamily of the Austronesian language family. The Indigenous Māori people constitute the largest Polynesian population, followed by Samoans, Native Hawaiians, Tahitians, Tongans and Cook Islands Māori.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lapita culture</span> Neolithic archaeological culture in the Pacific

The Lapita culture is the name given to a Neolithic Austronesian people and their distinct material culture, who settled Island Melanesia via a seaborne migration at around 1600 to 500 BCE. The Lapita people are believed to have originated from the northern Philippines, either directly, via the Mariana Islands, or both. They were notable for their distinctive geometric designs on dentate-stamped pottery, which closely resemble the pottery recovered from the Nagsabaran archaeological site in northern Luzon. The Lapita intermarried with the Papuan populations to various degrees, and are the direct ancestors of the Austronesian peoples of Polynesia, eastern Micronesia, and Island Melanesia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pacific coast</span> Part of a nations coast bordering the Pacific Ocean

Pacific coast may be used to reference any coastline that borders the Pacific Ocean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Melanesians</span> Indigenous inhabitants of Melanesia

Melanesians are the predominant and indigenous inhabitants of Melanesia, in an area stretching from New Guinea to the Fiji Islands. Most speak one of the many languages of the Austronesian language family or one of the many unrelated families of Papuan languages. There are several creoles of the region, such as Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu, Solomon Islands Pijin, Bislama, and Papuan Malay.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polynesian outlier</span> Polynesian societies outside the main region

Polynesian outliers are a number of culturally Polynesian societies that geographically lie outside the main region of Polynesian influence, known as the Polynesian Triangle; instead, Polynesian outliers are scattered in the two other Pacific subregions: Melanesia and Micronesia. Based on archaeological and linguistic analysis, these islands are considered to have been colonized by seafaring Polynesians, mostly from the area of Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu.

Polynesian culture is the culture of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia who share common traits in language, customs and society. The development of Polynesian culture is typically divided into four different historical eras:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oceanic languages</span> Subgroup of the Austronesian language family

The approximately 450 Oceanic languages are a branch of the Austronesian languages. The area occupied by speakers of these languages includes Polynesia, as well as much of Melanesia and Micronesia. Though covering a vast area, Oceanic languages are spoken by only two million people. The largest individual Oceanic languages are Eastern Fijian with over 600,000 speakers, and Samoan with an estimated 400,000 speakers. The Gilbertese (Kiribati), Tongan, Tahitian, Māori and Tolai languages each have over 100,000 speakers. The common ancestor which is reconstructed for this group of languages is called Proto-Oceanic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indigenous peoples of Oceania</span>

The indigenous peoples of Oceania are Aboriginal Australians, Papuans, and Austronesians. These indigenous peoples have a historical continuity with pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories. With the notable exceptions of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands, indigenous peoples make up the majority of the populations of Oceania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oceanian art</span> Artistic traditions of Oceania

Oceanic art or Oceanian art comprises the creative works made by the native people of the Pacific Islands and Australia, including areas as far apart as Hawaii and Easter Island. Specifically it comprises the works of the two groups of people who settled the area, though during two different periods. They would in time however, come to interact and together reach even more remote islands. The area is often broken down into four separate regions: Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Australia. Australia, along with interior Melanesia (Papua), are populated by descendants of the first waves of human migrations into the region by Australo-Melanesians. Micronesia, Island Melanesia, and Polynesia, on the other hand, are descendants of later Austronesian voyagers who intermixed with native Australo-Melanesians; mostly via the Neolithic Lapita culture. All of the regions in later times would be greatly affected by western influence and colonization. In more recent times, the people of Oceania have found a greater appreciation of their region's artistic heritage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polynesia</span> Subregion of Oceania

Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are called Polynesians. They have many things in common, including language relatedness, cultural practices, and traditional beliefs. In centuries past, they had a strong shared tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outline of Oceania</span> Overview of and topical guide to Oceania

The following outline is provided as an overview and topical guide to Oceania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demographics of Oceania</span>

Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania vary, with it being defined in various ways, often geopolitically or geographically. In the geopolitical conception used by the United Nations, International Olympic Committee, and many atlases, the Oceanic region includes Australia and the nations of the Pacific from Papua New Guinea east, but not the Malay Archipelago or Indonesian New Guinea. The term is sometimes used more specifically to denote Australasia as a geographic continent, or biogeographically as a synonym for either the Australasian realm or the Oceanian realm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Languages of Oceania</span>

Native languages of Oceania fall into three major geographic groups:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oceanian cuisine</span> Cuisine native to the South Pacific

The cuisines of Oceania include those found on Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and also cuisines from many other islands or island groups throughout Oceania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of the history of Tuvalu</span> Timeline of notable events in the history of Tuvalu

This timeline of the history of Tuvalu chronologically lists important events occurring within the present political boundaries of the Pacific island state of Tuvalu. This time line is introduced by the theories as to the origins of the Polynesian people and the migration across the Pacific Ocean to create Polynesia, which includes the islands of Tuvalu.


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  16. 1 2 3 Sebeok, Thomas Albert (1971). Current Trends in Linguistics: Linguistics in Oceania. the University of Michigan. p. 950. Retrieved 2 February 2022. Most of this account of the influence of the Hispanic languages in Oceania has dealt with the Western Pacific, but the Eastern Pacific has not been without some share of the presence of the Portuguese and Spanish. The Eastern Pacific does not have the multitude of islands so characteristic of the Western regions of this great ocean, but there are some: Easter Island, 2000 miles off the Chilean coast, where a Polynesian tongue, Rapanui, is still spoken; the Juan Fernandez group, 400 miles west of Valparaiso; the Galapagos archipelago, 650 miles west of Ecuador; Malpelo and Cocos, 300 miles off the Colombian and Costa Rican coasts respectively; and others. Not many of these islands have extensive populations — some have been used effectively as prisons — but the official language on each is Spanish.
  17. 1 2 3 Todd, Ian (1974). Island Realm: A Pacific Panorama. Angus & Robertson. p. 190. ISBN   9780207127618 . Retrieved 2 February 2022. [we] can further define the word culture to mean language. Thus we have the French language part of Oceania, the Spanish part and the Japanese part. The Japanese culture groups of Oceania are the Bonin Islands, the Marcus Islands and the Volcano Islands. These three clusters, lying south and south-east of Japan, are inhabited either by Japanese or by people who have now completely fused with the Japanese race. Therefore they will not be taken into account in the proposed comparison of the policies of non - Oceanic cultures towards Oceanic peoples. On the eastern side of the Pacific are a number of Spanish language culture groups of islands. Two of them, the Galapagos and Easter Island, have been dealt with as separate chapters in this volume. Only one of the dozen or so Spanish culture island groups of Oceania has an Oceanic population — the Polynesians of Easter Island. The rest are either uninhabited or have a Spanish - Latin - American population consisting of people who migrated from the mainland. Therefore, the comparisons which follow refer almost exclusively to the English and French language cultures.
  18. Wurm, Stephen A.; Mühlhäusler, Peter; Tryon, Darrell T., eds. (1996). Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas. Vol. 1–2. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. doi:10.1515/9783110819724. ISBN   9783110134179.
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Further reading