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Melanesia (mĕlənēˈzhə, –shə) [key], one of the three main divisions of Oceania, in the SW Pacific Ocean, NE of Australia and S of the equator. Melanesia includes the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tuvalu, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Admiralty Islands, and Fiji. New Guinea is sometimes included in Melanesia. The Melanesians are largely of Australoid stock; they speak Malayo-Polynesian languages.

See study by H. C. Brookfield and D. Hart (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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