Melanesia mĕlənē´zhə, –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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