What’s in a name?
• Anthropologists look at numerous variables (such as
language, mythology, religion, as well as kinship and social
organization) to establish what have been termed "culture
areas" in order to work with people.
• In the Pacific these have been designated as Polynesia,
Melanesia, and Micronesia
• "The term Polynesia was coined by Charles de Brosses
[1709-1777] in 1756 and applied to all the Pacific islands. At
the same time he also proposed the terms Melanesia and
Micronesia for the regions which still bear those names.
• The native peoples of Melanesia and Australia
are quite dark-skinned, while the peoples of
Micronesia and Polynesia are generally lighter.
• The name of each island region is descriptive:
the prefix “mela” means “dark” (because the
inhabitants of Melanesia are so dark), “micro”
means “small” (because the islands of
Micronesia are so small), and “poly” means
“many” (because the islands of Polynesia are so
• Prehistoric land bridges, lower seas permit
• Outrigger canoes for open-sea travel
• Humans in Oceania at least by 58,000 BCE
• By 8,000 BCE trade between islands ceased
due to the rising seas.
• Early hunter-gatherer societies in Australia
• Early agriculture in New Guinea by 3000 BCE
– Yams, taro & raising pigs & chickens
Geography of Oceania
• The largest component of Oceania is Australia,
which (being a continent) is not considered an
• The next-largest land mass is New Guinea, the
world’s second-largest island (after Greenland).
New Guinea is by far the largest component of
• The next-largest Oceanian islands are the south
and north islands of New Zealand, which is the
largest component of Polynesia.
Oceania was colonized by waves of
migration emanating from Southeast Asia.
•The first waves, which occurred during
the Paleolithic, colonized Melanesia and
• (The migrants of this period could easily
reach Melanesia and Australia due to the
lower sea level during the Paleolithic.)
• A group of languages that originated in the
country of New Guinea which have adapted to
modern languages such as Malayan, Indonesian,
Filipino and Polynesian
• - Seafaring peoples from southeast Asia who first
entered New Guinea and surrounding islands
about 5,000 years ago. Their skills of navigation,
agriculture, and raising domestic animals helped
them to people most islands of the Pacific. Also
the population pressure and internal conflicts
pushed these people to the Pacific islands.
The Austronesian people are a population group in Oceania and Southeast
Asia who speak or had ancestors who spoke one of the Austronesian
languages. They form a diverse group of peoples inhabiting roughly half the
globe, ranging from Madagascar to Easter Island.
Austronesian peoples consist of four primary strains:
• Formosan: consists of the indigenous inhabitants of Taiwan.
• Malay: consists of the inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula, Malay archipelago,
Madagascar, and the Cham people.
• Polynesian: consists of the inhabitants of Polynesia. ex. Maori, Hawaiian.
• Micronesian: consists of the inhabitants of Micronesia, such as the
Chamorros, Palauans, and Carolinians.
• Earliest Austronesian
(language group of Oceania)
migrants to sail into the Pacific
Ocean and establish
settlements in pacific islands.
• Found throughout Pacific
• Agriculture, animal herding
• Political organization based on
– Relatives formed
• Trade over open ocean
declines 500 BCE
– Greater independence of
• 1500-500 BCE from New Guinea to Tonga. Agricultural
• They had pottery with geometric designs. They also had
trade and communication networks. (They traded
potter, obsidian, shells, and tools.) These networks
declined after 500 BCE. They had divine/ semi-divine
chiefs who led public rituals and oversaw irrigation.
•Australia was settled by the Indigenous Australians between
40,000 and 125,000 years ago. Oceania was first settled by
Austronesians or Polynesian people at around 1800 BCE. in
Fiji, then further colonized the rest of the islands by 1000 CE.
•The Tu'i Tonga Empire was founded in the 10th century AD
and expanded between 1200 and 1500. The Tu'i Kanokupolu
is the title held by Tongan monarchs since 1600.
George Tupou II of Tonga became the first king of Tonga in
•From the 1850s Seru Epenisa Cakobau tried to unite the
Fijian Islands, and became the first Tui Viti, or king of Fiji, a
title which passed to the British Crown after 1874. The
Great Council of Chiefs was established in Fiji in 1876.
• Oceania was explored by Europeans from the 16th
century onwards, the Spanish, with Ferdinand Magellan
in the expedition achieved the circumnavigation of the
world for the first time, discovered the Marianas and
other islands of Oceania.
• Abel Tasman's voyages in the 1640s visiting northwestern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga and
the Fijian islands (Dutch seafarer)
• James Cook explored the Pacific islands and the east
coast of Australia in the 18th century. (English)
• In 1789 the Mutiny on the Bounty against William Bligh
led to several of the mutineers escaping the Royal Navy
and settling on Pitcairn Islands, which later became a
• The British followed with colonies in Australia in 1788,
New Zealand in 1840 and Fiji in 1872, with much of
Oceania becoming part of the British Empire.
• The Frenchacquired New Caledonia from 1853 and
French Polynesia from 1889,
• the Germans established colonies in New Guinea in
1884, and Samoa in 1900.
• The United States also expanded into the Pacific,
beginning with Baker Island and Howland Island in 1857,
and with Hawaii becoming a U.S. territory from 1898.
• Disagreements between the US, Germany and UK over
Samoa led to theTripartite Convention of 1899. Among
the last islands to be colonised wereTonga and Niue
(1900) and Manu'a (1904).
Early 20th Century
• During the First World War the German colonies
in the Pacific were taken over by Allied powers.
• In 1940 the administration of French Polynesia
recognized the Free French Forces and many
Polynesians served in World War II.
• Unknown at the time to French and Polynesians,
the Konoe Cabinet in Imperial Japan on 16
September 1940 included French Polynesia among
the many territories which were to become
Japanese possessions in the post-war world –
though in the course of the war in the Pacific the
Japanese were not able to launch an actual
invasion of the French islands.
In the Second World War
• …the Japanese invaded New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and
other Pacific islands. They were turned back at the
Battle of the Coral Sea and the Kokoda Track campaign before
they were finally defeated in 1945.
1941-12-07 (12-08 Asian Time) Attack on Pearl Harbor
1941-12-08 Battle of Guam (1941)
1941-12-07 Japan declares war on the United States
1941-12-08 The United States declare war on Japan
1941-12-11 – 1941-12-24 Battle of Wake Island
1942-01-01 – 1945-10-25 Transport of POWs via hell ships
1942-01-11 – 1942-01-12 Battle of Tarakan
1942-01-23 Battle of Rabaul (1942)
1942-02-19 Air raids on Darwin, Australia
1942-02-19 - 1943-02-10 Battle of Timor (1942–43) 1942-03-31 Battle of
1942-04-18 Doolittle Raid
1942-05-03 Japanese invasion of Tulagi
1942-05-04 – 1942-05-08 Battle of the Coral Sea
1942-05-31 – 1942-06-08 Attacks on Sydney Harbour area, Australia
1942-06-04 – 1942-06-06 Battle of Midway
• In 1946, Polynesians were granted French citizenship
and the islands' status was changed to an overseas
territory; the islands' name was changed in 1957 to
Polynésie Française (French Polynesia).
• Australia and New Zealand became dominions in the
20th century, adopting the Statute of Westminster Act
in 1942 and 1947 respectively, marking their
legislative independence from the United Kingdom.
Hawaii became a U.S. state in 1959.
• In 1962, France's early nuclear testing ground of
Algeria became independent and the Maruroa atoll in
the Tuamotu Archipelago was selected as the new
testing site; tests were conducted underground after
• Fiji and Tonga became independent in 1970, with many other
nations following in the 1970s and 1980s. The South Pacific
Forum was founded in 1971, which became the
Pacific Islands Forum in 2000. Bougainville Island,
geographically part of the Solomon Islands but politically part
of Papua New Guinea, tried unsuccessfully to
become independent in 1975, and a civil war followed in the
early 1990s, with it later being granted autonomy.
• In 1977, French Polynesia was granted partial internal
autonomy; in 1984, the autonomy was extended. French
Polynesia became a full overseas collectivity of France in 2004.
• French nuclear testing in the Pacific was controversial in the
1980s, in 1985 French agents caused the
Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland to prevent it from
arriving at the test site in Moruroa. In September 1995, France
stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing at
Fangataufa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The last test
was on 27 January 1996. On 29 January 1996, France
announced that it would accede to the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty, and no longer test nuclear weapons.
Continued Modern Era
• East Timor declared independence from Portugal in 1975,
but was invaded by Indonesia, before it was granted full
independence in 2002.
• Fiji has had a troubled recent history with coups
in 1987, 2000 and 2006.
• Between 2001 and 2007 Australia's Pacific Solution policy
transferred asylum seekers to several Pacific nations,
including the Nauru detention centre. Australia, New
Zealand and other nations took part in the Regional
Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands from 2003 after a
request for aid.
• Global warming is an issue in present day Oceania with
many countries having droughts and storms.
0 -> 14 Age
15 -> 64 Age
240 sq km [93
1.3 Washington D.C.
18,270 [7,054 Slightly smaller than
4,167 sq km
[1,609 sq mi]
181.3 sq km [70
~ Washington, DC
4 x Washington,
AREA (Sq. Km) (Comparable Area) POPULATION
199 sq km [77
Micronesia, Federated 402 sq km [155
Slightly larger than
Slightly smaller than
268,680 sq km
[103,738 sq mi]
About the size of
458 [177 sq mi]
2.5 x Washington,
Papua New Guinea
463,840 sq km Slightly larger than
[179,090] sq mi]
47 sq km [18 sq
.3 Washington, D.C. 47 Individuals
748 sq km [289 4 x Washington,
Slightly larger than
2,944 [1,137 sq Slightly smaller than
Arthur Frommer, age 76, author of
• "Travel teaches seven important lessons
• 1. Travelers learn that all people in the world are
basically alike. ... 2. Travelers discover that
everyone regards himself or herself as wiser and
better than other people in the world. ... 3.
Travel makes us care about strangers. ... 4. Travel
teaches that not everyone shares your beliefs. ...
5. Travelers learn that there is more than one
solution to a problem. ... 6. Travel teaches you to
be a minority. ... 7. Travel teaches humility
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