Category:Countries in Melanesia
This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
1. Fiji – Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealands North Island. Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, the two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 860,000. The capital, Suva on Viti Levu, serves as Fijis principal cruise port, about three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levus coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres like Nadi or Lautoka. Viti Levus interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain, Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry. The countrys currency is the Fijian dollar, Fijis local government, in the form of city and town councils, is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development. The majority of Fijis islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago, today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century, and, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji was a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as a Commonwealth realm, a republic was declared in 1987, following a series of coups détat. In a coup in 2006, Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power, later in 2009, Iloilo was replaced as President by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. After years of delays, an election was held on 17 September 2014. Bainimaramas FijiFirst party won with 59. 2% of the vote, Fijis main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name Fiji is derived, though the common English pronunciation is based on that of their island neighbours in Tonga. Its emergence can be described as follows, Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga. They were described as warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific. They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, and all their Manufactures, especially bark cloth and clubs, were highly valued and much in demand. They called their home Viti, but the Tongans called it Fisi, and it was by this foreign pronunciation, Fiji, first promulgated by Captain James Cook, that these islands are now known. Feejee, the Anglicised spelling of the Tongan pronunciation, was used in accounts and other writings until the late 19th century, by missionaries and other travellers visiting Fiji. Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500 to 1000 BC, the first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 5000 years ago
2. Indonesia – Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the worlds largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres, Indonesia is the worlds 14th-largest country in terms of area and worlds 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea. It has an population of over 260 million people and is the worlds fourth most populous country. The worlds most populous island, Java, contains more than half of the countrys population, Indonesias republican form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status and its capital and countrys most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper, agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesias major trading partners are Japan, United States, China, the Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Indonesia consists of hundreds of native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest – and politically dominant – ethnic group are the Javanese, a shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesias national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, articulates the diversity that shapes the country, Indonesias economy is the worlds 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 8th largest by GDP at PPP, the largest in Southeast Asia, and is considered an emerging market and newly industrialised country. Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950, Indonesia is a member of the G20 major economies and World Trade Organization. The name Indonesia derives from the Greek name of the Indós, the name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, in the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia, they preferred Malay Archipelago, the Netherlands East Indies, popularly Indië, the East, and Insulinde
3. Papua New Guinea – Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua, Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. There are 852 known languages in the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers, most of the population of more than 7 million people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its live in urban centres. The country is one of the worlds least explored, culturally and geographically and it is known to have numerous groups of uncontacted peoples, and researchers believe there are many undiscovered species of plants and animals in the interior. Papua New Guinea is classified as an economy by the International Monetary Fund. Strong growth in Papua New Guineas mining and resource sector led to the becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011. Growth was expected to slow once major resource projects came on line in 2015, mining remains a major economic factor, however. Local and national governments are discussing the potential of resuming mining operations in Panguna mine in Bougainville Province, nearly 40 percent of the population lives a self-sustainable natural lifestyle with no access to global capital. Most of the still live in strong traditional social groups based on farming. Their social lives combine traditional religion with modern practices, including primary education, at the national level, after being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975. This followed nearly 60 years of Australian administration, which started during the Great War and it became an independent Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in its own right. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans first arrived in Papua New Guinea around 42,000 to 45,000 years ago and they were descendants of migrants out of Africa, in one of the early waves of human migration. Agriculture was independently developed in the New Guinea highlands around 7000 BC, a major migration of Austronesian-speaking peoples to coastal regions of New Guinea took place around 500 BC. This has been correlated with the introduction of pottery, pigs, in the 18th century, traders brought the sweet potato to New Guinea, where it was adopted and became part of the staples. Portuguese traders had obtained it from South America and introduced it to the Moluccas, the far higher crop yields from sweet potato gardens radically transformed traditional agriculture and societies. Sweet potato largely supplanted the previous staple, taro, and resulted in a significant increase in population in the highlands. In 1901, on Goaribari Island in the Gulf of Papua, missionary Harry Dauncey found 10,000 skulls in the islands Long Houses, traders from Southeast Asia had visited New Guinea beginning 5,000 years ago to collect bird of paradise plumes
4. Solomon Islands – The countrys capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years, in 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, during World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal. The official name of the then British overseas territory was changed from the British Solomon Islands Protectorate to Solomon Islands in 1975, self-government was achieved in 1976, independence was obtained two years later. Today, Solomon Islands is a monarchy with the Queen of Solomon Islands, currently Queen Elizabeth II. Manasseh Sogavare is the current prime minister, in 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit the Solomon Islands archipelago, naming it Islas Salomón after the wealthy biblical King Solomon. It is said that they were given name in the mistaken assumption that they contained great riches. During most of the period of British rule the territory was named the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. On 22 June 1975 the territory was renamed Solomon Islands, when Solomon Islands became independent in 1978 they retained the name. The definite article, the, is not part of the official name but is sometimes used. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC, austronesian speakers arrived c.4000 BC also bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. Between 1200 and 800 BC the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, the first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. The people of Solomon Islands were notorious for headhunting and cannibalism before the arrival of the Europeans, missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century. They made little progress at first, because blackbirding led to a series of reprisals, the evils of the labour trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893. Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu and the societies in the south of Bougainville, however. Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity, in the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow, however, and the islanders benefited little, journalist Joe Melvin visited in 1892, as part of his undercover investigation into blackbirding. In 1908 the islands were visited by Jack London, who was cruising the Pacific on his boat, with the outbreak of the Second World War most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia and most cultivation ceased
5. Vanuatu – Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people, the first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island in 1606. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980, Vanuatus name is derived from the word vanua, which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu. Together the two indicated the independent status of the new country. The prehistory of Vanuatu is obscure, archaeological evidence supports the theory that people speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands about 3,300 years ago, pottery fragments have been found dating to 1300–1100 BC. The Spanish established a settlement at Big Bay on the north side of the island. The name Espiritu Santo remains to this day, Europeans did not return until 1768, when Louis Antoine de Bougainville rediscovered the islands. In 1774, Captain Cook named the islands the New Hebrides, during the 1860s, planters in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Samoa Islands, in need of labourers, encouraged a long-term indentured labour trade called blackbirding. At the height of the trade, more than one-half the adult male population of several of the islands worked abroad. Fragmentary evidence indicates that the current population of Vanuatu is greatly reduced compared to pre-contact times, in the 19th century, Catholic and Protestant missionaries from Europe and North America went to the islands to work with the people. John Gibson Paton was a Scottish missionary who devoted his life to the region, settlers came looking for land on which to establish cotton plantations. When international cotton prices collapsed, planters switched to coffee, cocoa, bananas, initially, British subjects from Australia made up the majority of settlers, but the establishment of the Caledonian Company of the New Hebrides in 1882 attracted more French subjects. By the start of the 20th century, the French outnumbered the British two to one, the jumbling of French and British interests in the islands brought petitions for one or another of the two powers to annex the territory. In 1906, France and the United Kingdom agreed to administer the islands jointly, called the Anglo-French Condominium, it was a unique form of government. The separate governmental systems came together only in a joint court, melanesians were barred from acquiring the citizenship of either power. Challenges to this form of government began in the early 1940s, the arrival of Americans during the Second World War, with their informal habits and relative wealth, contributed to the rise of nationalism in the islands. The belief in a messianic figure named John Frum was the basis for an indigenous cargo cult promising Melanesian deliverance. Today, John Frum is both a religion and a party with a member in Parliament