The cult of the frigate-bird is characteristic of Melanesia, and apparently also extends to the Pelew Islands.
There is more pure plutocracy in Melanesia than in New York.
In Melanesia a few examples of preference for beginning with the thumb may also be noticed.
In Vao, as in all Melanesia, the pig is the most valued of animals.
Early in the year 1877 the long interregnum in Melanesia came to its close.
The pig-cult, or “Suque,” is found almost all over Melanesia.
But all parts combine in following up Selwyn's mission to Melanesia.
Complete totemism is not asserted here, and is denied for Melanesia.
Representations of animals are not uncommon in Melanesia, but they are distinctly of rare occurrence in Polynesia.
But, after all, Melanesia is becoming more and more a substantial reality.'
one of three large divisions of Pacific islands, 1840, from a continental language, from melano- + nesos "island" (see Chersonese) + -ia. Modeled after Polynesia and meant to signify "the islands inhabited by blacks."
La Melanesia comprende la grande isola Australia, e quelle degli arcipelaghi di Salomone, di Lapèrouse, di Quiros, e dei gruppi della Nuova Caledonia, di Norfolk, e della Diemenin. A cagione dei Neri Oceanici, che, quasi esclusivamente, ne popolano le regioni, questa parte della Oceania ebbe dai moderni geografi e viaggiatori (il Graberg, il Rienzi, il d'Urville, ec.) il nome di Melanesia. ["Corso di Geografia Universale," Firenze, 1839]