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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 441 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MICRONESIA MELANESIA POLYNESIA (q.v.). and Chinese," may be said to converge. Careful investigations have supported the theory that Micronesia was peopled largely from the Philippines or some portion of the Malay Archipelago at a much later period than the Polynesian migration. The Micronesians then are probably of Malay stock much modified by early Polynesian crossings, and probably, within historic times, by Papuan and even Japanese and Chinese migrations. While their general physique approximates to the Polynesian type, they are often characterized by a stunted form and a dark complexion. In this review of the inhabitants of the Pacific islands an imaginary ethnological line has been drawn round it so as to include none but the branches of the two great divisions. But on the borders of the region, often without real boundary lines, are grouped other peoples, the true Malays, the Indonesians or pre-Malays with the Negritos to the westward and the Australians, who are generally admitted to be a distinct race. Of these races detailed information will be found under their several headings. Prehistoric Remains.—One of the most obscure questions with which the ethnologist has to deal is that of the prehistoric remains which occur in different and widely separated parts of the oceanic region. The most remarkable of these are on Easter Island, where immense platforms built of dressed stone without mortar are found, together with stone images. Similar remains have been found on Pitcairn Island. On the island of Tongatabu in the Tonga group, there is a monument of great stone blocks which must have been brought thither by sea. In some of the Caroline Islands, again, there are extensive remains of stone buildings, and in the Marianas stone monuments occur. No native traditions assign origin to these remains, nor has any complete explanation of their existence been offered. G. Turner, Nineteen Years in Polynesia (London, 1861) ; T. West, Ten Years in South Central Polynesia (London, 1865) ; J. Brenchley, Cruise of the " Curacoa " among the South Sea Islands during 1865 (London, 1873) ; W. Coote, Western Pacific Islands (London, 1883) ; H. H. Romilly, The Western Pacific and New Guinea (London, 1887) ; H. Stonehewer Cooper, The Islands of the Pacific (London, 1888; earlier editions, 188o, &c., were under the title Coral Lands) ; F. J. Moss, Through Atolls and Islands (London, 1889) ; W. T. Wawa, The South Sea Islanders and the Queensland Labour Trade (1889) ; G. Haurigot, Les Etablissements francais en Oceania (Paris, 1891); B. F. S. B. Powell, In Savage Isles and Settled Lands (London, 1892) ; " Sundowner," Rambles in Polynesia (London, 1897) ; M. M. Shoe-maker, Islands of the Southern Seas (New York, 1898) ; Joachim Graf Pfeil, Studien . aus der Siidsee (Brunswick, 1899); Robert Louis Stevenson, In the South Seas (London, 1900); A. R. Colquhoun, The Mastery of the Pacific (London, 1902) ; G. Wegener, Deutschland in der Siidsee (Bielefeld, 1903); A. Kramer, Hawaii, Ostmikronesien, and Samoa (Stuttgart, 1906) ; J. D. Rogers, Australasia, vol. vi. of the Historical Geography of the British Colonies, edited by Sir C. P. Lucas (Oxford, 1907) ; T. A. Coghlan, Statistical Account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia (Sydney). With especial reference to the natives and their languages see Sir G. Grey, Polynesian Mythology (London, 1855) ; W. Gill, Myths and Songs of the South Pacific (London, 1876) ; J. D. Lang, Origin and Migrations of the Polynesian Nation (Sydney, 1877); A. Lesson, Les Polynisiens (Paris, 188o seq.) ; R. H. Codrington, The Melanesian Languages (Oxford, 1885) ; E. Reeves, Brown Men and Women (London, 1898) ; J. Gaggin, Among the Man-Eaters (London, 1899) ; A. C. Haddon, Head-hunters, Black, White and Brown (London, 1902) ; D.Macdonald, The Oceanic Languages: their Grammatical Structure, Vocabulary and Origin (London, 1907) ; J. Macmillan Brown, Maori and Polynesian (London, 1907), and the articles POLYNESIA ; MELANESIA. And with especial reference to natural history, J. D. Hooker, A Lecture on Insular Floras (London, 1868) ; E. Drake del Castillo, Remarques sur la flore de la Polynesiie (Paris, 1890) ; H. B. Guppy, Observations of a Naturalist in the Pacific, 1896-1899 (London, 1903 seq.).
POLYNESIA (Gr. iroXi,, many, and vnno-os, island)

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