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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 440 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TOTAL . . Melanesia . . . 58,271 621,600 Micronesia . . 1,326 95,600 Polynesia . . . 14,215 260,930 The above figures give a total land area for the whole region of 69,561 sq. m., with a population of 978,130; but they are for the most part merely approximate. be divided into a large number of islets, often bears a single name. The number of names of islands and separate groups in the Index to the Islands of the Pacific (W. T. Brigham), which covers the limited area under notice, is about 2650, exclusive of alternative names. Of these, it may be mentioned, there is a vast number, owing in some cases to divergence of spelling in the representation of native names, in others to European discoverers naming islands (sometimes twice or thrice successively) of which the native names subsequently came into use also. The islands may be divided broadly into volcanic and coral islands, though the physiography of many islands is imperfectly known. There are ancient rocks, however, in New Caledonia, which has a geological affinity with New Zealand; old sedimentary rocks are known in New Pomerania, besides granite and porphyry, and slates, sandstone and chalk occur in Fiji, as well as young volcanic rocks. Along with these, similarly, hornblende and diabase occur in the Pelew Islands and gneiss and mica ' These are dependencies of New Zealand, as are also the following islands and groups which lie apart from the main Polynesian clusters, nearer New Zealand itself: Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Islands, Chatham Islands, Kermadec Islands. 2 Under British and French influence jointly.frequently culminate, combined with the rich characteristic vegetation, are the principal features which have led all travellers to extol the beauty of the islands. In the central and western Pacific the northern and southern limits of the occurrence of reef-forming corals are approximately 30° N. and 3o S. It may be added that this belt narrows greatly towards the east, mainly from the south, in sympathy with the northward flow of cold water off the coast of South America. But apart from this the limits are seen to accord fairly closely with the geographical definition of the area under consideration. Here the broad distinction has been drawn between volcanic and coral islands; but this requires amplification, both because the coral islands follow more than one type, and because the work of corals is in many cases associated with the volcanic islands in the form of fringing or barrier reefs. As to the distribution of coral reefs within the Pacific area, in Micronesia the northern Marianas (volcanic) are without reefs, which, however, are well developed in the south. The Pelew islands have extensive reefs, and the Caroline, Marshall and Gilbert islands are almost entirely coral. In Melanesia, as has been seen, the volcanic type predominates. Coral reefs occur round many of the islands (e.g. the Louisiade and Admiralty groups, New Caledonia and Fiji), but in some cases they are wholly absent or nearly so (e.g. the eastern Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides). Of the Polynesian Islands, the Hawaiian chain presents the type of a volcanic group through which coral reefs are not equally distributed. The main island of Hawaii and Maui at the east end are practically without reefs; which, however, are abundant farther west. Round the volcanic Marquesas Islands, again, coral is scanty, but the Society Islands, Samoa and Tonga have extensive reefs. The various minor groups to the north of these (Ellice, Phoenix, Union, Manihiki and the America Islands) are coral islands. Christmas, one of the last-named, is reputed to be the largest lagoon island in the Pacific. The Paumotu Archipelago is the most extensive of the coral groups. The coral islands are generally of the form well known under the name of atoll, rising but slightly above sea-level, flat, and generally of annular form, enclosing a lagoon. Often, as has been said, the atoll is divided into a number of islets, but in some smaller atolls the ring is complete, and the sea-water gains access beneath the surface of the reef to the lagoon within, where it is sometimes seen to spout up at the rise of the tide. Besides the atolls there is a type of island which has been called the elevated coral island. The Loyalty Islands exhibit this type, in which former reefs appear as low cliffs, elevated above the sea, and separated from it by a level coastal tract. The island of Mare shows evidence of three such elevations, three distinct cliffs alternating with level tracts. For the much debated question as to the conditions under which atolls and reefs are formed, see CORAL REEFS. As to the local distribution of reefs, it has been maintained that in the case of active volcanic islands which have no reefs, their absence is due to subterranean heat. The contour of the sea-bed, however, has been shown to influence this distribution, the continuation of the slope of a steep shore beneath the sea being adverse to their formation, whereas on a gentler slope they may be formed. Flora.—In considering the flora of the islands it is necessary to distinguish between the rich vegetation of the fertile volcanic islands and the poor vegetation of the coral islands. Those plants which are widely distributed are generally found to be propagated from seeds which can easily be carried by the wind or by ocean currents, or form the food of migratory birds. The tropical Asiatic element predominates on the low lands; types characteristic of Australia and New Zealand occur principally on the upper parts of the high islands. In Hawaii there are instances of American elements. In the volcanic islands a distinction may be observed between the windward and leeward flanks, the moister windward slopes being the more richly clothed. But almost everywhere the vegetation serves to smooth the contours of the rugged hills, ferns, mosses and shrubs growing wherever their roots can cling, and leaving only the steepest crags uncovered to form, as in Tahiti, a striking contrast. The flora is estimated to include 15% of ferns, but they form only the most important group among many plants of beautiful foliage, such as draceanas and crotons. Flowering plants are numerous, and the natives often (as in Hawaii) greatly appreciate flowers. which thus add a feature to the picturesqueness of island-life, though they do not usually grow in great profusion. Fruits are 'abundant, though indigenous fruits are few; the majority have been introduced by missionaries and others. Oranges are often plentiful, also pine-apples, guavas, custard-apples, mangoes and bananas. These last are of special importance, and the best kind, the Chinese banana, is said to have sprung from a plant given to the missionary John Williams, and cultivated in Samoa. The natives live very largely on vegetable food, among the most important plants which supply them being the taro, yarn, banana, bread-fruit, arrow-root, pandanus and coco-nut. The last constitutes a valuable article of commerce in the form of copra, from which palm oil is expressed; the natives make use of this oil in made dishes, and also of the soft half-green kernel and the coco-nut " milk," the clear liquid within the nut. Their well-known drink, kava, is made from a variety of pepper-plant. The most characteristic trees are the coco-nut palm, pandanus and mangrove. The low coral islands suffer frequently from drought; their soil is sandy and unproductive, and in some cases the natives attempt cultivation by excavating trenches and fertilizing them with vegetable and other refuse. Fauna.—The indigenous fauna of the islands is exceedingly poor in mammals, which are represented mainly by rats and bats. Pigs have been held to be indigenous on some islands, but were doubtless introduced by early navigators. Cattle and horses, where introduced, are found to degenerate rather rapidly unless the supply of fresh stock is kept up. Birds are more numerous than mammals,among the most important kinds being the pigeons and doves, especially the fruit-eating pigeons. Megapodes are found in the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides. Samoa, Tonga, the Carotins and the Marianas. The remarkable didunculus occurs. in Samoa, and after the introduction of cats and rats, which preyed upon it, was compelled to change its habits dwelling in trees, instead of on the ground. Insect life is ricn in northern Melanesia; in southern Melanesia it is less so; in Fiji numerous kinds of insects occur, while individual numbers are small. In the rest of the islands the insect fauna is poor. But if this is true of the land fauna as a whole, especially on the atolls, where it consists mainly of a few birds, lizards and insects, the opposite is the case with the marine fauna. Fish are exceedingly abundant, especially in the lagoons of atolls. and form an important article of food supply for the natives, who are generally expert fishermen. The fish fauna of the islands is especially noted for the gorgeous colouring of many of the species. Among marine mammals, the dugong occurs in the parts about New Guinea and the Caroline Islands. Various sorts of whale are found, and the whaling industry reached the height of its importance about the middle of the 19th century. In considering the marine fauna the remarkable palolo or halolo should be mentioned. This annelid propagates its kind by rising to the surface and dividing itself. The occurrence of this process can be predicted exactly for one day, before sunrise, in October and November, and as both the worm and the fish which prey on it are appreciated by the natives as food the occasions of its appearance are of great importance to them. History.—Not long after the death of Columbus, and when the Portuguese traders, working from the west, had hardly reached the confines of the Malay Archipelago, the Spaniard Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed America at its narrowest part and discovered the great ocean to the west of it (1513). The belief in the short and direct westward passage from Europe to the East Indies was thus shaken, but it was still held that some passage was to be found, and in 1519–1521 Fernao de Magalhaes (Magellan) made the famous voyage in which he discovered the strait which bears his name. Sailing thence north-westward for many weeks, over a sea so calm that he named it El Mar pacifico, he sighted only two' small islands. These may have been Puka Puka of the Tuamotu Archipelago and Flint Island; but it may be stated here that the identification of islands sighted by the early explorers is often a matter of conjecture, and that therefore some islands of which the definite discovery must be dated much later had in fact been seen by Europeans at this early period. In this narrative the familiar names of islands are used, irrespective of whether they were given by the first or later discoverers, or are native names. Magellan reached the " Ladrones " (MARIANAS) in 1521, and voyaged thence to the Philippines, where he was killed in a local war. In 1522–1524 various voyages of discovery were made on the west coast of America, partly in the hope of finding a strait connecting the two oceans to the region of the central isthmus. In 1525–1527 Garcia Jofre de Loyasa sailed to the Moluccas, but, like Magellan, missed the bulk of the oceanic islands. About this time, however, the Portuguese sighted the north coast of New Guinea. Fuller knowledge of this coast was acquired by Alvaro de Saavedra (1527–1529), and among later voyages those of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos (1542-1545) and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi (1564–1565) should be mentioned. These, however, like others of the period, did not greatly extend the knowledge of the Pacific islands, for the course between the Spanish American and Asiatic possessions did not lead voyagers among the more extensive archipelagoes. For the same reason the British and .Dutch fleets which sailed with the object of harrying the Spaniards, under Sir Francis Drake (1577–1580), Thomas Cavendish (1586–1593) and Oliver van Noort (1598–1601), were not, as regards the Pacific, of prime geographical importance. But the theory of the existence of a great southern continent was now also attracting voyagers. Alvaro Mendana de Neyra, after crossing a vast extent of ocean from Peru and sighting only one island, probably in the Ellice group, reached the Solomon Islands. In 1595–1596 he made a second voyage, and though he did not again reach these islands, the development of which was his objective, he discovered the Marquesas Islands, and afterwards Santa Cruz, where, having attempted to found a settlement, he died. Thereafter his pilot, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, set out with the remainder of the company to make for the Philippines, and on the way discovered Ponape of the Caroline Islands, some of which group, however, had been known to the Portuguese as early as 1527. Quiros returned to Europe, and, obtaining command of a fleet, made a voyage in 1605-1607 during which he observed some of the Paumotu and Society Islands, and later discovered the small Duff group of the Santa Cruz Islands, passing thence to the main island of the New Hebrides, which he hailed as his objective, the southern continent. One of his commanders, Luis Vaes de Torres, struck off to the north-west, coasted along the south of the Louisiade Archipelago and New Guinea, traversed the strait which bears his name between New Guinea and Australia, and reached the Philippines. In 1615-1617 two Dutchmen, Jacob Lemaire and Willem Cornelis Schouten, having in view both the discovery of the southern continent and the possibility of establishing relations with the East Indies from the east, took a course which brought them to the north part of the Paumotu Archipelago, thence to part of the Tonga chain, and ultimately to New Pomerania, after which they reached the East Indies. In 1642-1643 Abel Tasman, working from the east, discovered Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and the west coast of New Zealand, subsequently reaching the Tonga Islands. Now for a while the tide of discovery slackened. Towards the close of the century the buccaneers extended their activity to the Pacific, but naturally added little to general knowledge. William Dampier, however, making various voyages in 1690-1705, explored the coasts of Australia and New Guinea, and at the opening of the century both the French and the Dutch showed some activity. The Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen, in the course of a voyage round the world in 1721-1722, crossed the Pacific from east to west, and discovered Easter Island, some of the northern islands of the Paumotu Archipelago, and (as is generally supposed) a part of the Samoan group. The voyage of Commodore George (afterwards Lord) Anson in 1740-1744 was for purposes rather of war than of exploration, and Commodore John Byron's voyage in 1765 had little result beyond gaining some additional knowledge of the Paumotu Archipelago. It is about this time that what may be called the period of rediscovery set in fully. In the ensuing account a constant repetition of the names of the main archipelagoes will be found; it may of course be assumed that each successive voyager added something to the knowledge of them, but on the other hand, as has been said, islands were often rediscovered and renamed in cases where later voyagers took no account of the work of their predecessors, or where the earlier voyagers were unable clearly to define the positions of their discoveries. Moreover, rivalry between contemporary explorers of different nationalities sometimes caused them to ignore each other's work, and added to the confusion of nomenclature among the islands. In 1767 Samuel Wallis worked through the central part of the Paumotus, and visited Tahiti and the Marianas, while his companion Philip Carteret discovered Pitcairn, and visited Santa Cruz, the Solomons and New Pomerania. The French were now taking a share in the work of discovery, and in 1768 Louis Antoine de Bougainville sailed by way of the central Paumotus, the Society Islands, Samoa, the northern New Hebrides, the south coast of New Guinea and the Louisiade and Bismarck archipelagoes. The next voyages in chronological order are those of the celebrated Captain James Cook (q.v.). Within the limits of the area under notice, his first voyage (1769) included visits to Tahiti and the Society group generally, to New Zealand and to the east coast of Australia, his second (1773-1774) to New Zealand, the Paumotu Archipelago, the Society Islands, Tonga and subsequently Easter Island, the Marquesas and the New Hebrides; and his third (1777-1778) to Tonga, the Cook or Norway group, and the Hawaiian Islands, of which, even if they were previously known to the Spaniards, he may be called the discoverer, and where he was subsequently killed. In 1786 Jean Francois Galoup de La Perouse, in the course of the famous voyage from which he never returned. visited Easter Island. Samoa and Tonga. The still more famous voyage of William Bligh of the 4 Bounty " (1788) was followed by that of Captain Edwards of the " Pandora " (1791), who in the course of hissearch for Bligh discovered Rotumah and other islands. The Hawaiian Islands cam&within the purview of George Vancouver, following the course of Cook in 1791. In 1792-1793 Joseph Antoine d'Entrecasteaux, searching for traces of La Perouse, ranged the islands west of Tonga. In 1797 Captain J. Wilson of the missionary ship " Duff " visited the Society group, Fiji, Tonga and the Marquesas, and added to the knowledge of the Paumotu and Caroline Islands. Another power entered on the field of exploration when the Russians sent Adam Ivan Krusenstern to the Pacific (1803). He was followed by Otto von Kotzebue (1816) and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (1819-1821). The work of these three was carried out principally in the easternmost part of Polynesia. In 1818-1819 the French navigator Louis Claude Desaulses de Freycinet ranged from New Guinea through the Marianas to Hawaii. Two of his countrymen followed him in 1823-1829—Louis Isidore Duperrey and Dumont d'Urville. Kotzebue made a second voyage, accompanied by scientists, in 1823-1826. In 1826-1828 Frederick William Beechey was at work in the middle parts of the ocean, and Feodor Petrovich Count Lutke, the Russian circumnavigator, in the northern. In 1834 Dr Debell. Bennett made scientific researches in the Society, Hawaiian and Marquesas Islands, in 1835 Captain Robert Fitzroy was accompanied by Charles Darwin, and in 1836 sqq., Abel Aubert du Petit-Thouars wa§ carrying on the work of the French in the Pacific. During his voyage of 1837-1840, Dumont d'Urville was again in Polynesia, working westward from the Paumotu and Marquesas Islands by Fiji and the Solomon, Loyalty and Louisiade groups to New Guinea. In 1839 sqq. the first important American expedition was made under Charles Wilkes, who covered a great extent of the ocean from Hawaii to Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. Among later British explorers may be mentioned Captain J. Elphinstone Erskine (1849) and Captain H. M. Denham, and several important voyages for scientific research were made in the second half of the 19th century, including one from Austria under Captain Wallerstorf Urbair (1858), and one from Italy in the vessel "Magenta" (1865-1868), which was accompanied by the scientist Dr Enrico Giglioli. The celebrated voyage of H.M.S. "Challenger" (1874-1875) and those of the American vessels " Tuscarora" (1873-1876) and " Albatross " (1888-1892) may complete the tale. Whalers, sealers and traders followed in the wake of explorers, the traders dealing chiefly in copra, trepang, pearls, tortoiseshell, &c. The first actual settlers in the islands. were largely men of bad character—deserting sailors, escapers from the penal settlements in Australia and others. It is not to be supposed that there were no orderly colonists, but that the natives suffered much at the hands of Europeans and Americans is only too clear. The class of traders who made a living by disreputable means and attempted to keep a monopoly of the island on which they settled, became notorious under the name of " beachcombers," and for each of the many dark chapters in Polynesian history there must have been many more unwritten. The kidnapping of natives for the South American and Australian labour markets was common. It cannot be denied that there has been actual deterioration of the native races, and elimination in their numbers, consequent upon contact with Europeans and Americans (see further, POLYNESIA). The romantic character of island-history has perhaps, however, tended to emphasize its dark side, and it is well to turn from it to recognize the work of the missionaries, who found in the Pacific one of their most extensive and important fields of labour, and have exercised not only a moral, but also a profound political influence in the islands since the London Missionary Society first established its agents in Tahiti in 1797. Many of them, moreover, have added greatly to the scientific knowledge of the islands and their inhabitants. The imposition of strict rules of life upon the natives was in4ome instances carried too far; in others their conversion to Christianity was little more than nominal, but cases of this sort are overshadowed by the fine work of William Ellis and John Williams (c. 1818) and many of their successors. The discovery of sandalwood in Fiji in x804, and the establishment of a trade therein, made that group a centre of interest in the early modern history of the P4fic islands. Moreover the London Missionary Society, having worked westward from its headquarters in Tahiti to Tonga as early as 1999, founded a settlement in Fiji in 1835. Meanwhile the white traders in Fiji had played an intimate part in the internal political affairs of the group, and in 1858 King Thakombau, being threatened with reprisals by the American consul on account of certain losses of property which he had sustained, asked for British protection, but did not obtain it. The British, however, were paramount among the white population, and as by 187o not only American, but also German influence was extending through the islands (the first German government vessel visited Fiji in 1892), annexation was urged on Great Britain by Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile the labour traffic, which had been initiated, so far as the Pacific islands were concerned, by an unsuccessful attempt in 1849 to employ New Hebridean labourers on a settlement near the present township of Eden in New South Wales, had attained considerable proportions, had been improperly exploited and, as already indicated, had led the natives to retaliation, sometimes without discernment, a notorious example of this (as was generally considered) being the murder of Bishop Patteson in 1871. In 1872 an act was passed by the British government to regulate the labour traffic; Fiji was annexed in 1874, and in 1895 another act established the post of the British high commissioner. In 1842 the French had formally annexed the Marquesas Islands; and subsequently extended their sphere, as shown in the table at the outset of this article, both in the east of Polynesia and in the south of Melanesia. In some of the island-groups independent native states were recognized for some time by the powers, as in the case of Hawaii, which, after the deposition of the queen in 1893 and the proclamation of a republic in 1894, was annexed to the United States of America only in 1898, or, again, in the case of Tonga, which provided a curious example of the subordination of a native organization to unauthorized foreign influence. The partition of Polynesia was completed in 1899, when Samoa was divided between Germany and the United States. In Micronesia, since the discoveries of the early Spanish navigators, the Carolines, Mariana and Pelew Islands had been recognized as Spanish territory until 1885, when Germany began to establish herself in the first-named group. Spain had never occupied this group, but protested against the German action, and Pope Leo XIII. as arbitrator awarded the Carolines to her. Thereafter Spain made attempts at occupation, but serious conflicts with the natives ensued, and in 1899 the islands were sold to Germany, which thus became the predominating power in Micronesia. When Germany acquired the Bismarck Archipelago in Melanesia the introduction of German names (New Pomerania, Neu Pommern, for New Britain; Neu Mecklenburg for New Ireland; Neu Langenburg for the Duke of York Group, &c.) met with no little protest as contrary to precedent and international etiquette. The provision for the joint influence of Great Britain and France over the New Hebrides (1906) brought these islands into some prominence owing to the hostile criticism directed against the British government both in Australia and at home. The partition of the Pacific islands never led to any serious friction between the powers, though the acquisition of Hawaii was attempted by Britain, France and Japan before the United States annexed the group, and the negotiations as to Samoa threatened trouble for a while. There were occasional native risings, as in Samoa (where, however, the fighting was rather in the nature of civil warfare), the French possessions in eastern Polynesia, and the New Hebrides, apart from attacks on individual settlers or visitors, which have occurred here and there from the earliest period of exploration. Aaministration.—Of the British possessions among the islands of the Pacific, Fiji is a colony, and its governor is also high commissioner for the western Pacific. In this capacity, assisted by deputies and resident commissioners, he exercises jurisdiction over all the islands except Fiji and those islands which are attached to New Zealand and New South Wales. Some of the islands (e.g. Tonga) are native states under British protection. Pitcairn, in accordancewith its peculiar conditions of settlement, has a peculiar system' of local government. The New Hebrides are under a mixed British and French commission. The Hawaiian Islands form a territory of the United States of America and are administered as such; Guam is a naval station, as is Tutuila of the Samoan Islands, where the commandant exercises the functions of governor. New Caledonia is a French colony under a governor; the more easterly French islands are grouped together under the title of the French Establishments in Oceania, and are administered by a governor, privy council, administrative council, &c., Papeete in Tahiti being the capital. The seat of government of the German protectorate of Kaiser Wilhelm's Land (New Guinea) is Herbertshohe in the Bismarck Archipelago. The administrative area includes the German Solomon Islands and the Caroline, Pelew and Mariana Islands, which are divided into three administrative groups—the eastern Carolines, western Carolines and Marianas. The Marshall Islands form a " district " (Bezirk) within the same administrative area. The German Samoan Islands are under an imperial governor. Races.—In the oceanic islands of the Pacific three different peoples occur, who have been called Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians.' These form themselves naturally into two broad but very distinct divisions—the dark and brown races; the first division being represented by the Melanesians, and the Polynesians and Micronesians together forming the second. The Melanesians, sometimes called Papuans (q.v., the Malay name for the natives of New Guinea, the headquarters of the race), are physically negroid in type, nearly black, with crisp curly hair, flat noses and thick lips. In all essentials they agree with the African type: such variations as there are, for example, the more developed eyebrow ridges, narrower, often prominent nose, and somewhat higher narrower skull, obviously owing their existence to crossing with the Malay or the Polynesian races. The oceanic black peoples must thus be regarded as having a connexion more or less remote with the African negroes. Whether the two families have a common ancestor in the negritos of Malaysia and the Indian archipelago, or whether Papuan and Negrito are alike branches of an aboriginal African race, is a problem yet to be solved. But if their origin is unknown, there is little doubt that the Melanesians were the earliest occupants of the oceanic world, possibly reaching it from Malaysia. They undoubtedly constitute the oldest ethnic stock sometimes modified on the spot by crossings with migratory peoples (Malays, Polynesians) ; sometimes, as in the eastern Pacific, giving way entirely before the invaders. The traditions of many of the Polynesian islanders refer to a black indigenous race which occupied their islands when their ancestors arrived, and the black woolly-haired Papuan type is not only found to-day in Melanesia proper, but traces of it occur throughout Polynesia and Micronesia. That the oceanic blacks form one family there can be no doubt, and it is evidence of the immensely remote date at which their dispersion began that they have a multitude of languages often unintelligible except locally, and an extraordinary variety of insular customs : differentiations which must have needed centuries to be effected. Furthermore the Rev. R. H. Codrington (Melanesian Languages) has adduced evidence to prove that Melanesia is the most primitive form of the oceanic stock-language, and that both Malays and Polynesians speak later dialects of this archaic form of speech. The Melanesians then, must be regarded as the aborigines of Oceania. How they came to occupy the region it is impossible to say. Evidence exists as to the migrations of the brown races; but there is nothing to explain how the blacks came to inhabit the isolated Pacific islands. In this connexion it is a curious fact, and one which deepens the mystery, that, unlike the Polynesian peoples, who are all born sailors, the blacks are singularly unskilful seamen. The second ethnic division, the Polynesian-Micronesian races, represents a far later migration and occupation of the Pacific islands. It has been urged that these brown peoples sprang from one stock with the Malays and the Malagasy of Madagascar; and that they represent this parent stock better than the Malays who have been much modified by crossings. But linguistic and physical evidence are against this theory. It is practically certain that the Polynesians at least are an older race than the Malays and their sub-families. The view which has received most general acceptance is that they represent a branch of the Caucasic division of mankind who migrated at a remote period possibly in Neolithic times from the Asiatic mainland travelling by way of the Malay Archipelago and gradually colonizing the eastern Pacific. The Polynesians, who, as represented by such groups as the Samoans and Marquesas islanders, are the physical equal of Europeans, are of a light brown colour, tall, well-proportioned, with regular and often beautiful features. Such an explanation of the Polynesian's origin does not preclude a relation-ship with the Malays. It is most probable that the two stocks have Asiatic ancestors in common, though the Polynesians remain to-day, what they must have always been in remote times, a distinct race. Of their sub-division, the Micronesians, the same cannot be said. They are undoubtedly a very hybrid race, owing this characteristic to their geographical position in the area where the dominating races of the Pacific, Malays, Polynesians, Melanesians, Japanese 1 From these the three main divisions of the islands are named
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