The Melanesian: People With Dark Skin and Blonde Hair

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Have you ever seen a black person with blonde hair?

The black islanders who went to the south Pacific thousands of years ago are called Melanesians. Melanesia is a group of islands that were first inhabited by people who are most likely related to the Papuans of today. This part of Oceania goes from the western edge of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea and then east to Fiji. The area is made up of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. So, native Melanesian groups are often split into two main groups based on language differences, like Papuan-speaking and Austronesian-speaking groups, society, or genetic origins.

People from the Solomon Islands who are Melanesian and have dark skin and blonde hair get a lot of attention. There are many ideas about how they got their blonde hair, such as that the sun and salt made it lighter, that they ate a lot of fish, or that their genes came from breeding with the Americans and Europeans who made the island.

Melanasia’s High Rate of Blonde Hair

Melanesians from several islands and some native Australians are the only people with blonde hair who are not related to Europeans. Blonde hair evolved on its own in Melanesia.

Because of this, it is not common in local groups outside of Europe and North Africa. However, blond hair started in Europe and some parts of Asia. It is more common in children than in adults, and hair tends to get darker as a person gets older. This is because of a gene allele called TYRP1 that is only found in these people and is not the same gene that causes blond hair in Europeans.

How the Melanesians are Different and How They Diverge

Researchers discovered a lot of genetic variety and differentiation among the groups that live on the Melanesian islands. The languages, landscapes, and sizes of the islands all helped to separate the people who lived there. This kind of variety grew over the tens of thousands of years since the first people came to the islands, as well as since their Polynesian ancestors arrived not long ago. It was found that Austronesian-speaking groups along the coasts were more mixed up than Papuan-speaking groups, which were the most different.

Since the late 1990s, more Homo erectus races or subspecies have been found thanks to more DNA analysis. This has led research in new paths. More than that, evidence from Melanesia shows that their land stretched into southeast Asia, where the Melanesians’ ancestors lived and grew.

The things that the Melanesians did

Malay and Javanese people live in the western part of the island and mostly practise Islam, while Melanesians in the eastern part of the country mostly practise Christianity. The native Melanesian people used to be like the Asmat group in that they ate each other, hunted heads, kidnapped people, and forced them to work as slaves. But since they met Europeans, most of them have become Christians. But some people still live in the country.

There was a lot of cultural, linguistic, and political fragmentation in Melanesia when the Europeans arrived. There were up to six languages and cultures living on the same island. This was partly due to changes that had happened in the previous 2,000 years, though most of the islands’ prehistoric history has not been fully documented. But during this time, hierarchical government systems and the trade networks that went with them seem to have fallen apart. At the same time, language or dialect groups seem to have become more separated from each other.

The native people of Melanesia have become part of the world economy because of efforts to become more Christian and more like people in the West. In some places, this has been going on for more than a hundred years. By the beginning of the 21st century, even the most remote areas were changed and easier to get to. Also, different Christian groups and even individual missions have shown different levels of understanding and knowledge of the languages and cultures of the places they have worked. Together, missionary work and colonial rule got rid of many different cultural practices. Some of these were very complex and rich, while others were violent and cruel.


Elites are becoming more and more united in their political and economic goals, which are not limited to one culture or language but include both Westernised and local cultures. Cultural nationalist ideas have become based on traditional practices (like kastom) and “the Melanesian way” (their original way of life), which has become one of their main ideas. People who value traditional culture as a source of identity keep or bring back old ways of exchanging goods and services. Art fairs, cultural centres, and kastom philosophies have brought back traditional parts of culture that were pushed down by more fundamental and evangelistic forms of Christianity. These include ceremonial trade, dance and song, and oral traditions.

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