Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Laurie D. McCubbin
Pacific Islanders refers to the indigenous people of the Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian islands. Polynesia refers to the islands settled by Polynesians, which includes (but is not limited to) Tahiti, Hawai'i, American and Western Samoa, Tonga, Rapanui (Easter Island), the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia. Micronesia refers to the islands in the Western Pacific with its main islands being the Carolina Islands (including Federated States of Micronesia and Palau), the Gilbert Islands, and the Mariana Islands (including Guam). The Chamorros are native to Guam and the Northern Marianas. The islands of Melanesia consist of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji. The history of the three divisions of the Pacific Islands is tied to the colonization process of the Pacific (also referred to as Oceania) and is related to the geographic locations of these islands rather than commonalities of culture and language. However, two areas of Pacific ...