The Pacific Islands are composed of 20,000 to 30,000 islands located in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Islands are sometimes called Oceania, although that name can be used to include Australasia and the Malay Archipelago. There are three divisions of these islands: Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia.
The islands are split into two groups known as the high islands and the low islands. Melanesia is considered the high islands, having many volcanoes, whereas Micronesia and Plynesia are the low islands, where there are many reefs, and the islands are generally small and infertile. The high islands have much more fertile soil, and are able to hold more people. Due to this, Melanesia is the most populated of the tree regions.
Melanesia is a sub region of the Pacific Islands that extends from the western edge of the Pacific Ocean to the Afafura Sea. The name Melanesia comes from the Greek language, a word meaning ‘black islands’. The name can be uses either geographically or anthropologically. Some islands in the Melanesia division include New Guinea, Zenhadh Kes, New Caledonia, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.
The people that originally lived on the islands were most likely the ancestors of the present-day Papaun-speaking people. About 4,000 years ago these preexisting inhabitants came into contact with the Austonesian people. There was most likely a long period of interaction between these two groups. Research shows that Melanesians were probably not related to the inhabitants of the other Pacific Islands.
Instead of a government of royalty, they chose their leaders based on their personality. They would choose high-placed women as partners, and certain qualities such as combat skills were very important. In the islands today, they have a European-style government, and elect officials democratically, although few islands such as New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have a constitutional monarchy.