People of Melanesian countries often talk about the “Melanesian way,” that people of the region see as a distinctively Melanesian set of cultural values and behavior.
European colonization of Melanesia gathered pace from the late eighteenth century.
Independence struggles continued in those Melanesian countries remaining under foreign control, and poor governance dogged the newly independent countries.
Subsistence is the main characteristic of the economies of Melanesia.
Most Melanesian people belong to a Christian church, the denomination depending upon the established church of the colonial power.
The world wars of the twentieth century brought both changes to the balance of foreign domination in Melanesia, and intense fighting.
The Dutch and the British tried to suppress warfare and headhunting throughout Melanesia.
The geographic conception of Melanesia is used as a reference to the area where political, ethnic, and linguistic distinctions are not relevant.
The term is also present in geopolitics, where the Melanesian Spearhead Group Preferential Trade Agreement is a regional trade treaty involving the states of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
Melanesia (from Greek, meaning "black islands") is a region extending from the western side of the eastern Pacific to the Arafura Sea, north and northeast of Australia.
The term "Melanesia" was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.
Melanesia's 2,000 islands and total land area of about 386,000 square miles (one million square kilometers) is home to about 12 million people.
Independence became an issue throughout Melanesia after the war ended in 1945.
Melanesians used the bow and arrow in hunting and fighting, and practiced head-hunting as a tradition of stealthy raiding to secure proof of manhood.
Melanesia has been the site of human habitation for tens of thousands of years.
The original inhabitants of Melanesia are likely to have been the ancestors of the present-day Papuan language-speaking people.