Identification. The Abelam live in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea and are divided into several subgroups; the most prominent is the Wosera, who are so named after the area they inhabit.


Identification. Ajië is one of the major southern languages found in New Caledonia.



Identification. Anuta is a volcanic island in the eastern Solomon Islands.


Identification. Aranda refers first of all to a language group.


Identification. The Asmat are hunting, fishing, and gathering people who inhabit an area which they refer to as Asmat capinmi, the Asmat world.


The Banaro are a group numbering about 2,500 located along the middle course of the Keram River, a tributary of the Sepik River in Madang and East Sepik provinces, Papua New Guinea. Banaro is a Papuan language isolate belonging to the Sepik-Ramu Phylum.


Identification. The name "Bau" was originally that of a house site (yavu) at Kubuna on the Wainibuka River in the interior of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, but today "Bau" usually refers to the small offshore islet, home of the Paramount chiefs, and "Kubuna" to those who claim kinship with the chiefly families, or those who "go with" Bau in the wider politics of all Fiji.


Identification. Hearing the word beluu, "village Homeland", early British explorers of the western Pacific mistakenly referred to the Belau Islands as "Pelew"; the spelling "Palau" became standardized in nineteenth-century German Scientific writings.


Bikini is the largest of the twenty-six islands in the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Bikini is the northernmost atoll in the Ratak chain of atolls and islands and is located at 11° 31′ N and 165° 34′ E.


Identification. Boazi is the name of a language spoken by approximately 2,500 people who live along the middle reaches of the Fly River and along the central and northern shores of Lake Murray in the southern lowlands of New Guinea.


Identification. The Chambri (called Tchambuli by Margaret Mead) live south of the Sepik River on an island Mountain in Chambri Lake in East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.


The Chamorro are the indigenous inhabitants of the island of Guam and the surrounding Southern Mariana Islands. The present-day descendants of the precontact Chamorros have a syncretic culture, greatly influenced by Spanish, Filipino, Japanese, and especially American culture.


Identification. The Chimbu live in the Chimbu, Koro, and Wahgi valleys in the mountainous central highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Choiseul Island

Identification. Choiseul Island is the northwesternmost island in the Solomon Islands chain of the western South Pacific, lying between Bougainville Island and Papua New Guinea to the west, Santa Isabel to the east, and Velia Lavella and New Georgia to the south, all of which are 40 to 80 kilometers distant.

Cook Islands

Identification. The Cook Islands is an independent state in an associated-state relationship with New Zealand.


Identification. Dani is a general term used by outsiders for peoples speaking closely related Papuan (Non-Austronesian) languages in the central highlands of Irian Java, Indonesia (formerly Netherlands New Guinea, West New Guinea, Irian Barat).


Identification. "Daribi" is the name for a people of Papua New Guinea who speak a single language with little or no dialect differentiation.



Identification. Dobu (Goulvain Island on the earliest maps) is a small island (3.2 by 4.8 kilometers), an extinct volcano.

Easter Island

Identification. Easter Island, the easternmost island in Polynesia, was so named by Jacob Roggeveen who came upon it on Easter Sunday in 1722.


Identification. The Eipo and their neighbors live in the Daerah Jayawijaya of the Indonesian Province of Irian Jaya.


Identification. The Foi inhabit the Mubi River Valley and the shores of Lake Kutubu on the fringe of the southern highlands in Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The Fore people are subsistence-oriented swidden horticulturalists who live in the Okapa District of the Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Futuna and its neighboring island of Alofi (or Tua) are politically joined to Wallis Island under French administration as overseas territories.


Identification. The name "Gahuku," like "Gama," is that of a tribe or district group, but the former has been extended by linguists to include a congeries of such units and the Common language they speak.


Identification. Gainj is the name for approximately 1,500 people who distinguish themselves from their culturally similar neighbors on the basis of language and territorial affiliation.


Identification. The Garia live in southern Madang Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Gebusi identify themselves as a distinctive Gebusi-speaking cultural group within the Nomad River area of the East Strickland River Plain, Western Province, Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Speakers of the Gnau language live in the West Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The Gogodala live in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

Goodenough Island

Identification. Goodenough Island (Morata on the earliest maps) was named by Captain John Moresby in 1874 in memory of a British naval colleague.


Identification. Among the peoples inhabiting Guadalcanal Island, one of the Solomon Islands, there is found considerable variety of cultural practices and language dialects.


Identification. The Gururumba are one of nine political sovereignties located in the upper valley of the Asaro River in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Hawaiians are the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands.


Identification. The Iatmul live along the banks of the Middle Sepik River in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. "Bosavi kalu" (meaning "men of Bosavi") is the collective designation of four closely related horticulturalist groups who live in the rain forest of the Great Papuan Plateau.


The Kamilaroi were an Aboriginal group located in New South Wales, Australia, along the Barwon, Bundarra, Balonne, and upper Hunter rivers and in the Liverpool plains. They are now nearly extinct and only a small number remain.


Identification. The Kapauku live in the central highlands of western New Guinea, now Irian Jaya.


Identification. Kapingamarangi, one of the Polynesian outliers, is the southernmost atoll in the Eastern Caroline Islands of Micronesia.


The Karadjeri (Garadjui, Guaradjara, Karadjari) are an Aboriginal group located in the state of Western Australia, in the area of Roebuck Bay and inland to Broome. In 1984 there were thirty-five individuals.


The term "Kariera" refers both to a particular Western Australian people, with a distinct name and language, as well as to a specific form of social organization and kinship reckoning shared by several distinct groups (Nglera, Kariera, Ngaluma, Indjibandi, Pandjima, Bailgu, and Nyamal). The territory associated with the Kariera type of organization is defined by the drainage of the De Grey River, as well as portions of the region along both sides of the Fortescue River.


Identification. The term "Keraki" generally refers to one of several small transhumant cultural groups living near the Morehead River in the Trans-Fly region of Papua New Guinea, applying principally to Nambu speakers but also Including some of their immediate neighbors.


Identification. The Kewa live in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea and speak three major, mutually intelligible dialects.


Identification and Location. The Kilenge, subsistence swidden horticulturalists, live along a 4-kilometer coastal stretch on the northwest tip of the island of New Britain, 5°28′ S, 148°22′ E.


Identification. Almost all of the citizens of Kiribati have at least some I-Kiribati ancestors and have inherited land rights in the Gilbert Islands.


Identification. The Kiwai are a coastal people of southern New Guinea who live between the Pahoturi and Fly rivers and on the islands and river banks of the estuaries of the Fly and Bamu rivers.


The Koiari (Grass Koiari) numbered about 1,800 in 1973. They live at about 9°S and 148° E in Port Moresby Subprovince, Central Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Kosrae is the easternmost of the Caroline Islands.


Identification. Strictly speaking, the name "Kurtatchi" refers to a single village, the subject in 1930 of a classic Ethnographic study by Beatrice Blackwood.


Identification. The Kwoma are located in the Ambunti Sub-Province of the Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Lak is the name of a coastal Papua New Guinea population and encompasses two groups that are no longer distinct: inland dwellers who relocated to the coast at the time of Western contact (c.


Identification. The Lakalai are distinguished from speakers of related dialects and languages, all labeled Nakanai, by the absence of the phoneme n in their language.


Identification. Lau is a chain of about 100 small islands and reefs spread over an area of about 1,400 square kilometers in the South Pacific.


Identification. Lesu is a village on the east coast of the island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Loyalty Islands

There are four major resident groups in the Loyalty Islands of Melanesia: Dehu, also known as De'u, Drehu, Lifou, Lifu, and Min; Iaai, also known as Iai and Yai; Nengone, also known as Mare and Iwatenu; and West Ouvean, which is also known as Faga-Uvéa and Ouvean. In 1982 the population of the islands was approximately 22,100.

Mae Enga

Identification. The Mae form a cultural and geographical subdivision of the Enga, who comprise most of the inhabitants of Enga Province in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Mafulu is the name, based on the pronunciation used by the neighboring Kunimaipa speakers, for the people of Mambule, their nearest community of Fuyuge speakers.


Identification. The Mailu are a Papuo-Melanesian people of the southern coast of eastern Papua New Guinea and its adjacent islands.


Identification. Maisin-speaking people live in Papua New Guinea.



Identification. This summary focuses on South West Bay, the home of several culturally similar ethnic groups, including the Laus (or Small Nambas), Mewun, and Seniang.


Identification. Manam Island, formerly called Vulkan-Insel or Hansa-Vulkaninsel by the Germans, and its outlier, the small island of Boesa (Aris-Insel) 6.5 kilometers to the northwest, are part of the Schouten Island archipelago, a chain of small volcanic islands that stretches along the northeast coast of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Mandak is a linguistic-cultural designation for people living in central New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.


Mangareva, also known as the Gambier Islands, consists of four small volcanic islands located southeast of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia at 22° S and 128° W. The islands have a land area of about 29 square kilometers.


Manihiki is separated by 40 kilometers of open sea from its twin atoll of Rakahanga. It consists of two large islets and many smaller ones in the northern Cook Archipelago.


Identification. The terms "Manus" and "Manusian" denote people native to Manus Province, Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The Maori are the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand.


Identification. The Mardu Aborigines are part of the Western Desert cultural bloc, which encompasses one-sixth of the continent of Australia, and is notable for its social, cultural and linguistic homogeneity.


Identification. Marind (anim means "people") is the name by which some forty territorial groups (subtribes) in New Guinea identify themselves vis-à-vis foreigners.


Identification. The Maring are a linguistically and Culturally distinct people of the interior highlands of New Guinea, made up of twenty-one named clan clusters divided, geographically, into two groups: one occupying the mountains of the Simbai Valley of Madang Province; the other located in the Jimi Valley of the Western Highlands Province.

Marquesas Islands


Marshall Islands

Identification. The Republic of the Marshall Islands, formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, gained independence as part of a Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986.


Identification. The Mejbrat are swidden cultivators of the Bird's Head Peninsula of Irian Jaya.


Identification. The Mekeo peoples live in village communities on the coastal plain of southeast Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The Melpa people live in the Western Highlands Province of the independent state of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. "Mendi" refers to the people of the Mendi valley.


Identification. The Mimika people are named after the Mimika River in the central district of Irian Jaya Province of Indonesia (formerly Netherlands, or Dutch, New Guinea).


Identification. The Miyanmin live in Telefomin District of Sandaun (West Sepik) Province and Ambunti District of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.


Identification. At the time of their first recorded contact with Westerners, in 1872, the Austronesian-speaking people known as Motu lived in thirteen nucleated seaside villages on the south coast of the New Guinea mainland, immediately east and west of Port Moresby (9°29′ S, 147°8′ E), the first center of European settlement and the present capital of Papua New Guinea.

Mountain Arapesh

Identification. The name "Mountain Arapesh" is used today to designate speakers of the three eastern dialects of the Arapesh language in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The Mundugumor live in the area of the central Yuat River in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The term "Murik" is generally used to refer to people living in five villages (Kaup, Big Murik, Darapap, Karau, Mendam) along the north coast of Papua New Guinea, west of the mouth of the Sepik River.


Identification. Yolngu has generally replaced the term Murngin to refer to the indigenous people of the northeastern part of Arnhem Land in Australia.


Identification. The Muyu live just south of the central mountains of Irian Jaya, just along the border with Papua New Guinea.


Identification. "Namau" is a term used to designate both the region and its inhabitants by the people who live in the Purari River delta region of the south coast of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The name "Nasioi" has been employed by Europeans since the beginning of the twentieth century, and it is best thought of as a linguistic term.


Identification. Nauru is an independent republic, an associate member of the British Commonwealth, and a member of the South Pacific Commission and the South Pacific Forum.

New Georgia

The New Georgia group of islands is located in the south-central Solomon Islands between 8-9° S and 156-158° E. The group consists of the main island of New Georgia, nine other large islands, and numerous atolls.


Identification. The Ngatatjara speak the Warburton Ranges dialect of the Western Desert Language Group (Pitjantjatjara) in Western Australia and adjacent southwestern Northern Territory and northwestern South Australia.


Identification. "Ngunese" is the name for the inhabitants of the island of Nguna, Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides).


Identification. "Ningerum" is the name for the people living to the northeast of Ningerum Station (Kiunga District of Western Province, Papua New Guinea).


Identification. The Nissan Islanders live on Nissan Atoll and Pinipel Atoll, which together form the Nissan or Green Island Group in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea.


Niue is a 260-square-kilometer raised coral atoll. Culturally and linguistically it is very similar to Tonga.


Nomoi includes the cluster of Etal, Lukunor, and Satawan atolls in the Mortlocks and the lone Namoluk Atoll 56 kilometers to the northwest. Nomoi is located in the central Carolines at approximately 5° N and 153° E.

Ontong Java

Identification. Ontong Java is a coral atoll in the Solomon Islands and is one of the so-called Polynesian outliers, a number of islands and atolls located outside of the Polynesian triangle that are inhabited by people who are Polynesian in their language and culture.


Identification. "Orokaiva" is the name for a number of culturally similar tribes in Papua New Guinea who speak mutually intelligible dialects.


Identification. The term "Orokolo" generally refers to all of the Western Elema people living around Orokolo Bay in Papua New Guinea, although the name also refers to one of the five languages in the Eleman Language Family, to the major dialect of this language, and also to one of the five major Orokolo villages (Arihava, Yogu, Orokolo, Auma, and Vailala).


Identification. The Sa, who are the focus of this summary, live on the southern part of Pentecost Island in northern Vanuatu.


Identification. The term "Pintupi" refers to a group of Australian Aboriginal hunting and gathering people originally from the Western Desert region of Australia.


Identification. Pohnpei is a high island in the Eastern Caroline island group of Micronesia.


Identification. Pukapuka is a small Polynesian atoll located among the northern atolls of the Cook Islands.


Identification. Rapa is the southernmost island in the Austral Archipelago.


Raroia is an atoll in the Tuamotu-Gambier Archipelago in Polynesia. The archipelago consists of seventy-eight atolls located between 135° and 149° W and 14° and 23° S.

Rennell Island

Both Rennell and its twin island Bellona (Munggiki) are Polynesian outliers in the central Solomon Islands. Rennell is a raised coral atoll, with a large lake in its southeastern end, located between 11°34′ and 11°47′ S and 159°54′ and 160°37′ E.

Rossel Island

Identification. The Rossel Islanders live on the eastern-most island of the Louisiade Archipelago in the Massim Culture region (Milne Bay Province) at the east end of New Guinea.


Identification. Rotuma lies approximately 480 kilometers north of Fiji, on the western fringe of Polynesia.


Identification. The Sambia, a congeries of historically and socially integrated phratries that speak the Sambia language, live in the fringe areas of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. There is no generally agreed upon explanation of the meaning of the name "Sāmoa." According to one Samoan version, the name is compounded of "Sā," meaning "tribe, people of," and "Moa," which means "chicken," referring to the "family" of the Tui Manu'a, the highest-ranking titleholder of eastern (American) Samoa.

San Cristobal

Four groups totaling about 10,000 individuals live on the high volcanic island of Makira or San Cristobal: the Arosi, Bauro, Kahua, and Tawarafa. San Cristobal is located in the southeastern Solomon Islands at approximately 10° S and 160° E.

Santa Cruz

Identification. The Santa Cruz Islanders are Melanesians who are in most respects fully integrated, as a constituent Ethnic society, into the national political and economic system of the Solomon Islands.


Identification. The name "Selepet" is derived from the sentence "Selep pekyap," meaning "The house collapsed," an event recounted in the story of the people's dispersal from their primordial residential site.


Identification. To outsiders, the Sengseng tend to identify themselves simply as "Arawe," a term designating all the People of southwest New Britain, including Arawe Islanders, who practice artificial deformation of the skull.


Siane refers to a number of ethnic groups located in the highlands of Eastern Highlands Province, Goroka SubProvince, Papua New Guinea. In 1975 the Siane numbered some 18,000.


Identification. "Sio" is the name of a Papua New Guinea people, of their group of four villages, and of their language (also spoken in Nambariwa, a small coastal village to the east).


Identification. The word "Siuai" originally applied to a cape on the southern coast of Bougainville, but it later came to identify a wider area of the coast, its hinterland, and the people who lived there.


Identification. The name "Tahiti"—or, as Bougainville first wrote it in 1768, "Taiti," and Cook in 1769, Otaheite"—was the name the natives gave their island and which Europeans came to apply to the indigenes.


Identification. The Tairora live in the Kainantu District of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. The term "Tangu" generally refers to one of several culturally similar communities living in the Bogia Region of the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Tanna island is part of the Southern District of Vanuatu, a southwestern Pacific archipelago once called the New Hebrides.


Identification. The term "Tasmanians" refers to the native inhabitants of the island of Tasmania.




Identification. Telefolmin are one of a group of related peoples known as the Mountain Ok or "Min" (after the Common suffix for group names).


Identification. The name "Tikopia" (sometimes written "Tucopia" by early European voyagers), given to a small Island in the Solomon group, is also applied by the inhabitants to themselves.


Identification. The word "Tiwi" means "people" in the language of the Aboriginal inhabitants and owners of Melville and Bathurst islands of north Australia.


Identification. "Tokelau" (Anglicized as "Tokelauan") refers both to the people and to their distinctive Polynesian language, as well as to their homeland which consists of three atolls: Atafu, Nukunonu, and Fakaofo.


Identification. "Tolai" is the modern name for the indigenous people who live within a radius of about 32 kilometers of the port town of Rabaul in the northeast corner of New Britain known as the Gazelle Peninsula.


Identification. The Kingdom of Tonga, located in the South Pacific Ocean, was under the protection of Great Britain from 1900 to 1970.


Identification. In 1853, the brig Chatham ran aground on a reef off the southwest coast of Tongareva (Penrhyn Island), marooning fourteen crew members and passengers, some for more than a year.


Identification. The Tor River (as it is called in the Berik language) promotes a sense of cultural if not linguistic unity, with the groups living along its banks conscious of being "People of the Tor," or "Torangwa." The term "Tor" will be used here to refer mainly to the Berik, Bonerif, and Mander peoples and, to a lesser extent, their Kwerba neighbors on the Apauwar and Mamberamo rivers to the west.

Torres Strait Islanders

Identification. The Torres Strait Islanders are a Melanesian group who live on the islands of Torres Strait and in coastal communities of Queensland, Australia.

Trobriand Islands

Identification. The Trobriand Islands were named for Denis de Trobriand, the first lieutenant in one of D'Entrecasteaux's frigates when this group of populated atolls and hundreds of islets was sighted in 1793.


Identification. Truk is in the Caroline Islands of Micronesia.


Identification. The name "Tuvalu" is apparently traditional and refers to the original "cluster of eight" islands.


Identification. Ulithians are Micronesians living on an atoll in the west-central Caroline Islands.


Identification. The name "Usino" refers to the inhabitants of four lowland social and territorial units (parishes), each corresponding to a dialect of the Usino language.


Uvea, like its twin island Futuna, is culturally and linguistically closely related to Tonga. Uvea is a volcanic high Island located 180 kilometers northeast of Futuna at 13° S and 176° W.


Identification. "Wamira" is the name for both the village and its residents, and it is used by Wamirans as well as by outsiders.


Identification. Like many ethnic groups in Papua New Guinea the people of the Wantoat Valley had no need to name themselves.


Identification. "Wape" is a designation given by Western-ers to the culturally similar Olo-speaking people on the inland side of the Torricelli Mountains of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Warlpiri country lies in central Australia, with its center about 180 kilometers northwest of Alice Springs.


The Waropen are an Austronesian group in the Vogelkop of Irian Java, New Guinea. They numbered some 6,000 in 1982 and are located along the eastern part of Geelvink Bay, on the south coast of Yapen Island, and on the mainland from the Kerome River, south of the Mamberamo, to the mouth of the Woisimi River at Wandamen Bay.

Wik Mungkan

Identification. In early ethnographies of the area, "Wik Mungkan" has been used both for the particular language and for the "tribe" nominally speaking it.


Identification. The Wogeo, who call themselves Wageva, are the Melanesian inhabitants of the island of Wogeo off the north coast of Papua New Guinea.


Identification. Woleai is the largest of a group of closely related atolls in the central and west-central Caroline Islands of Micronesia that also includes Eauripik, Ifaluk, Faraulep, Elato, and Lamotrek.


The Wongaibon are an Australian Aboriginal group who range over an area of some 70,000 square kilometers in New South Wales. Their territory is centered at: 146°30′ E and 32° S at the headwaters of Bogan Creek and on Tigers Camp and Boggy Cowal creeks.


Identification. The name "Wovan," applied to a small, culturally distinct population in Papua New Guinea, is derived from the label that the people themselves apply to their language (wovan a mona, or "Wovan talk").

Yangoru Boiken

Identification. The Boiken people of the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, occupy one of the most extensive and ecologically heterogeneous territories in New Guinea.


Identification. Yap is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia, which were part of the U.S.

Yir Yoront

The Yir Yoront (Yir-Yoront) are an Australian Aboriginal people whose traditional territory and current reserve are centered at 141°45′ E and 15°20′ S along the Gulf of Carpentaria coast of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. The territory encompasses about 1,300 square kilometers and runs along the coast from the mouth of the Coleman River south through the three mouths of the Mitchell River.


The name given to a number of closely related and affiliated Aboriginal groups who lived in the deserts of western Australia. Known groups included the Koreng, Minang, Pibelman, Pindjarup, Wardardi, and Wheelman.