Portal:Oceania

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The Oceania Portal

An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (listen), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographical region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western hemispheres, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi)[discuss] and a population of over 41 million. When compared with the other continents, the region of Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica. Its six major population centres are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, and Adelaide.

Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and Human Development Index, to the much less developed economies such as Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western New Guinea, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Fiji, Palau, and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney. Puncak Jaya in Papua is the highest peak in Oceania at 4,884 m (16,024 ft).

The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. In more contemporary times there has been increasing discussion on national flags and a desire by some Oceanians to display their distinguishable and individualistic identity. The rock art of Aboriginal Australians is the longest continuously practised artistic tradition in the world. Most Oceanian countries are multi-party representative parliamentary democracies, with tourism being a large source of income for the Pacific Islands nations. (Full article...)

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The geographical extent of Melanesia

Melanesia (UK: /ˌmɛləˈnziə/, US: /ˌmɛləˈnʒə/) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea and a few thousand islands.

The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. It also includes parts of Indonesia – notably the provinces of Papua and West Papua and the French oversea collectivity of New Caledonia. Almost all of the region is in the Southern Hemisphere; only a few small islands that aren't politically considered part of Oceania—specifically the northwestern islands of Western New Guinea—lie in the Northern Hemisphere. (Full article...)
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Rongorongo B-v Aruku-Kurenga (color) edit1.jpg

Rongorongo /ˈrɒŋɡˈrɒŋɡ/ (Rapa Nui: [ˈɾoŋoˈɾoŋo]) is a system of glyphs discovered in the 19th century on Easter Island that appears to be writing or proto-writing. Numerous attempts at decipherment have been made, with none being successful. Although some calendrical and what might prove to be genealogical information has been identified, none of these glyphs can actually be read. If rongorongo does prove to be writing and proves to be an independent invention, it would be one of very few independent inventions of writing in human history.

Two dozen wooden objects bearing rongorongo inscriptions, some heavily weathered, burned, or otherwise damaged, were collected in the late 19th century and are now scattered in museums and private collections. None remain on Easter Island. The objects are mostly tablets shaped from irregular pieces of wood, sometimes driftwood, but include a chieftain's staff, a bird-man statuette, and two reimiro ornaments. There are also a few petroglyphs which may include short rongorongo inscriptions. Oral history suggests that only a small elite was ever literate and that the tablets were sacred. (Full article...)
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