Insular Melanesid

Group: Melanesid


Melanesid proper, associated with many Austronesian speakers of Melanesia. Similar to Paleo Melanesid, but with softer features. Common in East Papua, New Britain, New Ireland, Admiralty Islands, Eastern Solomon Islands, Nendo, Banks Islands, and Vanuatu. More mixed in Eastern Indonesia, New Caledonia, Fiji, across Polynesia and Micronesia, Philippines, and even Taiwan.

Physical Traits:

Dark brown skin. Black-brown, sometimes blonde or even reddish, tight-curly, sometimes kinky hair. Short to medium-height, brachy- sometimes mesoskelic, endo- to ectomorph. Dolicho- mesocephalic, hypsicranic. Features similar to Paleo Melanesid, but much softer. The face is comparatively long, brow ridges and prognathism only mild. (Mildly) platyrrhine snub nose, often concave. Forehead high, lips rather thick, never bulging. Body hair strong, chin receding.


Earlier classifications included it Paleo Melanesid (Eickstedt, 1934; Speiser, 1938), often as its northern, gracilised variety, or Insular Melanesid (Drexel, 1955). After new analyses separated New Caledonians (Howells, 1970; Howells and Schwidetzky, 1981) it appeared as Melanesid in various systems (Biasutti, 1952; Vallois, 1971; Debets, 1974) or as part of Papua-Melanesid (Biasutti, 1967).

Similar types:

Mountain Melanesid Bukaid
Neo Melanesid Brachio Melanesid
PaleoMelanesid Fijid
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