Paleo Melanesid

Group: Australid, Melanesid


Melanesid variety with very ancient features, closer to Australids. Typified by the Kanak of New Caledonia, in its purest form in the north of the island. Also important on the Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu, Solomons, East New Guinea and Eastern Australia, Fiji, occasionally across Polynesia. Maori wiped it out in New Zealand many centuries ago. Has recently been pushed into minority status in New Caledonia.

Physical Traits:

Dark brown skin. Black-brown, rarely red, tight-curly, sometimes kinky hair. Medium-height, hyperbrachyskelic, meso- to endomorph. Dolicho- mesocephalic, mildly hypsicranic. Low, robust face, massive jaw. Nose hyperplatyrrhine, concave with a depressed root. Lips rather thick, not bulging. Supraorbital arches common, forehead high, mouth very large, hairiness strong, chin receding, prognathy mild.


After studies of Sarasin (1916) defined by Eickstedt (1934) as an "Australoid "Paleo Melanesid subtype and used accordingly by others (Weinert, 1965; Knussmann; 1996). Biasutti (1967) and Vallois (1974) separated it from Melanesid as a "New Caledonian" Australid variety. Some anthropometric analyses place it closer to Australid (Howells, 1970), others to Melanesid (Pietrusewsky, 2005).

Similar types:

Mountain Melanesid Bukaid
Neo Melanesid North Australid
Tasmanid Fijid
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