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Melanesia

"Melanesia" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

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The collective name for the islands of the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia, including NEW CALEDONIA; VANUATU; New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, Admiralty Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, FIJI, etc. Melanesia (from the Greek melas, black + nesos, island) is so called from the black color of the natives who are generally considered to be descended originally from the Negroid Papuans and the Polynesians or Malays. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p748 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p344)


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