Polynesian outlier

Polynesian outlier

Polynesian outliers are a number of culturally Polynesian islands which lie in geographic or political Melanesia and Micronesia. Based on archaeological and linguistic analysis, these islands are believed to have been colonized by seafaring Polynesians, mostly from the area of Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu.


Polynesian outlier cultures are scattered across five countries of the Pacific: in the Federated States of Micronesia, in Papua New Guinea, in the Solomon Islands, in Vanuatu, and in New Caledonia.

The Federated States of Micronesia has two outlier cultures, namely Kapingamarangi and Nukuoro. Papua New Guinea has three outlier cultures, Nuguria, Nukumanu, and Takuu. The country with the most outlier cultures is the Solomon Islands, with eight: Anuta, Bellona, Ontong Java, Pileni, Rennell, Sikaiana, Taumako, and Tikopia. Vanuatu has three: Emae, Mele, and Futuna. The sole outlier culture in New Caledonia is on Ouvéa in the Loyalty Islands, where the Fagauvea language is spoken.


The outlier groups in Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, and the northern Solomon Islands speak Ellicean languages (which also includes Tuvaluan), while those further to the south in the Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia speak Futunic languages (which also includes the language of Wallis and Futuna). These are two of the branches of the Samoic language family, which is sometimes called the Samoan-Outlier language family for this reason. It is a sub-branch of the Nuclear Polynesian languages, which include most of Polynesia.

In some of these islands, the outlier population may also speak the local Melanesian or Micronesian language.


A 1983 study analyzing the DNA of 2400 people in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have found markers which clearly distinguish the Polynesian outlier islands of the group. Of the four Polynesian outliers considered, Anuta was the most genetically distinct, followed by Rennell and Bellona. Tikopia showed more influence from the nearby Melanesian population. All indicate traces of interisland population movements, and even sources from Europeans, Africans, and Asians, though the latter were at a low level. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=6607679&dopt=Abstract]

ee also


External links

* [http://coombs.anu.edu.au/Biblio/biblio_polynesian_outlier.html A Polynesian outlier bibliography]

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