That they were not indigenous, but had displaced an earlier Melanesian or Papuan race, the true aborigines, is certain.
None of the colossal structures hitherto described appears to have been erected by the present Melanesian or Polynesian peoples, while their wide diffusion, extending as far as Easter Island, within 400 m.
The natives, a mixed Polynesian and Melanesian people of Samoan speech, are the most industrious in the Pacific, and many of the young men go as labourers to other islands.
Ethnically they belong as a whole to the Melanesian division of the Indo-Pacific races.
In 1867 a Melanesian mission station was established at St Barnabas, and in 1882 a church was erected to the memory of Bishop Patteson, with windows designed by Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris.
Codrington (Melanesian Languages) has adduced evidence to prove that Melanesia is the most primitive form of the oceanic stock-language, and that both Malays and Polynesians speak later dialects of this archaic form of speech.
Codrington, The Melanesian Languages (Oxford, 1885); E.
Their language was allied to that of the Maoris of New Zealand, but they differed somewhat from them in physique, and they were probably a cross between an immigrating Polynesian group and a lower indigenous Melanesian stock.
He then joined George Augustus Selwyn, bishop of New Zealand, in a mission to the Melanesian islands.
The Solomon islanders are of Melanesian (Papuan) stock, though in different parts of the group they vary considerably in their physical characteristics, in some islands approaching the pure Papuan, in some showing Polynesian crossings and in others resembling the Malays.
The mesocephalic appears to be the preponderant form of skull; though this is unusual among Melanesian races.
The language is of pure Melanesian type, though a number of dialects are spoken.
In 1856 John Coleridge Patteson, afterwards bishop of Melanesia, had paid his first visit to the islands, and native teachers trained at the Melanesian mission college subsequently 'established themselves there.
The Melanesian Mission, associated with the names of Selwyn and Patteson, is officially connected with the Church of New Zealand, but is also largely supported in Australia.
C. Patteson, and out of it grew the Melanesian Mission.
Among the Carolines and the Marshalls darker and more savage communities are found, suggesting a Melanesian element, which is further traceable in the Ebon (Marshall) and other languages.
All Melanesian religion consists.
Many of these differ widely from the parent race, but all the Melanesian peoples have certain common characteristics which distinguish them sharply from the inhabitants of Polynesia and Micronesia.
The prayer of the Melanesian is on rather a higher religious level than that of the Homeric hero.
Cousins have shown conclusively the close relationships between the language of the Malagasy and those of the Malayo-Polynesian regions; similar connexions exist, especially in grammatical construction, between the Malagasy and Melanesian languages.
The Fijians are a people of Melanesian (Papuan) stock much crossed with Polynesians (Tongans and Samoans).
Codrington, The Melanesians (1891), Melanesian Languages (1885); B.
Codrington, The Melanesian Languages (Oxford, 1885) and The Melanesians (Oxford, 1891); the articles Papuans and Pacific Ocean; also those on the several island-groups, &c.