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Panoramic photo by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem EXPERT Taken 09:14, 11/12/2011 - Views loading...

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Yellow Bridge

The World > Pacific Ocean Islands > Asia > Melanesia > Indonesia

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Nearby images in Indonesia

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A: Shopping Center Tembagapura

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 140 meters away

Shopping Center Tembagapura

B: Hidden Valley and Me

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 1.9 km away

Hidden Valley and Me

C: In the corner of Hidden Valley

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 1.9 km away

In the corner of Hidden Valley

D: Klise Village, Papua, Baliem Valley.

by Geri Dagys, 208.4 km away

Trekking in Baliem valley through rain and sun is an unforgettable thing. You can wonder for days wit...

Klise Village, Papua, Baliem Valley.

E: Raja Ampat Lagoon

by Tina Gauer & Oli Burle - www.360tourist.net, 771.2 km away

Kayaking in between the limestone islands of Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. These very remote isl...

Raja Ampat Lagoon

F: Gunung Api Banda

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 800.3 km away

With my colleague, we reach the top of the gunung api banda. On the top is around 656 meter from the ...

Gunung Api Banda

G: On the top of Gunung Api Banda

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 800.3 km away

On the top of the mountain

On the top of Gunung Api Banda

H: Crater of Gunung Api Banda

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 800.3 km away

We're on the edge of the crater of Gunung Api Banda. This mountain is still active tough.

Crater of Gunung Api Banda

I: Hollandia Fort

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 800.4 km away

Hollandia Fort

J: Walkway to Hollandia Fort

by Moch. Ihsan Hakiem, 800.7 km away

Walkway to Hollandia Fort

This panorama was taken in Indonesia, Melanesia

This is an overview of Melanesia

Vanuatu Malakula Dancers

Melanesia is a term describing Pacific islands inhabited by black skinned people. It includes the islands of the Torres Straits, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. The long chain of islands is highly volcanic and is also known as the "ring of fire".

The people who inhabited these rugged volcanic islands thousands of years ago established small isolated village communities that persist to this day.The communities are genetically and linguistically diverse, with over 400 languages, often as different from one another as French is from Russian.  People sharing the same language are known as "one talks" and are considered extended family (which they are).

Although culturally and linguistically diverse, Melanesian people share a common bond in a sense of identity with their island. The people of the island of Tikopea, for example, speak of themselves as "we the Tikopea" a term that encompasses the people,  island, trees, gardens, and coral reefs as one living entity. Melanesians are masters at social harmony. You can understand why they have to be when you consider that 90 percent of them live in small, very isolated villages that have been in exactly the same location for thousands of years. Melanesians tend to stay where they were born until they die - generation after generation. If they failed to achieve social harmony they would not survive long. A person unable to "adapt" was (and still can be) banished from the village. Until the mid 1900's this usually was a death sentence as the concept of social harmony generally extended just to the boundary of the tribal lands and inter-tribal warfare and cannibalism was common.

Melanesia is one of the few places on our planet where one can see truly ancient custom dances and rituals performed with utter sincerity and cultural importance.  Almost all of the Melanesian people are Christians but there are many who are Muslims and still a few who cling to their custom religions. But even dressed up in Christian clothes, their spirits remain one with their ancestors and their land. It is a fascinating part of our world, rich in powerful images.

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