Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Pacific Island Ancestry

  • Donald H. Rubinstein
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_310-4


Cultural diversity

Pacific Islanders number approximately 13 million people residing in more than 25 island nations and territories, dispersed across the largest geographic feature on Earth – the Pacific Ocean – with growing communities of recent migrants settled mainly in the Pacific Rim nations. In many ways this population is unique among world cultural groups. The Pacific Islands were the last major area on earth to be settled by humans, the last region to be colonized by metropolitan powers, and among the last territories to undergo decolonization – with several islands remaining as non-self-governing territories (e.g., New Caledonia, Guam, and American Samoa). The Pacific Islands are also unique in terms of their degree of indigeneity and cultural continuity, having the largest proportion of indigenous people and lands held through customary land tenure, of any region of the world (Regenvanu 2009).

The Pacific Islands include enormous geographic, linguistic, and cultural...


Pacific Island Customary Land South Pacific Islander Pacific Island Population Customary Land Tenure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GuamMangilaoUSA