Polynesia: The collective name for the islands of the central Pacific Ocean, including the Austral Islands, Cook Islands, Easter Island, HAWAII; NEW ZEALAND; Phoenix Islands, PITCAIRN ISLAND; SAMOA; TONGA; Tuamotu Archipelago, Wake Island, and Wallis and Futuna Islands. Polynesians are of the Caucasoid race, but many are of mixed origin. Polynesia is from the Greek poly, many + nesos, island, with reference to the many islands in the group. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p966 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p426)Pacific Islands: The islands of the Pacific Ocean divided into MICRONESIA; MELANESIA; and POLYNESIA (including NEW ZEALAND). The collective name Oceania includes the aforenamed islands, adding AUSTRALIA; NEW ZEALAND; and the Malay Archipelago (INDONESIA). (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p910, 880)Samoa: A group of islands in the southwest central Pacific, divided into AMERICAN SAMOA and the INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA (Western Samoa). First European contact was made in 1722 by Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman. In 1768 they were named Navigators Islands by Louis de Bougainville. The present name may derive from that of a local chieftain or from a local word meaning place of the moa, a now-extinct island bird. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1061 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p481)Melanesia: 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)Anthropology: The science devoted to the comparative study of man.Radioactive Fallout: The material that descends to the earth or water well beyond the site of a surface or subsurface nuclear explosion. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Chemical and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Archaeology: The scientific study of past societies through artifacts, fossils, etc.Thorium: Thorium. A radioactive element of the actinide series of metals. It has an atomic symbol Th, atomic number 90, and atomic weight 232.04. It is used as fuel in nuclear reactors to produce fissionable uranium isotopes. Because of its radioopacity, various thorium compounds are used to facilitate visualization in roentgenography.Morinda: A plant genus of the family RUBIACEAE. Members contain iridoid glycosides and ANTHRAQUINONES.Fiji: A republic consisting of an island group in Melanesia, in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Suva. It was discovered by Abel Tasman in 1643 and was visited by Captain Cook in 1774. It was used by escaped convicts from Australia as early as 1804. It was annexed by Great Britain in 1874 but achieved independence in 1970. The name Fiji is of uncertain origin. In its present form it may represent that of Viti, the main island in the group. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p396 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p186)History, Ancient: The period of history before 500 of the common era.
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