Blondes are thought to be found only among Caucasians; hence, how could the Melanesians, who live largely east of Papua New Guinea in Oceania, have the darkest complexion in the world outside of Africa and blonde hair? For years, many individuals and scientists have been perplexed by this subject.
Blond hair has long been associated with Caucasians, although the Melanesians of the Solomon Islands are one of the rare populations outside of Europe having blonde hair.
These unique Melanesians are black island people from the south Pacific who moved thousands of years ago, long before African slaves arrived in the Americas.
Jules Dumont d’Urville coined the term Melanesia in 1832 to describe an ethnic and physical cluster of islands different from Polynesia and Micronesia.
Scientists now believe that the cultural, linguistic, and political fragmentation of Melanesians that existed at the time of European arrival, with a half-dozen languages and cultures frequently represented on a single island, was partly the result of transformations that occurred over the previous 2,000 years.
The indigenous Melanesian people, like the Asmat tribe, practiced cannibalism, headhunting, kidnapping, and enslavement until recently.
When it comes to dark complexion and blond hair, the Solomon Islands’ Melanesian people are the focus of attention. The Solomon Islands are an independent state within the British Commonwealth, located in the South Pacific, in the heart of Melanesia, just northeast of Australia, between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
Despite the fact that the indigenous Melanesian population of the islands has the darkest skin outside of Africa, 5 to 10% of the population has dazzling blond hair.
The origins of this people’s blond hair have been the subject of various theories. Some speculate that the whitening effect of the sun and salt, a rich fish diet, or genetic inheritance from mixed-breeding with Americans and Europeans who created the islands are to blame.
Sean Myles, a geneticist from Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Canada, used saliva and hair samples from 1209 Melanesian Solomon Island natives to conduct a genetic analysis. He determined that the blondes contained two copies of a mutant gene that is present in 26 percent of the island’s population after comparing 43 blond Islanders to 42 brown Islanders. Melanesian people have a native TYRP1 gene that is partly responsible for blond hair and melanin, although it is not found in Caucasians’ genes.
It’s a recessive gene that affects more youngsters than adults, with hair darkening as the person grows older.
This supports the theory that black Africans were the original homo sapiens and that all races descended from them.
Melanesia now boasts over 1,000 languages, with pidgins and creole languages forming centuries before European contact as a result of trade and cultural exchange. Some people still practice their traditional faiths, such as the belief in a variety of spirits that roam the forests, mountains, and swamps, despite the presence of many missionaries in the area.
The tropical region of Melanesia, like the rest of the world, has struggled with societal issues such as alcoholism, crime, and other significant health issues such as malaria and AIDS, particularly in Papua New Guinea.
Despite these obstacles, many people consider the region, with its magnificent islands, to be a paradise with unusual history and culture, as well as the world’s happiest and nicest people.