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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Papua New Guinea History and Culture




History
It is believed that Papua New Guinea was originally inhabited by Asian settlers over 50,000 years ago. The first European contact was by the Portuguese explorer Jorge de Meneses in 1526-27 who named it Ilhas dos Papuas (Island of the Fuzzy Hairs).
The Spaniard Inigo Ortiz de Retes later called it New Guinea because he thought the people similar to those of Guinea in Africa. Further exploration followed, including landings by Bougainville, Cook, Stanley and John Moresby.
A large, rather daunting place, New Guinea was left alone for several centuries, with only the Dutch making any effort to assert European authority over the island.
But in 1824, the Dutch (seeking to shore up their profitable Dutch East Indies empire) formalised their claims to sovereignty over the western portion of the island. Germany followed, taking possession of the northern part of the territory in 1884.
A colonial troika was completed three days later when Britain declared a protectorate over the southern region; outright annexation occurred four years later.

Culture
There are four regional, cultural and political groups in Papua New Guinea. Papuans (from the south), Highlanders, New Guineans (from the north) and Islanders.
Some authorities divide the people into Papuans (predominantly descended from the original arrivals) and Melanesians (more closely related to the peoples of the south-western Pacific), though some people (particularly those in outlying islands) are closer to being pure Polynesian or Micronesian.
The dividing lines between these definitions are very hazy.


 

Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM








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