Friday, February 16, 2018

Papua New Guinea



The Portuguese called the people in the region below the Senegal River 'Guineas'. Possibly borrowed from the Berber name for their neighbours, 'Ghinawen', which means "the burnt people". Similar to the Greek word Aithiops - "of the burned face". The source of the name Ethiopia. The Greek historian Heredotus (who died in 425 BC) used this for people living below the Sahara in the Ecumene (the known world). Papua New Guinea is a country occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, just north of Australia. A population of 8 million people speak over 850 languages, with just 18% of the population living in cities. Many live in customary communities, some of which are "uncontacted people". The first modern humans arrived there around 45,000 years ago descending out of one of the first waves of migration from Africa. Independence from Australia was declared in 1975. The Western half of the island is a province of Indonesia (having been colonized by the Dutch rather than the Germans & British). 

New Guinea (1884 - 1919)

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