Oceanian literature

Oceanian (Australasian, Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian) literature developed in isolation from the rest of the world and in a unique geographical environment. This allowed the development of a unique literature to thrive. Oceanian literature was heavily influenced by religion and ritual. This can be seen by the large amount of religious symbolism featured in it.

Another major influence in Oceanian society was its intricate oral tradition. For a long time, most Oceanian literature was not written down. As a result, stock formulas and rhyming were used in many works (these traits made it easier to memorize). Gods, creation myths, and spirits are also prominent in Oceanian literature, showcasing again the influence oral tradition had on the literature of Oceania.

Modern Oceanian literature is mainly written in the English language but also feature different languages and speech. Literatures of Oceania particularly that of the Pacific have long been isolated from mainstream and traditional movements of literature in the West. The ocean carries a lot of symbolism and meaning to the cultures and people that have travelled through, in which largely has impacted the literary cultures and historical narratives in Oceania.[1]

List of countries and territoriesEdit

Prominent writers by countryEdit



French PolynesiaEdit


Marshall IslandsEdit

Micronesia, Federated States ofEdit


New ZealandEdit


Papua New GuineaEdit


Solomon IslandsEdit




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Finnegan, Orbell. South Pacific Oral Traditions. Indiana University Press. p. 15.


  • 'Oceanic literature', Guiart, Jean in Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on December 14, 2007.
  • Goetzfridt, Nicholas J. (1995). Indigenous Literature of Oceania: A Survey of Criticism and Interpretation, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.