The Oceania Portal
Oceania (UK: /ˌoʊsiˈɑːniə, ˌoʊʃi-, -ˈeɪn-/, US: /ˌoʊʃiˈæniə/ (listen), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographical region that is described as a continent in some parts of the world. It includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of around 44.4 million as of 2022. Oceania is described as a geographical region in most of the English-speaking world, but outside of the English-speaking world, Oceania is described as one of the continents. In this model of the world, Australia is only seen as an island nation contained inside of the continent of Oceania, and not a continent by itself. When compared to the other continents, Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second least populated after Antarctica.
Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and Human Development Index, to the much less developed economies of Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western New Guinea, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Fiji, Palau, and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney. Puncak Jaya in Highland Papua, Indonesia, is the highest peak in Oceania at 4,884 m (16,024 ft).
The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. The Pacific theatre saw major action during the Second World War, mainly between Allied powers the United States, Philippines (a U.S. Commonwealth at the time) and Australia, and Axis power Japan. The rock art of Aboriginal Australians is the longest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world. Most Oceanian countries are multi-party representative parliamentary democracies, with tourism being a large source of income for the Pacific Islands nations. (Full article...)
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Aitutaki, also traditionally known as Araʻura and Utataki, is the second most-populated island in the Cook Islands, after Rarotonga. It is an "almost atoll", with fifteen islets in a lagoon adjacent to the main island. Total land area is 18.05 km2 (6.97 sq mi), and the lagoon has an area of between 50 and 74 km2 (19 and 29 sq mi). A major tourist destination, Aitutaki is the second most visited island of the Cook Islands.Aitutaki had a population of 1,712 in 2016. The main village is Arutanga (Arutunga) on the west side. (Full article...)
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Oceanic art or Oceanian art comprises the creative works made by the native people of the Pacific Islands and Australia, including areas as far apart as Hawaii and Easter Island. Specifically it comprises the works of the two groups of people who settled the area, though during two different periods. They would in time however, come to interact and together reach even more remote islands. The area is often broken down into four separate regions: Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Australia. Australia, along with interior Melanesia (Papua), are populated by descendants of the first waves of human migrations into the region by Australo-Melanesians. Micronesia, Island Melanesia, and Polynesia, on the other hand, are descendants of later Austronesian voyagers who intermixed with native Australo-Melanesians; mostly via the Neolithic Lapita culture. All of the regions in later times would be greatly affected by western influence and colonization. In more recent times, the people of Oceania have found a greater appreciation of their region's artistic heritage.The artistic creations of these people varies greatly throughout the cultures and regions. The subject matter typically carries themes of fertility or the supernatural. Art such as masks were used in religious ceremonies or social rituals. Petroglyphs, Tattooing, painting, wood carving, stone carving and textile work are other common art forms. Contemporary Pacific art is alive and well, encompassing traditional styles, symbols, and materials, but now imagined in a diversity of contemporary forms, revealing the complexity of geographic, cultural and individual interaction and history. (Full article...)
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