Home AFRICAN STORY The Melanasians: Black People With Natural Blonde Hair

The Melanasians: Black People With Natural Blonde Hair

by InlandTown Editor
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It is common knowledge that blonde hair is natural to the Caucasian race who are mostly European ancestry. What then do we now say of a black race having blonde hair?

One could have termed it a natural blunder if it was a rare occurrence found in a person or maybe two and of course we are all familiar with the term “nature never makes mistakes”. But a whole black tribe with blonde hair? Yes, it can only be the Melanesian tribe.

In this article, we’ll explore where the Melanesian tribe originated from, the reason behind their blonde hair and their culture and traditions.

Origin of the Melanesians

Melanesians are the indigenous peoples of Melanesia, a region in the southwestern Pacific Ocean that includes the islands of New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and New Caledonia.  These dark-skinned people with blonde hair and blue eyes originated from Africa and migrated to the South Pacific over 50,000 years ago, long before European explorers arrived in the 16th century. It is believed that black people with blonde hair are descendants of the first Homo sapiens. Studies on the Melanesian population reveal that they are linked to the first group of Homo sapiens that emigrated from Africa more than two thousand generations ago.

Researchers analyzed the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA of Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians from New Guinea, comparing the results with various DNA patterns related to early humans. The findings showed that Melanesians and Aborigines share genetic features linked to the migration of humans from Africa over 50,000 years ago. Additionally, instead of interbreeding with other early human beings like Neanderthals, these settlers replaced them.

Reason Behind the Blonde Hair

Melanesian blonde hair and blue eyes result from long-term isolation and interbreeding within their community. While black people typically have dark hair, Melanesians display a range of hair colours, including brown, red, and blonde. The presence of blonde hair in Melanesians has intrigued many and prompted extensive research. Scientists discovered that the gene responsible for blonde hair in Melanesians is different from the one in Europeans. In Melanesians, this blonde gene is the result of a genetic mutation that occurred several thousand years ago, with no connection to the gene causing blondeness in Europeans.

Interpersonal Relations and Family Life

Among the Melanesians, traditional greetings among males involved rubbing each other’s groin region, but this has largely been replaced by the Western handshake. Meanwhile, marriage customs in many groups required special courtship, with marriages negotiated between families and involving a bride price paid by the son-in-law to the bride’s father. Melanesian family life often sees a marked division between males and females, leading to the existence of separate men’s and women’s houses in many villages. For example, among the Sepik River people, men have ceremonial houses that are off-limits to women and uninitiated men. Despite this separation, women play a crucial role as primary food producers, caretakers of children, and significant participants in political and ceremonial aspects of society.

Read Also: The Digo Community Of Kenya

Religion and Cultural Practices

Christianity has spread widely throughout Melanesia due to active missionary efforts, with missionaries learning native languages and translating the Bible. Nonetheless, some native religions continue to be practised in modified forms. Historically, belief systems included practices like cannibalism and headhunting, which have been illegal since the late 1920s.

Language Diversity

Melanesia is a linguistic frontier, with islands like Papua New Guinea having multiple official languages, including English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu. New Guinea alone hosts over 1,000 languages, ranging from those spoken by as few as 50 people to those with several hundred thousand speakers, though many remain undocumented.

Living Conditions and Social Issues

Living in a tropical region, Melanesians face environmental challenges such as heat, rain, and mosquitoes, which make infections a serious problem. Despite these challenges, the region is relatively healthy. However, modern issues like alcoholism and HIV/AIDS have become significant problems, exacerbated by increased access to money and a historical lack of condoms.

Gender Issues

Gender relations in Melanesian culture show significant variation. Both male and female initiation rites are practised in some societies, such as the Abelam of Papua New Guinea. Traditional segregation of the sexes persists, with past beliefs that women and children were polluting men. Recent findings suggest that men are also considered polluting to women, reflecting ongoing complexities in gender dynamics.

Cultural and Social Elements

Other defining aspects of Melanesian culture and traditions include their unique location and homeland, rich folklore, major holidays, rites of passage, clothing styles, traditional food and drinks, education systems, work practices, sports, entertainment, recreation, and folk art, crafts, and hobbies.

Source: Tuko

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