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Indigenous peoples of Nauru
Nauruan warrior, 1880
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Nauru 6,000
Nauruan (native), English, Nauru Pidgin
Christianity, Shamanism, Animism
Related ethnic groups
Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians

Nauruans are an ethnic group indigenous to Nauru, which inhabit the Pacific island of Nauru. They are most likely a blend of other Pacific peoples.[1]

The origin of the Nauruan people has not yet been finally determined. It can possibly be explained by the last Malayo-Pacific human migration (c. 1200). It was probably seafaring or shipwrecked Polynesians or Melanesians, which established themselves there because there was not already an indigenous people present, whereas the Micronesians were already crossed with the Melanesians in this area.

The Nauruans have two elements of their population: the native Micronesians and the Polynesians who had immigrated long before. The Micronesians are represented through coarse, dark hair; the Polynesians are lighter brown and have smoother, black hair. Through these two extremes the diverse transitions came to exist.

At about 1920, influenza spread through Nauru, which took a heavy toll on the indigenous people. In 1925 the first cases of diabetes was diagnosed by doctors. Today, depending on age, every second to third Nauruan is diabetic – a higher rate than any other country in the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ C.D. Bay-Hansen (2006). FutureFish 2001: FutureFish in Century 21: The North Pacific Fisheries Tackle Asian Markets, the Can-Am Salmon Treaty, and Micronesian Seas. Trafford Publishing. p. 277. ISBN 1-55369-293-4.