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The Oceania Portal

Map of Oceania

Oceania is a geographical (often geopolitical) region consisting of numerous countries and territories—mostly islands—in the Pacific Ocean. The exact scope of Oceania is controversial, with varying interpretations including East Timor, Australia, and New Zealand.

The primary use of the term Oceania is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. The name Oceania is used, rather than Australasia, because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean rather than the continent that links the nations together. Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.

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Polynesia is generally defined as the islands within the triangle.

Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς many, νῆσος island) is a large grouping of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean.

The term "Polynesia" was first coined by Charles de Brosses in 1756, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. Jules Dumont d'Urville in an 1831 lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris proposed a restriction on its use, and also introduced the terms Micronesia and Melanesia. This division into three distinct Pacific subregions remains in widespread use today.

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Sunset over Lake Tegano.

Rennell Island, locally known as Mungava, is the main island of two inhabited islands that make up the Rennell and Bellona Province in the Solomon Islands. Rennell Island has a land area of 660 square kilometres (250 sq mi) that is about 80 kilometres (50 mi) long and 14 kilometres (8.7 mi)wide. It is the second largest raised coral atoll in the world with the largest lake in the insular Pacific (Lake Tegano) that is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Rennell Island has a population of about 3000 persons of Polynesian descent who primarily speak Renbelian, Pigin and some English. Rennell and Bellona Islands are the only islands in the Melanesian Solomon Island archipelago classified Polynesian. It is located 236 kilometres (147 mi) South of Honiara. The capital of the Province, Tigoa, is located at the Western end of the island.

The population of Renbel dates before 1400 AD when clansmen left Uvea (now Wallis Island) and crossed the Pacific ocean to settle on the islands. Captain Butler of HMS Walpole discovered the islands in 1801. During the Pacific campaign of World War II Japanese Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe floatplanes operated from Lake Tegano until American PBY Catalinas used the lake as a base after 1943. The Battle of Rennell Island was the last major naval battle of the Guadacanal Campaign which occurred between 29 January 1943 and 30 January 1943.

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