For many years, blond hair was attributed to Caucasians yet the Melanesians of Solomon Islands are one among the few groups with blonde hair outside Europe.
They’re black island people in the south pacific who migrated more than a few thousands of years ago, long before the Africans who came to the Americas as slaves.
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. This region comprises most of the islands immediately north, and northeast of Australia and includes the countries of Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea. The name Melanesia was first used by Jules Dumont d’Urville back in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.
Until recently, the indigenous Melanesian people practiced cannibalism, head-hunting, kidnapping, and slavery, like the Asmat tribe. However, with contact with Europeans, the population is now predominantly Christian. Nevertheless, over 90 percent lead rural lives.
The Melanesian people of the Solomon Islands are the point of interest concerning dark skin and blond hair. The Solomon Islands are situated in the South Pacific, the very heart of Melanesia, just Northeast of Australia, between Papua and Vanuatu and it’s an independent state within the British Commonwealth.
Though the indigenous Melanesian population of the islands possesses the darkest skin outside of Africa, between 5 and 10 percent have bright blond hair.
There’ve been several theories on how they got their blond hair — from sun and salt whitening, high fish intake, or genetic heritage from mixed-breeding with Americans/Europeans that founded the islands.
A geneticist from Nova Scotia agricultural college in Canada, Sean Myles, conducted a genetic analysis on saliva and hair samples from 1209 Melanesian Solomon Island residents. From comparing 43 blond Islanders and 42 brown Islanders, he discovered that the blondes carried two copies of a mutant gene that is present in 26 percent of the island’s population. The Melanesian people have a native TYRP1 gene that is partly responsible for the blond hair and melanin and is distinct to that of Caucasians as it does not exist in their genes.
It’s a recessive gene and is more common in children than in adults, with hair tending to darken as the individual matures.
That contributes to the theories that black Africans were the first homo sapiens an all races came out of the black African race.