Most people consider individuals with blonde or bleached hair to be white people or Caucasians mostly referred to as ‘obroni’ in our local parlance.
Research has revealed that dark skinned people with the blonde colored hair are known as the Melanesian of Solomon Islands
They are one of the few groups with blonde hair outside Europe, who can be found on an island in the south pacific that migrated over thousands of years ago, long before the blacks that came to the Americas as slaves.
Melanesia is a sub-region of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji.
The name Melanesia was first used by Jules Dumont d’Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.
Until recently, the indigenous melanesian people practised cannibalism, head-hunting, kidnapping and slavery, just like the Asmat tribe, but with contact with Europeans, the population is now predominantly Christian. However, more than 90% lead rural lives.
Although the indigenous Melanesian population of the islands possess the darkest skin outside of Africa, between 5 and 10% have bright blond hair.
There have 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 who founded the islands.
The Melanesian people have a native TYRP1 gene which is partly responsible for the blond hair and melanin, and is totally distinct to that of Caucasians as it doesn’t exist in their genes.
It is a recessive gene and is more common in children than in adults, with hair tending to darken as the individual matures.
This contributes to the theories that black Africans were the first homo sapiens and that all races came out of the black African race.