The natural blond hair which is possessed only by about 2% of the world population is a very rare physical feature and these people are found only in Europe, Central Asia and North America. This special hair is found only among children since the grown-ups have darker hair because of the increased levels of the natural pigment ,melanin present in it which causes darkness of the hair strands. Even though the fact is such, we are going to introduce you to another special type of people who owns the rarest blond hair – Melanesians. These dark-skinned people own natural blond hair which makes them distinctive among the rest.
The name ‘Melanesia’ was first introduced by Jules Dumont d’Urville in 1832 to indicate a process of grouping according to ethnicity and geography of the islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.
Until very recent, these native Melanisians practised their own tribal practices like cannibalism, head-hunting, kidnapping and slavery as the Asmat tribe. But now the population is practising Christianity since they have close contacts with Europeans.
Through this article we pay our attention to the Melanesians of the Solomon Islands which are located in the South Pacific, the center of Melanesia, just Northeast of Australia, located between Papua and Vanuatu, a state which is independent within the British Commonwealth. Even though the native Melanesians of the island own the darkest skin outside Africa, between 5% to 10% own bright natural blond hair.
There are several theories which suggest that these people have got their blond hair from the sun and salt whitening, due to the high consumption of fish, or genetic heredity from American/ European mixed breeding that discovered the islands. But Sean Myles, a geneticist from Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Canada carried out a genetic analysis on saliva and samples of hair from 1209 Melanesian Solomon Islanders, and from comparing 43 blond islanders and brown islanders, and he was able to discover that the blondes carried two copies of mutant gene which is found in 26% of the population of the islanders. The Melanesians own a native TYRP1 gene which is partially responsible for the presence of blond hair and melanin, which is distinctive from the blond hair genes of Caucasians.
This is a recessive gene which is found more commonly in children than in adults, since the hair tends to be darkened with maturity. This is an important fact that helps the theories that black Africans were the first homo sapiens of all the races.