"The region covered by this Cultural Atlas is a vast and geographically diverse one. Its landscapes range from the arid, eroded expanses of Australia - once part of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland - to the rugged, forested mountains of New Guinea, the ice-carved fjords and volcanoes of New Zealand and the scattered coral atolls and volcanic peaks of the South Pacific islands. Taking migration as one of its themes, the Atlas traces the great movements of people into this region from earliest times."--BOOK JACKET. "This Atlas describes the complex societies and cultures that evolved in the Pacific in response to its diverse island environments, exploring the differences and similarities between its three major cultural areas, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia."--BOOK JACKET. "This Atlas examines the founding myths that shaped Australia and New Zealand's emergent national identities and looks at the great changes that have taken place since 1945, with former colonial ties and values giving way to an official doctrine of multiculturalism, and to resurgent forms of indigenous culture. The final chapter surveys the world of the South Pacific since decolonization as its newly independent nations seek to ensure a secure economic future for all its peoples."--BOOK JACKET.