Ontong Java, also known as Lord Howe Atoll, is a large atoll north of the main Solomon Islands chain. As it is culturally Polynesian but is considered to be geographically outside Polynesia, it is considered one of the "Polynesian Outliers". The name "Ontong Java", bestowed by Abel Tasman, is misleading - the island is far from (and geographically dissimilar to) Java itself, and the people of Ontong Java share only a distant cultural relationship (by virtue of speaking an Austronesian language) with the Javanese. The atoll is sometimes known as Lord Howe, or as Luangiua, although the latter properly refers to only one of the two islets making up Ontong Java. Ontong Javanese society differed from many other Polynesian societies in having only a weakly developed concept of hereditary rank. Religion in Ontong Java was based on the worship of ancestors - there were apparently no gods.
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