Definition of Kanak in English:


nounPlural Kanaks

  • An indigenous Melanesian inhabitant of New Caledonia.

    ‘many of the Kanak lamented the fact that much of their unique knowledge has been lost’
    ‘Kanaks requested that their languages be recognized and taught’
    • ‘That's sort of the characteristic of the Kanak.’
    • ‘This accord also promised greater recognition of Kanak land rights and economic integration for Kanak.’
    • ‘Kanak formulate their identities through their relationships to the landscape and its elements, both visible and invisible.’
    • ‘Many of the Kanak whom I interviewed unequivocally demonstrated anxiety regarding taboo places and associated ancestors.’
    • ‘The Kanak became integrated into the market economy very rapidly at the beginning of the colonial period.’
    • ‘The terms 'revolt', 'rebellion', 'resistance' or 'insurrection' have been inappropriately applied to the Kanak wars of the first decades of French colonial rule in New Caledonia.’
    • ‘This wealth has traditionally been concentrated in the capital, Noumea, and has thus been inaccessible to most Kanak.’
    • ‘This raises the question of the appropriateness of conventional Western aesthetic canons to Kanak art.’
    • ‘Over the following century the Kanak saw their most fertile lands seized while they themselves were forcibly placed on reserves.’


  • Relating to the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants of New Caledonia.

    ‘Kanak families now encourage children to receive a higher education’