New Britain is the name of one principal and of several subsidiary islands in the Pacific Ocean situated between lat. 40 and 63 30' S., and long. 1480 and 1520 30' E. The principal island, 300 miles in length, and having an area of 12,000 square miles, lies east of New Guinea, from which it is separated by Dampier Strait. The surface is mountainous in the interior, with active volcanoes in the north, but along the coast are fertile plains. Forests abound in the island, and palms, sugarcane, breadfruit, etc., are produced. The inhabitants, the number of whom is unknown, are the Negritos. They are well-formed, active, and of a very dark complexion. They are further advanced in civilization than is usual among the Polynesians, have a formal religious worship. temples, and images of their deities. New Britain was first seen by Le Maire and Schouten in 1616, but Dampier, at a later date, was the first to land. SEE NEGRITOS and SEE POLYNESIANS.