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Encyclopedia > Gambier Islands

The Gambier Islands (French: Îles Gambier or Archipel des Gambier) are a small group of islands in French Polynesia, located at the southeast terminus of the Tuamotu archipelago. They are generally considered a separate island group from Tuamotu both because their culture and language (Mangarevan) are much more closely related to those of the Marquesas Islands, and because, while the Tuamotus are comprised of several chains of coral atolls, the Gambiers, especially the primary island, Mangareva, are of volcanic origin. Because of its proximity, the nearby atoll of Temoe (23° 20′46″S, 134° 28′28″W) is sometimes included among the Gambiers. Categories: Stub | Polynesia ... Mangarevan is the East Central Polynesian language spoken in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia. ... National motto: Mau‘u‘u ha‘e iti Official languages French, Tahitian Political status Dependent territory, administrative division of French Polynesia Capital Tai o Hae Largest City Tai o Hae Area 1,274 km² ( 492 sq. ... Orders Scleractinia Corals are gastrovascular marine cnidarians (phylum Cnidaria; class Anthozoa) existing as small sea anemone-like polyps, typically forming colonies of many individuals. ... Fanning Atoll (Tabuaeran) is a typical, small to moderate-sized atoll located in the central Pacific Ocean. ... Mangareva is the central, and most important island of the Gambier Islands, in French Polynesia. ...

Contents


Politics

Together with the Tuamotus, the Gambier Islands form Îles Tuamotu-Gambier (French: (les) (Îles) Tuamotu-Gambier or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Tuamotu-Gambier), one of the 5 primary administrative divisions (subdivisions administratives) of French Polynesia. A Satellite photo of the Acteon Group, 4 atolls in the southeastern Tuamotus. ... The ÃŽles Tuamotu-Gambier (French: ÃŽles Tuamotu-Gambier or Archipels des Tuamotu et des Gambier or Archipel des Tuamotu-Gambier or Tuamotu-Gambier or officially subdivision administrative des (ÃŽles) Tuamotu-Gambier) geographically consist of the Tuamotus and the Gambier Islands which are geographically located closely together. ...


The Gambier Islands (Gambier), together with the islands in the eastern part of the Tuamotus (Anaa, Fangatau, Hao, Hikueru, Makemo, Napuka, Nukutavake, Pukapuka, Reao, Tatakoto and Tureia), form Îles Gambier et Tuamotu Est, one of the 6 electoral districts (circonscriptions électorales) for the Assembly of French Polynesia (Assemblée de la Polynésie française). A Satellite photo of the Acteon Group, 4 atolls in the southeastern Tuamotus. ... The Assembly of French Polynesia (French: Assemblée de la Polynésie française) is the unicameral legislature of French Polynesia, located at the Place Tarahoi in Papeete, Tahiti. ...


Geography

The Gambiers are surrounded by a coral reef, which is broken by only three passages to the open sea. Besides Mangareva, the other notable islands of the group are Akamaru (23° 10′52″S, 134° 54′56″W), Angakauitai, Aukena (23° 07′42″S, 134° 54′01″W), Kamaka, Kouaku, Makapu, Makaroa, Manui, Mekiro and Taravai (23° 08′12″S, 135° 01′33″W). These are, like Mangareva, volcanic in origin. A number of others are actually coral islands, including Kauku, Papuri, Puaumu, Totengengie and the Tokorua group. Akamaru is the 3rd largest island in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia, at approximately 2. ... Aukena is the 4th largest of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. ... Taravai is the 2nd largest island in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia, at just over 8 km² (3. ...


The islands are located at 23°09′S 134°58′W., and are approximately 31 km² (12 mi²) in area. The total population in the 1988 census was 620. The primary town is Rikitea, located on Mangareva. The highest point in the Gambiers is Mt. Duff, on Mangareva, rising to 441 m along the island's south coast. Rikitea is a village located on Mangareva. ...


History

There was a time (approximately the tenth to the fifteenth centuries) when the Gambiers hosted a population of several thousand people and traded with other island groups including the Marquesas, the Society Islands and Pitcairn Islands. However, excessive logging by the islanders resulted in almost complete deforestation on Mangareva, with disastrous results for the islands' environment and economy. The folklore of the islands records a slide into civil war and even cannibalism as trade links with the outside world broke down, and archaeological studies have confirmed this tragic story. Today, the islands can support a population of only a few hundred. ( 9th century - 10th century - 11th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... National motto: Mau‘u‘u ha‘e iti Official languages French, Tahitian Political status Dependent territory, administrative division of French Polynesia Capital Tai o Hae Largest City Tai o Hae Area 1,274 km² ( 492 sq. ... The Society Islands (French: Îles de la Société or offically Archipel de la Société) are a group of islands in the south Pacific, administratively part of French Polynesia. ... Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest. ... Mangareva is the central, and most important island of the Gambier Islands, in French Polynesia. ...


External links

  • Death of a People. A look at the decline of Mangareva and the missionary influence on the people of the Gambiers.

References

  • Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), Ch. 3

  Results from FactBites:
 
Destination: Gambier Islands (640 words)
The Gambier islands consist of 14 small mountainous islands that are located southeast of Tahiti.
The Gambier Islands are home to more than one hundred stone buildings built from that time, including churches, presbyteries, convents, schools, weaving workshops, bakers' ovens and watch towers.
Bora Bora is 240kms north west of Tahiti in the Society Islands, as is Huahine Island, which comprises two islands joined by a narrow isthmus and enclosed by a protective necklace of coral.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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