See also:ARCHIPELAGO, a broad
See also:belt of 78 atolls in the Pacific Ocean, belonging to France, between 14° and 24° S., and 131° and 149° W . They trend in irregular lines in a
See also:north-west and south-west direction, the major
See also:axis of the
See also:group extending over 1300 M . The largest atoll, Rangiroa, with a lagoon 45 M. long by 15 wide, is made up of twenty islets . Fakarava, the next in
See also:size, consists of fifteen islets, and its oblong lagoon affords the best anchorage in the group . Hau has fifty islets, and its lagoon is dangerously studded with
See also:coral .. The symmetrically placed eleven islets of Anaa suggested to Captain
See also:Cook the name of Chain
See also:Island . Heavy storms sometimes greatly alter the
See also:form of the atolls . The first
See also:discovery of
See also:part of the archipelago was made by the Spaniard Pedro
See also:Fernandez Quiros in 16o6 . Many navigators subsequently discovered or rediscovered various parts of the group—among them may be mentioned Jacob Lemaire ane Willem Schouten (1616),
See also:Byron (1765),
See also:Carteret (1767),
See also:Antoine de Bougainville (1768), Captain
See also:James Cook (1769),
See also:Bligh (1792), Captain
See also:Wilson of the "
See also:Duff " (1797),
See also:Otto von Kotzebue (1815
See also:mid 1824),
See also:Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (1819-1820) and
See also:Charles Wilkes (1839) who made a detailed survey of the islands . As a result almost all the islands bear alternative names . The
See also:dates given are those of first discovery . In the north-west part of the chain are Rangiroa (Vliegen, Deans or Nairsa, this part of the group bearing the name of the Palliser Islands); Fakarava (Witgenstein, 1819), the seat of the French-
See also:resident; Anaa (Chain, 1769), Makemo (Makima,
See also:Phillips, Kutusov, 1803), Hau (Hao, Harp,
See also:Bow, 1768) .
North andeast of these are Manihi (Oahe, Waterlandt, 1616), Tikei (Romanzov, 1815), the Disappointment group (1765) of which Napuka is the chief island, Pukapuka (Henuake, Honden,
See also:Dog, 1616), Raroia (
See also:Barclay de TolIy, 1820), Angatau (Ahangatu, Arakchev, 1820), Akahaina (Fakaina, Predpriatie, 1824), Tatakoto (
See also:Narcissus, Egmont,
See also:Clerke, 1774), Pukaruha (Serle, 1797) . In the
See also:southern part of the archipelago are Hereheretui (Bligh, Santablo, 1606), the Duke of
See also:Gloucester group (.1767), Tematangi (Bligh Lagoon, 1792), Maruroa (Braburgh, Matilda, 1767), the
See also:Actaeon Cr
See also:Amphitrite group (discovered by the Tahitian trading vessel "Amphitrite" in 1833), Marutea (
See also:Hood, 1791), and the Gambier or Mangareva group (1797), of which Mangareva (Gambier, Peard) is the chief member . To the south again are:
See also:Pitcairn (q.v.), Ducie, and a few other islets, which are
See also:British and do not properly belong to the
See also:Paumotu Archipelago . The Gambier Islands are a cluster of four larger and many smaller volcanic islets, enclosed in one wide
See also:reef . The wooded crags of Mangareva, the largest islet, 5 m. in length, rise to a height of 1315 ft. and are covered with a
See also:rich vegetation, quite Tahitian in character; but, as in the other Paumotus, there is a dearth of animal
See also:life . The
See also:climate of the islands is healthy, and they have a
See also:lower mean temperature than
See also:Tahiti . The easterly
See also:trade winds prevail .
See also:Rain and fogs occur even during the dry
See also:season . The stormy season lasts from
See also:November to
See also:March, when devastating hurricanes are not uncommon and a south-
See also:westerly swell renders the western shores dangerous .
See also:Plants and animals are scantily represented . Coco-
See also:nut palms and the pandanus thrive on many of the islets, and the
See also:melon and
See also:yam have been introduced from Tahiti into the western islands . Mammals are represented by a few rats; among
See also:land-birds parakeets, thrushes and doves are noticeable; and of
See also:reptiles there are only lizards .
See also:Insects are scarce . But the
See also:sea and lagoons teem with turtle,
See also:fish, molluscs, crustaceans and zoophytes . Coral is luxuriant everywhere . From the abundance of pearl oysters the archipelago gets its traders' name of Pearl Islands . The Paumotus are sparsely inhabited by a
See also:fine strong
See also:race of Polynesians, more
See also:muscular and mostly darker-skinned than that inhabiting Tahiti . In the west considerable intermixture with other races has taken place . In physique, language, religion and customs the Gambier Islanders closely resemble the Rarotongans . The pearl
See also:fisheries in the rocky and surf
See also:waters are a source of revenue, the pearls being sold in Tahiti . The best
See also:harbour of the group is that of Fakarava, which, together with Mangareva, is open to trade . The land
See also:area of the entire group is about 330 sq. m., and the population is about 6000 . The group passed under the
See also:protection of France in 1844, and was annexed in 1881, forming part of the dependency of Tahiti .
JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE PAUNCEFOTE
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