Category:Geography of Polynesia
Pages in category "Geography of Polynesia"
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. American Samoa – American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa. American Samoa consists of five islands and two coral atolls. The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, All islands except for Swains Island are part of the Samoan Islands, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group, the 2010 census showed a total population of 55,519 people. The total land area is 199 square kilometers, slightly more than Washington, American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the U. S. and one of two U. S. territories south of the Equator, along with the uninhabited Jarvis Island. Tuna products are the exports, and the main trading partner is the United States. American Samoa is noted for having the highest rate of enlistment of any U. S. state or territory. Most American Samoans are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently, Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa. Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century, dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first known European to sight the Samoan Islands in 1722. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768, contact was limited before the 1830s, when English missionaries and traders began arriving. The site of battle is called Massacre Bay. Mission work in the Samoas had begun in late 1830 when John Williams of the London Missionary Society arrived from the Cook Islands, by that time, the Samoans had gained a reputation for being savage and warlike, as violent altercations had occurred between natives and European visitors. In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, three American warships then entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there. Before any shots were fired, a typhoon wrecked both the American and German ships, a compulsory armistice was then called because of the lack of any warships. Forerunners to the Tripartite Convention of 1899 were the Washington Conference of 1887, the Treaty of Berlin of 1889, the following year, the USA formally occupied its portion, a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which contains the noted harbor of Pago Pago. The Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900, the territory became known as the US Naval Station Tutuila. On July 17,1911, the US Naval Station Tutuila, in 1918 during the final stages of World War I, the flu pandemic had taken its toll, spreading rapidly from country to country. The result of Poyers quick actions earned him the Navy Cross from the US Navy, with this distinction, American Samoans regarded Poyer as their hero for what he had done to prevent the deadly disease
2. Easter Island – Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, in 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat, by the time of European arrival in 1722, the islands population had dropped to 2, 000–3,000 from an estimated high of approximately 15,000 just a century earlier. European diseases and Peruvian slave raiding in the 1860s further reduced the Rapa Nui population, Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. Easter Island is a territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, and, more specifically, according to the 2012 Chilean census, the island has about 5,800 residents, of whom some 60 percent are descendants of the aboriginal Rapa Nui. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile, the islands official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, also means Easter Island. However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa was the name of Easter Island. William Churchill inquired about the phrase and was told there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island. The phrase appears to have used in the same sense as the designation of Lands End at the tip of Cornwall. He was unable to elicit a Polynesian name for the island itself, according to Barthel, oral tradition has it that the island was first named Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka The little piece of land of Hau Maka. However, there are two words pronounced pito in Rapa Nui, one meaning end and one navel, and the phrase can also mean the Navel of the World. This was apparently its actual meaning, French ethnologist Alphonse Pinart gave it the actual translation the Navel of the World, another name, Mata ki te rangi, means Eyes looking to the sky. Islanders are referred to in Spanish as pascuense, however it is common to refer to members of the community as Rapa Nui. Estimated dates of initial settlement of Easter Island have ranged from 300 to 1200, rectifications in radiocarbon dating have changed almost all of the previously posited early settlement dates in Polynesia. Rapa Nui is now considered to have settled in the narrower range of 700 to 1100 CE. Significant ecological impacts and major cultural investments in monumental architecture and statuary thus began soon after initial settlement, according to oral tradition, the first settlement was at Anakena. The island was most likely populated by Polynesians who navigated in canoes or catamarans from the Gambier Islands or the Marquesas Islands,3,200 km away
3. French Polynesia – It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean. Its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres, among its 118 islands and atolls,67 are inhabited. Tahiti, which is located within the Society Islands, is the most populous island and it has more than 68% of the population of the islands in 2012. Although not a part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007. Following the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers visited the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions, traders and whaling ships also visited. In 1842, the French took over the islands and established a French protectorate they called Etablissements des français en Océanie, in 1946, the EFOs became an overseas territory under the constitution of the French Fourth Republic, and Polynesians were granted the right to vote through citizenship. In 1957, the EFOs were renamed French Polynesia, French Polynesia as we know it today was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Scientists believe the Great Polynesian Migration happened around 1500 BC as Austronesian people went on a journey using celestial navigation to find islands in the South Pacific Ocean, the first islands of French Polynesia to be settled were the Marquesas Islands in about 200 BC. The Polynesians later ventured southwest and discovered the Society Islands around AD300, European encounters began in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, sailing at the service of the Spanish Crown, sighted Puka-Puka in the Tuāmotu-Gambier Archipelago. Over a century later, British explorer Samuel Wallis visited Tahiti in 1767, French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville also visited Tahiti in 1768, while British explorer James Cook arrived in 1769. A short-lived Spanish settlement was created in 1774, and for a time some maps bore the name Isla de Amat after Viceroy Amat, in 1772, Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen came across Bora Bora in the Society Islands. Christian missions began with Spanish priests who stayed in Tahiti for a year, protestants from the London Missionary Society settled permanently in Polynesia in 1797. King Pōmare II of Tahiti was forced to flee to Moorea in 1803, he, French Catholic missionaries arrived on Tahiti in 1834, their expulsion in 1836 caused France to send a gunboat in 1838. In 1842, Tahiti and Tahuata were declared a French protectorate, the capital of Papeetē was founded in 1843. In 1880, France annexed Tahiti, changing the status from that of a protectorate to that of a colony, the island groups were not officially united until the establishment of the French protectorate in 1889. In the 1880s, France claimed the Tuamotu Archipelago, which belonged to the Pōmare Dynasty. Having declared a protectorate over Tahuata in 1842, the French regarded the entire Marquesas Islands as French, in 1885, France appointed a governor and established a general council, thus giving it the proper administration for a colony. The islands of Rimatara and Rūrutu unsuccessfully lobbied for British protection in 1888, postage stamps were first issued in the colony in 1892
4. German New Guinea – German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australian forces following the outbreak of the First World War and it consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups. The mainland part of German New Guinea and the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago. The Micronesian islands of German New Guinea are now governed as the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, the mainland portion, Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, was formed from the northeastern part of New Guinea. The islands to the east of Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, on annexation, were renamed the Bismarck Archipelago, due to their accessibility by water, however, these outlying islands were, and have remained, the most economically viable part of the territory. With the exception of German Samoa, the German islands in the Western Pacific formed the Imperial German Pacific Protectorates. These were administered as part of German New Guinea and they included the German Solomon Islands, the Carolines, Palau, the Marianas, the Marshall Islands, the total land area of German New Guinea was 249,500 square kilometres. By the end of 1875, one German trader reported, German trade and German ships are encountered everywhere, the most important ones were the Kolonialverein of 1882 and the Society for German Colonization founded in 1884. But you know, my map of Africa is here and you see here is Russia, over there is France. And us, we are here – right in the middle between those two, despite his personal objections, it was Bismarck himself who eventually organised the acquisition of much of what would become the German colonial empire. The very first attempts at the new policy came in 1884 when Bismarck had to put German trading interests in southwestern Africa under imperial protection. Bismarck told the Reichstag on 23 June 1884 of the change in German colonial policy, annexations would now proceed, recent explorations had given the basis for reconsideration, it is considered useful by geology and biology people as holding in its forests the key to solve problems. A profitable field for cultivation but London had only sent missionaries to save souls, as we Germans have learnt a little about conducting colonial policy, and as our wishes and plans turn with a certain vivacity towards New Guinea. He also instructed the London Agent for Queensland to urge the Imperial Colonial Office to an act of annexation, when news of this reached London, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Derby promptly repudiated the act. Finsch encouraged them to pursue the founding of a colony on the north-east coast of New Guinea, on 3 November 1884, under the auspices of the Deutsche Neuguinea-Compagnie, the German flag was flown over Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, the Bismarck Archipelago and the German Solomon Islands. Albert Hahl joined the German Colonial Office in 1895 and until 1914 played a part in New Guineas administration. After 1901 Hahl attempted to apply his system to the whole of New Guinea and he was forced to retire because of disagreements with Berlin officials, and became an active writer on New Guinea and was a leader in German colonial societies between the wars. By the mid-1880s German church authorities had devised a program for missionary work in New Guinea and assigned it to the Rhenish Mission, under the direction of Friedrich Fabri
5. Hawaii – Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States of America, having received statehood on August 21,1959. Hawaii is the only U. S. state located in Oceania and it is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U. S. state not located in the Americas, the state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast, Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group, it is called the Big Island or Hawaiʻi Island to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania, Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U. S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the fifty U. S. states. It is the state with an Asian plurality. The states coastline is about 750 miles long, the fourth longest in the U. S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, the state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of its largest island, Hawaiʻi. A common Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is that was named for Hawaiʻiloa and he is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled. The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi is very similar to Proto-Polynesian *Sawaiki, cognates of Hawaiʻi are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori, Rarotongan and Samoan. According to linguists Pukui and Elbert, lsewhere in Polynesia, Hawaiʻi or a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the home, but in Hawaii. A somewhat divisive political issue arose in 1978 when the Constitution of the State of Hawaii added Hawaiian as an official state language. The title of the constitution is The Constitution of the State of Hawaii. Article XV, Section 1 of the Constitution uses The State of Hawaii, diacritics were not used because the document, drafted in 1949, predates the use of the okina and the kahakō in modern Hawaiian orthography. The exact spelling of the name in the Hawaiian language is Hawaiʻi. In the Hawaii Admission Act that granted Hawaiian statehood, the government recognized Hawaii as the official state name. Official government publications, department and office titles, and the Seal of Hawaii use the spelling with no symbols for glottal stops or vowel length
6. Hawaiian Islands – Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893 and the United States annexed the islands in 1898. The Hawaiian Islands are the peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain. The islands are about 1,860 miles from the nearest continent and this name was in use until the 1840s, when the local name Hawaii gradually began to take precedence. The Hawaiian Islands have a land area of 6,423.4 square miles. Except for Midway, which is a territory of the United States. The eight main islands of Hawaii are listed here and this number includes all minor islands and islets, or very small island, offshore of the main islands and individual islets in each atoll. Thus, the southeast island is volcanically active, whereas the islands on the northwest end of the archipelago are older and typically smaller, the age of the archipelago has been estimated using potassium-argon dating methods.4 Ma. The only active volcanism in the last 200 years has been on the island, Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the USGS documents recent volcanic activity and provides images, almost all of the magma of the hotspot has the composition of basalt, and so the Hawaiian volcanoes are composed almost entirely of this igneous rock. There is very little coarser-grained gabbro and diabase, nephelinite is exposed on the islands but is extremely rare. Hawaiʻi island is the biggest and youngest island in the chain, mauna Loa, taking up over half of the Big Island, is the largest shield volcano on the Earth. The measurement from sea level to summit is more than 2.5 miles, the Hawaiian Islands have many earthquakes, generally caused by volcanic activity. Most of the earthquake monitoring took place in Hilo, by missionaries Titus Coan, Sarah J. Lyman. From 1833 to 1896, approximately 4 or 5 earthquakes were reported per year, Hawaii accounted for 7. 3% of the United States reported earthquakes with a magnitude 3.5 or greater from 1974 to 2003, with a total 1533 earthquakes. Hawaii ranked as the state with the third most earthquakes over this period, after Alaska. On October 15,2006, there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 off the northwest coast of the island of Hawaii, the initial earthquake was followed approximately five minutes later by a magnitude 5.7 aftershock. Minor-to-moderate damage was reported on most of the Big Island, several major roadways became impassable from rock slides, and effects were felt as far away as Honolulu, Oahu, nearly 150 miles from the epicenter
7. Norfolk Island – The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Together with two neighbouring islands, it one of Australias external territories. It has 1,796 inhabitants living on an area of about 35 km2. Norfolk Island was first settled by East Polynesians but was long unpopulated when it was also settled by Great Britain as part of its settlement of Australia from 1788. The island served as a penal settlement from 6 March 1788 until 5 May 1855. On 8 June 1856, permanent civilian residence on the island began when it was settled from Pitcairn Island, in 1914 the UK handed Norfolk Island over to Australia to administer as an external territory. The evergreen Norfolk Island pine is a symbol of the island, native to the island, the pine is a key export for Norfolk Island, being a popular ornamental tree on mainland Australia, where two related species grow, and also worldwide. Norfolk Island was settled by East Polynesian seafarers either from the Kermadec Islands north of New Zealand or from the North Island of New Zealand and they arrived in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, and survived for several generations before disappearing. The first European known to have sighted and landed on the island was Captain James Cook, on 10 October 1774 and he named it after Mary Howard, Duchess of Norfolk. Sir John Call argued the advantages of Norfolk Island in that it was uninhabited, in 1786 the British government included Norfolk Island as an auxiliary settlement, as proposed by John Call, in its plan for colonisation of New South Wales. The decision to settle Norfolk Island was taken due to Empress Catherine II of Russias decision to restrict sales of hemp, practically all the hemp and flax required by the Royal Navy for cordage and sailcloth was imported from Russia. They arrived on 6 March 1788, during the first year of the settlement, which was also called Sydney like its parent, more convicts and soldiers were sent to the island from New South Wales. As early as 1794, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales Francis Grose suggested its closure as a settlement, as it was too remote and difficult for shipping. The first group of left in February 1805, and by 1808 only about 200 remained. A small party remained to slaughter stock and destroy all buildings, so there would be no inducement for anyone, especially from other European powers, to visit. From 15 February 1814 to 6 June 1825 the island was abandoned, in 1824 the British government instructed the Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane, to occupy Norfolk Island as a place to send the worst description of convicts. Its remoteness, previously seen as a disadvantage, was now viewed as an asset for the detention of recalcitrant male prisoners, furthermore, the overwhelming majority of convicts sent to Norfolk Island had committed non-violent property sentences, and the average length of detention was three years. The second penal settlement began to be wound down by the British government after 1847, the island was abandoned because transportation from the United Kingdom to Van Diemens Land had ceased in 1853, to be replaced by penal servitude in the UK
8. Phoenix Islands – The Phoenix Islands or Rawaki are a group of eight atolls and two submerged coral reefs, lying in the central Pacific Ocean east of the Gilbert Islands and west of the Line Islands. They are a part of the Republic of Kiribati, during the late 1930s, they became the site of the last attempted colonial expansion of the British Empire through the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, established in 2008, is one of the worlds largest protected areas, the group is uninhabited except for a few families on Kanton. The United States unincorporated territories of Baker Island and Howland Island are often considered northerly outliers of the group, Howland and Baker are statistically grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands, however. The United States previously claimed all the Phoenix Islands under the Guano Islands Act, the Treaty of Tarawa released all US claims to the Phoenix Islands, excluding Baker and Howland. At various times, the islands were considered part of the Gilbert group, the name Phoenix for this group of islands seems to have been settled on in the 1840s, after an island of that name within the group. Phoenix Island was probably named after one of the many whaleships of that name plying these waters in the early 19th century, the Phoenix Islands are a group of eight islands, totalling 28 square kilometres in land area, located in the central Pacific, north of Samoa. The chain comprises a portion of Kiribati, the only island of any commercial importance is Kanton Island. The other islands include Enderbury, Rawaki, Manra, Birnie, McKean, Nikumaroro, Kanton, or Abariringa Island, is the northernmost and sole inhabited island in the Phoenix group. It is a ribbon of land 9 km2, enclosing a lagoon of approximately 40 km2. Kanton is mostly bare coral, covered with herbs, bunch grasses, low shrubs and its lagoon teems with 153 known species of marine life, including sharks, tuna, stingrays and eels. Land fauna includes at least 23 bird species, lizards, rats, hermit crabs, today, the island still exhibits the remains of the airline and military presence, with 41 persons residing there, most living in abandoned structures from the U. S. /UK occupation. Enderbury is a low, flat, small coral atoll lying 63 km ESE of Kanton and its lagoon is rather tiny, comprising only a small percentage of the islands area. Herbs, bunchgrass, morning-glory vines and a few clumps of trees form the main vegetation on the island, while birds, rats and a species of beetle are the known fauna. Heavily mined for guano in the late 19th century, Enderbury has seen little human impact following the evacuation of the last few colonists in 1942, during World War II. Birnie Island is a small, flat coral island about 20 hectares in area and it contains a tiny lagoon, which has all but dried up. A nesting place for flocks of seabirds, Birnie is devoid of trees and is covered with low shrubs. Unlike most of the other Phoenix Islands, Birnie does not appear to have worked for guano or otherwise exploited by humans