Gambier Islands or Mangareva. The Mangareva Islands, or Iles Gambier, are volcanic islands which lie at the eastern end of the Tuamotu Archipelago about 900 miles from Tahiti. The inhabited islands comprise Mangareva, Taravai, Aukena, and Akamaru, with some smaller islands which are surrounded by an outer coral reef through which there are three deep passages. On the bounding reef there are a number of coral islets. Short valleys on the main islands have fertile soil capable of growing cultivated plants.
Native traditions indicate that the earliest settlers filtered through from the Tuamotus. He probably came from the Marquesas, to which he returned. Bananas, sweet potatoes, taros, and yams were also introduced, and as they do not grow in the neighboring Tuamotu atolls, they were probably introduced from the Marquesas, as was the paper mulberry, for clothing. The staple food of the islands is fermented breadfruit. The pig was present in the past, for it appears as a historical memory, but neither the dog nor the fowl was present. In the course of time, canoes were succeeded by rafts, both for fishing and inter-island transport. The social organization and religion had affinities with central Polynesia, but local variations developed.
The majority are Protestant. LDS Missionaries have begun to work here. These atolls have a population of about 6,500 people.
They are: Mangareva (Pearl), Taravai (Belcher), Temoe, Aukena (Elson), and Akamaru (Wainwright)
1300 Tupa arrived from Iva in about the year 1300 A.D. and introduced the breadfruit, coconut, and other trees. He also introduced the worship of the god Tu and the building of maraes.
1400 Much of the lush forestation on Magareva was depleted.
1500-1800 Civil war and cannibalism happened on the islands.
1800-1850 Whaling ships stopped here..
1823 Frederick Beechey enters the lagoon of the Gambier Islands.
1834 A Catholic mission is begun on Manngareva by Honore Laval and two Belgian Jesuit priests. Most islanders are converted.
1836 Two of the Jesuit priestss leave for Tahiti and Laval bcomes the ruler. He forces the islanders to build
1841 Hurricane in the Gambier Islands.
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