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Mangareva (Gambier Islands, French Polynesia)

Last modified: 2016-11-23 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Mangareva

Quoting the website of the Presidency of French Polynesia (page no longer online):

Mangareva has an area of 14 square kilometers. Its tallest point is Mt. Duff, which has an altitude of 441 meters. The island's first inhabitants arrived in the 12th century AD. Mangareva has many archeological remains near Rikitea.
English pirate Edward Davis was probably the first European to sight Mangareva in 1687 before navigator Charles Wilson discovered the island on 24 May 1797. The first European to set foot on Mangareva was British Captain Frederick W. Beechey, who arrived aboard the ship HMS Blossom, which anchored at Rikitea in January 1826. Captain Beechey's published account of what he found on Mangareva attracted trading ships based in Tahiti and Valparaiso. Mangareva's inhabitants traded good quality oyster shells that were abundant in their huge lagoon for goods brought aboard the trading ships. Since the people of Mangareva had not yet been Christianized, the Sacred Heart Congregation chose the island in 1834 as its base for the first Catholic mission in this part of Polynesia.
Maputeoa, the king of the Gambiers, was living at Rikitea when the Catholic missionaries arrived. So it was this group of 1,200 people living here in 1830 who became the mission's core. Father Laval and Father Caret multiplied the construction of religious buildings (St. Michel Cathedral and the St. Agathe presbytery, monastery and convent). The construction also included non-religious facilities, such as a royal palace, a prison, lookout towers, workshops, etc. Many of these buildings may still be admired today.

Mangareva is divided into six districts: Rikitea, Kirimiro, Gatavake, Atituiti, Akaputu and Taku. Rikitea is Mangareva's main village and is the government center for the Gambier District. With few exceptions, most of the island's people live in Rikitea.

Ivan Sache, 27 August 2005

Mistaken flag of Mangareva


Mistaken flag of Mangareva - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 August 2005

A flag similar to the flag of Gambier but with a lighter shade of blue is shown in the Flags of Paradise chart [brt96] as the - mistaken - flag of Mangareva.

Ivan Sache, 27 August 2005