Society Islands

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Society Islands,

island group (2002 pop. 214,445), South Pacific, a part of French PolynesiaFrench Polynesia,
officially Overseas Lands of French Polynesia, internally self-governing dependency (2002 pop. 245,516) of France, consisting of 118 islands in the South Pacific. The capital is Papeete, on Tahiti.
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. The group comprises the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands (total land area c.650 sq mi/1,680 sq km), two clusters of volcanic and coral islands lying in a 450-mi (724-km) chain. Only eight of the islands are inhabited. The Windward Islands include TahitiTahiti
, island (2002 pop. 169.674), South Pacific, in the Windward group of the Society Islands, French Polynesia. The capital is Papeete. Tahiti is the largest (402 sq mi/1,041 sq km) and most important of the French Pacific islands.
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, MooreaMoorea
, volcanic island (2002 pop. 14,226), c.50 sq mi (130 sq km), South Pacific, second largest of the Windward group of the Society Islands, French Polynesia. The island is mountainous, with Mt. Tohivea (3,975 ft/1,212 m) the highest peak.
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, Mehetia, and Tetiaroa; the Leeward Islands include Rai'ateaRai'atea
, volcanic island, 92 sq mi (238 sq km), South Pacific, largest and most important of the Leeward group of the Society Islands, French Polynesia. The island is mountainous, with Mt. Toomaru (3,389 ft/1,033 m) the highest peak.
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 (largest island of the Leeward group), Huahine, Bora-BoraBora-Bora
, volcanic island, 15 sq mi (39 sq km), South Pacific, in the Leeward group of the Society Islands, French Polynesia. It is a mountainous island, with Mt. Otemanu (2,379 ft/725 m) the highest peak.
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, Maupiti, Tahaa, Maiao, Maupihaa, Tupai, Manuae, and Motu One. The islands are mountainous, and there are breadfruit, pandanus, and coconut trees; the limited fauna includes wild pigs, rats, and small lizards. The major products are copra, sugar, rum, mother-of-pearl, and vanilla. Tourism is extremely important to the economy.

The Society Islands were visited in 1767 by the English navigator Samuel Wallis, who claimed them for Great Britain. A year later, however, the French navigator Louis Antoine de BougainvilleBougainville, Louis Antoine de
, 1729–1811, French navigator. He accompanied Montcalm to Canada as aide-de-camp, and he later (c.1764) established a colony on the Falkland Islands but had to surrender the settlement to Spain (1766).
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 established a French claim. They were named the Society Islands in 1769 by Capt. James CookCook, James,
1728–79, English explorer and navigator. The son of a Yorkshire agricultural laborer, he had little formal education. After an apprenticeship to a firm of shipowners at Whitby, he joined (1755) the royal navy and surveyed the St.
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. The group became a protectorate of France in 1843 and a colony in 1880. In 1946, French Polynesia, including the Society Islands, became an overseas territory of France.

Society Islands

 

an archipelago situated in the South Pacific, in Polynesia; a possession of France. Area, 1,600 sq km. Population, approximately 100,000 (1970). The capital is Papeete.

The Society Islands consist of two groups, the Windward Group in the east and the Leeward Group in the west. Surrounded by coral reefs, most of the islands are of volcanic origin. Elevations rise to 2,241 m on Tahiti, the largest island. The climate is tropical and maritime, average monthly temperatures ranging from 20° to 26° C. Annual precipitation varies from 1,500 to 2,500 mm.

The Society Islands have wet tropical rain forests. There are plantations of coconut palms, bananas, citrus fruits, vanilla, pineapples, coffee, sugarcane, and cotton. Pearls and mother-of-pearl shells are gathered, and there is a fishing industry. The islands, discovered in 1767 by the Englishman S. Wallis, were named in honor of the Royal Society of London.

References in periodicals archive ?
Endemic to the Society Islands (previously known from Raiatea and Tahiti; Copeland, 1932).
In contrast, little is known of the spiders of the Society Islands, another remote Polynesian archipelago located ~4000 km south of the Hawaiian Islands.
More than 33,000 dengue illnesses were recorded in the Society Islands from February to November 2001, and of the 1,400 persons hospitalized, DHF was diagnosed in 45%, and 20% had symptoms of DHF or DSS.
Notes on the off-shore fishing of the Society Islands, Journal of the Polynesian Society 39: 221-62.
Spread from the Marquesas Islands in the North to the Austral Islands in the South, halfway between nestle the Society Islands, including the tourist's favourite destinations -Tahiti and Moorea.
After discovering and naming the Society Islands on his journey, Cook set sail for New Zealand, which was found to consist of two great islands.
THERE are two groups of Leeward Islands, one in the Caribbean and the other - sometimes called the Society Islands - in the Pacific (For The Record, Page 30, August 28).
You want to see it all - or at least all the Society Islands, the central archipelago of the vast South Pacific colony.
in April of 1997, the boat will island hop the rest of that year, traveling through several Hawaiian islands, the Society Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.
The #CruiseSmile sweepstakes prize calendar is filled with incredible cruise vacations for two, including a seven-night luxury voyage to Tahiti and the Society Islands in the South Pacific, an eight-day European river cruise on the Seine River from Paris, a magical family-friendly three-night Bahamian voyage at sea and even a 14-day Far-East Discovery cruise visiting exotic ports throughout Southeast Asia.
O The Paul Gauguin will embark on 38 expeditions in 2010 to destinations including Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.