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 (2015 est. pop. 278,000) 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 ?
minutior have come from oceanic islands with few or no native ants, e.g., Hawaii, Easter Island, the Marquesas Islands, the Society Islands, the Seychelles, and the Chagos Archipelago.
A famous example of a tableau tifaifai is Aline Amaru's 1991 The Pomare Family, a representation of monarchs of the Society Islands from 1743 to 1891, now owned by the Queensland Art Gallery.
In the Society Islands this seasonal ritual was termed 'pa'iatua' (literally, god-wrapping) while in the Southern Cook Islands it was termed 'takurua' (Sissons 1989: 343-4; Siikala 1991:117).
The Ma'ohi of the Society Islands were among the most complex and highly stratified of the Polynesian chiefdoms (Goldman 1970; Kirch 1984; Sahlins 1958).
Tupaia came from Raiatea in the Society Islands, where he was a high priest of the ascendant cult of the war god Oro.
Bora Bora, yet another of the Society Islands, is equally as beautiful.
This study revises the status of crab spiders (Araneae, Thomisidae) endemic to the Society Islands, a volcanic archipelago situated in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Flying from London to Sydney on February 25, the itinerary takes in New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia and the Society Islands before an overnight stop in Tahiti from where passengers fly back to the UK.
Princess cleverly book ends its itineraries with full days in Papeete, allowing ample time for a good look at Tahiti, largest island in the Society Islands archipelago.
During the following twenty years, we conducted programs in the Caribbean, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Society Islands, and many other paradise destinations.
Abbott (1952) records the natural distribution of this species to include India and Ceylon, east to the Philippine and Hawaiian islands, north to the small islands south of Japan and south to the Society Islands. The species was first introduced to Florida between 1940 and 1947 and has spread through the islands of the Caribbean from 1954 onwards.
Divided into five island groups, 80 per cent of the population live in the Society Islands, which include Tahiti and Bora Bora, and these are the main tourist destinations, with most visitors flying into Tahiti's capital Papeete.