Also known as: Gambier Islands

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1824)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 418-427
Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 418-427
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 405-507, 505-506
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 424-425
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 418-427

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 423

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 502
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 502, 504
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and creationist (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 307
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of worship (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 425

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 423

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 152
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 161

Mana

Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Keesing (1984), pp. 146
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Keesing (1984), pp. 146
Buck (1971), pp. 418-507
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 418-507, 187-194
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 483
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 150

Rites

Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 169-182
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 169-182
Piercing Absent from culture (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 169-182
Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 176-177
Genital cutting Present in culture, but not a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 125-126
Social Environment +
Population 1500 (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 11
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Kirch (2004), pp. 26, 27
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 135-136
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 133-134
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 135

Conflict

(No) external warfare Rare or never (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 20-99, 187-194
(No) internal warfare Common, at least every five years (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 187
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Occasional but not often (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 20-99
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 174.5 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of French Polynesia) (2014)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Distance to nearest continent 5733.0 (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 3-4
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 20-99
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Absent (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 96-99, 194-195
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 194-198
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 204-215
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 194-198
Agriculture / Horticulture Major (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 197-199

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 197, 289-303
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 197, 289-303
Water-based gathering Major (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 197-198

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Major (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 165
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Four or more (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 3

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
'Gambier Islands' (2018)
Island Size (km²) 15.4 (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 3
Thibauld & Bretagnolle (1999), pp. 100
Maximum elevation (meters) 441.0 (Source)
Thibauld & Bretagnolle (1999), pp. 3

Location

Latitude -23.1 (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 3
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude -135.0 (Source)
Buck (1971)
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1824-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 98-99
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 98-99
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Buck (1971), pp. 98-99
Henningham (1992), pp. 16, 140
Secular History +

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Low (Source)
'Gambier Islands' (2018)
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Foster & West (2020)

Modern Infrastructure

Air travel Absent (Source)
Dupon (1984), pp. 34
Foster & West (2020)
Sea port Absent (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 176
Foster & West (2020)

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign education systems High (Source)
Foster & West (2020)
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Foster & West (2020)
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Buck, P. (1928). Fishing Poisoning in Rarotonga, Hora. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 37 (1), 145, 57-66. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20702180.

Buck, P. (1971). Ethnology of Mangareva. Honolulu, HI: Bernice P. Bishop Museum. (Originally Published 1938)

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Dupon, J. (1984). "Where the Exception Confirms the Rule: The Cyclones of 1982- 1983 in French Polynesia". Disasters, 8 (1), 34-47. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.1984.tb00851.x

Foster, S. & West, F. J. (2020). French Polynesia. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/French-Polynesia

Gambier Islands (2018). Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Gambier-Islands

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Henningham, S. (1992). France and the South Pacific: A Contemporary History. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kirch, P. V. (2004). Environmental and ethnographic background. In E. Conte, & P.V. Kirch (Eds.), Archaeological investigations in the Mangareva Islands (Gambier Archipelago), French Polynesia (pp. 16-32). Berkeley, CA: Archaeological Research Facility, University of California Berkeley.

McArthur, N. (1967). Island Populations of the Pacific. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

SIL International. (2014). Map of French Polynesia https://www.ethnologue.com/map/PF

Thibauld, J. & Bretagnolle, V. (1999). "Breeding Seabirds of Gambier Islands, Eastern Polynesia: Numbers and Changes during the 20th Century". Emu, 99 (2), 100-107. Retrieved from http://www.publish.csiro.au.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/?paper=MU99013