Volume 8 1899 > Volume 8, No. 4, December 1899 > Names of the Paumotu Islands, by J.L. Young, p 264-268
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- 264
Illustration
NAMES OF THE PAUMOTU ISLANDS, WITH THE OLD NAMES SO FAR AS THEY ARE KNOWN.

[In the original list of the Paumotu Islands, Mr. Young has arranged them geographically, but we have given them alphabetically for ease of reference. The present names of the Islands will be found opposite the Latitude and Longitude; the others are either ancient or synonymous. The Latitudes are generally from the “Annuaire de Tahiti,” 1863; the Longitudes are from the Admiralty Chart of the Pacific, and are approximate, but sufficiently near to fix the positions.

The Pau-motu, Tua-motu, or Low Archipelago to the East of Tahiti, lie between Lat. 14° 0′ and Lat. 26° 0′ south, and between Long. 124° 0′ and Long. 149° 0′ west. The Islands are nearly all low attols, and the group lies generally in a W.N.W. and E.S.E. direction for a length of 1500 miles. It will be observed that the people use the same letters as the Maori, except that they substitute “F” for “Wh” and “V” for “W.”

We hope shortly to publish some interesting old chants of these people, which are remarkably Maori in the language and form. We trust that Mr. Young's example will be followed by others, so that in time we may have the correct orthography of the names of all Polynesian Islands.—Editors.]

NATIVE NAME FOREIGN NAME Approximate
Lat. South Long. West
Ahe, or Ahemaru, or Omaru Peacock Island 14° 30′ 146° 18′
Ahemaru (see above)      
Anaa, or Nganaa-nui (or Ara-ura) Chain Island 17 27 145 25
Ara-ura (see above; Tahitian name)      
Apataki Hagemeister Island 15 24 146 20
Aratika Carlshoff Island 15 33 145 30
Anuanu-raro Duke of Gloucester 20 26 143 30
Anuanu-runga 20 39 143 22
Arutua, or Ngaru-atua Cockburn 15 20 146 50
Amanu, or Timanu, or Karere Moller 17 51 140 53
Aponui Not known
Akiaki Thrum Cup 18 23 139 10
Aopuni, see Moruroa Not known
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Ahunui,1 or Fanga-taufa, or Nga-taumanga Cockburn 22° 14′ 138° 42′
Angauru (see Mangareva)      
Fakaau, see Niau      
Fakarava, or Havaiki-te-araro Wittgensten 16 18 145 30
Faaiti Miloradowitch 16 42 145 11
Fangatau, or Nakai-erua ? Angatau of An. Tah. 15 52? 140 52?
Fakahina, or Kaīna Predpriati 15 55 140 18
Fanga-taufa (see Ahunui)      
Havaiki-te-araro (see Fakarava)      
Herehere-tue, or Hiri-oro San Pablo 19 48 145 0
Hiri-oro (see above)      
Hiti, or Hiti-rau-mea Raeffsky 16 42 144 10
Haraiki Croker 17 29 142 30
Hikueru, or Tiveru, or Te Kārena Melville 17 36 142 40
Hao, or Haorangi Harpe or Bow 18 14 140 50
Haorangi (see above)      
Hariri (see Paraoa)      
Huataki (see Vanavana)      
Kaukura, or Kaheko 15 48 146 45
Kaheko (see above)      
Kauehi, or Putake Vincennes 15 50 145 10
Katiu, or Taungataki Saken 16 24 144 20
Karere (see Amanu)      
Kaīna (see Fakahina)      
Kurataki (see Vanavana)      
Mataiva Lazaroff 14 56 148 35
Makatea, or Mangaia-te-vai-tamae Aurora 15 22 148 15
Manihi, or Paeua Waterland 14 24 145 55
Marotaua (see Taiaro)      
Manu (see Tikei)      
Motutunga Adventure 17 05 144 22
Matarua-puna (see Tuanake)      
Makemo, or Te Paritua, or Rangi-kemo Philip 16 35 143 40
Marutea, or Taunga-tauranga-e-havana Furneaux 17 0 143 10
Marokau Part of “Two Groups” 18 03 142 18
Manuangi, or Te Fara Not known
Moruroa, or Aopuni Not known
Morane Cadmus 20 48 138 32
Mature-vavao Actœon Group 21 19 136 30
Mahanga-toa ? ” ” Not known
Marīa Moerenhout 21 59 136 10
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Marutea-i-runga, or Nuku-nui Lord Hood 21° 32′ 135° 42′
Mangareva, or Angauru, or Raroata Gambier 23 08 134 55
Maruhangi (? same as Manuangi, see An: de Tah.) Cumberland 19 12 141 12
Ngaru-atua (see Arutua)      
Niau, or Fakaau Greig 16 10 146 22
Nganaa-nui (see Anaa)      
Nuku-te-pipi Duke of Gloucester    
  Group 20 57 143 2
Nihiru, or Nikia Nigiri on chart 16 42 142 50
Nikia (see above)      
Nengonengo Prince William Henry 18 45 141 45
Napuka, or Pukaroa ? Wytoohee, Disappointment 14 12 141 10
Nakai-erua (see Fangatau)      
Nuku-tavake Queen Charlotte 18 45 138 50
Nga-taumanga (see Ahunui)      
Nararo (see Te Nararo)      
Natupe (see Reao)      
Narunga (see Te Arunga)      
Nuku-nui (see Marutea-i-runga)      
Omaru (see Ahe)      
Porutu-kai (see Tikahau)      
Paeua (see Manihi)      
Pakuria (see Toau)      
Putake (see Kauehi)      
Pukamaru (see Takume)      
Puka-poto (see Te Poto)      
Puka-roa (see Napuka)      
Paraoa, or Tohora, or Hariri Gloucester 19 09 140 42
Puka-raro Not on chart 19 19 142 30
Puka-runga Not on chart 19 24 142 10
Pukapuka Dog, or Hondon 14 50 138 55
Pinaki, or Te Kiekie Whitsunday 19 42 138 42
Papakena (see Tu-reia)      
Puka-rua Searle 18 20 137 02
Rangi-roa, or Ra'i-roa, or Vavau Deans 15 09 157 50
Ra'iroa (see above, Tahitian form)      
Raraka, or Te Marie None 16 09 144 50
Rangi-kemo (see Makemo) None    
Rei-toru, or Te Pirehi Bird 17 54 143 3
Rangi-roa (see Te Kokota)      
Raroia, or Raro-nuku Barclay 16 06 142 28
Raro-nuku (see above)      
Ravahere Part of Two Groups 18 06 142 10
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Rekareka, or Tu-henua Good Hope 15° 48′ 141° 52′
Reao, or Natūpe Clermont Tonnerre 18 36 136 20
Raro-ata (see Mangareva)      
Tikahau, or Porutu-kai Krusenstern 15 0 148 8
Toau, or Pakuria, or Taha-a-titi Elizabeth 15 57 146 0
Taha-a-titi (see above)      
Taka-poto, or Tua-poto King George 14 35 145 10
Tua-poto (see above)      
Taka-roa, or Takapua No name 14 20 145 0
Te Marie (see Raraka)      
Tahanea Tchitchagoff 16 53 144 50
Taiaro, or Maro-taua Raeffsky 15 45 141 20
Tikei, or Manu Near Adventure 14 57 144 26
Taunga-tahi (see Katiu)      
Ti Poto Raeffsky 16 48 144 13
Tuanake, or Mata-rua-puna Raeffsky 16 40 144 10
Te Paritua (see Makemo)      
Taunga tauranga-e-havana (see Marutea)      
Taenga, or Taunga-hara Holt 16 19 143 10
Te Pirehi (see Reitoru)      
Tiveru (see Hikueru)      
Te Kārena (see Hikueru)      
Te Kokota, or Rangiroa No name 17 21 142 33
Takume, or Pukamaru Wolkonsky 15 48 142 13
Tu-henua (see Rekareka)      
Tauere, or Te Putua St. Simon 17 21 141 28
Te Putua (see above)      
Te Poto, or Toho, or Pukapoto Disappointment? 14 06 141 25
Toho (see above)      
Te Fara (see Manuangi)      
Ti-manu (see Amanu)      
Tohora (see Paraoa)      
Te Matangi Bligh's Lagoon 21 45 110 45
Te Kiekie (see Pinaki)      
Tatakoto Clerkes 17 22 138 25
Tu-reia, or Papa-kena Carrysford 20 48 138 32
Tatakopoto Not known
Te Nararo, or Nararo Part of Actæon 21 18 136 42
Te Atunga, or Narunga Melbourne 21 27 136 20
Timoe, or Te Moe Crescent 23 21 134 30
Vavau (see Rangiroa)      
Vanavana, or Kurataki, or Huataki Barrow 20 43 139 10
Vahi-tahi, or Vaitake Cook's Lagoon 18 43 138 50

Vaira-atea, is given by the “Annuaire de Tahiti” of 1863 as the name of Osnaberg Island, whilst the Admiralty Chart gives the same name to Egmont Island. Mr. Young does not mention it at all.

Taiara, is given on the chart as the name of King's Island in Lat. 15° 70′ Long. 144° 4′, but is not mentioned by Mr. Young.—Editors.

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NOTES.

Mākatea: so called from the drinking water used by the people being brought out of the dark caves. “Mā,” pure, clear; used here to mean water. “Atea,” light of day. K. for euphony. The other name of the Island was Mangaia-te-vai-tamāe—“Mangaia of the purified (or clear) water.”

Makatea is an upraised coral formation 400ft. high; it is almost the only Paumotuan island with good water, hence the reference in the name.

No doubt the name Mangaia was given from the similarity of formation to that of Mangaia in Cook Group where the drinking water is also obtained from the caves, with which the raised coral islands abound, the rain water percolating down from the top of the island. All water found in the ordinary low coral atolls is brackish.

Tikahau, the peace, to be at peace; the other name is Porutukai. Compare Polutu, Samoan; Mbulotu, Fijian; Bulotu, Tongan—Paradise, a place of peace.

Marerenui, an old native of Faaiti Island, says that Anaa or Nganaa-nui was so called because it was the children of Nganaa, “a chief who was killed at Nuku-hiva (Marquesas)”, who lived there. Can this refer to the Ngangana mentioned in the Tangi of Te Mamanga?2 (see Vol. III., p. 149).

The Anaa people were the most powerful tribe in Paumotu, and most other islands were tributary to them. It is said they owned more canoes than all other islands combined.

Fakarava or Havaiki-te-araro: see “Origin of name Tahiti” (see Vol. VIII., p. 109).

Marutea: the second name should be Taunga-tauranga-e-havana, the friendly bird that rested and plumed itself on our mast—so says Marerenui. There is a legend attached to this name, of which only fragments can be obtained.

Raroia and Takume are, or rather were, called Napaite, the twins (ite, two).

Angauru: breadfruit-tree roots.

It would be natural that the Paumotu people should speak of Mangareva as “the place of breadfruit,” for they themselves had none.

Raroata: Maroura, a native of Raraka, says this name was given to Mangareva because the shadows fall south there. I pointed out that Raro is not south, but west; but Maroura persists that the meaning is correct.

Mangareva being almost on the southern limit of the Tropic of Capricorn, the shadws would fall south, except for seventeen or eighteen days in December in each year. It may be that the change to the shadows falling northward for this short period was sufficiently striking to impress the people.

No native of Mangareva, and I have asked several, can give any reason for the name.

The name Mangareva is probably from Manga: a branch, a division, a par of the whole—hence a tribe, or part of a tribe; and Reva: lost, far distant separated, drifted away—therefore Mangareva: the distant or separated land or people.

Note.—Mareva=a travelling party, or rather a visiting party (Tahitian) and mareva, to be separated, loosened, (Rarotonga).

Fakaau and Pukamaru Islands are known to the traditions of the Rarotongans, and were calling places on their voyages between their home and the Maquesas.—Editors.

1  On the chart this name is given to Byam Martin Island in lat. 19·28, long. 140·30.—Ed.
2  We think it not at all unlikely, for it is known from Hawaiian traditions that Nana (= Maori Ngana or Ngangana) lived in the central Pacific, which is also the inference to be drawn from Maori legends.—Editors.