FRENCH ESTABLISHMENTS IN OCEANIA, islands scattered over a wide area in the eastern Pacific. They are administered by a governor with an administrative council consisting of certain officials, the moire of Papeete, and the presidents of the chambers of commerce and agriculture. The establishments consist of the Society Islands, the most im portant of which are Tahiti and Moorea, the former with an area of 600 square miles and 11,691 inhabitants, the latter with an area of 50 square miles and 1,564 inhabitants. Other groups are the Marquesas Islands, with a total area of 480 square miles and 3,424 inhabitants, the two largest islands being Nukahiva and Hivaoa; the Tuamotu group, consisting of two parallel ranges of islands from King George's Island on the north to Gloucester Island in the south, their total population being 3,828; the Leeward Islands (Iles sous le Vent), of which the more important are Huahine, with a popu lation of 1,230, Raiatia and Tohaa, population 3,347, and Bora-Bora-Maupiti, population 1,295; the Gambier, Tubuai and Rapa islands; the Gambier group, of which Mangareva is the principal, has six square miles of area and 1,533 inhabitants; the Tubuai (or southern) Islands, of which Rurutu is the largest, Raivavae, Rima tara and Rapa, have a combined area of 115 square miles and about 2,550 inhabitants. The total area of the establishments is estimated at 1,520 square miles, and their population in 1911 at 31,477, of whom 26,219 were natives and 975 Chinese. In 1903 it was decreed that separate
islands or groups should no longer be regarded as distinct establishments, but that all should be united to form a homogeneous colony.
The most important of the islands is Tahiti, whose chief town is Papeete with 3,617 inhab itants, of whom 1,909 are French. Pearl and mother-o'-pearl are important products.The island is mountainous and picturesque with a fertile coastland bearing coconut, banana and orange trees, sugar-cane, vanilla and other trop ical fruits, besides vegetables of temperate climes. Cotton, coffee and tobacco are now little cultivated. The chief industries are the preparation of copra, sugar and rum. The im ports in 1913 were valued at $1,685,390 and the exports at $1,703,590. The chief imports are tissues, wheat, flour, metal work, and the chief exports are copra, mother-o'-pearl, vanilla, coconuts and oranges. There is a monthly steamer service connecting San Francisco, New Zealand and Australia with Papeete, the Tua motu Islands, the Marquezas and the Leeward Islands. Shipping between the islands is car ried on by sailing boats.
Consult Haurigot, G., Establissements francais en Oceanie) (Paris 1891); and Hort, D., the Garden of the Pacific> (London 1895). Also Le Journal Ofirwiel des Etablisse ments Francais de Melanie, published annually at Papeete.