Not a continent, but nevertheless the largest spread of territory on the planet, comprising the Pacific Ocean, and all its innumerable islands.

Currently this has: Alo, Anatahan, Australia, Bonin and Volcano Islands, Easter Island, Bau (Fiji), Bougainville, Bua, Cakau, Fiji, Guam, Hawaii, Huahine, Kapingamarangi, Kauai, Kiribati, Lakeba, Macuata, Magareva, the Maori, Mariana Isl., Marshall Isl., Maui, Micronesia, Naikeva, Nauru, New Guinea, New Zealand (incl. Maoris), Ngati Tuwharetoa, Niue, Norfolk Island, Oahu, Palau, Papua, Papua-New Guinea, Pitcairn Island, Pora Pora, Ra'iatea, Rewa, Rotuma, Samoa, Sigave, Solomon Islands, Swains Island, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, 'Uvea, Vanuatu, and Wallis & Futuna.


ANATAHAN An actively volcanic peak in the Northern Marianas, 80 miles (128 km.) north of Saipan. Currently unpopulated due to the danger of living in such close proximity to the volcano.

AUSTRALIA A vast sub-continental sized land mass, much of it desert or semi-arid. This list details the development of the individual states. Australia as a whole has always been within the British sphere of influence, and is today an independent member of the Commonwealth, self governing since Jan. 1, 1901.

BONIN ISLANDS and VOLCANO ISLANDS (Ogasawara-Gunto and Kazan Retto) Two associated archipelagos in the western Pacific, south of Japan and north of the Marianas Islands. The Bonin Islands are a scattered group of about 30 small atolls and islands, while the Volcano Islands to the south consist of three islands - the best-known of these is Iwo Jima, the famous World War II battleground.

EASTER ISLAND  A tiny island in the eastern Pacific, some 2300 miles (3700 km.) west of Chile. It is very well-known for its numerous free-standing portrait statues. Settled by Polynesians in the first millenium CE, the leadership (until the civil war of the 1770's) seems to have been of ancient pre-Columbian South American stock, while the general population was of Polynesian stock. The island was known to Europeans from 1722. The islands paramount chief or king, the 'ariki henua, was a hereditary office strictly hedged in by numerous taboos. Note that, in a similar fashion to Tahitian custom, the putative heir of the 'ariki henua succeeded to the position at birth because the mana passed to him at that moment, his father remaining in power as his regent until his marriage. This list is one of many different versions in circulation and should be taken with however many grains of salt you feel are needed.

FIJI A widespread group of islands west of Tonga. The list details the most powerful among the local Kingdoms (Bau, Cakaudrove, Lakeba, Macuata, Rewa, and Viti (Fiji)). Attempts were made to unify the entire region 1867-74, but in 1874 the area came under British authority.

HAWAII A group of large islands in the central north Pacific. Best known are the nine primary islands, especially Hawaii itself and Oahu, located at the southeastern end of the chain; but there are a string of minor islets and coral atolls extending from that group to the west-northwest all the way past Midway Island, to the International Dateline.

HUAHINE An island about 45 miles (72 km.) east of Ra'iatea, in French Polynesia. It is composed of two separate peaks, Huahine Nui in the north and Huahine Iti to the south - at high tides these are actually separated, making two distinct temporary isles. A major religious center for pre-colonial Polynesians, the island strenuously resisted French hegemony at the end of the 19th century.

KAPINGAMARANGI A small island on the southern verge of Micronesia, about 85 miles (136 km.) north of the equator and roughly 490 miles (788 km.) southeast of Ponape.

KIRIBATI An extensive reach of ocean in the equatorial zone of the central Pacific, consisting of the Gilbert Group, the Phoenix Group, and most of the Line Island Group of islands. The most important island is Tarawa, site of a significant battle during World War II.

MAGAREVA (Mangareva) One of the Gambier Island Group in the southern Tuamotus, in French Polynesia, located about 1050 miles (1690 km.) southeast of Tahiti.

MICRONESIA An enormous sprawl of ocean just north of the equator in the western Pacific

NAURU An island in the west-central Pacific, directly on the equator, southeast of Micronesia and west of Kiribati.

NEW ZEALAND Two very large islands in the southwest Pacific, southeast of Australia and south of Fiji.

NIUE An isolated island in the South Pacific, about 340 miles (550 km.) south of American Samoa.

NORFOLK ISLAND A small island in the southwestern Pacific, about 880 miles (1415 km.) east of Brisbane, Australia, and roughly 660 miles (1060 km.) northwest of Auckland, New Zealand. The island was settled by a group of descendents of HMS Bounty from Pitcairn Island in 1856.

PAPUA-NEW GUINEA The eastern half of New Guinea, the second largest island on earth, together with the islands and archipelagos of New Britain, New Ireland, and Bougainville to the northeast. For developments in the western half, see New Guinea within Indonesia. New Guinea consists of huge equatorial swamps in the south, with a very steep ridge of mountains running along the spine of the island. In those highlands dwell dozens of tribes whose existence wasn't even suspected until the 1930's, when exploration revealed that the the ridgeline as seen from the south wasn't the same ridgeline as seen from the north, and that there was an extensive valley between the two.

New Guinea The northeastern quarter of the island, together with New Britain, New Ireland, and Bougainville.

Papua The southeastern quarter of the island. Bougainville Largest of the Solomons, a mountainous ridge with associated archipelagos offshore. It has had an extensive history in recent decades for turbulence and incipient rebellion.

PITCAIRN ISLAND One of the most isolated locales on the globe, a tiny islet in the western Pacific, some 1350 miles (2170 km.) southeast of Tahiti.

PONAPE An island in east-central Micronesia, about 490 miles (788 km.) north of the equator, 900 miles (1450 km.) north of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, and roughly 1060 miles (1700 km.) east-southeast of Guam. It is best known for its extensive ruins - temples, walls, and canals all crowd portions of the interior of the island, testimony to a sophisticated civilization that once flourished here.

PORA PORA (Bora Bora) An island about 30 miles (48 km.) to the northeast of Taha'a. Pora Pora (the name is typically rendered "Bora Bora" by foreigners, but Polynesian does not use the "B" sound) is a mountainous isle of magnificent natural beauty, and has become well-known as the quintessential tropical isle. Of late, a great deal of international tourism has taken root here, to the detriment of the place's pristine charm.

RA`IATEA (andTaha`a) An island about 200 miles (320 km.) northwest of Tahiti, in French Polynesia. The place was regarded by Polynesians as the source and origin of that people, and the place from which they gradually scattered throughout the Pacific.  Another word for this place in Polynesian dialects is Havai`i, which has become the name of the American state as well. From 1831, this polity also included the island of Taha`a, about 20 miles (32 km.) to the northwest  - like Ra'iatea, it too had been partitioned into purely local zones until being annexed..

SAMOA A compact island group northeast of Tonga, and northwest of the Cook Islands.

SOLOMON ISLANDS In the southwest Pacific, east of New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. The Solomons are the site of some of the worst fighting in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, especially at Guadacanal.

SWAINS ISLAND A tiny coral atoll, roughly 230 miles (370 km.) north-northwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa; and about 125 miles (200 km.) south of Tokelau.

TAHITI The primary island in what is now French Polynesia.

TONGA The Friendly Isles. A British Protectorate 1900-1970

TUVALU In the west central Pacific, consisting of the Ellice Group of islands.

VANUATU A group of islands in the southwest Pacific, west of Tonga and east of New Caledonia.

WALLIS and FUTUNA A pair of islands in the southwest Pacific, about 250 miles (400 km.) west of Samoa; southeast of Tuvalu, northeast of Fiji, northwest of Tonga. Relatively structured chieftaincies and organized governments emerged early in these islands, primarily as a response to incessant raiding from Tonga - by 1820, the islands had stabilized to three seperate local kingdoms.