French Oceanic Settlements
islands of French Polynesia were born from
volcanoes some 20 million years ago. The islands in the Society, Marquesas,
Austral and Gambier
Island groups remained
high islands, while the islands of the Tuamotu Islands
group became atolls. Atolls are islands that have long since sunk below the
ocean surface, leaving only the barrier reef. The total land area of the
islands is equivalent to the total area of Europe.
remoteness of the islands of Polynesia kept
the people insulated from the rest of the world until European world travel
began in the 1700's. Polynesian origins are believed to be in the area of Southeast Asia, more precisely the eastern are of Indonesia or
some 4000 years ago. The early Polynesians were master navigators. Their
migrations took them through Melanesia to the
eastern edge of Polynesia. The Polynesians
settled in Polynesia between 1000 BC and 1000
AD. Polynesia is roughly described as the
"triangle" with the northern point in the islands of Hawai'i, the southeast
at Easter Island, and to the southwest at New Zealand.
Polynesian migration lasted about 2000 years. Not all Polynesian cultures are
exactly alike. Adaptation to different island groups as well as the great
distances between islands of Polynesia
resulted in similarities and differences in the culture, languages, religion,
daily practices and forms of artistic expression.
explorers discovered the Marquesas Islands in
1595. However, true contact between the Polynesians and European explorers did
not begin until the discovery of Tahiti by the
Englishman Wallis in 1767. These contacts resulted in an upheaval of the
economic and social structure of the Polynesians. The Christianization by
Protestant and Catholic missionaries resulted in the abandonment of traditional
religious practices and places of worship, "marae".
decades of rivalries between Britain
over the ownership of the islands of Tahiti,
the islands as a protectorate in 1843. In 1944, the islands were declared to be
an overseas territory
On 25 October 1946, a decree
allowed the Polynesians to manage their own public matters, while still
maintaining institutional control. On 22 July 1957, the territorial assembly was instituted in
"French Polynesia" with control over
such affairs as commerce, transportation, and education.
Franc (100 centimes) (since 1946)
UN country code: -
Internet TLD: -
Dialling code: -
Member of: no
For more stamps see:
French Polynesia in Wikipedia.
UPU 75th anniversary
des Timbres-Poste, Paris, France
1 10 f Arab man, Oceanic woman, Asian
woman, African man, South American man, globe, airplane, text "75e
ANNIVERSAIRE / DE L'UNION POSTALE / UNIVERSELLE"
Michel 235/SG 210/Yvert PA 29)
Up - Home
UNOstamps country page 074
last revised: 20 September 2010