The colonial buildings of the Mangareva Islands, French Polynesia


  • James L Flexner The University of Sydney


In Historical Archaeology Francophone Catholic missions have been studied less commonly than Anglophone, Protestant ones. A survey of the islands of Akamaru, Aukena, Mangareva, and Taravai in the Mangareva Islands (Îles Gambier) of French Polynesia recorded over 100 standing structures related to Catholic missionary activities beginning in the 1830s. These structures form a unique assemblage of surviving colonial buildings in a Polynesian archipelago. They also reflect broader themes of colonial interference in Pacific Islander social and religious structures, landscape transformation, accommodation of new practices, and local forms of resilience and adaptation.



How to Cite

Flexner, J. L. (2023) “The colonial buildings of the Mangareva Islands, French Polynesia”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 13(2). Available at: (Accessed: 21 July 2024).



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