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NASA picture of Makemo Atoll
Makemo is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 16°35′55″S 143°39′41″W / 16.59861°S 143.66139°W / -16.59861; -143.66139
Archipelago Tuamotu archipelago
Area 56 km2 (22 sq mi) (lagoon)
845 km² (above water)
Length 69 km (42.9 mi)
Width 16.5 km (10.25 mi)
Overseas collectivity  French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Makemo commune
Largest city Pouheva (pop. 600)
Population 720 (as of 2012)
Ethnic groups French Polynesian
NASA picture of Makemo Atoll.
NASA picture of Makemo Atoll.
Location of Makemo in the Tuamotu Archipelago
Location of Makemo in the Tuamotu Archipelago
Coordinates: 16°35′55″S 143°39′41″W / 16.5985°S 143.6613°W / -16.5985; -143.6613Coordinates: 16°35′55″S 143°39′41″W / 16.5985°S 143.6613°W / -16.5985; -143.6613
Country France
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
 • Land 100 km2 (40 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Population1 1,422
 • Population1 density 14/km2 (37/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 98726 / 98769
1 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Makemo, Rangi-kemo or Te Paritua, is one of the larger of the Tuamotu atolls in French Polynesia.

Makemo Atoll measures 69 km in length and 16.5 km in width, giving it a land area of 56 km². It is the fourth largest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago in terms of lagoon surface, with a lagoon of 845 km² in area.[1] Despite its size, Makemo's lagoon has only two navigable passes.

Makemo Atoll has 720 inhabitants; the main village is named Pouheva with a population of 600. The village has a wharf and a boarding school of 150 children from neighbouring islands. It also hosts Makemo Airport, located to the west of Pouheva.


Makemo is the home of legendary Polynesian hero Moeava.

The first recorded European to arrive to Makemo Atoll was English pearl merchant John Buyers commanding the Margaret (brig) on 10 March 1803 on the same day he discovered Taenga. He named the atoll "Phillips Island", after a late sheriff of London, Sir Richard Phillips. In some maps Makemo appears as "Kutusov".

Makemo territorial (domestic) airport was opened in 1976.


The commune of Makemo consists of the atolls of Makemo, Haraiki, Marutea Nord, Katiu, Tuanake, Hiti, Tepoto Sud, Raroia, Takume, Taenga and Nihiru.


  1. ^ Tuamotu Archipelago - Makemo at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2010)

External links[edit]