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NASA picture of Faaite Atoll
Faaite is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 16°43′S 145°19′W / 16.717°S 145.317°W / -16.717; -145.317Coordinates: 16°43′S 145°19′W / 16.717°S 145.317°W / -16.717; -145.317
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 227 km2 (88 sq mi)  (lagoon)
8.87 km2 (3.42 sq mi) (above water)
Length 28 km (17.4 mi)
Width 10.5 km (6.52 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Anaa
Largest settlement Hitianau (pop. 246)
Population 401[1] (2012)
Pop. density 8 /km2 (21 /sq mi)
NASA picture of Faaite Atoll.

Faaite, or Faaiti[2] is an atoll of the Tuamotus in French Polynesia. It is located 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the north of Anaa Atoll. The total surface of the atoll is 227 square kilometres (88 square miles) Its dry land area is 8.87 square kilometres (3.42 square miles). Its length is 28 kilometres (17 miles) and its width 10.5 kilometres (6.5 miles). The total population as of 2012 is 401 inhabitants.

Faaite's inner lagoon has a navigable channel to the ocean. The main village is Hitianau, with a total population of 246.


First recorded sighting by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós on 11 February 1606. It was charted as Decena (ten in Spanish).[3]

John Turnbull rediscovered it in 1802. Turnbull was the first retailer of the Pacific who used the route of Tahiti to Hawaii.

Russian oceanic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen visited Faaite in 1820 on the ships Vostok and Mirni. He named this atoll "Miloradovich".

This atoll reached a measure of fame after the "Bûchers de Faaite" affair. On September 2, 1987 six persons were thrown into the fire (some of them by their own children) because the islanders were convinced that they were possessed by the devil.

There is a territorial (domestic) airfield in Faaite which was inaugurated in 1992.


Administratively Faaite belongs to the commune of Anaa, which includes the inhabited atoll of Faaite and the uninhabited atolls of Tahanea and Motutunga.


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 8 (4): 264–268. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Beltrán y Rozpide, Ricardo "Las islas Tuamotu", Boletín de la Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid. t.XV, 2º semestre de 1881, pp-7-54.
  • Oceandots
  • Faaite Airport
  • Bruno Saura, Les bûchers de Faaite: paganisme ancestral ou dérapage chrétien en Polynésie française, Cobalt/Editions de l'après midi. Paris 1990
  • Book review

External links[edit]