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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 Tuamotus
Area 603 km2 (233 sq mi)  (lagoon)
56 km2 (22 sq mi) (above water)
Length 69 km (42.9 mi)
Width 16.5 km (10.25 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Makemo
Largest settlement Pouheva (pop. 600)
Population 832[1] (2012)
NASA picture of Makemo Atoll.
NASA picture of Makemo Atoll.
Localización de Makemo en las Tuamotu.png
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
Area 100 km2 (40 sq mi)
Population (2007)1 1,555
 • Density 16/km2 (40/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,[2] 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 603 km² in area.[3] Despite its size, Makemo's lagoon has only two navigable passes.

Makemo Atoll has 832 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[4].

The first recorded European to arrive to Makemo Atoll was English pearl merchant John Buyers on the brig Margaret. He arrived at Makemo on 10 March 1803 on the same day he discovered Taenga and named the Makemo 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. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 5 October 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. ^ "Tuamotu Archipelago - Makemo". Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  4. ^

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