Reitoru, or Te Pirehi, is a small atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia
French Polynesia
French Polynesia is an overseas country of the French Republic . It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory...

. It is located in center of the archipelago, 50 km southwest of Hikueru
Hikueru, Tiveru, or Te Kārena, is one of the Central Tuamotu atolls. The closest land to Hikueru is Tekokota Atoll, located 22 km to the north....


The inner lagoon is closed and is inaccessible from the ocean. The total surface area is 1.39 km². The island is inhabited by a small number of people who live by farming pearls and gathering copra
Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut. Coconut oil extracted from it has made copra an important agricultural commodity for many coconut-producing countries. It also yields coconut cake which is mainly used as feed for livestock.-Production:...



The first recorded European who arrived to Reitoru Atoll was French Louis Antoine de Bougainville
Louis Antoine de Bougainville
Louis-Antoine, Comte de Bougainville was a French admiral and explorer. A contemporary of James Cook, he took part in the French and Indian War and the unsuccessful French attempt to defend Canada from Britain...

 in 1768. The following year, James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 called the island "Bird Island", because the birds were the only inhabitants found.

During the 19th and 20th century, Reitoru was an important center for pearl divers. In 1903 the atoll was devastated by a cyclone causing the death of approximately one hundred people.


Administratively Reitoru belongs to the commune of Hikueru, which consists of the atolls of Hikueru, Marokau
Marokau is an atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. It lies 53 km southeast of Hikueru Atoll and it is separated by a 2 km wide sound from Ravahere, its closest neighbor in the south....

, Ravahere
Ravahere is an atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. It is located 53 km northwest of Nengonengo Atoll and it is separated by a 2 km sound from Marokau Atoll, its closest neighbor to the north....

, Reitoru and Tekokota
Tekokota is one of the Central Tuamotu atolls, located close to the geographic center of the archipelago.Tekokota Atoll is one of the smallest atolls of the Tuamotus. Its islands have a total land mass of only 0.9 km²....


External links

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