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Akiaki, old name Thrum Cap Iceland and Isle of Lancers, is a small, now uninhabited island in the southeastern Pacific. It is located in the central-eastern group of the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia and heard politically. The nearest inhabited island is the Vahitahi lying approximately 50 km to the southeast.


Akiaki has a land area of only 1.4 square kilometers, the east- west distance is 2.5 km, from north to south is Akiaki than 1 km wide. The fringing reef is relatively close to the island, which is surrounded on all sides by white, unspoilt beaches. The interior of the island is densely covered, although the vegetation does not correspond to the original. The flora has changed considerably for the investment of coconut plantations end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. After the expiry of the copra prices and abandonment of the settlement, however, conquered a secondary forest of Pisonia Grandis, Pemphis acidula, Heliotropium foertherianum (synonym: Tournefortia argentea ) and pandanus trees gradually no longer well-maintained plantations back.


The island is located on a 39.3-39.7 -year-old deep-sea Mio. plateau 1975 km ² expansion, which rises here from the 3400 m deep ocean floor. The plateau is part of the " Tuamotu Seamount Trail " and is the result of a hot spot of the Pacific plate.

Akiaki is an Upscale Atoll, consisting entirely of limestone. The former, now completely silted lagoon is a shallow, densely overgrown trough just east of the center of the island barely perceptible.


The only published to date archaeological survey of Akiaki led the American anthropologist Kenneth P. Emory Bernice P. Bishop on behalf of the Museum by Honolulu in July 1930. He found the remains of two Zeremonialplattformen ( Marae ) as evidence for an early Polynesian settlement. The Marae Hitiaga, north of the village, had already been destroyed, so Emory but only found a few random stones. The Marae Takaua (also Tahuka ), located at the western tip, was to get something better, although also severely damaged. A 18 m long, rectangular, built of unworked limestone blocks platform was decorated at the corners with about 60 cm high, hewn stone slabs. A single standing Pisonia tree shaded two small, standing before orthostat. The ceremonial site was about 30 m from the beach. Today in the dense vegetation no remains of buildings can be discerned more. Emory also discovered a number of pits for the cultivation of taro along a path to the interior of the island facing, who joined the acreage with the village.

Akiaki was discovered in 1768 by the French naval officer Louis Antoine de Bougainville for Europe. In search of the fabled " Davis Land" ( possibly identical to the Easter Island), Bougainville reached the Tuamotu Archipelago, the frigate La Boudeuse and Fleute L' Étoile in March 1768. On March 21, 1768 Vahitahi came into view and northwest of that another small, lined by a sandy beach and densely covered with forest island. Because of the strong surf Bougainville saw no way to end up with boats. As the island is a " magical sight " offered, the ships followed in two miles off the coast to the western tip to still find an anchorage. Saw, to his amazement Bougainville on the beach two men who ran at the sight of the French ships into the water. He took first at, whether shipwrecked, who called for help, for he had not expected such a small island could be inhabited. However, the men ran back into the forest and soon gathered on the beach fifteen to twenty naked, muscular warriors who brandished threateningly long spears. After this demonstration, the islanders retreated into the thicket, where Bougainville could see with the telescope several huts. He named the island " Isle of Lancers " ( Island of the spearmen ), but did not go ashore.

James Cook was born Akiaki on his first voyage to the Pacific on 5 April in 1769. He describes the island as " round in shape with no more than a mile in diameter ", but not landed. Cook saw no signs of inhabitants and called the overgrown with trees and bushes island " Thrum Cap " after a round, densely covered with strands of wool hat, who wore his sailors.

The British captain and trader Edward Lucett (1815-1853) reached Akiaki on June 22, 1844 describes the island as follows:

". . . it's just a small patch, and even though we were sailing along with a half-mile distance from the south to the north-western tip, was from the masthead identify no lagoon. Two coconut trees were all that we could make about the low matted bush vegetation which apparently covered the island. We saw no signs of inhabitants or settlements. "

In the period before the Second World War Akiaki still had a functioning community, the village Huripuga lay in the northwest of the island. Today, there are to be seen for drying copra only a few dilapidated huts and open shelters.

Infrastructure and administration

Akiaki is no longer permanently inhabited, the last inhabitants have migrated to Vahitahi after the cyclone " William" had completely devastated the island on 20 April 1983. However, the coconuts are harvested for Kopraherstellung from time to time. There is no infrastructure, neither accommodation nor roads, no port or airfield and no drinking water on the island. Akiaki for the tourist hardly accessible since there is no regular boat service from the neighboring islands.

Akiaki is managed by a sub-division ( subdivision administrative des Îles Tuamotu - Gambier ) of the High Commissioner of French Polynesia (Haut- commissariat de la République française en Polynésie ) based in Papeete. The island is part of the borough (Commune associée ) Vahitahi the community Nukutavake (Commune de Nukutavake ).