The Gambier Islands or Mangareva Islands (French: Îles Gambier or Archipel des Gambier) are a small group of islands in French Polynesia, located at the southeast terminus of the Tuamotu archipelago. They are generally considered a separate island group from Tuamotu both because their culture and language (Mangarevan) are much more closely related to those of the Marquesas Islands, and because, while the Tuamotus comprise several chains of coralatolls, the Gambiers are of volcanic origin. Because of their proximity, the Acteon Group, and the nearby atoll of Temoe (23°20′46″S134°28′28″W / 23.34611°S 134.47444°W / -23.34611; -134.47444) are sometimes included among the Gambiers.
Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς "poly" many + Greek: νῆσος "nēsos" island) is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs. Historically, they were experienced sailors and used stars to navigate during the night.
The term "Polynesia" was first used in 1756 by French writer Charles de Brosses, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris.