Makin (islands)

Makin (islands)
NASA Landsat visible color image of Makin, with northeast corner of Butaritari at bottom left
Little Makin.jpg
Map of Makin

Makin is the name of a chain of islands located in the Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati, specifically in the Gilbert Islands.



Makin is located six kilometers northeast of the northeastern corner Butaritari (reef rim) and 6.9 km from the Butaritari islet of Namoka. It is a linear reef feature, 12.3 km long north-south, with five islets, the two larger ones being inhabited (Makin and Kiebu). The third largest, and southermost islet, Onne, is also inhabitable. This string of islands is the northernmost feature of the Gilbert Islands, and the third most northerly in the island nation of Kiribati (only Teraina and Tabuaeran of the Line Islands are more northerly). Makin is not a true atoll, but since the largest and northernmost of the islets, also called Makin, has a nearly landlocked lagoon, 0.3 km² in size and connected to the open sea in the east only through a 15 meter wide channel (with a road bridge over it), it might be considered a degenerate atoll. Kiebu, the second largest islet, has an even smaller, completely landlocked lagoon on its eastern side, with about 80 meters in diameter (making an area of about 0.005 km² or 0.5 hectares) and at distance of 60 meters to the open sea.

Since neighboring Butaritari was called Makin Atoll by the U.S. military, the feature used to be called Makin Meang or Little Makin to distinguish it from the larger atoll. Now that Butaritari has become the preferred name for that larger atoll, speakers tend to drop the qualifier for Makin.

The Gilbert islands are sometimes regarded the southern continuation of the Marshall Islands, which are NNW of it. The closest island of the Marshall Islands, Nadikdik Atoll, is 290 km NNW of Makin.

Makin Airport, located immediately northeast of the capital, between the lagoon and the sea, has ICAO code NGMN and IATA code MTK.

Makin has a land area of 6.7 km² and a population of 2,385 (census of 2005), divided between two villages:


  • Aonbike
  • Kiebu
  • Makin
  • Onne
  • Tebua Tarawa


Makin 1,834 inhabitants
Kiebu 551 inhabitants


The climate is very similar to the one of close-by Butaritari atoll, with lush vegetation and high rainfall. Typical annual rainfall is about 4 m, compared with about 2 m on Tarawa Atoll and 1 m in the far south of Kiribati. Rainfall on Makin is enhanced during an El Niño.


Portrait of a native of the Makin islands, drawn by Alfred Thomas Agate (1841)

Two ships of the United States Exploring Expedition, USS Peacock (1828) and USS Flying Fish (1838), under the command of Captain Hudson, visited many of the Gilbert Islands (then called the Kingsmill Islands or Kingsmill Group in English). While in the Gilberts, considerable time was devoted to mapping and charting reefs and anchorages.

The United States utilized its Guano Islands Act to make a claim to Makin and Butaritari.[citation needed].

During World War II, the Battle of Makin took place on Makin Atoll (Butaritari) from 20 November to 24 November 1943.

References in popular culture

Makin Island is featured in the video game Call of Duty: World at War in the first single player level Semper Fi, and 2 multi-player maps 'Makin' and 'Makin Day.' It also features as a campaign location in the game Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault as 'Makin Atoll.'


Coordinates: 3°23′00″N 173°00′00″E / 3.3833333°N 173°E / 3.3833333; 173

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Makin — may refer to: Makin (islands), Kiribati Makin Island, Makin, the main island Makin (village), the capital of Makin The Makin Island raid, a 1942 attack by US Marines on Japanese military forces on Makin Island The Battle of Makin (1943) in World… …   Wikipedia

  • Makin Island — may refer to: Butaritari, an atoll in Kiribati Makin (islands) USS Makin Island (LHD 8) See also Makin (disambiguation) This disambiguation page lists articles about distinct geographical locations with the same name. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Makin —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Makin (île).  Makin Petite Makin Carte de Makin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Makin (île) —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Makin.  Makin Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Makin Island raid — Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II …   Wikipedia

  • Makin (Inselgruppe) — Vorlage:Infobox Insel/Wartung/Höhe fehlt Makin ISS Bild von Makin Gewässer Pazifischer Ozean Archipel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Makin — noun battles in World War II in the Pacific (November 1943); United States Marines took the islands from the Japanese after bitter fighting • Syn: ↑Tarawa, ↑Tarawa Makin • Regions: ↑Gilbert Islands • Instance Hypernyms: ↑amphibious assault …   Useful english dictionary

  • Gilbert Islands — Gilberts redirects here. For other uses, see Gilberts (disambiguation). The Gilbert Islands (Gilbertese: Tungaru;[1] formerly Kingsmill Islands[2]) are a chain of sixteen atolls and coral islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are the main part of… …   Wikipedia

  • Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign — Part of World War II, Pacific War …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Makin — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Makin caption=American troops of the 2d Battalion, 165th Infantry, struggle to shore on Yellow Beach on Butaritari Island partof=World War II, Pacific War date=20 November 1943 ndash; 24 November 1943… …   Wikipedia

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