LOUISIADE ARCHIPELAGO, a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, extending south-eastward from the easternmost promontory of New Guinea, and included in the Australian territory of Papua (British New Guinea). The islands number over eighty, and are interspersed with reefs. They are rich in tropical forest products, and gold has been discovered on the chief island, Tagula or South-east (area 380 sq. m.) and on Misima or St Aignan. The natives are of Papuan type, and practise cannibalism. The islands were probably observed 'by Torres in 1606, but were named by L. A. de Bougainville in 1768 after Louis XV.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)