Hiva Oa

Administrative capital of the southern group, Hiva Oa isthe most well know island of the Marquesas.
Paul Gauguin and Jaques Brel spent the last years of their lives here.
The island has many other interests, like the archaeological sites of Puamau where one can observe the biggest tikis of French Polynesia, or the site of Taaoa which boasts more than one thousand paepaes.

An interesting museum is found in the centre of the village, which exhibits amongst others , copies of Gauguin's work, and very nearby, the "house of pleasure " where the artist lived during his time here.Air Tahiti serves the islands regularly from Papeete or Rangiroa. Speed boats heading for Fatu Hiva and Tahuata leave from Atuona.


Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel lived here during the last years of their lives

They rest today in the Atuona cemetary

Each valley of Hiva Oa is rich in
in archaeological sites , proof of a long and passionate history
of the marquesan civilization.

maki i taua pepe - Puamau

The sites mentioned hereafter are not the principal points of interest that can be visited during a brief visit. Many other excursions are proposed by hotels and pensions
takai'i - Puamau


Hanaiapa valley

HAKAIKI ROCK, covered with engravings , southern part of the river Vaipeehia. Tohua and me'ae ,picturesque village with many flowers well worth a visit.


Hanapaoa Valley

Tohua and big me'ae Tapuhoe, great banyan, skeleton bones , engraved stones , crowned tiki.


Biggest archaeological site of Polynesia, partially restored, this site boasts more than one thousand pae paes, a big tohua, many me'ae. The site takes up all of the valley. After visiting this site , one can imagine the ancient Marquesan lifestyle.


The trip across the island (45km) ends in Puamau bay, where the Tohua Oipona can be found, the biggest tikis of Polynesia, Takai'i 2.43 M high.Many me'ae found closeby.The tomb of a chief watched over by 2 tikis Mani and Pauto is found at the Tohua Peketa.


On the Hanamenu track ,the tohua Pekia, a me'ae with tiki is found in an area called "ATIKUA", an old cemetery dating back to the pre european period.


The museum permanently exhibits copies of paul Gauguin's paintings. Closeby one can visit a handicraft centre as well as the reconstructed "house of pleasure". A path leads to the cemetery of Jaques Brel and Paul Gauguin. On Gauguin's tombstone a replica of a statue which the artist called "oviri"(savage) symbolises the values which the artist looked for in the Marquesas.A stele in memory of Jaques Brel was placed on a headland where the singer wished to build his house.


Near Atuona , in Tahauku valley , "Hakaua" fortification of nine layers of enormous boulders , featuring an enormous megalith carved with many petroglyphs.


In december 2003 the 6 Festival of Arts of marquesas, this is the web site
Copyright 1999 "Image sud"
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