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Nuku Hiva#

Nuku Hiva is the largest of the Marquesas Islands (339 square kilometres) with a population of over 2.500. The main town is Taiohae, located on a former volcanic crater which has partly collapsed into the ocean, creating a bay.

Map
Map of Nuku Hiva from www.openstreetmpa.org

Nuku Hiva has played an important role in the history of French Polynesia and has been subject or the loation of action of many books and films.

The main reason is that it has a typical French Polynesian look of bays, tropical vegation, volcanic mountains (up to 1.200 m high).

Over 95% of the population is truly local, mainly still preparing traditional food based on breadfruit, taro, manioc, coconut and many kinds of fruit that grow in abundance. Goats, fish and, more rarely, pigs, are the main sources of meat.

From a historic point of view Nuku Hiva is also famous because of two large stone Tikis near Taioha'e, the main village, as shown below: In Māori mythology, Tiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga (god of war) or Tāne (god of forests).

Because of this a tiki today is a large or small wooden or stone carving in humanoid form. Such carvings tend to represent deified ancestors and are found in most Polynesian cultures. They often serve to mark the boundaries of sacred or significant sites.

Nuku Hiva
Tiki on Nuku Hiva. Photo: Public domain from Factbook
Nuku Hiva
Tiki on Nuku Hiva. Photo: Public domain from Factbook
Nuku Hiva
Nuku Hiva. Photo: Public domain from Factbook

More in the extensive contribution on Nuku Hiva in Wikipedia. We restrict attention to 3 historic pictures in the public domain taken form this contribution.

Nuku Hiva
A lithograph from 1846 titled "Cases de naturels à Nouka-Hiva", source Wikipedia|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuku_Hiva]
Nuku Hiva
The American fleet at Nuka Hiva in 1813, source Wikipedia|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuku_Hiva]
Nuku Hiva
Nuku Hiva warrior 1813, source Wikipedia|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuku_Hiva]

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