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hiva oa’s tikis

Posted by on August 17, 2013

May 29 – 31, 2013

sailing towards Hanaiapa Bay, Hiva Oa

anchored with Sueno & Flour Girl in Puamau Bay

The northern side of Hiva Oa was our next Marquesan spot to explore. While s/v Sueño returned to Atuona for some provisions and internet, we sailed with s/v Flour Girl to Hanaiapa Bay. We spent one night in Hanaiapa before sailing to Puamau Bay on the northeast side. There we met up with s/v Sueño again, and we all went in search of some tikis.

anchored in Puamau Bay, Hiva Oa

Iipona tiki site located at the base of lower lone peak

kids were given big, beautiful mangos from this tree

walking up to Iipona Archaeological Site

The Iipona Archaelogical Site on Hiva Oa has been extensively restored and is one of the most important testimonies to historical Marquesan civilization. There are 5 monumental tikis. The largest one in French Polynesia, standing at 2.67 m, represents Takaii, a warrior chief renowned for his strength.
While we were on site, we could just imagine what it would have been like during human sacrifice ceremonies.

tiki Takaii & others at Iipona Archaelogical Site

tiki Makii Tau'a Pepe ~ dog or woman?

At the archaeological site, we read that Tiki Makii Tau’a Pepe was the warrior chief’s beloved dog. However, all other literature seems to indicate that this tiki represents a woman lying on her stomach giving birth. One piece of information stated that this tiki is an ancient god of fertility, and any woman who touches him will fall pregnant within the year. Uh-oh!!!

tiki at Iipona Archaeological Site

Tiki Fau Poe possibly wife of Takaii ~ squatting as though she's working in the fields

beautiful rainbow

We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the northern side of Hiva Oa. Even though this side of the island is generally facing away from direct swell, the anchorages are wide open and a bit rolly. However, the gorgeous scenery and the educational experience more than made up for it. The kids were also able to swim at the beach in Puamau Bay, while locals raced their horses bareback up and down the sandy shore. Hiva Oa will not be forgotten.


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