The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world, lying about 852 mi (1,370 km) northeast of Tahiti and about 3,000 mi (4,800 km) away from the west coast of Mexico, the nearest continental land mass.

The rich environment of the islands supported a large population that lived by fishing, collecting shellfish, hunting birds and gardening. They relied heavily on breadfruit but raised at least 32 other introduced crops. link

The Marquesas are a house, the name for each island has the meaning for a part of the house:

  • Hiva Oa - ‘Long Beam’ the beam that forms the top of the roof
  • Ua Pou - ‘Two-pillars’, that hold up the beam
  • Nuku Hiva - the corners of the beam
  • Fatu Iva - the nine layers of coconut fronds used to thatch the roof
  • Tahuata - ‘Work is done’
  • Ua Huka - ‘Clean-up’

(others know this story better than I do)

Doug Gorgoni Revised: June 13, 1996 Copyright © 1996 Daniel (Taniera) Longstaff