Introducing Ua Pou
'Ua Pou is a dry desert island with oasis-like valleys bursting with enough tropical fruit to feed 10 times its population. Twelve pinnacles of basalt, once the cores of 12 now-defunct volcanos, create an unforgettable skyline that is often photographed for the classic postcard shot of the Marquesas. The island is only 45km south of Nuku Hiva, but it feels a world away.
Tourism has gone a little backwards in 'Ua Pou; archaeological sites that were once cleared and maintained are now blocked by barbed wire and marked as private property; a museum constructed in the centre of the main village of Hakahau is now used as a temporary office for the mayor who seems uninterested in reopening it. The Marquesas Festival of 2007 is to be hosted by 'Ua Pou, so one can only hope that the island will revive its cultural richness as an appropriate welcome to the rest of the archipelago.
Ironically, 'Ua Pou is noted for its culture and arts. It was the birthplace of the Motu Haka Association and the revival of Marquesan identity. It is also a breeding ground for talent: the singer Rataro, the Kanahau Trio musical group and most of the well-known Marquesan dance groups are from 'Ua Pou.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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