Marquesan Traditional Dance & Handicrafts – Ua Huka

After leaving the museum, we headed back past the airport to the festival grounds.  We were lucky the Aranui was in port, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to see the traditional Ua Huka dancers!  On the map below, I have indicated where this is with the blue arrow.  We drove past a small shop, saw how the Arboretum (which we had had all to ourselves!) was now swamped with tourists, then made a quick stop at the airport.


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Here is the entrance to the showgrounds, a huge Tiki and lots of tourists!  The dancers were young and enthusiastic and of course at the end a few tourists (including me and Ina) got up to join the fun!IMG_0051 IMG_0052 IMG_0054 IMG_0055 IMG_0056 IMG_0057 IMG_0059 IMG_0060 IMG_0061 IMG_0063 IMG_0064 IMG_0066 IMG_0067Leaving the showgrounds, we enjoyed a scenic drive, once again running into the traffic jam.  It is shocking how the ship passengers completely overwhelm this island!  I was glad that tomorrow we would have a nice quiet day to go birding!

IMG_0068 IMG_0069 IMG_0075 IMG_0082There were two markets available.  The one in Hane was only arranged for the ship passengers.  The wood carvings are beautiful but not cheap!

IMG_0070 IMG_0071 IMG_0072 IMG_0073The shop in Hokatu is in a permanent shop but opens sporadically – definitely when the Aranui is in port or on request for people staying on the island.  Since I didn’t want to have to deal with AQIS (Australian quarantine), I didn’t buy any wood products, just a DVD of Marquesan dance.

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Vaipaee Port & Museum, Ua Huka

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, we left the Arboretum and headed into the main town of Ua Huka – Vaipaee.  The Aranui cruise ship in town was causing a traffic jam as all passengers seemed to be in regular vehicles and we must have passed at least 30 leaving the port as we were entering.

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A couple tourists avoided the traffic jam by riding horses!IMG_9992

The Aranui is too large to come into port so goods and passengers are ferried in on smaller boats or barges.  The Aranui also serves as a cargo ship and the local Manu bird guide, Geoffray Sulpice also serves as an inspector to make sure no black rats can get into the island.IMG_9998 IMG_9999 IMG_0002 IMG_0003 IMG_0001 IMG_0004 IMG_0005

Here is the Aranui anchored further out.IMG_0010 IMG_0007

Looking back towards the port.IMG_0012 IMG_0013UA HUKA MUSEUM

A few metres back in the village, there is a small but very interesting museum showing the history and culture of the island.  As you enter, there are some Tikis and a nice carving that looks like a coat of arms with some birds on it!

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Inside, you can see artifacts and photographs of traditional Marquesan people.IMG_0023 IMG_0024 IMG_0025 IMG_0026 IMG_0027 IMG_0028 IMG_0029 IMG_0032 IMG_0033 IMG_0034 IMG_0035There is also a taxidermied Ultramarine Lorikeet called Pihiti in the local language.  It is very clear that this beautiful bird means a lot to the locals and they are very keen to conserve the birds.

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Pihiti Taxidermied Marquesan Fruit Dove IMG_0038


Outside the museum is a poster to show the new currency which has been recently re-designed.  The new bank notes are a bit smaller and each one has a reference to the culture, flora and fauna of French Polynesia.IMG_0040

Ua Huka Orientation & Arboretum

I had been hoping to go birding the next day with the guide, Geoffray Sulpice but because the Aranui cruise ship was in port, he was already occupied for the day.  Let’s start with an orientation of the island of Ua Huka.  In the map below, I have used red arrows to indicate the 3 villages – Vaipaee, Hane & Hokatu.  Each village is at the mouth of a small river or stream that flows through the valley into the sea.  The beautiful endemic Ultramarine Lorikeets can be found in these valleys.