Hiva Oa, Marquesas / Polynesia
Hiva Oa is one of the Marquesas Islands located in the Pacific Ocean. Geographically and politically they belong to French Polynesia. The Marquesas are composed of 14 islands (of which only 7 are inhabited), and many small islands. These islands were colonized by Samoa and Tonga, about the birth of Christ, at the latest however until 300 AD. Hiva Oa is one of the main islands of the South Group. It has an area of 320 square kilometers, has a population of 1,800 inhabitants, its center, located on the south coast, is Atuona.
In this natural paradise between volcanic rock and lush vegetation already the French Paul Gaugin as well as the Belgian chansonnier Jacques Brel spent their final years. Gaugin died in 1903 in Atuona. On the Calvaire cemetery you can visit his grave today. A few meters away is the grave of the deceased in 1978 Jacques Brel. In Atuona there is also a small Gauguin Museum, which unfortunately displays only reproductions of his works. Near the village Puamau on the north coast located in the dense rainforest of the "Marae Takii", is the largest place of worship in the Marquesas. The 11 impressive stone figures, set on superimposed stone platforms have a size of up to two meters. Among them is a lying or floating figure unique in the entire Pacific area ,called "Maki i Taua Pepe" called, which purports to be a priestess or goddess during labor supposedly.