The Mana is present wherever you go in The Islands of Tahiti. And that’s especially true in Ua Pou, whether you’re searching for flower stones in the valley of Hoihoi or touching the rock face of the piton of Poumaka. Legend has it that the pitons of Ua Huka were at war with those of Hiva Oa and the warrior Poumaka knocked down the warrior Matafenua from Hiva Oa.
Ua Pou means pillar in the Marquesan language and the island owes its name to its 12 pitons, each several hundred feet high. In the heart of the Marquesas Islands, the unique landscape of Ua Pou is home to some very special archeological sites, like the famous Hoihoi valley. It’s an ideal family destination, especially for hiking enthusiasts. For a true appreciation of the lifestyle of the islanders, stay in a Tahitian Guesthouse. Your hosts will be delighted to share some of the tales and legends of the island. They will also make sure that you don’t miss any of the important sites and events during your stay.
A superb view over Ua Pou, its piton and valley
Put on a sturdy pair of walking shoes and set off with your guide to Poumaka piton, a ‘two-headed’ piton that is one of the many famous sites in The Islands of Tahiti. Starting from the village of Hakahetau on the coast, it takes about five hours to complete the enire trail. There are some steep passages and it can be a little slippery at times, so be careful. But it’s well worth the effort because the views over Ua Pou and its legendary piton are simply breathtaking.
Take an excursion to the valley and bay of Hoihoi to look for flowers. But these flowers don’t grow in the fields, they are designs on some very rare stones that are much prized by the local craftsmen. The flower designs only appear once the stones have been polished. The valley is also home to the Tohua Mauia archeological site, which has been completely restored and is an important cultural site in The Islands of Tahiti.
The craftsmanship of the Marquesas Islands
The artistic skills of Marquesan craftsmen and women are admired throughout French Polynesia. The hosts at your Tahitian Guesthouse will give you the best addresses where you can admire and purchase sculptures, carvings, jewelry, etc. such as in the authentic village of Hakahau in Ua Pou .
In the craft market, you can see typical Polynesian arts and cratfs such as tapa, tattooing and flower stone sculptures. Tapa is a cloth made by beating the bark of a paper mulberry trees and is a speciality of the South Pacific. The word tattoo is a derived from the Tahitian tatau, which means to strike. The designs of Marquesan tattoos can be seen on bodies all over the world. The magnificent sculptures in flower stone are unique to Ua Pou.
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