Marquesas Islands

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Marquesas Islands

(märkā`säs), volcanic group (2002 pop. 8,712), South Pacific, a part of French PolynesiaFrench Polynesia,
officially Overseas Lands of French Polynesia, internally self-governing dependency (2002 pop. 245,516) of France, consisting of 118 islands in the South Pacific. The capital is Papeete, on Tahiti.
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. There are 12 islands in the group, which lies c.930 mi (1,500 km) NE of Tahiti. The largest island is Nuku HivaNuku Hiva
, volcanic island, 127 sq mi (329 sq km), South Pacific, largest of the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. The island is fertile, with well-watered valleys; its highest point is c.4,000 ft (1,220 m).
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, the seat of the capital, Taiohae; the second largest, Hiva OaHiva Oa
, volcanic island, 154 sq mi (399 sq km), South Pacific, second largest and the most important of the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. Hiva Oa is the seat of Atuona, former capital of the Marquesas. The Bay of Traitors, protected by ridges c.
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, is the site of AtuonaAtuona
or Atuana
, town, in the Marquesas Islands, South Pacific, in French Polynesia. Situated on the southern coast of the island of Hiva Oa, Atuona overlooks the Bay of Traitors. Gauguin lived in Atuona Valley and is buried there.
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, the former capital. The Marquesas, famous for their rugged beauty, are fertile and mountainous, rising to 3,904 ft (1,190 m) on Hiva Oa. There are breadfruit, pandanus, and coconut trees; the limited fauna includes wild cattle and hogs. The chief exports are copra, tobacco, cotton, and vanilla. Taiohae Bay, on Nuka Hiva, and the Bay of Traitors, on Hiva Oa, are the major harbors.

The islands are divided into two groups. The southern cluster (sometimes called the Mendaña Islands), including Fatu Huku, Hiva Oa, Tahuata, Mohotani, and Fatu Hiva, was visted in 1595 by the Spanish navigator Alvaro de Mendaña de Neira; the northern group (sometimes called the Washington Islands), including Hatutu, Eiao, Motu Iti, Nuku Hiva, Ua Huku, Ua Pou, and Motu One, was visited in 1791 by the American navigator Captain Joseph Ingraham. In 1813, Commodore David Porter claimed Nuku Hiva for the United States, naming it Madison Island, but the U.S. Congress never ratified the claim.

France took possession of the islands in 1842 and established a settlement on Nuku Hiva, which was abandoned in 1859. In 1870 the French administration over the Marquesas was reinstated. Of all the Polynesian peoples, the Marquesans suffered the greatest decline from the spread of European diseases; in the 1850s they numbered some 20,000, about three times the present population. The islands are the setting for Herman Melville's novel Typee.

Marquesas Islands


an archipelago in the central part of the Pacific Ocean, in French Polynesia (an overseas territory). Area, 1,274 sq km. Population, 5,600 (1971), consisting of Polynesians. The administrative center is Taiohae. The largest islands are Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, which are of volcanic origin and are composed of basalts and tuffs. Elevation, to 1,259 m.

The climate is the healthiest in Polynesia. Average monthly temperatures never fall below 22°C; annual precipitation varies from 1,000 mm and less on the leeward slopes to 2,500 mm on the windward slopes. The humid windward slopes are covered with tropical forest, the leeward slopes with shrub savanna. There are coconut palm, cotton, banana, and coffee plantations. Fishing (eel) and pearl fishing are engaged in. Copra, coffee, vanilla, mother-of-pearl, and phosphates are exported. The Marquesas Islands are a tourist site. They were discovered in 1595 by the Spanish navigator A. de Mendaña de Neira and were named in honor of the Peruvian viceroy the Marquesa de Mendoza.

References in periodicals archive ?
Suggs' (1961) Marquesan fish-hook types, for example, conflate stylistic and functional traits; much of the identified variation may, in fact, be functional, including the rotating versus jabbing distinction (see below), hook thickness and size and the occurrence of barbs.
Rolett's (1993: 42) search for similarities in three roughly contemporaneous Marquesan assemblages using Suggs' types was forced to a similar conclusion, albeit on different grounds.
Traditional Marquesan communities were only weakly integrated beyond the confines of individual valleys.
There he claims that the principle of 'least difference' which provides the 'axis of coherence' in Marquesan art stylistically (pp.
side of the world, while Marquesans did not differentiate among
With little computer experience and no background in journalism, they started a small publication called Toake Oa (Tow-ACKee-OH-ah)--name d after a bird said to fly from Marquesan island to island delivering news and gossip.
Garb (2003) and Garb & Gillespie (2006) also found that the Society Island taxa are most closely related to Misumenops species found in the Marquesan and Hawaiian Islands as well as to North American Misumenops species.
While the cover features an elaborately tattooed Marquesan man, the exhibit encompasses other arts and crafts by these French Polynesians.
Christian said that that Marquesans were "the most debauched nation in Polynesia'(29).
A traditional Polynesian outrigger canoe paddled by seven shirtless, tanned and tattooed Marquesans approached, headed out to sea.
Males more prominent Montagnais Alorese or women restricted in Salteaux Aranda religious rituals Kaska Kutenai Haida Hadatsa Omaha Aztec Creek Quiche Comanche Bribri Zuni Goajire Papago Callinago Cubeo Siriono Inca Trumai Kwoma Kurds Ajie Palauans Both participate, no Irish Iban restriction for women in Punjabi Kiman religious rituals Garo Marquesans Tanela Tuareg Truk Both, but women more Toradja prominent Tehuelche Missing Romans Siuai Kazak Pentecost Lolo Adamanese Lesu Computer Ready Data obtained from World Cultures Electronic Database.
For Tahitians it is a fine word, but for Marquesans it is very sexual and not really the type of name you want to have to symbolise your country.