Discover the Marquesas in 3 easy lessons …

marquises_tiki_connaissancedesartsThe exposition at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris featuring Marquesan art has created a sensation in the French metropolitan press … “The Marquesas : queen of the beautiful iles“, as Paris Match would so describe it.  While Le Monde offers readers a very poetic trip “To the land of the laughing tiki ” … Taking advantage of this spring season, this month, e-Tahiti Travel invites you to discover these exquisite Marquesas … in three easy lessons!

Lesson number one: a visit to the Quai Branly Museum in Paris!

“Mata Hoata” or “sparkling eyes” in Marquesan, is the name of the great exhibition of spring 2016 at the Quai Branly Museum. As if to emphasize the vivacity of the ancient culture of the Marquesas Islands, celebrated for two months in the gallery Jardin of the  Quai Branly.

A veritable immersion into the paradise of the Marquesas Islands, Mata Hoata can boast of being the largest exhibition in the world dedicated to Marquesan art. Nearly 300 works of art were combined to trace rites, beliefs and art in the archipelago, from the eighteenth century to the latest contemporary creations.

marquises_illustration_généImplicitly, we discover the Marquesas in a different light than that inspired by Gauguin or Brel, his two greatest contemporary ambassadors. Behind the sometimes stereotypical images of the two French artists exiled in this archipelago lost in the middle of the Pacific, one visualizes the Marquesan culture itself. Tikis, representations of ancestors carved in basalt or fine wood, hypnotize. The imaginary traditional tattoos mesmerize you and incite reflection … And the refinement of festive ornaments, “peue ei” astound you… all symbols of the racial intermingling process at work in the Marquesas society since the arrival of the first missionaries until today.

The journey starts here. You have until July 24 to appreciate the rich Marquesan art exhibition. An exceptional event not to miss!

Lesson number two: (re) discover the re-edited works of Von den Steinen

marquises_coffret_bouquinIn reference to the Paris exhibition, the Tahiti publishing house “Au Vent des îles” has reedited the complete works of Karl von den Steinen. A German doctor, that sojourned from 1879-1881 arriving from travels in Mexico, California, Japan, Java, India and Egypt, wrote, “it is nevertheless for me, the Polynesian islands that have made the strongest and most vibrant impressions, those where man and nature are in agreement in both beauty and joy like no other in the world. “

In 1897 and 1898, Von den Steinen compiled a wealth of knowledge on Marquesan art, taking inventory any object, any drawing … and even recording in his journals Marquesan traditional songs.

Completely original, even the best contemporary Polynesian tattoo artists still draw today from the journals of Von den Steinen, the gist of the “tatutiki” traditional Marquesan art of tattooing.

Lesson number three: You are finally ready to visit the Marquesas!

marquises_aranui_cyril_charonNow that the exquisite Marquesas have cast their spell, as so fittingly sung by Brel, what are you waiting for to embark on a journey…
Yes “embark”. For the Marquesas Islands can also visited by boat. With their bi-monthly voyages, the passenger cargo ship Aranui 5 has become a major tourist reference in French Polynesia where Marquesan voyages are concerned.  Their secret?  Embark on the same vessel, a few containers of cargo to the Marquesas, add a hundred or so comfortable cabins manned by an almost 100% Polynesian crew. On arrival: you will undoubtedly benefit from the most authentic of French Polynesian experiences in just one cruise …

The Aranui 5, their latest and newest vessel of this local company, even makes a stop by Bora Bora on the route back to Tahiti … A must do for all travelers to French Polynesia!


Useful information:

 The spring exhibition at the Quai Branly “Mata Hoata, art and society in the Marquesas”
From 12 April to 24 July 2016 Full price: 9,00 €. Reduced price: € 7.00


Le coffret « Les marquisiens et leur art », collection Culture pacifique, Edition Au Vent des Îles, 108 euros.


Aranui 5 – Cruise to Tahiti and her islands (culminating in the Marquises archipelago)