80 square km – Population: 631.
Also called the “Garden of Eden”
The southernmost of the Marquesan islands,it represents the roof of the “Great House” of the gods.It has a spectacular and dizzy making relief covered in luxurious plant growth especially in the northwest corner of the island around the spectacular Virgins Bay at Hanavave, with baroque basalt columns.
A rocky peak shaped like the Easter Island “moai” dominates the administrative settlement of Omoa in the southwest.
This is the island of tapa cloth where plant fibers are transformed into fabric and this work has traditionally been the province of women.
The making of “umuhei“, aromatic bouquets that are said to have aphrodisiac properties, and the production of sandal wood scented monoi remain very much alive.
And culinary specialties are no less attractive with the famous dried bananas and with “poipoi” of “uru”, or breadfruit.