Marquesas Islands NamesNames of Marquesas Islands
Names of Marquesas Islands
Marquesas Islands were the first of the archipelagoes to be explored by Europeans in the Pacific. In the course of the ages these Polyynesian islands were known under different names. In Marquesan the islands are known as Te Henua Kenana or Te Henua 'Enana in North Marquesan and Te Fenua 'Enata in South Marquesan.
They were given the name "Islas de la Marquesa de Mendoza" by the first ever tourist to visit Europe, the Spaniard Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, in honour of the Viceroy's Ladyship of Perú, after his discoveries in 1595. There are two main groups of islands: the northern Marquesas and the southern Marquesas, each with approximately the same number of islands and shallows.
Although there are no indigenous Marquesan names to distinguish between the north and south groups, they were distinguished as such, at least by US seafarers, from a historical point of view, by the names "Washington Islands" to relate to the north Marquesas, and "Mendaña Islands" to the south. Below you will find a listing of the islands, in which first the most commonly used Marquesan names and then the variations are listed:
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