Marquesas Islands PacificMárquesas Islands Pacific
The Marquesas Isles | Isles, France Polynesia
The Marquesas Isles, France Îles Marquises, two groups of vulcanic archipelagos in France-Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean, 740 leagues (1,200 km) north east of Tahiti. Most of the isles are high and rugged, with serrated summits up to 1,200 m high. Hiva Oa, the biggest (200 sq. km) and most populous of the southeast group, is the grave of Paul Gauguin and the Belgium vocalist Jacques Brel; the group also comprises the 60 sq. km large cities of Fatu Hiva and Tahuata, as well as the unpopulated Motane and FATA Huku.
Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Eiao and Hatutu are part of the north-western group. It is assumed that the Marquesas were already settled in 340 B.C., although there are disagreements among the scientists about the origins of the migrants. In 1595, the south-eastern isles were spotted by the Spaniard Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, who called them after his protector, the Marques de Mendoza, vice-king of Peru.
Capt. James Cook paid a visit to Fatu Huku in 1774. 1791 the US naval commander Joseph Ingraham saw the north-western group and called it Washington Islands. All the group, annihilated by the locals in 1842, now form an administration department of Franco Polynesia based in Hakapehi (Tai-o-hae) on Nuku Hiva.
Due to the shortage of coastline and reef, the settlement is largely limited to the small valley where the creeks flow down from the rock. It is a thriving tourist sector and the island is a favourite destination for cruise ships. Entire surface area (including fresh water) 405 sqkm.
Stories about Kannibalism from the South Pacific
Canibalism? "It' truely said that Polynesia once had a certain cannibalistic credentials, but that was a long while ago," says John Gimlette, the author of the travelogue. "1910 the US Anthropologe A P Rice described how the Marquesas Islands were ritually killing their prisoners. This kind of ritual has gone into Pacific Legend.
Antropologists differentiate between survivor cannibalism versus renal Kannibalism, Endokannibalism (eating one's own dead) and Exokannibalism (killing outsiders). Survivor cannibalism goes back to pre-historic time. In Asia, Herodotus, the prehistorian of Greece, witnessed two kinds of cannibalism: the awesome food of his own deaths and the triumphal destruction of his own foes.
The endocannibal people, like the Papua New Guinea people, thought that by feeding the heart and minds of their families and acquaintances, they would take on their delicacy. He claimed in his anthroposophic myth that cannibal ritualism was an empire of lies, a means of propaganda for taming the unworthy wilder.
This latest tale of Kannibalism reflects our constant interest in a subject that is both fascinating and repulsive. There are unconfirmed rumors that they eat the brains immediately after they die while it is still hot.