Festival des Arts des Iles Marquises

Every 4 years cultural festival takes place alternately in one of the six populated islands of the Marquesas. Tomorrow the 10th Festival will kick off on the island of Hiva Oa and dance and drumming groups, choirs and artisans from the Marquisian islands of Nuku Hiva, Ua Huka, Ua Pou, Fatu Hiva and Tahuata, but also groups from Tahiti, the Gambier and even Rapa Nui (Easter Island) have gathered there over the past few days. On Monday a big military vessel went around Tahuata to pick up the official participants for the Festival from Tahuata–almost a quarter of the population of 600 ;-)

We’ve seen the groups of Nuku Hiva and Tahuata practicing and can’t wait to see them perform in their impressive costumes. As the harbour of Atuona on Hiva Oa only provides space for a limited amount of boats and yachts started crowding in over the past few weeks, we’ve decided to stay on the neighbouring island of Tahuata with its safer anchorages from where a local boat will take us and 8 other fellow cruisers 10 miles over to Hiva Oa tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

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