Retour en haut de page

Marquesas Islands Cruise: Meet the Polynesian tikis of Hiva Oa


Hop aboard  Aranui 5  and sail 1,500 km northeast of Tahiti, for a cruise to the Marquesas Islands: composed of 12 islands, of which only 6 are inhabited, you will discover a land of stories and legends, as incredible as they are inspiring. These include a visit to the island of Hiva Oa, which is known for its many sculptures of tiki – a representation of the first man, half human, half-god…

Polynesian tiki sculptures 

polynesian tikis Hiva Oa cruise Marquesas Islands

Made of wood or stone, a tiki represents mainly men. Rather stocky in size, his legs are often bent, and arms are folded on the front with his hands resting on his stomach. His head is totally disproportionate to the rest of the body and often reveals huge eyes and a very expressive mouth.

Half-human, half-god, this mythical figure of Polynesian culture, that created humans can be seen in various forms during a cruise to the Marquesas Islands – and specifically on Hiva Oa Island, you will encounter a number of tikis.

A cruise to the Marquesas Islands to see the iconic tikis. 

With an area of 316 km2, Hiva Oa Island offers unspoiled landscapes and lush vegetation, which are sure to captivate cruise passengers, as it did Jacques Brel and Paul Gauguin, who both set up their homes on the island. 

Beyond the cultural museums and burial sites dedicated to these two artists, a visit of Hiva Oa is an opportunity to see the tikis, which are characteristic of Polynesia. They are located either in Punaei or Puamau Bay. Examples include: 

  • – The smiling tiki, with his face illuminated by his eyes.
  • – The lying tiki (Tiki Taua Pepe), depicting a woman giving birth;
  • – The slender tiki (Tiki Manuiotaa) – with its head detached, but then put back in place by archaeologists.
  • – The headless tiki (Tiki Te Tovae E Noho), but with its original 6 fingers;
  • – The largest tiki in Polynesia (Tiki Takaii), standing 2.67 m high it is made of red volcanic rock:
  • – The crowned tiki (Tiki Moeone), which is engulfed by vegetation, but still retains its beauty.
  • – The two tikis of the Princess of Tehaumoea next to her grave.

For your next cruise in Polynesia, don’t miss these cultural icons, as beautiful as they are different from each other – whether on the island of Hiva Oa or the other islands of the archipelago.

read also
pirogue polynésienne
Polynesian canoes, an ancestral art
many islands in the Pacific, navigation is set up as art - in particular via its "going" a ”with a characteristic profile and intended for different uses (travel, fishing or sport)…
french polynesia
Everything you need to know about French Polynesia and its islands
r side of the world, French Polynesia opens its arms to you: in total, 118 islands sheltered from mass tourism, nearly 4,000 km away from the first land ... And to allow you to discover them under the best conditions, embark on the Aranui, a mixed cargo ship that supplies the locals, while ensuring optimal comfort for an exceptional cruise in French Polynesia.
Pitcairn Islands: all about the Bounty mutiny
Aboard the Aranui, in the heart of a cruise in French Polynesia, relive the adventures of the Bounty rebels, by approaching the mythical Pitcairn Island. This islet, one and a half miles long and one mile wide, is steeped in history and is still home to the descendants of the sailors of the famous ship, an object of fascination for decades...