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sv Code Blue – Iipona Archaeological site, Near Village of Puamau May 7, 2014

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2014.
T Maki

T Maki

Visited on Saturday 5-3-14

One of the best preserved archaeological sites in French Polynesia and I think the star of Hiva Oa. It has five monumental tiki. As you walk toward the first platform, you’ll first notice the reclining Tiki Maki Taua Pepe, representing a woman lying on her stomach. Her head stretched out and arms pointing to the sky. Experts say she represents a woman giving birth. The petroglyphs on the pedestal represent dogs but the meaning is unknown.

And now, Tiki Takaii, at 2.67 meters the largest tiki in French Poly. It’s named after a warrior chief renowned for his strength. Tiki Te Tova E Noho is to the left of Takaii, on a lower platform. Less finely worked than the others, it’s upper torso is hard to make out and the head has disappeared. The hands each have six fingers. Further back stands Tiki Fau Poe, measuring 1.8m, it is sitting with it’s legs stretched out, a position typical of women when they work in the fields. Experts believe it to be Takii’s wife. Tiki Manuiotaa is in complete contrast to the others, less massive, its proportions are harmonious and balanced. The hands are clearly recognizable, as is its female sex. It was decapitated but its head has been replaced by archaeologists. This site was extensively restored in 1991 by French archaeologists Pierre and Marie-Noelle Garanger-Ottino.

The entrance fee is 300 CFP about $3. We got with Roundabout and Sequoia and hired John to take us there in a four wheel drive cab truck with extra seats and cover in the back. We had lunch there with local food they provide. Pork dish, goat that was tastier than the pork, breadfruit, poi with coconut milk, plantain, coconut dessert with honey, juice of some kind and a few other dishes. On the way there we stopped at the Smiling Tiki near the road to the airport about 10km from Atuona. About 1m height, it stands in a clearing with a bit of a lean. Its two clearly outlined eyes resemble big glasses, and curved lips suggest a smile. There’s a sign on the main road now and a sign on the trail/road to head to it. More than three football field lengths down a steep dirt road. Earlier we stopped by a mango tree on the road and picked up mangos for everyone.

On the way back from Puamau we helped out in changing a front left tire, he had another the previous day with another group. Goats also came to the truck.

Steve and Judy
s/v Code Blue




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