The enchanting name calls for a hypnotic, bewitching journey an incredible story that will transport you.
It is with this thought , with a desire to share the beauty of the planet and to give the desire to everyone to preserve it, that I agreed to realize, in partnership with Tahiti Tourisme and the company Air Tahiti Nui, a short and powerful film on this jewel of French Polynesia.
Cette land of manas the ancients called it by its Polynesian name Fenua Enata, full of natural treasures, and fascinated me with its untamed side. The remoteness and the difficulty of access leave it still virgin and preserved. It is a mystical place, difficult to reach, which must be earned.
Indeed, it is after 50 hours of a long journey that I reached this wild territory. At the approach of the island, the aerial view foreshadowed an adventure i will never forget, suddenly out of no where mysterious rocky imposing swathes finally appear majestically in the fog in the distance.
It is between a tapa and various pictorial representations of Marquisian art that I find Humu, emblematic figure of HivaOa, one of the two largest islands of the archipelago. His grey-haired hair cascades over his massive shoulders and arms covered with symbols embedded in his skin, recounting his ancestral culture and love of his land. It is he who will guide me during the stay, and will open to me the doors of this island.
Thanks to him, and to the warm welcome of the Marquisieans, I was able to discover a fascinating universe. The ecosystem of the Marquesas, due to the remoteness of the continent, remains completely apart, and offers a lush and generous nature. Almost hostile. Indeed, despite the breadfruit trees and tiaras, this archipelago of French Polynesia differs from its sisters in the absence of lagoon, turquoise water and coral reef postcard, but offers the visitor a version well more fascinating of an exceptionally virgin nature, pure, fierce and preserved.
The underwater fauna is also very represented. Mariscan waters, rich in plankton, are ideal for many species. It is therefore a privileged place to observe Manta rays that crisscross the sea between hammerhead sharks or white tips, all in a volcanic aquatic setting, a proof of the youth of this coastline.
Unfortunately, this grandiose balance is also fragile, and the hand of man, wanting to preserve this jewel, disturbed a naive and sensitive ecosystem. This is due to the introduction of the Eagle-owl a few years ago, to reduce rat populations, it disrupted the ecosystem and decimated some of the fauna, particularly many species of endemic birds. The best example is the "Pahi", an endemic bird that has completely disappeared from HivaOa, and still found in small numbers on the island of Tahuata.
Nevertheless, the discovery of these islands would be nothing without the meeting with the Marquesans. Hunters and fisherman, they remain few (2447 inhabitants in 2012 on HivaOa, one of the two most populated islands of the marquises) and the moderate tourist activity makes a population still very impregnated by their ancestral culture.
Indeed, these cousins of Hawaii have revealed to me an unparalleled craftmanship. The sculpture of the wood (the tou, Polynesian local name for the Oceanian walnut, or faux ebony) and the sculpture of the bone are mastered to perfection, to produce a myriad of objects of Polynesian art that will enhance the interior decorationss. All done in a warm atmosphere under the benevolent eye of the Tikis, stone statues erected by the ancestors, on a background of Polynesian singing and dance, with the impressive ritual of HAKA.
But the highlight of the show remains the tattoo, an ancestral art of which the marquises are one of the emblematic representatives, and which indelibly draws on the skin the history of men and their culture. Here, from the arms to the ankles through the neck, see the face, each man or woman represents to himself a work of art.
Nevertheless, although they have never left the island for the most part, the Marquesans remain in pursue of their history . Government restrictions in the past kept in poorly any written documentation of their ancestral traditions , and Humu, through his anthropological and ethnological research, seeks to restore this fading story.
Finally, Jacques Brel, and before him, Gauguin and even Herman Melville understood it, this remote territory offers a kingdom of serenity to man in search of inspiration and calm.
My goal today is to discover the land, to transmit, this grandiose and fragile universe but at the same time wish to bring to your attention through my film, the wanderlust to discover with me this treasure at the world's end.
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