Nuku Hiva Travel Guide

Outfitters

4WD Tours

Mave Mai Tours (Taiohae, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. 92–08–10. .)

Nuku Hiva Transports (Taiohae, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. 92–06–80. .)

Hiking

Marquises Rando (Taiohae, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. 92–07–13. www.marquisesrando.com.)

Horse Riding

Sabine Teikiteetini (Taiohae, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, 98742. 92–01–56.)

Scuba Diving

Centre de Plongee des Marquises (Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. 92–00–88.)

The Fabric of Marquesas

Also called hiapo, tapa used to be the main form of cloth in the pre-European Pacific. The fabric's popularity has faded because of the introduction of new, synthetic fabrics and is now practiced only on Fatu Hiva, though only a handful of women make it. The cloth is made from banyan or paper mulberry bark that has been cut into 10-inch-wide strips and soaked in water for several days. The soaked bark is then pounded for hours with a special wooden beater on a stone anvil. The wooden beaters, which are incised with grooves, are themselves considered pieces of art and are usually passed down the family line. Once the tapa is beaten out, it is scraped with seashells—a process that removes most of the outer bark—before being sun-dried. Strips are often glued together using liquids obtained from tree-roots. The artists then paint it in dark brown colors and patterns that are distinctive to the island—tapa patterns are often reflected in tattoos.

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