Arid and small, at approximately 78 square km (30 square mi), Ua Huka (which means "great house" in the Polynesian language) is home to around 570 people, but they are greatly outnumbered by many more horses and goats; the island is also home to the stately—and endangered—Marquesan imperial pigeon. A vast plateau dotted with wild cotton and fragrant herbs spreads out from the base of Mount Hitikau. The island, the smallest of the northern Marqueas, is celebrated for its wood carvings made from the local scrub. It's also home to the Marquesas' most ancient archeological sites.
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