The Other Islands Sights

Puamau

  • Town/Village

Published 03/29/2016

Fodor's Review

The village of Puamau is east of Atuona; the journey takes 2½ hours by 4WD over a mountain trail that crosses the island, passing through the island's airport, the north shore, and the villages of Hanapaaoa and Nahoe. Puamau is overshadowed by a circle of high cliffs and is home to the Pekekea historical site which consists of the tomb of Queen Vahinetitoiani that's protected by two gigantic "tiki"—Mani and Pauto. Higher up the trail sits one of the most important archaeological sites in the Marquesas: Iipona, a temple site with the largest stone carving found outside of Easter Island. The site is guarded by a 7-foot-tall (2 meter) tiki that's known as 'Takai', the valley's namesake. Takai' is accompanied by two smaller tiki: Tauatepepe on the right and Pepetamuimui to the left. There are also many tiki heads displayed about the paepae, and on one of the platforms there is also the striking statue of Makali Taua Pepe, representing a woman giving birth to a creature that is half man, half goat.

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