|Major islands||Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Hiva ʻOa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata|
|Area||1,049.3 km2 (405.1 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,230 m (4040 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Oave (Ua Pou)|
|Largest settlement||Taiohae(pop. 2,183 (2017 ))|
|Population||9,346 (2017 )|
|Pop. density||8.9/km2 (23.1/sq mi)|
The Marquesas Islands ( // ; French : Îles Marquises or Archipel des Marquises or Marquises; Marquesan: Te Henua ʻEnana (North Marquesan) and Te Fenua ʻEnata (South Marquesan), both meaning "the land of men") are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. Their highest point is the peak of Mount Oave (French: Mont Oave) on Ua Pou island, at 1,230 m (4,035 ft) above sea level.
Archaeological research suggests the islands were colonized in the 10th century AD by indigenous voyagers from West Polynesia. : Marqués de Cañete) by navigator Álvaro de Mendaña , who visited them in 1595.Over the centuries that followed, the islands have maintained a "remarkably uniform culture, biology and language." The Marquesas were named after the 16th century Spanish Viceroy of Peru, the Marquis of Cañete (Spanish
The Marquesas Islands constitute one of the five administrative divisions (subdivisions administratives) of French Polynesia. The capital of the Marquesas Islands’ administrative subdivision is the town of Taiohae, on the island of Nuku Hiva. The population of the Marquesas Islands was 9,346 inhabitants at the time of the August 2017 census.
The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world. It lies about 852 mi (1,370 km) northeast of Tahiti and about 3,000 mi (4,800 km) west of Mexico (the nearest continental land mass). It is thought to have been formed by a center of upwelling magma, called the Marquesas hotspot. The islands in the group fall naturally into two geographical divisions. One is the northern group, consisting of Eiao, Hatutu (Hatutaa), Motu One, and the islands surrounding the large island of Nuku Hiva: Motu Iti, also called Hatu Iti; Ua Pou; Motu Oa; and Ua Huka). The other is the southern group, consisting of Fatu Uku, Tahuata, Moho Tani (Motane), Terihi, Fatu Hiva, and Motu Nao (also called Thomasset Rock), which are clustered around the main island of Hiva ʻOa.
The Marquesas are among the largest island groups in French Polynesia. Their combined land area is 1,049 square kilometres (405 sq mi). One of the islands in the group, Nuku Hiva, is the second-largest island in the entire territory (after Tahiti). With the exception of Motu One, all the islands of the Marquesas are of volcanic origin.
Although Polynesia tends to be associated with images of lush tropical vegetation, and the Marquesas lie within the tropics, they are remarkably dry. That is because they constitute the first major break for the prevailing easterly winds that arise from the (atmospherically) dry Humboldt Current. This subjects the Marquesas to frequent drought conditions. Only those that reach highest into the clouds (generally, higher than 750 m / 2,500 ft above sea level) reliably have periods of precipitation. These conditions have historically led to periodic fluctuations in the availability of fresh water. Periodic lack of water has made human habitation only intermittently sustainable in certain parts of the various islands throughout the archipelago. For example, Ua Huka Island (maximum elevation 857 m m / 2,812 ft.) has a history of low population levels, and Eiao Island (maximum elevation 576 m m / 1,890 ft.) has been intermittently uninhabited.
There are also a number of seamounts or shoals, located primarily in the area of the northern Marquesas. Among these are:
Most of the Marquesas Islands are of volcanic origin, created by the Marquesas hotspot that underlies the Pacific Plate. The Marquesas Islands lie above a submarine volcanic plateau of the same name. The plateau, like the islands, is generally believed to be less than 5 million years old, though one hypothesis is that the plateau (not the islands) is significantly older, and has been formed by forces similar to those that have formed the Inca Plateau, which is subducting under northern Peru.
The Marquesas islands are estimated to range in age from 1.3 million years old (Fatu Hiva) to 6 million years old (Eiao). All of them except Motu One are high islands. Motu One is a low island, comprising two small sand banks on a coral reef. Unlike most French Polynesian islands, the Marquesas islands (other than Motu One) are not surrounded by protective fringing reefs.In those islands, coral is found only in bays and other protected areas, or, in the case of Fatu Huku, in an unusual place: at the top of the island. The South Equatorial Current lashes all these islands fiercely; its force has carved sea-caves that dot their shores. Although the islands have valleys that empty into small bays, they are remarkable for their mountain ridges, which end abruptly in cliffs at the edge of the sea.
Temperatures in the Marquesas are stable year round. Precipitation is highly variable: greater in the northern and eastern (windward) coastal areas and mountains, averaging 100 inches (2,500 mm) annually; much lower in the western (leeward) areas. Average annual precipitation in the "desert" region of Nuku Hiva is only 20 inches (510 mm). Droughts are frequent, sometimes lasting several years, and seem to be associated with the El Niño phenomenon. The typical variability of the sea-level climate in the Marquesas is well illustrated by measurements made at the Atuona weather station on Hiva ʻOa: The highest recorded annual rainfall there is 148.2 inches (3,760 mm); the lowest is 22 inches (560 mm).
|Climate data for Atuona, Hiva ʻOa|
|Average high °C (°F)||30|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||27|
|Average low °C (°F)||23|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||110|
The first recorded settlers of the Marquesas were Polynesians who arrived from West Polynesia. Early attempts to carbon-date evidence from the site suggested they arrived before AD 100 , but several more recent independent studies suggest that they arrived more recently.
For example, a 2010 study that applied higher-precision radiocarbon dating methods to more reliable samples suggests that the earliest colonization of eastern Polynesia took place much later, within a shorter time period, and in two waves: The first was a migration into the Society Islands between about 1025 and 1120 AD (four centuries later than had previously been thought); the second, between 70 and 265 years later, was a dispersal of migrants into to all the remaining Marquesas islands between about 1190 and 1290 AD.This relatively rapid colonization is believed to account for the "remarkable uniformity of East Polynesia culture, biology and language."
A different study, published in 2014, suggested that the date of first settlement in the Marquesas was somewhat earlier: between around 900 and 1000 AD.
The richness of the natural resources in the islands has historically supported a large population. The inhabitants historically made a living by fishing, collecting shellfish, hunting birds, and gardening. They relied heavily on breadfruit but raised at least 32 other introduced crops. Hard evidence of significant pre-European interarchipelago trade has been found in basalt from the Marquesan quarry island of Eiao. It is known to have been distributed via sailing canoes over distances of more than 2500 km to provide adze heads to Mo'orea (Society Islands), Mangareva (Gambier Islands), Tubuai (Austral Islands), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), and Tabuaeran (Northern Line Islands).
The first Europeans to reach the Marquesas may have been the crew members aboard the San Lesmes, a Spanish vessel that disappeared in a storm in June 1526; it was part of an expedition headed by García Jofre de Loaísa. Álvaro de Mendaña reached them nearly 70 years later, on 21 July 1595. He named the islands after his patron, García Hurtado de Mendoza, 5th Marquis of Cañete (Spanish : Marqués de Cañete), who served as Viceroy of Peru from 1590 to 1596. Mendaña visited first Fatu Hiva and then Tahuata before continuing on to the Solomon Islands. His expedition charted the four southernmost Marquesas as Magdalena (Fatu Hiva), Dominica (Hiva ʻOa), San Pedro (Moho Tani), and Santa Cristina (Tahuata).The Spanish explorer
In the late 16th century, European explorers estimated that the population was more than 100,000.[ citation needed ] Europeans and Americans were impressed with how easy life appeared to be in the islands, which had a rich habitat and environment. In 1791, the American maritime fur trader Joseph Ingraham first visited the northern Marquesas while commanding the brig Hope. He named them the Washington Islands. In 1813, Commodore David Porter claimed Nuku Hiva for the United States, but the United States Congress never ratified that claim.
The islands were a popular port of call for whaling ships in the Age of Sail. The first on record to visit was the Hope, in April 1791.The last known such visitor was the American whaler Alaska in February 1907.
In 1842, France conducted a successful military operation in support of the native chief Iotete’s claim that he was king of the whole island of Tahuata. The French government then laid claim to the whole island group and established a settlement on Nuku Hiva. That settlement was abandoned in 1857, but France re-established control over the group in 1870. It later incorporated the Marquesas into French Polynesia.
The indigenous people of the Marquesas suffered high death rates from diseases carried by Western explorers, such as smallpox and measles, because none of them had any immunity to them.
The Marquesas lost more people to death from these diseases than any other island group in Polynesia. The population shrank from over 78,000 inhabitants in the 18th century to about 20,000 by the middle of the 19th century, and to just over 4,000 by the beginning of the 20th century,reaching a nadir of 2,255 in 1926. After that, the population started to increase, reaching 8,548 by the time of the November 2002 census (not including the Marquesan community residing in Tahiti), and 9,346 by the time of the August 2017 census.
The Marquesas Islands form one of the five administrative divisions (subdivisions administratives) of French Polynesia. French and Tahitian are the official languages of government. The capital of the Marquesas Islands administrative subdivision is the settlement of Taiohae on the island of Nuku Hiva.
The sparsely populated Marquesas Islands are located 1,371 km (852 mi) from Tahiti. With 183,645 inhabitants (2012 census), Tahiti is the most populous island of French Polynesia, containing 68.5% of the total population of the grouping.
Residents of the Marquesas have chafed at Tahiti's overwhelming dominance, complaining of neglect by politicians based in Tahiti, and leaders have suggested developing a direct relationship with the metropole, the government in Paris, instead of depending on Papeete.As sentiment was rising in Tahiti in the 21st century for independence from France, several prominent Marquesan political leaders in 2007 floated the idea of the Marquesas Islands separating from French Polynesia but remaining within the French Republic. This has generated controversies in Tahiti, where pro-independence Tahitian leaders have accused the French central government of encouraging the separation of the Marquesas Islands from French Polynesia.
The Marquesas Islands do not have a provincial or regional assembly. Administratively, they form a deconcentrated subdivision of both the French central State and the government of French Polynesia. As a deconcentrated subdivision of the French central State, the Marquesas Islands form the administrative subdivision of the Marquesas (French: subdivision administrative des Marquises), one of French Polynesia's five administrative subdivisions. The head of the administrative subdivision of the Marquesas is the administrateur d'État ("State administrator"), generally simply known as administrateur, also sometimes called chef de la subdivision administrative ("head of the administrative subdivision"). The administrateur is a civil servant under the authority of the High Commissioner of the French Republic in French Polynesia in Papeete. The administrateur and his staff sit in Taiohae, on the island of Nuku Hiva, which has become the administrative capital of the Marquesas Islands, having replaced Atuona on the island of Hiva ʻOa, which was previously the capital.
Acting as the representative of the French central State and delegate of Papeete's High Commissioner, the administrateur of the Marquesas is in charge of:
As a deconcentrated subdivision of the government of French Polynesia, the Marquesas Islands form the circonscription des Marquises ("district of the Marquesas"), one of French Polynesia's four circonscriptions ("districts") created in 2000 by the Assembly of French Polynesia to serve as deconcentrated subdivisions of the government of French Polynesia in the islands away from Tahiti and Moorea. The head of the circonscription des Marquises is the tavana hau, known as administrateur territorial in French ("territorial administrator"), but the Tahitian title tavana hau is most often used. The tavana hau is the direct representative of the president of French Polynesia's government who appoints him. The tavana hau and his staff sit in Taiohae on Nuku Hiva, same as the State administrator.
The tavana hau is in charge of:
The Marquesas Islands also form the electoral district of the Marquesas Islands, one of French Polynesia's six electoral districts for the Assembly of French Polynesia (see also Politics of French Polynesia).
The Marquesas Islands are subdivided in six communes (municipalities). In each of the six communes the local residents elect a municipal council and a mayor in charge of managing local affairs within the commune. Three communes (Nuku-Hiva, Ua-Pou, and Hiva-Oa) are further subdivided into associated communes due to their larger population. The communes and associated communes are the only elected councils in the Marquesas since there does not exist a provincial or regional assembly for the entire archipelago. Municipal elections are held every six years on the same day as municipal elections in the rest of France (see 2014 French municipal elections for the last municipal elections).
The areas and populations of the communes at the 2012 Census were as follows:
|Past estimates and official figures from past censuses.|
The places of birth of the 9,346 residents of the Marquesas Islands at the 2017 census were the following:
Between the 2007 and 2017 censuses, the population of residents of the Marquesas Islands born in Tahiti rose by 50.5% (from 1,810 at the 2007 census to 2,726 at the 2017), and as a result, they made up 29.2% of the population in 2017. A lot of these arrivals from Tahiti, however, are children of Marquesans who had migrated to Tahiti and given birth there, and whose children are returning to the Marquesas, as can be seen in the language statistics: 50.8% of the Marquesas Islands' residents whose age was 15 or older and who were born in Tahiti and lived in the Marquesas at the 2017 census reported that the language they spoke the most at home was Marquesan, whereas 42.1% reported French, and only 6.6% reported Tahitian.
3,353 people born in the Marquesas Islands lived on the island of Tahiti at the 2017 census (down from 3,493 at the 2007 census), whereas 5,907 people born in the Marquesas Islands lived in the Marquesas (down from 6,106 at the 2007 census), and 705 lived in the rest of French Polynesia (up from 679 at the 2007 census).The total number of people born in the Marquesas Islands and living in French Polynesia decreased from 10,278 at the 2007 census to 9,965 at the 2017 census, as net births were not able to offset the departures to New Caledonia and Metropolitan France due to the economic crisis experienced by French Polynesia.
French and Tahitian are the official languages of all of French Polynesia, but the Marquesan languages, in their various forms, remain the primary means of communication among residents within this archipelago, although knowledge of French is now almost universal among residents of the Marquesas Islands (see census data below).
Marquesan is a collection of East-Central Polynesian dialects, of the Marquesic group, spoken in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. They are usually classified into two groups, North Marquesan and South Marquesan, corresponding roughly along geographic lines.
The North Marquesan dialects are spoken on the islands of Ua Pu and Nuku Hiva, and South Marquesan dialects on the islands of Hiva ʻOa, Tahuata and Fatu Hiva. The dialects of Ua Huka are often incorrectly classified as North Marquesan; they are instead transitional. While the island is in the northern Marquesas group, the dialects show more morphological and phonological affinities with South Marquesan. The North Marquesan dialects are sometimes considered to be two separate languages: North Marquesan and Tai Pi Marquesan, the latter being spoken in the valleys of the eastern third of the island of Nuku Hiva, in the ancient province of Tai Pi.
The most striking feature of the Marquesan languages is their almost universal replacement of the /r/ or /l/ of other Polynesian languages by a /ʔ/ (glottal stop).
Like other Polynesian languages, the phonology of Marquesan languages is characterised by a paucity of consonants and a comparative abundance of vowels.
At the 2017 census, 97.0% of the population whose age was 15 and older reported that they could speak French (up from 94.1% at the 2007 census). 92.6% reported that they could also read and write it (up from 90.2% at the 2007 census). Only 1.9% of the population whose age was 15 and older had no knowledge of French (down from 4.4% at the 2007 census).
At the same census, 66.9% of the population whose age was 15 and older reported that the language they spoke the most at home was Marquesan (down from 67.8% at the 2007 census). 30.2% reported that French was the language they spoke the most at home (up from 30.1% at the 2007 census). 2.3% reported Tahitian (up from 1.4% at the 2007 census), and 0.6% reported another language (down from 0.7% at the 2007 census).
4.9% of the population whose age was 15 and older reported that they had no knowledge of any Polynesian language at the 2017 census (down from 7.2% at the 2007 census).
There are four airports in the Marquesas, one each on the islands of Nuku Hiva, Ua Pu, Ua Huka, and Hiva ʻOa. The terrain of Tahuata is too irregular to allow for the construction of a landing strip without significant investment, and while the upland plateau of central Fatu Hiva is large enough to permit the construction of an airstrip, the island's minuscule population makes such an exercise of dubious benefit.
The Marquesas are served by telephone as well as by radio and television, mainly from Tahiti. Recent additions include the "Vini" a mobile phone service that, in about 6 years, has expanded to cover most of the populated islands. There also is "Mana", an internet server with DSL broadband that is expanding with Wi-Fi stations too.
The Marquesas Islands were once a major center of eastern Polynesian civilization. Wooden and stone crafts and tattooing are common practices among the locals.
The ecosystem of the Marquesas has been devastated in some areas by the activities of feral livestock. As a first step in preserving what remains, the Marquesan Nature Reserves were created in 1992.
French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France and its sole overseas country. It comprises 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) in the South Pacific Ocean. The total land area of French Polynesia is 4,167 square kilometres (1,609 sq mi).
Fatu-Hiva is the southernmost island of the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. With Motu Nao as its closest neighbor, it is also the most isolated of the inhabited islands.
Marquesan is a collection of East-Central Polynesian dialects, of the Marquesic group, spoken in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. They are usually classified into two groups, North Marquesan and South Marquesan, roughly along geographic lines.
With its 320 square kilometres, Hiva Oa is the second largest island in the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. Located at 9 45' south latitude and 139 W longitude, it is the largest island of the southern Marquesas group. Around 2,200 people reside on the island. A volcano, Temetiu, is Hiva Oa's highest point with 1,200 metres.
Ua Pou is the third largest of the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is located about 50 km (30 mi.) south of Nuku Hiva, in the northern Marquesas. Until the beginning of the 1980s, it was the most populous of the Marquesas Islands, because when the other islands were being ravaged by diseases introduced by European explorers and traders, the Catholic priests on the island took to quarantining the remnant of the native population inside their churches whenever visiting ships approached the island, thereby reducing their exposure to external diseases.
The Marquesas Islands were colonized by seafaring Polynesians as early as 300 AD, thought to originate from Tonga. The dense population was concentrated in the narrow valleys and consisted of warring tribes.
Tahuata is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is located 4 km (2.5 mi.) to the south of the western end of Hiva Oa, across the Canal du Bordelais, called Ha‘ava in Marquesan.
Ua Huka is one of the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is situated in the northern group of the archipelago, approximately 25 mi (40 km) to the east of Nuku Hiva, at.
Phyllanthus marchionicus is a species of tree in the family Phyllanthaceae. It is endemic to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, where it grows on the islands of Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Hiva Oa, Tahuata, and Fatu Hiva, in a variety of habitats.
This article details the history of the Marquesas. The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas Islands comprise one of the five administrative divisions of French Polynesia.
The Marquesas Islands are the island group farthest from any continent in the world, lying between 400 to 600 miles south of the equator and approximately 740 miles (1,200 km) northeast of Tahiti. A pair of volcanic archipelagoes, they fall naturally into two geographical divisions, The northwestern group consists of Eïao, Hatutu (Hatutaa), Motu One, and the islands centered on the large island of Nuku Hiva: Motu Iti, Ua Pou, Motu Oa and Ua Huka. The southeastern group consists of Fatu Uku, Tahuata, Moho Tani (Motane), Terihi, Fatu Hiva and Motu Nao, clustered around the main island of Hiva `Oa which is the largest and most populous island of the southeastern group.
This page list topics related to French Polynesia.
The 1st constituency of French Polynesia is a French legislative constituency in French Polynesia.
Nuku Hiva is the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas country of France in the Pacific Ocean. It was formerly also known as Île Marchand and Madison Island.
The Marquesan Dog or Marquesas Islands Dog is an extinct breed of dog from the Marquesas Islands. Similar to other strains of Polynesian dogs, it was introduced to the Marquesas by the ancestors of the Polynesian people during their migrations. Serving as a tribal totems and religious symbols, they were sometimes consumed as meat although less frequently than in other parts of the Pacific because of their scarcity. These native dogs are thought to have become extinct before the arrival of Europeans, who did not record their presence on the islands. Petroglyphic representations of dogs and the archaeological remains of dog bones and burials are the only evidence that the breed ever existed. Modern dog population on the island are the descendants of foreign breeds later reintroduced in the 19th century as companions for European settlers.
French Polynesia's 2nd constituency is a French legislative constituency in French Polynesia. It is currently represented by Nicole Sanquer of Tahoera'a Huiraatira.
Libythea collenettei, the Marquesan snout butterfly, is a species of Nymphalid butterfly in the subfamily Libytheinae. The species was first described by Edward Bagnall Poulton and Norman Denbigh Riley in 1923. The specific name honours its original collector, Cyril Leslie Collenette, a member of the 1925 St George Expedition to French Polynesia. It is endemic to French Polynesia, L. collenettei is the only species of butterfly endemic to the Marquesas Islands.
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