Painting Fatu Hiva

FATU HIVA is found within the chain of islands called today The Marquesas!

Te Henua Enana/Te fenua Enata, “the land of men” – most people know these chain of islands as the Marquesas (Îles Marquises), named such, after Spanish explorer A’lvaro de Mendana de Neira who reached them in 1595.

Naming them such after the Viceroy of Peru – “Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis of Canete”.

The Land of men is broken into three respective groupings based on dialect of language, the southern islands being – Eiao , Hatutu, Motu Iti, Motu ‘Oa, Motu One, Nuku Hiva, and Ua Pou. The Northern islands with – Fatu Hiva, Fatu Huku, Hiva ‘Oa, Moho Tani, Motu Nao, Tahuata and Terihi. Ua Huka whilst being usually placed within the northern group is better explained as transitional and therefore forming the third group.

Long before Paul Gauguin, Herman Melville or Robert Louis Stevenson layed heart, hands and eyes upon the “Te Henua Enana”, The Marquesans were exsisting within the frame work of a highly developed society, a culture of intricate and artistic type that reflected the dictates of its environment.

My Interests as much as they are cultural and to simply look upon the sheer marvel of its natural beauty, are the peoples a depth artistic forms that have transfixed many since its exposure to the rest of the world!

As Paul Gauguin gave his letter reader insight to……….

” The people in Europe do not seem to realize that both the Maori’s of New Zealand and the Marquesans had evolved a very advanced type of decorative art.”

“The Marquesans especially have a extraordinary sense of decoration. Give a Marquesan an object of any geometric shape, even hump backed, rounded geometry, and he will manage to make everything harmonious without leaving any shocking and disparate empty place.”

“…………………….. let’s get back to Marquesan art!”

To Avant et Apres,

Although history has subjected much upon the people of the Marquesas, its population is ever increasing and its arts have reborn, a strong sense of being “Te Henua Te Nana” is at the foremost of their minds.

Whilst Samoa is called the heart of Polynesia, the Marquesas can be liken to the veins from which the blood flows – it is indeed an all important link to the character, arts and culture of the entire dynamics of Polynesia – once a forgotten place, it is again an emerging nation, on its journey as a people and an island group!


The Marquesas to me is a place unlike many – its geography, its art and history is sublime and its inspiration immeasurable to me!

For years i sought to depict its charm and intensity, and the need to do so just hasn’t ended ~! :)

go here to veiw the stages of a paintings development i have been working on!

It is almost finished now! – hahahh!

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