Ua Pou, final show for the village

Ua Pou, one of the six beautiful Islands of the Marquesas, is especially well known for their sculpture master crafts. We did not visit the Inlands as we were planning to stay short and sail soon to Fatu Hiva for the Marquesas Art Festival 2022. A sail of two days so we were waiting for a good weather window. It is, however, a beautiful Island with very friendly people, we heard from other sailors who did visit the islands.

Ua Pou is especially famous for their sculptures

And the spectacular views. We are anchored in the middle here.

When visiting the village, we were told there will be a performance tonight. The last performance for the main village of Ua Pou before departure to Fatu Hiva, to present themselves at the Marquesan Art Festival 2022

In the Marquesan art festival every two years, all the six Islands of the Marquesas present themselves, their culture in dance, craft and tattoo skills. It is also where the youth meet other Marquesan’s, from different Islands and connections are made. So, in that sense these dances still perform a strong function in their culture to bond with other people from all the other Islands. It makes those performances so alive and important for each generation.

This was just before summer holiday and parents were saying goodbye to some of their children that go to Tahiti after this, to start their study. Some will not come back, or return years later to live on Ua Pou again. Proud parents saying goodbye to a part of their children’s youth. These dances and singing are something they start doing from kindergarten, as you can see by some of the toddlers who just can’t stop. You could also see the proud parents who realise it was not long ago some of them were dancing and singing at that square. This is culture at the purest, nothing is done for the two hands full of tourists (sailors). They are just sharing culture with a purpose.

We were so honoured to witness this performance/ ritual of this community. Seeing the proud parents and everybody dressed up for the occasion, it was truly special, impressive and hypnotizing. The sound of the drums and singing are much better than what you hear, it’s one of the moments you wish you could capture that professionally. Unfortunately, the camera did not have enough battery power (by mistake) and the rest is done by phone.

It is a long film. I did edit a little bit and the original footage is 8 minutes longer. This version is without all the announcements and comments from the presenter. There is nothing edited from the performance itself, except that what we did not film because I had to switch from camera to phone because of an empty battery.

Ua Pou June 2022 performance for the village. General repetition before leaving for Fatu Hiva Marquesas Art Festival 2022

More on Ua Pou

Ua Pou – Wikipedia

If you still have not enough of it:

The same performance on the Marquesan Art Festival in Fatu Hiva, a week later than this; link to someone another YouTube channel: Link to YouTube. There they are doing the final performance in spectaculair outfits (dress code; vegetation). It is filmed (professionally) a bit more from the distance and the sound is not so intense but it is the place where they are practicing for.

Unfortunately, we did not sail to Fatu Hiva because of bad weather and water entered the boat through the anker locker. The course was three days straight against the wind. Big waves, strong wind and lots of water on deck. After two days we decided there was too much water coming in and waves would only increase for the last part to maybe 3-3.5 meters. We stopped after two days sailing and anchored in the Island of Tauata, between Fatu Hiva and Ua Po. We would have loved to be at this festival, we probably saved our electric anchor winch from drowning by the incoming water splashes. We know anchoring would also be a challenge in Fatu Hiva, missing an electric anchor winch would reduce our options severely. Fatu Hiva is very remote with not much choice in anchoring, no real repair facilities, no airport, no marina, not much options.

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