Nuku Hiva Atlas Projects

Nuku Hiva is the largest of the twelve volcanic islands that make up the Marquesas Archipelago of French Polynesia, one of most isolated island chains in the world.  The dramatic landscape of high ridges and deep ampitheatrical valleys has supported a human population for at least a thousand years.  Archaeological evidence indicates that the population several hundred years ago may have been as high as 80,000; diseases introduced with European expansion decimated the population and today less than 3000 people live on the island. 

There is a vibrant cultural life on Nuku Hiva.  Local high school students who visited the Robert C. Seamans performed traditional chants and songs that resonated throughout the ship.  We left the harbor with many gifts: bushels of mangos, limes and pampleamousse (the sweet and delicious local grapefruit), and a ceremonial adze, carved by Fara, a local carver whose generous gesture inspired all onboard.