A Dinosaur in Paradise
Homer Morgan is an American expatriate who has lived in Tahiti for more than 50 years
It is a windy, gray Sunday afternoon. With the brisk maraamu, our southeast trade wind, blowing a gale, it is a bit nippy for a stroll on the beach or a dip in the lagoon. Our local TV isn’t offering anything of heart-stopping importance; so I think I will just reflect on one of my favorite Society Islands and why I am so attracted to it. At the same time, I just might run a mental update on old friends whose presence on the island in question had much to do with my interest in the island on which I met them.
My first visit to Raiatea was brief in the extreme, two half days, just a couple of weeks after my arrival in Tahiti, May, 1949. I was immediately………………………………………………………………
Jacques Brel Marquesas Flying Club Opens on Hiva Oa by Jan Prince
October 9 will be a red-banner day in the little village of Atuona on the island of Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Archipelago. The 30th anniversary of the death of Jacques Brel will be observed on that date, along with the inauguration of the Jacques Brel Marquesas Flying Club.
Although most Americans have never heard of the famous Belgian singer, many of Brel’s European fans make a pilgrimage to his gravesite in Calvary Cemetery, just a few graves distant from the final resting place of the French artist, Paul Gauguin.
Some of Brel’s followers even say that it was the Belgian heartthrob, whose songs of love and sorrow conquered the French-speaking world in the 1950s and 1960s, who actually put the Marquesas Islands on the world map.
His passionate performances and poetic lyrics won him both critical and popular acclaim. Jacques Brel had one of the most celebrated voices in bohemian Paris and went on to become a film actor and a director.
A s one movie critic wrote: “Mention Jacques Brel and you summon up images of cabaret stools, turtlenecks, berets and pretentious chanteuses with bad French accents trying to get their lips around "Ne Me Quitte Pas. "? For that, we have to blame the ubiquitous, "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris," the 1968 off-Broadway revue ……………………………..
Mave Mau to Nuku Hiva
French Polynesia always conveyed images to me of turquoise lagoons, exotic men and women performing the notorious tamure, and coral fringed beaches, but nearly 1400kms northeast of Tahiti I disembarked on an entirely different island where the lagoons are replaced by crashing waves, nudging black sand beaches and the tamure is replaced by the stirring voices of men and women as they perform their dances. Mave mai (Welcome) to Nuku Hiva.
In the Marquesan language, the locals refer to their islands as Te Henua Enana, which means The Land of Men. The people here are renowned for their lavish tattoos, warrior-like dances, sculpting abilities and famous former residents, Belgian singer Jacques Brel and French artist Paul Gauguin, both buried…………………….
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