Hiva Oa

Hiva Oa
The island of Hiva Oa. Atuouna is located on the large bay on the south side of the island.
Location of Hiva Oa within the Marquesas Islands
LocationSouth Pacific Ocean
Coordinates9°45′S 139°00′W / 9°45′S 139°00′W / -9.750; -139.000
ArchipelagoMarquesas Islands
Area316 km2 (122 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,213 m (3,980 ft)
Highest pointTemetiu
Overseas countryFrench Polynesia
Population2,190 (2012)
Pop. density6.9 /km2 (17.9 /sq mi)

With its 320 square kilometres (124 square miles), 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 (3,937 feet).

According to local religion, the gods created the Marquesas as their home. Therefore, all islands have names that are related with the building of a house - Hiva Oa means long ridgepole.


Hiva Oa. View of Ta'a Oa Bay from the road between Atuona and Puamau.

Administratively, Hiva Oa is part of the commune (municipality) of Hiva-Oa, itself in the administrative subdivision of the Marquesas Islands. Atuona, on the coast of Hiva Oa island, is the administrative centre of the commune. Atuona was formerly the seat of government for all of the Marquesas Islands, but it has been replaced by Taiohae on Nuku Hiva island.

The island is famous as the final home of French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel, both of whom are buried in Calvary Cemetery, overlooking Atuona. It is also home to the largest tiki sculptures in French Polynesia.[1]

In late pre-European times, the island was nearly evenly divided into two provincesNuku in the west, and Pepane in the east.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Hiva-Oa
català: Hiva Oa
Cebuano: Hiva Oa
Deutsch: Hiva Oa
eesti: Hiva Oa
español: Hiva Oa (isla)
Esperanto: Hiva Oa
فارسی: هیوا اوآ
français: Hiva Oa
galego: Hiva Oa
italiano: Hiva Oa
Kiswahili: Hiva Oa
кырык мары: Хива-Оа
lietuvių: Hiva Oa
Nederlands: Hiva Oa
Norfuk / Pitkern: Hiva Oa
norsk: Hiva Oa
polski: Hiva Oa
português: Hiva’Oa
reo tahiti: Hiva Oa
română: Hiva Oa
русский: Хива-Оа
suomi: Hiva Oa
svenska: Hiva Oa
اردو: ہیوا اوا
中文: 希瓦瓦島