The Birdman Cult of Easter Island

Houses at the Orongo ceremonial village were built on a narrow ledge of land between the volcano crater and the sea

After the decline of Moai culture on Easter Island, a new cult emerged that revolved around fertility and the worship of migratory seabirds. As the Moai had represented the idea of ancestor worship, the new Birdman Cult was represented by the Tangatu-mana (birdman), a human body with the head of a bird. The village of … Read more

Easter Island – One of the Most Spiritual Places on Earth

Ahu Ko Te Riku, the only Moai of Easter Island discovered with intact eyes

For years, friends have raved that Easter Island is the most spiritual place they have ever visited. This speck of land in the eastern Pacific, known to locals as Rapa Nui, had been on my wish list for years. Since childhood I had read about the Moai, enormous statues that the indigenous people carved and … Read more

A “Suite” Experience at Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort

The perfect place to read a book, sip a cocktail, or just do nothing at all - poolside at Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort

My bed said it all. Using pieces carved from dried palm leaves, the housekeepers at Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort and Spa had meticulously spelled out “Ia ora na” across my king-size mattress. They added a dash of color with fresh flowers plucked from the garden and sweetened the offering with two bars of exfoliating soap … Read more

Tattooed from Head to Toe in the Marquesas Islands

Seaman aboard the Aranui 5 cruise ship is covered from head to toe in tattoos

The seaman was a shock at first. I’d stepped through the bulkhead door and into a dim interior passageway on board the Aranui 5 cruise ship. When my eyes finally adjusted from the brilliant sunshine outside, I found myself staring into the face of a sailor who was covered from head to foot with Polynesian … Read more

VIDEO: Delivering Freight in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia

The best way to see French Polynesia is a aboard the Aranui 5, a combination cruise ship and freighter

Perhaps the best way to see French Polynesia is to take a cruise on the Aranui 5, a combination cruise ship and freighter. The ship visits three of the island groups in the French territory and delivers freight to all six of the inhabited islands in the Marquesas Archipelago. In this video, I interview Tino, … Read more