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Category: South Pacific travel

The Birdman Cult of Easter Island

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…

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Easter Island – One of the Most Spiritual Places on Earth

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…

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A “Suite” Experience 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…

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Tattooed from Head to Toe in the Marquesas Islands

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…

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VIDEO: Delivering Freight in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia

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…

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The Kindness of a Stranger Makes Memories in the Marquesas Islands

I sometimes wonder what makes a trip memorable. I’ve traveled around 97 countries and six territories and, honestly, there are times when I can’t remember what country I am in, much less which city. My memories of destinations are sometimes indistinct. I can see the houses, the streets, the people, and even recall…

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