Marquesas/Hiva Oa: Giant Tikis at Ma’ae Lipona
Ma’ae Lipona is the best preserved archaeological site in the Marquesas. Ma’ae means a ceremonial site (including human sacrifices). It has eighteen giant ancient tiki statues, including Tiki Takai’i at 2.67m/9ft (which is the largest stone statue after the moai of the Easter Islands indicating an ancient link between these civilizations). The tikis have various shapes and conditions – one is a horizontal tiki thought of a woman giving birth, another is a warrior. Finally, while not at the Lipona site, but in a totally different part of the Hiva Oa island, there is a tiki statue that is smiling – Smiling Tiki – the only such statue in the entire Marquesan Archipelago.