The Hatiheu valley is a “power spot”. Giant banyan trees flank the end of a valley, with a perimeter of rock ridges that are sharp as dragon spines. By now, we know that we can expect to find the remnants of ancient Polynesian villages in this kind of place: it is full of mana.
Unlike the overgrown rocky foundations that we’d see through the bushes as we hiked towards waterfalls in Hakaui and Hakahetau, this area was clear and well-kept, which allows us to see their full magnificence. The main sites in this area are called Hikokua and Kamuihei.
According to Lonely Planet, the sites were discovered by archeologists Robert Suggs in the 1950s, and have been maintained by villagers from Hatiheu since the mid-80s. Further restoration occurred in the late 90s.
A recent Marquesan Festival was held at this site, bringing together dancers and singers from Polynesians from as far afield as Rapa Nui and New Zealand. We heard that 15 pigs were roasted inside earthen ovens to feed the participants. Imagine this place under moonlight and torches illuminating the tribal dancing — it must be a spectacle to behold! If we can, we hope to return here in 2019 for the next Marquesan Festival, as we have developed an enormous respect for the power and majesty of this cultural phenomenon.