The Hiva Oa welcome ceremony

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Wed 28 Mar 2012 22:56
Saturday was the day of the official welcome ceremony in the afternoon.
Before we returned the jeep we drove up the hill behind Atuona to see Paul Gaugin's grave.  Gaugin loved Polynesia and spent his last years in Hiva Oa, because Tahiti was already too developed for his taste.  There is a Gaugin gallery which has painted reproductions of most of his major works.  It sounds strange to display reproductions, but they are good copies and you get to see a lot more of his work in one gallery than anywhere else in the world.
Then it was time for the welcome ceremony.  Bertie was a bit reluctant to wear his lei, but we managed to persuade him.
The dancing was excellent and very physical.
Kids got to participate.
Everyone enjoyed the occasion.