Polynesia is one of the three cultural areas in the Pacific. The boundaries of the area more or less form a triangle with Hawaii at the northern apex, New Zealand in the southwestern corner and Easter Island in the southeastern. The inhabitants of the Polynesian islands have similar cultures and languages. In their art forms too there are similarities but also distinctive differences.
Galerie Caroline does not yet cover the arts of all Polynesian islands. It focuses on the distinctive sculptural art forms of the Marquesas Islands. Next to this we have in our collection pieces of decorated tapa or barkcloth from Fiji and Samoa but also from Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. We may expand our areas of interest in the future.
One of the many island groups in Polynesia is the Marquesas Archipelago or 'Te Fenua Enata’ (The Land of the People).
The island group is subdivided into a northern and a southern group. Both have three inhabited islands, in the north Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou and Ua Huka and in the south Hiva Oa, Tahuata and Fatu Hiva. The Marquesas are part of French Polynesia. The administrative center is located in Nuku Hiva. There live about 9,000 people spread over the six islands.