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By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 3, 2003, 19:55
The Marquesas Islands (from Spanish Marquesas) is a group of islands in French Polynesia. They were named by a Álvaro de Mendaña who reached them in 1595. In French, Iles Marquises.
With a combined land area of 1,050 km² (405 sq. miles), the Marquesas are among the largest island groups of French Polynesia and were formerly a major center of east Polynesian civilization.
The population of the Marquesas Islands at the 2002 census was 8,712 inhabitants.
They lie between 400 and 600 miles (600 and 1,000 km) south of the equator and approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) northeast of Tahiti. They fall naturally into two geographical divisions: the northern group centered around the large island of Nuka Hiva and the two smaller islands of Ua Pou and Ua Huka, and the southern group of Tahuata, Moho Tani and Fatu Hiva, clustered around the main island of Hiva Oa.
Famous French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel (often wrongly assumed to be French) spent the last years of their lives in the Marquesas, and are buried there. Brel composed a famous song, Les Marquises, about the Marquesas Islands, his last home.
The Marquesas provided inspiration to American novelist Herman Melville, whose experiences in the Marquesas formed the bases for the novels Typee and Omoo.
The Marquesas Islands temporarily got national spotlight in the United States when the reality TV show Survivor: Marquesas was filmed here. It was the 4th installment of the TV series Survivor.
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