Location of the commune (in red) within New Caledonia
|Sui generis collectivity||New Caledonia|
|• Mayor (2014-2020)||Pascal Sawa|
|Area1||940.6 km2 (363.2 sq mi)|
|Population (2014 census)2||4,240|
|• Density||4.5/km2 (12/sq mi)|
|• 2014 census||Kanaks 91%|
|INSEE/Postal code||98808 /98816|
|Elevation||0–1,444 m (0–4,738 ft) |
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)
|1 New Caledonia Land Register (DITTT) data, which exclude lakes and ponds larger than 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) as well as the estuaries of rivers. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
The town is part of the Ajië-Aro Kanak cultural grouping, and Ajië is the local language. Over 90% of the population identified as Kanak in the 2014 census. There are some European mine workers and farmers, and a small number of Polynesians, and Asian from different countries.
The formal economy is based almost exclusively on nickel mining operations, with two local mines - Maï at Poro the Ballande mines at Bâ. Locals can train for mining jobs at the CFTMC in Poro. Service activities include the local administration and gendarmerie, schools, several small shops and other facilities.
Local Kanak tribes have traditionally operated a semi subsistence economy, with some waged labour, migrant income, and substantial cultivation. Houaïlou's farmers produce Lychees, a fruit introduced by a colonist from Réunion, Jolimont Kabar. There is a Fête du letchi each December, although production is unreliable in this climate and the festival is sometimes cancelled.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Houaïlou.|
- Georges Baudoux (1870-1949), author, lived in Houaïlou from 1928-1948
- Maurice Leenhardt (1878-1954), Protestant missionary, translator, and later anthropologist, built up the Protestant mission Dö Nèvâ 3km upstream in the Houaïlou valley in 1902, and lived there until 1922.
- Delin Wéma, anti-independence Kanak politician. Minister of Education in the New Caledonia government, 1984-1985.
- "Georges Baudoux - Île en île". 28 August 2009.
- Michel Naepels. 1998. Histoires de terres kanakes (Conflts fonciers et rapports sociaux dans la région de Houaïlou). Paris: Belin.
- Michel Naepels. 2013. Conjurer la guerre (Violence et pouvoir à Houaïlou, NC). Paris: EHESS. (ISBN 978-2-7132-2376-1)
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