Talk:Marquesas Islands

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It's amazing that the German and Hebrew articles on the Marquesas are much more in depth than the English (and French and Spanish!) articles. What's even more astounding is that the Polish article includes a map! C'mon anglophones! Let's pump up the volume here!  :-) TShilo12 10:18, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Population peak: 100,000[edit]

It seems amazing to me that these islands could have supported such a large population and that this figure would have risen from zero in 300 CE. What a population explosion in just a few centuries! Is there general concensus around the certainty of this number? //Big Adamsky 20:57, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I've read people who came along centuries later and said "how is it possible that 100k ppl lived here?", but the earliest sources range from 80k-150k, and most "like" 100k. I believe I was looking at Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin #9 when I was writing that section of the article... Tomertalk 20:15, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Beaucoup de chercheurs ont critiqué cette estimation de 100 000 habitants, faites d'ailleurs pour les îles du Sud seulement (ce qui ferait au moins 200 000 pour le total de l'archipel ?). Quand on visite les vallées isolées de Marquises, aujourd'hui inhabitées, mais pleines de vestiges, on comprend que c'etait pourtant certainement la réalité : une population énorme. Il ne faut pas oublier que c'est justement un trop-plein de population des Marquises qui a servi de source pour peupler l'île de Pâques, la Société, Hawaii etc. au début de notre ère. Quant à l'explosion de la population en si peu de temps, elle n'est surprenante que si on considère la date des plus anciennes découvertes archéologiques comme le début réel de la colonisation, ce qui est une confusion scientifique. Cette date de première colonisation ne pourra que reculer dans le passé au fur et à mesure des nouvelles découvertes et aussi peut être avec la mort des archéologues qui refusent depuis cinquante ans de voir que le passé polynésien est plus profond que l'on pensait autrefois. (Sorry to write in french but my english is not good enough, please if somebody can replace my talk by its english translation, thank you. (now ...°

I'll take a stab at translating the above:
Many researchers have criticized this estimate of 100k inhabitants, made only for the southern Marquesas (which would conceivably make a population of at least 200k for the whole archipelago?) When one visits the isolated, and to day uninhabited, valleys of the Marquesas, they are found to be filled with vestiges [of the bygone Marquesan civilization], [and] one begins to understand this certainty: [they were once home to] an enormous population. It should not be forgotten that it is precisely this overflowing Marquesan population that spurred adventurers out to populate Easter Island, the Societies, Hawaii, etc., as long as 2000 years ago. As for the explosion of the population in so little time, it is only "suprising" if one regards the dates of the oldest archæological discoveries as the actual beginning of colonization, which is not a scientifically sound approach. The date of first colonization can only be pushed back progressively, with each new discovery. Perhaps the passing of the [generation of] archæologists who have refused to review this evidence critically for the past 50 years will result in the realization that Polynesian history stretches back further than formerly believed.
Tomertalk 04:12, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I have a couple of comments on the above. First, "Stephane" is not the first to point out the ludicrousness of the idea that the first thing the Polynesian settlers who first arrived in the Marquesas did, was to start carving stone tikis and building paepae. This activity was certainly only pursued well after the livelihood of the Polynesians there was already secured, and the finer niceties of civilization could be seen to. (The innovation of paepae is clearly Marquesan in origin, as a result of the unique geography of the Marquesas Islands--an innovation that's completely unnecessary anywhere else in Polynesia. It's quite a stretch to think that this innovation came about fully-formed the day the original Marquesan settlers first set foot on the islands.) The problem with using this idea as a starting-point for considering our understanding of Marquesan civilization, is that it has as many logical and scientific flaws as the viewpoint it seeks to refute.
That said, I have to say that our pontification 400 years later about how many people really could have lived in the Marquesas in 1595 is ludicrous. We certainly are not in a better position than Mendaña de Neira was, to determine how many people could have lived there. As Stephane points out, probably the most reliable approach to trying to formulate a guess is to look back to the early authors who studied Marquesan civilization before it was completely destroyed (at least those who escaped with their lives!), and compare the distribution and number of the paepae to how many people typically would have inhabited each one, as well as how many people were too poor or otherwise disenfranchised to have an elevated domicile, and try to come up with a reasonable calculation that way. To simply say "the islands couldn't have supported that many people!" is silly. None of us alive today were there. We don't know what the islands could/n't have supported. As for the possibility that a few boatloads (say 5 boatloads of 30 each) of Polynesians couldn't have multiplied to 200k over the course of 1,300 years, check this out: 150 = generation 1. 70(couples)*10(kids each)+150(ppl still left alive from the previous generation, in this case, the parents) => 700(kids)+150(parents) = 850(people) = generation 2. 350(couples)*10(kids each)+350(parents)+150(grandparents) => 3500(kids)+500(parents+grandparents) => 4000 = generation 3. 1750(couples)*10(kids each)+3500(parents)+350(grandparents)+75(greatgrandparents...say half of the 150 original settlers have died off)=> 17500(kids)+3925(parents+)=21,425 = generation 4. We'll call a generation "25 years", thus 4 generations = 1 century. Now that kind of population growth is probably unrealistic for the first 2 generations (while they're trying to get their feet on the ground, so to speak), but in 100 years, the population has gone from 150 to 21,425. Obviously not every woman would have had 10 kids, but bear with me. That kind of growth over 1,300 years is not only enough to leave the islands with a population of well over 200k in 1595, but also ample enough left over to account for the boatloads of settlers who went wandering off to settle elsewhere. We can't really say what the islands could or couldn't support 400 years ago. It's probable that the islands went through cycles of drought and plenty then just as they do today, and not even mildly unreasonable to expect that in times of plenty the population boomed, and in times of drought the population declined not only as a result of war and famine, but also emigration. Anyways, I've pontificated enough about pointless pontification. Tongue.png Tomertalk 04:12, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
The maths is impressive but almost certainly wrong?From my reading of primitive societies in general, population growth is very slow indeed.Why start with 150 people?A polynesian waka would carry perhaps 6 on a fishing trip and maybe 20-30 on a voyaging trip.To use the known information from early east polynesins in NZ (around 1280-1300)at Wairau Bar in the South Is-the known life expectancy was 12-14 years based on 40 skeleton examinations, with the eldest 30 so relatively few women lived into child bearing age.Food was very easy to obtain-the middens are proof of that, though the winter would have been cooler than what they were used to.All the skeletons had serious tooth infection and/or extremely worn teeth and the bones of all the children without acception showed signs of long term stress.Between 1280 and 1800 the Nz Maori population grew to about 100,000(note by 1800 the Maori had about 20 years contact with Europeans who gave pototoes, pumpkin, pigs and chickens etc to Maori which they quickly included in their standard diet, so they probably had the benefit of say 15 years of much varied and improved food supply by 1800.You might want to do the maths working backwads from those numbers. Demgraphers in Nz in 2008-9 did some calculations which from memory suggested that a colonizing population of around 200-300 was needed giving some support to the theory of multiple waka arriving in nz about the same time. On a differnt matter the Tahitian that Cook bought with him as a "translator" had no problems understanding the language spoken by Maori around 1780(?)Claudia jan 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

thank you very much Tomer for your translation, I have improved my english now (well I hope I have). Today I visit this page again and see those black and white photos for the first time. I have not read that book but the group photo is taken on a sandshore. There are very few such beaches in the Marquesas and also when they exist, they are far more large, I mean from the surf to the first trees, because of the tide. This beach looks like a no-tide beach, as you can see a lot along the lagoons of the Society islands.... As for the chiefess, the style of her dress has a definite tahitian look. Do we have proofs that thoses photograhs have really been taken in the Marquesas ? (please send copy of your answer to stephane.jourdan @ gmail, thanks)

Sexual history[edit]

I'm sorry if this offends anyone, or if some are embarrassed about their past, but it is history. I added references to the sexual culture in the Marquesas prior to Western influence with regard to child sexuality, which makes it unique. Information came from accounts of explorers and others, and is well documented in antique writings. 05:41, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Reverted changes to 113759452 by Artaxiad because there was no associated discussion prior to reversion / censorship. That user had also been previously banned. Only valid reasons for removal are either inaccuracy or that it's off-topic for the article, in which case this information should probably be moved to a different article, perhaps on child sexuality, where there is a section on "Historical and tribal societies". Censorship is inappropriate for an encyclopedia for obvious reasons. Please handle this appropriately, however let's talk about it first. 23:23, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Moved this section to child sexuality because as TShilo12 mentioned in different words, it's unecessary fluff. Articles on other geographical regions don't generally discuss any type of sexuality and such information is better centralized. 00:01, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

The Current Map[edit]

The map shown at present (i.e. the black and white one) is (IMHO) about as useful 'as an ashtray on a motorbike', there are no island names, no scale, no link to show location from a wider there an option to improve it somehow? Stephenjh 16:49, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

That ugly map was somebody's poor idea of "improvement" on the map that I originally had in the article. Tomertalk 19:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Conseil du Scoutisme polynésien[edit]

Can someone render "Conseil du Scoutisme polynésien" and "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Tahitian? Thanks! Chris 14:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

User ty[edit]

I have looked at . It would appear that there are no templates like {{User ty}}, {{User ty-3}} for Tahitian. :( Chris 06:53, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

World Map Location[edit]

I just wanted to comment that I think this article about Marquesas lacks a picture with its location in a world map, located right below the flag of the country. GetFresh (talk) 11:56, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps more on archologocal "digs" Marquesa Islands?[edit]

Know Ethno archologiost Thoir Hyderdalh lived on Marquesa island , briefly mentioned in article. But beleive theres more to the archology there? Stone monuments etc . .Perhaps more on this in article? m,ercia'Thanks(Dated Mporn,AM 090909 Wed,21stcent,by Dr. Edson Andre' Johnson D.D.ULC>ANDREMOI (talk) 19:47, 9 September 2009 (UTC)


I see nothing here on the economy of the islands. Shouldn't there be a section that address that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 6 September 2011 (UTC)


ATOL=VOLKANIK2[IE.SUBMRGDW/REFO/TOP>KONFUS/MISLEDIN — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, 27 June 2013 (UTC)