July 8th – July 11th, 2004
Well we finally got off the boat and went into town to get tickets for the big dance festival. It was still blowing 25-30 but we knew we weren’t going ANYWHERE (our anchor set by two blows) and we needed to get off the boat. By now it was Friday July 9th, and we had been here two weeks!! Time for some fun. The artisans’ festival (the real one) had just started so we decided we would go and check it out. We finally found the right bus to take us out of town to the festival; it was a new modern bus that was only $1 instead of the $1.30 we were paying for the le truck!! Figure that one out. The festival was pretty large, with representatives from the Marquesas, Tuamotos and the Gambiers. I really wanted to find chief Marc to see if he had the bone carvings for us. I did a fast track looking for him while KT and Corbie methodically went booth to booth (funny I thought the guys were supposed to be the organized ones and girls just kind of shopped hap-hazardly). Oh well. I found a couple of booths from Fatu Hiva but they didn’t know Marc, turns out they were from the other village on Fatu Hiva, the one we didn’t visit.
Marc was on the other side of the tent and he recognized me immediately. I showed him my bone carving and he said he sold three of them the night before (before the festival was even open). He also sold of the hatchets he made and a bunch of other things. I quickly ran over to KT and told her I had found Marc and that she should come over immediately. They wanted to finish their row and by the time they showed up (only 5 minutes later) Marc had sold EVERYTHING to a hotel in Bora Bora. Luckily Island Sonata had bought a tiki from Marc, but they were the only ones. KT was bummed. However I did find the woman from the village who I was going to buy the drum from (until Matarua said they wanted it but didn’t end up getting it). We even tried to get other boats that went back later, to pick it up for us. Sitting right there was the EXACT drum we had been pining over since we left it behind 11 weeks before, without hesitation we bought it. KT bought a bowl, also from Fatu Hiva. Of course I ran forward like a little kid, not wanting to miss anything. I ran into a guy we met on Oa Pou, who did some amazing wood and stone work. He was all dressed up in Native garb and was excited to see someone he recognized. This time I grabbed KT and Corbie and brought them over. Corbie was really looking hard at a necklace and I was checking out some of the flower stone (only from Oa Pou) and Marquesian jade necklaces. I figured I had enough but they were so beautiful. Turns out that Ocean Girl and Dances de La Mer bought them for their husbands. Mary wasn’t sure so she put it down to think about it, and we talked. She turned around and it was gone, she freaked, the minute the person who was looking at it put it down again she jumped on it like it was a Million dollars ... “Mine” she said!! We finished our tour and bought a beautiful platter and a wood/bone fishhook carving for a wall hanging. We were excited and a little broke, but satisfied that we had a good collection of things to go with our memories.
That night we went to the dance competition. It was very interesting to watch as they told their stories through dance. There were a bunch of different scenes where large groups and then some individuals performed their portions. It was amazing to watch as they moved in ways I didn’t think the human body was able, it reminded me of Circ de Sole’. I swear one woman was going to blow out her hips and poke some ones eyes out the way she moved so fast. It was hard to get the whole gist of the story but it was entertaining (when the spoke they spoke in Tahitian and French). They also had a chanting portion but that got old after the first 5 minutes. We were all rather tired, cold (if you can believe that) and the seats weren’t padded so I was like a little squirmy kid with ants in his pants. We settled into the boat for a good nights sleep, and a trip to Moorea planned for the next day (would we FINALLY be able to leave).