Location: French Polynesia
Discover the South Pacific! The Marquesas project is a five week field school experience on Tahuata, a remote island with a rich history. Participants are fully immersed in a small community while working with Marquesans and living as the only foreigners on an island with no airport, no hotels, and no restaurants.
The Marquesas are one of the best known yet least visited archipelagoes in the South Pacific. Polynesians discovered these stunningly beautiful islands over 800 years ago. Founders of chiefdoms and an artistic tradition centered on the iconic tiki, Marquesans are an enduring indigenous people with an exceptional cultural heritage. Tahuata, our project location, is one of the most traditional islands in French Polynesia. Now in its twelfth year, the 2017 field school focuses on Te Ana Peua, a unique community-based archaeology museum. Join the excitement of working with the local community and our team to add a new exhibit gallery that celebrates the essence of Marquesan culture while safeguarding the island’s archaeological heritage. Gain experience in indigenous studies, heritage management and archaeology.
Tahuata is accessible only by a one-hour boat ride from the nearby island of Hiva Oa. We fly to Hiva Oa from Tahiti on Air Tahiti.
Room and Board Arrangements
Our headquarters are in the picturesque village of Vaitahu. There is one small stores that bakes French baguettes daily. The field school is small and intellectually engaging. We both live and work closely with our host community. Our house has a modern kitchen and toilet facilities (no hot water). Marquesan Islanders will also participate in the project, providing close links to the community. As the only outsiders in the village, participants are immersed in the local lifestyle.
Academic CreditNumber of credits offered Contact Prof. Rolett
Kjellgren, Eric. 2005. Adorning the World: Art of the Marquesas Islands. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Rolett, Barry V. 1998. Hanamiai: Prehistoric Colonization and Cultural Change in the Marquesas Islands (East Polynesia). Yale University Publications in Anthropology No. 81. New Haven: Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum, Yale University.
Thomas, Nicholas. 1990. Marquesan Societies: Inequality and Political Transformation in Eastern Polynesia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.