The Isle of Pines, Ocean Pacific jewel is undoubtedly the most famous and visited places of the archipelago. The main reason for this is the many treasures of nature hosted in this island, including the famous natural swimming pool, not to mention all the other beauties that also embellish its rich heritage.
The significance of these sculptures
One of them is located in the bay of Saint-Maurice in the southeast of the island, next to the St. Joseph Bay. This is a monument quite singular: a sculpture of Saint-Maurice recalling the arrival on the island of the first missionaries with Goujon and Chatelut Fathers, who came to evangelize the local people.
The monument commemorates in particular the first Catholic service that was given there in August 1848. The statue is surrounded by a fence made of wooden totems carved by all the different tribes of the island, as if the spirits of the ancestors were there to watch the scene.
They all represent a face with a different expression. The white sand beach in the background is lined with other carved totems.
The location results in a postcard panorama, with the backdrop of the lagoon and its turquoise gradients. The camera is essential to capture this place imbued with a certain magic, because here blend harmoniously the Catholic religion through the monument and the local traditional culture expressed by totems.
An exotic ride
To get there, out of the village Vao, take the small road on the right just before the church and go straight to the sea, you can't miss it. This monument is atypical, it is easily recognizable and easy to access.
We find many other carved items on the island. Indeed here, the sculpture is an art still alive who brought fame to the island. Some examples embellish different places like the airport or car roundabouts in Noumea.
If you feel like uncovering the secrets of these creators, or just for fun to see them working, note that the sculptors workshops are open to visitors. This is an opportunity to better understand some of the Kanak culture very present here, particularly well illustrated by the beautiful carved fence of totem on the Isle of Pines.