June 18, 2015

1678 FRANCE (New Caledonia) - Totems at Saint Maurice Bay, in Isle of Pines

Saint Maurice Bay is named after the statue of Saint Maurice, which has been erected right here to commemorate the first Catholic service ever to take place on the Isle of Pines, on the 15th of August 1848, three days after two missionaries set foot onto the island. The statue is surrounded by tribal carvings, totems that depict wild animals and birds. Each one of them is a gift from the different tribes and families around the island, the wood sculpture representing the spirit of Kanak culture. They surround the statue of the saint like a palisade, protecting it from the outside world. More totems can be found closer to the water, forming a fence or a barricade which acts both as a backdrop and a protective border. The wood is weathered and pale, creating a lovely contrast to the bright colours of the rainforest and the deep blue sky.

Magical Maurice Bay on the Isle of Pines, New Caledonia - happinessandthings.com

Sender: Philatelic Bureau of New Caledonia
Sent from Nouméa (Grande Terre / New Caledonia), on 24.07.2014
Photo: Pierre Alain Pantz

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