A historical and cultural melting pot in New Caledonia

  • Children from Maré Island - the Wajuyu Festival

    Children from Maré Island - the Wajuyu Festival

    © S. Ducandas / Destination Iles Loyauté

  • Cultural center Tjibaou in Noumea

    Cultural center Tjibaou in Noumea

    © ADCK-Renzo Piano

  • Caledonian cowboys

    Caledonian cowboys

    © S. DUCANDAS / Tourisme province nord

A historical and cultural melting pot in New Caledonia nc

No doubt  there  were more than  three hundred Kanak clans before the explorer James Cook arrived in 1774, but it was he who changed the name  of the island in homage to Scotland. The New Caledonian archipelago is situated in the heart of the southern Pacific and spans 500 kilometres. It is made up of the  ‘Grande Terre’, the Belep Islands, the  Pins Islands and  the Loyauté Islands.

 Very rapidly coming under French protection, New Caledonia remained an important  maritime  stopover.  Part of its territory  adopted an Australian model of cattle-rearing, in which large herds were driven by mounted stockmen.

Countless petroglyphs: rock carvings with  symbolic and  geometric patterns have  been  found, particularly beside Poya.  These reveal that the Melanesians had  been there for a very long time. Don’t miss the New Caledonian Museum which  displays the most beautiful Melanesian art. New Caledonia is also a land of ancestral culture, where customs move to the rhythm of social and festive relations.

The country’s economy is flourishing especially thanks to the  exploitation of nickel, a material in abundance in its land as well as its tourism.

Of course, New Caledonia, like the majority of the islands, benefits from the generosity of the ocean. In light of this, tuna, caught in the ocean, is not only a local market staple but also an export of paramount importance.

 

To see:

The Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Nouméa.
Designed by Renzo Piano and inspired by Melanesian Great Houses, the centre traces the Kanak culture and customs, as well as explaining the Kanak myth of the creation of the first man on earth. Warm moments can be shared listening to legends and tasting the delicious cuisine. With spectacular architecture, by Renzo Piano, this cultural centre strongly emphasises the Kanak civilisation. Inescapable evidence of the past and the future of New Caledonia.