Tjibaou Cultural Centre


To the Tjibaou Cultural Centre after our daily swim.

We’ve been snorkelling right in front of our doorstep in the mornings watching¬†black and white striped fish which I think is the Scissortail sergeant fish, yellow butterfly fish, clown fish, schools of small fish (perhaps anchovies),¬† sea cucumbers and the purple, pink, yellow and white corals.

For an idea of the kind of coral we saw, go to the interactive image at although there is more white coral now.

I’ve learned a lot today. Firstly, Mike’s street French is better than my book French. Secondly, a lot more about Kanak culture at the wonderful Tjibaou Cultural Centre designed by the Genoan architect, Renzo Piano.

Cultural education starts right at the entrance with this lascivious creation story next to a wooden carving of the being it talks about. I’ll leave the wooden carving to your imagination!

“A long time ago, all the men wanted to have sex with an Olal woman who enjoyed lovemaking. But this woman didn’t feel well. In Wisal, a village situated in the region of Willit, a giant heard this story. So he went up Mount Tuvio clearing a path with his penis. Then he ran down to Olal to plant his penis inside the woman. Carried away by his own momentum, he broke the reef with his penis. Half the reef moved west to Magam and the other half went east to Barereo. This is how Olal pass was opened. The giant and the woman threw themselves into the sea then. They both live outside the reef of Olal Bay.”

No, I did not make this up.