Human Flower Project
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Niue: “Behold the Coconut”
We’re honored to welcome visitors from the Polynesian island of Niue.
Niue (pop. 2150)
The first time might have been a fluke, but we’ve received yet a second visit from Niue, a beautiful coral island of the South Pacific.
Niue means “Behold the Coconut,” (Captain Cook had a tin ear for the Niuean language and called it “Savage Island”) but we understand that locals (all 2150 of them) refer to their 250 sq. mile home more simply as “The Rock.”
“The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. Industry consists primarily of small factories to process passion fruit, lime oil, honey, and coconut cream. The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue.” You can see why.
Niue, pronounced “new-ay,” is located northeast of Tonga and south of Samoa. It has been independent since 1974, or as one site put it, “self-governing in free association with New Zealand.” In January 2004, Cyclone Heta dashed the island, destroying the “nascent economic programs” there. Since then Niue has relied substantially on foreign aid.
The island’s remoteness, tough on its economy, of course won’t deter tourists, especially when there are whales to see and a friendly island culture. (This headgear for bridesmaids, popular also for the island’s beauty pageants, is especially glorious.)
Warm greetings to our new visitors from Polynesia. We hope to hear from you about the floral customs of Niue.