Friday, April 22, 2016

New Caledonia 2016
Tiga Island

ISSUE DATE: 15 April 2016
STAMP SIZE:48 x 27 mm
PHOTO: Stéphane Ducandas

Six kilometres long and two across, rising to 76 metres above sea level, this modest speck of land in the immensity of the Coral Sea lies more or less equidistant from Maré and Lifou. Possessing no lagoon, Tiga is surrounded by a vast coral plateau pitted with gulleys, and the northwest of the island is home to around 150 inhabitants all belonging to a single tribe, attached to the Lössi district (Lifou).

The little island has air and sea links to the outer world but the Si Toka (as Tiga’s inhabitants are called) farm subsistence crops of yams and sweet potatoes in fields lying on the upper level of the island, go deep sea fishing and catch shellfish and crabs on the coral plateau encircling the island. There is no running water or mains power on Tiga and the tribe is entirely dependent on rainwater harvested and stored in tanks and electricity generated by solar panels.

Tiga produces copra and possesses an untapped phosphate deposit; although the island has no hotels or restaurants, it does boast a dispensary, a grocery store, a Protestant church, a post office, an aerodrome and a delightful beach fringing the tranquil west coast.

Stamp images and description thanks to
Calédoscope - OPT Nouvelle-Calédonie

New Caledonia Post