Coral-Lined Well on a Pacific Atoll

Short film from archaeological reconnaissance survey on one of the remote islets of Nukunonu, featuring a follow-up interview with Mr. Ioane Nui Tumua facilitated by Mr. Mika Perez back in town on the main islet.

The location featured is a fresh/brackish water source. As Mr. Tumua indicates, it was (relatively) recently rebuilt however its use as a source of drinking water is likely to be of considerable time depth. He also remarks of a connection between the well and another important event on an atoll – precipitation.

In modern times most drinking water on Nukunonu is still collected – primarily from the metal roofs of houses. In the past, however, scarcity was more marked. Subterranean lenses such as the one featured here, as well as carved basins in the trunks of coconut trees and containers such as coconut shells themselves – used to gather and hold rainwater – were also critical sources even if you had to get to them by boat.

This video goes with the Motu Akea Well entry on the Big Picture Portfolio.

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