Wood carving, especially of the houp (Montrouziera cauliflora), is a contemporary reflection of the beliefs of the traditional tribal society, and includes totems, masks, chambranles, or flèche faîtière, a kind of arrow which adorns the roofs of Kanak houses. Basketry is a craft widely practiced by tribal women, creating objects of daily use.
New Caledonia is part of Zealandia, a fragment of the ancient Gondwana super-continent. Zealandia separated from Australia 60–85 million years ago. It is speculated that New Caledonia separated from Australia roughly 66 million years ago, subsequently drifting in a north-easterly direction, reaching its present position about 50 million years ago.
The Pacific island of New Caledonia is a nature lover’s paradise. Punching above its weight, the island lays claims to impressive natural features including the largest lagoon in the world, a unique blend of flora and fauna, and a 1800km-long (1118 mile) coral reef, second only in size to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.