This new 110 XPF postage stamp, created from an aerial photograph taken by Stéphane Ducandas, will most certainly stand out in the annals of New Caledonian stamp issues. Because, just for a change, this stamp is dedicated to the most secret and secluded island of the Loyalty Islands group: Tiga or Tokanud in the Nengone language
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.
This new stamp is a postal passport carrying the lovely little island of Tiga to the world at large. Stamp collectors worldwide will find it irresistible!