Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Nukuheva (noo-koo-HEE-vah). Largest and most important of the Marquesas Islands. Approximately twenty miles in length and nearly as broad, Nukuheva (now generally rendered Nuku Hiva) is large enough to boast three good harbors and is consequently the place where foreign ships first land. As the Dolly enters the harbor, the crew finds that the French have occupied the island and are maintaining control with several warships and soldiers. However, despite this familiar Western presence, the narrator is still overcome by the exotic scenery as he describes the terrain of the island from the vantage point of the Dolly. What he finds most remarkable are the swelling heights of the surrounding hills and mountains rising from the placid, blue waters of the bay. After the narrator and Toby decide to jump ship and explore the island, their journey takes them deeper into the interior of this beautiful but forbidding landscape, where they eventually will enter the valley of the Typee, a fearsome tribe whose very name in the Marquesan language connotes cannibalistic practices.
Valley of the Happar. Valley on the island of Nukuheva that is populated by the supposedly peaceful Happar tribe. As the narrator and Toby plan their escape from the Dolly and venture into the interior of the island, they debate whether to enter the valley of the Happar or the valley of the Typee.
Valley of the Typee. Nukuheva valley that the narrator and Toby eventually enter after an arduous descent down rugged precipices and through areas overgrown with dense, suffocating vegetation. As he enters this valley, the narrator is struck by its immense and startling beauty, especially in contrast to the harsh landscape over which he had recently traversed. His wonder is tempered by his fear of the Typee; however, he soon learns that the Typee are not as fearsome and violent as he had feared. In fact, they seem to be a peace-loving people who greet him and his companion with much hospitality. Soon after the men enter the valley, Toby disappears, leaving the narrator alone to calculate his chances for survival among these strange but seemingly friendly people. Over the course of his four-month stay among the Typee, the narrator describes their dwellings and chronicles their daily practices, including their bathing habits and their dressing rituals. He also falls in love with Fayaway, a young woman whose breath-taking beauty he describes in surprisingly graphic detail. By including such a detailed, almost anthropological account of the domestic life of the Typee, Melville does much to humanize these Polynesian people and sets the groundwork for his critiques of the intrusive practices of Western merchants and missionaries.