The Marquesas are a group of very rugged volcanic islands in Eastern Polynesia. Rainfall is highly unpredictable in the Marquesas, and as a result famines were common, and were sometimes catastrophic. The most important supernatural agents were deified spirits of deceased chiefs and priests. Human sacrifice played an important role in Marquesan religion - for example, the deification of a deceased leader required ten human sacrifices. The victims of these sacrifices were always captives obtained in war rather than members of the group.