People and Culture

An endearing people whose soul remains anchored in warm welcoming traditions

The Polynesian people will welcome you in their islands with necklaces of flowers and joy of living. You may well be invited to the table of a true Polynesian for a meal that will be rich in taste, flavors, laughter and good spirits! Tahitians are proud of their islands and are always happy to share their way of Life with their guests. Their easy-going approach to Life is mostly expressed in their passion for dancing and music of all sorts, including traditional dance, polyphonic group singing, church music, percussive rhythms of traditional pahu and toere, guitars & ukulele played in the “kaïna” music bands (which broadly means “local” or “roots” music) …

The culture of our islands maintains a mysterious connection with the “sacred”

In ancient times, artistic creation was regarded a religious act. Music, shows, dances and even magnificent feasts (led by the “Arioi”, an aristocratic caste of artists priests), were part of artistic creation. In these times of abundance, were celebrated rites of joy and fertility dedicated to Mother Earth and Sun god Oro. Everyone then, was bearing crowns, necklaces of perfumed flowers and brilliant foliage. For weeks, songs, festivals and theatrical performances were taking place.

The artists or craftsmen (tuhuna) were said to be invested with an extremely high power of creation because they were giving life to inert materials. This was the case for either the sculptor who fashioned stone statues bearing the effigy of Tiki, (the original man who became a god), or for builders of double canoes (va’a) that were destined to dominate the ocean, or for the factors of pahu or toere (drums and tambourines), which voices would tear the silence.

Today, we attend an incredibly dynamic revival of these arts that appear to be even more inspired and creative than formerly. Polynesian art magnificently expresses the love of the Polynesian people both for Life and their venerated land (the “Fenua”).


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