The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for their breath-taking natural scenery, luxurious overwater bungalows, and vibrant marine life, but at the heart of what makes these islands so special is the rich Tahitian culture. The culture of Tahiti, Bora Bora, and the rest of the French Polynesian Islands is brimming with history, tradition, and a strong sense of community that dates back hundreds of years.
Spacifica Travel have had the pleasure of experiencing the wonders of Tahitian culture first-hand. If you are planning a Tahiti holiday, then it’s important you have a basic understanding of the local culture. This way, you can be respectful of local customs during your visit, while also knowing what Tahitian experiences should be at the top of your list.
A Deep Connection to the Past
The people of Tahiti maintain a deep connection to their ma’ohi ancestors. Tahitian legends speak of gods and warriors, natural wonders and stunning miracles. Their culture celebrates its rich history – one that has seen many triumphs and hardships over the centuries but which has survived today thanks to the art, dance, and storytelling that gets passed down from generation to generation.
Mana is also a central concept that permeates throughout the people and culture of Tahiti. Trying to describe Mana is no easy task, as it has no specific definition. Mana is the root of all energy that controls the cycle of life, death and everything in between on the Islands of Tahiti. Mana exists in nature, in people, and is the essence of the universal power at the heart of Polynesian culture.
Cultural Expression through Art
Art plays a major role in Tahitian culture, providing a way for its people to connect with their history and express their individual and collective identity.
One of the key artistic movements in Polynesian culture is that of tattooing. The word tatau gets its origins from Tahiti, and symbolises the personal history of each Tahitian citizen. The lines, patterns, and symbols that are tattooed on their bodies each hold special meaning and represent a link to their ancestors, their gods, and their role in society. In Tahitian society, tattoos are also a sign of beauty and growing up past adolescence.
Song and dance remain an important part of Tahitian culture. There are four types of dances that exist in contemporary Tahiti:
- The Otea: a popular dance that has its roots in military origins. This dance is performed with a percussion accompaniment.
- The Hivinau: this dance is choreographed with male and female dancers going around in a circle while a choir sings in the background.
- The Pa’o’a: male and female dancers crouch down together in a circle, where couples take it in turns to perform a short dance in the middle of the group while the choir sings.
- The Aparima: this deeply personal dance sees the dancers use the hands to mime the history of the Tahitian people.
The Importance of Flowers
There can be no question that the Islands of Tahiti are home to an abundance of vibrant tropical flowers. For centuries, these flowers have played an important role in Tahitian culture, tradition, and fashion.
The iconic tiare flower is used in leis as a way to welcome guests and returning citizens to the islands. The tradition states that if the tiares are accepted by travellers, both men and women must wear them behind their left ear.
Experience Tahitian Culture with Spacifica Travel
Spacifica Travel offers a range of great Tahiti holiday packages that are simply too good to miss. Contact us today to start planning your unforgettable getaway so you can experience the wonders of Tahitian culture yourself.comments powered by Disqus