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Polynesian Culture

Published 18th Dec 2017

The South Pacific region consists of a vast ocean decorated with tropical islands that make all visitors envious of its natural beauty. While famous for stunning scenery, crystal-clear waters and volcanic mountains, many visitors also leave with a cultural experience unmatched anywhere else in the world. When it comes to an authentic travel experience, few destinations can beat the traditions of the many Polynesian Islands.

Polynesia is the largest sub-region in the Pacific. Forming a triangle between New Zealand, Easter Island and Hawaii, the region encompasses nations such as Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tahiti, just to name a few. Being natural migrators, this beautiful group of travellers used the stars to navigate themselves from their east Asian roots many centuries ago. Now spread across many independent island states, strong connections still exist between the beautiful Polynesian people.

Polynesian Cultures, Traditions and Beliefs:

Although spread across the Pacific, all Polynesians are known for their strong sense of family. With a rich ancestral history, worshipping their forefathers has given the reverence of kin a deep, spiritual meaning. Only strengthened by modern Christian influences, locals display family ties even in business - don't be surprised if your hotel manager is your tour guide's cousin. Placing such pride in their relationships, expect to be asked about your home life, as locals stare with beaming smiles, awaiting your answer.

Another tradition which is prevalent across all of Polynesia is dance. Despite varying in style, dance is making a comeback after being reprimanded by European colonies. Although with some modern twists, witness the natural rhythm that encapsulates the Polynesian spirit. Go to Samoa and witness the story-telling Siva, with its slow hand movements that relate a narrative. Or, to be truly mesmerised, observe the fast hip movements of Tahitian dance. Whichever island you visit, be greeted by the effortless dance moves echoing ancient times.

What would dance be without music? Communal singing is part of what gives each island their unique personality. With their natural talents and gospel-like voices, a Sunday visit to church will leave you mesmerised, particularly in Samoa and Tonga where the religious influence has resulted in raft-raising harmonies.

Another strong element that ties all the different Polynesian destinations together are their seafaring skills – sailing large canoes known as ‘Vaka’, Polynesians famously used their sophisticated navigation techniques to search for new land. Much of Polynesia’s history is tied in with the Vaka, with thrilling stories of bravery and strength being common across all the individual nations. One such story, of the 7 Vaka, tells the tale of how the final 7 canoes set off from the Cook Islands and made their way to New Zealand, and that is how Maori culture got there.

Experience Polynesian Culture:

The team at Spacifica Travel can help you plan and book a truly authentic and unforgettable Polynesian experience that will stick with you for the rest of your life. If you are interested in exploring this region of the world, give our South Pacific specialists a call on 1800 800 722.

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We know the South Pacific like the frond of every palm