Located in the Polynesian triangle of the Pacific Ocean, Tahiti has a history that goes back about three millennia. Although Tahiti was the target of invasion since the Europeans discovered it in the 16th century, the tropical treasure land managed to conserve its unique Tahitian culture and traditions.
Ocean Masters : Tahiti attracted the conquerors by both its scenic tropical landscape and by the kindness of the local Tahitians. Apart from their warm nature, Tahitians and Polynesians are very witty as they have navigated through the Pacific Ocean much before Europeans figured out that the earth was round. They mastered the waters on board of tipairua, huge, double-hulled outrigger canoes, guided by the stars and the wind. These canoes are still essential Tahitian objects and are celebrated in colorful races and festivals.
Abundant Nature : The spectacular tropical climate of Tahiti allows the growth of various animals and exotic plants including delicious fruits and beautiful flowers. Tahitians incorporated these factors in their traditions. For instance, Tahitians wear hibiscus blossoms behind their ears or braid them with palm fronds into crowns. By Tahitian tradition, taken men and women wear a flower behind their left ear. Another floral tradition that Tahitians perform is welcoming visitors by leis of the Tiare Tahiti flower which is exclusive to the islands.
As for edible tradition, tourists of Tahiti can enjoy the unique Tahitian cuisine with a hint of French style. Famous dishes include raw fish marinated with lime juice and soaked in coconut milk called Poisson cru, freshwater shrimps known as chevreffes, and the most amazing Tahitian dessert, poe, sweet pudding made of taro root flavored with banana, papaya, vanilla, or pumpkin and topped with coconut milk.
Art : Tahiti’s history and traditions are alive thanks to different cultural arts such as dancing and music. Tahitian dance performed on the music of traditional instruments is called tamure. Modern Tahitian music is a blend of Polynesian rhythm with Western melodies. Another art form spread in Tahiti is tattoo. The word itself originated in Tahiti from the original word, tatau. Legend says that Tohu, the god of tattoo, describes painting all the ocean fish in colors and patterns. Hence, intricate tattoos are cherish as signs of beauty by the Polynesian culture.