Like most of the other societies described in this website, the designation of the Tahitians as “peaceful” rests on careful analysis by a qualified anthropologist. Robert Levy convincingly provided detailed analyses of conditions on the ground in a particular time and place—the Society Islands in the 1960s. But how have social and cultural conditions changed […]

It is never wise to romanticize societies designated as “peaceful”—many of them have the same or very similar problems as the rest of humanity. For some of them, their pacifist beliefs and practices are still very important; for others, the peace traditions analyzed by prominent scholars now play only minor roles in their rhythms of […]

For some of the peaceful societies, glimpses of their traditions can be gleaned from histories of the Europeans who invaded their lands and who subsequently chronicled their own accomplishments. A good case in point would be the Tahitians, whose many customs were richly noted by the 18th century French and English visitors. While stories of […]

Thirty-six Tahitians have filed claims that they are still suffering from the effects of the radiation released over French Polynesia from the nuclear bomb testing conducted in the territory for many years. The government of France has responded by sending a team of experts to the Pacific territory to determine whether or not it should […]

Teachers at the University of French Polynesia have been telling their classes that their Polynesian languages are in danger, so the students studying Tahitian decided to take action. According to a story in a major Polynesian news source on February 16, students studying reo mā’ohi (the language of the Tahitians) highlighted the different Polynesian languages […]

The Tahitian people living on the island of Huahine are getting quite irritated with the hordes of boaters who visit their community and regularly ignore the proper anchorage spots for their vessels. A news story last week in Tahiti Infos describes the environmental damage the boats cause and the reactions of the Tahitian people to […]

Gerard Hindmarsh traveled from New Zealand to the Society Islands last week to pursue his obsessive investigation of the sea-faring traditions of the Tahitian people. The author of an article early last year about Polynesian oceanic travel 800 years ago updated his findings with another report on May 5. A highlight of his recent trip […]