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 […]

A cooperative sporting event between a Tahitian team and one from Hawaii last week provided welcome relief from all the news about the Winter Olympics competitions in South Korea. A brief news story on February 20 by a Honolulu television station reported on a non-competitive canoe race in the water off Maui between teams from […]

Violence in the home is a worldwide issue, especially for people concerned about developing more peaceful societies. Thus, a report last week on the rise of domestic abuse among the Tahitians suggests the value of a review of the history and cultural values which inhibit such violence. Or at least, which used to inhibit it. […]

In his book Tahitians: Mind and Experience in the Society Islands, Robert Levy (1973) explained that relationships in French Polynesia were more egalitarian in some communities than in others. In the small, rural village on Huahine where he did much of his fieldwork, the Tahitians were mostly free of vertical power structures. However, in an […]

A storm has been brewing over a proposed development on the northwest coast of Raiatea, but the disgruntled Tahitians are so far expressing their opposition through petitions and protests. One of the Leeward Group in the Society Islands, Raiatea is perhaps best known for its remarkable Taputapuatea Marae, a large grouping of ancient stone structures […]

On July 9, UNESCO declared an ancient religious complex of the Tahitians to be a World Heritage Site in recognition of its significance as a traditional cultural center of many Pacific societies. A New Zealand professor explained the importance of the designation for Radio New Zealand last week. The Taputapuatea marae, located on the southeast […]

Scholars have found evidence that about 800 years ago people used large, seafaring canoes to travel between the Society Islands and New Zealand, a distance of nearly 3,000 miles. A report in a New Zealand newspaper last week explained why experts consider the long-distance travels of the Tahitians, and other Polynesians, back and forth over […]

Charles Ariitetoa Rochette, a 54-year old Tahitian man, became an orero, a public speaker, so he could help preserve and transmit the culture of his society. La Dépêche de Tahiti, a prominent daily newspaper in French Polynesia, published a story about him last Wednesday. Mr. Rochette gained his knowledge and aptitude for transmitting Tahitian legends […]

The trailer for “Moana,” a current Disney film, depicts two main characters: the title heroine who is a Polynesian princess and a male demi-god hero, Maui, who is covered in tattoos. A review in The Guardian expresses cautiously positive sentiments about the latest movie for the pre-teen set, but an article in The Telegraph focuses […]