July 2nd marked the 50th anniversary of a grim event: the first atomic test by the government of France on the island of Mururoa in French Polynesia. Radio New Zealand last week remembered the 30-year series of nuclear tests, from 1966 to 1996, by reviewing their effects on the Tahitian people and the protests that […]

Puritanical religious authorities tried to stamp out traditional Tahitian dancing in an earlier era, but according to one website devoted to the subject, ori Tahiti, Tahitian dance, is making a strong comeback. It is, as the website says, “a typical expression of the Polynesian soul.” The website, TahitiDanceOnline.com, published a post on December 23, 2015, […]

South Pacific travel websites last week marked the rollout of a new campaign to boost tourism in Tahiti by publicizing a branding approach called “Embraced by Mana.” The PR release gushed, “The iconic beauty of The Islands [sic] of Tahiti and the unique Tahitian culture are showcased in the new global brand ….” Seeking to […]

Tahitians living near a subdivision under construction on Huahine are protesting the destruction of their natural environment, especially the backfilling of land on the shore of a small lake. An article last week in La Dépêche de Tahiti, a major Tahitian daily newspaper, describes the growing local controversy. The north end of Huahine, one of […]

A scholarly analysis of a 2004 French Polynesian novel suggests that there are different ways of understanding the history and culture of the Tahitians, especially in contrast to those of the French colonizers. The scholars, Andrew Cowell and Maureen DeNino, appear to suggest that the novel Hutu Pāinu: Tahiti, Racines et Déchirements by Marie-Claude Teissier-Landgraf […]

Susan Spano described a scary incident that occurred on Huahine, one of the Society Islands located 100 miles northwest of Tahiti. A former travel writer for the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, she was interviewed by the L.A. Times last week regarding a new book she has published about her career. She […]

Oscar Temaru, the leader of the opposition in French Polynesia, has called on educators in the territory to begin teaching children in English rather than in French. In early May, Temaru, the leader of the pro-independence party, was defeated in territorial elections for president by his long-time opponent, Gaston Flosse, who wants the Tahitians to […]