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Our rich heritage

Toute la faune sous-marine en Polynésie française
© Grégoire LE BACON

Polynesian culture has its roots deep in the mythical origins of great ancestral seafarers who settled in the islands 3,000 years ago.

It was passed on from generation to generation by sacred word. The oral tradition continued it through the centuries, sometimes forgotten by everyone, to rise up again just when it was thought to have disappeared. In this centuries-old tradition, today's singers chant the magnificent accents of songs, sacred or secular, losing their echoes in the constant murmurs of the ocean over the coral reef. It is in this tradition that men and women dancers find inspiration for their extravagant choreography. It is in this tradition that enthusiasts of va'a (traditional outrigger sailing) discover the art of building and sailing their fine outrigger canoes over the ocean and lagoons! From tradition comes the art of audible percussion from the big, deep pahu and the rattling to'ere, the art of beautiful, complex tattoos, as well as the art of wood sculpture of the Marquesas. Offspring of the great tiki, these stone statues are still standing among the lava of the marae in the bottom of the secret valleys.

In the bountiful, Polynesian islands, all talents converge with natural splendours to make craftsmanship into an art form.