Tahitian Cultures, Islands of Tahiti

Tahitian Cultures

Tahitian cultures incorporate a unique oral tradition. This involves religious mythology including ‘Oro’ and ancient traditions like navigation and tattooing. The Heivā Festival is an annual celebration of the culture, music, sports and dance. A competitive race takes place between the various French Polynesian islands using outrigger canoes. Oral history also recounts various adventures of warriors and gods in colorful folklore. Javelin shooting was a sport played by the gods and the kings favored surf riding.

The Tahitians, also called the Maohis, are natives of Tahiti. They are among the most important indigenous Polynesian population of Oceania. The Polynesian language, Tahitian is spoken primarily. It has its origins in Eastern Polynesia.

A distinct cultural feature of the Tahiti islands is the Tahitian dance, which is famous all over the world. This traditional dance is called the ‘ote’a and has the dancers lined in rows. It can be easily identified by the signature grass skirts and swift hip-shaking movement. This traditional dance is among a few which were performed in the pre-European times by males.

The national sport of Tahiti is Va’a, paddle sports, also called outrigger canoe. Surfing, rugby, football, and basketball are other famous sports played on the island.


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