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The Tahitian Culture. By: Justin Cheng. Origins. Tahiti is estimated to have been settled between AD 300 and 800 by Polynesians These Tahitian settlers are believed to have sailed from Fiji, Samoa, or Tonga. Tahiti is the biggest island in French Polynesia. A Closer Look.

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the tahitian culture

The Tahitian Culture

By: Justin Cheng

  • Tahiti is estimated to have been settled between AD 300 and 800 by Polynesians
  • These Tahitian settlers are believed to have sailed from Fiji, Samoa, or Tonga.
  • Tahiti is the biggest island in French Polynesia
european contact in the 1700s
European Contact in the 1700s
  • Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti on  June 18,1767, and is considered the first European visitor
  • Wallis was followed in April 1768 by the French explorer Louis-Antoine de, completing the first French circumnavigation. Bougainville made Tahiti famous in Europe when he published Voyage Autour Du Monde.
  • James Cook later visited the islands to view the Transit of Venus in April 1769.
  • After European contact and exploration died down, the Tahitian population died down from 35,000 to 16,000 all the way to 6000 at one point.
  • This was all due to guns, prostitution, venereal disease, alcohol, Christianity, and diseases such as typhus, influenza, and smalllpox.
tahiti in the 20 th century
Tahiti in the 20th Century
  • 1946-Tahiti and all of French Polynesia becomes a French overseas territory.
  • Paul Gauguin, a famous French painter lived in Tahiti in the 1890s and painted many Tahitian subjects.
who are the tahitians
Who are the Tahitians?

The indigenous Tahitians are of Polynesian ancestry comprising 70% of the population alongside Europeans, East Asians, and many mixed families.

Ultimately, the Tahitian population today is a huge melting pot of many different races and ethnicities.

the early tahitians
The Early Tahitians
  • Early Tahitians lived off the land
  • Lived in clans, each with roles to help the community as a whole
  • Were expert fishermen and craftsmen which both skills helped in trade.
tahitian culture and life in tahiti today
Tahitian Culture and Life in Tahiti Today
  • Still live off the land
  • Very French influenced in culture
  • Tourist flooded in some places
  • Ancient culture is still preserved today
  • Most Tahitians speak multiple language including French and their ancient dialect of Tuamotu.
  • There are approximately 262,000 residents of Tahiti
tahitian culture today
Tahitian Culture Today
  • Heiva I Tahiti
  • Tahitian Dance/Music
  • The City
  • My experience there
tahitian culture outside of tahiti
Tahitian Culture outside of Tahiti
  • Tahitian Dance has spread here, Mexico, Japan, and many other countries.
  • Polynesian Tattoo has become very popular here as well.
  • Boating sports and Music are also becoming very popular all over the world.
my personal experience with tahitian culture
My Personal Experience with Tahitian Culture
  • Dancing and Music
  • Art
  • Benefits of Dancing
  • Competing

mainstream tahitian culture
Mainstream Tahitian Culture

The only pieces of Tahitian Culture that has passed into the states is the dance, music, and art.

  • <htn
  • <nonosina
  • <heikuranui
modernization traditional styles of tahitian dance
Modernization/Traditional styles of Tahitian Dance <poerani <manuia <nonosina

is modernization of tahitian culture destroying the tradition
Is Modernization of Tahitian Culture Destroying the Tradition?

In my opinion, because of the modernization of Tahitian dance and music in the states, many groups in the States are not keeping the culture. Even in Tahiti, some groups are falling out of tradition and falling in to the modern Tahitian dance hype. So yes, modernization is destroying the tradition, and only few groups are still around to keep the tradition how it should be.

manuia the keepers of tradition
Manuia: The Keepers of Tradition
  • Personally, my group has been one of the few groups, maybe the only group in Tahitian dancing that has been keeping the real culture alive in the United States.
  • As a group, we give the audience a show of real Tahitian Culture, trying to persuade them to favor traditional dancing rather than the modern.
future of the tahitian culture
Future of the Tahitian Culture
  • What I hope for it
  • Tahitian Culture expansion
  • How fast it has been expanding

  • Suggs, R.C. "The Derivation of Marquesan Culture." Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland n. pag. Web. 26 Jul 2011. <>.
  • Crocombe, R.G. "French Polynesia: a book of selected readings." Institute of Pacific Studies of the University of South Pacific (1988): n. pag. Web. 26 Jul 2011. <>.
  • Kuwhara, Makiko. "Dancing and Tattooing the imagined Territory: Identity Formation at Heiv and the festival of Pacific Arts." JCAS, 2006. Web. 26 Jul 2011. <>.