Followers of 'Oro were called ariori, and each district in Tahiti had an ariori lodge led by the avae parae, black leg. These leaders had legs tattooed from thigh to heel. The first 'Oro lodge was established around 1720 by Mahi, a representative of the high priest of Taputapuatea marae and Tamatoa I, the high chief of Ra'iatea. The first 'Oro marae was established at Tautira.[11]

After pickup from your hotel, set out to explore the island of Tahiti, traveling by air-conditioned coach with an experienced local guide. Your first stop will be on the west coast where you will visit the famous Marae Arahurahu, a relgious site dedicated to the ancient gods where important ceremonies used to take place. For manicured landscapes, visit the Vaipahi Garden, where you can wander around a tree-shaded wonderland of waterfalls, ponds and colorful tropical flowers. Your guide can help you identify the plant life as you take in this botanical gem. Visit Venus Point, located on Matavai Bay. The stop got its name from Captain James Cook, who observed the 1769 transit of Venus from this point as part of his work for the Royal Society. As you walk around the black-sand beach, note the monument that commemorates Cook's work here.Next, cruise along scenic roads to arrive at the Arahoho blowhole where, when there's a big swell, water shoots skyward, resulting in what might be a free shower courtesy of the sea! Enjoy the beauty of the black-sand beaches and turquoise sea, a popular surfing spot. Afterwards, visit Taharaa View Point for breathtaking panoramic views over the island before being returned to your hotel in Papeete where your tour ends.
French Polynesia was relisted in the UN List of Non-Self Governing Territories in 2013, making it eligible for a UN-backed independence referendum. The relisting was made after its indigenous government was voiced and supported by the Polynesian Leaders Group, Pacific Conference of Churches, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Non-Aligned Movement, World Council of Churches, and Melanesian Spearhead Group.[19]
Cook and Banks circumnavigated the island from 26 June to 1 July. On the exploration, they met Ahio, chief of Ha'apaiano'o or Papenoo, Rita, chief of Hitia'a, Pahairro, chief of Pueu, Vehiatua, chief of Tautra, Matahiapo, chief of Teahupo'o, Tutea, chief of Vaira'o, and Moe, chief of Afa'Ahiti. In Papara, guided by Tupaia, they investigated the ruins of Mahaiatea marae, an impressive structure containing a stone pyramid or ahu, measuring 44 feet (13 m) high, 267 feet (81 m) long and 87 feet (27 m) wide. Cook and Endeavour departed Tahiti on 13 July 1769, taking Raiatean navigator Tupaia along for his geographic knowledge of the islands.[11]:149,186–202,205
Bora Bora has become synonymous with overwater bungalows. Many of these lavish floating villas have glass floors that supply a window to the lagoon life below. This locale is unique in the fact that most Bora Bora resort hotels are built on their own tiny island, or motu, and visits elsewhere must be arranged by boat transfer. Not to worry, though, you will hardly need to leave your bungalow let alone the resort. From lounging on your own private deck and receiving room service via outrigger canoe, to indulging in a rejuvenating spa treatment, you will pass the time in quiet seclusion and opulent luxury.
Home to the capital city of Papeete, Tahiti is the economic center of French Polynesia. Since all flights arrive through Faa'a International Airport, your tailored Tahiti vacation will begin and end in Papeete. While you may be tempted to jet off immediately to the other islands, we recommend staying at least a day or two. Tahiti strikes an interesting contrast to some of the more quiet, secluded islands in the region; and with a selection of wonderful and convenient Tahiti resorts available, you will never regret staying. 

In ancient times the island was called "Pora pora mai te pora", meaning "created by the gods" in the local Tahitian dialect. This was often abbreviated Pora Pora meaning simply "first born". Because of ambiguities in the phonemes of the Tahitian language, this could also be pronounced Bola Bola or Bora Bora. When explorer Jacob Roggeveen first landed on the island, he and his crew adopted the name Bora Bora which has stood ever since.[2][3]
The Mo'orea Ferry operates from Papeete and takes about 45 minutes to travel to Moorea. Other ferries are the Aremiti 5 and the Aremiti 7 and these two ferries sail to Moorea in about half an hour. There are also several ferries that transport people and goods throughout the islands. The Bora Bora cruiseline sails to Bora Bora about once a week. The main hub for these ferries is the Papeete Wharf.

The first European to have visited Tahiti according to existing records was lieutenant Samuel Wallis, who was circumnavigating the globe in HMS Dolphin,[16] sighting the island on 18 June 1767,[17] and eventually harbouring in Matavai Bay. This bay was situated on the territory of the chiefdom of Pare-Arue, governed by Tu (Tu-nui-e-a'a-i-te-Atua) and his regent Tutaha, and the chiefdom of Ha'apape, governed by Amo and his wife "Oberea" (Purea). Wallis named the island King George's Island. The first contacts were difficult, since on the 24 and 26 June 1767,[18] Tahitian warriors in canoes showed aggression towards the British, hurling stones from their slings. In retaliation, the British sailors opened fire on the warriors in the canoes and on the hills. In reaction to this powerful counter-attack, the Tahitians laid down peace offerings for the British.[18] Following this episode, Samuel Wallis was able to establish cordial relations with the female chieftain "Oberea " (Purea) and remained on the island until 27 July 1767.[11]:45–84,104,135
The commune of Bora-Bora is made up of the island of Bora Bora proper with its surrounding islets emerging from the coral reef, 29.3 km2 (11.3 sq mi) in total. The surrounding islets include Motu Tapu, Motu Ahuna, Tevairoa, Motu Tane, Motu Mute, Motu Tufari, Motu Tehotu, Motu Pitiaau, Sofitel Motu, Motu Toopua, and Toopuaiti. The commune also includes the Tūpai atoll. (11 km2 or 4.2 sq mi), located 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Bora Bora. The atoll of Tūpai has no permanent population apart from about 50 workers in the coconut plantations.
At the 1988 census, the last census which asked questions regarding ethnicity, 66.5% of people were ethnically unmixed Polynesians, 7.1% were ethnically Polynesians with light European and/or East Asian mixing, 11.9% were Europeans (mostly French), 9.3% were people of mixed European and Polynesian descent, the so-called Demis (literally meaning "Half"), and 4.7% were East Asians (mainly Chinese).[1]
Other great expeditions undertaken around 1000 AD established the Polynesian triangle consisting of Hawaii (to the north), Easter Island (to the east), Tahiti and her islands (to the west) and New Zealand (to the south-west.) The various languages derived from the ma'ohi that are spoken in theses islands testify to the common origin of their peoples.

In the 1790s, whalers began landing at Tahiti during their fishing expeditions in the southern hemisphere. The arrival of these whalers, who were subsequently joined by merchants coming from the penal colonies in Australia, marked the first major overturning of traditional Tahitian society. The crews introduced alcohol, arms and infectious diseases to the island, and encouraged prostitution, which brought with it venereal disease. These commercial interactions with westerners had catastrophic consequences for the Tahitian population, which shrank rapidly, ravaged by diseases and other cultural factors.[27] During the first decade of the 19th century, the Tahitian population dropped from 16,000 to 8,000-9,000; the French census in 1854 counted a population just under 6,000.[28]
The Society archipelago is a hotspot volcanic chain consisting of ten islands and atolls. The chain is oriented along the N. 65° W. direction, parallel to the movement of the Pacific Plate. Due to the plate movement over the Society hotspot, the age of the islands decreases from 5 Ma at Maupiti to 0 Ma at Mehetia, where Mehetia is the inferred current location of the hotspot as evidenced by recent seismic activity. Maupiti, the oldest island in the chain, is a highly eroded shield volcano with at least 12 thin aa flows, which accumulated fairly rapidly between 4.79 and 4.05 Ma. Bora Bora is another highly eroded shield volcano consisting of basaltic lavas accumulated between 3.83 and 3.1 Ma. The lavas are intersected by post-shield dikes. Tahaa consists of shield-stage basalt with an age of 3.39 Ma, followed by additional eruptions 1.2 Ma later. Raiatea consists of shield-stage basalt followed by post-shield trachytic lava flows, all occurring from 2.75 to 2.29 Ma. Huahine consists of two coalesced basalt shield volcanoes, Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti, with several flows followed by post-shield trachyphonolitic lava domes from 3.08 to 2.06 Ma. Moorea consists of at least 16 flows of shield-stage basalt and post-shield lavas from 2.15 to 1.36 Ma. Tahiti consists of two basalt shield volcanoes, Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti, with an age range of 1.67 to 0.25 Ma.[4]
The most common form of transportation around Tahiti is by car. The former "Truck" does no longer exist in this form (a rickety public open-air bus with wooden passenger cabins that will stop on the side of the street and serve different cities). They got replaced by city buses and prices are very inexpensive, normally set around 300 CFP (about US$3) per person and most will end up in the centre of downtown close to the market. Other means of transportation include scooters or private cars. Most rental cars will be stickshift and end up being around 9,000 CFP per day (about US$90). There is a multitude of bikes to rent cheaply. This is especially a good idea on Sundays as everything is closed and you can end up discovering the islands.

In 1940, the administration of French Polynesia recognised the Free French Forces and many Polynesians served in World War II. Unknown at the time to the French and Polynesians, the Konoe Cabinet in Imperial Japan on 16 September 1940 included French Polynesia among the many territories which were to become Japanese possessions, as part of the "Eastern Pacific Government-General" in the post-war world.[15] However, in the course of the war in the Pacific the Japanese were not able to launch an actual invasion of the French islands.
Snorkeling in Bora BoraBora Bora reefAcross the lagoon from Mount Otemanu, Bora BoraMeeting the localsBora Bora below the surfaceArrival in Bora BoraShopping in VaitapeFour Seasons Resort Bora BoraTurtle Sanctuary at Le Meridien Bora Bora Bora Bora, jetskiingBora Bora Dinner at Villa MahanaHammock timeBora Bora, sunset diningBora Bora 4x4 adventureBora BoraBora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, Aerial ViewSofitel Bora Bora Private IslandAlone time at Motu Tapu, Hilton Bora Bora Nui's private motuFire Dancers at the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Snorkeling in Bora BoraBora Bora reef
I haven’t had the best of luck with bicycles when I travel, so it was a surprise that I grew to embrace them in French Polynesia. Like the island time I mentioned above, cycling slows you down, chills you out and ensures you don’t miss anything. I was always moving slow enough that the locals could call out to me as I passed, I was able to stop every few metres to snap a photo of a colourful flower or deserted beach, and the roads were well-paved, so it wasn’t painful to ride.
I haven’t had the best of luck with bicycles when I travel, so it was a surprise that I grew to embrace them in French Polynesia. Like the island time I mentioned above, cycling slows you down, chills you out and ensures you don’t miss anything. I was always moving slow enough that the locals could call out to me as I passed, I was able to stop every few metres to snap a photo of a colourful flower or deserted beach, and the roads were well-paved, so it wasn’t painful to ride.
Papeete is a vibrant and multicultural city with busy boulevards and a bustling harbor. The downtown municipal market, Le Marché, is an exciting place to purchase all things Tahiti including vanilla beans, monoi oil and colorful pareos. Just down the street at Le Centre Vaima is the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, which is a great place to start if you're hoping to purchase a Tahitian black pearl during your stay. To live like a local, head to Vai'ete Square after sunset. This waterfront promenade comes to life at night when gourmet food trucks, Les Roulottes, open their windows to serve a range of affordable meals including Chinese food, French crépes, steak frites, fresh fish and pizza. 

In between the visits of Bougainville and Cook, in December 1768, a war of succession amongst the Tahiti's clans took place for who would assume the role of paramount chief. Tutaha's Pare-'Arue army allied with Vehiatua's Tai'arapu army, Pohuetea's Puna'auia army, To'ofa's Paea army, and Tepau-i-ahura'i (Tepau) of Fa'a'a, to defeat Amo and Purea in Papara. The warriors, women and children of Papara were massacred, while their houses, gardens, crops and livestock destroyed. Even the Mahaiatea marae was ransacked, while Amo, Purea, Tupaia and Teri'irere fled into the mountains. Vehiatua built a wall of skulls (Te-ahu-upo'o) at his Tai'arapu marae from his war trophies.[11]:134–140,144–145,196
Bora Bora (French: Bora-Bora, Tahitian: Pora Pora) is a 30.55 km2 (12 sq mi) island group in the Leeward group in the western part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The main island, located about 230 kilometres (143 miles) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 feet).
'Le Marché'. This is the large two-story Papeete's market place where many things can be bought. Buy your lunch here and some "Monoi". "Monoi" is the local tahitian oil, strongly scented and worth a good price. It is used to get tanned and moisturize your skin. Also buy a "pareu". This is typical tahitian clothing that can be tied into many different ways (a cover-up, a dress, shorts, a shawl). It can also be spread out as a picnic cloth or a beach towel. Created with traditional designs and bright tropical colors, they are inexpensive and make the perfect souvenir. This is especially good for getting to know Tahitians as every Tahitian knows how to tie one. Le Marche is also the place where you'll find jewellery as well as many calendars, postcards, cups... Ripe fruits, scented soaps, vanilla beans, dance costumes, wooven hats and bags and shell necklaces up to your ears are what you'll find in the market. It is centrally located and you can't miss it.
The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is a floating oasis in the South Pacific. It features all spacious overwater villas. Found on the southeastern side of the coral reef, these luxurious accommodations face the spectacular Mount Otemanu and boast incredible views of Bora Bora. Here, modern architecture flourishes with an authentic Polynesian design, accentuating a color palette that reflects the sapphire blue of the surrounding lagoon.
The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora exudes an effortless luxury. Located on the northeastern side of the island along the outer coral reef, this exclusive enclave is one of the premier resort options in Bora Bora. The overwater bungalows, some of which have their own private plunge pools, boast exceptional views of the lagoon or Mount Otemanu. They incorporate a fascinating architecture, featuring walls made of volcanic stone and decorative accents fashioned from mother of pearl.
Holders of a passport from the EU, and most countries of North or South America don't need to apply for a visa for a stay of up to one month. EU/EFTA nationals only require a National Identity Card. However, the Delphine passport is necessary in case of transit via the USA. Except for nationals of the European Union and aliens holding a 10 year residence card for metropolitan France, all foreigners entering French Polynesia must have a return ticket.
A clan was composed of a chief (ari'i rahi), nobles (ari'i) and under-chiefs ( 'Īato'ai). The ari'i, considered descendants of the Polynesian gods, were full of mana (spiritual power). They traditionally wore belts of red feathers, symbols of their power. The chief of the clan did not have absolute power. Councils or general assemblies had to be called composed of the ari'i and the 'Īato'ai, especially in case of war.[9]
The indigenous Tahitians are of Polynesian ancestry comprising 70% of the population alongside Europeans, East Asians (mostly Chinese) and people of mixed heritage sometimes referred to as Demis. They make up the largest population in French Polynesia. Most people from metropolitan France live in Papeete and its suburbs, notably Punaauia where they make up almost 20% of the population.[citation needed]
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