Tahitians today have inherited a rich, expressive culture from their ma’ohiancestors. From the ma’ohi came the pulse of Tahitian life, a world where the lives of gods, warriors and men crossed in colourful legends. It’s a place where music, dance and art arose from the wonder of everyday island life. It’s also where javelin-throwing began as the sport of the gods, kings favored surf-riding and men competed in canoe races and stone-lifting as a show of pure strength.
Music and dance
When the missionaries came to Tahiti, they tried to suppress the powerful, life-affirming and sensual sounds and movements that embody the music and dance of Tahiti. In the dance and rhythms, Tahitians give voice to their Mana, allowing it to rise from the sea, descend from the hills, and emanate from the soul of every man and woman who falls under its mesmerising spell. Today’s Tahitian dance and music celebrates the resilience of Polynesian culture to overcome and maintain their sacred expressions of life. In ancient times, dances were linked with all aspects of life. One would dance to welcome a visitor, to pray, to challenge an enemy or to seduce a mate. Today’s dance remains a powerful, potent symbol, especially when accompanied by the harmonic voices of the Tahitians, the thunder of traditional drums and plaintive song of conch shells.