Have you always wanted to travel to the French Polynesian islands? Tahiti is one of the beaches at the top of my travel wish list.
"Leafy forests sit beside sandy shores, French crêpes are served alongside Tahitian poisson cru (raw fish). If there ever was a place that embodies the beautiful duality of the French Polynesian archipelago, it's Tahiti."
READ MORE: Tahiti Travel Guide
While your backyard certainly isn't a leafy forest next to sandy shores, you can still use a little bit of creativity and make your own Tahitian experience at home. Here are some ideas!
"Sweet crepes are made with regular wheat flour (all purpose flour), and are usually slightly sweetened with sugar. These are perfect for breakfast or dessert. These sweet crepes are typically served with sugar, syrup, fruits, chocolate (or Nutella), whipped cream, or even ice cream.
Savory crepes are traditionally made with buckwheat flour. These are naturally gluten free, and have a nutty flavor because of the buckwheat flour. They are typically served for lunch or dinner, but they also work just as well for breakfast/brunch too. Savory crepes can be filled with savory fillings like ham, cheese, bacon, eggs, vegetables (like mushrooms), herbs and other types of meat filling too."
—The Flavor Blender
"Poisson cru is made with the freshest of ingredients as found in the islands of Tahiti. While most commonly made with raw fresh tuna it can also be prepared with numerous other fish such as crab ('ota pa'a/paka'), eel ('ota pusi'), lobster ('ota ula'), mussels ('ota pipi/maso'), octopus/squid ('ota fe'e/feke'), prawns ('ota ulavai'), and sea urchin ('ota vana/tuitui'). If none of those are available you can make it with jack fish, halibut, salmon or snapper."
—The Spruce Eats
These excerpts were written by Tahiti Tourisme.
There are a multitude of legends concerning the origins of the tatau. They all have one point in common: they are always a gift from a god to man. On the island of Tahiti, one of these legends tells how the first tatau were done on the sons of the god Ta’aroa, the supreme creator god of everything in the Polynesian firmament. The sons taught it to other men who made extensive use of it. As a result, the two sons of Ta’aroa, Matamata and Tū Ra’i Pō became the patron divinities of tattooing.
In Tahitian dancing today there are, four types of dance.
- The Otea: this must have been originally a somewhat military dance among Tahitian natives, reserved for men. It has become the most famous of the Tahitian dances. It is choreographed around a theme and its musical accompaniment is performed on percussion and made up of rhythmical motifs called pehe.
- The Aparima: in this dance, the hands of the Tahitian dancers mime history. The aparima can be either vava (silent) and consist of pantomime, generally performed while kneeling and accompanied by percussion or it can be sung, aparima himene, and the movements are in time to the chant which is accompanied by stringed instruments.
- The Hivinau: during this choreography, male and female dancers wend round in a circle and a male soloist voices a phrase that the choir takes up. The orchestra is made up of various drums and the pace is maintained by the dancers’ songs.
- The Pa’o’a: this dance seems to be derived from the movements used to make tapa (a sort of parchment made from vegetable matter). Male and female dancers crouch down in a semi-circle. A male soloist voices a theme that the choir answers. A couple get up and perform a short dance in the circle to the sound of ‘hi’s and ‘ha’s.
The art of plaiting is found in various forms such as hats, bags baskets, mats etc. The French Polynesian women from the Austral Islands are noted as experts of this discipline that uses vegetal fibers from the screw pine, the coconut or the reed or a’eho.
READ MORE: Tahiti and French Polynesian Culture