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 Huahine cultural heritage

Huahine consists of two islands, Huahine Nui and Huahine-Iti, which are connected by a bridge. Recent archaeological discoveries indicate that the history of Huahine back at least to 1100 years.

Huahine-Iti depended on Huahine Nui, each island with four districts in ancient timeHuahine island is known for the village of Maeva, where all district chiefs once lived side by side and proceeded to the worship of ancestors on their respective marae.

Huahine big chiefs lived on the thin strip of coastline, on the lagoonside. The great  marae Manunu on the island opposite the village of Maeva, and marae Anini of parea acted as community marae  to Huahine-Nui and Huahine-Iti, respectively.

Each marae has a two levels platform (ahu), elevated location for the gods. The Marae Anini  and marae Manunu are the only Leeward Islands marae to have two (ahulevels.

Dr. Kenneth P. Emory of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, was the first to identify the types, functions, and names of the marae on Huahine in 1925. Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto from the Bishop Museum restored the Maeva marae for the Tahiti committee of touris  from 1967 to 1968. Dr. Sinoto later brought to light additional 35 marae on the hill behind the village Mata'ire'a Maeva.

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The Marae Anini was attended by the community of the southern tip of Huahine-Iti. Deities, Oro (the chief god of war, in honor of that most human sacrifices were performed) and Hiro (the god of thieves) were worshiped on this marae. The last priest of the marae, Hiro, told the Reverend William Ellis in 1818 he remembered at least 14 human sacrifices. The main characteristic of Marae Anini is the ahu. Small platforms, ro'i were considered as beds dedicated to gods Oro and Hiro. The standing stones upright, ofa 'i turui, allowed priests and leaders to lean or rest or even are memorials to deceased chiefs. A small marae with standing stones in the roadside part was built along the royal family when a child downline was adopted . A platform far removed from the enclosure shows the place where the house of Oro was located. Under each pillar of the house, a human was offered in sacrifice.
Tane, the dominant god of Huahine, was worshiped on this marae, which served the community of Huahine Nui. Tane was the god of war and fish of Huahine. It was associated with the construction of canoes, making adzes and the braiding ropes. The god Oro, who was introduced later, was also worshiped on the marae Manunu. Besides the ava'a (bed for a god or platform for placing images) is the tomb of Raiti, the last high priest of Maeva. When he died in 1915, a stone block of the marae collapsed. In accordance with his last wishes, he was buried on the site of the marae. The foundations for a small fare pote'e (round house containing sacred drums and ceremonial items) is inside the marae. Look carefully at the stone block on the ahu airport side : you will see the petroglyph of a turtle. The turtle was seen as a reflection of the god in the sea.
The fish traps in the lagoon around the village of Maeva are still used today. The fish enters between the openings in the rising and falling tides and is then captured with large nets. This is not only a very simple method of fishing, it is a primitive form of aquaculture, since the park keeps the fish taken alive. Once, these fish traps were an abundant source of food for the families of chiefs.

Maeva village

The marae Anini

The marae Manunu 

Custom fish trap