to landing website  


                                             ANCIENT MATERIAL CULTURE                                              

Old tools

Manually agile, quick to exploit what nature put at their disposal, the ancient inhabitants of Huahine made ​​tools of multiple uses. The raw materials used were volcanic rocks, corals, shells, bones, etc..
the finest item of formerly material culture , the adze (to'i) consisted of an active, working edge, and a heel attached to the handle by a ligature plant. The adze differed from the ax (opahi) by the orientation of the working edge perpendicular to the shaft axis. His finishing was a delicate operation. A boulder allowed to outline the form and get the desired thickness. One then elaborated tenon required for slip-and sharpness. The finals were to remove by sanding and refining facets formed by the removal of chips to give the object its final polished surface. Close to its shape adze, chisel (fenefene) was made ​​from seashells.

Compared to other islands, few such objects have been found in Huahine, and in particular, no adze inverted triangular section, however there was an rudimentary adze  discovery of a type very old, which dates from the year 1000


The tapa

Throughout Polynesia, making tapa was a tipically female work although men were not excluded from the production process : they had to look after planting  breadfruit (uru) seeds or cuttings mulberry 'aute not to be confused with hibiscus 'aute) and remove the buds emerging. Thus perfectly smooth saplings allowed obtaining homogeneous fabric. After debarking wood, women were taking over men. The bark was soaked two or three days in a point of fresh water. They were then scraped with a shell to eliminate their external part; just the "phloem", the fibrous portion of the plant bark was left. Then they rolled "phloem" strips with banana leaves. After one to three days off, the beaten fibers were to be clustered together. . .

Toggle Next Element Visibility
   . . . continue reading
The fineness of tapa depended on the quality of this is done with a specific iron wood ('aito) paddle. After threshing, the pieces were kept stretched by stones. They were dried in the shade before the sun gives them their consistency and color definitive specific tree species used. Mulberry (aute) is known to provide fine fabrics, white; rougher and beige are the breadfruit ('uru) ones; thick and brown-red are those from banyan tree (ora). If the tapa often remained in its natural state, the most well done parts could be colored or decorated in yellow or red. They were used to make clothing: tīputa -cape, tīhere- loincloth, maro -belt. They were frequently offered ceremonially or, more commonly, exchanged against other objects.

The tradition of kite (pauma 'Uo )

The art of kite is part of the customs of the ancient Polynesians. This practice was widespread in Huahine, where Pīpiri-mā legend tells, in some of its variants, sending children to the sky by a kite. In the neighboring island of Taha'a, the legendary god Hiro while he was still young is said to have been challenged by his brothers in a competition kite. On the advice of his mother Fa'imano he used ‘atae leaves, (a large tree with red leaves; Erythrina indica) for the wing skins; and dry banana stems (called 'uo, a term which by extension means as the kite) to the string and tail. Hiro’s kite went high in the sky, remaining soon there to form the constellation Scorpio, called by some a Te matau Maui (Maui's hook) and by other Te 'uo ā Hiro ( Hiro's kite). In Huahine and all the Society Islands, competitions were formerly organized in which it was to show strength and skill in guiding a kite up five meters wide. The winner was the one whose kite was the fastest and the highest in the sky. . .

Toggle Next Element Visibility
. . . continue reading
Like surfing (hōrue) or archery (te'a), this type of competition is based on the idea of elevation, this is why it was popular among members of the aristocracy (hui ari'i ): in principle, it was reserved for men. In Huahine, the tradition of kite flying competition, Ha'ape'e 'Uo, was maintained despite a decline in the period 1960 to 1980. Know-how, however, was preserved by Fa'ie and Maeva old men, who led new development of the discipline, updated in the 1990s by the association Opu Nui. Some inhabitants of Huahine even participated in international competitions in Hawaii and Japan. There are two families of traditional kites: the 'uo menemene (rounded) that resembles a turtle (honu), and' uo manu whose shape recalls the bird (manu) or the sting ray (fai, fai manu) . To build their frame was used bamboo ('ofe) to the midrib and the spacers, and purau (wild hibiscus) soft and light for peripheral elements. Everything was often covered with tapa. As the royal canoes, the kites were with a name. Today in competitions organized in Maeva seaside (on the motu), the length of the string is the same for all. Scoring runs for a period of one minute during which the participants, arms in the air, can not play on the wire. The winner selected by the judges is the one that allows his kite to reach the highest altitude. Although this activity is still very masculine, she begins to open up to women.