Tahiti (/təˈhiːti/; French pronunciation: ​[ta.iti]; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. The island is located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the central Southern Pacific Ocean; it is divided into two parts: the bigger, northwestern part, Tahiti Nui, and the smaller, southeastern part, Tahiti Iti. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. The population is 189,517 inhabitants (2017 census), making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7% of its total population.

The first Tahitians arrived from Western Polynesia sometime around 1000 CE, after a long migration from South East Asia or Indonesia, via the Fijian, Samoan and Tongan Archipelagos. This hypothesis of an emigration from Southeast Asia is supported by a range of linguistic, biological and archaeological evidence. For example, the languages of Fiji and Polynesia all belong to the same Oceanic sub-group, Fijian–Polynesian, which itself forms part of the great family of the Austronesian languages.

This emigration, across several hundred kilometres of ocean, was made possible by using outrigger canoes that were up to twenty or thirty meters long and could transport families as well as domestic animals. In 1769, for instance, James Cook mentions a great traditional ship (va’a) in Tahiti that was 33 m (108 ft) long, and could be propelled by sail or paddles. In 2010, an expedition on a simple outrigger canoe with a sail retraced the route back from Tahiti to Asia. WikiPedia:

  • Marquesans
  • The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world, lying about 852 mi (1,370 km) northeast of Tahiti and about 3,000 mi (4,800 km) away from the west coast of Mexico, the nearest continental land mass. The rich environment of the islands supported a large population that lived by fishing, collecting shellfish, hunting birds and gardening. They relied heavily on breadfruit but raised at least 32 other introduced crops.
  • Tahuata
  • Tahuata is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is located 4 km (2.5 mi.) to the south of the western end of Hiva Oa, across the Canal du Bordelais, called Ha‘ava in Marquesan.
  • The Eel
  • On the island of Raiatea in the Leewards Islands near Tahiti there is a mountain called Mt. Temehani. Near the summit of Mt. Temehani on the side facing the village of Avera there is a cave with a pool of water in it. In earlier times there was a pandanas tree of very great age that grew next to this pool of water. This tree originally grew far to the west on the island of Moperia.
  • Sacred Birds of Land and Sky
  • Some places in Polynesian have so much history with them that you feel like that the stones almost cry out. Maraes (worship grounds) are like that. The Cook Islanders say that the first people in the world came out of a hole in a ground that was located at the marae of Taputapuatea on the island of Havaiki (modern day Raiatea in the Society Islands). Marae Taputapuatea was an old marae in the 1200’s.