Tahiti awarded UNESCO World Heritage site; Alice Pritchard; pebble magazine

France – Taputapuātea

Tahiti’s Taputapuatea marae, on the island of Raiatea, has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. While all of Tahiti is mind-blowingly vibrant, the rocky peak of Taputapuatea marae, has history and sculptures dating back thousands of years.


An ancient sacred site, Taputapuatea marae is where ceremonies took place before Europeans arrived. Sailors would gather here to learn ocean navigation, make sacrifices to the gods and learn about their place in the universe. At one point it was the spiritual heart of a culture that spanned from New Zealand to Hawaii. This huge mountain has become a symbol in Polynesian culture for the kind of strength found within nature. It is the embodiment of ‘mana’ for many islanders.

Tahiti and the Polynesian people will use the new status to bring more eco-friendly tourism to these lush and vibrant islands.


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