Local traditions and culture in Bora-Bora

  • Heiva dances
    Heiva dances
    by Muya
  • Bora Bora Ia Orana
    Bora Bora Ia Orana
    by Muya
  • Local Customs
    by Bilimari

Most Viewed Local Customs in Bora-Bora

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    Point Matira

    by Helga67 Updated Jun 8, 2004

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    Point Matira was named in memory of a British ship named Mathilda that was wrecked on one of the islands of French Polynesia in 1792. Three of the survivors remained in Tahiti, forming the first European colony. One of the crew, James O'Connor, married King Pomare's cousin, and their granddaughter was named Mathilda. She married a chief of the Leeward islands and they settled in Bora Bora, where part of their property included the beautiful point and sand beach now called Matira, the Tahitian pronunciation of Mathilda.

    Point Matira
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    See the Stars....

    by ATXtraveler Written Apr 1, 2005

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    Although at night you can see almost all the constellations clearly from Bora Bora, the stars I am talking about here are from Hollywood. Bloody Mary's has been around since 1979, yet it seems to entice Hollywood like no other place in Bora Bora. So much so, that they even get to sign their name on a billboard in front of the place! Sarah denied my request to borrow her white paint, because she did not think I was a big enough star.... I rebutted "But I am in the VT top 100".... isn't that star power???

    I'M A STAR!!!

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    Mauruuru

    by Bilimari Written May 27, 2007

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    At the all tourist places, things are always in 3 languages, French, English, and Japanese! I had no idea about how popular this place was to Japanese.

    You hear "Mauruuru" a lot on the island, which means "thank you" in Tahitian language.

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    Plan your next stop!

    by ATXtraveler Written Apr 1, 2005

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    I think every major tourist destination needs a Travel Agent like this sign! I love these things everywhere I go, because although you can stare at a map all day (and I do dreaming of how to make it all Blue on VT), it really brings it into perspective when you see the distances from where you are at the present time!

    This sign is located in front a really inexpensive little shop, and I am sad to say I did not take a picture of the actual shop to share its wares with you! It is located in between Vaitape and Bloody Mary's Restaurant.

    Which way did they go?

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    Hang Loose!

    by ATXtraveler Written Apr 1, 2005

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    Although I could not find out from anyone if this is the same meaning as in Hawaii, most of the locals would make this symbol as a sign of friendship. People say "Hang Loose" in Hawaii, and from all I could see it has the same meaning in Bora Bora. Most of the local Tahitians would use this expression simply by waving at them.

    Have fun, and enjoy yourself in Bora Bora.

    Hang Loose Bora Bora
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    Poisson Cru Recipe

    by nicolettart Written Jun 10, 2003

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    Ingredients: 1 kg fresh tuna, 2 carrots,2 tomatoes,8 limes,3 small green onions, 1 clove garlic, 1 small cucumber, cream from one grated coconut.

    Cut the tuna in cubes and rinse with salted water. Let it soak in the water with the crushed garlic in the refrigerator for half an hour. Grate the vegetables, then drain the fish. Cover the fish with the lime juice and let "cook" for about 5 minutes in the juice.
    Drain, then add the vegetables, cocunut cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve chilled. Serves 4.
    (adapted from Passeport Bora Bora)

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    Tapa Cloth

    by nicolettart Written Jun 10, 2003

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    Tapa is the traditional bark cloth made in the Polynesian Islands and surrounding areas. The cloth is made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree and decorated with original designs in natural colors. Some uses for tapa cloth included ceremonial occcasions and clothing. You may buy samples of tapa in souvenir shops and they are not expensive, especially the smaller 8"x10" versions.

    Tapa Sample
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    Do You Know Jacques Boullaire?

    by nicolettart Updated Jun 10, 2003

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    Jacques Boullaire is one of the leading artists of the last century, famous for his sketches of the Polynesian people and islands; he painted in Tahiti from 1937 to 1965 on several long stays in Bora Bora, Maupiti, Moorea and Tahiti. I learned of this artist from Linda, who owns the Galerie Alain and Linda. If you get a chance stop and say hello to her, she is so knowledgeable and delightful to meet. This gallery has a variety of artwork and you will find it in Pofai Bay, Vaitape.

    Related to:
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    Petroglyphs

    by nicolettart Updated Jun 11, 2003

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    On Bora Bora you will see petroglyphs, or rock carvings and you may not need a tour guide to show you one. We were out on our rented motorscooter, approaching Vaitape when we noticed an unusual rock just off the road. Upon closer inspection we saw that there were turtles carved all over the rock!! There are some legends connected to the turtle, considered a sacred animal. One legend says that a turtle stone, ofai honu, mated with a cliff on the mountain, creating the island of Bora Bora.

    Related to:
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    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    Traditional Tattoo

    by nicolettart Updated Jun 11, 2003

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    For those of you seriously considering a tattoo, this would be the place to get one! The traditional designs incldue stylized sea creatures and patterns uniques to these islands. There is one place on Bora Bora at Matira Point. You may have to make an appointment, as the place appeared closed when we passed by.
    FYI: I was not brave enough to get one!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Heiva

    by Muya Written May 23, 2008

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    I must say we were extremely lucky : festivities for the Heiva on Bora began while we were on the island. Every week-end, one village competed against another in terms of dancing and singing. (see my French Polynesia page for more info on the Heiva)

    We saw the song and dance contest between Faanui and Anau. That was a huge chance, providing the contest usually begins in early July.
    Home-made costumes add to the magnifiscence of the show. Songs and dances in the sand, just like you imagine, and with authenticity ! We could really feel years of ancestral traditions behind (unlike other shows specially made up for tourists…).

    Heiva dances Bora Bora Ia Orana

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  • AITA PEA PEA MEANS "HANG LOOSE"

    by SACIOUS Written May 24, 2007

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    BRING BAG OF WRAPPED,NONCHOCOLATE,AMERICAN CANDIES TO BRIBE THE KIDS FOR A SMILE.
    OR BUY A SIX OF COKE AND SEE IF YOU CAN GIVE AWAY JUST ONE.
    THESE PEOPLE ARE BONE SIMPLE AND UNEDUCATED,BUT WELL TRAVELED.
    IT'S CHANGED FROM BEING CRIME FREE TO EVERYBODY NOW WANTS DVD'S,COBRAS AND CONDOS. MAKE SURE YOU GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY.

    Related to:
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    Smoke

    by Helga67 Updated Jun 8, 2004

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    In the late afternoon you will notice smoke on the different motus and main island. People burn coconut shells to chase away the mosquitoes at night.

    Motu in Bora Bora

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    Palm trees with metal rings

    by Helga67 Updated Jul 15, 2004

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    Touring the island, you will find several palm trees with a metal ring. This is to keep the rats out of the trees and away from the coconuts.

    Palm tree

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Bora-Bora Local Customs

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