Inside the Tahiti Museum there is a lot of old Polynesian Art. This picture shows carved figures that would have been found in the Maraes (temples).
I believe all the Maraes were destroyed after the Europeans found the islands and Christianity was introduced as it would have been considered pagan.
To see what a restored Marae looks like, see my tip on Arahurahu Marae.
Musee de Tahiti et des Isles - It's not difficult to guess that this translates as the Museum of Tahiti and her Islands.
The museum is built on a very picturesque site with beautiful gardens, and great views to Moorea if you walk down to the end of the carpark.
The muesum itself is government owned, and I found the staff very helpful and friendly. The Museum tels how the islands were formed from a geological viewpoint. It also tells about polynesian customs and crafts and the story of Europeans discovering the islands.
Outside in one of the gardens is an exhibit of how they made a canoe out of a log, showing all the cutting that was required and what tools were used.
If you go to the Museum of Tahiti (and her Islands), be sure to wander into the gardens there. Not only are they quite attractive with a lot of flowering plants, but they also have a little display showing how a canoe was made out of a log.
This picture shows an almost finished canoe. There are also some signs up showing the stages that were gone through to get to this far, and the tools used for doing this.
Whilst there aren't many of these canoes to be sen in the sea, it is good to see that skills used in the older times are still being maintained!
This anchor is in the entrance to the Tahiti Museum. although it is pretty huge, it is easy to miss it unless you are looking out for it.
The anchor originally belonged to one of Captain James Cook's boats - HMS Adventure, and was lost whilst he was attempting to land in Tahiti during tricky weather conditions in 1773.
It was found and recovered in 1978 as a promotional campaign for another remake of Mutiny on the Bounty. The campaign did not prove fruitful however as the film was a flop!
The museum is an excellent introduction to Tahiti and the islands and culture of French Polynesia.
Here you will find the natural environment, Polynesian migrations, history, culture and ethnology in four exhibit halls.
Have a look at the stone and wooden tiki, hand-hewn canoes, sculptures, tapa bark, seashells and other traditional Polynesian objects and tools.
It's open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Closed on Mondays and you pay 600 CFP entree fee.
This museum on the west coast is one of the island's best along with the Gauguin Museum. It features the anthropology of Tahiti and its history since discovered by the west.