Ce blog a pour vocation de découvrir Tahiti et ses îles, bien sûr, mais bien d'autres endroits et bien d'autres choses aussi partout ailleurs. Et puis, surtout, les gens qui font que le monde est ce qu'il est.
Histoire(s), géographie, modes de vie, cultures et phénomènes de sociétés : Le monde est vaste et riche et ses habitants tellement beaux et divers, alors laissons-nous aller à leur rencontre...
Des journalistes voyageurs vous parlent de la Terre et de ses habitants à leur manière…
Polynesia is one of a kind. Nature is its cultural
background: the lagoon, the sea, a little urbanized coastal belt (except around
Papeete, the capital city!). More than 60% on the 4200 km² of land mass are
invaded by the vegetation, whose two thirds of forest area are enclosing the
A “green sensitivity”, the
“vegetal feelings”… of the Polynesians betray in the daily life, a symbiotic relationship
with Nature. Thus, fruit carriers’s, timau
ra’au, continue to launch their challenge for millennia on the paths barely
cleared.Since, the Pa’ofai gardens in
Papeete vibrate to crumpling rustic and “fruit carriers’ race” or Horo ma’a, enliven the annual festival
of traditional games or “Heiva Tu’aro Ma’ohi”.
Tutti frutti …
each island, since “the time immemorial”, jousting related to traditional
labors were accomplished spontaneously. Initiated in 1985, the festive
gathering or Heiva I Tahiti
inducts dance and singing at first. Then there combines the Heiva rima’i (festival of crafts), before
inviting all aboriginal sports games on the grassy plaza of the Museum of Tahiti and its islands. Tahiti
officially introduced in 2006 as a rehabilitation program for arts heritage.
It’s not only on the head
that Polynesians wear green foliage. The greenery is a part of their mind:
crowns or reed hats for vahine, headbands or bandanas braided for tane, floral
necklaces welcome that only last one day. The plant product isn’t a gadget: emerged
to give a local image folk. Fiber braid, strand, rope, lace, antlers and
herbaceous curls, contribute, all or part of the costume.
Greenery feeling, a culture!
Citizens, close to a bush,
have the natural reflex to wear a flower behind the ear. The domestic and
public setting, the surrounding shops, as well as jewelry and everyday objects
are decorated with braids and floral compositions… Everything breathes, all
fall into this prolific nature. And every day, the little miracle occurs, in
its freshness, the varnished leaves and palm.
The vast majority of
families, to meet their family’s daily needs, upon these sixty-seven inhabited
islands (among the 118 of Polynesia), cultivates
their garden, fa’a’apu… The
ingredients but also the elements of the vegetable garden enter the culinary
scenery of the kitchen: baskets, dishes, cookware…
Vahine fruit carriers:
Don’t be surprised if:
leisure sports feature clusters of fruits and tubers and if competitions are
related to the fields.
On all the islands, whether
with tiny roads barely visible in the heart of vegetation or it passes through
stony circuits, the haulage of fruits and vegetables is still and very often
bore on shoulders… given the slope or narrow paths.
From one valley to another,
on the high islands, the fa’a’apu
often located on a hillside near the salty shore, from the low islands to the motu, the food carrier is dangerous but
necessary. Farmers and growers are forced to tackle it.
A bamboo branch, a piece of
young trunk, laid across the shoulders like a yoke and at each end, the charge.
the harvest shouldn’t expect because weathering and expiry. The operation must
be quick. Bananas, oranges, coconut, taro and other vegetables go down the
mountain… on man’s back.
Thence to transform the work into tournament, the
margin is small. All tasks that require strength or address may be subject to
festive emulations: javelin or patia fa,
stone lifting or amora’a ofai, copra
preparation called pa’aroha’ari,
climb coconut-tree, carrying fruits…
Fruits and tane, all
competition comes from the island of Taha’a, where the natives have launched a
challenge each other: the first to arrive with its load of fruit is designated
as the strongest man of the village”. “Transporting fruits on workers' backs is
still used in Tahiti when picking oranges in June, on the plateau of Tamanu,
fruit-bearing on their marks!
The race is open to women and men at once. The effort
is intense, violent and short: no more than 5 minutes to cover a distance of
between 1 000 and 1 300meters for men and 800 to 1 100 meters for women. Six
types of races are engaged according to the category and age. The fillers can
vary from 15 to 50 kg.
The stages of the
Leisure foremost, pleasure
of the game, the Heiva or ancestral
festivities of this kind had disappeared with the forbidden enacted by King
Pomare II under pressure from Christian morality preachers. With the republican
government of Jules Grevy (1879) and the establishment of secularism,
celebrations came back at the first celebration of 14 July (1880 in France,
1881 in French Polynesia). They change their name: from Tiurai (english July) in 1985 to “Heiva i Tahiti”. In 2006 the traditional
sports enter the festivities as “Heiva Tu’aro Ma’ohi”.
The winners 2014
Initially, the package: a
stake measuring between 120 and 150cm long, with a diameter less than 15cm and
a fruits and vegetables weighing: bananas, coconut, pineapple, taro, carrots…
“The load securing is mandatory with vegetable fiber. Along the race, the
load's on the other shoulder, several times.
Upon arrival, shouts of
victory! Some runners collapse. Water spray and immediate support! Fast
relaxation! PowerBar; flower necklace; rest of the warrior, surrounded by his
admirers, Aito for posterity! The
weighing is often handled by friends. Check that the load is complete and that
the fruits aren’t fallen.
In a short pareu, twirled closer to the body, braided
fibers or bandana, monoï coated or not, the tane
rush forward! As for vahine, the outfits are more eclectic. Everybody is vegetal
crown headdress. Competition, quite in the spirit of friendliness ma’ohi culture
is open to all-comers.
On the footprint of…
Trapezius and deltoid under
strain for everybody but also mental strength are in this round.Some are training to run every morning, some
strengthen, some work in the plantations, others come to enjoy pure happiness
of game as in ancient times. They wear, they run, they steal, these light-footed
Spectacular races because
candidates are concentrated in the extreme. Taut muscles, explicit to the tip
of their toe, their face express toughness beyond suffering. Attitudes are an
unforgettable beauty, gaits breathtaking. The atmosphere is friendly, the
runners' words gentle after exercise!
Sunset at the pace
The fruit carriers’ race may
only end with dancing. These are the Marquesas that feast: of course, they
invite the audience to dance with them. The party is for everyone to the rhythm
of “pahu”, “to’ere” and calls of pū!...as in
the tiny Lilliputian villages of the French Polynesia Islands…
If developers, planners, urban consumers today careless,
vandalize and pollute the environment shamelessly… however the true culture
didn’t fail to come back. It doesn't forget to apologize to the spirit of
ancestors, to the tree they must kill… This consciousness and this respect of
nature restore the edenic Tu’aro Ma’ohi…