The art of Polynesian weaving to discover during a cruise in Tahiti


28/05/2021

Among the ancestral traditions to discover during your Tahiti cruise, the art of Polynesian weaving is materialized today through magnificent hats, baskets, ornaments, and other various objects, such as the pē’ue, a carpet of different sizes, made by Polynesian women…

Polynesian weaving, at the heart of every Tahitian cruise

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Weaving is a skill passed down from generation to generation and is an integral part of the Polynesian identity. In navigation and fishing, it was used to create ligatures, sails, and even pirogues. It was used for roofing and carpentry in everyday life but also for blankets, mattresses, screens, not to mention clothing.

For a long time, Polynesia’s insular situation meant that the inaccessibility of specific resources had to be compensated for by alternatives available on the island: pandanus and coconut husk replaced screws and nails. Although new tools have since appeared, weaving is still used for ropes and mats, not to mention the creation of handicrafts, which you will not fail to see during your Polynesia cruise.

Note that if you make a Tahiti cruise in July, you can take advantage of the craft fair – the Heiva Rima’i – which brings together, every year, around a hundred artists from the five archipelagos.

Materials used for weaving

Among the plants endemic to the Pacific Islands are the coconut palm (kere) and the butterfly pandanus (called ie’ie) – the former is still used today to design the dancers’ costume, while the latter is used in basketry. The hibiscus (pūrau), for its part, is used to make more, which has a variety of uses, from dancers’ skirts to ropes (taura), sandals (tïa’a more) or mats (pë’ue).

In the art of Polynesian weaving, nothing is left out – be it stems, veins, leaves, bark, or vines. And to obtain refined creations (which appeal to tourists on Tahitian cruises), the raw materials are soaked, macerated, soaked, smoothed, beaten, dried…

Perhaps you would like to learn the art of weaving during your French Polynesia cruise to keep an unbreakable link between you and its ancestral traditions?


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