French Polynesia

Searching for Paradise

For two centuries the Pacific islands have been a symbol of the tropics

In a 1872 novel, Pierre Loti wrote:”Working is an unknown word in Oceania and for the Tahitian people, the years go by in idleness”. These words attracted painter Paul Gaugin’s curiosity. With no money and a true yearning for leaving France, one day he came across a leaflet that he found in Paris: “Tahitians are a magnificient race, their women are the prototype of the perfect model for a sculptor”. Then he decided to leave. Still today, Tahitians and all the inhabitants of French Polynesia are a wonderful race, hospitable, peaceful people who are rooted to their traditions, like tamurè dances and tattoos. But they’re also a fierce, modern people, who has never stopped regarding itself as completely independent from France. Far from a postcard stereotype as they have always been portrayed, they’re strong and sometimes rebellious.