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And God created Raiatea

art & culture

This island in the Society archipelago is the centre of the Polynesian world from where the first Ma'ohi went out to conquer the Pacific.

Raiatea, the first sacred island and birthplace of Ma'ohi civilisation, has retained its authenticity and its mystical aura, even if it has lost the political and religious role it once had as the seat of power over all Polynesia. The royal marae of Taputapuatea, the largest Polynesian sanctuary, is a vestige of this glorious past. It still stands, facing the sea, with its rows of engraved coral slabs.

It brought together senior dignitaries from archipelagos near and far, their large canoes taking the sacred Ava Moa pass to cross the lagoon. To commemorate their cultural roots, Hawaiians, New Zealanders and Cook Island inhabitants still perform the pilgrimage to the archaeological site, which Polynesians revere.

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