Marae of Taputapuatea

6

When I arrived on Raiatea last summer and asked people what could be interesting to visit on this island, all told me "marae of Taputapuatea".... sorry, but "mara-what of Tapauatatu what????" Didn't absolutely understand what was the name of this place and what it could be.... Curious to know more about this strange place? Don't worry, I'll explain it to you :)

First of all, you should know that French Polynesia had a very rich traditional culture before the discovery by European explorers (The English sea-commanders James Cook and Samuel Wallis, along with the French Antoine de Bougainville, discovered this Island almost at the same time in 1767 – 1768 without knowing of each other). And of course, when the Europeans began to colonize this place, they changed the culture of these people and specially in matter of religion and beliefs of the society.

The 5th of march 1797, the first Protestant missionaries of the London Missionary Society (LMS) settled down on Society islands (Thaiti, Moorea, Raitea – Taha’a, Huahine and Bora Bora) and made it the official date of the arrival of the Bible among the savage tribes of Polynesia as if they’d never had known any religion…

But in fact, the Polynesian people had a very organized and structured social/religious composition. A mythologies of many Gods with different characteristics and covering the whole questions and matters of human life. And regularly they organized big ceremonies and sacrifices to satisfy the gods and have a better life. These ceremonies found always place on what is called a MARAE, that means the most sacred and holy place of the traditional Polynesian culture.
So, that’s the first part of the explanation about what is a marae….

The marae of Taputapuatea is the most important of all marae’s you can find on all Polynesian islands, because it’s simply the very first (some archeologists give the date of year 1000 AD for it’s construction) and biggest one of this kind in whole Society archipelago in Polynesia. The Polynesian mythologies says that the God of war called Oro, was born in the bay of Opoa and soon became very powerful and dominated all the other islands. He became the first of all Gods. And that’s why the marae was created there as the place where was born and lived the God Oro. the word Taputapuatea means literally translated the great (=atea) most sacred (=Taputapu) place.

And true, it’s a very special place, very impressing by it’s size (3 great volcanic stone platforms) but also by the special mood and sensations you can find on this place. On one side of the platforms is a stone wall where you can find the wooden sculptures symbolizing every clan/tribe of the island and which participated to the ceremonies led by a great priest. And there’s also a big stone in the middle of the platform showing the exact place where the power of Oro is coming out of the earth.

And in the same time, even if you feel that you’re on a special and sacred place, it’s also a nice park along the lagoon, where you can have a nice walk. And there’s no entry fee at all! It’s in the south part of the island, from the city of Uturoa you just need to follow the east road and about 30km later you’re approaching the village of Opoa, and here you are…
Well, a place to see! :)

written by vicuna on 2010-02-21 in #world #locations #sacred #euroteam-2 #mythologie #polynesian-culture #history #religion #french-polynesia #jewels-of-the-city #1984-dziga-vertov-team #x-pro #lc-a-race #nature #lc-a #stage-10 #place

6 Comments

  1. azurblue
    azurblue ·

    Very interresting location, teacher Vicuna ! It's always a pleasure to learn about other cultures and to admire our photographs. I love number 7.

    What film did you use to get these green colors ?

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Thanks Corinne :)) The film is Lomo x-pro 200, and the weather conditions were special, no sun but a lot of very white clouds and in fact a strong light... I shot the film at 200 asa and it came out like that... :)

  3. azurblue
    azurblue ·

    I meant : to admire YOUR photographs, oups...

  4. zulupt
    zulupt ·

    Amazing shot & location. N1!!!

  5. stouf
    stouf ·

    Very interesting ! And spectacular gallery !

  6. satomi
    satomi ·

    huh, the images doesn't look like the lomo x-pro 200, but the color is just perfect for the location! beautiful gallery!

More Interesting Articles

  • A Roarin' NYC Rumble for August

    written by Samantha Norman on 2015-07-21 in #world #events #competitions
    A Roarin' NYC Rumble for August

    The NYC Jazz Age Lawn Party on the notorious greens of Governor's Island is one event you'd want to attend this August. Steeped in age, glamour, and a little bit of mischief, the Jazz Age Lawn Party is a weekend to attend and remember. What better way to go than with Lomo? We're giving away tickets and they could be yours for the taking.

  • The World According to Herr Willie: Ilha de Marajó

    written by wil6ka on 2015-11-08 in #world #locations
    The World According to Herr Willie: Ilha de Marajó

    Brazil is an awesome country for traveling. There's so much to explore, each place very different from one another. It will definitely take a stretch of trips just to get to know this this South American pearl. I finished my copa tour last year in Marajó, the island of bulls—it just might be an eternal highlight for me.

    9
  • A Journey Through New York With The Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by shhquiet on 2015-11-16 in #gear #news #videos
    A Journey Through New York With The Lomo'Instant Wide

    New York City - the ideal place to go to if you're looking for unstoppable energy. There's plenty of exciting things going on, but you need to be lightning-fast if you want to seize the moment. This is what makes the Lomo'Instant Wide the perfect camera to use - it captures all the details in one wide instant snapshot! See it in action with our special video after the jump.

  • Shop News

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    The latest addition to the Lomo’Instant family! Inspired by the Icelandic midnight sky, Get endless creativity, take multiple exposed instant snapshots, experiment with long exposure and light painting shots!

  • Lomography's Little Lessons: Aperture

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-14 in #gear #lifestyle #tipster
    Lomography's Little Lessons: Aperture

    Have you ever wondered why those nerdy camera constructors formulate complicated terms that baffle most normal citizens? Trust me, I know it all too well; Physics was the first subject to go when I had to choose between studying and spending yet another night pursuing youthful adventures. But don't worry — the remedy for all of the gaps in your knowledge is right here: Lomography’s Little Lessons on Photography. Follow this series and in no time you'll catch up on everything your curious mind desires!

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

    1
  • Kelly Angood and the Exciting World of Pinhole Photography

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Kelly Angood and the Exciting World of Pinhole Photography

    The founder of The Pop-Up Pinhole Co., Kelly Angood, has been handcrafting pinhole cameras from scratch since 2010. After developing a huge online following from one of her early pinhole designs, she embarked on a mission to design an affordable, functional pinhole camera that could be constructed all in the comfort of your own home — and it had to look great too! Following an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, her mission was realized. Read on to see how it happened and what's next for Kelly and The Pop-Up Pinhole Company!

    2
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • The World According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    written by wil6ka on 2015-04-09 in #world #locations
    The World According to Herr Willie: The Amazon

    It was the Amazon which I had longed for my whole life. And when it was finally a set deal that I will travel to Brazil with two of my best friends for the Copa do Mundo (World Cup), we really had to start our adventure in the Amazon. I had known about this magical place deep in the rainforest. There was a lodge run by local people of indigenous background, with wooden houses that float on the water and a limited number of visitors. It was eco-tourism as how it should be. To preserve and to celebrate one of the most impressive locations I have seen so far.

    9
  • Stunning Views on Lomo LC-Wide (Rumble Competition)

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-07 in #gear #news #competitions
    Stunning Views on Lomo LC-Wide (Rumble Competition)

    Give your best Lomo LC-Wide captures the spotlight they deserve. Enter our new Rumble competition to win piggies and a spot in the Lomography Shop photo showcase.

  • Newcomer of the Week: gazeofslate

    written by lomography on 2016-02-07 in #world
    Newcomer of the Week: gazeofslate

    Aside from photography, newcomer Dmitri Berenger enjoys a multitude of hobbies including gardening, watching movies, and discovering music. In this interview, he talks about his photographic style, his inspirations, choosing film cameras over digital gear, and many more.

    2
  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Photo of the Day by oldhan

    written by lomography on 2016-02-07 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by oldhan

    In the eyes of an observant lomographer, a large body of water is more than just a pretty view. It's a useful tool for creating mind-boggling photographs.

  • Reizueberflutung is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by lomography on 2016-02-07 in #world #news
    Reizueberflutung is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to reizueberflutung for winning Home of the Day!

  • 3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: Toshiaki Kitaoka,When to Say Nothing, Penonome

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-07 in #world #lifestyle
    3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: Toshiaki Kitaoka,When to Say Nothing, Penonome

    'Snapshot' was our Tumblr keyword this week. We spent the past few days looking at troves of fresh samples from all corners of the globe. We got lured to the most effortless variety, everyday captures upgraded to showcase compositions. We invite you to look at the ones we bookmarked for future visits.