Once upon a time, during a religious festival, instead of staying at home so as not to disturb the gods, a beautiful girl decided to go swimming… When the gods noticed her, they decided to punish her for her disobedience and she went into convulsions. She started to drown, but this was noticed by a great eagle that swooped down from the top of the sky to steal her soul. The girl ran away so much that she raised huge waves that submerged the land, and only a few small islands remained above the sea.
The gods punished her by turning her into a fish named Tahiti. But they were not satisfied with the punishment, so they turned it into an island, and the large dorsal fin became the mountain that can still be seen on the island today. The girl-fish, not wanting to accept her fate, occasionally tried to swim, but in those moments the people who lived on the island died. Then the gods sent the hero Tafai to pin the girl to the bottom of the ocean. He did so and since then Tahiti has become a peaceful island.
Tahiti is located in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France located in the Pacific Ocean, 6,000 kilometers east of Australia. It was inhabited around 4000 BC when a large population migration from Southeast Asia moved towards this archipelago. This part of the world was unknown to Europeans until the time of great discoveries.
Captain Samuel Wallis, looking for a way to the southern country, came across Tahiti, but the world got to know him more closely only after Cook’s travels. European fascination with these islands grew as news arrived from this part of the world. Thanks to thousands of drawings and detailed descriptions with which Cook illustrated the flora and fauna of these islands, the first map of Tahiti was created.