Polynesians love to wear flowers. As soon as you arrive you’ll receive a garland of flowers as a sign of welcome. Be careful, if you wear a tiare Tahiti flower behind your right ear it means you’re single! Wear it behind the left ear if your heart is already taken. A flowercrown is an elegant and fragrant beauty accessory that you can learn to make with little effort.
A flowercrown is a natural beauty accessory worn buy Tahitian vahine for every special occasion. Making your own crown is a skill that mothers pass down to the daughters in The Islands of Tahiti, and it is one that you can learn too. By slightly adapting the materials and flowers, it is a skill that you can also use to make beautiful gifts for your friends once you’re back home.
A royal creation
To make your flowercrown, you’ll need:
– A selection of flowers of different colors, such as tiare Tahiti, tīpaniē (frangipanier) or bougainvillea, all of which last long and are easy to find.
– Leaves: the most commonly used are fern or ‘auti (cordyline).
– As an option, add some miri flowers (Tahitian basilic) for their perfume.
– A strip of pae’ore (dried pandanus leaf) about 5cm longer than the size of your head.
– Gift-wrapping ribbon.
1 – Cut each flower and leaf to the same size, with a stem of about 3 cm,
2 – Sort the flowers by color,
3 – Start with the rear of the crown and lay the flowers on the pae’ore strip, varying the colors as you proceed.
4 – Tie each one tightly to the pae’ore as you go along.
5 – Continue until you’ve covered the required length.
6 – The more tightly you pack the flowers together, the thicker the finished crown.
Wear it well!
Where to buy a flowercrown
If you haven’t got the time, dexterity, or desire to make your own crown, don’t worry, you can easily buy one. You’ll find them in all the markets and often on roadside stands. Made by local craftswomen, they are works of art that you’ll want to wear as often as you can. As well as the magnificent crowns, you can also buy garlands of flowers. These are usually made of fragrant tiare Tahiti. Placing a garland of flowers around someone’s shoulders is called ‘tauhei‘ in Tahitian, it means to ‘crown’ them.
Wearing a beautiful, fragrant crown or garland of flowers is a very special feeling that will give you a certain glow. To prolong your vacation you can also buy very realistic crowns and garlands of artifical flowers in art and craft shops in The Islands of Tahiti. Perhaps you’ll start a new fashion among your friends back home!