There is a sacred force in The Islands of Tahiti called Mana. It is something unique to French Polynesia and is a powerful flame that inhabits and links all living things, past and present. Mana is the vital force that is the spirit of the islands, the people and the ma’ohi culture. Wherever you visit in the five archipelagos, the Mana will express itself in your emotions.
When you visit The Islands of Tahiti, you’ll feel emotions and sensations that are unique to French Polynesia. They are part of the language of Mana. The meaning of the word is ‘sacred force’, that is to say, the power of the heavens. This force is present everywhere in the islands and the motu, the mountains and the valleys, the lagoons and the ocean. It is conveyed in expressions that you’ll hear during your voyage, words that you, too, can use when you feel the Mana is part of you.
The power of the words of Mana
There is so much to be grateful for in these remote and isolated islands : the abundant nature, the sun, the Pacific Ocean…The words of Mana are expressions of that gratitude. Maita’i means good. When we’re really pleased we say maita’i roa! When we’re happy we say ‘oa ‘oa. To celebrate a moment in the company of others, we say manuia! For every pleasing moment, every kind word, every enjoyable experience, we say mauruuru which is a sincere ‘thank you’.
When you arrive in Tahiti, you are greeted with a garland of tiare Tahiti flowers and a simple expression of welcome, ‘Ia ora na, is an invitation to feel free to explore and enjoy these idyllic islands of Mana. Happiness is the sentiment that reigns in this South Sea paradise, a feeling that we want you to share and that we express with the words ‘oa ‘oa. Swim with the dolphins in Moorea, hike to the waterfall in Nuku Hiva, admire the setting sun over an atoll in the Tuamotu Islands, make the most of your visit to The Islands of Tahiti, or as we say ua reva, let’s go!
The sensations of Mana
The tropical environment in The Islands of Tahiti is a gift of nature. That’s why we have expressions for the essential elements. Moana is the ocean that links our islands and this pure water in our lagoons will envelop you in tranquility and the spirit of adventure. The sun is a sacred benediction that shines a light that is vital to life, and gives every living thing its own particular glow. We call the sun mahana.
The force of Mana can be etched into the skin with a tātau or tattoo. This is an ancient part of Polynesian tradition and a particularly powerful element of Marquesan culture. These are the wildest, most isolated islands in French Polynesia. A tattoo bears witness to the strength and courage of the wearer and is considered with respect and honor. Each year, we celebrate this aspect of our culture with the Tātau I Tahiti Tattonesia festival, that attracts the most talented tattoo artists from The Islands of Tahiti and beyond. Visitors from all over the world come to admire their skill.
Some words of Mana that you can learn and use:
– ‘Ia Ora Na = Hello
– ‘Oa ‘Oa = Joy
– Māuruuru = Thank you
– Manuia = Cheers
– Tātau = Tattoo
– Maita’i = Good
– Moana = Ocean
– Mahana = Sun
– Ua Reva = Let’s go