Sacred Sites & Legendary Places Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
Some of the open-air temples (marae) found on Huahine date back to about 700 A.D., and are believed to belong to the original ancestors of the Tahitians: the Lapita. For that reason, Huahine is considered the cradle of Polynesian culture. And according to legend, it all started with a beautiful woman.
Her name was Hotuhiva, she was a princess born on Hawaiki (now Raiatea), and she was radiant and carefree. One day, her father announced that he had promised her in marriage to a powerful chief. But Hotuhiva didn't love this chief, so she escaped to the ocean, floating away in a tribal drum. Carried by the god of the sea, she reached the shores of Huahine, safe but very tired. Fearing that her father's warriors would come after her, she refused to divulge her identity.
For her refusal, she was forced to dance during a celebration to the god Tane, the god of love and guardian of the eternal paradise. She danced so seductively that the people were bewitched; Tane himself fell in love with her, descending to earth in the form of a sacred bird.
The god fathered eight sons with Hotuhiva. The island of Huahine was divided into eight mini-kingdoms for them – districts that still exist today. And Huahine's first royal dynasty was born.
Marae Manunu is built on the site where Hotuhiva landed, manunu being the term for very tired.
All the royal families of Huahine lived in Maeva. To feed them, fish traps were built in Lake Fauna Nui. The V-shaped structures were made of stone, with the V-end facing the lake's passage to the ocean. When the tide ebbed and the fish were pulled toward the sea, they'd become trapped among the stones, and easily netted or speared. Some of the traps are still used today; they're considered sacred, and can only be removed by a descendant of Tahitian royalty.
Non-refundable if canceled within 7 days of requested services.