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The creation of Tahiti Nui.

The existence of Tahiti would come from a huge fish coming from Raiatea and

crossing the ocean to the east, as told by the beautiful legend of Tarehe, also called

legend of Tahiti Nui.

While bathing in a river on the island of Great Havai'i, the young Terehe braved a

ban. The angry gods have brought an eel up from the depths. Agitated, she then

devoured a piece of land, causing the separation of the great Havai'i and the birth of

Raiatea and Taha'a. The eel, which became the Tahiti Nui fish, is then taken to

another destination and becomes an island The great Havai'i.

In very ancient times, Raiatea and Taha'a formed only one large island called the

great Havai'i. One day in this island, priests undertake the construction of a new

marae and proclaim a tapu (a ban). No noise should be made so as not to disturb

the sacred atmosphere. No rooster must sing. No dog should bark. No one should


But a young girl from the royal family of Raiatea, Terehe, of rare beauty, breaks the

sacred law and bathes in the river. The irritated gods bring out of a hole a tunapu,

an eel from the depths, that swallows Terehe with a single blow.

But Terehe's soul disturbs the spirit of the eel that descends into the depths. Losing

balance, the eel swims in all directions, leaps on all sides by pulling out trees and

rocks. She devours the middle of the island. Thus a strait is born that separates the

great Havai'i into two distinct islands: Raiatea and Taha'a. The eel grows more and

more and in turn turns into a huge fish. The god Taaroa then sends the high priest

Turahunui to guide the fish to its destination.

The Tahiti Nui fish becomes an island

The fish takes the name of Tahiti Nui (the great Tahiti). Arrived at the destination, at

the time of stabilizing the fish, no warrior is able to free it with his axe despite their

courage and valour. We then called on Tafa'i-upo'o-tu, the hero with a dignified

heart who proposes to go to Tubuai to get the sacred axe from the great leader

Marere Nui. Tafa'i returns with the axe to the supernatural power but it is so heavy

that he can't lift it. Tafa'i invokes Tinorua, the master of the ocean. The axe then

becomes light and it can easily break the ties of the gigantic fish, which has become

an island.

This large and beautiful fish has become the beautiful island of Tahiti.

'Orohena, the highest mountain, is, as its name suggests, the first dorsal fin. Tahiti iti (the little

Tahiti, the peninsula) and Moorea were the second dorsal fin.

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