Finally the Polynesian triangle has been populated in X century of our era.
The sacral center of Polynesian islands has been the city of Opoa on Raiatea Island. Relics of the temple complex Taputapuatea are kept on the coast of a lagoon till now. Here people of Polynesia made sacrifices, spent inauguration of leaders and governors, celebrate holidays. Here the main relic - the red belt of god Oro is stored.
Europeans knew the islands of Polynesia from the end of XVI and the beginnings of XVII century. According to one sources, in 1595 the Spanish navigator Mendana de Neira was the first European, who visited the Marquesas Islands. Other documents affirm, that the pathbreaker became the Portuguese navigator Kiros, who served Spain. His expedition has opened the Tahiti Island and Tuamotu Archipelago in 1606. Ten years later two Dutch seafarers have visited Tuamotu Archipelago – Shouten and Le Maire.
In 1767 the English explorerSamuel Wallis first managed to define the exact position of Tahiti Island on the card. Wallis has declared the island the property of England and gave it a name of king George III. After a year the French seafarer Bougainville, who hadn’t known about the discovery of Wallis, has arrived on the opposite coast of Tahiti and has declared the island the property of France. Rivalry between Britain and France for the possession of these grounds has begun.
Well-known English seafarer James Cook has visited Tahiti Island four times (in 1769, 1773, 1774 and in 1777). He has assigned to this island its native name - Otaheiti. Cook's diaries in detail describe a group of islands, which the traveller has named “ Society Islands” in honour of the London Royal Scientific Association, which took an active participation in equipment of Cook’s expeditions.
In the end of XVIII century there was already a private property on the ground of Tahiti. The whole island has been divided into the territorial associations, leaded by chieftains . The Thahitian society has been divided into three isolated social groups - leaders and nobility, landowners and simple people.
In 1797 one of the Tahitian leaders has managed to unite under his authority all islands of archipelago and become king - Pomare I. During his reign the Europeans penetrated on archipelago. They have been attracted by the stories of the eyewitnesses and the descriptions of fantastic Tahiti. Pomare II has hospitably accepted English missionaries and even he was christened in 1812. Gradually the Christianity has extended among the indigenous population and became an addition to the traditional polytheism.
Pomare III has reigned from 1819 to 1827. Then his sister Aimata has ascended to the throne, Queen Pomare IV (1827 - 1877). Under the reign of Pomare IV Catholic missionaries have arrived to Tahiti, but fast they have been expelled from the country under the influence of Protestants propagation.
On June 29th, 1880 king Pomare V has transferred the grounds to France.|
The last king of archipelago was Pomare VI.
Since XVI century Tahiti has received a glory of a paradise place of free love. Naked Tahitian women have always met overseas seafarers and considered the visitors as gods.
In 1797 Christian missionaries have completely exterminated Polynesian culture. Today, Tahitian culture again revives after long-term oppression of missionaries.