Heiva Festival

The first half of the 1800s rival missionaries- primarily Catholic and the Protestant London Missionary Society in lock step with French and British jockeying for political power-  increasingly arrived to convert the natives.   The Tahitian king Pomaré converted to Christianity, dramatically forbidding traditional dancing and traditions missionaries saw as inappropriate.

Several decades later, Tahitian culture, celebrations and dancing were again permitted  by the colonial French government, especially at the year’s major celebration, commemorating French Independence on Bastille Day, July 14.

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