Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bounty Day, Matavai Bay

Pretty soon delegations arriving from Pitcairn, Norfolk, Australia and New Zealand will descend on Huahine and then Tahiti in time for the celebration of the 220th anniversary of the arrival of HMS Bounty on Tahiti's shores.  This is a time for descendants to gather in remembrance of our ancestors - the Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian wives.

Our last celebration was three years ago ... a wonderful event where many lost cousins reunited from all over the Pacific.

A much larger contingent will be coming this year - around 90 people.  The Bounty Day celebration is held on 27th October - the day that Bligh first set step at Matavai Bay and decided to set up camp to collect breadfruit or 'uru.

During the week around this event the delegations and local Tahitian descendants will be attending various other events - watch this space!


You may wonder why we called this blog 'Tattoo and Tapa'. Tihoti's passion is design using the ancient symbols used by his tupuna or ancestors. Mine is the same, but applied on a different surface.

The designs used by Tahitians in 'tatau' (tattoo) often crossed over into the designs used in 'ahu (tapa) decoration. Some of the deep symbolism used in tatau today in Tahiti is lost, although Tihoti feels that by using nature as our inspiration we can come to understand these designs again, and from there evolve those designs beyond our misunderstandings. But that understanding has to come from a Polynesian perspective.

I am fascinated by the designs and colours used in the ancient 'ahu - everything was symbolic. Much of this knowledge is forgotten today: but not entirely. For me it has become an exhilarating adventure of rediscovery.