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The past, present and future
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The generally accepted theory nowdays, put it around 4000 years ago that Polynesian people first settled in the Pacific. Using wooden double-hulled sailing canoes lashed together with natural fibers and applying their knowledge of the wind, current amd stars, the first intrepid navigators sailed eastward, settling the central island groups of the Cook Islands and French Polynesia bewteen 500 BC and 500 AD.
“4000 year ago, Polynesian people first settled in the Pacific”
Other great expeditions, undertaken around 1000 AD, established the polynesian triangle consisting of Hawaii (to the north), Easter Island (to the east), Tahiti and Her Islands (to the west) and New Zealand (to the south-west). The various languages derived from ma'ohi that are spoken in these islands testify to the common origin of their peoples.
Magellan, and later Mendana, reached the Tuamotu Islands and the Marquesas. However, the name of the Englishman Samuel Wallis is the one most oftem associated with the European discovery of Tahiti in 1767. The following year, the French navigator Antoine de Bougainville named it "New Cythera". A year later, it was the turn of the English Captain James Cook to land and take possesion of the Society Islands.
At that time, Tahiti & Her Islands were divided into the several chiefdoms and kingdoms. Around 1797, one of the chiefs succeeded in affirming his supremacy and established the "Pomare dynasty" with the help of Europeans.
many islanders left to fight alongside French troops. in 1958, the EFO (French Establishment of Oceania) became French Polynesia. The 1960's marked a turning point for Tahiti and Her Islands when the establishment of the CEP (Center for Experimation in the Pacific) in 1963 rapidly propelled them into the modern age. This was characterized by the influx of people from outlying islands to the main island of Tahiti, the growth of local businesses, the development of a tertiary sector, and an increase in the standard of living. People were faced with the growth of a consumer society, previously quite unfamiliar to the region.