The ancient Kingdom of Tahiti originally comprised four separate principalities. Tahiti proper, consisting of Tahiti, Moorea, Meetia and the Tetiaroa group. Huahine, comprising Huahine proper and Tupemanu. Ra'iatea, comprising the islands of Ra'iatea and Tahaa. Bora Bora, comprising the islands of Bora Bora proper, Motuiti, Maupiti and Mapateia. The High Chiefs of all these islands descend from the High Chief Hiro. He had two sons, Hoatatama of Ra'iatea and Haneti of Bora Bora, founders of the dynasties of Maro'ura (the Red Centre) and Marotea (the White Centre).
The island of Tahiti was divided into three great chiefdoms, Papara, Pare and Attahuru, the most powerful ruler of which was also king of the entire island. As soon as a male heir was born to one of these rulers, he became Chief, and his father became regent on his behalf.
The kingdom of greater Tahiti came into being in 1791. In that year, a junior chief, Out Vairatoa, succeeded in uniting the disparate chiefdoms of Tahiti, Moorea, Meetia and the Tetiaroa group into a single entity. He assumed the title of King of Tahiti, and was known by various names, history finally settling on Pomare (little cough). Pomare I's descendants eventually succeeded to the other High Chiefdoms through successful political marriages and inheritance. Pomare IV inherited the Ra'iatea chiefdom in 1857. She had already married the hereditary Chief of Bora Bora, and united his domains with her own, on his death in 1860.
Queen Pomare IV signed a treaty of eternal friendship with King Louis Philippe of France under the guns of a naval force in 1838. Four years later, the French proclaimed a protectorate over the islands. In 1880, King Pomare V ceded his rights to France in perpetuity.
STYLES & TITLES:
The Sovereign: By the grace of God, King of Tahiti, Moorea and its dependencies, with the styled of His Majesty.
The wife of the Sovereign: Queen, with the style of Her Majesty.
The Heir Apparent: Ari'i Aue, i.e. Crown Prince, with the style of His Royal Highness.
The younger sons of the Sovereign: Prince, with the style of His Royal Highness. Usually accompanied by a High Chieftaincy title.
Other male descendants of the Sovereign in the male line: Prince, with the style of His Royal Highness.
Other female descendants of the Sovereign in the male line: Prince, with the style of Her Royal Highness.
RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Primogeniture, males succeeding before females.
ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
GLOSSARY: Ari'i: ruler, chief. Ari'i-aue: Heir Apparent, Crown Prince. Ari'i-maro-'ura: Great sovereigns. Ari'i-nui: great sovereign. Ari'i-paea: sovereign elect. Ari'i-rahi: supreme ruler, high chief. Ari'i-ri'i: petty rulers, nobility. Hui-ari'i: royal family. Hui-ra'atira: gentry. Marae: temple. Manahune: commoners. Opu-huarii: family of Ariis. Pa'arae: 'forehead', the term applied to the head of the Opu-hu-ari'i. Pomare: 'little cough', adopted as the dynastic name by the Vaira'atoa Taino Out. Ra'atira: noble. Te-ata-o-Tu: 'the cloud of Tu', the head-dress of the sovereign, made of 'ura feathers. Tauhafau: great chief. Taumi: helmet of red feathers worn by princes. Tetua: daughter of a chief. Teri'i: noble title. Teuteu-ari'i: royal servants.
'ura: 'feathers', also used for the feather girdle worn by the highest ranking chiefs. vahine: woman. A title usually suffixed to the names of a lady.
A.-C. Eugène Caillot, Histoire de la Polynésie orientale. Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1910.
A.-C. Eugène Caillot, Mythes, légendes et traditions des Polynésiens. Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1913.
Rev. William Ellis, Polynesian Researches; Society Islands. Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont, 1969.
Niel Gunson, “Great Women and Friendship Contract Rites in Pre-Christian Tahiti”, The Journal of the Polynesian Society, Volume 73, No 1, pp 53-69. The Polynesian Society, Wellington, New Zealand, 1964.
Charlotte Haldane, Tempest Over Tahiti. Constable & Co. Ltd., London, 1963.
*Teuira Henry, Ancient Tahiti, based on material recorded by J.M. Orsmond. Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Bulletin 48, Honolulu, 1928.
La descendance de Ariipaea Pomare, Princesse Yvannah Tixier-Pomare, Le site officiel de la famille Pomare, 18 septembre 2009, Internet.
T. Mai, "Tati Legrand 1772-1853", Bulletin de la Société des Études Océaniennes, Polynesie Oreintale. Tome XIV, Nos. 11 et 12, Septembre/Décembre 1970. pp.393-396.
Princesse Ariimanihinihi Takau Pomare, "Mémoires de Marau Taaroa, dernière Reine de Tahiti". Publications de la Société des Océanistes, No 27, Musée de l'Homme, Paris, 1971.
Douglas L. Oliver, Ancient Tahitian Society, Vol 3. Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1974.
Patrick O'Reilly, la vie à Tahiti au temps de la Reine Pomaré. Co-publication by la Société des Océanistes de Paris, Musée de l'Homme (Publication No 37) & les Éditions du Pacifique, Rennes, Papeete, March 1975.
Patrick O'Reilly & Édouard Reitman, Bibliographie de Tahiti et de la Polynésie française. Publications de la Société des Océanistes, No. 14, Musée de l'Homme, Paris, 1967.
Patrick O'Reilly & Raoul Teissier, Tahitiens, Répertoire biographique de la Polynésie Française. Publications de la Société des Océanistes, No. 36. Musée de l'Homme, Paris, 1975.
Ernest Salmon, Alexandre Salmon 1820-186 et sa femme Ariitamai 1821-1897. Deux figures de Tahiti a l'époque du Protectorat. Publication de la Société des Océanistes, No 11. Paris, 1964.
S. Percy Smith, "The Genealogy of the Pomare Family of Tahiti, from the papers of The Rev. J.M. Orsmond". Journal of the Polynesian Society. Volume II, pp. 3-41. The Polynesian Society, Wellington, New Zealand, 1893.
A. de Quatrefages, Les Polynésiens et leurs migrations. Libraire de la société de géographie, Paris, 1866.
Ernest Salmon, "Alexandre Salmon 1820-1866 et sa femme Ariitaimai 1821-1897: Deux figures de Tahiti à l'époque du Protectorat". la Société des Océanistes de Paris, No 11, Musée de l'Homme, Paris, 1964.
Robert E. Spiller (ed.), Memoirs of Arii Taimai e Marama of Eimeo, Teriirere of Tooarai, Teriinui of Tahiti, Tauraatua I Amo, Memoirs of Marau Taaroa, Last Queen of Tahiti. Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, New York, 1947.
Raoul Teissier, “Chefs et Notables des Etablissements Français de l’Océanie au temps du Protectorat 1842-1880”, Bulletin de la Société des Études Océaniennes, Polynesie Oreintale. No 202 - Tome XVII - N°3, Mars 1978.
Dr Morris L Bierbrier.
* NB: As mentioned in the text, the editors lost the original papers on which the genealogies printed in Henry were based, after the typing process. As a consequence, the material therein could not be subsequently verified. This is borne out by closer examination of other sources, including Caillot and de Quatrefages. Both give slightly different dates and spellings for the names of several individuals. Most of the differences are consistent with what one may expect from ordinary typos. I have therefore given preference to their dates wherever they disagree with Henry. Differences in names that could not be reconciled have been treated as separate individuals.