From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Location of the commune (in red) within the Leeward Islands
Location of the commune (in red) within the Leeward Islands
Location of Taha’a
Coordinates: 16°37′00″S 151°30′00″W / 16.6167°S 151.5°W / -16.6167; -151.5Coordinates: 16°37′00″S 151°30′00″W / 16.6167°S 151.5°W / -16.6167; -151.5
Overseas collectivityFrench Polynesia
 • MayorIsmaël Tuahu
90.2 km2 (34.8 sq mi)
(August 2007 census)1
 • Density55/km2 (140/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code
98745 /98733
Elevation0–590 m (0–1,936 ft)
1 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Bora Bora, Tahaa, and Raiatea from space

Taha’a (sometimes spelled as "Tahaa") is an island located among the western group, the Leeward Islands, of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The islands of Taha’a and neighboring Raiatea to the immediate south are enclosed by the same coral reef, and they may once have been a single island. Tahaa has 5,000 people living on 90 square kilometres (35 square miles), and reaches a maximum height of 590 metres (1,940 ft). It is also known as the "Vanilla Island" and produces pearls of exceptional quality.


Administratively, Taha’a and the surrounding islets emerging from the coral reef form a commune (municipality) part of the administrative subdivision of the Leeward Islands. Tahaa consists of the following associated communes:

The administrative centre of the commune of Tahaa is the settlement of Patio.


At the time of Captain Cook's visits in 1769 and 1773, the island was under the occupation of Bora Bora warriors.[1]

Vanilla production[edit]

Taha’a produces 70-80% of all French Polynesia's vanilla. Because of the pervasive aroma of vanilla, Taha’a is known as the "Vanilla Island". Taha’a's pearls are of exceptional quality.


Taha’a and its small islets can be reached by boat and outrigger from Raiatea. The short sail drops visitors on an islet beach with a small lagoon, and in the near distance, a view of Bora Bora. These parts of the Society Islands are less modernized.

Tahitian Spelling[edit]

Taha’a is spelled in Tahitian using the apostrophe (in fact a variant of it, the okina, hard to differentiate from the regular apostrophe when using small fonts) to represent the glottal stop, as promoted by the Académie Tahitienne and accepted by the territorial government.[2] This apostrophe, however, is often omitted. In old travelogues, the transcription Oataha is sometimes used.


  1. ^ Salmond, Anne (2010). Aphrodite's Island. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 213–218, 286–289. ISBN 9780520261143.
  2. ^ Graphie et graphies de la langue tahitienne