French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic and the only overseas country of France. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean, its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres. French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands: the Society Islands archipelago, composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. Among its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited. Tahiti, located within the Society Islands, is the most populous island, having close to 69% of the population of French Polynesia as of 2017. Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the capital. Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007. Following the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers visited the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions. Traders and whaling ships visited. In 1842, the French took over the islands and established a French protectorate they called Etablissements des français en Océanie.
In 1946, the EFOs became an overseas territory under the constitution of the French Fourth Republic, Polynesians were granted the right to vote through citizenship. In 1957, the EFOs were renamed French Polynesia. In 1983 French Polynesia became a member of the Pacific Community, a regional development organization. Since 28 March 2003, French Polynesia has been an overseas collectivity of the French Republic under the constitutional revision of article 74, gained, with law 2004-192 of 27 February 2004, an administrative autonomy, two symbolic manifestations of which are the title of the President of French Polynesia and its additional designation as an overseas country. French Polynesia was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Scientists believe the Great Polynesian Migration happened around 1500 BC as Austronesian people went on a journey using celestial navigation to find islands in the South Pacific Ocean; the first islands of French Polynesia to be settled were the Marquesas Islands in about 200 BC.
The Polynesians ventured southwest and discovered the Society Islands around AD 300. European encounters began in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, sailing at the service of the Spanish Crown, sighted Puka-Puka in the Tuāmotu-Gambier Archipelago. In 1606 another Spanish expedition under Pedro Fernandes de Queirós sailed through Polynesia sighting an inhabited island on 10 February which they called Sagitaria the island of Rekareka to the southeast of Tahiti. Over a century British explorer Samuel Wallis visited Tahiti in 1767. French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville visited Tahiti in 1768, while British explorer James Cook arrived in 1769. In 1772, the Spanish Viceroy of Peru Don Manuel de Amat ordered a number of expeditions to Tahiti under the command of Domingo de Bonechea, the first European to explore all of the main islands beyond Tahiti. A short-lived Spanish settlement was created in 1774, for a time some maps bore the name Isla de Amat after Viceroy Amat. In 1772, Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen came across Bora Bora in the Society Islands.
Christian missions began with Spanish priests. Protestants from the London Missionary Society settled permanently in Polynesia in 1797. King Pōmare II of Tahiti was forced to flee to Mo'orea in 1803. French Catholic missionaries arrived on Tahiti in 1834. In 1842, Tahiti and Tahuata were declared a French protectorate, to allow Catholic missionaries to work undisturbed; the capital of Papeetē was founded in 1843. In 1880, France annexed Tahiti; the island groups were not united until the establishment of the French protectorate in 1889. After France declared a protectorate over Tahiti in 1840, the British and French signed the Jarnac Convention in 1847, declaring that the kingdoms of Raiatea and Bora Bora were to remain independent from either powers and that no single chief was to be allowed to reign over the entire archipelago. France broke the agreement, the islands were annexed and became a colony in 1888 after many native resistances and conflicts called the Leewards War, lasting until 1897.
In the 1880s, France claimed the Tuamotu Archipelago, which belonged to the Pōmare Dynasty, without formally annexing it. Having declared a protectorate over Tahuata in 1842, the French regarded the entire Marquesas Islands as French. In 1885, France appointed a governor and established a general council, thus giving it the proper administration for a colony; the islands of Rimatara and Rūrutu unsuccessfully lobbied for British protection in 1888, so in 1889 they were annexed by France. Postage stamps were first issued in the colony in 1892; the first official name for the colony was Établissements de l'Océanie. In 1940, the administration of French Polynesia recognised the Free French Forces and many Polynesians served in World War II. Unknown at the time to the French and Polynesians, the Konoe Cabinet in Imperial Japan on 16 September 1940 included French Polynesia among the many territories whic
The United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter, it is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 11 associate members. Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences and communication/information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy and teacher-training programs, international science programs, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights, attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and information". Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication; the broad goals and objectives of the international community—as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals —underpin all UNESCO strategies and activities. UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility; this new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was indeed created in 1922.
On 18 December 1925, the International Bureau of Education began work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development. However, the onset of World War II interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations. After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the USSR; this was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented.
The idea of UNESCO was developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, a Preparatory Commission was established; the Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state. The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General; the Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence.
As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, the dissolution of the USSR. Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems." South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, started in 1947; this project was followed by expert missions to other countries, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949.
In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal. In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, launched a global movement to provide basic education for a
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
A marae, malaʻe, meʻae, malae is a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes in Polynesian societies. In all these languages, the term means "cleared, free of weeds, etc". Marae consist of an area of cleared land rectangular, bordered with stones or wooden posts with paepae which were traditionally used for ceremonial purposes. In the Rapa Nui culture of Easter Island, the term ahu has become a synonym for the whole marae complex. In some modern Polynesian societies, notably that of the Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand, the marae is still a vital part of everyday life. In tropical Polynesia, most marae were destroyed or abandoned with the arrival of Christianity in the 19th century, some have become an attraction for tourists or archaeologists; the place where these marae were built are still considered tapu in most of these cultures. The word has been reconstructed by linguists to Eastern Oceanic *malaqe with the meaning "open, cleared space used as meeting-place or ceremonial place".
In Māori society, the marae is a place where the culture can be celebrated, where the Māori language can be spoken, where intertribal obligations can be met, where customs can be explored and debated, where family occasions such as birthdays can be held, where important ceremonies, such as welcoming visitors or farewelling the dead, can be performed. Like the related institutions of old Polynesia, the marae is a wāhi tapu, a'sacred place' which carries great cultural meaning. In Māori usage, the marae ātea is the open space in front of the wharenui; the term marae is used to refer to the whole complex, including the buildings and the ātea. This area is used for pōwhiri featuring oratory; some iwi and hapū do not allow women to perform oratory on their marae. The wharenui is the locale for important meetings and craft and other cultural activities; the wharekai is used for communal meals, but other activities may be carried out there. Many of the words associated with marae in tropical Polynesia are retained in the Māori context.
For example, the word paepae refers to the bench. Marae vary in size, with some wharenui being a bit bigger than a double garage, some being larger than a typical town hall. A marae is a meeting place registered as a reserve under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993; each marae has a group of trustees. The Act governs the regulation of marae as reservations and sets out the responsibilities of the trustees in relation to the beneficiaries; each marae has a charter which the trustees have negotiated with the beneficiaries of the marae. The charter details matters such as: the name of the marae, a description of it; the methods used to select trustees. The New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Act 1963 was passed and the institute built to maintain the tradition of whakairo; the Institute is responsible for the restoration of over 40 marae around the country. Most iwi, hapū, many small settlements have their own marae. An example of such a small settlement with its own marae is at Hongoeka Bay, the home of renowned writer Patricia Grace.
Since the second half of the 20th century, Māori in urban areas have been establishing intertribal marae such as Maraeroa in eastern Porirua. For many Māori, the marae is just as important to them as their own homes; some New Zealand churches operate marae of their own, in which all of the functions of a traditional marae are carried out. Churches operating marae include the Anglican and Catholic churches. In recent years, it has become common for educational institutions, including primary and secondary schools, technical colleges, universities, to build marae for the use of the students and for the teaching of Māori culture; these marae may serve as a venue for the performance of official ceremonies relating to the school. The marae of the University of Auckland, for instance, is used for graduation ceremonies of the Māori Department, as well as welcoming ceremonies for new staff of the university as a whole, its primary function is to serve as a venue for the teaching of whaikōrero, Māori language and culture, important ceremonies for distinguished guests of the university.
Two spectacular secondary-school marae are located in the Waikato at Te Awamutu College and Fairfield College. The latter was designed by a Māori architect with a detailed knowledge of weaving. In addition to school activities it is used for weddings; as in pre-European times, marae continue to be the location of many ceremonial events, including birthdays and anniversaries. The most important event located at marae is the tangih
Marae Taputapuatea is a large marae complex at Opoa in Taputapuatea, on the south eastern coast of Raiatea. The site features a number of marae and other stone structures and was once considered the central temple and religious center of Eastern Polynesia. In 2017 the Taputapuatea area was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list with Taputapuatea marae being described as the heart of the site; the sacred area of Cape Matahira-i-te-ra ` i is called Te Po. The original marae was dedicated to Ta'aroa; the worship of ` Oro prevailed, the god of death. According to legend,'Oro's descendant Hiro built the marae, giving it the name Taputaputea,'Sacrifices from afar'; the drum Ta'imoana was used during human sacrifices. The white rock Te Papatea-o-Ru'ea on the nearby beach was used to invest the chiefs of Ra'iatea with the red feather girdle maro'ura; the three foot high image of the god was called'Oro-maro-'ura,'Oro of the red feather girdle. Taputapuatea became the center of a voyaging network as the cult of'Oro spread.
The Marae was established by 1000 AD with significant expansion after this time. The marae was a place of learning where priests and navigators from all over the Pacific would gather to offer sacrifices to the gods and share their knowledge of the genealogical origins of the universe, of deep-ocean navigation. An alliance known as Ti'ahuauatea was established with the surrounding islands demarcating those to the west of Ra'iatea, Te Aotea, those to the east, Te Aouri; this alliance included the Cook Islands, the Australs, Kapukapuakea in Hawaii, Taputapuatea in New Zealand. New marae were established on each of these islands with a rock being taken from Taputapuatea, Raiatea, to act as a spiritual link.'Oro priests from the islands gathered here periodically, participating in human sacrifices to'Oro. However the alliance was broken when fighting broke out at a gathering and the two leading high priests representing the alliance were killed; the people of Ao-tea fled the island, leaving via the reef passage of Te Ava-rua rather than the sacred passage of Te Ava-mo'a, considered a bad omen.
An attempt was made in 1995 to heal this wrongdoing. Around 1763, warriors from Borabora attacked the island, defeating Tupaia, ransacked the island; this included destroying the god-houses at Taputapuatea, wrecking the platform, cutting down the sheltering trees. James Cook, Joseph Banks, Dr. Daniel Solander and Tupaia arrived aboard the Endeavour on 20 July 1769, to take possession of Raiatea, Taha'a, Huahine and Borabora in the name of King George III of the United Kingdom; this seemed to be the culmination of a prophesy made by the wizard priest Vaita that a new people would arrive aboard a canoe without an outrigger and take possession of the islands. When Te Rangi Hīroa visited Taputapuatea in 1929 he was overcome by the desolate state in which he found this great marae and wrote: I had made my pilgrimage to Taputapu-atea, but the dead could not speak to me, it was sad to the verge of tears. I felt a profound regret, a regret for — I knew not what. Was it for the beating of the temple drums or the shouting of the populace as the king was raised on high?
Was it for the human sacrifices of olden times? It was for none of these individually but for something at the back of them all, some living spirit and divine courage that existed in ancient times of which Taputapu-atea was a mute symbol, it was something that we Polynesians have lost and cannot find, something that we yearn for and cannot recreate. The background in which that spirit was engendered has changed beyond recovery; the bleak wind of oblivion had swept over Opoa. Foreign weeds grew over the untended courtyard, stones had fallen from the sacred altar of Taputapu-atea; the gods had long ago departed. The archaeological remains of Marae Taputapuatea were restored in 1994 and work to preserve the site continues. Association Na Papa E Va'u Raiatea is a cultural association formed by the people of Opoa acting for the preservation of the Marae Taputapuatea. Thanks to its work, Marae Taputapuatea is listed on the World Heritage List since July 9, 2017; the association is creating and reviving connections between communities of the Polynesian triangle and throughout the Pacific region.
Finney, Ben. "The Sin at Awarua". In Hanlon, David L. and Geoffrey Miles White. Voyaging through the Contemporary Pacific. Pacific Formations. Rowman & Littlefield. Pp. 298–332. ISBN 0-7425-0045-4. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter Howe, K. R. ed.. "Navigation". Vaka Moana: Voyages of the Ancestors. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3213-1. Video of the great meeting at Taputapatea in 1995 - Institut de la Communication Audiovisuel, in French with parts in English and Tahitian