Early 19th century, in 1819, King POMARE II and in 1842, Queen POMARE IV banned "songs, gambling or lascivious entertainments" after Christianization of the archipelagos of French Polynesia.
It is only after King POMARE V donated his Polynesian states to France in 1880, and with the Etablissements français de l'Océanie (French Establishments in Oceania), that the "TIURAI festival" (July in Tahitian), traditional festivities returned with the celebration of the national day.
"HEIVA" festival is a cultural festival gathering together thousand of dancers, singers, speakers, musicians, artisans and sportspeople. During these festive days, traditional dance, song and sports, magnificent cultural events, are performed, while enjoying runabout and fairground attractions.
Dance holds a special place in the "HEIVA" festival. Dance groups rehearse several months
before performing. Costumes are works of art and require painstaking and long-term endeavour. Our early 20th century dancer is wearing a costume made of "nape" (ropes made of coconut husk fibres, used as ties or for decoration).