Pomaré I.

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Oberea and Captain Wallis
In Matavai Bay

Tunuieaite atua i Tarahoi (* 1743 in Pare; † September 3, 1803 in Arue), known as Tu or Vairatoa , became the first king of the Pomaré dynasty in Tahiti between 1788 and 1791 as Pomaré I.

Origin and family

He was the second son of the "ari'i rahi" (king or chief boss) Tunuieaite atua i Pare, called Teu (1720–1802) and his first wife Tetupaia i Raiatea, and after his death on November 23, 1802, he became his successor as " ari'i rahi ”of the northern districts of Arue and Pare in Tahiti. He married Tetuanui reia i te rai, (1744 to January 16, 1814), daughter of Teihotu i Ahurai, who came from the Papara family, and his wife Vavea Tetuanui reiaite Raiatea.


When the Englishman Samuel Wallis was the first European on 21 June 1767 of the Dolphin in the Matavai Bay in the district Haapape, the northernmost point of the island of Tahiti, broke in and opened fire with his big guns, he saw from several war canoes surrounded by the natives who had nearly two thousand men on board. Many warriors were still on the coast getting into boats. On that day a battle began that would last until June 26th, ending in the defeat of the natives and a gradual friendship with the invading seafarers.

At that time Vairatoa's uncle Tevahitua i Patea, called Amo , who was married to Purea (Oberea), was "ari'i rahi" in Papara, probably the most important family clan on the island, because he had the right to call the holy one To wear a belt with the yellow feathers, the "Maro-tee", or rather his son Teriirere , since Amo only exercised his power as a guardian, as it was customary for the eldest son of the "ari'i rahi" to follow him immediately Birth became the head of the family.

In December 1768 there were armed conflicts over the predominance of the clans in the northern districts. It was then decided that Amo had to resign as regent entirely; the successor of his son Teriirere was given to his cousin Tunuieaite atua, and Amo's youngest brother Teihotu became regent.

On April 13, 1769, about two years after visiting Wallis, Captain James Cook entered Matavai Bay with the Endeavor . He was commissioned by the British Royal Society to observe the transit of Venus on June 3, 1769 in a major international project , and to this end he set up an observatory at what is now known as "Point Venus". He called the island “Otaheite” and the “ari'i rahi” in Arue and Pare Tu -nui-ea-i-te atua for short “Otoo” .

On August 17, 1773, James Cook returned to Tahiti. The two scientifically educated Germans Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster were also with him . For a long time, the reports of the explorers determined the Europeans' image of the South Seas.

When, in 1788, Lieutenant William Bligh was commissioned by the British government to use the Bounty to obtain offshoots of the peculiar breadfruit from Tahiti in order to research its usefulness in the various tropical colonies of Great Britain, he found one through power struggles with the clans on the neighboring island of Eimeo ( Moorea ) and the districts of Paea and Hitiaa, strongly weakened Tu before.

Three weeks after Bligh sailed off the island on April 4, 1788, the famous mutiny broke out on the Bounty . Sixteen of the mutineers then returned to Tahiti on September 22nd to build a 30-foot schooner. The work lasted from November 12, 1789 to August 5, 1790. With their help and their weapons, the muskets, they helped their friend and patron saint Tu to old power and strength and even far beyond, so that he became the "Maro tee" and the "Maro ura", the belt decorated with red feathers, could wear in his Marae of Tarahoe in Arue as a symbol of his rule.

When Vairatoa died on September 3, 1803, he and his son Tunuieaite atua had gained the upper hand over the northern part of the island.

A postage stamp from French Polynesia was dedicated to Pomaré I.


  • Teriinavahoroa, died of tuberculosis in 1792
  • Tunuieaite atua Pomaré II. (1782-1821)
  • Teriinavahoroa i Taiarapu (1785 to June 19, 1803)
  • Tehamai tua

Web links

predecessor Office successor
- King of Tahiti
Pomaré II.