The Tahiti Traveler

Discovering the Polynesian Mana

French Polynesia has recently devoted an extensive publicity campaign
on Tahiti and her “Mana Islands”. Another way of saying that, beyond
picturesque postcards and overwater bungalows, the ancestral Polynesian culture is
in itself an undeniable fascination. But what is this famous Polynesian mana?

Mana, a word that can be found in accounts of early anthropologists like Levi Strauss or Mauss that … in video games or cards like the famous World of Warcraft, mana represents magical power, to conquer…

“Tahiti and Its Islands are multidimensional. And all are united by mana. Mana is this vital energy, the spiritual force that surrounds us. You can see it. Touch it. Taste it. Feel it. And upon your arrival, you will understand why our islands are the islands of Mana. “

The origins of Polynesian beliefs

Ever since the ancient Polynesian times, of polytheistic belief, one can find the foundations of the concept of mana. Revered by many atua (gods) among those, the celestial creator of the universe, Ta (ng) aroa, nestled in an egg floating in the Po, (the unique void), and competing deities are Oro (god war), Tane (the god of skill) and Hiro, each one the subject of own myths to each particular island.


From the marae, these large rectangular outdoor stone areas of worship, near the sea or on a mountainside, that invoked the gods, with great fanfare of offerings and sacrifices, sometimes human.

The tahu’a, the priests or shamans, summoned the gods through tikis carved in stone or wood and secured to the marae. It was the only way for men to acquire mana, this divine energy which guaranteed fertility, health, balance … Any success then was due to mana, and any failure due to its absence …

Even today, one evokes the good Mana for a victorious athlete or a great celebration … Perhaps you feel it too, when visit one of the many marae that grace the islands of Polynesia …