Maro'ura A Polynesian Treasure
Feb 8, 2022 - May 1, 2022
Ticket: €12.00*
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Maro’Ura traces the history and underlines the cultural importance of one of the most prestigious objects of the great chiefdoms of the Society Islands: a fragment of a belt of feathers recently identified at the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and soon to be kept at the Musée de Tahiti et des Îles.

The exhibition traces the history and underlines the cultural importance of one of the most prestigious objects of the great chiefdoms of the Society Islands: a fragment of a belt of feathers recently identified at the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. Relating to worship of the god ’Oro, these belts were used as commemorative objects for communities. For each investiture, they were extended with a fringe of feathers. In this way, they gave material form to the genealogy of great chiefdoms, displaying their prestige and age.

Not only is this fragment of maro ’ura (literally ‘red belt’) rare, but it forms a token of immense historical importance. The presence of a red woollen cloth suggests it could be the belt that incorporated the pennant used by English captain Samuel Wallis to lay claim to the island of Tahiti in 1767. This maro ’ura is four metres long and was observed by explorers like James Cook and William Bligh through until the end of the 18th century. It was used in the Pomare family’s takeover of Tahiti. With the country’s conversion to Christianity at the start of the 19th century, all traces of maro ’ura disappeared.
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Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
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