Let me tell you about the magnificent tiare flower. The ma’ohi, more commonly known as Tiare Tahiti, is the favorite flower of the Creation Gods.
According to Tahitian legend, the tiare flower was created by Atea, the Oceanic God of Creation with assistance from Tane, the God of Beauty.
The flower was so perfect that everyone desired it, and soon the gods in the Tenth Heaven were fighting over it. When the Supreme God, Ta’aroa, saw this, he called upon Atea and Tane.
“Show me this wonderful flower that creates so much desire and greed in my kingdom”, he told them. Atea opened his hand and showed Ta’aroa the flower. It was so dazzlingly beautiful that Ta’aroa exclaimed “you are the most gorgeous flower that was ever created!”
Faced by the gods, the flower graciously bowed before them.
Ta’aroa told the tiare “among all my creations, you shall be particularly blessed. You shall be the queen of them all!”
Ta’aroa then told Atea and Tane and to “take the tiare and go beyond the Tenth Heaven.”
Once they arrived, Atea created the stars, the moon and constellations then named the place “Tumu” (meaning “the origin of the beginning”). Forests and plants grew there then life began on earth and in the oceans. Atea wanted to ensure the tiare flower’s survival on earth, so entrusted it to Mihia-i-te-tai, the Queen of the Mermaids. After many moons had passed, the tiare sprouted, and Mihi-i-te-tai put the flower back into the arms of Atea, saying “today this creature has become a plant, but the spirit of the gods will remain within it”.
The Tahitian people honor the legend of the tiare flower to this day. The simple, white flower petals are only part of their appeal. When a large bouquet of tiare are gathered together, they give off a strong and intoxicating fragrance, filling sweethearts with the romantic bliss which was once the secret of the god Atea.
You can hear more exciting tales from ancient Tahiti by visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center and talking to one of our villagers. We look forward to welcoming you.