We visit the “Marae Taputaputea”. It is still wet we even
have to wear our bad weather gear. We walk to this archaeological site. We are
impressed. The site is huge. The atmosphere is very special. You still can feel
the spirits of this place. This marae was the most important one in
Polynesia. Chiefs as far as from
sailed to Raiatea for taking part in religious
ceremonies. The marae was dedicated to the god Oro (god of war) and dates from
the 17th century. Any marae constructed on another island needed to
have one of Taputaputoa`s stones in its construction. We are charmed by this unique site.
Maraes have something.
In the afternoon we sail up to Uturoa the capital
Raiatea. We get some fuel and moor up
against the harbour wall in the centre of the village. We need to do some
shopping. Uturoa is convenient because the supermarket is just over the road
which makes it easy to carry things. We even can bring the caddy close to the
boat. Unfortunate we can observe one of the biggest problems in
Polynesia. Alcohol. Men and women were sitting the whole
day on a bench and keep on drinking massive amounts of beer. Severe laws got
instored to keep people from drinking. No alcohol can be bought on week days.
The price for alcohol is hallucinating high. In public events like a rowing
contest, a concert, a celebration no alcohol is served. In the Marquises they
wanted to forbid selling it in any shop. Alcohol came to
Polynesia by the Europeans. It was used as in the States
to weaken the strong and proud warriors of the islands. By weakening the tribes
the people started to loose their identity their culture their roots. The legend
says that the proud Marquisians refused to have children anymore because they
didn’t want to see them this desolate situation. Alcohol, diseases reduced the
population of Polynesia dramatically and the results can
still be seen and felt today. Sometimes it’s a shame to be a European. I think
we are not in the position to judge these people or to give them advice we
brought them the misery.