Mo’orea is full of mysteries, legends, and culture significance. The local government throughout French Polynesia has installed markers, plaques, and signs on each of the inhabited islands to share the lore with visitors. It is a wonderful way to learn about the island and its inhabitants if you are not fortunate enough to hear it directly from the locals.
Espace Loisirs Kultur (ELK) is a cultural center that is dedicated to educating and training the population on Tahitian culture. They have experts come in to train people how to weave, make ukuleles, dance, cook, make costumes, build instruments (ukes, guitars, drums), agriculture, carve, and more. They invite the young, old, local, and foreign people in to stay for up to 8 days and enjoy a true Polynesian experience.
The facility opened 3 years ago and has expanded adding a stage to showcase the student’s learnings, workshops, a garden, and living space.
The first teach the students to create a small uke using half a coconut shell and plywood. As they improve the move up to the carved ukes. They also make drums and other instruments.
In an effort to show the youth how to make money, they show them how to make the ornate costumes for the many heivas held on each island annually. The material is bark from local trees that is worked and manipulated into fabric over the course of several weeks. The king and queen outfits below each sold for 7000xpf ($70).
Ro’o who showed us around spoke excellent English. He introduced us to his aunt, the owner, all of the employees, and all of the animals. I fell in love with mimi this blue/yellow eyed cat.
Snorkeling the Aquarium
We were antsy and needed to get off the boat. It had been raining here in Mo’orea for the last few days keeping us holed up inside. So, at a sun break we decided to go for a snorkel at the aquarium. Not the best time as there was lots of sediment in the water and it was a bit murky. However, it we did see lots of fish.
And there were lots and lots of little Christmas trees. I love these little guys They zip inside when you touch the tip.
If you saw Magical Moments in Mo’orea, you already read about the sunken tikis on display underwater. Just another wonderful bit of history or is it a mystery on how they got there?
Events from this blog post occurred during the second week of November, 2020. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.