Heiva i Tahiti
Ite haamere ore nō mua ra e a muri noa atu
Témoin inaliénable des temps passés et à venir »

(An inalienable witness to times past and future)

(Henri Hiro, Pehepehe i taù nūnaa, Toù fare au)

The Heiva i Tahiti is the annual Festival of Polynesian Ma’ohi Culture in French Polynesia. It is a celebration of festivities where the women and men of our fenua gather on the To’atā arena and on the squares of their islands to sing, dance, recite, reveal, and above all, share. Each person, according to their district or island and in the manner of their cultural community, showcases the exuberant beauty of the diversity of this Land that gave us birth, as well as the original genius of the beings who inhabit it.

From June 29th to July 15th, inspired by a theme that resonates with them or by ancient words passed down by their elders, these women and men express the full power and profound intimacy of their cultural identity. They are carried away by the undulations of ‘ori Tahiti, intoxicated by the haunting melodies of a tārava, and reveal their trained bodies and sharp minds through displays of skills and playful or sporting feats.

An event primarily For Polynesians and By Polynesians, its renown has reached around the world, and its recognition as an exceptional cultural and identity value extends not only internationally but also, and most importantly, within our vast Pacific region to which we belong. It awakens in each of us our traditions of welcome, hospitality, the sharing of our culture, and the gift of everything that makes us Who we are, ‘o tāua ihoā e te Nūna’a Mā’ohi!

It is a grand popular celebration that praises our fenua (land) and honors its men and women. And it should be, always! And it should remain so in its primary purpose!

The Heiva i Tahiti is the time of the year that marks the recognition by their peers and communities of our islands, of the authors, performers (dancers, singers, musicians, etc.), accomplished artists, exceptional craftsmen, and above all, those who follow in their footsteps. All of them have worked with faith, enthusiasm, and passion, often in very difficult, uncertain, or even improbable conditions, to bring life and spirit to these festivities.

Let’s come together and explore our Polynesian mā’ohi world!

Let’s all come together and discover this 2023 edition of Heiva i Tahiti!

And just like the sun shines for everyone, let Heiva i Tahiti shine for all, for everyone!

Ia ora te Heiva i Tahiti !

Ia ora te Āia !

Ia ora te Nūnaa !


Vice President of French Polynesia,

Minister of Culture, Higher Education, Environment,

Land, and Crafts,

in charge of Relations with Institutions.

Heiva i Tahiti
Ite haamere ore nō mua ra e a muri noa atu »

(An inalienable witness to times past and future)

(Henri Hiro, Pehepehe i taù nūnaa, Toù fare au)

Te heiva i Tahiti, e ta’urua teie nō te hīro’a tumu i Mā’ohi Nui nei. O te fa’ahanahanara’a i te mau ’ōro’a ato’a e ruru ai, e ’āmui ai te mau tāne, te mau  hine nō te fenua i ni’a i te tahua To’atā ānei, i roto i te mau motu ānei, nō te hīmene, te ’ori, te ’ōrero, te fa’a’ite , nō te ora ’ia au i tōna va’a mata’eina’a ’aore ra ’ia au i tōna motu, i tōna tā’amura’a ’e tōna here a tau i tōna fenua, te fenua i fānau iāna, te fenua i hi’i iāna, ’e tae noa atu i te atamai e ’ana’ana ra i roto i tōna ’ā’au.

Mai te 29 nō tiunu ’e tae atu i te 15 nō tiurai, ma te fa’atura i te tumu parau i mā’itihia e rātou iho ’aore ra te mau ’ā’ai ’e ’ā’amu i vaiihohia mai e tō tupuna, e fā’i teie mau tāne, teie mau vahine i tō rātou ’ā’au mā’ohi nā roto i te ’ori tahiti ānei, te mau hīmene tumu ānei, te mau tū’aro ānei, te mau fa’a’ana’anataera’a rau ānei.

‘A tahi roa, e ’ōro’a teie a te mau Mā’ohi nō te mau Mā’ohi.

’Ua ’atutu te parau o teie ta’upiti nā te ara, ’ua ’itehia tōna faufa’a tumu, tōna iho mau nā te ao nei, ’ua pa’o nā te Moana a Hiva ’e tē ha’apāpū mai ra i tō tātou ’ā’au fāri’i, i tō tātou hīro’a tumu, i tō tātou rima mahora ’e pāpū ai tāua ē “’o tāua ihoā e te Nūna’a Mā’ohi”

E ’ōro’a teie e amo i te fenua i te fāito o te hō’ēra’a, e hanahana ai te tāne ’e te vahine. ’Ia vai ’e ’ia vai ā, ‘a tau ’e ’a hiti noa atu.

Te Heiva i Tahiti, te tau teie e pāpū ai te nūna’a i te ’aravihi o te mau tāparau, te mau rohipehe, te mau rohiparau, te feiā ’ori, te feiā hīmene, te feiā rima’ī, ’e te feiā ato’a e fa’a’una’una nei i teie ’ōro’a tumu nā roto i te vauvaura’a mai i tō rātou ’aravihi, tō rātou here i tō rātou fenua, i tō rātou nūna’a, i tō rātou hīro’a tumu, noa atu te mau maumaura’a e rave rau, noa atu te mau tāfifira’a e puhā mai, noa atu te mau tapitapi e tupu mai, i fa’aoti na tō tahito ē, e ’ārue, e fa’ahanahana i te fenua nā roto i teie mau fa’anahora’a ’oa ma te ’ā’au tae.

’A ora ana’e i tō tatou hīro’a mā’ohi !

’A māhu’i ’āmui ana’e i te Heiva i Tahiti 2023 !

E hiti te mahana nō te tā’ato’ara’a, ’ia ’ana’ana te Heiva i Tahiti 2023 e ti’a ai nō ’oe, nō’u, nō tātou!


‘Ia ora te Heiva i Tahiti !

‘Ia ora te ‘Āi’a !

‘Ia ora te Nūna’a !


Vice-présidente de la Polynésie française,

Ministre de la Culture,

de l’Enseignement supérieur, de l’Environnement,

du Foncier et de l’Artisanat,

en charge des Relations avec les institutions.

The Heiva i Tahiti

If dances and songs were omnipresent during the first contacts, these cultural and festive expressions would quickly be banned under the influence of the missionaries through the Pomare Code. In the late 1840s, Governor Bruat reintroduced ‘Upa ‘Upa dances as a challenge to royal authority, associating them with the French national holiday of July 14th and from 1881, it became the Tiurai festival, with the first dancing performances taking place at Taraho’i square.

In 1956, Madeleine Moua established the first dance group, under the name of Heiva Tahiti. She revitalized the dance by emphasizing a strong return to tradition, aiming to overcome certain religious prohibitions. She also provided defining criteria and guidelines for the competition jury’s evaluation. Coco Hotahota, on the other hand, went beyond the excessive rigidity of tradition and sought to reconcile it with modernity. In 1985, the Tiurai, which had evolved into the Heiva i Tahiti, remained the flagship event showcasing the essence of Polynesian culture.

Key words

Rāhiri: The ceremony in which the group leaders, by laying a banana leaf, commit to mutual respect towards the members of the jury;

Tārava: A polyphonic chant of seven verses to narrate a district, a legend, or simply daily life;

‘Ori: Dancing / to dance;

Hīmene: chant, song / to chant, to sing;

Hīmene tumu: traditional chants;

Hura tau: Dance group that turned professional by winning the first prize in the Hura ava tau competition

Hura ava tau: so-called “amateur” dance groups, meaning, those that have not yet won 1st prize in their category.;

Marae: An enclosure or altar composed of arranged stones, often in pyramid form: a place of sacrifice, prayer, celebration, consecration, and mourning;

Umu tī: Firewalking

(Cordyline Terminalis): A plant with diverse uses, including the leaves being used in medicine preparation, decoration, incantations, and meal preparation. Its cooked edible root yields a sweet nectar, while the fermented root produces an alcohol called ava. There are 13 Tahitian varieties of . The Tī-Uti, planted within the marae enclosure, was reserved for its ceremonies.

Tahu’a: Priest;

Tū’aro: Sport;

Va’a: Canoe ;

Tiurai: Month of July, former name of Heiva.

Heiva Village: where art and crafts meet

As every year, Te Fare Tauhiti Nui – Maison de la Culture (House of Culture) is pleased to welcome artisans in the Heiva i Tahiti village, set up at the entrance of the performance area, on the lower esplanade of To’atā. This village will allow you to discover jewelers, sculptors, and artisans with diverse craftsmanship and witness the extent of our artisans’ mastery.

You will find tīfaifai to adorn your homes, jewelry to enhance your outfits, and even basketry for eco-friendly local shopping needs!


Take a stroll up to the official Heiva shop and bring back the perfect gift or souvenir!

At the heart of this village, the Heiva shop offers a unique and diverse range of products, such as pāreu, insulated water bottles, t-shirts, goodies… featuring the official logo of Heiva i Tahiti.

For the first time this year, the Ateliers Prokop will also be present in the official Heiva shop, offering by-products dedicated to the Heiva i Tahiti.


Practical information:

Heiva Village – Exhibition of art objects, demonstrations, sales…

From June 29 to July 15.

Open only on performance nights, at 03:00 p.m. during the week and at 09:00 a.m. on Saturdays

Free entrance

Lower Esplanade of To’atā

For information: ph. +689 40 544 544 / Facebook: Heiva i Tahiti Officiel

Let’s sort for an eco-friendly Heiva!


The Heiva i Tahiti attracts an average of almost 30,000 spectators. Te Fare Tauhiti Nui – Maison de la culture wants to raise public awareness of the importance of sorting waste.

For this year’s Heiva i Tahiti, the establishment has equipped itself with waste sorting bins, which will be placed on To’atā square to encourage the optimal collection and processing of waste during the evening performances.


An “eco-citizen” stand will be set up in the Heiva village, with the aim of getting a positive, fun message across to the public by promoting waste sorting. Volunteers from the MAMA NATURA association, trained by FENUA MA, will be manning the stand, playing interactive games to win prizes.


These same volunteers will collect and weigh the waste deposited into the sorting bins in order to assess the quality of waste sorting at the end of each evening. The purpose of these games, which will be posted on the Heiva i Tahiti Facebook page, is to raise public awareness of waste sorting.

The Environment Code also applies to dance and singing groups, ensuring that the plants they use are not protected species.

All these actions are part of the “eco-Heiva” initiative implemented by Te Fare Tauhiti Nui – Maison de la Culture. In 2018, Heiva i Tahiti won the Silver Turtle Award in the “Public Event” category awarded by the Fenua Ma union. The 2022 edition of Heiva i Tahiti was awarded the prestigious Golden Turtle Award. These awards testify to the efforts of the establishment’s staff who work daily to preserve the environment. This long-lasting eco-responsible approach reaffirms the alliance between our cultural heritage and nature.


Created by the Ateliers Prokop, the trophies of the Heiva i Tahiti are true works of art full of meaning and values. Crafted around the unu, a sacred and tapu object, the 37 coveted trophies represent our ancestral roots, the nature that surrounds us, the tikis that watch over us, and the mana and its spiritual blessings.


Symbolism of the trophies:

From top to bottom: the 5 carved branches at the top represent both the Polynesian archipelagos, the prevailing winds, and the connection to the sky. The carved Tikis in the center of the trophies represent the Mana, fertility, and spiritual protection provided by the unu. The pēue, the braid, and the base symbolize the cultural roots so dear to Polynesians, as well as the special bond they have with the Mother Earth.