13 Souvenirs ideas to bring home from Tahiti
You can buy a variety of unique souvenirs to take home with you. Here are some of the most popular items for your shopping list:
1. French Polynesia’s pearls
Pearls can be found on almost every island in French Polynesia. French Polynesia pearls have a distinct color as well. Because only French Polynesia’s black pearls, also known as Tahitian pearls, shimmer in every color of the rainbow.
These are carefully bred in the lagoons of French Polynesia. Tahitian pearls can only be made in crystal clear water. A new pearl in an oyster takes several years to form. If you go, make sure to stop by a pearl farm to learn more about Tahitian pearls.
2. Tahitian Vanilla
The world’s purest vanilla comes from the Polynesian islands. The fake flavors you may purchase in North America or Europe cannot be compared. Real vanilla has an exceptional scent and an unparalleled flavor.
Prepare yourself to produce delectable foods that will instantly make you miss your time in the Polynesians. It is a perfect souvenir to bring back from your trip.
Foodies consider Tahitian Vanilla to be the best in the world. Gourmet chefs use it in many of their signature dishes all across the islands, so you’ll be so encouraged by Tahiti’s cuisine that you’ll want to use it in everything you cook at home.
3. Monoï Oil
This coconut oil-based beauty product is infused with the fragrant tiare flower, also known as Tahitian gardenia. This hydrating oil, which is found in almost every Tahiti spa, promotes smooth, healthy skin and has the island’s signature scent. It comes in a variety of scents, including vanilla, coconut, and banana.
4. Tahitian Pareo
Tahitian pareos are available in a wide range of vibrant colors and exotic patterns. They are hand-painted or dyed and can be worn as a beach wrap over your bathing suit. There are several ways to tie a pareo; simply ask the shop how you should wear one.
5. Hand Woven Items
Tahitian women weave baskets, purses, hats, mats, fans, and a variety of other household items out of dried pandanus and coconut leaves. As you’ll see below, the designs on some of these woven pieces can be quite intricate.
6. Tifaifai Quilts
In the past, the local Tahitian elderly women who sew by hand—would collaborate to hand-stitch a Tifaifai, which is a patchwork quilt with a distinctively tropical appearance. These days, they can be produced manually or mechanically. Additionally, you may purchase them in full size to use as a bed, tablecloth, bed runner, or pillow cases.
The ukulele can be used as a decorative item or as the ideal instrument for aspiring musicians. At the Papeete market, you may find numerous models made of exotic woods that are beautiful objects.
It is recommended to contact street vendors if you intend to play the instrument, being careful to select the most music-loving ones. They’ll be able to offer you sound advice, particularly about the return trip, which should ideally be taken in a sealed bag. The price of a ukulele ranges from $100 to $500, depending on the size and design.
This is the best thing to bring back from Polynesia. Rarely will you find a local who doesn’t have at least one tattoo? Tattoos are a big part of their history and culture, and you can find skilled artists all over the islands to give you the best souvenir of your trip.
We suggest that you plan this out ahead of time and get a tattoo that means something to you since each symbol in Polynesian tattoos means something. Get more information at Tahitian Tatoos.
9. Stone Carvings
Stone carvings from Polynesia aren’t as common and are heavier to bring home, but they make beautiful souvenirs. Again, most of the artists who make these are from the group of islands called the Marquesas, and they are sold on all the islands. If you are going to the Marquesas as part of your trip, this is the best place to buy these and your wood carvings.
10. Mother of Pearl
Mother of pearl shell is often carved and used to make Tahitian jewelry. You’ll find plenty of pendants and earrings through the islands in beautiful shapes and designs. If you can’t afford the rare black pearls of Tahiti, mother-of-pearl jewelry is a beautiful and less expensive way to remember your time by the water.
11. Wood carvings -Tribal Art
You’ll find a wide selection of wooden items including jewelry, serving bowls and platters, Tahitian drums known as pahu, and tikis meant to replicate the ancient statues found throughout the islands.
The Marquesan wood carvers, who are called tuhuna, are thought to be the best craftsmen in French Polynesia, and their consistently high-quality work is in high demand.
Most of the time, noble woods like Oceania rosewood (Miro or Mi’o), Oceania walnut (tou), and Ironwood (aito) are used to make wood sculptures. However, the wood from the coconut tree (tumu ha’ari or tumu ‘ehi) is also used. The people of the Marquesas Islands think it’s important to use wood from the islands because it’s good quality and it’s what their ancestors did.
Most of the time, the craftsmen grow the trees in their own gardens and let them dry for up to 10 years before treating them for bugs and getting them ready to be carved.
12. Local Artwork
Tahiti, which was home to the French painter Paul Gauguin, is a place where artists get ideas. Artists who live in French Polynesia and Tahiti have made a lot of original art, including vibrant paintings of island scenery and Polynesian people. Who knows, you might find the next Paul Gauguin.
13. Hinano Beer T-Shirts
Since 1955, this vahine (woman) has been the well-known brand mark of Hinano, a local beer. It was made by a painter from Sweden named Pierre Heyman, who made the first sketch of it in 1953.
Up until 1957, when the first ticket came out, the logo was printed on the bottles, to the delight of consumers and tourists who liked to collect them. The Hinano ticket has changed a lot since then.
The legendary hinano vahine came to represent Tahiti and its islands. She is sitting cross-legged and wearing a red sarong (Pareo) with local colors, a hibiscus flower in her ear, and a crown of tiare flowers in her long hair.