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Pōmare Dynasty

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Title: Pōmare Dynasty  
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Subject: Tahiti, French Polynesia, Kingdom of Tahiti, Pōmare Dynasty, History of Tahiti
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Pōmare Dynasty

Country Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora
Parent house Tamatoa Dynasty
Titles King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Ariʻirahi, Ariʻi
Founded 1788
Founder Pōmare I
Final ruler Pōmare V
Current head disputed
Dissolution 1880

The Pōmare Dynasty was the reigning family of the Kingdom of Tahiti between the unification of the island by Pōmare I in 1788 and Pōmare V's cession of the kingdom to France in 1880. Their influence once spanned most of the Society Islands, the Austral Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago.


Pōmare I established his dynasty upon unifying the districts of Tahiti to become the Kingdom of Tahiti.

The ancestors of the family ultimately came from the island of Fakarava in the Tuamotus. The dynasty originated from the district chieftains or ari'i rahi of Porionuʻu (including the smaller districts of Pare and Arue)[1] and island of Raiatea from the Tamatoa family.[2] With foreign weapons, chief Tu gradually took over control of the other parts of the island of Tahiti, and then brought the islands of Moorea, Mehetia, and Tetiaroa into a single entity.

Chief Tu later adopted the name Pōmare. Pō-mare means 'night cougher', a nickname he took, as was common in that time, in honor of his daughter Teriinavahoroa who died from tuberculosis in 1792.[3][4]

Through subsequent inheritance, adoptions, and marriage alliances, the dynasty at its peak included all the Society Islands with a member of the family ruling in Tahiti, Raiatea and Bora Bora. Tahiti also controlled some of the outlying islands of the Austral Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago.

Tahiti and its dependencies were made a French protectorate in 1842, and largely annexed as a colony of France in 1880. The monarchy was abolished by France shortly thereafter, although there are still pretenders and many Tahitians still wish for a return of the monarchy, some of whom claim that the act of abolishing the monarchy was either outright illegal, or outside of certain jurisdictions. The last reigning monarch of the dynasty was Teriimaevarua III, Queen of Bora Bora, who was deposed in 1888

Pōmare Monarchs

Royal Family of Tahiti, 1864.
Royal Family of Tahiti

Current status

As of February 2009, Tauatomo Mairau claims to be the heir to the Tahitian throne, and has attempted to re-assert the status of the monarchy in court. His claims are not recognised by France.[5][6] On 28 May 2009, Joinville Pomare, an adopted member of the Pomare family, declared himself King Pomare XI, during a ceremony attended by descendants of leading chiefs but spurned by members of his own family. Other members of the family recognise his uncle, Léopold Pomare, as heir to the throne.[7][8]

Another claimaint Hau Pakumotu claims descent from Pomare V and sovereignty over French Polynesian sea, land, and airspace. He and his associates had received some attention in politics in the Tuamotu beforehand. He and associates assembled 100 people for a declaration of an independent Moorea, and claim to have 50,000 signatures supporting Moorea's independence.[9][10] (Although Moorea has only 16,000 people, the 50,000 signature figure is not necessarily untrue because it could imply that Hau Pakumotu received signatures from people both on Moorea and in other parts of French Polynesia.) He declared an independent Pakomotu Sovereign Republic State on Jane 25, 2010 and has called French Polynesia a "mistake". Hau Pakumotu was arrested in early June 2010 for illegally issuing ID cards for his republic.[11][12] He is currently being held at the Papeete police station for attempted murder of a policeman, armed rebellion, forming of a militia and illegal possession of a weapon.[13] He had previously received a six-month jail sentence for intimidating and threatening senior officials.[14]

Family tree

Pōmare I
Teriitooterai Teremoemoe
Pōmare II
Teriitaria Ariipaea
Pōmare III
Arii Faaite
Pōmare IV
Tapoa II
Pōmare V
Tamatoa V
Teriitapunui Punuarii
Teriitua Tuavira
Teriimaevarua II

See also


  1. ^ Edward Smith Craighill Handy (1930). History and culture in the Society Islands 79. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. p. 73. 
  2. ^ "The Genealogy of the Pomare Family of Tahiti, from the Papers of the Rev. J. M. Orsmond. With Notes Thereon by S. Percy Smith". Journal of the Polynesian Society, Volume 2. 1893. pp. 25–43. 
  3. ^ David Stanley (2003). Moon Handbooks Tahiti: Including the Cook Islands. p. 85.  
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Tahitian royal forms government".  
  6. ^ "Tahitian land activist claims France disregards 19th century treaties".  
  7. ^ "Joinville Pomare s'est fait introniser roi Pomare XI", Tahiti Presse, 28 May 2009
  8. ^ "Joinville, l’homme qui voulait être roi… ", La Dépèche de Tahiti, 29 May 2009
  10. ^ "History of Hau Repupirita Pakumotu". History of Hau Repupirita Pakumotu. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Self declard king stakes claim over Tahiti again". Self declard king stakes claim over Tahiti again. Australia Network News. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Le gouvernement Hau Pakumotu passe au recrutement…". Le gouvernement Hau Pakumotu passe au recrutement…. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "‘Pakumotu Republic’ Members Arrested After Firing On Police", Pacific Islands Report
  14. ^ "Jail sentence for Tahiti's self-styled Pakumotu king", Radio New Zealand International, 22 January 2014

External links

  • The Tahitian Royal Family
  • Pomare Dynasty Adoptions
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