Tahiti was not the first of the Society Islands to be populated in the great Polynesian migrations. Legends have the first settlers arriving in Tahiti from Ra’iatea, which was the most politically important island despite being much smaller than Tahiti.

Tahiti’s importance increased as more and more European visitors made the island their preferred base, and it soon became a minor pawn in the European colonial game.

Today Tahiti’s population constitutes more than 70% of French Polynesia’s entire population. It’s the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia.