The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Tahiti, previously also known as Otaheite (obsolete), is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. The island is located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the central Southern Pacific Ocean, and is divided into two parts: the larger, northwestern part, Tahiti Nui, and the smaller, southeastern part, Tahiti Iti. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs.
Tahiti was originally settled by Polynesians between 300 and 800 BCE.
The island was part of the Kingdom of Tahiti until its annexation by France in 1880, when it was proclaimed a colony of France, and the inhabitants became French citizens.
Before the arrival of the Europeans the island was divided into different chiefdoms, very precise territories dominated by a single clan. These chiefdoms were linked to each other by allegiances based on the blood ties of their leaders and on their power in war. The most important clan on the island was the Teva, whose territory extended from the peninsula in the south of Tahiti Nui.
During the First World War, the Papeete region of the island was attacked by two German warships. A French gunboat as well as a captured German freighter were sunk in the harbour and the two German armoured cruisers bombarded the colony.
National Dance: 'Ote'a (sometimes written as Otea).
Language: French is the only official language, although the Tahitian language (Reo Tahiti) is widely spoken.
Religion: Predominantly Christian.
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