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The islands of Tahiti lie in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. It is probably the best known of all the Polynesian Islands. Tahiti is part of what is now known as French Polynesia, although we have treated it here, as a separate nation, due to the ties Tahiti has with other Pacific countries, such as Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands.

The Spanish and the Dutch were first Europeans to visit the inslands, making daring voyages through the various archipelagos of the Pacific during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1767, the English Capt. Samuel Wallis was the first European to discover Tahiti. Bougainville followed in 1768, Capt. Cook in 1769 and Capain William Bligh, of "Bounty" mutiny fame, in 1788.

Tahiti was ruled by the Pomare dynasty until 1880, when the islands became a French colony. In 1957, French Polynesia became a French Overseas Territory and has been internally autonomous since 1984.

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French Polynesia Links
Journal du Pacifique Sud
Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia - 1920 Nautical Chart (Univ. of California at Berkeley)
Tahiti Explorer
Tahiti Pacifique
The Tahiti Traveler - Tahiti Friendship Society


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