Today the canoe, like the tatoo, has become one of the strong emblems of the ma’ohi identity. But you have to dissociate two different forms of identity representation.

First, the canoe race, where a new representation of the paddler is born, the ‘aito, a champion who became a TV or an advert star.

That advertising has follow the canoe evolution: it has passed from the conventional representation of the exotic symbol to the exaltation of the physical effort and the glorification of the polynesians values.

The second is about the identity representation. The double-hulled canoe has become the emblem of French Polynesia. « the canoe, an attribute of kings and chefs was the symbol by excellence for polynesians where the interests, ambitions of all men have crystallized. » written in the report about the choice of the emblem at the territorial Assembly of November 23th, 1984.

  1. Envelope first day and stamp illustrating the « ma’ohi world » by the presentation of a ancient hawaiian canoe.
  2. Advertising for a hotel in the ‘60
  3. Logotypes inspired by the French Polynesia seal
  4. Imagery of presentation, Hawaiki Nui Race, 2003.
  5. French Polynesia seal.
  6. Stamps recreating the Hawaiki Nui Va’a canoe.
  7. Advert for Astra, archives collection of French Polynesia.