Pomare Dynasty and Adoption

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The Royal Family of Tahiti


The Pomare family dominated the politics of Tahiti from 1793 until 1880. The family genealogy shows a large number of adoptions. This is probably typical of Polynesian royal families, as adoption (see also tamaiti whangai) is common in Polynesia. See the entry for the royal house of Hawai'i, the Kawananakoa dynasty; and also that for the Chinese Qing dynasty, for an example from another, very different culture. The following is a list of adopted members of the family:

Tapoa U, 1810-1861 (King of Bora Bora, 1861). Adopted into the dynasty by Pomare II, king of Tahiti, and married Pomare's daughter 'Aimata.

Teriimaevarua, 1841-1873 (Queen of Bora Bora). Daughter of King Pomare IV and adopted by Tapoa II, king of Bora Bora from 1860 to 1873.

Tamatoa V, 1842-1881 (King of Ra'iatea, 1857-1871). Son of Pomare IV, King of Tahiti and adopted by Tamatoa IV, King of Ra'iatea.

Teriihinoiatua, 1869-1916. Grandson of King Pomare IV and adopted by King Pomare V, his uncle.

Teriimaevarua II, 1871-1931 (Queen of Bora Bora, 1873-1888). Daughter of King Tamatoa V of Rai'atea and adopted by Teriimaevarua I, whom she succeeded as queen.

Teriinavaharoa, 1877-?. Daughter of Tamatoa V and adopted by Teriitapunui, son of Pomare IV.

Tita. Great granddaughter of King Tamatoa V and adopted by Terii Nui o Tahiti. Monique Salmon. Granddaughter of King Pomare V and adopted by her aunt, Ari'imahinihi.


Stevenson, Karen. Artifacts of the Pomare Family. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Art Gallery, 1981), p. 6-7 Newbury, Colin. Tahiti Nui: Change and Survival in French Polynesia, 1767-1945. (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1980) Craig, Robert D. Historical Dictionary of Polynesia. (Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1993) (Oceanian Historical Dictionaries; no. 2) Mrs. Brassey. A Voyage in the "Sunbeam:" Our Home on the Ocean for Eleven Months. New ed, (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1879) "Queen Teriimaevarua II: Death in Tahiti," Pacific Islands Monthly, 3(6) (January 1933), p. 20