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THE rahui - Protected marine or terrestrial reserve
The “Rahui” is a concept associated with the “Tapu” (sacred), which was a traditional institution that contained a set of rules of life, practices, restrictions and rites to be respected. These codes instituted by kings, chiefs or priests enabled the survival and cohesion of the Polynesian community through their leadership roles.
This Tapu notion of the Rahui, under the gaze of the gods, was sacralized through ceremonies in which rules and restrictions were put in place, also involving the sanction to which the transgressors would expose themselves up to the death penalty. These prohibitions and restrictions thus enabled the protection of the environment and of both terrestrial and aquatic animal and plant species. The Rahui could be established temporarily or permanently in a specific area or in a wider way.
Still today, all these practices have returned to use facing the over-consumption and demographic pressure of our society.
In ancient times the Rahui area was materialized by distinctive markings (stick, leaf bouquet or fruit) indicating the area of prohibition from fishing or picking fruit. Nowadays, modern means such as sea beacons are used to indicate the protected area. Thus protected species could quietly reproduce and repopulate the area allowing for an abundance of resources on the day of the Rahui.
The end of the Rahui was the occasion for great rejoicing and reunion of the population during which each one brought a share of his fishing or his harvest in order to share this moment of joy.
The Rahui was therefore beyond the restriction (more over the sanction) was above all a social and economic model that enabled the survival and growth of Polynesian society.
The French Polynesia Post office, Fare rata is proud to present to you through this stamp issue, this complex notion of Rahui, which was a pillar of our ancestral society.

Unit price: 180 FCFP (1,51 €)
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