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International Women´s rights day 2021
Beyond the idyllic image of the Polynesian woman laying on our beautiful beaches or refreshing herself on the banks of a river in the hollow of a green valley, the vahine is also a warrior.

Thus, she has her place in the traditional sports competition called “heiva tû’aro mâ’ohi” organized every year in July. This competition now brings together nearly 30 associations and more than 850 licensees, spread over the 5 archipelagos of
Polynesia.

Sports practiced like coconut tree climbing (pa’umara’a ha’ari), stone lifting (’âmora’a ‘ôfa’i), javelin throwing (pâtia fâ), coconut peeling (puha), fruit carrier racing (tîmau râ’au), not to mention the canoe regattas (Va’a Taie) embody the most
authentic and spectacular Polynesian ancestral traditions. A “women” category is dedicated in each discipline.

The race of fruit carriers is held in the garden of Paofai park in the capital of Papeete. The event brings together more than 130 competitors from all the archipelagos of Polynesia, but also from the islands of the South Pacific, such as New Zealand,
Hawaii, Easter Island, Tonga, Samoa or Fiji.

The races are divided into five categories with that of women (vahine), seniors (Tu Hou), champions (aito), and juniors
(Feia Api).

The loads must be made of plant material only, and measure between 120 and 150 cm with a weight ranging from 20 to 50 kg depending on the category. Adding to the difficulty, competitors must dress in local attire and run barefoot. The women run
700 m with a load of 15 kg and the men run 1 400 m with 50 kg on their shoulders.

The heiva tû’aro mâ’ohi is above all, a moment of sharing and conviviality, but also an opportunity to promote the culture and specificity of each competitor’s islands. In general, it ends in joy with a great meal “ma'a tahiti” and traditional dances.

Through this philatelic program, the Polynesian post office, Fare Rata, pays tribute to the courageous and
combative Polynesian woman, pillar of our society.

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Unit price: 190 FCFP (1,59 €)
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