Touring some of the French Polynesian Islands provided insight into the geography of the place and its culture, but as always, I am more interested in the people from foreign lands. In our previous three articles in this series, part 1; Part 2; Part 3, I focused on the exotic Polynesian women.
But what about the men? With tanned, smooth clear skin, they are every much as exotic as the women. You can’t help noticing their skin because similar to the women, some wear the pareu—a wraparound rectangular cloth—worn mainly around the waist, thus exposing their upper bodies and parts of their legs. More flesh is exposed when some step out in loin cloths only (I will cover this in another article).
Christopher Columbus is said to have described Jamaica (the place where I grew up) as the “Land of wood and water,” suggesting it is lush and green with refreshing rivers and blue seas. It certainly is. But putting all biases aside, there are some other islands that I have visited which are more beautiful with the bluest, clearest seas—the French Polynesian Islands. Looking at the ocean in Boro Boro and Moorea, the beauty took by breath away.
Still, while I basked in the sun and soaked up the crystal clear turquoise seas of many shades, the people attracted me the most. As I continued my exploration of these islands, I attended a show at the Tiki Village Theatre in Moorea. In one of the performances, two virile-looking Polynesian men entered the theatre carrying a large, closed oyster shell. The audience held its breath. What on earth is in that thing? Maybe some prehistoric creature we have never heard about! The men placed the shell on the ground in the centre of the theatre. They tapped it. The shell slowly opened. Out stepped—not a prehistoric creature—a most exotic French Polynesian woman. Applause.
The word exotic conjures up vivid images of aura, beauty, culture, and colour; we were witnessing these feelings as we looked on. I asked myself, is it any wonder that Gauguin did not want to leave this paradise?
As mentioned in our part 1 of this series of articles, the Polynesian women do not require makeup—eye shadow, mascara, lipstick, base, and anything false are unnecessary; they are simply, naturally beautiful, simply exotic.