The Top 10 Things to Bring Home from Tahiti

A trip to Tahiti wouldn’t be complete without bringing home a piece of the islands with you. In addition to the stunning pictures you’ll take and the many memories you’ll make, we suggest bringing back a few gifts for both yourself and your loved ones. To help you decide what to buy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to bring home from Tahiti.

  1. Black Pearls. Tahitian black pearls come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. We recommend visiting a pearl farm in Taha’a, Raiatea, Huahine or the Tuamotu Atolls to learn about the cultivation process and purchase one directly from the source. Or you can also shop at any of the Tahia Collins or Robert Wan jewelry boutiques located throughout the islands.

    Tahitian Black Pearls, SOURCE: Searching for Paradise
    Tahitian Black Pearls, SOURCE: Searching for Paradise
  2. Tahitian Vanilla. The vanilla in Tahiti is highly acclaimed for its fragrant, rich flavor. Gourmet chefs throughout the islands use it in many of their signature dishes; meaning you’ll be so inspired by the cuisine in Tahiti, you’ll want to add this delicious island spice to everything you cook at home.

    Vanilla Beans, PHOTO: Vanille de Tahiti
    Vanilla Beans, PHOTO: Vanille de Tahiti
  3. Monoï Oil. This naturally scented beauty product is made from coconut oil and infused with the fragrant tiare flower, or Tahitian gardenia. Used in almost every spa in Tahiti, this hydrating oil promotes smooth, healthy skin and represents the islands’ signature scent. It’s also available in other fragrances such as vanilla, coconut and banana.

    Monoï Oil, PHOTO: Monoï de Tahiti
    Monoï Oil, PHOTO: Monoï de Tahiti
  4. Tahitian Pareo. These are the colorful sarongs you’ll see the local women wearing. They come in a variety of vibrant colors and patterns and can be worn as a dress or a casual beach wrap. Not sure how to tie one? This video will show you 20 different ways to wear a Tahitian pareo.

    Tahitian Pareos, PHOTO: Roberto Bojorquez
    Tahitian Pareos, PHOTO: Roberto Bojorquez
  5. Tifaifai Quilts. These colorful, floral quilts are sewn by the famous island matriarchs, or Tahitian “mamas,” and used to wrap the bride and groom at the end of a traditional Polynesian wedding ceremony. Beyond their ceremonial use, they’re the perfect find if you’re looking to transform one of your bedrooms into a tropical island oasis.

    Tifaifai Quilt, PHOTO: Paul Gauguin Cruises
    Tifaifai Quilt, PHOTO: Paul Gauguin Cruises
  6. Wood Carvings. You’ll find a wide selection of wooden items including jewelry, serving bowls and platters, Tahitian drums known as pahu, and tikis meant to replicate the ancient statues found throughout the islands. Woodcarving is a true art form that originated in the Marquesas Islands, but today it is slightly more widespread. Woody Howard, for example, is a Hawaiian native that lives on the island of Moorea and sells his own original sculptures, guitars and ukuleles.

    Wooden Tiki, PHOTO: Jérôme Gallecier
    Wooden Tiki, PHOTO: Jérôme Gallecier
  7. Woven Items. The local women in Tahiti use dried pandanus and coconut leaves to weave baskets, purses, hats, mats, fans and a variety of other household items. As you’ll see below, some of these woven pieces can be quite intricate in their designs.

    Woven Hats, SOURCE: zuluboat.blogspot.com
    Woven Hats, SOURCE: zuluboat.blogspot.com
  8. Mother of Pearl. In addition to working with black pearls, jewelry artists in Tahiti are also known for carving beautiful earrings, necklaces and bracelets out of mother of pearl. You’ll find a variety of shapes and designs, including pendants made to look like sea turtles and Tahitian tiare flowers.

    Mother of Pearl, PHOTO: Pearls Krisana
    Mother of Pearl, PHOTO: Pearls Krisana
  9. Tahitian Tattoo. Should you decide to commemorate this trip of a lifetime with something that lasts a lifetime, an authentic Polynesian tattoo will definitely do the trick. James Samuela, owner of Moorea Tattoo, is a native Tahitian whose ancestors were among the first tattoo artists in Tahiti. Today, he’s one of the last few artists in French Polynesia that still practices traditional Polynesian tattoo.

    Tahitian Tattoo, PHOTO: Ty Sawyer
    Tahitian Tattoo, PHOTO: Ty Sawyer
  10. Local Artwork. Once home to French painter Paul Gauguin, Tahiti is an artist’s inspiration. You can find a variety of original artwork, including colorful paintings of island landscapes and local Polynesia people, all created by French and Tahitian resident artists. Who knows, maybe you’ll stumble upon the next Paul Gauguin!

    Tahitian Landscape by Paul Gauguin
    Tahitian Landscape by Paul Gauguin
nicolegriffith

14 thoughts on “The Top 10 Things to Bring Home from Tahiti

  1. Aloha! I am curious about the wooden tiki shown on your “Top 10 Things to Bring Home from Tahiti” link. Do you happen to know the artist, or do you have a link to a site? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Wow, I actually didn’t know that monoi oil from Tahiti can actually help have smooth, healthy skin and is usually used in a lot of spas. I’m a bit interested to learn if this could possibly help with dry skin problems as well. That, or it could be good to learn more about how fast acting this oil is.

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