For centuries, the intrigue surrounding the South Seas was often attributed to one thing — the beauty of the Tahitian vahine. Captain James Cook and Joseph Banks wrote of their encounters with these exotic Polynesian women during their voyage in 1769; Fletcher Christian was so captivated by his attraction that he carried out the famous mutiny on the Bounty in 1789; and artists like Paul Gauguin later brought these creatures to life through their words, paintings and portraits.
Ever since, the vahine has become a popular icon for the islands of Tahiti. Over the years, her face has appeared on everything from posters and advertisements to books and product labels promoting the destination. We’ve put together a collection of these classic images so you too can bear witness to her beauty. Enjoy!