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The Crown of the Kingdom of Tahiti

The Crown of the Kingdom of Tahiti

The Kingdom of Tahiti was founded when the chieftain Pōmare unified the islands of Tahiti, Moʻorea, Tetiaroa, Mehetia with help from the famous Captain Cook (and his vastly superior weapons and ships).  British missionaries and tradesmen subsequently helped Pomare and his heirs consolidate authority over the islands (in exchange for certain concessions and favors).  When King Pōmare III ascended to the throne in 1824, the London Missionary Society presented this crown to the monarch for use at the coronation. The somewhat unprepossessing crown of King Pōmare III is velvet and gilded metal. Though not especially regal, the royal headdress is at least very clearly labeled as the crown of Tahiti.  When the French outfoxed the British and claimed suzerainty over the islands, the kings and queens of Tahiti lost influence and were forced to abdicate in 1880.  Since then the crown of the Kingdom of Tahiti has become a museum piece and, indeed, it can today be found in the “Musée de Tahiti et des Îles” in Punaauia (should you inexplicably wish to see it).

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