Musée de Tahiti et des Îles
Puna'auia, French Polynesia
Musée de Tahiti et des ÎlesSomehow, while Europeans were still afraid of falling off the edge of the earth, the Polynesians explored and settled the Pacific, sailing about in giant double-hulled canoes known as pahi. They also found time to make really cool art. At the Musée de Tahiti et des Îles, you can get a feeling for what Tahiti was like in the centuries before Captain Cook. The excellent collection includes ritual objects and plenty of canoes (though sadly, not one of the great pahi). You’ll also see lots of tattooing equipment: Tahitians were masters of the craft.