On one of the finger-like peninsulas jutting from Ra'iatea's southeastern coast, an ancient marae bears witness to more than a millennium of sacred gatherings. A touchstone for Polynesian spirituality and culture for thousands of miles, Marae Taputapuatea sits in the middle of the "Polynesian Triangle," which reaches from Hawaii in the north to New Zealand and Easter Island at the bottom of the triangle, with Tahiti, the Marquesas, Tonga, and Samoa all inside.
Taputapuatea translates to “sacrifices from abroad.” Chiefs, priests, and warriors traveled long distances from other island nations to meet at the renowned site, which was dedicated to the god of war, Oro. Taputapuatea has long had far-reaching importance and even if voyagers were just passing by, it was tradition to stop there to pay their respects. Marae on other islands were even built from Taputapuatea’s sacred stones.