Accueil > Français > Sites historiques, archéologiques et légendaires. > Les sites archéologiques de ‘Ōpūnohu à Mo’orea > ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES OF ’ŌPŪNOHU, MO’OREA > ARCHERY PLATFORMS

ARCHERY PLATFORMS

ARCHERY PLATFORMS

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The Heiva te’a (archery game)
It was reserved for the male elite of ari’i (chiefs), ’aito (warriors) and ra’atira (land
owners).
The related sacred rituals explain the necessary presence of a marae nearby.

Vāhi te’a (shooting area)
The aim was to shoot further than 240 m, in a carefully cleared shooting corridor. At
the front of the platform, knee down, the archer bent its bow, with the arrow facing
upwards.
Stationed on tree top on each side of the corridor, young men would follow the course
of the arrow, and shouted to signal that the arrow had just passed by. Several judgereferees would validate the shooting, announcing the result by waiving flags.

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The gear
- Puipui te’a : the quiver is made of one piece, between two bamboo nodes with a
diameter of around 5 cm. Often painted or engraved, it is capped by a small coconut
shell.
- Te’a : the bamboo arrows measure between 40 to 90 cm. Their sharp points are made of ’aito wood (iron wood, Casuarina equisetifolia).
- Fana : the bow is cut in the heart of pūrau wood (Hibiscus tiliaceus), which is light
and sturdy. Its string is woven with rō’ā fibres (Pipturus argenteus).

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Archery platforms
The trapezoid-shaped structure made of basalt stones is not very high : the highest
elevation is one metre at the most.
The architecture is characterized by the concave shape of the frontal part. Stones are
erected at the angles of the platform. A T-shaped unpaved space delineates the area
where the archer can move and shoot. At the centre, one or more upright stones show
where the shooting area is located.
In the valleys, these structures often face a cleared hill slope.
In ’Ōpūnohu, three archery platforms have been listed, including these two at Fare-
’aito.

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