What was Bora Bora originally called?
Bora Bora, a mesmerizing island located in French Polynesia, has captured the hearts of travelers around the world with its turquoise lagoons, lush greenery, and pristine beaches. But have you ever wondered what Bora Bora was called before it became the renowned paradise that it is today?
The original name of Bora Bora was “Pora Pora,” which means “first-born” in the Tahitian language. It is believed that the island was named Pora Pora because it was the first in a series of islands that emerged from the waters of Raiatea, the spiritual center of Polynesia.
Legend has it that early settlers arrived in Bora Bora from Raiatea and, amazed by its natural beauty, named it Pora Pora to denote its significance as the first-born among the sister islands. Over time, the name evolved into Bora Bora, likely due to mispronunciation or simplification by foreign visitors and missionaries.
FAQs about the origin of Bora Bora’s name:
1. Why was Bora Bora originally called Pora Pora?
The early settlers believed that Bora Bora was the first island to rise from the ocean after Raiatea. They named it Pora Pora, meaning “first-born” in Tahitian.
2. How did the name change from Pora Pora to Bora Bora?
The evolution of the name from Pora Pora to Bora Bora is attributed to mispronunciation or simplification by foreign visitors and missionaries.
3. What is the significance of the name Pora Pora?
The naming of Bora Bora as Pora Pora signifies its status as the first-born island emerging from Raiatea. It holds cultural significance within the Polynesian community.
4. Is the name Bora Bora used by the locals as well?
Yes, Bora Bora is now widely recognized and used both by locals and tourists to refer to the island. It has become the official name of this breathtaking destination.
5. Are there any other names associated with Bora Bora?
While Bora Bora is the name most commonly used, the island is also known as Vava’u in other Polynesian dialects.
6. What are some other popular names in French Polynesia?
French Polynesia is home to several stunning islands, each with its own unique name. Some popular ones include Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, and Huahine.
7. How did Bora Bora gain its popularity as a tourist destination?
Bora Bora gained recognition as a popular tourist destination through its vibrant marine ecosystem, luxurious overwater bungalows, and picturesque landscape, attracting visitors from all over the world.
8. Does the name Bora Bora have any particular meaning?
Despite its origins as a mispronunciation of Pora Pora, the name Bora Bora does not carry a specific meaning in the Tahitian language.
9. Is Bora Bora part of French Polynesia?
Yes, Bora Bora is one of the islands that make up the overseas collectivity of French Polynesia. It falls under the jurisdiction of France.
10. What makes Bora Bora a popular honeymoon destination?
Bora Bora’s romantic ambiance, idyllic setting, and luxurious resorts make it a sought-after honeymoon destination. Couples are enchanted by its beauty and intimate atmosphere.
11. Are there any cultural events or traditions unique to Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is known for its vibrant culture, which includes traditional dances, music, and art. The Heiva Festival, celebrated annually, showcases these customs and serves as a testament to the island’s rich heritage.
12. What are the must-visit attractions in Bora Bora?
Apart from its stunning beaches and azure waters, Bora Bora offers attractions such as Mount Otemanu, Matira Point, Bora Bora Lagoonarium, and various water activities like snorkeling and diving.
These frequently asked questions provide insight into the origins of Bora Bora’s name and highlight its cultural significance within French Polynesia. As one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, Bora Bora continues to captivate and enchant travelers with its unparalleled beauty and charm.