Posts Tagged ‘raerae

28
Mar
08

The Third Sex of French Polynesia

rae_rae_tahiti_livre.jpgIn Bora Bora a few of the service staff were conspicuously tall women whom the trained eye revealed to be men, and who represent ‘the third sex’ in the islands.

According to Francois Bauer, for centuries, traditional families in French Polynesia raised their eldest son as a woman, or Mahu, believing him to have divine qualities, and the best traits of both sexes.

In the 1960’s, when the French began nuclear testing in Tahiti, there weren’t enough women to entertain all of the soldiers, so many of the local men became women. Now that’s what I call hospitality.

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