French Polynesian Culture: Mana
Strength, power, influence, supremacy, greatness, sovereignty, omnipotence, prestige, control, genius, authority, superiority, nobility, stature, presence, elegance, beauty … the list goes on and on.
These words define the Mana in a precise situation, a particular context, from a specific point of view. Mana is a mythical and essential concept in Tahiti culture, a fundamental truth. It’s both tangible and intangible, expressive yet imperceptible, revealing but enigmatic, so natural but also mysterious and esoteric.
Mana lives, animates, raises up, ennobles and transcends every thing, every being, every element in every dimension; it can also annihilate, ruin and destroy until the last vital vibration.
Mana is seducing, enchanting, glamorous, penetrating, fascinating. The Mana is frightening, dangerous, consuming, lethal.
It is the root of the duality of life and death.
It is the essence of the universal power, the heart of the Polynesian universe and Polynesian culture, the beings bringing it to life, the elements shaping it, the existential, cultural and spiritual values which created the Polynesian/Mā’ohi who glorifies this universe.
The Mana is purity (ma); it arises from the life, humility, respect, dignity, love, sharing, beauty, goodness and peace of the beings and things that merge harmoniously in this Mā’ohi universe.
The Mana is wisdom (na/na’a); it emanates from the empirical, technical and ancestral knowledge, from the common sense arising out of the inalienable link between man and his environment for the people of Tahiti, from the faith in the divine, the state of grace that every thing and every being can reach through a spiritual, cultural and profane quest for the universal Mana, the promise to be reborn wiser, purer and more powerful.
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