Pōmare IV

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Pōmare IV
Queen Pomare.jpg
Queen of Tahiti
Reign11 January 1827 – 17 September 1877
PredecessorPōmare III
SuccessorPōmare V
RegentTeriʻitariʻa Ariʻipaeavahine
Teriʻitoʻoterai Teremoemoe
Council of Chiefs
Born(1813-02-28)28 February 1813
Pare, Tahiti
Died17 September 1877(1877-09-17) (aged 64)
Royal Palace, Papeete, Tahiti
Pōmare Royal Cemetery, Papaʻoa, ʻArue
SpouseTapoa II
among others
Pōmare V
Teriʻimaevarua II
Tamatoa V
Punuariʻi Teriʻitapunui
Teriʻitua Tuavira
Full name
ʻAimata Pōmare IV Vahine-o-Punuateraʻitua
HouseHouse of Pōmare
FatherPōmare II
MotherTeriʻitoʻoterai Tere-moe-moe
SignaturePōmare IV's signature
Queen Pōmare IV, portrait by Charles Giraud, Musée du quai Branly.
Queen Pomare's Palace, Tahiti (LMS, 1869, p.30)[1]
Queen Pōmare IV, portrait by Charles Giraud, Musée de Tahiti et des Îles.

Pōmare IV (28 February 1813 – 17 September 1877), more properly ʻAimata Pōmare IV Vahine-o-Punuateraʻitua (otherwise known as ʻAimata – "eye-eater", after an old custom of the ruler to eat the eye of the defeated foe[2]), was the Queen of Tahiti between 1827 and 1877. She was the fourth monarch of the Kingdom of Tahiti.


Pōmare was the daughter of Pōmare II and Teriʻitoʻoterai Tere-moe-moe, his second wife. Her grandfather was Pōmare I.

She succeeded as ruler of Tahiti after the death of her brother Pōmare III when she was only 13 years old.


In 1843, the French declared Tahiti a French protectorate and installed a governor at Papeete. She fought in vain against French intervention, writing to the King Louis Philippe I of France and Queen Victoria, asking in vain for British intervention, and exiling herself to Raiatea in protest.[3] What followed was the bloody French-Tahitian War which lasted from 1843 to 1847, involving every kingdom of the Society Islands. The Tahitians suffered many casualties, but the French losses were also great. Although the British never assisted the Tahitians, they actively condemned France and war nearly broke between the two powers in the Pacific. These conflicts ended in the defeat of the Tahitian forces at the Fort of Fautaua. The French were victorious, but they weren't able to annex the island due to diplomatic pressure from Great Britain, so Tahiti and Moorea continued to be ruled under the French protectorate. A clause to the war settlement was that Queen Pōmare's allies in Huahine, Raiatea, and Bora Bora would be allowed to remain independent.[4][5][6]

Pōmare IV eventually relented and ruled under the French administration from 1847 until 1877. Pōmare IV is buried in the Royal Mausoleum, Papaʻoa, ʻArue. She was succeeded by Pōmare V, who reigned 1877–1880.


In December 1822, Pōmare married the future King Tapoa II of Taha'a and Bora Bora; this marriage was childless and ended with the Queen repudiating the marriage on the ground that he was sterile.[7][8] She remarried on 5 December 1832, to her first cousin, Tenaniʻa Ariʻifaʻaite a Hiro (10 January 1820 – 6 August 1873).[9] By her second husband, she had issue:

  1. A boy (1833, died young).[10][11]
  2. Henry Pōmare (August 1835, died young).[10][11]
  3. Ariʻiaue Pōmare (12 August 1838 – 10 May 1856), Crown Prince of Tahiti, Ariʻi of Afaʻahiti.[9]
  4. Pōmare V (3 November 1839 – 12 June 1891), succeeded as King of Tahiti.[9]
  5. Teriʻimaevarua II (23 May 1841 – 12 February 1873), succeeded as Queen of Bora Bora.[9]
  6. Tamatoa V (23 September 1842 – 30 September 1881), succeeded as King of Ra'iātea.[9]
  7. Victoria Pōmare-vahine (1844 – June 1845).[12][13][14]
  8. Punuariʻi Teriʻitapunui Pōmare (20 March 1846 – 18 September 1888), Ariʻi of Mahina and President of the Tahitian High Court.[9][15]
  9. Teriʻitua Tuavira Pōmare (17 December 1847 – 9 April 1875), Ariʻirahi of Hitiaʻa, called the "Prince of Joinville".[9]
  10. Tevahitua Pōmare (1850/1852, died young).[16][10][17]



  1. ^ London Missionary Society, ed. (1869). Fruits of Toil in the London Missionary Society. London: John Snow & Co. p. 30. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. ^ Sand, Elin "Woman Ruler: Woman Rule" pg. 289
  3. ^ Patricia O'Brien "Think of Me as a Woman: Queen Pomare of Tahiti and Anglo-French Imperial Contest in the 1840s Pacific", Gender and History, Vol. 18 No. 1 April 2006: 108–129doi:10.1111/j.1468-0424.2006.00417.x
  4. ^ Matt K. Matsuda (2005). "Society Islands: Tahitian Archives". Empire of Love: Histories of France and the Pacific. Oxford University Press. pp. 91–112. ISBN 0-19-516294-3.
  5. ^ Ward & Gooch 1922, pp. 182–185.
  6. ^ La guerre franco-tahitienne (1844–1846). Histoire de l'Assemblée de la Polynésie française
  7. ^ Cuzent 1860, pp. 46-47.
  8. ^ Mortimer 1838, pp. 379-382.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Henry & Orsmond 1928, p. 249–250.
  10. ^ a b c Christopher Buyers Page 4. "Tahiti: The Pomare Dynasty Genealogy". Royal Ark web site. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  11. ^ a b Pritchard 1983, p. 225.
  12. ^ London Missionary Society 1845, p. 252.
  13. ^ London Missionary Society 1846, pp. 248-251.
  14. ^ Mortimer 1869, p. 422.
  15. ^ Pritchard 1983, p. 226.
  16. ^ Société des Études Océaniennes 1977, p. 75.
  17. ^ "The Polynesian". The Polynesian. 16 April 1859. Retrieved 30 June 2013.

Further reading[edit]


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Pōmare III
Queen of Tahiti
Succeeded by
Pōmare V