Protected by its warriors, the island resisted colonization until conquered by France in 1888. In 1946, Polynesia, including the Society Islands, became an overseas territory of France. By 1958, it became French Polynesia.
The USA discovered Bora Bora during World War II. The American military used the island as a supply base in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
The 5,000 GIs set up coastal defense guns to protect against a possible surprise attack by Japan. They also built the road that hugs the coastline and the island’s first airfield on Motu Mute.
Bora Bora’s worldwide reputation has been built by artists, writers and navigators. American author Herman Melville wrote stories about Polynesian life in 1846 and 1847.
In the 1890s, French artist Paul Gauguin published an illustrated book called Noa Noa, telling the story of the Areori who resided on Bora Bora, and of the God’s first miracle creation Noa (fragrance).
This is a truly special place, so far away from anywhere.