Cultural Specialist icon Cultural Specialist

Matahi Tutavae

Matahi was born in Tahiti and grew up on the island of Moorea for most of his childhood and teenage life. After his high school years, he spent 2 and a half years in Auckland, New Zealand to study tourism management at Unitec Institute of Technology. After getting his diploma he decided to enroll at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (Big Island) to study environmental sciences. After 2 years he went home to complete a year at the French Polynesia university with the credits earned in Hawaii and completed a degree in Geography and History.

In Hawaii Matahi was introduced to ancestral navigation with Makali'i crew. Later he got the opportunity, with others, to co-found and be the first president of Tahiti Voyaging Society, and to sail on their own double hulled canoe "Faafaite".

Navigation and wayfinding got him into his current job: film making. He discovered that when capturing their voyages and exchanges with other island communities. He worked 8 years as a reporter and news anchor for the local television (TNTV) and since 2019 he has created his own company, “Arere Media”. Matahi is now a free-lance film maker, however storytelling is more than a job to him, it is a way to connect traditional wisdom and practices to their modern lifestyle. Linking hard science to ancestral science is also one of his objectives. As a native Tahitian, he is fortunate to access the elders' stories in his native tongue. He feels lucky to have been sent to diverse places on assignment to shoot and produce stories on native communities around the Pacific including Hawaii, Solomon, Samoa, Aotearoa, Seattle, Santa Barbara as well as in all the archipelagoes of French Polynesia.