Véronique Hunkin Tomasi "Tiare"

In 1963 my parents and some friends decided to go on vacation with a revolutionary Travel group: Le Club.Med. The new destination, a concept of local bungalow in the South Pacific: Tahiti, the Village of Moorea. As soon as the plane doors open to Tahiti FAAA Airport, the warm air is mixed with scented flowers and aviation fuel. A vision of tropical trees, bright moon and white waves on the reef stunned them. In the terminal each passenger was given leis of Tiare flowers around their necks and crowns of Gardenia on their heads by Tahitian Vahine. In the meantime three men were singing and playing Ukuleles; Ia'Orana, Manava and Maeva in Tahiti… Welcome in Paradise!

Upon their arrival they became natives because they lost all of their luggage in L.A. They enjoyed this adventure for more than 3 months visiting all the Islands by boat and seaplane. They were totally captivated by the warmth and exuberance of the local people and the liberating lifestyle. They shared the happiness, dancing and singing and learned the legends and living with their local friends became part of the Maori culture. Polynesian people live life without questioning it. They don't take anything seriously, they play and laugh. They are quick to pick up mechanical things. They are wonderful navigators. You can recognize where the man come from by their tattoos. They know how to fish and plant with the moon. They are very observant and funny, brilliant mimics talking with their eyebrows. Very spiritual, they don't speak a lot, they just say: "Wait and see"…or remain silent. They express their feelings with the rhythm of the drums and the dance during their many rituals celebrating their daily lives, as well as when there are welcoming visitors. They are the most relaxed people ever in the world. Tahiti is the only place where it is shameful to be skinny.

People are happy with their fat! Like migratory birds on a long journey over the ocean, Polynesian people survive over miles of ocean living off their fat. Skinny people would not last a day in the canoe. On those small islands everybody knows what everybody else is up to, but Maori people are non-judgmental. The only thing they can feel guilty for is when they have to work instead of taking a nap.

My family truly loved the wonderful spirit of this paradise rich with vibrant colors, exceptional beauty and sensuality. They came back with lots of exotic souvenirs and a terrible nostalgia. Some of them return again in 1974. My Godmother Simone and her husband Dr Jean-Paul Lintilhac, internationally famous cosmetic surgeon who had dedicated his life to feminine beauty, traded Paris for the South Pacific and decided to live in French Polynesia for ever. They created an Esthetic Clinic in Papeete.

People came from all over the world to see him. Because of the similarity of the material used in grafting and in micro surgery, Dr Jean-Paul Lintilhac had a personal interest in the subject of the development of the cultured pearl. His remarkable work on the pearls of Polynesia extended a better knowledge of the black pearls and opened appreciation for this natural and beautiful jewel. He wrote a wonderful book, "The Black Pearl of Tahiti" in 1987.

This book served as a reference work on the black pearl of Tahiti, symbol of Polynesian wealth and beauty. Now you know where I come from with my passion for Tahiti. I grow up with all the exotic temper from the Islands and I thank my family for it. I have been listening to Tahitian music, painting Polynesian landscapes and portraits all my life. Now I am living in Los Angeles under the Polynesian culture. My husband is Samoan born in Hawaii. He brought me all his wonderful hope and good energy. He helped me with his sincerity and spirituality. Mika is a good man, a living messenger of peace and love. He is so cool! For two years I have been designing my Polynesian custom made casual jewelry line in the spirit of thanks and gratitude. I thank the Lord and I made a promise to give a contribution of 10% of my sales helping local children organizations in their Islands. Polynesian People are wonderful, they have a spiritual awareness of nature and themselves. They have long lives side by side with nature and are in tune with the element.

I would like to thank as well all my family and friends who helped me in their own way during the preparation of my new work. God bless you.

Véronique