Iaorana Tahiti Expéditions is a small business created and owned by Teuai Lenoir. He is the main tour guide.
Fluent in French, English and Tahitian, Teuai was born on Rurutu, in the Austral Islands. Passionate about his home country, he is proud of his culture and ancestry, a subject which he has researched in depth. He is immersed in the vibrant Polynesian culture, which he lives day to day. He is among those responsible for the cultural renaissance of the 1980s, in particular through tattooing or "tatau", an art that has now become globally appreciated. He got his first tattoo at the age of 14, by hand, the traditional way, by renowned tattoo-artist Tavana Salmon.
He has also participated in traditional voyaging expeditions, from the « marae » Taputapuatea, in Raiatea, which is the ceremonial site considered to be the starting point of different waves of Polynesian migration, and is also the centre of the Polynesian triangle, the three corners being represented by Hawaii (Hava'i), New Zealand (Te Ao Tea Roa) and Easter Island (Rapa Nui).
An artist, athlete and certified professional guide, Teuai is the perfect person to share with you his love of everything « maohi » (tahitian).
Teuai is a professional dancer and "Raatira" (dance group leader/orator) and has toured on international circuits between 1985 and 2014 with different Polynesian dance ("ori tahiti") groups. He won best dance group leader "Raatira tiatia" in the 2014 Heiva with Tumata Robinson’s dance group "Tahiti Ora". The "Heiva" is a cultural festival held annually on Tahiti and her islands, in the month of July.
He has starred in traditional performances, most notably, in July 2015, he took the role of chief of the "Mamaia" in "Aroha mamaia" which was enacted on the "marae" Arahurahu. He excels in the art of the “Orero” (Polynesian orator) and is both a talented Tahitian dancer and choreographer.
For the Heiva 2016, Teuai, who's also choregrapher and costume maker, has created his own dance group with other cultural and artistic leaders (author-composer, choreographer, musicians), by the name of "Tahiti Ia Ruru Tu Noa" that can be translated as:"Tahiti, join together and awaken !"
Teuai's troupe won the Heiva 2016 in category amateur and from now on, it will perform in pro category.
Long live Teuai’s new dance troupe!
In 2017, the group won the 3rd prize in pro category and also the 1st prize for the vegetal costume. In 2018, the troupe performed at the Hieva 2018 in July and at the Hura Tapairu in December, for which it was finalist in Mehura category.
He’s a stalwart of the "tuaro maohi" (traditional Polynesian sports), Teuai has won numerous titles over more than twenty years of competition. He also enjoys cycling, running and outrigger paddling. He is a natural mountain-walker and has followed a training course, qualifying him as an outdoor guide, capable of leading hiking groups in the mountains.
His knowledge and practice of traditional Polynesian arts have earned him the title of "Tane Tuhaa Pae" (Mister Austral Islands) and "Tane Tahiti" (Mister Tahiti) on two separate occasions, in 1994 and 2000.
The tour guide :
Teuai is a fully qualified outdoor and mountain activities guide for he sucessfully did a full-time training course as a guide during 6 months in 2015, regarding flora, fauna, safety in mountain... He also has the required certificate for professional ground transport.
He is regularly asked to with media crews filming cultural documentaries (Discovery Channel, National Geographic...), Teuai worked previously as a cultural tour guide on the cruise ship "MS Paul Gauguin". He has now decided to stick to dry land and share the art of Polynesian living and allow you to share his experience of Tahiti.
IA ORA TO'U FENUA !
IA ORA TE MANA !
IA ORA NA TAHITI !