French Overseas islands : A short tour of the unique cultural aspects of the France of Three Oceans. The tradition of tattoos in Polynesia, the joyous hommage to the dead in the Antilles, the epic destiny of the rebel slaves of Reunion Island…The French overseas territories don’t forget their roots and cultivate the virtues of mixed cultures.
Each destination has its festive costumes (carnival in Guyana and in the French West Indies), its dances (the Beguine in the French West Indies or the Kasé Kô in Guyana, the famous Tamure, pronounced Tamuré in Tahiti), and its history, that includes colonization.
In the Pacific or in Guyana, it is the story of the autochthonous people: Melanesians in New Caledonia and Amerindian Polynesians of the Amazon. From the Mascareignes (Reunion Island) to the French West Indies, it is the history of slavery.
The increase of maritime commerce (stops by vessels of the Indian Company in Reunion) and the great plantations (sugar cane and coffee in Guadeloupe and Martinique) forged the destiny of certain far off islands starting in the mid 17th century.
Abolition came with the Treaty of the Blacks in 1848 thanks to the efforts of an Alsatian politician, Victor Schoelcher who liberated generations of Africans. In the past, thousands of rebels who escaped in the mountains or in the jungle have built the cultural identity of these territories, such as the Creole mixed culture.