The major history of Papeete began relatively recently in terms of the timeline of human history when the tribal cultures of the area formed under a dynasty known as the Pomare dynasty.  The first king of the dynasty took control of the area at the end of the eighteenth century, and the dynasty ruled for approximately one hundred years.  At the beginning of the nineteenth century, British settlers began to move in to the area and the native tribal cultures began to be eradicated.

The last major queen of the Pomare dynasty was Pomare IV who made Papeete the capital of dynasty in the 1820’s, developing the area in to a major local city.  She ruled until 1877, although beginning in 1842, France gained official control of the area.  She was briefly succeeded by Pomare V who ruled for only three years.  

Although the British and French moved in to the area, modern attention did not shift there until it was made relatively famous by painter Paul Gaugin who moved there from France and painted scenes of the local life of the area.  Readers interested in this part of the area’s history should consider reading “The Moon and Sixpence” ( ) by Somerset Maugham which is a fictional depiction of Gaugin’s experience.