Îles Tuamotu et Gambier Local Custom Tips by Geisha_Girl
Îles Tuamotu et Gambier Local Customs: 5 reviews and 5 photos
Check out his oyster!
Once the oyster is selected, a nucleus, or tiny mother-of-pearl sphere from the shell of a Mississippi River mussel, is then attached to tissue from the oyster and placed inside the animal's gonad.
If all goes well, the tiny graft grows around the nucleus and slowly forms the layer upon layer of black pearl.
These oysters are placed inside cages to protect them from predators, while being constantly inspected and cleaned.
They say only 20% of the oysters "impregnated" with a nucleus ever produce salable pearls, and only 5 % of the harvest bear perfect pearls.
Not just an aphrodisiac anymore!
Making pearls is an intriguing process: Three to five year-old oysters are collected by divers and selected for the pearl cultivation.
Protected by Predators
Tahitian pearls are cultivated in the "Black Lipped" oyster that is a warm water species. These oysters can be found mainly in the atolls of French Polynesia.
Fakarava is home to one of the oldest pearl farms of the Tuamotus. These farmers generally raise their oysters in specially designated areas......in the lagoons in which they normally lived.
Pearls are a girl's "other" best friend!
The cultivation of the Black Pearl has become an important source of income for French Polynesia.
Black pearl cultivation take place on approximately 30 islands in the Tuamotus and have actually replaced copra and commercial fishing as a source of revenue.
Nuts over Coconuts!
Dried coconut meat, or copra as it is known on the islands, is the most important cash crop in the islands.
The production of copra entails harvesting the nuts, cracking them open, and letting them dry out in the hot tropical sun.
Once dried, it is removed by hand then placed in bags for shipping.
The oil of the copra is used in everything - soaps, margarine.......and some locals have even started experimenting its use for fuel power.
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