The most popular handicrafts in Bora Bora are the pareos, which are wraparound skirts traditionally worn by Tahitian women but, today, it applies to any wraparound cloths worn around the body. It is the equivalent of sarongs in Malaysia or lavalava in Samoa.
These colorful cloths usually have floral designs and tribal tattoo motifs. You can use them not only as beach wear but they also make nice wall hangings or table cloths.
On your visit to Bora Bora, you can see a demonstration of how pareos are painted as well as different ways of tying or wrapping them around your body. Pareos are one of the best souvenirs to bring home.
One of the most well-known handicrafts in Bora Bora is the Tifaifai, a handmade quilt which is traditionally used in weddings to wrap around the newlyweds. Today, these magnificent cloths are also used as blankets and bedcovers. Many hotels can arrange tours to villages where you can see traditional Tifaifai quilt-making.
One of the best places to secure handicrafts and other souvenir items in Bora Bora is in the local crafts market known as “Te Fanau Tahi”. If you will be shopping for handicrafts and other knick knacks to bring home, take note that shops in Bora Bora and other neighboring islands are usually closed on Sundays, except shops in hotels. Te Fanau Tahi is open on weekends when there are cruise ships. If you are preparing to make a hard bargain, it is better if you save it for another trip as bargaining is not a common practice in these parts.
To the north of Hotel Bora Bora is Boutique Gaugin, another popular store with a large selection of handicrafts, black pearls and other souvenir items. This is also a good place to find artistic pareos. Boutique Gaugin is welcomes shoppers daily.
There are numerous boutiques in the island where you can shop for pareos and other handicrafts produced by local artisans such as Boutique Bora Bora in the village of Vaitape which sells a wide variety of items from woodcarvings to black pearls. While Vaitape is the main area in Bora Bora for shopping, there are plenty of shops along the island’s main road. Other popular handicrafts in Bora Bora that you can take home include hand-woven baskets, straw hats, flower and shell leis, fans, headbands and other handcrafted accessories made from coconut leaves and fibers, pearls and other natural materials.