Pomare IV, 1870
Pōmare IV, Queen of Tahiti, more properly ʻAimata Pōmare IV Vahine-o-Punuateraʻitua (otherwise known as ʻAimata - meaning: eye-eater, after an old custom of the ruler to eat the eye of the defeated foe - or simply as Pōmare IV), was the Queen of Tahiti between 1827 and 1877. She was the fourth monarch of the Kingdom of Tahiti.
She was the daughter of Pōmare II. She succeeded as ruler of Tahiti after the death of her brother Pōmare III when she was only 14 years old. In 1843, the French declared Tahiti a French protectorate and installed a governor at Papeete. She fought in vain against French intervention, writing to the King of France, asking in vain for British intervention, and exiling herself to Raiatea in protest. What follow was the bloody French-Tahitian War which lasted from 1843 to 1847, involving every kingdom of the Society Islands. The Tahitians suffered many casualties, but the French losses were also great. Although the British never assisted the Tahitians, they actively condemned France and war nearly broke between the two powers in the Pacific. These conflicts ended in the defeat of the Tahitian forces at the Fort of Fautaua. The French were victorious, but they weren’t able to annexed the island due to diplomatic pressure from Great Britain, so the protectorate; a clause to the war settlement was that Queen Pōmare’s allies in Huahine, Raiatea, and Bora Bora would be allowed to remain independent. Pōmare IV eventually relented and ruled under the French administration from 1847 until 1877. Pōmare IV is buried in the Royal Mausoleum, Papaʻoa, ʻArue. She was succeeded by Pōmare V, who reigned 1877-1880.