On Tahiti the breezes from the forest and sea strengthen the lungs, they broaden the shoulders and hips. Neither men nor women are sheltered from the rays of the sun nor the pebbles of the sea-shore. Together they engage in the same tasks with the same activity or the same indolence. There is something virile in the women and something feminine in the men.
    This similarity of the sexes makes their relations easier. Their continual state of nakedness has kept their minds free from the dangerous preoccupation with the "mystery" and from the excessive stress which among civilized people is laid upon the "happy accident" and the clandestine and sadistic colors of love. It has given their manners a natural innocence, a perfect purity. Man and woman are comrades, friends rather than lovers, dwelling together almost without cease, in pain and pleasure, and even the very idea of vice is unknown to them.


                                        -
PAUL GAUGUIN

 

[Photograph: Robert Wenkam]