Kiribati History & Culture Of The Rose

country shape flag for history & culture of the rose in Kiribati
Home / Topics / Regional Rose Culture / Oceania Culture & History Of Roses / Kiribati History & Culture Of The Rose

The rose has a rich history in many parts of the world, including Kiribati, where the flower holds meaning in the country’s culture. In Kiribati, the rose is not just a beautiful flower, but it also holds deep cultural significance. The rose is often used in traditional Kiribati dances, and it is also given as a gift to show love and appreciation.

The history of the rose in Kiribati dates back to the time when the first settlers arrived on the islands. The rose was brought to Kiribati by European explorers in the 18th century. Since then, it has become an important part of Kiribati’s culture and heritage. Today, the rose is grown on the islands and is used in many different ways, from traditional dances to modern-day celebrations.

The rose is also a symbol of love and romance in Kiribati. It is often given as a gift to express affection and appreciation. The rose is so important in Kiribati that there is even a special day dedicated to it. On Rose Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of February, people exchange roses as a symbol of love and friendship. Overall, the rose is an important part of Kiribati’s history and culture, and it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of the people.

Historical Roots

The history of the rose in Kiribati traces back to the arrival of the first settlers on the islands. The Austronesian peoples who arrived from the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu several millennia ago brought with them a rich culture and tradition. They included the cultivation of plants and flowers. Roses, with their vibrant colors and sweet fragrance, quickly became popular among the islanders.

Over the centuries, the cultivation of roses in Kiribati evolved into a highly specialized art form. The islanders developed unique techniques for growing and caring for roses, using a combination of traditional knowledge and modern methods. They also developed a wide variety of rose cultivars, each with its distinct characteristics and qualities.

Today, roses remain an important part of Kiribati’s cultural heritage. They are often used in traditional ceremonies and celebrations, such as weddings, funerals, and festivals. The islanders also use roses to make garlands and other decorative items, which are worn as a symbol of beauty and prosperity.

Despite the challenges posed by climate change and other environmental factors, the people of Kiribati continue to cultivate and cherish their roses. They view these flowers as a symbol of their resilience and determination and as a testament to the enduring power of their culture and traditions.

Cultural Significance

The rose holds significant cultural importance in Kiribati. Roses were introduced to Kiribati by the British in the early 20th century and quickly became a symbol of love and affection in the local culture. The flower was initially planted in the gardens of colonial officials and missionaries, but it soon spread to the local population and became a popular ornamental plant.

In Kiribati, roses are commonly used in traditional ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. The flower is a symbol of love, beauty, and respect, and is often given as a gift to express these sentiments. Roses are also used in traditional medicine, where they are believed to have healing properties and are used to treat a variety of ailments.

Overall, the rose holds a special place in Kiribati’s culture and history. It is a symbol of love, and beauty, and is deeply ingrained in the traditions and customs of the Kiribati people.

Economic Impact

The economy of Kiribati is small, and growth prospects are limited by the nation’s remote location, poor infrastructure, poor soil, unskilled labor force, and lack of natural resources. However, the cultivation of roses has been a significant contributor to the country’s economy.

Roses are grown in Kiribati for export to other countries, particularly Japan. The rose industry has been successful due to the country’s favorable climate, which allows for the year-round cultivation of roses. In addition, the rose industry has created employment opportunities for residents.

The rose industry has also had a positive impact on the country’s tourism sector. Tourists are attracted to the country’s rose gardens, which are a popular destination for visitors. The rose gardens are also used as venues for events such as weddings and other celebrations.

The government of Kiribati has recognized the importance of the rose industry and has implemented policies to support its growth. The government has provided financial assistance to rose growers and has also invested in infrastructure to support the industry.

Overall, the rose industry has had a significant economic impact on Kiribati, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the country’s GDP.

Artistic & Literary Influence

The rose has been a subject of artistic expression in Kiribati for many years. Its beauty and fragrance have inspired many poets and artists. The rose has been featured in paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art. It has also been used as a symbol in literature.

In Kiribati, the rose is often associated with love and romance. It is a popular gift for Valentine’s Day and other romantic occasions. The rose is also used in traditional Kiribati weddings, where it is often incorporated into the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere.

In literature, the rose is often used as a symbol of beauty, love, and passion. Many Kiribati poets have written about the rose and its significance in their culture. The rose has also been used as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of life and the beauty that can be found in impermanence.

Overall, the rose has had a significant artistic and literary influence in Kiribati. Its beauty and symbolism have inspired many artists and writers throughout the country’s history.

Roses In Kiribati

Kiribati has a tropical climate that is not conducive to growing roses. Therefore, it is not common to find a wide variety of roses in Kiribati. However, some imported roses can be found in the country.

One of the most common imported roses in Kiribati is the Rosa multiflora. This species particularly thrives in Tarawa Atoll, the capital city of the country. This rose is known for growing up to 15ft and being invasive to many countries.

Despite the limited variety of roses in Kiribati, they are still appreciated for their beauty and are often used in floral arrangements for special occasions such as weddings and funerals.


In conclusion, the rose has played an important role in the history and culture of Kiribati. The rose was first introduced to the islands by European explorers and traders in the 19th century. Since then, the rose has become a popular flower among the I-Kiribati people, who use it for various purposes.

The rose is often used in traditional Kiribati dances, where it is worn as a decorative item. It is also used in wreaths and other floral arrangements for special occasions such as weddings and funerals. Additionally, the rose is sometimes used in medicinal remedies for its healing properties.

The rose has also become a symbol of love and affection in Kiribati culture. It is often given as a gift to express romantic feelings or appreciation. The rose’s beauty and fragrance make it a popular choice for such occasions.

Overall, the rose has become an important part of Kiribati’s culture and history. Its beauty and versatility have made it a beloved flower among the I-Kiribati people.

Roses Originating In Kiribati

The Rose Directory website library catalogues roses from around the world. If there are any roses originating from this country, you can find a clickable list to explore below. If there are no roses listed, don’t worry – we will continue to add more roses to the catalogue in the future and more may appear then.

No roses found.
country shape flag for history & culture of the rose in Kiribati


Visit Store

From Clothes & Apparel To Home Décor & Accessories. Free Returns. Unique Designs. Worldwide Shipping.