As the French were leaving Tahiti, the Tahitian chief begged Bougainville to take Ahutora, a young Tahitian, as a parting gift. Bougainville agreed, and Ahutora endured the next two years of voyage with the French, arriving safely in Paris in 1769.
Ahutora became a celebrity among the French, who considered him a pure and noble savage. Though Ahutora adapted to French culture, developed a taste for French wine and music, and had love affairs, he grew homesick.
With Bougainville’s help, Ahutora boarded a ship headed to Tahiti, but he died of smallpox along the way.