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The Sacred Space of Cook Islands Christian Churches


Maria Kecskemeti submitted a thesis to the Victoria University of Wellington in 2012 as her fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology. Her thesis was called “The Politics, Poetis and performance of Space : The Sacred Space of Cook Islands Christian Churches”. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest […]

History and Traditions of Rarotonga


TE ARIKI-TARA-ARE of Rarotonga, wrote extensively in the early 1900’s about the “History and Traditions of Rarotonga”. Some of his writings were later translated by S. Percy Smith and printed in various publications. The article included here was published in “The Journal of the Polynesian Society” Volume 29. 1920. To view go to : History […]

The Mysterious Starling of Mauke

Mysterious Starling

The Mysterious Starling or Mauke Starling (Aplonis mavornata) was a species of starling found on Mauke. This bird is now extinct. http://cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/species.asp?id=8293 The only known specimen (BMNH Old Vellum Catalog 12.192) was shot “hopping about on a tree” by Andrew Bloxam, naturalist of the HMS Blonde, roughly between 2.30 and 3.30 PM on August 9, 1825. The island was not […]

Cook Islands Cultural and Historic Places Trust

Established through the Cultural and Historic Places Act 1994-95, the Cook Islands Cultural and Historic Places Trust is designed to recognise and acknowledge various sites throughout the country that has an element of historic significance and/or traditional cultural Importance. Cultural and Historical sites in the Cook Islands play a very important part with regard to […]

Blackbirders from Peru

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] During the 1860’s more than 725 Cook Islanders, mostly from the Northern Group, were duped to board ships from Peru with bogus contracts to go and work in South America. Once on board they found themselves as captured slaves and so began a life of absolute misery for many who were forced to work […]

Extinct and Extirpated Birds from Aitutaki and Atiu

Six archaeological sites up to 1000 years old on Aitutaki have yielded bones of 15 species of birds. Five of which are now considered to be extinct. Included here is an article written by David W. Steadman who was part of the 1987 New York State Biological Survey Team which visited Aitutaki and Atiu to […]

Rongomatane Ariki Investiture: Atiu 1956

atiu island

On 9 August 1956, in an interesting blend of traditional Polynesian ritual and Christian ceremony, Tetupu Mataio was proclaimed the new Rongomatane Ariki on Atiu.  In doing so, Tetupu succeeded his uncle, Rongomatane Maka Kea Ariki. Tetupu was highly regarded as a leader and as a man and had held the Rongomatane Ariki Title since […]