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History book main aim of House of Ariki workshop

Tuesday April 19, 2016 Written by Published in Culture
Participants pose for a photo during a break at the University of the South Pacific yesterday. 16041919 Participants pose for a photo during a break at the University of the South Pacific yesterday. 16041919

In a bid to boost traditional Cook Islands Maori culture and language, members of the House of Ariki are working together to publish a book highlighting the history of the country’s traditional leaders and looking at how far the country has come.


A three day workshop has been organised at the University of the South Pacific to gather much needed information from invited experts on how to put cultural history and knowledge into written form.

Clerk of the House of Ariki, Tupuna Rakanui said the workshop had been very encouraging with an “overwhelming” amount of information gathered.

“This is the first time we have managed to bring in all these experts who have knowledge in Cook Islands history and the involvement of the traditional leaders, the Ariki, the tribes and the development of the nation in general.

“I know there are lot of people with the passion to put such a work together and that is what we are hoping to achieve. I believe it is time that we collated all this information and documented it to present the local peoples’ point of view.”

Rakanui said the workshop would significantly benefit the people of the Cook Islands and more importantly, its future generations.

“We need to focus on the history of our traditional leaders and where they came from. There are lot of stories about the skills of our forefathers in conquering our oceans.

“If you go back to the journeys they have taken from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, its mind-blowing. There are all kinds of myths and writings on the evolution of these islands which reflect how the journey of our traditional leaders to the present time.

“It’s fascinating and we would love people to read it.”

Rakanui says the information they have gathered so far is enough to compile the first of many volumes they plan to put together.

“Today the history is fragmented, it’s all over the place and a lot of those histories cannot be accessed by our people. Most of them don’t even know how to access them.

“Once we put this project together, it should be readily available to members of the community at our schools, libraries or even to people who come to the House of Ariki.

“I am looking forward to this happening.”

The publication will be available in the various Cook Islands Maori dialects to encourage younger people to learn about their language and history.



  • Comment Link april.lemonk Monday, 22 August 2016 13:41 posted by april.lemonk

    It is difficult to find information for historical events and historical Marae settings, for educational purposes to teach our younger generation how it use to be in the early days of Ariki? I would look forward to the book

  • Comment Link Angelique Tuaputa Wednesday, 27 April 2016 20:41 posted by Angelique Tuaputa

    What a wonderful idea! Very excited to see this project come about. I am young a New Zealand born Cook Islander working for Auckland Libraries and it would be fantastic for the Cook Island community in our area to read this and preserve our culture for the future generations once this book hits our shelves in the nearer future.

  • Comment Link Tokoa Makirere Friday, 22 April 2016 11:51 posted by Tokoa Makirere

    The gathering of our history by the 'House of Ariki' is a significant step forward in the preservation of our culture. We CookIsland Maori can be proud of the efforts of our 'House of Ariki' representatives for this huge undertaking. Our future generations will come to treasure this collection of our histories, from all involved. I look forward to the first edition.

    Kia Orana e Kia Manuia..

  • Comment Link Graham Simpson Thursday, 21 April 2016 00:16 posted by Graham Simpson

    Looking forward to the book. I agree with the above comments (Josie Samuel) .

  • Comment Link josie_samuel@yahoo.com.au Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:46 posted by josie_samuel@yahoo.com.au

    How the House of Ariki over time has lost 'power' is beyond me and how the 'histories' can be misconstrued or misinterpreted, would not detract from the politics of being a Constitutional Sovereignty - Monarchy and Self-Governing Country as I reckon the old traditional Customary Laws still stand and all have a part going forward, in light of Him. God Bless My Paradise Again.

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