Large hands, scarred, move gently over intricate patterns carved into mahogany, the handle of a Mangaia adze.
Papa Tuaiva Moutairi speaks in lilting dialect of a home island, explaining to visiting Mangaia expatriate Tanara Maarametua Buchanan meanings of a traditional motif he’s etched into wood – the maro itiki portrays the back to back fighting stance their forebears take when outnumbered during battle. And fights there were, a plenty, during pre-missionary times, with other islands, particularly Atiu, sending marauding parties to Mangaia.Continue reading
Kiting in Rarotonga and Aitutaki is a real buzz. With sheltered lagoon water and (usually) a constant south-east trade wind, both islands offer the enthusiast some of the best kiting in the world.Continue reading
The view of the three green atolls nestling in a brilliant, aquamarine lagoon is spectacular; this is Pukapuka, the first stop of a Round-the-Rocks adventure that will also include the northern atolls of Manihiki and Penrhyn.Continue reading
The future of this ancient Polynesian art form is quite simple, as one Cook Islands tattoo artist put it – “as long as people keep coming here on the planes, we will never run out of canvas.”Continue reading
For over 100 years the Ziona Church bell has rung at ten o’ clock every Sunday morning over the quiet villages of Oiretumu and Ngatiarua, calling the faithful to worship – and dressed in their best, the villagers have gathered in one of the world’s most unique Christian churches.Continue reading
Palmerston Island is one of the most remote atolls in the Cook Islands, home to just 70 people. Sandra Paterson went there as a volunteer teacher – and discovered a unique community with one telephone and one surname.Continue reading