Cook Islands National Museum

The Cook Islands National Museum is a museum in Avarua on Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. Its collection includes contemporary and historic artefacts, as well as replicas of objects in foreign institutions.

Cook Islands National Museum
Formation1992
TypeGovernmental organisation
PurposeHeritage preservation
HeadquartersAvarua
Location
  • Cook Islands
Websitehttps://www.culture.gov.ck/outputs/national-museum/

Background edit

A purpose-built museum building was opened on 14 October 1992, in order to protect and encourage understanding of the cultural heritage of the Cook Islands.[1][2] The museum had previously been housed in a section of the National Library.[3] The museum has a 200m² display space, as well as an office and store.[4]

Exhibitions edit

In 2019 the museum hosted an exhibition by Chinese micro-calligrapher Wang Zhiwen.[5] Other exhibitions have included: on vaka voyaging history;[6][7] on the contributions of Cook Islanders in the First World War;[8] costumes from the 2018 Miss Cook Islands pageant;[9] photographs by Fe'ena Syme-Buchanan that highlight population decline on Mangaia;[10] on tivaivai – a form of quilting specific to the Cook Islands;[11] wooden sculpture from Pacific countries;[12] as well as many others.

Collection edit

The museum collection contains objects relating to the Cook Islands and other Pacific nations.[13] In 1999 the collection comprised approximately 300 objects, mostly dating to after 1900.[4] It includes archaeological material, including 800 year old fish hooks excavated from Moturakau, Aitutaki.[14][15] Similar objects, which remain the property of the museum, were excavated in 2003 from the motu Te Kainga of Rakahanga.[16] Other objects in the museum's collection include ceremonial adzes,[17] and a seven-foot long ceremonial spear.[18] The collection also includes replica objects from a variety of islands.[2] In 2020 the museum investigated whether it would be able to acquire a newly discovered sketch of Mangaia, painted by Captain Cook's surgeon.[19]

Repatriation edit

The Cook Islands National Museum has actively requested that 'smaller provincial collections in the UK consider repatriating Cook Island material'.[20] In 1999 two necklaces were returned to the Cook Islands, following a request to Angus Council by the museum.[21] At the time, the council's decision was based on the view that the necklaces "had been donated at a time when the museum collected anything and everything from every corner of the globe, and neither has been on lengthy display in recent years". Writer and curator Neil G. W. Curtis described this example of repatriation, as Scottish "post-colonial empathy".[21][22]

Adzes edit

Adzes in particular were a popular item for early explorers, as well as later seamen and tourists to collect, so appear in many collections around the world.[20] In 2017 several stone adzes were returned to the Cook Islands from a private collection.[23] They had been received as a gift by the former superintendent of Aitutaki Airfield. The family returned to New Zealand, but felt that the objects should return to the Cook Islands.[24]

Overseas collections edit

Many museums around the world have collections which hold objects from the Cook Islands, including: tapa cloth held by Kew Gardens;[25][26] adzes and tattooing instruments at the Wellcome Collection;[20] many objects, including a cloak at Te Papa;[27] amongst others.

Gallery of objects held in overseas collections edit

Notable people edit

References edit

  1. ^ "National Museum". Commonwealth Walkway Trust. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b Bertin, Marion (1 August 2020). "Le futur de la tradition : quelle muséologie pour les musées nationaux du Pacifique Sud ?". ICOFOM Study Series (in French) (48–1): 95–108. doi:10.4000/iss.2016. ISSN 2309-1290. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b Craig, Barry; Kernot, Bernie; Anderson, Christopher (1 December 1999). Art and Performance in Oceania. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2283-5. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b Devenish, David C. (1 January 1999). "Repatriation". Museum Management and Curatorship. 18 (2): 201–204. doi:10.1080/09647779900901802. ISSN 0964-7775. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Micro-writer in micro show". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  6. ^ "In touch with our history of voyaging". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Voyaging history on show". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  8. ^ "WW1 gifts from Belgium on show". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Rare chance to view top class local costumes". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Powerful show has sad message". Cook Islands News. 17 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Tivaivai on show at museum". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Display of treasures shouldn't be missed". Cook Islands News. 20 October 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  13. ^ "National Museum | Avarua, The Cook Islands Attractions". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Ancient hooks reveal more insights". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Ancient fish hooks pose challenge". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  16. ^ "ANCIENT ARTIFACTS FOUND IN COOK ISLANDS | Pacific Islands Report". www.pireport.org. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Reference to weapons in ancient times". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  18. ^ "A precious piece of our history". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Historically significant Mangaia painting 'could so easily have been lost'". Cook Islands News. 17 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  20. ^ a b c Mcdougall, Russell; Croft, Julian (1 September 2005). "Henry ling roth's and george kingsley roth's pacific anthropology". The Journal of Pacific History. 40 (2): 149–170. doi:10.1080/00223340500176459. ISSN 0022-3344. S2CID 161666752. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  21. ^ a b Tythacott, Louise; Arvanitis, Kostas (22 April 2016). Museums and Restitution: New Practices, New Approaches. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-09286-5. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  22. ^ Curtis, Neil, G.W. (16 September 2010). "REPATRIATION FROM SCOTTISH MUSEUMS: Learning from NAGPRA". Museum Anthropology. 33 (2): 234–248. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1379.2010.01101.x. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ "Ancient adzes from Aitutaki returned". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Ancient Stone Adzes Returned To Cook Islands National Museum | Pacific Islands Report". www.pireport.org. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Words on tapa foil researchers". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  26. ^ "Unpacking tapa: The science and culture of Pacific barkcloth | Kew". www.kew.org. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  27. ^ Hutton, Grace, Safua Akeli, and Sean Mallon. "Rediscovering the collection: Cook Islands material culture in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa." Tuhinga: Records of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 21 (2010): 99–123.
  28. ^ "Words on tapa foil researchers". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  29. ^ "Cook Islands culture in Mexico". Cook Islands News. 18 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.

External links edit

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