Encounters with the Cook Islands

The Baton today (05.12.2013) arrives at the Cook Islands – but which one? This island country is composed of fifteen of them.

With no historical alumni yet uncovered, we once again look to the University’s International Heritage collection, which gives us a selection of artifacts from those islands. Among them is this carved wooden figure held by The Hunterian:

GLAHM E.360

Historically woodcarving was a common craft on the Cook Islands, and the art they created was also distinctive to the islands.

This carved wooden figure with its stylised face and eyes is representative of their work. Its swollen abdomen decorated with a zigzag design are indicative of the island of Aitutaki. The stand upon which the figure is mounted suggests it may have come from the prow of a canoe.

More information on this ‘wooden idol’ and other interesting items from the islands of Manihiki, Mangaia, and an ‘unknown’, please click on the Collections tab for the Cook Islands country page.

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