Thursday, 21 September 2017

From Cook Islands to New Zeland about 1300 AD.

Historical and cultural site at Muri  on Rarotonga, Cook Island - photo courtesy Chris Ball 2017
Part of the past of our New Zealand history is linked to that of the Cook Islands. Way ,way back in the timeline of history, it is said seven vaka ( canoe) left the shores of the Cook Islands. The seven were Takitumu, Te Arawa, Mataatua, Aotea,Kurahaupo, Tokomaru and Tainui. That was back about 1300 AD - the migration from near Muri on Rarotonga, Cook Islands,  to New Zealand.

In 1964, a  pearl fishing lure was found at Tairua. A significant find, for it has been said that this lure, came on a waka and had been made in Eastern Polynesia back about early to mid 1300 AD ( dated by radio carbon.) Now that has just got to be a special story and a significant find, in our New Zealand history.

A view from Tairua Marina to near where the fishing lure was found - photo courtesy Chris Ball 2017
We have travelled to many  places across the Pacific Ocean. On sailing vessels and met many people who have passed stories down in their culture ,which tell of migrations to New Zealand. At school I learned about a fleet coming from an opposite direction - seems now myths, that have developed of our past. Well before Captain Cook and further back to Abel Tasman and even Spanish Seafarers, were these fore runners of navigation, of the Pacific, going backwards and foreward to other Pacific Islands including New Zealand. These people were skilled navigators of their time - using stars, winds and currents to guide them. There was no written word, by these people back then - only the oral word and stories passed down from generation to generation. Along with the material heritage items to substantiate the stories.

Footnote: There are no references except the photos. There  will be a follow up on this blog of our journey over a number of years across the Pacific - listening to the stories of other cultures in other places and seeking the truth of the journey to New Zealand - a very relevant part of the past New Zealand history.