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Ethnology of Manihiki and Rakahanga



The houses now in use in Manihiki and Rakahanga follow the architectural principle of the rectangular house used in the Cook Islands. These houses are characterized by long upright posts erected at the middle of each end to support directly the main ridgepole. It was held that this type was introduced, together with houses built of lime, by the Rarotongan missionaries, Aporo and Tairi. The original type of house, which was made in both atolls until comparatively recently, has been gradually displaced, but fortunately a single example survives in Rakahanga, characterized by the absence of end posts supporting the ridgepole and of wall posts supporting the wall plates.