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Official Guide to the Government Court: N.Z. Centennial Exhibition

Cook Islands Exhibits

Cook Islands Exhibits.

The Cook Islands exhibits, when compared with those of Samoa, show an interesting distinction in material cultures. The Samoa exhibits are examples of a culture little changed since the advent of the European, while the exhibits of the Cook Islands show definite Western influence.

The baskets, hats, fans, bead-work, inlaid pearl-shell work, etc., of the Cook Islands, although of post-missionary origin, are nevertheless essentially Polynesian in page 10 technique, and have been adopted and varied in the local culture. It might be said that these specimens are now more representative of the craftsmanship of the Cook Islander than the more spectacular spears and clubs on exhibition.

It must not be imagined that the Cook Islander has abandoned any part of his old culture, which is still of use -to him. Mats, paddles, pearl-shell hooks, fish traps, etc., similar to those on display and which have descended unchanged from the old, pre-European culture, are still in everyday use.

The exhibits are representative of all islands of the group and those interested in material culture will find local variations expressive of the materials and usages of the people of the different islands. For example, it will be noted that considerable skill in the use of pearl-shell for decorative purposes has been acquired by the islanders of the northern atolls.