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Wednesday, 20th October  2021 2:05:pm

The beauty and charm of our islands is matched only by the friendliness of our people. Here among your island friends, you will find the hospitality warm and spontaneous, the music and dancing exuberant, the mood relaxed.

The Cook Islands culture is shaped by the arrival of Polynesians that took place around 800 AD.

This was part of what was believed to have been the last great wave of Polynesian migration from Asia that began in 1500 BC.

Of equal importance has been the contact with European culture, particularly the British and the influence of missionaries spreading the Christian message.Cook Islanders share a genuine care for others and as we have chosen to retain and preserve much of our old ways, our cherished culture lives on. This is openly expressed with song, dance and an easy pace of life, uncomplicated by the turmoil of the outside world. We invite you to share this unique lifestyle whilst you are our guest.

Although displays of the Cook Islands past are exhibited in local museums, our culture is not confined to their walls, or to restored sites. Polynesian identity can be found in everyday life, in the many art galleries around the island of Rarotonga who exhibit local artists, in the carvings that adorn our buildings and homes, in dance and drama and at various events throughout the year, particularly during Te Maeva Nui Constitution Celebrations in July. This is a time to renew the warrior’s might and the dancer’s grace - a time when heritage excels. However, it is the songs of the Kaparima, the hymns of the Sunday choir, and pride in traditional crafts that exists in the day-to-day lives of our people.

 Christianity plays an important role in our lives and Sunday is a day for celebration, prayer, families and singing. There are several denominations who welcome your attendance at church services on Saturdays or Sundays. An uplifting highlight of your visit will be the joyous sound of a Sunday choir.

The total population of our islands is approximately 14,000. Some 2000 people live on the Northern Group islands and about 4000 on 5 Southern Group islands. The rest live on Rarotonga. Many of our people live overseas, including close to 60,000 in New Zealand.

Throughout the villages, at your hotel, or at the many attractions, you will be welcomed by our people and treated as a friend.

Aitutaki Lagoon