Appendix 2
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Appendix  Extracts from Maretu’s Narrative of Cook Islands History Pertaining to the Vanished Island Tuanaki (from Crocombe 1974). These two extracts were written by Maretu, one of the earliest Christian missionaries of Cook Islander ethnicity. The first extract reports the questioning of a man named Soma on Aitutaki Island who had visited Tuanaki. The second extract reports the circumstances of the missionaries’ unsuccessful search for Tuanaki in 1844. All page numbers refer to Crocombe’s translation, not Maretu’s original manuscript . Extracts reproduced courtesy of Marjorie Tua‘inekore Crocombe. The Lost Island of Tuanaki (Pages 163–165) Katuke and Ngatae were chosen to come with us to search for Tuanaki. “I want to go [as a missionary] to Tuanaki,” I said to Pitman and Buzacott [European missionaries]. “No. You go straight to Mangaia [Island],” Buzacott answered. “After you disembark there, the ship can go on and search for Tuanaki.” The ship [the Samuel and Mary] left for Aitutaki [Island] and there we met a man named Soma who had stayed ashore from a ship for three months. He told us he had seen Tuanaki. The two missionaries and the captain [of the Samuel and Mary] met Soma, who told this story: “It is two years since I saw that island. We had come from Rurutu [Island]. When we reached the island the captain sought the harbor and a boat was lowered. The captain and six others of us got into it and went ashore.” No one was about on the shore so the captain said to Soma, “You go inland and see if there are any people about. When you see someone then come back.” The captain gave him a sword. He headed inland and there he saw a house full of people. It was the ariki’s house [the high chief’s house]. The ariki called out, “Where are you from? Are you from Araura?”1 “Yes,” Soma replied. “Come inside.” So Soma entered the house. Only men were in it; there were no women because the men and women had separate houses. They were sheltering from the sun; that was why they were all inside this house. Soma sat down and was asked again, “Are you from Araura?” “Yes,” he told them, “I am from Araura” (Araura was their name for Aitutaki). “Where is the captain of your ship?” “He’s in the boat,” Soma replied. “Why doesn’t he come inland?” “The captain is afraid you might kill him.” “We don’t fight; we only know how to dance. We don’t know how to fight.” 206 appendix 2 Soma ran back to the captain, who asked, “What are they doing?” “They’re there inside the house.” “Why are they in the house?” “I don’t know,” he told the captain. So the captain went ashore, taking with him aukute,2 axe, and hat. They entered the house and the captain presented the gifts to the ariki and asked him his name. The ariki answered, “Maeva Rua; my name from Rarotonga [Island] is Te Tuikura.”3 The captain and I slept ashore. The boat went back to the ship laden with food: chicken, pigs, yams, bananas, taro, and green coconuts. We stayed ashore for six days. Gill [the missionary] asked Soma, “What are the people like?” “They are just like us,” he said. “They are subject to the authority of the ariki and have to render food tribute. They speak the Mangaian dialect and they wear the Mangaian tiputa or poncho. They use fans just like those of Mangaia [Island].” Gill then said, “Let us all go [and look for Tuanaki]. We’ll pay you thirty moni [unspecified units of currency] for the trip.” Soma said, “It takes one night4 to travel from Mangaia to Tuanaki. Take your bearings from Tau.5 I have just come back. I am staying here. My sister is dying. Another died [while I was away]. This one will die and I won’t see her.” On our arrival at Aitutaki an epidemic of dysentery was raging and thirty people had died. The Unsuccessful Search for Tuanaki (Pages 171–172) Gill replied [to Maretu], “We’ll have to go together [to Tuanaki], but there’ll be trouble if we go tomorrow .6 You know Soma’s story about the [Tuanaki] language being like Mangaian and that they have fans and clothes like them too. Ask the Mangaians for some fans and clothing, then go aboard secretly with them. It won’t...


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Subject Headings

  • Geographical myths -- Oceania.
  • Oceania -- Geography.
  • Lost continents -- History.
  • Geographical myths -- Pacific Ocean.
  • Pacific Ocean -- Geography.
  • Islands of the Pacific -- History.
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