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Reviewed by:
  • Un moai para Japón by Ana Maria Arredondo, and: Foreign Visitors to the Cook Islands: 1773 to 1840 (Nga Papa'a mua ki teia pa enua) by Rhys Richards, and: Monumentality and Ritual Materialization in the Society Islands: The Archaeology of a Major Ceremonial Complex in the 'Opunohu Valley, Mo'orea by Jennifer G. Kahn and Patrick Vinton Kirch
  • Georgia Lee, Alex E. Morrison, and Paul Wallin

Arredondo, Ana Maria Un moai para Japón Hanga Roa: Editorial Aukara, 2013. 103 pages, illustrations by Te Pou Huke, glossary. To order, email

Review by Georgia Lee, Easter Island Foundation

A new children's book, written by Ana Maria Arredondo, is titled Un moai para Japón. It is hardcover and is 8 1/8 inches square and 103 pages, plus glossary. Text is in Spanish and Japanese, and nicely illustrated with black & white pictures by Te Pou Huke. This book was published 2013 by Editorial Aukara, Rapa Nui.

The book tells the story of Tongariki and its destruction by a tsunami, the reconstruction of the site with the help of a Tadano crane from Japan, and various adventures by a small boy called Te Pou, including stories about why the statues were carved, the seasons, the kinds of fishes caught around the island, and how the families sit around a fire at night to talk about the island's history. Then the subject changes to an earthquake and tsunami in Japan and how a group of Chileans offer to finance and transport a moai to Japan as a goodwill gesture.

The story continues about the Rapanui grandfather of Te Pou, who searches for stone from which to carve a moai for Japan. After it is completed, we then learn about the various ceremonies, feasts, and blessings that must be conducted before the statue leaves the island. Finally, the statue is loaded onto an airplane, headed for Japan.

Richards, Rhys. Foreign Visitors to the Cook Islands: 1773 to 1840 (Nga Papa'a mua ki teia pa enua) Wellington: Paremata Press, 2014. 100 pages, 22 illustrations. ISBN 978-0958201391. NZ$25.00 (within New Zealand), US$36.00 (outside New Zealand). To order, contact Rhys Richards:

Review by Alex E. Morrison, International Archaeological Research Institute and University of Auckland

Foreign Visitors to the Cook Islands: 1773 to 1840 (Nga Papa'a mua ki teia pa enua), by Rhys Richards is a brief but extensive encyclopedic work that documents in great detail foreign travels through the Cook Islands between 1773 and 1840. Richards' book will be of interest to archaeologists, historians, and ethnographers researching a critical time period when interaction with people from new parts of the world was rapidly influencing the traditions and material culture of the inhabitants of some of Polynesia's smallest islands.

The volume is organized into two broad categories. First, Richards provides a chronological description of foreign visits to the various Cook Islands. This part is subdivided into four main sections: The Foreign Discoveries 1773 to 1835, 2) The Traders 1808 to 1840, 3) Missionary Visitors Before 1825, and 4) Whaleships and Whalemen 1823 to 1840. Although organized chronologically, these various chapters provide the reader with a review of the major economic activities that attracted foreigners to the Cook Islands and the unique ways that the indigenous inhabitants adjusted to these newcomers. The majority of the book can be found in the three annexes which provide over half of the pages of the volume. The annexes consist of the most extensive lists and descriptions to date of foreign vessels that visited the Cook Islands during the first half of the 19th century. In contrast to the first section of the book, the annexes are organized according to three themes: Early trading visits from Port Jackson 1808 to 1840, American trading vessels 1824 to 1840, and Whaleships 1823 to 1840.

As Richards notes in the forword, this small book is "primarily a list of ship visits." I will not attempt to try and summarize the extensive detail provided by Richards (instead I suggest the interested reader purchase the book). However, I would like to highlight several reasons why these specific...


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