Friday, December 15, 2006

History of Cook Islands

History of Cook Islands. This is a brief history of this Oceania island territory of New Zealand called the Cook Islands. It is probably best known to Americans as the location for the current season of the Survivor television series.

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that the islands are an, "Internally self-governing island state in free association with New Zealand, located in the South Pacific Ocean. The 15 tiny islands have a total land area of 91 square miles (236 square kilometres) but are spread over 770,000 square miles of sea. The capital is Avarua, on Rarotonga."

From the site:

The natives, who are of Polynesian stock and speech, have legends of their arrival from Samoa. They say their ancestors found black people on the islands, and the strongly Melanesian type which is found, especially on Mangaia, supports the statement. The Cook Islanders were formerly man-hunters and cannibals.

The archipelago was discovered by Captain Cook in 1777, and in 1823 became the scene of the remarkable missionary labours of John Williams, of the London Missionary Society.

The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica wrote, "Since 1899 the islands have enjoyed a general legislature and an executive council of which the Arikis (" kings " and " queens ") are members. But all enactments are subject to the approval of the British resident at Rarotonga, and a British protectorate, proclaimed in 1888, was followed by the annexation of the whole archipelago by the governor of New Zealand, by proclamation of June 10th, 1901."

When New Zealand became independent, the Cook Islands were transferred from British to New Zealand rule. In 1965, residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. Cook Islands is fully responsible for internal affairs. New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense, in consultation with the Cook Islands.

No comments: