Islands style – Cook Islands (circa 1914)

This is the fourth blog where we highlight items from the collections as part of Cook Islands language week (6-10 August 2012). I have selected a small number of portraits by George Crummer who had a photography business in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 1890.  

Te Papa has an album and 227 (now badly deteriorated) negatives taken by George Crummer between 1896 and c.1914. They were gifted to the Museum by the National Film Unit around 1980. 

I was struck by the different styles of clothing and costumes people are wearing in these photographs and I share a few of them here. Yesterday, Safua highlighted some contemporary mu’umu’u, however, here we go old school, Rarotonga – Cook Islands 1914. There are some mu’umu’u in the selection, but check out the cowboy outfit and the hats…it’s Cook Islands style.

Te Ao Teariki (Chief) and his wife from Areora village on Mauke Island.

Cook Islands cowboy

8 Responses

  1. patimore crummer

    Hi there just looking at the pictures taken by my great great grandfather papa George Crummer reminds me of the beautiful island Rarotonga its are beautiful sight.

    • Sean Mallon

      Kia orana Patimore,

      Thank you for reading the blog and commenting. The photographs are a real treasure, as are the people and culture of the Cook Islands.It’s great to have the collection here to share with descendants and researchers.

  2. George Crummer

    Its fantastic to capture some of my great great fathers works in Te Papa. They are moments in the early history of the Cook Islands that need to be share with the generations.

    • seanjmallon

      Many thanks for checking into the Blog and commenting. The photographs are a wonderful resource and treasure that George has left for the world. We are happy to share them with everyone.

  3. Ron Crummer

    Wonderful to see some of my great grandfathers photos that are still around for generations to see!

    • seanjmallon

      Thanks Ron for checking in and commenting. It is wonderful to have such a collection of images to share. They offer such a rare and interesting portrait of the people.

  4. Tim Lee

    Love the photos. I think it’s important to keep a record of this kind of culture and history with so many of the next generation of Cook islander’s being influenced by so many other cultures and pop media.

    • seanjmallon

      Thanks for your comment Tim, I’m glad you liked the photos. We look forward to sharing more in the near future.

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