X No Thanks

Fiction Map of the World- Cook Islands

by Travelbag on 09 April 2015, 17:04PM

The Cook Islands are scattered over a vast expanse of open ocean, approximately the size of western Europe, so they make an ideal destination for anybody who has dreams of living like a castaway for a while. If you have ever fostered wistful daydreams about jetting off, and touching down on a remote tropical island, completely removed from the hustle and bustle of society, this is the place for you.  

There are a total of fifteen Cook Islands to choose from, but the most popular has always been the beautiful Raratonga. It is the biggest of the islands, and contains the most diverse range of landscapes – everything from mountains to jungle, beaches, lagoons, and crashing waterfalls. You will find a thousand years of Polynesian culture here, nestled comfortably beside modern bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other facilities.

Essential Holiday Reading

Over the centuries, a succession of European writers have travelled to the Cook Islands, returning with tales of lascivious natives, jungle savages, and savage seas. Whilst we have a much more accurate and well-rounded view on this part of the world nowadays, that curious blend of danger and exoticism is still something that drives people to visit places like Tahiti and Bora Bora. You might know author Herman Melville for his classic work Moby Dick, but did you know he also wrote several books whilst in the South Pacific. The fabulous Omoo was penned shortly after Melville finished a stint in a Polynesian prison, for mutiny. It tells the tale of a South sea whaling ship, and its trials and struggles.  

Intro0  

Notable Cook Islands Books

The American writer, and co-author of classic novel Mutiny on the Bounty, James Norman Hall arrived on Tahiti, married a Tahitian local, and spent the rest of his life on this beautiful Cook Island. In fact, he was buried on Tahiti, right next to his home. His final work, The Forgotten One, is a poignant collection of short stories, chronicling the lives of six Americans and Europeans that Hall knew personally, and that had all immigrated to the island. The titular tale is a moving account of one man, who fled to Tahiti in a bid to come to terms with his own sexuality. The collection is an unusual one, but provides a wonderful insight into what it must be like to start a new life halfway across the world.      

Intro2  

Notable Cook Islands Authors

It is rather difficult to locate literature written by true Cook Islands natives, because the area relied almost exclusively on oral traditions until the late sixties. Nevertheless, there are a handful of famous South Pacific writers, and one of these is Albert Wendt. The renowned epic, Leaves of the Banyan Tree, is his most well-known offering, and tells the vast and winding tale of three generations of one South Pacific family. It begins with young Tauilopepe, who brings shame to his family after being expelled from school. He then sets his heart on making the clan the most dominant force in the area, but learns how to do this through a combination of aggression, physical force, and intimidation. It is not long before Pepe has his own son, who starts to strive to be anything but like his father.

Intro3

Notable Cook Islands Films

If you are planning a trip to the South Pacific, pick up a couple of these great movies to get a preview of the island landscapes. For all of those immediately thinking about South Pacific, it was unfortunately shot in Hawaii, and not anywhere near the Cook Islands. The 2009 film Couples Retreat, starring Vince Vaughn, was filmed at the St. Regis Resort on Bora Bora, and tells the tale of four couples and an involuntary foray into couples based therapy. Whilst the humour might be a little crude for some, the camera loves Bora Bora. The blockbuster survival film Castaway was filmed on nearby Fiji. Plus, the 1936 classic Mutiny on the Bounty was shot in the South Pacific too.        

Essential Holiday Listening

The music of the Cook Islands is vibrant and diverse, with Christian music being extremely popular here. As such, genres like imene tuki are prevalent; this style of music involves unaccompanied vocal sounds, characterised by uniquely Polynesian drop in pitch at the end of the phrases, as well as staccato rhythmic outbursts of nonsensical syllables (tuki). In addition, the harmonies and tune patterns of much of the music in Polynesia is actually western in style, and can be dated back to the influence of European missionaries. The rutu pa’a style of drumming is equally popular, and if you are lucky, you will come across some of this exciting and frenetic music during your stay on the Islands.

Intro4

Notable Cook Islands Musicians

Unfortunately, very little is known about individual stand-out musicians from the Cook Islands, but there are plenty of talented examples in neighbouring Tahiti. For instance, the Belgian singer and songwriter Jacques Brel retried in the Marquesas at the end of a long and successful career. He eventually died of lung cancer, but he was greatly loved by the community, and his music lives on. The classic Ne Me Quitte Pas has been covered by everybody from Nina Simone to Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, and Cyndi Lauper. The renowned Hawaiian artist Bobby Holcomb became famous for his Polynesian songs, which combined reggae beats with traditional rhythms – his most popular song was called Orio, and was written in 1985. 

Click here to read more about the Cook Islands.

Click here to go back to the Fiction Map of the World.


Best Holiday Destinations for 2020

Read More

The Cook Islands: The Isles that Time Forgot

Read More

After the Fall: The Best of New England

Read More

10 Best Islands in Asia

Read More
Post of the month
by Tourism Australia More

Email sign up

Register to receive holiday offers, cheap flights deals, hotel offers and more.

Travelbag Travel/Leisure London

01 Jan 00:00 Read More
Travelbag's Twitter
Common Tags
24 Hours 48 hours in 5 Reasons Abu Dhabi Adventure Holiday Africa Alaska Antigua Argentina asia Auckland Australasia Australia bahamas Bahrain Bali Bangkok Barbados Beach Holidays Beaches Bolivia Bora Bora Borneo Botswana Brazil California Cambodia Campervan Canada Cancun Cape Town Caribbean Central America Chicago Chile China City Breaks Colombo Colorado Cook Islands Costa Rica Cruise Holidays Cruises Cuba culture Dining Dominican Republic Dubai Ecuador Europe Family Holidays Festivals Fiji Florida food Food Trip Gold Coast Grenada Hanoi Hawaii hiking Ho Chi Minh City Hoi An holiday reading holidays Honeymoon Hong Kong India Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Luxury Holidays Indonesia Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Koh Samui Krabi Langkawi Laos las vegas Latin America Literature los angeles Luxury Holidays Macau Malaysia Maldives Mauritius Melbourne Mexico Miami Middle East Montreal motorhome holidays music Myanmar Nature New England New York New Zealand North New Zealand Northen Territory Oman Orlando Penang Perth Perth Beaches Peru Phuket Qatar Quebec Queensland Queenstown Rail Travel Ras Al Khaimah Reading on holiday Road trip Safari San Francisco Scuba Diving Self-Drive Seychelles Sightseeing Trip Singapore snorkelling South Africa South America South Australia South Carolina South New Zealand Southeast Asia Sri Lanka St Lucia Surfing Sydney Tahiti Tasmania Tennessee Texas Thailand Things To Do Tokyo Top 5 Things to Do Toronto tour trekking UAE United States USA USA Roadtrip Utah Vancouver Vietnam Vietnam Beaches Virginia Washington DC Western Australia whale watching Wildlife Winter Sun
Archive
  • 2019
  • 2018
    • December
    • November
    • October
    • July
    • June
    • May
    • April
    • March
    • February
    • January
  • 2017
    • December
    • November
    • October
    • September
    • August
    • July
    • June
    • March
    • February
  • 2016
    • December
    • November
    • October
    • September
    • August
    • July
    • June
    • May
    • April
    • March
    • February
    • January
  • 2015
    • December
    • November
    • October
    • September
    • August
    • July
    • June
    • May
    • April
    • March
    • February
    • January
  • 2014
    • December
    • November
    • October
    • September
    • August
    • July
    • June
    • May
    • April
    • March
    • February
    • January
  • 2013
    • December
    • November
    • October
    • September
    • August
    • June
    • May
    • April
    • March
    • February
  • 2012
    • November
    • October
    • September
    • August
    • July
    • May
    • April
    • March
    • February
    • January
Please Wait...


We use cookies
Read more

Cookies: We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to use our site cookies.
See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

chat with our experts
0871 703 4698
Call us until today

Schedule a call back

Date

Please Select a Date

Time

Please Select a Time

Phone Number
+44

Please Check the Number and Try Again

Destination

Please Select a Destination

HAKUNA-MATATA, WE'LL BE IN TOUCH

Our experts will call you on , on to chat about your trip. In the meantime, feel free to explore our site for inspiration