Cook Islands - Settlements



Most Cook Islanders traditionally lived in hamlets (of Perhaps fifty people) which were accessible to their agricultural lands. The London Missionary Society, beginning its work in the Cook Islands in 1821, persuaded the people to resettle in villages in groups of a few hundred or, in some cases, more than a thousand people. This policy soon coincided with commercial convenience, as the people came to value Imported commodities and to export their own products, and with administrative convenience: initially that of their own chiefs, then from 1888 that of the British Protectorate, and from 1901 that of the New Zealand Dependency. On Rarotonga, due mainly to its greater size, the advent of motor Vehicles (of which most families own at least one) has led in the past twenty years to resettlement in individual homes on the land being farmed.

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