Story: South Pacific peoples



Tahitian chief Tupaia accompanied British explorer James Cook to New Zealand in 1769. The Tahitian and Māori languages were very similar so Tupaia, who spoke some English, was able to act as translator to Cook. This diptych by Michel Tuffery entitled Tupaia's chart Cook and Banks/Tupaia's and Parkinson's paintbox references Tupaia’s well-known painting of a Māori man and a Pākehā man trading a crayfish and piece of tapa cloth.

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Michel Tuffery
Acrylic on canvas by Michel Tuffery

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'South Pacific peoples - Early migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 July 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Jul 2024