The British explorer and mariner Captain James Cook presented Māori chiefs with specially struck medals in 1773, during his second Pacific voyage. They commemorate the voyage and were also used to assert rights of 'discovery'. The medals were distributed in the South Island. The known surviving ones were later found some distance from where they were handed out, which has led scholars to believe they were traded by Māori as a form of currency.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.