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Pukapukan Fieldnotes

We, the Council of Island Chiefs of Pukapuka and Nassau Islands, would like to acknowledge Dr. Borofsky’s work on our culture and heritage. We applaud his novel idea to publish and make available his field materials not only for the benefit of the Pukapuka diaspora but for the rest of the world through the internet. Such a moral commitment is much too rare in the echelons of anthropology and academia. We the Council of Chiefs endorse and congratulate Dr. Borofsky for his generous gift.

Pio Ravarua, Executive Officer

Pukapukan-Nassau Island Administration

Cook Islands


The Pukapukan Community accepts gift of knowledge from retired anthropologist

(from Tagata Pasifika, the Pacific voice on New Zealand television)

The Winners of the Christmas Sports Games Starting Their Victory Celebration (date uncertain)

Pukapukan Fieldnotes focuses on the fieldnotes of Robert Borofsky, who conducted research on the atoll between 1977 and 1981 (for 41 months), and Ernest and Pearl Beaglehole, who conducted research there between 1934 and 1935 (for 8 months). In addition, it includes (a) many of the genealogies recorded by Julia Hecht, who conducted fieldwork on Pukapuka between 1972 and 1974, (b) a genealogy by Tipuia Tiro (the Government’s Chief Administrative Office during Borofsky’s stay), (c) a number of published articles on Pukapuka by Julia Hecht, (d) published articles by Peter Vayda who visited the atoll in 1957, and (e) a published article by Jeremy Beckett who visited the atoll in 1964. Interested readers might also refer to research by Kevin and Mary Salisbury, especially their work with the Pukapukan Dictionary Committee. (Here is a link to the dictionary they helped produce: Pukapukan Fieldnotes numbers more than 16,000 pages and includes several hours of taped informant interviews as well as scores of photographs.