Aitutaki. Cook Island. Polynesia. South Pacific Ocean. An actor dressed Polynesian blowing a conch shell in Aitutaki Punarei Culture Tours. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn about the ancient culture, myths, legends and traditional ways of our ancestors. The tour is a great way to discover the history, traditional skills, Art & beliefs of the island of Aitutaki. The tour concludes with a traditional feast (umu kai) for lunch on site. The second voyagers of note were Te Erui and his brother Matareka. Te Erui set out from Havaiki in the canoe Viripo, An unexpected hurricane, hur1'hia, dismasted his vessel, but he managed to get back to Havaiki. On being told by a priest that the cause of the disaster was due to the naming of his canoe, he immediately built another canoe. The vessel, on the advice of the priest, was named Te Rangi-pae-uta, and the two masts were named after the gods Rongo and Tangaroa. Thus, with divinity sitting in the belly of his sail, he braved the sea once more in his quest of land. He landed on the West side of Aitutaki, at a point on the reef known as Te Rua-karae. Here he was opposed by one of Ru's descendants, who said, "Tera te moana uriuri o Hiro. Haere ki i'eira kimi henua ai " – "There lies the purple sea of Hiro. Go there land." The request went unheeded. After slaying various opponents, Te Erui cut a channel through the reef with his adze, Haumapu, and finally settled down at Reureu. The channel which is credited to Te Erui's engineering ability is Te Rua-i-kakau, the boat passage which has been such an inestimable boon to Aitutaki. The various historical spots mentioned are shown on the map of Aitutaki. Ruatapu, the third voyager of note, came from Taputapuatea to Rarotonga, and then successively to Raro-ki-tonga, Mauke, and Atiu. During these voyages his canoe had the name of Te Kareroa-i-tai. At Atiu, the canoe name was changed to Tuehu-moana, and in it he sailed to Manuae and then Aitutaki. At Aitutaki he sailed through a passage near the north end, called Kopua-honu, and re- named, after him, Kopu-o-Ruatapu. He is credited with having brought the coconut and the flowering plant known as tiare maori. After quarrelling with his son Kirikava over fishing nets, he came on to Ruatea, near Black Rock. From there he attracted the attention of the ariki Tarula by means of certain toys, and they became friends. He excited the curiosity of Taruia with tales of the islands he had visited, and finally persuaded the ariki to accompany' him on a voyage to see the beautiful women of the islands (nga wahine purotu o nga motu.) Ruatapu purposely sailed before Taruia was quite ready, and to the latter's appeal to wait he called back, " I will go on to Rarotonga and be on the beach to welcome you in." On the other side of the islet of Maina, at a spot called Rau-kuru-aka, Ruatapu purposely capsized his canoe. Taruia shortly afterwards appeared, and to Ruatapu's appeal to wait until he had righted his canoe, he replied with no small satisfaction, "No; I will go to Rarotonga and be on the beach to welcome you in."Ruatapu waited until Taruia was out of sight. He then righted his canoe and, returning to Aitutaki, he had himself made Ariki of the island. Ruatapu is a well-known Maori ancestor of similar parentage,with whom a canoe-sinking incident is also associated in tradition.