Cook Voyage Encounters


A comprehensive guide to the objects associated with the

voyages of James Cook held at New Zealand's National Museum. 


Almost 250 years after James Cook first sighted Aotearoa New Zealand in

October 1769, there is still world-wide interest in all aspects of his three voyages

of exploration in the Pacific between 1768 and 1779: discovery (by Europeans),

astronomy, natural science, and interactions with indigenous communities. For

many people, the ‘artificial curiosities’ – works of human manufacture from exotic

locations – collected on these voyages by Cook himself and others on his ships,

including super-numenaries and servants, have held a particular fascination.

In this handsome book, widely respected Pacific scholar Janet Davidson details

the collection of Māori, Pacific and Native American objects associated with the

voyages held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, one of the few significant institutional collections that have not been fully described until now. Richly illustrated with over 200 images and accessibly written, it is a treasure trove.


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