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book cover of Tupaia


Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator
A non fiction book by

Tupaia was the brilliant Polynesian navigator and translator who sailed with Captain James Cook from Tahiti, piloted the Endeavour across the South Pacific, and interceded on behalf of the European voyagers with the warrior Maori of New Zealand. As a man of high social ranking, Tupaia was also invaluable as an intermediary, interpreting local rituals and ceremonies. Joseph Banks, the botanist with Cook's expedition, is famous for describing the manners and customs of the Polynesian people in detail. Much of the credit for this information rightfully belongs to Tupaia - indeed, he could aptly be called the Pacific's first anthropologist.

Despite all this, Tupaia's colorful tale has never been part of the popular Captain Cook legend. This unique book tells the first-contact story with Europeans as seen through the eyes of the Polynesian, and documents how Tupaia's contributions changed the history of the Pacific.


Used availability for Joan Druett's Tupaia

Hardback Editions

November 2010 : USA Hardback

Title: Tupaia: Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator
Author(s): Joan Druett
ISBN: 0-313-38748-6 / 978-0-313-38748-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Praeger
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

June 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator
Author(s): Joan Druett
Publisher: RHNZ Adult ebooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA