A man on an art mission

Saturday October 27, 2018 Written by Published in Culture
Sebastian Pakarati (right) donated this piece he did on the Cook Islands legend to the Cook Islands Library and Museum. 18102509 Sebastian Pakarati (right) donated this piece he did on the Cook Islands legend to the Cook Islands Library and Museum. 18102509

Sebastian Pakarati is a man on a mission. His mission is to preserve Polynesian folklore through art.

 

Hailing from Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the 25-year-old artist is currently in Rarotonga where he is hoping to capture some of the well-known legends of Cook Islands on canvas.

One of the top artists from Rapa Nui, Pakarati has completed some of his work which defines the history of the Cook Islands.

“I came here in July for six months with an aim to perfect my English but, at the same time, learn more about the history of Polynesia and the history of the Cook Islands,” Pakarati said.

“My art back in Rapa Nui is all history related. They tell stories about our forefathers and the legends of our land. I aim to do the same here … preserve the legends and history of the Cook Islands through art.”

Pakarati said he had been talking to people in the community trying to learn more about the history of this country.

He said everybody had their own version of the local legends which made his work a bit difficult.

“However there are people like Mike Tavioni and Ariki Vakatini who are well versed with the legends. There are also other older people I have met on the streets whose stories are similar to that of Tavioni and Ariki Vakatini.”

Pakarati, who has been drawing since the age of 10, said preserving legends through art is the best way of keeping the history alive.

“People tend to forget about legends and history of their people and we need a way to make sure to keep them alive so new generations understand how their people evolved,” he said.

“And drawing is the best way to achieve this. One picture can speak a thousand word and if it can tell a story and then I’m happy that my effort is paid off.”

Pakarati, who will launch a book next year illustrating the legends of Rapa Nui, has donated some of his work based on the Cook Islands history to the Cook Islands Library and Museum, Ariki Vakatini, Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, and others.

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