Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cooks Islands

Cook's Islands, or The Hervey Archipelago, lie in the Pacific Ocean (lat. 18° to 22° S., long. 158° to 162° W.), S.W. of the Society Islands. Their total area is 300 square miles, and the chief members of the group are Mangeia, Raratonga, Aitutake, and Auotu. Discovered by Captain Cook in 1777, they became in 1823 the scene of the missionary labours of John Williams; many of the natives are now Christians. Though water is scarce, vegetation is luxuriant, bread-fruit, cocoanuts, and plantains being the chief products. The inhabitants are chiefly Malays, and their industry and mechanical skill raise them above the level of most of the Polynesian races.