Manihiki Afternoon..

Years ago I wandered by inter-island ship in the Northern Group of the Cook Islands. In the process of visiting nine islands I was able to experience much of what would be called old Polynesia - people living much as they had done for in some cases centuries. This painting was the result of a couple of photos I shot while on the island of Manihiki. Years later when sustainable community became one of my primary interests I came to realize that those people had worked out sustainability a long time ago - that their way of life which to many from the outside world was romantic - was actually the result of finding a way to exist while living on a small dot of land in the middle of lots of ocean. In sitting down to eat fresh fish from that ocean along with taro in coconut cream and the green leaves of that taro boiled in more coconut cream- spiced by hot little chilis- it was not only romantic sitting on woven matts looking out to the lagoon and the sea beyond the reef -it was delicious healthy food and a beautifully balanced diet- far better than the more civilized islands to the South with their white sugar, white flour & tinned meat.