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Ripo of Manuae

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Manuae lies approx. 40 miles away from the island of Aitutaki and in the days of our ancestors, it was frequented by Aitutaki fishing expeditions and also used for refuge.

The island of Atiu also had interest in the island and one day arrived to settle the atoll that included another atoll in its lagoon called Te ao o Tu.

When a group from Aitutaki arrived at Manuae, a fierce skirmish broke out between the two parties. Aitutaki was able to drive out the Atiu at the cost of many wounded and dead. Weak and sick, the Aitutaki were also aware of the likelihood that the Atiu warriors would raise a war party and return.

Unexpectedly, their rescue came in the form of an elderly blind woman, named Ripo. Ripo, who resided on the Manuae during this time, came and fed the Aitutaki warriors slices of coconut meat, tended the wounded and restored their strength.

Some rumours claim her spirit still cares for the uninhabited atoll to this day.


Materials: Stretched Canvas, Oil paint, varnish.
Size: 36 x 24
Date: 2021

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