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George Crummer: Picturing the Cook Islands

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries George Crummer built up a business taking pictures of Cook Islanders and general scene photographs in Rarotonga, Aituaki, and Mangaia.

George Robson Crummer was born in Auckland on 14 June 1868. His parents George and Mary Jane Crummer migrated to Auckland from Ireland on the ship the Mary Shepherd in 1866.

In 1890 with a number of business partners, George Robson invested in a topsail schooner called 'Jessie Niccol'. The schooner was employed to sail between the Cook Islands and Auckland bringing fruit, copra, pearl shell, and fungus from the islands and returning with general cargo.

It was in the Cook Islands that George met his wife Upokotio who was the daughter of Tangaiia Mataiapo, a high chief of Takitumu. They married in 1892 and had seven children.

Along with the shipping business, George built up a business taking portraits of Cook Islanders and general scene photographs in Rarotonga, Aituaki, and Mangaia.

See all photographs by George Crummer on Collections Online