Kauraka Kauraka was born in Avatiu, Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. He earned his BA from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji and an MA in anthropology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Of Manihiki, Mangaian, and Chinese descent, Kauraka explored Polynesian cultural history and traditions in his work, including oral and folk forms. He authored six collections of poetry in English and Cook Island Maori, including Return to Havaiki (1985) Dreams of a Rainbow: Moemoea a Te Anuanua: Poems (1987), Manakonako (Reflections) (1992), and My Dawning Star (1999). In addition to being a poet, writer, and musician, Kauraka was a professional anthropologist with the Ministry of Cultural Development, Cook Islands, at the time of his death.

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