Return to CONTENTS 2014


1 | 23 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Blue laws


1 Request for magic to cure illness or to reveal a thief’s identity $5
2 Landing someone on Rarotonga who has a sickness $30
3 Owning of or playing cards $10
4 If a man has an arm around a woman while walking on a road at night without a lit torch in the other hand $10
5 If a wife leaves her husband (half to husband half to chief) $20
6 If a man throws a stone at a pig and it strikes and kills another man, without evil intent (half goes to friends of dead man) $20
7 If a man cries at the funeral of an unrelated woman $10


Originating in the United States and Canada, the Blue Laws were installed in the Cook Islands in 1827 by Reverends Pittman and Williams and enforced for most of the 19th century. The laws were initially intended to stop the desecration of the Sabbath. Policemen worked with judges and occasionally village chiefs at the behest of the missionary to stop any transgressions. Fines were paid in Chilean dollars. Fines were divided among police, judge, chief and missionary. At one time there were three hundred policemen in Avarua, one for every six inhabitants.



Contents | Previous Author | Next Author | About this Author

Permanent link to this article: