Rubina Kimiia was born and raised in New Zealand, with Polynesian heritage from Samoa and the Cook Islands. She is an educator, songwriter and arranger, director, studio vocalist, musician and producer. Specialising in vocal arranging, her skills are sought after for many diverse projects for a wide range of media and genres of music.
She is also a dedicated music educator both in and out of the classroom. For example, she taught in the Torres Strait region for six years and was the recipient of three Australia Day Awards for musical services to that community.
Combined with her people, organisational and management skills, Rubina Kimiia strives to use her music abilities and experiences to produce excellent and uplifting music: music that can educate and elevate the soul and contribute to the building and bettering of humanity and society.
Cook Islands and Samoa
The southern Pacific Ocean has been described as a “sea of islands”. Guided by the stars, millennia ago the ancestors of present day Polynesians sailed in large sea-going canoes and inhabited the myriad islands that stretch for many thousands of kilometres. From Hawaii in the north to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the east to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the south, they brought their culture, way of life and language to a vast area referred to as the Polynesian triangle, a part of Oceania.
One of the many groups of islands in Polynesia is the Cook Islands, picturesque volcanic islands surrounded by coral reefs and tropical seas. Polynesian migrants from Tahiti settled the islands in the sixth century CE and European contact began in the sixteenth century CE with Spanish explorers. Captain James Cook travelled through in 1773 and 1776 and after prolonged settlement beginning in the 1820s the islands eventually become a protectorate of Britain in 1888. The islands were incorporated within the boundaries of the colony of New Zealand in 1901, which created a formal political relationship that continues today. In 1949 Cook Islanders who were British subjects acquired New Zealand citizenship. The Cook Islands was a New Zealand dependent territory until 1965 when it gained self-government.
Another group of islands in Polynesia is the Samoan archipelago. Over three thousands years ago, seafaring Polynesian migrants arrived. The archipelago has two distinct political entities, American Samoa and Samoa, both with different colonial histories. American Samoa is now an unincorporated territory of the United States of America but in the colonial era starting in the 1960s it was the site of competing claims by Britain, Germany and the United States and internal strife. The independent state of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, was similarly a site of colonial competition and internal strife but gained effective sovereignty in 1962. However, there had been decades of sustained resistance to colonial control, including that of New Zealand after it annexed Samoa from Germany at the beginning of World War One (1914).
One of the lasting legacies of the European and American invasions and colonisations of the Cook Islands and Samoa is adherence to Christian religions by most residents. In the Cook Islands, the London Missionary Society arrived 1821. In 1823 a schooner carrying the missionary John Williams arrived at Mangaia the southern-most island. This lead eventually to the demise of traditional religious practices and brought about changes in the local society and culture as previous traditions were discarded or adapted to accommodate the new beliefs and the inevitable new power relationships. In Samoa, Williams arrived at Apia in 1830 and by 1834 there were texts in Samoan language. Today, the motto on Samoa’s crest reads “Fa’avae I Le Atua Samoa” which means, “Samoa is founded on God”.