Tribe Profile
Namesake: Pukapuka atoll
Tribe Type: Starting Tribe
Day Formed: Day 1
Rival Tribe(s): Aitutaki
Tribe Status: Dissolved on Day 7
Challenge Wins: 2
Lowest Placing Member: Cao Boi Bui (15/20)
Highest Placing Member: Yul Kwon (Winner)

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Tribe Sigil

Puka Puka has no sigil.


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Puka Puka (informally known as "Puka") was a tribe from Survivor: Cook Islands.

Puka Puka (named for Pukapuka atoll) was one of four tribes comprising of five castaways that started the game in Day 1. In keeping with the season's racially-divided format, the tribe was comprised entirely of Asian-Americans of varying ethnicity. Puka Puka's tribe color was green.

The tribe lasted two rounds of the competition, and on Day 7 ceased to exist along with fellow tribe Manihiki. All of the remaining castaways were shuffled into the new Aitutaki and Rarotonga.


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  • Becky Lee, an attorney from Washington, D.C.
  • Brad Virata, a fashion director from Los Angeles, California.
  • Cao Boi Bui, a nail salon manager from Christiansburg, Virginia.
  • Jenny Guzon-Bae, a real estate agent from Lake Forest, Illinois.
  • Yul Kwon, a management consultant from San Mateo, California.

Tribe History

Interestingly, Puka Puka seemed to be the tribe that was most concerned with how their race was viewed. When Cao Boi Bui made a joke about the lightness of their raft due to the small Asians on it, Jenny Guzon-Bae was quick to reprimand him. The schism between Cao Boi, who was quick to make ethnic jokes and stereotypes, and the rest of the tribe, who were conscious of their appearance on television, would become a running sub-plot during Puka Puka's brief time as a tribe.


Yul and Becky formed a tight alliance.

Cao Boi was an outcast for other reasons, however: as a first-generation Vietnamese refugee, he had a different viewpoint than his other, younger tribemates. Cao Boi's old-world techniques helped the tribe when Jenny and Brad Virata came down with headaches, and the nail salon owner vigorously massaged their foreheads. Unfortunately, they were also branded with red marks on their foreheads for the next several days.

It was also at Puka Puka that Becky Lee and Yul Kwon formed one of the most important alliances in the game: the pact they formed would last until Day 39, when they faced the jury.

Puka Puka was a physical powerhouse, and emerged in first place the first two Immunity Challenges. As a result, the tribe earned a fire-starting kit, along with both a set of fishing gear and a tarp (the latter of which was also a reward to Rarotonga in what was decided to be a tie victory).

On Day 7, the members of Puka Puka were, in a Schoolyard Pick, shuffled into the Aitutaki and Rarotonga tribes. Becky, Cao Boi, and Yul were sent to Aitutaki, while Brad and Jenny went to Rarotonga. Only Becky and Yul would make the merge, but those two would also make it to the Final Tribal Council.