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24 October 1769
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24 October 1769

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
24 October 1769

24. This morn Dr Solander and myself went ashore botan[i]zing and found many new plants. The people behavd perfectly well, not mixing with or at all interrupting our people in what they were about but on the contrary selling them whatever they had for Otahite cloth and Glass bottles, of which they were uncommonly fond.

In our walks we met with many houses in the vallies that seemd to be quite deserted, the people livd on the ridges of hills in very slight built houses or rather shedds. For what reason they have left the vallies we can only guess, maybe for air, but if so they purchase that convenience at a dear rate as all their fishing tackle and lobster potts of which they have many must be brought up with no small labour.

We saw also as extrordinary natural curiosity. In pursuing a valley bounded on each side by steep hills we on a sudden saw a most noble arch or Cavern through the face of a rock leading directly to the sea, so that through it we had not only a view of the bay and hills on the other side but an opportunity of imagining a ship or any other grand object opposite to it. It was certainly the most magnificent surprize I have ever met with, so much is pure nature superior to art in these cases: I have seen such places made by art where from an appearance totaly inland you was led through an arch 6 feet wide and 7 high to a prospect of the sea, but here was an arch 25 yards in lengh, 9 in breadth and at least 15 in hight. In the evening we returnd to the watering place in order to go on board with our treasure of plants, birds &c. but were prevented by an old man who detaind us some time in shewing the excercise of this countrey, arms, lance and patopato as they are calld. The lance is made of hard wood from 10 to 14 feet long very sharp at the ends, the patopatoo is made of stone or bone about a foot long shapd . A stick was given him for an enemy, to this he advancd with most furious aspect brandishing his lance which he held with vast firmness; after some time he ran at the stick and supposing it a man run through the body he immediately fell upon the upper end of it, laying on most unmercifull blows with his patopatoo any one of which would probably have split most sculls; from hence I should be led to conclude that they give no quarter.


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© Derived from State Library of NSW 1998 Transcription of Banks's Endeavour Journal page (vol.2) 55, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-jrnl-banks-17691024