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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
14 April 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Arrival at Otaheite


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Arrival at Otaheite (continued)

In the morning, however, before we could leave the ship, several canoes came about us, most of them from the westward, and two of them were filled with people, who by their dress and deportment appeared to be of a superior rank: two of these came on board, and each singled out his friend; one of them, whose name we found to be MATAHAH, fixed upon Mr. Banks, and the other upon me: this ceremony consisted in taking off great part of their clothes and putting them upon us. In return for this, we presented each of them with a hatchet and some beads. Soon after they made signs for us to go with them to the places where they lived, pointing to the S.W.; and as I was desirous of finding a more commodious harbour, and making farther trial of the disposition of the people, I consented.

I ordered out two boats, and with Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, the other gentlemen, and our two Indian friends, we embarked for our expedition. After rowing about a league, they made signs that we should go on shore, and gave us to understand that this was the place of their residence. We accordingly landed, among several hundreds of the natives, who conducted us into a house of much greater length than any we had seen. When we entered, we saw a middle-aged man, whose name we afterwards discovered to be TOOTAHAH; mats were immediately spread, and we were desired to sit down over against him. Soon after we were seated, he ordered a cock and hen to be brought out, which he presented to Mr. Banks and me; we accepted the present, and in a short time each of us received a piece of cloth, perfumed after their manner, by no means disagreeably, which they took great pains to make us remark. The piece presented to Mr. Banks was eleven yards long and two wide; in return for which, he gave a laced silk neckcloth, which he happened to have on, and a linen pocket handkerchief: Tootahah immediately dressed himself in this new finery, with an air of perfect complacency and satisfaction. But it is now time that I should take some notice of the ladies.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 84 - 85, 2004
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