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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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21 - 25 June 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Ceremonies of a Funeral and General Observations on that Subject


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Ceremonies of a Funeral and General Observations on that Subject (continued)

These circumstances having strongly excited our curiosity, we enquired who they were, and were informed, that Oamo was the husband of Oberea, though they had been a long time separated by mutual consent; and that the young woman and the boy were their children. We learnt also, that the boy, whose name was TERRIDIRI, was heir apparent to the sovereignty of the island, and that his sister was intended for his wife, the marriage being deferred only till he should arrive at a proper age. The sovereign at this time was a son of WHAPPAI, whose name was OUTOU, and who, as before has been observed, was a minor. Whappai, Oamo, and Tootahah, were brothers: Whappai was the eldest, and Oamo the second; so that, Whappai having no child but Outou, Terridiri, the son of his next brother Oamo, was heir to the sovereignty. It will, perhaps, seem strange that a boy should be sovereign during the life of his father; but, according to the custom of the country, a child succeeds to a father’s title and authority as soon as it is born: a regent is then elected, and the father of the new sovereign is generally continued in his authority, under that title, till his child is of age; but, at this time, the choice had fallen upon Tootahah, the uncle, in consequence of his having distinguished himself in a war. Oamo asked many questions concerning England and its inhabitants, by which he appeared to have great shrewdness and understanding.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 154, 2004
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