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

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Description of Several other Islands


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Description of Several other Islands (continued)

The natives soon came off to us in two canoes, each of which brought a woman and a pig. The woman we supposed was a mark of confidence, and the pig was a present; we received both with proper acknowledgments, and complimented each of the ladies with a spike nail and some beads, much to their satisfaction. We were told by Tupia, who has always expressed much fear of the men of Bolabola, that they have made a conquest of this island; and that, if we remain here, they will certainly come down tomorrow, and fight us. We determined, therefore, to go on shore without delay, while the day was our own.

I landed in company with Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and the other Gentlemen, Tupia being also of the party. He introduced us by repeating the ceremonies which he had performed at Huaheine, after which I hoisted an English jack, and took possession of this and the three neighbouring islands, Huaheine, Otaha, and Bolabola, which were all in sight, in the name of his Britannic Majesty. After this, we took a walk to a great Morai, called TAPODEBOATEA. We found it very different from those of Otaheite; for it consisted only of four walls, about eight feet high, of coral stones, some of which were of an immense size, inclosing an area of about five and twenty yards square, which was filled up with smaller stones: upon the top of it many planks were set up an end, which were carved in their whole length: at a little distance we found an altar, or Ewhatta, upon which lay the last oblation or sacrifice, a hog of about eighty pounds weight, which had been offered whole, and very nicely roasted. Here were also four or five Ewharre-no-Eatua, or houses of God, to which carriage poles were fitted, like that which we had seen at Huaheine. One of these Mr. Banks examined by putting his hand into it, and found a parcel about five feet long and one thick, wrapped up in matts: he broke a way through several of these matts with his fingers, but at length came to one which was made of the fibres of the cocoa-nut, so firmly plaited together that he found it impossible to tear it, and therefore was forced to desist; especially as he perceived, that what he had done already gave great offence to our new friends. From hence we went to a long house, not far distant, where among rolls of cloth, and several other things, we saw the model of a canoe, about three feet long, to which were tied eight human jaw-bones: we had already learnt that these, like scalps among the Indians of North America, were trophies of war. Tupia affirmed that they were the jaw-bones of the natives of this island; if so, they might have been hung up, with the model of a canoe, as a symbol of invasion, by the warriors of Bolabola, as a memorial of their conquest.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 256 - 256, 2004
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