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James Morrison's Account of TahitiIndigenous Histories
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Persons


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The People in general are of the Common size of Europeans, the Men are Strong well limb’d and finely shaped — their Gait easey and Genteel and their Countenance Free Open and lively, never sullied by a sullen or Suspicious look — their motions are Vigourous active & Graceful and their Behaveour to Strangers is such as declare at first sight their Humane disposition, which is as Candid as their Countenaces seem to indicate, and their Courteous affable and freindly behaviour to each other shews that they have no tincture of Barbarity, Cruelty, Suspicion or Revenge — they are ever of an even unruffeld temper, slow to anger and soon appeasd and as they have no suspicion so they ought not to be suspected, and an hours acquaintance is sufficient to repose an entire confidence in them.

The Men Wear their Hair in different forms and their beards neatly pickd, which they do with a fish scale & here a Painter might take an excellent copy of a Hector or an Achilles. Some have their hair Cut short & others wear it long and flowing over their Shoulders in Waves and others tied in a bunch on the top of their Heads. The Weomen are finely Shaped and the natural Collour is a Brunette tho some who are more exposed to the Sun are very dark, especcially those who are fishermen and Constantly exposed to its rays, but those who are not exposed are of fine bright Collour, and a Glow of Blood may be seen in their faces; their skin is as tender as Europeans and they scorch as soon in the sun. They are in generall handsom and engaging, their Eyes full and sparkling and Black almost without excepiton, their Noses of different discriptions, their mouths small, lips thin and red, and their teeth white and even and their Breath sweet and perfectly free from taint. The Hair of Both sexes is mostly Black or dark Brown, in some Coarse and others fine, which the Weomen wear Short and Neatly Cut in waves in their Neck. They take much pride in keeping it in exact order and decorate their head with sweet flowers; they are careful to keep it free from Vermin, and for that purpose were excee[d]ing fond of our Combs, as they also were of Scisars


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© Derived from the 1935 Print Edition edited by Owen Rutter, page 170, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-jrnl-morrison-040