Table of Contents
On this day ...
21 - 26 April 1769
Endeavour Voyage Maps
The rates, or terms, on which we trafficked with the natives, were a spike for a small pig; a smaller for a fowl; a hatchet for a hog; and twenty cocoa-nuts, or bread-fruit, for a middling-sized nail.
When the natives beckon to any person at a distance, contrary to our mode they wave their hands downwards, and when they meet a friend, or relation, whom they have not seen for some time, they affect to cry for joy, but it seems to be entirely ceremonial.
The tide rises and falls scarce afoot in the harbour; but the surf runs high. The inhabitants are very expert swimmers, and will remain in the water a long time, even with their hands full. They keep their water on shore in large bam-boos, and in them they also carry up salt-water into the country. The boys drag for fish with a sort of net made of convolvulus leaves; and sometimes catch them with hooks made of mother of pearl oysters, large pinna marina, and other shells; and the shapes of them are very singular. They have also some made of wood, which are very large; [see figures of several of them, pl. XIII. fig. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.] They fish without bait, but the fish are attracted the soonest by such hooks as are made of glittering shells. When they throw their hooks, they row their canoes as fast as possible: sometimes they make use of a decoy made of the backs of cowries, and other shells, which are perforated, and tied together in the shape of a fish, making a head to it with a small cowrey; and the tail is formed of grass ingeniously plaited. At a little distance under this decoy, hangs the hook: [see pl. XIII. fig. 15 and 25.] To sink their lines, they make use of bone, or 2 piece of spar, which they sometimes carve. See ibid. fig. 16, 17.
The chief food of the natives is the bread-fruit and bananas, which they peel and scrape with a sharp shell; but they eat sparingly of flesh, and of fish in general; but of the latter, sometimes alive, or raw; and, as they have no salt, they dip their meat into salt water. The natives, it seems, are very subject to the itch, and other cutaneous eruptions, which is the more to be wondered at as their diet consists principally of vegetables. They often move from one part to another in their canoes, carrying with them all their household stuff. Sometimes they deep all night in their canoes *, but those used for that purpose are made double, and have thatched awnings over them.
© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 19 - 20, 2004
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