Table of Contents
On this day ...
14 - 15 October 1769
Endeavour Voyage Maps
Views of the headlands
Views of the headlands (continued)
We sailed round most part of the bay without finding any opening; and the soundings, all along the shore, were very regular. The country appeared more fertile hereabout, and well covered with wood, the sea-shore making in clayey cliffs, upon which the surf broke very high. This bay was called Hawke’s Bay.
On the 15th, in the morning, we bent our course round a small peninsula, which was joined to the main land by a low isthmus, on which were many groves of tall strait trees, that looked as if they had been planted by art; and, within-side of it, the water was quite smooth. We saw some very high ridges of hills streaked with snow; and, when we had doubled the point of this peninsula, the low isthmus appeared again, stretching a long way by the sea-side. The country looked very pleasant, having fine sloping hills, which stretched out into beautiful green lawns, though not covered with wood, as other parts of the coast are.
In the morning, while we were on the other side of the peninsula, nine canoes came to us, in which were one hundred and sixty of the natives: they behaved in a very irresolute manner, sometimes seeming as if they would attack us; then taking fright, and retreating a little; one half paddling one way, and the other half paddling another, shaking their lances and bone bludgeons at us, talking very loud and blustering, [see pl. XVII.] lolling out their tongues, and making other signs of defiance. We did all we could to make them peaceable, but to no purpose, for they seemed, at length, resolved to do us some mischief; coming along-side of the ship again, and threatening us, we fired one of our guns, loaded with grape-shot, over their heads: they looked upon us for some time with astonishment, and then hastened away as fast as they could. By this time two other canoes came toward us, but stopped a little, and held a conference with those that were returning, and then made up to us, leaving the rest at some distance, who seemed to wait their destiny. We made signs to them that we meant them no harm, if they would behave peaceably, which they so well understood, that they took all their weapons and put them into a canoe, and sent it off while they came close to the ship. We threw them several kinds of things, but they were so timorous that they durst not venture on board; nor would they send any thing to us. During this interview another canoe came up, threw a lance at the stern of the ship, and made off again. The lance fell into the water and sunk immediately. There were some good-looking people in these canoes, others were disfigured, and had a very savage countenance. One old man, in particular, who seemed to be a chief, was painted red, and had a red garment, but the garments of some others were striped. The principals amongst them had their hair tied up on the crown of their heads; and some feathers, with a little bundle of perfume, hung about their necks. Most of them were tataowed in the face, and many of them quite naked, who seemed to be servants to the rest. Several of them had pieces of a green stone * hung about their necks, which seemed to be pellucid, like an emerald. Their spears were not unlike our sheriffs halberts, having red and yellow tassels tied to them. In one of their canoes we saw a hatchet, made of the green stone, in shape like those of Otaheite. Their canoes [see pl. XVIII.] had from eighteen to twenty-two men in them, and were adorned with fine heads made out of a thick board, cut through like filligree-work, in spirals of very curious workmanship. At the end of this was a head, with two large eyes of mother-of-pearl, and a large heart-shaped tongue. This figure went round the bottom of the board, and had feet and hands carved upon it very neatly, and painted red: they had also high-peaked sterns, wrought in filligree, and adorned with feathers, from the top of which depended two long streamers, made of feathers, which almost reached the water. Some of these canoes were between fifty and sixty feet long, and rowed with eighteen paddles. They gave us two Heivos, in their canoes, which were very diverting. They beat time with their paddles, and ended all at once with the word Epaah; at the fame instant striking their paddles on the thwarts: all which afforded a truly comic act.
* Pieces of this kind of stone were brought home in the Endeavour; on examination it appears to be a fine sort of Nephritic stone. This remark will serve for all their ornaments hereafter mentioned, said to be made of a green stone.
© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 92 - 93, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
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