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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
15 - 31 January 1770

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Head-dresses


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Singular head-dresses of the natives

The natives, in this part of New Zealand, [see pl. XXIII.] wear large bunches of feathers on their heads, and their garments in a singular manner, just as Abel Tasmen, the person who, about one hundred and fifty years ago, discovered this land, has figured in his work. They were not desirous of any thing we had except nails, which they soon discovered to be useful.

When these people are pleased on any particular occasion, they express it by crying Ai, and make a cluck with their tongues not unlike a hens when she calls her chickens.

We heard a great cry, or howling, at the Hippa every night, and, most likely, at that time they were cutting and slashing themselves, according to their custom, which is done with a piece of green stone, shell, or sharks tooth, which they drive into their flesh, and draw it along, beginning at their feet and continuing it to their heads.

While we lay here, some of our people went toward the Hippa in a boat; several of the natives came out to welcome them; most likely they took it to be a traverse, and Mr. Monkhouse shot at them. An old man came in a few days after and told us one person was dead of a wound which he received. In this Hippa there are about thirty-two houses, containing upwards of two hundred inhabitants. Some of our people saw the bones of a girl, the flesh of which, they said, they ate the day before. Another party of our people, going to an isle on the other side of the bay, met with a canoe, and were told, that a young girl had been taken from them.


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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 116 - 117, 2004
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