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Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World by James Cook

Part 4 out of 11

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Colours worne by the ships of Diffrent Nations, and very soon made him
understand that we wanted to know which of them was worn by the ships
that were at Ohidea. He at once pitched upon the Spanish Flag and would
by no means admit of any other; this, together with several Articles we
have lately seen amongst these people, such as Jackets, Shirts, etc.,
usually worn by Spanish Seamen, proves beyond doubt that they must have
been Ships of that Nation, and come from some Port on the Coast of South
America.* (* This was of course a mistake, as the ships were French.)

Monday, 12th. Yesterday Complaint was made to me by some of the Natives
that John Thurman and James Nicholson, Seamen, had taken by force from
them several Bows and Arrows and plaited Hair, and the fact being proved
upon them they were this day punished with 2 dozen lashes each.

Tuesday, 13th. Some Showers of rain last night, but fair weather the most
part of the day. Tootaha, whom we have not seen for some time past, paid
us a Visit to-Day. He brought with him a Hog and some Bread Fruit, for
which he was well paid.

Wednesday, 14th. Between 2 and 4 o'clock this morning, one of the Natives
stole out of the Fort an Iron rake, made use of for the Oven. It hapned
to be set up against the Wall, and by that means was Visible from the
outside, and had been seen by them in the evening, as a man had been seen
lurking about the Fort some Hours before the thing was Missed. I was
informed by some others of the Natives that he watch'd an opportunity
when the Centinel's back was turned, he hooked it with a long crooked
stick, and haled it over the Wall. When I came to be informed of this
theft in the Morning I resolved to recover it by some Means or other, and
accordingly went and took possession of all the Canoes of any value I
could meet with, and brought them into the River behind the Fort to the
number of 22, and told the Natives then present (most of them being the
owners of the Canoes) that unless the principal things they had stol'n
from us were restored I would burn them every one: not that I ever
intended to put this in execution, and yet I was very much displeased
with them, as they were daily committing, or attempting to commit, one
theft or other, when at the same time--contrary to the opinion of
everybody, I would not suffer them to be fir'd upon, for this would have
been putting it in the power of the Centinels to have fir'd upon them
upon the most slitest occasions, as I had before experienced. And I have
a great Objection to firing with powder only amongst People who know not
the difference, for by this they would learn to despise fire Arms and
think their own Arms superior, and if ever such an Opinion prevailed they
would certainly attack you, the Event of which might prove as
unfavourable to you as them. About Noon the rake was restored us, when
they wanted to have their Canoes again; but now, as I had them in my
possession, I was resolved to try if they would not redeem them by
restoring what they had stol'n from us before. The Principal things which
we had lost was the Marine Musquet, a pair of Pistols belonging to Mr.
Banks, a Sword belonging to one of the Petty Officers, and a Water Cask,
with some other Articles not worth mentioning. Some said that these
things were not in the Island, others that Tootaha had them, and those of
Tootaha's friends laid the whole to Obariea, and I believe the whole was
between these two persons.

Thursday, 15th. We have been employed for some Days past in overhauling
all the Sea Provisions, and stowing such as we found in a State of decay
to hand, in order to be first expended; but having the people divided
between the Ship and the Shore, this work, as well as refitting the Ship,
goes on but slowly.

Friday, 16th; Saturday, 17th. Variable winds, with Showers of rain and
Cloudy weather.

Sunday, 18th. Variable winds and Clear weather. This Night was observed
the Moon totally Eclipsed.

Monday, 19th. Punished James Tunley with 12 lashes for taking Rum out of
the Cask on the Quarter Deck.

Tuesday, 20th. Got all the Powder aShore to Air, all of which we found in
a bad Condition, and the Gunner informs me that it was very little better
when it came first on board. Last Night Obariea made us a visit, whom we
have not seen for some time. We were told of her coming, and that she
would bring with her some of the Stol'n things, which we gave Credit to
because we know'd several of them were in her possession; but we were
surprised to find this Woman put herself wholy in our power, and not
bring with her one Article of what we had lost. The Excuse she made was
that her Gallant, a man that used to be along with her, did Steal them,
and she had beat him and turned him away, but she was so Sencible of her
own Guilt that she was ready to drop down through fear, and yet she had
resolution Enough to insist upon Sleeping in Mr. Banks's Tent all Night,
and was with difficulty prevailed upon to go to her canoe, altho no one
took the least notice of her. In the morning she brought her Canoe, with
everything she had, to the Gate of the Fort, after which we could not
help admiring her for her Courage and the Confidence she seem'd to place
in us, and thought that we could do no less than to receive her into
favour, and except the Present she had brought us, which consisted of a
Hog, a Dog, some Bread Fruit and Plantains.

We refused to Except of the Dog, as being an Animal we had no use for; at
which she seemed a little surprised, and told us it was very good eating,
and we very soon had an opportunity to find that it was so, for Mr.
Banks, having bought a Basket of Fruit in which was the Thigh of a Dog
ready dressed, of this several of us tasted, and found that it was Meat
not to be despised, and therefore took Obariea's Dog and had him
immediately dressed by some of the Natives in the following manner: They
first made a hole in the Ground about a foot Deep, in which they made a
fire and heated some small Stones. While this was doing the Dog was
strangled and the hair got off by laying him frequently on the fire, and
as clean as if it had been scalded off with hot water. His Intrails was
taken out, and the whole washed Clean, and as soon as the Stones and Hole
was sufficiently heated the fire was put out and part of the Stones were
left in the bottom of the hole. Upon these stones were laid green leafs,
and upon them the Dog, together with the Intrails, these were likewise
covered with leaves, and over them hot stones; and then the hole was
close cover'd with mould. After he had laid here about 4 Hours, the Oven
(for so I must call it) was op'ned, and the dog taken out, whole and well
done, and it was the Opinion of every one who tasted it that they never
eat sweater Meat, therefore we resolved for the future never to dispise
Dog's flesh. It is in this manner that the Natives dress and Bake all
their Victuals that require it--Flesh, fish, and Fruit. I now gave over
all thoughts of recovering any of the things the Natives had stol'n from
us, and therefore intend to give them up their Canoes whenever they apply
for them.

Wednesday, 21st. Employed drying the Powder, or getting on board Wood,
Water, etc. Confined Robert Anderson, Seaman, for refusing to obey the
orders of the Mate when at work in the Hold. This morning a Chief, whose
Name is Oamo, and one we had not seen before, came to the Fort. There
came with him a Boy about 7 Years of Age and a Young Woman of about 18 or
20. At the Time of their coming Obariea and several others were in the
fort. They went out to meet them, having first uncovered their Heads and
Bodies as low as their Waists; and the same thing was done by all those
that were on the outside of the Fort. As we looked upon this as a
Ceremonial respect, and had not seen it paid to any one before, we
thought that this Oamo must be some extraordinary person, and wondered to
see so little notice taken of him after the Ceremony was over. The Young
woman that came along with him could not be prevailed upon to come into
the Fort, and the Boy was Carried upon a Man's back, altho' he was as
able to walk as the Man who carried him. This Lead us to inquire who they
were; and we was informed that the Boy was Heir Apparent to the
Sovereignty of the Island, and the Young Woman was his Sister, and as
such the respect was paid them which was due to no one else except the
Arreedehi, which was not Tootaha, from what we could learn, but some
other person who we had not seen, or like to do, for they say that he is
no Friend of ours, and therefore will not come near us. The Young Boy
above mentioned is son to Oamo by Obariea, but Oamo and Obariea do not at
this time live together as Man and Wife, he not being able to endure with
her troublesome disposition. I mention this because it shows that
seperation in the Marriage state is not unknown to these people.* (* See
note Notes on Tahiti below.)

Thursday, 22nd. This morning I released Robert Anderson from Confinement
at the intercession of the Master and a promise of behaving better for
the future.

Friday, 23rd. This morning Emanuel Parreyra, a Portugue, was Missing, and
I had some reason to think that he was gone with an intent to stay here.
It was not long before I was informed that he was at Apparra with
Tootaha. The Man who gave us this information was one of Tootaha's
Servants. He was Offer'd a Hatchet if he would go to Apparra and bring
him to us. This was perhaps the very thing he came for, for he
immediately set out and return'd with the Man in the Evening. The man
said in his defence that as he was going to the Boat to go on board last
night, he was taken away by force by 3 Men, and upon enquiring farther
into this matter I found it to be so, and that Tootaha wanted to have
kept him, only that he was perswaided to the contrary, or perhaps he
thought that the Hatchet he would get by returning him would do him more
service than the Man.

Saturday, 24th, Sunday, 25th. Nothing remarkable.

[Tahiti: Expedition round Island.]

Monday, 26th. Very early this morning I set out in the pinnace,
accompanied by Mr. Banks, with an intent to make the Circuit of the
Island in order to Examine and draw a Sketch of the Coast and Harbours
thereof. We took our rout to the Eastward, and this night reached the
Isthmus, which is a low neck of Land running across the Island, which
divides it into two districts or Governments wholly independent of each
other as we was informed. The first thing we saw which struck our
attention in this day's rout was a small Pig that had not been roasted
above a Day or 2 laid upon one of their Altars near to a place where lay
the Body or Bones of a Dead Person. This Pig must have been put their as
an offering to their God, but on what account we know not. The Coast from
Royal Bay trends East by South and East-South-East 10 miles South by East
and South 11 miles to the Isthmus. In the first direction the Shore is
mostly open to the Sea, but in the last it is cover'd by reefs of rocks;
these forms several good Harbours, wherein are safe Anchorage for
Shipping in 16, 18, 20, and 24 fathoms, with other Conveniences. It was
in one of these Harbours the Spanish Ships before mentioned lay; the
Natives shew'd us the place where they Pitched their Tent and the Brook
they water'd at, otherways there was not the least signs of Shipping
having been there.

Tuesday, 27th. Winds Easterly and fine weather. It was late last night
before we reached the Isthmus, and all the Observations I could make this
morning was that it appeared to be a Marshey flatt of about 2 miles in
Extent aCross which the Natives Haul their Canoes partly by land and
partly by water. From the Isthmus the land trends East Southerly near 3
Leagues, to the South-East point of the Great Bay which lies before the
Isthmus. On the west side of this point is a Bay called Ohitepepa, which
is in many respects similar to Royal Bay, and is situated in every bit as
fertile and populous part of the Island. There are other places formed by
the Reefs that lay along the Shore between this and the Isthmus, where
Shipping can lay in perfect security. The Land then trends South-East and
South to the South-East part of the Island, which is near 3 Leagues, and
covered all the way by a Reef of Rocks, but no Harbour. We took up our
Quarters at the East part of the Island, being conducted thither by a
Young Chief we had Often seen on board the Ship, and the next morning
proceeded round the South-East point of the Island, part of which is not
cover'd by any reef, but lies wholy open to the Sea and here the Hills
rise directly from the Shore. At the Southernmost part of the Island the
Shore is again cover'd by a Reef, and there forms a very good Harbour,
and the land about it very fertile. At this place we saw a Goose and a
Turkey left at Royal Bay by the Dolphin; they were in possession of a
Chief who came along with us in the Boat, and remain'd with us the
remainder of the day, and conducted us over the Shoals we here meet with;
and for this piece of service we lent him a Cloak to Sleep in in the
night, but we had not been laid down above 10 minutes before he thought
proper to move off with it, but both Mr. Banks and I pursued him so close
that he was obliged to relinquish his prize, and we saw no more of him.
When we returned to our Lodging we found the House, in which were not
less than 2 or 300 people when we went away, intirely deserted, so that
we had one of the Largest and best houses on the Island wholy to
ourselves; but when they found that we meant them no harm the Chief and
his Wife with some others came and Slept by us the remainder of the
night. This place is situated on the South-West side of Tiarreboo,* (*
Taiarapu.) the South-East district of the Island, and about 5 miles
South-East from the Isthmus. Here is a large, safe, and Commodious
Harbour, inferior to none on the whole Island, and the land about it Rich
in Produce. We found that the people of this district had had little or
no communication with us, yet we was everywhere well received by them. We
found all this part of the Island very fertile and the Natives numerous,
and had a great many large Double Canoes built and Ornamented uniformly.
They were all halled ashore, and appeared to be going to decay for want
of use. Their Mories or Burial places stood generally upon these points
of land that projected into the Sea, and were both better built and
Ornamented than those about Royal Bay--Tootaha's excepted. In general
this district appear'd to be in a more flourishing state than the other,
although it is not above one fourth part as big and cannot contain
nothing near the Number of inhabitants.

Thursday, 29th. Squally weather with Showers of rain. This morning we
left Tiaraboo and entered upon that of Opooreonoo, the North-West
district of the Island. The first thing we met with worthy of note was at
one of their Mories, where lay the scull bones of 26 Hogs and 6 Dogs.
These all lay near to and under one of their Altars. These Animals must
have been offer'd as a Sacrifice to their Gods either all at once or at
different times, but on what account we could not learn. The next day we
met with an Effigy or Figure of a Man made of Basket work and covered
with white and Black feathers placed in such order as to represent the
Colour of their Hair and Skins when Tattow'd or painted. It was 7 1/2
feet high and the whole made in due proportion; on its head were 4 Nobs
not unlike the stumps of Large Horns--3 stood in front and one behind. We
were not able to learn what use they made of this Monster; it did not at
all appear to us that they paid it the least Homage as a God: they were
not the least Scrupulous of letting us examine every part of it. I am
inclinable to think that it is only used by way of diversion at their
Hevas or public entertainments, as Punch is in a Puppet show.* (* Note by
Cook in Admiralty copy: "Tupia informs us that this is a representation
of one of the Second rank of Eatuas or Gods, called Mauwi, who inhabited
the Earth upon the Creation of man. He is represented as an immense Giant
who had seven heads, and was indued with immense strength and abilities.
Many absurd stories are told of his Feats by Tupia.") We next passed
through a Harbour, which is the only one on the south side of Opooreonoo
fit for Shipping. It is situated about 5 Miles to the Westward of the
Isthmus between 2 Small Islands that lay near the shore and a Mile from
each other. In this Harbour is 11 and 12 fathoms of water and good
Anchorage. About a League and a half to the Westward of this Harbour is
the Morie of Oamo or Oberia, for some told us it belong'd to the one and
some to the other; it far Exceeds every thing of this Kind upon the whole
Island. It is a long square of Stonework built Pyramidically; its base is
267 feet by 87 feet; at the Top it is 250 feet by 8 feet. It is built in
the same manner as we do steps leading up to a Sun Dial or fountain
erected in the Middle of a Square where there is a flite of steps on each
side. In this building there are 11 of such steps; each step is about 4
feet in height and the breadth 4 feet 7 inches, but they decreased both
in height and breadth from the bottom to the Top. On the middle of the
Top stood the Image of a Bird carved in Wood, near it lay the broken one
of a Fish carved in stone. There was no hollow or Cavity in the inside,
the whole being fill'd up with stones. The outside was faced partly with
hewn stones and partly with others, and these were placed in such a
manner as to look very agreeable to the Eye. Some of the hewn stones were
4 feet 7 inches by 2 feet 4 inches and 15 inches thick, and had been
squared and Polished with some sort of an Edge Tool. On the East side was
enclosed with a stone wall a piece of ground in form of a square, 360
feet by 354, in this was growing several Cypress trees and Plantains.
Round about this Morie was several smaller ones all going to decay, and
on the Beach between them and the Sea lay scatter'd up and down a great
quantity of human bones. Not far from the Great Morie was 2 or 3 pretty
large Altars, where lay the Scull bones of some Hogs and dogs. This
Monument stands on the south side of Opooreonoo, upon a low point of land
about 100 Yards from the Sea.* (* On map Morai-no te Oamo.) It appeared
to have been built many Years, and was in a State of decay, as most of
their Mories are. From this it would seem that this Island hath been in a
more Flourishing state than it is at present, or that Religious Customs
are (like most other Nations) by these people less observed. We took up
our Quarters near this Morie for the night, and early in the Morning
proceeded on our rout, and without meeting with anything remarkable, got
on board the Ship on Saturday, the 1st of July, having made the Circuit
of the whole Island, which I Estimated at something more than 30
Leagues.* (* A remarkably close estimate.) The Plan or Sketch which I
have drawn, altho' it cannot be very accurate, yet it will be found
sufficient to point out the Situation of the different Bays and Harbours
and the true figure of the Island, and I believe is without any Material
error. For the first 2 or 3 days we was out upon this excursion we
labour'd under some difficulty for want of Provisions--particularly
bread--an Article we took but little of with us--not doubting that we
should get bread fruit, more than sufficient for a Boat's Crew at every
place we went to, but, on the Contrary, we found the season for that
fruit wholy over, and not one to be seen on the Trees, and all other
fruit and roots were scarce. The Natives live now on Sour paist--which is
made from bread fruit--and some bread fruit and plantains that they get
from the Mountains where the season is Later, and on a Nut not unlike a
chessnut which are now in Perfection; but all these Articles are at
present very scarce, and therefore it is no wonder that the Natives have
not supply'd us with these things of Late. [At Tahiti.] Upon my return to
the Ship I found that the Provisions had been all examined and the Water
got on board, amounting to 65 Tons. I now determind to get everything off
from the Shore and leave the Place as soon as possible. The getting the
several Articles on board, and Scraping and paying the Ship's side, took
us up the following Week without anything remarkable happening until

[July 1769. At Tahiti.]

Sunday, July 9th. When, sometime in the Middle Watch, Clement Webb and
Saml. Gibson, both Marines and young Men, found means to get away from
the Fort (which was now no hard matter to do) and in the morning were not
to be found. As it was known to everybody that all hands were to go on
board on the Monday morning, and that the ship would sail in a day or
two, there was reason to think that these 2 Men intended to stay behind.
However I was willing to stay one day to see if they would return before
I took any step to find them.

Monday, 10th. The 2 Marines not returning this morning, I began to
enquire after them, and was inform'd by some of the Natives that they
were gone to the Mountains, and that they had got each of them a Wife and
would not return; but at the same time no one would give us any certain
intelligence where they were, upon which a resolution was taken to seize
upon as many of the Chiefs as we could. This was thought to be the
readiest method to induce the other natives to produce the 2 Men. We had
in our custody Obariea, Toobouratomita, and 2 other Chiefs, but that I
know'd Tootaha would have more weight with the Natives than all these put
together, I dispatched Lieutenant Hicks away in the Pinnace to the place
where Tootaha was, to endeavour to decoy him into the Boat and bring him
on board, which Mr. Hicks performed without the least disturbance. We had
no sooner taken the other Chiefs into Custody in Mr. Banks's Tent than
they became as desirous of having the Men brought back has they were
before of keeping them, and only desir'd that one of our people might be
sent with some of theirs for them. Accordingly I sent a petty officer and
the Corporal of Marines with 3 or 4 of their People, not doubting but
they would return with the 2 Men in the evening; but they not coming as
soon as I expected, I took all the Chiefs on board the ship for greater
safety. About 9 o'Clock in the evening Webb, the Marine, was brought in
by some of the natives and sent on board. He informed me that the Petty
Officer and Corporal that had been sent in quest of them were disarm'd
and seiz'd upon by the natives, and that Gibson was with them.
Immediately upon getting this information I dispatch'd Mr. Hicks away in
the Long boat with a strong party of men to rescue them but before he
went Tootaha and the other Chiefs was made to understand that they must
send some of their People with Mr. Hicks to shew him the place where our
men were, and at the same time to send orders for their immediate
releasement, for if any harm came to the men they (the Chiefs) would
suffer for it; and I believe at this time they wished as much to see the
Men return in safety as I did, for the guides conducted Mr. Hicks to the
place before daylight, and he recovered the men without the least
opposition, and return'd with them about 7 o'Clock in the morning of

Tuesday, 11th. I then told the Chiefs that there remain'd nothing more to
be done to regain their liberty but to deliver up the Arms the People had
taken from the Petty Officer and Corporal, and these were brought on
board in less than half an Hour, and then I sent them all on shore. They
made but a short stay with our people there before they went away, and
most of the natives with them: but they first wanted to give us 4 Hogs.
These we refused to except of them, as they would take nothing in return.
Thus we are likely to leave these people in disgust with our behaviour
towards them, owing wholy to the folly of 2 of our men, for it does not
appear that the natives had any hand in inticing them away, and therefore
were not the first Agressors. However, it is very certain that had we not
taken this step we never should have recovered them. The Petty Officer
whom I sent in quest of the deserters told me that the Natives would give
him no intelligence where they were, nor those that went along with him,
but, on the contrary, grew very troublesome, and, as they were returning
in the evening, they were suddenly seized upon by a number of Armed men
that had hid themselves in the wood for that purpose. This was after
Tootaha had been seized upon by us, so that they did this by way of
retaliation in order to recover their Chief; but this method did not meet
with the approbation of them all. A great many condemn'd these
proceedings, and were for having them set at liberty, while others were
for keeping them until Tootaha was releas'd. The dispute went so far that
they came from words to blows, and our people were several times very
near being set at liberty; but at last the party for keeping them
Prevailed, but, as they had still some friends, no insult was offer'd
them. A little while after they brought Webb and Gibson, the two
deserters, to them as Prisoners likewise; but at last they agreed that
Webb should be sent to inform us where the others were. When I came to
Examine these 2 Men touching the reasons that induced them to go away, it
appeared that an acquaintance they had contracted with 2 Girls, and to
whom they had strongly attached themselves, was the Sole reason of their
attempting to stay behind. Yesterday we weighed the small Bower Anchor,
the Stock of which was so much eaten by the worms as to break in heaving
up, and to-day we hove up the best Bower, and found the Stock in the very
same Condition. This day we got everything off from the Shore, and
to-night everybody lays on board.

Wednesday, 12th. The Carpenter employ'd in stocking the Anchors and the
Seamen in getting the Ship ready for Sea. This morning we found the
Staves of the Cask the Natives stole from us some time ago laying at the
Watering place; but they had been Sencible enough to keep the Iron Hoops,
and only return what to them was of no use.

[Sail from Tahiti.]

Thursday, 13th. Winds Easterly, a light breeze. This morning we was
visited by Obariea and several others of our acquaintance, a thing we did
not expect after what had hapned but 2 days ago; but this was in some
measures owing to Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself going to Apparra
last night, where we so far convinc'd them of our Friendly disposition
that several of them were in tears at our coming away. Between 11 and 12
o'Clock we got under Sail, and took our final leave of these People,
after a stay of just three Months, the most part of which time we have
been upon good terms with them. Some few differences have now and then
hapned owing partly to the want of rightly understanding each other, and
partly to their natural thievish disposition, which we could not at all
times bear with or guard against; but these have been attended with no
ill consequence to either side except the first, in which one of them was
kill'd, and this I was very sorry for, because from what had hapned to
them by the Dolphin I thought it would have been no hard matter to have
got and keep a footing with them without bloodshed. For some time before
we left this Island several of the Natives were daily offering themselves
to go away with us; and as it was thought they must be of use to us in
our future discoveries we resolved to bring away one whose name is Tupia,
a Chief and a Priest. This man had been with us most part of the time we
had been upon the Island, which gave us an opportunity to know something
of him. We found him to be a very intelligent person, and to know more of
the Geography of the Islands situated in these Seas, their produce, and
the religion, laws, and Customs of the inhabitants, than any one we had
met with, and was the likeliest person to answer our Purpose. For these
reasons, and at the request of Mr. Banks, I received him on board,
together with a young Boy, his Servant. For the first two Months we were
at this Island the Natives supplied us with as much Bread fruit, Cocoa
Nuts, etc., as we could well dispence with, and now and then a few Hogs,
but of these hardly sufficient to give the Ship's company one and
sometimes two fresh Meals a week. As to Fowls, I did not see above 3
dozen upon the whole Island, and fish they seldom would part with; but
during the last Month we got little refreshment of any sort. The
detaining of their Canoes broke off Trade at that time, and it never
after was begun again with any Spirit. However, it was not wholy owing to
this, but to a Scarcity. The Season for Bread fruit was wholy over, and
what other Fruits they had were hardly sufficient for themselves; at
least, they did not care to part with them. All sorts of Fruits we
purchased with Beads and Nails, not less than 40-penny, for a nail under
that size was of no value; but we could not get a Hog above 10 or 12
pounds weight for anything less than a Hatchet, not but that they set
great value upon Spike Nails; but, as this was an Article many in the
Ship are provided with, the Women soon found a much easier way at coming
at them than by bringing Provisions. Our Traffick with this people was
carried on with as much Order as in the best regulated Market in Europe.
It was managed ashore chiefly by Mr. Banks, who took uncommon Pains to
procure from the Natives every kind of refreshment that was to be got.
Axes, Hatchets, Spikes, large Nails, looking Glasses, Knives, and Beads
are all highly valued by this People, and nothing more is wanting to
Traffick with them for everything they have to dispose of. They are
likewise very fond of fine Linnen Cloth, both White and Printed, but an
Axe worth half a Crown will fetch more than a Piece of Cloth worth Twenty

Upon our arrival at Batavia we had certain information that the two ships
that were at George's Island some time before our arrival there were both
French ships.* (* In Admiralty copy.)


This Island is called by the Natives Otaheite, and was first discovered
by Captain Wallis, in His Majesty's ship Dolphin, on June 19th, 1767, and
to the Credit of him and his Officers, the Longitude of Royal Bay was by
them settled to within half a degree of the Truth, and the whole figure
of the Island not ill described. It is situated between the Latitude of
17 degrees 29 minutes and 17 degrees 53 minutes South, and between the
Longitude of 149 degrees 10 minutes and 149 degrees 39 minutes West from
the Meridian of Greenwich.* (* These latitudes are exact. The modern
limits of longitude are 149 degrees 7 minutes to 149 degrees 36 minutes
30 seconds.) Point Venus, so called from the Observation being made
there, is the Northern extremity of the Island, and lies in the Longitude
of 149 degrees 30 minutes,* (* Now considered to be 149 degrees 29
minutes.) being the mean result of a Great number of Observations made
upon the Spot. The Shores of this Island are mostly guarded from the Sea
by reefs of coral rocks, and these form several excellent Bays and
Harbours, wherein are room and depth of Water sufficient for the largest

Royal Bay, called by the Natives Matavie,* (* Matavai.) in which we lay,
and the Dolphin before us, is not inferior to any on the Island, both in
Point of conveniency and Situation. It may easily be known by a
Prodigious high Mountain in the middle of the Island, which bears due
south from Point Venus, which is the Eastern point of the Bay. To sail
into it either keep the West point of the Reefs which lies before Point
Venus close on board, or give it a berth of near half a Mile in order to
avoid a small Shoal of Coral Rocks, whereon is but 2 1/2 fathoms of
water. The best Anchoring is on the Eastern side of the Bay in 16 or 14
fathoms of water, owsey bottom. The Shore of the bay is all a fine sandy
beach, behind which runs a river of Fresh Water, so that any Number of
Ships might Water here without discommoding one another. The only wood
for fuel upon the whole Island is fruit Trees, and these must be
purchased of the Natives, if you mean to keep on good Terms with them.
There are some Harbours to the Westward of this bay that have not been
mentioned, but as they lay Contiguous to it, and are to be found in the
plan, the description of them is unnecessary.

The land of this Island, except what is immediately bordering upon the
Sea coast, is of a very uneven Surface, and rises in ridges which run up
into the middle of the Island, and there form mountains, that are of a
height Sufficient to be seen at the distance of 20 leagues. Between the
foot of the ridges and the Sea is a border of low Land surrounding the
whole Island, except in a few places where the ridge rises directly from
the Sea. This low land is of Various Breadths, but nowhere exceeds a Mile
and a half. The Soil is rich and fertile, being for the most part well
stock'd with fruit Trees and small Plantations. and well water'd by a
number of small Rivulets of Excellent Water which come from the adjacent
hills. It is upon this low Land that the greatest part of the inhabitants
live, not in Towns or Vilages, but dispersed everywhere round the whole
Island; the Tops of most of the ridges and mountains are Barren and, as
it were, burnt up with the sun, yet many parts of some of them are not
without their produce, and many of the Valleys are fertile and inhabited.

[Produce of Tahiti.]


The produce of this Island is Bread Fruit, Cocoa Nuts, Bonanoes,
Plantains, a fruit like an Apple, sweet Potatoes, Yams, a Fruit known by
the name of Eag Melloa, and reck'ned most delicious; Sugar Cane which the
inhabitants eat raw; a root of the Salop kind, called by the inhabitants
Pea; the root also of a plant called Ether; and a fruit in a pod like a
Kidney bean, which when roasted eats like a Chestnut, and is called Ahee;
the fruit of a Tree which they call Wharra, something like a Pine Apple;
the fruit of a Tree called by them Nano; the roots of a Fern and the
roots of a plant called Thive. All these Articles the Earth almost
Spontaniously produces, or, at least, they are raised with very little
Labour. In the Article of food these people may almost be said to be
exempt from the Curse of our Forefathers, scarcely can it be said that
they Earn their bread with the sweat of their brow; benevolent Nature
hath not only Supply'd them with necessarys, but with abundance of
Superfluities. The Sea coast supplies them with vast Variety of most
Excellent fish, but these they get not without some Trouble and
Perseverance. Fish seems to be one of their greatest Luxuries, and they
Eat it either raw or Dressed and seem to relish it one way as well as the
other. Not only fish but almost everything that comes out of the Sea is
Eat and Esteem'd by these People; Shell Fish, Lobsters, Crabs, and even
sea insects, and what is commonly called blubbers of many kinds, conduce
to their support.

For tame Animals they have Hogs, Fowls, and Dogs, the latter of which we
learned to Eat from them, and few were there of us but what allow'd that
a South Sea dog was next to an English Lamb. One thing in their favour is
that they live intirely upon Vegetables; probably our Dogs would not Eat
half so well. Little can be said in favour of their Fowles, but their
pork is most Excellent, they have no beasts of Prey of any Sort, and Wild
Fowls are scarce and confin'd to a few Species. When any of the Chiefs
kill a Hog it seems to be almost equally divided among all his
Dependents, and as these are generally very numerous, it is but a little
that come to each person's share, so that their chief food is Vegetables,
and of these they eat a large quantity.

Cookery seems to have been but little studied here; they have only 2
Methods of applying Fire--broiling and Baking, as we called it; the
method this is done I have before described, and I am of Opinion that
Victuals dressed this way are more juicy and more equally done than by
any of our Methods, large Fish in particular, Bread Fruit, Bananoes.
Plantains Cooked this way eat like boil'd Potatoes, and was much used by
us by way of bread whenever we could get them. Of bread Fruit they make 2
or 3 dishes by beating it with a Stone Pestle till it makes a Paste,
mixing Water or Cocoa Nut Liquor, or both, with it, and adding ripe
Plantains, Bananoes, Sour Paste, etc.

This last is made from bread Fruit in the following manner. This fruit,
from what I can find, remains in Season only 8 or 9 months in the year,
and as it is the Chief support of the inhabitants a reserve of food must
be made for those months when they are without it. To do this the Fruit
is gathered when upon the point of ripening; after the rinde is scraped
off it is laid in heaps and coverd close with leaves, where it undergoes
a fermentation, and becomes soft and disagreeably sweet. The Core is then
taken out, and the rest of the fruit thrown into a Hole dug for that
purpose, the sides and bottom of which are neatly laid with grass. The
whole is covered with leaves and heavy stones laid upon them; here it
undergoes a second Fermentation and becomes sourish, in which condition
they say it will keep good 10 or 12 months. As they want to use it they
make it into balls, which they wrap up in leaves and bake in the same
manner as they do the Fruit from the Tree; it is then ready for eating
either hot or cold, and hath a sour and disagreeable taste. In this last
State it will keep good a Month or 6 Weeks; it is called by them Mahai,
and they seldom make a Meal without some of it, one way or another. To
this plain diet Salt Water is the universal sauce, hardly any one sets
down to a meal without a Cocoa Nut shell full of it standing by them,
into which they dip most of what they Eat, especially Fish, drinking at
Intervals large sops of it out of their Hands, so that a man may use half
a Pint at a Meal.

It is not common for any 2 to eat together, the better sort hardly ever;
and the women never upon any account eat with the Men, but always by
themselves. What can be the reason of so unusual a custom it is hard to
say; especially as they are a people, in every other instance, fond of
Society and much so of their Women. They were often Asked the reason, but
they never gave no other Answer, but that they did it because it was
right, and Express'd much dislike at the Custom of Men and Women Eating
together of the same Victuals. We have often used all the intreatys we
were Masters of to invite the Women to partake of our Victuals at our
Tables, but there never was an instance of one of them doing it publick,
but they would Often goe 5 or 6 together into the Servants apartments,
and there eat very heartily of whatever they could find, nor were they
the least disturbed if any of us came in while they were dining; and it
hath sometimes hapned that when a woman was alone in our company she
would eat with us, but always took care that her own people should not
know what she had don, so that whatever may be the reasons for this
custom, it certainly affects their outward manners more than their

[Natives of Tahiti.]


With respect to their persons the Men in general are tall, strong-limb'd,
and well shaped. One of the tallest we saw measured 6 feet 3 inches and a
half. The superior women are in every respect as large as Europeans, but
the inferior sort are in General small, owing possibly to their early
Amours, which they are more addicted to than their superiors. They are of
various Colours: those of the inferior sort, who are obliged to be much
exposed to the Sun and air, are of a very Dark brown; the superiors
again, who spend most of their Time in their Houses under Shelter, are
not browner than people who are born or reside longer in the West Indies;
nay, some of the Women are almost as fair as Europeans. Their hair is
almost universally black, thick, and Strong; this the Women wear short
Cropt Round their Ears. The Men, on the other hand, wear it different
ways: the better sort let it grow long, and sometimes tying it up on the
Top of their Heads, or letting it hang loose over their Shoulders; but
many of the inferiors, and such who, in the exercise of their
professions, fishing, etc., are obliged to be much upon or in the Water,
wear it cropt short like the women. They always pluck out a part of their
beards, and keep what remains neat and Clean. Both Sexes eradicate every
hair from under their Armpits, and look upon it as a mark of
uncleanliness in us that we do not do the Same.

They have all fine white Teeth, and for the most part short flat Noses
and thick lips; yet their features are agreeable, and their gaite
graceful, and their behavior to strangers and to each other is open,
affable, and Courteous, and, from all I could see, free from treachery,
only that they are thieves to a man, and would steal but everything that
came in their way, and that with such dexterity as would shame the most
noted Pickpocket in Europe. They are very cleanly people, both in their
persons and diet, always washing their hands and Mouth immediately before
and after their Meals, and wash or Bathe themselves in fresh Water 3
times a day, morning, Noon, and Night.

The only disagreeable thing about them is the Oil with which they anoint
their heads, Monoe, as they call it; this is made of Cocoanutt Oil, in
which some sweet Herbs or Flowers are infused. The Oil is generally very
rancid, which makes the wearer of it smell not very agreeable.* (* Other
voyagers have, on the contrary, described the odour of this sweetened oil
as agreeable.) Another custom they have that is disagreeable to
Europeans, which is eating lice, a pretty good stock of which they
generally carry about them. However, this custom is not universal; for I
seldom saw it done but among Children and Common People, and I am
perswaided that had they the means they would keep themselves as free
from lice as we do; but the want of Combs in a Hot climate makes this
hardly possible. There are some very fine men upon this Island whose
skins are whiter than any European's, but of a Dead Colour, like that of
the Nose of a White Horse; their Eyes, eyebrows, hair and beards are also
White. Their bodys were cover'd, more or less, with a kind of White down.
Their skins are spotted, some parts being much whiter than others. They
are short-sighted, with their eyes oftimes full of rheum, and always
look'd unwholesome, and have neither the Spirit nor the activity of the
other Natives. I did not see above 3 or 4 upon the whole Island, and
these were old men; so that I concluded that this difference of colour,
etc., was accidental, and did not run in families, for if it did they
must have been more Numerous. The inhabitants of this Island are Troubled
with a sort of Leprosy, or Scab all over their bodys. I have seen Men,
Women, and Children, but not many, who have had this distemper to that
degree as not to be able to walk. This distemper, I believe, runs in
familys, because I have seen both mother and Child have it.

Both sexes paint their Bodys, Tattow, as it is called in their Language.
This is done by inlaying the Colour of Black under their skins, in such a
manner as to be indelible. Some have ill-design'd figures of men, birds,
or dogs; the women generally have this figure Z simply on every joint of
their fingers and Toes; the men have it likewise, and both have other
differant figures, such as Circles, Crescents, etc., which they have on
their Arms and Legs; in short, they are so various in the application of
these figures that both the quantity and Situation of them seem to depend
intirely upon the humour of each individual, yet all agree in having
their buttocks covered with a Deep black. Over this Most have Arches
drawn one over another as high as their short ribs, which are near a
Quarter of an inch broad. These Arches seem to be their great pride, as
both men and Women show them with great pleasure.

Their method of Tattowing I shall now describe. The colour they use is
lamp black, prepar'd from the Smoak of a Kind of Oily nut, used by them
instead of Candles. The instrument for pricking it under the Skin is made
of very thin flatt pieces of bone or Shell, from a quarter of an inch to
an inch and a half broad, according to the purpose it is to be used for,
and about an inch and a half long. One end is cut into sharp teeth, and
the other fastened to a handle. The teeth are dipped into black Liquor,
and then drove, by quick, sharp blows struck upon the handle with a Stick
for that purpose, into the skin so deep that every stroke is followed
with a small quantity of Blood. The part so marked remains sore for some
days before it heals. As this is a painful operation, especially the
Tattowing their Buttocks, it is perform'd but once in their Life times;
it is never done until they are 12 or 14 years of Age.

[Clothing of Tahitians.]

Their Cloathing is either of Cloth or Matting of several different sorts;
the dress of both Men and Women are much the same, which is a Piece of
Cloth or Matting wrapp'd 2 or 3 times round their waist, and hangs down
below their Knees, both behind and before, like a Pettycoat; another
piece, or sometimes 2 or 3, about 2 yards or 2 1/2 yards long, with a
hole in the Middle, through which they put their heads. This hangs over
their Shoulders down behind and before, and is tied round their waist
with a long piece of thin Cloth, and being open at the sides gives free
liberty to their arms. This is the common dress of all ranks of people,
and there are few without such a one except the Children, who go quite
naked, the Boys until they are 6 or 7 years of Age, and the girls until 3
or 4. At these Ages they begin to cover what nature teaches them to hide.
Besides the dress I have mentioned some of the better sort, such as can
afford it, but more especially the Women, will one way or other wrap
round them several pieces of Cloth, each 8 or 10 Yards long and 2 or 3
broad, so much that I have often wondered how they could bear it in so
hot a climate. Again, on the other hand, many of the inferior sort during
the heat of the Day, go almost naked, the women wearing nothing but the
Petticoat aforementioned, and sometimes hardly that. The men wear a piece
of Cloth like a Sack, which goes between their thighs, and brought up
before and behind, and then wrapped round their waist. This every man
wears always without exception, and it is no uncommon thing to see many
of the better sort have nothing else on, as it is reckoned no shame for
any part of the body to be exposed to View, except those which all
mankind hide.

Both sexes sometimes shade their faces from the Sun with little Bonnets
made of Cocoa-Nut leaves. Some have them of fine Matting, but this is
less common. They sometimes wear Turbands, but their Chief Headdress is
what they call Tomou, which is human Hair plaited scarce thicker than
common thread. Of this I can safely affirm that I have seen pieces near a
mile in length worked upon one end without a Knott. These are made and
worn only by the women, 5 or 6 such pieces of which they will sometimes
wind round their Heads, the effect of which, if done with taste, is very
becoming. They have Earings by way of Ornament, but wear them only at one
Ear. These are made of Shells, Stones, Berries, red pease, and some small
pearls which they wear 3 tied together; but our Beads, Buttons, etc.,
very soon supply'd their places.

[Customs of Tahiti.]


After their meals in the Heat of the day they often Sleep, middle Aged
people especially, the better sort of whom seem to spend most of their
time in eating and Sleeping. Diversions they have but few, shooting with
the Bow and Wrestling are the Chief; the first of which is confin'd
almost wholy to the Chiefs; they shoot for distance only, kneeling upon
one knee and dropping the Bow the instant of the Arrows parting from it.
I have seen one of them shoot an Arrow 274 yards, yet he looked upon it
as no Great Shotte.

Musick is little known to them, yet they are very fond of it; they have
only 2 Instruments--the flute and the Drum. The former is made of hollow
Bamboo about 15 inches long, in which are 3 Holes; into one of them they
blow with one Nostril, stopping the other with the thumb of the left
hand, the other 2 Holes they stop and unstop with their fingers, and by
this means produce 4 Notes, of which they have made one Tune, which
serves them upon all Occasions, to which they sing a number of songs
generally consisting of 2 lines and generally in rhime. At any time of
the day when they are Lazy they amuse themselves by singing these
Couplets, but especially after dark when their candles are lighted, which
are made of the Kernels of a Nutt abounding much in oil; these are stuck
upon a Skewer of Wood one upon another, and give a very Tolerable light,
which they often keep burning an hour after dark, and if they have
strangers in the House much longer. Their drums are made of a hollow
block of wood covered with Shark's Skin, and instead of Drumsticks they
use their hands. Of these they make out 5 or 6 tunes and accompany the

The drums are Chiefly used at their Heivas, which are a set of Musicians,
2 or 3 Drums for instance, as many flutes and singers, which go about
from House to House and play, and are always received and rewarded by the
Master of the family, who gives them a Piece of Cloth or whatever he can
spare, for which they will stay 3 or 4 hours, during which time his house
will be crowded full, for the people are extravagantly fond of this
diversion. The Young Girls whenever they can collect 8 or 10 Together
dance a very indecent Dance, which they call Timorodee, singing most
indecent songs and using most indecent actions, in the practice of which
they are brought up from their earliest childhood; in doing this they
keep time to a great nicety. This exercise is generally left off as soon
as they arrive at Years of Maturity, for as soon as they have form'd a
connection with man they are expected to leave off dancing Timorodee.

One amusement or custom more I must mention, though I confess I do not
expect to be believed, it is founded upon a Custom so inhuman and
contrary to the Principles of human nature. It is this: that more than
one half of the better sort of the inhabitants have enter'd into a
resolution of injoying free liberty in Love, without being Troubled or
disturbed by its consequences. These mix and Cohabit together with the
utmost freedom, and the Chilldren who are so unfortunate as to be thus
begot are smother'd at the Moment of their Birth; many of these People
contract intimacies and live together as man and wife for years, in the
course of which the Children that are born are destroy'd. They are so far
from concealing it that they look upon it as a branch of freedom upon
which they Value themselves. They are called Arreoys, and have meetings
among themselves, where the men amuse themselves with Wrestling, etc.,
and the Women in dancing the indecent dance before-mentioned, in the
course of which they give full Liberty to their desires, but I believe
keep up to the appearance of decency. I never see one of these meetings;
Dr. Monkhouse saw part of one, enough to make him give Credit to what we
had been told.

Both sexes express the most indecent ideas in conversation without the
least emotion, and they delight in such conversation beyond any other.
Chastity, indeed, is but little valued, especially among the middle
people--if a Wife is found guilty of a breach of it her only punishment
is a beating from her husband. The Men will very readily offer the Young
Women to Strangers, even their own Daughters, and think it very strange
if you refuse them; but this is done merely for the sake of gain.

The Houses or dwellings of these People are admirably calculated for the
continual warmth of the Climate; they do not build them in Towns or
Villages, but seperate each from the other, and always in the Woods, and
are without walls, so that the air, cooled by the shade of the Trees, has
free access in whatever direction it hapens to blow. No country can boast
of more delightful walks than this; the whole Plains where the Natives
reside are covered with groves of Bread Fruit and Cocoa Nut Trees,
without underwood, and intersected in all directions by the Paths which
go from House to House, so that nothing can be more grateful in a Climate
where the sun hath so powerful an influence. They are generally built in
form of an Oblong square, the Roofs are supported by 3 Rows of Pillars or
posts, and neatly covered with Thatch made of Palm leaves. A middle-siz'd
house is about 24 feet by 12, extream heigth about 8 or 9, and heigth of
the Eves 3 1/2 or 4. The floors are cover'd some inches deep with Hay,
upon which, here and there, lay matts for the conveniency of sitting
down; few houses has more than one Stool, which is only used by the
Master of the family.

In their houses are no rooms or Partitions, but they all huddle and Sleep
together; yet in this they generally observe some order, the Married
people laying by themselves, and the unmarried each sex by themselves, at
some small distance from each other. Many of the Eares or Chiefs are more
private, having small movable houses in which they Sleep, man and Wife,
which, when they go by Water from place to place, are tied upon their
Canoes; these have walls made of Cocoa-Nut leaves, etc. I have said that
the houses are without walls, but this is only to be understood in
general, for many of them are walled with wickering, but not so close but
to admit a free circulation of Air. The matts which serve them to sit
upon in the daytime are also their beds in the night, and the Cloathes
they wear in the day serve for covering, a little wood Stool, block of
wood, or bundle of Cloth for a Pillow. Besides these common houses there
are others much larger, 200 feet long and upwards, 30 broad, and 20 in
heigth. There are generally 2 or 3 of these in every district, and seem'd
not only built for the accommodation of the principal people, but common
to all the inhabitants of that district, and raised and kept up by their
joint Labour; these are always without walls, and have generally a large
Area on one side neatly inclosed with low pallisades, etc.

[Tahitian Canoes.]

Their Canoes or Proes are built all of them very narrow, and some of the
largest are 60 or 70 feet long. These consist of several pieces; the
bottom is round and made of large logs hollow'd out to the thickness of
about 3 Inches, and may consist of 3 or 4 pieces; the sides are of Plank
of nearly the same thickness, and are built nearly perpendicular,
rounding in a little towards the Gunwale. The pieces on which they are
built are well fitted, and fastned or sewed together with strong platting
something in the same manner as old China, Wooden Bowls, etc., are
mended. The greatest breadth is at the after part, which is generally
about 18 or 20 Inches, and the fore part about 1/3 Narrower; the heigth
from the bottom to the Gunwale seldom exceeds 2 1/2 or 3 feet. They build
them with high curv'd Sterns which are generally ornamented with carved
work; the head or fore part curves little or nothing. The smaller Canoes
are built after the same plan, some out of one, 2, or more trees
according to their size or the use they are for. In order to prevent them
from oversetting when in the Water, all those that go single, both great
and Small, have what is called Outriggers, which are Pieces of Wood
fastened to the Gunwale and project out on one side about 6, 8, or 10
feet, according to the size of the Boat. At the end is fastened in a
Parrallel direction to the Canoe a long log of wood simply; or some have
it Shaped in the form of a small Boat, but this is not common; this lays
in the Water and Balances the Boat. Those that are for sailing have
Outriggers only on the other side abreast of the Mast; these serves to
fasten the Shrouds to, and are of use in Trimming the Boat when it blows
fresh; the sailing proes have some one and some 2 masts; the sails are of
Matting and are made narrow at the head and Square at the foot, something
like a Shoulder of Mutton Sail, such as are generally used in Man-of-War
Barges, etc.

I have mentioned above that the single Canoes have Outriggers, for those
that go double--that is 2 together, which is very common--have no need of
any; and it is done in this manner: 2 Canoes are placed in a parrallel
direction to each other, about 3 or 4 feet asunder, securing them
together by small Logs of Wood laid across and lashed to each of their
gunwales; thus the one boat supports the other, and are not in the least
danger of upsetting, and I believe it is in this manner that all their
large Proes are used, some of which will carry a great number of Men, by
means of a Platform made of Bamboo or other light wood and the whole
length of the Proes and considerably broader, but I never saw but one
fitted in this manner upon the whole Island. Upon the Forepart of all
these large double Proes was placed an Oblong Platform about ten or
twelve feet in length, and six or eight in Breadth, and supported about 4
feet above the Gunwale by stout Carved Pillars. The use of these
Platforms, as we were told, are for the Club Men to stand and fight upon
in time of Battle, for the large Canoes, from what I could learn, are
built most, if not wholly, for war, and their method of fighting is to
Graple one another and fight it out with Clubs, spears, and stones. I
never saw but one of these sort of Canoes in the water, the rest was all
hauled ashore and seemed to be going to decay, neither were there very
many of them upon the Island.* (* The war canoes of Tahiti exist no
longer. The others are still used, and merit all Cook's encomiums on
their sailing qualities.)

The Chiefs and better sort of People generally go from one part of the
island to another in small double Canoes which carry a little movable
House, this not only Skreens them from the Sun by day, but serves them to
Sleep in in the Night, and this way of Travelling is Extremely commodious
about such Islands as are inclosed by a reef as this is; for as these
Canoes draw but Little water they can always keep in the Reefs, and by
that means are never in danger.

They have some few other Canoes, Pahees as they call them, which differ
from those above discribed, but of these I saw but 6 upon the whole
Island, and was told they were not built here. The 2 largest was each 76
feet long, and when they had been in use had been fastned together. These
are built Sharp and Narrow at both Ends and broad in the Middle; the
bottom is likewise Sharp, inclining to a Wedge, yet Buldges out very much
and rounds in again very quick just below the Gunwale. They are built of
several pieces of thick plank and put together as the others are, only
these have timbers in the inside, which the others have not. They have
high Curved Sterns, the head also Curves a little, and both are
ornamented with the image of a man carved in wood, very little inferior
work of the like kind done by common Ship Carvers in England.

When one Considers the Tools these people have one cannot help but
admiring their workmanship; these are Adzes and small Hatchets made of a
hard Stone, Chizels and Gouges made of human bones, generally the bones
of the Forearm, but Spike Nails have pretty well supplyd the place of
these. With these ordinary Tools, that a European would expect to break
the first stroke, I have seen them work surprisingly fast. To plain or
polish their work they rub upon it, with a small stone, Coral Beat small
and Mixed with Water; this is done sometimes by scraping it with Shells,
with which alone they perform most of their Small wood work.

Their Proes or Canoes, large and Small, are row'd and Steer'd with
Paddles, and, notwithstanding the large ones appear to be very unweildy,
they manage them very dexterously, and I believe perform long and distant
Voyages in them, otherwise they could not have the knowledge of the
Islands in these Seas they seem to have. They wear for Shew or Ornament
at the Mast Head of most of their Sailing Canoes Pendants made of

Having described their fighting Canoes I shall next describe their Arms
with which they attack their Enemys, both by Sea and Land. These are
Clubs, Spears or Lances, Slings and Stones which they throw by hand. The
Clubs are made of a hard wood, and are about 8 or 9 feet long; the one
half is made flatish with 2 Edges, and the other half is round and not
thicker than to be easily grasped by the hand. The Lances are of various
lengths, some from 12, 20 or 30 feet, and are generally Arm'd at the
Small end with the Stings of Sting-rays, which makes them very dangerous
weapons. Altho' these people have Bows and Arrows--and those none of the
worst--we are told that they never use them in their wars, which
doubtless is very extraordinary and not easily accounted for. They have
very Curious breastplates, made of small wickers, pieces of Matting,
etc., and neatly Cover'd with Sharks' teeth, Pearl Oyster shells, birds'
feathers, and dogs' hair. Thus much for their Arms, etc.

[Tahitian Cloth.]

I shall now describe their way of making Cloth, which, in my opinion, is
the only Curious manufacture they have. All their Cloth is, I believe,
made from the Bark of Trees; the finest is made from a plant which they
Cultivate for no other purpose.* (* Broussonetia papyrifera. The
manufacture is common to all Polynesia, and the ordinary name for it in
the Pacific is Tapa. The Tahitians, however, called it Ahu.) Dr. Solander
thinks it is the same plant the bark of which the Chinese make paper of.
They let this plant grow till it is about 6 or 8 feet high, the Stem is
then about as thick as one's Thum or thicker; after this they cut it down
and lay it a Certain time in water. This makes the Bark strip off easy,
the outside of which is scraped off with a rough Shell. After this is
done it looks like long strips of ragged linnen; these they lay together,
by means of a fine paist made of some sort of a root, to the Breadth of a
yard more or less, and in length 6, 8 or 10 Yards or more according to
the use it is for. After it is thus put together it is beat out to its
proper breadth and fineness, upon a long square piece of wood, with
wooden beaters, the Cloth being keept wet all the time. The beaters are
made of hard wood with four square sides, are about 3 or 4 inches broad
and cut into grooves of different fineness; this makes the Cloth look at
first sight as if it was wove with thread, but I believe the principal
use of the Groves is to facilitate the beating it out, in the doing of
which they often beat holes in it, or one place thinner than another; but
this is easily repair'd by pasting on small bits, and this they do in
such a manner that the Cloth is not the least injured. The finest sort
when bleached is very white and comes nearest to fine Cotton. Thick
cloth, especially fine, is made by pasting two or more thickness's of
thin cloth, made for that Purpose, together. Coarse thick cloth and
ordinary thin cloth is made of the Bark of Bread fruit Trees, and I think
I have been told that it is sometimes made from the Bark of other trees.
The making of Cloth is wholy the work of the women, in which all ranks
are employ'd. Their common colours are red, brown and yellow, with which
they dye some pieces just as their fancy leads them. Besides Cloth they
make several different sorts of matting, both better and finer than any
we have in Europe; the stuff they make it on is the Produce of the Palm

This Island produceth 2 or 3 sorts of plants, of which they make the rope
they use in rigging their Canoes, etc.; the finest sort, such as fishing
lines, saine twine, etc., is made of the Bark of a Tree, and some from
the Kind of Silk grass. Their fishing lines and saines are in Point of
goodness preferable to any of ours. Their fishing Hooks are very
curiously made of Tortoise, Pearl Oyster Shells, etc. They have a sort of
Saine that is made of Coarse broad grass like flags; these are twisted
and tied together in a loose manner until the whole is as thick as a
large sack, and 60 or 80 fathoms long. This they haul in Shoal smooth
water; its own weight keeps it so close to the ground that hardly the
smallest fish can escape out.

I have before mentioned that the Island is divided into two districts or
kingdoms, which are frequently at war with each other, as hapned about 12
Months ago, and each of these are again divided into smaller districts,
Whennuas as they call them. Over each of the kingdoms is an Eare dehi, or
head, whom we call a King, and in the Whennuas are Eares, or Chiefs. The
King's power seems to be but very little; he may be reverenced as a
father, but he is neither fear'd nor respected as a monarch, and the same
may be said of the other Chiefs. However, they have a pre-eminence over
the rest of the People, who pay them a kind of a Voluntary Obedience.
Upon the whole, these people seem to enjoy liberty in its fullest
extent--every man seems to be the sole judge of his own actions and to
know no punishment but death, and this perhaps is never inflicted but
upon a public enemy. There are 3 ranks of Men and Women: first, the
Eares, or chiefs; second, the Manahoonas, or Middling sort; and lastly,
the Toutous, which comprehend all the lower-class, and are by far the
most numerous. These seem to live in some sort dependent on the Eares,
who, together with the Manahoonas, own most, if not all the land. This is
Hereditary in their families, and the moment the Heir is born he succeeds
the Father, both in title and Estate; at least to the name, for its most
likely that the latter must have the power during his Son or Daughter's

Note by Cook. Upon our arrival at Batavia, we were informed the two
French Ships, commanded by the Monsieurs Beaugainvile, touched at that
place in their way home from the South Seas two years ago. We were here
told many circumstances of these two Ships, all tending to prove that
they were the same ships that were at George's Island, which we judged
were Spaniards; being led into this mistake by the Spanish Iron, etc., we
saw among the natives, which is easy accounted for, for we are told that
while Beaugainvile in the Frigate was delivering up that part of Falkland
Islands possess'd by the French, to the Spaniards, the Store ship was
trading with the Spaniards in the River Plate, where it is very probable
she disposed of all her European goods, and purchased others to trade
with the Islands in the South Seas. To confirm these last circumstances
we were told that when they arrived at Batavia, the Frigate had on board
a great quantity of Spanish Dollars.

[Religion of Tahiti.]

Having given the best account I can of the manners and Customs of these
people, it will be expected that I should give some account of their
religion, which is a thing I have learned so little of that I hardly dare
to touch upon it, and should have passed it over in silence, was it not
my duty as well as inclination to insert in this Journal every and the
least knowledge I may obtain of a People, who for many Centuries have
been shut up from almost every other part of the world.

They believe that there is one Supreem God whom they call Tane; from him
sprung a number of inferior Deities, Eatuas as they call them--these they
think preside over them and intermeddle in their affairs. To these they
offer Oblations such as Hogs, Dogs, Fish, Fruit, etc., and invoke them on
some particular occasions, as in time of real or Apparent Danger, the
setting out of a long Voyage, sickness's, etc.; but the Ceremony made use
of on these occasions I know not. The Mories, which we at first thought
were burying places, are wholy built for Places of worship, and for the
Performing of religious ceremonies in.* (* Cook did not apparently learn
anything in this voyage of the human sacrifices offered in the Morais on
many occasions, such as before war; at the coronation of the king; etc.
The Tahitians were, however, never guilty of cannibalism.) The Viands are
laid upon altars erected 8, 12, or 12 Feet high, by stout Posts, and the
Table of the Altar on which the Viands lay, is generally made of Palm
leaves; they are not always in the Mories, but very often at some
Distance from them. Their Mories, as well as the Tombs of the Dead, they
seem to hold sacred, and the women never enter the former, whatever they
may do the latter. The Viands laid near the Tombs of the Dead are, from
what I can learn, not for the deceased, but as an Offering to the Eatua
made upon that Occasion who, if not, would distroy the body and not
except of the soul--for they believe of a future state of rewards and
punishments; but what their Ideas are of it I know not. We have seen in
some few places small Houses set apart on purpose for the Oblations
offer'd to the Eatua, which consists of small strips of Cloth, Viands,
etc. I am of Opinion they offer to the Eatua a Strip or small piece of
every piece of Cloth they make before they use it themselves, and it is
not unlikely but what they observe the same thing with respect to their
Victuals, but as there are but few of these houses this cannot be a
common Custom; it may only be observ'd by the Priests and such families
as are more religious than others.

Now I have mentioned Priests, there are men that Exercise that function,
of which Numbers Tupia is one. They seem to be in no great repute,
neither can they live wholy by their Profession, and this leads me to
think that these People are no bigots to their religion. The Priests on
some occasions do the Office of Physicians, and their prescriptions
consists in performing some religious ceremony before the sick person.
They likewise Crown the Eare dehi, or King, in the performing of which we
are told much form and Ceremony is used, after which every one is at
liberty to treat and play as many Tricks with the new King as he pleaseth
during the remainder of the day.

There is a ceremony which they perform at or after the Funerals of the
Dead which I had forgot to mention at the time; we hapned to see it
sometime before we left the Island. An old Woman, a relation of
Toobouratomita's, hapned to die and was interr'd in the Usual manner. For
several successive evenings after, one of her relations dressed himself
in a very odd dress, which I cannot tell how to describe or to convey a
better Idea of it than to suppose a man dress'd with plumes of feathers,
something in the same manner as those worn by Coaches, Hearses, Horses,
etc., at the Funerals in London. It was very neatly made up of black or
brown and white cloth, black and white feathers, and pearl Oyster Shells.
It cover'd the head, face, and body, as low as the Calf of the Legs or
lower, and not only looked grand but awful likewise. The man thus
equip'd, and attended by 2 or 3 more men and Women with their faces and
bodys besmear'd with soot, and a Club in their hands, would about sunset
take a Compass of near a mile running here and there, and wherever they
came the People would fly from them as tho' they had been so many
hobgoblins, not one daring to come in their way. I know not the reason
for their Performing this ceremony, which they call Heiva, a name they
give to most of their divertisements.

They compute time by the Moon, which they call Malama, reckoning 30 days
to each moon, 2 of which they say the moon is Mattee, that is, dead, and
this is at the time of the new moon, when she cannot be seen. The day
they divide into smaller Portions not less than 2 Hours. Their
computations is by units, tens, and scores, up to ten score, or 200, etc.
In counting they generally take hold on their fingers one by one,
Shifting from one hand to the other, until they come to the number they
want to express; but if it be a high number, instead of their fingers
they use pieces of Leaves, etc.

In conversation one with another they frequently join signs to their
words, in which they are so expressive that a stranger will very soon
comprehend their meaning by their actions.

Having now done with the People, I must once more return to the Island
before I quit it altogether, which, notwithstanding nature hath been so
very bountiful to it, yet it does not produce any one thing of intrinsick
value or that can be converted into an Article of Trade; so that the
value of the discovery consists wholy in the refreshments it will always
afford to shipping in their passage through those seas; and in this it
may be greatly improved by transporting hither horned cattle, etc.
Pumpkins have got quite a footing here, the seeds of which most probably
were brought here by the Spaniards.* (* Bougainville.) We sowed of the
seeds of Water and Musk Mellons, which grew up and throve very fast. We
also gave of these seeds and the seeds of Pine Apples to several of the
Natives, and it cannot be doubted but what they will thrive here, and
will be a great addition to the fruits they already have. Upon our first
arrival we sowed of all sorts of English garden seeds and grain, but not
a single thing came up except mustard sallad; but this I know was not
owing either to the Soil or Climate, but to the badness of the seeds,
which were spoil'd by the length of the Passage.

[Winds at Tahiti.]

Altho' this Island lies within the Tropick of Capricorn, yet the Heat is
not Troublesome, nor do the winds blow constantly from the East, but are
subject to variations, frequently blowing a fresh gale from the
South-West Quarter for two or three days together, but very seldom from
the North-West. Whenever these variable winds happen they are always
accompanied with a swell from the South-West or West-South-West, and the
same thing happens whenever it is calm and the Atmosphere at the same
time loaded with Clouds--sure indication that the winds are Variable or
Westerly out at Sea, for clear weather generally attends the settled

The meeting of Westerly winds within the general Limits of the Easterly
Trade is a little extraordinary, and has induced former Navigators, when
they met with them, to think that they were caused by the nearness of
some large Tracks of Land: but I rather think they were owing to another
Cause. It hath been found both by the Dolphin and us that the trade winds
in those parts of this Sea doth not extend further to the Southward than
20 degrees, and without which we generally meet with a wind from the
westward. Now, is it not reasonable to suppose that when these winds blow
strong they must encroach upon and drive back the Easterly winds as to
cause the variable winds and South-Westerly swells I have been speaking
of? It is well known that the Trade winds blow but faint for some
distance within their limits, and are therefore easily stopt by a wind
from the Contrary direction. It is likewise known that these limits are
subject to vary several degrees, not only at different seasons of the
Year, but at one and the same season. Another reason why I think that
these South-West winds are not caused by the nearness of any large Track
of land, is in their being always accompanied with a large swell from the
same Quarter, and we find a much greater surf beating upon the Shores of
the South-West sides of the Islands situated just within the Limits of
the Trade winds than upon any other part of them.

The tides are perhaps as inconsiderable in these Seas as in any part of
the world. A South or South by West moon makes high water in Royal Bay,
but the water does not rise upon a perpendicular above 10 or 12 inches,
except on some very Extraordinary occasions.

The variation of the Compass I found to be 4 degrees 46 minutes Easterly,
this being the mean result of a great number of Trials made by 4 of Dr.
Knight's needles belonging to the Azimuth Compasses, all of which I
judged to be good ones, and yet when applied to the Meridian line I found
them not only differ one from another sometimes a degree and a half; but
the same needle would differ from itself more or less, the difference
sometimes amounting to half a degree, both at the same time and on
differant days. This will in a great measure account for the seeming
errors that may, upon a nice examination, appear to have been made in
observing the Variation inserted in the Course of this Journal. This
variableness in Magnetick Needles I have many times and in many places
experienced both ashore and on board of Ships, and I do not remember of
ever finding two Needles that would agree exactly together at one and the
same time and place, but I have often found the same Needle agree with
itself for several Trials made immediately one after another.* (* These
discrepancies result from imperfections in the suspension and mounting of
the needles, and are only absent in instruments too delicate for ordinary
sea service.) However, all this is of no sort of consequence to
Navigation, as the Variation of the Compass can always be found to a
degree of accuracy more than sufficient for all nautical Purposes.

I have before hinted that these People have an Extensive knowledge of the
Islands situated in these Seas. Tupia, as well as several others, hath
given us an account of upwards of 70; but, as the account they have given
of their situation is so Vague and uncertain, I shall refer giving a list
of them until I have learnt from Tupia the Situation of each island with
a little more certainty. Four of these islands--viz., Huaheine, Ulietea,
Otaha, and Bolabola* (* These islands are now known as Huaheine, Raiatea,
Tahaa, and Borabora or Bolabola, and are under French sovereignty.)--we
were informed, lay only one or two days' sail to the Westward of George's
Island, and that we might there procure Hogs, Fowls, and other
refreshments, Articles that we have been very sparingly supply'd with at
this last Island, as the Ship's Company (what from the Constant hard duty
they have had at this place, and the two free use of Woman) were in a
worse state of health than they were on our first arrival, for by this
Time full half of them had got the Venerial disease, in which Situation I
thought they would be ill able to stand the Cold weather we might expect
to meet with to the Southward at this Season of the Year, and therefore
resolved to give them a little time to recover while we ran down to and
explored the Islands before-mentioned.

Tupia informs us that in the Months of November, December, and January
they have constant Westerly winds, with rain; also that the whole island
can muster 6780 Fighting Men, by which some judgment can be formed of the
number of inhabitants. Each district furnishes a certain number, which
the chief is obliged to bring into the field when summoned by the Eare
dehi, or King of the Island, either to make war or repell an invasion.*
(* This paragraph is added in Admiralty copy.)

[Historical Notes, Tahiti.]

Notes on Tahiti. The missionaries who came to Tahiti in 1797, in the
missionary ship Duff, and settled at Matavai, gathered many details of
the history and economy of the islands. It appears that the state of
society, though in many respects savage, had attained a certain pitch of
civilisation, especially with regard to government. There was generally a
head chief or king of the whole island, who governed after the feudal
manner by the sub-chiefs. The sovereignty was hereditary, with this
peculiarity, that the eldest son of the king became from his birth the
sovereign. The father governed henceforth as regent until the son was of
an age to take the reins in his own hands, when the father retired. This
was the idea; but, as may be imagined, it led to various complications
and difficulties, and wars between the different parts of the island and
the different chiefs were frequent.

When Wallis discovered the island, in June 1767, Amo was king, or
Arii-rahi (called by Cook Eare-dehi), Bereia (Cook's Obereia) being his
wife. The latter seems to have been a woman of much character, and to
have practically governed the island. The two were separated, inasmuch
that they had mutually contracted other alliances, but, according to the
custom of the country, without affecting their friendship.

On Wallis's appearance the warlike Tahitians at once attacked the
Dolphin, but were easily defeated, and the guns and small arms with which
they then for the first time made acquaintance had such an effect upon
them that they speedily made peace, and recognised the superiority of

The defeat had, however, a great effect on the prestige of Amo, whose
authority rapidly diminished. Tootaha, Amo's brother, and chief of the
district of Matavai, where the Dolphin anchored, was much enriched by her
visit, and became a greater man in the eyes of his compatriots.
Bougainville also touched at Tootaha's district; and although his two
ships only remained ten days, it was long enough to furnish this chief
with many more valuable and coveted articles.

In about December 1768, or six months before Cook's visit, war broke out
in the island, and Amo was totally defeated by the chief who governed the
eastern peninsula. Cook saw at Papara, on the south side of the main
island, the relics of this battle in the shape of many human bones.
Tootaha, who had joined in the war against his brother, became regent for
the son (Pomare) of another brother, Hapai, and was therefore the
principal man in the island when Cook appeared. Notwithstanding, when Amo
(whom Cook calls Oamo), came to visit the Europeans on 21st June,
bringing his young son, Temare, with him, the latter was carried on men's
shoulders, which was one of the ceremonial observances due to the Otou,
or young king, and the natives present recognised his royal character by
uncovering their shoulders.

Tupia (or Tupaia), who left the island with Cook, was the chief priest of
the island, and had been living with Bereia; but having shortly before
conspired to kill Tootaha, it is probable that he felt his life was
unsafe in the island.

Frequent wars raged in the island for many years after Cook's first
visit. Tootaha was killed in one of these, and when Cook again arrived,
in 1773, Pomare was king, though Cook only knew him by his title of Otou,
which he apparently still retained, though there was no regent.

In 1789 Captain Bligh called at Tahiti in the Bounty, to export young
bread-fruit trees to the West Indies. The delights of Tahiti probably had
their part in bringing about the well-known mutiny a few days after the
ship left; and on the return of the Bounty with her crew of mutineers,
sixteen of them remained on the island. These men took a leading part in
the continual dissensions in the island, until, in 1791, they were
carried off by the Pandora, sent with the object of capturing the

English missionaries came to Tahiti in 1797; but after twelve years'
residence, during which they made no progress, and were constantly in
danger from the frequent wars, they retreated to Sydney, in New South
Wales, leaving two only of their number in Huahine and Eimeo, two of the
Society Islands. Two years later, on the invitation of Pomare II, who
was, however, then expelled from Tahiti and living in Eimeo, some of them
returned, and Pomare became the first convert. Christianity rapidly
spread, and in 1815, Pomare having returned to Tahiti, he and his
Christian followers were attacked. The battle ended in the complete
victory of Pomare, and for the first time in the sanguinary history of
the island no butchery of the vanquished followed, nor any devastation of
the country. The principal idols were destroyed; and whether in
consequence of the surprise the natives felt at finding that no
retribution followed this sacrilege, or from gratitude at the clemency of
the victors, opposition to the new religion ceased, the whole island soon
became Christian, and the customs of the inhabitants were much changed.
In 1827 the British Government declined to accede to a request to throw
its protectorate over Tahiti.

In 1836 two French priests came to the island with the avowed intention
of proselytising. They were expelled; and after several visits of French
men-of-war, who came to obtain redress for this act, and an assurance of
free entrance for French subjects, the island was taken possession of by
a French squadron in 1843, and Queen Pomare, daughter of Pomare II, was
de facto deposed. The island has been ever since under the dominion of
France. Tahiti is now in a flourishing condition, and exports a
considerable quantity of cotton, cocoanuts, and vanilla.

The majority of the natives still profess the Protestant religion.

Papiete, a little westward of Matavai, is now the principal port and town
of the island, the harbour possessing some advantages over the latter.

The Tahitians are marvellously fond of singing and dancing, and still
retain their primitive and exceedingly free manners, and the custom of
decorating themselves with flowers.

The beauty of the island, with its neighbouring western group, is
probably unsurpassed, and, considering all the circumstances, it says
much for the discipline of the Endeavour that only two of her crew
attempted to remain in what seemed a Paradise.

Cook's efforts to make his men deal properly with the natives are well
illustrated by the following extract from Mr. Molineux's Log, of the 29th
April. The incident is not mentioned by Cook.

"Punished Hy. Jeffs, Seaman, with a dozen lashes for ill-behaviour on
shore. He had been rude to a man's wife yesterday, of which the Indian
complained, and Jeffs was confined immediately the Captain had the fact
plainly proved, and next morning the Captain invited the offended Parties
on board, who were ignorant of his intentions. All hands being called,
and the Prisoner brought aft, the Captain explained the nature of his
Crime in the most lively manner, and made a very Pathetick speech to the
Ship's Company during his punishment. The woman was in the greatest
agonies, and strongly interceded for him. The man's name was Tuburi and
his wife's name Tamide. I remember them both last Voyage. I should have
mentioned Tuburi being sorry to see Jeffs punished."

It is evident, from what Cook himself tells us (above), and from what is
now well known of the laxity of Tahitian morals, that this punishment
would seem excessive to the natives, and especially to the women, who
were accustomed themselves to bear whatever blame was bestowed.

Note. For full description of original Tahitian manners and customs, see
"Polynesian Researches," by W. Ellis (London, H.G. Bohn, 1853); "Iles
Taiti," par MM. Vincendon-Dumoulin et Chas. Desgraz (Paris, 1844).



[July 1769.]

FRIDAY, July 14th. Gentle breezes at North-East and Clear weather. I have
before made mention of our departure from Royal Bay on the preceeding
forenoon, and likewise that I had determined to run down to Huaheine and
Ulietea* (* Raiatea.) before we stood to the Southward; but having
discovered, from the Hills of George's Island, an Island laying to the
Northward, we first stood that way to take a nearer View of it. This
Island is called Tethuroa.* (* Tetiaroa.) It lies North 1/2 West, distant
8 Leagues from Point Venus, and is a small, low, uninhabited Island,
frequented by the people of George's Island for fish, with which it is
said to abound. At 6 A.M. the Westermost part of York Island bore
South-East 1/2 South and the body of George's Island East 1/2 South.
Punished the 2 Marines who attempted to desert from us at George's Island
with 2 Dozen lashes each, and then released them from Confinement. At
Noon the body of York Island* (* Eimeo, or Murea.) bore East by South 1/2
South, Royal Bay South 70 degrees 45 minutes East, distant 61 Miles; and
an Island which we took to be Saunder's Island, discovered by Captain
Wallace (called by the Natives Topoamanan),* (* Tubuai Manu.) bore
South-South-West Latitude observed, 17 degrees 9 minutes South. Saw land
bearing North-West 1/2 West, which Tupia calls the Island of Huaheine.

Saturday, 15th. Light airs and Variable between the North and
West-South-West. Clear weather. At 6 p.m. York Island bore South-East,
and Huaheine West-North-West, and at 7 a.m. it bore West. Latitude
observed at Noon 16 degrees 50 minutes South. Royal Bay South 37 degrees
30 minutes East, distant 22 Leagues.

[At Huaheine.]

Sunday, 16th. Winds at South and South-South-East. A Gentle Breeze, with
some few showers of rain. At 6 p.m. the Island of Huaheine West 1/2
South, distant 7 or 8 leagues. At 8 a.m., being close in with the
North-West part of the Island, sounded, but had no ground with 80
fathoms. Some of the Natives came off to the Ship, but they were very shy
of coming near until they discover'd Tupia; but after that they came on
board without hesitation. Among those who came on board was the King of
the Island, whose name is Oree. He had not been long on board before he
and I exchanged Names, and we afterwards address'd each other
accordingly.* (* The Tahitians called Cook Tootee, which was their idea
of the sound of his name, with a vowel termination, none of their words
ending in a consonant.) At noon the North end of the Island bore South by
East 1/2 East, distant 72 Leagues. Latitude observed, 16 degrees 40
minutes South. Three other Islands in sight, namely, Ulietea, Otaha, and
Bolabola,* (* Tahaa and Borabora.) so called by the Natives.

Monday, 17th. Winds Southerly, fine pleasant weather. At 3 p.m. anchored
in a small Harbour on the West side of the Island called by the Natives
Owarhe, in 18 fathoms water, clear ground, and secure from all winds.
Soon after, I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and
Dr. Monkhouse, Tupia, the King of the Island, and some others of the
Natives, who had been on board since the morning. The Moment we landed
Tupia stripped himself as low as his waist, and desir'd Mr. Monkhouse to
do the same. He then sat down before a great number of the Natives that
were collected together in a large Shed or House, the rest of us, by his
own desire, standing behind; he then begun a long speach or prayer, which
lasted near a Quarter of an Hour, and in the Course of this Speech
presented to the People two Handkerchiefs, a black silk Neckcloth, some
beads, and two very small bunches of Feathers. These things he had before
provided for that purpose. At the same time two Chiefs spoke on the other
side in answer to Tupia, as I suppose, in behalf of the People, and
presented us with some young Plantains plants, and 2 small bunches of
Feathers. These were by Tupia order'd to be carried on board the Ship.
After the Peace was thus concluded and ratified, every one was at liberty
to go where he pleased, and the first thing Tupia did was to go and pay
his Oblations at one of the Mories. This seem'd to be a common ceremony
with this people, and I suppose always perform'd upon landing on each
other's Territories in a peaceable manner. It further appear'd that the
things which Tupia gave away was for the God of this People, as they gave
us a Hog and some Cocoanuts for our God, and thus they have certainly
drawn us in to commit sacriledge, for the Hog hath already received
sentence of Death, and is to be dissected to-morrow. A.M. I set about
Surveying the Island, and Dr. Monkhouse, with some hands, went ashore to
Trade with the Natives, while the Long boat was employ'd compleating our

Tuesday, 18th. Gentle breezes at South and South-South-West. Clear
weather. The Trading party had no Success to-day. The Natives pretend
that they have not had time to collect their provisions from the
Differant parts of the Island, but that on the Morrow we should have
some; and as I had not seen so much of the Island as I desir'd, I
resolved to stay one day longer to see if anything was to be got.

Wednesday, 19th. P.M. Variable light Airs and clear weather. The Trading
party had better success to-day than Yesterday. A.M. a Gentle breeze at
South-East. As it was known to the Natives that we intended to sail
to-day, Oree, the Chief, and several more, came on board to take their
leave of us. To the Chief was given a small plate on which was Stamp'd
the following inscription--viz., "His Britannick Majesty's Ship,
Endeavour, Lieutenant Cook, Commander, 16th July, 1769, Huaheine." This
was accompanied with some Medals, or Counters, of the English Coins,
struck 1761, together with some other Presents. All these, but more
particularly the Plate, the Chief promised never to part with. This we
thought would prove as lasting a Testimony of our having first discover'd
this Island as any we could leave behind. After this was done they were
dismissed, and we began to prepare to leave the place. But as that falls
out on the following day, I shall conclude this with a Discription of the
Island, which is situated in the Latitude of 16 degrees 43 minutes South,
and Longitude 150 degrees 52 minutes West from Greenwich and North 58
degrees West, distance, 31 leagues, from King George's Island, or
Otaheite. It is about 7 Leagues in compass, and of a Hilly and uneven
surface. It hath a safe and commodious Harbour, which lies on the West
side, under the Northermost high land and within the North end of the
Reef which lays along that side of the Island. Into this Harbour are 2
inlets, or openings in the Reef, about 1 1/2 Miles from each other. The
Southermost is the Broadest, on the South side of which is a very small
sandy Island. This Harbour is called by the Natives Ohwarhe. The produce
of this Island is in all respects the same as King George's Island, and
the Manner and Customs of the inhabitants much the same, only that they
are not addicted to Stealing; and with respect to colour they are rather
fairer than the natives of George's Island, and the whole more Uniformly
of one Colour.

[At Raiatea.]

Thursday, 20th. Moderate breezes at East and East-North-East. Fair
weather. At 1/2 past 2 p.m. weighed and made Sail for the Island of
Ulietea, which lies South-West by West, Distance 7 or 8 leagues from
Huaheine. At 1/2 past 6 we were within 3 Leagues of it, then shortened
sail and stood off and on all night, and at daylight made Sail in shore,
and soon after discover'd an opening in the Reef that lies along this
side of the Island, within which, Tupia said, was a good Harbour. Upon
this I hoisted out the Pinnace, and sent the Master in to Examine it, who
soon made the Signal for the Ship to follow. Accordingly we stood in and
Anchor'd in 22 fathoms, soft ground. Soon after we Anchor'd some of the
Natives came on board the Ship with very little invitation.

Friday, 21st. Winds variable, and dark, cloudy weather, with frequent
Showers of rain. At 1 p.m. I landed in Company with Mr. Banks and the
other gentlemen. The first thing done was the performing of Tupia's
ceremony in all respects as at Huaheine. I then hoisted an English jack,
and took possession of the Island and those adjacent in the name of His
Britannick Majesty, calling them by the same names as the natives do.
A.M. sent the Master in the Long boat to examine the coast of the South
part of the Island, and one of the Mates in the Yawl to sound the Harbour
where the Ship lay, while I was employ'd in the Pinnace surveying the
Northern part of the Island, and Mr. Monkhouse went ashore to trade with
the Natives for such refreshments as were to be got.

Saturday, 22nd. P.M. the wind Variable with Showers of rain. A.M. strong
Gales at South and hazey with rain, and which continued the most part of

Sunday, 23rd, in so much that I did not think it safe to break the Ship
loose and put to sea as I intended.

Monday, 24th. Winds variable from South-South-East to North-East. At 8
a.m. got under sail and plyed to the Northward within the Reef, in order
to go out at the Northern Channell, it being the broadest; but being
little wind and meeting with Shoals we had not before discovered, we
turned down but slowly.

Tuesday, 25th. First part, little wind at North-East; in the night calm,
A.M. a fresh breeze at West-North-West, fair weather. At 3 p.m. Anchor'd
in 22 fathoms Muddy bottom, the North Channell open bearing North-East
1/2 East, at 5 a.m. a breeze sprung up at North-West, weighed and put to
Sea, and hauled to the Northward in order to take a View of the Island
and Ataha and Bolabola; but before I proceed farther, I shall describe
the Harbour we have been in.* (* It has no particular name, but extends
the whole of the eastern side of Raiatea.) This Harbour, taken in its
greatest Extent, is capable of holding any number of Shipping in perfect
security, as it extends almost the whole length of this side of the
Island, and is defended from the Sea by a reef of Coral rocks; the
Southermost opening* (* Teava Moa Pass.) in this reef or Channell into
the Harbour, which is not more than a Cable's length wide, is off the
Eastermost point of the Island, and may be known by a small woody Island,
which lies a little to the South-East of it. Between 3 and 4 miles
North-West from this Island lies 2 other small Islands, and in the same
direction as the reef, of which they are a part. Between these 2 Islands
is another Channell* (* Iriru Pass.) into the Harbour that is a full
Quarter of a Mile broad; still further to the North-West are some other
small Islands, where, I am informed, is another small inlet, but this I
did not see; but, as to the other 2, we enter'd the Harbour by the one
and came out by the other.

The principal refreshments we have got here consists in Plantains, Cocoa
nuts, some Yams and a few Hogs and fowls. This side of the Island is
neither Populous nor Rich in Produce, if compared to George's Island, or
even Huaheine; however, here is no want of refreshments for a ship who
may put in here and stay but a short time; and wood and water may be got
everywhere, tho' the latter is not very convenient to come at.

[Off Bolabola.]

Wednesday, 26th. Winds at West by North and West by South, but very
Variable towards the Latter part. At 4 p.m. the North End of Ulietea
South 75 degrees West, distance 2 leagues, and the south end of Otaha
North 77 degrees West. About a League to the Northward of the South end
of Otaha, on the East side of the Island, a mile or more from the Shore,
lies 2 Small Islands. Between these Islands Tupia says there is a
Channell into a very good harbour which lies within the Reef and it had
all the appearance of such. Keept plying to Windward all night without
getting any ground. At Noon the Peak on Bolabola West by South. Latitude
observed 16 degrees 26 minutes South.

Thursday, 27th. Variable light Airs of wind in the South-West Quarter,
and fair weather. Seeing that there is a broad Channell between Otaha and
Bolabola, I intend to go through that way and not run to the Northward of
all; but as the wind is right an end, and very Variable withall, we get
little or no ground. Between 5 and 6 o'Clock p.m., as we were standing to
the Northward, we discover'd a small low Island lying North by West or
North-North-West distant 4 or 5 Leagues from Bolabola. This Island is
called Tubai. Tupia says it produces nothing but a few Cocoa Nuts, that
there are only 3 families live upon it, but that the people from these
Islands resort thither to Catch fish. At Noon the peak of Bolabola bore
North 25 degrees West, and the north end of Otaha North 80 degrees West,
distant 3 Leagues. Latitude observed 16 degrees 38 minutes South.

Friday, 28th. Little wind and Variable between the South-West and
North-West. At 6 a.m., being near the Entrance of the Harbour which lies
on the East side of Otaha before mentioned,* (* Hamene Bay.) and finding
that it might be examin'd without loosing time, I sent away the Master in
the Long boat, with orders to sound the Harbour, and if the wind did not
shift in our favour to land upon the Island and to Traffick with the
Natives for such refreshments as were to be got. Mr. Banks and Dr.
Solander went along with him.

Saturday, 29th. Little wind and Variable. Kept plying on and off this
day, waiting for the return of the Long boat. At 1/2 past 5 not seeing
anything of her, fir'd a Gun for her to return, and as soon as it was
dark hoisted a light. At 1/2 past 8 heard the report of a musquet, which
we answered with a Gun; and soon after the Boat came on board with 3
small Hogs, a few Fowls, and a large Quantity of Plantains, and some
Yams. They found the Natives very Sociable and ready to part with
anything they had, and the Harbour safe and Commodious, with a good
Anchorage in 25, 20, and 16 fathoms clear ground. As soon as the Boat was
hoisted in we made Sail to the Northward, and at 8 o'Clock a.m. were
close under the Peak of Bolabola, but as we could not weather the Island,
we Tack'd and stood off until near Noon, then Tack'd again and stood to
the South-West. At Noon the Peak of Bolabola bore South 75 degrees West;
we were then distant from the Shore under it 2 or 3 miles, and from the
Peak about 5 miles. Latitude observed 16 degrees 29 minutes South.

Sunday, 30th. Wind in the South-East Quarter. At first a Gentle breeze,
but afterwards freshned upon us. P.M. made several Trips before we could
weather the South end of Bolabola, which at last we accomplished between
7 and 8 o'Clock, and stood off South-South-West until 12 at night, then
Tack'd and stood in until 4 a.m., then stood off again; but meeting with
a large swell from the Southward, against which the Ship made little or
no way, at 8 we tack'd and stood in Shore again. At this time we
discovered an Island which bore from us North 63 degrees West, distant
about 8 Leagues: at the same time the Peak of Bolabola bore North 1/2
East, distance 3 or 4 Leagues. This Island Tupia calls Maurua, and
according to his account it is but small, and surrounded by a Reef of
Rocks, and hath no Harbour fit for Shipping. It is inhabited, and its
produce is the same as the other Islands we have touched at. It riseth in
a high round hill in the middle of the Island, which may be seen 10
Leagues. At noon the South end of Otaha bore North 80 degrees East,
distance 4 Leagues. Latitude observed 16 degrees 39 minutes South.

Monday, 31st. Fresh Gales in the South-East Quarter, and close, cloudy
weather. Plying to windward all this day, on the South-West side of
Otaha, without gaining little or anything. In the middle watch was
obliged to double reef our Topsails, but in the morning it fell moderate,
and we crowded all the sail we could. At Noon the South end of Otaha bore
East, distance 2 Leagues. Latitude observed 16 degrees 40 minutes South.
Tupia told us there was a very good Harbour within the Reef which lies on
this side of Otaha; but this Harbour I shall discribe in another place.

[August 1769. At Raiatea.]

Tuesday, August 1st. A fresh Gale at South-East the most part of this
day. Keept plying to windward all the afternoon and night, and in the
morning found ourselves nearly the length of the South end of Ulietea,
and to windward of some Harbours that lay on the West side of this
Island. Into one of them I intended to go with the Ship, in order to stop
a Leak in the Powder room, which could not be easily done at Sea, and to
take in more Ballast, as I found her too light to carry sail upon a wind.
At Noon plying off one of the Harbour's mouth, the wind being right out.

Wednesday, 2nd. Moderate breezes at South-East and East, with some
Showers of Rain. At 3 p.m. anchor'd in the Entrance of the Channell
leading into the Harbour* (* Rautoanui.) in 14 fathoms water; found a
tide setting pretty strong out, which was the reason that we could not
work in; carried out the Kedge Anchor in order to warp into the Harbour,
but after this was done we could not Trip the Bower Anchor with all the
purchass we could make, and was therefore obliged to lay still all night,
but in the morning we did it with Ease, and warped the Ship into a proper
birth, and moor'd in 28 fathoms, a sandy bottom. A great many of the
Natives came off to us both last night and this morning, and brought with
them Hogs, Fowls, Plaintains, etc., which they parted with at a very easy

Thursday, 3rd. Winds from East-South-East to North-East; very Hot weather
this afternoon. I went ashore to look for a place to get stones for
Ballast, and a watering place, both of which I found very convenient; and
in the morning sent an Officer a Shore to Superintend the getting off the
Ballast and Water, and I went in the Pinnace to the Northward to survey
that part of the Island, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, while
the Carpenters were employ'd on board stopping the Leaks of the Powder
room and Foresail room.

Friday, 4th. First and Latter parts, moderate breezes, at
East-North-East; in the night, Calm, Hot, and sultry. In our rout to the
Northward this afternoon we were entertained at one place with Musick and
Dancing. The Musick consisted of 3 Drums, and the Dancing was mostly
perform'd by 2 Young Women and one Man, and this seem'd to be their
profession. The dress of the women was such as we had not seen before; it
was neat, decent, and well chose, and in many respects not much unlike a
European dress; only their Arms, Necks, and Shoulders were bare, and
their headdress was the Tomow stuck with Flowers. They made very little
use of their feet and Legs in Dancing, but one part or another of their
bodies were in continual motion and in various postures, as standing,
setting, and upon their Hands and knees, making strange Contorsions.
Their Arms, hands, and Fingers they moved with great Agility and in a
very Extraordinary manner, and altho' they were very exact in observing
the same motion in all their movements, yet neither their Musick or
Dancing were at all Calculated to please a European. There were likewise
some men, who acted a kind of a Farce; but this was so short that we
could gather nothing from it, only that it shew'd that these People have
a Notion of Dramatick performances, and some of our Gentlemen saw them
act a Farce the next day, wherein was 4 Acts, and it seem'd to them to
represent a War between the Bolabola men and those of Ulietea, wherein
the former triumph'd over the latter; but what might help them to draw
this Conclusion was the knowing that such a thing has not long ago hapned
between these 2 People, and that the Bolabola men at present possess most
of the Lands on this Island. This is their grand Dramatick Heiva, and I
believe is occasionally performed in all the Islands. Upon my return to
the Ship in the evening I found that they had got on board 20 Tuns of
Ballast, and this I thought would be sufficient. In the morning we sent
all our water Casks on shore, and got them all off full by Noon. This
morning I received a present from Opoony, the Eare dehi of Bolabola, who
at this time was upon this Island. It consisted of 3 Hogs, some pieces of
Cloth, Plantains, Cocoa Nuts, etc. These were sent by his Servants, and I
was told that he would come the next day himself.

Saturday, 5th. This evening we bought as much Fish as the whole Ship's
Company could destroy while good. In the morning I sent the Master to the
North End of the Island with the Long boat to Traffick with the Natives
for Provisions, as they did not bring it to the Ship, as they had
hitherto done; and myself, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander,
went in the Pinnace to the Southern part of the Island, partly on the
same account and partly to Examine that part of the Island. In our rout
we passed thro' 2 Harbours equally as good as the one in which the Ship
lays, but the Country about them is poorer and but thinly inhabited, and
we got no one thing worth bringing home with us, but the Master succeeded
something better.

Sunday, 6th. Variable light Airs and fair weather. A.M. I sent the Master
again to the Northward to procure refreshments, who return'd not
unsuccessfull. Opoony, the Chief, sent some of his people this morning to
me to get something in return for the present he sent the other day; he
not choosing, as I suppose, to trust himself on board, or perhaps he
thought the persons he sent (who were 3 very pretty young Girls) would
succeed better than he should do. Be this as it may, they went away very
well satisfied with what they got, altho' I believe that they were
disappointed in some things.

Monday, 7th. Variable light Airs. P.M. some Showers of rain. Being
desirous to see King Opoony, we made a party this afternoon and I went
ashore for that purpose, carrying along with us a small present. Upon our
landing he did not receive us setting, as all the other Chiefs had
hitherto done, or in any manner of Form; this we attributed to his
Stupidity, for such he appeared to be. However, he gave me a Hog in
return for the present I made him, and this was paying us full as great a
Complement. Before we took our leave we let him know that we should go to
Otaha in the morning in our Boats, and would be glad to have him along
with us, and he accordingly promised to accompany us thither.
Accordingly, very early in the morning, I set out with both Pinnace and
Long boat for Otaha, and some of the Gentlemen along with me; and in our
way called upon Opoony, who was in his Canoe ready to set out. As soon as
we landed on Otaha I made him a present of a Axe; this I thought would
induce him to incourage his Subjects to bring us such Provisions as we
wanted, but I believe we had already got all they intended us, for after
staying with him until Noon we were obliged to go away without geting any
one thing.

Tuesday, 8th. After leaving Opoony we proceeded towards the North point
of the Island, and in our way pick'd up half a Dozen Hogs, as many Fowls,
and some Plantains and Yams; and I had an opportunity to view and draw a
Sketch of the Harbour which lies on this Side of the Island, and which
was the only thing that induced me to make this Excursion. After it was
dark we met with the Longboat, which I had in the morning dispatch'd to
another part of the Island; and we now made the best of our way to the
Ship and got on board about 10 at night. The Carpenter having finished
stopping the Leaks about the Powder Room and Sailroom I now intend to
sail as soon as ever the wind will permit us to get out of the Harbour.

Wednesday, 9th. P.M. had a light breeze of wind at North; in the night
had much rain. A.M. little wind and Variable, with some Showers of rain.
At 11 a.m. a breeze of wind sprung up at East, which carried us out of
the Harbour, and as soon as the Boats were hoisted in made Sail to the
Southward. Since we have been about these Islands we have expended but
little of our Sea Provisions, and have at this last place been very
plentifully supply'd with Hogs, Fowls, Plantains, and Yams, which will be
of very great use to us in case we should not discover any lands in our
rout to the Southward, the way I now intend to Steer.

[Description of Society Islands.]


So called by the Natives, and it was not thought adviseable to give them
any other Names; but these three, with Huaheine, Tuibai, and Maurua, as
they lay contigious to one another, I have named Society Isles.

They are situated between the Latitude of 16 degrees 10 minutes and 16
degrees 55 minutes South and between the Longitude 151 degrees 00 minutes
and 151 degrees 42 minutes West from the Meridian of Greenwich. Ulietea
and Otaha lay close to each other, and are both inclosed within a Reef of
Coral Rocks; and altho' the distance between the one and the other is
near 2 Miles, yet there is no Passage for Shipping. By means of this reef
are form'd several excellent Harbours. The entrance into them are but
narrow, but when a Ship is once in nothing can hurt her. Those on the
East side have been already described. On the West side of Ulietea, which
is the largest Island of the 2, are 3, the Northermost of which, called
Oraotanue,* (* Rautoanui.) we lay in, the Channell leading in is a 1/4 of
a Mile wide and lies between 2 low sandy Islands, which are the
Northermost small Islands on this side. You have good Anchorage between
or just within the 2 Islands in 28 fathoms soft ground. This harbour,
tho' but small, yet it is preferable to any on the Island, on account of
the easy getting of fresh Water, and being seated in the most fertile
part of the Island. The other 2 harbours lay to the Southward of this,
and not far from the South end of the Island. In both of them are good
Anchorage in 10, 12, and 14 fathoms water: they are readily known by 3
small woody Islands that lay at their entrance, the Southermost Harbour
lies within and to the Southward of the Southermost Island, and the other
lies between the Northermost. There are more Harbours at the South End of
this Island, as I am inform'd, but these were not examind by us.

Otaha affords 2 very good Harbours, one on the East and the other on the
West side; that on the East side called Ohamane* (* Hamene.) hath been
already mentioned, the other is called Oharurua* (* Hurepiti.) and lies
about the middle of the South-West side of the Island. It is pretty
large, and affords good Anchorage in 20 and 25 fathoms, and there is no
want of fresh Water. The breach in the Reef which forms a Channell into
this harbour is 1/4 of a mile broad, steep too, on both sides, and the
same may be said of all the others, and in general there is no danger but
what is Visible.

The Island of Bolabola lies North-West by West from Otaha, distant 4
Leagues, it is incompassed by a reef of Rocks and several small Islands,
and the Circuit of the whole appear'd to be about 8 Leagues. On the
South-West side of the Islands (as I am inform'd) is an opening in the
Reef which admits of a Channell into a very good Harbour. This Island is
very remarkable on account of a high Craggy hill upon it, which
Terminates at Top in 2 Peaks, one higher than the other; this hill is so
perpendicular that it appears to be quite inaccessible. The land on
Ulietea and Otaha is of a very hilly, broken, and uneven surface, except
what borders upon the Sea Coast, and high withall, yet the Hills look
green and pleasant and are in many places cloathed with woods.

The Produce of these Islands, and manners and Customs of the Natives are
much the same as at King George's Island, only as the Bread fruit Tree is
here in not such plenty, the natives to supply that deficiency plant and
Cultivate a greater Quantity of Plantains and Yams of several sorts, and
these they have in the greatest Perfection.

The inhabitants are rather of a fairer Colour than the Generality of the
Natives of George's Island, but more especially the Women, who are much
fairer and handsomer, and the Men are not so much Addicted to thieving,
and are more Open and free in their behaviour.

The only differance we could see in their Religion was in the Houses of
their Gods, which were very different to those we saw on George's Island.
Those here were made about the Size and shape of a Coffin open at one
End; they are laid upon a Number of small Wooden Arches, which are fram'd
and fastned together like the Roof of a House, and these are generally
supported about 3 or 4 feet above the ground by Posts. Over the box is a
small roof or shade made of Palm thatch; in this Box are deposited the
Oblations of the Gods, such as Pieces of Cloth, Human bone, etc., and
these places they hold sacred, and some are placed in their Mories, and
some not. They have a Custom of preserving the Sculls and under Jaw bones
of the Dead, but wether of their Friends or Enemies I cannot pretend to
say. Several of the Sculls, we observed, were broke, and its very
probable that the owners of them had been kill'd in battle, as some of
their Weapons are well Calculated for breaking of Heads; and from what we
could learn it is a Custom with them to cut out the Lower jaw of their
Enemies, but I believe not before they are kill'd, and these they keep as
Trophies, and are sometimes hung up in their Houses.

The Chief or King of Bolabola hath of late Years Usurped the Sovereignty
of the other two, and the Bolabola men at this time possess great part of
the Lands on Ulietea and Otaha that they have taken from the Natives. The
Lands adjoining to the Harbours of Oraotanue belong'd to Tupia, the
Person we have on board, who is a Native of Ulietea. These people are
very ingenious in building their Proes or Canoes, and seem to take as
much Care of them, having large Shades or Houses to put them in, built
for the purpose, and in these houses they likewise build and repair them,
and in this they shew a great deal of ingenuity far more than one could
expect. They are built full Bellied, and after the very same Model as
those Six we saw on George's Island, which I have already described, and
some of them are full as large; it is more than probable that these 6
Proes were built at some of these Islands. In these Proes, or Pahies as
they call them, from all the accounts we can learn, these people sail in
those Seas from Island to Island for several hundred Leagues, the Sun
serving them for a Compass by day, and the Moon and Stars by night. When
this comes to be proved, we shall be no longer at a loss to know how the
Islands lying in those Seas came to be peopled; for if the inhabitants of
Ulietea have been at Islands laying 2 or 300 Leagues to the Westward of
them, it cannot be doubted but that the inhabitants of those Western
Islands may have been at others as far to Westward of them, and so we may
trace them from Island to Island quite to the East Indies.

Tupia tells us that during the months of November, December, and January
Westerly winds, with rain, prevail; and as the inhabitants of the Islands
know very well how to make the proper use of the winds, there will no
difficulty arise in Trading or Sailing from Island to Island, even tho'
they lie in an East and West direction.* (* This paragraph is from the
Admiralty copy of Cook's Journal. This fact is now well known. The
islands here described, the Society Islands of Cook, and now known as the
Leeward Group of the Society Islands, were generally under the dominion
of Tahiti. At the time of Cook's visit, the chief of Bolabola was supreme
over most of the group, and their tie to Tahiti was but slight. They are
all very beautiful and fertile. Within the last decade they have formally
been recognised as belonging to France.)

[Sail from Society Islands.]


Thursday, August 10th. P.M., Light Airs and Calm, remainder fresh breezes
and Cloudy. At 6 p.m. the South end of Ulietea South-East 1/2 East,
distant 4 Leagues; but I take my departure from the
Harbour, saild from in Latitude 16 degrees 46 minutes South, and
Longitude 151 degrees 27 minutes West. At 7 a.m. found the Variation to
be 5 degrees 50 minutes East. Wind Easterly; course South 16 degrees
West; distance 50 miles; Latitude observed 17 degrees 34 minutes South,
longitude 151 degrees 41 minutes West.

Friday, 11th. Fresh breezes and Clear weather. Wind East; course South 4
degrees West; distance 85 miles; latitude 18 degrees 59 minutes South,
longitude 151 degrees 45 minutes West.

Saturday, 12th. Gentle breezes and fair weather. Wind East, East by
North; course South 3/4 East; distance 77 miles; latitude 20 degrees 15
minutes South, longitude 151 degrees 36 minutes West.

Sunday, 13th. Moderate breezes and Clear weather. Variation 5 degrees 40
minutes East. Wind East by North; course South 16 degrees East; distance
96 miles; latitude 21 degrees 47 minutes South, longitude 151 degrees 9
minutes West.

Monday, 14th. Fresh breezes and fair weather. At 2 p.m. saw land bearing
South-East, which Tupia calls the Island of Ohetiroa.* (* Rurutu, one of
the Tubuai or Austral Group. They are now under French protectorate.) At
6 was within 2 or 3 Leagues of it, the Extreams bearing from South by
East to South-East; shortned sail and stood off and on all night; at 6
a.m. made Sail and stood in for the Land and run to Leeward of the
Island, keeping close in shore all the time, saw several of the Natives
as we run along shore, but in no great numbers. At 9 hoisted out the
Pinnace and sent Lieutenant Gore, Mr. Banks, and Tupia to Endeavour to
land upon the Island, and to speak with the Natives, and to try if they
could learn from them what lands lay to the Southward of us, and likewise
to see if there was Anchorage in a Bay which appear'd to our View, not
that I intended to Anchor or make any stay here. Wind North-North-East;
latitude 22 degrees 26 minutes South, longitude 150 degrees 55 minutes
West; at noon, Ohetiroa East 2 leagues.

Tuesday, 15th. Fresh breezes and fair weather. At 2 p.m. the Pinnace
return'd on board without landing, not but what it was practicable, but
they did not think it Altogether safe with only one Boat, as it would
have been attended with some danger on account of the Surf and Rocks upon
the Shore. The Natives were Arm'd, and Shewd no Signs either of fear or
Friendship. Some of them came off to the Boat in a Canoe, and had some
Nails and Beads given them; but with these they were not Satisfied,
thinking they had a right to everything in the Boat, and at last grew so
Troublesome that in order to get clear of them our People were obliged to
fire some Musquets, but with no intent to hurt any of them; however, it
so hapned that one Man was Slightly wounded in the head. The firing had
the desired effect, and they thought fit to retire. After this, as the
Boat lay near the Shore, some of them waded off to her, and brought with
them some Trifles which they parted with for small Nails, etc. They
seem'd desirous that our people should land, but this was looked upon as
a Piece of Policy in them to get the whole Boat's Crew in their power;
however, this was not attempted, as I had given orders to run no Risk.
The Bay they went into, which lies on the West side of the Island, had in
it 25 fathoms Water, but the bottom was very foul and Rocky. We had now
made the Circuit of the Island (which did not appear to the best
advantage), and found that there was neither a Harbour or safe Anchorage
about it, and therefore I thought the Landing upon it would be attended
with no advantage either to ourselves or any future navigators; and from
the Hostile and thievish disposition of the Natives it appear'd that we
could have no friendly intercourse with them until they had felt the
Smart of our fire Arms, a thing that would have been very unjustifiable
in me at this Time; we therefore hoisted in the Boat, and made Sail to
the Southward.

[Of the Austral Group.]

This Island is situated in the Latitude of 22 degrees 27 minutes South,
and in the Longitude of 150 degrees 47 minutes West from the Meridian of
Greenwich.* (* Latitude is correct. Longitude 151 degrees 20 minutes
West.) It is 13 miles in Circuit, and tolerably high; it appears to be
neither Populous nor fertile; its produce seem'd to be nearly the same as
the other Islands we have touched at, and likewise the Stature, Colour,
Habit, and Arms of the Natives, only that some of them wore Pieces of
Cloth like broad belts, different both in Shape and Colour to anything of
the kind we had seen before, and their Arms, and in general everything
they had about them, much neater made, and shew'd great proofs of an
ingenious fancy. Tupia says that their are several Islands laying at
different directions from this--that is, from the South to the West and
North-West--and that 3 days' sail to the North-East is an Island called
Manua, that is Bird Island, and that it lies 4 days' sail from Ulietea,
which is one day less than from Ulietea to Ohetiroa.* (* Tupia was right
except with respect to Manua, as there is no island answering his
description.) From this account I shall be able to find the Situation of
Manua pretty well. Since we have left Ulietea Tupia hath been very
desirous for us to steer to the Westward, and tells us if we will go that
way we shall be with plenty of Islands: the most of them he himself hath
been at, and from the discription he gives of two of them they must be
those discover'd by Capt. Wallace, and by him called Boscawen and
Keppel's Islands, and those do not lay less than 400 Leagues to the
Westward of Ulietea. He says that they are 10 or 12 days in going
thither, and 30 or more in coming Back, and that their Pahies--that is
their large Proes--sails much faster than this Ship. All this I believe
to be true, and therefore they may with Ease sail 40 Leagues a day or

The farthest Island to the Southward that Tupia hath been at, or knows
anything of, lies but 2 days' Sail from Ohetiroa, and is called Moutou,*
(* Tubuai.) but he says that his father once told him that there was
Islands to the Southward of it; but we Cannot find that he either knows
or ever heard of a Continent or large Track of Land. I have no reason to
doubt Tupia's information of these Islands, for when we left Ulietea and
steer'd to the Southward he told us that if we would keep a little more
to the East (which the wind would not permit us to do) we should see
Manua, but as we then steer'd we should see Ohetiroa, which hapned
accordingly. If we meet with the Islands to the Southward he speaks off,
it's well, but if not, I shall spend no more time searching for them,
being now fully resolv'd to stand directly to the Southward in search of
a Continent. Wind Northerly; course South 1/2 East; distance 94 miles;

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