Giving a full Detail of the present State of the Inha­bitants, their Government, Religion, Language, Manners, Customs, &c. &c. &c. from the first Discovery to the present Time.


With some Account of the Country of CAMCHATCA, A late Discovery of the RUSSIANS.



THE several voyages that have been made into the South Seas, have been undertaken with the patronage of different states, in order to find out whe­ther there is a southern continent, from a supposition that such a one existed. In hopes of effecting this, the following steps have been taken:

In 1519, Ferdinand Magalhaens, a Por­tuguese, commanding five Spanish ships, left Seville, discovered the straits that bear his name, and through them sailed into the Southern Ocean. His ship was the only one, out of the five, that returned to Spain by the Cape of Good Hope.

[Page ii]In September 1577, Sir Francis Drake, an Englishman, sailed from Plymouth, with five ships, and returned thither with one only, in November 1580.

In July 1586, Sir Thomas Cavendish, an Englishman, left Plymouth, with three ships, and returned in September 1588. These last two voyages were productive of no discoveries.

In July 1598, Oliver Van Noort, a Dutchman, sailed from Rotterdam, with four ships, sailed along the western coasts of America, from whence by the Ladrones, the Moluccas, and the Cape of Good Hope, he returned in August 1601, with one ship, without making any discoveries.

In August 1614, George Spilberg, a Dutchman, sailed from Zealand, with six ships, and returned by the Ladrones and Moluccas, with two ships only, in July 1617, without any discovery.

In June 1615, James Le Maire, and William Cornelius Schouten, sailed from the Texel, with two ships, doubled Cape Horn, discovered several islands in the South [Page iii]Seas, and returned in two years and ten days. Le Maire died in the voyage.

In 1623, James L'Hermite, a Dutchman, with eleven ships, sailed into the Southern Ocean, by Cape Horn, and made no dis­coveries; he died on the passage, and hard­ly any of the ships but his own, returned by Batavia in July 1626.

In 1683, one Cowley, an Englishman, sailed from Virginia, doubled Cape Horn, and returned to England by the Cape of Good Hope, in October 1686, without making any discoveries.

In 1689, William Dampier, an English­man, sailed round the world and returned in 1691.

Edward Cooke, an Englishman, made the voyage in 1708 and 1711.

In August 1708, Woodes Rogers, an Englishman, left Bristol, doubled Cape Horn, attacked the Spanish coast up to California, and arrived in the Downs, by the Cape of Good Hope, in October 1711.

[Page iv]Ten years after, Roggewein, a Dutch­man, left the Texel, with three ships, sailed round Cape Horn, discovered several islands in the South Seas, and returned July 1723.

In 1741, Admiral Anson made a voyage also round the world.

In June 1764, Commodore Byron sailed from the Downs, and doubling Cape Horn, returned by the Cape of Good Hope, in May 1766, after having made some dis­coveries.

In July 1766, Captain Wallis sailed from England, with two ships, doubled Cape Horn, and returned by the Cape of Good Hope in May 1768, with tolerable success.

M. De Bouganville, a Frenchman, sailed from Brest, in 1766, doubled Cape Horn, and returned by the Cape of Good Hope to St. Maloes, in 1769, with some disco­veries.

In August 1768, Captain Cooke made the same voyage with further discoveries, and returned by Batavia in July 1771.

[Page v]In June 1772, Captain Cook made the voyage a second time, with still greater success, and returned in July 1775. And,

In July 1776, Captain Cook sailed from Plymouth a third time, upon the same errand.

The Southern Ocean has also been ex­plored by different people, who did not make a regular voyage round the globe; viz. by one Paulmier de Gonneville, a Frenchman, in 1503 and 1504; by Alfonzo de Salazar, a Spaniard, in 1525; by Alvaro de Saave­dra, in 1526; by Hurtado and Hernando, in 1533; by Gaëtan, in 1542; by Men­doca and Mendana, in 1567; by Menda­na, in 1595; by De Quiros, a Spaniard, in 1605; by Tasman, a Dutchman, in 1642; and others, who all made some dis­coveries, but who have all failed in what they wished to find,—a Southern Continent; so that none now is supposed to exist; for Captain Cook, in his last voyage, sailed into as high southern latitude as 71°, and met with nothing but islands of ice, that inter­rupted his passage, and obliged him to steer [Page vi]northward again. But it still remains for future navigators to continue discoveries in the vast Pacific Ocean; for none of the voyagers already mentioned sailed further north than 10° S. latitude; so that almost across the whole ocean, from the continent of America to New Britain, the space be­tween 10° S. to near 60° N. latitude, remains still to be explored. The Russians, indeed, have discovered some land in this part of the world, in high northern latitude, to the east of Chinese Tartary, called Kamschatka, or Camchatca, of which some account is given at the end of this work; but whether or not there is any land be­tween that and 10° S. of the line, is yet to be determined.

There are many islands, even in the Southern Seas, that are not noticed in this work, but they are such as were merely dis­covered in passage, or barely touched at; of course no account has been, or could be given of them, but their situation will be seen in the chart.

[Page vii]In order to reduce this work into one vo­lume, that it might be within the reach of every one's pocket, the author has studied to avoid all sorts of digression; if, therefore, it is barren of reflections and observations, he begs it may be considered that his plan was conciseness, and to preserve this, he has been under some necessity of foregoing any great attention to the beauty of the lan­guage. The pages swell with narrative, and narrative only. Facts are what the reader will look for, and in these he will be abun­dantly gratified. As to reflections and ob­servations, upon what he is made acquainted with, his own reason will suggest them.


THE southern hemisphere having never till now been explored, and affording us as it were a new world, it cannot but be highly agreeable to the public to have a de­scriptive account of it. It is true we may pick out such an account from the journals of the several voyages that have been made into that part of the world, but it lies so diffused amidst [Page 2]a heap of matter useless to the general reader, as to be tedious, uninstructive, and unenter­taining: Besides, the accounts there given being blended with metereological observations on the weather, temperature of climate, and variation of the compass, soundings, and bear­ings, necessary only to a navigator, the pages are so exceedingly voluminous as to be swelled to many quarto volumes. It has been the busi­ness therefore of the compiler of the present narrative to digest and range the matter, there found, so as to give some regular account of each island, from its first discovery to the pre­sent time, and to shew the state of the inha­bitants, &c. as it fell under the observations of those who have there touched. And he has endeavoured to describe every thing so particu­larly as to render drawings of them unnecessary.

It being immaterial which island is first treat­ed of, we will begin with that which is most known, the island of O-Taheitee, as it is called by the natives, or King George the Third's Island, as it was afterwards named by Captain Wallis.


THIS island was probably first discovered by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, a Spaniard; who sailed from Lima in Peru on Dec. 21, 1605, and made this land on the 10th of February fol­lowing: he called it La Sagittaria. He con­tinued here but two days, leaving it the 12th of the same month. It was next met with by Captain Wallis on the 18th of June, 1767, who called it George the Third's Island, and continued there about a month. On the 2d of April, 1768, M. de Bouganville, who made this voyage by order of the King of France, arrived at the eastern part of this island, and left it on the 13th. Captain Cook was the next person that visited it, coming to anchor here April 13, 1769. He went round the whole island in a boat, and continued here three months. He made a second trip to this place, and reached it August the 16th, 1773, [Page 4]and left it September the 1st following; re­turned April 22, 1774; left it again May the 14th following, and is now upon his passage to the same place a fourth time. It lies in 17° 30′ south latitude, and 150° west longitude; and its S. E. bearing, at about two leagues distance, resembles a high pyramidical rock: It consists as it were of two circular peninsulas, one near as large again as the other, joined by a small neck of land: and one of these penin­sulas is called by the natives Opoureonu or O-Taheitee nue, that is, Great O-Taheitee, and is about nineteen miles across; the other Tiar­rabo or O-Taheitee ete, that is, Lesser O-Taheitee, and is about eight miles across; the neck of land that joins them is about two miles over, and the whole island in length is about thirty miles, and in circuit about one hundred and twenty.

Face of the Country.

THE island in general is surrounded by a reef of coral rocks which forms many excellent bays and harbours, with plenty of room, and depth of water sufficient for the largest ships. The face of the land, except the sea coasts, is far from level; it rises in hills quite to the middle of the island, and there forms [Page 5]mountains visible at twenty leagues distance, so high that the island of Huaheine to the west may be seen in a clear day though at the distance of forty leagues; the only low land is between the sea and the bottom of the hills, which is of various breadths in different parts, but no where more than about a mile and a half, so that each of the peninsula's may be compared to a high crowned hat as it lies with its brim flat upon a table. The soil, except at the very summit of the hills, is rich and productive, being watered with a number of rivulets, and cloathed with variety of fruit-trees of fine thick foliage and lofty growth, with shrubberries every where of odoriferous flowers. The trees stand so thick, that the country seems one continued wood, and in some places, even the tops of the hills, though in general bare, being burnt up with the sun, are not wholly fruitless. They are rocky, but woody on the sides, and covered with fern on the tops, and the vallies covered with herbage. From the black rocks of Bi­saltes, and the appearance every where of burnt clay and stone, there is very good reason to sup­pose that the island has undergone a variety of changes by subterraneous fires;—but at present it wears the most beautiful appearance, and seems to be a universal garden.

[Page 6]The flat lands bordering on the sea, and some few of the vallies, are the only parts where the inhabitants dwell. The houses are built with­out order, scattered up and down about fifty yards from each other, in the shade of fruit-trees, and each house has a little planta­tion of plantain-trees from which they make their cloth. The communications from place to place are by public paths judiciously formed, and carefully kept. The number of inha­bitants cannot be ascertained with any degree of certainty; but from what could be collected from the natives, and the number of their war canoes, the whole island cannot contain less than two hundred thousand inhabitants; the strongest proof of its fertility and the richness of the spot.


THE chief productions of this island, are the bread-fruit. Ba­nanas, or plantains of thirteen different sorts, cocoa-nuts, yams, the curassol, or custard­apple, a tree that produces fruit something like the pine-apple, plenty of sugar-canes, a spe­cies of wild indigo, a very fine red and yellow substance for dying, ginger and turmeric, and many more which serve for food and other pur­poses: but they have no European fruit, vege­tables, [Page 7]or grain of any kind. The bread-tree grows to near forty feet in height, and its leaves are large and palmated of a deep green colour on the upper side, and paler on the under, and bears male and female flowers, which shoot out single at the bottom of each leaf; the male flower drops off and the female produces the fruit, which, when full grown, is as big as a man's head, weighs three or four pounds, and is, on the outside, much like a rough melon. It bears fruit a great part of the year, some fit to pluck at different seasons. It is generally gathered before it is ripe; and the following is the method of preparing it for use. Having scraped off the rind, they cut it into quarters, lay it between leaves, and bake it for two or three hours, it then appears inviting like a well-baked loaf, and tastes as if made of flower. It will not keep many days, but they have a method of preserving it for several months. They build canoes of the wood of this tree, and make a kind of cloth of the bark.

The cocoa-nut, when half ripe, yields rather more then a pint of delicious liquor; the milk and the kernel is good to eat; of the rind they make a variety of things, as by soaking and beating it it will become a kind of thread; and of the leaves they make bonnets and baskets.

[Page 8]M. De Bouganville, when he was there in 1768, persuaded one of the chiefs to enclose a piece of ground for a garden, had it dug, sowed it with wheat, barley, oats, rice, maize, onions, and pot-herbs of all kinds, and gave him to understand of what great use they would be to the inhabitants if they were properly attended to; they did not thrive, for Cap­tain Cook, in 1773, neither saw nor heard of any of their product. In May, 1769, Captain Cook sowed some melon seed, and the seed of other plants, but they did not come up; this might indeed have been the fate of the seeds which M. de Bouganville sowed. Indeed no Eu­ropean seeds seem to succeed here but those of pumkins, which the natives dislike. M. De Bou­ganville also left a cock and hen turkey, and some ducks and drakes. The turkeys it is sup­posed died, as there were none in 1774, but it is presumed the ducks bred, and encreased, there being plenty of them at present in the island. Captain Cook in August, 1773, left a couple of goats, male and female, and on his return, the April following, he found that the she goat had two kids, and was then with kid again, that they looked fleck and well, that their hair was as soft and fine as silk, and that there was [Page 9]great prospect of the island's being stocked with them. They also put near twenty cats on shore.


OF domestic animals they have only little hogs of the Chinese breed, small dogs, and fowls like ours: The dogs are very different from those we are ac­quainted with, being a heavy, sluggish animal of little more sensibility then sheep. Of wild animals, they have only ducks, turtle-doves of a beautiful green, large pigeons of a deep blue colour, cuckoos, king-fishers, herons, &c. and paroquets beautifully red and green. They have also some few turtles. As to quadrupeds they have no other than rats, which abound here; nor have they any frogs, toads, serpents, or other venemous animals, not even a trou­blesome insect, the plague of other tropical countries, except a few ants, and of these but few.


THE climate is a healthy one, and as to its heat, Reaumur's thermometer continued between 18° and 22° in April, and Farenheit's about 90° and 95° in August.


THE inhabitants of the island are a stout well-made people; tall, strong, stately, and fine shaped: the men are fit models to paint a Hercules or a Mars from, and are generally from five feet seven to six feet high, and some even taller: the women are remarkably handsome and beauti­fully made; those of distinction rather taller than the English, those of an inferior class, rather below us in height. This may possibly proceed from their early commerce with men. Their natural complexion is a clear brunette; their features do not differ from those of the Europeans, except that their noses are rather flat, being purposely flattened in their infancy; their skin is delicately soft and smooth, their eyes are black, sparkling, and full of expres­sion, and sometimes melting with softness; though they have no crimson in their cheeks they are delicately clear, their teeth are beau­tifully white and regular, which continue so to old age; and their breath without the least de­gree of taint; and it is apprehended that were they less exposed to the sun and air, they would be as white as ourselves: Nay, the skins of some few were seen of a dead white, [Page 11]like the nose of a white horse. These had white hair, eye-brows, and eye-lashes, red and weak eyes, skins scurfy, and covered with a sort of down, and were short-sighted; but it was sup­posed they became so by disease.

Their hair in general is black, which they cut short round their ears, but some few have brown hair, and others red and flaxen, though in children it is mostly flaxen; whereas the ori­ginal natives of Asia, Africa, and America have universally black hair: they oil it with cocoa­nut oil, in which they infuse a root that gives it the smell of roses, and though they have no combs, they dress it neatly. The men wear their beards in many shapes, plucking out great part of them, but all in general have whiskers, which they keep clean and neat, and permit to grow so as to flow about the shoulders, or else they tie it in a bunch upon the crown of their heads. Both men and women take great pains to take out by the roots every hair that grows in the arm-pits, and seem astonished that we are not delicate enough to do the same. For want of combs they are too apt to be lousy, which the children and common people pick out and eat;— the only instance in which they are not cleanly; but those who could procure combs from any [Page 12]of Captain Cook's people, shewed their abhor­rence of this filthiness, by combing their heads till they had totally extirpated these disagreeable attendants: indeed cleanliness is their chief characteristic. Both men and women regularly bathe themselves in running water thrice a day; as soon as they rise, at noon, and before they go to rest. They wash their mouths at every meal, and not only their mouths but their hands, and this five or six times in the course of the meal, and they keep their clothes without either spot or stain.


THE people in general, both men and women, are frequently seen with­out any other covering than a sash or mantle round their waist; but the principal people have an additional garment, they wrap them­selves gracefully in a piece of cloth containing many yards, which hangs down as low as the knees. Some of the women wear a piece of cloth, with a hole in the middle through which they put their head, so that it hangs down be­fore and behind below the knees; over this they throw a fine white cloth, like a mantle, which is wound several times over the body, in elegant turns, below the breast, forming a kind [Page 13]of tunic, one turn sometimes falling gracefully across the shoulders; and they know how to hang this mantle over them, so as to give them­selves an air of elegance and coquetry. The inferior sort of people are known by a less quantity of cloth about them. Girls under four years of age go quite naked, and boys till they are six or seven. The women of distinc­tion, in the evening, uncover themselves to the waist; and the men, though they shall have about their middle as much cloth as would cover nine or ten persons, will frequently leave the rest of the body quite naked; this cloth is made like paper, of macerated bark, spread out and beaten together. On their heads they occasionally wear a little bonnet, made of mat­ting, or cocoa-nut leaves, to defend their faces from the sun; and the women sometimes wear small turbans, and sometimes plait their hair in threads, and wind it round their heads, so thick as to produce a very good effect. In this they occasionally stick flowers and feathers, by way of ornament. Both men and women wear ear-rings in one ear, made of shell, berries, or small pearls. They likewise let their finger nails grow, except that of the middle finger on [Page 14]the right hand, and seem to pride themselves in it.

When De Quiros first discovered this island, in 1606, the men were quite naked, and the women covered only from the waist down­wards with a garment made of the palm-tree; he, indeed, saw one man, who seemed to be a chief, who had on his head a kind of coronet made of small black feathers, so fine and soft that they resembled silk, and behind hung down a bunch of red hair somewhat curled, as low as the middle of his back: by which we learn that a century and a half will make some alterations in the customs of the natives of the South Seas as well as in Europeans.

It is a universal custom with these people, both men and women, to mark their loins and breech, and back part of their thighs, with black or blue lines, in a variety of forms, which they call Tattowing. They stain themselves in this manner, by puncturing or pricking the skin till it just bleeds, with a sharp instrument, some­thing like a comb, and then rubbing upon the part a grease made of soot and oil, which con­tinues through life; such as are marked with deep blue punctures have the parts rubbed with [Page 15]the juice of a plant that gives that colour. They do not mark their children till they are about thirteen years old; and though it is a painful operation, and several days before the part is healed, they bear it Stoically, and with great resolution; considering it as the highest orna­ment. They are very lavish of this decoration, especially on the breech, and take pride in shewing it when they grow up, either as marks of distinction, or proofs of their fortitude in un­dergoing the operation.


THEIR diet is chiefly vegetables such as bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, plan­tains, yams, a particular kind of apple which the country affords, and other fruits; yet they occasionally eat pork, poultry, dogs-flesh, and fish. Their dogs are fed wholly on vegetables, and when killed young, and well dressed, are very little inferior to lamb. The sea furnishes them with a variety of fish, and their rivers yields them small mullet. Small fish are eaten raw, and for want of salt they dip their meat, as they eat it, into sea water. They are very expert at catching fish, which they do both by nets and lines, their hooks being made of mo­ther of pearl, and they have a method of in­toxicating [Page 16]fish, by the juice of one of their plants, so as to catch them with the hands.

It seems to be handed down among them, by tradition, that in early ages, there was upon this island a race of cannibals, or men-eaters, who were a very sturdy, strong people; but this race has been a long time extinct. In the lesser peninsula there is scarce any bread-fruit, and the people seem wholly to live upon nuts, not unlike a chesnut.

Their manner of dressing their food is very singular; having procured fire by making a groove in one stick, and rubbing another in that groove, in the same manner as carpenters whet their chissels, till the small dust kindles, they dig a hole in the ground about six inches deep, and eight or nine feet in circuit; this done, they pave the bottom with pebbles, and make a fire in it: they then sweep off the ashes, and lay their food upon it, first covering it with plantain leaves, and then heaping over it the hot embers—Here it lies till it is sufficiently baked; and when taken out, it is tender, juicy, and full of gravy. Their chief drink is water, but they sometimes drink the juice of the co­coa-nut. They have an intoxicating juice, which they press out from the root of a plant; [Page 17]but it is seldom made use of but by the chiefs, and by these not often; for drunkenness to them is abominable: their method of procuring this juice is disgusting, and an exception to their natural cleanliness. The root is chewed by se­veral persons till it is soft and pulpy, it is then spit out into a vessel, and diluted with water and strained, and in this state it is drank.

When they sit down to meat, it is on the ground, in the manner of the Persians, with a large quantity of leaves spread by way of a cloth. Their provision is brought in baskets, with two cocoa-nut shells, one containing salt water, the other fresh. No one presumes to eat, till he has washed his hands and mouth, which he does often in the course of the meal. They carve their meat with shells, cutting from them, and feed themselves with their fin­gers, and will eat an immoderate quantity, enough to fill five or six Europeans: but what is remarkable, they always eat alone, not from want of sociableness, but from a notion that it is right so to do. If a family are to dine, each will have his separate provision, and they will fit themselves down at three or four yards distance from each other, and turn their faces different [Page 18]ways, and not a word shall be heard through the whole meal.


THE huts of these people consist merely of a roof, sup­ported on three rows of pillars, one at each side, and one in the middle, and thatched with the leaves of the palm-tree; their houses are form­ed like our hay-ricks, with their roofs sloping both ways, the eaves of the roof about three or four feet from the ground; they have seldom any walls, but are open at the sides and ends; some few are enclosed with reeds, having only a hole to enter in at, which can be shut up with a board; but these are the habitations of the principal people. Within, they are very neatly bedded with a kind of straw, or hay, on which they lay mats to sleep on; resting their head on a block, or four-legged stool, by way of pillow. When dark, they burn a kind of candle, made of the kernels of an oily nut, many of which they stick upon a small piece of stick like a skewer, one over another; when the first is burnt down, the one below it takes fire, and so to the bottom. They seldom sit up longer than an hour after it is dark; and when [Page 19]they have any strangers with them they burn a light the whole night; probably, as the whole family sleep together, that nothing improper may pass. Their huts are enclosed by a low reed fence, and some of them are surrounded with little plantations. They are principally used indeed for sleeping in, for unless the wea­ther is bad they take their meals upon the ground without or under the shelter of a neigh­bouring tree. The mantle that clothes them in the day covers them at night, and the whole family sleeps upon the same floor without the least partition. The master of the mansion and his wife in the middle, next to them those who are married, along side of those the single wo­men, and at a little distance from these the single men. The servants sleep without, unless it rains, in this case they just creep beneath the roof.

It should seem strange that a whole family should thus sleep together in common; but when it is considered that the people of this island have not the least idea of indelicacy, but gratify every passion publicly without any sense of impropriety, the wonder will cease.


AFTER meals, and during the heat of the day, elderly per­sons of the better sort lie down to sleep: in­deed eating and sleeping is their general way of passing time, for they have little to do but to procure themselves food, and are a very indo­lent people; so indolent as sometimes not to feed themselves. If they plant a few trees in the course of their lives it is all that is expected from them. They are not however without the more sprightly amusements; such as music, dancing, wrestling, swimming and diving, which they do wonderfully, (both men, women, and children of six years old) throwing a lance and shooting with a bow. In throwing the lance their ambition is to hit a mark at about twenty yards distance, and in using the bow he is the best archer that conveys the arrow farthest; and as their arrows are not feathered, they will often send them two hundred and eighty yards. When they draw the bow they kneel, and drop it as soon as the arrow is delivered.

Their musical instruments are flutes only and drums: the flutes are made of the bamboo­cane about twelve inches long, with two holes only which they stop with the first finger of the [Page 21]left hand and the middle one of the right. Thus they have only four notes, and of these they seem to have but one tune, and what is more remarkable, they sound this instrument in the manner of our German flute, by blowing through their nostrils.

The drum is cylindrical and formed of a hollow block of wood, solid at one end and co­vered with the skin of a shark at the other. These they beat with their hands, and can tune them; they have a contrivance also to tune the flute, which they do by the ear with great ex­actness.

To the sound of these instruments they some­times sing, and sometimes dance. Their songs are in couplets, and frequently extemporaneous, and from their repeating them, seem to be me­tre though without rhime. At other times they dance, and their way of dancing is not less sin­gular than their music, for they twist and writhe their bodies into many extravagant and wanton postures, spread their legs, and set their arms a-kimbo, and at the same time distort their faces in a manner which no European can imitate. Much of the cleverness of the dances seems to consist in the indelicacy of their attitudes, which exceeds all description.

[Page 22]Wrestling is also a public diversion, and is exhibited before the chief and principal people of the island. The following is a description of one. When the spectators are seated round upon the ground, and a ring thus formed, the wrest­lers are introduced, consisting of eight or ten men stripped all to the sash that surrounds the waist. These pace slowly round the area, and by striking their left arm with the right hand, give the general challenge: particular chal­lenges are afterwards given, and each wrestler singles out his competitor; but the contest, in­stead of being kept up by skill, seems merely a contest of strength, each trying to throw the other by catching hold of the thigh, the cloth, the hair, or any other part. When the fall is given, the victor receives a plaudit from the oldest persons present, and the conquest is crowned by three huzzas. Two only wrestle at a time; and when the contest of these are over, other two begin.

They have also dramatic entertainments, a kind of regular interlude performed by men and women, divided into three or four acts. These dramatic interludes are called by the islanders Heava, and they consist of dancing and come­dy, and last near two hours; the subject matter [Page 23]of them is of a temporary nature, such as in­vasions, representations of women in labour, and the birth of the child, &c. &c. performed by men, and the child also by a man, and the dialogue is generally extemporaneous; but from their singular contortions and oddity of their actions, they are sometimes very laughable. Sometimes the musicians will travel from one part of the island to the other, and entertain the inhabitants at their several houses, for which they are generally rewarded with such things as they may want and which the giver has to spare.


THE principal manufacture of this island is cloth, of which they have three sorts made of the bark of three different trees, one better than the other, though manufactured in the same way, by soak­ing it in water and afterwards beating it out; and it spreads very fast under the beater. This done, it is bleached and often dyed red or yel­low with the juices of particular plants. The cloth thus made is thin, cool, and soft, but like paper is easily torn: they have a way how­ever of mending it, by pasting pieces over the [Page 24]fracture. They also make matts by way of sum­mer covering.

They are likewise very ready in making baskets and wicker-work, which they do very expeditiously. They will make baskets of the cocoa-nut leaves in a few minutes, and also bon­nets to shade their faces from the sun, not such bonnets as cover the head, but merely a shade over the eyes which they tie round the head.

Of the bark of another tree they make ropes and lines from the size of a packthread to that of an inch in diameter. Of these they form their fishing-nets and tackle, and of the fibres of the cocoa-nut they make thread. The fish­hooks, as I said before, are made of mother of pearl; and they make a kind of harpoon of cane, pointing them with hard wood, for they have no metal of any sort.


THEIR tools in general are made with shells and stone, and with these they will erect houses, build canoes, and after their manner carve images. They make an adze with stone, a chisel of human bone, a rasp of coral, and coral sand serves them as a file or polisher.


THEIR canoes are of two kinds, one for short trips called Ivahah, and the other for longer voyages called a Pahie. The first are of various sizes, and used for various purposes, fighting, fishing and travel­ling; their sides are perpendicular, and their bottoms flat, and they are of different breadths, but not proportionable to their length, which is from seventy-two feet to ten. Those of ten feet long are about twelve inches wide, and those of seventy-two feet in length are about twenty-three inches in width.

The fighting canoe is the longest; the head and stern are raised in a semicircular form with a carved image on the top, seventeen or eighteen feet above the sides of the boat, which are seldom more than about thirty inches in height. Two of these canoes are always fastened toge­ther at the distance of three feet, by strong poles lashed to the sides. Upon these in the fore-part is erected a stage about eleven or twelve feet long, like the quarter deck of a ship, and rather wider than the canoes, sup­ported by pillars about six feet high. On these stages stand the warriors, and from hence they throw their lances; their bows and arrows being [Page 26]used only for diversion. They also make use of slings. Below these stages, which some­times cover the whole canoe, sit the rowers, sixteen or seventeen in number, who paddle on with oars resembling a baker's peel, and the spare men, who when any are wounded on the platform above, exchange places with them. The fishing canoe is from ten to forty feet in length, and sometimes carries a sail; and the travelling canoes are always used in pairs, and have generally a small house six or seven feet square, built on a stage in the fore-part of them, and sometimes only an awning; for in fine weather they go a pleasuring in these boats, a number together, and make a good appear­ance. At these times the vessels are decorated with streamers, and the people on board are dressed; those who row and steer are dressed in white, those who sit upon the awning and under it, in white and red; and two men mounted on the prow of each canoe, in red only.

The Pahie or canoe for longer voyages, is bow sided, and made with a keel at bottom; they are from thirty to sixty feet in length but very narrow, scarce two feet wide. These are sometimes used double, and are furnished with stages for fighting, or other purposes. [Page 27]Some of these have one mast, and some two, and have sails of matting pointed at top, square at bottom, and curved at the side, re­sembling what is called a shoulder of mutton sail. These vessels have been out at sea for eighteen or twenty days together, and might be longer, if they could stow sufficient provisions. When not in use they are drawn upon land, and are carefully kept under a covering of thatch, open only at the ends.

When De Quiros touched here in 1606, the sails appeared to be latine made of palms, and the seams joined with thongs composed of the same wood.

When out at sea, the Indians steer by the sun in the day time, and the stars in the night, every one of which they know by name, and when and where they will appear: They also can, with some degree of certainty, foretell the weather, and from which quarter the wind will blow the ensuing day: They tell you that the milky way is always curved, but not in the same direction, and that the wind will blow the next day from that quarter opposite the concave part of it.

Division of Time, &c.

THEY divide the year by the moon, which they call Malama, and measure the day by the sun. They count by their fingers, and measure distances by the time they pass them.


THEIR language is soft and harmonious, and abounds with vowels, like the Spanish and Italian, which they can readily pronounce; but they find a diffi­culty in pronouncing English. The following list of words will give some idea of it.

  • Aree, a chief.
  • To aree, a secondary chief.
  • Taowaa, a priest.
  • Midee, a child.
  • Tane, a husband.
  • Huaheine, a wife.
  • Eupea, a net.
  • Mahanna, the sun.
  • Mama, light.
  • Timahah, heavy.
  • Eho mai, come to me.
  • Paraow mai, speak to me.
  • Parahei, sit down.
  • Ainao, take care.
  • Mamoa, hold your tongue.
  • Wa hoèe, what is it.
  • Tai poe etee noòw. Pray give me a little bread.


WHERE food is simple, and there is little debauchery, there can be but few disorders: the principal dis­eases of this island are cutaneous eruptions, eri­sipelas, ulcers, and a kind of leprosy. Those afflicted with the last, seclude themselves from society, and live in a small house alone. Phy­sicians they have none. They run to the priest for cure, who generally makes use only of a charm and incantation. This ceremony is per­formed till the patient recovers or dies. If he recovers, they attribute it to the priest, if he dies, to the incurableness of the disorder. In dangerous cases, the nearest relations assemble in the sick man's house, and continue nursing and watching him, by turns, till he dies or is out of danger. Bleeding is used in this island, but this is done by a priest, in the Sagittal vein on the head, the operation being perform­ed with a sharp wooden instrument; when a sufficient quantity of blood is taken away, they tie the head round with a bandage, which closes the orifice.

Their commerce with Europeans have un­fortunately entailed upon them the venereal dis­ease. It is supposed to have been communi­cated [Page 30]by M. De Bouganville's people; for when Captain Wallis left it, the disorder was not known there, and when Captain Cook was there in 1769, it had made great ravage throughout the island; but it is believed that they have found out a specific to cure it, for it is not so general as it was.

Disposal of the Dead.

THERE are two kinds of deposit for the dead in this island, one called a Tupapow, which is little less than a shed, under which the flesh is suffered to putrefy; and the other called a Mo­rai, a kind of enclosure, with pyramidical erections of stone, where the bones are after­wards interred; and the chief ambition of these people seems to be in the magnificence of their Morai.

As soon as any one dies, the house of the deceased is crowded with relations. Such as are nearest of kin, and are truly affected by the loss are silent, the rest are clamorous, at one moment with lamentations, and the next with laughing and vociferous talking; for true grief always ties the tongue. Thus is the remainder of the day and succeeding night spent, and in the morning the body is wrapt in a cloth and [Page 31]conveyed on a bier to the sea side, attended by a priest; there it is set down upon the beach, close to the water, and the priest prays and throws the water with his hands towards the body, but not to touch it. This ceremony is continued long enough till a house is built, and a small spot of ground near it railed in. With­in the rails posts are set up to support the bier, under a shed or covering erected for the pur­pose, where the body is left covered with the cloth to putrefy.

The body being thus deposited, the women assemble, and are conducted to the door of the house just mentioned by the nearest relation, who wounds herself in the crown of her head, by pricking it with the tooth of a shark, till it bleeds plentifully, this blood is taken upon a cloth and thrown under the bier; every woman present follows her example, and the ceremony continues two or three days. The tears like­wise that are shed at these funeral rites, are wiped upon pieces of cloth, and appropriated to the same use, and some of the young folks cut off their hair, and offer it as oblations, on a presumption that the soul of the deceased is hovering round the body, and observant of the love and fidelity of the mourners.

[Page 32]When the women have performed their part, the men begin. Every relation in turn, be­ginning with him who is the nearest of kin, as­sumes the office of chief mourner; he dresses himself in a fantastic dress, such a one as in England would convey the idea which nurses affix to a ghost or goblin; Captain Cook has presented one to the British Museum, and Dr. Forster another to the University of Oxford: it consists of drapery, shells, and feathers, and covers the whole body, even the face. At the death of a man, the women wear this dress, and at the death of a woman, the men. The chief mourner, at the head of the rest, who are naked to the waist, and their bodies smeared with charcoal and water as low as the shoulders, marches in procession to a great distance round the corpse; and as he carries in his hand a long stick, the end of which is set with shark's teeth, and affects a kind of phrenzy, occasioned by grief, the people fly before him, lest he should strike and wound them with it, which he cer­tainly would, were they within his reach.

These processions are not dropped till near the expiration of five months, when the remains of the dead body are taken down, and the bones scraped, washed, and buried within or without [Page 33]a Morai, or place of worship, according to the distinction of the deceased.

Even after this the priest continues for some time to pray for the departed, and is well re­warded by the surviving relations, who, as their grief for the person deceased is supposed to wear out; still visit the grave, more or less, and make occasional offerings upon the altars, such as food and bunches of feathers.

They go into mourning likewise, and call it Ceva. Their mourning consists of a veil over the face, and a certain head-dress of feathers. When mourners go abroad, they are preceded by slaves, who beat castenets before them dolefully, giving notice of their approach to every one, who clears the way for them; but as most good customs are abused, this is no less so, for clearing the way and wearing a veil gives the married women an opportunity to intrigue, who frequently profit by the occasion. The whole nation mourns on the death of a sovereign, and mourning for a father is continued a length of time. Women mourn for their husbands, but this compliment is not returned them.


LITTLE can be said of their re­ligion, with any certainty, as none of the Europeans who have been there were sufficiently acquainted with their language; in­deed, like the Chinese, they have a different language to express their religious mysteries by, from what is spoken in general. The only thing rightly understood is, that when the moon, in their eyes, wears a peculiar appear­ance, they say it is in a state of war, and at this time they have human sacrifices. The person to be offered up as the victim, is generally a bad man, one who, by his evil actions, becomes obnoxious to society; but as the person thus to suffer is fixed upon by the chief priest, it often happens that individuals fall a sacrifice to the resentment of this man, who, no doubt, has oratory sufficient to represent him as a villain. When the people assemble upon any solemn occasion, the priest enters the Morai alone, and after staying there a considerable time, he comes out and tells the multitude that he has seen and conversed with the supreme Being, that he expects a human sacrifice, that such a one present is the man, and the poor wretch is [Page 35]immediately beaten to death. At other times they sacrifice hogs, dogs, and fowls.

It appears, that these people conceive that every thing in nature does and did proceed from procreation. That the supreme Deity, by con­junction with a rock, brought forth the year; that the year, by a connection with the Father of all, gave birth to the months, and these, by a further procreation among themselves, the days. The stars, plants, &c. they suppose to have obtained their existence somewhat in the same way. Their ridiculous and futile ima­gination leads them to believe that there are certain inferior divinities, whom they call Ea­tuas, two of whom first inhabited the earth, and were the progenitors of the first man, brought forth in the shape of a ball, but moulded into the present form by his mother; that instinct led this first man to beget children upon his mother, which children were females only, so that it was many generations before he could get a son, which at last he did out of one of his sisters, and thus peopled the earth.

Their inferior divinities, of which they have a great number, are supposed to be male and female. The men pay their adoration to the males, and the women to the females, and there [Page 36]are Morais, or places of worship, appropriated to both, where priests officiate, but these priests are men. Their deities are rather such as we understand by genii, of which they have good and bad, and they suppose that a good or evil genius presides over each important action of their lives, deciding its determinations whether it be successful or not. In cases of sickness, they seem to rely wholly upon these genii, and neglect any application for cure but to the prayers of the priests, and thus shew them­selves strong predestinarians.

They so far believe the immortality of the soul, as to suppose that there are two separate states of existence hereafter, which they conceive not to be places of rewards and punishments, but merely receptacles for the different classes of men; they have no conception that their actions here below can influence their future state: and, therefore, as their view of immortality tends not to regulate their earthly conduct, their re­ligion must be disinterested, and their adora­tion rise from an humble sense of their own in­significance, when compared to the perfection of their divinities.

The priesthood here is hereditary; priests are generally chosen from some family of dis­tinction, [Page 37]and have the highest authority, in­ferior only to the chief. They have a superior knowledge in religious mysteries, but that knowledge consists in naming and classing their deities, and preserving traditions. They know a little more of astronomy and navigation in­deed, and to them only is appropriated the office of tattowing, or puncturing the skin, and circumcision, which with them is a slitting only of the prepuce, and adopted merely from motives of cleanliness.

Marriage is celebrated with some few cere­monies, but seems to be nothing more than the mutual contract of man and woman, which is continued or dissolved as the parties shall agree, the priest having nothing to do with them.

The Morai is not only a place of burial, but also, as I said before, a place of worship; and to this place the Indian comes with the greatest humility and reverence, with slow steps and a dejected eye, inspired with a sense of his own inferiority, and the exalted excellence of the Divinity he is going to adore; and in this act disgraces the generality of Christians. Nay, they never pass a Morai but they uncover their shoulders as a mark of awful respect. The floor of this place within is paved; without, an [Page 38]altar or two, resembling tables, about seven feet high, are raised pretty near the Morai, and both within the walls and without are a number of small wooden statues, uncouthly carved up­on the top of a piece of wood, which they stick into the ground. They do not worship these images, for they are by no means idolaters. This and the neighbouring islands hold parti­cular birds, indeed, in veneration, some a he­ron, others a king-fisher, something in the same manner as we do the robin or the swallow, but they pay not the least adoration to them.

When a worshipper enters the Morai, or approaches the altar to make his offering, he strips himself naked to the waist, and all his looks and actions declare an awful reverence for the place.


THOUGH the natives of O-Taheitee live under no re­gular form of government, yet a kind of feudal system subsists among them. Each of the pe­ninsulas has an Earee Rahie or sovereign, and each district, of which there are forty-three in the two peninsulas, has an Earee or chief, and these divide the lands within their terri­tories among their vassals. The island former­ly [Page 39]was under the command of one sovereign; the kings of Lesser O-Taheitee being sprung from those of the Greater: the two sovereigns at present are nearly related, and that of the former seems as it were a tributary to the lat­ter. Each chief keeps a kind of court, and has a number of officers; and it is observable, that he seldom gives his decision in any case, without the advice of council. If an of­fence was given at any time to the people by the Europeans that visited them, the matter was to be adjusted with the chief before a re­conciliation could be brought about. The male child of a chief, as well as of the sovereign, as soon as born, succeeds to the title of its father, and dispossesses the parent of all his honours except that of the management of the estate, &c. and of conducting and carrying on the business till the boy is of age.

In case of an attack, every district furnishes its proportion of fighting men, and the sovereign commands the whole. Their weapons are slings, pikes, and clubs; when they fight it is with great obstinacy, and they give no quarter; but often kill their prisoners, men, women and children, and carry off their jaw-bones as trophies, in like manner as the Indians of North America [Page 40]do the scalps. If a dispute at any time arises between two chiefs, it is settled among them­selves. Captain Cook was once present at a naval review, and found it consisted of upwards of three hundred large canoes completely equip­ped, and manned with near eight thousand men; the chiefs and all those on the fighting plat­forms, were habited in their war accoutrements, which consisted of a great quantity of cloth, turbans, breast-plates, and unwieldy helmets. The canoes were dressed with flags and stream­ers. This fleet was designed to attack a neigh­bouring island that had thrown off its indepen­dency on O-Taheitee. Some of the troops at Captain Cook's request went through their ex­ercise on shore. Two parties first began with clubs; the blows of the clubs were aimed at the legs and head, those at the legs were evaded by jumping; and those at the head by stooping, or leaping aside: when they proceeded to use their spears or darts, they parried the push or dart by fixing the point of a spear in the ground before them, and directing the other end of it, as they foresaw the aim was made.

There is no such thing as money among them; the fruit of the trees are in common to all; the commerce of the seas is no way re­strained; [Page 41]and there seems to be few things that can be taken by violence or fraud. In a state therefore where there is but little opposi­tion of interest, every passion being so readily gratified, there cannot be many crimes; of course a regular distribution of justice will be unnecessary. It is true there are thefts here, but as none among these people can be much injured or benefited by such thefts, they are not restrained by any public law, but the punish­ment of the criminal rests with the injured per­son. They do not seem disposed to rob one another, but they made no scruple of stealing from the Europeans, whenever they had an op­portunity; even the chiefs would stoop to pur­loin a nail or a piece of glass bottle; but when it is considered that an Indian among iron and glass is in the same state of temptation with the poorest European among unlocked boxes of jewels and gold, it is not to be wondered at. To rate the virtue of these people properly, we must take a view of their moral system, which is ever to conform to what they think right. If they have any notions of right and wrong, they must proceed from the mere dictates of na­ture, for lessons they have none on this head; and as theft among themselves is attended but [Page 42]with little disadvantage to the injured person, they think very little of it. In this light they considered nails and other things to Captain Cook and his people, and thought no wrong in making free with what they presumed the per­sons they took them from could not miss. Adultery is sometimes heard of in this island; and if the parties are caught in the act, the man perhaps is instantly slain by the injured husband, if he is the strongest of the two, and the wife escapes with a beating: It seldom hap­pens that the chiefs interfere. Murder indeed is sometimes punished with death, and the cri­minal in this case is hanged.

The distinction of rank preserved in this island does not materially affect the happiness of the people. In a country where scarce a second garment is necessary, where every one can ga­ther fruit from the first tree he meets, or is at liberty to take some in any house which he enters; where the necessaries of life can be easily obtained; there can be but little envy, but little repining. The upper class of people, it is true, enjoy some dainties which the lower class probably cannot get at; this may hurt an individual, but cannot affect a nation at large. The distinction between the greatest and the [Page 43]lowest man in O-Taheitee is not more than between a manufacturer in England and his workman. A chief has the command of life and death over his servants and slaves; but he very seldom exercises it, and notwith­standing this, is more beloved than feared; a proof of the mildness of their government. He alone has power to plant the Babylonian willow before his house; for by bending down the branches of this tree, and planting them in the ground, they will shoot afresh; thus the shade may be extended to any distance, and in any direction. Under these shady arches the chiefs regale, whose servants are known by wearing sashes high up under the arms, which others wear only round their middle. When a chief approaches, or passes, it is customary for all to uncover their shoulders as a compli­ment; but this is all: the meanest man in the island addresses his sovereign as freely as he would an equal, and can see him whenever he pleases: for, not depraved by the empty notions of European greatness, the king will often amuse himself with his subjects, and at times will paddle in his own canoe.

Character and Customs.

AFTER what has been said of these peo­ple, it cannot be supposed that chastity here is in much repute. Their natural simplicity is so great, that the very conjugal rites are per­formed in public, a whole family or houshold resting at night in one room. In more north­ern climates, girls and unmarried women are supposed to be ignorant of the business of the marriage-bed, but here it seems to be the very reverse. Among their dances, where eight or ten young single women can be got together, they have one which consists of such wanton and lascivious gesticulations, accompanied by ob­scene discourse, that one is led to think that such gestures and expressions must be taught them at the earliest age; but they are no sooner married, than they leave off this foolish prac­tice. Some of the principal women of the island introduced themselves to Captain Cook, and his officers, by several times taking up all their garments round them, quite to the waist; and as where there is no idea of indelicacy with respect to actions, there can be none in words, their language is grossly obscene, and as freely spoken by the women as the men. [Page 45]The women in general are very lively in their conversation, and very chatty, and they have vivacity and understanding often to be witty and to play upon words.

To give the reader a still better idea of their want of decency, and to convince him, that it does not arise from depravity of sentiment, but from an innate simplicity authorized by custom, I need only mention, that when Cap­tain Cook was there in the year 1769, and then on a visit to the queen of the island, she entertained him with an exhibition of a very singular kind, and among the spectators were many women of distinction. A young man of uncommon stature was directed by her to per­form the rites of Venus, with a little girl about twelve years old, which was done without the least sense of impropriety on either side; and though the girl seemed to want no instructions in the office, her Majesty vouchsafed to assist at the ceremony.

But though the unmarried are so little re­served, they no sooner take a partner for life, than they are as choice of their favours as be­fore they are free of them; and if we consider the simplicity, both of their education and dress, we cannot justly charge them with the crime of [Page 46]unbounded licentiousness. There are some wo­men of the better sort, and some few even of the lower class, that are in this respect very re­served; all I would infer is, that freedoms of the kind I mentioned, are not considered here as crimes of such a nature as to preclude them from society; and as a further proof of it, it need only be told, that a very respectable chief offered his wife to Captain Cook, in ex­change for a few red feathers, and she, by the or­ders of her husband, took some pains, by a stu­died display of her charms, though artfully con­cealed, to captivate him. But, to shew that they are delicate in their notions, notwithstand­ing this freedom of conduct, and that it is not every man with whom they will assort, take the following little anecdote. When Captain Cook was there in 1774, he had on board his vessel a weak scorbutic man, with one eye, who, soon after his arrival, gaining a little strength and spirits upon a vegetable diet, paid his addresses to a pleasing O-Taheitean girl, lighted a candle and conducted her from the deck to his birth below; but she no sooner looked in his face, and found that he had lost an eye, than she refused to continue with him, led him upon deck again, introduced him to a one-eyed girl, [Page 47]at that time there, and gave him to understand, that she was a more suitable partner for him; for that, for her part, she would not take up with a blind lover.

But as in every country there are some more dissolute than others, so is it in O-Taheitee: there is a society formed here of a great number of the principal people of the island, of both sexes, called an Arreoy; where, to indulge their passions, and keep up their flame by a pleasing variety, every woman is common to every man; and where, in order to stimulate desire, frequent meetings are held among them, at which time the men wrestle, and the women dance, and en­deavour, by the most wanton gestures, to incite those amorous passions that probably could not be kept alive any other way; and the passion once raised, is immediately gratified. This custom may possibly be consonant with their peculiar notions; but the sequel is horrid. Should any of these women prove pregant, which does not often happen, the poor infant is smothered as soon as born, that it may be no interruption to those diabolical pleasures of the father and mother, who, if the child is pre­served, are immediately excluded the society: and the members of this association, instead of be­ing [Page 48]ashamed of the connection, pride themselves in it, and boast of it as a privilege.

But as the natives of this island have the ge­neral character of being gentle, generous, ten­der, and affectionate, which cannot be recon­ciled with the murder of their own children; there may be other reasons than unbounded li­centiousness to countenance this society: and as all the men who are members of it are warriors, such an association may be political, as it ob­viates the attachments of both wife and child. Besides, such a society might be instituted to prevent multiplying the chiefs of the island, who perhaps once were petty-tyrants, especially, as a child brought forth in wedlock is a chief as soon as born; and the members of this associa­tion were generally chiefs and are now persons of the first distinction. This society may thus have been instituted in sound policy, and the respect it is held in, in the island, seems to favour the notion; but as all institutions, in course of time, are liable to abuse, it may be the case here; for the members seem to meet merely to indulge a voluptuous disposi­tion. They feast on the choicest dainties, and that to excess; they make a free use of the in­toxicating plant; they are amused with music, [Page 49]and lascivious dancing, and a train of sensual pleasures surrounds them. But, at the same time, they are friendly and hospitable to each other in the highest degree, and, to soften the crime of murder on the part of the mother, it is but justice to observe, that they never give up their children but at the entreaties and persua­sions of the rest, and where entreaties will not prevail, force is employed, and the murder is committed in secret.

Polygamy is not allowed among them, ex­cept among the principal people of the island. Love being the reigning passion, a number of wives is the highest luxury. The women pay a blind submission to their husbands, and though an exception is now and then to be found to the general rule, they would sooner die than be guilty of conjugal infidelity; and so little is jealousy known among them, that when a woman yields to the importunities of a stranger, it is generally by the husband's persuasion.

As the reader probably will wish to know the reception the first European vessel met with at this island, I will relate what happened to Cap­tain Wallis in June 1767, for, till this time, no European ship had touched there, except that of De Quiros in 1606; and he continued there not [Page 50]more than two days; besides, it being more than a century and a half ago, the visit of Cap­tain Wallis may be considered as the first which the natives of this island ever received from a civilized people.

When Captain Wallis's ship brought up close under the land, which the depth of water enabled him to do, he was soon surrounded by some hundreds of canoes, with several persons in each. When they came within pistol shot, they gazed and seemed to hold a council how to act; at last they paddled round the vessel, ex­hibiting signals of friendship, and one of them made a speech. Soon after this, some few came on board, but one of them being butted by a goat then on deck, and on turnign round see­ing the goat rise on his legs, they all jumped over the sides of the vessel, in the greatest fright, but soon swam round her and returned on board again, and the crew had enough to do to prevent their stealing sundry things that lay in their way; one of them snatched off a gold­laced hat from an officer's head, leaped over­board, and swam off with it. Upon the Cap­tain's sending out a boat to sound the depth of water, the Indians, to prevent their coming on shore, threw stones into her, and wounded some [Page 51]of the men, which made an officer in the boat fire his musquet, loaded with buck-shot, at the Indian who threw the first stone, and wounded him on the shoulder. This was an alarm suf­ficient—it brought together three or four hun­dred canoes, with upwards of two thousand men, armed with slings, and stones, of two pounds weight, who attacked the ship, and hurt some of the crew, but they were soon quieted and dispersed by firing a few great guns at them, with the loss only of a few Indians: they pre­pared for a second attack, but found it in vain; in short, they became so afraid of a gun, that was a musquet pointed at them, thousands would fly before it, like a flock of sheep. Indeed, so great was their dread, that when a party of In­dians once attempted to attack an officer, then strolling about on shore by himself, he put them all to flight, by presenting his tooth-pick case at them, which they conceived to be a little gun. After this the ship's boats went peace­ably to shore, and upon signals of friendship made on both sides, a trade was opened with the islanders, which improved every day. The things they valued most were nails and hatchets, they having no such thing as iron among them; and the rates of trafficking were, a spike for a [Page 52]small pig, a smaller for a fowl, a hatchet for a hog, and a middling-sized nail for twenty co­coa-nuts or bread-fruit. Nay, they trafficked with the ships crew for the personal favours of their daughters and sisters, whom fathers and brothers brought down to the sea-side on pur­pose: a nail was generally the price of these fa­vours, but, to shew that they were not insensible of the superiority of charms in one female more than another, the size of the nail demanded rose always in proportion to the beauty of the lady; but no nails were current at O-Taheitee under the size of a forty-penny.

When the ship had been there about three weeks, the Captain was introduced to a woman of distinction among them. She invited him to her house, and taking hold of his hand, made all her attendants, of which there were a great number, both male and female, kiss it.—When any of the natives meet a friend, whom they have not seen for some time, they affect to cry for joy; but no such ceremonial passed here; they kissed the Captain's hand. This lady's house was merely a roof, thatched with palm leaves, like other habitations in the island, but covering a spot of ground three hundred and twenty-seven feet long, and forty-two feet in [Page 53]breadth; it was raised upon three rows of pillars, thirty-nine on each side, and fourteen in the middle. The ridge of the house within was thirty feet high, and the sides of it, to the eaves of the thatch, twelve feet high. As Captain Wallis and his party entered, she beckoned four girls, by waving her hand downwards, that being the method there, and ordered them to take off the Captain's shoes and stockings, and then directed the girls to rub and chafe their feet between their hands. This is considered at O-Taheitee, and is in reality the greatest re­freshment. When the young women had conti­nued this for about half an hour, they dressed their legs again, and, by the order of their mis­tress, brought some bales of cloth, of their own manufacturing, to clothe them in the fashion of the country, but they declined it. This done, the Queen presented them with a sow big with pig, and conducted them to the shore where the boats lay; and, what is remark­able, at every little dirty place they passed, she took the Captain up in her arms and lifted him over, with as little difficulty as we would lift a child. During this visit, one of the gentlemen took off his wig, to wipe his head, having walked till he was warm, which so astonished [Page 54]the Indians, that they could not have been more so, had his limbs been screwed to his body, and he had unscrewed them one after another.

As a general character of these people; let it suffice to say, that they are hospitable, un­ambitious, and far from revengeful. They probably are not so sincere in their professions of friendship, as from appearances might be expected; for they weep upon every little oc­casion, and seem to have tears at will; like children they cry for trifles, and like children too their sorrows are soon forgotten: but when we reflect, that they have never been taught either to disguise or suppress their passions, and are not accustomed to thought, which alone only can recall the past and anticipate the future, it is no wonder that their sorrows should be transient; they are affected only with the occur­rence of the passing minute; and yet they are of a benevolent disposition. Their life re­sembles, in a great measure, what poets call the Golden Age, for they are happy in their sim­plicity and innocence; and if the frequent vi­sits of Europeans do not corrupt their manners, may continue so to the end of time. Though they have no trade, they have plenty of amuse­ments and employments; manufacturing of [Page 55]their dress is an agreeable employ to the wo­men, and building houses and canoes, with making of tools and arms, sufficient occupa­tion for the men. Most of their days are spent in a country where nature has been lavish of her gifts; where the temperature of the air is warm, but continually refreshed by wholesome breezes; where the atmosphere is constantly clear and serene, and where the climate and fruits of the land contribute to the strength, the pleasure, and elegance of the natives. In short, their tempers are unruffled by violent passions; they live a life of ease, equanimity, and content, and are situated in a delightful country, free from care, and happy in their ignorance; re­sembling the paradise of Mahomet, where the appetites are gratified, without ever being cloyed.

When M. De Bouganville was at O-Taheitee, he met with a native of that island, about thirty years of age, very desirous of accompanying him to France, and his countrymen seemed to approve the step. He happened, however, to be a stupid fellow, and in two years stay at Paris, could never get to speak, or even pro­nounce the language; possibly from some im­pediment in his speech, yet still, he would go [Page 56]out into the streets by himself, and was well acquainted with the town. He frequently made a purchase, and seldom paid more for it than its value. The principal exhibition that pleased him was the opera, and particularly the dancing; he constantly went there by him­self, paid for his admission, and his favourite place was in the seats behind the boxes. Among the great number desirous of seeing him, he knew how to distinguish those who were most civil, and his grateful heart never forgot them. The Duchess of Choiseul appropriated a sum of money for the purpose of conveying a va­riety of tools to O-Taheitee, and the ministry sent him, in March 1770, to the Isle of France, that he might be thence conveyed home; but he never lived to reach his native isle, for having caught the small-pox, it proved fatal to him. M. De Bouganville allotted one thou­sand five hundred pounds, being a third part of his fortune, towards equipping the ship for that purpose.


CONSISTING of six, Huaheine, Ulietea, Otaha, Bolabola, Tubai and Mau­rua, are situated between the latitude of 16° 10′, and 16° 65′, and between the longi­tude W. from Greenwich, 150° 57′, and 152°. Ulietea and Otaha lie within two miles of each other, and are inclosed in one reef of coral rock, which forms many excellent harbours.

Bolabola lies N. W. and by W. from Otaha, and about four leagues distant, surrounded by several little islands, together about eight leagues in circuit; and the chief of this island has lately conquered, and now governs the isles of Ulietea and Otaha, and also Maurua, which lies fifteen leagues to the westward; so that these conquered isles are governed by a Vice­roy: and many of the conquered natives have retired to Huaheine and O-Taheitee. There is [Page 58]very little difference in any of these islands, re­specting the customs, manners, &c. &c. of the inhabitants: I shall therefore speak only of Huaheine and Ulietea, and that but little. In landing at these several islands, the ships crews met with no resistance, but a friendly and peaceful welcome. How these islands came under the dominion of the sovereign of Bolabola is thus related by a native.

Some years since, the Chiefs of O-Taheitee, and other neighbouring isles, banished such as were guilty of thefts and other crimes, not deserving death, to that of Bolabola, which till then was uninhabited. In course of time the numbers increased so much, that the pro­duce of the island was not sufficient for their support. Being men of desperate fortunes, they built canoes, turned pirates, and made such of their neighbours as fell in their way, their pri­soners, seizing their property. One of the worst of these banished men became their chief, and encreasing every year in power and property by such depredations; he invaded Otaha, and took it: he afterwards conquered Ulietea, and other islands, and they from that time became a part of his dominions.


IS situated in south latitude, 16° 43′, and 150° 52′ west longitude. It lies thirty-one leagues N. W. of O-Taheitee, and is about seven leagues round. The face of it is hilly and uneven, and it has on the west a safe and commodious harbour. It was first discovered by Captain Cook on the 11th of July, 1769.

Huaheine is divided by a deep inlet into two peninsulas, joined by an istmus which is over­flowed at high water. Its hills are not so lofty as those at O-Taheitee, but, like the hills of that island, they seem to be the remains of a volcano: the top of one has the appearance of a crater, and a kind of lava is very conspicuous on one of its sides.

The face of the country is similar to that of O-Taheitee, but in a less scale, though it is considerably more picturesque; the sides of the hills being here cultivated, owing to a scarcity of level ground. From the principal bay, the islands of Ulietea, Otaha, and Bola­bola may be seen; the last appears like a coni­cal hill, forked at the top.

[Page 60]The natives speak the same language, wear the same habits, and are the same as the O-Taiheteans, except that they are not so dark­coloured: The women in general are as hand­some, and both women and men rather stouter, larger made, and less timid; but if any thing they are more indolent and lazy.

The productions likewise of this island are the same as those of the last-mentioned, but are about a month forwarder in their growth. They have here indeed mulberry-trees, which are not to be met with at O-Taheitee. Of the cocoa-nuts, the inhabitants make a food, by scraping them and mixing them with yams, and eating it, so as to resemble a kind of oily hasty-pudding. There are a great quantity of ducks, curlews, and snipes, and here are some insects and scorpions, and the same animals which are found at O-Taheitee. Notwith­standing the stupidity of the dogs, they are in high favour with the women, who are so ridi­culously fond of them, that they will suckle the puppies at their breasts. The dogs in general, of these islands, are of various sizes, from that of a lap-dog to the size of a large spaniel. The head is broad, and pointed at the nose, the eyes are small, the ears upright, [Page 61]the hair lank and hard, and the colour mostly brown and white; and they seldom bark, but often howl and seem to have an aversion to strangers. Their method of killing them for food, both here and at O-Taheitee, is by stifling them, either by stopping their fundament with grass, and holding their nose and mouth be­tween their hands till they die, or by laying them on their backs and pressing their throats with a stick till they are choaked.

The amusements and customs of this island are also the same with those of the last-men­tioned. They have their Heava or dramatic en­tertainments, and also their Arreoy, or licentious society; but parents do not here suffer their daughters to follow their own inclinations. A reciprocal changing of names is here a friendly ceremony, and when they accept a present, as they do at O-Taheitee, they lift it always above their heads.

Huaheine is governed also by chiefs related to those at O-Taheitee, and the religious notions of this place, and indeed of all the neighbouring isles, is much the same as that which has been there described, excepting that each island as a separate theogony, calling their deities by dif­ferent names. They believe every man to have [Page 62]a distinct being within him, who acts according to the impression of the senses. This being they suppose to be immortal, and after the death of the person they inhabit, to take possession of, and lodge in, the wooden images that de­corate their Morai, or places of burial. They conceive both sun and moon to be inhabited by its respective divinity, and so far pay them adoration, as they suppose them to have an in­fluence on things below. Their good or evil genii, are addressed, in proportion to the good or ill they do; the good are supplicated by prayers, and the evil are revered by hissings.

In a word, it would be unjust to their ge­neral character if I did not say, that, notwith­standing their errors and customs, inconsistent with European nations, they possess the most exalted sentiments, sentiments that do honour to mankind; and though various characters are found among all nations, for one villain in these isles there are fifty to be found in a civi­lized country. They are friendly and hospita­ble without seeming to know it, and leave their virtues to be recorded by strangers who visit them.

When Captain Fourneaux was at this island in 1773, he at the request of a young man at[Page 63]that time there, brought him away, to shew him to the people of England, as M. de Bouganville did a native of O-Taheitee to Paris. This man's name is Omai, a native of Ulietea; he is of the middling class of people, and had some property there, but was plundered of it by the inhabitants of Bolabola. He is far from being a specimen of the na­tives of these islands, they being in general much fairer, much handsomer, and much better made. He is a man however of quick parts, honest principles, and a good understanding. He continued two years in England under the patronage of Lord Sandwich, Dr. Solander, and Mr. Banks. While here, he was introduced into the best company, conducted to every splendid entertainment, and frequently was led to court, and taken uncommon notice of by his Majesty. He fell in with that elegance and ease natural to the polite people of the age, and adopted the manners and amusements of those with whom he associated. As a proof of his understanding, he soon became a proficient in the game of chess. No one here attempted to improve his understanding or his moral cha­racter; the only pains taken was to lead him into a round of fashionable enjoyments, and feast [Page 64]his eyes with daily wonders. During his stay here, he was inoculated for the small-pox, and when Captain Cook sailed for O-Taheitee again in July 1776, Omai voluntarily went with him, though with manifest regret, at leaving Eng­land. He carried with him a great variety of dresses, and other ornaments, a portable hand­organ, a puppet-show, a coat of mail, a suit of armour, and an electrical machine, which he was taught to use. Though at years of maturity, his judgmentw as still in its infant state, and, like children, he coveted every thing he saw: he did not carry with him any instruments of real use in life; but a variety of domestic ani­mals, male and female, were put on board, as a present from Captain Cook to the inhabitants of O-Taheitee, and the other South Sea islands.


LIES S. W. and by W. about seven or eight leagues from Huaheine. It was first discovered by Captain Cook in July 1769, and is about three times as large as Huaheine, has much broader plains, and much higher hills; the soil at the top of which is a kind of stone marle; [Page 65]on the sides may be seen a few slints and small pieces of spongy stone lava, another confirma­tion that volcanos must formerly have existed here.

It is governed by a vice-roy, deputed by the sovereign of Bolabola, who conquered it; and is neither so populous nor so rich in produce as O-Taheitee or Huaheine.

Their Morais here, are different from those of O-Taheitee. They consist only of an area, about twenty yards square, enclosed with four walls about eight feet high, made with coral stones. At one side many planks are set up an end, carved from top to bottom, and in this island, and at Huaheine, they make use of a machine resembling the ark of old, which they call the House of God, and remove it from place to place by poles like those of a sedan chair. It is frequently seen near a Mo­rai.

Shagreen; both here and at Huaheine, is met with in plenty; there is some at O-Taheitee, but it is scarce.

The manner of the principal peoples re­ceiving a visit of ceremony here, is also differ­end from what has been mentioned elsewhere, which is, being seated within their habitations, [Page 66]at the end of a long mat, and the party intro­duced by four or five old women weeping, and, as it were, bitterly lamenting, and cutting their heads with instruments made of the teeth of a shark, till the blood runs plentifully down their faces and shoulders; before the visitor en­ters, these women embrace him, and thus fre­quently besmear him with their blood. This ceremony ended, they go and wash themselves and immediately appear as chearful as any of the company.

The dances and dramatic entertainments in this island also are very singular; in one house, where Dr. Solander and Mr. Banks paid a visit, by order of the master, a man with a large cy­lindrical piece of wicker-work upon his head, about four feet long, and eight inches in diame­ter, faced with feathers, placed perpendicularly, and edged round with sharks teeth, began to dance. In dancing, he often twisted his head in such a manner, that the top of the head-dress described a large circle, and was frequently striking the by-standers, which never failed to produce a laugh, at the expence of the person so struck.

Among the comic dances, was one in which the performers, who were all men, were di­vided [Page 67]into two parties, distinguished from each other by the colour of their dress. One was white and the other brown. The brown party represented a master and his servants, and the white a parcel of robbers: the first had a basket of provisions given into their care by their master, and the dance of the white consisted of several expedients to steal it. After a length of time the brown party set their basket down on the ground, in the midst of them, and lean­ing upon it, went to sleep; the others, taking advantage of this opportunity, lifted them up, and went off with it: soon after this the sleepers awoke, missed their basket, but without re­garding the loss, proceeded to dancing. The dramatic action of this dance would have stood the test of criticism, and persons of taste must have admired the simplicity, unity, and chaste­ness of the whole.


IS situated in 27° 5′ 30″ S. latitude, and 109° 46′ 20″ W. longitude from Greenwich; it is of a triangular form, about four leagues long, on the S. E. side, three leagues and a half on the N. W. side, and about two leagues and a half on the N. E. side. It has a hilly and stony surface, and the hills are high enough to be seen at fifteen or sixteen leagues distance. This is supposed to be the land seen by Captain Da­vis in 1687; but the discovery is attributed to Roggewein, the Dutchman, in April 1722, who called it Easter Island, it being Easter-Day when he first saw it. It is called by the natives Waihu. It was afterwards visited by some Spaniards in 1770, and by Captain Cook in March 1774. It lies about six hundred leagues W. of the coast of Peru.

Face of the Island, &c.

BUT the honour of discovering this island is not worth contending for, it affording neither anchorage, fuel, good water, or any conve­nience for shipping. The whole country is barren and ruinous, without wood, and strewed with volcanic cinders: in many places it is stripped of its soil to the very rock, which seems to contain an iron ore. It is more than pro­bable that this island was produced by a vol­cano, and destroyed by its fire. There are, however, several plantations of potatoes, plan­tains, and sugar-canes; but every thing is obliged to be raised by the dint of labour. Their plantations are prettily laid out by line, and fenced in with stone. They plant their ba­nanas in holes one foot deep, in order to collect the rain, without which contrivance they would not grow in this parched country. The grass which naturally springs among the stones in un­cultivated spots, is carefully pulled up and spread as a manure over the whole plantation, or per­haps to preserve it from the scorching sun.


THE chief produce of the isle is potatoes, nuts, plantains, su­gar-canes, yams, and some few gourds. Their potatoes are sweet as carrots, and of a gold-yel­low colour: the Indians use them instead of bread. The plantains are very delicious, and the sugar-canes sweeter than those at O-Tahei­tee; indeed, the juices of every vegetable seem concentrated by the dryness of the soil. There is here a particular shrub, called by the na­tives Torromedo, not much unlike the common vetch, but the pod, in its size and shape, re­sembles that of a tamarind. The wood is red­dish, and pretty hard and heavy, but very crook­ed, small and short, not exceeding six or seven feet in height. The seeds have a disagreeable, bitter taste, and the natives seem to think them poisonous. They have in this island also the O-Taheitean cloth-plant, but it does not thrive well: in short, the different species of plants do not exceed twenty.


THE only animals seen here were cocks and hens, of the European kind, well tasted, but small; and rats which they use as food. Land birds there are scarcely [Page 71]any, and sea birds but few, and these are, men of war, tropic, and egg-birds, noddies, tern, &c. but what is still worse, the coast seems not to abound with fish.


THE number of inhabitants seems not to exceed six or seven hun­dred; and above two thirds of these are men. This disproportion can no otherways be accounted for, but by the womens concealing themselves. This might be the case, or it might not, for very few children were seen, and the behaviour and conduct of those women who made their appearance, gave it to be understood, that they could well dispense with a plurality of hus­bands. In colour, features, and language, the natives here bear so great an affinity to those of the more Western Isles, that they must have had the same origin; but how the people should spread themselves throughout the whole South Sea, which is not less than one quarter of the globe, is truly astonishing. The inhabitants of Easter Island are of a middle stature, but slen­der, with thin features: their muscles are hard and rigid, influenced, as must be supposed, by the heat and sterility of the country. They are lively, strong, well made, and swift of foot. [Page 72]Their looks are mild, pleasing, modest, and submissive. Their complexion, in general, is a chesnut brown; but some few are darker, and some are quite white, and the bodies of the men are very hairy. Their beards are black and strong, and they wear them clipped short. The noses, both of men and women, are not very broad, but rather flat between the eyes; their lips, though not so thick as those of the negro, are strong, and their hair is black and curling. Their eyes are dark brown, and ra­ther small, and the whites of them not so clear as in other islands of the South Seas. The women wear their hair long, and sometimes tie it up on the crown of the head, but the men never suffer theirs to grow more than three inches in length. Both men and women are remarkable for the great length of their ears. They pierce the flaps of them, and stretch the holes, by wearing a leaf in them, rolled up tight like a scroll, till they become two or three inches long and reach the shoulder. They sometimes turn this slit over the upper part of the ear, and it then looks as if the flap was cut off.

From the Dutch relation of Roggewein's voyage, we are taught to believe, that the sa­vages [Page 73]of this island, were in 1722, twice as tall and as thick as the largest European; that the men measured in general twelve feet in height, and the women from ten to eleven. But this relation cannot be true, as Captain Cook met with none exceeding six feet high.

They tattow or puncture the skin here, as they do at O-Taheitee, and mark themselves from head to foot, face and all, in various fi­gures, nearly alike, but in different directions, as fancy leads. The women are not punctured so much as the men; but they paint their whole faces with a reddish brown, over which they lay the bright orange of the turmeric root, or ornament them with streaks of white.


THE scorching heat of the sun ob­liges them to cover their heads, which they do with a round fillet, decorated with fea­thers, and a straw bonnet, something like a Scotch one. Others wear large bushy caps, of brown gull feathers, little less than the wig of an English judge.

The womens cloathing consists of a piece or two of red and white quilted cloth, about six feet by four, or a mat. One piece wrapped round the loins, and another thrown over the [Page 74]shoulders; but the men go almost naked, ex­cept a slip of cloth between the legs, both ends of which are fastened to a belt round the waist. Both sexes wear on the breast, suspend­ed by the neck, a flat piece of bone, shaped like a laurel leaf; and occasionally necklaces and ear-rings, made of shells, by way of amulet or charm.


THE construction of their huts declares the poverty and wretchedness of the people. They resemble a canoe lying upon the ground, with the keel upwards, are about fifty or sixty feet long, and are built in the following manner. The foun­dations are laid with stone, by paving the ground in two curve lines, converging at the extremities to each other; the distance, from line to line, in the middle, is about six feet, and at the ends not more than a foot. In every stone of this line or foundation is made a hole, into which they fix a stake, six feet high in the middle, and di­minishing proportionably to two feet at the ends: these stakes are drawn together, and fas­tened at the top, and the whole is covered with matting of sugar-cane leaves to the ground. On one [Page 75]side is left an opening, eighteen or twenty inches high, by way of entrance, covered with a kind of porch: so that to get in they are obliged to creep upon the hands and knees. In these huts they only sleep, and that on the bare ground. Some have sheds made with piles of stone, and some seem to live in caverns cut in the rocks; but as no admittance could be ob­tained into these, nothing can be said about them.


THEY do not appear to have any utensils, except gourds. Rogge­wein, in 1722, talked of their having earthen pots, but no such thing was seen in 1774. They dress their victuals in the O-Taheitean fashion, with hot stones, in an oven, or hole in the ground; and roast their plantains under fires of straw or dried grass.

Manufactures, &c.

THEY make a kind of cloth here of the bark of the paper mulberry, as they do at O-Taheitee; which they quilt with thread to strengthen it, and paint yellow with turmeric. When com­pleted, it is soft to the touch, like silk, and [Page 76]they make baskets, bonnets, &c. of matting, very neat.

Their working tools are very mean and few, made of stone, bone, or shells; but yet they are very ingenious at carving, and shew a taste for the arts. They carve hu­man figures, about eighteen inches long, with great neatness and proportion, and polish them very highly.

In several places on the coasts of this island, are a number of gigantic stone statues, some erected in groups, in platforms of masonry, and others single, fixed only in the earth. They resemble a human figure to the waist, are thirty feet high, more than eight feet across the shoul­ders, and seemed to be formed each of one single stone. The workmanship is rude, and the eyes, nose, and mouth scarce marked on an ill-shaped head; but the ears quite long, in the present fashion of the country. On the heads of these statues are placed huge round cylinders of stone, five feet in height, and five in diameter, set upright. They seem to have been erected over the graves of some chiefs, in former days, not being the workmanship of the present inha­bitants, but preserved now as monuments of antiquity. How these stones were thus raised [Page 77]one upon another, is as little to be guessed at as the manner in which those at Stonehenge were erected. The islanders do not pay any adoration to them, but hold them in a kind of veneration, and will not suffer any one to tread upon the platforms. They proba­bly may have some tradition concerning them, but as the Europeans who visited the island, did not continue long enough to learn the language, nothing could be collect­ed with any certainty; except only that they were the burial places of some former chiefs.

They call the statues by the following names, Ko-Tomoaï, Ko-Tomoèeree, Ko-Hòo-oo, Morahèena, Oomarèeva, Weenâboo, Weenapè.


THE offensive weapons of the peo­ple of Easter Isle, are short wooden clubs; spears made of crooked sticks about six feet long, pointed with pieces of flint; and a kind of short battle-axe.


THEIR canoes are wretched, about eighteen or twenty feet long, and very narrow; the head and stern are raised a little, and carved, and fitted with out-riggers, [Page 78]they will not carry above four persons, and are not to be navigated to any distance. They are patched up with pieces of wood two or three feet long, and four or five inches wide, and are worked with paddles made up also with several pieces of wood. In one of these canoes seen by Captain Cook was a board six or eight feet long, fourteen inches broad at one end, and eight at the other. This is mentioned, as at that time there did not appear to be a tree upon the island that would have yielded a board of half that size.

Religion and Government.

VERY little can be said of the re­ligion of these savages, except that they are not idolators and as little can be said of their go­vernment; whether or not they have one or more chiefs among them. When Roggewein was there, they appeared and spoke without distinction; the government was obviously pa­triarchial; the most aged had plumes of fea­thers on their heads, and a staff in their hands; and it was observable, that in each house or family, the oldest persons governed and gave the orders. When Captain Cook was there, there seemed to be but little subordination [Page 79]among them. The plantations on the island are evidently private property, but, though he frequently saw these plantations plundered, no penalty or punishment was the consequence of the crime.


THERE seems, as I said be­fore, to be an affinity between the language of Easter Isle, and that of O-Ta­heitee; though what is spoken at the latter was not understood at the former. The natives in­deed of Easter Island called the numbers by the same names as they do at O-Taheitee, and some other of their words are also similar: Eeya im­plies a bone at O-Taheitee, whereas at Easter Island, and New Zealand, a bone is called Eeka. The word friend at the Society Isles is expressed by Hòa, at the Friendly Isles by Wòa, and at Easter Isle by Heeo. So that the lan­guage of Easter Island seems to be a dialect of the O-Taheitean.

Character, &c.

ALTHOUGH these islanders have weapons of of­fence, they are cowardly and timorous; they stand in great awe of a musquet, and probably from the ravage that was made among them by Roggewein and his people, who, without any provocations, wantonly fired upon the na­tives and killed a great number of them: but they are harmless and friendly; have a natural mildness, fellow-feeling, and good-nature in their disposition, which prompt them to treat their visitors kindly, and as hospitably as their wretched country will admit. They are frugal livers, and good swimmers.

Their ideas of decency are of course very different from those of nations accustomed to cloathing. The women are neither reserved nor chaste, but would sit down with the Euro­pean seamen, and undressing themselves, would by smiles and lascivious gestures, entice them to familiarities; and both men and women, not­withstanding their friendliness, are exceedingly addicted to pilfering.

Whether it be owing to filthiness or clean­liness, I cannot take upon me to say; but, I [Page 81]will not quit this people without observing that they have many wells on the island, which are generally dirty, for the natives never go to drink, but they wash themselves all over, as soon as they have done; and let ever so many be together, the first leaps right into the middle of the hole, drinks and washes himself with­out the least ceremony; after which another takes his place and does the same.


WERE discovered by Alvara Mendana, a Spaniard, in 1595, and obtained from him the general name they now bear, La Mar­quesas de Mendoça, in honour of the Marquis of Cannete, Viceroy of Peru, as did the dif­ferent isles their respective names. The Mar­quesas are five in number, La Magdalena, St. Pedro, La Dominica, Santa Christina, and Hood's Island, which last was a discovery of Captain Cook's in April 1774: Mendana hav­ing only seen the first four. They occupy one degree in latitude, and near half a degree in longitude. Hood's Island is to the north of the rest, and lies in 9° 26′ S. latitude, and 138° W. longitude, and about five leagues and a half distant from the east point of


AS it is called by the natives; which is the largest of all the isles, being six leagues in length from east to west. Its breadth is un­equal, but it is about fifteen or sixteen leagues round. It is full of rugged hills rising in ridges directly from the seas: these ridges are disjoined by deep vallies cloathed with wood, as are the sides of some of the hills; the aspect is however barren; but it is nevertheless inha­bited; and as Santa Christina lies within a league of it, an account of this island may be gathered from what is said of that. Its lati­tude is 9° 44′ 30″ S. Four leagues and a half to the S. from the east end of this island, lies


AS it is called by the natives; but whether inhabited or not is uncertain, as it was never touched at: it is about three leagues round, [Page 84]and lies high, but nature has not been very bountiful to it.


AS it is called by the natives, lies under the same parallel three or four leagues more to the W. It is nine miles long in the direction of N. and S. about eight leagues round, and about a league distant to the southward of La Dominica. A narrow ridge of hills of considerable height extends the whole length of the island: and there are other ridges with an equal ascent rising from the sea, and joining the main ridge. These are disjoined by deep nar­row vallies, extremely fertile, clothed with fruit and other trees, and watered by fine streams of excellent water. The soil is a rich mould, covering rocks containing volcanic productions, which shew that this island, like the Society Isles, has had burning mountains.


THE trees, plants, and other productions, are nearly the same as at O-Taheitee and the Society Isles; [Page 85]hogs, fowls, rats, plantains, yams, cocoas, sugar-canes and bread-fruit.


THE islanders collectively are tawny, but without exception the finest race of people in this sea; for fine shape, and regular features, they surpass every one; though the affinity of their language, behaviour, manners, form, dress, provisions and canoes, to those of O-Taheitee, shews that they are of the same nation, and only differ from them in a few respects. The men are beautifully tattowed or punctured from head to foot, which gives them a dark colour; the women but little; young men and children not at all, but are as fair as some Europeans. The men in general are tall, about six feet high. Their teeth are not so good as those of the inhabitants of O-Taheitee, nor are their eyes so full and lively; but their countenances are pleasing, open, and full of vivacity: their hair, like Europeans, is of many colours, ex­cept red. The men wear their beards long and in different modes; some part it, and tie it in two bunches under the chin; others plait it; some wear it long, and others quite short. The features of the women are like those of [Page 86]O-Taheitee; but what is most remarkable, a deformed or ill-proportioned person, is seldom if ever seen among them: all are tall, strong, active, and beautifully made.


THEIR cloathing is the same as at O-Taheitee, and made of the same materials. The men, indeed, in general go naked, except a slip of cloth passed round the waist and between the legs. The dress of the women is a piece of cloth wrapped round the waist like a petticoat, hanging down below the middle of the leg, and a loose mantle or tunic thrown over the shoulders. Their chief head-dress is a broad fillet neatly made of the fibres of the cocoa-nut husk, in the front of which is fixed a mother of pearl shell, cut round about the size of a saucer, in the middle of which is another smaller of tortoise-shell pierced in a sort of fret work; in the centre of which last is another piece of mother of pearl about the size of half a crown, and in the centre of that a second piece of perforated tor­toise-shell, the size of a shilling; so that the whole resembles the rose of a lady's slipper: besides this ornament before, some have them on each side, but in smaller pieces; and in [Page 87]each of these roses are stuck a variety of tail feathers of the cock or tropic bird, which when the fillet is tied upon the head, stand upright, and have a good effect. They wear round the neck a necklace made of light wood, on the up­per edge of which are gummed on a row of red peas resembling beads. They also wear round the legs and arms bunches of human hair, or short feathers fastened to a string; upon each ear they occasionally fix an oval piece of flat wood, about three inches long, so as to cover it, which they paint white. Their chiefs wear a kind of gorget made of wood, studded with scarlet beans, hanging from the neck upon the breast. In very hot weather, many make use of large fans to cool themselves, made of stiff matting, painted white. Some also carry large feathered leaves, by way of um­brella.


THE only material difference be­tween the inhabitants of the Mar­quesas, and those of the Society Isles, is in the point of cleanliness: the latter are the cleanest people under the sun; they bathe two or three times a day, and wash their hands and face before and after every meal. The former bathe and wash, but not so often, nor are they [Page 88]so nice in preparing their meals. Their chief food is bread-fruit, which they roast: when sufficiently done, they mix it with water in a dirty wooden trough, which at other times they feed their hogs from. This mixture they scoop out with their hands, and make of it a kind of fermented paste. Their diet is principally ve­getables, though they occasionally eat hogs, fowls, and fish of which they catch great quantities. They have no other drink than water, for cocoa-nuts here are very scarce; they have also the pepper root, of which they make an intoxicating draught, and which like the other islanders, they present to strangers, as a mark of friendship. But if they are less cleanly than the O-Taheiteans in their meals, they are far more so in their evacuations. Like the cats, they hide their ordure, which at O-Taheitee is dropped and left exposed in every path-way.


THEIR houses are in the val­lies and on the sides of the hills near their plantations. They are built twenty or thirty together, and form two sides of a square, one north and south, the other east and west, with the parts adjoining well-paved; the [Page 89]rest like an open place, encompassed with thick trees. Each house is erected on an elevated platform of stones; it is built with bamboo canes, closely connected together, five or six feet high, above which the roof rises to a ridge at the top, consisting of small sticks, and thatch­ed with the leaves of the bread-tree: the plat­form on which it stands is generally about six­teen feet long, and ten broad, and erecting it on such a basis seems to intimate, that the island at certain seasons is liable to be flooded. They raise several of these platforms near their houses to sit on and regale. The pavement within the house is covered with mats to sleep on. The fronts of some houses are wholly open, and a low door-way is cut in others.

When Mendana was there in 1595, he took notice of a house, at some distance from the town, surrounded with palisades, which he called an Oracle; Captain Cook thinks he saw something of the same nature. Mendana de­scribes the house, as containing some ill-carved wooden figures, and an altar on which was of­fered up a hog and some eatables: his soldiers pulled it down; notwithstanding the Indians op­posed it, intimating that they respected both the house and figures.


THEIR weapons are clubs and spears, resembling those of O-Tahei­tee, but rather neater. They have also slings with which they throw stones with great velo­city, and to a great distance; but not with a good aim. In times of danger, they beat an alarm with drums of the same kind with those of the Society Isles.


THEIR canoes are likewise very similar to those of O-Taheitee, but not so large. They are from sixteen to twenty feet long, and about fifteen inches broad. The head and stern are made of two solid pieces of wood. The head has a flat piece, projecting horizontally from the body of the boat, and on the end of this piece is coarsely carved a human face. The stern rises, or curves a little, but irregularly, and ends in a point. They are worked on by short paddles, sharp pointed, and with a knob at the upper end, made of a very hard wood. Some have a sort of triangular la­tine sail, made of matting, with one of the angles downwards.

Government and Character.

NOTHING can be said, with any certainty, of their government. They seem to consider themselves as one family, of which the eldest born is the chief. As they have not ar­rived at that degree of civilization visible at O-Taheitee, distinction of rank does not take place among them, and their constitution has no regular form. Accordingly, no honours are paid to their chief; all his pre-eminence consists in his dress. The great sources of O­Taheitean luxury, the variety and great quan­tity of food and cloth do not exist at the Mar­quesas, nor are the means of subsistence so easily attained; this keeps the people upon a level; but they have a competence; they are active and healthy, and have nothing to restrain them from following the dictates of nature. Like those of the other South Sea Isles, they are addicted to pilfering, and the women almost as little reserved, being extremely liberal of their favours to the Europeans that visited them. They are in general a courteous friendly peo­ple; and though one or two fatally felt the re­sentment of the English, when they attempted [Page 92]to pilfer, they soon forgot the injury, and bu­ried their animosity in oblivion.


LIES nearly in 10° 25′ S. latitude, and 138° 50′ W. longitude. It was only seen by Captain Cook in 1774, but was touched at by Mendana in 1595. It is from the account of his voyage, therefore, that the following particulars are collected.

The island is about six leagues in circuit, and lies ten leagues N. by W. from St. Pedro. It has high steep cliffs to the sea, is mountainous, with vallies, where the Indians dwell, and is very populous. When he drew near the shore, above four hundred of the natives in seventy vessels put off to the ship: some swam, and others were on floats. They seemed to invite the Spaniards on shore. They brought with them cocoa-nuts, and plantains. Above forty ventured on board, and notwithstanding they were presented with a variety of things, they could not help pilfering, and being unwilling to retire when the captain desired it, a great gun was fired in order to frighten them. On [Page 93]hearing this they all jumped overboard, swam to their canoes, and put themselves upon their defence. A shell was sounded by way of a­larm, and a volley of stones from slings was im­mediately sent into the ship; and others threat­ened with their lances; but five or six being killed by musquet balls, they soon held out boughs as signals of peace, and all again was quiet.

The inhabitants of La Magdalena are white, and of a gentle disposition; large, stout-limbed, and so well shaped as greatly to exceed the Spaniards; they have beautiful teeth, eyes and mouths, delicate fine hands and feet, long fingers, flowing hair which they tie and plait, and amongst them some of the most beau­tiful boys ever seen, all of them naked, and without the least covering; and many of them were very ruddy: they are of European stature, and they tattow or puncture their bo­dies and faces with the figures of fish and other forms.

Indeed, there is reason to believe that the na­tives of the Marquesas are all of one, and the same, tribe, and converse and trade together. What then has been said of St. Christina will hold good with respect to the rest.


ARE about sixteen days sail W. from the Society Isles; they lie between 19° 44′ and 21° 32′ S. latitude, and 174° and 175° 14′ W. longitude from Greenwich; and consist of Am­sterdam, or Tongatabu, Middleburg, or Eaoowe, Rotterdam, or Anamocka, the Isle of Handsome People, Cocos, Traitors, Horne, and some lesser isles adjacent. They received their name of Friendly from the firm alliance that subsists among the inhabitants; and from the friendly reception Captain Cook, &c. received there in 1773; for even the first discovers met with in general a peaceful welcome.


MIDDLEBURG, or, as it is called by the natives, Eaoowe, is about ten leagues in cir­cumference, and may be seen at the distance of [Page 95]twelve leagues: it lies in 21° 17′ S. latitude, and 174° 44′ W. longitude; and was first dis­covered and named by Captain Abel Tasman, a Dutchman, in January 1642-3.

Face of the Country.

THE borders of this isle, at the bottom of the hills, consist of plantations of bananas, and groves of cocoa-nut trees; but the inner parts are but little cultivated, though the soil is of a nature to admit of it. The hills are not higher than those of the Isle of Wight, and in many places decorated with clumps of trees. Glades are frequently met with, covered with thick grass, and winding paths, beautiful by nature, leading to every part.

Amsterdam, or, as it is called by the na­tives, Tongatabu, was also discovered by, and received its name from, Captain Tasman, in January 1642-3: it lies in 21° 7′ S. latitude, and 175° W. longitude, is to the northward of Middleburg, and about five leagues from it; it is something in the form of an Isoceles tri­angle, the longest sides of which are seven leagues long, the shortest about four: its di­rection is nearly E. S. E. and W. N. W. It lies low, not exceeding, in any place, eighty [Page 96]feet above the level of the water. Both this and Middleburg are protected from the en­croachments of the sea by reefs of coral rocks, and they have some snug harbours; but there is a scarcity of fresh water in these islands.

The Isle of Amsterdam is every where plant­ed with bread-fruit, cocoa-nut trees, plan­tains, sugar-cane, a fruit resembling a nec­tarine, and most of those that are the produce of the Society Isles, with some few that were not met with there; and Captain Cook, in October 1773, left the inhabitants an assortment of European seeds. The high state of cultiva­tion this island is in, must have cost the natives immense labour; but they are amply rewarded by the great produce, of which every one seems to partake.


THE natives, both male and fe­male, are in size like Europeans; their complexion a uniform lightish copper, their hair in general black. They are well­shaped, and elegantly formed, have a regular set of features, mild and pleasing, fine eyes and good teeth; their faces are somewhat different from the inhabitants of O-Taheitee, [Page 97]being not so round, their noses not so flat, and their lips not so thick.

The hands and arms of the women are full as delicate as those of the natives of O-Taheitee; but like them their feet and legs are large in proportion to the body. The men puncture their skin here likewise, upon the thighs, breech, and hips, but the women do not; the only marks of this kind on them, are about the arms and fingers, and this very sparingly.


THE dress, both of men and women, consists of a piece of cloth, or mat­ting, tied round the waist, so as to hang below the knees: the upper part of the body being ge­nerally naked. This seems to be the dress of the women only, when Tasman was there in 1643, for the men at that time went quite naked, except a small covering over their pri­vate parts. The men frequently wear a string round their necks by which a shell of mother of pearl hangs down on the breast, and the women, loose necklaces made of shell, fish-teeth, and seeds intermixed. The women also wear, on their fingers, neat tortoise-shell rings, and both men and women through the bottom of their ears, cylindrical pieces, about the size of a small quill.

[Page 98]Both sexes wear their hair short, and most of them comb it upwards; the boys seldom have more than a lock on the crown of their heads, and a little on each side, and the men shave their faces with shells; a deviation from what was customary in 1643, when they wore whis­kers, and let part of their beard grow, so as to be about three or four fingers in breadth, and about a quarter of an inch in length.

They have a custom here also of powdering their hair, with powder of different colours, some with white, made of a kind of lime, which burns the hair; others with blue, and others with orange colour, made of turmeric.


HERE are no towns or vil­lages; the chief part of the houses are built in enclosed plantations, where convenience is more studied than order. They are similar to those of O-Taheitee, except that the floor is a little raised and covered with thick matting, of delicate texture, and beautiful co­lours. They are also inclosed on the windward side with matting, and have within a moveable screen, made of wicker-work, to part off their bed-places. The roof is formed with a number of spars and round sticks, and covered with matting made of banana leaves. Their furni­ture [Page 99]consists only of a few wooden platters, co­coa-nut shells, small square cups, made of ba­nana leaves, curiously folded, and some neat wooden stools, on four legs, to rest the head on at night, by way of pillow, when their clothing serves them for a covering. A few pipkins and other earthen vessels were seen by Captain Cook in 1773, but he believed them to be the remains of what were presented to the natives by Cap­tain Tasman in 1643.


THE language of these islands is nearly the same with that of O-Taheitee and the Society Isles, the difference not being greater than that between the north­ern and western dialects of England; it is not, however, so harmonious, being more replete with consonants.


THEIR domestic animals are hogs only, and fowls. Hogs like those of other isles in this sea, but the fowls were remarkably large and fine flavoured, equal if not superior to European poultry. They have no rats here, nor any quadrupeds, except lizards. Captain Cook left a dog and bitch there in 1773. The land birds are, pidgeons, [Page 100]doves, parrots, parroquets, owls, blue bald­coots, large bats, that measure from three to four feet between the extremities of the wings, when expanded, and a great variety of uncom­mon small birds.

Manufactures, &c.

THEY make the same kind of cloth here as they do at O-Taheitee, though not of so many sorts, nor any near so fine; but they have a way of sizing it, so as to keep out the rain. They dye it of various tints, by dyes made from vegetables, black, brown, purple, yellow, and red. They make also matting of fine texture, which occa­sionally serves for cloathing, and some of strong­er texture for flooring, and to serve as sails. Of their matting they make a variety of bas­kets, and some also from the twisted fibres of the cocoa-nut, which they stud with beads, formed from shells and bones. They have the neatest ornamental combs ever seen, consisting of a number of little flat sticks, about five inches long, firmly and elegantly connected to­gether by cocoa-nut fibres; and a variety of fishing-tackle. Their working tools are made of stone, bone, shell, &c. as at the other islands; and when we see the work performed by them, [Page 101]we hardly know which to admire most the inge­nuity or the patience of the workman.


THE clubs of these islanders wear a variety of forms, and are in ge­neral so heavy, as not to be managed with one hand; and they are prettily carved and polished. They have also spears and sharp-pointed sticks, some of which are barbed, and bows and ar­rows of a singular construction. The bow is six feet long, about the size of one's little finger, and when slack forms a curve; the convex part has a groove in it that holds the string: in drawing the bow, instead of pulling it so as to encrease the natural curvature, they draw it the reverse way; so that the spring, to recover its former position, gives greater velocity to the arrow, and the recoil never hurts the arm of the bow-man. It is probable that they are often at war with their neighbours, from the great quan­tity of arms in their possession.


THEIR canoes, in point of neat­ness and workmanship, exceed every thing of the kind met with in the South Seas. They are constructed of several planks sewed together so neatly, that the joints on the outside [Page 102]are scarcely to be seen. Some of their canoes are double, and some single; the single ones are from twenty to thirty feet long, about twenty inches wide in the middle, terminating at each end in a point. At the ends are a kind of deck, about ten feet long, so that the canoe is open in the middle; and they frequently decorate their decks with rows of white shells. Some of them have sails, and some are worked on with paddles. The double canoes are formed of two, fastened together by strong beams, and a boarded platform is raised upon staunchions over them. They are so contrived, that they can be sunk under water quite to the platform, without being in any danger of filling; nor can they sink while they hold together. They are in general sixty or seventy feet long, and four or five broad. They have one mast in the middle, and one sail made of matting. Their rope is exactly like ours, and some of it four or five inches thick. On this platform is built a little shed to shelter the crew from the weather, and they carry on it a moveable fire-hearth to dress their provisions, which is a wooden trough filled with stones: the whole canoe, thus constructed, is as well finished and well polished, as our best cabinet-work in England.

Amusements, &c.

IT is not sufficiently known how these people amuse themselves at their leisure hours; all that can be said on this head is, that they frequently sing in parts, and accompany the song with a snapping of their singers. Their voices are sweet and mellow, and they sing in time and tune, much superior to the natives of the So­ciety Isles. They have a large bambo flute, with eight stops, which they sound like a Ger­man flute, but by the nostrils; and they have a musical instrument, formed of eight or ten reeds, of different lengths, joined together, re­sembling the ancient Doric pipe, which they sound by the breath, sliding the instrument to and fro along the lips. They have also a drum, formed of a piece of hollow wood, on the sides of which they beat with sticks, and produce a noise something like that which may be pro­duced from an empty cask.

They are great swimmers and divers, and the women further amuse themselves at times by sling­ing five or six balls continually into the air, and catching them alternately; and frequently they dance, and their dances are of the dramatic kind.


A leprous disorder seems to be general here, and to acquire a great degree of virulence; but let their ulcers be ever so bad, they appear to disregard them. To cure this, or some other disorder, they blister upon the cheek-bones, for these marks are so universal, that most of the islanders must have been sorely afflicted with disease, at one time or other.


VERY little is known of their religion: all that can be said of it is, that they do not seem to be idolaters, nor like the people of O-Taheitee, to hold any par­ticular birds in veneration, but to worship a supreme invisible Being. The religious notions of a people are, indeed, the last things a stranger becomes acquainted with, who is with them but a few days, owing to an imperfect knowledge of their language; besides, as I mentioned be­fore, the terms in which the natives of the South Seas express their religious mysteries are dif­ferent from such as are in general use; of course, it is difficult to get at them.

As their burying places, or places of worship, are different from any thing yet mentioned, I [Page 105]will describe one. They are generally erected upon a green mount raised by hand, sixteen or eighteen feet above the level of the com­mon ground, which mount is of an oblong figure, and enclosed by a stone wall about three feet high. From this wall the mount rises gradually, and is turfed; on the top of it stands the house of worship, similar in figure to the mount on which it stands, about twenty feet long and sixteen broad, and has a gravel walk round it: in the front are two stone steps leading to the top of the wall: the house is built like their dwelling-houses, only it is en­closed with strong matting; within, the floor is gravelled; the middle part, eight feet in length, is raised about six inches above it, and paved with pebbles, and, this generally is the grave of some respectable person: a carved image or two stuck up upon poles decorate the walls.

These buildings are called A-fia-touca, and they are generally seen where two roads cross each other. At particular times the priest ad­dresses himself to these buildings in certain set speeches and prayers; but of what kind I cannot say.


FROM what could be col­lected from the natives, the government is much like that of O-Taheitee; that is, under certain chiefs subordinate to a sovereign. All the land at Amsterdam Island appears to be private property; but there are here a class of people who are slaves and have no property at all.


ONE hundred and thirty years do not seem to have made any change in the customs and manners of this peo­ple. What Captain Tasman observed in 1643, Captain Cook observed in 1773. The mode of saluting each other is by touching or meeting noses; though such as wish to express a greater regard, will embrace each other and kiss the hands; and the sign of peace to strangers is the display of white flags; and a still greater testi­mony of friendship is a reciprocal exchange of names. Whatever they are pleased to accept they immediately raise to their heads, and this grateful acceptance is taught them from their childhood. The intoxicating juice from the pepper-root of which they are very choice, they offer to strangers as a mark of civility. [Page 107]But the most singular custom among them, is the cutting off one or both of their little fin­gers, which they do on the death of a parent or near relation. Many of the islanders carry about with them pidgeons perched on crooked sticks: these possibly may be marks or badges of honour; for at Horne Island they are carried by persons of distinction in the presence of a chief, in the same manner as falcons formerly were carried by the nobility in Europe.

General character, &c.

THE general cha­racter of the natives is that they are friendly, brave, and courteous. The women are mostly modest and reserved, particularly the married ones; but as in all countries there are some of easy virtue, so are there in these islands, women who will invite your embraces by immodest words and gestures. The women in general are the merriest creatures in life, they will, if we seem pleased with it, chatter by one's side without any invitation, and without considering whether they are un­derstood or not. But these as well as the men have a strong propensity to pilfering. They are far more industrious here then at O-Taheitee, and this accounts for the regularity of their [Page 108]plantations, and their nice division of proper­ty. Though their political constitution does not appear favourable to liberty, and easiness of mind, yet they preserve a happiness of tem­per. The climate is very good, between the extremes of heat and cold, and individuals are seldom seen to be sick or lame: they feel no wants which they are unable to gratify, and joy and contentment are painted in every face.


OR, as the natives call it, Anamocka, lies about a day's sail to the N. E. of Amsterdam, with which the natives have an intercourse; it is in 20° 15′ S. latitude, and 174° 36′ W. longitude from Greenwich, and has a va­riety of small isles in its neighbourhood. It was first discovered by Captain Abel Tasman in January 1642-3, and received its name from him; he met with a friendly welcome, and continued there about two days, and it was not visited again by any European, till Captain Cook touched there in June 1774.

[Page 109]About eleven or twelve leagues N. N. W. half W. from Rotterdam lie two islands, both of which are inhabited, but not very fertile, they are called Amattafoa, and Oghao: the former is about fifteen miles round, the latter not so much. Amattafoa is a volcano and has a crater.

Anamocka is in the form of a triangle, about three or four miles long on each side, and the greatest part of its surface is covered by a salt­water lake. It consists of a coral rock covered with mould, which is exceedingly fertile, and abounds with fine groves.

The productions, canoes, inhabitants, dress, customs, and language are exactly similar with those at Amsterdam; and they seem to have plenty of water-hens, and quantities of shad­dock which is a delicious fruit. With respect to their religion and government, nothing can be particularly said of it; but, as there is a coin­cidence of customs and manners among these islanders, and their neighbours, it is natural to suppose that they imitate them also in their religious and constitutional policy: though they have no burying places upon the island.

The natives seem to be here more afflicted with the leprosy than their neighbours. This [Page 110]disorder breaks out in the face more than in any other part of the body, so as to destroy the nose and indeed the whole face, which is sometimes one continued putrid ulcer. They heal simple wounds with the pulp of the sugar­cane.

The houses here are different from any thing before mentioned: they are an oblong square, about thirty feet long, eight feet wide, and they are built about nine feet in height; and their walls and sides are about four feet high, and made of reeds fixed up, not perpendicu­larly, but converging from the eaves of the roof to the bottom. The roof is ridged at the top, so that a section of the whole would re­semble a pentagon. It is thatched, and the roof spreads a good way beyond the sloping walls. In one of the long sides, there is an opening like a window, which is the only en­trance into it. Within, are stored quantities of yams, which is probably the chief support of the natives. On these they sleep, covered only with a little matting; they rest their heads on narrow stools as do the O-Taheiteans. In the day time they lie under sheds, the floors of which are covered with mats. They have a variety of large wooden dishes and bowls, and [Page 111]some earthen pots, which seem to have been long in use and may be the manufacture of some neighbouring isle.

Captain Cook met with a very good recep­tion from the inhabitants; and was no sooner landed than an old woman presented a beautiful girl to him, and gave him to understand that she was at his service; indeed a num­ber of women put off to the ship, and ten­dered themselves to the sailors for the same pur­pose.

The natives who are happy enough to call the rich plantations in this island their own, are hospitable and brave; but as they were in 1643 so are they now—very much addicted to pilfering. The healthy climate, and ex­cellent productions, seem to gratify them in all their wants: their general turn is to be active and industrious, but their behaviour to strangers is rather polite than cordial.


LIES about eighteen or nineteen days sail N. W. by W. of O-Taheitee, in 10° S. latitude, and 185° E. longitude from London. Its direction is N. and S. and it is about eigh­teen miles round. It was first discovered by De Quiros, who touched there in March 1606, and tells us, that notwithstanding the na­tives of this island are exposed to the rigour of the sun, the air and cold, reason enough for burning up their skins till they are as black as negroes, yet, they are extremely white and beautiful, particularly the women, and being graceful in their persons, and modest in their carriage, would, if cloathed in an European dress, eclipse the ladies in his country. They are naked, covered only from the waist down­wards with neat well-made white mats com­posed of the palm, throwing over their should­ers occasionally a mantle of the same kind. Though a barbarous people, they seem in ge­neral well disposed: and De Quiros, however, [Page 113]did not meet with a very friendly reception. Some of the ship's people, in search of fresh water, were opposed by ten or twelve of the Indians, who attacked them with missile darts having sharp burnt points, and large black clubs; but the men with their swords and targets alone soon overcame them. As a proof of their bra­very, however, it must be told that a naked savage, armed only with a club, fought more than twenty well-armed soldiers, and stood against them; and though fatigued, and over­powered with numbers, and spent with the loss of blood, he dropped dead, biting the earth with revengeful agonies. Their signs of peace are carrying burning torches in their hands, made with sticks dipped in a kind of rosin.

The houses here are thatched, stand to­gether in clusters, and resemble towns: and their canoes are made of a tree hollowed out, and are extremely fleet.

As De Quiros made but a very short stay here, and it has not been visited since by any European, no farther account of the island can be given, except what he collected from a na­tive of an isle called Taumaco in the neigh­bourhood, whom he brought with him as far as Acapulco on his return. This island is [Page 114]reckoned one thousand two hundred and fifty leagues distant from Mexico, and is in 10° S. latitude, and about 169° E. longitude from London. From this Indian he learnt that there are islands called Chicayana, not farther than about four days sail from Taumaco, whose inhabitants have long loose hair; that they puncture themselves as he was, in the face, arms and breast; that there are also white peo­ple on that island with long red hair, and that they are also mulattoes with curled hair: that at Taumaco there are many stones impregnated with silver, and plenty of oysters in which they find large white pearls as big as a small plumb, and that such are to be found at all the islands in that neighbourhood; that they called the devil Terua, and that without being seen he frequently talked to the people from a piece of wood, particularly at night; that he would sometimes touch their cheeks and breast with something very cold; that he had often felt it himself, and that before De Quiros was at Taumaco, the devil had told several that a num­ber of strangers were coming to kill them.

He said very little of the constitution of the island, except that they hanged people for mur­der.


ARE situated in 15° 53′ S. latitude, and 175° 13′ W. longitude from Greenwich, and were first discovered by Schouten in 1616, and afterwards visited by Wallis in July 1767. They are about a league distant from each other.

Cocos or Boseawen's Isle, as it was called by Captain Wallis in honour of Admiral Bos­cawen, is a high mountain, in appearance like a sugar loaf; it is in 15° 50′ S. latitude, and 175° W. longitude: it is nearly circular and three miles over. It was called Cocos Isle by Schouten, from its being full of cocoa-nut trees.

When Schouten approached the land, a number of canoes put off from shore with cocoa-nuts and yams, and when they were pret­ty near the ship, the Indians jumped into the water with their provisions in their hands, for they are excellent swimmers, and coming up the ship's side, exchanged them for nails and strings of beads. As the ship's boat was going on shore, the natives of Traitor's Isle, in canoes, sur­rounded [Page 116]it, and endeavoured to take it, being armed with staves of hard wood, pointed and burnt at the end; on which the sailors, in de­fence of themselves, fired amongst them two or three times but without effect. This they laughed at, but on their leader's being killed at another fire, they dispersed.

Traitor's Isle as it was called by Schouten from the reception he met with, or Keppel's Isle as it was afterwards named by Wallis in compliment to Admiral Keppel, lies in 15° 55′ S. and longitude 174° 33′ W. is three miles and a half long, and two miles broad, and is much less elevated from the sea than Co­cos.

The natives of Traitor's Isle are a poor peo­ple, little better than savages, without a chief or conductor. They were cloathed, when Schouten was there, all round with rushes, having strings about their necks to which hung the shell of a snail or mother of pearl. When Wallis was at Traitor's Isle in 1767, the in­habitants were clothed in matting, and were without the first joint of their little fingers. Those of Cocos are a handsome robust well­made people, of large stature. Some wear their hair short, some curled, some long, and [Page 117]others tied in tresses of various kinds. The flaps of their ears are slit and hang down almost as low as their shoulders: they wear whiskers, and a little beard under the chin, the rest being all shaven, and their bodies are marked or tat­towed in like manner as the islanders of O­Taheitee.

In 1616, a chief put off from the shore, in a canoe covered with a mat in form of a tent, and accompanied with a number of peo­ple in thirty-five canoes: as they approached Schouten's ship the chief cried out three times with a loud voice; and at the fourth, all his company joined in the cry. He presented the captain with a paper dress, and a fine mat; and he was entertained and received presents in his turn. These people, certainly, had no idea of property, attempting to steal every thing they could lay their hands upon; nay, they tried to draw out the nails from the ship's side with their teeth, and some swam under the keel, and attempted to draw the nails from thence; but being fired at, they desisted. The next day, however, they put off from shore to the number of one thousand, with hogs, ba­nanas, fowls, and cocoa-nuts, of which they have plenty, under a pretence of trading; and [Page 118]the chief or Latou, as he is there called, in a double canoe, giving a signal, they all shout­ed, and at that instant threw a volley of stones on board the ship, and the chief was absurd enough to suppose that he could run down the ship by sailing against it with his canoe: he made the ridiculous attempt, and beat the head of his canoe to pieces; this exasperated the Indians, and they reanimated their attack; but, on a discharge of some musquets, and a few great guns, they were soon put to flight; and with very little slaughter.

The canoes of these islanders are made of one piece of red wood, flat before, and pointed behind; they dart along very fast in them, steering them and putting them on with two oars a-stern. They have other canoes that carry a sail, in the middle of which is generally drawn a grey and red cock; and a large piece of wood on the larboard side, with which they keep the vessel upright: on this wood is a fish­gig, a kind of prong to strike fish, always ready for use.

It is worthy of a remark on the islands in these seas, that though no kind of metal was found in them, yet the inhabitants in general, as soon as they got a piece of iron, began to sharpen [Page 119]it, which they never attempted to do with either brass or copper.


LIES in 14° 56′ S. latitude, and 179° E. longitude from Greenwich, and was discovered also in 1616 by Captain William Schouten, who sailed from Holland. It is computed to lie 1660 leagues W. of Peru. When Schou­ten's ship was near the land, the natives put off from the shore in canoes as did the people at Cocos and Traitor's Isle, and when on board attempted to steal every thing in their way; on being opposed they became unruly; but a shot or two soon quieted these as it did the others. After this they brought branches of trees, and white flags, as symbols of peace, and invited the ship's company on shore; which, when hostages were exchanged on both sides, was complied with.

The hostages sent from on shore were ap­parently men of distinction, and accompa­nied to the vessel by two young men their sons, as handsome, genteel, and well made as one would wish to see, with fine open coun­tenances, [Page 120]good hair, and good eyes. The purser who went as hostage from the ship, was received by the chief of the island, whom they called the Herico, with great ceremony and humility, bowing himself and laying prostrate before him for near half an hour. A man of distinction near the chief, threw him­self down also, weeping like a child, and with the greatest abaisance took the purser's foot, and laid it upon his own neck. When more of the ship's company went on shore, the chief, and his son the viceroy, took off their crowns and put them on the sailors heads: these crowns were made of long white feathers tipped with others red and green, those of the paroquet. The Indians of distinction round the chief, carried each a pigeon perched on a little stick. These pigeons are white above to the wings, the rest black, except on the belly where the feathers are reddish. They have a fish here resembling a bat, on account of the largeness of the head and body, smallness of the tail, and great extent of a pair of fins which re­semble wings: the skin of this fish is spotted like a sparrow-hawk.

The men of this island are tall, large, well made, and strong bodied: they are fast run­ners, [Page 121]expert swimmers, and good divers. Their complexion is a yellow brown, and they take great pleasure in dressing their hair, which is black. Some tie it, others frize it, and others curl it; some let it grow down to the waist, and tie it in five or six tails, and others dress it right an end, standing up like hog's bristles, ten or eleven inches long; but they do not suffer the beard to grow.

The women are very much deformed both in face and body, and are short. Their breasts are long, and hang down to their bel­lies like leather bags; of course they are very ugly, and at the same time, they are very im­modest, performing the rites of Venus in the presence of every one, only under a mat. Both men and women go naked, except a piece of covering between their legs; and the women rub their heads and cheeks with something red.

Their land produces spontaneously a great variety of fruits, such as cocoas, bananas, yams, &c. for they know nothing of cultiva­tion, and at low water the women catch fish, which is eaten raw. They have also some hogs which they cook wretchedly.

[Page 122]They seem to have very little notion of mer­chandize; and no great appearance of reli­gion; though when the chief came on board the ship, he fell on his face, and said some­thing like a prayer: but there is a kind of subordination to superiors among them; for one of them having stolen a sword from on board the ship, on a complaint to the chief, the sword was returned, and the man that stole it bastinadoed, and given to understand by his king, that if he did so again he should lose his head.

The houses or huts of the natives are erected along the shore as thick as they can stand. They are built with leaves of trees, in form of a hay-cock, about twenty-five feet round, and ten or twelve feet high, with a door so low that they are obliged to stoop to get in. They have no furniture within, except a fish­gig or staff; and in some a wooden club, which seems to be all the weapon they have; and a little dry grass like hay to sleep on.

The canoes of this island are made with much skill, and have an outrigger; neither the head nor the stern is raised, but there is a kind of deck over each of them, and in the middle of these is a row of wooden pegs, [Page 123]with heads like nails, covered with fine white shells. The sail is triangular, composed of se­veral matts; two of its sides are bent to two sticks, one of which supports it up along the mat, the other answers the purpose of a boom.

The natives are upon the whole a lively peo­ple, and seemed to enjoy dancing with the sail­ors; and some of Captain Schouten's people found a number of young girls dancing be­fore the chief by moonlight, quite naked, to the sound of an instrument made in form of a pump. I must not forget to mention that they have a wonderful way of climbing a rock or tree expeditiously, by winding a band round the feet.

While the Europeans were there, the chief of a neighbouring isle came to visit the chief of Horne, and Captain Schouten was present at the meeting, which he thus describes: When the two chiefs approached each other, they threw themselves prostrate on the ground, as in an act of adoration, and clapped their hands; they then rose up and seated themselves on the ground, under a shed, upon two mats; then a number of the natives, more than three hundred, who brought with them round their waists a quantity of a green plant called by [Page 124]them Kava, chewed it and spit it out into a great trough; when they had thus prepared a sufficient quantity of this masticated herb, they poured water on it, and mixed it, and squeezed it together, straining it with tow, and gave it to their chiefs to drink: they next served up plenty of roasted yams, and sixteen hogs quite bloody, out of which they had only taken the guts without washing them, and put a few hot stones in the bellies to roast them within; this, with burning the bristles a little, is what they call cooking: the dishes were carried on the heads of the attendants, who kneeled down, and thus placed them before the chief: nine hundred people were assembled on this occa­sion, and when the chiefs had dined, they fell to upon the remainder.


CONSIST of the following islands, Tierra del Espiritu Santo, Isle of St. Bar­tholomew, Mallicolo, Sandwich Isle, Erro­mango, Tanna, Apee, Ambrym, Whitsuntide Isle, Aurora Isle, Isle of Lepers, and some few smaller Isles in their neighbourhood. They are about eighteen days sail from the Friendly Isles, and lie between 14° 30′, and 19° 40′ S. latitude, and 166° 40′, and 169° 45′ E. longitude from Greenwich. They received their name from Captain Cook in 1774 from the Hebrides of Great Britain; those being the westermost isles on our coast.


WAS first discovered by De Quiros in 1606, it lies in 14° 39′ S. latitude, and 166° 50′ E. longitude from Greenwich. It is the wester­most, and lies farthest north of all the He­brides, is the largest of the whole, and is twenty-two leagues long in the direction of N. N. W. half W. and S. S. E. half E. twelve broad, and sixty round. The land to the W. is very mountainous, the hills frequent­ly rising immediately from the sea. Every part of it, except the cliffs and beeches, is co­vered with trees and plantations, and every valley watered with a stream. It has a remark­able fine bay, on the north side, called, by De Quiros, St. Philip and St. Jago, it being St. Philip's and St. James's day when he en­tered it. It has almost twenty leagues of sea shore, is eight leagues at the mouth, and is unfathomable.

In this bay is a fine anchoring place, from two to forty fathoms, called Vera Cruz, and capacious enough to hold one thousand ships with clear soundings.

[Page 127]The island is exceedingly fertile and pro­duces spontaneously cocoa-nuts, potatoes, yams, oranges, limes, almonds, nutmegs, sweet basil, &c. An uncommonly luxuriant ve­getation was every where seen.

With respect to animals; as De Quiros's peo­ple were only once on shore, and Captain Cook merely sailed round the island, it cannot be said with any certainty that they abound with cattle. De Quiros believes they had plen­ty; but a great number of hogs were seen, also honey-bees, fowls, doves, parrots, par­tridges, swallows, and a variety of small birds; and Captain Cook when he was there met with a booby.

The natives are taller, stouter, and better shaped than those of Mallicolo, to which I must refer the reader, and of the same colour with the Mallicolese. Their hair like theirs also is black, short, and frizzled: some were observed to have it long, tied up on the crown of the head, and ornamented with feathers. They go naked, except two long slips of mat­ting five inches broad, hanging down before and behind from the waist to the knees, and fastened round the middle by a girdle. Some [Page 128]wear bracelets and necklaces of shells, and others wear a white shell tied on the forehead.

They seem to speak a language similar to that at Anamocka, for they understood many of the terms of that island; and their houses are thatched and low.

Their canoes have triangular sails, but are very indifferently made like those of Mallicolo, and they have outriggers.

When De Quiros touched there, some of his people went on shore and endeavoured to make peace with the Indians; but one among them, apparently a chief, making a line on the ground with a bow, gave a sign that they should not pass it, but this not being complied with, the barbarians let fly a volley of arrows, which was returned by a volley of balls that killed some, particularly the chief, and dispersed the rest. Twenty-five soldiers soon after getting up the side of a mountain in quest of provisions, heard the noise of drums made of hollow wood, and some shoutings of the natives, and were attacked as before, but they again re­pulsed them in the same manner. Thus it ap­pears that they had bows and arrows in 1606; but in 1774, when Captain Cook was there, [Page 129]they seemed to have no other weapons than darts and fish-gigs.


IS the next in size, being eighteen leagues long in the direction of N. W. and S. E. Its greatest breadth, which is at the S. E. end, is eight leagues, the other end is about six leagues broad, and in the middle it is near a league wide. It was first touched at by Captain Cook in July 1774; though it was heard of by De Quiros in 1606, and seen by Bougan­ville in 1768. On the N. E. side it has a good harbour, now called Port Sandwich, which lies in 16° 25′ 20″ S. latitude, and 167° 57′ 23″ E. longitude.


ITS mountains are very high and abound with forests. The soil is rich and fertile, and its productions are luxuriant, and in great variety. There are plenty of cocoa-nuts, bread-fruit, sugar­canes, yams, turmeric and oranges. Hogs and common poultry are their domestic ani­mals; but the natives had no dogs till Captain [Page 130]Cook left them two puppies, male and female: they possibly may have other animals, but as the ship continued there but one day, this point cannot be ascertained. They have, how­ever, a variety of small birds: and upon the coast is caught a poisonous fish called a Red Sea-bream, which, if eaten in any quantity, will prove fatal.

The island has all the appearance of being very populous, and the inhabitants seem dis­persed over the whole extent of the country.


THE climate of Mallicolo, and the adjacent isles is very warm; Farenheit's thermometer in July was between 76° and 78°.

Persons and Dress.

THE people are the most ugly, and ill-pro­portioned of any met with in the South Seas: they are very dark-coloured, and of a slender and diminutive size, with long heads, flat faces, and monkey-countenances which they paint black; yet they are sprightly, and are quick of comprehension. Their lips and lower part of their faces are nothing like the Guinea ne­groes, but their noses are exactly similar, and [Page 131]the substance of their hair the same, woolly, black, or brown, short and curly. Their beards are short, strong, crisp and bushy: their foreheads are flat, and probably depressed so in their infancy: and what adds to their ugli­ness, is a cord about as thick as one's finger, which they accustom themselves to tie so tight round the belly, that it would prove fatal to those who were not accustomed to it from their childhood. They seem almost to be cut in two with it; the cord being lost as it were in the flesh. The men go quite naked except a piece of cloth or leaf in which they wrap their pri­vate parts, and tie up the end to the cord round their waist; so that this covering rather dis­plays than conceals what they pretend to hide. They wear bracelets on the upper part of the arm made with thread, and shells four or five inches broad; these they put on when young, and never take off, so that part of the arm is considerably smaller than the other. And by way of further ornament, they bore the sep­tum of their noses, that part that divides the nostrils, and wear a piece of white stone in it curved, and about an inch and an half long, which hangs out at each nostril. They wear also round the right wrist hogs tusks bent circu­lar, [Page 132]and round the left a round piece of wood to ward of the string of the bow; and on their breast hangs a shell, suspended by a string round their necks. Some wear tortoise-shell ear-rings, and others rings of shells.

The women are not less ugly than the men, for they paint their heads and faces red and yellow, and also their shoulders, over which some wear a kind of petticoat, others a bag in which they carry their children, made of a kind of cloth. Full-grown women wear short pieces of cloth or matting round their waists, reaching nearly to their knees, others have only a string round their middle with a wisp of straw be­tween the legs, and girls, as do the boys, go quite naked. Wearing of ornaments seems to be the privilege only of the men.


THEIR weapons are clubs and spears made of a hard wood; and bows and arrows. Their bows are about four feet long, made of a dark brown stick like mahogany, split through the middle, are strong, elastic, and nicely polished; and their arrows, a kind of reed, pointed with hard wood, or bone dipped in poison, which they keep in a fort of quiver made of leaves: the points of [Page 133]these arrows are jagged to prevent their being readily drawn out of the wounds. Their clubs are highly polished, and they sling them round their shoulders by a thick rope made of grass.


THE people of Mallicolo seem to be quite a different nation from those of the Friendly or Society Isles, and speak a different language. It contains a number of consonants, but yet is not difficult to pronounce. The most singular articulation is that of the Brrr, Mambrrùm, and Bonombrrooài are proper names. They can pronounce most English words with ease. Admiration they express by hissing.


THEIR dwellings are small wretched hovels, so low that they can hardly stand upright in them, and consist merely of a roof, resting on a few posts, and thatched with palm leaves. Some few are enclosed with boards, and the entrance is by a square hole at one end.


THEIR canoes are like those of the neighbouring isles.


THEY seem to be a chearful people, and pass away great part of their time in music and dancing. Their in­struments without doubt are very simple; for none were seen but drums and pipes, which are readily made. Their drums serve also to sound an alarm in cases of danger.

Custom and Character.

NOTHING can be said either of their religion or government; and the only customs observed were the signs of amity, such as pre­senting green boughs, and sprinkling water upon the head with the hand, something like the people of New Guinea. The women here are timid, and seem to be treated with very little respect. Both men and women coveted almost every thing they saw, but never repined at a refusal, or attempted to pilfer. They are expert swimmers, chearful, good humoured, and chatty, and seem very friendly disposed; have quick parts, and appear only to want an ambitious individual or two to spur them on to a higher state of civilization.

When Captain Cook landed here, he met with a friendly reception; but while he lay at [Page 135]anchor a number of the natives put off in their canoes, and one more forward than the rest, on being refused by him admittance into the ship, pointed his bow and arrow at him, and re­ceived as a reward a charge of small shot in his face. It staggered him, but did not make him drop his bow till he was fired at a second time. This declaration of war put them on their defence; but the firing a cannon-ball over their heads among the trees, frightened and dis­persed them all.


LIES between the S. end of Tierra del Espiritu Santo, and the N. end of Mallicolo, distant from Mallicolo about eight miles: its latitude is S. 15° 42′, and longitude E. 167° 27′. It is about six or seven leagues in cir­cumference, and was named Saint Bartholo­mew by Captain Cook; it being on that day he discovered it.


LIES between Espiritu Santo, and Au­rora Island, eight leagues from the former, and three from the latter, in latitude 15° 22′ S. and 168° 3′ E. longitude. It is in form like an egg, very high land, and about twenty leagues round. It was first discovered by M. De Bou­ganville in 1768, and from him received its name from its leprous inhabitants.

Some of the ship's crew went on shore, and were approached by a numerous troop of island­ers armed with bows and arrows, and stones ready to cast. They began hostilities; but a discharge or two from the musquetry soon quieted them.

These islanders are of two colours, black and mulattoes; they have thick lips, and their hair is woolly, which they powder with tur­meric, and give it a yellow cast; but they do not wear a beard. They are short, ugly, ill­made, and in general infected with leprosy. They wear an ornament in their noses like the Mallicolese, and the same kind of bracelets and necklaces. The men go naked; scarcely co­vering [Page 137]their nudities. The women are not less disagreeable than the men, and wear bandages on their backs by which they carry their chil­dren. On their cloth they paint many pretty designs with a fine crimson.

Their arms are bows and arrows, and clubs of hard wood, like those at Mallicolo; stones they also use as weapons of offence; but they cast them without slings. They have also sa­bres of hard wood. Their canoes are like those of their neighbours.

The whole island is covered with trees: the soil is very light and of no great depth. There are many paths through the woods, and places enclosed three feet high with reed fences. Their huts are low, and could not be entered but by creeping. They have here pro­ductions in common with their neighbours, and a particular species of figs.


LIE all nearly under the same meridian of 167° 29′ E. extending from the latitude [Page 138]of 14° 51′ 30″ to 17° 53′ 30″ and are all in­habited.


IS one league and an half to the S. of Aurora, is eleven leagues long, and about three broad, lying N. and S. it was first discovered by M. De Bouganville on Whitsunday, 1768, and from him received its name. The land is very high, and covered with trees, except where there are plantations, which are numerous.


LIES N. by W. and S. by E. and is also eleven leagues long, and from two to two and a half broad: it lies high, and has a hilly sur­face, covered with wood, except where the na­tives dwell. It enjoys the most luxuriant ve­getation that can be conceived; numberless climbers winding up the trees, forming beau­tiful festoons. This island owes its discovery and name also to Bouganville in 1768.


IS about seven leagues in length in S. lati­tude 16° 50′, and E. longitude 168° 20′, and has a volcano on it; but very rich and fer­tile.


IS distant from Ambrym about five leagues, and not less than twenty leagues round: its longest direction is about eight leagues N. W. and S. E. It is very high land richly diversified with woods and lawns. These last two are the discovery of Captain Cook in 1774.


WAS also discovered by him at the same time, and so called in compliment to Lord Sandwich. This isle is ten leagues long in the direction of N. W. by W. and S. E. by E. twenty-two leagues S. S. E. half E. from Malli­colo, [Page 140]and is twenty-five leagues round. It exhibits a delightful view, the hills gently sloping to the sea, and spotted with woods and lawns.


LIES eighteen leagues from Sandwich Isle in S. latitude 18° 54′, and 169° 14′ E. longi­tude, and is about twenty-five leagues in circuit. It was discovered by Captain Cook. When he drew near the coast the natives in great numbers flocked to the sea side, and made signals of in­vitation: accordingly he went ashore, and was received apparently in a very friendly manner; but on their wishing him to draw the ship's boat upon dry land, and his re­fusing it, they made an attempt to drag it by force, which obliged him to give orders to his men to fire; this dispersed them with the loss only of three or four of their number. They were armed with bows and arrows, darts and stones, which they every now and then came out of ambush and cast, so as to wound one or two of the ship's company; but on the [Page 141]great guns being fired from the ship, they dis­persed, and all was quiet.

These islanders seem to be of a different race from those of Mallicolo, and speak a different language. They are a middle-sized people, with good shapes and tolerable features; very black, and they paint their faces, some with black, and others with red pigment. Their hair is curly, crisp, and woolly. The women are ugly, and wear a sort of petticoat made of the leaves of some plant; but the men, like those of Mal­licolo, have only a belt round the waist, and their privities enclosed in a wrapper. They live in thatched huts, and lay out their planta­tions by line; but they have no canoes.


IS the last of these isles to the southward; it lies six leagues S. of Erromango, about eight leagues long in the direction, S. E. by S. and N. W. by N. and about three or four leagues broad: its latitude is 19° 30′ and lon­gitude 169° 30′ E. It was discovered by Cap­tain Cook in 1774.

Face of the Country.

UPON this island there are many ponds of stag­nant water, where the natives plant great quan­tities of eddoes. The cocoa-palms form spa­cious groves full of different shrubberies, af­fording a fragrant and refreshing smell. Se­veral sorts of blossoms embellish the tufted fo­liage, and the most beautiful bind-weeds wind like ivy to the tops of the tallest trees, and adorn them with wreathes of blue and purple flowers. There is a hot spring in this island, coming out of a rock close to the edge of the sea, whose degree of heat is such, that the finger cannot be held in it longer than a single se­cond. A thermometer that stood at 78° on board the ship, plunged in this spring, rose to 191° in the space of five minutes; and in an­other place to 202 ½°. Some small shell-fish thrown into it were boiled in two or three minutes, so that it is but little colder than boil­ing water. A piece of silver, after laying in the water above half an hour, came out perfectly bright and untarnished, and salt of tartar had no visible effect upon it. As the sea retires from the spring, the water acquires a greater degree of heat. These springs, for there are several in [Page 143]the same neighbourhood, are heated by a vol­cano in the island, at the end of a secondary range of hills; a proof, that such burnings are not confined to the highest mountains. The volcano is on the lowest hill in the range, of a conical form, with a crater in the middle. A column of heavy smoke rises, from time to time, accompanied with a deep rumbling noise like thunder, filling the whole air with smoaky particles and ashes, and ejecting cinders to the extent of five or six miles. Sometimes it emits flames, and sometimes hurls to a great distance large masses of rock, as big as the hulk of a ship's long-boat. But this volcano and its pro­ductions seem to contribute greatly to the luxu­riance of the vegetation; for the verdure in August, the winter of these regions, was as­tonishingly rich and beautiful. The thermo­meter, which stood at 78° on board the ship, rose to 87° close to the volcano; and being plunged into the earth for half a minute, reached to 170°. On the sides of the moun­tains are several fissures in the earth, from whence issue steam and smoke, that keep pace with the volcano.


THE productions of this island are, bread-fruit, plan­tains, cocoa-nuts, a fruit like a nectarine, yams, so large as to weigh half a hundred weight, a sort of potatoes, sugar-cane, wild figs, a fruit resembling an orange, nutmegs, nuts, &c. and a variety of East Indian plants, never observed in the more easterly islands.


THE only quadrupeds here seen are hogs and rats, the last of which, being injurious to the sugar-cane, are caught by digging holes four or five feet deep among the canes, into which they fall. Their birds are the common cock and hen, owls, pigeons of different sorts, wild doves, ducks, rails, fly­catchers, creepers, bats, paroquets beautifully black, red, and yellow, and a variety of small birds of fine plumage, such as are unknown to the naturalist. Their fish are turtle, sharks, dolphins, garfish, pikes, mullet, mackerell, &c. and an amphibious fish, about two inches long, resembling a lizard; the fins to the breast answer the purpose of feet, and their eyes are placed in the summit of the head, that they may see their enemies when out of water. They can [Page 145]leap the length of a yard with great ease. They have no idea of catching fish with hooks or nets, but kill them with a kind of harpoon, or fish-gig, or shoot them with arrows as they rise to the surface of the water. Their insects are musquetoes, crickets, &c.


THE islanders are of the middle size, rather slender than otherwise, but much stronger and better made than the Mallicolese, but have none of that beautiful form which the natives of O-Taheitee are so remarkable for. Their features are large, the nose broad, but the eyes full and agreeable. Most of them have good features, and open countenances, and a manly good-natured air. Their hair is black, but sometimes brown or yellowish at the tips; it is in general thick, bushy, and frizzled, and preserves a degree of wooliness; but, like the hair of Europeans, it grows grey as they advance in years. The colour of their bodies is a dark brown, with a blackish hue, and, like the negroes, their skin is extremely soft to the touch.

The women are no beauties, but handsome enough for the men, considering the use that is made of them, for they are put to all the servile [Page 146]labour, such as carrying loads, &c. It is no uncommon thing to see a woman carrying a large bundle, or a child upon her back, and another under her arm, with a fellow strutting before her with nothing but a club or spear, or some such thing. Indeed, the women are not held in any estimation among them, for they are obliged to obey implicitly. They are all ill-favoured, and of smaller stature than the men. Such as have borne children have lost every female grace; but girls about fourteen years of age have small agreeable features, round full bosoms, delicate arms, and their whole form is slender. Both men and women have a swelling in their upper eye-lids, so as not to be able to see without lean­ing their heads back; this is supposed to be owing to their constantly huddling over a smoaky fire, but it possibly may be propagated from parent to child, as children, five or six years old, are troubled with the same complaint.


THE men go quite naked, except wearing a string round their bodies, but not so tight as to cut their bellies like the Mallicolese; like them also they tie up their privities to this string, having first wound them about with leaves. Boys of six years old do the same, of course this covering is not made [Page 147]use of so much from motives of decency as those of convenience. Their manner of dressing their hair is very singular. They cut it to about four inches in length, and then collect as much of it together as will form a queue, about the the size of a pigeons quill, and wind it round with a narrow ribband made of bind-weed, leaving a small tuft at the end; they do this with all the hair upon their heads, so as to form many hundred queues, which stand upright, di­verging every way, like the quills on the back of a porcupine. Some few will let their hair grow from five to eight inches in length, in this case it hangs about their ears as if their heads had been dipped in water, and looks like a number of small strings hanging down from the crown of their heads. Those who have woolly hair do not queue it in this manner, but tie it in a bunch on the crown, with a leaf. The womens hair is cropped, and so is the boys, till they ar­rive at manhood. Most of them carry a stick in their hair, about nine inches long, with which they at times disturb the vermin that there abound. This stick at meals also serves them for a fork. They let their beards grow, and some few twist them into a tail, but chiefly they are suffered to remain in their natural form.

[Page 148]The women are likewise naked, except a shaggy petticoat, made of grasses and leaves, which they wear almost as low as their knees, but which they encrease in length as they ad­vance in life, till it reaches their feet. When they carry their children, or a load upon their backs, it is in a kind of mat-satchel thrown over the shoulders. The women surround their heads with a plantain leaf, or piece of matting, by way of cap, and the men frequently deck their hair with a reed, in which is stuck some owl or cock feathers.

Both men and women wear amulets, neck­laces, ear-rings, and bracelets, made of shells, tortoiseshell, &c. and also nose jewels, made of white alabaster, like the Mallicolese. A num­ber of rings linked together, like a chain, is sometimes worn hanging round from ear to ear, as low as the breast. They mix up a paint with cocoa-nut oil, red ochre, white lime, and something like black lead, and lay it on their faces in lines two or three inches broad, covering often one half the face: they also paint their breasts and shoulders with the same; and, by way of further ornament, they raise scars, in form of flowers, upon their upper arms and bellies, by cut­ting [Page 149]the flesh with a shell, and applying a par­ticular plant to the wound.


THEIR poultry and hogs supply them at times with animal food, and they occasionally catch fish and birds, which are reckoned dainties; but they chiefly live on vegetables, which is much varied by their dif­ferent modes of cooking. Yams and bananas they either roast or boil: they stew fig-leaves, and they bake a kind of pudding of banana paste and eddoes, with a mixture of the cocoa­nut and leaf, but they have no vessels in which water can be boiled. As to liquor, they have none but water and the juice of the cocoa­nut.

Mr. Foster, when there, had reason to be­lieve that the natives of this isle are cannibals; for though he saw no appearance of it, they took some pains to make him understand, by signs, how they killed a man, cut him up, se­parated his flesh from his bones, and eat it when they had done; but from what he could col­lect, he apprehends that they eat human flesh through violence of resentment only, and never slay for the purpose any but those whom they take in war.


THEY speak here two lan­guages, one peculiar to Tanna, and one spoken at the island of Irronan, seven or eight leagues to the east of Tanna, and which is exactly the same with that spoken at the Friendly Ifles. It is therefore probable that Irronan was peopled from the Friend­ly Isles, and that by a long intercourse between Irronan and Tanna, the natives of Tanna have acquired the language of Irro­nan. In the common language of Tanna, there are some words that have a near affinity to that of Mallicolo, and others to the Malay, but in general they are wholly unlike each other, and related to no other tongue. There is a strong aspiration, and a guttural sound in many words at Tanna, which are, however, very so­norous and full of vowels, and therefore easily pronounced. The following are proper names at Tanna, Paw-yangom, Oomb-yégan, Fannòkko, and Yogàî. Areeke, implies a chief; Koù-vosh, a successor to the crown; Markom, he is killed; and Erramange, it is a man.


THEIR huts need no other description than by comparing them to the roof of a thatched house in Eng­land, forming a ridge at the top, taken off the [Page 151]walls, and laid upon the ground with the ends open: the height of the ridge from the ground is from eight to ten feet high, and the width within about the same, but the length from thirty to forty feet. The roof is covered with palm-leaves, and the floor within with dry grass, and here and there a mat composed of cocoa­nut leaves. On hearths within they make fires, and the whole inside of the roof is thus lined with smoke. These hovels are within a small enclosure, made with reeds or sticks, about eighteen inches high, one part of which is left low enough to step over.

Utensils, &c.

THEIR utensils are very few; a mat-satchel, which they throw over their shoulders, to carry their children in, on their back; baskets of matting to carry fruits, and of wicker to carry chickens, and the stick with which they scratch their heads, and convey the meat into their mouths: these, with some wooden bowls, are all the do­mestic conveniencies they have. They make a coarse cloth of the bark of a tree, and their hatchets are made of stone, with a wooden handle.


THEY seem to be fond of music, and to have a taste for singing; their tunes are simple, but harmo­nious, and run through a considerable compass of notes, and have in general a serious turn that adds a softness to them. They excell in this the people of O-Taheitee, and those of Ton­gatabu. The words of their songs compose a kind of verse, and flow very currently from the tongue. They have a musical instrument, con­sisting of eight reeds, regularly decreasing in size, and forming an octave: and in times of danger they sound conchs, and raise an alarm by blowing with great force into their hands.


WHAT their religion is, it is impossible to say; for though Cap­tain Cook spent a fortnight at this island, he could not collect any thing with certainty about that or any of their rites, except that circumci­sion was practised among them. In a particu­lar part of the isle, he heard every morning, at day break, a slow solemn song or dirge sung, which lasted more than a quarter of an hour; it seemed to be a religious act, and gave reason to suppose that some place of worship was con­cealed [Page 153]in a neighbouring grove, and the con­stant endeavours of the natives to keep strangers from the place, confirms the supposition. But these songs might possibly be addressed to the corpse of some friend, whom they had deposited within one of their huts, for their roofs serve to cover the dead as well as the living.


THEIR government, it is believed, is in a very imperfect state; every village or family appears to be independant, and to unite only with their neigh­bours in times of invasion. They have indi­viduals among them, to whom they give the title of Areekee, or chief, but who seem not to have sufficient authority to order any one up into a tree to gather any fruit. These Areekees, however, are distinguished by wearing a broad red and white chequered belt round their bo­dies instead of a string. The aged or the strong seem to have the greatest influence among them.


THE natives in Tanna are either engaged in constant feuds among themselves, or in frequent wars with their neighbours, for they are continually armed. [Page 154]They are soon provoked, and when so, are governed by no other law than force, and en­deavour to extirpate their enemies with an un­common degree of rage. Their arms are clubs, spears, or darts, bows and arrows, and stones. The clubs are of three or four sorts, from three to five feet long; with these they parry or ward off the darts of their enemies, much in the same manner as they do at O-Taheitee. Some of their clubs have a lateral blade, like a far­rier's fleam; some have great knobs upon them; some have two sharp edges, and others are cy­lindrical, and they are all highly polished and kept oiled. But they seem to rely most upon their darts, which are pointed, with three beard­ed edges; in throwing them, they make use of a piece of a plaited cord, about five or six inches long, with an eye at one end and a knot at the other. They fix the eye on the fore­finger of the right hand, and the other is hitch­ed round the dart just above the hand; then taking the dart between the thumb and fore­finger, they cast it from the string, to the dis­tance of ten or twelve yards, with such force and accuracy, that they will hit a mark four inches in diameter, and force it through a board two inches thick. They shoot their ar­rows [Page 155]with the same accuracy and force; but being fearful of breaking their bows, they ne­ver convey them more than eight or ten yards to do any execution. Their arrows are made of reeds, pointed with hard wood, and beard­ed, and are near four feet long. Those for killing birds have three or four points, and their bows are strong and elastic. They learn this art of casting a dart, and shooting an arrow with force and accuracy, very early: they will throw the missile weapon sixty or seventy yards, but then they are not so sure of their mark; and it is remarkable, that whether they mean to throw it sixty yards or six, they always give it the same velocity. The stones they use are ge­nerally branches of coral rocks, from eight to fourteen inches long, and from an inch to an inch and a half in diameter, and they cast them with a sling. Every man carries a club, besides some of the missile weapons.


THE form of their canoes is that of the Friendly Isles, made out of one hollow piece of timber, with a plank or two fixed at each side; but the workmanship is much inferior. They have outriggers to them all, and some of them will contain twenty [Page 156]persons. The sails are low triangular mats, the broadest side of which is uppermost, and the sharp angle below; and their oars are ill shaped and clumsy.

Customs, &c.

FRIENDSHIP is made in this island, as in some others I have mentioned, by a reciprocal exchange of names; and whether it is owing to some super­stitious notions, or a fancied idea of cleanliness, cannot be said; but when any thing was pre­sented to them by the Europeans, they refused to touch it, but desired it might be laid down, and then they took it up in a leaf. When any thing new strikes their attention, they cry out Heebou! and this, whether they admire or dis­like; the different tones and manner of using the words, marking the affection of the mind. When they use this exclamation, they always snap their fingers.

As resolute and insulting as these people may be, for their customary challenge (and in­deed it is the same with all nations of the South Seas) is to turn their posteriors to their enemy, and slap them with their hands; I say, as in­sulting and resolute as they may be, they were always struck with a panic at the noise of the [Page 157]great guns, when any of them were fired from the ship; for when the balls whistled over their heads, and that at a very considerable distance from the vessel, they began to think they could not be safe even at the farthest part of the island. This not only kept them civil, but made them honest; for till they were dispersed by the can­non, they made a variety of attempts to steal the ship's buoy.

Character, &c.

TANNA, thus well sup­plied by nature, and happy in the mild influence of a tropical climate, con­tains a race of men much inferior in point of ci­vilization to the natives of the Society and Friend­ly Isles who live nearly in the same parallel, but more to the eastward. As the plantations bear but a small proportion to the forests, we cannot suppose the island to contain above twen­ty thousand people. The richness of the soil rather retards the cultivation than encourages it, as a very wild production is propagated with such luxuriance, that to root them out will be the labour of ages. The people seem to live dispersed in small villages not more than about twenty houses together. They are remarkably honest, compared with the people of the other [Page 158]South Sea Islands, for, exclusive of an attempt to steal the ship's buoy, there was not an in­stance of their wishing to pilfer. At O-Ta­heitee, they are already obliged to suspend their goods to the roofs of their houses, to keep them out of the reach of thieves, but here they are safe on every bush. They are at the same time, friendly, hospitable, and civil: they soon grew familiar with their European visitors, and, when they found them to be harmless, and to have no hostile intentions, they laid aside their distrust, admitted them to their shady recesses, sat down with them in their domestic circles, with that harmony that becomes the members of one great family, and cheerfully shared with them the produce of their little plantations. They are implacable only to their enemies. Far from any degree of depravity, but from an excess of hos­pitality, did they point out their girls to their new acquaintance, with indications not in the least equivocal; but these females, with an in­nate modesty, and a natural timidity general through the women at Tanna, ran from the civility their native friends designed to confer on them, and seemed much shocked at their in­delicacy. Their knowledge seems to be much confined, and their skill in geography appeared [Page 159]not to extend beyond the horizon. Iron was of no value to them: a bit of cloth made at O­Taheitee was most coveted, and for a little tor­toise-shell, or a few shells of mother of pearl, they would barter the most valuable of their property: they seem, however, to be in an im­provable state, and, as many iron instruments were left among them, it is not doubted but they will soon find out its uses and its value.


IN general, are the discovery of Captain Carteret, in 1767, and consist of Egmont's Isle, or New Guernsey, Howe's Island, or New Jersey, Egecombe's Isle, or New Sark, Ourry's Isle, or New Alderney, Swallow's Island, Car­teret's Island, Simpson's Isle, Gower's Isle, and some smaller ones. They are situated between 7° 50′, and 11° 15′ S. latitude, and 155° 50′, and 165° 10′ E. longitude from London.


AS it was called by Captain Carteret, or Santa Cruz, as it was before named by Men­dana, who first discovered it in 1595, lies in 11° S. latitude, and 164° E. longitude, ninety leagues N. N. W. of Espirito Santo, about [Page 161]nine hundred E. of Manilla, and one thousand eight-hundred and fifty W. of Lima; and is from ninety to about a hundred leagues in cir­cuit, having many harbours: it is quite cover­ed with woods to the tops of the highest hills, of which there are many, no place being free from trees, but where the Indians have cleared them away for their plantations. There is a fine open bay, in the north side of the western part of this island, four leagues and a half in circuit, its mouth half a league, formed by an isle to the westward, four leagues in circum­ference: this isle was called by Mendana, La Guerta, i. e. The Garden, from its beauty and fertility: it was called by Captain Carteret, Trevanion's Isle, and was observed by him to be exceedingly populous.

When Mendana came near the shore, in 1595, he met with a very unwelcome reception; for the natives put off from the land, and let fly a volley of arrows at the ship, which fortunately did no mischief: the soldiers on board were ac­cordingly ordered to fire; one Indian was kil­led, many wounded, and they all fled. The next morning, however, a chief, with a train of the natives, ventured on board, exchanged names with the Captain, as a mark of friendship, and [Page 162]was so well pleased with his reception and en­tertainment, that he and his people came to and fro for four days. One day, however, the same chief, attended with fifty canoes, the men in which having concealed their arms, came along the ship's side; but a soldier taking up a musquet, so dis­pleased him, that he instantly returned to his party, who rowed ashore, and founded an alarm; and on the boat's crew going on shore the next day for water, they were attacked by the In­dians, and war was commenced: forty soldiers, by order of the Captain, landed upon the island on purpose to chastise them: a party of the Indians flew before them, and took shelter in some houses, which the soldiers burnt about their ears. Six islanders lost their lives in this affair; and seven of the soldiers were wounded with arrows.

A party of the ship's company, going ashore in another part of the island, was attacked by five hundred natives, casting vollies of arrows, darts, and stones; they fought very loosely, jumping about, while they perceived no mis­chief from the fire arms; but when they saw two or three killed, and more wounded, they fled. Mendana's design was to settle a colony here, having carried out a number of married people for that purpose; but his project was [Page 163]entirely defeated; for, notwithstanding he stay­ed here two months and eight days, they could neither conquer nor bring about a reconciliation with the Indians: the soldiers having malevo­lently killed the chief that first came off to them, and notwithstanding the murderers, by the Captain's orders, were beheaded to satisfy the Indians, nothing would effect it; and to add to the misfortune, sickness took place among the ship's company, and carried off Mendana, several of his officers, and many of his people.

Captain Carteret's attempt to be upon good terms with the islanders, in 1767, was equally fruitless; for on the master and some of the men's going ashore, a skirmish ensued between them and the Indians, who followed them breast high into the water, as they were putting off in the boat; and in this attack, the master and three seamen lost their lives. The Indians here are well disciplined, and shoot their arrows in regular platoons. His attempt to land on Trevanion's Isle was to as little purpose; for as soon as the natives saw the boat leave the ship, they sent off several armed canoes to at­tack her; they returned, however, secure from a flight of arrows sent after them, having killed [Page 164]one Indian, and mortally wounded another, by a volley of their small arms. On some of the great guns being fired from the ship, with grape shot, they thought proper to retire, leaving the wounded Indian in a canoe by himself be­hind. This Indian was brought on board, and found to be shot through the head, and to have one of his arms broken; but as the surgeon deem­ed him past recovery, he was put into his canoe again, and notwithstanding his condition, he paddled away to shore. From this unwelcome reception, which both the Spaniards and the English met with, no very particular account of this island and its inhabitants can be given. All that can be said is as follows.


THE productions, as far as could be known, are, of the ani­mal kind, hogs, fowls, ring-doves, turtle­doves, partridges, geese, grey and white he­rons, swallows, and other birds: no insects but a kind of black lizard. Of the vegetable kind, plantains, sugar-canes, two or three kinds of bread-fruit, beetle, two kinds of good almonds, Spanish pumpkins, chesnuts, and nuts, cocoa­nuts, large pine-apples with kernels in them, and apples resembling pearmains; sago, sweet [Page 165]basil, and a variety of herbs. Ginger grows here spontaneously, and the ground is covered with a plant called Chiquilite, from which they make indigo. Their grounds, fields, and gar­dens, are very well laid out, and the soil is black, fat, and loose. They have curious snail-shells, and some pearls of value.

Persons and Dress.

THE natives of the isle are black, but not so black as negroes; and their hair is woolly. They are well featured, and of a common sta­ture; are nimble, vigorous, and active, and seem almost as well qualified to live in the wa­ter as upon land; for they are in and out of their canoes every minute. When Carteret was there, they were quite naked and unadorn­ed, but Mendana describes them, in 1595, as colouring their hair, some white, some red, and some with other colours; tinging their teeth red; half shaving their heads; staining their bodies with a black dye; marking their faces and bodies with streaks; binding their arms round with many turns of black rattans; co­vering their private parts with a kind of soft cloth; ornamenting their necks with necklaces of small beads of bone, ebony, and fishes [Page 166]teeth; hanging round their bodies many plates of pearl shell, and occasionally wearing in their heads and noses feathers of different colours: the women with handkerchiefs and cloaks.


THEIR towns consist of about twenty houses each, they are built round and of plank, and thatched with palm-leaves; every house has two stories, to which they go up by hand ladders; each story is enclosed breast high, the part above being left open to give light and air. Their houses are surrounded by a wall of loose stones, open at the entrance, instead of a gate; and the sides and floors within are lined with fine matting. There is in each town a large house, probably a temple, and another long house, apparently belonging to the community, in which are hung bundles of arrows, in great quantity, ready for use; and also a well or two curiously made, with steps to go down, and covered with plank. Some of their towns are surrounded with a breast-work of stone, re­sembling a fortification, and gives reason to suppose, that the natives are often troubled with civil wars; and close to the sea are some fishing weirs fenced with stone. The island [Page 167]must be very populous, for the towns swarm like bee-hives.


THE sea yields them many kinds of fish, which they artfully take, by va­rious methods; they have a kind of net made of twine; pieces of wood serve them for floats, and stones for leads. The different produc­tions of the island are eaten in turn, and they make a biscuit of the bread-fruit, which they dry by the fire or the sun. A food called Brete, known and much used in the East In­dies, is eaten here: it is a leaf in the shape of a heart, about the size of a man's hand; having the smell, taste and colour of a clove: they chew this leaf, spit out the first spittle, and swallow the rest. It is reckoned wholesome, and a good strengthener of the stomach and gums: and from the trunk of a tree they distill, by wound­ing it, a sweet-scented liquor, much resembling the oil of Beto.


THE only diversion observed among them was dancing. A great number will get together, and, with a wisp of grass in their hands, stroaking each other, [Page 168]dance round in a ring, to the sound of little drums or castenets.


BESIDES their fishing­tackle, already mentioned, and their weapons, they make ropes of oziers, and cordage of rattans, bags and pockets of palm, and curious and large mats for sails. They weave also, in small looms, a kind of cloth, which serves the women for covering.


THEIR hostile weapons are bows and arrows, darts with three rows of barbs, a kind of wooden sword, and stones: the bows are six feet five inches long, and their arrows four feet four inches, pointed with flint: and with these missile weapons they do execution at a considerable distance. One of the arrows went through the boat's wash-board, and wound­ed a man in the thigh.


THEIR canoes, for daily use, are small, and of rude workmanship, being nothing more than part of the trunk of a tree, hollowed out, with an out-rigger, but no sails; some of these are double, like those at O-Taheitee. They will carry a dozen men, [Page 169]though three or four will manage them with astonishing dexterity: some were seen with awnings over them. But the canoes with which they go to distant parts are large and beautiful: these are formed with the keel somewhat flat, with head and stern all of one piece. The well is in the middle, where they bale out the water, and step the main mast. They fix stages upon some, that project beyond the sides of the ca­noe, so that the hull serves only as a support. These stages will hold thirty men or more, with their provisions. Each canoe has one sail made of matting, broad and long above, and narrow below. They are very swift, and good to work to windward.


THE military courage of these people seems to be the effect of habit: they are bold even to rashness, and have a perseverance not common among undisciplined savages.


ABOUT ten leagues to the north of Egmont's Isle, is an island of stu­pendous height, and a conical figure, the top of which is shaped like a funnel; it is about three or four leagues round; it is steep to the [Page 170]shore, quite bare, and in one part of it is a vol­cano, that vomits out fire and smoke with a thundering noise; it is, however, inhabited at one end.


THE other islands, of which Queen Char­lotte's Isles consist, were only seen at a distance, and named by Carteret: he had reason to be­lieve them, however, to be all inhabited. As he passed the island that bears his name, which is about six leagues long, and lies in 8° 26′ S. latitude, and 159° 14′ E. longitude, he met with some of the inhabitants fishing. He sent out a boat, and seized one of the canoes, which was large enough to carry eight or ten men, was very neatly built with planks well jointed, ornamented with shell­work, and figures rudely painted, and the seams were covered with something like black putty, but of better consistence. The people were armed with bows, arrows, and spears, pointed with flint, as at Egmont Isle. They seemed to be the same kind of people as the natives of that island, and were quite naked. Carteret's Island is about two days sail from Egmont Isle.


IS the discovery of Captain Cook, in Sep­tember 1774, and, excepting New Zealand, is perhaps the largest island in the South Pacific Ocean, extending from the latitude of 19° 37′ to 22° 30′ S. and from the longitude of 163° 37′ to 167° 14′ E. Its direction is nearly N.W. half W. and S.E. half E. and it is about eighty­seven leagues long. Its breadth does not any where exceed ten leagues; Captain Cook coast­ed the north side of the island, but the south side is as yet unexplored. It lies about twelve degrees, or two hundred and forty leagues distant from New Holland.

Face of the Country, &c.

IT is a country full of hills and vallies, of various extent, both for height and depth. From these hills spring great numbers of little rivulets, which fertilize the plains, and supply the wants of the inhabitants. The tops of most of the hills seem to be barren, though [Page 172]some few are covered with trees, as are all the plains and vallies. From the hills, the flat lands which lie along the shore appear to great advantage; the winding streams that meander through them, the plantations, the little strag­gling villages, and the pleasing variety of wood, so chequer the scene, as to render it delightful: notwithstanding this, the thin stratum of poor vegetable soil that covers the plains, the num­berless swamps on the sea side, and the dry parched earth every where, ill repay the husband­man's toils. The natives are indefatigable in their cultivation, or the land would not satisfy their wants. They drain the morasses, and manure their plantations with broken shells and corals. The mountains, and other high spots, are, for the most part, incapable of being culti­vated, consisting chiefly of rocks, many of which are full of mundicks. The little soil up­on them is scorched with the sun and affords little but a few scattered trees, and a quantity of dry grasses, two or three feet high, and this, to a people who have no cattle, is of very little use. The general way of recruiting land in the South Seas is, by letting it lie useless for se­veral years, and burning the weeds and grass upon it annually.


THE productions of this island are figs, sugar-canes, plantains, taro, or eddy root, by some called yams, cocoa-nut and bread-fruit (the last two scarce), and many East Indian plants. The taro plantations are watered by artificial streams, continually supplied by the main channel at the foot of the mountains. They have two ways of planting this root; some in square or oblong patches, sunk below the level of the ground, by which means they can let as much water in upon them as is necessary; others in ridges, three or four feet broad, and two and a half high. On the top of these ridges is a narrow gutter, through which is conveyed a rill of water that moistens the whole ridge. Among their trees, are the mangrove, and the caputi-tree, which last is large and black at the root, having long narrow leaves like willows, of a pale dead green colour, bearing flowers, and a bark perfectly white, soft, and loose, which often conceals within it beetles, ants, spiders, lizards, and scorpions, and frequently bursts off from the wood. In the East Indies they caulk their ships with the bark of this tree, and the natives of the Moluccas make the oil of caputi from the leaves, which are extremely fragrant [Page 174]and aromatic. Here is also a new species of the passion-flower, which is the more extraordi­nary, as no kind of this flower has been sup­posed to grow wild in any part of the world, except America.


THEY have no quadrupeds in this island of any kind, but a va­riety of the feathered tribe, large tame fowls, with bright plumage, ducks, a sort of small crow tinged with blue, a beautiful species of parrot, turtle-doves, fly-catchers, a kind of hawk, boobies, man of war, tropic birds, and others unknown to Europe. Turtles and fish in plenty, particularly a poisonous fish, some­thing like a sun-fish, with a large long ugly head, and which brings on an extraordinary numbness and giddiness in those who eat it. They have also, as mentioned before, beetles, ants, spiders, lizards, scorpions, &c. and a flat­tailed water-snake. Captain Cook left with them an O-Taheitean dog and bitch.


NATURE having been less bountiful to New Caledonia than to other tropical islands in the South Seas, the inhabitants are not very numerous. Captain [Page 175]Cook computes the number to be about fifty thousand, which, on a sea coast, of near two hun­dred leagues, is but small. They are of a dark brown colour, like that of mahogany, and nearly the same with the people of Tanna, but they have better features, more agreeable counte­nances, and are a much stouter race, some few measuring six feet four inches in height. Some indeed have thick lips, flat noses, and full cheeks; and, as they besmear their faces with black pigment, they look like negroes. All are in general well proportioned, but many of the men have swelled and ulcerated legs and arms, apparently occasioned by leprosy, and also a swelling of the scrotum.

The stature of the women is middle-sized, some are tall, and their whole form is very stout, and rather clumsy. Their features are coarse, but express good-nature: the fore­head high, and the nose broad and flat at the root, and eyes small, the cheek-bones prominent, and the cheeks plump. Their hair, like that of the men, is black, strong, and frizzled, and in many woolly; both men and women keep it cut short, so that their heads resemble those of negroes; and as it must be supposed frequently to want scratching, they have an excellent in­strument [Page 176]for this purpose; a kind of comb, made of sticks of hard wood, from seven to ten inches long, and about the thickness of knitting needles; about twenty of these are fastened to­gether at one end, parallel to each other, and about the tenth of an inch asunder. These combs they wear constantly in their hair, on one side of their heads. They cut their hair with a piece of mineral, sharped like a flint. Some few indeed of the men wear it long, and tye it up on the crown of the head; others suffer only a large lock to grow on each side, which they tie up in clubs.


THE men go quite naked, except a wrapper over their privities, which they fasten up to their girdle, as they do at Mallicolo, or up to the neck by a string, and ornament that string with small round beads, of a pale green nephritic stone. This wrapper is made of soft bark or leaves, and though it is contrived to conceal what all nations wish to hide, it has altogether a very indecent appear­ance, and every male looks like a walking fi­gure of the Roman garden-god. They wear on their heads black cylindrical caps, made of stiff coarse matting, open at top, very much [Page 177]like a hussar's cap. The chiefs ornament theirs with feathers. They stretch the flaps of their ears to a great length, cut out the whole carti­lage or gristle, as at Easter Island, and hang great numbers of tortoise-shell rings in them, as they do at Tanna.

The dress of the women gives them a thick squat shape, and consists of a petticoat resembling fringe, about eight inches long, just dropping below the waist: it is made of filaments, or small cords, laid thick over one another, and fastened to a long string that is wound several times round the body. The outward filaments of this fringe they dye black; the under ones are of a pale yellow. By way of ornament, they fix on one side of the petticoat a few pearl oyster-shells. Both sexes wear tortoise-shell ear­rings, necklaces, and bracelets, above the el­bow. The women tattow or puncture them­selves a little in the face, generally in three black strait lines, from the under lip downwards to the chin; and they carry their infants on their backs in a kind of satchel.


MOST of their houses are circular, something like a bee­hive, and full as close and warm, very much [Page 178]like those at Cocos and Horne Island: the en­trance is by a square hole, just large enough to admit a man upon his hands and knees. The side walls are about four feet and a half high; but the roof is lofty and peaked at the top, above which is a stick, generally ornamented with carving and shells. The frame of this build­ing consists of a number of poles fixed into the ground, drawn together and tied at the top, and connected to each other by twigs, in the manner of hurdles. This is covered with mat­ting, from top to bottom, and the roof thatched with straw. Within, a kind of large table is made upon posts for convenience: the floor is spread with dry grass to sleep on, and here and there mats for the principal people. Some of these houses have two floors, one above the other; but they have no light but what comes through the entrance. In most are two fire­places, and commonly a fire burning; and, as there is no vent for the smoke but by the door, the whole hut is continually smoaky and hot.


THEY have no great variety of houshold utensils. Each family has an earthen pot that will hold four or five [Page 179]gallons, clumsily shaped, with a large belly, and made of a reddish clay, but perfectly cover­ed, both within and without, with soot. In these they bake and cook their victuals, on hearths in the open air, raising the pot from the fire or embers by three pointed stones, fixed into the ground, and rising five or six inches from it, by way of trivet. The pot, when on the fire, is not set upon its bottom, but laid in­clined on one side.


THEY subsist chiefly on roots and fish, and the bark of a tree, which they roast, and are for ever chewing, and which has a sweetish, insipid taste. This tree grows in the West Indies. In barren seasons they have recourse to fern-roots: and, as to drink, water is their only liquor. Their fish they catch with nets made of the filaments of the plantain-tree twisted, and with fish-gigs, with which they lie in wait upon the reefs, in shoal water, and strike the fish as they may chance to come in their way.


IT is needless to mention their work­ing tools, they being made of the same materials, and much in the same manner, [Page 180]as at the other islands. The instrument with which they stir up the soil is indeed different, it being a long, curved and sharp-pointed bill, like the bill of a bird fixed upon a handle. They use this also occasionally as a weapon of defence. Their axes, likewise, are somewhat different, being made of a crooked piece of wood, forming a great knob, with a short handle, not exceeding six inches in length: the knob is hollowed out, and a black cutting stone is wedged into the cavity. They carry loads on their back, upon boards slung round the shoulders.


THE people of New Caledonia are well provided with weapons of of­fence, of course they must sometimes have wars among themselves, or with their neighbours. These weapons are, clubs, spears, darts, and slings for casting stones. Their clubs are about two feet and a half long, and of different forms; some like a scythe; others like a mattock; some have a head like a hawk, and others have knobs at the end; but they are all neatly made and well polished. Their darts and spears are ornamented with carved work; but their slings are perfectly simple, being no other than a [Page 181]slender, round cord, no thicker than packthread, with a tassel at one end, a loop at the other and in the middle. The stones they throw are of a soft soap-rock, rubbed into the form of an egg. These exactly fit the loop in the middle of the sling, and are kept in a pocket of matting, tied round the waist for the purpose. They cast their darts also with a short string knotted at one end, and looped at the other, as they do at Tanna, called by seamen a Becket, and are very dextrous in throwing them. Their spears are fifteen or twenty feet long, blackened over, and have a prominence near the middle, carved so as to resemble something like a human face.


THEIR canoes are, in some sort, like those of the Friendly Isles; but heavy and clumsy. They are, as it were, double, consisting of two hulls, made out of two large trees, hollowed out, the gunnel raised about two inches high, and closed at each end with a kind of bulk head of the same height. The two hulls are secured to each other, about three feet asunder, by several cross spars, which project about a foot over each side: on these spars is laid a deck or heavy platform, on which [Page 182]they have a fire-hearth, and generally a fire burning; and they carry a pot to dress their victuals in. The space between the two hulls is laid with plank. They are navigated with one or two latteen sails, composed of matting; the ropes are made of the filaments of the plan­tain-tree, twisted into cords of the thickness of a finger, and three or four more such cords marled together, serve them for shrouds. When they cannot sail they row them on by paddles, or sculls, and for this purpose there are holes in the boarded deck, through which they put the sculls, which are so long, that, when the blade is in the water, the handle is four or five feet above the deck. The person who works it stands behind it, and with both his hands sculls the vessel forward. The canoe is about thirty feet in length, the deck or platform about twen­ty-four, and ten in breadth.

Religion and Government.

CAPTAIN Cook having been at New Caledonia but eight days, little can be said of their religion. Nothing was observed that could be construed into a religious act; nor was a single custom remarked that had the least colour of superstition. When a person dies, they com­mit [Page 183]his body to the earth and bury it. Their graves are enclosed with sticks about three feet high, the earth is raised a little over them, and generally decorated with spears, darts, paddles, &c. stuck right up in the ground about them.

As little can be said of their government. It is supposed that the country is divided into many districts, and that each district has a chief. Perhaps each family forms a little kingdom of its own, which is directed by its patriarch, as must be the case in all infant states. The wo­men here are kept in the highest subordination, not so much esteemed by the men as those at Tanna, and seem to be the only persons who are employed in any laborious business.


THEIR language, if we ex­cept the word Areekee, i. e. Chief, and one or two more, has no affinity with any of the various languages of the South Sea islands. It seems to be uncultivated, and their pronunciation is indistinct. Though they have but few harsh consonants, they have a frequent return of gutturals, and a nasal sound unknown but to the English.

Character, &c.

THESE people are strict­ly honest, and not the least addicted to pilfering: they are good swimmers, and fond of singing and dancing. The only musical instrument observed among them was a whistle, made of a polished piece of brown wood, about two inches long, shaped like a bell, though apparently solid, with a rope fixed at the small end. Two holes were made in it near the base, and another near the insertion of the rope, all which had some communication with each other, and, by blowing in the upper­most, a shrill sound like whistling was formed at the other. The inhabitants in general may be deemed a friendly, inoffensive people: they gave Captain Cook and his ship-mates a very welcome and peaceable reception, addressing him first in a short set speech, and then inviting him ashore; but they are indolent and destitute of curiosity: the greater part of them did not move from their seats when the Europeans passed them for the first time: they are remark­ably grave, speak always in a serious tone, and laughter seems to be a stranger among them; perhaps their plantations lying remote from each other, are the means of preventing that [Page 185]familiar intercourse, which would gradually give life to the pleasures of society. The wo­men are kept, as I said before, in the greatest subjection: they seem fearful of offending the men by a look or a gesture. Their insensible husbands seldom deign to look upon them, and continue in a kind of phlegmatic indolence; whilst the women sometimes indulge that social chearfulness, which is the distinguishing orna­ment of the sex. Considering these cruel op­pressions of the sex, seen in a variety of coun­tries, may we not admire the wisdom of the Creator, who has planted that attachment in the female breast, which stands the test of every outrage, and patiently ties them to their ty­rants? To the honour likewise of the women of New Caledonia, as well as those of Tanna, it must be said, that they are far more chaste than those of the more Eastern Isles: they would frequently divert themselves with the European seamen, seemingly listen to their proposals, beckon them aside among the bushes, and, with an air of coquetry, laugh at them for their pains. There was not a single instance of their ever having condescended to permit any indecent fa­miliarity from an European, during their whole stay.


CONSISTS of two large islands, divided by a streight four or five leagues broad, and lying nearly north and south of each other, be­tween 180° 45′ and 193° 15′ W. longitude, and 34° 24′ and 47° 24′ S. latitude, and about two thousand miles distant from O-Taheitee. The northern island is called by the natives Ea­hei-nomauwe, and that to the south T'avai Poe­nammeo. The figure and extent of these islands will appear in the chart. They are much the size of each other, and together are as large as the island of Great Britain; having many small islands about them. They were first discovered by Abel Jansen Tasman, a Dutchman, on the thirteenth of December 1642. He coasted the Eastern part, from latitude 34° to 43°, and en­tered the streight which divides the two islands; but, meeting with a disagreeable reception from the natives, as soon as he dropped his anchor, he thought proper to weigh it again without landing. He called the country Staaten Land, [Page 187]in compliment to the States General; but it is now known by the name of New Zealand. He supposed the land to be a continent; but Captain Cook, in 1769 and 1770, traversed the whole coast and discovered it to be two islands, having a number of fine bays and anchoring places.

Captain Cook was six months coasting New Zealand, having made the land October 5, 1769, and not leaving it till March 31, 1770. He paid it a second visit in October 1773, and a third in October 1774, and it was touched at by M. De Marion, a Frenchman, in 1772.

Face of the Country.

T'AVAI POENAM­MOO is, in general, a barren country, and a ridge of mountains, tower­ing in many places above the clouds, extends near­ly the whole length of the island; the tops of which being for ever covered with snow, more rude or desolate prospect from the sea cannot be con­ceived; for as far inland as the eye can reach, nothing but the summits of rocks appear, which stand so close together, that instead of vallies being between them, there are nothing but fissures. Further to the north the mountains are more inland, and the sea coast consists of [Page 188]woody hills and vallies, and large plains co­vered with trees.

Eahei-nomauwe is much more fertile: it is mountainous, indeed, but the mountains are clothed with trees, and every valley is watered with a rivulet. The soil in the vales is light and sandy, and the productions of Europe would flourish here with luxuriance. A vast quantity of pummice stone lies all along the shore, which indicates that there is a volcano in this island; and that there is iron, is evident from the quan­tities of iron sand brought down to the sea coast by every rivulet. There is a mountain here as high as the Peak of Teneriffe, whose sum­mit soars far above the clouds: but what is more remarkable, there are many arched rocks in different places truly grand and romantic, one foot of whose arches stands upon the island, the other in the sea, and whose arches are large enough to admit a small vessel beneath them. One of these arched rocks, standing inland, has a river running under it.


THE spring begins here with the month of November; the winters are milder than those in England; and the sum­mer, though more equally warm, is not hot­ter: [Page 189]so that was this country settled by Euro­peans, they might soon be richly furnished, not only with the necessaries, but the luxuries of life.


T'AVAI POENAMMOO is but thinly inhabited, and chiefly by wanderers from one part to another, but Eahei-nomauwe is, in many places, highly cul­tivated, and they save their offal for manure. In their plantations the ground is as well tilled, and the mould as smooth as in our gardens, and every root has its small hillock ranged by lines in a regular quincunx, and every thing planted with the nicest care and attention: for where the person that sows is to eat the produce, and where there is little else to eat, it is natural to expect they should excell in tillage. Their plantations are of different extent, from one acre to ten: here they grow sweet potatoes, co­coas, gourds, and yams. They have excellent celery, and a kind of cresses, with abundance of farinaceous fern-root, which serves them for bread. Gourds are cultivated for the fruit, which furnishes them with vessels for various purposes. They have a sort of long pepper, very much the taste of mace; and near four [Page 190]hundred species of plants never yet described by any botanist.

But, among the vegetable productions of these islands, the trees claim no small considera­tion. Here are forests of great extent, crowded with trees, the straightest, cleanest, and largest ever seen. They are rather too hard and heavy for masts; but if they could be lightened by tapping, as it is probable they might, they would make the finest masts for shipping in the world: they are not unlike the pitch-pine. There are some with a scarlet flower, well adapt­ed to the mill-wright. There are many other sorts of trees; one like the maple, yielding a whitish gum, and another giving a deep yellow substance fit for dyeing. They have plenty of mangrove trees, and a kind of tree that grows so large and lofty, that they will measure, at sixteen inches above the ground, full nineteen feet in girth, and ninety feet, strait as an ar­row, from the root to the first branches; many of them will yield three hundred and fifty-six feet of solid timber, exclusive of the branches. It bears a narrow leaf like the juniper, is ge­nerally found in low land, and has a dark-co­loured appearance. The natives make their canoes of this tree. There is also a cabbage [Page 191]tree here, the stem not thicker than a man's leg, but from ten to twenty feet high. They are of the same genus with the cocoa-nut tree: the cabbage is the bud, each tree producing but one, and that at the crown, where the leaves spring out, and are enclosed in the stem: cutting off the cabbage destroys the tree. This vegetable is not only wholesome, but exceeding­ly palatable. Great quantities of supple-jack are found in the woods, and of exceeding great length.

But among all the trees and shrubs, of which there are many, bearing beautiful flowers, and highly aromatic, there is not one that produces fruit; but there is a plant worth them all, serving the natives instead of hemp and flax. Of this plant there are two species; one bearing a deep red flower, the other a yellow. The leaves of both resemble flags, but the blossoms are not so large, and their clusters are more in number. They make all their clothes of the leaves of this plant, and also all their strings and cordage, which are at once glossy, elastic, and so strong, that nothing made of hemp can equal them. From the same, by another pro­cess, they draw out long, slender, strong fibres, white as snow, and shining as silk; of these they [Page 192]make their better cloth; and, by slitting the leaves in proper breaths, and tying them toge­ther, they make their fishing-nets. This plant seems to grow best in boggy grounds; there is every reason to believe that it would thrive well in England, and could we transport it here, it would be a great acquisition.

Captain Cook, when there, ordered some land to be dug up, in which he sowed a variety of European seeds; and, on his return, they ear following, he found almost all the radishes and turneps shot into seed, the cabbages and carrots very fine, and abundance of onions and parsley in good order: a proof that the winter was mild; but the peas and beans were almost lost, seemingly destroyed by the rats, and no potatoes could be found, probably extirpated by the natives.


THERE are no four footed ani­mals in this country, but dogs and rats; the latter are scarce, but there are plenty of the former; they are tame, and live with the inha­bitants, who breed them merely for food. Their dogs are of a sulky disposition, are small and ugly, with rough long hair, pricked ears, much like the shepherd's cur; their colours are different; some [Page 193]are spotted, some black, and others white. They feed as their masters do, on fish and vegetables. Three or four of Captain Cook's people saw a quadruped, when they where out upon the hunt; but as no two of them gave the same description of it, it is impossible to say what it was; probably as no other of the same kind was seen either before or after, they might have mistaken something else for it. However, they all agreed, that it was about the size of a cat, with short legs and a mouse colour. One said it had a bushy tail, and was most like a jackall of any animal he knew. Captain Cook left them some hogs and geese.

Though quadrupeds are scarce, there are birds in endless variety, exquisitely beautiful, and such as are unknown to Europeans; hawks, owls, quails, something like our parrots, wood­pidgeons, and numberless small singing birds, infinitely superior in wild melody, to any yet heard; and, what is most remarkable, the birds, like our nightingales, begin to sing at mid­night, and continue their song till sun-rise, and are silent all the day. Their parrots are of two sorts, one small and green, the other very large, of a greyish green, with a reddish breast. Among the small birds, they have three very singular ones, one with two wattles under its beak, as [Page 194]large as those of a small dung-hill cock: it is larger than an English blackbird, with a short and thick bill; its feathers are of a dark lead colour, and its wattles of a dull yellow or orange. The second is of a fine mazarine blue, except its neck, which is a beautiful silver grey, and a few white feathers on the pinion joint of the wing. Under its throat hang two little tufts of curled snow-white feathers. It has a sweet note, and its flesh is delicious. The third may be called a fan-tail, of which there are several sorts; but the most remarkable has a body scarcely bigger than a large filbert, yet it spreads a tail of beautiful feathers, three quar­ters of a semicircle of near five inches deep.

Of the aquatic order, they have ducks, wa­ter-hens, shags, curlieus, geese and gannets, re­sembling ours, and a variety of sea-birds, alba­trosses, sheerwaters, pintados, penguins, &c. and a species between bird and fish, whose fea­thers differ little from scales, and whose wings serve only for diving.

Of ducks there are five different kinds, the largest are the size of Muscovy ducks, beauti­fully feathered and darkly variegated, with a large white spot on each wing. The second sort are about the size of an English duck; its [Page 195]feathers are brown, tipped with a yellowish white, with bright green feathers in its wings, and bright yellow eyes. The third sort is a bluish-grey whistling duck, about the size of a widgeon, with a cartilaginous or gristly bill; for they live upon worms, which they suck out of the mud. The fourth sort is something larger than a teal, and all black, except the drake, which has some white feathers in his wings. The last sort is rather less than a teal; its colours are a shining greenish black above, a dark sooty grey below, a purple cast on the head, a lead coloured bill and feet, a white bar in the lesser quill feathers, and a golden eye.

A few butterflies, beetles, and flesh-flies, like ours, with some musquitos and sand-flies, make up their whole list of insects; and with the last two they abound. The sting of the sand-fly is ex­ceedingly painful; and, when the part stung grows warm, causes an intolerable itching, which, if scratched, brings on a violent swel­ling, attended with great pain, and some fever.

Of fish they have no scarcity; every creek swarms with them; mackerel, of many kinds, bream, mullet, skate, sting-ray, flounders, eels, congers, lobsters, cray-fish, clams, cockles, muscles, and fine oysters, and they have some [Page 196]whales, and plenty of seals. They catch their fish with cylindrical nets, which they bait and lower down into the water, drawing them up gently, and, when at the surface, taking them out with a jerk.


THE number of inhabitants bears no proportion to the ex­tent of country. Tavai Poenammoo is, as I said before, very thinly peopled, consisting chiefly of wanderers, but Eahie-nomauwe is bet­ter populated; though the western side of this island is quite a desert, and the interior parts being so mountainous, scarce any place is in­habited but the sea coasts, which, on an extent of four hundred leagues, is supposed to contain only about one hundred thousand people.


THE stature of the men, in ge­neral, is equal to the largest Euro­pean, tall, but lean, yet exceedingly strong, fleshy and well made, and they are exceedingly active and vigorous, with an uncommon adroit­ness in every thing they do; but most of their legs are slender and bandy, with large knees, owing to the little exercise they take, and their continually sitting cross-legged in confined ca­noes. [Page 197]Their complexion is a clear mahogany brown, though they are rather darker in the southern island. Their hair is black and curl­ing, and their teeth extremely regular and white. They have good faces, like Europeans, dark eyes, lips rather thick, and aquiline noses. Their voice is rough, they talk loud, and, in general, are more rude and unpolished than the natives of O-Taheitee.

The women are plain, and have no great fe­male delicacy; but their voices are remarkably soft and harmonious, and by this they are chief­ly distinguished, the dress of both sexes being nearly the same. They have, like the women of other countries, a cheerfulness superior to the men, and a greater flow of animal spirits. Some of them have uncommon long breasts. They seem to be proud of their sex, and expect to have every thing they wish from strangers, merely because they are women.

They tattow themselves here as they do at O­Taheitee, and call it amoco: different tribes have different ways of marking themselves: some cover themselves so much on the breech and thighs with spiral lines, that they seem as if they had on black striped breeches; and, as they add something every new year to the ornaments of [Page 198]the last, those who are advanced in life are al­most covered from head to foot. They have scarcely a stain, except on the lips, which all seem to concur in rendering black. Many in­dent their skins, so as to resemble carving, which they do by cutting it with shells. The women are tattowed only on the breasts, necks, and bel­lies, but then they besmear their faces and bo­dies with red oker and oil, which seldom dries, and thus render themselves filthy and nasty; for whoever touches them partakes of their colour­ing. Servants among the men do the same, but these use chiefly dry oker, and some carry it with them, and as constantly renew the colour as it rubs or wears off.


THE general dress of the men of this country, is merely a wrapper round the body, kept from falling below the waist by two slips over the shoulders, fastened before and behind with bone bodkins. It is made of flag-leaves, and resembles a shaggy door-mat. Some men, on particular occasions, wear another piece of this matting round the waist, which reaches almost to the ground. They tie the prepuce of the penis with a string over the glands, and fasten this string to a girdle [Page 199]round the body. The glands, indeed, seem to be the only part they wish to conceal; for they will often throw off every thing, without scruple, but this string and girdle; which, whenever they were requested to untie, they did with re­luctance and confusion. Some wear shoulder­knots made of the skin of the neck of a large sea-fowl, with the feathers on, slit into two pieces lengthways; and some wear a piece of shaggy matting round their shoulders, by way of cloak, which has all the appearance of a straw thatch. The dress of the chiefs, and principal people, consists of a cloth jacket, ornamented with stripes of dog-skin, in different parts, or tufts of red feathers, and cloaks trimmed with dogs-fur, of different colours, and often lined with the same. This cloak is a square piece, two corners of which are tied on the breast, the other part hangs down to the calf of the leg, and a belt of matted grass confines it round the waist.

The women wear a petticoat and cloak of the same rough matting, perfume them with some fragrant plant, and beneath the petticoat before wear a bunch of aromatic leaves, hanging from a girdle between the legs. They wear their hair cropped short, or flowing about their shoulders, ornamenting it with leaves; but the men tie [Page 200]theirs up in a bunch on the crown of the head, decorate that bunch with feathers, and stick a comb behind it. Their beards they wear cut short. Both men and women grease their hair, and frequently wear, upon the crown of their heads, a large bunch of black feathers, tied up round, so as to raise their head twice its natural height, and almost to cover it.

Both sexes wear a variety of ornaments, ear­rings, necklaces, and anclets. Both men and women bore their ears, and stretch the holes till they will admit a finger; in these they wear cloth, feathers, bones of large birds, and some­times pieces of wood stuck through them. The women frequently stuff in the white down of the albatross, stained with ruddle or oker, which spreads before and behind, as large as one's fist; and, though singular, has a very good effect. Sometimes they hang to their ears, by strings, chizels, or bodkins, made of talc, and often the nails or teeth of their deceased relations; bracelets and anclets are made of birds bones, shells, or any other substance they can drill a hole through. The men sometimes wear round the neck, sus­pended by a string, a piece of green transparent tale, or whalebone shaped like a laurel leaf, and with the rude figure of a man carved upon it; [Page 201]and sometimes through the septum or gristle that divides the nostrils, a long feather, project­ing on each side over the cheeks; and some wear a fillet of feathers round their heads.


THE chief food on which this peo­ple live, is fish and vegetables. Dogs flesh is very scarce. The birds they eat are ge­nerally penguins, albatrosses, and a few others, which serve them as delicates. They roast their birds by hanging them to a small stick, inclined to the fire, one end of which is stuck into the ground, and bake them by putting them into a hole in the ground, with hot stones, as they do at O-Taheitee. They frequently dry their fish in order to preserve them, and smoke their eels. As a substitute for bread, they eat fern-roots, very similar to ours, which they thus prepare: after scorching them over the fire, they beat them with a stick, till the bark and dry outside fall off; what remains, is a soft substance, ra­ther clammy and sweet, mixed with stringy fi­brous parts, which, after having chewed, they spit out. They are great eaters, will take in pieces six times as large as we can do, and will drink near a quart at one draught.

[Page 202]Water is their only liquor; and, having no­thing that will intoxicate, they are, in this re­spect, the happiest persons in the world; but, on the other hand, should their plantations fail, or an unfavourable season happen, and they ac­cidently not be provided with a sufficient dry stock, the distress to such as inhabit the interior parts of the country must be dreadful. This will, in some measure, account for the fear these people live in of each other, for the care they take to fortify their villages, and for the hor­rid custom of eating those whom they kill in battle. The head is the only part they do not eat. They suck the brains, and frequently con­vert the skull to domestic purposes, such as to hold water, &c. The way they dispatch their prisoners, is, by knocking them down with their patta-pattoos, and then ripping them up.


THE towns, or hippahs, of these people, are all fortified. Many are built upon eminences near the sea, and secured on the land side by a bank and ditch, and a high paling within the ditch; and some have out-works. Their houses are built on a rising ground, under a tuft of trees, but are little better than dog-kennels, seldom more [Page 203]than eighteen or twenty feet long, eight or ten broad, and five or six high, and consist only of a roof: the pole that runs from one end to the other forms the ridge to the ground. The framing consists of slender sticks, tightly put together, and is covered with dry grass. There is a door at one end, just high enough to admit a person on his hands and knees; near the door is a square hole, for the double purpose of giv­ing light and letting out the smoke. The roof projects beyond the end walls, about two feet, so as to form a porch, in which there are benches for the family to sit on. That part of the floor where the fire-place is (which is generally at the end, in the middle between the two sides), is inclosed in a hollow square, by partitions either of wood or stone, and in the midst the fire is made. The floor within, along the sides, is bedded thick with straw, and on this the family, in bad weather, sleep; at other times, they sleep abroad in the open air, having no other shelter but a few shrubs: the women and children are ranged innermost; the men lie in a half circle round them, and they set up their arms against the trees close by them.

Furniture, &c.

THEIR furniture and uten­sils are very few. One chest commonly contains the whole, except the bas­kets that hold their provisions, the gourds that serve them as water cups, and the hammers with which they bruise their fern-root.

Amusements, &c.

THEIR chief amuse­ments are, singing and dancing. Whilst one sings, in a rough man­ner, others will dance and make their gestures conform to the roughness or uncouthness of the song: they will roll their eyes, loll out their tongues, alternately extend their arms, work themselves up into a kind of frenzy, and, join­ing with the last chorus of the song, stamp their feet in a violent and frantic manner. Grey­headed old men will often take part in their dances, and assume every antic posture imaginable. Wo­men, when they dance, tie on before them an apron made of their close-wrought cloth, orna­mented with red feathers, dog-skin, and ear­shells; but they throw off, as do the men, their shaggy cloaks. They sing sometimes, parti­cularly the women, with a degree of taste un­common among savages; their voices are mel­low and soft, and have a pleasing and tender ef­fect. [Page 205]Their songs are frequently in parts; sung by many voices, and in proportionate thirds. Their tunes are generally dirge-like, slow and solemn, resembling the chaunt which a popish priest uses at mass, containing many tones and semi-tones, and they accompany their songs, which seem to have great simplicity, and to be a kind of metre without rhyme, with some corresponding expressions of countenance. Their music is far superior to that of the Society and Friendly Isles; and if any nation of the South Sea comes in competition with them, it is only that of Tanna.

They have three sounding instruments, but they can scarcely be called musical ones. One is a trumpet, made of a shell, which gives a noise not unlike that which our boys make with a cow's horn. This shell is generally mounted with wood, prettily carved and pierced at the point where the mouth is applied. The second is a straight wooden tube, about four feet long, five inches in diameter through its whole length, except at the mouth, where it is reduced to two; with this instrument they always sound the same note, and it makes a very uncouth kind of braying. The third is a small wooden pipe, resembling a child's nine-pin, but much smaller, and yields a noise something like a pea-whistle. [Page 206]They are sensible that these instruments are not musical, for they never attempt to sing to them, or to produce with them any tones that bear the least resemblance to a tune.

The only toy observed among the children, was, a top, shaped like those in England, and which was spun by whipping it.


TWO or three sorts of cloth are made in these islands: the shaggy sort, mentioned before, resembling a thrummed door-mat, one as coarse as our coarsest canvas, though ten times as strong, and another as glossy as silk. The shaggy sort is made of flag-leaves, split into three or four slips, and interwoven when dry, leaving a number of ends hanging to it on the outside, eight or nine inches long; and the glossy sort is formed by many threads lying very close one way, and a few crossing them the other; but these are about half an inch asunder, somewhat like the round pieces of cane matting that are by some persons placed under the dishes upon table to save the cloth. This stuff is prepared so as to shine like silk, and is often striped. It is made in a frame of the size of the cloth, about five feet long and four broad, across which the long [Page 207]threads that lie close together, or warp, are strained, and the cross threads, or woof, are worked in by hand. To this last kind of cloth, they work borders of different colours, and va­rious patterns, in stitches like an girl's sampler, and with a degree of neatness and elegance, which, considering they have no such thing as a needle, is surprizing; this is always the work of the women, though it is chiefly worn by the men. They have the cloth-plant here, as well at O-Taheitee, and they make cloth of it, but, being scarce, no larger pieces are made than sufficient to hang in their ears, by way of orna­ment.

They have a particular and singular taste for carving: they attempt not to imitate any thing in nature, but confine themselves to a volute or spiral, which they vary many ways, single, double and triple, and with as much regularity as if done from mathematical draughts. They thus ornament their boats, paddles, arms, tools, and almost every thing they make; though they have very awkward tools to do it with.

Their fishing nets must not be here forgot­ten. These they make of a kind of grass, very strong in it's nature, and their principal nets are so large, that they seem to be the joint work [Page 208]and joint property of a whole town: they are generally about five fathom deep, and from three to four hundred fathom long: they make also a circular net, extended by two or three hoops, seven or eight feet in diameter, which they bait at the bottom, and leave open at the top. In using it, it is let down so as to lie on the ground; and, when a sufficient quantity of fish is supposed to be collected over it, they draw it up by a gentle and even motion, so that the fish are scarce sensible of being lifted up in it, till they bring it very near the surface of the water; and then take it out by a sudden jerk. They very seldom angle for fish, but, when they do, their fish-hooks are made of bone.

Nothing else, worth mentioning on this head, was seen among them, but baskets of various kinds and dimensions, very neatly made of wicker-work, for carrying and holding their provisions, &c.


THEIR tools are not many, but answer the purposes for which they are designed. They have adzes, axes and chis­sels. The chissel serves equally for an auger; they having no contrivance to bore holes. Ha­ving no metal, their axes and adzes are made [Page 209]of a hard, black stone, and their chizzels of hu­man bone, or pieces of jasper, chipped from a block, like gun-flints. They have a variety of small tools of jasper for finishing their neat work, which, when grown blunt, are thrown away, having no method of sharpening them.

Considering the instrument with which they till their land, it is astonishing to think how much work can be done in a little time. This instrument, which serves them both for plough and spade, is nothing more than a long, narrow stake, cut to an edge at one end, about three inches broad, with a short piece fixed transverse­ly at a little distance above it, for the conve­nience of the foot to press it down. With this they will turn up pieces of seven or eight acres, and with great expedition, the soil being light and sandy.

Tillage, weaving, and the other arts of peace, seem to be practised in the northern parts of this country; but the arts of war flourish through the whole.

Arms, &c.

THEIR declarations of hosti­lities are always accompanied with a war-song and dance, in which the wo­men [Page 210]often join: during this exultation, they stamp their feet violently, hideously writhe their bodies, roll their eyes, thrust out their tongues, fetch loud and deep sighs, and distort their faces in the most horrid manner; and, when they begin the attack, it is by shouting and brandishing their weapons.

Upon a wish of Captain Cook's to see their method of attack and defence, one young man mounted a fighting stage, which is a platform raised from the ground, and surrounded with a ditch, of which they have many large ones on the sides of hills; and another went into the ditch: both he that was to defend the place, and he that was to attack it, sung the war-song, and danced in the frightful manner I have de­scribed, working themselves up into a degree of mechanical rage: this done, they attacked each other with uncommon fury. They first pierce with a lance, and then proceed to knock their enemy on the head with a short club.

The perpetual hostilities in which these peo­ple live, owing to there being so little land in a state of cultivation, have made every village a fort; and they seem to have studied more the instruments of war than those of peace. Had they any kind of order or military discipline [Page 211]among them, they would be much more for­midable in arms than they are, for no quarter is given to the enemy.

They have no missile weapon but the lance, which is fourteen or fifteen feet long, pointed at both ends, and barbed, and sometimes headed with bone; these are grasped by the middle and thrown by the hand. They make use of darts or shorter lances at times, and also of stones; but have no contrivance like the bow to convey their darts, nor any such thing as a sling. Their other weapons are, battle-axes, a staff about five feet long, broad at one end, like an oar, and pointed at the other, and the patoo­patoo, which is generally made of green talc, well polished, about a foot long, and thick enough to weigh four or five pounds: it is made like a pointed battledore, with a short handle and sharp edges, well contrived for close fight­ing, as it would split the thickest scull at a single blow. Through the handle of this weapon is a string, which is twisted round the hand when used. The principal people consider this instrument as a military ornament, and constant­ly wear it sticking in their girdles. Their en­gagements, whether in boats or on shore, are generally hand to hand; the slaughter of [Page 212]course must be dreadful, as a second blow from their weapons is unnecessary, if the first takes place.

The chiefs carry about them a staff of distinc­tion, generally the rib of a whale, white as snow, ornamented round the top with carving, dog-skin and feathers, like our sheriffs halberts; but sometimes this staff is merely a stick, about six feet long, adorned in the same manner, and inlaid with a shell resembling mother of pearl.


THE ingenuity of these people appears in nothing more than their canoes: they are of different sizes, narrow and long, and resemble very much the New England whale-boat. Some of the larger sort seem to be built chiefly for war, and will contain from forty to near a hundred armed men, being near seventy feet long, though not more than five feet broad, and about three feet and a half in depth. The sides are made strait, of three entire planks, one above another, which reach from end to end, and are sewed together by a string, made of the flax-plant, and caulked with the woolly substance of the reed-mace. The sides being strait, and the bottom sharp, they are in form of a wedge. A considerable [Page 213]number of thwarts or seats are laid from gun­wale to gunwale, in order to strengthen them, and a profusion of carved ornaments decorate the head and stern, which project beyond the body, rising almost perpendicularly five or six feet above it, are pierced through and through in spirals, like fillagree-work, and are adorned with streamers hanging from them. The gun­wales of their best boats are also carved in a grotesque taste, and ornamented with tufts of white feathers placed upon a black ground.

These boats are worked on by eighteen or twenty small light paddles, about six feet long, neatly made, having an oval blade, pointed at the bottom, and gradually losing its oval form in the handle; and the Indians have such an adroitness and manual dexterity in using these paddles, that thirty of them together will keep time so exactly, that one would think the rowers were actuated by one common soul. Sails of matting fixed upright, between two poles, are sometimes made use of; but they can make no way with these, except right before the wind. They frequently sing when rowing, and beat time with their paddles.


THE language of New Zealand and O-Taheitee is radically the same, the difference being merely provincial, or a different dialect, but guttural. That of the north­ern part and southern parts of New Zealand differ only in the pronunciation.

The following list will shew the affinity.

A Chief,Eareete,Earee,
A Man,Taata,Taata,
A Woman,Whahine,Ivahine,
The Ear,Terringa,Terrea,
The Mouth,Hangoutou,Outou,
The Belly.Ateraboo.Oboo:

and numbers of the words and terms in both islands are exactly the same; a con­vincing proof, that New Zealand must origi­nally have been peopled from O-Taheitee, though at near two thousand miles distance; nay, they have a tradition among them that cor­roborates the assertion; for they say that their ancestors, in a very remote period, came from another country.

Religion, &c.

LITTLE can be said of their religion, except that they worship a supreme Being, believe in subordinate deities, and give nearly the same account of the origin of the world, &c. as they do at O-Ta­heitee.

They make offerings of provisions occa­sionally to the inferior gods; but what other homage they pay could not be learned, as no place of worship was seen in the island, nor any religious ceremonies. They seem to pay a de­gree of veneration to a species of creeper, which they call atuee, or the bird of the divinity; but they never expressed the least wish to pre­serve the life of this bird in preference to any other.

What they do with their dead I cannot take upon me to say: in the northern parts they told their European visitors that they buried them in the ground, and in the southern parts, that they threw them into the sea, with a stone fas­tened to them, to sink them. No such a thing as a grave was seen in the island, nor any mo­nument, except in one place, where a cross was erected, ornamented with feathers. This was designed to perpetuate the memory of some [Page 216]friend or relation; but the particulars could not be learned, as they make a mystery of these matters.

The only ceremony observed at the death of a kinsman was, that of scarifying the body of the survivors. Women, at the decease of their husbands, and men at that of their nearest rela­tions, cut their arms, thighs and faces with sharp shells, in a very dreadful manner, and it is a considerable time before the wounds are healed.


THE inhabitants of the southern isle, T'avai Poenam­moo, live a wandering life, and seem to be under no regular kind of government: the head of each tribe, indeed, is respected, and, on some occasions, commands obedience; but those of Eahie-nomauwe acknowledge a sovereign, under whom are several subordinate chiefs, to whom great respect is paid, and by whom justice is is probably administered; and it was learned that they possessed their authority by inheri­tance.


THE small societies in the south­ern island have several things in common, particularly their fine clothes and fishing-nets. Their fine clothes are preserved in a place by themselves, in the middle of their towns, and part of their nets are found in al­most every house; for, when they go out to fish, they collect these parts and join them to­gether.

The women here seem to be held in less esti­mation than in the other South Sea islands; they carrying, at New Zealand, all the burdens, and doing all the drudgery. Dr. Forster was an eye witness of the ferocity of the natives with re­spect to the women. A boy, about six or seven years old, demanded a piece of boiled penguin, which his mother held in her hands, but she not immediately complying, he took up a large stone and threw it at her. Incensed at this, the woman ran to punish him; but she had scarce given him a blow, before her husband fell upon her, beat her in an unmerciful manner, dashed her against the ground, and was very near kil­ling her. Ill treatment of the weaker sex is carried here to excess; and, contrary to every principle of morality, boys are taught from their [Page 218]infancy to hold their mothers in contempt. It is the employment of the men to till the ground, catch birds, make nets, and go out to fish, and that of the women to dig up fern roots, collect lobsters and other shell-fish, near the beach, cook, and weave their cloth; nay, the women it is supposed sometimes go out to war, for many were seen carrying spears.

These people have but few customs among them but what are common to the other South Sea islands; addressing a stranger in a formal speech or oration, while they present a green branch or a white bird's skin, and then putting on their own coat upon him, is a signal and cere­monial of amity; waving the hand, and crying out Horomai, is a token of friendship; and putting noses together is their mode of saluta­tion. They never take a present, till they have given one, and, when they are pleased upon any occasion, they cry ai, and cluck like a hen.


THE disposition of this people seems to be mild and gentle: they treat each other with great attention and affection, but are implacable towards their enemies, to whom they give no quarter. It may at first appear strange, that where conquest [Page 219]is attended with little advantage, there should be frequent wars; but if we consider, that self­preservation is the first law of nature; that the principal food of the islanders is fish, and that this is only to be caught upon the sea coasts, and in sufficient quantities, at certain times only, and of course that the inland tribes, without a constant look-out to preserve this food, must be in frequent danger of perishing by famine; I say, when this is considered, we may readily account, not only for their fortifying their little towns, but for the horrid custom of eat­ing their prisoners of war; for, when a man is pressed by hunger to take up arms, every natural feeling is lost, and every sentiment that would otherwise restrain him from allaying it with the body of his adversary is absorbed. If this account of the origin of feeding on human flesh be admitted as plausible, the reason of its continuance will readily be seen; for, when the practice has been begun by hunger, it will na­turally be kept alive by revenge; for among those who are accustomed to eat the dead, death must have lost much of its horror; and where it has lost much of its horror, there will not be a great repugnance to kill, especially when a [Page 220]desire to destroy is whetted by an implacable revenge.

Though the New Zealanders are more irras­cible than the other South Sea islanders in ge­neral, they are, however, less immodest, having some idea of indecency. They are as decent and reserved in their actions as the politest persons in Europe. The women are not im­pregnable, indeed, but their terms and man­ner of compliance do them honour. When an overture is made to any young woman, the party is given to understand, that the consent of friends is necessary; that a suitable present must be made; that the consenting female must be treated with good manners and delicacy; that no unbecoming liberties must be taken, and that the day-light must not be a witness of what passes between them. An agreement thus made is considered by them as innocent as a marriage ceremonial in England; many of the women are, however, as great coquets as the most fashionable ladies in Europe, and the young ones are exceedingly skittish.

The young unmarried women would not have been very liberal of their favours to the European seamen, had it not been often by the compulsion of their fathers and brothers, [Page 221]who bartered their virtue for iron tools. The idea of female chastity in New Zealand is very different from ours; for a girl may favour a number of lovers, without any stigma upon her character; but, if she marries, conjugal fidelity is exacted from her with the utmost rigour.

But if the New Zealanders are more modest than the natives of O-Taheitee, they are less cleanly; for the climate being colder, they do not so often bathe. This, however, might be dispensed with, if they did not render them­selves filthy, by the oil with which they grease their hair: the better kind of people use it fresh, but the lower class anoint their heads with rancid oil, which makes them smell like a Hottentot; and, add to this, notwithstanding they have combs both of bone and wood, most of them are intolerably lousy; nay, the vermin that in­fest their heads may be often seen crawling upon their cloaths, and so lost are they to cleanliness, that they will occasionally crack them between their teeth and eat them.

The chief of diseases taking their rise from intemperance and want of exercise, both of which are unknown to these islanders, it is no matter of wonder that they enjoy perfect and uninterrupted health. Among hundreds of every [Page 222]age, not an eruption, nor any mark of one, was seen upon their skin, nor any bodily complaint. Their wounds heal naturally of themselves, with­out any topical application; and, among a great number of very old men, they were all ob­served to be chearful, and none of them de­crepid.

While they considered the Europeans as their enemies, and as coming to make an advantage of them, they did not scruple to plunder them, as opportunity served, and to descend to little acts of unfairness and dishonesty: they would receive the price of what they offered to sale, and, when done, pack up the purchase and pur­chase money, with great composure, and march off with it as lawful plunder; but, when they began to be acquainted with their visitors, they wished to establish a mutual confidence, and never presumed to pilfer any thing.

As the reader may probably wish to know the reception the first Europeans met with, who touched at New Zealand, the following will gratify him:

When Captain Tasman touched at Eahie-no­mauwe, in 1642, they would not suffer him, nor any of his people, to go ashore; but attacked the ship's boat and murdered three of his men. [Page 223]This led him to call the bay where he anchored, Murderers Bay. But as they have no tradition of any European vessel paying them a visit, before that of Captain Cook, in October 1769, his may be considered as the first. As soon as he cast anchor, he, accompanied with a party, put off for the shore, and landed in sight of a number of people assembled on the beach, leaving four boys, with the cockswain, to take care of the boat. As soon as they landed, the people ran away; but, when he had got to some distance from the sea side, four armed men rushed forward to seize the boat, which was prevented by the boys putting off from the shore, and the cockswain's firing a musquet and killing one of those who attacked him. When this man fell, the other three stood motionless for some time, almost petrified with astonish­ment; presently after, recovering their surprize, they dragged the dead body away with them, and left Captain Cook and his party an oppor­tunity to return. But the next day, taking with him a native of the Society Isles, whom he brought with him, and who was understood by the New Zealanders, the nature of his visit was explained, and a friendly intercourse took place between them; but not till three or four were [Page 224]killed by musquet-balls, for attempting to plunder the ship. Three boys being taken by force on board the vessel, they had no other expectation than to be instantly put to death; but, when they found themselves treated with ge­nerosity and kindness, their joy was beyond ex­pression. They continued on board till the next day, and, being sent on shore, dressed and de­corated with bracelets and necklaces, they re­presented to the natives the kind treatment they had received from the Europeans, and thus established a peace between them. They met also with some opposition in landing at other parts of the island, and a native or two fell in the dispute; but matters were soon settled, and an amicable intercourse succeeded; for those who are strangers to fire-arms must naturally dread the very thought of them. It was so here; and, when the islanders found themselves not safe from a discharge of the cannon, even at great distances, they gave up all attempts at opposition.

I must not omit to mention, however, a dread­ful affair that happened to Captain Furneaux's people, when in Charlotte Sound, in December 1773. A midshipman, with nine of the boat's crew, being sent on shore to gather greens, were [Page 225]taken and put to death, and eaten by the sa­vages. It was afterwards learnt, that on one of the natives, stealing a seaman's jacket, the mid­shipman gave orders to fire at them. Thus war commenced between them, and, when they had fired away all their ammunition, they fell a sacrifice to the resentment of their enemies.

Monsieur Dufresne Marion, who had the command of two ships from France, and who put into a bay in distress, at the northern island of New Zealand, in 1772, was, with twenty­eight of his men, murdered by the natives. Having lost his masts, he was obliged to search the woods of this country for new ones; and, though he had lived upon the best terms with the islanders for thirty-three days, he, with his men, were surprized and cut off. But not­withstanding these two transactions, the New Zealanders must be acquitted of either treachery or cruel malevolence; for it is greatly to be suspected that some umbrage was taken at some­thing done by the strangers, and that the affair was revenged with that passionate fury which hurries on a savage to excess.

As there is something very uncommon in part of this business, I will close the account of New Zealand with the relation. The carpenters were [Page 226]encamped in the woods, under the protection of a M. Crozet, with a small party, for the pur­pose of making new masts, &c. Upon the news, therefore, of Captain Marion and his men being cut off, a corporal and four marines were dispatched to M. Crozet to acquaint him with his danger, while several boats waited to receive him. M. Crozet immediately disposed every thing, as well as he could, to effect a retreat; but soon found himself in sight of a prodigious crowd of the natives, led on by several chiefs. He directed the four marines to be ready to fire at such persons as he should point out, if ne­cessity required it, and then ordered all his party to strike their tents and retire with their tools to the boats, while he advanced up to one of the chiefs. This man told him that M. Marion was killed by another chief, whom he named. At this M. Crozet stuck a stake into the ground, just before the feet of the chief, and bid him advance no farther. The boldness of the action startled the savage, which, being observed by M. Crozet, he insisted on his commanding the croud to sit down, which was accordingly com­plied with. He now walked up and down be­fore the natives, till all his men were in the boat: his soldiers were ordered to follow, and [Page 227]himself was the last who embarked. Scarce was the boat put off from the shore, but the savages began their song of defiance, and threw stones at him; however, by the exertion of his people, he got safe on board. This, however, did not intimidate M. Crozet; for, finding him­self under a necessity of procuring new masts, he landed again with a party, attacked one of their fortifications, and cut a breach in it; an armed chief instantly stepped into it, and was shot dead, another stepped on the dead body and occupied his place, he likewise fell a victim to M. Crozet's heroism, and in like manner fell eight chiefs, who successively defended, and bravely fell upon this post of honour. The rest, seeing their leaders dead, fled, and many were pursued and killed. In short, after this enterprize, M. Crozet completed the repairs of his ship, without interruption, and prosecuted his voyage, after a stay of sixty-four days.


NOW known by the name of Nova Bri­tannia, consist of New Britain, New Ireland, New Hanover, and a number of smaller islands. They lie in the neighbourhood of New Guinea, in about 210° W. longitude, and 5° S. lati­tude, about two thousand five hundred leagues W. from America; were first discovered by Mendana, in 1567, and by him called Salomon, and afterwards New Britain, by Dampier, in 1700.

As these islands were merely coasted, little can be said of the country or the inhabitants: New Ireland is ninety-five leagues long, twenty broad, and above two hundred in circuit, and the face of that island, as well as New Britain, and their neighbouring isles, is mountainous, beautifully romantic, picturesque, and well cloathed with trees of enormous growth. The heat of the climate may be known by Faren­heit's thermometer, which stood at 22° and 23° through the whole month of July. New Ire­land [Page 229]and New Hanover received their names from Captain Carteret, who touched there in 1766.

These islands are supposed to be very popu­lous, from the many thousands that appeared on the sea coast, and are fertile in provisions and cattle. The inhabitants are black and woolly headed, like negroes, but have not the thick lip and flat nose. They go naked, ex­cept covering their privities with a piece of mat, and wearing bracelets and anclets of shells: their ears are generally long, and they bore them to carry earings: their teeth are red, from chewing betel, and they powder their hair and beards abundantly with a white powder. They occasionally wear plumes upon their heads, large, round white plates of shells hanging to their necks, and rings through the cartilages of their noses: and, if we may judge of the people by their miserable dwellings, they must stand low even in the scale of savage life. Their food is cocoa-nuts and roots, though they occasion­ally eat human flesh: they adore snakes, toads and such things; are a people who live in small communities; have frequent wars among them­selves, and make slaves of their prisoners.

[Page 230]The tide at New Ireland ebbs and flows once in four and twenty hours, and rises at the spring between eight and nine feet.

The soil of these islands is light, and their productions are cocoa-nuts in plenty, betel, the areca, the fine Indian reed, mangle-apples, va­rious species of the palm, aloe, canes, bam­boos, rattans, with many trees, shrubs, and plants unknown to Europeans. There are also the nutmeg and pepper tree; but no esculent vegetable of any kind. The thatch palm was also seen there, and the cabbage tree, the fruit of which is a white, crisp, juicy substance, some­what like a chesnut when eaten raw, and, when boiled, superior to the best parship. Among the trees, is one bearing a plumb, with a plea­sant tartish taste, not unlike a Jamaica plumb.

Of the animal kind, there are dogs, wild boars, and tiger-cats; turtles, serpents, snakes, scor­pions, centipedes, and a number of insects of a sin­gular sort. One of these is three or four inches long, covered over with a kind of armour, with six legs, projecting points on the sides, and a very long tail; another about three inches long, belonging to the Mantis genus: almost every part of its body is of such a texture, that it appears like a leaf, even when we are closely [Page 231]examining it: each of its wings is one half of a leaf, which, when closed together, seem one entire leaf: the under side of its body wears the appearance also of a leaf, but of a more dead colour than the upper one: the creature has two antennae and six legs, the upper joints of which are also similar to parts of leaves.

Of birds there are great variety. European poultry; large pigeons, of great beauty, their plumage, green-gold, their neck and belly of a greyish white, with a little crest upon their heads. Another large crested pigeon, near as big as a turkey, of azure plumage, called a Crowned Bird in the Moluccas, which has a plaintive note like the cries of men; and another kind whose cry resembles so well the barking of a dog, that every one who hears it, for the first time, must be deceived by it. There are likewise turtle-doves, and widow birds, larger than those of the Brasils.

Fish also abound upon the coasts in large quantities, which the natives take with nets. They are not without some rock oysters, and very large cockles, so large as to spread five feet between point and point of the shell.

Their canoes are very long and very narrow, with an outrigger: some of them reach to [Page 232]ninety feet in length, and yet are formed of a single tree. The head and stern are very much raised, to shelter the people within from arrows, which is done by turning either end of the boat towards the enemy. Their canoes are decorated with carved work, and paddled on by thirty or forty rowers.

The offensive weapons of these people are, lances, bows and arrows, slings, and long sticks and poles, like the quarter-staff. They have also shields to defend themselves. These of­fensive and defensive weapons, their dextrous management of them, and their boldness in attacking, is a convincing proof that they are almost constantly at war.

These islands being not a great way from New Holland, the customs and manners of the natives must be, in many respects, similar, I shall proceed, therefore, to treat of the latter, being that of which we are best informed; for though M. De Bouganville anchored at New Britain in 1768, he was not long enough there to be much acquainted with the people.


IS an island of larger extent than any other in the known world. The eastern coast of it, first discovered by Captain Cook in 1770, and called by him New South Wales, takes up twenty-seven degrees of latitude, being near two thousand miles long; so that its square sur­face must be much more than equal to all Eu­rope. The northern, western, and southern coasts, were discovered by the Spaniards early in the seventeenth century, but the eastern coast had not been seen by any before Captain Cook. The north-east part is but five leagues from New Guinea, and the south-east part, known by the name of Van Dieman's Land, discovered by Abel Tasman, in 1642, not above eighteen days sail from the southern island of New Zea­land.

Face of the Country.

SOUTH of 33° or 34°, the land in ge­neral is low and level; more to the northward [Page 234]it is hilly, but not mountainous. It is rather barren than otherwise, but still the rising grounds are diversified with wood and lawn, and the plains covered with herbage in many places. The trees are tall, strait, and without under­wood, and standing at such distances, that the land between them will admit of cultivation; never less than forty feet asunder. The soil of the hills is hard, dry and strong, yet productive of trees and coarse grass, high but thin; that of the plains and vallies is, in some places, sandy, in some clayey, and in others rocky, yet wears the appearance of fertility.


OF timber-trees, there are but two sorts: the largest is the gum tree, which grows all over the island: it yields a deep red gum, and the wood is heavy, hard and dark coloured, like the lignum vitae, with narrow leaves, like those of the willow. The other grows tall and upright, resembling the pine, something like the live oak of Ame­rica. The wood also of this tree is hard and heavy. Besides these, there are trees, having a soft bark, easily peeled off, the same that is used for caulking of ships in the East Indies.

[Page 235]There are palms also of three different sorts; one whose leaves are plaited like a fan, the cab­bages of which are small, but exceedingly sweet; another like the West India cabbage tree, with large pinnated leaves, like the cocoa­nut, producing large fruit, and a third about ten feet high, with smaller pinnated leaves, bear­ing no cabbage, but abundance of nuts, about the size of chesnuts. They have, among other trees, one that bears a fruit, in colour and size not unlike a cherry, whose juice, indeed, has no great flavour, but an agreeable tartness. The borders or banks of the bays, of which there are many, are covered with mangroves, and the island abounds with a number of small trees and flowering shrubs, unknown to Europeans. There is one tree which produces a sort of fig, but very poor; another that bears a plumb, flat on the sides, like a dried medlar; and a third, that bears a kind of purple apple, in taste some­thing like a damascene.

There are also a great variety of plants un­known to us, but very few of the esculent kind, except a sort of bean, growing on a stalk that creeps along the ground; a kind of parsley and porcelain; two species of yams, one shaped like a parsnip, the other round, and a plant [Page 236]called Coccos, the leaves of which are little in­ferior to spinnage. I must not forget to men­tion here, that the ground is almost every where covered with a grass, whose seeds, in the month of May, are very troublesome to the walker; they are sharp and bearded backwards, so that when they stick in one's cloaths, which they do at every step, they are worked forwards by means of the beard, till they reach the flesh and prick it.


OF quadrupeds there are several that we are unacquainted with; but, as they could not be caught, no description can be given of them. They seem to be of the wolf, polecat, and weazel kind. There are goats, but no tame animals, except dogs. They have the opossum, a creature with a membra­nous bag near the stomach, in which it conceals and carries its young, when apprehensive of danger. They have also a remarkable animal, about the size of a sheep, called a Kanguroo, some of which will weigh upwards of eighty pounds, and are not bad eating, resembling the flesh of a hare, but better flavoured. Its body is formed like a goose, largest behind, and growing taper to the head, which resembles that [Page 237]of a fawn; it has lips and ears, which it throws back, like a hare's; on the upper jaw it has six large teeth, on the under one, only two; its neck is short and small, near to which are the fore feet, which have five toes, each with nails like a cat. The fore legs are kept close to the breast, and seem, like those of a mole, to be used only for digging; they are small, and not more than eight inches long, having no knee joint; but the hind legs have the customary joints of animals, and are twenty-two inches in length. It has a tail tapering to the end, as long as its whole body, which it carries like a grey-hound, and the whole animal is covered with a short fur, of a dark mouse or grey colour. It sets up on its hinder legs, like a hare in her form, and does not run, like other quadrupeds, but leaps like a hare or deer.

Of birds there are great variety, of exquisite beauty. Loriquets; fine large black cockatoos, with scarlet and orange-coloured feathers in their tails, and some white spots on each wing, and also between the beak and ear. These fly in flocks of scores together. They have also the goat-sucker, or churn-owl; the bee-eaters; large bats; a small bird, with wattles of a deep orange red; another with wattles of a fine ultramarine [Page 238]colour, with black beak and legs; an owl, having the iris of its eyes gold colour, and the pupil of them dark blue; a large black and white gull, with a bright yellow beak, on the gibbous part of which is a scarlet spot, the corners of its mouth and irides of its eyes a bright scarlet, and its legs and feet a greenish yellow; a black bird, with a bright red beak, yellow at the point, the iris of its eyes scarlet, and the feet and legs a pale yellow; and many other curious small birds, unknown to Euro­peans. They have, likewise, quails and crows, resembling ours, a species of bustard, beautiful grey pigeons, with red beaks and reddish brown crests; two sorts of doves; two sorts of paroquets; pied hawks; black and white kites and eagles.

Of the aquatic kind, herons, whistling ducks, that perch and roost on trees, wild geese, cur­lieus, a bird like a pelican, larger than a swan, and other sorts of water-fowl.

Of the tribe of insects, they have green ca­terpillars, in great numbers, which range them­selves on the mangrove leaves, side by side, twenty or thirty together, and whose hair on their bodies sting like a nettle; butterflies in such quantities, that, for the space of three or [Page 239]four acres, the air is often so crowded with them, that millions may be seen flying in every direc­tion, while every branch and twig in the neigh­bourhood is covered; ants also of different kinds, some white and others black; the black ants will perforate the twigs of the gum-tree, work out the pith, and occupy the pipe that contained it; yet the parts in which these in­sects form a lodgment, and in which they swarm in amazing numbers, bear leaves and flowers, and appear to flourish as much as those that are sound. Upon the branches of these trees, the ants will often make nests of clay as big as a bushel. There are ants as green as a leaf, that live upon trees, where they build their nests of various sizes, from that of a man's fist, to the size of his head. These nests are curiously formed, by bending down several of the leaves, which are as broad as one's hand, and gluing the points of them together, so as to form a purse; the glue used upon this occasion is an animal viscus, which nature has provided them with. Thousands will unite their strength to bend down a leaf, which they do by their weight, while others employ the gluten to prevent its return. If disturbed, they will throw them­selves [Page 240]upon their enemy and sting him like a bee.

Of fish, they have sting rays, rock and pearl oysters in such quantities, that a pearl fishery might be there established to great advantage; muscles, and other shell fish, cockles, some of which are as much as two men can move, and contain twenty pounds of good meat; crabs of two kinds, one adorned with the finest hue, equal to the ultramarine, with which all its claws and every joint is deeply tinged, and the under part white, and so exquisitely polished, that, in colour and brightness, it resembles the white of old china; the other kind is marked more sparingly with the ultramarine, but its back is beautifully spotted with brown. They have also plenty of turtles and water-snakes, like land ones, except that their tails are broad and flat, which serve them for fins; but among all the fish seen at the island, none is more remark­able than one that jumps: it is about the size of a minnow, and has two very strong breast fins, by which it leaps as nimbly as a frog: it seems not to prefer water more than land, for it will frequently leave the water, and pursue its way on dry ground.

[Page 241]Of other reptiles they have alligators, serpents, venomous and harmless, and lizards.


IN proportion to the extent of land, the number of inhabitants appears to be small; for though Captain Cook was upwards of three months upon the coast, and it is natural to have expected numbers should have flocked to the sea-side, in order to view what must seem to them a wooden world, yet he never saw so many as thirty collected together; nor, when they formed a resolution to oppose the Captain's landing, could they muster more than fourteen or fifteen fighting men: neither do they appear to live in societies, but, like other animals, to be scattered about along the coast and in the woods. Nor, indeed, was a spot of ground seen in a state of cultivation in any part of the island, a further proof of the thinness of the inhabitants; for where the sea does not con­tribute to feed the inhabitants, the country must be desolate.

The complexion of these people is what is commonly called a Chocolate Colour, though they are so uniformly covered with dirt that it is difficult to say what their true colour is. Their features are far from disagreeable: their noses [Page 242]not being flat nor their lips thick: their teeth are white and even, and their hair, though they singe it short, is naturally long and black, and generally straight with a slight curl at bottom. They, some way or other, keep their hair free from lice, though they seldom comb it, for it is in general matted and greasy, but without oil or grease.

The beards of the men are of the same colour with their hair, and also bushy and thick, it never being suffered to grow long. Their stature is of the middle size, but slender, and their bones so small, that a common hand may span their an­cles and their arms above their elbows; and in general they are clean-limbed and remarkably vigorous, active and nimble. Their counte­nances are not without expression, and their voices are remarkably soft and effeminate.

Both sexes go quite naked, without the least sense of indecency; but still they are not without their ornaments, the principal of which is, a bone five or six inches long, and as thick as a man's finger, which they thrust through the septum of their noses: it reaches quite across the face, and so effectually stops up the nostrils, that the wearer, when he speaks, snuffles so as scarce to be understood, and is obliged to keep [Page 243]his mouth constantly open, in order to breathe freely. The sailors, in humour, called it their Spritsail-yard. They wear also necklaces made of shells, bracelets of small cord round the up­per part of their arms, and a string of human hair plaited, tied round the waist; and some were seen with large gorgets of shells hanging on the breast, and a few women with feathers in their heads, stuck on with gum. They paint themselves red and white and dust their faces with a white powder. The red is generally laid on in broad patches upon the breast and shoulders, and the white in streaks, one round their thighs, two below their knees, one like a sash over their shoulders, and another across their foreheads. They have holes also in their ears, but no ornaments were seen in them. On their bodies were noticed large scars in irregular lines, apparently made by some blunt instru­ment, probably as memorials of grief for the dead.


LIKE quadrupeds, they seem, as was said before, not to live in societies, but to wander about in the woods; and a farther reason to confirm this assertion, is, that, in an extent of near two thousand miles upon [Page 244]the coast, nothing like a town or village was to be seen. Their huts are merely sheds to sleep in, scarce big enough for a man to sit under, and hardly large enough to cover his whole length. They are made with sticks about an inch diameter, in the form of an oven, open at one end, by sticking the two ends in the ground, and covering them with pieces of bark or palm leaves. They frequently make fires in these houses, and, as they seldom wash or clean them­selves, they thus become smoke-dried. Under these sheds they sleep, with their heads and knees together, so that in this position one hut will hold three or four persons.

The only furniture they have is an oblong vessel made of bark, contrived, by tying up the two ends with a withy, to carry water; and a small bag, knit like a cabbage-net, which the men carry on their backs by a string round their heads, for the purpose of conveying, from place to place, the little treasure they possess, generally only a lump or two of paint, a piece of resin, some lines and fishing hooks, the bracelets, &c. which they continually wear, and a few points of darts.


EXCEPT the fruits and vegetables of the country, they eat little but fish: now and then, indeed, they kill the Kan­guroo, and occasionally a bird or turtle. Though they have no vessel to boil water in, they do not seem to eat animal food raw: they broil it and bake it with hot stones in an oven, in the same manner they do at O-Taheitee. They were constantly observed chewing a leaf, but of what quality it was could not be learned; all that can be said is, that it had no visible ef­fect upon the teeth or lips.

Having no nets, they catch fish only by strik­ing it with a fish-gig, or by hooks and lines, except such as they find in the hollows of the rocks, and shoals when the water ebbs. Their hooks are very neatly made, and some of them are exceedingly small. Their lines are from half an inch to the fineness of a hair, and are made of some vegetable substance.

Birds they catch when at roost, and animals they kill with their lances, when they pass by a tree, in the branches of which they conceal themselves for the purpose.

Their method of procuring fire and spreading it is worth remarking. To produce it, they take two pieces of soft, dry wood, one a round [Page 246]stick of about eight or nine inches long, the other piece flat: one end of the round piece they shape into an obtuse point, and make a hole in the flat piece. In this hole they twirl the end of the stick between their hands, as we do a chocolate mill, pressing it down in the hole, till it fires. By this method they get fire in less than two minutes, and, from the smallest spark, they in­crease it with astonishing speed. They will wrap up a spark in a little dry grass, which, by moving, will be fanned into a flame. Thus a man will run on for miles, and, without any visible fire in his hands, will, at every fifty or a hundred yards, stoop down and leave fire behind him.

One of their methods of annoying their Euro­pean visitors, whom they considered as enemies, was, by setting fire to the high grass in the neigh­bourhood of the place where the tents were fixed; which being dry as stubble, burnt with amazing force and did incredible mischief.


THEIR weapons are spears and lances of different kinds, some with four prongs, pointed with bone and barbed, the points of which are covered with a hard re­sin, which gives them a polish and facilitates their entrance into what they strike: others [Page 247]have only one point, with the shaft made of a light jointed cane, from eight to fourteen feet long; others are barbed all the way up the shaft. They are very dextrous in throwing them, and will convey them forcibly with the hand ten or twenty yards; but if they wish to convey them further, they make use of a throwing-stick, which is a plain, smooth piece of hard wood highly polished, about two inches broad, half an inch thick and three feet long, with a small knob or nook at one end, and a cross piece about three or four inches long at the other. In the shaft of the lance, near the point, is made a hollow to receive the knob of the throwing-stick, from which it easily slips on being impelled forward. To throw it they lay the lance along upon this instrument and hold it over the shoulder; and, after shaking, throw both the stick and lance with all their force; but the stick being stopped by the cross piece which comes against the the shoulder with a jerk, the lance flies forward with incredible swiftness, and with such good aim, that the thrower is more sure of his mark at fifty yards distance, than a musqueteer is of his ball. They have also bows and arrows, and an oblong shield three feet long, and eighteen inches broad, made of bark; and a wooden [Page 248]sword resembling a scymitar. Some of their weapons had a chizzel fixed at their ends, but of what substance they were framed could not be learned.


THE canoes of New Holland are as wretched as their houses. To the southward they are made of one piece of bark, about twelve feet long, tied up at the ends, and spread open in the middle by two sticks. In shallow water they push them on by a pole, and in deep water by paddles, two of which they use at a time. More to the northward they are made of the trunk of a tree, fourteen feet long, hol­lowed out by fire. They are in general very narrow, and furnished with an out-rigger to pre­vent their oversetting. They never carry more than four people.


The only tools seen among them were, an adze made of stone, wedges of the same, wooden mallets, and a few shells and pieces of coral. For polishing they make use of the rough leaves of a wild fig, which answers the purpose of shave-grass. With such wretched tools, it is astonishing that they can perform any kind of work; but there are few difficulties [Page 249]that perseverance will not overcome, and that will not give way to the patience and good con­trivance of a workman.


SOME idea of their language may be collected from the fol­lowing list of words. They articulate plainly, though in speaking they make a great motion with their lips. When they mean to shew a disapprobation, they utter their words vocife­rously, and, when they would manifest an ap­probation, they cry hee with a loud flexion of voice, in a high and shrill tone. They say tut, tut, many times together to express astonish­ment, and often whistle when surprized.

  • The Head Wageegee
  • Hair Morye
  • Eyes Meül
  • Eyebrows Garbar
  • Nose Bonjoo
  • Breast Coyor
  • Hands Mangal
  • A Dog Cotta
  • A Turtle Putai
  • A Butterfly Walboolbool
  • A Canoe Carbanda
  • [Page 250] Get along Kidde
  • Come along Corvai
  • Come hither Hala, hala, máé
  • I cannot do it Kono, kono.
Mens Names.
  • Yappa Gadugoo
  • Yarconigo
  • Garranatoo
  • Dunggrea
  • Balgomee
  • Goota.


THESE people have no idea of traffick, nor could any be given them; for all the signs made to them, describing a return for things presented to them were fruit­less: they did not seem to understand them. This indifference with respect to buying kept them honest: they never attempted to purloin any thing, but, if refused what they wished for, they attempted to take it by force. They seemed to set no value upon any thing that was given them, for, like play-things given to chil­dren, they pleased only while they were new. Nor do they seem to have any curiosity; for though walking on the sea shore in sight of the ship, a wonderful machine they had never seen before, [Page 251]of numbers that trudged along, scarce one cast an eye towards it.

They introduce strangers into company by their names as they do in England.

Whether they are brave or not cannot truly be ascertained: they made some little opposition on the crew's landing, but they were soon inti­midated by the fire arms, as a few pieces fired with small shot presently dispersed them, and, after the first contest, they would never come near enough to parley; so that the Europeans could by no means form the least connection with them. How it happens that there are so few inhabitants, is not easy to devise: whether they are destroyed by each other in contests for food, whether swept off by famine, or their increase prevented by any particular cause, can­not be at present determined. That they have wars amongst them is evident by their weapons, but what gives rise to these wars, or what is the consequence of them, cannot be ascertained: the few facts that could be picked up we here give our reader, and he must be left to reason for himself.


IS that great peninsula which makes the boundary of Asia to the north east, and stretches from north to south, about 7° 30′. The be­ginning of this peninsula is at the rivers Pus­taia and Anapho, lying in 59° 30′ N. latitude. At these places, the isthmus is so narrow, that, in fair weather, the sea may be seen on both sides, from the hills in the middle. The figure of the peninsula is somewhat eliptical, being broader towards the middle, and growing nar­rower towards both ends. The country north of the isthmus, is called Zenosse, and is under the government of Anadir.

Camchatca was long known to the geogra­phers of former times, but it never could be [Page 253]delineated till the last two expeditions of the Russians to that part of the world.

The southern part of the peninsula is called Lopatha, and lies in 51° 3′ N. latitude; the difference of longitude from Petersburgh is found to be at Ochotskoy 112° 53′ E.

Face of the Country.

CAMCHATCA is plentifully furnished with rivers, but so small, that none except one is navigable. This will carry vessels two hun­dred versts upwards, from its mouth.


UPON the banks of the na­vigable river, is found plenty of roots and berries, which, in some measure, supply the want of corn. Near the head of this river, both summer and winter, corn would grow as well as in other places of the same la­titude, the soil being deep and rich; for though the snow falls in very great quantities, yet it thaws early enough, and the spring is not so wet, nor have they such damps there as in many other places. Several trials of summer-corn have been made, in which both barley and oats have succeeded; but it cannot be expected that they should sow any great quantities, as, for [Page 254]want of horses, they are obliged to plough their land with men.

As to vegetables, the most succulent plants produce only leaves and stalks: cabbage and lettuce never come to perfection, and peas con­tinue in blossom till late in the harvest, without yielding so much as a pod; but succulent roots, such as turneps and radishes, thrive very well. The grass runs up near six feet high, especially near the rivers and lakes, and grows so fast, that it is sometimes mowed three times in a summer. The cattle, therefore, are large and fat, and give plenty of milk all the year, for the grass continues full of juice, even to the beginning of winter, and this juice being condensed by the cold, prevents the grass from turning hard during that season, so that there is feed all the winter. Places where the grass thus grows, are never so much covered with snow as the bogs and swamps, and, on this account, it is diffi­cult to pass over them in winter. There is plenty of wood in this country, not only for building houses, but even for ship-build­ing.


THE natives of Camchatca are as wild as the country itself. Some of them have no fixed habitations, but wander from place to place, with their herds of rein deer; others have settled dwellings, and reside upon the banks of the rivers and the sea shores.

They are divided into three nations, the Cam­chatcans, the Koreki and Kuriles. The Cam­chatcans live upon the south side of the penin­sula; the Koreki inhabit the northern parts, and round the eastern ocean, almost to Anadir; and the Kuriles inhabit the islands in the eastern sea, reaching as far as those of Japan.

They are of small stature, swarthy, have black hair, broad faces, sharp noses, with the eyes falling in, eye-brows small and thin, hang­ing bellies, and slender legs and arms. They are notorious cowards, great boasters, and are remarkable for their slavishness to people who use them hardly, and for their obstinacy and contempt of those who treat them with gentle­ness.


THEIR cloaths are chiefly made of skins of deer, dogs, several sea and land animals, and even the skins of birds, those of different animals being frequently joined in the same garment. Their upper garment is made after two fashions, sometimes cutting the skirts all of an equal length, and sometimes leaving them long behind, in form of a train, with wide sleeves, long enough to reach down below the knee, and a hood or caul behind, which, in bad weather, they put over their heads below their caps: the opening above is merely large enough to let their heads pass, and round this opening they sew the skins of dogs feet, with which they cover their faces in cold, stormy weather. Round their skirts and sleeves they put a border of white dog's skin; and upon their backs they sew the small shreds of skins of dif­ferent colours. They commonly wear two coats; the under coat with the hair side inwards, the other side being dyed with alder; and the upper with the hair outwards. For the upper garment they choose black, white, or speckled skins, the hair of which is most esteemed for the beauty of its colours.

[Page 257]Men and women, without distinction, wear the above-mentioned garments, their dress only differing in their under cloathing, and in the covering of their feet and legs. The women have an under garment, which they commonly wear at home, consisting of a breeches and waistcoat sewed together. The breeches are wide, like those of the Dutch skippers, and tie below the knee; the waistcoat is wide above, and drawn round with a string. Their sum­mer habits are made of dressed skins, without hair, their winter ones of deer, or stone ram skins, with the hair on. The undress, or house­hold habit of the men, is a girdle of leather, with a bag before, and a leather apron to cover them behind: these girdles are sewed with hair of different colours. They used frequently to go a hunting and fishing, during the summer, in this dress; but the fashion being now changed, they wear linen shirts, which they buy of the Russians.

The covering of their feet and legs is made of skins of different sorts. In the summer time, during the rains, they wear the skins of seals, with the hair outwards; but the most common covering is the skin of the legs of the rein deer, and sometimes of the legs of other beasts, the [Page 258]shaggiest they can find, to preserve them against the cold. But the buskins which both the Cossacs and Camchatcans use in their finest dress, are made in the following manner: The sole is a white seal-skin, the upper part of fine white leather, and the hind quarters of white dog­skin: what comes round the legs is of dressed leather, or dyed seal-skin; the upper parts are embroidered. These buskins are looked upon so extraordinary, that if a batchelor wears them, he is immediately concluded to be dressed for courting.

They wear the same sort of caps as the people of Jakutski. In summer, they tie about their heads a kind of hat, made of birch bark; and the Kuriles, in hot weather, wear caps of platted grass; but at present, round the Russ settle­ments, the fashion is changed, the women wear­ing shifts, ruffles, waistcoats, caps and ribbands. The women do all their work in mittins. For­merly they never washed their faces, but now they use both red and white paint. Rotten wood serves them for white paint, and a sea-plant for red, which they boil in seal's fat, and rub their cheeks with, till they are very red. They dress most in winter, especially when they either receive or pay visits.

[Page 259]The common cloaths for a Camchatcan and his family, will not cost him less than a hun­dred rubles, so dear is every article of dress. The Kuriles are better able to buy good cloaths than the Camchatcans; for they can purchase for one sea-beaver as much as the Camchatcans can for twenty foxes, and one beaver costs the Kuriles no more trouble in catching him, than five foxes do the Camchatcans; for he must be a good hunter who takes more than ten foxes in the winter; and a Kurili thinks himself un­lucky, if he does not catch three beavers in the season, besides the numbers that are cast on shore by storms.


THE Camchatcans divide their fish into six parts; the sides and tail are hung up to dry; the back and thinner part of the belly are prepared apart, and generally dried over the fire; the head is laid to sour in pits, and is then eaten like salt fish, and is much esteemed, though it stinks intolerably; the ribs and flesh upon them are hung up and dried, and then pounded for use: the larger bones are dried and given to the dogs.

Their second favorite food is caviar, or the roes of fish, which they prepare three different [Page 260]ways. They dry the roe whole, in the air, or take it out of the skin, which envelopes it, and, spreading it upon a bed of grass, dry it before the fire; or make rolls of it with the leaves of grass, which they also dry. They never take a journey, or go a hunting, without dry caviar; and if a Camchatcan has a pound of this, he can subsist without any other provision a great while; for every birch and alder tree furnishes him with bark, which, with his dried caviar, makes him an agreeable meal; but they cannot eat either separately; for the caviar sticks to the teeth like glue; and it is almost impossible to swallow the bark by itself, chew it ever so long. There is still a fourth method, which both the Camchatcans and Koreki use in preparing their caviar; the first, having covered the bottom of a pit with grass, throw the fresh roes into it, and leave them till they are sour; the Koreki tie theirs in bags, and leave them to sour: this is esteemed their most delicate dish.

There is a third sort of diet, called by the Chamchatcans Chupriki, which is thus prepared: In their huts, over the fire-place, they make a bridge of stakes, on which they lay a heap of fish, which remains there till the hut becomes as warm as a bagnio. If there is no great thick­ness [Page 261]of fish, one fire serves to dress it, but sometimes they are obliged to make two, three, or more fires. Fish, dressed in this manner, is half roasted, and half smoaked, but has a very agreeable taste, and may be reckoned the best of all the Camchatcan cookery; for the whole juice and fat is prepared with a gradual heat, and kept in by the skin, from which they may, when done enough, be easily separated; and, as soon as it is thus dressed, they take out the guts and spread the body upon a mat to dry; this they afterwards break small, and, putting into bags, carry it with them for provision.

They have another dish, much esteemed, which they call Huigul: it is fish laid to grow sour in pits; and, though the smell of it is in­tolerable, yet the Camchatcans esteem it a per­fume. This fish sometimes rots so much in the pits, that it cannot be taken out but with ladles; in this case, indeed, they give it to their dogs.

As for the flesh of land, and the larger sea­animals, they boil it in their troughs, with se­veral different herbs and roots: the broth they drink out of ladles and bowls, and the meat they take out upon boards, and eat in their hands.

[Page 262]There is a principal dish at all their feasts, called Selaga, made by pounding all sorts of roots and berries together, with the addition of caviar and whale's and seal's fat.

Before the conquest by the Russians, they seldom drank any thing but plain water, except when they made merry, at which time they drank water, which had stood some time upon mushrooms. Now they drink spirits as fast as the Russians. After dinner, they drink water, and at night set a vessel of water by the bed-side, with the addition of snow or ice to keep it cool, and always drink it up before morning. In the winter time, they amuse themselves frequently by throwing handfuls of snow into their mouths; and the bridegrooms, who work with the fa­thers of their future brides, find it their hardest task to provide snow for the family in summer time; for they must bring it from the highest hills, be the weather what it will, or they never would be forgiven.


UNDER the name of Ostrog, is understood every habitation, consisting of one or more huts, all surrounded by an earthen wall or palisadoe.

[Page 263]Their huts are built in the following manner: They dig a hole in the earth, about five feet deep, the breadth and length proportioned to the number of people designed to live in it. In the middle of this hole, they set up four thick, wooden pillars; over these they lay balks, upon which they form the roof or cieling, leaving in the middle a square opening, which serves them for a window and chimney: this done, they cover the building with grass and earth, so that it resembles a round hillock without, but within it is an oblong square, with the fire-place in one of the long sides: between the pillars, round the walls of their huts, they make benches, upon which each of the family lies separately; but, on that side opposite the fire, there are no benches, being left for their kitchen furniture. In these huts, where there are no benches, there are balks laid upon the floor, and covered with mats. They adorn the walls within with grass mats.

These huts are entered by ladders, commonly placed near the fire-hearth; so that when they are heating their huts, the steps of the ladder become so hot, and the smoke so thick, that it is almost impossible for a stranger to go up or down without being burnt or stifled to death; [Page 264]yet the natives find no difficulty in it; and though they can only fix their toes on the steps of the ladder, they mount like squirrels; nor do the women hesitate to go through this smoke, with the children upon their shoulders, though there is another opening, through which the women are allowed to pass; but if any man should pretend to do the same, he would be laughed at. The Camchatcans live in these huts all the winter, after which they go into others, which they call Balagans. These serve them not only to live in during the summer, but also for magazines. The balagans are built in the following manner: Nine pillars, about two sathom long or more, are fixed in the ground, and bound together with balks laid over them, which they cover with rods, and over all lay grass, fastening spars, and a round sharp roof at top, which they cover with bramble, and thatch with grass. They fasten the lower ends or the spars to the balks with ropes and thongs, and have a door on each side, one directly opposite to the other. They make use of the same kind of huts to keep their fish, &c. till winter comes on, when they can more easily remove it; and this without any guard, only taking away the ladders. If these buildings were [Page 265]not so high, the wild beasts would undoubtedly plunder them; for, notwithstanding all their precaution, the bears sometimes climb up and force their way into their magazines, especially in harvest time, when fish and berries begin to grow scarce.

The southern Camchatcans commonly build their villages in thick woods and other places, which are naturally strong, not less than twenty versts from the sea; and their summer habita­tions are near the mouths of the rivers; but those who live upon the Penchinska sea, and the eastern ocean, build their villages very near the shore. They look upon that river, near which their village is situated, as the inheritance of their tribe.

Furniture, Utensils, &c.

BEFORE the ar­rival of the Russians, the Camchatcans used stones and bones instead of metals, out of which they made their hatchets, spears, arrows, needles and lances. Hatchets were made of the bones of whales and rein deer, and sometimes of agate and flint: they were shaped like a wedge, and fastened to crooked handles. With these they hollowed out their canoes, bowls, dishes and troughs; which, [Page 266]with cans of birch-bark, constituted the whole of their furniture; but with so much ex­pence of trouble and time, that a canoe would be three years in making, and a large bowl one year. On this account, a large canoe or trough was in as great estimation among them as a vessel of the most precious metal and finest workmanship is with us; and the village in possession of such a canoe or trough, valued itself extremely upon it. In these bowls they dress their victuals and heat their broth, by throwing red-hot stones into it.

Their knives were made of a greenish moun­tain crystal, sharp pointed, and shaped like a lancet, which was stuck into a wooden handle. Of such crystals were likewise made their ar­rows, spears, and lancets with which they still continue to let blood. Needles they formed of the bones of sables, with which they not only sewed their cloaths together, but made also very curious embroidery.

To procure fire, they use a board of dry wood, with round holes in its sides, and a small round stick; this they rub in a hole till it takes fire, making use of dry grass, beaten soft, by way of tinder. These instruments are held in such esteem by the Camchatcans, that they are [Page 267]never without them, and they value them more than our steels and flints: they are, however, exceedingly fond of other iron instruments, such as hatchets, knives or needles; nay, at the first arrival of the Russians, a piece of broken iron was looked upon as a great present, and even now they receive it with thankfulness, finding use for the least fragment, either to point their arrows or make darts, which they do by hammering it out cold between two stones. As some of them delight in war, the Russian merchants are forbidden to sell them any war­like instruments; but they are ingenious enough to make spears and arrows out of the iron pots and kettles, which they buy; and they are so dextrous, when the eye of a needle breaks, as to make a new one, which they will repeat un­til nothing remains but the point.


THE Camchatcans make their boats of poplar wood; but the Kuriles not having any wood of their own, make use of what is thrown on shore by the sea, and is supposed to come from the coasts of Japan, China or America. The northern inhabitants of Camchatca, the settled Koreki and Chukors­koi, for want of proper timber and plank, [Page 268]make their boats of the skins of sea animals. They sew the pieces together with whales beards, and caulk them with moss or nettles beaten small.

These boats hold two persons, one of which sits in the prow, and the other in the stern. They push them against the stream with poles, which is attended with great trouble: when the current is strong, they can scarely ad­vance two feet in ten minutes; notwithstanding which, they will carry these boats, full loaded, twenty versts, and, when the stream is not very strong, even thirty or forty versts.

The larger boats carry thirty or forty pood. When the goods are not very heavy, they lay them upon a float or bridge, resting upon two boats joined together. They use this method of conveying their provisions down the stream, and also to and from the islands.

Employments, &c.

IN summer time the men are employed in catching, drying, and carrying fish to their houses, in preparing bones and sour fish to feed their dogs: the women, in cleaning the fish and spreading it out to dry; sometimes they go a fishing with their husbands. When fishing season is over, [Page 269]they gather in the herbs, roots and berries both for food and medicine.

In harvest, men catch the fish that appear at that time and kill fowl, such as geese, ducks, swans, and the like; teach their dogs to draw carriages, and prepare wood for their sledges and other uses. The women at this time are busy in pulling up nettles, of which they make their thread; watering, breaking, and peeling them, and laying the hemp of them up in their balagans.

In winter, the men hunt for sables and foxes, weave fishing-nets, make sledges, fetch wood, and bring home the provisions which they had prepared in the summer and could not bring home in harvest. The women at this time are principally employed in spreading threads for nets.

In spring, when the rivers begin to thaw, and the fish which there wintered go towards the sea, the men are busied in catching them and the amphibious animals that at this time fre­quent the bays. The people on the eastern shore catch the sea-beaver. All the women go into the fields, where they gather wild garlick and other young herbs, which they use not only in a scarcity of other provision, which often hap­pens [Page 270]at this season of the year, but likewise out of luxury; for so fond are they of every thing that is green, that, during the whole spring, they are seldom without having some of it in their mouths; and though they always, bring home a great bundle of greens, it seldom lasts them above a day.

Besides the above-mentioned employments, the men are obliged to build their huts and ba­lagans, to heat their huts, dress victuals, feed their dogs, flay the animals, whose skins are used in cloathing, and provide all household and warlike instruments. The women are the only taylors and shoemakers; for they dress the skins, make the cloaths, shoes and stockings: it is even a disgrace for the men to do any thing of that sort; so that they looked upon the Russians who came here first, in a very ridi­culous light, when they saw them use the needle or the awl. The women are likewise employed in dying skins, in conjuration and curing the sick.

Their method of preparing and dying skins, sewing and joining them is as follows: Skins which they use for cloaths, such as those of the deer, seal, dog, and beaver, they prepare in the following manner: First they wet and spread [Page 271]them out, scrape of all the pieces of fat or veins that remain after flaying, with stones fixed in pieces of wood; then rubbing it over with fresh or sour caviar, they roll it up and tread it with their feet till the hide begins to stink; they again scrape and clean it, and continue this till the skin is soft and clean. Such skins as they want to prepare without the hair, they use at first in the same manner as above; then hang them in the smoke for a week, and afterwards soak them in warm water to take the hair off; at last rubbing them with caviar, by frequent treading, and scraping them with stones, they make them clean and soft.

They dye the deer and dog skins, which they use for cloathing, with alder bark cut and rub­bed very small. Seal skins they dye in a more curious manner: Having first cleaned off the hair, they make a bag of the skins, and, turning the hair side outwards, they pour into it a strong decoction of alder bark: after it has lain thus some time, they hang it upon a tree and beat it with a stick. This operation they repeat till the colour is gone quite through the skin; then they rip it open, and, stretching it out, dry it in the air: at last they rub it till it becomes soft and fit for use. Such skins are not unlike [Page 272]dressed goat skins. They call them Mendari, and are worth about three shillings each. The hair of the seals, with which they ornament their cloaths and shoes, is dyed with the juice of the red wortleberry boiled with alder bark, allum, and lac lunae, which makes a very bright colour. They used to sew their cloaths and shoes with needles made of bone, and instead of thread they made use of the fibres of the deer, split to the size or thinness re­quired.

They make glue of the dried skins of fishes, and particularly of the whale-skin. A piece of this they wrap up in birch bark, and lay it for a little while in warm ashes, when it becomes fit for use.

Method of Travelling, &c.

THE dogs of Camchatca dif­fer very little from our common house-dogs: they are of a middling size, and of various co­lours, though there seem to be more white, black, and grey than of any other. In travel­ling they make use of those that are castrated, and generally yoke four to a sledge.

They drive and direct their dogs with a crook­ed stick, about four feet long, which they some­times [Page 273]adorn with different-coloured thongs: this is looked upon as a great piece of finery. They drive their sledges, sitting on the right side, with their feet hanging down; for it would be considered as a disgrace to a man to sit down in the bottom of the sledge, or to have a person to drive him; no one doing this but the women.

It is very difficult to travel in these sledges; for, unless a man keeps the exactest balance, he is liable every moment, from their height and narrowness, to be overturned: in a rugged road, this would be very dangerous, as the dogs never stop till they come to some house, or are en­tangled by something on the road, especially in going down steep hills, when they run with all their force, and are scarcely to be kept in; for which reason, in descending any great declivity, they unyoke all the dogs except one, and lead them gently down. They likewise walk up hill; for it is as much as the dogs can do to draw up the empty sledges. After a deep snow, before it has been hardened by a frost, there is no travelling with dogs until a road be made, which is done by a man's going before with snow-shoes, whom they call Brodovshika.

[Page 274]These snow-shoes are made of two thin boards, separated in the middle, bound together at the ends, and with the fore-part bent a little up­wards. The Brodovshika having one upon each foot, leaves the dogs and sledge, and, going on, clears the road for some way; then returning, leads forward the dogs and sledge so far as the road is made; a method which he must continue till he comes to some dwelling­house. This is very laborious, and it happens so often, that no driver ever sets out without his snow-shoes.

When a storm of driven-snow surprizes them, they are obliged with all haste to seek the shelter of some wood, and stay there as long as the tempest lasts, which sometimes is a whole week. If they are a large company, they dig a place for themselves under the snow, and cover the entry with wood or brambles. Sometimes they hide themselves in caves or holes in the earth, wrapping themselves up in their furs; and, when thus covered, they move and turn themselves with the greatest caution, least they should throw off the snow, for under that they lie as warm as in their common huts: they only require a breathing place, but their cloaths must not be [Page 275]tight or hard girt about them, for then the cold is unsufferable.

Another danger attending travellers is, that, in the severest frost, several rivers are not quite frozen over; and, as the roads, for the most part, lie close upon the rivers, the banks being very steep, scarce a year passes without many being drowned. A disagreeable circumstance also to those who travel in these parts, is, their sometimes being obliged to pass through coppices, where they run the risk of having their eyes scratched out or their limbs broken; for the dogs always run most violently in the worst roads, and, to free themselves, very often over­turn their driver.

The best travelling is in the month of March or April, when the snow is become hard, or frozen a little at top; however, there is still this in­convenience attending it, that sometimes tra­vellers are obliged to lodge two or three nights in desart places; and it is difficult to prevail upon the Camchatcans to make a fire, either for warming themselves or dressing their victuals, as they and their dogs eat dried fish, and find themselves so warm, wrapped up in their furs, that they want none; nay, all the people of this climate bear cold so well, that they sleep [Page 276]in the open air, as sound as others in a warm bed, and awake next morning perfectly refresh­ed and alert. This seems to be so natural to all here, that some of them have been seen to lie down with their backs uncovered against a fire; and, notwithstanding the fire has been burnt out long before morning, they continued to sleep on very comfortably, and without any inconvenience.

Manner of War.

THOUGH before the Russian conquest, the Cam­chatcans did not seem to have had any ambition of encreasing their power, or enlarging their terri­tories, yet they had such frequent quarrels among themselves, that seldom a year passed without one village or other being entirely ruin­ed. The design of their wars was to make pri­soners, in order to employ them, if males, in their hardest labour; or, if females, to make wives or concubines of them; and sometimes the neighbouring villages went to war for quar­rels that happened among the children, or for neglecting to invite each other to their enter­tainments.

Their wars are carried on more by stratagem than bravery; for they are such cowards, that [Page 277]they will not openly attack any one, unless forced by necessity: this is the more extraordi­nary, as no people seem to despise life more than they do, self-murder being here very frequent. Their manner of attacking is this: In the night time they steal into the enemy's village and sur­prize them, which may easily be done, as they keep no watch; thus a small party may destroy a large village, as they have nothing more to do than to secure the mouth of a hut, and suffer no body to come out, which one only can do at a time; whoever, therefore, first attempts to es­cape, is knocked down, or obliged to submit to be bound.

The male prisoners which they take, especi­ally if they are men of any consequence, are treated with all manner of barbarity, such as hewing them to pieces, tearing out their bowels when alive, and hanging them up by the feet. This has been the fate of several Russian Cossacs, during the disturbances of Camchatca, and their barbarities are exercised with great show of tri­umph and rejoicing.

The private differences among themselves were very useful to the Cossacs, in their con­quest of the nation; for, when the natives saw the latter attacking one village, they were so [Page 278]far from assisting their countrymen, that they rejoiced at their destruction, not considering that the same was to be their fate next.

In their wars with the Cossacs, they destroyed more by stratagem than by arms; for, when the Cossacs came to any village to demand its tribute, they were received with all marks of friendship, and not only the tribute was paid, but likewise great presents were made them. Thus the natives having lulled them into a state of security, they either cut their throats in the night time, or set fire to their huts, and burnt them, with all the Cossacs which were within. By such stratagems, seventy people were destroyed in two places, which, consider­ing the small number of Cossacs that were there, was a very considerable loss; nay, it has some­times happened, that when they had no oppor­tunity of immediately destroying the Cossacs, they have for two years quietly paid the tribute, waiting till they could find an opportunity of doing it. But now the Cossacs are more upon their guard, and are particularly afraid of ex­traordinary caresses, and always expect some bad intention, when the women, in the night time, retire from their huts. When the Cam­chatcans pretend to have dreamed of dead [Page 279]people, or go to distant villages, there is reason to dread a general insurrection.

When this happens, they kill all the Cossacs which fall in their way, and even the Camchat­cans who will not join in the rebellion. As soon as they hear that troops are coming a­gainst them, instead of going to oppose their enemies, they retire to some high place, which they fortify as strongly as they can, and, build­ing huts there, wait till they are attacked, when they bravely defend themselves with their bows and arrows, and every other method they can think of; but if they observe that the enemy is likely to make themselves masters of the fort­ress, they first cut the throats of their wives and children, and afterwards either throw themselves down the precipice, or with their arms rush in upon their enemies, that they may not die unrevenged; this they call 'Making a bed for themselves.' In the year 1740, the rebels threw themselves from a very high hill, upon which they were fortified, into the sea, after murder­ing all their women and children, except a girl, whom they missed in their hurry. Notwith­standing this resoluteness, from the time that Camchatca was subdued, there have been but [Page 280]two rebellions which could properly be call­ed so.

Their arms are, bows and arrows, spears, and a coat of mail: their quivers are made of the wood of the larch-tree, glued round with birch­bark: their bow-strings of the blood vessels of the whale, and their arrows are commonly about four feet long, pointed with flint-stones or bone; and though they are but indifferent, yet they are very dangerous, being all poisoned; so that a person wounded by them generally dies in twenty-four hours, unless the poison be sucked out, which is the only remedy known. Their spears are likewise pointed with flint or bone. Their coats of mail are made of mats, or of the skins of seals or sea-horses, which they cut into thongs and plait together. They wear them on the left side, tying them with thongs upon the right: behind is fixed a high board to defend their heads, and another before to guard the breast.

It is remarkable when they march, two never go abreast, but follow one another in the same path, which, by use, becomes very deep and narrow; so that it is almost impossible for one that is not used to it to walk therein; for these [Page 281]Camchatcans always set one foot straight before the other in walking.


THEIR trade is almost entirely confined to procuring the immediate necessaries and conveniencies of life. They sell the Koreki sables, fox and white dog skins, dried mushrooms, and the like, in exchange for cloaths made of deer-skins, and other hides. Their domestic trade consists in dogs, boats, dishes, troughs, nets, hemp, yarn, and provi­sions, and this kind of barter is carried on un­der a great show of friendship; for when one wants any thing that another has, he goes freely to visit him, and, without any ceremony, makes known his wants, although perhaps he never had any acquaintance with him before: the host is obliged to behave according to the custom of the country, and gives his guest what he has occasion for: but he may after­wards return the visit, and must be received in the same manner.

Government, Laws, &c.

BEFORE the Russian conquest, they lived in perfect freedom, having no chief, being subject to no law, nor paying any taxes; [Page 282]the old men, or those who were remarkable for their bravery, bearing the principal authority in their villages, though none had right to com­mand or inflict punishment.

If any one kills another, he is to be killed by the relations of the person slain. They burn the hands of those who are frequently caught in theft; but, for the first offence, the thief must restore what he hath stolen, and live alone, in solitude, without expecting any assist­ance from others. They never have any disputes about their land or their huts, every one having land and water more than sufficient for his wants.

But in every Ostrog, or large village, now, by order of her Imperial Majesty, is appointed a chief, who is sole judge in all causes, except those of life and death.

They think themselves, however, the hap­piest people in the world, and look upon the Russians, who are settled among them, with contempt. But this notion begins to change; for the old people, who are confirmed in their customs, drop off, and the young ones, being converted to Christianity, adopt the customs of the Russians, and despise the barbarity and su­perstition of their ancestors.

Religion, &c.

THE Camchatcans, like other barbarous nations, have no notions of a Deity, but what are absurd, ri­diculous and shocking, to a humanised mind. They call their God Kutchu, but they pay him no religious worship; and the only use they make of his name is, to divert themselves with it: they relate such scandalous stories of him, as one would be ashamed to repeat. Amongst other things, they reproach him with having made so many steep hills, so many small and rapid rivers, so much rain, and so many storms; and, in all the troubles that happen to them, upbraid and blaspheme him. They, however, celebrate always three days in the month of November, hence called the Month of Purifica­tion, after their summer or harvest labour is over: they look upon it as a sin to do any work, or make any visits, before these holidays, the breach of which they never suffer to pass with­out expiation. From hence we may see, that the ancestors of these people were accustomed to offer up the first-fruits of their summer la­bours to God, and at the same time make merry with one another. Their ceremonies, in the [Page 284]celebration of their holidays, are extremely silly, and consist of many ridiculous antics.

They place a pillar upon a large, wide plain, which they bind round with rags. Whenever they pass this pillar, they throw a piece of fish or some other victuals to it; and near it they never gather any berries or kill any beasts or birds. This offering they think preserves their lives, which otherwise would be shortened: however, they offer nothing which can be of use to themselves, but only the fins and tails of fish, or such things as they would be obliged to throw away. In this all the people of Asia agree, offering only such things as are useless to themselves. Besides these pillars, several other places are reckoned sacred, such as burning and smoaking mountains, hot springs, and some particular woods, which they imagine are in­habited by devils. The world, they believe, is eternal, and the soul immortal, and that it shall be again joined to the body, and live eternally, subject to fatigues and troubles, as in this pre­sent life, with this difference only, that they shall have greater plenty of all the necessaries of life: even the very smallest animal they ima­gine will rise again and dwell under the earth. They think the earth is flat, and that under it [Page 285]there is a firmament like ours, and under that firmament another earth, in which when we have summer, they have winter, and when we have winter, they have summer. With regard to future rewards and punishments, they be­lieve that, in the other world, the rich will be poor, and the poor rich.

Their notions of vice and virtue are equally extravagant. They believe every thing lawful that procures them the satisfaction of their wishes and passions; and think that only to be sin, from which they apprehend danger or ruin; so that they neither reckon murder, self-murder, adultery, oppression, nor the like, any wicked­ness: on the contrary, they look upon it to be a mortal sin to save any one that is drowning; because, according to their notions, whoever saves him will be soon drowned himself. They account it, likewise, a sin to bathe in, or drink, hot water, or to go up to the burning moun­tains. They have, besides these, innumerable absurd customs, such as scraping the snow from their feet with a knife, or whetting their hatchets upon the road. This may, however, be said, that they are not the only people who have ri­diculous superstitions.

[Page 286]Besides the above-mentioned gods, they pay a religious regard to several animals, from which they apprehend danger. They offer fire at the holes of sables and foxes: when fishing, they intreat the whales or sea-horses not to overturn their boats; and in hunting, beseech the bears and wolves not to hurt them.

They fill almost every place in Heaven and earth with different spirits, and offer them sa­crifices upon every occasion. Some carry little idols about them, or have them placed in their dwellings; but with regard to God, they not only neglect to worship him, but, in case of troubles and misfortunes, they curse and blas­pheme him.

Every old woman is looked upon as a witch, and an interpreter of dreams, and there are per­sons who pretend to conjure. In their conjura­tions, they whisper upon the fins of fish and some other things; by which means they think they cure diseases, divert misfortunes, and fore­tel futurity. They are, in general, great ob­servers of dreams, which they relate to one an­other as soon as they awake in the morning, judging from thence of their future good or bad fortune; and some of these dreams have their interpretation fixed and settled. Besides this, [Page 287]they pretend to chiromancy, and to foretel a man's good or bad fortune, by the lines of his hand; but the rules which they follow are kept a great secret.

All this ignorance and superstition, however, will soon be rooted out from amongst them; chapels of worship being built in almost every village, and schools erected, to which the Cam­chatcans send their children with great plea­sure.

Courtships, Marriages, &c.

WHEN a Cam­chatcan resolves to marry, he looks about for a bride in some of the neighbouring villages, seldom in his own; and when he finds one to his mind, he disco­vers his inclination to the parents, desiring that he may have the liberty of serving them for some time: this permission he easily obtains, and, during his service, he shews an uncommon zeal to satisfy them in whatever he does. The time of his service expired, he desires liberty to seize his bride; and, if he has happened to please the parents, his bride, and her relations, his request is presently granted; but if they disap­prove of it, they dismiss him with some small reward for his services. It sometimes happens, [Page 288]that these bridegrooms, without discovering any thing of their intention, engage themselves in service in some distant village; and though every one suspects their design, yet no notice is taken of it till they declare it.

When a bridegroom obtains the liberty of seizing his bride, he seeks every opportunity of finding her alone, or in the company of but a few people; for, during this time, all the wo­men in the village are obliged to protect her: besides, she has two or three different coats, and is so swathed round with fish-nets and straps, that she has scarce more motion than a statue. If the bridegroom happens to find her alone, or with few in company, he throws himself upon her, and begins to tear off her cloaths; for to strip the bride naked, constitutes the ceremony of marriage. This is not always an easy task; for though she herself makes little resistance (and, indeed, she can make but little), yet, if there happen to be many women near, they all fall upon the bridegroom, without mercy beating and dragging him by the hair, scratch­ing his face, and using every other method they can think of to prevent him from accomplish­ing his design. If the bridegroom is so happy as to obtain his wish, he immediately runs from [Page 289]her, and the bride, as a proof of her being con­quered, calls him back, with a soft and tender voice, and thus the marriage is concluded. This victory is seldom obtained at once, but some times the contest lasts a whole year; and, after every attempt, the bridegroom is obliged to take some time to recover strength, and to cure the wounds he has received. There is an instance of one, who, after having persevered for seven years, instead of obtaining his bride, was ren­dered quite a cripple, the women having used him very barbarously.

As soon as the ceremony is over, he is at liberty next night to go to her bed, and, the day fol­lowing, carries her off to his own village. After some time, the bride and the bridegroom return to the bride's relations, where the marriage feast is celebrated in the following manner, of which the writer of this account was an eye witness, in 1739.

The bridegroom, his friends, and wife, visited the father-in-law in three boats. All the women were in the boats, and the men, being naked, pushed them along with poles. About one hun­dered paces from the village to which they were going, they landed, began to sing, and used conjurations with tow fastened upon a rod, mut­tering [Page 290]something over a dried fish's head, which they wrapped in the tow, and gave to an old woman to hold. The conjuration being over, they put upon the bride a coat of sheep's skin, and tied four images about her: thus loaded, she had some difficulty to move. They then re­turned to their boats and came up to the village, where they landed a second time; at this land­ing-place a boy of the village met them, and, taking the bride by the hand, led her along, all the women following.

When the bride came to the hut, they tied a strap round her, by which she was let down the stairs, the old woman who carried the fish's head going before her. This head she laid down at the foot of the stairs, where it was trodden upon by the bride and bridegroom and all the people present, and then thrown into the fire.

All the strangers took their places, having first stripped the bride of superfluous ornaments. The bridegroom heated the hut, and dressed the victuals which they had brought with them, and entertained the inhabitants of the village. The next day, the master of the hut entertained the strangers with great abundance, who on the third day departed; the bride and bridegroom only remained, to work some time with their [Page 291]father. The superfluous part of the bride's dress, which was taken from her, was distributed among the relations, who were obliged to return her presents of far greater value.

These ceremonies only relate to a first mar­riage; for in the marriage of a widow, the man and woman's agreement is sufficient; but he must not take her to himself before her fins are taken away. This can only be done by some stranger lying with her once; but as this taking off of sin was looked upon by the Camchatcans as very dishonourable for the man, it was for­merly difficult to find one to undertake it, so that the poor widows were at a great loss before the Russians came amongst them; since which they have been in no great want of strangers to take away their sins.

Marriage is forbidden only between father and daughter, mother and son; a son-in-law may marry his mother-in-law, and a father-in-law his daughter-in-law, and first cousins marry fre­quently. Their divorce is very easy, consisting only in a man's separating beds from his wife. In such cases, the man immediately marries again, and the woman accepts of another hus­band, without any further ceremony.

[Page 292]A Camchatcan hath two or three wives, with whom he sleeps by turns. Sometimes he keeps them all in one hut, and sometimes in different huts. With every maid that he marries, he is obliged to go through the above-mentioned cere­monies. Though these people are fond of wo­men, yet they are not so jealous as the Koreki. In their marriages they do not seem to regard the marks of virginity. Nor are the women more jealous; for two or three wives live with one husband in all harmony, even though he should also keep several concubines.

Birth of Children. &c.

IN general these people are not fruit­ful; for it does not appear that any one man has had ten children by the same woman. Their women, as they say, have commonly very easy births; for, in a quarter of an hour afterwards, they will appear abroad about their ordinary business, and without any change of countenance. They have no professed midwives, and for the most part, the mother or nearest relation per­forms the office.

Women who desire to have children, eat spiders for that purpose. To prevent conception, they use several herbs and different conjurations.[Page 293]Some of them are such unnatural wretches, as to destroy their children when they are born, or throw them alive to the dogs. When a woman bears twins, one of them at least must be de­stroyed, and so must a child born in very stormy weather, though the last can be avoided by some conjurations. After the birth, the women, to recover their strength, eat fish broth, made with an herb which they call hale; and in a few days return to their ordinary diet.

Diseases and Remedies.

THE principal di­seases in Camchatca are, the scurvy, boils, palsy, cancer, jaundice, and the venereal distemper. These diseases they think are inflicted upon them by the spirits that inhabit some particular groves, if ignorantly they happen to out down any of them. Their chief remedies consist in charms and conjura­tions, but at the same time they do not neglect the use of herbs and roots. For the scurvy they use a certain herb, which they rub upon their gums, as also the leaves of the cranberry and blackberry. The Russians cure themselves with decoctions of the tops of cedar, and by eating wild garlic.

[Page 294]Boils are a most dangerous disease in Cam­chatca, causing the death of numbers. The palsy, cancer, and French disease, are supposed to be incurable; the last, they say, was not heard of before the arrival of the Russians. There is likewise another distemper which they call the sushutch, which is a sort of scab that sur­rounds the whole body under the ribs like a gir­dle. When this does not come to suppurate and fall off, it is mortal; and, they say, every one must have this once in his life-time, as we have the small-pox.

When they are bitten by a dog or wolf, they lay the bruised leaves of the ulmaria upon the wound, drinking, at the same time, a decoction of them: this decoction they also administer in the belly-ach and scurvy. The leaves and stalks bruised they use in burns. The decoction of this herb, mixed with fish, they use also in the tooth-ach, holding it warm in their mouths, and laying a piece of the root upon the affected tooth. They use a species of gentian in the scurvy, and almost against every disorder.

In the jaundice they have a medicine which they consider as infallible. They take the roots of the iris sylvestris, and, after cleaning them, beat them in warm water, and use the juice, [Page 295]which they squeeze out, as a clyster, continuing it for two days, two or three times a day: this produces a purging, and generally gives great relief. After some time, if the cure is not com­pleted, they repeat it. They neither use lancets nor cupping-glasses, but, with a pair of wooden pincers, draw up the skin and pierce it with an instrument of crystal made on purpose, letting out as much blood as they want.

In pains of the back, they rub the part af­fected before the fire, with a root of the cicuta, being careful not to touch the loins, which they say would produce spasms. In pains of the joints, they place upon the part a little pyramid, made of a fungus which grows upon the birch­trees, and set the top of it on fire, letting it burn till it comes to the skin, which then cracks and leaves a wound that yields a great quantity of matter. This wound they cure with the ashes of the fungus, but give themselves no trouble at all about it. The root of the anemonides or ranunculus is made use of to hurt or poison their enemies; and they likewise poison their ar­rows with it.


INSTEAD of burying or laying the dead bodies in some hole, the Cam­chatcans [Page 296]bind a strap round the neck of the corpse, draw it out and leave it near the hut, to be devoured by their dogs; for those, say they, who are eaten by dogs, will drive with fine dogs in the other world; and, by leaving them near the hut, they suppose, that the evil spirits, whom they imagine to have been the occasion of their death, seeing the dead body, may be satisfied with the mischief they have done. However, they frequently remove to some other place, when any one has died in the hut, leaving the corpse behind them in it.

They throw away all the cloaths of the deceased, not because they imagine they shall have occa­sion for them in the other world, but because they believe that whoever wears the cloaths of one that is dead, will certainly come to an un­timely end.

After the burial of the dead, they use the fol­lowing purification: going to the wood, they cut some rods, of which they make a ring, and, creeping through it twice, they carry it to the wood, and throw it towards the west. Those who dragged out the body are obliged to catch two birds of one sort or other, one of which they burn, and eat the other with the whole fa­mily. The purification is performed on the same [Page 297]day; for, before this, they dare not enter any other hut, nor will any one else enter their's. In commemoration of the dead, the whole fa­mily dine upon a fish, the fins of which they burn in the fire.


THE Camchatcans have this particular custom, that they en­deavour to give every thing a name in their lan­guage which may express the property of it; but if they do not understand the thing quite well themselves, they then take a name from some foreign language, which perhaps has no relation to the thing itself: as, for example, they call a priest Bogbog, because probably they hear him use the word bogbog, God. Bread they call Brightatin Augsh, that is, Russian root; and thus the several other words to which their language is a stranger.

It appears likely, that the Camchatcans lived formerly in Mungalia, beyond the river Amur, and made one people with the Mun­gals, which is farther confirmed by the follow­ing observations: such as the Camchatcans having several words common to the Mungal Chinese language, as their terminations in ong, ing, oang, chin, cha, ching, ksi, ksung; it would [Page 298]be still a greater proof, if we could shew sc­veral words and sentences the same in both lan­guages.

Character, Customs, &c.

THE Camchat­cans are remark­able for their cowardice, boasting, and slavish­ness to people who use them hard, and for their obstinacy and contempt of those who treat them with gentleness.

They are also very far from being a cleanly people; their manner of living is slovenly to the last degree; they never wash their hands nor face, nor cut their nails; they eat out of the same dish with the dogs, which they never wash; they never comb their heads, but both men and women plait their hair in two locks, binding the ends with small ropes. When any hair starts out, they sew it with threads to make it lie close; by this means they have such a quantity of lice, that they can scrape them off by handfuls, and they are nasty enough even to eat them. Those that have not natural hair sufficient, wear false locks, sometimes as much as weigh ten pounds, which makes their heads look like a haycock.

[Page 299]They place their chief happiness in idleness, and satisfying their natural lust and appetites; which incline them to singing, dancing, and re­lating of love stories; and think it more eli­gible to die, than to lead a disagreeable life, which opinion frequently leads them to self­murder. This was so common after the con­quest, that the Russians had great difficulty to put a stop to it. They have no notion of riches, fame, or honour; therefore, covetousness, am­bition and pride are unknown among them. On the other hand, they are careless, cruel, and lustful: these vices occasion frequent quarrels and wars among them, sometimes with their neighbours, not from a desire of encreasing their power, but from some other causes; such as the carrying off their provisions, or rather their girls, which is frequently practised as the most summary method of procuring a wife.

When any man seeks the friendship of an­other, he invites him to his hut, and for his entertainment dresses as much of his best vic­tuals as might serve ten people. As soon as the stranger comes into the hut, which is made hot for his reception, both he and the host strip [Page 300]themselves naked; then great plenty of victuals is set before the guest; and, whilst he is eat­ing, the host throws water upon red-hot stones, until he makes the hut insupportably hot. The stranger endeavours all he can to bear this ex­cessive heat, and to eat up all the victuals, whilst the host is still endeavouring to oblige him to complain of the heat, and beg to be excused from eating all up. It is reckoned a dishonour to the host, and a mark of niggard­liness, if he should not be able to accomplish this. He himself eats nothing during the whole time, and is allowed to go out of the hut, but the stranger is not suffered to stir, un­til he acknowledges himself overcome. At these feasts, they over eat themselves to such a degree, that for three days they cannot bear the sight of victuals, and are scarce able to move.

When the stranger is gorged, and can no longer endure the heat, he purchases his dis­mission with presents of dogs, cloaths, or what­ever else is agreeable to his host. This, how­ever, is no injury, but a proof of friendship; for he expects, in turn, to use his friend in the same manner.

[Page 301]In their banquets, they treat their friends much in the same way, except that they do not torment them with heat, nor expect any presents. When they entertain with the fat of seals or whales, they cut it out in slices; and the host, kneeling before his company, with one of these slices in one hand, and a knife in the other, thrusts the fat into their mouths, crying, in a surly tone, Ta na, and with his knife cuts off all that hangs out of their mouths, after they are crammed as full as they can hold. Who­ever wants any thing from another, may gene­rally obtain it upon these occasions; for it is reckoned dishonourable for the guest to refuse his generous host any thing.

It is very diverting to see them attempt to count above ten; for, having reckoned the fin­gers of both hands, they clasp them together, which signifies ten; then they begin with their toes and count to twenty; after which they are quite confounded, and cry Metcha? that is, 'Where shall I take more?' They reckon ten months in the year, some of which are longer and some shorter; for they do not divide them by the changes of the moon, but by the order of particular occurrences that happen in those regions: they commonly divide our year into [Page 302]two, so that winter is one year and summer an­other: the summer year begins in May, the win­ter in November.

They do not distinguish the days by any par­ticular appellation, nor form them into weeks or months, nor yet know how many days are in the month or year. They mark their epochs by some remarkable thing or other, such as the Arrival of the Russians, the Great Rebellion, or the First Expedition to Camchatca.

They are ignorant of the causes of eclipses, but when they happen, they carry fire out of their huts, and pray the luminary eclipsed to shine as formerly. They know only three con­stellations, the Great Bear, the Pleiades, and the three stars in Orion; and give names only to the principal winds.

Such was the general state of these people, when the Russians first came among them; but now, by the care of the Empress Elizabeth, missionaries are appointed to civilize them, and teach them the Christian faith. In 1741, a clergyman was sent by the synod, with assistants, and every thing necessary for the purpose, and for building a church, which has been attended with such success, that many of them are bap­tised, and all, as was said before, send their [Page 303]children very readily to the schools opened in many places for their instruction; so that in a few years, we may hope to see the Christian faith planted in all these northern countries.


  • AMBRYM ISLE, Page 139
  • APEE, ibid
  • AURORA, 138
  • CAMCHATCA, 252
    • Face of the Country, 253
    • Productions, ibid
    • Inhabitants, 255
    • Dress, 256
    • Food, 259
    • Habitations, 262
    • Furniture, Utensils, &c. 265
    • Boats, 267
    • Employments, &c. 268
    • Method of Travelling, &c. 272
    • [Page] Manner of War, 276
    • Trade, 281
    • Government, Laws, &c. ibid
    • Religion, &c. 283
    • Courtship, Marriages, &c. 287
    • Birth of Children, &c. 292
    • Diseases and Remedies, 293
    • Burials, 295
    • Language, 297
    • Character, Customs, &c. 298
  • COCOS, 115
  • EGMONT'S ISLE, 160
    • Productions, 164
    • Persons and Dress, 165
    • Habitations, 166
    • Food, 167
    • Amusements, ibid
    • Manufactures, 168
    • Arms, ibid
    • Canoes, ibid
    • Character, 169
    • Volcano, ibid
  • ERROMANGO, 140
  • MALLICOLO, 129
    • Productions, ibid
    • Climate, 130
    • Persons and Dress, ibid
    • Weapons, 132
    • Language, 133
    • Habitations, ibid
    • Canoes, ibid
    • Amusements, 134
    • Customs and Characters, ibid
  • [Page] MIDDLEBURG, 94
    • Face of the Country, 95
    • Persons, 96
    • Dress, 97
    • Habitations, 98
    • Language, 99
    • Animals, ibid
    • Manufactures, &c. 100
    • Arms, 101
    • Boats, ibid
    • Amusements, &c. 103
    • Diseases, 104
    • Religion, ibid
    • Government, 106
    • Customs, ibid
    • General Character, 107
    • Face of the Country, &c. ibid
    • Animals, 174
    • Inhabitants, ibid
    • Dress, 176
    • Habitations, 177
    • Utensils, 178
    • Food, 179
    • Tools, ibid
    • Arms, 180
    • Canoes, 181
    • Religion and Government, 182
    • [Page] Language, 183
    • Character, &c. 184
  • NEW HOLLAND, 233
    • Face of the Country, ibid
    • Productions, 234
    • Animals, 236
    • Inhabitants, 241
    • Habitations, 243
    • Food, 245
    • Arms, 246
    • Canoes, 248
    • Tools, ibid
    • Language, 249
    • Character, 250
  • NEW ZEALAND, 186
    • Face of the Country, 187
    • Climate, 188
    • Productions, 189
    • Animals, 192
    • Inhabitants, 196
    • Persons, ibid
    • Dress, 198
    • Food, 201
    • Habitations, 202
    • Furniture, &c. 204
    • Amusements, ibid
    • Manufactures, 206
    • Tools, 208
    • Arms, &c. 209
    • [Page] Canoes, 212
    • Language, 214
    • Religion, &c. 215
    • Government, 216
    • Customs, 217
    • Character, 218
  • O-RAIETEA, 64
    • Face of the Country, 4
    • Productions, 6
    • Animals, 9
    • Climate, ibid
    • Persons, 10
    • Dress, 12
    • Food, 15
    • Habitations, 18
    • Amusements, 20
    • Manufactures, 23
    • Tools, 24
    • Boats, 25
    • Division of Time, &c. 28
    • Language, ibid
    • Diseases, 29
    • Disposal of the Dead, 30
    • Religion, 34
    • Government, 38
    • Character and Customs, 44
  • ROTTERDAM, 108
  • ST. PEDRO, 83
    • Productions, 84
    • Inhabitants, 85
    • Dress, 86
    • Food, 87
    • Habitations, 88
    • Arms, 90
    • Canoes, ibid
    • Government and Character, 91
  • TANNA, 141
    • Face of the Country, 142
    • Productions, 144
    • Animals, ibid
    • Persons, 145
    • Dress, 146
    • [Page] Food, 149
    • Language, 150
    • Habitations, ibid
    • Utensils, &c. 151
    • Amusements, 152
    • Religion, 152
    • Government, 153
    • Arms, ibid
    • Canoes, 155
    • Customs, &c. 156
    • Characters, &c. 157
  • ULIETEA, 64

Published by R. BALDWIN, THE PHYSICAL FRIEND; POINTING OUT THE SYMPTOMS Of every DISTEMPER incident to MAN; With those in every STAGE of the DISEASE, and what they foretell.


By which the sick Person, referring to any one that attacks him, may find out his Disorder, and his real Situation.

By an occasional Recourse to this Book, many a tor­menting and expensive Sickness may be prevented, and many a Life be saved; for even fatal Disorders are, at first, but slight Indispositions; of course the sick Person, not aware of his Danger, has too often delayed seeking for a Remedy, till the Distemper has gained too much Ground to be easily overcome, and perhaps has destroyed him, when, by opposing it in Time, he might readily have recovered.

In this Work, Physical Terms are purposely avoided, that it may be understood by every Reader; being calculated to shew the Danger of particular Diseases in their first Attack; in what Cases it is necessary to call in Advice, and in certain Situations what Hopes there are of Recovery.

Carefully collected from the best Medical Authors, and systematically arranged, with the Authorities.

By J. A. M.D. and F.R.S.

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