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Endeavour journal, 21 June 1769 (Series 03.299)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Otahite'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 21 June 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 21. This Morning came Oámo, a cheif we had not before seen; with him came a boy and a young woman to whoom all the people present shewd a most uncommon respect, every one taking their garments from their shoulders and wrapping them round their breasts. We were upon this very desirous of shewing them all the respect we could as well as learning who they were: we could not however prevail upon the woman to come into the tents tho she seemd very desirous of it, the people all joind in preventing her by their advice at some times almost using force; the boy was in the same manner kept without. Dr Solander met him by accident close by the gate and laying hold of his hand he followd him in before the people were aware; those in the tents however very soon sent him out again.

Upon inquiry we find that this boy is son to Oamo and Oborea who are husband and wife, but have long ago been parted by a mutual consent which gives both leave to enjoy the pleasures of this life without controul from their former engagements. The girl about 16 is intended for his wife but he being not more than 8 years old they have not yet cohabited together.