Main content area

Endeavour journal, 27 June 1769 (Series 03.305)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Otahite'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 27 June 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 27. At day break we turnd out to see a little of the countrey about us which we did not arrive at last night till dark. We found the traces of Canoes having been hauld inland and the people told us that the Island was in this place very narrow and that they draggd their canoes quite across cheifly over soft boggs. - We now prepard to set out for the other Kingdom for so we are told it is, Calld Tiarreboo and governd by Waheatua, as ours is called Oboreonoo and governd by Dootahah. Tituboalo is in better spirits now than yesterday, they will not kill us he says but they have got no meat. Indeed we had not since we came out seen a bit of breadfruit; we thought that we might have exhausted it in this part of the Island but hop'd to find plenty in the other, the people of which if enemies had certainly not traded with us. After a few miles rowing we landed in a District calld Annuúhé, the Name of the chief of which was Maraitátá (the burying place of men) and his father Pahairedo (the stealer of boats) names which did not a little confirm Tituboalos relation. These gentlemen however notwithstanding their terrible titles receivd us with all manner of civility, gave us provisions and after some delay sold us a very large hog for a hatchet. We saw among the crowd only two people whose faces we knew and not one bead or ornament which came out of our ship, tho there were several European ones; in one of the houses lay 2 12 pound shot one of which was markd with the English broad arrow, these they said had been given them by Toottero the Spanish commander. - We now walkd forward on foot till we came to the district which particularly belonged to Waheatua, it was situate on the westernmost point of the large bay before mentiond, a large and most fertile flat. On it was a river so large that we were obligd to ferry over in a canoe and our Indian train to swim, which they did with as much facility as a pack of hounds taking the water much in the same manner. Here were no houses but ruind remains of very large ones. We proceeded along shore and found at last Waheatua setting near some pretty Canoe awnings which seemd to be intended to furnish him with lodgins, he was a thin old man with very white hair and beard; with him was a well looking woman of about 25 year old whose name was Toudidde, we had heard her name mentiond very often and by what the people told she was a woman of much consequence in this part of the Island, answering in some measure to what Oborea is in the other. From this place Tearre son to Waheatua acompanied us after having sold us a hog. The countrey we went through was more cultivated than any thing we have seen in the Island; the brooks were every where bankd into narrow channels with stone and the very sea was confind by a wall of stone also. The houses were not very large or very numerous but the large canoes which were hauld up every where along shore almost innumerable; they were of a different built from those which we have seen at Oboreonoo, longer and their heads and sterns higher. Upon these were kind of crotches which we suppos'd were to support large images many of which we saw hanging up in their houses; their awnings also were supported on pillars. At almost every point was a morai or burying place and many within land. They were like those of Oboreonoo raisd into the form of the roof of a house, but these were cleaner and better kept and also ornamented with many carvd boards set upright, on the tops of which were various figures of birds and men; on one particularly a figure of a cock painted red and yellow in imitation of the feathers of that bird. In some of them were figures of men standing on each others heads which they told me was the particular ornament of Burying grounds. - But fertile as this countrey was we did no[t] get or even see a single breadfruit, the trees were intirely bared, the people seemd to live intirely on Ahee Fagifera which were plentifull here.

After tiring ourselves with walking we calld up the boat but both our Indians were missing, they had it seems staid behind at Waheatuas, depending upon a promise we had made to the old man of returning and sleeping with him (a promise we were often forcd to make without any intention of performing it). Tearee and another went with us. We rowd till we came abreast a small Island calld Tuarrite when it became dark and our Indians piloted us ashore to a place where they said that we might sleep; it was a deserted house and near it was a very snug cove for the boat to lay, so we wanted nothing but Victuals of which article we had met with very little since morning. I went into the woods, it was quite dark so that neither people nor victuals could I find except one house where I was furnishd with fire, a breadfruit and a half and a few ahees, with which and a duck or 2 and a few curlews we were forcd to go to sleep, which I did in the awning of a Canoe that followd us belonging to Tearee.