A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 eBook

Augustus Earle
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 197 pages of information about A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827.

I was much surprised on rising one morning to see Kiney Kiney, with several chiefs of the highest rank, stripped, and performing the offices of the meanest slave (the washing the feet of the pilgrims by cardinals and persons of rank in Rome came instantly to my remembrance).  These chiefs were making a fire and cooking.  I was still more astonished, on approaching them, to find the nature of the food they were singeing and scraping.  This bow-wow meat they were preparing after the fashion of pork:  pigs being the only quadruped they have ever seen cooked, they of course are not acquainted with any other way of dressing the animal creation, and a sad bungling job they made of it; for the dogs were old and tough, and the hair adhered most pertinaciously to the skin, and in many places would not come off.

There were only five persons allowed to partake of this delicious meal, which was, as well as the five partakers, strictly taboo’d for the whole of that day:  and we strongly recommended them to hold a similar feast every day, until they had cleared the country of these canine nuisances, the dogs being the greatest pests they have.



One morning I was roused out of a sound sleep by continued discharges of musketry from a number of war canoes.  I jumped up instantly in alarm; but I soon discovered them to be Atoi and his party, who had been absent about two months on a war-like expedition to the Thames, and they were now returning successful.

I had witnessed the departure of this expedition, and considered it in the light of a reconnoitring party.  I could not make out what the real object was they had been in search of; but, wherever they had been, they had been victorious, for they now returned with quantities of plunder, human heads, human flesh, and many prisoners!  After the dance and sham fight had been duly gone through, they proceeded to land their cargo of spoil.  First came a group of miserable creatures, women and children, torn by violence from their native homes, henceforth to be the slaves of their conquerors; some were miserably wounded and lacerated, others looked half-starved, but all seemed wretched and dejected.

The women of Kororarika, with their usual humanity, instantly surrounded them, and endeavoured to console them, and then shed abundance of tears over them.  I enquired of one of the warriors what they had done with the male prisoners:  he coolly replied, they had all been eaten, except some “titbits,” which had been packed up in the baskets and brought on shore, in order to regale particular friends and favourites!

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A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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