A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15.

[Footnote 161:  In a former note, it was observed, that the songs and dances of the Caroline Islanders, in the North Pacific, bear a great resemblance to those of the inhabitants of Wateeoo.  The remark may be now extended to those of the Friendly Islanders, described at large in this chapter.  That the reader may judge for himself, I have selected the following particulars from Father Cantova’s account.  “Pendant la nuit, au clair de la lune, ils s’assemblent, de temps en temps, pour chanter & danser devant la maison de leur Tumole.  Leurs danses se font au son de la voix, car ils n’ont point d’instrument de musique.  La beaute de la danse, consiste dans l’exacte uniformite des mouvemens du corps.  Les hommes, separes des femmes, se postent vis-a-vis les uns des autres; apres quoi, ils remuent la tete, les bras, les mains, les pieds, en cadence.  Leur tete est couverte de plumes, on de fleurs;—­et l’on voit, attachees a leurs oreilles, des feuilles de palmier tissues avec assez d’art—­Les femmes, de leur cote,—­se regardant les unes les autres, commencent un chant pathetique & langoureux, accompagnant le son de leur voix du mouvement cadence de la tete & des bras.”—­Lettres Edifiantes & Curiesues, tom. xv. p. 314, 315.—­D.]

The place where the dances were performed was an open space amongst the trees, just by the sea, with lights, at small intervals, placed round the inside of the circle.  The concourse of people was pretty large, though not equal to the number assembled in the forenoon, when the marines exercised.  At that time, some of our gentlemen guessed there might be present about five thousand persons; others thought there were more; but they who reckoned that there were fewer, probably, came nearer the truth.


Description of Lefooga.—­Its cultivated State.—­Its Extent.—­Transactions there.—­A female Oculist.—­Singular Expedients for shaving off the Hair.—­The Ships change their Station.—­A remarkable Mount and Stone.—­Inscription of Hoolaiva.—­Account of Poulaho, King of the friendly Islands.—­Respectful Manner in which he is treated by his People.—­Departure from the Hapaee Islands.—­Some Account of Kotoo.—­Return of the Ships to Annamooka.—­Poulaho and Feenou meet.—­Arrival at Tongataboo.

Curiosity on both sides being now sufficiently gratified by the exhibition of the various entertainments I have described, I began to have time to look about me.  Accordingly, next day (May 21) I took a walk into the island of Lefooga, of which I was desirous to obtain some knowledge.  I found it to be, in several respects, superior to Annamooka.  The plantations were both more numerous and more extensive.  In many places, indeed, toward the sea, especially on the east side, the country is still waste, owing perhaps to the sandy soil, as it is much lower than Annamooka, and its surrounding isles.  But toward the middle of the island the soil is better; and the

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