The Situation of the Islands now discovered.—Their
Names.—Called the Sandwich Islands.—Atooi
Animals.—Persons of the Inhabitants.—Their
shy;Habitations.—Food.—Cookery.— Amusements.—Manufactures.—Working-tools.—Knowledge of Iron accounted for.—Canoes.—Agriculture.—Account of one of their Chiefs.—Weapons.—Customs agreeing with those of Tongataboo and Otaheite.—Their Language the same.—Extent of this Nation throughout the Pacific Ocean.—Reflections on the useful Situation of the Sandwich Islands.
It is worthy of observation, that the islands in the Pacific Ocean, which our late voyages have added to the geography of the globe, have been generally found lying in groups or clusters; the single intermediate islands, as yet discovered, being few in proportion to the others; though, probably, there are many more of them still unknown, which serve as steps between the several clusters. Of what number this newly-discovered Archipelago consists, must be left for future investigation. We saw five of them, whose names, as given to us by the natives, are Woahoo, Atooi, Oneeheow, Orrehoua, and Tahoora. The last is a small elevated island, lying four or five leagues from the S.E. point of Oneeheow, in the direction of S., 69 deg. W. We were told, that it abounds with birds, which are its only inhabitants. We also got some information of the existence of a low uninhabited island in the neighbourhood, whose name is Tammata pappa. Besides these six, which we can distinguish by their names, it appeared, that the inhabitants of those with whom we had intercourse, were acquainted with some other islands both to the eastward and westward. I named the whole group the Sandwich Islands, in honour of the Earl of Sandwich. Those that I saw, are situated between the latitude of 21 deg. 30’, and 22 deg. 15’ N., and between the longitude of 199 deg. 20’, and 201 deg. 30’ E.
Of Woahoo, the most easterly of these islands, seen by us, which lies in the latitude of 21 deg. 36’, we could get no other intelligence, but that it is high land, and is inhabited.
We had opportunities of knowing some particulars about Oneeheow, which have been mentioned already. It lies seven leagues to the westward of our anchoring-place at Atooi; and is not above fifteen leagues in circuit. Its chief vegetable produce is yams, if we may judge from what was brought to us by the natives. They have salt, which they call patai, and is produced in salt ponds. With it they cure both fish and pork; and some salt fish, which we got from them, kept very well, and were found to be very good. This island is mostly low land, except the part facing Atooi, which rises directly from the sea to a good height; as does also the S.E. point of it, which terminates in a round hill. It was on the west side of this point where our ships anchored.