A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 658 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.
cocoa-nuts, and bread-fruit; and this part of the ceremony was concluded by the king’s exchanging names with Captain Cook, which, amongst all the islanders of the Pacific Ocean, is esteemed the strongest pledge of friendship.  A procession of priests, with a venerable old personage at their head, now appeared, followed by a long train, of men leading large hogs, and others carrying plantains, sweet potatoes, &c.  By the looks and gestures of Kaireekeea, I immediately knew the old man to be the chief of the priests before mentioned, on whose bounty we had so long subsisted.  He had a piece of red cloth in his hands, which he wrapped round Captain Cook’s shoulders, and afterwards presented him with a small pig in the usual form.  A seat was then made for him, next to the king, after which, Kaireekeea and his followers began their ceremonies, Kaoo and the chiefs joining in the responses.

I was surprised to see, in the person of this king, the same infirm and emaciated old man, that came on board the Resolution when we were off the north-east side of the island of Mowee; and we soon discovered amongst his attendants, most of the persons who at that time had remained with us all night.  Of this number were the two younger sons of the king, the eldest of whom was sixteen years of age, and his nephew Maiha-Maiha, whom at first we had some difficulty in recollecting, his hair being plastered over with a dirty brown paste and powder, which was no mean heightening to the most savage face I ever beheld.

As soon as the formalities of the meeting were over.  Captain Cook carried Terreeoboo, and as many chiefs as the pinnace could hold, on board the Resolution.  They were received with every mark of respect that could be shewn them; and Captain Cook, in return for the feathered cloak, put a linen shirt on the king, and girt his own hanger round him.  The ancient Kaoo, and about half a dozen old chiefs, remained on shore, and took up their abode at the priests’ houses.  During all this time, not a canoe was seen in the bay, and the natives either kept within their huts, or lay prostrate on the ground.  Before the king left the Resolution, Captain Cook obtained leave for the natives to come and trade with the ships as usual; but the women, for what reason we could not learn, still continued under the effects of the taboo; that is, were forbidden to stir from home, or to have any communication with us.

SECTION II.

Farther Account of Transactions with the Natives.—­Their Hospitality.—­Propensity to Theft.—­Description of a Boxing Match.—­Death of one of our Seamen.—­Behaviour of the Priests at his funeral.—­The Wood Work and Images on the Morai purchased.—­The Natives inquisitive about our Departure.—­Their Opinion about the Design of our Voyage.—­Magnificent Presents of Terreeoboo to Captain Cook.—­The Ships leave the Island.—­The Resolution damaged in a Gale, and obliged to return.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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