After leaving Towha, we proceeded to Oparre, where Otoo pressed us to spend the night. We landed in the evening; and, on our road to his house, had an opportunity of observing in what manner these people amuse themselves in their private heevas. About an hundred of them were found sitting in a house; and in the midst of them were two women, with an old man behind each of them beating very gently upon a drum; and the women at intervals singing in a softer manner than I ever heard at their other diversions. The assembly listened with great attention; and were seemingly almost absorbed in the pleasure the music gave them; for few took any notice of us, and the performers never once stopped. It was almost dark before we reached Otoo’s house, where we were entertained with one of their public heevas, or plays, in which his three sisters appeared as the principal characters. This was what they call a heeva raae, which is of such a nature, that nobody is to enter the house or area where it is exhibited. When the royal sisters are the performers, this is always the case. Their dress, on this occasion, was truly picturesque and elegant; and they acquitted themselves, in their parts, in a very distinguished manner; though some comic interludes, performed by four men seemed to yield greater pleasure to the audience, which was numerous. The next morning we proceeded to Matavai, leaving Otoo at Oparre; but his mother, sisters, and several other women attended me on board, and Otoo himself followed soon after.
While Otoo and I were absent from the ships, they had been but sparingly supplied with fruit, and had few visitors. After our return, we again overflowed with provisions and with company.