The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765.

On the 26th the weather was good, the wind N.N.W., course held S.E. by E. along the land in 5 fathom.  In the forenoon 4 small canoes put off from the land and followed us; we waited for them to come alongside, and found they were manned with 25 blacks, who had nothing with them except their arms; they called out and made signs for us to come ashore; we then threw out to them some small pieces of iron and strings of beads, at which they showed great satisfaction; they paid little or no attention to the gold, silver, copper, nutmegs and cloves which we showed them, though they were quite ready to accept these articles as presents.  Their canoes are very skilfully made out of one piece of wood, some of them being so large that they will hold 20 and even more blacks.  Their paddles are long, and they use them standing or sitting; the men are black, tall and well-built, with coarse and strong limbs, and curly hair, like the Caffres, some of them wearing it tied to the neck in a knot, and others letting it fall loose down to the waist.  They have hardly any beards; some of them have two, others three holes through the nose, in which they wear fangs or teeth of hogs or sword-fishes.  They are stark-naked and have their privities enclosed in a conch shell, fastened to the waist with a bit of string; they wear no rings of gold, silver, copper, tin, or iron on their persons, but adorn themselves with rings made of tortoise shell or terturago (Spanish tortuga?), from which it may be inferred that their land yields no metals or wood of any value, but is all low-lying and half-submerged, as we have actually found it to be; there were also among them some not provided with paddles, but wearing two strings of human teeth round their necks, and excelling all the others in ugliness; these men carried on the left arm a hammer with a wooden handle and at one end a black conch-shell, the size of a man’s fist, the other end by which they hold it, being fitted with a three-sided bone, not unlike a piece of stag’s horn; in exchange for one of these hammers they were offered a rug, some strings of {Page 33} beads and bits of iron, which they refused, though they were willing to barter the same for one of the boys, whom they seemed to have a great mind to.  Those who carry the hammers aforesaid would seem to be noblemen or valiant soldiers among them.  The people are cunning and suspicious, and no stratagems on our part availed to draw them near enough to us to enable us to catch one or two with nooses which we had prepared for the purpose; their canoes also contained a number of human thigh-bones, which they repeatedly held up to us, but we were unable to make out what they meant by this.  Finally they asked for a rope to tow the yacht to shore, but soon got tired of the work, and paddled back to the land in a great hurry.

In the evening we cast anchor in three fathom about 3 miles from the land, having sailed 13 miles this day.

In the morning of the 27th the wind was W.N.W. with a stiff breeze, course held S.E. by S. and S.E., on which we sailed 7 miles, and afterwards E.S.E. 5 miles, in 51/2, 5 and 3 fathom; in the evening we came to anchor in 61/2 fathom, 31/2 miles from the land; a quarter of a mile farther to landward we saw a sandbank, on which the Aernem struck but got off again, for which God be praised.

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The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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