Light Winds and open cloudy Weather. Wind Westerly Thermometer 80½° to 83½°.
Employed watering the Ship. Sailmakers repairing the awnings. Cooper Casks and the Armourer at the Forge.
Several Cannoes arrived at Matavai from Tetturoah. In these were a large tribe of the Erreeoys, and among them Huheine Moyere the wife of Oreepyah, who remained there after her husband left it. It is customary on these occasions for a ceremony to be performed called Hooipippee, which seems to be cheifly designed as a publick visit to all their friends at once, who are collected on the occasion, and I beleive it is confined to the Erreeoys.
Huheine Moyere is an Erreeoy woman, she had two women to attend her, who with Six Men made the principal part of the Group. The Women were dressed in a kind of short petticoat and a large quantity of very fine cloth rolled round the Waist up to the arms. The Men had only mavios with long peices of Varigated cloth hanging from them which nearly reached the ground, and in their hands a plantain leaf. Their faces and parts of their body were smeared with the beautiful red colour called matte, but it is so carelessly laid on, as would lead one at first to imagine they were wounded in many places, and that the blood was issuing fresh from them.
They proceeded by pairs where I was by appointment with Iddeeah to receive them. Here walking with great pride and ostentation a few times before the House, I was presented with two peices of white Cloth, and they proceeded on to Oreepyahs. On their return they again stopt at my Post and the Women began to undress, which before they could cleverly accomplish, the Erreeoys who were not of the procession, which were a great many, began to plunder according to their accustomed right, so that all the cloth was soon divided among them.
Three large peices of Cloth with a large baked Hog and much Breadfruit were now brought to me from Iddeeah, who told me I must give that as my present, the cloth to Huheine Moyere and the Hog to the Erreeoys, and each of us carrying the Cloth and her Servants the Hog and Breadfruit, I presented them to the parties as she directed me, amidst a great croud shouting and bellowing applause.
As a number of the people were here belonging to different districts, Iddeeah gave me dressed Hogs &c. to present to them also; but this was done in honor of the principal cheifs of the places they belonged to, none of them being here.
Soon after all these ceremonies had past, a Present from the Principal People was made to Otoo. It consisted of five Hogs and forty eight Basketts holding Cocoanutts, Breadfruit, Tarro and different kinds of Puddings. The Baskets were hung with cloth variously Stained with Red. Twenty four men carried them on Poles across their Shoulders, so that each man had two Baskets. It was first received by Iddeeah, Tynah being absent, and from thence it was sent to Otoo the Erreerahigh, without any other ceremony.
I do not often speak of Otoo, for his being a Child and kept out of our way we have of course no intercouse with him. I however see him perhaps once a Week and the other children, but we never come nearer each other than 30 or 50 yards. At those times I carry them some little presents and by this means they are always rejoiced to see me. The River seperates their dwelling from the part we are at, and it would be considered as a great violation were we to cross it near their dwelling. There are two Brothers and two Sisters but they do not eat or sleep under the same Roof. On that account the Girls have a House about ¼ of a mile from their Brothers. Each of them are situated on the side of a pretty River which has its source out of a Rock on the side of the Hill near Otoo's House. The Parents keep every night at the Girls House, but are mostly absent from them in the day. The Childrens names are Otoo about 6 years old, Terreenah oroah about 4, Terreetapanooai a Boy between 2 and 3 years old, and an Infant Girl about a twelve month Tahamydooah. There was a child before Otoo but it was killed as soon as the mother was delivered of it, Tynah at that time being an Erreeoy.
As the Men and Women do not eat together, the Houses of the Women are called Farrenoah, and when the Women eat any thing on board they are always out of sight of their own people. Not one of them will even eat in my presence except Iddeeah, because they say I am Erree of Oparre. As I often laugh at them for this Strange peculiarity, some of them told me with a great deal of humour that when I came again I must bring a Pyhee noah, that then if I chose to be in it myself I should have plenty of women who would eat and drink as we did.
I have now only to remark that the Island of Tetturoah, which may be compared to our watering Places in England, produces a most wonderfull effect upon these people. Many who went there covered with a great scurf all over their Bodies from the use of the Ava, returned now very fat and fair and not like the same People. Their principall food is Fish and Cocoanutts, and having in great abundance with a natural liking for it, they all fatten like Cattle sent to a Pasture, the Women particularly.
This Island is solely the property of the Otoo Family, it is nevertheless common to all the North side of Otaheite. It produces no Bread fruit and but few Plantains. Ava also is not to be got, all these things therefore are sent over in Cannoes but the Ava very Sparingly, it is on that account not much in use, and they are all the better for it.
I began observations again to day for the Rate of my Time Keeper and got some Lunar Observations in the Night.