Their Buildings are principally the Morais or Places of Worship, which have been discribed by Captain Cook and some of them are amazing large piles of stone that must remain as Monuments of their Ingenuity for ages; they are regularly and exactly built without tools, or Cement, and can receive No damage but from time. Of these evry family of note have one of proportionable size to the Wealth of the Owner and In them as beforesaid they perform their relegious rites with becoming decency and awful Reverence.
Their Houses are Neat Thatches Made of the Palm leaves and Supported on posts and are of Different sizes according to the owners abilitys; the Dwelling houses are Mostly raild round with Wattles, and in bad weather they screen them in with Cocoa Nut leaves wove into a kind of Matting which they remove in fine Weather. They are exactly Calculated for the Climate and want no other fence but to keep the hogs out—the common size is from 30 to 40 feet long' 18 or 20 High and about the same broad of these 2010-03-20ly has two, one for the Males and the other for the Females, & some have their Hogstyes in the Midle—they are generally of an Oval form, and the Eaves come within 9 feet of the Ground Which is always raised somthing from the level to keep the floor Dry, the Floor is always laid with Grass or Hay to a good thickness, on which some of the family sleep on Mats, others who take the trouble, have bedsteads raised with little Stools Neatly Carved out of the Solid for Pillows and sleep on Cloth, & Matts. Their Furniture Consists of a large Chest or two to hold their property in, and on one of these the Master of the House and his Wife Sleep on Cloth and Matts, and those who have not stools for Pillows use the seats of the Canoes—one or two large Stools for the accomodation of their Guests, stools for Beating Pudding on, with a stone or two Neatly Cut for a Pestle, Platters and trays of different sizes, baskets of several sorts & a post or two to hang their provisions on. The unmarried Weomen generally Sleep Near the Parents and the Unmarried Men and Servants generally sleep in the Weomens eating house, but in fine weather they prefer the Open Air, as the Grass with which the floors are Covered, if not frequently removed, produced abundance of Fleas for which reason they sleep out of Doors to avoid these disagreeable companions—they always divest themselves of their Wearing apperal when they sleep but most of the Young Men and Servants make their wearing apperal serve for Bedding also, as they seldom take the pains of keeping too many Cloaths at one time, except an extra suit for Dress, which they do not Wear in Common; this way of Proceeding has its Conveniency as they have always their Bedding with them, and have nothing to take Care of—they Have also small houses for Kitchins, as they never dress provisions in the House they eat in, the smoke being not only disagreeable to them, but Spoils their Cloths.
The Houses of the Chiefs are not remarkable for being better furnished then those of the Common people tho they are somthing larger; and like the Houses for the reception of Travelers are generally Open on all sides, having a low fence of Plank forming a square about them, and the part within the fence either spread with small pebbles or laid with Grass—but if they intend to reside long in one house or place, they have a Neat small house raild in for their use, but they frequently sleep in poor mean huts and eat in the Open Air, hanging their provisions to a Tree.
Their Canoes may be also Comprehended in the article of Building and those for War are Certainly curious machines when We consider the tools with which they are Constructed—Which before they had Iron introduced amongst [them] (and of which they have now but small quantitys) Consisted of No other then Stone Adzes of different sizes, leg or Arm bones of Men for Augur, Chisel & Gouge, Coral and Sand to smooth with and Skins of Fish to polish; and where Fire Could be of any Use in burning off the rough it was also Used but now they that have Axes for the rough work and small hatchets, which they convert into Adzes by lashing them to handles, make quicker work; they have also a number of saws but Can make no Use of them, and Nails of different sorts makes Gimblets, Chissels &c. and are even Converted into small adzes for Carving with, the Adze being their principal tool at all kinds of work.
Some Stone tools nearly of the Same Construction are in use among the Natives of New Holland and it is not Improbable that these were the original and only tools in Use among other Nations before the use of Iron was known.
The length and Size of the War Canoes having been before described I shall proceed to describe their Construction and equipment.
Each Canoe (of which there are always two lashd together) is at her Greatest breadth about 4 feet wide and 6 feet deep and the whole length from 60 to ninety feet. The bottom is sharp and projects in a straight line to the wale where the extream breadth is where the round is sudden turning into the side which rises about 14 or 16 inches of one Plank in an upright Manner, which makes the Midship Frame form the figure of a Spade—the Mark on Cards known by that Name.
They are built of several streaks securely lashd together with platted Cocoa nut fibers, the Keel pieces forming the two lower streaks, on which another is raised and on it another which is mostly the Wale, which falling as suden as the quarter of a Circle the Side is raised on its inner edge; each streak consists of Several pieces of 3 or 4 inch Plank well lashd together, and the Keel is generally Composed of two or three lengths; inside they have three or four timbers of the Natural Growth to answer for Floors & timbers, or rather knees which are firmly lashd to each side as high as the wale—the proa or bow projects with a great rake forward, having no Stem, and is Closed in with round pieces on the top and the top side is Closed in with a square piece answering to the side, like the end of a Chest, and in the same manner abaft where the stern rises suddenly from a full buttock; and being Closed in on the Uper part, forms a spire or Cone regularly taperd to a point, and becoming nearly round as it rises. On the Bow and top of the Stern are rude figures of Man for ornament the height of the bow, being somthing more then the level of the top of the Gun whale, which is without sheer, and the height of the Stern nearly 24 feet, the Image being 18 inches or 2 feet higher. When the Canoes are ready for putting together (for they cannot be used singly by reason of the narrowness of their Construction) they are placed alongside at a regular distance fore & aft which is commonly about 6 feet asunder, and are secured by eight or ten square beams of 5 or 6 inches square which are fixed on the upper part of the Wale of each at equal distance and firmly lashd and are partly let in to the Wale and part into the topside—and the whole being made secure by lashings the frame of the stage is laid with other strong Beams on the top of the Gunnel projecting without the wales on either side, being about 20 feet wide, and secured firmly to the lower Beams by lashings. The stage is then laid with plank, like a Deck, with scuttles or openings on each side, &in the Middle, for the paddlers, who are often 100 and upwards. On the fore part of the stage is raised a Breast work of Plank about 4 feet high, over which the Warriors fight; and when they are equipt for War, the decks are filld with heaps & baskets of stones, and evry paddler has a sling. They are often Managed by Sails, the Masts being placed on Steps on the top of the Stage, and Supported by the rigging and when under Sail take Four Men with long paddles to steer them and Sail at a good rate in smooth water, but in rough Weather they Make less way and more water, the motion making them soon leaky—when at Sea they often keep 6 hands bailing with scoops they having no other method to free them of the Water with which they are often filld by the Surge rolling up between them, but they are nevertheless in no danger of sinking but drive till they are freed—and in port they are always forced to Haul them up to prevent their sinking—When they Sail in Fleets the Chiefs Canoe has always an alter on Board.
In these Vessels they Frequently go from Island to Island in large partys, somtimes 10 or 12 Sail, and by Means of them the Iron work left at Taheite is distributed among all the Islands they are acquainted with; in return for which [they] get Pearls, Pearl shells &c.—Some of the Islands they sail to are at the Distance of more then 100 Leagues.
The Chief of Tyarrabboo keeps one of these Vessels constantly plying between Taheite and Myetoo or Myetea, Calld by us Osnaburgh Island, 27 leages S.E. of Taheite, which is Subject to Him, and in her, he sends Iron Work and What European Commoditys he Can raise as presents to the Chiefs, who in return send back Pearls, Pearl Shells, Stools for Seats, Pillows & Pudding Stools Made of Tommanoo, with Dishes & Trays of the same wood, Matting, Cloth, Oil, Hogs &c. &c.—and she seldom returns without a Cargo. By Means of this Island they have Communication with several others to the N.E. of Taheite and taking the advantage of the Northerly Wind reach Myetoo where they watch Wind shifting to stretch to the Northward to a Group of small Islands, the Capital of which is Calld Tapoohoe which appears to be the same by their account where the African Galley, one of Commodore Roggeweins Squadron, was lost (he was fitted out by the Dutch West India Company and passd these Seas early in this Century and His ships [were] afterwards Seized by the Governor of Batavia); 24 from this Island the first Iron was imported to Taheite and a Beam of Oak which we saw at Tetooroa (a Number of Small Islands 8 leagues N of Taheite) is I have no doubt (from the Account of the Natives, some of whom are now living, who remember the loss of the ship, tho they Could form No Idea of Her but from the description of the Natives of Tapoohoe, but saw the Beam Come on Shore which they supposed to be part of the ridge of a House) a part of that ship, which may account for their knowledge of the Use of Iron when that Island was discovered.
It may seem strange to European Navigators how these people find their Way to such a distance without the Help or knowledge of letters, Figures or Instruments of any kind but their Judgement and their knowledge of the Motion of the Heavenly bodys, at which they are more expert and can give a better account of the Stars which rise and set in their Horison then an European Astronomer would be willing to beleive, which Is nevertheless a Fact and they can with amazing sagacity fore tell by the Appearance of the Heavens with Great precision when a Change of the Weather will take place and prepare for it accordingly. When they Go to Sea they Steer by the Sun Moon & Stars and shape their Course with some degree of exactness.
At the Distance of 8 Leagues N. or NW from Point Venus lies the Islands of Tettooroa, in number ten, incompassd by a reef about 10 or 12 leagues in circumference. They are all low and for the Most part Covered with Cocoa nut trees which is all they Produce ; they are the Property of o'Toos Family who keeps the Inhabitants in subjection by keeping them from Planting the Breadfruit or other Trees and suffers nothing to grow there except a few Tarro for His own use under the Charge of one of His favourites—and as these Islands cannot be Approachd by large Canoes He Makes them His Magazine for all His riches; a Number of Canoes are kept there for Fishery and Near 40 Sail of small sailing Canoes which they Haul over the reef are kept constantly plying between them & Taheite; they bring Fish for the Kings houshold, and return loaded with provisions—and besides these the Dolphin Canoes trade there when the Dolphin Fishery is over, Carrying Provisions and Returning With Oil which they Make in large quantitys, a Variety of Fine Fish and a Sauce Made of Ripe Cocoa Nuts Calld Tyeyro, the Nuts being gathered before they are too old and Grated in the same Manner as for Oil, which being Mixed with Shri[m]ps and left a day or two to ripen becomes like Curds and is excellent sause for Fish, Pork or Fowle— this is also made at Taheite and a Basket of it always accompanys a Fish or Hog when dressd for a Feast; the Nuts must not be too old or it will become oily & rank.
Their Travelling Canoes are Different from those of the War Built, having low sides, Broad sterns and a flat Plank projecting over the stem, which is upright; they are about 3 feet Deep, 18 inches wide and 50 or 60 feet long, the bottom flat and rounding, and the sides Flat and rather falling in, the stern rising with a regular rake for 10 or 12 feet, on the top of which are placed pieces of rude Carved Work of a Cilindrical form of two or three feet High; they are hollow and the Open work represents rude figures of Men Supporting each other on their hands forming several Teirs and have some resemblance of an old round tower; the size of these denote the quality of the Owners. These Canoes are also Double, being secured by two or three strong barrs lashd to the Gunnels of each—and on the Broad planks of the Bow they fix a Movable House or Awning for the Owner and His Family to sit in out of the Weather—Canoes of this size are paddled by 20 or 30 Hands and answer the same purpose as a Gentlemans Coach in England— in them the people of Note travel from place to Place—They have these kind of different sizes and the small ones, some of which Carry only one or two Men, may be used Double or single occasionally with or without Masts.
The Single Canoes have a float supported by two out riggers; one Forward and one aft, the Float being nearly the length of the Canoe; these are Chiefly used for Fishing and Other Uses. The Canoes of this Built, Used for Sailing, are nearly of about 30 feet long and are either Double or single as the Owner fancys; they are raised with Wash boards and the Masts stepd on Cross peices above all, the Double ones have two Masts placed one in each Canoe at equall distance one from the Stem and the other from the Stern and a like distance from each other, being Nearly at the thirds of the Canoes length; the Masts are Supported by the Shrouds and Stays, of which they have always one to shift to Windward. On the Mast Head they Have a kind of Funnel basket fixd by way of ornament—The Sails are made of Matting, and are long and Narrow, being mostly as long as the Canoe and the Mast one Third Shorter, the breadth not exceeding 5 or 6 feet. The foot of the sail is spread by a Short Crooked boom having an elbow or knee on the after part to which a Spreet is securely lashd and to which the sail is laced all up the after leech and being secured at the Mast Head by a rope to keep it from spliting the Sail, it forms a sweep in which form the Sail is Cut & the end of the Spreet Comes directly over the Mast head where it is Confined in form of a Fiddle Bow, by the rope which supports the Weather leech of the sail; the sail being extended on a frame is quite flat, having no belly but what the Wind gives it—at the Spreet end hangs a long Pendant of Feathers, wove on three lines which reach the Heel of the Mast; the Sheet is generally made fast to the Splice or Joint of the Boom & Spreet, and is at the Command of the Man who Steers if a Single Canoe but if a Double Canoe they must have others to attend them—The Sails of the War Canoes are Made in the same Manner but they being larger have a frame ladder to go to the Mast head while the others have only a few short sticks seized a cross the Mast to get up to fasten the sail and the line which keeps the Spreet in its place.
The single Canoes riggd for Sailing have only one Mast, and are riggd with a large Float paralel to their Keel or Middle line and two Thirds of Her length from the side supported by an Outrigger a little before the Midships, Consisting of several strong peices or Spars of a proper Size, & Steadyed by a single one from the Stern to keep it fore and aft, on the top of the Fore Out rigger the Mast Stands and two soars are fixd one third of the Canoes length supporting a stage of two Planks on the Opposite Side to the Outrigger, & serve also to Support the Mast by making the Shrouds fast to them and on this Stage they sit, when Fishing for Dolphin or keep their Cloaths dry on when sailing. These Canoes Have Wash boards of 12 or 14 inches as well as the Double ones, and are preferd to them for Fishing, but none of them will sail at a great rate, seldom going More then 5 or 6 knotts per Hour and if the Floats are Not Straight or Well adjusted, which is somtimes the Case, they will not sail so well as that.
They have No Method of reducing their Sails but by Casting off the lower part and rolling it up and should that not answer, as it frequently will not, they must take their Chance and as they Cannot reduce the sail at Head but by Casting it off entirely, for which purpose a man must go to the Mast head, and it would be next to impossible to get them up again from the quick Motion of the Canoe, for which reason they let them stand at all events and had rather Overset, or loose the Mast, then Strike the Sail, and in Squally weather both these Accidents often happen, but they are so accustomed to them that they think nothing of either, tho by being dismasted they are frequently blown off and heard of no more—When they are taken in a Squall they luff Head to it and shake it out, but should the squall Continue too long & the Vessel is like to fall off they all hands Jump overboard & hang her head to windward till the Squall is over, when they get in & steer their Course, but should they not be able to hold her on and she gets overset their First Care is to secure evry thing, and Make their Fish Cloth, Paddles &c. fast and when the squall is past they tow the Canoe round with the Mast head to Windward and making a line fast to the upper part of the Spreet all hands get on the Out rigger, and hauling the head of the Spreet out of the Water and the Wind getting under the Sail lifts it, when they all swing off with their whole weight together and right her. Some hands then keep her head to windward till the others free her of the Water and then get in and proceed on their Voyage—this frequently happens on their return from Fishing, when they endeavour to out carry each other till they are overpowerd by the Wind & get overset—of this they think the danger so little that they never require any Assistance except to take in their Cloth, or such things as may receive damage by being long wet, but they frequently loose so much ground as to be forced to run for Morea and somtimes for Hooaheine and Ryeatea and We have known some of them who being dismasted have been 9,12 and 15 days at sea with scarce a Mouthful of Provisions and No Water, as they seldom Carry more then a Few Cocoanuts and a bread fruit or two Sufficient to Serve as long as they intend to Stay out, and trust to providence for a Fish—Those who sail in the large Canoes are better provided, and are in no danger of such distress as they Can never overset and should they Carry away their Masts are better able to get them put to rights again, having plenty of Cordage & Matts to repair their damages.
In Building their Canoes they hollow out the Bottom or Keel pieces, and having fitted them they smear each part of the Butt with Pitch Made from the Gum of the Bread fruit Tree, which being wrapd round a Number of Candle Nuts reeved on Sticks for the Purpose and being lighted and held over a tray of Water the Pitch drops in and being taken out of the Water & made up in balls is fit for use—with this as before said they smear the Edges and Buts of the Plank, & having a quantity of Cocoa Nut fibers beaten up like Oakum they lay it between the pieces and bringing them together with Sets & Wedges, lash the parts firmly together with plat made of the same and after they have passd as many turns as the holes will admit they Caulk them with more of the beaten fibers; over the Seams in the Wake of the lashing they Spread more Pitch & Oakum, and lay a piece of Bamboo split & soakd for the Purpose, and having formd the Bottom they proceed to bring on the next peice or Streak, pitching the seams and securing it as before—they never pay the bottom or sides, tho it would be of much service to them, but they cannot bear to toutch the pitch, which would be often the Case as they haul all their Canoes up as soon as they land.
They have no rule for Building but the Eye, and have no Idea of working by a line; yet nevertheless some of them are built with as much exactness, as if they had been pland by able builders and according to the oppinion of some good Workmen they are well finishd.
The War Canoes (and those Made presents to the Deity which are occasionally Used for that purpose, and are in fact built for it only by the Contrivance of the Priests who are in the intrest of the King and tells the other Chiefs that the Deity wants Such a Number of Canoes of Such a Size & they set about building them Immediately) are Built by levying Contributions and are done thus—Each Chief who has one to build Calls the Towhas & Ratirras together to a Feast and informs them of the Request of the Deity and desires them to Collect Hogs, Cloth, Oil &ca. to pay the Carpenters, to which they readily agree and the Carpenters are Employd who go into the Mountains and Mark their Trees, the Ratirra on whose land the Trees happen to be sends hands to assist in Cutting them down, and hewing out the peices in the rough according to the Carpenters directions, that it may be the easier brought down, as they form each part out of a Solid Tree, and often at some Miles distance in the Hills.
When they have Sufficient Collected to Make a beginning they fix a day to fetch them down and a house is erected to build the Canoe in. When the timber is brought down a Feast is made and an Offering of a Hog to the Deity to prosper the Work, a Feast is also made for the Workmen. At evry Piece they make Fast and when the Bottom is Compleated a Grand Feast and Offering is Made, which is repeated at the Finishing of evry Streak till the Whole is Compleat, when a greater Feast is Made, and the Canoes being Dressd with Cloth, Breast plates, Red and Black Feathers, Fine Matting &c.—they are Brought to the Grand Morai, and a Man is killd and put on board and Offered as a Sacrafice, when the Canoes are hauld up near the Morai where she is Covered with Thatch till Wanted, the Priests securing the Feathers for the Deity and the other Decorations for the King, to whom they are presented in Form, as before, the Eye of each Sacrafice being presented before him and the Body interd in the Morai. The War Canoes are Offered in like Manner but Hogs serve instead of Men.
When Men are Wanted for Such Occasions the Chief assembles the Ratirras, at the Morai and a Feast is Made at which none must be present but those who are by birth intituled to give their Oppinion, he then informs them of the Business, which they however know beforehand. They then agree among themselves about the Fittest Man and if any have been Guilty of Blasphemy or has been a Most Notorious thief and has escaped punnishment they fix on him and one of themselves undertakes to kill him and watches his Opportunity, the business being mostly kept a secret till he is killd, which is generally in the Night when the Man appointed to kill him, finding where he sleeps, knocks him in the Head with a Stone and gets his servants to make a large Basket of Cocoa Nut leaves into which they put the body and Convey it to the Canoe to be offered into which they put it—they are careful not to disfigure the Face as that would make them unfit for an offering and an other must be got in stead, for which reason they mostly strike them on the back of the Head or Neck—if they can find none whose Crimes deserve death they tell the Chief & a hog must be killd in stead—and will not kill a Man to gratify a Private pique of any Man even tho the Chief insists upon it and if he persists in having one he must kill him himself, and should Hebekilld in the Attempt the Man so killing him comes to no harm—if such a thing is insisted on, they never fail to give Notice that such as think themselves in danger may keep out of the Way and should any Man be killd without sufficient Cause (tho they Never admit them to be present at their Tryal) His Friends instantly make War on the Offenders, but if He is known to be guilty of the Crimes laid to his Charge No Notice is taken of it as evry one deems it right and the Man who kills him is Justified as having been the Executor of Justice.
If a Man of Property is found Guilty of a Crime which deserves death he is punishd as well as the Poorest in the Island. An Instance of this we saw at the time the Young King was invested with the Royal Marro —one of the first Men in Morea being sacraficed for attempting to stop the Flag from Passing through his land on that Island.
During the Celebration of that Ceremony Numbers of Human sacrifices were made and many who knew themselves Guilty took Sanctuary about our houses where they knew themselves perfectly safe, as they knew our aversion to such Horrid practises but we could not protect all tho we often tryd in vain to diswade the Chiefs to drop their Barbarous Customs, who always gave for answer, 'If we do there will be no Chiefs'. However we protected all who took sanctuary with us and tho surrounded by the Most Notorious thieves on the Island our Property was always safe. But this was only a temporary respite as they seldom fail at one time or other to bring them up and should they Fly from one District to another their Charracter always follows them & should a Sacrifice be wanting, the Chief of the district in which they have taken shelter always points them out before one of His own People, by which Means he secures the love of his own and is dreaded by others.
If a Man under such Circumstances submits himself to be bit by a Woman so as to Draw blood he is thereby rendered unfit for a sacrafice and saves his life but can never be admitted to partake of any religeous [ceremony], being ever after deemed on an equality with Weomens food, and must be a Woman['s] servant ever after—they never sacrafice a woman nor is she or any of Her Servants as before said permitted to be present at or partake of a Feast made on the Morai, nor must she eat of any Food which has been toutchd by a Sacred person, tho it were her own Husband. In their Common way of life their food is the Animals & Vegitables before discribed, but is Chiefly Vegetables and Fish of which they have abundance and their Cookery is simply baking and broiling, having no vessel that will stand fire Nor do they understand the Method of Converting Clay to that use, however they lose little or none of the Substance of their food by baking, and Fish Dressd in that manner are preferable to boild.
The Men and Weomen eat seperate, and for this reason each Family has two houses except a Man Chooses to reside in his Wifes house and then each take one end.
The Children eat with the Mother till their restrictions are taken off, tho she Cannot eat of the Food which is the Childs nor that it has toutchd nor must the Childs provisions enter the House by the same entrance at which the Mothers come in at and in travelling they Must have seperate Canoes for the Men & Weomens food, of which the Children may partake.
The Weomen have their own particular trees for Bread, and can eat no other and Must have particular People to Catch fish for them and should a Shark, Turtle, Porpoise, Albicore, Dolphin or Cavally, which are Sacred Fish, be Caught by their Fishermen they Cannot Eat of them but may dispose of them to whom they Please. It has been supposed by Most Former Voyagers that they were also forbidden to eat Pork but in this they were most certainly Mistaken, for if any Woman has an Inclination to keep her Hogs Pennd up and prevent them from feeding on any other ground then their own they may eat pork, but as this is troublesom (and should the hogs get loose, and run on the land of their Male relations they become unfit for them to eat, or should any of their Male relations or the Chiefs toutch the Hogs it is the same) and attended with difficulty, they seldom attempt it as they have the Greatest Variety and abundance of fine Fish yet nevertheless they often kill and eat pork under that denomination, taking Care to keep such Men as are not of their retinue out of the Secret, their Servants always agreeing on this score are sure not to want for part of what the Mistress posesses.
The Men may partake of any of the Weomens Food but must not toutch any but what is given them and tho they enter the eating house of their Wives they must not toutch any of Her Culinary Utensils, otherwise she must not use them again but He may apply them to his own Use and she must provide herself with a New set or as many as he has toutchd.
No Woman Can eat in a house where a Chief has been, unless she is of the same rank and authority with Him and then she may Eat in his presence and if any Woman of Inferior rank should tresspass in eating in any House, Canoe or Ship where a Chief Had been they would not only be severely striped but loose their posessions, for which reason they are Careful how they [infringe] these laws, as they know that few are given to keep a secret for which reason they always refused to eat when invited before Men, but would take the Food offered them and give to their relations; this may also account for a Number of the Chief Weomen who refused to Dine at Table yet eat Hearty with the Servants. They Eat Fish of all kinds which the sea or rivers Produce, as they hold that nothing unclean Can be the Produce of Water, but from our being so fond of Flesh they at First Conceived that We were Cannibals as they have an account of the Inhabitants of an Island to the East of them who eat each other and it was with some difficulty that [we] were able to perswade them to the Contrary, as they were in some Measure Confirmd in their Oppinion by Brown (the Man left by Captain Cox) who threatend to put a Child into the Oven and the Mother of it Could Never be perswaded to beleive that he was not in earnest and would never Suffer the Child Near him afterwards. They were also further Confirmd as some of our People had said foo[li]shly that they Had eaten part of a Man.
They Make Three regular Meals in a Day when at Home and eat Hearty and nothing can give them more satisfaction then to see a Stranger do the like when they invite them to eat, which they are ever ready to do, always parting what they have Cheerfully, be it little or much, but when they are from home, and Numbers are Met in one District, Provisions grow scarce from the Rahooe be fore describd and they are somtimes whole days without any and when they Get any they Eat so large a quantity as would readily give a Stranger an Idea that they were mere Gluttons and it would Certainly Appear more so to those who were perhaps Sated with the abundance of Good Provisions arround them which these People had most likely stinted themselves to supply them with & which they always do by endeavouring to surpass each other in their presents & giving away what they stand in Immediate Need of themselves. In general they Cannot be Calld (except at such times) immoderate eaters tho their Method of Stuffing their Mouths as full as they Can hold, has the appearance of it.
They sit Cross leggd and having a place spread with leaves (often under the shade of a Tree in fine Weather) for a Table Cloth and sit at a distance to prevent offending each other by Flapping the Flies away which are often troublesome, always swarming where any provisions are, especially Fish, which draws whole swarms about them, and having some Clean leaves laid for Plater & dishes the Provisions are set before them & They Cut their Meat or Fish with a piece of Bamboo or knife, and put it into a Cocoa Nut Shell with Salt water, and the Sause before Discribed and having washd their Hands in another shell they proceed, sucking the flesh or fish & repeatedly dipping it in the sause, eating large quantitys of Bread fruit or Tarrow, drinking Clean water or Cocoa Nut Milk and after their Pork or Fish is done they have a sort of Pudding made of Bread fruit Calld Popoe of which each has a Shell which when they have eaten finishes this and they then Wash their hands and Mouths, Using a Piece of the Husk of the Young Cocoa Nut to Clean their teeth, of which they are particularly Careful. When they drink Yava they are forced to eat as fast as possible after it, or they would not be able to eat at all, it takes such Immediate effect; it is no disgrace for either Men or Weomen to be intoxicated with this Root but the Weomen seldom take the pains to Cultivate it and the Chief Weomen who Use it can procure it without that trouble.
They have several sorts of Puddings besides the Popoe, the Method of Making which is this—The Popoe is made of Baked Bread fruit and Mahee (Bread fruit of the last season Made into sour paste) being beaten together on a Stool with a Stone, Both kept for the Purpose and mixd with Water and when done is Not unlike what We Call Flumery, and is eaten with Water or Cocoa Nut Milk—it is made of either seperately, but the Mixture is preferd by Most and it is excellent food and may be made either Hot or Cold. Another sort is made with the Mountain Plantains & Mahee Mixt which when made ready is equal to if not superior to Goosberry fool & may be made of any Consistence either for Knife or Spoon. This is Calld Popoe Payee.
Paypay is another sort made of the Bread Fruit that gets too ripe on or falls from the tree, which being Beaten up with Cocoa Nut Milk and baked is delicious food.
Poe Atdutarre is another sort made of the Bread Fruit before it gets too ripe—which being Baked & the Core & rind taken away (as for any other use it is) it is Mixed with Juice squeesed from Hard Cocoa Nuts which is White & thick as Cream and being Wrappd in Plantain leaves is put into the Oven and Baked again. Poe Tarro is Made by grating the Tarrow down on a rough stone and mixing it with some of its own young leaves, & sweet herbs, & the Juice of the ripe Cocoa Nut before discribed. Poe Peea is made in the same manner by mixing the Juice of the Cocoa Nut as before, the Nut being grated as for oil & the Juice wrung out with the Mo'oo which serves as a Strainer on all occasions—this being mixed in a Tray they throw in some Hot Stones which hardens it in the same manner as batter is hardened in a frying pan, but if this is eaten in large quantities it Causes a giddiness in the head from some time after, tho it has no bad effect attending it. Another Method of Dressing the Peea and which takes off the cause of the Giddiness is by mixing the Peea & the Grated Nut together with Water and baking them in the Oven & when done this way its taste and Appearance is not unlike a Yeast Dumplin but something sweeter.
Tooparroo or Teaparroo is an Excellent pudding made of Tarro (or Bread fruit), Ripe Plantains & Cocoa Nuts Grated & Squeesed & wrung out as before, the whole being strained through the Mooo (or Fibers of the Stem of the Cyprus Grass) to take the strings of the Plantains from it, and being baked in leaves is as good as a Custard, the Juice of the Cocoa Nut being Mixd with some of the Milk answers the purpose of Milk and Butter, the Milk being tart takes off the luscious sweetness of the Plantains andgives the whole a pleasant taste.
As they make this in large quantitys they make the leaves of the Plantain tough to contain it by searing them over the Fire; and tying up 5 or 6 quarts in a bundle, put it in the oven where it remains all night, and being taken out is put by for Use; it will keep for several weeks.
As they seldom have plantains sufficiently ripe for this purpose they gether them a few days beforehand and bury them in the Earth (with some ripe Palm Nuts which gives them a fine Flavour) putting Grass all round them to keep the dirt from them—and in this Manner they ripen all their Fruit when they Have Not sufficient for their purpose ripe on the Tree—and in this they have a superstitious Notion that should they bathe in the Sea while the plantains are on the earth that they would never ripen properly—this only extends to the Person who puts them in the earth—nor could we perswade them out of this foolish notion tho we shewed them to the contrary—and they always insisted that we had more then Common power to prevent the fruit from spoiling—and tho we perswaded themselves to try they still affirmd that it was on our Account and that were they to try on their own heads the fruit would Certainly spoil or rot before they were ripe. They Get fire by rubbing two Sticks (Commonly Dry Poorow but Breadfruit or any other Dry wood will answer the Purpose) together thus—they take a long piece sufficiently large that they may hold it fast by sitting with their feet on it and Cutting a Groove on the Upper part 5 or 6 inches long with a shell to receive the point of a smaller piece which they hold between their hands and begin Chanting a Prayer (without which they suppose they Could not get the fire) and rubbing the point of the Small piece in the groove of the larger one & shoving from them increase their Motion from a slow easy stroke to a quick smart one, when the Dust made by the Friction takes fire, which they put into a leaf with some dry Grass and wave it about till it communicates to the whole when they have more leaves & Wood to make their fire.
When they Make an Oven they Make a hole in the Earth of a proportionable Size to the Provision they have to dress and Making on their fire build it up with wood which they pile round with stones, throwing the bottom ones up as the top falls in till the wood is all burnt to Coals and the stones red hot; they then level the stones and the Coals being free from smoke they spread the oven over with leaves or the trunk of the Plantain and the Provisions being wrapd in and Coverd with leaves is Covered with Grass and the earth thrown up on the top and the provisions left to Bake a proper time, according to the quantity; mean while those who were employed at it go to the water and wash themselves all over and when the oven is opened it is done so carefully that the least particle of earth or Sand does not come to the provisions which are taken out clean and well dressd.
They are very expeditious in preparing their food and will dress a Hog whole (which they always do never cutting them to peices till they are baked) and let it be sufficiently well done in two Hours tho it were 300 Ibs weight; they like their food well dressd tho they frequently eat fish raw—and when they dress a large Hog for a Small Company they never dress it thoroughly that the Visitors may not have it spoild for a second dressing, as they always take away whatever has been provided for them.
When they kill a hog they strangle it or drownd it; the former Method is preferd and is done by putting a rope round its neck which they heave up with a stick or leaver till the Hog is Choakd; they then Stop its Nose, fundament &c. with leaves or Grass and the Animal af [t]er a few Strugles expires; they then wet it all over and lay it on the fire, or make a fire round it if it be large, with Dry leaves and Grass and scrape it Clean with Sticks and Cocoa Nut shells—after which they take it to the Water and Scrubb it Clean with rough Stones and open the belly with a piece of split Bamboo or knife and take out the Bowels and Blood, which having burst its Vessels runs out of the Flesh and is found in the Belly; with the Blood they mix the fat of the Guts and putting it into Cocoanut shells put hot stones into it and Makes a kind of black Pudding which serves the Cooks with some other fragments for a relish while dinner is dressing—the Hog is Clean washd and laid on leaves till the Oven is ready; the pluck is either Broild or Washd and wrapd in leaves and put in the Oven, the Guts are also Cleaned and baked, and as they have plenty of assistance the whole is soon ready. The Guts, being kept fast to the Crow, are ripd from end to end and well washd when they are laid on the hot stones to scald, being shifted alternately from the Stones to the Water till they are perfectly sweet & Clean and being wrapd in leaves the whole are put in the Oven with Bread fruit Split & Scraped which is all the preparation it wants, Tarro, Mahee &c. and Covered up as before and in this Manner they dress all their food. The Bread fruit will broil or roast on the fire, which Method they use for a small quantity and Fish wrapd in the Bread fruit leaves and put on the fire are better then Boild, being dressd by their own Moisture, which is prevented from evaporating by the leaves which have as much substance as those of a Cabbage.
If they have a Pig of 10 or 12 pounds to bake they will dress it sufficiently in half an hour. In the time of Gathering in the Harvest of Bread for Store they make an Oven in which they Bake 15 or 20 Hundred weight of Bread which when baked becomes sweet like gingerbread, of this they make a sweet pudding, and on this the Children (Male & Female of or belonging to the family who make it) Feast while it lasts, which is generally six weeks or two months—during which time they are kept Covered from the sun and are restricted within their respectivebounds which are houses fenced round in square[s] for that purpose—and at the end of that time they are liberated but are so fat that they can scarce breath and are some Weeks before they can Walk to any distance. During this time they loose the Tand Collour of their skin and assume their own natural one which is agreeably fair & Clear, but are so tender that the sun scalds them as fast as it would the Fairest European and those who expose themselves to the Weather soon alter their Complexion.
When a Chief or Ratirra wants one of these Ovens of Bread made, they inform their Tennants who go in a Body and bring Wood from the Mountains, while others Collect the Stones and while the fire is Burning evry Man brings his load of Bread which is put into the Oven whole and without further preparation and being Covered with leaves is thatchd over with Grass & the Earth thrown up over it an do not open it for three or four days, when they take it out for use evry day as it is wanted, keeping it covered till the Whole is expended, and this they repeat evry harvest. The Bread thus dressd is Calld Opeeo and has a very agreeable tast and the Collour is Changed to brown throughout. The poorer people are not excluded from this Method of Feasting their Children tho they have not sufficient Bread for the Purpose, having nothing more to do but signify their intention to their Neighbours, who bring their proportions of Bread and Assist them to Collect Wood and Make their Oven; somtimes they Join two familys making one oven between them.
At this Season they make their Mahee, a sourish past made by fermenting the ripe Bread [fruit], by which means they keep it till next harvest. While the Bread (which they have the whole Year round but not in such plenty as to serve) is scarce they may be eaten by itself or by being beaten up in puddings and when mixd with the new bread makes the Best Popoe.
The process of making it is this—the bread being gathered in they scrape off the rind with shells ground sharp for the purpose and lay it in heaps to grow Mellow, where it lays for 3 or 4 days—pits are then made in their Houses or Near them, and being well lined with Grass and leaves the Bread is thrown in, being first split in peices with a Wooden Adze made for that Use, and with it a few of the ripe Fruit which have fallen from the Tree to hasten the fermentation and the pits being filld and heaped up are Covered with leaves & Grass & large stones put on the top to press it into the pits; in this Manner it foments and when it settles they shift the leaves that are bad and taking the Core or harts out fill one pit out of another and Cover it up for Use.
Some take out the hearts at first, but tho that Method renders the Mahee whiter then the other yet the Bread will not ferment so soon without the assistance of some old Mahee nor will it keep so well—the Men and Weomen having each their own trees have also their own Mahee and should a Man who is not the Servant of a Woman toutch even the Covering of the Womans Mahee it is rendered unfit for Her Use, which at once accounts for Sir Joseph Banks's having spoild a quantity which belongd to a Woman by his being desirous to see the nature of the Process of making it and examining the Contents of the pit—which was not only rendered of no use to the Woman but the place in which it was underwent the same fate and no woman Could ever use it afterwards. If the Crop on any individuals land should run short of His expectation and He has not sufficient to make as much Mahee as he wants or thinks will serve He makes a Number of Garlands of a shrubb Calld Pirrepirre and takes One to evry House or as Many as he thinks proper and throws them in without saying any thing except to tell the day he intends to send for it or have it brought home, evry one knowing what is Meant by the Garland. If He has hands sufficient to Scrape the whole at once it is brought home to the House, each Man bringing the Garland left at his house as full of Bread as it Can be Made fast and laying it down at the Door returns without any further Ceremony then bidding God bless his Work; if He has not sufficient help to take the whole in hand at once he makes it known and either goes himself for it when he wants it or has it brought at the time he nominates to those who supply him, who are ever ready to assist evry Man according to his Abilitys.
If he goes for it himself he always finds the Garlands ready filld at the appointed time—By this Method of assisting each other they never feel the least Inconvenience from having a Scanty Crop and if a Chief wants a Supply for the purpose of Making Mahee he sends a Bit of Cocoa Nut leaf to all, or as Many of the Inhabitants of his district as he shall think proper, and on the appointed day they Bring each a load, which is generally accompanied with a hog by some and fish by others according to their several abilitys, but this they have seldom occasion to do as they are always well supplyd and when supplys are raised this Way the people bring it in such a Manner as bespeaks at once their regard for their Chiefs & fear of displeasing them, always testifying their sorrow that he should be so far neglected as to have the trouble of sending for bread.
They Make an Offering of their First fruits to the Chiefs besides those Made to the Deity. This Ceremony is Calld Eehee Aree and is thus performd—the Fruits being ripe the Towha or Lord of the Manner informs the Ratirra or Squires that on such a Day the Offering is to be made & it is Proclaimed through the District by a Cryer to inform their respective Tennants, the Mattaeynas or Mannahoune's, who on the day appointed each gather some of evry species and having put them into a Basket, which is hung round with a piece of Cloth, [it] is tied to a pole, which is ballanced on their Shoulder by a sucking pig hung by one foot to the other end, and repair to the House of their respective Ratirra who then heads his own people and proceeds to the House of The Towha, who with His priest and Orator heads the Whole and the procession proceeds to [the] House of the Chief, somtimes four or five Hundred in a body, where being arrived the Towha by Means of His Priest and Orator (who always attend on such occasions) makes a Peace offering of [a] Young Pig, a Plantain tree & a small tuft of red Feathers; these the Priest offers as usual and the Orator makes a long speech in behalf of the Towha & Ratirras expressing their loyalty and the love they have for their Chief. The Ratirras having by Means of their Priests (each Family having One or More in or depending on it) made their Peace Offering, the Fruits are deposited before the Chief and they retire and return home. When this Ceremony is performd to the King the Chiefs of the District always head the procession.
This Ceremony is then performd by the Ratirras to their respective Towha and afterwards by the Tennants to their Ratirras, after which they Carry in as Much Bread as they think will be sufficient, putting it in large Baskets made of Cocoa Nut leaves which when filld are as Much as two Men Can Carry—with each of which they send a small Fish, intimating that they do not offer bread alone, with this a Baked hog and several small baskets of Bread, Tarro, Cocoa Nuts With the Husks peeld off, Plantains &c. are Carried to the House of the Chief, Towha or Ratirra each in their due proportion.
Such Presents as this they are Continually Making to their Chiefs &c.—and never send a Fish, Hog or Fowle without a proper quantity of Vegetables with them and When the Bread is Scarce they substitute Mahee in lieu tho they always have some. The Mahee being wrought up like Dough is rolld up in leaves to the size of a Penny loaf or roll and baked with the other provisions. Payee or Mountain plantains are also substituted for Bread, and when gatherd green answer very well, being much Superior to the Common plantain to eat as bread.
When they Go into the Mountains, which they often do in Companys to Cut Timber, Gather Herbs & sandal wood for their Oil, Cut rafters for their Houses, Paddles for Canoes, &c. and for the Purpose of dying Cloth which takes them up several days, they subsist themselves on Birds, fish &c. Using the Mountain Plantain and Wild Roots for Bread, the land producing plenty of Birds and the Springs plenty of Fish; they catch the birds by fixing the Gum of the bread fruit on long Bamboos, and setting them up, take the Birds which perch on them as we do with Birdlime; others who are used to this Method of living can with much exactness knock them down with a stone which they throw by hand, pointing at the Bird with the fore finger of the left hand, as it were to take Aim while the Stone is prepared in Right and if the Birds are sitting they seldom fail to bring it down but cannot bring one off the Wing—and when a party go into the Mountains on any of the aforesaid occasions their first Care is to send a party in Search of Provisions (as they never Carry any with them) while others erect huts for their lodgings made of reeds and Covered with the leaves of the Tee and others procure fire and fuel—as they seldom take the trouble to Make an Oven they roast their roots & Plantains and dress their fish or Birds in Peices of Green Bamboos. The provisions, being put into the Bamboo and stopd up with leaves, is laid on the fire and kept turning round like a spit till the Contents are sufficiently dressd, the Moisture inside keeping the bamboo Wet it keeps its form tho burnt nearly to peices—In this Manner they live when on these excurtions and tho they have hard labour in hand they turn the work into pleasure, and taking no thought for tomorrow they leave off & return when they think Proper. As they are very fond of the Tail feathers of the Tropic Birds which they esteem for dressing their Parais or Mourning dress they go two together to Hunt for them and as the birds build in the Face of the highest Cliffs they are at Much trouble to get them. Their Method is this—the Bird catchers are provided each with 10 or 12 fathoms of Rope of sufficient strength to bear His own Weight, & having fixd their place of abode near the Clift, where provisions are in the greatest plenty they proceed together to the top of the Cliff, where bending their ropes together they make fast a stick of 18 or 20 inches long by the Middle and lower it over the face of the Cliff having a Stake fixd to Make it fast to on the top; if a Tree is Not Convenient, one hand then stays by the rope to haul up or lower down as the other shall order who goes down & seating himself on the Cross stick, swings from hole to hole in search of the Birds, holding on by the points of the stones which project or the shrubbs which grow among the fisures of the Cliff—when he catches a Bird, he hauls out the Tail feathers which he secures in a Bamboo which he carrys for the purpose, and lets the Bird fly—having examined all the holes within his reach or is tired in the search he goes up and either shifts the rope to another part or attends it for his partner who takes a spell. This tho it may appear Dangerous to us is no more to them then Amusement, and seldom attended with any Accident tho they hang some hours in this manner, sometimes 20, 30 or 40 fathoms from the top & often four times that from the Bottom and perhaps do not get a single feather in a whole days search. The Shining Black feathers of the Men of War Birds they also hold in high Esteem, for which reason they always watch their Coming as they Seldom Visit this Island except when the Westerly Winds and thick Weather prevail—they afford diversion for Numbers as they are only to be caught at the Beach, or When it happens to fall Calm when they perch on the Cocoa Nut trees, and are Caugh[t] by a snare fixd to the end of a long stick with which a man goes up and puts the Noose over the Birds Neck while it is asleep, which is in a few Minutes after it lights, and letting the stick go, it brings the Bird to the ground—While they keep on the Wing they entice them down by a Fish into which they thrust a piece of Poorow to float it, and throw it into the Water keeping it within reach of their Wands, of which each Man has one of 14 or 16 feet long; as soon as the Birds observe the Fish they instantly make towards it, somtimes 8 or 10 together, and the Men stand by and knock them down as they attempt to seize the fish, which they all attempt to do. If they do not receive a Blow before they get near enough, these Birds always seize their prey in their Claws, which are long and sharp and Webbd only to the first Joint—they are Inhabitants of the low Uninhabited Islands in the Neighbourhood of the Society Islands, and never come from home but in thick weather, their Feathers are held in Such Esteem that the Natives will give a hog of i oo Weight for one of them for Making their War & Heiva dresses &c. tho they never eat the bird—during our time we shot several which were deemd grand presents, but We thought the Powder of More Value and therefore made but little Waste of it for that use and seldom took that expencive diversion—the Cock Birds are the Most Valuable and the Back feathers are those they prize highest for their Beautiful shining Black.