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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

16 February 1872

16 February 1872

One our way the next day to Te Ngae 27 miles, we saw some natives with their War Canoes which are about 50 ft long and 5 ft wide amidships. They hold as many as 40 men, who are trained to paddle in beautiful time while the chief stands up making the most frantic noises and gesticulations when he wants a spurt. Decorations of war paint and feathers are common to boat and crew. He we Here we saw the hot springs on Lake Rotorua, which are indeed curious, and belong almost exclusively to the Province of Auckland. The accommodation house was a Wharrie, kept by Allan McAllister – It looked like an Irishman’s hovel – there was whisky at a very high price, but no oats, or scarcely any feed for our houses. Peaches were plentiful and we had any quantity in the garden. Llewellyn, Chamberlain & Dunny took to Maori Costume while here, consisting of Shirt and a Shawl round the waist – and boots if necessary. Llewellyn caused much amusement by bringing out his sham snake, which frightened a Maori into the cupboard from which nothing could induce him to come, except a promise of “Fire-water” – and when he came out he bolted.