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Sir Donald Maclean

In a Sabbatarian Village

In a Sabbatarian Village

At Tongaporutu (West Coast): “Sunday, 31st March, 1850. Nothing can exceed the misery of being closed up in an uncomfortable native pa on Sunday; where there are squawking children, of which, in another respect, I was glad to see many at Tongaporutu. The dogs, the pigs, and other tame impertinent half-petted half-starved animals, use every freedom with vour house, food, and peace; added to which, the natives get round you in idle groups, and leave you unable to do a single thing with any degree of pleasure. If you walk about, a train of idle, well-disposed boys follow you, and watch your every step and gesture, with as much eagerness as if you were a wild show or something to be looked on with astonishment and great surprise. If you go to a steep, hilly place, they will run before, skipping and romping like young kids, on the very steepest places they can meet.”

(Note: Many of the Maoris at that period were rigid observers of the sanctity of Sunday and would not permit or assist travel on that day.)