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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Remarks at New Zealand

Remarks at New Zealand.

New Zealand consists of two large Islands seperated from each other by streights 5 or 6 Leagues broad, call'd Cooks Streights being first discovered by him in the Endeavor in the Year 1770, the Southermost appears to be a group of Islands in the Middle of which is an inlet call'd Charlottes Sound running many leagues to the Southward, Leagues up this sound is a Cove, call'd Ship Cove, where we and the Resolution Anchor'd, in turning into this Cove the Ship miss'd Stays where we were oblig'd to let go an Anchor, not withstanding she tail'd on a Sand Bank lying close to the Rocks but did herself no injury, we were oblig'd to let go another Anchor soon after to keep her off some sunken Rocks which was close under our Larboard Counter and by the Evening we were moor'd in the Cove

Soon after we Anchor'd several Canoes came to the Ships but at first seem'd rather fearful imagining probably we were come to revenge the Murder of the Adventures Boats Crew, but however when they were convinced of the contrary they came on board and traded with us in a friendly manner —This place is surrounded with very high Hills which are cloath'd with wood, & every Valley hath a Rivulet; the Day after our Arrival the Tents for both Ships were set up on Shore as likewise the Astronomers & a Party of Men to Wood and Water—great Quantity's of Fish were brought on board during the time we lay here, by the Natives & very excellent in their kind which were brought and serv'd to the Ships Companys, Scurvy Grass was likewise procured for them— we were quite delighted in the Mornings with the sweet Harmony of the Birds which surpass'd anything of the kind I had ever met with for a pleasing Variety of Notes; the Men are stout and well Limb'd of a dark brown colour & have a fierce savage appearance, the Women though not delicate have a remarkable soft Voice, they seem to live in a very wretched state, both Sexes dress alike—the Men generally have their Hair tied on the top of their Head in a Bunch adornd with feathers, & the Women have theirs either cut short or flowing down their Shoulders, the Men and Women stain their Lips with a Blue dye—their Dress consists of the Leaves of Flax which are split into 3 or 4 Slips, these slips when dry are interwoven with each other into a kind of Stuff between Netting and cloth with all the ends hanging down on the outside 8 or 9 Inches long—this is tied over their Shoulders & reaches down to their knees, besides this course page 225 Shag or thatch–they have two kinds of Cloth that have an even Surface and are made with great ingenuity the one is like course canvass, the other is form'd by many threads one way laying very close, and a few crossing the other so as to bind them together—to both these kinds of Cloth Borders of various kinds are work'd—some have borders made of Dogs Skins—these they call Hahoo—both Sexes bore their Ears & the holes are large enough to admit of a finger or thumb in those holes they wear Ornaments of different kinds —such as feathers, Cloth, sometimes the Bones of large Birds, and sometimes sticks of Wood but they are mostly fond of Red Cloth—Their Weapons consists of Spears darts and battle Axes & Patoo Patoos—the Patoo Patoo's is an instrument made of the Bone of large Fish or Stone—it is in shape of a battldore & about 16 or 18 Inches long, the Patoo, Patoo is their principal instrument which they commonly were sticking in their Girdles as we do our Swords or hangers, the War dance or Heva consists of a variety of violent Motions & hideous Contortions of the Limbs, there is something in them so uncommonly Savage & terrible, their Eyes appear to be starting from their Head, their Tongue hanging down to their Chin & the motion of their Body entirely corresponding with these in a manner not to be described—the Country about Charlotte Sound abounds in Hills with scarce any flat land & these Hills exceedingly difficult of access except by the Indian Paths of which there are very few, here are no Animals but a few Dogs, & these the Natives breed for eating—it is observ'd that they dry their Fish when thave an opportunity, they have no thing by way of Bread but the Fern Root, which is intolerably bad & which they are oblig'd to beat a long time before they can eat it—we had not been many Days here when a Young fellow, about 17 Years of Age call'd Tay-we-he-rooa the son of a Chief— being very intimate on board the Resolution, made a proposal of going with us to Otaheite as a Companion or dependant on Omai—who was much pleas'd with the offer, & encourag'd him to persist in his Resolution & obtaind Capt. Cooks consent for him to embark on board his Ship—and soon after a Young Boy a friend of his offer'd to accompany him, & it was agreed upon that he should—his Name was Tea-tea a slender sprightly Boy about 12 Years of Age, he seemed much attach'd to us and liv'd constantly on board the Resolution with his friend Tay-we-he-rooa.

Tay-we-he-rooa took his last farewell of his Father and Mother and Friends in Charlotte Sound, his Mother tho' at page 226 first she had been prevail'd upon to consent to his going, yet when the time of sailing was come—she was very loath to part with her son—she wept aloud and at the same time cut her head with a Sharks tooth till the Blood streamd down her Face but tho Tay-we-he-rooa was much affected yet neither Tears nor entreaties could prevail upon him to relinquish his design, but when he came to enquire for Tea-tea he had absented himself having repented of the resolution he had taken to accompany him—even this did not damp Tayweherooas Spirits and his Father procured another Companion for him whose Name was Co-Coah a boy about 8 or 9 Years old.

Saild out of Charlotte Sound &c. Taywe-herooa and his Young friend Cocoah was at first in pretty good Spirits—but when he had got a little distance from the Shore their Resolution fail'd them—and they gave way to their Grief by weeping aloud and singing a Song in a very melancholy cadence the Words of Which we did not understand; we endeavoured to comfort him by fair Words and Omai did all in his power to pacify them but all in vain they cast most wistful Looks towards the Shore which was every Moment retiring from their view and they wept incessantly. That Night they lay in the Steerage on the bare Deck cover'd with their Cloaks or Buggee buggees—In the Morning they wept as before and repeated the same Mournful Song—As Red Cloth was much valued by the new Zealanders, Capt. Cooke ordered a Jacket of it to be made for each of them—tho a few days before, this would have been look'd upon as an invaluable Piece of Finery by them, yet in their present Situation they took but little notice of it. Taywe-herooa by the persuasion of Omai would soon have become reconciled to his situation but for the Young Boy Cocoah who was not to be pacified either by Red Cloth or fair promises he used daily to sit in the Chains for hours crying and repeating his melancholy Song and as soon as Tay-we-he-rooa heard him he would go and sit along side of him & partake of his Grief—they thus continued for about a Week to lament their misfortune in having left their native Country when at length the kind treatment they met with from every one dispatch'd their sorrows & by degrees made them pleas'd with their new Situation, they soon fell into our method of living, tho' at first they preferr'd Fish to every thing else—which had been their principal food in their own country—We found the Boy Cocoah to be of a very humorous & lively disposition and he afforded us much mirth with his page 227 drolleries—Tay-we-he-rooa was a Sedate sensible Young fellow —they were both universally liked.

The Coopers, Wooders, Waterers, Sail Makers, &c—with a party of Marines from each Ship were sent to remain on Shore under the direction of Lieut. King of the Resolution. Since our arrival a great number of the new Zealanders have come from different parts of the Sound and taken up their abode in Ship Cove—we were now busily employ'd in cutting Wood compleating our Water—brewing Spruce Beer— boiling down the Blubber we got at the Island of Desolation, making Hay, repairing our rigging Sails &c. We likewise alter'd our Cable Tiers and got three Ton of Casks more down the Hold—this besides giving more Room between Decks for the People—must make the Ship more Comfortable and healthy —when we arrived in the warm Latitudes between the Tropics.

At daylight Captains Cook and Clarke with a large Party of Men went away in the two Ships Launches and Cutters, and the Resolutions Pinnance in order to get Grass for the Horses and other Cattle on Board the Resolution at Midnight the Boats return'd having procured 2 Launch Loads of Grass— in this Excursion they visited Grass Cove—the Place where the Adventure's Cutters Crew were cut off—I have endeavor'd to learn the true history of this accident and the best Account I have been able to gather is that our People were dining on the Beach at a little distance from the Boat, a number of Zealanders then living in Grass Cove. During their Meal one of the Zealanders stole something out of the Boat & was making off with it—on which Mr. Rowe the Officer who commanded the Boat fired & kill'd the Thief on the Spot—the Zealanders then sallied out of the Woods and got between our People and the Water's Side to cut off their retreat, they say Mr. Rowe fired twice and kill'd another Man—but the Muskets had been left in the Boat, no body but himself having fire Arms—so that they were easily overpowered, and fell from not imagining themselves in any danger—the People who are now with us in Ship Cove, are in Parties and Tribes seemingly unconnected with each other and live in different parts of the Cove—one of the Party's are accused by one of the rest—of being the People that cut off the Adventures Boats Crew—their Chief whose Name is Kowura —they say kill'd Mr. Rowe with his own hands—the charge is not without some appearance of Truth—for I saw on the Beach where this party liv'd 2 Canoes that had been cut in Pieces and rebuilt and it was remarked that neither of these Canoes ever came along side our Ships—another Story I have heard is that a large party came round from Admiralty Bay page 228 and surprised the inhabitants of Charlotte Sound, 50 of whom were destroy'd and amongst the rest the Man who kill'd Rowe —Omai was our best Linguist here—is far from being perfect—in his interpretations on his asking what damage theAdventure's Launch did in Grass Cove when she went in search of Mr. Rowe—was told that 40 Canoes were destroy'd but no body killed—by this Answer it is evident they did not understand one another.

Had a hard Gale of Wind from the Westward with very hard Squalls at times, in one of which our small Bower Anchor having got foul came home—and we drove on board the Resolution but luckily got clear without hurt and Moor'd Ship again as before.

Having compleated all our Work, and the Ships being ready for Sea we struck the Tents this Afternoon and got every thing from the Shore.

Hove up our Anchors and run out of Ship Cove into the outer part of the Sound where we Anchord again in 9 fathoms muddy Bottom. The Wind blowing too fresh from the S. E. to turn thro Cooks Streights.

The new Zealanders of Charlotte Sound were never so much amongst us as at this time, the reason probably because they found more was to be got and that we parted with our goods on easier terms, than ever we had done before, for our folks were all so eager after Curiosities and withall so much better provided than in any other Voyage—that our traffic with the Indians was quite spoilt—A Nail last Voyage purchasing more than an Ax or a Hatchet now—before our departure they carried Hatchets under their Cloaths instead of Patows. The Zealander often appear'd to have a great deal of Friendship For us—speaking sometimes in the most tender compassionate tone of Voice imaginable—but it not a little disgusted one to find all this Show of fondness interested, and that it constantly ended in begging—if gratified with their first demand—they would immediately fancy something ealse—their expectations and importunities increasing in proportion as they had been indulg'd. I have seen instances of their Quarrelling after having beg'd three things—because a fourth was denied them. It seemd evident to me that some of the Zealanders held us in great Contempt—one Reason I believe was our not revenging the affair of Grass Cove—so contrary to the principles by which they would have been actuated in the like case—another cause might be their getting away from us so many valuable things for which they regarded us as Dupes to their Superior Cunning—we had page 229 frequent instances how little they stood in fear of us—One Man acknowledged without the least hesitation, his being present and assisting at the killing and eating of the Adventures People—As another instance One Morning at the Resolutions Tent, the Serjeant of Marines hinder'd a Chief from entering fearing he might steal something if not watch'd—the Zealander immediately got with all his People into his Canoes and remained a considerable time near the Beach challenging the Serjeant to single Combat, shaking his Patow and threatening to be severely reveng'd, the same evening the enrag'd Chief with all his followers left Ship Cove and went up the Sound—none of the other parties took any notice of his Quarrel—Tigers and Wolves are not more ravenous than the new Zealanders—nothing comes amiss but no Victuals was so highly relish'd by them as the rank Seal Blubber we brought from Kerguelens Land and which we boil'd down here, so fond were they of this delicious food, that some of our People who attended the Boiling, and whose appetites must have been as delicate as those of the New Zealanders themselves—have procured for some of the Skimming of the Kettle very substantial favors from the Ladies.

The Wind came round to the N.W. at 9 this Morning hove up our Anchors and left Charlotte Sound—in the Evening got through Cooks Streights—and on the 27th at Noon took our departure from Cape Palliser, (the South Point of new Zealand) it bearing West by the Compass 15 or 16 Leagues distant—From the Coast of new Zealand we steer'd to the East & E.N.E. having variable Winds till we got into 39 degrees of So Latitude and 195°. Et Longtitude—here we had the Wind from the E.S.E. but soon after it veerd more to the East and remained so fix'd that in running our Latitude down to the Southern Tropic we could get no farther to the Eastward, the foul Wind was so much the worse by our having very little of it, for though it is proverbial, we cannot have too much of a good thing—yet here it was our misfortune to have too little of a bad thing—The Weather was exceeding hot and Sultry for want of more Wind and our run to the Northward retarded. On board the Resolution the Hay fell short on which occasion they were oblig'd to kill a great many Sheep to lessen the consumption and enable them to keep the larger Cattle alive till we should reach some place where a fresh supply might be procured.

It has been remark'd that scarcely any Birds are met with in some parts of the South Seas—which was the case with us from new Zealand to the Tropic of Capricorn.

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