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A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas

A Vocabulary of the Language of the People of New Holland

A Vocabulary of the Language of the People of New Holland.

Bamma, A man.
Mootjel, A woman.
Dunjo, A father.
Tumurre, or jumurre, A son.
Baityebai, Bones.
Tulkoore, Hair.
Garmbe, Blood.
Wageegee, 'I'he head.
Eiyamoac, 'The crown of the head.
Morye, or moree, The hair of the head.
Walloo, The temples.
Peete, The forehead.
Meül, The eyes.
Garbar, The eye-brows.
Poetya, The eye-lids.
Melea, The ears.
Bonjoo, The nose.
Yembe, The lips.
Mulère or móle, The teeth.
Unjar. The tongue.
Jacal, or tacal, The chin.
Waller, jeamball, or teamball, The beard.
Doomboo, The neck.page 149
Morcol, The throat.
Coyor, The breast.
Coyoor, The nipples.
Melmal, The pit of the stomach.
Gippa, The belly.
Toolpoor, The navel.
Mocoo, The back.
Eèimbar, The sides or ribs.
Aco, or acol, The arms.
Camor, or gamorga, The arm-pits.
Mangal, The hands.
Eboorbalga, The thumb.
Egalbaiga, The three fingers next the thumb.
Nakil, or eboornakil, The little finger.
Coenjoo, The hips.
Booca, The anus.
Coman, The thighs.
Atta, The ham.
Pongo, The knees.
Peegoorga, The legs.
Chongarn, The ancle.
Edamal, The feet.
Kniororor, The heel.
Chumal, The sole of the foot.
Jambooingar, or tambooingar, The toes.
Kolke, The nails.
Pandal, A sore.
Mòro, The scars on their bodies.
Tennapuke, or jennapuke. The hole in their nostrils made for the bone ornament.
Cotta, A dog.
Kangooroo, The leaping quadruped.
Taquol, or jaquol, An animal of the viverra kind.page 150
Waowa, The crest of a bird.
Poetyo, A feather.
Goromoco, A falcon.
Wanda, A cockatoo.
Perpore, The blue-headed loryquet.
Baipai, The spotted starling.
Poteea, Fish.
Cooenda, or yolcumba, The spotted shark.
Jckkerra, The serrated bone of the sting ray.
Putai, A turtle.
Poenja, A male turtle.
Mameingo, A female turtle.
Maboo, The tail of a turtle.
Mailetja, Echinus pentaphyloides, or flat sea-egg.
Bingabinga, Echinus ovaritis viridis, the greenish prickly sea-egg.
Kanawoongo, Haliotes, or ear-shell.
Gomego, Cyprea tygris, the tyger cowry.
Metieul, The telescope-shell.
Ebapee, The other mud-shell, or lipped telescope.
Chicoai, The Persian-crown shell.
Kurrow, or kurooee. Spondylus, the hinge oyster.
Moenje, Chama, or smooth cockle.
Tabugga, jabugga, or chapaua, A fly.
Walboolbool, A butterfly.
Wolbit, Plantains.
Depoor, Ficus ridula.
Badjoor, Cicas circinalis.
Balanguir, Convolvulus Brasiliensis.
Bandeer, Abrus pricatorius.
Maracotn, Taro, or yam.
Nampar, Bamboo.
Maiye, A branch or stalk.
Dora, A leaf they chewed.page 151
Keremande, A cocoa-nut-shell.
Darnda, The redgum.
Zoocoo, Wood.
Maianang, Fire.
Poorai, Water.
Poapoa, Earth.
Galan, The sun.
Wulgar, The clouds.
Kere, The sky.
Walba, A stone.
Toowal, or joowal, Sand.
Yendoo, or jangoo, A basket.
Goorga, A rope, or line.
Paijall, A string made of a sinew.
Charngala, A bag.
Gulka, A lance.
Melpairo, or melpier, The hand-board of the lance.
Tapool, The bone ornament they wear through the septum nasi, or division of the nostrils.
Geannar, A mother-of-pearl necklace.
Carbanda, or carball, The white paint on their bodies.
Maragau, or emaragu, A canoe.
Malepair, The lever of the canoe.
Garboora, or garburra, The out-rigger.
Mairbarra, Smooth.
Boota, bootina, yette, and yatta, To eat.
Chuchala, To drink.
Meerya, To roast or dress-victuals.
Tucai, or tucaiya, To sit down.
Marra, To go.
Mingoore, To dance.
Mailelel, To swim.
Pelenyo, To paddle.
Aibuòdje, To yawn.page 152
Poona, To sleep or rest on.
Wonananio, A sleep.
Tocaya, Sit. down.
Kidde, Get along, or go before.
Cowai, Let us go; Come along,
Hala, hala, máé, Come hither.
Walgal, or walangal, Uncover; take off; shew.
Walga, Strips or uncover yourself.
Gorra, gorra, Again, again.
Chambara, Throw it away.
Yeiye, Is it this?
Yarba, That's all.
Cutjalla, Tie it on.
Kono, kono, I cannot dò it.
Eya & ba, That, or this.
Te, An article the same as A, or The.
Chaloee, An expression of surprize !
Yarea, & charo, Words uttered in a tone of pleasing surprize, on seeing the whiteness of some of our people's skin who had taken off their cloaths, in order to bathe.
Yecalea, Expressed on seeing their spears that we had taken.
Yerchee, Expressed on feeling the effects of a burning glass.

Mens Names.

  • Yappa Gadugoo,
  • Yarconigo,
  • Garranattoo,
  • Tapuolyer,
  • Balgomee,
  • Goota,
  • Dunggrea,
  • Yaparico,
  • Taijaputta.

Cabeeleelce, coyelaillo, halle-cutta, yerba, ycrbe, yerga, are words they frequently made use of, but the meaning of them we could not find out.

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As a mark of dissent, they said Aipa, several times, and this was the only word, that we could distinguish, to accord With the Otaheitean language.

On our arrival, the natives shewed themselves, on the land opposite to us, by degrees; and, after having thrown them some fish, they ventured to approach us in a canoe; landed by us; laid down their lances, and came forward to meet us, shewing signs of amity as they came along; but they were so much abashed at first, that they took but little notice of us, or of any thing about us, though they did not seem to be apprehensive of danger. We made them some presents, which they accepted, but did not shew much fondness for them. They became, at length, more free when only three of us were present, and made signs for us to take off some of our garments, which we did accordingly. They viewed them with surprize; but they seemed to have had no idea of cloaths; nor did they express a desire for any; and a shirt, which we gave them, was found afterwards torn into rags.

The natives shewed a great antipathy to our tame birds, and attempted to throw one of them over-board; and, a little before we left the land, they set fire to the grass round the spot where we had pitched our tent; but, luckily for us, most of our things were on-board, or they would, in all probability, have been consumed, as the fire burnt very fiercely, and had like to have destroyed a litter of pigs, and some other things. We shot at one of them, who ran up the hill with a firebrand, and wounded him. Several of them came to us afterwards, and made peace with us.

They seem to live mostly on shell-fish, the remains of which we frequently saw about their fires, which they procure by twirling a piece of wood in a hole, made in another piece, till it is lit up into a flame.

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Some of our people, in a pinnace, went in search of a passage to go out of the bay, and landed on a coral reef, where they met with a great number of shells; and, among the rest, the spondylus, and a large sort of trochus, or top-shell, with which they loaded the boat.

On the 4th of August, in the morning, we weighed anchor, left the harbour, and steered N. E. till we were near the Turtle Reefs; there we anchored again, and sent the boats on shore, which returned with a turtle, a large skate, and a great number of clams, a sort of cockle, some of them very large.

On the 5th, it blew so hard that we could not weigh anchor till afternoon, and then we stood to the N. E. but, meeting with several shoals, we were obliged to cast anchor again, as the wind blew fresh, and were detained till the 10th. On the morning of which we weighed anchor again, but the wind blowing hard from the S. S. E. we drove, and were obliged at length to let go two anchors, and rode by the first with near two hundred fathoms of cable.

We had chiefly strong gales of wind after the sun's approach toward us from the tropic of Capricorn; and, on account of the many shoals hereabout, we did not go directly out to sea, but kept near the shore, and passed by some low islands well covered with trees.

We also saw three high islands, and sailed betwixt them and the main: the latter appeared very low, barren, and sandy.

Toward evening we were on a sudden alarmed by the appearance of land all round us: the weather being hazy, and the wind blowing fresh, we hauled in our wind, and came to under a bluff point of the main.

On the 13th, in the morning, we weighed anchor, and stood to the eastward, close to one of the high islands which we had passed before, and so on through a break of the reef, which was about half a mile wide, This reef, which the captain dis-page 155covered from the top of the last-mentioned island, ran farther than the eye could reach, on the outermost side of all the rest, like a wall, and the sea broke very high upon it: We found no sounding in the passage, latitude 14° 38', and we stood to the N. E. in order to get out to sea, intending to keep to the northward on the morrow.

On the 15th, about noon, we saw land again in latitude 13° S. also a continuation of the reef which ran along-side of it. In the evening, standing right in for land, we were alarmed by suddenly discovering that reef extended to leeward of us, upon which we hauled in our wind, and crouded all the sail we could, that we might be able to weather the farthest point of it. The wind was easterly this day, more moderate, and the swell of the sea less.

On the 16th, at the dawn of day, we had a reef under our lee, at about a mile distance, which alarmed us much. When it was quite light, we saw breakers all round us excepting to windward, where we came in. The wind sailing us about midnight, we tacked about, being afraid to stand any farther; and the wind's still sailing was the cause that we drove on the reef, which we now neared apace. In this dilemma, we first hoisted out our small boats (the long boat being stowed, and the pinnace repairing) to tow her off, and got a pair of sweeps rigged out of the gun-room ports, to turn her head about. A slight puff of wind gave us some hopes of effecting it; but that sailing, we approached so near the breakers, that there was but one heave of the swell between them and the ship. However, with our pulling, the alteration of the tide, and another flight puff of wind, we cleared her a little more from the reef, and stood to where we saw a break in the reef to leeward, there we hoped, at least, to find ground to anchor upon; but, when we got to the entrance of it, we were driven off by a ripple of the tide that set out with great force; which, however, proved very providential, as we afterward found there were rocks in the passage, and that it was not a proper break. We then stood to windward, intending either to get out as we came in or a little farther down to leeward, where the reef seemed detached; but, perceiving, soon after, the tops of some rocks in the passage, we declined attempting it. The wind again dying away, we were at a loss what to do for the best; but, at last determined on sending some of our people in the boat to examine into the appear-page 156ance of another break still farther to leeward; and, a light breeze springing up from the east, we resolved to push in there, though the passage was but narrow, which we happily accomplished, being assisted by the tide; and we anchored between the reef and the shore, in fifteen fathoms water; though, at the very edge of these reefs, we had no sounding at one hundred and fifty-five fathoms. At our first entrance into this place we had very unequal soundings; sometimes finding no bottom; and one fathom farther finding it with twenty fathoms of line. This, we apprehended, was occasioned by the coral rocks which rise up almost perpendicular. Latitude 12° 36'.

On the 17th, in the morning, we sent some men in the boat to the reef for turtles and clams, but they returned without any of the former, and with but few clams, though they were of a large size.

The reefs were covered with a numberless variety of beautiful corallines of all colours and figures, having here and there interstices of very white sand. These made a pleasing appearance under water, which was smooth on the inside of the reef, while it broke all along the outside, and may be aptly compared to a grove of shrubs growing under water. Numbers of beautiful coloured fishes make their residence amongst these rocks, and may be caught by hand on the high part of the reef at low water. There are also crabs, molusca of various sorts, and a great variety of curious shell-fish, which adhere to the old dead coral that forms the reef.

On the 18th, we weighed anchor, and stood along shore on the inside of the reef, thinking that would be the safest and best way of finding the passage between New-Guinea and this land: we met with a great many islands, shoals, and reefs, and came to at night. We kept along shore till the 21st, and, at noon, in latitude 10° 36', we came to a great number of islands near the main land, which tended away to the S.W. We stood through between two of these islands, to the west, and found a very strong tide, which carried us along briskly, and gave us hopes that this was a passage between New Holland and New Guinea. At length we came to, and the pinnace was sent on shore to a spot where we saw some of the natives stand gazing at us; but when the boat's company landed, they immediately page 157fled. The captain, and some others, went up to the top of a hill, and, seeing a clear passage, they hoisted a jack, and fired a volley, which was answered by the marines below, and the marines by three vollies from the ship, and three cheers from the main shrouds. The natives were armed with lances, and one of them had a bow in his hand. In other respects they were much like the people we saw last, being quite naked, and of a dark colour. This land was more rocky, and lest sandy than we had lately seen, but still very barren; though the flats, indeed, were covered with many verdant trees. We also discovered very high land at a great distance to the N.E. which we took for the land of New Guinea.

We were obliged to keep a constant look-out while we passed between the reef and the land, as it was full of shoals, reefs, sandy keys, and small islands; and had we not come in again, we should not have sound a passage.

On the 23rd, we had light breezes from the N. and S.W. with some calms, and were certain of being in a strait, which seemed to be not very remote from the river Van Speult in Carpentaria; the land to the north being made up of a cluster of islands. We found shallow water all through this strait, which we named Endeavour; Straits; and went over a bar that had only three fathoms and a half water. About noon, we saw a small island covered with birds-dung of a white colour, and some of our people went off in a boat, and shot a score of birds called Boobies,

On the 24th, in the morning, the cable broke in weighing up the anchor, which obliged us to drop another, and detained us all day sweeping for it with much trouble; but, the next morning, we got it up, and soon after were underway, and stood on to the N.W. with a fine breeze from the east. About two o'clock, in the afternoon, we were much alarmed by finding ourselves amongst a parcel of small shoals. These shoals were discovered by the water's appearing a little brownish. They consisted of rocks upon which there were only two and three fathoms water; and, though there was a pretty large swell, they did not break. There was one not half a cable's length, from the ship. We had not more than from six to eleven fathoms water in this sea when we were out of sight of land. After examining around for the safest way to get clear of these shoals, we weighed anchor and stood out, first southerly, and then to the west, till we deepened our water to eleven page 158fathoms; and then supposed that we passed near some part of that great shoal, stretching round part of the island of Hogeland, on the north of Carpentaria.

On the 26th, we steered west all day, with a fine breeze from the east, and deepened our water to twenty-five fathoms, in latitude 10° 10'.

On the 27th, steering northward for the coast of New Guinea, we were surprized again by the appearance of a shoal all round us; on examination, however, we found it was only a sort of spawn swimming upon the water, such as we had often seen before, that gave it that appearance. We had, on this day, twenty nine fathoms water and under. Latitude 9° 56'.

On the 28th, about noon, we got into very broken ground, the foundings being, on a sudden, from three fathoms to ten, and continued very irregular all the afternoon, with hard ground. This, however, did not prevent us from making all the fail we could, and without a boat ahead. About four o'clock in the afternoon, we saw low land. Toward the evening it blew very hard from the S. E. and we stood E. N. E. and were in great danger of striking. As the water was so shoal, we stood backwards and forwards all night; and, through the good providence of God, met with no accident. Latitude 8° 54'.

On the 29th, we stood in for the land of New Guinea, which looked very flat, and was covered with trees, among which we saw a great many palms that overtopped the rest; but whether there were cocoa-nuts we could not get near enough, for the shoals, to determine. We saw an opening which had the appearance of a river's mouth; and many smokes on the land. In the afternoon we were abreast of a point of land, which we supposed was that distinguished in the maps by the name of Cape Valsch, or False Cape: From this cape the land continued low, but did not tend to the S.E. as we expected. We could not keep near the shore, the soundings being only from five to ten fathoms, at three or four leagues distance from land. The water was very white and muddy, like that of a river, and had a sandy bottom. Latitude 8° 19'.

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On the 30th, we coasted along about three or four leagues from the land, which was very flat. Our soundings were much the same as the day before. This sand-bank extends about, a league farther out to sea, as we judged from the dark-coloured water which we saw from the ship. In the evening, the land seemed to end in a point, and tend away to the north. The sea was very full of some stuff like chaff, and we saw some smoke upon land. Latitude 8° 39'.

On the 31st, in the night, a current carried us away so far to westward, that it was evening, the next day, before we made land again. We were now pretty certain that we had got round Cape Valsch by the smoothness of the water, and thought the sand-bank would have broken off here, but it rather increased, for we had only four fathoms water, and, at the same time, could not see the land.

After beating about for three days in quest of land, being prevented getting in with it by the wind setting east; on the 3d, in the morning, we made the coast again, and approached to within three or four leagues of the shore: A party of our people went, in the pinnace, to examine the country while we stood off and on. They soon returned with an account that a great number of the natives threatened them on the beach, who had pieces of bamboo, or canes, in their hands, out of which they puffed some smoke, and then threw some darts at them about a fathom long, made of reeds, and pointed of Etoa wood, which were barbed, but very blunt. Our people fired upon them, but they did not appear to be intimidated; our men, therefore, thought proper to embark. They observed that these people were not negroes, as has been reported, but are much like the natives of New Holland, having shock hair, and being entirely naked. They also saw a plenty of cocoa-nuts growing on the trees, as well as lying in heaps on the ground; and plantains, bread-fruit, and Peea. The country appeared very fertile, having a great number of different sorts of trees, which formed very thick woods. The soil is very rich, and produces much larger plants than grow on the islands. Latitude 6° 15'.

On the 5th, in the morning, which was moon-light, about one o'clock, we passed two low island, which, we supposed, are the southernmost of the Arow page 160Isles that are set down about this parallel. There is a fine fresh trade-wind, which generally blows easterly in the day time, but comes about at night more southerly, and blows much stronger. We kept a W. S. W. course, being in latitude 7° 24' south, about twelve degrees from the island of Timor. Since the 3d instant we have had from twelve to twenty fathoms water till this day, and then our foundings were much deeper.

The Arow Isles belong to the Dutch East-India company, who go there from Banda, and trade for sago, birds of paradise, and New-Guinea slaves.

On the 6th, in the forenoon, in latitude of 8° 15', we saw an island to the N.W. of us, of considerable extent, being about six or seven leagues of flat level land; and, by the latitude we were in, we supposed it was Timor land, which is laid down in the maps more to the westward. We had a very fresh trade-wind from the' S. E. and no foundings.

On the 7th, we had a fresh trade-wind from the east, with clear weather, latitude 9° 31', and saw abundance of very small flying-fish, and some porpoises.

On the 9th, we had light breezes, or calms, all day. Mr. Banks went out in the small boat, and shot between thirty and forty large boobies, which prey upon the flying-fish. In the evening we saw land to the N. W. of us, and supposed it to be about twenty leagues distant, which being very high, we thought, at first, it had been clouds. Latitude 9° 46'.

On the 10th, we had light breezes or calms all day, and were still at a great distance from land. We made an observation of the sun this day, and of moon at night, to determine the longitude, and found ourselves in 233° 33' west from London; and our latitude, by observation, was 10° 1' south, by which we were certain that a current had driven us to the south, as we kept our course to the west. We saw several sharks, dolphins, and barracootas, about the ship, and caught a 'large shark.

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On the 12th, in the morning, we had light breezes from the west, but, in the afternoon, it veered round to the south. We were on the east side of Timor, and about one mile and a half from the shore, which is very strait, and has a sandy beach; the inner side of which has a skirting of Etoa trees. We saw the opening of a river which might make a snug harbour. Both the high and low land is covered with wood, amongst which are many palms on the hills: we saw no house, or any human being, but a great many smokes.

On the 15th, after having been troubled several days with light breezes from the S. W. we had the wind N. E. and E. and stood southward to weather it. The land, this day, appeared very scabby to the naked eye, but, viewed through our glasses, we discovered these to be clear places, many of which were fenced about, and had houses upon them, the eaves of which reached to the ground. We saw also a great many palm-trees on the beach, as well as on the hills, some parts of which were cultivated. We had a bold shore, with hardly any beach. Toward evening the land near the shore appeared much flatter and more level; behind which, at a great distance, we discovered many high hills. Latitude 10° 1'.

On the 16th, in the morning, we had a brisk trade-wind from the east, and a view of the island of Rotté, which lies off the south end of Timor, and passed between it and Anamaboo, which lies to the S. W. of Timor. Both these islands were much lower than Timor; neither did they appear so fertile. We saw no houses, smoke, or cultivated land upon them, but many palms of a kind we were not acquainted with. We had a fine brisk trade-wind this day, but no soundings; latitude, by observation, was 10° 24', about four or five leagues from the southermost part of Timor. In the night, between ten and eleven o'clock, before the moon was up, we saw a remarkable phænomenon, which appeared in the south quarter, extending one point west, and two east, and was about twenty degrees high, like a glow of red rising from fire, striped with white, which shot up from the horizon in a perpendicular direction, alternately appearing and disappearing.

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On the 17th in the morning, we saw a small island, which, by its appearance, promised nothing, being brown, and almost bare, excepting of palms, and a few other trees. On our approaching nearer to it, we saw several sorts of cattle, which induced us to steer to leeward and send the boat on shore; in the mean time, standing off and on, several of the natives came to them on horseback, who spoke a little Portugueze, and told them there was a bay on the other side of the next point where the ship might anchor, and we might meet with a supply of provisions. We pursued our course round the point, and anchored in a very large bay. In the evening we saw a village, situate on the side of a hill, that had Dutch colours hoisted in it. The next morning some of us went on shore, and waited on the Raja, or king, who received us very graciously, and promised to supply us with every thing, if the Dutchman pleased: The Dutchman vouchsafed to consent, and made us a visit on board, in company with the Raja and his attendants: they dined with us; were very ceremonious, and left us, after having made specious professions of friendship. The next day some of our people returned the visit, and dined with them. After much shuffling on their part, we made shift to obtain a large number of fowls, eight bullocks, several goats, hogs, a great quantity of syrup, and a few fruits.

They informed us that they had been without rain in the country for seven months, and that the herbage was almost burnt up.

This island, which is divided into five districts, is about thirty miles long; is called Savoo, and lies south of India. It contains near nine thousand inhabitants, and for these nine years past has been possessed by the Dutch, who have a resident here, and trade to India, Macassar, and Timor; and, from this island, furnish Concordia with provisions. It was formerly in the possession of the Portuguese, who left it about an hundred years since.

As we were not permitted to examine the country, or its products, the Dutchman not suffering us to go any where without a strong guard, I amused myself in picking up, from the natives of the island, what particulars I could learn in respect to their language, from which I afterwards formed the following vocabulary.