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Some Ladies visit the Fort with uncommon Ceremonies.
The Indians attend Divine Service, and in the Evening exhibit a most extraordinary Spectacle. Tubourai falls into Temptation.
1969. . May.
FRIDAY, the 12th of May, was diftinguished by
a visit from some ladies whom we had never seen before, and who introduced themselves with some very singular ceremonies. Mr. Banks was trading in his boat at the gate of the fort as usual, in company with Tootahah, who had that morning paid him a vilii, and some other of the natives; between nine and ten o'clock, a double canoe came to the landing-place, under the awning of which sat a man and two women : The Indians that were about Mr. Banks made signs that he fhould go out to meet them, which he hafted to do ; but by the time he could get out of the boat, they advanced within ten yards of him : they then stopped, and made signs that he should do so too, laying down about a dozen young plantain trees, and some other small plants : he complied, and the people having made a lane between them, the man, who appeared to be a servant, brought fix of them to Mr. Banks by one of each at a time, paffing and repalling fix times, and al. ways pronounced a short sentence when he delivered them. Tupia, who stood by Mr. Banks, acted as his matter of the ceremonies, and receiving the branches as they were brought, laid them down in the boat. When this was done, another man brought a large bundle of cloth, which having opened, he spread piece by piece upon the ground, in the space between Mr. Banks and his visitors; there were nine pieces, and having laid three pieces onę upon another, the foremost of the women, who seemed to be the principal, and who was called OORATToo, stepped upon them, and taking up her garments all round her to the waist, turned about, with great composure and deliberation, with an air of perfect innocence and simplicity, three times ; when this was done, the dropped the veil, and stepping off the cloth, three more pieces were laid on, and she repeated the ceremony, then 1769.
May. - tepping off as before ; the last three were laid on, and the ceremony was repeated in the same manner the third time. Immediately after this the cloth was rolled up, and given to Mr. Banks, as a present from the lady, who, with her friend, came up and saluted him. He made fuch presents to them both as he thought would be most acceptable, and after having staid about an hour they went away. In the evening
the Gentlemen at the fort had a visit from Oterea, and her favourite female attendant, whose name was OTHEOTHEA, an agreeable girl, whom they were the more pleased to see, because having been some days absent, it had been reported that she was either fick or dead. Saturd. 13.
On the 13th the market being over about ten o'clock, Mr. Banks walked into the woods with his gun, as she generally did, for the benefit of the shade in the heat of the day: as he was returning back, he met Tubourai Tamaide, near his occasional dwelling, and stopping to spend some time with him, he suddenly took the gun out of Mr. Banks's hand, cocked it, and, holding it up in the air, drew the trigger : fortunately for him, it Aafhed in the pan : Mr. Banks immediately took it from him, not a little furprized how he had acquired fufficient knowledge of a gun to discharge it, and reproved him with great severity for what he had done. As it was of infinite importance to keep the Indians totally ignorant of the management of fire-arms, he had taken every opportunity of intimating that they could never Offend him to highly as by even touching his piece; it was now proper to enforce this prohibition, and he therefore added threats to his reproof: the Indian bore all patiently; but the moment Mr. Banks crossed the river, he fet off with all his family and furniture for his house. at Eparre. This being quickly known from the Indians at the fort, and great inconvenience being apprehended from the displeasure of this man, who upon all occasions had been particularly useful, Mr. Banks determined to follow him without delay, and folicit his return: he fet out the fame evening, accompanied by Mr. Mollia neaux, and found him fitting in the middle of a large VOL. I. H h
1769. circle of people, to whom he had probably related what May.
had happened, and his fears of the consequences; he was himself the very picture of grief and dejection, and the same passions were strongly marked in the countenances of all the people that surrounded him. · When Mr. Banks and Mr. Mollineaux went into the circle, one of the women expressed her trouble, as Terapo had done upon another occasion, and struck a shark's tooth into her head several times, till it was covered with blood. Mr. Banks loft no time in putting an end to this universal distress ; he assured the Chief, that every thing which had passed should be forgotten; that there was not the least animosity remaining on one side, nor any thing to be feared on the other. The Chief was foon footbed into confidence and complacency, a double canue was ordered to be got ready, they all returned to the fort before supper, and, as a pledge of perfect reconciliation, both he and his wife slept all night in Mr. Banks's tent: their presence, however, was no palladium ; for, between eleven and twelve o'clock, one of the natives attempted to get into the fort by scaling the walls, with a design, no doubt, so steal whatever he should happen to find; but he was discovered by the centinel, who happily did not fire, and he ran away much faster than any of our people could follow him. The iron, and iron-tools, which were in continual use at the armourer's forge, that was set up within the works, were temptations to
theft which none of these people could withstand. Sunday 14.
On the 14th, which was Sunday, I directed thar Divine Service should be performed at the fort : we were defirous that some of the principal Indians should be present; but when the hour came, most of them were returned home. Mr. Banks, however, crofled the river, and brought back Tubourái Tamaide and his wife Tomio, hoping that it would give occasion to some inquiries on their part, and some instruction on ours : having feated them, he placed himself between them, and during the whole service, they very attentively observed his behaviour, and very exactly imitated it ; standing, sitting, or kneeling, as they saw him do : they were conscious that we were employed about somewhat serious and important, as appeared
by their calling to the Indians without the fort to be 1769. silent ; yet when the service was over, neither of them asked any questions, nor would they attend to any attempt that was made to explain what had been done.
Such were our Matins ; our Indians thought fit to perform Vespers of a very different kind. A young man, near six feet high, performed the rites of Venus with a little girl about eleven or twelve years of age before several of our people, and a great number of the natives, without the least sense of its being indecent or improper, but, as it appeared, in perfect conformity to the custom of the place. Among the spectators were several women of superior rank,particularly Oberea, who may properly be said to have assisted at the ceremony ; for they gave inftru&ions to the girl how to perform her part, which, young as she was, she did not seem much to stand in need of.
This incident is not mentioned as an object of idle curiosity,but as it deserves consideration in determining a question which has been long debated in philosophy; Whether the shame attending certain a&ions, which are allowed on all sides to be in themselves innocent, is implanted in nature, or superinduced by custom? If it has its origin in custom, it will, perhaps, be found difficult to trace that custom, however, general, to its source ; if in instinct, it will be equally difficult to difcover from what cause it is subdued or at least over
these people, in whose manners not the least trace of it is to be found.
On the 14th and 15th we had another opportunity Monday 15. of observing the general knowledge which these people had of any design that was formed among them. In the night between the 13th and 14th one of the watercasks was stolen from the outside of the fort : in the morning, there was not an Indian to be seen who did not know that it was gone ; yet they appeared not to have been trusted, or not to have been worthy of trust, for-hey seemed all of them disposed to give intelligence where it might be found. Mr. Banks traced it to a part of the bay where he was told it had been put into a canoe, but as it was not of great consequence, he did not complete the discovery. When he returned, he
was told by Tubourai Tamaide, that another cask would be stolen before the morning : how he came hy this knowledge it is not easy to imagine, but that he was not a party in the design is certain ; for he came with his wife and family to the place where the water-casks stood, and placing their beds near them, he faid he would himfelf be a pledge for their safety, in defpight of the thief: of this, however, we would not admit; aud making him understand that a centrý would be placed to watch the casks till thre morning, be removed the beds into Mr. Banks's tent, where he and his family spent the night, making signs to the centry when he retired, that he should keep his eyes open. In the night this intelligence appeared to be true; about twelve o'clock the thief came, but difcovering that a watch had been fet, he went away without his booty.
Mr. Banks's confidence in Tubourai Tamaide had greatly increased fince the affair of the knife, in consequence of which he was at length expofed to remptations which neither his integrity 'nor his honour were able to refift. They had withstood many allurements, but were at lengthensnared by the fascinating charms 'of a basket of nails : These nails were much larger than any that had been yet brought into trade, and had, with perhaps fome degree of criminal 'negligence, been left in a corner of Mr. Banks's tent, to which the Chief had always free access. One of these nails Mr. Banks's servant happened to see in his poffession, upon his having inadvertently thrown back that part of his garment under which it was concealed. Mr. "Banks 'being told of 'this, and knowing that no such thing had been given him, either as a prefent or in barter, immediately examined the bafkèt, and discovered, that out of seven hails five were milling. Hethen, though not without great 'relu&ancé, chargcd him with the fa&t, which he immediately confessed, and however he'ntight suffer, was probably not more hurt than his accoler. A demand was imthediately . made of reftitution"; båt this he declined, saying, that 'the nails were at Eparre : however, Mr. Banks appearing to be much in earnest, and 'ufing some threatening signs, he thought fit to produce one of them.