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pleasures. The natives of Otaheite, both men and women, conttantly wash their whole bodies in running water three times every day; once as soon at they rise in the morning, once at noon, and again before they sleep at night, whether the sea or river is near them or at a distance. I have already observed, that they wash not only the mouth, but the hands at their meals, almost between every morsel; and their clothes, as well as their persons, are kept without spot or stain; so that in a large company of these people, nothing is sufi'eied but heat, which, perhaps, is more than can be said of" the politest assembly in Europe.
if necessity is the mother of invention, it cannot be supposed to have been much exerted where the liberality of Nature has rendered the diligence of art almost super, fluous; yet there are many instances both of ingenuity and labour among these people, which, considering the want os metal for tools, do honour to both.
Their principal manufacture is their cloth, in the making and dying of which 1 think there are some . particulars, which may instruct even the artificers of Great Britain, and for that reason my description will be more minute.
Their cloth is of three kinds; and it is made of the bark of three different trees, the Chinese paper mulberry, the bread-fruit tree, and the tree which resembles the wild fig-tree of the West-Indies.
The finest and whitest is made of the paper mulberry, Aauta; this is worn chiefly by the principal people, and when it is dyed red takes a better colour. A second sort, inferior in whiteness and soft
ness, is made of the bread-froit tree, Oiroo, and worn chiefly by the inferior people; and a third of the tree that resembles the fig, which is coarse and harsh, and of the colour of the darkest brown paper: this, though it is less pleasing both to the eye and the touch, is the most valuable, because it resists water, which the other two sorts will not. Of this, which it the most rare as well as the mod useful, the greater part is perfumed, and worn by the chiefs as a morning dress.
All these trees are propagated with the greatest care, particularly t:e mulberry, which covers tie largest part of the cultivated land, and is not fit for use aster two or three years growth, when it is about fix or eight feet high, and somewhat thicker than a man's thumb; its excellence is to be thin, strait, tall, and without branches: the lower leaves, therefore, are carefully plucked off, with their germi, as often as there is any appearance of their producing a branch.
But though the cloth made of these three trees is different, it is all manufactured in the fame manner; I shall, therefore, describe the process only in the fine sort, that is made of the mulberry. When the tree9 are of a proper size, they are drawn up, and stripped of their branches, after which the roots and togs are cut off; the bark of these rods being then slit up longitudinally, is easily drawn off, and, when a proper quantity has hern procured, it is carried down to some running water, in which it is deposited to soak, and secured from floating away by heavy stones: when it is supposed to be sufficiently softened, the women-setran" g°
down to the brook, and stripping themselves, sic down in the water, to separate the inner bark from the green part on the outside; to do this they place the under-side upon a flat smooth board, and with the shell which our dealers call tyger's tongue, Ttltina gargadia, scrape it very carefully, dipping it continually in the water, till nothing remains but the fine fibres of the inner coat. Being thus prepared in the afternoon, they are spread out npon plantain leaves in the evening; and in this part of the work there appears to be some difficulty, as the mistress of the family always superintends the doing of it: they are placed in lengths of about eleven or twelve ynrds, one by the side of another, till they are about a foot broad, and two or three layers are also laid one upon the other: care is taken that the cloth shall be in all parts of an equal thickness, so that if the bark happens to be thinner in any particular part of one liyer than the reft, a piece that is somewhat thicker is picked out to be laid over it in the next. In this slate it remains till the morning, when great part of the water which it contained when it was laid out is either drained ofi7 or evaporated, and the several fibres adhere together, so as that the whole may be raised from the ground in one piece.
It is then taken away, and laid upon the smooth side of a long piece of wood, prepared for the purpose, and beaten by the women servants, with instruments about a foot long, and three inches thick, made of a hard wood, which they call Etoa. The shape of this instrument is not unlike a square ra•zor strop, only that the handle is
longer, and each of its four sides or faces is marked, lengthways, with small grooves, or furrows, of different degrees of fineness; those on one fide being of a width and depth sufficient to receive a small packthread, and the others finer in a regular gradation, so that the last are not more than equal to sewing silk.
They beat it first with the coarsest side of this mallet, keeping time like our smiths; it spreads very fast under the strokes, chiefly however in the breadth, and the grooves in the mallet mark it with the appearance of threads; it is successively beaten with the other sides, last with the finest, and is then fit for use. Sometimes, however, ic is made still thinner, by beating ic with the finest fide of the mallet, after it has been several times doubled: it is then called Hcics, and' is almost as thin as a muslin; it becomes very white by being bleached in the air, but is made still whiter and softer by being. washed and beaten again after it has been worn.
Of this cloth there are several sorts, of different degrees of fineness, in proportion as it is mare or less beaten without being doubled: the other cloth also differ*in proportion as it is beaten; but they differ from each other irt consequence of the different materials of which they are made. The bark of the bread-fruit is not taken till the trees are considerably longer and thicker than thole of the fig; the process afterwards is the fame.
When cloth is to be washed after it has been worn,, it is taken down to the brook, and left to soak, being kept fast to the bottom as at first, by a stone; it is then gently
C wrung wrung or squeezed; and sometimes several pieces of it are laid one upon another, and beaten together with the coarsest fide of the mallet, and they are then equal in thickness to broad-cloth, and much more soft and agreeable to the touch, aster they have been a little while in use, though, when they come immediately from the mallet, they seel as if they had been starched. This cloth sometimes breaks in the beating, but is easily repaired by pasting on a patch with a glutten that is prepared from the root of .the Pea, which is done .so nicely that it cannot be discovered. The women also employ themselves in removing blemiihea of every kind, as our ladies do in needle-work or knotting; sometimes, when their work is intended to be very fine, they-will paste an entire covering df hoboo over the whole. The principal excellencies of this cloth are its coolness and softness; and its imperfections, its being pervious to water like paper, and almost as easily torn. :-.* .
The colours with which they dye this cloth are principally red and yellow. The red is > exceedingly beautiful, and I may venture to lay,a brighter and more delicate colour than any we have in Europe; that which approaches-nearest is our full scarlet, and the best imitation which Mr. Banks's natural history painter could produce, was by a mixture of termillion and carmine. The yellow is also a bright colour, but we have many as good.
[We shall here omit the description of the vegetables they use to procure the colours, and the man. ner in which they dye their cloths, to shew their ingenuity in other parts of their domestic ecconomy.]
Another considerable roanufacf.'.rc is matting of various kinds; some of which is finer, and better in every respect, than any we have in Europe: the coarser sort serves them to sleep upon, and the finer to wear in wet weather. With the fine, of which there are also two sorts, much pains is taken, especially with that made of the bark of the Pcerou, the Hibiscus taliacati of Linnæus, some of which is as fine as a coarse cloth: the other sort, which is still more beautiful, they called tonne; it is white, glossy, and shining, and is made of the leaves of tkeir Wharrmo, a species of the Paiulunus, of which we bad no opportunity to see either the Rowers or fruit: they have other matts-, or as they call them Mteas, to sit or to sleep upon, which are formed of a great variety of rushes and grafs, and which they make, as they do every thing else that is plaited, with amazing facility and dispatch.
■ They are also ve^ dexterous in making basket and wicker-work: their baskets are of a thousand dis. ferent patterns, many of them exceedingly neat; and the making them is an art that every one practises, both men and women: they make occasional baskets and panniers of the cocoa-nut leaf in a few minutes, and the women who visited us early in a morning used to send, as soon as the fun was high, for a few of the leaves, of which they made little bonnets to shade their faces, at so small an expence of time and trouble, that, when the sun was again low in the evening, they used to throw them away. These bonnets, however, did net cover the head, bnt consisted only of a band that went round it, and
a shade a shade that projected from the forehead.
Of the bark of the Poeron they make ropes and lines, from the thickness of an inch, to the size of a small packthread: with these they make nets for fishing: of the fibres of the cocoa-nut they make thread, for fastening together the several parts of their canoes, and belts, either round or flat, twisted or plaited ; and of the bark of the Erowa, a kind of nettle which grows in the mountains, and is therefore rather scarce, they make the best fishing-lines in the world: with these they hold the strongest and most active sifli, such as bonet.is and albicores, which would snap our strongest silk lines in a minute, though they are twice as thick.
They make also a kind of seine; of a coarse broad grass, the blades of which are like flags: thele they twist and tie together in a loose manner, till the net, which is about as wide as a large sack, is from sixty to eighty fathom long: this they haul in shoal smooth water, and its own weight keeps it so close to the ground, that scarcely a single fish can escape.
In every expedient, indeed, for taking fish, they are exceedingly ingenious: they make harpoons of cane, and point them with hard wood, which in their hands strike fish more effectually, than those which are headed with iron can do in ours, setting aside the advantage of ours being fastened to a line, so that the fish is secured if the hook takes place, though it does nOt mortally wound him.
Of fish - hooks they have two sorts, admirably adapted in their construction as well to the purpose
they are to answer, as to the materials of which they are made. One of these, which they call Wittee Wittes, is used for towing. The shank is made of mother-of-pearl, the most glossy that can be got: the inside, which is naturally the brightest, is put behind. To these hooks a tuft of white dog's or hog's hair is fixed, so as somewhat to resemble the tail of a fish; these implement?, therefore, are both hook and bait, and are used with a rod os bamboo, and line of Ero-iva. The fisher, to secure his success, watches the flight of the birds which constantly attend the bonetas when they'fwim in shoals, by which he directs his canoe, and when he has the advantage of these guides, he seldom returns without a prize.
The other kind of hook is also made of mother-of-pearl, or some other hard shell: they cannot make them bearded like our hooks; but to effect the fame purpose, they make the point turn inwards. These are made of all sizes, and used to catch various kinds of fish, with great success. The manner of making them is very simple, and every fisherman is his own artificer: the shell is first cut into square pieces by the edge of another (hell, and wrought intp a form. corresponding with the outline of the hook by pieces of coral, which, are sufficiently rough to perform the office of a file; a hole is then bored in the middle, the drill being no other than the first stone they pftk up that has a sharp corner: this they fix into the end of a piece of bamboo, and turn it between the hands like a chocolate mill: when the (hell is perforated, and the hole sufficiently wide, a small file of
C 2 coral coral is introduced, by the application of which the hook is in a sliort time completed, few costing .the artificer more time than a quarter of an hour.
Of their masonry, carving, and architecture, the reader has already formed some idea from the account that has been given of the Morais, or repositories of the dead: the other most important article of building and carving is their boats; and perhaps, to fabricate one of their principal vessels with their tools, is as great a work, as to build a British man of war with ours.
They have an adze of fione; a chissel, or gouge, of bone, generally that of a man's aim between the wrist and elbow ; a rasp of coral; and the skin of a sting-ray, with coral-sand, as a file or polisher.
This is a complete catalogue of their tools, and with these they build houses, construct canoes, hew stone, and fell, cleave, carve, and polish timber.
The stone which makes the blade of their adzes is a kind of Basaltes, of a blackish or grey colour, not very hard, but of considerable toughness; they are formed of different sizes; some, that are intended for felling, weigh from six to eight pounds; others, that are used for carving, not more than so many ounces; but it is necessary to sharpen both almost every minute; for which purpose, a stone and a cocoa-nut shell full of water are always at hand.
Their greatest exploit, to which these tools are less equal than to any other, is felling a tree: this requires many hands, and the constant labour of several days. When
it is down, they split it, with the grain, into planks from three to four inches thick, the whole length and breadth of the tree, many of which are eight feet in the girt, aod forty to the branches, and nearly of the fame thickness throughout. The tree generally used is in their language called Avie, the stem of which is tall and strait; though some of the smaller boats are made of the bread-fruit tree, which ii a light spongy vvoad, and easily wrought. 'I hey smooth the plank very expeditiously and dexterously with their adzes, and can take of a thin coat from a whole plank, without milling a stroke. As they have not the art of warping a plank, every part of the canoe, whether hollow or flat, is shaped by hand.
The canoes, or boats, which are used by the inhabitants of this and • the neighbouring iilands, may be divided into two general classes; one of which they call 1-vababs, the Other Pahies.
The lvahah is used for short excursions to sea, and is wall-fided and flat- bottomed; the Pahie for longer voyages, and is bow-fide, and sharp-bottomed. The lvahah are all of the fame figure, bat of different size?, and used for different purposes: the length it from seventy-two feet to ten, but the breadth is by no means in proportion; for those of ten feet are about a foot wide, and those of more than seventy are scarcely two. There is the fighting lvahah, the fishing lvahah, and the travelling lvahah; for some of these go froo one island to another. The fighting lvahah is by far the longest, and the head and stern are considerably raised above the body, in a semi