Abbildungen der Seite

Feet Inch Extreme length from stem to stem, not reck-7

oning the bending up of either } 51

Breadth in the clear of the top forward 1 2

Breadth in the midships — 16

Breadth aft — — 1 3

In the bilge forward — — 28

In the midships ■ .2 1 r

Aft ■■ 1 1 m 2 9

Depth in the midships ■ . 3 4

Height from the ground on which he stood 3 6

Height of her head from the ground, without,

the figure — — I 4 4

Height of the figure —— on

Height of the stern from the ground 8 9

Height of the figure — — 20

To illustrate my description of the manner in which

these vessels are built, +• n fT "P r,

it will be necessary to //"* ^Y\

refer to the figure; in D„„„„,A.\ LJ. Jj

which a a n the first \\ //

seam, bb the second, &-».»«.....,.J^v >^/L„TM~—.CL

and cc the third. >v^/

The first stage or keel, under a a, is made of a tree hollowed out like a trough; for which the longest trees are chosen that can be got, so that there are never more than three in the whole length; the next stage under bb, is formed of strait plank, about four feet long, fifteen inches broad, and two inches thick: the third stage, under c c, is, like the bottom, made of trunks, hollowed into its bilging form ; the last is also cut out of trunks, so that the moulding is of one piece with the upright. To form these parts separately, without saw, plane, chissel, or any other iron tool, may well be thought no easy task; but the great difficulty is to join them together.

When all the parts are prepared, the keel is laid upon blocks, and the planks being supported by stanchion1;, are sewed or clamped together with strong thongs of plaiting, which are passed several times through holes that are bored with a gouge or auger of bone, that hai been described already; anc! the nicety with which this is done, may be inferred from' their being sufficiently F 3 waterwater-tight for use without calking. As the plaiting soon rots in the water, it is renewed at least once a year; in order to which, the vessel is taken entirely to pieces. The head and stern are rude with respect to the design; but very neatly finished, and polished to the highest degree.


These Pahies are kept with great care, in a kind of house buiit on purpose for their reception; the houses are formed of poles set upright in the ground, the tops of which are drawn towards each other, and fastened together with their strongest cord, so as to form a kind of Gothic arch, which is completely thatched quite to the ground, being open only at the ends; they are sometimes fifty or sixty paces long. .

As connected with the navigation of these people, I shall mention their wonderful sagacity in foretelling the weather, at least the quarter from which the wind shall blow at a future time; they have several ways of doing this, of which, however, I know but one. They fay, that the Milky-way is always curved laterally; but sometimes in one direction, and sometimes in another: and that this curvature is the effect of its being already acted upon by the wind, and its hollow part therefore towards it; so that, if the fame curvature continues a night, a corresponding wind certainly blows the next day. Of their rules, I shall not pretend to judge; but I knovv that, by whatever means, they can predict the weather, at least the wind, with much greater certainty than we can.

In their longer voyages, they steer by the fun in the day, and in the night by the stars; all of which they distinguish separately by names, and know in what part of the heavens they will appear in any of the months during which they are visible in their horizon; they also know the time of their annual appearing and disappearing with more precision than will easily be believed by an European astronomer.




Of the Division os Time in Otabeite; Numeration, Computation oj D fiance, Language, Diseases, Disposal of the Dead, Religion, War, Weapons, and Government; with some general Observations for the Use of future Navigators.

WE were not able to acquire a perfect idea of Time, their method of dividing time; but observed, that in speaking of it, either past or to come, they never used any term but Malama, which signifies Moon. Of these moons they count thirteen, and then begin again; which is a demonstration that they have a notion of the solar year: but how they compute their months so that thirteen of them shall be commensurate with the year, we could not discover; for they say that each month has twenty-nine days, including one in which the moon is not visible. They have names for them separately, and have frequently told us the fruits that would be in the season, and the weather that would prevail, in each of them; and they have indeed a name for them collectively, though they use it only when they speak of the mysteries of their religion.

Every day is subdivided into twelve parts, each of two hours, of which six belong to the day, and six to the night. At these divisions they guess pretty nearly by the height of the fun while he is above the horizon; but there are few of them who can guess at them, when he is below it, by the stars.

In numeration they proceed from one to ten, the Numbers. number of fingers on both hands; and though they have for each number a different name, they generally take hold of their fingers one by one, shifting from one hand to the other till they come to the number they want to express. And in other instances, we observed that, when they were conversing with each ■ other, they joined signs to their words, which were so expressive that a stranger might easily apprehend their meaning.

In counting from ten they repeat the name of that number, and add the word more j ten, and one more, is eleven; ten, and two more, twelve; and so of the rest, as we fay one and twenty, two and twenty. When they come to ten and ten more, they have a new denomination, as we fay a score j and by these scores they count till they get ten of them, when they have a denomination for two hundred ; and we never could discover that they had any denomination to express a greater number: neither, indeed, do they seem to want any; for ten of these amount to two thousand, a greater number than they can ever apply.


In measuring distance they are much more deficient than in computing numbers, having but one term which answers to fathom; when they speak of distances from place to place, they express it, like the Asiatics, by the time that is required to pass it. Language. Their language is soft and melodious; it abounds wish vowels, and we easily learned to pronounce it: but found it exceedingly difficult to teach them to pronounce a single word of ours; probably not only from its abounding in consonants, but from some peculiarity in its structure; for Spanish and Italian words, if ending in a vowel, they pronounced with great facility.

Whether it is copious, we were not sufficiently acquainted with it to know; but it is certainly very imperfect, for it is almost totally without inflexion, both of nouns and verbs. Few of the nouns have more than one cafe, and few of the verbs more than one tense; yet we found no great difficulty in making ourselves mutually understood, however strange it may appear in speculation.

They have, however, certain affixa, which, though but sew in number, are very useful to them, and puzzled us extremely. One asks another, Harre bea? "Where are you going?" the other answers, Ivabinera, "To my wives;" upon which the first repeating the answer interrogatively, " To your wives?" is answered, hahinereira; "Yes, I am going to my wives." Here the iuffixa era and eira save several words to both parties.

I have inserted a few of their words, from which, perhaps, some idea may be formed of their language.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Pupo, the bead.
Ahewh, the nose.
Roourou, the hair.
Outou, the mouth.
Niheo, the teeth.
Arrero, the tongue.
Meu-eumi, the heard.
Tiaraboa, the threat.
Tuamo, the Jhoulders.
Tuah, the back.
Oaraa, the breas.
Eu, the nipples.
Oboo, the belly.
Rema, the arm.
Oporema, the hand.
Manneo, the fingers.
Mien, the nails.
Touhe, the buttocks.
Hoouhah, the thighs.
Avia, the legs.
Tapoa, the feet.
Booa, a bog.'
Moa, a fowl.
Euree, a dog.
Eure-eure, iron.
Ooroo, bread-fruit.
Hearee, cocoa-nuts.
Mia, bananas.
Vaee, vjild plantains.
Pee, beads.

Poe matawewwe, pearls.
Aliou, a garment.
Avee, a fruit like apples.
Ahee, another like chestnuts.
Ewharre, a house.
Whennua, a high island.
Motu, a, low island.
To to, blood.
Aeve, lone.
Aeo, fiejb.
Mae, sat.
Tuea, lean.
Huru-huru, hair.

Eraow, a tree.

Ama, a branch.

Tiale, a flower.

Huero, fruit.

Etummoo, the sent.

Aaa, the root.

Eiherre, herbaceous plants.

Ooopa, a pigeon.

Avigne, a paroquet.

A-a, another species.

Mannu, a bird.

Mora, a duck.

Mattow, afijh-book.

Toura, a rope.

Mow, a shark.

Mahi-mahi, a dolphin.

Mattera, a sshing-rod.

Eupea, a net.

Mahanna, the sun.

Malama, the moon.

Whettu, asar.

Whettu-euphe, a comet.

Erai, thejky.

Eatla, a cloud.

Miti, good.

Eno, bad.

A, yes.

Ima, no.

Paree, ugly.

Paroree, hungry.

Pia, full.

Timahah, heavy.

Mama, light.

Poto, fort.

Roa, tall.

Nehenne, sweet.

Mala-mala, bitter.

Whanno, to go far.

Harre, to go.

Arrea, to slay.

Enoho, to remain.

Rohe-rohe, to be tired.

Maa, to eat.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »