The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume Two]
The Endeavour Journal Of Joseph Banks — Account of New Zealand [march 1770]
The Endeavour Journal Of Joseph Banks
Account of New Zealand [march 1770]
As we intend to leave this place tomorrow morn, I shall spend a few sheets in drawing together what I have observd of this countrey and its inhabitants; premising in the mean time that in this, and all others of the same kind which may occur in this Journal, I shall give myself liberty of conjecturing and drawing conclusions from what I have observd, in which I may doubtless often be mistaken; in the daily Journal however the Observations may be seen, and any one who referrs to that may draw his own conclusions from them, attending as little as he pleases to any of mine.
This countrey was first discoverd by Abel Jansen Tasman on the 13th of December 1642 and calld by him New Zealand;1 he however never went ashore upon it, probably for fear of the natives; who when he had come to an anchor set upon one of his boats and killd 3 or 4 out of 7 people that were in her.2
1 Tasman did not call the country New Zealand but Staten Land, on the supposition that it was part of the coast of the southern continent and a westward extension of the Staten Land off Tierra del Fucgo discovered by Schouten and le Maire in 1616. When this was proved to be an island by Brouwer in 1643 the second part of the supposition fell down; but who it was conferred the name New Zealand, within the next few years, we do not know. The reason for it may have been analogy with New Holland. Cf. E. H. McCormick, Tasman and New Zealand (Wellington 1959), p. 11.
2 They killed four of the men in his cockboat as it rowed between his two ships.
3 This may be unjust to Tasman: we do not know that he did think the wind changed in his favour, but after riding at anchor for four days in stormy weather under D'Urville Island he was faced with an easterly wind, against which it might have been difficult for his ships to make headway, and he rather reluctantly, so it seems (the point has been debated)—though perhaps a little uncourageously—turned north.
1 It is difficult to fill this second gap in the text, as there are no strictly comparable figures, if by the phrase ‘when he made this land’ Banks refers to Tasman's first New Zealand landfall. Note by Banks: ‘Tho Tasmans Long of Cape Maria Van Diemen comes so near the truth our seamen affirm and seem to make it appear that he errd no less than 4°…49′ in running from the first land he made to Cape Maria van Diemen; if so his exactness must be attributed more to chance than skill’. The truth about Tasman's longitudes is rather complicated. They have been analysed by Miss Helen M. Wallis in an unpublished thesis, ‘The Exploration of the South Sea, 1519 to 1644’, ff. 397–401. His initial error for Batavia was 3. 35. too far east. Because of the trade wind current, he underestimated the distance he sailed to Mauritius, ‘the first land he made’, and made it 5° 07′ too far east. ‘The error for Mauritius in its turn’, writes Miss Wallis, ‘almost cancelled out Tasman's underestimate of the distance that he sailed eastward with the westerlies. At Drie Coningen Island the net result was an error of 1° 50′E… . Tasman did not give an observation for Cape Maria van Diemen, but when west-south-west of it he estimated his longitude to be 191° 09′. This calculation is 3° 15′ too far west, or slightly less than that, allowing for their position west of the Cape… . Banks was not far wrong, therefore, in alleging that where Tasman's resultant error was negligible, the cause was chance, not Tasman's absolute accuracy in observation. At the same time Banks's first judgment was historically more sound. Errors varying mainly between 2° and 3′ are very small for this period’. Cook's error for the longitude of Cape Maria van Diemen was 4′ E.
2 Dirk Rembrantszoon van Nierop, Eenige Oefeningen (1674); a still more abbreviated version, translated from this, appeared in the English Account of several late Voyages and Discoveries (1694 and 1711), which book Banks appears to have had with him—and the 1694 edition, to judge from his reference, p. 116 below.
The sea coast (should it ever be examind) will probably be found to abound in good harbours: we saw several, of which the Bay of Islands or Motuaro,2 and Queen Charlots Sound or Totarra nue,3 are as good as any seaman need desire to come into, either for good anchorage or convenience of Wooding and watering. The outer ridge of Land which lies open to the Sea is (as I beleive is the case in most countries) generaly Barren, especialy to the Southward, but within that the hills are Coverd with thick woods quite to the top, and every Valley produces a rivulet of Water.
1 Mount Egmont.
2 Banks extended the name of this island to the whole bay.
The South part, which is much more hilly and barren than the North, I firmly beleive to Abound with minerals in a very high degree. This however is only conjecture; I had not, to my great regret, an opportunity of landing in any place where the signs of them were promising except the last; nor indeed in any one, where from the ship the Countrey appeard likely to produce them, which it did to the Southward in a very high degree, as I have mentiond in my Daily Journal.
1 He is obviously in the foregoing lines referring again, and exclusively, to the white pine or Kahikatea; but he must have seen many other great trees of various and distinctive kinds, and it is odd that as a botanist he makes no mention of them in the journal. Kahikatea (Podocarpus dacrydioides), Matai (P. spicatus), and Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum), however, are all three represented both in the Herbarium and in the Pocket Book, p. 121.
2 The dog, called Kuri by the Maori, is now extinct; it was like the dog of Tahiti, whence, very likely, it came; it was a low-set animal, its head somewhat fox-like, and it did not bark. The ‘Kiore maori’, Mus exulans, also came to New Zealand, it seems, with the great migration of the fourteenth century—‘probably stowaways’, thought Sir Peter Buck (op. cit., p. 102). It was a bush-living animal, trapped and valued for food, but it is not surprising that Banks did not see one, as he never was in the forest except on the banks of the Thames and in Queen Charlotte Sound—where he certainly did no trapping.
3 The seal was probably the Fur Seal, Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson), very common on the New Zealand coast till the ruthless depredations of the sealers, which almost exterminated the animal in the early nineteenth century. It is now legally protected. The New Zealand Sea-lion is Phocarctos hookeri (Gray).
1 This was so.
2 This was a rash statement, which Banks would not have made had he been more in the forest; for birds were much more obvious than the rat.
3 The Gray Duck, Anas superciliosa Gm. is rather like a dark female mallard, and the New Zealand Shoveler, Spatula rhynchotis (Latham) belongs to the same genus as the European Shoveler.
4 There were several species of shags: cf. I, p. 430, n. 2 above.
5 There are two resident New Zealand hawks, the Australasian Harrier, Circus approximans, Peale, and the New Zealand Falcon, Falco novaeseelandiae Gmelin.
6 There were two New Zealand owls at the time of Cook's voyages, the Morepork or Ruru, Ninox novaeseelandiae (Gm.) and the Laughing Owl, Sceloglaux albifacies, Gray; the latter is now almost extinct.
7 The New Zealand Quail, Coturnix novae-zealandiae Quoy and Gaimard, has been extinct since 1870.
8 There is no particular significance in Narborough's use of the name. It goes back well before his time; O.E.D. dates its first English appearance as 1588 and it appears in Hakluyt. Sir John Narborough (1640-88) made a famous voyage through the Straits of Magellan to the Chilean coast in 1669–71, to try to break the Spanish monopoly of trade on the South American Pacific coast. He afterwards rendered distinguished service as an admiral in the Mediterranean against the Tripoli corsairs. On ‘Penguin Island’ near Port Desire, he ‘took into my Boat three hundred Penguins, in less than half an hour, and could have taken three thousand in the time, if my Boat would have carried ‘em’.—An Account of several late Voyages and Discoveries (1694), p. 25, and other references.
9 He overdoes the resemblance of the penguin's feathers to the fish's scales, but in so overdoing it, his reference to the French use of nuance, as ‘gradation’, is clear, and his conception of the penguin as something between a bird and a fish. Buffon had made a point of the alliance, through a series of grades, of the whole animal kingdom—‘La nature marche toujours et agit en tout par degrés imperceptibles et par nuances’.—Histoire générale des animaux (Vol. II of Histoire naturelle, 1749, chap. XI). Banks was certainly acquainted with the doctrine of the great zoological systematizer of the century.
Neither are insects in greater plenty than birds: a few Butterflys and Beetles, flesh flies very like those in Europe, Musquetos, and sandflies maybe exactly the same as those of North America, make up the whole list.1 Of these last however, which are most Justly accounted the curse of any countrey where they abound, we never met with any great abundance; a few indeed there were in almost every place we went into but never enough to make any occupations ashore troublesome, or to give occasion for using shades for the face which we had brough[t] out to defend ourselves from them.2
For this scarcity of animals on the land the Sea however makes abundant recompense. Every creek and corner produces abundance of fish not only wholesome but at least as well tasted as our fish in Europe: the ship seldom anchord in or indeed passd over (in light winds) any place whose bottom was such as fish resort to in general but as many were caught with hook and line as the people could eat, especialy to the Southward, where when we lay at an anchor the boats by fishing with hook and line very near the rocks could take any quantity of fish; besides that the Seine seldom faild of success, insomuch that both the times that we anchord to the Southward of Cooks streights every Mess in the ship that had prudence enough salted as much fish as lasted them many weeks after they went to sea.
1 There were originally only nine species of butterflies in New Zealand, but a rich beetle fauna is found there. Flesh flies comprise the family Sarcophagidae; the larvac for the most part live in decaying flesh. Culicine mosquitoes are endemic, but not anophelines; Culex pervigilans was the commonest. The sandflies are Austrosimulium spp.
2 If he had got ashore at Dusky Sound, as he so much wished, he would probably have revised this opinion. When the Resolution was there on Cook's second voyage, her company found the sandflies a most irritating pest.
3 The Southern Mackerel, Pneumatophorus colias (Gm.).
4 Perhaps Trachurus novae-zelandicae Richardson, which seems to be Scomber clupeoides of Solander (Pisc. Aust., 37) from Motuaro.
1 Probably Rock Cod, Lotella rachinus (Forster), to which Solander's Gadus rubriginosus (Pisc. Aust., p. 42) appears to refer.
2 Snapper, Pagrosomus auratus and Tarakihi, Dactylopagrus macropterus; cf. I, 438, n. 3 and 453, n. 3 above.
3 These were Blue Cod, Parapercis colias. See I, p. 453, n. 3 above.
4 This surmise was correct. The fish was Jasus lalandi. Walter, in his account of Anson's voyage, pp. 125–6, writes, ‘we found here one delicacy in greater perfection, both as to size, flavour, and quantity, than is, perhaps, to be met with in any part of the world: this was a sea-cra-fish; they generally weighed eight or nine pounds a-piece, were of a most excellent taste, and lay in such abundance near the water's edge, that the boat-hooks often struck into them, in putting the boats to and from the shore’.
5 The Elephant Fish, Callorhincus callorhynchus (Linn.); it has a curious proboscis like a short trunk, which gives it its name. Amédée François Frézier (1682-1775) was the author of a book entitled Relation du voyage de la mer du Sud aux côtes du Chilì et du Pérou, fait pendant les années 1712, 1713 et 1714 (Paris 1716), the fruit of travels at the behest of the French government, to spy out the land in the Spanish colonies of South America. He was a military engineer of high reputation, who became, finally, director of fortifications in Brittany. He wrote also on fireworks, and on architecture and building. An English translation of his Relation (A Voyage to the South-Sea, And along the Coasts of Chili and Peru… . By Monsieur Frezier, Engineer in Ordinary to the French King) appeared in 1717. It is this edition, I think, that Banks refers to, here and elsewhere in his journal. Frézier writes (p. 121), ‘The great Fishery is carry'd on at Concon, a Hamlet two Leagues N. and by E. from Valparaiso by sea… . There they take Corbinos, a Sort of Fish known in Spain, Tollos and Pezegallos, which they dry to send to Santiago, which is also serv'd with fresh Fish from thence. The last of them takes its Name from its Shape, because it has a Sort of Comb, or rather a Trunk, which has given Occasion to the Creolians to call it Pezegallo, that is, Cock-fish. The French call it Demoiselle or Elephant, because of its Trunk, which is here to be seen, as I drew it by the Life’. But the names given on pl. XVII, opposite this passage, are ‘Pejegallo ou Poisson Coq’.
6 Several species of these fishes exist in New Zealand waters; an unsigned pencil sketch, pl. 44 in Parkinson I, is of Raja nasuta (Müller and Henle), from ‘Totarra nue’ (Totaranui); another most interesting capture from that same locality was of Arhyn-chobatis asperrimus Waite 1909, which Solander clearly described (p. 133) as Raia arsata; tho only other specimen known to science was described by Waite. Solander, p. 137, also described the Eagle Ray Aetobatus caudatus (Hector).
Tho the countrey is generaly coverd with an abundant verdure of grass and trees yet I cannot say that it is productive of so great a variety as many countries I have seen. The intire novelty however of the greatest part of what we found recompens'd us as natural historians for the want of variety. Sow thistle,4 garden nightshade,5 and perhaps 1 or 2 kinds of Grasses were exactly the same as in England,6 3 or 4 kinds of Fern the same as those of the West Indies, and a plant or 2 that are common to almost all the world: these were all that had before been describd by any botanist out of about 400 species, except 5 or 6 which we ourselves had before seen in Terra del Fuego.7
1 Probably the Spotted or Spiny Dogfish, Squalus fernandinus Molina; Phillipps suggests that the New Zealand fish common in Cook Strait, a good edible species, is distinct from the above and has named it S. kirki. See Parkinson I, pl. 52. The Carpet Shark, Cephaloscyllium isabella (Bonnaterre) was described by Solander (p. 167) as Squalus lima, and painted by Parkinson, I, pl. 53. Banks may have had that in mind also.
2 There are thirteen species of flatfishes in New Zealand; it seems probable that they took several of these, including the Sand Flounder, Rhombosolea plebia (Richardson) apparently a species identical with Solander's Pleuronectes plebius (Pisc. Aust., p. 12).
3 The Conger Eel, Conger verrauxi, is the commonest of the New Zealand marine eels. New Zealand cels and congers belong to the same genera as European species.
4 Sonchus oleraceus, called by the Maori Puwha and eaten by him.
5 Solanum nigrum, which botanists have thought possibly introduced; but this mention seems conclusive that it was a native.
6 Of the grasses that Banks collected only Deschampsia caespitosa is now considered to be the same species in New Zealand as in England; Trisetum subspicatum was formerly so considered.
7 Today the interpretation would be that the spp., e.g. of the genus Pratia, are closely related rather than identical. Apium prostratum and Cardamine glacialis are common to Tierra del Fuego and New Zealand. A. C. Smith (Jour. Arnold Arbor. 26:51-58, 1945) discusses bicentric-paleoantarctic distributions in general with special reference to Wintcraceae. Cockayne (New Zealand Plants and their Story, 2–7, 1910) briefly considers the topic, citing other examples.
8 Apium prostratum and A. filifolium.
9 Probably what Cook called scurvy-grass, Lepidium oleraceum; other candidates would be a wild cress called Poniu, Nasturtium palestre, and Cardamine glacialis.
10 The New Zealand variety of this herb is Chenopodium triandrum. It may be added, as a philological curiosity, that Banks's words, taken over into Hawkesworth, become in O.E.D. the first literary mention of ‘lambs’ quarters’, though ‘fat-hen’ is there ignored in favour of a 1795 appearance.
Nor does their cultivated grounds produce many speceis of Esculent plants, three only I have seen — Yams, sweet potatoes, and Coccos, all three well known in both East and West Indies and much esteemd of these, especialy the two former. They cultivate often peices of many acres, and I beleive any ship that was to be to the Northward in the Autumn about the time of digging them up might purchase any quantity. Besides these they cultivate gourds,3 the fruits of which serve them to make bottles, Jugs &c. and a very small quantity of the Chinese paper mulberry tree, the same as the Inhabitants of the South Sea Islands use to make their garments of. This they very much value, but it is so scarce with them probably having been brought from a hotter countrey and not thriving here, that tho they likewise beat it out into cloth we never saw peices of it larger than what servd to put into the holes they bore in their ears, making an ornament they are very fond of, and this was doubtless the reason why they preferrd the Cloth which we had brought from the South Sea Islands with us to any merchandise we could shew them, and next to it white paper.
1 The ‘Cabbage tree’ of New Zealand (Kouka of the Maori, who ate its leaf-heads) is Cordyline australis (Forst. f.) Hook.f. But Hooker, who was certainly familiar with the plant—for he gave the species its present botanical name—identified the source of Banks's ‘one delicious meal’ as the Nikau palm, Areca sapida, characterized by its feather-duster coma, now known as Rhopalostylis sapida. Cf. L. H. Bailey in Gentes Herbarum 3: 429–35, 1935. This identification is strengthened by the reference in George Forster's De Plantis Esculentis Insularum Oceani Australis (1786). Cf. Cook II, p. 567, n. 5.
2 Probably the Kiekie, Freycinetia banksii A. Cunn., related to the pandanus.
3 Hue, Lagenaria siceraria.
1 The Pohutukawa, Metrosideros tomentosa Soland. ex Gaertn. (M. tomentosa A. Rich.), the ‘iron-hearted myrtle’ of the poet Domett; its timber is extremely hard and durable. It is represented in the Pocket Book, p. 111, its source not recorded more precisely than New Zealand, but there can be no doubt that the specimen is associated with Banks's notation, Cheeseman's scepticism notwithstanding (Manual of the New Zealand Flora, ed. 2 [Wellington 1925], p. 594). Hooker made the identification Metrosideros robusta, Rata, but he was pretty clearly wrong; and no coll. of that species was preserved, if gathered.
2 Podocarpus spicatus; see I, p. 436, n. 2 above, and Pl. 12 in the present volume.
3 Phormium tenax Forst.; the Maori name is Harakeke.
4 There are indeed two species of the plant, Phormium tenax and P. colensoi, the latter smaller and growing on dry hill sides. But this is apparently not what Banks means. There are many varieties of P. tenax. but the colour of the flowers is not the determinant. Some light is thrown on the passage, probably, by a sentence or two from the journal of William Bayly, astronomer of the Adventure on Cook's second voyage. Bayly is writing of Queen Charlotte Sound: ‘The Flax of which they have two sorts, grows here in great plenty; the finer sort resembles the European flax but it is vastly superior both for Beauty and Strength… . The coarser sort grow like a Flag, either on the ground or runs up the side of a Tree and spreading into great tufts at different heights… the fine sort grow on the ground & is a flag of a finer texture & of quite a difft Nature from the coarse sort’. ATL, Bayly's Journal, pp. 62–3. The ‘coarser sort’ here referred to is obviously the plant called Kiekie, Freycinctia banksii.
When first we came ashore we imagind the countrey to be much better peopled than we afterwards found it, concluding from the Smoaks that we saw that there were inhabitants very far inland, which indeed in Poverty bay and the Bay of Plenty, which are much the best peopled parts of the countrey that we have seen, may yet be the case. In all the other parts we have been in we have however found the sea coast only inhabited and that but sparingly, insomuch that the number of inhabitants seem to bear no kind of proportion to the size of the countrey which they possess, and this probably is owing to their frequent wars. Besides this the whole Coast from Cape Maria Van Diemen to Mount Egmont and seven eights of the Southern Island seems totaly without people.1
1 It is almost impossible to make an instructed guess at the Maori population at this time, and these remarks of Banks do not help us in the least. He seems to have gone purely on the presence or absence of smoke. He could hardly have found any part of the country beyond the sea-coast inhabited, because he had never been beyond the sea-coast. In the North Island there were considerable centres of population inland; and for all Banks knew, there might have been in the South Island too, though in fact, because of the climate, there were not. It is true, however, that according to European ideas the number of inhabitants bore ‘no kind of proportion to the size of the country which they’ possessed—as European settlers were later loud in proclaiming; but the Maori knew the whole habitable part of the country intimately, and each part of it played a clearly understood part in his economy.
2 Either this sentence is unduly compacted, or Banks witnessed something in the nature of a posture-dance carried on in canoes.
1 Word omitted in Ms; him supplied from S and P.
2 Nevertheless the Maori woman did plenty of hard work.
3 There seem to have been a number of motives—revenge or exultation at the end of a battle or siege; acquisition of mana or prestige; ritual; the lack of flesh foods; simple hunger.
4 This was wrong. Prisoners became slaves.
5 The peruperu or tutu waewae, the war dance, was not needed to work up an artificial courage, for the Maori had enough of the real thing; but there is no doubt it heightened excitement. It seems probable that Banks and his fellows took every haka or posture dance they saw for a war-dance: the haka might be loud and vigorous enough without any intention to intimidate, and the peruperu simply took the haka a stage further, with weapons and an extra zest.
Both sexes were much more modest in their carriage and decent in their Conversation than the Islanders, which such of our people who had a mind to form any connexions with the Women soon found, but they were not impregnable: if the consent of their relations was askd and the Question accompanied with a proper present it was seldom refusd, but then the strictest decency must be kept up towards the young lady or she might baulk the lover after all. Upon one of our gentlemen making his adresses to a family of the better sort the following answer was made him by the mistress of the family: ‘Any of these young ladies will think themselves honourd by your adresses but you must first make me a proper present and must come and sleep with us ashore, for daylight should by no means be a witness of such proceedings’.
Neither sex are quite so cleanly in their persons as the Islanders, not having the advantage of so warm a climate they do not wash so often. But the most disgustfull thing about them is the Oil with which they daub their hair: this is melted from the fat either of fish or Birds: the better sort indeed have it fresh and then it is intirely void of smell, but the inferior often use that that is rancid and consequently smell something like Greenland dock when they are trying Whale Blubber.
1 S adds in a note, ‘(well as the Resolution of these poor People in bearing pain.)’
Besides this dying in grain as it may be calld they are very fond of painting themselves with Red Ocre which they do in two ways, either rubbing it Dry upon their skins, which some few do, or daubing their faces with large patches of it mixd with oil which consequently never drys: this latter is generaly practisd by the women and was most universaly condemnd by us, for if any of us had unthinkingly ravishd a kiss from one of these fair Savages our transgressions were wrote in most legible Characters on our noses, which our companions could not fail to see on our first interview.
1 Off Cape Brett, on 26 November 1769: I, p. 439 above.
1 Woven of scutched flax fibre. The best description of technique, including the taniko borders which Banks goes on to mention, is in Buck, pp. 158 ff.
2 The parrot was the Kaka, Nestor meridionalis (Gm.).
3 A man combed his hair when dressing it carefully, but the main purpose of these combs, whalebone or hardwood, was decorative. They were called heru. Women only very rarely wore them. See Pls. 6 and 7.
4 They were not invariably white. The black and white tail feathers of the Huia were greatly valued, among others; white plumes were obtained from such birds as the albatross, white heron, tropic bird, gannet, and so on.
The Women contrary to the custom of the Sex in general seemd to affect dress rather less than the men. Their hair which they wore short was seldom tied, and if it was it was behind their heads and never ornamented with feathers. Their cloaths were of the same stuff and in the same form as those of the men but in decently covering themselves they far exceeded them; their lower garments were at all times bound fast round them and they never exposd to view any thing even in the neighbourhood of those parts which nature co[n]ceals, except when they gatherd lobsters and shell fish in which occupation they were frequently obligd to dive, but then they never meant to be seen by men and when once or twice accidentaly met by us shewd most evident signs of Confusion, veiling as well as they could their naked beauties with sea weed the only covering their situation afforded. Round their waists instead of a belt they constantly wore a girdle of many platted strings made of the leaves of a very fragrant Grass; into this were tuckd the leaves of some sweet scented plant fresh gatherd which like the fig leaf of our first mother servd as the ultimate guard of their modesty.
1 Cf. I, p. 400, n. 2 above. François Valentijn (1656-1727), a Dutch East Indian traveller, was pastor of the church at Amboina 1686–94 and 1707–14. He wrote a number of theological works and, being an excellent scholar and speaker of Malay, translated the Bible into that tongue; but his real and present fame rests on the eight folio volumes of his Oudt en Nieuw Oost-Indien (Dordrecht 1724–6), which was translated into more than one language. Not very well arranged, the book was nevertheless a mine of information on the Dutch East Indies, though most detailed on Amboina, and collected together accounts of travel and discovery as far east as China and Japan, and as far south as New Zealand (curiously enough, in Vol. V, thrust into a description of Banda).
1 Men as well as women wore this ornament.
2 Greenstone ear pendants or kuru were straight, curved, circular or some other shape as the stone or the fancy of the artist dictated.
3 This was the tiki or hei tiki, a neck pendant, one of the most characteristic of Maori art forms. It was also fashioned from whalebone. See Pl. 6.
4 The rei paraoa or reiputa (rei, a large tooth or whale ivory; paraoa, the sperm whale; puta, a hole) was a valuable ornament; the aristocratic person portrayed in Hawkesworth's pl. 13 is wearing one, as well as a fine kurukuru, or straight greenstone ear pendant and a handsome comb. See Pl. 7.
Mean and low as these houses are they most perfectly resist all inclemencies of the weather and answer consequently the purposes of mere shelter as well as larger would do. The people I beleive spend little of the day in them (except may be in winter): the porch seems to be the place for work, and those who have not room there must set upon a stone or the ground in its neighbourhood.1
Some few of the better sort have kind of Court Yards, the walls of which are made of poles and hay 10 or 12 feet high, which as their families are large incloses 3 or 4 houses. But I must not forget the ruins or rather frame of a house (for it had never been finishd) which I saw at Tolaga, as it was so much superior in size to any thing of the kind we have met with in any other part of the land. It was 30 feet in lengh, in breadth and high; the sides of it were ornamented with many broad carvd planks of a workmanship superior to any we saw upon the land; but for what purpose this was built or why deserted we could not find out.2
1 Banks has been describing the commonest sleeping hut or whare puni, the least impressive of Maori architectural forms. By ’dry grass or hay’ he seems to mean the various sedges or rushes which were used for walls and thatching—e.g. toetoe or pampas grass (Arundo conspicua). Whare puni, it is to be noted, might on the other hand be very carefully and skilfully constructed timber buildings. He unfortunately does not seem to have seen any of the great whare whakairo, the ’superior houses’ decorated with carving and woven designs, which were the glory of Maori architecture, apart from the imperfect example mentioned in the next paragraph.
2 It might have been designed as a whare hui, an assembly house for the tribe and its guests, or a whare runanga, where tribal discussions would take place. A possible reason for desertion (if Banks was right about desertion—and he probably was, for it was important to push right on with the construction of a house once it was started) was some infringement of tapu. Cf. Best, The Maori, II, p. 561: ’The tapu of a new house … is, or was, even more stringent than that of an occupied house. For a house in course of construction is placed under the care and control of the gods, and great care has to be taken that no act is committed that will give offence to those gods, or trouble will visit the house, its builders or inmates—this because the gods have withdrawn their protection. No woman was allowed in or near a superior house in course of construction. Such an untoward occurrence would be followed by lack of energy, listlessness on the part of the workmen, and probably the house would never be finished’.
Tho these people when at home defend themselves so well from the inclemencies of the Weather, yet when abroad upon their excursions which they often make in search of fern roots fish &c. they seem totaly indifferent of shelter: sometimes they make a small shade to wind ward of them but oftener omit that precaution. During our stay at Opoorage1 or Mercury bay such a party of Indians were there consisting of 40 or 50, who during all that time never erected the least covering tho it twice raind almost without ceasing for 24 hours together.
1 Purangi, the Maori name of the ‘Oyster River’ at Mercury Bay, transferred by those in the Endeavour to the whole bay.
2 Buck, p. 98, figures a special form of hook that was used for catching the albatross. It was generally the young of sea birds that were taken. The taste for sea birds is now confined (though the pakeha has also acquired it) to the ‘mutton bird’, the Sooty Shearwater, Puffinus griseus. Banks ignores, and can have had no means of learning, the much greater importance of forest birds for Maori diet.
3 Kumara (cf. Tahitian Umara), Ipomoea batatas.
4 Uhi or Uwhi (Tahitian Uhi), Dioscorea sp.
5 Taro (Tahitian Taro), Colocasia antiquorum.
6 Puwha, Sonchus oleraceus.
7 Kouka, the inner leaf-shoots of the Cordyline australis.
8 Aruhe, the rhizomes of the bracken fern, Pteridium aquilinum. (Cf. I, p. 416 above.) It ranges from Australia to Tahiti, as the regional variant of the world-wide monotypic Pteridium.
Among fish and insects indeed there are many instances which prove that those who live by prey regard little whither what they take is of their own or any other species; but any one who considers the admirable chain of nature in which Man, alone endowd with reason, justly claims the highest rank and next to him are placd the half reasoning Elephant, the sagacious dog, the architect Beaver, &c. in Whoom instinct so nearly resembles reason as to have been mistaken for it by men of no mean capacitys, from these descending through the less informd Quadrupeds and birds to the fish and insects, which seem besides the instinct of Fear which is given them for self preservation to be movd only by the stings of hunger to eat and those of lust to propagate their species, which when born are left intirely to their own care, and at last by the medium of the Oyster, &c. &c. which not being able to move but as tost about by the waves must in themselves be furnishd with both sexes that the species may be continued, shading itself away into the vegetable kingdom for the preservation of whoom neither sensation nor instinct is wanting — whoever considers this I say will easily see that no Conclusion in favour of such a practise can be drawn from the actions of a race of beings placd so infinitely below us in the order of Nature.1
1 Nothing more than this paragraph could place Banks so exactly in his period. The ‘order of nature’ or the ‘chain of nature’ was one of the overruling ideas of the eighteenth century, and perhaps the nearest to a philosophical or general scientific notion that Banks ever had. With a long ancestry in the western world, in his time it was as commonly accepted as the idea of evolution is in ours. All created things, it was held, are linked together in a regular progression, from the non-sentient to the sentient, rocks to man (however many ‘missing links’ there might be to discover), with a further infinite progression beyond man to the Creator; and each had its settled place, as ordained by the Creator, in the whole related scheme. Nature does not proceed by leaps, to quote one of the classic formulations. Banks has already made one allusion to the idea in his remark on penguins (p. 5 above), ‘which are truly what the French call Nuance, between birds and fishes’; and will make others on corals (p. 108 below): ‘we were so intirely taken up with the more conspicuous links of the chain of creation’; and on Hottentots (p. 256 below), ‘that some have been inclined to suppose them more nearly related to Baboons than Men’. The unfortunate Hottentots were always being picked on to illustrate. A. O. Lovejoy's interesting study, The Great Chain of Being (Cambridge, Mass. 1942), is devoted to the subject, Chapters VI (‘The Chain of Being in eighteenth century thought’) and VIII (‘The Chain of Being and some aspects of eighteenth century biology’) being particularly apposite in the present context.
2 He refers to the umu or hangi (Tahitian umu) the traditional Polynesian ‘earth-oven’, described in detail, I, p. 344 above.
To the Southward where little or nothing is planted Fern roots and fish must serve them all the Year. Here therefore we saw that they had made vast piles of Both, especialy the latter which were dryd in the sun very well, I suppose meant for winter stock when possibly Fish is not so plentifull or the trouble of catching it greater than in Winter.
Water is their universal drink nor did I see any signs of any other liquor being at all known to them, or any method of Intoxication. If they realy have not happy they must be allowd to be above all other nations that I at least have heard of.1
Such health drawn from so sound principles must make physicians almost useless: indeed I am inclind to think that their knowledge of Physick is but small from the state of their surgery which more than once came under my inspection. Of this art they seemd totaly ignorant; I saw several who were wounded by our shot without the smallest application upon their wounds, one in particular who had a musquet ball shot through the fleshy part of his arm; he came out of his house and shewd himself to us making a little use of the wounded arm; the wound which was then of several days standing was totaly void of inflammation, seemd well digested, in short appeard to me to be in so good a state that had any application been made use of I should not have faild to enquire carefully what it had Been which had had so good an Effect.1
A farther proof and not a weak one of the sound health that these people enjoy may be taken from the number of old people we saw; hardly a canoe came off to us that did not bring one or more and every town had several whoom if we may judge by gray hairs and worn out teeth were of a very advancd age.2 Of these few or none were decrepid, indeed the greatest number of them seemd in vivacity and chearfullness to equal the young, indeed to be inferior to them in nothing but the want of equal strengh and agility.
1 Cf. I, p. 443 above.
2 The worn-out teeth may have been due to the fern-root diet. Best, who discusses its use in detail, says (I, p. 427), ‘The chewing of these roots was hard on the teeth; I have seen many old skulls containing teeth so worn that the grinders must have been worn pretty well down to the gums, but every tooth as sound as the proverbial bell’.
3 This was not so. The canoes which Banks observed were the seagoing vessels for fishing and coastal travel (waka tete) or the great war-canoes (waka taua). Neither (nor indeed any other Maori canoe) was ‘built of very thin planks sewd together’; he must have been misled by imperfect study of the top or gunwale strakes, which were lashed on to the main part of the hull, and then, writing this general New Zealand summary after he had left the country, incorporated some of his own observations from the Society Islands. The main hull was hewn out of a single tree trunk, a totara or kauri; or, in the case of the waka taua, built up of a long middle section and shorter bow and stern sections joined cunningly and strongly by mortice and tenon.
1 This blank argues that Banks was hazy about the length of the Endeavour, which was 106 feet. This was certainly an unusually large canoe, but war canoes eighty feet long, or even longer, were not uncommon.
2 The shell of the Paua, Haliotis sp.
3 ‘Outligger’ or ‘outlicker’, thinks the O.E.D., was probably a corruption of ‘outlier’, and is defined as from 1626 as ‘a spar projecting from a vessel to extend some sail, or to make a greater angle for some rope’. It gave way to ‘outrigger’ in 1755. But ‘outrigger’ has ordinarily a quite different meaning, as here: and S has the note, ‘Outligger. A piece of board at the side, by way of balancing’.
4 Banks does not make this rig altogether clear, and he seems to be describing a square sail. But the author of the anonymous Journal of a Voyage round the World (1771), writing of a sailing canoe in the Bay of Plenty, describes ‘a sail of an odd construction, which was made from a kind of matting, and of a triangular figure, the hypotheneuse, or broadest part, being placed at the top of the mast, and ending in a point at the bottom’ (p. 82). The sole surviving Maori sail is in the British Museum. It is triangular (though certainly not a right-angled triangle, as ‘hypotheneuse’ would infer), 14 ft 6 in. long, 6 ft 4 in. wide at the base, and 12 in. wide at the apex. It was rigged on a vertical mast, the base at the top, the other long side attached to a sprit or boom, which was itself loosely attached at the bottom to the mast just above the thwart. This boom was manoeuvred by a rope tied to it near the top; the mast, the boom, and rope, together with the shrouds and stays of the masts, may have given Banks the impression he records of ‘two sticks … fastned one to each side’. The British Museum sail has been described and figured by Raymond Firth in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, 40 (1931), pp. 129—35, with Additional Notes by Te Rangi Hiroa (Peter Buck), ibid., pp. 136—40.
For the beauty of their carving in general I fain would say something more about it but find myself much inferior to the task. I shall therefore content myself with saying that their taste varied into two materialy different Stiles, I will call them. One was intirely formd of a number of Spirals diff[er]ently connected, the other was in a much more wild taste and I may truly say was like nothing but itself.1 Of the former the truth with which the lines were drawn was surprizing, but above all their method of connecting several spirals into one peice, which they did inimitably well, intermingling the ends of them in so dextrous a manner that it was next to impossible for the eye to trace their connections. For the other I shall say nothing but referr intirely to the few drawings which I had an opportunity of getting made of them; premising however that the beauty of all their carvings depended intirely on the design, for the execution was so rough that when you came near it was difficult to find any bea[u]ties in the things which struck you most at a distance.
1 Possibly Banks is here referring to the formalized human figure, or to such pieces as the figure-heads of war canoes—where indeed the spiral and double-spiral were much used, together with scroll-work and straight lines.
2 If Banks means ‘hatchet’ literally, and not ‘adze’, this is evidence for the existence among the ancient Maori of an axe-hafted implement with two bevels to its edge, the toki titaha, about which there has been a good deal of enquiry and controversy. See Best, The Stone Implements of the Maori (Dominion Museum Bulletin 10, Wellington 1912), Chap. VIII, esp. pp. 137 ff. Cook refers to ‘adzes or axes’ as the tools used in building canoes and houses.
3 Greenstone or nephrite, pounamu.
For their Cloths they are made exactly in the same manner as is usd by the inhabitants of South America, some of whose workmanship procurd at Rio de Janeiro I have on board: the warp or long threads are laid very close together and each crossing of the woof is distant from another an inch at least. But they have besides this several other kinds of cloth and work borders to them all, which I have before mentiond, but as to their manner of doing I must confess myself totaly ignorant.3 I never but once saw any of this work going forwards, that was done in a kind of frame of the breadth of the Cloth, across which it was spread, and the cross threads workd in by hand which must be very tedious; but howsoever they may be made the workmanship sufficiently proves the workmen to be dextrous in their way. One peice of notability in them I must not forget, which is that to every garment of the better kind is fixd a Bodkin, as if to remind the wearer that if it should be torn by any accident no time should be lost before it is mended.4
1 By jasper he probably means obsidian.
2 The process was long and complicated, and Banks certainly had no opportunity to observe it. The piece of stone or greenstone deemed suitable was reduced to something like its final shape by hammering, and sawing with a stone file, sand and water; then the inequalities were flaked, chipped, ‘pecked’ and ‘bruised’ off with further stone instruments; then it was ground with wet sandstone; then it was rubbed with a special polishing stone, or with green lacebark wood. Greenstone was polished with shark oil.
3 The reader will find an illuminating discussion of cloth-making technique in Buck, pp. 158 ff.
4 Banks made a bad guess here: the bodkin was not to repair, but to fasten the garment when in use.
In tillage they excell, as people who are themselves to eat the fruit of their industry and have little else to do but to cultivate nescessarily must. When we first came to Tegadu their crops were just coverd and had not yet began to sprout: the mould was as smooth as in a garden, and every root had its small hillock rangd in a regular Quincunx by lines which with the pegs still remaind in the feild.2 We had not an opportunity of seeing them work but once saw their tool, which is a long and narrow stake flatted a little and sharpned, across this is fixd a peice of stick for the convenience of pressing it down with the foot; with this simple tool industry teaches them to turn up peices of ground of 6 or 7 acres in extent; indeed the soil is generaly sandy, is therefore easily turn up, and the narrowness of the tool the blade of which is not more than 3 inches broad makes it meet with the less resistance.3
1 There was more than one sort of the circular net here described, of different sizes and names, depending on the sort of fish it was used for. Banks is rather unjust to the Maori fish hook.
2 This seems to refer to kumara cultivation.
3 He is describing the tool called the ko, only one (though an important one) of those used in tilling the ground.
1 A spear of this sort seems to be described by no one besides Banks, and there appears to be no specific Maori name for it. As described it comes somewhere between the huata or taoroa, the long spear (18—24 feet) used in the attack on or defence of the fortified pa, and the Ordinargy light fighting spear or tao, 6 to 9 feet long. Best (II, pp. 242—3) remarks that ‘Notched spear points of whale's bone (taraiwi pakake) were occasionally used, lashed to a shaft of ten feet or so in length’. The Maori in any case did not hold his spear ‘by the end’.
2 The tewhatewha. The point was not very sharp or lethal, and the important blow was delivered not with the ‘sharp’ edge of the blade, as Banks assumed, but with the thick back of it—i.e. it was a club rather than an axe, and when made from the favourite root of the tree called Maire, extremely hard and strong, was a very efficient club.
3 The first shape drawn by Banks represents the stone patu, which had the distinctive name onewa. He uses the term ‘Jasper’ rather loosely; he may here be referring to the baked argyllite much used in the Marlborough Sounds area, which he would certainly have seen at Queen Charlotte Sound. Best (II, p. 259) thinks it was a kind of greywacke. The second sketch is that of the whalebone (sometimes wooden) kotiate, described by Buck (p. 278) as ‘somewhat fiddle-shaped owing to a notch on each side’. Whalebone clubs were generically called patu paraoa. The most beautiful of patu was of course the greenstone mere, and this in particular might be worn ‘as a warlike ornament’, in addition to its function as a deadly weapon.
1 The dart or pere seems to have died out of use by the time of early European settlement in New Zealand. It was frequently stuck lightly in the ground at an angle and projected with a sort of throwing stick (Best refers to them as ‘whip-thrown’, II, pp. 273—5,) as well as flung down from a pa as recounted by Banks; so that it does not appear to have been particularly well adapted for offence at sea.
2 This must have been the hoeroa, which Best (II, pp. 276—9) describes as ‘the most peculiar weapon of the native armoury, and, moreover, one concerning which we have very little explanation to offer as to its use. Its extraordinary shape, its lack of a piercing point, render it an extremely puzzling form… . [It] is 5 ft. and upward in length, about two inches wide, flat, and about ¼ in. in thickness, or a little more. Neither end is brought to a piercing point, but merely slightly rounded. It carries its width throughout… . The rear end was adorned with carved designs, and a little carving may appear about the middle’. As a weapon it is said to have been thrown; but examples which were, in Banks's words, ‘carvd very much’ are more likely to have been simply the mark of chiefly rank and authority—an ‘ensign of distinction’. But it now seems certain that it was not a weapon at all. The literal meaning of hoeroa is ‘long paddle’: it was an ‘ensign of distinction’ purely, the mark of chiefly rank and authority.
3 Possibly a wooden version of the hoeroa; but probably the well-known taiaha, one end of which was carved into a grotesque face with a lengthened distended tongue, and eyes of pawa or haliotis. It was much used in ceremonial as well as being a favourite weapon; good examples of this long slim perfectly balanced shaft are matched in beauty only by a fine greenstone mere, with its austere purity of line and colour.
The War Song and dance consists of Various contortions of the limbs during which the tongue is frequently thrust out incredibly far and the orbits of the eyes enlargd so much that a circle of white is distinctly seen round the Iris: in short nothing is omittd which can render a human shape frightful and deformd, which I suppose they think terrible. During this time they brandish their spears, hack the air with their patoo patoos and shake their darts as if they meant every moment to begin the attack, singing all the time in a wild but not disagreable manner and ending every strain with a loud and deep fetchd sigh in which they all join in concert. The whole is accompanied by strokes struck against the sides of the Boats &c with their feet, Paddles and arms, the whole in such excellent time that tho the crews of several Canoes join in concert you rarely or never hear a single stroke wrongly placd.2
1 Haere mai, haere mai, haere ki uta hei patu-patu ake: ‘literally ‘Come here, come here, come on shore to be patu-patued!’
2 Banks seems in this paragraph to be telescoping his impressions of haka or peruperu seen on land and some modified version of song and posture adapted to performance in the canoes. Although the haka was (and is) a posture dance it is difficult to reconcile some of its characteristic figures with a crowded canoe out at sea, even in a flat calm. But no doubt enough could be done to work up a sufficiently intimidating effect; and no doubt the chief himself, with taiaha or patu, could put on a terrifying display. Parkinson made a drawing of the crew of a canoe bidding defiance to the ship, as well as one showing them in more peaceful shape. The best description of the haka seen on land during the Endeavour's visit is by Monkhouse, in Cook I, p. 569.
This we calld the War song, for tho they seemd fond of using it upon all occasions whether in war or peace they I beleive never omit it in their attacks.1 Besides this they have several other songs which their women sing prettily enough in parts; they are all in a slow melancholy stile but certainly have more taste in them than could be expected from untaught savages. Instrumental musick they have not, unless a kind of wooden pipe2 or the shell calld Tritons Trumpet3 with which they make a noise not much differing from that made by boys with a Cows horn may be calld such. They have indeed besides these a kind of small pipe of wood, crooked and shapd almost like a large tobacco pipe head, but it has hardly more musick in it than a whistle with a Pea in it;4 but on none of these did I ever hear them attempt to play a tune or sing to their musick.
1 ‘Tho they seemd fond of using it upon all occasions whether in war or peace’ is a perceptive remark. Haka was a general term for the dance, and a perfectly peaceable, welcoming and fraternal haka might bear all the marks—to the uninitiated—of extreme fury and bloodthirstiness. The war-dance was properly called peruperu, and was a really formidable exhibition: as Banks says, nothing was omitted that could render a human shape frightful. But it still remained a masterpiece of co-ordination and rhythm.
2 Probably this was the instrument known as pu torino (pu to blow; torino, flowing smoothly), about 18 inches long on the average. Not a great deal is known about its use; Buck (p. 261) was ‘informed that it was in the nature of a speaking trumpet, the player singing or reciting words and chants into the instrument’. See also Best, II, pp. 150—2. It was blown into from the end, and was often beautifully carved. Or Banks may have been referring to the whio, another sort of slim flute.
3 The shell trumpet was not a musical instrument, but was used for signalling purposes, e.g. to bring people together or to announce visitors. The shell was that of the New Zealand Triton, Charonia capax euclioides Finlay.
4 Perhaps the koaauau, the shape of which however varied, and might be straight. If so, Banks does a grave injustice to its sound; in the famous legend of Tutanekai and Hinemoa it was the strains of the koauau played by Tutanekai on the island Mokoia that brought Hinemoa swimming across Lake Rotorua to him. But Banks does not appear ever to have heard the instruments played. See Pl. 9.
1 The heads of friends as well as enemies might be preserved, the former to be wept over, the latter to be reviled. They were first steamed to soften and dispose of interior matter, the eyes taken out and the eyelids sewn down, and then were smoke-dried and oiled. The ‘false eyes’ referred to by Banks were pieces of paua or haliotis shell, as used for the eyes of carved figures. It was these ‘smoked heads’ that were a popular article of Maori-European trade in the 1820’s and 1830’s, especially when the tattooing was good. The Maori however was not a ‘head-hunter’.
2 Quarter was given, and prisoners became slaves of the victors. Battles were not infrequently followed by the slaying and consumption of prisoners, and slaves were killed and eaten on ritual occasions, but it does not seem that the sort of stocking of a larder to which Banks refers was ever a matter of general practice.
1 A very erroneous conclusion. Banks here seems to be reverting to the pa at Mercury Bay, cf. I, p. 433 above.
2 Cf. I, p. 424, n. 2 above. Banks at ‘countrey’ refers to a note written by him later, Ms f. 220, as follows: ‘the People who mentiond Teratu to us pointed as we thought always in land, but since the countrey has been laid down upon paper it appears that over the land in that direction lays the Bay of Plenty; from hence it appears probable that this is the residence of Teratu and if so the Countrey in land will probably be found to be quite void of inhabitants’. ‘Inland’ from where the informants pointed was the west— te ra to—an added argument for the confusion of Teratu, the name of a person, with that of a direction. What Banks goes on to say about the ‘Indian Monarch’ adds nothing to what he has said already.
The Women are less regarded here than at the South Sea Islands, at least so Tupia thought who complaind of it as an insult upon the sex. They eat with the men however. How the sexes divide labour I do not know but I am inclind to beleive that the Men till the ground, fish in boats and take birds, the Women dig up Fern roots,3 collect shell Fish and lobsters near the beach and dress the Victuals and weave cloth, while the men make netts — thus at least these employments have been distributed when I had an opportunity of Observing them which was very seldom, for our approach generaly made a holiday where ever we went; men women and children flocking to us either to satisfy their curiosity or trade with us for whatever they might have, taking in exchange cloth of any kind, especialy linnen or the Indian cloth we had brought from the Islands, Paper, Glass bottles, sometimes peices of broken glass, Nails &c.
1 Chieftainship came from birth, but a man naturally gifted would gain authority, particularly in times of war or other emergency. Age added to authority, as in most societies; and it seems that most of the leaders encountered by Banks were chiefs born.
2 This is unlikely.
3 If by this Banks means the aruhe, the bracken rhizomes, he must have seen something exceptional; for this laborious task was generally carried out by the men.
We saw few signs of religion among these people: they had no publick places of Worship among them as the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, and only one private one came under my observation, which was in the neighbourhood of a plantation of their sweet potatoes. It was a small square, borderd round with stones; in the middle was a spade, and on it was hung a basket of fern roots, an offering (I suppose) to the Gods for the success of the Crop, so at least one of the natives explaind it.1 They however acknowledged the influence of superior beings and have nearly the same account of the creation of the World, mankind &c. as Tupia; he however seemd to be much better vers'd in such legends than any of them, for whenever he began to preach as we calld it he was sure of a numerous audience who attended with most profound silence to his doctrines.
1 The ‘Gods’, in this case, would be Rongo, the god of agriculture (and also, logically enough, of peace). It does not seem likely that the ‘small square’ here described, was a place of worship, though no doubt suitably tapu.
2 By ‘Burial of the Dead’ Banks must mean actual interment—or other disposal—of bodies, or of bones: for exhumation of the remains of important people and the scraping clean of their bones for final disposal was not infrequent. Earth, sand, swamp were all used for burial; caves provided natural vaults; bones were sometimes hidden in tapu trees; some tribes practised cremation. Mourning ceremonies—the tangi—however were highly public, and pompous enough in a savage way to figure in Sir Thomas Browne. Banks has already described, and here again goes on to describe, the ritual cutting of the flesh by women which was so important a part of them.
1 He is thinking primarily no doubt of the consonantal changes which were characteristic of the variants of the Polynesian language-group: e.g. the Tahitian and Society Islands va'a (canoe) in New Zealand was waka; similarly ra'i (sky) was rangi; umete (bowl) was kumete. The southern dialects in New Zealand used k instead of ng. The Tahitian word for house, fare, became whare, but for many Europeans the Maori aspirate wh sound seemed equivalent to f. See for a short, clear discussion Buck, pp. 74—9.
8 This is an interesting list. Examples may be studied, as with Banks's Tahitian vocabulary, I, pp. 372—3 above. As with his Tahitian words, Banks frequently takes the indefinite article e or he as an inherent part of the word: e.g. his words for Forehead, Northern Erai, Southern Heai, Tahitian Erai=[e] rae, [he] rae. [e] rae. He was certainly more characteristic of the southern dialects than e. With his words for Chief we have evidence of consonantal ambiguity: Eareete, Eareete, Earee=[e] ariki, [e] ariki, [e] arii; similarly for Trees: Eratou=[e] rakau, Tahitian [e] rauu. With Yams we have the definite article te plus consonantal ambiguity: Tuphwe = [te] uhi; with Lobster the te only in the Tahitian word: Kooura=koura but Tooura=[te] oura. With Hair we have two different Maori words: Northern Macauwe=makawe; Southern Heoooo apparently=[he] huruhuru; Tahitian Roourou=rouru. With Ear we have two different words and probably some poor reporting for the Southern one: Terringa=taringa, but Hetaheyei may be [he] + [te] hoi (the lobe of the ear); Terrea=Tahitian taria. The Maori word Taata reported for Man has an interest of its own; for it suggests that the consonantal change from Tahitian taata to tangata was not yet made: Banks seems otherwise to pick up the ng sound—e.g. paparinga (cheeks), [he] ringaringa (arm).
I must remark that the greatest part of the southern Language was not taken down by myself and I am inclind to beleive that the person who did it for me made use of more letters in spelling the page 37 words than were absolutely nescessary. The Genius of the Language especialy in the Southern parts is to add some particle before a noun as we do1 ‘the’ or ‘a’; ‘the’ was generaly He, or Ko;2 they also often add to the end of any word, especialy if it is in answer to a question, the word Oeia3 which signifies yes, realy, or certainly. This sometimes led our gentlemen into most longwinded words, one only of which I shall mention as an example. In the Bay of Islands a very remarkable Island was calld by the natives Motu Aro: some of our gentlemen askd the name of this from one of the Natives, Who answerd I suppose as usual Kemotu aro;4 the Gentleman not hearing well the word repeated his question, on which the Indian again repeated his answer, adding Oeia to the end of the name which made it Kemotuaroeiea:5 this way at least and no other can I account for that Island being calld in the Log book &c Cumattiwarroweia. The same is practisd by the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands only their Particle instead of He, or She, is To, or To;6 their oeia7 is exactly the same which when first I began to learn the language producd many difficulties and mistakes.
From the similarity of customs, the still greater of Traditions and the almost identical sameness of Language between these people and those of the Islands in the South Sea there remains little doubt that they came originaly from the same source: but where that Source is future experience may teach us, at Present I can say no more than that I firmly beleive that it is to the Westward and by no means to the East.8
1 There was no special practice of this sort in ‘the Southern parts’. The ‘Genius of the Language’ was just as much alive in the north.
2 He is the indefinite article (Tahitian c); ko (Tahitian o), a particle ‘used when the predicate is either a proper name, a personal pronoun, a local noun, or the interrogatives wai or hea [or whea]; also before a common noun with any of the definitives except he’.—Tregear, Maori Comparative Dictionary. Ko wai, who?—ko whea, where, what? The answer would begin also ko, he is, or it is (cf. O Tahiti).
3 aheiha, a word denoting acquiescence—‘yes, indeed’, ‘truly’.
4 Ko, Motu-aro, ‘It is Motu-aro’.
5 Ko Motu-aro aheiha, ‘Truly, it is Motu-aro’.
6 O, rather.
7 The Tahitian form was oiha, meaning (according to Davies), ‘yes, it is so, spoken rather contemptuously’.
8 The origin of the Polynesian peoples was no doubt discussed at large in the Endeavour. Cf. Cook, pp, 286–8: to him the common language was a sufficient proof that both the islanders and the New Zealanders ‘have had one Origin cr Source but where this is, even time perhaps may never discover. It certainly is neither to the Southward nor Eastward for I cannot preswaid my self that ever they came from America and as to a Southern Continent I do not believe any such thing exists unless in a high Latitude… .’ Parkinson, on the other hand (Journal, p. 125) fancies a migration from New Zealand to Tahiti. The theory of a western origin for the Polynesian peoples, on the evidence of language, made an immediate appeal also to the French philologist Court de Jebelin, as we learn from the second edition of Bougainville's Voyage (1772), II, p. 435. Language still seems an extremely difficult obstacle for the upholders of an opposing theory to overcome.
1 The ‘Lands seen by Quiros in 1606’, and called by him Austrialia del Espiritu Santo, were the New Hebrides. Banks gives a rather different account of the plan from Cook's, which runs (p. 273), ‘upon leaving this coast to steer to the westward untill we fall in with the East Coast of New Holland and than to follow the deriction of that Coast to the northward or what other direction it may take untill we arrive at its northern extremity, and if this should be found impractical than to endeavour to fall in with the lands or Islands discover'd by Quiros’. Banks's ‘to the northward as far as seemd proper’ is not quite as thoroughgoing as Cook's phraseology.
1 Basil Ringrose, in the volume by him added to the English edition of Esquemeling's Buccaneers of America (1685), describes his voyage round the Horn with Captain Bartholomew Sharp, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In Chapter XXIV, in his entry for 17 November 1681, he writes, ‘At four this morning we saw two or three islands of ice to the S. of us. Soon after this we saw several others, the biggest of them being at least a leagues round. By observation lat. 58° 23′ S. We had now a vehement current to the S. At noon I saw many others of these islands of ice aforementioned, of which some were so long that we could scarce see the end of them, and extended about 10 or 12 fathom above-water’.
2 While Frézier's ship was looking for her consorts, on her homeward voyage, in lat. 58° 30′ S, long. 68° 22′ W, he says, ‘we discover'd a shoal of ice, which might be at least 200 foot high above the water, and above 3 cables long. It was at first sight taken for an unknown island, but the weather clearing up a little, it perfectly appear'd to be ice, whose blewish colour in some parts look'd like smoak; the small pieces of ice we immediately saw floating on both sides of the ship, left us no farther room to doubt’. This berg was followed by another, much higher, ‘which look'd like a coast four or five leagues long’. Ice had been seen by other ships, he added, but by very few.—Voyage, pp. 283–4.
3 Frézier has his own robust feeling over the matter being considered by Banks: ‘If it be true, as many pretend, that the ice in the sea is only form'd of the fresh water, which runs down from the land, it must be concluded that there is land towards the South Pole; but it is not true that there are [sic] any more to the northward than 63 degrees of latitude for the extent of above 200 leagues, from 55 of longitude to 80; for that space has been run over by several ships, which the S.W. and S.S.W. winds have obliged to stand far to the southward, to double the end of the lands. Thus those Southern Lands, or Terra Australis generally laid down in the old charts, are meer Chimeras, which have been justly left out of the new charts’.—ibid., p. 284.
1 The references to Juan Fernandez, Hermite, Quiros and Roggeveen, seem all to point to Banks's reading of Alexander Dalrymple's An Account of the Discoveries made in the South Pacifick Ocean, Previous to 1764; for he was not otherwise learned in the history of Pacific exploration. ‘The land seen by Juan Fernandes’ in 1563, and enlarged by imaginative writers into ‘a very fertile and agreeable continent’, was the island now known by his name. Jacob le Hermite was the admiral put in command of the ‘Nassau fleet’ which sailed round the world in 1623–6; one of its ships, the Orange, which had been blown astray, rejoined the fleet at Juan Fernandez in April 1624 with the news that it had seen the continent—probably cloud-banks-twice, in 50° and 41° S. Quiros, the discoverer of the New Hebrides in 1606, convinced himself he had had the whole continent stretching before him. Roggeveen (1721–2) who had sailed beyond 60° S to get round the Horn on his passage into the Pacific, had there met icebergs which he took as evidence of a continent; later he had discovered Easter Island, some of the Tuamotus, and Samoa.
2 This is followed by about 22 words deleted separately and very heavily, as if Banks were ashamed of what he had written and determined it should not be read; they rouse curiosity, but are certainly quite indecipherable.
1 In the plan thus put forward we see again an indication of the discussions which went on in the great cabin of the Endeavour. Except for the final few words, ‘proceed home by the East Indies’, it is the plan advanced by Cook at the end of his journal, and the plan of his second voyage. We may, one fancies, attribute it to Cook rather than to Banks.
2 ‘Station sloop’: a sloop based on, and in close contact with, some particular naval station, and hence constantly kept under repair. No doubt Banks is thinking of home service.
3 i.e. a Rix dollar, of conventional value 4s English.
4 The conventional spelling is ‘leaguer’.
Should a ship upon this Expedition be obligd to go into False Bay,1 into which the Dutch remove on the 12th of May, most of these articles might be got there at a small advance occasiond by the carriage which is very cheap; and any be wanted which could not, they might be brought from the Cape town either by Dutch Scoots2 of which there are several belonging to the Company in the Harbour, or by Waggons over land as the Road is good and much frequented at that season of the Year.3
31 [March]. Our rout being settled in the manner above mentiond we this morn weighd and saild with a fair breeze of wind inclind to fall in with Van Diemen's Land as near as possible to the place where Tasman left it.
1 S has the note, ‘False Bay so call'd because Ships sometimes go into it (by mistake) instead of Table Bay’. Cf. p. 247, n. 1 below.
2 Scoot, Banks's rendering of schuit, a Dutch flat-bottomed boat used at home in the river-trade, and no doubt well suited for employment as lighters at the Cape.
3 It is obvious from the contents that this and the preceding paragraphs were later additions to the journal, written after the call at Cape Town on the Endeavour’s homeward passage. Apart from the fact that the page on which this paragraph comes is not filled, there is no other sign of interpolation, as Banks, in making the addition, evidently went back and fair-copied a number of earlier pages leading up to this one.