27th April 1769
Joseph Banks Journal
The day passd as usual. Lycurgus and a freind of his (who eats most monstrously) dind with us, we christend him Epicurus. At night they took their leave and departed but Lycurgus soon returnd with fire in his eyes, seizd my arm and signd to me to follow him. I did and he soon brought me to a place where was our butcher, who he told me by signs had either threatned or atempted to cut his wives throat with a reaphook he had in his hand. I signd to him that the man should be punishd tomorrow if he would only clearly explain the offence, for he was so angry that his signs were almost unintelligible. He grew cooler and shewd me that the Butcher had taken a fancy to a stone hatchet which lay in his house, this he offerd to purchase for a nail: His wife who was their refus'd to part with it upon which he took it and throwing down the nail threatned to cut her throat if she atempted to hinder him; in evidence of this the hatchet and nail were produc'd and the butcher had so little to say in his defence that no one doubted of his guilt. After this we parted and he appeard satisfied but did not forget to put me in mind of my promise that the butcher should tomorrow be punished.
This day we found that our freinds had names and they were not a little pleasd to discover that we had them likewise; for the future Lycurgus will be calld Tübourai tamaide and his wife Tomio and the three women who commonly come with him Terapo, Terarü and Omie. As for our names they make so poor a hand of pronouncing them that I fear we shall be obligd to take each of us a new one for the occasion.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
We saw a very odd ceremony performed; Tiropoa, one of Tubora Tumaida's wives, after weeping, and expressing some emotions of sorrow, took a shark's tooth from under her cloaths, and struck it against her head several times, which produced a copious discharge of blood; then, lamenting most bitterly, she articulated some words in a mournful tone, and covered the blood with some pieces of cloth; and, having bled about a pint, she gathered up as much of it as she could, threw it into the sea, and then assumed a chearful countenance, as if nothing had happened. This, it seems, is a ceremony generally performed by widows after the decease of their husbands.
Posted by Arborfield at 07:29