28th April 1769
This morning a great number of the natives came to us in their Canoes from differant parts of the Island, several of whom we had not seen before. One of these was the Woman called by the Dolphins the Queen of this Island; she first went to Mr. Banks's tent at the fort, where she was not known, till the Master, happening to go ashore, who knew her, and brought her on board with 2 Men and several Women, who seem'd to be all of her family. I made them all some presents or other, but to Oberiea (for that is this Woman's name) I gave several things, in return for which, as soon as I went on shore with her, she gave me a Hog and several Bunches of plaintains. These she caused to be carried from her Canoes up to the Fort in a kind of Procession, she and I bringing up the rear.
This Woman is about 40 years of Age, and, like most of the other Women, very Masculine. She is head or chief of her own family or Tribe, but to all appearance hath no Authority over the rest of the Inhabitants, whatever she might have when the Dolphin was here. Hercules, whose real Name is Tootaha, is, to all appearance, the Chief Man of the Island, and hath generally visited us twice a week since we have been here, and came always attended by a number of Canoes and people; and at those times we were sure to have a supply, more or less, of everything the Island afforded, both from himself and from those that came with him, and it is a Chance thing that we get a Hog at any other time. He was with us at this Time, and did not appear very well pleased at the Notice we took of Oberiea.
Joseph Banks Journal
Many of our freinds were with us very early even before day, some strangers with them. Terapo was observd to be among the women on the outside of the gate, I went out to her and brought her in, tears stood in her eyes which the moment she enterd the tent began to flow plentifully. I began to enquire the cause; she instead of answering me took from under her garment a sharks tooth and struck it into her head with great force 6 or 7 times. a profusion of Blood followd these strokes and alarmd me not a little; for two or 3 minutes she bled freely more than a pint in quantity, during that time she talkd loud in a most melancholy tone. I was not a little movd at so singular a spectacle and holding her in my arms did not cease to enquire what might be the cause of so strange an action, she took no notice of me till the bleeding ceas'd nor did any Indian in the tent take any of her, all talkd and laugh'd as if nothing melancholy was going forward; but what surpriz'd me most of all was that as soon as the bleeding ceas'd she lookd up smiling and immediately began to collect peices of cloth which during her bleeding she had thrown down to catch the blood. These she carried away out of the tents and threw into the sea, carefully dispersing them abroad as if desirous that no one should be reminded of her action by the sight of them; she then went into the river and after washing her whole body returnd to the tents as lively and chearfull as any one in them.
After breakfast Mr Molineux came ashore and the moment he enterd the tent fixing his eyes upon a woman who was setting there declard her to be the Dolphins Queen, she also instantly acknowledg'd him to be a person who she had before seen. Our attention was now intirely diverted from every other object to the examination of a personage we had heard so much spoken of in Europe: she appeard to be about 40, tall and very lusty, her skin white and her eyes full of meaning, she might have been hansome when young but now few or no traces of it were left. As soon as her majesties quality was known to us she was invited to go on board the ship, where no presents were spard that were thought to be agreable to her in consideration of the service she had been of to the Dolphin. Among other things a childs dol was given to her of which she seemd very fond. On her landing she met Hercules who for the future I shall call by his real name Tootahah. She shewd him her presents: he became uneasy nor was he satisfied till he had also got a doll given to him, which now he seemd to preferr to a hatchet that he had in return for presents, tho after this time the dolls were of no kind of value.
The men who visited us constantly eat with us of our provisions, but the women never had been prevaild on to taste a morsel; today however they retird sometime after dinner into the servants apartment and eat there a large quantity of plantains, tho they could not be persuaded to eat with us, a mystery we find it very dificult to account for.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
This morning a woman, a fat, bouncing, good-looking dame, whom we found the queen, having a great quantity of their cloth of all colours, made us a visit, and a present.
Tootahau, the king of the island, whom we called Hercules, too, and all his family, came and brought us presents, which we kindly accepted.
Posted by Arborfield at 20:30