5th May 1769
Early this morning Tootaha sent some of his people to put us in mind of our promise, and these seem'd very uneasy until we set out, which Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself did about 10 o'clock in the Pinnace, having one of these men with us. As soon as we came to Appara, the place where Tootaha resided, we saw a great number of People at the landing place near his House; one among them, who had a large Turban about his Head, and a long white stick in his Hand, drove the others from the landing place by beating them with his Stick, and throwing stones at them, and at the same time directed us whereabouts to land. After we had landed he conducted us to the Chief, but in this there was no order, everyone crowded upon us crying out "Tyo Tootaha," this Tootaha was our Friend. We found the chief setting in the shade under a large Tree, with a Circle of old men round him; he made us set down by him, and immediately asked for the Axe. I then gave him one, together with an upper Garment made of Broad Cloth after their Fashion, and a Shirt. The Garment he put on, but the Shirt he gave to the man who first received us at landing, who was now seated by us, and the Chief seemed desirous that we should take particular notice of him. By that Time Obaria, and several other women whom we knew, came and sat down by us. Tootaha did not stay long before he went away, as we thought to show himself to the people in his new Dress. He was not gone long before he return'd and took his seat again for a few minutes, then went away again, as we was told, to order something to be got for us to Eat, and at this time we gladly would have gone too, being almost Suffocated with the Crowd that was about us. However, here we remained for about 10 Minutes longer, when word was brought us that the Chief wanted us.
We were then conducted to our own Boat, where we found him setting alone under the Awning. He made signs to us to come to him, which we did, and as many with us as the Boat would hold. Here he ordered some Bread fruit and Cocoa Nut to be brought, of both of which we tasted. After we had set here sometime, a Message was brought to the Chief, who immediately went out of the Boat, and we was desired to follow, and was conducted to a large Aria or Court Yard on one side of his House, where we were entertained with Public wrestling. Tootaha seated himself at one end of the place, and several of his Principal men sat round him in a Semicircle. We were desir'd to sit down here likewise, but we rather chose to walk about. Everything being now ready, several men entered the Theater, 8, 10, or 12, sometimes more. These walked about in a Stooping Poster, with their left hand upon their right breast, and with their Right hand Open struck with a smack their left Arm and fore-arm. In this manner they walked about until one Challenged another, which was done by motion and jesture, without speaking one word. The 2 Antagonists would then meet and endeavour to seize each other by the thighs, but if that fail'd they would seize each other by the Hair of the Head or wherever they could, and then Wrestle together until by main Strength the one or the other was thrown on his back. This was always (Except once) followed by three Huzzas from some old men who sat in the House, and at the same time another Company of men would dance for about a Minute, the Wrestlers all the time continuing their game without taking the least notice of anything else. The only dexterity the Wrestlers seemed to make use of was in first seizing each other, for after they had closed it was all decided by Main strength. It would sometimes happen that neither the one nor the other could throw his Antagonist; in this Case they would either part by mutual consent or were parted by others. The Conqueror never exulted over the Conquer'd, neither did the Conquer'd ever repine at his ill luck, but the whole was carried on with great good Humour. There were present, Young and old, near 500 People.
The women do not seem to partake of this diversion, only some few of the Principal ones were present, and that appeared to be owing to us being there. After this was over we were given to understand that we were to go to Dinner, and were desired to follow Tootaha, who led us into our own Boat, and soon after came a small Pig ready roasted, with some Bread Fruit and Cocoa Nuts. Here we thought we were to have dined, but Tootaha, after waiting about 10 Minutes, made signs to us to put off the Boat and go a Board, which we did, and bring him and Toobouratomida along with us. As soon as we got on board we all dined on the Cheer the Chief had provided. We soon found the good effects of having made friends with this man, for it was no sooner known to the Natives that he was on board the Ship than they brought Bread Fruit, Cocoa Nuts, etc., to the Fort.
Joseph Banks Journal
This morn Obadée (her majesties bedfellow) came pretty early to visit us or rather himself to take a view of her canoe. He carefully overhauld every thing in it and complaind of the Loss of some trifling thing I could not understand what; after this he brought every thing out of it and deliverd them into my charge desiring that they might be taken care of, after which he left us. A very small quantity of Bread fruit brought this morn. At breakfast time came two messengers from Dootahah to put the captn in mind of his promise of Visiting him. Accordingly at 9 the boat set out carrying the Captn Dr Solander and myself. We arrivd in about an hour, Eparre his residence being about 4 miles from the tents. An immence throng of people met us on the shore crowding us very much tho they were severely beat for so doing by a tall well looking [man] who lacd about him with a long stick most unmercifully, striking all who did not get out of his way without intermission till he had cleard us a path sufficient to go to Dootahah, who was seated under a tree attended by a few grave looking old men. With him we sat down and made our presents consisting of an ax and a gown of Broad cloth made after their fashion and trimmd with tape, with these he seemd mightily satisfied. Soon after this Oborea joind us and with her I retird to a house adjacent where I could be free from the suffocating heat occasiond by so large a crowd of people as were gatherd about us. Here was prepard for our diversion an entertainment quite new to us, a wrestling match at which the other gentlemen soon joind us.
A large court yard raild round with Bamboo about 3 feet high was the scene of this diversion; at one end of this Dootahah was seated and near him was left seats for us but we rather chose to range at large among the spectators than confine ourselves to any particular spot. The diversion began by the combatants some of them at least walking round the yard with a slow and grave pace every now and then striking their left arms very hard, by which they causd a deep and very loud noise, which it seems was a challenge to each other or any one of the company who chose to engage in the exercise. Within the house stood the old men ready to give applause to the victor and some few women who seem'd to be here out of compliment to us, as much the larger number absented themselves upon the occasion. The general challenge was given as I before said, the particular one soon followd it by which any man singled out his antagonist, it was done by joining the finger ends of both hands even with the breast and then moving the Elbows up and down. If this was accepted the challenged immediately returnd the signal and instantly both put themselves in an attitude to engage, which they very soon did striving to seize each other by the hands hair or the cloth they had round their middles, for they had no other dress. This done they attempted to seize each other by the thigh which commonly decided the contest in the fall of him who was thus taken at disadvantage; if this was not soon done they always parted either by consent or their freinds interferd in less than a minute, in which case both began to clap their arms and seek anew for an antagonist either in each other or some one else. When any one fell the whole amusement ceasd for a few moments, in which time the old men in the house gave their aplause in a few words which they repeated together in a kind of tune. This lasted about 2 hours, all which time the man who we observd at our first Landing continued to beat the people who did not keep at a proper distance most unmercifully. We understood that he was some officer belonging to Dootahah and was calld his Tom'te.
The wrestling over the gentlemen informed me that they understood that 2 hoggs and a large quantity of Bread fruit etc. was cooking for our dinners, news which pleasd me very well as my stomach was by this time sufficiently prepard for the repast. I went out and saw the ovens in which they were now buried, these the Indians readily shewd me telling me at the same time that they would soon be ready and how good a dinner we should have. In about half an hour all was taken up but now Dootahah began to repent of his intended generosity; he thought I suppose that a hog would be lookd upon as no more than a dinner and consequently no present made in return, he therefore changd his mind and ordering one of the pigs into the boat sent for us who soon collected together and getting our Knives prepard to fall too, saying that it was civil of the old gentleman to bring the provisions into the boat where we could with ease keep the people at a proper distance, who in the house would have crouded us almost to death. His intention was however very different from ours for instead of asking us to eat he ask'd to go on board of the ship, a measure we were forcd to comply with and row 4 miles with the pig growing cold under our noses before he would give it to us. Aboard however we dind upon this same pig and his majesty eat very heartily with us. After dinner we went ashore, the sight of Dootahah reconcild to us acted like a charm upon the people and before night bread fruit and cocoa nuts were brought to sell in tolerable plenty.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
The captain and Mr. Banks, with some others, went to the west, and waited upon Tootahau, and some other of the chiefs, who, it was supposed, had taken affront, as the people did not bring fruit, as usual, to market. They received them kindly, and entertained them with wrestling and dancing: when they returned to the ship, Tootahau, their king, came along with them, brought a barbecued-hog, and the captain made him a present.
Posted by Arborfield at 07:15