17th July 1769
Winds Southerly, fine pleasant weather. At 3 p.m. anchored in a small Harbour on the West side of the Island called by the Natives Owarhe, in 18 fathoms water, clear ground, and secure from all winds. Soon after, I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Dr. Monkhouse, Tupia, the King of the Island, and some others of the Natives, who had been on board since the morning. The Moment we landed Tupia stripped himself as low as his waist, and desir'd Mr. Monkhouse to do the same. He then sat down before a great number of the Natives that were collected together in a large Shed or House, the rest of us, by his own desire, standing behind; he then begun a long speach or prayer, which lasted near a Quarter of an Hour, and in the Course of this Speech presented to the People two Handkerchiefs, a black silk Neckcloth, some beads, and two very small bunches of Feathers. These things he had before provided for that purpose. At the same time two Chiefs spoke on the other side in answer to Tupia, as I suppose, in behalf of the People, and presented us with some young Plantains plants, and 2 small bunches of Feathers. These were by Tupia order'd to be carried on board the Ship. After the Peace was thus concluded and ratified, every one was at liberty to go where he pleased, and the first thing Tupia did was to go and pay his Oblations at one of the Mories. This seem'd to be a common ceremony with this people, and I suppose always perform'd upon landing on each other's Territories in a peaceable manner. It further appear'd that the things which Tupia gave away was for the God of this People, as they gave us a Hog and some Cocoanuts for our God, and thus they have certainly drawn us in to commit sacriledge, for the Hog hath already received sentence of Death, and is to be dissected to-morrow. A.M. I set about Surveying the Island, and Dr. Monkhouse, with some hands, went ashore to Trade with the Natives, while the Long boat was employ'd compleating our Water.
Joseph Banks Journal
Went ashore this morn and walkd up the hills; found the productions here almost exactly similar to those of Otahite; upon the hills the rocks and clay were burnt if any thing more than they were in that Island. The people also were almost exactly like our late [friends] but rather more stupid and lazy, in proof of which I need only say that we should have gone much higher up the hills than we did if we could have perswauded them to accompany us, whose only excuse was the fear of being killd by the fatigue. Their houses are very neat and their boathouses particularly very large, one of those I measurd 50 long paces in lengh 10 broad and 24 ft high: the Gothick arch of which it consisted was supported on one side by 26, on the other by 30 pillars or rather clumsey thick posts of about 2 ft high and one thick. Most of these were carvd with heads of men, boys or other devices, as the rough fancy and more rough workmanship of these stone hatchet furnishd gentrey suggested and executed. The flats were filld with very fine breadfruit trees and an infinite number of Cocoa nuts, upon which latter the inhabitants seemd to depend much more than those of Otahite; we saw however large spaces occupied by lagoons and salt swamps upon which neither breadfruit nor Cocoa nuts would thrive.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:28