4th August 1769
First and Latter parts, moderate breezes, at East-North-East; in the night, Calm, Hot, and sultry. In our rout to the Northward this afternoon we were entertained at one place with Musick and Dancing. The Musick consisted of 3 Drums, and the Dancing was mostly perform'd by 2 Young Women and one Man, and this seem'd to be their profession. The dress of the women was such as we had not seen before; it was neat, decent, and well chose, and in many respects not much unlike a European dress; only their Arms, Necks, and Shoulders were bare, and their headdress was the Tomow stuck with Flowers. They made very little use of their feet and Legs in Dancing, but one part or another of their bodies were in continual motion and in various postures, as standing, setting, and upon their Hands and knees, making strange Contorsions. Their Arms, hands, and Fingers they moved with great Agility and in a very Extraordinary manner, and altho' they were very exact in observing the same motion in all their movements, yet neither their Musick or Dancing were at all Calculated to please a European.
There were likewise some men, who acted a kind of a Farce; but this was so short that we could gather nothing from it, only that it shew'd that these People have a Notion of Dramatick performances, and some of our Gentlemen saw them act a Farce the next day, wherein was 4 Acts, and it seem'd to them to represent a War between the Bolabola men and those of Ulietea, wherein the former triumph'd over the latter; but what might help them to draw this Conclusion was the knowing that such a thing has not long ago hapned between these 2 People, and that the Bolabola men at present possess most of the Lands on this Island. This is their grand Dramatick Heiva, and I believe is occasionally performed in all the Islands.
Upon my return to the Ship in the evening I found that they had got on board 20 Tuns of Ballast, and this I thought would be sufficient. In the morning we sent all our water Casks on shore, and got them all off full by Noon. This morning I received a present from Opoony, the Eare dehi of Bolabola, who at this time was upon this Island. It consisted of 3 Hogs, some pieces of Cloth, Plantains, Cocoa Nuts, etc. These were sent by his Servants, and I was told that he would come the next day himself.
Joseph Banks Journal
We had often heard Tubia speak of Lands belonging to him which had been taken away by the Bola Bola men: these he tells us now are situate in the very bay where the ship lies. On going ashore this morning the inhabitants confirmd What he has told us and shewd us several different whennuas which they all acknowledged belong of right to him. The largest number of the people here are it seems the so much feard Bola Bola men, and we are told that tomorrow Opoony the King of that Island will come to visit us. We are much inclind to receive him civily as we have met with so civil a reception from his subjects.
Dr Solander and myself go upon the hills accompanied by several Indians, who carried us by excellent paths so high that we plainly saw the other side of the Island and the passage through which the ship went out of the reef between the Islets of Opoorooroo and Tamou. Our walk did not turn out very profitable as we found only two plants that we had not seen before. In coming down again we saw the game that the Indians call Erowhaw, which is no more than pitching a kind of light lances headed with hard wood at a mark: of this amusement they seem to be very fond but none that we saw now excelld in doing it, not above one in 12 striking the mark which was the bole of a plantain tree about 20 yards distant.
Posted by Arborfield at 19:37