To Be Got Are Hogs, Fowls, Plantains, Yams, And Some Other Roots; Likewise
Bread-Fruit And Cocoa-Nuts, But Of These Not Many.
At first these articles
were purchased with nails.
Beads, looking-glasses, and such trifles, which
are so highly valued at the Society Isles, are in no esteem here; and even
nails at last lost their value for other articles far less useful.
The inhabitants of these islands collectively, are, without exception, the
finest race of people in this sea. For fine shape and regular features,
they perhaps surpass all other nations. Nevertheless, the affinity of their
language to that spoken in Otaheite and the Society Isles, shews that they
are of the same nation. Oedidee could converse with them tolerably well,
though we could not; but it was easy to see that their language was nearly
The men are punctured, or curiously tattowed, from head to foot. The
figures are various, and seem to be directed more by fancy than custom.
These puncturations make them look dark: But the women, who are but little
punctured, youths and young children, who are not at all, are as fair as
some Europeans. The men are in general tall, that is, about five feet ten
inches, or six feet; but I saw none that were fat and lusty like the
Earees of Otaheite; nor did I see any that could be called meagre.
Their teeth are not so good, nor are their eyes so full and lively as those
of many other nations.
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