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DEPARTURE FROM SYDNEY--PASSAGE TO NEW ZEALAND--ARRIVAL AT THE BAY OF ISLANDS--MEETING WITH THE SCIENTIFIC CORPS--THEIR PASSAGE FROM SYDNEY-BAY OF ISLANDS--RIVERS WHICH FALL INTO IT--FACE OF THE COUNTRY--ACTIVE VOLCANO--HOT SPRING OF TAIAIMI--CRATER OF POERUA--DR. PICKERING'S VISIT TO HOKIANGA -- MISSIONARY ESTABLISHMENT AT PAHIA -- KORORARIKA -- ENGLISH POLICE MAGISTRATE AND ACTING GOVERNOR--TREATY OF CESSION TO ENGLAND-CONDUCT OF THE AMERICAN CONSUL--INSTALLATION OF THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR--OPINION OF THE CHIEFS IN RELATION TO THE TREATY--ARRIVAL OF ENGLISH REVENUE OFFICERS -- LAND CLAIMS -- BURTHENSOME TAXES AND TARIFF --THEIR EFFECT ON AMERICAN COMMERCE--EXPENSE OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT--CASE OF JOHN SAC--HIS LETTER TO MR. WALDRON--FURTHER REMARKS ON THE TREATY OF CESSION --VIOLENT GALE --ITS EXTENT AND ROTARY CHARACTER--FOREIGN RESIDENTS--HIGH PRICE OF LAND --MISSIONS --TABOO --PAS, OR FORTIFIED TOWNS-DWELLINGS--TOMB--DRESS OF THE NATIVES--THEIR STOREHOUSES--THEIR FOOD-- THEIR ARMS AND ORNAMENTS--KING POMARE--MAUPARAWA--CHARLEY POMARE-- POMARE'S WARS-CEREMONY OF HIS RETURN--HIS MEANNESS--POPULATION OF NEW ZEALAND--VISIT TO WANGARARA --POLITENESS OF KO-TOWATOWA --WANGARARA BAY --CHARACTER OF THE NEW ZEALANDERS -- THEIR PERSONAL APPEARANCE -- TRADITION IN RELATION TO THEIR ORIGIN--TATTOOED HEADS--CANNIBALISM-CONDITION AND PROSPECTS OF THE NATIVES --NATIVE DANCES--MUSIC--CHATHAM ISLAND-CHART OF THE BAY OF ISLANDS-MR. COUTHOUY'S PASSAGE FROM SYDNEY --HIS ACCOUNT OF MOUNT EGMONT -- OF PORT COOPER --WARS OF ROBOLUA--PORT LEVY--KORAKIBARURU--PIGEON BAY--CAPE CAMPBELL AND SNOWY PEAKS--CLOUDY BAY --ROBOLUA --HABITS OF THE NATIVES, AND PREVAILING WINDS AT CLOUDY BAY --CLIMATE OF NEW ZEALAND --DISEASES --SOIL --CULTIVATION --VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS--TIMBER--CANOES--QUADRUPEDS--BIRDS-COMMERCE.
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VIEW IN NEW ZEALAND
Drawn by A. T. Agate
G. H. Cushman, Sc.
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NEW ZEALAND. 1840.
HAVING replenished our stores of provisions, we took, with much regret, a final leave of our friends at Sydney. The Vincennes weighed anchor, and at 3 P. M. on the 19th March, we discharged our pilot, and bade adieu to these hospitable shores. The Peacock, not having completed her repairs, was left at Sydney for a few days, with orders to follow us to Tongataboo.
On reaching a distance of thirty miles from the coast, we again found a difference of three degrees in the temperature of the water, and experienced the effects of a strong current towards the south. The wind was from the northward and eastward.
On the 23d we spoke the French whale-ship Ville de Bordeaux, in want of provisions, which we supplied her. She had been out three years, and had on board four thousand barrels of oil. The crew was reduced to bread and water, and the vessel was apparently in a bad condition in other respects.
On the 25th, in latitude 34 deg. 24' S., longitude 160 deg. 26' E., we experienced a current setting to the south at the rate of twenty miles in twenty-four hours.
On the 26th the current set east-southeast at the rate of twelve miles per day.
The wind on the 27th hauled to south-southeast by the east, and became a fine breeze.
On the 29th, we made the North Cape of New Zealand. The current for the two previous days had been setting north-northwest, and the temperature of the air varied during our passage from Sydney from 63 deg. 3', to 76 deg. 4'; that of the water from 70 deg. to 72 deg.
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At daylight on the 30th, we made Cape Brett, and after groping our way through the dark, into the Bay of Islands, anchored at 10 P. M. in the Kawa-Kawa river, opposite the residence of Mr. Clendon the American consul. Here I had the satisfaction to find the Porpoise and Flying-Fish, and receive the reports of their cruises, which will be found in Appendix XXX.: they were all well on board. The former vessel had arrived a few days, and the latter about three weeks, before us. We were also gratified with the receipt of letters from the United States. Every exertion was made to shorten the duration of our stay in New Zealand, and the necessary instruments were landed without delay.
Here also we met all the scientific gentlemen,--who, as has been stated, had been left at Sydney when the squadron sailed upon the Antarctic cruise,--anxiously awaiting our arrival.
They had been forced to remain inactive at Sydney, in consequence of a change in the destination of the vessel in which they had first taken their passages, and, by this vexatious delay, had not only been prevented from pursuing further researches in New South Wales, but had lost time that might have been advantageously employed in New Zealand. They finally succeeded in finding an opportunity of reaching the Bay of Islands, in the British brig Victoria.
After leaving Sydney in this vessel, a sea was shipped, which, besides doing other mischief, entered at the cabin-windows, and filled the chronometer-box with salt water; in consequence of which the master considered it necessary to put back, in order to exchange the injured time-piece for another. She accordingly anchored again in Port Jackson.
On the 7th February, they had a beautiful exhibition of the aurora australis: the coruscations were of a straw-coloured light, reaching nearly to the zenith in the southern sky, and lasting from seven until ten o'clock. A noddy lighted on the brig, and remained on board many days; so tame was it that it even suffered itself to be handled.
On the 16th, when they had performed about half the passage, they had another exhibition of the aurora, much like the former; after which they experienced a gale of wind of five days' duration. On the 21st, they were enabled again to make sail, and, on the 23d, they made the North Cape. A gale then came on from the eastward, and they had a narrow escape from shipwreck while running down the land. On the 24th, they dropped anchor at Kororarika, about three miles above which place they found the United States Consul, Mr. Clendon, at Ornotu Point.
From the splendid panorama of Mr. Burford, I had pictured the Bay
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of Islands to myself as a place of surpassing beauty, and I could not but feel gratified at the idea of paying it a visit: it did not, however, realize my expectations. It might, with more propriety, be called the Bay of Inlets. The best idea that can be given of its geographical features is, to liken it to an open hand with the fingers spread apart. The land is much indented with bays, or arms of the sea, running up among hills, which are nearly insulated. The distance between the two capes (Brett and Point Pocock) is ten miles, and there are several secondary bays facing this opening. Four rivers flow into them, the Kawa-Kawa, Kiri-Kiri, Loytangi, and Waicaddie, into which the tide flows a few miles, after which they become small streamlets, varied by some waterfalls. There are many minor indentations, which render it impossible to move any distance without a boat; and it is often necessary to make a turn of five or six miles around an inlet or marsh in going to a place, which might be reached in one-tenth of the distance by water.
The land has the appearance of barren hills without accompanying valleys, and there is so little level ground that terraces are cut in the hills to build the cottages on. The whole view is any thing but picturesque, and there is little to meet the eye except bare hills and extensive sheets of water. Some fine views are, however, to be met with from the elevated ridges, which afford occasional glimpses of the bay, with its islets.
Many of our gentlemen were struck with the resemblance of this land to that of Terra del Fuego. Black islets and rocks, worn into various shapes, are found, as in that country, at all the points in the bay through which a boat can pass. These rocks are of a basaltic character. About the Bay of Islands the rock is compact and argillaceous, showing little or no stratification, and is for the most part covered with a layer of stiff clay, two or three feet thick, the result of its decomposition. The hills about the Bay of Islands are generally from three to five hundred feet high, but some of those at the head of the bay reach one thousand feet. The district about the Bay of Islands, and the northern portion of the island, maybe styled volcanic; for, in addition to rocks of undoubted volcanic origin, all the others had in a greater or less degree undergone the action of fire. Our naturalists were informed that the valley of the Thames was of a different character, although many persons represented the whole island as volcanic. The ridges in the northern part of the island were not thought to rise more than two thousand feet. The Rev. Mr. Williams, missionary at Pahia, has crossed the island from Port Nicholson to Taaranga, during which journey he passed a district from
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which the snow was absent only four months in the year. This region is in the neighbourhood of the high peak of Mount Egmont, said, in the Sydney Almanac, but upon what authority is not stated, to be fourteen thousand feet high. Mr. Williams described the route as exhibiting volcanic phenomena on a large scale, among which were quantities of pumice, extending entirely across the island, and an extensive plain, which had sunk in one place, and disclosed a bed of that substance, three or four hundred feet in thickness; he likewise spoke of geysers or jets of boiling water.
The only volcano that was known to be in action, was one on a small island in the Bay of Plenty, on the east coast.
The embedded minerals in the rock about the bay are quartz, iron, and iron pyrites.
The hot spring of Taiaimi was visited, but it is described as rather an emission of gas than of water. It is situated in a small basin, and forms a lake of three or four acres in extent; near the edge of this lake, gas is constantly bubbling up, usually through the water, to which it gives the appearance of boiling; and gas also issues from the surrounding land for an extent of several acres. The water was found to be warm, but did not scald. The neighbouring ground was destitute of vegetation, and appeared as if the surface of the earth had been artificially removed. Sulphur was abundant, and there was also a slight incrustation of alum. The water was strongly impregnated with iron, was much discoloured, and in smell and taste not unlike pyroligneous acid. A quantity of gas was brought away, but the bottle met with an accident before it could be analyzed. It is not inflammable, and had it been of a deleterious nature, the fact, (from the quantities emitted,) could not fail to have been perceived. It had no smell, and appeared not to differ from atmospheric air. The natives attribute medical virtues to these waters.
Twelve or fifteen miles to the westward of the Bay of Islands, near Taiaimi, there are several small extinct craters, rising about five hundred feet above the surrounding country. One of them is called Poerua, and is remarkable for the regular figure of its cone when seen from the eastward. Its western side is cut through by a deep gorge. The interior is covered with large forest trees and huge blocks of lava, while the exterior is clad in ferns of low growth. The diameter of the crater is about half a mile. The plain which surrounds the cone is composed of an uncommonly rich soil, strewed with lava, which the natives collect in heaps, in order to obtain space for cultivation. The lava does not extend far from the cone, and even in the interior, rock seldom appeared, but where it was seen it proved to be vesicular
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lava. The soil in the neighbourhood of the craters is richer, looser, and more fit for cultivation than in other places.
Dr. Pickering made a visit to Hokianga, on the western side of the island, and found that it had more of the forest character than the eastern. He took the direct road to Waimati, which is fifteen miles from the Bay of Islands. The river Waitanga was very high, and one of the chiefs, a large and muscular man, seemed to take particular interest in getting them across safe and dry; but notwithstanding his stature and all his care, he could not prevent a slight immersion. 1 The Doctor arrived at Waimati at 4 P. M., and was kindly welcomed by Mr. Davis, the Methodist missionary, to whom he had a letter of introduction. It was not without surprise that he found here a watermill in operation, which the guides took care to point out with no little exultation. This, together with the fences, and well cultivated fields, were the works of the missionaries. He remained with Mr. Davis for the night, who advised his proceeding direct to Hokianga; but the guides who had hitherto accompanied him were ignorant of the route, and another became necessary.
The next day they passed over the flank of Te-ahooahoo, a volcanic cone, and the most prominent elevation in this region. A little farther on, a fine lake was passed, about three miles in length. At nine miles from Waimati, the wooded region was entered, which extended to Hokianga. Just before crossing the Hokianga river for the first time, the Baron de Thierry was met with, who was exceedingly polite. The road after this became difficult, it being necessary to cross the river repeatedly, and to follow the stream for some distance. The usual manner of crossing here is to be carried. The guides, under various pretexts, prevented them from reaching Hokianga, and they were compelled to stop four miles short of it, at a chief's called Tooron, of rather doubtful character.
Tooron, with his family, had worship both morning and evening, as is customary with converted natives, he himself officiating. The accommodations were none of the best. An open shed, with fire and blanket, were, however, sufficient to insure a good night's rest. Tooron was liberally paid, and so well pleased, that he said he was determined to carry his guests over the river himself. The road was any thing but good, being miry, and filled with roots of trees, so that
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their attention was wholly engrossed in seeking a good foothold. The river was again repeatedly crossed. On the way they met natives loaded with baskets of peaches, the season for which had arrived. They freely offered their fruit, for which tobacco was returned. Before noon, they arrived at Baron de Thierry's house, where they were hospitably received by his lady. This house is situated at the head of tide-water on the Hokianga river, about thirty miles from its mouth, and boats can ascend as far as this place. There is no village at the mouth of the river, but many whites reside at different points on its banks. There is a bar between the headlands at its mouth, which will admit only of small vessels entering.
Our travellers had intended to return the next day, but one of their guides, by the name of Pooe, was missing. He had been allowed to take up his quarters at a short distance, on condition of his being ready for an early start; on inquiry, however, they were informed that Pooe had said he did not intend to go back until Monday, which was two or three days off. They departed without him, but before reaching Tooron's, Pooe again joined them, having a piece of pork, which one of his friends had furnished for the Doctor's supper.
Mr. Davis's was reached at dark, and the same warm greeting experienced as before. The next day they reached the Bay of Islands, at Pahia.
Pahia is the principal missionary establishment of the Episcopal Church. It is pleasantly situated on the bay, opposite Kororarika, and is the residence of all those attached to the mission, and their printing-presses are there. It is too much exposed to afford a good harbour for shipping, but as it is the most favourable side for communication with the interior, the advantages and disadvantages of its position are nearly balanced.
Kororarika is still the principal settlement, and contains about twenty houses, scarcely deserving the name, and many shanties, besides tents. It is chiefly inhabited by the lowest order of vagabonds, mostly runaway sailors and convicts, and is appropriately named " Blackguard Beach."
The appointment of the police magistrates was one of the first acts under the new order of things. Mr. Robert Shortland, the first police magistrate, after the illness of Governor Hobson, styled himself acting governor, and a more ridiculously pompous functionary could scarcely be imagined. He paid a visit to the vessel in which some of our gentlemen had made the passage from Sydney, and demanded the reason why the mail-bag had not been sent to the new government postmaster. The master of the vessel replied, that he thought it his
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duty, not having been informed of any change, to deliver them to the old postmaster, until he should be directed otherwise by Governor Hobson. This pompous functionary, in an improper tone as well as manner, exclaimed, "I wish you to know that I am governor now!" In the words of one of the gentlemen, "had he been the viceroy of the Indies, he could not have made his inquisitions in tones of loftier supremacy."
Some of our gentlemen arrived at the Bay of Islands in time to witness the ceremonies of making the treaty with the New Zealand chiefs. I mentioned, whilst at Sydney, the arrival of H. B. M. frigate the Druid, with Captain Hobson on board, as consul to New Zealand. It was well understood that he had the appointment of Lieutenant-Governor in his pocket, in the event of certain arrangements being made. His arrival at the Bay of Islands, in H. B. M. ship Herald, seemed to take the inhabitants, foreigners as well as natives, by surprise. A few days afterwards, on the 5th February, a meeting was called at the dwelling of Mr. Busby. The meeting was large and numerously attended by the chiefs. Many arguments and endeavours were used to induce them to sign a treaty with Great Britain, all of which were but little understood, even by those who were present, and had some clue to the object in view. Great excitement prevailed, and after five hours' ineffectual persuasion, the meeting broke up, every chief refusing to sign or favour Captain Hobson's proposition, which was in reality nothing more or less than a cession of their lands, authority, and persons, to Queen Victoria. Among the arguments made use of, he stated that unless they signed the treaty, he could do nothing more than act as consul! Nothing having been effected, the meeting was broken up, and the following Friday appointed for a second. Tobacco and pipes were given them before they departed, which restored their good humour, and they went away shouting.
In the mean time, Mr. J. R. Clendon, an Englishman acting as American consul, the missionaries, and many interested persons residing there, or about becoming settlers, were made to understand that their interest would be much promoted if they should forward the views of the British government. Every exertion was now made by these parties to remove the scruples of the chiefs, and thus to form a party strong enough to overreach the rest of the natives, and overcome their objections. About forty chiefs, principally minor ones,--a very small representation of the proprietors of the soil,--were induced to sign the treaty. The influence of Mr. Clendon, arising from his position as the representative of the United States, was among the most efficient means by which the assent, even of this small party, was
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obtained. The natives placed much confidence in him, believing him to be disinterested. He became a witness to the document, and informed me, when speaking of the transaction, that it was entirely through his influence that the treaty was signed.
The Lieutenant-Governor installed himself, confirmed the appointments of a host of government officers, and the whole machinery, that had been long prepared, was put in motion. Proclamations were issued by him, extending his authority over all the English residents on both islands! and it was considered by the Englishmen as good as law, though far otherwise by the other foreigners. After this, the Lieutenant-Governor proceeded to the district of the Thames River, or Hauaki, in the Herald, for the purpose of procuring a similar cession of the country; but before this could be consummated, he was attacked with paralysis, and the Herald was obliged to depart for Sydney.
So far as the chiefs understand the agreement, they think they have not alienated any of their rights to the soil, but consider it only as a personal grant, not transferable. In the interview I had with Pomare, I was desirous of knowing the impression it had made upon him. I found he was not under the impression that he had given up his authority, or any portion of his land permanently; the latter he said he could not do, as it belonged to all his tribe. Whenever this subject was brought up, after answering questions, he invariably spoke of the figure he would make in the scarlet uniform and epaulettes, that Queen Victoria was to send him, and "then what a handsome man he would be!"
Those who are not directly benefited by the change, cannot but view it as a disastrous circumstance for the natives, which will seal their doom, and make them the prey of the hosts of adventurers who are flocking in from all parts, some to be engaged as public officers, and to fatten on the coming revenues, and others as speculators. During our stay, a cutter arrived from Sydney, with a number of revenue officers, magistrates, and other minor dignitaries.
New Zealand continued under the authority of New South Wales until September, 1840, when it became a separate colony. One of the first acts of the new government has been, by proclamation, to require all those who have acquired lands by purchase from the natives, to exhibit their vouchers, and to show how much land they had purchased, and the price paid. At the same time, a committee was appointed to examine these claims. A few statements made by this committee, will show how the spirit of speculation has been at work in New Zealand. Up to October, 1841, they reported that five hundred and ninety-one
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claims had been entered by two hundred and eighty individuals; of these, there are four hundred and thirty-five claims, amounting to thirteen millions nine hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and eighty-two acres. The remaining one hundred and fifty-six claims are not defined by ordinary landmarks, but are limited by degrees of latitude and longitude, and computed in square miles instead of acres. The last description of claims are considered, at a moderate calculation, to be double the amount of the four hundred and thirty-five claims, so that in round numbers, the claims already sent in to the commissioners may be estimated at forty millions of acres. For four hundred claims, affidavits have been made, and the total value of goods and money paid by these claimants is thirty-four thousand and ninety-six pounds.
For one hundred and ninety-five claims, no value is stated; but if paid for in the same ratio, the amount will be nearly forty thousand pounds, or about one penny for three acres. The whole surface of the two islands does not contain more than eighty thousand six hundred square miles, or fifty millions of acres, and the largest part of them has not yet been sold by the natives, viz., the Waikati district, Rotorua and Taupo, in the interior, as well as the whole of the eastern coast of the northern island; so that it will be difficult to find a space wherein to locate these enormous claims.
Laws have likewise been promulgated and imposts levied, harassing to foreigners, (Americans and others,) and most destructive to their commercial pursuits, while they offer the most marked protection to those of British subjects! This would seem not a little unjust to those who have been resident, and extensively engaged in commerce, before England took possession, and whilst New Zealand was acknowledged as an independent state. It has, among other things, been enacted, that all goods imported and remaining on hand on the 1st of January, 1840, the time of British assumption, shall pay duties; that all lands are to be considered as belonging to the Queen, even those purchased of the chiefs prior to the treaty, while the purchasers shall be only entitled to as many acres as the amount paid to the chiefs will cover at the rate of five shillings per acre. The government in addition reserves to itself the right to such portions as it may require. Many of these purchases were made from the native chiefs, prior to the treaty, in good faith, and for an equivalent with which they were well satisfied, and so expressed themselves.
The destructive effect of these laws on American commerce will be great, particularly as those engaged in mercantile pursuits find themselves called upon to pay heavy duties on their stocks. Americans are not permitted to hold property, and, in consequence, their whaling
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establishments on shore must either be broken up altogether, or transferred to other places, at a great loss of outlay and capital. Our whalers are now prevented from resorting to the New Zealand ports, or fishing on the coast, by the tonnage duty, port charges, &c.; are denied the privilege of disposing of any thing in barter, and obliged to pay a duty on American articles of from ten to five hundred per cent. The expenses of repairs have so much increased, that other places must be sought for the purpose of making them. The timber and timber-lands are exclusively claimed as belonging to Her Majesty. Thus have our citizens been deprived of a fishery yielding about three hundred thousand dollars annually in oil.
Governor Hobson's proclamation will be found in Appendix XXXI.
The expenses of this new government were estimated for the year 1841 at £50,922 3s. 4d., sterling, which is about equal to £10 for each man, woman, and child; for the whole foreign population on all the islands, is not supposed to be more than five thousand. The great precipitancy with which the islands were taken possession of, is said to have been owing to the fears entertained that the French intended forming a colony on the southern island in like manner.
After my arrival I gave the men liberty. Among the first who obtained it was John Sac, a native of New Zealand, and of the neighbourhood of this bay. His native name was Tuatti, and he was a petty chief. He had been some time absent from his country, and had sailed in the Expedition from the United States, was an excellent sailor, a very good fellow, and had been enthusiastic in the praise of his country and countrymen. According to him, there was nothing like New Zealand; and under this feeling he hired a canoe to take him on shore, for which his countryman charged him three dollars, although half a dollar would have been an exorbitant price. He landed at Tibbey's, and being desirous of going to his friends, wished to engage a canoe to take him about ten miles up one of the rivers, the Kawa-Kawa, where they resided. For this conveyance he was asked £2, nearly a month's pay. Poor John could not submit to this extortion, and was found sitting on a log, greatly mortified, depressed, and incensed at such treatment.
After John returned on board, he made a proposition to Mr. Waldron, in a letter, to purchase the island which he called Motugee, with the territory of Muckatoo, belonging to his father and family, and expressing his belief that they were all opposed to the encroachments of the English, and were determined not to part with their land to them.
Although the land about the Bay of Islands is much cut up by indentations, yet from this circumstance it affords many pretty views,
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which have in some respects an appearance of an advance towards civilization, that one hardly expects to find within the scope of the residences of these savages.
One of the many sketches Mr. Agate made, will serve to convey an idea of their beauty, as well as a distant view of their pas.
VIEW IN NEW ZEALAND
Drawn by A. T. Agate
A. W. Graham, Sc.
At the time of my visit, which was, as has been seen, immediately after Captain Hobson's arrival, and the signing of the treaty, or cession, it was evident that full seven-eighths of the native population had the same feelings as are found expressed in this note. The circumstances that have occurred at New Zealand fully prove the necessity of having American citizens as our consuls abroad. Mr. J. R. Clendon, our consul at New Zealand, an independent state, and the only representative of a foreign power, whose interest was at stake, was consulted by some of the most powerful and influential chiefs, who had refused to sign the treaty or cession to Great Britain. They came to Mr. Clendon for advice, how they should act, and he admitted that he had advised them to sign, telling them it would be for their good. He himself signed the treaty as a witness, and did all he could to carry it into effect; but, in doing this, he said, he had acted as a private citizen, by request of the Governor, thus separating his public duties from his private acts. At the same time he buys large tracts of land, for a few
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trifles, and expects to have his titles confirmed as Consul of the United States. This is not surprising, and any foreigner would undoubtedly have pursued the same course; for his personal interest was very great in having the British authority established, while the influence he had over the chiefs was too great not to attract the attention of the Governor, and make it an object to secure his good-will and services.
The prospects of these islanders are, in my opinion, any thing but pleasing, and the change by no means calculated to insure their happiness, or promote their welfare. It seems to have been brought about by a rage for speculation, and a desire to take possession of this country, in order to secure it from the French. The idea that it was necessary to extend the laws of New South Wales over the island, in order to protect the natives, and break up the nest of rogues that had taken refuge there, is far from being true. No such necessity existed, for there was no difficulty in having any one apprehended by sending officers for the purpose, or offering a reward.
The New Zealand Land Company have been the secret spring of this transaction, and under the shelter of certain influential names, the managers have contrived to blind the English public. It will scarcely be believed that the New Zealand Land Company had disposed of several thousand shares of land before they purchased an acre. Some three or four thousand emigrants, who had purchased allotments, left England on their way to take possession of them, just after the agent. Upon their arrival they could obtain no satisfactory information respecting their allotments, and were left in a destitute condition, to spend the few earnings they had left, and to endure all the privations to which people landed in a new country are subject.
Even of those allotments that have been given out, many are not susceptible of cultivation. It is scarcely to be believed that the high names which stand at the head of this Company could have been informed of the true state of things; yet it is generally supposed in this part of the world, that it is by their exertions and influence that the British government has been induced to take forcible possession of the territory of an independent state, which New Zealand undoubtedly was. However this may be, the speculators have succeeded in their object, and the country will now be retained by England, even if a military power should be necessary. Should the New Zealanders resist, and they are a warlike race, yet acting against European discipline, they will readily be overcome. They are not unlike grown children, and may be more easily ruled by kindness, and by satisfying the wants of the chiefs, than by force. The population will soon disappear before the whites, for the causes that have operated else-
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where are to be seen in action here, where the savage is already sinking imperceptibly before the advances of civilization. While philanthropy, real or pretended, is ransacking the globe to find subjects for its benevolence, it seems a little surprising that scarcely a voice has been raised in Parliament against this act of usurpation.
On the 29th of February, 1840, there was a violent gale at the Bay of Islands, said by the missionaries to have been the severest they had experienced, with perhaps the exception of one which took place shortly after their arrival. Many vessels suffered great damage. The Thorn, of Sag Harbour, which sailed a few days before, bound home, was obliged to put back, and in consequence of the damage received, was condemned as unseaworthy, as was also the Tuscan, an English whaler. The barque Nimrod arrived, having lost her topmast, and several coasters were missing, supposed to have been lost. Most of the vessels lying off Kororarika dragged their anchors, but they suffered less from not being much exposed; the Harriet was driven ashore at Tipoona, a few miles to the eastward, near Point Pocock. This vessel parted her cables during the night, and the next morning was found a complete wreck. The crew barely escaped with their lives. Besides these disasters on the water, those on the land were also great: fences were carried away, houses deluged, grounds overflowed, wharves injured, and the extensive embankment of the missionary establishment at Pahia nearly demolished. The tide rose six feet, during the night of Saturday, beyond its usual mark, which caused most of the damage.
This gale was experienced at the Thames on board H. B. M. ship Herald, one hundred and forty miles to the south; also by the Flying-Fish, off Cook's Straits, and by the barque Achilles, to the north. Mr. Hale was a passenger in the last named vessel, and took barometrical observations and notes during the continuance of the gale.
From the observations, it appears that the change took place at the two northern and two southern positions, in opposite directions, proving that the gale was a rotary one, and that its centre must have passed between the Bay of Islands and the river Thames. The greatest force of the gale was between the hours of 1 and 3 A. M., on the 1st of March. At the Bay of Islands, a calm was observed by Mr. Dana and others, which lasted fifteen minutes, after which the wind rapidly hauled round to the westward, and blew with increased violence. On board the Herald, the barometer fell to 28.75 in., and from the fact of the gale having been experienced first to the northward and eastward, it is certain that it came from that quarter, and passed over New Zealand in a southwest direction: the width of the track was about five hundred
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miles. The particulars of the preceding observations will be found in the Meteorological Report.
Foreign residents have established themselves in many places, and on all the inlets or arms of the Bay of Islands their cottages are to be seen, occupying the points and coves.
On the north, the British resident, Mr. Busby, has built a large and commodious cottage, and commenced laying out his grounds in town lots for the future city of Victoria, of which there was a public sale previous to our arrival. All the lots were, I believe, purchased on speculation, for after seeing the locality, one must be convinced that it offers no advantages for more than a village, if indeed for that. More to the westward, is situated Pahia, the mission establishment. For commercial purposes, the south or Kororarika shore offers the greatest advantages, having the deepest water, and being the most sheltered from the stormy winds.
The extent to which speculation has raised the prices of land in this neighbourhood is almost incredible. Mayew's Point, the first above Kororarika Bay, has on it a few storehouses, which are rented for six hundred pounds ($3,000) a-year.
Mr. Clendon, the American consul, for about three hundred and twenty-five acres, of which only fifty are level, has received thirty thousand pounds from the British government, reserving to himself the remainder, one hundred acres. He bought the whole for a trifle a few years ago. The location is a pretty one, on a hill about three hundred feet high, and is, perhaps, the most commanding spot on these waters. The neatness of his cottage and of the grounds about it adds much to its pleasing appearance.
The introduction of a Sydney police at Kororarika has been of service to that place, for they have dealt in a summary manner with the vagabonds who formerly frequented it.
A Roman Catholic bishop is established here, who has a chapel, and it was said, was making many converts; but it was supposed that the principal inducement to conversion was the liberality with which he and his associates bestowed gifts and presents upon those who joined in their prayers and received the cross.
Besides the Episcopal mission, under the Reverend Mr. Williams, formerly a lieutenant in the British navy, there is a Wesleyan mission at Hokianga, which is highly spoken of. Many reports have been put in circulation by the evil-disposed, in relation to these missions; but as far as my observations went, they seemed exemplary in their duties; they were also occupied in farming, in which native labourers were employed. Mr. Williams having a large family growing up, many of
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them obtained farms, and are now in the successful occupation of them. There is no doubt the hue and cry against the father, that the mission had obtained all the best land from the natives, arose from this cause. Some circumstances were remarked, from which it was evident that the interests of the natives were looked after by the missionaries, who protected their lands and induced them not to sell to the emigrants, who would otherwise have found them only too ready to part with them.
It is true that the situation of these missionaries of the Church of England is different from that of any we had heretofore seen, and equally so that they do not appear to have succeeded as well in making proselytes as those in the other Polynesian islands; but I am persuaded that they have done and are still endeavouring to do much good. They are, however, separated, as it were, from their flocks, and consequently, cannot have that control over their behaviour that would be desirable. Many scenes, therefore, take place at the pas or strongholds, that might be prevented if the missionaries mingled more with their converts.
Mr. Williams was kind enough to have divine service at the house where our naturalists stayed,--Mr. Tibbey's. I was not a little surprised when I heard that Mr. Williams had refused any opportunity to our philologist to inspect a grammar of the New Zealand language, that was then going through the press. I mention the circumstance as remarkable, from being the only instance of the kind that occurred to us during the cruise; and it cannot be easily imagined what could have been the cause of his refusal, for a very short period after our departure it would be published, and there could have been no fear of his being forestalled by us.
Among the natives the taboo is yet law, though endeavours are making to introduce other laws among them. It was told me, on good authority, that there had been a trial for murder by a jury of chiefs at or near Hokianga, under the direction of a white man, but there was great reason to believe that the person did not receive that impartial justice which a duly organized court would have assured him. The evidence was said to have been deficient, but the current belief being against him, he was notwithstanding shot.
The natives, we were told, were not a little surprised at the summary way in which justice, or rather punishment, is dealt out by the magistrate of Kororarika.
Their taboo laws are very strict, and carefully observed, even among those who are considered Christians. The chief, Tomati, refused to enter the house of a person whom he took Mr. Hale to visit;
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for if he had entered, it would have become tabooed; and the native law, which does not permit any man to enter a house in which a chief has resided, even temporarily, would have compelled him to abandon his dwelling. Women alone are allowed to enter the houses of chiefs. An instance of this was witnessed at the pa of Pomare, and another where we attempted to purchase the prow of a canoe. This prow, which was elaborately carved to represent some nondescript animal, with a human head, having the tongue protruded, was accidentally seen in an out-of-the-way storehouse, and was somewhat mutilated; it had belonged to the late chief Kiwikiwi, and was tabooed in the first degree. Overtures were made to the widow of Kiwikiwi for its purchase. It was evidently considered very sacred, for none of the natives would touch it, or even enter the storehouse in which it was kept. Notwithstanding all its sacredness, it was sold, after a little chaffering, for six dollars. The first price asked was two pounds, but the widow could not resist the chance of its sale. After the bargain was concluded, no native could be found willing to incur the penalty of the taboo, by carrying it. When the transportation was accomplished, a new and unexpected difficulty arose: it could not be carried across the water in a canoe, as it was against taboo to do it. The threat of making them refund the money, and take back the ihu or nose, so worked upon the covetousness of old Kawiti, the chief, that he consented to remove it, and also promised to come the next day and paint it red, after the native fashion. This he punctually performed, using a kind of red earth mixed with water. This is represented in the tail-piece at the end of this chapter.
The taboo is always resorted to, to protect their kumara-patches, and the fear of breaking it was strongly shown by the intrusion of Mr. Tibbey's goats into the kumara-patch of Pomare, near his pa. No one could be induced to go in to drive them out, for fear of punishment; and a message was sent to the chief to allow them to be expelled. After the permission was given, the natives could not be induced to enter by any other place but that where the goats had broken through.
The natives, for the most part, have their permanent residence in towns, or what are here termed "pas," which are generally built on high promontories, or insulated hills, and fortified in a rude fashion, with a palisade of upright stakes, about ten feet high: the houses or huts are all built closely together.
Pomare's pa being near our anchorage, was frequently visited. It contained about three hundred huts. There was a main entrance through the palisade, near which are two posts, the tops of which are carved into distorted representations of the human figure.
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DRAWINGS OF NEW ZEALAND CARVING
Within the main enclosure are other enclosures, each containing five or six houses, with alleys of two feet wide, that traverse the town. Their houses are very simply constructed: four corner-posts are driven into the ground, and left from two to five feet above the surface; in the centre line two or three strong posts are firmly set in the ground, to support the ridge-pole of the roof; on the posts is placed and lashed a horizontal beam for the rafters to rest upon, and smaller poles are lashed to the posts, at one foot apart, from the ground up; on these the roofing is worked: the material used in thatching is the rush (Typha latifolia), or our common cattail. The manner of making the roof is to tie the materials on the horizontal strips or poles, setting the larger ends on the ground, and driving them close against each other, generally with the fist, and so on until all is closed in, leaving doorways under the eaves, at the gable-ends; the rappooing is then cut square off at the upper horizontal beam or plate-piece, and the roof is put on, made of the same material, and generally thatched with it or fern. The roofs have usually but little pitch, which gives a squat look to the houses. Mats are generally hung up at the doorways, but some have doors made of pine; they are low, obliging one to stoop or creep, in entering. Around their houses they have usually peach trees growing, but nothing else is cultivated about them.
The furniture consists of mats, a few baskets and trinkets, an old chest to lock them up in, an iron pot, and a double-barrelled gun, generally of the best maker.
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Drawn by A. T. Agate
W. E. Tucker, Sc
Pomare's house was about twenty feet long by twelve broad; from five to eight feet high. The mode of construction was the same as above described, with the exception that the rafters were flat and ornamented with arabesque work, drawn with soot or black pigment. The posts were likewise carved; but from the dirt and filth with which they were covered, it was difficult, if not impossible, to decipher them. It is said that the New Zealanders have improved in the art of building since they were first visited, but they are still in this respect far behind any of the islanders we have visited.
Pour of our gentlemen, before my arrival, had paid Pomare a visit, and made him some presents, which, so far from satisfying his cupidity, only made him more covetous. On receiving a watch-chain, he asked for the watch; and could not be induced to exhibit a dance, unless each person presented him with a shilling. This exaction was submitted to, though they were disgusted and disappointed with the greediness he manifested. The dance proved very similar to those seen among the Samoans and Tahitians, with the same tossing of the arms and legs,
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TOMB OF A NEW ZEALAND CHIEF
A. T. Agate
Jordan and Halpin
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and various contortions of the body, performed by a number of men and women. The only music was that of the voice, two or three singing in a high monotonous key. The dance was, however, seen to disadvantage by candlelight.
On the top of the hill is a sacred enclosure, or Kianga-taboo, in which is erected the tombs of the chiefs. A few days before our visit one was interred here. The vignette represents the tomb.
This tomb is formed of a small canoe, cut across through the middle, and the two parts joined face to face, forming a hollow cone, about seven or eight feet long. The corpse is placed inside, in a sitting posture, and would remain there a year, after which the bones would be carried up the river, and as Charley Pomare expressed it, would be "thrown away any where."
The tomb is painted red, and ornamented with feathers on each side, from the ground to the top; it is covered with a small shed, to protect it from the weather, and enclosed all around with a fence. The funeral ceremonies were not witnessed, but, from the description of the natives, were very noisy, and accompanied with firing of many guns,--a generaL practice on all public occasions. Their faces and arms bore evident marks of their having been engaged in the ceremony, being covered with scratches which they had inflicted on themselves.
The pas of the natives are not in reality strong places, but are little more than insulated and commanding situations. Pomare makes some show of warlike instruments, in the formidable array of three ten-pounders, all of them in bad condition, though looked at and spoken of by the natives with no small pride and conceit. The natives, in time of peace, do not live constantly in these pas, but are mostly occupied at their plantation-grounds; for which reason only a few men were seen lounging about in front of their houses. The women were generally engaged in making and plaiting mats, or cooking, and the men seemed the greater idlers.
Their native dress consists of mats of various kinds, made of the native flax (Phomax), which are braided by hand, and are, some of them, finer than carpeting, while others are as coarse as our corn-leaf mats. The latter were worn by the women while at work, tied around the hips, and sometimes over the shoulders. They carry their children on the back, like our Indians.
The men were more luxurious in their dress, having fine mats, nearly as large in size as our blankets, ingeniously and beautifully wrought, and sometimes embroidered. Both of these kinds are still worn, though they are gradually disappearing, and the dress is becoming
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more European, or rather Tahitian. The women now often wear loose slips of calico, drawn about the neck, which are any thing but becoming, while the men have coarse clothing, sometimes a dirty white blanket, at others, different parts of European dress. The blanket is
NEW ZEALAND WOMAN AND CHILD
worn in the same manner as the native kakahu. They never think it necessary to use clothing for a covering; it is worn more from pride and ostentation than any thing else; and not unfrequently a native may be seen decked out in a coat and vest without any covering on his nether limbs, and occasionally with a pea-jacket and no shirt. That which gives a foreigner a peculiar disgust to the persons of the New Zealanders, is their filth, which also pervades their houses. They seldom, if ever, bathe themselves, or wash their clothes, which are usually worn until they drop off from age. They occasionally anoint their skins with fish-oil, and of course cannot be expected to keep themselves clean.
To their houses, the description of Cook still applies: they are small, low, begrimed with soot, besmeared with grease, and are filled with filth. As yet, their furniture has received no addition from their intercourse with the whites, except the huge sea-chest and iron pot: the former to deposit their valuables in, and the latter for cooking. It was remarked by us all, how few of the grotesque figures, so much spoken of by voyagers, were to be seen. There appeared to be little
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carving recently done, in comparison with former times. They are said to have improved in the construction of their houses; but there is still great room for improvement, before they can vie with any of the other islanders we have visited. Their food consists principally of the potato, fish, kumara, or sweet potato, Indian corn, and fern-root, which is found throughout the country. The kumara is much smaller and inferior in quality to those grown in the other Polynesian isles. Here it is a small watery root, and is generally disliked by foreigners. It is preserved in houses constructed for the purpose, to prevent the depredations of the rats. These are built on four posts, which are scraped exceedingly smooth, and are only entered by a single slanting post. The roots are also suspended beneath these houses in large baskets.
Fish are taken with hooks and nets, and are dried and laid by for use. They also eat a clam, which they call pipi. Hogs and poultry are raised in abundance, for their own use and the supply of ships. They have, as I before stated, peaches, as well as many small berries, and in a few years they will have all the fruits of the temperate zone introduced by settlers. They formerly ate their fish raw, or cooked with the kumara, after the Polynesian fashion, in the ground, with hot stones: but now they use an iron pot, in which all their food is boiled together. They have a great fondness for rice, with sugar or molasses. They do not want for food, for their country is well supplied with wild roots, which in case of necessity or scarcity can be resorted to. They also make a pleasant beverage, resembling spruce-beer, which they call wai-maori.
The greatest changes which have taken place in their customs are the introduction of the use of fire-arms, and the adoption of whale-boats instead of their canoes. The latter are without an out-rigger, and differ in this respect from the boats of all the other Polynesians south of the equator. They have also adopted the square sail (which generally consists of a blanket), in place of the triangular one common to all Polynesia.
The ornaments of the New Zealanders are few; those of the men, who are chiefs, generally consist in an elaborate tattooing, that gives a striking appearance to the face; the regularity with which it is done is wonderful. They all have their ears bored, and have small rings in them, made of jade or shark's-teeth, tipped with sealing-wax, or small bright-coloured feathers. Around the necks of the chiefs and their wives is hung their "heitiki," made of a stone of a green colour, which is held very sacred, and which, with their "meara,"--a short cleaver or club,--is handed down from father to son. The heitiki has
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some resemblance to a human figure, sitting with crossed legs. This stone is procured from the southern island, near the borders of a small lake, which receives its name from the stone, being called Tewai Pounamu or the Green-stone Water. From the name of this stone, Cook, by mistake, gave the name of Tavy Poenammoo to the southern island. It is also supposed that Captain D'Urville's name of Ika-na-maw (meaning, the fish out of Mawi), given by him to the northern islands, may also be the name of some place on the northern side of Cook's Straits. Those who are acquainted with the natives and their language say, that they have no native name for either of the islands, or any part of the country, and have adopted into their language the names given by the whites, with modifications to suit their tongue.
It was a long time before Pomare would consent to his wife parting with the heitiki which she wore, and that belonging to himself (his atua) he would not allow us to take off his neck, even to look at. Our consul interpreted for me a singular story that the southern natives had invented, relative to these stones: "That they were found in a large fish, somewhat resembling a shark, which they were obliged to capture and kill for the purpose of obtaining them. When first taken from the stomach of the fish, the stone is soft, but from exposure becomes hard, and must be wrought in its soft state." This story was related by Pomare. The smaller stones were about three inches in length, and the larger ones about five inches.
Pomare is a fine-looking man, and is handsomely tattooed. He is six feet in height, and well formed, with the exception of his feet and legs. His dress was any thing but becoming: a blanket was tied about his neck, and hung ungracefully about his person, leaving his right arm free; beneath this he wore a shirt and loose pair of drawers, descending to his knees; the rest of his person and his feet were bare. In his hand he usually carries a short cloak of dogskin, called topuni, shupuni, or patutu. These short cloaks are, in shape, not unlike those of the knights in ancient times; they are about three feet long, being formed of common cloth, mat, or sewed dogskin, dressed with the hair on. Pomare's dress was surmounted by a blue naval cap, with a gold-lace band. The tattooing may give his features somewhat of a fierce aspect, and serve to disguise the expression, yet I cannot but believe that his true feelings are developed in it. His face indicates any thing but a kingly character. Perhaps his reputation for business may have something to do with the impression his physiognomy produced. He told me he had two wives, but it is generally believed that thirty would be nearer the truth. The favourite one usually accompanies him; she is highly spoken of for her good sense, and
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Pomare is said to place much confidence in her judgment. She was the best-looking native I saw in New Zealand, but would not be called handsome elsewhere. The missionaries have not yet been able to produce any effect upon Pomare or the family connected with him. Pomare's chief warrior is Mauparawa, who has been persuaded to remain with him, although a native of Hauaki, on the river Thames.
Mauparawa is a much finer-looking man than Pomare,--in appearance a very Hercules; but the effects of dissipation are beginning to be perceived in his powerful frame. He has long been a favourite with the whites, who admire him for his prowess. Many of his followers came with him to join Pomare, of whom few are now left; for in an expedition last year he lost almost all of them: having landed on Aoteu or Barrier Island, he was overpowered and badly wounded, barely escaping with life. One of his acts of daring took place in the last feuds with the Kororarikans, by whom he was much detested. Wishing to put a disgrace upon them and show his contempt, he one night took his canoe, and with six of his followers left Pomare's pa or stronghold for Kororarika, the heart of his enemies' strength. He landed there in the midst of his foes, whom he found fast asleep. Drawing up his canoe on the beach, he went to the house of a white man, whom he awoke, and ordered him to give himself and followers some spirits, threatening him, in case of refusal, with instant death. They took their spirits quietly, desiring the man to say to the Kororarikans in the morning, that Mauparawa had been there in the night, with some insulting message; but before leaving, it occurred to him that the man would not have the courage to tell of his visit: he therefore determined to leave his own canoe, (which was very well known,) and take a whale-boat in its stead. All of which was done merely to throw a slur upon his enemies, at the risk of his own life.
Another person of some note, is a cousin of Pomare, called Charley Pomare, the son of the former ruling chief of that name. Hoia, the brother of the king, appears to be a stupid fellow. Charley Pomare was very talkative, and although young, appears well-informed in the history of the island, and is quite intelligent. In his accounts, he dwells particularly on the extensive ravages committed by Shougi, who I believe was taken or went to Europe. After his return, finding he had lost influence in his tribe, in order to regain it, he committed some of the most barbarous cruelties that have ever disgraced these islands, and made his name terrible among the tribes. Most of these, before his wars, had from three hundred to one thousand warriors, but only a few now remain in some of those who were formerly powerful
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and independent, and who being from their weakness unable to contend by themselves, have become incorporated with other tribes. The reason that the natives give for this diminution is, that Shougi had killed them all. His conquests embraced nearly all the northern part of the north island, whose warriors he then united, and led against the people of the south, about Hauaki, on the river Thames. With these he waged a long and bloody war, and extended the name of Ngapuhi, which properly belongs to the people about the Bay of Islands, as far south as Kiapara. His death, which happened a few years since, was a great relief both to his followers and foes.
The last war took place in 1837, about two years before our arrival. It was, in all probability, the last native contest that will be waged. It was caused by the disappearance of a woman of Otuiha, whom the tribe of Kororarika were suspected and accused of having killed and eaten. Formidable preparations were made, and the allies on both sides called in; the people of Kororarika being aided by the forces from Hokianga. The principal battle was fought in a piece of marshy ground between Waikereparu and Otuiha. Here Pomare, better known by the name of Charley, then quite a boy, led the forces of Otuiha, while those of Kororarika were marshalled by Pi, a great chief of Hokianga; and the fight was terminated by Charley first shooting Pi, and then the second chief, who was endeavouring to save the body, with his double-barrelled gun. The heads of the warriors were cut off, and preserved as trophies, while their bodies were left on the ground. They were not eaten, though the Hokianga people are said to be cannibals. This latter imputation, however, should be received with caution, as the information was derived from their enemies.
From all I could learn, Pomare is not deemed very courageous, and was not himself engaged in the fight. He is looked upon as quite avaricious, and as a great coward: he is much addicted to liquor. It will, perhaps, excite surprise to learn how he came to exercise the influence he does over his countrymen; it is entirely owing to his eloquence, by which he is enabled to lead them any where. When Charley was asked the cause of his uncle's influence, he said that Pomare could lead the people wherever he chose; and to the question as to why he himself was not king, he answered, "Oh, that is maori" (country fashion).
Some of the gentlemen visited the pa of Pomare, for the purpose of witnessing his return from a visit to one of his allies. The canoe was seen coming up the bay, paddled by forty-five natives, and on the side of the hill all the people of the pa were collected, shouting, waving their garments, and firing muskets, to welcome their friends. When
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the chief touched the shore, a curious scene ensued. All the boatmen seized their paddles, and ran some distance along the beach, where they halted, and formed themselves into a compact body, in martial array. Those of the pa did the same, and were stationed in front of the canoe; the former party then returned, and when near, the latter made simultaneously, ten or twelve leaps directly upward, waving their paddles over their heads, and giving at each jump, a hard guttural sound, like hooh. The two parties then changed positions, when the boatmen went through the same motions, after which the whole mingled together. This ceremony was supposed to represent that used on the return of a war-party. Pomare was found shortly afterwards seated in front of his house, surrounded by his people, who were busily engaged in preparing a great feast, for which he was giving directions, and which shortly took place, accompanied by much merry-making.
The chief, Pomare, on one occasion paid a visit to the gentlemen of the squadron at Mr. Tibbey's, with some fish for sale, and for which he had been fishing several hours. He first asked a shilling for them, which was handed to him, when he immediately raised his price to two shillings, and when this was refused, he went away in high dudgeon, and complained to me on my arrival, that he had not been treated well. Many instances of the same kind occurred.
Mr. Hale induced Hoia, Pomare's brother, to give him a list of the various clans of the great Yopaki tribe, which under Shougi had formerly been the terror of all New Zealand. From this and other authorities, the number of the tribes were given at one hundred and five, in which were comprised upwards of sixty thousand fighting men. Those who are more acquainted, and have the best opportunities of knowing, state the population at less than three hundred thousand; there are others who rate the population from thirty to forty thousand. A mean between the two estimates would be nearer the truth. From the information I received, I am satisfied that it cannot be great. The population of both islands is said to amount to from one hundred and forty to one hundred and eighty thousand, and the whole of this number are on the north island, with the exception of three or four thousand who are on the southern island. It is remarkable that every tribe has a name peculiar to itself, and distinct from the district which it inhabits: thus the natives of Kororarika are called Yaitawake; those of Hauaki (the river Thames), Ngaitawake; and with few exceptions these names begin with the syllable of Nga or Ngati--most commonly the latter. These names are thought to have reference to clanship. The members of each tribe appear to be all connected by the ties of consanguinity.
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Some of our naturalists made a visit to a town called Wangarara, situated near the coast, about thirty miles to the southward of Cape Brett. They passed up the Waicaddie river eleven miles to Waicaddie Pa. Here they found a missionary station occupied by a Mr. Baker; but none of the family were at home. The old chief of Waicaddie was very indignant, and treated them quite uncivilly, because they were going to Wangarara. After procuring a guide, they set out on foot for that place. The distance is twelve miles, which they accomplished by sunset. The road lay over mountains. The village of Wangarara consists of four or five miserable huts, or what would more properly be designated kennels, made in the rudest manner, and thatched with fern-leaves. In order to enter these, they were obliged to crawl on their hands and knees. The furniture of the chiefs house consisted of a few mats, two or three fishing nets, and an old chest. A fire was smoking in the centre to keep out the musquitoes, and the resemblance to a smoke-house was striking; or, perhaps, the latter would have suffered by the comparison. The accommodations in this hut were rather confined and crowded; for besides themselves, there were three runaway sailors as guests. They, therefore, gladly accepted the invitation of the chief Ko-towatowa, who was on a visit here, to accompany him to his hut, at the mouth of the bay. They went with him in his fine large canoe, and reached his residence late in the evening, where they found themselves much more comfortably accommodated, having clean mats and a good supper of pigeons and potatoes. This was Ko-towatowa's principal farm. His pa is situated a few miles up the bay, on a rocky point, and contains one hundred and fifty houses. It was, at the time of their visit, nearly deserted, in consequence of the attention demanded by their crops; and this is the case with nearly all the other pas at this season.
This part of the country is flat, and has a good soil; and here Ko-towatowa raises most of his potatoes and kumaras, which are larger and better than those raised at the Bay of Islands. They also raise a good supply of Indian corn, and are at no loss for food, which was evident from the quantities of dried as well as fresh fish which was seen.
A great difference was perceived between the natives of this place and those of the Bay of Islands. The former have had little or no communication with foreigners, their manners are more simple, and they have little or no idea of the conventional value of money. The people of this place appeared more virtuous and happy, and a number of young women were seen, good-looking, sprightly, and full of animation.
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NEW ZEALAND GIRL
They here saw the old chief of Wangarara, grand-uncle to Ko-towatowa. He was very feeble, with white hair, and clad in an old dogskin robe. He was observed to sit all day on a small mound of dirt and pipi-shells; having lately lost a relation, he, according to custom, is tabooed for the season. He does not help himself, and is not allowed to touch any thing with his hands; his grand-daughter, a sprightly girl, waits upon him; and it was pleasing to witness the watchfulness she evinced in attending to his wants, often filling and lighting his pipe, and holding it in his mouth while he smoked. Notwithstanding the promising appearance of Ko-towatowa's house and premises, it was found swarming with fleas and other vermin. Ko-towatowa is a member of the Episcopal Church, and daily performed worship in his native tongue. After their morning meal, they began their rambles, but had not proceeded far before they were met by a large party of natives, who kept saying to them, "walk about one hilling" by which they soon understood that they were required to pay one shilling for the privilege of walking on the beach and picking up shells; on Ko-towatowa's being appealed to, he soon dispersed them. On a hill, near this place, Mr. Drayton found a beautiful specimen of Bulimus Shougii.
Wangarara Bay is a deep indentation in the coast, to which it runs parallel, and is separated from the ocean by a narrow belt of high and rocky land. It is said to have good anchorage for a distance of six miles from its mouth. The entrance is very deep, free from danger, and about one mile wide: it is a much safer port than the Bay of Islands. A vessel might pass by its entrance without suspecting that
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a harbour existed. Provisions of all kinds are much cheaper and better than at the Bay; and although the natives are aware of this difference, yet not being able to transport their provisions there, they are content to dispose of them for a less price.
Their kind friend Ko-towatowa took them back to Wangarara, stopping on the way at his pa, where he presented them with quantities of peaches, which had been tabooed to his people. At Wangarara they again found their guide, and the two old chiefs,--the elder of whom was called Kawau, and the other, a little younger, Ruahenna: both of them have the character of being great rascals. The contrast between them and Ko-towatowa was very much to their disparagement. With some reluctance they ordered a pot of potatoes to be boiled; but when night came, they positively refused entrance into their huts unless each gave a shilling, to which Ko-towatowa sternly objected, saying that they were his guests, and should not pay. A quarrel between the chiefs ensued, and the only way it was prevented from going to extremity, was to slip the money quietly into old Kawau's hand; after which, peace was restored, and they retired for the night, where they were effectually tormented by the fleas and vermin. Ko-towatowa, on taking leave of them, refused any compensation for his services; but a pressing invitation to pay them a visit at the bay was accepted.
They returned by the same route, and by noon reached Waicaddie Pa. It contains about two hundred houses, and is situated between two small fresh-water streams. This is the most cleanly and extensive town in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands. Mr. Baker, of the Episcopal Mission, has settled here; he has many acres of land, and comfortable dwellings, farms extensively, and has about twenty head of cattle, with good pasture for them. The natives also possess some cattle. By night they reached their lodgings.
One who has long known the New Zealanders, and on whose judgment reliance may be placed, gives them credit for intelligence and generosity, and says that they are hospitable and confiding to strangers, persevering where the object concerns themselves, strongly attached to their children, and extremely jealous of their connubial rights. A violation of the latter is punished with death, not only to the parties themselves, but sometimes extended to the near relatives of the offenders. They are crafty, but not overreaching in their dealings, covetous for the possession of novelties, although trustworthy when any thing is placed under their immediate charge, but not otherwise over-honest.
A transient visiter would hardly give them so high a character, and
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would, I think, have an unfavourable opinion of the race. He might, however, award to them intelligence; but they appear vindictive, and, from a number of facts, must be treacherous. One cannot be long among them, without discovering that they are adepts in trickery, and suspicious in their dealings. These bad qualities they may have acquired from the number of low whites that are among them. They seem destitute of any of the higher feelings, such as gratitude, tenderness, honour, delicacy, &c. They are extremely indolent and dirty, disgusting in their habits, and carry on the infamous practice of traffic in women, which even the highest chiefs are said to be engaged in, openly and without shame. The vice of drunkenness does not exist among them to any degree, and it is not a little astonishing that the bad example set them should not have been more followed. They are extremely proud and resentful of any insult, to avenge which the whole tribe usually unites. As an instance of this, we may cite the conduct of Ko-towatowa, whose hospitality to one of our parties has been recorded. At the invitation of the gentlemen who had been indebted to him for attentions, he visited them at Tibbey's, when an untoward circumstance occurred, which had well-nigh ended in an open affront. As they were seated in the porch of Tibbey's house, one of their thoughtless visiters, by way of affording amusement to the company, played off upon Ko-towatowa a boyish trick, by burning him on the nose with a cigar. This produced great anger in the chief, who would have at once punished the rudeness, but through the timely interference of the bystanders, he became appeased, but required some atonement for the insult offered him; a half-dollar was given him, but he said he would accept only half, as he did not want to be paid for it, but merely desired a token that it had been atoned for. In the opinion of all, he rose much above the silly trifler who had been the perpetrator of the joke.
The natives are peculiarly sensible to any insult of this kind. A short time before our arrival, a mischievous white boy, staying with our consul, had placed a small brass kettle on the head of an old chief, which caused some amusement to the bystanders. The chief at the time did not show any signs of being offended. He had always been well disposed and peaceable towards the whites, and was known to have a strong partiality towards the family. On going to the pa, however, he mentioned the circumstance to his tribe, which produced a great excitement among them. They assembled and advanced in a body to the dwelling, to require satisfaction for the affront offered, and although they were told and convinced it was done in playfulness, they required atonement; and this being refused, they took all the
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clothes that were hanging to dry on the lines, and every thing they could find about the premises. They even took the shoes and clothes off a sick boy, who was lying in the veranda. Their rapacity was only stopped by the courage of the mistress of the house, who, being unable to check their proceedings by remonstrances, threw a billet of wood at the principal chief. This bold act astonished him, and from admiration of her courage, caused them at once to desist, saying she had a big heart, which is their figurative term for a courageous person. Insults given in this accidental way, have been known to occasion the most deadly feuds. They have, however, great command of temper when insulted. As an instance of this, an anecdote was related to me of some chiefs having become offended at the Episcopal missionaries in consequence of some transaction respecting lands, in which they conceived themselves wronged. The offended parties proceeded to Pahia in order to demand redress; but on their arrival there, the missionaries were absent, and although the whole property was at their mercy, there being no one on the premises but females, they did not harm any thing, and declined to enter into any explanation until they had seen the missionaries. Taking their seats quietly at the gate, they awaited their return, which did not take place for some hours after, when they demanded an explanation of the supposed wrong, and atonement for it; and being satisfied, they departed without any molestation or injury whatever. It will, in all probability, be said, that such patience was in consequence of the parties complained of being missionaries; but that could not well have been the case, for they are by no means popular with the natives, and the reason is, that the missionaries show very little regard for their own countrymen, which, in the eyes of a New Zealander, is a great crime.
From all I could gather, I am inclined to believe them an observant people, and that they would become an industrious one, were it less easy to provide themselves with the necessaries of life. They show much energy of character in their warlike pursuits, on which their whole minds seem yet to dwell. The spontaneous productions of their soil furnish them so easily with all that is required for their food and clothing, that there is no sufficient incitement to industry.
The New Zealanders are above the middle size, well formed, and athletic; they vary in colour from a chestnut to a light copper; they have black hair, very thick and curly, which many suffer to grow long, while others crop it close. I saw few with whiskers, and their beards were light. The forehead is high, sloping backwards; the nose frequently aquiline and prominent; the eyes are black and piercing, but rather small; the tattooing gives a hardness of outline
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to the chiefs that is not so observable in the common people; they want, however, the softness of the rest of the Polynesian family, of which they are a part, not having the full muscles, or soft contour of face, which we had hitherto observed among the groups we visited. They are as indolent as the other cognate races, but more capable of undergoing fatigue.
The following is one of their traditions respecting their origin. The first natives came from Hawaiki, situated towards the east, in several canoes, and the names of some of the principal men, were Tanepepeke, Tanewitika, Taneweka, Rongokako, Kopaia, Kornanpoko: the canoes in which they came were called Kotahinui, Kotearawa, Kohorouta, Takitima. They settled first at Kawia, on the western coast; then near Maketu, Turanga, and Ahuriri, at the east cape. The natives, it may be as well to remark, say that this story is all nonsense, yet the similarity of the foregoing names with those of the people of Savaii, in the Samoan Group, is striking. This, connected with the story, which we shall hereafter quote, of the introduction of the kumara in canoes, taken together, would appear to afford very strong reason for the conjecture that they were derived from the same source. In their native traditions there appears to be some idea of a creation, having a general resemblance to that of the other nations of Polynesia.
The trade in native curiosities is not quite so great as it used to be, particularly in tattooed heads. So great at one time was the traffic in the latter article, between New Zealand and Sydney, that, in 1831, it was prohibited by law. In Governor Darling's administration of the colony, the chief Shougi is supposed to have made large sums by it, and there are some persons who, in part, impute his wars to his desire of gain; for, having been in England, he became acquainted with the value set upon them, and the demand for them. It is generally thought that many of the heads thus sold have been prepared by the white runaway convicts, who have learnt the mode of doing this from the natives. They are still to be obtained, though great precaution is used in disposing of them. A missionary brig, lying at the Bay of Islands, had many curiosities on board, in the possession of the steward; and after the buying of mats, &c, had been finished, he invited our officers to step down to his little store-room, under the forecastle, where he had a curiosity which could not be brought out. After this mysterious enunciation, they followed him to the bottom of the ladder; he then told them he was about to put his fate into their hands, believing that they were too much men of honour to betray him. He then proceeded to inform
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them that he had two preserved heads of New Zealand chiefs, which he would sell for ten pounds. He could not venture, he said, to produce them on board the brig, but if they would appoint a place, he would bring them. The penalty for selling them was fifty guineas, and he conjured them to the most perfect secrecy. These proved to be beautiful specimens, and now form a part of our collections. So effectually has the fine prevented this traffic, that it is an extremely difficult matter to obtain a head; they are as rare now as they have been common heretofore; and the last place in which it could have been expected to find them, would have been on board a missionary vessel.
The New Zealanders are still cannibals, although in the districts where the missionaries reside, they have done much to put a stop to this practice. After the arrival of our gentlemen, an instance occurred of a chief having killed a boy about fourteen years of age, as a medicine for his son, who was sick; and as this prescription did not effect a cure, a girl about the same age was to be served up, but the timely interference of the missionaries prevented it.
The present condition of the New Zealanders is inferior to that of some of the other Polynesian nations. There is, as in other places, little or no occasion for labour; the industry of a few weeks is all that is needed to supply them with food for the year; their traffic in pigs and other supplies to whalers and traders is quite sufficient to procure their necessary supply of clothing. It is said their moral condition has much improved of late, and that they are becoming sensible of the advantages of civilized life. In the former direction there is still great room for improvement, and the latter, I should think, as yet far above their ideas of honesty and of the obligations they owe to those about them. Perhaps those who have become somewhat attached to the Christian religion may be a little improved, but the only instance that we can recall to our recollections is that of the chief Ko-towatowa. The chiefs, however, in general show a growing disposition to acquire comforts about their dwellings, and in comparison with the other natives, are almost cleanly in their persons. Industry is also making progress in the cultivation of their plantations. If I could believe it possible that the dwellings of the lower classes of the people had ever been more filthy, or their persons less cleanly, I would more readily credit that some improvement had taken place. Numbers are said to be able to read and write their own language, having been taught by the missionaries, and then have afterwards been known to take a pride in instructing others, and to display a great eagerness in the acquisition of farther knowledge; but they are far, very far behind, in the
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rudiments of education, the natives of other groups where the missionaries have been established, although, as respects natural capacity, they may probably rank higher.
There is much that is worthy of notice in the missionary operations here. They seem to have pursued a different course from that followed at the other groups, and appear to begin by teaching the useful arts, and setting an example of industry. This has given rise to much remark. The missionaries of the Episcopal Church appear to keep aloof from the natives, and an air of stiffness and pride, unbecoming a missionary in most minds, seems to prevail. They have a chapel at Pahia and one at Tipoona, but very few persons attend; their native and Sunday schools have also very few scholars; and they appear to be doing but little in making converts. Most of the natives, however, have morning and evening prayers, but their practices and characters show any thing but a reform in their lives. The missionaries hold large tracts of land, and about the Bay of Islands the Church Mission (Episcopal) may be said to have the entire control of the property. At the missionary establishment at Pahia they have a printing-press, and have printed some parts of the Scriptures. They are now printing a New Zealand grammar. In the native traditions, there appears to be some idea of a creation, having a general resemblance to that of the other nations of the Polynesian groups. The first god was Maui, who fished up the earth out of the sun; afterwards a great flood came, which covered the land, and then the waters were dried up by another god, who set fire to the forest. From the accounts and observations of all, it may be safely asserted that the natives have no religion. Some few apparently follow the form of it, and call themselves professing Christians; but the majority or greater number of the natives have none, either Christian or pagan. When undergoing tuition by the missionaries, they are said frequently to stop and ask for a present for having said their hymn, and it is said, I know not with what truth, that the Catholic missionaries have been in the habit of giving them some small token in the shape of crosses, which the natives look upon as a sort of compensation.
At Kororarika, as has been stated, there is a Roman Catholic chapel, and it is the residence now of the Bishop of the South Sea Catholic Mission. Some singular anecdotes are related of the natives, of their first joining one denomination and then another, receiving little articles as presents from each; indeed, it is said that there are few of them but conceive they ought to be paid for saying their prayers, or attending mass. At Hokianga there is also a Methodist or Wesleyan
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Mission, which is generally considered the most active, and is doing a great deal of good.
The native pas are generally scenes of revelry and debauchery. My crew soon got tired of their visits to that of Pomare, and complained much of the dishonesty of the natives. Pomare and his suite paid the ship a visit a few days after our arrival, for the purpose of obtaining his quota of presents. I received him and all his retinue with kindness, and made him several presents, among which was a fowling-piece; but he had, in going round the ship, seen one of Hall's patent rifles, that loaded at the breech; and nothing would satisfy him but to exchange the gun I had given him for one of these. He surprised me by at once comprehending its facility of use, and its excellent manufacture. After a great deal of importunity, I consented to the exchange, but found that he was inclined, after having once succeeded, to beg every thing that struck his fancy. In this he was followed by the other chiefs, among the rest by Hoia, his brother. To the latter, I gave an old cocked-hat, which pleased him exceedingly, and I was not a little amused to see him wearing it, and dressed in a tight coat and vest, with bare legs, exhibiting one of the most ridiculous figures imaginable, although in his own opinion the beau ideal of elegance. Pomare went about the ship begging for military caps with gold bands, and was extremely importunate until he found that nothing more could be obtained. I by no means admired his appearance on this visit; for, although of good proportions, tall, and well made, he is awkward and parrot-toed. His height and manner of walking make this defect more apparent, and he wants that dignity which is sometimes seen in a savage of our country. The New Zealanders, however, struck us as having a closer resemblance to our North American Indians than any others we had yet met with among the Polynesian nations. I was surprised to see how little respect was paid to the orders of Pomare by his followers, and was told that there is little authority acknowledged by those who are free. His slaves and wives are those who must sustain the burden of his wrath; their lives are at his disposal, and with them his will is law; they seem, however, to be treated kindly. Pomare is said to be entirely under the control of his favourite wife, of whom I have heretofore spoken. She is a far more respectable person than her husband, and was the most intelligent native I met with.
Wishing to see their war-dances, I requested Pomare to gratify us with an exhibition, which he consented to do. The ground chosen was the hill-side of Mr. Clendon, our consul's place, where between three and four hundred natives, with their wives and children,
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assembled. Pomare divided the men into three parties or squads, and stationed these at some distance from each other. Shortly after this was done, I received a message from him, to say that they were all hungry, and wanted me to treat them to something to eat. This was refused until they had finished their dance, and much delay took place in consequence. Pomare and his warriors were at first immovable: but they in a short time determined they would unite on the hill-top, which was accordingly ordered, although I was told they were too hungry to dance well. Here they arranged themselves in a solid column, and began stamping, shouting, jumping, and shaking their guns, clubs, and paddles in the air, with violent gesticulations, to a sort of savage time. A more grotesque group cannot well be imagined; dressed, half-dressed, or entirely naked. After much preliminary action, they all set off, with a frantic shout, at full speed in a war-charge, which not only put to flight all the animals that were feeding in the neighbourhood, but startled the spectators. After running about two hundred and fifty yards, they fired their guns and halted, with another shout. They then returned in the same manner, and stopped before us, a truly savage multitude, wrought up to apparent frenzy, and exhibiting all the modes practised of maiming and killing their enemies, until they became exhausted, and lay down on the ground like tired dogs, panting for breath. One of the chiefs then took an old broken dragoon-sword, and began running to and fro before us, flourishing it, and at the same time delivering a speech at the top of his voice. The speech, as interpreted to me, ran thus: "You are welcome, you are our friends, and we are glad to see you;" frequently repeated. After three or four had shown off in this way, they determined they must have something to eat, saying that I had promised them rice and sugar, and they ought to have it. Mr. Clendon, however, persuaded them to give one of their feast-dances. The performers consisted of about fifteen old, and as many young persons, whom they arranged in close order. The young girls laid aside a part of their dress ,to exhibit their forms to more advantage, and they commenced a kind of recitative, accompanied by all manner of gesticulations, with a sort of guttural husk for a chorus. It was not necessary to understand their language to comprehend their meaning, and it is unnecessary to add, that their tastes did not appear very refined, but were similar to what we have constantly observed among the heathen nations of Polynesia. Their impatience now became ungovernable, and hearing that the rice and sugar were being served out, they retreated precipitately down the hill, where they all set to most heartily, with their wives and children, to devour the food.
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This to me was the most entertaining part of the exhibition. They did not appear selfish towards each other; the children were taken care of, and all seemed to enjoy themselves. I received many thanks in passing among them, and their countenances betokened contentment. Although they were clothed for the occasion in their best, they exhibited but a squalid and dirty appearance, both in their dress and persons.
No native music was heard by any of our officers, and they seem to have little or none in their composition. In their attempts to sing the hymns, chaunts, or old psalm-tunes, they entirely failed to produce any thing like a resemblance. The pitch of their voices when speaking, is higher than that of Europeans, (the French excepted,) and that of the women was not a tone above, which gives additional coarseness to their character. Both sexes have but little intonation in conversation, and there are no tones heard which would indicate sympathy of feeling.
Chatham Island, which will probably soon be connected with the English colony of New Zealand, is now considered as a nest of rogues, and several vessels have been robbed there. Its inhabitants have a tradition that they are derived from New Zealand, whence their progenitors came about a century since, having been driven off in their canoes by a storm, and that on landing they had changed their language. The change consisted in reversing the ordinary construction of their phrases, and the syllables of words, as, for Hare-mai, Mai-hare; and for Paika, Ka-pai. The natives of Chatham Island are not tattooed, do not wear clothing, and are said to be more intelligent than their progenitors. They were conquered a few years ago by a party of New Zealanders from Port Nicholson, who had been driven out by the Kapiti tribes, under the celebrated Rauparaka.
An examination of the charts of the Bay of Islands was made, and some additional soundings added; the meridian distance, measured by our chronometers from Sydney, gave the longitude of the point opposite Mr. Clendon's wharf, 174 deg. 07' E.; its latitude was found to be 35 deg. 17' S. The dip and intensity observations were also made here, and will be found registered with those results in the volume on Physics.
Mr. Couthouy, who was left sick at Sydney, took passage in a vessel to Tahiti, and passed through Cook's Straits, touching at several of its anchorages. To his observations I am indebted for the following information relative to the southern part of these islands.
The first point they made was the Sugar Loaf Islands and Mount Egmont. The charts published by Clintz at Sydney, give also the height of this mountain as fourteen thousand feet, but this was believed
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to be erroneous, 2 for only a small portion of the top was covered with snow. The day previous to their making land, they had been set to the northward by current about twenty miles in fourteen hours.
They next passed through Cook's Straits to Port Cooper, on the north side of Banks' Peninsula, where they anchored. This harbour is sheltered, except from the northerly winds, and is much frequented by whalers, who resort thither to try out the whale-blubber. The beach is in consequence strewn with the bones of these monsters. On going on shore, a party of three natives and their wives were found in a state of wretchedness and degradation,--their only clothing being an old blanket, disgustingly dirty, besmeared with oil and with a reddish earth which had been rubbed from their bodies, and a coarse mat of New Zealand flax; they depended for subsistence on a small potato-patch, and smoked fish; they lived in low huts formed of stakes, covered with mats, and thatched with grass in the rudest manner: their condition was but little better than that of the Fuegians. A fellow-passenger, who had seen the oldest man left of the tribe, stated that these were the remnants of a tribe that, but a dozen years before, could muster six hundred fighting men; they were all cut off, about ten years since, by the noted chief Robolua, residing near Cook's Straits. The old man appeared deeply affected whilst dwelling on the history of his people. The cupidity of the whites in this case, as in many others, had brought about, or was the cause of, this deadly attack; the particulars were as follow.
The master of an English vessel, by the name of Stewart, (the same person from whom the small southern island takes its name,) was trading along the northern island, and fell in with the chief, Robolua, who was then meditating an excursion to the south. Feeling confident that if he could come upon his enemies unawares their defeat was certain, he offered Stewart to load his vessel with flax, if he would transport him and his warriors to the place he wished to attack. The contract was readily entered into by Stewart, and the warriors were taken on board, and landed on various parts of the coast, where the inhabitants, taken by surprise, were butchered without mercy. Not less than fifteen hundred persons were cut off at this and the adjoining harbour of Port Levy, or Kickurarapa. This Stewart is said to be still living on the northern island of New Zealand.
Many specimens of shells were obtained here, and a few presents, consisting of pipes and tobacco, were made to the remnant of this once powerful tribe. Two of their fellow-passengers intended to land
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here for the purpose of establishing themselves, but the place offered so little inducement that they determined to proceed to Port Levy, a larger harbour to the eastward, where the natives informed them that refreshments could be had in plenty. The next day they anchored in it, and found it somewhat similar to Port Cooper, but more open. In the afternoon a party went on shore, and returned with sixty-four brace of pigeons, and three black parrots. The former were in great abundance and very large, some of them weighing twenty ounces: the colour of their backs was a dull slate, passing into bronze on the neck and wings; the head was very black, the breast white, deepening into a reddish brown on the belly; the bill and feet of a bright red. The parrots were quite black, about the size of a crow, and remarkable for two rose-coloured wattles at the lower mandible, like the common fowl. They also killed a species of pica, called cuga by the natives, about the size of a blackbird; it was of a dull black, with greenish reflections on the back, and on each side of the neck was a single white feather, which curled forward and upward.
Here they became acquainted with Charley, or Karakiharuru, the chief proprietor of Port Cooper, Port Levy, and Pigeon Bay. Notwithstanding these extensive possessions, neither himself nor his followers were better clad, housed, or superior in any respect to those already described. As for Charley himself, he appeared in a striped shirt, pea-jacket, and trousers, the cast-off clothing of some sailor. From having made the voyage to Sydney, Charley fancied he had seen the world, and took great pains to show his knowledge and excite the admiration of those about him. The captain of the vessel obtained from him about twenty bushels of potatoes, at the rate of a pound of tobacco for a basket containing about a peck; he besides offered to sell one-third of his dominions or estate for a new whale-boat. Charley had on the usual heitiki or neck ornament. The only account he could give of the locality of this green stone was, that it was found to the southward, in a large bed between two mountains. Among other things in Charley's possession, was an enormous wax doll, dressed in the height of the Parisian fashion, which had been presented to him by the officers of a French expedition that had touched there, some time previously,--rather a droll occupant of a dirty New Zealand hut.
About Port Levy the land rises nearly twelve hundred feet high: the soil is every where exceedingly rich, but its value for agricultural purposes is diminished by its steepness; it would be impracticable to use cattle in ploughing. The land in all parts of the peninsula exhibited the same character: a succession of steep hills, intersected
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by deep and narrow ravines, clothed with a thick forest, except where they terminate on the coast, and form a tolerably level spot of a few acres in extent, available for cultivation. The forest consisted of an abundance of fine timber, principally the Kaurie pine, from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and thirty feet in height, and seven to eight feet in diameter. The fern was thick in patches, but in no great variety; some scandent and parasitic plants were met with, and a great number of flourishing ones observed; but Mr. Couthouy having no means for the purpose, was not enabled to secure any specimens. He remarked that the vegetation appeared much more luxuriant and diversified than that of any country he had seen since leaving Brazil. The soil is a rich black loam, composed of vegetable mould and decomposed basalt; the structure of the rocks decidedly columnar, exposing at the summit of the hills large masses of compact dark gray basalt, containing numerous crystals of olivine, pyroxine, and other volcanic minerals. At the base of the hill, the rock was frequently a coarse cellular lava, and the beach was covered with boulders of all these varieties.
They next stopped at Pigeon Bay, but remained there only a few hours; the passengers who were in search of a position to establish themselves, found this quite as unfavourable as either of the two previous places.
In passing to the northward, towards Cape Campbell, the coast is high and broken, with no level land in the vicinity of the sea; but notwithstanding its abruptness, they found only fourteen fathoms of water at a distance of four miles from the shore, with sandy bottom. They had a fine view of the snowy peaks, called the " Lookers On," about twenty miles to the southward. These are supposed to be nearly as high as Mount Egmont, and tower up in sharp peaks, covered with snow for fifteen hundred feet from the summit. The land along this part of the coast is very rugged, is apparently unsuited for any kind of cultivation, and has no harbours. Off Cape Campbell, a line of rocks was seen extending to the eastward about a league, which do not appear on the charts; they are partly above and partly below water.
They then anchored in Cloudy Bay, which, contrary to the representation of the charts, proved a good anchorage. The wind here sweeps down the gullies in strong squalls, but the water is at all times smooth. There are five whaling establishments in Cloudy Bay, each employing from twenty to thirty hands, chiefly New Zealanders. The kind of whale taken here is principally the right whale, and the quantity of oil collected the previous year was four thousand five
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hundred barrels, which was sold on the spot to Sydney dealers, at forty pounds the tun. In addition to this quantity, five thousand five hundred barrels were taken in the bay, by whale-ships, principally Americans, from which some idea of its value to our countrymen may be formed. The establishments on shore have connected with them stores for supplying ships, where articles may be had at one hundred per cent, advance on the Sydney prices; potatoes are sold at thirty dollars the ton, and pork at twelve and a half cents per pound; boards and plank may also be obtained at fifty dollars per thousand; wood and water are purchased of the natives for muskets, powder and ball, blankets, pipes, and tobacco. It is also customary to make a present of two muskets, or an equivalent, to Robolua, the chief, for harbour dues. A Mr. Williams, who was one of the establishment, furnished the above information.
Two American whalers were found here. A number of chiefs came off to the vessel, in the course of the day; they were fierce-looking savages, with coarse matted hair, tattooed visages, and bodies besmeared with red earth and oil; some of them were clad in coarse mats, others in blankets, and all exceedingly filthy; most of them had the heitiki ornament about their necks, and some in their ears, which were also decorated with red and white feathers, and the holes pierced in them were also made the receptacle of their pipes; others had necklaces of human bones, polished,--trophies of the enemies they had slain.
Their manners were uncouth, exhibiting none of that amenity so remarkable in the natives of the other Polynesian groups; yet there was a rude dignity about them, that evinced a consciousness of their rank and consequence. Three or four women came on board, but not one of them could be called good-looking, and they appeared to care less about their appearance than the men.
The noted Robolua made his appearance at the breakfast-table, unannounced and uninvited; he most unceremoniously took his seat next the captain, remarking, "Me, Robolua!" In person, he is above the middle stature, powerfully built, and rather ill-featured. The usual expression of his countenance is not bad, but when enraged, it is truly fiendish, and his small deep-sunk eyes, which betoken cunning, gleam with the ferocity of a tiger. His head is of enormous size, covered with long matted hair, sprinkled with gray; his eyebrows were long and shaggy; he had a bad expression of the mouth, resulting from the loss of his teeth, a circumstance of rare occurrence among these natives. He seemed in feeble health, and his figure was slightly bent by age; he wore a filthy blanket, and over it an old-fashioned plaid
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cloak, the colours of which, like those of his under garments, were no longer distinguishable. All the chiefs wore their dress so as to cover their left arm, and leave the right bare, which Mr. Williams said was for the purpose of concealing their meara, or stone cleaver, which is constantly suspended to the left wrist, ready, at a moment's warning, for use, and which they take particular care never to expose to view. With Robolua was his principal warrior, Oranga-dieti, a fine specimen of a savage chieftain, about fifty years of age, with a noble though fierce cast of countenance, nearly six and a half feet in height, and as straight as an arrow; his long hair was tied up behind, a la Grecque, the knot being secured by two long black feathers stuck through it; altogether he had more the appearance of a chief than Robolua; the latter, from the account Mr. Williams gave of him, owes his ascendency more to his powers of persuasion in council, and his talents for strategy in their system of warfare, than to his warlike achievements; and he seldom risks his person in battle. The chiefs, in their figurative language, say, "The breath of Robolua can turn them round and round, and his tongue is more powerful than any of their weapons." He was originally a petty rangatira (landholder). Of late years his power had very much declined: five or six years ago he could number more than six thousand warriors, but now he has not over four hundred. His rapid rise is imputed to the introduction of fire-arms, for he was long the only chief who possessed any number of them; and the decay of his power is attributed to the acquisition of this weapon by others, and the inactivity arising from his advancing age. Several of the natives who were met here could read, and a portion of the Testament was seen in their possession; two women in particular were desirous of showing their accomplishments, and remarked that the missionary religion was not made for New Zealanders; it was too good for them. Drunkenness and dishonesty prevail, by their own confession, among the white men, who are at times entirely beyond the control of their masters; they all have native wives, who are taken and discarded at pleasure.
The whalers stated that the prevailing winds at Cloudy Bay in summer and the beginning of autumn, from November to March, are from the southeast and northwest, which usually succeed each other at short intervals; during the rest of the year, winds from south round to west are more frequent, and bring with them wet weather.
The general information which we obtained, and which has not been included in the preceding portions of the chapter, is as follows:
The climate of New Zealand is extremely changeable; but although it may be considered as the cause of many diseases among the natives,
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it is, perhaps, the best suited to a European constitution of any in the South Seas. A large quantity of rain falls during the year, but I was unable to obtain any record of its exact amount. The temperature at Kororarika, during the months of February and March, varied from 53 deg. to 78 deg., and the mean was 64.2 deg. In the sun the thermometer rose as high as 110 deg. The principal prevailing winds are from the southeast and west; the former are frequently in squalls, and attended with rain: May and June are the rainy months.
Warm days are often succeeded by cold nights, which give rise to pectoral diseases among the natives, many of whom are affected by phthisis, or swept off by rapid consumptions. They are also liable to rheumatism and pleurisy. European and American residents, who enjoy better food and clothing, and inhabit more comfortable dwellings, are exempt from these complaints. Measles, hooping-cough, and other epidemics, have been introduced from foreign vessels. While we lay at the Bay of Islands, the influenza prevailed on shore and was communicated to our crew. The venereal disease, propagated by their licentious habits of life, and unchecked by medicine, is rapidly reducing the numbers of the natives.
The greater part of the soil of the portion of New Zealand which fell under our observation is too sterile to be profitably employed in agriculture. It consists, in general, of an obdurate yellow loam, capable of bearing little else, after it is cleared of trees and brushwood, than the fern (Pteris esculenta). Where the soil is volcanic, however, it is comparatively fertile; but this description of ground is rare.
Wheat and other grains are raised, and the fruits and vegetables of temperate climates succeed well. The hills are almost bare of vegetation; for after the ground is cleared, the heavy falls of rain sweep the soil from them into the valleys, and wear the hill-sides into gullies. In this manner patches of good land are formed in them, which, however, rarely exceed fifteen or twenty acres in extent. The only continuous level tract of as much as a hundred acres, is on the farm of Mr. Clendon on Manawa Bay. The sterility of the soil is not the only obstacle the agriculturist has to contend with. The fern, of which we have spoken, springs up the moment the forest is removed, and covers the land with a dense vegetation. Ploughing is not sufficient to extirpate it, for it will spring again from the severed roots, and choke the grain. It can only be completely eradicated by removing it by hand and burning it. The ashes are then spread upon the ground, and are found to be a good manure. In this manner the sons of Mr. Williams the missionary at Pahia, are endeavouring to bring a farm
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they possess into cultivation. Natives are employed in the labour, and they have in this way cleared several acres.
The fern, from its size and strength, is supposed to indicate a fertile soil; but this is not the fact, for I have seen nearly a thousand acres in a body covered with a growth of it six feet in height, where the ground was deemed fit for no purpose but to furnish brick-clay. So densely do the ferns grow, that it is impossible to force a way through them, and the only mode of traversing the country where they abound, is by following the native paths; these pursue the high ground and ridges, and have branches which lead to the neighbouring cultivated spots. The moment the culture of the land is neglected, the fern again makes its appearance.
The clayey soils afford only a scanty growth of grass, which is scarcely fit for pasture, and indeed there appear to be no native grasses. In the more fertile soils, red clover, according to Mr. Brackenridge, does well; and he believes that white clover would succeed on the hills, which are now bare. The climate is favourable to the growth of the foreign grasses.
After the fern has been burnt and the ashes spread, a crop of wheat is raised, and the land is laid down in grass. To give an idea of the produce of land near the Bay of Islands, we may cite the instance of Captain Wright's farm, which is eligibly situated, and is considered as possessing a fertile soil. He had twenty acres in wheat, whose average product was only fourteen bushels per acre.
Among the foreign fruits which have been introduced, are apples, peaches, and grapes. The latter grow best in the volcanic soils, but the climate is considered to be too moist to permit them to attain perfection. The peaches are fine, but the propensity of the natives to pluck them before they are ripe, prevents them from attaining their full flavour. Cape gooseberries are plentiful, but the common description of that fruit, and the currant, have not been introduced. Late writers have given marvellous accounts of the growth of the fruit trees of temperate climates, in New Zealand; but these may be set down as exaggerations calculated to mislead, and intended to subserve speculation. The success of Captain Wright, however, in raising fruit and vegetables, has been great.
Among the native vegetables is the sweet-potato, which they call kumara: it is plentiful.
The missionaries stated that the natives have a remarkable tradition in relation to this root; namely, that it was first brought to the island in canoes of a different construction from their own, and composed of pieces of wood sewed together.
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Cook left the common potato, which has been cultivated ever since his visit, and is now plentiful.
The native hemp (Phormium tenax) is a most useful plant; it grows in large quantities, and is applied by them to many purposes, besides being a principal article of foreign trade. It is an important material in the construction of their houses, for which purpose it is made into cords, that are also employed for other more common uses. It is manufactured into fine fishing-lines, which are much prized at Sydney for their strength and beauty.
The manufacture of the hemp is altogether performed by the women, who cut it, and after it has been dried a little, divide it into strips of about an inch in width. The outer green fibres are then scraped off with a piece of glass, or a sharp shell. The inner fibres being thus exposed are easily separated, and the greatest care is taken to keep all the fibres as straight as possible, both in this and the following operations. To this precaution the great strength of the cordage the natives make of it, is owing. After the fibres are separated, they are washed, rubbed, and laid in the sun to bleach.
The vegetation of New Zealand is of a fresher and deeper green than that of New Holland, and has some resemblance to that of Terra del Fuego. According to the missionaries, the ridges, and indeed the greater part of the northern island, are destitute of trees; and the woods, which are confined to the valleys, are for the most part in detached spots. The western part of this island contains more actual forests than the eastern.
It was remarked by our botanists that trees of genera which in other countries grow in the more barren soils, are found in New Zealand in those which are fertile. This is in particular the case with the pine tribe. It also appeared to them, from the position of isolated trees, and the quantity of Kaurie-gum found embedded in the soil, that forests had formerly been more generally spread over the face of the country, than they are at present.
The gum which has just been spoken of, is still produced by the Kaurie pine, which is the finest of the timber-trees of New Zealand. The greatest portion of that which is shipped from the island, is dug from the ground. Small quantities of the latter description have been purchased by our countrymen, and shipped to the United States, where it was manufactured into a varnish. This was of a good quality, and was afterwards sent to New South Wales, and New Zealand, where it is sold for copal varnish.
The Kaurie and Kaikotia pines yield spars which for large ships are not surpassed by any in the world. The trees are generally
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large, and are easily brought to the coast by means of the numerous streams.
The natives use these trees in building their canoes, which are dug out of a single log. They have no out-rigger, and are in consequence liable to accident from want of stability. Great ingenuity is shown in repairing them. We saw a war-canoe which was sufficiently large to be manned by fifty men; it had a prow extended ten feet upwards, which was elaborately carved and decked with tufts of feathers. The paddles have spoon-shaped blades, by which the canoes are propelled with great swiftness.
No native quadrupeds were found wild in New Zealand. Cattle have been introduced, and thrive. Those which are imported require to be fed, but those raised in the country can provide for themselves, and grow fat by browsing.
Among the birds, are the native nightingale and the tui, also known under the sobriquet of the parson-bird. The latter is a great favourite with the natives.
I saw it only in a cage, and its note did not strike me as pleasing, but several of our gentlemen saw and heard it in the woods; they describe its note as rather louder than that of the bird called by the Samoans "poe," and it is at times said to utter a cry resembling the sound of a trumpet.
The domestic fowl does not appear to have been known before this island was visited by white men.
I made inquiries in relation to the mode in which birds were taken in this country before the introduction of fire-arms, but could not obtain any satisfactory information. I was inclined to think that the natives had no method of doing this in former times.
The great staple articles of trade are flax, spars, and wheat; potatoes and gum are also exported; but the whale-fishery is of more value at present to foreigners than all the productions of the soil. This is carried on from the shores by parties of New Zealanders and foreigners; but they are rapidly destroying this source of wealth, for, as has been stated, their eagerness for present gain leads them to destroy the animals whether old or young, without discrimination.
The whaling establishments of British subjects on the coast are numerous, and the most disgraceful acts are perpetrated by their occupants and by the crews of the whale-ships, who not only use violence against the natives, but against each other. As New Zealand is in the immediate vicinity of the whaling-ground, it is a desirable rendezvous for our whalers; and the American whaling fleet, actively employed on the coast in the spring of 1840, amounted to one hundred sail.
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Many spars are now exported to England, where, however, the smaller sticks are not as much esteemed in proportion as the larger ones. Several government vessels have recently obtained spars for the Royal Navy at the trifling cost of a few blankets and muskets. The latter, in particular, are a great inducement to the chiefs, who are willing to devote much labour for the purpose of acquiring the means of rendering themselves powerful. Besides guns and blankets, gunpowder, lead, coarse blue and white cottons, whiskey, rice, sugar, and molasses are the articles most in request. These now bring enormous prices, in consequence of the demand caused by the number of immigrants; but the effect of these prices is to render labour proportionably dear.
NEW ZEALAND IHU AND WEAPONS