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Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
    Captain Cook's First Voyage 1768-1771

"Portrait of a New Zealander, with a comb
in his hair, an ornament of green stone
in his ear, and another of fish's tooth
round his neck."

from A Continuation of A Voyage to New Holland,
e-c. in the year 1699 …

London: By W. Botham for J. Knapton, 1709.


From Tahiti, the Endeavor made its way to New Zealand. The Dutchman Aabel Jansen Tasman was the first European to visit and describe New Zealand, which he thought may form a part of the great Southern Continent that was thought to lie near the pole. His encounter was limited to a portion of the west coast. Cook sailed the strait between the two islands; and he explored, surveyed, circumnavigated and mapped them. The New Zealanders (the name Maori was not used by early voyagers) did not welcome Cook to their land, and he used force.

"I am conscious that the feeling of every reader of humanity will censure me for having fired upon these unhappy people… They certainly did not deserve death for not chusing to confide in my promises… but the nature of my service required me to obtain a knowledge of their country."


Cook describes the bodily ornamentation of New Zealanders:

"The bodies of both sexes are marked with the black stains called Amoco… and [the method is] called Tattowing; but the men are more marked… The marks upon the face in general are spirals, which are drawn with great nicety, and even elegance…"


Cook: Page 7 of 16. The first voyage.
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