State Library of NSW
Children who are so unfortunate as to be thus begot are smother'd at the Moment of their Birth, many of these People contract intimacies & live together as man & wife for years in the course of which the Children that are born are destroy'd, They are so far from concealing it that they rather look upon it as a branch of freedom upon which they Value themselves, they are called Arreoy's & have meetings among themselves where the men amuse themselves with Wrestling &tc. & the women in dancing the indecent dance before mention'd in the course of which they give full Liberty to their desires. but I believe keep up to the appearance of decency I never see one of these meetings, Dr. Munkhouse saw part of one enough to make him give Credit to what we had been told~
Both sexes express the most indecent ideas in conversation without the least sanction & they delight in such conversation beyond any other, Chastity indeed is but little valued especially among the middle People if a Wife is found guilty of a breach of it her only punishment is a beating from her husband, the, Men will very readily offer the Young Women to Strangers even their own Daughters & think it very strange if you refuse them but this is done merely for the Lure of gain -
The Houses or dwellings of these People are admirably calculated for the continual warmth of the Climate, they do not build them in Towns or Villages but seperate each from the other & always in the Woods & are without walls so that the Air coold by the shade of the Trees have free access in whatever direction it happens to blow no country can boast of more delightful walks than this the whole Plains,where the Natives reside are covered with groves of Bread Fruit & Cocoa Nut Trees without underwood & intersected in all directions by the Paths which goes from House to House so that nothing can be more grateful in a Climate where the sun hath so powerful an influence. They are generally built in form of an Oblong square the Roofs are supported by 3 Rows of Pillars or posts & neatly cover'd with thatch made of palm leaves a middle siz'd house is about 24 feet by 12 Extream heigth about 8 or 9 & heigth of the Eves, 31/2 or 4 the floors are cover'd some inches deep with Hay upon which here & there lay Matts for the convenience of sitting down, few houses have more than one stool which is only used by the Master of the family in their houses neither rooms nor partitions but they all huddle & keep together yet in this they generally observe some order the Married people laying by themselves & the unmarried each sex by themselves at some small distance from each other. Many of the Eares or Chiefs are more private having small moveable houses in which they sleep Man & Wife, which when they go by water from place to place are tied upon their Canoes these have walls made of Cocoa Nut leaves &d. I have said that the houses are without walls, but this is only to be understood in general for many of them are walled with wickering, but not so close, but to admit a free circulation of Air the Matt which serves them to sit upon in the daytime is also their bed in the night & the Clothes they wear in the day serves for covering, a little wood stool, block of wood, or bundle of clothes for a pillow - besides these common houses there are others much larger 200 feet long & upwards 30 broad & 20 in heigth there are generally 2 or 3 of these in every district & seem'd not only built for the accommodation of the Principle People but common to all the inhabitants of that district & raised & kept up by their joint labour these are always without walls & have generally a large area on one
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