James Cook - A Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour on a voyage round the world, by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander, commencing the 25th of May 1768 - 23 Oct. 1770: No. 231
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seen hundreds of them come off to & on board the Ship, but they gerally had their proper Cloathing in the boat along with them to put on if it rain'd, etc. The Women, on the other hand, always wears something round their Middle; generally a short, thrumb'd Matt, which reaches as low as their Knees sometimes indeed I have seen them with only a Bunch of grass or plants before tyed on with a piece of fine platting made of sweet scented grass, they likewise wear a piece of cloth over their Shoulders as the Men do this is generally of the Thrum kind I hardly ever saw a Woman wear a piece of fine cloth. One day at Talago I saw a strong proof that the Women never appear naked at least before strangers some of us hapned to land upon a small Island where several of them were Naked in the Water gathering of Lobsters & shell fish, as soon as they saw us some of them hid themselves among the Rocks & the rest remain'd in the Sea until they had made themselves Aprons of the Sea Weed & even then when they came out to us they shew'd Manifest signs of Shame & those who had no method of hiding their nakedness would be no means appear before us. The Women have all very soft Voices & may by that alone be known from the Men, The Making of cloth & all other Domestick work is I believe, wholy done by them & the more Labourious work such as building Boats, Houses, Tilling the ground, etc. by the Men. Both men & women wear ornaments [In margin is written: Ornaments] at their Ears & about their Necks, these are made of Stone, bone, shells, etc. & are variously shaped & some I have seen wear human Teeth & finger Nails & I think we were told that they did belong to their deceased friends, the Men, when they are dressed, generally wear 2 or 3 long white feathers stuck up right in their Hair, & at Queen Charlotte's sound many, both men & women, wore Round Caps made of black feathers.
[Written in margin:] Government
The old men are much respected by the younger, who seem to be govern'd & directed by them on most Occasions, we at first thought that they were united under one head or Chief whose Name is Teeratu we first heard of him in Poverty Bay, & he was own'd as Chief by every one we met with from Cape Kidnappers to the Northward & Westward as far as the Bay of Plenty wch is a great extent of teritories for an Indian Prince, when we were upon the Et Coast they always pointed inland to the Westd for the place of his Residence which I believe to be in the Bay of Plenty & that those Hippa's or fortified Towns are Barrier Towns either for or against him but most likely the former & if so may be the utmost Extent of his Dominions, to the Westwd for at Mercury bay they did not own him as their Prince nor no where else