previous
next

1769 November 26.

Two small canoes came off early in the morn and told us that they had heard of yesterdays adventure, they came on board and traded queitly for whatever they had: soon after two larger ones came from a distance, they calld the others to them and then All came up together to the ship. The strangers were numerous and appeard rich: their Canoes were well carvd and ornamented and they had with them many weapons of patoo patoos of stone and whales bones which they value much; they had also ribbs of whales of which we had often seen imitations in wood carvd and ornamented with tufts of Dogs hair. The people themselves were browner than to the Southward as indeed they have been ever since we came to Opoorage, and they had a much larger quantity of Amoco or black stains upon their bodys and faces; almost universaly they had a broad spiral on each buttock and many had their thighs almost intirely black, small lines only being left untouchd so that they lookd like stripd breeches. In this particular, I mean Amoco, almost every different tribe seem to vary their customs: we have some days seen Canoes where every man has been almost coverd with it, and at the same time others where scarce a man has had a spot except his lipps black'd, which seems to be always Essential.

These people would not part with any of their arms &c. for any price we could offer; at last however one producd an axe of Talk and offerd it for Cloth, it was given and the Canoe immediately put off with it. A musquet ball was fird over their heads on which they immediately came back and returnd the cloth but soon after put off and went ashore.

In the afternoon other Canoes came off and from some inattention of the officers were sufferd to cheat unpunishd and unfrightned. This put one of the Midshipmen who had sufferd upon a droll tho rather mischeivous revenge. He got a fishing line and when the Canoe was close to the ship hove the lead at the man who had cheated, with so good success that he fastned the hook into his backside, on which he pulld with all his might and the Indian kept back, so the hook soon broke in the shank leaving its beard in his backside, no very agreable legacy.

previous
next