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11 June, 1769

 

On 11 June, 1769, James Cook wrote “Mr Banks and I took Tabia Toobouratomita [Tepau i Ahurai Tamaiti] on board the Ship and shew'd him the Print containing the Colours worne by the Ships of different Nations and very soon made him understand that we wanted to know which of them it was worne by the Ships that were at Ohidea he at once pitched upon the Spanish Flag and would by no means admit of any other: this together with several Articles we have lately seen amongest these people Such as Jackets Shirts &ca usually worne by Spanish Seamen, proves beyond doubt that they must have been Ships of that Nation and come from some Port on the Coast of South America”.

The ships were actually the French ones of Bougainville, who visited Tahiti in April 1768.

Joseph Banks wrote “This Evening Tubourai [Tepau] came to the tents bringing a bow and arrows, in consequence of a challenge Mr Gore had given him sometime ago to shoot. This challenge was however misunderstood, Tubourai meant to try who could shoot the farthest, Mr Gore to shoot at a mark and neither was at all practisd in what the other valued himself upon. Tubourai to please us shot in his way; he knelt down and drew the bow and as soon as he let slip the string droppd the bow from his hand,  the arrow however went 274 yards”.

In Tahiti, the aim of archery was to shoot an arrow as far as possible, not to hit a target.

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