C1784

Cimetiere D'Atooi

Captain Cook, accompanied by Webber, proceeded inland from their beach side anchorage to Waimea, on the south coast of Kauai (known then as Atooi). Their intention was to examine elevated objects visible from the ship. It proved to be a … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

Cimetiere D’Atooi

Date:

C1784

Condition:

In good condition, centre fold as issued.

Technique:

Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

385mm 
x 245mm
AUTHENTICITY
Cimetiere D'Atooi - Antique View from 1784

Genuine antique
dated:

1784

Description:

Captain Cook, accompanied by Webber, proceeded inland from their beach side anchorage to Waimea, on the south coast of Kauai (known then as Atooi).

Their intention was to examine elevated objects visible from the ship. It proved to be a morai, or temple similar to ones they had seen in Tahiti and other South Pacific islands. This structure was nearly 20-feet high and covered in a thin, light-grey cloth, which likely had ceremonial significance. The temple rested on a platform and consisted of thousands of rough-edged lava rock piled in a tight, mortarless fashion. In the center is the spindly-legged oracle tower, where the priest (kahuna) might seek counsel or pray. Carved figures with tapa and leaf offerings are seen outside thatched huts topped with pili, the tall grass that grew throughout the lowlands. In his journal, Cook took particular note of several stone objects he had observed: About the middle of the Morai, there were three of these places in line. We were told three chiefs had been buried there, and before them was another that was oblong. This they called Tanga (taboo or kapu in Hawaiian) and gave us clearly to understand that three human sacrifices had been buried there, that is, one at the burial of each chief. Cook’s Journal – January 21, 1778

French edition of Cook’s Third Voyage account.

John Webber (1752 - 1793)

Official artist on Cook's third and last voyage. The reasons for the voyage were to return Omai and explore the possibility of a north-west passage along the North American continent. Webber was required to "give a more perfect idea thereof than can be formed by written description." Webber's oeuvre from the voyage was the most comprehensive record of sights in the Pacific region ever produced.

View other items by John Webber

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