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Cook and his crew did not land at the island of Mangaia (the southern most of the Cook Islands group) due to the reef that surrounded it, instead overnighting in its waters before continuing on their course. During this time a canoe manned by two oarsmen approached them which John Webber sketched. Cook’s boat later encountered one of paddlers, Mou’rooa [Mourua], who boarded the Resolution with some trepidation and provided information about the island. It is likely that this is the Mangaian depicted by Webber in this print.
William Anderson observed that the ear lobes of the Mangaians were “pierc’d or rather slit, in which one of them stuck a knife”, as can be seen in the engraving. Joppien and Smith comment that the knife was probably one traded earlier in the day. The print also faithfully documents the manner in which Mangaians wore their hair, tied at the crown with string.
(See J&S Vol. III, Text p.21, Cat. 3.31-3.31A)
- A Man of Mangea
- Production date
- engraving on paper
- 308 x 238 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2007
- Accession no
- No known copyright restrictions
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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