||This drawing was developed by Cipriani, from several of Sydney Parkinson’s drawings of dancing Raiateans. Ulietea (Raiatea) was the center from which the Society Islands and Tahiti were populated, and the homeland to which the Maori people trace back their historic origin. The original drawing by Sydney Parkinson was likely done in August 1769. Parkinson (a Scottish landscape artist on Captain James Cook's first Endeavor voyage from 1768-1771) made studies of plants and animal species that were then engraved to be included in John Hawkesworth's Voyages (an account of the journeys by Captain Cook, Vice Admiral John Byron, and Joseph Banks published on behalf of the Admirality in 1773).
The depiction of the internal construction of the Tahitian house is probably based on a lost drawing by Parkinson or Sporing.
From the journal, on the people of Ulietea: "they dance especialy the young girls whenever they can collect 8 or 10 together, singing most indecent words using most indecent actions and setting their mouths askew in a most extraordinary manner, in the practise of which they are brought up from their earlyest childhood; in doing this they keep time to a surprising nicety, I must almost say as true as any dancers I have seen in Europe tho their time is certainly much more simple." Joseph Banks, August 1769
This is the first of two such engravings. Mounted in album with PAI3938-PAI3973, PAI3975-PAI4076.; Page 33.