||This engraving after a drawing by John Webber comes from the official account of Cook's third voyage, 'A voyage to the Pacific Ocean', published by Scatcherd and Whitaker in 1784.
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) made three separate voyages to the Pacific (with the ships Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure, and Discovery) and did more than any other voyager to explore the Pacific and Southern Ocean. Cook not only encountered Pacific cultures for the first time, but also assembled the first large-scale collections of Pacific objects to be brought back to Europe. He was killed in Hawaii in 1779.
Cook was in Nomuka (Annamooka), Tonga or Friendly Isles from May 1-14, 1777.
"On May 2 1777 the expedition reached Nomuka and anchored in the harbour on the north side of the island, which Cook had already used in June 1774. Both ships were in want of refreshments. A camp was erected on shore both as a trading post and a workshop for repairs. Watering, cutting wood, and above all bartering for food became the main occupation during the next days."
In this drawing, the building of relationships and trafficking with the Nomukans are embraced within a broad panorama of documented history. The ships are in this case too far out at sea to be included in the picture though -- as before -- their presence is hinted at by the ships' boats in the harbour. Some are loaded with water barrels, others are being used for transport of food, which is piled up on shore. In the left foreground a native outrigger is being pulled on to the shore, surrounded by Tongans who lift or carry away fruit. They are moving towards the righ, where, between a large hut and a group of coconut palms a large clearning has been made for a group of Nomukans, sitting cross-legged in a circle. In the middle of this hogs, yams, plantains etc. are collected and the marines within the circle are probably engaged in transporting goods received. The presence of the marines is underlined by a pyramid of rifles. They were stationed there 'for the protection of the horses and the waterers'. Two horses may be seen to the right of the hut resting under the shade of a large breadfruit tree. A few yards in front of the tree stands a native hut with open sides and a thatched roof, built on poles. Several Nomukans sit within.
Many studies were necessary to build up a comprehensive scene like this.
Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4132, PAI4134-PAI4214.; Page 177.; Plate No. 13.