The Collection

Your selection



Buy this image Add this to a collection
Share or embed this object   

A Man of the Sandwich Islands, with his Helmet


Object connections:

Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID PAI4192
Description 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. John Webber was the artist on Cook’s third voyage from 1776-1780. The Resolution and the Discovery visited for the second time the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii, Kauai, Niihau between 17 January-14 March 1779. Cook was warmly greeted in Hawaii and received an almost god-like status. This is a head and shoulder portrait of a man wearing a feather cloak and helmet made of feathers. He can be identified as the Hawaiian chief Kana’ina (Kanina, Kaneina, Kanena) of whom King speaks: “Kaneena especially, whose portrait Mr. Webber has drawn, was one of the finest men I ever saw.” Of his vestments, King says ‘…they [the inhabitants of Hawaii] have another [dress], appropriated to their Chiefs, and used on ceremonious occasions, consisting of a feathered cloak and helmet, which, in point of beauty and magnificence, is perhaps nearly equal to that of any nation in the world… the helmet has a strong lining of wicker-work, capable of breaking the blow of any warlike instrument, and seems evidently designed for that purpose.’ Kana’ina was killed in the fighting ensuing from the death of Cook. This is the first of two engravings. Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4191, PAI4193-PAI4214.; Page 236.; Plate No. 64. Depicts clothing, headwear: Hawaiian helmet
Date made 1779

Artist/Maker Webber, John
Sherwin, John Keyse
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials engraving & etching
Measurements Sheet: 570 x 400 mm; Plate: 292 x 230 mm
Help us

Do you know more about this?

Share your knowledge