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A Canoe of the Sandwich Islands, the Rowers Masked


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Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID PAI4194
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 likely a ceremony where the Hawaiians came on board masked, Here we see a double canoe with an upright lateen sail holding ten rowers wearing gourd helmets, two holding small images, a third one, blowing a conch, in the back on the left sketched in by pencil. It is curious that the scene, so visually striking, is not mentioned in the journals. The shoreline in the background represents the north-west side of Kealakekua Bay. Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4193, PAI4195-PAI4214.; Page 238.; Plate No. 65.
Date made 1779

Artist/Maker Webber, John
Grignion, Charles
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials engraving & etching
Measurements Sheet: 400 x 570 mm; Plate: 257 x 407 mm
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