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Man of Easter Island


Object connections:

Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID PAI4049
Description This engraving, after drawings by artist William Hodges, is in John Hawkesworth's account (1773) of the voyages of Captain James Cook, Joseph Banks and Captain John Byron. 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. William Hodges (1744 - 1797) joined Cook's second expedition to the South Pacific as a draughtsman 1772-75 and was employed by the Admiralty in finishing his drawings. Cook visited Easter Island in 1775 and this man is described in Hawkesworth's journal as: 'Head and shoulders of a bearded man full-face, with unusually long, and perforated, ear-lobes. He wears a head-dress of grass and the long white feathers of a gannet; his hair hangs vertically. His expression is mild, but somewhat quizzical, and he frowns slightly. A tapa garment is drawn across the shoulders in sharp, triangular folds.' This is probably the man described by William Wales in his journal: 'He [i.e. the Master, Peter Fannin] returned about five and brought with him one of the Natives who had swom off to the boat. This man was of middle height, rather slender and seemed to be about 50 years of Age. His complexion wa of a dark Copper-Colour, his Eyes a dark brown & his hair black and cut short. His bear was black short and bushy, and his Features did not seem to differ materially from those of Europeans. He appeared very brisk and Active, and to take much notice of what was round him, at least more than is usual for other Natives of the Southern Islands to do. The pendant parts of his ears had long slits in them, and were extended to at least 2 inches in length; when he saw us taking notice of them, he turned the slits over the upper parts, so that at first look it might have been conjectured the small flap had been cut away . . . The Native, who without the least concern had staid on board all night went in the [Pinnacle].' Quoted in Cook, Journals II, 13 March 1774. This is the first of two such engravings. Mounted in album with PAI3938-PAI4048, PAI4050-PAI4076.; Page 98.
Date made 16 Jul 1776

Artist/Maker Bartolozzi, Francesco
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials engraving & etching
Measurements Sheet: 542 x 345 mm; Plate: 304 x 264 mm
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