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A Man of Oonalashka (Eskimo)


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Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID PAI4172
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. Cook's first traveled to Samgoonoodha (English Bay), (Unalaska) between June28-July 2, 1778. He saw the island of Unalaska on June 27, 1778. This stay was very worthwhile for the voyagers. The people encountered were ready to trade and invited the English into their houses. The countryside provided many herbs such as wild peas or celery and plenty of fowl. Most of Webber's field drawings of Alaskan subject matter can be dated to Cook's first stay at Samgoonoodha harbour. With his portraits, Webber concentrated on the physiognomy, the broad cheek bones and slanting eyes, bringing out some of the facial characteristics of Mongolian people. Concerning the appearance and dress of the Unalaskans, Cook says: "These people are rather low of stature, but plump and well shaped, with rather short necks, swarthy chubby faces, black eyes, small bears, and straight long black hair, which the men wear loose behind and cut before...their dress...both, men and womens are made alike, the only difference is in the materials, the womans frock is made of Seal skin and the Mens of birds skin and both reach below the knee...some of them wear boots and all of them a kind of oval snouted cap..." Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4171, PAI4173-PAI4214.; Page 216.; Plate No. 48.
Date made 1778

Artist/Maker Webber, John
Sharp, William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials engraving & etching
Measurements Sheet: 570 x 400 mm; Plate: 305 x 245 mm
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