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A View of Karakakooa, in Owyhee


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Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID PAI4197
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 view taken from the shore. The two ships at anchor to the left with local craft about them. Indigenous habitations to be seen along the shore are part of the town of Kealakekua. Near the houses sailors rolling barrels indicating the situation of the pond. In the central foreground canoes which are putting off towards the ships, and a man riding a surfboard. ‘At 11 AM anchored in the bay (which is called by the Natives [Karakakooa]) in 13 fathom water over a Sandy bottom and a quarter of a mile from the NE shore… The ships very much crouded with Indians and surrounded by a multitude of canoes. I have no where in this Sea seen such a number of people assembled at one place, besides those in the canoes all the shore of the bay was covered with people and hundreds were swimming about the ships like shoals of fish.’ King reckoned that in the afternoon ‘there could not be less than 15 hundred canoes about both ships, which at 6 persons in each make 9000.’ Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4196, PAI4198-PAI4214.; Page 241.; Plate No. 68.
Date made 1779

Artist/Maker Webber, John
Byrne, William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials engraving & etching
Measurements Sheet: 400 x 570 mm; Plate: 262 x 534 mm
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