Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/116

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112
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

or Ariirahi of the district of Papara came on board and was courteously received by Wallis who presented her with a mirror and a gown, he being under the impression that she was the "Queen" of the Island. As a matter of fact, there was no head chief whose authority was recognized over all parts of Tahiti, and Purea was merely a guest of her kinsman the chief of the district of Matavai Bay in which the Dolphin lay at anchor.

Greatly impressed by Purea's commanding presence and with the respect she inspired among the natives, Wallis returned the call on the

 
PSM V86 D116 A Tahitian Valley.jpg
A Tahitian Valley.

following day, the natives carrying him upon their backs to the great council house, or Fare-hau of Matavai within which Purea was herself but a guest, although her actions appear to have been those which would better have graced a hostess. The house in which this remarkable reception occurred was 327 feet long by 42 wide and was a shed of palm thatch, the roof being supported upon 92 posts arranged in three rows. The "Queen" and her maidens at once proceeded to massage Wallis and his officers and finally to dress them in native garments, thus reciprocat-