Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/79

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Western Coasts.]
lvii
INTRODUCTION.

Tasman.
1644.

surprised the Dutch, who had landed twenty-five men; but the firing of guns frightened them so that they fled. Their prows are made of the bark of trees: their coast is dangerous: there are few vegetables: the people use no houses."

In 19° 35' S. long. 134 (about 120°, apparently), the inhabitants are very numerous, and threw stones at the boats sent by the Dutch to the shore. They made fires and smoke all along the coast, which, it was conjectured, they did to give notice to their neighbours of strangers being upon the coast. They appear to live very poorly; go naked; eat yams and other roots."

 

The buccaneers with whom our celebrated navigator, William Dampier, made a voyage round the world, came upon the Dampier.
1688.
northwest coast of Terra Australis, for the purposes of careening their vessel, and procuring refreshments. They made the land in the latitude of 16° 50', due south from a shoal whose longitude is now known to be 122¼° east. From thence, they ran along the shore, N. E. by E. twelve leagues, to a bay or opening, where a convenient place was found for their purpose. Dampier's description of the country and inhabitants of the place, where he remained from Jan. 5. to March 12., is contained in the account of his voyages, Vol. I. page 462 to 470; and renders it unnecessary to do more than to mark its coincidence or disagreement with what is said, in the above note from Tasman, of the inhabitants and country near the same part of the coast.

Dampier agrees in the natives being "a naked, black people, with curly hair," like that of the negroes; but he says they have "a piece of the rind of a tree tied like a girdle about their waists, and a handful of long grass, or three or four green boughs full of leaves, thrust under their girdle, to cover their nakedness." Also, that the two fore teeth of the upper jaw are wanting in all of them, men and women, old and young: neither have they any beards;"

which circumstances are not mentioned in the note from Tasman.