Head of a New Zealander, with a comb in his hair.

This head of a Maori man was likely drawn in Queen Charlotte Sound by Sydney Parkinson in January 1770. Sydney Parkinson (a Scottish landscape artist on Captain James Cook's first Endeavor voyage from 1768-1771) made field studies of plants and animal species that were then engraved to be included in John Hawkesworth's Voyages (an account of the journeys by Captain James Cook, Vice Admiral John Byron, and Joseph Banks published on behalf of the Admirality in 1773). Captain 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.

Parkinson noted in the journals that the Maori men who visited the Endeavor ‘had their hair tied up on the crown of their heads in a knot . . . Their faces were tataowed, or marked either all over, or on one side, in a very curious manner, some of them in fine spiral directions like a volute being indented in the skin very different from the rest.’ The man has a comb in his hair, an ornament of green stone in his ear, and from his neck hangs a fish tooth heitiki.

Mounted in Album PAJ2143, with PAJ2145 - PAJ2206.

Object Details

ID: PAJ2159
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Parkinson, Sydney
Date made: 1770
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 201 x 162 mm; Page: 590 x 470 mm
Parts: Plates of Cook's Voyages - Voyage 1 (Album)

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