Sydney Parkinson was one of two artists on board James Cook's first voyage to the Pacific (1768-1771). A specialist botanical artist, Parkinson was called upon to draw a much broader range of subjects following the death of the other artist on board. Parkinson, himself, died on the return leg, but his numerous drawings and watercolours were used as the basis for the engravings that illustrated John Hawkesworth's official account of the voyage.
Cook and his crew encountered many waka (canoe) during their time in New Zealand's waters. Parkinson seeks to convey the carving of the canoes, the dress, adornment and weaponry of their occupants, as well as relating the spirited manner in which they engaged the Endeavour's crew. He wrote of one such encounter, "they behaved in a very irresolute manner, sometimes seeming as if they would attack us; then taking fright, and retreating a little;...shaking their lances and bone bludgeons at us, talking very loud and blustering, lolling out their tongues, and making other signs of defiance". From the safety of the Endeavour the crew were unsure how to interpret these actions, Parkinson went as far as describing them as "a truly comic act".
Gable End Foreland is a prominent headland on the northeastern coast of New Zealand. It is located 30 kilometres northeast of Tuaheni Point and 20 kilometres south of Tolega Bay. The headland was named by Captain James Cook on his first voyage to New Zealand in 1769. The name reflects the similarity of the weathered cliff to a house gable.
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