Joseph Banks, an English aristocrat and botanist who travelled on Cook’s first voyage, arriving in New Zealand in 1769, wrote this description of Māori women: ‘The women without being at all delicate in their outward appearance are rather smaller than Europaean women, but have a peculiar softness of Voice which never fails to distinguish them from the men tho both are dressd exactly alike. They are like those of the fair sex that I have seen in other countries, more lively, airy and laughter loving than the men and have more volatile spirits.' (Joseph Banks Journal, vol. 2, p. 175, http://southseas.nla.gov.au/journals/banks_remarks/205.html (last accessed 3 May 2011))
This 1783 engraving of a ‘Femme de la Nouvelle Zelande’ (woman of New Zealand) was probably based on drawings done by an unknown artist travelling with French navigator Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, who visited New Zealand in 1772.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.