A Night Dance by Men in Hapaee
Artist: John Webber
Engraver: William Sharp
Printed by: Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd., 2016
Captain Cook arrived at Hapaee, Tonga (one of the Friendly Islands) in May 1777, where he was warmly greeted by Earoupa, the great chief of the island. Since this place had never been visited by any European ships, Cook was quite eager to examine it.
During his stay, he and his men were treated with great hospitality, and their time was spent in mutual gift-giving and witnessing various ceremonies and displays, both formal and entertaining.
Here, Captain Cook and another sailor sit among a circle of Tongan men observing a large group native men performing a dance, lit by tapers held by the watchers. There are instrumentalists in the center of the dancers, beating sticks on the ground. Afterwards, the English reciprocated by putting on a fireworks exhibition for the natives.
Once curiosity had been sufficiently gratified on both sides, Cook then applied himself to the business at hand of exploring Hapaee and other neigboring islands.
We custom-print this facsimile on waterproof canvas in our Lahaina studio using the finest archival inks, which are tested and guaranteed not to fade or shift under normal circumstances for over 100 years. Modern printing techniques allow us to improve and enhance the historical subject matter, even as we're careful to preserve and maintain its historical and artistic integrity.