The image title is drawn from "A Description of the Cuts" page xxxv in volume one. This scene is described in detail on text pages 264-265, where the author writes: "In the course of our walk we met with a company of dancers, who detained us two hours, and during all that time afforded us great entertainment. The company consisted of two women dancers, and six men, with three drums; we were informed...that they were some of the most considerable people of the island, and that though they were continually going from place to place, they did not, like the little strolling companies of Otaheite, take any gratuity from the spectators. The women...advanced sideways in a measured step, keeping excellent time to the drums, which beat briskly and loud; soon after they began to shake their hips, giving the folds of cloth that lay upon them a very quick motion, which was in some degree continued through the whole dance, though the body was thrown into various postures, sometimes standing, sometimes sitting, and sometimes resting on their knees and elbows, the fingers also being moved at the same time with a quickness scarcely to be imagined. Much of the dexterity of the dancers, however, and the entertainment of the spectators, consisted of the wantonness of ther attitudes and gestures, which was, indeed, such as exceeds all description." The author continues the description on page 266: "Between the dances of the women, the men performed a kind of dramatic interlude, in which there was dialogue as well as dancing; but we were not sufficiently acquainted with their language to understand the subject." This plate seems to have been executed by the Italian engraver, Francesco Bartolozzi, 1727-1815. Bartolozzi was employed by George III, King of Great Britain. His partner, Italian artist, Giovanni Battista Cipriani, 1727-1785 is the illustrator of this work. The pair were both born in Florence and later active in England. This plate is a large fold-out image that spans across the book's binding. The minor distortion in this image is a result of the book's construction. 29 x 38 cm.
University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections.
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