Human sacrifice in Tahiti, artwork

Human sacrifice in Tahiti, artwork

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Human sacrifice in Tahiti. Artwork of the British explorer Captain James Cook (lower right) and other sailors, watching the final stages of a two-day human sacrifice in Tahiti in 1777. At centre, the body has been tied to a post and brought to a morai, a sacred place used for burial and worship. The grave is being dug in the background, in front of skulls of previous sacrifices. At left, seated priests pray to the god Oro. At far left, drummers beat ceremonial drums. At right, a dog is being sacrificed over a fire. This image is based on artwork by John Webber, Cook's official artist.

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Keywords: 1700s, 1777, 18th century, adult, anthropological, anthropology, artwork, captain, caucasian, ceremonial drums, ceremony, chief, cook, dead body, death, drummer, drummers, european, explorer, false-colour artwork, fatal, historical, history, human, human sacrifice, illustration, james cook, john webber, killed, male, man, morai, pacific, people, person, polynesian, priest, priests, religion, religious, ritual, rituals, sacrificed, tahiti, tahitian, white

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