SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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, an animal is being sacrificed over a fire. This image is based on artwork by John Webber, Cook's official artist.
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