'A Chief and other Natives of O-Taheitee, visiting Captain Cook...', c 1773.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Grignion after Wate, entitled 'A Chief and other Natives of O-Taheitee, visiting Captain Cook in his Second Voyage to the Southern Hemisphere', from 'Complete History of Captain Cook's First, Second and Third Voyages' (1784). The chief from Otaheite (now known as Tahiti, part of French Polynesia) and his entourage greet Captain Cook aboard his ship. Cook (1728-1779), the famed navigator and hydrographer, transformed the West's knowledge of the Pacific region after making three exploratory voyages there and circumnavigating the globe twice. During this second voyage (1772-1775), in the ships 'Adventure' and 'Resolution', Cook and his crew crosed the latitude 70 degrees, the furthest south then reached by Europeans, and visited Easter Island.