Observations of a French Naturalist
Jacques Julien de La Billardière was a naturalist with the d'Entrecasteaux expedition. At every opportunity he set off on expeditions along the shore and over the mountains that separated the coast where the ships anchored from the Diahot Valley that lay beyond. He is credited with the discovery of the n'bouet, or hache ostensoir, as the French termed this ceremonial weapon. This chapter presents translated extracts from La Billardière's Relation du voyage à la recherche de La Pérouse fait par l'Ordre de l'Assemblé Constituants pendant les années 1791, 1792 (1798), including his accounts of the expedition's progress, cannibalism, authority of chiefs, and theft by the natives.
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