The Journal of Isaak Iselin: First Contact
The transcription reads:
As we neared the
shore some canoes came along side with Indians bringing us sugar
canes, cocoa nuts and sweet potatoes. The females are not
backward in coming on board. for looks and manners they appear
much inferior to those of the Marquesas Isls. Their black hair is
cropt [sic] short, raised on end around the forehead and bleached to
a reddish hue by no means agreeable. The men seem to be fond
of smoaking [sic]; several of them have pipes and green tobacco leaves.
Context and Interpretation:
This text is from the edited and shortened version of the journal by Iselin. The printed version from 1897 (right) is practically identical with this handwritten version.
When we compare the edited and original versions, however, two points stand out: First, by omitting the word «obscene», the edited version circumvents a reference to the nudity of the women. And second, the «inferiority» of the men—but not of the women—is cut from the edited version. It is a general tendency of the edited text to omit references to nudity, sexuality and related themes.