Bora bora, Septr 4th 1849 [Society Islands]
Mounted in album with PAI4605-PAI4624, PAI4626-PAI4670.; No.20. 13. No. 20 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849-1852. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, about 230 km (140 miles) north-west of Tahiti. It is surrounded by a lagoon within a barrier reef. In the centre of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2385 ft). The Tahitian name is better rendered as Pora Pora, meaning 'first born' and early Western transcriptions also call it Bolabolla or Bollabolla. The main settlement is Vaitape on the western side, under Mount Pahia, opposite the main channel through the reef. This is the view Fanshawe shows here from seaward, apparently on the day he arrived from Raiatea, after a slight delay due to weather. It is one of a group of eleven Fanshawe drawings of the Society Islands, PAI4616 - PAI427, made while he commanded the 'Daphne' in the Pacific: three are of Bora Bora (PAI4625 - PAI4627).
Edward Gennys Fanshawe
Original size: 227 mm x 325 mm
- Image reference: PZ4625
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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