ALs in Polynesian from Converted Christian Mamae of the Society Islands to Missionary William Ellis. October 2, 1827.
Single folded sheet, with integral address leaf. 30 lines in Polynesian, with 3 samples of tapa cloth and a contemporary manuscript translation into English.
The original letter, in Polynesian, has the integral address leaf, “Na (for) Mr. Ellis / Mission House… London” The translation reads as follows: Mrs. Ellis . Mr. Ellis Peace to you two and to your little children from Jehovah & from Jesus Christ our true Lord by whom we live. Here has arrived the little bag you sent with the name written upon it and also the little letter. It has been all looked over. Our hearts were gratified with the articles you sent each praise did our hearts Jehovah that he had long (?) out your break in your abiding in Britain. Blessings on ye two from Jehovah. These are our thoughts & our words the affections of our hearts (?) for ye two. There comes for is sent one little bark mat for you two & one piece of bark cloth also. We have nothing valuable: you also know that this is a small and propertyless land. This is one little request for you Mr. Ellis. A neat box or trunk (for clothes) and a red trimming for a bonnet. When you two return, this may return, and we will repay you but if you come not send them by a ship This is all we ask. Peace to you two from Jehovah our Lord Mamae the wife Mamae the husband Tetiavau (the place of residence) Huahine (the island) This lot (letter and translation) is accompanied by the (three rather than two) pieces of tapa cloth mentioned in the letter. They measure roughly 22 x 7 1/2 inches, 14 x 10 inches, and 6 x 7 inches. Also included Is a typed note, signed, from the noted academician and collector who initially purchased this lot at auction. It reads, in part, “Mamae is specifically mentioned in Ellis’ book “Polynesian Researches” and is referred to as a Raatira of the island which means leading chief.”