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Princess Poedua by John Webber, 1777.

Poedua (circa 1758 – ?) was a princess, daughter of Orea (Orio), King of Ulietea (Raiatea).[1] She was taken hostage together with father, brother, and husband during the third voyage of James Cook in exchange of two sailors that deserted onto the island.[2] The hostages were enticed on board HMS Discovery, imprisoned until Orea secured the return of the deserters.

For many contemporaries John Weber's portrait of Poedua epitomized the sensual image of the South Sea maiden.[3]


  1. ^ National Maritime Museum. Poedua, the Daughter of Orio, b. circa 1758
  2. ^ Lenore Manderson, Margaret Jolly. Sites of desire, economies of pleasure, University of Chicago Press, 1997, p. 104
  3. ^ Michael Sturma. South Sea maidens, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, p. 24

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