The ships methodically worked their way west through French Polynesia, arriving at Tahiti in mid-September. There the islanders were deemed to be more friendly and seemed to the explorers to be more advanced in civilization, a condition ascribed to the unification of local tribes under a monarch, Queen Pomare, and the presence of missionaries. Wilkes permitted more explorations ashore. The islanders, in turn, clamored for trade. Peacock and Flying Fish remained at Tahiti for a time and the scientifics were afforded several opportunities to make expeditions into the interior of the island and to make ascents of its mountains. Wilkes described the islands, their features, imports and products with his usual carefulness. He noted that previous accounts of the islands had described the islanders as dressed in tapa cloth fabric made from the paper mulberry tree (Broussonetia papyrifera), but he found no trees extant on his visit. The islanders now preferred cotton cloth, for which they traded with visiting ships. The women, however, still wore a traditional headdress, a rim of woven leaves which shaded their faces, called a hau.