1902 Encyclopedia > Polynesia

Polynesia




POLYNESIA. In the last edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Polynesia was used to denote all the intertropical islands of the Pacific Ocean eastward of the Philippine Islands to the north and the New Hebrides to the south of the equator. The New Hebrides and other islands west of that group were included under the term Australasia. Of late years these islands (sometimes also including Fiji) have been known as Melanesia, while the western islands of the North Pacific have been known as Micronesia. Thus Polynesia has been restricted to the central and eastern islands inhabited by the brown or Sawaiori race, becoming an ethnographic rather than a geographical term. Articles dealing with the western islands north and south of the equator will be found under MICRONESIA and MELANESIA. The present article is intended to give a comprehensive view of all the islands of the Pacific, their physical characteristics, natural productions, and the races of men found upon them. The name Polynesia is therefore here employed in a wide signification and solely as a geographical term. The western boundary of this region runs from the great barrier reef of Australia eastward of New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. All the inter-tropical islands of the Pacific eastward of this imaginary line are included, and also a few others which extend outside the tropic of Capricorn to nearly 30° S. lat. Any other divisions for geographical purposes, except those of groups of islands, appear to be unnatural and uncalled for. For ethnographical purposes special terms are used for the three different classes of people found in this wide area.

If we exclude NEW CALEDONIA (q.o.), which is of older formation than the rest, all the islands of Polynesia are either of volcanic or of coral formation. Some are purely coral, either in the shape of low atolls or of elevated plateaus. In a few atolls there are remnants of earlier volcanic rocks; and most of the volcanic islands are more or less fringed with coral reefs. But, notwithstanding this mixture, the islands must be divided broadly into those which are volcanic and those wThich are of coral' formation. The coral islands must again be subdivided into (1) atolls, or low islands which usually have a lagoon, within them, and (2) elevated table-lands.

The volcanic islands, with the exception of the Hawaiian archipelago, are all south of the equator. In Plate III. the great volcanic ridge is indicated by two lines which, commencing in 150° E., run in a south-easterly direction' to about 140° W. long. With the exception of two curves, one in the lower line south of the New Hebrides,., and one in the upper line at its eastern extremity, these are parallel, and are 10° apart. Within these two lines lie all the volcanic islands of Polynesia, except two isolated groups, viz., the Marquesas and Hawaiian Islands. On. this ridge there are no atolls. The upper boundary line sharply divides the volcanic ridge from the atoll valley.. This valley is indicated by a third line running for more than 50° of longitude parallel with the other two, at 20° distance from that bounding the northern extremity of the volcanic ridge. Eastward of 155° W. long, this line bends towards the south to exclude the isolated volcanic centre of the Marquesas Islands ; then, curving around the Tuamotu archipelago, it joins the central line. Within the area thus enclosed lie all the atolls or low coral lagoon islands of Polynesia, and there are no volcanic islands within this region except in three or four instances, where are found, the remnants of former islands which have sunk, but have not been quite submerged. This is the region of subsidence —stretching across fully 100° of longitude, and covering, generally about 20° of latitude.

Within the volcanic region there are a few coral islands,, but these are all more or less elevated. Since their formation they have participated in the upward movement' of the ridge on which they are situated. They are indi-cated on the map by dotted lines. Two of the groups are within the lines marking the volcanic ridge; and one,, the Loyalty group, lies close to the lower line.

The Volcanic Islands.—Most of the volcanic islands of Polynesia are high in proportion to their size. The taper-ing peaks, or truncated cones, which form their backbone present a picturesque appearance to the voyager as h& approaches them. In some there are precipitous spurs jutting into the sea, while in others the land slopes gently from the central peak to the shore. Where there are these gentle slopes, and wherever there is any low land near the shore, there also will be found a coral reef fring-ing the coast at a smaller or greater distance, according to the steepness of the land under the water. Where the trend downwards is very gradual, the edge of the reef will sometimes be one, two, or even three miles to sea-ward. It has been thought that the absence of extensive reefs in some islands of the New Hebrides is due to " sub-terranean heat." But the steepness of the slope of the islands under water is doubtless the reason why the reefs are small. As the reef-building coral polypes do not live-and work below a certain depth—about 20 fathoms, or 120 feet—we easily see that the distance of the outer edge of the reef must be according to the slope of the island beneath the water. Opposite to the larger valleys, where there is a stream flowing out to sea, there is usually found a break in the reef. This is doubtless caused either by the fresh water, or by the sediment which it contains, injuring the coral polypes and preventing them from effectively carrying on their work in these spots. The conviction of the present writer is that it is the sediment contained in the water—especially during heavy rains and consequent freshets—which prevents the growth of the coral, rather than the mere action of fresh water upon the polypes. Where there are streams of considerable size, and especially where they are subject to floods, there are generally wide openings into the reef, and stretches of deep water forming natural harbours sufficient for the accommodation of even large vessels. There are a few land-locked harbours, but most are thus formed by breaks in the reef.

In a few spots active volcanoes are still found. These are in the neighbourhood of New Britain and New Ireland, in the Solomon, New Hebrides, and Tonga archipelagoes. In most of the islands there have been no recent erup-tions ; but now and again the inhabitants of islands where _volcanic action has apparently long ceased have been startled by a new outbreak. Over the whole region earth-quakes are of frequent occurrence. Most of the craters in the islands of Samoa have immense trees growing in them, and there is only one crater in the entire group which shows signs of even a comparatively recent erup-tion, or concerning which there is a tradition among the people of one. Yet in 1867, after an almost continuous succession of earthquakes during a whole night, there was a submarine eruption between two of the islands. This lasted only a few days. A few months afterwards the writer was on board H.M.S. " Falcon" when soundings were taken on the spot. A cone was found the summit of which was 90 fathoms deep, while all around the sea was 120 fathoms deep. Thus the outpourings of this sub-marine volcano during only a few days raised a mound in the bed of the ocean 180 feet in height.

The soil in the volcanic islands is generally very fertile. The climate is hot and moist in most of them; conse-quently the vegetation is wonderfully rich. The islands are densely clothed with the most luxuriant verdure from the sea-beach to the summits of the mountains. While in a few islands, especially the comparatively barren ones (barren is only a comparative term as applied to any of the volcanic islands), there is sometimes grand and bold scenery, in most of them the jagged and precipitous rocks are so covered up and rounded off with the rich vegetation that they lose much of their grandeur. The atmosphere is so laden with moisture that ferns, club-mosses, and even small shrubs grow upon the faces of the steepest rocks. Mainly on this account the scenery can rarely be said to be grand; but nearly all these islands are truly beautiful. There is a freshness about the vegetation all the year round which is rarely seen in other portions of the world. The cocoa-nut palm groves, which are usually abundant on the low lands near the sea, always give a charm to the islands as they are approached. In addition to several species of palms, beautiful ferns, dracsenas, crotons, and other elegant foliage plants abound. Pines are found on some of the western islands. For flowers none of them will compare with the hedgerows and meadows of England. There are, it is true, many most beautiful and sweet-scented flowers, but they are not usually found in great profusion.

Fruits are abundant. Some of the indigenous kinds are good, and many of the best productions of other tropi-cal countries have been introduced and flourish. Oranges are very plentiful in many islands; also pine-apples, guavas, custard apples, and bananas. The mango has been introduced into some islands, and flourishes well. Most of these fruits have been introduced by missionaries. One of the fruits most abundantly used, both in a ripe state and cooked when unripe as a vegetable, is the Chinese banana, Musa Cavendishii. The first plant of this carried to the islands was in a case of plants given by the duke of Devonshire to the missionary John Williams when he returned from England to the Pacific shortly before he was killed on Erromanga. During the long voyage all the plants in the case died except this banana.

When it reached Samoa it was carefully cultivated by one of the missionaries and a stock of it was propagated. From the single plant all the Chinese bananas in Poly-nesia have sprung, and, that particular kind being greatly prized both by natives and foreign settlers, it is now grown largely wherever missionaries or traders have gone, and must produce annually hundreds of tons of nutritious food.

The natives live chiefly upon vegetable food. In most of the volcanic islands the taro (G'olocasia esculenta) is the most important food-producer. Next to this comes the yam (Dioscorea sativa). Probably next in importance to this are the plantains and bananas, then the bread-fruit (Artocarpus incisa) and arrowroot (Tacca pinnatiflda). The bread-fruit is more or less plentiful in most of the volcanic islands, and during one season of the year the natives very largely subsist upon it. It is not, however, by any means so nutritious as the taro or the yam. This vegetable is often spoken of in Britain as if it were a rich fruit, but one would as soon eat a raw potato as a raw bread-fruit. It has been over-estimated by many writers who have visited the Pacific. The present writer has noticed that the Samoans suffered in condition, that sickness among children was very common and the rate of mortality high during the bread-fruit season. Although the raw cocoa-nut is not eaten to any considerable extent by the natives of volcanic islands, this must not be omitted in an enumeration of the principal articles of their food supply, for it enters into the composition of most of their made dishes in the form of expressed juice or oil; the soft half-grown kernel is used as a kind of dessert, and the liquid from it, when the kernel is only half developed, is one of their principal beverages. The Ava, or Kava, a narcotic drink largely used, is made from the root of a pepper (Piper methysticum).

In some islands the cocoa-nut is the chief article of commerce. The fully-grown kernel is cut into slices, dried in the sun, and sold as " cobra," from which much of the palm oil of commerce is expressed. On many islands cotton is largely grown, and on a few, especially in the Hawaiian archipelago, sugar cultivation has made consider-able progress. Many other vegetable products might be utilized if there were a demand for them. The candle-nut (Aleurites triloba) is abundant everywhere near the coast. Coffee has not been grown to any considerable extent. Wild ginger and wild nutmegs are abundant on some of the islands. In some places indigo has been introduced, and has spread so much as to become a nuisance. All the islands have numerous valuable fibre-producing plants be-longing to the Urticeas and Malvaceae. But the probability is that, on these hot, moist, and fertile islands, cocoa-nuts, cotton, or sugar will always be the most profitable crops to cultivate for exportation.

The indigenous fauna of Polynesia is poor in mammals but rich in birds. Mammals are represented by rats and bats, the latter including the flying foxes (Pteropus). Some say pigs are indigenous, but they were doubtless introduced by early navigators. Horses and cattle have been introduced. They degenerate very rapidly, unless they are continually improved by newly-imported stock. Sheep and goats are introduced into some islands, but sheep do not usually thrive. Dogs are plentiful, being kept by most of the natives, who are naturally fond of domestic animals; but they degenerate greatly. Pigeons and doves, especially the fruit-eating pigeons (Garpophaga) and doves of the genus Ptilonopus, are abundant. The Garpophaga furnish a very important article of food in some of the islands. Some of the species of Ptilonopus are exceedingly beautiful. Megapodes are found in a few of the western islands ; the kagu (Rhinochetus jubatus) has its home on New Caledonia ; and in Samoa the Didunculus strigirostris has its habitat. This bird is remarkable as being the nearest relative of the extinct dodo. Some time ago it was rarely found, and was becoming extinct. It fed and nested on the ground, and was destroyed by cats and rats after they were introduced. Of late it has changed its habits : it now feeds, nests, and roosts upon trees, and is, in consequence, increasing in numbers. Certain non-venomous snakes are found in many of the islands. Insect life is abundant, and some of the butterflies are very beautiful.
The lagoons formed by the coral reefs around the islands invariably abound in fish, many of them most gor-geous in their colouring,—vying in this respect with the parrots of Australia. Fish form a very important part of the food supply.

One of the most wonderful creatures in the marine fauna of Polynesia is the palolo (Palola viridis), an annelid which appears upon the surface of the ocean, near the edge of the coral reef, at certain seasons of the year. The palolo are from 9 to 18 inches long, and about |th of an inch thick. They are eaten by the natives, and are esteemed a great delicacy. They live in the inter-stices of the coral reef, and are confined to a few localities. About 3 o'clock on the morning following the third quartering of the October moon they invariably appear upon the surface of the water ; generally they are in such quantities that they may be taken up by the handful. Soon after the sun rises they begin to break, and by 9 o'clock A.M. they have broken to pieces and disappeared. The morning following the third quarter of the November moon they again appear in the same manner, but usually in smaller quantities. After that they are not again seen until October of the next year. They appear thus to deposit their ova, which is done by the break-ing to pieces of the female worms; the males also break in the same manner, the ova being fertilized while floating in the water. Thus the parents are destroyed in propagating their species. The eggs gradually sink down to the reef where they are hatched. The young papolo then live about the reef until the next year, when they repeat the process. Year by year these creatures appear according to lunar time. Yet, in the long run, they keep solar time. This they do by keeping two cycles, one of three years and _one of twenty-nine years. In the short cycle there are two inter-vals of twelve lunations each, and one of thirteen lunations. These thirty-seven lunations bring lunar time somewhat near to solar time. But in the course of twenty-nine years there will be suffi-cient difference to require the addition of another lunation : the twenty-ninth year is therefore one of thirteen instead of twelve lunations. In this way they do not change their season during an entire century. So certain has been their appearance that in Samoa they have given their name to the spring season, which is vae-pialolo, or the time of palolo.

The Atolls.—The atolls differ in almost every respect from the islands of volcanic origin. Little that is said of oone class would be true of the other. These coral islands are all low, generally not more than 10 or 12 feet above high-water mark. They are simply sandbanks formed by the accumulation of debris washed on to the reefs during strong winds. Hence they are usually in the shape of a narrow band, varying from a few yards to one-third of a mile across, near the outer edge of the reef, with a lagoon in the centre. In some of the smaller atolls the circle of land is almost or entirely complete, but in most of those of larger dimensions there are breaks to leeward, and the sea washes freely over the reef into the lagoon. Where the circle of land is complete the sea-water gains access to the central lagoon through the reef underneath the islands. In some it bubbles up at the rise of the tide in the midst of the lagoons, forming immense natural fountains. This has been observed producing a specially fine effect at Nui in the Ellice group. Some of these atolls are not more than 3 or 4 miles in their greatest length. Others are many miles long. They are not all circular, but are of all conceivable shapes.

Two of the atolls known to the present writer are remarkable. The lagoons in them are of fresh water. One of these is Lakena in the Ellice group, the other Olosenga, or Quiros Island, in 11° 2' S. lat. and 171° W. long. Both are small circular islands, and in both the lagoon is shut off from the sea. Olosenga is less than 4 miles in diameter, the lagoon occupying over 3 miles, leaving a ring of land around it less than half a mile across. In some places the lagoon is at least 6 fathoms deep. This bulk of fresh water cannot, therefore, be the result of drainage. There is much to favour the opinion that both this island and Lakena are situated over tne craters of former volcanoes, and that there is submarine connexion between them and some of the larger islands situated on the volcanic ridge from which the body of fresh water must come. Olosenga is about 200 miles distant from Samoa. In that group mountain streams sometimes fall into chasms and totally disappear under-ground. In this way subterranean lakes may be formed in some of the cavities which we may suppose volcanic eruptions to leave. It is not difficult to suppose that there would be subterranean connexion between these lakes and an isolated crater 200 miles distant. If so, as the crater participated in the subsidence of the region on the edge of which it is situated, the water would rise in it until, if the supply were sufficient, it there found an outlet. This appears to be what occurs at Olosenga. The lake has never been properly examined and sounded. It is, however, of considerable depth in the centre, where the water is said sometimes to bubble up as if from a great spring, and at low tide it is seen to percolate through the sand on the outer or sea side of the land.

The vegetation of the atolls is extremely poor, not more than about fifty species of plants being found in the Tokelau, Ellice, and Gilbert groups, in all of which groups collec-tions have been made. All the species consist of littoral plants found in the volcanic islands. Most of them have their seeds enveloped in thick husks, which specially fit them for being carried by currents. Doubtless it is in this way that the atolls have received their flora. The cocoa-nut is abundant on most of these islands. This most useful palm will grow on any sandbank in the tropics, and it is benefited by having its roots in soil saturated with sea water. Unlike the natives of volcanic islands, those dwelling on the atolls eat the raw kernel of the nut in large quantities. Indeed that, with fish and the fruit of a screw-pine (Pandanus), constitutes the main food supply on some atolls. The people make the pulp of the pandanus into a kind of cake, in appearance much like a quantity of old dates. In some atolls a somewhat elaborate system of cultivation has been adopted, by means of which a coarse kind of taro, banana, the bread-fruit, &c, are grown. These low islands suffer much from drought, and the natural soil is nothing but sand. The people, therefore, form wide trenches by removing the sand until they get within about 2 to 3 feet of the sea-level. Into the trenches they put all the vegetable refuse and manure they can obtain, and, as there is more moisture at this level, those excavated gardens are comparatively fertile. Under the influence of a Christian civilization, which is growing, and by the introduction of new food-producing plants, the condition of the natives is improving; but they still suffer much at times from long-continued seasons of drought.

The fauna of the atolls consists mainly of a few birds, some lizards, and insects. Fish abound about the reefs, and most of the natives are deep-sea fishermen. In the Ellice Islands the people domesticate frigate-birds. Large numbers of these pets may be seen about the villages.

As the birds are accustomed to visit different islands when the wind is favourable, the people send by them small presents (fish-hooks, &c.) to their friends. Christian missionaries also occasionally use them as letter-carriers for communicating with one another.

Elevated Coral Islands.—There are comparatively few of the elevated coral islands in Polynesia, but they are so distinct from both the atolls and the volcanic islands that they need a separate description. They all lie within or near the lines marking off the volcanic ridge upon the map. South of the volcanic ridge there are many coral reefs forming shoals. The elevated coral islands doubtless were once such reefs. Lying within the area of volcanic action, they have participated in the upward movement, and have been raised from shoals to become islands. Some have evidently been lifted by successive stages and apparently by sudden movements. This is clearly seen in the Loyalty Islands. On approaching them one sees high coral cliffs, in appearance much like the chalk cliffs of England, except that they are often some distance inland and not close on the shore. The island of Mare may be taken as a good type of the class. Here, between the shore and the coral cliffs, there is a tract of level land varying from a few yards to perhaps one-fourth of a mile or more across. On this level tract the people mainly dwell. At the back of this there rises a perpendicular wall of coral, in some places as much as a hundred feet high. The cliff is water-worn, and has in it large caverns, showing that for a long period it was the coast-line. Still farther inland there are two similar though smaller cliffs, indicating that there were three distinct upheavals. These must have been at very long intervals. At present the island is fringed with a coral reef, and if it were now to be lifted from fifty to one hundred feet the present coast-line would form another cliff, while the present coral reef would form another low plot similar to that upon which the people now dwell. o*

These islands are old enough to have a considerable depth of vegetable soil upon them. The low land between the coast and the first cliff is well stocked with cocoa-nut and other trees. None of the islands can be compared with the volcanic islands for fertility, all having a less rich soil and being much drier; still they are fairly fertile. They suffer sometimes from drought, but are much less seriously affected in this way than the atolls.

The flora of the elevated coral islands is less rich than that oi the volcanic islands, but much richer than that of the atolls. The island of Niue may be taken as a fair specimen of this class. Its flora probably contains between 400 and 500 species, nearly all being such as are found on adjacent volcanic islands. The fauna is also much richer than that of the atolls, but poorer than that of the volcanic islands. Birds are numerous. While most of the species are identical with those found in neighbouring volcanic islands, there are some interesting local variations well illustrating the modifications which take place from isola-tion under changed surroundings. In some instances the differences are so great that local forms have been classed not only as varieties but as distinct species.

Climate.—-The climate of the islands varies considerably, as may be naturally expected when the wide area covered is remembered, and the vast difference there is between the islands themselves. Some, especially the elevated coral islands, are very healthy for tropical regions. Speaking generally, the average reading of the thermometer over a large extent of Polynesia is about 80° Fahr. It very seldom sinks lower than 60°, and, owing to the small size of most of the islands, and the prevalence of trade-winds during the greater portion of the year, the heat is always moderated, and rarely becomes intense. Yet, owing to the constant heat and to the humidity of the atmosphere, the climate in the mountainous islands is trying to the European constitution. But in this respect there is a great difference even between groups which, looked at superficially, appear to be similar, and which lie within almost the same parallels of latitude. All the islands eastward from and including Fiji are much more healthy than are those to the west. In the eastern section fever and ague are of rare occurrence; in the western section European missionaries do not find it expedient to remain for long periods on the islands owing to the weakening effects of frequent attacks of these diseases. The most remarkable thing is that natives of the eastern section suffer even more than Europeans when they go to live in the western islands, the mortality among them being very great. Numerous attempts have been made to evangelize the New Hebrides through the agency of natives of the Samoan, Cook, and Society groups ; but, owing to the great mortality among the agents, their efforts have failed. Yet these people have lived there under condi-tions very similar to those they were accustomed to at home, the heat being about the same, and the food similar, as well as the general mode of life. The causes of the difference are as yet unknown. Possibly the explanation will be found in differences of natural drainage. It has often occurred to the present writer, though only as an unverified theory, that the bases of these western islands are, like that of New Caledonia, of older formation, and that the islands are only superficially volcanic. If so, this may account for their unhealthiness as compared with the purely volcanic islands within the same parallels of lati-tude. In comparison with most tropical countries there is little dysentery in Polynesia; but this also is more com-mon in the west than in the east.

The elevated coral islands are always much more healthy than are those of volcanic formation in their immediate neighbourhood. They are drier, being always well drained, have much less dense vegetation, and receive the benefit of the trade-winds which blow right across them. They, however, sometimes suffer from drought such as is unknown on the volcanic islands. The atolls may be called'—if the term can be applied to tiny islets scattered over the expanse of ocean—the deserts of the Pacific. The soil being almost entirely sand, and the vegetation afford-ing little shade, the heat and glare, especially of those lying close to the equator, are exceedingly trying to European visitors. Being so low—only a few feet above the ocean—there is nothing to attract the clouds, and the rainfall is small. The islands are therefore subject to frequent droughts, which are sometimes of month's dura-tion ; and at such times even the fronds of the cocoa-nut palm get a shrivelled appearance, and the trees cease to bear fruit. Sometimes the people suffer greatly during these long-continued droughts, many being starved to death. At best their food supply is confined to cocoa-nuts, pandanus, fruit, and fish, but in times of drought they are forced to chew the roots of shrubs.

Hurricanes.—A great portion of southern Polynesia is subject to destructive cyclones. The tract over which they pass may be said to be, generally, that of the volcanic chain indicated by the lines on the map, although the northern edge of this region is not so subject to cyclones as the southern portion. A line drawn parallel to the lines of the map, through the middle of the New Hebrides group, and extending south of Fiji, will well represent the centre of the cyclone tract. The hurricane season is from December to April. Some islands are visited by a more or less destructive cyclone nearly every year; Samoa lies on the upper edge of the tract, and gets one, on an average, about every seven or eight years. Although these cyclones are not usually so severe as those which visit the seas of eastern Asia, they are often exceedingly destructive, sweeping almost everything down in their course. They last only a few hours. Heavy seas are raised in the line of progress, and vessels are generally exposed to greater danger when lying at anchor at the ports than when in the open sea. The cyclones are always accom-panied by considerable electric disturbances, especially when they are passing away.





Diseases.—Apart from the fever, ague, and dysentery already alluded to, there is comparatively little disease in any portion of Polynesia. The principal purely native diseases are such as affect the skin. A form of elephantiasis prevails more or less on all the damp mountainous islands. Many Europeans are subject to it, especially those who are much exposed to the sun by day and the dews by night. In some of the atolls where the people have little good vegetable food and eat a great quantity of fish, much of it often in a state unfit for food, skin diseases are even more common than in the mountainous islands. There are reputed cases of leprosy in the Gilbert Islands, and that disease is well known to be one of the scourges of the Hawaiian archipelago. Several European diseases have been introduced into the islands,—those which are epidemic usually, at the first visitation, working great havoc among the natives. Many in Europe and America appear to attribute the great mortality which occurs among native races, when an epidemic is introduced among them, to weakness and want of stamina in their constitution ; but a more probable explanation is found in the fact that, on the introduction of measles or smallpox, all the inhabitants of an island are suitable subjects, that the population of entire villages are prostrated at once, that there are no doctors or nurses, none even to feed the sick or to give them drink, and not even the most ordin-ary care is taken by the sufferers themselves to lessen the danger. In some islands, especially the Hawaiian group syphilis, first imported by Captain Cook's expedition, has wrought great havoc. It spread very rapidly, because, at that time, there was almost promiscuous intercourse between the sexes; and this has been one of the chief causes of the physical deterioration and of the rapid decrease of the natives of Hawaii. The disease has been introduced into other islands in later times through the visits of European and American sailors ; but, owing to the influence of Christian teaching, which has in many cases gone first and has produced a change for the better in the relations of the sexes, it has not generally spread.

Races.—There are three different kinds of people inhabiting the islands of Polynesia. The region occupied by each is indicated by one of the colours on Plate III., and in the subjoined table of Indo-Pacifie peoples the affinity of these races is exhibited. It will be seen that there are two broad and very distinct divisions,— the dark and the brown races. The dark people occupy Australia, the Andaman Islands, portions of the Indian archipelago, and western Polynesia, and have more or less remote affinity with the natives of South Africa. The brown people are found in Madagascar, the Indian Archipelago, Formosa, north-western and eastern Poly-nesia, together with New Zealand, and are clearly of Asiatic origin.

There are in Polynesia people who belong to both the dark and the light sections of the Indo-Pacific races. At present the dark are found only in the western islands as far as Fiji. In some islands they are considerably mixed with the lighter race, and in many places within the region occupied by them are colonies of the light people who keep themselves distinct. For this dark race the name Papuan is here used. They have generally been known of late years as Melanesians, but Papuan is an older name which has always been used for part of the race, and which clearly ought to be extended to the whole. The region which they inhabit is coloured yellow on the map, and the pink bands across it indicate the presence of some of the light race there.

The whole of eastern Polynesia is inhabited by a light brown people to whom the name Sawaiori is here given. They extend out of Polynesia to New Zealand. They have also formed colonies among the Papuans in various places, and in some instances they have become mixed in blood with the blacks among whom they have settled. The pink colour in the map indicates this region.

The third kind of people, here called Tarapon, inhabit the northern portion of western Polynesia, the islands generally known as Micronesia (coloured green on the map). found nearly seven hundred. He calls attention to the resemblance between the head of a Papuan, with his hair thus dressed, and the conventional representation of the hair in Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures, and to what Dr Livingstone says about the Banyai of South Africa, who dress their hair in a similar manner. When allowed to grow naturally, the hair of a Papuan is always frizzly. Some of the people have a considerable beard.

In the features of the Papuans there is considerable difference; but in a typical specimen the lips are thick, the nose is broad, often arched and high, and the jaws project; as a rule, the race is prognathous. They are generally small in stature, but in some islands are large. Where, however, they are of large size, we invariably find other evidence of their mixture with another race. Speaking, therefore, of typical Papuans, we may say they are small, with thin limbs, and are physically weak. In their natural condi-tion they are a savage people and are cannibals. They are broken up into hostile tribes, holding no intercourse with one another ex-cept by warfare. The languages or dialects spoken by them are very numerous, owing, no doubt, to their hostility towards one another, which has produced complete isolation. In grammatical structure there is considerable resemblance between their languages, but owing to long isolation the verbal differences have become very great. Several different dialects are often found on one island.

Among them women hold a very low position. Nearly all the hard work falls to their share, the men devoting themselves chiefly to warfare. The women cultivate the plantations, carry the burdens, and wait on the men. They take their food from the leavings of the men. Among most of them family life is not greatly elevated above the relationships existing among the lower animals, the relations between the sexes being of the most degraded character. There is, however, considerable affection often manifested towards their children. The Papuans are impulsive and demonstrative in speech and action. They are generally a wild, noisy, boisterous people, easily pleased and as easily offended. They differ so much in different islands, however, that it is extremely difficult to generalize concerning some of their characteristics. Many of them are decidedly low intellectually. On some islands they appear to be physically and intellectually a weak and worn-out race. Yet this must not be understood as applying to all. On some islands youths and men may be seen who are among the brightest and most intelligent-looking people in the Pacific. A vast difference exists between the natives of parts of the New Hebrides and those of the Loyalty Islands, the latter being much the finer. Mixture of blood may partly account for the difference. Difference _of physical surroundings, doubtless, also has something to do with it. The dry, comparatively barren, and cooler islands of the Loyalty group ought to have a finer people upon them than the malarious, hot, and moist islands of the New Hebrides. In Fiji some of the finest men in Polynesia are found, but many of the Fijians are considerably mixed with Sawaiori blood.

As a rule, the Papuans lack elaborate, historical traditions, poems, and songs, such as are invariably found among the Sawaiori race. They do not naturally possess much religious feeling or reverence, and their religious systems are little more than fetichism. In this respect, too, they present a marked contrast to the lighter race. In arts and manufactures they are comparatively low, although there are marked exceptions. Usually their houses are very poor structures. On many islands their canoes are of inferior construction. As a race they are indifferent navigators. Their arms are, how-ever, somewhat elaborately made; and most of them make a coarse kind of pottery. In some parts of the Solomon Islands the people 'build much better houses than are usually found among the Papuans, carving some of the woodwork rather elaborately. They also build good canoes or boats. In Fiji the natives build good houses and good boats, but there the people have learned some of their arts from the Sawaioris. It may be so also in the Solomon group. Indeed, throughout the whole of the Papuan region, there is evidence of more or less mixture of the two races. In some places there are pure colonies of Sawaioris, who keep themselves distinct from their darker-coloured neighbours; but in many other places the lighter immigrants have intermarried with the black race.

The following are some broad characteristics of the Papuan languages. Consonants are freely used, some of the consonantal sounds being difficult to represent by Roman characters. Many of the syllables are closed. There does not appear to be any difference between the definite and the indefinite article, except in Fiji. Nouns are divided into two classes, one of which takes a pro-nominal suffix, while the other never takes such a suffix. The principle of this division appears to be a near or remote connexion between the possessor and the thing possessed. Those things which belong to a person, as the parts of his body, &c, take the pro-nominal suffix; a tiling possessed merely for use would not take it. Thus, in Fijian the word luve means either a son or a daughter—one's own child, and it takes the possessive pronoun suffixed, as luvena; but the word ngone, a child, but not neces-sarily one's own child, takes the possessive pronoun before it, as nona ngone, his child, i.e., his to look after or bring up. Gender is only sexual. Many words are used indiscriminately, as nouns, adjectives, or verbs, without change; but sometimes a noun is indicated by its termination. In most of the languages there arc no changes in nouns to form the plural, but an added numeral indicates number. Case is shown by particies, which precede the nouns. Adjectives follow their substantives. Pronouns are numer-ous, and the personal pronoun includes four numbers—singular, dual, trinal, and general plural, also inclusive and exclusive. Almost any word may be made into a verb by using with it a verbal particle. The difference in the verbal particles in the different languages are very great. In the verbs there are causative, intensive or frequentative, and reciprocal forms.

II. The Sawaiori Race.—The brown people who occupy the islands of eastern Polynesia are generally regarded as having affinities with the Malays of the Indian Archipelago, and are sometimes spoken of as a branch of the Malay race, or family. They cannot, however, with any accuracy be so described. The Malays, as they now exist, are a comparatively modern people, who have become what they are by the mixture of several elements not found in the more primitive race. The Sawaioris and the Tarapons of Polynesia, the Malagasy (Hovas) of Madagascar, and the Malays are allied races, but no one of them can be regarded as the parent of the rest. The parent race has disappeared ; but the Sawaiori, as the earliest offshoot from it, and one which, owing to the conditions under which it has lived, has remained almost free from admixture of blood, may be taken as most nearly representing what the parent was. The relationship which these Malayo-Polynesian races bear to one another is seen from the "tree" on Plate III.

The absence of Sanskrit (or Prakrit) roots in the languages appears to indicate that the Sawaiori migration was in pre-Sanskritic times. Whether we can fix anything like a definite date for this may well be questioned. Mr Fornander has, how-ever, with great probability, traced back the history of the Hawaiians to the 5th century. He has studied the folk-lore of those islands exhaustively, and from this source comes to the con-clusion that the Sawaiori migration from the Indian Archipelago may be approximately assigned to the close of the first or to the second century. Most likely Samoa was the first group per-manently occupied by them. Owing to the admixture of the Sawaioris with the Papuans in Fiji some authorities have thought the first settlement was in those islands, and that the settlers were eventually driven thence by the Papuan occupiers. We can, how-ever, account for the presence of Sawaiori blood in Fiji in another way, viz., by the intercourse that has been kept up between the people of Tonga and Fiji. If the first resting-place of the Sawaioris was in that group, there is good reason to believe that Samoa was the first permanent home of the race, and that from Samoa they have spread to the other islands which they now occupy.

It used to be doubted whether these people could have gone from the Indian Archipelago so far eastward, because the prevailing winds and currents are from the east. But it is now well known that at times there are westerly winds in the region over which they would have to travel, and that there would be no insuperable difficulties in the way of such a voyage. The Sawaioris are invariably navigators. There is ample evidence that in early times they were much better seamen than they are at present. Indeed their skill in navigation has greatly declined since they have become known to Europeans. They used to construct decked vessels capable of carrying one or two hundred persons, wish water and stores sufficient for a voyage of some weeks' duration. These vessels were made of planks well fitted and sewn together, the joints being-calked and pitched. It is only in recent times that the construc-tion of such vessels has ceased. The people had a knowledge of the stars, of the rising and setting of the constellations at different seasons of the year. By this means they determined the favourable season for making a voyage and directed their course.

The ancestors of the Sawaioris were by no means a savage people when they entered the Pacific. Indeed their elaborate historical legends show that they possessed a considerable amount of civiliza-tion. Those who are familiar with these legends, and who have studied Sawaiori manners and customs, see many unmistakable proofs that they carried with them, at the time of their migration, knowledge and culture which raised them much above the status of savages, and that during their residence in these islands

race has greatly deteriorated. Some indications of their former condition will appear in the following account of the people.

The Sawaioris are, physically, a very fine race. On some islands they average 5 feet 10 inches in height. De Quatrefages, in a table giving the stature of different races of men, puts the natives of Samoa and Tonga as. the largest people in the world. He gives the average height of this race as being 5 feet 9'92 inches. They are well developed in proportion to their height. Their colour is a brown, lighter or darker generally according to the amount of their exposure to the sun,—being darker on some of the atolls where the people spend much time in fishing, and among fisher-men on the volcanic islands, and lighter among women, chiefs, and others less exposed than the bulk of the people. Their hair is black and straight; but in individual examples it is sometimes wavy, or shows a tendency to curl. They have very little beard. Their features are generally fairly regular; eyes invariably black, and in some persons oblique ; jaws not projecting, except in a few instances; lips of medium thickness ; noses generally short, but rather wide at the bases. Their foreheads are fairly high, but rather narrow. "When they are young many of the people of both sexes are good-looking. The men often have more regular features than the women. In former times more attention was paid to personal appearance and adornment among men than among the women.

As a race the Sawaioris are somewhat apathetic. They differ, however, in different islands, according to their surroundings. Most of them live in an enervating climate where nature is very lavish of her gifts. Hence they lead easy lives. On the more barren islands, and on those more distant from the equator', the natives have much more energy. Under certain circumstances they become excitable, and manifest a kind of care-for-nothing spirit. This is only occasionally seen, and chiefly in time of war, in a family dispute, or on some other occasion when they are deeply moved. In the time of their heathenism they were strict in their religious observances, and religion came into almost every action of life. They were, in most instances, with comparative ease led to accept Christianity, and this characteristic has remained under the new condition of things. They are a shrewd people, with quick intelligence, and they possess naturally a large amount of common sense. Where they have from early years enjoyed the advantages of a good education, Sawaiori youths have proved them-selves to possess intellectual powers of no mean order. They are almost invariably fluent speakers; with many of them oratory seems to be a natural gift; it is also carefully cultivated. A Sawaiori orator will hold the interest of his hearers for hours together at a political gathering, and in Ids speech he will bring in historical allusions and precedents, and will make apt quota-tions from ancient legends in a manner which would do credit to the best parliamentary orators. Many of them are very brave, and think little of self-sacrifice for others where duty or family honour is concerned.

The terms for family among this race are used in two senses— (1) of a household, and (2) of all blood relations on both the male and the female side, including the wife or the husband, as the case may be, brought in by marriage,—also those who have been adopted by members of the clan. In the following remarks the word family is used with the first moaning, and elan with the second. Each clan has a name which is usually borne by one of the oldest members, who is the chief or head for the time being. This clan system no doubt generally prevailed in early times, and was the origin of the principal chieftainships. But changes have been made in most of the islands. In some the head of one clan has become king over several. In many cases large clans have been divided into sections under secondary heads, and have even been subdivided. The different classes of chieftainships may probably be thus accounted for.

self-possession under trying circumstances the following may serve as a sample.

As a rule, near relations do not intermarry. In some islands this rule is rigidly adhered to. There have been exceptions, however, especially in the case of high chiefs ; but usually great care is taken to prevent the union of those within the prescribed limits of consanguinity. Children generally dwell with their kin on the father's side, but they have equal rights on the mother's side, and sometimes they take up their abode with their mother's family. The only names used to express particular relation-ships are father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister.

1 There is usually no distinction between brothers (or sisters) and cousins, all the children of brothers and sisters speak of each other as brothers and sisters, and they call uncles and aunts lathers and mothers. Above the relationship of parents all are simply ancestors, no term being used for grandfather which would not equally apply to any more remote male ancestor. In the same way there is no distinctive term for grandchild. A man speaks of his grandchild as his son or daughter, or simply as his child/ Polygamy was often practised, especially by chiefs, and also con-cubinage. In some places a widow was taken by the brother of her deceased husband, or, failing the brother, by some other relative of the deceased, as an additional wife. Divorce was an easy matter, and of frequent occurrence ; but, as a rule, a divorced wife would not marry again without the consent of her former husband. An adulterer was always liable to be killed by the aggrieved husband, or by some member of his clan. If the culprit himself could not be reached, any member of the clan was liable to suffer in his stead. In some islands female virtue was highly re-garded. Perhaps of all thè groups Samoa stood highest in this respect. There was a special ordeal through which a bride passed to prove her virginity, and a proof of her immorality brought dis-grace upon all her relatives. But in other islands there was much freedom in the relations of the sexes. Owing to the almost promiscuous intercourse which prevailed among a portion of the race, in some groups titles descended through the mother and not through the father. In Hawaii there was a peculiar system of marriage relationship, "brothers with their wives, and sisters with their husbands, possessing each other in common." There also,, especially in the ease of chiefs and chieftainesses, brothers and sisters sometimes intermarried. But these customs did not pre-vail in other groups. It is almost certain that they did not prevail in Hawaii in early times, but. that they were the result of that" deterioration in the race which their traditions and many of their customs indicate.

Women have always occupied a relatively high position among the Sawaioris. In most groups they have great influence and are treated with much respect, In some cases they take hereditary titles and hold high offices. As among their congeners in Mada-gascar, so also in parts of Polynesia, there may be a queen or a chieftainess in her own right ; and a woman in high position will command as much respect, and will exercise as great authority, as a man would in the same position. Everywhere infanticide prevailed ; in some of the smaller islands it was regulated by law in order to prevent over-population. It was also a very common practice to destroy the foetus, yet, .even before the reception of Christianity, parents were affectionate towards the children who were spared. The practice of adopting children was, and still is, common. Often there is an exchange made between members of the same clan ; but sometimes there is adoption from without. \ Tattooing generally prevailed among the men, different patterns being followed in different groups of islands. In some a larger portion of the body is tattooed than in others. A youth was con-sidered to be in his minority until he was tattooed, and in former times he would have no chance of marrying until he had, by sub-mitting to this process, proved himself to be a man. Puberty in the other sex was generally marked by feasting, or some other demonstration, among the female friends. Old age is generally honoured. Often an inferior chief will give up his title to a younger man, yet he himself will lose but little by so doing. The neglect of aged persons is extremely rare.





Morgan has founded one of his forms of family—the consanguine—on the supposed existence in former times among the Malays and Polynesians of the custom of "intermarriage of brothers and sisters, own and collateral, in a group." All the evidence he finds in support of this is (1) the existence of the custom above mentioned in Hawaii, and (2) the absence of special terms for the relation-ship of uncle, aunt, and cousin, this indicating, he thinks, that those were regarded as fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. He admits that " the usages with respect to marriage which prevailed when the system was formed may not prevail at the present time." But he adds, "To sustain the deduction it is 1 not necessary that they should" {Ancient Society, p. 408). Morgan has given special terms for grandfather and grandmother, because it would prove too much to show that the people had no grandfathers, &c. But these terms are used for ancestors of any generation. The terms used for grandchildren, in like manner, are used for any generation of descendants. He says (p. 406) the terms of husband and wife are used in common by a group of sisters or brothers, but the-fact is that'the words used for husband and wife in Hawaii simply mean male and female. In some islands there are terms used for wife in the most strict sense. The word wife is not used more exclusively among us than among somo Sawaiori people.

Property belonging to a clan is held in common. Each clan usually possesses land, and over this no one member has an exclusive right, but all have an equal right to use it. The chief or recog-nized head of the clan or section alone can properly dispose of it or assign its use for a time to an outsider ; and even he is expected to, obtain the consent of the heads of families before he alienates the property. Thus land is handed down through successive generations.

under the nominal control of the recognized head of the clan or section for the time being. Changes have been made in many islands in this respect; but there can be little reason to doubt that the joint ownership of property in clans was common among the entire race in former times.

In early times the head of each clan was supreme among his own people, but in all matters he had associated with him the principal men or heads of families in the clan. Their united authority extended over all the members and the possessions of the clan, and they were independent of every other clan. There are in some places vestiges of this primitive state of society still remain-ing ; the transition to a limited or to a despotic monarchy may be traced by means of the ancient legends in some islands, and in others it is a matter of recent history. One clan being more numerous and stronger than another, and its chief being ambitious, it is easy to see how by conquering a neighbouring clan he increased the importance of his elan and extended his own power. In some of the islands this transition process has hardly yet developed into an absolute monarchy. We may even see two or three stages of the progress. In one instance a certain clan has the right to nominate the principal chief over an entire district; though it is known as the ruling clan, its rule is mainly confined to this nomination, and to decision for or against war. In all other respects the district en-joys the privilege of self-government. In another case the nominal king over a district, or over an entire island, can be elected only from among the members of a certain clan, the monarchy being elective within that alone ; but this king has little authority. In other cases a more despotic monarchy has grown up—the prowess of one man leading to the subjugation of other clans. Even in this case the chiefs or heads of clans sometimes still hold their property and rule over their own people, only rendering a kind of feudal service and paying tribute to the king.

The Sawaioris are exceedingly fond of rank and of titles. Much deference is paid to chiefs and to persons of rank ; and special terms are generally employed in addressing these. Every part of a chiefs body and all his belongings have names different from those employed for common people. The grade of rank which a person occupies will often be indicated by the language in which he is addressed. Thus, in Samoa there are four different terms for to come:—sau is for a common man ; matin mai is a respectful term for a person without a title ; susu mai for a titled chief ; and afio mai for a member of the royal family. In addressing chiefs, or others to whom one wishes to be respectful, the singular number of the personal pronoun is rarely used; the dual is employed instead,—the dual of dignity or of respect. w

Offices and titles are seldom hereditary in our sense of the term, as descending from father to son. They are rather elective within ithe limits of the clan, or the division of a clan. A common practice is for the holder of a high title to nominate a successor ; and his nomination is generally confirmed by the chiefs, or heads of households, with whom the right of election rests. In ancient times the authority of a high chief or king did not usually extend to any details of government. But in Hawaii there are traditions of a wise king who interested himself in promoting the social well-being of the people, and made good laws for their guidance. Usually all matters affecting a district or an island were settled by the chiefs of the district, while those of a single village were settled by a council consisting of the chiefs and heads of house-holds in the village. In some islands each clan, or each village, would feel itself at liberty to make war on another clan or village, without consulting the views of any higher authority. Indeed the rule was for each clan or district to settle its own affairs. In the case of offences against individuals, either the person injured, or another member of his clan, would avenge the injury done. For most offences there was some generally recognized punishment— such as death for murder or adultery ; but often vengeance would fall upon another person instead of the wrongdoer. In avenging wrong, a member of the village or of the clan to which the offender belonged would serve equally well to satisfy their ideas of justice if the culprit himself could not be easily reached. Sometimes all the members of the family, or of a village, to which a culprit belonged would flee from their homes and take refuge in another village, or seek the protection of a powerful chief. In some places, in cases of crime, the members of the family or village would convey the culprit bound—sometimes even carrying him like a pig that is to be killed—and place him with apologies before those against whom he had transgressed. The ignominy of such a proceeding was generally considered sufficient atonement for the gravest offences. There were slaves in many islands, either persons conquered in war, or those who had been condemned to lose their personal liberty on account of evil conduct.

Pottery was not manufactured by the Sawaioris. When any of them possessed it they obtained it from the Papuans. In most of their manufactures they were, however, in advance of the Papuans. They made use of the vegetable fibres abounding in the islands, the women manufacturing cloth, chiefly from the bark of the paper mulberry (Morus papyri/era), but also in some islands from the bark of the bread-fruit tree, and the hibiscus. This in former times furnished them with most of their clothing. They also made various kinds of mats, baskets, and fans from the leaves of the pandanus, the bark of the hibiscus, from species of bohmeria or other Urticaceous plants. Some of their mats are very beauti-fully made, and in some islands they are the most valuable property the people possess. The people also use the various fibre-producing plants for the manufacture of ropes, coarse string, and fine cord, and for making fishing nets. The nets are often very large, and are netted with a needle and mesh as in hand-netting among our-selves. The Sawaioris are rather clever workers in wood. Canoe and house-building are trades usually confined to certain families. The large canoes in which they formerly made long voyages are no longer built, but various kinds of smaller canoes are made, from the commonest, which is simply a hollowed-out tree cut into form, to the finely-shaped one built upon a keel, the joints of the various pieces being nicely fitted, and the whole stitched together with cord made from the husk of cocoa-nuts. Some of the larger canoes are ornamented with rude carving ; and in some islands they are somewhat elaborately decorated with inlaid mother of pearl. The houses are generally well and elaborately made, but nearly all the ornamentation is put on the inside of the roof. The Sawaioris manufacture several wooden utensils for household use, such as dishes or deep bowls, "pillows" or head-rests, and stools. They also make wooden gongs, or drums, which they beat as they travel in their boats, in their dances, &c. They used to make wooden fishhooks, clubs, spears, and bows. They still make wooden fish-spears ; also carved and inlaid combs. They employ the bamboo for making drums and flutes. Formerly the knives the people used were made of bamboo, which is still sometimes used for that purpose. In the manufacture of these things they employed adzes made of stone, shell, or hard wood, and a wooden drill pointed with stone, shell, or bone. They made mother-of-pearl fishhooks, and they still use a part of those old hooks—or artificial bait—in combination with steel hooks, the native-made portion being generally shaped like a small fish. For water vessels, &c., they employ gourds and large cocoa-nut shells, in preparing which they put water into them and allow the pulp or the kernel to decay, so that it may be removed without breaking the rind or shell. Their drinking cups are made of half a cocoa-nut shell. Sharks' teeth, shells, and bamboo were formerly generally used as cutting instruments ; shaving was done with them, as well as surgical operations. They employ vegetable dyes for painting their bark cloth, calabashes, &c. In some islands they also use a red earth for this purpose. Their cloth is generally ornamented with geometrical patterns. Any drawings of animals, &c., which they make are exceedingly inartistic, and no attempt is made at per-spective. Their musical instruments are few and rude—consisting of the drums and flutes already mentioned, and shell trumpets.

The Sawaioris were all polytheists. Without doubt many of their gods are deified men ; but it is clear that some are the forces of nature personified, while others appear to represent human passions which have become identified with particular persons who have an existence in their historical myths.2 But the conception which they had of Tangaloa (Taaroa and Kanaloa in some islands) is of a higher order. Among the Tahitians he was regarded as "the first and principal god, uncreated, and existing from the beginning, or from the time he emerged from po, or the world of darkness."3 " He was said to be the father of all the gods, and creator of all things, yet was scarcely reckoned an object of worship."4 Dr Turner says, " the unrestricted, or unconditioned, may fairly be regarded as the name of this Samoan Jupiter."5

The worship of certain of the great gods was common to all the people in a group of islands. Others were fiods of villages or of families, while others were gods of individuals. The gods of clans were probably the spirits of the ancestors in their own line. In some islands, when the birth of a child was expected, the aid of the gods of the family was invoked, beginning with the god of the father. The god prayed to at the instant of birth became the god of the child. In other places the name of the child's god was declared when the umbilical cord was severed. 1 he gods were supposed to dwell in various animals, in trees, or even in inanimate objects, as a stone, a shell, &c. In some islands idols bearing more or less resemblance to the human shape were made. But in all cases the material objects were regarded simply as the abodes of the immaterial spirits of the gods.

Their temples were either national, for a single village, or for the god of a family. They were sometimes large stone enclosures (marae), sometimes a grove, or a house. The principal priests were a particular order, the priesthood being hereditary. In some cases, however, the father of a family was priest in his own household and presented offerings and prayers to the family god.

There was, in the Society Islands, a privileged class known as the Areoi. They were the special devotees of two celibate gods. They were not permitted to have children ; any children they possessed when they entered the society, and ail children subsequently born to them, were destroyed. The name Areoi became the synonym for all kinds of licence ; the party wandered about from place to place conducting obscene entertainments, and was feasted with the best of all the people possessed. There were seven regular grades among the Areoi society, besides an irregular class of attendants.

In some islands human sacrifices were of frequent occurrence ; in others they were offered only on very rare and exceptional occasions, when the demand was made by the priests for something specially valuable. The usual offerings to the gods were food. The system of tapu or tabu so common among the Sawaioris was connected with their religious rites. There were two ways by which things might become tapu,—(1) by contact with anything belonging to the god, as his visible representation or his priest. Probably it was thought that a portion of the sacred essence of the god, or of a sacred per-son, was directly communicable to objects which they touched. (2) Things were made tapu by being dedicated to the god ; and it is this form of tapu which is still kept up. If, e. g., any one wishes to preserve his cocoa-nuts from being taken, he will put something upon the trees to indicate that they are sacred or dedicated. They cannot then be used until the tapu is removed from them. Disease and death were often connected with the violation of tapu, the offended gods thus punishing the offenders. Disease was generally attributed to the anger of the gods. Hence offerings, &c., were made to appease their anger. The first-fruits of a crop were usually dedi-cated to the gods to prevent them from being angry ; and new canoes, fishing-nets, &c., were dedicated by prayers and offerings, in order that the gods might be propitious to their owners in their use.

The Sawaiori people invariably believe in the existence of the spirit of man after the death of the body. Their traditions on the condition of the dead vary considerably in different groups; yet there is a general agreement upon main points. Death is caused by the departure of the spirit from the body. The region of the dead is subterranean. "When the spirit leaves the body it is conveyed by waiting spirits to the abode of spirits. In most islands the place of descent is known. It is generally towards the west. In some tra-ditions there is a distinction between chiefs and common people in the spirit world. In others all are much alike in condition. Some traditions indicate a marked distinction between the spirits of warriors and those of others : the former go to a place where they are happy and are immortal, while the latter are devoured by the gods and are annihilated. In some, however, the spirits are said to live again after being eaten. Some speak of the abode of spirits as being in darkness ; but usually the condition of things is similar to that which exists upon earth. Amongst all the people it is believed that the spirits of the dead are able to revisit the scenes of their earthly life. The visits are generally made in the night, and are often greatly dreaded, especially when there may be any supposed reason for spite on the part of the dead towards living relatives. Some writers have connected cannibalism, where it existed among the Sawaioris, with religious customs. In the Cook and Society Islands, when a human being was offered as a sacrifice, the priest presented an eye of the victim to the king, who either ate it or pre-tended to do so. Probably the earliest human sacrifices were the bodies of enemies slain in battle. As it was supposed by some that the spirits of the dead were eaten by the gods, the bodies of those slain in battle may have been eaten by their victors in triumph. Mr Shortland appears to think that cannibalism among the Maories of New Zealand may have thus originated.1 Among the Sawaioris generally it appears to have been the practice at times to eat a por-tion of a slain enemy to make his degradation the greater. In several groups there is evidence that this was done. But where cannibalism was practised as a means of subsistence, it probably originated in times of actual want, such.as may have occurred during the long voyages of the people, when it was resorted to as a means of self-preservation. Being once accustomed to the practice, we can easily imagine how they might resort to it again and again in times of scarcity. The testimony of cannibals is that human flesh is the best of food, and among such a people there would not be strong moral reasons to restrain them from the indulgence.

The amusements of these people are very numerous. They are a light-hearted race, usually living under easy conditions of life, and they have a large amount of enjoyment. Some of their amuse-ments are boisterous and even savage, such as wrestling and boxing. In some islands they have a kind of "hockey" and foot-ball. They have running races, walking matches, and canoe-racing. One of their most exciting amusements is swimming in the surf. "When there is a moderate sea on, great numbers often join in this exercise and find immense pleasure in it. Throw-ing the javelin, throwing at a mark with slings, and archery are also practised. Some resort to cock-fighting. There are fishing matches ; and at a particular season large companies used to resort to pigeon-catching. In their houses they have a number of games. Betting is very often carried on in connexion with these. Much time is spent, especially after the evening meal, in asking riddles, in rhyming, &c. The recital of songs and myths is also a source, of great amusement; and on special occasions there is dancing. The night dances were generally accompanied by much indecency and immorality, and for that reason were discountenanced on the introduction of Christianity.

III. The Tampon Race.—These people have many points of resemblance to the Sawaioris, but, as a rule, they are of smaller stature and are less robust. They have straight black hair, which is more lank than that of the Sawaioris. The Tarapons, however, differ considerably from one another, and are evidently a mixed race. The natives of the Caroline Islands are larger than the Gilbert Islanders. They are also much lighter in colour ; they are more yellow, whereas the Gilbert Islanders are darker, than the Sawaioris. In many respects the Tarapons bear a much closer resemblance to the people of some portions of the Indian Archi-pelago than do the Sawaioris. It is the belief of the present writer that the bulk of the Tarapons are the descendants of people who, in comparatively recent times, migrated from the Indian Archi-pelago, and that since they have been in Polynesia they have become mixed with people of other races. There appears to be a little Papuan admixture. Those in the Caroline Islands, especially,, appear to have become mixed with Chinese and Japanese blood— probably more Japanese than Chinese. There are several well-authenticated instances of Japanese junks, with living people in them, having been found in various parts of the North Pacific. In 1814 the British brig "Forester" met with one off the coast of California (about 30° N. lat.), with three living men and fourteen dead bodies on board. In December 1832 a Japanese junk arrived at the Hawaiian Islands with four of the crew living. If these junks could cross the Pacific in the latitude of Hawaii it is not at all unlikely that others running*in a south-easterly direction would reach some of the many atolls which stretch over about 35° of longitude, forming the Caroline and Marshall archipelagoes.

The traditions of the Gilbert Islanders tell us that their islands, were peopled from the west and also from the east. Those who came from the east are expressly said to be from Samoa. Those from the west were more numerous than those from the east. There are also traditions of the arrival of other strangers at some of these islands. "When the present writer was at the island of Peru, in the Gilbert group, in 1869 there was still there the remnants of a large proah which, from the description given, appears to have been like those used in the Indian Archipelago. So far as we have materials for examination, craniometry confirms other evidence, and indicates that the Tarapon people are more mixed than either of the other Polynesian races.

All the Tarapon people are navigators, but, owing to the fact that upon their atolls they have little good timber, most of their canoes are inferior to those of the Sawaioris. Their houses are also inferior. Their arms are fairly well made. In the Gilbert Islands they manu-facture elaborate armour, to cover the entire body, from the fibre of the cocoa-nut husk. In the Caroline Islands very fine mats are made; and a hand-loom is used, with which a coarse cloth is made.

Among the Tarapons women occupy a lower position than among the Sawaioris. The difference is not, however, in the amount of work, or kind of drudgery, that is expected from them, but rather in the social and domestic influence they exert. The gods are chiefly the spirits of the great men of past ages. The chieftainship and priesthood are often combined in the same persons. They are strict in the observance of their religious rites. The shrines of their gods are very numerous. In every house he visited in the Gilbert Islands, the present writer saw either a small circle or a square formed with pieces of coral or shells ; this was neatly covered with broken coral and shells from the beach, and in the centre stood a block of coral representing the god. These were the household shrines. In various places about the islands there were similar squares or circles, only larger, for the gods of villages or districts. Offerings of food were presented to them, and often the stones were garlanded with wreaths of cocoa-nut leaves. Some embalm their dead—especially the bodies of beloved children. Women often carry the skulls of deceased children, hung by a cord around the neck, as a token of affection.

In the Tarapon languages consonants are more freely used than in the Sawaiori. They have consonantal sounds which are not found in the latter, such as ch, dj, and sh. Closed syllables often occur ; occasionally doubled consonants are used, but among some of the people there is a tendency to introduce a slight vowel sound between them. Most words take the accent on the penult. In some languages there appears to be no true article ; but in the Gilbert Island language the Sawaiori te is used for both the definite and the indefinite article. Gender is sexual only. Number in the noun is either gathered from the requirement of the sense, or is marked by pronominal words, or numerals. Case is known by the position of the noun in the sentence, or by prepositions. In the language of Ebon, one of the islands in the Marshall archipelago, nouns have the peculiarity which is characteristic of the Papuan languages: those which indicate close relationship—as of a son to a father, or of the members of a person's body—take a pro-nominal suffix which gives them the appearance of inflexions. The present writer is not aware of the existence of this in any other Tarapon language, but would not make too much of this negative evidence. Many words are used indiscriminately as nouns, adjec-tives, or verbs without any change of form. In some languages the personal pronouns are singular, dual, and plural. In others there are no special dual forms, but the numeral for two is used to indicate the dual. In the Ebon language there are inclusive and exclusive forms of the personal pronouns which, so far as has been ascertained, do not occur in any of the other Tarapon languages. The verbs usually have no inflexions to express relations of voice, mood, tense, number of person,—such distinctions being indicated by particles. In the Ebon language, however, the tenses are some-times marked ; but in that the simple form of the verb is frequently given. All have verbal directive particles. In Ponape, one of the Caroline Islands, many words of ceremony are used in address-ing chiefs, as they are used in Samoa. The custom of tabooing words is also found there as it is in the Sawaiori languages. For further particulars respecting the Tarapons, see MICRONESIA.

Missions.—The first mission was commenced in Tahiti by the agents of the London Missionary Society in 1797. Since then that society has continued and extended its labours until it now occupies the Society, Cook, Austral, Tuamotu, Samoan, Tokelauan, and Ellice groups, and several isolated islands, all peopled by the Sawaiori race, besides other islands in the Papuan and Tarapon areas. With the exception of a portion of the Tuamotu archi-pelago, all the people in the groups mentioned are now nominal Christians. There are only three groups peopled by the Sawaioris where the London Missionary Society's agents do not labour ; and two of these are efficiently occupied by other societies—Hawaii mainly by the American Board, and Tonga by the Wesleyan Mis-sionary Society. These two groups are also entirely Christian. The Marquesas Islands have not been Christianized, but are partly occupied by missionaries from Hawaii. There are, therefore, only two groups peopled by the Sawaioris where any heathen are found at the present day. An estimate of the number of this people, based upon actual counting in many islands, would be about 179,000, of which number about 161,500 are nominal Christians, leaving about 17,500 still heathen. Of the Papuans a smaller proportion are Christians. In Fiji and Rotuma the great majority of the population have become nominal Christians through the labours of Wesleyan missionaries. The Wesleyans have also successfully laboured in Duke of York Island, near New Britain. In the Loyalty islands most of the people have embraced Christianity through the labours of the London Missionary Society's agents,—a part, however, being Roman Catholics. Aneityum in the New Hebrides has become wholly Christian through the agency of Presbyterian missions. In a few other islands in the New Hebrides, also in Banks and Santa Cruz groups, small com-panies of converts have been gathered by the Presbyterian and the Episcopal (Melanesian) missions. The rest of the people in the Papuan area in Polynesia are still savages, and most of them are cannibals. The population of this area may be estimated at about 600,000. Of this number about 130,000 are nominal Christians. Excluding the inhabitants of the Ladrone and Pelew Islands, the Tarapon people maybe estimated at about 84,000. The agents of the Hawaiian Board of Missions (taking the place of the American Board, under whose auspices the missionaries first laboured in this region) are the most numerous here, occupying portions of the Gilbert, Marshall, and Caroline Islands. Six atolls south of the equator in the Gilbert group are occupied by native missionaries from Samoa in connexion with the London Missionary Society. The number of nominal Christians in these groups is about 38,000. The aggregate population of Polynesia may thus be estimated at 863,000, of whom 539,500 are heathen and 323,500 are nominal or baptized Christians. From the records of the various missionary societies it appears that out of this number 69.605, or very nearly one-fifth, are communicants.

In addition to the missionary societies already mentioned, which have done the main work in the evangelization of the Polynesians, there are French Protestant missionaries in Tahiti, and Protestant Episcopal clergymen in Hawaii and in Fiji. There are also in many islands French Roman Catholic missionaries; but these have a comparatively small number of adherents.

Wherever the missions have been planted schools have also been established, and the people have received more or less education. On the Christian islands nearly all the people can now read, most can write, and a large proportion are acquainted with the elements of arithmetic. General education, thus far, is much more common on those islands than it is at present in the British Isles. Advanced schools have been founded in connexion with some of the missions, and many of the native youths have shown considerable aptitude for some of the higher branches of knowledge. In most of the larger groups colleges for the education of native ministers have long been conducted. In these colleges, in addition to Biblical exegesis and theology, other subjects, such as history and elemen-tary science, are taught. Many of the European and American missionaries have devoted themselves largely to literary work in the vernacular of the islands where they reside. Next to the translation of the Scriptures and the preparation of lesson books for the common schools, they have either translated works on history, science, &c, or they have written such books as they found the natives to need. In nearly every group occupied by the Sawaiori race there is now a considerable vernacular literature, embracing elementary works on most branches of knowledge. Amongst the other races the literature is of much smaller extent. The entire Bible has been translated into five of the principal Sawaiori languages of Polynesia. The entire New Testament, and a considerable portion of the Old, has been translated into a sixth language, besides smaller portions into others. The American Bible Society has supplied the Bibles for the Hawaiian Islands. Many portions of the Scriptures for other islands have been printed either in the islands or in Australia. Of the number of copies thus circulated no record is easily accessible, but the British and Foreign Bible Society has issued 153,462 entire Bibles or New Testaments in the Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, Rarotongan, and Niuéan languages. As among this race one translation serves for an entire group, and in some cases for two or three groups, nearly all the people possess the Scriptures. In no part of the world is the Bible more read than it is by these islanders ; and it has not been necessary to give the Scriptures to them without charge in order to induce them to read.

In many islands the pastoral work is now mostly done by native ministers,—the foreign missionaries who remain devoting them-selves to superintendence, higher education, and literature. The native pastors are always supported by the voluntary gifts of the people to whom they minister. The people also build their own churches and schools, and meet all the expenses connected with public worship and education, upon the voluntary principle. No portion of Christendom is better supplied with religious instruction than the Christianized islands of Polynesia, and nowhere is there more regard paid by the people generally to Sabbath observance, to public worship, and to other outward duties of religion. Family worship is almost invariably observed.

With all this, too many of the people are religious only in name ; and in the neighbourhood of ports, where casual visitors usually see and judge the native character, there are some who have added many of the white man's vices to their own. But in estimating the influence of Christianity upon these people we should remember that only about one-fifth of the nominal Christians are communi-cants. If they be judged fairly, taking into consideration their past history and the short time they have been under Christian influence, the present writer is convinced that the verdict will be favourable as compared with any Christian people in the world. Every one will admit that social, moral, and spiritual reformations, are not completed in a generation, but require time to bring them to maturity.

Population—its alleged Decrease.—There is a general notion abroad that in all the islands of Polynesia the native races are rapidly decreasing ; and this supposed fact is sometimes attributed to the missionaries. The alleged diminution, however, is a general conclusion from particular premises, and facts drawn from wider observations do not confirm it. The question of the decrease of population in these islands is a wide one, which cannot be fully discussed within the limits of the present article ; but a few general observations, and a few particular facts, may help to throw some light upon it. (1) The estimates of population made by the first European or American visitors to Polynesia were far too high. In nearly all islands the people live almost entirely upon the coast; hence it was an error to reckon the inland portions as having a population proportionate to the number of people seen upon the coast. Then, when the visits of foreign ships were a novelty, the people from other districts would crowd to the place where the ships anchored to see them. Thus the population of particular villages was over-estimated. In the last edition of this Encyclo-pedia the population of Samoa is said to be variously estimated at from 160,000 to as few as 38,000. It is now known that even the lowest estimate was somewhat over the actual number. Most of the other groups were also greatly over-estimated. Hence the decrease of population in any of the islands since they have become known is not so great as it is supposed to be. (2) Those who have resided in Polynesia, and who have made observations on the subject, know that previous to the introduction of Christianity there had been a great decrease in the population of most of the islands. There are numerous evidences that they were formerly much more thickly peopled. Wars, infanticide, human sacrifices, and canni-balism are doubtless among the causes of depopulation. (3) Where the scourge of syphilis had not spread before Christianity was received, and the love of ardent spirits has not corrupted the people, there the population has generally increased. It is found from a record of births and deaths in some parts of Samoa, and from periodical census returns as a result of actual counting from the whole of that group, that, apart from the destruction caused by war, the population there increases at the rate of about 1 per cent, per annum. Although Samoa has suffered more from internecine wars than any other Christian group in Polynesia, there are more natives now living there than when they were first counted in 1843, the number then being 33,901. The increase in Tonga has been 25 per cent, in twenty years. On the island of Niue the in-crease is more than 3 per cent, per annum. On several other groups there has been increase, though figures are not available. The rapid decline of population in Hawaii is entirely exceptional.

Commerce.—Information on this subject, as far as it is available, is given in the special articles on particular groups. The following is a fair specimen of the kind and extent of the commerce which has grown in Polynesia since Christianity has made the islands safe and profitable places for the residence of traders. From Cook Islands, containing a population of about 8000, and three atolls which lie north of that group, viz., Tongareva, Eakaanga, and Manihiki, with a population of about 4000, the exports during 1883 were 150 tons of cotton free from seeds, 50 tons of coffee, 1000 tons of copra, 84 tons of pearl shell, and about 100,000 gallons of lime juice, besides 5000 crates of oranges, containing about 300 per crate. Mr Gill estimates the market value of this produce at £50,000,—more than £4 per head for the native population. Part is purchased by merchants in Tahiti, and part goes to Auckland, New Zealand. There are not many islands whence fruit is exported, although, if there were markets within a few days' sail, a large quan-tity of fine oranges, pine-apples, and bananas might be provided. In 1878 the figures collected by the present writer relating to the trade in Samoa, Tonga, and several other islands in that neighbour-hood, showed that the exports averaged annually about £4 each for the entire population, and that the imports were only a little less.

Prehistoric Remains.—The most remarkable of these are on Easter Island, which lies at the south-eastern extremity of Poly-nesia, nearly 2500 miles from South America. This island is of volcanic formation, and is about 11 miles long by 4 miles wide. The present inhabitants belong to the Sawaiori race. Here are found immense platforms built of large cut stones fitted together without cement. They are generally built upon headlands, and on the slope towards the sea. The walls on the sea-side are, in some of the platforms, nearly 30 feet high and from 200 to 300 feet long, by about 30 feet wide. Some of the squared stones are as much as 6 feet long. On the land side of the platforms there is a broad terrace with large stone pedestals upon which once stood colossal stone images carved somewhat into the shape of the human trunk. On some of the platforms there are upwards of a dozen images now thrown from their pedestals and lying in all directions. Their usual height is from 14 to 16 feet, but the largest are 37 feet, while some are only about 4 feet. They are formed from a grey trachytic lava found at the east end of the island. The top of the heads of the images is cut flat to receive round crowns made of a reddish vesicular tuff found at a crater about 8 miles distant from the quarry where the images were cut. A number of these crowns still lie at the crater apparently ready for removal, some of the largest being over 10 feet in diameter. In the atlas illustrating the voyage of La Perouse a plan of the island is given, with the position of several of the nlatforms. Two of the images are also represented in a plate. One statue, 8 feet in height and weighing 4 tons, was brought to England, and is now in the British Museum. In one part of the island are the remains of stone houses nearly 100 feet long by about 20 feet wide. These are built in courses of large flat stones fitted together without cement, the walls being about 5 feet thick and over 5 feet high. They are lined on the inside with upright slabs, on which are painted geometrical figures and repre-sentations of animals. The roofs are formed by placing slabs so that each course overlaps the lower one until the opening becomes ab^ut 5 feet wide, when it is covered with flat slabs reaching from one side to the other. The lava rocks near the houses are carved into the resemblance of various animals and human faces, forming, probably, a kind of picture writing. Wooden tablets covered with various signs and figures have also been found. The only ancient imple-ment discovered on the island is a kind of stone chisel, but it seems impossible that such large and numerous works could have been executed with such a tool. The present inhabitants of Easter Island know nothing of the construction of these remarkable works ; and the entire subject of their existence in this small and remote island is a mystery.

On the island of Tonga-tabu, Tonga group, there is a remarkable monument. Two large rectangular blocks of stone, about 40 feet in height, stand perpendicularly, with a large slab lying across from one to the other. On the centre of the horizontal stone is a large stone bowl. The island upon which this monument is found is of coral formation slightly elevated. These immense stones must therefore have been conveyed thither by sea. The present inhabit-ants know nothing of their history, or of the object which they were intended to serve.
In Ponapé, one of the islands of the Caroline group, there are extensive ruins, the principal being a court about 300 feet in length, the walls of which are formed of basaltic prisms and are about 30 feet in height. Inside, on all four sides, next the wall is a terrace 8 feet high and 12 feet wide. The court is divided into three by low walls, and in the centre of each division there is a covered chamber 14 feet square. The walls above the terrace are 8 feet thick, and some of the stones are 25 feet long by 8 feet in circumference. The basaltic columns of which this structure is built were apparently brought a distance of 10 miles from the central ridge of the island. There are other ruins of smaller extent on Ponapé, and also on the island of Kusaie in the same group. Ponapé and Kusaie are remnants of larger islands which have been partially submerged. While the smaller islands around which the coral polypes built up the atolls have disappeared, these two remain as monuments of the past.

North-west from Ponapé, in the Mariana or Ladrone Islands, there are other remains in the shape of stone columns about 14 feet high, with a semi-globular stone nearly 6 feet in diameter on the top of each, the rounded side being uppermost.

Thus in four different and widely separated parts of Polynesia there are relics of prehistoric people. These together form one of the greatest puzzles the ethnologist has to deal with. (S. J. W.)


Footnotes

- Hazlewood's Fijian Grammar, pp. 8 and 0.
3 Baron W. von Humboldt's name, Malayo-Polynesian, is here retained as a convenient term to include all these people, from Madagascar to Polynesia.
4 It is possible to make too much of the absence of Sanskrit (or Prakrit) roots, since, as remarked by Dr Rost, " there may have been no occasion for the intro-duction of ready-made terms into the language." Still the migration may be tentatively put ?tl pre-Sanskritic times.
5 The Polynesian Race, vol. i. p. 168.

3 Dr Lewis H. Morgan in Ancient Society, pp. 419-423, makes the Sawaioris to. have distinctive terms for grandfather, grandmother, grandson, and grand-daughter. In this he is entirely mistaken. It is evident from his own lists that the Hawaiian kupuna means simply an ancestor. In like manner moopuna simply means a descendent of any generation after the first.
2 The following recent books may be consulted on this subject:—Rev. W. W. Gill's Myths and Songs from the South Pacific; Dr Turner's Samoa; and Mr Shortland's Maori Religion and Mythology.
3 Polynesian Researches, vol. i. p. 323.
4 Tahitian Dictionary. 5 Samoa, p. 52.

1 Maori Religion and Mythology, p. 26.



The above article was written by: Rev. S. J. Whitmee.



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