« ForrigeFortsæt »
carried to the king's marly, about a quarter of a mile off, and placed upon the ground before the house, as well as four or five wooden cars or sledges full of yams, each holding about five hundred. While this was doing, and the people assembling from all quarters, those who were already arrived sat themselves down round the king's marly. Occasionally some of them got up to amuse themselves and the rest of the company by wrestling with one another. The king and his chiefs, all dressed in plaited gnatoo, were already seated in the house, viewing what was going forward. The company being, at length, all arrived, and having seated themselves, the king gave notice that the ceremony was to begin. The young chiefs and warriors, and those who prided themselves in their strength, then got up singly, and endeavoured in turns to carry off the largest hog: when one failed, another tried; then a third, and so on, till every one, that chose, had made a trial of his strength. To carry one of the largest hogs is not a thing easy to be done, on account of its greasiness as well as its weight; but it affords a considerable share of diversion to see a man embracing a large fat baked hog, and endeavouring to raise it on his shoulder. As the hog was found too heavy for
one man's strength, it was carried away by two, whilst a third followed with its liver. They were deposited on the ground near Tooitonga's marly, where the men waited till the other hogs were brought. In the mean time the trial was going on with the second hog, which being also found too heavy for one man, was carried away by two in like manner; and so on with the third, fourth, &c., the largest being carried away first, and the least last. The second, third, fourth, &c. afforded more sport than the first, as being a nearer counterbalance with a man's strength. Sometimes he had got it nearly upon his shoulder, when his greasy burden slipped through his arms, and, in his endeavour to save it, brought him down after it. It is an honour to attempt these things, and even the king, sometimes, put his hand to it. The small hogs and pigs afforded no diversion, as they were easily lifted and carried away, each by one man, and deposited, not at the outside of Tooitonga's marly along with the largest hogs, but carried at once into it, where the cars of yams were also dragged one at a time. When every thing was thus cleared: from the king's marly, the company got up and proceeded to the other marly, where they again seated themselves, whilst Tooi
tonga presided, and the king and his chiefs, out of respect, sat on the outside of the ring among the great body of the people. The large hogs which had been deposited in the neighbourhood of the marly were now to be brought in, each by one man, and, as it had been found that one man's strength was not sufficient to raise any of them upon his shoulders, two others were allowed to list the hog and place it upon his shoulders for him, and then he tottered in with his load, followed by another man with the liver; and in this man
; ner all the hogs and their livers were carried in and deposited in two or three rows before Tooitonga. Their number was then counted by the head cooks of Tooitonga and Finow, and announced aloud to Tooitonga by his own head cook; the number of cars and piles of yams was also announced at the same time.
This being done, about twenty of the largest hogs were carried to Tooitonga's buryingplace, nearly an hundred yards distant: those which were too heavy for one man to lift being put upon his shoulders by two others, &c., as before, and deposited near the grave; one car of yams was also taken and left in like manner.
This portion of pork and yam being disposed of, the remainder was shared out in the
following manner: one column of yams was allotted to the king, to be removed in the afternoon, and to be disposed of as he pleased: (he always shares it among his chiefs and fighting men :) another column was allotted to Veachi * and two or three other chiefs: the third was given to the gods; (the priests always take care of this portion ;) and the fourth Tooitonga claimed for his own share. As to the cars of yams, they were never inquired after: Tooitonga generally takes care of them, and appropriates them to his own use, and that of his numerous household, not that he has any legal right to them beyond custom and silent consent. The hogs were disposed of in like manner : the greatest quantity to the greatest chiefs, who share them out to the chiefs immediately below them in rank, and these again to their dependants, till every man in the island gets at least a mouthful of pork and yam. The ceremony now concluded with dancing, wrestling, &c. after which, every person present having secured his portion, retired to his home to share it with his family. From this
* Veachi, like Tooitonga, is a divine chief, that is, descended from a god; he is, however, inferior to Tooitonga, but higher in rank than the king: see second vol. of the work.
moment' the taboo, or prohibition upon hogs, fowls, and cocoa nuts, was null and void.
The hogs and yams left at Tooitonga's grave, having remained there several days, (till the pork stunk,) were shared out, by order of Tooitonga, to all who chose to apply for a portion. They belong indeed properly to the principal chiefs; but as they are accustomed to feed upon meat in a better state of preservation, they forego their claims, and allow the lower orders to eat it for them. Mr. Mariner could not learn why the pork was thus left till it was scarcely eatable—the only answer he could get was, that such was the ancient custom. It may be considered an offering to Tooitonga's ancestors, which it would be sacrilegious to take away while it was good for any thing.
Finow had three daughters, the eldest of whom, now about eighteen years of age, had been long betrothed to Tooitonga, who having expressed his wish that the marriage should take place, Finow gave orders for the necessary preparations, about five days after the above-mentioned ceremony. Tooitonga was now about forty years of age. The particulars of this chief's marriage, which was somewhat different