Billeder på siden

them to his seat, when, after a while, they were taken by others, who used them in like manner.

After these savage expressions of sorrow had been continued for nearly three hours, the prince, having first signified his intentions to Voona, for reasons before stated, gave orders that the body of his father should be taken to Felletoa to be buried. In the first place, a bale of gnatoo was put on a kind of hurdle, and the body laid on the bale: the prince then ordered that, as his father was the first who introduced

guns in the wars of Tonga, the two carronades should be loaded and fired twice * before the procession set out, and twice after it had passed out of the marly'; he gave directions also that the body of Finow's daughter, lately deceased, should be taken out of the fytoca, in the model of a canoe, and carried after the body of her father; that during his life as he wished always to have her body in his neighbourhood, she might now at length be buried with him. Matters being thus ar

* It should be mentioned that the young prince had now in his possession only two carronades, the other two being at the Hapai islands with Toobo Toa. But then Toobo Toa had only half a barrel of gunpowder, and no iron shct, whereas the prince had seven or eight barrels, and a considerable number of balls.

ranged, Mr. Mariner loaded the guns, and fired four times with blank cartridge. The procession then went forward ; the wives of the deceased and women attendants proceeded first in silent sorrow, next followed the body of Finow, the body of his daughter, the matabooles, and lastly the young prince and his retinue. When the procession had got out of the fortress, (the marly, of which we are speaking, being in the middle of the fortress of Neafoo) and had passed the place where the guns were drawn up, Mr. Mariner fired two more rounds, then loaded them with canister shot, lighted a match, to keep in readiness in case of need, and ordered the guns to follow the procession, whilst he went last to see that they were properly drawn. It was not the prince's intention to order another salute, but he had previously told Mr. Mariner to load them again, not with blank cartridge but with shot, and to carry a lighted match in his hand, for “ perhaps,” said he, " we may have need of it.” This, it may be easily seen, was a measure of policy; he ordered them to be fired that he might have a plea for carrying them in the procession along with him, and he ordered them to be loaded a third time, as if they were to be in readiness for another salute at the grave, but in fact for

his own safeguard, lest certain chiefs should take the opportunity to revolt.

In the course of two hours they arrived at Felletoa, where the body was laid in a house on the marly at some distance from the grave, till another and smaller house could be brought close to it*; and this was done in the course of an hour, the corner posts being taken up, the four pieces which compose the building (a kind of shed in a pyramidal form, the eaves reaching within four feet of the ground) were brought by a sufficient number of men, and put together at the place where it was wanted.

This being done, the body was brought on the same hurdle or hand-barrow to the newly erected building, (if it may be so termed), and then, being taken off the hurdle it was laid within, on the bale of gnatoo, and the house was hung round with black gnatoo, reaching from the eaves to the ground t. The women,

* The body is always placed in a house in front of the fytoca during the time the grave is dug: if there be no house near, a small one is immediately brought for the purpose, which, from the construction of their houses, is readily done by the aid of 50 or 60 men,

+ This black gnatoo, or rather gnatoo of a dark colour, having a deep brown ground with black stripes, is not chosen on account of its colour, but because it is coarse and common (emblematical of poverty and sadness). . They have a

who were now all assembled and seated round the body, began a most dismal lamentation, similar to that at Neafoo; in the mean time a number of people, whose business it is to prepare graves, were digging the place of interment within the fytoca, under the direction of Lanagi, a mataboole whose office is to superintend such affairs. Having dug about ten feet; they came to the large stone vault, such as was described in the note p. 153; a rope being then fastened double round one end of the stone, which always remains a little raised for this parpose by means of certain bodies placed underneath ; it was raised by the main strength of 150 or 200 men, pulling at the two ends of the rope, towards the opposite edge of the grave, till it was brought up on end. The body, being oiled with sandal-wood oil and then wrapped in Hamoa mats, was handed down on a large bale of gnatoo into the grave; the bale of gnatoo was then, as is customary, taken by the before mentioned mataboole as his perquisite. Next, the body of his daughter, in the model of a canoe, was let down in like manner and placed kind of gnatoo of very superior quality, but of the same colour and pattern, and this is used on Oceasions of rejoicing VOL. I.


by his side. The great stone was then lowered down with a loud shout. Immediately certain matabooles and warriors ran like men frantic round and about the fytoca, exclaiming, “Alas!. “ how great is our loss! Finow! you are “ departed; witness this proof of our love and

loyalty !” At the same time they cut and bruised their own beads with clubs, knives, axes, &c.

The whole company now formed themselves into a single line, the women first and afterwards the men, but without any particular order as to rank, and proceeded towards Lico (or the back of the island, as they term it, because there is no opening for large canoes), for the purpose (as customary) of getting a quantity of sand in small baskets, for the use directly to be described. The guns were not

This grave, which was considered a large one, is capacious enough to hold thirty bodies. Two bodies which Mr. Mariner saw there, and which were in a very dry but perfect state, had been buried, as he was told by old men, when they were boys, and consequently must have been there upwards of forty years ; while several others, of which nothing remained but the bones, had not been buried so long: this circumstance the natives suppose to be owing to different kinds of constitution, though, in all probability, to the kind or length of disease of which they died.

« ForrigeFortsæt »