« ForrigeFortsæt »
part of them to be sent to the tabooed women; and they were accordingly carried and placed on the ground, at some distance from the grave, or else laid down before the temporary house, to which the chief of the tabooed women retires to be fed ; and she orders them to be distributed to the different chiefs and matabooles, who again share them out in the usual way. The fifth and tenth days of such a ceremony are, however, marked by a greater quantity of provision than ordinary being sent, for which they give no reason but that of custom. On the twentieth day there is also an unusually large quantity sent; and this is by way of finishing the funeral ceremony. With these provisions they also send every day a supply of tomes *, to light up the fytoca during the night: these tomes are held by a woman, who, when fatigued with this office, is relieved by another: those who take the light into their charge are of the lower ranks. They, as well as the others, when not oppressed by sleep, in general spend their time in talking upon indifferent subjects. During these twenty days also, if any one passes the fytoca, he must not proceed in his ordinary careless way, swinging his arms, but with a slow pace, his head
* The tóme is a sort of torch.
bowed down, and his hands clasped before him, if he have no burden; and if he have, he must lower it, (from his shoulder for instance,) and carry it in his hands, or upon his bended arms:—but if he can conveniently do it, he will go a circuitous route, to avoid the grave. Here it may be observed, that, on all occasions, when a man with a burden passes a great chief, or the grave of a great chief, particularly if there is any one near to see him, he lowers his burden out of respect. Every day also, one or more approach, and sit before the grave for two or three hours, beating their faces with their fists, or bruising their heads with clubs, in which latter case they stand up*. These are the uniform and essential circumstances which always take place during this part of the ceremony of burying chiefs, we now come to speak of those which were peculiar to this particular instance.
On the day after the deceased How was put in the ground, the principal chiefs and matabooles requested the prince to intimate to
* Finow's chief widow, Mooonga Toobó, every morning, attended by her women, cut the grass short before the grave with knives and sharp shells, sweeping away leaves and loose blades with brooms' made of the stem of the cocoa-nut leaf : they also procured sweet-scented plants, principally the jiále, and planted them before the grave.
Voona, and certain other chiefs, their wish that they should go to the Hapai islands: this he did ; but, at the same time, gave them liberty to stop till the funeral ceremony was concluded. Voona received this intimation in a becoming manner, acknowledging the impropriety of his stay, if the people were any way jealous of his presence. The prince apologized for this step, urging the wish of his people as his sole motive ; and expressed, withi great warmth, his wish that he who had been so long his friend and companion would still remain his associate.
The following day, at a general assembly of the chiefs and matabooles, after the cava was prepared, and the two first cups handed out, the third, which, according to custom, is presented to the chief who presides, was next filled ; and when an attendant, as usual, declared aloud that the cup was filled, all eyes were fixed on the prince, whilst the mataboole who sat next to him exclaimed, “ Give it to Finow!”—and it was accordingly banded to him, whilst he assumed an appearance of perfect unconcern at the name by which; for the first time, he was called *. And this was a matter of no small importance; for 'had he
• See note, p. 383.
appeared elated at this circumstance, he would have been thought a man of a weak mind, little calculated to be a supreme chief: whereas the character of such a personage should be, in their estimation, (and very rightly too,) that of superiority over the influence of petty passions, and such trifling emotions as are fit only for the vulgar tribe of mankind. As soon as all the cava was served out and drunk, Finow addressed the company to the following purport.
“ Listen to me, chiefs and warriors - If any among you are discontented with the present state of afairs *, -now is the time to
go to Hapai ; for no man shall remain at « Vavaoo with a mind discontented and wan
dering to other places. I have seen with
sorrow the wide destruction occasioned by “ the unceasing war carried on by the chief
now lying in the marly; and what is the ós result the land is depopulated ! it is over
grown with weeds, and there is nobody to “ cụltivate it: the principal chiefs and warriors
are fallen, and we must be contented with the
society of the lower class. What madness ! “ is not life already too short? Would not a
* Or, as he expressed it in the Tonga language, “ with the way in which we sit here."
“ man's time be better employed in increasing • his pleasures and happiness? What folly “ then to seek for war to shorten that which is " already too short! Who is there among us “ who can say, “I wish to die--I am weary of “ life?' Have we not then been acting like those "S of no understanding? Have we not been madly “ seizing the very thing which deprives us of “ what we really want? Not that we ought to ba" nish all thoughts of fighting! If any power “ approach us with the front of battle, and
attempt to invade our rights, our fury and “ bravery shall be excited more, in proportion “ as we have more possessions to defend. Let
us therefore confine ourselves, as much as
possible, to the cultivation of our own land ; “ for as it is more than sufficient to maintain “ us, why seek for any other? But perhaps I " am not speaking to you wisely! the old ma“ tabooles are present; if I am wrong,
let ç them say so.
I am but young, and, on that “ account, should be unfit to govern, if my “ mind, like that of the deceased chief, sought « not the advice of others : for your loyalty “ and fidelity towards him, however, I return
you my sincere thanks. Finow Fiji, who " is present, knows that I consult both him " and the matabooles as to matters of govern