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who manages the bowl now begins his difficult operation. In the first place he extends his left hand to the further side of the bowl, with the fingers pointing downwards and the palm towards himself: he sinks that hand carefully down the side of the bowl, carrying with it the edge of the fow; at the same time his right hand is performing a similar operation at the side next to him, the fingers pointing downwards and the palm presenting outwards. He does this slowly from side to side, gradually descending deeper and deeper, till his fingers meet each other at the bottom, so that nearly the whole of the fibres of the root are by these means enclosed in the fow, forming as it were a roll of above two feet in length lying along the bottom from side to side, the edges of the fow meeting each other underneath. He now carefully rolls it over, so that the edges overlapping each other, or rather intermingling, come uppermost. He next doubles in the two ends and rolls it carefully over again, endeavouring to reduce it to a parrower and firmer compass. He now brings it cautiously out of the fluid, taking firm hold of it by the two ends one in each hand (the back of the hands being upwards), and raising it breast high with his arms considerably extended, he brings his right hand towards his breast, moving it gradually onwards; and whilst
his left hand is coming round towards his right shoulder, his right hand partially twisting the fow, lays the end which it holds upon the left elbow, so that the fow lies thus extended upon that arm, one end being still grasped by the left hand. The right hand being now at liberty, is brought under the left fore arm (which still remains in the same situation), and carried outwardly towards the left elbow, that it may again seize in that situation the end of the fow. The right hand then describes a bold curve outwardly from the chest, whilst the left comes across the chest, describing a curve nearer to him and in the opposite direction, till at length the left hand is extended from him and the right approaches to the left shoulder, gradually twisting the fow by the turn and flexures principally of that wrist. This double motion is then retraced, but in such a way (the left wrist now principally acting) that the fow instead of being untwisted, is still more twisted, and is at length again placed upon the left arm, while he takes a new turn and less constrained hold. Thus the hands and arms perform a variety of curves of the most graceful description. The muscles both of the arms and chest are seen rising as they are called into action, displaying what would be a fine and uncommon subject of study for the painter, for no combination of
animal action can develop the swell and play of the muscles with more grace and with better effect. The degree of strength which he exerts when there is a large quantity is very great, and the dexterity with which he accomplishes the whole, never fails to excite the attention and admiration of all present. Every tongue is mute and every eye is upon him, watching each motion of his arms as they describe the various curvilinear turns essential to the success of the operation. Sometimes the fibres of the fow are heard to crack with the increasing tension, yet the mass is seen whole and entire, becoming more thin as it becomes more twisted, while the infusion drains from it in a regularly decreasing quantity, till at length it denies a single drop. He now gives it to a person on his left side, and receives fresh for from another in attendance on his right, and begins the operation anew, with a view to collect what before might have escaped him; and so on even a third time, till no dregs are left, save what are so fine and so equally diffused through the whole liquid as not to be thus separated.
During the above operation, various people in the exterior circle are employed making cavacups of the unexpanded leaf of the banana tree, which is cut into lengths of about nine inches. Each piece being then unfolded, is nearly square,
The two ends are next plaited up in a particular manner, and tied with a fibre of the stem of the leaf, forming a very elegant cup, not un worthy of imitation.
In the meanwhile also the fono, or provisions to be eaten with the cava, is also shared out. This generally consists of yams, ripe bananas, or plantains, in sufficient quantity that each in the superior circle may have a small portion to eat after his dish of cava.
The infusion of cava being now strained, the performance of which generally occupies about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, the man at the bowl calls out good ma he caváne, • the cava is clear.' The mataboole replies, fucca tow · squeeze out,' alluding to the peculiar operation of filling the cups. Two or three from the inferior or exterior circle now come forward and sit down near the bowl, bringing with them and placing on the ground several of the
cups. One then rises and holds with both hands a cup to be filled, standing a little on one side and holding the cup over the middle of the bowl, so that his body does not obstruct the view of those at the top of the superior circle. The man who manages the bowl fills the cup by dipping in a portion of fow rolled together, and which when replete with the liquid he holds over the cup, compressing it so that the infusion
falls into it, to the quantity of about a third of a pint. The one who has the cup now turns and stands a little on one side with his face towards the chief: at the same time one of those who have been described sitting by the side of the bowl, and employed fanning it, cries out with a loud voice, cava gooa heca, “ the cava is deposited (i. e. in the cup). The mataboole replies angi ma, ‘give it to - naming the party who is to have it; who hearing his name announced, claps the hollow part of his hands together twice (unless it be the presiding chief), to signify where about he is seated. The cupbearer then advances and presents it standing: unless it be a great chief at Tooitonga's cava party, when he presents it sitting,
We must now describe the order in which the different individuals in the company are served, which is a most important part of the ceremony, and requires all the attention of the presiding mataboole. It must be noticed as a general rule, that the chief at the head of the circle receives either the first or the third cup : the third cup, however, is properly his due. The first, according to old established custom, the mataboole orders to be given to his fellow mataboole on the other side of the chief, unless there be a chief or mataboole from another island in company, it is then given to him as being a visitor. · If