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there be a person in the circle who has made a present of the cava, the first cup is given in compliment to him. · At large cava parties, very few, in proportion to the immense multitude present, get served with this infusion. But there must always be enough for the superior circle and for their relations, who may be either in the inferior or exterior: which latter, who for reasons before given do not sit in the upper circle, are served nevertheless in the order of their rank or nearly so.
Ceremony of Máchi. This word means literally a share or portion of any thing that is to be or has been distributed out: but in the sense here mentioned, it means that portion of the fruits of the earth, and other eatables, which is offered to the gods in the person of the divine chief Tooitonga; which allotment is made once just before the yams in general are arrived at a state of maturity, those which are used in this ceremony being of a kind which admit of being planted sooner than others, and consequently they are the first-fruits of the yam sea
The object of this offering is to insure the protection of the gods, that their favour may be extended to the welfare of the nation generally, and in particular to the productions of the earth, of which yams are one of the most important.
The time for planting most kind of yams
ís about the latter end of July; but the species called ca-ho-cá-ho, which is always used in this ceremony, is put in the ground about a month before, when on each plantation there is a small piece of land chosen and fenced in for the purpose of growing a couple of yams of the above description.
Nawgia is the ceremony of strangling children as sacrifices to the gods, for the recovery of a sick relation. An instance is recorded when for the murder of a chief, the priest declared that it was necessary a child should be strangled to appease
anger of the gods. The chiefs then held a consultation, and came to the determination of sacrificing a child of Toobo Toa by one of his female attendants. Toobo Toa was present, and gave his consent that his child (about two years old) should be immolated, to appease the anger of the gods, and turn aside their vengeance for the sacriligeous crime committed. The child was accordingly sought for: but its mother, thinking her child might be demanded, had concealed it. Being at length found by one of the men who were in search of it, he took it up in his arms, smiling with delight at being taken notice of. Its poor mother wanted to follow, but was held back by those
about her. On hearing its mother's voice it began to cry; but when it arrived at the fatal place of its execution, it was pleased and delighted with the band of gnatoo that was put round its neck, and looking up in the face of the man who was about to destroy it, displayed in its beautiful countenance a smile of ineffable pleasure. Such a sight inspired pity in the breast of every one; but fear, and veneration for the gods, was a sentiment superior to every other, and its destroyer could not help exclaiming, as he put on the fatal bandage, Oyaooé chi vale ! ( poor little innocent!') Two men then tightened the cord by pulling at each end, and the guiltless and unsuspecting victim was soon relieved of its painful struggles. The body was then placed upon a sort of hand-barrow supported upon the shoulders of four men, and carried in a procession of priests, chiefs, and matabooles, clothed in mats, with wreaths of green
leaves round their necks. In this manner it was conveyed to various houses consecrated to different gods, before each of which it was placed on the ground, all the company sitting behind it, except one priest, who sat beside it, and prayed aloud to the god that he would be pleased to accept of this sacrifice as an atonement for the heinous sacrilege committed, and that punishment might accordingly be withheld
from the people. All this was done before each of the consecrated houses in the fortress, and the body was then given up to its relations, to be buried in the usual manner.
The ceremony of nawgia (or strangling) used to be performed upon the chief widow of Tooitonga, on the day of her husband's burial, that she might be interred with him. Two Tooi. tongas were buried during Mr. Mariner's time; one on his first arrival, and the other (i.e. the last) a few months before he came away. The first of these two, however, had no chief wife, i.e. he had no wife at all, or else none that was of so high a rank as to take the charge of his household, and be the mistress over the others : consequently after his death no such ceremony was performed. The last Toointonga's wife (the daughter of the late king, and sister of the present) was not subjected to this inhuman rite, thanks to the good sense of the late and present king. When old Finow was living, he used to say that if Tooitonga died before his wife, she should not be strangled. « What,” said he, “ is the use of destroying a young and beautiful woman? Who is there dare say that the gods are merciless and cruel ? My daughter shall not be strangled.”
Tootoo-nimo, or cutting off a portion of the little finger, as a sacrifice to the gods for the
recovery of a superior sick relation. This is very commonly done, so that there is scarcely a person living at the Tonga islands but who has lost one or both, or a considerable portion of both little fingers. Those who can have but few superior relations, such as those near akin to Tooitonga, or the king, or Veachi, have some chance of escaping if their relations are tolerably healthy. It does not appear that the operation is painful. Mr. Mariner has witnessed more than once, little children quarrelling for the honour (or rather out of bravado) of having it done. The finger is laid flat upon a block of wood, a knife, axe, or sharp stone is placed with the edge upon the line of proposed separation, and a powerful blow being given with a mallet or large stone, the operation is finished.
Tootoo is burning the body in spots with lighted rolls of tápa.
Láfa, burning the arm in about six places, each in form of five or six eccentric circles.
Toogi, beating the cheeks and rubbing off the cuticle with cocoa-nut husk, or some sort of plait wound round the hand.
Foa ooloo, wounding the head and cutting the flesh in various parts with knives, shells, clubs, spears, &c., in honour of the deceased, and as a testimony of respect for his memory and fidelity to his family.