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is thrown away. The inner bark is then rolled up lengthwise, and soaked in water for another day; it now swells, becomes tougher, and more capable of being beaten out into a firm texture: being thus far prepared, the operation of tootoo, or beating, commences. This part of the work is performed by means of a mallet a foot long, and two inches thick, in the form of a parallelopipedon, two opposite sides being grooved longitudinally to the depth and breadth of about a line, with intervals of a quarter of an inch. The bark, which is from two to five feet long, and one to three inches broad, is then laid upon a beam of wood about six feet long, and nine inches in breadth and thickness, which is supported about an inch from the ground by pieces of wood at each end, so as to allow of a certain degree of vibration. Two or three women generally sit at the same beam; each places her bark transversely upon the beam immediately before her, and while she beats with her right hand, with her left she moves it slowly to and fro, so that every part becomes beaten alike; the grooved side of the mallet is chiefly used first, and the smooth side afterwards. They generally beat alternately: early in the morning, when the air is calm and still, the beating of gnatoo at all the planta
tions about has a very pleasing effect; some sounds being near at hand, and others almost lost by the distance, some a little more acute, others more grave, and all with remarkable regularity, produce a musical variety that is very agreeable, and not a little heightened by the singing of the birds, and the cheerful influence of the scene. When one hand is fatigued, the mallet is dextrously transferred to the other, without occasioning the smallest sensible delay. In the course of about half an hour it is brought to a sufficient degree of thinness, being so much spread laterally as to be now nearly square' when unfolded; for it must be observed, that they double it several times during the process, by which means it spreads more equally, and is prevented from breaking. The bark thus far prepared is called fetagi, and is mostly put aside till they have a sufficient quantity to go on at a future time with the second part of the operation, which is called cocanga, or printing with coca. When this is to be done, a number employ themselves in gathering the berries of the toe, the pulp of which serves for paste; but the mucilaginous substance of the mahod root is sometimes substituted for it: at the same time others are busy scraping off the soft bark of the cocatree and the tooi-tooi tree, either of which when wrung out, without water, yields a reddish brown juice, to be used as a die. The cobe'chi, or stamp, is formed of the dried leaves of the páoongo sewed together so as to be of a sufficient size, and afterwards embroidered, according to various devices, with the wiry fibre of the cocoa-nut husk*; they are generally about two feet long, and a foot and a half broad: they are tied on to the convex side of half cylinders of wood, usually about six or eight feet long, to admit two or three similar operations to go on at the same time. The stamp being thus fixed, with the embroidered side uppermost, a piece of the prepared bark t is laid on it, and smeared over with a folded piece of gnatoo dipped in one of the reddish brown liquids before mentioned, so that the whole surface of the prepared bark becomes stained, but particularly those parts raised by the design in the stamp: another piece of gnatoo is now laid on it, but not quite so broad, which adheres by virtue of the mucilaginous quality in the die, and this, in like manner, is smeared
• Making these cobechis is another employment of the wo. men, and mostly women of rank.
+ The edges of the beaten bark, which is generally hard, knotty, and ragged, are cut off straight.
over; then a third in the same way; and the substance is now three layers in thickness : others are then added to increase it in length and breadth, by pasting the edges of these over the first, but not so as there shall be in any place more than three folds, which is easily managed, as the margin of one layer falls short of the margin of the one under it. During the whole process each layer is stamped separately, so that the pattern may be said to exist in the very substance of the gnatoo; and when one portion is thus printed to the size of the cobechi, the material being moved farther on, the next portion, either in length or breadth, becomes stamped, the pattern beginning close to where the other ended. Thus they go on printing and enlarging it to about six feet in breadth, and generally about forty or fifty yards in length. It is then carefully folded up and baked under ground, which causes the die to become somewhat darker, and more firmly fixed in the fibre; besides which, it deprives it of a peculiar smoky smell which belongs to the coca. When it has been thus exposed to heat for a few hours, it is spread out on a grassplat, or on the sand of the sea-shore, and the finishing operation of toogi hea commences, or staining it in certain places with the juice of the hea, which constitutes a brilliant red varnish ; this is done in straight lines along those places where the edges of the printed portions join each other, and serves to conceal the little irregularities there ; also in sundry other places, in the form of round spots, about an inch and a quarter in diameter: after this the gnatoo is exposed one night to the dew, and the next day being dried in the sun, it is packed up in bales to be used when required. When gnatoo is not printed or stained, it is called tapa.
They make also an inferior kind of gnatoo of the bark of young bread-fruit trees, which, however, is coarse, and seldom worn, but is chiefly used for various purposes at funerals.
The whole of these operations are performed by women : the embroidering of the cobechis, or stamps, is always done by women of rank.
In respect to mat and basket-making, they have mats of various kinds, made of strips of leaves or bark selected, dried, and otherwise prepared ; all of which, except one or two of a coarser kind, are fabricated by women. The following are the names and qualities of them.
Gnafi gnafi, mats to wear, of a finer quality, made of the leaves of the fa, or paoongo, that