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over informed the matooa, or overseer, that he
had invested Mr. Mariner with full power to
dispatch any of them with the club that failed
in their duty, or neglected in any respect to
shew proper attention to their new master. To
this, in the usual form, they all returned thanks
to the king for the new chief he had been
pleased to appoint over them, and expressed
their hopes that they should never deserve
punishment by any want of respect towards the
"stranger chief." As soon as Mr. Mariner
entered upon his new possessions, he gave
orders to get ready a large bale of gnatoo, which
he sent to Finow as a present.
About a month after this a canoe came from
one of the neighbouring small islands, bringing
intelligence that a large dead spermaceti whale
had drifted on a reef, off Vavaoo. Immediately
all the chiefs ordered their canoes to be launched,
that they might witness this unusual sight; and
Mr. Mariner went along with them. They
found the whale in a very bad state, half de-
cayed, and sending forth no very agreeable
odour : this however was a circumstance they
did not much regard, their object being the
teeth, of the substance of which they make a
kind of necklace, by cutting it into smaller
pieces, each preserving the shape of a whale's

tooth, from an inch to four inches long, having a hole in the broadest part, through which they are closely strung, and put round the neck; the largest being in front, and the others de

creasing in size on each side, up to the back

of the neck; so that, when drawn close, their

pointed extremities spread out, and form a very agreeable ornament upon their brown skins,

and is much prized by them, on account of its

scarcity as well as beauty. This has given rise to the accounts which voyagers have given that

they wear teeth round their necks, whereas

they are only forms of teeth cut out of the tooth

of the whale ; and it is astonishing with what

neatness they do this, making as little waste as

would be possible to do with much better

instruments than what they possess; which is

nothing, in general, but a common shaped

European chisel, or a piece of a saw, or in de

fect of these, a flattened nail rendered sharp:

before they procured iron from European ships,

they made use of a sharp stone. This kind of

ivory they also use to inlay their clubs with, as well as their wooden pillows (see p. 135:) the high price set upon these ornaments will be exemplified in the following account, which Finow, on this occasion, gave to Mr. Mariner. A short time after the revolt at Tonga, when Finow first became sovereign of Hapai and Vavaoo, news was brought him of a large dead whale being drifted on a reef, off a small island, inhabited only by one man and his wife; who had the cultivation of a small plantation there. Finow immediately sailed for this place, and finding the teeth taken from the whale, questioned the man about them, who thereupon went to his house, and taking down a basket from the roof presented it to him, but in it were only two teeth. The man protested that he put them all there, and knew nothing more about them; and taxing his wife with having concealed them, she acknowledged that she had secreted one, and brought it to him, from a place in which no others were found ; but this she assured him was all she had taken. The man defended his innocence on the plea that the teeth would be of no use to him ; for being poor, he could not sell them for any thing else, since every chief who could afford to give their value would question his right to them, and take them from him : and, for the same reason, he could not wear them. Finow was not satisfied with this plea, and being unable to make them confess by fair means, he threatened them both with death: the man still protesting his innocence, Finow ordered him to be immediately dispatched with a club ; which being done, he again threatened the woman, and she as strongly protested her innocence: but when the club which had just ended the life of her husband was raised over her own head, she acknowledged that she had concealed another tooth, and accordingly brought it from a different place ; and being unable or unwilling to produce any more, she shared the same fate. Finow's conduct here seems very cruel; but however, we are to place a great deal to the account of the state of society in which he lived ; and at the same time, we must consider that robbery is punished with death in other countries, as well as in Tonga. But what is most worthy of reflection is the strong hold which that ridiculous passion avarice takes of the human mind, which sometimes disposes a man to suffer death rather than part with what he cannot or will not ever make use of Both the man and woman, in all probability, were guilty; the woman certainly was ; and yet she could bear to see her husband sacrificed before her face rather than confess all she knew of the matter, and entreat mercy for him at least, if not for herself. The remainder of these teeth were discovered a long time afterwards, by the particular intervention (as the natives will have it) of the gods. A few years had elapsed, when there being occasion to build and consecrate a house to some god, on the island of Lefooga, it was taken into consideration what valuable article should be deposited beneath its foundation, according to the custom on such occasions. They were about to get ready a large bale of gnatoo for this purpose, when the inspired priest of the god declared it to be the wish of the divinity to have some whale's teeth; and that there were several buried together on the small island just spoken of, in such a particular spot: which place being referred to and dug up, the teeth were found in a perfect state. This discovery was most firmly and most piously believed to have been made by the sacred interposition of the god himself, who inspired his favoured priest with the requisite knowledge to make it.

In the Fiji islands, whales' teeth are held, if possible, in still greater estimation, for it would be dangerous there for a man, unless he be a great chief, and even then, if he were a foreigner, to be known to have a whale's tooth about him; the personal possession of such a valuable property would endanger his life: the axe, or the club, on some unlucky occasion, would deprive him of it for ever, and of his life too.

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