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The whale of which we have been speaking as just found was, for the most part, in a very corrupted state; there were, however, some places where it was not quite so bad ; and as whale's flesh was rather a novelty, (and as novelty is often a provocative of appetite) the lower orders managed to make a meal of it.
Another month now elapsed without any important circumstance occurring, when there arrived from the Fiji islands four canoes, bringing a Tonga mataboole, named Cow Mooala, and his retinue, who had been absent from Tonga about fourteen years: but a narrative of this person's adventures at foreign islands will best form a chapter of itself.
Cow Mooala's narrative—His early residence at the Fiji
islands—Is drifted to Fotoona on his return to TongaParticular customs of Fotoona—Arrives at Lotooma on his return to Fiji—Character of the people Popular tale of two giants—Arrives at Navihi Levoo, one of the Fiji islands—Character of the people— Their cannibalism -Observations Sails for the island of Pau, the most important of the Fiji islands: its traffic, Account of an European vessel wrecked there—Anecdote of a gigantic lizard, (probably a crocodile) which did much mischief at a neighbouring isle: stratagem used to destroy it—Farther account of Pau.—Description of several customs of the Fiji islands—Description of the island of Chichia, and its strong fortress: some account of its war with Pau—Description of a cannibal feast--Feast given by Finow on Cow Mooala's return to Tonga.
Cow Mooala went out to the Fiji islands with a number of young men, for the sake of an excursion, and to mingle in the wars of those people; sometimes at one island, sometimes at another, from the same motives probably as actuated Tooi Hala Fatai : (see p. 74). After having been absent about two years, he set sail on his return home, and having arrived within sight of Vavaoo, the wind became unfavourable to land, and the sea running very high, he was obliged to change his course, and make for Hamoa, (the Navigator's islands ;) but the wind soon increasing to a heavy gale, drifted him to the island of Fotoona, situated to the N.W. of Hamoa. As soon as the natives of this place observed his approach, a number of small canoes, (for they were not in possession of sailing canoes,) came from the shore to meet him ; and, consistently with the laws and customs of the island, took possession of his canoe, and all his property. It forms an important part of the religion of this island to consider every thing that arrives there, whether of great or little value, as the property of their gods; no matter whether it be a large canoe, or a log of wood. It is first offered to the gods by the priest, with an appropriate address *, and is afterwards shared out among the chiefs. This spoliation is believed to be necessary for the welfare of the country; lest the gods should send a sickness among them, and cut them off, for infringing upon this great doctrine of their religion. This seems a very arbitrary law, and likely to have been invented for the purpose of plundering strangers, under the mask of religion; this, however, is not absolutely the case; for although they strip all strangers, without distinction, that come within their power, yet in return they fit them out with other canoes, (entirely at the expense of the chiefs who shared the plunder;) and supply them with so much of the produce of the island as may be necessary to support them in their way home; together with presents of their gnatoo, mats, tortoise-shell, &c.; and withal behave very kindly : but not one single article that has been taken from them, however small the value, is again returned, even with the most earnest entreaty.
* This is the method of making offerings to the gods in Tonga; and, as Cow Mooala made no mention of any thing particular in this ceremony, among the people of Fotoona, it is presumed to be conducted in the same way.
Cow Mooala's canoe was laden with sandal wood *, esteemed a very rich commodity at Tonga, but not one splinter of it was ever returned to him ; although the natives of Fotoona could make no use of it, not having adopted the practice of oiling themselves. His canoe was dragged on shore, broken to pieces, and offered up
* Sandal wood is of the growth of one of the Fiji islands, called Pau, and of only one spot upon this island, called Vooía. It has, indeed, been planted upon other of the Fiji islands, hui without coming 10 any state of perfection. It has also been inspanted to the 'Tonga islands, but with as little success: for the wood thus produced possesses little or no scent, and consequently is unfit for their purpose, viz. to perfume the oil with which they anoint themselves.
to the gods ; afterwards the planks were shared out among the chiefs, who devoted them to the purpose of building smaller ca. noes, one large canoe making four small ones. They seem to have no inclination to visit distant islands, and never therefore build large canoes for themselves; and consequently have no personal knowledge of any country but their own, except a few individuals among them, who have gone away with strangers from motives of curiosity, in large canoes built for the purpose.
Cow Mooala described their method of fighting, (for it appears they cannot do without civil wars) which is conducted, according to his account, in two different modes, that is to say, with spears and with shark's teeth. When a man pierces his enemy with a pike, he endeavours to lift him up from the ground on one end of it, or if opportunity will allow, he calls some of his comrades to his assistance, who thrusting their pikes also into him, they lift him high in the air, and carry him in triumph. The mode of fighting with shark's teeth is as follows: the teeth being fixed in three rows on the palm and fingers of a species of glove made of the plaited bark of the heábo, and both hands being armed in this manner, every