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IN a volume entitled Nineteen Years in Polynesia, and published twenty-two years ago, I spoke of the introduction of Christianity into Samoa in 1830, and described the nature and results of Missionary work in subsequent years.

In the present volume I go back to other ages, and give the result of my archæological researches for upwards of forty years. We are often told that facts rather than theories are wanted. I have confined myself almost exclusively to facts, and leave it to specialists to tabulate and arrange them on the side of whatever theories they fairly tend to establish. To what extent I have succeeded in aiding the studies of the comparative ethnologist, or in helping towards the solution of problems yet perplexing to the physiologist, historian, and theogian, I leave it with my readers to decide. What I have done may at least stimulate others to supply

further and better contributions. There is a wide field yet to be explored, and I believe that the more these archæological fossils of men and mind are brought to light, the more apparent will become the affinities of these Polynesian tribes with other races of mankind.

February 1884.

G. T.


FROM the anthropologist's point of view the interest of Polynesian life belongs especially to the native period, before the islanders had passed out of the peculiar barbaric condition which Cook's Voyages made known to the civilised world. With the coming of the Europeans rapid change began. Polynesian society held out but feebly against the innovations of these "sailing gods," whose ships had burst in through the firmament from their unearthly region beyond. In vain in the Samoan house the head of the family would pray to the household deities, when the fire was made up on the hearth before the evening meal, " Drive away from us sailing gods, lest they come and cause disease and death." For good and for evil, the old order had to change, till now the South Sea Islanders are people dressed in Manchester print and Bradford cloth, receiving European ideas from the pulpit, the school, and the newspaper, indoctrinated with white men's virtues, and, alas! often still more deeply imbued with


white men's vices. It is thus plain how great a merit the present volume has, in embodying descriptions of Polynesian life seen in its almost unaltered Though the "Navigators' Islands" were discovered in the last century, and touched at in several renowned voyages, the natives were so little examined that the Dutchmen of Roggewein's Expedition took the tattooed patterns on their skins for garments, "a kind of silken stuff artificially wrought." It was in 1840 that George Turner's life in the islands began, when he went out under the London Missionary Society, whose Samoan mission had then been established some ten years. His notes of native life, first printed privately, were worked into chapters in the volume entitled Nineteen Years in Polynesia, published in 1861. This has ever since been the standard authority on the subject, but is now out of print, and its author now takes the judicious course of separating his account of native life from the personal and missionary narrative with which it had been combined. With this he has worked in the results of inquiries made since, and of earlier notes going more into detail than he thought his public would then bear. For scientific purposes no one now complains of details, but what is asked for is the minute record even of myths and superstitions, which may anywhere throw light on the culture of higher nations and on the general history of human thought.

In several passages this book illustrates more forcibly than any other certain important historical points of belief and custom. The transition, so interesting in the history of religious ideas, from the spirit inhabiting an individual body to the deity presiding over all individuals of a kind, has nowhere been brought so clearly into view as in the account of the war god Tongo, who was incarnate in the owl, so that when a dead owl was found the islanders wailed and mourned, beating their foreheads with stones after their manner; Tongo nevertheless was not dead, but continued to exist incarnate in all other owls. Again, if one is looking for illustrations of survival of past reality in present ceremony, none could be better than customs in which the Samoans, though not cannibals, kept up the tradition of days. when their fathers were. Our author describes how, to avert a war between two tribes, the weaker would make abject submission by bringing firewood and oven-stones in their hands, and bamboos (a split bamboo being the usual knife), saying, by this expressive pantomime, "Here we are your pigs to be cooked if you please, and here are the knives to cut us up with." They would even carry a culprit slung on a pole like a pig, wrap him in leaves, and put him into the pit in the ground which is the native oven; but it was only a cold oven, and the ceremony stopped short at humiliation.

Even in the field of practical politics we may

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