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17. TANA, OF THE NEW HEBRIDES.
Lat. 19° 20' S. Long. 169° 20' E.

This is a volcanic island, nearly circular, stretches from east to west forty miles, and from north to south thirty-five. There is a high mountain in the centre covered with vegetation to the top, and all over the island there is a variety of hill and dale. It has also an inland fresh-water lake, and a volcano in active operation. There is at the present day an eruption every five, seven, or ten minutes, very much as described by Captain Cook in 1774. The regularity of these eruptions, answering the purpose of a light-house, is supposed to be occasioned by a steady in-flow of water from the lake, through a crevice at the base of the volcano on the west side.

The population of the island cannot, I think, be less than ten or twelve thousand. They are under the middle stature. There are some fine exceptions, but that is the rule. Their colour is exactly that of an old copper coin. You see some of them as black as the New Hollanders, but it is occasioned by dyeing their bodies a few shades darker than the natural colour. They have less of the negro cast of countenance than some of the other Papuan tribes we have met with, and if they would only wash the paint off their faces, and look like men, you might pick out from among them a company of goodlooking fellows. We often said to each other, there

is So-and-so, the very image of some old friend or fellow-student.

Red is the favourite colour of paint for the face. It is a red earth, which they get principally from the neighbouring islands of Aneiteum and Eromanga. They first oil the face, and then daub on the dry powder with the thumb. Some of the chiefs show their rank by an extra coat of the pigment, and have it plastered on as thick as clay. Black is the sign of mourning. This they manage with oil and pounded charcoal. Some make their faces glisten like the work of a shoe-black. Others seem as if they had first oiled their faces and then dipped them into a bag of soot.

Their hair is frizzled, and often of a light brown colour rather than black. The women wear it short, but have it all laid out in a forest of little erect curls about an inch and a half long. There is something quite unusual in the way in which the men do up their hair. They wear it twelve and eighteen inches long, and have it divided into some six or seven hundred little locks or tresses. Beginning at the roots, every one of these is carefully wound round by the thin rind of a creeping plant, giving it the appearance of a piece of twine. The ends are left exposed for about two inches, and oiled and curled. This curious collection of six hundred locks of hair is thrown back off the forehead, and hangs down behind. The little curled ends are all

of equal length, and form a semicircle of curls from ear to ear, or from shoulder to shoulder. Viewed at a distance, you imagine that the man has got some strange wig on, made of whip-cords, in some instances coloured black, and in others red; but, on closer inspection, you find that it is his natural hair done up as I have just described. I had the curiosity, one day, to count the exact number of these little locks of hair on a young man's head, and found that they were close upon seven hundred. The labour in keeping all these in order is immense, and the only utility of the thing seems to be, that it forms a good thick pad of cords for protecting the head from the rays of the sun. With the exception of the adjacent islands of Aneiteum, Niua, and Futuna, I have not seen or heard of anything like this in any other part of the Pacific. It reminds one of the Egyptian Gallery in the British Museum, and strikingly compares with the illustrations in recent works on Nineveh. Those twisted beards, also, hanging down in lots of little curls, two or three inches below the chin, which are to be seen in engravings from the Assyrian sculptures, are precisely what is to be seen at the present day at Tana, and especially among the priesthood at Kasurumene, near the Volcano Valley. I have now open before me page 403 of the sixth volume of Kitto's Bible Illustrations. If you imagine the priest there, minus his fine garments, and with nothing in his hands but

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