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The sea eel, octopus, and mullet were incarnations of this god. He was also seen in the ends of banana leaves. If any one used the end of a banana leaf as a cap, baldness was the punishment. All the children born in the family were called by the name of the god.
20. TUIPANGOTA-The King of Criminals.
A household god, and the special guardian of a particular family against thieving. If any thing was stolen the unknown culprit was given over by prayer to be put to death in some way by Tuipangota. A raised stone platform was erected in the house on which he was supposed to sit, and close beside it was another to serve the purpose of an altar, on which offerings were laid.
21. TAUMANUPEPE-Fight creature butterfly.
This family god was incarnate in butterflies. Any one of that household catching or killing these beautiful winged insects were liable to be struck dead by the god.
In another family this god was supposed to have three mouths. There it was forbidden to drink from a cocoa-nut shell water-bottle which had all the three eyes or openings perforated. Only one, or at the most two, apertures for drinking were allowed. A third would be a mockery, and bring down the wrath of his butterflyship.
22. ULAVAI-Fresh-water prawn, or crayfishes.
This was a household god in a family in one of the villages of Aana. A woman had been bathing and brought on a premature event which happens sometimes. When she told her friends they went to search for the child. Nothing could be seen, however, but an unusual number of prawns or crayfishes, into which they supposed the infant had been changed. And so they commenced to regard the crayfish as the incarnation of a new household god, gave it food, and offered prayers before it for family prosperity.
To these may be added the names of forty-six other gods, making in all one hundred and ten, but of whom I have little to say different from the descriptions of Samoa Zoolatry, etc., already given. A few more are referred to in the Cosmogony and other details, making up the number of Samoan deities of which I have heard to about a hundred and twenty, all claiming and receiving the two essentials of religion-something to be believed and something to
THE PEOPLE-INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD.
AT the birth of her child, the mother had a liberal share in the kind attentions of her friends. Her own mother was almost invariably la sagefemme; but, failing her, some other female friend. Her father was generally present on the occasion, and either he or her husband prayed to the household god, and promised to give any offering he might require, if he would only preserve mother and child in safety. A prayer was thus expressed: “O Moso, be propitious; let this my daughter be preserved alive! Be compassionate to us; save my daughter, and we will do anything you wish as our redemption price." Offerings to the god, as we have already seen, were regulated by the caprice and covetousness of the cunning priest. Sometimes a canoe was demanded; at other times a house was to be built; and often fine mats or other valuable property was required. The household god of the family of the father was generally prayed to first; but, if the case
was tedious or difficult, the god of the family of the mother was then invoked; and when the child. was born, the mother would call out: "Who were you praying to?" and the god prayed to just before was carefully remembered and its incarnation duly acknowledged throughout the future life of the child. By way of respect to him the child was called his merda; and was actually named during infancy and childhood "merda of Tongo," or "Satia," or whatever other deity it might be. If the little stranger was a boy, the umbilical cord was cut on a club, that he might grow up to be brave in war. If of the other sex, it was done on the board on which they beat out the bark of which they make their native cloth. Cloth-making is the work of women; and their wish was that the little girl should grow up and prove useful to the family in her proper occupation.
Infanticide, as it prevailed in Eastern Polynesia. and elsewhere, was unknown in Samoa. Nor were children ever exposed. After they were born they were affectionately cared for. But the custom of destroying them before that prevailed to a melancholy extent. Shame, fear of punishment, lazy unwillingness to nurse, and a dread of soon being old-looking, were the prevailing causes. Pressure was the means employed, and in some cases proved the death of the unnatural parent.
As to nursing, during the first two or three days
the nurse bestowed great attention to the head of the child, that it might be modified and shaped after notions of propriety and beauty. The child was laid on its back, and the head surrounded with three flat stones. One was placed close to the crown of the head, and one on either side. The forehead was then pressed with the hand, that it might be flattened. The nose, too, was carefully flattened. Our "canoe noses," as they call them, are blemishes in their estimation. For the first three days the infant was fed with the juice of the chewed kernel of the cocoanut, pressed through a piece of native cloth, and dropped into the mouth. On the third day a woman of the sacred craft was sent for to examine the milk. A little was put into a cup, with water and two heated stones, and then examined. If it had the slightest curdled appearance she pronounced it bitter and poisonous. This process she repeated two or three times a day for several days, until it was drawn off free from coagulation, and then she pronounced it sweet and wholesome, and the child was forthwith permitted to partake of its proper nourishment. Of course she was well paid for her services, and had every inducement to prolong them for several days. During this time the infant was fed with the juice of the cocoa-nut or the sugar-cane. Many fell victims to this improper treatment. At a very early period the child was fed, and sometimes weaned altogether at four months. This was another fruitful source of