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government of his dominions. Pomare seems to be very generally esteemed by all classes of his subjects, who regard him as the greatest sovereign that ever reigned in these Islands.
In the evening we walked along the foot of the mountain towards the king's house, where we had had our first audience of him. Hard by, observing a small cabin, composed of leaves and mats, about the size and shape of a gipsy-tent, and open at one end, we enquired of the neighbours what it was; when we were answered that it was a fare bure raa,-a house of prayer, belonging to Pomare, into which he is accustomed often to retire, for secret devotion. It stands near the beach, is shaded by a few trees, and surrounded with a fence. We could not look upon such an oratory, for such a man, without deep emotion. The very grass that strewed the floor, on which he was wont to prostrate himself, seemed evidence of
some good thing found in him towards the Lord God of Israel.”
Oct. 23. We have often been struck with the singular ingenuity displayed in the tatooing of the bodies and limbs of these people. Not two are marked alike. Different figures and devices, according to every one's fancy, are imprinted upon their skins, with a regularity and beauty which cannot but excite admiration. In very few instances the face was tatooed; the chest, arms, loins, legs, and hands of the men were principally thus ornamented. The women are tatooed on the same parts, but more especially and curiously about the ancles, and over the foot as far as the toes. The rank of the individual might frequently be guessed by the quantity and character of these elegant delineations. We cannot learn that tatooing had any immediate relationship to idolatry, or any of its rites; there is little doubt
that it was an artifice employed to enhance personal beauty, according to the notions prevalent here, as well as among other barbarous nations, with whom this usage obtains. As soon as Christianity was received, the practice was conscientiously abandoned. None of the young people are seen thus decorated, though some attempts have been made to revive the fashion in several of the islands. In fact, it is now looked upon as a badge of heathenism, and if openly resumed, in any district, would be regarded as a symptom and signal of revolt against the existing government, of which Christianity is the avowed basis. Tatooing was executed by professional artists, who travelled about the country for employment, and obtained ample recompence from their customers, in hogs, cloth, fruit, and whatever else they wanted. The operation was generally performed at the age of twelve or thirteen years. The whole was not accomplished at once, but at different times, as the patient was able to bear the pain and inflammation that followed every stage of the process. The instruments used were flat bits of hard bone, an inch in length and of different widths, from an eighth to a quarter of an inch. One edge of each piece was cut into fine, close spikes, like a very small-toothed comb; it was then fastened to a stick four inches long, as the head of a rake is attached to the handle.
This being held between the fore-finger and thumb of one hand of the operator, and the indented edge struck gently with a piece of wood, held in like manner in his other hand, inflicted as many punctures in the skin as there were points in the instrument. The colouring matter was introduced with the strokes, the teeth of the bony tool being each time dipped into a preparation of soot, produced by the burnt candle-nut, collected in a small oven, and mixed with water to the consistency of
This colouring, in the olive skins of the natives,
becomes an indelible dark blue; and where the tatooing has been well-executed the patterns resemble exquisite network, or delicate embroidery. It is remarkable, that though the parts which bear these impressions are liable to be affected with blotches and scars, like the rest of the body, yet, when the wounds are healed, the figures reappear on the sound skin, though sometimes a little distorted.
Oct. 24. The weather being favourable, we took leave of our friends, many of whom came to say, “ Taorana," "all blessings be upon you !” and at eight o'clock a. m. we put off in a boat for Tahiti. We were, however, soon compelled, by a cross wind, to land a few miles from the missionary settlement. The chief of the district not being at home, we were but scantily supplied with provisions by the poor inhabitants, who nevertheless made us welcome, and furnished us with the best cheer they could. The mosquitoes swarmed here, and were excessively troublesome; for we no sooner forbore driving them away than they alighted in great multitudes on our hands, and quite covered them, till we again destroyed or swept off the pestilent annoyances.
On the beach here there is a marae, built of coral blocks, twenty feet by twelve in length and breadth, and sloped from the ground like the roof of a house. It is less dilapidated than these forsaken structures generally are.
We had often heard of the pious people of these islands retiring among the bushes, for the purposes of prayer and communion with God. To-day, we were happy to follow their practice, and under the shade of thickets or embowering trees, poured out our souls before Him who inhabiteth eternity, and whom we found as verily present among the woody solitudes of Eimeo, as in temples made with hands in our own country-at the domestic altar, round which we have
RETURN TO TAHITI.
worshipped with Christian friends, or in the closet, at our own home, when we have shut to the door, and prayed “ to our Father which seeth in secret.” At our temporary lodging here, there was no division of the house into rooms, the whole being one open apartment, from end to end; so that, being obliged by continued adverse weather to spend the night in it, blankets spread upon the floor were our beds, while our boat's crew of natives slept upon the grass that strewed the floor, or in the open air without. There being a small chapel, Mr. Nott had previously preached to the few people that lived at hand.
Oct. 25. The wind having subsided, we re-embarked at four o'clock this morning, and by eleven in the forenoon reached Tahiti safe and well. We had scarcely landed when a strong gale began to blow, which, if it had sprung up a few minutes earlier, must have driven us many miles down the coast, westward, before we could have made shore. We reached Matavai in the evening, after having refreshed ourselves at Mr. Bicknell's, and been sumptuously entertained, by an aged chief, named Noauno, by
Oct. 27. Feeling the necessity of having some rallying point, as well as store-room for our luggage and provisions, we had engaged a small house at Matavai, which being now conveniently fitted up for our reception, we removed into it from Mr. Nott's. It is a native dwelling, situated at the head of the bay, and near the river, commanding views of land and water of great extent on the Tahitian coast, with the graceful island of Eimeo reposing in aerial perspective, at the distance of ten leagues. On the one hand, about a stone's throw, a chapel of superior architecture, and large dimensions, is rising towards completion ; on the other, a rich and productive orchard of orange, lime,
citron, and tamarind trees, planted by the first Missionaries. Near this stood their original residence, built by themselves, substantially, of wood and stone, but burnt down by the enemies of Pomare, in the first war against Christianity, which drove the king and our brethren from Tahiti, to take refuge in Eimeo.
The house which we have taken measures thirty feet in front, and is eighteen feet wide. The walls are of purau sticks, placed an inch and a half asunder, so that to European constitutions it is airy enough. The roof slopes to within six feet of the ground, and is thatched in the native style with broad leaves. The door is composed of a few rough boards, clumsily nailed together, and hangs upon leathern hinges, which have once been the soles of a pair of shoes. In front of this, on the outside, there is a small enclosure, formed of stakes driven into the ground, and so high as not very easy to be stepped over. This is to keep out the pigs, which would otherwise visit us in our dwelling, with as much freedom and as little ceremony as the people themselves. At some points, boards, and at others, mats, are attached to the walls to keep out a little of the wind and rain. We, however, shall find it convenient to line the inside with cloth, to prevent being continually overlooked by curious eyes, hundreds of which are daily peeping and prying around us. The interior arrangements are open-work partitions, like the extreme walls, forming a bed-room and also a place for stores, at each end, with a spacious drawing-room between, carpeted with long grass. Two canteen tables have been lashed together to form one; boxes placed upon each other are our seats, but not much to be depended on, as their crazy support is very apt to be withdrawn if slightly overbalanced. Our landlord's old bedstead, a number of casks, and other lumber, furnish one side