Volume 11 1902 > Volume 11, No. 4 > Niue Island and its people, by S. Percy Smith, p 195-218
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Part III.

It is very difficult at this period to say exactly what the ancient religion of the Niuē people was, but no doubt it did not differ very much from that of the rest of the race, seeing that at one period very early in their history, and when the main ideas embodied in their faith were being evolved, the whole Polynesian people must have dwelt together, having one ritual and one belief. But this period is so far back in the centuries that innovations have gradually been introduced, especially where the environment of any particular section has differed materially from that of the rest.

Tagaloa was the principal god (atua, meaning also a spirit, ghost) of Niuē, and according to tradition he was a “leader of armies,” or in other words, the god of war.1 Fata-a-iki says, in his paper, that Tagaloa brought blessings on the island. Again, “Ko e patu-tupua a Niuē-fekai ko Tagaloa. Liogi oti ni ki a Tagaloa, ka tau e motu nai: ‘Takina mai Tagaloa; takina mai Tagaloa!’ Ole oti ni e motu ki a Tagaloa. Ko e liogi he motu nai i tuai, kua liogi ni ke malaia e tagata, fekaiālu aki ni.” “The patu-tupua (or chief endowed with supernatural powers—chief god) of Niuē-fekai was Tagaloa. All prayed to Tagaloa, when the island went to war, ‘Lead forth Tagaloa! Lead forth Tagaloa!’ The prayers of the people in former times were that men (enemies) might have misfortune brought on them; they mutually cursed one another.”

Whilst Tagaloa held the supreme position amongst the gods, as he did in Samoa, Rarotonga, Tahiti, and Hawaii (in later times), but not in New Zealand, there were other gods, amongst them Tu, who was, - 196 as the people say, a mahele, or albino. Tu was known to most branches of the race, and with the Maoris he was their war-god, and most powerful of all in later ages, though there are strong reasons for believing that Tāne was the principal Maori as well as the principal Hawaiian god in early days. I think neither he nor Rongo are known to the Niuē Pantheon. These four make up the quartette of primary gods of the Polynesian race. The tupuas mentioned several times in the legends I have, are clearly almost identical with the tupuas of New Zealand, and I think that the Niuē people would not, any more than the Maoris, place them in the same rank as the greater gods properly so called. They were beings possessed of supernatural powers, acting sometimes as guardians or familiar spirits, and sometimes as malicious beings—generally the latter. Originally, in my opinion, they represented the embodiment of the powers of nature. However, this is not the place to go into that question, about which a great deal might be said. Tupua is a term often applied to human beings, especially if they possessed, or were accredited with, powers transcending ordinary human experience. Such was the company of tupuas who came to Niuē in the early days and colonised it, about which we shall learn later on.

According to Fata-a-iki there were four principal tupuas in Niuē; he says: “Ko e tupua he Ulu-lauta i Mutalau ko Huanaki; ko e tupua ke he Mui-fonua ko Lua-tupua; i Liku, ko Makapoe-lagi; ko e tupua ke he fahi lalo nai ko Lage-iki.” “The tupua of Ulu-lauta (or north end of the island) at Mutalau was Huanaki; that at Mui-fonua (the land's end, south end) was Lua-tupua; that at Liku was Makapoe-lagi; and that on the west coast was Lage-iki.” In this, Fata-a-iki allows a tupua to each quarter of the island. Whether these tupuas or any other gods were ever represented by idols in any form, I know not, but tupua is the word used for idol in the Niuē version of the Scriptures—though this was probably only a derivative meaning. It will be clear from what follows in Part IV., that one of these tupuas (Lage-iki) was a human being originally, but that he had become in the process of time a sort of guardian spirit for the west coast of the island, for I was shown a place on the reef where he was supposed to dwell, and there manifest himself to the later generations in the form of a fountain of salt-water shot up from a blow-hole—this would be called a tupua in New Zealand. Maori scholars will recognise in Lua-tupua (the tupua of the south end of the island), a very familiar name (Rua-tupua) found in Maori karakias.. For reasons which are too lengthy to state here, I assume that this Niuē tupua was named after a far more ancient one. Again, we shall see that Huanaki, the tupua of the north end of the island, and all his children were men, he being one of the original migrants to the island.

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Māui is included by most writers on Polynesian subjects as one of the gods of the race. I doubt if any old Polynesian, if he had been asked, say, just about the time of the first intercourse with white people, would have called him a god. He is rather a hero of remote antiquity, around whom in the process of time has gathered a halo of miraculous deeds, many of them performed by others. He is known to the Niuē people, but from the slight notices I have of him, he is merely a hero who has attained to much glory (lilifu) through his actions. It was he who forced up the heavens from their original position resting on the earth, and it was he who completed the work of Fāo and Huanaki in raising Niuē to its present elevation above the level of the sea.2 Their story of Māui is very similar to that of the Maoris, but with local colouring. It is quite inconsistent when considered in connection with the history of Fāo and Huanaki, and it seems to me can best be explained by the supposition that we here have the effect of admixture of two series of traditions overlaying one another, and derived from each of the two elements of which the population is composed. Māui cannot be included amongst the gods of Niuē, properly so called. In Part IV. hereof, paragraph numbered 15, will be found a list of the tupuas.

In common with the rest of the race, the Niuē people believed in the existence of the soul (agaaga, the soul, spirit) after death; but what was not common to all branches, they held that the good (according to their standard) went to a separate place from the bad. Aho-hololoa, or Aho-noa, was their heaven, and Po their Hades, the latter word being the same with every branch, meaning the darkness of night, the direction of the sunset, towards the original home of the race in the west, to which the spirits of the dead passed to their final resting-place. Another name for heaven was the Motu-a-Hina, this was the second heaven above, but, I fancy, was a separate place from Aho-hololoa. Mankind in former times had many dealings with the inhabitants of the Motu-a-Hina, but it is not clear if they had with those of Aho-hololoa, when once the spirit had left this earth (lalolagi). Aho-hololoa is possibly the same place as Auroroa of the Maoris, the dwelling-place of the greater gods.

There were priests in former days called taula-atua, whose principal function, however, seems to have been to bewitch (? makutu) people. It is still believed that this power is possessed by certain persons. The term used in the Scriptures for priest is eke-poa, the offering-maker; but it is a question if this is not a modern term used to distinguish them and their office from the evil practices (lagatau) of the taula-atua - 198 of old. Poa is the word now used for offerings to the Church, but it was an old word and meant offerings to the gods. This is the Maori word for bait, an “offering” to fish. The different meanings in the two dialects are significant.

It is clear that there were places in former times which must, to a certain extent have been sacred, where their rites were performed These are called tutu, and are hillocks, more or less flat on top, and which present every appearance of being partly artificial, they would average about 50 to 70 feet long by 20 to 40 feet wide, and are at this date grass covered with houses build on them. In former times they were the sites of faituga, a word which is used in the Niuē Scriptures for temple, but probably the Niuē temples were of the nature of the Maori tuāhu, i.e., the sites where the rites connected with their religion were performed, but were not otherwise occupied by buildings—at any rate of a permanent nature.3 These places have names, several of which were told to me, but they have no interest outside the Island.

Whilst the priests, taula-atua, acted in a sacerdotal capacity, it is also clear that the Patu-iki or King had certain duties of a similar nature, which, in the absence of one, it is natural to suppose must have been performed by the higher chiefs. I witnessed an ancient custom in which the present King Togia took part and acted in what may be called the chief priest's office; this was on the occasion of my first meeting the people in assembly at Tuapa, where some 700 or 800 were present, a brief description of which may be of interest in the above connection. As we drove up to the settlement we were met by some elderly women gaily decked out in wreaths and garlands of ferns and flowers, who advanced before us to the King's house, dancing with a slow circular movement with much waving of the arms—much like a Maori pohiri, but with infinitely less noise. After being seated, the old King gathered around him in a small circle some 8 or 10 old men, the chiefs of the place. The King generally stood within the circle, but sometimes with the others, and he recited in a monotonous tone the long song, or incantation following, the chiefs joining in at certain parts. Every now and then all heads bowed down towards the centre of the circle.

Ko e “Ulu lologo o Maletoa.”
1. Tulai ō, puipui ō,
Tagaloa ho motu ka tofatofa—
Tofatofa i a Tui-Niuē
(He) pu mo e fonu ko e ika tapu,
Na he moana fakalanu
He mata kai touā.
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2. (Tagaloa ho lagi mamao ē ē ē)
He uhila kua lapa mai pogipogi,
To uhu ke liogina,
Takina a Toga ki hona motu,
Neke puhia ho Motu-te-fua
3. (Tagaloa ho lagi mamao ē ē ē pūui ō)
Pule a Tafai he moana, puipui ō:
Ko e pule a Tafai he moana,
Ka uia ai (kia) hala ke he lagi,
(Ka takina hifo ki ho fale-takitaki he fonua,
Ko na e liua ō ō ō.)
4. Ko Paluki e (ke) vagahau tupua
To tiu lotoga ai e fonua
Ato (Ko e) ao fonua ke he tafua
Ka e tua-fonua ki Fale-una
Ka (ko) e tapakau mai Hala-kula,
Fakanofo ki luga o (e) malokūla.
5. (He) atua he ko Lava-ki-umata, puipui-ō.
Atua he ko Lava-ki-umata
(To hifo ho aga tau matau,)
Hifo ponotia (punutia) e tutavaha,
Tokona a Toga neke hake mai
Ke luia (puhia) a (ho) Motu-te-fua nai,
6. To galulu ki lagi e uha loa
Melekina ki ho atu faituga
Maama ke malolo hifo ai
He mana ne tagi he lagi havilivili.
Tagaloa ho motu ka ākihia
Kua fakatino aki e mahina
Ke alito aki a Liua-lagi
Tagaloa ho lagi mamao ē ē ē, pūi ō
7. Leo ni Fiti Kaga he (i) tupua
Kua hake he tumuaki fonua
(Fano i ata) Ka hui ata ko e iki tapu,
Neke (na) lakafia he tupua hau-(kau-)valovalokia.
8. (Kua) hala ki tu (kua) hala ki fonua
Kai taī, puipui-ō,
Haliki tu hala ki fonua kai taī,
To (ka) nuia ha pia,
Mai e tau lanu maka
E (a) mana tapu iki-i,
Ka fina atu e kai havilivili.
9. Hau ha kalī, hau ha liaki,
Hau hau ha kalī, hau ha liaki,
To takoto anoano i he lagi afa tō,
Toki mimio i Matatu
Mafuike tagi ia Līua, pui-pui-ō.
(9. Hau ha kalī, hau ha liaki ha afa to,
Toki mimio i Mataitu,
I hulugia mafuike tagi ia Līua ui-ou).
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The above incantation has already been published in this journal, vol. IX., p. 234,4 but the old men of Niuē say that that version is incorrect. The one above is derived from a copy written out for Mr. Lawes, and also from one written by Fata-a-iki the late King who was a competent authority in such matters. When the latter version differs from the first the words are shown in brackets, and the order of the verses are according to Fata-a-ikis version. The ulu is interesting as a specimen of the old Niuē dialect, for we find words in it not now in use, and many verbs with passive terminations that are also not now so used.5

The “Ulu lologo o Maletoa,” is an invocation addressed to Tagaloa alone. In the following from Fata-a-iki's paper (loc. cit.) several of the tupuas of the island are invoked. The occasion on which it is used is obscure. Fata-a-iki merely says: “Ko e tala ke he huki niu mo e huki kau (? hiku-kau).” “It relates to piercing a cocoanut and piercing a company.” It is as follows:—

Monū Tagaloa!
Timata e lele
Kolomata e tama tiua loluga.
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Huanaki-tau, Huanaki-tupua
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Fāo-tu-nuku. E Fao-matavalu,
E Fāo-tikitiki,
E Fiti-ki-tupua, e Fiti-ki-la,
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Tali-mai-nuku, E Leo-matagi
He fakaeteete he malētoa.
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī,
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Tu-taua tulaga momole,
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Lage-iki e fai he moana
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Tupua-kiu, E Tupua-lagi,
Monū ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Tama-hei-tau, mo Taufa-o-atua
Monū-ho inu ē ē ē ēī.
E Lua-tupua, E Lua-fakakana-niu,
Tui-toga ho motu ka fofo hake
Tuanaki ho motu mafiti vave,
Mo molemole
Fakaoti falō ki tua na motu ē.
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He motu e iki mo e Tagaloa.
Ne fefutiaki e talia
Mo molemole
Fano fakaoti falō ki tua hana motu ē ē.

Many of the tupuas here mentioned will be referred to in Part IV., and some of their functions described.

The people used to assemble at Palūki on certain occasions to offer their prayers, &c., that peace might prevail in the island. And here, says Fata-a-iki (loc. cit.) they made the kava-atua, which was explained to me as an enclosure built for the purpose of excluding those who were not engaged in the ceremonies in hand, in order that they might be properly performed—neke fakahanoa, as Fata-a-iki says, lest they be done anyhow. There can be little doubt that though the term kava-atua is applied to the enclosure by the present generation it meant originally the ceremony, and was anciently connected with the function of drinking kava, or making a libation of kava, which to this day in other islands is accompanied by much ceremony. It is clear from many things that the drinking of kava was originally a sacred ceremony, and it will in time probably be connected with the sacred soma drink of the ancient inhabitants of India.6 In New Zealand there were several ceremonies of a sacred nature named kawa, and they will all be found connected with the kava as a sacred drink hereafter. The Niuē people do not drink kava; why they differ from other branches of the race, such as Samoans and Tongans, with whom they are most closely related, is difficult to say. It may be through the scarcity of the plant—for though I always paid close attention to the flora of Niuē, I never saw it growing, and had to send to the far side of the island for a specimen.

The gods sometimes communicated with mankind through the proper channels, and they spoke in a whistling voice (mapu and mafu) as did the gods of the Maori. And like the Maori the Niuē folks have an objection to whistling on that account, such at least was the case formerly.

In cases of sickness formerly, an offering was made to the gods in the form of the moko-lauulu, a lizard some eight inches long. The Niuē natives have not the horror and terror of a lizard that the Maori has; it is lucky for them that this is so, for the little brown lizard is exceeding common. An old-time Maori would find his life unbearable in Niuē on this account.

The people had a god of the winds, but unfortunately I omitted to obtain his name. It is said that a certain hero of old enclosed all the - 202 winds in a cave at Tatapiu Point, at the N.W. corner of the island, but they forced their way out, starting at the northern side, and made their way round to the south; hence, say the wise men of Niuē, the winds always go round the compass that way.

It is obvious from the following that to make a mistake in the words of an incantation destroyed its efficacy, as is well known it did with the Maoris. Fata-a-iki says (loc. cit.) in his “Account of the rocks that fell at Avatele”:—

“These rocks were placed there in order to obstruct the landing of Tongan invasions. The one called Mutalau is lowest, and this is the lau or chorus sung in former times when they were placed:—

Tagaloa, tilitili,
Tagaloa teletele
Takina hala Mata-fonua
Takina hala Mui-fonua
Tutu malie Tagaloa ō—ō,
Tagaloa ē—ē.
O Tagaloa! with smoothness, with ease,
O Tagaloa! with speed, and ease,
Bring by the way of the North end
Bring by the way of the South end
Preside with effect, O Tagaloa!
O Tagaloa!

“The rock left behind on the inland side is named Makefu, and was left there because the lau used was wrong (hehē). This is the lau that was wrong and caused the difficulty:—

Tagaloa tilitili
Tagaloa teletele
Takina hala Mui-fonua.

“Thus the rock stuck and could not be raised. It is thus with things done wrongly at the present day!”

There are several of these large rocks in the little bay (Oneonepata), and landing place at Avatele, but it requires the aid of a strong imagination to conceive how they would obstruct the landing of the Tongans. This belongs to that class of legend relating to the movements of mountains and rocks by, or without, human agency that are found everywhere amongst the Polynesian race, but it is, at the same time historically true, that one of the first, if not the first, of the Toga invasions took place at Avatele, as will be referred to later on.

Manners and Customs.

The difficulty I have already alluded to, in acquiring the Niuē dialect, prevented my obtaining a good deal of information on the above subjects. Most of what follows was kindly furnished me by - 203 the Rev. F. E. Lawes, but part by the chiefs of Alofi and other places, and is necessarily very imperfect.

Birth:—Niuē women seem to bring forth their offspring with the same ease as the rest of their sisters of the same race. Formerly it was not uncommon for women to be at work within a day or two of the event. They appear to have had much the same kind of feeling in reference to the umbilical chord (pito) as the Maoris; its burial at certain places made a sort of connection between the individual and the land, entitling him to some rights. Young children were fed on cocoanut and arrowroot (pia) after a time. A few days after birth the child was submitted to a procedure called mata-pulega which was in fact a semblance of circumcision, though this right was not actually practised in Niuē. The child was laid on the ground under a screen made of hiapo, or bark cloth, and then one of the old men (? a relative) went through the motion of circumcising the child, though the flesh was not cut. Following this was a rite which may appropriately be termed baptism, though it was not so remarkably similar to Christian baptism as that which obtained with the Morioris, but was very like that of the Maoris. The following is the description as written for me by Pule-kula of Liku.

227 “Living man was born from a tree—the tree which is named Ti-mata-alea (a species of Dracœna) which grows in the open, not the Matalea of the original forests, which is a taue. Thus: when a married woman is pregnant she longs for the Ti, with its root or stalk; then the husband and the parents prepare an umu-ti, or native oven of hot stones for cooking the roots, in order to cause the child to grow. After the woman has eaten of this, the child becomes hard (maō) from the effects of the Ti. This is the ancient custom of Niuē from the time the island was made.8 The oven is two nights in baking and then it is uncovered (fuke); the oven being in the ground.9

“It is done thus, because the Ti is the parent of man, and the child should feed on the fullness of its parent, the Ti-mata-alea; after it is born then it feeds on its mother's milk.

23 “If a male child is born it is said to be “e fua mai he malo tau,10 or “fruit of the war-girdle.” If a female child it is said to - 204 be “e fua mai he la-lava,” the latter word being applied to female occupations.

24 “When the first child is born, it is shortly afterwards bathed in fresh water, whilst one of the principal chiefs (patu-lahi) rubs the body of the child, carrying it in his hands and saying to it the following words:—

'Kia teletele totonu;
Teletele fa tagi
Teletele fa tiko
Teletele fa mimi
Teletele fa vale
Kua tele mui e tama i fonua,
Ka e tele mua a mea i Palūki
Fiti-kaga ai o tupua.
Teletele ki tufuga,
Teletele fa iloilo
Teletele fa taitai
Teletele fa mafiti
Teletele fa uka-hoge
Kua tele mui e tama i fonua,
Ka e tele mua a mea i Palūki
Fiti-kaga ai o tupua.
Be facile in kindness,
Facile in crying,
Facile in the operations of nature,
Facile in anger.
The child hereafter will be expert in the land,
But so and so will be more expert at Palūki,
Fiti-kaga ai o tupua.
Be facile to render works,
Be facile in knowledge,
Be facile in fishing,
Be facile in activity,
Be facile in uka-hoge.
The child hereafter will be expert in the land,
But so and so will be more expert at Palūki,
Fiti-kaga ai o tupua.

25 “Shortly afterwards they commence to place food in its mouth, such as Heahea bird, Kamakama (a species of crab) sugar-cane, the bird Taketake, and other quick and active birds, and that kind of sugar-cane that does not die quickly in the forest, in order to strengthen the child to be offered (fakapoa—dedicated). Then the prayer of offering—for a male child:—

‘Kia tu ai a Tagaloa,
Ke monuina, ke mafiti
Ke mata-ala, ke loto matala,
Ke maama e loto he tau fāhi oti,
Ke manava-lahi, ke ahu-maka, ke toa,
To iloilo ke tufuga he tau mena oti ni,
To molu e loto, to loto holo-i-lalo, mo e tutu tonu
To fakamokoi.’
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‘Be thou present O Tagaloa!
(And) bless (this child), make him active,
(Make him) watchful; of a clear mind;
That he may have understanding at all times
That he be stout-hearted and brave,
That he shall be accomplished in all things,
That he may be kind, humble, and faithful
And that he be generous.’
That in rain he may be able to run; in gales to run away; by night or by day.—That he may not be swept away by the waves: that he be swift to escape when chased by his enemies; and live long on the surface of this earth.

26 “For a girl, the prayers are to the effect: That she may be accomplished in making tegitegi (one kind of fine mat, used for complimentary presents); also in beating hiapo; to braid kafa-lauulu (human hair girdle), to make kafa-hega (girdles of parroquets' feathers); to weave baskets and all work that springs from the la-lava (woman's occupations)—to strain arrowroot, grate the wild yams; to be accomplished in preparing food, and to preside over all similar work.”

Such is the description of the customs with regard to the very young by my friend Pule-kula; and it will be noticed how very like it is to that embodied in the tohi rites of the Maori—except that no prayer is ever uttered on behalf of a Maori child to make him humble—such is quite contrary to Maori ideas of what is correct in a man, and I think it possible my friend may have allowed his Christian teaching to bias him here. The idea of the origin of man from a tree is, I would suggest, a dimly remembered acquaintance with the very ancient form of arboreal cult found in many lands: as expressed in the Hebrew Aleim, and amongst the Polynesians in ancient times by the cult of Tāne, who, according to Maori mythology, is the god of trees, besides expressing the male element of the human species.

Infanticide was far from uncommon. In old times the women used to accompany the men to war, and they could not take young children with them nor leave them behind at their villages, so in such cases the husband would kill their offspring. This was generally done by casting them into the sea. Near Mutalau, is the N.E. point of the island, called Tuo, against which the seas break. This was the place for that district where these poor little things were taken by their unnatural fathers and cast over the cliff into the sea. On this subject Fata-a-iki (loc. cit.) says: “The island is indeed blessed at the present time, since the Word of God came to Niuē, for there are many new kinds of food, and peace (mafola) prevails. But in the olden days ‘faka folau moui ni e tau tama ka hoge,’ in time of famine the children were sent adrift (to sea)—the people ate ka tule (harmless centipede) and hiapo (paper mulberry) - 206 leaves, and potoga and patuluku (plants) of the forest. During such a famine (hoge) great was the internal pain; they tied tightly their stomachs and slept, not rising during the day to help in keeping peace; they remained immovable and careless, nor did they do their best for the good of the island.”

Children were carried on the hip (hapini), as is the general Polynesian custom.

Marriage, Etc.

Like all Polynesians the women married at an early age. I cannot say if any ceremony took place beyond the feast (taonaga). The brothers had a large share in determining on a husband for the sister. A young man desiring to obtain a certain girl for a wife used to proceed to the home of the girl's parents accompanied by his father and mother, but more often by his brothers and friends or relatives (magafaoa) to arrange the marriage,—such a visit is termed utu-vagahau. If the offer was not accepted, the proposer was said to be tulia, or rejected; and this was generally the action of the lady's brothers. At other times the brothers arranged a marriage for their sister very often against the girl's will.

It often occurred in former times that families who were not sufficiently powerful to protect themselves in times of war, sought the protection of the more powerful Patus, rendering them services in exchange, and some such cases are in existence still. The chiefs' daughters often married these dependants, for the reason that they had more freedom, and could order their husbands about. No husband taken from one of the dependant families would dare to take action against his wife in the case of her laches, as she was of superior rank. Faivao, or adultery appears to have been not uncommon. Fakamau, is the name given to marriage, it means ‘to fasten.’ Large families were quite common formerly, but not so much so now; no doubt the abolition of Polygamy accounts for this in a measure.

Death: Mate is to die, as in all other dialects; Mate-popo, death to rotteness equally means death, and distinguishes it from mate, also used for sickness, though Niuē people have a special word for the latter, i.e. gagao. Mate-teia is sudden death, as is also mate-mogo. As far as I can gather the people did not fear death any more than other branches of the race. Possibly this may have had something to do with a belief in the soul (agāga) going to Ahohololoa, or the Heaven of the good. There was a tagi, or lamenting held as soon as breath had ceased, and the body was often kept so long that all unpleasantness had ceased, to allow of distant friends to wail over it. It was placed in some open spot on a mat. Soon after death a mat was spread on the ground near the body, and the first thing that - 207 alighted on it—insect, lizard, etc.—was believed to be the spirit of the departed. This was wrapped up and taken away and buried. The Samoans have a similar custom, but no other branch of the race that I can remember. For ten days, in former times, the family and friends of deceased built coco-nut sheds, fale-tulu, and there dwelt in a state of mourning, termed api-lavā. After some time the body was wrapped in mats and taken away to a cave or chasm, where the family bones were deposited, which place was very sacred. In some cases the bodies were thrown into the sea. The bones of the dead are termed hui-atua, an expression which is also found in Tongareva Island, but no where else I think. Somtimes the bodies were placed in canoes and sent adrift; evidently with the idea that they would somehow reach the ancestral Father-land. This is a Moriori custom also, but I never heard of it being in force with any other branch of the race, though it seems probable it was practised by some branches of the Fijians, (with whom Polynesians have been so closely connected) for Dumont D'Urville mentions that when off the south coast of Fiji, he found a canoe far out at sea with a dead body in it, dressed up etc. with the owners weapons by it—evidently sent adrift puposely. This is termed fakafolau in Niuē, and they often also adopted this means of getting rid of a thief.

It often occurred that the immediate relatives of the deceased were beaten by those from a distance. This is a well-known Maori custom, tke idea being that such relations had no business to allow the deceased to die—a good warrior might be lost to the tribe through their carelessness. The people had, and still have, much dread of the spirits of deceased persons, and believed they returned and caused all kinds of trouble to the relatives. In modern times large stones are placed in the graves (tukuaga) to prevent the escape of the spirit or ghost. It is still the custom to place some of the favourite property of the deceased termed tuki-ofa or mai-ofa (cf., Maori maioha), on the graves, the belief being that the spirit of these things is used by the deceased in his spirit life. The modern graves of the people are built up very solidly of coral, and are generally to be found in the strip of sloping land between the main road and the tops of the cliffs,11 but graves are found everywhere along the roads and paths,—if at all recent, with the remains of the personal property of the deceased. In the case of women, even their sewing machines are thus placed on the graves.

Like Maoris, the Niuē people often change their names at the death of a relative, indeed, judging from such cases that came under my notice during my short stay on the island, it would seem that the custom is very common. In the case of death, the name adopted - 208 generally has some reference to the event, to the cause of death, circumstances attending it—all of which is pure Maori. Those who had come into contact with the dead appear not to have been tapu (unclean) to the same extent as prevailed in New Zealand.

In very old age, it was not infrequent that the old people requested their younger relatives to strangle them to cause death. Suicide was not uncommon, and was generally performed by jumping off a cliff into the sea (? faka-folau).

Other Customs.

Cannibalism was quite unknown in Niuē, and the people always expressed the greatest horror of it. At the same time it is quite clear they were acquainted with the custom, as we shall learn (in Part IV.) later on in the story of Lau-foli. Nor did they tattoo themselves at all—so far as I can learn—which seems very strange, but here again they resembled the Morioris. In modern times many of the people are tattooed, but these are usually those who have visited other islands. I noticed on the back of the necks of one or two old men a zigzag line tattooed, which is characteristic of Rarotonga. Niuē people call tattooing ta-tatau.12 The Niuē salutation was the same as in other parts of Polynesia, by pressing noses, which they call figita, a word which appears to be local; they have the ordinary word hogi, but only use it for “smelling.”

Speech-making is a great feature of Niuē life, no occasion seems to be omitted for the exercise of this faculty. And it is clear that references are often made to their ancient history therein. Sometimes their speeches are accompanied by songs of ancient times, just as the Maoris use quotations from old songs to illustrate and emphasise their arguments. These old songs (lologo) are sung in the same monotonous minor key as those of the Maori; one person will lead off (uhu) and the others join in. Now-a-days the people are great singers, and have many airs that are used in their songs and hymns, and they take naturally first, second, third, and fourth parts. Their singing is often very nice, but too harsh. Their dances—so-called—named ta-mē, that I saw, are not unlike those of Rarotonga. At Tuapa when I first met the people, each of the five or six nearest villages furnished a contingent of dancers, both men and women. They were all nicely dressed and wore many flowers and wreaths, the bright yellow leaves of the kapihi fern being prominent. As each contingent came up - 209 they sat down cross-legged (fakatoga) in two rows facing one another, to the number of 20 or 30, and then one of them would start (uhu) a song improvised for the occasion, then all join in, with swaying of the bodies and arms, whilst one or two men, as fugle-men, occasionally danced round the others, encouraging them and joining in. When one company had finished another took its place and so on. One who is apt at composing songs for these occasions is called a koukou-mē. The songs sung at these dances are composed for the occasion and have reference to passing events. The following is a specimen, sung by the students and their families at Alofi, on my departure for New Zealand:—

E Misi Mete,
Ne nofo i Taranaki
Fakatagi tiogo mai,
Kilikili koki ki Niu Silani
Kua hake fakatangi ki Niuē
Fakatagi tiogo mai,
Kilikili koki ki Niuē
Kua hifo fakatagi ki Niu Silani
Fakatagi tiogo mai.

Fire was made originally by the rubbing of a pointed stick in the groove of another, exactly as all other Polynesians do it, the operation was called tolo-afi.

War, Arms, &c.

According to their own account, wars were frequent in Niuē in old times, either as one village against another, or as a combination of several, such as north against the south, which in reality meant the Motu people opposed to the Tafiti people, the two divisions already referred to. But it was not so originally; it seems obvious from the following part of a legend, the whole of which will be found in Part IV, that the first war in the island arose through one of the Tafiti killing one of the Motu tribe. In very early times there was a high chief named Tihamau who was of the Motu tribe, and he had a hagai or lieutenant named Matua-hifi, residing at Avatele, whose business it was to guard against incursions of strange people on that side. A chief named Mutalau, who was probably of the Tafiti tribe, came to Niuē and killed Matua-hifi, as the latter hindered him from landing on the island. Trouble followed between Tihamau, the high-chief of the island, and Mutalau, but after a time this came to an end. Years after, when the sons of the slain Matua-hifi grew up, they determined to be revenged, so gathered their relatives and, proceeding to the north end of the island, there killed Mutalau; and now, says Pule-kula, “commenced the wars in the island which lasted even down to the time when Christianity was first introduced.” (see paragraph 72 et. seq. in Part IV.) As already pointed out, the absence of genealogical tables amongst the Niuē people prevents a date being assigned to this event, but it is clear that it was very long ago.

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Judging from several exhibitions of the manner in which they used to fight, I do not think their wars were ever on a large scale or very disastrous in character. They were rather a series of ambuscades and skirmishes, in which probably no very great numbers were killed. Occasionally a tribe or the inhabitants of a village would be driven to seek safety in a tauē or fort, but those I have seen were incapable of holding more than a mere handful of people, though there is said to be one on Te-pa Point, near Avatele, access to which is only obtainable through a hole in the rocks, and which can contain a large number of people, as it often has done on occasions when it was besieged (pa-takai). The tauē I have seen were mere natural strongholds in rocks, to which probably art added a little strength by rolling other rocks to fill up holes in the natural defence. The want of water must have been the great drawback to these forts, as it was with the Maori pas.

Kanava-akau—General Name of Weapons13

Tau is the Niuē word for fighting, and kau is an army; malē-tau is a battle-field. The people fought with cleaving clubs (general name, katoua), barbed spears (tao) and with polished stones (maka), which were thrown by hand without the aid of slings. There was a good deal of science displayed in using their heavy clubs, both in guarding and striking, the motions reminding me of the action of the Maoris with the taiaha, which the Niuē katoua is not unlike. There was art displayed in avoiding (kalo or patali) the spears thrown, which, being barbed with hard kieto wood made very nasty wounds. It has been previously noticed that pieces of green kava root were fastened on to the barbs (hoe) of the spear to cause irritation in the wounds, and from the manner the hard barbed part was fastened on to the haft (fuata) it would easily break off and leave the barbed part in the wound. Some of the spears have two and three separate prongs to them. The following is a list of the Niuē arms, specimens of all of which may now be seen in the Auckland and Taranaki museums:—

Katoua Varies from 3 to 6 feet long, the blade 3 to 6 inches broad.
Papa Is broader than a katoua, but same shape.
Fakahutuaniu Not so broad as the above, but thick.
Ulufuamiti14 Somewhat like the katoua, but instead of a spike at the broad end it is curved sharply.
Ulu-puku A small hand-club. Plate No. 6.
Gutu-mea Is a narrow club, but the striking end curved. (?) Also called a pelu, and uluhelu.

There are ten different kinds of spears, all much the same in shape and all barbed with kieto wood (ebony). Several were carried by each warrior (toa) in fighting,—such a bundle was called taga-hulu-fe.

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Illustration. On the top line is a paddle (fohe) (P. 64, No. 3;) below is a tika, or dart used in the game ta-tika; below that, an arrow (fanā) with barbed points, used in shooting birds; below is the ordinary tao (p. 64, No. 5 and 6) or barbed spear; below that is a tao-mata-ua (P. 64, No. 7) or double pronged barbed spear; below that a katoua, or cleaving club; and at the bottom a short katoua or ulu-puku., The scale is shown in inches., Figures in brackets refer to J. Edge Partington's “Album.”
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Tao-hoehoe, barbed. Tao-matatolu, 3-pronged. Tao-mata-ua, 2-pronged.
Tao-tala-tolu, Tao-uvake, Tao-haufua,
Tao-maga, Tao-kete, Ulu-miti, short, thick spear 3 to 4 feet long.
Kau-valovalo, a long, thick spear without barbs.    

The tao-kete is not a fighting spear, but is used in dances, &c.,—its end is split, and so rattles when shaken. Uaki is a spear in one piece, without a separate barb.

Of the fighting stones (maka) these are about 4 to 5 inches in the longest diameter, and 3 to 4 inches in the shorter; they are usually made of coral, smooth, pointed, and polished. The names are:—

Maka-uli, black-stone. Fatu-kalā, not very smooth.
Maka-kīkī, blackish grey in color. Maka-gutu-umu-ti, taken from an oven.
Maka-gēegēe, made of tridacna shell. Maka-poupou-ana, made of stalactite. See Plate 7.
Maka-tatili, very smooth and polished. Makafua, rough stone from forest.

A supply of these stones was carried in baskets, but the warriors also carried in their war girdles a large supply—as many as 50, it is said—to cast at the enemy. When these were exhausted they took to the rough stones lying about, says my informant, Fakalagatoa. The maka-uli, or black stone, I have seen a few of. They are made of rough basaltic lava, and have been brought to the island, for there is no such stone native to it. I believe the Fatu-kalā is also a basaltic stone; it is interesting to find the common Polynesian name for basalt—kalā—attached to it, i.e., the Eastern Polynesian name, from Hawaii to New Zealand, but not known apparently in Tonga or Samoa, though ''ala is a stone worn smooth by the sea in the latter place, but does not fit the Niuē meaning. The first part of the name, fatu, is also not Niuē, it means a stone—clearly the name was imported with the stone.

The katoua and other clubs of that kind were used to strike with, and they are sufficiently heavy to cleave a man's head open down to the shoulders. Club is a wrong name for this arm, just as much as it is for the Maori taiaha, which it is not unlike; halbert is a better name, but it differs even from that. The sharp lower end (the tongue of the taiaha) is used to pierce the enemy after he is on the ground. The flat spike at the upper end is not used in fighting—it is apparently intended for ornament. Captain Cook no doubt was right in saying these people presented a very savage and fierce appearance as they advanced on him and his party. It was customary to wear nothing but the kafa, or girdle, and malo, the body and face blackened (hamo), and the beard tucked into the mouth, the face contorted with grimaces, the eyes wildly staring, whilst they jumped about defying (fakafiu) the enemy (fi). The toa or brave who distinguished himself was thought very highly of. Fata-a-iki (loc. cit.) says: “The braves (toa) of Niuē-fekai were named Togia. Whenever anyone showed great bravery they - 212 gave him the name Togia-kai-ota (Togia-eat-food-raw), but no one else was so-called. If a man was brave he was always named Togia.” A very prominent warrior, who had been the cause of the death of many of his enemies, was often doomed to death at the earliest opportunity, and his opponents would conspire to this end. Such a warrior was termed Ika-kupega, a fish for the net, in which expression we recognise the common Maori term for a dead body killed in war—ika. The foremost brave who rushed into the fight was called the Mata-ulu-e-toko, and he had a second as a support. All of this was arranged, of course, before the fighting commenced. In the actual fight the braves from either side would challenge one another (fepalēkoaki) to combat, and these toas did tau-mamate (fight to the death).

Before going into actual fight a ceremony called Tugi-maama-atu was sometimes performed: its object was to curse and paralyse the enemy. I have no particulars beyond the fact that the points of the spears were put into a fire, the object of which is not clear, for the kieto points are very hard naturally.

Fighting was sometimes carried to extremes, and endeavours made to utterly destroy (fakaotioti) the inhabitants of some village. But it is probable this never really came to pass, for all the people had relatives in the different villages. Nevertheless, many of the defeated party had to fly to the woods and inaccessible rocks, and there live a life of extreme hardship, only stealing out from their lairs at night to look for food.

Others again were enslaved (fakatupa). Generally these would be women and children, for slavery as an institution was unknown, in the same manner that it prevailed amongst the Maoris. The name for slave is tupa, a crab, and it is somewhat strange that the Rarotonga term for a slave was unga, also meaning a crab.

The Niuē people, although acquainted with the bow (kau-fana; fanā, an arrow), never used it in warfare any more than did any other branch of the Polynesians. It was used for shooting birds and rats. The arrows (one of which will be seen in Plate 6) were about 5 feet long and had four barbed points made of hard wood, whilst the shaft was made of cane (va). The bows that I saw were very primitive affairs from 4 to 5 feet long and not at all well made.

The people also used short hand-clubs made of ebony (kieto) with a knob at the end. These are 10–12 inches long, and only effective, of course, at very close quarters (see Plate 7).

Clothing and Ornaments.

The climate does not necessitate much clothing, though at the present day, to judge by the costumes of the people, the temperature would appear cold. To see some of the old Patus dressed up in the discarded coats, made of the thickest cloth, formerly belonging to the

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Illustration. Top row: On the left, a toki-gēegēe, or shell adze; a fuifui, or fly flap, made of braided sinnet., Second row: 1, Palahega, or plume; 2, Toki-uli, or aze of volcanic stone; 3, 4, 5, Combs (hetu. P. 67, No. 1); 6, Maka-pou-ana, throwing stone of Stalactite, polished; 7, Pala-hega, or plume; 8, a broom; 9, short club made of ebony., Third row: Three fans (fuifui, P. 67, No. 2); the centre one is a copy from the Samoan fans., Lower row: A girdle (kafa, P. 67, No. 9) of human hair braided., The Scale is shown in inches., The figures in brackets refer to J. Edge Partington's “Album.”
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guards of the London & Brighton Railway, is somewhat amusing on a sweltering day. But then these coats have much brass button and red letters on them. This is the thing that “fetches” the Niuē swell, for they are very fond of outward show—anything in the way of uniform seems to appeal to them very much. Everyone dresses in European clothing now-a-days, in which the people do not look comfortable. An exception, however, must be made in favour of the women, who all wear the cool “round-about,” generally of white, pink, or dark blue, and, it must be added, they look very well in such a costume. Hats (potiki) of their own manufacture are worn by everyone; they are made of Pandanus leaf (lau-fa) and are very good. A considerable number is exported every year to New Zealand and Australia; indeed, I was told, as many as 30,000 were sent away one year; but the average is between 2,000 and 3,000.

But none of these things are ha mena tuai—things of old, but are modern, since the introduction of Christianity. In old times the malo, or waist-cloth, was the principal garment of the men, occasionally varied by a garment of hiapo or cloth made of hibiscus bark, called a felevehi, which (I think) was worn by both men and women. It was something like the kilt, or titi, of other branches of the race. Their girdles, called kafa, were made of a large number of strands of human hair beautifully braided (fili) and gathered together at the ends in loops, which served to fasten them round the waist. These are exactly like the belts of the Ure-wera Maoris, except that the latter are made of dyed flax. On Plate 7 one of these kafa is shown, it has 173 braided strands of hair in it, and as the belt is 33 inches long, there is a total length of braid of 475 feet 9 inches, an astonishing witness to the industry of the woman who made it. No wonder these kafa-lauula are much valued. These hair belts are, however, not peculiar to Niuē; I have one from Tahiti somewhat longer, but with not nearly so many strands in it.

Another article of wear was the kafa-hega, or girdle, made of feathers woven or bound on to a fabric. These must have been very handsome, judging from the pala-hega, parts of which are made in the same manner. There were three kinds of feather girdles: the kafa-hega, made of the green parroquet feathers; the kafa-hega-tea, made of white parroquet feathers, which are found under the beak; and the kafa-palua, which is said to be the handsomest and most valued of all. The feathers were plaited into fine twine, then twisted into cords the size of a pencil, and fastened together. The women would work at one of these for years.

These girdles were only worn by the chiefs and warriors, and were very highly valued. I have the record of four of these girdles which were in use about 1850 by some of the chiefs, and three of them were 20 fathoms long, the other 18½ fathoms. They were wound round the body.

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All this kind of work was done by the women, and it was under the patronage of certain goddesses, ten of whom are mentioned in par. 42 (Part IV.), but most of whom were named Hina, with some qualifying word. To these goddesses prayers (liogi) were made by the women when engaged in the work. The labour connected with them must have been enormous. They represent for Niuē, the magnificent 'ahu-'ula (Maori, kahu-kura) of the Hawaiian Islands—cloaks of resplendent golden and scarlet feathers, of which many may be seen in the Pauahi-Bishop Museum at Honolulu—and also the handsome kahu-kiwi, kahu-kura, and other cloaks of the Maori, made of Kiwi, Parrot, Pigeon, Tui, and other feathers.

The bark-cloth, made from the Morinda citrifolia, or hiapo, is fine of its kind. The ground work is white, and the pattern stamped on it by the women is made from the root of the tuitui, or candle-nut tree. Plate 8 shows a fair specimen of a kafu, or covering made of hiapo, a name which applies both to the tree and the cloth, ordinarily called tapa in most islands. In design and colour, however, Niuē hiapo cannot compare to the beautiful tapa to be seen in the Pauahi-Bishop Museum at Honolulu, the manufacture of the Hawaiians, who call it kapa. The hiapo tree or shrub grows in long slender rods some ten feet high, and it is from the back of this the cloth is made, by the same process that prevails elsewhere amongst the Polynesians. The tree is said to be disappearing in Niuē, as it is a cultivated plant, and the demand for hiapo has well-nigh ceased since the introduction of European fabrics. The Niuē term for beating the bark is tutū, impressing the pattern is helehele, or fakakupukupu, whilst tapulu is the general name for clothing of any kind. The bark of the Ovava, or Banyan, was also made into cloth.

Of the ornaments worn, there are several. A girdle of white cowrie shells (pule-tea) was worn below the kafa-lanula, or hair-girdle, it was about six to eight inches deep, and rattled as the wearer moved. These shells were also worn on the upper arm, three or four in a row. This is a Melanesian rather than a Polynesian custom. The large katoua, or clubs, were also ornamented with the white cowrie, as were the canoes, and in modern times, they are to be seen in the churches combined with coloured sinnet work arranged in ornamental patterns. Monomono was a shell ornament worn round the neck, made of a spiral shell cut, the head part used like a brooch, the pointed part cut flat. It rattled in the dance. The palā-hega was a sort of plume worn at the back of the head, and kept in position by a band of hiapo round the head. Two of these are shown in Plate 7. They are made with a core of dried banana bark, round which is wound strips of hiapo having scarlet feathers of the Hega parroquet fastened on to them, and at top and bottom the yellow feathers of the Kulukulu dove are lashed on with hair braid. From the top springs a plume of red and - 215 white Tuaki and Tuaki-kula feathers, making altogether rather a handsome ornament. Dressed up in his full equipment of ornaments, a man was said to be fakatufele. Plate No. 9 shows the late King Fata-a-iki in full dress of ancient times.

I have already mentioned that the Niuē people did not add tattooing to their adornments, in which they resemble the Morioris.

Canoes and Fishing.

Like all Polynesians, the Niuē people are expert canoe men. Even to this day they go in their little canoes right round the island on fishing expeditions, on the weather side of which rough seas are experienced. Every dark night fleets of canoes are to be seen along the leeward coast with their bright torches (hulu) engaged in catching flying or other kinds of fish,—it is a very pretty sight to see them. A canoe is a vaka, as it is in all other parts in some form of that word; but foulua is also a canoe, now applied to ships, which are also called tonga. The canoes have outriggers, which are fastened by two arms to the canoe itself. The hull is dug out of a log, with a topside lashed on and enclosed for a space both fore and aft. The seams are caulked with a hard gum called pili, and are often ornamented with shells and a little very rough carving. The Niuē canoes are more like the va'a-alo-atu or Bonito canoes of Samoa than any others I have seen, but they are not so well-finished nor so long. A Niuē canoe is from 12 feet to 25 feet in length, about 18 inches or 2 feet deep, and somewhat less in width. They carry from one to three or four people. The outrigger is called a hama; a double canoe is vaka-hai-ua, but not now in use. The paddles are termed fohe, and are shaped as seen in Plate 6. With these the canoes can be propelled at a considerable pace, and they sometimes sail, the sail being a la, the mast a fanā. The natives manage their craft very adroitly in coming onto the reef in rough weather, for at that time the little chasms (ava) in the reef are not available for landing purposes.

The particular gods (tupua), which presided over all fishing work, were Fakapoloto, Hakumani, Mele and Lata, and in former times prayers were addressed to them in order that the fishermen might be successful (olatia) in fishing. The people possessed seines (kupega), but as I never saw one I cannot say what they were like; they are made of the bark of the fou-mamāla tree. In Part IV hereof, paragraphs 51 to 56 will be found an account of the manner in which the Niuē people first became acquainted with fishing nets, which were used by the gods. This story is very like that of the Maoris, who learnt from the so-called Fairies how to make nets.

So far as I saw, fishing was generally done at night by aid of a torch carried at the stern of the canoe, at which the fish jumped and were then caught in a hand-net. These fish are usually flying fish, or - 216 hahave. But they had other methods as well, for many of the larger kinds are deep water fish, caught by hook-and-line. Fish preserves in the chasms of the reef were common, where the fish were fed (pupu-ika) and caught when wanted. And also, they often stupify fish by casting the berries of the kieto and kauhuhu into the waters.

Fish were counted by twenties; te kau (or 2 tens) being the term used, which is identical with the old Maori word for twice ten; it is not used in any other connection.

Houses, Utensils, Tools, &c.

The ancient Niuē house was about as indifferent a kind of edifice as is to be found amongst the Polynesians. Made of niu, or coco-nut leaves, it quickly decayed, and had to be replaced. Now-a-days the houses are substantially built of lath and plaster. But notwithstanding the inferiority of the Niuē house (fale) originally, the people have a complete set of names for every portion of a large house built in semi-European fashion at the present day.

Amongst the most useful articles of manufacture were their toki or axes, which were, as a rule, made of coral in default of better material. These are extremely rough and unpolished. The toki-uli, or black axe, was made of lava, but as no volcanic stone is found on the island, this must have been imported, and probably from Samoa, for it is exactly like the lava of those islands. Axes were also made of the gēegēe or Tridacna shell, and, being an easier material to work, the finished article is a much more workmanlike tool. Plate 7 shows both a toki-uli and a toki-gēegēe. The toki were lashed on (făl˘) to bent handles, as is usual. A felling axe was called fututu, and a chisel (of stone) was tofi.

Drums were used called nafa and logo; the only one I saw was a log hollowed with an open split nearly its whole length. The common name for a nail is fao, which is common everywhere, and probably meant a chisel originally. Kofe is the name for the flute, played by the nose as is the usual Polynesian custom. They make very neat hair combs (hetu-ulu), some of which will be seen in Plate 7. One of these is curved and made of black kieto or ebony, the others of white wood (oluolu), bound together very neatly with braided human hair. The people make large numbers of shell necklaces (kafua) of the little yellow and dark landshells, which are very pretty. Pa is a shell fish hook, just like the Maori paua shell hook.

The Niuē folks made many kinds of baskets (kato), of which several are really beautifully made and ornamental—these are made of lau-fa or Pandanus leaf, whilst others are made of coco-nut leaf. Mats for sleeping on (pola, &c.) were common. Faga is a round basket-like trap for catching small fish, and kakikaki and kahikahi are names for fishing rods. I have already mentioned their fishing nets or kupega, made of the bark of the Fua-mamāla tree.

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No. 9.—Niue. The late King Fata-a-iki in full costume, with a katoua in his hand.
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Amusements, &c.

Of their ancient games, probably ta-tika was the most noteworthy. It was known and indulged in by, I think, all branches of the race. It consisted in throwing a dart, about 5 feet long, with a light haft and heavy head, in such a manner that it struck the ground and then bounded upwards. He who threw furthest was the winner. In Plate 6 will be seen one of these tika, and in Part IV, paragraphs 45 to 50, will be found an account of Matila-foafoa and the game ta-tika, which is another version of that given by Dr. Wyatt Gill, at pp. 107 and 118 “Myths and Songs.” Surf-riding was another amusement, called Fakatu-lapa or Fakatu-peau, which again is common to the race everywhere, but seems to have been practised more in Hawaii than elsewhere. The tug-of-war was another game just like ours, and here is an ancient song sung to it:—

Lilolilo to ua ke fakatoka
He tafūa i Paluki.
Toho e Motu, toho e Tafiti
Po ko fe ka toho ki ai.
Twist thy muscles to retain,
The meeting place at Palūki,
Pulls the Motu; pulls the Tafiti,
Where will they pull it to?

In this is a reference to the constant struggles between the Motu and Tafiti peoples. Heu-manu was an amusement of chiefs, in catching pigeons by means of a decoy and hand net. This is a Samoan custom, and has the same name Seu-manu. Their songs (tamē), and dances (koli), have already been referred to. Stilts are common amongst the children now, called tu-te-keka, and probably is an ancient amusement, for it is known to have been a practice of the ancestors of the Maori before they migrated to New Zealand.

Takalo is the general name for play, as it is in New Zealand; fefeua is another name for the same thing.


I could not learn from the present generation if they had the same knowledge of the stars, &c., as most other branches of the race. The sun is lā, the moon mahina, the stars fetu. Venus, as a morning star, is Fetu-aho, and in the evening Tu-afiafi.16 Mataliki is a constellation, but whether applied to the Pleiades as everywhere else I could not ascertain. The following is a saying about the moon and death:—

Mate a mahina, mate ala mai: mate a kumā, mate fakaoti.

To die like the moon, is to die and rise again: to die like the rat, is endless death.

Foods, &c.

Many of the articles of food have already been mentioned, but the following are some of the made-dishes of the people:—Fai-kai is a - 218 mixture of grated coco-nut and yam baked. It is very good. The Feke, or Octopus, is pounded, mixed with coco-nut and baked. Nani is boiled scraped coco-nut, with lump of arrowroot (pia) dropped into it. Tukifuti is composed of arrowroot and pounded bananas, and is very good, it is baked. Holo-talo is a pudding of grated talo. Pitako is composed of green bananas and coco-nut. Takihi is baked coco-nut and yams. Vai-halo is scraped coco-nut and arrowroot boiled.

In former times they made enormous talo puddings. The following story in connection therewith will probably be set down as a traveller's tale, but it is true nevertheless. When the new church was opened at Liku, a great feast took place, and one of the articles of food provided by the people was a talo pudding 220 yards long! It was baked in a long native umu, or oven, of that length, the stones marking the extremities of which are still to be seen.

Diseases, &c.

This is a subject I know little about, but will mention some of the names the people apply. Fakafoha is a boil; huifua and fefe is elephantiasis, which, however, cannot be common, for I saw but one case; kai-mule is the fever of elephantiasis; kaifao is asthma; fotofoto is massage, called generally in other islands lomilomi; heahea is the thrush; tata is to bleed, a proceeding the people are very fond of now-a-days. Tatalu is an epidemic, and it is somewhat strange that an attack of influenza affects nearly everybody after the visit of each vessel. In the case of sneezing in a child, the parent says, “Tupu; Tupu-ola; Tupu-ola-moui,” which is somewhat like the Maori expression, “Tihe-mauri ora,” said under like circumstances.

Leprosy is unknown in the island, though supposed to have been introduced there once.

Disease of any kind the people seem to have always been terribly afraid of. Their opposition to Captain Cook landing was due to the fear of the introduction of some fell disease. It was the same with John Williams in 1830, and again in the case of the first native and Samoan teachers. Clearly the people must at some period of their history have been afflicted with some terrible scourge after the visit of strangers, and this has engendered a fear of all intercourse with outsiders ever since.

(To be continued.)

- iv
No. 8.—Niue. Hiapo, or bark-cloth covering.
1  He appears also to have been a god of war with the Morioris, but I think with no other branch of the race.
2  So I was told, but it appears to me there is a confusion of ideas here, due to dimly remembered traditions. To suppose that Māui flourished after the times of Huanaki and Fāo is absurd.
3  The Samoan temples—malumalu—were also erected on high platforms of large stones.—see J. P. S., vol. VIII., p. 234.
4  By Ed. Tregear. It was sung at the visit of the Right Hon. R. J. Seddon to Niuē in May, 1901.
5  I am awaiting information from Niuē for the translation, for though much of it is clear to me it is well to have the Native ideas as to meanings.
6  I would suggest as a profitable field for enquiry by some philologist the connection between the kava drink of the Polynesians, with the Arabic word kawah for coffee. See Crawford's Hist. Ind. Arch. I., p. 486.
7  The numbers of paragraphs refer to those in the native dialect to be found in Part IV. hereof.
8  See origin of island, Part IV.
9  The umu-ti, or oven in which the root of the ti is cooked is connected with the fire-walking practises of the Polynesians, for which, see this journal, vol. X., p. 53, etc. Fire-walking was however unknown to the Niuē people.
10  The Morioris also call a male child maro, i.e. “tamiriki-maro.” See this journal vol. V. p. 198.
11  Some of these graves will be seen in foreground of Plate No. 1.
12  I notice some writers have lately adopted the word tatu for tattoo, probably thinking they were using an original Polynesian word. But that is a mistake, there is no such word as tatu in the language. It is merely the English word tattoo, spelt according to Polynesian fashion. Tattoo is derived (by Sir Joseph Banks, I believe) from the Tahitian word tatau, to tattoo, and is his method of spelling the Tahitian word. Wherever the word tatu is used by Polynesians now-a-days it has been adopted from the English tattoo.
13  Plate No. 6 shows several of these arms. The numbers in brackets refer to Mr. J. Edge-Partington's “Album of Ethnology of the Pacific,” where some of them are shown. Thus: (P. No. 4, p. 63).
14  I have a note to the effect that this club is like a long Maori tokotoko, but the description above is probably correct—it was given me by Fakalagatoa.
15  I have a note to the effect that this club is like a long Maori tokotoko, but the description above is probably correct—it was given me by Fakalagatoa.
16  Whetu-ao and Tu-ahiahi are the Maori names.