Volume 44 1935 > Volume 44, No. 174 > The social significance of Amfat among the Tanga of New Ireland, by F. L. S. Bell, p 97-111
                                                                                             Previous | Next   

- 97
THE SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF AMFAT AMONG THE TANGA OF NEW IRELAND.
INTRODUCTION.

TANGA is a small group of islands lying almost due east of Namatanai on the north-east coast of New Ireland. This group is occupied by a Melanesian people of whose way of life little is known. The social organization is of the multiple matrilineal clan type, and although it has been suggested that the culture has Polynesian characteristics there is little or no evidence to support this suggestion. In 1933 the author carried out ethnographic research among these people under the auspices of the Australian National Research Council, and the following article embodies a portion of the results of that research.

DEFINITION OF AMFAT.

Amfat is a generic term in the language of Tanga covering anything having the qualities of extreme hardness and tenacity. A fragment of fossilized limestone, a piece of igneous rock, or a portion of the shell of the giant clam is called amfat. The word may also be used to describe the condition of anything which is firmly rooted, e.g., an old house-pole, or a shrub in the bush which defies the efforts of man to uproot it, is said to be fat, i.e., solidity itself. Perhaps the sense in which the term is best known among the Tanga is as a general term for certain manufactured shell discs.

The first mention of these tokens was made by Parkinson 1 who, in a brief report on the culture of Tanga, refers to a peculiar shell ‘currency’ called angfat. A much later reference to the discs appears in a still briefer - 98 report by Chinnery 2 who writes of them as “interesting grooved discs said to be the local currency.”

Interest in the discs is justified because these pieces of shell play a vital part in the social life of the Tanga people. It is only by relating this fact to other elements in the general culture pattern that their real function and value may be made known. However, before going into details as to the nature and function of the amfat, a brief discussion of a common terminological error is necessary.

THE USE OF THE PHRASE “NATIVE MONEY.”

The question of the correct term to apply to those shell discs—small and large—which are commonly found in use among Melanesian peoples and which are generally regarded as a form of ‘native money’ is but one aspect of a much larger problem facing the anthropologist of to-day. This is the problem of exactitude in terminology. In the past, superficial observers labelled certain features of native life which happened to resemble other features of their own life with terms which were formerly used only to describe the latter. For example, the terms ‘money’ and ‘currency’ have exact meanings when used by us with reference to certain features of our own economy. However, to use these terms in referring to apparently similar features in the economy of a native community is unwarranted and unscientific. To the casual observer, all of those transactions into which shell-tokens enter as units of exchange appear to be economic, but in reality very few of such exchanges are made with wholly mercenary motives. As an instance of the ease with which a mere surface knowledge of a native rite may lead to a false interpretation of the evidence, I shall describe a typical form of Tangan exchange in which shell-tokens are used.

A few days prior to the final funeral feast, the person superintending arrangements for the feast lets it be known that he requires a certain number of pigs. I happened to visit a settlement 3 on a day when pigs were being

- i
Fig. 1, Figs. 2, 3, Fig. 4, Fig. 6,
kisina witi;, tintol; tintol dok; amfatmil. (See descriptions at end.)
Fig. 8, Fig. 9,
an malmal; basalt bar for smoothing inner side of ring.

- ii Page is blank

- 99

received for the purpose outlined above. The most significant feature of the proceedings was a long row of pigs upon each one of which the headman—i.e., the person receiving the pigs—had placed a shell-token. At first glance, the shell-discs appeared to be an economic quid pro quo for the pigs. To one who had no knowledge of the family troubles, public fame, and social position of the individual natives concerned, it was a simple case of a purchase of pigs by means of a shell-currency, arranged on rather formal lines; and as such, the transaction would most certainly have been described by a casual observer. However, to the ethnographer, with his intimate knowledge of the character and ambitions of all present, such an interpretation of the proceedings could not be further from the truth. As the former owner of each pig stepped forward and raised aloft his shell-disc before slipping it into his basket, he came into possession of no mere unit of currency. The disc was a public warrant of his generosity. On arriving home that night, he would show it to his relatives with a glowing account of how much bigger and fatter was his gift-pig than that of his neighbour. The disc would pass from hand to hand and each man would smile with satisfaction as he handed on this material symbol of a debt of reverence paid to the memory of a dead ancestor. A wealth of social sentiment surrounds these smooth yellow discs which the very crude term ‘native money’ utterly fails to suggest.

We now turn to the actual manufacture of amfat and the social relations involved in the collection and working of the clam shell.

With the exception of Boieng, which is a crescent-shaped coral outcrop, the islands of Tanga are of a volcanic type, encircled by wide, shelving reefs. It is in the clear blue water just beyond these reefs that the natives dive for the giant clam (Tridacna gigas), from the shell of which the valuable discs are manufactured. More often than not, specimens of the shell are obtained from the reef, having been cast up there after a storm. Such specimens are found and hauled up to the beach by women who are constantly searching the reef for small shell-fish, or less frequently by fishermen while seeking bait along the edge of the reef.

- 100
THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND OF DISC-MANUFACTURE.

After removing the flesh from inside the shell, the latter is suspended from any convenient tree near the beach and allowed to bleach in the sun and rain for several weeks. A shell thus treated has the appearance of the finest alabaster and in this condition it is handed over by its owner to one who is skilled in the technique of discmanufacture.

To-day there are only a few men on Boieng who thoroughly understand the various processes involved in the manufacture of amfat. However, at no time was it ever a general occupation. Each clan on the island is composed of several subsections, and in the days when clan-fighting was rife, the manufacture of amfat was generally confined clan by clan to the members of a single subsection of the clan. In these days there are no barriers between the clans, and through sheer necessity, seeing that the art of making the discs has died out in some clans, a member of one of these clans who wants a disc made is forced to take advantage of the services of a craftsman from another clan. This was an unheard of thing twenty years ago. There is no secrecy about the process of manufacture, as all the operations are carried out on a cleared space in front of the house of the maker and his assistants—i.e., the younger male members of his family.

An inferior kind of disc is sometimes made from dead clam shell, such specimens having a honeycombed appearance which detracts much from their value in the eyes of the native. Whenever I saw a baby playing with an amfat, it generally happened to be one of this type. The parents explained to me that it did not matter whether the child broke the ring or not, seeing that it was only a gum—i.e., a disc made from dead clam shell.

The only other material used in the manufacture of these amfat are fossil shells of the giant clam which the natives dig up in the bush whilst clearing a patch for a garden. Specimens made from these shells have a deep yellow tone which tends to lower their value; nevertheless, such examples are still regarded as highly desirable forms of property.

An alternative name for the discs is molo, and the difference of origin of the material from which they

- iii
Fig. 7, Fig. 13
amfat n'animan meriwen; basalt rubber countersunk in bamboo.
Fig. 6, Fig. 10, Fig. 14
amfatmil; stone knife; an loklokas.
- iv
Fig. 15
Nebo, the amfat-maker, illustrates boring operation.
Fig. 16
chief mourner receiving compensatory payment; seated on two log-drums.
- 101

are made is expressed in the difference of the native terminology,—those made from clam shell proper being termed molo na kasup (disc belonging to the sea), and those made from fossil shell being termed molo na mok (disc belonging to the bush).

On receiving the shell from which he has been commissioned to make an amfat, the manufacturer enters into an agreement with the owner of the shell to supply him with his daily food and, from time to time, to give a small feast in honour of him and his assistants. On completion of the disc a final feast is held and the maker is presented with a large pig. This concludes the transaction, and the large, carefully formed, pure white disc is stowed away in a special basket (tung) until a suitable opportunity arises for its use in ritual exchange.

TECHNICAL PROCEDURE.

The first operation consists of a rough trimming-down of a valve of the shell to a diskoid shape. This is performed with the aid of a piece of water-washed basalt held in the hand, coup-de-poing fashion. Though there are two valves to each shell, even the largest shell rarely produces more than two finished amfat.

Beside the craftman's house is a hollowed-out section of a tree-trunk forming a water-trough. The discs are kept soaking in this trough when not actually in the hands of the maker. Not far from the trough are several large pieces of a flat volcanic stone, and beside each stone are two bowls made from coconut-shell. One of these bowls contains a black, gritty sand, brought, as is the case on Boieng with all material of volcanic origin, from either Lif or Malendok. During the process of manufacture, the black grit is sprinkled on to the flat rock, and to this abrasive a little water is added. The roughly-shaped piece of shell is then laid flat on the rock and the long and tedious labour of flattening one of its surfaces commences. The operator squats in front of the rock and with a regular backwards and forwards movement, generally accompanied by an audible chorus which gives rhythm to his work, he rubs the piece of shell on both of its flat surfaces until it is uniform in thickness and there is no sign of that fluting peculiar to bivalves of the Tridacna gigas species. - 102 When a maker and his assistants are at work on several examples, all work to the one time, supplied by a rhythmic chant somewhat similar to the chant used in paddling their large plank-canoes. However, even if only one man is at work, his movements are always accompanied by a form of measured speech or song. It is stressing the obvious to do more than point out how valuable these voiced accompaniments are as a means of co-ordinating muscular movement and relieving mental fatigue.

The disc now has the appearance of a roughly-shaped circle of smooth slab-marble, and the next operation consists in giving it a more perfect circular shape and of smoothing the edges. A round, slightly hollowed piece of basalt is the base on which the edges are smoothed, and such stones may be seen on Boieng worn completely through by a deep groove along their whole length. Such grooves testify to many years of hard work by amfat-makers of the past. The operation is similar to the last one—i.e., the operator grasps the piece of shell in his hands and rubs it on the piece of basalt, coated with the abrasive grit, until a completely smooth and completely circular rim has been achieved.

This flat disc has now to be pierced by a hole so as to give it the shape of a ring; and for this purpose a stout piece of bamboo is set in the ground, and into the upper end, which is about ten inches above the surface of the ground, a rod of basalt (an loklokas) with a conical top is firmly socketed.

The central point of one of the flat circular sides of the disc is judged by the eye, and the operator, in his usual squatting position, places the disc on the loklokas and makes a circular rubbing motion around this centre-point. This motion causes a cup-like depression in the side of the disk, and eventually this penetrates to the other side of the disc. The disc is then turned over and the same motion is made until a hole of about one and a half to two inches in diameter has been bored through it.

In order to increase the size of the hole, the operator has the choice of two tools. The preferred one is the sohs amfat, which is a bar of basalt (fig. 9) supported on two bamboo stakes. The stakes are fixed about eighteen inches apart in the ground, so as to protrude about one - 103 foot above the surface. The sohs amfat is laid across the tops of the stakes and when the operator wishes to increase the diameter of the hole in the disc, he merely lifts one end of the bar from its supports and slips the ring onto it. He then wedges the bar back into place again. The ring is now rubbed on its inner surface until the diameter of the hole is about two and a quarter to two and a half inches.

As there is a decided lack of the right type of stone used in this process, the people of Boieng have devised an alternative tool (an keremrem), which utilizes a piece of bamboo, into which a small convex piece of basalt is countersunk (fig. 13). This piece of bamboo is used in exactly the same way as the sohs amfat—i.e., it is laid on the top of two projecting stakes about eighteen inches apart and one foot above the surface of the ground, the ring is slipped over the bamboo rod and rubbed on the convex piece of basalt.

This completes the formation of the hole in the disc, the next step depends on the type of amfat which is being made. If it is a specimen of the one-deep-groove type or of the two-deep-grooves type, it is left on the sohs amfat and a stone knife (sun kutkute), with a sharp edge (fig. 10), is grasped in the right hand, and a deep incision is laboriously cut right around the edge of the disc. In the pamful, two deep grooves are cut side by side around the edge and then the disc is removed from the bar and given a final shaping on a large flat stone. If the shell on which the operator is working is thick enough near the hinge to permit a wide bracelet type of amfat to be made (figs. 7, 8) then much more work is required in perfecting the circular shape of the disc and in grooving its wide outer edge. Shallow grooves, much akin to the grooves in a wooden butter-pat, are cut into the disc by the sun kutkute, and its final value depends a great deal on the care with which this operation is carried out.

As for the time taken to make an amfat, this depends to a large extent on its size and type, but I know that to finish a disc in less than six months is considered good work. In this connection there is a legend which the natives openly avow as a traditional basis for the manufacture of the discs.

- 104
MYTHOLOGICAL BACKGROUND.

At a place called Matampaiu, on the island of Lif, two brothers of the clan called Tulefaleng set up a large flat stone and commenced to smooth out a piece of clam shell (n'mula). They began one evening just after sunset and after carrying out all the necessary operations 4 produced by morning a perfect example of an amfat. This was the first amfat made on Tanga. A man approached one of the brothers handed the amfat. which he and his brother had just made to the donor of the pig, and ever since then it has been customary to exchange pigs for amfat. My informant thoroughly believes this myth to be true, and suggested that if I felt like questioning the accuracy of his legend he would take me to Matampaiu and show me the very stones used by the two brothers.

THE DISC AND ITS NATURE.

As regards value, the amount of labour spent on making it is an important factor determining this value—i.e., social desirability; but in the long run, size is the first consideration. Colour—i.e., degree of whiteness—shape, and lack of cracks and blemishes, are other characteristics which affect the social preference for and display-value of these tokens.

There are other discs in circulation on Boieng of a similar type to those made on the island, but these come from Feni, a group about fifty miles south-east of Boieng. These rings (an simpendalu, an oton siksik (fig. 11), 5 an tut burungis, etc.) are highly valued, and are used exclusively by the important men (kahltu dok) of the community. About these the tale is told that they were made by no mortal man, but by bush-spirits (tara) on the slopes of Mount Kofon. Possession of discs of this type is indicative of headship of a clan or of an important sub-section of a clan. They are definite badges of rank.

The question arises as to whether these discs, since they have a certain inherent value, are hoarded by the - 105 natives in the same way as money is hoarded by us. In answer to this, I must admit to knowing of two cases of hoarding on Boieng, and I suspect there are more; but the practice is regarded with much disfavour by all those with whom I have discussed it. Hoarding means that the hoarder has cut himself off from the social life; that he has failed to carry out certain obligations which are due from all adult male members of the community. By refusing to attend feasts and aid his own clan or his wife's clan in its communal activities—all of which involve the use of many amfat—he avoids incurring a load of debt, but at the same time he becomes what the natives term a kahltu wut—i.e., a social outcast.

For safe keeping, discs are kept in a special basket (tung), the largest disc at the bottom. Such a disc is called an waran tung—i.e., the base of basket one. Sometimes large amfat are buried in secret places known only to the owner and his heir—i.e., one of his sister's sons—but for the most part a man's stock of amfat is continually changing hands. At a large feast, I have seen a man rid himself of over forty discs; and yet, a month later, he received back more than this number at certain exchange-ceremonies in his district to which he had been invited.

THE AMFAT AS A TOKEN OF EXCHANGE.

A few of those transactions may be examined, into which the amfat enters as a medium of exchange. The pure gift—involving no idea of a return being made—does not exist in Tanga; or if it does, it concerns only relations obtaining between members of the individual family. Even here, where husband and wife each own a portion of the household goods and nothing is held in common, a present of an amfatmil to a wife by her husband is not absolute, 6 since it is the law that such a present shall be returned to the husband if and whenever she ceases to be his wife—i.e., in the case of death or divorce. There are certain gifts made on the death-bed which may possibly come within the category of pure gifts since they cannot be returned. When a man feels that he is about to die, he - 106 calls his brothers, his sisters' sons, and his own sons to his bedside, and he distributes his amfat among these relatives; the chief heir, his favourite sister's son, taking by far the greatest share in the distribution. However, he does not neglect his own son or sons and as far as I could gather, the real heirs did not mind their cousin participating in the inheritance.

CUSTOMARY PAYMENTS.

A man's mother's brother, although seeing little of him whilst he lives with his mother and father in the latter's part of the island, is constantly called upon to make payments in connection with his nephew's birth-feast and naming-feast, and on his entry into the secret society which flourishes on the island. When the youth grows up, all of these payments are returned, but no exact account is kept of such transactions, the young man considering it an honour to give presents—mainly amfat—to his aged uncle whenever a suitable opportunity presents itself. Between members of the same clan, amfat are exchanged with complete freedom, but in all cases, except the one just mentioned, an exact equivalent is required in return, not necessarily immediately but most certainly at some time in the future. The point is that even between men who call each other brother, there is no weakening of the fundamental principle of reciprocal gift-exchange.

All of those persons to whom a man is related through his wife are mapek to him—i.e., people with whom he is forbidden full social intimacy. If any of these relatives-in-law ask him for an amfat—and many are the occasions when such demands are made—he cannot refuse the request. However, such a law works both ways and in the long run debts thus incurred cancel themselves out.

PAYMENTS FOR SERVICES RENDERED.

Most communities, civilized and ‘uncivilized,’ have their specialists who have the exclusive rights to or sole knowledge of certain processes which the people of the community consider necessary to their social well-being and for which they are prepared to pay. It is so in Tanga. Here, payments for such services are made per medium of the amfat. Sorcerers are paid to launch a magical attack - 107 against an enemy, and the same men are paid to remove evil from the victim. In the past, men who had a reputation for skill in fighting were paid to ambush and kill other men. The usual fee for a healer, a garden magician, or a singer of canoe-magic is an amfat or several amfat.

In the category of payments for services rendered are the many gifts made to mourners during the progress of the mourning ceremonies which occur in this community. As an instance I will give a list of the presents of amfat made to a widow by her husband's brothers during her period of mourning. One amfat on her assuming a black, soot-smeared arm-band of fibre; one on her rubbing her hair and face with black grease; one on assuming mourning decorations for the head; one for every single variety of food, including betel-nut, avoided during her mourning. These payments refer only to the widow; there are many other payments made to mourners less closely related to the dead man, the chief function of which is to repay a social service rendered the family of the dead man by the mourners.

At marriage, a payment of several amfat is made by the husband—not directly, but through a brother or friend—to his wife's father. This payment is a compensatory payment to the father for the loss of a good worker in his garden. It is also an expression of goodwill on the part of the son-in-law, and further it is a payment for the sexual and domestic services which the husband expects to receive from his wife. It is definitely not a payment made with the object of influencing a father to hand over one of his daughters to a certain man; that is to say, in no sense is it a ‘bride-price.’ As a matter of fact, a father has little or nothing to do with the actual arranging of a marriage.

The knowledge of magic is for the most part inherited without payment. In rare instances, a magician will teach another a magical spell for a certain fee, the exact amount depending on the relationship existing between master and pupil and on the nature of the magic. The majority of such spells are love-spells, because such magic, dealing with sex as it does, is a forbidden topic of conversation between a man and his heir—i.e., his sister's son—and, therefore, cannot be inherited.

- 108

A dance-master on Tanga has an inalienable right to his own compositions and to such other songs and dance arrangements as he has seen elsewhere and introduced to the island. Although a dance is a public affair, carried out before hundreds at large feasts, no other village would dare to plagiarize an original composition. A fee of several amfat is paid to the master, and he spends weeks in the other village teaching the inhabitants the new dance. There was not a dance on Tanga the name of whose composer and owner was not known.

PURE TRADE.

Finally there are those transactions into which the amfat enters as a definite measure of market value—i.e., pure trading transactions. Both in the group itself and between Tanga and the neighbouring island groups of Lihir and Feni, a certain amount of trade is carried on. The leaf of the sago-palm is much desired as a roofing material. A red dye from Feni called boiam is regarded as a necessary decoration on all ritual occasions. The small, red, spondylus-shell discs from Tabar are highly valued as ear and neck ornaments. Such objects as these are obtained in direct exchange for a certain number of amfat, whilst, within the group itself, canoes and fishing-nets and pig-nets are likewise exchanged for the shell-tokens.

Where the trade takes place between individuals who are not related to each other, each amfat may be said to have a fairly constant value, that is to say, one tintol (figs. 2, 3) would exchange regularly for one puk boiam—i.e., small sack of red dye. However, I discovered that the law of supply and demand also regulates the purchasing power of the amfat. As an example: owing to seasonal changes the native tobacco crop failed on Feni in 1933 and in exchange for one kisina witi (fig. 1), 7 a Tanga native complained to me that he only got half the quantity of tobacco he got in 1932 for the same payment of one kisina witi.

The use of the amfat as a means of facilitating trade does not mean that it is used as we use our coinage. The - 109 important point is that it is not a common medium of exchange or a common measure of value. Its use in all departments of the social life is definitely conventionalized and under no circumstances has it ever been or could it ever have been a generally acceptable economic quid pro quo.

CONCLUSION.

This completes our survey of the amfat and its significance in the socio-economic scheme of Tangan life. We have seen how important is the place occupied by these smooth yellow discs in the native culture and how essential such a study as this is to a correct comprehension of such basic concepts as primitive economic value and primitive ownership. Our method, entailing discussion of such varied subjects as mourning-rites and love-magic, illustrates how impossible it is to give a correct impression of any one aspect of primitive social life without relating it to the rest of the culture.

Explanation of the figures and a technical description of the various types of amfat:

1. Kisina witi. Diameter of aperture, 62 mm.; thickness, 15 mm.; diameter of disc, 84 mm. The general term for all examples of the single-groove type is tintol, but small, light-weight examples are called kisina witi. Least valuable in exchange. Worn by women and children as armlets.

2. Tintol. Diameter of aperture, 67 mm.; thickness, 17.5 mm.; diameter of disc, 92 mm. Alternative name for this specimen is molo na kasup. This is the most common form of the amfat. Rarely if ever used as an ornament; almost exclusively as an exchange token.

3. Tintol. Diameter of aperture, 65 mm.; thickness, 14 mm.; diameter of disc, 95 mm. Alternative name for this specimen is molo na mok—i.e., a shell from the bush. It is immediately distinguished by the natives owing to its parchment-yellow colour.

4. Tintol dok. Diameter of aperture, 67 mm.; thickness, 30 mm.; diameter of disc, 118 mm. The native term means ‘a large tintol.’ Not so common as the ordinary tintol. Used by important men in exchange operations.

Note—Allied to the tintol is a type of disc known as pamful. I could not obtain the one example which I saw during my stay on the island, as its owner was so attached to it that he would not sell it at any price. The pamful is exactly the same diameter as the tintol but instead of one deep groove on its outer edge, it has two deep grooves. When - 110 I first saw it I thought that the owner had merely stuck two tintol together. This is definitely an article of ornament being worn above the elbow of the left arm by men only.

5. An waran tung. Diameter of aperture, 56 mm.; thickness, 44 mm.; diameter of disc, 135 mm. This is the most valuable and largest type of tintol made on the island. If the head of a clan or sub-section of a clan wishes to make a display of his generosity, he will use this type of tintol in his exchange operations. Sometimes such specimens are given by a mother's brother to his sister's son in order to help him gather his marriage payment.

On no occasion did I ever see or was ever told of a hole being pierced in the shell by a chipping method. 8 Patient boring is the only method known to these people (fig. 15).

6. Amfatmil. Diameter of aperture, 58 mm.; thickness, 22 mm.; diameter of disc, 67 mm. This is a small example of the multiple-grooved type of amfat, used mostly by female children of important men as an article of ornament on ritual occasions. It is sometimes used in exchange, but more often than not is an object of adornment worn by women on either arm above the elbow.

Note—Parkinson's anoa ranguk is quite unknown to the Tanga and repeated interrogation on this point yielded no response. Chinnery's term walut is also unknown.

7. Amfat n'animan meriwen. Diameter of aperture, 76 mm.; thickness, 35 mm.; diameter of disc, 90 mm. This is a valuable example of the amfatmil which is a generic term covering all the multiple-grooved types of discs. The name amfat n'animan meriwen literally translated means ‘a shell disc for the arm of a female.’ The word meriwen is a special term used by a wife to her husband in referring to one of his tabu female relatives. Parkinson's assumption that the term referred to the most valuable type of amfat is quite unfounded. It is used in fact as a general term for all discs worn by women.

8. An malmal. Diameter of aperture, 72 mm.; thickness, 55 mm.; diameter of disc, 84 mm. Such specimens of the amfatmil are rare to-day and the heir of the man from whom I obtained this example was rather annoyed with his uncle for giving it to me. On very important ritual occasions such as the removal of the restrictions imposed on the mother of a sacred child, an amfat of this type would be used. The term an malmal really signifies an arm-band made from the fibre of a mal-tree and worn above the elbow by men only. The term has now come to be used for this large amfatmil which is never worn by men and very rarely by women. There are - 111 larger types of amfatmil which are called puk malmal. The term puk meaning a ‘piece’ or ‘fragment.’

9. An sohs amfat. See text for explanation of use. This specimen is 14 inches long and has a diameter of roughly 2 inches.

10. Sun kutkute. See text for explanation of use. This specimen has a blade edge of 4½ inches in length.

11. An oton siksik. This is a very old disc brought from Feni. Diameter of aperture, 78 mm.; thickness, 20 mm.; diameter of disc, 117 mm. There is a small crack in this specimen and it is believed that it was caused by tara, a bush spirit found both in Feni and Tanga, stepping on it. Such cracks are called mimi un tara—i.e., the footprints of a spirit.

12. Afatengteng. Another specimen from Feni. This is exchanged only between men of importance on both island groups. These are worn by men to show that they have powerful friends in the other group, and are very scarce at present in Tanga. Diameter of aperture, 74 mm.; thickness, 12 mm.; diameter of disc, 96 mm.

13. An keremrem. See text for explanation of use. Length of slotted stone is 4½ inches. Length over all is 18 inches.

14. An loklokas. See text for explanation of use. Diameter, 2½ inches; length, 3½ inches.

15. Nebo the amfat maker. This illustrates boring operation. Note several loklokas in foreground, also two coconut-shell dishes containing abrasive grit and water.

16. Chief mourner receiving compensatory payment. He is seated on two log-drums (gahmti).

NOTE—Nos. 5, 11, 12 above are not illustrated with figures.

1   R. Parkinson, Dreissig Jahre in der Sudsee, Stuttgart, 1907, p. 303.
2   E. W. Pearson Chinnery, Territory of New Guinea Anthropological Report No. 1, p. 61.
3   These people live in family settlements, not in villages. Vide my report in Oceania, 4, no. 3, March, 1934.
4   The full version of the myth contains an account of all the operations carried out by the brothers in making the disc. It is in fact a manufacturer's formula handed down by tradition.
5   No figure of this number; see explantion no. 11at end.
6   For an excellent analysis of primitive exchange operations, see B. Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, pp. 177-191.
7   See later for full description of types of amfat.
8   See R. Parkinson, Dreissig Jahre in der Sudsee, p. 304.