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were six or eight feet long, a foot and a half wide, and twelve inches deep, these belonged only to the chiefs, and were used for the preparation of arrow-root, cocoanut milk, &c. on occasions of public festivity. The umetes in ordinary use were oval, about two or three feet long, eighteen inches wide, and of varied depth. They were supported by four feet, cut out of the same piece of wood, and serve not only for the preparation of their food, but as dishes, upon which it is placed when taken from the oven.
The papahia is extensively used. It is a low solid block or stool, supported by four short legs, and smoothly polished on the top. It is cut out of one piece of wood, and is used instead of a mortar for pounding bread-fruit, plantains, or bruising taro; which is done by placing these upon the papahia, and beating them with a short stone pestle called a penu. This is usually made with a black sort of basalt, found chiefly in the island of Maurua, the most western of the group. The penu is sometimes constructed from a species of porous coral.*
The water used for washing their feet is kept in bottles called aano, made from the shells of large and full-grown cocoa-nuts. That which they drink is contained in calabashes, which are much larger than any I ever saw used for the same purpose in the Sandwich Islands, but destitute of ornament. They are kept in nets of cinet, and suspended from some part of the dwelling.
The drinking cups are made with the cocoa-nut shell after it is full grown, but before it is perfectly ripe. The shell is then soft, and is scraped until much thinner than a saucer, and frequently transparent. They are of
* A fine specimen of that kind of penu which I procured at Rurutu, is deposited in the Missionary museum at Austin Friars.
a yellow colour, and plain, though the cups formerly used for drinking ava were carved. These are the principal utensils in the preparation of their food; they are kept remarkably clean, and, when not in use, suspended from some part of the dwelling, or hung upon a stand.
The fata, or stand, is a single light post planted in the floor, with one or two projections, and a notch on the top, from which the calabashes of water, baskets of food, umetes, &c. are suspended. Great labour was formerly bestowed on this piece of furniture, and the fata pua was considered an ornament to the house in which it was erected. About a foot from the ground, a projection extended six or eight inches wide, completely round, flat on the top, but concave on the under side, in order to prevent rats or mice from ascending and gaining access to the food. Their only knife was a piece of bamboo-cane, with which they would cut up a pig, dog, or fish, with great facility.
Station at Maeva-Appearance of the lake and surrounding sceneryRuins of temples, and other vestiges of idolatry-General view of Polynesian mythology-Ideas relative to the origin of the worldPolytheism Traditionary theogony-Taaroa supreme deity-Different orders of gods-Oro, &c. gods of the wind, the ocean, &c.—Gods of artificers and fishermen-Oramatuas, or demons—Emblems-Images-Uru, or feathers Temples-Worship-Prayers-Offerings-Sacrifices-Occasional and stated festivals and worship-Rau-mata-vehi-raa Maui-fata -Rites for recovery from sickness-Offering of first-fruits—The Pae Atua―The ripening of the year, a religious ceremony-Singular rites attending its close.
As soon as we had acquired a sufficient knowledge of the native language to engage in public teaching, while we alternately performed the regular services at the settlement in Fare, we formed branch stations in different parts of the island.
Two were commenced on the west and southern coast, viz. one in the beautiful, fertile, and formerly populous valley of Mahapu, and the other in the extensive district of Parea. Schools were opened under approved native teachers at each of these places. In the former three hundred scholars were instructed by Narii, a well qualified teacher. The inhabitants erected neat places of worship. Mr. Barff performed divine service at each station alternately every other Sabbath; and between three and four hundred attended.
A similar branch-station was commenced at Tamabua, a populous and central village in the district of Maeva, on the borders of a beautiful and extensive roto, or lake, of the same name, in the northern part of the island. Here a school was opened by Tiori, an intelligent native, and three hundred and eighty adults and children were taught. A commodious native chapel was built, and a cottage for the accommodation of the Missionary who visited them.
It was a considerable distance from Fare; I went on the Saturday afternoon, and spent the Sabbath at Maeva, where upwards of four hundred usually attended public worship. We continued our labours at these stations until the summer of 1820, when the greater part of the residents were induced to remove to the settlement at Fare harbour. Some of the happiest seasons I have enjoyed in Missionary occupations, were in connexion with my occasional services at this place. The scenery of the adjacent country is remarkably fine. The lake of Maeva is five miles in length, and of unequal breadth, though often two miles wide. Unagitated by the long rolling billows of the Pacific, and seldom ruffled by the northern and eastern breezes, from which it is sheltered by mountains, its surface was often smooth as a polished mirror, reflecting the groves around, and the heavens above. It abounds with fish. These not only supply the inhabitants of the border of the lake with the means of subsistence, but, when viewed from the light canoe, as they sported in the depths beneath, or leaped above its surface, enlivened its solitude. On the eastern side, a number of streams rose among the mountains, and, winding their way through the valleys, at length united with its waters. On this side, though the
ascent from its margin to the distant mountains was generally gradual, it was sometimes abrupt and bold: the rocky precipices, adorned with pendulous and creeping plants, rich in verdant foliage or clustering flowers, rose almost perpendicularly from the water; the hills were ornamented with clumps of the graceful cypress-shaped casuarina; and in the narrow border of lowland, that in many parts extended from the shores to the foot of the mountains, the hibiscus tiliaceus, the betonica splendida, the inocarpus, and other trees of larger growth, reared their majestic forms, and spread their stately branches, clothed with dark and glossy foliage, while round their gigantic stems, and spread from bough to bough, the beautiful and large bell-flowering convolvolus, was often hung in wild luxuriant wreaths.
The walk from Fare to the head of the lake was delightful; for more than a mile, it was actually under what the natives call the maru uru, bread-fruit shade, large groves of this useful tree growing on each side of the path. A number of small plantations give variety to the wild scenery, and many of the raatiras, or inferior chiefs, have erected their dwellings near the path. Hautia had, when we first arrived, a noble house standing at the southern end of the lake. Along the eastern shore, small villages were seen amidst a grove of cocoanut and bread-fruit trees. A succession of agreeable sensations has arisen in my mind on a Saturday afternoon, when passing along the lake in my canoe, which was paddled by two native attendants. I have seen the
columns of smoke curling up among the bread-fruit trees, where the inhabitants were dressing their food for the following day. Sometimes I have received their salutations from the shore; and, in contrast with their