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Ouru and Fana, who were the progenitors of the human race.

Another tradition stated, that the first inhabitants of the South Sea Islands originally came from a country in the direction of the setting sun, to which they say several names were given, though none of them are remembered by the present inhabitants.

Their traditions are numerous, though it is difficult to obtain a correct recital of them from any of the present inhabitants; and there is but little reason to suppose they can impart any valuable information as to the country whence the inhabitants originally came. Some additional evidence, small indeed in quantity, but rather more conclusive, may be gathered from the traditions of the mythology, customs, and language preserved among the Tahitians, and inhabitants of other isles of the Pacific, when they are compared with those prevailing in different parts of the world. One of their accounts of creation, that in which Taaroa is stated to have made the first man with earth or sand, and the very circumstantial tradition they have of the deluge, if they do not, as some have supposed, (when taken in connexion with many customs, and analogies in language,) warrant the inference that the Polynesians have an Hebrew origin; they shew that the nation, whence they emigrated, was acquainted with some of the leading facts recorded in the Mosaic history of the primitive ages of mankind. Others appear to have a striking resemblance to several conspicuous features of the more modern Hindoo, or Braminical mythology. The account of the creation given in Sir W. Jones's translation of the Institutes of Menu, accords in no small degree with the Tahitian legends of the production

of the world, including waters, &c., by the procreative power of their god. The Braminical account is, that "He (i. e. the divine Being) having willed to produce various beings from his own Divine substance, first, with a thought, created the waters, and placed in them a productive seed. That seed became an egg, bright as gold, blazing like the luminary with a thousand beams, and in that egg he was born himself, in the form of Brama, the great forefather of all spirits. The waters were called nara, because they were the production of narau, the spirit of God; and since they were his first ayana, or place of motion, he is thence named Narayana, or moving in the waters. In the egg the great power sat inactive a whole year (of the creator;) at the close of which, by his thought alone, he caused the egg to divide itself. From its two divisions he formed the heavens (above) and the earth (beneath)" &c. It is impossible to avoid noticing the identity of this account, contained in one of the ancient writings of the Bramins, with the ruder version of the same legend in the tradition prevailing in the Sandwich Islands, that the islands were produced by a bird, a frequent emblem of deity, a medium through which the gods often communicated with men; who laid an egg upon the waters, which afterwards burst of itself, and produced the islands; especially, if with this we connect the appendages Tahitian tradition furnishes, that at first the heavens joined the earth, and were only separated by the teva, an insignificant plant, draconitum pollyphillum, till their god, Ruu, lifted up the heavens from the earth. The same event is recorded in one of their songs, in the following line:

Na Ruu i to te rai.

Ruu did elevate or raise the heavens.

Meru, or mount Meru, the abode of the gods, the heaven of the Hindoos, is also the paradise of some classes of the South Sea Islanders, the dwelling-place of departed kings, and others who have been deified.

The institutes of Menu* also forbade a Bramin to eat with his wife, or to be present when she ate; and in this injunction may have originated the former universal practice among these islands, of the man and his wife eating their meat separately. Varuna and Vahni are among the gods of the Hindoos; the latter, among the eight guardian deities of the world, appears to have been the Neptune of the Bramins, as we learn from the following lines in Sir W. Jones's beautiful translation of the hymn to Indra: "Green Varuna, whom foaming waves obey:" and also, "Vahni flaming like the lamp of day." Both the terms in the South Sea language for spirit, or spiritual being, bear a strong resemblance to these names; the one being varua, in which the n only is omitted; and in many words, as they are used among the other islanders, some of their consonants are omitted by the Tahitians. Vaiti is also another apparently more ancient term for spirit used by them, which somewhat resembles the Vahni of the Hindoos. Bishop Heber, the most recent writer on the usages and appearance of the Hindoos, informs us, in his admirable journal, that many things which he saw among the inhabitants of India reminded him of the plates in Cook's voyages.

The points of resemblance between the Polynesians and the Malayan inhabitants of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, and the Ladrone, Caroline, and Philippine Islands, are still greater. Among the Battas of Sumatra, men

Menu was the Noah of the Hindoos; and Miru, pronounced Meru, was the first king of the Sandwich Islands.

and women eat separately, cannibalism prevails, and they are much addicted to gaming. War is determined, and its results predicted, by observing the entrails of the animals offered in sacrifice; these all prevail in the isles of the Pacific.

The principal portion of the marriage ceremony, in some of these islands, consists in the bridegroom throwing a piece of cloth over the bride, or the friends throwing it over both. This is also practised among the Tahitians. The bodies of the dead are kept by the inhabitants of the Caroline Islands, in a manner resembling the tupapaus of Tahiti; and, in the Ladrones, they feast round the tomb, and offer food, &c. to the departed. This practice also prevailed extensively in the South Sea Islands.

In the former also, according to the accounts of the Jesuit Missionaries, a licentious society existed, called by the people Uritoy, strikingly analogous, in all its distinguishing features, to that institution in the South Seas called the Areoi society. Their implements of war are alike. Dr. Buchanan states, that in Pulo Panang he saw a chief of the Malay tribe, who had a staff, the head of which was ornamented with a bushy lock of human hair, which the chief had cut from the head of his enemy when he lay dead at his feet. This exactly accords with the conduct of the Marquesans; many of whose clubs, and even walkingsticks, I have seen decorated with locks of human hair taken from those slain in battle.

Between the canoes and the language, of these islands and the southern groups, there is a more close resemblance. Their language has a remarkably close affi

nity with that of the eastern Polynesia. There are also many points of resemblance in language, manners, and customs, between the South Sea Islanders and the inhabitants of Madagascar in the west; the inhabitants of the Aleutian and Kurile islands, in the north, which stretch along the mouth of Behring's straits, and form the chain which connects the old and the new worlds; and also between the Polynesians and the inhabitants of Mexico, and some parts of South America. The general cast of feature, and frequent shade of complexion-the practice of tatauing, which prevails among the Aleutians, and some of the tribes of America-the process of embalming the dead bodies of their chiefs, and preserving them uninterred-the game of chess among the Araucanians-the word for God being tew or tev-the exposure of their children—their gamestheir mode of dressing the hair, ornamenting it with feathers-the numerous words in their language resembling those of Tahiti, &c.; their dress, especially the poncho, and even the legend of the origin of the Incas, bear no small resemblance to that of Tii, who was also descended from the sun.

The points of resemblance are not so many as in the Asiatic continent and islands; but that probably arises from the circumstance of the great facilities furnished by the Hindoo records, and the absence of all original records relating to the history, mythology, manners, language, &c. of the aborigines of South America. Were we better acquainted with the history and institutions of the first inhabitants of the new world, more numerous points of resemblance would probably be discovered.

Other coincidences, of a more dubious character,

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