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Wooden Adze for split- Stone Adzes used by the natives hefore iron tools were known. Vol.1.p.390. ing bread-fruit before baking.-Vol.I.p.354.
Tahitian Stool or Seat.-Vol. II. p. 183.
A native Pillow.-Vol. II. p. 181.
The ordinary mats are not more than six feet wide, and nine or twelve feet long, but some are twelve feet wide, and sixty or eighty, or even a hundred yards long. Mats of this size, however, are only made for high chiefs, and in the preparation, perhaps, the females of several districts have been employed. They are kept rolled up, and suspended in some part of the chief's dwelling, more for the purpose of displaying his wealth, and the number of his dependents, than for actual use.
The kinds of leaf least liable to crack, are selected, and, for the purpose of sleeping upon, or even spreading on a floor, the use to which we generally applied them, the mats look neat, and last a considerable time. Several kinds of fine matting, ornamented with bright stained rushes interwoven with the others, were formerly made as articles of dress for the kings, or presents to the gods; but in this department of labour they were always inferior to the Sandwich Islanders, whose variegated mats are superior to any I have seen in the Pacific. Weaving of mats, with beating and staining of cloth, was the chief occupation of the females. A large portion of the property of the people consisted in mats and cloth, which also constituted part of their household furniture.
A variety of other articles were, however, necessary to the furnishing of their houses, but these were manufactured by the men. Next to a sleeping mat, a pillow was considered essential. This was of hard wood, and often exceedingly rude, though sometimes ingeniously wrought, resembling a short low stool, nine inches or a foot in length, and four or five inches high. The upper side was curved, to admit the head; the whole pillow, which they call tuaurua, is cut out of a single piece. Upon the bare wood they reclined their heads
at night, and slept as soundly as the inhabitants of more civilized parts would do on the softest down.
In general, they sat cross-legged on mats spread on the floor; but occasionally used a stool, which they called iri or nohoraa. This resembled the pillow in shape, and, though much larger, was made out of a single piece of wood. The tamanu, or callophyllum, was usually selected, and immense trees must have been cut down for this purpose. I have seen iris four or five feet long, three feet wide, and at each end three feet six inches high; yet the whole cut out of one solid piece of timber. The upper part was curved, and the extremes being highest, the seat resembled the concave side of a crescent, so that, however large it might be, only one sat on it at a time. The iri was finely polished, and the wood, in its grain and colour resembling the best kinds of mahogony, rendered it, although destitute of carving or other ornament, a handsome piece of furniture in a chieftain's dwelling. The rank of the host was often indicated by the size of this seat, which was used on public occasions, or for the accommodation of a distinguished guest. Those in more ordinary use were low, and less curved, but always made out of a single piece of wood.
Next to these, their weapons, drums, and other musical instruments, were their most important furniture; a great portion, however, of what might be called their household furniture, was appropriated to the preparation or preservation of their food.
The umete, or dish, was the principal. Sometimes it was exceedingly large, resembling a canoe or boat more than a dish for food. It was frequently made with the wood of the tamanu, exceedingly well polished; some
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.