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out; the operation is so painful to the person on whom it is performed, that frequent respites of several days are necessary for the wounds to heal ; but when the work is done, it leaves a black ridge, which never disappears. The tattooing will become less distinct with age, and those who value themselves for the beauty of their persons, or the dignity of their stations, have it frequently repeated.

New Zealand and the Sandwich Islands are said to be the only places in which the face is tattooed ; and it is remarkable, as observed in Cook's Third Voyage, that among the natives of the former, it is done in beautiful spiral volutes, while among the latter, the tattooed lines are straight, and cross each other at right angles. The figures on the arms and other parts of the body are not uniform. Mr Mariner says, that in the Tonga Islands numerous patterns are kept, and the individual chooses such as pleases his fancy. The women are seldom tattooed, except slightly on the hands and arms, over the eyebrows, on the upper lip, and in a few instances on the tip of the tongue, a custom, of which Cook puzzled himself in vain to find out the meaning. In New Zealand a man is regarded with very little respect, who is not tattooed, and, laying the consideration of beauty out of the question, few are willing to endure the taunts and reproaches, to which a want of this symbol of manhood and courage exposes them.

The custom itself, in its origin, was probably a device to assist the memory.

Marks were made on the body in commemoration of some signal event, such as the death of a chief, of a friend, or the result of a great battle. They are sometimes used for similar purposes at the present day. They are also employed as the distinguishing badges of tribes, as well as of chiefs and men of elevated rank. Of the New Zealanders this is particularly true; the pattern after which the face of a chief is tattooed is a kind of coat of arms, which descends from generation to generation; they call it amoco, and when Shunghie signed the deed with the missionaries, he impressed on the paper the figure of his amoco. An officer, who had a coat of arms on a watch seal, was asked whether it was the amoco of his tribe. We thus see, that this singular custom has its foundation in purposes of utility, and accomplishes

New Series, No. 18. 45

ends, which other savages attain in a much ruder and more imperfect manner. The ornamental has gradually been engrafted into the useful; but this union has not diminished the value of the device, while it has added something to the stock of human enjoyment, and perhaps to human advancement, by exercising the imagination, and quickening the principles of taste.

The taboo is another custom peculiar to the islands in the Pacific Ocean, and neither less singular, nor less universal, than the one just mentioned. The word is so extensive in its application and import, as not to admit of a very close definition. In general, anything which is consecrated, or considered sacred, or which is forbidden to be touched, is said to be tabooed. The term is applied indifferently to persons and things, and denotes equally the object prohibited, the prohibition itself

, and the persons against whom the prohibition is intended to act. A piece of ground is tabooed by consecrating it; the consecration itself is a taboo ; and the people who are forbidden to intrude upon it are said to be tabooed.

Many tabooes are laid by direct imposition for specific purposes, and when they have the nature of a consecration, they are imposed by a priest. Burial places are tabooed in a formal manner, and are not to be entered except on particular occasions, and with certain ceremonies. Sick men are sometimes tabooed, from motives of superstition, and left to die, as no one will venture to approach them with food, or to give them any assistance. The public stores containing the koomeras, which constitute the principal food of the natives of New Zealand, are tabooed immediately after the koomera harvest, and when whole villages are sacked and plundered by an enemy, it is rare that the taboo on these depositories is violated. At a certain season of the year a species of fish is caught, which is reserved for winter food; when the vessel, in which Mr Marsden went to New Zealand, approached the coast, a great many people were busy in catching this kind of fish and drying it on the shore ; but they would sell none, alleging that it was tabooed and could not be disposed of, nor eaten. The same prohibition is laid on any kind of food, when there is danger of a scarcity; and newly planted fields are tabooed by marks, or signals, to prevent persons from trampling on them. Animals known to have trespassed are killed. In these latter instances, and others of a similar character which might be mentioned, we see a very wise and salutary operation of the taboo system, in providing for the exigencies of the future; and in a state of society, where the government and manners are so unsettled, the value of such a rule commanding the respect of the whole population may be easily estimated.

Besides this method of tabooing by consecration, or positive injunction, many tabooes are accidental, or become such by certain acts on the part of the tabooed person. Whoever touches a dead body, whether by accident or intentionally, and women, who attend funerals as mourners, are tabooed from taking any food in their hands for a stated length of time. They are fed by other persons till the time expires. In the Tonga Islands a person becomes tabooed by touching a chief, as also by eating in the presence of a superior without turning his back to him, and in both cases the same penalty of not feeding himself with his own hands follows. This taboo can be taken off, however, by the ceremony of putting the palms of the hands to the sole of a chief's foot ; and a chief of higher rank can remove a taboo occasioned by touching one of a lower. The great chief Tooitonga, being above all the rest, no one could take off the taboo caused by coming in contact with him, and to remedy the inconvenience, which would otherwise occur in his absence, he left a consecrated bowl, which had the same virtue on being touched as the soles of his feet. Mr Mariner says, that Tooitonga devoted to this purpose a pewter basin, which had been given to his father by Captain Cook. The same custom of restricting the handling of food exists in New Zealand. When Shunghie sailed for England, his aged mother, whom the missionaries believed to be a hundred years old, was tabooed, and some days afterwards she was seen wandering on the beach with her white locks floating in the wind, and accompanied only by a single person, who held a basket and fed her with koomeras as she required.

The penalty for breaking a taboo varies according to the degree of sacredness, which is supposed to be attached to the particular kind of taboo violated. It does not appear, that any civil penalties are instituted, or corporal punishments in

Alicted; the transgression seems to be considered as wholly an offence against the gods, for which an atonement is necessary, either by a sacrifice, or some ceremony, the particulars of which have been defined and established by custom. Mr Mariner relates a remarkable incident in illustration of this point. Palavali, a chief in the Tonga Islands, was absent one day at some distance from his village with half a dozen of his men, when he suddenly came upon four of his enemies belonging to another tribe. They were near a tabooed enclosure, and Palavali sprang forward, that he might overtake them before they should gain a refuge in that hallowed spot. He came up just in time to give one man a mortal blow as he was clambering over the reed work, which surrounded the enclosure, and he fell dead on the tabooed ground. Palavali was struck with terror at what he had done, and hastened back to the village to ascertain from a priest in what manner he could avert the anger of the gods. The sacrifice of a child was declared to be the smallest atonement, which the gods would accept, and accordingly one of the most promising children in the tribe, of about two years old, was immediately selected for the purpose and strangled. A few days afterwards Palavali was mortally wounded in a conflict with an enemy; he survived for a short time, but would not suffer the broken spear to be drawn from his body, saying that his fate was just, and decreed by the gods, as a punishment of his recent offence. From this incident we learn with what reverence the taboo is regarded, and how powerful its influence must be over the minds of the people.

It may hence be inferred, that the universal custom of tabooing, as well as of tattooing, originated in necessity; it answers the same ends with savages, as laws do in a civilized state; it is a potent engine of government, and communicates to the rules of civil and political intercourse almost the only strength they could have, among such a people as the South Sea Islanders. It is not surprising, that superstition should mingle deeply with this custom; its power and its value chiefly depend on this circumstance; superstition tyrannizes over the mind, and the tyranny it exercises is suited to act on the intellect merged in ignorance and barbarism. It will naturally run to absurd and revolting extremes; but its office will be executed; it will restrain passions, which nothing else could restrain; and tame the ferocity and soften the heart, which would bid defiance to the authority of reason, the persuasions of conscience, the force of law, and the power of man. With many tribes the taboo extends to all vices and criminal actions, such as theft, lying, fraud, and whoever is guilty of these is said to have broken the taboo. Here we have an actual code of laws, written in the memory of the people, and descending from age to age; not so perfect, perhaps, as if they received the benefit of annual legislation, yet they are well fitted to the stage of human advancement to which the minds they control have arrived.

Little is known of the religion of the New Zealanders, for the reason probably that there is little to be learnt. They believe in the existence of invisible, spiritual agents, who have control over the winds, the waves of the sea, the weather, and, to a certain extent, of their own persons.

These spirits are denominated Atuas, and it is supposed that death is caused by the presence of an Atua. They believe that chiefs and persons of distinction exist after death, or become Atuas, but cookees, or slaves, they suppose to have no being after this life. They have various modes of frightening away the Atuas, when they do not desire their presence. Shunghie fired guns for this purpose, at the time he removed the bones of his son in law, who had been killed in battle. They have numerous priests, whose principal employment is to impose taboos, regulate the weather, still the winds when they are too high, and raise them when the canoes are becalmed. They were surprised that the missionaries should pray every day, and said they saw no motive for praying, except when they wanted the assistance of an Atua.

The language of New Zealand resembles, in its outlines, the kindred dialects spoken in all the South Sea Islands. Otaheite is fifteen hundred miles from New Zealand, and yet the language of the former so nearly resembles that of the latter, that the natives of the two islands understand each other without difficulty. Omai, the Otaheitan, who was taken to England by Captain Cook as he returned from his second voyage, and who went back with him on his third voyage by way of New Zealand, could understand the language with ease, and served as interpreter between the natives and the English, although he had never before been in the country,

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