Wild Life in Southern Seas

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T. F. Unwin, 1897 - Oceania - 369 pages
 

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Page 52 - ... of the industrious husbandman, while his own family was not unfrequently deprived thereby, for a time, of the means of subsistence. Such was their life of luxurious and licentious indolence and crime. And such was the character of their delusive system of superstition, that, for them, too, was reserved the Elysium which their fabulous mythology taught them to believe was provided, in a future state of existence, for those so preeminently favoured by the gods.
Page 43 - ... character. The priests, and others, were fearlessly ridiculed in these performances, in which allusion was ludicrously made to public events. In the taupiti, or oroa, they sometimes engaged in wrestling, but never in boxing ; that would have been considered too degrading for them. Dancing, however, appears to have been their favourite and most frequent performance. In this they were always led by the manager or chief. Their bodies, blackened with charcoal, and stained with mati, rendered the...
Page 366 - This startling, unique, splendid book." Mr. TP O'CONNOR, MP "This Is a decidely powerful story of an uncommon type, and breaks fresh ground in fiction. ... All the leading characters in the book — Almayer, his wife, his daughter, and Dain, the daughter's native lover — are well drawn, and the parting between father and daughter has a pathetic naturalness about it, unspoiled by straining after effect. There are, too, some admirably graphic passages in the book. The approach of a monsoon Is most...
Page 44 - When one of these companies thus advanced towards the land, with their streamers floating in the wind, their drums and flutes sounding, and the Areois, attended by their chief, who acted as their prompter, appeared on a stage erected for the purpose, with their wild distortions of person, antic gestures, painted bodies, and vociferated songs, mingling with the sound of the drum and the flute, the dashing of the sea, and the rolling and breaking of the surf, on the adjacent reef; the whole must have...
Page 41 - ... tutelar deities of the society. This was merely a symbol of the presence of the gods ; and consisted principally in a stone for each, from Oro's marae, and a few red feathers from the inside of the sacred image. Into these symbols the gods were supposed to enter when the priest pronounced a short ubu, or prayer, immediately before the sailing of the fleet. The numbers connected with this fraternity, and the magnitude of some of their expeditions, will appear from the fact of Cook's witnessing,...
Page 82 - The sa't provisions, flour, and spirits they threw overboard as unpalatable ; the carriage guns they did the same with, considering them useless ; the muskets they prized very much ; and one of the savages, in his eagerness to try one, stove in the head of a...
Page 45 - ... would send his servants to the best plantations in the neighbourhood ; and these grounds, without any ceremony, they plundered of whatever was fit for use. Such lawless acts of robbery were repeated every day, so long as the Areois continued in the district; and when they departed, the gardens often exhibited a scene of desolation and ruin, that, but for the influence of the chiefs, would have brought fearful vengeance upon those who had occasioned it. A number of distinct classes prevailed among...
Page 216 - Finow's men, a native of Fiji, had made himself a sort of breast-plate of an earthenware fishstrainer, such as is laid in the bottom of dishes when fish is brought to table, which he had procured from the Port au Prince ; but unluckily it happened that an arrow pierced him directly through the hole, which is commonly in the middle of such strainers : the wound laid him up eight months, and he never afterwards, in Mr.
Page 48 - ... treated with a corresponding degree of veneration by many of the vulgar and ignorant. The fraternity was not confined to any particular rank or grade in society, but was composed of individuals from every class. But although thus accessible to all, the admission was attended with a variety of ceremonies; a protracted noviciate followed ; and it was only by progressive advancement, that any were admitted to the superior distinctions. It was imagined that those who became Areois were generally...

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