CHAPTER VII. EVENING THE SEVENTH.
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A NEW ZEALAND IDOL HOUSE.
EVENING THE SEVENTH.
George. What do you think the most remarkable trait in the Cingalese character, as shown by travelers and residents, William?
William. I think it must be the mildness of their manners. You alluded to this several times during your story.
George. That is it. I do not know that the Kandians, the inhabitants of the interior, are so much noted for their inoffensiveness as those who reside on the sea-shore. There is about the latter a softness and impressibility which has doubtless been of advantage to the missionaries in guiding them into the true faith.
I think, by way of contrast, we will devote this
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evening to the consideration of a people than whom there could be no stronger opposite to the Cingalese. The aborigines of New Zealand were doubtless, before the introduction of Christianity, the most benighted and savage race on the earth. No extremes of cruelty and brutality but were known to them; no depths of meanness and treachery but they were in the daily practice of in their continuous warlike struggles. Yet you will see that the same Gospel which has taken hold on the minds of the mild Cingalese and the careless Maddegassy, has also sufficed to reclaim the savage New Zealander, and turn him from cruel cannibalism and stupid superstitions to the genial mercies of Christianity.
The group known to us as New Zealand consists of three principal islands, and a number of smaller and unimportant islets scattered at various distances from the coasts of these. The chief islands are named respectively North Island or New Ulster, Middle Island or New Munster, and South Island or New Leinster. The last is best known, however, as Stewart's Island. The group lies between latitude 34 deg. 22' and 47 deg. 30' south, and longitude 166 deg. and 177 deg. east. The length of the whole group is stated at about 1200 miles, and its area is estimated at about 105,115 square miles.
The first accounts we have of this country were given to the world by Tasman, a celebrated Dutch navigator, who discovered the island in 1642. It is supposed that the Capitaine Sieur de Gonville vis-
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ited New Zealand in the year 1503, but his stay was so short and his description of the country so indefinite that no certainty exists upon the subject. It was on the 13th of December, 1642, that Tasman first saw New Zealand. After sailing along the coast for several days, the vessels entered a bay in Cook's Straits. Here, on attempting to hold communication between the two vessels by means of a boat, the boat's crew were attacked by some natives in canoes, who succeeded in killing four of the Dutch sailors.
Tasman thought it probable that the newly-discovered land was part of a vast continent connecting with Staten Land, and forming, according to the geographies of those days, a portion of South America. In accordance with this idea, the new land was named by Tasman Staten Land. It was not till he started on his second voyage of discovery that it received the name of New Zealand.
From this time till the first visit of Captain Cook, a period of 127 years, it was the received opinion of geographers that New Zealand formed part of a southern continent lying between 33 deg. and 64 deg. of south latitude, and with its northern coast stretching across the South Pacific. If you will look at the map, you will be surprised to see how very little the people who lived one hundred years ago knew of the world.
Captain Cook, the greatest discoverer of any age, spent six months upon the coasts of New Zealand in
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the years 1769 and 1770, and during this period circumnavigated the islands, and succeeded in laying down their positions on the chart with correctness, thus dispelling at one blow the vague suppositions of preceding navigators.
On the 8th of October, 1769, Captain Cook first cast anchor in New Zealand, in the Bay of Turunga. It was the first time the natives here had ever seen a ship. They thought it a bird, and much admired the size and beauty of its wings, as they called the sails. When a boat was lowered, they took it to bo a young bird yet without wings (sails); but when they saw a number of parti-colored persons also issuing from the great bird, they concluded that this must be a house full of divinities come to pay them a visit.
Albert. How were Captain Cook's men parti-colored?
George. The natives wore very little clothing themselves, and had no idea of such clothes as were worn by Cook's men. They therefore thought that these clothes were their skins, and were much surprised to find men of so many different complexions. They saw men with white faces and hands, but with bright red bodies, and blue or yellow legs; while some had speckled bodies and white legs, and others yet were blessed (in the opinion of the natives) with white bodies and red legs.
Nothing could exceed the astonishment of the New Zealanders, except, indeed, the ferocity with which
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they attacked the little party of divinities that landed on their shore in the course of the day. In self-defense, Cook's party was obliged to slay one of the leaders of the attacking party. He was shot. The noise scared the natives. The effect of the shot terrified them still more. They attributed the death of their chief to a thunderbolt from these new gods, and the report of the musket was, of course, the thunder. A desire for revenge seems to have survived their terror; but they thought themselves helpless against divinities who could kill them from a distance. It was stated by old men to the first white settlers that it was at this time believed even a look from a white man would cause illness, and several who had been exposed to this dangerous influence felt themselves unwell. It was therefore considered highly desirable to get rid of their visitors as soon as possible.
On the succeeding day boats were sent into various parts of the bay in search of wood and water. One of these boats came suddenly upon a native fishing-boat. The fishermen immediately paddled for the land as fast as they could. A gun was fired over their heads to bring them to a parley. This seems to have dispelled their fears; for, waiting till the boat came within reach, the seven fishermen, regardless of odds against them, began a furious attack upon the whites, which ended only when four of the natives were killed and three made prisoners. These prisoners were kindly treated, loaded with trinkets,
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MURDER OF FRENCHMEN.
and, on the following day, set ashore. No communication was established, however, with the natives, who held aloof from those they feared.
Captain Cook now began his circumnavigation of the islands. It is curious to know with what different emotions natives on different parts of the coast saw, for the first time, a ship. Some gazed with fear and wonder; some commenced immediately pelting the vessel or boats with stones; while others yet crowded on board without fear or hesitation.
The French were the next visitors to New Zealand. They seem to have been well received by the inhabitants of the coast they visited, and were shortly upon the most intimate terms with them; but, after a week of great harmony, the natives, with their usual treachery, fell upon and massacred two boats' crews, but one man escaping to tell the tale. This survivor saw the bodies of his unfortunate shipmates cut to pieces, and carried off for the purpose of being cooked. A boat, with sixty men, was then on shore, the crew engaged in cutting wood. A small boat was sent off in all haste to apprise them of their danger. Lieutenant Crozet immediately ordered a quiet retreat to the boat. On their way down the natives gathered in their rear, and, with loud boastings, urged each other on to the attack. As they pressed momentarily closer upon the Europeans, Crozet stepped to their front, and, drawing a line in the sand, with a voice of authority bade them not transgress that mark. The natives thought this
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some kind of witchery, and quietly sat down, listening even to a harangue from the French officer, and not offering to pass the mysterious line.
Meantime the French had embarked and were now ready to shove off. The natives, furious at seeing their prey about to escape them, with wild cries rushed into the water to haul the boats on shore. The French were prepared to receive them, and shower after shower of bullets from their muskets mowed down the unfortunate natives, who were too much paralyzed by fear and surprise to even make efforts to escape. But few of the many hundreds gathered there would have escaped had it not been for Lieutenant Crozet, who forced his exasperated men to cease firing and push off the boats.
On several other occasions before they left the Bay, the French revenged the death of their shipmates. This made such an impression on the natives, that a gentleman who visited the island in 1837 states the native hatred of the French to have continued to that time unabated. They are known as "the tribe of Marion." (Captain Marion du Fresne was commander of that ill-fated expedition, and perished in the first massacre.)
Wherever the early discoverers landed or held communications with the natives, these simple people were lost in wonder. But we see the native ferocity of their character in that sentiment which seems to have followed closest upon the heels of their surprise. This was, in most cases, a desire to know
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SUPERSTITION OF THE NATIVES.
whether these divine beings could fight, and whether they were invincible.
The horse was first introduced by Europeans. And many of the natives, on first seeing a man on horseback, believed the two beings to be one. Nothing could exceed their surprise on seeing the man alight and walk off. They thought the creature had divided itself. The horse was at once set down as a divinity. Even a donkey was thought to be an atua or god, and the priests reasoned that, from his long ears, he must be peculiarly fitted to attend to the supplications of his worshipers.
Captain Cook made, in all, five visits to New Zealand. On the third of these he lost ten men, who were massacred by the natives. When search was made for them, Mr. Buray, one of the officers, says, "the heads, hearts, and lungs of several of our people were lying about the beach, and the dogs were gnawing their entrails."
The last visit of Captain Cook was made in 1777. When Australia began to be colonized, New Zealand was more frequently visited. In 1816 a sealing vessel, the Pegasus, Captain Stewart, discovered that the southern extreme of New Zealand was an independent island. It was called after him, Stewart's Island. Sealers for a number of years made excellent voyages to these coasts. The seals were found in great numbers in many of the more southern bays and harbors. But the trade was not unattended with danger. Many sealing parties were cut off by the natives.
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In October, 1821, six men, belonging to the General Gates, of Boston, a sealer, were surprised by the natives. They were a detached party, and had built themselves a hut on the shore, where they were pursuing their labors. The savages, after destroying the hut, and the stores contained in it, forced the sealers to march with them, a distance of three hundred and fifty miles, to a large sandy bay. Here they rested.
One of the white men, John Rawton by name, was now tied up to a tree, and his brains were beaten out with a club. His head was cut off and buried, and the remainder of his body was cooked and eaten. The shipmates of the murdered man had been kept for several days without food, and were now compelled to eat a portion of their friend. The five who yet survived were made fast to trees, and well guarded by the natives. Each day one was killed, cooked, and eaten. Those who thus perished were named James White and William Rawson, of New London, Connecticut, and William Smith, of New York.
James West and Joseph Price were awaiting their doom, when a heavy thunder-storm frightened the natives away, and gave them an opportunity to make good their escape. After some difficulty they cast loose the flax with which they were bound, and at daybreak next morning put to sea in a small canoe without either provisions or water, preferring starvation at sea to the horrid fate of their comrades.
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AN ENGLISH CANNIBAL.
They had scarcely proceeded a few yards when a number of natives came in sight, who rushed into the water to catch their prey; but the Americans, gathering strength from their desperation, made their escape. After three days of almost hopeless effort, they were taken up by a passing trading-vessel.
In 1823, a young Englishman, named James Cadell, visited Sydney, after residing nearly twenty years among the natives on the southwestern coast of New Zealand. He stated that, in 1806 or thereabout, a sealing vessel, called the Sydney Cove, left Port Jackson for the sealing-ground on the coast. On their arrival, a boat landed Cadell, then a lad of thirteen years, with a crew of men, in pursuit of seal-skins. All the men were immediately murdered and eaten by the natives, and such would also have been Cadell's fate had he not taken refuge with a chief named Tako, who happened to be tabooed at the time.
Taking hold on his garments, Cadell's life was spared. After remaining some years with the people, he married the daughter of a principal chief, and was himself made a chief, and tattooed in the face. He visited Sydney with his wife, and shortly returned, with renewed pleasure, to the precarious life of his savage tribe. He had nearly forgotten the English language. He had often accompanied the natives in their "wars," and in all probability had become, like them, a man-eater.
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Fanny. You tell such terrible stories about the savages eating the poor sailors, I am almost afraid.
Albert. Those are the stories I like to hear. Are they all true, George?
George. Yes, all that I tell you in these stories is true. I must now speak somewhat about the appearance, climate, and natural history of New Zealand. The islands are mountainous and very rugged. Some of the mountains are known to have been volcanoes, and one is yet in subdued action. Since 1846 numerous earthquakes have been felt in the northern island. In 1848 many of the finest buildings in Wellington, a colonial town on the north island, were thrown down.
The islands are well watered by numerous rivers. The soil is generally fertile, but in many parts marshy. But few traces of metals have been found. Coal is known to exist. The climate is very humid, in that respect resembling that of England, and making the island a peculiar favorite of Englishmen. It is supposed that the high mountains draw the rain-clouds, and cause the humidity of the climate.
The prevailing breezes are from northwest and southeast. Hurricanes and strong gales are frequent, and approach suddenly. They are of most frequent occurrence in Cook's Strait, which divides the two principal islands, and seems a vast funnel through which the wind finds an outlet. The neighboring mountains here so alter the directions of the winds that no two puffs follow each other from the same
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quarter. A navigator in those waters says, "In the short coasting voyage from the Bay of Islands to Hawke's Bay, I experienced five heavy gales from different points of the compass, each of which threatened us with the worst consequences. One gale blew with all its force from the northwest for ten hours, when suddenly it ceased. A dead calm ensued, our sails flapping against the masts from the mountain seas against which we had to contend. In the space of twenty minutes we were driven back from our course with as heavy a gale from the southeast."
During one half the year the sea-coasts are subject to tremendous storms. The winters are remarkable for heavy falls of rain. The seasons are just the reverse of ours. Thus spring commences in the middle of August, summer in December, autumn in March, and winter in July. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons. The weather then is delightful, uniting all the brightest features of the climates of the torrid and temperate zones.
The country abounds with vast caverns, caused by former volcanic eruptions. But few of these have yet been explored, but enough has been seen to excite wonder at their extent and grandeur.
The forests of New Zealand abound with trees of immense size, those from twenty to thirty feet in circumference, and sixty or eighty feet high, being common. Many of the indigenous trees furnish wood useful to the carpenter and ship-builder.
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Among the most valuable is the Australian yellow pine, a tree which grows often to the height of one hundred feet without a branch. It makes fine and strong masts for vessels. Many of this species have been found forty feet in circumference.
Many of the trees are beautified in spring by blossoms of a bright red or yellow. The flowers of New Zealand are almost all peculiar to that part of the world. Many of them are very beautiful.
On the river banks and in marshy places is found the flax peculiar also to New Zealand. This variety, known as the largest and among the finest, grows in many parts of the island without cultivation. Its leaves are found twelve feet in length, while the flower-stalks shoot up to a height of twenty feet.
Of quadrupeds New Zealand originally had none. The dog was found there by Captain Cook, and supposed by him to be indigenous. But the inhabitants have a tradition that, many hundred years ago, a number of divinities who landed on their shores left them some dogs. It is probable, therefore, that some ship, passing before either Cook or Tasman, left these animals. The dog was, in the wild state of the New Zealanders, a most useful and ill-treated servant. But for his faithful watch and wakening bark, many a family or tribe would have been annihilated. He was and is but poorly fed, and the race had much degenerated when the island first came under the notice of Europeans. They were former-
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GOING TO BED WITH A PIG.
ly frequently eaten, and their skins were used for dresses.
The pig was introduced by Cook. It flourished in the mild climate of New Zealand, and soon became a favorite animal with the natives. Dogs and pigs were in former days the beasts most highly prized. They were often permitted to rest on the same couches with their masters and mistresses. Travelers speak of seeing two natives sleeping with a pig laid cozily between them upon the bed. Pigs were trained to follow their masters about the country like dogs, to answer as well as might be to the names bestowed upon them, and to make themselves as much at home in the huts as their masters were.
Rats were first introduced by European vessels. When caught, the natives cook them. The puhihi, which is New Zealand for pussy-cat, was brought to the islands since 1815. The natives account it very nutritious food, and admire it much also for the softness of its fur. Residents ten or fifteen years ago complained much of the impossibility of keeping cats.
Sheep, cattle, and horses flourish since their introduction, the climate agreeing with all.
There are no serpents on the islands. The guana, a harmless species of lizard, is found sometimes several feet in length. In many parts of the world these lizards are eaten by the natives, and in the West Indies they are even accounted a first-rate dish by the European residents. But the New
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Zealanders, although they have an appetite for almost any thing that can be masticated, have not practiced upon the guana.
It is related that, in 1837, three snakes, twined about a piece of foreign wood, drifted ashore in the River Hokianga. At sight of them the natives were much alarmed. With their ever-ready superstition, they thought them the divinities of another country.
With birds New Zealand seems to be well stocked. The tui, or mocking-bird, is most spoken of by incidental visitors. Its body is jet black. It has two tufts of brilliant white feathers pendent from its throat. Various kinds of parrots and parroquets enliven the forest with their shrill scream. Wood-pigeons, with a beautiful golden-green plumage, are very numerous. The cuckoo, the kingfisher, together with various species of swallows, ducks, a thrush, and a number of smaller birds peculiar to the hemisphere, are found in different parts of the islands.
Among the more remarkable birds is the fan-tailed flycatcher, so called because, although its body is not bigger than a walnut, it has a large tail, which it spreads out in the shape of a fan. When spread out to its full extent it is more than six inches across. Its plumage is plain black and white.
The kiwikiwi is the most singular bird at present found in New Zealand. It is covered with a hairy feather like the cassowary. It is thirty inches long. The bill is six inches in length, and shaped like that of a curlew. The legs are short; but it is a fast
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BIRDS NOW EXTINCT.
runner, and has, besides, considerable strength in its talons. Dogs, when set to chase it, sometimes fare very roughly. It lives upon earth-worms, and, in search of these, burrows deeply in the ground. The natives catch it by building fires after night near its haunts. Sitting near a fire, a noise similar to the bird's cry is made by breaking in two small dried sticks. Attracted by this, they approach the fire, become confused by the glare, and are easily captured.
Naturalists have been much excited by the skeleton of a large bird of the emeu kind, found some years ago near one of the new settlements. It is supposed that this bird is now no longer found upon the island. The bones found lead to the presumption that it must have been at least twelve feet high. The natives have a tradition among them that in former times an attui, or divinity, having the form of a bird, and covered with hair, existed in various parts of the islands. They state that this attui waylaid and killed travelers, and afterward devoured them. Those who know how many parts of New Zealand are yet untrodden by the foot of a European, harbor a hope that living specimens of this singular bird may yet be found. From the formation of the skeleton discovered, it is supposed that this bird was without wings. It would therefore be easily caught, and was probably used for food by the natives in times past.
With fruits New Zealand was originally but sparsely provided. Its climate is such, however, that al-
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most all of the fruits and grains of the temperate zone flourish. The most valuable esculents are the taro and the kumera. The taro, which is likewise indigenous to nearly all the South Sea Islands, is a large round root the size of a small pumpkin. It tastes somewhat like a potato, and, either roasted or boiled, makes a most excellent meal.
Albert. Did you ever taste of taro?
George. Yes, indeed. I have made many a good meal of it. In the Sandwich Islands taro and milk used to be my favorite meal. Wherever the taro is grown it is a chief dish.
The kumera is a species of sweet potato. It is much used by the natives, who pay great attention to its cultivation. The kumera, according to tradition, was the first food of the inhabitants of these islands. It is held in great veneration, and is declared by the natives to be an especial gift of the gods. Those who plant it, as well as the field on which the plant grows, are tabooed--that is, made sacred from the touch of others.
The European potato, pumpkin, vegetable marrow, turnip, Indian corn, sugar-cane, together with all the kitchen fruits and vegetables common to England, flourish here remarkably well. Strawberries, raspberries, pomegranates, figs, quinces, nectarines, peaches, apples, pears, and Cape gooseberries, thrive. A kind of fern, growing to the height of twelve feet, is useful to the natives for its root, which they eat. The tea-plant covers the plains.
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NEW ZEALAND FARMS.
The neatness of the farms in New Zealand occasioned astonishment to the earlier visitors to the islands. Mr. Polack, who resided there for a number of years before the missionaries had succeeded in penetrating to the interior, states that few farms in civilized countries are kept in better order. "The potatoes and kumeras were planted in rows of small hills, laid out with strict regularity. Between these hills the taro was set out. Large patches of Indian corn grew in neat order to our right; and all the cultivated land was well cleared of weeds. These weeds were piled on top of walls of stone, surrounding the patch we saw, which was about twenty acres in extent."
The women work the farms. The men give themselves but little trouble concerning agricultural operations. When it was proposed, some years ago, to plant the New Zealand flax in one of the neighboring islands, some intelligent New Zealand chiefs were taken with the plants, in order to explain to the laborers the mode of cultivation. On their arrival, it was found, however, that they knew nothing of the business themselves. They claimed to understand only carving in wood and the art of war.
Mr. Polack, in adverting to native farms, says again: "We passed plantations before we entered the pa (native village). Potatoes, kumeras, Indian corn, melons, pumpkins, vegetable marrow, taro, turnips, and several other vegetables, were planted here with a regularity and neatness that astonished
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traveling Europeans at the advanced state of agriculture among these people, who are so far behind in every thing else. A taiapa or fence," concludes Mr. Polack, "surrounded each plot of ground, to prevent the dogs and pigs from following the natural bent of their inclinations."
We come now to speak of the people. I shall tell you first of their condition, habits, and customs while yet in a savage state. We will then look at their present state, and you will be enabled by this contrast to see more distinctly the blessed influence of our holy religion in redeeming man from the lowest depths of ignorance and pagan brutality, and raising him to a happy and useful life.
The investigations of men of science have proved that the natives of all the islands of the South Pacific, except New Holland, are descended from the Malay stock. Bodily conformation, the kindred structure of their various languages, and the existence of similar legends and traditions, all bear witness to this common origin. The New Zealanders have many traits and traditions to prove their Malay descent.
Concerning the origin of the island, native tradition states that Mawe, king of Heaven, was one day fishing at the place now occupied by Hawke's Bay, in the northern island. He had had "poor luck," and was about giving up for the day, when he felt a huge bite, and, hauling up after some difficulty, raised the island of New Zealand. It is related that
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Mawe used part of one of his ears as bait upon this occasion; and, as an evidence of the truth of their story, the natives pointed out in former times an islet in Hawke's Bay, known to them as Mutton no Mawe, or "Mawe's fish-hook."
The natives about the Bay of Plenty had a tradition that the country was peopled by the descendants of some persons who came to that bay in a large canoe. They assign divine powers to these colonists, and the river, which it is stated the canoe first entered, is known at this day as Ouwoa o te Atua, "The River of God." The only article of food these colonizing divinities brought with them was the kumera, potato, of which I have before spoken.
The earlier visitors to New Zealand describe the natives as divisible into three tribes or classes, distinguished by differences in color and form. The olive or copper-colored race, who occupy the greater portion of the islands, are a finely-formed people. They are active and muscular, tall, well-formed, and robust. They are very often found above six feet in stature, and most travelers unite in calling them a race of giants. Their countenances, particularly of the women, are pleasing; their manner, when inspired by kindly feelings, is dignified and prepossessing; their features approach the European cast more nearly than those of any other South Sea Islanders. Their hair is glossy, black, and curling.
The inferior class, among whom are reckoned the dark brown and black tribes, are supposed to be a
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mixed race, the descendants of New Zealanders and natives of Australia. They are smaller, weaker, and less active and intelligent than the first-named class; they are also less courageous than these. Their features partake, to some degree, of the flatness of the Papuan race. They are despised by their lighter-colored neighbors, and live as a separate class.
As a nation, the New Zealanders have always been famous as great eaters. They are not intemperate in any other respect; but all travelers and residents concur in expressions of astonishment at the quantity of food a New Zealander is capable of consuming.
Polygamy was universally practiced among them while yet in a heathen state. There was, however, one chief or head wife, who partook, to the exclusion of the rest, in the honors and troubles of the husband. On the death of the husband this wife usually committed suicide, in order to follow her lord as quickly as possible to the other world. This was not, however, demanded by custom, but seems to have been permitted as a legitimate expression of affection on the part of the wife.
In India a widow perishes at the stake. In New Zealand the less romantic manner was by the halter or by drowning. Mr. Polack states that during his stay on the Southwest Coast, a report arrived that a chief of a neighboring village had been killed in battle, whereupon a relative immediately brought the head wife of the defunct chief a rope made of
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flax, with which, going to some sacred bushes near by, she hung herself, no one attempting to prevent her. The story had a more tragical termination than this. A few days after the wife's suicide her husband returned, unharmed, the report of his death having been a mistake. The slave who had been bearer of the ill news was now instantly killed, cooked, and eaten, to expiate his mistake, and pacify the sorrow of the husband.
The New Zealanders are no less noted for the strength of their friendship than for their savage ferocity in war. It is told of them that long journeys were in former times made merely for the purpose of holding reunions of friends and relatives. The decease of friends produces the most overpowering emotions.
On such occasions the ceremony called tangi is practiced. This is a chant or lament, in which all join. The chorus is a wail of joy or sorrow, as the case may be; but in either case all eyes are suffused with tears, and those most violently affected seize on sharp mussel-shells and lacerate various parts of the body, so that in a short time, although the occasion may be but slight, blood will be flowing on all sides.
This ceremony of tangi was a passion with the New Zealanders. Although appropriate only on occasions of great joy or sorrow, the most trivial pretexts sufficed to cause its enactment. If two friends met upon the safe return of one from a journey, the tangi was immediately performed. If part of a tribe
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on a journey accidentally met a friendly chieftain, the legitimate result was the tangi. And it is related that, so far did this passion extend, that sometimes, during the enactment of a tabarro, a species of dramatic performance, a person in the audience would suddenly rise and propose a tangi, whereupon the play was instantly abandoned, and actors and audience began their doleful chant. The whole assembly would shortly be deluged in tears, which these people seem to have the ability to shed at will. Shortly mussels are in requisition, and blood is seen trickling from the faces and bodies of the performers. The excitement grows wilder, until finally many sink to the earth exhausted, their scanty garments saturated with blood.
Their mode of salutation, like that of many of the South Sea Island tribes, is by rubbing noses together. Thus, where you would shake the hand of a stranger or friend, the New Zealander would rub his nose against the other's, the violence of the friction bearing an exact proportion to the warmth of his friendship. It is a singular custom, and one which is not always pleasant to a person who has been used to the ways of civilized life.
Their dress was very simple, that of women differing but little from that of the men. The most valued dress was formed of dog-skins. It was in shape somewhat like a cloak, and was fastened about the neck of the wearer by means of a flaxen cord. The skins were cut into pieces and fitted together
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MANNERS AND DRESS.
in such a manner as to make an agreeable blending of colors. A cloak of this kind was called a pui. The lining to which the dog-skin was sewed consisted of a coarse kind of matting, very strong. The warriors did not themselves scorn to sew upon these garments.
The other articles of clothing were a cloth fastened about the middle, and a mat reaching from the shoulders to the feet. These flaxen mats were nicely woven, and had borders of green, yellow, or scarlet, of very fine workmanship. The tall and portly forms of the natives make a fine appearance as they stalk about in this long white flaxen mat.
I speak of the manner of dress and of many other native customs in the past tense, because the progress of Christian civilization has brought about many modifications and changes in these matters; yet, in the more remote portions of the islands, the more harmless of these customs still obtain.
The mats are formed by scraping flax, then tying a number of threads together, and binding these crosswise about an inch asunder. The flax has the appearance of floss silk. When a mat is to be made, a New Zealand lady invites all her friends to assist her. A gathering of this kind is said to be somewhat like an American quilting-party. All the necessary preparations are made beforehand. On the appointed day the company assembles, and amid jest, laugh, song, and conversation, the work goes on till completed.
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The kaitaha mat, which is the finest, is worn by the men. It is made fast over the right shoulder, and hangs in graceful folds to the ankle. As a preservative against rain, large heavy garments are worn. These are made of spear-grass. They are rudely formed, and resemble a rush mat. When squatting down under cover of such a dress in rainy weather, a native could easily be mistaken for a heap of rushes. Thirty-five or forty years ago, some of the richest chiefs could be seen with cloaks made of the feathers of a small bird called the kiwikiwi. These cloaks are now, however, exceedingly rare and costly. Those who have seen them describe them as presenting an exceedingly splendid appearance. I have heard of one of these cloaks, owned by a New Zealand chief, to make which the skins of more than ten thousand kiwis were used.
The natives delighted in anointing their bodies from head to foot with a species of red earth mixed with the oil of a shark's liver. This compound has a most nauseous smell, and rendered the presence of a full-dressed native almost unendurable. Both sexes bored their ears, and took pride in wearing-various ornaments in the holes. Human bones carved, the teeth of friends or enemies, iron nails, the dried skins of parroquets, and pieces of whalebone, were used for this purpose. The ladies also wore armlets, necklaces, and anklets of any of these materials. The men bored the cartilage of the nose, and wore ornaments there.
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The hair of the males (worn long) was gathered together and made fast on the crown in a top-knot. Feathers of sea-fowl were inserted in this top-knot, and the hair was plentifully besmeared with blue, green, yellow, and red coloring materials and oil. The females used flowers instead of feathers. They did not use sharks' oil and ochre till arrived at years of maturity.
Those of the natives who were too poor to afford a water-proof cloak generally took off their scanty clothing on the approach of a rain-storm, and rolled it up in a bundle to keep it dry.
The bodies of the men are very generally hideously tattooed. The females do not indulge in this mode of ornamentation. Sometimes, however, they have a few blue marks on the lips. To undergo the operation of tattooing, the individual lies down with his head resting upon the knee of the operator. Charcoal, powder, and the black juice secreted by the cuttle-fish, are the dyes principally used to effect the stain. The first marks are generally made upon the lips. The cheeks are next embellished, and the process is gradually extended over the entire body. The greatest attention is paid, however, to the marks upon the face. They are thought to add much to the beauty of the individual.
The operation is commenced generally at the age of eighteen, and continued at intervals to mature years. Old warriors sometimes have the lines re-tattooed, suffering for a second time the pain, in
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order to make their embellishments more distinct. The instrument used is small, chisel-shaped, and made of bone. The lines are first drawn with charcoal and water. The chisel then follows these marks. It is driven in by a slight blow from a mallet. The pain is intense, and blood flows freely from the sufferer.
The lines are drawn with great taste and exactitude. Various events in the life of a native are commemorated by them. Thus a line on his nose may have been put there on the day he killed his first enemy. Another mark on his cheek may denote his wedding-day. Another yet may be in memory of some desperate battle, or some more than usually plentiful feast of human flesh. The countenances of the men are made to have a very ferocious expression by means of these marks.
Albert. Did you ever see a New Zealander with his face tattooed?
George. Yes, a good many. The first I saw I thought hideous. But one soon gets used to it, and as the lines are generally drawn with much skill, they shortly strike even a stranger as rather ornamental.
I knew two sailors who had been tattooed in the face. One of these was for some time among the New Zealanders. He was taken prisoner by a warlike tribe while ashore one day from his ship. Three of his shipmates, who were taken with him, were eaten. He was only a boy, and the tribe adopted
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NEW ZEALAND HOUSES.
him. He lived five years among them, and was on several occasions obliged to eat human flesh. He made his escape in a whale-ship which was trading with the tribe to which he belonged. The savages had tattooed only his face and his feet. It gave him a hideous appearance. The chisels used for tattooing are often made of the bones of an enemy. You see here a picture of a New Zealand chief.
The houses of the common people are very ill contrived and uncomfortable. Two forked sticks are set upright in the ground, and from these ridgepoles extend to the earth, at an angle of forty-five degrees. Transverse sticks extend from pole to pole. These are fastened with flax. The roof, laid on these sticks, is made of flags and totoi, a species of grass, and is entirely water-proof. A small hole is left at one side to serve as an entrance.
The hut is seldom more than four feet high, and the entrance-hole is so small that the occupants are
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obliged to crawl in and out on their hands and knees. The fire is built in the centre of the hut on some stones. The smoke is expected to escape by the door-way, although sometimes a hole is left in the centre of the roof to serve as a chimney. The interior of the house is, of course, quite dark. It is occupied only at night, or on cold days, when the weather is so inclement as to make a stay out-doors uncomfortable to the lightly-clothed New Zealander.
The natives are very expert at constructing the houses above described. A war or fishing party, stopping for the night, will erect a whole village in an hour. The building of houses is the care of the men.
In the larger villages a better class of dwellings is found. These are, in general, the property of the chiefs. They are twelve to thirteen feet high, and often forty feet long by twenty wide. The sides and roof are of reeds nicely put together. The roof is afterward thatched. The front, where there is a veranda covered by the roof, is sometimes tastefully ornamented by painting and carving. The New Zealanders have an artistic perception of the beautiful where they confine themselves to simple lines, circles, and ovals, but where they attempt the human figure they always fall into the grotesque. You will see in the picture of a New Zealand village, in the Frontispiece to this volume, some of these grotesque figures.
Each village is surrounded by a strong fence, and
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A NEW ZEALAND VILLAGE.
all the most important ones are protected by palisades, and sometimes a ditch. The constant quarrels of the different tribes, and their mode of warfare, probably made this protection necessary. Besides the dwellings, every village contains the storehouses of the inhabitants. Some of these are erected with great care. The flax-houses are sometimes seen forty feet in height. The canoe-houses are also very long and high. Sometimes families live in a story above the canoes. These last are carefully placed on rollers, to keep them from the ground.
Besides these store-rooms, they have the watta, platforms built upon trees, or raised on stout branches. These are used as depositories for provisions of all kinds, as well as for the valuables of the tribe; and here sometimes the women take refuge, hauling the ladder up after them, and remaining in safety from attack till their lords return. You will see a watta in the village near one of the houses.
The houses are considered sacred by their owners. They never eat in them; and with the exception of fleas, with which they appear to be universally infested, the apartments are very nicely kept.
In the construction of canoes the natives display much ingenuity. These vessels are found of various sizes, from the little tewai, eight feet long, to the pitau of eighty feet. Canoes are usually made of yellow or red pine. They are formed of a single tree, and with the rude instruments used by the natives, the finishing of a large canoe is a labor of many months.
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You may judge of the immense thickness of the forest trees of New Zealand by the size of their canoes.
A NEW ZEALAND BOAT.
I have seen a description of one purchased by a resident: it was seventy-six feet long, six feet wide, and four feet deep. To construct it, a tree had been burned down, the natives having, at that time, no axes. The log was afterward burned out, and then its shape was given it by means of native adzes and chisels. The sides were two inches thick, the bottom three. Thwarts or seats were firmly fixed inside to strengthen the boat.
To make it higher, and thus add to its capacity,
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a plank was fastened to each side; these planks were each sixty-six feet long. An entire tree was consumed in making one of these planks. They were fifteen inches wide and two inches thick, and were fastened to the hull of the canoe by means of a strip of board, placed outside, over the junction of the plank and hull. Holes were bored in the plank and in the canoe, and the two firmly lashed together with scraped flax; the holes were then closed up with a vegetable substance. Thus the line of junction was entirely water-tight.
Great pains are taken with the ornamental portion of the canoe, the figure-head and stern-post. All their skill in carving and painting is lavished on these parts, and they generally succeed in giving the structure a very odd look indeed. On the canoe I have been describing to you, the figure-head projected six feet beyond the hull, and was about three feet in height. The ruppa, or stern ornament, was about twelve feet high, eighteen inches broad, and two inches thick. When in use, long garlands of feathers generally hang pendent from the stem and stern, and gannet's feathers line the band below the gunwale on either side. The entire canoe is painted a bright red, with the red earth before mentioned. When just starting upon a trip, a boat thus dressed off presents a fine appearance.
The paddles are light, and neatly made. The blade is broad at the centre, and sharp at the lower end. The entire instrument is four or five feet long.
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Steering-paddles are longer. A carved paddle is used as a spear on gala days. Those used in the canoes are generally without ornament. Many of the canoes will easily carry one hundred men. Although they are so narrow and shallow, the natives venture to carry sail on them. There is but one small mast, and the sail is triangular, the broad part being carried uppermost. It is made of a species of grass. The natives understand only how to sail before the wind. With such shallow vessels, they could not safely use the sail with the wind from any other direction. In paddling, the entire crew strike the water as one man. Time is kept by songs and choruses, in which all join. The greatest velocity of a New Zealand canoe is about six miles per hour. When a great warrior chief dies, his favorite canoe and all its appendages are placed in the cemetery as a monument to him.
As before stated, the New Zealanders are noted as hearty eaters. They are not by any means nice as to the quality of their food. In speaking of their farms and gardens, I enumerated to you the vegetables they make use of. Of these the kumera is probably the most important. In traveling, dried fish, and a preparation of fish and potatoes, are much used. These articles can be prepared beforehand, and save trouble on the journey.
In their selection of animal food the natives are not at all nice. The blubber of the whale is considered a luxury. Scraps--that is, bits of blubber from
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NEW ZEALAND GLUTTONY.
which the oil has been extracted, are highly valued as delicacies. When the carcass of a whale is thrown ashore in any of the bays, the neighboring tribes have a fight over it. This generally results, however, in a treaty, by which all comers are permitted to participate. When it is taken into consideration that, ere a whale thus drifts ashore, his body is generally half decayed, you may judge of the strength of a New Zealander's appetite and stomach.
The liver of the shark, which is a mass of oil, is thought a most delicious morsel. It has a sickening smell, but to this the natives do not object. Fish of every kind form an important article of food. Dogs, cats, and rats are favorites of the table. Seal oil is thought a very palatable drink; and sealers of former times complained that their native visitors not only drained the oil from their lamps, but actually swallowed the wicks.
Mr. Polack relates that, when traveling on one occasion with two native attendants, they passed the carcass of a shark lying upon the beach. The stench arising from the body in a state of decomposition was so strong as to disagreeably affect the traveler's olfactories. They stopped for the night at a village not far from the shark's body, and during the night the two native attendants actually proceeded to the beach and devoured nearly the whole carcass.
Tarria, a Bay chief, a giant even among the New Zealanders, was noted for an undiscriminating appetite. It is stated of him that, in his wars, he has
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frequently eaten a baby at a single meal. This man was seen to swallow a bucket full of cook's dripping and slush, and ask for more.
The New Zealand mode of cooking is identical with that practiced in most of the South Sea Islands. A hole is dug in the ground, and in this a fire is built. Flat stones are thrown in and made red-hot. Another hole is now made ready. Its sides and bottom are lined with flat stones, by this time nearly red-hot. The provisions, be these pigs, fish, or kumeras, are wrapped up in leaves, and placed in the hole. Some more leaves are piled on the top, an old basket is covered over all, water is poured on (which causes a dense steam to arise), and earth is quickly thrown over the basket in sufficient quantities to prevent the escape of the steam. In twenty or twenty-five minutes the oven is opened, and the provisions are found to be nicely cooked. I have frequently partaken of meats and taro prepared in this way, and can vouch for it as being an excellent method of cooking.
In cleaning the animals which they intend to eat, the New Zealanders are not so careful as a more civilized taste demands. To save the blood of a pig intended for dinner, they take the luckless animal to the nearest watercourse and drown it. Almost all parts are eaten, and the only preparation for the oven, in many cases, is to singe the hair off and wash the animal's outside. It is first opened when brought upon the table. Food is served in little
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NEW ZEALAND MARRIAGES.
baskets neatly and expeditiously made of a tough grass. These are used but once, fresh ones being-prepared for each meal.
The handicrafts of savages are of course few, and only adapted to supply their most urgent necessities. At present, most of the European tools are in common use among the natives of New Zealand. In former times, the chisel, made of flint or red jasper, the axe and the battle-axe, made of granite, and the tattooing chisel, made of the bones of an enemy, were the only tools in use. Axes were considered almost priceless treasures. They were never sold, and, being of stone and indestructible, were handed down from father to son as family heir-looms.
In those times fishing-nets were their chief manufacture besides canoes. Many of these nets and seines were one thousand feet long. They were made of flax, and lasted a long time. A whole village or tribe was employed in the manufacture of one of these instruments, and during its progress the neighborhood was strictly tabooed, that is, made sacred--all approach of strangers being entirely prohibited. The violation of this taboo was invariably productive of a war, in which the violators, when caught, were religiously eaten.
Among the many odd customs peculiar to New Zealand, not the least singular is their manner of tying the marriage knot. There are no preliminary ceremonies. When all is prepared, the lover conducts his bride to his hut, and she is at once in-
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stalled as mistress. But no sooner does this take place than a party of the friends of both parties arrive upon the scene. They strip the new-married pair of every thing they possess, and give them, besides, a sound beating. How this absurd practice originated is not known, but no one is exempt from its operation. It is part of the custom called utu by the natives.
The various operations of this custom seem exceedingly absurd to one accustomed to more enlightened ideas of right and propriety. Old settlers and traders relate many instances in their own experience when utu or satisfaction was demanded on the most preposterous pretenses. If a man, in attempting to knock another man down, should hurt his own foot, he straightway demands utu, or a present of some kind, as a satisfaction for the injury he has sustained. If a man falls in battle, his good friends instantly rush to his plantation, and rob his wives and children of all they have, as utu for the death of their friend. If a canoe is by accident overturned opposite a village, the inhabitants immediately swim off to the scene of disaster, and take possession of canoe, paddles, and all of the contents on which they can lay their hands. If a man's wife dies, he is in turn robbed by his best friends.
The village at which a white trader resided was tabooed because the inhabitants were engaged in the manufacture of a fishing-net. The trader had purchased at a neighboring village a quantity of hogs
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UTU AND TABOO.
and some native mats. The canoe containing his purchases unluckily approached the tabooed settlement to deliver the goods, none of the boatmen knowing of the taboo. This was thought a legitimate occasion for the exaction of utu, and consequently the natives made in a body for the waterside, and took possession of the canoe and its contents, driving the boatmen off. The trader recovered his property only on the payment of several hogs and some tobacco.
An English traveler in New Zealand relates that, upon entering a village once when a great feast was being held, he was received with a salute of fire-arms. In this, one chief was so unfortunate as to be hurt by the recoil of his musket. His friends immediately rushed up to him, and took away not only the musket, but, in addition, every article of clothing he had on, by way of utu, or (as they judged) reasonable compensation for having committed the disrespect to the white stranger of injuring himself.
The taboo, or sacred prohibition, is a custom common to nearly all the Pacific Isles. The priests have the entire management of it. It operates in such a manner as to render a place, person, or thing sacred from touch, and, consequently, from spoliation. The flax-houses of the natives, which contain some of their most valuable goods, are strictly tabooed to all but the owners, and, consequently, they are perfectly safe from the depredations of thieving warriors, who would draw upon their heads the venge-
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ance of a whole people by even a slight breach of the prohibition.
The kumera fields, as well as the planters, are in like manner tabooed. Cemeteries are under taboo, and may not be touched. If an accident of any description occur to the person of a chief, the scene of its occurrence is thenceforth tabooed. This is generally published to passing strangers by fastening a small quantity of human hair to a tree or stick near the place. This sign is never violated unless for the purpose of making a quarrel.
When either sex are busily engaged on any particular kind of work, they are tabooed, and forbidden to touch food with their hands. They are then fed like little children. If a poor slave is thus tabooed, he has to eat his food from the ground as best he may, as no one will think it worth while to feed him.
A father is not unfrequently tabooed not to strike or touch his child for a certain time; and travelers relate that the children are not slow to take advantage of this prohibition. A whole neighborhood tabooed is obliged to suspend connection with outsiders. Chiefs living at the mouth of a river will often taboo it in order to cut off the communication of those above with the shipping below; and in such cases the natives do not hesitate to fire into any boat attempting an infraction of the prohibition.
Although the New Zealand women have naturally strong affections, they were, in former times, often
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NEW ZEALAND CHILDREN.
guilty of infanticide. Boys were never killed; but little girls were very often strangled or drowned as soon as born. The reason for this is that the mother does not desire the trouble of caring for a child which will never be of help or advantage to her, but is destined to be the wife and slave of some stranger.
Boys are treated with the greatest consideration. They are early trained to believe themselves quite the equals of their fathers. The son of a chief accompanies him in all his expeditions. He is never punished by his parent. From his earliest years he has a place beside his father in council; he talks freely, and his opinions are listened to with deference. One mat accommodates both father and son when they rest, and in all things else they live and labor in common.
This treatment makes the children very hardy, but also exceedingly impudent. Little fellows, scarcely able to walk, may be seen steering large canoes; boys of six years ask questions and give vent to their opinions on the topics of the day in large assemblies of chiefs. They dance, play tricks, and gormandize in a style quite equal to their elders. In fact, it seems there is a Young New Zealand as well as a Young America.
The religious belief of the New Zealanders is peculiar. They know of no one God, creator and preserver of all. Their deities--atuas they call them--may be numbered almost by thousands. They have dim legends of some gods to whom the islands
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and the first inhabitants owed their existence; but every well-known chief that dies is supposed to become immediately an atua, and to exercise more or less influence on the fortunes of those with whom he has been connected in this life.
The tastes and actions assigned to these atuas are much more gross and evil than are possessed by their worshipers. They are therefore feared, and the chief business of the priests is to force them, by means of charms and incantations, to leave in peace the bodies or fortunes of those whom they are supposed to be tormenting.
All, even the most trivial, of the incidents of daily life are attributed to the influence of atuas. If a poor man has a griping of the bowels, he straightway consults a priest, under the belief that some more than usually evil disposed divinity is feeding upon his entrails. Every bad passion, with its results, is laid to the charge of an atua. On the contrary, the pleasures of life are taken for granted, no intervention on the part of the priesthood being asked to procure their continuance. The lizard is supposed to be an atua; and the appearance of one of the large guanas would have been sufficient, thirty years ago, to put to flight an entire army of New Zealanders. The winds are supposed to be under the direction of certain atuas. The presiding divinity of the westerly winds (which are particularly squally) is believed to be especially passionate and easily ruffled. And the natives say farther that, not un-
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NEW ZEALAND SUPERSTITIONS.
frequently, he chokes from anger, by which they account for the long discontinuance of the westerly gales.
Although not worshiped as good beings, the atuas are much respected. As they are the forefathers and relatives of their worshipers, this is quite reasonable. If a native finds cause to believe that he has offended his atua, he endeavors to conciliate him by throwing into the water some object of value, or by burning down his house. If, however, he have a neighbor weaker than himself, he very wisely burns his house rather than his own, believing that this will effect a reconciliation as well. If he is led to believe that none of these actions have been successful in mollifying the wrath of his atua, he hesitates not to commit a crime of deeper dye. He sacrifices a slave.
Dreams are regarded with much superstitious attention. It is a common amusement of the old people to tell and explain each other's dreamy fancies.
With their numerous divinities, all spirits of evil, it is not surprising that the New Zealanders are arrant cowards in the dark; and that, even in broad daylight, the twitter of a harmless little bird or the hooting of an owl causes them to tremble. When on a boating expedition, no inducements are sufficient to cause them to remain on the water after dark. In the villages no one stirs out after sunset. The various noises heard in the forests are supposed to be caused by different atuas, an accidental meet-
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ing with whom would surely be fatal. The musical chirp of the zui bird causes a general tremor in the largest evening assemblage. The voice of the little korimaku bird, which is found near cemeteries, is believed to be the utterance of an atua, which, in this guise, watches the bones of the dead, and warns intruders off.
The wai-tapus, or cemeteries, are regarded with
A WA1-TAPU, OR CEMETERY.
much veneration by all New Zealanders. These burial-places are generally situated amid a grove of trees. Death would be certain to any one who was discovered eating the fruit of one of these trees. A
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A WAI-TAPU, OR CEMETARY.
stout fence surrounds the space where, beneath monumental effigies, repose the bones of departed chiefs. The carvings on these monuments are mostly of the most grotesque kind. You have a sample opposite.
One would hardly suppose such rude and repulsive countenances and shapes to be intended as monuments of departed greatness. "One of these posts," writes Mr. Polack, "was nearly thirty feet high. The upper part was carved in the semblance of a man, with a dull animal expression. This upper figure stood upon the head of another, which had a most grotesque face. The tongues of both figures were extended to more than their natural length. This is a feature peculiar to nearly all native efforts at sculpture. The eyes were formed of pieces of pearl shell, and were large enough for a dozen figures. Rarore pointed out to me a small box, made from an old canoe, which contained the remains of a deceased child of his, whose bones had been scraped and washed clean of the flesh before being deposited here. This box was placed in the branches of a tree."
The monuments are generally painted red. Where houses are built to preserve the remains of the dead, old canoes are used as the building material. In these houses the bones of celebrated chiefs repose, in company with the muskets, spears, and other arms they used during life. Against the fence nearest the house, large pieces of canoes are fastened; these contain fac similes of the tattooing marks by which the deceased chieftain was distinguished when alive.
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Speaking of passing a wai-tapu, Mr. Polack says: "At this moment a little korimaku bird raised its musical voice; my natives closed near to each other, and Wata turned to me, saying, 'That is the god of the New Zealanders. lie warns us not to come near the wai-tapu: let us walk quick and avoid his anger.'" Upon occasions of war, or when it has become necessary for any cause to propitiate to an extraordinary degree the atuas, it is customary to have a great gathering of the tribe, and, amid feasting, to exhume the bones of the last deceased chieftains in the cemetery of the tribe, and scrape them clean, preparatory to their being deposited in a new receptacle above ground. This ceremony, called the Haihangu, is regarded with peculiar awe, inasmuch as the spirits of those now about to be formally canonized are expected to watch vigilantly over the proceedings.
The bones are scraped with mussel-shells, washed in a tabooed stream, and placed in the cemetery. From this place they are brought by the priests, who march in procession, singing sacred songs, while the multitude shout exaggerated praises of the bravery and other good qualities of the deceased. It was once the fashion on these occasions to sacrifice slaves to the manes of the deceased. The bodies of these slaves were then cooked for the feast, which concludes the ceremonies of the Haihangu. This custom was discontinued on account of the scarcity of slaves.
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THE HAIHANGU, OR SCRAPING OF BONES.
The procession finally returns to the wai-tapu, where the bleached bones are placed upon a raised platform, on a mat powdered with kokowai--the red earth used for painting. In front of the platform, on small poles set into the ground, a number of human heads are displayed. These are the heads of enemies, perhaps slain by the deceased. They have been duly prepared, and dried with the skin on, and are now stuffed with flax. "The countenances have a sardonic grin, which gives them a frightful appearance," says Mr. Polack, who attended one of these celebrations. "All were very much tattooed, and their bushy beards still clung to the faces. The flax projecting through their eyes added to the ferocity of their appearance. One head had a large gash across the forehead; another had the lower jaw nearly severed. Some circlets of twisted grass were placed above seven of the poles. These were called wakaous, and were said to have been picked up near tabooed places. They had been left there by the spirits of the dead on their way to their future residence."
The feast in the afternoon is attended by the inhabitants of all the surrounding villages. Besides eating, this is an occasion for speech-making. Wars, fishing-parties, kumera patches, and all the various interests of the tribe, are discussed in a grandiloquent manner, which is not altogether peculiar to savages, and the chiefs endeavor to excel one another in braggadocio.
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A New Zealand chief is a proud being. His person is accounted divine. His hair, when cut, which is not often, is carefully gathered up, and placed in the wai-tapu of the tribe. Their spirits, after death, are supposed to reign in heaven. It is thought a chief's left eye ascends to heaven with his soul, and takes its place as one of the stars in the firmament. They do not relish being killed in war, as in this case it is supposed that their spirits become subject to those of their conquerors. But, as they have before them the fact that on their decease their bodies will be treated with the utmost honor, and their spirits will be worshiped as divinities, they look death in the face without blenching, and, in fact, regard him as rather a welcome visitor.
A chief, after his decease, is seated in state on a trestle or in a canoe. Every thing in the vicinity is strictly tabooed; the body is decorated with handsome mats, which reach to the chin. The head is splendidly ornamented with feathers. The hair is turned up, crammed into a bunch, and tied with a parre, or native ribbon. The hair and ribbon are dripping with train oil. If the deceased has been a principal chief, the skulls and bones of his ancestors are honorably placed in a canoe or platform near him, while the remains of his enemies, taken in battle, are at his feet.
Mr. Polack witnessed the laying out of a warrior's corpse. He says: "Around the body lie his weapons of defense, which are to be buried with him.
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By his side lay the body of an interesting girl, his wife. She had hung herself the day previous from grief. Some slaves, male and female, had been put to death, that their spirits might be in waiting to attend their superiors at the reinga, or heavenly gathering. The several surviving wives of the deceased, together with a multitude of relations, friends, and children, were grouped around, bleeding at every pore from large gashes cut in their flesh. The air resounded with their groans and waitings."
The chief leads his tribe to battle in times of war; he enjoys the flattery of his subjects, and is generally the wealthiest man in the village. But he is not, by his position, exempt from any labors of the tribe. He takes an active part in the manufacture of fishing-nets, and even labors in the fields in common with other men. The women, however, do most of the field labor. The carving, for which New Zealanders are celebrated, is all the work of chiefs. In this they take peculiar pride. In the villages, in daily life, there is but little distinction made between a chief and a private citizen. The village meals are partaken of by all in common, without distinction of rank. The white traders complain of the chiefs as being more mean and cunning than their followers, and as never losing a chance to cheat or steal.
The office of priest is one of some importance in the New Zealand villages. The priest of a district is also its barber, surgeon, physician, necromancer,
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apothecary, and fortune-teller. The office is open to any one, either male or female. The younger relations, who have but little property, generally take to the priesthood as a means of gaining influence and an easy living.
When a priest has established his character and influence, he is consulted on all the important occasions of life. The crops, fishing excursions, marriages, war, and peace, all are held in abeyance till the priest has decided. He causes war to be proclaimed, and, after its commencement, decides upon its continuance or cessation. After a victory, he is expected to examine the entrails of the slain while their bodies are preparing for the table. From the position and taste of these entrails he decides upon the renewal or cessation of the contest. The priests have the exclusive privilege of eating the body of the first slain in a battle. The chiefs and tribe partake of the balance. The anathema of a priest is much dreaded, as most potent and evil-working.
As they are frequently called upon to foretell future events, it not unfrequently happens that their prophecies are unfulfilled. In this case it is readily believed that some evil-disposed atua overruled the natural order of events to spite the priest; and the people, in consequence, pay a double tribute of applause to the priest's discrimination, and avenge themselves upon the atua by expressions of boundless contempt.
Slaves are persons taken prisoners in war or pred-
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atory excursions. The master has full power over the life of his servant. If a slave be caught in an attempt at escape, any one may kill him. Their condition is very unhappy. When they meet they weep together over departed happiness, and cut deep gashes in their bodies as tokens of their sorrows. They are subject to all the caprices of their savage masters; even their lives are at no moment secure. If their masters happen to be hungry, they think but little of having a slave cooked for dinner.
In 1834, Tarria, a chief who had been companion in arms with E'Ongi, the greatest and most ferocious of New Zealand's chiefs, landed at the Bay of Islands with a parcel of slaves. On the first day he had three slaves killed and cooked for his party. Rev. Mr. Butler, a missionary, was present and witnessed the horrid spectacle. He used every entreaty, and even fell on his knees before the chief, to induce him to save the lives of the rest of the slaves, about forty in number. This Tarria had always protected the missionaries, and he gave the required promise. But, annoyed at being disturbed in his social enjoyments, he, with his party, shortly removed to a distance of sixteen miles inland, and there finished his entire boat-load of slaves, killing and eating at the rate of three per day.
When a slave dies of disease he is not eaten; his body is flung into the sea, or into the next hole, where dogs devour it. When killed, no sacrificial honors are paid to a slave; the corpse is handed over
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to the cook, and when ready for the table, a small portion of the meat is given to the priest, who places it in a basket, which is suspended in the wai-tapu, or cemetery, as a propitiatory offering to Wiro, who is the chief spirit of evil.
Owing to the frequency of their sanguinary wars, the natives have learned the art of fortification. Their walled inclosures are called E'pa. Though built in primitive style, they serve to enable a weak tribe to protect itself against the aggressions of a stronger. They are generally built upon hill-tops, where an attacking party will labor under serious disadvantages in making its approaches. The walls, of which there are two, are made of stout posts firmly set in the ground, united by transverse logs, and the interstices filled up with lesser poles and stakes, all bound solidly together with strong reeds. Between the two walls or fences a ditch four feet deep is cut. The pas are most generally taken by stratagem or by the treachery of some of the besieged party, as the warriors are not sufficiently brave for an assault.
Before the introduction of fire-arms among the natives, the spear and the battle-axe, or stone tomahawk, were used. The spear was generally thrown aside in the beginning of an engagement. The battle then merged into a series of single combats, wherein the antagonists seized each other by the hair, each trying to split open the other's head. No mercy was shown or expected. There is no word for "quarter" in the language; and the alternatives
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before a vanquished party were to run away or stay and be eaten.
The use of fire-arms had the effect of changing their mode of warfare considerably. They soon learned to fight at greater distances; and when actually making an assault, they fired as long as they had the courage to stand and load, and then dropped their muskets and rushed to close battle with tomahawks. The slaves and women were made to follow in the rear and gather up the muskets dropped by their lords.
It is related that when the natives first beheld powder, they were under the impression that it was the seed of a vegetable. Accordingly, when some was given to a native chief, he had a space of ground dug in the most careful manner. Waiting until a smart shower had prepared the soil for the reception of seed, he carefully planted the gunpowder. Much to his disappointment, it did not bring him any return; but the paper which contained his supposed seed was thrown into a fire, causing an explosion which quickly dispersed the surrounding savages, who declared the "seed" to be the Atua no to pakeha, "the Deity of the white man."
The trophies of a battle in New Zealand are the heads of the principal chiefs. These heads are carefully preserved by a process which, while it makes the expression of the countenance more horrible than even in life, retains on it all the distinguishing marks of the warrior. The brain, eyes, and tongue are
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extracted; the neck is then closed like a purse, and the head is steamed in a native oven. The fat that issues is carefully wiped away, and the head is hung up over a wood fire till thoroughly smoked. In this condition they will keep for many years.
Upon the conclusion of a peace, the heads are returned to the relatives of the deceased, who recognize them easily by the tattooing marks. Many families keep the restored heads in boxes, airing them in fine weather, to preserve them from damp, and holding them in much veneration. If the conqueror despises his enemy, and does not desire peace, he retains or gives away the heads, or, perhaps, roasts them by the fire and eats them. When a celebrated chief is killed, his body is cut up into small pieces, that all may have a taste. Pieces are even sent to a distance, and received as great favors by those thus borne in remembrance.
The New Zealanders, as a people, have an exceedingly quick sense of injuries, and a vengeful spirit. With great cunning they will bide their time, and, perhaps long after the injury is forgotten by the other party, will take a bloody revenge. This spirit is the cause of the numerous almost ceaseless wars by which the islands were formerly nearly depopulated. In those days any trifling cause was sufficient for a war. The accidental obstruction of a road; the innocent violation of a taboo; the incursion of a strange pig or dog into a wai-tapu--any of these, and even yet more insignificant occasions, were sufficient
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NEW ZEALAND FEROCITY.
to deluge a whole district in blood. Thus it happens that, even so late as 1837, there was scarcely a family in the country which had not suffered more or less by wars. Mr. Polack states that, at a Haihangu which he attended, where many hundred families were assembled, one of the chiefs was unable to point out to him a single person that had not eaten an enemy, or that had not lost a friend in the wars. Their natural ferocity seems to be much increased by indulgence in this practice. No action seems too cruel or mean when their savage feelings are aroused. "A chief named Werowero quarreled with a neighboring chief. The latter made use of a native anathema signifying that he would cut off Werowero's head, and sell it to the white traders. For this curse or threat Werowero determined to have full utu. He made himself the steadfast friend of his antagonist, and, watching his opportunity, slew him and cut off his head. This he now privately conveyed to the house of a Mr. Ralph, an English flax-collector residing in that district. Entering the house in the absence of the family, he hung the head in the chimney, over the kettle wherein the provisions for the English family were cooked. It remained there for several days, the fatty matter oozing out and dropping into the food below. When discovered, Mr. Ralph taxed Werowero with the infamy of his conduct; but this chief raved in turn, saying that it was right, because his enemy had threatened him with a like fate."
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There are instances on record where white men, masters of vessels, have aided the savages in their most bloodthirsty schemes, merely in order thereby to gain a few tons of flax. In 1831, a monster named Stewart sailed from Port Jackson, Australia, in the brig Elizabeth, to procure a cargo of flax in New Zealand. On arriving at the flax district, he inquired for the article, and was told in reply by the natives that if he would help them destroy their enemies they would furnish him with a cargo gratis. He instantly agreed, and, taking on board a large number of savages, sailed for Banks' Peninsula, on the eastern coast of the southern island. Arrived there, Stewart decoyed on board the principal chiefs and families.
As they arrived on deck, they were placed in confinement below. A great number were thus decoyed to their death. The victims were actually cooked in the ship's coppers. 1 The head chief, a venerable old man, was nailed alive to a stancheon in the cabin, and the body of his son was devoured before his eyes. When no more natives could be decoyed on board, Stewart and his savage allies proceeded ashore, destroyed all they could find, and burned the villages. Thereupon he procured the cargo he had so iniquitously earned, and returned to Sydney. He was never punished for his inhumanity.
I can give you no better idea of the people as they
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were so late as 1834 and '6, of their heartless ferocity, their treachery, and their singular cowardice, than is to he gathered from an account of one of their war expeditions.
In November, 1831, some natives of Waikato, a district on the western coast, not far from the present city of Auckland, made a visit to Taranaki, or Cape Egmont, with the ostensible purpose of purchasing some fish which are obtainable only at the latter place. The strangers were well received, and, as there were no grudges between the tribes, were harbored without suspicion. Their canoes were repaired for them; they were loaded with presents, and charged nothing for the fish which they had come to purchase. These strangers were spies, come to ascertain the strength of the Taranaki defenses.
About a month after this visit, the Taranaki people were surprised to find their country surrounded by the fires of an enemy. The chiefs immediately gathered their forces to resist an attack. On counting, they found that the entire population amounted to about three thousand. Upon ascertaining that their enemies were more numerous, they determined to retreat to their pa. Being much alarmed, they neglected to take up their crops, which were nearly ripe, and thus, while starving themselves, left for the enemy a plentiful supply of kumera and potatoes.
Now began a scene of suffering and cruelty which seems almost without parallel. The men of Waikato began operations by laying waste all the coun-
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try about the pa, burning down cemeteries and villages, and destroying every thing in their path. Here the fortress was invested, daily assaults being made for twelve days, when the besieged, unable any longer to defend themselves, surrendered. During the siege the attacking party lost thirty-six men.
Reduced to the last stage of famine, and almost senseless with their sufferings and the anticipated horrors, the besieged, on the thirteenth day, in broad daylight, threw down their fences or walls, and fled in every direction. They were instantly pursued with horrid yells. Wherever caught, they were struck down; neither age nor sex was spared. Numbers threw themselves, with their children, down a steep rock, which formed one side of the hill on which the fortification was built. About twelve hundred persons were killed or captured. The latter were crowded into small huts and strongly guarded, while their conquerors glutted themselves with the bodies of the slain lying about the plain.
The following day the prisoners were brought out, and those among them whose faces were well tattooed had their heads struck off. Those who bore but few marks were instantly killed by a blow on the skull. The headless trunks were thrown across a trench, that the blood, which discolored the earth for some miles around, might be carried off.
Every species of cruelty was practiced. Young children were cut open, disemboweled, and roasted on sticks placed close to large fires made of the fence
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A CANNIBAL FEAST.
of the last pa. Four hundred persons were killed in the morning, and a like number in the afternoon. Many of the wretches so overloaded their stomachs with their horrid food that they died of the surfeit. While these cannibal feasts were held, the heads of the slain were placed on sticks thrust into the ground in such manner as to face the victors. These addressed the most insulting language to the lifeless heads, as though they could hear and see.
Josephine. That is a terrible story, George. It makes me shudder to think of such savages. Is it all true?
George. Yes. White traders, who lived in the vicinity, were eye-witnesses to part, and had the rest of the story from the lips of the victors.
Albert. The people of Waikato were very mean, after they had so many presents made to them, and were so kindly treated, to kill their friends. I wish the others had succeeded in driving them away, even if they had killed a great many. The Taranaki seem to have been good people; were they not?
George. They seem to have been fully as bad as those who so treacherously attacked them. The small remnant who succeeded in making their escape when the walls of the pa were thrown down, fled to some neighboring villages for shelter. Its pa was immediately opened to them, and its people assured them of shelter and protection. When, however, the Taranakians, the fugitives, saw that they outnumbered their new friends, they fell upon them,
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and requited their generous friendship by killing and devouring them, leaving scarcely a man alive to tell the tale.
Albert. That was mean. I am not sorry that so many were killed of such mean people.
George. We can scarcely feel any sympathy for so ungrateful and treacherous a people. But we can feel thankful that their descendants have learned to act otherwise, and that cannibalism is no longer practiced in the islands, except, perhaps, in the remotest fastnesses, where the foot of the white man has not as yet penetrated.
The tragedy was not yet, however, finished. The victorious tribes, after carousing to their hearts' content, flushed with their success, determined to attack another pa, in which were stationed at this time eleven Europeans. From the accounts of these we get a more complete idea of the New Zealand mode of warfare than is any where else to be found.
Besides the Europeans the pa contained three hundred and fifty natives. The attacking forces were several thousand strong. Victory seemed to them certain. Yet they looked with distrust upon the presence of the white men, who, they well knew, would make a desperate defense. It was therefore, in council, determined to accomplish the capture of the fort by stratagem or surprise.
The approach of the enemy was discovered from the pa in time to give the natives an opportunity to gather their kumeras and deposit them within the
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fences or walls. At the advice of the Englishmen, they then banked up the fences with clay, so as to make them ball-proof. There happened to be four small field-pieces in the pa. The white men manned these. They had no regular ammunition for them, and were obliged to load with pieces of iron hoop and stones. They determined, however, not to give up, and encouraged the natives to make all the resistance possible, as otherwise their butchery was certain.
The attacking party, on arriving opposite the pa, saw the preparations which had been made for their reception, and at once determined on treachery. A Waikato chief advanced in front of his party, and waved his hat for a parley, he was shortly joined by a chief from the pa. They sat upon the sand, saluted each other, and then began the tangi, or wail of joy, used only by the most endeared friends on meeting. The pa chief then expostulated with his antagonist on the course his tribe were pursuing, asking if the two people had not always been friends, &c., and finally warning him of the well-known valor of the white men.
After much conversation they embraced each other affectionately, the Waikato chief exclaiming, "Well, we will have peace; and before we depart, admit us into your pa, that we may embrace our friends and swear mutual amity, thus insuring our future friendship."
This was not agreed to; but it was concluded that for several days no fighting should take place.
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An hour had not passed since the conclusion of the parley, when the enemy rushed forward, and danced the war-dance before the walls of the pa. While those inside were yet deliberating whether this confident approach meant peace or war, an attack was made upon the fortress. Under the direction of the whites, the natives rallied and fought manfully, repelling their enemies with a loss of several killed and wounded.
On the following day the Europeans became witnesses to a feature in the native campaigns for which a stranger could be scarcely prepared. Several chiefs of the Waikatos, the enemy, came into the fort. These fellows were known to be most bitter and bloodthirsty. They were, nevertheless, freely admitted, and, as the account states, "entered into conversation as if they were animated by the purest sentiments of affection for the besieged." The chief topic of conversation, after the first compliments were over, was the bravery and warlike deeds of each speaker during a skirmish the preceding day. This duly discussed, the enemy were shown the field-pieces; they were permitted to see the few arms of the besieged, and called attention to the fact that the outsiders had many more; the weaknesses in the defenses were pointed out to them, and every advantage or disadvantage possessed by the besieged was fully and fairly discussed, as though neither party was at all interested.
This almost incredible custom is said to have been
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COMICAL RESULT OF A QUARREL.
practiced from time immemorial by the New Zealanders in their wars. It is stated that, in such cases, chiefs readily place themselves in the power of their bitterest foes; and, singularly enough, notwithstanding their readiness for treachery at other times, no advantage is overtaken of this confidence.
When the entire fortress had been reviewed, and all its weak points exposed and discussed, the Waikato chiefs proposed a surrender to the besieged. Had not the white men resisted this, it would probably have been accepted; when the little party would, no doubt, have been murdered to a man.
On the fourth day a meeting was asked by those outside between the head chief of the Waikatos and the native commander of the fortress. They met opposite the pa, and conversed very affectionately together. The Waikato chief finally lamented the disagreement, and the duplicity heretofore used toward the other side, and promised faithfully to withdraw his forces immediately.
When this news reached the pa, a number of the inhabitants determined to invite the enemy to join them in a dance before leaving; others, however, suspected treachery. The dispute between the two parties was very bitter. One man, who had quarreled on the subject with his wife, threw himself into a fire, and was burned so severely that he died a few days after.
Two sisters grew angry on the subject: one, a married woman, who had taken the Waikato side
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of the question, ran out of the pa toward those whose part she had taken. This temptation was too great for them. She was seized and cut to pieces in sight of the pa people. The mangled parts were washed in the brook which ran through the pa, thus effectually tabooing the water, and preventing the natives from using it.
Having now thrown off the mask, the enemy immediately made an assault. They were once more beaten off. They next attempted to undermine the fences or walls, but the vigilance of the besieged rendered this impossible. They then threw firebrands over the walls, or on the huts within. This attempt was also defeated by the English and natives.
Some days after, having, in the mean time, sustained daily losses, the perfidious Waikatos again sued for peace, professing deep regrets for their past actions. Again the pa people were ready to take them at their word, and it required the utmost persuasion of the whites to keep them from surrendering the place.
At last a British schooner arrived in the river fronting the pa. She had on board stores for the white traders and agents in the fort. The Waikatos endeavored to surprise her; but, being unsuccessful in this, consented to let one of their chiefs hold a parley on board with one of the Englishmen from the fort. This amounted to nothing, however. The Waikato chief expressed to the schooner's captain his determination to kill the Englishmen and sell
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their heads. To the English trader he promised to save their lives, with the prospect of being taken as slaves into the interior. Neither of these conditions being at all promising, the Englishmen determined to remain, with their goods, at the fort, and defend themselves to the last. The vessel was obliged to leave, as the neighborhood of such a horde of savages was dangerous to her safety.
Thus the brave Europeans were left to their rather dubious fate. Their position had now become exceedingly irksome. The wretched quarrels and jealousies of the pa natives gave them no less uneasiness than the attacks of those without. All watch duty fell upon the English. The natives retired at dark, and slept unconcernedly all night, as though no enemy were within a hundred miles. Every proposal for peace on the part of the treacherous Waikatos was looked on with favor by the unsuspicious pa men.
This was the state of affairs, when a new species of traffic was opened. The Waikatos possessed between three and four thousand muskets. The pa people had but a hundred of these weapons. In one of the visits within the pa, a trade was started up, and those within the walls were soon supplied with as many muskets as they wanted. And, more singular still, while a trade would be going on within, small parties outside would have desperate skirmishes, in which several would be killed on either side.
Meantime the Waikatos built high mounds of
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clay, by means of which they could overlook and fire into the pa. Those within were thus necessitated to move about with extreme caution, as the exposure of a body was instantly followed by half a dozen balls. The barter of muskets was continued from day to day. On one occasion, while a trading party was within the fort, a quarrel arose between some fort men, who had ventured outside, and several Waikatos. The belligerents immediately came to blows, and in the fracas three of the Waikato party were killed. Their bodies were immediately dragged into the fort, cut up, cooked, and eaten, in the presence of the white men.
On the day following this deed, one of the field-pieces burst, without, however, doing any material injury. But this accident encouraged the assailing party, whose patience was by this time completely exhausted. They made preparations for a decisive assault, and, in the course of the afternoon, informed the pa people that "they intended to lie in ambush early next morning, and thus take the fort by surprise." Such a proceeding as informing an enemy of a contemplated surprise seems almost incredible; but its truth is vouched for by the Europeans, who alone, it seems, thought proper to pay any attention to the threat. The natives treated it with the utmost contempt, and, when night came on, lay down on their mats, and slept as soundly as though no enemy were near.
The whites knew that the Waikatos were now
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THE LAST NIGHT.
nearly without provisions; that a blockade of three weeks, on their part, had rendered them doubly savage; and that the end of all their operations was drawing nigh. The chiefs who had occasionally visited the pa had taken occasion to inform them that they (the whites) were to be eaten, and the chiefs to whose lot each one would fall had been already pointed out. All of these white traders were married to native women, and had their wives and children with them in the fort. Of course, these would share the fates of their husbands and fathers. You may imagine, therefore, the agonizing feelings of these eleven poor fellows when they found themselves on the eve of coming in conflict with several thousand infuriated savages, all thirsting for their blood; and saw, in addition, that their native allies were totally unreliable, and as weak in purpose as they were in numbers.
The long night was passed in solitary watchings, the natives sleeping soundly at the feet of the whites, who knew that the dawn would decide the fates of all. Fancy their feelings, children, as they stood, alone or in couples, upon the walls, peering into the darkness, to discover, if possible, the stealthy advances of the savage hordes. Each moving bough, or reed trembling in the wind, their excited imagination transforms into an enemy. Each sigh of the wind to them seems the whisper of a Waikato; the far-off croaking of a frog, or hooting of an owl, causes them to grasp tighter the musket, and bend forward to meet the attack.
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At earliest dawn the pa was assaulted. The entire body of the enemy rushed with horrid yells upon the wooden walls, hacking and cutting wherever they thought an impression could be made or an entrance effected. The whites, wearied with their long watch, yet braced themselves to meet and repel the assault. The natives arose stupidly from their slumbers, but, once awake, showed themselves ready enough for the melee. Before these had got their eyes open, a party of Waikatos had penetrated to the inside of the fort. Here, however, they were met by the pa people, and at once slain, to a man.
Now began a desperate and stoutly contested engagement, in which the intrenchments were twice forced. The pa people, roused to the fury of maniacs, dealt death at every blow. The field-pieces, loaded with hoops and stones, also did great execution, and in all probability gained the action. After a combat of several hours the assailants retreated, carrying with them their dead chiefs, and the wounded of all ranks. Once flying, however, and they were panic-struck. They dropped the dead chiefs, and even their wounded comrades, and fled precipitately to the northward.
The pa people could not pursue the fugitives, as their numbers were too few. They wreaked vengeance, however, upon the wounded who where left in and about the intrenchments. These were handed into the fort, killed, and at once consigned to the ovens.
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After waiting some time in fear of another attack, the pa people ventured into the deserted camp. Now began a most revolting scene. The enemy had left behind them between three hundred and fifty and four hundred killed and wounded. Many of the wounded were put to death with dreadful tortures. Some were thrown alive on large fires, and devoured with savage satisfaction as soon as cooked. One man, who had proved a traitor to another settlement, was taken prisoner, although but slightly wounded. His captors tied him to a gun. A tomahawk was then held forcibly between his teeth; a hole was cut in his throat, and from this one of the pa people slowly drank his blood. It is stated that the unfortunate traitor did not shrink from the torture. His body was quartered, and the heart, judged a most delicious morsel, was sent to a favorite chief as a present.
The appearance of the pa was that of a horrible slaughter-house. The Englishmen were obliged to remain in their own quarters. Their reproaches were of no effect with the natives, who were drunken with blood. Bodies, half roasted, were flung about in all directions. Pieces of human flesh were hung opposite every house. The entrails of the slain were lying about on all sides. The dogs fed upon these. It was with much difficulty that the poor traders prevented the native servants from bringing into their own kitchens morsels of the horrid food. The enemy had buried many of their number, killed
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during the siege. These were now dug up, and, notwithstanding their decomposition, devoured.
Next, thirteen chiefs of the pa, who were killed during the last assault, were buried with all the honors usually paid to the great men of New Zealand. A quantity of muskets were interred with them, and ten prisoners were sacrificed upon each one's grave, in order that they might have a suitable retinue upon entering the next world.
If the conduct of the pa people was almost too brutal for belief, the actions of their assailants during the siege had not been any better. It is related that one wretch, a chief, ordered a young female slave, taken at the Taranaki village, to make a very large oven, as he intended to entertain some friends, and desired a quantity of food prepared. The girl procured wood, made the necessary excavation, heated the stoves red-hot, and then informed her master that all was prepared, inquiring what provisions were to be cooked. He ordered her to place herself in the oven. The poor girl fell upon her knees, and frantically begged for mercy. But, without heeding her cries, the demon-like wretch seized her, lashed her hands and knees together, and threw her alive into the oven, covering her with stones and earth. When the body was cooked, this monster and his friends partook of it with much relish.
It was to the chief who committed this brutality that several of the white men had been assigned. It is easy to know what would have been their fate had
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WHY NEW ZEALANDERS ARE CANNIBALS.
they fallen into his hands. In fact, during the siege, he at various times, and in the hearing of the traders, boasted of his intention to put them to death by the slowest and severest tortures, then to devour their bodies, and preserve their heads as trophies. Happily, they were enabled to frustrate these intentions, and save themselves from a fate which makes one shudder to think of.
William. I never thought men could act so much worse than beasts. Are you sure that all you have told us is true, George?
George. These statements were made by men who were witness to all they related. They are borne out by the stories of the natives themselves, who are far from denying any of these atrocities, and boast of the commission of even worse than I have related to you.
William. It seems to me they must be demons in human shape.
Albert. They go about like roaring lions, seeking whom they may devour.
George. Yes; they seem drunken with blood.
Josephine. Why do they cat human flesh? Have they always done so? It does not seem to me natural that one man should eat another.
George. It is supposed that revenge, fanned on by a superstitious belief of the New Zealanders, first induced them to eat their enemies. It is thought by them that to devour an enemy annihilates not only his body, but also his soul or spirit, which henceforth
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must lend all its strength, valor, and other good qualities, to the devourer. This doctrine is assiduously taught by the priests, who find their gain in the continuance of wars and feuds.
There is no doubt that cannibalism was at first with the New Zealanders a religious rite. Its performance was then attended, perhaps, with some portion of the disgust natural to man when contemplating an unnatural deed. But a long continuance of the custom, as well as indulgence in its practice from earliest infancy, have altogether depraved the tastes of the natives in this respect, and they have an actual relish for the flesh of a fellow-creature, and lose all sense of wrong in the deed.
The practice had so grown into the habits and thoughts of the people that, even in Captain Cook's time, their curses had all reference to it. Ekai na to wangana, "I'll eat your head;" Kai koe to matua, "I'll eat your father;" and others, not different in nature, were their most forcible anathemas.
Captain Cook, in his first voyage to New Zealand, says, "Almost in every cove we landed we found the flesh and bones of men near the places where the fires had been made." So incredible did it seem to this navigator that men should eat the flesh of others, on any except the most extreme occasions, that at one time, when some remains had been found among a party of natives ashore, the officers purchased a head, which was "taken on board. A piece of the flesh was broiled and eaten by one of
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the natives, before all the officers and most of the men. This had such an effect on some of our people as to make them sick."
Far from enemies being the only ones devoted to the oven, slaves are liable at any moment to be sacrificed to the appetite of their masters. Numberless stories are on record of chiefs of note, trading at the time extensively with the whites, killing their slaves, and cooking and eating them with every appearance of relish.
Preparations of different parts of the human body seem, so late as 1836 and 7, to have formed a usual portion of the native larder. Mr. Polack, who traveled in New Zealand in those years, says, "Previously to leaving Waipoa, I requested the chief to purchase me some hog's lard to serve for a lamp, should I desire to write after night. He spoke to some of the people, one of whom presented a calabash for sale, containing a lard-like substance. I was about to purchase it, when my faithful servant told me in broken language, 'He man fat.'"
He refused to become a purchaser, but had the curiosity to take the calabash and examine the contents. The unctuous grease was neither the fat of dog, pig, or bird. It could only be the article named. He inquired of the vender if the substance was human fat.
He answered, "Ha! te tahi inu no na tangata maori, no te tahi tourakakeka. Yes, it is the fat of a native man--of a slave!"
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Again, Mr. Polack came, in his journey, upon a tribe who had just roasted in the oven some chiefs taken in a battle the week previous. The meal was finished before his arrival. He says, "Curious to see this abhorrent food after it had undergone a culinary process, I requested a minor chief to show me some. He accordingly mounted a wata, where the provisions are always kept, and brought down a small flax basket containing the human flesh. At first view I should have taken it for fresh boiled pork: it had the same pale, cadaverous color. My informant stated that it was a piece of the lower part of the thigh, grasping with his hand that part of my body to illustrate his words. It appeared very much shrunk. On my observing that it must have appertained to a boy, the head of its possessor, when alive, was pointed out to me--apparently a man of forty-five years of age."
You have now before you the condition of nearly all New Zealand up to a period comparatively recent, namely, the year 1840. Although missionary labors were begun on the island so long ago as 1814, very little progress seems to have been made until the year 1834. The missionaries, both of the Church and Wesleyan Societies, were obliged to remain on the sea-shore, where they were protected by the European settlements, and also by chiefs, whom trade with the whites had bound to peaceful action.
From this year on, more active efforts were made. The missionary settlements were extended along the
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coast until they were to be found at almost every available point. Yet they could not penetrate to the interior. Wars were continually going on; and although a trader was comparatively safe, a missionary, having nothing to sell or buy, was thought fit only for food. Some of the native chiefs, to be sure, volunteered protection to the missionaries; but in many cases where this was taken advantage of, stations had afterward to be given up, the power of the chief not being sufficiently great to afford safety.
From an early day the native converts have been found exceedingly zealous in the spread of the Gospel. Several parties of them, who went out among their people to preach to them the saving words, suffered martyrdom. Two native missionaries were eaten by their countrymen so late as the year 1840.
E'Ongi, a famous New Zealand chief, visited England in 1820, six years after the establishment of the first mission in the Bay of Islands. He was well received by the King of England, and returned laden with presents. The stories he told of the wealth and consequence of the British had a perceptibly favorable effect upon missionary operations. Moreover, although he was all his life a most ferocious warrior, and used the arms presented to him in England only to carry destruction and death among all tribes on his island who did not submit to his rule, he was always, with one exception, friendly to the missionaries. His visit to England does not seem to have weaned him from any of his savage tastes.
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The wars in which he embarked after his return were the most barbarous ever known. The chief enemies were invariably eaten, and many of E'Ongi's soldiers actually died of surfeit, after several great battles, when the dead were more plentiful than the living.
The Wesleyan Missionary Society established their first mission in New Zealand in 1819. The principal settlement of the Wesleyan missionaries was at Wangaroa, on the northeast coast, north of the Bay of Islands. They had been received here by the chief George, and promised protection. They labored for some years, till at last they were driven away by E'Ongi, who, on the death of George, destroyed their settlement, and compelled the missionaries for a while to suspend their operations.
So little success did the missionary operations in New Zealand meet with, as we read in the reports of the Church Society for 1850, that, "after twenty years' labor (from 1814 to 1834), the number of native communicants in all the islands was but eight."
From the year 1840, however, there seems to have been a material alteration. The traders had by that time done much in their various journeys through the interior to make the advantages of civilization known and appreciated. The country had been explored, and the power of Great Britain was felt through the importance of her commerce with the natives. The seed which had been sown in years past by devoted missionaries had not either fallen
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upon barren ground; and the workers in this part of God's vineyard now began to see and feel the truth of that promise which says, "Cast your bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days." In 1834 there were but eight native Christians in all New Zealand. The country was yet under the power of savage superstitions. The people were then, and a great part of them continued for many years longer, in the condition I have been describing to you. In 1849 there were in that district alone which includes the Bay of Islands two thousand eight hundred and ninety-three native Christians.
In the report of a missionary committee for 1852, it is stated that the native population of New Zealand is estimated at one hundred thousand; that three quarters of these are Protestant Christians, and about five thousand are connected with the Roman Church, which has also missionaries upon the island. The balance of the natives refuse to join any Christian denomination; but it is stated that they have, for the most part, laid aside their heathen practices. It is certain that in all the northern island, and all but the most remote and inaccessible portions of the southern, the cruelties and cannibalism of the natives have been abandoned through the influence of the missionaries, and that at this day it may with truth be said that, as a people, the savages of New Zealand have become Christians.
As an instance of the great change which has
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taken place even among the most savage of the native tribes, I see it stated that, on the place where the monster Stewart aided a band of natives to take and destroy an entire tribe--many of the victims being cooked in the coppers of his vessel--on the scene of this outrage there stood, in 1851, a missionary establishment, containing property to the value of $30,000, and having accommodations for lodging and instructing one hundred native children; while all the neighborhood has become Christianized.
In 1853 there were in New Zealand, under the guidance of the Episcopal and Wesleyan Societies, 184 schools organized, containing 14,443 scholars, and having 464 native teachers. There were also 11,343 actual communicants, by which is meant only those who profess a saving knowledge of the forgiveness of sin through the merits of Jesus. How many regular attendants on preaching there were is not stated, but it is understood that the greater part of the native population attend more or less upon the ministry of the Word.
I think in no other part of heathendom has the Gospel achieved such signal triumphs as among the New Zealanders. When you think of them as they were even but fifteen years ago, cruel cannibals, sunk, as it seemed, in the lowest pits of vice and superstition, given over entirely to the wicked one, glorying in the most unnatural crimes, daily committing actions the bare recital of which makes our blood tingle with horror, eating the flesh and drink-
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ing the blood of their fellow-creatures, not as a superstitious rite, but as a means of satisfying a depraved appetite--when we think of this people, and see them now, their unruly passions curbed, Christian gentleness taking the place of unrestrained ferocity, honesty of treachery, sobriety of every excess, shall we not thank God from our inmost hearts at the marvelous change He has effected? By the persevering labors of the missionaries many of the most bloodthirsty of the chiefs have become Christians, and died glorying in their faith in Christ. Rangihaiata, one of the most savage cannibals on either island; Pirahawau, one of the chiefs whom Stewart assisted to kill and devour a tribe; Te-Rauperaha, another of these chiefs, who afterward swept off another tribe, not leaving one to tell the tale--these, and many others grown gray in cannibalism and the service of all unholy passions, lived to hear the Gospel, and died good men and Christians. It is in such victories as these over all the powers of darkness that the devoted missionaries find their great reward. Let us honor and love the noble men and women who leave their homes, and undergo dangers, and toils, and deprivations far greater than we can even imagine, to preach the true faith to these savage inhabitants of the "uttermost ends of the earth."