half-whistling half-articulate voice, supposed to be the proper language of spirits." The Pakeha Maori was present in a darkened village-hall when the spirit of a young man, a great friend of his own, was called up by a tohunga. "Suddenly, without the slightest warning, a voice came out of the darkness. . . . The voice all through, it is to be remembered, was not the voice of the tohunga, but a strange melancholy sound, like the sound of a wind blowing into a hollow vessel. 'It is well with me; my place is a good place.' The spirit gave an answer to a question which proved to be correct, and then 'Farewell,' cried the spirit from deep beneath the ground. 'Farewell,' again, from high in air. 'Farewell,' once more came moaning through the distant darkness of the night." As chiefs in New Zealand no less than tohungas can exercise the mystical and magical power of tabu, that is, of imparting to any object or person an inviolable character, and can prevent or remit the mysterious punishment for infringement of tabu, it appears probable that in New Zealand, as well as among the Zulus and Red Indians, chiefs have a tendency to absorb the sacred character and powers of the tohungas. This is natural enough, for a tohunga, if he plays his cards well, is sure to acquire property and hereditary wealth, in combination with magical influence, which are the necessary qualifications for the office of the chieftain.
Here is the place to mention a fact which, though at first sight it may appear to have only a social interest, yet bears on the development of mythology.