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If men may become stones, on the other hand, in Samoa (as in the Greek myth of Deucalion), stones may become men.[1] Gods, too, especially when these gods happen to be cuttlefish, might be petrified. They were chased in Samoa by an Upolu hero, who caught them in a great net and killed them. "They were changed into stones, and now stand up in a rocky part of the lagoon on the north side of Upolu."[2] Mauke, the nrst man, came out of a stone. In short,[3] men and stones and beasts and gods and thunder have interchangeable forms. In Mangaia[4] the god Ra was tossed up into the sky by Maui and became pumice-stone. Many samples of this petrified deity are found in Mangaia. In Melanesia matters are so mixed that it is not easy to decide whether a worshipful stone is the dwelling of a dead man's soul or is of spiritual merit in itself, or whether "the stone is the spirit's outward part or organ." The Vui, or spirit, has much the same relations with snakes, owls, and sharks.[5] Qasavara, the mythical opponent of Qat, the Melanesian Prometheus, "fell dead from heaven" (like Ra in Mangaia), and was turned into a stone, on which sacrifices are made by those who desire strength in fighting.

Without delaying longer among savage myths of metamorphosis into stones, it may be briefly shown that the Greeks retained this with all the other vagaries of early fancy. Every one remembers the use which Perseus made of the Gorgon's head, and

  1. Turner's Samoa, p. 209.
  2. Samoa, p. 31.
  3. Op. cit., p. 34.
  4. Gill, Myths and Songs, p. 60.
  5. Codrington, Journ. Anthrop. Inst., February 1881.