Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/500

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ance only. It belongs to the natives of Sisieta; they will not sell it, as they use it for their cannibal feasts. I was told that six bodies were eaten here a fortnight before my visit. From here we went to a town called Oneavesi, and thence crossed to the small island of Rubiana proper, where we found nearly all the men away on a head-hunting expedition to the island of Isabel. I here photographed the interior of a tambu house, the post of which was carved to represent a crocodile. Along the rafters was a row of heads. I also took a photograph of a collection of sacred images, near to which was a heap of skulls, upon every one of which I

PSM V35 D500 Sacred image at rubiana.jpg
Fig. 1.—Sacred Image at Rubiana.

noticed the mark of the tomahawk. These collections of images are to be found in nearly every town throughout the lagoon, and are strictly tambu (Fig. 1). I found out afterward that the natives strongly objected to my photographing them, or indeed approaching them at all. At another village close by on the same island we again found nearly all the male population absent on the same expedition. The women and those left at home were preparing a feast for them on their return. At the principal canoe-house