Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/10

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and now for many years the leader, of the native clergy of that group. The results of these first enquiries appeared briefly in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of February, 1881; and these were carefully reviewed by me during my last stay in Norfolk Island in 1866 and 1867. I was so fortunate then as to meet there several old friends and pupils who had come down, for their health's sake and for other reasons, after a residence as teachers among their own people. They had been living in their various islands in a position and at an age which would make them acquainted with the views and habits of their countrymen, and they were able, and, I believe, entirely willing, to communicate freely what they knew. It happened thus that I was able to go through the subjects which are treated of in this book with native instructors from the Solomon Islands, the Banks' Islands, and the Northern New Hebrides; with Marsden Manekalea from Ysabel, Benjamin Bele from Florida, Joseph Wate from Saa, Walter Woser from Motlav, Arthur Arudulewari from Aurora, Lewis Tariliu from Pentecost, Martin Tangabe from Lepers' Island; every one of them, in my opinion, a competent and trustworthy witness, though all were not equally intelligent.

It has been my purpose to set forth as much as possible what natives say about themselves, not what Europeans say about them. For this reason, though the results of my own personal observations are given, I have refrained from asking or recording, except in a few instances where acknowledgment is made, the information which my colleagues in the Mission would have abundantly and willingly imparted. No one can be more sensible than myself of the incompleteness and insufficiency of what I venture to publish; I know that I must have made many mistakes and missed much that I might have learnt. I have felt the truth of what Mr. Fison, late missionary in