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New Hebrides 'Qatu.'

villages; into these the neophytes are gathered, and here they remain unwashed and with very little food and water till the appointed time has expired, which may be thirty days. During this time they learn a dance, and songs, but they do not, as in the Banks' Islands, follow a song as they dance. Little boys are not initiated, because they could not endure the hardships and tortures to be gone through; but they can enter by proxy; a man already initiated will go through a formal initiation for them. There is no limit of age, no period of life to which initiation is more appropriate than another; it is a matter of payment, of giving pigs, which a wealthy man will give for his son or brother; an infant and a grown-up man are equally admitted. The mark of a member of the Qatu is the flower of the nalnal, a scitamineous plant, which no outsider is allowed to wear. Those who enter these societies assume a new name, which however does not, as in the neighbouring island, supersede the old one. They become Tari, or Vula; the young men, Tileg and Gao, though commonly so called, are Tari-koli and Vula-ngoda in the Qatu. While the initiation is going on, if women assemble, as they do, to hear the singing in the enclosure where the neophytes are being taught, it is an allowed custom for men to carry them off and ravish them. For a woman to see the newly initiated until they have returned to ordinary life is a mortal offence. They come out black with dirt and soot, and are not to be seen till they have washed. Not long ago a girl from the Uta, inland, saw by accident this washing. She fled to Tanoriki, where the Mission school is, for refuge, but they could not protect her. The Uta people sent for her and she went, knowing that she could not fail to die, and they buried her, unresisting, alive.

The great secret of the society is the making of the Qatu, from which the name is taken, and which corresponds to the qatu hats of the Banks' Islands, being in fact itself a hat or mask. It is made of tree-fern trunks; a pointed upright pact, large enough for a man to get within and carry it, and a cross-piece pointed at the ends. This cross is daubed with the