Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/111

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New Hebrides. Aurora Island.

cooked in an oven; and they gave me some before it was done, and I ate it. After that I was thirsty, and they made a very small hole in the ground by stamping with the heel and poured cocoa-nut juice into it, and I drank. And they dashed water over me, which caused great pain. And the food that they gave me was extremely bad. When I was hungry they roasted a caladium root over the fire and gave it me underdone; and they trod my food into the ashes; and the water they poured on the ground, and then I drank the water. And if I had refused they would have beaten me to death; but I did not refuse, and I ate that food which they made so very bad for me. For my mashed food they mashed it on the ground; and they grated bananas that were not full grown to make loko, and stirred it together with dung; but we three did not quite eat up that loko that they made. Then we had to take up live embers in our hands; they stood round us with guns, and we laid hold on that burning fire; they commanded us to do it, and we laid hold of that fire. And we lay down on the ground and they trod upon us; they all ran over us, one of them taking the lead, and when he had stamped on us as he ran they all stamped on us. After that, when we rose from the ground, one man took a bow and pretended to shoot us. And we did not sit properly down, but lay down on the ground to eat our food, and our water also we lay down and drank. And with regard to that Qatu it is of tree-fern put together like planks, and we grated the qeta (caladium) and made the Qatu with it. And in the night after that we danced, and next morning we danced for the first time the Qatu dance; and after we had been thirty days in that gamal we killed a pig, and then went back into the village and stayed in the gamal and cooked that pig. And if one wishes to stay forty days in that gamal (i. e. of initiation) he then comes out; but that nettle will not soon leave him.'

Not satisfied with this experience, the same youth was afterwards admitted into another society in the way which he thus describes. 'Father, here again is another Qatu which