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Secret Societies and Mysteries.

and the immediate neighbourhood the boys were initiated whenever the ceremonies took place. Young children, even sucklings, were made Matambala; for the latter they would go into the villages and beg milk from the women, since the infants could not come out of the sacred precints and the women could not go in; they were branded with the slender midribs of the leaflets of the cocoa-nut. Nothing was paid for entrance to the Matambala. The initiation of the new members was not performed till they had been some time living in the houses on the beach, while the mysterious figures were being constructed in the secret places in the wood; it was part of their preparation that they should be frightened by the bird-headed clubs, the kuku. and they were threatened with death if they revealed the secrets. Altogether they remained away from their homes three months.

During the whole of this time the Matambala, under cover of the terror of their pretended association with ghosts, and taking advantage of the closing of the paths, were playing tricks and robbing in all the country round. They would come as far as to Gaeta to steal pigs to sacrifice to Siko; they would cut down trees to fall across the roads, and no one dared remove them; they would pull down cocoa-nut palms and big trees with ropes in the night as a proof that the ghosts were abroad, for no mere man could be supposed so strong as to overthrow them. From time to time they sacrificed to Siko. More than once also they made their appearance in the villages. 'When the bamboos have been cut down, they appoint a three days' space for the going up inland of the ghosts (that is, of the Matambala), and when the three days' space is past, then about the time of the clock striking ten at night the ghosts go up. And all the women in the villages have been making tutu and gola (mashes of food) since morning. And when the night has come the men of the Matambala down at the beach take buro (bull-roarers), and seesee (bundles of cocoa-nut fronds to beat over a stick), and go up inland with them and approach the village; and they beat the seesee and whirl the buro, and come into the village; and