Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/127

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Banks Islands 'Suqe'

won, (2) Avrig, (3) Qat tagiav, (4) Avtagataga, (5) Luwaiav, (6) Tamasuria, (7) Tavasuqe, (8) Tavasuqelava, (9) Kerepue, (19) Mele, (11) Tetug, (12) Lano, (13) Poroporolava, (14) Wometeloa, (15) Welgan, (16) Wesukut, (17) 'Wetaur-o-meligo, (18) Tiqangwono. The lowest are commonly skipped over or taken together; on the other hand, there are three degrees under the eleventh name, and two under the twelfth. Some of the names carry a meaning with them: avrig, the little fire; kerepue, the bottom of the bamboo water-carrier; mele, the cycas, which has a certain sanctity; poroporolava, great joking; wometeloa, the face of the sun; wetaur-o-meligo, catches the clouds; tiqangwono, shoots and completes. The lano wears a very tall conical hat, like that of the Qat, but sometimes forked; the poroporolava has an image of a man ringed black and white; the wometeloa an image of a man carrying on his head with outstretched arms a disk representing the firmament, with heavenly bodies painted on it. These images are carried about at the feast which celebrates the step in rank, and are afterwards set up in the little gamal in which the great man cooks his food; the hat is worn by the new lano at the feast he makes, and is afterwards to be seen leaning against the gamal. At Gaua in Santa Maria the ovens are not so many; boys begin high up, so that a Gaua boy often ranks with a gray-haired Mota man. Those who reach the higher ranks build a gamal on a lofty platform of stones for every oven or step, for which at Mota they are content to raise the gamal end. In the Torres Islands, or at least in one of them, there are only seven ovens and degrees of ranks in the Huqa, as the Suqe is there called, and in the gamal, the first being the avlav, big fire, which is rather on the threshold of the gamal than in it. Young boys do not enter into the club there. In all these islands the distinction between each successive stage is strictly marked; any one stepping over the boundary to the oven above him would be trampled to death by those on whom he had intruded.

The way of entering the Suqe and making further advances in it is fixed and elaborate. The candidate must have in the