Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/128

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Societies or Clubs.

first place his introducer, a boy's mother's brother by rights, whose good-will some months before must be secured by the present of a pig, which is made over formally to him with a slap upon its back. Having undertaken to make the suqe for his candidate, the patron makes a feast for him with a dance, decorating the village square with male pandanus flowers, and setting out money for him; the partakers of the feast, including the candidate, make him a present of a little money, and he makes a return present to them; they vene, shoot, and he sar, compensates. For the lowest grade in Mota the vene money is only half a fathom, returned with a full fathom; for the higher grades very much money is required, and sometimes money fails and pigs are brought in. A boy who has no property of his own is supplied by his father or some friend with what is necessary for engaging the patronage of his uncle, upon whom the expense chiefly falls. In the higher grades the candidate for advance still has his patron, but the expenses fall upon himself, aided by his friends with gifts, mategae, of pigs and money; his wife's father is expected to be liberal in this. The candidate makes a return to the patron as liberally as he can for all that he has done in his behalf. The formal entrance into the society, or into a higher grade in it, has two parts. When the time comes, a day having been appointed and made known, the women leave the village before nightfall, and the members meet in the gamal. The candidate goes into the division in which is the fire and oven to which he is to belong. His patron breaks the string of some money and sheds it into a basket; the others put on the money a garland of bamboo leaves in the lower degrees, of cycas leaves for the mele, cycas, rank and all above it. This is to soso makomako, to fill the garland. The new member then sits, and some one who is chosen for his fluency of speech discourses to him, tells him that it is his duty to work for his oven and not to complain if his duties are hard. They then give him a bit of an almond, and each member takes a bit in his hand; they all hold the almond to their lips, and at a certain word they negneg, eat together. The