Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/136

This page has been validated.
114
CH.
Societies or Clubs.

and the good-will of each one of them has to be secured. There is less strictness than in the Banks' Islands in the rule which keeps each man to his own oven; one can descend from his own above and eat in a lower division, and if one should encroach on the place above him he would suffer only a fine of pigs. There is the same system of entrance as in the Banks' Islands, by which a patron introduces the new member and makes his huqe for him, gifts which are to a considerable extent reciprocal. The patron is properly one of the same family division, the uncle on the mother's side, or the brother. Thus, in the case of a boy whose rich father bought him up at once in early childhood to the rank of moli, the first step was to give a pig to the members of the boy's waivung, as an acknowledgment that he was intruding on their province, that the patriarchal was intruding on the matriarchal system. Afterwards his father gave him a pig, with which a feast was made in his name, and each person who took a piece of the pig gave a mat in return; the man who took the head gave a mat a hundred fathoms long. Of these mats the boy gave his father fifty in return for the pig. Then he gave mats, or they were given in his name, to the moli whom he was to join; and when he first went to eat at their oven they made a little feast for him. His friends on his mother's side gave in his name a pig to his father, and made him a feast.

At Whitsuntide Island, Araga, the word Loli takes the place of Suqe, but the thing is the same. All the male population are in fact members of the society; wherever there is a dwelling-house, there is also a gamal. The divisions with the ovens, matan gabi, are twelve; (1) ma langgelu, the stage of youth; (2) gabi liv hangvulu, the oven of ten tusks; (3) ma votu; (4) gabi rara, the oven of the erythrina leaf, which is the badge of the rank; (5) woda, the stone-wall seat by the front of the gamal, on which no one below this rank may sit. These five are the inferior steps which fathers see that their boys take as soon as possible, and as quickly as they can afford to buy them up. Though the lowest is nominally that of grown youths, no