Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/153

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Florida Sacrifice.

preserved. When a public sacrifice was performed the people of the place assembled, boys but not women being present, near but not in the sacred place. Food is prepared, but not eaten till the sacrifice has been offered. The sacrificer alone enters the sacred place or shrine, and takes to it his son, or the person he has instructed. He makes a fire of small sticks, muttering words of mana, but he must not blow it. He takes some of the prepared food in a basket lined with dracæna leaves and others peculiar to this tindalo, some mash of yam or something of that kind; part of this he throws upon the fire, calling the name of the tindalo, and the names of others with it; he tells him to take his food, and makes petition for whatever is desired. The fire blazes up, a favourable sign that the tindalo are present and blow the fire; the bit of food is consumed[1]. What remains the sacrificer takes back to the assembly and eats, giving some of it to his assistant. Then the people receive from him their portions of the food prepared, and eat it or take it away. While the sacrificing is going on there is a solemn silence. If a pig is killed on the occasion, the heart in Florida, at Bugotu the gullet, is burnt upon the sacrificial fire. One tindalo commonly known, whose worship is not local, is Manoga. At sacrifices offered to him little boys are present, and sometimes even women partake of the sacrificial food. 'He who throws the sacrifice when he invokes this tindalo heaves the offering round about, and calls him; first to the east, where rises the sun, saying, If thou dwellest in the east, where rises the sun, Manoga! come hither and eat thy tutu mash! Then turning he lifts it towards where sets the sun, and says, If thou dwellest in the west, where sets the sun, Manoga! come hither and eat thy tutu! There is not a quarter towards which he does not lift it up. And when he has finished lifting it he says, If thou dwellest in heaven above, Manoga! come hither and eat thy tutu! If thou dwellest in Buru or Hagetolu, the Pleiades or Orion's belt; if below in

  1. It is denied that the food has a spirit, tarunga, corresponding to the tarunga which is the soul of a man; but the food offered is tarungaga (with the adjectival termination), 'has a spiritual character.'