Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/156

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Sacrifices.

what his father or uncle taught and gave him did not succeed he tried another. A relic of the keramo (himself but lately a fighting man), a tooth or some hair in a little bag, was hung round the neck; or the contents of the bag might be only a stone. These amulets, bomboso, were kept in the house, and were called a man's keramo, just as relics were called tindalo. The vigona, as has been said, have influence over weather and in gardens. If a man himself knows one he can operate for himself, otherwise he pays a mane nggehe vigona to do it for him. Such a one goes into the middle of the garden with mashed food in the palm of his left hand, and he strikes it with his right hand as he calls on his vigona to come and eat. He says, 'This produce thou shalt eat; give mana to this garden, that food may be good and plentiful,’ He digs holes at the four corners, and buries the leaves proper to his vigona, to give ghostly power to the garden, that it may be fruitful and to guard it; stones are used for the same purpose. As the yams, or pana, grow they are twined with the special creeper and fastened with the wood which the vigona loves. These tindalo of the gardens must not be offended by the entrance of men who have eaten pig's flesh or fish, or the flesh of the kandora cuscus, or shell-fish; three or four days after they have eaten such things they may approach, the food offensive to the vigona having left their stomachs the crop will not be hurt. When the yam vines are being trained the men sleep near the gardens, and never approach their wives; should they do so and tread the garden it would be spoilt. The man who has his own vigona can bring his power to bear in doing damage to another man's garden, being either moved by his own grudge or paid to do it; backed by his own vigona he offends the vigona of the garden he designs to spoil by laying putrid things there. If after this the crop is good, the first vigona has been shewn to be stronger than the other. The names of sixteen of these vigona are generally known. When the crop is dug a portion of the fruits is burnt in sacrifice to the one concerned.

Human sacrifices were occasionally made; but there was no