Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/168

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Prayers.

shark, and any tindalo that has taken up its abode in a shark, or is represented by one, being called Bagea. They call also upon their immediate forefathers when in danger on the sea; one on his grandfather, another on his father, another on some dead friend; calling them with reverence, and saying, 'Save us on the deep, save us from the tempest, bring us to the shore.' Daula is invoked to aid in fishing: 'If thou art powerful, mana, O Daula, put a fish or two into this net and let them die there.' After a good catch he is praised: 'Powerful, mana, is the tindalo of the net.' They rub fishing-lines with the leaves appropriated to such a tindalo. In San Cristoval the 'ataro ghosts are applied to for help in battle, in sickness, and for good crops; but lihungai, the word they use, conveys rather the notion of charm than of prayer; the formula is handed down from father to son, or is taught for a consideration. So at Saa a man who has no special connexion with a lio'a a ghost will, in danger at sea, call on his father or grandfather; but one who knows some particular lio'a uses some particular form of words he has learnt in which power over the elements resides, and when he has done that, calls on the man now dead who introduced him to the lio'a and taught him the incantation, and after that again upon his father and his grandfather.

The tataro of the Banks' Islands, which may be called a prayer, is strictly an invocation of the dead, and is no doubt so called because the form begins with the word tataro, which certainly is the 'ataro of San Cristoval, that is a ghost of power. The Banks' islanders are clear that tataro is properly made only to the dead; yet the spirits, vui, Qat and Marawa are addressed in the same way. A man in danger on the sea will call on deceased friends, particularly on one who has been in life a good sailor; but if he only cries out as he might in common life that is no tataro which must be a form of words. The use of tataro in Motlav is thus described. A man is sick, and the cause of his sickness is suggested to be an offence against some sacred place near which he remembers himself to have intruded. Then the man to whom the sacred place