Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/178

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Lava, and that finally he departed from the world. There are no doubt many of his feats and adventures which the natives have kept to themselves. The story which follows is translated, with additions from other sources, from the Mota of the late native Deacon Edward Wogale, himself of the Sepere stock.

The Story of Qat. Qat was not without a beginning, but he had a mother whose name was Qatgoro (otherwise Iro Ul), and this mother was a stone that burst asunder and brought him forth. He had no father, and he was born on the road. He grew up and talked at once. He asked his mother what his name was, saying that if he had a father or an uncle on his mother's side, one of them would name him; then he gave himself the name of Qat. He had brothers also. The first was Tangaro Gilagilala, Tangaro the Wise, who understood all things, and could instruct the rest; the second was Tangaro Loloqong, Tangaro the Fool, who was ignorant of everything, and behaved like a fool; the others were Tangaro Siria, Tangaro Nolas, Tangaro Nokalato, Tangaro Noav, Tangaro Nopatau, Tangaro Noau, Tangaro Nomatig, Tangaro Novunue, Tangaro Novlog; eleven of them, all Tangaro, twelve in all with Qat. The names of the last nine are made up of the names of the leaves of trees and plants, Nettle-leaf, Bread-fruit-leaf, Bamboo-leaf, Cocoa-nut-leaf, Umbrella-palm-leaf, added to Tangaro, which is no doubt the same with the Tagaro of the New Hebrides and the Tangaroa of the Polynesians. These all grew up as soon as they were born, and they took up their abode in the village Alo Sepere, where their mother, turned into a stone, may yet be seen. There Qat began to make things, men, pigs, trees, rocks, as the fancy took him. But when he had made all sorts of things he still knew not how to make night, and the daytime was always light. Then said his brothers to him, 'Hallo! Qat, this is not at all pleasant, here is nothing but day; can't you do something for us?' Then, seeking what he could do with the daylight, he heard that there was night at Vava, in the Torres Islands; so he took a pig and tied it, and