Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/189

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Santa Cruz. Duka.

on the reef at Gaua, and was lost. The old people, seeing her apparently standing in to the channel of the waterfall stream, cried out that Qat was come again, and that his canoe knew her own way home. It is likely now that the story will be told of eight persons in the canoe; but it is certain that the story is older than any knowledge of Noah's ark among the people.

It is very probable that Lata, who is said by the people of Santa Cruz to have made men and animals, is regarded by them as Qat was regarded by the people of the Banks' Islands; and Tinota is a duka of the same kind with Lata. A story which is told of Natei, now the chief man at Nelua in Santa Cruz, shews a belief also in such beings as the Banks' islanders believed to dwell with them in their islands, and called vui. The story is doubtless much older than Natei, as the similar story of Manlepei in Vanua Lava was doubtless told of some other man, and by some other man of himself, long before his time. The present younger generation at Santa Cruz seeing Natei a great man, and taking it of course that his greatness came by supernatural assistance, tell this story of him. When he was a young man, they say, he was following the upward course of a narrow valley looking for birds to make feather-money, and advanced far inland into the forest. A person met him and asked him who he was, and he answered that he was a man. To Natei's like enquiry the same answer was made. This person then took him by a very good path up the valley, which narrowed into a ravine. This opened again into a space in which were good gardens and a village. The people there enquired of Natei where he lived, and promised him that they would visit him at Nelua in five days; then he returned. Five days after the people of Nelua saw some people coming to their village, whom they took to be men from some inland place, and enquiring for Natei. His house was shewn to them and they entered it, and were never seen again. When he arrived and went into his house he found it hung round with feather-money brought to him by his visitors. It was known then that these were not mere