Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/202

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Sacred Places and Things.

to sacrifice. He swam out to it with food, called it by its name, and it came to him. He had received his association with this shark from his ancestors, in the same way in which the connexion with other ghosts on shore and the knowledge of them was handed down from generation to generation; for this shark was a tindalo. There was the same association with alligators; a chief of Bugotu within my memory had such a connexion with one, in which his son at Norfolk Island thoroughly believed. There was a story current also of an alligator which would come out of the sea and make itself at home in the Florida village in which the man whose ghost was in it had lived; it was called by his name, and though there was one man who had a special connexion with it and was said to own it, it was friendly with all, and would let children ride upon its back; but it must be confessed that though its existence was everywhere asserted, the village where it could be seen was never ascertained. A lizard seen to frequent a house after a death was taken to be the ghost returning to his old home. The sacred character of the frigate-bird is certain; the figure of it, however conventional, is the most common ornament employed in the Solomon Islands, and is even cut upon the hands of the Bugotu people; the oath by its name of daula is solemn and binding in Florida, where Daula is a tindalo; as the kaula it is sacred at Ulawa; just as many ghosts take up their abode in sharks, many also and powerful to aid at sea are those which abide in these birds. The ginger-plant has a certain sacred character in Florida and the neighbouring islands; and so have besides the various objects, living and inanimate, from which the respective divisions of the people refrain as a matter of religious obligation.

In Santa Cruz there are stones about which stories are told connecting them with the duka, whether ghosts or other spirits, which are the objects of worship; and on these betel-nuts are placed as offerings. Passing eastwards to the Banks' Islands and the New Hebrides, a region is reached in which religion concerns itself chiefly with spirits that never were