Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/217

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Florida. Sickness.

known tindalos it may be. Sometimes a person has reason to think, or fancies, that he has offended his dead father, uncle, or brother. In that case no special intercessor is required; the patient himself or one of the family will sacrifice, and beg the tindalo to take the sickness away; it is a family affair. Sometimes a sick man thinks it is his own familiar tindalo, and leaves his house to avoid him. If the cause of sickness is a matter of conjecture, a mane kisu, one who understands these things, a doctor, is called in. He will say that he knows the offended ghost; if it be a child he will say that it has trod on the sacred place, vunuha, of some tindalo whom he calls his own; or else the parents will guess or enquire where the child has been, and will send for the mane kisu who has influence with the tindalo. of that place. The doctor called in will bind upon the patient the leaves belonging to his tindalo, will chew ginger and blow into the patient's ears and on that part of the skull which is soft in infants, will call on the name of the tindalo, and beg him to remove the sickness. When he makes his request, speaking in a low voice, he is said to kokoe liulivuti, to speak, as the word is now used, in prayer. If the sickness continues, another tindalo or another mane kisu is tried. If no conjecture can be made as to the ghost probably offended, any mane kisu, for a fee in money, will undertake to get his own tindalo, who must know, to intercede with the one who is doing the mischief. In some cases it may be a likely guess that some one who has ill-will towards the sufferer has set his tindalo to afflict, as they say to eat, the patient; he then may take money to call off the eating ghost. If he will not do this, another more powerful tindalo may be engaged through another mane kisu, who will prevail over the original assailant and drive him off. While these remedies are being tried the patient either recovers or dies; if he recovers, the doctor under whose treatment he began to mend has the credit and good payment; if he dies the power of the tindalo that has prevailed throughout is established. There is also mixed with this treatment something like the use of medicine, the effect of which, however, is always supposed to depend upon the tindalo