Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/232

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Magic.

in the council and make that a branch of his profession as a wizard. The description of prophecy given in San Cristoval is identical with the foregoing. In Saa, men who are possessed with a lio'a prophesy of things to come. In Lepers' Island it is believed that the spirit Tagaro puts his power as a spirit into a man, manag, so that he speaks what otherwise he could not, in the way of foretelling things to come, as well as of making known what is concealed. These prophets are consulted when a new gamali, the house of the Suqe Society, is to be built, to know if there will be peace or war; because a number of people assemble for such a purpose, and if there is danger of fighting they will not leave their homes.

(6) Divination. There are many methods by which ghosts and spirits are believed to make known to men who use them the secret things which the unassisted human intelligence could not find out; and some of these hardly need perhaps the intervention of a wizard. These methods of divination differ very little in the various islands. In the Solomon Islands, in Florida for instance, when an expedition has started in a fleet of canoes, there is sometimes a hesitation whether they shall proceed, or a question in what direction they shall go. A mane kisu divines; he declares that he has felt a tindalo come on board, for one side of the canoe has been pressed down; he asks therefore the question, 'Shall we go? shall we go there?' If the canoe rocks the answer is in the affirmative, if it lies steady it is negative. When a man is sick and it is desired to know what tindalo is eating him, the mane kisu who knows how to divine by paluduka is sent for. He comes, bringing some one with him to assist, and the two sit down, the wizard in front, the assistant at his back, and they hold a stick or bamboo by the two ends. The wizard begins to slap with one hand the end of the bamboo he holds, calling one after another the names of men not very long deceased; when he names the one who is afflicting the sick man the stick of itself becomes violently agitated. Another method of divination is called gogondo. The operator who knows this art takes leaves of the dracsena equal in number to the tindalo ghosts he