Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/26

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Introductory.

In the next year Surville passed through the same group; the disastrous voyage of La Perouse ended at Vanikoro in 1785. The southern islands of the group, which have since preserved the name he gave of the New Hebrides, were discovered by Cook in his second great voyage in 1774, and after these New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. Bligh, in his wonderful boat voyage after the mutiny of the Bounty, passed through and named the islands of the Banks' group.

The names given by the Spaniards to the Solomon and Santa Cruz groups, and to the islands of Ysabel, Florida, Guadalcanar, San Cristoval, Santa Anna and Santa Catalina, to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides and Santa Maria in the Banks' Islands, have maintained themselves; some of the French names have disappeared; some, Aurora, Pentecost or Whitsuntide, Star Island, Gulf Island (for Ugi), have taken an English form. To some islands no new names have been given, native names, or what were supposed to be such, having been supplied by the natives, such as Ambrym, Api, Mallicollo; in some cases the native name, or what was taken for it, as Malaita, has prevailed over the name given by the discoverer. To ascertain the native name, and the proper orthography of the native name, of an island is a matter of difficulty to a visitor. Large islands seldom have a name; an enquirer pointing to the island as a whole, is given the name of the district or village to which he points, or perhaps that of some islet between him and the mainland; or he may take the name of a man for that of a place[1]. Of the islands discovered

  1. The island of San Cristoval has been called Bauro by Europeans, not by natives, from the name of a part of it. A village on that island is marked on the Admiralty chart with the name of its chief. The island of Florida and its language has got the name of Anutha, and Anudha, from an islet between Mboli and Ravu. Bishop Patteson, on his visit in 1862, was given by a native boy on board the name, in the form Anudha, of the islet Anuha, and took it for the name of the whole island. Melanesians who could not pronounce th called it Anuta; Banks' Islanders, taking the first syllable to be the preposition 'at,' commonly used with names of places, call it Nuta, and Nut. The large island of Ysabel may be seen in some maps marked Mahaga, from a single village in Bugotu, the language of which was made known by Bishop Patteson.