Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/27

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5
Discoveries.

by Mendana in his first voyage, Ysabel, Guadalcanar, and San Cristoval have no native names, though names of parts are often taken to designate the whole; the second of these, so far as is known to them, is called Gera by natives of south-east Malanta and San Cristoval; and the latter has become known as Bauro, from its most conspicuous part. It is strange that the large island which has somehow got the name of Malanta has a native name, at any rate all along the west side, Mala or Mara. The native name of Florida is Nggela, the same word as Gera; and the island is known in Mala Masiki as 'beyond Gela.' Savo is no doubt the island called Sesarga by the Spaniards, who heard the name Sabo, and misplaced it. The native Ulawa, heard by the Spaniards as Uraba, has lost the Spanish name of La Treguada, and retains on the charts Surville's Contrariété. The native name of Santa Cruz, the discovery of Mendana's second voyage, is Ndeni, from which the Nitendi of the charts has probably been derived[1].

The discovery of the Banks' Islands and New Hebrides by Quiros was preceded by a visit to Taumako, where he obtained information concerning some sixty islands known to the native voyagers. Nearly all of these probably are the small islands inhabited, like Taumako, by people of the Polynesian race,

  1. There can be little doubt that Gallego's Florida is a part of the Nggela of the natives, and probably Buena Vista is Vatilau. San Dimas, San German, Guadalupe, have been shewn by Mr. Woodford to be parts of Florida as they shew from the sea, not as the island is divided by unseen channels. The native names of the lesser islands near San Cristoval are, Ugi for Gulf Island, the Spanish San Juan; 'Olu Malau, the Three Malau, for Three Sisters, Las Tres Marias; Owa-raha, Great Owa, for Santa Ana, and Owa-rii, Little Owa, for Santa Catalina. It is remarkable how much more accurate Gallego's Aguare is than the Yoriki of the charts or the Orika given by Dr. Guppy. Gallego's Hapa may represent Owa, though not so well as Oo-ah or Oa. Uraba is really nearer the native Ulawa than Ulaua, the native tongue, like the Spanish, readily interchanging l and r, w and b. How Mr. Brenchley got Ulakua cannot be explained, nor why a new form Ulava is introduced. A correct native name, it may be said, is rarely to be obtained from a trader; the early sea-going visitors make the form which is to stand for the native name, and hand it on. The only security is the writing of a native who knows.