Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/271

This page has been validated.
xv.]
249
Souls.

man in Florida is a tarunga, a spirit, individual, not corporeal, separable, though not in fact often separated during life from his body. So also is such a spirit as a vigona a tarunga, though they are not very ready to acknowledge the existence of such a tarunga. During life a man's tarunga goes out of him in dreams and returns; at death the tarunga departs finally from the body; the corpse is simply a dead man, tinoni mate; the separated soul is no longer tarunga, a spirit, but tindalo, a ghost. But tarunga is not equivalent to soul any more than spirit is equivalent to soul; a soul is a tarunga, and no other name is given to it. Pigs have tarunga; when a man sells a pig he takes back from it its tarunga in a dracæna leaf, which he hangs up in his house; thus he does not lose more than the fleshly accidents of the pig, the tarunga remains waiting to animate some pig that will be born. A pig is an animal of distinction and has a tarunga; yams and such things have none; they do not live with any kind of intelligence. Is it then to be said that a man and a pig are alike as regards the tarunga, that each has a soul? The native to whom the question is put intelligibly will laugh; such a thing cannot be; when a man dies his tarunga is a tindalo, a ghost, and who ever heard of a pig tindalo[1]? In the Banks' Islands the spirit that never was a man, but was always superhuman in intelligence and power, and, as far as could be conceived of a personal being, was incorporeal, was called a vui (page 124). It would not be surprising, therefore, if the word vui were used to describe the soul; and it is impossible to say that it would be incorrectly so used, for the nature of a vui and of a soul is the same (page 124)[2]. The words accepted in use to represent the English soul are in Motlav talegi, in Mota atai. A man's talegi goes out of him in sleep, not in all dreams, but in such as leave a vivid impression of scenes and persons visited when the man awakes.

  1. The word taluna, another form of tarunga, is found in Santa Cruz, but I am unable to assign to it any more particular meaning than 'spirit.'
  2. In fact I have known a native of Mota writing of his inward feelings to speak of his vui, na vuik.