Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/286

This page has been validated.
Death. Burial. After Death.

meal is eaten and all is over. Inland they dig up the bones again to make arrowheads, and take the skull to keep in a chest in the house, saying that this is the man himself, and setting food before it. The departed souls are duka; they assemble after death at a place called Natepapa, and from thence go on to the great volcano Tamami (called Tinakula), in which they are burnt and renewed, and where they stay. Nevertheless they haunt the bush in Santa Cruz, and are seen at night, and when it is wet and dark; men see them like fire, with fire under their armpits like fire-flies, and are much afraid of them.

The abode of the dead has in all these examples been shewn to be above ground, in islands more or less remote from those in which the living dwell, and all known and visited by living men. It is probable, however, that a certain belief in an underworld is also present, the Turivatu of the Florida invocation in sacrifice (page 131), a region beneath the earth corresponding to that country above the sky where Kamakajaku or Vulaninggela visited the sun. The belief in Santa Cruz that ghosts pass into the great volcano implies something of a descent below, as does the parallel belief at Savo that the volcanic crater there is the receptacle of departed spirits. When we pass, however, to the eastward the ghosts no longer have their abodes upon the surface of the earth, but underground. From the Torres Islands to Pentecost in the New Hebrides, the name of the nether-world is, with variations, Panoi, to which all the openings—whether by volcanic vents or unknown mouths—throughout all these neighbouring islands lead. In all alike the ghosts assemble at certain places and go down to what is their proper place, though they can return again to earth. The locality of Panoi is unknown, save that it is underground; and Panoi is one, not a separate receptacle for the ghosts of each separate island. The people of the Torres Islands, however, and those of Pentecost, do not know that they have a common belief and use a common word.

In the Torres Islands the word used for soul is a form of