Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/302

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280
[ch.
Death. Burial. After Death.

there; if a ghost falls in leaping he is smashed to pieces, but runs on and comes to the hill Tawu, which is very sacred to ghosts. Here is the mouth of the hollow which leads to Banoi, and here the newly-arrived ghost is beaten by those whom he has wronged, and they cry to him, 'Down already!' Here is Gaviga, a vui, the chief of Banoi, and Matamakira, or Salolo as the Tanoriki people say, a quarrelsome and ill-tempered man on earth; these stand with large and sharp spears and try to stab the new-comers. There is a huge fierce pig also there, which will devour all who have not in their lifetime planted the emba, pandanus, from which mats are made. If one has planted such he can climb up out of the reach of the devouring beast, and for this reason every one likes to plant that tree. Here also, if a man's ears are not pierced, he is not allowed to drink water; if he is not tattooed, he must not eat good food. Here the ghosts of those who have not joined the Suqe hang like flying foxes upon the trees (chap. vi). In order that his child may have hereafter a good house in Banoi, a man, when the child is a year old, makes a little gamal, club-house, in his garden for a boy, and puts in it a bow and arrows and a club; for a girl he builds a little house, and plants an emba, pandanus, to make mats with beside it. The writer has not mentioned how the ghosts congregate at the entrance to the lower world, and wait there, and are heard by men, some at play and some crying with grief and pain; the latter, the lately dead who had just become aware of their condition; he allows that it is so believed, but says that the people of his place, Tanoriki, are not so well acquainted with these stories as the Tasmouri people, who live near this gulf down which the ghosts descend. It is believed also that the ghosts in Banoi are black, and feed on excrement, some of them at least; and that the trees there have red leaves, and that the fowls there are also red.

The writer goes on to describe the funeral and the death-meals. 'The first thing after the death of a man of some rank, is to cut in the bush certain vines which are called corpse-binding vines. Then they bring together many mats (such