Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/322

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Arts of Life.

bedsteads which lift the sleeper from the ground; its higher and better-finished ridge-piece gives it a more picturesque appearance. When the visitor from the eastward reaches Florida he finds houses built on piles; when he reaches Ysabel he sees tree-houses for the first time. The pile-houses are excellent dwellings, the side walls and the floor formed of split bamboos flattened and interlaced, and the face of the


House at Ysabel.

house handsomely ornamented with interlacing patterns of bamboo stained black. The dwelling-houses of chiefs are sometimes noble buildings; a new one at Honggo measured twenty-four paces long by nine wide, and was thirty feet high. The floor of this, of interlaced bamboo, was raised some height above the ground, and the hearth upon the ground occupied a sunken space. Inside such a house small houses for several wives are sometimes ranged against