Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/335

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Tools and Implements.

the European, thinking of poison, not magic, supposed that the poison was from a corpse. If it be asked again why, if the arrows be not really poisoned, the natives are so much afraid of them and careful not to touch them, it is enough to say that they firmly believe that they are deadly, and that this belief will outlast the belief in the power of the charms with which they are made.

(5) Tools and Implements. Before the introduction of
Shell Adze.
Santa Cruz.
metal, the adzes with which most of native work was done were in some islands of stone, in some of shell. The division is very clear: the Solomon islanders, except in Rennell and Bellona, use stone, and so do the New Hebrides people; the Santa Cruz people, Torres islanders and Banks' islanders used shell, for adzes the giant clam shell. The form of Florida stone adzes and of the Santa Cruz shell adzes is the same, roughly cylindrical, the cutting edge being a segment of the circumference; the stone adzes of the Eastern Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides, and the shell adzes of the Banks' Islands, have the same general form, a long oval section, the flattish sides meeting to form the edge. The shell adzes of Santa Cruz are beautifully finished, those of the Banks' Islands often very rough. When iron was introduced the Banks' Islands people, seeing it in the form of hoop iron, were inclined to call it heaven-root, gar tuka, supposing ships to come from beyond the horizon, and to have brought some of the strong and hard base of the firmament; when axes were seen they settled into the use of the word