Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/339

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Fishing Implements.


Malanta
Float.
To fish for these from a canoe a very long and light line is required; in Santa Cruz and the
Santa Cruz Float.
Solomon Islands a float is used, a short stick, or wooden shaft shaped like a bird atop, weighted with a stone, a contrivance which must also be known in the Banks' Islands, since it has a name, wo-uto, there[1]. The stitch in netting is that familiar in Europe, and nets are made extremely fine, and very large and strong. In the Solomon Islands no mesh is used for a very large net, but for a pig-net the loop is measured by the knee, for a turtle-net by a man's shoulders. Nets, sometimes fifty feet square, are used as seines, and are let down between stages in shoaling water; they are cast by the hand, or sunk by the side of a canoe. An ingenious contrivance is where a square net has its four corners kept apart by two diagonal elastic rods, at the intersection of which the line by which it is lowered is attached; when

  1. With reference to the remarks of Dr. Hickson (Naturalist in Celebes, p. 200) and Dr. Guppy (Solomon Islands, p. 151), it should be observed that these floats are used to catch only flying-fish, and that on account of their extreme shyness. In the Solomon Island floats, on which the figure of a bird occurs, the line is wound round the hollow of the bird's back and a projection below made for the purpose. For this the shape of a bird is certainly convenient, and the genius of those people leads them to ornamental forms. The Celebes floats seem certainly to represent those of the Solomon Islands in a remarkable and instructive way.