Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/352

This page has been validated.
Arts of Life.

attention; the nautilus-shell inlay on bottles, cups, spoons, is really excellent. The artistic faculty of these people is remarkable. From Malanta come combs which shew extraordinary beauty of decoration as well as neatness of make; but they are the work of the inland people rather than of those whose skill is shewn in the ornamentation of canoes and canoe-houses. 3. The change of character in decoration when
Ornament. Aurora Island.
Santa Cruz is reached is unmistakeable. The ornamental bands in the mats shew perhaps nothing distinctive; but while the fancy of the natives shews itself in the shapes into which their bowls and pillows are carved, there is a fixed determination of painted ornament to lines, crosses, and stars of black and red upon a white ground. Their love of turmeric as a dye for ornamented bags connects them with the Polynesian colonies, such as that in Mae in the New Hebrides. They stand alone in their love of tags and loose ends by way of ornament. 4. In the Banks' Islands and New Hebrides mats, baskets, bags are skilfully made and well ornamented; the decoration of reeds, as the shafts of arrows (page 311), and ear-ornaments with incised line patterns, is characteristic. It is remarkable that there is a style of pattern belonging to each island or neighbourhood; in a handful of ear-ornaments, natives can pick out each one