Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/358

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Dances. Music. Games.[ch.

Roulsulwar (his little daughter), you are crying after me without the house.' (Repeat this first part; then the poet speaks to Maros.) 'Youths! My friend, you have lingered; I have lingered over your song. I have measured it, and lengthened out my voice, the sound of it has spread down hither to my place. Ask, hear; who was it that measured the song of Maros? It was the song-measurer who sits by the way to Lakona.' Repeat the last part. The songs of Aurora strike visitors as more musical than most. The following is a translation of a song used in flying a kite in Lepers' Island. 'Wind! wherever you may abide, wherever you may abide, Wind! come hither; pray take my kite away from me afar. E-u! E-u! Wind! blow strong and steady, blow and come forth, O Wind!'

(3) Musical Instruments. The drum, in many forms, may be said to be the characteristic instrument of Melanesia, yet there seems to be no use of such a thing in Florida, and perhaps no knowledge of a native drum in Santa Cruz. The common form of drum is represented by a joint of bamboo with an open longitudinal slit; this may be seen in various sizes from the largest to small bamboos, and is followed in the form of the drums which are made of logs of trees. In these the trunk of a tree of a suitable kind and size is hollowed from a long and narrow opening at the side, the lip of which, cut thin, receives the beat of the drum-sticks. These drums are very resonant and well toned, and can be heard at a great distance. The skill of the drummers and the pieces they perform are not contemptible, when two or even three performers sit down to one drum and play some piece of native drum-music in the Banks' Islands, or when three drums of different size and tone, as I have heard at Saa, are played together with surprising precision and variety. At Saa and in San Cristoval there are large houses for the drums; the story of the settlement at Saa (page 49) shews how good drums are valued. In the Banks' Islands a drum is kore, in Lepers' Island singsing; a large singsing, and some are very large, has a handle left in the wood when the end is squared