Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/362

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Dances. Music. Games.

the song they sing with the motion of their hands, rattling the castanets on their wrists together with admirable precision and variety to beguile their task. In the Banks' Islands, to add to the din of the multitude of drums big and little at a feast, I have seen a man shaking dry shells from the beach in a bag of matting. In Aurora they fasten bamboo rods pierced with holes to the tops of trees, and so contrive an ├ćolian flute, such as those mentioned by Dr. Tylor in his 'Early History of Mankind.'

(4) Games. A game which belongs to the Banks' Islands and New Hebrides is tika, the Fiji tiqa, played with reeds dashed in such a manner upon the ground that they rise in the air and fly to a considerable distance. In some islands, as Santa Maria, a string is used to give impetus, and in some the reed is thrown also from the foot. The game is played by two parties, who count pigs for the furthest casts, the number of pigs counted as gained depending on the number of knots in the winning tika. There is a proper season for the game, that in which the yams are dug, the reeds on which the yam vines had been trained having apparently served originally for the tika. When two villages engage in a match they sometimes come to blows. There are marks on the tiqa to shew to whom they belonged. It is remarkable that in Mota a decimal set of numerals is used in this game, distinct from the quinary set used on every other occasion of counting; in Florida also there are numerals used in a game, but only the common numerals in an altered form. In the Banks' Islands boys play at hide-and-seek, rurqonaqona; there are two sides, and if the boy who is hiding is not found by the seekers, he suddenly jumps up and counts a pig against them. There is also a kind of prisoners' base, taptapau; each party has a cooking-place, um> in which they are safe, and outside which they may be caught. In Lepers' Island they have football, played by men and boys in two sides between two fences, with a native orange, bread-fruit, or cocoa-nut; the goal is gained when the ball is driven out at

    is armed with a shell scraper. In the Museum at Batavia is a similar seat with the tail of a horse, and the scraper of iron.