Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/376

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Miscellaneous.

meet it; another is avawo sus, from the outstretched left hand to the right nipple; alo masale pei, at the watercourse, from the left hand to the breast bone. Lesser measurements are, alo vivngai, from the arm pit; alo maluk, from the hollow of the elbow to the fingers' end; sogo siwo, from wrist to finger end.

(11) Salutations. People living in small communities and always in view of one another have little need for salutations, and there is little to be said upon the subject in regard to Melanesia. If any one passes through a village he will be asked whence he comes, and bid to go on, as a kind of salutation; he will say on leaving, 'You stay'. There is, however, in the Banks' Islands a friendly action called varpis; two men insert each the middle finger of his right hand between two of his friend's fingers, grip them tight together, and then quickly pull them asunder with a crack. This is a greeting, a mark of fellowship and of approval. Kissing is not indigenous; to punpun is analogous to it, snuffing with the nose, not rubbing noses, and this is not thought proper or becoming to be done except to children. Rubbing noses is practised in the Polynesian settlements only. It is not the custom to say anything by way of thanks; it is rather improper to show emotion when anything is given, or when friends meet again; silence with the eyes cast down is the sign of the inward trembling or shyness which they feel, or think they ought to feel, under these circumstances. There is no lack of a word which may be fairly translated 'thank'; and certainly no one who has given cause for it will say that Melanesians have no gratitude; others probably are ready enough to say it.

(12) Wild Men. In Florida they believe that on the mountains of Laudari, the part of Guadalcanar upon which their own island looks out, there are wild men whom they call Mumulou. They are men, and have language; the hair of their heads is straight and reaching down their legs, their bodies are covered with long hair, and they have long nails; they are large and tall, but not above the size of men. One was killed not long ago, the coast people of Laudari say, and so they know very well what they are like. They live in