absence of any strong political organization the importance of the position of a member of the largest and most exclusive of the societies has been considerable. Many years ago I well remember how in the early morning of one day in the island of Mota a strange cry was heard repeated from every quarter, shrill, prolonged and unmistakeable. It was the cry of the tamate; the members of the Great Tamate were all out and in possession of the island; o vanua we gona, the country was in occupation, no one could go about, everything of the business of ordinary life was at a standstill till the tamate should be satisfied. Upon enquiry we were told that in the evening before a man in anger had taken up his bow. In accordance with the teaching of Bishop Patteson, and with the authority of the great man of the island, the society of the Great Tamate had forbidden the use of the bow and arrow in private quarrels under penalty of a fine to them. On this occasion the man who had been guilty of the offence hastened to atone for it with a pig, and all was quiet again. It is not surprising that membership in so powerful a society should be valued and not readily resigned.
I. The Banks' Islands.—The Banks' Islands, with the neighbouring Torres group, are undoubtedly the chief seat of these societies, which are there universally called 'The Ghosts,' o tamate, netmet. In the Torres Islands alone there are a hundred of them, and every man belongs to four or five. The chief society, the tamate liwoa of Mota, is present everywhere, though in some places it is not so important as some more exclusive one of local origin. Another association is distinguished by its peculiar dance, and differs from the others in having no permanent lodge or club-house; this, the Qat, is found in all the Banks' Islands, but not in the Torres Islands. All these tamate associations have as their particular badge a leaf or a flower. The very numerous and well-marked varieties of the croton, which all have their native names, furnish the leaves; the flowers are those of the many varieties of hibiscus, all also named. To stick flowers in the hair, rou, is very common; it is the particular part of the head which is