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the ultra " respectable " classes donning coats, waistcoats, and trousers.
Immediately after service I returned to luncheon on board, to be ready to start with Monseigneur Elloi for Mua, which is the principal Roman Catholic station here, distant about twelve miles. A large man-of-war boat with twelve rowers carried the bishop's party, which consisted of two Fathers, and four of the ship's officers. Several others got horses and rode across the isle. A party of Tongan students filled another boat. Wind, tide, and current being against us, the journey took three hours. It is a dreary coast, everywhere bound by a wide expanse of villanous shore-reef, which makes landing simply impossible. The approach to Mua is by a channel which seemed to me several miles long, and is like a river cut through the reef, which edges it on either side. Here we rowed against a sweeping current, and the men had hard work to make way.
On reaching Mua we found the riders awaiting us, and a great procession of priests, headed by Pere Chevron, a fine grey-haired old man, who has been toiling here for thirty-five years. Scarlet and white - robed acolytes and others, carried really handsome flags and banners. Their chanting was excellent. They escorted the bishop to the beautiful Tongan church, which is a building of purely
native type, with heavy thatch, and all the posts and beams covered with admirable patterns, worked in sennit—i.e., string of divers fibres, of hybiscus, cocoa, palm, and other plants, ranging through all shades of yellow, brown, and black. The altar, which is entirely of native' manufacture, is really very fine, made of various woods, inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl. All the decorations in this church are in excellent taste, and bespeak most loving care. Here, as at Maofanga, comfort is sacrificed to appearance by the substitution of a polished wooden floor for the accustomed mats. I cannot say I think this an improvement, as it is a hard seat during a long service.
However, on this occasion I did not experience its discomfort, for, shocking to say, in view of the example to the natives, none of us attended the service, but all went off at once, guided by M. Pinart (whose antiquarian instincts had already led him thither), to the tombs of the Toui-Tongas, the old kings of Tonga. They are formed of gigantic blocks of volcanic rock, said to have been brought to these flat isles from the Wallis group. They are laid in three courses of straight lines, like cyclopean walls, and lie at intervals through the bush. They are much overgrown with tangled vegetation, especially with the widespreading roots of many banyan trees, and though wonderful, are not sketchable.
In olden days, when the Toui-Tonga was here laid to his rest, his favourite wife and most valued possessions were buried with him. All his subjects, young and old, male and female, shaved their heads and mourned for four months. Those engaged in preparing his sacred body for the grave were obliged to live apart for ten months, as being tabu or sacred.
When the corpse had been deposited on this great burial-mound, all the men, women, and children assembled, and sat round in a great circle, bearing large torches made of dried palm-leaves. Six of the principal men then walked several times round and round the place of burial, in sunwise procession, waving the blazing torches on high; finally, these were extinguished and laid on the ground. Then all the people arose and made the sunwise circuit of the royal tombs, as has been done from the earliest days, by men of all nations and colours,1 and then they, too, extinguished the emblematic torches, and laid them on the earth, in memory of him whose flame of life had passed away for ever from the poor dead clay. This ceremony was repeated on fourteen successive nights.
The mystery in all antiquities of this sort, lies in the problem, how a race possessed only of stone
1 For numerous instances of this, see ' From the Hebrides to the Himalayas' (C. F. Gordon Cumming), vol. i. pp. 203-210.
adzes, could possibly have hewn these huge blocks in the first instance, and how they then transported them on their frail canoes across wide distances of open sea. Tombs of the same character were common to all these groups, and were called marais. They combined the purpose of mausoleums of the chiefs, and of temples where human and other sacrifices were offered.
Some of them were of gigantic dimensions. Captain Cook described one at Paparra in Tahiti, which consisted of an immense pyramid, 267 feet long by 87 wide, standing on a pavement measuring 360 feet by 354. On its summit stood a wooden image of a bird, and a fish carved in stone, representing the creatures especially reverenced by that tribe.
The pyramid was, in fact, a huge cairn of round pebbles, "which, from the regularity of their figure, seemed to have been wrought." It was faced with great blocks of white coral, neatly squared and polished, and laid in regular courses, forming eleven great steps, each of which was 4 feet high, so that the height of the pile was 44 feet. Some of these stones were upwards of 3 feet in length and 2^ in width. The pavement on which the pyramid was built was of volcanic rock, also hewn into shape, some of the stones being even larger than the coral blocks, and all perfectly joined together, without mortar.
As Captain Cook found no trace of any quarry in the neighbourhood, he inferred that these blocks must have been carried from a considerable distance; and even the coral with which the pyramid was faced, lies at least three feet under the water. The question, therefore, which puzzled him, as it does us this day, was, How did these savages, ignorant of all mechanical appliances, and possessing no iron tools, contrive to hew these wonderful rnarais, which were the temples and tombs of every Polynesian group? The majority were pulled to pieces by the natives when they abandoned idolatry, but happily for the antiquarian, some of the tombs of the mighty dead escaped these over-zealous reformers; and though the coral altars are no longer polluted by human blood, the grey ruins still remain, now overgrown by forest-trees, and more solemn in their desolation than when those hideous rites were practised by the poor savages at the bidding of ruthless priests.
In the course of our walk we saw some lovely little pigeons, bright green with purple head, and a number of larger ones, green and yellow. Also many small bats skimming about the cocoa-palms, darting to and fro in pursuit of the insects which make their home in the crown of the tree. Towards dusk a multitude of fruit-bats with soft fur appeared, flapping on heavy wing, and feeding on the flowers