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Huahine is a large slab of unhewn stone, resting on three boulders. Around it are the rock-terraces which formed the rude temple.
At Haamonga the cyclopean trilithon stands alone. All others known to us, such as those at Stonehenge, at Tripoli, Algeria, and in Central America, are found in connection with circles of huge stones, to which they have apparently been the gateway; but here there does not appear to have been any circle, not even a detached dolmen.
In its weird solitude it most resembles the cromlech of Byjnath in Bengal; but what may be its .story none can possibly guess. One thing only is certain, that these grey stones were brought here by some long - forgotten race, who little dreamt, when they raised this ponderous monument, that a day would come when it should survive as the sole proof that they ever existed.
We have been told that within the memory of persons now living, an enormous kava bowl stood on the horizontal stone, and that most solemn and sacred drinking festivals were held here. It is very probable that this may have been the case, as the people would, in heathen days, very naturally retain some tradition of reverence for the trilithon, as the peasants of Brittany, and, I may say, of Britain, do for similar erections to the present day, assembling for annual festivals at "the stones," MARCH OF FASHION.
though the origin of Carnac, Stonehenge, and Stennis, is as unknown as that of Haamonga.
Returning to the village we saw that the church was crowded, and that there were a number of candidates for confirmation. Judging that the service would occupy some time, and being anxious to see as much of the neighbourhood as possible, we drove along the coast to a particularly fine banyan, noted in Captain Cook's chart, and beneath its shadow we rested awhile, and enjoyed a very pleasant half-hour overlooking a calm, beautiful sea.
We reached Mua just as the congregation was dispersing, and were troubled with some qualms on the score of our bad example, but the considerate bishop gave us full absolution. I regret to say that a considerable proportion of the people were like hideously-dressed-up apes, masculine and feminine —many of the former in seedy black clothes, and some of the latter attired in gay flimsy silk gowns, inflated writh large crinolines, and with baby hats, trimmed with pink and blue flowers, stuck on the top of their fuzzy heads. Hitherto, as you know, my ideas of Tongans have been derived only from the stately men and women who have settled in Fiji, and there, like their neighbours, have retained the graceful drapery of native cloth. Here the influence of certain persons interested in trade is so strong, that the manufacture of tappa is discouraged by every possible means; and a heavy penalty attaches to making it on any, except one, day in the week. It seems that this law was passed in King George's absence, and I am happy to learn that he was exceedingly angry—though, as yet, the law stands unrepealed, and the manufacture is doomed to cease altogether this year.
Whoever is to blame, the system of taxation and fines is something astounding. A woman who is found without a pinafore, even in her own house, is fined two dollars, no matter how ample is her petticoat. Should she venture beyond her threshold minus this garment, she is liable to a fine of three dollars. If caught smoking, she is fined two and a half dollars, and one and a half dollar costs. Imagine such legislation for a people whose highest proof of reverence in olden days was to strip themselves to the waist in presence of their king, or on approaching a sacred spot, and who still consider any upper garment as altogether superfluous — a people, moreover, whose very nature it is to be for ever rolling up minute cigarettes for themselves and their friends!
The most atrocious of all the regulations is one inflicting a fine of ten dollars on any man found without a shirt, though wearing such a sulu (kilt) as would in Fiji be considered full dress, either at church or Government House. One of the lads COMPULSORY FOLLY.
told us he had actually been made to pay this fine a few days ago, having put off his shirt while fishing. Wet or dry they must wear the unaccustomed foreign clothing, instead of the former coating of oil, which made these people as impervious to water as so many ducks. But whether by compulsion or for vainglory, the hideous foreign clothes are worn during the burning heat of the day; then, under the friendly veil of night, comfort and economy are consulted by dispensing with superfluous garments; and so the heavy night-dews act with double power, and chills produce violent coughs, which too often end in consumption and death.1
1 I am happy to say that the king's good sense carried the day, and enabled the wishes of the people to find an independent voice. In July 1879, King George formally opened a Tongan Parliament, at which, for the first time, representatives of the people were present, under the new constitution, to discuss all questions relating to their own wellbeing. Ere the close of the session, in the middle of September, the law prohibiting the manufacture and wearing of native cloth, and rendering certain articles of clothing compulsory, was abolished. Men and women are now permitted to wear any clothes they please, in doors or out, provided, of course, that they are decently clad according to South Sea interpretation of the word. The only exception to this happy rule of liberty is the interior of the Wesleyan Church at Nukualofa, where it is still necessary for men to appear in full European dress—coat, trousers, shoes, &c.— and for women to wear bonnets and dresses! Those who cannot, or will not, comply with this regulation, must stay outside the sanctuary.
The prohibition against women smoking was also modified. Doubtless the revenue will suffer from the diminution of fines, but that can scarcely be a matter of much regret. Various other wise measures were passed, showing that the Tongans have awakened to
These people, like most kindred races when brought in contact with civilisation, are fast dying out. I believe there are now only about 9000 in the Tongan group, 5000 on Happai, and 5000 in Vavau district. They certainly are a very fine well-built race, with clear yellowish - brown skin and Spanish colouring; they also resemble Spaniards or Italians in their animation of expression, —the muscles of the forehead working in a most remarkable manner, especially to express wonder or interest. They have fine faces, well-developed forehead, strong chin, and features generally like those of an average good-looking European. Not the slightest approach to the "blubber lips and monkey faces" of negro races, or of the isles lying nearer to the equator. On the contrary, the mouth is well formed, and shows beautiful teeth. The eyes
understand the folly of attempting to introduce the manners and customs of foreign countries, without reference to the requirements and necessities of their own people. Consequently several excellent Tongan customs relative to tenure of lands, tribes, and status of the people, are now legalised; and the representatives have shown their strong and sensible desire to retain all that was good in their national code of laws, but which had been put away, together with things evil, at the suggestion of resident foreigners.
That the latter were so effectually prevented from unduly influencing the young Parliament, was doubtless due to the presence of H.B.M. Deputy-Commisssioner for Tonga, A. P. Maudslay, and of Mr Wilkinson, both of whom have been engaged in the establishment of the new Government in Fiji, and well know the wisdom of ruling a semi-civilised race by retaining, so far as is possible, their own aneient feudal customs.