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of an extinct volcano. A traveller went to visit this extraordinary lake and gives the following account of the mode by which its actual depth was ascertained: Having been informed that this lake was fathomless, I felt only more solicitous to test the mystery. There were no means, however, on the premises; and, two women excepted, the little village was temporarily deserted. There were several canoes on the shore, but the lake was much disturbed by a heavy north wind, so that they would have been rendered nearly useless. But I felt as though I could not abandon the expedition. The gentleman who accompanied me thither informed the women of my object in coming, and assured them that I was extremely anxious to know the depth of the water in that lake, and that we would wait until some of the men returned from their fishing excursion. But one. of them soon provided a remedy. She proposed swimming into the lake with a sounding line to make the required measurement. Our remonstrance against such a measure was in vain, for she resolutely assured us it would be not only an easy performance, but afford her much satisfaction to have an opportunity of serving me. She procured a piece of wili-wili wood, exceedingly light, about six feet long, and as many inches in diameter. This she insisted on carrying to the north end of the lake.
Novel Feat of a Female Swimmer.
After wading in until she could swim, she placed the log firmly under her chest, keeping it there with one hand and retaining the sounding line with the other. In this position she struck down the lake, stopping at intervals to let down the line, which she knotted at the surface of the water every time she found the bottom. This done, she would gather up her line, replace her log and resume her course. And she pursued this plan until her task was done. It would be superfluous to say that this feat excited our admiration, or that we compensated her for her pains. It was the most novel exhibition I had ever seen; nor could I fully realize it until I remembered that in these islands as in other parts of Polynesia, and the Caribbean Sea, the women and girls are the best swimmers. The Hawaiians are almost amphibious. Volumes might be written detailing their extraordinary feats in the water. It is owing to their frequent bathing that many of the women of Polynesia display such an exquisite physique.
A favorite amusement of the Hawaiians is swimming out to sea on boards made from the bread-fruit tree. It is quite a national sport and very exciting in rough weather. Having swum out to some distance with these boards under their arms, they ride over the breakers on them towards the shore, generally lying face downwards, but the most expert bathers kneel, or even stand up on their boards, mounting each roller at the
right moment, so as to keep exactly on its curl. They are also wonderful divers.
Some of the weapons used by the Sandwich Islanders are rather curious. In the first place they have the spear, which is made of a chestnut colored wood, which takes a high polish, and is usually barbed at the point and brought to a flattened point at the butt. They are exceedingly skilful in the use of this weapon, not only in throwing it, but in warding off the weapons that are flung at them. Kamehameha, the well known king or chief, was celebrated for his skill with the spear. He used to stand with a spear in his right hand in front of six men, also armed with. spears. At a given signal they flung their spears simultaneously at him, when he would strike three aside with the spear in his right hand, and catch the other three in his left hand. Our illustration shows the king performing this dangerous and remarkable feat. These spears, which are intended to be thrown, are from six to eight feet in length, and are made to fly straight by being tapered gradually from the head to the butt. There is another kind of spear, which is used as a pike. This is from twelve to fifteen feet in length, and is not barbed.
The sling is another of the Sandwich weapons. It is of considerable length, and the receptacle for the stone is made of plaited matting. The stones are oval in shape, and are ground down for the express purpose, so that the slingers evidently possess much accuracy of aim. There is a modification of the sling, the use of which seems to be forgotten at the present day, and even in Captain Cook's time was far from universal.. The stone is cut of an oval shape, with a groove round it, much like a lady's tatting-needle, and the cord is passed round the groove with a half-hitch, so that when the end of the sling is liberated, the stone flies off. Some of these stones obtained by Captain Cook were made of hæmatite, or blood-stone, and were very heavy, weighing at least a pound. It was rather curious that, although there was little difficulty in purchasing the stones, which must have cost much trouble in making, it was not possible to persuade the natives to part with the cord by which they were flung. A Barbarous Dagger.
Another of their weapons is the dagger. The material of which it is made is a very hard wood, something like ebony, and it is shaped much like the ordinary steel dagger, except that it has no guard. It is about two feet in length, and is secured to the wrist by a cord passing through a hole at the end of the handle. Some of these daggers are still larger, and double-pointed, being held in the middle like the antelope-horn daggers of India. The weapon has a mournful interest from the fact that
when Captain Cook was murdered his body was pierced with innumerable wounds mostly made by wooden daggers, though one of the natives had a dagger made of iron, which they snatched from each other's hands in their eagerness to inflict fresh wounds.
Like most of the Polynesian Islands, the Marquesas are surrounded with coral reefs. The inhabitants are splendid specimens of humanity, the men being remarkable for their gigantic size, great strength, and fine
KING KAMEHAMEHA AND THE SPEARS.
shape, which emulates those of the ancient Greek statues. One of the chiefs was measured carefully, and was found to be six feet eight inches in height, and said that he knew another chief who was at least a foot taller than himself. In general they wear but little raiment, a slight piece of bark cloth round the waist being the only garment which they think needful, the place of clothing being supplied by the tattoo. There are many nations where this decoration is worn; but there are no people on
the face of the earth who carry it out so fully as do the Marquesans, every part of their bodies, even to the crown of the head and the fingers and toes, being covered with the pattern. This extreme elaboration is only to be found in the men, the women contenting themselves with a bracelet or two tattooed on their arms, and a few similar ornaments here and there, thus affording a marked contrast to the other sex.
Sometimes a rich
islander will, either from generosity, ostenation, or love to his wife, make a feast in honor of her when she has a bracelet tattooed round her arm, or perhaps her ear ornamented. A hog is then killed, and the friends of both sexes are invited to partake of it, the occasion of the feast being made known to them. It
is expected that the same courtesy will be returned in case of the wife of any of the guests being punctured. This is one of the few occasions on which women are allowed to eat hog's flesh.
The figures with which the body is tattooed are chosen with great care. and appropriate ornaments are selected for the different parts. They con sist partly of animals, partly of other objects which have some reference to the manners and customs of the islands; and every figure has here, as in the Friendly Islands, its particular name. Upon an accurate examination, curved lines, diamonds, and other designs are often disting
uishable between rows of punctures, which resemble very much Grecian ornaments. The most perfect symmetry is observed over the whole body. The head of a man is tattooed in every part; the breast is commonly ornamented with a figure resembling a shield; on the arms and thighs are strips sometimes broader, sometimes narrower, in such directions that these people might be very well presumed to have studied anatomy, and to be acquainted with the course and dimensions of the muscles. Upon the back is a large cross, which begins at the neck and ends with the last vertebra. In the front of the thigh are often figures which seem intended to represent the human face. On each side of the calf of the leg is an oval figure, which produces a very good effect. The whole, in fact, displays much taste and discrimination. Some of the tenderest parts of the body-the eyelids, for example-are the only parts not tattooed. Each finger has its own pattern, so that the hand looks as if enclosed in a very tight-fitting glove.
A Singular Business.
The mode of tattooing is almost exactly like that of the Samoan islanders, except that the puncturing needle is made of the wing-bone of the tropic bird. The operation is always conducted in certain houses belonging to the professional tattooers, who lay on these buildings a tapu, which renders them unapproachable by women. As is the case in Samoa, the best tattooers are men of great importance, and paid highly for their services, a Marquesan thinking that he is bound to be liberal toward a man to whom he is indebted for the charms which he values so highly. These men gain their skill by practising on the lower orders, who are too poor to pay for being tattooed, and who would rather wear a bad tattoo than none at all. A considerable amount is generally exacted at each operation, which lasts from three to six months; and so elaborate is the process, that a really complete tattoo can hardly be finished until the man is thirty years old.
By the time that the last piece of tattoo is executed, the first generally begins to fade, and if the man is rich enough he has the pattern renewed. Some men have been tattooed three times, and, as the patterns cannot be made to coincide precisely with each other, the result is that the whole skin becomes nearly as dark as that of a negro. In this state it is greatly admired, not because the effect is agreeable to the eye, but because it is an indubitable mark of wealth. The pigment used in tattooing is the well-known candle nut, burned to a fine charcoal and mixed with water.