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her help. The friends of the bridegroom in their turn run to help their friend, and for some time there is a furious combat, nore of the men escaping without some sharp bruises, and the girl screaming at the top of her voice.
At last the bridegroom dashes at the girl, seizes her as he can, by the hand, the hair, or the heels, as the case may be, drags her to his horse, leaps on its back, pulls her up after him, and dashes off at full speed, followed by his friends. The relatives ofthe girl go off in pursuit, but are constantly checked by the friends of the bridegroom, who keep them back unt 1 he has dashed into the forest with his bride. They halt at the skirts of the forest, wait until the sounds of the girl's screams and the galloping of the horse have died away, and then disperse.
The young couple are now left alone until they emerge from the wood on the second day after the abduction, when they are supposed to be man and wife. That all the fighting and screaming are a mere farce, is evident from the fact that, if a man should offer himself who is not acceptable to the parents of the girl, and should proceed to carry her off, one of her relatives blows the horn of alarm, as has already been mentioned, and all of the male relations turn out and drive off the intruder. Sometimes, however, he succeeds in gaining the bush before he is caught, and in that case the marriage holds good. Some few days after the marriage, the friends call on the newly-married couple, and bring the contributions which they had promised. The whole party then proceed to the house of the girl's father, and offer him these goods, which are taken as if they were mere offerings, and not the price for which the girl was sold. Being satisfied with the presents, he expresses himself pleased with the matter, and congratulates the young couple and their friends.
The Araucanians are admirable riders, though their seat would not please an American riding master. They depend entirely on balance for retaining their seat, and seem rather to hang on the horse's back than to hold by any grip of the knee. Indeed, a stranger to the country always thinks that an Araucanian rider is on the point of being thrown, so loose is his seat, whereas the very idea that he can by any possibility be thrown never enters his mind. He and his horse seem one being, actuated by one mind. A traveller once saw a horse take fright, and leap sideways from the object of terror. He thought that the rider must be flung by the suddenness of the movement; but, to all appearance, the man took fright and shied at the same moment with his horse.
The Araucanians make a free use of the lasso.
This terrible weapon
is simple enough in principle, being nothing more than a leather rope, forty feet in length, with a noose at the end. It is made of a number of thongs of raw hide, plaited into a round rope, about three-eighths of an inch in diameter; so that, although it appears very slender, it really possesses enormous strength, and an elephant could scarcely break it. When the lasso is to be used, the thrower takes the ring in his left hand, and the lasso in the right, and separates his arms so as to make a running noose nearly six feet in length. Grasping the ring and the cord with his left hand, he slips his right hand along the rope so as to double it, and there holds it. When he throws it, he whirls it round his head until the noose becomes quite circular, and then hurls it at the object, throwing after it the remainder of the rope, which has hung in coils on his left arm. As it passes through the air, the noose becomes gradually smaller, so that the thrower can always graduate the diameter of the noose to the object which it is intended to secure.
Thrilling Adventures with Wild Animals.
The skill with which they fling this noose is wonderful, as may be seen from the following account of a struggle with an infuriated bull; the capture of a particular animal from a herd, within a range of pasture utterly unbounded except by mountains and rivers, is often difficult, and gives rise to many very exciting and ludicrous scenes. Even when taken, the captives are not easy of management, their attachment for old associates manifesting itself in frequent attempts to return.
One particular bull gave great trouble. He was a noble fellow, of spotless white-such an one as bore the beautiful Europa through the Phoenician deep, or such an one as might be worshipped on the shores of the Ganges. After a long time he was lassoed, and the horseman, who had literally taken the bull by the horns, started off complacently to lead him to the place of gathering. But his bullship did not take the going as a matter of course; for, with a mad bellow, he charged upon his captor, who, seeing a very formidable pair of horns dashing toward him, started at full gallop, still holding fast the lasso, which he in vain tried to keep taut. The horse was jaded, and "old whitey" was fast gaining. Another Indian bounded forward, and, dexterously throwing his lasso, caught the unoccupied horn, bringing up the prisoner with a round turn.
The bull was not yet conquered. After plunging, pawing, bellowing, and tossing for a while, he changed his tactics. Making a rush and a feint at one of his annoyers, he wheeled about suddenly, and nearly succeeded in catching the other on his horns. Things were becoming more complicated than ever, when, as the infuriated animal stood head down,
with his tail stuck out at an angle of fifty-five degrees, a third horseman came to the attack, and whirling his lasso with a jerk, caught the caudal extremity in a running knot.
A Droll Dilemma.
Thus the two men at the sides were safe, provided that the man behind kept his lasso strained. But a question in the rule of three now arose. If three men catch a bull, one by each horn, and one by the tail, and all pull in different directions, which way can the bull go? No one seemed able to work out the answer; but a man named Katrilas was ready for all emergencies, and, dismounting, he started to the assistance of hist companions, armed with a long lance and an old poncho. Running before the bull, he threw the poncho on the ground, a few paces in front, the men behind slackened a little, and the bellowing captive made a des-perate plunge at the red cloth. A jerk on the tail stopped further progress, till Katrilas, picking up the poncho on the tip of the lance, tossed it several yards in advance. There was another slackening, another jerk, and so on, until the "critter" was brought to the desired spot.
The next trouble was to loose the captive. Sundry scientific pulls brought him to the ground, and Katrilas, springing forward, stripped the lassos from his horns. But another remained on the tail. That no one would venture to untie, for the bull had risen, and stood glaring frantically around. An Indian, unsheathing his long knife, ran full tilt at the extended tail, and with one blow severed the greater part of that useful member from the body. The last was literally the "unkindest cut of all." The poor brute was fairly conquered. He stood with head hanging, eye; glaring, the tongue lolling from his frothy mouth, his once spotless coat defiled with foam and dirt, while the drip, drip, drip, of the warm blood upon his heels rendered the abjectness of his misery complete.
We naturally associate cannibalism with the South Sea Islanders, especially the Fijians. The native Fijians are clever enough at concealing the existence of cannibalism when they find that it shocks the white A European cotton-grower, who had tried unsuccessfully to introduce the culture of cotton into Fiji, found, after a tolerably long residence, that four or five human beings were killed and eaten weekly. There was plenty of food in the place, pigs were numerous, and fish, fruit and vegetables abundant. But the people ate human bodies as often as they could get them, not from any superstitious motive, but simply because they preferred human flesh to pork. Many of the people actually take a pride in the number of human bodies which they have eaten. One chief was
looked upon with great respect on account of his feats of cannibalism, and the people gave him a title of honor. They called him the Turtlepond, comparing his insatiable stomach to the pond in which turtles are kept; and so proud were they of his deeds, that they even gave a name of honor to the bodies brought for his consumption, calling them the "Contents of the Turtle-pond."
A Case of Shocking Atrocity.
One man gained a great name among his people by an act of peculiar atrocity. He told his wife to build an oven, to fetch fire-wood for heating it, and to prepare a bamboo knife. As soon as she had concluded her labors her husband killed her, and baked her in the oven which her own hands had prepared, and afterward ate her. Sometimes a man has been known to take a victim, bind him hand and foot, cut slices from his arms and legs, and eat them before his eyes. Indeed, the Fijians are so inordnately vain, that they will do anything, no matter how horrible, in order to gain a name among their people. Cannibalism is ingrained in the very nature of a Fijian, and extends through all classes of society. It is true that there are some persons who have never eaten flesh, but there is always a reason for it. Every Fijian has his special god, who is supposed to have his residence in some animal. One god, for example, lives in a rat, as we have already seen; another in a shark; and so on. The worshipper of that god never eats the animal in which his divinity resides; and as some gods are supposed to reside in human bodies, their wor-shippers never eat the flesh of man.
According to the accounts of some of the older chiefs, there was a time when cannibalism did not exist. Many years ago, some strangers from a distant land were blown upon the shores of Fiji, and received hos-pitably by the islanders, who incorporated them into their own tribes, and made much of them. But, in process of time, these people became too powerful, killed the Fijian chiefs, took their wives and property, and usurped their office. In this emergency the people consulted the priests, who said that the Fijians had brought their misfortunes upon themselves. They had allowed strangers to live, whereas, "Fiji for the Fijians" was the golden rule, and from that time every male stranger was to be killed. and eaten, and every woman taken as a wife.
Terrible Sacrifice of Human Life.
As the Fijians set such a value on human flesh, it is to be expected that they will invent a variety of excuses for obtaining it. For example, when a chief builds a house, he kills at least one human victim to celebrate the event. If he builds a large war canoe, a series of sacrifices
takes place. A man is killed, for example, when the keel is laid, and, if the chief be a very powerful one, he will kill a victim as each plank is fixed in its place. Even when it is finished the slaughter is not over, as, in the first place, the planks of the new vessel have to be washed with human blood, and in the next, the launch must be commemorated in the same way as the building. One chief gained some notoriety by binding a number of men, and laying them side by side along the shore to act as
FIJIAN CANOE IN A STIFF BREEZE.
rollers over which the canoe was taken from the land into the sea. The weight of the canoe killed the men, who were afterward baked and eaten. Speaking of the Fijian canoe, which may be called one of the institutions of the country, the best example is the double canoe, where two boats are placed side by side. The two canoes are covered over, so as to keep out the water, and are connected by a platform which projects over the outer edges of both boats. Hatchways are cut through the platform, so as to