wear it long, tie it up on the crown of the head;
others suffer only a large lock to grow on each side,
which they tie up in clubs; many others, as well as
all the women, wear it cropped short. These rough
heads, most probably, want frequent scratching; for
which purpose they have a most excellent instrument.
This is a kind of comb made of sticks of hard wood,
from seven to nine or ten inches long, and about the
thickness of knitting-needles. A number of these,
seldom exceeding twenty, but generally fewer, is fastened
together at one end, parallel to, and near one-tenth
of an inch from each other. The other ends, which
are a little pointed, will spread out or open like
the sticks of a fan, by which means they can beat
up the quarters of an hundred lice at a time.
These combs or scratchers, for I believe they serve
both purposes, they always wear in their hair, on
one side their head. The people of Tanna have
an instrument of this kind for the same use; but theirs
is forked, I think, never exceeding three or four
prongs; and sometimes only a small pointed stick.
Their beards, which are of the same crisp nature as
their hair, are, for the most part, worn short.
Swelled and ulcerated legs and feet are common among
the men; as also a swelling of the scrotum. I
know not whether this is occasioned by disease, or
by the mode of applying the wrapper before-mentioned,
and which they use as at Tanna and Mallicollo.
This is their only covering, and is made generally
of the bark of a tree, but sometimes of leaves.
The small pieces of cloth, paper, &c. which they got
from us, were commonly applied to this use. We
saw coarse garments amongst them, made of a sort of
matting, but they seemed never to wear them, except
when out in their canoes and unemployed. Some
had a kind of concave, cylindrical, stiff black cap,
which appeared to be a great ornament among them,
and, we thought, was only worn by men of note or warriors.
A large sheet of strong paper, when they got one from
us, was generally applied to this use.
The women’s dress is a short petticoat, made
of the filaments of the plantain-tree, laid over a
cord, to which they are fastened, and tied round the
waist. The petticoat is made at least six or eight
inches thick, but not one inch longer than necessary
for the use designed. The outer filaments are
dyed black; and, as an additional ornament, the most
of them have a few pearl oyster-shells fixed on the
right side. The general ornaments of both sexes
are ear-rings of tortoise-shell, necklaces or amulets,
made both of shells and stones, and bracelets, made
of large shells, which they wear above the elbow.
They have punctures, or marks on the skin, on several
parts of the body; but none, I think, are black, as
at the Eastern Islands. I know not if they have
any other design than ornament; and the people of
Tanna are marked much in the same manner.
Were I to judge of the origin of this nation, I should
take them to be a race between the people of Tanna
and of the Friendly Isles, or between those of Tanna
and the New Zealanders, or all three; their language,
in some respects, being a mixture of them all.
In their disposition they are like the natives of
the Friendly Isles; but in affability and honesty they