Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before eBook

George Turner (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before.

13.  The people returned from work, no Sinataevaeva was there,
Tangaloa called for his daughters Darkness, Lightning, and Thunder,
And ordered them off in search of his wife.

14.  The three daughters obeyed, Thunder roared and Lightning flashed,
Darkness and Storm were added, and the canoe was found.

15.  The ladies shouted out:  “Don’t be afraid; all’s well! 
You two be off, a calm and a smooth sea to you! 
’Twas cruel to kill a child yonder.”

16.  The two went on and reached their land and home,
First the boy went on shore, his sister remained in the canoe.

17.  Their parents called out:  “Where are you two going?”
“My sister and I are in search of the home of our parents.”
18.  “Who are your parents, tell us their names?”
“Mailesaeia and Mailetupengia,” replied the lad.

19.  Out rushed the parents in tears,
The children they cast away had come back,
And now their love returned to them.



Passing from infancy and childhood we proceed to the ceremonies, superstitions, and customs connected with more advanced years.

Tattooing.—­“Herodotus found among the Thracians that the barbarians could be exceedingly foppish after their fashion.  The man who was not tattooed among them was not respected.”  It was the same in Samoa.  Until a young man was tattooed, he was considered in his minority.  He could not think of marriage, and he was constantly exposed to taunts and ridicule, as being poor and of low birth, and as having no right to speak in the society of men.  But as soon as he was tattooed he passed into his majority, and considered himself entitled to the respect and privileges of mature years.  When a youth, therefore, reached the age of sixteen, he and his friends were all anxiety that he should be tattooed.  He was then on the outlook for the tattooing of some young chief with whom he might unite.  On these occasions, six or a dozen young men would be tattooed at one time; and for these there might be four or five tattooers employed.

Tattooing is still kept up to some extent, and is a regular profession, just as house-building, and well paid.  The custom is traced to Taema and Tilafainga (see p. 55); and they were worshipped by the tattooers as the presiding deities of their craft.

The instrument used in the operation is an oblong piece of human bone (os ilium), about an inch and a half broad and two inches long.  A time of war and slaughter was a harvest for the tattooers to get a supply of instruments.  The one end is cut like a small-toothed comb, and the other is fastened to a piece of cane, and looks like a little serrated adze.  They dip it into a mixture of candle-nut

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Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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