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George Turner (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before.

Puapae said to Siati, “My father and sister are dead, and all on account of my love to you; you may go now and visit your family and friends while I remain here, but see that you do not behave unseemly.”  He went, visited all his friends, and then he forgot his wife Puapae.  He tried to marry again, but Puapae came and stood on the other side.  The chief called out, “Which is your wife, Siati?” “The one on the right side.”  Puapae then broke silence with, “Ah Siati, you have forgotten all I did for you;” and off she went.  Siati remembered it all, darted after her crying, and then fell down and died.

CHAPTER VIII.

FOOD—­COOKING—­LIQUORS.

Animal and Vegetable Food.—­Bread-fruit, taro, yams, bananas, and cocoa-nuts formed the staff of life in Samoa.  The lagoons and reefs furnish a large supply of fish and shell-fish, of which the natives are very fond; and occasionally all, but especially persons of rank, regaled themselves on pigs, fowls, and turtle.  A detailed account of the flora and fauna in this and other groups in Central and Eastern Polynesia will be found in the published volumes of the United States Exploring Squadron of 1838-1842.

Taro, cocoa-nuts, and ’ava were said to have been brought from the heavens by a chief called Losi.  When on a visit there he was pleased with the taste of taro, and tried to get some to take down with him.  He found a young shoot about the cooking-house, concealed it under his clothing, but the Tangaloans were on the watch.  They made him take off his roundabout, snatched the plant from him, pulled his hair, scratched and cut his skin, and back he came to the earth in a great rage.

He engaged six of the gods to go up with him again and be avenged on Tangaloa and his people.  He proposed to take up a present of fish.  They caught ten, and were up before daybreak, and laid down a fish on the doorstep of ten of the houses.  When the people came out of their houses they stumbled over the slippery fish, fell and cut their foreheads.  They cooked the fish, but ate it with bruised heads.  And hence the proverb in times of difficulty, “To eat with a bruise.”

Then followed a number of schemes on the part of the Tangaloans to kill Losi and his party similar to those described (p. 250).  But all failed, and then up jumped Losi and his party, and ran at the Tangaloans, who fled and called out as they ran, “What do you want?” “Cocoa-nuts,” said Losi.  “Take them all,” was the reply.  Losi again called to his party to chase, and they rushed after the Tangaloans, who again shouted back, “What do you want?” “Taro,” said Losi, “to compensate for ill usage and the tearing of my skin.”  “Take it, your claim is just; take it and be off.”  Losi ordered still to pursue, and again the call came from the frightened Tangaloans, “What else do you want?” “I want ’ava,” replied Losi.  “Take it, all kinds of it, and be off.”  Losi conquered, had his revenge, and got what he wanted, and so came down from the heavens with taro, cocoa-nuts, and ’ava, and planted them all about.

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