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DU 600.S45 e " UniVerSi ' y Ubrary 

Vi,i: ii?il , ii»f™K,?,!., of a government mission 

3 1924 028 647 026 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 


W) ^-^- 

Dra.wn . 

a-ncent Brooks Jith 


OF V i I 1 L E V U . 





IN THE YEAKS 1860-61. 




TOiti) EllttBttaltong ant a JHap. 



The right of translation in renewed by the Author. 



D.O.L., LL.D., F.R.S., 

ETC., ETC., ETC., 




QTfeiss OTorft fe 3§tWcatE& 




In 1859 Mr. W. T. Pritchard, H.B.M. Consul in Fiji, 
son of the Rev. George Pritchard, formerly of Tahiti, 
arrived in England with a document purporting to be 
the cession of Fiji — or rather Viti — to the Queen of 
Great Britain. The cession had been made by Cakobau 
(= Thakombau), the principal chief of Bau and king 
of the whole group, and with the consent of the lead- 
ing chiefs. The importance of accepting the proffered 
sovereignty was insisted upon by parties capable of 
taking a comprehensive view of the question. The Le- 
gislative Assembly of New South Wales, on the motion 
of Mr. M 'Arthur, voted an address to the Queen in sup- 
port of this proposal. Captain Towns, a patriotic citizen 
of Sydney, fully impressed, like many of his country- 
men, with the importance of acquiring the islands, ge- 
nerously offered a cheque for the whole Fijian debt, in 
order to remove at least one of the possible obstacles 
in the way of the cession. Nor is it any secret that the 
occupation of the islands has been recommended by 
Captains Fremantle, Denham, Erskine, and Loring, and 
Admirals Washington* and Sir Edward Belcher; in 

* See Appendix. 


fact, by all naval men who knew anything about the 
subject. Men high in office were equally favourably in- 
clined towards the cession. However, before coming to 
any definite decision, the Government determined to 
obtain more ample information than was at hand, and 
early in 1860 I was asked to join a "Mission to Viti" 
dispatched for that purpose. 

Whilst in Fiji, I was induced to write a series of 
letters on the country, its people, and productions, to 
the 'Athenaeum,' which that journal did me the honour 
to publish, and which, whole or in part, found their 
way into several other home and colonial papers, were 
translated into German and French, and altogether ob- 
tained a circulation for which their original place of 
publication alone can account. On my return to Lon- 
don I was urged to make additions to this series, and I 
acceded to this wish by bringing the subject before the 
Royal Geographical Society, and writing papers for the 
' Gardeners' Chronicle ' and Galton's well-known ' Va- 
cation Tourists and Notes of Travel.' But a good deal 
of matter remained still unpublished, which, together 
with the pith of all I have previously made known, will 
be found in the following pages. 

In order that the public may have the means of form- 
ing a correct judgment on the Fijian question, I have 
reprinted in the Appendix Colonel Smythe's Official 
Eeport, at variance as it is with all that has been 
written on the islands. My impression of Fiji and its 
inhabitants was most favourable, and I am convinced 
that, under judicious management, the country would 


become a flourishing colony, — an opinion shared by 
almost all who have visited the group, as was again 
proved at a crowded meeting at the Geographical So- 
ciety when the subject was discussed. 

Desirous of collecting as many productions of the 
country as possible, I neglected to investigate several 
subjects which fell not within my assigned province. It 
was only after the publication of Colonel Smythe's ' Ke- 
port,' that I became aware of the full importance of my 
neglect. For instance, it would have been very important 
to know how many thousand acres of land had passed 
out of the hands of the natives. As a great many islands 
and vast tracts of country have already been purchased 
by British subjects, statistics on these points would pro- 
bably have materially influenced the decision of Her 
Majesty's Government with respect to the acceptance of 
the cession. 

Amongst other things I brought home a comprehen- 
sive collection of plants, which, together with those 
already in this country, chiefly accumulated by Govern- 
ment expeditions, furnish ample materials for a Flora 
of Fiji, a Flora Vitiensis. I expended a good deal of 
my own money in order to make these collections as 
complete as possible, and was in hopes that the Govern- 
ment would see fit to assist me in publishing such a 
work, especially as my report on the resources and ve- 
getable productions of the islands had been presented 
to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her 
Majesty, and the nature and possible value of the pro- 
jected publication must have become evident. His 


Grace the Duke of Newcastle, ever ready to advance 
science, fully sharing these hopes, made an application 
to the Treasury to that effect, but was " very sorry to 
inform me that his application had been unsuccessful." 
Thinking what had been collected with so much ex- 
pense, under great difficulties, and in a country only 
partially reclaimed from cannibalism, was also worth 
making known, I resolved to incur the risk of publish- 
ing the work at my own cost. It will consist of 400 
pages of letter-press (quarto), and 100 coloured plates, 
all representing objects hitherto unknown to science, 
and drawn by the skilful pencil of Mr. Fitch. The 
work will take about three years to bring out, and its 
publication will commence immediately. 

All the native names are spelt according to the sys- 
tem of orthography laid down in Hazelwood's ' Fijian 
Dictionary ' (London : Trabner and Co.), and wherever 
any deviation should be discovered, it may be regarded 
as a mistake of mine, unless particularly noticed. No- 
thing but endless confusion will be the result if every 
nation is allowed to write Fijian names according to its 
own orthography. For the illustrations of my present 
work I am indebted to Mrs. Smythe, Dr. Macdonald, 
and Captain Denham, to whom I beg to tender my best 
thanks, as well as to those friends who, since my de- 
parture from Fiji, have kept me supplied with the 
latest intelligence from that group. 

Beethold Seemann. 

London, September 30, 1862. 




Departure from England. — Arrival at Sydney. — Voyage to Fiji. — 
The 'John Wesley.' — The Pitcairners at Norfolk Island. — First 
Glimpse of Fiji. — Lakeba. — The Tonguese. — Visit to a Mission 
Station. — First Botanical Excursion. — Hints to Collectors. — Native 
Church. — Bark-cloth Manufacture. — Tomb of a Chief. — Missionary 
Life. — Departure from Lakeba 1 


Island of Taviuni. — The King of Cakaudrove. — Elephantiasis. — 
Kind Offer of Mr. Waterhouse and Captain Wilson. — Somosomo, 
its Advantages and Disadvantages. — Queen Eleanor. — Ascent of 
Summit of Taviuni. — A Boyal Escort. — Sylvan Scene. — Arrival at 
the Top. — Singular Swamp of Vegetable Turtle Fat. — Dinner. — 
Timidity of the Natives. — Chief Golea's "Return from a Military 
Expedition. — Polygamy. — The Rotuma-Men. — Wairiki. — Arrival 
of the ' Paul Jones ' 19 


" Fiji as a Cotton-growing Country. — Cotton not Indigenous but Na- 
turalized. — Native Names. — Number of Species. — Average Pro- 
duce of the Wild Cotton. — Excellence of Fijian Cotton acknow- 
ledged at Manchester. — Efforts of British Consul and Missionaries 
to extend its Cultivation. — The First Thousand Pounds of Cotton 
sent Home. — Establishment of a Plantation at Somosomo, Wakaya, 
and Nukumoto. — Prospects of Cotton-growing in Fiji . 48 




Departure from Somosomo.— Island of Wakaya — The Balolo.— Ar- 
rival at Levuka.— H.B.M. Consul.— The Late Mr. Williams.— 
Lado and its Origin.— Site for the New Capital.— The King of 
Fiji. — Ban. — Causes of its Supremacy. — Viwa .... 



The Wai Levu or Great River. — Canal Dug by Natives. — Matai- 
suva. — Institution for Training Native Teachers. — Sacred Groves, 
Trees, and Stones. — Mosquitoes. — Island of Naigani. — Mr. Egger- 
strom's Kindness. — Feuds at Nadroga. — Nukubalawu. — Taguru. — 
Navua River 82 


Stay at Navua. — Chief Kuruduadua's Household. — " Harry the Jew." 
— A Prince as he was Born. — Massacre Prevented. — Kuruduadua's 
Character. — Statement of Mr. Heekes Respecting the Namuka 
Outrage. — Town and Bures of Navua. — Tatooing. — Return to Lado. 97 


Arrival of Colonel Smythe from New Zealand. — The ' Pegasus ' and 
' Paul Jones.' — Visit to Bau. — Quarrelsome Disposition of the Chief 
of the Fishermen. — Cession of Fiji to England. — First Official 
Interview with the King 120 



Excursions to Koroivau and Namara. — Departure from Bau. — Passage 
through the Great River of Viti Levu. — Buretu. — Apostate Chris- 
tians. — Rewa. — Arrival at Tavuki, Kadavu. — Whale Ships. — At- 
tempt to ascend Buke Levu. — The Isthmus of Kadavu. — -Ga Loa 
or Black Duck Bay. — Departure for Navua 133 




Departure from Kadavu. — Arrival at Navua. — A Court of Justice. — 
Starting for the Interior.— The Navua River.— Its Pine Scenery — 
Eapids. — A Canoe upset. — Town of Nagadi. — Hospitable Recep- 
tion. — Soromato. — Kidnapping. — Family Prayers. — Heathen 
Temple. — A Large Snake to be Cooked. — March across the Country. 
— Vuniwaivutuku. — A Difficult Road.— A Purse Lost.— No Thieves. 
— Arrival at Namosi. — Danford's Establishment.— His Usefulness 
as a Pioneer . . ..... 146 


Popular Ideas Respecting the Interior of Viti Levu. — Malachite and 
Antimony. — Ascent of Voma Peak. — Visit to a Heathen Temple. 
— " Spirit Fowls." — Official Meeting with Kuruduadua and his 
Subjects. — A Rebellion to be Suppressed. — Presentation of Food. 
— " The Oldest Inhabitants." — A Court-Fool and his Tricks. — Mr. 
Waterhouse Preaching. — Departure'of Colonel Smythe and Messrs. 
Pritehard and Waterhouse, for Nadroga 160 


Fijian Cannibalism. — The Great Cauldron. — Naulumatua and his Ap- 
petite for Human Flesh. — Bokola. — Vegetables Eaten with Cannibal 
Food. — The Ominous Taro. — Approximate Number of Bodies eaten 
at Namosi. — Ovens for Baking Dead Men. — Suspension of the 
Bones. — Not all Fijians Cannibals. — Efforts of the Liberal Party to 
Suppress Anthropophagism. — Aided by Europeans. — Real Signifi- 
cance of Eating Man only Partly Understood. — Concessions to Hu- 
manity. — Abolition of Cannibalism throughout Kuruduadua's Do- 
minions ...... 173 


Stay at Namosi Prolonged. — The Governor's Attention. — " Crown 
Jewels." — The Clerk of the Weather. — Sorcerers. — Fijian Family 
Life.— Story-Tellers Popular —A Fijian Tale 186 



Departure from Namosi.— Vuniwaivutuku.— The " Veli."— Mode of 
Tatooing the Mouth.— Passing down the Navua River.— Nagadi 
cleared out by its Vasu. — Our Canoe Capsized. — Return to the 
' Paul Jones/ — Kuruduadua's Character. — Leaving Navua. — Bega. 
—Mr. Storck's Illness.— Return to Kadavu.— Ascent of Buke 
Levu.— Rewa. — Immigrants from New Zealand. — Mr. Moore's 
Powerful Sermon. — Arrival at Lado. — Office Drudgery . . • 202 


Voyage around Vanua Levu. — Departure from Lado. — East Coast of 
Viti Levu. — Nananu Island. — The Fijian Mount Olympus. — Bua. — 
Naicobocobo. — Nukubati. — Naduri. — Interview with the Chief. — 
Discontent of his Subjects. — Beche-de-mer Trade. — Mua i Udu and 
its Superstitions. — Na Ceva Bay. — Arrival at Waikava. — Visit to 
my Cotton Plantation. — Meeting %t Waikava. — Departure . . 222 


History of the Tongamen in Fiji. — Their Physical Superiority over 
the Fijians. — Their Arrogance. — Captain Croker's Defeat. — Early 
Intercourse between Tonga and Fiji. — Increase of Tonguese Immi- 
gration. — Chief Maafu. — King George of Tonga visits Fiji. — Con- 
quest of Kaba and Rabe. — Arrival of British Consul. — Cession of 
Fiji. — Maafu's Attempted Conquest. — Ritova and Bete. — Maafu's 
Ambition Curbed. — Peace Restored. — Ritova Installed in his Estates. 
— Tonguese Intrigues Renewed. — Bete's Death. — Commodore Sey- 
mour's Visit. — Termination of the Wars between Fijians and 
Tongans .... . 236 


General Remarks on the Aspect, Climate, Soil, and Vegetation of Fiji. 
— Colonial Produce. — Staple Food. — Edible Roots. — Kitchen Vege- 
tables.— Edible Fruits.— National Beverages.— Kava . 274 




Vegetable Poisons. — Medicinal Plants. — Scents and Perfumes. — Ma- 
terials for Clothing. — Mats and Baskets. — Fibres used for Cordage. 
— Timber. — Palms. — Ornamental Plants. — Miscellaneous . . 332 


Remarks on the Fauna of Fiji. — Mammals. — Birds. — Fishes. — Rep- 
tiles. — Mollusks. — Crustacea. — Insects. — Lower Animals . . 381 


Fijian Religion. — Degei, the Supreme God. — Inferior Deities. — "Wor- 
ship of Ancestors. — Idolized Objects. — Temples. — Creation and 
Ultimate Destruction of the World. — A Great Flood. — Immor- 
tality of the Soul. — Conception of Future Abode.— Props of 
Superstition ... ... . . 389 


Historical Remarks on Fiji. — Discovery of the Islands. — Sandal-wood 
Traders. — Early White Settlers. — Missionaries. — Foreigners at 
present Residing in the Group. — Departure from Fiji in the ' Stag- 
hound.' — Terrific Storm off Lord Howe's Island. — Arrival in Syd- 
ney. — Return to England. — Conclusion 401 


I.— Report of Admiral Washington, R.N 419 

II.— Report of Colonel Smythe, R.A., to Colonial Office . . 421 

III.— Systematic List of all the Fijian Plants at present kDown . 431 






Having left Southampton on the 12th of February, 1860, 
by the overland mail, and having touched at Mauritius, 
King George's Sound, and Melbourne, I arrived at Syd- 
ney on the 16th of April, where I was to join Colonel 
Smythe, R.A., — who had gone out by the previous mail, 
— and proceed with him in her Majesty's ship ' Cordelia,' 
it was supposed, to Fiji. The first news heard was, that 
a war had broken out in New Zealand, in consequence 
of which all available naval force had been dispatched 
to the scene of action. This altered our plans consider- 
ably. Colonel Smythe, thinking that the outbreak of 
native discontent would be only of short duration, and 


that after its termination he should still be able to ob- 
tain a Government vessel for Fiji, resolved to proceed 
by the mail steamer to New Zealand. He came on 
board the ' Benares ' to communicate this resolution to 
me, but I, having made an attempt to find him on 
shore, was absent, and as his steamer left soon after the 
English mail had been transferred, I did not meet with 
him until three months afterwards. 

Sir William Denison, to whom I had letters from the 
home Government, advised me either to go to New 
Zealand and wait there for an opportunity, or else di- 
rect to Fiji, in the missionary vessel '- John Wesley,' 
about to sail that day. Wishing to economize my time 
as much as possible, I preferred the latter. In com- 
municating with the Rev. John Eggleston, General Se- 
cretary of the Wesleyan Mission, that gentleman kindly 
postponed the departure of their vessel a few days, in 
order to afford me time for making the necessary pre- 
parations for future explorations. He supplied me be- 
sides with letters of introduction to residents in the 
Fijian islands, books, and a list of articles used as barter, 
all of which proved highly acceptable. In reply to Sir 
William Denison's asking for a passage for me and my 
assistant, Mr. Jacob Storck, Mr. Eggleston cheerfully 
granted a free passage to both of us, at the same time 
reminding the Governor-General that the Wesleyans as 
a body felt under obligations to the Government for so 
frequently allowing their vessels to assist their mis- 
sionaries in the Pacific Ocean, rendering them timely 
aid, and supplying them with medicines, and bringing 
them home when ill. With the assistance of Mr. Charles 


Moore, Director of the Botanic Gardens at Sydney, I 
was enabled to complete all my arrangements without 
loss of time. When embarking, I had accumulated a 
whole cart-load of luggage, containing none save the 
most necessary things, and surveyed by me with a heavy 
heart when thinking of the difficulty of transporting 
them from island to island. None save those who have 
experienced it, can have any conception of travelling in 
countries where no money is current, and all is paid for 
in kind. How easy is moving about when one can 
carry a whole year's travelling expenses in the waistcoat 
pocket ! But think of people never doing a thing for 
you unless you have counted out, or measured off, the 
requisite number or amount of your stock in trade. 

All being ready and the wind fair, 1 left Sydney Har- 
bour on Friday, April 20, 1860, on board the ' John 
Wesley,' Captain Birkenshaw. There were, in all, six 
passengers, — Captain Wilson, from Sydney, about to look 
after his cocoa-nut oil establishment at Somosomo ; 
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, a missionary and his wife, for 
Fiji ; Mr. Storck and myself, and a Fijian native teacher, 
who had come to Sydney with the view of proceeding 
to England, but who, after reaching New South Wales, 
had become so home-sick, that he was obliged to return 
to his native country. Though having been only a few 
thousand miles, he would be regarded as a mighty tra- 
veller on his return, and doubtless looked upon himself 
as such. For, as the Italian would wish " to see Naples, 
and die," or the Spaniard declares that — 

" El que no ha vista Sevilla 
No ha yista maravilla " — 

B 2 

a anssicw to vtti. 

so the South-Sea Islanders would say, " Let me behold 
Sydney, and go home again." 

No one should speak ill of the bridge that carries him 
over, or look a gift-horse in the mouth ; but I have been 
so frequently asked about the ' John Wesley,' that I 
may be exculpated when saying a few words about the 
vessel as she appeared to me. The ' John Wesley' was 
launched in 1846, having been built by Messrs. White 
and Sons, of Cowes, and being paid for by charitable 
contributions. I have read high eulogiums on her, but 
anybody who has sailed in her will not be inclined 
to endorse them. It has never been my misfortune 
to be on board a vessel behaving worse than she did. 
She is about thirty feet too short, and never < easy, let 
the wind be ever so favourable and the sea as smooth 
as a pond. In a slight gale the pitching is awful;, and 
the rolling terrific. We were often watching and won- 
dering what would be her next move after all these 
had been going on for awhile, when perhaps she would 
shake her rudder so violently that one almost feared it 
must come out. In consequence of her constant un- 
easiness, the wear and tear in ropes and spars is con- 
siderable, and the annual expenditure must be much 
greater than might be expected from a vessel of her 
size. Nearly every morning there was something gone, 
and we used to chaff the captain about the superior be- 
haviour of his craft; but he, like a true sailor, would 
defend her through thick and thin. In rough weather 
she had, besides, the bad quality of leaking ; and, as 
some of the cocoa-nut oil carried in her on a former 
occasion had oozed out of the tanks and casks and 


become rancid, the stench was quite overpowering. 
It requires a peculiar constitution not to become sea- 
sick on board, and this is perhaps the most serious in- 
convenience that the missionaries and their families 
sutler when going backwards and forwards in her to the 
Colonies, or from island to island. When we left Syd- 
ney Harbour, I observed several of our men in unfurl- 
ing sails, sea-sick, a sight I never before beheld ; and 
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were ill during nearly the whole 
passage. Nor is she, with all these drawbacks, a fast or 
a good sailer. We were twenty-three days from Sydney 
to Fiji, a distance of 1,735 miles, and I believe that may 
be considered a fair average passage. The crew was an 
extremely mongrel set. There were men of all colours, 
countries, and religions : black Africans, copper-coloured 
Chilians, and white Englishmen; Heathens, Mahome- 
tans, Roman Catholics, and Protestants. I expressed 
my surprise that in a vessel belonging to a religious 
society there should be so mixed a ship's company ; but 
the Captain thought it rather an advantage than other- 
wise, offering, as it did, a field for missionary . labours 
during the voyage. Indeed, when not suffering from 
sea-sickness, Mr. Harrison made some attempts in that 

We endeavoured to make Norfolk Island, but could 
not fetch it within about one hundred miles. I should 
have liked to look at that charming spot, which, no 
longer a convict station, as in days of yore, has lately 
been given by the Government to the Pitcairners, — those 
much-petted descendants of ' Bounty' mutineers and Ta- 
hitian women, — because their own little island began 


to be too small for the growing community. The Pit- 
cairners landed on the 8th of June, 1856, from the 
' Morayshire,' a vessel belonging to Mr. Dunbar, of Lon- 
don, commanded by Mr. Joseph Mathers, and under 
the agency of Acting-Lieutenant G. W. Gregorie, of 
her Majesty's ship ' Juno.' They numbered in all 194 
souls, one of whom died soon after landing ; the rest 
comprising 40 men, 47 women, 54 boys, and 52 girls. 
Almost an entire week was employed in disembarking 
all the seventy years' gathering of chattels, including 
almost every moveable article, even to the " gun " and 
" anvil " of the ' Bounty.' On landing they were 
greeted individually by the commissariat officer and 
Captain Denham, of her Majesty's ship ' Herald,' who 
happened to be there, and then conducted to their com- 
fortably-prepared quarters, until they should be able to 
make their own selection from the commodious dwell- 
ings erected for them. Dr. Macdonald instructed the 
islanders essentially in the resources of the ample dis- 
pensary at their use, whilst the artificers of the ' Herald' 
imparted to them the uses of a variety of tools and 
implements, comprising the wind and water mills ; in- 
deed, everything was done to make them comfortable. 
The first provident step for future provision was taken 
by planting their favourite sweet-potato, and, pending 
harvest time, which they gave six months to come about, 
the c Herald ' left the newly-transferred community pro- 
vided with 45,000 lbs. of biscuit, flour, maize, and rice, 
with groceries in proportion, and abundance of milk at 
their hands ; whilst their live stock consisted of 1300 
sheep, 430 cattle, 22 horses, 10 swine in sties, 16 do- 


mestic fowls, and a quantity of wild pigs and fowls. 
Even 16,000 lbs. of hay and 5000 of straw were left 
them ; and, lest their first crop should be late or fall 
short, a list of additional supplies was sent to the Go- 
vernor-General.* According to all accounts the Pit- 
cairners do not display themselves to advantage in their 
new home, and most visitors are anything but pleased 
with them. As might have been expected, the nume- 
rous presents given and sent to them have had a bad 
effect, making them accomplished beggars, who state 
their case in such a way as will most readily induce the 
hearer to give them some present or influence others 
to do so. They are besides said to be an indolent set, 
who, rather than fetch fuel from the woods, will burn, 
the floors, doors, and window-frames of the fine buildings 
erected by the convicts, and generously placed by Go- 
vernment at their disposal. If report be true, Sir Wil- 
liam Denison, on his visit to the island, gave them a 
severe and well-deserved lecture on this head. Several 
of them are said to have already returned to Pitcairn 
Island, where they seem to have felt more comfortable, 
though cramped for space, and a few are said to have 
embarked in whaling operations. Let us hope that the 
whole community, about which so much truth and fic- 
tion has been written, may gradually be led to habits of 
industry, and learn to rely more upon its own resources 
than the charitable contributions of others. 

On the 10th of May we got the trade wind, and on 
Saturday the 12th, about eight o'clock in the morning, 
caught the first glimpse of Fiji. We had left Sydney 

* See Captain Denham in ' Hydrographic Notice,' n. 5. 


on the 20th of April, and had thus been twenty-three 
days on the passage, four of which we had strong gales 
and were compelled to heave to. We bantered the 
Captain a good deal about the long passage, and as- 
cribed it all to his having left on a Friday, at the same 
time accumulating instances where departures on that 
unlucky day had been followed by as disastrous conse- 
quences as when thirteen sit down to table. But he 
thought it high time that such vestiges of superstition 
should be rooted up, and said there was no more in 
them than in the Flying Dutchman. On the following 
day we were off Lakeba (Lakemba). It being Sunday, 
Captain Birkenshaw would not give offence by sending 
a boat on shore on the Sabbath. I suggested that we 
might all go to church as soon as landed, but he main- 
tained that it was as much as his place was worth to 
entertain such an idea; so we had the mortification 
of stopping another day on board, and sail backwards 
and forwards between the islands of Lakeba and Olorua. 
I enjoyed much the fine sight that thus was offered. 
The sky was clear and bright, and a number of little 
islands and islets were rising from the blue sea, the 
waves breaking on thejjr rocky shores, or forming curly 
crests on the long reefs that encircle many of them. 
They were all more or less elevated, and covered with 
vegetation, here with patches of grass or brake and 
other hard-leaved ferns, there with brushwood or larger 
trees; the presence of countless screw-pines and iron- 
wood (Casuarina) trees imparting to them their peculiar 
Polynesian character. Well may it be said, that the 
graceful waving iron-wood bears on its very face the 


proof of its being at home in a country and in situations 
continually agitated by the trade winds. Any other 
tree would become stunted and unsightly under such 
circumstances, whilst the iron-wood is rendered only 
more graceful by them. 

The next morning we endeavoured to effect a landing, 
no easy task, as the sea was running rather high, and we 
had to search amidst a heavy surf for a channel through 
the reef encircling Lakeba, and on which Colonel 
Smythe's vessel, the ' Pegasus,' struck, when paying a 
visit a few months afterwards. I have often admired the 
grandeur of the South Sea reef, when the water breaks 
with all its force on that mighty fabric of coral and 
volcanic rock ; and wondered why such a grand sight 
has not as yet been immortalized by some great painter 
in search of a fitting subject for his brush. It is cer- 
tainly overpowering to sit down before Niagara, and 
watch the mighty masses of water steadily pouring into 
a gigantic basin. Impossible, one thinks, that such tuns 
and tuns can be discharged without the supply becom- 
ing exhausted. Nevertheless there is no abatement. 
As the sun rises it shines upon the foaming mass, and 
its last rays kiss the same spectacle. Like eternity, it is 
endless ; and our thoughts, taken captive as we gaze and 
gaze on the massive volumes, are wandering towards 
those realms whence no traveller has returned. The 
sight of a great South Sea reef is something equally grand, 
but produces a rather different effect. Besides being 
influenced by wind and tides, the surf assumes almost 
every moment a different aspect. Now it is little more 
than a long line of silent ripples, now it is lashed into 


wild spray to great height, speaking in hollow roars, and 
showing a variety of tints which the pen must ever de- 
spair of depicting. So far from becoming absorbed in 
thought at such a sight, as at the monotonous grandeur 
of Niagara, one longs to stir, to push on, to become ac- 
tive like the never-resting element. 

Though we got a good wetting, and might have been 
swamped had it not been for the skilful steering of our 
mate, we landed in safety. As soon as the boat was 
near shore fifty or sixty natives plunged into the water 
to carry us on their backs to the beach, when we shook 
hands with Mr. Fletcher, one of the Wesleyan mission- 
aries stationed here. The natives were nearly all fine 
strapping fellows, some of them quite six feet high, and 
all Fijian, with the exception of a couple of Tonguese 
or Tonga men, inhabitants of a neighbouring group of 
islands. One of the latter was Charles, the son of the 
Tonguese chief, Maafu, a mighty man in Polynesian 
annals, and the source of much trouble, both in Tonga 
and Fiji. When most people read of " natives " they 
imagine them to be types of unsightliness, if not down- 
right ugliness ; of many races, not Caucasian, that may 
in some measure be true, but whoever goes to the 
South Seas will have reason to change his opinion en- 
tirely. Some of these islanders are really very hand- 
some, both in figure and face ; and all entitled to pro- 
nounce an opinion on the subject have agreed that there 
are few spots in the world where one sees so many hand- 
some people together as in Tonga. I have never been 
in Circassia, and can therefore not speak from personal 
experience ; but, if what one reads be correct, Tonga may 


fairly be classed with the Tyrol and Circassia, for its 
male population. I do not include the females, because, 
according to our taste, the women of Tonga, like those 
of the Tyrol, are too masculine and robust to please our 
conceptions of feminine beauty. When I looked at these 
Tonguese, with their fine athletic body, symmetrical, 
handsome faces, and rich dark hah-, I could not refrain 
from thinking what caricatures civilization has made us. 
The gait of such a man is something to wonder at, and 
sculptors would find him a fine subject for study. Here 
they might obtain models almost approaching their 
notions of ideal perfection, instead of copying, as they 
now too often are compelled, the body of a life-guards- 
man, the head of a footman, and the hands and feet of 
some of higher-bred types. 

Charles Maafu, I was informed, had been sent to 
Lakeba by his father, as a punishment for several larks 
the young rascal had been up to. I don't wonder 
there should have been a great deal of temptation ha 
his way, for, besides being the son of a powerful chief, a 
lineal descendant of one of the royal houses of Tonga 
(Finau), he was about eighteen years of age and ex- 
tremely handsome. He wore only a few yards of cotton 
cloth around his loins, and an ornament made of mother 
of pearl. King George, of Tonga, had proposed to have 
his own son and Charles educated at Sydney. The 
offer was unfortunately declined by Maafu, and the young 
man had thus learnt nothing except what he had been 
able to pick up in the missionary schools of the islands. 

Through a fine grove of cocoa-nut palms and bread- 
fruit trees, Mr. Fletcher kindly conducted us to his 


house, a commodious building, thatched with leaves, 
surrounded by a fence and a broad boarded verandah, 
the front of the house looking into a nice little flower- 
garden, the back into the courtyard. The ladies gave 
us a hearty welcome, no doubt being glad to look once 
more upon white faces and hear accounts from home. 
We had brought, besides provisions and stores for the 
next year, batches of letters and newspapers ; and those 
who have been in out-of-the-way places, and obtained 
after long intervals news from home, will be able to 
enter into the joy that prevailed. After being cramped 
on board a vessel for so many weeks, and tossed and 
rocked about night and day, it was a rare pleasure to us 
to sit down once more in a comfortable house on shore ; 
and comfortable the house certainly was. Though the 
thermometer ranged more than 80° Fahrenheit, the thick 
thatch kept off the scorching rays, and there was a fresh 
cm-rent of trade-wind blowing through the rooms. It 
was a pleasing sight to see everything so scrupulously 
neat and clean, the beds and curtains as white as snow, 
and everywhere the greatest order prevailing. There 
were all the elements of future civilization, models ready 
for imitation. The yard was well stocked with ducks 
and fowls, pigs and goats, the garden replete with flowers, 
roses in full bloom, but alas ! with little scent, cotton 
shrubs twelve feet high, and bearing leaves, flowers, and 
fruit, in all stages of development. These missionary 
stations are fulfilling all the objects of convents in their 
best days. When all around was barbarism, strife, and 
ignorance, they afforded a safe refuge to the weary tra- 
veller, — as they still do in the East, — and cultivated 


science and religion at a time when scarcely any one 
thought of them. When you have reached a convent in 
the East, or a mission-station in the South Sea, you seem 
to be nearer home. You feel that you are amongst 
people whose sympathies incline into the same direction 
as your own, the mode of living also beginning to tell 
upon your animal spirits, and you fly to the library, 
limited though it may be, to have an hour with the 
great minds of civilization. 

Our stay at Lakeba being restricted to a few hours, I 
made all possible haste to collect specimens of the vege- 
tation. Quite a troop of boys followed, carrying baskets 
which they made in an incredibly short space of time, 
out of the leaves of the cocoa-nut palm. Determined 
to collect everything we could lay hands on, we accumu- 
lated about fifty different species, forming quite a load 
for our young attendants. The true secret of making 
comprehensive collections, whether of objects of any 
kind or details of information, is to secure them if pos- 
sible the first time on coming in contact with them. 
One has it always in his power to reject what is worth- 
less. To go on the principle that you may come to a 
place where you can get them better, is an unsound one 
to adopt, and one that often leads to mortification. 
Not only do the eye and ear get accustomed to the 
objects or facts of search, and the hand neglects to 
secure them, because they no longer strike us as new, 
but it often happens that they are extremely local, and 
are never met with again. When I take up my abode 
in a district, for the purpose of exploring it botanically 
for instance, I begin by gathering the plants that grow 


around my abode, instead of rushing at once to distant 
parts, where no doubt fine treasures may be expected. 
The first day I shall probably not get any plants save 
the most common weeds, and most likely not venture 
out of sight of head-quarters. But after I have collected 
the objects with which under any circumstances I must 
become familiar, and would most likely fancy I had in 
my collection, because they were so common, I am able 
on the second and third day to venture a good deal 
further, and when at last I make more distant excursions, 
I am at least certain that in bringing home anything, I 
am not carrying coals to Newcastle or owls to Athens. 

The boys were quite indefatigable in assisting me to 
collect, and telling me the different local names of the 
plants. A great number of these names I was already 
acquainted with, having learnt them from the Fijian 
dictionary, and it did not take many weeks before I 
was familiar with all the vernacular nomenclature of 
the most generally diffused organized beings. This feat 
the natives could never comprehend. They thought it 
strange that at a time when my whole knowledge of 
Fijian amounted to little more than yes or no, and a 
few sentences absolutely forced upon me, I should be 
able to pronounce the names of almost anything they 
held up to my admiring gaze. The Lakeban boys also 
took us to a ravine, where some years ago Dr. Harvey, 
of Trinity College, Dublin, had collected a fine fern 
(Dipteris Horsfieldii, J. Smith), which has magnificent 
fan-shaped leaves, when growing in favourable situa- 
tions, from eight to ten feet high, and four feet across. 
The plant is found in all parts of Fiji, New Caledonia, 


and various other islands, and has never been intro- 
duced into our gardens, where it would be a great orna- 
ment, nor did any of my specimens survive being taken 
out of their native soil. 

Mr. Fletcher showed us over the town, famous as the 
first spot in Fiji where Christianity was triumphant and 
a printing-press established. The church, constructed 
in native fashion, is a fine substantial building, capable 
of holding about two hundred and fifty people. On the 
open place before it was spread out one of the largest 
pieces of native bark-cloth I have ever seen, being about 
one hundred feet long and twenty feet wide. This was 
the only cloth worn before the recent introduction of 
cotton fabrics. Considering that it was manufactured 
without the aid of any machinery, simply by peeling the 
bark of the paper-mulberry, when the tree is scarcely 
thicker than a little finger, and then soaking and beat- 
ing the different pieces in such a way that they expand 
and all join together in one large mass, the piece was 
well deserving to be examined. But perhaps the most 
curious fact is that not only did the Fijians, as indeed 
most Polynesians, know how to make such cloth, but 
they also printed it in many different colours and pat- 
terns, probably exercising the art of printing ages be- 
fore Guttenberg, Coster, or whoever else may lay claim 
to its invention in Europe, were dreamt of. Was it of 
endemic growth, or did the Fijians derive it in some 
way from China, where it seems to have been practised 
from time immemorial % 

Not far from the church was the tomb of a departed 
chief, a series of slabs placed perpendicularly and forming 


a square filled up by mould, over which a kind of shed 
was erected. A dense grove of iron-wood trees, so much 
reminding us, by their sombre aspect, of our pines, form 
an appropriate accompaniment to the place. The wind 
playing in the branches, caused a wailing melancholy 
sound, fully impressing me with the idea that even the 
savages who planted these trees must have had some 
sparks of poetry in their composition. It is a strange 
ethnological fact, that most nations surround the tombs 
of those dear to them with trees belonging to the pine 
tribe, or at least trees partaking, as the iron-wood does, 
of their physiognomy. The Greeks and Turks think 
the cypress a befitting expression of their grief; the 
Chinese, the beautiful Cupressus funebris ; and the Ger- 
mans and English, the arbor-vitse and yew. All attempts 
to convince people that a graveyard ought to have as 
cheerful a look as such a drear lonely spot can ever be 
expected to assume have in the long-run proved a failure. 
Ivy-clad church walls, mossy tombstones, and sombre- 
looking yews, are in better keeping with it than gay 
flower-beds or bright tinsel. 

The mission-station at Lakeba is close to a great 
swamp, and cannot be very healthy. Many more salubri- 
ous spots might doubtless be found, but the missionary, 
in order to do the greatest amount of good, should live 
amongst his flock, and avoid every kind of isolation. 
He should mix with them as freely as he possibly can, 
and, on the principle that example is better than precept, 
exhibit as much of his daily family life as is compatible 
with necessary privacy. From that point of view, the 
place has been well chosen ; but it is certainly a great 


deal to expect from an ill-paid missionary, to expatriate 
himself, and take up his abode in such localities as these. 
I felt the greatness of the sacrifice expected, on seeing 
here the widow of a poor fellow who had died only a 
short time before our arrival. Though the climate of 
Fiji cannot be termed unhealthy, the Wesleyans have lost 
a good number of their labourers in this field. In some 
measure this calamity may be accounted for by their 
having selected men physically unfit to embark in such 
an enterprise. Excessive zeal should not be the only 
qualification. To expect from the Great Giver and Pre- 
server of life, that it would please Him to grant a body 
constitutionally unqualified for the trying climate of the 
tropics perfect health and long life, would be a miracle, 
outside religious circles regarded as little short of im- 
piety. Nor from an economical point of view would it 
seem wise to go to the expense of sending out men, 
whose lives, on their being transferred to the tropics, 
would in all human probability not be worth five years' 

On departing, our kind friends loaded us with fresh 
vegetables, yams, taro, and plantains, branches of Chi- 
nese bananas, heaps of cocoa-nuts, lemons, eggs, and 
bottles full of milk, — highly acceptable presents after 
nearly a month at sea. Mrs. Harrison, who had been 
sea-sick almost the whole voyage, seemed quite to re- 
cover at the very sight of them, and the pleasure they 
caused on board much reminded me of the foraging 
parties we used to have amongst the Eskimos, Kam- 
tchadales, and American Indians, in days gone by, when, 
sick and tired of salt beef and pork, we would willingly 


18 a mission to vrn. 

part with any article of barter we happened to have 
about us, in order to obtain fresh provisions. 

It was a fortunate forethought on the part of our 
Lakeban friends to provide us in this way, for our 
voyage to the next station, Wairiki, situated on the 
north-western shores of Taviuni, was to be rather a long 
one, a misfortune which we did not fail to attribute to 
our starting on a Friday, though the captain again pro- 
tested. We soon made Vuna Point, the southern ex- 
tremity of Taviuni, but there were so baffled by variable 
winds and dead calms, that it was deemed prudent to 
stand off and on, to keep clear of the reefs, which ren- 
der the navigation of this, as well as most parts of the 
Fijian group a matter of some caution. It was not until 
Tuesday, the 22nd of May, more than a week after our 
departure from Lakeba, that we entered the Strait of 
Somosomo, and cast anchor off Wairiki, native town 
and mission-station. In a general map of the world 
the Viti group looks an insignificant speck, and one 
might fancy that a boat would quickly pass from is- 
land to island. But how one is deceived ! The narrow 
channels widen into broad seas, in which the largest 
vessels, under proper guidance, have ample sea-room; 
the little islands expand into small continents, inha- 
bited by untold thousands of human beings, covered 
with mountains often four thousand feet high, and 
traversed by rivers that may be followed for days with- 
out reaching their source. 







The island off which we were now anchored is properly 
called Taviuni, erroneously Vuna by Wilkes and the 
latest Admiralty charts. It is the third island in size 
of the Vitian group, being about twenty-four miles long 
and nine broad, running from south-west to north-east, 
and being traversed by a chain of mountains about 
two thousand feet high, the tops of which are nearly 
always enveloped in clouds. Stately cocoa-nut palms 
gird the beach, whilst the mountain-sides are covered 
by dense forests full of fine timber, and abounding 
in wild pigeons and the Kula, a species of paroquet 
(Coriphilus solitarius, Latham), valued on account of 
its scarlet feathers, by the Tonguese, and still more 
by the Samoans, for ornamenting mats. Numerous 
streams and mountain-torrents, fed principally by a lake 
at the summit, descend in every direction and greatly 

c 2 


add to the beauty of the scenery. The northern shores 
especially, forming in conjunction with the opposite 
island of Vanua Levu the Straits of Somosomo, teem 
with vegetation, and present a picture of extreme 
fertility. The trees and bushes are very thick, and 
everywhere overgrown by white, blue, and pink con- 
volvulus and other creepers, often entwined in graceful 
festoons. Here and there the eye descries cleared 
patches of cultivation, or low brushwood, overtopped 
by the feathery crowns of magnificent tree-ferns ; vil- 
lages nestling among them. The ah is laden with mois- 
ture, and there is scarcely a day without a shower of 
rain. The north-western side of the island being more- 
over, from its geographical position, deprived of the 
direct action of the trade wind, the temperature feels 
warm when in other parts of the group it is compara- 
tively cool. In consequence of this, few whites have 
taken up then: residence in Taviuni, and the mission- 
aries were about removing to Waikava, on Vanua Levu, 
nearly opposite Wairiki, where their houses would have 
the benefit of the trade wind and the sea breezes. Not 
mere fancy made them leave Wairiki. Their health 
was giving way, and their poor children suffered severely 
from a disease of the eyes. Besides, Taviuni is now 
thinly inhabited in comparison to formerly. The towns 
of Vuna, Somosomo, Weilangi, Wainikeli, and Bouma 
have only a small population. From Wilkes's descrip- 
tion, for instance, I expected to find Somosomo, in 1840, 
the capital of the island as well as the kingdom of 
Cakaudrove, a large place, instead of a mere collection 
of ten houses, with neither heathen temple, Christian 


church, nor respectable strangers' house. The King of 
Cakaudrove, whose official title is Tui Cakau, had re- 
moved his court from Somosomo to Wairiki, and left 
the government of Somosomo to his younger brother, 

Tui Cakau is a miserable-looking man, without any 
chief-like attributes. He is below the middle height, 
— in the eyes of Fijians, who entertain a great con- 
tempt for little men, a serious blemish ; suffering, be- 
sides, from elephantiasis and cutaneous diseases, his 
whole appearance is not prepossessing. Elephanti- 
asis, incidentally mentioned, is one of the diseases 
to which Fijians are subject, and a fearful sight it 
certainly is, when the feet assume dimensions and 
shapes that make them more like those of elephants 
than human beings. The disease, however, is gene- 
rally speaking, very local, and seems to be particu- 
larly prevalent in low, damp valleys. I remember going 
up a small river opposite the island of Naigani, where 
almost every inhabitant was afflicted by this calamity. 
Again, I have seen large bodies of natives, without no- 
ticing a single case. I have not heard of any white 
settlers having suffered from elephantiasis in Fiji, though 
it is well known that the whites in Samoa, Tahiti, or 
other Polynesian groups, are not free from this visita- 
tion. No one knowing the cause of the disease, there 
are of course many hypotheses respecting it. Every 
white man has his own, and one pretty generally dif- 
fused is, that it is brought on by drinking cocoa-nut milk. 
Yet there was a European who, acting on this belief, 
and scrupulously avoiding the tempting beverage, never- 


theless became a victim, and had instantly to leave for 
colder climes, the only known remedy for checking its 

Mr. Joseph Waterhouse, the chairman of the Fijian 
district of Wesleyan Mission, kindly asked me to take 
up my residence at his house during my stay in Taviuni ; 
but, as both himself and Mr. Carey, his coadjutor, were 
about to proceed to the annual meeting of their brethren 
in Bau, I declined the offer, and accepted instead that 
of Captain Wilson, my fellow-voyager from Australia. 
Mr. William Coxon, the captain's nephew, and manager 
of the cocoa-nut oil establishment which Captain Wil- 
son and M. Jaubert, of Sydney, had a few years ago 
planted at Somosomo, came in his boat to fetch us, 
bringing with him several Botuma natives, who had 
been employed in the establishment, and were willing 
to work their passage in the ' John Wesley ' to Sydney, 
thence to watch for a vessel to their island home. 

The distance from Wairiki to Somosomo is only six 
miles, and a fine breeze soon brought us there. The 
water off the latter place is shallow, leaving a large flat 
of rocks at ebb-tide. Captain Wilson warned me not 
to expect any but the roughest accommodation, as no 
proper dwelling-house had as yet been erected. I was 
quite contented with what I found ; two sheds, one con- 
taining a hydraulic press for making oil, a large house 
for drying the cocoa-nuts, which also served for dry- 
ing my plants, and a small dwelling-house, all built in 
native fashion, and thatched with the leaves of the 
sugar-cane. A grove of stately cocoa-nut palms diffused 
an agreeable shade over the place, and trees laden with 


bread-fruit, lemons, and oranges were dotted about. 
Almost immediately behind the house rose a small 
hill of rich vegetable mould, covered with beautiful 
tree-ferns, over which different kinds of convolvulus 
— blue, white and purple — were hanging in natural 
garlands. Following the gravelly beach for about a 
hundred yards on either side of the premises, one would 
come to a mountain stream, splashing, foaming, and 
murmuring in its rocky bed, and offering capital accom- 
modation for bathing.* The ground, for some miles 
distant gently rising, passes abruptly into steeper moun- 
tains. There was little cleared land, though the soil 
is fertile, and there being few paths the woods were diffi- 
cult to penetrate. 

Fortunately a person need not be on the look-out for 
wild beasts, — there are none to molest him. Snakes, 
about four feet long, and of a light-brown colour, fre- 
quenting trees, especially cocoa-nut palms, to feed upon 
the insects attracted by the flowers, are the only animals 
that now and then startle him. Perhaps another source of 
annoyance in this earthly paradise, are the myriads of 
flies that follow one in the woods, and keep him con- 
stantly employed ; but as a set-off against this must be 
put the good behaviour of the mosquitoes, which are 
neither very numerous nor keep late hours, but leave 
at dusk, and do not appear again till after breakfast. 
Somosomo has, besides, the reputation of producing dy- 
sentery, which the natives, in the belief that it was un- 

* Here a spiny fresh- water shell I discovered abounds, called, in honour 
of Mr. Consul Pritchard, Neritina Pritchardii, Dohr., by one of our 
rising conchologists. 


known before the visits of white men, term " the white 
man's disease." However, none of us were attacked by 
it during our stay, though we were constantly exposed 
to sun and rain, and ultimately out of biscuit, which 
served us for bread. The natives also believe dysentery 
catching, and hence will carefully avoid contact with a 
person suffering from that infliction. They will never 
sit down on a seat or lie down on a mat one of these 
invalids has occupied, and moreover often compel the 
poor sufferers to retire into the depths of the forests until 
they shall have recovered. Curiously enough, those Poly- 
nesian islands free from dysentery, as, for instance, the 
Samoan group, are visited by fever, and those free from 
fever, as Fiji and others, are liable to dysentery.* 

Chief Golea was absent on a fighting expedition to 
Vanua Levu, but his wife Eleanor was at home, and 
paid us a visit on our arrival, accompanied by two young 
women, also wives of Golea. Eleanor is the niece of 
Cakobau (= Thakombau), King of Fiji and Chief of 
Bau. She is much higher in rank than her husband, 
who is only a younger son of a king under the suze- 
rainty of her uncle. Bau has always understood how to 

* The early stages of dysentery are easily checked by eating basinfuls 
of the native arrowroot (Tacca pinnatifida and sativa) so plentiful about 
Fiji, especially on the sandy beaches, and by avoiding bananas and plan- 
tains, whieh I quite agree with Bumphius and Forster in considering as 
helping to bring on this disease. The arrowroot should be made so thick 
that a spoon will stand upright in it, and taken with a little nutmeg, and 
if possible white sugar. I found no arrowroot to be so effective as that of 
the South Sea, and when, after my return from Fiji, I had a serious 
attack of dysentery in London, and was unable to get my favourite remedy, 
no shop having it genuine, I had an illness of several months, which nearly 
proved fatal. 


guard against the centrifugal tendency of Fiji and pre- 
serve its political superiority ; and giving Bauan women 
of rank to petty chiefs has been one of the means em- 
ployed. A queen thus married would still hold the 
same position she did before marriage, and her sons 
would, as " vasus," have great privileges at Bau, and be 
identified with her prosperity. Eleanor was a tall, fine- 
looking woman, of much lighter colour than the gene- 
rality of her countrywomen, a cheerful countenance, 
and possessed of dignity and self-possession. Consider- 
ing the scantiness of her dress, this is saying very 
much in her praise. Though her husband and most of 
his other wives were still heathens, she was a Christian, 
and I believe a sincere one, judging from the almost 
frantic manner in which she endeavoured to obtain a 
Fijian Bible seen in my possession. She exhausted 
every argument to get it, and her joy was indescribable 
when her wishes were acceded to. It was much in- 
creased by the volume being the Viwa edition, which 
is preferred to the London, not only because it is a 
larger book and printed in the islands, but also be- 
cause in the recent London edition some changes have 
been introduced of which the natives do not approve. 
The Fijians are fond of books, especially large ones, 
even if written in languages not understood by them. 
Some of the whites maintain that this is simply be- 
cause they use them as cartridge paper, but I do not 
believe this to be generally the case. I had several 
good offers for Endlicher's ' Genera Plantarum,' and 
other large well-bound volumes, though never any for 
the bales of botanical drying-paper I carried about with 


me. Eleanor, notwithstanding her high rank, did not 
seem to exempt herself from any of the duties devolving 
upon Fijian women. I often saw her go fishing on the 
reef, and being up to her waist in water. One night, 
when all was silent, and we were sitting in the house 
reading and writing, we heard her call loudly for help, 
and on rushing down to the beach, we found that she 
and two other women had caught a large turtle in their 
net, and were holding on to the splashing animal with 
all their might, until assistance could be obtained. 

On the 30th of May, we ascended for the first time 
the summit of Somosomo ; Captain Wilson, Mr. Coxon, 
and several men kindly sent from the mission at Wairiki, 
accompanied us, carrying baskets, for making collec- 
tions. The Queen of Somosomo, hearing of our inten- 
tion, joined the expedition with her whole court. At 
daybreak we found her train waiting for us, on the 
banks of a river, all fully equipped for the occasion. 
A few strokes of the pen will describe their dress. The 
Queen wore two yards of white calico around her loins, 
fern-leaves around her head, the purple blossom of the 
Chinese rose in a hole pierced through one of her ears, 
and a bracelet made of a shell. No other garment 
graced her stately person, and yet she looked truly ma- 
jestic. Her attendants dispensed with the calico alto- 
gether, and were simply attired in portions of banana 
and cocoa-nut leaves fresh from the bush, which was so 
far convenient to them as they were ordered to push 
ahead, make a road, and shake the dew and rain from 
the branches obstructing the way. In our European 
clothes, we stood no chance in keeping up with them. 


They were always a long distance ahead, waiting for 
our coming up, and enjoying themselves in opening 
cocoa-nuts, and smoking cigarettes, made with dry ba- 
nana leaves instead of paper. 

The ascent was rather steep, and Mr. Storck had the 
misfortune to hurt himself rather seriously from falling 
down a considerable precipice, just when in the act of 
gathering some botanical specimens. The road was very 
bad, the forest being so thick that no glimpse of the 
sun could fall upon a soil saturated with excessive mois- 
ture. Large trees and abundant underwood of small 
palms and tree-ferns produced a solemn gloom, and 
made us long for a look at the sky. Wild pigeons of 
a brown colour, and in very good condition for eating, 
there abounded, and a number were brought down by 
our guns. As we were pushing on, collecting all that 
came in our way, and now jumping over rivulets, now 
climbing over rocks, we suddenly arrived at an open 
space, exhibiting a beautiful view of the whole Straits 
of Somosomo. The eye passing over a dense belt of 
forest, espied the islands of Babi, Kioa, and Vanua Levu, 
the reefs showing very plainly by the surf breaking upon 
them, whitish fleeting clouds occasionally passing be- 
tween us and this fine panorama. 

The women had kindled a fire, and thought it a good 
place to take refreshment. The Queen was seated on 
the top of a rock, the maids of honour grouped 
around her. It was a pretty sight. The dark beauties, 
the really artistic effect of their ornamental leaves 
and flowers, the easy grace of their movements, made 
them look like so many nymphs that one reads of in 

28 a mission to vrn. 

classic story, but never seems to meet with nowadays. 
As we were taking our luncheon, the Queen asked nu- 
merous questions about our system of monogamy. For 
her part, she could never bring herself really to esteem 
a man contented with one wife, and she was glad her 
husband was a polygamist. Of course we tried to con- 
vince her of our way of looking upon the subject, but, 
having fairly refuted our assumption that women do not 
like to see their husband's affection distributed over a 
whole harem, she almost got the best of the argument. 

After another hour's scramble we reached the summit, 
and found it to all appearance a large extinct crater 
filled with water, and on the north-eastern part covered 
with a vegetable mass, so much resembling in colour 
and appearance the green fat of the turtle, as to have 
given rise to the popular belief that the fat of all the 
turtles eaten in Fiji is transported hither by superna- 
tural agency, which is the reason why on the morning 
after a turtle-feast the natives always feel very hungry. 
This jelly-like mass is several feet thick, and entirely 
composed of some microscopic cryptogams, which, from 
specimens I submitted to the Rev. M. J. Berkeley, 
a weighty authority in these matters, proved to be 
Hoomospora transversalis of Brebisson, and the repre- 
sentative of quite a new genus, named Hoomonema 
fiuitans, BerkL A tall species of sedge was growing 
among them, and gave some degree of consistency to 
the singular body. We were not aware until it was too 
late that these strange productions were only floating 
on the top of the lake and forming a kind of crust, or 
else we should not have ventured upon it. On the con- 


trary, we took it to be part of a swamp, that might 
safely be crossed, though not without difficulty, for we 
were always up to our knees, often to our hips, in this 
jelly. All this caused a great deal of merriment. A 
little hunchback, who carried a basket swinging on a 
stick, looked most ludicrous in his endeavours to keep 
pace with us. Now and then, when one or the other 
was trying to save himself from sinking into inextricable 
positions, he had to crawl like a reptile, and the others 
were not slow to laugh at his expense. The first symp- 
toms of danger were several large fissures which oc- 
curred in the crust we were wading through. The 
water in them was perfectly clear, and a line of many 
yards let down reached no bottom. These fissures be- 
came more and more numerous as we advanced, until 
the vegetable mass abruptly terminated in a lake of 
limpid water full of eels. The border was rather more 
solid than the mass left behind, and all sat down to 
rest, from the great exertion it had required to drag 
ourselves for more than a mile and a half through one 
of the worst swamps I ever crossed. As it was getting 
quite a fashionable hour for dinner, and our appetite 
was becoming more keen every minute, we determined 
not to postpone it any longer; cold yams, taros, and 
fowls, washed down with a bottle of Australian wine 
mixed with water from the lake, constituted our meal. 

The sides of the lake were covered with scarlet myr- 
tles and a fine feathery palm (Kentia exorrhiza, Herm. 
Wendl.) closely allied to those of New Zealand and Nor- 
folk Island, but different. There were, besides, many 
other plants, too numerous to be enumerated here, that 

30 a mission to vrri. 

yielded a rich harvest. I should have liked to tarry 
much longer than I did, hut the natives became de- 
sirous of returning, and as the sun was gradually de- 
clining, there was no retaining them. Our company 
dwindled down to a few faithful attendants, and even 
these were speedily reduced to one, Ambrose, a native 
teacher, and a man deservedly valued by the mission- 
aries. Having to be in the forest late in the evening 
is to the Fijians something terrible. They see ghosts 
and evil-intentioned spirits start up in every direction, 
and to escape falling victims to their anger, they yell 
and shout at the top of their voice, like children when 
left in the dark at night. We regained Somosomo, 
dreadfully tired, and covered all over with mud, but well 
satisfied with our day's excursion, and it was not long 
before we were in bed, under two blankets, which in 
June and July are never found too warm in Fiji. 

On the 31st of May, Golea, the chief of Somosomo, 
returned from his fighting expedition. It was a fine 
scene ; six war-canoes with their large triangular sails 
skim m ing before the wind, the warriors on board, dan- 
cing, shouting, singing, and sounding the conch-shell. 
Eleanor, accompanied by the whole seraglio of the chief, 
hastened to the beach, in order to welcome their lord 
and master by clapping of hands, dancing, and sing- 
ing. There being no men at home, the little hunchback 
of Golea's establishment came breathless to our place, 
begging Mr. Coxon to pull the trigger of a pop-gun 
which was to be fired the moment his highness stepped 
on shore, but which no one had the courage to touch. 
Golea, soon after landing, paid us a visit. He was a 


fine man, about twenty years of age, and more than six 
feet high, with intelligent features, and as melodious a 
voice as I ever heard. Like most of his fighting-men, 
his face was blacked with charcoal obtained from the 
Qumu-tree (Acacia Itichei, A. Gray). Over his luxuriant 
head of hair he wore the sala, made of a very fine piece 
of white native cloth, and looking somewhat like a 
turban. Around his loins he wore a narrow strip of 
bark-cloth, done up in the T-bandage fashion. Arms 
and legs were decorated with bands made of the bleached 
leaves of the Voivoi, a species of screw-pine ; whilst a 
boar's tooth, nearly circular, was suspended around his 
neck. Golea, flushed with victory, gave us a rather 
circumstantial account of his recent exploits, the first 
I believe he had ever been engaged in on his own ac- 
count, and, being a young man, he made the most of 
them. His object had been to punish some district of 
Vanua Levu for having, three years ago, killed his bro- 
ther. He had taken nine towns, which he assured us 
had been a great achievement. Soon afterwards we 
heard another version of the affair, according to which 
the inhabitants, not appreciating the idea of being 
clubbed, had adopted the maxim of running away in 
order to live to fight another day. This fully accounted 
for only two killed, one an old woman, the other a child ; 
and malice, as venomous in Fiji as elsewhere, added that 
even these two had only been knocked down and would 
probably recover. "We may rejoice that no more serious 
calamities attended Golea's expeditions, which may be 
said to have closed a long line of murders. Golea's 
father, Tui Kilakila, in February 1854, was murdered, 

32 a mission to vrri. 

by the hands of, or, as some assert, at the instigation of, 
his own son, who then succeeded him to the throne of 
Cakaudrove. A second brother, to avenge his father's 
foul murder, committed fratricide, and was in his turn 
assassinated by the people whom Golea had just re- 
turned from punishing. 

Golea, on my asking him when he would follow his 
eldest brother in embracing Christianity, replied that 
his religion was fighting, and that he did not as yet 
think of becoming a disciple of the new faith. One of 
his great objections seemed to be its allowing him only 
one wife, whilst now he had an extensive harem, to 
which he continually made new additions. The Wes- 
leyans have invariably refused to admit as members of 
their society, any professed native Christians who would 
not give up polygamy. Of course, among Protestants, 
any sect is at perfect liberty to adhere to whatever rules 
and regulations it may think fit to impose upon itself, 
and no words should be lost upon the discussion of it 
by laymen. But when taking a common-sense view of 
the case, whether polygamists on becoming Christians 
should put all save one wife away, it assumes a differ- 
ent aspect, which the Bishop of Natal has done good 
service in ventilating. To say that discarded wives of 
a polygamist may find husbands argues nothing ; so may 
fallen women of our own country. According to the lex 
loci, the wives enjoy a legitimate existence before the 
general adoption of Christianity. By declaring them il- 
legitimate, a serious wrong is inflicted upon them. And 
why do evil that good may come % These women, sud- 
denly deprived of the consciousness that they are legiti- 


mate and respectable, and, without their fault, becom- 
ing illegitimate and outcasts, are driven from a home 
to which they are bound by many ties. Had less ob- 
jection been offered to polygamy, far greater progress 
might have been made in christianizing Polynesia 
and many other parts of the world, where a man is esti- 
mated in a great measure by the number of his wives, 
and it becomes a serious thing to ask him to lower 
himself in public estimation by putting away all his 
wives save one. Had or were the broad principle 
admitted, that a man might remain a polygamist 
on becoming Christian, but not add to his number, 
many would have been induced to join the Christian 
community who, under present circumstances, hung back 
as long as they possibly could. The whole question 
has often presented itself; and, in the earlier stages 
of Christianity, the Church distinctly proclaimed the 
necessity of admitting polygamists. Of course, as all 
males born of the newly-converted would at once be- 
come Christians, and only be allowed to have one 
wife, polygamy would die out altogether in one gene- 
ration. I am persuaded that this is the right view 
to take of the subject, whatever some theologians may 
argue to the contrary. When at Bau, the subject of suc- 
cession to the throne was discussed, and the missionaries 
were for seeing it descend upon Cakobau's youngest 
son, because he was the son of his Christian wife, a boy 
of very tender age ; and to fix the stigma of bastardy 
upon his eldest son, the child of the highest woman of 
his household, and to whom the king was not married 
by Christian ritual, yet legitimately united according to 



Fijian customs. "Were the case tried before any com- 
petent tribunal, no doubt it would be given in favour of 
the eldest son, — a fine manly fellow, who would well de- 
serve the honour he was to be deprived of. 

Golea asked for grog, — which the natives term " Ya- 
qona ni papalagi," or foreign Kava, — but was told that 
there was none in the house. He then begged to be 
supplied with a cup of tea, which was cheerfully given. 
Some of the Fijians are gradually acquiring a taste for 
intoxicating drinks, as most other Polynesians have done, 
and there is not a more painful task than to be obliged 
to refuse supplying them. However, I do not think 
that the dark-coloured races of Polynesia, including 
amongst others the Fijians and New Caledonians, have 
that intense longing for spirits characteristic of the 
Hawaiians, Samoans, Tonguese, and other light-coloured 
races, who are great slaves to it, notwithstanding all 
that is done to check a habit which helps so mate- 
rially to decimate them. Yet, whether this difference 
is merely owing to the fact that the former have not 
had such unrestricted intercourse with the whites as 
the latter, or whether sobriety is to them a virtue as 
easy to exercise as it is to the Spaniards and Italians in 
comparison to the Teutonic nations, the future alone 
will show. The lower class of whites are setting them a 
bad example, and one has often reason to blush for his 
own race. Whilst I was in the islands the first grog- 
shops were opened at Levuka, and several others have 
since been established in Bau, and other parts of the 
group. What has always surprised me is, that con- 
sidering the Fijian to be a tropical climate, most of 


these great drunkards enjoy such a long life. They 
hoast — whether it be true I had no means of testing — 
that they are often intoxicated two months at a time. 
One of the oldest white settlers always bought a large 
cask of spirits whenever he had the chance, and, as he 
did not know when he should have another, he took the 
daily precaution to fill up the cask with as much water 
as he had drunk spirits. 

On the 1st of June, one of the Rotuma men, work- 
ing in the establishment, died. His countrymen seemed 
to feel his loss very much, as he had been a petty 
chief among them, and they proceeded to bury him 
in their own fashion. The body was wrapped up in 
cloth, and a mound raised about two feet above the 
ground, large stones being placed all around, and the 
inside filled up with gravel from the beach. Eotuma 
is a small island three hundred miles north of this 
group, and belonging to the Fijian Consulate. Some 
years ago, the Wesleyans endeavoured to establish a 
permanent mission there, but, although succeeding in 
making a few converts, they were forced to abandon 
the field. The ruling chief, described as a fine young 
fellow, having made a voyage to Sydney, where he 
was well received, — even, if report be true, at Govern- 
ment House, — had been persuaded by some whites and 
a New Zealander, who gained influence over him, that 
if he wished to preserve the independence of his coun- 
try he must not admit missionaries, as they proved in- 
variably the harbingers of national annihilation. The 
Wesleyans therefore received intimation to withdraw 
their Tongan teachers, and the few native converts re- 

D 2 


turned to their former religion, the principal features 
of which seem to be a belief in a Supreme Being, and 
the worship of ancestors. The French have been more 
successful in the neighbouring island of Fotuna, where 
the Eoman Catholic priests established a nourishing 
mission. . 

The Rotuma men can nearly all speak a little En- 
glish ; they are a good-looking people, with as light a 
skin as the Tonguese, rich black, often curly, hair, worn 
very long, and regular, frequently Jewish, features. The 
latter peculiarity has been remarked by all who have 
visited Rotuma, and amongst the men working on the 
Somosomo estate there was one who bore the nickname 
of " Moses," in consequence of his undeniable resem- 
blance to an unadulterated Hebrew. They circumcise, 
tattoo around the loins, and perforate the left ear, into 
which they put a gay flower, or the rolled up leaf of 
the Dracaena terminalis. The Rotuma men are a hard- 
working set, and, if Fiji should become a European 
colony, their island will be likely to supply a good 
number of useful hands. 1 have seen them pull an oar 
all day long under a broiling tropical sun, or work away 
at the mill and oil-presses, without ever losing then- 
good temper or complaining. True, in Somosomo they 
were well fed, and had as much as they liked to eat of 
yam, pork, or fish. Hardly a day elapsed without a pig 
being clubbed for their especial benefit. One of them 
invariably attended to the cooking, not only for the men 
but also for us. He gloried in the name of Koytoo, and 
was the youngest and best-looking of the lot, with rich 
curly hair, and a figure as symmetrically formed as a 


sculptor could desire to copy. Two yards of blue striped 
calico was his simple garb. When I first took up my 
abode under Captain Wilson's hospitable roof, Koytoo 
could not even be termed a plain cook. He excelled 
in boiling and roasting yam, and in frying pork in the 
European fashion, but beyond that his acquirements did 
not extend. It was I who gave him the benefit of the 
culinary experience gained during my long travels, by ini- 
tiating him into the mysteries of making coffee, tea, pan- 
cakes (without eggs), fritters, chicken and turtle soup. 
For a yard of calico the Queen would sell us six fowls in 
the bush; but here we found how true was the old pro- 
verb, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." As 
will be explained in another place, the Fijian fowls are 
far from being domesticated; they are to all intents and 
purposes wild. Now and then they show themselves 
near the dwellings, to pick up the offal, but as. soon as 
any one makes an attempt to catch them they are off, 
and the only expedient to get them is by shooting. In 
the tropics, to eat day after day pork and yam, the 
usual food of Fiji, is not very tempting, and we there- 
fore endeavoured to introduce some diversity into our 
mode of living, by obtaining as many fowls as we could. 
Often and often did Messrs. Storck and Coxon leave 
their, I cannot say soft, couch at dawn to have a crack 
at them ; but the birds were so cunning that no sooner 
did they creep near the place whence the crowing pro- 
ceeded, than they were silent or had decamped. Eggs 
were but seldom seen. The Fijians consider it babyish 
to eat them, and cannot be induced to look for them. 
The turtle-flesh was always sent to us as a present, either 


from the chief or his head wife, and after I had in- 
structed Koytoo into the mysteries of concocting it into 
soup, with which neither he nor the Fijians were pre- 
viously acquainted, the chief would never fail to appear 
at the very moment the soup was put on our table. In 
fact there were always boys of his loitering about the 
kitchen, eagerly watching the moment that it was 
ready, and then running as fast as they could to inform 
their chief of the important event. 

Koytoo was an expert climber, and thought nothing 
of ascending a tree to collect some specimens of flower 
or fruit for me. We often made excursions together, 
and I have frequently admired the way in which he 
would walk up the smooth trunk of a tall cocoa-nut 
palm, in order to knock down a few fruits for refreshing 
ourselves. Without closely embracing the tree, as we 
are wont to do in climbing, he actually walked up, his 
feet and hands just touching the trunk, and his body 
being far off. He was scarcely seated on the leaves 
forming the feathery crown of the palm, when down 
came a number of nuts, all of which he had carefully 
tapped with his fingers to ascertain by the sound 
whether they had arrived at that stage of maturity 
which I preferred for drinking ; for there is a great 
difference in the taste of the cocoa-nut as it advances 
towards maturity, and for every one of these stages 
the natives have a distinct term. What is yet still 
more remarkable, they at once know the stage by 
merely tapping at the nut with their fingers. As the 
transition from one stage to another, from insipid to 
sweet, and very slightly acid, is brought about in a day 


or so, it requires a well-trained ear to detect the diffe- 
rence, and, though trying very hard, I never could mas- 
ter it. No sooner were the nuts down than Koytoo stood 
again on terra jirma, cutting a stick about three feet 
long and one inch thick, which he placed obliquely in 
the ground, and used for shelling the nuts. Thus di- 
vested of their thick outer fibrous covering, the hard 
shell of one nut was used as a hammer for knocking a 
hole in the other, and so nicely was this done, that the 
hole was hardly larger than a shilling, and scarcely a 
drop of the milk was spilt. We used to empty a great 
number of nuts in this state without ever experiencing 
any bad effects. We who wear clothes ought to have 
a steady hand, for should any of the milk be spilt, it 
will, on running over the few remaining fibres of the 
husk, become astringent, and produce an indelible stain 
in linen and cotton, having exactly the appearance of 

On the 4th of June, I paid a visit to Korovono, on 
Vanua Levu, Mrs. Waterhouse obligingly lending me 
the mission boat and crew to take me across the Straits 
of Somosomo. My object was to examine the Kowrie 
pines and wild nutmegs of that place. We left Somo- 
somo early in the morning, and reached our destination 
at three o'clock in the afternoon. Jetro, an old Manila 
man, who had come to Fiji years ago, and spoke Spanish 
with some difficulty, met us on the beach, and conducted 
us to a fine grove of Kowrie pines (Dammara Vitiensis, 
Seem.) shortly to fall a prey to the axe. European 
sawyers had already cut down a number of the best 
trees, yet some good specimens were still standing, and 

40 a mission to vrri. 

I took exact measurements of them. They were from 
eighty to a hundred feet high, and, four feet above the 
base ; the largest was eighteen feet in circumference ! 
The Fijian Kowrie, or Dakua, as the natives term it, 
does not form entire forests by itself, like some of our 
pines, but grows intermingled with other trees, in Koro- 
vono with myrtles and wild nutmegs. These nutmegs 
are also stately trees, with fine oblong leaves ; and then- 
produce, though it will never be able to enter into com- 
petition with the cultivated nutmeg of the East Indies, 
is sufficiently aromatic to be employed for home 
consumption. One of the men climbed up the highest 
Kowrie pines by means of a creeper, that hung like a 
rope from the uppermost branches, and he threw down 
a good supply of fruit, and also a snake five feet long, 
which had taken up its abode there. 

On returning to the beach we kindled a fire to make 
a cup of tea, and the natives brought us plenty of 
cocoa-nuts and bananas. Our camp was pitched under 
a couple of magnificent Dilo trees (Calophyllum ino- 
phyllum, Linn.) the thick, glossy, green foliage of which 
was set off to advantage by the numerous white blos- 
soms with which the tree was crowded. The branches, 
densely covered with ferns and orchids, were quite over- 
hanging the water; indeed all the beaches of the 
Strait of Somosomo are characterized by this pecu- 
liarity. The vegetation, instead of receding from the 
sea, as in most parts of the group, is quite bent over 
the briny fluid. We had intended to stop for the night 
at Korovono, but at dusk the mosquitoes began to be 
very troublesome, and, as we had omitted to bring cur- 


tains for our protection, sleep would have been out 
of the question. A council of war being held, it was 
thought preferable, notwithstanding the wind being 
dead against us, to beat out of the bay and pull the 
rest of the way. Leaving without further delay, we 
passed, about midnight, Kioa, or Owen Island, as it is 
sometimes called, from having become the property of 
Mr. Owen, an enterprising Australian gentleman, who 
endeavoured to form a settlement on it. Mr. Owen 
was for some time a member of the Victorian Legisla- 
ture, at Melbourne, where he was often alluded to as 
" Member for Fiji." Though taking advantage of every 
slight breeze, we had to be at sea all night and did not 
reach Somosomo until six o'clock the next morning,- 
and were heartily glad when Koytoo, the Eotuma cook, 
brought the breakfast, as usual consisting of yams, pork, 
and coffee. 

On the 5th of June, a small island schooner came in 
belonging to a half-caste, and manned by a crew of the 
same mixed origin. They brought all the news of the 
group, and complained bitterly of the missionaries in- 
juring their trade by inducing the natives to contribute 
cocoa-nut oil towards the support of the Wesleyan So- 
ciety, an article which formerly passed direct into the 
hands of the small traders. When a native became 
Christian, he was made to give every three months eight 
gallons of oil, or thirty-two a year, equal to £4 sterling. 
Notice was given a few days before the oil was due ; 
and when a trader visited a place he found none but 
empty casks, — the church had swallowed it all up. 
This statement, like many others heard in the islands, 


I found only partially true ; indeed, I have never been 
in a country where it is more difficult to arrive at real 
facts than Fiji. To say nothing about those who make 
it a point to diffuse absolute untruths, nearly everybody 
seems to rejoice in overstating a case or giving a most 
partial version of it ; and it requires no slight discrimi- 
nation to keep on good terms with those with whom 
one wishes to stand well, so fearfully rampant is the 
gossip. The most outrageous stories were unblushingly 
circulated about the different consuls and missionaries ; 
and sometimes I felt hot and cold, while having to be 
an unwilling listener to scandal of this description. 
People in civilized countries do not know how much they 
owe to the laws that protect them, at least against the 
grossest libels. Talk of village scandal, it is nothing to 
it. Of course, in a society of whites so limited, this 
state of affairs might be expected, but a new feature in 
the history of gossip is that all the tittle-tattle of the 
other groups of the Pacific was dealt out as so many 
delicious morsels in Fiji. The doings of known per- 
sonages in Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga were discussed 
with avidity. Fancy, we in Europe troubling ourselves 
with the small talk of places more than a thousand 
miles distant. 

Before the arrival of the British consul, several of 
these small island schooners carried on a profitable traf- 
fic in human beings. They used to go to the large 
islands, and purchase young women, for whom from five 
to ten dollars in barter were usually given. These women 
were sold again to whites in other parts of the group, 
often for fifty dollars each. Several women were pointed 


out to me as having been bought in this way to be- 
come housekeepers of European settlers, and, as their 
new lords and masters clothed, fed, and treated them 
better than their Fijian, they had cheerfully stayed with 
them. Mr. Pritchard's presence has in a great measure 
put a stop to these and to several other iniquities, or at 
all events prevented their being carried on in open day- 
light; but until the home government shall think fit 
to lighten the consul's duties, by placing a fast-sailing 
schooner at his disposal, and allow him some abler as- 
sistance than he has hitherto obtained from his clerks, 
similar shortcomings must be expected. 

On the 12 th of June I went for a few days to Wairiki. 
The premises occupied by the mission of that place are 
very commodious ; there are two large dwelling-houses, 
built about two hundred yards apart, one occupied by Mr. 
Waterhouse, the other by Mr. Carey. On the second 
day of my stay there, those two gentlemen returned 
from Bau, bringing a message from Mr. Pritchard, the 
British consul, to the effect that Colonel Smythe had 
as yet not arrived, and that a little schooner should be 
sent for me, in case I did not reach Ovalau by the 12th 
instant. Mr. Carey showed me his collection of native 
curiosities, including a fine set of clubs, spears, bows, 
and arrows. I also saw here for the first time a fan 
made of the leaf of a beautiful palm, a tree which had 
proved quite new to science, and which in honour of 
Mr. Pritchard, and as a grateful acknowledgment of 
the invaluable assistance he rendered to me, the name 
of Pritchardia pacifica has been given by Mr. Wend- 
land and myself, — the specific name being justified by 


its growing in various groups of the Pacific, and Mr. 
Pritchard's untiring efforts to preserve the peace of that 
region. Fans made of this palm are used exclusively 
by the chiefs, and forbidden to be carried by the com- 
mon people. Should Fiji ever choose a national em- 
blem, the claims of this palm to be regarded as such, 
should not be overlooked. 

Mrs. Waterhouse made me a present of an Orange 
Cowry, or Bulikula as the natives term it (Cyprcea 
aurantium, Martyn), the first I had seen there. This 
shell has hitherto been found exclusively in Fiji, where 
it is confined to the islands and shores of North-west 
Viti Leva; it is worn as an ornament around the 
neck by natives of rank. Not many years ago, a couple 
of these cowries would fetch as much as £50 in Eu- 
rope, but at present a pair without the least flaw, and 
of the deepest tint the shell is known to assume, may be 
bought in London for £6. Hugh Cuming, Esq., the 
possessor of the largest conchological collection ever 
brought together, is my authority. This statement 
will doubtless be received with surprise by the Fijian 
traders, who ask a much higher price on the spot, and 
still fancy great profits might be realized, in the Euro- 
pean markets. It should however be remembered, that 
though the Orange Cowry is extremely local in its geo- 
graphical range, and will consequently always be a rare 
shell, specimens have found their way to every public 
museum and every private cabinet of importance long 
ere this, and the principal demand having thus been 
met, the price has necessarily declined. 

The road from Wairiki to Somosomo leads for seve- 


ral miles along a fine sandy beach, underneath a bower 
of stately trees, and then branches off inland. I passed 
magnificent groves of Tahitian chestnuts (Inocarpus 
edulis, Forst.), growing on the banks of rivulets and 
diffusing a delightful shade and coolness, whilst their 
grooved trunk and knobby root, always rising above the 
ground, are conspicuous objects. Although it was now 
the dry season, nevertheless I was completely drenched 
by several showers. Indeed there were few fine days 
during the whole time I was staying in Taviuni, and I 
may as well add that 1860 was as unusually wet in 
Fiji as that year proved in Europe and other countries. 
The land between Wairiki and Somosomo does not 
appear to be very rich, the soil being rather stony ; the 
extreme luxuriance of the vegetation must therefore 
principally be ascribed to the great quantity of rain 
that falls almost throughout the year. 

One day, Messrs. Storck and Coxon made a large kite, 
to the great amusement and entertainment of the Fi- 
jians, who, chief and all, turned out to see it. They 
called it a " manumanu " (bird), and had never beheld 
such a thing before ; our Rotuma men, however, said 
they knew it, and in their island often made it of 
Ivi (Inocarpus) leaves. Great was the joy when the 
"postilions" reached their destination, and, as there was 
a fine breeze, the trick was always successful. So much 
were they gratified that they came for several days in 
succession to beg that the kite might be brought out, 
till at last the toy got such a bore that the makers were 
obliged to destroy it. 

In accordance with my request, Mr. Consul Pritchard 


sent, on the 19th of June, the 'Paul Jones,' a schooner 
of nine tons, — built in the islands by Mr. Jones, an Eng- 
lishman formerly residing at Levuka, — and entirely of 
native woods, Dilo (Calophyllum inophyllum, Linn.) and 
Vaivai (Serianthes Vitiensis, A. Gray), with masts of Fi- 
jian Kowrie-pine. The crew were all half-castes, mostly 
sons of Englishmen who had taken up their residence 
in Fiji. They could speak English more or less flu- 
ently, having had some instruction at the different 
missionary schools. The late Mr. Hunt, one of the 
most distinguished champions of Christianity in these 
parts, seemed to have taken considerable interest in 
their education, and they always spoke in the highest 
terms of him. It was amusing to hear some of then- 
English. In Fijian, B, N, and G, are combinations of 
two distinct consonants, sounding like Mb, Nd, and 
Ng. Joe, our cook, a very good-natured fellow, had the 
greatest difficulty in steering clear of these letters. In 
spite of all our pains, he would insist in telling us that 
the " yams were quite ndone," and that "mbreakfast was 

The captain of the 'Paul Jones' brought a letter 
from the consul informing me that Colonel Smythe had 
not yet arrived, and advising me to hasten my depar- 
ture from Somosomo if I wished to take advantage of an 
excursion he had arranged to the dominions of Kuru- 
duadua, a powerful heathen chief, hitherto inaccessible 
to all missionary influence, and residing on the large 
island of Viti Levu. My mind was at once made up. In 
a few hours, all my baggage was packed, and embarked. 

During my stay at Somosomo, many of my things had 


been left in an open shed, and in boxes that could not 
be locked every time they had to be opened ; yet I did 
not lose a single article, though the hatchets, knives, 
and cotton prints must have been invaluable in the eyes 
of the natives. On the whole, the Fijians confirm Cap- 
tain Cook's opinion, according to which the light- 
coloured Polynesians have thievish propensities, the 
dark-coloured not. The Tannese, a dark-coloured race, 
he must either have looked upon as an exception to his 
rule, or else they must not have been in those days the 
set of expert thieves they are at present. 

The extreme fertility of the soil about Somosomo in- 
duced me to establish there an experimental cotton plan- 
tation ; and before fairly embarking on board the ' Paul 
Jones ' for Ovalau, I must insert a short chapter on 
cotton, which those who think it a subject no amount 
of literary skill can make attractive, may skip without 
losing the thread of the general narrative. 







Cotton was one of the subjects to which attention was 
principally directed by my instructions ; and I have en- 
deavoured to collect every information which might 
prove useful in forming a correct estimate of the Fijis 
as a cotton-growing country. If I understand the na- 
ture and requirements of cotton aright, the Fijis seem 
to be as if made for it. In the whole group there is 
scarcely a rod of ground that might not be cultivated, or 
has not at one time or other produced a crop of some 
kind, the soil being of an average amount of fertility, 
and in some parts rich in the extreme. Cotton re- 
quires a gently undulated surface, slopes of hills rather 
than flat land. The whole country, the deltas of the 
great rivers excepted, is a succession of hills and dales, 
covered on the weather-side with a luxuriant herbage 
or dense forest ; on the lee-side with grass and isolated 
screw-pines, more immediately available for planting. 


Cotton wants sea-air. What country would answer this 
requirement better than a group of more than two hun- 
dred islands surrounded by the ocean as a convenient 
highway to even small boats and canoes, since the un- 
checked force of the winds and waves is broken by 
the natural breakwater presented by the reefs which 
nearly encircle the whole 1 Cotton requires, further, 
to be fanned by gentle breezes when growing, and a 
comparatively low temperature ; there is scarcely ever a 
calm, either the north-east or the south-east trade-wind 
blowing over the islands keeps up a constant current, 
and the thermometer for months vacillates between 62° 
and 80° Fahrenheit, and never rises to the height at- 
tained in some parts of tropical Asia, Africa, or Ame- 
rica. In fine, every condition required to favour the 
growth of this important production seems to be pro- 
vided, and it is hardly possible to add anything more in 
order to impress those best qualified to judge with a bet- 
ter idea of Fiji as a first-rate cotton-growing country. 

Cotton is not indigenous in any part of the group. 
Independent of its introduction being alluded to in va- 
rious works as having taken place in the early part of 
this century, there is no proper vernacular name for it. 
In all such cases, the Fijian language borrows that of 
an indigenous plant resembling the introduced one as 
closely as possible ; thus the Cassava root received the 
name of " Yabia ni papalagi " (i. e. foreign arrowroot), 
the bird's-eye pepper that of "Boro ni papalagi" (i.e. 
foreign nightshade), and the pine-apple that of " Ba- 
lawa ni papalagi" (i.e. foreign screw-pine). By the 
same rule, cotton became known as " Vauvau ni papalagi" 



(**. e. foreign Vauvau), from its close resemblance to the 
Bele, or Vauvau (Hibiscus \_Abelmoschus~] Manihot, Linn.), 
a cultivated species, the leaves of which are eaten as a 
potherb. It is true that when foreigners speak about 
"Vauvau" the natives of the coast know cotton is meant, 
but in districts where cotton has not yet penetrated, as 
for instance at Namosi, Viti Levu, one is sure to get the 
edible Hibiscus, if Vauvau, without adding "ni papalagi" 
(foreign), be asked for.* 

Yet, notwithstanding cotton being undoubtedly an 
introduced plant, and although until lately no attention 
whatever was paid to its cultivation, it has spread over 
all the littoral parts of Fiji, and become in some locali- 
ties perfectly naturalized. Six different kinds have come 
to my knowledge, all of which are shrubby, and pro- 
duce flower and fruit throughout the whole year, though 
the greater number of pods arrive at maturity during 
the dry season, from June to September. There are 
two kinds of kidney-cotton, one (Gossypium Peruvianum, 
Cav.) having naked, the other (Gossypium sp. nov.?) 
mossy seeds. A third kind ( Gossypium Barbadense, Linn.) 
has disconnected naked seeds ; a fourth ( Gossypium ar- 
bor ewm, Linn.) has disconnected seeds covered with a 
greenish moss and long staple ; a fifth is probably an 
inferior variety of the preceding one, and only differs 
from it in the length of the staple ; and a sixth ( Gossy- 
pium religiosum, Linn.), being the Nankin cotton, valua- 
ble only in certain foreign markets. The four first-men- 

* In Tahiti Gossypium Barbadense is known as " Vavau," a name evi- 
dently identical with the Fijian " Vauvau." Nankin cotton (G. religiosum) 
was found wild in Tahiti by Forster. 


tioned kinds, especially Gossypium Peruvianum and Gos- 
sypium arboreum, are the most frequent in the group ; 
the fifth seems confined to Laselase, some miles from 
Namosi ; and the sixth (Nankin) has been met with on 
Kadavu by Mr. Pritchard, and on the Eakiraki coast 
by Colonel Smythe. 

There is scarcely any difference in the look of the 
four first-mentioned kinds which a person not botani- 
cally trained could readily detect. Left to themselves, 
and never subjected to the pruning knife, these cotton 
shrubs become as high as a tall man can reach, and each 
shrub spreads over a surface of about fourteen feet 
square. I have had no opportunity of counting the 
number of pods produced throughout the year by a 
single specimen, but that found in July was on the 
average seven hundred per plant. Twenty pods of 
cleaned cotton weighed 1 oz. ; thus each plant would 
yield 2 lbs. 3 oz. Allowing fourteen feet square for 
each plant, an acre would hold 222 plants, yielding at 
the rate of 2 lbs. 3 oz. per individual plant, 485 lbs. 
10 oz. Even fixing the price of sorts, worth more than 
Is. at Manchester, as low as Qd. per pound on the spot, 
an acre would realize £12. 2s. 9|(Z. When it is borne 
in mind that Fijian cotton brings forth ripe fruit with- 
out intermission throughout the year, but that this cal- 
culation is based solely upon the number of pods found 
at one time only, and that the pods were gathered from 
plants upon which no attention whatever had been be- 
stowed, the result will be still more striking; double, 
even treble the above quantity may safely be calculated 
upon as their annual crop. When it is further remem- 

E 2 

52 a mission to vrn. 

bered that Fijian cotton is not an annual, as it is in the 
United States, and all other countries, when killed by 
frost or too low a temperature, and that the plants will 
continue to yield for several years without requiring any 
other attention than keeping them free from weedy 
creepers and pruning them periodically, the encourage- 
ment held out to cultivators will be pronounced very 

Until the excellence of Fijian cotton had been ac- 
knowledged at Manchester, and the mercantile value of 
the different sorts been ascertained to be Id. to l\d., 
8d., 9d., lid., and even 12d. to 12^d. per pound respec- 
tively, no attempt had been made to cultivate the plant. 
It was almost entirely left to itself, and perhaps only 
here and there disseminated by the natives, in order to 
furnish materials for wicks. But when in November, 
1859, Mr. Pritchard returned from England to Fiji, with 
the valuation printed in the Manchester ' Cotton Supply 
Reporter,' for March, 1859, he induced the most influen- 
tial chiefs to give orders for planting it ; and the Wes- 
leyan missionaries, without any exception, zealously 
aided in these endeavours by recommending the culti- 
vation, both personally and through the agency of then- 
native teachers. Thus, cotton has been thickly spread 
over all the Christianized districts, and imparts to them 
a characteristic feature, occasionally very striking in 
places having a mixed religious population. In Navua, 
for instance, that part of the town inhabited by Chris- 
tians is full of cotton, whilst that inhabited by the 
heathens destitute of it. 

To guard against misconceptions, it must be stated that 


eotton has as yet been cultivated by the natives in their 
peculiar style. Those who would look in the islands for 
broad square acres covered with any given produce will 
be seriously disappointed. The Fijian cultivator has such 
an abundance of good land at his command, and holds 
such stringent notions about the fallows to be observed, 
that he selects patches here and there only, which after 
an annual or biennial occupation, are deserted for others 
cleared for the purpose. When cotton was recom- 
mended to him, he followed his old cherished system, 
and the isolated patches now beheld are the result. 
These patches are of various sizes, but I have not seen 
any containing more than fifty plants. In Namara, and 
other districts subject to Bau, isolated specimens, often 
as many as twenty, are met with on the margins of 
every taro, banana, and yam plantation. On the island 
occupied by Bau, the Fijian capital, Mr. Storck, my 
assistant, counted four hundred shrubs, growing in the 
streets and squares. The number of plants thus dis- 
persed all over Fiji must be considerable, though no- 
body could venture to give any approximate estimate of 
them ; and their aggregate produce, if attentively col- 
lected, would doubtless amount to a quantity scarcely 
expected from such sources. Mr. Pritchard, in order 
to open the trade, pledged himself, before leaving Eng- 
land, to his Manchester friends, to forward 1000 lbs. of 
cleaned cotton within twelve months' time, and he ex- 
perienced no difficulty in obtaining from Kadavu, Na- 
droga, and Bau an amount exceeding that promised 
before the time fixed for its dispatch, — the first ever 
sent home. Now that a demand has been established, 


there will be a marked increase in the crops, when the' 
numerous young plants added to the old stock at Mr. 
Pritchard's investigation begin to produce their harvest. 

On leaving England in February, 1860, the Man- 
chester Cotton Supply Association, through their able 
secretary, Mr. Haywood, furnished me with a large 
quantity of New Orleans and Sea Island cotton-seeds, 
together with printed instructions for their cultivation. 
Distributing a fair share of the seeds and papers amongst 
white settlers, who, I felt persuaded, would make use 
of them, I myself was enabled to establish a small cotton 
plantation on the Somosomo estate of Captain Wilson, 
and M. Joubert, of Sydney, in the island of Taviuni. 
None of the seeds of the Sea Island sort possessed any 
germinating power ; but those of the New Orleans cot- 
ton were very good, and readily grew. Sown on the 
9th of June, they began to yield ripe pods within three 
months, and I was thus enabled to take home a crop 
from the very seed I brought out, though my absence 
from England only amounted to thirteen months alto- 
gether. This may truly be termed growing cotton by 
steam. When I paid a second visit to Somosomo, on 
the 18th of October, my plants were from four to seven 
feet high, full of ripe pods and flowers, which in the 
morning were of a pale yellow, but towards evening 
turned pink. Koytoo, the Rotuma native, whom I had 
desired to look after the plantation, said that the field 
only required weeding once; after that the cotton-plants 
grew so rapidly that they kept down the weeds, and he 
had no further trouble. 

Simultaneously, Dr. Brower, -United States Vice-Con- 


sul, had succeeded in raising New Orleans cotton on his 
estate, in the island of Wakaya, twelve pods of which 
weighed an ounce ; whilst the seeds distributed by me 
amongst various people had evidently not fallen on 
barren soil. Of course, my plantation could only be a 
small one, but nevertheless it proved so far beneficial 
that it convinced those white settlers who had lately 
repaired to the group what quick returns cotton would 
yield, and some of them resolutely set about establish- 
ing plantations. The mail brought the news that some 
of them had as many as fifteen acres planted. Mr. 
Storck, my assistant, who went from Sydney with me 
to Fijis, made up his mind to remain behind when I 
came away, in order to devote his energies to cotton- 
growing. Mr. Pritchard supplying him with land, he 
commenced a plantation at Nukumoto, on the island 
of Viti Levu ; and if the experiment should prove re- 
munerative, more land will speedily be brought under 

The fact that cotton will grow, and will grow well> 
being established, the success of this and similar attempts 
will chiefly depend upon the supply of manual labour. 
Those best acquainted with the condition of the group, 
and the character of its people, confidently look forward 
to a steady supply of it. In Rewa, Ovalau, and other dis- 
tricts longest frequented by whites, the natives go round 
asking for employment. This is quite an innovation, 
and shows that the Fijian is becoming gradually accus- 
tomed to labour for fixed wages ; and, when the chiefs 
shall have either voluntarily relinquished or been com- 
pelled to give up their claim to all the property ac- 


cumulated by the lower classes, a favourable result will 
be the immediate consequence, and a fresh impulse be 
imparted to all branches of industry. Let the common 
people once be assured that nobody can legally take 
their fair earnings away from them, and that the little 
comforts with which they have managed to surround 
themselves may be openly displayed without the dan- 
ger of being coveted by the chiefs and their favourites, 
and they will doubtless be eager to engage in any work 
that does not require any great mechanical skill or 
violent exertion, and at the same time will yield them 
reasonable returns.* 

* Whilst these sheets were passing through the press, the Fijian contri- 
bution to the Great Exhibition of 1862 has arrived, which Mr. Consul 
Pritchard, in a letter to me, dated Levuka, Fiji, March 12th, 1862, accom- 
panies with explanations, of which the following have an important bearing 
upon the cotton question: — "The box No. 1 contains eight samples of 
cotton. Of these samples, No. 1 is New Orleans cotton, from the planta- 
tion you established at Somosomo, which since your departure has been 
sadly neglected; the trees are half withered and overgrown with bush, 
and I fear the quality has much deteriorated. No. 2 is kidney cotton, 
grown by Mr. Storck on his plantation at Nukumoto (Tiewa River). It 
was planted in July and gathered in December last. No. 3 is kidney cot- 
ton, native-grown at Bewa. No. 4 is native-grown, from Burebasaga (Bewa 
Biver). No. 5 is Sea Island cotton, grown on Nukulau, the little island 
in the Bewa roads, and planted by an Englishman, Mr. Smytherman, in 
January, and collected in August, 1861." I should here add, that Mr. 
M'Clintock, nephew of Sir Leopold M'Glintoek, sowed some Sea Island 
cotton at Bewa ; in twenty-four hours it was up, with the first two leaves 
quite open; in two months and twelve days it was in full blossom, 'and 
is now almost ready to gather, not having been planted three months ! 
" No. 7 is from Mr. Eggerstrom's plantation at Nagara, and was gathered 
four months after planting. No. 8 is native-grown." 

Sea Island cotton delights in sandy soil impregnated with saline par- 
ticles, and localities wafted by sea-breezes, such as Bewa and Nukulau are. 
With the high prices now commanded by this kind, and the prospect of 
continuance of civil wars in the United States, speculators would find it 
highly remunerative to hire or purchase land about Bewa, or localities simi- 
larly situated, for the cultivation of Sea Island cotton. 


It is well known, both from public journals and the 
'Correspondence relating to the Fiji Islands,' presented by 
command of her Majesty to both Houses of Parliament, 
May, 1862, that from samples submitted by Mr. Pritch- 
ard, the Executive Committee of the Manchester Cotton 
Supply Association resolved, " That these samples are of 
qualities most desirable for British manufacture; that 
such a range of excellent cotton is scarcely now received 
from any cotton-growing country ; and that the supply 
obtained from the United States does not realize nearly 
so high an average value as this Fijian cotton." It 
must be borne in mind, that these and similar opinions 
were arrived at in 1859, long before my visit to the is- 
lands and the publication of the favourable report I 
made.* Doubtless the same Committee would now be 
prepared to pronounce a still higher opinion, if that were 
possible. The Fijian samples sent to the Great Exhibi- 
tion of 1862 would furnish capital material for renewed 
examination, and amongst them would be found some 
of Sea Island cotton, the sort which, having the largest 
staple and fetching the highest price, was hitherto ex- 
clusively grown in perfection on the coast of South 
Carolina, Georgia, and a small part of Florida. Fiji 
has now supplied every sort of cotton, from the cheapest 
to the very best, and capitalists would do well in direct- 
ing their attention to it. 

* My report was sent by the Colonial Office to Manchester, and first 
published in No. 71 of the ' Cotton Supply Reporter,' of August 1st, 1861. 







The ' Paul Jones' had been seven days on her voyage 
from Port Kinnaird to Somosomo, having had to beat up, 
but in going back she had a fair though not a very 
strong wind. We left Somosomo in the afternoon of the 
20th of June, and called at Wairiki to wish good-bye to 
the missionaries, and return them several articles they 
had kindly lent us. The first night we anchored in a 
small bay on the southern coast of Vanua Levu, and 
went on shore the next morning to botanize. The town, 
built near a great swamp, consists of about forty houses. 
We had scarcely shown our white faces in the first 
house when all the little children set up a perfect 
scream, and nothing their parents said or did could pa- 
cify them. If they had seen the " old gentleman " him- 
self in propria* persona, they could not have, been more 
frightened. The piercing screams brought children of 
all the other houses out, till the whole formed one 
great yelling chorus, so terribly grating on our ears that 
we made all possible haste to escape into the woods. Our 


excursion produced several plants not previously noticed, 
and also resulted in the discovery of an entirely new 
genus of Bhamnacece, which I have called, in honour of 
Colonel Smythe, E.A., Smythea pacifica* 

Steering in a south-westerly direction, we sighted the 
island of Koro, or Goro as some charts erroneously term 
it, where an immense number of yams are grown, and 
the souls of all the pigs killed in the group are supposed 
to go. A little further on we passed Wakaya, a small 
island belonging to Dr. Brower, and the site of a settle- 
ment chiefly composed of half-castes, who, besides at- 
tending to the sheep and cattle, look after the planta- 
tions of sugar, coffee, and cotton the enterprising Doc- 
tor has established. The most remarkable fact con- 
nected with Wakaya is its being one of the places 
where the JBalolo, a curious annelidan, makes its periodi- 
cal appearance. Of the very existence of this singular 
animal naturalists knew nothing, until a few years ago 
Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, described it under 
the name of Palolo viridis, adopting its Samoan and 
Tonguese vernacular name for the genus ; and Dr. Mac- 
donald wrote on its anatomy. The time when the Ba- 
lolo comes in may be termed the Fijian whitebait 
season. It is watched for with the greatest anxiety, 
and predicted with unerring certainty from the phases 
of the moon. The first of these worm-like creatures 
floating on the surface of the ocean are seen in October, 

* A coloured plate and a full description of this singular genus, closely- 
allied to Ventilago, with which it agrees in habit to a remarkable degree, 
but differing by having a veritable dehiscent capsule, instead of a drupe, 
has been published in ' Bonplandia,' vol. x. p. 69, tab. 9. Additional par- 
ticulars will be found in my 'Flora Vitiensis.' 


hence termed Vula i Balolo lailai, i. e. the little Balolo 
month. Myriads appear about the latter end of No- 
vember, generally on the 25 th, which from that fact is 
known as the Vula i Balolo levu, or great Balolo month ; 
and the natives of the coast are particularly busy in 
catching and forwarding the delicacy of the season to 
friends residing in places deprived of it, — presents all 
the more appreciated as a whole year must elapse be- 
fore the same boon can again be conferred. 

In a letter dated Levuka, Fiji, December 6th, 1861, 
and addressed to her friends, an English lady gives the 
following account : — " In November we all went for a 
few days to Wakaya, about ten miles east-north-east 
from Ovalau, in order to see the Balolos, which rise out 
of the reefs just before daylight, first in small numbers, 
but about sunrise in such masses that the sea looks 
more solid than liquid. As they were to appear on the 
morning of the 25 th, we retired to rest at an early hour 
the night before, and rose with the moon, about one 
o'clock in the morning. An hour's pull in the whale 
boat brought us to the very spot they were to come. 
We found several natives already collected there in 
boats and canoes, all anxiously looking out who should 
get the first. This they discovered by sitting with their 
hands in the water as the canoe was gently paddled about. 
Presently there was great shouting, — nets were put out, 
the excitement commenced. At first our nets did very 
well, but soon the Balolos became too numerous for 
them to be of any use, and they were caught by the 
hand and thrown into the baskets with which the boats 
were filled. We placed a white handkerchief about 


four inches below the surface of the water, but the 
little creatures were so thick above it that it was quite 
invisible. At first I could not make up my mind to 
touch them, but seeing every one else doing so, I sum- 
moned up all my courage, plunged in my hands, and 
grasped a goodish number, of which, however, I got rid 
as quickly as possible. The little slimy things twist 
round the hand in half a second. They are, of course, 
perfectly harmless, swim very fast, and the longer ones 
have sometimes five or six coils in the body. When at 
the thickest they are all entangled one in another, 
which gives a very curious appearance, as they are of 
various colours, green, red, brown, and sometimes white. 
As the sun gains power they dissolve, and about eight 
or nine o'clock you scarcely find one. It is always in 
November they come in such masses, just after the last 
quartering of the moon, and they rise with the tide. 
As soon as the natives have gathered all they can, they 
make fires and ovens to cook them. Small quantities of 
Balolos are tied up in bread-fruit leaves, and have to 
lie in the oven from twelve to eighteen hours. When 
all is cooked, the natives expect a heavy shower of rain, 
as they say to put out the fires of their ovens. Should 
there be no rain, a bad yam season is predicted." 

Several of the white residents eat Balolo, and a 
strong-minded English lady assured me it was quite a 
relish ; however, everybody knows the old proverb, " De 
gustibus," etc., and if in the Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, or 
New Hebrides group — in all of which the Balolo is 
found — a dish of this description should be served up, 
strangers must exercise their own discretion whether 



The Balolo (Palolo riridis, E. Gray). — Fig. 1. The entire animal, na- 
tural size ; 2. Portion of the body slightly magnified ; 3. Magnified figure 
of the head, with its three frontal tentacula and eyes ; the position of the 
retracted jaws is shown in the central dark space behind the tentacula ; 
4. Posterior extremity of the Balolo, dorsal aspect ; figures 3 and 4 copied 
from Macdonald's paper in ' Linnean Transactions,' xxii. 


these little, creeping, crawling things, with their cylin- 
drical, jointed body, are a delicacy to be recommended 
or a nuisance to be avoided. 

The most singular portion of the natural history of 
the Balolo is the regularity of its periodical appearance. 
About Hanover I have often observed devout Roman 
Catholics going on the morning of St. John's day to 
neighbouring sandhills, gathering on the roots of herbs 
a certain insect (Coccus Polonica) looking like drops of 
blood, and thought by them to be created on purpose 
to keep alive the remembrance of the foul murder of 
St. John the Baptist, and only to be met with on the 
morning of the day set apart for him by the Church. I 
believe the life of this insect is very ephemeral, but by 
no means restricted to the 24th of June. But there is 
an Australian bird (Psittacus undulatus) which is known 
to lay its eggs always on the 17th and 19th of Decem- 
ber, and forms another instance of certain actions in the 
life of an animal being performed, with unerring cer- 
tainty, on particular days. 

On the 22nd, at four p.m., we entered the harbour of 
Levuka, the principal port of the island of Ovalau. 
Captain Wilson, who had left Somosomo a few days be- 
fore me, was standing at the beach, and conducted me 
to the office of the British Consulate, where I found 
Mr. William Pritchard, by whom the cession of Fiji to 
England has been brought about, and to whom I deli- 
vered a letter from Earl Russell. Mr. Pritchard is the 
son of the Rev. George Pritchard, formerly British Con- 
sul at Tahiti, at the time when the French, against the 
wish and will of the natives, assumed the protectorate 


of that group, treated Queen Pomare with unusual 
harshness, and the British representative in a manner 
that nearly brought about a war between France and 
England. Born in Tahiti, and thoroughly acquainted 
with the Samoan and most other Polynesian groups, Mr. 
Pritchard enjoys the peculiar advantage of being per- 
fectly familiar with all native modes of thought. During 
my stay in Fiji I had frequent opportunities to see how 
successfully he was able to deal with these islanders, 
whenever any difficulty arose. 

We called together on Mr. Binner, who has for years 
filled the office of training-master to the Wesleyan 
mission at Levuka, and also manages the commercial 
affairs of this religious society in Fiji. We thence went 
to Dr. Brower, the American Vice-Consul, who received 
me with great kindness, and whenever I visited Levuka 
I always took up my quarters under his hospitable roof 
Mr. Williams, the American Consul, had died a few 
days before my arrival. I should have liked to have 
seen him, in order to form an independent estimate of 
a man about whom so many contradictory statements 
were afloat. He did not live on good terms with the 
missionaries, and controversies were carried on between 
them in the Australian and American newspapers, 
which, as is usual in such cases, proved advantageous 
to neither party. Mr. Williams bought considerable 
tracts of land, and it was maintained that the purchase 
was not in all instances a fair one, and that the na- 
tives had only from fear of American men-of-war given 
their assent to these transactions. It is impossible to 
say whether in all cases the sellers were satisfied with 

LADO. 65 

the bargain ; yet I remember, quite in the interior of 
Viti Levu, Chief K,uruduadua publicly declaring at an 
official meeting that his brother had sold land to Mr. 
Williams, and that he, regarding the purchase as valid, 
had no wish to dispute it. This was a great deal from 
a man like Kuruduadua, who had a violent dislike to 
Americans, as some of them had burnt Xavua, his sea- 
side residence, a few years previously. Towards the 
natives Mr. Williams appears to have been very kind, 
and would not refuse them anything. I heard of a 
bet which a chief made, that he would obtain a water- 
proof coat just sent out to Mr. Williams, merely by 
asking for it, and which was won by him who trusted 
in Mr. Williams's generosity. The whole of the land 
on which the mission-station at Mataisuva is built, an 
extensive piece of ground, was presented by Mr. Wil- 
liams to the Wesleyan body at the very time when 
some of their members were engaged in the hottest po- 
lemical struggle with him. 

Dispatching my collections made in the eastern parts 
of the group by a vessel about to sail for Sydney, I 
started with Mr. Pritchard, in the consular gig, for Lado 
alewa, a little rocky islet on the western side of the 
island of Ovalau, which we reached about sunset, after 
a sail of about an hour and a half, and which Mr. 
Pritchard kindly invited me to look upon as my home 
during my stay in the islands. 

Let me tell the history of this rock : — Once upon a 
time, a god and goddess, who rejoiced in the name of 
Lado (= Lando) were directed to block up the Motu- 
riki passage leading into Port Kinnaird and the Bau 


waters, in order to stop the rolling surf from disturbing 
the nightly repose of the great Fijian deities. They 
resolutely set about it; but having, in common with 
other spiritual beings, a decided objection to daylight, 
they threw the two enormous rocks collected for that 
purpose in the middle of Port Kinnaird as soon as 
they began to " smell the morn ;" or, according to an- 
other version, their noble selves became changed into 
rocks, as were the villagers in the Bohemian legend of 
Hans Heiling, — now bearing the names of Lado alewa, 
the female Lado ; and Lado tagane, the male Lado. 
The latter version seems to be the most rational, — if 
reason has anything to do with such things, — for 
once transformed into stone the two spirits were 
unable to stir again, whilst, if they had merely thrown 
down their burden, they might have been made to 
resume their labours, like Sisyphus of old. However, 
be that as it may, the fact is, that we were now on the 
rock identified with the name of the goddess — the 
larger of the two; and I trust that whatever intentions 
the Fijian Olympus may formerly have entertained re- 
specting the two Lados in general, and the one we had 
landed on in particular, they will reconsider the ques- 
tion since the British colours wave on the summit o£ 
this islet. The rocky slopes have been transformed 
into terraces of flowers, and a neat European-built cot- 
tage, with broad verandah, and a roof thatched with 
sugar-cane leaves, contained the archives of the British 
Consulate. The natives looked upon this house as a 
perfect marvel of art ; the windows, papered rooms, and 
above all, the staircase, — the first ever made in Fiji, 


— proved a source of never-failing curiosity and admi- 

Miss Pritchard made tea in the English fashion, 
which I thoroughly enjoyed, after being so long com- 
pelled to take it from the hands of rude natives. A 
room was given up to me, and every comfort Fiji af- 
forded was bestowed upon me. To sleep once more in 
a well-constructed, clean bed, under a good mosquito 
curtain, is a luxury that only those who have been 
obliged to forego for some time can fully appreciate. 
It was high time that I arrived at such quarters, as I 
began to experience symptoms of dysentery, — a disease 
which has proved fatal to many new-comers from Eu- 
rope. However, a judicious supply of Fijian arrowroot, 
and a few glasses of port-wine, soon restored me to per- 
fect health. Mr. Storck, who had been suffering from 
his fall and those ulcerations to which most people 
going to the tropics for the first time are subject, also 
began to get better after being a few days at Lado, 
so that both of us had reason to be extremely thankful 
for the hospitality conferred. 

There being no collective name for the waters situ^ 
ated between Moturiki and Ovalau, and sheltered by the 
Yanuca (= Yanutha) islands, Mr. Pritchard, in honour 
of the Honourable Arthur Kinnaird, who takes a deep 
interest in Fiji, termed them Port Kinnaird, and endea- 
voured to form a settlement on the south-western parts 
of Ovalau. When I first visited this settlement there 
were about twenty-five whites, some of whom had 
cleared a little land ; but most of them seemed to be- 
long to that class of immigrants who arrive almost 

F 2 


penniless, and are disappointed on not becoming trans- 
formed into capitalists on landing. I endeavoured to 
urge them to begin planting their land with such tro- 
pical products as the climate favours, and told them of 
my little cotton plantation at Somosomo. All hoped 
to make their fortune when Port Kinnaird should be- 
come the capital of Fiji, and their land rise in value. 

The question of where the capital of Fiji is going 
to be on the country becoming a European colony, 
is a much debated one in the islands. The unfitness 
of Bau, the native capital, for all commercial purposes, 
being generally acknowledged, four places have laid 
claim to that distinction, — Levuka, Ga Loa, Port Kin- 
naird, and Suva. Levuka has always been a favour- 
ite resort of the white population, and has a central 
position, and a tolerably good though not large harbour, 
but there is no room for a town. Eocks rise from almost 
the water's edge, allowing space for only one or two rows 
of houses, the heat in which is suffocating ; and unless a 
series of works is commenced similar to those which 
render Valetta a city of terraces, there is no hope of 
making Levuka more than a trading village. When I 
finally left it, in November, 1860, there were only few 
weather-boarded houses, belonging to the consuls and 
missionaries, — all the rest of the dwellings were large 
huts built by the natives. The finest house was that 
of Mr. Binner, beautifully situated on the top of a hill, 
and commanding a grand view of the reef and its cm-l- 
ing surf. Closely adjoining Levuka — as London does 
Westminster, New York Brooklyn, or Hamburg Altona 
— is Totoga, a fortified place with thick walls and 


gateways, where the Eoman Catholic missionaries and 
several French reside. True, this place might be in- 
corporated with Levuka, but it is surrounded by swamps, 
the drainage of which would be a matter of difficulty to 
a young community. 

Ga Loa, or Black Dusk Bay, on the southern side 
of Kadavu, is the next place that recommends itself to 
consideration. Should a steam communication be esta- 
blished from Brisbane, Australia, to Central America, 
and vid Fiji, Ga Loa would recommend itself as a fit 
place for steamers to call at ; and I have advocated its 
claims both in the ' Athenaeum ' and before the Royal 
Geographical Society of London, and shall speak of it 
again when describing our movements at Kadavu. But 
I do not think it well suited for the capital of Fiji. 
Kadavu, on which it is situated, is one of the southern- 
most islands, and separated by a sea of more than 
sixty miles from Viti Levu, the principal island, and by 
more than one hundred and fifty miles from the centre 
of Vanua Levu and Taviuni. Small canoes or open boats 
could not venture thither except in fair weather, 
and its isolation would always be against its becoming 
the true metropolis. 

Port Kinnaird offers great advantages, indepen- 
dent of its central position. It is a very fine port, per- 
fectly landlocked ; and if a portion of Moturiki could be 
devoted to a site for a town, it would speedily rise in 
importance, — for Moturiki is probably the finest little 
island in the group. The entrance to Port Kinnaird 
is popularly regarded as difficult and impracticable, 
but a consultation of Captain Denham's survey proves 


ingress and egress to be easy. Port Kinnaird would 
doubtless become the future capital if its advantages 
were not totally eclipsed by Suva in Viti Levu. So 
convinced has every one capable of forming an opinion 
become that Suva will be the capital, that the land 
around the harbour has enormously risen of late ; £20 
an acre was asked in November, 1860; and £10 I saw 
actually refused for land a few years previously not 
worth more than a few pence at the utmost. Not a 
single house had then been built. The general con- 
viction that Suva must become the capital seems to 
have been the sole cause of this sudden rise. If one 
were to write a puff for a land speculator, one would 
hardly string together a greater number of favour- 
able conditions. There is a good harbour, with mud 
bottom, deep water right alongside of the shore, shel- 
tered by a reef, and having a wide passage for the 
largest vessels to beat out. When once inside the pas- 
sage there is clear sea-room, no outlying shoals or 
reefs. Suva commands the most extensive agricultural 
district in Fiji, through which run fine rivers (the Navua 
and Wai Levu or Rewa) navigable for boats for many 
miles inland. Suva has besides outside reef communi- 
cation completely around Viti Levu, with the exception 
of a few miles on the southern shore and the westward, 
and continuing to the northward to Vanua Levu, and 
along the entire southern shore of that island. The 
convenience of inside reef communication is demon- 
strated in the case of parties employed in saAving. Logs 
are purchased at a distance of forty miles from the pits, 
and floated up by natives at a trifling cost. Were there 


no reefs, this would be an impossibility. Suva Point 
is a gently undulated country, free from swamps, and 
about three miles wide or thereabout at the base. It 
has on one side Suva Bay, on the other Laucala (=Lau- 
thala) Bay; the latter first surveyed by Sir Edward 
Belcher,* and offering many conveniences. The point 
itself is open to the prevailing winds ; it is thinly tim- 
bered with bread-fruit, cocoa-nut, dawa, and other trees 
of no great growth, and thus requires but little clearing. 
A few days after my arrival at Lado, we were grati- 
fied by a visit from Mr. Caesar Godeffroy, of Hamburg, 
who had been several years in the South Sea es- 
tablishing a direct trade with Germany, and planting 
agencies in the most important groups. Messrs. Go- 
deffroy and Co. are the first great house who have 
entered this comparatively new field of commercial en- 
terprise, and there is every reason to believe their ope- 
rations successful. There is a great market in the 
South Seas, but only those who have an intimate ac- 
quaintance with the articles required should ever be 
tempted to enter it. Even the comparatively few things 
I took out for barter taught me the value of inquiring 
most minutely into the exact nature of the articles here 
current. Knives with white handles were rejected or 
but slightly esteemed, though their blades were even 
better than those having black ones, and so with every- 
thing else. 

Judging from the crowds of boats and canoes daily 
arriving at Lado — for every one here has either the one 

* Eewa Roads are called in the Admiralty Chart Nukulau Harbour ; the 
special chart published embraces the surveys of Sir E. Belcher. 


or the other — the sudden disappearance of this Con- 
sular establishment would be felt as a serious incon- 
venience. The British Consul is now the sole authority 
that keeps order in Fiji — the natives having voluntarily 
made over to him the entire jurisdiction of the group, 
and found it preferable in their quarrels with the whites 
to abide by his judgment, rather than break their own 
heads and those of the white settlers by an appeal to 
the club. It was easy for them to arrive at this conclu- 
sion ; meanwhile, the person who thus found himself 
called upon to adjust the differences of a native popu- 
lation about twice that of New Zealand, and a thick 
sprinkling of white immigrants, some of whom hold 
queer ideas of poetical justice, had no idle time of it ; 
and if Mr. Pritchard had not acquired a thorough mas- 
tery over the Polynesian mind by means of his intimate 
acquaintance with all their customs, usages, and tradi- 
tions, of which he skilfully avails himself, there would 
be endless fights and dissensions, to the great detriment 
of the native population and the interests of commerce. 
I have repeatedly listened to the proceedings in court, 
and been struck with the logical acuteness of the natives. 
Their mind seems indeed of a much superior cast to 
that of most savages ; and their discussions are as much 
above those of the Maoris reported in the New Zealand . 
newspapers, as the talk of men is to the prattle of chil- 

On the 28th of June, Cakobau (or Thakombau, as his 
name may be wiitten according to English orthography), 
King of Fiji, and supreme Chief of Bau, paid a visit to 
Lado, and I was formally introduced to him. His Ma- 


jesty has been described repeatedly as a man of almost 
gigantic dimensions. But he is only of fair proportions, 
and does not measure more than six feet in height. I 
can speak very positively on these points, having 
often seen him with nothing more than a few yards 
of native cloth on, as well as in a blue naval uniform. 
When dressed in uniform, people would scarcely believe 
that he could be the same man whose powerful build 
excited their attention. When one day in his company 
I got quite close to him, in order to take his measure 
without his becoming aware of the attempt. But his 
quick eye had detected the studies of comparative ana- 
tomy in which I was engaged, and very good-naturedly 
he offered to stand close to me, when it was found that 
he was more than two inches shorter than I am, without 
his shoes and socks, whilst I measure exactly six feet 
two inches, so that he is after all only six feet high. 
It is not difficult to reconcile the statements relating 
to his gigantic stature with what I have ascertained. 
People not accustomed to move much amongst natives 
almost in an absolute state of nudity, are generally de- 
ceived about the size of the person they see before 
them. Moreover, the King, previous to his conversion 
to Christianity, wore a large head of hair, all frizzled and 
curled in such a way as to stand literally on end, and 
covered with a piece of white native cloth, — a device 
which must have greatly added to his height, and in- 
duced foreigners to believe him much taller than he 
really is. He has of late years suffered a little from 
elephantiasis, but generally enjoys very good health. 
None of the portraits that have been published do jus- 


tice to him, and he feels rather annoyed that Europeans 
should think him as ugly as those representations make 
him. His face expresses great shrewdness and good- 
humour ; his bearing is very dignified on public occa- 
sions ; and it was gratifying to see him at church be- 
having in a manner that no reasonable man could find 
the slightest fault with. 

The Queen of Fiji, to whom Cakobau has been mar- 
ried according to Christian rites ever since he aban- 
doned heathenism, is a rather stout, quiet woman, about 
five feet two inches in height. I have only seen her 
once dressed, and that at the time of our first official 
interview about the cession. She then wore a neat 
bonnet, latest Parisian fashion, a coloured silk dress, 
and a black mantilla trimmed with lace. I need 
scarcely add that the use of crinoline was not unknown 
even in this remote quarter of the globe. The Queen, 
at the interview alluded to, was rather bashful, owing 
to a wish expressed by the Consul that she should sit 
at her husband's side, instead of, as the rules of the 
country demanded, behind him. However, she com- 
ported herself very well indeed, but I daresay was very 
glad to get her clothes off as soon as the official inter- 
view was over. 

Cakobau calls himself " Tui Viti," or King of Fiji, 
and has a perfect rigbt to it. True Fiji is divided into 
a number of petty states, yet all of them acknowledge 
vassalage to Bau by paying either a direct tribute to it, 
or being tributary to states so circumstanced. It is 
highly probable, however, that at one time all Fijians 
were under one head, and formed perhaps a more com- 

" TUI VITI. i O 

pact nation than they do at present. Of course, I am 
aware the title " Tui Viti : ' has been revived only lately ; 
owing, it is stated, to a letter which General Miller, 
formerly H. B. M. Consul-General at the Hawaiian, or 
Sandwich Islands, addressed to " Tui Viti," and which 
Cakobau, as the most powerful chief of the leading 
state, thought it right to open. But the title "Tui 
Viti" occurs in many ancient legends current in 
various groups of Polynesia, and could scarcely have 
originated with such close neighbours, who would 
rather be apt to detract than to magnify the power of a 
foreign nation already far above them in the exercise 
of various useful arts and manufactures. Old traditions 
further state the Fijians to have been an unwarlike 
people, until they had established a more intimate and 
frequent intercourse with the light-coloured races of 
the eastern groups, when sanguinary intratribal quarrels 
became almost their normal condition. These traditions 
would be favourable to the existence of a powerful mo- 
narchy in Fiji, such as legendary evidence represents it 
as being at one time, and also its ultimate extinction 
and remoulding by the growing power of petty chiefs, 
skilful in new practices of war acquired whilst abroad. 
The hypothesis advanced derives additional strength from 
the fact of all Fijians, though scattered over a group of 
more than two hundred different islands, speaking one 
language, having a powerfully developed sense of nation- 
ality, and feeling as one people. No ancient Roman 
could have pronounced the words " Civis Romanus sum " 
with greater pride or dignity than a modern Fijian calls 
himself a " Kai Viti" a Fijian. We can scarcely con- 


ceive these general sentiments to have taken hold of 
the popular mind with such force, if the people had 
always been divided into petty states as at present. 

Away from the capital and Cakobau, some of the Fijian 
kinglets talk very boastfully of their total independence, 
and wish you to believe the suzerainty of Bau merely 
applies to certain inferior chieftains ; whilst the social 
supremacy is seldom disputed, and the court dialect is 
understood by all the chiefs, even those living in the 
remotest parts of the group, and it has therefore very 
properly been adopted by the Wesleyan missionaries in 
their translation of the Bible. Each of these states or 
principalities has its ambassador at Bau (Mataki Bau), 
who, however, does not constantly reside in the capital, 
but only when there is any business to transact, which 
may occasionally last for weeks or months. On arriving 
at Bau, he takes up his abode at the house of the Bauan 
" minister," if he may be called so, charged with the 
affairs of the district from which he comes as ambas- 
sador, and he is by his host introduced to the King of 
Fiji. When Bau has any business to transact abroad, 
the ambassador selected is invariably the minister of 
the affairs of the district to which he is sent, and his 
place at the capital is temporarily filled by a relative. 
The office of these diplomatic agents is hereditary in 
certain families, and they are appointed by the ruling 
chiefs. Title and office are quite as much valued as 
they are in Europe by ourselves, — human nature being 
human nature all the world over. 

On the 28 th of July, Mr. Pritchard and myself set 
out in the consular gig for Navua, Viti Levu, to pay our 

BAU. 77 

visit to Chief Kuruduadua. There being rather a strong 
south-easterly breeze, we arrived two hours after dark 
at Bau, thoroughly wet from salt water, and heartily 
glad to take shelter under the hospitable roof of Mr.Collis, 
a gentleman connected with the mission. Until 1854, 
Bau, which is the name of the metropolis, as well as 
the ruling state, was opposed to the missionaries, and 
the ovens in which the bodies of human victims were 
baked scarcely ever got cold. Since then, however, a 
great change has taken place. The King and all his 
court have embraced Christianity ; of the heathen tem- 
ples, which, by their pyramidal form, gave such a pecu- 
liar local colouring to old pictures of the place, only 
the foundations remain ; the sacred groves in the neigh- 
bourhood are cut down ; and in the great square where 
formerly cannibal feasts took place, a large church has 
been erected. Not without emotion did I land on this 
blood-stained soil, where probably greater iniquities 
were perpetrated than ever disgraced any other spot on 
earth. It was about eight o'clock in the evening ; and 
instead of the wild noise that greeted former visitors, 
family prayer was heard from nearly every house. To 
bring about such a change has indeed required no slight 
efforts ; and many valuable lives had to be sacrificed, — for 
although no missionary in Fiji has ever met with a vio- 
lent death, yet the list of those who died in the midst of 
their labours is proportionally very great. The Wes- 
leyans, to whose disinterestedness the conversion of these 
degraded beings is due, have, as a society, expended 
£75,000 on this object; and if the private donations 
of friends to individual missionaries and their families 


be added, the sum swells to the respectable amount of 

Bau is built on a small island on the east side of Viti 
Levu, with which it is connected by a long flat of coral, 
fordable at high water, and in places bare at low. The 
annexed sketch, taken in 1860, by Mrs. Smythe, and 
kindly placed at my disposal, will give a better idea 
of the place than any description. The island is at the 
back about a hundred feet high, and around the beach 
thickly covered with native houses, arranged in crooked 
streets. The top of the island, where the British flag is 
waving, was a mere receptacle for rubbish, until the in- 
dustry of the missionaries converted it into smiling gar- 
dens and eligible sites for dwelling-houses. At my first 
visit the natives were just finishing their new Bure ni sa, 
— a building, one or several of which are found in every 
town, and which may be described as a compromise be- 
tween our club-houses and town-halls. It was 125 feet 
long, but not quite so high as the adjoining church, 
which is 100 feet high, and seems a tremendous edifice 
for natives to erect without nails, and the use of such 
tools as are employed by us. 

The King's residence is close to the beach, and a 
large native-built house, to which several out-houses 
are attached : one of which is inhabited by Peter, a Ton- 
guese, who fills the office of prime minister, and seems 
much attached to the King. In front of the house is a 
fine lawn of couch-grass, and groups of iron-wood, and 
other native shrubs and trees, — the whole, I believe, a 
creation of Mrs. Collis, the wife of the resident training 
master at Bau, who will ever live in my memory, for 




having, amongst other great acts of kindness conferred, 
never failed to supply me in this land of pork and yams 
with bread, cakes, and other acceptable presents when- 
ever I came in that neighbourhood. 

Bau is said to own its present superiority to the for- 
tunate accident of having been the first familiar with 
the use of fire-arms. Charles Savage, a Swede, intro 
duced it about the beginning of this century. But it 
was not only to this accident that Bau is indebted to 
its permanent ascendency. Like England, but on a 
lilliputian scale, it is a great naval power, able to send 
its fleets of canoes to any part rebelling against its 
authority, or refusing to discharge its annual tribute. 
The Bauans are a fine race, nearly all members of noble 
families or gentlefolks. Most of them are tall, well- 
proportioned, and often with a handsome cast of coun- 
tenance. In Fiji, as in fact all over the South Sea, a 
man is estimated by the height -.of his body, and little 
men are regarded with contempt. Their tall figures prove 
a great advantage to the Bauans. This general con- 
tempt for small men arises from the fact, that through- 
out Polynesia the chiefs and upper classes are taller 
than the lower orders, and with a finer physical they 
combine a greater mental development. They are in 
every respect superior to the people whom they rule. 
They are as genuine an aristocracy as ever existed in 
any country. They know every plant, animal, rock, 
river, and mountain ; are familiar with their history, 
legends, and traditions ; and strict in observing every 
point of their complicated etiquette. They swim, row, 
sail, shoot, and fight better than the common people, and 


excel in house and canoe building. Thus they keep their 
place amongst a people not able to fall back upon dress 
and finery to lend distinction to rank, dignity to person. 

We were desirous of pushing on early the next morn- 
ing, but as the tide did not suit, we ran over to Viwa, 
a small island close to Bau, where a permanent print- 
ing-press has been established in the first stone house 
ever built in the group. The greater portion of the 
Fijian Bible has been printed at this establishment; 
and the edition, now exhausted, is very much esteemed 
by the natives. A Fijian and English Dictionary, com- 
posed by D. Hazelwood, is another great work pro- 
duced here in 1850. This Dictionary is full of a mass 
of reliable information, and must be regarded as the 
best contribution the Fijian missionaries have made 
to science. Ethnologists, geographers, and naturalists, 
and philologists as a matter of course, will find here 
facts and observations not met with elsewhere.* Viwa 
is full of fruit-trees, and altogether a charming spot. 
The cocoa-nut palm seems to be the only plant that 
does not flourish. After having attained a certain 
height it begins to wither — the foliage looking as if boil- 
ing water had been poured over it. 

We found Messrs. Martin and Baker, the two gentle- 
men connected with the mission of this place, absent, — 
they having gone to look for an eligible new station on 
Vanua Levu. But their wives were at home, and glad 
to see us safe. Through telescopes they had watched 
our boat on the previous evening, as long as daylight 

* I believe Messrs. Triibner and Co., Paternoster Eow, London, have 
still a few copies of this publication on hand. 


lasted, fearing that we might meet with some accident 
in the rough sea we had to cross. 

On going hack to Bau, Mr. Fordham, the principal 
missionary, represented to Mr. Pritchard the desirable- 
ness of prohibiting the importation of firearms and gun- 
powder into Fiji. Fighting, he thought, might thus be 
prevented. Mr. Pritchard agreed with him that there 
was not much use for those articles, there being no wild 
animals, and only a few ducks and wood-pigeons to 
shoot, but that it would be impolitic to venture upon 
making any prohibitive law, waiving all considerations 
as to the right of doing so, when there were no officers 
to execute it. Even supposing that a certain pressure 
could be put upon the English subjects, who was to pre- 
vent the Americans, Germans, and French from selling 
any number of firearms, and any amount of gunpowder, 
to the natives 1 On a previous occasion, Mr. Pritchard 
was seriously asked by another gentleman to introduce 
the Maine liquor-law. No spirits of any kind should be 
landed or sold. This idea the Consul also refused to 
entertain. The law had broken down when enforced 
by all the power of a great state, and could scarcely be 
expected to work well under less favourable circum- 








The Rewa, Wai Levu, or great river of Viti Levu, has four 
large mouths, aud its deltas are extremely fertile, and 
cultivated to some extent by the natives. About eighteen 
miles from its mouth it receives the Wai Manu, which 
comes from the west, whilst the main branch takes its 
rise in the Namosi Valley. It was explored in 1856 by 
Dr. Macdonald, of H.M.S. Herald, Captain Denham, ac- 
companied by Mr. Samuel Waterhouse, of the Wesleyan 
Mission, and a full account of their proceedings has been 
published.* Mataisuva, our next stopping-place, is built 
on one of the large deltas, a little below the town of 
Rewa. From Bau it may be reached either by sea or 
by going up the Wai ni ki, or Kaba mouth. The 
natives have shortened the latter passage more than 

* " Proceedings of the Expedition for the Exploration of the Eewa river 
and its Tributaries, in Na Viti Levu, Fiji Islands. By John Denis Mac- 
donald, Esq., Assistant Surgeon of H.M.S. Herald, Captain N. M. Den- 
ham,'' in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xxvii., pp. 
232-268, with a Map by Axrowsmith. 


twenty miles by cutting a canal, Kele Musu, across the 
longest of the deltas. Taking advantage of the tide 
setting in, we left Bau about noon and soon found our- 
selves in the canal, probably the greatest piece of engi- 
neering ever executed in these islands, affording a proof 
how thickly they must have been populated to allow 
such an undertaking, at a time when there was nothing 
but staves to dig the ground, hands to shovel it up, and 
baskets to carry it away. It has not been ascertained 
when this canal was dug ; all that can be elucidated is, 
that it was made long ago, and for the purpose of carry- 
ing out a military stratagem. It is about two miles 
long, sixty feet wide, and large canoes pass without dif- 
ficulty. On a subsequent occasion, our schooner, the 
' Paul Jones,' finding it impossible to get from Bau to 
Eewa by sea on account of a heavy gale, actually made 
her way through this canal, by taking due advantage of 
the tide. 

We neared Mataisuva, the mission-station, about sun- 
set, and passing the mangrove forest, were surprised to 
see the immense number of Flying Foxes, or Bats (iVb- 
topteris Macdonaldii), rising from them. They measure 
nearly a yard from the extreme points of their wings. 
Mr. Pritchard informed me that at Samoa, the same or 
a very nearly allied species is a great pet with the natives 
of that group, and probably the only known instance of 
a domesticated bat. 

Passing the town of Eewa, we reached Mataisuva at 
half-past six on the evening of the 29th of June, and were 
hospitably received by the Kev. W. Moore, who was then 
the superintendent of an institution for training native 

G 2 


teachers. A large square piece of ground had been set 
aside for a number of houses surrounded by little gardens 
in which the teachers resided. Some of these teachers 
were Fijian, some Tonguese. The natives like their own 
countrymen best, because they always suspect the Ton- 
guese, and with good reason, of playing into the hands 
of the Tonguese chiefs, whose great aim is to make them- 
selves masters of Fiji. These teachers, after having been 
properly trained at this institution, are sent as residents to 
those parts of the country which have applied for them ; 
and they are of very essential service in preparing the 
ground for the white missionaries, whose limited number 
is quite inadequate to the great task set before them, 
that of christianizing Fiji. Many parts of the group 
are now anxiously desiring the Gospel, but, with so few 
labourers in the field and only limited funds, it is im- 
possible to do much more than is now attempted. Apart 
from any religious consideration, I should always sup- 
port the Protestant missionary in preference to the Ro- 
man Catholic, because the latter attempts simply the con- 
version of the heathen, whilst the Protestant not only 
christianizes, but at the same time civilizes them. The 
quiet, well-regulated family life and cleanly habits which 
our Protestant missionaries set before the savage, are of 
inestimable value to the people whom they endeavour to 
raise in the scale of humanity. It is quite wrong to 
suppose that savages do not notice whether a man wears 
clean linen and is well washed or not. They do notice 
it, and never fail to draw comparisons in favour of those 
who, by means of their comfortable homes, are enabled 
to appear before them as good examples of cleanliness. 


Though most of the white Wesleyan missionaries are 
perfect masters of the language, they own themselves 
that the native teachers they had trained generally beat 
them in the choice of local illustrations. Of course, 
there is occasionally a want of tact on the part of the 
latter. Thus, one of them, wishing to illustrate how 
wisely in everything nature had adapted the means to 
the end, chose the hand, and commenced by saying, 
" Now, when you eat a human hand, you will perceive," 
etc. This illustration would have sounded odd to a 
Christian congregation at home, but never excited any 
notice amongst a people just emerging from cannibalism. 

The church at Mataisuva is not so large as that at 
Bau, but it is much better finished, and some of the 
beams under the roof are covered with different-coloured 
fibres of the cocoa-nut worked in various elegant patterns. 
The ridge-beams, always projecting on both ends, accord- 
ing to strict Fijian customs, are ornamented with white 
shells (Ovulum ovum, Swb.), and in front of the church 
there are some curiously-cut stems of tree-ferns. Alto- 
gether the building is a fine specimen of native ar- 
chitecture, and the only thing to complete it is a good 
tolling bell. Hitherto the congregation has been obliged 
to be called together by large drums, made of Tavola 
wood, beaten by thick and short pieces of wood, — a con- 
trivance which may be heard for several miles around, 
but sounds essentially unchristian. 

The Rev. William Moore, as an apt Fijian scholar, 
devotes some of the spare moments he can snatch to a 
subject hitherto much neglected, that of collecting the 
"melees," or old songs of the natives, now fast fading 


away. He has also made considerable advance in trans- 
lating ' The Pilgrim's Progress ' into Fijian, a task which, 
if I mistake not, has been somewhat facilitated by Mrs. 
Burner's unpublished version of a portion of that book. 
Bunyan's great allegory has already been translated into 
one or two Polynesian languages, and the natives seemed 
to like it very much as long as they believed it to be 
a- genuine story, but when they heard that it was only 
a series of "lies," their interest abated. It will be in- 
teresting to know how the Fijians receive it. They are 
as true believers in the genuineness of their own nu- 
merous fairy tales and doings of their gods, as the an- 
cient Greeks' were in those of their gods and demigods ; 
— the hold which Homer had on the national mind 
arising, probably, quite as much from his embodying this 
feeling, as well as expressing it in language still the 
admiration of mankind. 

Accompanied by Mi*. Moore we went to the town of 
Rewa, in order to gather specimens of two new palms, 
one of them a fan-palm (Pritchardia pacifica, Seem, et 
Wendl.), the leaves of which are only used by chiefs, as 
was the case with those of the Talipot palm in Ceylon. 
I also collected some interesting information about the 
bread-fruit, of which there are no less than ten different 
varieties cultivated at Rewa, including the best of the 

On our way home we fell in with a little schooner 
belonging to the mission, and returning from a trip up 
the Bewa river, where she had been sent for yams. She 
had not accomplished her object, as two hostile parties 
of natives had not allowed her to pass, and even fired 


at her, without however wounding or killing any one. 
Formerly these inter-tribal feuds were of much more fre- 
quent occurrence, and often protracted over a consider- 
able period of time; but since firearms have become 
accessible to all parties, the same result followed in Fiji 
as in Europe upon the invention of gunpowder. 

Sacred groves and trees form as prominent a feature 
in the paganism of the Fijians as they did in that of 
the Indo-Germanic nations. A fine grove still exists in 
the Rewa district near the mission-station of Mataisuva, 
and at a point of the coast termed Na Vadra Tolu (the 
three screw-pines), probably from three specimens of 
the Pandanus odoratissimus, still a common plant in 
that locality, having stood there. Leaving the mission- 
premises, and keeping along the sandy beach, an enor- 
mous Yevuyevu tree (Hernandia Sonora, Linn.) presents 
itself, forming a complete bower, which leads to a curi- 
ous group of vegetable giants. A venerable Vutu raka- 
raka (Barringtonia speciosa, Linn.), more than sixty feet 
high, has thrown out several huge branches, two of 
which form, in connection with the stem, bold arches. 
The large aerial roots of epiphytical fig-trees are hold- 
ing the monster in close embrace ; several kinds of ferns 
and climbing Aroidece and wax-flowers (Hoyas) interlace 
the struggling masses, and tend to increase the wildness 
of this fantastic scene. The dense foliage of surround- 
ing Vesi, Ivi, and other fine trees ensures a constant 
gloom and sombreness to the place ; and only through 
the bower, serving as an entrance, does the eye obtain 
a glance at the open sea, and perchance the sight of a 
passing canoe with its large triangular sail. It was at 


this lonely spot, far away from human habitations, where 
in the depth of night the heathen priest used to con- 
sult the gods whether it was to be war or peace. If at 
dawn of day blood was found on the path, more blood 
was to be spilt ; if no such sign was discoverable, peace 
was the watchword. Several celebrated groves were de- 
stroyed on the introduction of Christianity, and a large 
one near Bau was felled the day after King Cakobau 
had embraced the new faith, the native carpenters trem- 
bling when they had to lay the axe on objects so long 
sacred to them by all the laws of " tabu." They were 
taught by tradition that when, once upon a time, their 
forefathers felled some of these trees, and repaired the 
next day to the spot in order to square the logs, they 
found the trees again in their proper position, and 
growing as if no sacrilegious axe had ever laid them 

Besides these groves, there were isolated trees which 
were held sacred ; and in days of yore European saw- 
yers came occasionally in unpleasant contact with the 
Fijians when, unknowingly, they had cut them down 
for timber. Vesi (Afzelia Mjuga, A. Gray) and Baka 
(Ficus sp.) seemed to have been those principally selected. 
The Vesi furnishes the best timber of the islands, and 
may, as the most valued tree, have been thought the fit 
residence of a god ; there is nothing in its appearance 
that is extraordinary, our beech most nearly resembling 
it in look. The Baka is not famous for its timber; but 
its habit is as remarkable as that of the banyan-tree of 
India, aerial roots propping up its branches and forming 
a fantastic maze which no words can describe. At first 


living as an epiphyte on other trees, it soon acquires such 
dimensions that it kills its supporter, and henceforward 
must draw its nourishment from the soil. There are 
fine specimens of the Baka on the Isthmus of Kadavu ; 
and on an islet belonging to Mr. Hennig the aerial 
root of the Baka formed a cabin in which Mr. Pritchard, 
myself, and all our boat's crew took shelter during a 
heavy tropical shower ; and twenty persons might have 
found room there. The crown of this tree was one hun- 
dred and fifty-two feet in diameter, or four hundred and 
fifty-six feet in circumference. The horizontal branches 
and the large roots issuing from all parts of the stem, 
and more sparingly from the branches, rendered this 
tree a noble object, well calculated to inspire pleasure or 
awe. The Rev. W. Moore lamented the destruction of 
one of these fine trees near Rewa, committed by a sick 
man in hopes that it might be pleasing to the Christian 
God, and incline him to favour his convalescence. These 
sacred groves, and trees were not worshipped as gods, 
but, as in the Odic religions of our ancestors, looked 
upon as places where certain gods had taken up their 

Sacred stones, to which the natives pay reverence, 
exist in Fiji ; for instance, near Vuna and Bau, as well 
as in many other parts of Polynesia. Fully granting 
their being the supposed abode of certain gods and 
goddesses, as has been contended, we can only hope to 
arrive at their real meaning and primary origin, by con- 
sidering them in connection with the ideas associated 
with or represented by other monoliths. I would par- 
ticularly direct attention to their peculiar shape, of 


which the missionaries Williams and Turner* have 
published some good illustrations. Compared with cer- 
tain remnants of Priapus worship, as found in Indian 
temples, the "Museo segreto" of Naples, and, freed from 
all obscenity, in the obelisks of Egypt, their nature be- 
comes evident. More or less, these monoliths repre- 
sented the generative principle and procreation ; and, if 
the subject admitted of popular treatment, it would not 
be difficult to show that the Polynesian stones, their 
shape, the reverence paid to them, their decoration, and 
the results expected from their worship, are quite in 
accordance with a widely-spread superstition, which as- 
sumed such oifensive forms in ancient Eome, and found 
vent in the noblest monuments of which the land of the 
Pharaohs can boast. Turner, after stating that he had 
in his possession several smooth stones from the New 
Hebrides, says that some of the Polynesian stone-gods 
were supposed to cause fecundity in pigs, rain and sun- 
shine. A stone at Mayo, according to the Earl of 
Roden, was carefully wrapped up in flannel, periodically 
worshipped, and supplicated to send wrecks on the coast. 
Two large stones, lying at the bottom of a moat, are 
said to have given birth to Degei, the supreme god of 
Fiji. In all instances an addition to objects already 
existing was expected from these monoliths. There was 
a stone near Bau, which, whenever a lady of rank at 
the Fijian capital was confined, also gave birth to a little 
stone. It argues nothing that these stony offsprings 
were fraudulently placed there. The ideas floating in 

* Williams's ' Fiji and Fijians,' p. 220. Turner's ' Nineteen Years in 
Polynesia,' p. 347. 


the minds of the bulk of the people absolutely tended 
towards the unbiassed conviction that some mysterious 
connection existed between the large stone and the 
Bauan ladies. Since the introduction of Christianity to 
these districts, it has been found necessary to remove 
the large stone, leaving its numerous posterity behind, 
to get on as best it may. 

During the rainy season, the mouth of the Rewa 
river is notorious for myriads of mosquitoes. On some 
evenings the hetacombs slain by incautious contact with 
the flame, actually put the candles out. Mr. Moore once 
contrived a room on the principle of a mosquito-curtain ; 
but the contrivance was not found to answer, as few 
persons could be induced to purchase freedom from irri- 
tating bites by confinement for several hours of a hot 
night in an insufficiently ventilated kind of cage, which, 
from its very nature, could not be so large as to admit 
of much moving about, or the introduction of lights for 
reading or writing. Mosquitoes are objects to which 
the attention of all new-comers is irresistibly directed. 
Those of Somosomo never favoured us with a call until 
after breakfast, and very obligingly withdrew about sun- 
set, to let us have the evening to ourselves. In other 
parts of the group the evening is their very time for 
paying visits. The moment one of their monotonous 
solos is heard, a tutti will immediately follow. The dif- 
ference between the voices of the various species is al 
most as great as that observable in those of men ; and 
a naturalist studying these insects as thoroughly as they 
study him should either possess an ear musically trained 
or else carry a fiddle, in order to determine the exact 


note struck up. I am persuaded that every mosquito, 
from the large sluggish one which annoyed us when 
searching for Sir John Franklin in the Arctic Circle, 
to the little swift one of the Equator, may be known 
as readily by its peculiar note as by any artificial dia- 
gnosis, — the Sydney one pre-eminently by its very deep 

On the 2nd of July, about noon, we left Mataisuva, 
and at 7 p.m. reached Naqara (the Cave), in the island 
of Naigani, where Mr. Eggerstrom, a Swedish gentle- 
man, had taken up his abode. He was just recovering 
from a serious illness contracted by incautious contact 
with the Kau karo, or Itchwood, a poisonous tree 
(Oncocarpus Vitiensis, A. Gray = Rhus atrum, Forst.) 
peculiar to Fiji and New Caledonia, the stem of which 
he had been converting into a flag-staff. Mr. Eggerstrom 
received us cordially, and had tea and supper prepared. 
He also wished us to sleep under his hospitable roof; 
but the mosquitoes were so very troublesome that we 
could hardly finish our meal, and were obliged to beat 
a hasty retreat to our boat, though our land host assured 
us that if we remained a little longer we should get 
quite as much used to their bites as he was, and feel no 
inconvenience. We spread the awning over our gig, 
and made every preparation for sleeping. As it was 
still early, Mr. Pritchard read, and I went again on shore, 
to the native village, which I found, as I had been as- 
sured, quite free from mosquitoes. The natives were very 
friendly ; they showed me their canoes, and brought me 
cocoa-nuts and sugar-cane to eat ; I gave them a few 
sticks of tobacco in return, and wanted them to dance; 


but they informed me, through the interpreter, that 
the missionaries desire them not to dance nor practise 
any more their game of throwing canes, after the yams 
have been planted. They said they should sing instead, 
and forthwith commenced. I let them go on till they 
came to a " meke, " or song, in which they mimicked the 
missionaries; I then stopped them by wishing them 
" good night." 

Most of our crew passed the night on shore, and Mr. 
Pritchard and I slept in the consular gig, anchored close 
to the shore. Early next morning we were awoke by 
the arrival of a large canoe from Nadroga. The man in 
charge came to ask the Consul's advice about making 
peace with the heathens who had for several months 
made war upon Nadroga for becoming Christian. They 
had only ten towns, six of which had been taken by the 
heathens, and several inhabitants been baked and eaten. 
The Nadroga people had only captured two towns, and 
now feared they could not hold out much longer unless 
Christian natives of other districts hastened to their as- 
sistance. They were now going to Eewa and Ovalau, to 
ask for such assistance, and had with them a lot of tor- 
toiseshell, to be exchanged for muskets and powder. Mr. 
Pritchard told them that he should visit them in about 
a month, and then use his influence to restore peace. 
I may as well add in this place, that he did so in August, 
with Colonel Smythe, and that they conjointly sent a 
messenger to the heathens, inviting their chiefs to an in- 
terview. The messenger was received with blows, and 
told it was fortunate that he had come by himself. If 
two had been dispatched, one would have been sent back 


to tell the tale ; now, as only one had come, he should 
merely be half killed, and might go home to say that 
they neither cared for the Consul nor for Colonel 
Smythe, and declined all interference on their part. 

We went again on shore, as Mr. Eggerstrom had in- 
vited us to breakfast and to inspect his establishment by 
daylight. Mr. Eggerstrom had expended a great deal of 
labour on his retreat, cut steps in the solid rocks, and 
made a large basin for bathing, and seats near the spring 
from which the water was supplied. He seemed to have 
been anxious to render his new home as pretty as pos- 
sible, and paid less regard to the requirements of the 
crop he wished to grow. He complained that nothing 
would nourish, and I told him that unless he sacrificed 
more trees, his sweet potatoes, yams, and bananas, to 
say nothing about European vegetables, would be, as 
hitherto, a prey to snails, caterpillars, and insects, and 
his house never free from mosquitoes. But he said he 
loved the shade, and could not make up his mind to 
do that. 

Although the place was swarming with mosquitoes 
the previous night, there was now not one to be seen. 
The sky looked very rainy, and we hesitated whether to 
stay or push on. We decided on adopting the latter 
course, but had hardly been afloat more than ten mi- 
nutes when the rain began to come down in such tor- 
rents that our boat required constant baling. We 
took shelter at Nukubalawu, in the house of an Ameri- 
can, Mr. Work, who, like most of the old white settlers, 
is better known in Fiji by his nickname, in this instance 
" Moses." He had a sawing-pit, which he worked with 

nukubAlawu, taguru, navua. 95 

natives, one of whom had been with him for years. 
Though he was moving across the bay, to take up his 
residence on the little island inhabited by Mr. Egger- 
strom, he made us very comfortable; and I took ad- 
vantage to arrange my collection of plants, which had 
seriously suffered from the heavy shower that drove us 
to seek shelter in this place. The rain continued all 
day, so that we were quite unable to stir. 

Leaving Nukubalawu next morning, we passed a re- 
markable rock on the shore of Viti Levu, which from its 
peculiar shape and large dimensions Mr. Pritchard and 
I named the " Giant's Thumb." The rain continued, and 
after an hour's pulling and sailing, we were obliged to 
land at Taguru, where we found three white men en- 
gaged in sawing and building boats. As Taguru be- 
longs to Kuruduadua's dominions, we dispatched a mes- 
senger to Navua, the chief's residence on the coast, to 
inform him that we would be with him as soon as the 
weather permitted. Towards sunset there was a lull in 
the rain, and we at once resumed our way to the chief, 
who was not yet under missionary influence, and about 
whose cannibalism and despotic government we had 
heard so much. 

A pull of about two miles westwards brought us to 
the Navua, one of the largest rivers in Viti Levu, and 
not yet explored by any scientific man. There are se- 
veral extensive deltas at its mouth, composed of rich 
alluvial soil, and exceedingly well adapted for cotton. 
From information gathered, I was led to conclude that 
the sago-palm was a member of the Fijian flora. My 
inquiries commenced in the eastern part of the group, 


and I was always directed westward, and assured at 
every place that I should find the object of my search a 
few miles further on ; but that not proving the case, I 
began to look upon it as a mere phantom, when at last, 
after a search of several hundred miles, whole groves 
of fine sago-palms (Sagus Vitiensis, Herm. Wendl.) 
greeted me on the banks of the Navua river. This is 
an interesting discovery ; botanically, because no sago- 
palm had ever been found so far south ; philologically, 
because the plant is here termed Soga, calling to mind 
the names of Sagu, or Sago, by which it is known in 
other districts peopled by the Papuan race ; and com- 
mercially, because it adds an important article to. the 
export list of these islands. The Fijians made no use 
of the farinaceous pith the Soga contains, though they 
are familiar with converting that of the Cycas circinalts 
of the district into cakes, eaten by the chiefs. 




We were soon at Navua, a town some three miles up 
the river, and the residence of Kuruduadua, the great 
chief of this district. The messenger dispatched from 
our last halting-place having announced our visit, we 
found the chieftain seated in his large house, sur- 
rounded by councillors and attendants, awaiting his 
guests. As he and his territory are little known to the 
whites, our arrival created some sensation. The cere- 
mony of presentation is novel. On entering the house, 
Charles AVise, our interpreter and guide, as already 
schooled, addressed the chief to the effect that the 
Consul had come to introduce a chief from England, 
who had been sent to explore the country; and that 
we purposed doing ourselves the honour of being his 
guests for several days. After a few minutes' silence, 
the chief orator replied, in the name of Kuruduadua 
(it would have been against Fijian etiquette for the 
latter to address us personally at the first formal visit), 
that the stranger chief and the Consul were welcome, 



for their presence conferred a distinguished honour on 
Navua, and the neighbouring tribes should know the 
fact as soon as the great drum could send forth its roll- 
ing peals. As he concluded, all the men in the house 
clapped their hands, and exclaimed, " Mana, mana, 
mana I " At the same instant the great drum, or Mi, 
was beaten lustily, and our presence in Navua was he- 
ralded throughout the district. 

The chief's eyes glistened, and a proud smile of ex- 
ultation gleamed over his face as we threw ourselves 
at full length on the clean mats spread for us. Our 
loquacious interpreter here began to describe a huge 
iron pot that was near the door, and to tell how wick- 
edly it had been appropriated to boil the carcases of 
slaughtered men instead of beche-de-mer ; thus confirm- 
ing the rumour which Macdonald had told in the Geo- 
graphical Society's Journal. A rather unpleasant feeling 
stole over us, and we thought of friends and homes 
far away. Our peace of mind, however, was soon re- 
stored, when the chief proposed that we should join him 
in a bowl of kava, a beverage prepared from the root 
of the South Sea pepper, by being masticated by young 
men, and tasting like soapsuds, jalap, and magnesia! 
A baked pig and some half-dozen baskets of yams were 
next brought in by women, headed by the chiefs 
favourite wife, all crawling on their hands and knees. 
Hungry as we were, the story of the big pot made us 
rather revolt from this frugal meal ; but ascertaining 
that it was a real pig we beheld before us, we dined. 
It is a curious fact, that Fijian custom does not permit 
the host to partake of the meal which he provides for 


his guests ; and the chief eyed us askance as we ate. 
About this time a carronade, that guarded the entrance 
to the house, was discharged — emphatically to demon- 
strate the chiefs delight. Kara, or -yaqona,'' as it 
is called in Fiji, was masticated and drunk every half- 
hour. We observed that the string by which the bowl 
is suspended when not in use was always thrown towards 
the chief. The object of this is to distinguish the 
" great man," for if any one incautiously walked upright 
in his presence, the club is his fate. 

Kuruduadua has ten wive>, and as he himself does 
not exactly know the number of his children, we were 
left ignorant on that point. The great drums were 
beaten eyery hour of the night, in honour of the guests, 
but much to our annoyance, for they kept us awake 
some time after we retired. Our bed was made of se- 
veral layers of mats, and over us was a large mosquito 
screen, about twenty feet long, made of the bark of the 
paper mulberry. As many as eight or ten natives some- 
times sleep together under one of these screens. Before 
retiring, the Consul presented various articles, as knives, 
axes, prints, etc., to the thief; and the usual compli- 
mentary speeches, expressive of mutual confidence and 
goodwill, ensued. 

On the following morning "Harry the Jeiu" pre- 
sented himself — the only Englishman who has lived 
for any length of time in the wild and unknown regions 
of the interior, and has managed to throw a halo of 
mystery around himself. His real name is John Hum- 
phrey Danford, and he has been for so many years 
living with Kuruduadua and his family, cut off from all 

H 2 


intercourse with civilization, that he seemed to have 
lost his reckoning, and was not quite sure whether he 
had been sixteen, eighteen, or twenty years in the is- 
lands. His story is full of adventure. Born in Lon- 
don, he was early apprenticed, first to one then to ano- 
ther trade, but his employers being all men with whom 
he " could not agree," he left them in disgust, and 
took to the sea. This brought him to the South Pa- 
cific, where he discovered that the captains he had to 
deal with were disagreeable men ; and, after exchanging 
from vessel to vessel, he finally ran away at Tongatabu; 
There, after twelve months' residence, amid many priva- 
tions, partly caused by a great hurricane and its usual 
successor, a general famine, he perceived the Tonguese 
too were disagreeable people, and at once took passage 
in a canoe for Fiji. Arriving in this group in distress 
from heavy weather, the canoe was seized at the island 
of Kadavu, and the crew condemned to be baked in the 
oven — thus finding the Kadavu people more disagree- 
able even than the Tonguese. By strategy, however, 
he succeeded in making his escape to Rewa, where he 
remained some time with other white men. To one, 
Charles Pickering, a celebrity of Fiji and the hero of 
some capital anecdotes, he sold a pinchbeck watch that 
only went when carried. Whence he got this precious 
article, he says it is unnecessary to tell ; enough for the 
history, that as soon as he received the price thereof 
from Pickering, he jumped into a boat and started off 
for some distant part of the islands, condemning the 
white men as a disagreeable set of fellows. In his 
wanderings he met one "Flash Bob," for whom be 


acted as agent in the selection and purchase of a lady- 
love from a native chief. This brought him once more 
in contact with the disagreeable whites. He now com- 
menced a beche-de-mer establishment, in conjunction with 
his friend Pickering, who had given him the nickname 
of " Harry the Jew," in consequence of the watch trans- 
action. After some months in his new business, a quar- 
rel arises about the purchase of Flash Bob's wife; the 
drying-house of the establishment is burnt down by a 
party of natives; Pickering, enraged that his property 
has been destroyed, takes everything away, leaving poor 
Danford once more penniless, shirtless, and friendless, on 
the beach. His nickname, translated into Fijian, has 
begun to work mischief amongst the newly-converted 
natives, and he is denied hospitalities the heathens 
would not refuse, because he " belongs to a people who 
have killed Christ." The brother of Chief Kurudua- 
dua, hearing of his forlorn condition, sends him an offer 
to reside at Namosi, his mountain residence, which offer 
is hesitatingly accepted. His heart almost fails him as 
he toils his way into the very midst of a nation of canni- 
bals. But iron necessity urges him on. Tired and 
footsore, almost in an absolute state of nudity, he 
reaches the town. Messengers meet him and carry him 
on their shoulders. The chief then gives him wives, 
— how many we shall not say, — a yam plantation, two 
gardens, houses, and dispatches bales of native cloth 
to the coast, to be exchanged for European dresses for 
him. He is also raised to the dignity of a "brother," 
and allotted slaves to attend upon him. Our hero — 
happy man! — now, for the first time in his life, finds 

102 a mission to vrri. 

agreeable companions in the chief and his people. In 
return for the dignities heaped upon him, Harry was to 
repair the muskets of the tribe, and to tell the chief 
stories about the white men and their country. Having 
for about a week been an errand-boy to a London 
apothecary, he was able to dispense pills to the sick, 
and thus to assume another important stand in his new 
life. Years had rolled on without his seeing any 
white faces, when one day native messengers arrived 
from the coast, stating that they had been sent by a 
foreigner, who wished to have an interview with him, 
and whom they described as wearing a blue coat all 
covered with looking-glasses. Harry had seen many 
extraordinary sights, but a man thus attired excited his 
curiosity, and he acceded to the request. To his sur- 
prise, he found the late Mr. Williams, United States 
Consul, whose brass buttons had been mistaken for 
looking-glasses. Mr. Williams had heard of the exist- 
ence of some copper mines in the interior, and was de- 
sirous of purchasing them. Through Harry's interven- 
tion, that object was accomplished, and the mines passed 
into Mr. Williams's possession, but they have not as yet 
been worked, nor indeed been examined by any scien- 
tific man. Dr. Macdonald and Mr. S. Waterhouse paid a 
visit to Namosi when they ascended the Rewa river; and 
Hariy, who had long ere that sown all his wild oats, 
and found one wife quite as much as a sensible man 
could manage, begged the Rev. Samuel Waterhouse to 
christen his natural children. But he met with a re- 
fusal, on the ground of his not being married. " Then 
pray marry me," was the next demand. " Impossible," 


replied the missionary, " your bride is not a Christian." 
Danford felt this refusal very deeply. Many a long 
year had he waited to free himself from the reproach of 
not living in matrimony, and when at last a fair chance 
seemed to present itself, he met with disappointment. 
The Wesleyans have shown a strict adherence to a 
similar policy, and they may be right from their point 
of view ; but in consequence many of the whites have 
been obliged to ask the Catholic priests to discharge 
those duties which their Protestant brethren refused. 
The Catholic priests, asking few questions, have invari- 
ably christened such children, and, remembering the 
full significance of the formula, that in marrying we take 
each other " for better, for worse," united in matrimony 
all loving couples presenting themselves for the purpose. 
We were struck with the fact, that all the young 
lads were in a state of absolute nudity ; and, on inquiry, 
learned that preparations were being made to celebrate 
the introduction of Kuruduadua's eldest son into man- 
hood; and that, until then, neither the young chieftain 
nor his playmates could assume the scanty clothing pe- 
culiar to the Fijians. Suvana. a rebellious town, consist- 
ing of about five hundred people, was destined to be 
sacrificed on the occasion. When the preparations for 
the feast were concluded, the day for the ceremony ap- 
pointed, Kuruduadua and his warriors were to make a 
rush upon the town, and club the inhabitants indis- 
criminately. The bodies were to be piled into one 
heap, and on the top of all a living slave would lie on 
his back. The young chief would then mount the 
horrid scaffold, and scanding upright on the chest of 


the slave, and holding in his uplifted hands an immense 
club or gun, the priests invoke their gods, and commit 
the future warrior to their especial protection, praying 
he may kill all the enemies of the tribe, and never 
be beaten in battle ; a cheer and a shout from the as- 
sembled multitude concluding the prayer. Two uncles 
of the boy were then to ascend the human pile, and to 
invest him with the malo, or girdle of snow-white tapa ; 
the multitude again calling on their deities to make 
him a great conqueror, and a terror to all who breathe 
enmity to Navua. The malo for the occasion would be 
perhaps two hundred yards long, and six or eight inches 
wide. When wound round the body, the lad would 
hardly be perceivable, and no one but an uncle can 
divest him of it. 

We proposed to the chief that we should be allowed 
to invest his son with the malo, which he at first re- 
fused, but to which he consented after deliberation 
with his people. At the appointed hour, the multitude 
collected in the great strangers' house, or lure ni sa. 
The lad stood upright in the midst of the assembly, 
guiltless of clothing, and holding a gun over his head. 
The Consul and I approached, and in due form wrapped 
him up in thirty yards of Manchester print, the priest 
and people chanting songs, and invoking the protec- 
tion of their gods. A short address from the Consul 
succeeded, stirring the lad to nobler efforts for his 
tribe than his ancestors had known, and pointing to the 
path to fame that civilization opened to him. The cere- 
mony concluded by drinking kava, and chanting histo- 
rical reminiscences of the lad's ancestors, — and thus we 


saved the lives of five hundred men ! During the whole 
of this ceremony, the old chief was much affected, and 
a few tears might be seen stealing down his cheeks. 
Soon however cheering up, he gave us a full account 
of the time when he came of age, and the number- of 
people that were slain to celebrate the occasion.* 

Kuruduadua was still a heathen. He said that our 
religion was good, but there were few true Christians 
in the group, and he hated hypocrisy, and did not pro- 
fess to be better or anything else than he really was. 
He rather favoured than hindered the spread of the 
Gospel. On Sunday morning I heard him interroga- 
ting two men, whether they were Christians. On their 
answering in the affirmative, he reprimanded them for 
not attending the church service, as the drum — the 
substitute for bells — had left off beating for some time. 
We induced him to make several important concessions 
to civilization, to prohibit cannibalism throughout his 
territories, and to keep the Sunday as a day of rest, if 
not a holy day. To this he agreed cheerfully. Indeed 
he seemed most anxious to stand well with the whites, 
and one of the first explanations he offered after our 
arrival was respecting an attack upon, and plunder of 
some white men, who resided on Namuka, an island seven 
miles west of Rewa. The attack and plunder was made 

* The custom of standing on corpses is mentioned by several writers 
on Eji, and was probably practised throughout the group. Joseph Water- 
house, in his ' Vah-ta-ah,' p. 32, a book full of facts not found elsewhere, 
describing the condition of Bau previous to its conversion to Christianity, 
says, " Down the next lane a young chief is trying on, for the first time 
since he was born, a narrow slip of native calico, as an indication that he 
now thinks himself a man. He stands on the corpse of one who has been 
killed to make his stepping-stone for the ceremony of the day." 


by a chief then at war with him. Long after peace 
had been re-established Kuraduadua became by ex- 
change the owner of some boxes that had been taken 
from Namuka, by the attacking party. Danford saw the 
danger of purchasing property thus taken, and advised 
Kuraduadua to get rid of it. However, his counsels 
were unheeded, and when at a future time the boxes were 
actually found in Kuruduadua's possession, the Ame- 
rican captain sent to punish the Namuka attack, fixed 
upon him, as one of the guilty party, and burned Navua, 
then full of valuable property of all sorts, honestly 
acquired from white traders. Several large 32-pound 
shots were knocking about the town, and served the 
children as playthings, whilst the ruins of fine large 
houses were still to be seen. Kuraduadua handed us 
a paper from his desk, drawn up by a white trader 
familiar with the whole affair, which he begged might 
be made known to our countrymen, in order to acquaint 
them with the real facts of the case. 

" OYAiAtr, NoTember 27th, 1856. 

" Being acquainted with many circumstances connected with 
the attack upon Namuka, and convinced that great injustice 
has been done to the chief Kuraduadua, living at Navua, by 
his being punished as an accessory to that act, I beg to lay 
before you the true particulars of the case as they came under 
my observation. 

" It has been stated that Kuraduadua was a party to the attack 
upon Namuka, because some of his people had been some time 
before driven away from that place by the whites. The facts 
were these : — Some canoes belonging to Kuruduadua's tribe, 
as was their custom when voyaging, put into Namuka to spend 


the night. They caught some crabs, and climbed some trees 
for cocoa-nuts, as they had always been accustomed to do, 
when the whites who had purchased permission to reside upon 
the island rushed out and fired upon them ; the natives imme- 
diately fled, leaving one canoe behind. This canoe, with the 
property in it, was handed over to me by Mr. Allen Dolittle, 
when I was residing at Nukubalawu, to return to Kuruduadua. 
When I took it to the chief, he was not at all displeased at his 
people having been driven away, and said that if they again 
annoyed the white residents at Namuka he would himself club 

" Some time after this, Tui Solia was knocked down by one of 
the whites on Namuka. Tui Solia was at this time at war with 
Kuruduadua. The latter heard, through a deserter, that Tui 
Solia intended to avenge the insult offered to him by plundering 
Namuka, and put the whites on their guard. He could not 
protect them there, as it was not in his territory, and he was at 
enmity with Tui Solia's tribe. He told the whites to remove 
at once to Nukubalawu, into his dominions, where he would 
protect them from every harm. He was evidently very anxious 
to secure the whites from injury. Thus, so far from being privy 
to the attack, he endeavoured to save the whites. 

" I went at once to Namuka to warn the whites, and told them 
of Kuruduadua' s invitation to remove for protection to Nuku- 
balawu, and offered them the use of my boat, which they de- 
clined. I was then sent for by Mr. Saunders, to remove him 
from Wai Turaga to a vessel at Bau in which he had taken 
his passage. 

"Before I returned, the attack was made on Namuka, the 
property plundered and the white men carried prisoners to 
Numulo, a small town on the mainland, which belonged to Tui 
Solia. As soon as I heard this, I hastened to Nukubalawu and 
met there Mr. A. Dolittle. Finding that nothing had been 
done towards the rescue of the prisoners, I sent for Kuruduadua, 
and giving him an axe, requested him to undertake their de- 


liverance. He immediately complied, arranged to take a small 
armed party and make a sudden descent upon Numulo at early 
dawn. This he did. The people of the town, panic struck, 
fled, and the chief was thus enabled to convey the wounded 
prisoners and some property to Namuka, where we had gone to 
await the result of the expedition. 

" It has been said that this chief was a party in the affair, 
because, at a subsequent period, some boxes, taken from 
Namuka, were seen in his house. They came into his posses- 
sion in this manner : some time after the Namuka outrage, 
Kuruduadua attacked and captured a town belonging to Tui 
Solia, the defeat causing the latter to sue for peace. Friendly 
intercourse being re-established, Kuruduadua subsequently ex- 
changed several pigs for boxes in Tui SohVs possession, and 
forming part of the plunder of Namuka. It is quite false that 
Tui Solia was at the time of the outrage under the influence of 
Kuruduadua ; so far from that, they were enemies and at war. 

" Kuruduadua has ever behaved kindly to the whites, and in 
this respect set a good example to other chiefs. Upon one 
occasion a vessel got ashore in the neighbourhood. He assem- 
bled his people, got her afloat, and made his subjects return 
the property they had taken, — this at a time when, in almost 
every other part of Fiji, the lives of the shipwrecked were taken 
and the vessel and cargo plundered. 

" I was present at Nukubalawu, when Mr. Williams, the 
American Consul, and Phillips, a Rewan chief, came to inquire 
into the Namuka matter. Mr. Dolittle said, that after buying 
the island of Namuka they were entitled to protection. Phillips, 
the chief, then emphatically denied that the island had been 
sold, but said that a gun, a keg of powder, and a whale's tooth 
had been given as the ' yaqona ' for permission to reside on 
the island, and that he could not sell it, as there were others 
who were co-owners with himself. 

"John Heekbs." 


Navua is at present a collection of about forty houses, 
and built on the left bank of the river of the same 
name, and at the foot of a hill on which there is a pri- 
vate bure ni sa of the chief, enjoying a fine view of the 
flat land around, the river winding in bold curves, 
and high mountains in the distance. Two creeks inter- 
sect the town, over which isolated trunks of trees are 
thrown, the nearest approach to bridges I have seen in 
the country. In the two squares are several venerable 
Tahitian chestnut-trees (Inocarpus edulis, Forst.) densely 
covered with parasites (Loranthus), about a dozen spe- 
cies of epiphytical ferns, — one of them not larger than 
a moss, — wax-flowers, orchids, mosses, and lichens. There 
was no heathen temple (bure kalou), but a fine one 
might be seen from the top of the hill, about a mile off. 
I noticed three bures ni sa, strangers' houses, or sleep- 
ing bures. At least two of the latter are invariably 
found at every Fijian town or village. They may be 
compared to our clubs; and those frequented by the 
ruling chiefs do not seem visited much by the lower 
class of people. That at Bau, already mentioned, was 
the largest I saw. All along the sides are sleeping- 
places, covered with fine mats, and large enough for two 
men to sleep ; and between each there is a fireplace, 
and stages to put the legs on. Overhead a good supply 
of firewood is stowed. The centre of the building is 
covered with loose grass, generally Co dina (Paspalum 
scrobiculatum, Linn.). There are no windows, only low 
doors, which may be, and are always closed towards 
evening, by means of thick mats, in order to keep 
the mosquitoes out. A large kava-bowl, and bamboo 


vessels filled with spring-water, seem to be the only 
utensils admitted. In buildings or bures like these, all 
the male population, married and unmarried, sleeps. 
The boys, until they have come of age, erect a bure of 
their own, often built on raised stages over the water, 
and approachable only by a long, narrow trunk of a 
tree. The women and girls sleep at home; and it is 
quite against Fijian etiquette for a husband to take his 
night's repose anywhere except at one of the public 
bures of his town or village, though he will go to his 
family soon after dawn. In the daytime the bures are 
generally deserted. Towards four o'clock people begin 
to pour in, and if any strangers arrive they will inva- 
riably take up their quarters at these places. Here po- 
litics and all events of the day are discussed, and when 
talking, the men, even high chiefs, will be plaiting cocoa- 
nut fibre into sinnet, so much used in the construction of 
houses, canoes, and arms. And a great deal these people 
have to talk about : the politics of the groups, inde- 
pendent of the new element introduced by the cession 
of the country to England, the never-ending intrigues 
of the Tonguese immigration, the endeavour of mission- 
aries, consuls, and traders to spread Christianity and 
civilization, are rather complicated, and give rise to a 
good deal of discussion and speculation. 

When evening is coming on, the bure is beginning to 
fill ; most of the fires between the sleeping-places are 
lit, and the natives are leisurely stretched on the mats, 
their legs cocked up the stages, like Yankees in a ta- 
vern — all smoking their cigarettos, made of self-grown 
tobacco and dry banana leaves. Now come the kava- 


dhewK. winwry-looking youngsters, carrying the luge 
wooden bowL a coconuut shell for drinking the bever- 
age, the bamboo water-vessel, a handral of fibre for 
^h»™™g the kava, and the root of die South Sea pep- 
per from which it is prepared. Xo sooner hare they 
taken their seat, and commented chewing, taking care 
to throw die rope affixed to the ka\a-bowl toward the 
person highest in rank, tban a leading man. perhaps a 
heathen pries*, begins chanting a song in which the 
whole assembly joins; and two young fellows beat time 
with fitde sticks, applied cm a bamboo or any other 
' i ' h i TT ii ^ vood that happens to be handy. The leader 
of the chant does not sit motionless, bat waxes Ms body. 
1 hands in sndi a variety of ways, and with 
extreme ease, that you ikmty yen can imitate h im 
as readily as the whole assembly does. Bat the very first 
time yon rail to the great delight of your native spec- 
tators. His: motions are not difficult, but yen never 
what they are going to be until it is too late to 

. and he has already passed cm to something else. 
The mterest of this bye-play is ilras well kept up, and 
the Fijsaas d es e ne full credit csf having obtained hold 
of one of the great secrets cf Erring the attention on as 

or —king it. in other words, interesting. They 
the art of concealing the end as long as possible. 
What would our novelists do without the use of this 
marhmery! How dnU would fire itself be if the future 
was unveiled to "as I 

The lads, having chewed a sufficient quantity of the 
root, place the masticated mass into the bowl Xow 
wafter is ponied on, the whole yeflowish4ooking Said 


strained through fibres, and a cup filled. Whilst the 
cup-bearer is holding it to hand to the chief or highest 
personage present, an old man gives the toast of the 
evening. It is pathetic or humorous, as occasion de- 
mands, and listened to with attention ; all singing and 
beating with sticks having ceased the moment the cup 
was filled. A general shout follows the conclusion of 
this toast, the cup is emptied in one draught, and 
thrown by the drinker on the mat, to be filled again 
and handed to the next in rank, until the whole assem- 
bly has been served. 

The song becomes less and less hearty, the conver- 
sation slackens, and one by one the men drop off to 
sleep. Strange sight! Their pillows are made of a 
thick stick, have four legs, and are put just under the 
neck, so that the hair of the sleepers may not be de- 
ranged. They have had it only recently newly done up, 
washed with lime to make it frizzed like that of negroes, 
dyed in various colours, and arranged in many different 
ways. Several days must have been spent to get some 
of these extraordinary heads dressed. And for this 
reason — no other — they are ready to sleep all their lives 
on a pillow made of a stick of wood, and so constructed 
that a European could not rest his neck five minutes 
upon it without suffering dreadful pain. It is very fine 
talking about the ease of living in a state of nature, but 
the inconveniences to which savages put themselves in 
order to gratify their vanity are quite as great, if not 
greater, than those forced upon us by the fashions and 
dictates of our own society. Think of the agonies of 
tatooing ! What would the natives give to escape it, if 


society would let them 1 But the stem laws of fashion 
allow of no exception. In Fiji this practice is confined 
to the women, the operation being performed by mem- 
bers of their own sex, and applied solely to the corners 
of the mouth, and those parts of the body covered by 
the scanty clothing worn by them. The skin is punc- 
tured by an instrument made of bone, or by the spines 
of the shaddock-tree ; whilst the dye injected into the 
punctures is obtained chiefly from the candle-nut. No 
reason is given for the adoption of the custom, beyond 
its being commanded by Degei, their supreme god. 
Neglect of this divine commandment is believed to be 
punished after death. The men probably refrain from 
tatooing, because their skin, generally speaking, is so 
dark that the designs would not be seen, and the pain- 
ful operation undergone would be mere labour thrown 

In Polynesia tatooing seems to have attained its cul- 
minating point in the Society Islands and the Mar- 
quesas, where both men and women submitted to it ; 
proceeding thence eastward to Samoa and Tonga, we 
find it restricted to the men ; in Fiji to the women, 
and altogether ceasing in the New Hebrides. Yet, 
strange to add, Polynesian tradition asserts that the 
custom was known in Fiji before its being adopted 
in Samoa and Tonga. Two goddesses, Taema and 
Tilafainga, swam from Fiji to Samoa, and on reach- 
ing the latter group, commenced singing, "Tatoo the 
men, but not the women."* Hence the two were 
worshipped as the presiding deities by those who 

* Turner's ' Nineteen Years in Polynesia,' p. 182. 



followed tatooing as a trade ; for a trade it was and is, 
quite as much as tailoring is in our own country, and 
requiring by far greater care and caution. The blue 
tracery once made cannot, like a coat or pair of trousers, 
be thrown aside when spoilt in the cut, but has to be 
worn for life, exposed to all the remarks which good 
and ill-natured friends may be disposed to make. A 
tradition, current in Tonga and Fiji, corroborates the 
fact of tatooing having been derived from the latter 
group. It is stated, that at a remote period the king 
of Tonga (Tui Toga) sent a mission to Fiji, in order to 
ascertain whether, as had been reported, the women of 
those islands were tatooed. On reaching the island of 
Ogea, in the eastern part of Fiji, the mission, with some 
difficulty, made the natives comprehend that they wished 
to find out what sex was tatooed (qia) ; to which the 
Fijians replied, " Qia na alewa " (women are tatooed). 
In obedience to orders, the first person met had been 
asked, and as a plain answer to a plain question had 
been obtained, the mission departed homewards. There 
were no other means of remembering the answer than 
by repeating it continually. This was done without 
interruption until their canoe reached the Ogea pas- 
sage, where, the sea becoming rough, apprehensions 
about the safety of the canoe began to be entertained, 
and in the ensuing excitement the repetition of the pre- 
cious words was neglected. Suddenly the neglect was 
perceived, and it was asked all round what the words 
were. Somebody replied, *' Qia na tagane " (men are 
tatooed), instead of " Qia na alewa " (women are 
tatooed) ; which mistake, passing unnoticed, was re- 


peated until the crew reached Tonga ; and on being 
reported to the king, he exclaimed, " Oh, it is men, 
not women that are tatooed ! well, then, 1 will be ta- 
tooed at once." The example set was speedily followed ; 
hence the custom, that in Fiji the women, in Tonga the 
men are tatooed ; hence also, adds the tradition, the 
name of the Ogea passage, " Qia na tagane."* 

Kuruduadua accompanied us on an exploring trip 
down the Navua river, which we found to have several 
deltas, one of which is called Deuba. We passed the 
mouth, and went several miles westward, as far as Vanua- 
dogo point, which is near Qamo peak. Close to one of 
the villages we stopped at there was a miniature temple, 
built of tree-fern wood, and thatched with Makita- 
leaves. Here parties of young men assemble for seve- 
ral weeks in order to practise certain tricks, which, 
when they are perfect in them, are exhibited before a 
numerous audience, but as long as they are practising 
nobody is supposed to go near them. On the day of 
the performance, the actors oil their bodies well and 
dress in white native cloth. The spectators, old and 
young, having formed a ring around them, the actors 
commence by chanting songs and beating time on 
bamboos, until they have worked themselves up to a 
certain pitch of excitement. Now a spirit (Kalou Here) 
is supposed to enter them, and they pretend to be in- 
vulnerable to spear, proof against musket ball, and safe 
against the effects of heat or flame. By sleight of 

* Another version of the tradition is given by Williams, 'Fiji and 
Fijians,' vol. i. p. 160, where » man, repeating the intelligence, violently 
strikes his foot against the stump of a tree, and in the confusion ensuing 
changes its tenor. 

I 2 


hand, they endeavour to make good their pretensions. 
A spearhead is softened so as not to hurt when thrown ; 
the ball put in the musket is too small, and thus rolls 
out when the actors begin to dance about previous to dis- 
charging it ; and the fiery oven into which a man creeps 
and allows himself to be covered up, has a tunnel and 
vent-hole, by which he has a chance of escaping. Acci- 
dents, however, will happen even in this well-regulated 
community. The spear unskilfully handled has been 
known to hurt; too much wadding put into the gun has 
prevented the ball from rolling out ; the tunnel has been 
apt to fall in, and after some hours the man who al- 
lowed himself to be thrown into it, has been found to be 
perfectly baked. The Kalou Here, with its high poles, 
streamers, evergreens, masquerading, trumpet-shells, 
chants, and other wild music, is the nearest approach 
to dramatic representation the Fijians seem to have made, 
and it is with them what private theatricals are with us. 
They are also on other occasions very fond of dressing 
themselves in fantastic, often very ridiculous costume ; 
and in nearly every large assembly there are buffoons. 
Court fools, in many instances hunchbacks, are often 
attached to a chief's establishment. 

Finding that Kuruduadua was a man in whom con- 
fidence could be placed, we made arrangements for 
going to Namosi, so as to connect the discoveries of 
Macdonald and Samuel Waterhouse with the southern 
coast of Viti Levu; but, as the weather had become 
extremely boisterous, and heavy rains had rendered 
travelling in the interior impossible, we determined to 
wait for more favourable weather, and return at once to 


As a heavy south-east gale was blowing, the chief 
told us we should not be able to proceed very far, and 
he hoped that if on reaching the sea we should find it 
too boisterous, we would not mind coming back. We 
were out of tea, biscuit, and all the other necessaries a 
European requires, unable to walk about, — the heavy 
rain having rendered the neighbourhood of Xavua a 
perfect swamp, — and tired of staying indoors and wait- 
ing for the weather to clear up ; so we left on the 
morning of the 9th of July. The sea was rougher 
than we had expected. We had to bale constantly, 
and therefore effected a landing on the sandy beach, and 
Avalked to Taguru, where we had to stay two days. The 
boat, lightened, reached the place with difficulty. On 
the third day the gale and rain, which now had lasted 
a week, abated, and we pushed on once more. Calling 
at Naigani Island, we heard from Mr. Work, whom we 
found quite established in his new home, that the Kau 
karo, or itchwood, the poisonous properties of which 
had caused Mr. Eggerstrom to be ill for two months, 
grew on the banks of a small river of Viti Levu, nearly 
opposite the island. We at once made up our mind 
to fetch specimens, in order to ascertain the real name 
of the tree. We had no difficulty in finding it, and 
it proved to be Oncocarpus Vitiensis, A. Gray, or, as Fos- 
ter nearly a hundred years ago called it, Rhus atrum. 
There was a considerable village about a mile and a 
half up the river, which Ave could reach in our gkr. 
The inhabitants looked dreadfully unhealthy ; most of 
the men had elephantiasis, and many of the children 
were covered with ulcers. Xo doubt the site of the 



village in a low valley in a groat measure accounted Tor 
t His. "We wore roving over (ho hills, whon u message 
from Ovulau reached us with (lit 1 glad tidings (lml, 
Colonel Smytho hud safely arrived in l.ovuka, and was 
desirous of seeing us. 

"Without Idss of (iino we returned (o Mr. Work's house, 
left, it, ul'fer midnight, and reached Mutiiisuvn nt eight 
o'clock in (.ho morning, whore we breakfasted with our 
kind friend Mr. Moore. There hud heon some (rouble 
with the natives. An Rnglishmau hud run nuay with 
the wife of si Yiwa. ohief, u.nd refused to give her up. 
The chief, justly exasperated, threatened revenge, mid 
would have proceeded to extremities, if Mr. Moore hud 
not, persuaded the lv'ewa chief, in whose territory (he 
eloped one resided, to slop in, on the grounds Hint the 
Viwu chief had no right to cause a disturbance on 
territories not his own. They referred (he case to Mr. 
IVilehnrd, who remonstrated will) the while mini, (ell- 
ing him Unit, if ho, an Knglishnian, was dubbed in 
consequence of the provocation given, no government 
could possibly ask for satisfaction; and on Ihe other 
hand, that if no notice were taken of his murder, the 
lives of the other whites would be in danger. So the 
woman must instantly be given up. 

We had hoped to reach hndo that day, hut the loss 
of lime caused by this troublesome mail delayed our 
departure until noon. We again passed through the 
Ifewa, river and the Kele muni canal, and towards sun 
set reached Kaba, where we look up our quarters nl. the 
house of Peter, a Toiiguese teacher connected with the 
Wesleyan mission. lie was a fine specimen of his race, 


and made us as comfortable as his means permitted. 
This man and a boy had been saved from drowning 
by our interpreter, Mr. Charles Wise, whom he wel- 
comed with cordiality. When picked up at sea, he had 
been several days in the water — incredible as it may 
appear. His canoe had been upset, and his companions, 
all good swimmers, had against his entreaties separated 
from him, and they had all perished, being probably 
eaten by sharks These animals were furious in their 
attacks, and Peter killed several of them with his knife 
during the time he was in the water ; they troubled 
him little during the night, but became very rapacious 
as soon as daylight was established. He was also at- 
tacked by a small sea-animal which bored regular holes 
into his flesh, and would have caused his death if he 
had not been speedily delivered. When Wise took him 
on board, he was perfectly exhausted, and continually 
cried for water. Every means were used to restore his 
strength ; his body was oiled, and food and drink given 
to him. 

When the moon rose we took our departure, and 
early next morning reached Lado Alewa, in Port Kin- 






The native war in New Zealand continuing and keep- 
ing all available naval force employed, Colonel Smythe 
had been unable to obtain a Government vessel to 
take him to and about Fiji, and had therefore been 
compelled to charter the ' Pegasus,' an extremely slow- 
sailing, ill-manned ketch, commanded by a gossiping 
captain, who ultimately returned to New Zealand with- 
out paying even the crew, which the British Consul 
had been obliged to put on board. Mr. Pritchard and 
myself called on Colonel Smythe on the 16th of July, 
and regretted to hear of his long and stormy passage. 
He had arrived on the 5th of July, and we found him 
comfortably quartered at Levuka, in the house of Mr. 
Binner. Mrs. Smythe was making a water-colour draw- 
ing of the Levuka reef, which from Mr. Binner 's house, 
situated as it is on the top of a hill, displays itself in 
all its grandeur, and together with the little islands at 
a distance, and the shipping of the port, forms a pano- 
rama not easily matched. 

The ' Pegasus ' not having accommodation for more 


than Colonel and Mrs. Smythe, Mr. Pritchard and my- 
self chartered the ' Paul Jones,' the same little schooner 
which fetched me from Somosomo. She was scarcely 
better than an open boat, and we had to wash, dress, 
and take our meals on deck, the cabin being too small 
to hold more than two bunks, an apology for a table, 
and two lockers serving also as substitutes for benches. 
But we managed very well, and as she beat the ' Pega- 
sus ' even in short distances by whole days, we generally 
reached our destination long before Colonel Smythe's 
party did, and soon transferred our abode on shore. 
When I came from Somosomo she was swarming with 
cockroaches, to such an alarming extent that there was 
no staying in her ; and when going to sleep we had to 
cover our faces, to screen at least that part of our bodies 
against attack. But she had since been sunk under 
water, — the only method here practised to free vessels 
from that pest, — newly painted, and done up, so that as 
far as her size would allow she was tolerably comfort- 
able. Besides Mr. Storck, we had Mr. Charles Wise, the 
consular interpreter, on board, a half-caste who had been 
brought up by the late Rev. John Hunt, for whose me- 
mory he entertained a warm admiration, justly shared by 
all who knew that excellent man. 

It was arranged with Colonel Smythe, that we should 
visit the principal chiefs, commencing at Bau, the capi- 
tal of the group. The two vessels met at Port Kin- 
naird ; and we finally left Lado, at that time the Con- 
sul's residence, on the 24th of July, at noon. The 'Paul 
Jones ' anchored off Bau on the same day, but the ' Pe- 
gasus,' to give an instance of her bad sailing qualities, 
only arrived on the following day late at night. 


There was a serious quarrel between the Chief of the 
Fishermen and Ratu Abel, the King's eldest son, the 
former having insulted the Queen, and the latte"r sent 
him a challenge in consequence. A duel was impend- 
ing when we arrived, and the British Consul's persuasive 
powers were appealed to by various parties. Mr. Prit- 
chard publicly asked the Chief of the Fishermen why 
he had offered the insult to his sovereign, but he re- 
fused to answer ; Mr. Pritchard then told him he would 
wait for an answer, even if he had to sit up all night. 
The Chief, seeing that the Consul was as good as his 
word, and that there was no escape possible, after a si- 
lence of two hours gave the desired answer, begged the 
King's pardon, and all was arranged amicably. Ratu 
Abel was present during the whole interview, and be- 
haved extremely well in the affair. He is a fine specimen 
of a Fijian prince, and will doubtless succeed his father 
to the throne, though some of the missionaries have 
been trying to persuade the King to change the law, by 
settling the succession upon his younger son, born after 
he had become converted to Christianity, and married 
according to our rites. But such a change would doubt- 
less lead to endless complications and confusion, and 
be unjust towards a child perfectly legitimate accord- 
ing to the custom prevailing at the time of his birth. 
It is in petty interferences like these that, doubtless 
much to the regret of the enlightened minds composing 
the Board directing the truly grand machinery of the 
Wesleyan Society, the missionaries draw upon themselves 
the censure of people who fully sympathize with the 
noble work they have in hand, and who would do any- 


thing in their power to advance their true interest. Be 
it known, that interference in politics on the part of 
the Wesleyan missionaries is decidedly disapproved of 
by their Board at home, and that stringent instructions 
are published to that effect. 

The Chief of the Fishermen, an important body in 
Bau, is a scheming fellow, who more than once 
caused mischief. On one occasion, when some British 
interest was involved, Mr. Pritchard, who, born and 
bred in Polynesia, is perfectly familiar with native 
modes of thought, and owes a great deal of his influ- 
ence to it, wished to impress the chief with the idea 
that whatever plots he was hatching they were sure 
to be found out by those more clever than himself.* In- 
stead of stating this in such language as one European 
would use to another, he said to the native, " As Chief 
of the Fishermen, you know all the fishes, the small 
as well as the big, and of course the turtle, according 
to your notions the king of the whole." The Chief 
smiled assent, flattering himself that by the turtle he 
himself was alluded to. To the great delight of the 
bystanders, the Consul continued : — " Familiar with all 

* Commodore J. B. Seymour, writing to the Lords Commissioners of 
the Admiralty, in a letter dated, Auckland, September 2, 1861, and pub- 
lished in the ' Correspondence relating to the Fiji Islands,' presented to 
both Houses of Parliament by command of her Majesty, May, 1862, 
seemed also favourably impressed with Mr. Pritchard's way of dealing 
with the natives : — " I cannot conclude this letter," he writes, " without 
expressing the obligations I am under to Mr. Pritehard, whose manner 
with the native chiefs (being neither too deferential nor the reverse) seemed 
to me to be exactly what it should be. He speaks the language, and is 
evidently liked by all parties of Fijians ; and without his ready assist- 
ance ... it would havebeen impossible to arrive at so speedy a settlement 
of affairs." 


its habits, you are aware that at certain periods this king 
goes on shore to lay its eggs, and you, knowing its way, 
look for its footprints on the white coral sand of the 
beaches, and suddenly light upon what is hatching.'" No 
further amplification was required to make the chief 
comprehend the drift of the story. The bystanders saw 
at a glance that the chief had put his foot in it the 
moment he identified himself with the king of the 
fishes, and that his plots were so clumsily constructed 
that anybody who knew him could easily trace them out. 
The public interview with King Cakobau, or Tha- 
kombau, was to take place on the 27th of July, when 
he would once more confirm the cession of his country 
made to Great Britain in 1858, through Mr. W. Prit- 
chard. In order to place the whole subject fairly before 
the reader, it will be necessary to insert here the ori- 
ginal deed of cession : — 

" Cession of Fiji to England, and Ratification of it by the Chiefs. 

" Bbbnezbe Thakombau, by the grace of God, sovereign 
chief of Bau and its dependencies, Vunivalu of the armies of 
Fiji, and Tui Viti, etc., to all and singular to whom these pre- 
sents shall come, greeting. 

" Whereas we, being duly, fully, and formally recognized in 
our aforesaid state, rank, and sovereignty, by Great Britain, 
France, and the United States of America, respectively ; 

" And having full and exclusive sovereignty and domain in 
and over the islands and territories constituting, forming, and 
being included in the group known as Fiji, or Viti ; 

" And being desirous to procure for our people and subjects 
a good and permanent form of government, whereby our afore- 
said people and subjects shall enjoy and partake of the benefits, 
the prosperity, and the happiness, which it is the duty and the 


right of all sovereigns to seek and to procure for their people 
and subjects ; 

"And being in ourselves unable to procure and provide 
such good and permanent government for our aforesaid people 
and subjects ; 

" And being, moreover, in ourselves unable to afford to our 
aforesaid people and subjects the due protection and shelter 
from the violence, the oppression, and the tyranny of foreign 
Powers, which it is the duty and the right of all sovereigns to 
afford to their people and subjects ; 

" And being heavily indebted to the President and Govern- 
ment of the United States of America, the liquidation of which 
indebtedness is pressingly urged, with menaces of severe mea- 
sures against our person, and our sovereignty, and our islands 
and territories aforesaid, unless the aforesaid indebtedness be 
satisfied within a period so limited as to render a compliance 
with the terms of the contract forced upon us utterly impos- 
sible within the said period ; this said inability not arising 
from lack of resources within our dominions, but from the 
inefEcacy of any endeavours on our part under the existing 
state of affairs in our islands and territories aforesaid, to carry 
out such measures as are necessary for, and would result in, 
the ultimate payment of the aforesaid claims; and having 
maturely deliberated, well weighed, and fully considered, the 
probable results of the course and the measures we now pro- 
pose ; and being fully satisfied of the impracticability by any 
other course and measures to avert from our islands and terri- 
tories aforesaid, and our people and subjects aforesaid, the evils 
certain to follow the non-payment of the sum of money de- 
manded from us by the Government of the United States of 
America ; 

" And being confident of the immediate and progressive 
benefits that will result from the cession herein now made of 
our sovereignty, and our islands and territories aforesaid j 

" Now know ye, that we do hereby, for and in consideration 
of certain conditions, terms, and engagements, hereinafter set 
forth, make over, transfer, and convey, unto Victoria, by the 


grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland, etc., her heirs and successors for ever, the full 
sovereignty and domain in and over our aforesaid islands and 
territories, together with the actual proprietorship and personal 
ownership in certain pieces or parcels of land as may hereafter be 
mutually agreed upon by a commission, to consist of two chiefs 
from Great Britain and two chiefs from Fiji ; the said commis- 
sion to be appointed by the representative of Great Britain in 
Fiji, who, in case of dispute, shall himself be umpire ; the said 
pieces or parcels of land to be especially devoted to government 
purposes, and to be applied and appropriated in manner and 
form appertaining to Crown lands in British colonies, or as the 
local government of Fiji, appointed by commission from the 
aforesaid Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland aforesaid, may deem fit, proper, and neces- 
sary, for the use and requirements of the said local govern- 

" Provided always, and the cession of our sovereignty and 
our islands and territories is on these conditions, terms, and 
considerations, that is to say ; 

" That the aforesaid Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland aforesaid, shall permit us to retain 
the title and rank of Tui Viti, in so far as the aboriginal popu- 
lation is concerned, and shall permit us to be at the head of the 
department for governing the aforesaid aboriginal population, 
acting always under the guidance, and by the counsels, of the 
representative of Great Britain and head of the local govern- 
ment appointed by commission from the aforesaid Victoria, 
Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 
aforesaid ; 

" That the aforesaid Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland aforesaid, shall pay the sum of 
forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000) unto the President of the 
United States of America, being the amount of the claim de- 
manded from us, procuring for us and for our people a full 
and absolute acquittance from any further liabilities to the said 
President or Government of the United States of America 
aforesaid ; 


" For and in consideration of which outlay, not less than two 
hundred thousand (200,000) acres of land, if required, shall be 
made over, transferred, and conveyed, in fee- simple, unto 
Victoria, aforesaid Queen of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland aforesaid : the selection of which said land 
shall be made by the commission hereinbefore named and re- 
ferred to, to reimburse the immediate outlay required to liqui- 
date the aforesaid claim of the President and Government of 
the United States of America ; 

" And we, the aforesaid Ebenezer Thakombau, by the grace 
of God, sovereign chief of Bau and its dependencies, Yunivalu 
of the armies of Fiji and Tui Viti, etc., do hereby make this 
cession, transfer, and conveyance, of our sovereignty, and of 
our islands and territories aforesaid, unto the aforesaid Victoria, 
by the grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland, etc., aforesaid, her heirs and successors 
for ever, on behalf of ourselves, our heirs and successors for 
ever; on behalf of our chiefs, their heirs and successors for 
ever j on behalf of our people and subjects, their heirs and suc- 
cessors for ever ; hereby renouncing all right, title, and claim 
unto our sovereignty, islands, and territories aforesaid, in so far 
as herein stated ; 

" In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hand and 
affixed our seal, this twelfth day of October, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight. 

Tui Viti, x 


" Signed, sealed, and ratified by the aforesaid Tui Viti, and 
by him formally delivered, in our presence, unto William 
Thomas Pritchard, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's Consul in 
and for the aforesaid Fiji ; the aforesaid Tui Viti, at the same 
time, affirming and admitting to us personally, that he the 
said Tui Viti fully, wholly, perfectly, and explicitly, under- 
stands and comprehends the meaning, the extent, and the 
purpose of the foregoing document, or deed of cession; and 
I, the undersigned John Smith Fordham, formerly of Sheffield, 


England, but now temporarily residing at Bau, Fiji, aforesaid, 
do hereby solemnly affirm that I myself, fully, wholly, and ex- 
plicitly translated the foregoing deed of cession unto the said 
Tui Viti, in the presence of the aforesaid William Thomas 
Pritchard, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's Consul in and for the 
said Fiji, Robert Sherson Swanston, Esq., His Hawaiian Ma- 
jesty's Consul in and for Fiji aforesaid, and John Binner, for- 
merly of Leeds, England, but now resident at Levuka, Island 
of Ovalau, Fiji, aforesaid. 

" In witness whereof, we have each and all set our respective 
names and seals, this twelfth (12th) day of October, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight afore- 

"John Smith Fordham, Wesleyan Missionary. John Binneb, 
Wesleyan Mission Trainer. Robert S. Swanston, Hawaiian 
Consul, Fiji. William T. Pritchard, H. B. M. Consul." 

" We hereby acknowledge, ratify, and renew, the cession of 
Fiji to Great Britain, made on the 12th day of October, 1858, 
by Thakombau. In witness whereof we have hereto affixed our 
names this 14th day of December, 1859. 

"Rabici Roko Tui Dreketi (his x mark), of Rewa. 
Jioji Nanovo (his x mark), of Nadroga. 
Na Waga levu (his x mark), of Rakiraki. 
Tui Levuka (his x mark), of Ovalau. 
Koroi Cokanauto (his x mark), of Bau. 
Koroi Tubuna (his x mark), of Tavua. 
Naibuka Koroikasa (his x mark), of Nakelo. 
Ratu Isikele (signed), of Viwa. 
Tukana (his x mark), of Noco. 
Tubavivi (his x mark), of Rakiraki. 
Curuica (his x mark), of Korotuma, Ra Coast. 
Sesebualala (his x mark), of Korotubu. 
Tudrau (his x mark), of Dravo. 
Samisoni (signed), of Viwa. 
Na Galu (his x mark), of Namena. 


c ' Koeoikaiyanutanu (his x mark), of Lasakau. 
Dabea (his x mark), of Kuku, Yiti Levu. 
Ko mai Vunivesi (his x mark), of Nakelo. 
Pita Paula (his x mark), of Viwa. 
Tui Bua (his x mark), of Bua. 
Thakombau (his x mark), of Fiji. 

"We hereby certify that the foregoing chiefs have signed 
this document with a full understanding of its meaning, in our 
presence, this 14th day of December, 1859. 

"Ht. Campion, Commander, R.N., H.M.S. Elk. 
Will. T. Peitchaed, H.B.M. Consul. 

" We hereby certify that we translated the foregoing docu- 
ment to the Chiefs who have signed, and that they thoroughly 
understand its meaning. 

" W. Collis, Wesleyan Mission Training Master. 
B. P. Maetin, Wesleyan Mission Printer. 

"January 16th, 1860, at Levuka. 

"Eitova (his x mark), of Macuata. 
Tui Cakau (his x mark), of Taviuni. 
Tui Bua (his x mark), of Bua. 

" Witness to marks : 

" John Caiens, Owner of ' Lalla Lookh/ and 
Merchant of Melbourne. 

"Tui Tavuki (his x mark). 
Tui Bukelevu (his x mark). 
Tui Yame (his x mark). 
Tui Nakasaleka (his x mark), per Qarinivalu of 

Veei Levu (his x mark), of Tali. 
Ratu Savunoko (his x mark), of Ono and Januiana. 
Tui Naceva (his x mark). 

Witness to Tui Naceva's mark, C. J. Baird. 



" Translated by us, before whom the above Chiefs made their 
marks, this 15th day of August, 1860 : 

"James S. H. Koyce; Charles "Wise. 

" I hereby ratify the above cession, Navua, Sept. 4th, 1860. 

" Kubtjduadua, (his x mark). 

" Witnesses to signature : 

" Beethold Seemann, Ph.D. ; W. T. Peitchaed, Consul." 

Precisely at eleven o'clock on the morning of the 27th 
of July, the King fired a salute. When arriving at the 
place of meeting, the royal residence, we found the King 
and Queen, both dressed in European fashion, the former 
in a blue uniform, seated on chairs, of which several had 
been arranged in a semicircle for our use. There were 
present, besides Colonel Smythe, Mr. Pritchard and my- 
self, Messrs. Fordham and Collis from the mission, not 
to mention the ladies. Ratu Abel, the King's eldest 
son, a fine-looking fellow, was absent, but sent for, and 
the chiefs and principal landholders soon dropped in, all 
dressed in native costume. Mr. Fordham' interpreted 
for Colonel Smythe, Mr. Charles Wise for Mr. Pritchard. 
I wrote down all at the time, and the following, obtained 
from both sources, may be regarded as a faithful resume 
of what was spoken : — 

"It having been represented to Her Britannic Ma- 
jesty," said Colonel Smythe, addressing King Cakobau, 
" that the King and Chiefs of Fiji are disposed to 
become British subjects, her Majesty has directed an 
inquiry to be made into the matter, and hear what King 
and Chiefs have to say on the subject, in order that it 
may be reported to her." 


The King replied : " The arrangement respecting the 
cession entered into with Mr. Consul Pritchard is still 
in full force, and shall not be disturbed by any foreign 

"Great Britain," continued Colonel Smythe, "pro- 
duces many things that Fiji does not, and vice versd, so 
that by an exchange of products the two countries would 
be mutually benefited. I refer especially to cotton, 
which grows luxuriantly in Fiji, and is valuable in 

The King replied : " I am fully aware of it ; and in 
consequence of what Mr. Consul Pritchard told me at 
the interview at Levuka, about the desirableness of cul- 
tivating this article, I have directed it to be planted, and 
my commands have been carried out to some extent." 

" In ceding the country," Colonel Smythe resumed, 
" every man will retain his own property and land, and 
everybody will be protected, so that a stop will be put to 
the fearful feuds that have decimated the population," 

The King rejoined: "There may be people in the 
group who at present cannot fully appreciate that idea ; 
but it is somewhat like Christianity, which, though a 
blessing, is looked upon with prejudiced eyes by many 
not familiar with its beneficial tendency." 

When the chiefs and landholders were asked whether 
they had any observation to make, they remained mute, 
and at the conclusion of the whole raised shouts of 
approval. All then retired, and nothing more was said 
except what has been stated in substance above. Colo- 
nel Smythe states, in one of his official communications, 
as printed in the Blue-books, that the King " could not 

K 2 


convey to Her Majesty 200,000 acres of land as con- 
sideration for the payment of these claims for him, as 
he does not possess them, nor does he acknowledge to 
have offered more than his consent that lands to this 
extent might be acquired by Her Majesty's Government 
for public purposes in Fiji." Nothing to this effect was 
broached during the official interview ; on the contrary, 
the King distinctly said, that " the arrangement respect- 
ing the cession entered into with Mr. Consul Pritchard 
is still in full force." Nor was the Consul aware that 
Colonel- Smythe had on any other occasion elicited in- 
formation from the King that could be thus construed. It 
was perfectly well understood by all the leading chiefs that 
each and all would have to make over a certain portion 
of land, in payment of the debt fastened upon them by 
the American Government ; and Bau, and King Cako- 
bau as its representative, would have borne his share to 
make up the 200,000 acres. The veiy fact that all the 
chiefs, without any exception, and even those living in 
the remotest districts, ratified the deed of cession, proves 
that King Cakobau was backed by all the influence of 
his country, and had a perfect right to cede the sove- 
reignty of the islands.* 

* In order to place this fact beyond dispute, I have printed the names 
of all those chiefs who ratified the deed of cession,- — this ratification being 
a document omitted in the Blue-book on Fiji. Some information as to 
the real position of Bau in Fiji will be found at pp. 74-80 of the present 






I took advantage of our stay at Bau, which lasted till 
the 2nd of August, to pay several visits to Namara, 
Koroivau, and several other parts of Viti Levu. There 
was a fine pyramidal temple at Namara, no longer used 
for religious purposes, and near it was standing an iso- 
lated Fan-palm (Pritehardia Pacifica, Seem, et Wendl.), 
both objects peculiarly Fijian. The natives here were 
extremely friendly, and carried us through bogs and 
mud when occasion required. At first, the children, on 
seeing our white faces, were much frightened, and some 
boys and girls from twelve to fourteen year* old would 
run for their lives when we attempted to get near them 
or even looked hard at them. However, they soon got 
reconciled to our colour, or rather want of colour, and 
a few jew's-harps and beads, judiciously distributed, 
would make them as happy as kings and quite attached 
to us. The women were busy grating the seeds of the 
Ivi (Inocarpus edulis, Forst), now ripe, and made into 
bread. The hill-sides were planted with a great number 


of pine-apples and cassava-root, and around nearly all 
the yam, banana, and sweet-potato patches I observed 
the cotton-trees, which had been planted by order of the 
King and at Mr. Pritchard's instigation. The village of 
Koroivau was a complete cotton garden ; the trees were 
twelve to fourteen feet high, and formed regular ave- 
nues in the streets. In my rambles in the forest I met 
with some natives who were clearing pieces of ground for 
cultivation. They were extremely friendly, and invited 
me to partake of some wild yams ("Tivoli") which they 
had just been roasting in the hot ashes. I gladly availed 
myself of their offer, and found the roots like cultivated 
yams, and quite as good in taste. Though no smoker 
myself, 1 carried a pipe and tobacco, which passed from 
mouth to mouth, every one having a few puffs and then 
passing it on to his neighbour; and when I intimated 
to them that the pipe was theirs, and presented an ad- 
ditional stick of American tobacco, they were highly 
pleased, and hoped that I would soon come again to 
" gather leaves." In the swampy parts of the forest I 
found a new Aroideous plant, the Viu kana {Cyrto- 
sperma edulis, Schott) under- cultivation. Like the Taro, 
or Dalo, as it is here termed, which it somewhat re- 
sembles, its root is edible, and very much used. 

We left Bau on the 2nd of August, early in the morn- 
ing, our party consisting of Colonel and Mrs. Smythe, Mr. 
and Miss Pritchard, Mr. Collis and myself, all embarked 
in two boats belonging to the mission, and proceeding 
to Rewa by way of the river and the canal, a route, 
it will be remembered, which Mr. Pritchard and myself 
took on a former occasion. After two or three days' rain 


and gale, there was a temporary lull in the weather, and 
our trip was altogether a pleasant one. About noon we 
halted at Buretu, a fortified town, which has never been 
taken, and is therefore regarded as impregnable. If it 
is so, that must be owing entirely to the bravery of its 
inhabitants, for the low walls with which it was sur- 
rounded did not impress us with any great strength. 
Some years ago a good number of the Buretu people 
embraced Christianity, but when at a subsequent date 
the town rebelled against Bau, they became apostates, 
nor did the restoration of peace make them relinquish 
their pagan religion, and they had at the time of our 
visit, one of the finest temples in the whole group. 
These and similar fluctuations must be expected in all 
attempts to introduce a new faith, but from which Fiji 
has been more free than many other countries similarly 
operated upon. Wherever Christianity was preached in 
the group it took a quick and firm hold, and the ultimate 
conversion of the whole population is merely a matter 
of time and £. s. d. If- the Wesleyan Society had 
more funds at its disposal, so as to be able to send out a 
greater number of efficient teachers, a very few years 
would see the whole of Fiji christianized, as all the 
real difficulties formerly in the way of the mission have 
now been removed. On my representing the case in this 
light, his Majesty the King of Hanover was graciously 
pleased to subscribe as his first gift, £100, towards so 
desirable an object, at the same time expressing his ad- 
miration for the labours of individual missionaries I 
named. If the Fijis should be taken by any European 
government, the prosperity of the country would best be 


advanced by placing ample funds at the disposal of the 
Protestant missionaries for the christianization of the 
natives, for which the machinery as now worked by the 
Wesleyans would offer the most efficient and readiest 
means. The Catholics would probably effect the christian- 
izing part with a lesser outlay, but it must not be forgot- 
ten that one of the great advantages of Protestant mis- 
sions is, that they civilize as well as christianize, whilst 
the Catholic priests, having no home, no family life to 
exhibit for imitation, simply christianize. 

We reached Rewa, or rather Mataisuva, the mission 
station, about three o'clock in the afternoon, and were 
scarcely sheltered in safety, Colonel Smythe and his wife 
with Mr. Waterhouse, the chairman of the Fijian dis- 
trict of the Wesleyan mission, Mr. Pritchard and all the 
rest of us, with Mr. Moore, than a strong south-east- 
erly gale, accompanied a heavy rain, commenced, which 
lasted for six days. Our vessels had been ordered to 
round the south-east extremity of Viti Levu, and call 
for us at Rewa ; but this bad weather had baffled all 
their attempts, and the ' Paul Jones ' thought it best to 
endeavour to come through the canal, which connects 
the two branches of the great river of Viti Levu, — an 
attempt which proved quite successful. 

At Rewa, a meeting of all the chiefs and landholders 
was held, and the same proceedings gone through as 
at Bau. All expressed themselves in favour of ceding 
their country to England in the manner already detailed. 
Amongst those assembled was a son, still a boy, of 
Cakonauto, better known amongst the whites as Philips, 
a chief friendly to civilization and the whites. During 


his lifetime, he had accumulated a great number of 
European and American manufactures, curious clocks, 
musical boxes, etc., but on inquiry I found that all 
these things had become scattered. His son would 
ultimately succeed to the chieftainship, and was made a 
great deal of by his people. At present the government 
was in other hands. He was a comely-looking youth, 
of a much lighter complexion than the rest of his 

The ' Pegasus ' being again late, Mr. Pritchard and I 
started for Kadavu (Kandavu), the largest of the south- 
ernmost islands of the group. Leaving Rewa road on 
the 13th of August at six p.m., we made Tavuki Bay, 
on the northern side of the island, at seven o'clock on 
the following morning, where we took up our quarters 
under the hospitable roof of Mr. Royce, one of the resi- 
dent missionaries. In consequence of the strong south- 
easterly gale, the temperature was very agreeable, and 
during the previous week Mr. Royce observed the ther- 
mometer to go down to 62° Fahrenheit, the lowest ever 
observed in the group. 

There were three American whaleships in the bay, 
taking in wood, water, and fresh provisions, commanded 
by Captain James Nicols, Charles Nicols, and Thomas 
Sulivan. They had been nearly all their lives in the 
South Sea whaling trade, and were very well known to 
Mr. Pritchard when he was at Samoa. Their business 
had evidently been a lucrative one, and this was to be 
one of their last, if not their last voyage. They had 
hitherto taken in their supplies at Samoa or Tonga, 
but the natives of those two groups had become so ex- 


orbitant in their charges as to render it imperative to 
look for cheaper provision markets. Fiji had answered 
.their purpose much better, and they predicted the arrival 
of a regular whaling fleet as soon as the great facilities 
here offered should have become more generally known 
amongst the trade. Having their families with them, 
they gave us several pressing invitations to come on 
board, which the Consul, myself, and all the mission- 
aries gladly accepted. These vessels enjoyed the repu- 
tation of being patterns of what whaleships should be ; 
and I must record my surprise at the scrupulous neat- 
ness, cleanliness, and even elegance prevailing. The 
Captain's cabins were fitted up and kept better than I 
have ever seen them in any vessel. 

When our friends heard that we were anxious to 
ascend Buke Levu, the great mountain situated at the 
western extremity of Kadavu, they offered us one of 
their whale-boats for that purpose; and one of their 
mates, a skilful steerer, volunteered to pilot us to the 
foot of the mountain. Mr. Pritchard and I left Tavuki 
13th of August early in the morning. It was quite 
fine when we started, but after an hour's pull, a gale 
sprang up, and after being nearly swamped in going 
through a narrow passage of a reef, where the water 
was breaking, we were compelled to postpone our at- 
tempt to a more favourable time, and land at Yawe, a 
town famous in Fiji for its very large specimens of 
pottery, made without a wheel, and taking as our 
crockery does, its name from the place of manufacture. 
We hoped that it might clear up during the night, to 
allow us to proceed in the morning ; but the next day 


the rain was more heavy than it had been even during 
the previous one, and we had no option but to return 
to Tavuki. During the night our interpreter had heard 
that a circular letter had been received from the Ton- 
guese chief Maafu, advising his countrymen how to act, 
so that the policy of England with regard to the cession 
of Fiji might be frustrated, and the country ultimately 
fall into the hands of Tonga ; and also that a similar 
letter had been sent to Bega (Mbenga). The Tonguese 
teachers in the pay of the Wesleyan Society were made 
the agents for diffusing the burden of the message. 
When we got back to Tavuki Mr. Pritchard communi- 
cated what we had heard to Mr. Royce, and he sent for 
one of the leading Tonguese teachers, who made no 
secret of these machinations, and promised to procure 
the letter received in Kadavu. Ere two hours had 
elapsed he succeeded, and it is now in the Consulate. 
Mr. Royce pointed out the impropriety of teachers of 
the Christian religion allowing themselves to be used 
as tools in miserable political intrigues; but the Ton- 
guese said that, however glad to be excused, they could 
not help themselves, and had to do what their chiefs 
told them. The doings of the Tonguese form an impor- 
tant chapter in the history of the Fijis, and will be 
treated under a separate heading, and I merely mention 
here this fact, because it has been disputed that the 
teachers allowed themselves to be used as political 

Tavuki, from being made the centre of the mission of 
the district, must be regarded as the capital of Kadavu, 
and is situated in latitude 19° 3' 9" south, longitude 


178° 6' 23" east, according to observation taken by Mr-. 
Sedmond, master of H.M.S. Harrier, 17, Captain Sir 
Malcolm M'Gregor. Tavuki is an open bay on tl/e 
northern coast, with no deep water close to the shore, 
and at ebb tide one has to walk about half a mile 
over the coral reef before being able to reach the boats. 
The missionaries had endeavoured to make a pier, on 
which those whom the chiefs would wish to punish for 
any petty offences were made to work ; but at the 
time of our visit little progress had been made, and one 
could almost have wished that a greater number of 
petty offences had been committed. 

The island of Kadavu, of which so little is known, 
and no accurate hydrographical survey exists, is highly 
cultivated, notwithstanding its being so hilly, and rising 
on its western extremity four thousand feet high. A 
strong belief has sprung up that there must be gold, 
and old gold-diggers from the Australian colonies, judg- 
ing from the formation of the quartz rocks, maintain 
that the island is auriferous. Quite recently Kadavu 
has been examined by two miners from Melbourne, 
who certainly did find a quartz reef, but not the pre- 
cious metal they were in search of. The fact of the 
matter is, that neither of these parties had the means 
to provide themselves with proper tools for a thorough 
and final exploration. The discovery of gold has ac- 
tually been reported from Vanua Levu. The popula- 
tion of Kadavu, said to number about ten thousand, is 
a mixture between the Fijian and Tonguese races, all 
of whom, with the exception of seven individuals, have 
nominally become Christians. The island is twenty- 


four miles long, stretching from east to west, and being 
contracted about the centre into the narrow isthmus of 
Yarabali, literally " Haul-across," so named from the fact 
of canoes and boats being dragged across it, in order to 
save the trouble and escape the danger of a long pas- 
sage around the east and west point. Colonel Smythe 
and myself, in company with Mr. Royce, crossed it on 
the 16 th of August, and found the northern portion of 
the isthmus a fine avenue of cocoa-nut palms, the south- 
ern more or less a mangrove swamp. A similar short 
cut for canoes is effected at Naceva Bay in Vanua Levu. 
On both sides of Yarabali there is a bay ; the northern, 
Na Malata, is shallow and open ; the southern, Ga loa, 
has deep water, good anchorage, and three passages 
through the reef outside, which acts as a natural break- 
water. We found its shores full of pumice-stone, drifted 
here from the Tongan volcanoes. The different explor- 
ing expeditions having quite overlooked this fine bay, 
Mr. Pritchard made a rough survey in 1858, it being not 
improbable that if the much discussed communication 
between Sydney and Western America — the shortest 
route to England — should be established via Fiji, steam- 
ers would prefer calling at this southernmost bay, with 
plenty of sea-room outside, to running the risk of en- 
tering the labyrinth of rocks, shoals, and reefs, which 
render the navigation of the central parts of the group, 
in the absence of a complete chart, a rather difficult 

Ga loa, or Black Duck Bay, derives its name from the 
largest of three islands situated in it. Ga loa island is 
two hundred feet high, about a mile long, and half a 


mile across, and ML of fruit-trees. It was pointed out 
as the spot where, only a twelvemonth ago, a man was 
baked and eaten. Cannibalism in Fiji will soon num- 
ber amongst the things that have been. The influence 
of all the whites residing in or visiting the group is 
steadily directed towards its extinction, and though a 
person who ought to have had more charity has asserted 
in print that he had been told some of the white resi- 
dents were habitual partakers of human flesh, I think, 
for the honour of our race, such second-hand stories 
ought to be indignantly rejected. Antiquaries know 
that cannibalism of a certain form lingered in Europe 
long after the Reformation ; that mummies, said to be 
Egyptian, were extensively used medicinally, and that 
only after it was found out patients had not partaken 
of the contemporaries of Thothmes I. or Barneses the 
Great, but of bituminized portions of their own fellow- 
countrymen, this precious quack medicine fell into abso- 
lute disuse. Even in our own times we may still meet 
in certain parts of Europe people doing what has been 
recorded with horror of the Fijians — that of drinking 
the living blood of man ; but mark ! with this essential 
difference, that the former, watching their opportunities 
at public executions, do it in hopes of thereby curing 
fits of epilepsy, whilst the latter did it to gratify re- 
venge and exult over fallen enemies. As for a Euro- 
pean, even of the lowest grade, coolly sitting down to a 
regular cannibal feast, the idea is too preposterous to 
have ever been allowed to disgrace the pages of a mo- 
dern publication. 

Taudromu, another of the islands of Ga loa Bay, 


scarcely half a mile round, now belongs to an American 
Indian of real flesh and blood ; and in former times was 
inhabited by Ratu-va-caki, a mighty spirit, who, with 
his sons, all like their father, of prepossessing appear- 
ance, and bearing poetical names,* seem to have played 
the same part in Fiji as the Erl-King and his daughters 
did in Europe. Many are the stories told of their deeds 
and adventures. Generally they used to go out together, 
but if Ratu-va-caki was disinclined, the boys, who, young 
rascals! had as keen an appreciation of a pretty face 
and a good figure as their old rake of a father, would 
rove about by themselves, principally moving about in 
heavy squalls and gales ; hence their invisible canoe 
was termed " Loaloa ;" and if, soon after stormy weather, 
any fine young girls suddenly died, it was proverbially 
said that Eatu-va-caki and his sons had carried off 
their souls. However, poetical justice was done at last. 
One day, when all were at Yanuca, near Bega, their 
presence, notwithstanding their having assumed human 
shape, was discovered by the local god, who rightly 
guessed their intentions. When they were performing 
a dance, and all the girls were admiringly watching their 
graceful movements, the local god caused his priest to 
prepare a certain mixture, which, on being sprinkled 
over the visitors, made their arms, legs, and other parts 
of their bodies assume such ridiculous shapes, that they 
became the laughing-stock of all, and could never think 
of again undertaking similar expeditions. 

* The sons were called, Teketeke-ni-masi, because he, the eldest, wore 
a wreath of flowers over his white tapa, Tawake-i-tamana, Reaugaga, and 
the youngest Valu-qaiaki (or rising moon). 


The meeting with the chiefs and principal landholders 
of Kadavu was held at Tavuki, and passed off as satis- 
factorily as that at Bau and Rewa, the natives expressing 
their eagerness to become British subjects. We pur- 
chased from the natives a good many curiosities, such as 
clubs, fans, spears, etc., for our ethnological collections, 
some of which were remarkable specimens of carving, 
and evidently very old. The great size and heaviness of 
these things made them very inconvenient objects to 
carry and stow away on board, crammed as we were for 
space. One afternoon all the children of the town and 
neighbourhood, wishing to show their goodwill, came 
in full procession, and singing, up to the mission-house, 
each carrying a present. Some had bundles of sugar- 
cane, some bunches of taro, some struggled under the 
weight of an enormous yam. All the presents were 
piled in a heap at our feet, and it was intimated that 
they were meant for the special gratification of Mrs. 
Smythe. Then all the children sat down in rows on the 
ground, and sang a number of songs, accompanied by 
grotesque gestures, and movements of body and arms, 
but at the same time not without meaning. One of 
these songs, or "mekes," described the horror of the 
natives when seeing for the first time a horse and a 
man on its back,— how they fled in wild terror, and took 
refuge on high rocks and trees, so that the monster 
might not hurt them. 

Both ' Pegasus ' and ' Paul Jones ' left Tavuki Bay 
on the morning of the 17th of August, and after a few 
hours' sail arrived at Qalira, where we hoped to ascend 
Buke Levu, but the sea was so high that we found it 


impossible to land. We hoped for better luck at Nasau, 
which we reached late at night, and were in full hopes 
of gaining the top of the fine mountain, constantly ex- 
hibiting to us its dome-like summit. The next morning, 
however, was so very rainy, that we had to give up all 
hopes of accomplishing our object that day; and it was 
therefore resolved to postpone our ascent, and cross over 
to Viti Levu, in order to pay a visit to Kuruduadua, for 
the exploration of Avhose dominions Mr. Pritchard and I 
had already paved the way. 










Leaving Kadavu on Saturday the 18th of August, at 
noon, our schooner cast anchor off Navua early next 
morning, where we were hospitably received by Kuru- 
duadua, the chief of the district. Danford, the English- 
man, whose history has already been told, was also there 
to conduct us to his place of residence at Namosi, as 
had been previously arranged. We took up our quar- 
ters in the new Strangers' House (Buri ni so), where 
there was ample room to hang up mosquito curtains 
and open our luggage. There had been a quarrel be- 
tween an Englishman and a Tonguese, both residing at 
Taguru, in Kuruduadua's dominion. The Englishman 
had allowed his pigs to grub the fields belonging to the 
Tonguese, and the latter, after repeatedly remonstrating 
without effect, had thought it advisable to enlighten the 
Englishman by setting fire to his shed. Both parties 
appealed to the British Consul for justice, and, with 


Kuruduadua's approval, the case was gone into as it 
would before any magistrate in England, witnesses being 
called to establish the truth of the various statements 
advanced. The result was, that the Englishman was told 
that, according to Fijian customs, the pigs, not the fields, 
were fenced in, and that he had no right to allow his 
animals to destroy neighbours' property; whilst his 
neighbour, for taking the law in his own hand, was 
ordered to erect, in a specified number of days, a new 
shed, in every way equal to the one destroyed. Kuru- 
duadua was highly pleased with the way in which the 
whole had been managed ; and though it was late when 
the case was decided, he sent for several of the leading 
men to give them an account of it, and they sat up the 
greater part of the night discussing the fairness of the 

Having made arrangements with Kuruduadua for 
proceeding into the interior on our previous visit, we 
were able to start on the morning of the 21st of Au- 
gust. The travelling party consisted of Colonel Smythe, 
Mr. Pritchard, the Rev. J. Waterhouse, Danford, Chief 
Kuruduadua, and a host of followers, all embarked in 
canoes. The weather, which, during the previous week, 
had been rainy, became very fine at starting. The boat 
in which Mr. Pritchard, Danford, and myself were 
seated, was always ahead, and all attempts made by the 
others to beat us proved failures. At one time we had 
a most exciting race, the rival canoes putting forth all 
their strength, but to no avail : we kept ahead in spite 
of all their efforts. 

Danford and the natives were quite in their element, 

L -z 


and indefatigable in offering explanation. I thought I 
could not do better than take advantage of their local 
knowledge and dot down all I heard, saw, and had 
pointed out. " Look to the right," cried one, " there is 
Tamana, with a large temple at the top." " Look to 
the left," interpolated another, " if you wish to see Solu, 
a small town, just disappearing betwen those banana 
plantations. You have already lost it. Those bamboos, 
high reeds, and tall treeferns, have shut it out. Do you 
see the wild plantain 1 There ! there it is ! You can 
always know it from others by its having erect orange- 
coloured branches instead of nodding ones, like the cul- 
tivated species. One more sago-palm in that swamp, 
probably the last, as we ascend the river ; it does not 
like rocks, and here, you see, they begin. This is the 
first rapid : no danger, all the canoes pass over safely. 
Three hawks chasing a pigeon ! Now for bold scenery ! 
The rocks are at least two hundred and fifty feet high, 
full of fine timber at the top. And those splendid 
waterfalls ! Here we are at Kuburinasaumuri ; cliffs on 
both sides, and the river full of fresh-water sharks, of 
which the chief killed a very large one for biting his 
brother. This is Na Savu dran — the hundred waterfalls. 
In the rainy season that number is quite correct ; even 
now, if you count all those little streaks of silver pour- 
ing over the cliffs, you will find it not far short. On 
the right is the Wai-ni-kavika (the river of the Malay 
apples), where a mighty spirit dwells." 

And thus they went on talking and pointing out all 
they considered interesting or worth looking at. We 
had gradually exchanged the low, flat land of the coast 


for bold river scenery, and poled and paddled against a 
strong current. Judging from the water-mark observ- 
able on rocks and trees, the Navua, which flows almost 
due south, must be navigable for large boats during the 
rainy season ; but when we ascended there was little 
water, and it required no ordinary skill to get the canoes 
over all the rapids that presented themselves. I have 
never appreciated the fun of passing over rapids, where 
a single false stroke or inattention of the steersman 
may upset you, and one may congratulate himself by 
simply escaping with bruises.* On one or two occa- 
sions we had to drag our little flotilla over them by 
means of ropes. At length we arrived at one worse 
than any we had previously encountered. We all landed, 
and told our crew to put our luggage on shore ; this 
order, however, was only partially obeyed. Colonel 
Smythe's people, wishing to save themselves the trouble, 
headed the rapid. In an instant the torrent, breaking 

* I well remember the anxious faces on board a steamer going over the 
rapids of La Chine, on the St. Lawrence ; the band playing all the time, 
" The Rapids are near, and the daylight is past." There were on board 
then nearly all the members that had assembled to attend the meeting of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Montreal, 
Canada, I, as official representative of the Linnean Society of London, 
amongst the number; and judging from the serious tone that pre- 
vailed, and the sudden silence when we drew near the rapids, I don't 
think there were many present who thanked the managing committee for 
having provided this passage for our special amusement. Everybody 
was glad when it was over, except perhaps those Canadians who, by fre- 
quent repetition, had become used to this sensation passage. The tem- 
porary gloom was, however, soon dispelled by an animated discussion as to 
whether the honour of taking the first steamer over La Chine — the Indians 
had always taken their canoes over — was due to an Englishman or Ame- 
rican. I did not wait for the end of the discussion ; but whatever country- 
man, he must have been a most daring and cool-headed fellow. 


the rope, had swept away the canoe, dashed it with great 
force against a steep rock on the opposite side, smashing 
the outrigger, swamping the little vessel, and leaving 
all the luggage and provisions swimming in the water. 
All the natives plunged in the river, and succeeded in 
saving the property. Of course the clothes were satu- 
rated, the tea had been made, the sugar was dissolved, 
and the biscuit looked like so much bread and butter 
pudding. To me, who often got a wetting in crossing 
rivers, it was quite amusing to see Colonel Smythe and 
Mr. Waterhouse busy in wringing and hanging up their 
clothes, and I could not resist the temptation of asking 
them whether any mangling was done there. 

Fortunately, the stores which Mr. Pritchard and I had 
brought were quite safe, and so we could supply most 
of their deficiencies. The mishap being repaired as 
much as possible, we pushed on, and soon arrived at Na 
Mato,— a place where the river was entirely blocked 
up by huge rocks, said to have fallen from the top of 
the mountain on the right-hand bank, during an earth- 
quake some forty years ago. The natives assured us 
that when this catastrophe first took place, the stoppage 
of the river was complete ; and the water rose so high 
that for a long time it inundated their fields, and they 
had to dive for their provisions. They did obtain cocoa- 
nuts, but could not get at the taro, and there was a 
famine in consequence. 

We left our large canoes at Na Mato, and in smaller 
ones, which Kuruduadua had in readiness, passed a 
steep rocky shore, where the people of Nagadi bury 
their dead. Excavations are made into the rock, and the 



corpses laid on their back, with the head towards the 
west. A small species of bamboo, of which the natives 
make pan-flutes, was here most common, as indeed all 
along these rocky shores, and greatly added by its grace- 
ful feathery habit to the beauty of the scenery. 

Sunset was close at hand when we reached Nagadi, 
a town built on the top of a high steep hill, composed 
of rich clayey soil. For the night, we took up our 
quarters at the Bure ni sa, or strangers' house, invari- 
ably found at every Fijian town or village, and remind- 
ing one of the Tambo or Tambu of South America, 
between which and the strangers' house of Polynesia 
there appears to be a connection which ethnologists 
do not seem to have appreciated sufficiently. Both are 
public establishments, where travellers have the right 
to pass the night, and where they obtain meat and 
drink.* This Bure proved extremely dirty, and was 
much too small for all the people assembled to welcome 
our party. By spreading clean mats over a portion of 
the floor, and putting out most of the smoking fires 
kindled between each of the sleeping-places, we suc- 
ceeded in making ourselves comfortable. Pigs, yams, 
and taro, all baked on hot stones in true Polynesian 
style, as Captain Cook described it one hundred years 
ago, and a quantity of pudding, consisting of ripe ba- 
nanas boiled in cocoa-nut milk, and sweetened with 

* One of the meanings of the Polynesian word tabu, or, as the Fijians 
pronounce it, tambu, is " set apart," "reserved," etc.; and I often won- 
dered — that is all I could do with my slight philological knowledge — 
whether the name of the houses " set apart " or " reserved " for travellers 
in the Andes, the Tambos or Tambus, was in any way connected with Hiis 


rasped sugar-cane, were brought in and presented to 
Chief Kuruduadua, who, after accepting the gift through 
his speaking-man, again presented it to us. We had to 
go through the same ceremony of accepting the food, 
and had also the obligation to distribute it amongst the 
whole travelling party. This task was accomplished 
satisfactorily by Danford, whom his long life amongst 
the mountain tribes of Viti Levu has made familiar with 
all their complicated ceremonies. 

After supper the kava bowl was brought out. Whilst 
the beverage was preparing the whole assembly chanted 
songs ; and when ready, Danford gave the toast, and the 
cup-bearer handed the first cocoa-nut full to the chief. 
As soon as our bowl was empty, another and another 
was prepared, until the whole company had been served. 
Fortunately, kava, unlike distilled spirits, does not make 
people quarrelsome ; it has rather, like tobacco, a calm- 
ing effect; and when Fijians extol the virtues of their 
national beverage, they often, and justly, make this ob- 

When leaving Navua we had more volunteers for 
accompanying us than there was any occasion to em- 
ploy, and we were compelled to reject the services of a 
good many. Amongst them was a young chief, named 
Soromato, or, as his companions nicknamed him, "Monte- 
monte." I told him that I did not wish to crowd our 
canoe, and he must stay behind; but he declared that 
he had made up his mind not to leave me as long as I 
was in the island. I told him I would not have him on 
any account, and if he did not take himself on shore 
directly, I would pitch him in the river. He intimated 



that lie could swim, and that his clothes would not 
spoil, as he wore none. It not heing prudent to give 
in to the natives, I had no option but to carry out my 
threat, choosing the very moment our flotilla was under 
weigh. He thought it a good piece of fun, and declared 
he would be with me nevertheless. He was as good as 
his word. When we landed at Nagadi he was there al- 
ready, having come by the mountain road. I had now no 
alternative. He proved to me most useful and attentive, 
and never left me until I finally embarked, when he 
cried bitterly on being told that it was quite out of the 
question he could go to Europe with me, where he would 
probably have to exchange a life of ease and plenty for 
one of toil and poverty, and not be treated as a chief 
but as a common man. 

The tribes of which Kuruduadua was the head, had 
for some time been molested by their neighbours, and we 
found at Nagadi a party of soldiers just returned from 
an unsuccessful ambush. They had endeavoured to kid- 
nap some of their enemies, and were rather disappointed 
at having to report ill success. I recognized several of 
them as having been at Navua during our first visit to 
that place, and they gave us some account of Kurudua- 
dua's son, whom Mr. Pritchard and I invested with his 
toga virilis. He was in the depths of the mountains, and 
a message had been sent to him that he might come to 
pay his respects to us. 

Before retiring to rest we had family prayers in En- 
glish, Mr. Waterhouse officiating. Kuruduadua com- 
manded silence, and it was very impressive, amongst a 
profound stillness, to hear a Christian minister offering 


up supplications to heaven for the conversion of the be- 
nighted beings crowding around us. They were all at- 
tention, and in their minds evidently compared the con- 
vulsive ravings of their own priests with the dignified 
bearing of the Christian missionary. 

The next morning I paid a visit to the heathen temple 
at Nagadi. Unlike other temples on the coast, which 
are generally erected on terraced mounds, and quite free 
from any enclosure, this was on level ground, and sur- 
rounded by a high bamboo fence ; some of the sticks 
used being the young shoots entire, with unexpanded 
leaves, and looking like so many fishing-rods. The 
temple itself was a mere hut, scarcely twenty-five feet 
long and fifteen wide. In one corner there was an enclo- 
sure of reeds, where the spirit was supposed to dwell or 
descend. Kava-roots and leaves, clubs, spears, and little 
twigs of Waltheria Americana, suspended from various 
parts of the roof, had been presented as offerings. In 
some old temples the various offerings have been taste- 
fully arranged, making the interior of the building look 
like a great armoury. There were no images of any 
kind, — indeed, I never saw idols of any sort throughout 
Fiji. The priest and his family also lived in this place, 
and readily exhibited all the curiosities accumulated. 
Amongst the things attracting my attention was a lot of 
bamboo-canes tied in a bundle, which, on being struck on 
the ground with the opening downwards, produced a loud 
and hollow sound. Two single bamboos of unequal length 
are beaten contemporaneously with this large bundle 
in religious ceremonies. I gave the young priest a jew's- 
harp, with which he expressed himself highly pleased. 


At Nagadi the river branches off in two different direc- 
tions: the eastern branch is not navigable even for 
small canoes, but said to be about forty miles long; 
whilst the northern has deep water, of which we took 
advantage in resuming our journey the next morning. 
All our luggage was sent by land, on the backs of 
natives. The weather still continued fine, so that we 
fully enjoyed the beautiful scenery and rich vegetation 
around us. We passed Bega, where our river was joined 
by a small tributary stream ; hence the site of the town 
(or koro) is termed Uci wai rua, the junction of two 
rivers, the rivers being the Wai Koro Luva, and the Wai 
ni Avu. We finally abandoned our canoes at Wai nuta, 
to proceed on foot to Namosi — there being no horses, 
mules, or any other mode of conveyance. 

On stepping on shore I was shown the largest snake 
I ever saw in Fiji. It was only six feet long, two inches 
in diameter, of a light brown colour, and with a trian- 
gularly-shaped head. I was very desirous of obtaining it 
for my zoological collection ; but the natives said that 
Kuruduadua had just seen it and ordered them to pre- 
pare it for his supper on his return from Namosi. As 
he had passed on, I could not get the order revoked ; and 
the reptile having been put alive in a bamboo, which 
was corked up at the ends, the boys, much to my regret, 
trotted off with it. 

Climbing at once commenced. The paths being very 
narrow we walked in single file, Kuruduadua taking the 
lead, and showing us the sites of the various towns which 
he or his fathers had taken when their victorious army 
gradually fought its way from the interior of Viti Levu 


to its southern coast. The soil appeared everywhere of 
the richest kind. "We saw no plains of any size, but 
series after series of undulating ranges of no very great 
height, well suited for growing coffee, tea, and cotton. 
Now and then there was a fine bird's-eye view of the 
country, which Kuruduadua was always careful to point 
out, evidently enjoying our expressions of delight on 
these occasions. I saw a good many plants that inter- 
ested me, and their collection ultimately isolated me 
and Soromato, henceforth my shadow, from the rest of 
the party. 

I had just been speculating on the cause of the Fi- 
jian, in common with other insular floras, being poor 
in gay-coloured, and rich in green, white, and yellow 
flowers, when, lo ! a look in the valley revealed bushes 
covered with a perfect mantle of scarlet and blue, 
thrown up to great advantage by the bright rays of the 
sun. I saw my travelling companions had made a halt 
near the very spot where nature had condescended to 
refute a deeply-rooted generalization. I clambered 
down the hill as fast as the condition of the ground 
would admit, and for awhile lost sight of the gay dis- 
play by intervening objects. A few more steps and 
I stood before a startling sight — Colonel Smythe's artil- 
lery uniform hung up to dry in the sun ! 

In detailing the violent emotions I had passed through, 
my companions enjoyed a good laugh at my expense, 
and invited me to cool myself by sitting down to a cup 
of hot tea, pork, and yams, all spread out picnic fashion 
on the grass, and in the shade of some fine cocoa-nut 
palms. The village where I met with this mortification 


rejoiced in the name of Vuniwaivutuku, and consisted 
of about thirty houses, some of which were neatly fenced 
in with Dracaenas. The place where we had squatted 
down was in front of the Buri ni sa, an old and not 
very large building, surrounded by a good many erect 
stones, indicating the number of dead bodies eaten 
under its hospitable roof. The grass-plot in front, and 
several fine leaf plants, gave an air of neatness to the 
whole ; whilst the extensive view it commanded over 
the whole valley, proved the situation a well-chosen 
one for a strangers' house. Kuruduadua informed us 
that there were two roads from here to Namosi, and 
that he should take us the longest, and bring us back 
the shortest, so that we might see as much as possible 
of his territory. He told us the road would be rather 
a rough one, and, without any exaggeration, it proved 
quite equal to the worst roads I traversed in South 
America. Now we had to climb perpendicular rocks, 
now creep underneath low bowers formed by reeds, now 
again wade through rivers and rivulets, or pass over 
swampy ground. Our clothes were torn by brambles, 
our hands and faces cut by sharp-edged leaves of grasses ; 
indeed, one was forcibly reminded of the flight of the 
mechanics through the forests, which Puck relates with 
roguish delight in the ' Midsummer Night's Dream : ' 

" For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch; 

Some sleeves ; some hats ; from yielders all things catch." 

On proceeding, Colonel Smythe discovered that he 
had left his purse at Nagadi, having placed it last night 
under his mat, and forgotten to put it in his pocket be- 
fore starting. " Make yourself perfectly easy about it," 


said Kuruduadua, when this loss was communicated to 
him, " I allow no thieving here ; I club all thieves : they 
don't do that at Rewa or Bau. A man shall go back 
for it at once, and in a short time the purse will be 
brought." A messenger was sent accordingly, and, sure 
enough, when it was brought not a coin was missing. 

Covered with mud and very tired, we reached towards 
sunset the town of Namosi, where Danford many years 
ago took up his residence. The beauty of its situa- 
tion had not been exaggerated, and the accompanying 
sketch, for which I am indebted to Dr. Macdonald, will 
give some conception of it. It is built in a lovely valley, 
very much reminding me of Ischl. High mountains are 
rising on every side of an extremely fruitful valley, 
through which the Wai dina is winding its serpentine 
course, and passing many miles of fertile country, ulti- 
mately discharges its waters into the sea at Eewa. The 
temperature being considerably lower than that of the 
coast, a European is filled with a thrill of delight as he 
begins to breathe the air so much resembling that to 
which his constitution is best accustomed ; and it requires 
no prophetic soul to predict that if ever the Fijis be- 
come a European colony, Namosi will be a favourite 
resort during the hot season, and the surrounding hills 
a mass of coffee and tea plantations. 

We went straight to Danford's house, one of the 
largest in the town, built close to the rocky banks 
of the river, and surrounded by a neat bamboo fence, 
enclosing fine cocoa-nut, bread-fruit, orange, and Tahi- 
tian chestnut-trees, which diffused an agreeable shade 
over the extensive courtyard, whilst gay-coloured dra- 



csenas and croton shrubs gave quite a finish to the 
place. Danford evidently enjoyed our surprise at find- 
ing everything so clean and comfortable, and new mats 
and even calico curtains. It was the best kept native- 
built house I had visited in Fiji. Afterwards, when 
having seen more of us, he told us how much annoyed 
he had been by certain remarks the whites on the coast 
had made to his disadvantage. Those people, who 
should be nameless, had insulted him by asking him 
point-blank how cannibal food tasted, and how he could 
think of forsaking the Christian religion and assisting 
in heathen rites. He had nothing to oppose of these 
accusations but silent contempt, and his well-fingered 
Bible was. a good proof of his real disposition. In his 
own way he had evidently done a great deal of good ; 
was the direct means of abolishing many abominable 
practices; and without this pioneer we should never 
have been able to reach this little-known region of the 
world. He was very fond of reading, and had accumu- 
lated a good many books, mostly presents from consuls, 
missionaries, or captains and officers of ships. I in- 
creased it by a copy of Shakspeare, after which he had 
a hankering. The natives often came to look at his 
picture books, and the ' Illustrated London News ' was a 
source of endless delight to them. 







To the north of Namosi there is a good deal of unex- 
plored country, and we tried hard to get some informa- 
tion about its general features. A popular belief, cur- 
rent amongst the white settlers in Fiji, affirms that there 
is a large table-land and an inland lake in Viti Levu. 
Nothing could be learnt of this table-land, but the na- 
tives had heard of a lake on which canoes were. Not 
far from Namosi, still in sight of the town, exists a 
mountain, which the late Mr. Williams, American Con- 
sul for Fiji," bought for its rich veins of copper ore. 
After Mr. Williams's death a number of specimens from 
this mountain were found in his possession, of which 
his executor gave me several. They proved to be ma- 
lachite, closely resembling the Australasian, and next to 
that of the Ural, considered the best. Nothing has as 
yet been done to work these mines. The natives also 
informed us of the existence of ore of antimony about 


ten miles from Namosi, and at a place called Umbi, 
where it is said to occur in large veins in the side of a 
hill. Macdonald and S. Waterhouse also heard of and 
saw quantities brought down by the natives in bamboos, 
and concluded that it must be plentiful. The black 
sand so frequently found on the banks of the Eewa 
river, and attracted by a magnet, has also been washed 
down from these mountains. Danford at one time fancied 
he had discovered gold in the neighbourhood, and in 
1856 he took the ' Herald's' officers to the Wai ni Ura. 
The rocks were spangled with iron pyrites, which made 
their appearance wherever the surface was broken : gold 
was nowhere to be seen. 

Directly on our arrival we made preparations for as- 
cending Voma, the highest peak in Viti Levu, perhaps 
in the whole Fij is, and never trodden by the foot of 
white man. The natives represented to us the impos- 
sibility of getting to the summit, but we told them that 
we must at least make the attempt. To this proposal 
they agreed, and on the morning of the 24th of August 
we commenced our task, guided by Natove, a famous 
warrior and petty chief, who proved an excellent hand 
in cutting openings through the forest when we got 
higher up. 

On leaving Namosi our path led through numerous 
. taro, banana, and yam plantations, and close to an altar 
made of sticks and native cloth, on which food for the 
spirits of the dead was placed : some of the yams were 
actually sprouting again. The mass of Fijians will have 
it that these offerings are consumed by the spirits of 
their departed friends and relations, supposed to have 



great supernatural influence ; but if not eaten by ani- 
mals, the food is often stolen by the more enlightened 
class of their own countrymen, and even some foreigners 
occasionally do not disdain to help themselves freely. 

The ascent of Voma was steep, and made us very 
warm indeed. Our native attendants found it equally 
so, though not encumbered with any clothing like our- 
selves ; and to cool themselves they thought it no addi- 
tional exertion to climb up a tree and catch the breeze. 
In former times, there had been a town some consider- 
able distance up the mountain, traces of which were 
still visible ; and hence, though there was a thick wood, 
the actual virgin forest did not commence until we had 
attained the height of about 2500 feet above the sea. 
When entering that region we found the trees altogether 
different from those of the lowlands, and densely covered 
with mosses, lichens, and deep orange-coloured orchids 
(Dendrobium Mohlianum, Echb. fil.). Some of the ferns 
were of antediluvian dimensions. A species of Cinna- 
momum, producing a superior kind of cassia-bark, and 
used by the natives for scenting cocoa-nut oil, and as a 
powerful sudorific, was met with in considerable quan- 
tities. The absence of all large animals, and the limited 
number of birds, impart an air of solemnity to these 
upland forests. Not a sound is heard : all is silence 
— repose ! 

We had to pass over some awkward places, and to 
climb several almost perpendicular rocks, rendered slip- 
pery by water trickling down. However, at half-past ten, 
two hours and a half after starting, Colonel Smythe, Mr. 
Pritchard and myself, reached the summit: Danford 


having stopped half-way, and Mr. Waterhouse remained 
behind at Namosi to scatter a little seed of truth amongst 
the numerous heathens pouring into the town for to- 
morrow's grand meeting.* 

Immediately trees were cut down, and compass bear- 
ings taken of all prominent parts, by which means an 
important step was made to reform the geography of 
Viti Levu.f A great part of Fiji lay like a map at our 
feet ; there were the islands of Moturiki, Batiki, Gau, 
Bega, Ovalau, and a host of smaller ones ; even Kadavu 
was looming at the distance. We had hoped to have a 

* " Before a large company of chiefs and people." says Mr. "Water- 
house, in his published journal of this tour, "I gave an account of the 
Great Creator, and of the original state and subsequent fall of man. 
They loudly applauded Adam's cleverness in blaming the woman, and 
Eve's in accusing the serpent. I was afterwards requested to tell them 
about Noah and the Flood, with which demand I compHed. Before I 
left the house, the chief said to those present, ' These missionaries are oui 
true friends : they want us to live in peace and quietness, and to cultivate 
the soil ; but you slaves can't understand these matters.' Many referred 
in glowing terms to the visit of my brother Samuel, and Kuruduadua gave 
a vivid description of his visit to the house of the Bev. William Moore." 

f Dr. Macdonald and Mr. Samuel Waterhouse were, it is well known, 
the first who penetrated up the Wai dina, or great river of Viti Levu, to 
Namosi, and from data which they furnished was constructed the map 
published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xxvii. 
Having nothing to go upon but the compass and dead reckoning, the posi- 
tion of Namosi, as well as the source of the Wai dina, has been placed too 
far west, as our route to Namosi lay almost due north. The compass 
bearings taken on the top of Voma Peak would have corrected errors 
found in recent maps ; but the southern coast seems to be so far out that 
they cannot be made available at present. I subjoin them : — East end of 
Moturiki, N.E. by E. ; centre of Batiki, N.E. by E. f E. ; west end of 
Gau, E. by N. i N. ; centre of Nukulau Island (Bewa), E. f S. ; east end 
of Bega, S. ; centre of Yamica, S. by W. i W. ; Gamo Peak, S. by W. § 
W. ; extreme sea horizon to the west, S.W. by W. ; town of Namosi, 
N. N.W. ; extreme .sea horizon on the north was the west end of 

M 2* 


glimpse of Bega; but that we should be able to see nearly 
two-thirds of the whole group was a pleasure for which 
we were unprepared, and which amply repaid the exer- 
tion made in the ascent. A fire was kindled to let the 
people of Namosi know of our success, and after collect- 
ing specimens of the vegetation, and partaking of some 
refreshment, we descended, and reached Namosi about 
five p.m., the boys carrying baskets full of rare and new 

In the evening we paid a visit to a Bure Kalou (heathen 
temple). Though not surrounded by a fence, it was 
situated and similar to that at Nagadi, small and insig- 
nificant in comparison with some of the temples near 
the coast. Danford introduced us to the priest, who 
kept up a roaring fire, which made the inside too hot 
for us to stay longer than a few minutes. We were told 
that the Kalou (= Spirit, God), for whom two-thirds of 
the whole building were set apart by a screen of bamboo, 
liked heat ; but I presume the only spirit fond of a good 
fire was the priest himself, as he was rather an old 
man. Hearing from Danford that one of our party, 
disliking pork, had not eaten meat for several days, he 
very good-naturedly let us have several fowls presented 
to the temple. Danford dubbed them spirit-fowls, 
and Mr. Pritchard turned them into excellent curry, 
for which the materials were fetched fresh from the 

When retiring to the house, Danford occupied the 
greater part of the evening by telling us one of the 
best Fijian stories, one of the chiefs helping him out 
when memory failed. It was that of the Princess Vili- 


vilitabua and the Vasu-ki-lagi. One of our party took 
down the outline of it, but unfortunately lost it, and I 
shall not spoil a good story by giving it imperfectly. 

Chief Kuruduadua had proposed to have the official 
meeting at Namosi, in preference to Navua, his usual 
place of residence on the coast, and summoned all his 
tribes, their petty chiefs and landholders for the 25th of 
August. On our arrival, Namosi was already crowded 
with visitors, and parties of men, women, and children, 
generally bringing loads of provisions and property with 
them, continued to flock in from all directions during the 
whole of the following day. The meeting took place 
in the open air, and in the public square or Eara, which 
is situate on the banks of the river, and before the great 
Bure ni sa, or strangers' house, a building about ninety 
feet long, and built on a mound. The weather was 
beautiful, and the birds were singing sweetly in the 
numerous shaddock-trees lining the banks. 

When we arrived, the people, with the exception of 
the women, were squatted on the ground at a respectful 
distance from the seats placed for our accommodation. 
None of the influence which civilization and missionary 
teaching have had on the Fijians were here perceptible. 
Every native appeared in primitive style, and a stranger- 
sight it has never been my fortune to witness. Every 
man seemed to have used his utmost efforts to make 
himself look as singular as he possibly could. Their 
dresses were merely narrow strips of bark cloth. Some 
faces were quite black, some only half; again, others 
half black and half red, or striped in various ways. 
Nothing could be more curious than the endless variety 

166 a mission to vrri. 

displayed in the shape and colour of the wigs, and doing- 
up of the head ; a European peruquier might have taken 
a lesson with advantage. Chief Kuruduadua had taken 
his seat on the steps leading to the principal entrance of 
the great Bure. He wore a turban of snow-white tapa, 
and a purple girdle of the same material, from which 
were suspended two trains of native cloth, several yards 
long. On his left were his brothers and councillors, 
amongst whom was seen his friend Danford. When we 
had taken . our seats, the people welcomed us by clap- 
ping of hands, whereupon mutual explanations were at 
once entered into. 

Through Mr. Waterhouse, Colonel Smythe addressed 
to the chief a speech similar to that delivered at Bau 
and other places, the purport of which has already been 
given. Mr. Waterhouse spoke in the Bauan (court) 
dialect, and Kuruduadua replied in the same, that he 
and his people had made up their minds to " lean upon 
England," as he expressed it, in the manner agreed upon 
with Mr. Consul Pritchard. Colonel Smythe approved of 
their determination as judicious, there being no country 
more able to protect them than mighty England. He 
also recommended the cultivation of cotton. On being 
questioned about the ownership of land, Kuruduadua 
replied that he considered himself the sole proprietor 
of all the land, the boundaries and principal tribes of 
which were specified; that his late brother had sold 
some land to Mr. Williams, deceased, and he himself 
some to several Englishmen, all these transactions being 
acknowledged as valid. 

An expression of mutual goodwill concluded the 


business. During the whole time the people behaved 
with great dignity ; none spoke except those who car- 
ried on the discussion. When their foreign affairs were 
satisfactorily concluded, the chief, quitting his seat, 
begged us to remain, in order to see how they managed 
their internal politics. This invitation we gladly ac- 
cepted by taking up our position near the entrance of 
the Bure, where we had a better view of the whole 

It appears that one of the numerous tribes subject to 
Kuruduadua had rebelled against his authority, and it 
had been determined by the councillors that stringent 
measures should be put in force against it. The princi- 
pal and most renowned speaker of the Government, a 
man about fifty, now came, staff in hand, out of the great 
Bure into which Kuruduadua had retired, and explained 
to the people at large the policy about to be pursued. 
He moved freely about the circle formed by his audience, 
and his speech was listened to with profound attention, 
eliciting now and then exclamations equivalent to "hear, 
hear ! " The drift of his argument was that the rebels 
must be put down and peace restored, in order that 
they might have plenty when the white men came to their 
country, from whom Fiji already derived such benefits. 
When he had finished, other speakers got up, all in 
favour of the government measure, and much applauded 
by the multitude. One old chief was much cheered on 
saying, " I am no speaker, but know how to fight ; and 
there (pointing with his hand) is the road to the enemy's 

All business matters having been disposed of, it only 


remained to enact the closing scene by a great banquet. 
The women now appeared on the stage. All the young 
girls had collected in a group, some two hundred yards 
off, in a grove of palm-trees, each carrying a basket-full 
of taro. According to their fashion, they wore nothing 
save a girdle of hibiscus-fibres, about six inches wide, 
dyed black, red, yellow, white, or brown, and put 
on in such a coquettish way, that one thought it must 
come off every moment. The girls (a hundred and fifty- 
four) walked in single file, and all those wearing girdles 
of the same colour kept together. When arriving in 
front of the Bure, young men received the baskets and 
emptied their contents in a heap, leaves having been 
spread out to keep them from coming in contact with 
the ground. We counted as many as two thousand 
taros, after which the baskets came in so fast that we lost 
count. The girls, after performing their part, walked 
away in the same order as they came. Several young 
men now brought seven large hogs, roasted entire, which 
were placed on the top of the taro heap. The whole 
pile of food was then presented to the visitors. The 
largest pig, and I am almost afraid to say how many 
hundred taros — ready to be eaten — fell to our share. 
It took twenty men to take our share home, for the 
food was not supposed to be consumed on the spot, 
everybody being at liberty to do what he liked with 
his lot, and I saw but very few not taking their por- 
tion away with them. 

There was a man present at this meeting, Eo Tui 
Kuku, who had seen five generations of the reigning 
chiefs family, and could not have been less than a 


hundred and twenty years old ; and there was another 
man, sharing the same house with him, who had seen 
four generations of the same family : excellent proofs 
of the fine physical constitution of the natives, and the 
healthiness of these mountains. Ro Tui Kuku was 
quite childish, and when we spoke to him and pre- 
sented him with a little American tobacco, he said that 
he must be off home. He had great-great-grand-chil- 
dren living, the eldest of whom was about ten years old. 
Another personage attracted our attention. He was 
the court fool of the occasion, and had dressed himself 
in a very fantastic manner. The fools attached to the 
courts of South Sea chiefs are very often hunchbacks, 
the natives being fully sensible of the great fund of 
humour which that class of people generally possess, 
as a set-off, it would almost appear, for the physical 
deformity which so often exposes them to unmerited ridi- 
cule, and which is now considered in Europe an essential 
condition of the most comic figure the popular mind 
has conceived. But the Namosi fool was an exception 
to this rule. He was in every respect a fine fellow, more 
than six feet high. On his head he wore a contrivance 
made of sticks and feathers resembling the shovel- 
bonnets ladies used to wear some years ago, and his face 
and body were painted in a very ludicrous manner. He 
talked in a feigned voice, imitating a woman, and 
probably gave utterance to many witticisms and good 
jokes, as he kept his countrymen in roars of laughter 
whenever he opened his mouth. When the meeting 
broke up, we had to recross the river in order to get to 
Danford's house ; a strong Tonguese belonging to the 


mission performed, St. Christopher-like, the office of car- 
rying our party across. Not being in a particular hurry 
to get over, I was waiting until all had crossed, when this 
fool came up to me with an offer to take me to the op- 
posite bank. I thought he might be up to some tricks, 
and was rather on my guard. He landed me safely, but 
I soon found that I had been sold nevertheless, — my 
white dress looking as if printed on. The colours he 
had on his back had come off, and made me look almost 
as comic as the fool himself. The natives thought it 
an excellent joke, and when they saw me laughing as 
much as they did, their merriment knew no bounds. 

On the following day (Sunday, August 26th) Mr. 
Waterhouse, making the most of his opportunity, once 
more addressed the people ;* in the afternoon, he, Co- 
lonel Smythe, and Consul Pritchard left Namosi for 
Navua, whilst I thought it best to remain behind in 
order to explore the neighbourhood, and get a more inti- 
mate acquaintance with these singular people. Kuru- 
duadua again led the way, and this time took his visitors 
the shorter of the two roads leading to Vuniwaivutuka. 
They shot down the river rapidly, and on Monday, about 
four p.m., reached the ' Pegasus,' and put at once to sea. 
On the 30th of August they found themselves at Nadroga. 

* " On Sunday I preached on ' God now commandeth all men every- 
where to repent,' to a congregation of about three hundred male adults, 
all heathens, who listened very attentively and respectfully. Now and 
then one or another would say aloud, ' Very good ; ' or, ' It's true.' 
When I had concluded, I requested the audience to maintain perfect quiet- 
ness for a few moments whilst I engaged in prayer to the true and only 
God. They granted the favour, and not an individual made the slightest 
disturbance. As I was leaving, one of the chiefs thanked me publicly 
for my instruction." — Waterhouse, in Wesley an Missionary Notices. 


As the difference between the heathen and Christian 
population, mentioned in a previous chapter, had not 
yet been satisfactorily settled, they found the country in 
rather a disturbed condition. The conflict between bar- 
barism and an incipient civilization was still going on. 

" The people were glad to see a missionary," says Mr. 
Waterhouse. " I was sorry to find that some of our 
native agents had not maintained neutrality between 
the Christians and heathens, which, they were obliged 
to confess, was not only against orders, but had proved 
to be, so far as they were personally concerned, bad po- 
licy. Since my visit in 1851 the bones of those human 
beings who had been eaten had been collected toge- 
ther and buried. The evening was spent in examining 
and instructing the schoolmasters and Scripture-readers. 
Mr. Moore has done a noble work in preparing so many 
agents for these benighted parts. 

' " Though in some danger, yet I felt it my duty to 
sleep on shore to encourage my native colleagues to 
abide by their post of honour. Only last Tuesday a 
man was killed by a ' kidnapper.' There is no safety 
in going outside of the house after dark. In some cases 
the kidnappers enter the house, close or surround the 
doors, dispatch the inmates, and make their escape. In 
the event of an occurrence of this sort, I suggested that, 
instead of allowing the intruders to kill us, we should 
close in on them and bind them. 

" Colonel Smythe sent a native messenger to request 
the heathen Chief to pay him a friendly visit. The 
man performed his errand, and delivered his message. 
The enemy then clubbed him, and sent him back with 


the remark, that if two had been sent, one would have 
been killed and eaten, and the other allowed to return 
and report the fate of his comrade. Under these cir- 
cumstances they only half-killed him, and sent the other 
half of the poor man to tell a very sad tale and show 
his wounds. A present seemed to go far towards heal- 
ing the sores inflicted by a pine-apple club." 

Mr. Pritchard did not think it advisable to go further 
than Nadroga, whilst Colonel Smythe proceeded to Vuda, 
Ba, Vatia, Na Vatu, and thence to Naduri on Vanua 
Levu, and returned to Levuka on the 22nd of Septem- 
ber. Everywhere the chiefs acquiesced in the cession of 
their country to England. 

It will be remembered that I was still at Namosi; 
and I must beg the reader to return with me to that 




When, in August, 1856, Dr. Macdonald, of H.M.S. He- 
rald, then under the command of Captain Denham, and 
the Rev. Samuel Waterhouse, a brother of the gentle- 
man who accompanied us, paid a visit to Kuruduadua's 
dominions, cannibalism was still one of the recognized 
institutions of the state. " A few days ago," says Dr. 
Macdonald, " a large canoe from Navua went out on its 
first voyage, when a fleet of the enemy from Serua at- 
tacked it, and succeeded in killing one man, who fell 
overboard. The Serua people now dispersed, and the 
canoe, on returning, landed a detachment with directions 
to surprise the enemy on coming ashore. They fell in 
with a party of seven, four of whom were killed, two fled, 
and one was taken prisoner. The latter was almost im- 
mediately boiled alive in a large cauldron. Kuruduadua, 
the perpetrator of this cruelty, addressed him, in short 


terms, to the effect that, as he had so wickedly cut to 
pieces a living man of his (Kuruduadua's) people, he 
should be served as the case deserved. The unfortu- 
nate man was then thrust headforemost into the boil- 
ing pot. The greater part of the slain was eaten at 
Navua, but parcels of the revolting food were distri- 
buted amongst the chief's dominions in the mountains. 
On the morning of the 30th of August, after a little 
parley with the chief, Naulumatua, the knee of a dead 
body, already cooked, was brought to our bure. The 
bones had been removed by an incision made on one 
side, and the whole was carefully wrapped up in banana 
leaves, so as to be warmed up each day in order to pre- 
serve it. Of six parcels of human flesh which we knew 
had been sent to Namosi, this was all we had an oppor- 
tunity of seeing. One leg was said to have been de- 
posited at the grove of Viriulu, the deceased king and 
father of Kuruduadua.* Mr. Waterhouse spoke to the 
chief very impressively on the subject, pointing out all 
the evils which follow in the wake of cannibalism. I 
saw very distinctly that this savage was quite ashamed of 
himself; but I saw also that, if he did feel inclined for 
the tempting morsel, there was now very little chance 
of seeing him in the act; but for my own part, I am 
quite satisfied, and do not now desire further ocular 
demonstration of the existence of cannibalism in Fiji. 
We have now every reason to believe that the portion 
of the last bokola (dead body), which Naulumatua as- 
serted had been placed upon the rock where the remains 

* "We are told this king's name was " Eatuibuna," but perhaps he went 
by two names. — B. S. 


of the last chief were laid> was eaten on the sly by this 
cannibal, whose morbid taste for human flesh was ac- 
knowledged by all the people in the town. . . . Tobi, 
one of our party, happened to stumble into the chiefs 
house, and he distinctly saw a human hand hanging in 
the smoke over the fireplace. Now, although the dis- 
tribution of all the other parts had been accurately de- 
tailed to us, no mention was made of this, so that the 
dissimulation of Naulumatua was clear enough. Most 
probably, had we approached the spot, the inviting 
morsel would have been quickly conveyed out of the 
way. Mr. Waterhouse was informed that the chief 
continued to eat his portion at intervals throughout the 
day, until it was all demolished ; but an old favourite 
of the town helps him out with it." Thus far Mac- 

Naulumatua was the half-brother of Kuruduadua, 
and only died a short time previous to our visit, and the 
court was still in mourning for him, which was the 
- reason of our not having either dance or song. His 
head-wife took me to his grave, and lamenting his 
death, said that he might still be alive if he had only 
abstained from eating human flesh, and that both she 
and Danford had done all in their power to convince 
him that he was ruining his constitution systemati- 
cally by that indulgence. For it appears that human 
flesh is extremely difficult to digest, and that even the 
strongest and most healthy men suffer from confined 
bowels for two or three days after a cannibal feast. 
Probably, in order to assist the process of digestion, 
" bokola," as dead men's flesh is technically termed, is 


always eaten with an addition of vegetables, which it 
may be ethnologically important to notice ; since, thanks 
to a powerful movement amongst the natives, the in- 
fluence of commerce, Christian teaching, and the pre- 
sence of a British Consul, Fijian cannibalism survives 
only in a few localities, and is daily becoming more and 
more a matter of history. 

There are principally three kinds which, in Fijian es- 
timation, ought to accompany bokola, — the leaves of 
the Malawaci (Trophis anthropophagorum, Seem.), the 
Tudauo (Omalanthus pedicellatus, Bth), and the Boro- 
dina (Solanum anthropophagorum, Seem.). The two 
former are middle-sized trees, growing wild in many 
parts of the group ; but the Boro-dina is cultivated, and 
there are generally several large bushes of it near every 
Bure-ni-sa (or strangers' house), where the bodies of 
those slain in battle are always taken. The Boro dina 
is a bushy shrub, seldom higher than six feet, with a 
dark, glossy foliage, and berries of the shape, size, and 
colour of tomatoes. This fruit has a faint aromatic 
smell, and is occasionally prepared like tomato sauce. 
The leaves of these three plants are wrapped around 
the bokola, as those of the taro are around pork, and 
baked with it on heated stones. Salt is not forgotten. 

Besides these three plants, some kinds of yams and 
taro are deemed fit accompaniments of a dish of bokola. 
The yams are hung up in the Bure-ni-sa for a certain 
time, having previously been covered with turmeric, to 
preserve them, it would seem, from rapid decay: our 
own sailors effecting the same end by whitewashing the 
yams when taking them on board. A peculiar kind of 


taro (Caladium esculentum, Schott, var.), called " Ku- 
rilagi," was pointed out as having been eaten with a 
whole tribe of people. The story sounds strange, but 
as a number of natives were present when it was told, 
several of whom corroborated the various statements, 
or corrected the proper names that occurred, its truth 
appears unimpeachable. In the interior of Viti Levu, 
about three miles N.N.E. from Namosi, there dwelt a 
tribe, known by the name of Kai-na-loca, who in days 
of yore gave great offence to the ruling chief of the Na- 
mosi district, and, as a punishment of their misdeeds, 
the whole tribe was condemned to die. Every year the 
inmates of one house were baked and eaten, fire was set 
to the empty dwelling, and its foundation planted with 
Jcurilagi. In the following year, as soon as this taro 
was ripe, it became the signal for the destruction of the 
next house and its inhabitants, and the planting of a 
fresh field of taro. Thus, house after house, family after 
family, disappeared, until Ratuibuna, the father of the 
present chief Kuruduadua, pardoned the remaining few, 
and allowed them to die a natural death. In 1860, only 
one old woman, living at Cagina, was the sole survivor 
of the Na-loca people. Picture the feelings of these 
unfortunate wretches, as they watched the growth of the 
ominous taro ! Throughout the dominions of the power- 
ful chief whose authority they had insulted, their lives 
were forfeited, and to escape into territories where they 
were strangers would, in those days, only have been to 
hasten the awful doom awaiting them in their own 
country. Nothing remained save to watch, watch, 
watch, the rapid development of the kurilagi. As leaf 


after leaf unfolded, the tubers increased in size and sub- 
stance, how their hearts must have trembled, their cou- 
rage forsaken them ! And when at last the foliage began 
to turn yellow, and the taro was ripe, what agonies they 
must have undergone ! what torture could have equalled 
theirs 1 

How many dead bodies have been eaten at Namosi, it 
is impossible to guess ;• but as for every corpse brought 
into the town a stone was placed near one of the bures, 
you get some faint idea of the number. I counted no 
less than four hundred around the Great Bure alone, 
and the natives said a lot of these stones — of which 
the larger ones indicated chiefs — had been washed 
away, when, some time ago, the river overflowed its 

On some of the Ta,vola(Terminalia) trees standing about 
the Great Bure, I noticed certain incisions, and as Mac- 
donald, on ascending the Rewa river, had noticed similar 
ones at the town at Naitasiri, and was told that they 
were " a register of the number of dead bodies (bokolas) 
brought to the spot to be offered up at the bure before 
they were cooked and eaten," I inquired repeatedly 
after their meaning, and was assured by various persons 
that, at Namosi at least, they were entirely the work of 
children. As the bark of the Tavola-trees is as smooth 
as our beech, I carved my name on the largest of them ; 
a much condemned habit of our race, but which, in re- 
mote corners of the earth, I have not always been able 
to resist. 

There are ovens in the public square for baking dead 
bodies, and the pots in which human flesh is boiled or 


steamed are not devoted to any other culinary purpose. 
Another curious circumstance is, that whilst the natives 
eat every other kind of food with their fingers, human 
flesh is eaten with forks, having three or four prongs, and 
generally made of the hard wood of a species of Casua- 
rina. Every one of these forks is known by its par- 
ticular, often obscene, name, and they are handed down 
as heirlooms from generation to generation ; indeed they 
are so much valued, that it required no slight persuasion 
and a handsome equivalent to obtain specimens of them 
for our ethnological collection. 

It is customary to suspend some of the bones of those 
human beings that have been eaten in the trees before 
the Bure-ni-sa ; and we saw several of these trophies, on 
some of which was growing a beautiful little fern (Hemi- 
onitis lanceolata, Hook.), not previously seen, and only 
gathered afterwards on the very summit of Buke Levu.* 

It would be a mistake to suppose that all Fijians, not 
converted to Christianity, are cannibals. There were 
whole towns, as for instance Nakelo, on the Rewa 
river, which made a bold stand against this practice, 
declaring that it was tabu, forbidden to them by their 
gods, to indulge in it. The common people through- 
out the group, as well as women of all classes, were 
by custom debarred from it. Cannibalism was thus re- 
stricted to the chiefs and gentry, and again amongst 
them there is a number, who for want of a better appella- 
tion may be called the Liberal party, and who never 

* Mr. Waterhouse speaks of " grinning skulls looking down on us ;" 
but I never saw any skulls at this place, though carefully examining all 
the trees, nor do I know for certain whether that part of the body is ever 
suspended in trees. 

N 2 


eat human flesh, nor go near the bures when any dead 
bodies have been brought in, and who abominate the 
practice as much as any white man does, attributing to 
it those fearful skin diseases with which their children 
are so often visited. But their opponents, the Conser- 
vatives, maintain that in order to strike terror in the 
enemy and lower classes, it is absolutely necessary for 
great chiefs and gentry — a duty they owe to society — 
to eat human flesh. The feeling which the common 
people have regarding it seems somewhat akin to the 
horror inspired by that part of our nursery tales when 
the giants come home, and begin to smell the children 
concealed. The same enlightened party also objects to 
the killing of women, urging that it is just as cowardly 
to kill a woman as a baby. But here again those who 
advocate inhumanity are triumphant, arguing that if the 
women are killed the men will fret, and thus suffer an 
almost direct punishment ; and further, that as whenever 
there is a quarrel a woman is sure to be at the bottom 
of it, justice demands that her sex, having caused the 
bloodshed, should not escape scot-free. 

It is owing to this powerful ferment, which had pe- 
netrated the whole Fijian community, that cannibalism 
was so speedily abolished in all districts where Chris- 
tian missionaries or European consuls were able to aid 
the good cause by supplying the combatants with fresh 
arguments, and backing them up with all the advan- 
tages derived from their position as respected foreigners. 
There may have been, and I dare say there are to this 
day, individual natives, who, like Naulumatua, have a 
morbid appetite for human flesh, sufficient opportunity to 


gratify it to an alarming extent, and who could no more 
break themselves of the habit, though death stared them 
in the face, than any confirmed drunkard can of his vice. 
But as a general rule bokola was not regarded in the 
shape of food ; and when some of the chiefs told fo- 
reigners, who again and again would attack them about 
a custom intimately connected with the whole fabric of 
their society, and not to be abolished by a single reso? 
lution, that they indulged in eating it because their coun- 
try furnished nothing but pork, being destitute of beef 
and all other kinds of meat, they simply wished to offer 
some excuse which might satisfy their inquisitors for 
the moment. 

Fijians always regarded eating a man as the very acme 
of revenge, and to this day the greatest insult one can 
offer is to say to a person, " I will eat you." In any trans- 
action where the national honour had to be avenged, 
it was incumbent upon the king and principal chiefs 
— in fact, a duty they owed to their exalted station — ■ 
to avenge the insult offered to the country by eating 
the perpetrators of it. I am convinced however that 
there was a religious as well as a political aspect of this 
custom, which awaits future investigation. Count Stre- 
letzki, whose powers of observation have given him an 
insight into savage life few travellers have attained in 
so eminent a degree, fully agreed with me when some 
time ago this subject was the topic of conversation be- 
tween us. There is a certain degree of religious awe 
associated with cannibalism where a national institution, 
a mysterious hallow akin to a sacrifice to a supreme 
being, with which only the select few, the tabu class, 


the priests, chiefs, and higher orders, were deemed fit to 
be connected. The cannibal forks obtained at Namosi 
tended to confirm this belief. There was the greatest 
reluctance to part with them, even for a handsome equi- 
valent, and when parted with displaying them was ob- 
jected to. This I thought at first very natural, as they 
were said to be heirlooms, and the owners did not like 
to expose themselves to the odium of having trafficked 
in things like them. But when afterwards they were 
shown to parties who could know nothing of the trans- 
actions, their faces always assumed a serious aspect, and 
they were most anxious that I should put the forks 
out of sight, especially that of children. My handling 
them seemed to give as much pain as if I had gone into 
a Christian church and used the chalice for drinking 

When visiting Navua for the first time in June, Mr. 
Pritchard and I did not fail, as soon as we had suc- 
ceeded in gaining Kuruduadua's confidence, to interpose 
the influence acquired in favour of humanity. The 
chief being a pagan, it was useless to employ any Bibli- 
cal arguments, and we had therefore simply reason to 
fall back upon. One of the first concessions he con- 
ceded was, that as has already been detailed, no one 
should be clubbed on his son coming to manhood — a 
whole town having originally been singled out for that 
horrible purpose. It took him several days to consider 
our proposition with his leading men ; and there were 
long and warm discussions as to the propriety of yield- 
ing to our request. We were kept well informed of the 
progress of the question through Danford, who, to his 


praise be it said, did all he could to bring about an 
issue favourable to humanity. At last Kuruduadua in- 
formed us, that having duly considered our request with 
his councillors, they had agreed to allow the Consul 
and myself to put on the scanty clothing, the assump- 
tion of which marked the transition from boyhood to 
manhood. We lost no time to break through a custom 
which will now never be repeated in the district, since 
the son of a governing chief dispensed with it. 

The " large cauldron " which Macdonald mentions,* 
but did not see himself, stood close to the door of the 
chief's house. Our attention was drawn to it by our 
interpreter, Mr. Charles Wise ; and the very thought 
was agonizing to be so near the awful vessel in which 
perhaps many a human being had been boiled. It was 
one of those large iron pots used by traders for curing 
biche-de-mer, or sea-slugs, so plentiful on the reefs of 
Fiji, and a valuable article in the Chinese markets. It 
was large enough for cooking two men entire. At the 
mere sight of it my imagination ran riot, and a scene 
presented itself similar to that in the last act of Halevy's 
' Jewess,' where the boiling cauldron is ready to receive 
the victim of Christian intolerance. The nineteenth 
century must be freed from so shocking a spectacle, and 
Mr. Pritchard and myself let Kuruduadua have no peace 
until he agreed to abolish and prohibit cannibalism 
throughout his dominions. A few months earlier he 
would have met with a most determined opposition in 
promulgating such a law, for his half-brother at Namosi, 

* Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, vol. xxvii. 
p. 253. 


then alive, would never have agreed to it ; but our visit 
happened just at the right time in order to crown our 
endeavours with success. 

When in August we saw the cauldron again, it was 
quite rusty, and had evidently not been used. Weeds 
were growing around it, and a creeper was trying to 
cover by its foliage this remnant of past errors and 
crimes. Kuruduadua had evidently kept the promise 
made us, caused presents of human flesh sent to him, 
to be buried, and given strict orders that even in the 
fight impending the bodies of the slain enemies should 
be left to be buried by their friends, and on no consi- 
deration be removed by his own people. 

Batinisavu, who succeeded the cannibal Naulumatua as 
governor of Namosi, belonged to the party always op- 
posed to anthropophagism. He was quite a young man ; 
had, according to all accounts, never tasted human flesh ; 
and there is every reason to believe, great friends as he 
was with Danford, that as long as he holds the post no 
bokola will be seen at Namosi. The widows of the late 
governor paid me repeated visits, and said there would 
be no more cannibalism at Namosi, since Kuruduadua's 
orders were very strict. Soromato, the young chief who 
had attached himself to me, asked Danford one day 
whether he remembered a conversation they had years 
ago, when he was a very young boy, and in which he 
told him of a vow he had made never to kill a woman, 
when able to wield a club, or eat human flesh, when old 
enough to do so. Danford said he well remembered it, 
as it struck him as very singular that a mere child should 
feel so strongly on these subjects as to make a solemn 


vow. "Well," Soromato replied, " I still adhere to that 
determination, and shall do so as long as I live." 

I quote this as a specimen of the way in which a 
certain party of heathen, untaught Eijians, endeavour 
to bring about the same reform in their customs, which, 
from different points of view, and with different means, 
their best friends have for years laboured to effect. 






The people were highly pleased when they heard of my 
resolution to stay some time longer with them, and 
treated me with great cordiality. Batinisavu,* one of 
the younger brothers of Kuruduadua, who is the gover- 
nor of Namosi, was never tired of showing me atten- 
tion, and shooting ducks and fowls for me, or making 
different kinds of puddings, on the excellence of which 
he prided himself. Chiefs always make it a point to 
excel in everything they undertake ; and this is no 
doubt one of the reasons why they maintain their ascen- 
dency over the people. They build canoes, houses, or 
temples, in a style and with a finish to which the lower 
order cannot come up; in agriculture they take the 
lead ; in fighting, rowing, pulling, racing, and all manly 
exercises, they are patterns for imitation ; in the history, 
legendary lore, and traditions of the country, they carry 
off the palm ; they know every rock, river, plant, and 
animal, by its local name, and can give some account of 
everything connected with them. If to all this be added 

* Batinisavu, — literally, the edge of a waterfall. 


that their physical development is much superior to that 
of the lower classes, that they are not only taller and 
better made, but generally possessed of much handsomer 
features, we need not wonder that some travellers have 
thought them a different race from the rest of their 
countrymen ; and that in their own land they have been 
able to resist all democratic levelling, and remain to this 
day as genuine an aristocracy as ever existed, because in 
every respect a superior class. 

The widow of the late governor of Namosi asked me 
to see the " crown jewels " in her charge. They were 
kept in a wooden box, and carefully wrapt up in soft 
pieces of native cloth and cocoa-nut fibre. There were 
among them a large whale's tooth, highly polished, 
and quite brown from repeated greasing, a necklace 
made of pieces of whales' teeth, the first that ever came 
to these mountains, and a fine cannibal fork in the shape 
of a club, and bearing the ominous name of " strike 
twice," i.e. first the man and then his dead body. The 
woman told me a lot of other crown property had been 
burnt when, some years ago, the Americans destroyed 
Navua ; among it, she assured me, was a short club which 
would kill a man on the spot, and was never known to 
miss when thrown by the hand of the supreme chief. 
Whales' teeth are with the Fijians what diamonds are 
with us, and in former days there was no favour a chief 
would refuse if a number of these were offered. The 
European and American traders soon found this out, 
and did not fail to bring quantities whenever they 
touched at these islands. The consequence has been 
that on the coast and amongst the christianized popu- 


lation whales' teeth have suffered considerable deprecia- 
tion, though they have not as yet entirely been reduced 
to their proper value. In the interior of the great 
island they maintain their old importance, and Kuru- 
duadua, on seeing us handling some money, expressed 
his astonishment that we should prefer coins to whale's 
teeth. We told him not many years would elapse be- 
fore he changed that opinion, but he thought that time 
would probably never come. 

During my stay, one of the days was rainy, prevent- 
ing me from making an excursion. On expressing my re- 
gret to that effect, a man was brought to me who may 
be called the " clerk of the weather." He professed to 
exercise a direct meteorological influence, and said that 
by burning certain leaves and offering prayers only 
known to himself, he could make the sun shine or rain 
come down, and that he was willing to exercise his in- 
fluence on my behalf if paid handsomely. I told him 
that I had no objection to give him a butcher's knife if 
he could let me have fine weather until my return to 
the coast, but if he failed to do so he must give me 
something. He was perfectly willing to risk the chance 
of getting the knife, but would not hear of a present to 
me in case of failure ; however, he left to catch eels for 
me. When returning, the clouds had dispersed and 
the sun was shining brilliantly, and he did not fail to 
inform me that " he had been and done it." I must 
further do him the justice to say that I did not experi- 
ence any bad weather until I fairly reached the coast, 
and that no sooner had I set my foot in Navua than 
rain came down in regular torrents. • This man has 


probably been a close observer of the weather, and dis- 
covered those delicate local indications of a coming 
change, with which people in all countries living much 
in the open air are familiar, and he very likely does not 
commence operations until he is pretty sure of success. 

As one of my objects in Fiji was to find out "all 
about the leaves," I was anxious to be initiated in an 
art productive of such astonishing results. A little in- 
quiry, however, convinced me that an initiation would 
make me rather an object of fear than respect. The 
adepts in the art of Vaka-drau-ni-kau-taka (literally, to 
effect with leaves) are in fact regular sorcerers, whose 
craft I thought it prudent not to join. Not satisfied 
with causing rain and simshine, they exercise a direct 
and much more criminal influence over life and death, 
by working upon the superstitious fears of the natives 
to such an excess that it causes serious illness, if not 
death. They are identical with the disease-makers of 
Tanna, though not enjoying such a prominent position, 
and accomplish what European impostors effected, 
and in some districts still effect, by praying to death 
people silly enough to make themselves nervous about 
any influence these rogues pretend to exercise. If a 
Fijian wishes to cause the destruction of an individual 
by other means than open violence or secret poison, the 
case is put in the hands of one of these sorcerers, care 
being taken to let this fact be generally and widely 
known. The sorcerer now proceeds to obtain any arti- 
cle that has once been in the possession of the person 
to be operated upon. These articles are then burnt 
with certain leaves, and if the reputation of the sorcerer 


be sufficiently powerful, in nine cases out of ten the 
nervous fears of the individual to be punished will 
bring on disease, if not death ; a similar process is ap- 
plied to discover thieves. In order to comprehend the 
working of this abominable system, and the mischief 
and extortion to which it gives rise, one must take into 
consideration the absolute helplessness of the Fijian, in 
fact the Polynesian generally, when anybody has ac- 
quired a moral ascendency over him. A certain white 
settler being very much annoyed by a native, told him 
in as powerful language as he could muster, that he 
wished him dead, and that he had no doubt he would 
die within a twelvemonth. The native professed to treat 
this prophecy with derision ; nevertheless on calling 
about a year afterwards, the foreigner was informed that 
the native had fretted so much that he died. The words 
spoken in anger had thus had a fatal result, and the 
white man in confiding them to me seemed truly sorry 
for what he had done. 

The inhabitants of Namosi on being asked for their 
name, will never give it when anybody else is present 
to answer the question. I inquired for the reason, but 
they could give no other explanation except that it was 
their custom. It probably offends their dignity. They 
feel in this respect more acutely than ourselves, who 
deem it polite always to apologize when having to ask a 
person's name, and generally endeavour to find it out in 
a less direct way. 

The family life of the Fijian, especially in places like 
Namosi, where not modified by Christian teaching, is 
very curious. The men sleep, as has already been ob- 


served, at the Bure-ni-sa, or strangers' house, those of 
about the same age generally keeping together, whilst 
the boys, until they have been admitted publicly into 
the society of adults, have a sleeping bure to themselves. 
It is quite against Fijian ideas of delicacy, that a man 
ever remains under the same roof with his wife or wives 
at night. In the morning he goes home, and if not em- 
ployed in the field, remains with his family the better 
part of the day, absenting himself as evening approaches. 
Rendezvous between husband and wife, of which no 
further explanation can be given, are arranged in the 
depths of the forest, unknown to any but the two. After 
childbirth, husband and wife keep apart for three, even 
four years, so that no other baby may interfere with the 
time considered necessary for suckling children, in order 
to make them healthy and strong. This in a great mea- 
sure explains the existence of polygamy, and the diffi- 
culties the missionaries had to contend with in fighting 
against its abolition. The relatives of a woman take it 
as a public insult if any child should be born before the 
customary three or four years have elapsed, and they 
consider themselves in duty bound to avenge it in an 
equally public manner. I heard of a white man, who 
being asked how many brothers and sisters he had, 
frankly replied, "Ten !" " But that could not be," was 
the rejoinder of the natives ; " one mother could scarcely 
have so many children." When told that these chil- 
dren were born at annual intervals, and that such occur- 
rences were common in Europe, they were very much 
shocked, and thought it explained sufficiently why so 
many white people were " mere shrimps." Adultery is 


one of the crimes generally punished with death ; and 
Kuruduadua himself had not long ago one of his ne- 
phews clubbed for taking undue liberties with one of 
his wives. What is called amongst us the " social 
evil," and thought to be an unnatural excrescence of 
our artificial state of society, is not unknown amongst 
these barbarous races. There being no streets, nymphs 
of a certain description waylay travellers on the high 
roads — a direct refutation of the Mormon argument^ 
that " polygamy is the only cure for this corruption of 
our great cities." 

Fijians have been charged with want of natural affec- 
tion ; and the strangulation of widows on the death of 
their husbands, and the killing of parents when beset 
with the infirmities of old-age by the hands of their 
own children, have been advanced as proofs thereof. 
Yet these facts are perhaps the best arguments that 
human nature is not different in the Fijis than else- 
where. Affection for the departed — of course, mis- 
taken affection — prompted their relatives or friends to 
dispatch widows at the time of their husbands' burial ; 
and the widows themselves have been known to seek 
death by their own hands, if their relatives refused 
to fulfil that duty which custom imposed upon them. 
Even widowers, in the depth of their grief, have fre- 
quently terminated their existence, when deprived of a 
dearly beloved wife. On the death of a near relative 
people will cut off joints of their fingers in order to 
demonstrate their grief, and they will mourn for a long 
time for their lost ones. The sentiment of friendship is 
strongly developed, and there is scarcely a man who has 


not a bosom friend, to whom he is bound by the 
strongest ties of affection. The birth of a child is a 
perfect jubilee, and it is truly touching to see how 
parents are attached to their children, and children to 
their parents. Under such circumstances, the greatness 
of the sacrifice that children are sometimes called upon 
by their infirm old parents to terminate their suffer- 
ings by putting them to death, becomes evident. It is a 
cruel slander of the native character to put any other 
construction on this singular, though mistaken proof of 
filial affection. In a country where food is abundant, 
clothing scarcely required, and property as a general 
rule in the possession of the whole family rather than 
that of its head, children need not wait " for dead men's 
shoes," in order to become well off, and we may, there- 
fore, quite believe them when declaring that it is with 
aching heart and at the repeated entreaties of their pa- 
rents that they are induced to commit what we justly 
consider a crime. The two old men present at our 
meeting at Namosi, were living proofs that children 
however, even in these wild parts, will not always be 
induced to lay hands on their parents. 

I told a native who sometimes called at Danford's 
house, and seemed to be a most respectable man, a belief 
had been spread in our country that the Fijians were 
almost without natural affection. He replied, there 
might be some amongst his countrymen, as well as the 
whites, who had not much feeling ; but those who de- 
nied the Fijians natural affection, either understood them 
very little, or else represented them in such black co- 
lours for some purposes of their own. " When leaving 



home," he continued, " all my thoughts are with my 
family, and I am never so happy as when I am under 
my own roof, and have my wife and children around me. 
When a few days ago my youngest boy was ill, I sat up 
with him three nights, and it would have broken my 
heart had he died." The man was a savage, a heathen, 
yet could any Christian parent have spoken more warmly 
or naturally 1 Fortunately, affection is wisely placed by 
Providence beyond the reach or influence of any system, 
right or wrong. Like a beautiful flower, it springs up 
freely in any soil congenial to its growth. If the Fi- 
jians were only half as black as they have been painted, 
they would long ere this have been numbered amongst 
the extinct races ; for no society, however primitive, can 
possibly continue to exist, if the evil passions — the de- 
structive elements — preponderate over the good. The 
best vindication of their national character is their na- 
tional existence ; the best proof of their living a life as 
free from vice and corrupting practices as any heathen 
can be expected to live, is a physical development on an 
average far above that of which our own race, with all 
its advantages of civilization, can ever hope to boast. 

In the evenings, Batinisavu or other men would come 
and entertain me with some of those innumerable 
stories, in which the natives may be said to photograph 
themselves, show in what direction their fancy wanders, 
and which no travellers, worthy of the name, should 
omit writing down. The supernatural element plays 
a prominent part in all Fijian stories, and whilst 
possessing a decidedly local colouring, they forcibly re- 
mind one of our own nursery tales. The natives are 


very fond of them, and a good story-teller can never 
starve. Danford informed me that the " Arabian Nights" 
have been a source of income to him. " Aladdin, or the 
Wonderful Lamp," is paid for at the rate of two fat pigs, 
equivalent to about eight dollars ; and the " Forty 
Thieves" meets with a similar success whenever that 
charming tale is told, several friends clubbing together 
in order to make up a purse for the story-tellers. What 
a source of pleasure one would open to these islanders, 
by translating for them the "Arabian Nights" or 
Grimm's " Household Stories." 

Chief Batinisavu was always careful to inform me that 
he did not tell stories for pay, and in printing one of 
those he told me I must do him also the justice to add 
that it was a very, long one. Taking up several hours 
in telling, I can merely give the pith of the whole, and 
have to leave out those details which, without ample 
explanation and local knowledge, would be quite unin- 
telligible and uninteresting to the generality of readers. 

The Stoet of Rokoua, as told by Batinisavu, Governoe 
op Namosi. 

" Once upon a time there dwelt at Rewa a powerful 
god, whose name was Ravovonicakaugawa,* and along 
with him his friend the God of the Winds, from Wairua.t 
Ravovonicakaugawa was leading a solitary life, and had 

* Ravovonicakaugawa, i. e. a long way off. 

t This god was and is supposed to reside at a little brook in the lovely 
valley of Namosi, on Viti Levu, pointed out to us when we visited the in- 
terior of the island in September, 1860. When the Eewa people come to 
the Namosi valley, they never fail to make sacrificial offerings at Wairua 
(which is both the name of the locality and its god). Even some of those 
that have become Christians continue this practice. 



long been thinking of taking a wife to himself. At last 
his mind seemed to be made up. ' Put mast and sail in 
the canoe,' he said, " and let us take some women from 
Rokoua, the God of Naicobocobo.'* ' When do you 
think of starting 1 ?' inquired his friend. 'I shall go in 
broad daylight,' was the reply, ' or do you think 1 am 
a coward to choose the night for my work ! ' All things 
being ready, the two friends set sail, and anchored to- 
wards sunset off Naicobocobo. There they Avaited one, 
two, three days, without, contrary to Fijian customs, any 
friendly communication from the shore reaching them, 
for Rokoua, probably guessing their intentions, had 
strictly forbidden his people to take any food to the 
canoe. Eokoua's repugnance, however, was not shared 
by his household. His daughter, the lovely Naiogabui,f 
who diffused so sweet and powerful a perfume that, if 
the wind blew from the east, the perfume could be per- 
ceived in the west, and if it blew from the west, it could 
be perceived in the east — in consequence of which, and 
on account of her great personal beauty, all the -young 
men fell in love with her. Naiogabui ordered one of 
her female slaves to cook a yam, and take it to the fo- 
reign canoe, and at the same time inform its owner that 
she would be with him at the first opportunity. To give 
a further proof of her affection, she ordered all the wo- 
men in Naicobocobo to have a day's fishing. This order 
having been promptly executed, and the fish cooked, 
Naiogabui herself swam off with it during the night, and 
presented it to the Rewa God. 

* Naicobocobo, on the western extremity of Vanua Levu, the supposed 
starting-point of departed spirits for Bulu, the future place of abode, 
t Naiogabui, i. e. one who smells sweetly. 

rokoua's wives. 197 

" Ravovonicakaugawa was charmed with the princess, 
and ready to start with her at once. She, however, 
begged him to wait another night, to enable Naimila- 
mila, one of Rokoua's young wives, to accompany them. 
Naimilamila was a native of Naicobocobo, and against 
her will united to Rokoua, who had no affection what- 
ever for her, and kept her exclusively to scratch his head 
or play with his locks, hence her name. Dissatisfied 
with her sad lot, she had concocted with her step-daugh- 
ter a plan for escape, and was making active prepara- 
tions to carry it into execution. On the night agreed 
upon, Naimilamila was true to her engagement. ' Who 
are you V asked the god as she stepped on the deck. 
'I am Rokoua's wife,' she rejoined, 'get your canoe 
under weigh. My lord may follow closely on my heels, 
and Naiogabui will be with us immediately.' Almost 
directly after a splash in the water was heard. ' There 
she comes,' cried Naimilamila, ' make sail ;' and instantly 
the canoe, with Ravovonicakaugawa, his friend, and the 
two women, departed for Rewa. 

" Next morning, when Rokoua discovered the elope- 
ment, he determined to pursue the fugitives, and for 
that purpose embarked in the ' Vatutulali,' a canoe de- 
riving its name from his large drum, the sound of which 
was so powerful that it could be heard all over Fiji. 
His club and spear were put on board, both of which 
were of such gigantic dimensions and weight, that it 
took ten men to lift either of them. Rokoua soon 
reached Nukuilailai, where he took the spear out, and 
making a kind of bridge of it, walked over it on shore. 
Taking spear and club in his hand, he musingly walked 


along. ' It will never do to be at once discovered,' he 
said to himself ; ' I must disguise myself. But what 
shape shall I assume 1 That of a hog or a dog % As a 
hog, I should not be allowed to come near the door ; 
and, as a dog, I should have to fetch the bones thrown 
outside. Neither will answer my purpose. I shall 
therefore assume the shape of a woman.' Continuing 
his walk along the beach, he met an old woman, carrying 
a basket of taro and puddings, ready cooked, and, with- 
out letting her be at all aware of it, he exchanged figures 
with her. He then inquired whither she was going, 
and, being informed to the house of the God of Rewa, 
he took the basket from her, and, leaving club and spear 
on the beach, proceeded to his destination. His disguise 
was so complete, that even his own daughter did not re- 
cognise him. ' Who is that ?' she asked, as he was about 
to enter. ' It is I,' replied Rokoua, in a feigned voice ; 
' I have come from Monisa with food.' ' Come in, old 
lady,' said Naiogabui, ' and sit down.' Rokoua accord- 
ingly entered, and took care to sit like a Fijian woman 
would do, so that his disguise might not be discovered. 
' Are you going back to-night V he was asked. ' No,' 
the disguised god replied ; ' there is no occasion for that.' 
Finding it very close in the house, Rokoua proposed a 
walk and a bath, to which both Naiogabui and Naimila- 
mila agreed. When getting the women to that spot of 
the beach where club and spear had been left, he threw 
off his disguise, and exclaimed, ' You little knew who I 
was ; I am Rokoua, your lord and master,' and, at the 
same time taking hold of their hands, he dragged the 
runaways to the canoe, and departed homewards. 


" When the Eewa god found his women gone, he 
again started for Naicobocobo, where, as he wore no dis- 
guise, he was instantly recognized, his canoe taken and 
dragged on shore by Eokoua's men, while he himself and 
his faithful friend, who again accompanied him, were 
seized and made pig-drivers. They were kept in this 
degrading position a long time, until a great festival 
took place in Vanua Levu, which Eokoua and his party 
attended. Arrived at the destination, the Eewa god and 
his friend were left in charge of the two canoes that had 
carried the party thither, whilst all the others went 
on shore to enjoy themselves ; but as both friends were 
liked by all the women, they were kept amply supplied 
with food and other good things during the festival. 
Nevertheless Eavovonicakaugawa was very much cast 
down, and taking a kava-root (Yaqona), he offered it as 
a sacrifice, and despairingly exclaimed, ' Have none of 
the mighty gods of Eewa pity on my misfortune V His 
friend's body became instantly possessed by a god, and 
began to tremble violently. ' What do you want V asked 
the god within. ' A gale to frighten my oppressors out 
of their wits.' ' It shall be granted,' replied the god, 
and departed. 

"The festival being over, Eokoua's party embarked 
for Naicobocobo. But it had hardly set sail when a 
strong northerly gale sprang up, which nearly destroyed 
the canoes, and terribly frightened those on board. 
Still they reached Naicobocobo, where the Eewa god 
prayed for an easterly wind to carry him home. All 
Eokoua's men having landed, and left the women behind 
to carry the luggage and goods on shore, the desired wind 


sprang up, and the two canoes, with sails set, started for 
Eewa, where they safely arived, and the goods and other 
property were landed and distributed as presents among 
the people. 

" But Eokoua was not to be beaten thus. Although 
his two canoes had been taken, there was still the one 
captured from Bavovonicakaugawa on his second visit to 
Naicobocobo. That was launched without delay, and 
the fugitives pursued. Arriving at Nukuilailai, Eokoua 
laid his spear on the deck of the canoe and walked over 
it on shore, as he had done on a previous occasion. 
Landed, he dropped his heavy club, thereby causing so 
loud a noise that it woke all the people on Viti Levu. 
This noise did not escape the quick ear of Naimilamila. 
' Be on your guard,' she said to her new lord, ' Eokoua 
is coming ; I heard his club fall ; he can assume any 
shape he pleases ; be a dog, or a pig, or a woman ; he can 
command even solid rocks to split open and admit him, 
so be on your guard.' Eokoua meanwhile met a young 
girl from Nadoi on the road, carrying shrimps, landcrabs, 
and taro to the house of the god of Eewa, and without 
hesitation he asumed her shape, and she took his without 
being herself aware of it. Arriving with his basket at 
his destination, Naiogabui asked, 'Who is there V To 
which Eokoua replied, ' It is me ; I am from Nadoi, 
bringing food for your husband.' The supposed mes- 
senger was asked into the house, and sitting down, he 
imprudently assumed a position not proper to Fijian 
women. This, and the shape of his limbs, was noticed 
by Naiogabui, who whispered the discovery made into 
her husband's ear. Eavovonxakaugawa stole out of the 

rokoua's end. 201 

house, assembled his people, recalled to their minds the 
indignities heaped upon him by Rokoua, and having 
worked them up to a high pitch of excitement, he in- 
formed them that the offender was now in their power. 
All rushed to arms, and entering the house they de- 
manded the young girl from Nadoi. ' There she sits,' 
replied Naiogabui, pointing to her father ; and no sooner 
had the words been spoken, than a heavy blow with a 
club felled Rokoua to the ground. A general onset fol- 
lowed, in which the head of the victim was beaten to 
atoms. This was the end of Rokoua." 









When, on the 2nd of September, I left Namosi, there 
were great lamentations. The women and children 
cried bitterly, and Batinisavu, the Governor of the 
place, with several young chiefs, made up their minds 
to see me safe to the coast. I had witnessed a similar 
scene after the departure of Colonel Smythe and Mr. 
Pritchard, and heard chiefs and people regret that they 
were gone, and would probably never come again. I 
had been amongst them much longer, and they had got 
used, and, in some instances, quite attached to me. Can- 
nibals though they be, they have many good qualities ; 
and some of the greatest crimes laid to their door may 
be explained, as singular, though mistaken demonstra- 
tions of a deep natural affection. 

We took the same road as that by which Mr. Prit- 
chard and his party had returned, and in the afternoon 
reached Vuniwaivutuka, where we made preparations 


for staying the night. Directly on our arrival, some of 
the leading men came up to the Bure-ni-sa we were 
stopping at, to present a root of kava to Batinisavu, as 
a token of respect and goodwill, and making, in present- 
ing it, a neat little speech, to which the Namosi Gover- 
nor replied in equally friendly terms. Batinisavu struck 
me as a man very far above the rest of his countrymen. 
There was something quiet and dignified about him; 
and though he always went without any hesitation 
through all the ceremonies his station imposed, he often 
apologized to me by saying it was " Vaka Viti " — Fijian 
usage — which he could not set aside. 

The bures are, in Fiji, what club-houses are with us : 
everybody goes there, and all the news finds its way 
thither. The great topic of that day's conversation was 
the discovery of an adultery in a neighbouring village. 
The friends of the woman took up the case. The bure 
to which the adulterer belonged resisted their attack, 
and the consequence was a series of broken heads. The 
chief offender escaped, but his father was caught and 
punished for his son's transgressions. The husband of 
the seduced wife had his taro-fields destroyed, and was 
told that such a fool as he did not deserve to possess 
them. Batinisavu strongly censured the whole proceed- 
ings. He asked, where was their justice 1 ? to punish the 
poor old father for his son's wickedness, was simply cruel, 
and to destroy the crops of an already injured man, 
worthy of such mountaineers and fools as they were. 

No one can be long in this region of " taboo " and 
" tatoo " without perceiving what rich stores of human 
fancy and ideas, shortly to be lost or mutilated for ever, 


are here offered. Attention is constantly directed to 
them, and you have as little chance of remaining 
ignorant of the great deeds of Degei, Rokoua, and the 
Vasu-ki-lagi, as you have in the East of the stories of 
successful magicians, spell-bound princesses, and mighty 
treasures concealed in obscure caverns. In Kurudua- 
dua's dominion I could hardly turn without hearing of 
the doings of the Veli, and the greater part of the even- 
ing at this place was again devoted to them. My curi- 
osity had already been so much excited that I deter- 
mined, come what might, to write their natural history 
in the very localities most frequented by them. By 
inquiry and frequent cross-examination, I found the 
Veli to be a class of spirits in figure approaching to the 
German gnome, in habits of life the fairy of England. 
They have been in the country from time immemorial, 
and live in hollow Kowrie-pines and Kabea-trees. They 
are of diminutive size, and rather disproportionately 
large about the upper part of their body. Their hair is 
thick, and prolonged behind in a pig-tail. Some have 
wings, others have not. Their complexion rather re- 
sembles that of the white race than the Fijian. They 
have great and petty chiefs ; are polygamists, and bear 
names like the Fijians. They also resemble the latter 
in wearing native cloth or tapa, which however is much 
finer and whiter than the ordinary sort. They are 
friendly disposed, and possess no other bad quality than 
that of stealing iron tools from the natives. They sing 
sweetly, and occasionally gratify the Fijians by giving 
them a song. They feed on the fruit of the Tankua 
(Ptychosperma) and Boia (Scitaminearum gen. nov.), 


which they term emphatically their cocoa-nut and their 
plantain ; and men imprudent enough to cut down these 
plants, have received a sound beating from the enraged 
Veli. They drink kava made, not of the cultivated 
Macropiper methysticum, but of a pepper growing wild 
in the woods, and vernacularly termed Yaqoyaqona 
(Macropiper puberulum, Benth.). The Fijians have no 
long stories about them, as they have about their gods. 
All the accounts of the Veli relate to isolated facts, — 
to their abode, their having been seen, heard to sing, 
caught in a theft, and found to beat the destroyers of 
their peculiar trees ; but they are so numerous that it is 
no wonder the Fijians should consider the evidence suffi- 
cient to establish their real existence. 

The women about this place, as well as about Nagadi, 
were tatooed around the whole mouth, not merely 
around the corners, as is customary on the coast. The 
reader may smile at this observation, but after living 
awhile amongst natives in an almost absolute state 
of nudity, the eye readily detects these minute differ- 
ences, and the mind begins to comprehend why, on pay- 
ing compliments, these people dwell with such em- 
phasis on this or that part of the body, when a Euro- 
pean, under similar circumstances, would record his ad- 
miration for a becoming toilet, whole or in part. In 
narrating travels in barbarous countries, the disadvan- 
tage of the people not wearing clothes is acutely felt. 
In order to convey, at least, some notion of what the 
personages encountered were like, one is compelled to 
notice their arms, legs, and other parts of their body, 
a fact for which one is not always inclined. 


The next morning we left Vuniwaivutuka ; and after 
a smart walk of about an hour and a half, we came to a 
branch of the Navua river, where Batinisavu had a raft 
of bamboos prepared. It seemed a very rickety contri- 
vance ; nevertheless it was strong, and there was no 
chance of capsizing in passing over rapids. But I found 
it impossible to keep my collections dry, so four of the 
boys took them on their backs to Navua. We then 
passed down the river rapidly, and about noon reached 
the town of Nagadi, where we had stopped a night on a 
previous occasion. There we intended to exchange our 
raft for a large canoe, but this intention was frustrated. 
On that very day the " Vasu " to Nagadi had taken 
away all the canoes, and other articles of the town that 
took his fancy. A " Vasu " is a mighty personage in 
Fiji. He is simply a nephew, but, according to the 
usage of the country, he holds all the movable property 
of his uncle at his absolute disposal, and can at any 
moment take whatever he chooses. There are vasus 
not only to families, but to towns and states, and it is 
considered shabby to resist their exactions. Some vasus 
have even sold the land belonging to their uncles, but 
Fijians say that is going a little too far, and exceeds the 
proper limits of the system. If therefore the uncles 
wish to keep anything to themselves, they must not let 
their nephews see it. I remember Batinisavu, having a 
grasping nephew, and several American hatchets given 
him, begged Danford to keep them at his house, so that 
the vasu might not get wind of their existence. Of course 
the Vasus are expected to make some return, and the 
Vasu to the town of Nagadi, living on the sea-coast, 


where salt is abundant, had presented the people, whom 
he had cleared out of almost everything, with a supply 
of that useful article, for they assured us they had no 
canoes left to get across the river, and should have to 
commence that very day to build new ones. On push- 
ing down the river, we overtook the flotilla, heavily 
laden with goods of all descriptions, and had no diffi- 
culty in getting the loan of a canoe to Navua. We had 
little reason to congratulate ourselves on this change. 
At the next rapid we could not bale faster than the 
water came in at the stern ; the outrigger lost its balance, 
and in another moment the canoe was capsized.* Soro- 
mato, my faithful friend, by a desperate dash saved a 
bundle of my clothes, including cloak, and succeeded in 
getting them on shore dry. Having been up to my neck 
in water, I felt very thankful to Soromato. The natives 
kindled a fire on a gravelly spot, and two of the boys 
had to chew kava, which, in the absence of a proper 
bowl and straining fibres, was made in large leaves and 
squeezed through ferns. 

The canoe being baled out, and put again in proper 
order, we continued our voyage, and without any further 
mishap reached Navua. Kuruduadua met us close to 
the town ; he had been all day busy in the field, and 
said he had a great number of people staying with him 
to assist in his agricultural labours. When we stepped 
on shore, supper was just being presented to them. It 
was an immense heap of provisions, and though there 
were probably two hundred visitors, there must have 
been ample for all. 

* In our Plate representing Koro Basabasaga will be seen a good speci- 
men of a Fijian river-canoe with its outrigger. 


As the houses were crowded, I was very glad to learn 
that the 'Paul Jones,' with Mr. Pritchard on board, 
had arrived from Nadroga, and was then anchored at 
the mouth of the river. Two of the crew soon after 
made their appearance in the dingy belonging to the 
schooner, and I availed myself of the chance to get on 
board. On paddling down the river we encountered 
several heavy showers ; the clerk of the weather at 
Namosi had only guaranteed sunshine until I should 
have fairly reached the coast, and now I was again in 
the region of salt water, mangrove-trees, and sago 
swamps. "We took shelter under a thick tree, and with 
my umbrella-parasol I kept myself tolerably dry. The 
people living on the high banks under which we had 
halted, soon espied us, and invited us to come into 
their houses. When we refused on account of its get- 
ting too late to reach the schooner, they brought some 
hot yams and taro, and one of the boys was sent up a 
cocoa-nut palm, slippery though the trunk was, to knock 
down some nuts for drinking. We gave them some 
sticks of tobacco, of which they were very glad, and all 
parted with mutual expressions of goodwill. 

I took leave of Batinisavu, the Namosi Governor, at 
Navua, and shall always remember his kindness. Ku- 
ruduadua came on board that night, and Danford ac- 
companied him. Though he had publicly declared in 
favour of the cession of Fiji to England, he had not as 
yet formally signed the deed of cession. As he is one 
of the most powerful chiefs, it was important to have 
his signature, and in the evening he affixed his mark to 
that document; Mr. Charles Wise having once more 

kukuduadua's character. 209 

carefully translated the import of the paper, and I at- 
testing the chiefs signature. 

Whilst sitting in the little cabin of the schooner, 
Kuruduadua asked about a variety of subjects, and ge- 
nerally exclaimed, "Ah! ye white men are superior 
people. We are ignorant savages !" He was much 
pleased with that volume of Wilkes's ' Narrative of the 
United States Exploring Expedition ' relating to Fiji and 
Tonga. Indeed, all the natives who saw it were en- 
raptured with that beautiful publication. So faithful 
are the representations of places and persons, that the 
natives instantly recognized them. The portraits of 
Tanoa, the father of King Cakobau, and that of the 
Queen of Rewa, pleased them mightily. They always 
exclaimed, " They live ! They can see ! They speak !" 
I wish the artist had been there to hear the praise la- 
vished upon his productions. 

Kuruduadua left very late, and Danford went with 
him. Always making it a point to speak of people as 
I find them, I have nothing to say except what is in 
their favour. Both of them had been of the greatest 
service to us, and behaved well. Kuruduadua we found 
an intelligent, straightforward man, quite ready to listen 
to reason, prepared to come up to any obligations he 
had taken upon himself, and detesting all half-measures, 
all sham. Of Danford I have already spoken. He has 
been a pioneer, whose services in that direction I should 
not be inclined to undervalue, and without whom one 
of the most interesting episodes of my life would pro- 
bably not have occurred. 

We finally left the Navua river on the 5th of Sep- 



tember, and stood over to Bega (=Mbenga), an oval- 
shaped island, about five miles long by three wide, sub- 
ject to Rewa, and in some measure to Kuruduadua. No 
sooner had we cast anchor than Mr. Don, an English- 
man, came to the Consul, complaining that the natives, 
under pressure from the Tonguese, wished to compel 
him to let them have back again the land which he 
had bought, as they had given the island of Bega to the 
Tonguese. Mr. Pritchard went to the man who repre- 
sented himself as the principal chief, and told him that 
Mr. Don totally rejected the offer of ten fat pigs, or any 
other equivalent for the land he had acquired, and if 
they had given their island to the Tonguese, it was by 
no means binding, Maafu, the Tonguese chief, having 
publicly renounced all claims on and in Fiji ; and, until 
her Britannic Majesty's pleasure was known, the cession 
of Fiji to England was valid, and could not be ignored. 
Two Tonguese present tried to argue the point, but were 
signally defeated by one no novice in native tactics. 

One of our reasons for making Bega was to obtain 
some oil of the Dilo (Calophyllum inophyllum, Linn.), an 
excellent liniment for rheumatism, pains in the joints, 
bruises, etc., and enjoying a high reputation throughout 
the South Sea. Mr. Storck, my able assistant, had — 
after quite recovering from his fall in Somosomo — com- 
mitted the imprudence, whilst paying a visit to his friend 
Peter, the King's councillor, at Bau, to sleep a night 
between two open doors on a matted floor of a new 
house, in consequence of which he had gradually be- 
come so stiff as ultimately to be unable to move even 
his hands. We had to dress him, put him to bed, and 


even feed him, his appetite being good all the while; 
and he, poor fellow, was so helpless that at one time he 
was falling in the sea, and only saved by the presence of 
mind of one on board. All the Fijian doctors recom- 
mended the external application of Dilo oil ; and for 
some calico we obtained two gourd-flasks full, with which 
the patient was rubbed several times a day. Fortunately 
our voyage was drawing to a close ; and I am happy to 
add, the greater comfort and change of food at Ovalau 
soon restored him to perfect health. 

We intended to proceed from Bega direct to Ovalau, 
but towards evening the weather became so fine — 
every sign of rain having disappeared — that the idea 
struck us to run over once more to Kadavu, and ascend 
if possible Buke Levu, the great mountain. The passage 
between Bega and Kadavu being an open sea, and we 
having a good pilot on board, in the person of Mr. 
Charles Wise, the consular interpreter, we left Bega just 
whilst the sun was gilding the feathery tops of the 
cocoa-nut palms, and diffusing a bright hue over the 
white coral beaches. 

Sailing all night, daybreak disclosed the bold out- 
line of Buke Levu, a mountain 3800 feet high, situate 
on the north-west point of Kadavu, and deriving its 
name from a certain resemblance to the hillocks (Buke) 
on which yams are planted; hence Buke Levu, the 
" large yam hill." No white man had ever ascended 
it, and, though laid down in the latest maps, its very 
name was not recorded. It will be remembered that 
we had made two distinct efforts to reach its summit, but 
were baffled by gales and rain. We now were about to 

P 2 


make the third. On bringing our little schooner to 
anchor off the town of Taulalia, heavy showers overtook 
us, and we began to despair of ever attaining our object, 
when about nine o'clock it suddenly cleared up. The 
natives, who had been watching from the beach, could 
not understand our hesitation in not landing at once, 
and in proof of their friendly disposition, brought out 
theh women and children ; and, moreover, carried green 
boughs, as the soldiers do in Macbeth, when "Birnam 
wood removes to Dunsinane." 



On learning our object in coming to their town, fifteen 
men and boys cheerfully volunteered to accompany us. 
The ascent commenced the moment we left Taulalia, 
and passing over cultivated grounds where the people 
were busy with their- crops of sugar-canes, yams, taros, 
and plantains, we reached in about a quarter of an hour 
a village, where another party of natives joined us, and 
where we saw some fine plants of the different kinds of 


kava, for which Kadavu is renowned. A narrow path, 
often winding along precipices and through rivulets, led 
to about 1500 feet elevation, where it gradually faded 
away, and the isolated patches of cultivation noticed up 
to this height, as well as the wood which had re-occu- 
pied ground at one time cleared and the masses of reeds 
gave place to an undisturbed virgin forest, through 
which we had to cut our way. We had taken the pre- 
caution of bringing a strong rope, sixty feet long, which, 
made fast to trees, proved extremely useful in dragging 
ourselves up almost perpendicular rocks, in the rainy 
season occupied by waterfalls, and even at this time of 
the year very slippery. On some of these were found a 
number of delicate ferns (Hymenophyllum), and quite a 
new species of land-shell (Bulimus Seemanni, Dohr.), 
fully two inches long, and of a bright salmon-colour. 

In order to save time, we had directed one of our men 
to push ahead and prepare a camp-kettle full of tea — 
of all beverages the best when one is tired and heated. 
When at last, after great exertion and frequent stopping 
to examine objects of interest, we reached the top, he 
and half-a-dozen others were already there, but they had 
omitted to bring either matches, firesticks, or water; 
and even the cocoa-nuts, packed up with the rest of the 
day's provisions, were too old for drinking. Being ex- 
tremely thirsty, we could not touch food, hungry though 
we were. The natives declared the nearest water to be 
more than 1000 feet down, and, as they had not the 
proper wood, it was impossible for them to kindle fire 
by friction. However, a man must have read ' Robinson 
Crusoe ' to little purpose, if his resources fail him in 


moments like these. We were determined not to let 
our explorations come to a sudden stop for want of 
something to drink. Mr. Pritchard left me the option 
between procuring fire or water ; to guard against lame 
excuses on the part of the natives, it being thought ne- 
cessary that one of us should go with them in search of 
a spring. Knowing what a hard job it was to make fire 
by rubbing, without pausing, two pieces of wood to- 
gether, especially in the tropics, I declared in favour of 
getting the water. My companion, who did not seem to 
relish descending so many feet and climbing up again, 
was evidently pleased with his lot. In spite of all the 
natives were saying about making the wood answer, 
he resolutely began rubbing away. Great exertions 
were required ; hat, jacket, vest, and necktie discarded, 
to obtain greater freedom of action. At last came the 
reward. The wood began to smoke, sparks appeared, 
went out again, reappeared, and, brought in contact with 
a piece of bark-cloth cut off the tail of a boy's dress, 
soon produced a flame. 

All this time I had been sitting on an old stump, 
feigning to be quite insensible to certain broad hints 
about the desirableness of looking after the execution 
of my part of the contract. When the first flame had 
appeared I at last bestirred myself, and to the surprise of 
the fire-kindler, instead of going a long way for water, 
climbed up a neighbouring tree on which I had noticed 
an epiphytical plant (Astelia montana, Seem.), the leaves 
of which , acting as a kind of rain-gauge, were filled 
with pure water : by merely emptying these the necessary 
supply was obtained. Ere long, tea was ready, and re- 


lished all the more from recalling to mind the long es- 
tablished connection between cups, slips, and lips. 

After all hands had partaken of refreshment, a num- 
ber of trees were felled in order to gain, if possible, a 
view, the top of Buke Levu being densely wooded. No 
sooner had this been accomplished than, to our joy, the 
clouds which up to this time had been interposed be- 
tween us and the region below, dispersed, disclosing a 
great part of Kadavu and the sea. Our little schooner 
was snugly lying at anchor, flying the British colours ; 
but we listened in vain for the signal guns which the 
men had been directed to fire as soon as they should 
perceive the smoke of our fire, intensified at intervals 
by throwing heaps of green leaves upon it. We after- 
wards learned that it had been found impossible to dis- 
tinguish between smoke and clouds. A large native 
canoe, with its white triangular sail, was seen approaching 
the shore, and the blasts of the conch shells could be 
heard distinctly, though we were nearly 4000 feet high ; 
otherwise there was a deep silence, only occasionally 
broken by the dogs, which have become naturalized 
in these wilds, as the domestic fowls have in other 
parts of the group. The vegetation encountered was si- 
milar to that of Voma Peak in Viti Levu ; there were 
the same bright orange-coloured orchids (Bendrobium 
Mohlianum, Beichb. fil.) and the epiphytical ferns, but 
also several new species of plants. The Cinnamomum 
furnishing a superior kind of Cassia-bark was here as 
plentiful as in Great Fiji; a kind of Gummi Guttse 
(Clusia sessilis, Forst.) also engaged our attention. Buke 
Levu is evidently an extinct volcano ; and hot springs 


at its foot, near the town of Nasau, ascertained by 
Colonel Smythe to be 144° Fahrenheit, may possibly 
stand in some connection with its former activity. The 
outward look of the summit is very much like the cone 
of Vesuvius, as it was when I ascended it in 1861 ; but 
we did not discover any large crater, simply an insigni- 
ficant swamp. 

Having left on one of the trees a well-corked bottle 
containing the record of our visit, — that of the first 
white men who ever ascended the mountain, — we com- 
menced the descent, which presented in some parts se- 
rious difficulties, but, thanks to our rope, we overcame 
them all ; only one of the lads had a rather serious 
tumble, by which he sprained his ankle. Before we 
were more than halfway down it was completely dark, 
when the natives lit bundles of reeds and the stems of 
a weed (JErigeron albidum, A. Gray), both of which 
make excellent torches. On arriving at the first grove 
of cocoa-nut palms a general halt was made, and heaps 
of nuts were brought down from the trees and emp- 
tied of their contents with astonishing rapidity. It was 
past nine o'clock, just twelve hours after we started, 
when we reached Taulalia, where the whole village was 
assembled at and about the house of the Wesleyan 
teacher, a Fijian by birth, and our native companions 
had to give a most circumstantial account of our day's 

We slept at the house of the teacher, which we found 
clean and comfortable. Early next morning all who had 
accompanied us had to sit in a row, — and a nice long row 
it was, — and every one received a butcher's knife, which 


elicited much clapping of hands, in proof that the gift was 
accepted : money would not have pleased half as much, 
as its use is not understood. All payments are made in 
kind, — a most irksome and cumbrous way, compelling you 
to carry a whole heap of things to defray the current ex- 
penses of a cruise ; articles regarded as small change, and 
making one look like a pedlar, you are supposed to have 
always about you. In one pocket you carry pipes and to- 
bacco — in great demand, but held rather cheap ; in an- 
other, fish-hooks, jews'-harps, and beads, the spare room 
to be filled with scissors and knives of various descrip- 
tions. On board are kept your gold and bank-notes, re- 
presented by bales of Manchester print, especially navy 
blue ; flannel jackets and woollen blankets, — killing the 
natives faster than brandy and the so-called vices of 
civilization, — and American hatchets, price five dollars 
apiece. The inconvenience and expense of paying for 
everything by articles of barter is increased by some of 
the goods not proving acceptable in all towns, and the 
natives refusing certain things because they happen to 
differ in some unimportant trifle from those generally 
in use. Fashion here, as elsewhere, rules supreme : 
knives with white handles instead of black would be 
objected to, though their blades might be first-rate; and 
I learned to my cost that it is absolutely useless to 
lay in stock at Sydney or Melbourne unless one obtains 
exact information regarding the articles in demand. 

On leaving Taulalia, September the 7th, we steered 
eastward, passing Yawe, the famous pottery manufac- 
tory, in order to bid farewell to Mr. Royce, the prin- 
cipal missionary at Tavuki, under whose hospitable roof 


we had previously stayed. Wishing to economize time, 
we left Tavuki at sunset for Ovalau ; we had put to 
sea scarcely an hour when the weather became squally 
and very thick, compelling us to take in all canvas ex- 
cept the foresail. We should have fared ill if it had 
not been for the presence of the consular interpreter, 
Mr. Charles Wise, who combines with a perfect know- 
ledge of the Fijian language, customs, and manners, the 
advantage of being one of the best pilots in the group, 
the more appreciated amongst the maze of more than 
two hundred islands, of which as yet no reliable chart 
has been prepared, though the labours of Wilkes, Bel- 
cher, Kellett, and Denham, have already done a great 
deal towards that desirable end. After an anxious night 
amongst reefs and shoals, we found ourselves off Eewa, 
and, as the wind had now become a gale, the rain was 
coming down in torrents, and the sea was very high, we 
took shelter inLaucala(=Lauthala) Bay, anchoring op- 
posite the premises of Mr. Pickering, an old settler in 
Fiji. The occupier was absent, but his people made us 

A small schooner had just arrived from New Zealand 
with sixteen immigrants on board. The captain called 
on the Consul, and brought a file of colonial newspapers 
containing the latest European news. Vessels often 
making Fiji a week after leaving Auckland, we gene- 
rally had our latest intelligence via New Zealand. The 
captain was going to return immediately, taking oranges, 
pine-apples, and yams with him, and intending to come 
back with a fresh number of immigrants. Those that 
he had brought this time had found shelter at the 

MR. moore's sermon. 219 

houses of the various white settlers about here. Mr. 
Pritchard and I called on several, to see what we could 
do for them. In comparison to New Zealand they found 
it rather warm in the group, while we, on the contrary, 
were quite chilly, and glad to have thick clothes on. 
They had not brought any mosquito curtains, and, like 
all new-comers, had suffered dreadfully during the first 
night from irritating bites, to guard against which in 
future the ladies were busy converting their light muslin 
dresses into defences against them. 

In the evening a boat took us over to the mission- 
station of Mataisuva, where Mr. and Mrs. Moore gave 
us, as usual, a hearty welcome. The weather still conti- 
nuing boisterous, we were easily persuaded to remain, es- 
pecially as the next day was a Sunday, and Mr. Moore, 
for the benefit of the new arrivals, was to have service 
in English. Sunday morning proved very fine, and 
when drums were beaten — why does not some kind- 
hearted person present this fine church with a good 
tolling-bell % — boats and canoes poured in from all direc- 
tions, and there was a large congregation, a gratifying 
sight after looking so long upon dark faces. Mr. Moore, 
a powerful and eloquent speaker, preached an extem- 
porary sermon, admirably adapted to those he was ad- 
dressing. Its tenor was that every man ought to do 
his duty in the position it had pleased Providence to 
place him in. Amongst his hearers there were probably 
very few who belonged to the denomination of which 
he is so bright an ornament, but in these out-of-the- 
way places all sensible people refrain from troubling 
their heads about the nice distinctions into which our 


Protestant Church has unhappily been split, and all 
Christians who are not Catholics never raise much ob- 
jection to forming part of a congregation, the members 
of which may more or less differ from them in minor 
points of discipline or doctrine. 

Leaving Rewa roads on the morning of the 10th of 
September, we reached Port Kinnaird, Ovalau, on the 
following day, where our little schooner was refitted, 
and we made every preparation for another, my last, 
cruise in the group. Mr. Pritchard's work, which even 
in ordinary times was more than he could get through 
without the greatest efforts, and sitting up late or even 
whole nights, had accumulated to an alarming extent. 
The clerks he engaged proved worse than useless, though 
the pay which he could offer was three times what 
they would have got in England. After my departure 
he fortunately obtained the co-operation of Mr. Swan- 
ston as vice-consul, who, shortly after his installation in 
office, wrote me a letter, 'dated Levuka, July 9, 1861, a 
passage of which I shall take the liberty to quote, as it 
gives some insight into consular duties in this group : — 

" There were urgent entreaties from missionaries and white 
residents at Eewa, and all along the coast of Viti Levu, to Mr. 
Pritchard, to visit them. Complaints from whites to windward 
against Tonga movements generally ; and Mr. Henry complains 
in particular against Maafu, and seeks consular intervention. 
All this, etc., keeps Mr. Pritchard cruising about, and the office 
drudgery falls on me, and I have more than I can attend to ; 
to wit : — 

" Naval court yesterday. — Seamen complain against ' Caro- 
line's ' going to sea unseaworthy. Merchants and others put 
in claims against the master ; he drunk and disorderly on the 


beach ; have to put him under arrest. My constable gets 
intoxicated. Consular officer has to attend to it. Harvie, a Brit, 
subject, dead. Mr. Pritchard hands me in papers connected 
with the affairs, which he brought from Gau and Koro, whither 
he had to go last week on official business. Claims against this 
estate ; counter-claims, disputes, and trouble to me. Old 
T lodges a complaint against S ; accuses him of vio- 
lating the person of his daughter ; Levuka in a state of excite- 
ment about it. Binner in great distress about disputed land 
title of his. Wilson's agent here, with chief's from Na Lavu 
Lavu, to complete land titles. Clarke and Hazelman, ditto, 
ditto, from Na Viti Levu. Order from Hort, Bros., to seize 
schooner ' Kate/ unlawfully kept out of their possession. Com- 
plaints from Bob Somebody that Davies has kicked him out 
without paying him his wages. Claims against Maafu for debts 
due four years ago ; American citizen connected with the affair ; 
have to refer to the U. S. Consul; go into the affair to-morrow 
if business permits. Maafu here to ascertain why a certain 
Fijiman, sentenced some time since to three years' hard labour, 
is allowed to be at large ; crime, killing a Tongaman. He offers, 
and insists upon his right, to enforce the punishment if the Fiji 
chiefs cannot. Wilson's agent lodges complaint against Bothe, 
for inducing natives at Wai Levu to give to him logs belonging 
to the company of which Wilson is the acting partner. 

" And all these in two days ; and so the wheel goes : every 
case has to be examined into, evidence heard, judgment given, 
papers in connection made out, often in duplicate, and so on, 
and so on. I am tired. I have been at it all day ; it is now 
midnight ; so good-bye. 

" Yours very truly, 









Ouk schooner, which had been so much shattered during 
the stormy passage from Kadavu to Rewa as to require 
a thorough refitting, again left Lado on the 10th of 
October. Mr. Pritchard had agreed to meet Colonel 
Smythe on the 17th of that month at Waikava, a town 
of Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu, and to bring thither all 
the most influential chiefs of that island. We stood 
over to the east coast of Viti Levu, and made it near 
Tova Peak, the bold cone-shaped outline of which could 
be seen from Lado in fine weather. The shores looked 
charming ; grassy slopes alternating with groves of trees, 
rivulets, and inhabited valleys. Towards 4 p.m. we an- 
chored off Nananu Levu (erroneously called Annan in 
the charts), close to the most northerly point of Viti 
Levu, and near another small island bearing the name 
of Nananu-gata. Like the adjacent coast, it is covered 
with grass, isolated screw-pines, and ironwood, and 
would seem well adapted for isheep and cattle. Poli- 



tically it is under Viwa, which again is tributary to Bau. 
There may be about one hundred inhabitants, who lived 
in a town defended by a deep ditch and high earthen 
mounds. On the top of the island were extensive plan- 
tations of Kawai (Dioscorea aculeata, Linn.), and in the 
valleys thousands of bread-fruit trees. The people did 
not seem to take much notice of us, and altogether be- 
haved colder than any we had yet come in contact with. 
Remaining at anchor all night, our voyage was con- 
tinued early next morning to Bua, Sandalwood Bay. 
The north-eastern portion of Viti Levu, now fast fading 
away, is called Bakiraki, and famous in mythology as 
the site of Na Vatu, the Fijian Mount Olympus, and 
the abode of the supreme god Degei ( = Ndengei). It 
has been supposed that this portion of Viti was the first 



to be inhabited, because all the tribes of the islands 
acknowledge Degei as their chief god, and own their 
knowledge of him to be derived from Rakiraki. There 
is nothing very remarkable either in the shape or cha- 
racter of the mountain, and, as far as our present in- 
formation goes, we are unable to account for the dis- 
tinction it enjoys. The accompanying sketch, obligingly 
furnished by Mrs. Smythe, will help to bear me out. 

About noon on the 11th of October we were off Bua, 
no longer teeming with sandalwood as in days of yore. 
Our object was to invite Tui Bua, or King of Bua, to 
attend the meeting at Waikava. Our schooner not going 
close in, we went on shore in the dingy. The town of 
Bua is built on the banks of a river, the mouth of 
which for about a mile and a half is densely covered 
with mangroves. The district is low, the soil a rich 
alluvial clay. Bua has proved so unhealthy to Europeans 
that the white missionaries, after several deaths had 
thinned their ranks, were compelled to relinquish it, and 
fill their places with Tonguese teachers. This circum- 
stance is the more to be regretted as Bua was a most 
complete station. The church is a very neat building, 
and has a good tolling-bell, instead of those hideous 
wooden drums used in other parts for calling the con- 
gregation together ; the dwelling-houses are also highly 
finished. We found the principal one inhabited by the 
Tonguese teacher, who, together with his wife, was 
scenting cocoa-nut oil by adding rasped sandalwood and 
the white odoriferous flowers of the Bua (Fagrcea Ser- 
teriana, A. Gray), a tree from which the place probably 
derives its name. They were very attentive to us, and 


loaded us with baskets full of kavikas, or Malay-apples, 
and cocoa-nuts, several bottles of goat's milk, and a fine 
log of sandalwood, now in the Kew Museum. 

The houses had been stripped of most of their Eu- 
ropean furniture, the church was rather in want of re- 
pair, and the whole had that desolate appearance which 
all places built by Europeans, but abandoned by them 
to natives, invariably possess. After visiting the graves 
of those Christian pioneers who had here laid down their 
lives in a noble cause, I felt quite melancholy, and was 
glad to return on board. 

Tui Bua, the chief, being absent, and not expected 
back for some days, we made sail without delay. When 
evening came on we anchored off Bau lailai, and next 
morning rounded Naicobocobo ( = Naithombothombo), 
the west point of Vanua Levu, which is rocky and thickly- 
wooded, and supposed to be a general starting-point 
(Cibicibi) for Bulu, the future abode of departed spirits. 
It is erroneously called Dimba Dimba by Wilkes and 
all those who copied him. On the 12th of October we 
anchored off Nukubati, a sandy little island, full of 
cocoa-nut trees and breadfruit, a great many of which 
had been cut down or otherwise injured by the Ton- 
guese to revenge themselves on the Chief Bitova, whose 
private property the island is, and who had been driven 
from power by them to make room for a chief more 
willing to comply with their extortions than Bitova had 
shown himself to be. I went on shore and saw a party 
of women making pottery, which they did without a 
wheel, and extremely well. 

On the 14th we ran down to Macuata (=Mathuata), 



— not Mocuata or Mudwater, as sometimes written, — a 
small, stony isle, densely covered with ironwood, and at 
present uninhabited. This isle has conferred its name 
on the whole northern coast of Vanua Levu, and was 
the head-quarters of three branches of the ruling Macu- 
ata family, until about twenty-five years ago dissensions 
amongst its members broke out, which led to the total 
extinction of one of the branches, and proved to the 
others that a house divided against itself cannot stand. 
The whole coast had been subjugated by Tongamen; 
Bitova, the head of the most powerful branch, and the 
legitimate king of the district, was in exile ; whilst Bete, 
who represented the weaker and subordinate portion of 
the family, resided at Naduri, and was a mere puppet in 
the hands of the artful Tongamen. 

When making Nukubati we met a canoe going to 
Naduri, and sent a message by it to Bete, said to be 
attending some festival inland, that we were going to 
call at his town on the following day in order to make 
a communication to him. We had scarcely dropped 
anchor off Naduri when Bete's spokesman arrived in a 
large canoe. The first thing he delivered was a whale's 
tooth, dark as mahogany from age and repeated greas- 
ing, such as Fijians hold to be of the highest value. 
It was offered to the consul as a sow, or acknowledg- 
ment of submission and atonement from the chief. Mr. 
Pritchard hesitated about accepting it; but as its re- 
jection would have been a direct insult, he thought it 
better to take the tooth, and thus prevent any misun- 
derstanding and long explanations, both parties being 
fully aware of the real meaning of the token. 


We found Bete sitting in his house surrounded by 
councillors. Mr. Pritchard informed him that his pre- 
sence was required at Waikava at the meeting of chiefs, 
and his absence might prove disadvantageous to him- 
self; but his mind seemed to be made up, and he gave 
us to understand that he did not mean to go, as the time 
was too short. His Tonguese advisers had probably in- 
duced him to act in this way. 

I went some distance up a rivulet to bathe, and on my 
return met a number of Naduri people, who complained 
bitterly of the way in which they were ground down by 
the Tonguese, and how wretchedly poor they were in 
in comparison with formerly, when iiche-de-mer traders 
visited the coast, and they were kept well supplied with 
foreign articles of barter in exchange for the sea-slugs they 
collected. They said there could be no revival of this 
lucrative trade until their old chief Bitova was restored 
to power, as Bete was so weak, and so little respected, 
that he could not get the requisite number of hands to- 
gether to make up a cargo. They were most anxious to 
know when Bitova was likely to come back, and asked 
repeatedly, but I turned off the conversation. There 
were a great number of sail-mats in Bete's house, and 
the people assured me that they were some of the tri- 
bute which the Tonguese extorted from them. 

The sea-slugs, or beche-de-mer (several species of the 
genus Holothuria), collectively termed " Dri " by the na- 
tives,* are found in great abundance on the reefs, espe- 

* The different species bear the following native names : — 1. Dri voto- 
Toto ; 2. Dri alewa; 3. Dri batibuli; 4. Dritarasea; 5. Dri damu ; 
6. Dri valadakawa ; 7. Dri daidairo ; 8. Dri lokoloko ni qio, etc. 

To show the profits of the beche-de-mer trade, I extract from Wilkes, of 

Q 2 


cially on the northern shores of Viti Levu and Vanua 
Levu. In July, 1862, they figured, perhaps for the first 
time in Europe, in the bill of fare at a grand dinner given 
in London at Freemasons' Tavern by the Acclimatiza- 
tion Society. A highly profitable trade in them was car- 
ried on, principally by the Americans, until a few years 
ago, through the political troubles caused by the inva- 
sion of the Tonga islanders, it became impossible to 
collect sufficient for filling a vessel fitted out on purpose. 
As peace has now been re-established, this trade will 
probably revive. As soon as a ship was full it sailed 
direct to Manila, where merchants were eager to pur- 
chase its cargo for the Chinese markets : a cargo of tea, 
sugar, and silks, was then taken in for the homeward 
voyage. Notwithstanding that no insurance of the ves- 
sels engaged could be effected, on account of the bad 
charts of Fiji, the profits realized were very great. A 
whole cargo, which cost $1200, brought #12,000 ; and 
another, which cost $3500, brought $27,000. As for 
nearly ten years no sea-slugs have been collected, any 
enterprising shipowner dispatching vessels there would 
be able to collect a rich cargo in a very short space of 

the United States Exploring Expedition, the following costs and returns 
of five cargoes obtained by an American, Captain Eagleston : — 

1st voyage, 617 piculs, cost f 1,100, sales $ 8,021 
2nd „ 700 „ „ $1,200, „ $17,500 

3rd „ 1,080 „ „ $3,396, „ $15,120 
4th „ 840 „ „ $1,200, „ $12,600 

5th „ 1,200 „ „ $3,500, „ $27,000 

A farther profit also arises from the investment of the proceeds in Can- 
ton or Manila. This same trader obtained also 4488 pounds of tortoise- 
shell at a cost of $5700, which sold in the United States for $29,050 net. 

MTJA I UDU. 229 

Resuming our voyage, we found ourselves, October 
15th, off Namuka, where we sent on shore for water. 
The crew, on returning, brought an armful of gardenias, 
a species quite new to science {Gardenia Vitiensis, Seem.), 
with beautiful white flowers, emitting a delicious scent ; 
and the young leaves of the shrub being enveloped in a 
thick coating of greenish gum, which, as they expand, 
gradually dissolves. There is a strange connection be- 
tween Namuka and Bau : both having, or rather having 
had, the same local gods, the people possess mutual rights 
similar to those of the Vasus, visitors being allowed to 
take whatever articles they choose. The advocates of 
the rights of women will also be glad to learn that the 
softer sex of Namuka can take their seats among the 
men ! 

On the 16 th we rounded Mua i Udu, as the eastern 
extremity of Vanua Levu is termed, where, until lately, 
an old screw-pine stood, to which a strange supersti- 
tion attached: a man who could hit any part of this 
tree between the root and the crown with a whale's 
tooth, made sure that at his death all his wives would 
be strangled. On their way to Naicobocobo the spirits 
of the dead are supposed to do the same thing for the 
same purpose, there being a screw-pine at Takiveleyava. 
Ratu Mara, a chief well known in the annals of Fiji as 
a frequent disturber of the public peace, vainly tried to 
hit the tree at Udu ; enraged at his continued failures, 
he cut it down. But what use is it to wrangle at fate \ 
Ratu Mara ended his restless career at Bau, where, for 
repeated treacheries, the king thought fit to hang him, 
and all his wives escaped the fearful doom of strangu- 


Haying rounded Mua i Udu, we came in sight of 
Rabe and Taviuni, the wind being favourable all the 
while. At night we anchored in Na Ceva (=Natheva) 
Bay, partly to avoid rocks and reefs, partly because we 
could not keep our crew awake. The bay derives its 
name from Na Ceva (i. e. the south-east wind, to which it 
is open) ; Natava is therefore an erroneous spelling. In 
Wilkes's, and other charts founded upon his survey, it is 
not made deep enough, and the isthmus separating it 
from the southern shores of Vanua Levu, about ten 
miles too wide. The isthmus is scarcely more than a 
mile and a half across, and canoes are dragged from one 
side to the other, as is the case in Kadavu, though its 
surface is hilly. Colonel Smythe made an excursion to 
it from Waikava ; and in the chart Mr. Arrowsmith has 
constructed for him, this error of long standing has been 
corrected, as it is in the map accompanying this work. 

On the following morning we called at Rabe, a fine 
island, of which the Tonguese have made desperate 
attempts to obtain permanent possession, and towards 
the afternoon we reached Waikava, where the mission- 
aries from Taviuni had now established themselves, 
and where the official meeting with the principal chiefs 
of Vanua Levu was to be held. We found Colonel 
Smythe's vessel, the ' Pegasus,' at anchor, just returned 
from Lakeba, where, under pressure from the Tonguese, 
the chiefs had behaved rather rudely. 

On the following day I ran over to Somosomo, where, 
in the beginning of June, I had established an experi- 
mental cotton plantation. It took me nearly a whole 
day to cross the strait of Somosomo, there being almost 
a perfect calm. I found the plantation in the best 


order. To my great joy, there were ripe pods, and I 
could gather the produce of the very seeds only set 
three months ago. Mr. Coxon was glad to see me again, 
and availed himself of my invitation to go for a few days 
to Cakaudrove, as the eastern extremity of Vanua Levu 
is more particularly called. 

Shortly after my arrival, Ritova, the deposed chief of 
Macuata, called on me. I told him to leave off black- 
ing his face, as it set foreigners against him, and was 
regarded as a demonstration of heathenism, though it 
might not be intended as such. Golea, or rather Ratu 
Golea, the chief of Somosomo, also dropped in. He had 
cut his hair short, and was so much altered for the 
worse, that I did not know him until recognizing him 
by his melodious voice. He had now about thirty 
wives; and Eleanor, the Queen, had quite recently given 
birth to a fine boy, who would be " Vasu " to Bau, and 
about whom the natives were in ecstasy. 

The Fijians are not so prepossessing in appearance 
as those lazy and handsome fellows the Tonga men, who 
flock over here in great shoals ; but whilst the Ton- 
guese lose, the Fijians gain by a closer acquaintance. 
There is a manliness about them that is extremely win- 
ning ; and I quite agree with Macdonald, that if their 
likenesses could be accurately taken, they would form 
quite a contrast to the ill representations of these islan- 
ders extant. Ratu Vakaruru, whose portrait is given 
in the frontispiece, is one of the finest Fijians living ; 
but I cannot say that the copy I had made of Mac- 
donald's unpublished drawing does justice to him. 
Their language, so far as euphony goes, yields to none 
I have heard in any quarter of the globe, and to my ear 


it sounds as pleasing as Spanish or Italian. They are 
certainly not an idle people, and though not working 
like our own labourers, from six to six, they are great 
cultivators of the soil, skilful fishermen, and able builders 
and managers of canoes. Far from living under an ab- 
solute despotism, as is erroneously supposed, all the dif- 
ferent States of which Fiji is composed have institutions 
hallowed by age and tradition, fundamentally almost 
identical with those cherished by the most advanced 
nations. The real power of the State resides in the 
landholders or gentry, who, at the death of a ruler, pro- 
ceed to elect a new one in his stead from amongst the 
members of the royal family. Generally the son, but 
not unfrequently the brother, or even a more distant re- 
lation of the deceased, is elevated to the chieftainship, 
and loyally supported in his dignity as long as he car- 
ries out the policy of those who have set him up. If 
this " House of Commons," as by a stretch of language 
it may be called, finds its wishes and aims disregarded, 
the members avail themselves of the privilege of re- 
fusing supplies, which, in the total absence of money, 
consist in yams, taro, pigs, fowls, native cloth, canoes 
(the naval estimates !), and all the other requirements 
of a great Fijian establishment. The intractable chief 
who has attempted to play the despot is thus generally 
brought to a proper sense of his condition. Of course, 
chiefs who, by strong family connections, can afford to 
set the " Commons " at defiance, will occasionally do so ; 
then new expedients have to be resorted to, and the 
trial of strength which follows provides one of the ele- 
ments of political activity. Europeans might fancy that 
a barbarous people would readily adopt the more simple 


process of getting rid of an intractable chief by knock- 
ing him on the head ; and certainly that would be the 
solution adopted if usage had not provided a law for his 
protection, according to which he cannot be killed by 
any one inferior to him in birth. We have here the 
English law, that a peer cannot be tried except by his 
own peers, in its rudest embryonic form. It would be 
" taboo " for any commoner or serf to lay violent hands 
on a chief ; and, however obnoxious he might have been 
to the community, the taboo-breaker would not go un- 
punished. Outsiders might suppose that amongst a peo- 
ple destitute of all written law much confusion existed 
in regard to the application of this peculiar code of po- 
lity and customs. Never would a greater mistake be 
committed. All their usages are as firmly established, 
and as strictly adhered to, both in letter and spirit, as 
if they had been engraven on tablets of stone.. The 
early white settlers soon found this out, and often owed 
the preservation of their lives to a thorough knowledge 
of this system. Thus, an Englishman, of the name of 
Pickering, once fell into the hands of a hostile tribe 
long on the look-out for his body. He soon became 
aware that they were making preparations for a canni- 
bal feast, of which he was to be the principal dish, 
though these preparations would not have been noticed 
by any one less versed in their peculiar customs. He 
knew that before they proceeded to kill him a bowl of 
kava would have to be made, that a prayer would have 
to be said over the beverage when ready, and that the 
person saying the prayer could not be the one eaten. 
Pretending utter unconsciousness of what was going on 


around him, he eagerly watched the moment when the 
preparation of the kava was advanced to the stage at 
which the prayer had to be said, and suddenly, to the 
utter dismay of his enemies, he pronounced the well- 
known formula. No one would now have dared to take 
his life, and he had the keen satisfaction of partaking 
of the refreshments provided for his own funeral. Ano- 
ther old settler, American by birth, had also the misfor- 
tune of being an object of hatred to a tribe opposed to, 
and at war with, the chief under whom he lived ; and, 
as ill-luck would have it, he met a strong party of his 
enemies making straightway for his boat. They were 
about to open fire upon him, when, with a coolness de- 
serving all praise, he exclaimed : — " Don't shoot ! I am 
a herald of peace, charged Avith carrying the token of 
surrender to your chief, and put a stop to further hos- 
tilities." The stratagem succeeded, and the self-styled 
herald effected his escape. 

I returned to Waikava on Saturday, October 20th, 
and on Monday following the official meeting was held. 
The chapel had been granted for that purpose. Mr. 
Carey, the resident missionary, interpreted the official 
business. Neither Bete nor Tui Bua had made their 
appearance ; Katu Golea dropped in when all was over ; 
the only three chiefs therefore present were, Bitova, 
Bonaveidogo, and Tui Cakau, the king of Cakaudrove. 
After all business relating to the cession had been dis- 
posed of, Mr. Pritchard was occupied several hours in 
settling disputes between native and British subjects. 

Waikava, sometimes called Fawn Harbour, derives its 
name from a little fish (Kava), which at a certain sea- 


son of the year, enters the river (Wai), on which, the 
native town is situated. Tui Cakau, the King, had 
almost promised the missionaries that on their removal 
from Wairiki he would follow them with his whole 
court to Waikava ; but he had not done so as yet, and 
fears were entertained that he would not consider the 
promise binding. Jetro, the old Manila man, whom 
I met at Korovono, was now here, employed as a 
Scripture-reader. Only one of the missionary houses 
being finished, we had to sleep in the chapel, where 
large screens of bark-cloth ensured the necessary pri- 
vacy. Several heathen priests, on becoming Christian, 
have proved highly useful to the mission, and at this 
place there was one who occasionally, when praying 
rather more fervently than most people are wont to do, 
would suddenly begin to tremble and shake, as he used 
to do in his heathen state, and had no slight difficulty in 
checking himself in his old propensity. 

After the meeting the ' Pegasus ' returned to Levuka, 
where she arrived on the 26th of October, and as there 
was no further occasion for her, she returned to New 
Zealand, Colonel Smythe remaining behind. The ' Paul 
Jones' left a few hours after her the anchorage of 
Waikava, steering for Matei in Taviuni; the Consul 
having determined to arrange, if possible, some terms 
between Ritova and those who had driven him from his 
land and estates, and thus try to heal a sore of old 
standing. But in order to understand the real diffi- 
culties of this case, it will be necessary to sketch the 
history of the Tongu'ese in Fiji, so far as I have been 
able to trace it from all the sources accessible. 








One of the many reasons which induced the King and 
Chiefs of Fiji to tender a formal cession of their beau- 
tiful island to the British Crown, and to ratify it with 
alacrity, was to escape from the insupportable exactions 
and tyrannies of the Tonguese. The Tonguese, or 
Friendly Islanders, may well be called the flower of the 
Polynesian race ; and Commander Wilkes was only sta- 
ting a truism when saying, that there were few spots on 
the whole face of the earth where one could behold so 
many handsome people together. They are tall men, with 
fine intelligent features, dark, often curly, hair, and of a 
light-brown complexion. They are far beyond the Fi- 
jians in good looks. This physical superiority, which, 
independent of the difference of race, the Tonguese en- 
joy over the Fijians, may partly result from the different 
treatment to which the women are subjected amongst 


these two nations. Whilst in Tonga the women have 
been treated from time immemorial with all the consi- 
deration demanded by their weaker and more delicate 
constitution, not being allowed to perform any hard work, 
the women of Fiji are little better than beasts of burden, 
having to carry heavy loads, do actual field-work, go out 
fishing, and besides, attend to all the domestic arrange- 
ments devolving upon their sex in other countries. In- 
deed, their position is almost identical with that enjoyed, 
or rather endured, by their poor Indian sisters in North 
and South America. They have to work hard, and cheer- 
fully go through all the drudgery forced upon them by 
the lords of creation. I remember an eccentric friend 
of mine once remonstrating with a Fijian who allowed 
his wife to carry a large bundle of sugar-cane, whilst he 
leisurely walked by her side. He thought the remon- 
strance simply a piece of impertinence, and did not see 
why an inferior being should not be made to contribute 
to the comfort of a superior.* 

The Tonguese may also be called the Anglo-Saxons 
of the South Seas. Originally sprung from Samoa, at 
least their leading chiefs indisputably, they have over- 
run Tonga ; and finding that group also too small, they 
established colonies in Fiji, and of late made desperate 
attempts to conquer the whole group. The unqualified 
praise given to their good looks by all voyagers has 
made them rather conceited, and their success in war 
haughty and arrogant in the extreme. It is intelligible 

* The accompanying plate, representing Koro Basabasaga, on the Wai 
Levu, or great river of Viti Levu, gives a good idea of the treatment ; the 
man walking leisurely along, whilst the woman is carrying a heavy load of 


that they should entertain a feeling of superiority over 
the native races whom they subdued ; but in conse- 
quence of an unlucky affair, almost forgotten in Eng- 
land, they look down upon all Europeans, and boast of 
having beaten a British man-of-war. In 1840, Captain 
Croker, of H.M.S. Favourite, visited the Tongan Islands, 
and was persuaded to take part with a body of native 
Christians against the heathens that opposed them, then 
shut up in several native forts at Bea. Carronades were 
brought within 106 yards of the principal fort, and all 
hopes of a peaceable arrangement having vanished, — 

" The command was given to make the attack, the captain 
leading the way. The sergeant of marines was ordered to scale 
the barricade and to fire. The attack was soon answered by 
the cannon at the entrances [of the fort] , and by a volley of 
musketry ; and the captain and several of his men were 
wounded. Notwithstanding his wound, Captain Croker ex- 
erted himself to the utmost to enter the stockade ; but failing 
in the attempt, and becoming faint from the loss of blood, he re- 
tired to a little distance, and while leaning against a tree for 
support, was shot through the heart, and dropped lifeless on 
the ground. His men continued the attack, but at great disad- 
vantage : the enemy was screened by their defences ; while the 
English, on the open ground, were exposed to the hot fire of 
the enemy. This sad affair ended in the death of two officers, 
besides the captain. The first lieutenant and nineteen men were 
dangerously wounded. It was with great difficulty that the sur- 
vivors contrived to carry off their dead and wounded." * 

The officer who succeeded Captain Croker in com- 
mand saw the absolute folly of losing any more men, 
and relinquished all thoughts of renewing the attack. 
One or two carronades had fallen into the hands of the 

* ' Tonga and the Friendly Islands.' By S. S. Fanner. London, 1855. 
Page 325 et seq. 


Tonguese. As the case stood, the British Government 
did not deem it just to ask for any reparation, and simply 
demanded the guns left behind. However, the Ton- 
guese were not slow in taking advantage of this turn of 
affairs, and quite ignoring that it was their own govern- 
ment as much as the foreigners who were repulsed, they 
have magnified the catastrophe into a grand victory, and 
become so arrogant, that Captain Cook, could he pay 
them another visit, would never dream of confirming the 
name of the " Friendly Islanders" which he gave them, 
in total ignorance of the fact, related by Mariner, that 
they had laid two plots to take his life, not carried out 
because no agreement could be arrived at respecting the 
details of the projected murder.* 

Ethnologists have long been watching the spread of 
the Tonguese over the South Sea, and Viti has become 
a field of high interest, as the light-coloured Tonguese, 
a genuine Polynesian people, have here met face to face 
powerful representatives of the dark-coloured Papuan 
race. There seems to have been an intercourse between 
Fiji and Tonga from time immemorial, distinctly spoken 
of in the story of the Vasu ki Lagi and the Princess 
Vilivili-tabua, and other ancient Fijian legends, as, for 
instance, that about the spread of the practice of tatoo- 
ing. Independent of this legendary evidence, there are 
other proofs of an early intercourse. The Tonga islands 
not furnishing any large timber, it was necessary to go 
to Fiji for materials for canoes. Fine mats and native 
cloth, printed in choice patterns, were bartered away for 
permission to cut timber and build canoes. The eastern 

* Mariner's ' Tonga,' vol. ii. pp. 64, 65. 


parts of Fiji, Lakeba, and the adjacent islands, being 
tbe most accessible from their proximity to Tonga, were 
those chiefly visited ; and as it took considerable time to 
construct the larger canoes, a strong influx of Tonguese 
blood was soon perceptible in the population of those 
districts. Not unfrequently it happened that parties 
going or coming were drifted by the prevailing winds 
on the shores of Kadavu, and hence the mixed race in- 
habiting that fine island is accounted for. Lakeba and 
Cakaudrove were formerly intimately connected, and 
the latter being the high-road to Bua, the Tonguese 
seem to have become introduced to the locality, where, 
above all others, the famous Sandal-wood (Yasi), so 
highly valued both in Tonga and Samoa for scenting 
cocoa-nut oil, grew in abundance.* They were not long 
before they made regular trading voyages to Bua, bring- 
ing with them printed tapa, fine mats, and large pearl- 
shells, skilfully inlaid with pieces of whales'-teeth. Hav- 
ing often to wait two or three months before a cargo 
of sandal-wood could be got ready, a close intimacy 
naturally sprang up between the trading parties, inter- 
marriages took place, and thus another district received 
a mixed population. 

Up to this period the Tonguese had been peaceful 
traders, glad to exchange their manufactures for na- 
tural products denied to their own islands. Gradually 
they adopted a different line of policy. Being men of 
athletic frames, of courage and daring, they were often 

* Cakaudrove (= Thakaundrove) has been corrupted by the Tonguese 
into " Tacownove," and in some old charts is applied to the whole of Va- 
nua Levu. 

MAAFU. 241 

asked to assist in the feuds in which chiefs friendly 
to them were engaged, receiving canoes and other pro- 
perty in return for their services. From being mere 
mercenaries, they gradually began to act on their own 
responsibility, readily avenging every outrage from time 
to time committed against any of their countrymen on 
the smaller islands of the eastern group, where they 
could calculate the exact number of their possible op- 

With the constantly increasing influx of Tongan 
immigration, chiefs came over, who undertook the ma- 
nagement of their countrymen, and among them Tui 
Hala Fatai, mentioned by Mariner, and Tuboi Tutai, 
spoken of as Tuboi Totai by Wilkes. About 1848, 
Maafu, another of their chiefs, and destined to exer- 
cise a vast influence on Fijian affairs, made his ap- 
pearance. Married to one of the highest ladies of his 
native country, descended from the ancient royal line 
(Finau), gifted with great personal advantages, and 
possessing as comprehensive and ambitious a mind as 
rarely falls to the lot of a Polynesian, Maafu began to 
prove a dangerous rival to King George, the chief 
seated on the throne of his ancestors. He had already 
shown his disposition in a sandal-wood expedition to 
the New Hebrides, which originated with Messrs. Henry 
and Scott. 

"About December, 1842, two vessels under British colours, 
the ' Sophia ' and ' Sultana/ and a third which was said to have 
carried the flag of Tahiti, arrived [at Tonga] to raise a party 
for the purpose of forcibly cutting sandal-wood at the New 

* Compare Mariner's 'Tonga,' vol. i. p. 72-76. 



Hebrides. A brother of the late King Josiah, Maafu, engaged 
with the leader of the expedition (Henry) to furnish sixty men. 
They touched at Lakeba to reinforce their numbers, but could 
not procure volunteers, and continued their course to Eromango. 
Here the party, armed with muskets, were landed, and a quan- 
tity of sandal-wood cut and embarked. The natives continued 
friendly for the first few days, but at the end of that time, some 
of them having stolen three axes, a disturbance took place, when 
one of the supposed thieves was shot by the Tongans. The fire 
was returned by arrows, which wounded a Tongan, who after- 
wards died. In consequence of this affray they left Eromango, 
and proceeded to Vate, or Sandwich Island, where he and his 
men were again landed, armed, and directed to cut wood, the 
white men remaining on board of their vessels. Before long 
they had a battle with the natives, who, having no muskets, 
were defeated with a loss of twenty-six killed, none of the in- 
truders being injured. A fort was afterwards stormed and 
taken, when several more were killed ; the remainder retreating 
to an island, where they hid themselves in a cave, whither they 
were pursued by Maafu and his party. After firing into the 
cave, which seemed to have no effect, the besiegers, pulling 
down some neighbouring houses, piled the materials in a heap 
at its mouth, and, setting fire to it, suffocated them all." * 

King George, the present ruler of Tongaf , having 
subdued a rebellion in which Maafu took a prominent 
part, deemed it prudent to send Maafu to Fiji, osten- 
sibly for the purpose of keeping his countrymen in 
order, but really to get him out of the way. At the 
same time a hint, perhaps more than a hint, was thrown 
out that no objections would be made if Maafu did 
in Fiji what King George had done in Tonga, make 
himself master of the whole group. Maafu's first ex- 

* Eskine, ' Western Pacific,' p. 143. Behaving, in fact, as barbarously to 
them as a few years later a French General did to an Algerian tribe, 
t Farmer's ' Tonga and the Friendly Islands,' p. 398. 

MAAFU. 243 

ploit took place at Lomolomo. Two Fijian chiefs fight- 
ing against each other, Maafu's assistance was solicited, 
and readily given to the weaker party, to which a Ton- 
guese teacher of Christianity was attached. After the 
stronger party had been defeated by the combined 
efforts of its Fijian and Tonguese opponents, the native 
conquerors found themselves so heavily indebted to 
their foreign ally, and so much in his power, that they 
became easy victims to his intrigues to usurp their au- 
thority altogether. Maafu never espoused a cause on 
its own merits. The principle upon which, in this in- 
stance, and in almost every other, he seems to have 
acted, was to assist the weaker party against the 
stronger, and after its defeat turn round upon his 
allies, with whose weaknesses he had become perfectly 
acquainted during their familiar intercourse.* The 
quarrel at Lomolomo made him master of the whole 
grouplet of Vanua Balavu, and having thus obtained a 
solid footing, his rise was rapid. Elated with success, 
he used to challenge any chiefs to try their courage and 
skill in a canoe of equal size, and with an equal number 
of men to his own ; but no one, not even Ratu Mara, 
justly looked upon as the most able sailor and comman- 
der of Fiji, could be induced to accept the challenge. 
The second opportunity that presented itself to Maafu 
for extending his power was offered by interfering at 
Matuka. There again two chiefs were quarrelling, and 
the party to which the Tonguese teacher belonged, was 

* Even in Tonga his conduct was identically the same. Compare 
Farmer's detailed account of the rebellion in which he took part. ' Tonga 
and the Friendly Islands,' p. 398. 

R 2 


again the weaker. In a fight between the hostile par- 
ties the Christian chapel and the house of the teacher 
caught fire, and were totally destroyed. Maafu at once 
set off to avenge the injury done to his countryman, took 
the side of the weaker party, defeated the stronger ; and 
then, turning round upon his friends, displaced their 
rightful chief by one of his own creatures. A similar 
affray took place at Muala, where Maafu, by hook or 
by crook, was again victorious. 

In March, 1855, King George of Tonga availed him- 
self of the opportunity presented by the missionary 
vessel ' John Wesley,' to pay a visit of state to Cakobau, 
the supreme chief of Bau, and titular King of Fiji. 
Cakobau was at that particular time in considerable 
trouble. Kaba, an important place in the neighbour- 
hood of his capital, was in open rebellion against him, 
headed by Eatu Mara ; and as he had but recently lost 
much of his influence by renouncing heathenism, he 
felt himself scarcely strong enough to put down Kaba 
single-handed. In an evil hour he was persuaded to 
apply to King George for assistance, and the latter rea- 
dily complied, on being presented with a canoe fifteen 
fathoms long for the promise of assistance. A large 
fleet of canoes, and a strong reinforcement of warriors, 
soon arrived from King George's dominions. By the 
combined forces of Bau and Tonga, Kaba, to Fijian no- 
tions an impregnable fortress, was taken (April 7th, 
1855*), and the authority of Cakobau re-established. 

Maafu and his countrymen had prominently distin- 
guished themselves on this occasion, and their exploits 

* J. Waterhouse, ' Vah-tah-ah,' pp. 111-121. 


were the subject of comment in the remotest parts of 
the group. Bau acquitted itself handsomely of the 
debt it owed, by presenting King George with the ' Ca- 
kobau,' a schooner of eighty tons built in the United 
States. The example set by Bau, of putting down re- 
bellion at home by foreign assistance, was speedily fol- 
lowed by another Fijian state. Babe (= Rambeh), an 
island of considerable size, had disputed the authority 
of the ruling chief of Cakaudrove, Tui Cakau; and King 
George having proffered assistance, it was readily ac- 
cepted by Tui Cakau. Babe fell, and the Tonguese 
were in the habit of calling it their own, until, in 1860, 
Maafu, in the name of King George, received payment 
for the assistance rendered. 

The conquest of Kaba and Babe had conferred upon 
Maafu and his followers such a high prestige that the 
Fijian chiefs began to tremble for their own safety, and 
the impolicy of calling in foreigners to suppress rebel- 
lion at home seemed to dawn upon the more far-seeing 
among them. Maafu was not slow in perceiving the advan- 
tage he had gained, and his favourite plan of subduing 
the whole of Fiji appeared now to have arrived at ma- 
turity. By cunning intriguing and a bold system of 
warfare, he hoped to carry it into execution. Beturning 
to Lomolomo, he set about building a schooner of thirty- 
five tons, which should at once place him at an advan- 
tage with enemies who had to rely solely upon canoes. 
Nor did he fail to make other preparations for conquest, 
and he would have commenced hostile operations with- 
out delay, if it had not been for the unexpected arrival 
of H. B. M. Consul, Mr. W. Pritchard, who landed in 


Fiji on the 10th of September, 1858, to take up his 
permanent abode in this important group. Bau was 
again in trouble. For various outrages asserted to have 
been committed against the life and property of Ame- 
rican citizens, the Government of the United States de- 
manded indemnity from Cakobau, as supreme chief of 
Bau and titular King of Fiji. The corvette ' Vandalia,' 
Captain Sinclair, had been sent to enforce the claim, 
and as the sum of 45,000 dollars was altogether beyond 
the means of the Fijian King to pay, overtures were 
made to Mr. Pritchard for the cession of Fiji to Great 
Britain, on condition that this sum, which the natives 
were going to refund by assigning the proprietorship of 
200,000 acres of land, be liquidated. In November, 
1858, Mr. Pritchard departed home to lay this offer be- 
fore her Britannic Majesty's Government, and no sooner 
had he left the group than Maafu commenced operations. 
Bitova and Bete, chiefs of the Macuata coast of Vanua 
Levu, were fighting out some old family feuds. Bete, 
being worsted, concluded an alliance with Tui Bua, an- 
other chief of importance on the south-western coast 
of Vanua Levu, who owed Bitova a grudge for a defeat 
in a former war. But even thus strengthened, Bete was 
unable to cope with his rival. Maafu saw that here 
was his chance. Friendly messages were dispatched to 
Bitova, who, delighted with the moral support of so 
powerful a chief, forwarded sail-mats and other valu- 
able presents. At the same time Maafu sent messages 
equally friendly, but more sincere, to Tui Bua, and 
through the Tonguese residing there prompted him to 
apply for assistance against Bitova. This idea was no 


sooner suggested than carried into effect, and Maafu 
became the declared ally of Tui Bua and Bete. 

This new combination could not but excite deep ap- 
prehensions at Bau, as tending to derange that poli- 
tical balance which that power deemed it necessary to 
uphold in order to maintain its supremacy. Maafu, 
duly informed of the cloud gathering in that quarter, 
repaired straightway to the capital, and almost suc- 
ceeded in dispelling it. He made out that he had 
sent only a few men under the charge of his officer 
Wai-ni-golo, and he even endeavoured to persuade Ca- 
kobau to aid him by dispatching canoes to the scene of 
action, as the whole affair when terminated would add 
fresh lustre to the supremacy of Bau. Cakobau how- 
ever contented himself with ordering one canoe to ac- 
company the expedition, more to watch proceedings 
and furnish correct reports than to take any active share 
in the operations. On leaving Bau, Maafu gave out 
that he was going direct to Bua, to see how his men 
were getting on, instead of which he proceeded to Lo- , 
molomo for reinforcement. Wai-ni-golo, the Tonguese 
officer previously sent to Bua, had orders to provoke a 
direct quarrel with Ritova ; he obeyed them by taking 
two villages and putting most of the inhabitants to 
death. By the time this was accomplished Maafu and 
the reinforcement arrived at Bua, where Tui Bua was 
taken on board the Tonguese schooner, and the whole 
party proceeded to the Macuata coast. The combined 
forces now took town after town, until they reached 
Nukubati, Bitova's stronghold, which, after consider- 
able resistance, fell into their hands. Ritova, nothing 


daunted, retreated to the mountains at the hack of Nu- 
kuhati, where he was regularly besieged. But fate was 
against him. Chief Bonaveidogo, one of his followers, 
at this critical time went over to Maafu's side, to save his 
life and that of his vassals ; and Bitova, finding further 
resistance on the Macuata coast hopeless, escaped with 
the remnant still firm to him across the mountains to 
Solevu, where Tui Wai Nunu, a chief friendly to him, 

Solevu (Sualib, of Wilkes) is a little district on the 
southern side of Vanua Levu, between Bua and Cakau- 
drove, which acknowledged a sort of vassalage to Bau, 
but was otherwise independent. In order to humour 
Tui Bua, who was eager to annex this district to his 
territories, Maafu had promised to subject it for him, 
and with that view had already left in it a detachment 
of men. By Bitova's retreat to this very district, a fine 
opportunity of killing two birds with one stone pre- 
sented itself. Rounding the western parts of Vanua 
Levu, the allied forces appeared before the town of So- 
levu, which, being strongly fortified, held out against 
the invaders three whole months. At the end of that 
time, the besieged were in extreme want of fresh water, 
the besiegers having diverted a rivulet supplying the 
town from its course, and all the wells being dry. Un- 
able to hold out any longer, Solevu surrendered. When 
Ritova and Tui Wai Nunu heard this news, they per- 
ceived it was hopeless to prolong the struggle. Mean- 
while Maafu had caused it to be known that he had 
promised Mr. Swanston, the acting British Consul, to 
spare Bitova's life, if he were taken. Bitova therefore 


thought it advisable to give himself up, and for some 
time he was a prisoner under the immediate eye of the 
victorious chief. But Maafu's followers were most un- 
willing to see this promise kept ; they pressed him hard 
to get rid of a man at once so bold and so dangerous. 
Maafu, on one side assailed by his unruly mob, on the 
other bound by a promise which he deemed it prudent 
not to treat lightly, solved the dilemma by allowing Bi- 
tova to escape to Cakaudrove, and in order to blind his 
vassals and allies, he pretended to be enraged at his es- 
cape, and dispatched men in pursuit of the fugitive. 

Maafu now proceeded to dispose of the conquered 
territories. Solevu was annexed to Tui Bua's dominion ; 
the western part of Macuata was placed under Bete, 
the eastern under Bonaveidogo, with the express under- 
standing that each of the favoured parties had to pay a 
stipulated tribute. In this distribution, the claims of 
Bau on Solevu had been altogether disregarded. If any- 
thing had been wanting to open the eyes of Cakobau, it 
was furnished by these high-handed proceedings, which 
sounded like scorn to a proud people, who had been led 
to believe that whatever was done in this war would 
tend towards extending and consolidating the autho- 
rity of the supreme power in Fiji. More humiliation 
was in store for Bau. In order to avoid as long as pos- 
sible a direct contest with that state, Maafu retired to 
Lomolomo to direct his operations. Bau was to be got 
between two fires. A strong fleet of canoes was dis- 
patched to Bega, an island, through Rewa, subject to 
Bau, and which, overawed by the superior force suddenly 
appearing, gave itself up to the Tonguese ; whilst Tui 


Bua was directed to get up a quarrel at Kakiraki, the 
north-eastern district of Viti Levu, subject to Bau 
through Viwa. Everything was thus progressing favour- 
ably, and a few months more would have brought about 
the overthrow of Bau, making Maafu virtually master 
of all Fiji. At this critical moment Mr. Pritchard re- 
turned from England with intimation that her Britannic 
Majesty's Government had taken the cession into favour- 
able consideration. Soon after his arrival, a meeting of 
Fijian chiefs took place at the British Consulate, in 
Levuka, with the view of ratifying the cession made by 
Cakobau, and they availed themselves of the opportunity 
to appeal to Mr. Pritchard to check Maafu's grasping 
career. They founded this appeal upon the fact that 
Fiji was already ceded to the Queen of Great Britain, 
and that Maafu, as a foreigner, was taking the country 
from her. After a tedious discussion of five hours, Maafu 
consented to renounce all political claims on and in Fiji, 
and the lands conquered, by signing an instrument to 
that effect, in the presence of all the chiefs assembled, 
her Britannic Majesty's Consul, and Commander Cam- 
pion, of her Majesty's ship Elk* 

"Know all men by these presents, — 1. That I, Maafu, a 
Chief of and in Tonga, do hereby expressly and definitely state, 
that I am in Fiji by the orders of George, King of Tonga, as 
his representative, and that I am here solely to manage and 
control the Tonguese in Fiji. 2. That I have, hold, exercise, 
and enjoy no position nor claim as a chief of or in Fiji. 3. That 
all Tonguese claims in or to Fiji are hereby renounced. 4. That 
no Tonguese in Fiji shall exact or demand anything whatever 

* The English version of this document is here subjoined ; one of the 
copies of it I brought home is now in the library of the British Museum. 


from any Fijian, under any circumstances whatever, but they 
shall enjoy the privileges and rights accorded to other nations 
in Fiji. 5. That the lands and districts of Fiji which have 
been offered by various chiefs to me are not accepted, and are 
not mine, nor are they Tonguese, but solely and wholly Fijian. 
6. That the cession of Fiji to England is hereby acknowledged. 
In witness whereof I have hereto set my name, this 14th day 
of December, 1859. Maafu. 

"We hereby certify that the foregoing Chief Maafu signed the 
above document in our presence, this 14th day of December, 
1859. — William T. Peitchaed, Consul ; H. Campion, Comman- 
der R.N., H.M.S. Elk. 

We hereby certify that we translated the foregoing docu- 
ment to Maafu, a Chief of Tonga, who has signed, and that he 
thoroughly understands its meaning. — W. Collis, Wesleyan 
Training Master ; E. P. Maetin, Wesleyan Mission Printer." 

The peace of the group, which, to the serious disadvan- 
tage of trade, had been so long interrupted, was thus at 
length re-established ; hut the wounds inflicted by the 
war were not so easily healed. The Tonguese did not 
content themselves with merely taking a place. They 
plundered and set fire to the dwellings, cut down the 
fruit-trees, filled up the wells, ravished the women, and 
put to death as many of the fighting-men as their fero- 
city prompted them ; even those who had given them- 
selves up as prisoners were often mercilessly murdered 
in cold blood. When Maafu and his hordes had been 
at a place, it was as if a host of locusts had descended. 
Not only had every vestige of provisions, pigs, fowls, 
yams, and taros been devoured or carried off, but the 
plantations themselves had been ruthlessly destroyed, 
forcing the poor natives to seek such wild roots as would 
enable them to eke out their miserable existence. Yet, 


after all their provisions, tools, native cloth, canoes, and 
other moveables had either been carried off or destroyed, 
they had to set to work making cocoa-nut oil, sail-mats, 
and other articles for their conquerors. The intensity 
with which a Fijian hates a Tonguese need therefore 
cause no surprise. Yet there were not wanting people 
who applauded what had been done, and who were 
rather displeased to see the policy pursued by the in- 
vaders brought to such a sudden conclusion. Maafu 
knew full well that he stood in need of such friends, 
and he had set early about making them. He had 
three different bodies to interest in his conquest, — his 
own immediate followers, the foreign traders, and the 
Wesleyan missionaries. The Tonguese were easily at- 
tached to his cause by giving them unlimited license to 
rob and plunder the country, and ravish the women ; the 
foreign traders he made his supporters, by running up 
heavy bills for powder, shot, and general stores, which 
stood no chance of being paid, unless it was in contri- 
butions in cocoa-nut oil, tortoiseshell, and Mche-de-mer, 
extorted from the conquered places ; whilst the Wes- 
leyan missionaries were kept quiet by Maafu making it 
the first condition, in arranging articles of peace, that 
the conquered should renounce heathenism and become 
Christians. The thousands of converts thus added to 
their flock, completely blinded the missionaries to the 
danger they were incurring in coquetting with so un- 
scrupulous an adventurer. It was only after Macuata 
had been reduced, and public opinion had severely con- 
demned the massacre of prisoners at Natakala and Na- 
duri by Jamisi, one of Maafu's officers, that they saw 


the necessity of protesting against the unsanctioned use 
which had been made of their name. 

I shall probably be accused, by those versed in Fijian 
affairs, of an undue partiality for the Wesleyan mission- 
aries, by viewing their conduct in the light 1 do, and 
endeavouring to separate the doings of the missionaries 
from those of the barbarous hordes who overran the 
country. I admit that the latter is a matter of no slight 
difficulty. Christianity had early taken root in Tonga ; 
and when, in 1835, the Wesleyans in that group deter- 
mined to extend their operations to Fiji, they naturally 
fixed upon Lakeba, and those parts where a strong popu- 
lation of Tonguese was already established, and where 
they could use a language familiar to them until Fijian 
had been learnt. Tongamen were found extremely well 
qualified for acting as pioneers in teaching the rudi- 
ments of the Christian faith ; and during the whole 
period that the Wesleyans have been labouring for the 
conversion of Fiji, they have employed a large number 
of them. They were spread over the whole country, and, 
unfortunately, became in Maafu's hand, ready instru- 
ments for the execution of his plans. They supplied 
him with reliable information about the quarrels, weak- 
nesses, and resources of the different territories, were 
never tired of praising their great chief, and ever ready 
to prompt the Fijian rulers to apply to him in cases of 
dispute and war. All these facts cannot be gainsaid ; 
and those must be strangely ignorant of the working 
of the Polynesian mind, who fancy that doctrines of 
so recent a growth as those of Christianity would ever 
induce a native of subordinate position to remain in- 


different to the wishes and orders of his chief. When 
King George visited Fiji, it was in the ' John Wesley,' 
and it was on board of that vessel the arrangement rela- 
lative to the subjugation of Kaba was concluded. Fi- 
nally, nothing was said by the missionaries whilst Maafu 
achieved his conquest, and it was only after great atro- 
cities had been committed that a letter of remonstrance 
was addressed to him.* 

Yet, notwithstanding these facts, occasionally urged 
with great vehemence, I dismiss, as utterly unfounded, 
the idea that the missionaries concocted the whole plan 
with the Tonguese. A calm review of all the informa- 
tion on hand, rather leads to the conclusion that Maafu 
was leading the missionaries to believe that he was ad- 
vancing their interest, when indeed he only abused their 

* The following is a copy of a letter sent to Maafu, extracted from tlie 
records of tlie Wesleyan Missionary Society at Sydney, by the Rev. J. 
Eggleston : — 

"There is something, Sir, which I wish to tell yon, i.e. our hatred of 
the deed performed at Nabekavu amongst the people of Natakala. It was 
of no use whatever. If it was not done by your orders, please inform me, 
that I may defend your character. There is another subject which I de- 
sire also to make known. It is extensively reported that this war is the 
work of the missionaries. If this be true, tell me now which of us has 
sanctioned the hostile proceedings. "Was it me, or whom? Please inform 
me, for it will be published prejudicially all over the world. If we are 
belied, be kind enough to vindicate us in your letter to me. Tell your 
people also to announce you (as the author), and not to announce us. I do 
not wish to prevent your approach to Ulumatua and Wai Nunu. Please 
yourself about this ; for yours is its goodness, and yours is its evil. But 
command your warriors to announce you ; do not let them announce us, as 
we do not sanction it in the least. It is also rumoured that it is our ad- 
vice that Mara, Bitova, Tui Levuka, and another be put to death. If you 
seize these, do not deliver them to be killed, lest it be said that it is by our 
advice. We have not come to make known a message of death ; our work 
allotted to us is preaching. But if a man disturb the country, let his chief 
bring him to atrial. — 30th July, 1859." 

[I have not seen the answer to this letter, if there was one. — B. &] 


name in order to advance his own ; and they perceived 
too late that they had been made the dupes of an un- 
scrupulous and ambitious man. 

At the height of his power, Maafu is supposed to have 
* had no less than three thousand fighting-men of his own 
nation, independent of his Fijian allies, and after the 
signing of the document of the 14th of December, 1859, 
had placed a curb on his ambition, the number re- 
maining was still sufficiently great to cause uneasiness 
to the natives. On the part of Mr. Pritchard it re- 
quired extreme watchfulness, lest the bloodshed which 
had so seriously diminished the population and injured 
the prosperity of the islands should be renewed. Maafu 
exhibited little inclination to return to Tonga ; there 
was still hope that, in case England should reject the 
proffered cession, the conquest of the whole group by 
Tonguese arms might become a reality. He therefore 
enjoined his partisans to remain quite passive until the 
danger was past, and not commit any rash act. A cha- 
racteristic letter to that effect was sent in the middle of 
1860 to Bega and Kadavu, the contents of which became 
a public secret. But men, who had so long been accus- 
tomed to behave with all the insolence of conquerors, 
who regarded Fiji in no other light save a fair field for 
lust and plunder, and would not disdain to plant the 
battle-axe in the public squares, and insultingly demand 
either an ample supply of animal and vegetable food or 
the heads of so many Fijians — such men were not easily 
kept quiet. Complaints were rife wherever Tongamen 
resided, how they plundered the natives, and how, by 
intimidation, they forced the weaker chiefs to behave 


discourteously towards the whites. When Colonel Smythe 
visited Lakeba, he found its chief so surrounded by 
Tonguese, and so much under their immediate influence, 
that he almost repudiated the cession, and he could 
scarcely prevent their almost insulting him, by crowd- 
ing the house in which the official meeting took place 
to an inconvenient degree. It is impossible to deter- 
mine whether the Tonguese were emboldened by the 
impunity with which they had been able to show them- 
selves so troublesome on this and other occasions, or 
whether the nature of the intercourse of Colonel Smythe 
with the Fijian chiefs was by them regarded as proof 
that the British Government was dissatisfied with Mr. 
Pritchard's checkmating them ; but in October, 1860, 
they loudly proclaimed their intention to interfere once 
more in the affairs of Macuata. Chief Eitova was to 
be captured and sent as prisoner to Tonga, whilst the 
people living on his patrimonial estates of the islands 
of Kia and Cikobia, were to be carried over in a body to 
Udu, and placed under the control of Chief Bonaveidogo, 
whom Maafu had rewarded with the government of 
eastern Macuata. 

Eitova, since his loss of power, had taken up a tem- 
porary residence at Matei, in the island of Taviuni, where 
a party of adherents gradually gathered around him. 
He had repeatedly laid his case before Mr. Pritchard, 
showing how unjustly he had been deprived of his patri- 
monial estates, and asking permission to accept the offer 
of friendly brother-chiefs, to reinstate him by force of 
arms. Mr. Pritchard thought an appeal to arms un- 
necessary, and told Eitova that his case should be taken 


in hand as soon as the requisite information could be 
collected. The exiled chief had found a warm sup- 
porter in the late Mr. Williams, United States Consul, 
who called the attention of his Government to the facts, 
that since Bitova's removal, American whalers had been 
unable to obtain supplies on the northern shores of 
Vanua Levu, and that the bSche-de-mer trade of Macu- 
ata, for years carried on by enterprising American citi- 
zens, and yielding lucrative returns, had become totally 
extinct. Mr. Williams's able successor, Dr. Brower, took 
the same view of the matter. Others were not want- 
ing who pointed out that any distribution of territories 
made by the Tonguese leader had become null and void 
by his publicly renouncing every right of interference in 
the affairs of Fiji. 

On the 22nd of October, 1860, a meeting was held 
at Wai Kava (Cakaudrove), to which all the chiefs of 
Vanua Levu, Bitova amongst them, had been invited, in 
order to give Colonel Smythe an opportunity to inquire 
into their views respecting the cession of Fiji, and also 
to discuss with Mr. Pritchard the affairs of Macuata. 
Two of the chiefs, Tui Bua and Bete, did not appear; the 
former being on a journey when the message was sent, 
the latter pretending that the notice given was too short 
to enable him to attend. But Bonaveidogo, who deserted 
Bitova in the hour of trial and was rewarded for his 
treachery with the whole of eastern Macuata, had made 
his appearance. Bonaveidogo and Bitova had not seen 
each other since then, and as it was necessary, for the 
establishment of a durable peace, that the two should 
be brought face to face before the public meeting took 


place, Mr. Pritchard arranged an interview. Neither of 
them had received the slightest intimation of this ar- 
rangement, and when Eitova was conducted to a part 
of the house screened off by large curtains of native 
cloth, and suddenly found himself in the presence of a 
former ally and a present enemy, he was quite startled ; 
whilst Bonaveidogo, sitting on the matted floor, evidently 
thought his last moment come, and involuntarily grasped 
his club. When the object of the interview had been 
explained to be a mutual adjustment of old grievances, 
both chiefs remained mute for some minutes. " Why 
did you club Bete's father V asked Bonaveidogo, in the 
course of the altercations that now ensued. " Because," 
replied Bitova, tartly, " he had previously clubbed my 
father, and as a Fijian chief I was bound to resent; if 
I had known," he added emphatically, " that you were 
going to betray me, I should not have hesitated to take 
your life also." Words ran occasionally very high, but 
gradually the two disputants grew cool ; they promised 
mutually to forget and forgive, and finally concluded a 
peace over a bowl of kava. 

After the meeting about the cession was terminated, 
Mr. Pritchard declared that, having carefully gone into 
Bitova's case, he had made up his mind to restore him 
to his home on Nukubati. There should be no fighting, 
and every act that could give rise to provocation must 
be carefully avoided. This announcement caused a great 
sensation amongst the chiefs and landholders assembled. 
No Fijian chief, driven from his land, had ever been 
known to return without hard fighting ; and here was a 
white man, with no armed force to back him, who pro- 

ritova's place of exile. 259 

mised to do in his own peaceable way what would have 
cost numbers of lives if done in Fijian usage. When the 
natives found they need no longer fear being called 
to account by Maafu's bullies, they openly rallied round 
Kitova. Tui Cakau, the ruling chief of Cakaudrove, 
offered his largest canoe, a recent present from Bau, 
for Eitova's use ; and his brother Eatu Golea, chief of 
Somosomo, insisted upon seeing the exile safe home. 

Knowing the effect produced on the native mind by 
acting with promptitude, the next morning was fixed 
for starting. At sunrise, the schooner ' Paul Jones ' 
fired a gun by way of signal, and steered for Matei, fol- 
lowed by the native canoes, and having on board, besides 
Mr. Pritchard and myself, Eitova and three of his adhe- 
rents. One of the latter was a young man, whose father 
was a strong supporter of Bete, Eitova's rival ; and it 
was probably with the approbation of his parent that 
he joined Eitova — the Fijian knowing, as well as people 
nearer home did in the time of the rebellion, that it 
it is rather politic if, in a doubtful quarrel between two 
pretenders, the father fight on one side, the son on the 
other, when, come what may, the family property is safe, 
and there is always one to intercede for the captive. 

Owing to the calms nearly always prevailing in the 
Straits of Somosomo, Matei was not reached until the 
second day after our departure, when Eitova went on 
shore to inform his people of what had passed, and 
order them to get ready for starting without delay for 
Nukubati. Great was the joy caused by this announce- 
ment, and everything was at once bustle and activity. 
The women were packing up the household goods ; the 

S 2 


boys and young men hastened to the forest to dig wild 
yams, and catch crabs for the voyage ; whilst the old men 
busied themselves about the canoes and other matters 
requiring more skill and experience. Bitova's warriors 
were all able-bodied men with fine athletic frames, and 
well armed. A collision with them would have been 
attended with fatal consequences. They were much ex- 
asperated at the proposal of the Tonguese to dispose of 
their relations and friends in the manner detailed, and 
were quite ready to make a desperate stand against the 
enemy. Mr. Pritchard thought it advisable to send an 
official letter to Maafu, informing him that Bitova was 
about to be restored to his own island, and reminding 
him that, in accordance with the document signed, an 
attack on the life and property of any Fijian would not 
be permitted. 

All being ready for starting, on the 26th of October 
sails were set. The schooner ' Paul Jones ' had to go 
outside the reef encircling the eastern shores of Vanua 
Levu, whilst the canoes, not drawing so much water, 
were able to avail themselves of the advantage of going 
inside. Toward sunset of the following day, Naduri was 
reached, where Bete, the chief placed in possession of 
Bitova's estates by Maafu, resided. To prevent future 
complications it was necessary to come to some arrange- 
ment with him, and a message was dispatched to request 
his attendance on board. Contrary to expectation, he 
refused to attend, but was ready to see us on shore. As 
this would have been a concession implying weakness, 
a message was sent to the principal landholders (Mata 
ni vanua) that they might come to receive a communica- 


tion intended for the whole community. This measure 
had the desired effect. Finding that the landholders 
were going on board, and act independently of him, Bete 
deemed it prudent to change his mind, and he soon after 
stepped on board. 

Long ere this the sun had set, but the moon made 
every object distinctly visible. Bete was accompanied 
by the Tonguese teacher of his town, and his principal 
spokesman, who, however, hardly uttered a word during 
the whole interview. Having shaken hands all round, 
the chief was asked to sit down on deck, and all of us 
did the same. A Fijian chief is generally a fine man 
physically, considerably taller than his subjects, and pos- 
sessing that commanding air which shows that he feels 
himself a chief. Bete, though more than the middle 
height, had nothing imposing in his bearing, and his 
face portrayed weakness and irresolution of character. 
Though backed by the whole influence of Maafu, he 
never acquired any ascendency over the people he was 
set to govern ; they openly disobeyed his orders ; and 
foreigners found it useless to enter into any arrangement 
with him about the revival of the Mche-de-mer trade, as 
he had not power sufficient to compel the necessary 
number of people to procure a shipload full of that 
valuable article. When younger, he had been guilty of 
murdering a white man of the name of Cunningham, 
who had a handsome wife from Rotuma, whom his 
father afterwards added to his harem. Nor had vessels 
going near his place been always safe : a few years ago 
the ' Paul Jones ' and another little schooner, the ' Gla- 
diator,' with British subjects on board, were fired into, 


and obliged to leave so inhospitable a neighbourhood 
with all possible speed. Eitova, on the other hand, 
is the exact contrast of Bete. He is a tall, well-made 
man, with intelligent features ; every inch a chief. Both 
his mother and grandmother were the great Macu- 
ata Queens, which gave him an advantage over Bete, 
whose mother was a degree below them in birth. All 
over Fiji the rank of the mother is of importance in 
regulating that of her offspring, but in Macuata a still 
greater stress is laid upon this circumstance than else- 
where ; hence, after Bete's father died, the office of Tui 
Macuata, or King of Macuata, vacant by his death, was 
offered by the landholders to Eitova as the highest 
chief. However, he waived his claims in favour of his 
son, who accordingly was duly elected, and invested 
with the title. After Eitova had been driven away, 
Maafu made Bete King of Macuata ; hence there were 
two claimants to that dignity. In his dealings with the 
white men, Eitova always behaved creditably. Traders 
left large stocks of goods in his hand, taking no other 
security for their payment than his reputation for ho- 
nesty, and that at a time when nearly the whole of Fiji 
was addicted to cannibalism, and the lives of foreigners 
trembled in the balance. In the complicated process of 
collecting and curing Mche-de-mer, Eitova displayed as 
much energy in making his people work as he did ho- 
nesty in the pecuniary transactions which it involved. 
The benefits arising from the Mche-de-mer trade were 
felt on all hands, and when, with Eitova's removal, this 
lucrative traffic came to an end, even the most humble 
became mindful that they had not simply experienced a 

RITOVA. 263 

change of masters. What impressed me most favour- 
ably with Eitova was, that I once catight him, with his 
hands at his back, walking up and down in silent medi- 
tation behind his house, and on inquiry I found that 
such was his usual habit. Amongst Europeans this may 
be nothing uncommon, but amongst Fijians, or Polyne- 
sians in general, it is worth recording. 

Mr. Pritchard opened proceedings by expressing re- 
gret that Bete had not visited Cakaudrove, where his 
opinion might have influenced the result arrived at re- 
garding Macuata affairs. He then told him that, having 
refused his council, it had been settled without him that 
Eitova should return to Nukubati, and enjoy the undis- 
puted rights of his patrimonial estates. Bitova was now 
called, and though the two chiefs had for many a long 
year been neighbours, separated by a few miles, they 
now, for the first time in their lives, shook hands with 
each other : interested parties on both sides had always 
kept up a state of enmity between them. Bete, ad- 
dressed as Tui (King of) Macuata, according to a pre- 
vious arrangement with Bitova, was asked to express his 
views on the subject; but he at once begged that Bitova 
might take precedence, calling him the "Vunivalu," 
the highest title he could apply. Eitova expressed his 
desire to live in peace on his lands, to devote his ener- 
gies to the development of agriculture and trade ; hoping, 
at the same time, that all old feuds might be consigned to 
oblivion. Bete echoed the same sentiments, and had no 
objection to sign a document to that effect, in which the 
two chiefs pledged themselves not to attack each other, 
or set on foot any measure or intrigue that might be at- 


tended with evil consequences to either party ; to refer 
all matters of dispute between them to H.B.M. Consul, 
to disavow all allegiance or dependence on Maafu, and 
to suffer punishment, even to the loss of their chieftain- 
ship, in case of non-compliance with any article of the 
convention. A document of this nature was accordingly 
drawn up, ably translated by the consular interpreter, 
Mr. Charles Wise, signed by the two chiefs, and wit- 
nessed by Mr. Pritchard, the Tonguese teacher, the in- 
terpreter, and myself. 

Early the next morning we made for Nukubati. This 
island, scarcely a mile in circumference, still bore ample 
traces of the mode of warfare carried on by the Ton- 
guese. All the houses had been destroyed by fire, with 
the exception of one, the temporary residence of Maafu 
during the fight. The trunks of most of the cocoa-nut 
palms were charred by the conflagration that had con- 
sumed the town; nearly all the other fruit-trees had 
been cut down, and hundreds of cocoa-nut trunks felled, 
to make a high stockade, dividing the island into two sec- 
tions, and serving as a breastwork, impenetrable to bul- 
lets. The wells had been filled up with rocks, logs, and 
rubbish; in fine, every damage that could possibly be 
conceived to change a flourishing town and a fruitful 
island into a wilderness, had been done. Quite recently 
a few settlers had collected on Nukubati, busily engaged 
in re-establishing the plantations and erecting houses. 

Hardly had we dropped anchor when a deputation 
from the island, headed by the local chief, waited upon 
Ritova. They brought with them presents of wild 
yams, ready cooked, and carried on a tray of cocoa-nut 


leaves. The local chief, a man somewhat advanced in 
years, and of rather venerable aspect, came to shake 
hands with Ritova ; whilst his followers kept at a re- 
spectful distance, and none of them ventured to stand 
upright as long as they were on board. This old man 
had been one of Ritova's most faithful friends, having 
shared his exile for some time. The two friends were 
quite overcome, and ready to ciy. None of them could 
speak for some minutes ; at last the old chief said, that 
he was sorry to have to come empty-handed, but they 
were so poor that they had nothing to give. Ritova 
replied, that to be able to look once more upon his 
dear old face was more than all the presents he could 
have brought ; they would apply themselves manfully 
to rebuild their towns, and the intercourse with the 
white men would soon place them in possession of 
plenty of goods. They then went on shore, where the 
people were overjoyed to behold their great chief 

The Tonguese teacher of Naduri had been invited by 
us to preach that day at Nukubati, for which we made 
him a handsome present ; and all hands went on shore 
to attend Divine service, which, in the absence of a pro- 
per place of worship, was held in the chief's house. 
Instead of dwelling on the importance of the happy 
result that had been brought about by the arrangement 
just concluded, and thanking God that peace had been 
preserved in the land, the teacher preached a pointed 
sermon at Ritova, about the evils that jealousy had pro- 
duced in Tonga, — Tonga is always put first by these 
conceited islanders, — Europe, and Fiji. Seeing several 


Roman Catholics present, he dwelt on the errors of their 
dogmas, and abused the Virgin and the Saints in un- 
measured terms. It would have been hardly possible 
to preach a more impracticable sermon, or exhibit worse 
taste or less discretion. Ritova, on pointing out the site 
for a church, begged the Consul to write to the head- 
quarters of the missionaries about sending him Chris- 
tian teachers ; but, if possible, not a Tonguese or a man 
of extreme sectarian views, who, by widening the breach 
between Roman Catholics and Protestants, might endan- 
ger the peace, whilst a man of moderate views would 
have little difficulty in making the whole population 
of one way of thinking on religious subjects. He after- 
wards recurred to this topic when he saw me again, say- 
ing — though of course using different language — that the 
ethical part of Christianity, that which was the basis 
of both denominations, had a deep interest to him, but 
that he attached little value to mere dogmas. This was 
a proof to me that this man had thought much more 
deeply on religion than he had received credit for. When 
lonely pacing up and down the trodden path behind his 
hut, he had evidently sought to arrive at some solution 
respecting the conflicting views rival denominations pre- 
sented to him. 

One of Ritova's large canoes had come along with us. 
but all the others had not made their appearance the 
second day after our arrival. Some uneasiness being felt 
lest the Tonguese had captured them, heavy laden as they 
were with passengers, goods, and live stock, a messenger 
was dispatched to the island of Kia, who returned with 
two other canoes, having Ritova's son (Tui Macuata) on 


board. They had not thought it possible that affairs 
"with Bete could be arranged amicably, and therefore had 
not come direct. When Kitova's son soon after stepped 
on shore, he could scarcely believe that he was actually 
treading on his native isle. " Is this really the sand of 
Nukubati"?" he exclaimed; " really my home 1 Yes, it 
is, thanks to the Consul." His companions felt equally 
grateful, but gratitude in the Fijian always seeks ex- 
pression in gifts, and their greatest sorrow was that 
they had nothing to give ; even Bitova was uneasy on 
this point. If any brother-chief had effected his resto- 
ration, custom would have demanded that Bitova should 
collect all the goods he could by the twelvemonth, or 
later, invite his allies to a great festival, and publicly, 
with an appropriate speech, hand the presents over to 
them. The Consul explained in unmistakeable language 
that all he asked in return for what had been done, was 
the resumption of Bitova's former activity in trading 
with the white men, and the same friendly treatment 
of his customers he had invariably bestowed upon them 
when chief ruler of Macuata. 

On the 30th of October a schooner arrived from Ova- 
lau with dispatches, urgently calling Mr. Pritchard's 
attention to another part of the group. Going on shore 
to wish Bitova good-bye, we met deputations delivering 
addresses from towns which had heard of his return, 
and sent whales' teeth and other acceptable presents in 
proof of their devotion. When we returned on board, 
the large triangular sails of the missing canoes appeared 
on the horizon : all Bitova's little property was safe. 
We fired a salute by way of farewell, and hoisting all 


canvas, soon lost sight of Nukubati and its young com- 

Macuata now began to revive. Eitova eagerly set 
about rebuilding his town on Nukubati, and white 
traders again nocked to the coast, as in days of yore. 
This turn of affairs was far from pleasing to the Ton- 
guese ; they were indefatigable in promoting discontent 
and disturbance, and scarcely had Bitova's town been re- 
built than the Tonguese burned it down again. Bete, 
Maafu's willing tool, could not resist the temptation of 
playing once more the traitor. Under the pretext of 
making a durable peace, he coaxed Eitova over to 
Naduri, where he had arranged with a party of moun- 
taineers to rush into the town and club Eitova and his 
family. Eitova went into the trap : fortunately his son 
heard of the scheme, and reported it to his father. Ei- 
tova went off in one of his canoes, professedly to drink 
kava, in reality to hold a council with his old men ; 
whilst the son remained on shore to lull suspicion. 
Bete, in order to bring Eitova on shore, invited him to 
a bowl of kava ; and the son, seeing the moment had 
arrived when all were to be massacred, told his father 
their imminent peril. They were all in Bete's- power : 
what were they to do 1 The son urged the necessity of 
assuming the offensive, and killing Bete without delay ; 
Eitova hesitated, but the young fellow went ashore, met 
Bete just in front of his house, charged him with the 

* It ia only up to this date that I can speak from personal experience 
of the events that occurred ; what follows has been derived from a com- 
munication in the ' Athenaeum,' from private letters, and from Commodore 
Seymour's and other dispatches published in the ' Fijian Blue-book.' 

bete's death. 269 

diabolical plot he had laid, and that had his father not 
followed the Consul's advice to act honestly, he would 
never have been in his power. " I have three balls in 
my musket for you, Bete ;" he said, " you, who want to 
kill my father, his son, and all his people, in cold blood." 
With these words he fired, and two balls lodged in 
Bete's body ; he died instantly. A great uproar followed ; 
some of Ritova's friends, and they were numerous, voted 
for killing all Bete's followers and razing the town. 
Bitova, who had all the while been on board his canoes, 
rushed on shore, quelled the excitement by his presence, 
and harangued the crowd. " People of Naduri," he said, 
"you who deserted me, your proper chief, when the 
Tonguese drove him from the land of his forefathers, 
you may all live ! Were it not for my solemn promises 
to the British Consul, you would all die this day with 
the man you followed ; he has told me to spare my ene- 
mies, therefore, be pardoned ; keep quiet ; I will send 
for Christian teachers — not Tonguese — European or 
Fijian, and we will all endeavour to live in peace, and 
cultivate agriculture and trade." * 

Everything was going on quietly again when Maafu 
dispatched his lieutenant, Wai-ni-golo, to Macuata, and 
troubles at once recommenced. The very excellence of 
this, the finest district in Fiji, makes these artful and 
bold Tonguese crave after it so much. Fortunately, 
about the middle of July, 1861, Commodore Seymour, 
in H.B.M.S. Pelorus, arrived at Ovalau, and extracts 
from his dispatch shall carry on the story. 

* ' Athenaeum,' No. 1791, p. 261. — Also private letters from residents 
in Fiji. 


" Her Majesty's ship, under my command, sailed from Coro- 
mandel harbour, east coast of New Zealand, on the 8th July, and 
arrived at Levuka harbour, island of Ovalau, on the 15th, after 
a favourable passage made under sail. Having been informed 
by Mr. Pritchard that the trade in Mche-de-mer on the north- 
west coast of Vanua Levu was entirely stopped in consequence 
of a war which was being carried on there between two rival 
chiefs, one of whom was supported by a body of Tongans, 
whose usual residence is on Lakeba, one of the windward is- 
lands, I decided on endeavouring to put a stop to a state of 
affairs so prejudicial to British interests ; and in order that my 
measures should be backed by the highest native authority in 
Fiji, I requested Mr. Pritchard to propose to Cakobau and 
Maafu to accompany me to the Macuata district in the ' Pelorus. 5 
This, after a little diplomatic shuffling, they consented to do; 
and having received them, Mr. Pritchard, and the consular in- 
terpreter, on board, we left Levuka on the morning of the 18th, 
entering the great reef which encircles Vanua Levu by a pass 
a little to the northward of the Nadi passage, after which our 
course lay through a very intricate channel formed by sunken 
reefs and patches, of which no regular survey exists, but 
through which we were piloted in the most able manner by one 
of the English residents ab Ovalau (Christopher Carr), the 
owner of a small beche-de-mer trader. Under his direction we 
reached anchorage off Levuta, about twenty miles from our desti- 
nation, Macuata, that evening; and the following morning, having 
weighed as soon as the sun was sufficiently high to enable us 
to distinguish the shoals, we anchored in Naduri Harbour, 
Macuata Bay, about 1500 yards from where some houses were 
visible on the beach. 

" On sending on shore to ascertain the state of affairs, we 
found, as I had anticipated would be the case, that the com- 
bined force of the Tongans and Pijians had driven their oppo- 
nents off the mainland, and that the latter had taken refuge on 
Kia Island, about ten miles from our anchorage. Since their 
expulsion their enemies had committed great havoc amongst 
their plantations, had destroyed nearly all the large canoes, 


for which this district was formerly famous, and almost daily- 
put one or more persons to death, whose only crime was being 
related to the vanquished party. In these outrages the Ton- 
gans were the most prominent actors ; and I may here state my 
opinion, that in the event of her Majesty's Government accept- 
ing the Fijis, it will be necessary, from the very first, to put a 
stop to the raids which the Tongans have for the last five years 
been in the habit of carrying into the various islands lying to 
the west of Lakeba. 

" On the morning of the 20th I sent over to the island of Kia 
for Eitova, the chief of the tribe which had been driven out of 
Macuata, and in the afternoon he came on board in a cutter of 
the ' Pelorus/ followed by fifteen canoes filled with his retainers. 
After he had had an hour's conversation withCakobau and Maafu, 
we made a preconcerted signal, on seeing which Wai-ni-golo, 
Maafu' s lieutenant, and two Fijian chiefs, came on board; and 
after they and their opponents had discussed matters for an 
hour, I told them, through the consular interpreter, that we 
had no wish to injure or interfere with either the Fijians or 
Tongans in any way ; but that, owing to the senseless quarrels 
of the former, fomented by the latter, the interests of the white 
traders in Fiji were compromised, and that I was determined on 
putting a stop to a state of affairs which was equally prejudicial 
to their own and to British interests. I should therefore leave 
them to settle, by what means they could arrange, matters 
amongst themselves, and any advice I could give them was at 
their service. My observations were listened to with attention 
by both parties of Fijians, but were evidently unsatisfactory to 
the Tongan chief, who, throughout the entire business, was less 
manageable than either his associates or his enemies. 

" The discussion, which terminated at sunset, was renewed 
the next day, when the following terms were agreed to by the 
chiefs of Fiji and Tonga present, being those which, with Mr. 
Pritchard's concurrence, I had decided from the first on seeing 
carried out : — 

" Between Ritova and Bonaveidogo, chiefs of Fiji. 
" 1st. To forget all past grievances and causes of quarrel. 


" 2nd. To commence from this date an era of peace and friendship. 

" 3rd. To receive and protect the teachers of the Christian religion. 

" 4th. To encourage trade and commerce throughout the Macuata ter- 
ritories, and to protect all legitimate traders and settlers. 

" 5th. To dissolve all political connection, and to confine themselves to 
legitimate and friendly intercourse with the Tongans. 

" Between Ritova and other chiefs of Fiji and Maafu, chief of 


" 1st. That Wai-ni-golo shall, within fourteen hours, retire for ever 
from the Macuata territories, and shall not again appear within the line 
of country from Nacewa Bay on the one side, to Bua Bay on the other. 

" 2nd. That no Tongans shall visit the Macuata territories, or appear 
within the above-named limits, for twelve months from this date. 

" 3rd. That Tongans in the service of the Wesleyan or other missions 
are exempted from the above restrictions. 

" 4th. That if any of the above articles are infringed, Maafu agrees 
that Wai-ni-golo shall be sent from Fiji to his native country. 

" The three last articles were inserted in the treaty at my re- 
commendation, as I foresaw that if the Tongans were allowed 
to remain on the Yanua Levu, any good effect which might 
otherwise result from our visit would be completely done away 
with ; and in compliance with them at dawn on the morning of 
the 22nd of July, the two large double canoes, in which Wai- 
ni-golo and his followers had come to Macuata, were launched, 
and by eight a.m. were under weigh, with a strong and fair 
wind, for Lakeba ; a more picturesque scene than their depar- 
ture, as they crossed the ' Pelorus's ' bow, beating their drums 
and cheering most lustily, I have seldom witnessed. In the 
course of the same day Cakobau and Maafu quitted the ship, 
and sailed for Levuka in Cakobau's large canoe, and in the 
afternoon I landed at Macuata, accompanied by Ritova, and 
saw him and many of his people re-established in their former 

" Having thus seen tranquillity re-established in Yanua Levu, 
I quitted Macuata on the morning of the 23rd July, having 
Ritova and two of his retainers on board, they being desirous 
of seeing the working of the engines ; and on getting clear of 
the Mali passage we discharged them and Mr. Pritchard to the 


latter' s schooner, after which we made sail, by noon were clear 
of Kia Island, and steering a course for Aneiteum." * 

Commodore Seymour's visit thus proved of material 
benefit to Fiji, and was felt as such on all hands. " I 
am directed by Earl Russell to request," writes Mr. 
James Murray, of the Foreign Office, to Sir T. Rogers, 
Bart., December 31, 1861, "that you will state to the 
Duke of Newcastle, that his Lordship has learnt with 
satisfaction the steps taken by Commodore Seymour for 
terminating the wars which have been raging between 
the Torigans and Fijians." 

* It will be seen how closely this statement agrees with the more con- 
densed account in the ' Athenaeum ' of February 22, 1862. 






Viti, or Fiji, is an archipelago in the South Pacific 
Ocean, midway between the Tongan islands and the 
French colony of New Caledonia, having, according to 
Dr. Petermann's recent calculations, a superficial area 
equal to that of Wales, or eight times that of the Ionian 
Islands. The exact number of islands and islets com- 
prising it is merely approximately known, only a partial 
hydrographical survey of the whole group having as yet 
been made; 230 would probably be rather below than 
above the number. Viti Levu, Kadavu, Vanua Levu, 
and Taviuni, are of primary, Eabe, Koro, Gau, and Ova- 
lau, of secondary, magnitude. Situated between lati- 
tudes 19° 47' S. and 15° 47' S., and longitudes 180° 8' W. 
and 176° 50' E., the climate is tropical, but the heat 
is moderated, in the winter season by the south-east, in 
the summer by the north-east trade-wind. 62° Fahr. is 
the lowest temperature observed in Lakeba by Mr. Wil- 
liams, in Kadavu by Mr. Eoyce ; but, though the mean 
temperature of the whole group may be stated to be 
80° Fahr., the thermometer has been known to rise to 


121° Fahr. The country is remarkably free from fever, 
— that curse of the Samoan group, — and the only dis- 
ease Fijiansand Europeans have reason to fear is dysen- 
tery, unknown, if a current belief may be relied upon, 
before the visits of foreigners to these shores, and hence 
often termed " the white man's disease " by the natives. 

The time from October till April is the hottest, that 
extending over the other months the coolest, part of the 
year. It is during the former when the most rain falls, 
but the dry and rainy seasons do not strictly correspond 
with this division, nor is the difference between the wet 
and dry very marked. There are occasional showers 
during the so-called dry season in all parts of the group, 
and in localities like the Straits of Somosomo they may 
even be termed frequent. The fine weather is expected 
to set in about May. June, July, August, September, 
and October, are generally dry, and from their low tem- 
perature looked forward to by European settlers. How 
many inches of rain annually fall has not been ascer- 
tained ; nor would a gauge kept in a single locality only 
give a fair approximate result of the average amount, 
since the difference of the meteorological conditions ex 
isting between the leeward and windward islands, the 
lee side and the weather side of the larger islands, are 
too great.* 

Speaking generally, the Vitian islands may be said to 

* A gauge, kept by the Rev. Mr. "Whitley (probably at Levuka, B.S.), 
stowed that ninety inches of rain had fallen in six months, and four in 
the night of February 12th, 1860. This statement I find in an obscure 
publication, the ' Primitive Methodist Juvenile Magazine,' London, 1862, 
vol. xi. p. 50. Not having seen it confirmed, it may possibly be incorrect, 
like several others in the article from which it is taken. 

T 2 


owe their origin to volcanic upheavings and the busy 
operation of corals. There are at present no active vol- 
canos, but several of the highest mountains, for in- 
stance, Buke Levu, in Kadavu, and the summit of Tavi- 
uni, must in times gone by have been formidable craters. 
Hot springs are met with in different parts, earthquakes 
are occasionally experienced, and between Fiji and 
Tonga a whole island has of late years been lifted above 
the level of the ocean, whilst masses of pumice-stone 
are drifted on the southern shores of Kadavu and 
Viti Levu ; all showing that Fiji, though not the focus 
of volcanic action, is not secure against plutonic dis- 
turbances and their effects. The deltas and alluvial de- 
posits of the great rivers excepted, there is little level 
land. Most of the ground is undulated, all the larger 
islands are hilly, and the largest have peaks 4000 feet 
high ; Voma, in Viti Levu, and Buke Levu, in Kadavu 
(both of whichwere ascended by me), being the most 
elevated. The soil consists in many parts of a dark-red 
or yellowish clay, or decomposed volcanic rock, which 
soon becomes dry, but being plentifully supplied with 
water, proves very productive. There is hardly a rod of 
land that might not be converted into pasture or be 
cultivated. Almost at every step one discovers that 
most of the land has at one time or other produced 
some crop. Though on the weather side dense and ex- 
tensive woods exist, few of them can be regarded as 
virgin forests, most having re-established themselves 
after the plantations once occupying their site had been 
abandoned. Kadavu does not appear to have an acre of 
virgin forest beyond what is clustered around the very 


summit of Buke Levu. The re-establishment of the 
woods on ground at one time under cultivation can 
scarcely be adduced as a proof that the population has 
seriously diminished, but rather that the Fijians have 
for ages followed the same system of agriculture as they 
do at present, that of constantly selecting new spots for 
their crops when the old ones, which their ignorance 
prevents them from fertilizing by the introduction of 
manure, become exhausted. The displaced vegetation 
quickly resumes its former sway, until perhaps, after the 
lapse of years, it has once more to make room for cul- 
tivated plants. 

The aspect of the weather side of the islands is essen- 
tially different from that of the lee side. The former 
teems with a dense mass of vegetation, huge trees, in- 
numerable creepers, and epiphytical plants. Hardly 
ever a break occurs in the green mantle spread over hill 
and dale, except where effected by artificial means. 
Rain and moisture are plentiful, adding ever fresh 
vigour to, and keeping up the exuberant growth of, 
trees, shrubs, and herbs. Far different is the aspect of 
the lee side. Instead of the dense jungle, interlaced 
with creepers and loaded with epiphytes, a fine grassy 
country, here and there dotted with screw-pines, pre- 
sents itself. The northern shores of Viti Levu and 
Vanua Levu bear this character in an eminent degree, and 
their very aspect is proof that rain falls in only limited 
quantity ; the high ridge of mountains, which form, as it 
were, the backbone of the two largest islands, intercept- 
ing many showers, but sending down perpetual streams to 
fertilize the low lands of the coast. The lee side would 


therefore more readily recommend itself to the white 
settler, as it requires hardly any clearing, and would be 
immediately available for cattle-breeding and cotton- 

The coast-line of most of the islands is enriched by 
a dense, more or less broken, belt of cocoa-nut palms. 
White beaches, formed of decomposed corals, may be 
traced for miles ; whilst good soil in many instances ex- 
tends quite to the water's edge, and trees, not numbering 
amongst the strictly littoral vegetation, overhang the 
sea. Mangrove swamps are limited, and chiefly confined 
to the mouths of the rivers; hence the almost total 
freedom of the country from malignant fevers. In the 
windward islands, Lakeba and its dependencies, the 
weeping iron-wood (Casuarina equisetifolia, Forst.), in- 
termingled with screw-pines (Pandemics odoratissimus, 
Linn.), abounds, and considerable tracts of country are 
covered with the common brake and other hard-leaved 
ferns: they prefer an open country, and have taken 
possession where little else will grow. Wherever these 
forms of vegetation occur on the weather side of the 
group, the soil may be expected to be rather poor. It 
would, however, be erroneous to apply the same rule to 
the leeward side, where they are also tolerably abun- 
dant, not because the soil is too poor to support a dense 
herbaceous or woody vegetation, but because the air is 
destitute of that excessive moisture, and the country 
less visited by numerous showers of rain, promoting the 
luxuriant growth on the weather side. 

The general physiognomy of the flora is decidedly 
tropical ; tree-ferns, branching grasses, six or seven dif- 


ferent kind of palms,' Scitamineous plants, epiphytical 
orchids, ferns, and pepperworts, fully accounting for 
this fact. Whole districts, however, possess a strictly 
South Australian look, owing to the presence of two 
phyllodineous Acacias (A. laurifolia, Willd., and A. 
Bichei, A. Gray), two Casuarinas, several kinds of Me- 
trosideros, with either scarlet or yellow blossoms, a 
climbing Eubus, Smilax, and Geitonoplesium * and Fla- 
gellaria, as well as the peculiar habit of various other 
species. There is little change in the nature of the 
vegetation until one reaches about 2000 feet elevation, 
where the plants peculiar to the coast region are re- 
placed by mountain forms. Hollies, Myrtaceous, Mela- 
stomaceous, and Laurinaceous trees, Epacridaceous and 
Vacciniaceous bushes, forming the bulk ; scarlet orchids, 
astelias, delicate ferns, mosses, and lichens, crowding 
their branches. None of the explored peaks have as 
yet disclosed any genuine alpine vegetation, — perennial 
herbs forming caespitose masses and prostrate shrubs, ge- 
nerally bearing large and gay-coloured flowers. Should 
it ever be met with, there would indeed be a rich bota- 
nical harvest. 

Nature has been truly bountiful in distributing her 
vegetable treasures to these islands ; but perhaps the 
best proof of their extreme fertility and matchless re- 
sources is less furnished by the fact that a country with 
a population of at least 200,000 souls, constantly sup- 
plying provisions to foreign vessels, having an immense 

* The natives term this plant Wa Dakua, from Wa, creeper, and 
Dahua, Kowrie pine, because its leaves closely resemble those of the 
Fijian Dammara. 


number of cocoa-nuts withdrawn from consumption by 
a primitive and wasteful method of making oil for ex- 
portation, and cultivating, comparatively speaking, only 
a few acres of ground, than by the almost endless series 
of vegetable productions — an enumeration of which 
forms the subject of the succeeding pages. 

Colonial produce, properly so called, such as sugar, 
coffee, tamarinds, and tobacco, may be expected from 
Fiji in considerable quantities, as soon as Europeans 
shall have devoted their attention to the subject; since 
the plants yielding them, long ago introduced, nourish 
so well, that a j udicious outlay of capital might prove a 
profitable investment. The sugar-cane (Saccharum offi- 
cinarum, Linn.), called Dovu in Fijian, grows, as it were, 
wild in various parts of the group, and a purple variety, 
attaining sixteen feet high and a corresponding thick- 
ness, is cultivated to some extent. No foreigners have 
as yet set up mills, nor are the natives at present ac- 
quainted with the process of making sugar ; they merely 
chew the cane, and employ the juice for sweetening 
their puddings. In the greater part of the group the 
leaves are used for thatching the roofs of houses ; it is 
only in Lakeba and others of the eastern islands where 
those of a screw-pine (Pandanus odoratissimus, Linn.) 
are preferred, whilst those of the Boreti (Acrostichum 
aureum, Linn.), a common seaside fern, are still less 
frequently used, though in the central islands they, in 
common with those of the Makita (Parinarium laurinum, 
A. Gray)> supply the chief materials for covering the 
side walls of houses, churches, and temples. Coffee 
(Coffea arabica, Linn.) will one day rank amongst the 


staple products of the country ; the mountain slopes of 
the larger islands, especially those of Viti Levu, Vanua 
Levu, and Kadavu, and, above all, those of the valley of 
Namosi, seeming well adapted for its growth. Several 
old coffee-trees are to be found in the Rewa district, 
showing the plant to be not of recent introduction. 
Dr. Brower, American Consul, has established a plan- 
tation on his estate at Wakaya, which gives fair pro- 
mise ; and Mr. Binner, of Levuka, has in his garden a 
number of thriving seedlings. The tamarind (Tamarin- 
dus Indica, Linn.) was introduced about eighteen years 
ago ; and there is a fine tree, thirty feet high, and of 
corresponding dimensions, on the Somosomo estate of 
Captain Wilson and M. Joubert, of Sydney. 

Tobacco (Nicotiana Tabacum, Linn.), a pink-flowering 
kind, is grown about towns and villages in patches, 
never exceeding a few rods in extent, but in sufficient 
quantity to keep the bulk of the population sup- 
plied. Both men and women use it for smoking only, 
either out of pipes or made into cigarettes with dry 
banana-leaves'; the filthy habit of chewing or taking 
snuff does not seem to be practised by them, though, 
had they been so inclined, they might have learned it 
from the lower class of white settlers. Being unac- 
quainted with the process of curing the leaf successfully, 
the natives greatly prefer our tobacco to their own, and 
are thankful for the gift of a piece, however small, but 
rather loth to regard it in the light of payment for 
goods or services rendered, preferring any other article 
of barter, inferior though it may be in value to the to- 
bacco offered. 


Oil and vegetable fat next claim our attention. The 
most valuable oil produced in Fiji is that extracted from 
the seeds of the Dilo (Calophyllum inophyllum, Linn.), 
the Tamanu of Eastern Polynesia, and the Cashumpa of 
India. It is the bitter oil, or woondel, of Indian com- 
merce. The natives use it for polishing arms and greas- 
ing their bodies when cocoa-nut oil is not at hand. But 
the great reputation this oil enjoys throughout Poly- 
nesia and the East Indies rests upon its medicinal pro- 
perties, as a liniment in rheumatism, pains in the joints, 
and bruises. The efficacy in that respect can hardly be 
exaggerated, and recommends it to the attention of Eu- 
ropean practitioners. The oil is kept by the natives in 
gourd flasks, and, there being only a limited quantity 
made, I was charged about sixpence per pint for it, 
paid in calico and cutlery. The tree yielding it is one 
of the most common littoral plants in the group, and its 
round fruits, mixed with the square-shaped ones of Bar- 
ringtonia speciosa, the pine-cone-like ones of the sago- 
palm, and the flat seeds of the Walai (Entada scandens, 
Bth.), are found densely covering the sandy beaches, a 
play of the tides. Dilo oil never congeals in the lowest 
temperature of the Eijis, as cocoa-nut oil often does 
during the cool season. It is of a greenish tinge, and 
a very little of it will impart its hue to a whole cask 
of cocoa-nut oil. Its commercial value is only partially 
known in the Fijis, and was found out accidentally. 
Amongst the contributions in cocoa-nut oil which the 
natives furnish towards the support of the Wesleyan 
missions, some Dilo oil had been poured, which, on ar- 
riving at Sydney, was rejected by the broker who pur- 


chased the other oil, on account of its greenish tinge 
and strange appearance. On being shown to others, a 
chemist, recognizing it as the bitter oil of India, pur- 
chased it at the rate of £60 per tun ; and he must have 
made a good profit on it, as the article fetches as much 
as £90 per tun. The Dilo grows to the height of sixty 
feet, and the stem is from three to four feet in diameter, 
generally thickly crowded with epiphytal orchids and 
ferns. The dark oblong leaves form a magnificent crown, 
producing a dense shade ; and when, during the flower- 
ing season, they are interspersed with numerous white 
flowers, the aspect of the whole tree is truly noble. 
The exudation from the stem is, according to Bennett, 
the Tacamahaca resin of commerce, used by Tahitians 
as a scent. Carpenters and cabinet-makers value the 
wood on account of its beautiful grain, hardness, and 
red tinge. Boats and canoes are built of it, and it is 
named with the Vesi (Afzelia bijuga, A. Gray) as the 
best timber produced in Fiji. In order to extract the 
oil, the round fruit is allowed to drop and the outer 
fleshy covering rot on the ground. The remaining por- 
tion, consisting of a shell somewhat of the consistency 
of that of a hen's egg, and enclosing the kernel, is baked 
on hot stones, in the same way that Polynesian vegeta- 
bles and meat are. The shell is then broken, and the 
kernel pounded between stones. If the quantity be 
small, the macerated mass is placed in the fibres of the 
Vau (Paritium tiliaceum and tricuspis), and forced by 
the hand to yield up its oily contents ; if large, a rude 
level press is constructed by placing a boom horizontally 
between two cocoa-nut trees, and appending to them per- 


pendicularly the fibres of the Vau. After the macerated 
kernels have been placed in the midst, a pole made fast 
to the lower end of the fibres, and two men taking hold 
of its end, twist the contrivance round and round till 
the oil, collecting into a wooden bowl standing under- 
neath, has been extracted. Of course, the pressure thus 
brought to bear upon the pounded kernels is not suffi- 
ciently great to allow every particle of oil to escape, and 
with the proper machinery the waste would amount to 
little indeed. 

The candle-nut (Aleurites triloba, Forst.), termed 
"Lauci," "Sikeci," and "Tuitui," in the .various dialects 
of Fiji, contains a great deal of oil, of which, however, 
the natives make only a limited use for polishing, though 
in other parts of Polynesia lamps are fed with it, and in 
the Hawaiian islands the entire kernels are strung on a 
stick and lighted as candles. The fruit is better known 
as a dye, and plays an important part at the birth of 
a child; for no sooner is a baby born than the mid- 
wife rushes to the Lauci to gather a fruit fresh from the 
tree, which she places in the mouth of the interesting 
young stranger, with the conviction that its milky juice 
will clear the throat, and more effectually enable it to 
announce its welcome arrival. Mr. Wilson, the manag- 
ing director of Price's Patent Candle Company, at Vaux- 
hall, writes to me : — " The oil of the Aleurites triloba is 
fine and hard, worth at least as much as sesame or rape 
oil, in this market. It is held very lightly in its matrix, 
and should be pressed where grown. If the ' nuts ' were 
brought home in their shells, the freight would be ex- 
pensive ; and if shelled, insects would eat them." The 


candle-nut tree is of middle size, common throughout 
Fiji, and rendered a conspicuous object by the whiteness 
of its leaves, produced by a fine powder easily removed. 
The ground underneath is always densely covered with 
" nuts," and large quantities might be collected. 

The croton-oil plant (Curcas purgans, Med.), intro- 
duced from the Tongan islands, is employed for living 
fences in Lakeba and other parts ; but the oleaceous pro- 
perties of its seeds have as yet been turned to as little 
account as those of the castor-oil plant (Birinus commu- 
nis, Linn.), named " Uto ni papalagi " by the natives, 
and naturalized throughout the group. 

The oil of the cocoa-nut palm, or Niu dina (Cocos 
nucifera, Linn.), has long been one of the articles of ex- 
port ; nevertheless, it is difficult to arrive at any definite 
result about the average annual quantity. The Wesleyan 
mission, in negotiating with an island trader for the trans- 
port of the oil received from the natives as contribu- 
tions to its funds, were ready to guarantee that at least 
sixty tuns should pass through his hands. This, at the 
rate of £20 per tun, the average value of the oil on the 
spot, would give £1200 per annum — a sum tolerably well 
agreeing with that usually advertised on the wrapper of 
the ' Wesleyan Missionary Notices ' as the Fijian share 
towards the support of the Society. Exact data for 
forming an opinion of the quantity shipped by the ac- 
tual traders are altogether wanting. On consulting with 
several about this subject, they pretty nearly all agreed 
in fixing three hundred tuns as the utmost limit of the 
annual export of the whole group, =£6 000 on the spot. 
Hitherto, there has been great waste in the making of 


oil, the native process being of a primitive description. 
To remedy this evil, Captain Wilson and M. Joubert, of 
Sydney, have set up proper machinery on their estate at 
Somosomo, after one of the partners had familiarized 
himself with the latest improvement in that branch of 
industry in Ceylon ; and it is their intention to take ad- 
vantage of the luxuriant manner in which Coboi, or 
lemon-grass (Andrapogon Schoenanthus, Linn.), grows in 
Fiji, by cultivating it for the purpose of making citro- 
nella oil. Cocoa-nut oil congealing at a temperature of 
about 72° Fahr., and the thermometer during the cool 
months often falling below that degree, a proper amount 
of warmth will be kept up whilst the operation of press- 
ing the pulverized kernels is going on, and thus another 
step be taken towards the making of the largest quan- 
tity of oil from the least number of nuts. Wilkes, upon 
the authority of one of the scientific men attached to 
his expedition, states that there were only two varieties 
of cocoa-nut, a green and a brown. Closer attention to 
the subject would have shown this to be a mistake ; not 
only the colour, but also the average size and shape of 
the fruits, the height of the trees, and the insertion of 
the leaflets, or rather segments, offer marks of distinc- 
tion between the numerous varieties with which the is- 
lands are studded. The most striking kind is the one 
having fruits not much larger than a turkey's egg, and 
bearing more than a hundred of them in each bunch. 
Several trees were noticed at Kadavu, about Yarabale, 
a narrow isthmus, where canoes are dragged across from 
sea to sea. The curious phenomenon of a cocoa-nut 
palm becoming, as it were, branched by the division of 


the trunk, has occasionally been witnessed in Fiji ; and 
two interesting instances of it are given in Williams's 
' Fiji and the Fijians,' where one of the trees is described 
with five branches. In Samoa Mr. W. Pritchard saw a 
tree with two heads, regarded with just pride by the 
natives who possessed it, and cut down during a war by 
their enemies. As in other parts of Polynesia, the trunk 
is made into small canoes, or supplies materials for 
building and fencing ; stockades of it are impenetrable 
to bullets. The leaves are made into different kinds of 
mats and baskets ; yam houses are occasionally thatched 
with them, but these roofs do not last much longer 
than a year. The spathe enclosing the flowers is used 
for torches; the fibres surrounding the nut are made 
into " sinnet," used for fastenings of all kinds. The 
young flesh is delicious eating, and the " water " con- 
tained in the nuts a refreshing drink, which, as the 
fruit advances, undergoes a gradual change, for all of 
which there are distinctive names. New-comers soon 
fix upon a certain stage most agreeable to their palate, 
and on indicating it to the natives they will readily pick 
it out by knocking with their fingers on the outside of 
either the husked or the unhusked nut, and be guided 
by the sound. This process requires long practice, and 
though I tried hard to learn at least the sound of that 
stage I preferred, I did not succeed in accomplishing it. 
The ripe nuts are grated and used for puddings, or given 
to fowls and pigs. Some persons have a predilection 
for nuts when just in the act of germinating — a taste 
which the Asiatic shares in eating the young palmyras, 
and the African in consuming the seedlings of the 


Borassus ? JEthiopicum, Mart. It is to be regretted that 
so few plantations of cocoa-nut trees are formed by 
white settlers. The annual value of a fruit-producing 
tree is never less than one dollar ; and how easily might 
10,000 nuts be set in the ground, and the value of an 
estate be permanently raised. Every part of the smaller 
islands and the sea-borders of the larger are suitable lo- 
calities. Only Bau, Viwa, and the districts adjacent, 
form an exception: the trees, as soon as they have 
reached a certain height, become diseased ; their leaves 
look as if dipped in boiling water, and their fruits are 
few in number, poor, and often drop off before they 
arrive at maturity ; a thick layer of marl, forming the 
subsoil of those districts, seeming to oppose that ready 
drainage the cocoa-nut tree requires, and which it enjoys 
in so eminent a degree on the white beaches of sand and 
decomposed corals. 

Starch is produced by four indigenous plants, viz. Eoro 
(Cycas circinalis, Linn.), Yabia dina (Tacca pinnatifida, 
Forst.), Yabia sa {Tacca sativa, Eumph.), and Niu soria 
or Sogo (Sagus Vitiensis,~Wen.&\.), to which of late years 
has been added the Cassava root of Western America 
(Manihot Aipi, Pohl), commonly termed by the Fijians 
" Yabia ni papalagi," i. e. foreign arrowroot. The Koro 
(Cycas circinalis, Linn.), a tree thirty feet high, is by 
no means a common plant in the islands, having been 
encountered only at Viti Leva and Ovalau in isolated 
specimens ; and as the pith-like substance contained in 
the trunk was reserved for the sole use of the chiefs, 
and forbidden to the lower classes, no inducement ex- 
isted on the part of those debarred from it to extend it 

STAKCH. 289 

by cultivation, as is done in the Tongan islands. The 
two kinds of Yabia are the arrowroot of Fiji, errone- 
ously stated by Wilkes and others to be the Maranta 
arundinacea, Linn. They are both species of Tacca; 
their foliage springing up in great abundance in the 
beginning of the warm season, and their tubers ripening 
about June, when leaves and flowers die off. The most 
common is that kind termed on the Macuata coast 
Yabia dina (genuine arrowroot), the Tacca pinnatifida, 
Forst. It delights in light sandy soil, and is therefore 
most frequently encountered on the seashore ; whilst 
the second species, known in Macuata as " Yabia sa," 
is almost entirely confined to the sides of hills and 
heavy soil. The natives prefer the first-mentioned spe- 
cies for the purpose of making arrowroot, though they 
own that there is no difference in the quality of the 
farinaceous substance prepared from either. In most 
parts of Fiji there are no distinctive names for the two 
kinds, both being called "Yabia;" yet the natives are 
perfectly well acquainted with their various characters 
and peculiarities of habitat. The leaf, stalks, and scape 
of the Yabia sa are prominently speckled, and the seg- 
ments of the leaves are long and narrow, by which it is at 
once distinguished from its ally. The tubers, when quite 
ripe, are dug out of the ground and rasped on the mush- 
room coral (Fungia sp.). The fleshy mass thus pro- 
duced is washed in fresh water to enable the starch to 
settle at the bottom of the vessel in which the operation 
is carried on ; by pouring off the dirty water, and re- 
peated washings, the starchy sediment may be made to 
assume any desired degree of whiteness. Since Fijian 



arrowroot has become an article of foreign demand, it 
has been pointed out to the natives that the impurities 
imparting a greyish colour to the production, caused 
partly by not peeling the tubers previous to rasping 
them, partly by not washing the sediment a sufficient 
number of times, must be removed in order to raise the 
marketable value of the article. When a satisfactory 
degree of whiteness has been attained, the starch is 
dried in the sun. For their own consumption the Fiji- 
ans do not dry their arrowroot, but tie it up in bundles 
of leaves and bury it in the ground, when it speedily 
ferments, and emits a rather disagreeable odour. South 
Sea arrowroot fetches from threepence halfpenny to 
fourpence per pound in London ; and, as it is invaluable 
when taken in cases of dysentery and diarrhoea, — the 
bane of the South Seas, — it is necessary to have it genu- 
ine. The Tonguese have of late years been known to 
adulterate it to a great extent with lime in order to in- 
crease its weight and volume, but this fraud may readily 
be detected by watching the arrowroot when it first 
comes in contact with water ; if adulterated with lime, it 
will fizz. Care should also be taken to guard against 
the starch of the Cassava or Tapioco plant being passed 
off for Polynesian arrowroot, which, from its slightly 
purgative tendency and poisonous properties, is ill- 
adapted for bowel complaints. It is much whiter than 
the arrowroot made of Tacca, sticks to the hands like 
flour, and when a little water is allowed to act upon it, 
it assumes a pinkish colour ; whilst the arrowroot made 
of Tacca has a granulated feel, does not adhere to the 
hand like flour, and is not changed in colour by contact 

SAGO. 291 

with water. The Cassava root has of late years been 
introduced into Fiji, and grows remarkably well. 

The Niu soria or Sogo (Sagus Vitiensis, Wendl.) is a 
genuine sago-palm, growing in swamps on Viti Levu, 
Vanua Levu, and Ovalau, and was first discovered by 
Mr. Pritchard and myself when on our first visit to 
Chief Kuruduadua. By asking the natives respecting 
the various palms of the islands, they described one 
which I was led to consider as the sago-yielding tree, 
and hence we made inquiries at all the places we called, 
but did not obtain a sight of it until we reached Taguru, 
on the southern coast of Viti Levu, and thence west- 
ward it was encountered in abundance. Fine groves, 
several miles in extent, were seen by us on the various 
branches and deltas of the Navua river. It was after- 
wards ascertained to grow on Ovalau ; and Mr. Water- 
house, when accompanying Colonel Smythe, found an 
extensive grove on the north-eastern parts of Vanua 
Levu. The natives of Ovalau term this palm Niu soria, 
those of Viti Levu, Sogo (pronounced " Songo ") ; the lat- 
ter name reminding one of " Sago " or " Sagu," by which 
some species of Sagus are known in other islands inha- 
bited by the Papuan race ; and rendering the discovery 
of this palm ethnologically as interesting as it is impor- 
tant commercially, by adding another raw product to 
the export list of the islands, and botanically, by ex- 
tending the geographical range of sago-yielding palms 
1500 miles further south-east than it was previously 
known to exist. The natives of Fiji were unacquainted 
with the nutritious qualities residing in the trunk, until 
Mr. Pritchard and myself extracted the sago from it. 

u 2 


The Sogo grows in swamps, and the natives occasion- 
ally take advantage of the open places among the groves 
to plant taro, or even clear Sogo land for that purpose. 
The dimensions of the finest specimens were accurately 
measured. The largest trees felled were from forty to 
fifty feet high, and their trunks, in the thickest parts, 
from three feet nine inches to four feet four inches in 
circumference. The trunk is very straight, and densely 
covered with aerial roots, six to twelve lines long, all 
having the peculiarity of being directed upwards. The 
crown generally consists of about sixteen living leaves 
in all stages of development, and there are mostly five 
or six dead ones still adhering to it. The pinnatifid 
leaves are of a dark green, seventeen feet long ; whilst 
the leaflets, gracefully drooping at the tips, are from 
three and a half to four feet long, and three and a half 
inches broad. The petiole is covered with spines, which 
at its base are arranged in connected rows extending 
from side to side, and towards the top in horse-shoe- 
shaped collections. The spines are brown, and from one 
and a half to two and a half inches long. When the 
tree has attained maturity there appears a terminal pa- 
nicle about twelve feet high, and divided into twenty 
or more branches. These branches measure eight feet 
in length, and are again divided into about fourteen 
branchlets (each averaging from fourteen to sixteen 
inches). The fruit, in outer appearance resembling an 
inverted pine-cone, is beautifully polished and of a 
yellowish brown, much lighter than that of Sagus Bum- 
phii, Mart. This palm forms a prominent feature in the 
landscape, the foliage fluttering like gigantic plumes in 

sago. 293 

the wind", and outbidding the cocoa-nut in gracefulness 
of outline and movement ; the bold look of the flowers 
suddenly starting from the extremity of the trunk, and 
proclaiming, as it were by signal, that the time has 
arrived when nature has completed her task of laying up 
stores of nutritious starch, and that unless the harvest is 
at once gathered in, nothing will remain of the produce 
of years save the receptacle in which it was treasured up. 
Even the old dead trees, standing like so many skeletons 
amongst a host of young plants, present an interesting 
appearance, reminding one of the posts with their many 
arms over which the wires of electric telegraphs are 
carried. Mr. Pritchard and myself felled six trees, and 
carried two logs to Lado, where we made sago of one of 
them by grating and washing the yellow-white substance 
with which the inside was filled. The term " spongy " 
does not well apply to this substance ; it has rather the 
consistency of a hard-baked loaf, and that taken from 
the base of the tree has a sweet and pleasant taste ; to- 
wards the top it was more insipid. For the purpose of 
collecting sago it is of the highest importance that the 
tree should be cut down just at the time when the 
flowers begin to show themselves ; if felled sooner the 
tree has not attained its proper development, and the 
quantity of farinaceous matter will not be so great as at 
the period indicated ; if, on the other hand, the cutting 
down is deferred until the fruit has been formed, a con- 
siderable diminution of the quantity of sago meal will 
be observed ; and the longer such a postponement takes 
place, the less chance there is of collecting a remunera- 
tive amount, as the tree, when it has borne flower and 


fruit, which, unlike the cocoa-nut palm, it does only 
once during the term of its existence, speedily dies and 
crumbles into dust. The trees are easily felled, only the 
outer layers of wood possessing any hardness, the central 
parts being as soft as bread, so that a few strokes with 
a good axe will bring the largest tree to the ground.* 

Several kinds of spice are indigenous, or have become 
naturalized. Turmeric (Curcuma longa, Linn.), termed 
" Cago " by the Fijians, grows abundantly in all the 
lower districts. The whites use the rhizome in the pre- 
paration of curry, and the natives the powder of it as 
food, or more commonly to daub over the bodies of 
women after childbirth and those of dead friends — a 
custom also prevailing in the Samoan group, according 
to Mr. Pritchard. In the few districts that have as yet 
not been brought under the immediate influence of the 
British Consul or the missionaries, the heathen widows 
are painted with it before strangulation. In fact, tur- 
meric powder is with the Fijian what rouge and Row- 
land's preparations are with us, a cosmetic. Promoting 
in their opinion health and beauty, it is put on with no 
sparing hand by the women, and pointed remarks are 
made about too great a proximity if a man be unfortu- 
nate enough to have some stains of turmeric on his body 
or scanty dress. The manufacture of turmeric is similar 
to that of arrowroot, and is generally managed by the 
women. The receiving pits dug in the ground are lined 
with herbage, so as to retain the juicy parts. The grated 
rhizome is afterwards placed in the body of a canoe, and 

* Dr. Bennett, of Sydney, found a sago palm on Hotuma, north of Fiji, 
possibly identical with the Fijian, but there are no specimens. 

spices. 295 

rolled up and strained through a fine basket lined with 
fern leaves. It is then carried away in bamboos, and 
for several days exposed to the air, when the fluid is 
gently poured off, and a sediment, the Rerega of Fiji or 
turmeric of commerce, is found at the bottom. A species 
of ginger (Zingiber Zerumbet, Rose.) also abounds in the 
lower districts of the group, where it is called " Beta." 
The rhizome, though less pungent than that of the spe- 
cies exported from China, has been found to make tole- 
rably good preserves, and answers all the other purposes 
for which genuine ginger (Zingiber officinale, Linn.) is 
commonly employed. During our journey we often 
used it with turmeric, a few leaves of an aromatic Zingi- 
beraceous plant termed " Cevuga " (Amomum sp.), and 
a few fruits of the bird's-eye pepper for making curry, 
which, all the ingredients being fresh, proved of excel- 
lent flavour. A species of Nutmeg (Myristica castaneoe- 
folia, A. Gray), termed " Male," is found in the larger 
islands, forming trees sixty to eighty feet high, but 
yielding a very inferior kind of timber, which rapidly 
decays when exposed to the influence of the weather. 
Both its mace and nut prove a good substitute for those 
of the genuine nutmeg (Myristica moschata, Linn). The 
" nut " was turned to no account until the whites 
pointed out its valuable properties. It is about the size 
of a pigeons egg ; the mace (arillus) is of a fine pink 
colour, and the shape of the nut it encloses is too oblong 
to allow this kind of nutmeg ever to be passed off for the 
genuine and best sorts of the Indian Archipelago, though 
the Fijian produce may resemble them in every other 
respect. Bird's-eye pepper (Capsicum frutescens, Linn.) 


is met with in every part of the islands, especially in 
places under cultivation, producing rich harvests of 
red pungent fruits. The Fijians call it " Boro ni papa- 
lagi" (i. e. foreign Boro), in contradistinction to " Boro ni 
Viti," or Fijian Boro {Solanum anthropophagorum, Seem., 
and S. oleraceum. Dun.) ; thus indicating that the bird's- 
eye pepper has been introduced by the white man, and 
is merely to be looked upon as naturalized, not wild. 

The staple food is the same all over Polynesia, being 
derived, with the total exclusion of all grain and pulse, 
from the yam, the Taro, the banana, the plantain, the 
breadfruit, and the cocoa-nut; but the bulk of it is 
furnished in the different countries by only one of these 
plants. In the Hawaiian group the Taro takes the 
lead, whilst the cocoa-nut is looked upon as a delicacy, 
from which the women were formerly altogether cut off. 
In some of the smaller coral islands the inhabitants live 
almost entirely upon cocoa-nuts. The Samoans place 
the breadfruit at the head of the list. Again, the Fijians 
think more of the yam than of the others, though all 
grow in their islands in the greatest perfection and in an 
endless number of varieties. A striking proof of how 
much the yam engages their attention is furnished by 
the fact of its cultivation and ripening season being made 
the chief foundation of their calendar ; and that only 
such of the eleven months, into which the year is divided, 
bear no names indicative of it, in which the crop re- 
quires no particular attention, or has been safely housed. 
A version of this calendar has been published by Wilkes 
in ' The Narrative of the United States Exploring Ex- 
pedition,' and is placed in juxtaposition with one die- 


tated to me by an intelligent Bauan chief, and the con- 
sular interpreter, Mr. Charles Wise. The names given 
by me, as well as their succession, do not quite agree with 
those given by Wilkes. This discrepancy is partly ex- 
plained by Wilkes having taken down his list from the 
lips of Europeans imperfectly versed in Fijian, and by 
his adopting a loose way of spelling. The names of the 
months may also be different in different parts of the 
group. The subject, however, requires still further in- 
vestigation. If, as has been averred, the Fijians inva- 
riably commenced the months with the appearance of 
the new moon, there would soon have been a vast dif- 
ference between the lunar and the solar year. To guard 
against the irregularity that would thus have been in- 
troduced into the seasons, and to make the lunar year 
correspond with the solar, it would have been necessary 
either to intercalate a moon after every thirty-sixth 
moon, or to allow a greater period of time for one of 
the eleven months into which the Fijian year is divided. 
The latter seems to have been effected by the Vula i 
werewere (clearing month). Hazel wood (' Fijian and 
English Dictionary,' Viwa, 1850, p. 180) allows four 
months, May, June, July, and August, for it ; but this 
cannot be correct, as it would derange the others. By 
restricting it to two or thereabouts, June and July, a 
proper arrangement is effected. I place the Vula i 
werewere first in my list instead of the month answering 
to January, because it is in the spring of the year (June 
and July), and the commencement of the agricultural 
operations and natural phenomena upon which the ca- 
lendar is based. 



Fijian Calendar. 


1. Vula i wereivere = June, 

July, clearing month ; 
when the land is cleared 
of weeds and trees. 

2. Vula i cukicuki = August ; 

when the yam -fields are 
dug and planted. 

3. Vula i vavakadi = Sep- 

tember ; putting reeds 
to yams to enable them 
to climb up. 

4. Vula i Balolo lailai = Oc- 

tober; when the balolo 
(Palolo viridis, Gray), a 
remarkable Annelidan 
animal, first makes its 
appearance in small 

5. Vula i Balolo levu = No- 

vember ; when the ba- 
lolo (Palolo viridis, 
Gray) is seen in great 
numbers ; the 25th of 
November generally is 
the day when most of 
these animalsare caught. 

3. Vula i nuqa lailai = De- 
cember ; a fish called 
" nuqa " comes in in iso- 
lated numbers. 

7. Vula i nuqa levu = Jan- 
uary; when the nuqa 
fish arrives ingreat num- 

According to Wilkes. 

1. Vulai were were, weeding 

2. Vulai lou lou, digging 

ground and planting. 

3. Vulai Kawawaka. 

4. Bololo vava Konde* 

5. Bololo lieb. 

6. Numa lieb, or Nuga lailai. 

7. Vulai songa sou tombe sou, 
or Nuga levu; reed blos- 



Vula ni sevu = February; 
when offerings of the 
first dug yams (ai sevu) 
are made to the priests. 

Vula i Kclikeli = March ; 
digging up yams and 
storing them in sheds. 

Vulai songa sou seselteb, 
build yam-houses. 

. Vulai Matua, or Endoye 
doye ; yams ripe. (N.B. 
— Vulai Endoye doye, 
probably is meant for 
Vula i doi ; the Doi is a 
tree (Alphitonia zizy- 
phoides, A. Gray), B. 

10. Vula i gasau = April ; 10. Vulai mbota mbota. 

reeds (gasau) begin to 
sprout out afresh. 

11. Vula i doi = May; the 11. 

Doi (Alphitonia zizy- 
phoides, A. Gray), a tree 
plentiful in Fiji, flowers. 

The yam principally cultivated is the Dioscorea alata, 
Linn., having a square climbing stem without prickles. 
The natives distinguish a number of varieties, all of 
which are known by the collective name of " Uvi." 
Some have large, some small roots, of either a white or 
more or less purplish tinge ; and upon these differences, 
as well as their shape and time of maturity, the distinc- 
tions are founded.* At Navua, in Viti Levu, Chief 
Kuruduadua showed us a lot of yams six feet long and 
nine inches in diameter, perfectly mealy, and every part 
good eating ; and specimens, eight feet long, and weigh- 
ing one hundred pounds, are by no means rare in the 
group. Skilful growers maintain that in order to pro- 

Vulai Tcelekele, or Vulai 
mayo mayo ; digging 

* These varieties are called Dannini, Keu, Kasokaso, or Easoni, Voli, 
Sedre, Lokaloka, Moala, Uvi ni Gau, Lava, Namula, Eausi, Balebale, etc. 


duce large and abundant roots-the settings ought to be 
put into hard and unprepared soil. According to their 
notion the yam ought to meet with resistance ere it will 
put forth its whole strength, or, as they sometimes ex- 
press themselves, it must get angry before it will exert 
itself. I even heard of a bet won by a woman who 
pursued this simple plan, and who fully made good her 
word, that she would produce a root large enough to feed 
twenty people ; whilst the man who bet with her could 
only raise one that would not have fed one-third of that 
number, though he took great pains to pulverize and 
prepare the soil for the reception of the setting. The 
general signal for planting is the flowering of the Drala 
{Erythrina Indica, Linn.). As soon as its blossoms be- 
gin to appear, which happens about July and the be- 
ginning of August, all hands busy themselves about it. 
The land having already been cleared during the pre- 
vious months, hillocks, about two feet high and four or 
five feet apart, are thrown up ; these hillocks are known 
by the name of " Buke," whence the highest mountain 
in Kadavu, for the first time ascended on the 6th of 
September, 1860, by Mr. Pritchard and myself, and re- 
sembling them in shape, takes its name of Buke Levu, 
or large yam-hillock. There are no spades or any other 
iron tool for digging ; all is done with staves made of 
mangrove-wood, and the bare hands. Pieces of old 
yams are set on the top of these hillocks,, and within 
a short space of time they begin to sprout out. In less 
than a month they require reeds for climbing, after 
which little else is needed than keeping the plantations 
free from weeds. About. February the first yams begin to 


ripen, and in the heathen districts offerings of them are 
made to the priests. In March and April the principal 
crop comes in, and is stored in sheds thatched with 
cocoa-nut leaves. As the season advances the contents 
of these sheds require at least a monthly overhauling ; 
the roots exhibiting any kind of decay have to be re- 
moved to prevent their contaminating the healthy ones. 
Yams are eaten baked, boiled, or steamed, and the na- 
tives can consume great quantities of them. Whole 
cargoes have occasionally been taken with profit to 
New South Wales and New Zealand, and whaling and 
trading vessels never touch at the group without laying 
in a good supply. 

There is another esculent root, the Kawai (Dioscorea 
aculeata, Linn.), also planted on artificial hillocks, though 
not so high as those of the yam. The stem of this 
creeper is round, and full of prickles, but it is not ac- 
commodated with reeds as that of the last-mentioned 
species. It ripens about June; on the 27th of that 
month all the leaves were dead. According to the na- 
tives it never flowers nor fruits, and I looked in vain 
over many a field in hopes of being able to disprove 
the statement. It is propagated by planting the small 
tubers or roots, which, like the old ones, are oblong, 
of a brownish colour outside, and a pure white within. 
When cooked, the skin peels off like the bark of the 
birch-tree, as Wilkes expresses it. The root is very 
farinaceous, and when well cooked looks like a fine 
mealy potato, though of superior whiteness. The taste 
recalls to mind that of the Aracacha of South America ; 
there is a slight degree of sweetness about it which 


is very agreeable to the palate. Altogether the Kawai 
may be pronounced one of the finest esculent roots in 
the world, and I strongly recommend its cultivation in 
those parts of the tropics still deprived of it. 

Several species of wild yam, such as the Tikau, Tivoli, 
and Kaile, trail in graceful festoons over shrubs and trees 
of nearly every wood. The Tivoli (Dioscorea nummularia, 
Lam.) has a prickly stem like that of the cultivated 
Kawai, and climbs very high ; its roots are long, cylin- 
drical, and as thick as a man's arm. When engaged in 
the forest the natives will often dig up these roots with 
a stick, roast, and eat them on the spot, when they taste 
extremely palatable. The Kaile (Helmia bulbifera, Kth.) 
somewhat resembles the Tivoli in look, and is often found 
entwined with it, but its stems and branches are round 
and unarmed, and its roots, being acrid, require to be 
soaked in water previous to boiling. The dish prepared 
from them has the appearance of mashed potatoes, and 
is made so thin that it can only be eaten with spoons, 
which are either furnished by the leathery leaves of the 
spoon-tree or Tatakia [Acacia laurifolia, Willd.), or any 
other substantial leaf that happens to be at hand. 

The Taro, or, as the Fijian language has it, the Dalo 
[Colocasia antiquorum, var. esculenta, Schott), is grown 
on irrigated or on dry ground, perhaps more on the 
latter than on the former. The water is never allowed 
to become stagnant, but always kept in gentle motion. 
When planted on dry ground, generally on land just 
cleared, a tree or two with thick crowns are left stand- 
ing in every field, which, as the natives justly conclude, 
attracts the moisture, and favours the growth of the 


crop. A considerable number of varieties are known,* 
some better adapted for puddings, some for bread (ma- 
drai), or simply for boiling or baking. The outer marks- 
of distinction chiefly rest upon the different tinge ob- 
servable in the leaf, stalks, and ribs of the leaves — 
white, yellowish, purple. When the crop is gathered 
in, the tops of the tubers are cut off, and at once re- 
planted. The young leaves may be eaten like spinach ; 
but, like the root, they require to be well cooked in 
order to destroy the acridity peculiar to Aroideous plants. 
The Fijians prefer eating the cooked Taro when cold — 
a taste which few Europeans share with them ; on the 
contrary, the latter relish them quite hot, and, if pos- 
sible, roasted. 

Besides the Taro, which is occasionally seen wild on 
the banks of rivers, there are three other indigenous 
Aroideous plants, the corms of which are used as arti- 
cles of food : the Via mila, the Via kana, and the Daiga. 
The Via mila (Alocasia Indica, Schott), always growing 
in swamps, is a gigantic species, often twelve feet high ; 
the trunk or corm of which — the edible part — is, when 
fully developed, as large as a man's leg : a single leaf 
weighing three and a half pounds. The petiole was 
found to be four feet long, and ten inches in circum- 
ference at the base ; the blade of the leaf three feet two 
inches long, two feet six inches broad, and thirteen feet 
six inches in circumference ! The plant emits a nau- 
seous smell, amply warning, as well as the various popu- 

* The different kinds of Dalo (Taro) are, Basaga, Bega, Dalo ni Vanua, 
Karakarawa, Keri, Kurilagi, Mumu, Quiawa, Sikaviloa, Sisiwa, Soki, 
Toakida, etc. 


lar names it bears, against any incautious contact with 
it. Besides the name of Via mila, Avhich signifies " acrid 
Via," we have that of Via gaga, or poisonous Via. What 
may be the meaning of Via sori, and Dranu, occasion- 
ally applied to it, I have not been able to find out. In 
order to remove the acrid properties, the trunk is baked, 
or first grated, and then treated as madrai (bread) in the 
manner to be explained below ; yet, notwithstanding 
all precautions, the natives are frequently ill from eat- 
ing it. The Via kau, or Via kana (Cyrtosperma edulis, 
Schott), is in every respect a similar species, also grow- 
ing in swamps, not only wild, but frequently cultivated 
like Taro. It requires fewer preparations to render its 
root fit for food than that of the Via mila, and its fla- 
vour is considerd more agreeable. 

The Daiga (Amorphophallus sp.) differs from the 
three preceding Aroideous plants both in habit and mode 
of growth. It is always found on dry ground, and ap- 
pears in the spring of the year, together with arrowroot, 
turmeric, and ginger. Its foliage consists of a single 
leaf, which rises from a roundish tuber to the height of 
from two to four feet, having a petiole full of soft 
prickles, and a blade spreading out somewhat like an um- 
brella, and divided into numerous, deeply cut segments. 
The flower, or rather the spathe, is of a dull colour, not 
put forth until the leaf is beginning to die off, and emits 
an offensive carrion-like odour. In the cosmogony of the 
Samoans, the office of having, by means of its singular 
foliage, lifted up the heavens when they emerged from 
chaos, is assigned to this plant ; and the Fijians recom- 
mend it as a safe place of refuge when the end of the 


world approaches, the Daiga being in their opinion a 
" Vasu " to heayen (Vasu kilagi). A Vasu, it should 
be added in explanation, is, according to widely- 
spread Polynesian custom, a nephew who holds the 
movable property of his mother's brothers at his almost 
absolute disposal, having the power to do whatever he 
pleases with it. Some Vasus even venture so far as to 
dispose of the very lands belonging to their maternal 
uncles. There are Vasus to every family, town, and 
kingdom. A Vasu to heaven is the climax of the whole 
system, cleverly employed in the charming Fijian story 
of the Princess Vilivilitabua. The root of the Daiga 
is acrid, but after being freed from that property, es- 
teemed on account of its nutritious qualities. Being 
thought to assist fermentation, some of it is mixed with 
the leaven of bread ; for the Fijians, though not grow- 
ing any grain, or importing flour, prepare what they call 
" Madrai," or bread, from the fruits of the Ivi (Inocarpus 
edulis, Forst.), Kavika (Eugenia Malaccensis, Linn.), Ba- 
nana, Plantain, Breadfruit, Dogo kana or mangrove, 
and the roots of the Taro (Colocasia antiquorum, Schott, 
var. esculenta, Schott), Kawai (Dioscorea aculeata, 
Linn.), Via mila (Alocasia Indica, Schott), Via kana, 
and the Daiga. A hole, having the shape of an inverted 
cone, is dug in the ground, and having been lined with 
leaves, the different materials are put in, covered with 
leaves, earth, and stones, to undergo fermentation, and 
become fused into a homogeneous mass. Two or three, 
ay, even nine months are allowed for that process. 
When taken out, the dough emits a sour foetid smell. It 
is then either baked on hot stones, or steamed in large 



earthenware pots; but the taste is such that few fo- 
reigners acquire a partiality for it, and the natives them- 
selves infinitely prefer our bread and biscuit to their 
own madrai. Yet it is most fortunate that in a country 
where numerous kinds of fruits and edible roots, how- 
ever abundant at certain seasons, are subject to such 
rapid decay, the natives are acquainted with a simple 
process, by means of which they are able to store up 
their provisions, and thus effectually guard against ex- 
treme want in a land of plenty. 

A few other esculent roots remain still to be men- 
tioned. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum, Linn.) grown in 
Mr. Moore's garden at Mataisuva I found tolerably good. 
An attempt made by Mr. Carey, at Wairiki, to raise 
radishes, did not succeed. Shalots are cultivated to a 
considerable extent by the natives. Turnips have been 
produced from imported seeds. The sweet potato (Ba- 
tatas edulis, Chois.) is an introduction probably from 
New Zealand, as the Fijian name (Kumara) proves iden- 
tical with that given by the Maoris. It succeeds well, 
but does not seem to be much valued. The Masawe or 
Vasili Toga (Dracaena sp.), is a shrub with obovate 
leaves, cultivated, and perhaps, judging from the name 
Vasili Toga ( = Tonga) it bears in some parts of the 
group, an importation from the Tongan islands. Its root 
is large, weighs from 10 to 14 lbs., and when baked, re- 
sembles in taste and degree of sweetness, as near as pos- 
sible that of stick-liquorice. The Fijians chew it, or use 
it for sweetening puddings. They were ignorant of the 
art of extracting an intoxicating liquor from it, known 
to the Hawaiians. There is another species of Dracaena 


closely resembling the Masawe, and employed for making 
fences. It grows wild in the woods, and bears in Viti 
Levu the name of Vasili Kau. It is as much as fourteen 
feet high, and has lanceolate leaves, which, in common 
with those of its allies, are good fodder for sheep, goats, 
rabbits, and cattle. Its root is small, and thought unfit 
for food. The Vasili damudamu or Ti Kula (Dracaena 
ferrea, Linn.), has leaves similar in shape, but the idea 
of its being possibly a variety of the preceding is pre- 
cluded by the fact of its having large and edible roots. 

Amongst the esculent roots growing wild, and eagerly 
sought for just before the regular crops come in, or in 
times of scarcity caused by intertribal wars during the 
planting season, or by unfavourable weather, may be 
named the Yaka or Wa yaka (Pachyrhizus angulatus, 
Eich.), a Papilionaceous creeper, with trifoliated leaves 
and whitish flowers tinged with purple.- In September 
and October its tubers send forth new shoots, which 
grow with rapidity and yield a tough fibre, invaluable 
for fishing-nets. The plant delights in open exposed 
places and a rich vegetable soil, where the roots, which 
generally assume a horizontal direction, often attain 
from six to eight feet in length and the thickness of a 
man's thigh. When cooked, they have a dirty white 
colour, and a slightly starchy but otherwise insipid fla- 
vour, much inferior, I thought, to that of wild yams. 
However, Mr. Charles Moore, of Sydney, ate them in New 
Caledonia, and is inclined to pronounce more favourably 
upon their taste. Living plants were brought by him 
to the Sydney botanic garden, where they are now grow- 
ing with native vigour in the open air. 

x 2 


Kitchen vegetables are supplied by a number of wild 
and cultivated plants. The natives boil the leaves of 
several ferns, among them those of the Litobrochia 
sinuata, Brack., and in times of scarcity those of the Ba- 
labala (Alsophila excelsa, R Br.) ; those of the Ota (An- 
giopteris evecta, Hoffm.), a species with gigantic foliage, 
are peculiarly tender, and their taste not unlike that of 
spinach. The common brake (Pteris aquilina, Linn., 
var. esculenta, Hook, fil.), though plentiful, does not 
seem to be used as it is by the Polynesian tribes of New 
Zealand. The leaves of the Boro ni yaloka in gata (i. e. 
serpent's-egg boro), our Solanum oleraceum, a spiny kind 
of herbaceous nightshade, serve as " greens " to both the 
natives and foreigners. The young shoots of the Vaulo 
of Viti Levu (Flagellaria indica, Linn.), known also, if I 
am not misinformed, by the names of Tui, Vico, Turuka, 
and Malava in different districts, after having been 
boiled, are eaten with taro and yams, but only by Fijians. 
Two kinds of purslane, termed " Taukuku ni vuaka " in 
Taviuni (Portulaca oleracea, Linn., et Portulaca guadri- 
fida, Linn.), are common weeds which, during my stay 
at Somosomo, were frequently brought to table. The 
natives sometimes grow whole fields of the Bete or Vau- 
vau ni Viti (Hibiscus \_Abelmoschus~] Manihot, Linn.), an 
erect shrub, attaining six or eight feet in height, bear- 
ing yellow flowers and lobed leaves, which, especially if 
not quite developed, are tender eating, relished even by 
Europeans. The Boro dina (Solanum anthropophagorwm, 
Seem.), a straggling shrub with glabrous leaves and 
scarlet or yellow berries, possessing a faint aromatic 
smell, and resembling tomatos in shape, has also edible 


leaves and fruit. The Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum, 
Mill.), as a tropical production, is quite at home. The 
Cajan, pigeon-pea or pea-tree (Cajanus Indicus, Spr.), 
introduced from the United States, is cultivated success- 
fully. Its seeds, when young, make a tolerably good 
substitute for green peas, acceptable in a country well 
supplied with both wild and tame ducks. The Dra- 
lawa (Lablab vulgaris, Savi) grows in great abundance 
about Somosomo, covering whole acres of ground, and 
if not indigenous, has at all events become perfectly na- 
turalized in that and various other parts of the group. 
It seems to bear without interruption throughout the 
year, its numerous white flowers being always seen 
wherever the plant has established itself. The beans 
are extremely tender, and after having been boiled in 
water and salt, oil and vinegar will convert them into 
an excellent salad. A species of Dolichos was noticed 
at Levuka, in the garden of a French settler. Indian 
corn (Zea Mays, Linn.), termed " Sila ni papalagi" 
(?'. e. foreign Sila), from its resemblance in habit and 
foliage to the indigenous Sila (Coix Lachryma, L.) — 
our Job's tears — has as yet been raised sparingly, as 
the Fijians and Polynesians in general have never been 
accustomed to grow any grain whatever, and most of 
the white settlers are English, ignorant of the innu- 
merable uses to which the Americans apply it. There 
is only one rather inferior kind, a small yellow-grained 
one, and the introduction of the larger and better sorts 
would be a boon easily conferred upon the islands. The 
settlers sadly complain that their domestic fowls (toa) 
become wild, and instead of keeping near the houses 


take up their abode in the woods, where they have to be 
shot when required. If more Indian com were grown, 
and these birds fed with it regularly, they would pro- 
bably preserve their domestic habits as thoroughly as 
they do in other countries. Hitherto no attempts have 
been made to cultivate our so-called European vege- 
tables in the cooler regions of the mountains, where 
they would doubtless thrive well. None have been 
raised except on the coast, where the heat of the tropics 
is not moderated by elevation, and the unchecked in- 
fluence of the sea air proves destructive to many kinds. 
Yet even here cabbages and turnips have been produced 
from foreign seeds, and parsley may be looked upon as 
a permanent acquisition. 

Bananas and plantains — understanding by the for- 
mer those Musas the fruit of which may be eaten raw, 
by the latter those which have to undergo some pro- 
cess of cooking before eating — are known by the col- 
lective name of " Vudi." There are about eighteen 
different species, or rather say kinds (for the boundary 
between species and variety has never been determined 
with accuracy in this genus) — all of which bear distinc- 
tive names.* With the exception of one, the Soaqa 
(Musa Troglodytarwm, Linn.), none are found wild, and 
this wild one even is occasionally met with in planta- 
tions. It grows spontaneously in the depth of the forests, 

* The following are the different kinds known to me : — Vudi ni papa- 
iagi [Musa Chinensis, Sweet \CavendisJii, Paxt.]), Soaqa (Musa Troglo- 
dytarum, Linn.), Balawa ni Rakiraki, Bati, Dreli, Buli, Droledrole, Gone- 
gone, Leve ni Ika, Mudramudra, Soqo, Tumoutala, Ura, Vudi dina, Vudi 
Kalakala, Vudi ni Toga, Waiwai Leka, Waiwai Salusalu, Waiwai Vula, 
and Sei. 


often in ravines, and is distinguished from all con- 
geners by its bunches, instead of hanging down, being 
perfectly upright, and presenting a dense collection of 
orange-coloured fruits. The Polynesians, always ready 
to account for any deviation from a normal type, have 
not failed to exercise their ingenuity here. The Sa- 
moans assure us that once upon a time all the bananas 
and plantains had a great fight, in which the Soaqa 
(then- Fae) came off victorious, and proudly raised its 
head erect ; whilst the vanquished became so humiliated 
by the defeat sustained, that they were never able to 
hold up their heads again. An important addition to 
their stock the Fijians received in the Vudi ni papalagi 
(i. e. foreign banana), our Musa Chinensis, which the late 
John Williams, better known as the Martyr of Ero- 
manga, brought from the Duke of Devonshire's seat at 
Chatsworth to the Samoan or Navigator Islands, whence 
again, in 1848, the Rev. George Pritchard carried it to 
the Tongan or Friendly Islands, as well as to the Fijis. Its 
introduction has put an effectual stop to those famines 
which previously were experienced in some of these is- 
lands. Never attaining any greater height than six feet, 
and being of robust growth, it is little affected by the 
violent winds which cause such damage amongst planta- 
tions of the taller kinds, and this advantage, coupled 
with its abundant yield and fine flavour, have induced 
the natives to propagate it to such an extent that, 
notwithstanding its comparatively recent introduction, 
the Vudi ni papalagi numbers amongst the most common 
bananas of the country. The fruit of the different Musas 
is variously prepared by the native cooks. Bananas split 


in half, and filled with grated cocoa-nut and sugar-cane, 
make a favourite pudding (vakalolo), which, on account 
of its goodness and rich sauce of cocoa-nut milk, has 
found its way even into the kitchen of the white settlers. 
Wilkes has already mentioned that the natives, instead of 
hanging up the fruit until it becomes mellow, bury it 
(occasionally, it should be added) in the ground, which 
causes it to appear black on the outside, and impairs the 
flavour. The fresh leaves are used as substitutes for 
plates and dishes in serving food or for making tempo- 
rary clothing, the dry instead of paper for cigarettos 
(sulu ka). In place of the finger-glasses handed round at 
our tables after dinner, Fijians of rank are supphed^with 
portions of the leafstalk of the plantain, — not a super- 
fluous luxury when forks are dispensed with except at 
cannibal feasts. 

The breadfruit is seen in regular forests, and in a great 
number of varieties, which a new-comer has some diffi- 
culty in distinguishing until he has learnt to observe 
that in the shape of the leaves — which are either entire, 
pinnatisect, or bi-pinnatisect — their size and their either 
bullate or even surface, the shape and size of the fruits, 
the time of its maturity, the absence or presence, as well 
as the length of the prickles on its outside, and the 
abortion of its ovules or their development into seeds, 
offer good marks of distinction. The general Fijian 
name for the breadfruit is " Uto," signifying " the heart," 
from the resemblance of the form of the fruit to that 
organ, whilst the varieties are distinguished by additional 
names. Those less frequently cultivated are, however, 
not known by the same names throughout the group, but 


bear different ones in different districts. Hence, the ex- 
act number of varieties cannot be accurately determined, 
until there shall be a botanic garden in Fiji, Avhere a 
complete collection of breadfruits is cultivated. I have 
identified several names of the most prominent varieties, 
but hesitate about others, as I could only take the leaves 
with me from place to place, and often did not see the 
fruit, or had to carry it in my mind's eye. The principal 
breadfruit season is in March and April, but some kinds 
ripen considerably later or earlier, whilst in some dis- 
tricts the season itself is altogether later. It may thus 
be said, speaking generally, that there is ripe breadfruit, 
more or less abundant, throughout the year, in either 
one part or the other. The fruit is made into puddings 
or simply boiled or baked. Quantities of it are pre- 
served underground, to make madrai or native bread. 
Some kinds are best adapted for puddings, some for 
bread, or culinary purposes of a still more simple de- 
scription. Besides the fruit, the wood of the breadfruit 
tree is useful, but that of some kinds better adapted for 
canoes and buildings than others. The bark is . not 
beaten into cloth, as in other parts of Polynesia ; but 
the gum (drega), issuing from cuts made into the stem, 
is used for paying the seams of canoes. 

The two most common sorts are Uto dina and Uto 
buco. The Uto dina, or true breadfruit, has pinnatisect 
leaves, the surface of which is even, and destitute of that 
bullate appearance which imparts to the Koqo and other 
varieties an almost sickly look ; the fruit, bearing abor- 
tive ovules, is nearly round, smooth on the outside, and 
supported on stalks four to five inches long, which from 


the very first are bent downwards. It is this variety 
which most botanists consider as the type of the species, 
and the adjective " dina," true or genuine, given by the 
Fijians, may be cited as a proof of the correctness of this 
surmise. But if we have to look for an original stock 
from which all other sorts have sprung, we ought not to 
select one which, like the Uto dina, has invariably abor- 
tive ovules, and can therefore not produce seeds from 
which new varieties can be raised. The Uto sore, Uto 
vaka sorena, or Uto maliva, as it is termed in different 
districts, has not that deficiency, but does yield ripe 
seeds in abundance, and has, therefore, greater claims to 
be regarded as the type from which all the other varieties 
may have been raised. The name of Uto dina (true or 
genuine breadfruit) may perhaps have been applied on 
account of its goodness, which, I believe, is undisputed. 
The Uto buco also has pinnatisect leaves with an even 
surface as opposed to the bullate one of other sorts, and 
an obovate obtuse fruit of larger size than that of the 
Uto dina, and quite free from any prickles on the out- 
side when fully ripe.* 

* In order to obtain a clearer insight into the varieties, it will be best to 
subjoin a synopsis of all the breadfruits cultivated in Fiji : — 
I. Leaves entire on quite entire. 

1. Uto lolo bears this name in the Straits of Somosomo, and is called 
Uto cokocoko in the Bewa district ; perhaps, also, identical with the Uto 
dogodogo and Uto draucoTco mentioned in the Fijian dictionary. It looks 
different from all others, the leaves, especially when the tree gets older, 
being quite entire ; in young plants they are sometimes obscurely lobed. 
The fruit is without seeds. 

II. Leaves pinnatisect. 

2. Uto dina. — Known by that name, and that name only, throughout 
Fiji. Leaves with an even surface ; fruit without seeds, nearly spherical, 


Other edible fruits, some of delicious flavour, are met 
with throughout the group, either perfectly wild or in 
a state of cultivation. Most of them have been in Fiji 
from time immemorial, and only a few, such as the pine- 

with a smooth surface, and supported on stalks, four or five inches long, 
noddiDg from the first. 

3. Uto buco. — Known by that name throughout the group. Leaves with 
an even surface. Fruit ovate obtuse, larger than that of most sorts, des- 
titute of seeds, and with a smooth surface when ripe. 

4. Uto hoqo. — Known by this name throughout the group, but in some 
dialects called Oqo and Qpqo. Leaves bullate ; fruit without seeds, and 
as large as that of Uto dina, smooth on surface. 

5. Uto votovoto. — Known under this name throughout the group. Leaves 
with an even surface; fruit oblong without seeds, and covered with prickles 
three-quarters of an inch long. 

6. Uto varaqa. — Known by this name in Eewa and Bau ; Uto varalea 
in some dialects. Leaves larger than those of any other kind ; fruit 
roundish, of middle size, without seeds, and with a rough surface. 

7. Uto bokasi. — Known by that name in Eewa and Ovalau. Leaves with 
even surface ; fruit obovate, with a smooth surface, without seeds, erect 
when young, nodding when ripe, and arriving at maturity early in the 

8. Uto sore. — Known by that name in Eewa, by that of Uto vaha sorena 
in Ovalau, Uto asalea in the Straits of Somosomo, and Uto maliva at Nu- 
kubalaon. Uto sasaloa may also prove a synonym. " Sore " or " Sorena," 
signifies a seed ; hence Uto sore, or Uto vaka sorena, is the seed-bearing 
breadfruit ; the only kind in which the ovules develope into seeds, render- 
ing it probable that this kind is the parent of all the others. Leaves with 
even surface. 

9. Uto rokouta. — Known by that name at Kamara, near Bau. Leaves 
bullate, giving the tree a sickly look. 

10. Uto baleTcana, — Known by that name in the Straits of Somosomo and 
at Ovalau. Leaves with even surface ; fruit small but of superior quality, 
according to the natives. 

11. Uto qio. — Known by that name in Ovalau. Fruit almost as large 
as that of Uto buco. " Qio " is the name for shark, and was probably 
given to this fruit from the surface its resembling in roughness that of 
the fish. 

12. Uto vowu. — Known at Somosomo. Leaves . . . ; fruit largish. 

III. Leaves bi-pinnatifid. 

13. Uto kalasai. — Known by that name in Eewa, and by that of Uto 


apple, the papaw, the custard-apple, and the Chinese 
banana, have been introduced of late years. The most 
prominent place among the native fruits undoubtedly 
belongs to the Wi (Evict dulcis, Comm., = Spondias 
dulcis, Forst.). The tree appears to be self-sown, and is 
met with in abundance about towns and villages. It is 
often sixty feet high ; the bark is smooth and whitish, 
the leaves pinnate, glabrous, and of a dark green, form- 
ing a fine contrast with the yellow oval-shaped fruits 
with which the tree is heavily laden. The fruit has a 
fine apple-like smell, and a most agreeable acid flavour, 
rendering it highly suitable for pies ; indeed, the Wi is 
the only Fijian fruit which recommends itself for that 
purpose. At Rewa I weighed and measured several 
highly developed ones, and found the largest to be ex- 
actly one foot in circumference, and one pound two 
ounces in weight. The natives are as fond of Wis as 
the white settlers, and quite content to make their 
dinner of Taro and Wis. The Dawa (Nephelium pin- 
natum, Chamb., = Pometia pinnata, Forst.) is more 
plentiful than the Wi ; entire forests of it are frequently 

sawesawe in the Straits of Somosomo. The leaves, especially when the 
plant is young, are distinctly bi-pinnatifid, in which respect this kind dif- 
fers from all others ; fruit, according to natives, rather oblong and covered 
with prickles. 

Of the following I know nothing, save the names, partly taken from 
Hazelwood's Dictionary, partly from a list of breadfruits known at Ovalau, 
and kindly communicated by Mr. Binner, of Levuka. Most of them will 
doubtless prove synonyms of those enumerated above : — Draucoko ( = Co- 
cocoko?), Bucotabua, Utoga (= Koqo), Waisea, Utoloa (=TJto loloP), 
Matavesi, Dregadrega (N.B. Drega is the name of the gum issuing from 
the stem), "Buco uvi." The "Bucudo" of Wilkes's Narrative, and is 
probably identical with Buco, though he mentions the latter name spelt 
" Umbuda ;" but what can be meant by his " Botta-bot "P 


encountered, and there appear to be several varieties. 
It is sixty feet high, and shares with most Fijian fruit- 
trees the peculiarity of yielding a useful timber. The 
leaves are pinnate, the leaflets serrate, and when first 
opening, display a brilliant red tinge, which at a dis- 
tance looks as if the tree were in bloom. The flowers, 
arranged in terminal panicles, are whitish and of dimi- 
nutive size. The fruit, ripening in January and Febru- 
ary, has rather a glutinous honey-like taste, and attains 
about the size of a pomegranate. The Fijians deem the 
Dawa peculiar to their islands. It certainly does not 
occur to the eastward in a wild state, as the Tonguese 
are said to have obtained it from Fiji ; but it seems to 
be quite common in all the groups lying westwards, the 
New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and others. A native 
of Were assured me it was plentiful in his island, and 
Dr. Bennett, of Sydney, found it cultivated under the 
name of " Thav," at Eotuma, a little island to the north 
of Fiji, as recorded in his 'Gatherings of a Naturalist.' 
I succeeded in carrying living plants to the botanic gar- 
den at Sydney, where they were left in charge of Mr. 
Moore, and whence they may perhaps find their way to 
the new colony of Queensland, and prove acceptable 
additions to the fruits of that country. 

The Kavika or Malay-apple (Eugenia Malaccensis, 
Linn.) abounds in all the forests. As in the Hawaiian 
and other Polynesian islands, there are two varieties; 
the purple (Kavika damudamu) and the white (Kavika 
vulavula). When the tree, which attains about forty feet 
in height, is in flower, the ground underneath is densely 
covered with petals and stamens, looking, especially if 


the two varieties grow together, like a fine Turkey car- 
pet. I have often seen the natives gathering handfuls 
of them to strew on their heads. In their idea, there is 
scarcely a finer tree than the Kavika ; and when in their 
fairy tales the imagination runs riot, and describes all 
that is lovely and beautiful, the Kavika is rarely omitted. 
The Hawaiians, as I have stated elsewhere (' Narrative 
of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald,' vol. ii. p. 83), thought 
this tree worthy of supplying materials for their idols ; 
and thus, like the Fijians, recorded their veneration for 
it. A botanist, himself more than half a tree-worship- 
per, can fully sympathize with them. The fine oblong 
leaves, their smooth shining surface, the deep purple 
or pure white flowers, and afterwards the large quince- 
shaped fruits, with their apple-like smell and deli- 
cate flavour, are well calculated to justify much of the 
praise Polynesians bestow upon the tree. The Ivi, or 
Tahitian chestnut, as it has been called by voyagers 
{Inocarpus edulis, Forst.), is one of the common trees, 
and when fully grown has a most venerable aspect. I 
still see in my mind's eye a fine group on the banks of 
a rivulet between Wairiki and Somosomo, diffusing a 
dense shade. Sixty, often eighty feet high, the Ivi 
bears a thick crown of oblong leathery leaves, small 
white flowers emitting a delicious perfume, and kidney- 
shaped fruits, which contain a kernel resembling chest- 
nuts in taste. The kernel is either baked or boiled, and 
eaten without further preparation, or grated on the 
mushroom coral (Fungia), and made into puddings or 
bread (madrai). The stem is most singular. When young, 
it is fluted like a Grecian column ; when old, it has re- 


gular buttresses of projecting wood. Ferns, orchids, and 
wax-flowers frequently take up their abode on the soft 
spongy bark. The roots of old trees appear above the 
ground somewhat like those of the bald cypress of 
North America (Taxodium distichum, Eich.). Thousands 
of seedlings are continually springing up around the old 
plants, and nothing, save the dense shade of their pa- 
rents, and the close proximity in which they grow to 
each other, exercise a check upon their engrossing all 
the adjacent ground. If the fruit of the Ivi is com- 
pared with the chestnut, that of the Tavola (Terminalia 
Catajopa, Linn.) may be likened to the almond, both in 
shape and whiteness, though not in taste — the Tavola 
having none of the flavour imparted by the presence of 
the essential oil of almonds ; hence the name of " Fijian 
almonds," given by the white settlers, must be received 
cum grano salis. The natives are extremely fond of 
the Tavola as a tree, and frequently plant it around 
their houses and public buildings. The branches, ar- 
ranged in whorls, somewhat like those of pines, though 
perhaps not quite so regular, have a horizontal ten- 
dency, upon which the natives improve by placing 
weights upon them. The large obovate leaves are de- 
ciduous, and before falling off assume a variety of tints, 
— brown, red, yellow, and scarlet, such as one is wont 
to behold in a North American forest before the ap- 
proach of whiter. The flowers are white and small ; the 
wood hard and applicable to a variety of purposes. A 
close ally of the Tavola is the Tivi (Terminalia Moluc- 
cana, Lam.), a timber-tree, always growing on the sea- 
beach, and bearing seeds sometimes eaten by children. 


Like its congener, it changes the colour of its foliage, 
but the tints are neither so rich as those of the former, 
nor is the general habit of the tree so striking. The 
Oleti or papaw-tree (Carica Papaya, Linn.), has been 
introduced in the early part of this century, and has 
spread with such rapidity that there is hardly a part of 
the group in which it is not to be found ; neither the 
natives nor the white settlers (who sometimes will per- 
sist in calling it mamey-apple, a very different fruit) 
seem to care much for it. Only a few seem to be aware 
that saponaceous properties reside in the leaves, which, 
in the absence of soap, may be, and in tropical America 
are, turned to advantage ; that both the leaves and the 
fruit act in an hitherto unexplained way upon the ani- 
mal fibre, and make the toughest meat tender, if either 
boiled with portions of them, or even wrapped up in 
the leaves ;* that the fruit is very good eating, either 
raw or boiled ; and that the seeds, distinguished by a 
mustard-like pungency, are an efficacious vermifuge for 
children. The Guayava (Psidium Guayava, Eaddi) is 
another fruit of recent introduction, that has spread ra- 
pidly over the country, and is eaten either raw or made 
into sweetmeats. One of the custard-apples (Anona 
squamosa, Linn.) has not made such progress. I met a 
few trees on the Somosomo estate of Captain Wilson 
and M. Joubert, of Sydney, and a few at Levuka, in the 
garden of a French settler. The loquat (Eriobotrya Ja- 
ponica, Lindl.) is of recent introduction, and seems to 

* I heard a wag telling a story of an old bachelor, who, sitting for a 
while under this tree with a young lady, became so tender-hearted as to 
pop the question. 


promise fair results. A number of healthy-looking 
plants grow in the garden of Mr. Binner, of Levuka, 
where the grape-vine ( Vitis vinifera, Linn.) and various, 
other useful plants, recently brought to the islands, are 
also to be met with. The different species of Citrus, 
shaddocks, oranges, lemons, and Seville oranges, are 
known collectively as " Moli," and distinguished from 
each other by additional names. The shaddock (Citrus 
Decumana, Linn.) or Moli kana (*. e. edible Moli), is ex- 
tremely common, and thickly lines the banks of rivers ; 
as, for instance, that of Namosi in Viti Levu, where, 
during our stay in August, 1860, the stillness of night 
was frequently broken by the heavy splash of the fall- 
ing fruits. There is a variety with white, another with 
pink, flesh, both, of which are much liked by the natives. 
The Moli kurukuru (Citrus vulgaris, Eisso) is equally com- 
mon, but the Fijians do not make use of it as an article, 
of diet. The Moli kara, or lemon (Citrus medica, Risso), 
has been brought from Tahiti, about 1823, by Mr. Van- 
derford, and is almost exclusively confined to the neigh- 
bourhood of present or former habitations of white 
settlers. The Moli ni Tahaiti (Citrus Aurantium, Linn.) 
is the common variety of the orange, also derived, as 
the native name indicates, from the Society Islands, 
whence it was introduced simultaneously with the le- 
mon, by Mr. Vanderford. Like the other species of 
Citrus just mentioned, it succeeds well, and small car- 
goes of it have occasionally been shipped to New Zea- 
land. The pomegranate (Punica Granatum, Linn.) is a 
recent acquisition. The pine-apple (Ananassa sativa, 
Lindl.), vernacularly termed " Balawa ni papalaqi," or 



foreign screw-pine, thrives well, especially near the sea. 
There is, besides the common variety, a proliferous one, 
having many different sprouts emerging from the top of 
the fruit. The water-melon (Citrullus vulgaris, Schrad.) 
is as plentiful as the Vaqo, or bottle-gourds (Lagenaria 
vulgaris, Ser.), which supply the natives with vessels for 
their oil. Melons (Cucumis melo, Linn.), cucumbers 
(Cucumis sativa, Linn.), and pumpkins or squashes {Cu- 
curiita Pepo, Linn.), have also found their way to the 
islands, and, in common with indigenous Cucurbitaceous 
plants, are collectively called " Timo." 

There is besides a number of fruits eaten and even 
esteemed by the natives, but most insipid to a Euro- 
pean palate. Foremost amongst them stands the Tara- 
wau (Dracontomelon sylvestre, Blume), which is also con- 
nected with native superstitions. The Tarawau does not 
seem to be regarded as a sacred tree in the light of 
those mentioned above (p. 87), it not being worshipped; 
but it is held to be the business of the dead to plant it, 
and believed to grow not only in this world, but also in 
Naicobocobo, the Fijian nether-world, or perhaps, more 
correctly, the general starting-place for it. Hence arose 
the expression, " Sa la'ki tei tarawau ki Naicobocobo," 
literally, " He has gone to plant Tarawaus at Naicobo- 
cobo ;" i. e. he is dead. It is difficult to guess why these 
trees should have been deemed worthy of such distinc- 
tion ; they grow to the height of sixty feet, have nattish 
branches, pinnated leaves, insignificant whitish flowers, 
and a tough insipid fruit, only palatable to the natives ; 
moreover, they are regarded as the emblem of the truth- 
speaking man, not having, as so many others, a number 


of false or sterile flowers. There is also the Loselose 
(Ficus sp.), the Kura (Morinda citrifolia, Linn.), the 
Balawa (Pandanus odoratissimus, Linn.), the Wa gadro- 
gadro (Bubus tiliaceus, Smith) having a fruit resembling 
the raspberry in appearance, and being occasionally 
used by white settlers for pies; the Bokoi (Eugenia 
Bichii, A. Gray), with a fruit somewhat like the Kavika 
(Eugenia Malaccensis, Linn.), but inferior in flavour; 
the Sea (Eugenia sp.), still more insipid, if possible, than 
the last-mentioned; and the Nawanawa (Cordia subcor- 
data, Lam.), producing an edible kernel — a tree twenty- 
feet high, often mistaken for the Cordia Sebestena, Linn., 
of the West Indies, which it closely resembles in habit, 
but its orange flowers are neither so brilliant nor so 
numerous. Nor must the Vutu kana, or Vutu kata 
(Barringtonia excelsa, Blume), be forgotten. It is a 
tree forty feet high, cultivated about Bau, and distin- 
guished from the other Barringtonias of Fiji by its egg- 
shaped, not angular, fruit, eaten either raw or cooked. 
Another species of Barringtonia, closely resembling the 
foregoing, is the Vutu dina, which is also edible ; but 
whilst the fruit of the Vutu kana (i. e. edible Vutu) has 
a soft outside, that of the Vutu dina has a hard one, 
requiring the application of a knife before the edible 
portion can be got at. Finally must be mentioned the 
Somisomi, Sosomi, Tomitomi or Tumitumi, as the dif- 
ferent dialets have it, — the Ximenia elliptica, Forst. It 
is a sea-side shrub, having simple leaves, and a spherical 
fruit containing a kernel like a cherry-stone, and emit- 
ting, especially when green, a most powerful smell of 
essential oil of almonds. The fruit when quite ripe is 

Y 2 


orange-coloured, and has, though a tart, not a disagree- 
able flavour. The natives share a partiality for it with 
the wild pigeons, which flock to it in numbers. The 
wood of the shrub is very hard, and used for making 
those peculiar pillows (Kali) of the country, which the 
Fijians doubtless invented in order to prevent the de- 
rangement of their enormously large heads of hair, 
curled and dressed as they are with infinite care. 

The national beverage is the Kava, or, as the Fijians 
term it, " Yaqona," prepared from the root of the Piper 
methysticum, Forst., or, as its modern name is, Macro- 
piper methysticum, Miq., a species of pepper, of which 
there are six varieties, distinguished by the height of 
the entire plant, the length and thickness of the joints, 
and the more or less purplish or greenish tinge of the 
stem and leaves. The best Yaqona, for this name applies 
to the plant as well as to the beverage extracted from 
it, grows from 500 to 1000 feet above the sea-level, and 
in the islands of Kadavu and Viti Levu. The plant is 
cultivated throughout the group in small patches, and 
isolated specimens are frequently noticed around public 
and private houses. It is propagated by offshoots. The 
highest shrubs are about six feet, and their stem from 
an inch to an inch and a half in diameter ; the leaves 
are cordate, and either green or more or less tinged 
with purple. The root and extreme base of the stem 
are the parts of which the drink is prepared ; they are 
preferred fresh, but are nearly as good when dry. After 
the roots have been dug up, they are placed in an airy 
spot, generally on a stage over the fireplace. In order to 
prepare the beverage, it is necessary to reduce the roots 


to minute particles, which, according to regular Polyne- 
sian usage, is done by chewing — a task in Fiji devolving 
upon lads who have sound teeth, and occupy a certain 
social rank towards the man for whom they perform the 
office. In other Polynesian islands it is done by young 
women. When a sufficient quantity has been chewed, 
the masticated mass is placed in a bowl made of the 
wood of the Vesi {Afzelia bijuga, A. Gray), and having 
four legs and a piece of rope attached to it, which, when 
the bowl is brought in, is throAvn towards the greatest 
man present, and guides those who happen to arrive in 
ignorance of his rank in observing the ceremonies re- 
quired from them. Some Fijians make it a point to 
chew as great a quantity as possible in one mouthful ; 
and there is a man of this sort at Verata, famous all 
over the group, who is able within three hours' time to 
chew a single mouthful sufficient to intoxicate fifty per- 
sons. Fortunately, Kava, unlike distilled spirits, does not 
render people quarrelsome; and Fijians, on extolling 
the virtues of their national beverage, often make this 
observation. On public occasions, or at convivial meet- 
ings, when the chewed root is placed in the bowl, and 
water is poured on, the whole assembly begin to chant 
appropriate songs, accompanied by the beating of little 
sticks on a bamboo- or log of wood, and this is kept up 
until the dregs of the root have been strained through 
the fibres of the Vau (different species of Paritium), or 
in the absence of them, through fern leaves. When the 
beverage is ready, the chant is discontinued, and the 
priest or any head man present pronounces a toast or 
prayer over it, after which the first cup — a cocoa-nut 


shell — is handed to the person of highest rank in the 
company. The Kava is taken out of the bowl by means 
in the strainer, which is dipped into the fluid, and then 
squeezed. Although both bowl and cup are always care- 
fully dried and cleaned after having been used, a crust 
invariably forms at the inside, giving them the appear- 
ance as if they had been enamelled. This crust, after a 
lapse of three or four months, is carefully scraped off, 
and makes the strongest of all Yaqona. The beverage 
has the look of coffee with plenty of milk in it, and an 
aromatic slightly pungent taste, which, when once ac- 
quired, must, like all acquired tastes, be perfectly irre- 
sistible. Drunk in moderation, it has probably no bad 
effect, and acts upon the system somewhat like betel-nut ; 
but taken in excess, it generates all sorts of skin-diseases, 
and weakens the eyesight. Nearly all the lower class of 
whites in the Fiji are Kava drinkers, some regular drunk- 
ards ; and it is generally accepted as a proof of a man 
belonging to the more respectable portion of society if 
he refrains from touching this filthy preparation. Most 
of these whites prefer it prepared in true Polynesian 
fashion ; only a few have the root rasped on a grater — a 
process said to impair the flavour considerably. Eoots of 
Yaqona are presented to visitors as tokens of goodwill, 
and to the temples as offerings. I have also seen the 
leaves of the plant hung up in the temples, together 
with the little twigs of the Waltheria Americana. As 
we in Europe, when engaging soldiers or servants, hand 
a small coin in proof that the bargain has been ac- 
cepted, so the Fijians, when effecting a bargain or sale 
give or take a small deposit, which is called the " Ya- 


qona," and either consists of a piece of Kava-root, or 
any other article that may prove acceptable. Drinking 
Kava being peculiar to all Polynesian tribes, Thomson 
(' Story of New Zealand:' London, 1859: vol. i. p. 193) 
expresses surprise that the Maoris of New Zealand 
should have forgotten the art of extracting it, " seeing 
that the plant {Piper methysticum, Forst.) grows abun- 
dantly in the country." But the Piper found wild in 
New Zealand is not, as Dr. Thomson supposes, the Piper 
methysticum, Forst. (the true Kava plant), but the Piper 
excelsum of the same author {Macropiper excelmm, Miq.). 
Hence it can form no surprise that a genuine Poly- 
nesian people should have forgotten the art alluded to 
during the long lapse of time intervening between their 
departure from Samoa and their discovery by Europeans. 
They have, however, preserved the name of " Kava," 
which they have transferred to their indigenous pepper 
(Kawa-kawa), and also to a beverage (Kawa) made of 
the fruits of the Coriaria myrtifolia, Linn., by them 
termed Tupa-Kihi, Tutu, or Puhou. Kawa-kawa, ac- 
cording to Colenso's statement in J. D. Hooker's ' Flora 
of New Zealand,' signifies " piquant." Thomson at- 
tempts to trace Kawa, Kava, or Ava, as the various Poly- 
nesian dialects have it, to the Sanscrit " Kasya," which 
seems to be a general term for intoxicating beverages.* 

* The medicinal properties of the Kava-plant tare of late claimed some 
attention. In the French translation of Golding Bird's work on Calculous Af- 
fections, Dr. O'Rorke has inserted, amongst others, the following remarks : — 
" The Eava-plant is the most powerful sudorific in existence, and its 
stimulant qualities render it applicable in those cases in which colchicum 
is prescribed. . . . The intoxication it produces is not like that caused by 
spirituous liquors, but rather induces a placid tranquillity, accompanied by 


Besides their favourite yaqona, the Fijians drink the 
natural liquor of young cocoa-nuts ; but they had ab- 
solutely no other beverage save water. They were igno- 
rant of extracting an intoxicating drink from the sac- 
charine roots of their Masawe (Draccena tenninalis, 
Linn.), so much employed for that purpose by the Ha- 
waiians and other Polynesians. They were even stran- 
gers to infusions and decoctions made of aromatic leaves, 
and the so-called Fijian tea, vernacularly termed Ma- 
tadra, was never used by the natives. The European 
settlers, who first employed it as a substitute for Chi- 
nese tea, by drying and then boiling the leaves, brought 
the custom from the eastern groups of Polynesia. The 
Matadra (Missiessya corymbulosa, Wedd.) is a straggling 
shrub, belonging to the nettle-tribe, having slender 
branches, and generally growing as underwood. It at- 
tains from six to eight feet in height, has leaves some- 
what resembling those of the elm, but white underneath, 
and minute" flowers and fruits arranged in corymbs. 

incoherent dreams. Kava is as powerful in its therapeutic action as lig- 
num vite or guaiacum, sarsaparilla, etc., and the islanders use it as a 
specific against the diseases brought over to them by foreign vessels. On 
the other hand, this drug, used to excess as an intoxicating agent, over 
excites the skin by its sudorific effects, and eventually even occasions 
elephantiasis. . . . The chemical constituents, according to Gobley, are as 
follows : — carbon, 62'03 ; hydrogen, 6 - 10 ; nitrogen, 1 - 12 ; oxygen, 30 - 75. 
It contains 26 per cent, of cellulose, 49 per cent, of starch, one of methys- 
ticine, a crystallizable principle, two of an acrid resin called Kawine, and 
about 7 per cent, of gum, iron, and magnesia, and a few substances of 
minor importance." In a paper, which M. Cuzeut laid before the Academy 
of Sciences at Paris, in 1861, the chemical composition of the Kavabine 
(thus it is spelt in the report at hand), the active crystallizable principle 
of the Kava, identical, it would seem, with what Gobley terms " Me- 
thysticine," is thus given : no- nitrogen, 66 per cent, of carbon, 6 of hydro- 
gen, and 28 of oxygen. 


Some people have drunk a decoction of its leaves with- 
out perceiving it to be different from Chinese tea. 

There is another negative fact of singular ethnolo- 
gical importance connected with this subject. Neither 
the Fijians nor the Polynesians in general were ac- 
quainted with the art of extracting toddy from the un- 
expanded flowers of the cocoa-nut palm. It is only 
in quite recent times that Europeans have instructed 
them in it. This, in a great measure, seems to strengthen 
the position of those who maintain, that the Polyne- 
sians did not come from the Malayan or any other dis- 
trict of Asia ; that they would never have migrated con- 
trary to the direction of the prevailing trade-winds ; and 
that the identity of certain Malayan and Polynesian 
words, thought to be an overpowering argument in 
favour of that exodus, cuts both ways, and may be made 
to prove either that these words came from purely Ma- 
layan to Polynesian districts, or from a genuine Polyne- 
sian to a Malayan ; and exactly the same dilemma is 
encountered in dealing with the geographical distribu- 
tion of Polynesian plants and animals. Passionately 
fond as are the Polynesians of intoxicating drinks, they 
would never have discontinued making toddy, if they 
had ever known the way to make it, especially as a tree 
yielding it, the cocoa-nut palm, is common throughout 
Polynesia. In order to reconcile this fact with the hy- 
pothesis that the Polynesians are of Malayan origin, it 
might be assumed that they left the cradle of their 
race before the extraction of toddy from the cocoa-nut 
tree, or even the cocoa-nut tree itself, was known there. 
Tradition, historical evidence, and observed facts, all 


agree in showing the progression of the cocoa-nut tree 
from west to east. Numerous cocoa-nuts are annually 
drifted on the eastern shores of New Holland, where 
they often germinate and grow, until the seedlings are 
killed by the low temperature of the winter months. 
Ceylon, now covered with immense forests of cocoa-nut 
palms, has a distinct tradition that at one time the tree 
was unknown there, and there is even a statue not far 
from Galle, recording the event of its becoming known 
there ; whilst the oldest chronicles of the island, known 
by the name of the Marawansa, and the historical value 
of which is now fully admitted, are absolutely silent on 
everything relating to the cocoa-nut, while they never 
fail to record every accession to the plantations of other 
fruit-trees made by the native princes. This seems to 
prove that the cocoa-nut was not always known, and 
that it would have much sooner found its way there 
than it did if it had been indigenous to India Proper ; 
whilst the fact that all other species comprising the 
genus Cocos are strictly confined to the interior of tropi- 
cal America, and only this one species (C. nudfera, Linn.), 
a sea-side plant, unaffected by drifting on sea-water, is 
spread over Polynesia and the Old World generally, 
offers another important consideration. But even if the 
introduction of the cocoa-nut tree to Asia took place 
after the assumed departure of the Polynesian tribes, the 
latter must have been well acquainted with the art of 
making toddy, as there is a number of palms in Asia, 
about the true native country of which there is no doubt 
whatever, yielding toddy — a beverage of so ancient a 
date that even the oldest language of that continent has 


a name for it, — toddy being only a corruption of the 
Sanskrit word " tade." Had, therefore, the Polynesians 
once known the process by which they might have ob- 
tained, not only a strong liquor, but also sugar, vinegar, 
and yeast, they would have operated as readily upon 
the cocoa-nut tree in the South Sea, as the people of 
Southern Asia did when the cocoa-nut tree came to their 
shores. Taking, probably, its departure from Western 
America, the cocoa-nut was drifted by prevailing winds 
to Polynesia, where its toddy-yielding properties were 
not suspected ; thence it drifted on towards Asia, and 
there was perceived to be as capable of yielding a fa- 
vourite beverage as the Palmyra, the wild date-tree, 
the Arenga saccharifera, and the various species of the 
singular Caryota palms had done from time immemorial. 





Vegetable poisons are extracted by certain natives who 
make a profound secret of their art, and it would re- 
quire an intimacy of years before any reliable infor- 
mation on this point could be elicited. I was ready 
to make presents of hatchets, knives, and other valued 
articles, to get some insight into their toxicology ; but 
Mr. Pritchard begged me to abstain : the natives would 
take alarm at my inquiry, and if perchance any great 
man should be taken ill or die during my visit, it would 
at once be said that I, availing myself of the knowledge 
acquired, had administered a fatal dose — a most unde- 
sirable charge in the present state of political ferment. 
The Fijians have both slow and acute poisons, and when 
a man is gradually sinking (often, no doubt, from a very 
different cause), it is readily believed that " he has had 
a dose." He will then seek the advice of some skilful 
native physician, if possible one at Bau, the capital, to 
administer the necessary antidotes, and restore him to 
health. However, very often there is no time to inter- 
pose between the fatal dose and its consequences, the 


effect being almost instantaneous. When, in October, 
1860, 1 revisited Cakaudrove, a poisoner had just been 
strangled by orders of the ruling chief; he having been 
detected in putting a certain drug into a cigarette, which 
proved fatal to the smoker. The poisoner, on finding 
himself condemned to die, not only pleaded guilty to 
this crime, but also confessed to having been instru- 
mental in bringing about the death of no less than three 
hundred people, all victims to his infamous art. 

There being no chance of gaining any direct informa- 
tion about the more subtle poisons from the lips of the 
natives themselves, an examination of all plants possess- 
ing narcotic properties would supply the deficiency, if it 
were not for an anomaly, as yet insufficiently explained, 
that certain species shunned as poisonous in one country, 
are eaten with impunity in another. There are mush- 
rooms which in England are absolutely noxious, and on 
the Continent wholesome food. In Fiji, the leaves of 
the Boro yaloka ni gato (Solarium oleraceum, Dun.), 
a spiny species, closely allied to Solanum nigrum, Linn., 
and those of the Boro dina (Solanum anthropopkagorum, 
Seem.) as well as the fruit of the latter and that of the 
Bora Sou or Sousou (Solanum repandum, Forst.), are 
eaten ; the latter in soups or with yam. I was in some 
measure prepared for this, having seen quantities of 
the first-named species, as well as another nightshade 
(Solanum nigrum, Linn.), exposed for sale in the market 
of Port Louis, Mauritius, and learnt on inquiry that they 
were common pot-herbs, eaten both by the white and 
coloured population, as intimated by Bojer in his Hortus 
Mauritanus. Strychnos colubrina, Linn., is met with in 


Viti Levu, but I have not been able to leam whether 
the natives are aware of its containing strychnine. A 
kind of Upas tree (Antiaris Bennettii, Seem.), commonly 
termed " Mavu ni Toga," probably because it has been 
introduced from the Tonga islands, was formerly planted 
about heathen temples, and is even now to be found in 
towns and villages. It is a middle-sized tree, with a 
thick crown of dark foliage, oblong glossy leaves, and a 
fleshy fruit of the size of an apricot, covered with a vel- 
vety skin of a most beautiful crimson colour. A gum 
exuding from the stem and branches is used for arrows. 
The exact nature of its poisonous properties has not 
yet been ascertained. That they are not equal to those 
ascribed to the true Upas tree of Java (Antiaris toxi- 
caria, Leschen.) is proved by the manner in which the 
natives handle it ; but it is impossible to say " whether 
one of the reasons for its cultivation near temples, and 
its probable introduction from Tonga, may not be found 
in its yielding a poison of which the heathen priests 
may have occasionally made use. Sir E. Home gathered 
it in Wallis Island, and Dr. Bennett, of Sydney, found 
it cultivated in Tucopia for making bark-cloth. 

Amongst the trees most dreaded by the natives on 
account of their noxious qualities, the Kau Karo, lite- 
rally itch-wood, occupies a prominent place, and seems 
to act somewhat like Rhus venenata or Semecarpus Ana- 
cardium. Mr. Pritchard and myself first heard of its 
existence during our visit to the southern shores of 
Viti Levu, in July, 1860, and on the banks of a river 
were fortunate enough to obtain specimens of the tree, 
proving it to be the Oncocarpus Vitiensis, A. Gray = 


Bhus atrum, Forst., an Anacardiaceous plant. The tree, 
when fully developed, is about sixty feet high, bearing 
large oblong leaves and a very curious corky fruit, some- 
what resembling the seed of the walnut. On handling 
the specimens a drop of the juice fell on the hand of 
one of our party, and instantly produced a pain equal to 
that caused by contact with a redhot poker. Mr. E. A. 
Egerstrom, a Swedish gentleman, residing on the island 
of Naigani, had been still more unfortunate in his ac- 
cidental contact with the Kau Karo ; and on visiting 
his hospitable roof on the 2nd July, 1860, he was just 
recovering from the effects of the accident. Having de- 
sired a native carpenter to procure him a spar suitable 
for a flag-stafF, one was brought of Kau Karo, about 
forty-two feet long, and twenty-two inches in girth at 
the foot, having a white wood and a green bark, not 
unlike that of the Vau dina (Paritium tiliaceum, Juss.) 
and light-coloured when peeled off. Ignorant of the 
poisonous properties of the tree, Mr. Egerstrom himself 
peeled off the bark, and found the sap beneath it very 
plentiful. " In the evening," — I quote Mr. Egerstrom's 
own words, in a letter to the British Consul, — " I was 
troubled with considerable itching about my legs, and 
every part of my body which had come in contact with 
the spar, especially about the abdomen and lower parts, 
having sat across the tree when barking it. All the parts 
affected became red and inflamed, breaking out in innu- 
merable pustules, which emitted a yellowish matter with 
a nauseous smell. The itching was exceedingly painful 
and irritating, and my arms having been bare when ope- 
rating upon the tree, also became inflamed and broke 


out as already described. The neighbouring natives, 
who came to watch my proceedings, now warned me, too 
late, not to touch the tree, as it was a poisonous one, and 
advised my keeping quiet and not to touch or scratch 
the parts inflamed. This advice, however, I could not 
follow, the irritation for several days being excessive. 
I employed no remedy, but bathed daily, as usual, in 
fresh water, although advised to the contrary, but did 
not get rid of the injurious effect of the itch-wood for 
nearly two months." 

Another tree, the contact with which is avoided by 
the Fijians, is the Sinu gaga (Excoecaria Agallocha, 
Linn.) or poison Sinu, called so in contradistinction to 
the Sinu damu (Leucosmia Burnettiana, Bth.) and the 
Sinu mataivi ( Wikstrcemia Indica, C. A. Meyer), both of 
which, like the Sinu gaga, are littoral plants. The Sinu 
gaga is found in mangrove swamps or on dry ground, 
just above high-water mark. It is sixty feet high, has 
a glossy foliage, oblong leaves, and minute green flowers 
arranged in catkins. It is difficult to exterminate, for 
unless the stumps are taken up, innumerable young 
shoots spring up the moment the main stem is felled. 
When the tree is wounded abundance of white milky 
juice flows, which causes a burning effect on coming in 
contact with the skin. Some natives, however, can 
handle this poisonous juice with perfect impunity [era 
sinu dranu), analogous to what I witnessed in the Man- 
zanillo or Manchineel tree of tropical America, the sap 
of which caused me the greatest agony after it had acci- 
dentally entered my eyes, and never raised even as much 
as a blister on being allowed to dry on the hands of a 


travelling companion. The smoke of the burning wood 
affects the eyes with intolerable pain, exactly as does 
that of the manchineel tree, of which I gave an instance 
in the ' Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald,' 
vol. i. p. 141, — one of our boat's crew becoming blind 
for several days after lighting a fire with manchineel 
wood. None, save those who have been sufferers from 
the effect of these poisons, can form any adequate con- 
ception of the agonies endured, and the courage dis- 
played, by a Fijian who voluntarily submits himself to 
being cured of leprosy by the smoke of the Sinu gaga 
wood. The Rev. W. Moore, of Rewa, was well ac- 
quainted with a young man of the name of Wiliami 
Lawaleou, who underwent the process of being smoked. 
Mr. Moore gave me the full particulars of this remark- 
able case when I was his guest in 1860, and he has also 
published a full account of it in ' The Wesleyan Mis- 
sionary Notices,' Sydney, 1859, p. 157. After stating 
that he knew Wiliami as a fine healthy young fellow, Mr. 
Moore was surprised to find him one day so much altered 
by the effects of leprosy. Sometime after he again met 
him full of health, and on inquiry learnt the treatment 
adopted to bring about this change. Taken to a small 
empty house, the leper is stripped of every article of 
clothing, his body rubbed all over with green leaves, and 
then buried in them. A small fire is then kindled, and a 
few pieces of the Sinu gaga laid on it. As soon as the 
thick black smoke begins to ascend the leper is bound 
hand and foot, a rope fastened to his heels, by means 
of which he is drawn up over the fire, so that his head 
is some fifteen inches from the ground, in the midst of 



the poisonous smoke. The door is then closed and his 
friends retire a little distance, whilst the poor sufferer 
is left to cry and shout and plead from the midst of the 
suffocating stream ; but he is often allowed to remain 
for hours, and finally faints away. When he is thought 
sufficiently smoked the fire is removed, the slime scraped 
from the body, and deep gashes cut into the skin until 
the blood flows freely. The leper is now taken down 
and laid on his mats to await the result. In some cases 
death — in many, life and health. Wiliami had under- 
gone this fearful process. He had taken some of the 
youths of the place, and on his way to the smoking- 
house told them his pitiable condition, his shame as an 
outcast, and his willingness to suffer anything to obtain 
a cure, and much would depend on their firmness. They 
were not to be moved by his groans and cries, and for 
the love they bore him he begged them to do the ope- 
ration well, and threatened to punish them if they per- 
formed it only half. Imagine the scene ! They proceed 
to the lonely house. Wiliami's companions, as much 
afraid of overdoing as underdoing their sad task, leave 
the poor leper drawn up by his heels in the midst of a 
thick black smoke ; they retire to some distance, and 
presently are horrified by his piteous cries and groans. 
Some weep, some run home, others rush into the smo- 
king-house to take him down ; but, with Spartan-like 
endurance, he commands them not to terminate his suf- 
fering until the process is complete. At last they take 
him down — he is faint and exhausted — the operation 
has been successful. Wiliami is no longer a leper, but 
again walks God's earth a healthy man. 


The materials employed by the natives for poisoning, 
or rather stupefying, fish, a custom as prevalent all over 
Polynesia as it is amongst the Indians of America, are 
the square fruit of the Vutu rakaraka (Barringtonia sjpe- 
ciosa, Linn.) and the stem and leaves of the Duva gaga 
(Derris uliginosa, Benth.), both plants growing in abun- 
dance on the sea-beach, just above high-water mark. As 
soon as these materials, — pounded to render them more 
efficacious, — are thrown into the water, or drawn through 
it by means of a line or creeper to which they have been 
attached, the fish turn on their back and appear on the 
surface. They are perfectly stupefied, and are thus easily 
taken ; but they soon recover their lost activity, and are 
believed not to die from the effects of the treatment 
they have received. 

The nettles, — those mosquitoes of the vegetable king- 
dom, irritating but never killing as they do, — are collec- 
tively termed " Salato" — a name also including those ani- 
mals familiarly known as sea-nettles. There are two 
kinds. The Saloto ni coro is an annual weed (Fleurya 
spicata, Gaud., var. interrwpta, Wedd.), which abounds 
about towns and villages (hence the specific appellation 
of "ni coro ") ; and although the virulence of its sting 
is not to be compared with that of our European nettles, 
the natives so carefully avoid all contact with it, and ran 
away in such fright when I gathered specimens of it for 
the herbarium, that one is tempted to fancy their skins 
more keenly affected by it than ours. Still greater is 
their dread of an Urticaceous tree (Lajoortea, sp.), forty 
to fifty feet high, which they simply term " Salato " 
(nettle), and which, when touching the skin, produces 

z 2 


a burning pain similar to that ascribed to the sap of 
Malawaci (Trophis anthropophagorum, Seem.). Milne 
(Hook. Jour, and Kew Misc. ix. p. 110) states, that "if 
you should be so unfortunate as to sting yourself, you 
will feel the effects for some months. I am suffering at 
this moment," the writer continues, " from an accident 
which Recurred a month ago. There is no eruption ; 
but it is most painful when exposed to the influence of 

The medicinal plants employed by the natives are as 
difficult, perhaps more difficult, to find out than the 
poisonous ones used for illegal purposes. Those who 
profess to be acquainted with their properties — often 
women, and answering to our herbalists — cannot be 
tempted by any presents to disclose secrets which to 
them prove a lucrative source of income for life. It is 
only the virtues of plants generally known that a casual 
inquirer has any chance of learning. The high estima- 
tion in which the oil of the Dilo (Calophyllmn inophyl- 
lum, Linn.) is held by the whole population, as an effi- 
caceous remedy for rheumatism and other pains, has 
been mentioned in another place. The leaves of the 
Kura (Morinda citrifolia, Linn.), a middle-sized tree, 
with shining leaves and white flowers, not unlike those 
of the coffee-shrub, are heated by passing them over 
flame, and their juice squeezed into ulcers, whilst the 
leaves themselves are put on the wound as a kind of 
bandage. The bark of the Danidani {Panax fruticosum, 
Linn.), a shrub about eight feet high, and cultivated 
about the native houses on account of its deeply-cut, 
ornamental foliage, is scraped off, and its juice taken 


as a remedy for macake, the thrush — ulcerated tongue 
and throat. The properties of the Sarsaparilla (Smilax 
sp.), as a means of purifying the blood, are well known. 
The creeper is found throughout the group, especially 
on land that has at one time been cleared, and might 
be gathered in quantities if there were any demand 
for it. In the London market it would at prqsent be 
unsaleable. It belongs to that section of sarsaparillas 
distinguished by pharmacologists as the " non-mealy," 
the most valued representative of which is the Jamaica 
sort. Moreover, it has no "beard," or little rootlets 
The natives of Ovalau, Viti Levu, and Vanua Levu, 
name it Kadragi and Wa rusi ; those of Kadavu, " Na 
kau wa," literally, " the woody creeper." I met with it 
years ago in the Hawaiian group ; it is said to be also 
common in the Samoan and Tongan groups, and pre- 
pared sarsaparilla occasionally imported to the two last 
mentioned has found no market, the indigenous being 
preferred to the foreign production. Curious to add, in 
Fiji it is not, as with us, the rhizome that is used, but 
the leaves, which are chewed, put in water, and strained 
through fibre, like the Yaqona or Kava {Piper methys- 
ticum, Forst.), before being taken. Strong purgative 
properties reside in the Vasa or Eewa (Cerbera lactaria, 
Ham.), a sea-side tree, twenty-five feet high, with soft 
wood, smooth shining leaves, and white scented flowers, 
used for necklaces by the natives. The aromatic leaves 
of the Laca {Plectranthus Forsteri, Benth.), a weed 
abounding in cultivated places, and having purple bracts 
supporting pale blue flowers, cure, it is said, " bad eyes " 
and headaches on being brought in contact with the 


affected parts. It is also recommended for coughs and 
colds, in common with an Acanthaceous herb inhabiting 
swamps (Adenosma triflora, Nees), which shares its aro- 
matic properties. The people of Somosomo declare 
that the leaves of the Vulokaka (Vitex trifoliata, Linn.), 
with which their beach is thickly lined, when reduced 
to a pulp by chewing, are employed by them for stuffing 
hollow teeth. The leaves and bark of another sea-side 
shrub, the Sinu mataiavi (Wikstroemia Indica, C. A. 
Meyer), are employed for coughs, the bark alone for 

Through a native connected with the Wesleyan mis- 
sion, I succeeded in purchasing a knowledge of the drugs 
employed about Bau for procuring abortion. It appears 
there are five plants which furnish them, two Mal- 
vaceae, a Buttneriacea, a Convolvulacea, and a Liliacea 
— namely, the Kalakalauaisoni (Hibiscus diversifolius, 
Jacq.), a spiny shrub, growing in swamps ; the Waki- 
waki (Hibiscus [Abelmoschus~\ moschatus, Moench), 
closely resembling the latter, and bearing large yellow 
flowers like it, but being destitute of spines, and inva- 
riably preferring dry ground ; the Siti ( Gravid pruni- 
folia, A. Gray), a small tree, abounding in the groups, 
and producing a fruit eaten by the Fijian bat ; the Wa- 
vuti (Pharbitis insularis, Chois.), a blue-flowering sea- 
side creeper, and the Ti Kula, Te Kula, or Va sili da- 
mudamu (Draccena ferrea, Linn., var.). Of the Kalaka- 
lauaisoni, Wakiwaki, and the Wa buti, the juice of the 
leaves, — of the Ti kula, that of the heart of the leaves 
and surface of the trunk, are used. The Ti kula is held 
to be the most efficacious, and only administered when 


the other drugs have failed to produce their murderous 

Perfumes for scenting cocoa-nut oil, which the na- 
tives profusely apply to their hair and naked body, are 
supplied by the wood of the Yasi (Santalum Yasi, 
Seem.), the bark of the Macou (Cinnamomum sp.), the 
flowers of the Uci (Evodia hortensis, Forst), the Ma- 
kosoi (TJvaria odorata, Lam.), the Balawa (Pandanus 
odoratissimus, Linn.) and the Bua (Fagrcea Berteriana, 
A. Gray), and the fruit of the Makita (P armarium 
laurinum, A. Gray), and the Leba (Eugenia [Jambosa'j 
neurocalyx, A. Gray). 

The Yasi or sandal-wood (Santalum Yasi, Seem.) is 
confined to the south-western parts of Vanua Levu, and 
formerly abounded near Bua or Sandal-wood Bay. The 
high estimation in which it was held by the Tonguese 
early induced them to undertake regular trading voy- 
ages to Fiji, long previous to those attempted by our- 
selves. Mariner, who was a resident in Tonga from 
the year 1806 to 1810, affords us a tolerable insight 
into them (J. Martin's Account of the Natives of the 
Tonga Islands : London, 1817: p. 319, 333), in narrating 
the adventures of Cow Mooala, a Tonguese chief, who 
had been about fourteen years from home, and had ori- 
ginally set out on a sandal-wood expedition. Attempts 
had been made, he assures us, to extend the range of 
the wood by cultivation, both in Fiji and Tonga ; but 
the tree, though successfully transplanted, yielded a 
produce with little or no scent, absolutely useless for 
the purposes for which it was required. The demand 
continuing, and the article becoming scarcer every day, 


prices went up. At one time the Fijians would give a 
considerable quantity for a few nails. "But now," 
Mariner continues, " they demand axes and chisels, and 
those, too, of the best quality, for they have gradually 
become judges of such things : whales' teeth are also 
given in exchange for it. The chiefs of the Fiji is- 
lands very seldom oil themselves, and consequently re- 
q\iire very little of this wood, the principal use of it 
being to scent the oil. The natives of the Tonga is- 
lands, however, who require a considerable quantity of 
it for the above purpose, complain heavily of its scar- 
city ; and what renders the matter still worse for others 
is, that the Fiji people, demanding a greater number of 
axes and chisels for a given quantity of wood, these im- 
plements are growing very scarce at the Tonga islands, 
and plentiful at Fiji. Before the Tonga people ac- 
quired iron implements, they usually gave whales' teeth, 
gnatoo (bark cloth) mats for sails and platt ; but whales' 
teeth are exceedingly scarce, and the other articles are 
too bulky for ready exportation. The sting of the fish 
called sting-ray was also occasionally given ; but these 
stings, which they use for the points of spears, are by 
no means plentiful. This' fish is found in the greatest 
quantity at an island called Ovoa, which lies about 
midway between Vavau and Samoa. Another article of 
exchange is a peculiar species of shell, which they find 
only at Vavau, and is also scarce." It does not seem 
that Europeans engaged in the sandalwood trade until 
towards the close of the eighteenth century, when it 
was taken up by Manila vessels for shipment to China. 
However, so great was the demand for this article, both 


in the Chinese and Polynesian markets, that about the 
year 1816 there was scarcely enough left for home 
consumption — several thousand tons having probably 
been exported, worth in China from £20 to £30 a 
ton. In 1840, the United States Exploring Expedition 
with difficulty obtained a few specimens for the her- 
barium. To save the tree from utter destruction in 
the islands, the Rev. Mr. Williams planted one in the 
garden of the mission station, at Bua, which, when I 
visited the place, in 1860, was in full vigour and bloom. 
When sandal-wood was still plentiful, a butcher's knife 
was usually exchanged for ten sticks of three feet 
long. At present, fancy prices are readily given for the 
little that now and then turns up. In 1859, Tui Le- 
vuka, chief of Ovalau, had nearly half a ton of it in 
his possession, but that seems to have been the largest 
quantity of late years brought together ; a year later 
Mr. Hennings, a German, trading in Fiji, could only 
succeed in obtaining a few pieces. On visiting Bua, 
in October, 1860, a log, six feet long and two or three 
inches in diameter, was presented to me, and thought 
quite a valuable gift by my native attendants. The 
Yasi has very much the appearance of a Myrtaceous 
plant, and the Fijians, who possess a quick eye for dis- 
cerning natural affinities, class it with several species 
of Eugenia, which they respectively distinguish as Yasi 
ni wai, Yasi dravu, etc. The leaves are opposite and 
lanceolate, and the flowers very minute, and on first 
opening they are white, but gradually change to pink, 
and ultimately to a brownish purple. The fruit is in 
shape, size, and colour like that of the black currant. 


The wood is of a light-brown, and highly charged with 
aromatic oil, especially in the central portion of the 
stem and branches, developed in the highest degree in 
the oldest trees and near the root. It is grated on 
the mushroom coral (Fungia) and mixed with cocoa- 
nut oil by the Fijians, as well as by all the Polynesian 
tribes who are fortunate enough to obtain possession of 
it. In China, the larger pieces were used for ornamental 
work, and the sawdust and other remnants made into 
joss-sticks, burned before idols and images. 

The bark of the Macou, as it is termed in the Bau 
dialect, " Mou " in that of Kadavu, and " Maiu " in that 
of Namosi, is a kind of Cassia bark, which may prove 
of commercial importance, and is used by the Fijians 
for scenting cocoa-nut oil. The tree yielding it — a spe- 
cies of Cinnamomum — is about thirty feet high, four to 
five inches in diameter, and is met with above an eleva- 
tion of 1500 feet, in dense virgin forests. I met it on 
Buke Levu, island of Kadavu, and on Voma peak, Viti 
Levu ; and Mr. Pritchard received fine specimens from 
the island of Gau, where they had been collected by 
W. Berwick, a coloured man, residing there. The bark 
has a fine aromatic smell and flavour, a light-brown 
colour, is thicker than that of the cinnamon of com- 
merce, and resembles- some of the laurineous barks, 
such as the Sintoc and Culilawang, brought from the 
Moluccas. In Namosi it is used as a sudorific. Unfor- 
tunately, I did not see the tree in flower, and hence am 
unable to determine whether the " buds " are equal to 
the best " Cassia buds " of commerce. The resemblance 
of the Fijian names to that of " Massoy," given to a fine 


quality of Cassia bark, from New Guinea, deserves in- 

The flowers of the Uci or Sacasaca (Evodia hortensis, 
Forst.) diffuse, like those of most Diosmacece, an over- 
powering, rather sickly odour, highly esteemed by the 
natives, but only appreciated by those Europeans who 
can enjoy patchouly, musk, and scents of a similar cate- 
gory. The perfume emitted by the flowers of the Ma- 
kosoi (Uvaria odorata, Lam.) and of the Balawa (Pan- 
danus odoratissimus, Linn.) commands a greater number 
of European admirers, whilst that of the Bua (Fagrcea 
Berteriana, A. Gray) may be said to be universally in- 
haled with delight. The Bua blossoms in September 
and October, and one of the months of the Fijian ca- 
lendar is occasionally called the Vulai Bua, or Bua 
month. The flowers, or rather corollas, are gathered 
after they have dropped on the ground, and brought 
home in baskets. They are tubular, white, and fleshy, 
and are either strung into necklaces, which retain their 
delicious and powerful perfume long after they are dry, 
or they are placed while still fresh in cocoa-nut oil, in 
order to impart scent to it. Sandal-wood and Bua 
flowers are often put into the same vessel of oil. The 
abundance of the tree (which yields a hard, white 
wood) at Sandal-wood Bay may have given rise to its 
native name " Bua," — a form of " Pua," by which the 
plant is known in the Society Islands. 

Another perfume largely employed in scenting oil is 
furnished by the Makita (Parinarium laurinum, A. 
Gray), a tree about fifty feet high, supplying tough spars 
for canoes, and having oblong leathery leaves, formerly 


used exclusively in thatching heathen temples, but now 
also for common dwelling-houses. The flowers are small 
and white, slightly tinged with purple, and the fruit has 
a rough, woody outside, of a light-brown colour, con- 
taining a large kernel, which possesses a scent much 
esteemed by the Fijians, but in which we detect no- 
thing remarkable either as regards strength or beauty. 
The fruit of the Leba (Eugenia [Jarabosd] neurocalyx, 
A. Gray), a middle-sized Myrtaceous tree, with large 
flowers, considering the natural order to which it be- 
longs, has much more to recommend it to the notice of 
Europeans. It ripens about September, and its odour 
gravitates between that of the apple and the melon. It 
is roundish, strongly ribbed, often three inches long 
and eight inches in circumference; of a dark purple, and 
contains five large seeds, of an angular shape, and a 
beautiful crimson colour. The natives wear a whole 
fruit, or part of it, suspended around their necks, and 
also use it for scenting cocoa-nut oil. 

Materials for the scanty clothing worn by the Fijians 
are readily supplied by a variety of plants-, foremost 
amongst which stands the Malo or Paper Mulberry 
(Broussonetia papyrifera, Vent.), a middle-sized tree, 
with rough trilobed leaves, cultivated all over Fiji.. On the 
coast, the native cloth (Tapa*) and plaitings are gradually 
displaced by cheap cotton prints introduced by foreign 
traders, — a fathom of which is considered enough for the 
entire dress of a man. In the inland heathen districts the 

* Tapa=Kapa of some dialects, I take to mean originally "covering;" 
Atap, the name for thatch in the Indian Archipelago, doubtless belongs to 
the same set of words. 


boys are allowed to run naked until they have attained 
the age of puberty, and publicly assumed what may be 
termed their toga virilis — a narrow strip of native cloth 
(Malo) passing between the legs, and fastened either to 
a waistband of string or to a girdle formed by one of 
the ends of the cloth itself. The length of the Tapa 
hanging down in front denotes the rank of the wearer ; 
the lower classes not having it longer than is absolutely 
necessary for the purposes of securing it to the waist- 
band, whilst the chiefs let it dangle on the ground, and 
when incommoded by it in walking, playfully swing it 
over their shoulder. In the christianized districts of 
the coast, a piece of Tapa, at least two yards long and 
one yard broad, is worn around the loins, and distin- 
guished persons envelope their body in pieces many 
yards long, and allow long trains to drag after them on 
the ground. A fine kind of Tapa (Sala) is worn in the 
shape of a turban by those who still adhere to the old 
custom of letting their hair grow long. From a laud- 
able desire to promote cleanliness the missionaries have 
pronounced against long hair and the use of the Sala, 
but in doing so they deprived the natives of a capital 
protection against the sun ; the immense mass of hair 
curled and frizzled to make it stand off many inches, 
and covered by a piece of snow-white Tapa, must have 
kept the head cool. Now most of the Christian natives 
move about without any covering for their head, and 
with their hair cut short, which, in a tropical climate, 
cannot improve their intellect. The abolition of the 
old custom might have proved more beneficial if imme- 
diately followed by the institution of some kind of head- 


dress. The manufacture of native cloth is entirely left 
to women of places not inhabited by great chiefs, pro- 
bably because the noise caused by the beating out of 
the cloth is disliked by courtly ears. The rhythm of 
Tapa-beating imparts therefore as thoroughly a country 
air to a place in Fiji as that of threshing corn does to 
our European villages. The Masi tree is propagated by 
cuttings, and grown about two or three feet apart, in 
plantations resembling nurseries. For the purposes of 
making cloth it is not allowed to become higher than 
about twelve feet, and about one inch in diameter. The 
bark, taken off in as long strips as possible, is steeped 
in water, scraped with a conch shell, and then mace- 
rated. In this state it is placed on a log of wood, and 
beaten with a mallet (Ike), three sides of which have 
longitudinal grooves, and the fourth a plain surface. 
Two strips of Tapa are always beaten into one with the 
view of strengthening the fibres — an operation increas- 
ing the width of the cloth at the expense of its length. 
It is easy to join pieces together, the sap of the fibres 
being slightly glutinous ; and in order to make the 
junction as perfect and durable as possible, a paste is 
prepared of arrowroot, or a glue of the viscid berries 
of the Tou (Cordia Sprengelii, De Cand.). I have seen 
pieces of native cloth, intended for mosquito curtains 
and screens, which were nearly one hundred feet long 
and thirty feet broad. Most of the cloth worn is pure 
white, being bleached in the sun as we bleach linen ; 
but printed Tapa is also, though not so frequently, seen, 
whilst that used for curtains is always coloured. Their 
mode of printing is by means of raised forms of little 


strips of bamboo, on which the colour is placed, and the 
tops pressed ; indeed, the fundamental principle is the 
same as that of our printing books, the little strips of 
bamboo standing in the place of our types. The chief 
dye employed is the juice of the Lauci (Aleurites triloba, 
Forst), and the pattern, though rudely executed, often 
displays much taste. It is stated that in times when the 
Malo plantations have failed to produce a sufficient 
quantity of raw material, recourse is had to the Baka 
(Ficus sp.) ; but this is only a makeshift, whilst the bark 
of the Breadfruit-tree seems never to be resorted to as 
in other parts of Polynesia. 

When the men have no native cloth of any sort, they 
make a dress by splitting a cocoa-nut or plantain leaf 
in halves, and tying one of these parts around their 
waist. There is an old monkish tradition that our first 
parents, when adopting dress in the garden of Eden, 
availed themselves of the leaf of the plantain, hence 
called Musa paradisiaca ; and it must be owned that a 
Fijian, having assumed this dress, presents a most pri- 
mitive appearance, the more striking because his move- 
ments are entirely free from any approach to indecency, 
which a European who has never lived amongst races 
going naked would naturally fancy associated with so 
scanty a garb. It is, perhaps, the most simple form of 
an article of dress much worn in Fiji, and called "Liku" 
consisting of a number of fringes simply attached to a 
waistband. The length of these fringes is subject to 
certain rules of custom. Men can wear them very long ; 
but women, particularly young unmarried ones, must not 
have them longer than two or three inches. Liku is 


made of many different plants, and might be classified 
into temporary and permanent. Amongst the tempo- 
rary Likus ought to be placed those made of plantain 
and cocoa-nut leaves, or those made of a climbing plant, 
the Vono (Alyxia bracteolosa, Eich., A. Gray), the stem 
of which is partially broken to give it greater flexibility, 
and also to bring out an agreeable smell peculiar to the 
Vono, on account of which it is also worn as garlands 
around the head. Amongst the permanent Likus is one 
termed " Sausauwai," the long black fringes of which, 
playing on the white Tapa, or on the fine limbs of the 
natives, has a most graceful appearance. Both on ac- 
count of the scarcity of the materials of which it is com- 
posed, and its being unaffected by water, especially when 
greased with cocoa-nut oil, the Sausauwai is highly 
valued by fishermen, and all people living on the coast 
of Fiji ; they will give twenty fathoms of white Tapa, 
and the Tonguese and Samoans as much as £1 sterling, 
for a single one of these elegant articles of dress. The 
fringes of which it is composed are of the thickness of 
a common wire, rather flexible, and occasionally orna- 
mented with small beads. Placed under the microscope, 
the vegetable origin of these fringes becomes at once 
evident, and they are found to be composed of glossy 
black joints, of unequal length. None, save a few na- 
tives, had ever seen the plant producing them, and it 
was the general belief of all the foreign residents in 
Fiji that they were the roots of a certain tree, until 
Mr. Pritchard and myself made the subject a point of 
special inquiry during our first visit to Navua. A few 
words from Chief Kuruduadua, and two large knives 


held out by us as a reward, induced two young men to 
procure a quantity of this singular production sufficient 
for scientific examination ; proving it to be, not the root 
of a tree, as had been believed, but the entire body of 
a species of RMzomoirplia. The plant is vernacularly 
termed " Wa loa," literally, black creeper, from wa, 
creeper, and loa, black — a name occasionally applied to 
the Liku made of it also. The Wa loa is confined to 
the south-western parts of Viti Levu, where it grows in 
swamps on decaying wood fallen to the ground; the 
threads of which it consists are several feet long, leafless, 
not much branched, and they are furnished here and 
there with little shield-like expansions, acting as suckers, 
by means of which the plant is attached to the dead 
wood upon which it grows. The threads, having been 
beaten between stones in order to free them from im- 
purities adhering, are buried for two or three days in 
muddy places, and are then ready for plaiting them to 
the waistband. 

The Liku worn by the women, always speaking of 
those who have not as yet adopted foreign calico, are 
principally made of the fibres of the different species of 
Vau, the Vau dina (Paritium tiliaceum, Juss.), the Vau 
dra {Paritium tricuspis, Guill.), and the Vau damudamu 
(Paritium purpurascens, Seem.). The bark of these trees 
is stripped off, steeped in water to render it soft and 
pliable, and allow the fibres to separate. The fibres are 
either permitted to retain their original whiteness, or 
they are dyed yellow, red, or black. The yellow colour 
is imparted with turmeric, the black with mud and the 
leaves of the Tavola (Terminalia Catappa, Linn.), and 

2 A 


the red with the bark of the Kura (Morinda ritrifolia, 
Linn.), and that of the Tiri (Guttiferce ?). The Liku 
worn by the common women consists of one row of 
fibres, all of the same colour; whilst those worn by- 
ladies of rank are often composed of two or three rows 
or layers — flounces, I suppose, would be the proper term 
— every one of which exhibits a different colour. 

Mats, with which the floors of houses and sleeping- 
places are thickly covered, are made of two kinds of 
screw-pines : the coarsest, of the leaves of the Balawa 
{Pandanus odoratissimus, Linn.) ; the finest, of those of 
the Voivoi {Pandanus caricosus, Rumph.). The Balawa, 
or Vadra, as it is termed in some districts, is a tree 
twenty-five feet high, indicative of poor soil, growing in 
exposed positions, and being one of the first plants ap- 
pearing on newly-formed islands. Its singular habit has 
often been dwelt upon. The smooth white branches, 
with their dense heads of foliage, not inaptly compared 
to the arms of a huge candelabrum ; the strong aerial 
roots, covered with minute spines, and serving as so 
many props ; the curious corkscrew-like arrangement of 
the leaves, the leathery, sword-shaped leaves them- 
selves, and their spiny edges ; the long spikes of male, 
and the shorter branches of female flowers, their deli- 
cious perfume strongly recalling to mind that of the 
vegetable ivory of South America ; finally, the bright 
orange-coloured drupes, formed into large heads of 
fruit, to say nothing of their insipid taste, appreciated 
only by natives, are all so essentially different from what 
a European traveller is accustomed to in his own coun- 
try, that his attention is involuntarily arrested, and he 


hardly ever fails to record it. The Voivoi or Kiekie 
(Pandanus caricosus, Rumph.) is a stemless species, with 
leaves ten to twelve feet long, which delights in swampy- 
localities of the forests, and is occasionally cultivated to 
meet the demand. Fans, baskets, and the finest mats 
— even those on which newly-born babes, naked as they 
are for more than a twelvemonth, are carried — are made 
of its bleached leaves. Occasionally neat patterns are 
worked in, by introducing portions of the material dyed 
black, whilst the borders of highly-finished mats are 
tastefully ornamented with the bright-red feathers of 
the Kula, — a parroquet (Coriphilus solitarius, Latham) 
not found in the groups eastward of Fiji, and therefore 
highly esteemed by the inhabitants of those islands. The 
bleached leaves are also employed for decorating the 
body, being tied by the men over their head-dress (sala), 
around their breast, upper part of the arms, wrists, and 
above the calves. The custom is not restricted to any 
particular class, but freely practised by all, serfs, com- 
moners, and chiefs, when they go to war, or wish to 
look smart. The bright-coloured leaves of the Ti kula 
{Dracaena ferrea, Linn., var.), and a number of flowers, 
ferns, and leaves, are used by both sexes as wreaths, 
garlands, necklaces, and similar ways, evidently showing 
their great love for flowers and graceful foliage. A cer- 
tain kind of mats, worn as articles of clothing, are called 
" Kuta," from a species of sedge (Mceocharis articulata, 
Nees ab Esenb.), supplying materials for them, growing 
in swamps to the height of six feet or more, and going 
either by that name or by that of Ya. Baskets are also 
made of the leaves of the cocoa-nut palm, and the stem 

2 A 2 


of the Flagellaria Indica, Linn., split up in narrow 
strips ; those of the former are the most easy to make, 
but they do not last long, whilst those of the latter are 
the neatest and last the longest. 

Fibre used for cordage is derived from three species of 
Vau (Paritium tiliaceum, P. tricuspid, et P. purpuras- 
cens), the cocoa-nut palm, the Yaka or Wayaka [Pachy- 
rhizus angulatus, Rich.), the Kalakalauaisoni [Hibiscus 
diversifolius, Jacq.), and the Sinu Mataiavi (Wikstrcemia 
Indica, Meyer). Plaiting cocoa-nut fibre into " sinnet," 
afterwards to be made into rope, or simply used for 
binding material, and as such a good article of exchange 
in the group, is a favourite occupation of the men, even 
of high chiefs, when sitting in bures and discussing 
politics or other topics of the day. According to Mr. 
Pritchard, none of the Polynesians produce so great a 
quantity of this article as the Fijians, though the Ton- 
guese excel them in colouring it. I have seen — he con- 
tinues in the memorandum from which I quote — a ball 
of " sinnet " six feet high, and four feet in diameter. 
Some heathen temples, Bure ni Kalou, used to be en- 
tirely composed of such plaiting, and their completion 
must have been a task extending over a considerable 
period, since a model of them, four feet high, ordered 
for the Museum of Economic Botany at Kew, could not 
be finished in less time than six weeks, and at a cost of 
£5. The fibre of the Yaka or Wayaka (Pachyrhizus 
angulatus Rich.= Dolichus bulbosus, Linn.) is principally 
sought for fishing-nets, the floats of which are the 
square fruits of the Vutu rakaraka (Barringtonia spe- 
ciosa, Linn.). The Sinu Mataiavi ( Wikstrcemia Indica, 



Meyer), a sea-side shrub, perhaps identical with the 
Sinu ni vanua, serves the same purpose, its bark, like 
that of other Thymelece, containing a readily-available 
fibre— a fact also known, according to Mr. Pritchard, in 
the Samoan islands, where the plant is termed " Mati." 
Only a limited use is made of the fibre of the Kalaka- 
lauaisoni [Hibiscus [Abelmoschus] diversifolius, Jacq.), a 
plant abounding in swamps all over Fiji. 

Timber of excellent quality, both for house and ship- 
building purposes, abounds on the large islands, and a 
trade in it has already sprung up with the Australian 
colonies. The timber-trees belong principally to the 
natural orders Coniferw, Casuarinece, Quttiferas, Myrta- 
cew, and Leguminosce. The most valuable woods are 
those produced by the Dakua, Vesi, Dilo, and Vaivai, 
and a list of nearly one hundred useful kinds might be 
drawn up. 

The Dakua or Fijian Kowrie-pine (Dammara Vitiensis, 
Seem.) is a noble addition to a genus of Conifers, of which 
several species are known, scattered over New Zealand, 
Southern Queensland, New Caledonia, Aneitum, the 
Moluccas, Java, and Borneo. Dakuas have been found 
in Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Ovalau, and Kadava; but 
European sawyers have already made such sad havoc 
amongst them, that it is only in the two former islands 
where they are still abundant. Wilkes alludes to a fine 
one near Levuka, Ovalau, which measured five feet in 
diameter, or 15 feet in circumference. Those which I 
saw at Korovono, Vanua Levu, displayed greater dimen- 
sions, the largest stem being, at four feet above the base, 
eighteen feet; and another, also four feet above the 


base, sixteen feet in circumference. Milne (Hook. Jour. 
Bot. and Kew Misc. ix. p. 113) gives from eighteen to 
twenty-seven feet circumference as the maximum, but 
he does not state at what height above the base his 
measurement was taken. Some of the trees at Korovono 
were from 80 to 100 feet high, and up to a height of 
60 feet free from branches. The bark was whitish on 
the outer, red on the inner, surface, peeling off like that 
of Australian gum-trees. Old specimens did not have re- 
gular whorls of branches, as is the case with most Coni- 
fers. The wood of the Korovono tree was white, but 
there is said to be also a red-wooded kind, which may 
perhaps prove distinct from this plant. Dakua is used for 
masts, booms, and spars, for flooring houses, and for all 
those purposes for which deal is usually employed by us. 
Spars, from sixty to eighty feet long, and two to three 
feet thick, were seen at Taguru, Viti Levu. The Dakua 
is not gregarious, but found always isolated in forests of a 
mixed composition. Like other Kowrie-pines, the Fijian 
exudes a gum, or rather resin, called "Makadre." Lumps 
weighing 501bs. have occasionally been found under old 
rotten stumps ; and a good deal might be collected in 
districts whence these trees have disappeared, if the 
natives could be made acquainted with the peculiar way 
in which the Kew Zealanders sound the ground for their 
kowrie-gum. There has never been any foreign trade in 
this article, because the Europeans in Fiji, ignorant of 
its average market-value, rejected the offer of the natives 
to collect it. Captain Dunn, an American, is said to have 
taken away half a ton of it, but it has not transpired 
whether he was able to dispose of it to advantage. New 



Zealand kowrie-gum has for years past fetched at public 
sales in London from 14s. to 16s. the cwt. In consequence, 
however, of the rebellion in New Zealand, it gradually 
advanced in 1860 to from 25s. to 28s. ; in the spring of 
1861 it was quoted at from 18s. to 20s., and it will no 
doubt ultimately be sold again at its former prices. The 
Fijians principally use the gum for glazing pots (vaka- 
makadretaka), — the substance being put on while the 
vessels are yet very hot, — and for burning. The older it 
gets the better it burns. At first it is of a light whitish 
colour, but becomes more and more that of amber, as 
well as transparent with age. The natives, fearing de- 
mons, ghosts, and other creations of their wild fancy, are 
always anxious to be housed before sunset, and when 
compelled to venture out in the dark or when benighted, 
set up loud yells to drive away evil spirits, and light a 
torch made either of the resin of the Dakua (bound 
round with rushes), the stem of the Wavmvavu (Erigeron 
albidum, A. Gray), the trunk of the bamboo, or the flower- 
stalks of the cocoa-nut palm. In the smaller islands and 
certain coast-districts of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, 
lamps fed with cocoa-nut oil are common ; but in the 
interior of the principal islands, where that oil is an im- 
ported article difficult to obtain, the resin of the Dakua 
is burnt, either in the form of pastiles about two inches 
long, or in ribbon-like strips, surrounded by slips of wood, 
so as to constitute a kind of candle. When burnt in the 
first-mentioned way, the resin is protected by crocks from 
running about and igniting the Pandanus matting or 
other inflammable materials of the houses. A dye ob- 
tained from the smoke of the burning resin is used for 


the hair and for painting native cloth black, or mixed 
with a certain red earth to make a brown pigment. 
Amongst the lower classes it is employed for tatooing 
women instead of the juice of the Lauci fruit {Aleurites 
triloba, Forst.), resorted to by ladies of rank : the skin 
being punctured with thorns of the shaddock tree. 

Besides the Dammara Vitiensis, Seem., there are five 
other cone-bearing trees, all of which yield valuable 
timber, viz. the Kau solo, the Gagali, the Kuasi, the 
Kau tabua, and the Leweninini. The Kau solo repre- 
sents a new genus peculiar to Fiji, and growing abun- 
dantly in the southern parts of Viti Levu, where it 
attains from sixty to eighty feet in height and nine feet 
in girth. It has the appearance of the Yew, — dark, lan- 
ceolate leaves, about an inch long, and solitary nuts at 
the ends of the branches. The Gagali (Podocarpus po- 
lystachya, R. Br.) is common on the banks of rivers. It is 
never seen higher than thirty or forty feet, and on the 
Navua I noticed that during the season when the river 
overflows its banks, the trees must often be under water, 
as dead twigs, leaves, and herbage, carried down by the 
tide, were lodged in their crowns. The wood is pecu- 
liarly elastic, and would probably do well for keels of 
boats and schooners. The Kuasi [Podocarpus elata, B. 
Br.) is confined to the summits of mountains, and forms 
the chief vegetation of Voma peak, Viti Levu. Its wood 
is used for outriggers of canoes. Another cone-bearing 
tree is the graceful Kau tabua {Podocarpus cupressina, 
R. Br.), common in the mountains of the Indian Archi- 
pelago, and in Aneitum. Milne found it in Viti Levu. 
Its native name is derived from the wood (Kau), re- 

TIMBER. 361 

sembling in its yellowish tinge a well-oiled whale's 
tooth (tabua), formerly esteemed the most precious 
article in the group. The tree is from fifty to eighty feet 
high, with spreading pendulous branches, presenting a 
beautiful appearance. TheLeweninini (Dacrydium elatum, 
Wall.) is found in mixed forests from the sea-shore to 
the highest peaks. The branches are very delicate, and 
the youngest hang down in graceful fringes, clad with 
needle-shaped leaves of about half an inch in length. 
The slightest breeze — and there is scarcely ever a calm 
in Fiji — causes the branchlets and foliage to tremble 
(ninini), somewhat like our aspen ; hence the natives of 
Ovalau have given it the name of " Leweninini." When 
coming from Somosomo to Levuka, the crew on board 
the ' Paul Jones ' gave me an account of a moving plant, 
which they assured me grew in the mountains of Ovalau, 
and which excited my curiosity in an eminent degree. 
No sooner had I landed than two boys were dispatched 
for specimens of the Leweninini ; but instead of bringing 
this Dacrydium, they brought a club-moss, common in 
the tropics (Lycopodium cemuum, Linn.), and which I 
found was termed Leweninini sa, on account of a certain 
resemblance to it. Macdonald (Jour. Geog. Soc. Lond. 
xxvii. p. 247) fancied this Dacrydium identical with the 
New Zealand Dacrydium cwpressinum, Sol. ; but this is a 
mistake. He also expresses his belief that the wood 
called Dakua salusalu is the produce of this tree, and 
in this he is supported by Mr. Storck, who, being now 
a permanent resident in Fiji, had ample opportunity to 
go into the question. My inquiries respecting the last- 
mentioned point have not been attended with success. 


Nearly every native consulted -pointed out a different 
tree as the source of that timber. Mr. Pritchard also 
took some pains about it, as the subject was brought 
before him in his consular capacity. A resident in 
Ovalau had made a contract with a man for a supply of 
Dakua salusalu. When the timber was delivered, cut 
on Vanua Levu, it was found to be that of the common 
Dakua (Dammara), quite unlike the wood going by the 
name of Dakua salusalu in Ovalau. Payment being re- 
fused, the Consul's interference was invoked. There 
being no scientific work to which an appeal could be 
made, Mr. Pritchard solved the difficulty by deciding 
that, although the wood tendered might bear or bore 
the name of Dakua salusalu in Vanua Levu, it was not 
the one recognised by that name in Ovalau ; and whereas 
the contract had been entered into in the latter island, 
only such wood as was called " Dakua salusalu '" there 
need be paid for. 

The Nokonoko (Casuarina equisetifolia, Forst.) pro- 
duces a wood much used for clubs and all purposes in 
which hardness and heaviness is an object. It is most 
frequent in the eastern parts of the group, its preva- 
lence indicating a poor soil. Its sombre aspect, and the 
wailing sound caused by the playing of the breezes in 
the branches, forcibly appeal to the poetical sentiment ; 
hence the Nokonoko is planted in masses about tombs, 
and a fine grove of that kind is seen at Lakeba, sur- 
rounding the burial-place of a departed chief. The 
young branches are drooping, imparting to the tree a 
peculiarly graceful look, and forming a beautiful con- 
trast to the erect and rigid growth of its congener, the 

TIMBER. 363 

Velao (Casuarina nodiflora, Forst.), which is occasionally 
met with in its company, and also yields a useful timber 
Whilst the Nokonoko assumes a more or less pyramidal 
form, is scarcely ever higher than forty feet, and has a 
greyish hue, the Velao is often sixty feet and even more 
in height and three feet in diameter, and has a green 
mossy-looking crown, which, by its flatness on the top, 
reminds one of the stone-pine so characteristic of the 
Italian landscape. The Velao almost invariably grows 
in good soil, generally in mixed forests ; whilst the No- 
konoko shuns, as it were, a close contact with other 
kinds of trees, and it scarcely ever associates with any 
save the Balawa or Screw-pine (Pandanus odoratissimus, 

The Dilo (Calophyllum inophyllum, Linn.), a sea-side 
tree, grows to a large size, and its wood is used for 
canoes and boats. Several of the little coasting vessels, 
cruising about Fiji, are almost exclusively built of it 
and the Vaivai (Serianthes Vitiensis, Gray) ; their masts 
being supplied by the Dakua (Dammara Vitiensis, Seem.). 
Dilo wood has, besides, a beautiful grain and takes a fine 
polish. Allied to the Dilo is the Damanu (Calophyllum 
Bwrmanni, Wight), a large inland forest tree, also fur- 
nishing materials for boats, canoes, masts, and all kinds 
of carpentry. The Tivi (Terminalia Moluccana, Lam.), 
a littoral tree, and its congener, the Tavola (Terminalia 
Catappa, Linn.), add their share to the Fijian woods. 
That of the Tavola is made into drums called " Lali," 
the beating of which is resorted to when distinguished 
guests arrive, on festive occasions, or to call the Chris- 
tians to Divine service ; and it is a curious coincidence, 


but certainly nothing more save a coincidence, that the 
ancient Egyptian term for rejoicing was "lali," as in 
the Arabian song of ' Boos ya-lel-lee.' These drums are 
beaten with two short and thick pieces of wood, and 
the sound produced can be heard within a circle of se- 
veral miles. Great praise is bestowed on the Mulomulo 
(Thespesia populnea, Corr.), a tree common on the sea- 
beaches of the Eastern hemisphere, on account of the 
almost indestructible nature of its wood whilst under 
water. When fully developed it is about fifty feet high, 
and the stem from one to two feet in diameter, bearing 
heart-shaped leaves and flowers somewhat resembling 
those of the hollyhock, but changing their colour as 
the day advances, — a peculiarity they share in common 
with those of several other Malvaceous plants. Its 
thick foliage renders it suitable for avenues, and I have 
seen it planted for the sake of its shade both in Ceylon 
and the Hawaiian islands. The centre of old stems 
generally decays in the way our European elms do, and 
the wood towards that part presents a deep claret co- 
lour. The Mamakara (Kleinhovia hospita, Linn.) and 
the Marasa (StorcMella Vitiensis, Seem., so called in 
honour of my able assistant in the botanical explora- 
tion of Fiji, Mr. Jacob Storck) should not be omitted 
in a list of timbers. The Mamakara is from forty to 
fifty feet high, and rather a social tree, indicating its 
presence during the flowering season by its numerous 
and large panicles of pink blossoms. The Marasa, dis- 
covered on the southern side of Ovalau by Mr. Storck, 
is a noble object, attaining eighty feet or more in 
height, nine feet in girth, having a remarkably straight 

TIMBER. 365 

stem, a dense, dark-green foliage, pinnate leaves, flowers 
of a bright yellow colour, arrayed in terminal panicles, 
at first sight easily mistaken for those of a Cassia, and 
a curious cultriform fruit {legumen). A hard and 
durable timber is produced by the Sagali (Lumnitzera 
coccinea, Wight et Arn.), a tree with blackish wood, 
glossy foliage, and bright scarlet flowers, abounding in 
maritime swamps, as well as by another inmate of the 
same localities, the Dogo or mangrove (Bhizophora mu- 
cronata, Lam.). The sap of the latter has a blood-red 
colour, much employed by the natives, amongst whom 
it is almost as fashionable to dye their hair red as it was 
amongst the ladies of ancient Rome, after their roving 
husbands and brothers had become acquainted with the 
fair locks of the Teutonic race. When first put on, 
the sap is allowed to run freely over face and neck, 
producing an effect much like that a crown of thorns 
is represented as doing. On Nukubati, off the Macuata 
coast of Vanua Levu, I saw it employed by potters for 
painting their crockery. Just after the pots had been 
baked and were still quite hot, a mixture, consisting of 
this fluid and the sap of the Wakiwaki (Hibiscus [Abel- 
moschus] moschatus, Linn.), was used for that purpose, 
the colour of the paint remaining almost unchanged 
after the vessels had become cool and dry. The aerial 
roots of the Dogo being very elastic, offer good mate- 
rials for bows, of which the Fijians avail themselves ; 
whilst the fruit is made into bread (madrai) in times of 

The Vuga (Metrosideros collina, A. Gray), a tree with 
glossy foliage and scarlet flowers, yields a hard wood of 


good grain ; and several other Myrtaceous plants, among 
them the Yasi dravu (Eugenia rubescens, A. Gray), are 
esteemed for their durable timber. A sea-side tree of 
middle size, the Tatakia (Acacia [\Phyllodinece] lauri- 
folia, Willd.), has a hard wood, useful for axe-handles 
and smaller pieces of carpentry. The Qumu (Acacia 
Michii, A. Gray), another phyllodineous species, also 
yields a hard wood, even more useful, as the tree is 
larger than the last-mentioned, and supplies the paint 
with which the heathen natives blacken their faces, 
when they dress for war or wish to look particularly 
smart, hence " Qumu " paint. The Vaivai (Serianthes 
Vitiensis, A. Gray), often seen in company with the 
Qumu, produces one of the most valued of all Fijian 
woods ; but the Vesi (Afzelia bijuga, A. Gray), which in 
outward appearance is not unlike our beech (Fagus 
sylvatica, Linn.), having the white smooth bark, the 
colour, and somewhat the shape of the leaves of that 
familiar forest-tree, is held in the highest estimation. 
It is used for canoes, pillows, kava-bowls, clubs, and a 
variety of other purposes, and seems almost indestruc- 
tible. One of the most common tree-ferns, the Bala- 
bala (Alsophila excelsa, E. Br.), is much used for build- 
ing purposes by the natives. Its trunks make excellent 
posts, lasting an incredibly long time, and possessing 
moreover the advantage of being almost fire-proof. 
After a house has been burnt down, these posts are 
almost the only trace that remains. It is also customary 
to make the ridge pole of houses and temples of this 
tree-fern, and to surround it with the Wa-Kalou (holy 
creeper), a species of that curious genus of climbing 

PALMS. 367 

ferns (Zygodictyon), partially no doubt from some super- 
stitious notions, but partially also to keep out the wet. 
The trunks of the Balabala, cut into ornamental forms, 
are frequently observed around tombs, temples, churches, 
and bures, presenting a pretty effect. The little sticks 
which the chiefs carry, stuck under their turban, and 
with which they scratch their heads, are also made of 
Balabala. The young leaves are eaten in times of scar- 
city, while the soft scales covering the footstalks, or 
more correctly speaking the stipes, of the fronds, are 
used for stuffing pillows and cushions by the white set- 
tlers, in preference to feathers, because they do not be- 
come so heated, and are a real luxury in a sultry tropical 
night. The Balabala is common all over the group, es- 
pecially on the weather-side, and its trunk attains the 
height of about twenty-five feet, and eight or ten inches 
in thickness. The fronds form a magnificent crown of 
gigantic dimensions, rendering the plant a noble feature 
in the landscape. 

Palms play an important part in the domestic econo- 
my of the natives. The Fijian s are the only people who 
in their barbarous state had a collective term for the 
great natural order of palms, applying that of "Niu" 
to all those inhabiting their islands, and adding specific 
names to distinguish the one from the other ; viz. : — 

Niu dina = Cocos nucifera, Linn. 

Niu sawa = Kentia exorrhiza, Wendl. 

Niu niu = Cagicake = Ptychosperma jiliferum, Wendl. 

Niu soria = Sogo = Sagus Vitiensis, Wendl. 

Niu masei = Sakiki = Viu = Pritchardia pacifiea, Seem, et 

Niu Balaka = Ptycltosperma Seemanni, Wendl. 


The word " Niu " is common to most Polynesian lan- 
guages, often taking the form of " Nia " and " Niau ;" 
the New Zealand " Nikau," by which the Maoris desig- 
nate their indigenous palm {Areca sapida, Sol.), does be- 
long, and perhaps even "Nipa," the Philippine name of 
Nvpa fruticans, may belong, to the same group of words. 
We further trace the Fijian " Niu," or with the article 
" a " (a niu) before it, in the Anao, Anowe, Anau, and 
Nu, by which names a sugar-yielding palm, the Arenga 
saccharifera, is known in different parts of the Indian 
Archipelago. The existence of a collective term for 
" palms " never having been pointed out, the passage in 
John xii. 13, "Took leaves of the palm-trees," is ren- 
dered both in the Viwa and the London edition of the 
Fijian Bible, " Era sa kauta na drau ni balabala," — 
literally, " Took leaves of the tree-fern," for balabala 
is a tree-fern (Alsophila excelsa, E. Br.). "Niu" is the 
term that ought to have been used, there being two 
kinds of real palms in Syria, but no tree-ferns. 

Only one of all the palms as yet discovered in Fiji 
is a fan-palm, the rest having pinnatifid leaves. This 
is the Niu Masei, Sakiki or Viu, a new genus of Cory- 
phince (Pritchardia pacijica, Seem, et Wendl.), differing 
from all described ones in several important characters. 
The blades of the leaves are made into fans, " Iri masei " 
or " ai Viu," which are only allowed to be used by the 
chiefs, as those of the Talipot (Corypha umbraculifera, 
Linn.) formerly were in Ceylon. The common people 
have to content themselves with fans made of Pandanus 
caricosus. Hence, though there is not a village of im- 
portance without the Sakiki, or, as it is termed in the 



Somosomo dialect, which suppresses the letter k, Saii, 
there are never more than one or two solitary speci- 
mens to be met with in any place, the demand for the 
leaves being so limited, that they prove sufficient to 
supply it. The fans are from two to three feet across, 
and have a border made of a flexible wood. They 
serve as a protection both from the sun and rain ; in 
the latter instance the fan is laid almost horizontally on 
the head, the water being allowed to run down behind 
the back of the bearer. From this the Fijian language 
has borrowed its name for " umbrella," a contrivance 
introduced by Europeans, terming it " ai viu," that being 
one of the names by which fans are known. The leaves 
are never employed as thatch, though their texture 
would seem to recommend them for that purpose ; the 
trunk, however, is occasionally used for ridge-beams. 
The palm seldom attains more than thirty feet in height. 
Its trunk is smooth, straight, and unarmed, and from 
ten to twelve inches in diameter at the base. The 
crown has a globular shape, and is composed of about 
twenty leaves, the petioles of which are unarmed and 
three feet four inches long, and densely covered at the 
base with a mass of brown fibres. The blade of the 
leaves is rounded at the base, fan-shaped, four feet seven 
inches long, three feet three inches broad, and when 
young, as is the petiole, densely covered with whitish- 
brown down, which, however, as the leaf advances in 
age, gradually disappears. From the axil of every leaf 
flowers are put forward, enveloped in several very fibrous 
Nflaccid spathes, which rapidly decay, and have quite a 
rjagged appearance even before the flowers are open. 


The inflorescence never breaks out below the crown, as it 
does in the Niu sawa (Kentia? exorrhiza, Wendl.). The 
spadix is three feet long, stiff and very straight, bearing 
numerous minute hermaphrodite flowers, of a brownish- 
yellow colour. The fruit is perfectly round, about half 
an inch in diameter ; and, when quite matured, it has 
exactly the colour of a black-heart cherry, the outside 
having a slight astringent taste. The seeds germinate 
freely, and out of a handful thrown carelessly into a 
Wardian case in Fiji, more than thirty had begun to 
grow when they reached New South Wales, where they 
were taken care of in the Botanic Gardens, and will 
duly be distributed amongst the various establishments 
forming collections of rare and beautiful palms — for 
such this species certainly is. 

The Niu sawa {Kentia ? exorrhiza, H. Wendl.) is a 
pinnatifid palm of considerable beauty, of which there 
is a characteristic sketch, representing the vegetation of 
the Rewa river, in ' The Narrative of the United States 
Exploring Expedition.' This palm is found all over 
Fiji, ascending mountains to the height of two thousand 
feet. Mr. Charles Moore, of Sydney, met with it in New 
Caledonia ; and there is reason to believe that it is also 
found in the Tongan group, where, as in Fiji, it is known 
by the name of " Niu sawa," I am told ; " sawa," signi- 
fying "red" in Tonguese (and having no meaning in 
Fijian), being doubtless given on account of the fruit, 
which merges from bright orange into red. This palm 
is remarkably straight, and often more than sixty feet 
high. The trunk is unarmed, smooth, and of a whitish 
colour ; it is a couple of feet above the base, from two 

PALMS. 371 

to three feet in circumference. When the tree gets old, 
numerous aerial roots, all covered with spines, begin to 
appear, forcibly reminding one of the Iriartea exorrhiza 
in tropical America. The leaves are from ten to twelve 
feet long, pinnatifid, and the segments four feet long 
and two inches broad. Before expanding they are per- 
fectly erect, looking like a pole inserted into the heart 
of the foliage ; their petiole and midrib and veins are 
in that stage densely covered with a very short brown 
tomentum, which more or less disappears as the foliage 
advances in age. The flowers appear below the crown 
of the leaves, growing out of the old wood ; they are 
enveloped in thick coriaceous boat-shaped spathes, which, 
unlike those of the Sakiki (Pritchardia pacifica, Seem, et 
Wendl.), are not subject to rapid decay. The spadix, on 
which the minute monoecious green flowers are inserted, 
is much branched, and the branches are " yarring," 
forming large bunches, which, when loaded with ripe 
fruit, are rather weighty. As many as eight of these 
bunches are often seen on a tree at one time in various 
stages of development. The fruit is ovate, acuminate, 
and about the size of a walnut. At first green, it gra- 
dually changes into bright orange, and ultimately merges 
into red at the base. The kernel has a slight astrin- 
gent taste, and is eaten by the natives, especially by the 
youngsters. The wood is used for spars. Fine specimens 
of the tree, brought by Mr. Moore from New Caledonia, 
and by me from Fiji, are cultivated at the Sydney Bo- 
tanic Garden. 

The Niu Niu, or as it is more commonly termed, Cagi- 
cake (Ptychosperma jiliferum, Wendl.), is found in the 

2 B 2 


depth of the forest, where it shows its feathery crown 
above the surrounding trees, forming what St. Pierre 
poetically called "a forest above a forest," and what 
the Fijians less skilfully wished to express by the name of 
Cagicake, literally " above the wind." Before I had seen 
the fruit the natives described it to me as being exactly 
the same shape and colour as that of the Niu sawa, but 
only very much smaller in size ; and in this they were 
pretty correct. Whilst the fruit of the Niu sawa is as 
large as a walnut, that of the Cagicake is about the size 
of a coffee berry. The trunk is smooth, unarmed, and 
about eight inches in diameter, furnishing capital ma- 
terial for rafters, which the natives declare are so durable 
that they last for ever. The leaves are pinnatifid, ten 
to twelve feet long, and the lowermost segments being 
narrower, and at least three or four times as long as the 
uppermost, hang down in long fringes. When in the 
dusk of the evening I first encountered this singlar palm 
on the Macuata coast of Vanua Levu, it was this pecu- 
liarity that first attracted my attention, otherwise I 
should have taken it to be a Niu sawa. It was pitch- 
dark before the tree was felled and dragged out of the 
thick jungle in which it grew, when passing my fingers 
over the surface of the segments, I felt a thick marginal 
and elevated vein, which at once assured me that an 
undoubtedly new addition had been made to my col- 
lection. The disproportionate length of the lower seg- 
ments, and the thick marginal vein pointed out, though 
they had been first discovered in the absence of regular 
daylight, are amongst the most striking peculiarities, 
and ought to be seized upon by those giving a popular 

PALMS. 373 

description of this palm ; the upper segments are four 
feet long and three inches broad. The spadix, like that 
of the Niu sawa, is much branched, and may be said to 
be a miniature imitation of it. The palm is found both 
in Vanua Levu and Ovalau, and doubtless also in Viti 
Levu, for a palm which grows in the interior of the 
latter islands, and is termed about Namosi " Tankua," 
must, from the description given to me by natives, be 
identical with the Cagicake. According so the super- 
stitious notion of the inland tribes of Viti Levu, the di- 
minutive fruit of the Tankua and those of the Boia (He- 
liconia? sp.), a plantain-like species, is the chief food 
of the Veli, spirits half fairy, half gnome, with a fair 
complexion and diminutive body. The Tankua is their 
cocoa-nut, the Boia their plantain, and the Yaqoyaqona 
(Macropiper puberulum, Benth.), their kava plant, none 
of which mortals can destroy or injure without exposing 
themselves to the danger of being severely punished by 
those dwellers in the forests, the Veli. 

The Balaka (Ptychosperma Seemanni, Wendl.) is a 
diminutive palm, growing as underwood in dense forests. 
It was met with both in Vanua Levu, on the southern 
side, and on the mountains of Taviuni. The trunk is 
remarkably straight, ringed, and about an inch in dia- 
meter when fully developed. On account of its strength 
and straightness it is used for spears by the natives, and 
would make good walking-sticks. The leaves are pinna- 
tisect, about four feet long ; and the segments are eroso- 
dentate at the point, like those of Caryota and Wallichia. 
The flowers appear below the few leaves, forming the 
crown of this, the smallest of all Fijian palms. 


In Wilkes's ' Narrative of the United States Explor- 
ing Expedition,' mention is made of a Caryota, as grow- 
ing in Fiji, and being used for rafters in building. " Its 
straight stem, with its durable, hard, and tough quali- 
ties, render it well adapted for this purpose." No one 
has subsequently met with a true Caryota, one of the 
most remarkable genera : and I fancy that the botanists 
of Wilkes's expedition may have mistaken the eroso- 
dentate leaves of a timber-yielding palm, probably Pty- 
chosperma Vitiensis, Wendl., abounding in some parts 
of Viti Levu, for those of a Caryota. It is about forty 
feet high, has a smooth trunk, pinnatifid leaves, and was 
seen by me at Nukubalavu. I have not been able to 
learn its native name. Two other species, the sago and 
the cocoa-nut palm, already treated of above, and three 
discovered by the United States Exploring Expedition, 
augment the list of Fijian palms to ten. 

Ornamental plants are highly appreciated by both 
natives and white settlers, especially those having either 
variegated leaves or gay-coloured flowers, since the Fi- 
jian flora shares with that of most islands the peculiarity 
of possessing only a limited number of species display- 
ing gay tints. Those most frequently seen about the 
native houses are what gardeners call " leaf plants," in- 
cluding the Danidani (Panax fruticosum, Linn.), with its 
deeply-cut foliage, several beautiful varieties of the 
Dracaena ferrea, some of which have been introduced 
from various Polynesian islands, the Croton pictum, the 
indigenous Acalypha virgata, Forst., termed Kalabuci 
damu, the foliage of which changes from dark-green to 
brown, yellow and scarlet, and two kinds of ornamental 


grass (Panicum), the one having purple, the other va- 
riegated leaves. The couch-grass is also spreading fast 
through the islands, and there is a fine lawn of it in 
front of the king's house at Bau, blending well with the 
number of fine shrubs and trees which, at Mrs. Collis's 
instigation, were planted around the royal residence. 
Of the Kauti, Senitoa, Senicicobia, or Shoe-black plant 
(Hibiscus Mosa-sinensis, Linn.), a single pink and purple 
as well as a double variety are cultivated. When the 
Cassia obtusifolia and Cassia occidentalis were first 
brought to Fiji, the natives took them under their special 
protection, and disseminated them freely, being highly 
pleased with their leaves " going to sleep " at night, 
whence the names of Mocemoce and Kaumoce, i. e. sleep- 
ing plants. But they became weary of their pets when it 
was found that they speedily proved two most trouble- 
some weeds, which, in common with the Datura Stra- 
monium, Euphorbia pilulifera, Plantago major, Erigeron 
albidum, and other foreign intruders, caused them a great 
deal of additional labour. 

Most of the white settlers have little gardens in which 
all flowers derived from warm countries are grown with 
great success. The pride of Barbadoes (Poinciana pul- 
cherrima, Linn.), both the red and yellow variety, may 
be seen in perfection ; the same may be said of the 
white trumpet-flower (Brugmannsia Candida, Pers.), the 
balsam (Impatiens Balsamina, Linn.), the Quamoclit vul- 
garis, Chois., the scented A.cacia {Acacia Farnesiana, 
Willd.), the blue Clitoria Ternatea, Linn., the Gom- 
phrena globosa, Linn., Vinca rosea, Linn., Calendula offi- 
cinalis, and the well-known Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis 


Jalapa, Linn.). Prince's feathers (Amarantus cruentus, 
Linn.), and its congener, Driti damudamu {Amarantus 
tricolor, Linn.), have become perfectly naturalized in 
some districts. Attempts to grow the flowers of colder 
regions have not been so successful. Carnations are kept 
alive with difficulty ; roses, though growing and bloom- 
ing freely, possess little or no scent, and are chiefly 
valued from the pleasing associations connected with 
them ; dahlias were introduced in 1860, by Dr. Brower, 
but I have not yet learnt the fate that attended them ; 
a species of honeysuckle (Lonicera), noticed on the mis- 
sion premises at Viwa and Bau, concludes the limited 
list of foreign garden plants cultivated in Fiji, a list, 
for any additions to which the inhabitants would feel 
very grateful. 

The natives do not content themselves with merely 
looking at or smelling plants, but profusely decorate 
their persons with them : elegant-formed leaves, passion 
flowers, the bright-red leaves of the dracsenas, or the 
bleached ones of the stemless screw-pine, are made to 
grace their heads or turbans. Great aptitude is dis- 
played in making necklaces (taube or salusalu), the ma- 
terials for which are principally furnished by monope- 
talous, white, and odoriferous flowers, strung upon a piece 
of string. I noticed those of the Bua (Fagrcea Berteriana, 
A. Gray), Buabua (Guettarda speciosa, Linn.), Vasa or 
Eewa (Cerbera lact,aria, Ham.), and Sinu dina (Leucosmia 
Bumettiana, Bth. = Dais disperma, Forst). The flowers 
of the Sinu dina, or as it is also termed Sinu damu- 
damu, are capitate, and the necklaces made of them are 
called " sinucodo," a term also applying to a chain. The 


shrub is about fourteen feet high, has fine dark-green 
shining foliage, odoriferous flowers, which on opening 
are pure white, but gradually change to cream-colour, 
and bright-red drupes, about as large as a hazel-nut. 

Numerous plants serve for miscellaneous purposes. 
The flat round seeds of the Walai (Entada scandens, 
Bth. = Mimosa scandens, Linn.), called "ai Cibi," or "ai 
Lavo," have suggested to the Fijians a comparison with 
our coins, and supplied a word for money (ai Lavo), of 
which their language was formely destitute, because 
that article was entirely unknown to them, all com- 
mercial exchange being carried on by barter. The 
Walai or Wataqiri is a creeper, always associated with 
mangroves and other maritime vegetation. Its stem, 
when young used in place of ropes for fastenings, oc- 
casionally attains a foot in diameter, and forms bold 
festoons, whilst its pods arrest attention by their gigantic 
dimensions, measuring as they do several feet in length. 
The greyish bony involucre of the Sila, or Job's tears 
(Coix Lacryma, Linn.), a grass growing in swamps and 
having the aspect of Indian-corn, as well as the seeds of 
the Diridamu, Quiridamu, or Leredamu (Abrus jorecato- 
rius, Linn.), which resemble those of the Drala {Erythrina 
Indica, Linn.) in having a bright red colour and a black 
spot, are affixed with breadfruit gum to the outside of 
certain oracle boxes, of which Wilkes has given fair illus- 
trations in his ' Narrative of the U.S. Exploring Expedi- 
tion.' These boxes have a more or less pyramidal shape, 
and are kept in the temples, as the supposed abode of 
the spirit consulted through the priests. Toys, consist- 
ing of cocoa-nut shells, and covered with these materials, 


are occasionally seen in the hands of native children, and 
they have rather a pretty effect. The bamboo, vernacu- 
larly termed " Bitu," is represented by two species, a 
large and a small one, both of which are rather local in 
their geographical range. The trunk of the larger is in 
general use for vessels to contain water, some of which 
are six feet long. It requires a certain knack, with some 
difficulty acquired by foreigners, to pour the water out 
of the small hole on one side of the upper end without 
spilling some of the contents. The natives drink out of 
these vessels by pouring the water in their mouth with- 
out allowing their lips to touch them : sipping the fluid 
as we do would be considered an act of impropriety. 
Bamboo split up in narrow strips makes capital torches, 
which do not require, as has been stated, to be dipped 
in cocoa-nut oil in order to make them give a clear and 
bright light. Fishing rafts, pillows for sleeping, instru- 
ments for beating time to national songs, pan-flutes, 
fences for gardens and courtyards, — all are constructed 
of these giant grasses. At Nagadi, in Viti Levu, I visited 
a heathen temple surrounded by a bamboo fence, some 
of the sticks used being the young shoots entire, with 
unexpanded leaves, and looking like so many fishing 
rods. The priest in charge of this building exhibited a 
bundle of bamboos, which on being struck on the ground 
with the opening downwards produced a peculiarly loud 
and hollow sound. Two single bamboos of different 
lengths are beaten contemporaneously with this large 
bundle in religious ceremonies. An amusing sight is 
presented by a grove of bamboos on fire. When re- 
turning from Namosi, I passed several places where, to 



clear the land, fire had been set to these groves. As 
soon as the flame fairly embraced the canes a loud ex- 
plosion succeeded, the general effect of which being that 
of a well sustained skirmish between two hostile parties 
of sharp-shooters. In Ecuador I once saw a sugar-cane 
plantation on fire, but the noise of the bamboo by far 
exceeded that caused by the former. The leaves of the 
Qangawa, a species of pepper (Piper Siriboa, Linn.), 
climbing and rooting like our ivy, and, if report may 
be trusted, those of the Vusolevu (Colubrina Asiatica, 
Brongn.) are used for washing the hair, to clean it and 
destroy the vermin. The Moli kurukuru (Citrus vulgaris, 
Eisso) serves the same purpose, a remark also applying 
to the vine called Wa roturotu (Vitis saponaria, Seem.), 
the stem of which, especially the thicker part, is cut in 
pieces from a foot to eighteen inches long, cooked on 
hot stones, and when thus rendered quite soft produces 
in water a rich lather almost equal to that of soap. The 
fruits of the Vago, or bottle-gourd (Lagenaria vulgaris, 
Ser.), are readily converted into flasks for holding oil and 
other fluids, by allowing their pulp to undergo decom- 
position. The juice of the Vetao or Uvitai (Calysaccion 
obovale, Miq.), a useful timber-tree, yields a dye, at pre- 
sent only employed by the natives for changing their 
black hair into red ; but when it is remembered that 
its congener, the Calysaccion longifolium, "Wight (= C. 
Chinense, Wlprs.), furnishes the buds known as the 
Nag-kassar of Indian commerce, it is not unlikely that 
the Vetao or Uvitai may yet be turned to better uses. 

This enumeration by no means exhausts the catalogue 
of the useful products in which a Flora of about a thou- 


sand different species, such as the Fijian is, abounds. 
Enough, however, has been stated to show how bountiful 
nature has been in supplying these islands with edible 
roots and fruits, with drugs, spices, fibres, timber, dyes, 
vegetable fats, and other articles of commercial import- 
ance. The long list of cultivated plants shows that the 
natives are not ill prepared for entering on agricultural 
operations on a large scale, whilst the fact that the 
varieties of the different products grown are almost 
endless, furnishes a striking proof of their succeeding to 
perfection. The numerous plants introduced from every 
direction of the compass, and their successful naturali- 
zation, may justly be regarded as indicative of the climate 
being of that happy medium which, in a similar way, 
enables the English gardener to assemble in his domain 
a far greater collection of species than his continental 




No attempt has as yet been made to draw up a list of 
the animals of Fiji, and all the materials for it are 
scattered through various periodicals and other publi- 
cations. There are very few mammals in the group ; 
indeed, except the rat (Kalavo), four Cetaceous animals, 
and five species of bats, collectively termed Baka, we 
have none belonging to this fauna. One of these bats 
or flying foxes has been named Notopteris Macdonaldii, 
in honour of its discoverer. Three of them are tailless, 
two have tails. There are two kinds of porpoises and 
two of whale in the adjacent seas and amongst the is- 
lands, but, though whales' teeth are highly valued, and 
were so still more formerly, the Fijians have never taken 
to whaling in any form, and always seem to have pur- 
chased their stock from foreign traders. -The dog(Koli), 
the pig (Vuakaj, the duck, and the fowl (Toa) were the 
only domestic animals known to the natives. Dogs were 
not eaten and suckled by the women, as was and is the 
case in other Polynesian islands ; indeed, the custom of 
eating dogs seems to have been restricted in the Pacific 
to the islands and countries north of the line, and was 


apparently brought from the Sandwich Islands to Tahiti. 
The white settlers have introduced cattle, horses, goats, 
sheep, rabbits, and cats, all of which seem to thrive 
well. The horses are as yet few in number, and they 
are not much valued, as most inhabited places can be 
reached by water, and there are as yet no roads in the 
large islands. The terror of the natives at first seeing 
a horse and a man on its back seems to have been quite 
equal to that recorded of the ancient American nations ; 
they ran away in wild dismay, or climbed trees and rocks 
to get out of the reach of the monster. Cattle succeed 
well ; and I saw some very fine young bullocks on Ka- 
davu, the property of Mr. Boyce. Fijians not fencing in 
their plantations, they have rather a dislike to cattle, 
and in some instances they have killed them, as their 
crops have frequently suffered from their devastation. 
They are very fond of beef, and as there was no native 
name for it, they have compounded one, calling it 
" Bulla-ma-kau," because it is derived from a bull and a 
cow. Goats have become very numerous, and most of 
the white settlers have flocks of them for the sake of 
their milk ; but I am not aware that any of the natives 
have as yet reared any. Sheep were first introduced, 
if I am rightly informed, by Dr. Brower, the present 
American Consul, and several extensive sheep-runs have 
lately been bought on the northern shores of Viti Levu 
and Vanua Levu by British subjects from Australia. It 
was formerly supposed that the climate of Fiji was too 
warm for sheep, but that does not seem to be the case. 
Some specimens of Fijian wool were sent to the London 
Exhibition of 1862. "We find sheep answer well," 


writes a friend to me ; " the wool grows rapidly, the 
sheep fatten well, and the ewes breed rapidly, frequently 
having three at a birth, so that we can by-and-by export 
wool as well as cotton. In one of the boxes sent to the 
Exhibition there is some wool of a sheep five months 
old, born on Wakaya, and the property of Dr. Brower." 
Cats are now quite common, and the natives have taken 
to them in order to kill the mice and rats which Eu- 
ropean vessels have introduced. 

Birds are much more numerous than mammals. I 
have a list of forty-six different species, among them 
parroquets, owls, bitterns, teal, hawks, ducks, pigeons, 
etc. The feathers of some of them are collected for 
ornamental purposes, and the high value set upon the 
Kula (Coriphilus solitarius, Latham) has already been 
noticed. Ducks and pigeons, excellent eating, are very 
abundant, the former about the rivers, the latter in the 
woods. The fowls (Toa*) which the natives had were very 
small, and could scarcely be termed domesticated, in- 
deed they have become perfectly wild in many districts. 
Europeans have introduced better kinds, and also tur- 
keys, but I do not remember seeing any geese. I fancy 
that the domestic ducks must have come to the islands 
early in this century from some Spanish ships. 

* Toa is the Fijian form of the word " Moa," applied throughout Poly- 
nesia to domestic fowls, and by the Maoris to the most gigantic extinct 
birds (Dinornis sp. plur.) disentombed in New Zealand. The Polynesian 
term for birds that fly about freely in the air is Manu or Manumanu, and 
the fact that the New Zealanders did not choose one of these, but the one 
implying domesticity and want of free locomotion in the air, would seem a 
proof that the New Zealand Moas were actually seen alive by the Maories, 
about their premises, as stated in their traditions, and have only become 
extinct in comparatively recent times. 


My list contains a hundred and twenty-one species of 
fish. Some of them are excellent eating ; indeed a great 
part of the native food is derived from this source. They 
are secured by nets, spears, fish fences, or stupefaction, 
by the different plants enumerated above (p. 339). The 
night is a favourite time for fishing on the reefs, and 
large parties are made up, chiefly women, who, torch 
in hand, traverse the reefs laid bare by the ebb-tide, 
and gather what they can. Such a fishing party is a 
pretty sight; and when suddenly disturbed from my 
sleep by shouts and merry laughter, I have often watched 
the long lines of torches moving along in the depth 
of night on the shores of Ovalau. The fences made 
in the sea are constructed with great care, and so that 
the fish will enter them in large bodies and have little 
chance of escaping. There were generally some about 
Lado, and baskets full of their produce were daily sent 
to us as presents. The fences were not allowed to re- 
main for more than a few days in the same place, as the 
natives maintained that the fish become aware of their 
existence and would not enter them. Besides the edible 
fish, there are a number of different sharks about the 
group, and one hears of frequent accidents caused by 
them. The natives, being excellent swimmers, do not 
mind being capsized in their canoes, but are in great 
dread of the sharks. The latter are called collectively 
" Qio," and nine salt-water and several fresh-water spe- 
cies are enumerated. One day we encountered a very 
large one on the reef, where he had been left in a shal- 
low pool by the receding tide. Our boat being near, an 
axe was fetched to kill him, but no sooner did he catch 


sight of the weapon than he made off in great haste, 
moving along over many hundred yards of dry reef like 
a serpent, without our being able to stop him. There 
is a curious tradition about a species of sole called 
" Davilai." Mr. Davilai used to be the leader of the 
songs amongst the fishes, and one day, when all his 
band were together and he was requested to com- 
mence the strain, he obstinately refused to comply. 
Enraged at such behaviour, the other fishes trod him 
under foot till he became flat ; and hence, when a 
person refuses to pitch a song, the proverb is, " Oh, 
here is Mr. Davilai." There is also a most beautiful fish, 
about as large as a gold fish and of the finest ultra- 
marine colour ; it is very frequent about the coral-beds, 
and a finer sight can scarcely be imagined than this 
creature playing in the crystal water over what looks 
like so much mosaic-work. 

Eeptiles are comparatively few in species. There 
are about ten different kinds of snakes, but none of 
them larger than about six feet. A good many inhabit 
trees, and often drop down; some are eaten. Snakes 
are collectively termed " Gata," and every species has a 
distinctive name. A large frog, Boto or Dreli (Platy- 
?nantis Vitianus), is common about the swamps. There 
are three lands of turtle, collectively known as " Vonu." 
The green turtle is called " Vonu dina," and that which 
yields the shell — the tortoise — " Vonu taku." But there 
is besides one which the natives term " Tovonu," said to 
be from six to ten feet long ; however, I never have seen 
it ; those which the chiefs often have in their turtle-ponds 
are the two first-mentioned kinds. The lizard tribe is re- 

2 c 


presented by a chameleon and four other species. The 
largest is Chloroscartes fasciatus, Giinth., with a body two 
feet long, and of a beautiful green colour, somewhat like 
that of the German tree frogs ; indeed, the Chloroscartes 
inhabits trees, and I had one alive for some time. Cro- 
codiles are not indigenous, but about the beginning 
of this century a large one made its appearance in Fiji, 
probably having been drifted thither from the East In- 
dies. The natives, as related by Mariner ('Tonga,' vol. i. 
p. 334), fancied it had come from Bulu, — from heaven, 
— and they had some difficulty in catching it, not, how- 
ever, before it caused some mischief. 

There is a great variety of both salt, fresh-water, and 
land shells, probably several hundred species, and a 
number of them are quite peculiar to Fiji. The collec- 
tive name for shells is " Qa ni Vilivili," Vilivili being 
the animal, Qa the shell. The most famous Fijian shell 
is the orange cowry {Cyproea aurantium, Martyn), which 
is found in no other part of the world, though some 
works state it to have been found in Tahiti — an error 
originating in Mr. Cuming having purchased a single 
specimen in that island. There are several other cowries 
also used, as the orange cowry is, for necklaces and 
ornaments by the natives. Canoes, houses, temples, and 
churches are frequently decorated with the Buliqaqau 
(Ovulum ovum, Sowb.), not the Oyprcea ovula, as stated 
in some works. Several other species of shells are 
also used for ornamental purposes ; the Sobu or Sovui 
is on that account much valued. Armlets (Qatos) are 
made of the Sici, Taluvi, Tebe, Tebetabe, or Toru 
(Trochus Niloticus, Linn.). A pearl-oyster shell, Civa 
or Cove of the natives, is ground, and serves for orna- 


ment. Some fine pearls have occasionally been found, 
but actual pearl fishery has as yet not commenced on 
a large scale; and the Fijians in some of the islands 
act on the idea, that in order to preserve these trea- 
sures they must be boiled. The Davui (Triton variega- 
tus, Lamk.) is made into horns and trumpets, invari- 
ably found in all larger canoes. Ai Kaki or Ai Koi, a 
species of Dolium, is used for scraping, as is also another 
univalve, the Tuasa or Ai Walui. Several kinds of oysters 
are eaten, and a fresh-water Cyrena is made into soup. 

Crustaceous animals are well represented. Shrimps, 
prawns, crayfish, lobsters, and crabs, are plentiful and 
esteemed as food by the natives. In some of the smaller 
islands, for instance Qelebevu and Vatuvara, a very large 
kind of land crab, called " Ugavule " (probably Birgos 
latro, and the same of which C. Darwin speaks in his 
' Journal of a Naturalist '), is common. Being fierce 
and strong, it is taken with some difficulty when on 
the ground, and throws earth and stones into the face 
of its pursuers. It climbs the highest cocoa-nut trees, 
and not only pierces the nuts, but removes the husk 
from the old nuts and breaks them, in order to get at 
the flesh. When up a tree, the natives take a bundle 
of grass and bind it round the body of the tree, about 
halfway up. The Ugavule comes down backwards, 
and when it gets to the grass it fancies the bottom 
has been reached, and, relinquishing its hold on the 
tree, falls twenty or thirty feet, and thus stunned is 
easily captured. 

The insect tribe is very numerous, both in species and 
individuals. Mosquitoes (Namu) are very troublesome 

2 C 2 


in some parts, as has already been related ; and equally 
irritating are the flies (Lago), which keep one's hands 
constantly employed, and in order to have a meal in 
peace a boy must be kept continually employed in driving 
them away. Fleas, to finish the catalogue of irritants, are 
not so plentiful as I have found them in Spanish America 
or Southern Europe, nor are foreigners much troubled 
by the vermin so abundant in the large heads of hair 
worn by the heathen natives. Cockroaches are swarm- 
ing in most houses, canoes, and vessels, and often dis- 
turb one during the night, not only by running over 
one's body but also by attacking it in right earnest. 
Some very fine beetles and butterflies are met with ; and 
at dusk the woods begin to swarm with myriads of fire- 
flies. Highly curious are what are popularly termed 
leaf- and stick-insects, species of Mantis ; the wings of 
some of them can scarcely be distinguished from real 
leaves. Some large kinds of spider, amongst them a 
stinging one, have to be noticed. Centipedes, nearly a 
foot long, were frequently encountered by us in the woods, 
and scorpions are more frequent than one could wish. 

There is a goodly display of the lower evertebrate 
animals, amongst them a long series of sea-slugs, sea- 
cumbers, and Mche-de-mer, annelidans, starfish, and me- 

It would well repay a zoologist who has some funds 
at his command — without them he must not go to this 
expensive place — to spend a couple of years in investi- 
gating the Fauna of Fiji. Judging from what has been 
collected, mostly in great haste, a number of new 
genera and species may be expected from a thorough 
zoological examination of the group. 





The supreme god in Fiji is Degei (pronounced Ndengei), 
known in the other groups of Polynesia as Tanga-roa, 
or Taa-roa ; Tanga being his proper name, " roa " an ad- 
jective, signifying ' the far removed,' perhaps also ' the 
most high.' To him is attributed the creation and go- 
vernment of the world ; and no images of him are made, 
nor of any of the minor gods, collectively termed 
" Kalou." His sway is universally acknowledged in 
Fiji, and no attempts are ever made to elevate any 
local gods above him. For this reason I think that in 
teaching our Christian religion it would have been ad- 
visable to select the name of Degei for the Supreme 
Being rather than that of " Kalou," which seems to be 
used not only collectively for all gods, but also for any- 
thing superlative, good or bad. When the natives saw 
us doing anything inspiring them with admiration or 
surprise, they would say, " Ah, you are Kalous," which, 
of course, could not be translated, ' You are gods,' but 
' You are clever fellows ! — men of genius !' etc. As no 


images were ever made of Degei, nor indeed any other 
god, it would have been very easy to strip the concep- 
tion of him of any heathen superstitions. Degei, like 
Jupiter, had a bird, and is supposed to be enshrined in 
a serpent,- — the world-wide symbol of eternity, — lying 
coiled up in a cave of Na Vatu, a mountain on the 
Rakiraki coast of Viti Levu, indicating his turning about 
by occasional shocks of earthquakes. (Compare p. 223). 
Some traditions represent him with the head and part 
of the body of a serpent, the rest of his form being 
stone, emblematic of everlasting and unchangeable du- 
ration ; in fact, Degei seems to be the personification 
of eternal existence. 

Besides Degei, there is a host of inferior gods, but 
their rank is not easily ascertained, as each district con- 
tends for the superiority of the deity it has adopted and 
specially worships. Tokairabe and Tui Lakeba Radi- 
nadina seem to stand next to Degei ; they are his sons, 
and act as mediators in the transmission of prayers 
to their father. Rokomoutu is a son of Degei's sister, 
and insisted upon being born from her elbow. Some 
of the gods find employment in Bulu, some on earth, 
and the latter are the tutelary deities of whole tribes 
or individuals; thus Rokova and Bokola are invoked 
by the carpenters, Roko Voua and Vosavakadra by the 
fishermen, whilst every chief has a god in whom he 
puts his special trust. 

One of the most universally known gods is Ratu mai 
Bulu; he is the Ceres of Fiji, and comes once a year 
from Bulu to cause the various fruit-trees to blossom 
and yield fruit. During his stay it is forbidden to do 


most kinds of work, to go to war, sail about, plant, 
build houses, beat the drums, or make much noise, lest 
he should take offence and depart with his work unfin- 
ished. In December the priests bathe Eatu mai Bulu, 
and then announce his departure from earth by a great 
shout, which is quickly carried from village to village, 
from town to town. 

One of the most universal beliefs of all mankind is, 
doubtless, that in the aid or protection departed an- 
cestors are able to afford. All nations participate in it 
more or less, and even Christianity has not been able 
to uproot an idea which poetry and art have rivalled 
to perpetuate. What educated man could be so cruel 
as to wish to prove to an orphan child, left alone in 
the wide world, that, according to strict orthodoxy, 
the spirit of its mother could not possibly watch over 
it, because the lost one would quietly slumber in her 
grave till the great day of judgment I The Chinese, 
Japanese, South African tribes, and Polynesians, do not 
clothe their ideas in so poetical a garb, or banish ad- 
miration for the mighty deeds of their ancestors from 
the region of religious sentiment. They supplicate their 
formidable shades when misfortune befalls them, or fear 
of the future takes possession of their minds. With 
the Fijians, as soon as beloved parents expire, they 
take their place amongst the family gods. Bures, or 
temples, are erected to their memory, and offerings de- 
posited either on their graves or on rudely constructed 
altars — mere stages, in the form of tables, the legs of 
which are driven in the ground, and the top of which 
is covered with pieces of native cloth. The construe- 


tion of these altars is identical with that observed by 
Turner in Tanna, and only differs in its inferior finish 
from the altars formerly erected in Tahiti and the ad- 
jacent islands. The offerings, consisting of the choicest 
articles of food, are left exposed to wind and weather, 
and firmly believed by the mass of Fijians to be con- 
sumed by the spirits of departed friends and relations ; 
but, if not eaten by animals, they are often stolen by 
the more enlightened class of their countrymen, and 
even some of the foreigners do not disdain occasionally 
to help themselves freely to them. However, it is not 
only on tombs or on altars that offerings are made ; 
often, when the natives eat or drink anything, they 
throw portions of it away, stating them to be for their 
departed ancestors. I remember ordering a young chief 
to empty a bowl containing kava, which he did, mutter- 
ing to himself, " There, father, is some kava for you. 
Protect me from illness or breaking any of my limbs 
whilst in the mountains." 

Besides their regular gods and deified spirits, the Fi- 
jians have idolized objects, such as sacred stones, trees, 
and groves, of which I have already spoken (p. 87) ; and 
in addition to thesej certain birds, fishes, and some men, 
are supposed to have deities closely connected with or 
residing in them. He who worships the god inhabiting 
a certain fish or bird, must of course refrain from harm- 
ing or eating them. 

All Fijian temples — at least those about the coast — 
have a pyramidal form, and are often erected on ter- 
raced mounds, in this respect reminding us of the an- 
cient Central American structures We meet the same 



terraced mounds also in Eastern Polynesia, with which 
Fiji and all other groups of the South Sea share the 
principal features of religious belief. 


There is in most of them a shrine, where the god is 
supposed to descend when holding communication with 
the priests, and there is also a long piece of native cloth 

394 a mission to vrn. 

hung at one end of the building, and from the very ceil- 
ing, which is also connected with the arrival and depar- 
ture of the god invoked. The revelations, however, are 
made by means of the spirit of the god entering the body 
of the priest, who, having become possessed, begins to 
tremble most violently, and in this excited state utters 
disjointed sentences — supposed to be the revelations 
which the god wishes to make by the mouth of his ser- 
vant. It is the oracle at Delphi over again. Mankind 
will be deceived, whether by a Fijian priest, a Grecian 
Pythia, or an American spirit-rapper. 

The conceptions which the Fijians have of the origin 
of their islands is, that they were made and peopled by 
Degei. This god, when walking along the beaches, wore 
long trains of native cloth, like those worn by great chiefs 
at the present day ; and whenever he allowed them to 
drag the ground, the beach, becoming free from vege- 
tation, showed the white sand ; whenever he took them 
up, and cast them over his shoulder, the trees and 
shrubs remained undisturbed.* What Humboldt pointed 
out as one of the characteristics of all religions is not 
wanting in that of Fiji. There is a tradition of a flood. 
Degei was roused every morning by the cooing of a 
monstrous bird, called " Turukawa," who performed his 
duty well until two youths, grandsons of the god, acci- 
dentally killed it with bow and arrow, and, in order to 
conceal their deed, buried it. Degei, accustomed to be- 
ing roused at sunrise by his favourite bird, was greatly 
annoyed on finding it had disappeared, and he at once 
dispatched his messenger, Uto, all over the island in 

* Williams (' Fiji and the FijianB,' p. 250) makes Roko Mouta, another 
god, take this walk. 


search of it ; but all endeavours to discover any traces 
of the lost one proved unsuccessful. The messenger de- 
clared that it could nowhere be found. Degei had a 
fresh search instituted, which led to the discovery of the 
body of the dead bird, and that of the deed which had 
deprived him of life. The two youths, fearing Degei's 
anger, fled to the mountains and there took refuge with 
a powerful tribe of carpenters, who willingly agreed to 
build a fence strong enough to keep Degei and his mes- 
sengers at bay. They little knew the power they had 
attempted to balk. Degei, finding the taking of the 
fence by storm impossible, caused violent rains to fall, 
and the waters rose to such a height that at last they 
reached the place where the two youths and their abet- 
tors had fortified themselves. To save themselves from 
drowning they jumped into large bowls that happened 
to be at hand, and in these they were scattered in vari- 
ous directions. When the waters subsided, some landed 
at Suva, some at Navua and Bega ; and it is from them 
that the present race of carpenters and canoe-builders 
claim to be descended.* 

* The late Rev. J. Hunt lias published a version of this story, which he 
himself terms as being between an imitation and a translation of the original. 
I quote a few verses. It begins with one of the boys trying his arrow : — 
" ' I '11 try, I mean no harm, I '11 only try,' 
Pointing his arrow as he fix'd his eye : 
His brother strikes his hand, the arrow flies, 
And prostrate at their feet old T-urulcawa lies. 

" Stretch'd on the fatal ground, upon his back, 
They see the deadly arrow's fatal track ;' 
His entrails all turn out, his flowing blood 
Stains the white sand, and dyes the ocean flood. 

" ' This is no common bird,' one faintly said, 
' His glaring eyes retain their crimson red; 


Those who make a philosophical digest of such myths 
as these, will at once perceive the points of resemblance 
it exhibits with the Mosaic narrative: — The anger of 
the supreme god. has been roused by certain transgres- 

His sacred legs, with many a cowry bound, 
Crash'd as the monster fell upon the ground. 

" ' My brother, can it be ? is this the bird 
Whose office long has been to wake the god 
Whose serpent form lies coil'd in yonder cave, 
Boasting the dreaded power to kill or save P ' 

" They strip him of his coat, by Nature given, 
And, lo, his feathers rise in clouds to heaven, 
Fly o'er the mountains on the gentle breeze, 
Cover the mystic grove of sacred trees. 

" A grave, at once convenient and secure, 
They find beneath the threshold of the door ; 
They bury him with vows of self-defence, 
Should Degei's anger visit their offence. 

" The god lies sleeping, nor has power to wake ; 
He turns himself, and rocks and mountains quake; 
When gloomy night has laid aside his pall, 
He lists intent for Turulcawa' s call. 

" Three suns have risen, but no call he hears ; 
His heart now beats with boding god-like fears ; 
The god, exhausted with suspense so sore, 
Sends Uto his dominions to explore. 

" 'Go search my favourite bird, my precious store ; 
Oh, shall I never hear his cooing more ? 
If distance weary, or the sun shall burn, 
Refreshing draughts shall wait thy glad return. 

" ' Go search 'mong tow'ring heights, 'mong vales beneath, 
'Mong gloomy caverns, and the cloud-capp'd cliffs ; 
There dwell the murderers, so report declares ; 
Vengeance shall now absorb our god-like cares.' " 

The result was, that Degei made war on the two youths, but without 
effect ; he then caused a flood of water, with which they were drifted to 
the Rewa district. — The mystic grove of sacred trees referred to in verse 
5, are the Balawas (screw-pines) at the top of Degei's mountain, which 


sions, as a punishment for which a flood rises ; and it is 
only by embarking — not in ordinary vessels- — that cer- 
tain people save their lives, afterwards to become the 
progenitors of a powerful race. But there is one essen- 
tial difference. Whilst Noah and his family were saved 
Deo volente, the Fijian transgressors effected their escape 
notwithstanding Degei was resolved upon their destruc- 
tion. "Williams adds, that in all, eight persons were 
saved, and that two tribes of people became extinct, 
one of them distinguished by a tail like that of a dog.* 

As the Fijians believe in the creation, so they be- 
lieve in the ultimate destruction, of the world. This 
appears incidentally from their tradition of the Daiga, 
a species of Amorphophallus, the foliage of which con- 
sists of a single leaf, supported on a stalk two to four 
feet long, and spreading out somewhat like an um- 
brella. In the cosmogony of the Samoans, the office of 
having, by means of its single foliage, pushed up the 
heavens when they emerged from chaos, is assigned to 
this plant, and the Fijians recommend it as a safe place 
of refuge when the end of the world approaches, the 
Daiga being a "vasu" to heaven (Vasu ki lagi: see 
p. 304). 

The immortality of the soul, and a 'life hereafter, is 

are sacred. The spirits of the dead are said to throw a whale's tooth at 
these trees, that their wives may be strangled. When a shock of an 
earthquake is felt, Degei is turning himself. This, and a few other little 
things, are not in the original. 

* The existence of savage tribes of people with a tail, somewhere in 
Africa, has as a popular belief been frequently alluded to in the newspapers. 
Dr. Kieser, the President of the Imperial Academy of Germany, has made 
numerous inquiries about them ; and when Heuglin set out in search of 
Edward Vogel, his attention was particularly directed to this singular topic. 


one of the canons of Fijian belief. It is from this con- 
viction that, on the death of a man, be he chief or com- 
moner, all his wives are strangled, so that he may not 
have to go alone on his journey or arrive at the future 
abode of bliss without anybody near and dear to him. 
Only in the christianized districts has this cruel custom 
been abolished. The Tonguese restricted the posses- 
sion of a soul to chiefs and gentry, but the Fijians go 
further, allowing it not only to all mankind, but to 
animals, plants, and even houses, canoes, and all me- 
chanical contrivances. The ultimate destination of the 
soul is Bulu, identical with the Tonguese Bolotu, and 
the general starting-place (Cibicibi) is supposed to be at 
Naicobocobo (= Naithombothombo), the extreme west- 
ern or lee side of Vanua Levu, to which pilgrimages 
are occasionally made. It is not a little singular that 
the Fijians agree with the Tahitians, Samoans, Ton- 
guese, and Maoris, in fixing this starting-place inva- 
riably on that side of their respective countries. The 
ancient Egyptians, it will be remembered, coincided 
with them in supposing their souls to depart westward.* 
But I must not accumulate coincidences. Those theory- 
spinners who are always on the look-out for traces of 
the lost tribes, 'and similar losses that give them un- 
easiness, might propound an hypothesis purporting to 
account for the westward movement common to the 
souls of the ancient Egyptians and the modern Poly- 
nesians, and, taking a hint from the incidental observa- 
tion that Fijian temples have somewhat the shape of 

* In Tahiti this place is called Fareaitu, in Samoa Fafa ; the Maoris 
start from Cape Maria Van Diemen. 



pyramids, and that " lali " in Egyptian means ' to re- 
joice,' and that "lali " in Fijian is the name of a drum- 
beater when people do rejoice, advance conclusions of 
a startling description. 

About five miles east of Naicobocobo there is a soli- 
tary barren hill on the top of which grows a sacred 
screw-pine, which the soul of a married man must hit 
with the spirit of the whale's tooth, — remember, in 
Fiji all things have souls ! — if he wishes to make sure 
of his wives being strangled to follow him to his future 
abode. A similar screw-pine stood on the east end of 
Vanua Levu, and was cut down by Chief Mara (p. 229) ; 
and I may further add that an identical belief attaches 
to some on the top of Degei's mountain : so that super- 
stition seems to have placed these trees very conveniently 
within the reach of all who desired to avail themselves 
of their power. 

It is by no means clear where Bulu, the ultimate 
abode of bliss, is situated, and whether it is, as in the 
Tonguese mythology, a distant island ; but the fact that 
it cannot be reached except in a canoe shows that it is 
separated from this world by water, across which the 
souls have to be ferried by the Charon of Fiji. Before 
embarking they have to do battle with Samuyalo, the 
killer of souls, informed of their approach by the cries 
of a parroquet ; should they conquer, they are allowed to 
pass on towards the judgment-seat of Degei, but if they 
should be wounded or defeated, they have to wander 
amongst the mountains. Again, if to any questions they 
should return untrue answers, Samuyalo gives the lie 
direct and fells them to the ground. Bachelors have a 
still greater difficulty to encounter, and stand scarcely 


any chance whatever of getting to Bulu. First they have 
to meet the spirit of a great woman, and, having eluded 
her fatal grasp, face a still more powerful foe. Naga- 
naga, a bitter hater of all unmarried men, is on the 
look-out for them, and if he catches them, dashes them 
to pieces on a large black stone. 

Some of the traditions speak of Bulu as Lagi ( = 
Langi), the sky, the heavens; others again as being 
under the water : all however assert that in this future 
abode there are several districts. The names of Lagi 
tua dua, Lagi tua rua, and Lagi tua tolu, the first, the 
second, and the third heavens, are given to them by one 
set of traditions, and that of Murimuria and Burotu by 
the others. Murimuria seems to be a district of infe- 
rior happiness, where punishments and rewards are 
awarded. Burotu is the Fijian Elysium, where all that 
the natives most desire, value, and enjoy, is abundant. 
The manly nature of the Fijian is nowhere better dis- 
played than in the conception of his future abode. He 
does not expect to exist there in indolent ease, reclining 
on soft couches, and sipping nectar handed by lovely 
houris, but hopes to resume all the out-door exercises 
to which he has been habituated during his stay on 
earth. Food will be plentiful, it is true, but there will 
be lots of canoes, plenty of sailing, fishing, and sporting 
— plenty of action. In fact, he hopes to lead very much 
the same life as he does here, and his admiration for 
fine, well developed people will be gratified ; for, if ac- 
counts may be trusted, all will be larger than they were 
on earth. There does not seem to be any separation 
between the abodes of the good and the wicked, nothing 
that corresponds to our heaven and hell, no fire and 


brimstone. Punishment is evidently inflicted upon 
evil-doers in the same locality where the good enjoy 
their fair rewards. Women, not tatooed, are chased 
by their own sex, allowed no repose, scraped up with 
shells and made into bread for the gods. Men who 
have not slain any enemy are compelled to beat dirt 
with their club, — the most degrading punishment the 
native mind can conceive, — because they used their club 
to so little purpose. Others are laid flat on their faces 
and converted into taro-beds. 

In order to uphold the whole fabric of heathen 
superstition, the priests had recourse to the same 
means which all religions have had in dealing with 
doubting minds. Punishment was sure to overtake 
the sceptic, let his station in life be what it might. 
What could be more terrible than that which was in- 
flicted upon Koroika? He, a chief high in rank at 
Bau, made bold to doubt the existence of the god 
Ratu mai Bulu ; and, as the god was then enshrined in a 
serpent of a neighbouring cave, he determined to put 
the question to the test. Embarking in a canoe with 
a cargo of fish, he steered for the very spot where the 
god was reported to be. On arriving, a serpent issued 
from the cave ; and the chief asked, " Please, good Sir, 
are you the god Eatu mai Bulu 1" " No, I am not," was 
the reply; "I am his son." The chief made him a 
present of fish, and requested an interview with his 
father. Presently another serpent appeared, but that 
proved to be the grandson, and the same present and 
request was made to him as had been made to the son. 
At length there issued a serpent, so large, so noble and 

2 D 

402 a mission to vrri. 

commanding, as to leave little doubt in the mind of the 
chief that the god himself was now before him. Fish 
was presented to him ; and just as the god was retiring 
with it, Koroika hit him with an arrow, and then re- 
treated in all possible haste. But the voice of the god 
followed him, exclaiming, " Nought but serpents ! — 
nought but serpents !" Arrived at home, and scarcely 
recovered from his state of agitation, he ordered dinner 
to be brought. The cover was removed from the pot, 
when, oh ! horror, it was full of serpents ! The chief 
seized a jug of water, saying, "At any rate, I will drink ;" 
but, instead of the limpid fluid, he poured out crawling 
serpents. Unable to eat or drink, he sought comfort in 
sleep. He unrolled his mat, and was in the act of lying 
down upon it, when innumerable serpents appeared. 
Mad with excitement, he rushes out of doors, and pass- 
ing a temple, hears, to his dismay, a priest revealing 
that the god has been wounded by the hand of a citizen, 
and that punishment will overtake the city. There is 
now no escape but to make a suitable atonement for the 
terrible offence committed. He returns home, collects 
all the valuables he can lay his hands on, presents them 
to the god, is pardoned, and his name handed down to 
unborn generations as a sceptic, and a fit example of 
the danger to which all men of his disposition expose 

A different but equally severe punishment awaited 

unbelievers in Bulu. One day, two young men- paint 

and oil themselves, and put on a new piece of native 

cloth (just as the dead are prepared for the grave), and 

* Compare Waterhouse, ' Vah-ta-ah,' p. 46. 


approach Naicobocobo. One calls, " Please, Sir, we want 
a canoe to take us to Bulu." An invisible band places 
a canoe, built of the timber of the breadfruit tree, 
within their reach. " Oh, Sir," said the spokesman, "we 
are not slaves ; we want to go to Bulu like chiefs." 
The canoe is withdrawn, and its place supplied with 
one built of ironwood. No sooner is it near them, than 
the sceptics throw their spears at it, and exclaim, with 
a derisive laugh, " Oh, we are not going to die just yet." 
A voice was heard, " Young men, unbelievers, you have 
called for two canoes : they have not returned empty ; 
both have conveyed your own relatives. There is death 
in the houses of both of you." Thoroughly alarmed, 
they hurry home. The sounds of wailing are heard as 
they near their town. Both their mothers are dead. 

But I must conclude, for fear that I may be served as 
Dr. Brower, the American Consul in Fiji, served a man 
residing on his estate at Wakaya, who nightly would 
persist in attracting all the boys of the neighbourhood 
by telling stories, and inflaming their youthful imagina- 
tion to such an extent, that not one of them would stir 
abroad for fear of meeting some of the mighty person- 
ages to whom he had been introduced. Dr. Brower, 
not liking the whole troop to sleep on his premises, 
hit upon the expedient of requesting the story-teller 
to accompany every one of those he had frightened to 
his respective home, and, as the youthful listeners live 
in every direction of the compass, it takes him a good 
time to comply with the request ; still, it does not 
prevent him from again and again indulging- in his 
old weakness of telling fairy and ghost stories. * 






Before bidding farewell to the islands, I must say a few 
words about their history as connected with the white 
race. In the year 1643, Abel Jansen Tasman, when ex- 
ploring the South Seas, discovered, between longitudes 
19° 50' E. and 180° 8' W., a group of islands which he 
named " Prince William's Island," and which the inhabi- 
tants collectively term " Viti," and the Tonguese, who can- 
not pronounce the v, as well as other nations who have 
not this excuse, erroneously designate as " Fiji," spelt in 
a variety of ways. Although nearly two centuries have 
elapsed since the event, this archipelago of more than 
two hundred islands was only nominally known until 
visited by D'Urville and Wilkes; Captain Cook, who 
merely sighted Vatoa or Turtle Island, Captain Bligh, 
who twice passed through parts of this group, and 
Captain Wilson, of the ' Duff,' whose vessel was nearly 
lost on the reef off Taviuni, having scarcely added 
any save secondhand information to our stock of know- 


Towards the close of the eighteenth and the begin- 
ning of the present century, Viti began to be visited by 
vessels from the East Indies in search of sandalwood 
and Mche-de-mer, or Trepang, for the Chinese market. 
At that time the aborigines were regarded as ferocious 
savages, and great caution was exercised by the traders 
in dealing with them. The vessels were well armed, and 
none of the crew ventured on shore until chiefs of high 
rank had been sent on board as hostages, only to be given 
up after all business transactions had been concluded, 
and the loaded vessels were far enough at sea to be safe 
from surprise or any sudden attack. Some of these vessels 
were wrecked, on board of others mutinies occurred, and 
the crew took up its residence on shore ; again, between 
some of the traders differences arose, which induced the 
natives to attack the foreign vessels, and kill the whole 
or portion of their crew. These were the materials 
which probably formed the first white immigration. In 
1860, there was at Cakaudrove an old Manila man, 
named Jetro, who had been a boy on board a sandal- 
wood ship, and who gave me a detailed account of the 
murder of the captain by the crew, the goods being 
given up to the king of Bau because no one was able 
to navigate the ship, which had to be abandoned, and 
it being thought best to purchase the goodwill of a 
powerful chief in order that the mutineers might have a 
protector. Jetro could give no clue to the date of this 
event, except that it took place shortly after Charles 
Savage had died, which would make it about the year 

Charles Savage is said to have been a Swede by birth. 


T.Williams* thought him to have been one of "a number 
of convicts who in 1804 effected their escape from New 
South Wales ; but, according to more authentic informa- 
tion,! he was an honest sailor belonging to the American 
brig 'Eliza,' wrecked in Fiji in 1808, and of which Dil- 
lon was mate. He seems to have possessed some redeem- 
ing qualities, was acknowledged as a head-man by the 
companions of his own race, and acquired great ascen- 
dency at Bau, the capital of the group. Up to this time 
the natives seem to have solely depended upon clubs, 
spears, and slings, for success in intertribal wars. The 
foreigners who had now come amongst them taught 
them the use of fire-arms, rendering the teachers highly 
welcome allies to the states then struggling for supre- 
macy in the group. Bau and Rewa received them with 
open arms, and in return for their alliance gratified all 
their whims and demands, of whatever nature they might 
happen to be. From the ascendency thus acquired, it 
would have seemed that the absolute government of the 
whole Fijis lay within their grasp, if their ambition, rising 
beyond a life of indolence, had prompted them to con- 
solidate and improve the power thus won ; however, 
this was far from being the case. There is good proof 
that Savage at least made a fair attempt to take advan- 
tage of these favourable circumstances. Firmly esta- 
blishing himself at Bau, in the very heart of the most 
powerful Fijian state, he exacted all the honours paid 
to exalted chiefs, and, knowing that no man can attain 

* ' Fiji and the Fijians,' p. 3. 

t Dillon, ' Discovery of the Fate of De la Perousc,' vol. i. ; Captain 
•I. Erskine, ' Western Pacific,' p. 197. 



position in Polynesia who is not a polygamist, he de- 
manded a number of wives, amongst them some of the 
highest ladies of the realm. Thus far his native friends 
seem to have been willing to allow his carefully con- 
cealed plan to succeed. Every additional step in advance 
was rendered impossible ; the natives were fully aware 
that if any of his sons whom a great chief, as Savage was 
considered to be, had by the daughters of powerful kings 
and leaders, should ever attain manhood, they would be 
in a position to exercise an unmitigated despotism, and 
set on foot a centralizing influence, which the centrifu- 
gal tendency of the Fijian mind has ever as strongly re- 
sisted as the Teutonic. According to Fijian polity, the 
sons of great queens, such as Savage had for his wives, 
would, in virtue of their right as " Vasus" or nephews, 
hold the territory and property of their uncles at their 
absolute disposal, which, combined with their position 
as sons of a great chief, would have given them an im- 
mense preponderance. It was therefore deemed politic 
to allow none of Savage's children to be other than 
still-born; he might have wives of the highest rank, 
but there must be no offspring. On this point the na- 
tives seem to have been inflexible, though Savage seemed 
to have strained every nerve to frustrate their cruel de- 
termination. The stand which the natives made, became 
the rock on which the hopes of the white men to esta- 
blish their permanent sway in Fiji were wrecked. Savage 
died in March, 1814, near Vanua Levu, where he carried 
on a war with the natives in order to procure a cargo of 
sandalwood for an English trading vessel, the ' Hunter,' 
of Calcutta. Together with portions of the crew, he was 


put to death and eaten, whilst his bones were converted 
into sail-needles, and distributed amongst the people as 
a remembrance of victory.* 

However, it was not only from shipwrecked mariners 
and runaway seamen, that the early white population 
was recruited. In 1804, a number of convicts escaped 
from New South Wales, in all about twenty-six, who took 
up their abode in Fiji, who however died out rather ra- 
pidly, either in the intertribal wars, in desperate fights 
amongst themselves, or in consequence of the irregular 
life led in a tropical climate. In 1824 only two, in 1840 
only one of them, an Irishman of the name of Connor, 
survived, who occupied the same position towards the 
king of Eewa as Savage had done towards that of Bau. 
Connor does not seem to have been of such a deep, plod- 
ding nature as his comrade, or to have troubled his head 
much about the affairs of the future. Even when, after 
the loss of his royal patron, misfortune overtook him, 
he appears to have preserved all the humour for which 
his nation is proverbial, and was fully aware that the 
natives would never let him starve as long as he could 
while away an idle hour by the narration of a telling 
tale — upon which he depended towards the close of his 
days, quite as much, or perhaps even more, for a liveli- 
hood, than upon the rearing of fowls and pigs. 

On the whole, the natives seem to have treated the 
first white men that came to live among them with hos- 
pitality and kindness. This is exactly what, from the 
nature of their country, might have been predicted. A 
sanguinary custom may have demanded that bodies slain 

* Dillon, ' Discovery of the Pate of De la Perouse.' 


in battle should be baked and eaten, but the Fijian never 
displayed that determined hostility towards foreigners 
which is common to all natives in their barbarous state, 
and found vent even in civilized countries in a system 
of protective laws, which modern science still struggles 
to clear away. In some of the smaller islands of Poly- 
nesia, where food is scarce, and famine a common occur- 
rence, every addition to the population is regarded 
rather as a calamity than as a matter of rejoicing, and 
the shores are jealously guarded against an infliction by 
which the whole community must suffer. It is therefore 
emphatically islands of this nature which our tract 
charts still mark as the most dangerous for landing. 
Viti, on the contrary, is so fertile, that food, as a general 
rale, is abundant at all seasons; and its inhabitants 
being well fed, and taking plenty of out-door exercise, 
do not seriously differ from other nations who enjoy the 
same advantages. A man who has every day a good 
dinner is a differently-disposed being from him who has 
to go very often without his daily meals ; and the same 
process continued for generations must produce very 
opposite results in their respective characters. If any 
of the early white settlers met with a violent end, it 
was generally the foreigner, not the native, that fur- 
nished its primary cause. Taking undue advantage of 
the easy terms on which they lived with the chiefs, the 
white men often applied insulting epithets or used foul 
language to their hosts and protectors, provoking that 
contempt which familiarity, with a certain class of minds, 
i invariably engenders. It was generally language of 

i this kind, or demands which the chiefs deemed it below 


their dignity to comply with, which led to fatal conse- 

Some of the old convict gang were still alive when 
a few of a more respectable class of white traders and 
missionaries took up their abode in the group, princi- 
pally at Lakeba, Levuka, and Rewa. Of the traders we 
know little except the incidental notices here and there 
preserved; but of the doings of the missionaries ample 
records have been placed before the world in their own 
publications. When the latter commenced their labours 
the political state of Fiji was little understood, and we 
can therefore not wonder that they should have made a 
serious mistake in the very outset. They began their 
work of christianization at Lakeba, one of the windward 
islands. Now Lakeba is dependent on Cakaudrove, and 
the chiefs of the latter state were naturally jealous to 
see vassals assume a greater importance than themselves, 
and they opposed the spread of the new doctrine with 
all means in their power. When, after a time, mission- 
aries established themselves at Somosomo, then the ca- 
pital of Cakaudrove, at Viwa and Eewa, they struggled 
against similar disadvantages. These three states were 
more or less dependent on Bau, and Bau, irritated at see- 
ing its subordinates in possession of all the good things 
that an active intercourse with the Christian teachers 
threw in their way, tried to crush the new doctrine by 
its mighty influence. There can be no doubt that many 
atrocities were committed in the native capital, merely 
to prove how little Bau was influenced by the religious 
change going on in other parts of the group. It appears 
that at an early date Cakobau had invited the mission- 


aries to come to Bau, but that they did not put sufficient 
confidence in him. The doubt thus cast upon his ho- 
nour, together with the constant irritation of seeing 
parts of the group under the suzerainty of Bau daring 
to desert heathenism when still upheld by the leading 
state, and a daily diminishing political influence, turned 
King Cakobau into a deadly foe to Christianity. Had 
the missionaries taken the bull by horns, and endea- 
voured to obtain a footing at Bau before they took up 
their residence in any other part of the group, their 
labours would have been easy in comparison to what 
they have been, and the whole group would have re- 
nounced heathenism long ere this.* It was all up-hill 
work, yet results have been attained, to which no right- 
minded man can refuse admiration. According to the 
latest returns, the attendance on Christian worship in 
1861 was 67,489, and there were 31,566 in the day- 
schools. For the supervision of this great work the So- 
ciety had only eleven European missionaries and two 
schoolmasters, assisted by a large class of native agents, 
who are themselves the fruits of mission toil, and some 
of whom, once degraded and cannibal heathens, are be- 
coming valuable and accredited ministers of the Gospel. 
The white settlers at present in the group may 
amount to about two thousand souls, the greater num- 
ber of whom have arrived within the last few years and 

* Cakobau "was offended with Mr. Cross, because he would not trust 
himself at Bau on his first visit, but turned aside and opened a mission at 
Eewa. The proud spirit of the chief was hurt at being placed second." 
(Calvert, ' Fiji and the Fijians,' vol. ii. p. 234.) Additional passages 
might be cited from missionary writings to prove the view I have taken of 
Bau's hostility. 


principally taken up their residence in Levuka and the 
Eewa districts. They are traders, agriculturists, and sheep 
farmers. Several have turned their attention to cotton 
growing. Most of them live in native-built houses, and 
only a few, including the consuls and missionaries, 
have weather-boarded houses. They belong to all na* 
tions ; I have seen English, Americans, Germans, 
French, Poles, and Russians, but the greater number 
are British subjects. Nearly all have acquired more or 
less land from the natives, and several have bought ex- 
tensive tracts. Small islands are in great request, and 
generally paid for at a much higher rate than pieces on 
the larger islands, which require fencing in, and are apt 
to give rise to disputes about boundaries. All the land 
sold is registered at the British Consulate, and Mr. Prit- 
chard, before he did so, was always very careful to have 
the sellers acknowledge before him, and in the pre- 
sence of a number of their townsmen, that they were sa- 
tisfied with the bargain and had obtained the price stipu- 
lated. The land originally belongs either to individuals or 
to whole families, and the title confirmed by the ruling 
chiefs is supposed to be good. From what I saw, I be- 
lieve that in most instances a fair price is given, remem- 
bering that the very best land in America may be had 
for a dollar and a quarter an acre ; and that those who 
are willing to build a house, may have so-called bit-land 
for about sixpence per acre. Since the Fijis have be- 
come a field for immigration the land has considerably 
risen, and I have seen, as already stated, £10 per acre 
refused. The greatest landed proprietor was perhaps the 
late Mr. Williams, United States Consul. Mr. Binner, 


Wesleyan training-master, also owns large tracts and a 
great many small islands. The land is paid for in 
barter, cotton prints, cutlery, muskets, powder and shot. 
Parties desirous of establishing plantations will have no 
difficulty in obtaining any amount of good land near 
rivers or the sea. Labour can be had to some extent in 
Fiji, but Polynesians will work much better if they are 
not in their own islands ; and hands might be had by 
running over to Eotuma, Fotuna, Were, Earatonga, and 
the New Hebrides ; indeed some of the best working 
men and women I saw in Fiji were obtained from those 

On the 2nd of November we returned to Lado, from 
our voyage around Vanua Levu. We had left Nuku- 
bati on the 30th of October, and called at Solevu and 
Levuka. On the 7th of November the 'Staghound,' 
Captain Sustenance, arrived from Tahiti and Samoa, 
and, as I had seen as much of Fiji as was accessible 
and gathered all the information I had been directed 
to accumulate, I engaged a passage in her for Sydney. 
There were several passengers on board ; two having 
come from Tonga, where they had established sheep- 
runs; and one had been over a great part of Fiji, to 
judge for himself about the capabilities of the group for 
colonization. From what I could gather from conversa- 
tion, he had been sent out by a party of friends, all of 
whom were desirous of investing capital in the islands 
if his report should prove favourable. He spoke in 
high terms of the country, and its resources. 

I left Levuka on the 16th of November, and two days 
after lost sight of Kadavu and the Fiji group. On the 


22nd we were out of the tropics, on the 26 th near Nor- 
folk Island, and on the 3rd of Decemher off Lord Howe 
Island. Here we encountered a series of the most awful 
electric storms it has ever been my misfortune to pass 
through. The wind and waves were very high, the 
peals of thunder truly terrific, and sheet and flash light- 
ning without interruption from dusk till dawn. Our 
vessel was struck several times by the lightning, and 
two men were seriously injured. I was fully prepared 
for going down, as it seemed almost impossible to sur- 
vive a storm, to which all I had previously witnessed in 
the tropics could not be compared in intensity and vio- 
lence. The St. Elmo's fire on the masthead and rigging 
gave a peculiarly ghastly appearance to the vessel when 
the darkness of night was restored by the momentary 
cessation of the lightning. The men got terribly fright- 
ened, and the rope's-end had to be used freely to make 
them do their duty. Captain Sustenance, every inch a 
sailor, took the helm himself, and never quitted his 
post till all was safe. His powerful voice could be heard 
through the storm, and was almost the only thing that 
inspired confidence, when all the elements seemed to 
be bent upon our destruction. 

Otherwise our passage was a very pleasant one. Cap- 
tain Sustenance had been in the Royal Navy, and seen, 
heard, and read a good deal, so that we were never hard 
up for topics of conversation. When on the 10th of 
December we dropped anchor in Sydney Harbour, we 
had as much to talk about as when first stepping on 
board at Levuka. To ascertain a man's mental ealibre, 
no place is better suited than on board a ship. The 


generality of men are very dull company after the first 
few days ; they have exhausted their little store of con- 
versation, and, having no newspapers and clubhouses to 
supply them with fresh matter, they have absolutely 
nothing to say, even their autobiographies refusing to 
yield any new or interesting matter. 

The collections I had dispatched to Sydney had safely 
arrived and were well taken care of by Mr. Moore, the 
director of the Botanic Garden. As the ' Jeddo,' the 
next " Peninsular and Oriental" steamer for England, did 
not leave before the 22nd of December, I took advan- 
tage of my stay to arrange and repack my treasures, and 
Mr. Moore's library and commodious premises were of 
the greatest service to me for that purpose. I remained 
all the time Mr. Moore's guest, as I had been on a for- 
mer occasion, and enjoyed very much the fine garden 
in which his house is situated. Mr. Moore delivers every 
season a series of lectures on botany, and during my stay 
the distribution of prizes took place in the presence of 
a numerous assembly. Dr. George Bennett having only 
recently given a graphic description of the Sydney garden 
in his ' Gatherings of a Naturalist in Australasia,' I 
shall not dwell on a subject to me so tempting, and one 
that confers great credit upon the zealous director of 
the institution. 

Leaving Sydney on the 22nd of December, we made 
Melbourne on Christmas Eve, and King George's Sound 
on the 31st of December. Thence my voyage led to 
Point de Galle, Ceylon, Egypt, and Malta, whence I took 
the French steamer and paid a visit to Sicily and Italy, 
ascending Vesuvius in company of Mr. and Mrs. George 


Macleay, and, returning again to Malta, reached South- 
ampton on the 12th of March, 1861, with no other acci- 
dent than the breaking of the main shaft of the engine, 
between Valetta and Gibraltar. 

The war in New Zealand continuing, it soon became 
apparent that the British Government had no inclination 
to accept the cession of Fiji, but the fact was not officially 
known until May, 1862, when the Wesleyan body had 
intimation of it. They had written, it appears, a letter 
asking for information, and stating at the same time 
that if her Majesty's Government should accept the ces- 
sion, they should feel very much pleased if Colonel 
Smythe was appointed Governor of the new colony. 
Since then the official correspondence relative to the 
Fijian islands has been laid before Parliament ; and the 
public has now ample materials to form an opinion on 
the whole subject. I have simply written an unvar- 
nished account of all I heard and saw, and refrained from 
discussing the rejection of so fine a country from a poli- 
tical point of view. I have no doubt as to the future of 
Fiji. The importance of the group once recognized, 
nothing will stop our race from taking possession of it, 
and replacing barbarism and strife by civilization and 
peaceful industry. 







In accordance with the Board Minute, to report upon the 
Colonial Office letter of the 9th instant, I have to state that — 

The Fiji, or more properly the Viti group, in the south-western 
Pacific, consists of some 200 islands, islets, and rocks, lying be- 
tween latitude 15£° and 19£° south, at about 1900 miles, N.E. 
of Sydney, and 1200 north of Auckland, at the north end of 
New Zealand. The two largest islands may be some 300 miles in 
circumference, or each is about the size of Corsica ; 65 of the islets 
are said to be inhabited, and the whole population of the group 
may be 200,000. 

I propose to reply categorically to the queries contained in 
the Colonial Office letter : — 

Q. 1. If the Fiji Isles be obtained, are all the available har- 
bours obtained in that part of the Pacific ? 

A. 1. Certainly not all, but a great part of them. The 
Friendly or Tonga Islands, only 400 miles to the south-east, 
possesses good harbours, as Tonga-tabu and Vavau. The Samoa 
or Navigator Isles, the same distance to the north-east, have 
good harbours, as Sangopango and Apia. Some of the Society 
Islands also may be available, but lying 1800 miles to the east- 
ward, they may not be considered as within the limits named : 
none of the harbours, however, are superior to those of the Fiji 

2 E 2 


Q. 2. Do the natural harbours now existing require much, if 
any, artificial development for naval purposes ? Whether such 
harbours are few or many ? 

A. 2. There are several roadsteads and harbours in the Fiji 
group, the principal of which is the extensive harbour of Levuka, 
on the eastern side of Ovalau ; this harbour has good holding- 
ground, is easy of access, and has every facility for the supply of 
fruit, vegetables, wood, and water. Gau, on its western side, 
has a sheltered roadstead of large extent. Totoga is surrounded 
by a coral reef, within which is a spacious sheltered anchorage, 
with good holding-ground and an entrance for ships. All the 
above harbours have been thoroughly surveyed by order of the 
Admiralty, and plans of them, on a large scale, are available 
•when required. These natural harbours will not require any 
artificial development for naval purposes. 

3. There is nothing unusual in the tides and currents around 
the Fiji group ; they depend chiefly on the prevailing winds ; nor 
are they of sufficient strength to render the entrance into or 
egress from the harbours dangerous. There is no present ne- 
cessity for buoys, beacons, or lights, but should trade greatly 
increase, or should mail-steamers call by night, a light would 
become necessary. 

4. The Fiji Islands lie nearly in the direct track from Panama 
to Sydney, as will be seen by the annexed chart of the Pacific 
Ocean, on which I have shown that track, as also one by calling 
at the Fijis, whence it appears that the steamer, if she touched 
at one of the Fiji isles for coal, would lengthen her voyage only 
about 320 miles, or one day's run out of 32 days, on a distance 
of 8000 miles. In like manner it appears, that on the voyage 
from Vancouver Island to Sydney, the touching at Fiji would 
lengthen the distance 420 miles in a voyage of 7000 miles. An 
intermediate station between Panama and Sydney will be most 
desirable ; indeed, if the proposed mail route is to be carried out, 
it is indispensable. One of the Society Islands, as lying half- 
way, would be a more convenient coaling station; but as they 
are under French protection it seems doubtful if one could be 
obtained. The Consul at Fiji, in the enclosed papers, hints at 
the possibility of coal being found in one of the islands; if this 


should prove to be the case, it would at once double their value 
as a station. 

In the above statements I have confined myself to answering 
the questions in the Colonial Office letter, but on looking into 
the subject I have been much struck by the entire want by Great 
Britain of any advanced position in the Pacific Ocean. We have 
valuable possessions on either side, as at Vancouver and Sydney, 
but not an islet or a rock in the 7000 miles of ocean that sepa- 
rate them. The Panama and Sydney mail communication is 
likely to be established, yet we have no island on which to place 
a coaling station, and where we could insure fresh supplies. 
* * * * And it may hereafter be found very inconvenient that 
England should be shut out from any station in the Pacific, and 
that an enemy should have possession of Tongatabu, where there 
is a good harbour, within a few hundred miles of the track of 
our homeward-bound gold-ships from Sydney and Melbourne. 
Neither forts nor batteries would be necessary to hold the ground; 
a single cruizing ship should suffice for all the wants of the islands; 
coral reefs and the hearty goodwill of the natives would do the 

I have, etc., 
(Signed) John Washington, 

Admiralty, March 12th, 1859. Hydrograplier. 


The Fiji group of islands is situated in the Pacific Ocean, be- 
tween the meridians of 176° east and 178° west longitude, and 
between the parellels of 15° and 20° south latitude. It is com- 
posed of about 200 islands and islets, of which less than one-half 
is inhabited. Two of the islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu) 
are of unusual size for the Pacific Ocean, having each a circum- 
ference of 250 miles. The islands rise in general abruptly from 


the sea, and present in their bold and irregular outlines the 
peculiar characters of the volcanic formation to which they he- 
long. With the exception of some tracts on the two larger 
islands, but little level land is anywhere to be seen. Almost 
every island is surrounded by a coral reef, either fringing the 
shore, or separated from it by a channel more or less narrow. 

The inhabitants belong to the darker of the two great Poly- 
nesian races, but living on the confines of the lighter-coloured 
race, have received from it some admixture. One language, with 
some varieties of dialect, prevails throughout the group. The 
population is estimated at 200,000, of whom 60,000 are num- 
bered as Christian converts. [67,489 according to exact returns, 
B. S.J The men are generally above the middle height, robust, 
and well-built. Their principal occupation is the cultivation of 
their yam and taro plots, which affords periodical but easy em- 
ployment, sailing in their canoes, fishing, and frequently fighting. 
The chief articles of food are yams, taros, fish, and coco-nuts, 
breadfruit, bananas, and other fruits, the spontaneous productions 
of the soil. Their clothing is extremely scanty, consisting of a 
narrow strip of cloth, or rather paper, prepared from the bark of 
the paper-mulberry. Their houses are constructed of reeds and 
grass on a framework of poles. The floor is the natural soil 
covered with fern leaves and mats; .in the middle is a sunken 
hearth, the smoke from which escapes through the walls and 
roof. Apertures for light other than the doorways are very rare. 
The houses are never isolated, but are crowded together in towns 
or " koros," which are frequently surrounded by a ditch and au 
earthen mound. The natives have raised no permanent struc- 
tures. Although the coral reefs present an inexhaustible supply 
of lime, and they have discovered the art of burning it, they 
make no use of it except as paint, and to plaster their hair with. 
There are no beasts of burden or draught, and consequently no 
roads. The usual mode of moving about and of carriage is by 
canoes. The only mechanics among them are the carpenters or 
canoe-builders, who form an hereditary caste. The women, in 
a few favourable localities, manufacture a rude kind of pottery. 
There are in the group probably not less than forty independent 
tribes, twelve of which, from their superior influence, may be con* 


sidered as virtually to govern it. The names of these are Bau, 
Rewa, Navua, Nadroga, Vunda, Ba, Rakiraki, and Viwa ; round 
the coast of the largest island (Viti Levu), Bua, Macuata, and 
Cakadrove, or the other large island (Vanua Levu), and Lakeba, 
among the windward islands. The rule of the chiefs is absolutely- 
despotic (see p. 231J ; the lives and goods, and to some extent 
the lands of their people, are at their mercy. The number of 
chiefs is very great; almost every "koro" has one or more. They 
differ greatly in rank and influence. In many instances there 
are two great chiefs at the same place, as at Bau. Here one of 
these is called " Rokotuebau," or " Great Chief of Bau," and 
the other " Na Vu-ni-valu," or the " root of war." They are both 
consecrated to their office. At Bau, the " Vu-ni-valu" is the 
principal personage; but in other places, where similar titles 
exist, the " Vu-ni-valu," although charged with special duties in 
the conduct of war, has but little power. 

South-eastward of Fiji, at a distance of 250 miles, lie the 
Friendly or Tonga Islands. The inhabitants belong to the 
lighter-coloured Polynesian race. They have long had inter- 
course with the nearer islands of Fiji, attracted by the fine timber 
for canoes which they afford. Canoes are built on the spot where 
the material is found ; the construction of a large one occupies 
several years. 

In 1822 the English Wesleyan Methodist Society commenced 
a mission in Tonga, which led at a later period to the intro- 
duction of Christianity into Fiji. This event took place in 
1835, when two missionaries from Tonga landed at Lakeba, the 
principal of the eastern islands, and where many Tonguese 
were located. The success of these missionaries was so encou- 
raging, that their Society gradually added to their number, and 
eventually formed the Fiji group into a separate missionary 

The number of Tonguese in Fiji fluctuates considerably, but 
may be taken at an average at from 300 to 400. Of late years 
they have taken an active part in Fijian wars, sometimes helping 
one chief, sometimes another, and invariably with success. They 
are distinguished by daring, coupled with unity and discipline, — 
qualities in which the Fijians are most wretchedly deficient.. 


They possess strong feelings of nationality, and own ready obe- 
dience to their chief, Maafu, a near relative to the king of Tonga. 
Native agency is largely employed by the missionaries in Fiji, 
and many of the most efficient teachers are Tonguese. In cases 
where Tonguese teachers have been ill-treated by the heathen 
natives, Maafu has interfered as the protector of his countrymen. 
In this manner, while extending his own influence, he has ren- 
dered safer the position of the native teachers. [Compare Chapter 
XV.] The presence of the Tonguese in Fiji has been far from an 
unmixed benefit. Their conduct has often been in direct con- 
tradiction to their profession of Christianity, and the help which 
they have afforded to the chiefs has occasioned much oppression 
to the people in the contributions levied to recompense their 
services. The population of the Tonga group does not exceed a 
tenth of that of Fiji ; yet from the mental and physical superiority 
of the Tonguese, their courage and discipline, and the dread of 
them established among the Fijians, there is little doubt that 
they could easily make themselves masters of Fiji, — an enterprise 
which George, King of Tonga, has been said to meditate. 

The permanent white residents in Fiji amount to about 200, 
composed chiefly of men who have Left or run away from vessels 
visiting the islands. They are principally British subjects, citi- 
zens of the United States, with a few French and Germans; the 
two former are the most numerous. They traffic with the natives 
for produce, which they dispose of to vessels. They do nothing 
to civilize or improve the natives ; on the contrary, they have 
in many instances fallen to a lower level. Whenever they can 
obtain spirits, mosfrof them drink to excess. From false infor. 
mation given in the colonial journals regarding the acceptance 
by Her Majesty of the sovereignty of the islands, and their ad- 
vantages for settlers, a considerable number of people were in- 
duced to visit them during last year. Discovering on their 
arrival the true state of affairs, many of them hastened to return 
to the colonies, and the greater number of the remainder will 
probably follow. They were generally of a much superior class 
to the old white residents. [The latest intelligence received from 
Fiji states the number of respectable white residents to be in- 
creasing. — B. S.] 


Besides the British Consul, there is a Consul for the United 
States of America residing in Fiji. 

The principal articles of produce are cocoa-nut oil, tortoise- 
shell, pearl-shell, and arrowroot. Formerly considerable quan- 
tities of sandal-wood and Mche-de-mer were carried to China, 
but this trade has now nearly ceased. The staple article of 
produce is cocoa-nut oil, of which about 200 tons are annually 

The sugar-cane and coffee-tree both grow well, and may in 
time contribute to the exports from Fiji. [Dr. Brower and Mr. 
Whippy, Americans, have, according to recent intelligence, set 
up a sugar-cane crushing-machine and coppers. — B. S.~\ 

The climate of Fiji is not unhealthy ; fevers are almost un- 
known. The most fatal disease to Europeans is dysentery. The 
mean temperature of the whole year is probably about 80°. 
Much rain falls, especially during the summer months of Ja- 
nuary, February, and March. At this season thunder-storms 
are frequent. Hurricanes scarcely ever occur except in these 
months, and frequently several years in succession pass without 
any. During the remainder of the year easterly winds prevail. 
Of the meteorology of Fiji more precise information will soon be 
obtained, as I brought out with me from the Meteorological De- 
partment of the Board of Trade a complete set of instruments. 

The three principal reasons stated in my instructions as hav- 
ing been urged for accepting the sovereignty of the Fiji islands 
are — 

1st. That they may prove a useful station for any mail steam- 
ers running between Panama and Sydney. 
2nd. That they may afford a supply of cotton. 
3rd. And, in close connection with the first reason, that 
their possession is important to the national power and 
security in the Pacific. 

On the first head I beg to refer to the accompanying chart of 
the Pacific Ocean, on which I have traced the great circle lines 
joining Sydney, Panama, and Fiji, or, in other words, the lines 
of shortest distance on the globe between these places. The line 
from Sydney to Panama, it will be seen, crosses the northern 
island of New Zealand almost in the latitude of Auckland, and 


passes to the south of the great field of the Pacific Islands. The 
distance by this line from Sydney to Panama is 7626 nautical 
miles. The distance from Sydney to Fiji is 1735 miles, and from 
Fiji to Panama 6250, making the distance from Sydney to Pa- 
nama, by way of Fiji, 7985 miles, or 359 miles longer than by the 
direct line. The latter line would be augmented by about 100 
miles by the necessity of having to round the northern extremity 
of New Zealand. There would still remain a difference of 260 
miles in favour of the Auckland route. The route by Fiji, besides 
being the longer, traverses the Pacific Archipelagoes, the navi- 
gation among which is undoubtedly difficult and dangerous, from 
the reefs and shoals in which they abound, and the occurrence 
of hurricanes at certain seasons. [Compare Admiral Washing- 
ton's more favourable view, as expressed in his official report 
above. — B. S.~\ 

2ndly. Regarding the supply of cotton. The cotton plant is 
not indigenous in Fiji.* From the concurring evidence of the 
natives in all parts of the group, its first introduction may be 
fixed at twenty-five years ago. As six different varieties are now 
found, it is probable that since its first introduction fresh seeds 
have from time to time been brought by vessels visiting these 
islands. The natives do not cultivate it, and make scarcely any 
use of it. Dr. Seemann brought out with him last year some 
cotton seed, presented by the " Manchester Cotton Supply Asso- 
ciation," for distribution in Fiji. It was of two kinds, " Sea 
Island," and " New Orleans." None of the former kind ger- 
minated, but the New Orleans proved very good. In an experi- 
ment made under Dr. Seemann's own direction, the seed was 
sown on the 9th of June, and when he visited the plot again on 
the 18th of October, the plants were from four to seven feet high, 
and had some very fine ripe pods upon them. Since Mr. Pritch- 
ard's return from England at the end of 1859, some of the 

* Most of the newspapers took this fact to be a serious drawback to the 
successful cultivation of cotton, quite forgetting that cotton is not indi- 
genous to the United States and many other countries in which it flou- 
rishes. I made exactly the same statement (" cotton is not indigenous in 
Fiji "), but added that notwithstanding it had become almost wild in some 
parts, so well is the country adapted for its growth. — B. S. 


native chiefs have been induced to encourage the growth of cot- 
ton, and a few young plants are now to he seen in the native 
gardens in various places. Very little, however, can be expected 
for some time from the natives. They will only be induced to 
raise cotton by meeting with a ready sale for the small quan- 
tities which they will bring in at first. The cultivation of cotton 
by white settlers is principally a question of land and labour. In 
a general way it may be said that there is not an acre of land in 
Fiji which is not private property, the ownership resting either in 
families or in individuals. A small portion of the land only at 
any one time is under cultivation, as a narrow patch of ground 
supplies the wants of a Fijian household, and the custom is to 
break up frequently new ground and abandon the old. On the 
subject of the purchase of land by whites, I made particular in- 
quiry of the chiefs at each of the public meetings ; the general 
reply was, that an agreement made with the owners, if approved 
by the chief, would hold good. In the older purchases of land 
by whites, when the quantity exceeded what was required for a 
house, the native residents were not interfered with, as no culti- 
vation of land was attempted. In a few recent cases, where pur- 
chases have been effected by the whites who came last year to 
the islands, and who, with the view of forming plantations, 
wished to remove the natives from the land, opposition from the 
latter has been met with. By a clearer understanding with the 
owners before the purchase was concluded, these difficulties would 
probably have been avoided. The only mode hitherto of ob- 
taining labour has been through the instrumentality of the chiefs, 
who send a party of their people to perform the work agreed 
upon and receive the payment, which they distribute at their 
pleasure. This system would not meet the daily demand of la- 
hour required in a cotton plantation. The general habits and 
sentiments of the Fijians are opposed to the acquisition of pro- 
perty by individuals. The chief seizes anything belonging to his 
people that takes his fancy, and as readily gives it away, and the 
people are equally ready to beg and to give. As the influence 
of Christianity increases, the rule of the chiefs will become more 
mild, and private rights will be more respected. It is very doubt- 
ful, however, whether the people will become more industrious, 


their wants being so few, and being so easily supplied. Although 
capable of making a considerable exertion for a short period, the 
natives disliko regular and continuous employment. On the 
whole, I am of opinion that whether by natives or by white 
planters with native labourers, the supply of cotton from Fiji 
can never be otherwise than insignificant. [Compare Chapter 
III., where the cotton question is regarded in a more favourable 
light.— B. S.~] 

3rdly. Regarding the importance of the possession of the Fiji 
Islands to the national power and security in the Pacific. In- 
fluence of a great power in the Pacific is dependent entirely on 
its naval force. By the possession of Australia and New Zealand 
England completely commands the western portion of the Pacific. 
In these colonies naval armaments can be recruited and equipped, 
and perhaps in a few years may even be created. No group in 
the Pacific can ever offer these advantages, and the possession of 
one, in the western section more especially, is not only not re- 
quired, but would be a source of embarrassment in the event of 
war. [Compare Admiral Washington's opinion. — B. $.] The 
Fiji Islands do not lie in the path of any great commercial 
route. The whole of the Pacific Archipelagoes lie to the north 
of the direct line from the Australian colonies to Panama and 
South America, and south of the line from Panama and North 
America to China and India. All that it seems necessary for 
England to possess in the Pacific is an island with a good har- 
bour, midway between Auckland and Panama, in the steam- 
packet route. Pitcairn's island is nearly in the required position, 
but it has no harbour. If a suitable island in its neighbourhood 
could be found, it would become, in addition to a coaling station 
for steam-vessels, the entrepot of the pearl-shell and other trade 
which now centres in Tahiti, and afford a very favourable place 
of rendezvous for a squadron to protect our shipping homeward- 
bound from Australia and the Pacific. 

Of the native population of Fiji, less than one-third profess the 
Christian religion ; among the remainder cannibalism, strangu- 
lation of widows, infanticide, and other enormities, prevail to a 
frightful extent. Should the sovereignty of the islands be ac- 
cepted by Her Majesty, the suppression of these inhuman prac- . 


tices would be put into immediate execution. For this service, 
and for the general support of the Government, a force of not 
less than the wing of a regiment would be required, in addition 
to a ship of war, with a tender of light draught, both steamers. 
The expenses of a civil establishment, composed on a sufficient 
scale to act efficiently on the condition of the natives, would pro- 
bably not fall short of £7000 a year. The only mode of raising 
a revenue would appear to be by a capitation tax ; customs duties 
would be so small as not to cover the cost of collection, if the 
importation of ardent spirits were prohibited (see p. 81), as a 
regard for the welfare of the natives would imperatively demand. 
For many years the Government would be necessitated to accept 
the tax in kind, as the natives have no circulating medium of 
exchange ; and a still longer period would elapse before the is- 
lands became self-supporting. Looking solely at the interests of 
civilization, the forcible and immediate suppression of the bar- 
barous practices of the heathen portion of the population might 
appear a very desirable act ; yet, in beneficial influence on the 
native character, it might prove less real and permanent than the 
more gradual operation of missionary teaching. The success 
which has attended the missionaries in Fiji has been very re- 
markable, and presents every prospect of continuance. The prin- 
cipal tribes at present without missionaries or native teachers 
are willing to receive them, and there appears nothing wanting 
but time and a sufficiency of instructors to render the whole of 
the inhabitants professing Christians. Judging from the present 
state of the Sandwich Islands, and the former condition of Ta- 
hiti, it would seem that the resources of the Pacific Islands can 
be best developed, and the welfare of their inhabitants secured, 
by a native government aided by the counsels of respectable 

On a review of the foregoing considerations, and the conclu- 
sions derived from a personal examination of the islands and the 
people, I am of opinion that it would not be expedient that Her 
Majesty's Government should accept the offer which has been 
made to cede to Her Majesty the sovereignty over the Fiji 

Having thus stated the conclusion to which my inquiries have 


led me regarding the offer to Her Majesty of the sovereignty of 
the Fiji Islands, I would beg leave to add a few suggestions to- 
wards the improvement of our relations with them. The great 
hindrance to the progress of civilization and Christianity among 
the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands, is the conduct and example 
of the whites residing or roving among them. Of the general 
character of these men in Fiji I have already spoken. During 
the few months I have been in the group, a case of arson, one 
of theft, one of burglary, and one of aggravated assault, have oc- 
curred among them. The great difficulty in these cases is the 
want of legal authority to arrest suspected persons, and of a 
proper and safe place in which to keep them. The only British 
functionary is the Consul, and he is powerless in these respects. 
To remedy these evils, 1 would suggest that the Consul have 
conferred on him some of the powers of a magistrate ; that two 
constables (married men, selected either from the police or the 
army) be sent out from England ; and that a stone lock-up house 
be erected for the safe custody of offenders, until there is an 
opportunity of sending them to the colonies for trial, or they are 
otherwise disposed of. The place of residence of the Consul is a 
matter of considerable importance. The principal white settle- 
ment in Fiji at present is at Levuka, on the island of Ovalau. 
It owed its selection to political causes in disturbed times. Its 
harbour may be considered good, but the hills rise abruptly from 
the beach and shut it in, and it is dependent on other places 
for much of its supplies. The present British Consul has an 
office at Levuka, but he resides at a further part of the island of 

The locality best adapted in Fiji for a white settlement is the 
country round the harbour of Suva in Viti Levu, the largest of 
the islands. It is rich, level, and well-watered. The harbour is, 
perhaps, the best in the group ; it is easy of access, can be en- 
tered and quitted with all the prevailing winds, and has com- 
munication within the reef with a great extent of coast. If the 
British Consulate were permanently established in this locality, 
a white settlement would spring up near it, which, if the Consul, 
were armed with the powers suggested above, would not be dis- 
graced by the scenes of drunkenness and rioting so prevalent at 


Levuka, and would be of eminent service in developing the na- 
tural resources of the Fiji Islands. 

Fiji Islands, May 1st, 1861. 


The Vitian Islands were until 1840 a virgin soil, and still offer a 
tempting field for botanical exploratiSns. Absolutely nothing was 
known of their Flora until Messrs. Hinds and Barclay, who accom- 
panied Sir Edward Belcher in H.M.S. Sulphur, collected a few 
specimens in the neighbourhood of Bewa, Viti Levu, and Bua 
Bay in Yanua Levu, afterwards described by Mr. Bentham in the 
'London Journal of Botany,' vol. ii., and the Botany of H.M.S. 
Sulphur. About the same time (1840) Yiti was visited by the 
United States Exploring Expedition, Commander Wilkes, and con- 
siderable collections were made by Messrs. Brackenridge, Eich, and 
Pickering, furnishing the materials for Professor Asa Gray's cele- 
brated ' Botany of the United States Exploring Expedition.' In 
1856, H.M.S. Herald, Captain Denham, E.N., explored different 
parts ' of the group, and Mr. Milne, his botanical collector, was 
enabled to add a good number of species to our knowledge. 
Another visit was paid to the group by that indefatigable bo- 
tanist Professor Harvey, of Trinity College, Dublin, productive of 
many new types. In 1860 I collected about 800 species and made 
a great many notes of the country explored. Whilst part of the 
latter, relating to the resources and vegetable productions, were 
embodied in an official report, addressed to his Grace the Duke of 
Newcastle, and presented to Parliament by command of her Majesty, 
a preliminary list of the former was published by me in the ' Bon- 
plandia,' vol. ix. p. 253 (1861). Since then I have had time to ex- 
amine the plants more closely and correct a few errors crept in. 
Other botanists have also been led to study the materials collected 
by me and publish the result. Prof. A. Gray has carefully collated 
my plants with those published by him in the ' Botany of the United 
States Exploring Expedition ' and the ' Proceedings of the American 



Academy,' the result of which has been given in the ' Bonplandia,' 
x. 34 (1862), and also in the Proceedings of the Academy named. 
As there are very few original specimens in Europe of the numer- 
ous new types described by that eminent savant, these papers are 
invaluable to the working botanist. Mr. Mitten has examined 
all my Mosses and Hepaticse (Bonpl. ix. 365, and Bonpl. x. 19); 
amongst the 35 species collected there being 20 new ones. For 
the determination of the Ferns I am indebted to Mr. Smith, at 
Kew ; for that of the Fungi, to the Bev. M. J. Berkeley ; for that 
of the Palms, to Mr. "Wendland ; the Lichens to the Eev. Churchill 
Babington, and the Aroidese to Mr. Schott, at Vienna, who has 
also described the new species (Bonplandia, ix. 367, seq.) ; for my 
own part, I have begun to describe the new genera and species in 
the ' Bonplandia,' ix. and x., and given coloured illustrations drawn 
by the skilful pencil of Mr. Fitch. In the following catalogue will 
be found embodied the result of all these labours, and also all the 
species enumerated by previous authors. The numbers which follow 
the different species refer to my distributed collections, and those 
remitted to me by Mr. J. Storck, who was my able assistant, and is 
now a permanent resident in Fiji. 

Clematis Pickeringii, A. Gray (1) . 

Capellia biflora, A. Gray ; vulgo ' Ku- 

lava' vel 'Kukulava' (2). 
C. membranifolia, A. Gray. 

Anona squamosa, Linn. Cultivated (3). 
Richella monosperma, A. Gray. 
TJvaria amygdalina, A. Gray. 
TJ. odorata, Lam. ; vulgo 'Makosoi' (5). 
Polyalthia Yitiensis, Seem. (4). 


Myristica oastanesefolia, A. 


vulgo 'Male' (6). 

M. macrophylla, A. Gray ; 


'Male' (7). 

M. sp. ; vulgo ' Male ' (866). 

Cardamine sarmentosa, Porst. (8). 
Sinapis nigra, Linn. Cultivated and 
naturalized (9). 

Capparis Richii, A. Gray. 

Xylosma orbiculatuni, Forst. (10). 

Casearia disticha, A. Gray (11). 
C. ? aeuminatisBima, A. Gray. 
C. Eicliii, A. Gray. 

Agathea violaris, A. Gray, et var. (12) . 
Alsodeia ? sp. ; vulgo ' Sesirakavono ' 

Mollugo striata, Linn. (230). 

Portulaea oleracea, Linn, j vulgo ' Tau- 

kuka ni vuaka' (13). 
P. quadrifida, Linn. ; vulgo ' Taukuiu 

ni vuaka ' (14) . 
Talinum patens, Willd. (15). 
Sesuvium Portulacastrum, Linn. 



Sida linifolia, Cav. 
S. rhombifolia, Linn. (16). 
S. retusa, Linn. 
Urena lobata, Linn. (17). 
U. moriifolia, De Cand. 
Abelmoschus moschatus, Moench ; vulgo 

'"WaHwaki' (19,869). 
A. canaranus, Miq. ? (20). 
A. Manihot, Med. ; vulgo * Bele,' vel 

'VauvauniViti' (18). 
A. esculentus, Wight et Arn. Culti- 
vated, according to A. Gray. 
Hibiscus Bosa-Sinensis, Linn. ; vulgo 

'Kauti,' 'Senitoa,' vel 'Seniciobia' 

H. Storckii, Seem. ; vulgo ' Seqelu ' 

H. diversifolius, Jacq. ; vulgo ' Kala- 

uaisoni,' vel ' Kalakalauaisoni ' (21) . 
Paritium purpurascens, Seem. ; vulgo 

' Vau damudamu ' (24) . 
P. tiliaceum, Juss. j vulgo ' Vau dina ' 

P. tricuspis, Guill. vulgo 'Vau dra' 

Thespesia populnea, Corr. ; vulgo ' Mu- 

lomulo' (7). 
Gossypium religiosum, Linn. ; vulgo 

' Vauvau ni papalagi ' (28) . 
G. Peruvianum, Cav. ; vulgo ' Vau- 
vau ni papalagi' (29). 
G. Barbadense, Linn. ; vulgo ' Vauvau 

ni papalagi' (30). 
G. arboreum, Linn, et var. ; vulgo 

' Vauvau ni papalagi ' (81, 32). 

Heritiera littoralis, Dryand. ; vulgo 

' Eena ivi na alewa Kalou ' (33). 
Pirmiana diversifolia, Gray. 

Commersonia platyphylla, De Cand. 

Buttneriacearum gen. nov. aff. Commer- 

soniee (83). 
Kleinhovia hospita, Linn.; vulgo 

'Mamakara' (35). 

Waltheria Americana, Linn. (36). 
Meloehia Vitiensis, A. Gray (37). 

Triumfetta procumbens, Forst. (38). 
Grewiapersiceefolia, A. Gray(= G. Mal- 

lococca, var. p) ; vulgo ' Siti' (39). 
G. prunifolia, A. Gray ; vulgo ' Siti ' 

G. Mallococca, L. fil. 
Trichospermum Bichii, Seem. (= Dicli- 

docarpus Bichii, A. Gray) ; vulgo 

'Maku' (41,870). 
Elfeocarpus laurifolius, A. Gray. 
E. cassinoides, A. Gray. 
E. pyriformis, A. Gray. 
E. Storckii, Seem. sp. nov. (E. aff. spe- 

ciosi, Brongn. et Gris.) ; vulgo * Gai- 


Draytonia rubicunda, A. Gray; vulgo 

•Zau alewa' (42, 872). 
Eurya Vitiensis, A. Gray (43). 
E. acuminata, De Cand. (44). 
Ternstroemiacearum gen. nov. (45). 

Discostigma Vitiense, A. Gray. 
Calysaceion obovale, Miq. (= Garcinia 

Mangostana, A. Gray in United St. 

Expl. Exped.) ; vulgo ' Vetao' vel 

'Lvitai' (46). 
CalophyUum Inophyllum, Linn. ; vulgo 

'Dilo' (48,873). 
C. Burmanni, Wight ; vulgo ' Damanu' 

C. (polyanthum, Wall. ? v. lanceolatum, 

Bl. ? = C. spectabile, "United St. 

Expl. Exped. ; vulgo ' Damanu dilo- 

dilo') (47). 
Garcinia sessilis, Seem. (Clusia sessilis, 

Porst. 51). 
G. pedicellata, Seem. (Clusia pedicel- 

lata, Porst. 50). 


Pittosporum arborescens, Bich. 
P. Bichii, A. Gray; vulgo 'Tadiri' 

P. Brackenridgei, A.Gray (55). 

2 P 



P. tobiroides, A. Gray (56). 
P. Piekeringii, A. Gray (53). 
P. rhytidocarpum, A. Gray (52). 

Micromelum minutum, Seem. (M. gla- 

brescens, Bth. ; Limonia minuta, 

Porst.) ; vulgo ' Qiqila ' teste Wil- 
liams (57). 
Citrus vulgaris, Bisso (C. torosa, 

Picker.) ; vulgo ' Moli kurikuri ' 

C. Aurantium, Eisso j vulgo ' Moli ni 

Tahaiti.'— Cult. 
C. Decumana, Linn. ; vulgo ' Moli 

kana.' Cultivated and naturalized. 
C. Limonum, Eisso ; vulgo ' Moli 

kara. ' 

Aglaia edulis, A. Gray (Milnea edulis, 

Boxb.) ; vulgo ' Danidani loa.' 
A. ? basiphylla, A. Gray. 
Didimochyton Eicon, A. Gray. 
Xyloearpus Granatum, Keen. ; vulgo 

'Dabi' (61). 
X. obovatus, A. Juss. (var. precedent. ? 

Vavsea amicoruni, Benth. (63). 
Meliae sp. nov. (64). 

Cardiospermum mieroearpum, H. B. et 

K. ; vulgo 'Voniu' (65). 
Sapindus Vitiensis, A. Gray (66). 
Cupania felcata, A. Gray (70) . 
C. Vitiensis, Seem, (an var. prseced.? 

C. rhoifolia, A. Gray ; vulgo ' Buka ni 

vuda' (74, 69). 
C. apetala, Labill. (67). 
C. Brackenridgei, A. Gray. 
C. leptobotrys, A. Gray. 
Hephelium pinnatum, Camb. ; vulgo 

' Dawa,' et var. plur. (71) . 
Dodonsea triquetra, Andr. ; vulgo 

'Wase' teste Williams (72). 

Hiptage Javanica, Bl. ? 
H. myrtifolia, A. Gray. 

Vitis saponaria, Seem. (=: Cissus geni- 
culata, A. Gray, non Bl.) ; vulgo 
'WaBoturotu' (76). 

V. Vitiensis, Seem. (Cissus Vitiensis, 
A. Gray). 

V. acuminata, Seem. (Cissus acumi- 
nata, A. Gray) (77). 

Leea sambucina, Linn. (78). 

Smythea pacifica, Seem. Bonpl. t. 9 

Ventilago ? Vitiensis, A. Gray (an 

Smy these spec. ? = cernua, Tul.). 
Colubrina Asiatica, Brongn. j vulgo 

'Vusolevu' (80). 
C. Vitiensis, Seem. sp. nov. (85). 
Alphitonia zizyphoides, A. Gray ( = 

A. franguloides A. Gray) ; vulgo 

'Doi' (81). 
Gouania Eichii, A. Gray (82). 
G. denticulata, A. Gray. 
Ehamnea dubia (84). 

Chailletia Vitiensis, Seem. sp. nov. (876). 

Catha Vitiensis, A. Gray (86). 
Celastrus Eichii, A. Gray. 

Ilex Vitiensis, A. Gray (87). 

Ximenia elliptica, Porst. ; vulgo 'Somi- 

somi,' ' Tumitomi,' vel ' Tomitomi ' 

Stemonurus? sp.; vulgo 'Duvu' (877). 
Olacinea? (878). 

Oxalis corniculata, Linn. ; vulgo ' Toto- 

vriwi' (89). 

Evodia hortensis, Porst. ; vulgo ' TJci,' 

vel'Salusalu' (91). 
E. longiiblia, A. Eich. (92). 
E. drupacea, Labill.? (90). 
Acronychia petiolaris, A. Gray. 



Zanthoxylon variana, Benth. (= Acro- 
nychia heterophylla, A. Gray 
(102, 879). 

Z. Roxburghianum, Cham, et Schlecht. 

Z. sp. (n. 104). 

Soulamea amara, Lam. 
Amaroria Boulameoides, A. Gray 
Brucea? ap. (105). 

Brackenridgea nitida, A. Gray (93). 

Oncocarpus atra, Seem. (O. Vitiensi8, 

A. Gray; Rhus atrum, Forst.) ; vulgo 

'KauKaro' (94,881) 
Buchanania florida, Schauer (882). 
Rhus simarubaefolia, A. Gray (95) . 
Eh. Taiteneis, Guill? (96). 

Canarium Vitienae, A. Gray (97). 
Evia dulcis, Comm. ; Tulgo ' Wi ' 

Dracontomelon aylvestre, Blum. ; vulgo 

'Tarawau' (99). 
Dr. sp.? (100). 

Rourea heterophylla, Planch. 
Connarua Pickeringii, A. Gray (101). 

I. Papilionacese : — 
Crotalaria quinquefolia, Linn. 
Indigofera Anil, Linn. (106). 
Tephrosia purpurea, Pers. (T. piaeatoria, 

Ormocarpus aennoidea, De Cand. 
Uraria lagopodioidee, De Cand. (108). 
Desmodium unibellatum, W. et Am. 

D. australe, Bth. (Hedysarum, Willd.) 
D. polycarpum, De Cand. (111). 
Abrus precatorius, Linn. ; vulgo ' Qiri 

damu,' 'Leredamu,' vel 'Diridamu' 

Canavalia obtusifolia, De Cand. (122). 

C. turgida, Grah. (112). 

C. aericea, A. Gray. 
Glycine Tabaeina, Bth. (123). 
Mucuna gigantea, De Cand. (119). 
M. platyphylla, A. Gray (200). 
Erythrina Indiea, Linn. ; vulgo, ' Drala 

dina,' (125) et var. fl. albis. 
E. ovalifolia, Boxb. ; yulgo 'Drala 

kaka' (124). 
Strongylodon ruber, Vogel (113). 
Phaseolus roatratus, Wall. 
Ph. Mungo, Linn. ? 
Ph. Truxillensia, H. B. et K. (116). 
Vigna lutea, A. Gray (121). 
Lablab vulgaris, Savi; vulgo 'Drala- 

wa' (118). 
Cajanus Indieus, Spr. Introd. (115). 
Pongamia glabra, Vent. ; vulgo ' Vesi- 

vesi, v. ' Vesi ni wai ' (126, 884). 
Derris uliginosa, Benth. ; vulgo 'Duwa 

gaga' (127,883) 
Dalbergia monosperma, Dalz. (128). 

D. torta, Grah. 

Pterocarpus Indieus, Willd. ; vulgo 

'Cibicibi' (129). 
Sophora tomentoaa, Linn. ; vulgo 'Kau 

nialewa' (130,886). 

II. Cseaalpineoe : — 
Guilandina Bonduc, Ait. ; vulgo ' Soni ' 

Poinciana pulcherrima, Linn..^Cult. 
Storckiella Vitiensis, Seem, in Bonpl. t. 

6; vulgo 'Maraaa' (133). 
Cassia occidentalis, Linn, vulgo 'Kau 

moce' (134). 
C. obtuaifolia, Linn. ; vulgo ' Kau moce' 

C. laevigata, Willd. ; vulgo ' Winivi- 

kau' (136). 
C. glauca, Lam. 
Afzelia bijuga, A. Gray j vulgo ' Veai ' 

Cynometra grandiflora, A. Gray (138) . 
C. falcata, A. Gray. 
Inocarpua edulis, ForBt. ; vulgo ' Ivi ' 


III. MimoBeae : — 

Entada scandens, Bth. ; vulgo ' Wa lai,' 
v. 'Watagiri' (139). 

2 F 2 



Mimosa pudica, Linn. Naturalized (140). 

Leucsena glauca, Bth. (141) 

L. Forsteri, Benth. (142). 

Acacia laurifolia, Willd. ; vulgo ' Tata- 

kia' (143). 
A. Kichii, A. Gray; vulgo 'Q.ranu' 

Serianthes myriadenia, Planch. 
S. Yitiensis, A. Gray; yulgo 'Vaivai' 


Parinarium laurinum, A. Gray (= P. ? 
Margarata, A. Gray = P . insularum, 
A. Gray) ; vulgo ' Makita' (146). 

Rubus tiliaceus, Smith; vulgo 'Wa 
gadrogadro' (147). 

Barringtonia speciosa, Linn. ; vulgo 

' Tutu rakaraka ' (148). 
B. Samoensis, A. Gray ; vulgo ' Vutu 

niwai' (149). 
B. excelsa, Blume ; vulgo ' Vutu kana' 

B. sp. 
Eugenia (Jambosa) Malaccensis, Linn. ; 

vulgo ' Kavika:' var. o, floribus albLs, 

vulgo ' Kavika vulovulo ;' var. 0, 

floribu3 purpureis, vulgo ' Kavika 

damudamu ' (161) . 
E. (Jambosa) Bichii, A. Gray ; vulgo 

'Bokoi' (164). 
E. (Jambosa) sp. (an Eichii var. ?) ; 

vulgo 'Sea' (165). 
E. (Jambosa) quadrangulata, A. Gray. 
E. (Jambosa) graeilipes, A. Gray ; 

vulgo ' Lutulutu,' vel ' Bogioalewa ' 

E. (Jambosa) neurocalyx, A. Gray; 

vulgo 'Leba' (159). 
E. rariflora, Bth. (160). 
E. Braekenridgei, A. Gray (155). 
E. confertiflora, A. Gray. 
E. sp. nov. confertiflor. proxima (156). 
E. effusa, A. Gray (151). 
E. amicorum, Benth. (152). 
E. rubescens, A. Gray; vulgo 'Yasi 

dravu' (154). 

E. corynoearpa, A. Gray (153). 

E. rivularis, Seem.; vulgo 'Yasi ni 

wai' (162). 
E. Grayi, Seem. sp. nov. fl. purpu- 
reis (163). 
Nelitris fruticosa (A. Gray). 
N. Vitiensis, A. Gray; vulgo 'Nuqa- 

nuqa' (166,888). 
Acicalyptus myrtoides, A. Gray. 
A. Seemanni, A. Gray (168). 
Metrosideros collina, A. Gray; vulgo 

'Vuga' (169,889). 
M. sp. fl. luteis (170). 
M. sp. fl. coccineis (171). 

Memecylon Vitiense, A. Gray et var. 

Astronia Pickeringii, A. Gray. 
A. confertiflora, A. Gray (174). 
A. Storckii, Seem., sp. nov. ; vulgo 

"Cavacava' (890). 
Astronidium parviflorum, A. Gray 

Anplectrum ? ovalifohum, A. Gray. 
Medinilla heterophylla, A. Gray (175) . 
M. rhodoehlsena, A.Gray; vulgo ' Cara- 

raca ra i resiga ' (177, 891) . 
M. sp. (182). 
M. sp. (75). 
M. sp. (175). 

Melastoma Yitiense, Naud. (180). 
M. polyanthum, Bl. ? (179). 
Melastomacea (181). 

Ehytidandra Yitiensis, A. Gray. 

Haplopetalon Eichii , A. Giray. 
H. Seemanni, A. Gray (184). 
Crossostylis biflora, Forst. 
Ehizophora mucronata, Lam. ; vulgo 

Bruguiera Ehumphii, Bl. (186). 

Lumnitzera coccinea, Willd. ; vulgo 

'SagaK' (189). 
Terminalia Catappa, Linn. ; vulgo ' Ta- 

vola' (187). 



P. Moluccana, Lam. ; vulgo ' Tm ' 

T. glabrata, Forst. ? 

Passiflora, sp. fl. viridibus (190) . 

Carica Papaya, Linn. ; vulgo ' Oleti,' 
Introd. (190). 

Karivia Samoensis, A. Gray (192) . 
Luffa insularum, A. Gray (193). 
Cucumis pubescens, Willd. (194) . 
Lagenaria vulgaris, Ser. (195). 

Spirgeanthemum Vitiense, A. Gray. 
Sp. Katakata, Seem., sp. nov. ; vulgo 

'Katakata' (196). 
Weinmannia affinis, A. Gray, (197,) et 

var. (199 et 200). 
W. Richii, A. Gray. 
W. epirffioides, A. Gray. 
W. sp. (198). 
Geissois temata, A. Gray; vulgo ' Vuga' 


Hydrocotyle Asiatica, Linn. ; vulgo 

'Totono' (202). 

Aralia Titiensis, A. Gray (203) . 
Panax fruticosum, Linn. ; vulgo ' Dani- 

dani' (204). 
Paratropia ? multijuga, A. Gray ; vulgo 

'Danidani' (205). 
Plerandra Piekeringii, A. Gray. 
P. Grayi, Seem., sp. nov. (206 et 209). 
P.? sp. nov. (208). 
P. sp. (207). 

Loranthus insularum, A. Gray ; vulgo 

Ii. Titiensis, Seem. (210). 
L. Forsterianus, Schult. 
Tiscum articulatum, Burm. (212). 

Balanophora fungosa, Forst. 


I. Coffeacese : — 
Coprosma persicaefolia, A. Gray. 
Geophila reniformis, Cham, et 

Schlecht. (239). 
Cbasalia amicorum, A. Gray? (241). 
Psycbotria Brackenridgei, A. Gray. 
P. Forsteriana, A. Gray, var. Titiensis, 

A. Gray (236). 
P. turbinata, A. Gray. 
P. tephrosantha, A. Gray. 
P. parvula, A. Gray. 
P. gracilis, A. Gray. 
P. calyeosa, A. Gray ? (246). 
P. macrocalyx, A. Gray (243). 
P. filipes, A. Gray. 
P. hypargyrsea, A. Gray. 
P. (Piptilema) cordata, A. Gray. 
P. (Piptilema) Piekeringii, A. Gray 

P. (Piptilema) platycocca, A. Gray 

P. insularum, A. Gray? (250). 
P. collina, Labill. (244 et 254). 
P. sarmentosa, Blum. (245). 
P. sp. ; vulgo ' Wa kau :' ramis scan- 

dentibus sarmentosis (895). 
P. sp. foliis bullatis (248). 
P. sp. nov. aff. filipedis (253). 
P. sp. nov. aff. Brackenridgei (255), 
P. sp. aff. Brackenridgei (259). 
Calycosia petiolata, A. Gray. 
C. pubiflora, A. Gray (214). 
C. Milnei, A.Gray; vulgo. ' Kau wait ' 

(213, 892). 
Ixora Titiensis, A. Gray (247) ; Pa- 

vetta triflora, De Cand. ; Coffea tri- 

flora, Forst. ; Ceph,aelis? fragrans, 

Hook, et Arn. 
I. sp. nov. (258). 
I. sp. ; vulgo ' Kau sulu' (893). 
Canthium sessilifolium,' A. Gray. 
C. lueidum, Hook, et Am.; Coffea odo- 

rata, Forst. (220 et 221). 
Morinda umbellata, Linn. (222). 
M. myrtifoHa, A. Gray; foliis majori- 

bus (an v. M. umbellatse?) (223). 
M. mollis, A. Gray (224). 
M. pbillyreoides, Labill. (226). 



M. citrifolia, Linn. ; vulgo ' Kura,' v. 

'Elurakana' (225). 
M. luoida, A. Gray. 
M. bucidsefolia, A. Gray. 
Hydnophytum longiflorum, A. Gray 

( = Myrmecodia Vitiensis, Seem.) 

Vangueria? sp. (257). 
Guettarda speciosa, Linn. ; vulgo ' Bua- 

bua' (237). 
G. (Guettardella) Vitiensis, A. Gray 

Timonius sapotsefolius, A. Gray. 
T. afflnis, A. Gray. 
Coffeaeea; vulgo 'Kaulobo' (893). 

II. Cinchonese : — 
Hedyotis tenuifolia, Sm. (231). 
H. deltoidea, W. et Am. ? (232). 
H. panieulata, Roxb. (233). 
H. panieulata, Roxb. var. crassifolia, A. 

Gray (234). 
H. bracteogonum, Spr. (235). 
Ophiorrhiza laxa, A. Gray (227). 
O. peploides, A. Gray (228). 
O. leptantha, A. Gray (229). 
Lindenia Vitiensis, Seem. Bonpl. t. 8 

Lerchea calycina, A. Gray. 
Dolicholobium oblongifblium, A. Gray. 
B. latifolium, A. Gray. 
D. longissimum, Seem. (215). 
Styloeoryne Harveyi, A. Gray. 
St. sambucina, A. Gray (S. pepericarpa, 

Bth.) (242). 
Griffithiffi sp. ? (260). 
G. ? sp. v. gen. no v. (240). 
G. sp. fl. odoratis. 
Gardenia Vitiensis, Seem. (218). 
G. ? (an gen. nov. ?) (240). 
Mussffinda frondosa, Linn. ; vulgo 

" Bovu." 

Monosis insularum, A. Gray. 
Lagenophora Piekeringii, A. Gray. 
Erigeron albidum, A. Gray; vulgo 

'Wavuwavu,' v. 'Co ni papalagi' 

Adenostemma viscosum, Eorst. (262). 
Siegesbeckia orientalis, Linn. (263). 

Bichrocephala latifolia, Be Cand. (264). 
Myriogyne minuta, Linn. (265). 
Sonchus oleraceus, Linn. (n. 266) . 
Ageratum conyzoides, Linn. ; vulgo 

' Botebotekoro,' vel ' Matamocemoce' 

Wollastonia Eorsteriana, Be Cand. ; 

vulgo 'Kovekove' (268). 
Bclipta erecta, Linn. ; vulgo ' Tumadu ' 

Bidens pilosa, Liun. ; vulgo ' Bati- 

madramadra (270). 
Glossogyne tenuifolia, Cass. (271). 
Blumea virens, Be Cand. (272). 
B. Milnei, Seem. (sp. nov. aff. B. aroma- 

tiese, Be Cand. 273). 

Soffivola floribunda, A. Gray (S. saligna, 

Borst.?); vulgo ' Totoirebibi ' (274, 

S. Koenigii, Vahl (275). 

Cyrtandra acutangula, Seem. (276). 
C. Vitiensis, Seem. ; vulgo ' Betabiabi ' 

C. anthropophagorum, Seem. (278). 
C. involuorata, Seem. (279). 
C. coleoides, Seem. (280). 
C. Milnei, Seem. (281). 
C. ciliata, Seem. (282). 
C. Pritchardn, Seem. (283). 

Epigynum? Vitiense, Seem. (284). 

Leuoopogon Cynibula, Labill. ; vulgo 

Ma;sa Piekeringii, A. Gray. 
M. persicsefolia, A. Gray (287 ?). 
M. corylifolia, A. Gray (288). 
M. nemoralis, A. Gray (286?). 
Myrsine myricsefolia, A. Gray (290 

ex parte). 
M. ? Brackenridgei, A. Gray. 
M. capitellata, Wall. ? (289). 
Ardisia ? capitata, A. Gray. 



A. grandis, Seem. (293). 
A. sp. (292,897). 
A. sp. (291). 

Symplocos spicata, Roxb. ; vulgo ' Ravu 

Maba foliosa, Rich. 

M. elliptica, Forst. ; vulgo ' Kau loa ' 

Sapota ? pyrulifera, A. Gray. 
S. ? Vitiensis, A. Gray. 
S. sp. (ex A. Gray). 

Jaaminum tetraquetrum, A. Gray. 
J. gracile, Forst. ; vulgo ' Wa Tata ' 

J. didymum, Forst. ; J. divarieatum, 

R. Brown (299). 

Geniostoma rupestre, Forst. (301). 

var. puberulum, A. Gray (G. crassi- 

folium, Bth.) (300). 
G. microphyllum, Seem. (304). 
Strychnos colubrina, Linn. (302). 
Courthovia corynocarpa, A. Gray (= 

Gcertnera pyramidalis, Seem.) ; vulgo 

'Boloa' (303). 
C. Seemanni, A. Gray (Geertnera bar- 

bata, Seem.) (305, 899). 
Fagraea gracilipes, A. Gray (F. viridi- 

flora, Seem.) (306). 
P. Vitiensis, Seem. (307). 
P. Berteriana, A. Gray ; vulgo ' Bua ' 


Alyxia braeteolosa, Rich ; vulgo ' Vono' 
(310, 900) ; var. a macrocarpa, A. Gray 
(A. macrocarpa, Rich.) ; var. $ angusti- 
folia, A. Gray (A. stellata, Seem.) ; 
var. 7 parviflora, A. Gray. 

A. stellata, Labill. 

Cerbera lactaria, Ham. ; vulgo ' Rewa ' 
vel ' Vasa ' (309). 

Melodinus scandens, Forst. (311). 

Tabernsemontana Vitiensis, Seem. ; T. 

citrifolia, Forst. non L. = ? T. Cu- 

mingiana, A. De Cand. 
T. sp. 
Rejoua scandens, Seem. sp. nov. ; vulgo 

'Warerega' (901). 
Ochrosia parviflora, Hensl. (O. elhptica, 

Labill. ?) (318). 
Alstonia plumosa, Labill. (318). 
A? sp. (317). 

Echites scabra, Labill. ? (315). 
Lyonsia Isevis, A. Gray. 

A selepiadem. 
Tylophora Brackenridgei, A. Gray. 
Gymnema subnudum, A. Gray. 
G. stenophyllum, A. Gray; vulgo 

'Yauyau' (322). 
Hoya bicarinata, A. Gi^y; Aselepias 

volubilis, Forst. ; vulgo ' Wa bibi * vel 

'Bulibulisivaro' (319). 
H. diptera, Seem. (320). 
H. pilosa, Seem. (321). 

Erythrsea australis, R. Brown. 
Limnanthemum Kleinianum, Griseb. j 
vulgo ' Bekabekairaga ' (323). 

Ipomcea campanulata, Linn. ; vulgo 

'Wavula' (324). 
I. peltata, Chois. ; vulgo ' Wiliao ' teste 

Seemann, ' Veliyana ' teste Williams 

I. Pes caprse, Sw. ; vulgo 'Lawere' 

I. Turpethum, R. Brown j vulgo 'Wa 

kai' (327). 
I. sepiaria, Keen. (328). 
I. cymosa, Rcem. et Schult. ; vulgo 

'Sovivi' (334). 
Aniseia uniflora, Chois. (329). 
Batatas paniculata, Chois. ; vulgo ( Wa> 

TJvi ' vel ' Dabici ' teste Storck (330, 


B. edulis, Chois. ; vulgo 'Kumara' vel 
' Kawai .ni papalagi.' — Cult. 

Pharbitis insularis, Chois. ; vulgo ' Wa 

Vuti ' (331). 
Calonyction speciosum, Chois. (332). 

C. comosperma, Boj. (333). 



Tournefortia argentea, Linn. (335). 
Cordia Sprengelii,DeCand. ; Tulgo 'Tou' 

C. subcordata, Lam.; vulgo 'Nawa- 

nawa' (337). 

Physalis Peruviana, Linn. (338). 

P. angulata, Linn. (339). 

Solanum viride, B. Brown ? (340). 

S. anthropophagorum, Seem. (sp. nor. 
Bonpl. 1. 14) ; vulgo 'Boro dina' (341) . 

S. repandum, Forst. ; vulgo ' Sou/ ' Sou- 
sou,' vel 'Boro sou' (342). 

S. inamcenum, Benth. Lond. Journ. ii., 
p. 228 (343). 

S. oleraceum, Dun. ; vulgo ' Boro ni 
yaloka ni gata ' (344) . 

S. sp. (S. repand. var. ? (345). 

Capsicum frutescens, Linn. ; vulgo 'Boro 
ni papalagi' (346). 

Nicotiana Tabaeum, Linn. — Cultivated 

Datura Stramonium, Linn. — Introd. 

Vandellia Crustacea, Benth. (349). 
Limnophila serrata, Gaud. (350). 

Eranthemuni laxiflorum, A. Gray (351, 

ex parte) . 
E. insularum, A. Gray (351, ex parte). 
Adenosma triflora, Nees ab Esenb. ; 

vulgo 'Tamola' (352). 

Clerodendron inerme, E. Brown ; 

vulgo 'Verevere' (353). 
Vitex trifolia, Linn, j vulgo ' Vulokaka ' 

Premna Tahitensis, Schauer (Scrophu- 
' larioides arborea, Eorst.) ; vulgo 

P. Tahitensis, Schauer ; var. ? (356) . 
Gmelina Vitiensis, Seem. (sp. nov.). 

Leucas decemdentata, Sm. (357). 
Ocimum gratissimum, Linn. (358). 

Plectranthus Forsteri, Benth. j vulgo 

'Lata' (359). 
Teucrium inflatom, Swartz (360). 

Plumbago Zeylanica, Linn. (361). 

Plantago major, Linn. — Introd. (362). 

Pisonia Brunoniana, Endl. (363). 
P. viscosa, Seem. (sp. nov.) (364). 
Boerhaavia diffusa, Linn., var. pubeB- 
eens (365). 

Amarantus melancholicus, Moq., var. 
tricolor ; ' vulgo ' Driti damudamu ' 

A. paniculatus, Moq., var. cruentus, 

Moq. ; vulgo ' Driti.'— Introd. (367). 
Euxolus viridis, Moq.; vulgo 'Driti' 

vel ' Gasau ni vuaka' (368). 
Cyathula prostrata, Blum. (369). 

Polygonum imberbe, Sol. (370). 

Hernandia Sonora, Linn. ; vulgo 'Yevu- 

yevu ' vel ' Uviuvi ' (372) . 
Cassytha filiformis, Linn. ; vulgo ' Wa- 

luku mai lagi' teste Williams (373). 
Cinnamomum sp. ; vulgo 'Macou' (376). 
Laurinea. Arbor 15-20 ped. (374). 
Laurinea (375). 
Laurinea (377). 

Laurinea ; vulgo ' Siqa ' vel ' Siga ' (378) . 
Laurinea; vulgo 'Lidi' (903). 

Drymispermum sp. (379). 
D. montanum, Seem. (sp. nov.) (380). 
D. subcordatum, Seem. (sp. nov.) ; 

vulgo 'Matiavi' (381). 
D. ? sp. (382). 
Leucosmia Burnettiana, Benth. (= Dais 

disperma, Forst.) ; vulgo ' Sinu damu ' 

vel 'Sinu dina' (383). 
Wikstrcemia Indica, C. A. Mey. ; vulgo 

' Sinu mataiavi ' (384) . 



Santalum Tasi, Seem. (sp. nov.) ; vulgo 
Tasi' (385). 

Ceratophyllum demersum, Linn. (386). 

Euphorbiacea ? ? (387). 

Acalypha? (388). 

Acalypha Indiea, linn.? (389). 

A. sp. (390). . 

A. rivularis, Seem. (sp. nov.) j vulgo 

'Eadakada' (391). 
A. virgata, Porst. (= A. circinata, A. 

Gray) ; vulgo ' Kalabuci damn ' 

A. grandis, Benth. ; Tulgo ' Kalabuci ' 

Olaoxylon parvinorum, Juss. (394). 
Mappa Molluccana, Sprengl. f (395). 
M. maerophylla, A. Gray ; yulgo 

'Mavu' (396). 
M. sp. (397). 
M. sp. (419). 
M. sp. (420). 
Exccecaria Agallocha, Linn. ; Tulgo 

'Sinugaga' (398). 
Manihot Aipi, Pohl. ; vulgo ' Yabia ni 

papalagi' (399). 
Curcas purgans, Juss. j vulgo ' Wiriwiri 

ni papalagi' (400). 
Bicinus communis, Linn. ; vulgo ' Bele 

ni papalagi' (401). 
Omalanthus pedioellatus, Bth. ; vulgo 

'Tadauo' (402). 
Aleurites triloba, Porst. ; vulgo ' Lauci,' 

Tutui,' vel ' Sikeci' (403). 
Eupborbia Norfolkica, Bois. ; vulgo 

'Soto' (404). 
E. pilulifera, Linn. ; vulgo ' De ni osi ' 

E. Atoto, Porst. (E. oraria, P. Muell.) 

Eottlera acuminata, Vahl. (407). 
Croton metallicum, Seem. (sp. nov.) 

C. sp. ; vulgo 'Sacasaca loa' (409). 
C. sp. (an. var. n. 409 ?) (410). 
C.Storckii, Seem. sp. nov. aff. C. Hillii, 

P. Mull.; vulgo 'Danidani' (905). 

Codiseum variegatum, A. Juss. ; vulgo 

'Sacaca' vel 'Tasa damu' (411). 
Melantbesa sp. (aff. M. Vit. Idase) (412). 
M. sp. ; vulgo 'Molau.' Arbor (413). 
Gloebidion sp. (414). 
G-. ramiflorum, Porst. ; vulgo ' Molau ' 

Gt. eordatum, Seem. (sp. nov.) j aff. Gr. 

mollis (416). 
Bischoffia sp. ; vulgo ' Koka.' Arbor 

Phyllanthus fruticosa, Wall. (418). 

Elatostemma? nemorosa, Seem. (sp. 

nov.) (422). 
Gironniera celtidifolia, Guud. ; vulgo 

Missiessya corymbulosa, Wedd. ; vulgo 

'Matadra' (424). 
Maotia Tahitensis, "Wedd. ; vulgo 'Walu- 

walu' (425). 
Laportea Harveyi, Seem. (sp. nov.) ; 

vulgo 'Salato.' Arbor 30-40 ped. 

L. Vitiensis, Seem. (sp. nov.) ; aff. L. 

photinifol. ; vulgo ' Salato ' (427). 
Pleurya spicata, var. interrupta, Wedd. ; 

vulgo ' Salato ni koro ' vel ' Salata 

wutivali' (428). 
Pellionia elatostemoides, Glaud. (429). 
Procris integrifolia, Don, Hook., Arn 

Bcebmeria Harveyi, Seem. (sp. nov.) 

vulgo' Bere' (431). 
B. platypbylla, Don (432). 
B. platypbylla, Don, var. virgata, Wedd. 

Malaisia ? sp. ; Arbor (434 a). 

Morus Indiea, Linn. — Introd. (434 i). 
Trophis anthropopbagorum, Seem. (sp. 

nov.) ; vulgo 'Malawaci' (435). 
Pious obliqua, Porst.; vulgo 'Baka' 

P. tinctoria, Porst. (437). 
F. sp. ; vulgo ' Loselose.' Prutex fruct. 

edul. (438). 
P. sp. ; vulgo ' Loselose ni wai.' Prutex 

rivularis (439). 



P. sp. (440). 

P. sp. Prutex 16 ped., caule subsimpl. 

P. sp. (442). 
P. sp. (443). 
P. sp. (444). 
P. scabra, Porst. ; vulgo ' Ai Masi ' 

P. aspera, Porst. (446). 
P. sp. (44V). 
P. sp. (448). 

Antiaris Bennettii, Seem. Bonpl. t. 7. 

(sp.nov.); vulgo 'Mavu ni Toga' (449). 
Artocarpus ineisa, Linn.,var.integrifolia, 

Seem. (aff. A. ChaplashsB, Eoxb.) ; 

vulgo ' TJto lolo ' t. ' Uto coko ooko ' 

A. ineisa, Linn. var. pinnatifida, Seem. ; 

forma Tulgo ' Uto dina ' dicitur (551). 
A. ineisa, forma vulgo ' Uto Varaqa ' 

A. „ „ „ 'Uto Koqo' 

A. „ „ „ ' Balekana ' 

A. „ „ „ 'Uto buco' 

A. „ „ „ ' Uto assalea ' 

A. „ „ „ ' Uto waisea 

A. „ „ „ ' Uto Bokasi ' 

A. „ „ „ ' Uto Votovoto ' 

A. ineisa, Linn.var.bipinnatifida,Seem. ; 

vulgo ' Uto Sawesawe ' vel ' Kalasai ' 


G-yrocarpus Asiatieus, Willd. ^ vulgo 
' Wiriwiri ' (561). 

Sponia orientalis, Linn. (562). 
Sp. velutina, Planch. (563). 

Ascarina lanceolata, Hook. fil. (564). 

Peperomia sp. (565). 
Macropiper latifolium, Miq. (566). 
M. puberulum, Benth. j vulgo * Yaqo- 

yaqoua' (567). 
M. methysticum, Miq. ; vulgo ' Yaqona' 

Piper Siriboa, Porst.; vulgo 'Wa 

Gawa.' Prutex scaudens (569). 

Casuarina equisetifolia, Porst. ; vulgo 
'Nokonoko' (570). 

C. nodiflora, Porst. ; vulgo ' Velao ' 

Cycas oireinalis, Linn. ; vulgo ' Koro ' 

Dacrydium elatum, Wall. ; vulgo 'Le- 

weninini-' vel ' Dakua salusalu' (573, 

Podoearpus (elatus, B. Br. ?) ; vulgo 

'Kuasi' (574). 
P. (polvst acbya, B. Br. p) ; vulgo 'Gagali 

P. cupressina, B. Brown ; vulgo ' Kau 

P.? v. gen. nov. ; vulgo 'Kau boIo' 

Dammara Vitiensis, Seem. ; vulgo 

'Dakua' (577). 

Dendrobium Mohlianum, Beichb. fil. 
(sp. nov.) (578). 

D. crispatum, Swartz (579). 
D. (580). 

D. MiUingani, P. Muell. (581). 

D. biflorum, Sw. (582). 

D. sp. (an var. prseced. ?) (583). 

D. Tokai, Beichb. fil. (sp. nov.) ; vulgo 

' Tokai ' teste Williams (584). 
D. sp. (591). 
Limodorum unguieulatum, Labill. 

Bletia Tankervillise, E. Brown (586). 
Oberonia (587). 



0. brevifoUa, Lindl. (Epidendrum equi- 

tans, Porst. (588). 
0. Myosurus, Lindl. (589). 
Microstylis Rheedii, Lindl. (Pterochilus 

plantagineus, Hook, et Am.) (590) . 
Appendicula (592). 
Tseniophyllum Pasoiola, Seem. (Limo- 

dorum Fasciola, Swartz) ; vulgo ' De 

nicaucau' (593, 907). 
Saccolabium sp. (594). 
S. sp. (595). 

Eulophia macrostachya, Lindl. ? (596). 
Eria sp., aff. E. baccatffi, Lindl. ? (597). 
Cirrhopetalum Thouarsii, Lindl. (598). 
Ehomboda (599). 
Sarcochilus (600). 
Dorsinia mannorata, Lindl. (601). 
Monoehilus sp. (602). 
Corymbis distieha, Lindl. (603). 
Pogonia biflora, Wight (604). 
Calanthe (605). 

C. sp. florib; pallide aurantiaeis (606). 
C. Yeratrifolia, P. Brown (607). 
Habenaria (608). 
Orehidea (609). 
O. (610). 
0. (611). . 
0. (612). ' 
0. (613). 
0. (614). 
0. (615). 
0. (616). 
0. (617). 
0. (618). 

Musa Troglodytarum, Linn. ; vulgo 

'Soqo' (619). 
Gen. nOT. ; vulgo 'Boia' (620). 
Alpinia sp. (621). 
Curcuma longa, Linn. ; vulgo ' Cago ' 

Zingiber Zerumbet, Linn. ; vulgo ' Beta' 

Amonium sp. ; vulgo ' Cevuga ' (624). 
Canna Indica, Linn. ; vulgo ' Gasau ni 

ga' (625). 

Helmia bulbifera, Eth. ; vulgo ' Kaile ' 


Dioscorea alata, Linn. ; vulgo ' Pvi ' 
- (627). 
D. nummularia, Lam. ; vulgo ' Tivoli ' 

D. aculeata, Linn. ; vulgo ' Kawai ' 

D. pentaphylla, Linn. ; vulgo ' Tokulu' 


Sroilax sp. ; vulgo ' Kadragi ' vel ' Wa 

rusi' (631). 

Taoca sativa, Eumph. ; vulgo ' Tabia ' 

(632, 909). 
T. pinnatifida, Porst. ; vulgo ' Yabia 

dina' (633, 908). 


Cordyline (634). 

C. sp. ; vulgo ' Ti kula.'— Colitur (635). 

C. sp. ; vulgo ' Qai ' v. ' Masawe.' — Co- 
litur (636). 

Allium Ascalonicum, Linn. ; vulgo ' Ta- 
rawa.'— Colitur (637). 

Geitonoplesium cymosum, Cunn. ; vulgo 
'WaPakua' (638). 

Dianella ensifolia, Ped. (639). 

Crinum Asiatieum, Linn. ; vulgo ' Via- 
via' (640). 

Astelia montana, Seem. (sp. nov. bacca 
trilocul.) ; vulgo 'Misi' (641). 

Commelyna communis, Linn. (= C. 

pacifica, Vahl ?) ; vulgo ' ai Eorogi ' 

vel ' Rogomatailevu ' (642). 
Aneilema Vitiense, Seem. (sp. nov. ; 

florib. pallide cceruleis) (643). 
Plagellaria Indica, Linn. ; vulgo ' Sili 

Turuka' vel ' Vico' (644, 910). 
Joinvillea elegans, Gaud. (= Flagellaria 

plicate, Hook, fil., 645). 

Typlia anguBtifolia, Linn. ; vulgo ' De 
ni ruve ' (646) . 



Ananassa sativa, Lindl. j vulgo ' Balawa 

ni papalagi.' 
A. sativa, var. prolifera. 

Preycinetia Vitiensia, Seem. (sp. hot.) 

P. Milnei, Seem. (sp. nov.) (648). 
P. StorcMi, Seem. (sp. nov.) (695). 
P. sp. (696). 
Pandauus odoratissimus, Linn. ; vulgo 

'Balawa' vel 'Vadra' (649). 
P. earieosus, Rmnph. ; vulgo ' Eiekie ' 

vel' Voivoi' (650). 

Alocasia Indica, Sehott; vulgo 'Via 

mila,' ' Via gaga,' ' Via sori,' v. ' Via 

dranu' (651). 
Amorphophallus ? (sp. nov.) ; vulgo 

'Daiga' (652). 
Cyrtosperma edulis, Sehott (sp. nov.) ; 

vulgo ' Via kana ' (653). 
Eaphidophora Vitiensis, Sehott. (sp. 

nov.) ; vulgo 'Wa lu' (654). 
Cuscuaria spuria, Sehott (sp. nov.) (655). 
Colocasia antiquorum, Sehott, var. escu- 

lenta, Sehott; vulgo 'Dalo' (655 4). 
Aroidea (911). 

Lemna gibba, Linn. ; vulgo ' Kala, ' 

L. minor, Linn. ; vulgo ' Kala ' (657) . 

Ooeos nucifera, Linn. ; vulgo ' Km 

Sagus Vitiensis, Herm. Wendl. (Coelo- 

coceus Vitiensis, Herm. Wendl.) ; 

vulgo 'Mu soria' vel 'Sogo' (658). 
Pritchardia paeifica, Seem, et Herm. 

Wendl. (gen. nov.) ; vulgo ' Sakiki,' 

' Niu Masei,' vel ' Viu' (659). 
Kentia ? exorrhiza, Herm. Wendl. (sp. 

nov.) ; vulgo ' Niu sawa ' (660). 
Ptychosperma Vitiensis, Herm. Wendl. 

(sp. nov.) (662). 
P. filiferum, Herm. Wendl. (sp. nov.) ; 

vulgo 'Cagecake' (661, 663). 

P. Seemanni, Herm. Wendl. (sp. nov.) ; 

vulgo 'Balaka' (664). 
P. perbreve, Wendl. 
P. pauciflorum, Wendl. 
P. Piekeringii, Wendl. 

Baumia sp. (665). 

Hypolytrum giganteum, Roxb. (666). 
Lepironia mucronata, Rich. (667). 
Cyperus sp. (668). 
C. sp. (912). 
Mariscus leevigatus, Roem. et Schult. 

Kyllingia intermedia, R. Brown (670). 
K. sp. (671). 

Lamprocarya affinis, A. Brongn. (672).. 
Grahnia Javanica, Zoll. (673). 
Phnbrystylis marginata, Labill. (674). 
P. stricta, Labill. (675). 
Seleriasp. (676). 
S.sp. (677). 
Elaeocharis articulata, Nees ab Esenb. ; 

vulgo 'Kuta' (678). 

Zea Mays, Linn. ; vulgo ' Sila ni papa- 
lagi.' — Cult. 
Oplismenus sp. fohis purpuraseentib. ; 

vulgo 'Co damudamu' (679). 
0. sp. foliis albo-maculatis. — Cum prse- 

cedente cohtur (680). 
O. compositus, Roem. et Schult. (681). 
Paspalum serobieulatum, Linn. ; vulgo 

' Co dina ' (682). 
Eleusine Indica, Gsertn. (683). 
Centotheea lappaoea, Desv. (684) 
Andropogon refractum, R. Brown (= 

A. Tahitense, Hook, et Arn.) (685). 
A. acicularis, Retz. (686). 
A. Schoenanthus, Linn. ; vulgo ' Co 

boi ' (687). 
Cenchrus anomoplexis, Labill. (688). 
Sorghum vulgare, Pers. — Cohtur (689). 
Digitaria sanguinalis, Linn. (690). 
Saccharum floridum, Labill. (691). 
Coix Laeryma, Linn.; vulgo 'Sila' 

Panioum pilipes, Nees ab Esenb. (693). 
Bambusa sp. ; vulgo 'Bitu' (694). 



Equisetum sp. ; vulgo ' Masi ni tabua ' 


Psilotum complanatum, Sw. (698). 
P. triquetrum, Sw. (699). 
Lyoopodium cernuum, Linn. ; vulgo 

' Ya Lewaninini' (700). 
L. flageUare, A. Eich. (701). 
L. Phlegmaria, Linn. (702). 
L. varium, E. Br. (703). 
L. verticillatum, Linn. (704) . 
L. sp. (705). 
L. sp. (706). 
L. sp. (707). 
L. sp. (708). 

Acrostichum aureum, Linn. ; vulgo 

' Boreti,' vel, teste Williams, ' Caca ' 

Stenochlasna scandens, 3. Smith. (710). 
Lomariopsis leptocarpa, Fee (711). 
L. cuspidate, Pee (712). 
Lomogramme polyphylla, Brack. (713, 

Goniophlebium subauriculatum, Blum. 

Hemionitis lanceolate, Hook. (716). 
H. elongate, Brack. (715). 
Antrophyuni plantagineum,Kaulf(717). 
Diclidopteris angustissima, Brack. ; 

vulgo 'Mokomokoni Ivi' (718, 914). 
Vittaria revoluta, Willd. (719). 
V. elongate, Sw. (720). 
Arthropteris albopunctata, J. Smith 

Prosaptia eontigua, Presl (722) . 
Phymatodes stenophylla, J. Smith 

Niphobolus adnascens, Sprengel, Sw., 

J. Sm. (724). 
Loxogramme laneeolata, Presl (725). 
Hymenolepis spicata, J. Smith (726). 
Pleuridium cuspidiflorum, J. Smith 

P. vulcanieum, J. Smith (729). 
Phymatodes Billardieri, Presl (730). 
P. alata, J. Sm. = Drynaria alate, 

Brack.) (731.) 

P. longipes, J. Smith ; vulgo ' Caca,' 

teste Williams (732). 
Drynaria musaefolia, 3. Smith (728). 
D. diversifolia, J. Smith; vulgo 'Be- 

vula,' ' Teva,' vel ' Tuvu ' (733). 
Dipteris Horsfieldii, J. Smith ; vulgo 

' Koukou tegane ' (734). 
Memseium sp. (735). 
Nephrodium simplicifolium, 3. Smith 

N. sp. (737). 

N. ; vulgo ' Watuvulo ' (738). 
N. sp. (739, 740). 
Lastrea sp. (741). 

Polystichum aristetum, Presl (742). 
Nephrolepis ensifolia, Presl (743). 
N. hirsutula, Presl (744). 
N. repens, Brack. (745) . 
N. obhterata, 3. Smith (831). 
Dictyopteris macrodonte, Presl (746). 
Aspidium latifolium, 3. Smith ; vulgo 

'Saealoa' (v. Saloa?) (747). 
A. deeurrens, J. Smith (748). 
A. repandum, Willd (749). 
Oleandra neriiformis, Cav. (750). 
Didymochlsena truncatula, Desv. (751). 
Microlepia polypodioides, Presl (751 i). 
M. sp. (752). 

M. papillosa, Brack. (753). 
M. Luzonica, Hook, (gracilis, Blum.) 

M. flagellifera, J. Smith (Wall.) (755). 
M. (fructif.) (An var. n. 751 b ? B. 

Seem.) (756.) 
Humata heterophylla, Cav. (759). 
Davallia elegans, S w. (757) . 
D. Fijiensis, Hook. (758). 
D. fceniculacea, Hook. (760, 762). 
D. gibberosa, Sw. (761). 
D. Moorei, Hook. (830). 
Schizoloma ensifoUa, Gaud. (763) . 
Synaphlebium davalhoides, J. Smith 

S. Pickeringii, Brack. (765). 
S. repens, J. Smith (766). 
Sitolobium stramineum, 3. Smith (767) . 
Cyathea medullaris, Sw. (768). 
Trichomanes javanicum, Blum. (769). 
T. rigidum, Sw. (780, 829). 
1 T. meifolium, Bory (781}. 



T. bilingue, Blum. (= n. 780 ?) (782). 
T. angustatum, Carm. = T. caudatum, 

Brack. (783). 
T. erectum, Brack. (784 ex parte). 
Hymenophyllum (784). 
H. formosum, Brack. (785). 
H. parvu-lum, Poir. (786). 
Todea Wilkesiana, Brack. (787). 
Marattia sorbifolia, Sw. ; vulgo ' Dibi ' 

Angiopteris evecta, Hoffm. (789). 
Lygodictyon Forsteri, J. Smith; vulgo 

•WaKalou' (790). 
Gleichenia dichotoma, Hook. (791). 
Schizsea dichotoma, Sw. ; vulgo ' Sa- 

gato ni tauwa ' (792) . 
Actinostachys digitata, Wall. (793). 
Ophioglossuni pendulum, Linn. (794) . 
Bleclmum orientale, Linn. (795). 
Lomaria attenuata, Willd. (796). 
L. elongata, Blume (797). 
Pellsea geraniifolia, Fee (798). 
Cheilanthes tenuifolia, Sw. (799, 800). 
Adiantum lunulatum, Sw. ; vulgo ' Kau 

nivi vatu' (801, 915). 
A. hispidulum, Sw. (802). 
A. aff. A. setulonervi, J. Smith (803). 
Pteris quadriaurita, teste Hook. Sp. El. 

P. sp. (Litobrochia divaricata, Brack. ?) 

P. tripartita, Sw. (806, 913). 
P. esculenta, Forst. (809). 
P. crenata, Sw. ; vulgo ' Qato,' teste 

Williams (811). 
Litobrochia sinuata, Brack.; vulgo 'Wa 

Babo' (807). 
L. sinuata var. (808). 
L. comans, Presl (810). 
Neottopteris australasica, J. Smith 

Asplenium vittseforme, J. Smith (813). 
A. faleatum, Lam. (814). 
A. sp. (815). 

A. brevisorum, Wall. (827). 
A. obtusilobum, Hook. (828). 
A. induratum, Hook. (816). p 
A. lucidum, Forst. (817). 
A. sp. (820). 
A. resectum, Sm. (821). 

A. laserpitiifolium, Lam. (822). 
A. (Darea) sp. (784 ex parte). 
Callipteris ferox, Blum. (= C. prolifera, 
Hook, var.) (818). 

C. (sine fructif.) (819). 
Cryptosorus Seemanni, J. Smith (= 

Polypodium contiguum, Brack, non 
Sw. (823). 
Diplazium melanocaulon, Brack. (824). 

D. bulbiferum, Brack. (825). 
D. polypodioides, Blume. (826). 
Tsenitis blechnoides, Sw. (? abnormal.) 


Leptotrichum flaccidulum, Mitt. sp. 

nov. (841). 
L. trichophyllum, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 

Leucobryum laminatum, Mitt. sp. nov. 

Leucophanes densifolius, Mitt. sp. nov. 

(inter 862). 
L. smaragdinum, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 

Syrrhopodon tristichus, Wees (inter 846) . 
S. seolopendrius, Mitt. sp. nov. (843). 
Meteorium longissimum, Dzy. et Molk 

(inter 863). 
M. (Esenbeckia) setigerum, Mitt. (Pi- 

lotrichum, Sullivant) (846). 
Trachyloma Junghuhnii, Mitt. (Hyp- 

num C. Mueller) (842). 
T. arboresoens, Mitt. (845). 
Neckera flaccida, C. Muell. (836). 
N. Lepineana, Montagn. (863). 
N". dendroides, Hook. (838). 
Spiridens Beinwardti, Nees. (840). 
Trachypus helicophyllus, Mont. (838). 
Leskea glaucina, Mitt, (inter 847). 
L. ramentosa, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 

Bacopilum spectabile, Hsch. (inter 

Sphagnum cuspidatum, Ehrh. (839). 

Cheiloscyphus argutus, Nees (inter 

Plagioehila arbuscula, L. et L. (inter 




P. Vitiensis, Mitt. sp. nov. (862). 
P. Seemanni, Mitt. sp. nov. (864) . 
Trichocolea tomentella, Wees ' (inter 

Eadula amentulosa, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 

B. scariosa, Mitt. sp. nor. (inter 837). 

E. spieata, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 837). 
Lejeunia (Bryopteris) Sinclairii, Mitt. 

sp. nov. (inter 843). 
L. eulopha (Phragniicoma, Tay.) (inter 

Frullania deflexa, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 


F. meteoroides, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 

F. oordistipula, Nees (inter 846). 
P. triohodes, Mitt. sp. nov. (inter 846). 
Sarcomitrium plumosum, Mitt. (847). 
Marehantia pileata, Mitt. (838). 

Sticta damaecornis, var. caperata, Nyl. 

S. (Stictina) filicinella, Nyl. (849). 

Eamalina calicaris, Nyl. j vulgo ' Lumi ' 

(ni Vanua) (851). 
Coooocarpia molybdsea, Pers. (852). 
Leptogium tremelloides, Fries (853). 
Sticta (Stictina) quercizans, Ach. (854). 
Sticta Preycinetii, Del. (861). 
Terrucaria aurantiaca, Nyl. (865). 
Parmelia peltata, Ach. var. 

Ehizomorpha sp. ; vulgo ' Wa loa ' 

Bentinus sp. (856). 
Polyporus sanguineus, Fries (857). 
P. affinis, Fries (858). 
P. hirsutus, Fries (859). 
Hoomospora transversalis, Brebisson 

Agaricus (Pleuropus) pacificus, Bert. 
Schizophyllum commune, Pries. 
Xylaria Feejeensis, Berk. 

Hoomonema fluitans, Berk. (gen. nov.)