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Pioneering in the 
New Guinea 1877-1894 

James Chalmers 



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NEW GUINEA 



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PRINTED BY 

SPOTTISWOODB AND CO., NBW-STRBRT SQUARE 

LONDON 



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James Chalmers, the Pioneer Missionary of New Guinea 



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PIONEERING 

IN 

NEW GUINEA 



1877-1894 



BY 'L ' 

JAMES CHALMERS 
1 



WITH A MAP AND FORTY-THREE ILLUSTRATIONS FROM 
ORIGINAL SKETCHES AND PHOTOGRAPHS 



FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 
New York Chicago Toronto 

714^ Religious Tract Society^ London 



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1930 



DATiONSl 



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COAST SCENE AT THE EAST END 



PREFACE 



In 1877 the Rev. James Chalmers joined the New Guinea 
Mission, and his arrival formed an epoch in its history. 
He is wonderfully equipped for the work to which he 
has, under God's Providence, put his hand. He is the 
white man best known to all the natives along the south 
coast. From the first he had gone among them unarmed, 
and though not unfrequently in imminent peril, has been 
marvellously preserved. He has combined the qualities of 
missionary and explorer in a very high degree, and 
universally known by the natives as * Tamate ' (the nearest 
approach native lips can make to Chalmers), has added 
enormously to the stock of our geographical knowledge of 



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viii LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

New Guinea, and to our accurate acquaintance with the 
ways of thinking, the habits, superstitions, and mode of life 
of the various tribes of natives. 

This volume contains sketches of his travels and 
labours in New Guinea during the years 1878 to 1894. 
Mr. Chalmers has made no effort to work them up into a 
finished book. Had he attempted to do so, they would 
have never seen the light. He is more at home in his 
whale-boat or steam launch off the New Guinea coast than 
in his study, and his hand takes more readily to the tiller 
than to the pen. Hence the bulk of this volume is made 
up of extracts from journals hastily written while sitting 
on the platforms of New Guinea houses, surrounded by 
cannibals, or while resting, after a laborious day's tramp, 
under a fly-tent on some outlying spur of the Owen Stanley 
Mountains, or while sailing along the south-eastern coast 
or the Fly River. Writing thus, liable to manifold 
interruptions, Mr. Chalmers has sought to preserve only 
what was essential to his purpose, viz., to record exactly 
what he saw and did ; how the natives look and speak, and 
think and act ; what in his judgment New Guinea needs, 
and how her needs can be best supplied. 

The circumstances of Mr. Chalmers' work have given 
him a unique position in the great Papuan Island. He is 
well known to many of the tribes, and he is the personal 
friend of many of the chiefs. He has travelled up and 
down in all its accessible districts, so that now both the 
villages and inhabitants are more familiar to him than to 



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PREFACE ix 

any other white man. The influence of the Gospel of 
peace is already so marked, that it is working rapid 
changes in the thoughts and habits of the natives. No 
white man of this generation can possibly see New Guinea 
and its people under exactly the same conditions. Suc- 
ceeding missionaries and observers can never see these 
people in the same stage of savagery as when he acquired 
their friendship. Hence another reason for printing these 
rough sketches of the life and habits and beliefs of New 
Guinea is that they may be on record, and thus serve to 
measure the progress which is now being made in New 
Guinea, and will continue to be made in the upward growth 
towards Christianity and civilisation. 

Considerable portions of this book have been printed 
before in Work and Adventure in New Guinea^ and 
Pioneering in New Guinea, Both these volumes are out 
of print. The new portions consist of various visits and 
adventures on the part of Mr. Chalmers during the last 
nine years, and especially the opening up of the Fly River. 



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CONTENTS 



CHAPTBK PAGE 

I. HOW NEW GUINEA CAME UNDER CHRISTIAN TRAINING 19 

II. EARLY EXPERIENCES 29 

III. SOUTH CAPE IN 1878 AND IN 1882 . . . . 61 

IV. A TRIP TO OIABU AND MEKEO 66 

V. A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES ... 74 

VI. AMONG THE CANNIBALS 93 

VIL PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 121 

VIIL SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 146 

IX. SKETCHES OF NEW GUINEA LIFE 187 

X. AN ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON THE GULF OF PAPUA 207 

XL THE FIRST TRIP OF THE LAUNCH MIRO . ... 229 

XII. THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 244 



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C n 



A NEW GUINEA RIVER 



• LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGB 

JAMES CHALMERS, THE PIONEER MISSIONARY OF NEW 

GUINEA Frontispiece 

COAST SCENE AT THE EAST END vii 

A NEW GUINEA RIVER xiii 

MAP OF NEW GUINEA 1 8 

RUATOKA AND HIS WIFE 23 

PORT MORESBY 3 1 

NATIVES IN MOURNING 33 

FRUIT SELLERS COMING OFF TO A VESSEL ... 43 

A CHINA STRAITS CANOE ^ 49 



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xiv LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

PAGE 

NATIVES OF SOUTH-EASTERN NEW GUINEA . . . -53 

NEW GUINEA WEAPONS AND ORNAMENTS 59 

SAVAGE LIFE IN NEW GUINEA 63 

A TREE HOUSE FOR WOMEN AT KOIARI 67 

FLEET OF LAKATOIS STARTING FOR THE WEST . . -75 

WOMEN MAKING POTTERY 77 

LAKATOIS IN FULL SAIL 81 

A LAKATOIS GOING WEST 85 

women's canoe laden with POTTERY 9I 

A STREET IN AN AROMA VILLAGE 95 

A FOREST OF PANDANUS TREES Ill 

NATIVE TEACHERS 121 

TUPUSELEI 123 

CANOE OFF TUPUSELEI 1 24 

W. G. LAWES, OF PORT MORESBY 1 27 

A NATIVE OF PORT MORESBY I30 

WIDOW MOURNERS AND A DEAD-HOUSE 13I 

QUEEN KOLOKA OF NAMOA ........ I37 

THE CHIEF'S HOUSE AT TUPUSELEI . . . * . . 141 

MARAE AT TUPUSELEI 147 

A PORT MORESBY GIRL 151 

DUBUS AT VAILALA AND MAOPA.— KOAPENA, CHIEF OF MAOPA 163 

A NEW GUINEA DANDY 169 

A HULA GIRL . . ^ 177 

LOHIA MARAGA AND OTHER KOIARI CHIEFS . . . . 183 

IN BERTHA LAGOON— CLOUDY MOUNTAIN IN THE DISTANCE . 1 89 

A YOUTHS' DUBU 195 

A TREE HOUSE, KOIARI . ... . . 203 

A NEW GUINEA VILLAGE IN THE GULF . . . . .205 

NEW GUINEA NATIVES COOKING YAMS 21$ 

MANGROVE SWAMP 217 

A STREET IN NEW GUINEA 223 

MARINE DWELLINGS 23 1 

A NEW GUINEA GRAVE 237 

GIGANTIC MALAVA TREE 245 



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PIONEER LIFE AND WORK 

IN 

NEW GUINEA 



CHAPTER I 

HOW NEW GUINEA CAME UNDER CHRISTIAN TRAINING 

To the north and north-west of Samoa are several groups 
of islands known on the chart as the Gilbert Group, EUice 
Group, and Tokelau Group. When it became known that 
a mission was contemplated by the British missionaries of 
Samoa to these islands, the missionaries of the Hervey 
Group, with which I was then connected, were anxious to 
join in the enterprise, so that the churches in their care 
might have an outlet for their zeal in Christ's work. The 
Samoan missionaries, however, thought, an,d rightly too, 
that they could undertake the entire mission alone, having 
at that time a large number of teachers and students. 
Moreover, these small groups of islands were much nearer 
to them than to us. 

Our chief reason for wishing to take part in the work 
was because Elikan^, the first to bring the gospel to these 
islands, was a native of one of our islands, and a deacon 
in one of our mission churches. The circumstances of his 
coming to these islands were intensely interesting. 



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20 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

The natives had held their May meeting on Manihiki, 
an island of the Humphrey Group ; and getting a large 
number of cocoanuts into a canoe, several of them had started 
to cross over to Rakahanga, another island of the same 
group about thirty miles away. When they left, the 
weather was fine and the wind just fresh, and they hoped 
to be over in a few hours ; but when more than half-way 
across a heavy squall came down on them. In the dark- 
ness they lost sight of land, and must have got headed off. 
When the squall passed they could see no land anywhere, 
and although they beat about they could pick none up. 
For days they hoped, but in vain, and so they gave them- 
selves up for lost. After many days of much suffering and 
many disappointments, seeing low islands, but unable to 
make them, they were at last driven on to an island. Some 
had died, and others were drowned, and Elikana and two 
more got ashore in a very weak state. 

They were found by natives and treated kindly, and 
taken to the chief, who received them as friends. Elikana 
had saved a Pilgrim's Progress, and, I think, his Bible, by 
having them fastened in a cloth round his waist. They 
astonished the natives with morning and evening prayers ; 
and soon after their recovery from the effects of the long 
exposure they began teaching and telling the story of 
Divine love as seen in Christ. 

The Pilgrim's Progress was divided out in leaves 
amongst the people, and several were taught to read. After 
a few years Elikana decided to get to Samoa, if possible, 
and inform the missionaries that these islands were waiting 
for the Gospel. He felt he was not sufficiently educated 
for the work, and was anxious, if he could, to get back to 
his home, and to Rarotonga, to be better educated, that 
he might return qualified to act as a teacher. Reaching 
Samoa, he told his story. The missionaries heard it with 
joy, and gave God thanks. They received him into the 



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NEW GUINEA UNDER CHRISTIAN TRAINING 21 

Malua College, and arranged to send teachers at once. 
From that day to this the work has prospered, and there 
are now churches on every island. 

The Samoan missionaries being able to undertake the 
work in these islands themselves, and declining our assist- 
ance, and we feeling that the life of the native churches in 
the Hervey Group and out-stations depended largely in 
being in close relationship with the heathen, and in active 
service for Christ, we all betook ourselves to earnest prayer 
that God would give us fields for labour. I shall never 
forget those years. Meetings were frequently held in the 
chapels and grew in intenseness, and then meetings for 
prayer were gathered in many homes, and these becoming 
too small, houses were built in all the districts, and several 
times a week many met at night in these houses to ask 
God's blessing and fields for labour. Then came 1871, 
when the Directors of the London Missionary Society 
decided on extending their South Pacific field of operations 
to the great island of New Guinea, and Messrs. Murray 
and Macfarlane were asked to charter a vessel, take a few 
teachers, and proceed to that great land. In the Hervey 
Group the excitement was great, as we felt we too might 
take part in that work. Then came the request for more 
teachers, and I now remember it with a thrill of pleasure. 
Meetings for thanksgiving were held for the wide field 
opened, and for the honour bestowed upon us in being 
permitted to take part with Christ in His great work. 

My dear old friend and fellow-worker, the Rev. Dr. Gill, 
had arranged to go home on his first furlough in 1872, and 
we decided in committee to ask him to take a number of 
teachers in charge, and with Mr. Murray place them on the 
mainland of New Guinea. Dr. Macfarlane, after the visit 
in 1 87 1, returned to England, and Mr. Murray was left in 
charge, taking up his residence at Somerset, Northern 
Queensland, near to Cape York. 



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22 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

Preparations were at once beg^n to get our first contin- 
gent away. At one early morning meeting the chapel was 
crowded, and I proposed that we should pray that God 
would help us to select the best men for the very important 
undertaking. At that meeting several old men stood up 
and said, * Take \is all : if we cannot learn the language to 
speak for Jesus we can live for Him, and help the younger 
men in station work.* The enthusiasm was intense. Five 
men and their wives were selected, and from all the islands 
we had numerous offers of service. 

The time was drawing near when they must leave. 
Who that witnessed that * setting apart' Sunday at 
Avarua, Rarotonga, will ever forget it? Old men and 
women, young men and women, wept with real joy. That 
sobbed * Amen * of the setting-apart prayer of the whole 
assembly I hear now. Five men and their wives leaving 
home and friends and all that was dear to them for the 
name of the Lord Jesus- Christ ! I think of it now with 
wonder and praise. The churches and congregations were 
everywhere thrilled. 

The John Williams arrived and remained a few days. 
Then the parting came, a never-to-be-forgotten day. 
Twenty-two years have gone since then, but the memory 
is still fresh. One of the five, Ruatoka, was sent with fear 
and trembling, being apparently in bad health and very 
weak, and I was strongly urged not to send him. He 
much wished to go, and thinking he could bear it, I agreed ; 
and to-day he is the only one left, all the others are dead 
and buried. The names were — 



Ruatoka and wife 
Rau and wife . 
Heneri and wife 
Adamu and wife 
Anederea and wife 



From Mangaia. 
„ Aitutaki. 
,, Manihiki. 



„ Rarotonga. 
They called at Aitutaki, and there the interest was as 



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NEW GUINEA UNDER CHRISTIAN TRAINING 23 

intense as on Rarotonga and Mangaia. At Samoa they 
were joined by Piri and his wife, who were there in charge 
of a Rarotonga colony, so that they were now six. 

The John Williams left the teachers and Dr. Gill at 
Somerset, with Mr. Murray, and she proceeded to Sydney. 
Murray and Gill chartered a small vessel, and crossed the 
Papuan Gulf to Redscar Bay, and there came to an anchor 
near to some small islands off the coast at Redscar Head. 
They were soon in communication with the natives, and 
after visiting several places decided to leave the teachers 



RUATOKA AND HIS WIFE 

at Manumanu, the largest village in tl 
and people seemed friendly, and all pro 
teachers well. The chief's name was N 
after when visiting him, I found him 
He sat in front of me, and pretending 
cold, said, * Tamate, listen ! Why am 
cold ? What have I done that no teach 
here now ? Did not I defend the teach 
came, and was this not the door by wh 
into this land ? Some sought to kill tl 
allow them. When I had food, did I 



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24 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

with them ? and so now tell me what I have done to be left 
in poverty and cold.* 

Manumanu proved very unhealthy, several teachers 
died, and the living were removed to Somerset ; but not 
before they had made many good friends with the other 
sections of the Motu tribe, especially those who visited 
them from Hanuabada, afterwards named by Captain 
Moresby, Port Moresby. The captain called in Redscar 
Bay, and finding some of the teachers very ill he got them 
on board his ship the Basilisk, and treated them very 
kindly. They were on board when Port Moresby was 
discovered. Over the reports that were received from 
Manumanu many tears were shed and prayers offered, but 
never once did the Hervey Group churches waver in their 
love to Christ, and holy resolve to teach New Guinea about 
Him. 

The teachers who were removed to Somerset remained 
there until November of 1873, when Mr. Murray brought 
them back to New Guinea, and this time to Port Moresby, 
where they had a right good reception from the natives at 
home, many others being in the Gulf on their long trading 
trip for canoes and sago. 

In 1874, Mr. and Mrs. Lawes, with their son Charles, 
settled at Port Moresby, the only white people on the 
whole of New Guinea, and, with a few teachers, claimed 
the island for Christ our King. 

Of all those first teachers only Ruatoka, still at Port 
Moresby, now remains. All are dead, some from the 
climate, others by the hands of the natives. It is proposed 
to erect tablets to their memory in the small English 
church at Port Moresby, so that their names may be 
perpetuated in the memory of succeeding generations. 

The first teachers were from Lifu and Mar6 in 1871. 
In 1872 the Rarotonga Institution sent its first, and in 1874 
Niu6 joined. In 1878, Raiatea gave a good contingent; 



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NEW GUINEA UNDER CHRISTIAN TRAINING 25 

and visit after visit of the John Williams brought us 
numbers of these men and women. In 1884, I think it 
was, Samoa agreed to help us, and since then she has sent 
us men and women who have done good service for Christ. 
Of many of them also it can be said they were * Faithful 
unto death.' 

Such were the beginnings. At the East End there is 
now a good strong mission. The central station is at 
Kwato, where there is a large institution, almost self- 
supporting, and where a healthy gospel is lived and taught. 
Connected with Kwato the brethren have numerous out- 
stations to the east in Milne Bay, and on to East Cape. 
There they meet the Wesleyan brethren, who take up the 
work from East Cape to Cape Vogel, and also occupy the 
D'Entrecasteaux Group and Louisiade Archipelago. , From 
Cape Vogel to Mitre Rock, the boundary between Germany 
and Britain, the Anglican Church of Australia is now 
working. 

To the west of Kwato there are stations to Suau and on 
towards Orangerie Bay in charge of New Guinea natives 
who have been trained for the work. 

At Toulon or Mailukolo, Mr. Walker has begun * 
another central station, and has charge of teachers in 
Amazon Bay and on to Table Point. 

At Kerepunu Mr. Pearse resides, and his district 
extends from Table Point to Round Head, and he has 
many teachers from Eastern Ifolynesia, and others that he 
has trained himself at various points along the coast. The 
progress made in this district in late years has been great, 
and at present Mr. Pearse is training a goodly company of 
young men and their wives, who will eventually be placed 
at stations to teach their countrymen of Christ. 

The next central station to Kerepunu is at Port 
Moresby, which for years was our one basis of operations 
for mission-work. East and west there are teachers, 



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26 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

Polynesians and New Guineans, and their work is being 
greatly prospered. 

At Delena, in Hall Sound, is another central station. 
Across the Sound from Delena is Yule Island, where the 
members of the Sacred Heart Mission reside. They have 
begun work in a large inland district, Mekeo, and have 
already several stations. Being the first white man to 
visit Mekeo, and having made many friends at several of 
the villages, I had hoped to have placed teachers at various 
points ; but scarcity of men and money prevented it at the 
time, and soon after the Roman Catholic Mission of the 
Sacred Heart arrived and established itself. 

To the west of Cape Possession is the large Elema 
district, the latest to be brought under the influence of the 
Gospel. The central station is for the present at Yokea, 
where there is sufficient ground for cultivation to have a 
large institution for the training of native evangelists. 

At Orokolo, the most westerly part of Elema, we have 
two teachers, whose influence has been already felt, and 
there were a few seeking baptism when I was there last 
A murder had been committed at the beginning of the 
■ year, and the murderers were asked to give themselves up 
when the Government should demand them. Sir William 
Macgregor in his despatch states that on his demanding 
the murderers two of them did give themselves up, while 
the third was in the bush getting food, and therefore left 
for the present. 

A few miles to the west of Orokolo is the large Namau 
district, where cannibalism is practised. As yet we have 
no mission there, but hope soon to have one. The people 
have been long waiting for teachers, and have promised to 
receive them and treat them kindly. I have visited nearly 
all the villages of that district, and have been able to make 
friends everywhere. 

The Fly River is a long way to the west of Namau. 



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NEIV GUINEA UNDER CHRISTIAN TRAINING 27 

In these western districts it will be difficult to work with 
our noble Polynesian teachers, because of the unhealthiness 
of the climate, arising from the low, swampy nature of the 
country, and so it will become necessary to employ New 
Guineans, and for that we are now preparing. Teachers 
were placed at the mouth of the estuary of the Fly by 
Dr. Macfarlane, but because of the unhealthiness of the 
climate many died and others left ; and only two remained, 
one on Bampton Island, and another at Sumai on Kiwai. 
In 1893 I baptized on the former island forty candidates, 
and was well pleased with the public statements of the 
men ; and at Sumai sixteen were baptized, the men all 
publicly testifying of their acceptance of the Gospel and 
their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. 
Early in the same year, we had the ordinance of the Lord's 
Supper for the first time in the Fly River district, and a 
very solemn and interesting occasion it was. I hope that 
from these two churches we shall get young people to train 
as evangelists. Then when the time comes to occupy 
places farther up the river, we shall have men and women 
ready. 

It was in 1883, if I remember rightly, that a college 
was begun at Port Moresby, in order that young men and 
their wives who had chosen Christ might be received from 
the various districts and trained for the work of preaching 
Him. Some of these are to-day our best teachers, and 
have been the means of great good in various parts. They 
have led many to Christ, who have been baptized, and are 
united in small churches which keep increasing every year. 
That this work of educating native evangelists might be 
more efficiently carried on, the district committee and the 
Directors arranged for a college on a more permanent basis, 
and that it should be under the charge of a missionary 
whose time might be entirely devoted to it The plan is 
this ; that young men and their wives who have been con- 



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28 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

verted and are good workers, and assist their teachers, and 
are anxious to become teachers themselves, be taken to the 
central station where the white missionary lives, and there 
be instructed and prepared for admission to the college. 
At the college they will remain for a few years and receive 
instruction in English and Motuan, the latter being the 
language into which the New Testament has been trans- 
lated. When fit they will be drafted from the college to 
villages where they will reside as teachers. Mr. Lawes, 
who is to take charge of the college, has already built houses 
a little inland of Kapakapa, a village thirty-two miles east 
of Port Moresby. 



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29 



CHAPTER II 

EARLY EXPERIENCES 

Towards the close of 1877, Mr. Chalmers and Mr. 
Macfarlane visited New Guinea for the purpose of exploring 
the coast, landing native teachers at suitable spots, and 
thus opening the way for future missionary effort. What 
followed is given in Mr. Chalmers' words : — 

We left Sydney by the Dutch steamer William M*Kin- 
non on September 20, 1877, for Somerset. The sail inside 
the Barrier Reef is most enjoyable. The numerous islands 
passed and the varied coast scenery make the voyage 
a very pleasant one — especially with such men as our 
captain and mates. On Sunday, September 30, we reached 
Somerset, where we were met by the Bertha, with Mr. 
Macfarlane on board of her. Mr. Macfarlane was soon 
on board of the steamer to welcome us, and remained with 
us till the evening. There was very little of the Sabbath 
observed that day — all was bustle and confusion. Quite 
a number of the pearl-shelling boats were at Somerset 
awaiting the arrival of the steamer, and the masters of these 
boats were soon on and around the steamer receiving their 
goods. 

On Tuesday, October 2, we left Somerset in the Bertha 
for Murray Island, anchoring that night off Albany. On 
Wednesday night we anchored off a sandbank, and on 
Thursday off a miserable-looking island, called Village 
Island. On Friday we came to York Island, where we 
went ashore and saw only four natives— one man and three 



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30 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

boys. At 1 1 P.M. on Saturday we anchored at Damley 
Island. This is a fine island, and more suitable for vessels 
and landing goods than Murray, but sapposed to be not 
so healthy. The island is about 500 feet in height, in 
some parts thickly wooded, in others bare. It was here 
the natives cut off a boat's crew about thirty years ago, for 
which they suffered — the captain landing with part of his 
crew, well-armed, killing many, and chasing them right 
round the island. They never again attempted anything 
of the kind. Asa native of the island expressed himself 
on the subject : — * White fellow, he too much make fright, 
man he all run away, no want see white fellow gun no 
more.' In 1871 the first teachers were landed here. 

Our party was a tolerably large one — Ruatoka (the 
Port Moresby teacher), some Port Moresby natives, and 
four Loyalty Island teachers, on their way to East Cape. 
We did not see a strange native all the way. We had our 
hammocks made fast in the bush by the river-side, and 
rested until 3 P.M., when we started for another part of 
the river, about seven miles off, in a south-east direction. 
After sunset we reached the point where the river was to 
be crossed, and there we meant to remain for the night. 
At 3 A.M. of October 26 we struck camp, and after 
morning prayers we began to cross the river, which was not 
over four feet in the deepest part. It was here Mr. Lawes 
crossed when he first visited the inland tribes ; so now, led 
by Ruatoka, we were on his track. The moon was often 
hidden by dark clouds, so we had some difficulty in keeping 
to the path. We pressed on, as we were anxious to get to 
a deserted village which Mr. Goldie knew to breakfast. 
We reached the village about six, and after we had par- 
taken of breakfast we set off for the mountains. When we 
had gone about four miles the road became more uneven. 
Wallabies were not to be seen, and soon we were in a valley 
close by the river, which we followed for a long way, and 



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o 



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32 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

then began to ascend. We climbed it under a burning sun, 
Ruatoka calling out, Tepiake^ tepiake, tepiake (Friends, 
friends, friends). Armed natives soon appeared on the 
ridge, shouting, Misi Lao, Misi Lao. Ruatoka called back, 
Misi Imo (Mr. Lawes), and all was right — spears were put 
away and they came to meet us, escorting us to a sort of 
reception-room, where we all squatted, glad to get in the 
shade from the sun. 

We were now about i,ioo feet above the sea level. 
We were surprised to see their houses built on the highest 
tree-tops they could find on the top of the ridge. One of 
the teachers remarked, * Queer fellows these ; not only do 
they live on the mountain tops, but they must select the 
highest trees they can find for their houses.' We were very 
soon friends ; they seemed at ease, some smoking tobacco, 
others chewing betel nuts. I changed my shirt, and when 
those near me saw my white skin they raised a shout that 
soon brought the others round. Bartering soon began — 
taro, sugar-cane, sweet yams, and water were got in 
exchange for tobacco, beads, and cloth. 

After resting about two hours, we proceeded to the 
next village, five miles farther along the ridge. Some of 
our party were too tired to accompany us ; they remained 
where we expected to camp for the night After walking 
some miles we came unexpectedly on some natives. As 
soon as they saw us they rushed for their spears, and 
seemed determined to dispute our way. By a number of 
signs — touching our chins with our right hands, etc. — they 
understood we were not foes, so they soon became friendly. 
They had their faces blackened with soot, plumbago, and 
gum, and then sprinkled over with white ; their mouths 
and teeth were in a terrible mess from chewing the betel 
nut. On our leaving them, they shouted on to the next 
village. An old man lay outside on the platform of the 
next house we came to ; he looked terribly frightened as 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 33 

we approached him, but as, instead of injuring him, we 
gave him a present, he soon rallied and got us water to 
drink. By-and-by a few gathered round. We understood 
them to say the most of the people were away on the 
plains hunting for wallabies. One young woman had a 
net over her shoulders and covering her breasts, as a token 



NATIVES IN MOURNING 



of mourning — an improvement on their ordinary attire, 
which is simply a short grass petticoat — the men nil. 

After a short stay, we returned to where we thought of 
camping for the night, but for want of water we went on to 
the village we had visited in the forenoon. We slung our 
hammocks in the reception-room, had supper, and turned 
in for the night. It felt bleak and cold, and the narrowness 
of the ridge made us careful, even in our sleep, lest we 
should fall out and over. On coming across the highest 

C 



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34 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

peak in the afternoon, we had a magnificent view of Mount 
Owen Stanley, with his two peaks rising far away above 
the other mountains by which he is surrounded. It must 
have been about thirty miles off, and, I should think, 
impossible to reach from where we were. We were entirely 
surrounded by mountains : mountains north, east, south, 
and west — above us and below us. I question if it will ever 
be a country worth settling in. 

We were anxious to spend the Sabbath at Port 
Moresby, so, leaving the most of our party, who were too 
tired to come with us, to rest till Monday, Mr. Macfarlane, 
Ruatoka, and I set off on our return very early on Satur- 
day morning, and had strangely difficult work in getting 
down the mountain side and along the river. Fireflies 
danced all round in hundreds, and we awakened many 
strange birds before their time, which gave forth a note or 
two, only to sleep again. We reached Port Moresby 
about mid-day, tired indeed, and very footsore. Oh, that 
shoemakers had only to wear the boots they send to 
missionaries ! 

Early on Sunday morning a great many natives went 
out with their spears, nets, and dogs, to hunt wallabies. A 
goodly number attended the forenoon service, when Mr. 
Lawes preached. A good many strangers were present 
from an inland village on the Astrolabe side. There is 
not yet much observance of the Sabbath. Poi, one of the 
chief men of the place, is very friendly : he kept quite 
a party of his inland friends from hunting, and brought 
them to the services. Mr. Lawes preached again in the 
afternoon. As we went to church in the afternoon the 
hunters were returning : they had evidently had a suc- 
cessful day's hunting. During the day a canoe came in 
from Hula, laden with old cocoanuts, which were traded 
for pottery. 

In the evening an old sorceress died, and great was the 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 35 

wailing over her body. She was buried on the Monday 
morning, just opposite the house in which she lived. A 
grave was dug two feet deep, and spread over with mats, 
on which the corpse was laid. Her husband lay on the 
body, in the grave, for some time, and, after some talking 
to the departed spirit, got up, and lay down by the side of 
the grave, covered with a mat. About mid-day the grave 
was covered over with the earth, and friends sat on it 
weeping. The relatives of the dead put on mourning by 
blackening their bodies all over, and besmearing them with 
ashes. 

On October 31 the Bertha left for Kerepunu. As I 
was anxious to see all the mission stations along the coast 
between Port Moresby and Kerepunu, I remained, to 
accompany Mr. Lawes in the small schooner Mayri. We 
left on the following day, and sailed down the coast inside 
the reef. We arrived at Tupuselei about mid-day. There 
were two teachers here, and Mr. Lawes having decided to 
remove one, we got him on board, and sailed for Kaili. 
The villages of Tupuselei and Kaili are quite in the sea. I 
fear they are very unhealthy — mangroves and low swampy 
ground abound. The Astrolabe Range is not far from the 
shore we were sailing along all day. There is a fine bold 
coast line, with many bays. 

In the early morning our small vessel of only seven 
tons was crowded with natives. We left the vessel about 
9 A.M. for a walk inland, accompanied by a number of 
natives, who all went to their houses for their arms before 
they would leave their village. They have no faith what- 
ever in one another. We passed through a large swamp 
covered with mangroves — then into a dense tropical bush, 
passing through a large grove of sago palms and large 
mango trees. The mangoes were small — about the size of 
a plum — and very sweet At some distance inland I took 
up a peculiar-looking seed ; one of the natives, thinking 



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36 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

I was going to eat it, very earnestly urged me to throw 
it away, and with signs gave me to understand that if 
I ate it I should swell out to an enormous size, and 
die. 

We walked about seven miles through bush, and then 
began the ascent of one of the spurs of the Astrolabe. On 
nearing the inland village for which we were bound, the 
natives became somewhat afraid, and the leader stopped, 
and, turning to Mr. Lawes, asked him if he would indeed 
not kill any of the people. He was assured all was right, 
and then he moved on a few paces, to stop again, and 
re-inquire if all was right. When reassured, we all went on, 
not a word spoken by anyone, and so in silence we entered 
the village. When we were observed, spears began rattling 
in the houses ; but our party shouted, Maino, maino (V^diC^y 
peace), Mist Lao^ Mist Lao ! The women escaped through 
the trap-doors in the floors of their houses, and away down 
the side of the hill into the bush. We reached the chief's 
house, and there remained. 

The people soon regained confidence, and came round 
us, wondering greatly at the first white men they had ever 
seen in their village. The women returned from their 
flight, and began to cook food, which, when ready, they 
brought to us, and of which we all heartily partook. We 
gave them presents, and they would not suffer us to depart 
till they had brought us a return present of uncooked food. 
They are a fine, healthy-looking people, lighter than those 
on the coast. Many were in deep mourning, and frightfully 
besmeared. There are a number of villages close by, on 
the various ridges. We returned by a different way, 
following the bed of what must be in the rainy season a 
large river. The banks were in many places from eight to 
nine feet high. 

On the following morning, November 3, we weighed 
anchor and set sail, passing Kapakapa, a double village in 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 37 

the sea. The houses are large and well built. There are 
numerous villages on the hills at the back of it, and not 
too far away to be visited. We anchored off Round Head, 
which does not, as represented on the charts, rise boldly 
from the sea. There is a plain between two and three 
miles broad between the sea and the hill called Round 
Head. There are many villages on the hills along this part 
of the coast. We anchored close to the shore. A number 
of natives were on the beach, but could not be induced 
to visit us on board. We went ashore to them after 
dinner. They knew* Mr. Lawes by name only, and became 
more easy when he assured them that he was really and 
truly Mist Lao, They professed friendship by calling 
out, MainOy maino ! catching hold of their noses, and 
pointing to their stomachs. After a little time, two ven- 
tured to accompany Mr. Lawes on board, and received 
presents. I remained ashore, astonishing others by striking 
matches, and showing off my arms and chest. The 
women were so frightened that they all kept at a re- 
spectful distance. These are the natives from an inland 
village that killed a Port Moresby native about the begin- 
ning of the year. When those who accompanied Mr, 
Lawes on board the Mayri returned to the shore, they were 
instantly surrounded by their friends, who seized the 
presents and made off They had received fish, biscuit, and 
taro. The taro and fish were smelt all over, and carefully 
examined before eaten. The biscuit was wrapped up 
again in the paper. 

On Sunday, November 4, we were beating down 
through innumerable reefs, and at 8 P.M. we anchored 
about three miles from Hula. The following morning we 
went up to the village, the Mayri anchoring close by the 
houses. The country about here looks fine and green, a 
very striking contrast to that around Port Moresby. The 
further east we get from Port Moresby, the finer the 



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38 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

country looks. The people are also superior — finer made 
men and women, and really pretty boys and girls — more, 
altogether, like our eastern South Sea Islanders. The 
married women spoil their looks by keeping their heads 
shaven. They seem fond of their children : men and 
women nurse them. They were busy preparing their large 
canoes to visit Port Moresby, on the return of the Port 
Moresby canoes from the west with sago. 

About 3 in the afternoon an old woman made her 
appearance at the door of the mission-house, bawling out, 
* Well, what liars these Hula people are ; some of them 
were inland this morning, and the chief asked them if Misi 
Lao had come, and they said no.' The chief, who saw 
the vessel from the hill-top where his village is, thought 
it strange the vessel should be there without Misi LaOy 
so sent this woman to learn the truth. She received a 
present for herself and the chief, and went away quite 
happy. 

Next morning, November 6, we left Hula with a fair 
wind, and were anchored close to Kerepunu by 9 A.M. 
The Bertha was anchored fully two miles off. Kerepunu is 
•a magnificent place, and its people are very fine-looking. 
It is one large town of seven districts, with fine houses, all 
arranged in streets, crotons and other plants growing about, 
and cockatoos perching in front of nearly every house. 
One part of the population plant, another fish, and the 
planters buy the fish with their produce. Men, women, 
and children are all workers ; they go to their plantations 
in the morning and return to their homes in the evening, 
only sick ones remaining at home ; thus accounting for the 
number of scrofulous people we saw going about when we 
first landed. They have a rule, to which they strictly 
adhere all the year round, of working for two days and 
resting the third. 

The Bertha arrived here on Friday evening. Mrs. 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 39 

Chalmers was at the forenoon service on the Sunday, and 
found there a large congregation. The service was held 
on the platform of one of the largest houses. Anederea 
preached, a number sitting on the platform, others in the 
house, others on the ground all round, and many at the 
doors of their own houses, where they could hear all that 
was said. Mr. Lawes decided to remain at Kerepunu, to 
revise for the press a small book Anederea has been 
preparing, and to follow us to Teste Island in the Ellen- 
gowan. 

We left Kerepunu on the morning of November 8, the 
Mayri leaving at the same time, to sail down inside the 
surf. We went right out to sea, so as to beat down, had 
fine weather, and were off Teste Island by the i6th. After 
dinner we took the boat, and with the captain went in on 
the east side of the island through the reef, to sound and 
find anchorage. When we reached the lagoon a catamaran 
with three natives on it came off to us. We asked for 
Koitau, the chief, which at once gave them confidence in 
us, so that they came alongside, one getting into the boat. 
He expressed his friendship to us in the usual way — viz. 
by touching his nose and stomach — and being very much 
excited, seized hold of Mr. Macfarlane and rubbed noses 
with him, doing the same to me. He received a present of 
a piece of hoop-iron and some red braid, which greatly 
pleased him. We found the water was deep enough over 
the reef for the vessel, and good anchorage inside. We 
went on to the village, to see about the supply of water. 

The people were very friendly, and crowded round us. 
We were led up to a platform in front of one of their large 
houses, and there seated and regaled with cocoanuts. The 
natives here are much darker than are those at Kerepunu ; 
most of them suffer from a very offensive-looking skin 
disease, which causes the skin to peel off in scales. In 
their conversation with one another I recognised several 



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40 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

Polynesian words. The water is obtained by digging in 
the sand, and is very brackish. 

We came to anchor next morning, and soon were sur- 
rounded with canoes, and our deck swarmed with natives 
trading their curios, yams, cocoanuts, and fish for beads and 
hoop-iron. Many were swearing friendship, and exchang- 
ing names with us, in hopes of getting hoop-iron. There is 
as great a demand for hoop-iron here as for tobacco at Port 
Moresby. They told us they disliked fighting, but delighted 
in the dance, betel nut, and sleep. The majority have jet- 
black teeth, which they consider very beautiful, and all have 
their noses^ and ears pierced, with various sorts of nose and 
ear-rings, chiefly made from shell, inserted. A crown piece 
could easily be put through the lobe of their ears. 

We went ashore in the afternoon. There are three 
villages, all close to one another. Their houses are built 
on poles, and are shaped like a canoe turned bottom 
upwards, others like one in the water. They ornament 
their houses on the outside with cocoanuts and shells. 
The nabobs of the place had skulls on the posts of their 
houses, which they said belonged to the enemies they had 
killed and eaten. One skull was very much fractured ; 
they told us it was done with a stone axe, and showed us 
how they used these weapons. 

We tried to explain to them that no one was to come 
to the vessel the next day, as it was a sacred day. In the 
early morning some canoes came off to trade, but we sent 
them ashore ; a few more followed about breakfast time, 
which were also sent ashore. In the afternoon our old 
friend of the preceding day came off with his wife and two 
sons. He called out that he did not wish to come on 
board, but that he had brought some cooked food. We 
accepted his present, and he remained with his family in 
his canoe alongside the vessel for some time, and then 
went quietly ashore. We had three services on board, one 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 41 

in the forenoon in Lifuan, in the afternoon in Rarotongan, 
and in the evening in English. 

As Teste Island is about twenty miles from the main- 
land, with a dead beat to it, I decided to seek for a position 
more accessible to New Guinea, and as I had not a teacher 
to spare for this little island, Mr. Macfarlane decided to 
leave two of the Loyalty Island teachers here. It is fertile, 
and appears healthy, is two and a half miles long and half 
a mile broad, A ridge of hills runs right through its centre 
from east-north-east to west-south-west. The natives have 
some fine plantations on the north side, and on the south 
and east sides they have yam plantations to the very tops 
of the hills. There are plantations and fruit trees all round 
the island. 

On Monday I accompanied Mr. Macfarlane when he 
went ashore to make arrangements to land his teachers 
and secure a house for them. The people seemed pleased 
that some of our party would remain with them. We 
passed a tabooed place, or rather would have done so had 
we not been forced to take a circuitous path in the bush. 
None of the natives spoke as we passed the place, nor till 
we were clear of it ; they made signs also to us to be silent. 
A woman had died there lately, and the friends were still 
mourning. There had been no dancing in the settlement 
since the death, nor would there be any for some days to 
come. 

I think women are more respected here than they are 
in some other heathen lands. They seem to keep fast hold 
of their own possessions. A man stole an ornament 
belonging to his wife, and sold it for hoop-iron on board 
the Bertha. When he went ashore he was met on the 
beach by his spouse, who had in the meantime missed her 
trinket ; she assailed him with tongue, stick, and stone, and 
demanded the hoop-iron. 

The teachers were landed in the afternoon, and were 



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42 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

well received. The natives all promised to care for them, 
and treat them kindly. There are about 250 natives on 
the island. Next morning we left, but, owing to light 
winds, we did not anchor in Hoop Iron Bay, off Moresby 
Island, till the morning of November 22. The an- 
chorage here is in an open roadstead. It is a very fine 
island — the vegetation from the water's edge right up 
to the mountain tops. Plantations are to be seen 
all round. The people live in small detached companies, 
and are not so pleasant and friendly-looking a people as 
are the Teste Islanders. This is the great Basilaki, and 
the natives are apparently the deadly foes of all the 
islanders round. Before we anchored, we were surrounded 
by catamarans (three small logs lashed together) and 
canoes — spears in them all. 

Mr. Macfarlane decided, as soon as we came to the 
island, that he would not land his teachers here ; and I 
did not consider it a suitable place as a head station for 
New .Guinea. We left Moresby Island at 6 A.M. on 
November 23, and beat through Fortescue Straits, between 
Moresby and Basilisk Islands. The scenery was grand — 
everything looked so fresh and green, very different from 
the death-like appearance of Port Moresby and vicinity. 
The four teachers were close behind us, in their large 
whale-boat, with part of their things. On getting out of 
the straits, we saw East Cape ; but as there is no anchor- 
age there we made for Killerton Island, about ten miles 
from the cape. The wind being very light, it was 8 P.M. 
before we anchored : the boat got up an hour after us. 
There was apparently great excitement ashore ; lights 
were moving about in all directions, but none came to us. 
In the morning, a catamaran with two boys ventured 
alongside of us ; they got a present, and went away shout- 
ing. Soon we were surrounded with catamarans and 
canoes, with three or four natives in each. They had no 



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44 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

spears with them, nor did they kill a dog on our quarter- 
deck, as they did on that of the Basilisk. They appeared 
quite friendly, and free from shyness. They brought off 
their curios to barter for beads, red cloth, and the much- 
valued hoop-iron. The whole country looked productive 
and beautiful. After breakfast, we went ashore, and were 
led through swampy ground to see the water. On our 
return to the shore, we went in search of a position for the 
mission settlement, but could not get one far enough away 
from the swamp, so we took the boat and sailed a mile 
or two nearer the cape, where we found an excellent 
position near a river. Mr. Macfarlane obtained a fine new 
house for the teachers, in which they are to remain till they 
get a house built. We took all the teachers* goods ashore, 
which the natives helped to carry to the house. One man, 
who considered himself well dressed, kept near us all day. 
He had a pair of trousers, minus a leg : he fastened the 
body of the trousers round his head, and let the leg fall 
gracefully down his back. 

On the following morning, two large canoes — twenty 
paddles in each — came in from somewhere about Milne 
Bay. They remained for some time near the shore, getting 
all the news they could about us from the shore folk ; then 
the leader amongst them stood up and caught his nose 
and pointed to his stomach — we doing the same. The 
large canoes went ashore, and the chief came off to us in a 
small one. We gave him a present, which greatly pleased 
him. 

After breakfast, we went ashore to hold a service with 
the teachers. We met under a large tree, near their house. 
About 600 natives were about us, and all round outside of 
the crowd were men armed with spears and clubs. Mr. 
Macfarlane preached. When the first hymn was being 
sung, a number of women and children got up and ran into 
the bush. The service was short ; at its close we sat down 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 45 

and sang hymns, which seemed to amuse them greatly. 
The painted and armed men were not at all pleasant- 
looking fellov^s. 

At 2 in the morning (Monday) we weighed anchor 
and returned to Moresby Island. The wind was very 
light, and we had to anchor at the entrance to Fortescue 
Straits. Next morning we sailed through the straits, and 
on coming out on the opposite side we were glad to see 
the Bertha beating outside. By noon we were on board 
the Bertha and off for South Cape, the Mayri going to 
Teste Island with a letter, telling the captain of the 
EUengowan to follow us, and also to see if the teachers 
were all right. 

By evening we were well up to South Cape. The 
captain did not care to get too near at night, and stood away 
till morning. About lo next morning I accompanied the 
captain in the boat, to sound and look for anchorage, which 
we found in twenty-two fathoms, near South-West Point. 
By half-past S that evening we anchored. The excite- 
ment ashore was great, and before the anchor was really 
down we were surrounded by canoes. As a people, they 
are small and puny, and much darker than the Eastern 
Polynesians. They were greatly excited over Pi's baby, a 
fine plump little fellow, seven months old, who, beside 
them, seemed a white child. Indeed, all they saw greatly 
astonished them. Canoes came off to us very early in 
the morning. About half-past 7, when we were ready to 
go ashore, there arose great consternation amongst the 
natives. Three large war canoes, with conch shells blow- 
ing, appeared off the mainland and paddled across the 
Mayri Straits. Soon a large war canoe appeared near the 
vessel. A great many small canoes from various parts of 
the mainland were ordered off by those on whose side we 
were anchored. They had to leave. On their departure a 
great shout was raised by the victorious party, and in a 



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46 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

short time all returned quietly to their bartering. It 
seemed that the Stacy Islanders wished to keep all the 
bartering to themselves. They did not wish the rest to 
obtain hoop-iron or any other foreign wealth. They are 
at feud with one party on the mainland, and I suppose in 
their late contests have been victorious, for they told us 
with great exultation that they had lately killed and eaten 
ten of their enemies from the mainland. 

About 9, we went ashore near the anchorage. I 
crossed the island to the village, but did not feel satisfied 
as to the position. One of our guides to the village wore, 
as an armlet, the jawbone of a man from the mainland he 
had killed and eaten ; others strutted about with human 
bones dangling from their hair and about their necks. It 
is only the village Tepauri on the mainland with which 
they are unfriendly. We returned to the boat, and sailed 
along the coast. On turning a cape, we came to a pretty 
village, on a well-wooded point. The people were friendly, 
and led us to see the water, of which there is a good supply. 
This is the spot for which we have been in search as a 
station for beginning work. We can go anywhere from 
here, and are surrounded by villages. The mainland is 
not more than a gun-shot across. God has led us. We 
made arrangements for a house for the teachers ; then re- 
turned to the vessel. 

In the afternoon I landed the teachers, their wives, and 
part of their goods — the people helping to carry the stuff 
to the house. The house in which the teachers are to reside 
till our own is finished is the largest in the place, but they 
can only get the use of one end of it — the owner, who con- 
siders himself the chief man of the place, requiring the 
other end for himself and family. The partition between 
the two ends is only two feet high. Skulls, shells, and 
cocoanuts are hung all about the house ; the skulls are 
those of the enemies he and his people have eaten. Inside 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 47 

the house, hung up on the wall, is a very large collection of 
human bones, bones of animals and of fish. 

1 selected a spot for our house on the point of land 
nearest the mainland. It is a large sand-hill, and well 
wooded at the back. We have a good piece of land, with 
bread-fruit and other fruit trees on it, which I hope soon 
to have cleared and planted with food, for the benefit of 
the teachers who may be here awaiting their stations, as well 
as for the teacher for the place. The frontage is the straits, 
with the mainland right opposite. There is a fine anchor- 
age close to the house for vessels of any size. 

Early next morning there was great excitement ashore. 
The large war canoe came off, with drums beating and 
men dancing. They came alongside the Bertha, and pre- 
sented us with a small pig and food. Then the men came 
on board and danced. The captain gave them a return 
present Mr. Macfarlane and I went ashore immediately 
after breakfast, and found that the teachers had been kindly 
treated. We gave some natives a few axes, and they at once 
set off to cut wood for the house, and before we returned 
to the vessel in the evening two posts were up. As the 
Bertha's time was up, and the season for the trade winds 
closing, everything was done to get on with the house. 
Mr. Macfarlane worked well. Two men from the Bertha 
and two from the Mayri joined with the four teachers in the 
work, and by Tuesday the framework was nearly up. We 
landed our things that day, and immediately after break- 
fast on Wednesday, December 5, we went ashore to reside ; 
and about 10 A.M. the Bertha left. On the Tuesday, Mr. 
Macfarlane and I visited several villages on the main- 
land : three in a deep bay, which must be very unhealthy, 
from the many swamps and high mountains around. The 
people appeared friendly, and got very excited over the 
presents we gave them. 

On Sunday, we met for our usual public services under 



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48 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

a large tree, and a number of natives attended, who of 
course could not make out what was said, as they were 
conducted in Rarotongan. At our morning and evening 
prayers numbers are always about who seem to enjoy the 
singing. We see quite a number of strangers every day — 
some from Brumer Island, Tissot, Teste, China Straits, 
Catamaran Bay, Farm Bay, and other places. Those from 
Vakavaka — a place over by China Straits — are lighter and 
better-looking than those here. The women there do not 
seem to tattoo themselves. Here they tattoo themselves 
all over their faces and bodies, and make themselves look 
very ugly. I have not seen one large man or woman 
amongst them all. 

We had much difficulty in getting a sufficient supply 
of plaited cocoanut leaves for the walls and roof of our 
house. By December 14 we had the walls and roof 
finished, when all our party moved into it We had a 
curtain of unbleached calico put up between the teachers' 
end and ours, and curtains for doors and windows, but 
were glad to get into it in that unfinished state ; the 
weather was breaking, and we felt anxious about the 
teachers sleeping in the tent when it rained, and we had 
no privacy at all where we were, and were tired of squatting 
on the ground, for we could not get a chair in our part of 
the house ; indeed, the flooring was of such a construction 
that the legs of a chair or table would have soon gone 
through it. 

On December 1 3 we were busy getting the wood we 
had cut for the flooring of our house into the sea to be 
rafted along ; got ten large pieces into the water by break- 
fast time. After breakfast, Mrs. Chalmers and I were at 
the new house, with the captain of the Mayri, when we 
heard a noise like quarrelling. On looking out, I saw the 
natives very excited, and many of them running with spears 
and clubs towards the house where Mrs. Chalmers, about 



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50 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

five minutes before, had left the teachers rising from break- 
fast I hastened over, and pushed my way amongst the 
natives till I got to the front, when, to my horror, I was 
right in front of a gun aimed by one of the Mayri*s crew 
(who had been helping us with the house) at a young man 
brandishing a spear. The aim was perfect : had the gun 
been fired— as it would have been had I not arrived in time 
— the native would have been shot dead. I pushed the 
native aside, and ordered the gun to be put down, and 
turned to the natives, shouting, Besi^ best! (Enough, 
enough !) Some of them returned their spears and clubs, 
but others remained threatening. I spoke to our party 
against using firearms, and then I caught the youth who 
was flourishing his spear, and with difficulty got it from 
him. Poor fellow ! he cried with rage, yet he did me no 
harm. I clapped him, and got him to go away. All day 
he sat under a tree, which we had frequently to pass, but 
he would have nothing to say to us. It seems a knife had 
been stolen, and he being the only one about the house 
when it was missed, was accused of taking it. One of the 
teachers was winding line, and he caught the young fellow 
by the arm to inquire about the knife. The lad thought 
he was going to be tied up with the line : he struggled, got 
free, and raised the alarm. 

Only the night before I had to warn the teachers against 
using firearms to alarm or threaten the natives. An axe 
was stolen ; every place about was searched for it, and for 
some time without its being found. At last, a native found 
it buried in the sand near where it was last used. It had 
evidently been hidden there till a favourable opportunity 
should occur of taking it away. During the search, the 
owner of the axe (one of the teachers) ran off for his gun, 
and came rushing over with it. I ordered him to take it 
back, and in the evening told them it was only in New 
Guinea that guns were used by missionaries. It was not 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 51 

so in any other mission I knew of, and if we could not live 
amongst the natives without arms, we had better remain at 
home ; and if I saw arms used again by them for anything 
except birds, or the like, I should have the whole of them 
thrown into the sea. 

In the afternoon of December 14 I went over to the 
house in which we had been staying, to stir up the teachers 
to get the things over more quickly ; Mrs. Chalmers re- 
maining at the new house to look after the things there, as, 
without doors or flooring, everything was exposed. I went 
to the seaside to call to the captain of the Mayri to send 
us the boat ashore, when, on looking towards my left, I 
saw twenty armed natives hurrying along. Though painted, 
I recognised some of them as those who were very friendly 
on board the Bertha, and spoke to them ; but they hurried 
past, frowning, and saying something I did not understand. 
They went straight on to the chiefs house, and surrounded 
our party. I passed through, and stood in front of them. 
One very ugly-looking customer was brandishing his spear 
close by me. It was an anxious moment, and one in which 
I am sure many would have used firearms. I called out to 
the teachers, * Remain quiet' Our chief sprung out on to 
the platform in front of the house and harangued. He 
was very excited. Shortly he called to the teachers, in 
signs and words, to bring out their guns and fire. They 
refused. He then rushed into the house and seized a gun, 
and was making off with it when one of the teachers caught 
hold of him. I, seeing the teacher with the chief, thought 
something was wrong, and went to them. We quieted him, 
and did our best to explain to him that we were no 
fighters, but men of peace. The babel all round us was 
terrible. By-and-by a request was made to me to give the 
chief from the other side a present, and get him away. I 
said, * No ; had he come in peace, and as a chief, I would 
have given him a present, but I will not do so now/ They 

D 2 



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52 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

retired to deliberate, and sent another request for a present. 
* No ; no presents to men in arms. If the chief returns to- 
morrow unarmed, he will get a present' It seems they 
are vexed with our living here instead of with them, 
because they find those here are getting what they consider 
very rich by our living with them. When quiet was re- 
stored, we returned to the carrying of our things. When 
we came to the last few things, our chief objected to their 
removal until he got a farewell present He had been paid 
for the use of the house before any of us entered it ; 
but we gave him another present, and so finished the 
business. 

Our large cross-cut saw was stolen during the hubbub. 
It belonged to the teachers at East Cape. It had only 
been lent to us, so we had to get it back. The next 
morning the chief from the other side came to see me. He 
received a present, and looked particularly sheepish when 
I tried to explain to him that we did not like fighting. All 
day I took care to show that I was very displeased at the 
loss of the saw, and by the evening I was told that it had 
been taken by those on the other side ; and offers of 
returning it were made, but I saw I was expected to buy 
it from them. I said, * No ; I will not buy what was 
stolen from me ; the saw must be returned, and I will 
give an axe to the one who goes for it, and fetches it to 
me.' 

The following day, Sunday, we held the usual services 
under a large tree near the mission-house. A great many 
strangers present ; the latter were very troublesome. On 
Monday afternoon the saw was returned. The Mayri left 
us that day, to visit the teachers at East Cape. The people 
are getting quieter. At present they are chiefly interested 
in the sawing of the wood for the flooring of the house. 
They work willingly for a piece of hoop-iron and a few 
beads, but cannot do much continuously. They seem to 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 53 

have no kind of worship, and their sports are few. The 
children swing, bathe, and sail small canoes. The grown- 
up people have their dance — a very poor sort of thing. A 
band of youths with drums stand close together, and in a 
most monotonous tone sing whilst they beat the drums. 
The dancers dance round the men once or twice, and all 
stop to rest a bit. I have been twice present when only 



NATIVES OF SOUTH-EASTERN NEW GUINEA 

the women danced. They bury their dead, and place 
houses over the graves, which they fence round, planting 
crotons, bananas, etc., inside. They do their cooking 
inside their houses. It was very hot and uncomfortable 
when we were in the native house. The master being a 
sort of chief, and having a large household, a great deal of 
cooking was required. Three large fires were generally 
burning in their end of the house for the greater part of the 



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54 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

day. The heat and smoke from these fires were not nice. 
Indeed, they generally had one or two burning all night, to 
serve for blankets, I suppose. 

We went on with our work about the place, getting on 
well with the natives and with those from other parts. We 
became so friendly with the natives that I had hoped to 
go about with them in their canoes. Several natives 
from one of the settlements invited me to visit their 
place, and said that if I went with them in their canoe 
they would return me. I went with them, and was 
well received by all the people at the settlement, where I 
spent some hours. On December 21 the Mayri returned 
from East Cape, and reported that all were sick, but that 
the people were very friendly and kind to teachers. 
Anxious to keep the vessel employed, and to prepare the 
way for landing teachers, I resolved to visit a settlement 
on the mainland at deadly feud with this people. The 
people here tried hard to dissuade me from going, telling 
me that as I stayed with them my h^ad would be cut off. 
Seeing me determined to go, they brought skulls, saying 
mine would be like that, to adorn their enemies' war canoe, 
or hang outside the chiefs house. Feeling sure that they 
did not wish me to go because they were afraid the hoop- 
iron, the knives, axes, beads, and cloth might also be dis- 
tributed on the other side, I told them I must go ; so they 
left me to my fate. 

I took the teacher with me that I hoped to leave there. 
We were received very kindly by the people. They led us 
inland, to show us there was water, and when we got back 
to the seaside they regaled us with sugar-cane and cocoa- 
nuts. They then told us that they did not live at the 
village, but at the next, and merely came here for food. 
We then got into a canoe, and were paddled up to the 
other village, where a great crowd assembled, and where 
we publicly gave the chiefs our presents. They danced 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 55 

with delight, and told the teacher not to be long until he 
came to reside with them. 

On our return we thought our friends seemed dis- 
appointed. We had suffered no harm ; however, as I had 
been unwell for some days, and felt worse on the day 
following my trip, they felt comforted, and assured me it 
was because of our visiting Tepauri. We had several things 
stolen, and amongst other things a camp oven, which we 
miss much. Yet these are things which must be borne, 
and we can hope that some day their stealing propensities 
will change. From a very unexpected source, and in a very 
unexpected manner, the whole prospects of this eastern 
mission seemed all at once to be upset. 

About 12 o'clock on December 29 three lads from 
the Mayri came ashore to cut firewood. One of them came 
to me, saying, * I 'fraid, sir, our captain he too fast with 
natives. One big follow he come on board, and he sit 
down below. Captain he tell him get up ; he no get up. 
Captain he get sword, and he tell him, s'pose he no get up 
he cut head off; he get up, go ashore. I fear he no all 
right' They left me and went towards the sawpit. Some 
men were clearing at the back of my house, some were 
putting up a cook-house, and the teachers were sawing 
wood. On the cook-house being finished, I was paying 
the men, when, on hearing a great noise, I rose up and 
saw those who were at the sawpit running away and 
leaping the fence, and heard firing as if from the vessel. 
I rushed into the house with my bag, and then out to see 
what it was. I saw natives on board the Mayri, and some 
in canoes; they were getting the hawser ashore, and 
pulling up the anchor, no doubt to take the vessel. Every- 
where natives were appearing, some armed, and others 
unarmed. Two of the lads from the vessel, wishing to get 
on board, went to their boat, but found the natives would 
not let it go. I shouted to the natives detaining it to let 



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56 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

it go, which they did. Had I not been near, they would 
certainly have been fired upon by the two lads, who were 
armed with muskets. Before the boat got to the vessel I 
saw natives jump overboard, and soon the firing became 
brisker. I rushed along the beach, calling upon the 
natives to get into the bush, and to those on board to cease 
firing. Firing ceased, and soon I heard great wailing at 
the chiefs house, where I was pressed to go. A man was 
shot through the leg and arm. On running through the 
village to the house to get something for the wounded man, 
I was stopped to see a young man bleeding profusely, shot 
through the left arm, the bullet entering the chest I got 
some medicine and applied it to both. 

When I reached the house I found Mrs. Chalmers the 
only calm person there. Natives were all around armed. 
When at the chief's house with medicine I Weis told there 
was still another, and he was on board. They kept shouting, 

* Boeasi, Boeasi,' the name of the man who was on board 
in the morning. I found a small canoe all over blood, and 
two natives paddled me off. On getting alongside, I saw 
the captain sitting on deck, looking very white, and blood 
all about him. I asked, * Is there still a man on board ? ' 
Answer : ' Yes.' ' Is he shot t ' ' Yes.' ' Dead ? ' * Yes.' 
He was dead, and lying below. I was afraid to remain 
long on board, and would not risk landing with the body ; 
nor would it do for the body to be landed before me, eis 
then I might be prevented from landing at all ; so I got 
into the canoe, in which one native was sitting. The other 
was getting the body to place in the canoe ; but I said, 

* Not in this one, but a larger one.' So ashore I went, and 
hastened to the house. I understood the captain to say that 
they attempted to take his life, and this big man, armed 
with a large sugar-cane knife, was coming close up, and he 
shot him dead. The captain's foot was frightfully cut He 
had a spear head in his side, and several other wounds. 



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EARLY EXPERIENCES 57 

The principal people seemed friendly, and kept assuring 
us that aJl was right, we should not be harmed. Great was 
the wailing when the body was landed, and arms were up 
and down pretty frequently. Canoes began to crowd in 
from the regions around. A man who had all along been 
very friendly and kept close by us advised us strongly to 
leave during the night, as assuredly, when the war canoes 
from the different parts came in, we should be murdered. 
I asked Mrs. Chalmers what she thought, but she was 
decidedly opposed to our leaving. She said, * God will pro- 
tect us. The vessel is too small, and not provisioned, and 
to leave will be to lose our position as well as endangering 
Teste and East Cape. We came here for Christ's work, 
and He will protect us.' 

In the dusk one of the crew came ashore, saying that 
the captain was very ill, and wanted to go off to Murray 
Island. I could not go on board and leave them here. 
We consented to the vessel's leaving, and I gave the lad 
some medicine for the captain, and asked him to send on 
shore all he could spare in the way of beads, etc. I took 
all that was necessary, and about half-past 7 the vessel 
left We were told we should have to pay something to 
smooth over the trouble, which we were quite willing to do. 
Late at night we had things ready. We had our evening 
prayers in Rarotongan, reading Psalm xlvi., and feeling 
that God was truly our refuge. 

People were early about on the 30th. We gave the 
things which were prepared, and they were accepted. The 
people from the settlement to which the man belonged who 
was shot came to attack us, but the people here ordered 
them back. Many people came in from islands and main- 
land. A number of so-called chiefs tell us no one will 
injure us, and that we can go on with our work. We thought 
it not well to have services out of doors to-day, so held 
prayer-meetings in the house. 



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58 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

Great crowds came in from all round on the 31st, and 
many war canoes. The people were extremely impudent, 
jumping the fence and taking no heed of what we said. 
One of the chief men of the settlement to which the man 
who was shot belongs returned from Vaare (Teste Island). 
He seemed friendly, and I gave him a present I had an 
invitation to attend a cannibal feast at one of the settle- 
ments. Some said it would consist of two men and a 
child, others of five and a child. The people continued 
troublesome all day, and seemed to think we had nothing 
else to do than attend to their demands. 

On January i we were told we might be attacked. 
There was a great wailing assembly at the other village. 
A canoe from Tanosine, with a great many ugly-looking 
men, passed, and our friends here seemed to fear they 
would attack us. We thought everything settled, and that 
we should have no more to pay. The warp belonging to 
the Mayri was carried past to-day and offered for sale ; but 
I would have nothing to do with it. We have tried the 
meek and quiet up till now, and they only become more 
impudent and threatening. Having tried the peaceful and 
pleasant, we determined to show the natives that we were 
not afraid, and resisted every demand, and insisted that 
there should be no more leaping the fence. On demands 
being made, I shouted, * No more ; wait, and when Beri- 
tama fighting canoe comes, then make your demands.' 
They seemed afraid, and became less troublesome. 

In the afternoon of January 2 the parties who had the 
hawser brought it to me ; but I would have nothing to do 
with it. I told them if Pouairo, the settlement of the man 
who was shot, determines to attack us, let them come ; we, 
too, can fight. One of the teachers fired off his gun at 
some distance from a bread-fruit tree, and the bullet went 
clean through a limb of it ; it caused great exclamations, 
and crowds went to look at it 



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6o UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

The hawser was returned and left outside. We took no 
notice of it. The people were much' quieter, and no 
demands were made. The cannibal feast was held. Some 
of our friends appeared with pieces of human flesh dangling 
from their neck and arms. The child was spared for a 
future time, it being considered too small. Amidst all the 
troubles Mrs. Chalmers was the only one who kept calm 
and well. 

The Ellengowan arrived on January 20. The natives 
were beginning to think no vessel would come ; but when 
it arrived they were frightened, and willing to forget the 
Mayri affair. A few days before she arrived some of our 
friends warned us against going too far away from the 
house. After her arrival we were able to go about among 
the people again. 



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6i 



CHAPTER III 

SOUTH CAPE IN 1 878 AND IN 1 882 

In 1878 missionary work was begun at South Cape, and 
four years after the establishment of that mission, on a 
review of the past, what evidences of progress were to be 
seen ! There were signs of light breaking in upon the 
long, dark night of heathenism. Looking at the condition 
of this people when the missionaries and teachers first landed, 
what did they find ? A people sunk in crime that to them 
has become a custom and religion — a people in whom 
murder is the finest art, and who from their earliest years 
study it Disease, sickness, and death have all to be 
accounted for. They know nothing of malaria, filth, or 
contagion. Hence they hold that an enemy causes these 
things, and friends have to see that due punishment is 
made. The large night firefly helps to point in the 
direction of that enemy, or the spirits of departed ones are 
called in through spiritists' influence to come and assist 
and the medium pronouncing a neighbouring tribe guilty, 
the time is near when that tribe will be visited and cruel 
deeds done. They know nothing of a God of Love — only 
gods and spirits who are ever revengeful, and must be 
appeased ; who fly about in the night and disturb the 
peace of homes. It is gross darkness and cruelty, brother's 
hand raised against brother's. Great is the chief who claims 
many skulls ; and the youth who may wear a jawbone as 
an armlet is to be admired. 

When we first landed here, the natives lived only to 



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62 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

fight, and the victory was celebrated by a cannibal feast. 
It is painfully significant to find that the only field in 
which New Guinea natives have shown much skill and 
ingenuity is in the manufacture of weapons. The illustra- 
tion shows one of the most deadly of these in use. It is 
known as a man-catcher, and was invented by the natives 
of Hood Bay, but all over the vast island this loop of 
rattan cane is the constant companion of head-hunters. 
The peculiarity of the weapon is the deadly spike inserted 
in the handle. The modus operandi is as follows : — The 
loop is thrown over the unhappy wretch who is in retreat, 
and a vigorous pull from the brawny arm of the vengeful 
captor jerks the victim upon the spike, which (if the weapon 
be deftly handled) pepetrates the body at the base of the 
brain, or if lower down, in the spine, in either case inflicting 
a death-wound. 

All these things are changed, or in process of change. 
For several years there have been no cannibal ovens, no 
desire for skulls. Tribes that could not formerly meet but 
to fight, now meet as friends, and sit side by side in the 
same house worshipping the true God. Men and women 
who, on the arrival of the mission, sought the missionaries' 
lives, are only anxious now to do what they can to assist 
them, even to the washing of their feet. How the change 
came about is simply by the use of the same means as 
those acted upon in many islands in the Pacific. The first 
missionaries landed not only to preach the Gospel of 
Divine love, but also to live it, and to show to the savage 
a more excellent way than theirs. Learning the language, 
mixing freely with them, showing kindnesses, receiving the 
same, travelling with them, differing from them, making 
friends, assisting them in their trading, and in every way 
making them feel that their good only was sought They 
thought at first that we were compelled to leave our own 
land because of hunger ! 



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64 UFB AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

Teachers were placed amongst the people; many 
sickened and died. There was a time of great trial, but 
how changed is everything now! Four years pass on, 
and in 1882 we visit them. We left Port Moresby, and 
arrived at South Cape on a Sunday. Morning service was 
finished, and from the vessel we saw a number of natives 
well dressed, standing near the mission-house, waiting to 
receive us. The teachers came off, and with them several 
lads, neatly dressed. After hearing from them of the work, 
and of how the people were observing the Sabbath, we 
landed, and were met by a quiet, orderly company of men, 
women, and boys, who welcomed us as real friends. The 
first to shake hands with us was a chief from the opposite 
side of the bay, who in early days gave us much trouble, 
and had to be well watched. Now he was dressed, and his 
appearance much altered. It was now possible to meet 
him and feel he was a friend. We found Pi Vaine very ill, 
and not likely to live long ; yet she lived long enough to 
rejoice in the glorious success of the Gospel of Christ, and 
to see many of those for whom she laboured profess 
Christianity. We were astonished, when we met in the 
afternoon, at the orderly service, the nice, well-tuned 
singing of hymns, translated by the teacher, and the 
attention when he read a chapter in Mark's Gospel — 
translated by him from the Rarotongan into the dialect of 
the place. When he preached to them, all listened atten- 
tively, and seemed to be anxious not to forget a single 
word. Two natives prayed with great earnestness and 
solemnity. After service all remained, and were catechised 
on the sermon, and then several present stood up and ex- 
horted their friends to receive the Gospel. Many strangers 
were present, and they were exhorted to come as often as 
possible and hear the good news. Then, again, others 
offered prayers. We found that numbers came in on the 
Saturday with food and cooking pots, and remained until 



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SOUTH CAPE IN 1878 AND IN^ iSS2 65 

Monday morning. They lived with the teachers, and 
attended all the services, beginning with a prayer-meeting 
on Saturday night 

During our stay of a few days they all remained at the 
station, and we saw much of them. The teachers said 
there were twenty-one who professed faith in Christ and 
had given up heathenism and desired baptism. We visited 
further on to the east, and we were a week away on our 
return to South Cape, and after close examination of each 
candidate we decided to baptize them on the following 
Tuesday. The service was most interesting, and well 
attended by persons from various places. At night we 
examined the children and grown-up people who attended 
school, and were much pleased with them. A few could 
read in the Motu dialect ; others knew how to put letters 
together and form words. Of those baptized several were 
anxious to be instructed, that they might be better fitted 
to do work for Christ amongst their own countrymen. 
Already they held services, and exhorted in other villages, 
and when travelling they did all the good they could to 
others. 

The harvest ripens fast : where shall we look for 
labourers ? The Master has said, * Pray.' May they soon be 
sent ! The light is shining, the darkness is breaking, and 
the thick clouds are moving, and the hidden ones are being 
gathered in. We have already plucked the first flowers ; 
stern winter yields, and soon we shall have the full spring, 
the singing of birds, and the trees in full blossom. Hasten 
it, O Lord,. we plead ! 



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66 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 



CHAPTER IV 
A TRIP TO OIABU AND MEKEO 

Visiting the West in 1883 and placing teachers at Maiva 
afforded us a gocMd opportunity of seeing the district of 
Oiabu. Three years before, when visiting in the Gulf, we 
passed the eastern villages of this district, leaving them 
unvisited because the natives with us would not land, and 
spoke of the inhabitants as a tribe of pirates and murderers. 
As we were about to land young and inexperienced teachers 
in a new field, we were very anxious, and intended staying 
near them much longer than we are generally able to do. 
Invited by an old Oiabuan chief, who visited us at Maiva, 
to go to his village, we sent him home, saying we should 
soon follow. Before starting on a trip there is a great 
deal of work and excitement about the station. Orders 
are being given on all hands ; sails, oars, mast, and boat 
are all under way ; swag-making, food-boxing, collecting 
articles for trade, such as knives, tomahawks, beads, and 
tobacco, are all in full swing. 

It was a beautiful morning, a fine land breeze and a 
smooth sea, little surf on the beach, and our small colony 
all alive long before daylight A hurried breakfast, and 
soon it is, * Launch boat, and let us away.' For the first 
time Maiva natives are to act as crew; only one Motu 
native accompanies us, our friend Vaaburi, who swears he 
can never leave me, but where I go he must go, and where 
I stay he must stay. It was delightful sailing along the 



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A TREE HOUSE FOR WOMEN AT KOIARl 



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68 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

coast, light wind, and two oars out On rounding Cape 
Possession we had a strong current from the west, and the 
wind getting very light, we had to put out four oars and 
pull in close by the breakers. Soon our Maiva crew gave 
in and pulled away weakly, our Motu friend blowing tfiem 
up, and saying he thought they were strong and able for 
any distance. * Only wait until we become accustomed to 
these oars, and then ! * ' Ah, do you think you will beat 
us then ? ' And so the quiet chaff goes on, helping to keep 
up the Maiva boys a little. About 1 1 o'clock A.M. we were 
off the first western village, where no white face had ever 
been seen. Getting through the surf, we struck on a bank, 
where we were met by the natives. Just beyond was 
another sheet of water, then the shore. Anxious that Mrs. 
Lawes should have the satisfaction of being the first to 
land among these pirates and murderers and on this part 
of the coast, a. teacher on board picked her up and 
attempted to carry her from the bank to the shore, but, 
misjudging her weight, by comparing her in his mind with 
fever-stricken and worn-out beings, he was compelled to 
let her down in about three feet of water, when she waded 
ashore, the first really to land amongst these savages. 

What a reception ! Men, women, and children gather 
round, all are talking and shouting ; a number come off to 
us, and help us into the lagoon, and soon we are all received 
in grand style, our boat is caught up, and away they walk 
with her far beyond high-water mark into the bush. What 
boots it now ? We are entirely in their hands, and away 
we go, they carrying our goods to the village, a miserable 
collection of houses for New Guinea. There was one large 
temple. When Mrs. Lawes saw it she said^ * Why, impos- 
sible ; I cannot go there. You surely do not expect me to 
ascend that ladder to such a height ! ' Ah, well, madam, 
if a better can be found, and something more terrestrial, 
30 much the better. * Take our gear somewhere else ; the 



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A TRIP TO 01 ABU AND MEKEO 69 

lady cannot climb up these poles!' Away we go to 
another. Well, it was one foot lower, but certainly not 
more, and there were, perhaps, one or two more rungs in 
the ladder. It was a house 70 feet long and 20 feet broad, 
built on posts 18 feet from the gp-ound ; in front a large 
entrance or platform, in shape like a crocodile's mouth 
under jaw — platform, upper jaw — shade. Ah, dear lady, 
and what now } No weapons of any kind, and a crowd of 
excited savages all round, all urging ascent. Rungs are 
about 2\ feet apart, and made for more nimble legs. Here 
goes ; and we climb. Not nearly so bad as was ailtici- 
pated : the shaky binding gave way, and we might easily 
have gone over ; but never mind, up, and wait to go down. 
The dubu is clean, and is at once handed over to us. 

* Tamate, you take all for yourself and friends.' 

I was never here before, yet find I am an old friend. 

Having been long without food, we soon had a good 
fire on the platform, and kettle and pans on. I enjoy 
this kind of camping when with good, free-hearted com- 
panions, men and women who look upon a little roughing 
as thoroughly enjoyable, and who for the sake of it would 
leave their comfortable homes to have a spell of it. The 
dubu has only one small door into it from the verandah ; 
inside it is dark, but when the eyes become accustomed, 
benches down both sides are seen, and nets, drums, bows, 
and arrows are all about A large crowd of men gather 
on the platform, in order to have a good look at us. No 
women or children are allowed to ascend the ladder. The 
cooking was intensely interesting to them. While we were 
dining they behaved remarkably well, permitting us to eat 
in peace, and, sitting down, making quiet remarks amongst 
themselves. 

On our leaving, the chief proffered his services to lead 
his new-made friends about. We crossed the creek and 
came to a tolerably large vills^e, where there was drum- 



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70 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA^ 

ming, dancing, and feasting. It was one of their annual 
feasts. Squatting right in the centre of the village is our 
friend Vaaburi, surrounded by an admiring crowd. He is 
teaching them some new music, accompanying it with the 
drum. When he was with me on the Wolverene one of the 
tars presented him with a blue jumper, of which he was 
very proud, and wore for months ; he now had it on. Our 
appearance, however, proved to be a more forcible attrac- 
tion. A mat was spread, and we were invited to be seated. 
The crowd increased very much. After a little, three 
finely-dressed swells appeared, one of whom immediately 
claimed friendship with Mrs. Lawes. Vaaburi was inter- 
preter. He said : 

' Misi Haine, that is your friend ; you met him and 
were kind to him long, long ago. Tamate, these are your 
friends. When you called here before, their fathers gave 
you cocoanuts and bananas and became your friends ; 
they are dead, and now these are glad to see you.' 

During our absence the ladder to our dubu had been 
strengthened and the rungs put much closer. We spent 
the hours until lo P.M. singing, and then spread our mats 
on the platform, fearing to go inside because of the mice 
with which the dubu was infested. A little after lo our 
native friends arrived to see how we were getting on, and 
insisted on Mrs, Lawes accompanying them to their home. 
They remained long, and would have remained all night 
but for a few presents, and being asked to leave us to sleep 
and return in the morning. 

In the morning, at daylight, our friends returned, and 
with them a number of men, women, and children, carrying 
cooked and uncooked food. We had morning prayers, 
during which all remained very quiet. When we had 
finished breakfast we sang * Auld lang syne,' and joined 
hands. The shouting and roaring were something terrible, 
and again and again we had to sing it, they joining hands 



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A TRIP TO OIABU AND MEKEO 71 

with great delight Encore and again encore^ and sing we 
must Every new arrival must hear the song and join 
hands. 

They brought us food and pigs ; the latter we left for 
another occasion, the former filled our boat They carried 
all our things down, and then walked the boat into the sea. 
What a farewell ! Men, women, and children handshaking 
and shouting : 

' Now do return soon ; go, but let not many moons pass 
until we see you again.' 

* Good-bye, Oiabu friends ! we hope soon to return ; ' and 
away we went through the surf and returned to Maiva. 

During my various visits to Maiva, the chief Meauri 
and his friends have always been anxious that I should 
visit a district friendly with them called Mekeo. They 
spoke of it as inhabited by a kindly people, who grew large 
quantities of various kinds of .food, and had betel nuts in 
such abundance that they knew not what to do with them. 
During our present visit Meauri reminded me of a promise 
made some time ago that I certainly had forgotten, and 
begged me to go in and fulfil it 

We arranged to start on Monday morning, Meauri to 
accompany us ; but when the morning came his lordship 
found some plausible excuse to remain behind, and we 
started, led by Meauri*s two uncles, several cousins follow- 
ing. We found swamps at the back of the inland Maiva 
villages, between the latter and the low range of hills, 
about half a mile in breadth. We came to the first village, 
about nine miles from Maiva, close to a large, deep swamp. 
The houses were few, and built on very high posts. The 
natives were much afraid at first It was soon evident that 
our guides had only to order what they desired, and it 
was at once fetched. After being refreshed with cocoanut 
we again started, and having walked about four miles we 
came to another small village, where we met Anapanau, 



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72 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

chief of Aepena, who was living here becaiise he had 
recently lost one of his wives. He is a fine old fellow, 
light-coloured, tall, and well-proportioned, with enornious 
teeth, one formed like a horse's hoof In the house in 
which we were resting were two large peculiar-looking 
things, made from the fibrous network, of a light-brown 
colour, got from the top of the cocoanut and sago-palm. 
The various pieces were carefully sewn together with the 
fibre from the bark of a tree. They were about seven feet 
long and three broad, and looked like cases in which dead 
bodies might be kept. Finding no peculiar effluvia, I 
made bold to ask, and was informed they were used as 
mosquito nettings ; the sleepers crawled inside from the 
top, and then fastened down the door, preferring rather to 
be stewed than eaten. 

The chief told us he was sorry he could not go on to 
the large village, but his brother would certainly receive us 
kindly. From the first village to this we had no swamps, 
only muddy patches here and there ; the country was 
tolerably open, with long grass and clumps of trees. So it 
was from Aepena to Inauepae, three miles. We were right 
in the village before we were observed. We were warmly 
received by Anapanau*s brother, Maino Parau. The after- 
noon being well advanced, cooking was soon begun, and a 
cup of refreshing tea made us feel less tired. The village 
is a large one, with an extensive cocoanut grove running 
right round. There are two rows of houses, with a nice 
clean street in the centre, and a miserable reception-house 
at each end. Some of the houses are well built, but not 
much can be said of others. The natives bury their dead 
in the front of their dwellings, and cover the grave with a 
small house, in which the near relatives sleep for several 
months. 

Smoking long, we at last made a show of retiring, when 
fires were lighted all round and underneath. Down 



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A TRIP TO OIABV AND MEKEO 73 

blankets, up mosquito nettings, and turn in. I really can- 
not say which was worse, to be eaten by mosquitos or 
smoke-dried while living. Without the smoking, our faces 
would be like those of the boys who went to steal the 
honey in the night By tucking our nets carefully under 
our blankets we were soon able to give orders to remove 
the underneath fires. The flooring of our house was only 
round pieces of different kinds of wood. We slept well, 
and were up betimes, walking about Again our last 
night's visitors returned, and we determined to follow 
them. Our guides and new-made friends objected, but it 
was no use, we told them we must go on. 

The natives are a very fine-looking people, light- 
coloured, tall, and well-built, and resemble those of Hood 
Bay more than any others I know. Having got our swags 
ready in the early morning, we were soon on the road for 
our homeward journey. Our carriers were heavily laden 
with betel nuts, and one with a dead dog and taro. Shortly 
after our arrival our hosts killed two dogs to entertain us, 
which our followers soon dismissed ; the third was killed 
and sent to Meauri. In killing the dogs they struck them 
on the head with a large stick, and then broke all their 
legs. We arrived at Maiva about 2 P.M., wet and tired. 



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74 / UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 



CHAPTER V 
A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 

In this chapter we shall, by means of brief extracts from 
the journal of a voyage undertaken in 1883, endeavour to 
convey to the reader some idea of the most interesting 
incidents in one of the annual trading trips to the West 
This is the only known instance of a white man going on 
such a trip. The extracts are given at length, and it may 
not be amiss to point out that this was the only voyage 
that had at that date been made along the Papuan Gulf by 
a white man with natives in their lakatois. 

October S, 1883. — Long before daylight, sounds of 
weeping and wailing came from the village, and we knew 
that at last the sago traders to the West were really going 
to start Long have I had a desire to take a trip in one of 
the lakatois, so yesterday I took my passage on board of 
the Kevaubada, commanded by Vaaburi and Aruako, and 
was, therefore, early astir this morning. A few tears and a 
little wailing awaited my exit Saying good-bye to friends, 
I took the whale-boat and followed the canoes, which had 
left some time before, and joined mine at Kohu, about two 
miles from Port Moresby. Many friends were there to bid 
farewell to the adventurous spirits who for at least four 
months would be absent from their homes. Wood and 
water were put on board, sails were squared, and then 
began a terrible scene, weeping, howling, tearing hair, 
scratching faces until the blood flowed, clasping dear ones 



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76 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

in long embraces: wives their husbands, children their 
parents, and young ladies their future husbands. It was 
enough to melt a stony heart 

At Idlers' Bay we parted with the last of our friends, 
and there tears were dried up and the ocean-singing began 
in right earnest. The laughing and joking was, however, 
strained, and not the hearty outburst of joyous hearts. We 
were thirty-five all told. Our lakatoi consisted of four 
large canoes lashed together, with good bulwarks made of 
leaves strongly bound together with mangrove saplings. 
We had two masts of mangrove, stepped on top of the 
canoes with stays and backstays of rattan cane. Our sails 
were made of mats and shaped like the large crab claw. 
Fore and aft were good-sized houses, made of wood, and 
packed full of pottery. Running right round was a plat- 
form 2\ feet wide. The canoes were full of the pottery 
which for months past the women have been making, and 
in the centre, between the masts, was a large crate also 
full. On the top of the crate were two planks covered 
with a mat, and on these I slept. Close by me was 
Vaaburi, who seldom spoke, and who, until we passed 
Idlers' Bay, kept himself covered with a blanket ; and 
on the other side was Keroro, a lad of ten years, who 
was acting for Aruako, and who was also considered 
helaga ( = sacred). Hanging close by each was a small pot, 
in which was good-wind and favourable-weather medicine, 
consisting of burnt banana leaves. They told me although 
it was a good breeze it was impossible for the lakatoi to 
sail well to-day as there was too much feeling with the 
friends left behind, but to-morrow I should see what could 
be done. 

We went about four knots an hour. We had several 
boys on board ; each had his station, and was kept pretty 
constantly baling. About 1 1 P.M. we anchored eight miles 
east of Hall Sound. All were tired, and throats were very 



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A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 77 

sore from singing so much, so there was no need to drone 
to sleep. 

October 6. — Not early awake, as when we rose the sun 
had already appeared in his gigantic striding over the high 
mountains of the Stanley Range. We have on board 
several church members, and before turning-to we had 
morning service, and then breakfast, when we poled in 



WOMEN MAKING POTTERY 



towards the shore reef, where all the young men landed to 
get wood, cane, and a large stone to be used as an anchor. 
They did all heartily, and seem to have got over the 
parting of yesterday. We have four cooking-places — two 
on the platform, and two inside, close by my quarters. 
The latter belong to the two chief men, and they being 
sacred can only have their food cooked there, and each has 



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78 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

a man to cook for him. The food must not be touched 
with the hands, and when they are eating they never speak. 
The former belong to the crew, and only there may they 
have their food cooked. The food in its uncooked state is 
first presented at each mast, when something like a prayer 
is offered to the spirits of their ancestors. On this voyage, 
a church member engaged in prayer to the only living and 
true God. 

All ready ; but we have to wait for wind, so the time 
is spent in going over their wealth. What a collection ! 
Arm-shells, large and small ; tomahawks, old and new ; 
beads, foreign and native ; cloth of all colours, nose-jewels, 
frontlets and breastplates. All exhibit, and in rotation. 

I am anxious to press on, as I fear wind will fail in a 
day or two ; but other canoes suggest our spending Sunday 
here. 1 am decidedly opposed, and propose spending 
Sunday at sea. Some of our crew are busy lashing the 
anchor — i.e. a large stone about three hundredweight — and 
they say they will soon be ready. 

Noon. — I insist on leaving, so up sails, in hawsers 
(canes), and we clear away, soon followed by others, who 
are growling all the time they are getting ready. Every- 
body seems master, and I fancy all do as they like. 
Orders are given with great hesitancy, and in such a 
manner as if doubtful whether they will be attended to. 
Some wish to return and wait, and I fancy would be glad of an 
excuse to go back. To them this journey of 200 miles 
is something awful. The excuse is that the wind is not 
strong enough. I am asked to give orders for a short time, 
but decline, as I am anxious to see how they will act All I 
insist on is that they keep on, and on no account dilly-dally 
so as to lose the wind. They have become very scrupulous 
about Sunday, and are anxious to put into Delena ; but I 
explain to them the day can be more quietly and profit- 
ably spent at sea. 



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A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 79 

We were quite away, and I was standing on my deck 
bunk — dinner being spread for the crew — when Aruako, 
an old robber-chief, who was the cause of much suffering 
in past years, said, 'Tamate, would you sit down for a 
little until I ask God's blessing on this food, that my boys 
may eat?' He lacks knowledge, but from all I have seen 
of him he means well. 

When in front of Hall Sound entrance, the lakatoi was 
brought right up in the wind; and the robber-chief took his 
little nephew by the hand and handing him two wisps of 
cassowary feathers, stood in front shaking them with a 
peculiar motion of the body, and turning to the foremast 
did the same ; then came aft, and turning to the mainmast 
went through the same performance. When breaking her 
off again all shouted, as if driving something away. 

Long ago, it seems, the Motuans, to keep an open 
coast, killed many Loloans, who had interfered with one 
of their canoes^ and since then the Lolo spirits have been 
troublesome in that one place, detaining the lakatois ; 
hence the above incantation to drive them away. We 
were successful, and got beyond the passage all right, the 
tide being on the slack at the time. 

Immediately after, several bunches of bananas were 
brought to each mast, which formerly would have been 
presented as a thank- and peace-offering to the spirits of 
ancestors, and I doubt not were so in many minds 
now, only the church members sought blessing on food 
from Him whom they profess to love and serve. How 
busy all are, scraping bananas, cleaning pots, and getting 
water ! 

Nothing is thrown overboard : the banana skin is care- 
fully kept, to be thrown into the river we enter. To throw 
anything overboard now would be a terrible crime, and cause 
the spirits to oppose us in every way. Unfortunately, I 
cannot remember, and so often offend with banana skin 



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8o LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

and cocoanut shell. At sunset we were oflf Maiva ; the 
other lakatois put into Delena 

Sunday, October 7. — During the night there was very 
little wind, and at daybreak we were only off Oiabu, round 
Cape Possession. All night long the singing and drumming 
were continued, so now that it is morning all are quiet and 
many asleep. In the singing Vaaburi coaches them. We 
are nearing lokea, and hope to have communication. The 
wind has entirely failed, and after pulling for two hours we 
found we were going back with the strong current ; so 
out anchor, with about thirty fathoms of cane rope. The 
cane is made fast to the mast After anchoring, all are 
assembled ; and we have a very pleasant service, conducted 
chiefly by the Motuans. It was short, but I think to the 
point Many of the Motuans have a tendency to exceed- 
ingly long prayers, but to-day, having been told before- 
hand, they were short and precise, not wandering over 
many fields. The lokeans seem to be away from home, 
possibly hunting. 

Afternoon. — We have been anxiously waiting for wind, 
but, alas! that commodity seems scarce indeed, so we 
are still at anchor, and have another short interesting 
service. I fear there is no chance of a start to-day, and 
some are now talking of a hunt to-morrow. 1 did hope to 
see some old friends from the shore with cocoanuts and some 
cooked food. 

In the evening we heaved anchor, and dropped down 
with the tide nearer the village, to be ready to get wood 
and water in the morning. 

October 8. — Very early in the morning we saw the 
other canoes far out, and bearing away for Maclatchie 
Point The Porebada and Tatana canoes have just 
anchored close by us. A small canoe came off from the 
shore, and in it three old friends with cocoanuts. I landed 
at lokea, and met my old friend Rahe Makeu, of Motumotu, 



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82 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

who is here planting. He is very pleased to meet me, and 
wishes I would go now to Motumotu. This is the begin- 
ning of Elema, and the beginning of nose-rubbing. Sharp 
noses would soon be flattened in this district, and it would 
be as well to carry a small pocket looking-glass, as the 
face-colours are varied. 

About twelve we bade farewell to our friends, up sail, 
in anchor, and away. We have a fine breeze, but a strong 
current against us. Near sundown we were off Motumotu, 
and saw the Tatana and Porebada lakatois enter the river. 
Our sail gave way, so it had to be lowered for repairs, 
which were soon executed. All the food to be cooked 
for the crew is first placed close by the masts. To-night 
several bunches were so placed and presented to the spirits, 
that we might get along quicker. The current is very 
strong against us, and the wind is light. Instead ot 
following the old customs, they consent to one of the church 
members engaging in prayer. The singing and drum- 
beating continues, and hopes are great that we shall 
anchor to-morrow at Vailala or Perau, on the Annie River. 

October 9. — We have had the strong current all night, 
and a light easterly wind. This morning the wind is so 
light that the long paddles are out and several are pulling 
hard. Last night, about 9, we were close alongside a 
large schooner beating to the eastward. I had turned in, 
thinking the light we saw was one of the other lakatois, so 
we kept away from her, but not long after there was a 
terrific shout, Nao^ nao (foreigner), so I sprang up, and 
found we were close under the schooner. I hailed her, but 
all we could make out was that she was from Thursday 
Island. 

Soon after, I went to sleep, but not for long, as I was 
aroused by those on duty, who must have thought the bay 
full of foreign vessels, as they reported more lights. This 
time the lights were from the lakatois we had seen far out 



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A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 83 

in the morning, and who, finding the current too strong, 
stood in. We were then close to the Cupola and near 
to Uamai and Silo. We spoke the lakatois, and then 
instructions were given for no more lights to be shown and 
no more singing, as the natives from the shore might see 
us, and come off in canoes and take us, simply for the sake 
of the pottery. 

It seems that about midnight one of the canoes put 
about and bore down, wishing all to turn back to Karama 
and Motumotu, because of the strong current Our people 
said, * No ; pull away till morning. We have Tamate on 
board, and must do our best to get to Vailala,' and stood 
on, when the others followed. Had I not been on board, 
the whole party would have gone back to the above 
places. 

We are this morning in sight of Maclatchie Point Pisi 
is on our starboard beam ; right ahead are the Searle Hills, 
and away at the back the Albert Range. 

1 1 A.M. — No wind ; we are pulling, and only just 
able to hold our own against the current. A large fighting 
canoe is coming towards us, and our folks seem much 
concerned ; they ask Johnnie, my boy from the East End, to 
get his old fowling-piece charged, so as to be ready ; but he 
takes no notice, and they are afraid to appeal to me. We 
have been boarded by a noisy, impudent lot Before they 
approached, our boys hid all their valuables. As they 
neared I saw they were making for the bow, so I ordered 
them aft, and called out that they must not come on board. 
They seemed prepared to fight ; bows and arrows were all 
handy on the platform, fighting armlets were on, and a few 
had their clubs hanging on their backs. They said they 
had come for us, and Tamate and the lakatoi must go with 
them. I told them, * No, Tamate must go to Vailala, and 
I intended going to Namau.* They replied, * You will not 
go on ; we shall keep you ; ' and their canoe getting close, 



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84 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

two of them stepped on board, giving orders to make for 
their place. One of them seized me, and rubbed noses, 
and begged of me, as his friend, to land. * No, I will go 
on ; I shall not go in here. ' They were very excited, and 
looked nasty ; but our people were beginning to look as 
nasty, especially Aruako, the robber-chief I was anxious 
to avoid a collision, as this would make it unpleasant for 
me afterwards. A piece of rope fell into the water, and 
was picked up by them. Their canoe being close enough, 
Aruako stepped into it and took it from them, when one of 
them seized his club. Aruako looked black and fierce, 
and asked if they wanted to fight, for if they did just say 
so, and they would have plenty, for his first action would 
be to break up their canoe, and then with arrows to shoot 
them down. * No, no, we do not wish to fight ; but, great 
chief, your lakatoi must come to us. Our wives say we 
are weak and worthless, hence we have no lakatoi, and they 
have sent us off.' We insisted on their leaving ; and, 
anxious they should do so without a threat, I addressed my 
new friend, and told him they must not press on us, as I 
must go to Vailala. Again we rubbed noses ; he eisked 
me for an uro, and as I had none he begged for a piece of 
cloth. I took off my shirt, which wanted washing, and 
gave it to him, and so saved myself trouble with soap 
and water. Again we rubbed noses, and spoke of sincere 
friendship ; they got into the canoe and left us, saying, * It 
is good ; Tamate go.' 

Another lakatoi, about two miles from us, was then 
made for, joined by two more canoes from Pisi : and whilst 
I write the three are alongside. I do hope there will be no 
trouble. We cannot help them, so they must make the 
best of it. The plan they adopt is to board the lakatois, and 
if strong enough take everything of value, and so compel 
their victims to go with them. They will pay well for 
everything taken. If the Motuans resist, of course a fight 



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A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 85 

takes place. They will be ashamed to return if they do 
not succeed, and will probably visit Kerema, on the other 
side of the harbour, where two lakatois have already gone, 
and quarrel with them, to show their wives they have done 
their best. Their one cry is for pottery to cook their food, 
and that they may have hot water (gravy) to drink. 

A light breeze is coming up, and we are beginning to 



A LAKATOI GOING WEST 



move from their vicinity. The sun has been hot, very hot, 
all the morning. We are moving on. 

October 10. — Two canoes got in before us yesterday. 
We got in about 7 P.M., making the passage after dark. 
What excitement ! We hoped for a clear sunset, but the 
sun disappeared behind a thick covering ere taking his 
nightly bath. When nearing the passage, orders were 
many, and great were the preparations made. We must 



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86 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

go in on the other tack. "Bout ship/ and all young fellows 
were warned to keep to their stations, fore-and-aft men 
stand with paddles, the hawsers (canes) are all got ready to 
be thrown to the crowd standing on the point, who are 
to pull us over the bank and up the stream. The deep 
passage is avoided, as the wind is light and the river-current 
strong. When I heard that the hawser was to be handed 
ashore, I thought immediately of getting my books and a 
few things I wished to keep dry together, and if possible 
get them ashore, for I expected nothing but a general 
smash-up in the great white surf. I looked steadily ahead ; 
on she goes, up, down, all around terrific breakers. Ah ! 
there it is now ; one sea has boarded us ; we are right in 
the breakers ; shore-lights are guiding us, everybody is 
shouting ; one man is calling on his ancestors and talking 
to the wild seas, and saying, * Oh, my lakatoi, my lakatoi ; 
oh, my lakatoi will be broken.' Well done, she is on the 
bank. I now see all know what they are about. Hallo ! 
a terrific sea ; she swings, is soon righted ; a loud voice 
calls, * Boys, don't be afraid, keep to your stations ; ' she 
is away, sails are drawing, excitement getting greater ; 
shouting fore and aft, some calling, * Pray, oh pray ! ' On 
we go on the tops of seas ; nearer, still nearer ; the men 
on the shore are close by ; what now ? 

The hawser is left, we are aground ; one rush on to the 
platform over the bulwarks, fore and aft, regardless of lakatoi 
coming to grief; about 150 men have boarded us, shouting, 
yelling, and rubbing noses. What is it ? In the dark one 
might think a certain region had opened wide its portals 
and the imprisoned got free. Oh no, they are all excited 
friends ; joy overflowing at meeting us. All right now ; 
majority step overboard into the surf, seize the hawser, and 
soon walk us away into calm water, and up the river to 
the village. We are all right ; no damage, not even a 
wetting. 



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A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 87 

I have friends innumerable who claim me. Alas, alas ! 
I cannot say I like this nose-rubbing ; and having no look- 
ing-glass, I cannot tell the state of my face. When your 
nose is flattened, or at a peculiar angle, and your face one 
mass of pigment ! Cover it over, and say no more. 

In getting near the village a canoe comes down to us, 
and there is soon on board my old friend Avea. The 
excitement is something terrible — shouting, bawling, 
screaming, kept up until 10 P.M., when I land and make 
myself comfortable on the roomy verandah or platform 
of a large dubu. The people in the dubu receive many 
instructions concerning me, and are warned to be quiet 
and treat me well. 

So ends my trip on board the Motu lakatoi, Kevaubada. 
I enjoyed it much ; it was unique, and I shall not soon 
forget the kindness of all on board. They managed their 
cumbersome craft well, and would do so, I doubt not, in 
much worse weather than we had. I was more comfortable 
than I could have been on board the whale-boat, in which 
I have often had to make long voyages. We had not been 
in long when it blew hard from the east, and about i A.M. 
it began to rain, and continued until daylight, a true torrid 
zone downpour. When it began, Keni, a Motu celebrity 
from one of the other lakatois, came to me, saying he was 
going to keep me company and see that all went well with 
me ; but the rain was too much for him, and he soon dis- 
appeared into the more sacred and warmer precincts of the 
dubu. 

What a day ! These people need much to be taught, 
constantly taught, that * the merciful man is merciful to his 
beast' On board of the canoes, goods were early disposed 
of ; toeas (arm-shells), large and small, tomahawks, native 
beads, shirts, etc., were given away, each going to his own 
particular friend. And now the slaughtering or murdering 
is going on. Several dogs have departed this life. They 



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88 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

were caught by the hind legs and their brains dashed out 
against the canoes. Horns have been blowing, and pigs, 
some large, others of ordinary size, have been brought in 
well bound, and, hanging on poles, have had their skulls 
smashed with pieces of wood or stone clubs. It is so hor- 
rible that I dare not taste pork, but my expostulations are 
only laughed at. They seem drunken with dogs and swine, 
and care for nothing. Hanging all round the lakatois, and 
in numerous pots ready for cooking, are large supplies of 
the above. Inside of the bulwarks a terrible mess — betel 
nuts, pepper, cocoanuts, old and young, and sago, cooked 
and uncooked, with natives squatting everywhere. Now is 
feasting time ; after some days canoe-cutting will begin, 
and in return for the things now given the natives will help, 
and when the new canoes leave give payment in sago over 
and above that received all the time the lakatois are here. 
The pottery is disposed of last. 

My quarters are not at all bad. The dubu is large, 
about fifty feet in height in front ; the platform I am on is 
about ten feet from the ground, and one with the flooring 
of the dubu. I am outside, preferring it for light and air ; 
and hanging all round there are charms large and small, 
nets used for river and surf fishing, and fish-traps made 
like fools' caps of the spines of the sago frond, bows and 
arrows, and a few clubs. Entering by a small aperture, we 
are quite in, and when the eyes become accustomed to the 
darkness many are the charms, masks, bows, and arrows to 
be seen ; and running along on each side places like stalls, 
inside of which are fireplaces, with pieces of rope hanging 
over — on these the sleepers hang their feet. During the 
day very few are about, but at night the baildmg is well 
filled with men, who come tumbling in at all hours. My 
compartment is seven feet by three, with room for my 
goods and chattels, and for Johnnie to sleep alongside. 
I have slung my hammock between the posts on the plat- 



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A TRADING VOYAGE WITH THE NATIVES 89 

form. Over my head in the thatch are numerous arrows 
which have been shot there. The custom is, when the 
warriors return from a successful fight, to fire off arrows 
that will stick in the thatch. 

Afternoon. — One of the lakatois has begun disposing 
of cargo. All the pottery belonging to a man is arranged 
on the beach, and into each two small pieces of wood are 
put, and when finished the owner returns along the row, 
takes one piece out, and the purchaser follows, taking the 
other. Both parties tie the tokens carefully up, and put 
them away in a safe place, then the purchaser's family and 
friends come and carry away the pottery. When the time 
arrives for the lakatoi to return, the purchaser and all his 
friends set to work and get the sago required, one bundle 
of sago for each piece of wood. When the sago is finished 
he sends for the Motuan, who enters the sago-house with 
his small parcel, counts the tokens, and then counts the 
sago, and if all is right he then carries them on board ; if 
one or more bundles is short, there is a lively disturbance. 
In front of every dubu to-day are numbers of bows and 
arrows, all ready for action in the event of a disturbance 
over the trading. 

October 11. — One night, the lakatois being close by the 
large platform on which I live, I gave instructions that 
when they saw my lamp burning brightly all should be 
quiet, and we would have evening prayers. So about 
7 P.M. quietness stole over the immense gulf-sailing crafts 
and the usually noisy Vailala natives about me. I read 
from St. Matthew's Gospel, and then gave an address. 
The audience was large, and seemed to be deeply interested. 

A so-called friend has just been here to say he is very 
angfry because I have not given him a tomahawk. I tell 
him I give nothing and want nothing until I return 
from the West, and then I shall buy a pig for the expected 
boat's crew from Port Moresby, but no sago. 



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90 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

For my western trip I must go to Orokolo, and to my 
friend Apohe. There is a Maipua man here, Kunu, who 
will accompany me. He says he will go with me to other 
places. The people here are too busy, and will be so for a 
long time. They say now they are afraid ; but the first 
night they were not so, promising heartily to go with me. 

A crowd of Orokolans have come in, and with them 
the chiefs, Mama and Apohe. When I asked the latter to 
accompany me to Namau, he at once willingly consented ; 
but my angry friend of the morning said something, and 
all was changed. He found that he could not go — that 
he had killed people belonging to each place. I stopped 
negotiations at once, and went away as if terribly displeased. 
We shall see how this ends. 

There are chiefs in from several places, and all wish me 
to visit their districts. I tell them I have come for one 
object, and that I must accomplish, before I undertake 
anything else. The crews of the lakatois close by insist on 
my accepting a present of pottery. I am doubtful, but yield 
and say, *A11 right' Now, what am I to do with the 
pottery ; and then what am I to give the crews for the 
articles } Will they ever be satisfied } Presents from 
natives are not so easily accepted, and I fancy are never 
paid for, as the givers ever remind you, although you 
may have made presents in return a dozen times the value. 

I have just had to assert myself, and show them I must 
not be hampered. Having given Mama and Apohe of 
Orokolo presents, our dubu chief in coming up was very 
angry. He scowled, shouted, and talked much. Having 
leather belts, I thought I would try him, and went to give 
him one, pretending to think he was angry with some one 
else ; but he gave me his back. All right, friend. With 
savages I do not give up soon. I put the belt in his bag, 
when he looked black as a dark thundercloud, and again 
began shouting and talking loud, and on my approaching 



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92 LIFE AND. WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

him would have none of me. Now, I must have liberty to 
do as I like, give to whom I like, and go where I like. It 
is now my turn to look black and to speak loud, so in Motu 
I tell the crowd to stand out of the way, and then I call on 
boys from the lakatoi to come at once and pick up my 
things, and turning round roll up my mat and blanket to 
tie up, when the old fellow came, saying, * Oh, Tamate, 
stay, stay. I was not angry with you, but with others. 
Do stay ; do not leave me ; ' and insisted on rubbing noses. 
The boys came, and I got them to explain that I came for 
one object ; and if not attained, I return with all I have 
got, and that I must be allowed to do as I like, to give 
what I like, and to whomsoever I like. The old fellow 
says, * All right,' and I must not be vexed ; just so, and I 
am not. 

It is really pleasant to see so many old men and women 
about. Some have seen many, many years indeed, and 
have their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren 
about them. This cannot certainly be an unhealthy place, 
and there is always a constant supply of good food. The 
great blessing of the ancient city may be seen here, old 
men and women, and the streets echoing again with the 
noise of children. May it long, long continue ! 



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93 



CHAPTER VI 

AMONG THE CANNIBALS 

I HOPE to Start on Saturday for Orokolo, spend Sunday 
there, and on Monday morning away for Maipua. Delay 
is dangerous with natives, and the work of to-day left until 
to-morrow, to-morrow, the everlasting to-morrow, which 
never comes, and wearies the soul out of all strength and 
doing. I would get rid of to-morrow, if to-day were only 
long enough. 

October 12, 1883. — Rained, thundered, and blew all 
night My blanket is rather heavy this morning. The dubu 
was well filled. The natives must have been packed sardine 
fashion. This morning at prayers on the platform 
Aruadaela prayed that their young men might be saved 
from the devil's power, * and, if fishing in the river by-and- 
by, be preserved from these devils (crocodiles) floating 
about.* Great is the demand for fish-hooks. They are 
preferred to anything else, except tomahawks. I wished 
to get a fine carved pipe, and offered a knife, but was 
refused. My boy, Friday, got it for three fish-hooks. 

We have just finished our first school, held on our 
platform. When teaching our pupils * A ' they were 
convulsed with laughter, but after a time repeated well, 
one old handsome gentleman remembering so as to repeat 
several letters alone. A few years ago we prepared a sheet 
of sentences, the Commandments, and Lord's Prayer in 
their dialect, and now begin teaching it here. We sung A 
B C to the tune of * Auld lang syne ; ' all tried to join, 



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94 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

and it was like a thunderstorm between two hills, or over 
a city. 

Afternoon. — I have been trying to translate two hymns, 
but I find the Motuans do not know a word of the true 
Elema dialect They have a trading dialect, understood 
well by both parties, but neither can tell whence it came, 
nor who first used it, and it is only used by the Motuans 
and themselves. They say it is from ancient times, and 
friend Keni suggests it was taught to Edae by the spirit, 
in the ocean cave. With Avea's help I have finished two 
hymns, which, when read over and sung, are pronounced 
good by the people. Sitting in front of me is a man busily 
engaged in carving a spoon, made from the shell of the 
cocoanut, and his only tools are a small shell and a piece of 
flint brought from the east. 

October 13. — Hoped to have left to-day for Orokolo, 
but now raining very steadily, and likely to continue. 

The natives have Kaevakuku here also. We saw the 
men wearing the masks first on the other side, and taking 
a canoe, they crossed, paddling themselves. When coming 
along the beach from their canoe some of the men and all 
the lads in our dubu began shouting, sprung down from the 
platform, and away to the bush. The shouting informed 
the people in the village of the arrival, and the place was 
soon cleared of all women and children. 

The Kaevakuku are connected with a sacred festival, 
and they hold the power of taboo over cocoanuts and food 
required for the coming feast. All the men engaged in 
Kaevakuku are sacred for at least three moons before the 
feast, not seeing wife or children, and not living anywhere 
near their own houses. They have large masks, two, three, 
four feet in height, which they wear when going about 
Eight of these masks are now deposited in the Sydney 
Museum. These masks are generally shaped like a fool's 
cap, and the face represents some animal with a very long 



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96 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

mouth and teeth. The hat is made with small branches, 
wickerwork covered with native cloth, painted white, red, 
and black. They wear a cloak about 2\ feet long, and a 
petticoat or kilt about eighteen inches long, both made 
from the fibre of the large yellow hibiscus. They are not 
nearly so imposing as the Maiva Kaevakukus, who look like 
walking haystacks with large masks on the top. 

Before coming up to our platform they danced and 
rushed about, brandishing a stick held in the right hand. 
When finished, they ascended and went right in, where they 
undressed for a breathing spell. I tried one of the masks 
on, but it was too small for my large pate. 

So as to get away easily and quietly this morning, 
Johnnie and I packed last night in the dark. Our friends 
here are afraid I shall take away everything to Orokolo and 
Maipua. This is one of the difficulties of travelling amongst 
natives, the people you are with will do all they can to 
prevent their neighbours or neighbouring tribe getting 
anything. I have a borrowed iron box, a splendid article ; 
it locks, and into that I have packed everything of value. 
We have only one basket and my swag, everything else is 
left here. 

How interested they are in my writing ! Every day 
when at it I have admiring crowds to witness, and when 
new arrivals come on to the platform it is the one thing 
most spoken about, and I am generally pressed to do a 
little. Having cleared up, and * the pride of the morning ' 
departed, we had breakfast and were away by 9 o'clock. 
Passing through the village on the other side I met my 
friend Meka, who insisted on my visiting his dubu and 
drinking a cocoanut. It is a very fine building. On enter- 
ing it was very dark, but after a little I could see better. 
There were eighty masks arranged down each side, forty 
a side, and alongside of each mask a stick. There were 
drums ; pretty small ladders, made of cane, and used to 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 97 

ascend when beautifying the dubu ; spears, clubs, bows and 
arrows, and many other things. Outside there is a splendid 
platform at present, because of Kaevakuku surrounded with 
cocoanut leaves, so that impure eyes may not peer into 
the mysteries. Overhead, very high up, is the long peaked 
roof, in which many arrows were sticking, and small pieces 
of wood ornamented with feathers representing the spirits. 
Anxious to get away, I bade my friend *stay,' and 
promised, if I had time on my return, to spend a night in 
his dubu. 

The tide being low, we travelled along the beach in a 
broiling sun ; no wind ; and although by this time I ought 
to be accustomed to it, yet I did indeed feel it hot. 
We passed several fishing parties, men with nets about nine 
feet square attached to two sticks, which they lifted up and 
down in the water. The women had bag nets on a long 
stick, and used them much in the same way. They had 
also small bags hanging from their heads down their 
backs, and into which all fish caught were put. The young 
lads had hand-traps made of the ribs of the sago frond, 
with which they ran about and placed over fish, putting 
their hands in from the top to catch them. 

It was thirsty travelling, and I longed for a cocoanut, 
but was told to wait. So wait I did, until about half-way, 
when I was told that friends from Orokolo were coming to 
meet me. Soon I could see a white shirt with red trappings 
in the bush, and I knew my good friend Apohe was await- 
ing me, and with him about fifty young men. The native 
' champagne ' (cocoanut water) is all ready in dozens, and 
soon the necks are flying, and serving-men are rushing 
around handing it to all new-comers. When all are 
finished, I say I should like another bottle; and orders 
are at once given to ascend to the cellar, and in a few 
minutes we have more in abundance, cooler far than the 
former, and cooler and better than all the champagne ever 

G 



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98 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

produced in the wine countries of Europe. We drank it 
under the beautiful shade of a splendid hibiscus, with a 
magnificent grove of wine-cellars behind. Feeling 
refreshed, we rose up and started, accompanied by over a 
hundred armed men, who have come out to do honour to 
Apohe's friend. 

Our Maipua friends from Vailala come on behind, and 
say we had better go to the most westerly village of 
Orokolo, as being nearer Maipua. All right, friends, so 
we will ; and Apohe is quite willing. This dubu is falling 
to pieces ; but Apohe says, * Ah ! when you return you 
will see a splendid dubu. I will soon begin a new one that 
will surpass this.' 

We left Kovara (Apohe's village) about 3 P.M., 
came inland for some distance over splendid land, and then 
on to the beach. I have never anywhere seen children 
swarm as here ; boys and girls in crowds accompanied us, 
shouting, laughing, dancing, and running with all the 
hilarity of happy youth. Side by side Apohe and I walked 
in state, until we arrived at Mama's dubu, where his lord- 
ship was dressed to receive us. There was a very large 
crowd on the platform. Mama was standing up in the 
centre with a short lady's jacket on, and on his head for a 
cap a small coloured bag I had given him two years ago. 
On my ascending the platform, he came forward to meet 
me, to shake hands, and rub noses. 

His dubu is a new one, and inside is nice and clean. I 
soon entered and selected my sleeping apartment, and then 
went out to be seen, examined, and scrutinised by the 
crowd of old and young. My heavy black travelling boots 
were the wonder of all, and certainly the majority thought 
I had peculiarly black feet. The unlacing of one caused 
mouths to be opened wide ; but on taking it off, how shall 
I describe that terrific shout } 'twas as of a mighty host, 
and beggars all description. I removed my sock,, and then 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 99 

another shout, and those not too much afraid pressed round the 
platform to have a nearer look, and some to feel. I exposed 
my breast, and that, too, excited great wonder. What 
seemed to astonish them much was the softness of the 
skin, especially of the sole of the foot, which was carefully 
examined. I thought I was safe enough here, but it may 
be as well not to do so at Maipua, as they might take a 
fancy to cooked feet and breast. 

Mama and the natives were anxious to hear a shot, and 
Johnnie, having an old fowling-piece, of which he is very 
proud, was asked to fire. He appealed to me, and I said 
he might. He seemed to be taking a very long time about 
it, so I inquired what was up. * I have no powder, it is at 
Vailala.' * Ah, well ; it is good, leave it there.' Worse 
far than forgetting powder, he has left all my beads behind, 
although the night before I several times asked him if he 
had got them. I am sorry for the beads, as they are much 
sought after here, and will be more so next week. 

About sundown I walked through the large scattered 
village, with many good houses ajid many wretched hovels. 
They seemed to throw all their strength into building 
dubus. Everywhere near the houses I saw small plan- 
tations of tobacco strongly fenced. Men, women, and child- 
ren, pigs and dogs, all seemed terribly excited. On my 
return it was getting dark, and my host having entered the 
gloomy precincts of his dubu, there I went too. Sombre 
it was indeed, and only here and there a small flicker of 
light from dying fires, with natives asleep close by, breath- 
ing heavily. 

Sunday, October 14. — Last night, in the dark, we had 
evening prayers. The deacon gave a short address ; I, 
through him, another ; then he engaged in prayer. It was 
a strange, weird meeting. There were about a dozen pre- 
sent, and we taught them to pray, * O Lord Jesus, give us 
light, save us/ Nothing more ; it was quite enough ; and 



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loo LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

will He not answer them ? Long the deacon spoke to 
them and told them of God's love. 

This morning, long before I was ready to get up, the 
crowd appeared, but, having been disturbed during the 
night by some too lively bed-fellows, I rolled myself up in 
my blanket and stole some sleep. 

Last night, in the dark, one old fellow got up and 
spoke : * Tamate, we are glad you have come again, that 
we all might see you, as we heard so much of you. We 
thought you must be a spirit ; now we see you are a man 
like ourselves — only white.' 

We have just had service : a hymn, a few verses of St. 
Matthew, and prayer by the deacon in the Elema dialect. 
The deacon also gave an address on God's love to man, 
and His desire that all might be saved. Some are very 
attentive, others chew betel nut or smoke ; we are all 
squatting tailor-fashion. They soon tire, so we finish. 

I forgot to mention that when these people want a good 
light at night, they take a dried young cocoanut shell and 
put on the fire, when they have a splendid blaze for a few 
minutes. They preserve the shells and string them to- 
gether ; there are several strings of them hanging over the 
fire-places. 

Aruadaera (the deacon) and Aruako have been away 
for a long time, and have just returned. They have, on 
the platform of the neighbouring dubu, been telling the 
story of Divine love as expressed in the gift of Christ 
Again and again had they to go over the good old story. 
The people, they say, were much astonished, and very 
attentive. 

I hear Mama has sent on to Maipua to inform the 
natives there of our arrival here, and that to-morrow they 
are to come with their canoes to this side of the river 
Alele, and meet us. It is perhaps better they should know 
beforehand. 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS loi 

Several are busy husking betel nuts, and stringing the 
kernels to dry over the fire. When dried they will keep 
for any length of time, but before being chewed they are 
steeped in water and well washed. One man is busy 
carving with a small piece of shell ; another is smoothing 
a drum with a rough leaf; and some are diligently examin- 
ing the construction of my boots. A man from inland, 
called a Koitapuan, has just arrived, and is begging me to 
go with him. I find the Koitapuans here hold power over 
vatavata (spirits) and rain, not over sun, wind, and sea. 

5 P.M. — One of the messengers sent to Maipua has 
returned. He says all rejoiced at the news he brought, 
and to-morrow the chief and a large party are to come and 
meet me. When the people there heard that I had arrived 
at Orokolo they said, * You only deceive us ; ' so a piece of 
foreign tobacco was produced, with the question, * Is that 
ours, or like it ? ' then they sat down and had a smoke, and 
all believed. Two messengers went, but the people insisted 
on one staying, so as to insure the return of the other with 
the party in the morning. 

October 1 5. — Not starting early enough, we had to wait 
for the ebb tide, and it was 10 o'clock when we got off. 
We had a very large escort to near the river Alele, where 
we were to meet the Maipuans. We reached the river 
about noon, having crossed one salt-water creek. Our 
escort returned, they being at war at present with Maipua. 
A wretchedly small canoe, a dug-out tree without an out- 
rigger, came over with one man. I did not care to risk 
myself in it, as the river is full of crocodiles ; and we asked 
if there was not a bigger canoe, and on the reply being 
given in the affirmative, sent Aruako and one of our Vai- 
lala boys over, making three with the man who brought 
the canoe across. On their reaching the other side we had 
not long to wait until we saw a much larger canoe, without 
an outrigger, approaching. On getting to the beach close 



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I02 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

to where we were standing, a man sprung out and ran up 
to me with open arms, giving me a hearty squeeze. This 
was Ipaivaitani, the leading chief of Maipua. We were 
soon all on board, with swag, &c. : including crew, we were 
eleven altogether. The current was running strongly, and 
I felt rather dubious as to our getting across at all, but it 
was an unwarrantable doubt, as we got over without ship- 
ping a drop of water. On the other side we took more on 
board until we numbered twenty-three, and away we pulled 
through various creeks lined with the Nipa fruttcansy 
palms, and mangroves, until we came to a splendid river, 
the largest I have yet seen east of Bald Head ; it is the 
largest without doubt, for I know them all. I call the main 
stream inland the *Wickham,' after a dear friend. The 
current was swift, it being ebb tide at the time of our 
crossing, but our bark was handled so well that we got over 
all right. This is the Aivei on the chart. 

We then came easily along from one creek to another, 
through stinking swamps, until we reached Maipua about 
5 P.M. It is indeed a large village, with splendid houses 
and fine large temples. I estimate the population at from 
fifteen to eighteen hundred people. In front of nearly all 
the houses hang large representations of Semese. The 
houses are shaped like the temples, large in front and 
tapering small to back. But what a horrible hole ! a real 
swamp, with miles of swamp all round. The streets are 
all laid with long large trees, and in front of many of the 
houses, as in front of the temples, long platforms of wood 
rise gradually from the streets. The village is intersected 
with small creeks, and these are crossed by very good 
bridges. 

The temple where I am sitting is the largest, and it is 
the finest thing of the kind I have yet seen. There are 
two large posts in front, eighty feet high, on which rests 
the large peaked shade, around which there hangs a grace- 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 103 

ful fringe of young sago leaf. The front is about thirty 
feet wide, and the whole length of the house is about 
160 feet, tapering gradually down to the back, where it is 
small. Our compartment is about twenty feet high and 
ten broad. The front is a common platform floored with 
the outer skin of the sago palm, and kept beautifully clean. 
The whole is divided into courts, with divisions of cocoanut 
leaves, nine feet high, on which hang various figures, not 
at all good-looking. From the top to the cocoanut leaves 
hang graceful curtains of the young frond of the sago palm. 
Standing on the platform in front and looking down the 
whole length along the passage or hall, with the various 
divisions and their curtains, it has a wonderful effect. In 
each of the courts are numerous skulls of men, women, and 
children, crocodiles and wild boars, also many breasts of 
the cassowary. All are carved and many painted. The 
human skulls are of those who have been killed and eaten. 
The daintiest dish here is man, and it is considered that 
only fools refuse and despise it. 

In the last court there are the same kinds of ornaments, 
and then a screen with curiously formed things of wood 
and native cloth hanging on it ; also sihis (their only cloth- 
ing), belts, small bags, and other things belonging to those 
murdered, which have been presented to the gods. Inside 
of that court is the most sacred place of all. Few ever 
enter there. 

On my arrival, I had to stand up in the canoe, that I 
might be seen by all the people. On ascending the wooden 
steps from the canoe to the platform, I was conducted by 
the chief to the temple, where, sitting down each side of 
the passage, were many men ready to receive me. They 
never spoke a word while I went down the centre and back 
to the platform, followed by the chief; then they all rose, 
and, after giving a great shout, gathered round me. The 
passage I walked along had the appearance of glazed cloth. 



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I04 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

with various figures carved on it ; it was carpeted with the 
outer skin of the sago palm, glazed by the blood of the 
victims so frequently dragged over it and by the constant 
walking on it. After being examined and pronounced a 
human being, I returned with the chief through the various 
courts to the sacred place. I was allowed to enter, but the 
chief was too frightened, and he remained outside, and 
would only speak in a whisper to those near. I entered 
into that eerie place, where small bats in abundance flew 
about, and saw six curious-looking figures, made of cane. 
The mouth was like a frog's, enormously large and wide 
open ; the body, seven feet high in the centre, and about 
nine feet long, had the appearance of a large dugong. Out 
of these mouths flew, in constant succession, the small 
bats. 

The whole temple looks splendid, and although my 
new friends are cannibals, yet it goes to show that they are 
something beyond the mere wild savage; might I call 
them * cannibal semi-civilised savages } * In the various 
courts are fire-places, alongside of which the men sleep. 
The chief, Ipaivaitani, has given me his quarters, but I do 
not think I shall sleep in them. 

I have just had dinner and breakfast all in one. I 
could have enjoyed it better if there had not be^n so many 
skulls in a heap close by, some of which were tolerably 
new. These skulls are at present down for cleaning and 
repairs, but when all is in order they are hung on pegs all 
round ; no scientific collection could be better kept. I 
fancy each man who has killed or helped to kill a foe has 
his own peculiar painting and carving on the skull. 

Everywhere along the large creek that joins the two 
large streams running close in front of the village, and by 
the sides of all the small streams, are to be seen beautifully 
cut out canoes. Many are very fancifully carved, but none 
of them have outriggers. On these the Maipuans do all 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 105 

their fighting, and for days travel up the river until near 
the Sir Arthur Gordon range of mountains, where they 
hunt the wallaby and wild boar. 

Many women are making sago ; and alongside the 
bank are rafts of sago palm brought down by the men 
from inland. They are hauled up on the bank as required, 
prepared by the men for digging, and then left for the 
women. The pith is dug out and carried to a raised 
trough, by which a woman stands with a long stick ; she 
beats it well, then pours water on it and squeezes it, allow- 
ing it to run down the stem of the sago frond into a small 
bag, made of fibre. It passes through this and along the 
channel, when it is again met by another sieve made from 
the covering of the frond of the sago palm. Passing through 
this, it falls into a receptacle like a large basin, where it is 
allowed to settle. Lastly, the water is poured off, and the 
sago is taken out and packed away. 

As in the temples in the Elema district, numerous 
arrows are shot off into the walls of the temple on returning 
from a successful man-hunt. They have some horribly 
filthy practices. One is — I can only describe it in part — 
that when a man is shot down a rush is made, and the first 
to bite his nose clean off and swallow it is looked upon as 
greater than the person who shot him ; great is the glory 
attached to the act. On returning from the fight, and when 
near the bank of the creek, the women come out and ask, 
* Who are the killers } * * Who are the nose-eaters ? ' and 
when the latter question is replied to, great is the singing, 
dancing, and rejoicing. 

On asking them why they eat human flesh, they told 
me that the women first urged the men to kill human 
beings for eating purposes. The legend is that the 
husbands once returning from a successful hunt far inland, 
they began horn-blowing, singing, and dancing far up the 
river. As they approached the village the women went 



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io6 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

out to meet them on the bank. They had in the canoes 
wallabies, boars, and cassowaries. The women called out 
to them, * What success, husbands, that you are singing and 
dancing ? ' * Great success ; plenty to eat.' * Where ? ' 
* Here, come and see.' They drew closer to the river side, 
and when they saw what was in the canoes they said, * That 
dirty stuff, who is going to eat it ? Is that your successful 
hunt ? ' The men began reasoning among themselves, 
saying, *^ What do our wives mean.?' One, a little more 
enlightened, said, after a little time, * I know, it is man ; * 
and throwing the wallabies and other animals ashore, away 
they started to a neighbouring village, and brought back 
ten bodies ; returning without the horn-blowing, singing, 
or dancing. On drawing near the bank the women saw 
what they had : they shouted, * Yes, yes, that is it ; dance 
and sing now ; you have something worth dancing and 
singing for; that is what we want' The bodies were 
singed, cooked, and eaten, and pronounced good ; and they 
have ever since been eaten, and pronounced vastly superior 
to any other flesh. 

This man-killing led to the building of dubus, in order 
that the men might be sacred and have a place to them- 
selves ; that they might have a sacred place for Kanibu, 
where to present the slain ; and that they might have a 
place for rejoicing when they returned from a successful 
man-hunt. These are the reasons given me for the exist- 
ence of dubus. 

I slept outside on the platform, and had a splendid 
night. Aruako fulfilled his promise, given at Orokolo, 
and for long held forth on Adam and Eve, Noah and the 
Flood ; and both he and Aruadaera spoke about Jesus our 
Lord and His love. It was a strangely weird scene 
A large dark temple, lit only by flickering fire-lights ; a 
crowd of savs^es, real cannibals, who pronounce man to be 
the best of all flesh, and whose wives also relish it ; skulls 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 107 

in abundance in the various courts, and at the end, in the 
most sacred place, six Kanibus, who hold life and death, 
fighting and peace, within themselves ; and in the centre 
of the crowd, Aruako and Aruadaera preaching Christ as 
the revealer of God's love and the Saviour of sinful men. 
It was the most attentive congregation of the kind I have 
ever met. They listened well, asked questions, and ex- 
patiated freely. Soon after sunset it commenced, and 
when I sought sleep it was still going on. Although not 
a prepossessing people, yet they seem kind, and would I 
believe listen to the Gospel and receive it as good news 
from God to man. 

When I awoke, the sun, I found, had preceded me, and 
they were then, perhaps stilly talking and listening. I 
went into the dubu, and looking my friend Aruako, who 
was now quite hoarse, in the face, I said, * Arua, have you 
been at it all night ? * He replied, * Yes, and when I lay 
down, they kept asking questions, and I had to get up, go 
on and explain. But enough, I am now at Jesus Christ, 
and must tell them all about Him.' 

Yes, my friend had reached Him to whom we all must 
come for light and help and peace. When Arua had 
finished there was but one response from all their lips : 
* No more fighting, Tamate ; no more man-eating ; we 
have heard good news, and we shall strive for peace.' 

Anxious to start for other villages, I appealed to my 
chief friends ; but they refused point-blank to take me on, 
as they want to go first and tell them they have seen me, 
and that I have stayed with them ; but they say that when 
I return on a second visit they will take me everywhere. 
Natives always desire the honour of being the first to 
report any great event, and this one, the first visit of a 
white man, was of such importance that they wished to 
be the first to report it. 

I encourage all who are with me to tell what they 



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io8 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

know of us and the Gospel, so Kunu, a Maipuan who has 
been living at Vailala, and has accompanied us, held forth 
on what he has heard and seen. At prayers this morning 
we had a crowd, orderly in every respect, and when the 
deacon stood up to pray at Kunu's call, every head was 
bent low, and not a sound was heard from anyone. 

To the Kanibus the inhabitants of Maipua give offer- 
ings ; pearl-shells, arm^shells, pigs, human beings, and 
skulls. The sick apply to them for healing, their friends 
presenting gifts. When wishing to fight, they appeal for 
direction and help to these wicker images ; and they 
assured me they got the former audibly from the mouths, 
and the latter in success. For days before fighting all the 
men are sacred, and no woman must be seen or approached ; 
and when one of their number is wounded, he is accused of 
breaking through the sacredness. All the bodies of the 
slain are dragged by the heels into the dubu and up to the 
sacred place, where they are given to Kanibu. 

Ipaivaitani, the chief, wished to give me a pig, but I said, 
* No, friend, leave that for the present, and some other day, 
when you can take me to the other villages, I will have 
your pig.' I have but few things with me, and certainly 
not sufficient to give as an exchange-present for a good- 
sized pig. 

A small vessel, that went without sails and had a big 
wheel aft, once entered the Alele. The Maipuans, who 
happened to be there fishing, were anxious to see this 
wonder, but on drawing near were warned away. Wood 
was wanted, and the natives were employed to cut it, but 
dare not go near the vessel. The vessel's boat took all on 
board, having first frightened the natives away by firing 
over them. The natives returned and found a few toma- 
hawks, some beads, and red cloth. They again went off to 
the vessel, and this time the foreigners took their things, 
such as bows and arrows and long daggers, but, instead of 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 109 

paying for them, ordered the natives away, and even fired 
to frighten them. 

Much useless fear and slaughtering of natives by white 
men could be avoided, if the latter would only keep calm 
and do all possible to avoid exciting the natives. They 
should only allow one trading party on board at a time, 
and remember that the natives come to the vessel to trade. 
Many white men fancy when they see a canoe with several 
bows and arrows that it means a fight, and the natives are 
treacherous, but it is not so. I warned these natives that 
when they went alongside a vessel not to go armed, nor 
talk loudly, but to go quietly and watch the white man's 
signs. They were not to be afraid, as no white man would 
willingly hurt them (was I right in that ?), and not to be 
over-anxious to get on board, lest they might be taken to 
other lands. 

I have just returned from visiting the village and dubus. 
A good part of the visiting was done in a canoe. One 
dubu is 200 feet long, and has in its sacred place twelve 
Kanibus. The carpet of sago bark down the centre passage 
is really beautiful ; it has figures of men, crocodiles, etc., 
carved along all its length. The men, as yesterday, sat in 
rows down each side to receive me, not speaking a word. 
The two Motuans with me are terribly afraid of going 
near the sacred place ; they have heard some awful stories 
of the mighty doings there. In each dubu we preached 
Christ, God the Father's expression of love, and begged ot 
them to give up fighting and man-eating, which they faith- 
fully promised to do. 

Near all their dwelling-houses they have small flower- 
gardens. A platform is made about ten feet high, 
surrounded with a fence, and inside earth, brought from 
far inland and the coast, is placed to the thickness of 
about two feet. Various kinds of plants are grown, but 
in the majority tobacco prevails. I think these gardens 



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no LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

furnish further evidence that there is a kind of civilisation 
amongst these people ; and this taste for the beautiful can 
surely be worked upon with much good result. 

I grow weary of walking on the trees of their streets 
and bridges, and some of the latter are very shaky indeed. 
The tide is just now high, and it is simply water every- 
where, not an inch of dry land to be seen. The houses 
inside are commodious, and each wife has her own com- 
partment, with its fire-place and all necessary utensils for 
cooking. I was much pleased with the cleanly appearance 
of their houses. 

They bury their dead close to the sea-shore. They 
keep the body a short time to weep over, then canoe it 
down the streams to the burial-place, where a small house 
is built, and friends remain there to mourn. 

I asked them why they did not live on the coast, where 
there was good dry land, instead of in this swamp. They 
replied, * Our ancestors lived here, and we cannot leave 
their place.' 

The principal villages of Namau are Maipua, Kai- 
purave, Ukerave, Koropanairu, Kailiu, and Vaimuru ; 
there are also several small ones built on the banks of the 
various creeks. Vaimuru I think must be on the Aird 
River. The Vaimuruans first came from Urama, which is 
far away (possibly the Fly River), to the setting sun, where 
the spirits of the dead now go. Their pearl-shell comes in 
large quantities from Urama, and long, long ago tobacco 
came to them from there. 

When the young people of these nations marry, no 
price is paid, only exchange feasts of sago are given. 
Widows must be bought, and cost much, the payment 
going to friends of the dead husband. Young women are 
more sacred than married women ; the latter are often 
bought. 

The dress of the men is exceedingly simple, the ma- 



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112 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

jority wear nothing at all, and the few only a small string 
or vine. The women certainly do not wear much, and I 
am not astonished at it. They are very modest, and think 
themselves respectably and well clothed. Why savages 
should be always spoken of as immoral I fail to see. They 
are not so when compared with the more highly civilised 
countries of the world. I am sorry to have to say that it 
is contact with the civilised white that demoralises them, 
and they then become loose and immoral. 

I am at last in the canoe on the return journey. When 
about to leave, a very old man came with a broken piece 
of an uro, saying, * Will you not pity us, and get Motu to 
visit us? I have only this to cook food in, and others 
have nothing at all.' The last cannibal feast they had lost 
much of its relish from their not having large supplies of 
gravy! 

We have made a splendid start, in a larger canoe than 
yesterday, and have an escort of nine other canoes. Leav- 
ing the village, the tide being now on the ebb, we float 
gently down stream, questioning and being questioned. 

Our Vailala friends are glad indeed we are off, as they 
were terribly afraid of being killed, cooked, and eaten ! 
Arua tells me it was near daylight when he sought a little 
sleep. They spent the whole night in going over and over 
the grand old story of God's love. 

My friend Ipaivaitani has nine wives living, some are 
dead. He has often eaten human flesh, and pronounces it 
good ; but he says, * Enough, you have come, we shall 
give it up.' 

The sun is frightfully hot, but fortunately we have 
frequent shade. I have to sing constantly for them ; and 
just now, two large canoes of women have gone by another 
creek, and, nolens volenSy I must sing, * that when Tamate's 
face is lost they may hear his voice, and weep that he 
so soon leaves Maipua.' How delighted they are with 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 113 

my sewing gear! My pocket knife they will not soon 
forget. 

Now for the last time, * Would you mind undoing your 
shirt and showing us your chest, that we may have one 
look and feel before you leave?' Mute astonishment ; the 
other canoes close round, and I allow all to put their hand 
on me, which gives great satisfaction ; and then it is, 
* Tamate, come back soon, very soon ; do not disappoint 
us, and we will bring you everywhere on the rivers/ 

Orokolo, evening. — We spent an hour on the west 
bank of the Alele with our cannibal friends. They gave 
us cooked sago and cocoanuts. Our friends seemed, and 
no doubt were, very sorry to part with us. They are to 
be at Vailala soon, to meet the Motuans, and secure if 
possible a few uros. Before entering the canoe the chief 
knotted two strings with nine knots ; one string he kept, 
the other he gave me, so that I might know that he will 
be in Vailala after nine sleeps (nights), if the weather should 
be fine. 

As a people they are kind, and if well treated can be 
easily handled. They are small in stature, some of the 
women being remarkably so. Taking them all in all, they 
are very like the Koiari tribe at the back of Port Moresby. 
They wear wisps of cassowary feathers behind, many have 
beards and moustache, and many of the old men are very 
like some of our Koiari friends. 

Maipua and Orokolo have been fighting for some time, 
and only very lately the former had a feast of Orokoloans. 
They told me to tell the Orokoloans they were for peace, 
and hoped there would be no more fighting. We arrived 
at Orokolo about 3 P.M. 

October 17. — About 4 A.M. we were ready for our 
start, and walking along the beach in the cool, accompanied 
by Apohe and others, we arrived at Perau about 8. 
Johnnie and I crossed the river in a very rickety old canoe 

H 



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114 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

in which I got soaked for the first time during the trip. 
The soaking came all right, but I was in terror of the 
* devils ' (crocodiles), and felt really happy when the canoe 
touched shore. 

We found all well, and all right glad to see us back. 
Our things were just as we left them. The old chief put a 
taboo on our division of the dubu, and so prevented the 
intrusion of stragglers and thieves. My experience amongst 
savages is that, when trusted with entire charge, they do 
their best to see that all is right, and no one is allowed to 
meddle. 

How pleased the old man was when I told him I was 
glad to get back, and that I was also glad to find everything 
as we had left it ! * What, did you think anyone would 
touch anything belonging to you in my charge whilst you 
were away ? ' 

* No, friend, I knew you would care for my things.' 

All able-bodied Motuans, with many Elemaltes, are up 
the river cutting down trees to make new large canoes. 
To-morrow all able to go from the various villages ascend 
to drag the trees into the river and float them down. The 
Motuans have hard work before them now for the next few 
months. 

October i8. — Last night, after getting to sleep, I was 
aroused by a noisy crowd returning from tree-felling. They 
squatted close beside me on the platform and talked 
incessantly of the day's doings, until after midnight. When 
they went to sleep I soon followed suit, up to 4 A.M., 
when I was aroused by the party returning to the river. I 
am short of food, and dreamt last night of friends, of feasting, 
and of plenty. The weather is very dirty ; strong S.E. 
wind all night. 

October 19. — Feeling that a house was necessary to hold 
services and school in, this morning I set about building a 
simple house, yet one suitable for the climate. It is thirty- 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 115 

eight feet long and twenty broad. We have nearly finished, 
and hope on Sunday to open it. The natives assist 
willingly. God grant that light may enter the hearts of 
these poor natives, and that in this new house some may 
learn to know Christ as the Light, and their Saviour from 
sin and superstition and all their consequences ! 

I have to go to a large feast at Kaevakuku. A large 
crowd has assembled from the villages round, and many 
from Orokolo. Everywhere there is food, cooked and un- 
cooked, in heaps and hanging on poles, chiefly sago pre- 
pared in every imaginable way. Betel nuts and pepper also 
abound. On the platform of my friend Meka's dubu is a 
large quantity of cut-up pork, and all around the platform 
streamers are flying, made from the young sago frond. I 
stay down with the crowd, as I have a better view than 
from the dubu platform. 

I have not long to wait until there comes a man dressed 
in a tall hat, or mask, resembling some strange animal with 
peculiar mouth and sharp teeth ; his cloak and kilt are of 
yellow hibiscus fibre, and a small stick is in his hand. He 
has come from some distance back in the bush, where, I am 
told, many are assembled, and that all the masks and 
dresses I saw the other day in the dubu, with their owners, 
are there. He danced about for a short time, when an old 
man came before him with a large piece of pork, gave it to 
him, and he went away, followed by two young men carry- 
ing a long pole of food, sago, cocoanuts, betel nuts, and 
pepper. Another Kaevakuku followed and did the same 
as the first, this time in the dubu ; the conch-shell is being 
blown as for a pig, and soon a live one appears on a pole 
between two men. It is placed on the ground, Kaevakuku 
dancing round and over it, when a bow and arrow is 
presented to him, and he backs a little, says something, lets 
fly, and the pig soon breathes his last. The two men pick 
the pig up and all leave, followed by two youths carrying 

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ii6 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

food. More Kaevakukus come, this time five ; and all 
dance until they receive presentation of pig, when they too 
clear out. So on it goes until the whole eighty have been. 
Some get dogs, whereupon they catch them by the hind 
legs and strike the head furiously on the ground. Not a 
few are displeased with the small quantity given, and 
persistently remain until they get more. 

I walked into the bush about a quarter of a mile, where 
there was a large crowd of men, some armed, and every- 
where I turned weapons could be seen. Some were cutting 
up pigs, others dogs, putting the pieces into uros and upon 
the fire to cook. Some distance back was a large repre- 
sentation of Semese. It was a mask, fully ten feet high 
and three broad : it was surrounded with feathers of various 
kinds, and down the middle was curiously painted. I was 
anxious to secure some of the masks, and especially the 
one representing Semese, but was told that they all had to 
be burned. I saw some of my friends, who assisted me in 
securing seven, but neither love nor tomahawks could obtain 
Semese. Soon, all round, fires were lighted, and masks, 
cloaks, and kilts were blazing. I could not remove the 
masks I had obtained until dark, that no one might see 
them, and especially lest a woman should, as, according to 
tradition, she would soon sicken and die. I collected them 
and set sentries to watch, as I feared in the burning mania 
they might be seized. 

After a walk about in the bush and in the village, I 
return to find that all the masks had been burned except 
my seven, so I asked Meka and his brother to carry them 
into the dubu at night, and leave them there until the 
schooner comes for sago, when she will take them. The 
helaga is over, and all the men go to their homes, from 
which they have been separated for some months. 

When I first showed these natives pictures they took 
not the slightest interest in them, but now they are begin- 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 117 

ning to show some appreciation. I have had an interesting 
gathering going over my magazines, the natives looking at 
the pictures, and passing remarks on each. Singing they 
like much, and a good singer, with life and heartiness, 
would be to them as one divine. My singing, I fear, will 
never steal their hearts away. 

I was much interested in my afternoon assembly. 
Aruadaera, speaking of peace, life, and love in Christ, was 
frequently asked to thoroughly explain it all. One old 
chief wondered if he should send his son to Port Moresby 
to be taught, so that he might know more of these things. 
He seemed afraid that he might starve, being so far away 
from home, with a raging sea between. I hope our expla- 
nations and assurances were satisfactory, and I shall then 
obtain two boys to add to the number of students at Port 
Moresby. 

This is indeed a splendid field for missionary labour. 
Will the Church of Christ in the South Seas give the men, 
and the Church in Britain and the Colonies the money 
with a few more missionaries 1 How niggardly we act in 
everything for Christ ! We speak too much of sacrifices 
for the Gospel's sake, or for Christ. I do hope we shall for 
ever wipe the word * sacrifice,' as concerning what we do, 
from the missionary speech of New Guinea. May there 
never be a missionary or his wife in this mission who will 
speak of their * sacrifices,' or of what * they have suffered ! ' 

October 21. — This morning, when the bell was ringing 
for early service, there was a terrific shout, then cries of 
'Sail ho!' in the native language could be heard. On 
crossing to the beach I saw it to be our boat, the Rarotonga. 
It-was still far off, and so we went to service. Our new 
house was packed ; and outside were as many more. The 
noise and confusion were truly awful ; everybody was trying 
to quiet everybody else, and nobody was to be shut up by 
any other body. The women were much worse than the 



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ii8 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

men, and I think I almost wished there were no women in 
creation. We had quiet at times, and especially at the 
close. Altogether we had a good service. I like these 
first services ; and it is most interesting, years after, to visit 
the people and see the change. I spoke in Motu ; Arua- 
daera and Gabe spoke in Elema. When the service was 
finished all rushed for the beach ; and what a shout ! it was 
that of a mighty host. 

About 8 A.M. the Rarotonga got in, being nearly 
swamped crossing the bar. Fortunately, Charlie Oahu, 
who knows the passage and can handle a boat skilfully, 
was in command. 

October 22. — Very early this morning we were all 
roused by loud horn-blowing, calling on all able-bodied 
men to get up and make ready to go inland to assist the 
Motuans in dragging their large trees into the river. Soon 
large canoes were full of men, paddling away up the Annie. 

We had a fine lot of children at school this morning 
(112). They seemed much interested, and I do hope the 
Motu boys will interest them sufficiently to keep it up. 
To pronounce six, I think, will beat them hollow ; pro- 
nounce it they never will, their nearest is * shekist ; ' and 
feeling its impossibility, they give one great shout. They 
returned again in the afternoon, willing to learn, but full ot 
mischief and fun ; and I should be sorry to see them 
otherwise. 

October 23. — The large trees are being floated in, and 
soon every Motuan will be busy making canoes. What a 
difference between the Motuans and Eastern Polynesians ! 
The former lack energy : go into our school, and you will 
see them apparently almost dead, asleep half their time ; 
and yet they do hard work, but not with that zest which 
the Eastern Polynesians manifest. They are very selfish, 
and scarcely ever help one another. They will take all 
given them, and look for more, but never think of a return 



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AMONG THE CANNIBALS 119 

present ; and for everything they give or do they look for 
payment. Even here the people seem more lively, and cer- 
tainly are much more generous. As a tribe, the Motuans 
are hard, close-fisted, sharp traders. 

October 24. — Blew hard from the south-east all night, 
but now quite a change ; I hope to get away to-morrow. 
We went early to church for service, but no big folks came : 
we had over 100 children, so had school. In school work 
I am disappointed with the Motuans, who I hoped would 
take up the work more zealously. My friends, knowing 
that my time for leaving draws near, are beginning to come 
in with presents of food, cocoanuts, betel nuts, and pepper. 
I have had to warn them against bringing too much. I 
am in tolerable health, and should like to get away, so as 
to be at Port Moresby about the end of next week. 

October 26. — Blowing strong from the south-east all 
night, and this morning a deluge of rain greeted us. 
When ebb-tide set in the rain left off, and we made a start ; 
one of our crew deserting. Notwithstanding all my care 
yesterday, we were very heavily laden. I gave orders 
again and again to carry nothing for anyone, and that the 
crew should only be allowed to take a few betel nuts. It is 
a long journey to take in an open boat and in a nasty 
Gulf sea. Before getting to the bar we shipped a great 
deal of water, and as we got nearer it was evident the boat 
would never ride the heavy seas. I fancied I might be of 
some use another day, and as to attempt to cross the bar 
undoubtedly meant death to all, I gave orders to put about. 
In doing so we shipped a large quantity of water, and, oh 
horror ! close by us was a huge ugly crocodile. Imagine 
my feelings — for describe them I cannot — on seeing the 
monster. We had to keep baling, and found it difficult to 
make headway against the strong current. I felt very 
anxious, as I have a horrible dread of crocodiles. * A long 
pull, a hard pull, and a pull altogether,' brought us right in 



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I20 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

and up to our landing, where we were met by a sympathis- 
ing crowd, who feared when they saw us near the bar that 
we should never be seen again. We have landed everything, 
and I have spoken seriously to the Motuans about sending 
things in a small boat to their friends. It is difficult to say 
now when we can get away, but if possible we shall try 
again to-morrow. 

October 27. — Good sea, fair wind. We again got ready, 
and were soon out, followed by a large crocodile. There 
being a calm, when we got out we pulled seaward for 
several miles, until, meeting a south-west wind, we gave 
sail and stood away for Motumotu. We had good wind 
and a smooth sea, and by sundown were three miles to the 
west of Motumotu. We anchored, and three of the crew 
swam ashore, and walked over to the river and got informa- 
tion about other canoes. 

October 29. — At it all night, getting to lokea about 6 
A.M. I landed and had breakfast, and intended spending 
the day there, but the crew being anxious to get home, and 
the sea being smooth, I gave orders to get ready, and we 
soon stood away for Maiva. We got a nice fair wind, and 
by I P.M. we were ashore, where we found all well, and 
glad to see us. 

At Cape Suckling we experienced a stiff south-easter 
and a very heavy sea, and had to put in for shelter. We 
remained two nights and a day on the beach, when, the 
wind and sea moderating, we started again, arriving at 
Port Moresby on November i. When we landed and re- 
ported all well, great was the rejoicing, and the feat we 
accomplished has remained the wonder of all along the 
coast. 



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NATIVE TEACHERS 



CHAPTER VII 

PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 

The success that has attended the labours of native 
teachers on New Guinea proper during the last few years 
must be very gratifying to the friends of humanity and the 
London Missionary Society, and should greatly encourage 
them for the future. Since 1 872 mission work has been 
carried on in New Guinea, and I know of no mission con- 
nected with this Society, or indeed any other Society, that 
can compare with it in results. We must do all we can to 
keep the South Sea Churches connected with New Guinea, 



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122 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

and so preserve the working, sympathetic Christ-life 
amongst them. As our knowledge of New Guinea in- 
creases, the Church of Christ in Britain and the South 
Seas should be prepared to take up the work. Hitherto 
the Directors have put no limit to our extending, and we 
have gone on doing so. 

In February, 1884, our mission barque, John Williams, 
visited us, conveying thirteen teachers and their wives, 
accompanied by our old friend and co-worker, Mr. Gill, 
late of Rarotonga. On the John Williams leaving us we 
distributed the teachers amongst the old stations, that they 
might be near to us, and have also the care of the old and 
acclimatised teachers, until the south-east monsoon had 
really set in, when they would be placed at their own 
stations. Teachers on first arrival are almost sure to have 
fever, and it is better that they should stay where they can 
be attended to. 

In May, 1884, we began to locate these teachers at 
their own stations, and a sketch of one journey may serve 
to show how, in the opinion of those best qualified to judge, 
New Guinea can most rapidly and most successfully be 
Christianised and civilised. 

The first to be located was Sunia, a Tongan, educated 
by Mr. Gill on Rarotonga. Having married a widow here, 
who understands the Motu dialect, we thought they should 
take Tupuselei, a village fourteen miles from Port Moresby, 
where formerly a Niue teacher lived. The natives were 
highly delighted at having a teacher again amongst them, 
and gave Sunia and his wife a good welcome. Since the 
death of their old teacher they have had much trouble with 
the hill-tribes, old scores thought to be forgotten have been 
paid and repaid ; but now a teacher is with them they will 
be able to live peaceably. 

From Tupuselei we continued our boating to Kapakapa, 
where there were two new teachers and their wives living 



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124 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

with the old teacher appointed to Saroa, the fine large dis- 
trict behind Round Head. For long the Saroa natives had 
been expecting teachers, knowing when they got them it 
would tend to secure peace all round. For the last few 
months they had been busy paying off compensations (for 
murders committed by them) and making peace. 

On our arrival at Kapakapa a large number of men 



CANOE OFF TUPUSELEI 



came in to carry the teachers' goods,, and they told us it 
was now all peace. The following morning we started with 
a large company, and taking it leisurely, arrived about lo 
A.M. at Rigo, the first of the Saroa villages. A new house 
had been finished for the teacher, and from it the view is 
unsurpassed on New Guinea. After placing the other 
teacher at another village, about two miles further east 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 125 

and visiting other villages, and hearing entreaties for more 
teachers, we returned to Rigo. 

Having some students and several Port Moresby natives 
with us, we went into the village and spent several hours 
singing on one of their large platforms. It was a beauti- 
fully clear moonlight night, and leaving the singers, we 
walked to a good position at the west end of the village, 
where the view was splendid. I have travelled much in 
this great land, but have seen nothing to surpass the view 
of that night for picturesqueness. 

On our right were the Gerese Hills, and on our left the 
Coast Range, and lying before us the hills and valleys of 
Saroa and Manukolo, and behind these the higher hills of 
Kerema stretching away to the Astrolabe Range. Further 
inland, as if guarding these and rising dark above them all, 
is the Owen Stanley Range, ending in the high unvisited 
mountain of the same name. Everywhere near us were 
well-watered valleys and ridges, with plantations and 
villages scattered here and there, containing kindly-disposed 
people. It is to be hoped there will soon be sufficient 
teachers to occupy all the principal villages. We returned 
to Port Moresby, and after spending one night sailed in the 
Ellengowan for the west. 

Ever since Mr. Lawes joined the mission, the one cry of 
the Motu natives has been * Westward ho.' The largest 
population, and the freest, kindest, wildest natives are there. 
They, especially those in Freshwater Bay, care for no one, 
domineer the other tribes, and think their sweet will is law. 
I know them well, and my cry has also been, * To the west 
— to the west with our youngest, strongest, bravest, best 
teachers.' Again and again have the natives of Motumotu 
asked for teachers, promising to treat them well, and to live 
peaceably with their neighbours. They have them now, 
and they feel our promise is sure, though often long delayed 
through no fault of ours. 



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J26 LIFE AND WORK IN NEVf^ GUINEA 

We found good anchorage in two fathoms just outside 
Alice Meade Lagoon, about two miles from Motumotu. 

The foreign ladies, Mrs. Lawes and the teachers' wives, 
caused great excitement, but the excitement /^r excellence 
was Taui, the infant daughter of one of the teachers, who 
had been baptized by the Rev. J. Jefferis, at Pitt Street 
Congregational Church, Sydney. From before sunrise to 
after sunset she was nursed by nurses innumerable. She 
is a pretty child, nearly as white as an English-born infant, 
but during our stay, by the too kindly attentions of her 
nurses, was made as black as a Motumotuan. She was 
often washed, only to be made as black as ever. 

Motumotu is at the mouth of the Williams River. I had 
often wished to go up this river, and visit a reported large 
village, Moveave, for years at enmity with Motumotu, but 
could never before find sufficient time. We intended 
spending a few days with the teachers, so as to give them 
a good start with their new demonstrative friends, and we 
decided to ascend the river. We got a canoe, and paddled 
up one of the branches into a small creek, where we were 
dragged through more mud than water up to the village. 
As we neared the village our friends from Motumotu were 
somewhat fearful and anxious ; and not until after we had 
been some time in the village did they gain confidence. 
The population is very large, the houses are well built on 
posts, and there are many dubus. Our old friend Semese 
proclaimed words of peace, which were reiterated by the 
Moveaveans, and all felt that it was well, and friendship 
was restored. We were at first met by a large armed 
party, with bows and arrows innumerable ; this was 
speedily converted into a noisy, demonstrative peace 
party, and increased much in numbers. Before we had 
finished our visit to the village and dubus, not a weapon 
was to be seen. Fires were started, and pots containing 
queer viands were soon placed on them. 



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W. G. LAWES, OF PORT MORESBY 



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128 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

We ascended one dubu to the platform, twenty feet 
from the ground, where we sat down on a mat given for 
the purpose. So great a crowd followed us that the plat- 
form gave unmistakable signs of a very hurried and un- 
pleasant descent. Several posts and cross-beams gave 
way, and we thought it advisable to get off as quickly as 
possible. In the street in front a temporary shade was 
erected for us, and mats spread, on which we squatted, 
with more than a thousand people around us. We received 
presents of areca nuts and betel, pepper and cocoanuts, 
bananas and yams, and various dishes of cooked food. On 
the islands of the west highlands of Scotland the poor 
people make porridge mixed with shell-fish. At Moveave 
they make sago porridge mixed with the same ; also with 
dried fish and other things. Taking one of the dishes, and 
thinking it contained sago and dried fish, I began eating 
heartily, until I noticed peculiar claws and a rather long 
tail, and on inquiry found I had been relishing stewed 
Iguana ! 

After the crowd had enjoyed a smoke all round, there 
were loud and persistent calls that we should sing ; so 
getting our singing companions near us we sang, to their 
great delight, and were encored again and again. But the 
sun kept hurrying down, and before he dipped we wished 
to be at Motumotu ; so we had to get up and bid them 
good-bye, promising soon to return again. 

We arrived at Motumotu before sundown, and were in 
time to see one of the most interesting and fairy-like sights 
I have yet witnessed on New Guinea. When some dis- 
tance from the village we heard drums beating, and knew 
that a dance was on. From the sound of the drums and 
loud singing, we could tell it was a lively one. Ere long 
we were in the village, and sitting beside them. A 
thorough fancy dress ball, the beginning of a series, was 
being held. This afternoon's was for the little children 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 129 

assisted by young men and women. In front the young 
men, to the number of thirty, were drumming, dancing, 
and singing ; and to their time young men and women, 
arm in arm and facing them, were singing and dancing ; 
and behind them again younger ones, arm in arm ; and 
behind these, children holding one another's hands, all 
earnestly engaged in the same occupation. From the 
child of four years to the young man and maiden of 
eighteen and twenty, all were happy and terribly in earnest 
Every head was wonderfully cropped ; some had squares, 
others, circles, and others triangles ; their faces were painted 
with many colours, variegated leaves hung from their arms, 
waist, and legs. The ladies had beautiful petticoats, made 
from the young sago palm leaf and dyed various colours, 
and all had fastened on to their backs, rising over their 
heads more than two feet, and hanging gracefully in a 
curve like a Prince of Wales feather, the youngest leaf ot 
the sago nicely prepared. Tied round their knees and 
ankles was plaited bark with tassels attached. How happy 
all were, and how pleased at being admired ! Mothers 
everywhere are alike, and here they were standing by, each 
thinking her own child or children the best, and every now 
and again throwing out a suggestion or giving an encourag- 
ing word. When the sun set all was over, and they retired 
to their homes. 

One afternoon, walking through the east part of the 
village, we saw a young swell with two men and one woman 
dressing him for some very important occasion. He was 
being dressed in his very best, and the best also of his parents, 
for that afternoon he was to be married and take his bride 
home. Every hair on his head seemed in place. He wore 
a coronet of plumes made from the feathers of various 
birds, conspicuously the Paradisea Raggiana\ on his 
forehead a frontlet of small shells ; hanging from his ears a 
number of tortoise-shell earrings ; in his nose the much- 



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I30 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

prized shell ornament ; his face beautifully marked in 
small squares with red, yellow, and black. Round his 
neck were strings of shell beads ; hanging on his chest a 
large pearl shell ; round his waist a finely carved and 
painted bark belt, and as trousers a new sihi. He was 
gorgeously got up, and many friends looked on and 
admired. Standing close by the house were quantities of 
sago and bananas, and some women tying up bows and 



A NATIVE OF PORT MORESBY 

arrows into bundles. We returned to our camp, and were 
squatting at tea, when we observed a large crowd, and as 
they passed we saw our swell masher in the centre, hand 
in hand with a buxom, handsomely dressed lady, who was 
well besmeared with red ochre. They were preceded by a 
crowd of shouting urchins, and followed by a number of 
old women carrying bananas ; behind these came a small 
army of young men and women carrying sago and bananas, 



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132 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

and last of all an old man with several bunches of ripe 
bananas, from which he plucked a few, and from time to 
time threw over the heads of the married party into the 
crowd ahead, when a scramble took place, all evidently 
being anxious to secure one. The bride and bridegroom 
on arriving at home were received by the bride's friends, 
who took all the food, and gave a large return present. 

One morning very early we were awakened by drums 
beating and loud wailing. A long time ago a man had 
died and was buried close by ; to-day his widows leave 
his grave and don the knitted garment of widowhood 
prepared by them during all the months they have been 
indoors with the dead. We visited the grave, which was 
covered in. Several were sitting by, some mourning, others 
fitting knitted gaiters on the widows' legs ; up till now they 
have been quite naked. Outside, under a shade, was a 
banana stump dressed to represent the dead, with all his 
dress and ornaments on, and all round it the old men of 
the village were sitting, looking solemn and speaking of 
their dead friend. Afterwards food was brought, and 
placed before the supposed dead, who was said to have 
given his last feast The old men divided the food, and 
ate it in his memory ; and when finished they took his 
dress and ornaments and divided them amongst the 
relatives. When the feast was over, the widows came out 
into public dressed in their knitted garments, which 
covered them close from the neck to under the knees. 

On the Sunday we had two well-attended services, for 
singing and preaching, but prayer drove the crowd helter- 
skelter to their homes. Some years ago, on the occasion 
of my first visit, the same happened. I asked an old Motu 
friend to prepare them for prayer, and having done so, he 
began by shutting his eyes, and at the sound of the first 
words the earth trembled with the stampede. 

Securing Motumotu means our filling up the whole 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 133 

Elema district in a few years, and then pressing inland. 
I think 20,000 is too low an estimate for the Elema 
population, and they being once under tuition, Namau 
and Vaimuru will follow in no far away future ; and so an 
extensive coast-line will be open, or rather is even now 
open, to Christianity and to commerce. 

We bade our friends farewell, leaving these young men 
and women, who for Christ's sake and from sympathy with 
Him in His great work of redeeming the race had left 
their comfortable homes, peace, and plenty in Eastern 
Polynesia, willing to endure sickness, want, and trials, 
relying upon His care who alone can care for them. 
They are certainly the heroes and martyrs of the nine- 
teenth century. 

A strong south-easter having sprung up, we tumbled 
and tossed for forty-two hours in the Gulf, when we 
anchored in Hall Sound. We rested one night, and on 
the following morning got into our boat and pulled away 
to Maiva to place the Kivori teachers. We landed some 
miles to the east of Maiva, fearing the sea was too rough 
for us to land at the first station. 

We anchored our boat safely in a creek, and then went 
to a point close by to satisfy our hunger. Our luncheon 
was ample, and only just a little spoiled by being some- 
what gritty from the* sand blown along before the strong 
south-easter. 

The tramp in rain along the beach Was certainly better 
and more enjoyable than the sail in the rough sea outside 
would be. We had good fun crossing a large creek : the 
tide being well out, we waded across in three and four 
feet of water, but when in the middle we met with soft 
sinking sand, and in some places sank down so far that it 
became necessary to swim. 

On our arrival at Maiva we had a hearty welcome from 
the teachers and friends, and we felt as if at home. How 



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134 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

changed everything had become in a few years ! Once we 
sojourned with the Maivans, sleeping in their out-places, 
platforms, streets, and dubus, wondering if our lives were 
safe ; now, we were lodged in comfortable teachers* houses, 
near churches where every day life in Christ is preached, 
surrounded by friendly, peaceable natives, whose one 
anxiety is to make us comfortable. We always liked the 
Maivans, but more so now that they have listened to words 
of peace, and a few, we trust, have believed the words of 
eternal life. They are our friends and the friends of all, 
and are anxious to live as such. Only the Gospel of 
Christ as lived by the teachers could have produced such 
results. God's power unto salvation in the past is His 
power now, and will ever be so. 

We had now been hard at work for nearly three weeks 
by land and sea, and often day and night, and felt very 
pleased with the prospect of a rest — a rest broken only by 
a few days' work leisurely spent placing teachers at Kivori, 
near Cape Possession. We left Maiva one morning with 
quite an army of natives, some carrying boxes, etc., the 
property of the teachers, others our swags, articles for trade 
and food. Other friends accompanied us who were anxious 
for a holiday, a change from their otherwise never-changing 
life. The Kivori natives received us well. They had the 
one teacher's house finished, a fine large one, where soon 
we were camping and feeling at home as if at an old 
station. After a short siesta (much needed, as we had 
walked along a sandy beach in a burning sun and little 
wind) we were barricaded with numerous dishes of food 
and cocoanuts. We showed every respect to our numerous 
hosts, tasted several dishes, held on to one because of its 
thoroughly excellent quality, and disposed of the others 
amongst our followers. We met all the chiefs, spoke to 
them of the teachers and their mission, and then received 
their sincere promise to treat the teachers kindly. On 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 135 

Sunday we had services, and as usual the singing was 
greatly enjoyed. At services in the house we dispensed 
with singing because of the crush it caused, and the 
difficulty experienced in getting rid of the excited crowd 
when it was over. 

On Sunday afternoon we returned to Maiva, when we 
met five people anxious for baptism — one, a good old 
friend, who begged earnestly to be received into the Church 
of Christ On the Monday there was one of those soul- 
stirring gatherings that are met with in these heathen 
lands, composed of a crowd of natives who have come to 
see the first native converts baptized into the Church of 
Christ, the converts themselves, and the mission party. 
Only after a long period of preparation as catechumens 
and receiving instruction, and after a thorough public 
profession of faith in Christ, do we baptize them. In this 
instance the five were men who have been for a long time 
connected with the mission, taken part in the services, and 
held short services in other villages. The wholesale 
baptizing of natives simply because they would like to be, 
or were told to be, or because they were willing to do lotu 
by taking a piece of cloth or shirt, is surely not Christianity, 
and can only be done for effect. If the mere adhesion 
to the mission and the willingness to have clothing is 
sufficient, then thousands connected with us should long 
ago have been baptized. But of what use would it be, as 
they are still heathen, though friendly ? The enlightening 
goes on, and one after another is led from the dense 
darkness through the glimmering light on to the full light 
of glorious freedom in Christ and His cross — set free from 
their superstition by His truth. But not in the present or 
following generation will the superstitions of these people 
be entirely overcome. There are nearly 2,000 people 
being taught on New Guinea connected with our branch 
of the mission ; and it may safely be hoped the young will 



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136 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

know little of the past, and they will be free from much 
their parents believed. 

On our leaving Maiva we walked along the beach to 
the boat, where the sea was breaking very heavily on the 
bar of the creek, and a light boat being best for our weak 
crew, we decided to walk along the beach to Aoo Point ; 
and instructing the crew how to manage, we sent them off. 
They got over the bar, with only a few * tops * getting on 
board, and stood away for the Point The walk for eight 
miles barefooted was most enjoyable. By this walking 
we have found that we can visit Maiva in all kinds of 
weather. 

We reached Delena about sundown. At night I could 
not help feeling that perhaps for quiet picturesqueness we 
have no station to surpass this. The mission premises 
are on a flat about seventy-five feet above sea-level, and 
surrounded by extensive banana plantations ; on the side 
of the hill there is a tall bush, and on the coast dense 
mangrove scrub, over which the mission-house looks ; the 
village nestles at the foot of the hill on the shore of Hall 
Sound, where our vessel, the Ellengowan, is at anchor, and 
across the Sound is Yule Island, and away beyond that the 
Gulf of Papua, stretching to Torres Straits. The night 
was still ; not sufficient wind to rustle the leaves ; the 
moon was in the west, near the first quarter, with a 
cloudless sky, and stretching a silver band from the station 
across the Sound and over the Gulf to herself Our 
thoughts were varied, but one was uppermost — God 
binding us all to Himself by the band of love, and so 
blessing all the present Christian work in which we are 
engaged. 

The following morning, after an early breakfast, we were 
away again on our road to Naara, behind Cape Suckling, 
to give our Queen Koloka her long-promised teacher. 
The weather was fine, but there was a long heavy swell 



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QUEEN KOLOKA OF NAMOA 



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138 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

breaking on the reel, from the south-west, and causing a 
nasty sea inside. Once or twice our boat, which was fairly 
laden, eighteen all told, besides teachers' goods, was nearly 
swamped. We had to keep baling all the way until we 
entered the creek, where we left the boat and took to 
walking. We had six miles to walk to Namoa, Koloka*s 
village, where we had the usual kind reception. All were 
delighted that at last they had their teacher. Koloka 
said, * I did not think you intended keeping your word; it 
has been long to wait' We slept in the large house built 
for the teacher, and the following morning returned to the 
boat. The sea was much better, and a light south-easter 
was blowing ; we gave sheet, and were not long in getting 
to Delena. We rested there, and went on board the 
following morning, and in thirty-six hours landed at Port 
Moresby. 

There we heard a report that foreigners had been 
murdered inland of Aroma, and knowing Aroma's liking 
for that kind of business, we felt uncomfortable. One 
gentleman who was said to have been murdered had been 
kind to the natives, and very kind to our teachers, and by 
his example had done much to assist them. But in the 
course of a few days we heard truthful news, and learnt that 
our friend was well, and would be at Port Moresby soon. 
So we felt more comfortable in going on with our work of 
locating teachers. 

We did not now require the .Ellengowan, so she was 
sent to Murray Island ; and we took boat and started 
for Boera, where two Samoan teachers and their wives 
were anxiously waiting to get away. These were the first 
to come to New Guinea from the Samoan Mission, and 
they were removing to one of the nearest, quietest, and 
best districts. 

By 9 o'clock on a fine clear moonlight night we left 
Boera, with three boats all heavily laden. We had a fine 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 139 

strong breeze with us through Caution Bay into Redscar 
Bay, where the wind dropped to a calm, and we had to 
pull to an anchorage in the Manumanu. By half-past 2 
A.M. we were all asleep, beautifully packed, sardine-fashion. 
By 6 A.M. we were again under way, and pulling up the 
Apisi Creek. At 9 o'clock we anchored, landed every- 
thing, and then marched away across country, through 
stinking swamps, to Kabadi. 

For some time, owing to raids by the Motumotu and 
Lese natives, the coast villages of Kabadi had been nearly 
deserted, and the natives had been living on their planta- 
tions, very much scattered. We had one teacher for the 
coast, and one for the villages inland, on the right bank of 
the Aroa River. The natives were glad to see us, and 
promised to finish the house for the teacher immediately. 
We slept one night there, and the following morning 
walked inland, where great joy was expressed on seeing 
their teacher. The old chief, Naime, told us he did 
not know what to think ; he did not like to think we 
should break our promise, but so long a time had 
passed since the promise that he certainly was afraid that 
no teacher was coming. Now it was all right, and the 
great event was celebrated by a feast. We spent a few 
very pleasant days at Kabadi, and then returned to Port 
Moresby. 

On July 23, 1885, I got my boat out, packed in 
the stores, and started for a trip to some of the stations 
east of Port Moresby. It took us all day to get to Pyramid 
Point. Being dark, the wind blowing fresh, and the sea 
breaking heavily against the Point, we anchored for the 
night, and the following morning at daybreak, in calm 
weather, we pulled to Tupuselei, where we breakfasted. 
Leaving Tupuselei, we stood well out to the Barrier Reef ; 
the wind freshening, we put about and stood well up for 
Kaile, where we anchored early in the afternoon. At 



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I40 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

sundown the wind ceased, and we pulled to Kapakapa, 
leaving teachers' supplies, and pushed on until we got to 
Round Head, where we met the south-easter again, with 
rain. We kept on until Friday morning about 2 o'clock, 
when we anchored and waited for day. 

By daylight we were away again, hoping to get to Hula, 
i.e. Hood Point, early ; but the wind increasing and the sea 
running heavily, we did not reach our destination until 
4 P.M. All were tired, and I decided to remain there 
until Monday morning. On Saturday I distributed 
presents from the Government of Queensland to the natives, 
who had rendered timely assistance at the wreck of a 
biche-de-mer vessel, the Pride of the Logan. On Sunday 
we had several well-attended services of old and 
young. 

Ever since the visit of H.M. ship Wolverene to Kalo, in 
1 88 1 , when the natives were punished for their cruel massacre 
of the teachers, they have been anxious to have a teacher 
again stationed with them, and had promised to treat him 
well. From the last band of native teachers from Eastern 
Polynesia we selected one,Tau and his wife, from Rarotonga, 
to go there. During the few months that had elapsed since 
their arrival they had had fever, but were well now, and 
anxious to get to work. A good house was built by the 
Kalo people, under the superintendence of the Hula 
teacher, and after the house was finished many were the 
visits paid to Hula, to know when their teachers would 
come to live with them. The week before I arrived, 
several came in to Hula, determined to carry their teacher 
and his wife off, saying they were afraid we were only 
going to deceive them. 

On the Saturday I sent a messenger to inform them of 
my arrival, and on the Sunday we had quite a number of 
them at each of the services. The two leading chiefs were 
also present, and in the afternoon they said they would 



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142 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

return and prepare for our arrival, and get plenty of food 
cooked. 

On Monday morning Renaki, the senior Hula chief, 
and a number of young men came, and we started, taking 
with us all the things that Tau and his wife wished, leaving 
the most of their goods at Hula. There had been a great 
deal of rain the night before ; it was still raining a little, 
and the grass was wet, so the walking was not very 
pleasant. Arriving at Kalo, we at once took possession of 
the house, which was soon crowded with an enthusiastic 
and rejoicing lot of natives. After a little while I paid for 
the house, and then sent for all the chiefs, four in number, 
to whom I gave presents, and begged of them to be kind 
to Tau and his wife, which they cheerfully promised. The 
chiefs son, with whom the former teacher lived, and who 
was one of the active murderers, told me that the piece of 
land belonging to the Society had never been touched, and 
he hoped that, as the past had been forgiven, Tau would 
take possession at once, and begin planting. Kulu, a chief 
who had had nothing whatever to do with the massacre, 
told the Hula teacher that they were all afraid and ashamed, 
but that now they felt more comfortable, and would assist 
the teacher. All assured me they would take care that our 
trust in them would not again be forfeited. In the after- 
noon the eldest son of the chief Quaipo, who planned the 
attack, came with a pig and a large quantity of food. At 
one time we received twenty-four dishes of cooked food, 
and several hundreds of young cocoanuts. 

In the evening a number of our Hula friends returned ; 
but, anxious to show the Kalo natives that I trusted them, 
I decided to remain, and to return to Hula the following 
morning. Shortly after sundown we were left alone, and 
at first I doubted if I had done right in remaining, lest I 
should be the means of leading our teachers and their 
wives and my boat's crew into trouble. No Europeans 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 143 

had slept there since the massacre. We were quite at their 
mercy, being in an unprotected house and unarmed, and 
had they attacked me we should all have been killed. In 
one sense it was foolhardy, as the natives had often said 
that nothing would satisfy them but my head. On the 
other hand, if all went well, it would be the best augury for 
future success. I did not feel quite at my ease, and had 
fully intended to keep awake and watchful through the 
night. But after evening prayers I rolled myself up in 
my blanket, feeling it very cold. In spite of my prudent 
intentions, I soon was sound asleep, and never woke until 
the next morning at daylight. The people were pleased 
that I should have shown such confidence in them, as they 
all knew we were quite unarmed. May He who protected 
us soon become known unto them ! 

On Wednesday, the weather being fine, I proceeded to 
Aroma, calling at Kerepunu. All were well, and glad to 
see me, as they had long expected me, and the teacher and 
his wife appointed to Belerupu, Macfarlane Harbour, were 
wearying to be at work. Both had suffered a great deal 
from fever, but were now much better. For some time 
their house had been finished, and the people were anxious 
to have them both amongst them. The next morning by 
3.30 we were off in two boats, and by 9 o'clock were 
ashore and in the house. The people appear to be quiet 
and kind ; they received us well, and appeared delighted 
that at length they too had their teacher. There are about 
six hundred people in the village, half living ashore and 
half at sea in the harbour. The Clara River (so named by 
the late Mr. Beswick, he being the first to ascend it) enters 
the harbour close by the village. The people, although 
now apparently quiet and friendly, have had, I fear, a great 
deal to do with the various murders on the coast at Cloudy 
Bay. Belerupu is the most easterly village of the Aroma 
district, and the one holding the most communication with 



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144 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

the Mailiu district, especially with Mailiukolu, or Toulon 
Island. The inhabitants seem to be under the Maopa 
natives, and our old friend Koapena has some power over 
them, for to him they ^w^ tribute, in food, pigs, and fish. 
Anxious to get back to Parimata, the mo^t westerly of the 
Aroma villages, and near to Keppel Point, before it began 
to blow again — for when blowing hard it is dangerous to 
cross the Keakalo Bay in an open boat— we left in the 
afternoon. 

I was glad to find at Aroma that at last there were a 
few who were anxious to be taught, and were inquiring 
more diligently into the Gospel preached to them during 
these last few years. I spent a very pleasant, and I trust 
to all a profitable evening at Parimata. In speaking to 
Koapena of the teacher and his teaching, I asked him when 
he was going to receive and believe the Gospel. Turning 
to a teacher who was interpreting for me, he said, 
* Teach me more, only keep teaching me, and if you had 
done that, I might have been the first to understand and 
believe.* Well done, Koapena ; faith, blind faith, without 
knowledge, you are not willing to have ; mere acquiescence 
would never become my big, strong-minded friend. He is 
said to be the finest physical specimen of a native in all the 
Western Pacific. 

By daylight the next morning I was in the boat, and 
bowling along before a fine steady breeze. Calling at 
Kerepunu, and finding that all was right there, we con- 
tinued to Hula, just in time to avoid a strong south-easter 
and dark, dirty weather. There I received a letter from 
Tau, saying he and his wife were well, and the people and 
chiefs were treating them kindly. We also received a few 
limes from a tree planted by the former teacher. Next 
year, Tau says, they will have oranges. 

Fearing the weather might get worse, and being 
anxious to get back to Port Moresby, I left Hula at night, 



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PIONEER MISSION WORK IN 1884 14S 

running before a strong wind, in some places not at all 
pleasant because of the many reefs, every now and again 
pulling up or running off. At Pyramid Point it was par- 
ticularly nasty, and very dark ; but we passed safely, and 
bowled along at a grand rate near the Barrier Reef By 
4.30 A.M. we landed at Port Moresby, ready for a good 
sleep. And so east and west we keep extending, and I 
trust will continue to do so until New Guinea is occupied 
with earnest men and women preaching Christ and leading 
thousands to Him. 



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146 UFE AND WORK IN NEW <^UINEA 



CHAPTER VIII 

SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 

I. Granny : one of the early Friends of the 
New Guinea Mission 

In 1872 the mission on New Guinea proper was begun at 
Manumanu. Six teachers, with their wives, were left there 
by Messrs. Murray and Gill, in the hope that as they 
became acquainted with the people they would strike out 
on either side and possess the land. During the earlier 
days visitors were numerous, and came in from every 
direction. Among these was a smart, kindly woman, who 
determined to make these foreigners her friends, and to 
help them in every possible way. Her name was Keua ; 
she was a widow, and had a child sixteen months old. 
She was constantly moving around the teachers' house, and 
as they became familiar with the dialect they found that 
her one and constant exclamation was : * You are in the 
wrong place. Come to Hanuabada, the largest of all the 
villages on this part of the coast It is my land, and the 
centre of this tribe. We are one. Come and see.* 

* What does this woman mean by a large village, hot 
very far away, and more healthy than Manumanu ? Let 
us see for ourselves.' So reasoned the teachers ; and they 
hoped to return with her to her home ; but fever set in, 
and one after another died from it. Keua returned to her 
home, but ever since that time she became intimately con- 
nected with our mission. In all the older missions of the 



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148 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

South Pacific there were a few who came to the teachers 
at the outset, and who with great consistency have 
adhered to them throughout. Many have gone home, 
both men and women, who were faithful unto death, and 
a few remain, who await the time when they too shall go. 

The teachers were removed from Manumanu in 1873, 
and were placed at Port Moresby by Mr. Murray, the 
father of the New Guinea Mission. Soon the active 
widow appeared on the scene, and claimed peculiar friend- 
ship with the new arrivals. They were all placed on the 
eastern side ; her home was on the western side. She 
thought it unjust that her side should have no teachers, 
and expressed herself accordingly. But the old chief 
objected, saying, * They will bring us sickness, and we shall 
all die. You,* he said, referring to Keua, 'brought 
them here. What right had you to tell them of our 
land ? and who but you invited them to come and live 
amongst us .? ' 

She came daily to the teachers, and helped them in 
every possible way — carrying wood, getting water, and 
cooking for them. The people tried daily to persuade her 
to leave them and have nothing more to do with them, but 
she persistently turned a deaf ear to all their entreaties. 
She began to relish foreign food, such as rice and biscuits, 
which she used herself and gave to her child. Her 
friends grew frantic with terror, and became assured she 
had gone mad. A few months passed, and she delivered 
up her child to Ruatoka*s wife, who accepted it by giving 
it a new name, Sema, which the youth now bears. 

A year passed, and Mr. and Mrs. Lawes arrived. As 
Keua had not sufficient work to keep herself employed at 
home, she went over daily to assist Mrs. Lawes. Had it 
not been for her, they would often have been without wood 
and water. During the two years Mrs. Lawes was in the 
mission. Keua hung on, frequently helping herself to things 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 149 

not her own. It was her failing that she did not under- 
stand the law of meum and tuuni. Often she stole things 
that could have been of no use to her, and when she was 
accused she was, according to her own account, ever innocent, 
never guilty. On one of Mr. Lawes' inland trips she 
proved to be one of the best carriers in the whole party, 
never flagging under her heavy burden. 

On the arrival of the John Williams on one occasion^ 
she went off with others to see the vessel, having taken the 
precaution before leaving the house to get a paper on which 
was written in large letters, * This is Mrs. Lawes' servant.* 
When she arrived on board she was greeted by all the 
white people as a friend, and cast all the other natives into 
the shade. She says, * The foreigners would come and look 
at my mark, shake my hand, and smile, and would then 
give me tobacco and cloth.' As she smokes, tobacco was 
a very valuable present to her. 

When Mrs. Chalmers and myself arrived in New Guinea, 
we found her about the mission-house. We soon made 
friends with her, giving her the new name of * Granny.' She 
became very much attached to Mrs. Chalmers. She 
religiously keeps dresses given her years ago, wearing them 
only on very extraordinary occasions, and when asked, 
* Granny, why not wear that dress } ' she replies, * No ; it 
was given me by Tamate Vaine, and I must keep it' 

As she was a good-looking native woman, strong and 
active, I often wondered why she never married again, and 
I once said to her, * Now, Granny, how comes it that you 
do not marry t Motu women soon marry after mourning 
for their first husbands, and still you are unmarried.' 

* No, never again, never ! ' she replied. * My first 
husband beat me, and see on my shoulder the mark of a 
spear which he threw at me. Men are bad ; they are wild 
and passionate, and only think of women as beasts. Many 
prefer their pig and dog to their wife. I will never, never 



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ISC LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

again marry ! I am happy now, and I shall remain as I 
am.' 

On another occasion she said : * No Motu man could 
ever propose for me, the price he would have to give would 
be much more than any one could ever collect* The price 
of Keua was as follows : three pigs, one tusk, dresses, two 
large bundles of sago, eighteen arm- shells, and large pieces 
of dugong and turtle. 

Women are much better treated on the coast than they 
are inland. Inland they are often speared or clubbed to 
death for the slightest offence. Once when we interfered to 
save a woman from some men who were running after her to 
spear her, an old Koiari woman said to us, * Why do you 
interfere } Don't you know the Koiari man kills his wife 
when he likes, knowing he will soon* get another? ' 

On the coast, I fancy, they have too much to do and 
say, and it is only when they are terribly exasperated that 
the men beat their women. Generally the woman will 
leave her lord after a beating, and go to her own friends ; 
but the quarrel ends in the lord eating humble-pie, and 
coming to the friends as a suppliant, confessing his fault, 
and begging for his wife. He will on such an occasion 
bring a pig, an arm-shell, or some other present to appease 
the wrath of the friends — a peace-offering, or a token, I fear, 
of his submission. 

My friend, Oa of Maiva, tried hard to get Granny to 
accompany him to his home. I was appealed to, and, 
fancying the lady rather inclined to it, I said it was for her 
to decide. Her sons — married men — on hearing it were 
wild, and entreated their mother to give up all thought of 
it. Their tears brought her back to her former determina- 
tion, and she told Oa that she would never marry again. 
Her sons were doubtful, and as the time drew near for Oa's 
return to his own home, they armed themselves, and jealously 
watched their mother day and night, afraid lest she might 



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A PORT MORESBY GIRL 



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152 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

change her mind, and in some secret way disappear. Oa, 
attracted by a younger woman, formed anew friendship, and 
gave up all idea of our friend. 

One night, when camping on the Astrolabe Hills, Granny 
entertained us with an amusing account of her husband, 
when he wished to introduce a second wife into the house. 
For a long time he had looked on this woman, and wished 
much that she could share his house, but he had some fear 
about it. At last he told his relatives, and they assisted 
him. Granny said, * I often wondered why he was collect- 
ing shell-armlets, and, at times, I feared it was for a second 
wife; but I was determined that no second wife should 
ever live with my husband while I was alive. I did not 
know that he wished another, and always thought myself a 
good wife, and sufficient for him. One morning his friends 
entered my house, bringing a woman with them ; also 
several earthenware pots and various kinds of food. I 
knew well what they wanted, but appeared ignorant I 
said, " You need not come here to cook ; I am young, and 
strong, and well, and can do that. You need bring no food 
here, my store-house is full of all kinds ; and as for pots, 
these I can make as well as any woman in the Motu tribe. 
Away with you now, and for ever." I then took their pots 
and threw them out, and sent the food after them. My 
husband's friends were wild with anger. He himself was 
silent and hung down his head. I told the woman that as 
the sun was high she could wait until the cool of the after- 
noon, but then she must leave my house and my husband 
for ever. In the evening she left, after I had given her 
something to eat I never expect again to see her, although 
she lives only a few miles from here.' 

* You know,' she continued, * I was a very proud, haughty 
woman.' 

* Indeed you were, Keua ; and hard to please,' said some 
natives, who stood close by and heard her words. 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 153 

* No/ she replied. * Two women in one house cannot 
agree, and I would never consent to such an arrangement' 

In many of my inland and coast trips, Granny accom- 
panied me, as I found her to be a most useful help. When 
we could not get carriers, and each had to carry our own 
swag, Granny never grumbled at having to carry camp 
utensils and other things ; and besides that she was always 
ready to cook food and attend on us. Often she has been 
left entirely in charge of camp, with all our barter goods 
open, but never have we missed anything. She is a 
marvellous woman in accommodating herself to all kinds 
of circumstances ; able to sleep anywhere, or to do 
without sleep ; to eat anything that we had, or to go without 
food ; in sun or rain, by day or night, always contented. 
She could hold conversation with all the tribes we met, and 
we everywhere found her invaluable as an interpreter. 

She had no difficulty in making herself at home with 
the women ; and naturally they gathered round her to 
hear her wonderful tales of the white people who lived in 
her land, far away on the coast, and of all the tribes we 
had visited, and the countries we had seen. It was amusing 
on these trips to hear her speak disdainfully of the dark 
heathen people amongst whom we were sojourning : 
they were not like her people, who were now enlightened. 
She seemed never to be afraid, though always keeping a 
good look-out. On several occasions we were in rather 
peculiar circumstances, and had reason to suspect that 
things were not all right, yet Granny kept apparently 
calm. 

Granny was good for coasting as well as for inland 
travel. She was never sea-sick, and always ready to get a 
fire and cook when we landed. 

Time wears on, and the work of past years, and the 
continuous listening to reading and prayer, and — when 
at home — the constant attendance at school and services, 



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154 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

were seen in what we believe was the changed life in dear 
old Granny. She learned to pray, and said that she desired 
to love Christ — to be His alone. Her knowledge of Christ 
and of His Word was scant indeed ; but looking to her 
change in life, and to her expressed desire, we could not 
but baptize her as one of the loving Saviour's own disciples. 

II. KiRiKEU OF South Cape. 

Upon first reaching a new station there are generally 
two or three men who take to you and you to them. 
Sometimes they are men of influence, and become great 
helps. They are not always the first to receive the Gospel ; 
it more generally happens that some unknown outsider is 
the first to come forward and declare for Christ and His 
Word. The man I am now going to sketch was old when 
we arrived at South Cape, and being a man of influence and 
much respected, was indeed very helpful to us in many 
ways. 

The first time we went to South Cape we anchored 
in the evening, and in the morning were surrounded with 
canoes full of noisy natives, who came on board and made 
themselves quite at home. One old man, who seemed to 
think he had a right to go everywhere in our schooner, 
found his way aft and made friends with Tamate Vaine 
(Mrs. Chalmers). He wore round his neck a string of 
bones, and offered these as a mark of friendship, but they 
were not accepted. From these bones he was called ever 
after * Bag o' Bones,' and for a long time was known by no 
other name. His real name was Kirikeu. When he knew 
that we wished to stay and build, he was very anxious we 
should live near him ; and on our deciding for his village 
he was perfectly satisfied, and then, I now believe, became 
our real friend, resolved to help us in every possible way. 
The strip of land now belonging to the London Missionary 
Society was bought from him and paid in trade. Remem- 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 155 

bering the many things said against missionaries cheating 
the natives in land purchases, I determined to pay for all 
land bought for mission use what I considered a fair price, 
so that in future it might not be said we had outreached 
the natives. I paid at the rate of thirty shillings per acre — 
a good price, I think, for unused land. The old man and 
his friends were highly delighted, and now he looked upon 
us as his children. When we were in great danger, 
surrounded by a painted and armed crowd while living 
in Manuegu's house, the old man was in the bush. On 
hearing what was taking place, he hurried in, advising me 
to accede to the demands ; but on finding I would not yield, 
he got the chief to lead his party away into the bush. The 
old man returned home, asking me for something, to 
which I answered, * No, no ; never to threats.' He left, 
and after some time came and sat by us until late at 
night. 

He was the great talker of the village, and at night, or 
very early in the morning, would get on to his platform 
when all were asleep or near it, and express his thoughts 
on things general or particular. That is very common 
throughout this part of New Guinea. Pent-up wrath often 
explodes on the platform. Hunters returning unsuccessful 
from the chase let forth on the sorcerers and evil spirits. 
Fishermen, after a weary day or night trying the net in 
many places, but * catching nothing,' will, in the weary 
sleepy native hour between 8 and 9 at night, pour 
forth their fulminations of wrath. They may contain 
themselves till the morning, but when the morning star has 
climbed the near hills they begin, and continue until light 
has spread itself like a gauzy garment over all Nature. 
Then wrath is gone, and they hope for more success in 
future. Our old friend was great at this work. 

When we were passing through what we called the 
Mayri troubles, he was our adviser as to where we should 



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156 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

go and what we should do ; and I believe now he used his 
influence for our preservation. During that time he always 
came to us armed with a large knife, assuring us that he 
and his son would defend us with their lives. He often 
came looking anxious, and besought us to keep a good 
look-out and not go far away. On the day of the burial 
of a native who had been shot, when great crowds were 
about our house, he would not go to the meeting, but 
remained by us all day, taking an occasional walk 
round in the bush. Knowing that sorcerers were being 
employed to pray us or exorcise us dead, he employed 
two old sorcerers from the mainland to use their powers 
on our behalf. 

Some time after, when opening a box, I brought out a 
bag of pease ; Kirikeu was assisting me : he thought they 
were shot, and at once left to inform them in the village 
that we were terribly armed, and they must be careful. 
When he returned in the afternoon I spoke sharply to him ; 
but he thought them shot until he saw them boiled and 
eaten. Our tinned meat he, with other natives, believed to 
be man ; and long after our arrival would he shake his 
head incredulously when we would try to assure him it was 
poro (pig). He came to me once in great trouble. 
A chief came to the house one morning, and was very 
troublesome, saying, * You are useless as a chief, having no 
arms ; wherever you go, you are unarmed.' I told them I 
was a man of peace, had come to preach peace, but if 
necessary should defend myself I brought out two bottles 
— one containing sulphuric acid and the other muriatic 
acid. I poured a little of each on the ground close by 
him ; the fumes went into his face. Frightened, he started 
and ran, I believe, quicker than he ever did before ; he got 
to Manuegu's house, and complained of being ill, assuring 
them that I had killed him. There was great consternation, 
and the old man came to inquire and beg of me to remove 



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SOME NEW GUINEA ^CELEBRITIES 157 

the evil influence. I told him it was all right, that nothing 
would happen. He was quite satisfied, and left A 
fortnight afterwards the chief returned, wishing to make 
friends. 

As time wore on it became evident my old friend was 
very jealous of the attention shown to another native, 
named Quaiani ; and once when the latter came to see us 
and was in the house, Kirikeu rushed down to the beach 
and began breaking the canoe. I ran down and dragged 
him away ; he was in a terrible passion. We were house- 
building at the time. I stopped the work, and told the 
people unless I was allowed to have my friends come and 
see me unmolested I must leave. They insisted on the old 
man giving compen5ation to me ; and knowing well it was 
a native custom, when he came with his armlets I accepted 
them, saying I was sorry for what had happened, and 
hoped we should have no repetition of it. In the afternoon 
our whole party went to him on his platform, where he sat 
very disconsolate, and presented him with things he liked 
much. Now all was right, and we became good friends 
again. He accompanied me once down the coast, 
introducing me as his son to many of his friends. On the 
night of our return he helped to exorcise the wind. One 
boy becoming ill, he assured me that he was inwardly 
speared by some power ! 

Sitting enjoying an evening pipe with friends, we were 
astonished to hear our old friend beginning one of his 
wrathful harangues. Curiosity brought us out to see and 
hear him. He was on high pitch, and laying forth with 
great energy. 

* Kirikeu, what is the matter, and why are you so 
angry ? ' 

* Have you not heard what a Bonorua woman has 
done ? * 

* No ; what is it ? ' 



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158 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

' She dug up her buried husband to feed her friends who 
came to condole with her, she having no pig/ 

* And what of that ? it is onjy what you all do — eat 
human flesh.* 

* What ? Who can let such be done ? When I die, 
my wife might do the same with me. No ; the whole 
crowd of women must go, go for ever. There, they can 
take these canoes ; let them be gone before morning, or 
they will be killed. Will you have them ? Take the whole 
crowd, and never return.' 

A woman challenged the old man, and marched up and 
down in front, telling him to be quiet as long as he ate 
human flesh. It looked serious for that woman, as he 
threatened to come down to her. 

On hearing of Tamate Vaine's (Mrs. Chalmers) death, 
the old man cried bitterly. 

I left them for a long time, and then returned to find 
my good old friend in great trouble : he had lost his only 
son — a man thirty-five years old. Instead of painting his 
body black, he had got on old clothes given him by the 
teacher, but I would certainly have preferred him in his 
native mourning. He attended all services in the teacher's 
house, and was never absent from services in the chapel. 
Everywhere he advised the natives to give up cannibalism, 
and spoke on behalf of peace. When some of our teachers 
were poisoned at Isiuisu, he advised the teachers on no 
account to accept of cooked food from the people, and 
be careful who went for water. On recalling the past, I 
cannot but feel thankful for so good a friend in those 
early days ; may he receive the light, and be made free ! 

III. Oa of Maiva. 

In 1879, visiting Port Moresby (torn South Cape, I 
found several strange natives living with the Motuans, and 
on inquiring whence they came was told from Maiva, a 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 159 

district in the west, but then without any chart position. 
They were a little different from the Motu natives, being 
physically larger, with hair not so bushy, and more 
respectably dressed, having nearly as much covering as 
is necessary. When they came to call on me each had a 
piece of native cloth hanging down his back. They 
invited me to visit their home, speaking of it as a place 
vastly superior to Port Moresby, with plenty of food of 
every kind, sago in special abundance. I found the 
principal man was named Oa, and that he was a great 
chief He spent some time at Port Moresby securing 
armlets and shell beads. 

Oa often visited me to have a smoke, and, as the 
Motuans were short of food, to get some from my servants. 
At home he had several wives, but he had set his heart on 
one young damsel here, and have her to take home with 
him he must. The young lady did not wish so old a lover, 
and her friends were against her going so far away. Oa 
was about fifty years old, five feet nine inches in height, 
strongly built, a very determined expression on his face — 
a man who could not easily be turned aside from his 
purpose, and, I believe, a most inveterate enemy to those 
he disliked. He made up his mind to carry off the girl, and 
succeeded in getting her some miles away, when he was 
overtaken by her friends, who with great crying and many 
presents so softened Oa's heart that he yielded and gave 
her up. He told them that when he returned, if she still 
remained unmarried, he would certainly take her to Maiva. 
She was sold soon after, and on Oa's next visit she was 
safe in her husband's house. 

We became excellent friends. He was a great sorcerer, 
and much feared in Maiva and the surrounding districts. 
All the tribes were ^er anxious to make and retain friend- 
ship with him, and for him the best pigs were reserved and 
the best portions of food at all feasts. Although beyond 



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i6o LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

the age when men, civilised or savage, as a rule think much 
of dress, he was very dressy, and adorned himself with a 
strict regard to fashion. I visited Maiva two or three 
times, but was never fortunate enough to find him at home. 
In 1880 they were building a large dubu, or temple, in 
which he took great interest. The following October he 
came to see me, and invited me to visit him soon. He 
had finished the dubu» and they were now preparing for a 
season of retirement. I gave him some presents, and 
amongst them an American tomahawk, telling him to pro- 
ceed on his return, and when the moon was near the hill- 
tops at sunset I should set out to visit him. He was 
greatly delighted, and all along the coast told the natives 
I was coming to visit him and Maiva. 

About a fortnight after, I followed, but, on getting 
to Delena, heard that Oa was dead — that he had died 
suddenly. Some fears were entertained as to our reception, 
and we were advised to be careful as to what we ate, and 
that we should cook our own food. My crew at one time 
refused to go with me, and suggested returning or remain- 
ing at Delena. To the latter I did not object, only telling 
them I thought they were cowards. When near starting, 
and asking for another crew, my own crew all came, saying 
they would go to live or die with me. 

On arriving at Maiva I was first led into Oa's house, 
and made to sit on a mat spread on the top of his grave. 
And then the terrible wailing began, the pulling of the 
hair, and cutting of the face and head with sharp shells. 
The present I intended for him I placed on his grave and 
retired. Many things had been buried with him, and at 
the head of his grave were stuck spears, bows and iBirrows, 
and, hanging on them, frontlets, armlets, necklaces, and 
large ear-pendants. 

Oa was a most vindictive man, and never forgot an 
injury, and he was able to hide his intentions under a 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES i6i 

studied friendship. A good friend, a terrible enemy. 
Many years ago some Maivans were killed by Boerans on 
the small islands on the Barrier Reef, near Boera. Maiva 
learned what had become of their lost friends, said nothing, 
but pretended true friendship ; and Oa and his people 
came regularly to Boera, the latter thinking Maiva knew 
nothing of the tragedy. The time of vengeance at last 
came. Three trading canoes from Boera that had been in 
the Gulf for sago were overtaken when off Cape Possession 
by a severe storm, and ran into Maiva. The crews were at 
first well received, and advised to take their lakatois well 
up the creek. The gale was abating, and they were hoping 
soon to get out and away home. Maiva, at Oa's instiga- 
tion, rose in mass one night and slew 177 ; three escaped 
to the bush, and worked their way through bush, swamp, 
and river, over hills and dales, travelling at night through 
districts inhabited by hostile tribes, to Manumanu, in 
Redscar Bay, where they thought they were safe. Tired, 
hungry, and thirsty, one ascended a cocoanut tree, and had 
begun to throw the nuts down, when the owner and son 
came along, listened to their story, and decided on killing 
them. Being friendly with Maiva, the Manumanu fell they 
could easily destroy the only informants and witnesses of 
the dastard deed. They speared the two on the ground, 
ordered the third to come down from the tree, and 
despatched him in a like manner. They buried the bodies 
close by, and returned to the village saying nothing. Long 
after, Boera heard of the deed, while a teacher was with 
them, but being too weak and anxious for peace, they said 
nothing. Once, I believe, Oa was taxed with the slaughter, 
but all he said was, * My children murdered at Baava are 
paid for ; let us keep peace.' 

A month before these events took place, the whole side 
of a limestone hill near Boera village gave way, falling 
with a terrible crash. Men women, and children mourned 

L 



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i62 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

with great mourning, assured that something terrible was 
to happen to those trading in the west Omens innumerable 
were seen, but none that caused so much consternation. 

It was during my visit that I became acquainted with 
Meauri, Oa's eldest son. He could not enter the dubu 
where I lodged, because of having touched the dead and 
having attended thereon. He used to call me outside and 
inquire as to my comforts and wants, telling his friends to 
see well to me, and not suffer me to be neglected. He 
had already six wives ; and when one left, ten applied to 
be received in her place. He lacks stability ; and if ever 
he takes first place, it will only be after long and patient 
uphill work. 

A few months after my visit the large dubu was burnt 
down, only two small stumps of posts being left One 
afternoon a woman was weeding near it, and when she had 
finished her work she set fire to the weeds. The wind 
came up strong from the south-east and blew some of the 
fire about, some resting on the dubu, which was soon in a 
blaze, and in a few minutes gone. 

♦ IV. KoAPENA OF Aroma. 

Not many years ago Aroma appeared on the chart for 
the first time, and in 1880 the first white man landed, and 
visited fourteen villages in the district, and then he and 
his party were in great danger of being speared and 
clubbed. It was the most desperate plight I have ever 
been in in New Guinea, and I have had a few narrow 
escapes. Here, in 1 882, seven Chinamen were murdered by 
the natives, their heads boiled and cleaned, and to-day the 
skulls adorn the sacred place of the largest village. In 
1 88 1 teachers were placed at Parimata and Maopa, and 
the head chief promised to care for them. Long before 
their arrival the chief, Koapena, begged for teachers, and 
when told that the people might kill them, he laughed 



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i64 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

at the idea of any interference during his lifetime. In 
December, 1884, we visited Aroma, and opened the first 
two churches. A goodly number attended the services, 
and the feasts afterwards were thoroughly appreciated by 
the natives. At Hula and Kerepunu fears were entertained 
that we should all be murdered, as a meeting of all the 
missionaries and teachers would be a suitable occasion for 
the old Aroma spirit to assert itself, and cause the natives 
to surround the party and murder all. But remembering 
we were in good keeping, we feared no ill ; and after 
spending some time at both places, experiencing great 
kindness from the people and much attention — especially 
the lady of our party, who was the first white lady ever 
to land in this part of New Guinea — we returned home. 

All this, however, merely by way of introduction. I 
wish to say something about the chief, Koapena, who is 
certainly the finest man in this part of New Guinea — from 
Bald Head to East Cape, a distance of about five hundred 
miles. How he loves his children, and how they love and 
respect him ! It would astonish you to see his attachment 
to the missionaries, and how anxious he is to make them 
liappy. I remember many years ago seeing Garibaldi at 
the Crystal Palace, and the one thing that struck me most 
was the trustful simplicity of the lion visage. In Koapena 
I can see in his peculiar face and in his great frame that 
same simplicity — a terrible enemy, but a friend in time of 
need. He is about five feet ten inches high, splendidly 
built, having the appearance of a perfect Hercules — every 
muscle well defined, his gait erect and truly proud, as if 
conscious of power and superiority. I noticed him the 
other day, when he stepped out of our boat some distance 
from Keppel Point to bathe, preparatory to landing and 
meeting his wives and friends. Having finished his ablu- 
tions, and the boat having got ahead of him, he rushed 
?^shore, sending the water flying all around. He has on his 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 165 

body over fifty tattoo-marks, representing that his people 
have killed over fifty men, women, and children. I have 
seen many large clubs in the various districts known to us 
in New Guinea, but none will match with his ; it is fastened 
to the outer post of his house, and is seen by all who enter, 
warning intruders to beware. He has an arm that can 
wield it, too. Once he said to me, * Who dare touch you 1 
Should any injure you, or speak ill to you, where can they 
go ? Will they ascend to heaven, that I cannot find them } 
Will they sink underground beyond my reach } No ; no 
one must injure you.' 

After the murder of the Chinamen he said, *A11 of 
your country are my friends, but Sinito (Chinese) never ; I 
will kill all who land here.' They certainly did give 
the greatest provocation. I said, * Koapena, Victoria has 
many different kinds of children, and she would certainly 
be angry if you killed any belonging to her, be they white, 
black, or yellow, and you had better beware.' * Tamate, 
I will kill every Chinaman who lands here ; all other 
foreigners, white or black, are my friends.' 

I hope he is now more agreeably disposed towards the 
Celestials, and would even be willing to make friends with 
them. He has great influence over the whole Aroma 
district, and from all parts receives presents. He is always 
referred to in other villages along the coast, when anything 
serious is brewing ; and it is generally, * What does Koapena 
say ? ' not, * What does Aroma say ? ' 

Commodore Erskine once visited Aroma. Koapena 
went on board to see the great chief He was much struck 
with all he saw, but what astonished him most was the 
band playing. He shook with fear from head to foot, and, 
ashamed of it, sat down. At our opening service of the 
Maopa church he gave a short address, something like the 
following : * Now listen ; it must be peace with us and the 
foreigners ; they ' (referring to the teachers) * have brought 



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i66 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

us words of peace : it is time we received them. If any of 
you think you can do as you like with the foreigners, that 
they are not strong, let me tell you to visit a ship such as 
I have seen, and see for yourselves, and you will never again 
speak boastfully. I have seen guns, large and small, the 
sound of which is too much ; I have seen men in numbers 
greater than all Aroma can speak of* ( He thought they 
were different men he saw in different parts of the ship, 
and the continual movements of the men astonished him 
much.) 

At one time he was very anxious to visit the Straits or 
Cooktown ; it was arranged that he should pay a visit to 
the former. The day before leaving, two of his wives 
asked to be allowed to visit the mission steamer and see 
for themselves where their lord was to be accommodated. 
They were taken over the vessel, and at last he was anxious 
that they should see the engine-room ; but they would not 
leave the deck, satisfied with what they could see from 
there. The furnace-door was opened, and they ran back 
in great excitement, saying to him, * You must not go ; see, 
these foreigfners keep this great fire to bum up all they kill.* 
The next morning he came off when ready to start, saying, 
* I cannot go ; I have spent a miserable night ; my wives 
have done nothing but cry over me all night, and I must 
stay. By-aiid-by, when they become more accustomed to 
you, and your wife can stay here with them, we can go and 
just do as we like.* He has been to Cooktown since, and 
was greatly astonished at all he saw. He is kind and 
attentive to the teachers, and helps them in many ways. 

A short time ago, when, at Aroma, my boatman. Bob 
Samoa, of D* Albertis celebrity, was taken very ill and died, 
Koapena showed great sympathy, and insisted on digging 
the grave, assisted by two other chiefs, and would allow no 
others but themselves to descend into the grave and 
receive the body. 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 167 

When walking one day through his cocoanut plantation, 
I saw hanging up in various places old cocoanuts with the 
husk much torn. Wondering what they could mean, I 
inquired of his nephew, who was with me. * Oh, that is a 
warning to cocoanut thieves that any stealing Koapena's 
cocoanuts will have their heads served in the same way.' 

After the massacre at Kalo, and before Aroma had 
heard of it, the Aroma teachers were removed, as we feared 
the murdering contagion would spread, as it was said by the 
natives on all hands it would. Koapena wondered much 
why the teachers should so hurriedly be removed, but on 
their leaving he gave orders that no one was to go near 
their houses. A fortnight after, I visited him, and had to 
land with caution, as we could not tell how we should be 
received. 

We landed at Keppel Point, and were only met by a 
few people. Always when landing before, Koapena was 
soon there to meet me, but this time my friend was 
not to be seen. We walked along the beach to Maopa, 
but met no Koapena ; up the sand-hill and over to the 
village, and there on his platform with a few old men was 
the chief, with his back turned to me, and no word of 
welcome. I wondered if our friendship was so soon broken, 
although I felt we had done him an injury in not trusting 
him ; but as I drew near it was too much for the warm 
' savage * heart, and he turned round and saluted me. * Oh, 
Tamate, how foolish you have been ! but come.' Then, 
meeting me, he threw his arms round my neck, saying in a 
very sorrowful voice, * Tamate, you might have trusted me 
with your children ; you know well no one belonging to 
you will be injured here.' We went to the teacher's house, 
and there everything was just as it was left ; a knife and 
tomahawk carelessly left in front of the cook-house, with a 
few yams, were untouched, and just as when they had been 
put down by the teacher's wife, on her hearing of the 



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i68 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

murders. When the teachers were returned, Koapena was 
greatly delighted. 

At a national feast, when numerous pigs were to be slain, 
I have seen him dressed in European clothing, in his hand 
a branch, surrounded by his wives carrying all his and their 
treasures, and twenty men gaudily dressed with feathers of 
every description, beating drums, he dancing and moving 
backwards, leading the great procession very slowly through 
the various narrow streets, followed by the pigs gaily dressed 
with leaves, and borne by the young men to the Aroma 
sacred place, where human skulls hang, and where only pigs 
can be slain. 

Remember, he is not a Christian, and makes no 
profession of desiring greater blessings than he already 
possesses. He only dresses in European clothing on great 
occasions, and is perfectly satisfied with the small clothing 
he is accustomed to. 

Koapena in shirt and trousers is not half the man he is 
in his strings. May we not hope that when he receives Christ 
as his Light, Saviour, and Friend he will use his influence 
for the advancement of the knowledge of His name ? It 
may be now he is being led by the hand of Light to light, 
and that soon that light will break forth in him. 

Such are a few notes on my interesting friend Koa- 
pena — a savage, it is true, but one whom I love. 

V. The Motu Robber-Chief, Aruako. 

In all the tribes of New Guinea there are numerous 
chiefs, but in ancient times it was not so. They had one, 
and one only, whose word was law for war or peace. In 
the Motu tribe, the ancestors of Boi Vagi, the late chief of 
Port Moresby, who died in the Christian faith in 1886, 
were great chiefs, and in his father's time he alone held the 
power. Wherever he went he was looked upon as the 
ruler of the Motu tribe, and was treated accordingly ; pigs 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 169 

were killed, food was cooked, and large presents given to 
him. Since his death the chiefs have never been able to 
obtain all his power and influence, although the chief at 
Port Moresby is looked upon as the principal chief of the 
Motu by the people of that and other tribes. The younger 
branch of the family held the power of making raids to 
secure property, and the father of the robber-chief was a 



A NEW GUINEA DANDY 



noted man all along the coast in that particular science. 
When he proposed a raid on any particular village, he 
always had a large number of daring spirits to listen to his 
proposals, and who longed for such work. 

The son, Aruako, it seems, took after his father, and as 
he grew up to manhood was well educated in that particular 
department. When I knew him first he was a wild-looking 
savage, with the largest, longest, frizziest head of hair on 



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I70 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

the coast, or that I had seen in New Guinea. He in no 
way made any friendly advances to the missionary or 
teachers. His expression was sour and repellent, and gave 
the impression that he was always angry. He is about 
forty-five years of age, well-built, and about five feet eight 
inches in height. He has two sisters as wives. He says 
that being sisters they do not disturb him by quarrelling, 
as the younger always submits to the elder. He would 
certainly be an ugly customer to deal with as an enemy, 
and some years ago the less any one had to do with him 
the better. He used to punish the slightest insult to 
himself or his friends, at once and satisfactorily, not by 
taking life, but, by robbery. 

The arrival of the teachers, and Boi Vagi's becoming 
their friend, rather spoiled Aruako*s vocation, and he 
settled down in a sulky manner to watch the changes that 
might take place. To make things worse, he was a man 
who believed much in witchcraft, and was full of super- 
stition, the kind of man that any one would find difficult 
to win over. He says he never robbed without a cause, 
and never killed in his robbing raids. Once, when at 
Manumanu with other canoes returning from Kabadi, 
they were waiting until night to get along the coast. 
He saw that the people of Manumanu had been fishing, 
and were very successful. He expected to get some fish 
from his friends, but after waiting some time and no dish of 
fish appearing, he went up to the village and asked for a 
few cooked fish. One of the chiefs said, * Yes ; wait on your 
canoes.' He returned and waited, but no one came near 
them. It was too much ; he could wait no longer, and he 
called those in the other canoes to come with him and help 
themselves. They helped themselves so freely to every- 
thing that some of their canoes came near sinking. The 
Manumanuans said nothing, and dared not resist ; and 
Aruako says they have a lively recollection of it to the 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 171 

present day, for never again was he or any other of his 
tribe insulted by them in like manner. 

There is a great deal of magnanimity amongst savages. 
A Boera man was killed at Naara, and Aruako took up 
the quarrel. Naara had always been friendly with the 
Motuans, and it was not meant to make them enemies now. 
A large party of young men were got together, and at night 
surrounded the village. At daybreak they entered, telling 
the chiefs and people not to be afraid, that no one would 
be hurt if they did not resist, but they had come to help 
themselves. They were, very free with the Naara goods, 
and when each had enough to carry and were going away, 
the chief said : 

* Stay and part friends ; you will not return to kill' 

* Certainly not ; it is finished.* 

* Then here, accept of our hospitality.* 

They did remain, each by his stuff, and had a glorious 
feast of pig and yam, then started for the coast, and 
returned home quite elated. 

Another time, they were returning from Redscar Bay, 
in company with many other canoes, and on arriving at 
Boera they found the well where they usually drew water 
when on journeys filled with refuse. This was reported 
by the women of the party, and the chief went and saw 
for himself He was full of wrath, and at once called on 
the others to be up and doing — to enter the village and 
help themselves. This was soon done, and their booty was 
abundant. The Boerans submitted, and acknowledged 
that their children were to blame. He told them to teach 
their children that everything belonged to Motu, in order 
that they might never again do the like. It never happened 
again. What Motumotu is now, or has been, on the coast, 
so Motu was in former days. On one occasion he said to 
me, * You remember what I told you, I never robbed with- 
out cause. We could stand no insult of any kind ; we 



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172 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

knew we were the strongest tribe, and were ever feared ; 
and wherever we went everybody treated us well, so as to 
keep friends with us.* 

His cousin, who is married at Manumanu, hearing they 
had plenty of sago at Port Moresby, came to her cousins to 
get some, and they assisted her freely. She returned the 
following day with great gladness, until she arrived at 
Boera, where a number of Hula canoes were assembled. 
Two came out to meet her, and, on seeing the sago, helped 
themselves, she crying bitterly, and saying, * I am Aruako's 
cousin, and it was he and the others who gave me the sago.' 
They replied, * Shut up ! who is Aruako, and who is afraid 
of him ? ' When they had taken all, they left her to pro- 
ceed with an empty canoe. It was more than she could do, 
and she returned to Borebada, where her sister was living, 
and told her tale. The sister at once started, and arrived 
at Port Moresby in the evening. She went straight to 
Boi Vagi's house, and on the platform outside began : * Yes, 
here you all are quietly at home, when others are suffering ; 
tears are falling, which I suppose none of you care anything 
about* She went on in this strain for some time, and 
would give no explanation of what she meant Aruako, 
hearing her from his house, came out and approached 
towards the platform. On seeing him she addressed him 
pointedly, saying, * Here, take my rami, give me your sihi ; 
rU play the man, you the woman.' Several times she said 
this. He was impatient, and grew angry, and demanded 
an explanation. Seeing that she was successful in rousing 
him and others, she then said : 

* You gave sago to my sister, your cousin.* 

* Yes ; where is it ? * 

* Other birds ate it ; she will never taste it, though she 
is alive and in my house.* 

* Who dared touch her or it } * 

* Hula has robbed her of everything.* 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 173 

Canoes were got ready, and away they went for Boera. 
On arriving at Borebada they met the people attempting 
to get away, but, on seeing the Motuans, they came together. 
As the Motu canoes drew near, some shouted, * We had 
nothing to do with it ; those canoes in the centre did it.' 
All were ordered to clear away and leave the centre ones 
alone. Aruako stood in his canoe, which was the first to 
approach. Renaki, the head Hula chief, was sitting on one 
of the canoes. Aruako made straight for that one, leaped 
on board, and with his thick stick dealt Renaki a hard blow 
across the back that pitched him into the sea. The catioes 
were seized, and everything taken, including all the sago. 
He wanted to kill Renaki, but his friends would not have 
that. They considered they had done enough and would 
leave. The Borebada people assembled to assist Hula, but 
were told if they spoke a word even they would be robbed 
and every house burned to the ground. On leaving, Aruako 
took Renaki's best canoe ; and the latter, having recovered, 
got into it, crying bitterly, and saying, * Oh, take everything, 
everything, but leave me this.' He was helped by others, 
and they pulled the fine new canoe aAvay with Renaki still 
in it The chief continuing to cry, Aruako turned round 
and said, * Finish him off, and pitch him into the sea ! ' and 
acting accordingly, he seized his stick and was making for 
him when he was prevented by others. They closed in 
shore, and Renaki had to land. On landing he was told 
that it was all right again, and they must be friends, but 
that they had brought it upon themselves. He was 
presented with a large bundle of spears, and told to go 
quietly away. Long after, Aruako went to Hula and 
made friends with Renaki. 

Such was our friend Aruako on the arrival of the 
teachers. Some time after Mr. Murray (of whom they still 
speak as an old friend) left, Aruako attempted to burn his 
house because he had no share in presents, and Boi Vagi 



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174 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

somehow or other was left out. He did not wish the 
teachers to remain, and would rather they left A few years 
ago he began attending services, and soon took an intelligent 
interest in them, which grew into a desire to change his 
mode of life. He is now a reformed man. His fierceness 
of expression has gone, the determined look remains. He 
is a man of will seeking to do right. He has become an 
active preacher of Christianity. 

VI. Valina Kina, or *Saul' of Kalo. 

On my first visits to Kerepunu, and before I visited 
Kalo, I had often seen a fine strapping youth marching 
about with an air of great superiority, and on inquiring who 
he was, I was told he was from Kalo. The first time I saw 
him to real advantage was at the Kerepuna harvest feast of 
thanksgiving, when he came dressed in a manner well 
becoming him, in shell and feather ornaments, with long 
streamers of bleached pandanus leaves hanging down his 
back. There were many natives from other places, one and 
all gorgeously dressed, and admired by all the lookers-on ; 
but, although not dressed to kill, as some were, Valina was 
the most admired. With his white head-dress of cockatoo 
feathers he stood above his fellows, and with his drum in 
hand and gracefully moving about in the dance, with a 
couple of the best-looking damsels by his side, and his 
altogether aristocratic appearance, he was certainly worth 
noticing. Even then many were jealous of the notice taken 
of him, jealous of his prowess, and jealous of his power 
over the fair sex. 

He was a brave youth, with several warrior marks 
tattooed on his back. He was then unmarried, and the 
difficulty would have been for him to select from the many 
who flocked around him, had the selection been left to him, 
but parents and friends had that business on hand. We 
soon became friends, and our friendship remained unbroken 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 175 

up to his death. When I placed the first teacher at Kalo, 
Valina took little interest in him or his teaching, being 
occupied in what was to him the more congenial occu- 
pations of dancing and fighting. He was then looked 
upon as the greatest warrior they had, and was feared by 
all the tribes not on friendly terms with Kalo. He soon 
after married, and settled down a little more to home 
duties ; still, he was ever to the front in feasting and dancing 
time. When I placed their teacher, we remained two days 
at Kalo, and saw much of him. H.M.S. Sappho was then 
at Kerepunu, and the captain and a few of the officers came 
to Kalo, and all were much interested in Saul, as we now 
called him, on account of his height. They taught him to 
sing an English-Chinese song, and long afterwards when 
we met he would begin with * Laugh Kai ha ! * We had 
some leaping ; but when Saul stepped to the front and 
easily walked over our highest mark, the interest died out, 
and we thought it time to give it up. 

I am not aware he ever attended school or services ; 
still, he was always friendly, and showed no opposition. 

A year or two before the Kalo massacre, the Kalo 
natives went inland to fight with Quiapo, a hill tribe. 
Saul was not interested in the attack, and went somewhere 
else to hunt wallaby. In the afternoon word was brought 
to him that his friends were surrounded, and likely to get 
the worst of the fight. He at once armed and started, 
broke through the cordon to his friends, and taking the 
lead, fought so desperately that he brought them all safely 
back, carrying with him to the village one head, for which 
he was tattooed and highly honoured by the"people. The 
custom on such occasions is to drag the head round and 
through the village, casting indignity upon it, and in song 
praising the brave who secured it. The head is then taken 
and cooked until the skull can be cleaned, when it is fixed 
on their sacred place. According to the rank of the slain 



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176 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

the feasting continues at short intervals for several months ; 
if a man of no note, a woman, or a child, the feasting is 
soon over. 

Another engagement with Quaipo took place, in which 
the chiefs daughter and a warrior were killed, and their 
heads carried in triumph into Kalo. The old chief was 
inconsolable for his daughter, and vowed that nothing 
would satisfy him but the head of Saul ; but as Quaipo 
had killed several Kalo natives it was thought advisable to 
make peace — Kalo supposed abiding peace, but Maopoa, 
the Quaipo chief, only intended it to last until opportunity 
offered to gain his object. During this time of apparent 
friendship Saul had many skirmishes with other tribes, 
and always came out scatheless. It was during this time 
that the Wolverene visited New Guinea, to punish the 
massacre at Kalo. After identifying the body as that of 
the dead chief who was the instigator of the massacre, and 
who assisted in it, Saul came on board the warship, and 
was well received by the commodore. At that time it was 
thought and hoped he would become chief, but he cared 
nothing for the position. The commodore gave him 
presents, and handed over to him two natives who were 
made prisoners on the morning of the attack. He bore 
himself well, and although it must have been difficult for 
him to conceal his feelings he did not show the least fear 
or excitement. He told me he was glad Kalo was 
punished, and it was good for Kalo that the chief Quaipo 
had been shot — that it would be peace truly, and foreigners 
need not now fear. He was much astonished at the 
clemency shown to his people by the commodore, and 
said, * Only a great chief and powerful people could act so.' 
Hearing I was at Hula a few months after the Wolverene 
visited them, he came over, bringing with him his cousin 
Kulu, the fighting chief, with a present of food. He 
accompetnied me in the boat to Kerepunu, and then told 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 177 

me the story of the massacre, and of the feeling in Kalo 
of the justice and mercy of the punishment, and the fear 
amongst the people that it was not all over yet. I assured 
him it was true and lasting peace and friendship with us 
so long as they remained friendly to foreigners. He 
returned home and narrated the story of our interview, and 



A HULA GIRL 



told the people he believed all he was told, and trusted the 
word of the * white man.' From that time he had several 
skirmishes with outsiders, and seemed pleased to have a 
fight when others quarrelled, but never, so far as I am 
aware, stirring up strife himself He had long been 
persistent to have another teacher, and when at length he 
was told another was appointed, he returned with joy to 

M 



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178 LIFE [AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

his home to cheer the hearts of all the Kalo natives. We 
appointed Tau and his wife, both Rarotongans, and during 
the time they were at Hula waiting for the completion of 
their house many were the visits made to them. They 
were located, and one of their best friends was Saul, who 
promised to see they were * never hungry, and that no one 
should molest them ; * but for school and services he had 
no taste. 

A few weeks after leaving Tau and his wife at Kalo, 
Saul and a few others went wallaby hunting, and joined a 
party of Kerepunu natives who were planting between 
Hood Lagoon and the Quaipo Hills. When the wind had 
increased they set fire to the grass, and were soon scattered 
in various directions, looking out for their prey. They had 
not been hunting long when they saw a few hill natives, 
and the Kerepunuans shouted to the Kalo natives to run, 
as the Quaipo natives were in force and hidden in the long 
grass. All started, and soon left the hunting-ground far 
behind them ; but Saul and his cousin, being nearest to 
the enemy, and not feeling inclined to run, the former 
turned to the Kerepunuans and said, * No, I shall not run, 
but fight ; and carry back with me two heads.' He and 
his cousin were soon surrounded. They fought splendidly, 
it is said, Saul holding his own well against the force of 
the enemy, who determined, if possible, to have him whom 
they feared so terribly. He broke through the cordon 
with a spear hanging to his thigh, which he pulled out and 
threw back at his enemies. He was going to run, when he 
heard his cousin call, * Will you leave me here to be killed 
alone ? ' and he fought his way back to his side, and for 
long kept off the enemy. At length, speared in the chest 
and several other places, he fell with his cousin, and both 
died near each other. On his falling, Maopoa, the Quaipo 
chief, rushed in, and with his feathered bamboo knife cut 
his head off, then his thumbs, and last of all the marks he 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 179 

had on his body. His cousin's head was also cut off, and 
both were dragged to the hills to be defiled, spat upon, 
trampled on, and finally boiled, in order that the clean 
skulls might be fixed on the sacred place — an offering to 
the spirit that assisted them so signally that day in securing 
their hated foe. The headless and mutilated bodies were 
brought afterwards into Kalo, and buried with much 
sincere grief, loud wailing, tearing of hair, and scratching 
of faces until blood flowed copiously, for it was to Kalo a 
day of woe indeed ; she had lost her greatest fighter, the 
man most feared by surrounding tribes. 

I arrived at Kalo the following week, to find all stricken, 
all courage gone, and a great fear of the mountain tribes. 
I visited Saul's grave, and gave my small present and 
returned to meet the chiefs. Their one hope was to get 
the white men to assist them, and they begged hard for it ; 
but I assured them it was useless, as no white man could 
interfere in their quarrels, at all events to avenge. They 
admitted they could do little fighting in the hills, and 
feared to go far beyond the Kemp Welch River. 

They were not averse to peace, if it could be brought 
about in any way so as not to degrade them before the 
other tribes. I knew they were to blame, and, according 
to native custom, Quaipo had only done right, and would 
probably now be willing to make a lasting peace. Kalo 
would like me to say decidedly they must remain quiet, 
and on no account seek payment for Saul in murdering 
others ; but to do so at once would never do, as Saul was 
my friend, and thought much of by the people, and to seem 
to pass his death over lightly would look to many as if I 
had little regard for friendship, and cared little about the 
death of my friends, and placed little value on human life. 
So I had to be cautious, and during my stay put off the 
decision, on the ground that it would not do to be pre- 
cipitate, and it would be useless for them to go to the hills. 



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i8o LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

At Kerepunu I could act more freely, have more time, 
and bring the Kerepunu influence to bear on Kalo. At 
Kerepunu I met the chiefs, and they strongly advised 
peace, seeing the Kalo people were to blame, and Quaipo 
only paid old debts. 

I found that Kulu, the fighting chief at Kalo, had for 
many years been unfriendly with Kiniope, the principal 
chief of Kerepunu, and I also knew that the former held 
strong feelings against Kerepunu for their not helping 
Saul — they even went so far as to say that Kerepunu 
enticed him to the hunt, having previously arranged with 
Quaipo. To bring, therefore, Kulu and Kila, sons of the 
chief who was shot at the time of the Wolverene's visit, and 
the Kerepunu chiefs together would be very good work. 
I sent to Kalo for the two to come to Kerepunu, and I also 
despatched a messenger to Quaipo to my old acquaintance 
Maopoa to come in the following day, or, if he preferred 
it, I would go to the hills, but only if he was willing for peace. 
I gave the Quaipo messenger a knife and a stick of tobacco 
for the chief, that he might see I was really at Kerepunu, 
and no trap had been laid for him. 

On the Sunday forenoon the Kalo* chiefs, with a 
number of followers, came in, met the Kerepunu chiefs and 
people in my presence, had a long and animated talk, and 
finally made friends. Kerepunu offered to assist me in 
making peace with Quaipo, and agreed that to continue 
fighting would be of little use. The Kalo natives and chiefs 
seemed pleased ; and, I believe, were glad of the oppor- 
tunity of making peace, as they could say it was Tamate 
who did it. It would be peace with honour, and, they 
would add, they have now a teacher, and they wish for 
nothing but peace. We had Sabbath school and afternoon 
service together. When at the latter the Quaipo mes- 
senger returned, and I could see that his news was unsatis- 
factory, from the strange, anxious look on the Kalo faces 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES \%\ 

as the messenger sat down beside them and told the result 
of his visit to Maopoa. When the service was concluded 
we all retired to the Mission House, where the messenger 
reported something near to the following : * I return your 
knife and tobacco, as Maopoa says he cannot now accept 
them. He cannot come to Kerepunu, as the spirit would 
be displeased, seeing it is his sacred time after so successful 
a fight. He is now sacred, and must remain so for some 
time, because his hands are stained with blood. He will 
not again seek to fight, and says I am to tell you that he 
has already put aside his spear and shield. You are not to 
go in now, but wait until this moon now beginning in the 
west is gone, and another comes, and then he will come to 
see you here, and bring you back with him.' The Kerepunu 
natives said it was satisfactory ; the Kalo natives thought 
otherwise, and at once departed. 

VII. LoHiA Maraga of Taburi. 

Towards the end of August 1879 I l^^id been travelling 
for a whole week with a party over new country and 
carrying our own swag, when we rested for the Sunday at 
a village, Keninumu, on the top of the Vetura Range. On 
Monday morning, September i, we started again, deter- 
mined to spend another week travelling eastward at the 
back of the Astrolabe. It was about mid-day, the sun was 
hot, and we were somewhat tired when we neared the 
village of Chokinumu. At the cross-roads near the village 
we came upon a posse of natives, who on seeing us were 
so frightened that they ran for the bush, leaving their spears 
and clubs behind. They had never before seen a white 
man, and the apparition was too much for them. They 
must have signalled to the village, for as we came up to it 
men, women, and children were running away, and the 
more we called, the quicker they ran. The village com- 



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i82 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

prised about a dozen houses built on a rock, with a very 
pretty background of hills studded with trees. 

We were hungry and anxious to cook some food ; but, 
before beginning operations, we thought it safer to meet 
some of the natives, tell them who we were, and see how 
they would take it. We were sitting on our swags smoking, 
when one man appeared with his lime calabash and 
chewing betel nut. We called on him to come and hear 
what we had to say. Keua, old Granny, spoke to him, 
and on seeing her he gained more confidence and came up 
close to us. When he heard who we were, he was delighted, 
and at once gave a long, loud, peculiar *cooey,' which 
brought his wife and some others back. He had often 
heard of me and of white men, but had never before seen 
any. Now he was glad that the first foreigners he met 
were friends. He told us his name was Lohia Maraga, 
and that he would be our friend. His wife was soon 
cooking yams, and those who returned with them were 
away getting sugar-cane. It was not long before we were 
feasting like lords. 

Anxious to get on further, if possible to Makapili — a 
district that seemed to be at enmity with all parties — we 
told Lohia that we must be going, and asked him to send 
one of his youths to show us the track. He had made up 
his mind that we were to remain with him for some time ; 
but I told him we had been so long inland that our time 
for returning to tho coast was near, and I was anxious 
to see as much as possible in the allotted time. Of course 
we did not know where any of the places were, nor how 
long it might take to reach them. I insisted on going. 
Then he and his wife had a long conversation ; after which 
he told us, through Granny, that they would accompany 
us, and some of their youths would go part of the way and 
carry our swags — at which I felt happy and much relieved. 
Lohia told us that for a long time the Taburians, his tribe, 



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i84 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

and the Makapilians had been at enmity ; and although 
he and Kunia, the chief of Makapili, were near relatives, 
they had not met for years ; but when war parties went 
out, he always gave them strict injunctions not to harm 
the old man, whom he hoped to meet some day. Some 
time had elapsed since they had had any fighting, but no 
formal peace had been made, and no advances in that 
direction had begun on either side. However, he and his 
wife, a Makapilian, would risk a meeting, and bringing 
them such important personages, he was almost sure that 
no harm would come to them ; and as we tried everywhere 
to make peace among the tribes, now would be a 
splendid opportunity to meet the old man and arrange for 
peace. 

Lohia's wife picked up my swag, Lohia another^s, and 
a few youths the others. We walked for some hours until 
we arrived at a stream which, we were told, divided the 
Taburi and Makapilian districts. Just beyond was a large 
village on a table-rock, with a stockade all round it, but 
it was deserted. Not long before, the Sogerians, a tribe 
further in towards the Owen Stanley Range, attacked them 
at night and killed several of them. We trudged on along 
spurs of the Astrolabe until we came to another small 
stream, close by which several men were burning grass, and 
who commenced to run away when Lohia called to them ; 
they stood for a few minutes, and then disappeared. We 
sat on large stones in the stream, and presently an old, man, 
unattended, appeared. Lohia rose hastily, and, crying 
bitterly, went to meet him. They embraced, and both sat 
down, and with arms round each other and heads together 
cried long and loud. When they had finished, the old man, 
Kunia by name, came to Lohia's wife and embraced her. 
She then seized him round the knees and wept bitterly, at 
times chanting, and then breaking out into a long, loud 
wail. 



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SOME NEW GUINEA CELEBRITIES 185 

Old Kunia then came and sat down beside us, telling 
us, as if ashamed of his weakness, that years had gone 
since he had seen Lohia, and he knew he was then alive 
because of the former's thoughtfulness, and that was why 
he cried ; his stomach was full of feeling, and he could not 
help himself. After some time the old man * cooeyed,' and 
some younger ones came, picked up our swags, and 
marched off. Lohia and his wife proposed returning, but 
I objected, and Kunia said they need not fear ; only over 
his body could they be injured. At sunset we reached the 
half-finished village ; but, preferring to camp by ourselves, 
we ascended one of the neighbouring spurs and there 
pitched our tent. Lohia kept close by us all the time, and 
heartily rejoiced when the day came for our return to his 
village. He had arranged for peace, which was afterwards 
concluded. 

We remained at Chokinumu for a few days, visiting 
about, and during that time received great kindness from 
Lohia and his friends, the former going everywhere with 
us. Anxious to visit Janara and Epakari, he told us he 
would lead us to the mountain top and then show us the 
way. He and his lads accompanied us, and when on the 
top of .the Astrolabe he pointed out these districts to us. 
After this we were picking up our swags, having bade them 
adieu, when he suddenly rose and, with tears in his eyes 
said, * No, I cannot leave you — I must see you to Epakari.* 
He then ordered his boys to pick up the swags and proceed. 
Of this we were glad, as it was a long day's tramp. The 
following day he kept close by us, although we had more 
carriers than we required. On the following Saturday we 
arrived at Epakari, and then again bade him farewell, he 
telling us that he was now off for home. Before going he 
got us splendid quarters, and gave such instructions that 
nothing seemed too good for us. On the Sunday after 
breakfast, when we were having a short service, fancy our 



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1 86 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

astonishment to see our good friend appear! He told 
Granny they had left at daylight and gone a long way, 
when they felt such a desire to be with us that they 
returned, and would not leave us until they saw us fairly 
on our way to our main camp ; and they kept their 
word. 



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i87 



CHAPTER IX 

Sketches of New Guinea Life 
I. Famine Time and a Feast 

Many think of New Guinea as a land flowing with gold, 
milk, and honey, where the inhabitant never hungers, never 
knows what want is, and where daily the three meals are 
spread. How different is the reality to all this — how often 
is hunger known, and for many days little is ound between 
the teeth ! There are often seasons when there is the 
greatest difficulty to keep death by starvation from the 
home. It may have been in such a season that smallpox, 
sixteen or seventeen years ago, swept along the coast, and 
cut down the people in hundreds, wiping out whole families, 
dead bodies lying about to be devoured by pigs, no one 
being strong enough to bury them ; others were put into 
canoes and sent off to sea. In some homes both parents 
were dead, and only little children were left to care for one 
another. In other homes infants were left all alone ; father 
mother, brothers, and sisters all dead. God only knows 
how any survived. 

In a season when food was scarce, the severity of the 
epidemic would be all the greater. Although more 
frequent in the Port Moresby district, yet these famine 
seasons are not confined to it, but extend all along the 
peninsula to East Cape, and I have met with famine inland 
also. In 1880 I left Kerepunu in our small dingy, accom- 
panied by Anederea, Taria, and a Kerepunu native, and 



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1 88 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

pulled up through the Hood Lagoon into a large salt-water 
creek, marked on the chart as the Dundee River. Pulling 
up this creek for some miles, we left our boat and tramped 
away through swamps to the hills, the eastern part of the 
Macgillivray Range. We ascended over a thousand feet, 
when we came to villages scattered over the top. We had 
a splendid view from our position, stretching far east and 
west. At first we saw but few natives, and these in a poor 
condition. When we came to the second, third, and fourth 
villages, the miserable condition of the people was more 
evident. The pictures of famines in Persia and India 
would well suit what I saw in Animarupu. Little children 
scarcely able to crawl, and with little or no flesh on their 
bones ; men and women like skeletons lying about, unable 
to work ; a few stronger women in the gulleys close by, 
digging for any kind of roots they might be fortunate 
enough to find ; many in the houses ill and unable to come 
out. Ah ! how I did pity them, and wished much I could 
help them ; but they were a long way from the coast, and 
I was a long, long way from home, where I could have got 
them rice and arrowroot. 

They had a long dry season ; month after month 
passed and not a drop of rain fell, their taro all died, and 
the sugar-cane refused to stretch ; the banana plants died 
from the top downwards, as the multitudinous cells dried 
up, and long ago most of their wild yams had been dug 
and consumed, and the few that might still be found 
required stronger women than those we saw to find them. 
To add to the distress of a dry season, they were at enmity 
with Aroma, and dare not go down to the valleys. The 
week before we arrived, some, seeking food on the low 
ground, were attacked by Maopa natives and all killed. 
Nor were the Aroma natives the only ones they had to 
fear ; the strong, light-coloured, muscular natives of Quaipo, 
on the hills to the west, caused them much trouble, and 



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I90 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

occasionally killed a few of them. A more harassed tribe, 
and one more afflicted, I have not seen. 

Soon after our visit rain fell in abundance, their sugar- 
cane soon shot up» and they were saved. I sent word to 
Quaipo to be friendly with them, and I afterwards heard 
peace had been made. When I became well known in 
Aroma and very friendly with Koapena, I begged of them 
to leave my Animarupu friends alone ; and since then they 
have visited the coast, and Koapena and others have been 
into their villages. 

Sometimes the natives at Port Moresby are very badly 
off, and men, women, and children may be seen sitting 
about looking very haggard, and with their skin hanging 
loosely. Then, services and schools are ill attended, and 
when anything is said the reply is, * Who can go to school or 
church when so hungry ? ' During these seasons they make 
excursions along the coast in quest of food. In former 
days, before the mission was started, it was on such occa- 
sions that raids were made on the villages along the coast ; 
men took what they could, and, if opposed, murdered those 
attempting to resist. When it was known that the 
Hanuabada natives were out foraging, or about to go out, 
the people of the villages to be passed used to pack up and 
fly, living in the bush until it was known that the marauders 
had returned. 

They live much on the fruit of the mangrove, which is 
prepared by first cooking, then peeling and cutting up fine, 
putting in a net bag, and hanging on a pole in the sea for 
some days and nights ; it is again cooked, and when ready 
looks like a pudding, and is eaten with cocoanut sauce. 
The breadfruit is also much used, and prepared in the same 
way. 

When in Thursday Island, I got half a ton of rice, and 
on my return, finding the people very badly off, I made 
work in order to give them food. One week it was blowing 



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SKETCHES OF NEW GUINEA LIFE 191 

hard for some time, and they were not able to go west 
to Lealea or Manumanu for the mangrove fruit. On the 
Sunday I walked through the village, and found children 
lying down in the sun, and many crying. The noise and 
laugh were gone; childhood's jollity disappeared before 
the qualms of hunger. I returned to the house and asked 
my good friends Ruatoka and his wife to assist. They 
entered heartily into my proposition, an.d so did all the 
girls and old women. It was a sight not quite Sunday- 
looking, perhaps — wood-breaking, roaring fires, rice-wash- 
ing, pots with rice placed on fires, and soon boiling. 

* Now, my lad,' to our bell-boy, * go and ring your bell 
through the village, and bring up every girl and boy, that 
they may have a good feed of rice.' They came in swarms, 
and sat down looking happier certainly. They soon cleared 
off all we had cooked. Begin again, cook as much more, 
and again it is finished. On pots again, and now the 
children sing, and are more noisy ; soon the large tin dishes 
are again before them, but this time they cannot eat all, so 
I tell them I am glad, and they must take the remainder 
to their homes. That Sunday afternoon was a rather noisy 
one, but I do not know that I could have felt happier than 
when I saw those dear bairns quite satisfied and heard 
their loud, hearty laughing. Since then many a hungry 
stomach has been satisfied at the mission premises. Lest 
it should be thought we give it only to our adherents, I beg 
to state we give it to all, and make no stipulations about 
attending services or school. 

From Yule Island in the west to East Cape in the east, 
with a few exceptions, there are many seasons when there 
is not much more food to be had than suffices to keep soul 
and body together. The exceptions are Naara, Kabadi, 
Hula peninsula, including Kalo and part of Aroma ; and 
even in these in an over-dry season, when the drought 
has been long, there has not been too much food. The 



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192 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

introduction of pumpkins, melons, and papao apples has 
been a great blessing. Once, when at Yule, the natives had 
no other food but pumpkin, and every morning and evening 
large pots of that vegetable might be seen boiling inside 
their houses ; they told me that it saved them, as they knew 
not what they should have done without it. 

We are introducing various kinds of peas, and hope 
soon to have the guava flourishing, so that in future hunger 
will not be so often felt. Another great help to Port 
Moresby, Boera, Porobada, Tatana, Pari, and Vapukori is 
Hula. When the teacher Taria first landed, the Hulans 
had no plantations, and lived entirely on food brought 
from Kalo, Papaka, and Kamali, with the fish they caught. 
Fishing was their only source of supply. Taria secured a 
piece of land, and planted it with sweet potatoes, yams, and 
sugar-cane. The soil being good, he soon had returns. 
The Hulans perceived it would be a good thing to do 
as Taria had done, and planted small plantations ; then, 
finding they could sell their food, they planted larger ones, 
until now they all have splendid plantations, and in the 
season large quantities of food, which they sell along 
the coast, and when out of season they trade largely in 
cocoanuts. 

As the people receive Christianity and foreign pro- 
ducts are introduced, famines will disappear and plenty 
abound. 

II. Kerepunu Feasts and Burials. 

May in all the Christianised islands of the Pacific is the 
one month of the year for great feasting ; then the tribes 
assemble with great rejoicing, eat and are merry, and give 
of their substance to help on the great work of Christian 
missions. In heathen lands also, the same month is a great 
time for feastings and rejoicing. On Rarotonga, where I 



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SKETCHES OF NEW GUINEA LIFE 193 

spent ten years, it was the custom of the natives in heathen 
times to hold their greatest feasts in that month, when their 
best food was cooked and their finest pigs killed. 

On coming to New Guinea, I found in Hood Bay the 
same custom in the same month, and twice have I been 
present at the May feast of Kerepunu. Inland and coast 
tribes assemble ; for days they are coming, and it often 
happens on the last day fighting takes place, and many are 
killed. Sometimes a weak tribe is attacked, to pay off an 
old score that they were led to believe they had made 
peace for by the gift of tocas (armlets), tomahawks, spears, 
and pigs. A few years ago at Kalo two men of an inland 
tribe came to a feast. On the afternoon of the last day, 
when returning home, they were attacked. One was killed, 
a poor old man not able to run ; the other, a younger man, 
got into the bush and away. 

But of all the feasts I have attended in New Guinea, 
none was so interesting as this at Kerepunu. The great 
work begins by getting trees from fifty feet to seventy feet 
high ; small superfluous branches are cut off, the larger 
ones are left. These trees are brought into the principal 
village and planted upright on both sides of the street ; 
they are then hung with bananas and cocoanuts from top 
to bottom, so thickly that no wood is seen. As they are 
set deep in the ground, there is no fear of their falling. 
Some days before the grand day, the dancing begins, and 
is carried on from sunset to sunrise without intermission, 
and during the day at various times. During that time, 
friends arriving are entertained by their own special friends. 
All are elegantly dressed. For head-dresses the white 
feather predominates, and at Kerepunu, so that they may 
always have a good supply of white feathers, cockatoos are 
kept, and may be seen in front of nearly every house. 
Before the feast-time these poor cockatoos are plucked, and 
made to look very wretched indeed. The feathers are 

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194 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

fastened on to the end of large combs, and when stuck in 
their hair the white bouquets look well. 

At last the morning comes — the morning of the 
greatest day of the year to them. Long before daybreak 
the loud screaming of pigs is heard from all quarters, and 
some of the very fine pigs, weighing three and four 
hundredweight, that were running about yesterday, are 
already fast and on the poles. After sunrise, all the pigs 
appointed for this day's feast are ready to be carried into 
the sacred place, where they will be speared by the two men 
who alone in all Kerepunu may do that work, and whose 
ancestors have done it from of old. The sacred place is at 
the back of the village, and consists only of two platforms 
on a swamp, with a long pole in front. Formerly there 
was a house, in which a priest lived, to whom all pigs were 
brought to be killed, but of late the house has fallen into 
disuse. A story is told of one of these priests feeding 
tabooed pigs. He wore his white bouquet of feathers ; one 
of the pigs, mistaking it for cocoanut, tried to get it, and 
bit his nose oflf ! Since then the white feathers have not 
been worn on the sacred place. 

Food is now being collected on the platform, and 
betel nuts in abundance. Youths, whose years range from 
twelve to twenty-six, handsomely dressed and feeling 
important, wend their way inland with the crowd. The 
pigs are carried one after another, and placed in rows in 
front, just under the long pole on which bananas are hung. 
The crowd increases, but keeps at a distance. On my first 
visit I was not allowed nearer than fifty yards ; on my 
second I had a good position about twenty yards off. The 
youths, to the number of twenty-two, sat on the lower 
platform ; eleven women, sisters of chiefs, ranged themselves 
in front, holding drums ; and all the chiefs with drums 
stood near. On no head was there a white feather, but 
those on the platform wore a profusion of many-coloured 



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196 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

feathers. The women strike up, beating their drums and 
chanting in a very low, pleasant key ; all the time their 
heads are bent, never once looking up. When this is finished 
the youths leave the platform, split open a few old cocoa- 
nuts, take out the meat, and each one strings a piece and 
proceeds to tie it on the heads of the women, the piece 
of cocoanut looking like a frontlet When finished, the 
women again beat their drums and chant in the same 
manner, all the chiefs and those on the platform standing. 
When this is over, the same youths leave the platform and 
take eleven bunches of bananas from the long pole in front 
and hang one on each woman's shoulder, when they return, 
and all join in singing. 

The women then have finished their part, and now 
the chiefs slowly march round the platforms and pigs, 
beating their drums and reciting. The two men who 
have to kill the pigs advance close to them, and with 
blunted spears begin sticking. The pigs are hanging feet 
up, and the spear enters just inside the left fore leg. The 
work of sticking takes some time, being very slowly done, 
the chiefs surrounding the place until it is finished. Two 
pigs are reserved. Two young men descend from the 
platform and sit on improvised chairs made over the two 
pigs ; a number of men take hold of the poles attached to 
these chairs and lift pig and youth at once. The chiefs 
and their sisters beat their drums ; all on the platform 
stand up, and all turn to the east, chanting in a more lively 
manner ; they then turn to the west, beating drums and 
chanting as before, and the same is done to the north and 
south. The two youths are now initiated, and have taken 
the place of their fathers, who died during the year, and 
will now be permitted to give food and pigs on such an 
occasion as this. They ascend the platform, and the pigs 
are placed in front again : the chiefs walk round as before, 
and both the pigs are stuck. During this last performance 



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SKETCHES OF NEW GUINEA LIFE 197 

the food on the platform beside the youths is divided, half 
remaining and half being placed on the higher platform. 
Next, eleven men ascend the higher platform, eleven 
remaining on the lower ; the chiefs and women in front 
beat the drums and chant a lively strain, those on the 
platforms holding in each hand a yam and bunches of 
betel nuts. All turn to the east. The chanting is much 
more lively, and all appear more joyful. Then they turn 
to the west, and in the same manner to the north and 
south. 

The crowd now becomes excited, and those who have 
brought the little hand-nets try to get in front. From 
both platforms the food is scattered to the crowd, and 
the desire to possess some of it must indeed be great if the 
noise and excitement are any evidence. The pigs are now 
removed, each young man taking his own, to the villages, 
when they are divided amongst the families and friends, 
and the bananas and cocoanuts are taken down from the 
high scaffolding and distributed to the visitors. I may 
mention that here, and nowhere else, can pigs be killed in 
Kerepunu, and by none but Kerepunuans. 

The skulls hanging on the long pole in front of the 
platforms are heads of murdered natives. One was lately 
brought by the natives of Hula. Formerly there was no 
village at Hood Point, all the Hula natives lived at Kere- 
punu in the fishing village, and were the fishers. The 
Kerepunuans interfered with their women, and quarrelling, 
they had to leave. Having no sacred place at New Hula, 
they bring in the heads of those murdered by them to 
Kerepunu. When recently fighting with Babaga, from the 
many they killed they brought one head to the opposite 
side of the mouth of the Hood Lagoon, and called on the 
Kerepunuans. It seems that only one man can cross and 
receive the head. He ci'ossed, got the head, and returned 
to the village, the Hula natives returning home. He 



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193 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

fastens a string to the hair, and when near to the beach 
throws the head ashore. The string is seized, and the 
head is dragged through the various streets of the different 
villages. Every indignity possible is heaped on that head. 
It is kicked, spat upon, and the mouth is filled with filth. 
When finished, friends or relatives of the murdered man, 
some of whom are certain to be living at Kerepunu, come 
and pick up the head, place it on their platform, and 
mourn over it with loud lamentations. In about an hour 
it is again given to the populace, who treat it as before for 
some time, when the man who received it from the Hulans 
takes it up and home, where he boils it, to remove all the 
flesh. When clean, he places it on the sacred place. 

The day is spent in cooking and feasting, and soon 
after sunset the last great dance comes off. Men and 
women, young and old, chiefs and commoners, in two long 
rows, drums beating, advance slowly along the main street, 
return, advance several times, then up at right angles 
another street to the finest-built house in Kerepunu, at the 
side of which is the famous upright log named * Alamakea.' 
Of this log it is said several tribes tried to lift it and 
remove it, but all failed except the Lovalupuans. This was 
in a far misty past, and the log is where it was planted by 
their forefathers, near the house of the custodian of their 
ancient sayings and mythology, and the priest who presents 
their offerings to the spirit or spirits. In front of this house 
the dancing is indeed slow, and the beating of drums and 
chanting low and monotonous. Then it becomes a little 
more lively, and I, who have watched them for three hours, 
wonder when they are going to stop. Then my old friend 
Koapena speaks, quicker dancing follows, backwards, 
forwards, backwards, back, back, right into the lagoon, when 
a loud shout arises and the drums are all bathed and made 
useless, to be put aside for another season. So ended the 
Kerepunu feast. 



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SKETCHES OF NEW GUINEA LIFE 199 

Connected with offerings, the following may be inter- • 
esting. Natives never believe in being sick from anything 
but spiritual causes, and that death, unless by murder, can 
take place from nothing but the wrath of the spirits. When 
there is sickness in a family, all the relatives begin to 
wonder what it means. The sick person getting no better, 
they conclude something must be done. A present is 
given, perhaps food is taken and placed on the sacred 
place, then removed and divided amongst friends. The 
invalid still being no better, a pig is taken on to the sacred 
place and there speared and presented to the spirits. It is 
then returned and divided to be eaten. When death 
comes, great is the mourning, and the cause, if not already 
known, is still inquired into. It may have been breaking 
some taboo, or doing something the spirits did not like. 
Soon the body must be buried, and generally a grave is 
dug under the house. The older women of the family 
stand in the grave and receive the body, holding it in their 
hands if a child, laying it on one side if heavy, saying, * O 
great Spirit, you have been angry with us. We presented 
you with food, and that did not satisfy. We gave a pig, 
and still that did not satisfy. You have in your wrath 
taken this. Let that suffice thy wrath, and take no more.' 
The body is thus placed in the grave and buried. 

At every feast, large or small, and often with ordinary 
food, a small portion is placed beside the principal post in 
the house, as the spirits' portion. 

Ilamea is the name of the sacred man, priest, or holder 
of all ancient mythology. He is the sorcerer of the 
place, foretelling events, and through him the spirit speaks. 
When anxious to go to war, they first consult him, and if the 
spirit appears to him with cocoanuts in hand they may 
go out and fight, for they will be prosperous. Should the 
spirit appear with a wooden rareva (sword) in hand, there 
is no use going out ; any attempt would be futile ; many 



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200 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

•would be killed, and they would return to mourn, not to 
rejoice. 

III. New Guinea Life in its Native Happiness. 

It is often said, Why not leave the savages alone in their 
virgin glory ? only then are they truly happy. How little 
those who so speak and write know what savage life is ! 
A savage seldom sleeps well at night He fears ghosts 
and hobgoblins ; these midnight wanderers cause him much 
alarm, as they are heard in falling leaves, chirping lizards, 
or disturbed birds singing; but, besides these, there are 
embodied spirits that he has good cause to fear, and 
especially at that uncanny hour between the morning star 
and glimmering light of the approaching lord of day, the 
hour of yawning and arm-stretching, when the awakening 
pipe is lighted and the first smoke of the day is enjoyed. 
The following narrative explains what I mean. 

Paitana is a village up one of the creeks from Hall 
Sound, near Yule Island, surrounded by mangrove 
swamps ; but in the village, cocoanut, betel nut, and 
bread-fruit grow luxuriantly. The natives have always 
been looked upon as treacherous, but having visited them 
some time ago it was hoped they would become more 
friendly. On my return to Yule, I found that on my 
previous visit some had arranged to have my head, and 
I can remember many things that looked very suspicious. 
Some years ago two foreigners were killed in Hall 
»Sound by the Paitana natives. They have also killed 
people from Delena, Maiva, and other villages, but the 
climax was reached when they killed a man from Lese 
who was visiting them as a friend. When the news 
of the murder reached Lese they determined to have 
revenge, but resolved to wait until the planting season 
was over. 

For long the Paitana natives lived away in towards the 



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SKETCHES OF NEW GUINEA LIFE 201 

hills, but thinking Lese had in the meantime given up all 
idea of * payment/ they returned to the village. During 
all that time the Lese natives were preparing revarevas 
(war canoes), and keeping very quiet as to the time of 
their attack ; but it came at last, and a terrible payment it 
was. Paitana, in her fancied security so far up a creek, 
in through very long grass, and surrounded by thick man- 
grove bush, little dreamt of what the morning would yield. 
All the revarevas were got ready, and men and women 
shipped. 

When visiting Motumotu some time ago, we slept in 
our boat one night between Lese and the former. I was 
very tired, having been over a week in the boats. About 
2 A.M. I was awakened by shouting, and on looking over 
the gunwale saw to my astonishment a fully equipped 
revareva. Forty men are carried in each canoe, with 
paddles, and a number of men stand on the centre platform 
with bows and arrows. After hearing who we were, we 
soon became friends and exchanged presents. The 
revareva is composed of two very long canoes lashed 
together by long poles, with a platform between. 

Twenty-four of these were got ready by Lese, and 
started. Pulling all night, they arrived on the south-west 
side of Yule before daybreak, and they remained until the 
following night. After sunset, and when quite dark, they 
pulled for the creek, where they met a canoe with a 
man and two women belonging to Roro in it. They made 
the man prisoner, saying they did not mean to kill him, 
but that to save his own life and that of the women he 
must become their guide to Paitana. To that he 
consented, and they allowed the women to depart. He 
led them up the creek, through the swamps, long grass, 
bush, etc., close to the village, when they allowed him to 
return. 

They then surrounded the village, sending a strong 



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202 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

party into the main street. All sat down quietly and 
waited for a little more light The morning star was up, 
and soon there would be light for their dreadful work. A 
native awakes, lights his baubau (pipe), has a smoke, a 
yawn, and a stretch, looks out and sees people in the 
village. He calls out, — 

* Who are you } * 

*We are Leseans come to pay for our friend you 
murdered. Long have we waited to see you paid for your 
murdering propensities, but all seem afraid. You have 
tried on us, and now we shall see.' 

In other houses the aroused natives are in a state of 
confusion, the arrows begin to fly in showers, and men, 
women, and children are wounded in their houses. Many 
fleeing are caught and clubbed, or their brains are beaten 
out with clubs. Many remain in their houses, hoping that 
they may be omitted from the general carnage. The houses 
are entered and everything valuable is carried away, and 
then the whole is set in a blaze, when the dead, those dying 
from wounds, and the living are all burnt in the one great 
fire. Men, women, and children all suffered ; mercy was 
shown to none. I asked a native who got through the 
environment how many were killed. He said it was im- 
possible to tell the number of the dead, but only ten who 
slept in the village that night escaped. 

Flushed with victory and weighted with loot, the 
Leseans returned to their revarevas, pulled down the creek 
and along the coast, with horns blowing and men and 
women dancing and singing on the platforms of the 
revarevas. Mercy the savage does not know, but still he 
can appreciate it when extended to himself. 

While staying at Maiva, where those who escaped are 
living, a child six years old was brought to me as a Paitana 
child. In the first scrimmage he got through the surround- 
ing army unnoticed, and ran away into the bush, where he 



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A TREE HOUSE, KOIARI 



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204 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

remained until he heard the Leseans departing. Then he 
returned to the village to look for his mother, brothers, and 
sisters. He found the dead charred bodies of them all. 
A man told me that little children were caught by the feet 
and dashed against the cocoanut-trees. 

On their return home the Leseans had feasting and 
dancing; and ever since they had gloried much in their 
great bravery, and they recount again and again the 
scenes of murder, of rapine, and robbery. Lese wishes 
to have a teacher, and will treat him well ; they are 
now very good friends of mine, and promise to remain 
quiet. 

Savage life is not the joyous hilarity that many writers 
would lead us to understand. It is not all the happy laugh, 
the feast and the dance. There are often seasons when 
communities are scattered, hiding in large trees, in caves 
under rocks, in other villages, and far away from their own. 
Not long ago, inland from Port Moresby, a large hunting- 
party camping in a cave were smoked out by their enemies 
and all killed but one. When travelling inland, we found 
the Makapili tribe in terrible weather living in the bush, 
under shelving rocks, among the long grass, and in hollow 
trees. 

At Port Moresby they say that now for the first time 
they can sleep in peace, and that as they can trust the 
peace of God's Word they mean to keep to it. Being 
themselves pirates, robbers, and murderers, they might 
well fear others. 

Some time ago the large tribe of Saroa came over the 
hills in strong battle array, and in the early morning 
ascended the Manukolo hills, surrounded the villages, 
killed men, women, and children, old and young, from the 
poor old grey-headed sire to the infant in arms. About 
forty got away to Kaile, but soon had to leave, as Saroa 
threatened to burn Kaile, if they continued to harbour the 



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A NEW GUINEA VILLAGE IN THE GULF 



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2o6 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

fugitives. They pleaded for peace, but in vain ; Saroa said 
all must die. The quarrel began about a pig. 

And so it has been all along the coast of New Guinea 
for ages past. But a better day is dawning. We are 
doing better than leave the fine, active, intelligent New 
Guinea natives to their * happy ' state of savage life. The 
Gospel is pre-eminently to them a Gospel of peace, and it 
is only during the last ten years that the inhabitants of 
New Guinea have begun to know what real happiness is. 



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207 



CHAPTER X 

AN ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON THE GULF OF PAPUA 

Ten years ago, when little was known of the people west 
of Manumanu in Redscar Bay, I hoped, if God spared my 
life, to introduce the Gospel to all the districts as far as 
Orokolo, and thought that the work might occupy a fair 
lifetime. We got to Orokolo in January 1892, and now 
my desire has enlarged, and I hope yet to carry the Gospel 
to the Fly River, and to the westward. The plan I have 
always adopted is to visit frequently, get thoroughly known 
by living with the people, and, through interpreters, tell 
them the story of Divine love, and so prepare the way for 
teachers living with them. I place no teacher where I 
have not first lived myself, and where I should be unwilling 
to live frequently. 

No accounts of unknown districts I have ever received 
from natives equalled in real savagery those relating to the 
Namau districts, and of course these gave a charm to the 
plan of trying to be the first to visit it. In March 1891, 
our Governor, visiting to the west of Namau, was attacked, 
but repulsed the savages by firing on them ; I thought it 
possible the more western natives of the district might be 
implicated. 

When at Port Moresby in June 1893, I secured a good 
interpreter, Vaaburi, an active, elderly, comical fellow, but 
thoroughly reliable for such an expedition as I was 
planning. In former years he was constantly with me, 
and never liked my taking even a short trip without him. 



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2o8 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

When I told him what I wanted, all he said was, * I go 
gladly, but let me go and hear what my wife and daughter 
say.' They said, * Yes, certainly, go with Tamate.' It was 
a busy time, getting plantations ready for planting yams. 
The old lady said she and her daughter would do all the 
work, but I gladdened their hearts by giving her sufficient 
trade to get all done by relatives. When leaving Port 
Moresby all came to see us off. The old fellow's last 
words to his relatives were, * God watch over you — I will 
think of you, and perhaps Tamate will let me send you 
some sago in the Hanamoa.' 

On arrival at Toaripi in Motumotu, we found the sea 
too heavy for us to go into the Gulf in a whale-boat, and 
so waited until the wind and sea went down. My outfit 
was simple, and the only weapon of defence we had was 
the stout hazel wand presented to me by an old Inverary 
friend. The sail to Vailala was slow, and we did not 
arrive until midnight. During the evening the wind 
increased, and the night looked dirty. When off the river 
Vailala we met a heavy sea, and had to decide whether to 
go in or remain outside for the night ; either course was 
dangerous. The wind and sea were increasing, and the 
latter seemed likely to get much worse ; I determined to 
risk the bar, although if swamped and upset no life would 
be saved. Down sails and mast, and my best men to the 
oars. Our only light was from the white foam of the 
breakers all round. Several heavy ones have gone on. 
* Pull lads, pull,* — * Steady,' — * Stop her way,' and all 
round us were white running seas. But we must not let 
one master us, and carry us on. Again a long pull, a 
strong pull, and away goes an oar broken in two. * Keep 
at it lads, we're just in.' The wild crashing breakers are 
passed, and now we have only the heavy inside swell and 
strong current, and soon after midnight we drop anchor 
near the mission house. After prayers we shake 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 209 

ourselves into positions for a few hours' sleep, which we 
got, all of us being accustomed to this kind of life. 

Early in the morning we were seen, and the teacher 
was soon on the beach calling us ashore. We landed, had 
a service and breakfast, and there being a change for the 
better in the wind and sea, we started for Orokolo, where 
we arrived early in the day. We ought to have four 
teachers here instead of two. One great advantage at 
Orokolo is the large and varied supply of food ; in this 
respect resembling much an Eastern Polynesian island. 
I do not think we have another district where children 
are so numerous. It is an interesting sight to watch them 
at play on the beach. We landed at the eastern station, 
and in the afternoon walked over to the western, where 
we remained that night 

Next morning we were all early astir, and by seven 
were ready for a start We tried to take the boat through 
the surf, but it looked like getting wet, so I had her taken 
ashore and carried up beyond high-water mark. It is not 
far, about six miles, to the first river, so we got carriers 
and were soon there. There were three creeks to cross, 
and to the great delight of the young men I allowed 
myself to be carried over in a horizontal position. On 
arriving at the river we found a small canoe on the bank, 
and I sent Vaaburi and two young men across, so that if 
possible they were to get word sent to Apope on the Arere 
to our old friend Ipai of Maipua, who was living there, that 
I was at Aivei, and wanted to get to him. We waited 
some hours, and a large canoe coming along, we hired it, 
and crossed to the other side. Two men arrived saying 
that Ipai and a large party were coming in a large canoe, 
and would soon be there. They soon appeared, and the 
first I saw was Tamate Ipai, a child about eight years old, 
who ever shadows her father, and I knew well the chief 
was not far off. They pulled up near. His wife, the one 

O 



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2IO UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

who was with him at Motumotu, had died about eighteen 
months ago, and he was still in mourning for her, and part 
of his mourning was the dress, well worn now and dirty, 
given to her by my wife three years ago. No time was 
lost, we got into the canoe, and away we went, but now 
there was no hurry, and it was smoke, chat, laugh and 
shout ; and a two hours' pull takes us quite four to do, but 
it does not matter, we are not going further than Apope 
that day. Kamake (they cannot pronounce the T in 
Tamate) takes my hazel wand as her special charge. 

Apope is a new village on the west bank of the Arere, 
built by Ipai and a number of Maipuans. Ipai says, 
'Kamake, fighting and eating hiunan flesh I have done 
with. I have come here with all these people, and will 
settle here for good if you will give us a teacher. You told 
me long ago you would not give me a teacher for Maipua 
because of the swamp. Here you can have good ground, 
as much as you like, and we will at once build the house.' 
• Why, Ipai, there is a swamp, there is another, and the 
smell is strong.' The village is built on a piece of good 
sandy ground, with a swamp on either side. He said, * Stay 
until you have rested, and then let us go and see the land 
I have referred to.' We started, got to the beach, and 
walking a short distance, came to a really good piece of 
land, with cocoanuts in abundance, and, pointing to a tree, 
Ipai said, * Give us a teacher, and from here to the river 
the whole point is yours. We build the house and we bridge 
the swamp for him to walk on.' I promised, as I saw a good 
opening here to the whole district, and a convenient place 
of call for myself when coming from the Fly River. 

Ipai's wife is buried in the ground. He took me to the 
grave. A house covers it, and at head and feet two pretty 
crotons grow. A broken cooking pot and dish, and one or 
two other little things lie by the side. She was a quiet, 
modest, kind, savage woman. Ipai has two more wives left. 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 21 1 

but I fancy the dead woman was his favourite. She was 
Kamake's mother, and the affection between father and 
daughter is truly wonderful. See the father anywhere, and 
the daughter will soon come into view; and see the 
daughter, and the father is sure to be near. We returned 
to the house, and I arranged to sleep on the platform rather 
than in Ipai's temple, or club house, where the crowd was 
great, and it felt, to say the least, stuffy. We had service, 
the singing pleasing them much, and the interpreter told 
them the story of God's love to us all. My candle light 
astonished them greatly. Before spreading out my blanket 
I asked Ipai to take off the woman's dress, and I would 
give him a shirt to travel in with us. He did so, and I gave 
him a white flannel shirt I was wearing, which, of course, 
added greatly to the value of the present. He consented 
to let us have his large canoe to accompany us, and to 
get a good crew, and that we should start early in the 
morning. 

I was very tired, and ready, as I thought, to sleep under 
any circumstances, so spread out my Malagasy cloth, 
presented by the ever good friend of missionaries, the late 
Mrs. Swan, of Edinburgh, and on it my blanket. Sleep ! 
all chance of it had gone. The present and future are with 
me. The Gospel is being preached all through Namau, 
and I saw the end of killing and cannibalism, and another 
people won to Christ. My interpreter and Ipai were busy 
also, the one asking questions and the other answering, 
with smokes. Cock-crowing is near, and I must sleep ; so 
I get two hours or thereabouts. By daylight I am up, 
quite refreshed, ready for a hard day. 

After breakfast and service I muster all hands, but find 
the crew I expected for the canoe have backed out, because 
we are going to places they do not like. I won't give up 
one place, and tell Ipai I must find my way without them, 
and so with my own boys I start for the canoe. It has to 



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212 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

be put into the water, and alone we cannot manage it. We 
have not long to wait ; Kamake appears, and then her 
father, followed by others, and the canoe having been got 
afloat we are soon on board and away. Kamake is left 
behind, as it is not considered safe for her, and she returns 
to the village crying bitterly, but comforted, I have no 
doubt, with her presents and the prospect of others when 
we return, as she knows we have left a case of things behind 
in care of the two wives. 

About 9 o'clock we slowly passed Maipua, and were 
hailed by many old friends, but did not land. Canoes 
followed us some distance, and for disobedience and inso- 
lence I had to land one of my youths to await our return. 
That over we had quite a holiday trip, though under a 
burning sun. We crossed Port Blomfield, and rowed up 
the Panaroa some distance into creeks, large streams, some 
with currents in our favour, and others against. In the 
afternoon we crossed the Urita at the mouth : a fine big 
harbour and, I should think, good entrance. 

Some miles up the river we came suddenly upon a canoe 
full of youths, who on seeing us were frightened so much 
that they could only shout. We took no notice of them, 
and went on into another creek, where we came upon a 
canoe with a man and a woman on board. Poor things ! I 
do not think I have ever seen natives so frightened. It 
took us some time to calm them, by assuring them we were 
friends, and that they had only to look and they would see 
we were all friends. Vaaburi said, * Of old, Maipua used to 
come this way and kill all they met, and then attack the 
villages.' When calmed the woman, recognising Vaaburi, 
said, * Oh me, I live, why should I be afraid, and you here ? ' 
Giving them a small present, we started them ahead to 
inform the people we were near, and that they were not to 
be afraid ; the interpreter adding : * Now, no bows and 
arrows, but meet us as real friends, for I have brought you 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 213 

Tamate, you have heard of, and he is unarmed.' Ipai told 
them, * It is all peace and friendship, and we have come 
with the white man.' They were soon out of sight. 

We took a short cut through a dirty mud creek, where 
all got out, and just dragged the canoe through. The 
smell was bad indeed. My Motumotuans were very 
frightened, as they thought we were simply in the hands 
of the cannibals, who might be in ambush on either bank. 
We came out into a good stream, and soon saw houses 
and a large temple. This was Koropanairu, a village 
which had suffered much from Maipua in the past. There 
were houses on both banks, and people excited and 
shouting. Some of the women danced and sang, others 
screamed and beat their breasts, and little children were 
held up to see a white man. I stood up in the canoe, so 
as to give every one a chance. Near to the houses were 
platforms covered with sago palm leaves, and on each 
platform was a dead body. They place their dead on 
these platforms, as the whole place is simply mud and 
water, no solid ground anywhere. The smell was too 
strong to permit of any of us taking food. 

On arriving at the large stream, the Arai, we turned 
round, and, accompanied by numerous canoes, packed 
nearly to sinking, we made for the large dubu. Lest I 
should wet my feet, a way was made of long sticks over 
the mud, on which I walked to the platform of the dubu. 
The chief was away from home, but the wife in charge 
had quantities of food cooked and sent to us ; but not one 
of my boys would touch it, saying it might have been 
cooked in pots used for cooking human flesh, or prepared 
by hands unwashed since last they rubbed themselves over 
with the juice from the dead bodies about. No use 
arguing, eat they would not ; and I confess I could not 
lead off, and so give them an example. Ipai, the Maipuans, 
and the interpreter were not so nice, so they enjoyed a 



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214 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

hearty meal. Eh, it was a noisy, excited crowd which 
gathered round us in that dubu. My boys were all terribly 
frightened, and cowered close up behind me. Every action 
on our part was of interest, but the most exciting things 
are a lighted match, my writing, and my foot. The latter 
is tenderly handled, and instructions are rigorously given 
on no account to press it, lest it should hurt. It is dark, 
and inside the dubu pitch dark, but the crowd still continues, 
and the place is very hot and stuffy. I get Vaaburi and 
Ipai to tell them we are going to have service, and I want 
quiet Everybody is shouting to everybody else to be 
quiet, and it took some time before we began. I did not 
light a candle, as I hoped the crowd would clear out and 
leave us, after service. 

In that strange place, where there are charms and 
fetishes of all kinds, and skulls of human beings, crocodiles, 
pigs, and cassowaries, placed in each division, and where 
at the small end there are six hideous Kanibus, gods, we 
sing a translation of the hymn, * Hark ! the voice of love 
and mercy,' and I do not think I ever heard it sound 
better, yet none of us can boast of singing power. Prayer 
was offered by a young Toaripian, and again the interpreter 
explained the Gospel to them. Service over, no one would 
go, so I lighted my candle, which caused great excitement. 
There was a great noise outside, and much shouting in. I 
wondered what it meant. My boys thought it meant 
slaughter this time, and they crouched in the darkness 
behind me. I held the candle up, and found that way was 
being made for an old chap, who is told to be sure and 
give his right hand when Tamate gives his, as that is the 
mark of peace and friendship with the white men. He 
does it well, and is followed by a young well-dressed 
fellow, who goes through the same handshaking, and then 
both squat in front of me. It is the chief and his son from 
Ukerave, a cluster of villages to be visited to-morrow. 



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2i6 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

Shouting, laughing, smoking, all talking, and trying to talk 
one another down, left me a quiet spectator of a peculiarly 
weird scene. Hundreds felt my foot, and shouted with 
astonishment at its softness and whiteness. It was getting 
late, and the old' chief must go home, but he must have my 
promise that I would not pass his door without a call, and 
to insure it the son must remain and conduct me. 

Telling Ipai I was tired, and wanted to lie down in a 
corner near the platform, he asked me if he might talk all 
night, as he had much to say. * Certainly, talk away ; as I 
am so sleepy, I think I can sleep through it all.' My 
youths were astonished that I could even think of sleep in 
this place. My blanket was spread, and I send the candle 
to Ipai, and know no more until daybreak, when it is time 
to be up and getting ready for a start. More food is 
cooked and eaten by those who consumed yesterday 
evening's. The crowd increases quickly, and we have 
service, when near the end of prayer there is a fearful 
voluminous shout, and prayer is quickly ended. A crowd, 
led by a well-feathered, good-looking, kindly rhan, press 
into the dubu, and he comes near to where I am. All are 
unarmed, so it is all right. I am told this is the chief Avai, 
returned from his expedition. I had already given the 
present for him and the dubus, and sent some beads for his 
wife. He is very much disappointed that we are leaving 
so soon, but I believe in first visits being short, just giving 
them a taste as it were, and then leaving them to think, 
and wonder when I shall again return. But we must not 
leave without a pig. Avai goes out, and calls a name, and 
* Mai mai,' and a good-sized pig comes right up to the 
platform. It is soon despatched with a club, lifted up and 
placed in the canoe, as I decided it should be cooked at 
our next halt. 

We passed several canoes along the bank, and when we 
came to Avails home, he being in our canoe, the chief 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 217 

insisted on our pulling up alongside one in charge of a 
good-looking motherly body, who wanted us to take 
everything she had into the canoe. She was Avai's best 
beloved wife, and had been travelling with him ; all night 
they were in the canoes. Native-like, my people would 



MANGROVE SWAMP 



have taken everything, but I confined them to a few areca 
nuts' and betel peppers. 

We were accompanied by many canoes, all packed with 
a noisy, excited crowd. 

Leaving Kailiu, an extension of Koropanairu, on our 



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2i8 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA i 

right, we descended the creek, and sobn came to a fine 
large opening, part of the Arai — there we met a large 
flotilla of canoes. There were fifty accompanying us, and on 
meeting the others these backed. We pulled on, the 
canoes meeting us opened to right and left ; when we were 
in the centre they closed in, and on we slowly went, until 
near a village of Ukerave, when they opened up again and 
we went alongside the bank. It is a dirty, bad-smelling 
hole. To get to the chiefs house a way was made over 
the mud with canoes end to end, along which I was to walk, 
lest I should wet my feet. The chief Ipai (I think nearly 
all the great men in this part are called Ipai) and his son 
both had hold of me, and I was led up on to the verandah 
of his house, where there was a mat spread on which I was 
to squat. The crowd was very great, and two-thirds of 
them were armed. I got my boys after some little trouble 
to go aside and cook, but they would keep coming near to 
me. There were certainly some very villainous-looking 
fellows in that crowd. The pig was got ready, cut up and 
on the fire, when the conch shell was heard in the distance, 
and up sprang cooks and everybody else belonging to me, 
on to the verandah, and close to me. The interpreter 
explained from the chief that it was a new canoe being 
tried by the young men of a neighbouring village. I was 
satisfied, but my people were not to be gulled, as they said, 
in that way, and not one of them would go down, until I 
threatened to go down and do the cooking myself; then 
two of the bravest found their way to the fire. Nearer 
and nearer the conch blowing approached, and 1 stood up 
to see the canoe come round the bend of the river. It was 
a pretty sight A large canoe painted various colours with 
ochre and lime, twenty finely built youths gorgeously 
dressed with feathers and colours, standing up and pulling 
as one, and at their hardest — conscious, I have no doubt, 
that they were being observed by a white man, as no 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 219 

others had ever been observed there before. Other young 
men were sitting in the bottom of the canoe, and one of 
them had the conch shell, which he was blowing. It was 
only a moment, but as they passed they gave one glance 
to the verandah, and for the first time saw a white man, 
and then on. 

After breakfast — mine was a very light one — we had 
service, and then to canoe. Most of the pig was brought 
into the canoe in baskets made of cocoanut leaves. Ipai 
soon followed, saying he wanted a tomahawk. Asking him 
what he wanted it for, he said for another pig which the 
chiefs son Koivi wanted us to have. The tomahawk I got 
for him, but the pig I would not have. I gave orders to 
move off, but we were not only hemmed in with canoes, 
but held fast by many hands. No use saying anything, 
the excitement was too great, and I felt sure a very 
little spark would cause a fearful catastrophe. Vaaburi 
had been chewing betel so much that I could get little help 
from him. All my boys were particularly frightened, and 
the Maipuans hung their heads. Ipai looked very glum. 
Grasping the situation at last — that Koivi was ashamed to 
let us go without a pig — I told the interpreter to say that 
I hoped to return with a steamer in six moons, and the pig 
should wait till that visit. There was a lull, and we were 
moving away, but again were closed in and held fast. A 
loud shout and a rattling of arrows, and I began to think 
things were growing unpleasant. The tomahawk I had 
given to Ipai was still lying near him, and I saw he was 
anxiously watching every movement. I was going ashore 
to get to Koivi, and disarm him, but I was prevented, and 
then I was told he thought I would not have his present, 
because the pig was a small one, and he was going to kill 
the biggest he could get in the village. Everywhere it was 
excitement, but eventually I made myself heard, calling for 
Koivi. Leaving his bows and arrows behind, he came 



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230 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

down, and again I told him, when the moon came to my 
wrist (six moons) he was to look out for me, and then we 
should eat pig ; that perhaps the governor, of whom they 
had heard much during the last few hours, might visit them 
before me, and if so he was to have it I gave him a small 
present, we clasped hands, the way opened, and we got out 
into midstream, surrounded with nearly a hundred canoes, 
large and small, from all quarters. I was sitting looking 
ahead when I felt our canoe taken hold of, and a large 
canoe shooting up on our port side. On looking round 
there was Ipai, Koivi's father, handing me a well-fed young 
live dc^, which I took and handed to our Ipai, then picked 
up the tomahawk, and gave it to the old fellow. In 
handing me the dog, he said, * You must have something 
in leaving my village.' I assured him again that in six 
moons I should visit them, and the interpreter explained 
what the steamer was like, telling them not to be afraid 
when they saw it The flotilla opened, and we passed out, 
my boys devoutly hoping I had made up my mind to 
return home. On learning I had not, and that I meant to 
go right on, some got ill, others glum, and one poor wretch 
simply sat down and cried. I suppose they knew their 
own savage nature better than I did, and were frightened 
accordingly. 

Ukerave is a collection of villages, and I believe contains 
a very large population. I would not suggest placing 
teachers here until we can send them New Guineans. It 
is quite possible, now that there is peace, they may leave 
the swamps up the river, and go down to the mouth, 
where there is a good position for one or two large villages 
on land suitable for teachers to live. The strange thing 
is that all the men, women and children living in these 
swamps should look so well and healthy — the children are 
especially bright and intelligent The women are scantily 
clothed, but they are about the most modest I have seen. 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 221 

They remind me of women far inland at the back of Hall 
Sound, who were as scantily clothed, and like them in 
modesty. Going down stream after a loud talk, screaming 
laughter, and a good feed, there is any amount of joking 
over the pipe (all are now brave as lions), and will go any- 
where with Tamate and his hazel stick. I confess that 
once I thought mischief was brewing, and we might all be 
slaughtered, and I found Ipai had thought the same. We 
kept quiet, pretended we were quite careless about getting 
away, and we trusted them. Only since my last visit have 
they and Maipua been friendly. Formerly the Maipuans 
killed many of them, ate them, and hung their heads as 
trophies in the dubus. 

The Arai is a splendid stream, and has a fine capacious 
harbour at the mouth. It was now up one creek and down 
another for some hours. In one stream we met a canoe 
with a man and two boys in it ; they showed no fear, but 
came alongside and had a smoke. They were from 
Kaiburave, whither we were now bound. They gave us 
cocoanuts and sugar cane, and told us to go on, and they 
would follow by-and-by with more food. It was easily 
seen we were now very near the coast, tall mangrove and 
nipa palms abounding, and soon the water became brackish. 
We met another canoe with»a man and a woman, but neither 
appeared the least afraid. We gave them a present, and 
sent them on ahead to prepare the people for our arrival. 
At last we rounded a great bend, and we were at the first 
of the Kaiburave villages, Kove, built on a point of land 
between two salt-water creeks. We pulled on and passed 
another, Kaurave, also on a muddy point between two 
creeks, and arrived at Aperave, where we were to 
camp. 

Crowds flocked everywhere, and my instructions were 
to stand up, which I did that I might be seen by all. The 
chief, Kiromia, a fine gentlemanly man, took me by the 



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222 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

hand and led me up the log^ to his house, the largest and 
finest native dwelling I have yet seen in New Guinea. 
The outer part was given to us, and the inner part screened 
off with blinds, or curtains, such as the Chinese make from 
bamboo (only Kaiburave ones are made from the spine of 
the sago leaf split into strips). This portion of the house 
was reserved for his wives and daughters. One wife he 
introduced to us, a kindly woman, in mourning for some- 
one. 

The sun coming upon me, orders were given immediately 
to shade well with cocoanut leaves, that my beautiful com- 
plexion might not be destroyed. No one was allowed to 
crowd on my mat. As I was anxious to get on to the 
coast, Kiromia at once gave orders for a canoe, and in 
about ten minutes they were ready. We had twenty pad- 
dlers, a fine strong-looking lot of fellows, who evidently 
thought it a capital joke to have a white man all to them- 
selves. 

We pulled down the creek Kaumari about six miles to 
the mouth. I felt very thirsty and wished for a cocoanut, 
and away sprung several ashore along the beach to a grove 
some distance off, and returned laden. As I was not to be 
allowed to get wet on any account, three men assisted me to 
land, and Kiromia, the chief, kept near me wherever I went 
This point of land at the mouth on the western side will, 
I hope, be yet occupied by Kiromia and a party, and a 
teacher. In coming down every canoe we saw was hailed, 
and Tamate and his party expatiated upon, whilst the pad- 
dlers gave a shout, and made additional remarks. On re- 
turning it was moonlight, and we raced with another large 
canoe and got beaten, so youth-like there was banter and 
challenge until Kiromia stopped it, knowing well to what it 
would lead. During my absence my boys had been so 
frightened that they proposed taking a canoe and coming 
in search of me. They felt their only safety was in being 



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A STREET IN NEW GUINEA 



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224 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

near to me. They cooked their pig and their own sago, 
but would touch no food cooked by others. 

During prayers the natives were most respectful, and 
listened attentively to the interpreter discoursing on God*s 
love. The one God of love staggers them, and that He 
has told us so in a book is more than they can comprehend. 
There was a great babel. Our singing had a wonderful 
charm, for we had complete silence, and requests to go on. 
The note in my diary is as follows : 

* The house is now full, we have had prayers, and have 
been singing, and truly the savage breast, or lungs, or 
throat is soothed, for they are very quiet.* About 9 
o'clock the audience began to disperse, and on my intimating 
a desire to turn in, all left except the house folk and our 
party. 

I then gave the chief my present, gladdening his heart 
by taking off my shirt and putting it on him. In these 
trips the wardrobe decreases considerably, and I always 
return with a much lighter swag than when I start. I 
asked for his queen wife, and the lady of the afternoon was 
brought to me. I gave her a present of various small 
things, but the most valuable of all in her eyes, and also 
her husband's, was a small parcel of beads, which they 
both gloated over for some time. I believe the old fellow 
was better pleased with his wife's present than the one he 
received himself. I spread my Malagasy on the outer 
verandah, and was soon asleep. At about 2 A.M. heavy 
rain awoke me, and I had to go inside. There was 
still a big fire burning, and earnest conversation going 
on. 

At daylight we were all up, and had not long to wait 
for an audience. After breakfast I went in a canoe to the 
erabo, or temple, where I was received by Kiromia and a 
large number of men, sitting down each side of the 
aisle. 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 225 

The place is full of masks, fetishes, etc., and hanging 
on pegs on each division of the temple are many human 
skulls, altogether nearly 400, while lying on the floor, 
arranged in rows, are , crocodiles*, pigs*, and cassowaries* 
skulls. At the far end, where the temple tapers to only 
seven feet high, and shut off with a screen from the main 
portion, is the sacred place, where there were twenty of those 
hideous wicker-work Kanibus, homes for the small bat, 
which inhabits them in hundreds. Of course my people 
were with me, and I noticed that alongside of our 
Toaripians (Motumotuans) the people were a shade 
darker, and alongside our Hall Sound boys, two shades 
darker. As a rule they are short, although they have some 
fine specimens of manhood. The hair is short and tufty, 
and nowhere did I meet a native with a large frizzy head 
of hair. I was sorry not to be able to take measurements, 
but the excitement was too great, and might have caused 
trouble* When in the temple, the natives were very anxious 
to impress me with the greatness of Kiromia and Aua, who 
are equal, and are ' as the sun and moon in splendour.* 

I gave them a picture of my wife to study, and it was 
amusing to watch them. They turned it all ways, hurriedly 
from back to front, and vice versd, up, down, put it aside, 
then tried it again, but of no use ; they could not grasp it, 
nor did all the explanation of the interpreter help them 
any. They gave it up, and returned it with a ' Can*t see 
any wife there.* 

During the day the crowd increased, all pressing near 
to get a sight of the * white man who brings peace and 
friendship.* About mid-day I was informed that several of 
my boys were sick, and we were out of water and cocoanuts, 
so had to leave. 

The farewells were those of sincere friendship. Kiromia 
helped me down to the canoe, and hundreds of men, 
women, and children lined the bank. I said good-bye, got 

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226 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

on board ; Ipai followed with a small bundle of arrows 
carefully wrapped in his hand. A few words were spoken, 
and we quietly moved away, Kiromia, dressed in my shirt, 
standing on a log, weeping, and calling out, * Kamake, 
Kamake,* and holding his wrist, to intimate I was sure to 
return in six moons. The crowd gave one long shout, 
and away we went, full speed ahead. The moon was small 
and our light dim, in some places dark. At last the moon 
set, and we could see but little. At one place all apparently 
were tired and sleepy, when the man in the bow gave a 
fearful scream that startled everybody, and then shouted 
that he was gone. It turned out he had been nearly 
asleep, a branch standing across the stream caught him, 
and he thought it was a crocodile. It caused great 
merriment and awoke all hands. It was uncertain work 
crossing the mouths of the large rivers in the dark, as it 
was blowing and raining hard, but all were anxious to get 
on, and we risked everything. Wet and cold, we arrived 
in early morning on the east point of Port Blomfield, 
and the crew, tired and wet, landed, lighted fires, and 
intended sleeping. Being left alone in the canoe I made 
myself comfortable in it, and was nearly off when I was 
aroused by a big flambeau blazing over me, and Ipai 
saying, * Kamake, it is going to rain hard, we must make 
for the village,* and I was glad. When going through the 
village to the eastern side, where Ipai's old temple is, we 
had to pass several belonging to other chiefs. From each 
we were challenged, and Ipai always answered, and also 
gave a short account of our trip. We found the youth I 
had landed and left behind very much better in every way. 
I got about two hours' rest, and then got up and away. 
To Apope we had a company of canoes, with eager listeners 
on board of each, and every canoe we met interviewed us. 
The home meeting at Apope was affectionate, all were 
glad to see us back, and little Kamake spun around terribly 



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ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY ON GULF OF PAPUA 227 

excited. When sitting on the verandah, the daughter got 
so excited and beyond bounds that the father spoke sharply 
to her, and she began to cry bitterly. I imitated her, and 
the crowd standing round did not know what to make of 
it, until I burst out laughing, and sent all into fits ; some 
threw themselves on the ground and rolled about, others 
held their sides, not a few rushed off, and Ipai rolled about 
and dare not look me in the face ; tears rolled down his 
cheeks, and he could do nothing but laugh. He felt very 
sore after it. 

A pig and food were cooked and eaten, we got into canoe, 
and paddled away for the Aivei, where we landed on the 
Orokolo side. Hilarity had gone, and we were all very 
sorry to part from one another. I left Ipai sitting on a 
log and crying bitterly. Farewells were shouted as long 
as we could be heard, and in the distance beyond hearing, 
uplifted hands. At Orokolo we spent three days. We 
nearly came to grief entering the Vailala. Spent a day 
with the teacher and people there, and on coming out of 
the river one sea broke aboard that nearly swamped us ; 
certainly a second one would have done so, and we should 
have gone over, but we pulled well out, and then up with 
sail and stood away for home. 

All was not well at home. One woman who had a 
quarrel with her husband, to spite him had hanged herself, 
and other two wretches had decoyed a boy along the beach, 
and when some distance from our eastern mission house 
cruelly murdered him with sticks, dug a hole in the sand 
near a cocoanut grove, and buried the body in it. Fortu- 
nately such acts of murder are very infrequent in New 
Guinea. The boy, an orphan, was missed by relatives and 
search made, but he could not be found until the younger 
of the murderers, a lad of fifteen or thereabout, told his 
sisters, who told the boy*s sister. The relatives wished 
condign punishment at once, and to kill the murderers, 

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228 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

according to custom, but order prevailed, and the word of 
Lahari, a young warrior chief, was listened to, not to kill or 
quarrel, but to leave it, and see what the Governor will do. 
This is a wonderful advance in Toaripi in two or three 
years. 

Influenza has been very bad, and there have been many 
deaths. 



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229 



CHAPTER XI 

THE FIRST TRIP OF THE LAUNCH MIRO 

It had been for some time felt that to re-begin and carry on 
work on the Fly River, steam was necessary, especially as 
the work was to be carried on by teachers or evangelists 
from the South Seas or Eastern Polynesia. A very 
successful beginning was made in 1892 at Saguane and 
Ipisia, villages on the island of Kiwai, at the very mouth of 
the Fly River. Many other places had been visited and 
land secured for building purposes, but without steam the 
work would be difficult and trying to those engaged in it. 

On January 5, 1892, the Miro arrived in Thursday Island, 
and was at once taken over by me, the crew from Sydney dis- 
charged, a new crew shipped, and the vessel got ready for 
her work. It was very far into the north-west monsoon ; 
still much might be done. On January 12, at mid-day, we 
cast off from Bums, Philip, & Co.*s wharf, and steamed 
away into Torres Straits, arriving at The Sisters in the 
evening. The next morning we steamed away for Masig 
(York Island), and anchored in the afternoon. We got 
wood and water on board, and the following day at noon 
we up anchor, and away to Darnley, where we anchored 
on the east side of the island. The following day, being 
the Sabbath, we remained. 

I arranged for the services to be held the following day, 
and so made it a great day on the island. For the first 
time in several years they had the Lord's Supper, and 
several extra meetings. The building was crowded, chiefly 



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230 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

with men and women from Murray Island, who were 
across upon a feast to be given on the Tuesday following. 
At the close of the services I arranged for the teacher, a 
native of Mabuiag, to leave and take Masig, and that a 
Samoan would take Damley. The Mabuiag man has not 
the slightest influence over the South Sea Islanders, who 
are numerous on the island, and the people I fear fancy 
they are better than he. He ought to have been removed 
long ago. When writing this the Mary has just come in, 
and the captain reports that he has, according to my 
instructions, removed Paiwaini, of Darnley, to Masig, and 
placed Tuuanga, a Samoan, and his wife and children on 
the former, and that at each place the teachers had a good 
reception. On Monday at 10.50 we left Darnley, and 
arrived at Murray Island 3 P.M. We got everything out of 
the vessel here, and had her thoroughly cleaned fore and aft. 

On January 20 we were glad to get away at daybreak, as 
she had been dragging during the night, and the weather 
looked stormy. We arrived at Darnley, and the following 
morning (Saturday) steamed for Zamut (Dalrymple). I 
landed on the Sabbath, and had service with the people. 
They are sixteen all told. Three were away on a shelling 
boat, and the thirteen were there. A native of the island, 
named John, acts as missionary, and does his work very well. 
He lived some years on Darnley, and was taught to read 
there by a Lifu teacher, and on returning to his home began 
mission work. He has prayers in the church every morn- 
ing and evening, and on Sabbaths three services. The 
church was well built, having on the floor nice clean white 
coral sand. Certainly the man is very ignorant, but he 
knows that God is love, and Jesus loves us. 

On Monday we left for Dauan, going through the 
Warrior Reef by a passage not in the chart. We anchored 
off the settlement about 8 P.M., and landed all our passengers. 
The next forenoon we got wood and water on board, and 



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232 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

away to Saibai, where we remained until the next morning. 
We then started for the east, calling at Mabudauan, the 
Government station, and thence to Tureture, where we 
anchored. Nothing is being done, so I informed the teacher 
that on my return I should remove him. On my return I 
found that after we left his wife died, and he was only too 
anxious to get back to his home on Saibai, where he now is. 

At Bampton I met the teachers, and spoke to them of 
their work, and that I expected they would have school 
every day. I do wish the people of Gaziro, the eastern 
village, would leave their present situation, and go on to 
the mainland and live. To get to them at present is a 
difficult matter, because of sandbanks and swamps. 

We steamed across the right mouth of the Fly River, 
to Saguane, where we dropped anchor opposite the mission 
house at 4 in the afternoon. Saturday was spent in filling 
up with wood for the long run across the head of the 
Papuan Gulf. On Sunday we had capital services — men, 
women, and children attending. I ascribe the presence of 
the women to the influence of the teacher's wife. I hope 
it will continue, for two-thirds of the fight is over when the 
women are won to Christ. 

At ID A.M. on Monday we stood away for Orokolo, and 
the following day we were anchored off our eastern mission 
station in that district. We had dirty weather during the 
night, and had to take in all our awnings. Fortunately 
the wind was just abaft the beam, and so helped us. The 
Miro did splendidly, taking very little water on board. At 
Orokolo we met the Governor, Sir William MacGregor, and 
a large party going west to the Namau district. The two 
teachers and their wives had been very ill, and were at 
Motumotu awaiting me, so that I could hold no services. 
The following morning we steamed up to Vailala. I was 
sorry to hear of the death of a chief who has been all 
along a great friend of the teachers. He had died a few 



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THE FIRST TRIP OF THE LAUNCH MIRO 233 

weeks previously. He once visited me at Motumotu, and 
seeing me always going about with a cane, on his return 
home he determined I should have a heavier and a 
stronger one than the one I generally carried, so he went 
up the river, and got a nice straight wand, with a little 
head, brought it back, and had it smoothed. My following 
visit he presented me with it, saying it was better than 
mine. 

Poor laupu ! I had known him for a long time, and I 
have a good hope that he loved Christ, notwithstanding his 
many peculiarities and superstitions. The teacher has 
finished a fine weather-board house, with a verandah run- 
ning right round. He only wanted a wife to make it a 
comfortable home. 

We left on February 3 for Kerema at 9 A.M., and 
anchored off the mission house at 4 P.M. The teacher and 
his wife were well, and were living in a large weather-board 
house with a verandah back and front Too much time 
has been given to the building of the house, and so school 
and real mission work have suffered. 

Leaving Kerema, we called at Karama, the cluster of 
villages in Freshwater Bay. During my long absence in 
Torres Straits the teacher died of influenza. I was glad to 
find that the people had not stolen all his things nor broken 
down the house, nor destroyed the plantation, as they often 
do, according to native custom. We then steamed across 
the bay to Motumotu, entering the river and anchoring at 
7.30 P.M. There was great excitement and rejoicing in both 
villages, and lights were everywhere, and canoes coming and 
going with all sorts of news. 

On the Sunday we had a really good timey and I was 
much pleased with the report of the teachers, except that for 
about a fortnight there had been trouble about the Sabbath. 
Tis a pity those placed in authority over us forget when 
the Sabbath is, and also forget that the natives will ever 



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234 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

quote them as examples. For some time they have been 
told by the Government officers they must not bury in 
the villages, but take all the bodies to the ground selected 
some distance away from the village. Though a reall5^ 
good and necessary regulation, it is hard for natives to 
carry out, as it is' altogether against their ideas of care and 
sympathy. A few acquiesced, but four bodies in a fortnight 
were buried in the village. Mr. F. Lawes, the magistrate 
of the Central Division, was there, and announced that the 
bodies must be taken up, or if not, he would have to send 
his policemen to do it. Early in the morning some natives 
came to intimate that one body had been taken up and 
buried right outside, shortly others followed to say the 
same had been done with all the bodies. The first reported 
was all right, but the others had only the sand covering 
turned up a little. When the attempt to deceive was found 
out by sticking spears in the graves, the natives took it in 
good part, and set to, and in the presence pf the police 
removed all the bodies. My only words on the Sunday 
night were, * We must have no trouble.' \ confess I was 
astonished at the change in the people. A year or two ago, 
and it would mean bows and arrows versus Martini-Henry 
rifles. They are not cowed, and do not give the appearance 
of being such, but they are changed. 

In 1 89 1, when walking from Motumotu to Oiapu, I was 
accompanied by a great crowd of them, all armed, and 
certainly looking a very formidable army; but during 
the days we were together there was no robbing of 
plantations, and never an ill word said, in any of the 
villages we passed through. At our last open-air service 
at Oiapu, I was going to Maiva in a canoe, they were going 
to Mekeo ; I begged of them to behave themselves, and I 
hoped on my return to hear they had done so. Several 
spoke, saying things were altogether changed, that they 
had come along from Motumotu, and there was no robbing. 



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THE FIRST TRIP OF THE LAUNCH MIRO 235 

and they would continue so, and I am glad to say they 
did. Don*t misunderstand me, they are not Christians, 
converts, nor catechumens. 

There was much to do, so I did not get away until 
Wednesday, the 8th. I called at Lese, but finding they had 
not built the church, nor did the children come to school, I 
refused to land, and spoke as plainly as possible to the 
teacher and those who came off. We anchored at Yokea, 
and I visited our new grounds there, and was greatly 
delighted with the work done. A fine large bungalow and 
six cottages were finished, and plantations connected with 
each cottage cleared and planted. The institution grounds 
are about a mile and a half from the village, which is a 
good thing. God grant it maybe a home of much life, light 
and real work ! I was sorry I had to speak to the teacher 
about neglecting work, but they have been busy with the 
church, which is now finished, and I hope my next visit will 
be more satisfactory. 

We left Yokea on the 9th, taking with us a sick teacher 
and his wife for change. The teacher at Oiapu western 
villages was at Yokea ill, and the fine young teacher at the 
eastern villages has recently lost his wife in giving birth to 
a child, so I did not stay there, but took Ola, the young 
teacher, on board, and proceeded to Maiva. Ola's wife was 
an excellent woman, and a daughter of the first New Guinea 
convert, who is a deacon in the church at Port Moresby. 
The deacon has three daughters in the mission field, and 
I long to see his son a converted man, and also engaged in 
mission work. In the death of Ola's wife we have lost a 
good Christian woman and earnest worker. 

When off Maiva the weather looked bad, and I decided 
simply to call and then hurry away to Hall Sound, where 
we should get safe anchorage. We just got to anchor in 
time, for it began to rain and blow, and continued so until 
Saturday at noon. 



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236 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

On Saturday I took canoe and got round to Cape 
Suckling, and then away inland to Naara, where I remained 
until Monday. I can only speak well of this station. Good 
progress has been made in teaching, and many new ones 
can read. The Sabbath observance reminded me of an old 
station in the Soujh Seas, and the prayer meetings on the 
Saturday evening, and several times on the Sabbath, of 
many refreshing seasons I have had many years ago. The 
church was crowded at each service; simply everybody 
was there but three sick ones. There were four, two men 
and their wives, ready for baptism. I think they are good, 
earnest people. The women could read fluently, the men 
slowly. After baptism we had the Lord's Supper, and a 
very refreshing season it was. The chieftainess, Koloka, 
and her husband, were most attentive, and reminded one 
much of kind, loving chiefs and chieftainesses in Eastern 
Polynesia. 

On Monday I returned to Delena, calling at Keabada, 
where Ikupa, our teacher, is. His wife is a daughter of the 
deacon. I was not so well pleased with the school. We 
had an intensely interesting prayer me^ti»g in the teacher's 
fine new house, when those who were to be baptized engaged 
in prayer. There were five seeking baptism, and on 
examination I could not but baptize them. Two of them 
were women, for which I felt really thankful. All were 
present at the service, and I feel sure the appeals made by 
the men, after they were baptized, will be blessed to others. 
I fear the backwardness of the school arises from the 
great demand for sandal-wood by traders, this being the 
district where it is chiefly found. Before daybreak, old 
and young have been away cutting the wood and carrying 
it in. 

We left Delena on Tuesday, the 14th, and arrived at 
Port Moresby at 4 P.M. We visited Tupuslei with a 
picnic party, and a few days after carried, to their great 



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A NEW GUINEA GRAVE 



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238 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

delight, about one hundred and fifty children to Boera, 
where they regaled themselves on large supplies of rice. 

On our return voyage we left Port Moresby on Thursday, 
the 23rd, but the weather turned out so stormy that we had 
to remain at Boera, twelve miles west of Port, until the 
Saturday morning, arriving at Delena late at night We 
had a really good Sabbath here. In the forenoon we elected 
Goani, a good, staid fellow, as deacon. He spent nearly 
two years with us at Motumotu, but feeling he was too 
old, I returned him to his home. He is a fine man, and I 
believe a thoroughly godly one. There are thirteen here 
awaiting baptism. Several of them I had seen before ; 
some I have known for years ; and all of them have been 
regfular attenders at all services for a long time. I saw them 
all, and decided to baptize them. In the afternoon the 
church was crowded. We had several meetings for prayer 
during the day — prayer for the evidence of the Holy Spirit's 
presence with us, and for a real baptismal time, nor were 
we disappointed. We began with a short service, at which 
I gave an address, and then those to be baptized took part, 
some engaging in prayer, and others saying a few words. 
After baptizing them we had the Lord's Supper, a season 
to be remembered in future. In the evening, at family 
prayers, we had the whole population present, and instead 
of the ordinary service we turned it into a thorough good 
prayer meeting. On the Monday I held the school exami- 
nation, and all I can say is, it is better than last year, but 
by no means what it ought to be. The sandal-wood trade 
is also brisk here, and I fear the teacher has got smitten 
with the easy mode of making money ; but more of that 
hereafter. 

Getting wood and water on board, we steamed away on 
Tuesday morning to Maiva, where I landed in the after- 
noon. At Tipoki's station on the coast we had several 
meetings and a school examination, and I was better 



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THE FIRST TRIP OF THE LAUNCH MIRO 239 

pleased with the work done than I have been for some 
years. Tipoki, the teacher, has been very ill with rheuma- 
tism and sores for about nine months ; still, he and his wife 
have been able to do more than formerly. 

Thirteen, who have been a long time seeking baptism, 
were baptized, amongst them several women. There was 
a good deal of enthusiasm at the meetings, which I trust 
will continue. At the western inland group of villages, 
where we had a good mission, is failure. The teacher died 
last August, and the people themselves have not been 
able to carry on. I hope to give them another teacher this 
year. 

At Ratu's village I baptized ten, and we had several 
good meetings. The school, I fear, is not so advanced as 
last year, arising from all spare time being given to the 
making of copra and collecting cane for export I fear 
only a few of our teachers can resist the temptation of 
making a few shillings when they can easily, and then the 
schools are neglected, the teacher believing it is because 
the children won't come. I walked over to Kivori, where we 
had good services, especially at Rarua's station, where I 
baptized six good young men and two women and three 
children. I was much pleased with the school. At Vagi's 
station things were not so bright as they were last year ; 
but that, I felt sure, was the teacher's fault, and told him 
so. Altogether though, I was pteased with Kivori, and 
hope soon to have several students at Yokea from there. 

I called again at Oiapu, and landed Ola and his boy, 
and at Yokea we filled up with wood. Finding that Terai 
and all the students and their wives had gone on to 
Motumotu, I followed on Friday, calling at Lese, where I 
found a good new church had been put up ; and the people 
had thought over what I had said to the teacher and those 
with him on my way up. We had a good service, and 
then away to our old home, where we anchored in the 



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240 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

river at mid-day. Preparations had been made for a really 
good time, and so I give you the account of the following 
Sabbath. 

The Saturday prayer meetings were earnest ones, 
especially as I had informed four of the students they were 
to be set apart on the morrow to Christ's work, and the 
following week I should take three of them to stations. 
The excitement was great ; supplies of various kinds were 
given out to each. For some time several Motumotuans 
who have been much with us, and have helped us latterly 
in meetings, had intimated their desires to join the insti- 
tution ; so, after meeting with each student going out, I had 
to meet with each one wishing to join. How thoroughly 
I enjoyed it all, and how I wished my wife, who has done 
much and been greatly blessed in bringing this state of 
things about, had been present with us ! Late on Saturday 
night all the teachers and their wives met me for a meet- 
ing for prayer and consecration. There were present six 
teachers and their wives. 

The final service on the Sabbath was for prayer, and 
both places were well attended. The forenoon services 
were crowded, and reference was made to the work before 
us. There were five to be baptized — four men and one 
woman, the first woman in the whole of the Elema district. 
She said to me the night before, when leaving with her 
husband, * Tamate, I do love Jesus, and I do want always 
to love Him.' 

At 1 1 o'clock, the large class-room in the institution 
grounds was crowded, a space being left in front for those 
to be baptized to occupy. How eagerly the proceedings 
were watched by all present ! The men to be baptized 
were in downright earnest, and I hope some of them will 
become good workers for Christ. I baptized them, and gave 
them the right hand of fellowship in receiving them into 
Christ's membership. We then had the Lord's Supper, a 



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THE FIRST TRIP Oh THE LAUNCH MIRO 241 

season that will not soon be forgotten by any one 
present 

We began the afternoon with a meeting for prayer, and 
at 3.30 met again in the class-room. Each student to be 
set apart gave a short address, in which he related how he 
was led to love Jesus, and how he came to desire the work 
of an evangelist. Some of our older teachers spoke to the 
point in urging entire consecration. The prayers were 
made in three langfuages, and there were as many as four 
languages used in the addresses. I arranged it so that 
everyone present might understand. Although the 
service lasted for an hour and a half, not one seemed 
tired. 

At 5.30 there was another meeting, when I absented 
myself, to give all more scope for a downright good time. 
The house was packed, and the young teachers and others, 
and one or two who have not signified any drawings to 
Christ, I hear spoke good earnest words. To me it was 
certainly a great day. God grant many such days may be 
known in Elema ! 

We anchored off Karama at 8.15, and at once landed 
with Ume and his wife, one of the young couples set apart 
on the Sabbath, who were to occupy the station vacated by 
the death of the South Sea Island teacher. They had a 
right good reception. We had a short service in the 
house, and the chief and people promised to be kind to 
them. 

From Karama we steamed away to Kerema, and there 
I landed Ikupu and his wife, to occupy the western group 
of villages. The few people who were at home were de- 
lighted to get a teacher, and they too promised to assist 
them in every way. We anchored for the night off the 
eastern station. 

The following morning we were away early, and before 
mid-day we were at Vailala. Coming to an anchor we got 



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242 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

very quietly on to a bank, so quietly that I was the only 
one on board who felt her go on. The tide was falling 
fast, so we remained there. I went ashore and placed 
Naime and wife at the mission house on the eastern bank, 
where a Polynesian was for a few months before he died. 
The people knew Naime well, from his being so often with 
me when visiting them, and were glad to have him. His 
wife was a Yokea girl, and a very earnest, intelligent 
Christian. She soon had many claiming relationship. When 
I returned to the vessel the teacher from the western bank 
was on board, and ready to start with the Orokolo teachers 
and their wives that we had picked up at Motumotu. The 
news having soon reached Orokolo that the teachers were 
at Vailala, many came in to carry them away at once. 

It was nearly midnight, and in a gale of wind and heavy 
rain we pulled the Miro off, not knowing until next morn- 
ing we had left the rudder behind. We got her over and 
on to the eastern bank, and found the stern-post must have 
been broken for some time, so giving too much to the 
weight of the rudder. I offered a reward, and a dozen 
canoes started, and in half an hour returned with the 
rudder. It was evident there had been a flaw in the 
casting, and which must have been seen, for it had been 
brazed over. The engineer turned to and fixed the stem- 
post, and by Saturday had the rudder ready to swing. All 
was finished, and we were ready for an early start on Mon- 
day morning. Sunday I spent ashore between the two 
stations. I forgot to mention that I had obtained for the 
teacher's home the one ornament that could make it 
homely — a good wife — and they were married on the day of 
our arrival. The woman was a widow of one" of our 
Motumotu teachers, and since her husband's death has 
lived a quiet, useful life at Yokea. 

We weighed anchor at 5 on Monday morning, and 
steamed away west, hoping to enter the river, and^yet 



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THE FIRST TRIP OF THE LAUNCH MIRO 243 

doubting as to its safety with our patched rudder. On 
anchoring off the Aivei, the bar looked bad, and I decided 
to keep on towards Bald Head, and then steer across the 
head of the Gulf to the Midge Isles. 

Sir William MacGregor and a large party came in some 
hours after us from the Midge Isles, where they had heen 
taking prisoners for attacking a neighbouring tribe, and he 
was anxious I should return and comfort those remaining. 
I certainly should have done so, but I had to be in Thursday 
Island by the 23rd, to catch the schooner for Kwato, China 
Straits. 

We arrived at Dauan on the Saturday, and got ready 
for going into Thursday Island. The Sabbath was a high 
day for the natives. It was long since they had an oppor- 
tunity of all meeting a white missionary on a Sabbath. 
Fortunately all were in from Boigou. The day was fully 
occupied to the great delight of all. I baptized 23 men 
and women, and 30 little children, and we had the ordi- 
nance — I fancy the first ever administered there. 

At night I was detained to answer questions, and set 
some matters right. 

We arrived at Thursday Island on the 22nd, to find 
the Myrtle had not arrived from New Guinea. I was sorry 
I had not gone back to comfort the Waboda (Midge Isles) 
natives, and arrange for a mission station. We had all had 
attacks of fever, mine having been sharp for a few days. 



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244 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 



CHAPTER XII 

THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 

Four expeditions have ascended the Fly River during 
the last twenty years, and on each occasion the natives 
appeared in numerous canoes, and bore down on the 
expeditions as if to attack them, so that they had to fire. 
I was strongly advised not to go near these people, but 
felt I could not return to Britain and leave them unvisited 
and unfriendly. 

On leaving Sumai to visit the unfriendly tribes on the 
Fly River, I took the teacher Mapa, and Edea, the 
appointed government chief, and Agia of Auti, a small 
village two miles farther up than Sumai, as interpreters. 
Anxious to get on, we steamed past Baramura, telling the 
people on a canoe that on our return we should visit them. 
Coming near to some islands, we saw a village on the right 
bank, and so steamed in for it. We had difficulty in finding 
the passage, but moving slowly we carried two fathoms, 
then a fathom and a half, going down to 4 feet 6 inches. It 
was then a critical time, as several canoes were bearing 
down on us. Only one I allowed alongside, and would 
only have two men on board, ordering the canoe to keep 
off. After some anxiety we got into deeper water, and 
eventually to four fathoms, when I found a present for the 
two men, and so made friends. 

We steamed up against the current for some distance, 
and dropped anchor opposite an opening in the bush. On 
landing we were taken charge of and conducted into the 



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246 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

bush, to a place where there were several small temporary 
buildings, in place of the very large house recently burned 
down. The excitement was great, as they had never 
before seen white men, except at rifle range, and now they 
saw and touched. The noise and shouting were great, 
and to an excitable and imaginative person it might have 
appeared that the hour of our doom had come. We were, as 
always, unarmed, having only a walking stick, which is 
useful in going over native bridges and for long walks. 
Some of the men were very evil-looking, and the women, 
who were gathered in the houses — the few we saw — were 
not at all prepossessing. A few of the men had been to 
Sumai, and had obtained in exchange for yams, taro, bows 
and arrows, old filthy shirts, and they certainly looked 
fearful guys. 

We held a service in front of the houses, at which 
Mapa spoke as interpreter for me, but I fear he was not 
understood. When Edea and Agia spoke and prayed, all 
seemed to understand them, and gave audible assent to 
their statements. How strange it must be for tribes such 
as these, when they hear for the first time *The Great 
Spirit is love,' and loves them ! 

We got on to the small verandah of one of the houses, 
and with difficulty passed presents on to the women and 
children inside. All looked as if a bath would do them 
good. It may be they are afraid of crocodiles, and so 
bathe very seldom. Many of the men wear the hair in 
long small ringlets, as at Domori, some distance down the 
river on the left bank. These ringlets are the growth of 
years, and matted with dirt. A few of them have beards, 
some very long and wound round on the chin to a knot 
I bought one, two feet long, cut it off myself, and folded it 
away in brown paper. 

There were some very suspicious movements — groups 
consulting, men going to the houses, and a noise of arrows 



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THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 247 

being handled ; and so after a little we thought it advisable 
to get back to the launch. 

We were not disturbed during the night, and being 
anxious to get on were early astir, and ready for a start. 
I had arranged the evening before with two men, Savopo 
and Duma, to accompany us, and to introduce us to other 
villages farther up the river. Just at dawn natives were 
seen on the bank, and soon after our two friends came off. 
Getting up anchor we steamed along the bank for a few 
miles, and came to shallow water. There we anchored, 
some distance from the one large house village of Aduru. 

We soon had over one hundred and fifty canoes around 
us, and on an average four men in each canoe, and all 
shouting at their loudest. We could not keep them from 
crowding on board, and at one time it was very uncomfort- 
able, and they seemed as if they meant to be unpleasant. 
I was ill with fever, and did not feel inclined to land, and 
also thought it advisable to remain on the launch, so that 
if trouble arose I should be at hand. The engineer and 
interpreters landed, remaining for some time, and on their 
return reported the place to be swampy and full of strong 
smells. A young man, Zagai, whom they called a chief, I 
made friends with by means of a present, and prevailed on 
him to accompany us up the river. But his people were 
much opposed to it, and at one time became very noisy on 
board about it. I gave them to understand I would not 
take him, and he then, in his turn, became angry with them, 
and told them he would go with the white man. 

I asked all to leave, but to that they objected, and I 
then gave orders to weigh anchor and go ahead. As soon 
as our visitors felt the launch moving, there was a rush for 
the canoes. The young chief remained, undertaking to 
become our pilot ; but his knowledge of what water we 
drew was deficient, and as he had never had any experience 
of anything else than a canoe, he was of no use. We kept 



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248 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

the lead going, but could find no channel deep enough, so 
had to make our way round by Pisirame, and out by that 
channel into the main stream. 

When near to Pisirame I saw a canoe coming ofT to 
us, and our friends from there, with the young chief from 
Aduru, were getting ready to leave us. Savopo came to 
me and said, * Tamate, I want to land, as my wife is crying 
bitterly.' I said, * Tell the man in the canoe to tell your 
wife Savopo is all right.' They were suspicious of our 
back movement, and so were alarmed, but I resolved they 
should remain on board to introduce us farther up, to 
receive our kindness, and learn to have confidence in us. 
I therefore ordered * full speed,' and we shot past the canoe 
and left it far behind. On getting to the main stream we 
headed up the river, and our friends became more confident, 
and went about the launch as if long acquainted with us. 
The stoke-hole and engine-room greatly interested them, 
but they would not go below. 

I remember once, on board of the old Ellengowan, the 
New Guinea mission steamer, I was taking back a man and 
his wife and another native to their homes in the Gulf of 
Papua. After much persuasion, the two men consented to 
go down into the stoke-hole. Before they descended there 
was a great embracing of husband and wife, and a very 
affectionate farewell ; and then the first solemnly went down. 
He looked around until the furnace door was opened, when 
never was that ladder more quickly ascended. On getting 
on deck again he threw himself into his wife's arms, and 
both cried, hugging one another with great joy. The 
other man, the woman's brother, took a long and affectionate 
farewell of his sister, and left her his bag of valuables — he 
fancied he might not return. On going down he kept 
looking ahead for the furnace door but it not being opened, 
he got down, and had a good look about. There was 
nothing more to see, when the stoker opened the door to 



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THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 249 

show him the inside, but he was on deck in a twinkling. 
The three of them sat with their arms round each other, 
their heads together, and crying profusely. It was amusing 
to see how proud the woman was of their feat, saying to 
me, *Tamate, they are the bravest in all Elema'— the Gulf 
district. 

A similar thing happened with Koapena, the Aroma 
chief, when visiting a man-of-war. He was greatly inter- 
ested in all he saw, and was descending just after me into 
the stoke-hole, when a furnace door was opened. Instantly 
he sprang up the ladder, disappeared over the side into a 
canoe and made for the shore. Nothing would induce him 
to return. He once told me he would like to accompany 
me, but his wives objected ; and he asked if I would take 
them off and show them the vessel, for then it would be all 
right We were to start for Cloudy Bay in the morning, 
and I told him to bring them on board when he came. In 
the morning he came with his food and a pig for the 
journey, accompanied by his two wives and daughter. All 
went well, the anchor was being weighed, and I felt sure 
we had our big friend. The wives and daughter were 
getting ready to go into the canoe, and just then the stoker 
opened the furnace door; the women hearing the noise 
below looked down and saw the great flaming fire. There 
was one fearful yell, a loud call for Koapena, and in a few 
seconds he and all of them were in the canoe and hurrying 
to the shore. 

We steamed up to Tagota, but saw no house whefe we 
expected one, as marked on the chart, the inmates having 
gone a little farther up the river, and back into the bush. 

When our governor. Sir William MacGregor, ascended 
the river, the natives came out, apparently to oppose his 
progress, and they were, turned back. The governor after- 
wards landed and met some of them. We steamed up to 
where we saw natives working at a canoe. They all fled 



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250 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

into the bush. Coming to an anchor we got our friend 
Zagai to shout for the chief, whose name was Aipi, and to 
tell them we were friends. After a while a man came out 
on to the bank and called to us that Aipi was not there, 
but Waria was, Zagai then told him we were good friends, 
and that * Tamate the white man wanted to see Waria.' 
Soon a small canoe was put into the river, and one man 
got into it, whom Zagai said was Waria. It was amusing 
to watch him. He would paddle a little, then consider, 
hear what was said from the bush, and what Zagai had to 
say, then a few more strokes, and another stop. Zagai was 
greatly amused, he having got over all fear, and being now 
the white man's friend he seemed to be assuring Waria that 
it was all right. At length Waria came alongside, a native 
took hold of his canoe and made it fast to the launch. He 
stepped on board trembling all over, but on getting seated 
and receiving a small present he became bolder, and told 
us how frightened they were ashore, but no, he was not 
frightened. We sent Zagai and the down-river interpreters 
ashore in the canoe, and ourselves landed in the dingey. 

The village was some distance in the bush, and there 
were several small swamps to be crossed on logs that were 
very slippery. On reaching the village called Baisasarara, 
the women and children were not to be seen, being shut 
up in the houses ; but after giving Waria to understand 
that we must make friends with the women and children 
as well as the men, we soon had them all out, and gave 
them small parcels of red beads. 

We held a service, but I fear not much was understood. 
When the fear had passed off they became excited and 
very noisy. They all accompanied us to the boat I 
could not get Waria to come with us up the river, and the 
others, those from Pisirame, and Zagai from Aduru, 
decidedly objected to go on board if we went any farther. 
The presents I had given them, with a bit of pork, they 



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THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 251 

had left on board, and they came off for these in a canoe 
that was to take them back. I again tried to persuade 
them, but it was of no use, and so I decided to take them 
to their homes. They were greatly delighted with that 
decision, and on getting to their homes would no doubt 
magnify all they saw, but more especially tell of our 
taking them back when they objected to go any farther. 

We spent Sunday near to Pisirame, and on the Monday 
morning weighed anchor and proceeded up the river again 
to Tagota, hoping still to persuade Waria to accompany 
us. When near to our former anchorage we saw a canoe 
with three natives in it, one standing up and shouting. 
It proved to be Aipi, the chief we had been inquiring for, 
and with him was a native from Domori who knew me ; 
both at once came boldly on board. With them was a 
son of Aipi. We anchored and a canoe came off. Waria 
was in the bush behind the village, and so we got Aipi and 
the Domari man and two strange men to accompany us 
from Tagota. 

We steamed up the river for some miles, against a 
strong current, until we came to where there were two 
creeks, one running south and the other west. We 
anchored a little way up, in ten fathoms of water, but 
the debris coming down was so great that we had to 
remove to another anchorage a little farther down, and 
near to the creek running south, and called Maupa. The 
village Kewarmuni is on the small creek which I believe 
runs no distance into the mainland. Maupa, they told us, 
runs some distance into the land and breaks into two, one 
branch bends again to the river, and comes out between 
Adura and Tagota, just inside the islands. Where does 
the other go } Perhaps into the Maikasa. The 
Kewarmuni natives were slow in coming off, but on 
getting their first canoe alongside we were soon friends 
and many other canoes followed. 



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252 LIFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

The man of most importance was Darom, and when he 
got over his fear, and came on board and received a 
present, he was greatly astonished at all he saw, and was 
soon followed by many. The men alongside and on board 
all had skin disease as bad as the worst cases at the east 
end of New Guinea. 

We landed and found one long house and five smaller. 
In the latter were all the women and children, the doors 
barricaded with wood. Nothing would induce them to let 
the women and children out to receive presents of beads. 
It is quite possible our companions from down the river 
had frightened them with some stories, so as to prevent 
them getting beads, and being on an equality with their 
wives and children. 

We held a service in the large house, but I am afraid 
not much was understood. On going to the vessel we 
were followed by canoes, in which were many natives, and 
three small pigs. When alongside they proceeded to kill 
the pigs by drowning, but I stopped that, and got them on 
board. I believe drowning is their mode of killing the 

pig- 
While ashore we saw several drums like those I got from 
the Busilag, near to the mouth of the Maikasa. We tried 
to induce them to part with one, but not even a tomahawk 
would persuade them to do so. We heard several names 
of people corresponding to those on Saibai and Mabuiag in 
Torres Straits. 

We took back the two natives to Baisasarara, and the 
following day renewed our exploration with Aipi and Ona. 
The latter claimed particular friendship, and proved the 
best interpreter I yet had on the river. In going up we 
found many long shallow sandbanks towards the left bank, 
but on the right side deep water. 

We anchored near to a high bank, where there were 
houses, named Digana, but on landing found them tumbling 



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THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 253 

to pieces, with creepers growing over them, and having 
the appearance of having been long ago deserted. We 
have noticed that where there are villages, bundles of twigs 
fastened together and looking like brooms are made fast to 
the tops of the highest trees. At night it would be 
very necessary to have these marks, so as not to pass the 
landings. 

Weighing anchor again we proceeded up the river until 
we came to another large creek. It is possible this creek 
may find its way to the river Morehead, near the boundary 
on the west of British New Guinea. We could only get a 
very little information ; they told us it went far away, but 
that no one had ever been down to the mouth. There is 
a village up the creek on the left bank, called Jauna. 

We anchored off the mouth of the creek. Soon we saw 
numbers of men armed in the banana plantation at the 
point. Some left their arms and came down the bank to 
the water's edge, whilst the greatest number remained 
carrying their bows and arrows, and ready for whatever 
might take place. Very cautiously a canoe was seen 
coming down the creek, and with a good deal of shouting, 
inviting them alongside, we prevailed on them to come. 
Then another followed, and soon we had several. I got 
into a canoe and ordered my interpreters to come with me ; 
the dingey was to follow some time after. I fancied we 
were safer in the canoe, and it gave the natives more 
confidence in us. Paddling up the creek I saw the natives 
on the bank handling their bows and placing arrows, and I 
protested through the interpreters against this manner of 
receiving friends. There was a great deal of shouting and 
a spurt of paddling, until we got to the village. I landed, 
and having got the chiefs name I called for him, and in 
his presence emphatically protested against the men with 
arms lining the bank. Ona assisted, saying I was a great 
friend of the Domori chiefs, and was a man of peace, and 



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254 UFE AND WORK IN NEW GUINEA 

that our * fire canoe ' was a * peace canoe.' The women and 
children were all hidden away in houses in the bush close 
by, and on approaching near to them I was asked to go no 
farther, so I returned to the one large house where all the 
men were. It was probably fear that made them hide the 
women and children, but it might also have been a sacred 
time, as there was a large feast in progress, and drums were 
about, as if in use, and at such times women and children 
are not supposed to be near the men. March and April are 
the moons when the young men of the Fly River tribes are 
initiated into manhood. 

The leading man's name is Dunda. Another was 
also introduced to me named Sera, but his influence did 
not seem so great as that of the former. There must be a 
large population somewhere in the neighbourhood, con- 
sidering the number of young men that lined the banks of 
the creek. There were many plantations of bananas and 
yams, and these looked well with crotons of various kinds 
growing amongst them. 

I gave Dunda and Sera presents and promised them 
teachers, which I hope will yet be accomplished. The 
large house was crowded with men, old and young, during 
our service, and although they were all very quiet, yet few, 
I fear, understood what was said. 

Getting on board we weighed anchor and steamed still 
farther up the river, but could find no traces of villages. 
At Kamkamura, beyond Howling Point, we hoped we 
might see natives, but Aipi and Ona told us that some 
time ago the Jauna natives, assisted by other tribes down 
the river, attacked these at this part, and since then they 
had gone right away back into the bush. Ona went ashore, 
but could find no traces ; even the old footpaths were quite 
grown over. 

My time was up, so we decided to return down the river, 
having accomplished the object for which we qanie — tQ 



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THE MIRO ON THE FLY RIVER 255 

make friends, and so open the way for the introduction of 
the Gospel. 

On our way down we called at Baramura, and were well 
received by the chief and all the people. We were much 
struck with the very fine plantations of yams and bananais. 
Each plantation was well drained, and all the water drawn 
off into the creek. We held a service in the large house, 
and at the close told the chief and people that we hoped 
they would soon have a teacher and his wife living with 
them. On leaving, the women and children met us outside, 
and to each we gave a small present of red beads. All the 
men accompanied us to the vessel, and said on parting : 
* Return soon, and bring our teacher.' 



THE END. 



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