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'7*9- Inoo, to drink. Worridde, to be angry.
I_ "«-'■'Ete, to understand. Teparahi, to beat.
Diseases. Among people whose food is so simple, and who, in
genera], are seldom drunk, it is scarcely necessary to say, that there are but few diseases; we saw no critical disease during our stay upon the island, and but fewinstances of sickness, which were accidental fits of the cholic. The natives, however, are afflicted with the erysipelas, and cutaneous eruptions of the scaly kind, very nearly approaching to a leprosy. Those in whom this distemper was far advanced, lived in a state of seclusion from all society, each in a small house built upon some unfrequented spot, where they were supplied with provisions; but whether they had any hope of relief, or languished out the remainder of their lives in solitude and despair, we could not learn. We observed also a few who had ulcers upon different parts of their bodies, some of which had a very virulent appearance; yet they seemed not much to be regarded by those ■who were afflicted with them, for they were left intirely without application, even to keep off the flies.
Where intemperance produces no diseases, there will be no physicians by profession; yet where there is sufferance, there will always be attempts to relieve; and where the cause of the mischief and the remedy are alike unknown, these will naturally be directed by superstition: thus it happens, that in this country, and in all others which are not further injured by luxury, or improved by knowledge, the management of the sick falls to the lot of the priest. The method of cure that is practised by the priests of Otaheite, consists chiefly of prayers and ceremonies. When he visits his patient, he repeats certain sentences, which appear to be set forms contrived for the occasion, and at the fame time plaits the leaves of the cocoa-nut into different figures very neatly; some of these he fastens to the fingers and toes of the sick, and often leaves behind him a few branches of the thespecia populnea, which they call E' midbo; these ceremonies are repeated till the patient recovers or dies. If he recovers, they fay the remedies
cured him; if he dies, they fay the disease was incurable; in which, perhaps, they do not much differ from the custom of other countries.
If we had judged of their skill in surgery from the dreadful scars which we sometimes saw, we should have supposed it to be much superior to the art not only of their physicians, but of ours. We saw one man whose face was almost intirely destroyed: his nose, including the bone, was perfectly flat, and one cheek and one eye were so beaten in, that the hollow would almost receive a man's fist, yet no ulcer remained: and our companion, Tupia, had been pierced quite through his body by a spear, headed with the bone of a sting-ray, the weapon having entered his back, and come out just under his breast; but, except in reducing dislocations and fractures, the best surgeon can contribute very little to the cure of a wound; the blood itself is the best vulnerary balsam, and when the juices of the body are pure, and the patient is temperate, nothing more is necessary, as an aid to Nature, in the cure of the worst wound, than the keeping it clean.
Their commerce with the inhabitants of Europe has, however, already en-tailed upon them that dreadful curse which avenged the inhumanities committed by the Spaniards in America, the venereal disease. As it is certain that no European vessel, besides our own, except the Dolphin, and the two that were under the command of Moris. Bougainville, ever visited this island, it must either have been brought by one of them, or by us. That it was brought by the Dolphin, Captain Wallis has demonstrated, in the account of her voyage, in the first volume, and nothing is more certain, than that when we arrived it had made most dreadful ravages in the island. One of our people contracted it within five days after we went on shore, and by the enquiries among the natives, which this occasioned, we learned, when we came to understand a little of their language, that it had been brought by the vessels which had been there about fifteen months before us, and had lain ort the east side of the island. They distinguished it by a name of the same import with rottenness, but of a more
extensive extensive signification, and described, in thg most pv thetic terms, the sufferings of the first victims to its rage, and told us, that it caused the hair and the nails to fall off, and the flesh to rot from the bones; that it spread a universal terror and consternation among them, so that the sick were abandoned by their nearest relations, lest the calamity should spread by contagion, and left to perish alone in such misery as till then had never been known among them. We had some reason, however, to hope that they had found out a specific to cure it. During our stay upon the island we saw none in whom it had made a great progress; and one who went from us infected, returned after a short time in perfect health; and by this it appeared, either that the disease had cured itself, or that they were not unacquainted with the virtues of simples, nor implicit dupes to the. superstitious follies of their priests. We endeavoured to learn the medical qualities which they imputed to their plants, but our knowledge of their language was tco imperfect for us to succeed. If we could have learned their specific for the venereal disease, if such they have, it would have been of great advantage to us, for when we left the island it had been contracted by more than half the people en board the ship.
It is impossible but that, in relating incidents, many particulars with respect to the customs, opinions, and works of these people should be anticipated; to avoid repetition, therefore, I shall only supply deficiencies, f.-pofiiof Ot* the manner of disposing of their dead, much has <Vaj. been said already. I must more explicitly observe, that
there are two places in which the dead are deposited; one a kind of shed, where the flesli is suffered to putrisy, the other an enclosure, with erections of stone, where the bones are afterwards buried. The sheds are called Tltapow, and the enclosures Morai. The Morais are also places ot worship.
As soon as a native of Otaheite is known to be dead, the house is filled with relations, who deplore their loss, some by loud lamentations, and some by less clamorous, but more genuine expressions of grief. Those who are in the nearest degree of kindred, and are really affected Vy the event, are silent; the rest are one moment
uiteringtittering passionate exclamations in a chorus, and the 'T**next laughing and talking, without the least appearance' of concern. In this manner the remainder of the day on which they assemble is spent, and all the succeeding right. On the next morning the body is shrouded in their cloth, and conveyed to the sea side upon a bier, which the bearers support upon their shoulders, attended by the priest, who having prayed over the body, repeats his sentences during the procession; when it arrives at the water's edge, it is set down upon the beach; the priest renews his prayers, and taking up some of the water in his hands, sprinkles it towards the body, but not upon it; it is then carried back forty or fifty yards, and soon after brought again to the beach, where the prayers and sprinkling are repeated. It is thus removed backwards and forwards several times; and while these ceremonies have been performing a house has been built, and a small space of ground railed in. In the centre of this house, or Tupapow, posts are set up to support the bier, which is at length conveyed thither, and placed upon it, and here the body remains to putrify till the flesh is wholly wasted from the bones.
These houses of corruption are of a si?e proportioned to the rank of the person whose body they are to contain; those allotted to the lower class are just sufficient to cover the bier, and have no railing round them. The largest we ever saw was eleven yards long, and such as these are ornamented according to the abilities and inclination of the surviving kindred, who never fail to lay a profusion of good cloth about the body, and sometimes almost cover the outside of the house. Garlands of the fruit of the palm-nut, or pandanus, and cocoa leaves, twisted by the priests in mysterious knots, with a plant called by them Etbee no Marat, which is particularly consecrated to funeral solemnities, are deposited about the place; provision and water are aTso left at a little distance, of which, and of other decorations, a more particular description has been given already.
As soon as the body is deposited in the Tupapow, the mourning is renewed. The women assemble, and are led to the door by the nearest relation, who strikes
a shark's tooth several times into the crown of her head: the blood copiously follows, and is carefully received upon pieces of linen, which are thrown under the bier. The rest of the women follow this example, and the ceremony is repeated at the interval of two or three days, as long as the zeal and sorrow of the parties hold out. The tears also which are shed upon these occasions, are received upon pieces of cloth, and offered as oblations to the dead: some of the young people cut off their hair, and that is thrown under the bier with other offerings. This custom is founded upon a notion that the foul of the deceased, which they believe to exist in a separate state, is hovering about the place where the body is deposited: that it observes the actions of the survivors, and is gratified by such testimonies of their affection and grief.
Two or three days after these ceremonies have been commenced by the women, during which the men seem to be wholly insensible of their loss, they also begin to perform their part. The nearest relations take it in turn to assume the dress, and perform the office which have already been particularly described in the account of Tubourai Tamaide's having acted as chief mourner to an old woman, his relation, who died while we were in the island. One part of the ceremony, however, which accounts for the running away of the people as soon as this procession is in sight, has not been mentioned. The chief mourner carries in his hand a long flat slick, the edge of which is set with shark's teeth, and in a phrenzy, which his grief is supposed to have inspired, he runs at all he fees, and if any of them happen to be overtaken, he strikes them most unmercifully with this indented cudgel, which cannot fail ta wound them in a dangerous manner.
These processions continue at certain intervals for five moons, but are less and less frequent, by a gradual diminution, as the end of that time approaches. When it is expired, what remains of the body is taken down from the bier, and the bones having been scraped and washed very clean, are buried, according to the rank of the person, either within or without a Morai: if the deceased was an Earee, or Chief, his skull is not buried with the rest of the bones, but is wrapped up in fine cloth, and put up in a kind of box made for