Myths and Songs from the South Pacific

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H.S. King & Company, 1876 - 328 páginas
 

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Página vi - ... those who still think and speak mythologically, who are, in fact, at the present moment what the Hindus were before the collection of their sacred hymns, and the Greeks long before the days of Homer ? To find ourselves among a people who really believe in gods and heroes and ancestral spirits, who still offer human sacrifices, who in some cases devour their human victims, or, at all events, burn the flesh of animals on their altars, trusting that the scent will be sweet to the nostrils of their...
Página 4 - Gill considers very ancient represents Vatea as possessed of two wonderful eyes, " rarely visible at the same time." " In general, whilst one, called by mortals the sun, is seen here in the upper world, the other eye, called by men the moon, shines in Aviki (the spirit...
Página 57 - Teaoa, since closed up. The kings Rangi and Mokoiro trembled for their land; for it seemed as if everything would be destroyed by the devouring flames. To save Mangaia from utter destruction, they exerted themselves to the utmost, and finally succeeded in putting out the fire. Rangi thenceforth adopted the new name of Matamea, or Watery-eyes, to commemorate his sufferings; and Mokoiro was ever after called Auai, or Smoke.
Página 52 - This food came from nether-world; it was evident that the secret of fire was there. To nether-world, the home of his parents, he would descend to gain this knowledge, so that ever after he might enjoy the luxury of cooked food. On the following day Buataranga was about to descend to Avaiki (nether-world), when...
Página viii - ... feet from each other, and a similar rope runs between them, three or four feet lower, being connected with the upper ropes by more slender ropes, also usually of birch twigs twisted together, but sometimes of grass, and occurring at an interval of about five feet from each other. The unpleasantness of a jhula is that the passenger has no proper hold of the upper ropes, which are -too thick and rough to be grasped by the hand ; and that, at the extremities, they are so far apart that it is difficult...
Página vi - ... light, if flints or other stone weapons are dredged up, or works of art disinterred, even if a hitherto unknown language is rendered accessible for the first time, no one, I think, who is acquainted with the scientific problems of our age, would ask what their importance consists in, or what they are good for. Whether they are products of nature or works of man, if only there is no doubt as to their genuineness, they claim and most readily receive the attention, not only of the learned, but also...
Página 21 - Evidently, then, apart from their mythological views, these people imagined that once the world was a " chaos of mud," out of which some mighty unseen Agent, whom they called Vari. evolved the present order of things.
Página x - There is fetichism, there is ancestor-worship, there is nature-worship, whether of trees or serpents, of mountains or rivers, of clouds and meteors, of sun and moon and stars, and the vault of heaven ; there is all this, and there is much more than all this, wherever we can watch the early growth of religious ideas : but, what we have to learn is, first of all, to distinguish, to study each religion, each mythology, each form of worship by...
Página 56 - Ere leaving the land of ghosts, Mani carefully picked up the two fire-sticks, once the property of Manike, and hastened to the bread-fruit tree, where the red pigeon, " Fearless," quietly awaited his return. His first care was to restore the tail of the bird, so as to avoid the anger of Tane. There was no time to be lost, for the flames were rapidly spreading. He re-entered the pigeon, which carried his fire-sticks one in each claw, and flew to the lower entrance of the chasm. Once more pronouncing...
Página 173 - Miru, the horrible hag who rules them, and whose deformities need not now be detailed. She commanded him to draw near. " The trembling human spirit obeyed, and sat down before Miru. According to her unvarying practice she set for her intended victim a bowl of food, and bade him eat it quite up. Miru, with evident anxiety, waited to see him swallow it. As Tekanae took up the bowl, to his horror he found it to consist of living centipedes. The quick-witted mortal now recollected the cocoa-nut kernel...

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