Project Canterbury

Mankind and the Church
Being an Attempt to Estimate the Contribution of Great Races
To the Fulness of the Church of God

Edited by H. H. Montgomery

London, New York, Bombay and Calcutta: Longmans, Green and Co., 1907.

I. The Papuans, a People of the South Pacific
The Right Rev. M. J. Stone-Wigg, D.D., Bishop of New Guinea

Chapter I. The Village Community in Papua

[The people of British New Guinea or Papua, as known to the Church's mission on the north-east coast, are taken as a typical race of South Pacific Islanders. Though the term "Papuans" is used, these people are strictly Melanesians, being akin in language and customs to those who occupy the islands of Melanesia, or Western Polynesia, viz. the Solomons, Santa Cruz, Banks' Group, the New Hebrides, the Loyalty Islands, and the Fijis. This similarity admits of considerable local variations, yet the type is clear and distinct.]

"You know what accepting Christ means to a heathen tribe--you know it means a new, clean life, family purity, education, liberty, the lifting of all life into self-respect, and the quickening of the vision and the hope of souls which used to be in darkness and the shadow of death" (Phillips Brooks, "Light of the World," p. 336).

The Pacific--Native Evangelists--Missions in Papua--The Papuan race: (1) Internal life of village community--Occupations--Respect for elders--Exclusiveness--Suspicion--Conceit--Totemism; (2) Relation to outside world--Trading--Warfare-Courage--Cannibalism.

The Cross of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was first raised in the Pacific by the London Missionary Society to its undying glory, Tahiti, one of the Society Islands, being the starting-point in 1797. The Church Missionary Society followed in 1814, Samuel Marsden landing in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to win the [3/4] Maori race to Christ. Thence the Divine message has spread throughout the vast Pacific Ocean so that the ocean's name may now be applied to the myriad islands which it bears on its broad bosom, once the scenes of savagery and bloodshed, now become "pacific" by the power of the "Pax Christi."

The London Missionary Society has evangelized the Society Islands, the Friendly Group (now under Wesleyan influence), Samoa, the Cook's, the New Hebrides (now divided between the Melanesian Mission and the Presbyterians), the Loyalties, the Ellice and Gilbert Groups, and New Guinea. Fiji owes the knowledge of the Gospel mainly to the Wesleyans. The Melanesian Mission has carried the tidings of salvation to the Banks and Torres Islands, to Santa Cruz and the Solomons. The Roman Catholic Church is actively at work throughout the Pacific, but the work of evangelization was begun in nearly every instance by others. The work is by no means done. Throughout large portions of the Solomons and New Guinea it is but just beginning. Yet the armies of the Cross are pressing forward and the present century will certainly see every soul in the South Pacific brought within hearing of the Gospel of Salvation.

The remarkable feature about this great task of evangelizing the "Islands of the Sea" has been the work of native Evangelists. True, Great Britain has given of her best, the names of Samuel Marsden, John Williams, the Selwyns and Bishop Patteson, James Chalmers and Dr. Paton are as well and deservedly known as any in missionary enterprise and there are many others who have done noble things, not so well known, yet no less worthy. Still the statement is true that thousands of lives have been won to Christ by the self-sacrifice and devotion of Pacific Island Evangelists. The New Guinea Mission of the London Missionary Society is but one out [4/5] of their many ventures of faith and the memorial window in the college established by Dr. Lawes at Vatorata commemorates eighty-one of these noble heroes of the Cross. Here is the testimony of one who knew them in more than one part of the Pacific: "They leave their own pleasant islands at the call of the white missionary, and, far from home and kin, they lead a life of privation and monotonous isolation which must require much self-denial. It can in many cases be tolerable only where is devotion to duty or deep religious enthusiasm. Many of them die on service, their humble tribute to the work of humanity and civilization, unknown to and unheeded by the outside world." [Sir William MacGregor, Government Report, British New Guinea, 1891-2, p. 20.]

The deep devotion of these men is exemplified in the prayer of the Rarotongan teacher who evangelized Samoa: "If we fly to heaven, we shall find Thee there; if we dwell upon the land, Thou art there; if we sail upon the sea, Thou art there; and this affords us comfort; so that we sail upon the ocean without fear, because Thou, O God, art in our ship. The King of our bodies has His subjects to whom He issues His orders; but if He Himself goes with them His presence stimulates their zeal; they begin it with energy, they do it soon, they do it well. O Lord, Thou art the King of our spirits, Thou hast issued orders to Thy subjects to do a great work; Thou hast commanded them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; we, O Lord, are going upon that errand, and let Thy presence go with us to quicken us; and enable us to persevere in the great work until we die. Thou hast said Thy presence shall go with Thy people even unto the end of the world. Fulfil, O Lord, to us this cheering promise. I see, O Lord, a compass in this vessel by which the shipmen steer the right [5/6] way do Thou be our compass to direct us on the right course, that we may escape obstructions and dangers in our work. Be to us, O Lord, the compass of salvation." [Rev. J. King, "Ten Decades," p. 178.]

The zeal of these new-won converts has burned brightly. When John "Williams met his death at Erromanga in the New Hebrides in 1839, two Samoans offered at once for the post of danger. When some Rarotongans were blown and drifted 1500 miles in a native canoe to the Ellice group their first thought was the opportunity for the Gospel. When the call to evangelize New Guinea was sounded forth Loyalty Islanders pressed forward and met those who warned or discouraged them with the simple answer, "Wherever there are men, missionaries must go!" When in 1881 four teachers, with their wives and children were massacred in Now Guinea, twice the number from Tahiti and Rarotonga took their places. "We are going," said one of them, "to a dark land with the light of God's Word. He can make it shine into the hearts of the people of New Guinea as He has made it shine in us. Our work is difficult. God can take care of us; we are not afraid!" ["Ten Decades," p. 174.]

The deepest zeal is expressed in the simplest language. For these dark-skinned teachers are from the child-races of the world, who "bring their glory" into the Holy City, a simplicity of faith and a zeal that no danger can daunt--their offering to the Church's Head. These tender races are doomed to die, we are told, before the relentless advance of European civilization. If it be so, they have their tribute to bring and the Holy City will resound with the joyous cries of the child-races redeemed from the earth. They have a place there and teach the more virile nations that the weak and the sick and the dying should be the chief objects of their care, that they [6/7] may learn from them patience and compassion and loving - kindness--no inconsiderable features in the Christian character.

The evangelization of New Guinea was commenced by the London Missionary Society in 1872; the Roman Catholic Order of the Sacred Heart followed in 1886; the Church of England and Wesleyan Missions were established in 1891. The non-Roman missions work each in an agreed-upon sphere, the London Missionary Society on the south coast, the Church of England on the north-east, and the Wesleyans in the Louisiade and D'Entrecasteaux groups to the east of the mainland. The Roman Catholic Mission has its centre at Yule Island in Hall Sound, and works up the St. Joseph's River. The latest reports give the following facts as to the progress of the various missions in British New Guinea:--°

L.M.S.--14 European missionaries, 148 native pastors and evangelists, 1166 members, 2112 adherents, 54 schools, 1051 scholars. These school returns seem to be incomplete.

Sacred Heart Mission.--55 European priests, brothers, and sisters, and a few Filipino catechists.

Wesleyan Mission.--12 European missionaries, 117 native ministers, catechists, teachers, and local preachers; 1193 members, full and on trial; 53 schools, 3283 scholars. The islands dealt with by this mission are very thickly populated.

Church of England Mission.--26 European missionaries, 35 South Sea Island and 16 Papuan teachers, 737 baptized, 440 communicants, 21 schools, 1336 scholars, and 4273 attending the mission services.

The race which these various missions are seeking to bring to the knowledge of God can only be understood if it be realized that the unit is the village. The tribes must be considered as communities, in which the [7/8] individual only ventures to reflect the common view of things, to act as the others act. Individualism is the denial of patriotism; to speak or act differently to the rest is to go contrary to every lesson impressed upon human nature from earliest childhood; to do so was well-nigh impossible in the days before the flood of European influence. It is not easy to get a clear and exact view of the old life. These village communities had their own internal life. There were no chiefs. Danger from outside brought men of courage and resource to the front, but when it had passed away they resumed their ordinary place in the community. There was much to occupy the time. The gardens had to be prepared and planted and watered, each piece of land having a regular cycle of cultivation and lying fallow, often three years of the former, eight of the latter. Fences had to be built, wallaby to be hunted, and fish to be caught. Digging - sticks were prepared, spears carved with barbed edges and pointed. The palisade, which surrounded so many villages, was kept in repair, houses rebuilt and renewed, canoes hollowed out, and shields and clubs made ready. Stone axes and adzes needed sharpening, the men's loin cloths and women's grass skirts were prepared and domestic duties performed. Then there were community tasks in which all the men lent a hand--the river was dammed up, the trenches kept clear through which the water passed into the gardens, the native aqueduct repaired by which it was conveyed across a gully. Dancing too took up many evenings, and long discussions as to lines of home and foreign policy--ornaments and tools took many days to fashion, and there was for the young systematic instruction in their various duties to the community. Add to all these the time devoted to wailing for the dead, to death feasts, to gatherings for the friendly exchange [8/9] of food, and the delay caused by sending for the sorcerer or the native doctor who had to be summoned from the mountains. Trading and fighting expeditions would occupy at times many days so that time could not have hung heavily on men's hands.

There was much that was good in this confined life. Respect for the older people was a marked feature. This was of service in keeping order in the village, in restraining acts of violence, in protecting property, and in ensuring the due performance of common duties. Young men were especially afraid of the abuse of their elders whose power lay in the possession of secrets concerning native customs and in the knowledge of incantations the performance of which was essential to the public welfare. These secrets were unknown to men of middle age and were only handed down to son or successor when old age had laid its hand upon their owner and death was near at hand. Even to this day when information is sought on such points the men of the village will answer, "The old people know about that--we are but children." The power and influence so possessed were often used well. Garden and other duties were taught thoroughly to the young people, habits of industry were impressed upon them, obedience was demanded and in times of emergency and danger united action was secured.

This subordination of the young to the old was perfectly compatible with a certain amount of freedom, to call it by no stronger term, conceded to the boys. These lived a life in the village in which their hand was against every man. Their fathers or elder brothers would give them a share in the food but keep from them anything that was tasty. They would accordingly supply their own needs by stealing from the gardens or houses, going into the hush to cook the food so [9/10] obtained. In this way the qualities of cunning and deceit were developed and the boys became expert thieves. They were probably careful to confine their thefts to things owned by their own family, regarding it as lawful self-protection.

This confined village life, in addition to training its members in obedience and respect to age, a submission largely born of ignorance, developed other qualities, which have stamped themselves upon the character. A strong tendency to exclusiveness is the most marked. Nothing was borrowed from outside, except, perhaps, new dances. Methods of cultivation, house-building and canoe-making would never be changed. "What was good enough for our fathers is good enough for us;" and to this day villagers will persist in growing the same food in the same way as formerly. This involves a yearly famine season of two or three months owing to a refusal to introduce other vegetable foods the cultivation of which would save the necessity of this severe discipline. Such a life too bred suspicion and secre-tiveness. It is very hard to get the entire confidence of a Papuan. A question asked will not provoke a speedy answer. A whole array of suspicious thoughts is introduced into the native mind--"What does he really want?" "How will it affect me?" Also if cupidity is aroused, "What answer will please him and make him generous towards me?" There was a remarkable instance of this suspicion in a native who met for the first time one of the mission staff in a visit paid to the mountains. To insure good will a small present was given to the hill-man; but not long afterwards he was seen following up the mission party to return the gift for fear that it created some obligation, by which the benefactor, and not himself, would be the gainer.

The narrow, confined life of the village also fostered [10/11] conceit. The untravelled native is convinced that nothing that he does can be improved upon. He will boast of deeds of prowess that were never before equalled. He will be shown better weapons, better canoes, better ornaments made by other tribes, but he will not acknowledge that he has anything to learn. Even the advent of the missionary and the trader has in a measure increased this self-satisfaction. "Why do they come here if it is not because our land is rich and theirs is poor? They want our food, they need our help in their plantations or on their boats." They also see many deficiencies in the foreigner. "He does not grow his own food, he gets it sent to him in boxes. He docs not speak our language or understand our customs."

In dealing with the internal life of these village communities reference must be made to that social system known as Totemism by which the villagers are organized into clans or septs. Fellow-membership in a clan constitutes practically a blood relationship. The clans have their Totem sign or signs, a bird, an animal, a fish, an insect, even things inanimate--a tree, a stone, a mountain--sometimes two or three of these. The sign is thought to contain the spirit of the common ancestor. The clans are named after places and the native explains that his bird came from such and such a direction, such ideas enshrining the traditions of tribal migration. The system is matriarchal--a boy belongs to his mother's clan and the ownership of him lies not with his father but with his mother's eldest brother. Socially Totemism is strong. Intermarriage with one whose totem sign is the same would be regarded as abhorrent though the parties might belong to villages separated by long distances. A sure way of promoting a breach of the peace would be to slay a man's totem and to carry it, whether it be wallaby or pigeon or fish, ostentatiously past his house. [11/12] If a man were to partake of his own totem he would break out into sores and eruptions, so it was feared, and die a miserable death. The belief in this system led men at times to grasp at the truth of a particular Providence. Warriors, before a raiding expedition, would beseech their totem sign to grant them success over their foes. Men, before hunting, would act similarly. Even now the belief will be utilized by the native against his white employer to frustrate the latter's skill with the gun and ensure the escape of some pigeon or quail or wild-duck.

It is not too much to say that the whole social life of the native is regulated by this system. His father's relations are far removed from him. With them he may intermarry, for they do not belong to his clan. His own father is so lightly connected with him that his promise does not bind the son. On the other hand relationships on the mother's side are so vital that first cousins are not only called brothers and sisters but, in the case of the children of the mother's] elder brother or sister, they are termed "fathers and mothers," often qualified by the epithet "little," and a lad may speak of his "little father" or his "little mother" though these individuals may be in point of age younger than himself.

All social duties are performed for a man by the members of his clan. They teach him his obligations when alive and are responsible for his performance of them. They will be his grave-diggers when he dies. His grave will be dug longitudinally in the direction of his clan's original village, the spot whence his ancestors migrated, and he is buried with his feet towards it. He thus--and the custom of doubling up the body and putting it in a sitting position gives force to it--faces the home of the ancestors, and no doubt the belief follows that his spirit seeks the same spot in its escape from the body. In one district this system is so strong that the [12/13] first question asked of visitors and strangers when they arrive is, "What is the name of your bird? What is the name of your fish?" If the visitor names one, which is the emblem of his questioner he is welcomed and hospitably entertained as long as he chooses to stay in that district.

What a strong corrective to the attitude of exclusive-ness and suspicion this system supplied can be at once realized and even within the village it had most excellent effects. It prevented marriages within degrees that are sanctioned by more advanced races often to their detriment; it united men in brotherhoods which, while exacting strict and onerous duties, afforded help and protection to their youngest and weakest members. The clan relationship involved common ownership in gardens, tools, and ornaments. Even wives in the old days were exchanged for brief periods and such evidence as exists for group marriage seems to place it on this basis.

This may suffice for a summary of the internal life of the village community as it existed amongst the Papuans. It was very largely complete in itself. It had its carver, its rain-maker, its doctor--and no one would think of interfering with such offices, which descended on family lines. It had no recognized head, age and experience placing men in the front. It was essentially a community life and on the lines of clan relationships, a communistic life. Every one had his share in common duties, and a voice in the shaping of common policy. Its exclusiveness tended to produce secretiveness, suspicion, and conceit. Its public opinion was too formidable a force to flout or brave. Thus it tended to destroy individuality, to produce an inordinate fear of being peculiar, to make men terribly afraid of ridicule. Yet this public opinion, represented by the old men who alone knew thoroughly the old customs and consequently heightened and [13/14] strengthened by the sanction of religion or superstition, as it may be variously called, ensured strict discipline in what might so easily become a lawless community. It bound men so closely to their village homes that to this day "my land or country" means to a Papuan, not New Guinea, but the limited area of his coastal or mountain village. One of the things that a missionary never ceases to think strange is the native way of describing the mission station with its half-dozen dwelling-houses, a church, and a school, as "your village."

But the village community with all its exclusive isolation had distinct relations to the outside world. It was at any moment liable to attack. It also needed to supply by trading its own deficiencies. Much that will now be written may seem to contradict the impressions left by the preceding pages. This is inevitable in writing upon a race so inconsistent and illogical, so full of contradictions and anomalies, as the Papuan. Every statement as to racial practices and characteristics has to be qualified by another statement that seems to negative it. It is a child-race and a child can be at different moments submissive yet passionately unrestrained, alternately selfish and lavishly affectionate, restless and still. ["East and West," vol. i. p. 68.] This explanation must be borne in mind throughout.

The Papuan is a born trader. The need of barter and exchange was the one thing which in the old days brought him willingly outside his village boundaries. His needs were few and simple yet needs there were. One village required baked clay cooking-pots and only certain districts could supply these. Other villages had an abundance of native sago which might be exchanged for them. The native razor, obsidian, is only to be found in some parts, the green jade stone for axes and adzes in others. Some have the bamboo of which native knives [14/15] and combs are made; others have the grasses in special demand for women's dresses which can be made gorgeous and many hued if the material for such colours can also be obtained. Spears, garden tools, betel-nut, armlets, waisfc-belts, cassowary plumes, native cloth, bones for lime sticks--all can be obtained in a specially desired form from certain localities which to this extent become famous. Consequently even in the most exclusive days, trading expeditions would be organized along the coast. Near villages would often be bitterly hostile to each other and tribes of peculiar strength and audacity would sweep the coast-line for forty and fifty miles, yet on the other hand this or that tribe would maintain friendly relations with another separated from it by a wide stretch of coast. In some cases no doubt such visits were a return to the tribe's original home, for attacks from without, or scarcity of food, would at times compel a community to divide itself and half the population would travel up or down the coast and seek a new home, where life would be more secure and food more plentiful. The ties would never be severed. In fact, sometimes those that had remained in the old district would migrate to the new. More often the connection would be kept up by trading and intermarriage and the missionary will find dialects spoken at villages twenty miles apart--quite different ones being used by the villages in between--these other dialects, in their turn, reappearing as his travels extend further.

Communities therefore which were forced to supply certain needs from outside would undertake trading expeditions to their own kinsmen at a distance or with friendly tribes bound to them by the tie of self-interest. These expeditions were fraught with considerable danger and many a time the cooking-pots, obsidian, food, or ornaments were purchased at the terrible cost of wives made widows and children fatherless.

[16] The village community was brought into relations with the outside world not only willingly in its desire to supply its needs by trading but often involuntarily when attacked by outside foes. It must be realized that this warfare was a very desultory thing. There was no proclamation of hostilities or armies drawn up in battle array. As a rule coast and hill men were at deadly enmity and attacks on each other were frequent. The expedition was made at night, and just before dawn the blow was struck. Torches were thrown into the loaf-houses or on to the grass roofs the people scared out of their sleep rushing out and being clubbed or speared by their foes. Those who escaped made for the tree-houses for safety. The village was soon deserted and the bodies of the slain thrown on to the smoking beams and rafters of the burnt houses were cooked and eaten. These were feuds that were never pacified. Neither party would venture into the other's territory except from evil intent. The attacks were generally proposed by some villager "whose stomach throbbed to kill some one" because he desired the admiration of the women and girls for his prowess or was eager to obtain the right to wear the feathers or other ornaments which distinguished the man who had slain his foe in battle.

But apart from these undying enmities there were the occasional quarrels of villages near to one another on the coast which at other times were friendly and would exchange commodities. Very trifling causes availed with an excitable, passionate people, reckless of the value of human life, to precipitate strife. Insults to or assaults on women were a frequent cause; friendly feasts led to bloodshed, because the one party accused the other of meanness in the amount or quality of the food supplied. Thefts from gardens, an intermarriage between the villages leading to the woman being teased in her [16/17] new home and calling on her relatives to take her part, quarrels over the exchange of goods, false reports as to the supposed evil intentions of one or other party--anything or nothing was sufficient to incite a suspicious and excitable people to hostilities. A third class of conflicts consisted in the raids by tribes against people along the coast weaker than themselves or offering special inducements for attack. The following account of a battle between the Maisins of Collingwood Bay and the Are of Cape Vogel was written down as described a few years after the event by a Maisin who had taken part in it. It gives a very vivid account of this kind of native warfare:--

"The Maisins came along with a great number of canoes with poling sticks and paddles when some man or other caught sight of them. He called out: 'The enemy! The enemy!' and the Are blew the conch shells and came down to the beach. They tied the bundles of spears. They came down from their houses. The Maisins came along in great numbers. They landed, threw their spears, and the spears fell and fell. One Maisin was speared and they shouted, 'Akakaiya! Akakaiya!' They speared him and he fell. They laid hold of him. The rest ran. They chased them then came back and carried the dead man. They put him down where the women were and the weeping was sobbed out. They roasted and ate him and they danced and danced till morning--the dance of victory. The Maisins said: 'Let us go up again and take our revenge.' They went up in great numbers again and the Are people said: 'Why are you staying about your houses? The Maisins have landed.' All the Are people went down. They came closer to the Maisins. They went down into the sea. The Maisins came up again into the bush. The Are speared another Maisin. They carried [17/18] him off, and the Maisins sat down, and the Are people threw their spears. The Maisins caught their spears and turned them on one side. The Maisins said: 'You are looking in the wrong direction and are missing the men.' Then the Are men sat down. One of them was speared. The Maisins called out, 'Akakaiya,' and they killed him. The Are said: 'The Maisins are hitting us. You should run.' They ran on and on at the Maisins and chased them. Then the Maisins made a stand and chased the Are. They chased them and chased them and chased them and they did not stop till they got to Tariapuna. Then one of the Are people said: 'Make a stand! Why should they chase us like this? They are coming along. Wait for them. While we keep running, we keep dying.' They stood and sang their song. The Maisins carried off their dead and fled. 'The Are will spear us.' The Maisins ran and ran and ran to Nadeguba. One man was chased down into the sea. They followed him and speared him. They drew him to land. They chased and chased the Maisins, who said to each other: 'Look how they are chasing us, and how they are hitting and spearing us. The hawk's leg is firm fixed.' The Are carried the dead man. The Are stood and did not run at all. They threw their spears. The Maisins were then the bold ones, and chased the Are back again. The Are made another stand and the Maisins speared an Are man. They cut his head off with a broad-bladed spear, and took away the head. The Maisins ran and ran and ran till they got to their canoes. They danced and sang the songs of victory on their canoes. They commenced their journey. Some of their clubs were buried, some were thrown into the sea; a few were left. The songs of the wives were changed into sobs of grief for they were made widows."

From this account of a native battle it will be possible [18/19] to appreciate the Papuan as a warrior. Pie does not display the European form of courage and rush into a forlorn hope, selling his life as dearly as possible. But this is a Western idea and the Papuan is essentially Eastern in thought and characteristics. He prefers to gain his end secretly. He does not fight in the open. But many instances of undoubted courage can be given. A woman was speared in the back by mountain-men as she was working in her garden and the foe planted his foot upon her and shook his spear in defiance. One of her tribe ran up and drove the man back. He thus released the woman and sent her to the village to be treated. He then pursued his foe, captured his shield and spear, and would have caught him but other mountain-men appeared and he was forced to retreat. It should be realized that to pursue a foe through thick grass or scrub, in which numerous enemies may be lying in wait, needs no little courage. In another instance some hill-men came down to the coast and established themselves in a deserted house. There they were surrounded by the coast-men in the dark and as each came to the door of the house at daybreak he was speared. At last one alone remained. He defended himself for long. He caught the spears in his shield, and when some entered his legs or arms, he would go inside, pull them out and pile them up on the floor, saying, "If I die quickly I shall be forgotten, but if I fight long my people will remember my name, and I shall not be forgotten." Those who accuse the Papuan of want of courage may perhaps feel less confident of their opinion when they read this incident which comes from Dr. Lawes. Two young children were playing on the reef and both climbed together a pole when a big crocodile took them in its huge jaws and dived into deep water. Canoes were soon in full chase, and when the crocodile came up the men struck [19/20] it over the head with poles. It dropped one child, and a native immediately dived and brought him up--dead, of course. Then the monster came up again close to a canoe from which a man caught the remaining child by the arm. The crocodile would not let go neither would the man, so he jumped overboard and went down with child and crocodile. He presently appeared safe and sound with the child in his arms. He was in no way related to the child.

Fighting was in most cases followed by cannibal feasts. To many this marks the lowest depth of degradation. But it should be realized that the leaders in warfare were the leaders in what followed. No practice is so quickly relinquished on the advent of the European. A native, who has taken his share in such a feast, never cares to speak about it and many such have developed into sincerely religious men and even become mission teachers. The practice may be traced to different motives Undoubtedly the food was considered rich and dainty. "Very good, far better than pork," is a reason given. "We men live well, therefore our flesh is good," was said to a missionary in Collingwood Bay. But the practice of consuming the bodies of slain foes was not universal in that district. It was largely an act of retaliation. If in a previous encounter they had been able to recover the bodies of their slain they likewise left the enemy's dead unmolested. Not to find a friend's dead body was regarded as a proof that it had been consumed and retaliation was the law by which they were guided. In another district cannibalism was practised to show particular insult to particular people; in another still to gain the virtues of the dead man. Probably the most common motive lay in a desire to triumph over the vanquished foe accompanied by an enjoyment of the particular diet. For the native lives [20/21] mainly on vegetable food and meat only occasionally falls to his lot. This is an unsavoury subject but it could hardly be passed over without reference. It is one of which less and less will be heard as mission work extends for as has been well said, "Cannibalism very soon sneaks out at the back door when Christianity has entered at the front." [Dr. McFarlane, "Among the Cannibals," p. 109.] In mitigation of harsh judgments on the Papuan it should be known that within the memory of some still living, an Italian living in the Solomon Islands became a confirmed cannibal. [H. H. Romilly, "From my Verandah in New Guinea," p. 70.]

A village community in spite of its exclusiveness was thus brought into relations with the outside world owing to a double necessity: it had to supply its needs by trading and to protect itself against attack. The race type was affected by both these facts. One of these necessities has ceased with the spread of British rule and missionary influence. Fighting over the greater part of British New Guinea has given place to peace and security of life and property. It will be easy to appreciate the gain. Yet there are distinct losses. The people were bound together in close ties by common danger and common interest. There was a great deal of work to be done in keeping up a supply of weapons of war. Spears must be kept sharpened, slings made, and sling-stones ground down, the palisading kept in order, and there were many other incidental ways of necessary employment. But most of all it had its great moral effect in that every man had to be ready to fight and protect the community. There can be no doubt that, in spite of the evil connected with a rude state of society such as existed in New Guinea, the fighting, the retaliatory expeditions, produced certain qualities of a high moral value.

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