The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.
The visit of a ship, though an agreeable break in the dull monotony of atoll life, is yet almost as much dreaded as welcomed. For such contact with the outside world almost invariably induces a severe cold from which the whole population suffers. Upon the arrival of our party in H.M.S. "Penguin," it was not observed that any of the visitors had a cold, yet in a few days all the islanders were coughing and sneezing from a severe attack of cold which they said the ship brought.
Mr. Whitmee, "once visited several islands of the Ellice Group about a fortnight after a trading vessel from Sydney, which had influenza on board. This vessel had taken some of the natives from one island to another as passengers, and at three of the islands the entire population was suffering from the epidemic. Had this been a more severe disease the people would have been utterly helpless."
* Whitmee—Art. Polynesia, Ency. Britt. (9), 1885, xix., p. 422, foot note.
Under the heading of Vegetation will be found what notes I could collect of plants used medicinally by the natives. And in the Ethnological Section will follow an account of the lancets used for blood letting. To the kindness of my friend, Surgeon F. W. Collingwood, R.N., of H.M.S. "Penguin," I am indebted for the following interesting notes.
* Whitmee—A Missionary Cruise in the South Pacific, 1871, p. 16. A finger joint was sacrificed in Tonga for the recovery of sick relations.—Mariner-—Tonga, ii., 1817, p. 222.