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.
These necessary and valued utensils are possessed by every household and are made in diverse sizes and shapes. The absence page 298of ornament, so marked a feature in all the appurtenances of the Ellice Islanders, is again obvious in surveying the bowls. The fanciful carving which other Pacific people delight to lavish upon these receptacles, is here totally wanting.
A wooden dish of an uncommon pattern is the "babanak," shown by fig. 65, the name of which suggests to me a Micronesian derivation. This article is rudely circular, with outwardly sloping wall, ending in a lip. It weighs one pound thirteen ounces, stands four and a half inches high, is twelve and a half inches in diameter above and seven inches across the base. The rim is half an inch thick, three-quarters wide, and projects half an inch from the wall.
The common food bowl of which fig. 66 is an instance, is here known as "kumiti," a name which seems to be associated with this article from Samoa to the Solomons. The specimen of this before me is an elliptical trough, tapering to lugs at either end, standing on a flat base of half the total length; it weighs two pounds nine ounces, stands three and a quarter inches high, is nineteen and a half inches long, and nine and a quarter wide. Another form of kumiti, larger and without lugs, is shown on p. 28, employed as a tank.
A wooden mortar, in which taro or coconut is pounded for cooking, is called "kumiti tuki." Except that it is elliptical rather than circular, the shape is that of the European equivalent. This form is here exemplified by a specimen (fig. 67) apparently of Calophyllum timber, weighing six pounds, eight inches high, excavated to a depth of six inches, at the aperture twelve inches by ten, and at the base eight by seven.