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.
For bleeding, and for lancing boils, etc., the native surgeons make use of shark's teeth set in wooden handles. I procured on Nukulailai two old, worn and stained specimens, measuring seven and a half and six inches, and weighing 3·55 and 3·54 grammes page 300respectively. A piece of wood, somewhat the size and shape of an ordinary penholder, is split at its extremity for an. inch, into which a small shark's tooth is inserted and bound in the cleft, by cotton in one case and by native fibre in another.
On Funafuti I failed to purchase original specimens, though such were in existence at the time of our visit. Models were, however, made for me, larger and rougher than the Nukulailai specimens. The serrate-toothed lancet, from the jaw of Galeocerdo rayneri (fig. 72) for bleeding, is called "nifikifa"; the straight-edge tooth lancet from Carcharias lamia (fig. 73), for puncturing, is known as "bunga."
In Tahiti, "they were clever at lancing an abscess with the thorn from a kind of bramble or a shark's tooth."†
Fig. 74 shows a roll of prepared bark of the vala-vala (Premna taitensis) used in cautery, as mentioned on p. 37.
In Hawaii the skin was scorched with fire-brands in times of mourning ‡
In Japan, " moxa, or the burning of a small cone of cottony fibres of the Artemisia, on the back and feet, was practised as early as the eleventh century, reference being made to it in a poem written at that time."§
* The Tasmanian Mail, 6th March, 1897, p. 34.
† Ellis—loc. cit., iii., p. 44.
‡ Ellis—loc. cit., iv., p. 181.
§ Griffis—The Mikado's Empire, 1887, p. 207.