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Polynesian Researches


page 163


Burying-place of the ancient Hawaiian kings—Account of the puhonua, or city of refuge, at Honaunau—Population of this part of the coast—Advantages of Honaunau for a Missionary station—Lodging at Keokea—Ancient cataract of lava, and irregular vaulted avenue—Journey along the shore—Mourning ceremonies and customs at the death of the chiefs.

Ever since Saturday last, I had suffered violent pain, probably induced by the bad water we had been obliged to drink since leaving Kairua; and shortly after passing over the battle ground, I found myself too ill to walk any further, I reclined about an hour on the rocks of lava, under the shade of a small shrub, and then travelled on slowly to Honaunau, which I reached about noon. The town contains 147 houses; yet we could procure no better accommodation than what an open house for building canoes afforded. Here my companions spread a mat on the ground, and I laid down, grateful for the comfort the shed afforded, as it screened me from the rays of an almost vertical sun.

Towards the evening Mr. Thurston preached to the people of the place, who gave good attention.

After breakfast, Messrs. Thurston and Goodrich examined the inland part of the district, and page 164 found, after proceeding about two miles from the sea, that the ground was generally cultivated. They passed through considerable groves of breadfruit trees, saw many cocoa-nuts, and numbers of the prickly pear, (cactus ficus indicus,) growing very large, and loaded with fruit. They also found many people residing at the distance of from two to four miles from the beach, in the midst of their plantations, who seemed to enjoy an abundance of provisions, seldom possessed by those on the sea shore. They returned about noon.

The night of the 22d was a restless one with us all, on account of the swarms of vermin that infested our lodging. We should have been glad to have changed our quarters, but I was not yet well enough to proceed.

Another day's detention afforded us time for the more minute examination of whatever was interesting in the neighbourhood, and the more ample development of the object of our visit to the people of the village; and those were the occupations of the day.

Honaunau, we found, was formerly a place of considerable importance, having been the frequent residence of the kings of Hawaii for several successive generations. The monuments and relics of the ancient idolatry, with which this place abounds, were, from some cause unknown to us, spared amidst the general destruction of the idols, &c. that followed the abolition of the ai tabu, in the summer of 1819.

The principal object that attracted our attention, was the Hare o Keave, (the House of Keave,) a sacred depository of the bones of departed kings and princes, probably erected for the reception of page 165 the bones of the king whose name it bears, and who reigned in Hawaii about eight generations back. It is a compact building, twenty-four feet by sixteen, constructed with the most durable timber, and thatched with ti leaves, standing on a bed of lava that runs out a considerable distance into the sea. It is surrounded by a strong fence or paling, leaving an area in the front, and at each end, about twenty-four feet wide. The pavement is of smooth fragments of lava, laid down with considerable skill. Several rudely carved male and female images of wood were placed on the outside of the enclosure; some on low pedestals, under the shade of an adjacent tree; others on high posts, on the jutting rocks that hung over the edge of the water. A number stood on the fence, at unequal distances all around; but the principal assemblage of these frightful representatives of their former deities, was at the south-east end of the enclosed space, where, forming a semicircle, twelve of them stood in grim array, as if perpetual guardians of “the mighty dead” reposing in the house adjoining. A pile of stones was neatly laid up in the form of a crescent, about three feet wide, and two feet higher than the pavement, and in this pile the images were fixed. They stood on small pedestals, three or four feet high, though some were placed on pillars, eight or ten feet in height, and curiously carved. The principal idol stood in the centre, the others on either hand; the most powerful being placed nearest to him: he was not so large as some of the others, but distinguished by the variety and superior carvings of his body, and especially of his head. Once they had evidently been clothed, but now they appeared in the most indigent nakedness. page 166 A few tattered shreds, round the neck of one that stood on the left hand side of the door, rotted by the rain, and bleached by the sun, were all that remained of numerous and gaudy garments, with which their votaries had formerly arrayed them. A large pile of broken calabashes and cocoa-nut shells lay in the centre, and a considerable heap of dried, and partly rotten, wreaths of flowers, branches of shrubs and bushes, and fragments of tapa, (the accumulated offerings of former days,) formed an unsightly mound immediately before each of the images. The horrid stare of these idols, the tattered garments upon some of them, and the heaps of rotting offerings before them, seemed to us no improper emblems of the system they were designed to support; distinguished alike by its cruelty, folly, and wretchedness.

We endeavoured to gain admission to the inside of the house, but were told it was tabu roa, (strictly prohibited,) and that nothing but a direct order from the king, or Karaimoku, could open the door. However, by pushing one of the boards across the door-way a little on one side, we looked in, and saw many large images, some of wood, very much carved, others of red feathers, with distended mouths, large rows of sharks' teeth, and pearl-shell eyes. We also saw several bundles, apparently of human bones, cleaned, carefully tied up with cinet made of cocoa-nut fibres, and placed in different parts of the house, together with some rich shawls and other valuable articles, probably worn by those to whom the bones belonged, as the wearing apparel and other personal property of the chiefs is generally buried with them.

Adjoining the Hare o Keave, to the southward we found a pahu tabu (sacred enclosure) of cosiderable page 167 extent, and were informed by our guide, that it was one of the puhonuas of Hawaii, of which we had so often heard the chiefs and others speak. There are only two on the island; the one which we were then examining, and another at Waipio, on the north-east part of the island, in the district of Kohala.

These puhonuas were the Hawaiian cities of refuge, and afforded an inviolable sanctuary to the guilty fugitive who, when flying from the avenging spear, was so favoured as to enter their precincts. This had several wide entrances, some on the side next the sea, the others facing the mountains. Hither the manslayer, the man who had broken a tabu, or failed in the observance of its rigid requirements, the thief, and even the murderer, fled from his incensed pursuers, and was secure. To whomsoever he belonged, and from whatever part he came, he was equally certain of admittance, though liable to be pursued even to the gates of the enclosure. Happily for him, those gates were perpetually open; and as soon as the fugitive had entered, he repaired to the presence of the idol, and made a short ejaculatory address, expressive of his obligations to him in reaching the place with security. Whenever war was proclaimed, and during the period of actual hostilities, a white flag was unfurled on the top of a tall spear, at each end of the enclosure, and, until the conclusion of peace, waved the symbol of hope to those who, vanquished in fight, might flee thither for protection. It was fixed a short distance from the walls on the outside, and to the spot on which this banner was unfurled, the victorious warrior might chase his routed foes; but here, he must himself fall back; beyond it he must not advance page 168 one step, on pain of forfeiting his life. The priests, and their adherents, would immediately put to death any one who should have the temerity to follow or molest those who were once within the pale of the pahu tabu; and, as they expressed it, under the shade or protection of the spirit of Keave, the tutelar deity of the place.

In one part of the enclosure, houses were formerly erected for the priests, and others for the refugees, who, after a certain period, or at the cessation of war, were dismissed by the priests, and returned unmolested to their dwellings and families; no one venturing to injure those who, when they fled to the gods, had been by them protected. We could not learn the length of time it was necessary for them to remain in the puahonua; but it did not appear to be more than two or three days. After that, they either attached themselves to the service of the priests, or returned to their homes.

The puhonua at Honaunau is capacious, capable of containing a vast multitude of people. In time of war, the females, children, and old people of the neighbouring districts, were generally left within it, while the men went to battle. Here they awaited in safety the issue of the conflict, and were secure against surprise and destruction, in the event of a defeat.

The form of it was an irregular parallelogram, walled up on one side and at both ends, the other being formed by the sea-beach, except on the north-west end, where there was a low fence. On measuring it, we found it to be 715 feet in length, and 404 feet wide. The walls were twelve feet high, and fifteen thick. Holes were still visible in the top of the wall, where large images had formerly stood, about four rods apart throughout page 169 its whole extent. Within this enclosure were three large heiaus, two of which were considerably demolished, while the other was nearly entire. It was a compact pile of stones, laid up in a solid mass, 126 feet by 65, and ten feet high. Many fragments of rock, or pieces of lava, of two or more tons each, were seen in several parts of the wall, raised at least six feet from the ground. The erection of such a place as the puhonua at Honaunau, under the circumstances and with the means by which alone it was reared, (as they had no machinery,) must have been an Herculean task, and could not have been completed but by the labour of many hands. We could not learn how long it had been standing, but were informed it was built for Keave, who reigned in Hawaii about 250 years ago. The walls and heiaus, indeed, looked as if it might claim such antiquity; but the house of Keave, and the images, must have been renewed since that time.

We had often passed over the ruins of deserted heathen temples, and the vestiges of demolished altars, in the Sandwich Islands, and I had frequently visited those in other groups of the Pacific; but the feelings excited on these occasions had always been those of deep melancholy and horror, at the human immolations and shocking cruelties which they had so often exhibited. Here, however, idolatry appeared at least in the form of clemency, and the sacred enclosure presented a scene unique among the ruins of paganism, which we contemplated with unusual interest.

Whether its establishment was originally projected by the priests, to attach to their interests all who might owe their lives to its institution; or by some mild and humane prince, anxious to page 170 diminish the barbarous cruelties of idolatry, and soften the sanguinary character of savage warfare, — or whether derived traditionally from the Israelitish cities of refuge, to which some of its features are strikingly analogous,– we do not pretend to determine. However, we could not but rejoice that its abolition was so soon succeeded by the revelation of a refuge more secure,—that the white flag ceased not to wave till another banner was ready to be unfurled, on which was inscribed, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

Our accommodations at Honaunau were very indifferent. The house where we stayed, in addition to other unpleasant circumstances, being entirely open at one end, exposed us by night as well as by day to the unwelcome intrusion of hogs and dogs of every description. As I was able to walk out on the 23d, we resolved to change our lodgings that evening; and about five o'clock in the afternoon we removed nearly half a mile, to a place called Keokea, where we put up in the best house we saw, in hopes of procuring at least a comfortable night's rest. In this, however, we were disappointed, for it rained heavily the greater part of the night, and, the roof of the house not being water-proof, we were more than once obliged to shift our mats to different parts of the earthen floor. This was not all; our host, and Makoa our guide, with almost a house full of natives besides, had been regaling themselves with an immense wooden bowl of fermented juice of the sweet potato, and were very noisy till midnight, when they lay down on their mats, but, to our great annoyance, continued either talking or singing until it was almost day. We frequently spoke to them, page 171 and asked them to be still. They answered, “Yes, yes, we will;” but in a few minutes were as boisterous as ever. We were not aware of the intoxicating nature of the simple juice of sweet potatoes, when fermented, till we saw its effects on the party here.

But notwithstanding we were uncomfortable during our short stay at Honaunau, and the people less kind than we usually found them, it appeared to us an eligible place for a Missionary station, where one or two devoted men might labour with a prospect of extensive usefulness.

Being sufficiently recovered to proceed on the journey, we left Keokoa about eight o'clock on the morning of the 24th. After travelling half a mile, a singular appearance of the lava, at a small distance from the shore, attracted our attention, and, on examination, presented a curious phenomenon. It consisted of a covered avenue of considerable extent, from fifty to sixty feet in height, formed by the flowing of the lava, in some recent eruption, over the edge of a perpendicular pile of ancient volcanic rocks, from sixty to seventy feet high. It appeared as if, at first, it had flowed over in one vast sheet, but had afterwards fallen more slowly, and in detached semifluid masses. These, cooling as they fell, had hardened and formed a pile, which, by continued augmentation from above, had ultimately reached the top, and united with the liquid lava there. It was evident that the lava had still continued to flow, along the outside of the arch thus formed, into the plain below, as we observed, in several places, the courses of unbroken streams, from the top of the cliff to the bed of smooth lava, that covered the beach for several miles. The space at the bottom, page 172 between the ancient rocks and more recently formed lava, was from six to twelve feet. On one side, the lava rose perpendicular and smooth, shewing distinctly the different and variously coloured masses of ancient lava of which it was composed; some of a bright scarlet, others brown and purple. The whole pile appeared to have undergone, since its formation, the effects of violent heat. The cracks and hollows, horizontally between the different strata, or obliquely through them, were filled with lava of a florid red colour, and much less porous than the general mass. This last kind of lava must have been brought to a state of most perfect liquefaction, as it had filled up every crevice that was more than half an inch wide. It appeared highly glazed, and in some places we could discover small round pebbles, from the size of a hazel-nut to that of a hen's egg, of the same colour, and having the same vitreous covering, yet seeming to have remained solid, while the liquid lava, with which they were mixed had been forced by subterranean fire into all the fissures of the ancient rock.

The pile on the other side, formed by the driping of the liquid lava from the upper edge of the rocks, presented a striking contrast, but not a less interesting sight. It was generally of a dark purple or jet black colour, glittering in the rays of the sun, as if glazed over with a beautiful vitreous varnish.

On breaking off any fragments, we found them very porous, and considerably lighter than the ancient lava on the other side. Its varied forms baffled description, and were equal to the conceptions of the most fertile imagination. The archway thus formed continued for about half a mile, occasionally page 173 interrupted by an opening in the pile of recent lava, caused by some projecting rock, or elevation in the precipice above. A spectacle awfully sublime and terrific must have been presented, when this burning stream rolled in one wide sheet, a fiery cascade, from the lofty steep down upon the smoking plain.

With what consternation and horror must it have filled the affrighted inhabitants of the surrounding villages, as they beheld its irresistible and devastating course, impressed as they were with the belief, that Pélé, the goddess whom they had offended, had left her abode in the volcano, and was in person visiting them with thunder, lightning, earthquake, and liquid fire, the instruments of her power and vengeance.

As we passed along this vaulted avenue, called by the natives Keanaee, we beheld a number of caverns and tunnels, from some of which streams of lava had flowed. The mouths of others being walled up with stones, we supposed they were used as sepulchres. Mats, spread upon the slabs of lava, calabashes, &c. indicated some of them to be the habitations of men; others, near the openings, were used as workshops, where women were weaving mats, or beating cloth. Some, we also saw, used as storehouses, or depositories, of sandal wood. In many places the water filtered through the lava, and, around the spots where it had dropped on the ground, we observed a quantity of fine white spear-shaped crystals, of a sharp nitrous taste. Having walked a considerable distance along the covered way, and collected as many specimens of the lava as we could conveniently carry, we returned to the sea-shore. Mr. Harwood being indisposed, and unable to travel, and being myself page 174 but weak, we proceeded in the canoe to Kalahiti, where we landed about 2 p. m. and waited the arrival of our companions. The rest of the party travelled along the shore, by a path often tedious and difficult. The lava frequently presented a mural front, from sixty to a hundred feet high, in many places hanging over their heads, apparently every moment ready to fall; while beneath them the long rolling billows of the Pacific chafed and foamed among the huge fragments of volcanic rocks, along which their road lay. In many places the lava had flowed in vast torrents over the top of the precipice into the sea. Broad flakes of it, or masses like stalactites, hung from the projecting edge in every direction. The attention was also attracted by a number of apertures in the face of the rocks, at different distances from their base, looking like so many glazed tunnels from which streams of lava had gushed out, and fallen into the ocean below, probably at the same time that it had rolled down in a horrid cataract from the lofty rocks above.

They passed through two villages, containing between three and four hundred inhabitants, and reached Kalahiti about four in the afternoon. Here the people were collected for public worship, and Mr. Thurston preached to them from John vi. 38. They gave good attention, and appeared interested in what they heard. The evening was spent in conversation on religious subjects, with those who crowded our lodgings.

At this place we observed many of the people with their hair either cut or shaved close on both sides of their heads, while it was left very long in the middle from the forehead to the back of the neck. When we inquired the reason of this, they page 175 informed us, that, according to the custom of their country, they had cut their hair in the manner we perceived, on account of their chief who had been sick, and who they had heard was dead.

The Sandwich Islanders observe a number of singular ceremonies on the death of their kings and chiefs, and have been, till very recently, accustomed to make these events occasions for the practice of almost every enormity and vice. The custom we noticed at this place is the most general. The people here had followed only one fashion in cutting their hair, but we have seen it polled in every imaginable form; sometimes a small round place only is made bald, just on the crown, which causes them to look like Romish priests; at other times the whole head is shaved or cropped close, except round the edge, where, for about half an inch in breadth, the hair hangs down its usual length. Some make their heads bald on one side, and leave the hair twelve or eighteen inches long on the other. Occasionally they cut out a patch, in the shape of a horse-shoe, either behind, or above the forehead; and sometimes we have seen a number of curved furrows cut from ear to ear, or from the forehead to the neck. When a chief who had lost a relative or friend had his own hair cut after any particular pattern, his followers and dependants usually imitated it in cutting theirs. Not to cut or shave off the hair, indicates want of respect towards the deceased and the surviving friends; but to have it cut close, in any form, is enough. Each one usually follows his own peculiar taste, which produces the almost endless variety in which this ornamental appendage of the head is worn by the natives during a season of mourning.

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Another custom, almost as universal on these occasions, was that of knocking out some of the front teeth, practised by both sexes, though perhaps most extensively by the men. When a chief died, those most anxious to shew their respect for him or his family would be the first to knock out, with a stone, one of their front teeth. The chiefs related to the deceased, or on terms of friendship with him, were expected thus to exhibit their attachment; and when they had done so, their attendants and tenants felt themselves, by the influence of custom, obliged to follow their example. Sometimes a man broke out his own tooth with a stone; more frequently, however, it was done by another, who fixed one end of a piece of stick or hard wood against the tooth, and struck the other end with a stone, till it was broken off. When any of the men deferred this operation, the women often performed it for them, while they were asleep. More than one tooth was seldom destroyed at one time; but the mutilation being repeated on the decease of every chief of rank or authority, there are few men to be seen, who had arrived at maturity before the introduction of Christianity to the islands, with an entire set of teeth; and many, by this custom, have lost the front teeth on both the upper and lower jaw, which, aside from other inconveniences, causes a great defect in their speech. Some, however, have dared to be singular; and though they must have seen many deaths, have parted with but few of their teeth. Among this number is Karaimoku, a chief next in authority to the king; not more than one of whose teeth are deficient.

Cutting one or both ears was formerly practised on these occasions; but as we never saw more page 177 than one or two old men thus disfigured, the custom appears to have been discontinued.

Another badge of mourning, assumed principally by the chiefs, is that of tatauing a black spot or line on the tongue, in the same manner as other parts of their bodies are tataued.

All these usages, though singular, are innocent, compared with others, which, until very recently, were practised on every similar event. As soon as the chief had expired, the whole neighbourhood exhibited a scene of confusion, wickedness, and cruelty, seldom witnessed even in the most barbarous society. The people ran to and fro without their clothes, appearing and acting more like demons than human beings; every vice was practised, and almost every species of crime perpetrated. Houses were burnt, property plundered, even murder sometimes committed, and the gratification of every base and savage feeling sought without restraint. Injuries or accidents, long forgotten perhaps by the offending party, were now revenged with unrelenting cruelty. Hence many of the people of Maui, dreading their recurrence, when Keopuolani was thought to be near her end, took their effects into the enclosure belonging to the Missionaries there, and requested permission to remain there, hoping to find a sanctuary within their premises amidst the general devastation which they expected would follow her decease.

The inhabitants of several groups in the Pacific have mourning ceremonies somewhat resembling these. The Friendly Islanders cut off a joint of one of their fingers at the death of a chief, and, like the Society Islanders, cut their temples, face, and bosoms, with shark's teeth. The latter also, during their otohaa, or mourning, commit almost as page 178 many depredations as the Sandwich Islanders. They have, however, one very delicate method of preserving the recollection of the dead, which the latter do not appear to employ; that is, of having a small portion of the hair of the deceased passed through a perforation in one of their ears, ingeniously braided in the form of an ear-ring, and worn sometimes for life.

But the Sandwich Islanders have another custom, almost peculiar to themselves, viz. singing at the death of their chiefs, something in the manner of the ancient Peruvians. I have been peculiarly affected more than once on witnessing this ceremony.

A day or two after the decease of Keeaumoku, governor of Maui, and the elder brother of Kuakini, governor of Hawaii, I was sitting with the surviving relatives, who were weeping around the couch on which the corpse was lying, when a middle-aged woman came in at the other end of the large house, and, having proceeded about half way towards the spot where the body lay, began to sing in a plaintive tone, accompanying her song with affecting gesticulations, such as wringing her hands, grasping her hair, and beating her breasts. I wrote down her monody as she repeated it. She described, in a feeling manner, the benevolence of the deceased, and her own consequent loss. One passage was as follows:—

Ue, ue, ua mate tuu Arü, Alas, alas, dead is my chief,
Ua mate tuu hatu e tuu hoa, Dead is my lord and my friend;
Tuu hoa i ta wa o ta wi, My friend in the season of famine,
Tuu hoa i paa ta aina, My friend in the time of drought,
Tuu hoa i tuu ilihune, My friend in my poverty,page 179
Tuu hoa i ta uä e ta matani, My friend in the rain and the wind,
Tuu hoa i ta vera o ta la, My friend in the heat and the sun,
Tuu hoa i ta anu o ta mouna, My friend in the cold front the mountain,
Tuu hoa i ta into, My friend in the storm,
Tuu hoa i ta marie, My friend in the calm,
Tuu hoa i mau tai awaru, My friend in the eight seas;
Ue, ue, ua hala tuu hoa, Alas, alas, gone in my friend,
Aohe e hoi hou mai. And no more will return.

∗A figurative term for the channels between the different islands of the group.

Other exhibitions of a similar kind I witnessed at Maui. After the death of Keopuolani, we frequently saw the inhabitants of a whole district, that had belonged to her, coming to weep on account of her death. They walked in profound silence, either in single file, or two or three abreast, the old people leading the van, and the children bringing up the rear. They were not covered with ashes, but almost literally clothed in sackcloth. No ornaments, or even decent piece of cloth, was seen on any one. Dressed only in old fishing nets, dirty and torn pieces of matting, or tattered garments, and these sometimes tied on their bodies with pieces of old canoe ropes, they appeared the most abject and wretched companies of human beings I ever saw. When they were within a few hundred yards of the house where the corpse was lying, they began to lament and wail. The crowds of mourners around the house opened a passage for them to approach it, and then one or two of their number came forward, and standing a little before the rest, began a song or recitation, shewing her birth, rank, honours, and virtues, brandishing a staff or piece page 180 of sugar-cane, and accompanying their recitation with attitudes and gestures expressive of the most frantic grief. When they had finished, they sat down, and mingled with the thronging multitudes in their loud and ceaseless wailing.

Though these ceremonies were so popular, and almost universal, on the decease of their chiefs, they do not appear to have been practised by the common people among themselves. The wife did not knock out her teeth on the death of her husband, nor the son his, when he lost his father or mother; neither did parents thus express their grief when bereaved of an only child. Sometimes they cut their hair, but in general only indulged in lamentations and weeping for several days.

Anxious to make ourselves acquainted with their reasons for these practices, we have frequently conversed with the natives respecting them. The former, such as polling the hair, knocking out the teeth, tatauing the tongue, &c. they say is designed to shew the loss they have sustained, and perpetually to remind them of their departed friends. Kamehamaru, queen of Rihoriho, who died on her recent visit to England, gave me a fine answer to this effect, on the death of Keopuolani, her husband's mother. A few days after the interment, I went into a house where a number of chiefs were assembled, for the purpose of having their tongues tataued; and the artist was performing this operation on her's when I entered. He first immersed the face of the instrument, which was a quarter of an inch wide, and set with a number of small fish-bones, into the colouring matter, placed it on her tongue, and, giving it a quick and smart stroke with a small rod in his right hand, punctured the skin, and page 181 injected the dye at the same time. Her tongue bled much, and a few moments after I entered she made a sign for him to desist. She emptied her mouth of the blood, and then held her hands to it to counteract the pain. As soon as it appeared to have subsided a little, I remarked that I was sorry to see her following so useless a custom; and asked if it was not exceedingly painful? She answered, He eha nui no, he nui roa ra kuu aroha! Pain, great indeed; but greater my affection! After further remarks, I asked some of the others why they chose that method of shewing their affectionate remembrance of the dead? They said, Aore roa ia e naro! That will never disappear, or be obliterated!

Another method, very generally practised by all classes on these occasions, was that of burning on their skin a large number of semicircles disposed in different forms, It was not done by a heated iron, but having stripped the bark from a small branch of a tree, about an inch in diameter, they held it in the fire till one end of the bark was perfectly ignited, and in this state applied it to the face or bosom, which instantly raised the skin, and after the blister had subsided, the sears remained a number of days.

We never found any apologists for the enormities practised on these occasions; and the only excuse they have ever given has been, that at the death of a great chief, the paroxysm of grief has been so violent, as to deprive the people of their reason; hence they neither knew nor cared what they did, being hehena, frantic, or out of their senses, through sorrow.

Since the introduction of the gospel by Christian Missionaries, or rather since the death of page 182 Keopuolani in September, 1813, all the wicked practices, and most of the ceremonies, usual on these occasions, have entirely ceased. Knocking out the teeth is discontinued; wailing, cutting the hair, and marking the tongue, are still practised; but all the evil customs have been most strictly forbidden by the principal chiefs.