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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.



Trinkets for personal adornment, except those of European pattern, are now, through missionary influence, disused on Funafuti. A band of small and polished Nautilus shells, somewhat like that Edge-Partington figures from Samoa,* was purchased by a member of the Expedition. As the Pearly Nautilus does not occur alive on the atoll, and rarely if ever drifts there, I am not satisfied of the local origin of that ornament.

On Nukulailai I found shell necklaces in fashion. One I purchased called "pouli," weighs an ounce and a half and measures sixteen inches in length, and was composed of a hundred and seven bleached and yellow shells of Melampus luteus, each pierced near its anterior extremity, and strung either backwards

* Edge-Partington—loc. cit., pl. lxxxvi., fig. 2.

page 247or forwards, alternately left and right, on a cord plaited of four strands (fig. 12). In estimating the beauty of such a necklace, it should be remembered that it is designed not to contrast with a white skin, where its effect would be displeasing, but against a brown one, where it is in chromatic harmony.
Fig. 12.

Fig. 12.

Models were made for me on Funafuti of a pair of dance ornaments, "lilima,"(fig. 13)such as were worn in "the old days." Each
Fig. 13.

Fig. 13.

armlet is composed of three pandanus leaf ribbons, two feet long, super-imposed one upon another, except above, where the lower projects beyond the upper. The uppermost is reddened with nonou, the second blackened with tar, and the third retains its natural yellow. The red leaf is crinkled* with transverse creases an inch and a half apart. Near the upper end the leaves are gathered with a bow of ornamental cord, on which is strung a button of white shell, Natica mamilla; the ribbons are further surmounted by a tuft of palm pinnules upon which is arranged a fold of the bow of the cord. The cord is segmented black and yellow, consisting of a strand of human hair laid up with a strand of bark thread, The whole has a tasteful effect. It was worn, said the maker, by tying the strings round the biceps of the arm.

Head-dresses were formerly made of the Frigate bird plumes, but of these I failed to procure either specimens or models. A pandanus leaf head-dress is figured by Wilkes, the Funafuti native wearing it also sports an ankle-ring. §

On Nukufetau the American Exploring Expedition observed a coconut leaflet tied round the necks of some men (ante p. 27). On Fotuna this was a mark of rank. An illustration of a king of Fakaafu shows him thus adorned.

* On Ponape, the dress of chiefs is pandanus leaves crimped. Brigham—loc. cit., iii., p. 49.

This kind of cord is used in some of the New Ireland dance masks in the Australian Museum.

Gill—Jottings from the Pacific, 1885, p. 17.

§ Wilkes—loc. cit., p. 41.

Journ. Polyn. Soc, i., pp. 41, 42.

Journ. Anthrop. Inst., xxi., 1892, p. iii., fig. 1.