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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.



Two radically distinct types of drum, each with numerous variations, co-exist in the Pacific. The one which seems to attain its greatest development in Papua is akin to the European drum, consisting like it of a skin tympanum stretched on a wooden cylinder. The other and ruder form is more characteristic of Polynesia, it consists merely of a boat-shaped, hollow log, beaten on the exterior.

The drum, "batti," of Funafuti (fig. 71) belongs to the latter division. Formerly it was used at dances and festivals, now it appears only to summon the worshippers to church,* and the only specimens on the island seemed to be those in the possession of the Native Teacher. A well-worn example I obtained from him weighed four pounds four ounces, and measured nineteen inches in greatest length, four and a half in depth, and three and a half in width. The excavation is three and a half inches deep, twelve long, and one and a half wide. The drumstick, "kouta," weighs four ounces, and is ten inches long, and one thick. In another example, the drum was carved of Thespesia and the stick of Pemphis wood.
Fig. 71

Fig. 71

To call the people together to a trial or other public ceremony, a shell trumpet of Cassis cornuta was blown.

* As in the Tokelau Islands, Lister—loc. cit.