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WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS

by

FREDERICK O'BRIEN

With Many Illustrations from Photographs

T. Werner Laurie, Ltd.

1919







[Illustration: Village of Atuona, showing peak of Temetiu
The author's house is the small white speck in the center]




FOREWORD

There is in the nature of every man, I firmly believe, a longing to
see and know the strange places of the world. Life imprisons us all
in its coil of circumstance, and the dreams of romance that color
boyhood are forgotten, but they do not die. They stir at the sight
of a white-sailed ship beating out to the wide sea; the smell of
tarred rope on a blackened wharf, or the touch of the cool little
breeze that rises when the stars come out will waken them again.
Somewhere over the rim of the world lies romance, and every heart
yearns to go and find it.

It is not given to every man to start on the quest of the rainbow's
end. Such fantastic pursuit is not for him who is bound by ties of
home and duty and fortune-to-make. He has other adventure at his own
door, sterner fights to wage, and, perhaps, higher rewards to gain.
Still, the ledgers close sometimes on a sigh, and by the cosiest
fireside one will see in the coals pictures that have nothing to do
with wedding rings or balances at the bank.

It is for those who stay at home yet dream of foreign places that I
have written this book, a record of one happy year spent among the
simple, friendly cannibals of Atuona valley, on the island of
Hiva-oa in the Marquesas. In its pages there is little of profound
research, nothing, I fear, to startle the anthropologist or to
revise encyclopedias; such expectation was far from my thoughts when
I sailed from Papeite on the _Morning Star_. I went to see what I
should see, and to learn whatever should be taught me by the days as
they came. What I saw and what I learned the reader will see and
learn, and no more.

Days, like people, give more when they are approached in not too
stern a spirit. So I traveled lightly, without the heavy baggage of
the ponderous-minded scholar, and the reader who embarks with me on
the "long cruise" need bring with him only an open mind and a love
for the strange and picturesque. He will come back, I hope, as I did,
with some glimpses into the primitive customs of the long-forgotten
ancestors of the white race, a deeper wonder at the mysteries of the
world, and a memory of sun-steeped days on white beaches, of palms
and orchids and the childlike savage peoples who live in the
bread-fruit groves of "Bloody Hiva-oa."

The author desires to express here his thanks to Rose Wilder Lane,
to whose editorial assistance the publication of this book is very
largely due.




CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

Farewell to Papeite beach; at sea in the _Morning Star_; Darwin's
theory of the continent that sank beneath the waters of the South
Seas

CHAPTER II

The trade-room of the _Morning Star_; Lying Bill Pincher;
M. L'Hermier des Plantes, future governor of the Marquesas;
story of McHenry and the little native boy, His Dog

CHAPTER III

Thirty-seven days at sea; life of the sea-birds; strange
phosphorescence; first sight of Fatu-hiva; history of the islands;
chant of the Raiateans

CHAPTER IV

Anchorage of Taha-Uka; Exploding Eggs, and his engagement as valet;
inauguration of the new governor; dance on the palace lawn

CHAPTER V

First night in Atuona valley; sensational arrival of the Golden Bed;
Titihuti's tattooed legs

CHAPTER VI

Visit of Chief Seventh Man Who is So Angry He Wallows in the Mire;
journey to Vait-hua on Tahuata island; fight with the devil-fish;
story of a cannibal feast and the two who escaped

CHAPTER VII

Idyllic valley of Vait-hua; the beauty of Vanquished Often; bathing
on the beach; an unexpected proposal of marriage

CHAPTER VIII

Communal life; sport in the waves; fight of the sharks and the
mother whale; a day in the mountains; death of Le Capitaine Halley;
return to Atuona

CHAPTER IX

The Marquesans at ten o'clock mass; a remarkable conversation about
religions and Joan of Arc in which Great Fern gives his idea of the
devil

CHAPTER X

The marriage of Malicious Gossip; matrimonial customs of the simple
natives; the domestic difficulties of Haabuani

CHAPTER XI

Filling the _popoi_ pits in the season of the breadfruit; legend of
the _mei_; the secret festival in a hidden valley

CHAPTER XII

A walk in the jungle; the old woman in the breadfruit tree; a night
in a native hut on the mountain

CHAPTER XIII

The household of Lam Kai Oo; copra making; marvels of the
cocoanut-groves; the sagacity of pigs; and a crab that knows the
laws of gravitation

CHAPTER XIV

Visit of Le Moine; the story of Paul Gauguin; his house, and a
search for his grave beneath the white cross of Calvary

CHAPTER XV

Death of Aumia; funeral chant and burial customs; causes for the
death of a race

CHAPTER XVI

A savage dance, a drama of the sea, of danger and feasting; the rape
of the lettuce

CHAPTER XVII

A walk to the Forbidden Place; Hot Tears, the hunchback; the story
of Behold the Servant of the Priest, told by Malicious Gossip in the
cave of Enamoa

CHAPTER XVIII

A search for rubber-trees on the plateau of Ahoa; a fight with the
wild white dogs; story of an ancient migration, told by the wild
cattle hunters in the Cave of the Spine of the Chinaman

CHAPTER XIX

A feast to the men of Motopu; the making of _kava_, and its drinking;
the story of the Girl Who Lost Her Strength

CHAPTER XX

A journey to Taaoa; Kahuiti, the cannibal chief, and his story of an
old war caused by an unfaithful woman

CHAPTER XXI

The crime of Huahine for love of Weaver of Mats; story of Tahia's
white man who was eaten; the disaster that befell Honi, the white
man who used his harpoon against his friends

CHAPTER XXII

The memorable game for the matches in the cocoanut-grove of Lam Kai
Oo

CHAPTER XXIII

Mademoiselle N----

CHAPTER XXIV

A journey to Nuka-hiva; story of the celebration of the fête of Joan
of Arc, and the miracles of the white horse and the girl

CHAPTER XXV

America's claim to the Marquesas; adventures of Captain Porter in
1812; war between Haapa and Tai-o-hae, and the conquest of Typee
valley

CHAPTER XXVI

A visit to Typee; story of the old man who returned too late

CHAPTER XXVII

Journey on the _Roberta_; the winged cockroaches; arrival at a Swiss
paradise in the valley of Oomoa

CHAPTER XXVIII

Labor in the South Seas; some random thoughts on the "survival of
the fittest"

CHAPTER XXIX

The white man who danced in Oomoa valley; a wild-boar hunt in the
hills; the feast of the triumphant hunters and a dance in honor of
Grelet

CHAPTER XXX

A visit to Hanavave; Père Olivier at home; the story of the last
battle between Hanahouua and Oi, told by the sole survivor; the
making of _tapa_ cloth, and the ancient garments of the Marquesans

CHAPTER XXXI

Fishing in Hanavave; a deep-sea battle with a shark; Red Chicken
shows how to tie ropes to sharks' tails; night-fishing for dolphins,
and the monster sword-fish that overturned the canoe; the native
doctor dresses Red Chicken's wounds and discourses on medicine

CHAPTER XXXII

A journey over the roof of the world to Oomoa; an encounter with a
wild woman of the hills

CHAPTER XXXIII

Return in a canoe to Atuona; Tetuahunahuna relates the story of the
girl who rode the white horse in the celebration of the fête of Joan
of Arc in Tai-o-hae; Proof that sharks hate women; steering by the
stars to Atuona beach

CHAPTER XXXIV

Sea sports; curious sea-foods found at low tide; the peculiarities
of sea-centipedes and how to cook and eat them

CHAPTER XXXV

Court day in Atuona; the case of Daughter of the Pigeon and the
sewing-machine; the story of the perfidy of Drink of Beer and the
death of Earth Worm who tried to kill the governor

CHAPTER XXXVI

The madman Great Moth of the Night; story of the famine and the one
family that ate pig

CHAPTER XXXVII

A visit to the hermit of Taha-Uka valley; the vengeance that made
the Scallamera lepers; and the hatred of Mohuto

CHAPTER XXXVIII

Last days in Atuona; My Darling Hope's letter from her son

CHAPTER XXXIX

The chants of departure; night falls on the Land of the War Fleet



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Village of Atuona, showing peak of Temetiu

Beach at Viataphiha-Tahiti

Where the belles of Tahiti lived in the shade to whiten their
complexions

Lieutenant L'Hermier des Plantes, Governor of the Marquesas Islands

Entrance to a Marquesan Bay

The ironbound coast of the Marquesas

A road in Nuka-Hiva

Harbor of Tai-o-hae

Schooner _Fetia Taiao_ in the Bay of Traitors

André Bauda, Commissaire

The public dance in the garden

Antoinette, a Marquesan dancing girl

Marquesans in Sunday clothes

Vai Etienne

The pool by the Queen's house

Idling away the sunny hours

Nothing to do but rest all day

Catholic Church at Atuona

A native spearing fish from a rock

A volunteer cocoanut grove, with trees of all ages

Climbing for cocoanuts

Splitting cocoanut husks in copra making process

Cutting the meat from cocoanuts to make copra

A Marquesan home on a _paepae_

Isle of Barking Dogs

The _haka_, the Marquesan national dance

Hot Tears with Vai Etienne

The old cannibal of Taipi Valley

Enacting a human sacrifice of the Marquesans

Interior of Island of Fatu-hiva, where the author walked over the
mountains

The plateau of Ahoa

Kivi, the _kava_ drinker with the _hetairae_ of the valley

A pool in the jungle

The Pekia, or Place of Sacrifice, at Atuona

Marquesan cannibals, wearing dress of human hair

Tepu, a Marquesan girl of the hills, and her sister

A tattooed Marquesan with carved canoe paddle

A chieftess in _tapa_ garments with _tapa_ parasol

Launching the whale-boat

Père Simeon Delmas' church at Tai-o-hae

Gathering the _feis_ in the mountains

Near the Mission at Hanavave

Starting from Hanavave for Oomoa

Feis, or mountain bananas

Where river and bay meet at Oomoa, Island of Fatu-hiva

Sacred banyan tree at Oomoa

Elephantiasis of the legs

Removing the pig cooked in the _umu_, or native oven

The _Koina Kai_, or feast in Oomoa

Beach at Oomoa

Putting the canoe in the water

Pascual, the giant Paumotan pilot and his friends

A pearl diver's sweetheart

Spearing fish in Marquesas Islands

Pearl shell divers at work

Catholic Church at Hanavave

A canoe in the surf at Oomoa

The gates of the Valley of Hanavave

A fisherman's house of bamboo and cocoanut leaves

Double canoes

Harbor sports

Tahaiupehe, Daughter of the Pigeon, of Taaoa

Nataro Puelleray and wife



Author's Note.



Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | Next |

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