W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso

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Appendix A.—(See p. 109).

Dr. Forster says:—“The weapons which the men of Tanna constantly carry are bows and arrows, clubs, darts, and slings. Their young men are [115] commonly slingers and archers, but those of a more advanced age make use of clubs or darts. The bows are made of the best club-wood (casuarina), very strong and elastic. They polish them very highly, and perhaps rub them with oil from time to time, in order to keep them in repair. Their arrows are of reed, near four feet long. The same black wood which the Mallicollese employ for the point is likewise made use of at Tanna; but the whole point which is frequently above a foot long, is jagged or bearded on two or three sides. They have likewise arrows with three points, but these are chiefly intended to kill birds and fish. Their slings are made of cocoanut fibres, and worn round the arm or waist; they have a broad part for the reception of the stone, of which the people carry with them several in a leaf. The darts or spears are the third sort of missile weapons at Tanna. They are commonly made of a thin, knotty, and ill-shaped stick, not exceeding half-an-inch in diameter, but nine or ten feet long. At the thickest end they are shaped into a triangular point, six or eight inches long, and on each corner there is a row of eight or ten beards or hooks. These darts they throw with great accuracy, at a short distance, by the help of a piece of plaited cord, four or five inches long, which has a knob at one end, and an eye at the other. They hold the dart between the thumb and forefinger, having previously placed the latter in the eye of the rope, the remaining part of which is slung round the dart, above the hand, and forms a kind of noose round it, serving to guide and confine the dart in its proper direction, when it is once projected. I have seen one of these darts thrown, at the distance of ten or twelve yards, into a stake four inches in diameter, with such violence that the jagged point was forced quite through it. The same thing may be said of their arrows; at eight or ten yards distance they shoot them very accurately and with great force; but as they are cautious of breaking their bows, they seldom draw them to the full stretch, and therefore, at twenty-five or thirty yards, their arrows have little effect, and are not to be dreaded.”

“The arms of the natives of New Caledonia were clubs, spears, and slings. … Their spears are fifteen or twenty feet long, and black. They throw them by the assistance of such short cords, knobbed at one end and looped at the other, as are usual at Tanna, and which seamen call beckets. Those of New Caledonia were of superior workmanship, and contained a quantity of red wool, which we should have taken for the covering of a new sort of animal, if we had not formerly seen the Vampyre or great Indian bat, from whence it was taken. Their last weapons were slings, for bows and arrows were wholly unknown to them. These slings consisted of a slender round cord no thicker than a pack-thread, which had a tassel at one end and a loop at the other end and in the middle. The stones which they used were [116] oblong and pointed at each end, being made of a soft and unctuous soaprock (simectites), which could easily be rubbed into that shape. These exactly fitted the loop in the middle of the sling, and were kept in a wallet or pocket of coarse cloth, strongly woven of a kind of grass, which was tied on about the middle. Their shape gives them a striking resemblance to the glandes plumbeæ of the Romans.”—Forster’s Voyage, Vol. II., pp. 278, 279, 385.

Appendix B.—(See p. 111).

I here give an interesting extract from “Turnbull’s Voyage Round the World” (1801–4), as it bears a little on the subject before us:—

“A chief of note named Te Pahi, with five of his sons, who resided at the Bay of Islands, wished to see Port Jackson. They were taken by Captain Stewart in his ship to Norfolk Island, where they received every attention from the commandant and inhabitants; and after remaining there some time they were received on board H.M.S. ‘Buffalo,’ to be conveyed to Port Jackson. On their arrival, Te Pahi was introduced by Captain Houstin to His Excellency and the officers at the Government House, where he continued to reside during his stay in the colony.

“Shortly after his arrival, a number of the natives assembled in the vicinity of Sydney for the interment of Carrawaye (whose death was occasioned by a spear wound in the knee), who the night before was conveyed here in a shell composed of strips of bark; and the funeral obsequies being over, a war spectacle ensued, when an intended sacrifice to vengeance (known by the name of Blewit) was singled out to answer for the desperate wound inflicted by him upon young Baker. The animosity of his assailants was uncommonly remarkable; their party was far the more powerful, and, confident of their superiority, took every advantage of their numbers. The flight of spears was seldom less than six, and managed with a precision that seemed to promise certain fatality. After 170 had been thus thrown, ten of the most powerful stationed themselves so as nearly to encircle the culprit, and front and rear darted their weapons at the same instant. His activity and strong presence of mind increased with the danger; five he dexterously caught with his feeble target, and the others he miraculously managed to parry off. One of his friends, enraged at the proceedings, threw a spear, and received ten in return. Blewit turned one of his assailant’s spears, and passed it through the body of old Whittaker; the affray then became general, but terminated without further mischief.

“Te Pahi, who with several of his sons was present, regarded their warfare with contempt; he frequently discovered much impatience at the length of intervals between the flights, and by signs exhorted them to dispatch; [117] he considered the heclaman, or shield, an unnecessary appendage, as the hand was sufficient to turn aside and alter the direction of any number of spears. He, nevertheless, highly praised the woomera, or throwing-stick, as, from its elasticity, he acknowledged the weapon to receive much additional velocity. He was visibly chagrined when he saw the old man wounded through the body, and would certainly have executed vengeance upon its author, had he not been, restrained by the solicitations of the spectators.”—Nicholas’ “New Zealand,” Vol. II., p. 369.

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