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canic origin, many evidences of igneous creation prevailing through most of the islands, with traces of extinct craters, whose ancient fires were probably quenched by the waters of the surrounding seas. On some, traces of the sedimentary formations are met with, while on others coral is found, a thousand feet above the ocean level, forced up from the depths of the sea. Taken in all, the physical configuration is hilly and mountainous, some of the crests rising to a height of four or five thousand feet. Blessed with an even temperature and an abundant rainfall, the valleys and slopes covered with verdure and forests in all stages of bloom and growth, a view of the group from the sea is extremely pleasing to the eye. Small streams flow through the valleys, some of them reaching the dignity of navigable rivers, with valuable agricultural lands to be found on the lowlands along their banks, that a little skill and energy, surely arriving with the strangers making their homes in the group, will develop into agricultural wealth. Then rice, sugar, coffee and cotton will vie with the natural products, the cocoanut, bread-fruit, banana, lemon and orange.
NEW HEBRIDES GROUP.
Lying farther west and a little to the south of the Fijis, are the New Hebrides Islands, twelve in number, the largest and best known being named Aneteum, Tana, Vate, Api, Aurora, Whitsun and Espiritu Santo. The last named, the largest of the group, is about 65 miles long by 35 wide. Inhabiting most of the islands may be sound a people the most treacherous and quarrelsome in the whole Pacific. Lieut. Meade, R. N.,
who visited there in 1865, in describing Tana, and which may be accepted as about their present condition, says: “Tana is about 25 miles long by 12 broad, the population being between fifteen and twenty thousand. But since the introduction of European diseases and weapons, there has been a steady decrease. In 1861 a third of the people died of the measles. The state of morals is extremely low; the natives assert that the present excessive licentiousness was introduced by the whites, who formerly resided on the island. The chiefs endeavor to get drunk every night on kava. The women do all the work; the men all the fighting, which is their constant employment. Cannibalism is the custom all over the island.” In 1842 the bark Rose, from Nantucket, engaged in whaling in these latitudes, took as passengers twelve native missionaries, who had been educated and raised in Christianity on some of the more civilized groups. These missionaries were sent to Tana as an experiment, and in the hope of retrieving a fallen race. Arriving off the island, a whale-boat was lowered and manned with a wellarmed crew, in addition to the twelve Christian workers. The crew were cautioned as to the treachery and brutality of the natives, and on no account to make a landing longer than just necessary to place the missionaries ashore. On arriving at the beach, the natives swarmed to the boat and assisted the landing of the religious workers with every show of kindness and affection. Acting under strict orders, the crew of the whale-boat immediately put back for the ship, and were not three hundred yards from the beach when the natives fell upon the missionaries, killing them all in the most barbarous manner, and in full view of the occupants of the boat.
South and westerly from the New Hebrides we come to the Loyalty Islands, said to have been discovered by Captain Cook in 1774. The group is “about 60 miles east of New Caledonia, consisting of Uvea or Uea (the northernmost), Lifu, Toka, and several small islands, and Mare or Neugone. They are coral islands, of comparatively recent elevation, and in no place rise more than 250 feet above the sea. Lifu, the largest, is about 50 miles in length by 25 in breadth. Enough of its rocky surface is covered with a thin coating of soil to enable the natives to grow yams, taro, bananas, etc., for their support; cotton thrives well, and has even been exported in small quantities, but there is no space available for its cultivation on any considerable scale. Fresh water, rising and falling with the tide, is found in certain large caverns, and, in fact, by sinking to the sea-level, a supply may be obtained in any part of the island. The population, about seven thousand, is on the decrease. The island called Neugone by the natives, and Mare by the inhabitants of the Isle of Pines, is about eighty miles in circumference, and contains about six thousand souls. Uvea, the most recent part of the group, consists of a circle of about twenty islets, inclosing a lagoon twenty miles in width; the largest is about thirty miles in length. and in some places three miles wide, and the next largest is about twelve miles in length. The inhabitants, numbering about twenty-five hundred, export considerable quantities of cocoanut-oil. The Loyalty Islanders are classed as Melanesian; the several islands have each its separate language, and in Uvea the one tribe uses a Samoan, and the other a New Hebridean sorm the atolls, ranging from a few hundred yards wide only, in some places, to several miles in others, and the habit of the natives of flocking or swarming from one island to another, or to particular localities on one island. This occurs sometimes twice in a year, and arises from the fact that nature, in her products, is not always equally prolific; and the natives migrate from point to point, for the means of sustenance.
The Marshall islanders are the best and most skillful navigators in the Pacific. Their voyages, sometimes of many months' duration, in great canoes, sailing with outriggers to windward, well provisioned and depending on the skies for fresh water, help to show how the Pacific was colonized. They have a sort of chart, mede, of small sticks tied together, representing the position of islands and the direction of the winds and currents. They have also wonderful weapons, the blades of which are edged with sharks' teeth, and a defensive armor of braided senmit, also peculiar to the islands. In hollowing out their canoes they use a large adze, made from the 7×adacue gigas, formerly used in the Carolines, probably by the older builder race.
LANGUAGES OF MICRO.NESIA.
The languages of Micronesia, though gramatically alike, differ widely in their vocabularies. The religious myths are identifiable with the Polynesian: but a belief in the gods proper is overshadowed by a general deification of ancestors, who are supposed from time to time to occupy certain blocks of