VOYAGES OF THE DUTCH BRIG OF WAR DOURGA THROUGH THE SOUTHERN AND LITTLE-KNOWN PARTS OF THE MOLUCCAN ARCHIPELAGO, AND ALONG THE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN SOUTHERN COAST OF NEW GUINEA.

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Página 161 - ... they recognize the right of property, in the fullest sense of the word, without there being any authority among them than the decisions of their elders, according to the customs of their forefathers, which are held in the highest regard.
Página 159 - No Arafura has ever returned to us after death, therefore we know nothing of a future state, and this is the first time we have heard of it...
Página 168 - When the friends and relatives are all collected the body is placed upon a bier, on which had been laid numerous pieces of cloth, the quantity being according to the ability of the deceased; and under the bier are placed large dishes of China porcelain, to catch any moisture that may fall from the body. The dishes which have been put to this purpose are afterwards much prized, and it is for this reason that dishes of an enormous size are so much prized by the Arafuras. A portion of the moisture that...
Página 166 - The elders considered this mode of proceeding on the part of the wife rather strange, and taking it into consideration that it was very difficult for any one to withstand a declaration of love from a young woman, they lost sight of the severe laws respecting the conduct of men towards married women, and determined that the offender should only pay a small fine, and advised the husband never again to leave his wife at home without provisions. The lady returned home with her husband, who was wise enough...
Página 168 - During two or three days the house of the dead is constantly full of drunken and raving guests. The body is then brought out before the house, and supported against a post, when attempts are again made to induce it to eat. Lighted segars, arrack, rice, fruit, &c., are again stuffed into its mouth, and the bystanders, striking up a song, demand whether the sight of all his friends and fellow villagers will not induce the deceased to awaken? At length, when they find all these endeavours to be fruitless,...
Página 160 - To convince myself more fully respecting their want of knowledge of a Supreme Being, I demanded of them on whom they called for help in their need, when, far from their homes, engaged in the trepang fishery, their vessels were overtaken by violent tempests, and no human power could save them, their wives and their children from destruction.
Página 164 - Affara he was present at the election of the village chiefs, two individuals aspiring to the station of Orang Tua. The people chose the elder of the two, which greatly afflicted the other, but he soon afterwards expressed himself satisfied with the choice the people had made, and said to M. Bik, who had been sent there on a commission, " What reason have I to grieve; whether I am Orang Tua or not, I still have it in my power to assist my fellow villagers." Several old men agreed to this, apparently...
Página 176 - Vorkay towards these islets (the water being only two or three feet deep), carrying a basket at their backs, and having in their hands a stick, provided with an iron point. When the water is deeper than this, they make use of canoes. For fishing on the banks situated at a greater distance, the Alfoers use a prahu, constructed for the purpose, in which they embark their entire families. These vessels have a very strange appearance. They have great beam, and the stern runs up into a high curve, while...
Página 176 - The family resides in three or four huts composed of atap, or palm leaves, erected within the vessel, and a railing runs entirely round it, apparently to prevent the children from falling overboard. The prahu is propelled by a large sail made of rushes, which folds up like a fan (in a similar manner to the sails of a Chinese junk), set upon a tripod mast of bamboos, while it is steered with two rudders. Two other masts are also erected, which answer no purpose but that of displaying several small...
Página 159 - I found in a house at Old Affara (a village on Vorkay, one of the southernmost of the Arms) an image rudely formed of wood, together with a post on which different figures, such as snakes, lizards, crocodiles and human forms were carved, and which the owner stated to be intended for preserving the house from evil spirits (Swangi), yet it is evident that the Arafuras of Vorkay possess no religion whatsoever.

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