Voyages of the Dutch brig of war Dourga through ... parts of the Moluccan archipelago ... 1825 & 1826, tr. by G.W. Earl

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Página 161 - ... 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 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 their vessels were overtaken by ' violent tempests. The eldest among them, after ' having consulted the others, answered that they ' knew not on whom they could call for assistance, ' but begged me, if I knew, to be so good as to inform
Página 159 - To all my enquiries on this subject they answered, ' 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 166 - An appeal was therefore made to the elders, and on the woman being questioned, she frankly stated the kindness of her neighbour in supplying her wants had called forth her gratitude, and this ripened into love — she had made the first advances. 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...
Página 168 - ... have been laid, 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 by the Alfoers. The body is then brought out before the house, and supported against a post, when attempts are made to induce it to eat.
Página 168 - A portion of the moisture that has exuded, is mixed with arrack and drunk by the guests, who think that they thus show the true affection they bore to the deceased. 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,...
Página 156 - Islands. Valentyn laid them down very incorrectly, and was uncertain how far they extended to the eastward. The Arafuras, who are the aborigines of the islands, form a numerous body of people. They are not, as is generally supposed, entirely uncivilized, since they live in villages, containing ten or twelve houses each, under the control of their elders. Their food consists chiefly of fish and hogs, which they shoot with iron-pointed arrows. They also grow excellent vegetables, Indian corn, labu...
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 161 - Then this God is certainly in your arrack, for I never feel happier than when I have drunk plenty of it.
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...

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