Puslapio vaizdai
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print cloth and stockings at the bride, he moaned: 'Now I am a pauper! Everything is taken from me- my son, these beautiful stockings, six yards of the finest cloth, which cost me five shillings a yard [I had sold it to him at ninepence]-all is gone, thrown away on this loose woman!'

Thus went the Puka-Puka ceremony of 'making big.' No wedding would be complete without it.

Wildly waving his arms, George, the Leeward Village dandy, sprang before the couple, flourishing a bottle of hair oil and yelling that it had cost him eighteen shillings. Everyone knew that the price was one and sixpence, but that mattered nothing. He, the generous George, cared nothing for expense. He was more than willing to buy costly gifts for Sun-Eater; for, he admitted, she had been his sweetheart in the past, but he had generously given her her freedom when he learned that poor old Wail-of-Woe wanted to marry her. Then he took from Wail-ofWoe's head the bowler hat he had lent him for the wedding, threw the bottle of hair oil into Sun-Eater's lap, and strode off at a manly gait.

Old Mama, the wife of William the heathen, came next. She was dressed in her mildewed bedgown and flourished a handkerchief in her hand. I had sold her the handkerchief that morning for ninepence. Mama screamed that this was no ordinary handkerchief, but a particularly fine one that her friend the trader had brought with him from his own land and had reluctantly sold to her for nine shillings. Such a splendid gift was quite thrown away on such a skeleton as Wail-of-Woe; however, since he was her nephew, she would give it to him merely as a matter of family pride. She then put her withered limbs through a dance movement.

Many others, friends and relatives, brought gifts, each of them trying to

outdo the others in praising his gift and disparaging the bride or groom. I presented a bag of flour, and when I turned away without 'making big,' Peni, my store boy, jumped up and spoke in my stead, bouncing the price of the flour to as many pounds as it was shillings. Then my old friend William joined him, and together they heaped insults on Sun-Eater and Wail-of-Woe, telling them how utterly unworthy they were to receive this priceless gift from the white trader, a man known as far away as Apia and Tahiti and Rarotonga for his great deeds and his unheard-of generosity.

"There!' said Peni, coming up to me. 'If I had not spoken, people would have thought that was only an ordinary fifteen-shilling bag of flour.'

'So it was,' I replied. Peni gave me an astonished glance.

'But it is n't now!' he said, and I think he believed it.

Some brought presents of roast chickens and pigs; others brought drinking nuts, fish, and taro cooked into puddings. When evening had set in the food was so divided that all those who had taken part in the gift-giving should have a share. The other gifts were kept by Wail-of-Woe and his wife, although at some marriages even the offerings of clothing, perfume, and so forth are divided. In that case a man who has given the groom a pair of trousers may very well take them home with him again, or perhaps a shirt or a pair of secondhand shoes in place of them. At this particular kind of 'making big' George invariably presents the groom with his British army overcoat and Scratch-Woman's offering to the bride is the black lace dress handed down from mother to daughter in her family for many years. The understanding is, of course, that these articles shall be returned to the donors when the division of spoils takes place.


A year after his marriage Wail-ofWoe was in the last stages of consumption. Bosun-Woman and Jeffrey, her husband, visited him daily, for one is the island undertaker and the other the island doctor.

This loud-mouthed Bosun-Woman! None of Walter Scott's old women who hobble to wakes could surpass her in ghoulishness. She takes a morbid pleasure in visiting the dangerously ill and is never so happy as when laying out a corpse. Although she is not far past forty she appears to be much older, except for her hair, which is black. It hangs loosely down her back in tangled hanks, damp with fish oil. Her cheeks are withered and flabby, her eyes are like buttons of black jade, and her mouth is large and pale.

Jeffrey is much older. He is tall, bony, and walks with a wriggling motion as though his hips were out of joint. He shaves every Christmas with the Central Village razor. He wears a grass skirt, nothing else, and his legs are as hairy and almost as thin as a spider's. He is the only doctor on Puka-Puka and mixes noxious things like fish intestines, chicken droppings, coconut bark, sea urchins, and the like, for all diseases, external or internal. These he administers in large doses, and if the patient is not cured by the power of suggestion he dies from the effect of the medicine.

Jeffrey has three other methods of treatment. One is massage, which is often helpful. The second is by invocations to the spirits of the dead, who cause the patient's illness by possessing his body. In some cases Jeffrey's invocations cure, for they create a hopeful state of mind in the sick person, who believes that the malignant spirit is being driven out.

The third method of treatment is

disastrous in most cases, particularly in cases of tuberculosis, for it consists in putting the patient on a strict diet of a very coarse kind of taro, land crabs, and coconut crabs. Jeffrey claims that by eating good taro, fish, eggs, fowls, and the like, the effect of his medicine is neutralized. This tabu doubtless comes from ancient times when the witch doctors shrewdly killed off the weaklings in an effort to combat overpopulation. The tabu also saved the fish and taro for the warriors and the witch doctors themselves.

Wail-of-Woe sank fast on his diet of puraka and crabs, as well as from his daily doses of nauseous medicine. Bosun-Woman called at his house every day, where she amused herself by composing the death chant to be wailed over his body. Wail-of-Woe did not in the least resent her visits. On the contrary, he seemed to look forward to them and would make suggestions for improvements in the verses she was composing. And he would discuss with her the arrangements for his burialhow many yards of white calico would suffice for the winding sheet, and so forth. He seemed to have no fear whatever of the approaching end. One evening old Mama came to tell me that Wail-of-Woe was to die that night. Jeffrey had said so.

I went to Wail-of-Woe's house and looked in. He was sitting in Sea Foam's steamer chair, propped up by pillows, while close by squatted a dozen people staring at him. His eyes were hollow and his body frightfully emaciated.

'I am going to die to-night, Ropati,' he muttered hoarsely, and then broke down with a racking fit of coughing. Bosun-Woman was not there; it was not proper for her to appear on the last day until after the first death wail she was at home, wide-awake, waiting.

I returned to the trading station and put a lively record on my phonograph,

but it did little to cheer me up. I retired early and was awakened about two in the morning by a piercing scream. Hurrying footsteps sounded in the road below. I went to the verandah and looked down. Bosun-Woman passed, going to the wake, her flabby face with its ghastly smile looking even more horrible by moonlight. She walked with a light mincing step and her hair slapped back and forth across her back like a wet rag.

Others followed: children, old men, old women, all on their way to hear the new dirge Bosun-Woman would wail over the body.

Screech after screech cut through the still night air, but at length these subsided and the death chant burst forth. How is one to describe such a song with nothing of the sort from civilized lands to be used as a comparison? Puka-Puka death chants are peculiar to this island, and there seems to be nothing human about them. The sounds range from eerie guttural moans rising slowly to ear-splitting screams when the wife throws her body across that of her dead husband, tearing her hair with outcries that chill the blood; then there are almost whispered chantings and sobbings that seem to come from another world. When I first heard one of these songs I was fascinated by its unearthly quality, and found myself unconsciously swaying my body in unison with BosunWoman, uttering meaningless syllables in her unvarying cadence. I had to tear myself away from the spot and dash my hands against my head to break the spell I was under.

All that night, all the next day, and all the following night Bosun-Woman led the death chant over the body of Wail-of-Woe. Thus all the relatives exhausted themselves emotionally, abandoning themselves to grief until an inevitable reaction set in. As a result,

when Wail-of-Woe was buried, even Sun-Eater could greet the world with a smile.


At night the coconut groves of PukaPuka are filled with moving shadows lacelike shadows of fronds, shadows of stiff-limbed pandanus trees, of ground bush, of fleecy trade-wind clouds skimming low overhead. And there are the shadows of the kaki, the young unmarried, stealing from the villages to their meetings on the lonely outer beaches, where great breakers thunder on the reef and long stretches of pure coral sand glimmer faintly under the light of moon or stars.

If some Paul Pry were to follow them to these nightly rendezvous, he would doubtless be greatly shocked. He would see naked youthful figures dancing joyously in the ghostly light. He would hear snatches of weird heathen song, provocative rhythms drummed out on coconut shells; and faintly above the roar of the surf he would hear, far offshore, exultant shouts where groups of young Puka-Pukans disport themselves like schools of porpoises in the deep sea, riding the great swells just rising to break on the reef.

The young unmarried of Puka-Puka correspond to 'these wild young people' that parents of our day that parents of our day-of all times, in fact are forever shaking their heads about. But the parents of this island are by no means concerned about their sons and daughters just emerging into manhood and womanhood. They themselves were once young, they remember, and did precisely as their children are doing now. Their parents before them did the same, and so it has gone through countless generations. If there is any place on earth where men and women live naturally, surely it is Puka-Puka.


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SINCE the end of the war we have heard much about the doctrine, long recognized as a commonplace among economists, that the debts of one country to another can be settled only through the transfer of goods or services from the debtor to the creditor country.' We have been confronted with this doctrine more and more with each succeeding year. We first encountered it when we ventured to form an intelligent opinion on the reparations question how much Germany could pay and the manner in which she would pay it. We next heard about it when we began to deal with the disturbing problem of war debts-how England, Belgium, France, and Italy were going to pay the interest and principal on their war and post-war borrowings from the American Government. Bringing the matter all the way home, we are now obliged to take fresh cognizance of the doctrine whenever we seriously consider the status of that large group of private American investors who have been buying enormous quantities of foreign bonds-how these investors are to receive the interest or dividends in years to come on the foreign securities they have been putting away in their strong boxes.

In its more refined form the doctrine does not state that a debtor country seeking to effect a settlement of its obligations must send goods direct to the country where its creditors live. On the contrary, it may sell its goods or services

in any foreign market. The essence of the doctrine is that a debtor country in its trade relations with the rest of the world must develop an excess of total exports over total imports, an excess. approximately equal to the yearly obligations it expects to meet. It will then be in a position to satisfy its foreign creditors. The sale of goods abroad in excess of purchases abroad will leave cash balances, somewhere beyond its own boundaries, on which drafts can be drawn for the payment of external obligations.

Just as a debtor country must sell more than it buys, so a creditor country must buy more than it sells. It must increase its importations of foreign goods, no matter in what country the goods originate, or it must diminish its export trade, if it would receive the money payments which the foreign debtor is trying to make. In short, a creditor country must have an excess of total imports over total exports sufficiently large to permit it to receive in goods or services the interest and principal payments due from the outside.

At times we have given an attentive and sympathetic ear to this doctrine. It has seemed clear to everyone, for example, that Germany could make reparation payments only to the extent that she was able to develop a surplus production of goods and services which outside markets would take. Up to this point there has been no ground for argument. We have accepted the doctrine outright as applied to the method by which a debtor country must discharge

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its external obligations. But when to fitting the doctrine in with our own status as a great creditor country, foredoomed to receive large payments from foreign debtors, our attitude toward all such doctrine becomes at once lukewarm, then cold, and, on further consideration, openly antagonistic. Surely, we argue, there is some way to beat it.)

We have made determined efforts to negative that portion of the doctrine which tells how a creditor country must receive its interest and principal payments from debtor countries. We have shown unequivocally that we do not want foreign goods to compete in our markets with the products of our own manufacture. If foreigners can arrange to send us raw materials which we do not produce, all well and good, but under no circumstances do we want their manufactured products. That has been our answer to the widely proclaimed doctrine of the economists.


Our demonstration of protest began shortly after the end of the war. We had a strong feeling at the time- and and it may have been a reasonable feeling

that European countries would make a supreme effort to recover market outlets which had been lost while the war was on. Our feelings in the matter were aggravated by at least three important considerations. In the first place, there lay in the back of our minds the fact that European countries owed the American Government billions of dollars on account of our war and postwar advances which, according to the doctrine of the economists, could be repaid only in the form of goods or services. Secondly, it was realized that Germany in particular had need of a large external market where she could sell her products and build up cash bal

ances with which to pay her reparation obligations. And what more accessible or coveted market was there than ours? Finally, our leaders made much of the argument, though it contained only a modicum of truth, that a nation having a depreciated currency enjoyed special manufacturing and selling advantages not possessed by nations whose currencies were on a gold basis.

(Confronted with an international trade situation which seemed ominous, at a time when our own industry was languishing as the result of post-war deflation, we promptly convinced ourselves that drastic action was needed to meet the trade emergency. In order to safeguard our industries against the alleged dangers of European competition and to ensure the maintenance of our high standard of living, we put through special tariff legislation in 1921 in the form of an Emergency Tariff Act. In the following year we reaffirmed our belief in the efficacy of goods-exclusion principles by passing the Fordney Tariff Act. }

Our return to a high-tariff policy did not inflict great hardship on European countries at the moment. Although heavily indebted to us on open account as a result of the war, they could not immediately pay off these obligations by sending us goods. Their productive efficiency was too far below pre-war standards, their trade was still disorganized. It is impossible to believe that they could have become dangerous competitors in our markets forthwith, even if our tariff had been left unchanged. Be that as it may, the effect of the very substantial increase in our tariff duties was to make their case more hopeless than it would have been otherwise. It not only operated to retard the revival of their internal trade, but it put off still further the day when they could pay their external debts in the ordinary commercial way. Deprived of

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