There Were Flowers Everywhere, Flowers, Flowers,
Flowers, Without Out End.
The whole thing was an orgy of colour.
On the platform forward resting on the bows of the canoes, Tehei and
Bihaura were dancing.
All voices were raised in a wild song or
Three times they circled the Snark before coming alongside to take
Charmian and me on board. Then it was away for the fishing-grounds,
a five-mile paddle dead to windward. "Everybody is jolly in Bora
Bora," is the saying throughout the Society Islands, and we
certainly found everybody jolly. Canoe songs, shark songs, and
fishing songs were sung to the dipping of the paddles, all joining
in on the swinging choruses. Once in a while the cry Mao! was
raised, whereupon all strained like mad at the paddles. Mao is
shark, and when the deep-sea tigers appear, the natives paddle for
dear life for the shore, knowing full well the danger they run of
having their frail canoes overturned and of being devoured. Of
course, in our case there were no sharks, but the cry of mao was
used to incite them to paddle with as much energy as if a shark were
really after them. "Hoe! Hoe!" was another cry that made us foam
through the water.
On the platform Tehei and Bihaura danced, accompanied by songs and
choruses or by rhythmic hand-clappings. At other times a musical
knocking of the paddles against the sides of the canoes marked the
accent. A young girl dropped her paddle, leaped to the platform,
and danced a hula, in the midst of which, still dancing, she swayed
and bent, and imprinted on our cheeks the kiss of welcome.
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