These Woods Were Full Of
Pineapples, Which In Places Barred Our Way.
Many of them were ripe,
and I found they possessed a fine flavour.
In the afternoon the ceremonies were continued, the "Buli" sending
for me to sit by him in the doorway of his hut to watch them. First
about forty women with "tapa" cloth wound around their bodies went
through various evolutions, swaying their arms about and chanting in
their usual discordant manner. They then unwound the "tapa" from their
bodies and threw it in a heap on the ground, following this by more
manoeuvres. About twenty men came into the square, some with their
faces blacked and their bodies stained red with some pigment, and
wearing only aprons of coconut strings, with bracelets of leaves on
their arms and carved pigs' tusks hanging from their necks. They went
through some splendid dancing, falling down on the ground and bouncing
up again like india-rubber balls. They sang, or rather chanted, all the
time, and so did a kind of chorus of men who beat on wood and bamboo,
while the dancers danced round them in circles, and squares, and then
bent backward, nearly touching the ground with their heads. As they
danced they kept splendid time, with their arms, legs and heads.
Then amid shrill yells and cries from the crowd, another procession
approached from the far end of the village in single file. First came
several men with spears, which they shook on the ground every now and
then, shaking their bodies at the same time in a fierce manner.
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