December 5, at 3: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public. My name is Andreas Michalke. Most of the records I find in thrift stores or at flea markets here in Berlin.
Preferably with cartoon covers. All my scans are high-resolution. If you double-click on them they will get much bigger. But when we were alone in the country far from the sounds of the revel, in the wild wood and the darkness, all about me struck me as absurd and dull — the calm night, the sky bright with unfamiliar stars, the perfume of the island vegetation — every- thing, even the tones of the lovely little creature at my side.
I was dreaming of Ariitea in her long blue satin tunic, waltzing at the queen's ball, and I longed vehemently to be with her. Rarahu had made a mistake in dragging me away that evening to her woodland solitude. I fancy I see it now as George used to see it, through the same transfiguring prism. It is hardly two months since I first set foot on the island, and already I am bewitched. The disappointment of the first few days is now a thing of the past, and this, I believe is the spot of earth where, like Mignon, I fain would live to love — and die.
The Reindeer is not to sail before October; between this and then I shall have grown so used to this gently enervating life that I shall be more than half a native, and I fear it will be a dreadful wrench when at last we must depart. As a small boy at home I was always dreaming of the South Seas; through the fantastic shroud of the unknown I guessed it, felt it, just what to-day I find it. It still stands as you see it. It was pointed out to me, but that was unnecessary. I should have recognized it at once.
And Roueri's name is held in honour by many of the natives, more particularly by the queen, who loves me and makes much of me for his memory's sake. You, my dear, were in George's confidence; you knew no doubt that a Tahitian woman whom he loved lived with him during his four years of exile. Indeed, I knew that she wrote to him, for I had seen letters lying on his writing- table, in an unknown tongue, which, however, I am now beginning to speak and to understand.
She lives not far off, in a neighbouring island, and I should like to see her. I have often wished to recover trace of her — and now, at the last moment, I hesitate. An indefinable feeling, a sort of scruple checks me at the moment when I am about to stir the ashes and enquire into the past privacy of my brother's life, over which Death has cast a sanctifying shroud. The contemplative side of man is strangely de- veloped in them; they are alive to every aspect of nature, sad or gay, and open to all the vagaries of imagination.
The solitude of the woods and dark- ness terrify them; they people the wilderness with ghosts and spirits. Night-bathing is a custom in high esteem in Tahiti ; parties of young girls go out into the woods by moonlight to plunge into the natural pools of deliciously cold water. And at such an hour a single word: Toupapahou is the name of one of the tattooed bogeys which are the terror of all Polynesians — an uncanny name, terrifying and untranslatable. In Oceania toil is a thing unknown. The forests spontaneously produce all that is needed for the support of these unforeseeing races; the fruit of the bread-tree, and wild bananas grow for all the world to pluck, and suffice for their need.
The years glide over the Tahitians in utter idleness and per- petual dreaming, and these grown-up children could never conceive that in our grand Europe there should be so many people wearing out their lives in earning their daily bread. Nothing could be heard but her cackling tones, mingling with the chirrup of the grasshoppers chanting their midday song, at the very hour when, on the opposite side of this earthly globe, my old friends were coming out of the Paris theatres, chilled and muffled, into the icy fog of a winter's night.
Nature was calm and languid; a warm breeze softly swept over the crowns of the trees, and a swarm of little flecks of sunlight danced lightly over us, multiplied to infinity by the broken screen of guava and mimosa-leaves. Suddenly we saw coming towards us a figure dressed in a flowing tunic of palest green gauze, her long black hair carefully braided, and a wreath of jasmine on her brow.
The thin robe betrayed the outlines of a figure never confined by any tighter garment, and under it could also be seen a magnifi- cent pareo bound about her hips, the large white flowers on a scarlet ground showing through the light gauze. I had never seen RaraKu looking so handsome, nor so much in earnest about herself. She came straight up to me, confused and bash- ful; then she sat down on the grass by my side and remained quite still, a flush tinging her brown cheeks, her eyes cast down, like a naughty child frightened lest she should be questioned and put to shame.
And the young women, who had noticed my surprise, were smothering little fits of laughter and giggling among the long grass in a way which implied no end of spiteful suggestions. Tetouara, sharp and pitiless, pronounced judgment on the fine gauze dress in these astute words: Terrible words, full of hidden meaning, keen- edged words, with a triple barb, which I could not help thinking of again and again. So I lay lost in thought. Now, the Chinese merchants of Papeete are an object of disgust and horror to the Tahitian women; there is no greater disgrace for any girl than to be found out in listening to the addresses of one of these men.
But they are sly, and they are rich, and it is a well-known fact that by dint of gifts and silver coin many of them win favours which amply com- pensate them for the scorn of the public. However, I took good care not to hint this horrible suspicion to John, who would have heaped anathe- mas on the head of my little Rarahu. I had tact enough neither to reproach her nor to cause a scandal, reserving the right to wait and watch. I had come to the spot noiselessly. I pushed aside the branches and looked. He seemed quite at home and did not disturb him- self.
He had twisted up his long pig-tail of iron-grey hair and had knotted it, like a woman's, on the very top of his bald skull. And there, in our stream, he was washing his bony limbs, which looked as if they were stained with saffron, — and the sun shone on him just the same, shedding a softened green light, — and the clear, cool water whispered round him just the same, — as naturally and as merrily as if it were for us.
Curiosity kept me there, attentive and motionless. I had condemned myself to witness the performance, anxiously wondering what was to come of it. I had not to wait long. A light rustle of boughs, a chirping of voices, soon announced the approach of the two little girls. The Chinaman, who also heard them, sprang up as if moved by a spring. Whether from a sense of decency, or from shame at displaying so much ugli- ness to the light of the sun, he ran to get his clothes ; the endless muslin garments, worn one over the other, which composed his costume, were hanging here and there on the boughs of the trees.
He had time to slip on two or three by the time the girls came. Next came Tiahoui; she paused for a moment, putting her hand to her chin and laughing in her sleeve, as having seen something very funny. Rarahu looked over her shoulder and laughed too. And then they both boldly came forward, say- ing in saucy tones: XXVIII Out of his pockets he pulled a quantity of things which he offered the little maids; — little boxes of pink or white powder, complicated little instruments for the toilet, little silver scrapers for cleaning the tongue, and he explained their uses, — and then Chinese sugar-plums — fruits preserved with peppers and ginger.
Rarahu especially was the object of his ardent attentions, and the two girls, though they needed some coaxing, accepted the things with no end of little scornful airs, turning up their noses like mar- mosets. They vanished among the shrubs like a pair of gazelles, their hands full of gifts; I could hear them giggling through the greenery; and Tsin Lee, who could not follow them, remained where he was, chapfallen and out of countenance. All notion of right and wrong was very imperfect in her little heart ; she had grown up at haphazard in the woods ; her ideas were confused, outlandish, and unformed, sprouting as they could in the shade of the great trees.
Still, they were for the most part sweet and pure, and among them were some Christian notions picked up here and there in her old granny's Bible. Vanity and greediness had led her astray from the right path, but I was sure, perfectly sure, that she had made no return for these ill-omened gifts and all the evil could be washed out by tears. She quite understood that what she had done was very naughty, and above all she understood that she had grieved me — and that John, my solemn brother John, would not look at her with his blue eyes.
She cried, poor little thing, cried with all her heart; her bosom heaved with sobs, and Tiahoui cried too at the sight. These tears, the first Rarahu had ever shed, pro- duced the very common result of tears — they made us love each other more than ever. My heart had a larger share in my feelings towards her, and for a while the image of Ariitea became dim. This strange little being weeping at my knee, in the solitude of a Polynesian forest, assumed a new aspect in my eyes ; for the first time I thought of her as somebody, and I began to perceive what an ador- able creature she might have become if she had been in other hands than those of two old savages.
XXX From that day Rarahu, no longer regarding her- self a child, ceased to run about with her bosom bare to the sun; even on days which were not holidays she would wear a gown and plait her long hair. Rarahu would not have me called after any animal ; the poetical name of Mata-reva was her choice after much hesitation. I consulted the dictionary of the worthy brothers Picpus, and I found this: Reva, firmament; abyss, depth; mystery.
It was as though I were in an atmosphere of unchang- ing calm, where the turmoil of the world had ceased to exist. The stream rippled softly over the polished pebbles, carrying down whole colonies of microscopic fish and water-flies. The air was loaded with tropical perfume, that of oranges predominat- ing, oranges heated as they hung on the bough by the southern sun.
Nothing disturbed the silence of this Oceanian noon. Little lizards, as blue as turquoises, made bold by our stillness, shot in and out close by us, and black butterflies with large violet eyes on their wings. Not a sound was to be heard but the dimp- ling fall of water, the subdued twitter of birds, and from time to time, the dropping of an overripe guava-fruit, which smashed on the ground with a scent of raspberries. And as the day went on, when the sinking sun cast a more golden glow on the boughs, Rarahu and I would go home to the solitary hut in the wood. The two old folks, her foster-parents, stolid and grave, were always to be seen there, squatting in front of the pandanus thatch and watching us arrive.
A sort of mystical smile, an expression of indifferent benevolence would light up their dulled faces for a moment. I had to go, leaving my little friend with them, while she gazed upon me with smiling eyes, and looked the very incarnation of fresh youth by the side of those two gloomy Poly- nesian mummies. Then it was supper-time. Rarahu took the burning wood from the old man's hands, lighted a bundle of small wood and cooked a couple of bread-fruits in an oven in the ground; this was the family meal.
By this time the party of bathers from the Fataoua river were going home to Papeete, Tetouara at their head, and I always had plenty of gay company on my way back. Teria and Fai'mana told me to say that they count on you to take them to have tea at the Chinese tea- house — and I will go with pleasure, if you please.
Christmas is coming soon!
Night fell on Tahiti, translucent and star-lit. Rarahu was asleep in the wood; the crickets set up their evening concert in the grass, moths circled under the great trees — and the queen's women were airing themselves in the palace gardens. XXXIII One day when Rarahu was walking with me in one of the shady avenues of the town, she bid good- day in a way half-friendly, half -scornful, and a little frightened too, to an outlandish creature who passed us. Rarahu, much vexed, put out her tongue at her, and then she told me that this old maid, a half- breed, a lanky mixture of English and Maori, had been her teacher at the school at Papeete.
One day the half-caste woman had told her pupil that she had the highest hopes of seeing her succeed to this high office, by reason of the facility with which the child learnt everything. Rarahu, stricken with terror at the idea of such a prospect, suddenly took to her heels and fled to Apire, quitting the school-house at once, never to return. Tamatoa, the eldest son of Queen Pomare — husband of the fair Queen Moe of the island of Rai'atea, and father of the bewitching little invalid Pomare V. In his normal state, Tamatoa, it was said, was not more wicked than other men ; but he drank, and when he was drunk " he saw red " — he must have blood.
He was about thirty years of age, immensely big and a Hercules in strength; several men together could not hold him when he had once lost his head ; he cut throats without rhyme or reason, and his atrocities were beyond all imagining. It was even whispered that of late she had been known to open the door for him, and that he had been seen prowling about the gardens at night. His presence gave the women about the court the same sort of terror as a wild beast might whose cage was known to be insecure at night.
There was in the palace a strangers' room, open night and day; the floor was strewn with mattresses covered with clean white mats, on which Tahitian visitors would sleep, belated chiefs from the out- lying districts, and I myself occasionally. All was silent in the palace and grounds when I went into the strangers' shelter. I found there but one other person, a man seated with his elbows on a table on which burnt a coco-nut-oil lamp.
He was a stranger of supernatural height and build ; with one hand he could have crushed a man like glass. He had huge square cannibal jaws; his big head was savage and grim, his eyes, half shut, had a look of wandering melancholy. I stopped in the doorway. Then began the following dialogue, in Tahitian, between the stranger and me: I have often seen you go by in the evening. You are the chief of some island? At the same moment a slight noise made me turn my head the other way, towards the door, where the old queen had just come in; she walked with the utmost caution on the tip of her bare toes, but the mats creaked under the weight of her heavy person.
When the man was close to me he took a mosquito curtain which he carefully spread above my head; then he placed a banana-leaf in front of his lamp to screen the light from my eyes, and went back to his seat, resting his head in his hands again. Pomare, who had watched us both with evident anxiety, hidden in the dark doorway, seemed satisfied with what she had seen, and disappeared. The queen never came to this part of the palace, and her appearance having confirmed me in the idea that my companion was not to be trusted cured me of all desire to sleep.
The stranger, however, did not stir; his eyes were vague and vacant; he had forgotten my existence. In the distance I could hear some of the queen's women singing a himene of the Pomotous Islands. And presently the big voice of old Ariifaite, the prince-consort, called out, " Mamou! An hour later the figure of the old queen was again visible in the doorway.
The lamp was dying out and the man had fallen asleep. I very soon did the same, though my slumbers were light; and when, at day-break, I rose to go, I saw that he had not moved ; only his head had sunk and was resting on the table. This went on till the day when he evaded the guards and murdered a woman and two children in the garden of the Protestant missionary, and then in the course of one single day committed a series of sanguinary horrors which could not be written down — not even in Latin. XXXV Who can tell where the charm of this land resides?
Who can lay his finger on the secret and intangible something, for which no human tongue has a name? THE MARRIAGE OF LOTI 55 In the spell of Tahiti there is something of the weird sadness which hangs over all these Oceanian isles, — their isolation in the vast, far-off Pacific, — the sea-wind, — the moan of the breakers, — the density of shade — the hoarse, melancholy voices of the islanders, who wander, singing, among the trunks of the coco-palms which are so amazingly tall, and white, and slender.
In vain do we try to seize — to understand — to express the feeling. It is useless ; the secret evades us and is not to be unveiled. I have written pages, many and long, about Tahiti ; in them there are endless details, even as to the appearance of the tiniest plants — the physiog- nomy of its mosses.
You may read it all with the best will in the world, — well, and then — do you understand? No — not in the least.
DIE TAHITI TAMOURÈS, Tahiti Mafatu, | Berlin Beatet Bestes
Has this helped you to hear, at night, on the Polynesian shores white with coral — to hear, at night, the plaintive sound of the vivo the reed pipe from the very depth of the woods — or the distant bellowing of conch-shell trumpets? The serpent being a creature absolutely unknown in Polynesia, the half-breed who had educated Rarahu, to explain to her the form under which the devil had tempted the first woman, had made use of this description. So Rarahu was in the habit of thinking of the long lizard without feet as the most wicked and danger- ous of terrestrial creatures, and that was why she had flung the words in my teeth.
She was still jealous, poor little Rarahu; it troubled her to think that Loti could care for any one else. The evenings at Papeete, with their pleasures in which her old guardians would not allow her to mingle, set her childish imagination working. Above all, the tea-drinks in the Chinese tea-houses, of which Tetouara brought her the most exciting descriptions — tea-drinkings where Teria, Faimana and others of the wild girls who attended the old queen, drank — nay, and were drunk.
And Loti would go, would sometimes even preside, and this utterly puzzled Rarahu, till she gave it up. When she had abused me roundly she cried — a far more effectual argument. From that day forth I was never to be seen at the evenings at Papeete. I stayed later in the Apire woods, sometimes sharing the bread-fruit with old Tahaapairu.
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I used to stay till the hour when the old folks said their prayer — a prayer in an uncanny savage brogue, but the same as I had been taught in my childhood: XXXVIII There was one thing which Rarahu was already beginning to feel, and which she was fated to feel bitterly later; a thing she was incapable of formu- lating with any precision in her own mind, and yet more of expressing in the terms of her primitive tongue. She apprehended vaguely that there must be gulfs, in the intellectual order, fixed between Loti and herself, whole worlds of undreamed-of ideas and knowledge. She already appreciated the differ- ence of our race, of our notions, of our lightest emotions.
On the most elementary details of life our ideas differed widely. Loti, though dressed as a Tahitian and speaking her language, was still to her a Paoupa — that is to say, one of the men who come from the impossible lands beyond the ocean, one of the men who, within the last few years, have brought so many undreamed-of changes and unfore- seen novelties into the stagnancy of Polynesia. She had no conception of those bewilder- ing distances, — and Tahaapai'ru compared them to that which divides Fataoua from the moon and the stars. She never thought of herself as being in Loti's eyes — child of fifteen as she was — anything more than a strange little being, a plaything for a time, soon to be forgotten.
But she was mistaken. Loti was beginning to be aware that he had a feeling for her of a less vulgar stamp.
He was beginning to love her, really love her. He remembered his brother George, whom the Tahitians had called Roueri, who had carried home with him ineradicable memories of this land, and he felt that he should do the same. It seemed to Loti quite possible that this love-affair, set going at a venture by a whim of Tetouara's might leave deep and permanent traces on his whole life. While yet very young, Loti had been cast on the stormy tide of European life; at a very early age he had lifted the curtain which hides the drama of the world from infant eyes ; launched at the age of sixteen on the whirlpool of London and Paris, he had suffered at an age when most lads have scarcely begun to think.
Loti had withdrawn from this cam- paign in the dawn of his life very weary, and be- lieving himself already quite used up.
Meaning of "Tahiti" in the German dictionary
He had been very thoroughly sickened and disappointed because, before this change into a youth like other young men, he had been an innocent and dreamy child, THE MARRIAGE OF LOTI 59 brought up in the pure peace of family life; he, too, had been a little savage, on whose heart in his isola- tion a multitude of fresh ideas and bright illusions had set their mark. Before going off to dream in the groves of Oceania, he had long dreamed as a child in the Yorkshire woods.
There were numberless mysterious affinities be- tween Loti and Rarahu, born at opposite extremities of the earth. Both had the habit of seclusion and contemplation, both were used to woods and nature's solitudes; both were quite happy spending long hours in silence, reclining on moss and flowers; both were passionately addicted to day-dreams, music, fine fruit, flowers, and running water. We still had five long months before us.
It was quite useless to look forward to the future. XL It was delightful when Rarahu would sing. When she sang alone there were in her voice certain notes so fresh and so sweet that only birds or little children have the like. When she sang with others she could execute, above the air sung by the rest, little extravagant variations on the very highest notes of the scale, always very elaborate and admir- ably true.
Rarahu was one of the chief performers, and held the first place by her pure voice.
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But as a whole their precision was enough to infuriate the pupils of the Conservatoire at Paris, and in the woods, after dark, the effect was something quite beyond description. XLI Day was declining. I was alone by the sea, on a part of the shore near Apire. In this deserted spot I was waiting for Tai'maha, and felt mysteriously excited by the thought that this woman was coming. Tai'maha, I had been told, had come to Tahiti the day before. An old hag who had known her in former years, in Roueri's hut, had bidden me to meet her here and had undertaken to let her know.
Presently a woman appeared, who, seeing me under the coco-palms, came towards me. It was now dark, but when she was quite close I saw a hideous face looking at me with the odious grin of a savage.
DIE TAHITI TAMOURÈS, Tahiti Mafatu, 1963
My name is Tevaruef aipo- tuaiahutu, and I came from Papetoai. I have come to gather cowries on the reef, and pink coral. Will you buy some? Next day I learnt that Taimaha had gone back to her island at daybreak; my commission remained unfulfilled. She was gone, never dreaming that Roueri's brother had waited for her for many hours on the sea-shore.
The messenger who delivers this letter has also a heap of presents I am sending you; a tuft of feathers made from the tails of the scarlet phaeton, a very precious curiosity and the gift of my host, the chief of Tehaupoo ; then a neck- lace of three rows of little white shells given me by his lady wife; finally, two bunches of reva-reva, which a great lady of the district of Papeouriri stuck on my head yesterday at a feast at Taravao. I only want you here, my dear fellow, to be perfectly enchanted with my stay at Taravao. In these we still find the old indigenous hospitality, meals of fruit laid out under green awn- ings of plaited boughs and flowers ; music too, reed vivos in plaintive unison, and a chorus of himenes, singing and dancing.
By leaning out of my bed of white matting I can look down into the strange busy world of the reef. Among white and pink branches, and the elaborate tangle of madrepores, myriads of tiny fish flit to and fro, their colours vieing with those of gems or of humming-birds — geranium- scarlet, vivid Chinese green, blues which no paint could reproduce — besides swarms of other creatures of every hue, and of every shape excepting that of a fish.
By day, during the hours of siesta, lost in contemplation I can admire all these things which are almost unknown even to naturalists and observers. When the wind is whistling outside, when the great complaining of the sea comes up through the darkness, then a sort of anguish of loneliness comes over me out here at the southern-most and most forsaken point of this distant isle, face to face with the immensity of the Pacific — the immensity of all earthly immensities, THE MARRIAGE OF LOTI 03 spreading away to the occult shores of the south- polar continent.
We encamped for one night on its bank. It is a strange spot which few people have seen ; only a few Europeans find their way hither at long intervals out of curiosity; the way is long and toilsome, the approach wild and desolate. Picture to yourself, at a thousand yards above the ocean, a dead sea buried among the mountains in the middle of the island; all round rise high, austere bluffs, their masses standing out in sharp outline against a clear evening sky.
The water is clear and deep, nothing is stirring — not even a fish. Tell her that I do not forget her in my solitude, and that I hope to dance with her next week at the queen's ball. If you should happen to come across Faimana or Teria in the gardens you may say whatever comes into your head — on my behalf.
Do this for me, I beg and pray. You are too kind not to understand, and to forgive us both. On my honour I love her with all my heart. Queen Pomare alone, out of respect for the traditions of her country, had learnt the names of those old-world deities and preserved in her mind some of the strange legends of the bygone days. But all those strange words of the Tahitian tongue which had struck me by their vague or mystical import, having no equivalent in our Euro- pean languages, were household words to Rarahu, who would use them and explain them to me with rare and remarkable poetical feeling.
And when we are fright- ened together I will teach you the most terrible things about the Toupaphous — things you never heard of 1 " In fact there are in the Maori tongue many words and metaphors which only become intelligible by degrees, after living with the islanders at night in the woods, listening to the murmur of the wind and the sea, the ear attent for every mysterious voice of nature. Under the dense shade, among the creepers and tree-ferns nothing flies, nothing stirs; all is silent, — a strange silence which seems to sit brooding on the melancholy fancy of the natives.
But in the rocky defiles, high, fearfully high over- head, the phaeton is to be seen, a small white bird with a long rose-coloured or white feather in its tail. Formerly the chiefs used to stick a tuft of these feathers in their head-dresses, and it needed time and patience to acquire this high-caste decoration. XLV Rarahu and Tiahoui had been abusing each other roundly.
For several minutes their fresh lips had poured forth, without pause or hesitation, a flood of the most childish and most absurd vituperations — the most gross, too, for Tahitian, like Latin, " in words, defies decency. All the young women stretched on the shore of the brook of Fataoua were in fits of laughing and spurred them on. The two little girls glared at each other like two cats about to spring and roll and scratch ; quite pale, rigid but quivering with rage. The taunt had hit true on either side, and the two little maids, clutching each other by the hair, scratched and bit.
They were soon separated; then they began to cry; and finally, Rarahu having thrown herself into Tiahoui's arms, the two little things, who were devoted friends, ended by embrac- ing each other fondly. XLVI Tiahoui, in her effusiveness had embraced Rarahu by rubbing noses, after an old Maori fashion now obsolete, which was a reminiscence of her childhood and her barbarous home. She put her little nose against Rarahu's round cheek and sniffed hard. Thus, by sniffing, the South Sea Islanders were wont to embrace; kissing with the lips they learnt from Europeans.
And Rarahu, in the midst of her tears gave me a comical glance and a smile of understand- ing, as much as to say: Was I not right, Loti, to call her so? XLVII Wandering along the white strand of Tahiti, under the slim coco-palms, now and again, on some solitary headland where we look out on the blue immensity, in some spot chosen by the melancholy taste of forgotten generations, we come on funereal knolls, great barrows of coral. These are the marae, the tombs of long departed chiefs ; the history of the dead who sleep below is lost in the fabulous and unknown past which preceded the discovery of the islands of Polynesia.
These marae are to be met with on the shores of all the islands inhabited by the Maori race. The mysterious islanders of Rapa-Nui decorated these burial places with gigantic statues wearing horrible masks; the Tahitians only planted groves of iron-trees. The iron-tree is the cypress of those islands; its foliage is dark and melancholy; the sea- wind wails curiously in its stiff boughs.
These mounds, perfectly white in spite of the lapse of ages, the dead white of coral, and crowned by tall black trees, record the memory of the terrible religion of the past, for they also served as altars on which human victims were slain in honour of the dead. This I heard from Pomare herself. XLVIII Tahaapairu, Rarahu's adoptive father, carried on such a strange trade that in our Europe, fertile as it is in every kind of invention, nothing of the kind was ever heard or thought of. He was very old, which is not very common in Oceania, and he had moreover a beard, and that a white one, a great rarity in those parts.
In the Marquesas a white beard is an almost undiscover- able rarity, used in the manufacture of certain precious adornments for the head and ears of some of the chiefs, and old men are carefully maintained and taken care of for the sake of the produce of their chins, which is cut at regular intervals.
Twice a year old Tahaapairu cut off his beard and exported it to Hivaoa, the most savage of the Marquesas isles, where he sold it for its weight in gold. XLIX Rarahu was gazing with interest and terror at a skull which lay on my knees. We were sitting on the very top of a coral tumulus at the foot of the huge iron-trees. I looked at Rarahu with unwonted tenderness that evening. The next day I was going away for some time ; the Reindeer was to make a cruise to the north of the Marquesas archipelago. Rarahu, wordless and dreamy, was lost in one of those childlike fits of brooding which I never wholly succeeded in understanding.
For a moment her whole figure was lighted up with a golden glory; in the next the sun was swallowed up by the ocean, and her figure stood forth a slender, graceful silhouette against the western sky. Rarahu had never before looked so closely at the lugubrious object which lay in my lap, and which to her, as to every Polynesian, was a thing of horror. It was easy to see that this sinister object roused a crowd of fresh ideas in her mind, though she could not give them any definite form. The skull must have been very ancient; it was almost a fossil, and tinged with the red hue which the soil of these islands gives to bones.
Death has ceased to be loathsome when it is so long ago. A Tahitian word very imperfectly rendered by awesome, because it implies the peculiarly gloomy dread which is caused by spectres, or the dead. And she pointed to the toothless jaw and said: In this country where there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of, neither plants, beasts nor men — where, go where you will, you may sleep in the open air, alone and unarmed — the natives are terrified of the night and quake at phantoms.
In the open places and along the strand it was not so bad; Rarahu held my hand tightly in hers and sang himenes to keep her courage up. But there was a certain great grove of coco-palms which was a place of terror. Rarahu walked in front, making me hold her hands behind her back, not a very convenient arrangement for getting on fast ; she felt herself better protected so, and more secure from being seized by the hair by the brick-red death's-head. It was absolutely dark under the trees, and the wild plants of the wood gave out a sweet smell.
The ground was strewn with dried palm-leaves which crackled under our feet. Overhead the air was full of a sound peculiar to coco-groves, a metallic rustle of stirring leaves; behind the trees we heard the laughter of the Toupapahous and at our feet a fear- some and startling scurry — the hasty flight of swarms of blue crabs hurrying away at our approach, into their hiding-places underground. Next day was one of exciting leave-takings.
In the evening I expected at last to see Ta'imaha ; Norman When, at the hour fixed, I reached the lonely spot I saw a woman standing motionless and expectant, her face hidden in a thick white veil. I went up to her and called her Taimaha. The veiled woman let me repeat the name several times without replying; she turned her head away and was laugh- ing under the folds of her muslin wrap. I pulled the veil away and found the familiar face of Fai'mana, who ran off shouting with glee. Faimana never told me what assignation had brought her to this spot, where she was ill-pleased to meet me; she had never heard of Taimaha and could tell me nothing about her.
So I had no choice but to postpone any further attempt to see her till my next visit. It seemed as though this woman were a myth, or that some mysterious power took pleasure in keeping us apart, having some more startling meeting in store for a future day. We weighed anchor next morning a little before daybreak; Tiahoui and Rarahu accompanied me to the shore as the stars began to wane. Rarahu shed floods of tears though the cruise of the Reindeer was to last only a month; she, perhaps, had a pre- sentiment that the blissful time we had just passed together could never be repeated.
The idyl was ended. Against all human antici- pation those hours of peace and delight we had spent on the shore of the brook of Fataoua were gone, never to return. The mere name of Nuka-Hiva brings with it the notion of a penitentiary and transportation, though at the present day there is nothing to justify this unpleasant association.
Filmed on location in on the islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti using local actors speaking in their native dialect. It was directed by Roy Disney. The book is preferred by most people. The music and lyrics for the production were by Adam Overett, and it was directed and choreographed by Adam Roberts. The Associate Director for the musical was Jaclyn Loewenstein. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Call It Courage Dust jacket of 1st edition, 1st printing. Retrieved from " https: Pages to import images to Wikidata Pages using infobox television with editor parameter. Views Read Edit View history.