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again will be; but if there should happen some violent political change, it is possible the son of the late divine chief may be raised to that honour: we therefore speak of Tooitonga as if actually exist ing. The family name of Tooitonga is Fatafehi, and the present head of the family the only son (of legitimate rank) is now a youth of about 16 or 17 years of age; his name is Fatafehi Low fili Tonga: he is still considered a chief of high rank, and has respect paid to him accordingly.
Tooitonga and Veachi are both acknowledged descendants of chief gods who formerly visited the islands of Tonga, but whether their original mothers were goddesses or merely natives of Tonga, is a question which they do not pretend to decide. Of these two personages, Tooitonga, as may be guessed from his title, is far higher in rank;-the word imports chief of Tonga, which island has always been considered the most noble of all the Friendly islands, and from time immemorial the greatest chiefs have been accustomed to make it their principal place of residence, and after their decease to be buried there in the tombs of their ancestors. This island moreover gives name, by way of preeminence, to all the islands taken collectively, as a capital town sometimes gives name to a country; and withal it has acquired the epithet of sacred, túboo, and is thus sometimes called Tonga taboo, denoting its excellence; from this circumstance it is erroneously noted down in our charts Tongataboo; but táboo is only an epithet occasionally used. The
respect which is shewn to Tooi
tonga, and the high rank which he holds in society, is wholly of a religious nature, and is far superior, when occasion demands it, to that which is shewn even to the king himself; for this latter, as will by and by be seen, is by no means of the most noble descent, but yields in this respect to Tooitonga, Veachi, and several families related to them; and if the king were accidentally to meet any chief of nobler descent than himself, he would have to sit down on the ground till the other had passed him, which is a mark of respect that a common peasant would be obliged to shew to any chief or egi whatsoever; and for this reason the king never associates with any chief superior to himself, and always endeavours to avoid meeting them, and they in like manner endeavour to avoid him, that he might not be put to the trouble of sitting down while they passed : for if any one were to forego this ceremony in presence of a superior egi, some calamity from the gods would be expected as a punishment for the omission. Sitting down is with them a mark of respect, as standing up is with us, before a superior; upon the principle, perhaps, that in this posture a man cannot so readily attack or assassinate the person in whose presence he is; or it may be that in this posture lowering his height. is significant of his rank or merit being humbled in presence of the other.
There are many ceremonies which characterise the high respect and veneration shewn to Tooitonga; but as in this place we are discoursing of rank, not of ceremonies, the full description of 2 G 2
the latter must be deferred till we come to speak of religious rites. Here we shall only mention, in a general way, in what these ceremonies chiefly consist.
1. The grand ceremony of ina'chi, which is performed once a year (about the month of October), and consists in offering the first fruits of the year to Tooitonga. It was supposed that if this ceremony were neglected, the vengeance of the gods would fall in a signal manner upon the people.
2. Peculiarity of his marriage ceremony.
3. Peculiarity of his burial ceremony.
4. Peculiarity of the mourning for his decease.
5. Tooitonga is not circumcised, as all the other men are, unless he goes to foreign islands to undergo this ceremony; nor is he tattowed.
6. Peculiarities of speech used in regard to Tooitonga; for instance, if the king or any chief but Tooitonga be sick, they say he is ténga túngi, but Tooitonga being sick, he is said to be booloo'hi: so with many other words that are used exclusively for him, and which will be noticed hereafter.
These things are mentioned in this place, merely to afford an idea of the high veneration in which Tooitonga is held; for to whom but the greatest personage can such peculiarities belong? Notwithstanding his high rank, however, he has comparatively but very little absolute power, which extends in a direct and positive manner only to his own family and attendants as to his property, he
has somewhat more than the generality of the nobles, but much less than the king, who by his arbitrary sovereignty can lay claim to almost any thing.
Thus all that can be said in this place of Tooitonga is, that he is by far the greatest egi, having the credit of a high divine original, and that all respect and veneration is therefore due to him.
Veachi, as mentioned before, is another egi of divine original, but far from being equal to Tooitonga. The king, indeed, avoids his presence, the same as he would that of Tooitonga, and always pays him the usual obeisance when he happens to meet him but he has no peculiar marks of high respect shewn to him, as are shewn to Tooitonga; that is to say, no ceremonies that are, in themselves, peculiar and different from what are shewn to other chiefs by their inferiors. There is this one universal acknowledgment, however, viz. that he is a great chief descended from a god, that he is next in rank to Tooitonga, and superior to every other chief. His name has no known literal meaning that Mr. Mariner can discover.
Priests or Fahe-gehe. The term fahe-gehe means split off, separate, or distinct from, and is applied to signify a priest, or man, who has a peculiar or distinct sort of mind or soul, differing from that of the generality of mankind, which disposes some god occasionally to inspire him. These inspirations, of which an account has been given vol. i. p. 105, frequently happen, and on such occasions the priest has the same deference and respect shewn to
him as if he were the god himself; if the king happen to be present, he retires to a respectful distance, and sits down among the body of the spectators, so would Veachi, and so would even the high divine chief Tooitonga, because a god is believed to exist at that moment in the priest, and to speak from his mouth but at other times a priest has no other respect paid to him than what his own proper family rank may require. They generally belong to the lower order of chiefs, or to the matabooles, though sometimes great chiefs are thus visited by the gods, and the king himself has been inspired by Tali-y-toobo, the chief of the gods. During the time a priest is inspired he is looked on with more or less veneration, according to the rank of the god that inspires him. But more upon this subject under the head of religion.
The civil ranks of society may be thus divided; How, or King; Egi, or Nobles; Matabooles Mooas, and Toons.
The How, or King, is an arbitrary monarch, deriving his right to the throne partly from here. ditary succession, and partly from military power, which latter he is occasionally obliged to exert to secure himself in the former. His power and influence over the minds of the people is derived from the following circumstances; viz. hereditary right; supposed protection of the gods, if he is the lawful heir; his reputation as a warrior; the nobility of his descent; and lastly, but not leastly, the strength and number of his fighting men. He, of course, possesses the greatest power of any individual, but, in respect to rank, as before ob
served, he is differently circumstanced. In this last particular, not only Tooitonga, Veachi, and priests actually inspired, are superior to him, but even several other nobles are higher in rank, not as to office or power, but as to blood, or descent, for nobility consists in being related either to Tooitonga, Veachi, or the How, and the nearer any family is related to them, the nobler it is; those related to Tooitonga being nobler than those equally related to Veachi, and those related to this latter being more noble than those equally related to the How. Hence it appears that there must be many egis more noble even than the king himself, and to such the king, meeting them, must shew the same marks of respect as are usual from an inferior to a superior: and if he were to touch any thing personally belonging to the superior chief, as himself, or his garments, or the mat on which he sleeps, he becomes tabooed, as it is termed, or under the prohibition to feed himself with his own hands; or, if he does, it is at the risk of becoming diseased, or suffering some other calamity from the gods as a punishment: but from this taboo he can readily free himself, by performing the ceremony of moe-moe, which consists in touching, with both hands, the feet of the superior chief, or of one equal to him: but more of these ceremonies in their proper place.
Egi, or Nobles. All those persons are egi, or nobles, or chiefs (for we have used these terms syncnymously), who are any way related either to the family of Tcoitonga, or Veachi, or the How: and all
and nobody else but chiefs, have the privilege of freeing people from the taboo, under circumstances, and in the manner related in the above paragraph. Tooitonga and Veachi may easily be conceived the source of nobility, on account of their supposed divine original, and the How because he holds the reins of government, and is invested with power. The family of Finow, who is the present How, say, that they descended neither from Tooitonga nor Veachi, but are altogether a distinct race the fact, probably, is, that Finow's family is a distant branch of one of the others; but having at length ascended the throne, it drew its rank and consequence more from this circumstance than from such distant relationship. The present Finow's father was the first of his family that came to the throne, which he did by usur. pation and expulsion of the then reigning family. (Vide vol. i. p. 77.) The Hows before that time, as far back as they have credible records, which is not more than about four, or at most, five generations, were all relations of Tooitonga. At all events, this is certain, that the present acknowledged fountains of nobility are Tooitonga, Veachi, and the king, in the order in which they here stand. In every family nobility descends by the female line; for where the mother is not a noble, the children are not nobles; but supposing the father and mother to be nearly equal by birth, the following is the order in which the individuals of the family are to be ranked, viz. the father, the mother, the eldest son, the eldest daughter, the second son, the second daughter,
&c. or, if there be no children, the next brother to the man, then the sister, the second brother, the second sister, &c. But if the woman is more noble than the man, then her relations, in like order, take precedence in rank, but they do not inherit his property, as will be seen in another place. All the children of a female noble are, without exception, nobles.
The Matabooles rank next to the chiefs; they are a sort of honourable attendants upon chiefs, are their companions, counsellors, and advisers; they see that the orders and wishes of their chiefs are duly executed, and may not improperly be called their ministers, and are more or less regarded according to the rank of the chief to whom they are attached. They have the management of all ceremonies. Their rank is from inheritance; and they are supposed to have been, originally, distant relations of the nobles, or to have descended from persons eminent for experience and wisdom, and whose acquaintance and friend ship on that account became valuable to the king, and other great chiefs. As no man can assume the rank and title of mataboole till his father be dead, the greater part of them are beyond the middle age of life, and, as it is their business to make themselves acquainted with all rites and cere monies, and with the manners, customs, and affairs of Tonga, they are always looked up to as men of experience and superior information. Some of the matabooles are adepts also at some art or profession, such as canoe-building, or superintending funeral rites: this last, though a ceremony the gene
rality of matabooles do not attend, as it is also a distinct profession. Those few that are canoe-builders are very perfect in their art, and only make canoes for the king, or other great chiefs. The matabooles also make themselves acquainted with traditionary records, and hand them down to their sons. When a mataboole dies his eldest son, or, if he have no son, his next brother, becomes a mataboole. All the sons and brothers of natabooles are mooas.
Mooas are the next class of people below the matabooles; they are either the sons or brothers of matabooles, or descendants of the latter. As the sons and brothers of matabooles are mooas, and as no mood can become a mataboole till his father or brother whom he is to succeed is dead, so in like manner, the sons and brothers of mooas are only tooas, and no tooa can become a mooa till his father or brother whom he is to succeed is dead. The mooás have much to do in assisting at public ceremonies, such as sharing out food and cava under the direction of the matabooles: they sometimes arrange and direct instead of the matabooles, unless on very grand occasions. Like the matabooles, they form part of the retinue of chiefs, and are more or less respected according to the rank of their chiefs. Most of the mooas are professors of some art.
Both matabooles and mooas have the business of attending to the good order of society, to look to the morals of the younger chiefs, who are apt to run into excesses, and oppress the lower orders (the tooas), in which case they admonish them, and if they pay no
attention, they report them to the older chiefs, and advise that something should be done to remedy such evils. They are very much respected by all classes. Tooas are the lowest order of all, or the bulk of the people. They are all, by birth, ky fonnooa, or peasants; but some of them are employed occasionally in the various occupátions of performing the tattow, cooking, club-carving, and shaving, according to their abilities in these respective arts, and meet with encouragement by presents. Those tooas that are evidently related to mooas, and consequently have a chance of becoming mooas, are respected by those who can' trace no such relationship.
Professional Class of Society.We now come to speak of those who draw respect rather than rank according to their usefulness in different arts and manufactures, more or less regarded. Some of these, as we have before seen, are matabooles, and rank accordingly, the greater part of them are mooas, and the remainder of course tooas.
Among those that practise the arts there are many that do it because their fathers did the same before them, and consequently have brought them up to it, and these are for the most part such as practise arts that are considered ingenious, and therefore respectable; and hence they have no motive sufficiently strong (unless it be sometimes laziness), to engage them to relinquish it, particularly as they obtain presents from their chiefs for their ingenuity. There is no positive law to oblige them to follow the business of their fathers, nor any motive but the honourable