feet ireland polynesian
NEW BRITAIN, a city of the United States, in Hartford county, Connecticut, 10 miles south-west of Hartford by the New York and New England Railroad. It is the seat of the State normal school (the new building erected in 1881 cost $90,000), and has a public park of 74 acres, a public library, and a good water-supply from a reservoir 200 feet above the level of the streets. The principal manufactures are bronze goods, locks, builders' hardware, cutlery, knit woollen goods, carpenters' tools, and jewellery. In 1870 the population was 9480; in 1880, 13,979. Elihu Burritt was born at New Britain in 1811.
respectively, are separated from the south-east extremity of New Guinea by a strait, first ascertained to be such by Dampier, 52 miles wide (see Plate VI.). They form together a sort of horse-shoe, divided in the middle by St George's Channel, some 20 miles wide, which in 1878 was half choked, temporarily, by pumice from a neighbouring volcano. In this channel lies the Duke of York group, fourteen small, well-wooded, fertile islands, with steep cliffs and narrow fringing reefs. A Wesleyan mission and some German and other traders are settled here and on the adjacent part of New Britain. The coasts of New Britain are in some parts precipitous; in others the mountains lie farther inland, and the coast is fiat and bordered by fringing reefs. The west coast of New Ireland is generally precipitous, and crowned by a table-land which falls away towards the east. The north coasts of New Britain and the adjacent islands are studded with active volcanoes rising to 4000 feet, and at both ends of the island these are on a very grand scale. The scenery and vegetation are varied and luxuriant, with abundant wood and water. In New Ireland images, apparently representing deceased relations, like the karwars of New Guinea, are made of a rock indistinguishable from pure chalk, which is said to exist nowhere else in the Pacific. These are deposited in buildings set apart for them. There are also peculiar wooden masks, worn at stated inter-tribal meetings and dances, and composite wooden images in which the human figure, male or female, is surrounded by those of the snake, fish, owl, tern, &c.
The people of New Britain, especially towards the west, resemble those of eastern New Guinea, height about 5 feet 6 inches, with matted curly hair ; the women appear stunted and oppressed. They arc a finer race than those farther east in Duke of York and New Ireland, who, excepting an evidently Polynesian colony on the south coast of New Ireland, rather resemble the Solomon Islanders. Both are thorough cannibals. Their weapons are clubs (stone-headed in New Britain), spears, tomahawks, and slings. They perform complicated surgical operations with an obsidian knife or a shark's tooth. They construct ingenious fishing weirs. The villages are clean and well-kept, the houses varying from miserable huts 8 by 5 feet without furniture to neat well-built semicircular houses, the roof extending to the ground behind, with front of wicker work, leaving a space for the door. The common dead are buried or exposed to sharks on the reefs; bodies of chiefs are exposed in the fork of a tree. Girls for some time before puberty are confined in cages of pandanus leaves about 4 feet diameter, possibly to fatten them, an old Polynesian custom. Justice is executed, and tabus, feasts, taxes, &c., arranged, by a mysterious disguised figure, the " duk-duk." Only the chief and those who have been initiated on payment of a heavy fee know who or what he is. Women and children are forbidden to look on him. The custom, perhaps, points to a time when there was a priesthood, aiding the chief to rule the people. The population is divided into two exogamous classes. The children belong to the class of the mother, and when the father dies go to her village for support, the land and fruit trees in each district being divided between the two classes. Compare the Polynesian custom "tamaha" (the Fijian "vasu"), which gives certain privileges to a sister's children. There are several dialects, the construction resembling Fijian, as in the pronominal suffixes in singular, triad, and plural; the numerals, however, are Polynesian in character.
See Wilfrid Powell, Wanderings in a TVilcl Country, and paper in Roy. Geog. Soc. Proceedings, 1881 ; Rev. G. Brown in Roy. Geog. Soe. Journal, 1877, and Proceedings, 1881; Verltandlungen der Ges. f. Erdkundc zu Berlin, x., Nos. 5 and 6.