chapter  VI
31 Pages

The Myth-Dream [ii]

According to H6ltker the gist of Mambu's teaching was as follows:

At the present time, Mambu said, Kanakas were being exploited by white men. But a new order, a new way of life was at hand which was dependent on no longer submitting to white men whether they were missionaries, administrative officers, planters, or traders. The ancestors had the welfare of their offspring very much at heart. Even now some were in the interior of the volcano of Manam island, manufacturing all kinds of goods for their descendants. Other ancestors, adopting the guise and appearance of white men, were hard at work in the lands where white men lived. Indeed, said Mambu, the ancestors had already despatched much cargo to Kanakas. Cloth for lapZaps, axes, khaki shorts, bush-knives, torches, red pigment, and ready-made houses had been on their way for some time. But white men, who had been entrusted with the transport, were removing the labels and substituting their own. In this way, Mambu said, Kanakas were being robbed of their inheritance. Therefore, Kanakas were entitled to get back the cargo from white men by the use of force. The time was coming, however, when all such thievery and exploitation would cease. The ancestors would

Mambu used to pray by the graves of the deceased, and he demanded payment for doing so. He introduced a form of baptism which, he said, would give full dispensation in the rights of the new days to come. Men and women in couplestwo men or two women, but not a man and a woman-would stand before Mambu, cast off their breech-clouts or grass skirts, and have their genitals sprinkled with water.1 Mambu said, too, that it was not fitting that Kanakas should wear native apparel. Instead, they should wear European clothes, throwaway their breech-clouts and grass skirts and bury them. By doing these things the ancestors would be pleased. And seeing the cast-off breech-clouts and grass skirts, they would say, 'Ha! Our children are truly doing well.'