Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 2).djvu/41

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27
TONGAN GODS.

good of the natives." He is the patron, not of any special stock or family, but of the house in which the royal power is lodged for the time. Another god, Toobo Toty or Toobo the Mariner, may be a kind of Poseidon. He preserves canoes from perils at sea. On the death of the daughter of Finow, the king in Mariner's time, that monarch was so indignant that he threatened to kill the priest of Toobo Toty. As the god is believed to inspire the priest, this was certainly a feasible way of getting at the god. But Toobo Toty was beforehand with Finow, who died himself before he could carry the war into Bolotoo.[1] This Finow was a sceptic; he allowed that there were gods, because he himself had occasionally been inspired by them; "but what the priests tell us about their power over mankind I believe to be all false." Thus early did the conflict of Church and State declare itself in Tonga. Human sacrifices were a result of priestcraft in Tonga, as in Greece. Even the man set to kill a child of Toobo Toa's was moved by pity, and exclaimed O iaooé chi vale! ("poor little innocent!") The priest demanded this sacrifice to allay the wrath of the gods for the slaying of a man in consecrated ground.[2] Such are the religious ideas of Tonga; of their mythology but little has reached us, and that is under suspicion of being coloured by acquaintance with the stories of missionaries.

The Maoris, when first discovered by Europeans, were in a comparatively advanced stage of barbarism.

  1. Mariner, i. 307, ii. 107.
  2. Compare the ἄγος of the Alcmæonidæ.