Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/124

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72
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

village gateway, large staring eyes of wood and shell glare at one inquisitively, contemptuously, or ignore the visitor altogether. All these effigies in wood are painted dull red with a preparation of powdered clay mixed with fat, and some of them are generations old.

On the right of the entrance to these labyrinths in wood where I entered, were the remains of a huge statue, perhaps originally twenty feet high. Its tongue was two feet long, its mouth was as large as a whale's, and in its right hand it held a weapon, as if on sentinel duty. In the rear of the hall stood an immense tiki, representing a mother with two children in her lap. The chest expansion of this figure, which once probably was at least fifteen feet high, was so great that not less than ten or twelve feet of tape would be required to take its girth.

Beneath this statuary was a great war-canoe. It was eighty-two feet long, had a maximum beam of seven feet, and could have seated at least one hundred men. It was one of the largest of Maori war-vessels, yet not nearly so large as some ancient canoes of New Zealand. One of these had a hull one hundred and eight feet long, but including its elaborated stern and bow, its total length was nearly two hundred feet. So wide were some canoes that four or five paddlers could sit abreast, the inside men being reliefs. Two hundred years ago double canoes were common in New Zealand, and there were outriggers also.

More interesting than the war-canoe were the muse-