Page:Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Volume 73 (1847).djvu/269

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use stains the bowl to a colour resembling bronze, so much so that the first I saw I believed to be made of that metal. The taste is pungent and unpleasant, leaving an uncomfortable huskiness in the throat.

The Romish priests who are upon the island, drink Kava with the natives with whom they reside. The Tue Tonga is a pagan; but King Josiah and those who have been converted to Christianity have left it off, at the desire of the Protestant Missionaries. In Wallis's Island the French pilot, who is a respectable person, drinks Kava from choice, which he makes by stamping the root in a mortar. At the Feejee Group it is so scarce, that a man about to sail from Tonga for those islands, provided himself with as much as would fill a moderate-sized cart, which was to answer all purposes of barter, &c. The yams of the Feejees are the best in the South Seas.

At Wallis's Island I met the King, walking from his house in which he had slept to that in which he was to pass the day. A root of Kava, without the stems, was carried slung upon a pole before him: it was broken up and brewed as soon as he arrived, exactly in the same manner as at Tonga, except that those who had to chew the root washed their mouths before commencing their office; there also the principal person present, next to himself, prepared the mixture.

Under the shade of a tree upon the Island of Vavou I saw a Kava party of the poorest sort: it consisted of an old man and five or six others; they had but a very small piece of dry root, yet they used as much solemnity in making the beverage as at the house of the Tue Tonga, so that it was a ridiculous spectacle.