Moderate and fair Wr. Wind at NEBE, Et & ENE. Thermr. 81⅓° to 84°. Employed in the Hold starting Water. Hands about the Rigging. Carpenters Caulking the Bends. Cooper repairing Casks. Armourer at the Forge. A few Hands cutting wood. Sick list five Venereals and one ill with an inflamed arm from a Cold. Plentifull supplies of Cocoa nutts, Bread fruit and Hogs.
Being much thronged with Natives to day and the decks lumbered being at work in the Holds, I could not go on shore for fear of accidents from thefts, however nothing of the kind happened.
Tynah as usual dined with me, and this is always a convenient opportunity to make enquiries, it was particularly apropros to the subject I was on, and have long been endeavoring to get a certain knowledge of. The reason of his not feeding himself.
This circumstance is not confined to the Erreerahigh, but is common among all Cheifs who are married and have children. When the Mother is delivered, the Father who is always present, has the new born infant given to him before any other person but the midwife touched it. As soon as he is satisfyed with viewing the Child he returns it to the Mother, and from that moment untill the Child is grown up and considered a man, he never tastes any food or nourishment but what is put into his mouth by another person.
It is the same with Iddeeah Tynahs wife for about ten months when she performs a ceremony Oammo, Oammo, which is presenting some Cocoa Nutt, Sugar Cane, and a small bough of a Shrub called Errow,woah in each hand held to her forehead to the Child. This being done she is at liberty to feed herself.
It is the same with the Cheifs of Districts, but the
Oammo is performed in a shorter space of time, some people tell me that both the Father and Mother are at liberty to feed themselves in ten months after the child is born.
I have mentioned in a former part of this Log that the son of Marremarre Cheif of Itteeah called Poohaitaiah Otee was fed at my table the same as Tynah, and I now find without a doubt that it was from the same Cause.
No common people are suffered to be present at the delivery of the Child, or rather at the receiving it, for Nature itself is allowed to do all, as I have before shown. Sometimes a man and sometimes a woman receives the child, but they are always near of Kin or particular friends. They are however not brought under the pennance of being fed.
If a Cheif has a Child by a Mana,howne or common woman it is always killed as soon as Born.
I imagine that the reason of Cheifs not feeding themselves at the Friendly Islands is from the same cause.
This never happens with the Mana,hownes or Towtows.