This preeminence may perhaps be due to an early infusion of Fijian blood: it has been observed that such crosses are always more vigorous than the pure races in these islands; and this influence seems also traceable in the Tongan dialect, and appears to have been partially transmitted thence to the Samoan.
From the Fijian and Andaman islander who exhibits abject terror at seeing himself in a glass or in water, to the English or European peasant who covers up the mirrors or turns them to the wall, upon a death occurring, lest an inmate of the house should see his own face and have his own speedy demise thus prognosticated, the idea holds its ground.
Thus, in Fijian the word luve means either a son or a daughter - one s own child, and it takes the possessive pronoun suffixed, as luvena; but the word ngone, a child, but not necessarily one's own child, takes the possessive pronoun before it, as nona ngone, his child, i.e.
There are several dialects, the construction resembling Fijian, as in the pronominal suffixes in singular, triad and plural; the numerals, however, are Polynesian in character.
Subsequent epidemics have not been attended by anything like this mortality, but there has, however, been a steady decrease, principally among young children, owing to whooping-cough, tuberculosis and croup. Every Fijian child seems to contract yaws at some time in its life, a mistaken notion existing on the part of the parents that it strengthens the child's physique.
The Tongans, who had long frequented Fiji (especially for canoe-building, their own islands being deficient in timber), now came in larger numbers, led by an able and ambitious chief, Maafu, who, by adroitly taking part in Fijian quarrels, made himself chief in the Windward group, threatening Thakombau's supremacy.
Seemann, Flora Vitiensis (London, 1865); and Viti: Account of a Government Mission in the Vitian or Fijian Islands (1866-1861); W.