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The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.



Woodwork, trimmed into shape by the adze, received a finish from the rasp, "jiri," made of the rough skin of the Ray. An unmounted fragment, such as a piece of the tail, sometimes served, but more usually the skin was neatly mounted on a wooden handle.

The natives of Fakaafu, "had saws and files, formed of shark's skin stretched on sticks, which in their hands were quite effective in wearing away the soft wood.† From Santa Cruz and Banks Island, New Hebrides, Edge-Partington shows similar mounted rasps. Lamont relates that at Penrhyn Island:—"The spears are finally polished with the 'poerare,' a kind of rasp, of fish-skin, fastened on a stick.§"Captain Cook saw on Tonga" rasps, of a rough skin of a fish, fastened on flat pieces of wood, thinner on one side, which also have handles."
Fig. 21.

Fig. 21.

Ling Roth figures a "file made of fish-skin gummed on to wood, from S.E. Borneo."
Fig. 22.

Fig. 22.

The Funafuti specimen of which figs. 21 and 22 give back and front views, weighs three and a page 260half ounces, and is eleven inches long by two and three-quarters wide. The sheet of ray skin is six inches by four, and is sewn together at the back with fine sinnet. The bleached condition of the wooden handle shows it to be drift wood, and the weight and grain agrees with that of red cedar (Cedrela toona).

Rasps were also improvised out of a rough piece of coral.

Edge Partington—loc. cit., i, pl. clxiii., fig. 9; ii., pl. lxxxvi., fig. 3.

§ Lamont—op. cit., p. 155.

Cook—A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, i, 1784, p. 395.

Ling Roth—Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo, ii., 1896, p. Pig. 22.