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Even to-day, it is not rare for a man from Ambrym to settle for a while on Malekula, so as to be initiated into some rites which he then imports to Ambrym; and the Ambrymese pay poets large fees to teach them poems which are to be sung at certain feasts, accompanied by dances. Unhappily, I never had occasion to attend one of these "sing-songs."

Yet the Ambrymese in general show remarkably little fear of the volcano, and regard it as a powerful but somewhat clumsy and rather harmless neighbour, whereas on other islands legend places the entrance to hell in the craters. Quite a company of us marched through the forest, accompanied by the cannonading of the volcano; we felt as if we were going to battle.

On the whole, the best policy is one of politeness, justice and consistency; and after many years, one may possibly obtain their confidence, although one always has to be careful and circumspect in every little detail. In general, the Ambrymese are more agreeable than the Santo people.

It is a pretty dress, though somewhat scanty, and the "skirts" flap up and down coquettishly when the wearer walks. The other parts of the body are covered with a thick layer of soot, filth, oil, fat and smoke, for the Ambrymese are not at all fond of bathing. The villages are open, rarely surrounded by a hedge.

The Ambrymese conceptions of the spirit world are very similar to those of other islanders. The native likes to wear on his back or chest or arm the tusks of the most valuable pigs he has sacrificed, and has them buried with him, so that in the other world he may at any time be able to prove how much he respected his ancestors.

A young Ambrymese who had worked for me for some days, wanted to enlist in my service when I left, although he grew tearful at the thought of Malekula, where I intended to go next, and where he was convinced he would be killed.