From J. Stanley Gardiner (1898), "The Natives of Rotuma," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 27:396-397.
AFTER the return of the "Coral Boring Expedition" from Funafuti to Fiji, I went in H.M.S. "Penguin," by kind permission of Captain Field, to Rotuma, an island about 280 miles north by east of Viti Levu, Fiji. Here I spent three and a half months, studying the fauna of the island and of the waters adjacent to it. For some weeks I was incapacitated from active work in this direction, and spent the time in collecting the materials, incorporated in this paper. The result, though very incomplete in many ways; will, I hope, be of some interest.
I must, in the first place, express my very great thanks to the Hon. James Stewart, Colonial Secretary of Fiji, for his kindly interest and assistance during the whole time that I was in the South Pacific. My work was made much easier, too, by the interest which Mr. Leefe, Resident Commissioner of Rotuma, took in its progress, and by his ready help at all times. He further recommended me in such a way to the chiefs of the island that I was able to obtain their willing co-operation and help. I am under especial obligations to my friend Marafu, the chief of Noatau, who was undoubtedly the most influential native on the island. At all times I found that he took a great and most intelligent interest in my progress, and was only too ready to give me all the help in his power. Marafu's knowledge of English, too, was greater than that of the interpreter, or any other native I met on the island, although he was extremely diffident of speaking it before a third party. To many of my questions he would defer an answer, until he had consulted the old men about them. Marafu had himself been the sou (Sec. XIV), and alone seemed to know anything about the higher meanings of the old religious rites. It is with deep regret that I have heard, since most of this paper was completed, of Marafu's death, on April 20th, 1897; his age was about 6O years. Of Marafu's character I can only say that I always found him a "very white white-man." I was also greatly assisted by Albert, who was for over twenty years the chief of Itoteu, and by Titopu, or Friday, the interpreter, who took the greatest trouble in investigating various points for me and in his translations of the different legends, etc. Of Friday's patience and good temper I cannot speak too highly. I further received considerable assistance from Father Chevreul, of the "Société de Marie," the late Mr. George Peat, and several other white residents in Rotuma.
Since my return to England, I have been greatly assisted by the advice of Baron A. von Hugel, who has kindly looked through a few sections of this paper, and who has arranged the Plates. I am also indebted to Professor Macalister for his advice and encouragement, without which I do not think I should have ventured to put together my materials at all. I have handed over to Professor Macalister a small collection of crania and bones from Rotuma, which I hope may prove of some interest.