FIJIAN FIRE CEREMONY.

FIJIAN FIRE CEREMONY.

Two New Zealand medical men, Drs. Hocken and Colquhoun,recently visited Fiji, where they had an opportunity of witnessing the now rare fire ceremony of the natives. It is so rare that the power is now confined to a single family living on an islet twenty miles from the Fijian metropolis Suva. These peojde are able to walk,nude and with bare feet,across the white hot stony pavement of a huge oven. An attempt was made on this occasion to register the heat, but, when the thermometer had been placet! for a few seconds about five feet from the oven, it had to be withdrawn, as the solder of the covering began to melt. The thermometer then registered 282 degrees and Dr. Hocken estimates that the range was over 400 degrees. The fire-walkers then approached, seven in number, and in single file walked leisurely across, and round the oven. Heaps of hibiscus leaves were then thrown into the oven causing clouds of steam, and upon the leaves and wit I in the steam the natives sat or stood. The men were carefully examined by the doctors both before and after the ceremony. The soles of their feet were not thick or leathery, and were not in the least blistered. The men showed no symptoms of distress and their pulse was unaffected. Preliminary tests failed to show that there had been any special preparation. Both doctors, while denying that there was anything miraculous about the experiment, expressed themselves as unable to give any scientific explanation.

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