Fishing-nets of various kinds were in use, and were all manufactured on the islands. Several of the Polynesian tribes excel in this branch of industry. A captain of a ship of war, who was buying curiosities lately at Savage Island, actually refused their fine small fishing-nets, thinking that they must be articles of European manufacture. In Samoa, net-making is the same now as it was of old. It is the work of the women, and confined principally to the inland villages. One would have thought that it would be the reverse, and that the coast districts would have made it their principal business. The trade being confined to the interior, is probably occasioned by its proximity to the raw material which abounds in the bush, viz. the bark of the hibiscus, already referred to in describing "fine mats."

After the rough outer surface of the bark has been scraped off with a shell on a board, the remaining fibres are twisted with the mere palm of the hand across the bare thigh into a strong whip-cord, or finer twine, according to the size of the meshes of the net. As the good lady's cord lengthens, she fills her netting-needle, and when that is full, works it into her net. Their wooden netting-needles are exactly the same in form as those in common use in Europe. One evening, in taking a walk, Mrs. Turner and I stood for a few minutes and looked at a woman working a net. Mrs. Turner begged to be allowed to do a bit, took the needle, and did a few loops, to the no small amazement of the woman, who wondered how a European lady could know how to handle a Samoan netting-needle, and do Samoan work.

They make nets of all sizes, from the small one of eighteen inches square to the seine of a hundred feet long. A net forty feet long and twelve feet deep can be had for native mats, or white calico, to the value of twenty shillings. A hundred men may be able to muster some twenty nets. These they unite together, and, in the lagoon off their settlement, take large quantities of mullet and other fish.

The pearl-shell fish-hook is another article long in use, and in the manufacture of which the Samoans show some ingenuity. They cut a strip off the shell, from two to three inches long, and rub it smooth on a stone, so as to resemble a small fish. On the under side, or what may be called the belly, of this little mock fish, they fasten a hook made of tortoise-shell, or, it may be, nowadays, an English steel one. Alongside of the hook, concealing its point, and in imitation of the fins of a little fish, they fasten two small white feathers. Without any bait, this pearl-shell contrivance is cast adrift at the stern of a canoe, with a line of twenty feet, and from its striking resemblance to a little fish it is soon caught at, and in this way the Samoans secure a large quantity of their favourite food. No European fish-hook has yet superseded this purely native invention. They bait and use the steel fish-hook, however, and in some cases use it on their pearl-shells, as we have just remarked, instead of the tortoise-shell fish-hook.

A curious native drill is seen in connection with the manufacture of these little shell fish-hooks. Fine holes are drilled through the shell for the purpose of making fast the hook as well as the line, and the instrument to which we refer answers the purpose admirably. For the sake of comparison with other parts of the world, this simple contrivance is worth a few lines of description. Take a piece of wood, eighteen inches long, twice the thickness of a cedar pencil. Fasten with a strong thread a fine-pointed nail, or a sail-needle, to the end of this sort of spindle. Get a thick piece of wood, about the size of what is called in England a "hot cross bun," and in Scotland a "cookie," bore a hole in the centre of it, run the spindle through it, and wedge it fast about the middle of the spindle. At the top of the spindle fasten two strings, each nine inches long, to the ends of these strings attach the ends of a common cedar pencil, forming a triangle with a wooden base and string sides. Stand up the machine with your left hand, place the iron point where you wish to bore a hole, and steady the spindle with your left hand. Take hold of the pencil handle of the upper triangle, twirl round the spindle with your left hand, which will coil on the strings at the top to the spindle, pull down the pencil handle quickly, and then the machine will spin round. Work the handle in this way up and down, like a pump, the cord will alternately run off and on to the spindle, and the machine will continue to whirl round, first one way and then the other, until the pearl-shell, or whatever it may be, is perforated.

There is hardly anything else in the department of manufacture requiring particular notice. When speaking of garments, we referred to native cloth and mats. Large quantities of cinnet are plaited by the old men principally. They sit at their ease in their houses, and twist away very rapidly. At political meetings also, where there are hours of formal palaver and speechifying, the old men take their work with them, and improve the time at the cleanly, useful occupation of twisting cinnet. It is a substitute for twine, and useful for many a purpose, and is now sold to the merchants at about a shilling per pound. Baskets andfans are made as of old of the cocoa-nut leaflet, floor mats and a finer kind of baskets from the pandanus leaf. Twenty or thirty pieces of the rib of the cocoa-nut leaflet, fastened close together with a thread of cinnet, form a comb. Oval tubs are made by hollowing out a block of wood. Clubs, three feet long, from the iron-wood, or something else that is heavy. Spears, eight feet long, were made from the cocoa-nut tree, and barbed with the sting of the ray-fish; a wicked contrivance, for it was meant to break off from the spear in the body of the unhappy victim. In nine cases out of ten there was no way of cutting it out, and the poor creature died in agony.

The Samoans are an agricultural rather than a manufacturing people. In addition to their own individual wants, their hospitable custom in supplying, without money and without stint, the wants of visitors from all parts of the group, was a great drain on their plantations. The fact that a party of natives could travel from one end of the group to the other without a penny of expense for food and lodging, was an encouragement to pleasure excursions, friendly visits, and all sorts of travelling. Hardly a day passed without there being some strangers in the "guest house" of the village, to be provided for by a contribution from every family in the place. After meeting fully, however, all home wants, large quantities of yams, taro, and bananas, with pigs and poultry, were still to spare, and were sold to the ships which called for water and supplies.