|CIC Chapter 4 Comprehension Questions
1. Whose responsibility was it in Hikueru to keep the fires going?
(p. 55) “For it was altogether too difficult to make fire with firesticks, and it required too much time. In Hikueru, for that reason, the fires were always kept burning, and it was the special charge of the younger members of the family to see that fuel was ever at hand. Woe unto the small boy who let the family fires go out!”
2. How did Mafatu build a raft? Why was it important to build the raft before doing other things?
(p. 57) He needs a raft to get out to the reef to set and empty his trap, and his canoe isn’t finished being built yet. “He chose a score or more of fine bamboo as large around as his arm, felling them by fire; then he lashed them together with strips of purau bark, making a sturdy raft of two thicknesses. It would serve him well until his canoe should be finished.” He needs to eat something other than fruit.
3. Why was Mafatu determined to kill the wild pig?
(p. 57) By returning to Hikueru with a boar’s tooth necklace, “…men would know his strength and courage.”
4. What was a “pareu”? How did Mafatu make one?
(p. 58) A pareu was clothing that Mafatu wore. He used the bark of a mulberry tree to make his “cloth.”
5. What did Mafatu plan to make from the whale skeleton?
(p. 59) Mafatu planned to make “…knives, and fishhooks galore, splitered bone for darts and spears, a shoulder blade for an ax. It was a veritable treasure trove.”
6. Why did Mafatu hate the hammerhead? What made him angry enough to kill the shark, when the time came?
Mafatu hates the hammerhead because it keeps breaking into his traps and eating his fish. He kills the shark out of anger when the shark is about to attack and kill Uri after he falls off the raft into the water. “He could never have done it for himself. Fear would have robbed his arm of all strength. He had done it for Uri, his dog.” (p. 64)
7. How did Mafatu make a canoe?’
(p. 65) He fell a tamanu tree, burned it out and then hollowed out the hull with an adze he had made. He caulked it (water-proofed it) with artu gum, made a mast of pukatea, wove a sail from pandanus and made the rigging out of sennit.
8. What did Mafatu do with the slain boar?
(p. 68) He made a necklace out of its tusks and cooked it and ate its delicious meat.
9. How did Mafatu almost lose his knife?
(p. 74) “As he dragged the heavy, wet trap over the gunwale, the fiber cord that fastened his knife about his neck caught on an end of bamboo. The trap slipped. The cord snapped. The knife fell into the water.”
10. How did Mafatu prepare for the trip back to Hikueru?
(p. 78) “He dragged the canoe up on the beach, placed the logs under the curving stem so that he might launch it easily on the morrow…He filled bamboo containers with fresh water, sealed them with leaves that were gummed into place, water-tight and secure. Then he stored them carefully in the canoe. He prepared a poi of bananas and sealed it…into containers. Then he picked a score (20) or more of green drinking nuts and flung them into the canoe.”