29 JANUARY 1927, Page 17


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

am glad to know Miss Rout's authority for her remark- able statement that obsidian implements and the Easter Island statues were fashioned while the material of which they are made was in a molten state.

I fear that I can hardly believe that the Maori legends handed down orally through generations need be verbally accurate ; and seeing that, in this case, the evidence of the objects themselves, in my judgment, contradicts the legend, I am fairly sure that it is the legend that errs. In any case, it is not a little remarkable that this legend should deal with obsidian implements, by no means characteristic of the Maori, and with statues on an island divided from New Zealand by nearly the width of the Pacific Ocean, and entirely unlike any Maori production.

Colonel Kelsall, in his letter, seems to settle the question of the Easter Island statues, though it hardly needed settling. Obsidian is practically imperishable. If implements moulded from it had ever existed, they would have been found; but, as far as I know, this has never happened.

How wild Maori legend can be Miss Rout shows when she tells us, on Maori authority, that the Pyramids of Gizeh are mentioned in them !—I am, Sir, &c.,