"Love in Fiji"

Another early reference to surfing, usually not cited. Info courtesy of Daved Marsh and his February 2006 posting at the Google Groups Surf Collectors Forum (see link at very bottom):

Love in Fiji. pt. 1.

edited by T. M. Coan:
Putnam's monthly magazine of American literature, science and art.
New York : G.P. Putnam & co., July 1870
Volume 16, Issue 31, pp. 30-41

Reminisces of a missionary's son growing up in Fiji.
Page 32 discusses "surf-playing", and a shark attack:

"On one of these occasions, I had gone out "surf-playing" with a
company of twelve or fifteen Tongan youths of the higher rank. The
young men and girls of the chiefish families are exclusive in their
fellowships, and seldom indulge in sports or games except in the
companionship of their own caste. I enjoyed the questionable privilege
of that fellowship, however, on account of my foreign blood; for the
Tongans hold the whites in much esteem as nganga atarnai, skilled or
dexterous foreigners; reverencing their mechanical skill, it must be
confessed, much more than their civilization, their philosophy, or
their religion.

"Our party was gambolling, as if natives of the element, in the tumbling
surf which breaks upon the reefs of Vavan; all was going merrily, and
the shouts of our company rang out loudly above the noise of the
breakers, as we indulged in contests of speed in swimming, or of
endurance in diving, or, poised upon the glittering crest of the
billow, rushed shoreward at race-horse speed upon the surf-board."

Here's the link for the article online at Cornell:

Google Groups: Surf Collectors Forum


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