The standard of morality is low; women are practically slaves, and infanticide was formerly common.
As among their kinsfolk the Tahitians, debauchery was systematized and infanticide an organized institution.
The outstanding features of missionary work in the South Seas are (1) its remarkable success: cannibalism, human sacrifice and infanticide have been suppressed, civilization and trade have marvellously advanced; (2) the evangelical devotion of the natives themselves; (3) the need of continued European supervision, the natives being still in many ways little better than grown-up children.
They are cannibals, infanticide is common, and head Guadalcanal of the Spanish discoverers.
To prevent the breaking down of their properties, the necessary consequence of this law of inheritance, there is no doubt that infanticide was common among them, and that it extended to the male as well as the female progeny, but it has been put down by the Infanticide Rules, which provide for the registration of Jareja children.
Everywhere infanticide prevailed; in some of the smaller islands it was regulated by law in order to prevent over-population.
The southern and western peoples still practise infanticide as regards children born on several unlucky days in each month.
They founded agricultural societies and savings' banks, and helped to abolish suttee, infanticide and other cruelties.