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Title: The Ethnology of the British Colonies and Dependencies

Author: Robert Gordon Latham

Release Date: February 16, 2010 [EBook #31296]

Language: English

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Transcriber's Note:

Archaic, dialect and variant spellings (including quoted proper nouns) remain as printed, except where noted. Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note; significant amendments have been listed at the end of the text.

Greek text appears as originally printed, but with a mouse-hover transliteration, Βιβλος.


R. G. LATHAM, M.D., F.R.S.,


Printed by Samuel Bentley and Co.,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.



Heligoland and the Frisians.—Gibraltar and the Spanish Stock.—Malta.—The Ionian Islands.—The Channel Islands.1
The Gambia Settlements.—Sierra Leone.—The Gold Coast.—The Cape.—The Mauritius.—The Negroes of America.34
Aden.—The Mongolian Variety.—The Monosyllabic Languages.—Hong Kong.—The Tenasserim Provinces; Maulmein, Ye, Tavoy, Tenasserim, the Mergui Archipelago.—The Môn, Siamese, Avans, Kariens, and Silong.—Arakhan.—Mugs, Khyens.—Chittagong, Tippera, and Sylhet.—Kuki.—Kasia.—Cachars.—Assam.—Nagas.—Singpho.—Jili.—Khamti.—Mishimi.—Abors and Bor-Abors.—Dufla.—Aka.—Muttucks and Miri, and other Tribes of the Valley of Assam.—The Garo.—Classification.—Mr. Brown's Tables.—The Bodo.—Dhimal.—Kocch.—Lepchas of Sikkim.—Rawat of Kumaon.—Polyandria.—The Tamulian Populations.—Rajmahali Mountaineers.—Kúlis, Khonds, Goands, Chenchwars.—Tudas, &c.—Bhils.—Waralis.—The Tamul, Telinga, Kanara, and Malayalam Languages.92
The Sanskrit Language.—Its Relations to certain Modern Languages of India; to the Slavonic and Lithuanic of Europe.—Inferences.—Brahminism of the Puranas.—Of the Institutes of Menu.—Extract.—Of the Vedas.—Extract.—Inferences.—The Hindús.—Sikhs.—Biluchi.—Afghans.—Wandering Tribes.—Miscellaneous Populations.—Ceylon.—Buddhism.—Devil-worship.—Vaddahs.150
British Dependencies in the Malayan Peninsula.—The Oceanic Stock and its Divisions.—The Malay, Semang, and Dyak Types.—The Orang Binua.—Jakuns.—The Biduanda Kallang.—The Orang Sletar.—The Sarawak Tribes.—The New Zealanders.—The Australians.—The Tasmanians.203
The Athabaskans of the Hudson's Bay Country.—The Algonkin Stock.—The Iroquois.—The Sioux.—Assineboins.—The Eskimo.—The Kolúch.—The Nehanni.—Digothi.—The Atsina.—Indians of British Oregon, Quadra's and Vancouver's Island.—Haidah.—Chimsheyan.—Billichula.—Hailtsa.—Nutka.—Atna.—Kitunaha Indians.—Particular Algonkin Tribes.—The Nascopi.—The Bethuck.—Numerals from Fitz-Hugh Sound.—The Moskito Indians.—South American Indians of British Guiana.—Caribs.—Warows.—Wapisianas.—Tarumas.—Caribs of St. Vincent.—Trinidad.224


The following pages represent a Course of Six Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution, Manchester, in the months of February and March of the present year; the matter being now laid before the public in a somewhat fuller and more systematic form than was compatible with the original delivery.






Heligoland.—We learn from a passage in the Germania of Tacitus, that certain tribes agreed with each other in the worship of a goddess who was revered as Earth the Mother; that a sacred grove, in a sacred island, was dedicated to her; and that, in that grove, there stood a holy wagon, covered with a pall, and touched by the priest only. The goddess herself was drawn by heifers; and as long as she vouchsafed her presence among men, there was joy, and feasts, and hospitality; and peace amongst otherwise fierce tribes instead of war and violence. After a time, however, the goddess withdrew herself to her secret temple—satiated with the converse of mankind; and then[2] the wagon, the pall, and the deity herself were bathed in the holy lake. The administrant slaves were sucked up by its waters. There was terror and there was ignorance; the reality being revealed to those alone who thus suddenly passed from life to death.

Now we know, by name at least, five of the tribes who are thus connected by a common worship—mysterious and obscure as it is. They are the Reudigni, the Aviones, the Eudoses, the Suardones, and the Nuithones.

Two others we know by something more than name—the Varini and the Langobardi.

The eighth is our own parent stock—the Angli.

Such is one of the earliest notices of the old creed of our German forefathers; and, fragmentary and indefinite as it is, it is one of the fullest which has reached us. I subjoin the original text, premising that, instead of Herthum, certain MSS. read Nerthum.

"——Langobardos paucitas nobilitat: plurimis ac valentissimis nationibus cincti, non per obsequium sed prœliis et periclitando tuti sunt. Reudigni deinde, et Aviones, et Angli, et Varini, et Eudoses, et Suardones, et Nuithones, fluminibus aut silvis muniuntur: nec quidquam notabile in singulis, nisi quod in commune Herthum, id est, Terram matrem colunt, eamque intervenire rebus hominum, invehi populis, arbitrantur. Est in[3] insula Oceani Castum nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum, veste contectum, attingere uni sacerdoti concessum. Is adesse penetrali deam intelligit, vectamque bobus feminis multâ cum veneratione prosequitur. Læti tunc dies, festa loca, quæcumque adventu hospitioque dignatur. Non bella ineunt, non arma sumunt, clausum omne ferrum; pax et quies tunc tantùm nota, tunc tantùm amata, donec idem sacerdos satiatam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddat; mox vehiculum et vestes, et, si credere velis, numen ipsum secreto lacu abluitur. Servi ministrant, quos statim idem lacus haurit. Arcanus hinc terror, sanctaque ignorantia, quid sit id, quod tantùm perituri vident."—"De Moribus Germanorum," 40.

What connects the passage with the ethnology of Heligoland? Heligoland is, probably, the island of the Holy Grove. Its present name indicates this—the holy land. Its position in the main sea, or Ocean, does the same. So does its vicinity to the country of Germans.

At the same time it must not be concealed from the reader that the Isle of Rugen, off the coast of Pomerania, has its claims. It is an island—but not an island of the Ocean. It is full of religious remains—but those remains are Slavonic rather than German.

I believe, for my own part, that the seat of the[4] worship of Earth the Mother, was the island which we are now considering.

In respect to its inhabitants, it must serve as a slight text for a long commentary. A population of about two thousand fishers; characterized, like the ancient Venetians, by an utter absence of horses, mules, ponies, asses, carts, wagons, or any of the ordinary applications of animal power to the purposes of locomotion, confined to a small rock, and but little interrupted with foreign elements, is, if considered in respect to itself alone, no great subject for either the ethnologist or the geographer. But what if its relations to the population of the continent be remarkable? What if the source of its population be other than that which, from the occupants of the nearest portion of the continent, we are prepared to expect? In this case, the narrow area of an isolated rock assumes an importance which its magnitude would never have created.

The nearest part of the opposite continent is German—Cuxhaven, Bremen, and Hamburg, being all German towns. And what the towns are the country is also—or nearly so. It is German—which Heligoland is not.

The Heligolanders are no Germans, but Frisians. I have lying before me the Heligoland version of God save the Queen. A Dutchman would understand this, easier than a Low German,[5] a Low German easier than an Englishman, and (I think) an Englishman easier than a German of Bavaria. The same applies to another sample of the Heligoland muse—the contented Heligolander's wife (Dii tofreden Hjelgelünnerin), a pretty little song in Hettema's collection of Frisian poems; with which, however, the native literature ends. There is plenty of Frisian verse in general; but little enough of the particular Frisian of Heligoland.

A difference like that between the Frisians of Heligoland and the Germans of Hanover, is always suggestive of an ethnological alternative; since it is a general rule, supported both by induction and common sense, that, except under certain modifying circumstances, islands derive their inhabitants from the nearest part of the nearest continent. When, however, the populations differ, one of two views has to be taken. Either some more distant point than the one which geographical proximity suggests has supplied the original occupants, or a change has taken place on the part of one or both of the populations since the period of the original migration.

Which has been the case here? The latter. The present Germans of the coast between the Elbe and Weser are not the Germans who peopled Heligoland, nor yet the descendants of them. Allied to them they are; inasmuch as[6] Germany is a wide country, and German a comprehensive term; but they are not the same. The two peoples, though like, are different.

Of what sort, then, were the men and women that the present Germans of the Oldenburg and Hanoverian coast have displaced and superseded? Let us investigate. Whoever rises from the perusal of those numerous notices of the ancient Germans which we find in the classical writers, to the usual tour of Rhenish Germany, will find a notable contrast between the natives of that region as they were and as they are. His mind may be full of their golden hair, expecting to find it flaxen at least. Blue and grey eyes, too, he will expect to preponderate over the black and hazel. This is what he will have read about, and what he will not find—at least along the routine lines of travel. As little will there be of massive muscularity in the limbs, and height in the stature. Has the type changed, or have the old records been inaccurate? Has the wrong part of Germany been described? or has the contrast between the Goth and the Italian engendered an exaggeration of the differences? It is no part of the present treatise to enter upon this question. It is enough to indicate the difference between the actual German of the greater part of Germany in respect to the colour of his[7] hair, eyes, and skin, and the epithets of the classical writers.

But all is not bare from Dan to Beersheba. The German of the old Germanic type is to be found if sought for. His locality, however, is away from the more frequented parts of his country. Still it is the part which Tacitus knew best, and which he more especially described. This is the parts on the Lower rather than the Upper Rhine; and it is the parts about the Ems and Weser rather than those of the Rhine at all—sacred as is this latter stream to the patriotism of the Prussian and Suabian. It is Lower rather than Upper Germany, Holland rather than Germany at all, and Friesland rather than any of the other Dutch provinces. It is Westphalia, and Oldenburg, as much, perhaps, as Friesland. The tract thus identified extends far into the Cimbric Peninsula,—so that the Jutlander, though a Dane in tongue, is a Low German in appearance.

The preceding observations are by no means the present writer's, who has no wish to be responsible for the apparent paradox that the Germans in Germany are not Germanic. It is little more than a repetition of one of Prichard's,[1] in which he is supported by both Niebuhr and the Chevalier Bunsen. The former expressly[8] states that the yellow or red hair, blue eyes, and light complexion has now become uncommon, whilst the latter has "often looked in vain for the auburn or golden locks and the light cerulean eyes of the old Germans, and never verified the picture given by the ancients of his countrymen, till he visited Scandinavia; there he found himself surrounded by the Germans of Tacitus."

For Scandinavia, I would simply substitute the fen districts of Friesland, Oldenburg, Hanover, and Holstein—all of them the old area of the Frisian.

Such is the physiognomy. What are the other peculiarities of the Frisian? His language, his distribution, his history.

The Frisian of Friesland, is not the Dutch of Holland; nor yet a mere provincial dialect of it. Instead of the infinitive moods and plural numbers ending in -n as in Holland, the former end in -a, the latter in -ar. And so they did when the language was first reduced to writing,—which it has been for nearly a thousand years. So they did when the laws of the Old Frisian republic were composed, and when the so-called Old Frisian was the language of the country. So they did in the sixteenth century, when the popular poet, Gysbert Japicx, wrote in the Middle Frisian; and so they do now—when, under the auspices of Postumus and Hettema, we have[9] Frisian translations of Shakespeare's "As You Like it," "Julius Cæsar," and "Cymbeline."

Now the oldest Frisian is older than the oldest Dutch; in other words, of the two languages it was the former which was first reduced to writing. Yet the doctrine that it is the mother-tongue of the Dutch, is as inaccurate as the opposite notion of its being a mere provincial dialect. I state this, because I doubt whether the Dutch forms in -n, could well be evolved out of the Frisian in -r, or -a. The -n belongs to the older form,—which at one time was common to both languages, but which in the Frisian became omitted as early as the tenth century; whereas, in the Dutch, it remains up to the present day.

If the Frisian differ from the Dutch, it differs still more from the proper Low German dialects of Westphalia, Oldenburg, and Holstein; all of which have the differential characteristics of the Dutch in a greater degree than the Dutch itself.

The closest likeness to the Frisian has ceased to exist as a language. It has disappeared on the Continent. It has changed in the island which adopted it. That island is Great Britain.

No existing nation, as tested by its language, is so near the Angle of England as the Frisian of Friesland. This, to the Englishman, is the great element of its interest.[10]

The history of the Frisian Germans must begin with their present distribution. They constitute the present agricultural population of the province of Friesland; so that if Dutch be the language of the towns, it is Frisian which we find in the villages and lone farm-houses. And this is the case with that remarkable series of islands which runs like a row of breakwaters from the Helder to the Weser, and serves as a front to the continent behind them. Such are Ameland, Terschelling, Wangeroog, and the others—each with its dialect or sub-dialect.

But beyond this, the continuity of the range of language is broken. Frisian is not the present dialect of Groningen. Nor yet of Oldenburg generally—though in one or two of the fenniest villages of that duchy a remnant of it still continues to be spoken; and is known to philologists and antiquarians as the Saterland dialect.

It was spoken in parts of East Friesland as late as the middle of the last century—but only in parts; the Low German, or Platt-Deutsch, being the current tongue of the districts around.

It is spoken—as already stated—in Heligoland.

And, lastly, it is spoken in an isolated locality as far north as the Duchy of Sleswick, in the neighbourhood of Husum and Bredsted.

It was these Frisians of Sleswick who alone, during the late struggle of Denmark against Germany,[11] looked upon the contest with the same indifference as the frogs viewed the battles of the oxen. They were not Germans to favour the aggressors from the South, nor Danes to feel the patriotism of the Northmen. They were neither one nor the other—simply Frisians, members of an isolated and disconnected brotherhood.

The epithet free originated with the Frisians of Friesland Proper, and it has adhered to them. With their language they have preserved many of their old laws and privileges, and from first to last, have always contrived that the authority of the sovereigns of the Netherlands should sit lightly on them.

Nevertheless, they are a broken and disjointed population; inasmuch, as the natural inference from their present distribution is the doctrine that, at some earlier period, they were spread over the whole of the sea-coast from Holland to Jutland, in other words, that they were the oldest inhabitants of Friesland, Oldenburg, Lower Hanover, and Holstein. If so, they must have been the Frisii of Tacitus. No one doubts this. They must also have been the Chauci of that writer, the German form of whose names, as we know from the oldest Anglo-Saxon poems, was Hocing. This is not so universally admitted; nevertheless, it is difficult to say who the Chauci were if they were not Frisians, or why we find[12] Frisians to the north of the Elbe, unless the population was at one time continuous.

When was this continuity disturbed? From the earliest times the sea-coast of Germany seems to have been Frisian, and from the earliest times the tribes of the interior seem to have moved from the inland country towards the sea. Their faces were turned towards Britain; or, if not towards Britain, towards France, or the Baltic. I believe, then, that as early as 100 B.C. the displacement of some of the occupants of the Frisian area had begun; this being an inference from the statement of Cæsar, that the Batavians of Holland were, in his own time, considered to have been an immigrant population. From these Batavians have come the present Dutch, and as the present Dutch differ from the Frisians of A.D. 1851, so did their respective great ancestors in B.C. 100—there, or thereabouts. But the encroachment of the Dutch upon the Frisian was but slow. The map tells us this. Just as in some parts of Great Britain we have Shiptons and Charltons, whereas in others the form is Skipton and Carlton; just as in Scotland they talk of the kirk, and in England of the church;[2] and just as such differences are explained by the difference of dialect on the[13] part of the original occupants, so do we see in Holland that certain places have the names in a Dutch, and others in a Frisian form. The Dutch compounds of man are like the English, and end in -n. The Frisians never end so. They drop the consonant, and end in -a; as Hettema, Halberts-ma, &c. Again—all three languages—English, Dutch, and Frisian—have numerous compounds of the word hám=home, as Threekingham, Eastham, Petersham, &c. In English the form is what we have just seen. In Holland the termination is -hem, as in Arn-hem, Berg-hem. In Frisian the vowel is u, and the h is omitted altogether, e.g., Dokk-um, Borst-um, &c.

Bearing this in mind, we may take up a map of the Netherlands. Nine places out of ten in Friesland end in -um, and none in -hem. In Groningen the proportion is less; and in Guelderland and Overijssel, it is less still. Nevertheless, as far south as the Maas, and in parts of the true Dutch Netherlands, where no approach to the Frisian language can now be discovered, a certain per-centage of Frisian forms for geographical localities occurs.[3]

The remainder of the displacement of the Frisians was, most probably, effected by the introduction[14] of the Low Germans of the empire of Charlemagne, into the present countries of Oldenburg and Hanover; and I believe that the same series of conquests, which then broke up the speakers of the Frisian, annihilated the Germanic representatives of the Anglo-Saxons of England; since it is an undeniable fact that of the numerous dialects of the country called Lower Saxony, all (with the exception of the Frisian) are forms of the Platt-Deutsch, and none of them descendants of the Anglo-Saxon. Hence, as far as the language represents the descent, whatever we Anglo-Saxons may be in Great Britain, America, Hindostan, Australia, New Zealand, or Africa, we are the least of our kith and kin in Germany. And we can afford to be so. Otherwise, if we were a petty people, and given to ethnological sentimentality, we might talk about the Franks of Charlemagne, as the Celts talk of us; for, without doubt, the same Franks either exterminated or denationalized us in the land of our birth, and displaced the language of Alfred and Ælfric in the country upon which it first reflected a literature.

There are no absolute descendants of the ancestors of the English in their ancestral country of Germany; the Germans that eliminated them being but step-brothers at best. But there is something of the sort. The conquest that destroyed the Angles, broke up the Frisians. Each[15] shared each other's ruin. This gives the common bond of misfortune. But there is more than this. It is quite safe to say that the Saxons and Frisians[4] were closely—very closely—connected in respect to all the great elements of ethnological affinity—language, traditions, geographical position, history. Nor is this confined to mere generalities. The opinion, first, I believe, indicated by Archbishop Usher, and recommended to further consideration by Mr. Kemble, that the Frisians took an important part in the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Great Britain is gaining ground. True, indeed, it is that the current texts from Beda and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle make no mention of them. They speak only of Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. And true it is, that no provincial dialect has been discovered in England which stands in the same contrast to the languages of the parts about it, as the Frisian does to the Dutch and Low German. Yet it is also true that, according to some traditions, Hengist was a Frisian hero. And it is equally true that, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, we find more than one incidental mention of Frisians in England—their presence being noticed as a matter of course, and without any reference to their introduction. This is shown in the following extract:—"That same[16] year, the armies from among the East-Anglians, and from among the North-Humbrians, harassed the land of the West-Saxons chiefly, most of all by their æscs, which they had built many years before. Then King Alfred commanded long ships to be built to oppose the æscs; they were full-nigh twice as long as the others; some had sixty oars, and some had more; they were both swifter and steadier, and also higher than the others. They were shapen neither like the Frisian nor the Danish, but so as it seemed to him that they would be most efficient. Then some time in the same year, there came six ships to Wight, and there did much harm, as well as in Devon, and elsewhere along the sea-coast. Then the king commanded nine of the new ships to go thither, and they obstructed their passage from the port towards the outer sea. Then went they with three of their ships out against them; and three lay in the upper part of the port in the dry; the men were gone from them ashore. Then took they two of the three ships at the outer part of the port, and killed the men, and the other ship escaped; in that also the men were killed except five; they got away because the other ships were aground. They also were aground very disadvantageously, three lay aground on that side of the deep on which the Danish ships were aground, and all the rest upon the other side, so that no[17] one of them could get to the others. But when the water had ebbed many furlongs from the ships, the Danish men went from their three ships to the other three which were left by the tide on their side, and then they there fought against them. There was slain Lucumon the king's reeve, and Wulfheard the Frisian, and Æbbe the Frisian, and Æthelhere the Frisian, and Æthelferth the king's geneat, and of all the men, Frisians and English, seventy-two; and of the Danish men one hundred and twenty."

Lastly, we have the evidence of Procopius that "three numerous nations inhabit Britain,—the Angles, the Frisians, and the Britons."[5]

Whatever interpretation we may put upon the[18] preceding extracts, it is certain that the Frisians are the nearest German representatives of our Germanic ancestors; whilst it is not uninteresting to find that the little island of Heligoland, is the only part of the British Empire where the ethnological and political relations coincide.

Gibraltar.—This isolated possession serves as a text for the ethnology of Spain; and there is no country wherein the investigation is more difficult.

It is difficult, if we look at the analysis of the present population, and attempt to ascertain the proportion of its different ingredients. There is Moorish blood, and there is Gothic, Roman, and Phœnician; some little Greek, and, older than any, the primitive and original Iberic. Perhaps, too, there is a Celtic element,—at least such is the inference from the term Celtiberian. Yet it is doubtful whether it be a true one; and, even if it be, there still stands over the question whether the Celtic or the Iberic element be the older.

When this is settled, the hardest problem of all remains behind; viz., the ethnological position of the Iberians. What they were, in themselves, we partially know from history; and what their descendants are we know also from their language. But we only know them as an isolated branch of the human species. Their relation to[19] the neighbouring families is a mystery. Reasons may be given for connecting them with the Celts of Gaul; reasons for connecting them with the Africans of the other side of the Straits; and reasons for connecting them with tribes and families so distant in place, and so different in manners as the Finns of Finland, and the Laps of Lapland. Nay more,—affinities have been found between their language and the Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac; between it and the Georgian; between it and half the tongues of the Old World. Even in the forms of speech of America, analogies have been either found or fancied.

Be this, however, as it may, the oldest inhabitants of the Spanish peninsula were the different tribes of the Iberians proper, and the Celtiberians; the first being the most easily disposed of. They it was, whose country was partially colonized by Phœnician colonists; either directly from Tyre and Sidon, or indirectly from Carthage. They it was who, at a somewhat later period, came in contact with the Greeks of Marseilles and their own town of Emporia. They it was who could not fail to receive some intermixture of African blood; whether it were from Africans crossing over on their own account, or from the Libyans, Gætulians, and Mauritanians of the Carthaginian levies.

And now the great western peninsula becomes[20] the battle-ground for Rome and Carthage; the theatre of the Scipios on the one side, and the great family of the Barcas on the other. On Iberian ground does Hannibal swear his deadly and undying enmity to Rome. At this time, the numerous primitive tribes of Spain may boast a civilization equal to that of the most favoured spots of the earth,—Greece, and the parts between the Nile, the Euphrates and the Mediterranean alone being excepted. As tested by their agricultural mode of life, their commercial and mining industry, their susceptibility of discipline as soldiers, and, above all, by the size and number of their cities, the Iberian of Spain is on the same level with the Celt of Gaul, and the Celt of Gaul on that of the Italian of Italy,—i.e., as far as the civilization of the latter is his own, and not of Greek origin. But this is a point of European rather than Spanish ethnology.

That the obstinate spirit of resistance to organized armies by means of a guerilla warfare, the savage patriotism which suggests such expressions as war even to the knife, and the endurance behind stone walls, which characterizes the modern Spaniards, is foreshadowed in the times of their earliest history, has often been remarked, and that truly. Numantia is an early Saragossa, Saragossa a modern Numantia. Viriathus has had innumerable counterparts. Where the indomitable[21] Cantabrian held out against the power of Rome, the Biscayan of the year 1851 adheres to his privileges and his language; and what the Cantabrian was to the Roman, the Asturian was to the Moor. Both trusted their freedom to their impracticable mountains and stubborn spirits—and kept it accordingly. It is an easy matter to refer the peculiarities of the Spanish character to the infusion of Oriental blood; and with some of them it may be the case. But with many of them, the reference is a false one. Half the Spanish character was Iberic and Lusitanian before either Jew or Saracen had seen the Rock of Gibraltar.

Of the early Spanish religion, we know but little. A remarkable passage in Strabo speaks to their literature. They had an alphabet. This is known from coins and inscriptions. And it was of foreign origin—Greek or Phœnician. This nothing but the most inconsiderate and uncritical patriotism can deny. Denied, however, it has been; and the indigenous and independent evolution of an alphabet has been claimed; the particular tribe to which it has more especially been ascribed being the Turdetani. These—and the passage I am about to quote is the passage of Strabo just alluded to—are "put forward as the wisest of the Iberi, and they have the use of letters; and they have records of ancient history,[22] and poems, and metrical laws for six thousand years—as they say."[6]

Now, whatever may be the doubts implied by the last three words of this extract, the evidence is to the effect that the old Iberians were a lettered nation; the antiquity of their civilization being another question. To modify our scepticism on the point, the text has been tampered with, and it has been proposed to read poems (ἐπῶν) instead of years (ἐτῶν). The change, to be sure, is slight enough—that of a single letter—from p (π) to t (τ); nevertheless, as it is more than cautious criticism will allow, the reading must stand as it is, and the claim of the Turdetanians must be for a literature nearly as old as the supposed age of the world in the current century,—a long date, and a date which would be improbable, even if we divided it by twelve, and rendered ἔτος by month instead of year. It denotes either some shorter period (perhaps a day) or nothing at all.

So much for the Iberians; of which the Lusitanians of Portugal were a branch; and of which there were several divisions and subdivisions involving considerable varieties both of manners[23] and language. In respect to the latter there is the special evidence of Strabo that their tongues and alphabets differed. And so did their mythologies. The Callaici had the reputation of being atheists; whilst the Celtiberi worshipped an anonymous God,[7] at the full of the moon, with feasts and dances.

But who were the Celtiberi? I have already said that there were difficulties upon this point. The name makes them a mixed people; half Celt and half Iberic. If so, the French influence in the Spanish Peninsula was as great in the time of Hannibal, as it was wished to be in the time of Louis XIV.

With the exception of Niebuhr, the chief authorities have considered the Iberi as the aborigines, and the Celts as emigrants from Gaul. To this, however, Niebuhr took exceptions. He considered the warlike character of the Iberians; and this made him unwilling to think that any invader from the north had displaced them. And he considered the geographical distribution of the Celtiberi. This was not in the fertile plains nor along the banks of fertilizing rivers, nor yet in the districts of the golden corn and the precious wool of Hispania, but in the rougher mountain tracts, in the quarters whereto an aboriginal inhabitant would be more likely to retire, than an[24] invading conqueror to covet, I admit the difficulty implied in his objection; but I admit it only as a presumption—against which there is a decided preponderance of material facts.

In the first place, there are the oldest names of the geographical localities throughout Spain. These, as shown by the well-known monograph of Humboldt, are not Celtic, and are Iberic.

In the next place, the Celtic frontier was by no means so near the geographical boundary of the Peninsula as it is often supposed to have been. Instead of the Celtic of Gaul reaching the Pyrenees, the Iberic of Spain reached the Loire—so that the province of Aquitania, although Gallic in politics, was Iberic in ethnology. This, again, is shown by Humboldt.

For my own part, instead of discussing the relation of the Celts of Celtiberia to the other inhabitants of Spain, I would open a new question, and investigate the grounds upon which we believe in an intermixture at all. Whatever respect we may pay to the statements of the classical writers, the name itself is not conclusive; since it would be just as likely to be given from an approach on the part of an Iberic population to the Celtic manners, or from the adoption of any supposed Celtic characteristic, as from absolute ethnological intermixture. Like modern observers, the ancient writers were too fond of gratuitously[25] assuming an intermixture of blood for the explanation of the results of common physical or social conditions. Hence—without pressing my opinion on the reader—I confine myself to an expression of doubt as to the existence of Celts amongst the Celtiberi at all.

But this only simplifies the question as to the ethnological position of the Iberic variety of the human species. It does not even suggest an answer. They were the aborigines of Spain. They are the ancestors of the present Biscayans. Their tongue survives in the north-west provinces of Spain, and in the north-east corner of France. It has no recognized affinity with any known tongue; and it has undeniable points of contrast with all the languages of the countries around.

Yet it is only by means of the Basque language that the problem can be attempted. The physical conformation of the still extant Iberians, has nothing definitely characteristic about it. The ancient mythology has died away. The tribes most immediately allied have ceased to be other than unmixed. So the language alone remains—and that has yet to find its interpreter.

An Iberic basis—Greek, Phœnician, and Mauritanian intermixtures—possibly a Celtic element—Roman sufficient to change the language through four-fifths of the Peninsula—Gothic blood introduced[26] by the followers of Euric—Arabian influences, second in importance to those of Rome only—such is the analysis of ethnological elements of the Spanish stock. The proportions, of course, differ in different parts of the Peninsula, and, although they are nowhere ascertained, it is reasonable to suppose that the Arab blood increases as we go southwards, and the Gothic and Iberic as we approach the Pyrenees. This makes Gibraltar the most Moorish part of Europe; and such I believe it to be.

Malta.—When we have subtracted the English, Italians, Greeks, and other nations of the Levant from the population of Malta, there still remain the primitive islanders, with their peculiar language.

Now this language is a form of the Arabic; and, with the exception of some of the dialects of Syria, it is the only instance of that language in the mouth of a Christian population. So thoroughly are the language and the religion of the Koran co-extensive.

At what period this tongue found its way to Malta is undetermined. As compared with any of the present languages of the island it is ancient. But it is not certain that, though old, it is the earliest. Carthaginians may have preceded the Arabs; Greeks the Carthaginians; and, possibly, Sicanians, or the earliest occupants of[27] Sicily, the Greeks. I am unable, however, to carry my reader beyond the simple fact of the language being Arabic.

The only other Arabic dependency of Great Britain is Aden.[8]

The Ionian Islands.—The reader may have remarked the peculiar character of European ethnology. It consists chiefly in the analysis of the component parts of particular populations; and this it investigates so exclusively as to leave no room for the description of manners, customs, physiognomy, and the like—paramount in importance as these matters are when we come to the other quarters of the world. There are two reasons for this difference. First—the peculiarities of the European nations are by no means of the same extent and character with those of the ruder families of mankind. A similar civilization, and a similar religion, have effected a remarkable amount of uniformity; and, hence, the differences are those that the historian deals with more appropriately than the ethnologist. Secondly—such external and palpable differences as exist are generally known and appreciated. The analysis[28] of blood, or stock, which, partially, accounts for them, is less completely understood.

Hence, in treating of the Maltese, there was no description of the Arabic stock at all. All that was stated was a reason for believing that the Maltese belonged to it. Such also, to a great degree, was the case with the Gibraltar population, and the Heligolanders. And such will be the case with the Ionian Islanders. It will not be thought necessary to enlarge upon the Greeks; it will only be requisite to ask how far the group in question is Grecian.

The very oldest population of the Ionian Islands I believe to have been barbarous—a term which, in the present classical localities, is convenient.

In the smaller islands, such as Ithaca and Zacynthus, the population had become Hellenized at the time of the composition of the Homeric poems. In Corcyra, on the other hand, the original barbarism lasted longer. Such, at least, is the way in which I interpret the passages in the Odyssey concerning the Phæacians (who were certainly not Greek), and the later language of Thucydides respecting the relations of the Corinthian colonies of Epidamnus, and Corcyra. The whole context leads to the belief that, originally, the ἄποικοι were Greeks in contact with a population which was not Greek.

In respect to the stock to which these early[29] and ante-Hellenic islanders belonged, the presumption is in favour of its having been the Illyrian; a stock known only in its probable remains—the Skipitar (Albanians, or Arnaouts) of Albania.

Time, however, made them all equally Hellenic, a result which was, probably, completed before the decline of Greek independence; since which epoch there have been the following elements of intermixture:—

1. Albanian blood, from the opposite coast.

2. Slavonic, from Dalmatia.

3. Italian, from Italy.

4. Turk—I have no pretence to the minute ethnological knowledge which would enable me even to guess at the proportions.

Upon the whole, however, I believe the Ionian islanders to be what their language represents them—Greek. At the same time they are Greeks of an exceedingly mixed blood.[9]

Again—of the foreign elements I imagine the Italian to be the chief. This, however, is an impression rather than a matured opinion.

The Slavonic element, too, is likely to be considerable. The Byzantine historians speak of numerous and permanent settlements, during the[30] twelfth and thirteenth centuries, both in Thessaly, and in the Morea; statements which the frequency of Slavonic names for Greek geographical localities confirms.[10] Neither, however, outweighs the undoubted Hellenic character of the language, which is still the representative of the great medium of the fathers of literature and philosophy.

The Channel Islands.—As Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and Sark, are no parts of Great Britain, and are, nevertheless, European, I make a brief mention of them; although they are neither colonies nor dependencies: indeed, in strict history, Great Britain is a dependency of theirs.

They are Norman rather than French, and the illustration of this distinction, which will re-appear when we come to the Canadas—concludes the chapter.

The earliest population of France was twofold—Celtic for the north, Iberic for the south.

Its second population was Roman.

Its language is Roman—all that remains of the old tongues of the tribes which Cæsar conquered being (1) certain words in the present[31] French, (2) the Breton of Brittany, which is closely akin to the Welsh Celtic, and (3) the Basque dialects of Gascony, which is Iberic.

Now whether the old Gallic blood be as fully displaced by that of the Roman conquerors, as the old Gallic language has been displaced by the Latin is uncertain. It is only certain that the old and indigenous elements of the French nation, however indeterminate in amount—were not of a uniform character, i.e., neither wholly Celtic, nor wholly Iberic; but Celtic for one part of the country, and Iberic for another.

The ancient tribes of Normandy were Celtic. Hence, when the third element of the present Norman population was introduced, all that was not Italian was Welsh—just as it was in Picardy and Orleans, and just as it was not in Gascony and Poitou. There the old element was Iberic.

The third element—just alluded to—was Germanic; Germanic of different kinds, but chiefly Frank or Burgundian.

The fourth great element was the Norse or Scandinavian; introduced by the so-called Sea-kings of Denmark and Norway in the ninth and tenth centuries. These, as the empire of Charlemagne declined, insulted and dismembered it. They converted Neustria in Normandy=the country of the Northmen. The exact amount of their influence has not been ascertained; nor is[32] the investigation easy. The process, however, by which we measured the original extent of the Frisian area is applicable to that of the Northmen. There are Norse names for French localities. Of these the most important are the compounds of -tot, -fleur, and -bec; like Yve-tot, Har-fleur, and Caude-bec.


Names of places thus ending are almost exclusively limited to Normandy; occurring, even there, most numerously within a few miles of either the sea or the Seine.

Furthermore, there is a fresh element suggested by a term of the "Notitia Utriusque Imperii," a document of the latter end of the fourth century. This is Litus Saxonicum per Britannias, a tract extending from the Wash to Portsmouth. Now the opposite shore of the continent was a litus Saxonicum also; within which lay Normandy. I believe that these Saxons were part of the same branch of Germans which invaded England; in other words, that portions of France, like portions of England, were Anglicized; the two processes differing in respect to their extent and duration. What was general and permanent on[33] the island, was partial and temporary on the continent. That there were Saxons at Bayeux in the tenth century is asserted by express evidence.

Taking in the account the preceding invasions, and remembering that, both from Germany and Italy, Normandy is one of the most distant of the French provinces, we arrive at the following analysis.

The Channel Islanders are what the Normans are.

The Normans are Romanized Celts; the Roman element being somewhat less than it is elsewhere.

The Frank and Burgundian elements are also less.

But a Saxon element is greater.

And a Norse element is pre-eminently Norman.


[1] "Natural History of Man," p. 197.

[2] The form in c and sk (Skipton and Carlton) being of Danish, whilst those in ch and sh are of Anglo-Saxon origin.—See "Quarterly Review," No. CLXIV.

[3] The details of this investigation are given in full in the present writer's "Taciti Germania with Ethnological notes," now in course of publication.

[4] I include in this term the so-called old Saxons of Westphalia.

[5] The original passage is as follows:—"Βριττίαν δὲ τὴν νῆσον ἔθνη τρία πολυανθρωπότατα ἔχουσι, βασιλεύς τε εἷς αὐτῶν ἑκάστῳ ἐφέστηκεν, ὀνόματα δὲ κεῖται τοῖς ἔθνεσι τούτοις Ἀγγίλοι τε καὶ Φρίσσονες καὶ οἱ τῆ νήσῳ ὁμώνυμοι Βρίττωνες. Τοσαύτη δὲ ἡ τῶνδε τῶν ἐθνῶν πολυανθρωπία φαίνεται οὖσα ὥστε ἀνὰ πᾶν ἔτος κατὰ πολλοὺς ἐνθένδε μετανιστάμενοι ξὺν γυναιξὶ καὶ παισὶν ἐς Φράγγους χώρουσιν."—Procop. B. G. iv. 20.

Reasons which have induced me to go farther than any previous writer in respect to the importance of the Frisian element in the Anglo-Saxon invasion, and to believe that instead of Saxon being a native German name for any portion of the Germanic population, it was only a Celtic and Roman term for the Germans of the sea-coast, and (amongst these) for the Frisians most especially, are given, at large, in my ethnological edition of the "Germania of Tacitus."

[6] Σοφώτατοι δ' ἐξεταζονται τῶν Ἰβήρων οὗτοι, καὶ γραμματικῆ χρῶνται· καὶ τῆς παλαιᾶς μνήμης ἔχουσι τὰ συγγράμματα, καὶ ποιήματα καὶ νόμους ἐμμέτρους ἑξακισχιλίων ἐτῶν, ὥς φασι.

[7] This was probably the case with the Callaici.

[8] The famous Knighthood of Malta—without fear, but (though, perhaps, the best of its class) not without reproach, has no place here. Its ethnology belongs to the different countries which it dignified by its valour, or dishonoured by its profligacy.

[9] This I believe to have been the case with the ancient Greeks also; though the proof would require an elaborate monograph.

[10] The two together have led to a doctrine which has been best developed by Fallmerayer. It is this—that the modern Greeks are Sclavonians. The Russian school are the chief believers of this. In the few countries where ethnology is scientific rather than political, the more moderate opinion of the modern Greeks being a mixed stock prevails.

[11] Or beck.





The Gambia.—All our settlements on the Gambia are in the Mandingo country.

Of all the true and unequivocal Negroes, the Mandingos are the most civilized; the basis of their civilization being Arab, and their religion that of the Koran. Hence, they have priests, or Marabouts, the use of the Arabic alphabet, and a monotheistic creed.

Of all the Negroes, too, the Mandingos are the most commercial, not as mere slave-dealers, but as truly industrial merchants.

Of all the families of the African stock, with the exception of the Kaffres, the Mandingo is the most widely spread. It also falls into numerous divisions and subdivisions. Hence the term has a twofold power. Sometimes it is a generic name for a large group; sometimes the designation of a particular section of that group. The[35] Mandingos of the Lower Gambia are Mandingos in the restricted meaning of the word.

For the Mandingo tribes, when we use the term in a general sense, the most convenient classification is into the Mahometan and the Pagan. That this division should exist is natural; since, with the exception of the Wolofs, the Mandingos are the most northern of all the western Negroes, and, consequently, those who are most in contact with the Mahometan Arabs, and the equally Mahometan Kabyles of Barbary and the Great Desert,—a fact sufficient to account for the monotheistic creeds of the northern tribes.

As for the Paganism of the others, we must remember how far southwards and inland the same great stock extends—indefinitely towards the interior, and as far as the back of the Ashanti country, in the direction of the equator.

This prepares us for finding Mandingos at our next settlement.

Sierra Leone.—The native populations which encircle this settlement are two—the Timmani towards the north, and Bullom towards the south.

Both are Negroes of the most typical kind, in respect to their physical conformation.

Both are Pagans.

Both speak what seem to be mutually unintelligible languages, but which have an undoubted[36] relationship to each other, and to the numerous Mandingo dialects as well. It is this which induces me to place them in the same section with the more civilized Africans of the Gambia.

It is safe to say that they are amongst the rudest members of the stock; indeed it is only in the eyes of the etymologist that they are Mandingo at all. Practically, they, and several tribes like them, are Mandingo, in the way that a wolf is a dog, or a goat a sheep.

The Bullom and Timmani are the frontagers to Sierra Leone; and it was with Bullom and Timmani potentates that the land of the settlement was bargained for. The settlers themselves are of different origin. Mixed beyond all other populations of Africa, the occupants of Free Town are in the same category with the Negroes of Jamaica and St. Domingo; concerning whom we can only predicate that they have dark skins, and that they come from Africa. The analysis of their several origins, and their distribution amongst the separate branches of the African family, would be one of the most difficult feats in minute ethnology; and this would be but a fraction of the investigation. When the several countries which supplied the several victims of the slave-trade had been ascertained, the complicated question of intermixture would stand over; and there we should find lineages of every degree of hybridism—children,[37] whose ancestors originated on different sides of Africa, themselves the parents of a lighter-coloured offspring, the effect of European intercourse.

At present it is sufficient to state that the nucleus of the Free Town population consists of what is called the Maroon Negroes. These were slaves of Jamaica, who, having recovered their freedom during the Spanish dominion in the island, were removed, by the English, in the first instance to Nova Scotia, and afterwards to their present locality.

Round this has collected an equally miscellaneous population of rescued slaves; and, besides these, there are immigrants, labourers, and barterers from all the neighbouring parts of the Continent—Krumen more especially.

A writer who, when we come to the Negroes of the Gold Coast, will be freely quoted, calls the Krumen the Scotchmen of Africa, since, with unusual industry, enterprise, and perseverance, they leave, without reluctance, their own country to push their fortunes wherever they can find a wider field. They are ready for any employment which may enable them to increase their means, and ensure a return to their own country in a state of improved prosperity. There the Kruman's ambition is to purchase one or two head of cattle, and one or two head of wives, to enjoy the[38] luxuries of rum and tobacco, and pass the remainder of his days as

"A gentleman of Africa who sits at home at ease."

Half the Africans that we see in Liverpool are Krumen, who have left their own country when young, and taken employment on board a ship, where they exhibit a natural aptitude for the sea. Without being nice as to the destination of the vessel in which they engage, they return home as soon as they can; and rarely or never contract matrimony before their return. In Cape Coast Town, as well as in Sierra Leone, they form a bachelor community—quiet and orderly; and in that respect stand in strong contrast to the other tribes around them. Besides which, with all their blackness, and all their typical Negro character, they are distinguishable from most other western Africans; having the advantage of them in make, features, and industry.

A Kruman is pre-eminently the free labourer of Africa. In the slave trade he has engaged less than any of his neighbours, attaches himself readily to the whites, and, in his native country, as well as in Sierra Leone, Coast Town, and other places of his temporary denizenship, is quick of perception and amenable to instruction. His language is the Grebo tongue, and it has been reduced to writing by the American missionaries[39] of Cape Palmas. It has decided affinities with those of the Mandingo tongues to the north, the Fanti dialects of the Gold Coast, and, in all probability, still closer ones with those of the Ivory coast. These last, however, are but imperfectly known; indeed, a single vocabulary of the Avekvom language, in the "American Oriental Journal," furnishes nine-tenths of our philological data for the parts between Cape Palmas and Cape Apollonia.

The best measure of the heterogeneousness of the Sierra Leone population is to be found in Mrs. Kilham's vocabularies. That lady collected, at Free Town, specimens of thirty-one African tongues, from Negroes then and there resident. Of these—

A. Eight belonged to the Mandingo group, viz., Mandingo Proper, Susu, Bambara, Kossa, Pessa, Kissi, Bullom, and Timmani.

B. Two were dialects of the Grebo (Kru): the Kru, and the Bassa.

C. Two were Fanti: the Fanti and the Ashanti, closely allied dialects.

D. Two were Dahoman: the Fot, and the Popo.

E. Two Benin: the Benin Proper, and the Moko, languages of a tract but little known.

F. One Wolof, from the Senegal.

G. Eight from the parts between the rivers[40] Formosa and Loango, viz., the Bongo, the Ako, the Ibu, the Rungo, the Akuonga, the Karaba, the Uobo, the Kouri.

H. One from the river Kongo, i.e., the Kongo properly so-called.

I. Two from the Lower Niger, but, still separated from the coast—the Tapua (Nufi) and Appa.

K. Three from the widely-spread nations of the interior—the Fulah, the Haussa, and the Bornu.

I do not say that all Mrs. Kilham's specimens represent mutually unintelligible tongues; probably they do not. At the same time, as several decidedly different languages are omitted, the list understates, rather than exaggerates, the number of the divisions and subdivisions of the western African populations, as inferred from the divisions and subdivisions of the language.

Thus, no samples are given of the—

1. Sereres.—Pastoral tribes about Cape Verde.

2. Serawolli.—On the Middle Senegal, different, in many respects, from the Sereres, the Wolofs, and the Fulahs; nations with which they are in geographical contact.

3. The Feloops.—Between the Gambia and Cacheo, along the coast.

4. The Papels.—South of the Cacheo; and also coastmen.[41]

5. The Balantes.—Coast-men to the south of the Papels.

6. The Bagnon.—Conterminous with the Feloops of the river Cacheo.

7. The Bissago.—Fierce occupants of the islands so-called.

8. The Naloos.—On the Nun and river Grande.

9. The Sapi.—Conterminous with the Naloo, and like all the preceding tribes, from the Feloops downwards, pre-eminently rude, fierce, intractable, and imperfectly known.

Southward, the unrepresented languages are equally numerous—especially for the Ivory Coast, and for the Delta of the Niger. Of these I shall only notice one—the Vey.

The settlement with which the tribes speaking the Vey language is in contact is one of which the tongue is English, but not the political relations. It is the American free Negro settlement of Liberia.

In the Vey language, it had been known for some time to the American missionaries, that there were written books, a fact not likely to be undervalued by those who felt warmly on the social and civilizational prospects of the coloured divisions of our species. One of these books was discovered by Lieutenant Forbes, of H.M.S. the Bonetta; local inquiry was further made by the Rev. W. S. Koelle; and the MS. was[42] critically analyzed by Mr. Norris, of the Asiatic Society.[12]

The phenomenon, if properly measured, is by no means a very significant one; since, although the Vey alphabet, the invention of a man now living, so far differs from the Mandingo, as to be spelt by the syllable rather than the letter, it is anything but an independent creation of the Negro brain. Doala Bukara, its composer, an imperfect Mahometan, had seen Mahometan books, and, although he was no Christian, had seen an English Bible also. He knew, then, what spelling or writing was. He knew, too, the phonetic analysis of the Mandingo, a tongue closely allied to his own. And this is nine parts out of ten in the so-called invention of alphabets.

The true claims of Doala, in this way, are those of the phonetic reformers in England, as compared with those of Toth or Cadmus—real but moderate. His own account of the matter, as he gave it to Mr. Koelle, was, that the fact of sounds being written, haunted him in a dream, wherein he was shown a series of signs adapted to his native tongue. These he forgot in the morning; but remembered the impression. So he consulted his friends; and they and he, laying their heads together, coined new ones. The king of the country made its introduction a matter of state, and built[43] a large house in Dshondu, as a day-school. But a war with the Guru people disturbed both the learners and teachers, so that the latter removed to Bandakoro, where all grown-up people, of both sexes, can now read and write.

This alphabet is a syllabarium.

The books written in it are essentially Mahometan; the Koran appearing in them much in the same way as the Bible appears in the more degenerate legends of the middle ages.

How far the Vey alphabet will be an instrument of civilization, is a difficult question. For my own part, I half regret its evolution; since the Arabic that served for the Mandingo, would have served for the Vey as well—or if not the Arabic, the English.

As a measure of African capacity it is of some value; and in this respect, it speaks for the Negro just as the Cherokee alphabet speaks for the American Indian. This latter was invented by a native named Sequoyah. Like Doala, he knew what reading was. Like Doala, too, he had a language adapted to a syllabarium. Hence, both the Vey and the Cherokee, the two latest coinages in the way of alphabets, are both syllabic.

We now move southwards to the—

Gold Coast Settlements.—The climate of Western Africa requires notice. It suits the native, but destroys the European. Of the two settlements,[44] already mentioned, the Gambia is the most deadly; though Sierra Leone has the worst name. Both are on the coast; both, consequently, on the lower courses of the rivers, and both on low levels. The import of these remarks applies to the Negroes of America. At present, it ushers in a brief notice of the climate of the Gold Coast; this district being chosen for the purpose of description because it makes the nearest approach to the equator of any English settlement in Africa. Consequently, it may serve as a typical sample of the malarious parts of the coast in question.

From April till August is the rainy season, which gradually passes into the dry; heavy fogs forming during the transition. These last till the end of September. Occasional showers, too, continue till November. Then the weather becomes really clear and dry, until, towards the end of January, the dry parching wind, called the Harmattan, sets in, with its over-stimulant action upon the human system, and clouds of penetrating impalpable sand. If this is not blowing, the atmosphere is loaded with moisture; and this it is, combined with the heat of an intertropical sun, and the effluvia engendered by the decay of an over-luxuriant vegetation, which makes Western Africa the white man's grave. Not that the soil, even on the coast, is always swampy and alluvial.[45] About Cape Coast it is rocky and undulating. Still, it is inordinately wooded, as well as full of spots where water accumulates and exhalations multiply. Yet the thermometer ranges between 78° and 86° Fahrenheit—a low maximum for the neighbourhood of the equator; a high one, however, to feel cold in. Nevertheless, such is the case. "From this peculiarity of the atmosphere, the sensations of an individual almost invariably indicate a degree of cold, especially when sitting in a room, or not taking bodily exercise; so that, to ensure a feeling of comfortable warmth, it becomes necessary to dress in a thicker material than what is usually considered best adapted for tropical wear, and to have a fire lighted in one's bedroom for some time before one retires to rest."[13]

The chief Africans of these parts—and we now approach the great officina servorum—alone tolerant of the heats, and droughts, and rains, and exhalations are—

1. The Fantis.

2. The Ghans.

3. The Avekvom (?)

A. The Fantis.—Of the true natives of the country these are the chief.

The term Fanti, like the term Mandingo, has a double sense—a general and a specific signification.[46]

The particular population of the parts about Cape Coast is Fanti in the limited sense of the term.

The great section of the Negro family, which comprises, besides the Fantis Proper, the Ashanti, Boroom, and several other populations, is Fanti in the wide sense of the term.

The Fanti, Ashanti, and Boroom forms of speech are merely dialects of one and the same language.

A great proportion of the vocabularies of "Bowdich's Ashanti" are the same.

So are the Fetu, Affotoo, and other vocabularies of the "Mithridates."

The inhabitants of the Native Town of Cape Coast, a mixed population of Krumen, Fantis, and Mulattoes, amounting to as many as 10,000, are no true specimens of the African of the Gold Coast. European influences have too long been at work on them. Before the town was English it was Dutch; and it was English as early as 1661.

More than this. It is not certain that their fathers' fathers were the exact aborigines; in other words, a tribe akin to, but slightly different from them, seems to have been the earlier possessors. These were the Fetu—the remains of which can doubtless be met with among the populations of the neighbourhood; since we find in the "Mithridates" a Fetu vocabulary and an Affotoo one as well.[47]

Now the Fantis that thus displaced the Fetu, were themselves fugitives from the conquering Ashantis; all, however, being the members of one stock, and the pressure being from the highlands of the interior towards the lowlands of the coast.

All three are truly Negro in conformation, and miserably Pagan in creed, the best measure of their political capacity being the organized kingdom of the Ashantis; and the lowest form of it, the system of clanships, chieftainships, or captainships of the proper Fantis of the coast. The details of these are of importance.

I cannot ascertain upon what principle those different divisions which are sometimes called tribes, sometimes clans, are formed; since it is by no means safe to assume that they necessarily consist of descendants from one common ancestor. The investigations concerning the tribes of ancient Rome show this.

It is easier to enumerate their external characteristics, and material elements of their union. In the Native Town there are four quarters, each occupied by a separate section of the population. This section has its own proper head, its own proper standards, and its own proper band of music.

What follows seems to apply to the rude state of society in the country around. Each division has its badge or device; so that we have[48] the tribe, or clan, of the leopard, the cat, the dog, the hawk, the parrot, &c. On certain days there are certain festivals and processions, when the chief is carried in a long basket on the heads of two men, with umbrellas above him, and attendants around proportionate to his rank. When in distress, the Fanti has a claim upon the good offices of his tribe.

When a Fanti government becomes extensive enough to require organization, we find absolute monarchs with satraps (caboceers) under them; under these the heads of the different villages or towns, and under these captains of hundreds, fifties, and tens—an organization which is, perhaps, of military rather than social origin. The Ashanti kingdom gives us the best measure of extent to which a branch of the Fanti stock has developed itself into a political influence. As for the Constitution, it is a simple and unmitigated despotism; of which the most remarkable point is the law of succession. This follows the female lines, so that the heir-apparent is the eldest son of the reigning king's eldest sister. The same applies to the caboceers; except that, in cases of mental or physical incapacity, the rightful heir is set aside, and a path opened to the ambition of private adventurers.

Slavery is what we expect; and on the coast of Guinea it meets us at every turn, though not[49] in the worst forms of the Trade. This flourishes in Dahomey, and along the whole of the Bight of Benin. In the Fanti countries, however, the milder form of domestic servitude preponderates; and along with it a chronic state of warfare. These two evils are connected with one another, as cause and effect. The conquest supplies the slaves; the slaves provoke the conquest.

Besides this there is a sort of temporary servitude, which reminds us of the Nexi of the Romans. This occurs when "a person, in order to raise a particular sum of money, voluntarily sells himself for a certain period, or until such time as he is enabled to pay the amount so borrowed, together with whatever interest may have been agreed upon. This is called the system of pawning, and the people so sold, pawns. Thus a native, in order to make a great display on any particular occasion, as on his marriage, or to have a grand 'custom' for a deceased relative, will forfeit his labour for a definite time, or give one of his slaves for a period agreed upon. Neither these pawns, however, nor the domestic slaves, entertain any feeling of disgrace, but on the contrary are happy and contented."[14]

Everything connected with the administration of justice is rude and savage; the severity of the punishment upon detection being the chief preventive.[50] The awards, of course, depend much upon the individual character of the chiefs; and there are but few who have not exhibited horrible proofs of cruelty. These, however, are no measures of the temper of the people at large. The legitimate, normal, established, and familiar forms of torture give us this. It may just be a shade or two better than that of the autocrats—though bad at best. I still draw upon the writer already quoted. "The most common mode of torture is what is termed tying Guinea-fashion. In this the arms are closely drawn together behind the back, by means of a cord tied tightly round them, about midway between the elbows and shoulders. A piece of wood to act as a rack, having been previously introduced, is then used so as to tighten the cord, and so intense is the agony that one application is generally sufficient to occasion the wretch so tortured to confess to anything that is required of him. There are various other modes of torture in common use among the natives of Guinea. One is tying the head, feet, and hands, in such a way that by turning the body backwards, they may be drawn together by the cords employed. Another is securing a wrist or ankle to a block of wood by an iron staple. By means of a hammer any degree of pressure may thus be applied, while the suffering so produced is continuous, only being relieved by[51] the wood being split, and the staples removed, but this may not be done until a crime has been confessed by a person who never committed it, and even then his limb has generally been destroyed. It would not be interesting to here enumerate the various tortures employed by a barbarous people, but when we recollect the refinement of the art of torture in our own country in the days of the maiden, the boot, and thumb-screws, we will cease to wonder that substitutes for these should be used in a country where civilization has not yet begun to elevate a people who are generally allowed to be the lowest of the human race.

"There are some superstitious rites employed by Fetish-men for the detection of crime; and whether it is that these people really possess such powerful influence over their wretched dupes, as to frighten into confession of his guilt the perpetrator of crime, or whether it is that they manage by their numerous spies to obtain a clue sufficient in most cases to lead to the detection of the person, is more than I can venture to assert; but, be the means employed what they may, a Fetish-man will assuredly very often bring a crime home to the right person, even after the most patient investigation in the ordinary way has failed to elicit the slightest clue.[52]

"There is also what is called Trial by Dhoom. This consists in whoever are suspected of having committed a crime being made to swallow a decoction of dhoom wood of the country, and it is believed that whoever is innocent will immediately eject the deleterious draught, but the guilty person will die. This, however, is not much to be depended upon; for while it causes death in one instance, it may do so in all who partake of it; or on the other hand, from some accident in its preparation, it may be productive of no effect either upon the guilty or the innocent.

"The Rice test, although practised in this part of Africa, is, I believe, not peculiar to it, being also employed in the West Indies, and South America. Although no doubt originally introduced by a people in a low state of civilization, it is interesting in so far that it exemplifies the powerful influence which the mind possesses over the corporeal functions, and as it appears to have been in use among the blacks for centuries, we may give them the credit of having been practically aware that 'conscience doth make cowards of us all,' long before the Bard of Avon chronicled the fact. In the employment of this test in Guinea, those who are suspected of having committed a crime are assembled, and to each[53] a small portion of rice is given, which they are required to masticate, and afterwards produce on the hand; and it is invariably the case that while all but the real culprit will produce their rice in a soft pulpy mass, his will be as dry as if ground in a mill, the salivary glands having, under the influence exerted upon the nervous system by fear, refused to perform their ordinary functions."

Something like this is common in many savage countries. In the shape of the dhoom test, it re-appears in Old Calabar, and, probably, elsewhere. There, the "king and chief inhabitants ordinarily constitute a court of justice, in which all country disputes are adjusted, and to which every prisoner suspected of capital offences is brought, to undergo examination and judgment. If found guilty, they are usually forced to swallow a deadly potion made from the poisonous seeds of an aquatic leguminous plant, which rapidly destroys life. This poison is obtained by pounding the seeds, and macerating them in water, which acquires a white milky colour. The condemned person, after swallowing a certain portion of the liquid, is ordered to walk about, until its effects become palpable. If, however, after the lapse of a definite period, the accused should be so fortunate as to throw the poison from off his stomach, he is considered as[54] innocent, and allowed to depart unmolested. In native parlance this ordeal is designated as 'chopping nut.'"[15]

The hardest workers amongst the Fantis are the fishers, who use a canoe of wood of the bombax, from ten to twelve feet in length, and strengthened by cross timbers. The net—a casting net—is made from the fibres of the aloe or the pine-apple, and is about twenty feet in diameter (?).

Next to these come the farmers, whose rough agriculture consists in the cultivation of maize, bananas, yams, and pumpkins; and lastly, the gold-seekers. Of this there is abundance; and where the European coin of the coast ceases, the native currency of gold-dust begins. Sums of so small a value as three half-pence are thus paid; smaller ones being represented by cowries.

The highest of their arts is that of manufacturing gold ornaments, and this is the hereditary craft of certain families. These transmit the secret of their skill from father to son, and keep the corporation to which they belong up to a due degree of closeness, by avoiding intermarriage with any of the more unskilled labourers. A little weaving, and a little potting, constitute the[55] remaining arts of the Fanti—as far, at least, as they are either fine or useful.

The craft of the Fetish-man comes under none of the preceding categories. He is the priest, sorcerer, or medicine man; the representative of "Paganism, in its lowest and most hideous form, the objects of their worship being the most repulsive reptiles, and their ceremonies the most degrading. They certainly have some idea of the existence of a First Cause, and believe themselves to be in the power of the Great Fetish, their protection or destruction being dependent upon the will of this power, of whose attributes they know nothing further. They also believe in the existence of a spirit of evil, and on some parts of the coast consider his power over them so great, that they address their supplications, and erect, for his especial service, small mud huts, usually of a conical shape, built under the shade of some stately palm or wild fig-tree, in one of the most inviting spots to be found. These huts bear the unattractive name among Europeans of 'devil's temples.' It will be seen thus, that this belief in the existence of the Great Fetish professed by the Fantees, is a faint glimmering of that natural religion which all nations possess. Of the creation of our species, they do not appear to entertain very correct ideas, unless it be that they owe their being to this[56] Fetish, who, they say, in the beginning made two people, one of whom was black, the other white, and that both originally occupied the Fantee country. It would seem, however, from their account, that, after these two men were brought into existence, the Fetish was at a loss to know how to dispose of them, and in order to prevent any jealousy arising between them, had recourse to a sort of lottery, where there were all prizes and no blanks. Two packets were accordingly placed before them, and the black man drew first; nor was he disappointed with his prize, for it consisted of such a quantity of gold-dust, that it has not been taken out of the country yet. The remaining packet was of course the lawful property of the white man, and in the long run he had no cause to complain—for, on being opened, it was found to contain a book which taught him everything; and so do the poor wretches account for the superior intellect of whites, and the inexhaustible treasures of their own country.

"In the neighbourhood of Cape Coast, the natives seem to believe that this Fetish occupies more especially particular localities, and exists in the form of a particular animal, so that an isolated portion of rock is frequently called a Fetish-stone, and snakes even of the most poisonous description, in a certain locality, are preserved and allowed to propagate, undisturbed, their venomous species.[57] In some places on the coast, temples dedicated to snake-worship are built, and the Fetish men, or priests, connected with them are frequently esteemed particularly holy, no doubt from the familiar terms upon which they, in course of time, become with the horrid reptiles, upon which the people look as the personification of their Fetish. The offerings made at these temples are often very valuable, the cupidity of the deities within not being easily satisfied. Gold-dust and clothes are the most acceptable offerings; but when these are not to be obtained, it is perfectly wonderful how large a quantity of rum and tobacco the snakes will consume before they vouchsafe their good offices for the removal of a disease from a cow, a wife, a child, or the detection of a thief, who, not unlikely, has been employed by themselves.

"These Fetish men and women, too, for there are Fetish women, and, consequently Fetish children, have spies in different directions, forming as many links of communication between the priesthood in various parts of the country, so that very few occurrences take place of which they have not the means of making themselves acquainted."[16]

The same writer continues, "Religious observances, properly so called, the Fantees have[58] none, but each particular class has a certain day of the week upon which they cease from following their ordinary avocations—thus, a fisherman will not go to sea on a Tuesday; nor will a bushman enter the forest on a Friday—these days being dedicated to the Fetish, and thus, in some degree, representing the Sabbath of Christian nations. There are, in addition, several days throughout the year—apparently occurring at the desire of the Fetish men—in which the Fantees abstain from work, and during a period of war, it often happens that the movements of the opposing armies are much interfered with by the numerous occasions upon which it becomes necessary to propitiate the Fetish. One of these especial Fetish days may be here noticed, it being, apparently, the most important of those that occur during the whole year, and its object no less important than driving the devil out of the village. The period when this desirable object is effected, occurs during the month of December, the night-time being chosen as the most fitting for the ceremony. As soon as darkness has closed in, the inhabitants of a village collect at an appointed rendezvous, with sticks and staves, and under the directions of a leader, sally out, entering every house in their way, through the various apartments of which they knock about, and yell and howl with such violence[59] that they would actually scare any devil but a most impertinent one. Having, as they think, completely rid the town of him, they pursue the retreating enemy for some distance into the bush, after which they return and spend the remainder of the night in carousals.

"There is another festival, which, as it partakes somewhat of a religious nature, may also be noticed here, viz., the yam-custom, which is held in September, to celebrate the goodness of the Fetish, in having granted an abundant harvest. On this occasion, the king of the village and the staff of Fetish men connected with it, take part. All the people who can by any possibility attend, assemble, a procession is formed, and then the most extraordinary mixture of costumes, the noises produced by numerous tom-toms, horns made from elephants' tusks, and the still ruder, if possible, rattle of two pieces of wood, or common metal, which the women beat together to a tune similar to what in Ireland is known as the Kentish fire. The constant firing of musketry, and the obscene dances performed by the two sexes form one of the most debasing and savage exhibitions it is possible to see. In this way does the procession parade the principal streets, the king seated in his basket carried by his slaves, and protected by the umbrellas, according to his rank—the Fetish-men dressed in white robes, also in[60] their baskets. On arriving at the king's house sacrifices are usually offered—some fowls or eggs being now substituted in the vicinity of our settlements for a human being, but we have still too good reasons to believe, that even as near as the capital of Ashantee many human lives are sacrificed on this particular occasion, as well as in other festivals of various descriptions. The offerings being made, the Fetish-man partakes of the yam; the king then eats of the valued root; and after these two have pronounced them ripe and fit for food, the people consider themselves at liberty to commence digging.

"A being named Tahbil resides in the substance of the rock, upon which Cape Coast is built, and watches the town. Every morning, offerings of food or flowers are left for him on the rock. Most villages have a corresponding deity; and in earlier times, there is good reason for believing that human beings were sacrificed to him."

Likely enough—as may be seen from the practices at Fanti funerals, and as may be inferred from the analogy of the other parts of Western Africa.

If the survivors of a deceased Fanti be poor, the corpse is quietly interred in one of the denser spots of the jungles; and if rich, the funeral is at once costly and bloody; since gold and jewels are buried along with the dead body, and human[61] victims as well. The ceremonial is as follows. The coffin is carried to the grave by slaves, when the retainers and friends press forwards, fix the number required (in general four), stun the selected individuals by a sudden blow on the head, throw the still breathing bodies into the grave of their master, and, whilst life yet remains, cover in the earth.

This horrible custom is truly West-African. How near we must approach the Mandingo frontier, before we get rid of it on the north, or how far south it extends, I am not exactly able to say. In Dahomey, where it attains its maximum development, it is worse than amongst the Ashantis, and amongst the Ashantis worse than in the proper Fanti districts. It certainly reaches as far southwards as Old Calabar, where, upon the death of Ephraim, a well-known Caboceer, "some hundreds of men, women, and children were immolated to his manes,—decapitation, burning alive, and the administration of the poison-nut, being the methods resorted to for terminating their existence. When King Eyeo, father of the present Chief of Creek Town, died, an eye-witness, who had only arrived just after the completion of the funeral rites, informed me that a large pit had been dug, in which several of the deceased's wives were bound and thrown in, until a certain number had been procured; the earth was then thrown over them,[62] and so great was the agony of these victims, that the ground for several minutes was agitated with their convulsive throes. So fearful, in former times, was the observance of this barbarous custom, that many towns narrowly escaped depopulation. The graves of the kings are invariably concealed, so as, it is stated, to prevent an enemy from obtaining their skulls as trophies, which is not the case with those of the common people."[17]

I have said that it is in Dahomey, where the immolation of human beings is the bloodiest; and I now add that it is in Dahomey where those who look for the more characteristic peculiarities of the Negro stock, must search. But it is the bad side which will preponderate; it is the darkest practices which will develop themselves most typically. What we find in germs and remnants elsewhere, grow, in Dahomey, to inordinate and incredible proportions.

The sacro-sanctitude of the snake is doubled in Dahomey.

Slavery, bad along the whole Bight of Benin, is worse, still, in Dahomey.

In Akkim we find a female colonel. In Dahomey there is an army of Amazons, as indicated by Mr. Duncan, and as described in detail by Captain Forbes.[63]

The Gha.—Accra, and the forts lately purchased from the Danes—Christiansborg and others,—are the localities of the Gha nation. I say Gha (or Ghan) because the author of a paper soon about to be noticed states, that this is the indigenous name of the people which we call Acra, Akra, Accrah, or Inkra—and it is always best to give the native name if we can.

Adelung, on the authority of Romer and Isert, gives the following account of the Negroes speaking the Gha language. He calls it Akra.

They began with conquering and reducing to a state of servitude the Adampi, or Tambi, Negroes of the hill country; these being a portion of their own stock, and speaking a mutually intelligible language.

But, in time, they were themselves conquered by the Akvambu, and broke up into two parts. One of these remained in situ, and is represented by the present Gha of Christiansborg. The other fled to the Little Popo, an island off the coast of Dahomey, and there settled.

What remained then on the Gold Coast were the Gha and Akvambu; and these were afterwards conquered by the Akkim Fantis, themselves eventually reduced by the Ashantis.

In no more than nine or ten villages, lying within nine or ten miles of Fort St. James and Christiansborg, was the Akra language spoken in[64] the time of Protten (A.D. 1794), and of the Ghas thus speaking it each understood the Fanti.

This makes the Gha a decreasing, and, for practical purposes, an unimportant population. At the same time I should be glad to direct the attention of some investigator to their ethnology. Their exact relations to the Akvambu are uncertain. The only work known to me where specimens of the latter language are to be found is out of reach.[18]

Then as to the Adampi. Bowdich states that it radically differs from the Gha; the numerals, which agree, being borrowed from the one tongue into the other. But his collation rests on only seven words.

Again,—Adampi, Tembi, and Tambu are words so much alike as to pass for the same. Yet a Tembu vocabulary in the "Mithridates" differs from a Tambu one in the same work—


Again—the Tembu is related to the vocabulary of a language called Kouri, which the Tambu is not.


Thirdly, the Tjemba of Balbi's "Atlas Ethnologique" is called Kassenti.

Lastly, the Gha, as far as very short comparison goes, is neither Tambu nor Tembu: nor yet Kouri—though it has a few resemblances to all.

The author of the paper alluded to above is the Rev. Mr. Hanson—himself a Gha by birth. It was laid before the British Association in 1849. Two points characterize the theory that it exhibits; but as the publication of the paper in extenso, is contemplated, I merely state what they are.[66]

1. A remarkable number of customs common to the Jews and the Gha.

2. The probable origin of the latter population in some part of the interior of Africa, north of their present locality, and, perhaps, in the parts about Timbuktu.

The Quaquas.—I am not sure that this name is the best that can be given to the class in question. Hence, it is merely provisional. The language that is spoken by them is called the Avekvom. They constitute the chief population of the Ivory—just as the Krumen do that of the Grain and the Fantis that of the Gold—Coast. Apollonia is the English dependency where we find members of the Quaqua stock.

The Avekvom dialects of the Quaqua tribes seem to belong to a different tongue from that of the Krumen and Fantis; and I imagine that the three are mutually unintelligible. Still, it is difficult to predicate this from the mere inspection of vocabularies; the more so, as no language of the western coast of Africa is less known than the Avekvom—the only specimen of any length being one in the last number of the "Journal of the American Oriental Society." With numerous miscellaneous affinities, it is more Fanti and Grebo than aught else; and, perhaps, is transitional in character to those two languages.[67]

At any rate it is no isolated tongue, as may be seen from the following table, where Yebu means the language of the Yarriba country, at the back of Dahomey, and Efik that of Old Calabar:—

Armeboubok, Efik.
Bloodevieeyip, Efik; eye, Yebu.
Boneewibeu, Fanti.
Boxebrubrânh, Grebo.
Canoeedietonh, Grebo.
Chairfatabada, Grebo.
Darkeshimesum, Fanti; ekim, Efik.
Dogetyeaja, ayga, Yebu.
Dooreshinaviusuny, Efik.
Eareshibeesoa, Fanti.
Fireeyaija, Fanti.
Fishetsieja, eya, Fanti.
Fowlesususeo, Mandingo; edia, Yebu.
Ground-nutngetinkatye, Fanti.
Hairemuihwi, Fanti.
Honeyajoewo, Fanti; oyi, Yebu.
Houseevaifi, Fanti; ufog, Efik.
Moonefehâbo, Grebo; ofiong, Efik.
Mosquitoefoobong, Fanti.
Oilinyuingo, Fanti.
Rainefuzumo-sohnsanjio, Mandingo.
Rainy seasoneshiojo, rain, Yebu.
Saltetsata, Grebo.
Sandesian-nautan, Efik.
Seaetyuidu, Grebo.
Stonedesisia, shia, Grebo.
Threadjesigise, Grebo.
Toothenenanyeng, Mandingo; gne, Grebo.[68]
Wateresonhnsu, Fanti.
Wifeemisemuso, Mandingo; mbesia, Fanti.
Cryyaruisu, Fanti.
Givenaenye, Grebo; no, Efik.
Goleolo, Yebu.
Killbaifa, Mandingo; pa, Yebu.

There has been war and displacement here as well as in the Gha country. In the seventeenth century the parts about Cape Apollonia were contended for by two tribes called the Issini (or Oshin) and the Ghiomo. The former gave way to the latter, and having retreated to the country of the Veteres, were joined by that tribe against the Esiep.

A Quaqua prayer is given in the "Mithridates." It is uttered every morning by the tribes on the Issini, after a previous ablution in that river—Anghiume mame maro, mame orie, mame shikke e okkori, mame akaka, mame frembi, mame anguan e awnsanO Anghiume! give rice, give yams, give gold, give aigris, give slaves, give riches, give (to be) strong and swift.

What is here written about the ethnology of Apollonia is written doubtfully; since here, as at Acra, the simple ethnology of the pure and proper Fantis becomes complicated.

The Cape of Good Hope.—The aboriginal population[69] of the Cape is divided between two great families:—

1. The Hottentot.

2. The Kaffre.

1. The Hottentots.—Of the two families this is the most western; it is the one which the colonists came first in contact with, and it is the one which has been most displaced by Europeans. The names of fourteen extinct tribes of Hottentots are known; of which it is only necessary to mention the Gunyeman and Sussaqua the nearest the Cape, and the Heykom, so far eastwards and northwards as Port Natal. The displacement of these last has not been effected by Europeans. African subdued African; and it was the Kaffres who did the work of conquest here.

Of the extant Hottentots, within the limits of the colony of the Cape, the most remote are the Gonaqua, on the head-waters of the Great Fish River; or rather on the water-shed between it and the Orange River. They are fast becoming either extinct, or amalgamated with the Kaffres; inasmuch as they are the Hottentots of the Amakosa frontier, and suffer, at least, as much from the Kaffres as from their white neighbours.

The Namaquas occupy the lower part of the Orange River, the Great and Little Namaqualand.

The Koranas.—This branch of the Hottentots[70] has its locality on the middle part of the Gariep, with the Griquas to the north, the Bechuana Kaffres to the east, and the Saabs in the middle of them. Their number is, perhaps, 10,000. Their exact relation to the other Hottentots is uncertain. They are a better formed people than the Gonaqua and Namaqua, but whether they be the best samples of the Hottentot stock altogether is uncertain. Probably a tribe far up in the north-western parts of South Africa, and beyond Namaqualand, may dispute the honour with them. These are the Dammaras—themselves disputed Hottentots. Their country lies beyond the British colony, but it must be noticed for the sake of taking in all the branches of the stock in question. It is the tract between Benguela and Namaqualand, marked in the maps as sterile country; in the northern parts of which we sometimes find notices of a fierce nation called Jagas. Walvisch Bay lies in the middle of it. Now some writers make the Dammaras of this country Hottentot; others Kaffre; and that both rightly and wrongly. They are both—partly one, partly the other; since Dammara is a geographical term, and some of the tribes to which it applies are Kaffre, some Hottentot. The Dammaras of the plains, or the Cattle Dammaras are the former; the Dammaras[19] of the hills, the latter. Between the Dammara[71] and the Korana a much nearer approach to Kaffre type is made than is usually supposed.

A branch of the Koranas—those of the valley of the Hartebeest River—deserves particular attention. They caution us against overvaluing differences; and Dr. Prichard has quoted the evidence of Mr. Thompson with this especial object. They are Koranas who have suffered in war, lost their cattle, and been partially expatriated by the more powerful sections of their stock. Hence, want and poverty have acted upon them; and the effect has been that they have become hunters instead of shepherds, have been reduced to a precarious subsistence, and as the consequence of altered circumstances, have receded from the level of the other Koranas, and approached that of the—

Saabs or Bushmen.—These belong to the parts between the Roggeveld and Orange River; parts which rival the sterile country of the map in barrenness. As is the country so are the inhabitants; starved, miserable hunters—hunters rather than shepherds or herdsmen.

The Lap is not more strongly contrasted with the Finlander, than the Korana with the Saab; and the deadly enmity between these two populations is as marked as the differences in their physical appearances. I think, however, that undue inferences have been drawn from the difference;[72] in other words, that the distance between the Korana and the Saab has been exaggerated. The languages are unequivocally allied.

I think, too, that a similarly undue inference has been drawn from the extent to which the Kaffre and the Korana are alike; inasmuch as an infusion of Kaffre has been assumed for the sake of accounting for it. Of this, however, no proof exists.

The Saabs are described as having constitutions "so much enfeebled by the dissolute life they lead, and the constant smoking of dacha, that nearly all, including the young people, look old and wrinkled; nevertheless, they are remarkable for vanity, and decorate their ears, legs, and arms with beads, and iron, copper, or brass rings. The women likewise stain their faces red, or paint them, either wholly or in part. Their clothing consists of a few sheepskins, which hang about their bodies, and thus form the mantle or covering, commonly called a kaross. This is their only clothing by day or night. The men wear old hats, which they obtain from the farmers, or else caps of their own manufacture. The women wear caps of skins, which they stiffen and finish with a high peak, and adorn with beads and metal rings. The dwelling of the Bushman is either a low wretched hut, or a circular cavity, on the open plain, into which, at night, he creeps with his wife and[73] children, and which, though it shelters him from the wind, leaves him exposed to the rain. In this neighbourhood, in which rocks abound, they had formerly their habitations in them, as is proved by the many rude figures of oxen, horses, serpents, &c. still existing. It is not a little interesting to see these poor degraded people, who formerly were considered and treated as little better than wild beasts in their rocky retreats. Many of those who have forsaken us live in such cavities not far from our settlement, and we have thus an opportunity of observing them in their natural condition. Several who, when they came to us from the farmers, were decently clothed and possessed a flock of sheep, which they had earned, in a short time returned to their fastnesses in a state of nakedness and indigence, rejoicing that they had got free from the farmers, and could live as they pleased in the indulgence of their sensual appetites. Such fugitives from civilised life, I have never seen otherwise occupied than with their bows and arrows. The bows are small, but made of good elastic wood; the arrows are formed of small reeds, the points furnished with a well-wrought piece of bone, and a double barb, which is steeped in a potent poison of a resiny appearance. This poison is distilled from the leaves of an indigenous tree. Many prefer these arrows to fire-arms, under the idea that they can kill more[74] game by means of a weapon that makes no report. On their return from the chase, they feast till they are tired and drowsy, and hunger alone rouses them to renewed exertion. In seasons of scarcity they devour all kinds of wild roots, ants, ants' eggs, locusts, snakes, and even roasted skins. Three women of this singular tribe were not long since met with, several days' journey from this place, who had forsaken their husbands, and lived very contentedly on wild honey and locusts. As enemies, the Bushmen are not to be despised. They are adepts in stealing cattle and sheep; and the wounds they inflict when pursued, are ordinarily fatal if the wounded part is not immediately cut out. The animals they are unable to carry off, they kill or mutilate.

"To our great comfort, even some of these poor outcasts have shown eagerness to become acquainted with the way of salvation. The children of such as are inhabitants of the settlement, attend the school diligently, and of them we have the best hopes.

"The language of the Bushman has not one pleasing feature; it seems to consist of a collection of snapping, hissing, grunting, sounds; all more or less nasal. Of their religious creed it is difficult to obtain any information; as far as I have been able to learn, they have a name for the Supreme Being; and the Kaffre word tixo is[75] derived from the tixme of the Bushmen. Sorcerers exist among them. One of the Bushmen residing here being sick, a sorceress was sent for before we were aware of it, who pretended, by the virtue of mystic dance, to extract an antelope horn from the head of the patient."[20]

The Griquas.—The Griquas, called also Baastaards, are a pastoral population, upwards of 15,000 in number, on the north side of the great bend of the Orange River. They are the descendants of Dutch fathers and Hottentot mothers.

A mixture of Griquas and Hottentots occurs also on the Kat River, a feeder of the Great Fish River, in the district of Somerset, and on the Kaffre frontier. Here they are distributed in a series of district locations, amid the dales and fastnesses of the eastern frontier. A great proportion of them are discharged soldiers—so that in reality, like the borderers of old, they form a sort of military colony.

2. The Kaffres.—The British districts in contact with the Kaffre populations are the eastern, and of these Albany and Somerset most especially. The Kaffre nation in most immediate contact with Albany and Somerset is—

The Amakosa.—This is the population which constituted the authority of Hintza, and to which[76] Pato, Gaika, and the other chiefs of the last war belonged. To this, too, belong the troublesome chiefs of the present. Next to the Amakosa, and in alliance with them, come—

The Amatembu, or Tambuki (Tambookies), occupants of the upper part of the river Kei, as the Amakosa are of the lower Keiskamma.

Between the Amatembu and Port Natal lie the Amaponda, or Mambuki (Mambookies), the northern extremity of which reaches the country of—

The Amazulu, or Zulu (Zooloos), the chief frontagers (conjointly with the Mambuki) of Port Natal.

The last division of the Kaffres of the coast is that of—

The Fingos.—In 1835, a numerous population, called Fingos, was found by Sir B. D'Urban in the Kaffre chief Hintza's country, and in a state of abject servitude to the Amakosas. They were from different tribes; darker and shorter than the Amakosas—but still true Kaffres. They were offered land between the lower Keiskamma and the Great Fish River, and were emancipated and brought safe into the colony to the amount of 17,000.[21] Since then, they have served as a sort of military police on the Kaffre frontier; and as shepherds in Australia—whither they have been advantageously introduced.


But, besides the Kaffres of the coast there are those of the interior. These speak a modified form of the Kosa (or Amakosa), called Si-chuana, the name of the people being Bi-chuana. They lie due north of the Koranas; beyond the boundaries of the colony; but not beyond the influence of its missionaries, or the range of its explorers. Litaku, Kurrichani, and other similar towns are Sichuana; the Kaffre civilization being said to attain its maximum hereabouts.

There are plenty of points of contrast between the Kaffre and the typical Negro; so many indeed as to have suggested the doctrine that the former class belongs to some division of the human species other than the African. And these points of contrast are widely distributed, i.e., they appear and re-appear, whatever may be the view taken of the Kaffre stock. They appear in the descriptions of their skin and skeletons; they appear in the notice of their language; and they appear in the history of the Kaffre wars of the Cape frontier—wars more obstinate and troublesome than any which have been conducted by the true Negro; and which approach the character of the Kabyle struggle for independence in Algeria. In investigating these differences we must guard against the exaggeration of their import.

Physically, the Kaffre has the advantage of the Negro in the conformation of the face and skull.[78] His forehead betokens greater capacity; being more prominent, more vaulted, and with a greater facial angle. His teeth, too, are more vertically inserted, and the nasal bones less depressed. I have not heard of aquiline noses in Kaffraria; but should not be surprised if I did.

The cheek-bones of the Kaffre project outwards; and where the cheek-bones so project beyond a certain limit, the chin appears to taper downwards, and the vertex upwards. When this becomes exaggerated we hear of lozenge-shaped crania; the Malay skulls being currently quoted as instances thereof. Be this as it may, the breadth in the malar portion of the face is a remarkable feature in the Kaffre physiognomy. This he has in common with the Hottentot. His hair is also tufted like the Hottentot's: while his lips are thick like the Negro's. Tall in stature, wiry and elastic in his muscles, the Kaffre varies in colour, through all the shades of black and brown; being, in some portions of his area nearly as dark as the Negro, in others simply brown like the Arab. The eye is sometimes oblique; the opening generally narrow.

An opinion often gives a better picture than a description. Kaffres, that have receded in the greatest degree from the Negro type, have been so likened to the more southern Arabs as to have[79] engendered the hypothesis of an infusion of Arab blood.

The manners of the Kaffres of the Cape are those of pastoral tribes under chieftains; tribes which, from their habits and social relations, are naturally active, locomotive, warlike, and jealous of encroachment. Next to marauding on the hunting-grounds of an American Indian, interference with the pasture of a shepherd population is the surest way to warfare.

It would be strange indeed if the Kaffre life and Kaffre physiognomy had no peculiarities. However little in the way of physical influence we may attribute to the geography of a country, no man ignores them altogether. Now Kaffreland has very nearly a latitude of its own; inhabited lands similarly related to the southern tropic being found in South America and Australia only. And it has a soil still more exclusively South-African. We connect the idea of the desert with that of sand; whilst steppe is a term which is limited to the vast tracts of central Asia. Now the Kaffre, and still more the Hottentot, area, dry like the desert, and elevated like the steppe, is partially a karro. Its soil is often a hard, cracked, and parched clay rather than a waste of sand, and it constitutes an argillaceous table-land. Its vegetation has strongly marked characters. Its Fauna has the same.[80]

The language is peculiar. If English were spoken on Kosa or Sichuana principles we should say

bun beaminstead ofsun beam.
loon light...moon light.
srand-son...grand-son, &c.,

since, in the Kaffre languages throughout, subordinate words in certain syntactic combinations, accommodate their initial letter to that of the leading word of the term.

Their polity and manners, too, are peculiar. The head man of the village settles disputes; his tribunal being in the open air. From him an appeal lies to a chief of higher power; and from him to some superior, higher still. In this way there is a long chain of feudal or semi-feudal dependency.

But the power of the chief is checked by that of the priest. A supposed skill in medicine, imaginary arts of divination, and an accredited power over the elements are the prerogatives of certain witches and wizards. Thus, when a murrain among the cattle, or the death of an important individual has taken place, the blame is laid upon some unfortunate victim whom the witch or wizard points out. And the ordeal to which he must submit, is equal in cruelty to those of the Gold Coast. He is beaten with sticks, and then pegged down to the ground. Whilst thus[81] helpless, a nest of venomous bush-ants is broken over his racked and quivering body. If this fail to extort a confession, he is singed to death with red-hot stones.

This tells us what is meant by Kaffre chiefs and Kaffre wizards.

The wife is the slave to the husband; and he buys her in order that she should be so. The purchase implies a seller. This is always a member of another tribe. Hence the wish of a Kaffre is to see his wife the mother of many children, girls being more valuable than boys.

Why a man should not sell his offspring to the members of his own tribe is uncertain. It is clear, however, that the practice of doing so makes marriage between even distant relations next to impossible. To guard against the chances of this, a rigid and suspicious system of restraint has been developed in cases of consanguinity; and relations must do all they can to avoid meeting. To sit in the same room, to meet on the same road, is undesirable. To converse is but just allowable, and then all who choose must hear what is said. So thorough, however, has been the isolation in many cases, that persons of different sexes have lived as near neighbours for many years without having conversed with each other; and such communication as there has been, has[82] taken place through the medium of a third person. No gift will induce a Kaffre female to violate this law.

Is the immolation of human beings at the death of chieftains a Kaffre custom, as it was one of western Africa? The following extract gives an answer in the affirmative, the only difference being the pretext of the murders. On the "death of the mother of Chaka, the great Zulu chief, a public mourning was held, which lasted for the space of two days, the people being assembled at the kraal of the chief to the number of sixty or eighty thousand souls. Mr. Fynn, who was present, describes the scene as the most terrific which it is possible for the human mind to conceive. The immense multitude were all engaged in rending the air with the most doleful shrieks, and discordant cries and lamentations; whilst, in the event of their ceasing to utter them, they were instantly butchered as guilty of a crime against the reigning tyrant. It is said that no less than six or seven thousand persons were destroyed on this occasion, charged with no other offence than exhausted nature in the performance of this horrid rite, their brains being mercilessly dashed out amidst the surrounding throng. As a suitable finale to this dreadful tragedy, it is said that ten females were actually buried alive with the royal corpse; whilst all who witnessed the[83] funeral were obliged to remain on the spot for a whole year."

Details of Kaffre manners may be multiplied almost ad infinitum; and as their history and habits are likely to fill a Blue Book, a short treatise can only notice their more prominent peculiarities.

However, lest an undue inference be drawn from their contrast to the Hottentot, we must remember that the former has encroached upon the latter, and that such transitional populations as existed have been swept away.

Now comes a coloured population—not indigenous, but the descendants of the slaves of the colony. This consists of—

1. Negroes.

2. Malays from the Indian Archipelago.

3. Malagasi from Madagascar.

To which we must add, as of mixed blood, the offspring of—

1. Negroes and Dutch, English, &c.

2. Malays and Dutch, English, &c.

3. Malagasi and Dutch, English, &c.

This seems to be the limit of the intermixture; since, between the Malays and Negroes, &c., there is but little intermarriage. The possible elements, however, of hybridity are numerous, e.g., Griquas and Negroes, Griquas and Malays, Malays and Kaffres, &c.

The so-called yellow men.—On the 4th of[84] August, 1782, the "Grosvenor" Indiaman was wrecked on the coast of Natal. Of the crew who escaped, some reached the Cape and others remained amongst the natives. In 1790, an expedition was undertaken in search of them.

In this expedition, Mr. Van Reenens, considered that he had discovered a village where the people were descended from the whites, and in which there were three old women who had been wrecked when very young. They could not tell to what country they belonged; were treated as superior beings; and, when offered a safe convoy to the Cape, were at first pleased with the prospect, but eventually refused to leave their children and grandchildren. Now, whatever these old women were, they were not of the crew of the "Grosvenor," and I doubt whether they were Europeans at all.

Again—Mr. Thomson, when at Litaku, heard of yellow cannibals, with long hair, whose invasions were the dread of the country; a statement which merely means that some tribes of South Africa, are lighter coloured, and more savage in their appetite than others.

Lastly, Lieutenant Farewell saw one of these yellow men at Natal, who was described as a cannibal, and who shrunk abashed from the lieutenant.

Be it so. The evidence that "there are descendants of Europeans and Africans now widely[85] diffusing their offspring throughout the country; whose services might be turned to good account in civilizing the native tribes," is still incomplete.

Mauritius.—The coloured population, which is far greater than that of the white, consists in the Mauritius of—

1. True Africans—chiefly from the east coast, and, consequently, of the Kaffre stock; the word being used in its most general sense. Darker than the Kaffres of the Cape, they, nevertheless, recede from the Negro type in the shape of the jaw, lips, and forehead. The hair also is less woolly. They are strong and powerful individuals.

2. Malagasi, or natives of Madagascar.—These are not Africans to the same extent as the Kaffres of the coast. As far back as the time of Reland it was known that the affinities of the Malagasi language were with the Malay and Polynesian tongues of Asia; but it was also known that the similarity in physiognomy was less than that of language. Hence came a conflict of difficulties. The speech indicated one origin, the colour another—whilst the fact of an island so near to Africa, and so far from Malacca, as Madagascar, being other than what its geographical position indicated, is, and has been, a mystery. Some writers have assumed an intermixture of blood; others have limited the Malay element to the[86] dominant population. Lastly, Mr. Crawfurd has denied the inferences from the similarity of language in toto; considering that there is "nothing in common between the two races, and nothing in common between the character of their languages." The comparative philologist is slow to admit this—indeed, he denies it.

The blacks form the great majority of the coloured population. Besides these, however, there are—

3. Arabs.

4. Chinese.

5. Hindús, from the continent of India; convicts being transported to the Mauritius for life, and worked on the roads of the colony.

6. Cingalese from Ceylon—the Kandian chiefs whose presence in their native country was thought likely to endanger the tranquillity of the island, were sent hither.

The whites of the Mauritius are chiefly French; though not wholly of pure blood. The first settlers took their wives from Madagascar. The English form the smallest part of the population.

Rodrigues—occupied by a few French colonists from the Mauritius.

The Seychelles—The same; the coloured population outnumbering the white in the proportion of ten to one. Here there is a Portuguese admixture. From Maha, the chief town of the Seychelles,[87] to Madagascar, is five hundred and seventy-six miles—a fact to be borne in mind when we speculate upon the origin of the population of that island.

The Africans of British America.—Honduras, Belize, the West India Islands, and Demerara.—The usual distribution of the population of these parts is—


1. European whites, born in Europe.

2. Creoles, or whites born in the island.


a. Pure Blood.

1. Mandingos, from the river-systems of the Senegal and Gambia.

2. Coromantines—from the Ivory and Gold Coast.

3. Whydahs—from Dahomey.

4. Ibos—from the Lower Niger.

5. Congos—from Portuguese Africa.

b. Mixed Blood.

1. Sambos, intermixture of the Negro and Mulatto.

2. Mulattoes—Negro and white.

3. Quadroons—Mulatto and white.

4. Mestis—Quadroon and white.


Such is what I find in Mr. Martin's valuable work on the Colonies, and it is, undoubtedly, a convenient and practical classification. Yet for the purposes of ethnology, it is deficient in detail. Without even guessing at the proportion of American slaves which the different parts of the western coast of Africa may have supplied, I subjoin a brief notice of tract between the Senegal and Benguela.

1. First come the Wolof, between the Senegal and Cape Verde. To the back of these lie—

2. The Serawolli—and around Cape Verde—

3. The Sereres—none of these are truly Mandingo; nor is it certain that many slaves have come from them; such as do, however, are probably Mandingos in the current classification.

4. The Fulahs of Fouta-Torro and Fouta-Jallo possess the higher part of the Senegambian system. Imperfect Mahometans, they are lighter-coloured than either the Wolof or the Mandingo. Notwithstanding the great Fulah conquests—for under a leader named Danfodio this has been one of the encroaching and subjugating families of Africa—there are still American slaves of Fulah blood—though, perhaps, but few. Mr. Hodgson procured his vocabulary from a Fulah slave of Virginia; and what we find in the[89] United States, we may find in the British possessions also.

5. The Mandingos Proper are the Negroes of the Gambia; but the following Africans, all within the range of the old slave trade, belong to the same class.

a. The Susu; whose language is spoken from the River Pongos to Sierra Leone.

b. The Timmani.

c. The Bullom—each in contact with that settlement.

d. The Vey—the written language already noticed.

e. The Mendi—conterminous with the Vey.

f. The Kissi—like the last two, spoken in the country behind Cape Mount, and on the boundaries of Liberia.

South of the Gambia and north of the Pongos, the Mandingo tongues, though spoken in the interior, do not reach the coast. On the contrary, they encircle the populations on the mouths of the Cacheo, Rio Grande, and Nun—and truly barbarous populations these are. Of these the most northern are—

6. The Felúp (Feloops)—between the Gambia and Cacheo.

7. The Papel—south of the Cacheo.

8. The Balantes—south of the Papel.

9. The Bagnon—on the Lower Cacheo.[90]

10. The Bissago—islanders off the Cacheo.

11. Nalú (Naloos)—on the Lower Nun.

12. Sapiibid.

After these come the Susu, &c.; down to the tribes about Cape Mount and Cape Mesurado.

Between Cape Mesurado and Cape Palmas come—

13. The Krumen. Next to them—

14. The Quaquas, of the Ivory Coast; speaking different Avekvom dialects.

Somewhere hereabouts come the—

15, 16, 17. Kanga, Mangree, and Gien; three undetermined vocabularies of the "Mithridates." Then—

18, 19, 20. The Fanti, Gha, and Adampi (?) of the Gold Coast. We now approach the great marts—

21, 22. Benin and Dahomey; and—almost equal in infamous notoriety—the countries of the Delta, of the Niger, or of the—

23, 24, 25. Ibu, Bonny, and Efik (Old Calabar) Africans; at the back of which lie—

26, 27. Yarriba, and the Nufi country. In Fernando Po the population is—

28. Ediya. About the Bimbia river and mountain—

29. Isubu.

30, 31, 32. The Banaka (or Batanga), the Panwi, and the Mpoongwe take us from the[91] Gaboon to Loango; forming a transition from the true Negroes to the Kaffres.

33, 34, 35, 36. Loango, Congo, Angola, and Benguela—the Kaffre type, both in form and language, is now more closely approached. Below Benguela there has been little or no exportation.


[12] "Journal of the Geographical Society," 1850.

[13] "United Service Magazine," Dec., 1850.

[14] "United Service Journal," Nov., 1850.

[15] Daniell in "Transactions of the Ethnological Society."

[16] "United Service Journal," Nov., 1850.

[17] Dr. Daniell on the Natives of Old Calabar, "Transactions of the Ethnological Society."

[18] Rask.—Vejledning tel Acra-sproget, paa Kysten Ginea, med et Tillaeg om Akvambuisk.—Copenhagen, 1828. Introduction to the Acra Language, on the Coast of Guinea, with an Appendix on the Akvambu.

[19] "Journal of the American Oriental Society," vol. i. no. 4.

[20] "British Colonies." By M. Martin.

[21] "Journal of the Geographical Society," vol. v. p. 319.





Aden.—The ethnology of the Arab stock would fill a volume. It is sufficient to state that the British political dependency of Aden is, ethnologically, an Arab town.

Far more important possessions direct our attention towards India. Nevertheless, there are certain preliminaries to its ethnology.[93]

Mongolia and China—each of these countries illustrates an important ethnological phenomenon.

The first is a physical one. Cheek-bones that project outwards, a broad and flat face, a depressed nose, an oblique eye, a somewhat slanting insertion of the teeth, a scanty beard, an undersized frame, and a tawny or yellow skin, characterize the Mongol of Mongolia.

The second is a philological one. A comparative absence of grammatical inflexions, and a disproportionate preponderance of monosyllabic words, characterize the language of China.

So much for the simple elementary facts; the former of which will be spoken of under the designation of Mongolian conformation; the second under that of monosyllabic language.

Neither term is limited to the nation by which it has been illustrated. Plenty of populations besides those of Mongolia Proper are Mongol in physiognomy. Plenty of nations besides the Chinese are monosyllabic in language.

All the nations speaking monosyllabic tongues are Mongol in physiognomy; though all the nations which have a Mongol physiognomy do not speak monosyllabic tongues. This makes the latter group, which for shortness will be called that of the monosyllabic nations or tribes—a section, or division, of the former.

Little Tibet, Ladakh, Tibet Proper, Butan, and[94] China, are all Mongol in form, and monosyllabic in language. So are Ava, Pegu, Siam, Cambojia, and Cochin China, the countries which constitute the great peninsula, sometimes called Indo-Chinese, and sometimes Transgangetic.

The extremity however—the Malayan peninsula—is not monosyllabic.

The British possessions of Hindostan are monosyllabic on their Tibetan and Burmese frontiers.

Hong-Kong.—Aden was disposed of briefly. So is Hong-Kong; and that for the same reason. Politically, British, it is ethnologically Chinese.

Maulmein, Ye, Tavoy, Tenasserim, and the Mergui Archipelago.—These constitute what are sometimes called the ceded, sometimes the Tenasserim provinces. They came into possession of the British at the close of the Burmese war of 1825. Unlike our dependencies in Hindostan, they are cut off from connection with any of the great centres of British power in Asia—in which respect they agree with the smaller and still more isolated settlements of the Malaccan Peninsula. The power that ceded them was the Burmese, so that it is with the existing subjects of that empire that their present limits are in contact; though only for the northern part. To the south they abut upon Siam.

The population throughout is monosyllabic; except so far as it is modified by foreign intermixture—of[95] which by far the most important element is the Indian. Everything in the way of religious creed which is not native and pagan is Indian and Buddhist. The alphabets, too, of the lettered populations are Indian in origin.

The population of the continental part of these British dependencies is referable to four divisions—of unequal and imperfectly ascertained value. 1. The Môn. 2. The Siamese. 3. The Avans. 4. The Kariens.

1. The Môn.—Môn is the native name of the indigenous population of Pegu, so that the Môn of Maulmein, or Amherst, the most northern of the provinces in question, on the left bank of the lower Salwín, are part and parcel of the present occupants of the delta of the Irawaddi, and the country about Cape Negrais. The Burmese call them Talieng, and under that designation they are described in Dr. Helfer's Report.[22] The Siamese appellation is Ming-môn; apparently the native name in a state of composition. In the early Portuguese notices a still more composite form appears—and we hear of the ancient empire of Kalamenham, supposed to have been founded by the Pandalús of Môn or Pegu.

None of the lettered languages of the Indo-Chinese peninsula are less known than that of[96] Pegu. At the same time its unequivocally monosyllabic character is beyond doubt. The alphabet is a slight variation of the Avan.

The geographical position of the Môn at the extremity of a promontory, and on the delta of a river, taken along with their philological isolation, is remarkable. They have evidently been encroached upon by the Avans in latter times; whilst, at an earlier period, they themselves probably encroached upon others. Whether they are the oldest occupants of Maulmein is uncertain; it is only certain that they are older than their conquerors.

To the Môn of Pegu the exchange of Avan for British rule, has been a great and an appreciated advantage.

2. The Siamese.—The native name for the Siamese language is Tha'y, and Tha'y is the national and indigenous denomination of the Siamese. It is the Avans who call them Sian or Shan; from whence the European term has been derived through the Portuguese.

The Siamese population is of course greatest on the Siamese frontier; so that, increasing as we go south, it attains its maximum in Tenasserim just as the Môn did in Maulmein. It seems, also, to have been introduced at different times; a fact which gives us a distinction between the native Siamese and the recent settlers.[97]

Like the Môn, the Tha'y, at least in its more classical dialect, is a lettered language; the alphabet, like the Buddhist religion, being Indian. Unlike, however, the Môn, which is the only representative of the family to which it belongs, the Tha'y tribes constitute a vast class, falling into divisions and subdivisions, and exceedingly remarkable in respect to its geographical distribution.

The Siamese of Siam, the kingdom of which Bankok is the capital, form but a fraction of this great stock. The upper half of the river Menam is occupied by what are called the Laú, or Laos. These are partly wholly independent, and partly in nominal dependence upon China; and proportionate to their independence is the unlettered character of their language, and the absence of Indian influences. Nor is this all. The Menam is pre-eminently the river of the Tha'y stock, and along the water-system of the Menam its chief branches are to be found; their position being between the Burmese populations of the west, and the Khomen of Cambojia on the east. This distribution is vertical, i.e., it is characterized by its length, rather than its breadth, and runs from south to north. So far does it reach in this direction that, as high as 28° North lat., in upper Assam we find a branch of it. This is the Khamti. In a valuable comparison of languages, well-known[98] as "Brown's Tables,"[23] the proportion of the Khamti words to the South Siamese is ninety-two per cent.

Of the physical appearance of the Siamese, we find the best account in "Crawfurd's Embassy," the classical work for the ethnology of the southern part of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. Their stature is low; the tallest man out of twenty having been five feet eight inches, the shortest five feet three. The complexion, darker than that of the Chinese, is lighter than that of the Malay; the eye oblique; the jaw square; and the cheek-bones broad.

Tha'y is an ethnological term, and denotes all the nations and tribes akin to the Siamese of the southern, the Khamti of the northern, or the Laú of the intermediate area. The difference between the first and the last of these three should be noticed. Some members of the family are Indianized in religion, and organized in politics. Such are the Siamese of Bankok. Others retain both their independence and their original Paganism. Such are some of the Laú. Mutatis mutandis, the same applies to the next family.

This is the Burmese, to which both the Avans and the Kariens belong; but as it has been already stated that the divisions under consideration[99] are by no means of equal value, the two branches will be considered separately.

3. The Avans.Avan is a more convenient term than Burmese, inasmuch as it is more definite; the Burmese Empire containing not only very distant members of the great Burmese family, but also populations which belong to other groups. Ava, on the other hand, is the centre of the dominant division.

Whether the Môn, or a family yet to be mentioned, represent the aborigines of Maulmein, it is certain that the Avans of that country are of comparatively recent introduction.

Again, whether the Tha'y, or a family yet to be mentioned, represent the aborigines of Tenasserim, it is certain that the Avans of that country are of comparatively recent origin.

Nevertheless, there are Avans in each; and in Maulmein, although the Môn preponderate in number, they all are able to speak the language of their conquerors. I say conquerors, because the Avans are for all the parts south of 18° North lat., an intrusive population: the end of the eighteenth century being the date, when, under Alompra, an Avan or Umerapúra dynasty broke up and subjected, in different degrees, the Môn and Tha'y populations to the south, as well as several others more akin to itself on the east, west, and north.[100]

The kingdom of Ava, next to those of China and Siam, best represents the civilization of those families whose tongue is monosyllabic. This implies that it has an organized polity, a lettered language, and a Buddhist creed; in other words that the influences of either China or India have acted on it. Of these two nations it is the latter which has most modified the Indianized members of the great Burmese stock. In strong contrast with these is the fourth and last branch of the continental population for the provinces in question, the

4. Karien.—The Kariens are partially independent; chiefly pagan; and their language, belonging to the same class with the Avan, is unlettered. They are the first of a long list.

Their geographical distribution is remarkable, like that of the Tha'y. Its direction is north and south; its dimensions linear, rather than broad; and it bears nearly the same relation to the water-system of the Salwín that that of the Siamese does to the river Menam. There are Kariens as far south as 11° North lat. and there are Kariens as far north as 25° North lat. Hence we have them in Maulmein, and in Tenasserim, and in the intermediate provinces of Ye and Tavoy as well. All these, like the Môn, have been eased by the transfer from Avan oppression to British rule; though this says but little. Hence, with one exception,[101] the other members of their family are decreasing; the exception being the so-called Red Karien.

This epithet indicates a change in physiognomy; and, indeed, the physical conformation of the Burmese tribes requires attention. It is Mongolian in the way that the Siamese is Mongolian; but changes have set in. The beard increases; the hair becomes crisper; and the complexion darkens. The Kyo,[24] the isolated occupants of a single village on the river Koladyng, are so much darker than their neighbours as to have been considered half Bengali; and, as a general rule, the nearer we approach India, the deeper becomes the complexion. The Môn, too, of Pegu, are very dark. What is this the effect of? Certainly not of latitude, since we are moving northward. Of intermarriage? There is no proof of this. The greater amount of low alluvial soils, like those of the Ganges and Irawaddi, is, in my mind, the truer reason. But this is too general a question to be allowed to delay us. The Red Kariens are instances of an Asiatic tribe with an American colour; just as the Red Fulahs were in Africa. Such are the occupants of the continent.

5. The Silong.—In the islands of the Mergui Archipelago, there is another variety; but whether[102] it form a class itself, or belong to any of the previous ones, is uncertain. Their language is said to be peculiar;[25] but of this we have no specimen. As it is probably that of the oldest inhabitants of the continent opposite, this is to be regretted.

They are called Silong, are a sort of sea-gipsy; and amount to about one thousand. Of all the creeds of either India or the Indo-Chinese peninsula theirs is the most primitive; so primitive as to be characterized by little except its negative characters. They believe that the land, air, trees, and waters are inhabited by Nat, or spirits, who direct the phenomena of Nature. How far they affect that of man, except indirectly, is unascertained. "We do not think about that," was the invariable answer, when any one was questioned about a future state. Too vague for monotheism, the Silong creed is also said to be too vague for idolatry, too vague for sacrifices.

The Kariens, also, believe in Nat, but, as they believe in their influence on human affairs, they sacrifice to them accordingly.

Little, then, as we know, respecting these two families, we know that the common practice of Nat worship connects them; and this worship connects many other members of the Burmese stock. Consequently it helps us to place[103] the Silong in that group. It also favours the notion of the Tenasserim aborigines being Burmese.

It is the delta of the Irawaddi which isolates the Tenasserim provinces; and the British dependency from which it separates them is—

Arakhan.—We are prepared for the ethnological position of the Arakhan populations. They are Burmese.

We are likewise prepared for a division of them; there will be the Indianized and the Pagan—paganism and political independence going, to a certain degree, together.

We are prepared for even minuter detail; the paganism will be Nat-worship; the Indian creed Buddhism: the alphabet also, where the language is written, will be Indian also. In Captain Tower's vocabulary,[26] only seven words out of fifty differ between the Burmese of Arakhan, and the Burmese of Ava; and some of these are mere differences of pronunciation.

The language itself is called Rukheng by those who use it; but the Bengali name is Mug.

This applies to the Indianized part of the population, the analogues of the Avans and Siamese of Tenasserim, and of the Môn of Maulmein. What are the Arakhan equivalents to the Karien?

The Khyen.—These inhabit the Yuma mountains[104] between Arakhan and Ava. A full notice of them is given by Lieutenant Trant, in the sixteenth volume of the "Asiatic Researches." But as they are chiefly independent tribes, it is enough to state that they form the Anglo-Burmese frontier. It is also added that there are numerous Khyen slaves in Arakhan.

Farther notice of them is the less important, because a closely allied population will occur amongst the hill-tribes of—

Chittagong.—Hindú elements now increase. Even in Arakhan, Buddhism had ceased to be the only creed of western origin. There were Mahometans who spoke a mixed dialect called the Ruinga;[27] and Brahminical Hindús who spoke another called the Rosawn. In Chittagong, then, we must look about us for the aborigines; so intrusive have become the Hindú elements. Intrusive, however, they are, and intrusive they will be for some time to come.

The foot of the hill, and the hill itself, are important points of difference in Indian ethnology. On the lower ranges of the mountains on the north-east of Chittagong are the Khumia (Choomeeas) or villagers; khum (choom) meaning village. These are definitely distinguished from the Hindús, by a flat nose, small eye, and broad round face, in other words by Mongolian characteristics[105] in the way of physiognomy. But the Khumia are less perfect samples of their class than the true mountaineers. These are the Kuki,[28]—hunters and warriors, divided into tribes, each under elective chiefs, themselves subordinate to a hereditary Raja,—at least such is the Hindú phraseology.

Their creed consists in the belief of Khogein Pootteeang as a superior, and Sheem Sauk as an inferior deity; the destruction of numerous enemies being the best recommendation to their favour. A wooden figure, of human shape, represents the latter. The skulls of their enemies they keep as trophies. In the month of January there is a solemn festival.

Language and tradition alike tell us that the Kuki (and most likely the Khumia as well) are unmodified Mugs. The displacement of their family has been twofold—first by Hindús, secondly by Buddhist (or modified) Mugs at the time of the Burmese conquest. The Kuki population extends to the wilder parts of the district of Tippera.

Sylhet.—On the southern frontier we have Kukis; on the eastern Cachari; on the northern Coosyas (Kasia). Due west of these last lie the Garo. I imagine that both these last-named populations are members of the same group—but cannot speak confidently. If so, we have departed[106] considerably from the more typical Burmese of Arakhan and Ava. Still we are within the same great class. The Garo will command a somewhat full notice.

The Cachars depart still more from the more typical Burmese; the group to which they most closely belong being one which will also be enlarged on.

North of the Kasia we reach the western portion of the southern frontier of—

Assam.—Here it will be convenient to take the whole of the valley—Upper as well as Middle and Lower Assam—although parts of the former are independent rather than British—and to go round it; beginning with the Kasia country and the Jaintia mountains on the south-west. I imagine—but am not certain—that the Kasia and Jaintia mountaineers are very closely allied.

Next to the Cachars on the southern, or Manipur, frontier are—

The Nagas.—These are in the same class with the Kuki; i.e., the wild tribes of Manipur, speaking a not very altered dialect of the Burmese.

The Singpho.—This people is said to have come from a locality between their present position and the north-eastern corner of Assam and the Chinese frontier. An imperfect Buddhism, and an unappreciated alphabet of Siamese origin, are the chief phenomena of their civilization.[107]

The Jili.—These are conterminous with the Singpho; to whom they are closely allied, in language, at least; seventy words out of one hundred agreeing in the two vocabularies.

The Khamti come in now. These have been mentioned as Tha'y in their most northern localities. They occupy north-eastern Assam, and are conterminous with the Singpho. The Khamti language, with its per-centage of ninety-two words common to it and the Siamese of Bankok, ten degrees southwards, has only three out of one hundred that agree with the Singpho, and ten in one hundred with the Jili. This shows the remarkable character of their ethnological distribution, and, at the same time, suggests the idea of great displacement.

The Mishimi.—These occupy the north-east extremity of Assam. With the Mishimi we turn the corner, and find ourself on the northern or Tibetan frontier. Here it is the most western tribes which come first; and these are—

The Abors and Padam Bor-Abors.—The first, like the Kuki, on the mountain-tops; the latter, like the Khumia, on the lower ranges.

The Dufla.—Mountaineers west of the Abors, with whom they are conterminous in about 94° East lon.

The Aka.—Mountaineers west of the Dufla, with whom they are conterminous in about 92°[108] East lon. The Akas bound Lower Assam, the eastern part of which lies between them and the Cachari country.

The tribes hitherto mentioned, although sufficiently numerous, represent the mountaineers of the Manipur and Tibetan frontiers only. The native tribes of the valley still stand over. These are—

1. The Muttuck or Moa Mareya, south of the Brahmaputra, and so far Indianized as to be Brahminical in religion. Their locality is the south bank of the Brahmaputra; opposite to that of—

2. The Miri, on the north.—The Miri are backed on the north by the Bor-Abors.

3. The Mikir.—Mr. Robertson looks upon these as an intrusive people from the Jaintia hills: their present locality being the district of Nowgong, where they are mixed up with—

4. The Lalong.—I cannot say whether the Lalong speak their originally monosyllabic tongue, or have learnt the Bengali—a phenomenon which does much to disguise the true ethnology of more than one of the forthcoming tribes; one of which is certainly—

5. The Dhekra, occupants of Lower Assam and Kamrup, where they are mixed up with other sections of the population.

6. The Rabhá.—Like the Dhekra, these are[109] Hindús. Like the Dhekra they speak Bengali. Hence, like the Dhekra, their true affinities are disguised. It is, however, pretty generally admitted by the best authorities that what may be predicated of the Garo and Bodo—two families of which a fuller notice will be given in the sequel—may be predicated of the sections in question, as also of—

7. The Hajong or Hojai.—Hindús, speaking a form of the Bengali at the foot of the Garo hills; and who join the Rabhá, whose locality is between Gwahatti and Sylhet, i.e., at the entrance of the Assam valley.

The Garo of the Garo hills to the north-east of Bengal now require notice. A mountaineer of these parts has much in common with the Coosya; yet the languages are, perhaps, mutually unintelligible. In form they are exceedingly alike.

Now, a Garo[29] is hardy, stout, and surly-looking, with a flattened nose, blue or brown eyes, large mouth, thick lips, round face, and brown complexion. Their buniahs (booneeahs) or chiefs, are distinguished by a silken turban. They have a prejudice against milk; but in the matter of other sorts of food are omnivorous. Their houses, called chaungs, are built on piles, from three to four feet from the ground, from ten to forty in breadth, and from thirty to one hundred and fifty[110] in length. They drink, feast, and dance freely; and, in their matrimonial forms, much resemble the Bodo. The youngest daughter inherits. The widow marries the brother of the deceased; if he die, the next; if all, the father.

The dead are kept for four days; then burnt. Then the ashes are buried in a hole on the place where the fire was. A small thatched building is next raised over them; which is afterwards railed in. For a month, or more, a lamp is lit every night in this building. The clothes of the deceased hang on poles—one at each corner of the railing. When the pile is set fire to, there is great feasting and drunkenness.

The Garo are no Hindús. Neither are they unmodified pagans. Mahadeva they invoke—perhaps, worship. Nevertheless, their creed is mixed. They worship the sun and the moon, or rather the sun or the moon; since they ascertain which is to be invoked by taking a cup of water and some wheat. The priest then calls on the name of the sun, and drops corn into the water. If it sink, the sun is worshipped. If not, a similar experiment is tried with the name of the moon. Misfortunes are attributed to supernatural agency: and averted by sacrifice.

Sometimes they swear on a stone; sometimes they take a tiger's bone between their teeth and then tell their tale.[111]

Lastly, they have an equivalent to the Lycanthropy of the older European nations:—

"Among the Garrows a madness exists, which they call transformation into a tiger, from the person who is afflicted with this malady walking about like that animal, shunning all society. It is said, that, on their being first seized with this complaint they tear their hair and the rings from their ears, with such force as to break the lobe. It is supposed to be occasioned by a medicine applied to the forehead; but I endeavoured to procure some of the medicine thus used, without effect. I imagine it rather to be created by frequent intoxications, as the malady goes off in the course of a week or fortnight. During the time the person is in this state, it is with the utmost difficulty he is made to eat or drink. I questioned a man, who had thus been afflicted, as to the manner of his being seized, and he told me he only felt a giddiness without any pain, and that afterwards he did not know what happened to him."[30]

In a paper of Captain C. S. Reynolds, in the "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,"[31] we have the notice of a hitherto undescribed superstition; that of the Korah. A Korah is a dish of bell-metal, of uncertain manufacture. A small kind, called Deo Korah, is hung up as a household[112] god and worshipped. Should the monthly sacrifice of a fowl be neglected, punishment is expected. If "a person perform his devotion to the spirit which inhabits the Korah with increasing fervour and devotion, he is generally rewarded by seeing the embossed figures gradually expand. The Garos believe that when the whole household is wrapped in sleep, the Deo Korahs make expeditions in search of food, and when they have satisfied their appetites return to their snug retreats unobserved."

The Miri are supposed to believe the same of what are called Deo Guntas, brought from Tibet.

Now what is the classification of all these tribes? Preliminary to the answer on this point, there are eleven dialects spoken in the parts about Manipur—besides the proper language of Manipur itself—to be enumerated. These are as follows:—1. Songpu. 2. Kapwi. 3. Koreng. 4. Maram. 5. Champhung. 6. Luhuppa. 7, 8, 9. Northern, Central, and Southern Tangkhul. 10. Khoibu; and 11. Maring. Now these twelve (the Manipur being included) have been tabulated by Mr. Brown, in such a way as to show the per-centage of words that each has with all the others; and not only these, but nearly all the tongues which we have had to deal with, are similarly put in order for being compared. The part of the table necessary for the present use is as follows:[113]




Áká 47201712151551131038885610810
Ábor47 2011101811615611586888101018
Mishimí2020 10101013101101103568613108
Burmese171110 232326121682061111111013131616
Karen12101023 17218151015812412812121015
Singpho1518102317 7016251018111113151325132018
Jilí151113262170 22161021131111182020132020
Gáro56101281622 105658581311555
Manipurí1115111615251610 2141182528312835334050
Songpú3608101010521 3550532023151513815
Kapwí1011112015182164135 303320353040453840
Koreng3506811135185030 4118212020111015
Marám88311121111825533341 21282520162326
Champhung865114131152820201821 402020161525
Luhuppa886111215188312335212840 6355363340
N. Tángkhul58810813201328153020252063 85303131
C. Tángkhul68613122520113515402020205585 414541
S. Tángkhul101013131213135331345111616363041 4343
Khoibú810101610202054083810231533314543 78

The last eleven dialects are not spoken in any British dependency; and they have only been mentioned for the sake of explaining the table.

All belong to one and the same class; a point upon which I see no room for doubt; although respecting the value of that class I admit that some exists.

For this, the term Burmese is as good as any other—without professing to be better; yet, should it seem too precise, there is no objection to the sufficiently general term of monosyllabic being substituted for it.

The reader, however, may doubt the fact of the[114] affinities. This has been done. Long before the present writer knew of such dialects as the Jili, Mishimi, Aka, Abor, Singpho, and the like, he had satisfied himself that the Garo was monosyllabic, and had so expressed himself in 1844,[32] when Brown's Tables had been published, though not seen by him. It was with surprise, then, that he found the author of them writing, that "it would be difficult to decide from the specimens before us, whether it is to be ranked with the monosyllabic or polysyllabic languages. It probably belongs to the latter."

Again, Mr. Hodgson makes the Garo Tamulian, i.e., polysyllabic; a fact which will be noticed again when the Bodo, Dhimal, and Kocch have been disposed of.

The Kocch, Bodo, and Dhimal is the title of one of that writer's works—a model of an ethnological monograph. This gives us a new class. The Bodo of Hodgson are the wild tribes that skirt the Himalayas, from Assam to Sikkim. West of these, between the river Konki and the river Dhorla are the Dhimal, a small tribe mixed with Bodo; and, southwards, in Kocch Behar, are the Kocch. The two former are so much described together that a separation is difficult. This leaves us at liberty to follow the details of[115] either one population or of both. The history of a Bodo from his cradle to his grave is as follows. The birth is attended with a minimum amount of ceremonies. Midwives there are none; but labours are easy. Neither has the priest much to do with ushering-in the new-comer to the world. A short period of uncleanness is recognized, but it is only a short one; the purification consisting in the acts of bathing and shaving performed by the parties themselves. Four or five days after delivery, the mother goes out into the world; and at that time, the child is named. Any passing event determines this; as there are no family names, and no names taken from their mythology. The account, however, of Mr. Hodgson, in this respect is somewhat obscure, "A Bhotia chief arrives at the village, and the child is named Jinkháp; or a hill peasant arrives, and it is named Gongar, after the titular, or general designation of the Bhotias."

As long as a mother can suckle a child (or children) she continues to do so, sometimes for so long a period as three years, when the last and last but one may be seen sucking together.

The period of weaning is thus delayed; and, notwithstanding the current notion as to the prematurity of marriages in warm climates, that of wedlock is delayed as well: the male waits till he is twenty or twenty-five, the female till between[116] fifteen and twenty. The parties least concerned are the bride and bridegroom; the parents do the courtship. Those of the lady take a payment. This is called a Jan amongst the Bodo, and varies from ten to fifteen rupees. With the Dhimal it is a Gandi, and amounts to a higher sum, ranging from fifteen to forty-five. Failing this, service must be done by the youth; and a wife be earned as Jacob earned Leah and Rachel. This is the Gabor of the Bodo, and the Gharjya of the Dhimal.

Such marriages are easily dissolved, i.e., at the option of either party. In case, however, of infidelity on the part of a wife having caused a divorce, the wedding-money is repaid. Adoption is common, concubinage rare; each being on a level with marriage in respect to the status of the children. Of these, all males inherit alike; but the rights of the female are limited.

The ceremony itself begins with a procession on the part of the bridegroom's friends to the bride's house, two females accompanying them. Of these, it is the business to put red-lead and oil on the bride-elect's hair. A feast follows; after which the husband takes his wife home. Thus far the Bodo forms agree with the Dhimal; but they differ in what follows.

The Bodo sacrifices a cock and a hen in the[117] names of the bridegroom and the bride, respectively to the Sun.

The Dhimal propitiate Data and Bedata by presents of betel-leaf and red-lead.

Both bury their dead, and purify themselves by ablution in the nearest stream when the funeral procession is over. The family, however, of the deceased is considered as unclean for three days.

A feast with sacrifices attends the purification. Before sitting down, they repair once more to the grave, and present the dead with some of the food from the banquet;—"take and eat, heretofore you have eaten and drunk with us; you can do so no more; you were one of us, you can be so no longer; we come no more to you; come you not to us." After this each member of the party takes from his wrist a bracelet of thread, and throws it on the grave.

A ceremonial implies a priesthood. Under this class come the Deoshi, the Dhami, the Ojha, and the Phantwal.

The first of these is the village, the second the district, priest.

The Ojha is the village exorcist; and the Phantwal a subordinate of the Deoshi. The influence of this clerical body, although probably higher than Mr. Hodgson places it, is, evidently, anything but exorbitant.[118]

I cannot find anything in the Bodo and Dhimal superstitions higher than what was found in Africa. Nor yet is anything essentially different. Similar intellectual conditions develop similar creeds, independent of intercourse; a fact which, the more we go into the natural history of religions, the more we shall verify. We read indeed of oaths and ordeals; but oaths and ordeals are by no means, what they have too loosely been supposed to be, appeals to the moral nature of the Divinity. The dhoom test, in Old Calabar, is an ordeal. The criminal tests of the Fantis are the same. Indeed, few, if any tribes, are without them. What the real ideas are which determine such and such-like ceremonies is difficult for intellectual adults to understand. The way towards their appreciation lies in the phenomena of a child's mind; the true clue to the psychology of rude populations.

If we take the Bodo and Dhimal religions in detail we find ourselves in a familiar field, with well-known forms of superstition around us.

Diseases are attributed to supernatural agency; and the medicine-man, exorcist, or Ojha, is more priest than surgeon.

The feticism of Africa re-appears; at least such is my inference from the following extract. "Batho is clearly and indisputably identifiable with something tangible, viz., the Sij or Euphorbia;[119] though why that useless and even exotic plant should have been thus selected to type the Godhead, I have failed to learn."

Euhemerism, or the worship of dead men deified, is to be found either in its germs or its rudiments; at any rate, one of their deities bears the name of Hajo, a known historic personage. But this may be referable to Hindú influences unequivocally traceable in other parts of the Pantheon.

It is the rites and ceremonies of a country that give us its religion in the concrete. All beyond is an abstraction. These, with the Bodo and Dhimal, are numerous. Invocations, deprecations, and thanksgivings are all mentioned by Mr. Hodgson; and they are all attended by offerings or sacrifices; libations attend the sacrifices, and feasting follows the libations.

The great festivals of the year are four for the Bodo, three for the Dhimal.

a. In December or January, when the cotton-crop is ready, the Bodo hold their Shurkhar, the Dhimal their Harejata.

b. In February or March, the Bodo hold the Wagaleno.

c. In July or August, the rice comes into ear. This brings on the Bodo Phulthepno, and the Dhimal Gavipuja.[120]

All these are celebrated out of doors, and on agricultural occasions.

d. The fourth great festival is held at home; its time being the month of October; its name Aihuno in Bodo, and Pochima paka in Dhimal. Here, in the Aihuno at least, the family assembles, the priest joins it, and the Sij, or Euphorbia, represents Batho. This is placed in the middle of the room, has prayers offered to it, and a cock as a sacrifice; whilst Mainou's offering is a hog; Agrang's a he-goat, and so on, through the whole list of the nine nooni madai, or deities thus worshipped. As for the symbols which represent them, besides the Sij, which stands for Batho, there is a bamboo post about three feet high, surmounted by a small cup of rice, denoting Mainou; but the equivalents of the other seven are somewhat uncertain.

The Wagaleno festival was witnessed by Mr. Hodgson and Dr. Campbell. The account of it is something lengthy. I mention it, however, for the sake of one of its principal actors—the Déódá. This is the possessed, who, "when filled with the god, answers by inspiration to the question of the priest as to the prospects of the coming season. When we first discerned him, he was sitting on the ground, panting, and rolling his eyes so significantly that I at once conjectured his function. Shortly afterwards, the rite[121] still proceeding, the Déódá got up, entered the circle, and commenced dancing with the rest, but more wildly. He held a short staff in his hand, with which, from time to time, he struck the bedizened poles, one by one, and lowering it as he struck. The chief dancer with the odd-shaped instrument waxed more and more vehement in his dance; the inspired grew more and more maniacal; the music more and more rapid; the incantation more and more solemn and earnest; till, at last, amid a general lowering of the heads of the decked bamboo poles, so that they met and formed a canopy over him, the Déódá went off in an affected fit, and the ceremony closed without any revelation." This self-excited state of ecstasy is an element of most religions in the same stage of development; and a low level it indicates. In Greece, in Africa, and in Northern Asia, we find it as regularly as we find a coarse and material creed; and to the coarseness of the materialism of such a creed it is generally proportionate.

Witches, and the discovery of them, and the influence of the evil eye are part and parcel of the Bodo and Dhimal superstitions.

Kocch means a population, which possibly amounts to as much as a million souls, extended from about 88° to 93½° East long., and 25° to 27° North lat., and of which Kocch Behar is the political[122] centre. The term is ethnological—not political. It is ethnological, and not political, because, although originally native, it has since been partially abandoned. All the inhabitants of the parts in question once called themselves Kocch; and Kocch they were called by their neighbours the Mech. At this time the country was unequivocally other than Indian; i.e., in the same category with that of the Garo and Bodo. Since then, however, great changes have taken place; so that, just as Wales is partially Anglicized, the Welsh language being replaced by the English, the Kocch—the native tongue—is under the process of being replaced by a Hindú dialect. Nevertheless, just as many a Welshman who speaks nothing but English is still a Welshman, so are the Kocch, who have changed their languages, Bodo, Garo, or something closely akin, in ethnological position.

The extent to which different portions of the once great Kocch nation have abandoned or retained their original characteristics is easily measured.

1. Those who have changed most speak a form of the Bengali, and are imperfect Mahometans; imperfect, because their creed is strongly tinctured with Hinduism. Thus the very epithet which they apply to themselves is Brahminical; Rájbansi=Suryabansi=Sun-born. The converted[123] Kocch of the Mahometan creed are chiefly of the lower order of the province of Behar.

2. Those who have changed, but changed less than the Mahometans of Behar, are either Brahminists or Buddhists—speaking the same Bengali dialect as the last. These are chiefly the higher classes of the population of Behar. They are Kocch in the way that the Cornishmen are Welsh. They consider them Rájbansi also. Doubtless, their Hinduism is imperfect; i.e., tinctured with the original paganism.

3. The primitive, unconverted, or Pani Kocch, have either not changed at all, or changed but little. They retain the original name of Kocch; which is not endured by the others. They retain their original tongue, which, according to Buchanan, has no affinity with any of the Hindú tongues. They retain their original customs; and they retain their original paganism. Lastly, Mr. Hodgson attests the "entire conformity of the physiognomy of all—with that of the other aborigines around them." He adds that he cannot improve on Buchanan's account of them, which is as follows:—"The primitive or Páni Kocch live amid the woods, frequently changing their abode in order to cultivate lands enriched by a fallow. They cultivate entirely with the hoe, and more carefully than their neighbours who use the plough, for they weed their crops, which the others[124] do not. As they keep hogs and poultry they are better fed than the Hindús, and as they make a fermented liquor from rice, their diet is more strengthening. The clothing of the Páni Kocch is made by the women, and is in general blue, dyed by themselves with their own indigo, the borders red, dyed with Morinda. The material is cotton of their own growth, and they are better clothed than the mass of the Bengalese. Their huts are at least as good, nor are they raised on posts like the houses of the Indo-Chinese, at least, not generally so. Their only arms are spears: but they use iron-shod implements of agriculture, which the Bengalese often do not. They eat swine, goats, sheep, deer, buffaloes, rhinoceros, fowls, and ducks—not beef, nor dogs, nor cats, nor frogs, nor snakes. They use tobacco and beer, but reject opium and hemp. They eat no tame animal without offering it to God (the Gods), and consider that he who is least restrained is most exalted, allowing the Gárós to be their superiors, because the Gárós may eat beef. The men are so gallant as to have made over all property to the women, who in return are most industrious, weaving, spinning, brewing, planting, sowing; in a word, doing all work not above their strength. When a woman dies the family property goes to her daughters, and when a man marries he lives with his wife's mother, obeying[125] her as his wife. Marriages are usually arranged by mothers in nonage, but consulting the destined bride. Grown up women may select a husband for themselves, and another, if the first die. A girl's marriage costs the mother ten rupees—a boy's five rupees. This sum is expended in a feast with sacrifice, which completes the ceremony. Few remain unmarried, or live long. I saw no grey hairs. Girls, who are frail, can always marry their lover. Under such rule, polygamy, concubinage, and adultery are not tolerated. The last subjects to a ruinous fine, which if not paid, the offender becomes a slave. No one can marry out of his own tribe. If he do, he is fined. Sutties are unknown, and widows always having property can pick out a new husband at discretion. The dead are kept two days, during which the family mourn, and the kindred and friends assemble and feast, dance and sing. The body is then burned by a river's side, and each person having bathed returns to his usual occupation. A funeral costs ten rupees, as several pigs must be sacrificed to the manes. This tribe has no letters; but a sort of priesthood called Déóshi, who marry and work like other people. Their office is not hereditary, and everybody employs what Déóshi he pleases, but some one always assists at every sacrifice and gets a share. The Kocch sacrifice to the sun, moon, and stars, to the gods of rivers, hills[126] and woods, and every year, at harvest-home, they offer fruits and a fowl to deceased parents, though they believe not in a future state! Their chief gods are Rishi and his wife Jágó. After the rains the whole tribe make a grand sacrifice to these gods, and occasionally also, in cases of distress. There are no images. The gods get the blood of sacrifices; their votaries, the meat. Disputes are settled among themselves by juries of Elders, the women being excluded here, however despotic at home. If a man incurs a fine, he cannot pay with purse, he must with person, becoming a bondman, on food and raiment only, unless his wife can and will redeem him."

I must now request particular attention on the part of the reader to the terms which Mr. Hodgson applies to the physical conformation of these northern, or sub-Himalayan tribes; and still closer attention must be given to his nomenclature. He calls the stock in question Tamulian. This connects it with the South Indian. He contrasts it with the Hindú. By this he means the Brahminical elements of the Indian populations.

Let us then see what points he considers to be Tamulian.

1. There is "less height, less symmetry, more dumpiness and flesh."

2. There is "a somewhat lozenge contour (of face) caused by the large cheek-bones."[127]

3. There is "less perpendicularity of features in the front—a larger proportion of face to head—a broader flatter face—a shorter wider nose, often clubbed at the end, and furnished with round nostrils."

4. There is a smaller eye, "less fully opened, and less evenly crossing the face by their line of aperture." In other words, there is the oblique eye, so much considered in the Chinese physiognomy.

5. Lastly, there are larger ears, thicker lips, and less beard.

I submit that all these points are Mongolian; and this is what Mr. Hodgson evidently thinks also.

The whole class has passed beyond the hunter state, if ever such existed. It has passed beyond the pastoral or nomadic state also; if such existed. It is at present—and, perhaps, has always been—an agricultural state of society. On the other hand—the industrial state, the development represented by towns and commerce, has not been attained.

The whole stock is essentially agricultural. Likewise, the agriculture is peculiar. We may explain it by the term erratic. They "never cultivate the same field beyond the second year, or remain in the same village beyond the fourth to sixth year. After the lapse of four or five years they frequently return to their old fields[128] and resume their cultivation, if in the interim the jungle has grown well, and they have not been anticipated by others, for there is no pretence of appropriation other than possessory, and if, therefore, another party have preceded them, or, if the slow growth of the jungle give no sufficient promise of a good stratum of ashes for the land when cleared by fire, they move on to another site, new or old. If old, they resume the identical fields they tilled before, but never the old houses or site of the old village, that being deemed unlucky. In general, however, they prefer new land to old, and having still abundance of unbroken forest around them, they are in constant movement, more especially as, should they find a new spot prove unfertile, they decamp after the first harvest is got in."

Arva in annos mutant et superest ager. This passage is explained by their customs.

In respect to their social constitution, they dwell in small communities of from ten to forty houses; each of which community is under a grà or head. This is Hindú—except that as the Hindú villages are both larger and more permanent, the functionaries, in addition to the headman, are more numerous. This is noted, because the difference in the two sorts of village government seems to be one of degree rather than kind.[129]

And now comes more in the way of classification. The Bodo are Kachars, or the Kachars are Bodo. Their languages are the same, so are their gods, so is their name; since Kachar is a Hindú, and no native term—the native name (i.e., of the Kachars) being Bodo. On the other hand, the Hindú name of the Bodo is Mech. Whoever looks to a map will find that the outline of the Bodo area is very deeply indented; implying either a great original irregularity of area, or great subsequent displacement.

Now follow the Garo. One fourth—fifteen out of sixty—of the words of Mr. Brown's Garo vocabulary is Bodo. The inference? That the Bodo and Garo are in the same category. What is this? Mr. Hodgson makes both Tamulian or Indian. In my own mind both are Burmese. But be this as it may, one fact is certain; viz., that a transition between the tongues of the Indian and the tongues of the Indo-Chinese peninsula exists, and that the lines of demarcation which divide them are less broad and trenchant than is generally supposed.

The Dhimal bring us to Sikkim. The dominant nation of Sikkim are—

The Lepchas.—Their language also is monosyllabic; but it is Tibetan rather than Burmese. They are a Sikkim rather than a British Indian population.[130]

When we have passed the rajahship of Sikkim, we reach that of Nepâl. This, again, is independent. Such being the case, the line of frontier between the Hindú populations and the populations of the Bodo and Garo character lies beyond the pale of the British dependencies.

But in proceeding westward, we pass Nepâl, and reach Kumaon.

This is British, and, as it extends as far north as the Himalayas, it may contain monosyllabic languages, and tribes speaking them. It may present also instances of intermixture like those which we have already found in Behar—the line of demarcation being equally difficult and undefined. Difficult and undefined it really is—because, although it is an easy matter to take a portion of the Sirmor, Gurhwal, or Kumaon population, and say, "this is Hindú because both language and creed make it so," it is by no means so easy to prove that the blood, pedigree, or descent is Hindú also. To repeat an illustration already in use—many such populations may be Hindú only as the Cornishmen are English.

Now the populations of the Tibetan stock to the west of Nepâl, so little known in detail, must be illustrated by means of our knowledge of the tribes of Nepâl and Tibet most closely related to them—by those of Nepâl on the east, and those of Tibet on the north.[131]

For neither of these areas are there any very minute data. For the aborigines of eastern and central Nepâl, we have plenty of information. They are tribes speaking monosyllabic languages, and tribes in different degrees of intercourse with the Hindús; being by name—1. The Magars. 2. The Gurungs. 3. The Jariyas. 4. The Newars. 5. The Murmis. 6. The Kirata. 7. The Limbu; and 8. The Lepchas, common to the eastern boundary of Nepâl, to the western part of Butan, and to Sikkim. This, however, will not bring us far west enough for the Kumaon frontier; indeed, for the forests of Nepâl west of the Great Valley, we have the notice of one family only—the Chepang. For this, as for so much more, we are indebted to Mr. Hodgson. It falls into three tribes; the Chepang proper, the Kusunda, and the Haju. Its language (known to us by a vocabulary) is monosyllabic; its physical conformation, that of the unmodified Indian.

So much for analogy. In the way of direct information we simply know that the Pariahs, or outcasts, of Kumaon[33] are called Doms. These have darker skins and curlier hair than the Hindús. Are these enslaved and partially amalgamated[132] aborigines? Probably. Nay more; in the eastern part of the province, amidst the forests at the foot of the Himalayas, a community of about twenty families, pertinaciously adheres to the customs of their ancestors, resembles the Doms in looks, and is called Rawat or Raji. Though I have seen no specimen of their language, I have little doubt as to the Rawat of Kumaon being the equivalents to the Chepang of Nepâl.

From Konawur we have three monosyllabic vocabularies, the Sumchu, the Theburskud, and the Milchan; but the exact amount to which the Tibetan and the Hindú populations indent each other along the western Himalayas is more than I can give.

Here end the monosyllabic tongues spoken in British India. But they fringe the Himalayas throughout, and occur in the country of Gholab Singh, as well as in the independent rajahships between the Sutlege and Cashmeer. My latest researches have carried them even further westward than Little Tibet; as far as the Kohistan, or mountain country, of Cabul—the Der, Lughmani, Tirhai, and other languages, known, wholly or chiefly, through the vocabularies of Lieutenant Leach, being essentially monosyllabic in structure, and definitely connected with the tongues of Tibet, and Nepâl in respect to their vocables.[133]

But this is episodical to the subject—a subject still requiring the notice of a very important phenomenon.

Polyandria[34] is a term in ethnology, even as it is in botany. Its meaning, however, is different. Etymologically, it denotes a form of polygamy. Polygamy, however, being restricted to that particular form of marriage which consists in a multiplicity of wives, polyandria expresses the reverse, viz., the plurality of husbands.

At the first glance, the word polyandria looks like a learned name for a common thing; and suggests the inquiry as to how it differs from simple promiscuity of intercourse; or, at least, how far the Tibetan wife differs from the fair frail one who was always constant to the 85th regiment. The answer is not easy. Still it is certain that some difference exists—if not in form, at least, in its effects. One of these, in certain countries where polyandria prevails, is the law of succession to property. This follows the female line, rather than the male.

Again—the marriage of the widow with the surviving brother of her husband, is polyandria under another form.

What the exact polyandria of Tibet is, is uncertain. I am not prepared to deny its existence even in so extreme a form as that of one woman[134] being married to several husbands, all alive at once. Still, I think it more likely that either the circle of community was limited to certain degrees of relationships, or else that the multiplied husbands were successive, rather than simultaneous. Still, the facts of the Tibetan polyandria require further investigation.

One thing, only, is certain—viz., that as an ethnological criterion the practice is of no great value. Capable, as it has been shown to be, of modification in form, it is anything but limited to either Tibet, or the families allied to the Tibetan. It occurs in many parts of the world. It is a Malabar practice; where it is, probably, as truly Tibetan as in Tibet itself. But it is also Jewish, African, Siberian, and North American; so that nothing would more mislead us in the classification of the varieties of man than to mistake it for a phenomenon per se, and allow it to separate allied, or to connect distinct populations.

Necdum finitus Orestes.—There are several populations which, on fair grounds, have been believed to be in the same category with the Dhekra, i.e., which are Hindú in language and creed, though monosyllabic in blood. The Kudi, Batar, Kebrat, Pallah, Gangai, Maraha, Dhanak, Kichak, and Tharu, are oftener alluded to than described—though, doubtless, a better-informed investigator in such special matters than the present[135] writer could find several definite details concerning them. They seem chiefly referable to Behar and north-eastern Bengal. The Dhungers—in the same class—the husbandmen of South Behar, bring us down to the vicinity of the population next to be noticed; a population which is generally considered with reference to the nations, tribes, and families of Southern rather than Northern India.

The name of this family has already been mentioned. It is Tamulian; and the Tamulian physiognomy has been described. It has been seen to extend as far north as the Himalayas. If so, the nations already enumerated have been Tamulian; and no new class is now approaching. This may or may not be the case. Another change, however, is more undeniable. This is that of language. It is no longer referable to the Chinese type; since separate monosyllables have, more or less perfectly, become agglutinated into inflected forms, and the speech is as poly-syllabic as the other tongues of the world in general. As we approach the south this abandonment of the monosyllabic character increases, and from the Tamul language spoken between Pulicat and Cape Comorin, the term Tamulian—applicable in a general ethnological sense—is derived. Agglutinated (or agglutinate) is also a technical term. It means languages in the second stage of their[136] development; when words originally separate, such as adverbs of time, prepositions, and personal pronouns, have become permanently connected with the root, so as to form tenses, cases, and persons—the union of the two parts of an inflected word being still sufficiently recent and imperfect to leave their original separation and independence visible and manifest. When the incorporation or amalgamation, has become more complete; so complete, as in most cases to have obliterated all vestiges of an original independence; the agglutinate character has departed, the second stage of development has been passed, and the language is in the same class with those of Greece, Rome, and Germany, rather than in that of the tongues in question, and of many others.

To return, however, to the Tamulian family, meaning thereby a branch of the great Mongolian stock, speaking, either now or formerly, a language more or less allied to the Tamul of the Dekhan.

The first members of the class, as we proceed southwards from Behar, are certain hill-tribes of the Rajmahali Mountains—the Rajmahali mountaineers. Their Mongolian physiognomy is unequivocal;—a Mongolian physiognomy but conjoined with a dark skin. They have "broad faces, small eyes, and flattish or rather turned-up[137] noses. Their lips are thicker than those of the inhabitants of the plain."[35]

The flattened nose reminded the writer of the Negro, and the general character of the features of the Chinese or Malay; though it is added that the resemblance is in a great degree lost on closer inspection. At the same time it has been sufficiently recognized to have originated the hypothesis of a descent from one of those nations as a means of accounting for it.

With a slight tincture of Brahminic Hinduism, the Rajmahali mountaineers are Pagans. Bedo is one of their gods; doubtless the Potteang of the Kuki, and the Batho of the Bodo. Gosaik, too, is either the name of a god, or a holy epithet; this, also, being a mythological term current amongst many other tribes of India. Other elements in their imperfectly-known mythology deserve notice. Their priesthood contains both Demauns and Dewassis; the latter form being the Bodo Deoshi. As the names are alike, so are the functions. The Dewassi is an oracular seer. When he vouchsafes to give answers, his inspiration takes the form of frenzy—but he neither hurts nor speaks to any one. He makes signs for a cock, and for a hen's egg as well. The cock's head he wrenches off, and sucks the bleeding neck. The egg he eats. After this he seeks the[138] solitude of the wood or stream; and is fed by the deity. Sometimes he has ridden a snake; sometimes put his hands in the mouth of a tiger with impunity. Trees too large to move, or too thorny to touch, he places on the roofs of houses. He sees Bedo Gosaik in visions; and, in the sacrifices therein enjoined, red paint, rice, and pigeons make a part. From the touch of women he abstains; so he does from the taste of flesh. Either would make his prophecies false.

There are also certain sacrifices that the Maungy (chief?) of each village makes, and in which threads of red silk play a part.

One of their gods—an elemental one—is the god of rain, and the dangers of a drought are averted by praying to him. A ceremony called the Satane determines the chief who takes the office of invoker.

A black stone, called Ruxy, is much of the same sort of fetish with these mountaineers as the Sij with the Bodo. The name, too, Ruxy Nad, suggests the Nat worship of the Silong, Kariens, and others.

The northern half of the Tamulian families are, like the Welsh, the Cornish, and the Bretons of France, members of the same ethnological group, but not in geographical contact with each other. Or, rather, they are, like the Celtic population of Wales and the Scottish Highlands, cut[139] off from one another by a vast tract of intervening Anglo-Saxons. Yet the time was when all was Celtic, from Cape Wrath to the Land's End; and when the original population extended, in its full integrity, over York and Nottingham, as well as over Merioneth and Argyleshire. And so it is with the populations in question. They stand apart from each other, like islands in an ocean; the intervening spaces being filled up by Hindús. At the same time the isolation has been much overvalued, and, I imagine that when greater attention shall have been bestowed upon this important subject, connecting links which have hitherto been unnoticed will be detected.

The next locality where we find a population akin to the Rajmahali mountaineers, is the mountain system of Orissa. These are called by the Hindús Kóls (Coolies), Khonds and Súrs. Such, however, are no native designations—no more than the classical term Barbarian, or the English word Tartar. The people themselves have no collective name; but, being divided into tribes, have a separate one for each.

I say that this branch of Tamulians is isolated, because I am not able to show its continuity; the range of hill-country which gives rise to the rivers between the Ganges and Mahanuddy being but imperfectly known.

In Orissa, the most northern of the hill-tribes[140] are the Kól of Cuttack. South of these come the Khonds best studied in the neighbourhood of Goomsoor. The following is a list of their gods, and as n seems to stand for d, Pennu is but another name for Bedo, and Gossa Pennu for Bedo Gosaik:—

1. Bera Pennu, or the earth god.

2. Bella Pennu, the sun god, and Danzu Pennu, the moon god.

3. Sandhi Pennu, the god of limits.

4. Loha Pennu, the iron god, or god of arms.

5. Jugah Pennu, the god of small-pox.

6. Madzu Pennu, or the village deity, the universal genius loci.

7. Soro Pennu, the hill god.

8. Jori Pennu, the god of streams.

9. Gossa Pennu, the forest god.

10. Munda Pennu, the tank god.

11. Sugu Pennu, or Sidruja Pennu, the god of fountains.

12. Pidzu Pennu, the god of rain.

13. Pilamu Pennu, the god of hunting.

14. The god of births.[36]

The most southern of the Orissa hill-tribes are the Súr; connected by language with the preceding tribes; as they were with each other and the Rajmahali mountaineers.[141]

These stand in remarkable contrast with the rest of the population of Orissa; whose language is the Udiya, a tongue which, according to many, belongs to a wholly different class, or, at least, to a different division of the present.

South of Chicacole, however, the Tamul tongues are spoken continuously. I cannot say where the southern limits of the Súr population come in contact with the northern ones of the—

Chenchwars—who occupy the same range of mountains, in the parts between the rivers Kistna and Pennar, and, probably, extending as far south as the neighbourhood of Madras. Their language is the Telugu, the language of the parts around, and of Tamul origin.[37] The contrast between the Chenchwars of the hills, and the Telingas of the lower country lies in their mythologies; the former retaining much of the original creed of their country, the latter being Brahminists.

Below Madras, the mountain range changes its direction, and the next locality under notice is the Neilgherry hills.

The families here are—

1. The Cohatars—so little Indianized as to eat of the flesh of the cow, amounting to about two thousand in number, and occupants of the highest part of the range.[142]

2. The Tudas.—An interesting monograph by Captain Harkness has drawn unusual attention to these mountaineers, the chief points of importance being the comparative absence of all elements of Brahminism, and the occurrence in their physiognomy of the most favourable points of Hindú beauty—regular and delicate features, oval face, and a clear brunette skin. Free from the other religious and social characteristics of Hinduism as the Tudas may be, they still admit a sort of caste; e.g., whilst the Peiki, or Toralli, may perform any function, the Kuta, or Tardas, are limited. Neither did they always intermarry, though they do now; their offspring being called Mookh, or descendants.

3. The Curumbas, called by the Tudas Curbs, inhabit a lower level than the preceding populations, but a higher one than—

4. The Erulars at the foot of the hills; falling into two divisions—a, the Urali (a name to be noticed), and b, the Curutali.

Between the Neilgherries and Cape Comorin, the hill-tribes are worth enumerating, if only for the sake of showing their complexity. According to Lieutenant Conner in the "Madras Journal," they are—1, Cowders; 2, Vaishvans; 3, Múdavenmars; 4, Arreamars, or Vailamers; 5, Ural-Uays. Besides these, there is a population of predial slaves, divided and subdivided.[143]

To return to the Neilgherries, and follow the western Ghauts upwards, a population more numerous than any hitherto mentioned is that of the—

Buddugurs, called also Marvés. This name takes so many forms that Berdar may be one of them. One division of Buddugurs is called Lingait.

I cannot follow the Ghauts consecutively; however, when we reach the southern portion of the Mahratta country, we find in the rajahship of Satarah, two predatory tribes:—

The Berdars, supposed to be closely allied to Ramusi. The—

Ramusi themselves connected by tradition and creed, with the Lingait Buddugurs. But not by language; or at any rate not wholly so. The Ramusi dialect is a mixture of Tulava and Marathi—the former being undoubted Tamul, but the latter in the same category with the Udiya.[144]

The continuous Tamul languages are now left to the south of us, and the hill-tribes next in order, will have unlearnt their native tongues, and be found speaking the Hindú dialects of the countries around them. Hence, the evidence of their Tamulian descent will be less conclusive.

Warali of the Konkan.—Mountaineers of the northern Konkan. We have seen this name twice already, and we shall see it again. The evidence of their Tamulian extraction is imperfect. Their language is Marathi and their creed an imperfect Brahminism. Their mountaineer habits separate them from—

The Katodi—outcasts, who take their name from preparing the kat, or cat-echu, and who hang about the villages of the plains.

The Kúli.—From Poonah to Gujerat, the occupants of the range of mountains parallel to the coast are called Kúli (Coolies), the same in the eyes of the Hindús of the western coast, as the Kól were in those of the Bengalese and Orissans; and similarly named. Their language is generally (perhaps always) that of the country around them, viz., Marathi amongst the Mahrattas, and Gujerathi in Gujerat. However, difference of habits and creed sufficiently separate them from the Hindús.

The Bhils.—These are generally associated with the Kúlis; from whom they chiefly differ geographically,[145] belonging, as they do to the transverse ranges—the Satpura and Vindhia mountains—rather than to the main line of the Ghauts with its due north-and-south direction, and with its parallelism to the coast.

The Paurias.—Hill-tribes in Candeish, belonging to the Satpura range, and conterminous with the Bhil tribes, and with—

The Wurali of the Satpura range.—The Wurali re-appear for the fourth time. In the parts in question they are in contact with the Bhils and Paurias; from whom they keep themselves distinct; and from whom they differ in dialect. Still their language is Marathi. Pre-eminent as they are for their Paganism, their country contains ruins of brick buildings, and considerable excavations.[38]

These three are the hill-tribes of the water-shed of the rivers Tapti and Nerbudda. The water-system of the south-western feeders of the Ganges is more complex. Along the mountains between Candeish and Jeypur come—

Certain Bhil tribes.

The Mewars—under the Grasya chiefs of Joora, Meerpoor, Oguna, and Panurwa. The political relations of these tribes—in some cases of an undetermined nature—are with the Rajpút governments;[146] in other words, we are now amongst the aborigines of Rajasthan.

The Minas.—These, like the Mewars, are in geographical contact with certain Bhil tribes; in political contact with the Rajpúts—the Mewars with those of Udipúr; the Minas with those of Ajmer, Jeypur, and Kota.

The Moghis.—At present, a free company rather than a population; although the representatives of what was once one—viz., the aborigines of Jodpure. So little Brahminists are they that they eat of the flesh of the jackal and the cow, and indulge freely in fermented drinks.

The hills that separate Malwah from the Haroti country, and from the south-eastern boundary of the valley of the River Chumbul are occupied by—

The Saireas.—This is a name which has occurred before and elsewhere;[39] and is almost certainly, anything but native. Tribes, under this name, extend into Bundelcund.[40]

The Goands.—The central parts between Candeish and Orissa, the head-waters of the Nerbudda and Tapti on the west, and of the Godavery on the east, still require notice. Here the hill population is at its maximum, both in point of numbers and characteristics; and the Khond forms[147] of the Tamul re-appear under the name Goand. Of these we have specimens from—

a. The Gawhilghur mountains near Ellichpoor.

b. Chupprah.

c. Mundala in Gundwana, or the Goand country.

Such are the chief hill-populations; which, although they belong to Tamulian stock, differ as to the extent to which they carry outward and visible signs of their origin. Some, like the Rajmahali, are merely separated geographically; and, perhaps, not even that. Others, like the Khonds of Orissa, are contrasted with the Tamuls of the south, by their inferior and social condition, and their non-Brahminical creeds. The Minas and Bhils differ in language; whilst the Ramusis and Berdars, probably, exhibit transitional forms of speech. The Tudas and Chenchwars surrounded by Telingas and Tamuls, as the Khonds and Goands are by Udiyas and Mahrattas, are merely the population of the parts around them with a primitive polity and religion.

The lettered languages of the Dekhan, where the Tamul character is unequivocal, but where the civilizational influences have chiefly been Hindú, are spoken in continuity from Chicacole, east, and the parts about Goa, west, to Cape Comorin, i.e., in the Madras Presidency, and in the countries of Mysore, Travancore, and the coasts of Malabar[148] and Coromandel. Of these, the most northern—beginning on the eastern coast—is—

The Telinga or Telugu.—Spoken from the parts about Chicacole to Pulicat, where it is succeeded by—

The Tamul Proper.—The language of the Coromandel coast and the parts of the interior as far as Coimbatore. Each of these tongues has a double form, one for literature, and one for common use; the former being called the High, the latter the Low, Tamul or Telugu, as the case may be, and the creed which it embodies being either Brahminism, or some modification of it.

In Travancore and on the Malabar coast the language is—

The Malayalma or Malayalam—and in the greater part of Mysore—

The Kanara—which, like the Tamul and Telinga, is both High and Low—literary or vulgar.

Amongst these four well-known forms of the South Tamulian tongue, may be distributed several dialects and sub-dialects. Such as the Tulava for the parts between Goa and Mangalore, and the Coorgi of the Rajahship of Coorg, not to mention the several varieties in the language of the hill-tribes.

Now all the populations of the present chapter agree in this particular—their language is generally[149] admitted to be Tamulian at the present moment, or if not, to have been so at some earlier period. With the languages next under notice, the original Tamulian character is not so admitted—indeed, it is so far denied as to make the affirmation of it partake of the nature of paradox.

The distinction then is raised on the existence of the doubt in question, or rather on the differences that such a doubt implies. Hence the division of the languages of India into the Hindú and the Tamulian is practical rather than scientific—the Hindú meaning those for which a Sanskrit, rather than a Tamul affinity is claimed.

Sanskrit is the name of a language; a name upon which nine-tenths of the controversial points in Indian ethnology and in Indian history turn.


[22] "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal," vol. viii.

[23] "Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Bengal," vol. vi. part 2. See also pp. 112, 113 of the present volume.

[24] Described by Lieutenants Phayre and Latter in "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal."

[25] Dr. Helfer, "Asiatic Society of Bengal," vol. viii.

[26] "Asiatic Researches," vol. v.

[27] Dr. Buchanan, "Asiatic Researches," vol. v.

[28] Macrae in "Asiatic Researches," vol. vii.

[29] Eliot, in "Asiatic Transactions," vol. iii.

[30] Eliot, ut supra.

[31] For Jan. 1849.

[32] "Transactions of the British Association for the Advancement of Science," 1844.

[33] "Statistical Sketch of Kumaon," by G. W. Traill, Asiatic Researches, vol. xvi.

[34] From the Greek polys=many, and anær=man.

[35] Eliot in "Asiatic Researches," vol. iv.

[36] Captain S. C. Macpherson, "Journal of the Asiatic Society," vol. xiii.

[37] See Lieut. Newbold, "Journal of the Asiatic Society," vol. viii.

[38] Lieut. C. P. Rigby, in "Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society," May to August 1850.

[39] The Soars of Orissa.

[40] Col. Todd, "Travels in Western India."




The language called Sanskrit has a peculiar alphabet. It has long been written, and embodies an important literature. It has been well studied; and its ethnological affinities are understood. They are at least as remarkable as any other of its characters.

Like most other tongues, it falls into dialects; just like the ancient Greek. Like the Doric, Æolic, and Ionic, these dialects were spoken over distant countries, and cultivated at different periods. Like them, too, each is characterized by its peculiar literature.

The Sanskrit itself, in its oldest form, is the Vedaic dialect of the religious hymns called Vedas—of great, but of exaggerated, antiquity.

Another form of equal antiquity is the language[151] of the Persepolitan and other arrow-headed inscriptions. These are of a known antiquity, and range from the time of Cambyses to that of Artaxerxes.

By old is meant old in structure, i.e., betraying by its archaic forms, an early stage of development. It is by no means old in chronology. In the way of chronology, the English of Shakespeare is older than the German of Goethe; yet the German of Goethe is the older tongue, because it retains more old inflections.

The third form is called Pali. In this is written the oldest Indian inscription; one containing the name of Antiochus, one of Alexander's successors. It is also the dialect of the chief Buddhist works.

A fourth form is the Bactrian. This occurs in the coins of Macedonian and other Indianized kings of Bactria, and is best studied in the "Ariana Antiqua," of Wilson.

A fifth is the Zend of the Zendavesta, the Scriptures of the followers of Zoroaster.

Others are called Pracrit. Some of the Sanskrit works are dramatic. In the modern comedies of Italy we find certain characters speaking the provincial dialects of Naples, Bologna, and other districts. The same took place here. In the Sanskrit plays we find deflexions from the standard language, put into the mouths of some of[152] the subordinate characters. It is believed that these Pracrits represented certain local dialects, as opposed to the purer and more classical Sanskrit.

Every spoken dialect of Hindostan has a per-centage of Sanskrit words in it; just as every dialect of England has an amount of Anglo-Norman. What does this prove? That depends upon the per-centage; and this differs in different languages. In a general way it may be stated that, amongst the tongues already enumerated, it is smallest in the isolated Tamulian tongues; larger in the Tamul of the Dekhan; and largest in the tongues about to be enumerated; these being the chief languages of modern Hindostan.

1. The Marathi of the Mahrattas. Here the Sanskrit words amount to four-fifths in the Marathi dictionaries.

2. The Udiya, of Cuttack and Orissa, with a per-centage of Sanskrit greater than that of the Marathi, but less than that of—

3. The Bengali. Here it is at its maximum, and amounts to nine-tenths.

4. The Hindú, of Oude, and the parts between Bengal and the Punjâb, falling into the subordinate dialects of the Rajpút country.

5. The Gujerathi of Gujerat.

6. The Scindian of Scinde.

7. The Multani of Múltan; probably a dialect of either the Gujerathi or[153]

8. The Punjabi of the Punjâb.

By going into minor differences this list might be enlarged.

None of the previous languages were mentioned in the last chapter; in fact, they were those different Hindú tongues which were contrasted with the Tamulian, and which, in the northern part of the Peninsula had effected those displacements which separated, or were supposed to separate, the Rajmahali, Kól, and Khond dialects from each other. They formed the sea of speech, in which those tongues were islands.

Now what is the inference from these per-centages? from such a one as the Bengali, of ninety out of one hundred? What do they prove as to the character of the language in which they occur? Do they make the Sanskrit the basis of the tongue, just as the Anglo-Saxon is of the English, or do they merely show it as a superadded foreign element, like the Norman—like that in kind, but far greater in degree? The answer to this will give us the philological position of the North-Indian tongues. It will make the Bengali either Tamul, with an unprecedented amount of foreign vocables, or Sanskrit, with a few words of the older native tongue retained.

If the question were settled by a reference to authorities, the answer would be that the Bengali was essentially Sanskrit.[154]

It would be the same if we took only the primâ facie view of the matter.

Yet the answer is traversed by two facts.

1. In making the per-centage of Sanskrit words it has been assumed that, whenever the modern and ancient tongues have any words in common, the former has always taken them from the latter,—an undue assumption, since the Sanskrit may easily have adopted native words.

2. The grammatical inflections are so far from being as Sanskritic as the vocables, that they are either non-existent altogether, unequivocally Tamul, or else controverted Sanskrit.

Here I pause,—giving, at present, no opinion upon the merits of the two views. The reader has seen the complications of the case; and is prepared for hearing that, though most of the highest authorities consider the languages of northern India to be related to the Sanskrit, just as the English is to the Anglo-Saxon, and the Italian to the Latin; others deny such a connexion, affirming that as the real relations of the Sanskrit are those of the Norman-French to our own tongue, and of the Arabic to the Spanish, there is no such thing throughout the whole length and breadth of Hindostan as a dialect descended from the Sanskrit, or a spot whereon that famous tongue can be shown to have existed as a spoken and indigenous language.[155]

But, perhaps, we may find in Persia what we lack in India; and as the modern Persian is descended from the Zend, and as the Zend is a sister to the Sanskrit, Persia may, perhaps, supply such a locality. The same doubts apply here.

Such are the doubts that apply to an important question in Asiatic ethnology. I am not, at present, going beyond the simple fact of their existence. Rightly or wrongly, there is an opinion that the Sanskrit never was indigenous to any part of India, not even the most north-western; and there is an extension of this opinion which—rightly or wrongly—similarly excludes it from Persia. So much doubt should be relieved by the exhibition of some universally admitted fact as a set-off.

Such a contrast shall be supplied, in the shape of a comment on the following tables.[41] It is one of Dr. Trithem's.

Mother-in-lawsvekrov'[44]śvas ru.[156]

The following similarities go the same way, viz., towards the proof of a remarkable affinity with certain languages of Europe, there being none equally strong with any existing and undoubted Asiatic ones.

Laups-inni = I praise.


1. Laups-innu-innawa-inname.
2. —-inni-innata-innata.
3. —-inna-inna-inna.


Jaj-ami = I conquer.


1. Jaj-āmi-āvah-āmah.
2. —-ăsi-ăthah-ătha.
3. —-ăti-ătah-anti.
Esmi = I am.
1. Esmieswaesme.
2. Essiestaesti.
3. Estiestiesti.
Asmi = I am.
1. Asmiswahsmah.
2. Asisthahstha.
3. Astistahsanti.

The inference from the vast series of philological facts, of which the following is a specimen, has, generally—perhaps universally—been as follows, viz., that the Lithuanic, Slavonic, and the allied languages of Germany, Italy, and Greece—numerous, widely-spread, and unequivocally European—are Asiatic in origin; the Sanskrit being first referred to Asia, and then assumed to represent the languages of that Asiatic locality. I merely express my dissent from this inference; adding my belief that the relations of the Sanskrit to the Hindú tongues are those of the Anglo-Norman to the English, and that its relation to[158] those of the south-eastern Slavonic area, is that of the Greek of Bactria, to the Greek of Macedon—greater, much greater in degree, but the same in kind.[47]

The Brahminic creed of Hindostan is the next great characteristic. Brahminism may be viewed in two ways. We may either take it in its later forms, and trace its history backwards, or begin with it in its simplest and most unmodified stage, and notice the changes that have affected it as they occur. At the present its principles are to be found in the holy book called Puranas; the Brahminism of the Puranas standing in the same relation to certain earlier forms, as the Rabbinism of the Talmud, or the Romanism of the fathers does to primitive Judaism and Christianity. The pre-eminence of a sacred caste—the sanctitude of the cow—an impossible cosmogony—the worship of Siva and Vishnu—and an indefinite sort of recognition of beings like Rama, Krishna, Kali, and others, are the leading features here; the recognition of the Ramas and Krishnas being of an indefinite and equivocal character, because the extent to which the elements of their divine nature are referable to the idea of dead men deified, or the very opposite notion of Gods[159] become incarnate, are inextricably mixed together. The Puranas are referable to different dates between the twelfth and sixth centuries A.D.

The germs of the Brahminism of the Puranas are the two great epics, the Ramayana, or the conquest of Hindostan by Rama, and the Mahabharata, or great war between the Sun and Moon dynasties. If we call the worship of dead men deified, Euhemerism, it is the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, to which the Euhemerist elements of the present Brahminism are to be attributed. They increased the personality of the previous religion. This is the natural effect of narrative poetry, and one of which we may measure the magnitude by looking at the influence and tendencies of the great Homeric poems of Greece. It is these which give us Kali, Rama, Krishna, Siva, and Vishnu, and which helped to determine the preponderance of the two last over Brahma—Brahma being the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; and Siva, the Destroyer. The highest antiquity which has been given to the epics is the second century B.C.; and this is full high enough.

The Brahminism of the "Institutes of Menu," the oldest Indian code of laws, is simpler than that of the epics. Its Euhemerism is less. Nevertheless, it contains the great text on the caste-system, the fulcrum of priestly pre-eminence.[160]


Sir Graves Haughton's Translation.

1. For the sake of preserving this universe, the Being, supremely glorious, allotted separate duties to those who sprang respectively from his mouth, his arm, his thigh, and his foot.

2. To Bráhmins he assigned the duties of reading the Veda, of teaching it, of sacrificing, of assisting others to sacrifice, of giving alms, if they be rich, and, if indigent, of receiving gifts.

3. To defend the people, to give alms, to sacrifice, to read the Veda, to shun the allurements of sensual gratification, are, in a few words, the duties of a Cshatriya.

4. To keep herds of cattle, to bestow largesses, to sacrifice, to read the scripture, to carry on trade, to lend at interest, and to cultivate land, are prescribed or permitted to a Vaisya.

5. One principal duty the Supreme Ruler assigns to a Súdra; namely, to serve the before-mentioned classes, without depreciating their worth.

6. Man is declared purer above the navel; but the Self-Creating Power declared the purest part of him to be his mouth.

7. Since the Bráhmin sprang from the most excellent part, since he was the first born, and since he possesses the Veda, he is by right the chief of this whole creation.

8. Him, the Being, who exists of himself, produced in the beginning, from his own mouth, that having performed holy rites, he might present clarified butter to the gods, and cakes of rice to the progenitors of mankind, for the preservation of this world.

9. What created being then can surpass Him, with whose[161] mouth the gods of the firmament continually feast on clarified butter, and the manes of ancestors, on hallowed cakes?

10. Of created things, the most excellent are those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the sacerdotal class.

11. Of priests those eminent in learning; of the learned, those who know their duty; of those who know it, such as perform it virtuously; and of the virtuous, those who seek beatitude from a perfect acquaintance with scriptural doctrine.

12. The very birth of Bráhmins is a constant incarnation of Dherma, God of Justice; for the Bráhmin is born to promote justice, and to procure ultimate happiness.

13. When a Bráhmin springs to light, he is borne above the world, the chief of all creatures, assigned to guard the treasury of duties, religious and civil.

14. Whatever exists in the universe, is all in effect, though not in form, the wealth of the Bráhmin; since the Bráhmin is entitled to it all by his primogeniture and eminence of birth.

15. The Bráhmin eats but his own food; wears but his own apparel; and bestows but his own in alms: through the benevolence of the Bráhmin, indeed, other mortals enjoy life.

16. To declare the sacerdotal duties, and those of the other classes in due order, the sage Menu, sprung from the self-existing, promulged this code of laws.

17. A code which must be studied with extreme care by every learned Bráhmin, and fully explained to his disciples, but must be taught by no other man of an inferior class.

18. The Bráhmin who studies this book, having performed sacred rites, is perpetually free from offence in thought, in word, and in deed.

19. He confers purity on his living family, on his ancestors,[162] and on his descendants, as far as the seventh person; and He alone deserves to possess this whole earth.

Subtract from the Brahminism of the Institutes, the importance assigned to caste; substitute for the Euhemerism of the Epics, an elemental religion, and we ascend to the religion of the Vedas; the nominal, but only the nominal basis, of all Hinduism. In the following Vedaic hymns, Agni is fire; Indra, the sky, firmament, or atmosphere; and Marut, the cloud.


Wilson's Translation.


1. I glorify Agni, the high priest of the sacrifice, the divine, the ministrant, who presents the oblation (to the gods), and is the possessor of great wealth.

2. May that Agni, who is to be celebrated by both ancient and modern sages, conduct the gods hither.

3. Through Agni the worshipper obtains that affluence, which increases day by day, which is the source of fame and the multiplier of mankind.

4. Agni, the unobstructed sacrifice of which thou art on every side the protector, assuredly reaches the gods.

5. May Agni, the presenter of oblations, the attainer of knowledge; he who is true, renowned, and divine, come hither with the gods!

6. Whatever good thou mayest, Agni, bestow upon the giver (of the oblation), that verily, Angiras, shall revert to thee.[163]

7. We approach thee, Agni, with reverential homage in our thoughts, daily, both morning and evening.

8. Thee, the radiant, the protector of sacrifices, the constant illuminator of truth, increasing in thine own dwelling!

9. Agni, be unto us easy of access, as is a father to a son; be ever present with us for our good!


1. Aświns, cherishers of pious acts, long-armed, accept with outstretched hands the sacrificial viands!

2. Aświns, abounding in mighty acts, guides (of devotion), endowed with fortitude, listen with unaverted minds to our praises!

3. Aświns, destroyers of foes, exempt from untruth, leaders in the van of heroes, come to the mixed libations sprinkled on the lopped sacred grass!

4. Indra, of wonderful splendour, come hither; these libations, ever pure, expressed by the fingers (of the priests), are desirous of thee!

5. Indra, apprehended by the understanding and appreciated by the wise, approach and accept the prayers (of the priest), as he offers the libation!

6. Fleet Indra with the tawny coursers, come hither to the prayers (of the priests), and in this libation accept our (proffered) food.

7. Universal Gods! protectors and supporters of men, bestowers (of rewards), come to the libation of the worshipper!

8. May the swift-moving universal Gods, the shedders of rain, come to the libation, as the solar rays come 'diligently' to the days!

9. May the universal Gods, who are exempt from decay, omniscient, devoid of malice, and bearers of riches, accept the sacrifice!

10. May Saraswatí, the purifier, the bestower of food, the[164] recompenser of worship with wealth, be attracted by our offered viands to our rite!

11. Saraswatí, the inspirer of those who delight in truth, the instructress of the right-minded, has accepted our sacrifice!

12. Saraswatí makes manifest by her acts a mighty river, and (in her own form) enlightens all understandings.


1. Come, Indra, and be regaled with all viands and libations, and thence, mighty in strength, be victorious (over thy foes)!

2. The libation being prepared, present the exhilarating and efficacious (draught) to the rejoicing Indra, the accomplisher of all things.

3. Indra, with the handsome chin, be pleased with these animating praises: do thou, who art to be reverenced by all mankind, (come) to these rites (with the gods)!

4. I have addressed to thee, Indra, the showerer (of blessings), the protector (of thy worshippers), praises which have reached thee, and of which thou hast approved!

5. Place before us, Indra, precious and multiform riches, for enough, and more than enough, are assuredly thine!

6. Opulent Indra, encourage us in this rite for the acquirement of wealth, for we are diligent and renowned!

7. Grant us, Indra, wealth beyond measure or calculation, inexhaustible, the source of cattle, of food, of all life.

8. Indra, grant us great renown and wealth acquired in a thousand ways, and those (articles) of food (which are brought from the field) in carts!

9. We invoke, for the preservation of our property, Indra, the lord of wealth, the object of sacred verses, the repairer (to the place of sacrifice), praising him with our praises!

10. With libations repeatedly effused, the sacrificer glorifies[165] the vast prowess of Indra, the mighty, the dweller in (an eternal mansion)!


1. The Maruts who are going forth decorate themselves like females: they are gliders (through the air), the sons of Rudra, and the doers of good works, by which they promote the welfare of earth and heaven: heroes, who grind (the solid rocks), they delight in sacrifices!

2. They, inaugurated by the gods, have attained majesty, the sons of Rudra have established their dwelling above the sky: glorifying him (Indra) who merits to be glorified, they have inspired him with vigour: the sons of Prisni have acquired dominion!

3. When the sons of the earth embellish themselves with ornaments, they shine resplendent in their persons with (brilliant) decorations; they keep aloof every adversary: the waters follow their path!

4. They who are worthily worshipped shine with various weapons: incapable of being overthrown, they are the overthrowers (of mountains): Maruts, swift as thought, intrusted with the duty of sending rain, yoke the spotted deer to your cars!

5. When Maruts, urging on the cloud, for the sake of (providing) food, you have yoked the deer to your chariots, the drops fall from the radiant (sun), and moisten the earth, like a hide, with water!

6. Let your quick-paced smooth-gliding coursers bear you (hither), and, moving swiftly, come with your hands filled with good things: sit, Maruts, upon the broad seat of sacred grass, and regale yourselves with the sweet sacrificial food!

7. Confiding in their own strength, they have increased in (power); they have attained heaven by their greatness, and have made (for themselves) a spacious abode: may they, for[166] whom Vishnu defends (the sacrifice) that bestows all desires and confers delight, come (quickly) like birds, and sit down upon the pleasant and sacred grass!

8. Like heroes, like combatants, like men anxious for food, the swift-moving (Maruts) have engaged in battles: all beings fear the Maruts, who are the leaders (of the rain), and awful of aspect, like princes!

9. Indra wields the well-made, golden, many-bladed thunderbolt, which the skilful Twashtri has framed for him, that he may achieve great exploits in war. He has slain Vritra, and sent forth an ocean of water!

10. By their power, they bore the well aloft, and clove asunder the mountain that obstructed their path: the munificent Maruts, blowing upon their pipe, have conferred, when exhilarated by the soma juice, desirable (gifts upon the sacrificer)!

11. They brought the crooked well to the place (where the Muni was), and sprinkled the water upon the thirsty Gotama: the variously-radiant (Maruts) come to his succour, gratifying the desire of the sage with life-sustaining waters!

12. Whatever blessings (are diffused) through the three worlds, and are in your gift, do you bestow upon the donor (of the libation), who addresses you with praise; bestow them, also, Maruts, upon us, and grant us, bestowers of all good, riches, whence springs prosperity!

If we investigate the antiquity of these hymns we shall find no definite and unimpeachable date. Their epoch is assigned on the score of internal evidence. The language is so much more archaic than that of the Institutes, and the mythology so much simpler; whilst the Institutes themselves are similarly circumstanced in respect[167] to the Epics. Fixing these at about 200, B.C.; we allow so many centuries for the archaisms of Menu, and so many more for those of the Vedas. For the whole, eleven hundred has not been thought too little, which places the Vedas in the fourteenth century, B.C., and makes them the earliest, or nearly the earliest records in the world.

It is clear that this is but an approximation, and, although all inquirers admit that creeds, languages, and social conditions present the phenomena of growth, the opinions as to the rate of such growths are varied, and none of much value. This is because the particular induction required for the formation of anything better than a mere impression has yet to be undertaken—till when, one man's guess is as good as another's. The age of a tree may be reckoned from its concentric rings, but the age of a language, a doctrine, or a polity, has neither bark nor wood, neither teeth like a horse, nor a register like a child.

Now the antiquity of the Vedas, as inferred from the archaic character of their language, has been shaken by the discovery of the structure of the Persepolitan dialect of the arrow-headed inscriptions. It approaches that of the Vedas; being, in some points, older than the Sanskrit of Menu. Yet its date is less than 500, B.C. Again, the Pali is less archaic than the Sanskrit; yet the[168] Pali is the language of the oldest inscriptions in India, indeed, of the oldest Indian records of any sort, with a definite date.

One of the few cases where the phenomena of rate have been studied with due attention, is in the evolution of the three languages of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden out of the Icelandic. What does this tell us? The last has altered so slowly that a modern Icelander can read the oldest works of his language. In Sweden, however, the speech has altered. So it has in Denmark; whilst both these languages are unintelligible to the Icelander, and vice versâ. As to their respective changes, Petersen shows that the Danish was always about a hundred years forwarder than the Swedish, having attained that point at (say) 1200, which the Swedish did not reach till 1300. Both, however, changed; and that, at a uniform rate; the Danish having, as it were, the start of a century. The Norwegian, however, comported itself differently. Until the Reformation it hardly changed at all; less than the stationary Icelandic itself. Fifty years, however, of sudden and rapid transformation brought it, at once, to the stage which the Danish had been three hundred years in reaching. How many times must the observation of such phenomena be multiplied before we can strike an average as to the rate of change in languages, creeds, and polities?[169]

Again—it is by no means certain that the Institutes and the Vedas represent a contemporary state of things. All doctrinal writings contain something appertaining to a period older than that of their composition.

Lastly,—the proof that all the writings in question belong to the same linear series, and represent the growth of the same phenomena in the same place is deficient. The Ægyptologist believes that contemporary kings are mistaken for successive ones; the philologist, that difference of dialects simulates a difference of age. Doubts of a more specific nature dawn upon us when we attempt to realize the alphabet in which an Indian MS. of even only eight hundred years B.C., was written. No Indian MS. is fifteen hundred years old; no inscription older than Alexander's time. Nevertheless,—though I write upon this subject with diffidence—the Devanagari characters of the Sanskrit MSS. can be deduced from the alphabet of the inscriptions; whilst these inscriptions themselves approach the alphabets of the Semitic character in proportion to their antiquity: so that the oldest alphabet of the Vedas is referable to that of the inscriptions, and that of the inscriptions betrays an origin external to India. Its introduction may be very early; nevertheless its epoch must be investigated with a full recognition of the[170] comparatively modern date of even the earliest alphabets of Persia, and the parts westward; early as compared with such a date as 1400, B.C., the accredited epoch of the Vedas; an epoch, perhaps, a thousand years too early.

Nevertheless, the existence of an alphabet, an architecture, a coinage, and an algebra at a period which no scepticism puts much later than 250, B.C., is so undoubted, that they may pass as ethnological facts, i.e., facts sufficiently true to be not merely admitted with what is called an otiose belief, but to be classed with the most unexceptionable data of history, and to be used as effects from which we may argue backwards—more ethnologico—to their antecedent causes; the appreciation of these requiring a philosophy and an induction of its own.

We cannot detract from the antiquity of Indian civilization without impugning its indigenous origin, nor doubt this without stirring the question as to the countries from which it was introduced. These have been Persia, Assyria, Egypt, and Greece; the introduction being direct or indirect as the case might be.

In this way are contrasted the views of the general ethnologist, with those of the special orientalist, in respect to the great and difficult question of Indian antiquity. Yet, how far does the scepticism of the former affect our views concerning[171] the descent of the Hindús, the Mahrattas, the Bengali, and those other populations, to the languages whereof they applied? Not much. Whichever way we decide, the population may still be Tamulian; only, in case we make the language Sanskritic, it is Tamulian in the same way as the Cornish are Welsh; i.e., Tamulian with a change of tongue.

The doubts, too, as to the antiquity of the Sanskrit literature unsettle but little. They merely make the introduction of certain foreign elements some centuries later.

Whatever may be the oldest of the great Hindú creeds, that of the Sikhs is the newest. Its founder, Nanuk, in the fifteenth century, was a contemplative enthusiast; his successor, Govind, a zealous man of action; himself succeeded by similar gúrús, or priests, who eventually, by means of fanaticism, organization, and union with the state raised the power of the Khalsa to the formidable height from which it has so lately fallen. Truth is the great abstraction of the Sikh creeds; and the extent to which it is at once intolerant and eclectic may be seen from the following extracts.[48] They certainly present the doctrine in a favourable light.


The true name is God; without fear, without enmity; the Being without death; the Giver of salvation; the Gooroo and Grace.
Remember the primal truth; truth which was before the world began.
Truth which is, and truth, O Nânuk! which will remain.
By reflection it cannot be attained, how much soever the attention be fixed.
A hundred wisdoms, even a hundred thousand, not one accompanies the dead.
How can truth be told, how can falsehood be unravelled?
O Nânuk! by following the will of God, as by Him ordained.
Time is the only God; the First and the Last, the Endless Being; the Creator, the Destroyer; He who can make and unmake.
God who created angels and demons, who created the East and the West, the North and the South; How can He be expressed by words?
Numerous Mahomets have there been, and multitudes of Bruhmas, Vishnoos, and Sivas.
Thousands of Peers and Prophets, and tens of thousands of saints and holy men:
But the chief of Lords is the one Lord, the true name of God.
O Nânuk! of God, His qualities, without end, beyond reckoning, who can understand?
Many Bruhmas wearied themselves with the study of the Veds, but found not the value of an oil seed.
Holy men and saints are sought about anxiously, but they were deceived by Maya.
There have been, and there have passed away, ten regent Owtârs, and the wondrous Muhadeo.
Even they, wearied with the application of ashes, could not find Thee.
He who speaks of me as the Lord, him will I sink into the pit of hell!
Consider me as the slave of God; of that have no doubt in thy mind.
I am but the slave of the Lord, come to behold the wonders of creation.
Dwell thou in flames uninjured,
Remain unharmed amid ice eternal,
Make blocks of stone thy daily food,
Spurn the earth before thee with thy foot,
Weigh the heavens in a balance,
And then ask of me to perform miracles.
Since he fell at the feet of God, no one has appeared great in his eyes.
Ram and Ruheem, the Poorans, and the Koran, have many votaries, but neither does he regard.
Simruts, Shasters, and Veds, differ in many things; not one does he heed.
[174]O God! under Thy favour has all been done, nought is of myself.
All say that there are four races,
But all are of the seed of Bruhm.
The world is but clay,
And of similar clay many pots are made.
Nânuk says man will be judged by his actions,
And that without finding God there will be no salvation.
The body of man is composed of five elements;
Who can say that one is high and another low?
There are four races and four creeds in the world among Hindoos and Mahometans;
Selfishness, jealousy, and pride drew all of them strongly;
The Hindoos dwelt on Benares and the Ganges, the Mahometans on the Kaaba;
The Mahometans held by circumcision, the Hindoos by strings and frontal marks.
They each called on Ram and Ruheem, one name, and yet both forgot the road.
Forgetting the Veds and the Koran, they were inveigled in the snares of the world.
Truth remained on one side, while Moollas and Brahmins disputed,
And salvation was not attained.
God heard the complaint (of virtue or truth), and Nânuk was sent into the world.
He established the custom that the disciple should wash the feet of his Gooroo, and drink the water;
[175]Pâr Bruhm and Poorun Bruhm, in his Kulyoog, he showed were one.
The four feet (of the animal sustaining the world) were made of faith; the four castes were made one;
The high and the low became equal: the salutation of the feet (among disciples) he established in the world;
Contrary to the nature of man, the feet were exalted above the head.
In the Kulyoog he gave salvation; using the only true name, he taught men to worship the Lord.
To give salvation in the Kulyoog, Gooroo Nânuk came.


The Punjâb is the most western locality of the Indian stock, whether we call the members of it Hindú or Tamulian. On crossing the Indus we reach a new ethnological area, only partially, and only recently British; viz., the country of the Bilúch, and the country of the Afghans. And here we must prepare for new terms; for hearing of tribes rather than castes; and for finding a polity more like that of the Jews and Arabs than the institutions of the Brahmins.

The Bilúch.Biluchi-stan means the country of the Bilúch, just as Hindo-stan and Afghani-stan mean that of the Hindús and Afghans. It is the south-western quarter of Persia, that is the chief area of the tribes in question. Hence, however, they extend into Kutch Gundava, Scinde, and Múltan, and the northern parts of Gujerat.[176] Between Kelat, the Indus, and the sea, they are mixed with Brahúi.

The Biluchi is a dialect of the Persian—sufficiently close to be understood by a Persian proper.

There are no grounds for believing the Bilúch to have been other than the aborigines of the country which they occupy; as their advent lies beyond the historical period; beyond the pale of admissible tradition. We may, perhaps, be told that they came from Arabia; an origin which their Mahometanism, their division into tribes, and their manners, suggest; an origin, too, which their physiognomy by no means impugns. Yet the tradition is not only unsupported, but equivocal. The Arabia that it refers to is, probably, the country of the ancient Arabitæ; and that is neither more nor less than a part of the province of Mekran, within—or nearly within—the present Bilúch domain. Hence, they may be Arabite, though not Arabian; or rather the old Arabitæ of the Arabius fluvius were Bilúch.

But the Arabs are not the only members of the Semitic family with which the Bilúch have been affiliated. A multiplicity of Jewish characteristics has been discerned. These are all the more visible from their contrast to the manners of the Hindús. Intermediate in appearance to the Hindú and the Persian, the Bilúch "cast of[177] feature is certainly Jewish;"[49] his tribual divisions are equally so; whilst the Levitical punishment of adultery by stoning, and the transmission of the widow of a deceased brother to the brothers who survive, have been duly recognized as Hebrew characteristics. We know what follows all this; as surely as smoke shows fire. Levitical peculiarities suggest the ubiquitous decad of the lost tribes of Israel. We shall soon hear of these again.

Tribes under chiefs—hereditary succession—pride of blood—clannish sentiments—feuds between tribe and tribe—the sacro-sanctity of revenge as a duty—the suspension of private wars when foreign foes threaten—greater rudeness amongst the mountains—comparative industry in the plains—the business of robbery tempered by the duties of hospitality—black mail, &c. All this is equally Bilúch, Arabian, and Highland Scotch; and it all shows the similarity of details which accompanies similarity of social institutions. Ethnological relationship it does not show.

The word Bilúch is Persian. The bearer of the designation either calls himself by the name of his tribe, or else glorifies himself by the term Usul or Pure. The tribes or khoums are numerous.[178] Sir H. Pottinger gives the names of no less than fifty-eight; without going into their subdivisions.

If, however, instead of details, we seek for classes of greater generality we find that three primary divisions comprise all the ramifications of the Bilúch. The first of these is the Rind; the other two are the Nihro and the Mughsi. The daughter of a Rind may be given to a Rind as a wife; but to marry into a tribe of Nihro or Mughsi extraction is a degradation. Here the elements of caste intermix with those of tribe or clan.

Afghans.Afghani-stan means the country of the Afghans, just as Hindo-stan and Biluchi-stan mean that of the Hindús and Biluchi, respectively.

In India the Afghans are called Patan.

Their language is called Pushtu. It is allied to the Persian—but less closely than the Bilúch.

Fully and accurately described in the admirable work of Lord Mountstuart Elphinstone, the Afghans have long commanded the attention of the ethnologist; and all that has been said about the Judaism of the Biluchi has been said in respect to them also, though not by so good a writer as the one just quoted. No wonder. Their tribual organization, if not more peculiar in character, has been more minutely described; a[179] greater massiveness of frame and feature has been looked upon as eminently Judaic; and, lastly, an incorrect statement of Sir William Jones's, as to the Hebrew character of the Pushtu language, has added the authority of that respected scholar to the doctrine of the Semitic origin of the Afghans. Against this, however, stands the evidence of their peculiar and hitherto unplaced language. I say unplaced, because the criticism that separates the modern dialects of Hindostan from the Sanskrit, disconnects the Pushtu and the old Persian. Nevertheless, it is anything but either Hebrew or Arabic.

Similarity of political constitution, and its attendant spirit of independence, have given a political importance to both the Bilúch and the Afghan. Each is but partially—very partially—British; and each became dependent upon Britain, not because they were the Afghans and Bilúch of their own rugged countries, but because they were part and parcel of certain territories in India. It was on the Indus that they were conquered; and it as Indians that they are British.

Four great patriarchs are the hypothetical progenitors of the four primary Afghan divisions—though it is uncertain whether any such quaternion be more of an historical reality than the four castes of Brahminism. Subordinate to these four heads is the division called Ulús (Ooloos).[180]

A minuter knowledge of the Afghan affiliations—real or supposed—is to be gained by premising that khail has much the same meaning as the Bilúch khoum, so that it denotes a division of population which we may call clan, tribe, or sept; whilst the affix -zye, means sons or offspring. Hence, Eusof-zye is equivalent to what an Arab would call Beni Yusuf; a Greek, Ioseph-idæ; or a Highland Gael, MacJoseph. All this is clear. When, however, we try to give precision to our nomenclature, and ask whether the khail contains a number of -zye, or the -zye a number of khails, difficulties begin. Sometimes the one, sometimes the other is the larger class. And a khail in one case may be divided into groups ending in -zye; in others, a group denoted by -zye may contain two or more khails. Each is a generic or specific designation as the case may be.

However, to proceed to instances, the following groups of Afghans may be constituted.

1. Three sections—the Acco-zye, the Mulle-zye, and the Lawe-zye—are subdivisions of the—

2. Eusof.—The Eusof and Munder being branches of the—

3. Eusof-zye.—Now the Eusof-zye is one out of four divisions of the—

4. Khukkhi.—The Guggiani, Turcolani, and Mahomed-zye, being the other three.

5. Lastly, the Khukkhi, the Otman-khail, the[181] Khyberi, the Bungush, the Khuttuk and, probably, some others form the Berdurani Afghans.

But as Berdurani is a geographical, or political, rather than a tribual designation; as it is the name by which the north-eastern Afghans were known to the Moghuls; and as it is equivalent to such an expression as Western or Eastern Highlander, rather than to names so specific as Campbell or MacDonald, it may be excluded from the true Afghan affiliations.

With this deduction, however, the classification is sufficiently complex; besides which, it is, probably, much more systematic on paper than in reality. This, however, can only be indicated.

The valley of Peshawar is the valley of the Guggiani, and Mahomed-zye Afghans.

The parts round it belong to the Eusof-zye, the Otman-khail, the Turcolani, the Momunds, and the Khyberi of the Khyber Range and Pass. These last fall into the Afridi, the Shainwari, and the Uruk-zye. Their country is chiefly to the north of the Salt Range.

The river Kúrúm gives us the two valleys of Dowr and Bunnú[50]—the Bunnúchi being as pre-eminently[182] a mixed, as the mountaineers around them—the Vizeri—are a pure branch. These, and others, appear to belong to the great Khuttuk division.

The south-eastern Afghans are called Lohani; and, as a proof of this designation being of the same geographico-political character as Berdurani, the Khuttuk Afghans are divided between the two sections; at least the particular Khuttuks called Murwuti are mentioned as Lohani, though the Khuttuk class in general is placed in the Berdurani branch. The chief Lohani Afghans are the Shiráni near the Tukt-i-Solimán mountain, and the Storiáni (Storeeanees, Oosteraunees) conterminous with the most northern of the Bilúch.

Of these the Búgti and Murri are the chief populations of the frontier; whilst the Nútkani, Kúsrani, Lund, Lughari, Gurkhari, Mudari, and others, help to fill up the Muckelwand (or the parts immediately along the course of the Indus), and the Bilúch portions of Múltan.

The Brahúi.—The Brahúi, with whom it has been stated that the Bilúch are intermixed, are pastoral tribes, with a coarser physiognomy, and a stouter make than their neighbours. Their language also is different. A specimen of it may be found amongst the well-known and important vocabularies of Lieutenant Leach; and this forms the subject of a memoir of no less a scholar than[183] Lassen. Without placing it, he remarks that the numerals are South-Indian (or Tamulian) rather than aught else. He might have said more. The Brahúi is a remarkable and unexplained branch of the Tamul; but whether it be of late introduction or indigenous origin in the parts where it now occurs is uncertain. The mountains between Kutch Gundava and Mekran seem to form the area of the Brahúi; some eastern branches of which population I presume to be British, mixed with Bilúch.[51]

Ceylon.—The inhabitants of the northern part of Ceylon speak the Tamul language, and are Brahminists in creed. They are not, however, the true natives of the island. These latter use a Hindú tongue, called the Singhalese. Its philological relations are exactly those of the Mahratta, Bengali, and Udiya,—neither better nor worse defined, more or less unequivocal. Some make it out to be of Sanskrit, others of Tamulian origin. All that is certain is, that it is more Sanskritic than the proper Tamul, and more Tamul than the Bengali. It is written; and embodies a copious, but worthless literature, its alphabet being derived from that of the Pali language.[184]

This introduces a new characteristic. The Pali has the same relation to Buddhism, that the Sanskrit has to Brahminism. It is the language of the Scriptures, the priest, and the scholar, and, although, at the present moment, it is as little recognized as a holy tongue on the continent of India, as the Greek of the New Testament is at Rome, it divides with the Arabic and Latin, the honour of being the most widely-spread literary language of the world. All the forms of Buddhism in the transgangetic peninsula are embodied in Pali writings. So are those of the Mongols; and so, to a great extent, those of the Tibetans as well. This makes the language and the creed nearly co-extensive. In China, however, and Japan, where great changes have taken place, and where either the development, or the deterioration of Buddhism has gone far enough to abolish the more palpable characteristics of the original Indian doctrine, the Pali language is no longer the medium. It is so, however, for the vast area already indicated.

In Buddhism, as opposed to Brahminism, there is a greater tenderness of animal life in general, whilst less respect is paid to the ox-tribe in particular. There is less also of the system of caste; and, in consequence of this, fewer of those elements of priestly influence, which originate in the ideas of the hereditary transmission of sacro-sanctitude.[185] Buddhism, too, has the credit of running further in the dream-land of subjective metaphysics than Brahminism,—though this, as far as my own very imperfect means of judging go, is doubtful. Into practical pantheism, and into the deification of human reason it does run.

When self-contemplation has reached its highest degree of abstraction, the state of Nirwana is induced. This seems to mean the absorption of the spirit within itself; a condition which at once suggests adjectives like impassive, subjective, exalted, and supra-sensual, or substantives like transcendentalism, egoism, &c., and the like; in some cases with definite ideas to correspond with the term; oftener as mere meaningless words. Such, however, is the nomenclature which is requisite; a nomenclature to which I have recourse, not for the sake of illustrating my subject, but with the view of giving a practical notion of its indistinctness.

Buddha himself is a specimen and model of self-absorption, consummation, perfection, or exaltation rather than a deity, or even a prophet. He shows what purity can effect, rather than teaches what purity consists in. He may even have become what he was, by his own unaided powers of supra-sensual abstraction.

All this is but a series of negations, at least in the way of theology. But his spirit, after the[186] departure of his body from the earth,[52] became incarnate in the body of some successor—and so on ad infinitum. This connects Buddhism with the doctrine of metempsychosis; a doctrine which the incarnations of Brahminism also suggest.

Such are some of the speculative points of Buddhism. Its morality has been greatly, and, perhaps, unduly extolled. So much contemplation can scarcely exist without the condemnation of the more palpable sins of commission. Hence, those vices which are the offspring of passion and ignorance are condemned; as is but natural. The suspension of exertion precludes active vice. Of the active virtues, however, the recognition is as slight as may be; so slight as to make it doubtful whether Buddhism be a better rule for the formation of good citizens than Brahminism. Which has been the most resistant to the influences of Christianity is doubtful.[53]

Just as the Anglo-Saxon language, although it originated in Germany, has survived and developed itself in Britain only, the Buddhist creed, once indigenous to the continent of Hindostan, is now found nowhere between the Himalayas and Cape Comorin; whilst beyond the pale[187] of India, it is as widely extended as the English language is beyond the limits of Germany. The rival religion of the Brahmins expelled it. Which of the two was the older is uncertain. Still more difficult is it to determine how far each is a separate substantive mythological growth, or merely a modification of the rival creed.

I lay but little stress upon the internal evidence derivable from the character of the religions themselves. Both are complicated and artificial—both, perhaps, equally so. In contrast, however, to the more speculative and transcendental points, suggestive of recent development, there are others indicative of great antiquity. Nevertheless, it is as difficult to affirm that the primitive parts of the one creed are older than the most primitive parts of the other, as it is to affirm that the highest transcendentalisms are more recent.

The fact of the oldest inscriptions being in the Pali dialect, is favourable to the greater antiquity of Buddhism, but it is not conclusive. The notion that Sanskrit itself is comparatively recent, of course subtracts from that of Brahminism. But this is far from being admitted. Besides which, it by no means follows, that because Brahminism is, comparatively speaking, recent, Buddhism must be ancient.

The best clue in this labyrinth of conflicting[188] opinions is the study of the superstitions of the ruder tribes of the hill-ranges of India itself, of the sub-Himalayas, and of the Indo-Chinese peninsula; the result of which investigation will be that that creed which has most points in common with the primitive and unmodified mythologies of the Tamulian stock, and of those branches of the monosyllabic populations nearest akin thereto, has also the best claim to be considered as the older.

In my own mind, I believe that the Bedo of the Rajmahali mountaineers, is the Batho of the Bodo, the Pennu of the Khonds, and the Potteang of the Kukis,[54]—name for name. I believe this without doubt or hesitation. But if I ask myself the import of this identity, the answer is unsatisfactory. There is doubt and hesitation in abundance. Bedo, Batho, Petto, and Potteang, may represent the germ of what afterwards became Buddh-ism. They may exhibit the Indian creed in its rudiments. True. But they may also represent it in its fragments, so that Bedo and Batho may be but Buddh, distorted in form, and but imperfectly comprehended in import. In our own Gospel, the name for the place of punishment, which the Greeks called Hades, and the Hebrews typified by Gehenna, is the name of a Saxon goddess Hela; and, in this particular instance,[189] a point of our original paganism has been taken up into our present Christianity. The same is the case with the Finnic nation, where Yumala signifies God; Yumala being as truly heathen as Jupiter. On the other hand we find amongst the genuine pagan Gallas of Africa, an object of respect or worship called Miriam. What is this? No true piece of heathendom at all. Dr. Beke has given good reasons for believing that it means the Virgin Mother of the Saviour, the only extant member of the Christian Revelation now known to that once imperfectly Christianized community.

Buddhism, then, may claim a higher antiquity than Brahminism under the two following conditions.

1. That the names Batho, &c., be really a form of Buddh.

2. That they have belonged to superstitions in which they occur from the beginning; and are not in the same category with the Miriam of the Gallas, i.e., recent introductions from a wholly different religion—grafts rather than embryos.

How far this latter is the case must be ascertained by a wide and minute inquiry, foreign to the present work.

It is no wonder that, side by side with a semi-philosophical creed like Buddhism, we should have such a phenomenon as Devil-worship. When[190] the spirit falls short of its due degree of self-sustained hardihood, fear finds its way to the heart. The evil powers are then propitiated; sometimes in a manner savouring of dignity, sometimes with groveling and grotesque cowardice. The Yezid of Mesopotamia, whose belief in the power of an evil spirit is derived from the Manicheism of old, shows his fear of the arch-enemy by simple and not unreasonable acts of negation. He does nothing that may offend; never mentions his name; and dwells on his attributes as little as possible. The devil-worshipper of Ceylon uses such invocations as the following:—


Come, thou sanguinary Devil, at the sixth hour. Come, thou fierce Devil, upon this stage, and accept the offerings made to thee!

The ferocious Devil seems to be coming measuring the ground by the length of his feet, and giving warnings of his approach by throwing stones and sand round about. He looks upon the meat-offering which is kneaded with blood and boiled rice.

He stands there and plays in the shade of the tree called Demby. He removes the sickness of the person which he caused. He will accept the offerings prepared with blood, odour, and reddish boiled rice. Prepare these offerings in the shade of the Demby tree.

Make a female figure of the planets with a monkey's face, and its body the colour of gold. Offer four offerings in the four corners. In the left corner, place some blood, and for[191] victims a fowl and a goat. In the evening, place the scene representing the planets on the high ground.

The face resembles a monkey's face, and the head is the colour of gold. The head is reddish, and the bunch of hair is black and tied. He holds blood in the left-hand, and rides on a bullock. After this manner make the sanguinary figure of the planets.


O thou great devil Maha-Sohon, preserve these sick persons without delay!

On the way, as he was going, by supernatural power he made a great noise. He fought with the form of Wessamoony, and wounded his head. The planet Saturn saw a wolf in the midst of the forest, and broke his neck. The Wessamoony gave permission to the great devil called Maha-Sohon.

O thou great devil Maha-Sohon, take away these sicknesses by accepting the offerings made frequently to thee.—The qualities of this devil are these: he stretches his long chin, and opens wide his mouth like a cavern: he bears a spear in his right-hand, and grasps a great and strong elephant with his left-hand. He is watching and expecting to drink the blood of the elephant in the place where the two and three roads meet together.

Influenced by supernatural power, he entered the body of the princess called Godimbera. He caused her to be sick with severe trembling sickness. Come thou poor and powerless devil Maha-Sohon to fight with me, and leave the princess, if thou hast sufficient strength.

On hearing these sayings, he left her, and made himself like a blue cloud, and violently covered his whole body with flames of fire. Furiously staring with his eyes, he said, "Art thou come, blockhead, to fight with me who was born in the world of men? I will take you by the legs, and dash you[192] upon the great rock Maha-meru, and quickly bring you to nothing."

Thou wast born on Sunday, the first day of the month, and didst receive permission from the King of Death, and didst brandish a sword like a plantain-leaf. Thou comest down at half-past seven, to accept the offerings made to thee.

If the devil Maha-Sohon cause the chin-cough, leanness of the body, thirst, madness, and mad babblings, he will come down at half-past seven, and accept the offerings made to him.

These are the marks of the devil Maha-Sohon: three marks on the head, one mark on the eye-brow and on the temple; three marks on the belly, a shining moon on the thigh, a lighted torch on the head, an offering and a flower on the breast. The chief god of the burying-place will say, May you live long!

Make the figure of the planets called the emblem of the great burying-place, as follows: a spear grasped by the right-hand, an elephant's figure in the left-hand, and in the act of drinking the blood of the elephant by bruising its proboscis.

Tip the point of the spear in the hand with blood, pointed towards the elephant's face in the left-hand. These effigies and offerings take and offer in the burying-place,—discerning well the sickness by means of the devil-dancer.

Make a figure of the wolf with a large breast, full of hairs on the body, and with long teeth separated from each other. The effigy of the Maha-Sohon was made formerly so.

These are the sicknesses which the great devil causes by living among the tombs: chin-cough, itching of the body, disorders in the bowels; windy complaints, dropsy, leanness of the body, weakness and consumptions.

He walks on high upon the lofty stones. He walks on the ground where three ways meet. Therefore go not in the roads by night: if you do so, you must not expect to escape with your life.[193]

Make two figures of a goose, one on each side. Make a lion and a dog to stand at the left-leg, bearing four drinking-cups on four paws—and make a moon's image, and put it in the burying-place.

Comb the hair, and tie up a large bunch with a black string. Put round the neck a cobra-capella, and dress him in the garments by making nine folds round the waist. He stands on a rock eating men's flesh. The persons that were possessed with devils are put in the burying-place.

Put a corpse at the feet, taking out the intestines through the mouth. The principal thing for this country, and for the Singhalese, is the worship of the planets.[55]

In the centre of the island is the kingdom of Kandy; naturally fortified by impervious forests, and long independent. This creates a variety; the Kandyans being somewhat ruder than the other Singhalese. It is not, however, an important one. The really important ethnology of Ceylon is that of the Vaddahs, in the eastern districts, inland of Battacaloa. They are still unmodified by either the Hindú habits, or the great Indian creeds,—the true analogues of the Khonds, and Kóls, and Bhils, &c. Their language, however, is Singhalese; an important fact, since it denotes one of two phenomena,—either the antiquity of the conquest of Ceylon supposing the extension of the Singhalese language to have been gradual, or the thorough-going character of it, if it be recent.[194]

Who were the Padæi of the following extract from Herodotus?[56]—"Other Indians there are, who live east of these. They are nomads, eaters of raw flesh; and called Padæi. They are said to have the following customs. Whenever one of their countrymen is sick, whether man or woman, he is killed. The males kill the males, and amongst these the most intimate acquaintance kill their nearest friends; for they say that for a man to be wasted by disease is for their own meat to be spoilt. The man denies that he ails; but they, not letting him have his own way, kill and feast on him. If a female be sick, the women that are most intimate with her treat her as the males do the men. They sacrifice and feast upon all who arrive at old age. Few, however, go thus far, since they kill every one who falls sick before he reaches that stage of life."

Name for name, the Vaddahs of Ceylon have a claim to be Padæi. Besides which they are Indian.

But, name for name, the Battas[57] of Sumatra have a claim as well; and although they are not exactly Indian, they are cannibals of the sort in question—or, at any rate, cannibals in a manner quite as remarkable.

This gives us a conflict of difficulties. The solution of them lies in the fact of neither Vaddah[195] nor Batta being native names; a fact which leaves us a liberty to suppose that the Padæi of Herodotus were simply some wild Indian tribe sufficiently allied in manners to the Vaddahs of Ceylon, and the Battas of Sumatra, to be called by the same name, but without being necessarily either the one or the other; or even ethnologically connected with either.

Now look at the gipsies of Great Britain. They are wanderers without fixed habitations; whilst, at the same time, they are more abundant in some parts of the island than others. They have no very definite occupation; yet they are oftener tinkers and tinmen than aught else equally legal. They intermarry with the English but little. All this is caste, although we may not exactly call it so. Then, again, they have a peculiar language, although it is so imperfectly known to the majority of the British gipsies, as to have become well-nigh extinct.[58] These gipsies are of Indian origin, and a wandering tribe of Hindostan, called Sikligurs, reminded Mr. Pickering of the European gipsies more than any other Indians he fell in with. Like these, the Sikligurs are coves, or tinkers.


This, however, is by the way. Although it is as well to make a note of the Indian extraction of the English and other European gipsies, it is not for this reason that they have been mentioned. They find a place here for the sake of illustrating what is meant by the wandering tribes of India, whilst at the same time they throw a slight illustration over the nature of castes. Lastly, they are essentially parts of an ethnological investigation—ethnological rather than either social or political. Their characteristics are referable to a difference of descent; and they are tinkers, wanderers, poachers, and smugglers, not so much because they are either gipsies, or Indians, as because they are of a different stock from the English. They are foreigners in the fullest sense of the term; and they differ from their fellow-citizens just as the Jew does—though less advantageously.

Now India swarms with the analogues of the English gipsy; so much so as to make it likely that the latter is found as far from his original country as Wales and Norway, simply because he is a vagabond, not because he is an Indian.

Of the chief of the tribes in question a good account is given by Mr. Balfour. This list, however, which is as follows, may be enlarged.

1. The Gohur are, perhaps, better known under the name of Lumbarri, and better still as[197] the Brinjarri, the bullock-drivers of many parts of India, but more especially of the Dekhan. They are corn-merchants as well. Their organization consists of divisions called Tandas, at the head of which is a Naek. Two Naeks paramount over the rest, reside permanently at Hyderabad, on the confines of the Mahratta and Telugu countries. The bullock, Hatadia, devoted to the God Balajee, is an object of worship. In a long line of Brinjarri met by Mr. Pickering,[59] one of the females was carrying a dog, which neither a Hindú nor a Parsi would have done. Many of them are Sikhs. There are, certainly, three divisions of the Gohuri—the Chouhane,[60] the Rhatore, and the Powar, and probably—

The Purmans are another branch of them; consisting of about seventy-five families of agriculturists on the Bombay islets.

2. The Bhowri, called also Hirn-shikarri and Hern-pardi, though Bhowri is the native name, are hunters. They also fall into subordinate divisions.

3. The Tarremúki; so-called by themselves, but known in the Dekhan as Ghissaris, or Bail-Kumbar, and amongst the Mahrattas, as Lohars, are blacksmiths.[198]

4. The Korawi, fall in tribes which neither eat with each other, nor intermarry, viz.:—

a. The Bajantri, who are musicians.

b. The Teling—basket-makers and prostitutes.

c. The Kolla.

d. The Soli.

5. The Bhattu, Dummur, or Kollati, are exorcists and exhibitors of feats of strength.

6. The Muddikpur, so called by themselves, though known under several other names, follow a variety of employments; some being ferrymen.

All these tribes wander about the country without any permanent home, speak a peculiar dialect with a considerable proportion of Non-Sanskritic words, and preserve certain peculiarities of creed; though in different degrees—the Muddikpur being wholly or nearly pagan, the Tarremúki Brahminic.

The wandering life of these, and other similar tribes is not, by itself, sufficient to justify us in separating them from the other Hindús. But it does not stand alone. The fragments of an earlier paganism, and the fragments of an earlier language are phenomena which must be taken in conjunction with it. These suggest the likelihood of the Gohuri, the Bhatti, and their like, being in the same category with the Khonds and Bhils, &c., i.e., representatives of the earlier and more exclusively Tamulian populations. If the gipsy language of England had, instead of its Indian[199] elements, an equal number of words from the original British, it would present the same phenomena, and lead to the same inference as that which is drawn from the Bhatti, Bhowri, Tarremúki, and Gohuri vocabularies,[61] viz.: the doctrine that fragments of the original population are to be sought for amongst the wanderers over the face of the country, as well as among the occupants of its mountain strongholds.

In a country like India, where differences of habit, business, extraction, and creed, are accompanied by an inordinate amount of separation between different sections and subsections of its population, and where slight barriers of diverse kinds prevent intermixture, the different sects of its numerous religions requires notice. This, however, may be short. As sectarianism is generally in the direct ratio to the complexity of the creed submitted to section, we may expect to find the forms of Brahminism and Buddhism, not less numerous than those of either Christianity or Mahometanism. And such is really the case. The sects are too numerous to enlarge upon. The Sikh creed has been noticed from its political importance. That of the Jains is also remarkable, since it most closely resembles Buddhism, without being absolutely[200] Buddhist in the current sense of the word. It is, possibly, the actual and original Buddhism of the continent of India—supposed to have been driven out bodily by Brahminism, but really with the true vitality of persecuted creeds, still surviving in disguise. Again, in India, though in a less degree than in China, Philosophy replaces belief—so much so, that the different forms of one negation—Natural Religion—must be classed amongst the creeds of Hindostan; by the side of which there stand many kinds of simple philosophy; just as was the case in ancient Greece, where, in one and the same city, there were the philosophers of the Academy and the believers in Zeus.

There is, then, creed within creed in the two great religions of India—to say nothing about the numerous fragments of modified and unmodified paganism.

And besides these there are the following introduced religions—each coinciding, more or less, with some ethnological division.

1. Christianity from, at least, four different sources—

a. That of the Christians of Thomas on the Malabar Coast. Here the doctrine is that of the Syrian Church, and the population being perhaps (?) Persian in origin.

b. The Romanism of the French and Portuguese;[201] the latter having its greatest development in the Mahratta country, about Goa.

c. Dutch and Danish Protestantism.

d. English and American Protestantism. To which add small infusions of the Armenian and Abyssinian churches.

Of these it is only the Christians of St. Thomas that are of much ethnological importance.

2. Judaism on the coast of Malabar; or the Judaism of the so-called Black Jews.

3. Parseeism in Gujerat; of Persian origin, and, probably, nearly confined to individuals of Persian blood.

4. Mahometanism.

Of foreign blood there are numerous infusions.

1. Arab.—On the western coast, more especially amongst the Moplahs of the neighbourhood of Goa; where the stock seems to be Arabian on the father's, and Indian on the mother's side.

2. Persian.—Amongst the Parsees and Saint Thomas Christians (?); and, far more unequivocally, and in greater proportions, amongst the Moghul families—these being always more or less Persian; but Persian with such heterogeneous intermixtures of Turk and Mongol blood besides as to make analysis almost impossible.

3. Afghan.—The Rohillas of Rohilcund are Afghan in origin; so are the Patani—indeed, the[202] term Patan means an Afghan of Hindostan wherever he may be.

4. Jewish.

5, 6, 7.—Chinese, Malay, Burmese, &c.

8. European.

Of the Indians out of India, by far the most are—

1. The Gipsies.

2. The Banians, who are the Hindú traders of Arabia, Persia, Cashmir, and other parts of the East.

3. The Hill Coolies, individuals of the Khond and Kúli class, upon whom England is trying the experiment of what may end in a revival of the old crimping system, as a substitute for slave-labour in our intertropical colonies.

Such is a sketch of the ethnology of India; pre-eminently complex, but not pre-eminently mysterious; its chief problems being—

1. The general ethnological relations of the Tamulian stock.

2. Those of the intrusive Brahminical Hindús.

3. The relation of the intrusive population to the aboriginal.[62]


[41] "Transactions of Philological Society," No. 94.

[42] Latin nurus, from snurus.

[43] Latin socer, Greek ἕκυρος.

[44] Latin socrus, Greek ἕκυρα.

[45] Latin levir (devir), Greek δαηρ.

[46] Or that, this.

[47] The full exposition of this doctrine is in the present writer's ethnological edition of the "Germania" of Tacitus; v. Æstyi.

[48] Taken from the Appendix to Captain Cunningham's "History of the Sikhs."

[49] Captain Postans, in "Transactions of Ethnological Society," who, along with Sir H. Pottinger, is my chief authority.

[50] For a description of these parts see Major Edwardes' "Year on the Punjâb Frontier."

[51] The best account of the Brahúi is to be found in Sir H. Pottinger's Travels.

[52] In the sixth century, B.C. according to the Buddhist chronology.

[53] Such, at least, is the opinion of the author of "Christianity in Ceylon," Sir E. Tennent.

[54] Names explained in Chapter iii.

[55] From Callaway's "Translation of the Kolán Nattannawa."

[56] Book iii. §. 99.

[57] The same, probably, is the case with the Bidi of Java.

[58] From this language, I imagine that the three following words have come into the English—two of them being slang and one a sporting term—rum, cove, jockey.

[59] "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal," No. 145.

[60] These names introduce a difficulty: They are Rajpút as well.

[61] All of which may be found in the paper already quoted; and all of which contain numerous Tamul roots.

[62] Since this was written Major-General Briggs' valuable paper on the Aboriginal Tribes of India, has been published in "Transactions of the British Association," &c., for 1851. Having been seen in MS. by the present writer it has been freely used.




Our isolated and small settlements in the Malayan Peninsula,[63] the depôt at Labuan, Sir James Brooke's Rajahship of Sarawak, New Zealand, the joint protectorate of the Sandwich Islands and Tahiti, Australia, and Van Dieman's Land, bring us to a new division of the human species, which is conveniently called the Oceanic.

Its divisions and subdivisions are as follows:—



Our settlements are limited to the Protonesian, Proper Polynesian, Australian, and Tasmanian sections: and we have no political authority over any of the Malagasi, Micronesians, or Papuans.

With the exception of the occupants of the Malayan Peninsula, all the Oceanic population occupy islands. This explains the term Oceanic.

Their distribution is as remarkable as their extension. The Amphinesian[64] stream of population, originating in the peninsula of Malacca, is continued through Borneo, the Moluccas, and the Philippines, Lord North's Island, Sonsoral, the Pelew group, the Caroline and Marianne Isles, the Ralik and Radack chains, the Kingsmill group and the Gilbert and Scarborough Islands, to the Navigators', Society, Friendly, Marquesas, Sandwich, and New Zealand groups; having become Micronesian rather than Protonesian, after passing the Philippines, and Proper Polynesian rather than Micronesian, after passing the Scarborough and Gilbert Archipelagoes. In this course it passes round New Guinea and Australia; in each of which islands the population is Kelænonesian.

The Malay of the Malacca peninsula is no longer either monosyllabic or uninflectional, although[205] in immediate contact with the southern dialects of the Siamese. Hence, the transition is abrupt; although by no means conclusive as to any broad and trenchant line of ethnological demarcation.

The differences of physical form are less than those of language. No one has denied that the Malay configuration is a modification of the Mongolian—at least in some of its varieties.

I say at least in some of its varieties, because within the narrow range of the Malaccan peninsula and the island of Borneo we find no less than three different types. In Polynesia one of these, and in Kelænonesia another becomes exaggerated—so much so, as to suggest the idea of a different origin for the populations.

a. The Malays are referable to the first type. Mahometans in religion, they partake of the civilization of the Arab and Indian, and differ but slightly from the Indo-Chinese nations; the complexion being dark and the hair straight. The Mahometan Malays, however, are no true aborigines. They are not only a new people on the peninsula, but they consider themselves as such; and those occupants which they recognize as older than themselves, they call Orang Binua, or men of the soil. Of these some have a darker complexion and crisper hair than the intruding population:[206] and when we reach a particular section called—

b. The Semang, we find them described as having curly, crisp, matted, and even woolly hair, thick lips, and a black skin. These, like most of the other Orang Binua, are Pagans. Still their language is essentially Malay; and their physical conformation passes into that of the Malays by numerous transitions.

c. Thirdly, we find in Borneo the Dyaks. Many of these are as much fairer than the Malays as the Semang are darker. Their language, however, belongs to the Malay class; whilst their religion and civilization may reasonably be supposed to be that of the Malays previous to the influences of Brahminism from India, Mahometanism from Arabia, and the changes effected in their habits, language, and appearance effected thereby.

It is not too much to say that within the peninsula of Malaya, the Johore Archipelago, and the island of Borneo, each of these types, and every intermediate form as well, is to be found.

Malacca.—The town of Malacca is a town of Mahometan Malays, but I believe that the eastern parts of Wellesley province are on the frontier of the Jokong, Jakon, or Jakun. These are Orang Binua, or aborigines—at least as compared with the true Malays.[207]

In the eighth century—I am drawing an illustration from the history of our own island, and its relations to continental Germany—the Anglo-Saxons of Great Britain, themselves originally Pagan Germans, took an interest in the spiritual welfare of the so-called Old Saxons, a tribe of Westphalia, immediately related to their own continental ancestors, these Old Saxons having retained their primitive Paganism. The mission partly succeeded, and partly failed.

Now, if in addition to this partial success of the Anglo-Saxon mission, there had been a partial Anglo-Saxon colonization as well, and if, side by side with this, fragments of the old unmodified Paganism had survived amongst the fens and forests up to the present time, we should have had, in the relations of England and Germany, precisely what I imagine to have been the case with the Malayan peninsula and the island of Sumatra. Like Germany, the peninsula would have supplied the original stock to the island; but, in the island, that stock would have undergone certain modifications. With these modifications it would—so to say—have been reflected back upon the continent—re-colonizing the old mother-country. Now just what the Old Saxons of Westphalia were to the Anglo-Saxons of the eighth century, are the Jakun to the true Malays. They differ from them in being something other than Mahometan;[208] i.e., in being nearly what the Mahometan Malays were before their conversion.

The Jakun are Malays, minus those points of Malay civilization which are referable to the religion of the Koran.

But the Jakun are only a few out of many; a single branch of a great stem.

The most convenient term for the members in general of this class is Orang Binua—a term already explained.

The Biduanda Kallang.—The next, then, of the Orang Binua that comes in contact with a British dependency—many others not thus politically connected with us being passed over—are the Biduanda Kallang of the parts about Sincapore. Their present locality is the banks of the most southern of the rivers of the peninsula, the Pulai. Thither they were removed when the British took possession of the island of Sincapore; of which they were previously the joint occupants—joint occupants, because they shared it with the tribe which will be next mentioned. They were an Orang Laut in one sense of the word, but not in another. Orang means men or people, and laut means sea in Malay; and the Biduanda Kallang were boatmen rather than agriculturists. But they were only freshwater sailors; since, though they lived on the water, they avoided the open sea. They formerly consisted of one hundred[209] families; but have been reduced by small-pox to eight.

Their priest or physician is called bomo, and he invokes the hantu, or deities, the anito of the Philippine Islanders, the tii of the Tahitians; and, probably, the Wandong and Vintana of Australia and Madagascar respectively.

They bury their dead after wrapping the corpse in a mat; and placing on the grave one cup of woman's milk, one of water, and one of rice; when they entreat the deceased to seek nothing more from them.

Persons of even the remotest degree of relationship are forbidden to intermarry.

The accounts of their physical appearance is taken from too few individuals to justify any generalization. Two, however, of them had the forehead broader than the cheek-bones, so that the head was pear-shaped. In a third, it was lozenge-shaped. The head was small, and the face flat. The lower jaw projected; but not the upper—so that "when viewed in profile, the features seem to be placed on a straight line, from which the prominent parts rise very slightly."[65]

The Orang Sletar.—The original joint-occupants of Sincapore with the Biduanda Kallang, were the Orang Sletar, or men of the river Sletar; differing but little from the former. Of the two[210] families they are the shyer, and the more squalid; numbering about two hundred individuals and forty boats. Their dialect is Malay, spoken with a guttural pronunciation, and with a clipping of the words.

At the birth of a child they have no ceremonies; at marriage a present of tobacco and rice to the bride's mother confirms the match; at death the deceased is wrapped in his garments and interred.

Skin diseases and deformities are common; nevertheless, many of their women are given in marriage to both the Malays and Chinese; but I know of no account of the mixed progeny.

A low retreating forehead throws the face of the Orang Sletar forwards, though the jaw is rather perpendicular than projecting.[66]

Such are the Orang Binua originally, or at present, in contact with the small and isolated possessions of the British in the Malayan peninsula.

Of the proper Malays I have said next to nothing. Excellent works give full accounts of them;[67] whilst it is not through them that the true ethnological problems are to be worked.

I believe that when we reach Borneo, the equivalents to the Orang Binua, or the original populations[211] in opposition to the Mahometan Malays, become referable to a fresh type, and that instead of being darker than the true Malays they are often lighter. At any rate, one thing is certain, viz., that, whether the skin be brown, blackish, or fair, the language belongs to the same stock.

Again—although in one area the darker tribes may preponderate, it is not to the absolute exclusion of the fairer. The Dyaks of Borneo are, generally speaking, light-complexioned; yet, there is special evidence to the existence of dark tribes in that island. On the other hand there is equal evidence to the existence of families lighter-skinned than the true Malays in the peninsula. Nevertheless, as a general rule, the departure from the type of that population is towards darkness of colour on the continent, and towards lightness in Borneo.

With what physical conditions these differences coincide is not always easy to be discerned. In the South Sea Islands, where in one and the same Archipelago, we find some tribes tall and fair, whereas others are dark and ill-featured, it has been remarked by Captain Beechy that this contrast of complexion coincides with the geological structure of the soil. The lower and more coralline the island, the blacker the islanders; the more elevated and volcanic, the lighter. In Africa, it is the low alluvia of rivers that favour[212] the Negro configuration. Mountains or table-lands, on the other hand, give us red or yellow skins, rather than sable.

The Dyaks, then, are light-coloured Pagans, speaking languages allied to the Malay; little touched by Arabic, and less by Hindú influences; with manners and customs that, more or less, re-appear amongst the Battas (or ruder tribes of Sumatra), and the so-called Harafuras of Celebes—and not only here but elsewhere. In other words, in all the islands, where Indian and Arabic civilization have not succeeded in wholly changing the primitive character, analogues of the Orang Binua are to be found; their greatest differences being those of stature and complexion—differences upon which good judges have laid great stress; but differences which will probably be found to coincide with certain geological conditions in the way of physical, and with a lower level of civilization in the way of moral causes—these moral causes having indirectly a physical action.

The Dyaks, in general, use the sumpitan, or blow-pipe, about five feet long; out of which some tribes shoot simple, others poisoned arrows. The utmost distance that the sumpitan carries is about one hundred yards. At twenty it is sure in its aim. The differences between the Dyak weapon, and one in use with the Arawaks[213] of Guiana is but trifling—perhaps it amounts to nothing at all.

Some Dyak tribes tattoo their bodies; others do not.

Before a Dyak youth marries he must lay at the feet of the bride-elect the head of an enemy. This makes head-hunting a normal item of Dyak courtship.

Traces of the Indian mythology—measures of the Indian influence in other respects—just exist amongst the Dyaks—e.g., Battara is a name in their Pantheon, and this is an alteration of the Brahminic Avatar.

The pirates who harass the coasts of Borneo and the Chinese Seas—destined, at some future time to be, like the Kaffres, but too well-known to the English tax-payers—are Malays rather than Orang Binua, or their equivalents; the navigation of the Dyaks being chiefly confined to rivers.

The particular tribes of Sarawak are the following—the Lundu, the Sarambo, the Singé, the Suntah, the Sow, and the Sibnow. It is almost unnecessary to name the great fountain-head for all our recent knowledge of Borneo—Sir James Brooke.

The Dyak type predominates amongst the Orang Binua of Borneo. In the Philippines the Semang complexion re-appears. But the prolongation[214] of the eastward line of migration takes us through the Mariannes and Ladrones to Polynesia; and here the magnitude of the islands decreases; in other words, the influences of the sea-air become greater. The aliment becomes almost wholly vegetable. The separation from the civilizational influences of Asia amounts to absolute isolation. Of the general ethnology of the South Sea Islanders I say nothing. The reasons which took me over China, Arabia, and the Malayan peninsula, sicco pede, spare the necessity of details here.

In the Sandwich Islands there is a constitution. In Tahiti, a school of native Christian Missionaries.

New Zealand exhibits the contrast between the darker and lighter-coloured Oceanic populations in so remarkable a manner as to have engendered the notion that two stocks occupy the island. If it were so, the fact would be remarkable and mysterious. How one population found its way to a locality so distant is by no means an easy question; whilst the assumption of a second family of immigrants just doubles its difficulty.[68]

In Java the proper Malay influences have been[215] so great as to leave but few traces of the Orang Binua; and, earlier even than these, those of India were actively at work.

East of Bali, however, the Orang Binua re-appear, and here the type is that of the Semangs. From Ombay, parts of Ende, and parts of Sumbawa, we have short vocabularies—short, but not too scanty to set aside the hasty, but accredited, assertion of the Australian language, having nothing in common with those of the Indian Archipelago.[69]

I feel as satisfied that Australia was peopled from either Timor or Rotti, as I do about the Gallic origin of the ancient Britons.

I believe this because the geographical positions of the countries suggest it.

I believe it, because the older and more aboriginal populations of Timor and Rotti approach, in physical character, the Australian.

I believe it, because the proportion of words in the vocabularies alluded to is greater than can be attributed to accident; whilst the words themselves are not of that kind which is introduced by intercourse. Besides which, no such intercourse either occurs at the present moment, or can be shown to have ever existed.

Australia agrees with parts of Africa, South[216] America, and Polynesia, in being partially intertropical and wholly south of the equator—no part of continental Asia or Europe coming under these conditions. But it differs from Polynesia in being continental rather than insular in climate; from South America in the absence of great rivers and vast alluvial tracts; and from Africa in being wholly isolated from the Northern Hemisphere. It is with South Africa, however, that its closest analogies exist. Both have but small water-systems; both vast tracts of elevated barren country; and both a distinctive vegetation. The animal kingdoms, however, of the two areas have next to nothing in common. The comparative non-existence of Australian mammalia, higher in rank than the marsupials, is a subject for the zoologist. Ethnology only indicates its bearing upon the sustenance of man. Poor in the vegetable elements of food, and beggarly in respect to the animal, the vast continental expanse of Australia supports the scantiest aboriginal population of the world, and nourishes it worst. The steppes of Asia feed the horse; the tundras, the reindeer; the circumpolar icebergs, the seal; and each of these comparatively inhospitable tracts is more kindly towards its Mongolian, its Samoeid, and its Eskimo occupant, than Australia with its intertropical climate, but wide and isolated deserts.[217]

Except that his hair (which is often either straight, or only crisp or wavy) has not attained its maximum of frizziness, and has seldom or never been called woolly, the Australian is a Semang under a South African climate, on a South African soil, and with more than a South African isolation.

Few Australians count as far as five, and fewer still beyond it. This paucity of numerals is South American as well—the Brazilian and Carib, and other systems of numeration being equally limited.

The sound of s is wanting in the majority of Australian languages. So it is in many of the Polynesian.

The social constitution is of extreme simplicity. Many degrees removed from the industrial, almost as far from the agricultural state, the Australian is hardly even a hunter—except so far as the kangaroo or wombat are beasts of chase. Families—scarcely large enough to be called tribes or clans—wander over wide but allotted areas. Nowhere is the approach to an organized polity so imperfect.

This makes the differences between section and section of the Australian population, both broad and numerous. Nevertheless, the fundamental unity of the whole is not only generally admitted, but—what is better—it has been well illustrated.[218] The researches of Captain Grey, Teichelmann, Schurrmann, and others, have chiefly contributed to this.

The appreciation of certain apparent characteristic peculiarities has been less satisfactory; differences having been over-rated and points of similarity wondered at rather than investigated.

The well-known instrument called the boomerang is Australian, and it is, perhaps, exclusively so.

Circumcision is an Australian practice—a practice common to certain Polynesians and Negroes, besides—to say nothing of the Jews and Mahometans.

The recognition of the maternal rather than the paternal descent is Australian. Children take the name of their mother. What other points it has in common with the Malabar polyandria has yet to be ascertained.

When an Australian dies, those words which are identical with his name, or (in case of compounds) with any part of it, cease to be used; and some synonym is adopted instead; just as if, in England, whenever a Mr. Smith departed this life, the parish to which he belonged should cease to talk of blacksmiths, and say forgemen, forgers, or something equally respectful to the deceased, instead. This custom re-appears in Polynesia, and in South America; Dobrizhoffer's account of[219] the Abiponian custom being as follows:—The "Abiponian language is involved in new difficulties by a ridiculous custom which the savages have of continually abolishing words common to the whole nation, and substituting new ones in their stead. Funeral rites are the origin of this custom. The Abipones do not like that anything should remain to remind them of the dead. Hence appellative words bearing any affinity with the names of the deceased are presently abolished. During the first years that I spent amongst the Abipones, it was usual to say Hegmalkam kahamátek, when will there be a slaughtering of oxen? On account of the death of some Abipon, the word Kahamátek was interdicted, and, in its stead, they were all commanded by the voice of a crier to say, Hegmalkam négerkatà? The word nihirenak, a tiger, was exchanged for apanigehak; peû, a crocodile, for Kaeprhak, and Kaáma, Spaniards, for Rikil, because these words bore some resemblance to the names of Abipones lately deceased. Hence it is that our vocabularies are so full of blots occasioned by our having such frequent occasions to obliterate interdicted words, and insert new ones."

The following custom is Australian, and it belongs to a class which should always be noticed when found. This is because it appears and re-appears[220] in numerous parts of the world, in different forms, and, apparently, independent of ethnological affinities.

A family selects some natural object as its symbol, badge, or armorial bearing.

All natural objects of the same class then become sacred; i.e., the family which has adopted, respects them also.

The modes of showing this respect are various. If the object be an animal, it is not killed; if a plant, not plucked.

The native term for the object thus chosen is Kobong.

A man cannot marry a woman of the same Kobong.

Until we know the sequence of the cause and effect in the case of the Australian Kobong, we have but little room for speculation as to its origin. Is the plant or animal adopted by a particular family selected because it was previously viewed with a mysterious awe, or is it invested with the attributes of sacro-sanctity because it has been chosen by the family? This has yet to be investigated.

Meanwhile, as Captain Gray truly remarks, the Australian Kobong has elements in common with the Polynesian tabu! Might he not have added that the names are probably the same? The change from t to k, and the difference between a[221] nasal and a vowel termination, are by no means insuperable objections.

He also adds that it has a counterpart with the American system of totem; although the exact degree to which the comparison runs on all fours is undetermined.

But the disuse of certain words on the death of kinsmen, and the Kobong are not the only customs common to the Australian and American.

The admission to the duties and privileges of manhood is preceded by a probation. What this is in the Mandan tribe of the Sioux Americans, and the extent to which it consists in the infliction and endurance of revolting and almost incredible cruelties, may be seen in Mr. Catlin's description—the description of an eye-witness. In Australia it is the Babu that cries for the youths that have arrived at puberty. Suddenly, and at night, a cry is heard in the woods. Upon hearing this, the men of the neighbourhood take the youths to a secluded spot previously fixed upon. The ceremony then takes place. Sham fights, dances, partial mutilations of the body, e.g., the knocking out of a front tooth, are elements of it. And this is as much as is known of it; except that from the time of initiation to the time of marriage, the young men are forbidden to speak to, or even approach a female.

Surely, it is the common conditions of a hunter[222] life which determine these probationary preparations for the hardships which accompany it in populations so remote as the Australian and the American of the prairie. I say of the prairie, because we shall find that in the proportion as the agricultural state replaces the erratic habits of the hunter, ceremonies of the sort in question decrease both in number and peculiarity of character.

A third regulation forbids the use of the more enviable articles of diet, like fish, eggs, the emu, and the choicer sorts of opossum and kangaroo to the Australian youth.

All that is known of the Australian religion is due to the researches of the United States Exploring Expedition. The most specific fact in this respect is the name Wandong as applied to the evil spirit. I believe this to be truly a word belonging to the Oceanic Pantheon in general, and—as stated above—to be the same as Vintana in Malagasi, and as the root anit in many of the Polynesian languages.

The Tasmanians.—A few families, the remains of the aborigines of Van Dieman's Land, occupy Flinder's Island, whither they have been removed.

I can give but little information concerning them.

From the Australians they differ but slightly in mental capacity, and civilizational development.[223] Perhaps their very low level in this respect is the lower of the two.

The language seems to have fallen into not less than four mutually unintelligible forms of speech.

Their hair constituted their chief physical difference. This was curled, frizzy, or mopped.

The a priori view of their origin is that they crossed Torres Straits from Australia. I have, however, stated elsewhere that a case may be made out for either Timor or New Caledonia being their mother countries; in which case the stream of population has gone round Australia rather than across it. Certain peculiarities of the Tasmanian language give us the ground for thus demurring to the primâ facie view of their descent. The same help us to account for the differences in texture of the hair.[70]


[63] Malacca, Wellesley Province, Penang, and Sincapore. For excellent information about the ethnology of these parts see Newbold's "British Settlements," and the "Journal of the Indian Archipelago."

[64] From ἀμφὶ (amfi) roundabout, and νῆσος (næsos) an island.

[65] Logan in "Journal of the Indian Archipelago," vol. i.

[66] Logan and Thompson in "Journal of the Indian Archipelago," vol. i.

[67] Especially Crawfurd's "Indian Archipelago," Sir Stamford Raffles' "History of Java," and Marsden's "Sumatra."

[68] Dr. Dieffenbach's work on New Zealand is the repertory of details here—a valuable and standard book.

[69] The collation of these may be seen in the Appendix to Mr. Jukes' "Voyage of the Fly."

[70] In the Appendix to Jukes' "Voyage of the Fly," and in "Man and his Migrations."





The Athabaskans.—The best starting-point for the ethnology of the British dependencies in America is the water-system of the largest of the rivers which empty themselves into the Polar Sea, a system which comprises the Rivers Peel, Dahodinni, and the Rivière aux Liards, tributaries to the McKenzie, as well as the Great Bear Lake, the Great Slave Lake, and Lake Athabaska; a vast tract, and one which is almost wholly occupied by a population belonging to one and[225] the same class; a class sometimes known under the name Chepewyan, or Chepeyan, sometimes under that of Athabaskan.

The water-system in question forms the centre of the great Athabaskan area—the centre, but not the whole. Eastward, there are Athabaskan tribes as far as the coasts of Hudson's Bay; westwards as far as the immediate neighbourhood of the Pacific; and southwards as far as the head-waters of the Saskatchewan. Full nineteen-twentieths of the Athabaskan population, in respect to its political relations, is British; all that is not British being either Russian or American. To this we may add, that it is the Hudson's Bay territory rather than Canada to which the British Athabaskans belong.

The divisions and subdivisions of the Athabaskans are as follows:—

1. The Sí-ísaw-dinni (See-eesaw-dinneh), or rising-sun-men.—These, generally called either Chipewyans, or Northern Indians, are the most eastern members of the family, and extend from the mouth of the Churchill River to Lake Athabaska. I imagine that the Brushwood, Birchrind, and Sheep Indians are particular divisions of this branch.

2. The Beaver Indians.—From the Lake Athabaska to the Rocky Mountain, i.e., the valley of the Peace River.[226]

3. The Daho-dinni.—On the head-waters of the Rivière aux Liards. Called also Mauvais Monde.

4. The Strong-Bows.—Mountaineers of the upper part of the Rocky Mountains.

5. The Kancho.—Called also Hare and Slave Indians. Starved and miserable occupants of the parts along the River McKenzie between the Slave and Great Bear Lakes. Accused of occasional cannibalism, justified by the pressure of famine. Due east of these come—

6. The Dog-ribs, and

7. The Yellow-knives, on the Copper River; these last being also called the Copper Indians.

8, 9. The Slaous-cud-dinni[71] of the McKenzie River is, probably, a division of some of the other groups rather than a separate substantive class.

10. The Takulli.[72]—These fall into eleven minor tribes or clans.

a. The Taú-tin; probably the same as the Naote-tains.

b. The Tshilko-tin.

c. The Nasko-tin.

d. The Thetlio-tin.

e. The Tsatsno-tin.[227]

f. The Nulaáu-tin.

g. The Ntsaáu-tin.

h. The Natliáu-tin.

i. The Nikozliáu-tin.

j. The Tatshiáu-tin.

k. The Babine Indians.

11. The Susi (Sussees).—On the head-waters of the Saskatchewan.

New Caledonia is the chief area of the Takulli.

Adjacent to them, but to the east of the Rocky Mountains, lie—

12. The Tsikani (Sicunnies).

The Athabaskan is the first class in our list; and, if we look only at the area which its population occupies, it is a great one. All the Athabaskan languages or dialects are mutually intelligible.

The Algonkins.—The second class is the Algonkin. It is greater in every way than the Athabaskan—greater in respect to the number of its divisions and subdivisions, greater in respect to the ground it covers, and greater in respect to the range of difference which it embraces. All the Algonkin languages are not mutually intelligible.

Unlike the Athabaskan the Algonkin stock is nearly equally divided between the United States and Great Britain.

Unlike, too, the Athabaskan, it is divided[228] between the Canadas and our other possessions and the Hudson's Bay territory.

The whole of the Canadas, with one small but important exception, the whole of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and Prince Edward's Isle, is Algonkin. Labrador and Newfoundland are chiefly Algonkin.

To this stock belonged and belong the extinct and extant Indians of New England, part of New York, part of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, part of the Carolinas, and part of even Kentucky and Tennessee; a point of American rather than of British ethnology, but a point necessary to be noted for the sake of duly appreciating the magnitude of this stock.

Amongst others, the Pequods, the Mohicans, the Narragansetts, the Massachuset, the Montaug, the Delaware, the Menomini, the Sauks, the Ottogamis, the Kikkapús, the Potawhotamis, the Illinois, the Miami, the Piankeshaws, the Shawnos, &c. belong to this stock—all within the United States.

The British Algonkins are as follows:—

1. The Crees; of which the Skoffi and Sheshatapúsh of Labrador are branches.

2. The Ojibways;[73] falling into—

a. The Ojibways Proper, of which the Sauteurs are a section.[229]

b. The Ottawas of the River Ottawa.

c. The original Indians of Lake Nipissing; important because it is believed that the form of speech called Algonkin, a term since extended to the whole class, was their particular dialect. They are now either extinct or amalgamated with other tribes.

d. The Messisaugis, to the north of Lake Ontario.

3. The Micmacs of New Brunswick, Gaspé, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and part of Newfoundland; closely allied to the—

4. Abnaki of Mayne, and the British frontier; represented at present by the St. John's Indians.

5. The Bethuck—the aborigines of Newfoundland.

6. The Blackfoots, consisting of the—

a. Satsikaa, or Blackfoots Proper.

b. The Kena, or Blood Indians.

c. The Piegan.

To these must be added numerous extinct tribes.

The Iroquois.—The single and important exception to the Algonkin population of the Canadas is made by the existence of certain members of the great Iroquois class on the New York frontier; a class falling into two divisions. The northern Iroquois belong to New York and Pennsylvania, the southern to the Carolinas.[230]

The former of these two falls into two great confederations, and into several unconfederate tribes.

The chief of the unconfederate tribes are the now extinct Mynkasar and Cochnowagoes—extinct, unless either or both be represented by a small remnant mentioned by Schoolcraft, in his great work on the Indian tribes, now in the course of publication, under the sanction of Congress, as the St. Regis Indians.

Of the second confederation the leading members were the Wyandots, or Hurons, of the parts between Lakes Simcoe, Huron, and Erie.

The first was that of the famous and formidable Mohawks. To these add the Senekas, the Onondagos, the Cayugas, and the Oneidas, and you have the Five Nations. Then add, as a later accession, from the southern Iroquois, the Tuskaroras, and the Six Nations are formed.

Between these two there was war even to the knife; the greater portion of the Wyandot league belonging to the Algonkin class.

Nevertheless, a few representatives of the whole seven tribes[74] still remain extant, their present locality—a reserve—being the triangular peninsula which was the original Huron area.

Again, in the present site of Montreal, the earlier occupants were the Hochelaga; an Iroquois tribe also.[231]

The Sioux.—In tracing the Nelson River from its embouchure in Hudson's Bay, towards its source in the Rocky Mountains, we reach Lake Winnepeg, and the Red River Settlement—the Red River rising within the boundary of the United States, flowing from south to north, and receiving, as a feeder, the Assineboin. Now the Valley of the Assineboin is an interesting ethnological locality.

Either the river takes its name from the population, or the population from the river; the division to which it belongs being a new one. Different from the Algonkins on the east, different from the Athabaskans on the north, and (in the present state of our knowledge) different from the Arrapahoes on the west, the Assineboins have all their affinities southwards. In that direction the family to which they belong extends as far as Louisiana. These Indians it is to whom nine-tenths of the Valley of Missouri originally belonged—the Indians of the great Sioux class; Indians whose original hunting-grounds included the vast prairie-country from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi, and who again appear as an isolated detachment on Lake Michigan. These isolated Sioux are the Winebagoes; the others being the Dahcota, the Yankton, the Teton, the Upsaroka, the Mandan, the Minetari, the Missouri, the Osage, the Konzas, the Ottos, the[232] Omahaws, the Puncas, the Ioways, and the Quappas,—all American, i.e., belonging to the United States.

None of the Sioux tribe come in contact with the sea. None of them belong to the great forest districts of America. Most of them hunt over the country of the buffalo. This makes them warlike, migratory hunters; with fewer approaches to agricultural or industrial civilization than any Indians equally favoured by soil and climate.

Of this class the Assineboins are the British representatives. They are the chief Red River aborigines.

It is the Iroquois, the Sioux, and certain members of the Algonkin stock, upon which the current and popular notions of the American Indian, the Red Man, as he is called—

The Stoic of the woods, the man without a tear, &c.,

have been formed. The Athabaskans, on the other hand, have not contributed much to our notions on this point. In the first place, they are less known; in the next, they are less typical.

But this raises their value in the eyes of the ethnologist; and the very fact of their possessing certain characteristics, in a comparatively slight degree, makes them all the fitter for illustrating the phenomena of transition.

Previous, however, to this, we must get our[233] other extreme. This is to be found in the ethnology of—

The Eskimo.—It is a very easy matter for an artistic ethnologist to make some fine light-and-shade contrasts between two populations, where he has an Iroquois or a Sioux at one end, and an Eskimo of Labrador at the other. An oblique eye, bleared and sore from the glare of the snow, with a crescentic fold overshadowing the caruncula lacrymalis, surmounted by a low forehead and black shaggy locks, with cheek-bones of such inordinate development as to make the face as broad as it is long, are elements of ugliness which catch the imagination, and produce a caricature, where we want a picture. And they are elements of ugliness which can be accumulated. We may add to them, a nose so flat, and cheeks so fleshy, as for a ruler, placed across the latter, to leave the former untouched. We may then notice the state of the teeth, from the mastication of injurious substances; and having thus exhausted nature, we may revert to the deformities of art. We may observe that wherever there is a fleshy portion of the face that can be perforated by a stone knife, or pierced by a whalebone, there will be tattooing and incisions; and that wherever there are incisions, bones, nails, feathers, and such like ornaments will be inserted. All this is the case. What European ladies do with their ears, the[234] Eskimo does with the cartilage of his nose, the lips, the corners of his mouth, and the cheeks. More than this—in the lower lip, parallel to the mouth, and taking the guise of a mouth additional, a slit is made quite through the lip, large enough to allow the escape of spittle and the protrusion of the tongue. The insertion of a shell or bone, cut into the shape of teeth, completes the adornment.

Then comes the question of colour. The Indian has a tinge of red; a tinge which enables us to compare his skin to copper. The Eskimo is simply brown, swarthy, or tawny.

Again, the Eskimo hold periodical fairs. Whales are scarce in the south, and wood in the north of Greenland; and in consequence of this, there are regular meetings for the business of barter. This gives us the elements of commercial industry; elements which must themselves be taken in conjunction with the maritime habits of the people. What stronger contrast can we find to all this than the gloomy isolation of the hunters of the prairie-countries, whether Sioux, Iroquois, or Algonkin?

Again, it is safe, in the way of intellectual capacity, to give the Eskimo credit for ingenuity and imitativeness. The Indian, of the type which we have chosen to judge him by, is pre-eminently indocile and inflexible.

Yet all this, with much more besides, is capable[235] of great qualification—qualification which we find necessary, whether we look to the extent to which the Eskimos approach the Indian, or the Indian the Eskimo—each receding from its own more extreme representative.

The prominence of the nasal bones is certainly common amongst the Red Indian tribes; and rare amongst the Eskimo. Yet it is neither universal in the one, nor non-existent in the other. Oval features, a mixture of red in the complexion, an aquiline nose, have all been observed amongst the more favoured of the Circumpolar men and women.

In respect, too, to stature, the Eskimo is less remarkable for inferiority than is generally supposed. His bulky, baggy dress makes him look square and short. Measurements, however, correct this impression. Men of the height of five feet ten inches have been noticed as particular specimens—better grown individuals than their fellows. And men under five feet have also been noticed for the contrary reasons. Numerous measurements, however, give about five feet as the height of an Eskimo woman, and five feet six inches as that of a man. This is more than so good an authority as Mr. Crawfurd gives to the Malays; whose person is squat, and whose average stature does not exceed five feet three or four inches. It is more, too, than Sir R. Schomburgk[236] gives the Guiana Indians, as may be seen from the following table:—

1248510 14411310 15410 3551510 14}48
1546 16}49510 1551 15
1651110 17 1450

It is more than the average of several other populations.

Neither is the Eskimo skull so wholly different from the American. It is, probably, larger in its dimensions; so that its cavity contains more cubic inches. The measurements, however, which suggest this view, are but few. On the other hand, the relations between the width and the depth of the skull, are considered important and distinctive.

By width is meant the number of inches from side to side, from one parietal bone to the other; in other words, the parietal diameter.

Depth signifies the length of the occipito-frontal diameter, or the number of inches from the forehead to the back of the skull.

Now, in one out of four of the Eskimo crania examined by Dr. Morton, the parietal diameter so nearly approaches the occipito-frontal as for the skull in question to be as much as 5·4 inches in width, and as little as 5·7 in depth;[237] a measurement which makes the Eskimo brain almost as broad as it is long. Valeat quantum. It is an extreme specimen. The remainder are as 5·5 to 7·3; as 5·1 to 7·5; and as 5 to 6·7, proportions by no means exclusively Eskimo, and proportions which occur in very many of the undeniably American stocks.

Likeness there is; and variety there is;—likeness in physical feature, likeness in language, and likeness in the general moral and intellectual characteristics. And then there is variety—variety in all the details of their arts; variety in their bows, their canoes, their dwellings, their fashions in the way of incisions and tattooings, and their fashions in the dressing of their hair.

This is as much as can be said about the Eskimo at present. It is, however, preparatory to the general statement that all the remaining Indians of British North America recede from the Sioux and Iroquois type, and approach that of the family in question. Such, indeed, has been the case, though (perhaps) in a less degree, with one of the classes already considered—the Athabaskan.

The Kolúch.—The extreme west of the British possessions beyond the Rocky Mountains, north of latitude 55° is but imperfectly known. Indeed, for scientific, and, perhaps, for political purposes as well, the country is unfortunately divided. The Russians have the long but narrow[238] strip of coast; and, consequently, limit their investigations to its bays and archipelagoes. The British, on the contrary, though they possess the interior, have no great interest in the parts about the Russian boundary. In the way of trade, they are not sufficiently on the sea for the sea-otter, nor near enough the mountains for other fur-bearing animals.

Now, the mouth of the Stikin River is Russian, the head-waters British. Beyond these, we have the water-system of the McKenzie—for that river, although falling into the Arctic Sea, has a western fork, which breaks through the barrier of the Rocky Mountains, and changes in direction from west and south-west to north. Lake Simpson, Lake Dease, and the River Turnagain belong to this branch; the tract in which they lie being a range of highlands, if not of mountains.

This is the country of the Nehannis; conterminous on the south with that of the Takulli, and on the north-east with that of the Dahodinni. How far, however, it extends towards the Russian boundary and in the north-west direction I cannot say.

The Nehannis are, probably, the chief British representatives of the class called Kolúch.[75] Assuming this—although from the want of a[239] special Nehanni vocabulary, the philological evidence is wanting—I begin with the notice of the Nehannis, as known to the Hudson's Bay Company, and afterwards superadd a sketch of the Sitkans, as known to the Russians of New Archangel; the two notices together giving us the special description of a family, and the general view of the class to which that family belongs.

That the Nehannis are brave, warlike, and turbulent, is no more than is expected. We are far beyond the latitude of the peaceful Eskimo. That they are ruled by a woman should surprise us. Such, however, is the case. A female rules them—and rules them, too, with a rod of iron. Respect for sex has here attained its height. It had begun to be recognized amongst the Athabaskans.

The Nehannis are strong enough to rob; but they are also civilized enough to barter; buying of the inland tribes, and selling to the Russians—a practice which seems to divert the furs of British territory to the markets of Muscovy. But this is no business of the ethnologist's. They are slavers and slave-owners; ingenious and imitative; fond of music and dancing; fish-eaters; active in body; bold and treacherous in temper; and with the common Kolúch physiognomy and habits.

These we must collect from the descriptions of the Russian Kolúches—the locality where they[240] have been best studied being Sitka Sound, or New Archangel. We must do it, however, mutatis mutandis, i.e., remembering that the Sitkans are Kolúch of an Archipelago, the Nehanni Kolúch of a continent.

The Kolúch complexion is light; the hair long and lank; the eyes black; and the lip and chin often bearded.

The Konægi are the natives of the island Kadiak. Now Lisiansky, from whom the chief details of the Sitkan Kolúch are taken, especially states that, with few exceptions, their manners and customs are those of these same Konægi; one of the minor points of difference being the greater liveliness of the Sitkans, and one of the more important ones, their treatment of the dead. They burn the bodies (as do the Takulli Athabaskans) and deposit the ashes in wooden boxes placed upon pillars, painted or carved, more or less elaborately, according to the wealth of the deceased.

On the death of a toyon, or chief, one of his slaves is killed and burned with him. If, however, the deceased be of inferior rank the victim is buried. If the death be in battle, the head, instead of being burned, is kept in a wooden box of its own. But it is not with the shaman as with the warrior. The shaman is merely interred; since he is supposed to be too full of the evil[241] spirit to be consumed by fire. The reason why burning is preferred to burying is because the possession of a piece of flesh is supposed to enable its owner to do what mischief he pleases.

Now the Konægi are admitted Eskimo.

Notwithstanding the similarity between the Sitkans and Konægi there is no want of true American customs amongst them. Cruelty to prisoners, indifference to pain when inflicted on themselves, and the habit of scalping are common to the Indians of King George's Archipelago, and those of the water-system of the Mississippi. On the other hand, they share the skill in painting and carving with the Chenúks and the aborigines of the Oregon.

The Digothi.—The Dahodinni are Athabaskan rather than Kolúch; the Nehanni Kolúch rather than Athabaskan. Now I imagine that the Dahodinni country is partially encircled by Kolúch populations, and that a fresh branch of this stock re-appears when we proceed northwards. On the Lower McKenzie, in the valley of the Peel River, and at the termination of the great Rocky Range on the shore of the Polar Sea, we find the Digothi or Loucheux; the only family not belonging to the Eskimo class, which comes in contact with the ocean; and, consequently, the only unequivocally Indian population which interrupts the continuity of the Eskimo from Behring's Straits to the Atlantic.[242] Perhaps the alluvium of a great river like the McKenzie, has determined this displacement. Such an occupancy would be as naturally coveted by an inland population, as undervalued by a maritime one. At any rate, the Loucheux have the appearance of being an encroaching tenantry; indeed, few Indians have had their physical appearance described in terms equally favourable. Black-haired and fair-complexioned, with fine sparkling eyes, and regular teeth, they approach the Nehanni in physiognomy, and surpass them in stature. The same authority which expressly states that the Nehanni are not generally tall, speaks to the athletic proportions and tall stature of the Loucheux; adding that their countenances are handsome and expressive.

Whence came they? From the south-east, from Russian America. Their points of contrast to the Eskimo indicate this. Their points of contrast to the Athabaskans indicate it also. Their points of similarity to the Kolúch do more. The Loucheux possessive pronoun is the same as the Kenay. Thus—


Fuller descriptions, however, of both the Loucheux and Nehanni are required before we can decidedly pronounce them to be Kolúch; indeed,[243] so high an authority as Gallatin places the latter amongst the Athabaskans.

The Fall Indians.—In a MS. communicated by Mr. Gallatin to Dr. Prichard, and, by the latter kindly lent to myself, and examined by me some years back, was a vocabulary of the language of the Indians of the Falls of the Saskatchewan. In this their native name was written Ahnenin. Mr. Hale, however, calls them Atsina. Which is correct is difficult to say.

Gros ventres is another of their designations; Minetari of the Prairie another. This last is inconvenient, as well as incorrect, since the true Minetari are a Sioux tribe, different in language, manners, and descent.

Arrapaho is a third synonym; and this is important, since there are other Arrapahoes as far south as the Platte and Arkansas Rivers.

The identity of name is primâ facie evidence of two tribes so distant as those of Arkansas and the Saskatchewan being either offsets from one another, or else from some common stock; but it is not more. Nothing can be less conclusive. This has just been shown to be in the case of the term Minetari.

The Ahnenin, or Atsina language is peculiar; though the confederacy to which the Indians who speak it belong, is the Blackfoot.

Of the southern Arrapaho we have no vocabulary;[244] neither do we know whether the name be native or not.

A tract still stands over for notice. As we have no exact northern limits for the Nehanni, no exact western ones for the Dahodinni, and no exact southern ones for the Loucheux, the parts due east of the Russian boundary are undescribed.

I can only contribute to the ethnology here.

The Ugalentses.—Round Mount St. Elias we have a population of Ugalentses or Ugalyakhmutsi. Though said to consist of less than forty families,[76] as their manners are migratory, it is highly probable that some of them are British.

The Tshugatsi.—In contact with the Ugalents, who are transitional between the true Eskimo and the true Kolúch, the Tshugatsi are unequivocally Eskimo. The parts about Prince William's Sound are their locality.

The Haidah.—Queen Charlotte's, and the southern extremity of the Prince of Wales' Archipelago, are the parts to which the Indians speaking the Haidah language have been referred. In case, however, any members of their family extend into the British territory, they are mentioned here.

Three Haidah tribes are more particularly named—

a. The Skittegat.[245]

b. The Cumshahas—a name remarkably like that of the Chimsheyan, hereafter to be noticed.

c. The Kygani.

The Tungaas.—This is the name of the language of the most Northern Indians, with which the Hudson's Bay Company comes in contact. It is Kolúch; and more Russian than British.

The chief authority is Dr. Scouler. The whole of his valuable remarks upon the North-western Indians, is a commentary upon the assertion already made as to the extent which we have formed our ideas of the Aboriginal American upon the Algonkins and Iroquois exclusively; and his facts are a correction to our inferences. In what way do the moral and intellectual characters of the Western Indians differ from those of the Eastern? I shall give the answer in Dr. Scouler's only terms. They are less inflexible in character. Their range of ideas is greater. They are imitative and docile. They are comparatively humane.[77] No scalping. No excessive torture of prisoners. No probationary inflictions.

Now—whether negative or positive—there is not one of those characteristics wherein the Western American differs from the Eastern, in which he does not, at the same time, approach the Eskimo. In the absence of the scalping-knife, the tomahawk,[246] the council fire, the wampum-belt, the hero chief, and the metaphorical orator, the Eskimo differs from the Ojibway, the Huron, and the Mohawk. True. But the Haidah and the Chimsheyan do the same.

The religion of the Algonkin and Iroquois is Shamanistic; like the Negro of Africa they attribute to some material object mysterious powers. As far as the term has been defined, this is Feticism. But, then, like the Finn, and the Samoeid of Siberia, they either seek for themselves or reverence in others, the excitement of fasting, charms, and dreams. As far as the term has been defined this is Shamanism. Now lest our notions as to the religion of the Indians be rendered unduly favourable through the ideas of pure theism, called up by the missionary term Great Spirit, we must simply remember, in the first place, that the term is ours, not theirs; and that those who, by looking to facts rather than words, have criticised it, have arrived at the conclusion that the creed of the Indians of the St. Lawrence and Mississippi is neither better nor worse than the creed of the Indians of the Columbia. Both are alike, Shamanistic. And so is the Eskimo.

The names in detail of the Indians of British Oregon, over and above those of the Athabaskan family already enumerated, are as follows; Dr.[247] Scouler still being the authority, and, along with him, Mr. Tolmie and Mr. Hale.

1. The Chimsheyan, or Chimmesyan, on the sea-coast and islands about 55° North lat. Their tribes are the Naaskok, the Chimsheyan Proper, the Kitshatlah, and the Kethumish.

2. The Billichula, on the mouth of the Salmon River.

3. The Hailtsa, on the sea-coast, from Hawkesbury Island to Broughton's Archipelago, and (perhaps) the northern part of Quadra's and Vancouver's Island. Their tribes are the Hyshalla, the Hyhysh, the Esleytuk, the Weekenoch, the Nalatsenoch, the Quagheuil, the Ttatla-shequilla, and the Lequeeltoch. The numerals from Fitz-Hugh Sound will be noticed in the sequel.

4. The Nutka Sound Indians occupy the greater part of Quadra's and Vancouver's Island, speak the Wakash language, and fall into the following tribes—

a. The Naspatl.

b. The Nutkans Proper.

c. The Tlaoquatsh.

d. The Nittenat.

5. The Shushwah, or Atna, are bounded on the north by the Takulli, belong to the interior rather than the coast, are members of a large family, called the Tsihaili-Selish, extending far into the United States. According to Mr. Hale, they present[248] the remarkable phenomenon of an aboriginal stock having increased from about four hundred to twelve hundred, instead of diminishing.

6. The Kitunaha, Cutanies, or Flat-bows, hardy, brave and shrewd hunters on the Kitunaha, or Flat-bow River, and conterminous with the Blackfoots, are the Oregon Indians whose habits most closely approach those of the Indians to the east of the Rocky Mountains.

To some of these I now return, since three points of Algonkin ethnology require special notice.

a. The Nascopi or Skoffi.—This is a frontier tribe. Much as we connect the ideas of cold and cheerless sterility with the inclement climate and naked moorlands of Labrador, and much as we connect the Eskimo as a population with a similarly inhospitable country, it is only the coast of that vast region which is thus tenanted. On Hudson's Straits there are Eskimo; on the Straits of Belleisle there are Eskimo; along the intervening coast there are Eskimo, and as far south as Anticosti there are Eskimo, but in the interior there are no Eskimo. Instead of them we find the Skoffi, and the Sheshatapúsh—subsections (as stated before) of the same section of the great Algonkin stock. In them we have a measure of the effect of external conditions upon different members of the same class. Between[249] the Skoffi of Mosquito Bay and the Pamticos of Cape Hatteras we have more than 25° of latitude combined with a difference of other physical conditions which more than equals the difference between north and south. Yet the contrast between the Algonkin and other inhabitants of Labrador is as evident (though not, perhaps, so great) as that between the Greenlander and the Virginian; so that just as the Norwegian is distinguishable from the Laplander so is the Skoffi from Eskimo.

Dirtier and coarser than any other Algonkins, the Nascopi hunts and fishes for his livelihood exclusively; depending most upon the autumnal migrations of the reindeer; and, next to that, upon his net. This he sets under the ice, during the earlier months of the winter. After December, however, he would set them in vain; the fish being, then, all in the deep water. Woman, generally a drudge in North America, is pre-eminently so with the Nascopis. All that the man does, is the killing of the game. The woman brings it home. The woman also drags the loaded sledges from squatting to squatting, clears the ground, and collects fuel; whilst the man sits idle and smokes. Of such domestic slaves more than one is allowed; so that as far as the Nascopi recognizes marriage at all, he is a polygamist. In this sense the contracting parties are respectively the[250] parents of the couple—the bride and bridegroom being the last parties consulted. When all has been arranged, the youth proceeds to his father-in-law's tent, remains there a year, and then departs as an independent member of the community. Cousins are addressed as brothers or sisters; marriage between near relations is allowed; and so is the marriage of more than one sister successively.

The Paganism of the Nascopi is that of the other Cree tribes; their Christianity still more partial and still more nominal. Sometimes rolling in abundance, sometimes starving, they are attached to the Whites by but few artificial wants; the few fur-bearing animals of their country being highly prized, and, consequently, going a long way as elements of barter. Their dress is almost wholly of reindeer skin; their travelling gear a leathern bag with down in it, and a kettle. In this bag the Nascopi thrusts his legs, draws his knees up to his chin, and defies both wind and snow.

This account has been condensed from M'Lean's "Five and Twenty Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory." I subjoin the remainder in his own words: "The horrid practice still obtains among the Nascopis of destroying their parents and relatives, when old age incapacitates them for further exertion. I must, however, do[251] them the justice to say, that the parent himself expresses a wish to depart, otherwise the unnatural deed would probably never be committed, for they, in general, treat their old people with much care and tenderness. The son, or nearest relative, performs the office of executioner—the self-devoted victim being disposed of by strangulation."

b. The Aborigines of Newfoundland.—Sebastian Cabot brought three Newfoundlanders to England. They were clothed in beasts' skin, and ate raw flesh. This last is an accredited characteristic of the Eskimo; and, thus far, the evidence is in favour of the savages in question belonging to that stock. Yet it is more than neutralized by what follows; since Purchas states that two years after he saw two of them, dressed like Englishmen, "which, at that time, I could not discover from Englishmen, till I learned what they were."

Now as the Bethuck—the aborigines in question—have either been cruelly exterminated, or exist in such small numbers as not to have been seen for many years, it has been a matter of doubt whether they were Eskimo or Micmacs, the present occupants of the island. Reasons against either of these views are supplied by a hitherto unpublished Bethuck vocabulary, with which I have been kindly furnished by my friend Dr. King,[252] of the Ethnological Society. This makes them a separate section of the Algonkins. Such I believe them to have been, and have placed them accordingly.

c. The Fitz-Hugh Sound Numerals.—These are nearly the same as the Hailtsa. On the other hand, they agree with the Blackfoot in ending in -scum.

Now if the resemblance go farther, so as really to connect the Blackfoot with the Hailtsa, it brings the Algonkin class of languages across the whole breadth of the continent, and as far as the shores of the Pacific.

The Moskito Indians are no subjects of England, any more than the Tahitians are of France, or the Sandwich Islanders of America, France, and England conjointly. The Moskito coast is a Protectorate: and the Moskito Indians are the subjects of a native king.

The present reigning monarch was educated under English auspices at Jamaica, and, upon attaining his majority, crowned at Grey Town. I believe that his name is that of the grandfather of our late gracious majesty. King George, then, king of the Moskitos, has a territory extending from the neighbourhood of Truxillo to the lower part of the River San Juan; a territory whereof, inconveniently for Great Britain, the United[253] States, and the commerce of the world at large, the limits and definition are far from being universally recognized. Nicaragua has claims, and the Isthmus canal suffers accordingly.

The king of the Moskito coast, and the emperor of the Brazil, are the only resident sovereigns of the New World.

The subjects of the former are, really, the aborigines of the whole line of coast between Nicaragua and Honduras—there being no Indians remaining in the former republic, and but few in the latter. Of these, too—the Nicaraguans—we have no definite ethnological information. Mr. Squier speaks of them as occupants of the islands of the lakes of the interior. Colonel Galindo also mentions them; but I infer, from his account, that their original language is lost, and that Spanish is their present tongue; just as it is said to be that of the aborigines of St. Salvador and Costa Rica. This makes it difficult to fix them. And the difficulty is increased when we resort to history, tradition, and archæology. History makes them Mexicans—Asteks from the kingdom of Montezuma, and colonists of the Peninsula, just as the Phœnicians were of Carthage. Archæology goes the same way. A detailed description of Mr. Squier's discoveries, is an accession to ethnology which is anxiously expected. At any rate, stone ruins and carved decorations have been[254] found; so that what Mr. Stephenson has written about Yucatan and Guatemala, may be repeated in the case of Nicaragua. Be it so. The difficulty will be but increased; since whatever facts makes Nicaragua Mexican, isolates the Moskitos. They are now in contact with Spaniards and Englishmen—populations whose civilization differs from their own; and populations who are evidently intrusive and of recent origin. Precisely the same would be the case, if the Nicaraguans were made Mexican. The civilization would be of another sort; the population which introduced it would be equally intrusive; and the only difference would be a difference of stage and degree—a little earlier in the way of time, and a little less contrast in the way of skill and industry.

But the evidence in favour of the Mexican origin of the Nicaraguans, is doubtful; and so is the fact of their having wholly lost their native tongue; and until one of these two opinions be proved, it will be well to suspend our judgment as to the isolation of the Moskitos. If, indeed, either of them be true, their ethnological position will be a difficult question. With nothing in Honduras to compare them with—with nothing tangible, or with an apparently incompatible affinity in Nicaragua—with only very general miscellaneous affinities in Guatemala—their ethnological affinities are as peculiar as their political constitution.[255] Nevertheless, isolated as their language is, it has undoubted general affinities with those of America at large; and this is all that it is safe to say at present. But it is safe to say this. We have plenty of data for their tongue, in a grammar of Mr. Henderson's, published at New York, 1846.

The chief fact in the history of the Moskitos, is that they were never subject to the Spaniards. Each continent affords a specimen of this isolated freedom—the independence of some exceptional and impracticable tribes, as compared with the universal empire of some encroaching European power. The Circassians in Caucasus, the Tshuktshi Koriaks in North-eastern Asia, and the Kaffres in Africa, show this. Their relations with the buccaneers were, probably, of an amicable description. So they were with the Negroes—maroon and imported. And this, perhaps, has determined their differentiæ. They are intertropical American aborigines, who have become partially European, without becoming Spanish.

Their physical conformation is that of the South rather than the North American; and, here it must be remembered, that we are passing from one moiety of the new hemisphere to the other. With a skin which is olive-coloured rather than red, they have small limbs and undersized frames; whilst their habits are, mutatis mutandis,[256] those of the intertropical African. This means, that the exuberance of soil, and the heat of the climate, makes them agriculturists rather than shepherds, and idlers rather than agriculturists; since the least possible amount of exertion gives them roots and fruits; whilst it is only those wants which are compatible with indolence that they care to satisfy. They presume rather than improve upon the warmth of their suns, and the fertility of the soil. When they get liquor, they get drunk; when they work hardest, they cut mahogany. Canoes and harpoons represent the native industry. Wulasha is the name of their Evil Spirit, and Liwaia that of a water-god.

I cannot but think that there is much intermixture amongst them. At the same time, the data for ascertaining the amount are wanting. Their greatest intercourse has, probably, been with the Negro; their next greatest with the Englishman. Of the population of the interior, we know next to nothing. Here their neighbours are Spaniards.

They are frontagers to the river San Juan. This gives them their value in politics.

They are the only well-known extant Indians between Guatemala and Veragua. This gives them their value in ethnology.

The populations to which they were most immediately allied, have disappeared from history. This isolates them; so that there is no class to[257] which they can be subordinated. At the same time, they are quite as like the nearest known tribes as the American ethnologist is prepared to expect.

What they were in their truly natural state, when, unmodified by either Englishman or Spaniard, Black or Indian, they represented the indigenous civilization (such as it was) of their coast, is uncertain.

That the difference between the North and South American aborigines has been over-rated, is beyond doubt. The tendency, however, to do so, decreases. An observer like Sir R. Schomburgk, who is at once minute in taking notice, and quick at finding parallels, adds his suffrage to that of Cicca de Leon and others, who enlarge upon the extent to which the Indians of the New World in general look "like children of one family." On the other hand, however, there are writers like D'Orbigny. These expatiate upon the difference between members of the same class, so as to separate, not only Caribs from Algonkins, or Peruvians from Athabaskans, but Peruvians from Caribs, and Patagonians from Brazilians.

Now it is no paradox to assert that these two views, instead of contradicting, support each other. A writer exhibits clear and undeniable differences between two American tribes in geographical[258] juxtaposition to one another. But does this prove a difference of origin, stock, or race? Not necessarily. Such differences may be, and often are, partial. More than this—they may be more than neutralized by undeniable marks of affinity. In such a case, all that they prove is the extent to which really allied populations may be contrasted in respect to certain particular characters.

Stature is the chief point in which the North American has the advantage of the Southern, e.g., the Algonkin over the Carib. Such is Sir R. Schomburgk's remark; and such is the general rule. Yet a vast number of the Indians of the Oregon, are shorter than the South American Patagonian and Pampa tribes. The head is large as compared with the trunk, and the trunk with the limbs; the hands small; the foot large; the skin soft, though with larger pores than in Europe.

Indians of British Guiana.—These are distributed amongst four divisions, of very unequal magnitude and importance.—1. The Carib. 2. The Warow. 3. The Wapisiana. 4. The Taruma.

The number of vocabularies collected by Sir R. Schomburgk was eighteen.

1. The great Carib group falls into three divisions:—

a. The Caribs Proper.[259]

b. The Tamanaks.

c. The Arawaks.

Of these, it is only members of the first and last that occupy British Guiana.

The Arawaks.—The Arawaks are our nearest neighbours, and, consequently, the most Europeanized. Sir R. Schomburgk says, that they and the Warows amount to about three thousand, and from Bernau we infer, that this number is nearly equally divided between the two; since he reckons the Arawaks at about fifteen hundred. Each family has its distinctive tattoo, and these families are twenty-seven in number.

The children may marry into their father's family, but not into that of their mother. Now as the caste is derived from their mother, this is an analogue of the North American totem. Polygamy is chiefly the privilege of the chiefs. The Pe-i-man is the Arawak Shaman. He it is who names the children—for a consideration. Failing this, the progeny goes nameless; and to go nameless is to be obnoxious to all sorts of misfortunes.

Imposture is hereditary; and as soon as the son of a conjuror enters his twentieth year, his right ear is pierced, he is required to wear a ring, and he is trusted with the secrets of the craft.

In imitating what they see, and remembering what they hear, the Arawak has, at least, an average capacity. Neither is he destitute of[260] ingenuity. Notation he has none; and the numeration is of the rudest kind.

Aba-da-kabo=once my hand=five.
Biama-da-kabo=twice my hand=ten.
Aba-olake=one man=twenty.

Perfect nudity is rare amongst the women; and some neatness in the dressing of their hair is perceptible. It is tied up on the crown of the head.

The nearer the coast the darker the skin; the lightest coloured families being as fair as Spaniards. This is on the evidence of Bernau, who adds, that, as children grow in knowledge and receive instruction, the forehead rises, and the physiognomy improves.

The other Guiana Indians, so far as they are Carib at all, are Caribs Proper, rather than Arawaks. Of these, the chief are—

The Accaways,—occupants of the rivers Mazaruni and Putara, with about six hundred fighting men. They are jealous, quarrelsome, and cruel; firm friends and bitter enemies. When resisted, they kill; when unopposed, enslave.

The law of revenge predominates in this tribe; for—like certain Australians—they attribute all deaths to contrivances of an enemy. Workers in poison themselves, they suspect it with others.

Their skin is redder than the Arawaks', but[261] then their nudity is more complete; inasmuch as, instead of clothing, they paint themselves; arnotto being their red, lana their blue pigment. They pierce the septum of the nose, and wear wood in the holes, like the Eskimo, Loucheux, and others. They paint the face in streaks, and the body variously—sometimes blue on one side, and red on the other. They rub their bodies with carapa oil, to keep off insects; and one of the ingredients of their numerous poisons, is a kind of black ant called muneery.

Their forehead is depressed.

They give nicknames to each other and to strangers, irrespective of rank; and the better their authorities take it the greater their influence.

It is the belief of the Accaways that the spirit of the deceased hovers over the dwelling in which death took place, and that it will not tolerate disturbance. Hence they bury the corpse in the hammock, and under the hut in which it became one. This they burn and desert.

The Carabísi.—Twenty years ago the Carabísi (Carabeese, Carabisce) mustered one thousand fighting men. It would now be difficult to raise one hundred. But the diminution of their numbers and importance began earlier still. Beyond the proper Carabísi area, there are numerous Carabísi names of rivers, islands, and[262] other geographical objects. Hence, their area has decreased.

Omnivorous enough to devour greedily tigers, dogs, rats, frogs, insects, and other sorts of food, unpopular elsewhere, they are distinguished by their ornaments as well. The under-lip is the part which they perforate, and wherein they wear their usual pins; besides which they fasten a large lump of arnotto to the hair of the front of the head.

In ordinary cases the hammock in which the death took place, serves as a coffin, the body is buried, and a funeral procession made once or twice round the grave; but the bodies of persons of importance are watched and washed by the nearest female relations, and when nothing but the skeleton remains, the bones are cleaned, painted, packed in a basket and preserved. When, however, there is a change of habitation they are burned; after which the ashes are collected, and kept.

Here we have interment and cremation in one and the same tribe; a circumstance which should guard us against exaggerating their value as characteristic and distinguishing customs.

Again. The Macusi is closely akin to the Carabísi; yet the Macusi buries his dead in a sitting posture without coffins, and with but few ceremonies. Now the sitting posture is common to[263] the Peruvians, the Oregon Indians, and numerous tribes of Brazil; indeed, Morton considers it to be one of the most remarkable characteristics of the Red Man of America in general.

The Arawak custom is peculiar. When a man of note dies his relations plant a field of cassava; just as the Nicobar Islanders plant a cocoa-nut tree. Then they lament loudly. But when twelve moons are over, and the cassava is ripe, they re-assemble, feast, dance, and lash each other cruelly, and severely with whips. The whips are then hung up on the spot where the person died. Six moons later a second meeting takes place—and, this time, the whips are buried.

The Waika are a small tribe of the Accaways; the Zapara of the Macusis. Besides these, the following Guiana Indians are Carib.

The Arecuna; of which the Soerikong are a section.

The Waiyamara.

The Guinau.

The Maiongkong.

The Woyawai.

The Mawakwa, or Frog Indians—a tribe that flattens the head.

The Piano-ghotto; of which the Zaramata and Drio are sections.

The Tiveri-ghotto.

2. The Warow, Waraw, Warau, or Guarauno.—These[264] are the Indians of the Delta of the Orinoco, and the parts between that river and the Pomaroon. Their language is peculiar, but by no means without miscellaneous affinities. They are the fluviatile boatmen of South America. Their habit of taking up their residence in trees when the ground is flooded, has given both early and late writers an opportunity of enlarging upon their semi-arboreal habits.

3. The Wapisianas fall into—

a. The Wapisianas Proper—

b. The Atorai, of which the Taurai, or Dauri (the same word under another form), and the extinct, or nearly extinct, Amaripas are divisions.

c. The Parauana.

4. The Tarumas, on the Upper Essequibo, have their probable affinities with the uninvestigated tribes of Central South America.

The Indians of Trinidad are Carib. So are those of St. Vincents. In no other West Indian islands are there any aborigines extant.


[71] Dinni, tinni, din, tin, &c.=man in the Athabaskan tongues.

[72] Called also Carriers, Nagail, and Chin Indians; though whether the last two names are correct is uncertain.

[73] By no means to be confounded with the Chepewyans.

[74] The Mohawks, Senekas, Onondagos, Cayugas, Oneidas, Tuskaroras, and Hurons.

[75] See a paper of Mr. Isbester's in the "Transactions of the British Association," 1847, p. 121.

[76] Thirty-eight.

[77] This requires modification. The Sitkan practices have already been noticed.

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Transcriber's Amendments:

p. 30, fn. 10, 'Fallermayer' amended to Fallmerayer.

p. 31, 'Britany' amended to Brittany.

p. 32, 'Notitiæ ...' amended to Notitia Utriusque Imperii.

p. 34, 'Caffres' amended to Kaffres.

p. 35, 'Woloffs' amended to Wolofs;
'Cabyles' amended to Kabyles.

p. 39, 'Avekoom' amended to Avekvom;
'Woloff' amended to Wolof;
'Bambarra' amended to Bambara.

p. 40, 'Woloffs' amended to Wolofs.

p. 65, 'languge' amended to language.

p. 67, 'Yorriba' amended to Yarriba;
'Callabar' amended to Calabar;
'Mosketo' amended to Mosquito.

p. 75, 'Amokosa' amended to Amakosa: 'The Amakosa.—This'.

p. 84, 'Caffraria' amended to Kaffraria.

p. 86, 'Crawford' amended to Crawfurd.

p. 94, 'Trangangetic' amended to Transgangetic.

p. 98, 'Crawford's Embassy' amended to Crawfurd's Embassy.

p. 107, 'Kamti' amended to Khamti.

p. 121, 'ecstacy' amended to ecstasy.

p. 137, 'Pottaing' amended to Potteang.

p. 140, 'Kuttak' amended to Cuttack;
'Penna' amended to Pennu (twice).

p. 141, 'Cicacole' amended to Chicacole.

p. 146, 'jackall' amended to jackal.

p. 148, 'Rajaship' amended to Rajahship.

p. 177, 'Levitican' amended to Levitical.

p. 181, 'Peshawer' amended to Peshawar.

p. 192, 'Maha-Sodon' amended to Maha-Sohon.

p. 193, 'Singalese' amended to Singhalese.

p. 197, 'Binjarri' amended to Brinjarri;
'Telagu' amended to Telugu.

p. 198, 'Taremuki' amended to Tarremúki.

p. 199, 'Bowri' amended to Bhowri.

p. 201, 'Guzerat' amended to Gujerat.

p. 228, 'Skofi' amended to Skoffi.

p. 233, 'tatooing' amended to tattooing.

p. 237, 'tatooings' amended to tattooings.

p. 243, 'Saskachewan' amended to Saskatchewan.

p. 259, 'tatoo' amended to tattoo.

p. 262, 'Caribis' amended to Carabísi.

Further Notes:

p. 113, Brown's Table: Horizontal rows 'Áká' and 'Ábor' repositioned to match data; the value for 'Koreng' (row) and 'S. Tángkhul' (column), which originally read '—', has been amended to '11'.

p. 172-175, corrections to extracts taken from A History of the Sikhs, by J. D. Cunningham, 2nd Ed., London, 1853.

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