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Title: The Natural History of the Varieties of Man

Author: Robert Gordon Latham

Release Date: November 18, 2014 [EBook #47390]

Language: English

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Printed by S. & J. Bentley and Henry Fley,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.

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The following Pages are Inscribed,



London, July 25th, 1850.

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If the simple excellence of a book were a sufficient reason for making it the only one belonging to the sciences which it professed to illustrate, few writers would be desirous of attempting a systematic work upon the Natural History of their species, after the admirable Physical History of Mankind, by the late and lamented Dr. Prichard,—a work which even those who are most willing to defer to the supposed superior attainments of Continental scholars, are not afraid to place on an unapproached eminence in respect to both our own and other countries. The fact of its being the production of one who was at one and the same time a physiologist amongst physiologists, and a scholar amongst scholars, would have made it this; since the grand ethnological desideratum required at the time of its publication, was a work which, by combining the historical, the philological, and the anatomical methods, should command the attention of the naturalist, as well as of the scholar. Still it was a work of a rising rather than of a stationary science; and the very stimulus which it supplied, created and diffused a spirit of investigation, which—as the author himself would, above all men, have desired—rendered subsequent investigations likely to modify the preceding ones. A subject[Pg viii] that a single book, however encyclopædic, can represent, is scarcely a subject worth taking up in earnest.

Besides this, there are two other reasons of a more special and particular nature for the present addition to the literature of Ethnology.

I. For each of the great sections of our species, the accumulation of facts, even in the eleventh hour, has out-run the anticipations of the most impatient; indeed so rapidly did it take place during the latter part of Dr. Prichard's own lifetime, that the learning which he displays in his latest edition, is, in its way, as admirable as the bold originality exhibited in the first sketch of his system, published as early as 1821; rather in the shape of a university thesis than of a full and complete production. Thus—

For Asia, there are the contributions of Rosen to the philology of Caucasus; without which (especially the grammatical sketch of the Circassian dialects) the present writer would have considered his evidence as disproportionate to his theory. Then, although matters of Archæology rather than of proper Ethnography, come in brilliant succession, the labours of Botta, Layard, and Rawlinson, on Assyrian antiquity, to which may be added the bold yet cautious criticism and varied observations of Hodgson, illustrating the obscure Ethnology of the Sub-Himalayan Indians, and preeminently confirmatory of the views of General Briggs and others as to the real affinities of the mysterious hill-tribes of Hindostan. Add to these much new matter in respect to the Indo-Chinese frontiers of China, Siam, and the Burmese Empire; and add to this the result of the labours of Fellowes, Sharpe, and Forbes, upon the monuments and language of Asia Minor. I do[Pg ix] not say that any notable proportion of these latter investigations have been incorporated in the present work; their proper place being in a larger and more discursive work. Nevertheless, they have helped to determine those results to the general truth of which the present writer commits himself.

Africa has had a bright light thrown over more than one of its darkest portions by Krapff for the eastern coast, by Dr. Beke for Abyssinia, by the Tutsheks for the Gallas and Tumalis, by the publications of the Ethnological Society of Paris, and the researches of the American and English Missionaries for many other of its ill-understood and diversified populations, especially those to the south and west.

The copious extract from Mr. Jukes's Voyage of the Fly, show at once how much has been added; yet, at the same time, how much remains to be learned in respect to our knowledge of New Guinea; whilst the energy of the Rajah Brooke has converted Borneo, from a terra incognita, into one of the clear points of the ethnological world.

In South America, although many of the details of Sir Robert Schomburgk were laid before the world previous to the publication of the fifth volume of the Physical History, many of them, though now published, were at that time still in manuscript.

The great field, however, has been the northern half of the New World; and the researches which have illustrated this have illustrated Polynesia and Africa as well. What may be called the personal history of the United States Exploring Expedition, was published in 1845. The greatest mass, however, of philological data ever accumulated by a single enquirer—the con[Pg x]tents of Mr. Hale's work on the philology of the voyage—is recent. The areas which this illustrates are the Oregon territory and California; and the proper complements to it are Pickering's work on the Races of Man, the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, and the last work of the venerable Gallatin on the Semi-civilized nations of America.

Surely these are elements pregnant with modifying doctrines!

II. For each of the great sections of our species, the present classification presents some differences, which if true, are important. Whether such novelties (so to say) are of a value at all proportionate to that of the fresh data, is a matter for the reader rather than the writer to determine—the latter is satisfied with indicating them. The extension of the Seriform group, so as to include the Caucasian Georgians and Circassians on the one side, and the Indians of Hindostan on the other; the generalization of the term Oceanic so as to include the Australians and Papuans—the definitude given to the Micronesian origin of the Polynesians—the new distribution of the Siberian Samöeids, Yeniseians, and Yukahiri—the formation of the class of Peninsular Mongolidæ, so as to affiliate the Americans (previously recognised as fundamentally of one and the same stock) with the north-eastern Asiatics—the sequences in the way of transition from the Semitic Arab to the Negro—the displacement of the Celtic nations, and the geographical extension given to the original Slavonians, are points for which the present writer is responsible; not, however, without previous minute investigation. The proofs thereof lie in tables of vocabularies, analyses of grammars, and ethnological reasonings,[Pg xi] far too elaborate to be fit for aught else than a series of special monographs; not for a general view of the human species, as classified according to its varieties.

This classification is the chief end of his work; and, more than anything else, it is this attempt at classification which has given a subordinate position to certain other departments of his subject. Where such is not the case, one of three reasons stands in its place to account for the matters enlarged upon, apparently at the expense of others.

1. The novelty of the information acquired.

2. The extent to which the subject has been previously either overlooked or thrown in the back-ground.

3. And, finally (though perhaps the plea is scarcely a legitimate one), the degree of attention which has been paid to the particular question by its expositor.

London, July 25th, 1850.

[Pg xii]
[Pg xiii]


Notice of the chief works either used as authorities, and not particularly quoted, or else illustrative of certain portions of the subject.

Arnold.—History of Rome—Early Italian nations.

Adelung (Vater).—The Mithridates—Generally.

Baer's Beyträge, &c.—For Russian America.

Bartlett.—Report upon the present state of Ethnology. New York.

Beke.—Papers in the Transactions of the Philological and Geographical Societies—Abyssinia.

Bopp.—Vergleichende Grammatik, &c., other works.

Brooke (Keppell and Marryat).—Borneo.

Brown.—Papers in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, iv. 2.—The tribes about Manipur.

Balbi.—Atlas Ethnologique.

Bunsen.—Ægypt's Place in Universal History.

Catlin.—American Indians.

Crawford's.—Embassy to Ava, and Papers read before the Ethnological Society and the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dennis.—Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria.

D'Orbigny.—Homme Americain—South America. The chief authority.

Ellis.—History of Madagascar.

Ermann.—Reise in Siberian.

Fellowes, Sir C.—Travels in Lycia.

Forbes (and Spratt's), Professor E.—Ditto.

Gaimard (and Quoy).—Zoology of the Voyage de l'Astrolabe—The Papuas, Micronesians, &c.

Gallatin.—Papers in the Archæologia Americana, and the Transactions of the Ethnological Society, New York.

[Pg xiv]

Grimm.—Deutsche Grammatik, Deutsche Sprache, &c.

Grote.—History of Greece—Pelasgians and other early nations.

Hodgson.—On the Kocch, Bodo, and Dhimál. Papers in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Bengal—Indispensable for the Sub-Himalayan Indians.

Hales.—Philology of the United States Exploring Expedition—Oregon, California, Polynesia, Australia, Africa.

Humboldt, A.—Personal Narrative—Indians of the Orinoco.

Humboldt, W.—Über die Kawisprachi—Java, and the influence of the Indian upon the Malay stock, &c.

Jukes.—Voyage of the Fly—- New Guinea.

Kemble.—The Anglo-Saxons in England.

Krapff.—MS. vocabularies of the Pocomo and other languages of Eastern Africa.

Klaproth.—Asia Polyglotta, Sprachatlas, &c.—The chief authorities for Caucasus and Siberia.

Lesson.—Mammologie.—Classification of Man as a Mammal. Zoology of the Uranie and Physicienne—Micronesia, &c.

Leyden.—Asiatic Researches—For the Indo-Chinese Languages.

Layard.—Antiquities of Assyria.

Müller.—Die Ugrischen Völker—The Ugrian Mongolidæ.

Marsden's Sumatra.

Mallat.—Description des Isles Philippines.

Morton.—Crania Americana, Crania Ægyptiaca, &c.

Newbold.—Malacca Settlements.

Niebuhr.—Roman History—Ancient Nations of Italy, Etruscans, Pelasgi.

Newman (Francis).—Berber Grammar. Paper in the Philological Transactions. Hebrew Monarchy.

Prichard.—Physical History of Mankind. Eastern origin of the Celtic Nations.

Prescott.—History of Mexico, Peru.

Pickering.—The Races of Men. See Hales and Wilkes.

Quoy (and Gaimard).—Zoology of the Astrolabe—Papuans and Micronesians.

[Pg xv]

Retzius.—Papers in the Literary Transactions of Stockholm.

Rosen.—On the Languages of Caucasus.

Rühs.—Finnland und seine Einwohner.

Raffles.—- History of Java.

Renouard.—Abstract of Spix and Martius on the Indians of Brazil. Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society.

Rüppell.—Reise in Kordofan.

Schomburgk, Sir R.—Transactions of the Geographical, Ethnological and Philological Societies—British Guiana.

Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.—(Squier and Davis.)—North American Archæology.

Scouler, Dr.—Papers in the Transactions of the Geographical and Ethnological Societies.—Oregon and the Hudson's Bay Territory.

Stockfleth.—Om Finnerne—Om Quänerne.—The Laplanders, and Finlanders of Scandinavia.

Sharpe.—History of Ægypt.

Sharpe (Dan.).—On the Lycian Inscriptions—Transactions of the Philological Society.

Spratt (and Forbes).—Travels in Lycia.

Transactions of the Ethnological Societies of London—Paris—New York.

Wilson, H. H.—Ariana Antiqua, &c.

Wilkes.—United States Exploring Expedition.

Zeuss.—Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme.

[Pg xvi]
[Pg xvii]


Fig. page
1. A Yakut. From Von Middendorf (Travels in Siberia) 1
2. Skull of an Eskimo. From Prichard's Physical History of Mankind 5
3. Skull of one of Napoleon's Guards killed at Waterloo. Ibid. 5
4. Skull of a Creole Negro. Ibid. 6
5. A Yakut Female. From Von Middendorf 94
6, 7. Papuan skulls. From the Voyage sur L'Uranie et La Physicienne 213
8. A Native of Van Diemen's Land. Drawn by Campbell De Morgan, Esq., from a cast belonging to the Ethnological Society 245
9. Samöeid Man. From Von Middendorf 268
10. Ground-plan of embankments in Ohio. From the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge 360
11. Ground-plan, &c., in Wisconsin. Ibid. 361
12. Antiquities from the Tumali of the Valley of the Mississippi. Ibid. 362
13. Casa Grande. From a Treatise of Mr. Squier's upon the Ethnology of California and New Mexico 388
14. A Patagonian Female. From a Treatise of Professor Retzius on the Patagonians 417
15. Fac-simile of a Vei MS., in the possession of the Royal Geographical Society, taken by E. Norriss, Esq., F.A.S. 474
16. Arrow-headed Persian character. From Rawlinson. Transactions of Asiatic Society 522
17. Tuarick Alphabet. From Richardson 523
18. Specimen of the Cherokee syllabic alphabet. From a Cherokee Newspaper 524
19. Sub-Himalayan Indians. From Hodgson's Kocch, Bodo, and Dhimál 548
[Pg xviii]
[Pg xix]


Explanation of Terms 1
Terms descriptive of differences in the way of physical conformation 2
Typical, sub-typical, transitional, quasi-transitional 7
Terms descriptive of differences in the way of language 9
Terms descriptive of differences in social civilization 12
The primary varieties of the human race 13
Altaic Mongolidæ 15-106
Seriform Altaic Mongolidæ 15-60
Chinese 16
Tibetans 18
Anamese 20
Siamese 21
Kambojians 22
Burmese 23
Môn 23
Si-Fan 24
Miaou-tse 25
Lolos, &c. 25-34
Garo 34
Brown's Tables 36
Dhimál and Bodo 37-53
Tribes of Sikkim and Nepaul 53
Antiquity of the Chinese civilization—how far indisputable 55-60[Pg xx]
Turanian Altaic Mongolidæ 61-106
Mongolians 63-73
Tungús 74
Turks 75-95
Ugrians 95-106
Voguls 96
Permians 97
Tcheremiss 99
Finlanders 99
Esthonians 101
Laplanders 101
Hungarians 101
Dioscurian Mongolidæ 107-128
Georgians 112
Lesgians, Mizjeji, Irôn 115
Ossetic grammar 116
Circassians 119
Circassian grammar 120
Table of comparison between the Dioscurian and Seriform languages 123
Oceanic Mongolidæ 129-264
Amphinesians 133-210
Protonesians 133-183
Malacca 133
Sumatra 137
Mythology of the Battas 143
Malay characteristics 147
Java 152
The Teng'ger Mountaineers 153
Bali, &c. 158
Languages between Sumbawa and Australia 158
Timor 160
Timor Laut 161
The Serwatty and Ki Islands 161
The Arru Isles 162
Borneo 163-169
Celebes 169
Bugis constitution 170[Pg xxi]
The Moluccas, &c. 175
The Philippines 176
Philippine Blacks 177
—————— languages 178
Extent of Hindu influences 178
Remains of original mythology 179
Formosa 182
Polynesians 183-210
Micronesians 186-191
Lord North's Island 186
Sonsoral, The Pelews 187
The Mariannes 188
Carolines 189
Isles of Brown, &c. 190
Proper Polynesians 191-210
The mythology 191-195
Navigators' Isles 195
Tonga group ibid.
Tahitian group 196
Easter Island 197
The Marquesas 198
Sandwich Islands 198
New Zealand, &c. 203
Tikopia 204
Questions connected with the Ethnology of Polynesia 205-210
Kelænonesians 210-264
Papuan Branch 211-229
Waigiú 212
New Guinea 213
Vanikoro, &c. 222
Erromango 224
Tanna, Annatom 225
New Caledonia ibid.
The Fiji Islanders 226
Australian Branch 229-246
Australians 229-245
Tasmanians 244
Andaman Islanders 246
Nicobarians 247
Origin of the Kelænonesians 250
—————— Polynesians 253
Ceremonial Language 262[Pg xxii]
Hyperborean Mongolidæ 265-272
Samöeids 266
Yeniseians 268
Yukahiri 269
Table of languages 270-272
Peninsular Mongolidæ 273-286
Koreans 275
Japanese 277
Aino 281
Koriaks 283
Kamskadales 285
American Mongolidæ 287-460
Eskimo 288
Kolúch 294
Doubtful Kolúches 297
The Nehanni 298
Haidah, &c. 300
Nutkans 301
Athabaskans 302-310
Chippewyans, &c. 303
Hare Indians ibid.
Dog-ribs ibid.
Carriers 304
Sikani 306
Southern Athabaskans 308
Table of languages 308-310
Tsihaili 310-316
The Salish 311
Kútanis 316
Chinúks 317-323
The Lingua Franca 321
Sahaptin, &c. 323-328
Algonkins 328
Bethuck 330
Shyennes ibid.
Blackfoots 332
Iroquois ibid.[Pg xxiii]
Sioux 333
Catawba, Woccoon 334
Extinct tribes ibid.
Cherokees 337
Choctahs ibid.
Uché, Coosadas, Alibamons 338
Caddos ibid.
Value of Classes 339
The Natchez 340
Taensas, &c. 341
Ahnenin, Arrapahoes 344
Riccarees and Pawnees ibid.
The Paduca areas 345
Wihinast 346
Shoshonis, Cumanches 347
Apaches 348
Texian tribes 349-351
The unity or non-unity of the American populations 352-380
Opinions 352
Vater's remark 354
Polysynthetic.—Philological paradox 356
Grounds for disconnecting the Eskimo 357
———————————————— Peruvians ibid.
Archæology of the Valley of the Mississippi 359-362
American characteristics 363
————— languages 365-380
Tables for simple comparison 366
————— indirect 371
Paucity of general terms 375
Numerals 376
Verb-substantive 378
Negative points of agreement ibid.
Positive 379
The Californias 380-395
Description of a Casa Grande 388
Pimos Indians 390
Coco-Maricopas 394
New Mexico 395-398
Tarahumara 398
Casa Grande 399
Tepeguana, &c. 400
Otomi 403-408
Supposed monosyllabic character of the language 404
Tables 405[Pg xxiv]
Mexico 408
The Maya 410
Indians of the Isthmus 411
——————— Andes (western) 412-414
Moluché, Puelché, Huilliché 415
Conventional ethnological centre 418
Charruas 420
Indians of Moxos 424
————— Chiquitos 425
————— Chaco 428
————— Brazil (not Guarani) 429
Warows 438
Tarumas 439
Wapityan, &c. ibid.
Atures 440
Maypure 441
Achagua, Yarura, Ottomacas 442
Chiricoas ibid.
Guarani 443
Caribs 445
Their supposed North American origin 447
Indians of the Eastern Andes 448
Yuracares ibid.
Apolistas ibid.
Northern Indians of the Eastern Andes 450
Reasons for not separating the Eskimo from the other Americans 452
Reasons for not separating the Peruvians, &c. 454
Classification of D'Orbigny 459
Indian Mongolidæ. 461-468
Tamulians 462
Pulindas 463
Rajmahali 464
Brahúi ibid.
Indo-Gangetic Indians 465
Purbutti 466
Cashmirian 467
Cingalese 468
Maldivians ibid.[Pg xxv]
Negro Atlantidæ 471
Woloffs 473
Sereres ibid.
Serawolli ibid.
Mandingos ibid.
The Vei alphabet 474
Felúps, &c. 475
Fantí, &c. 476
The Ghá ibid.
Whidah, Maha, Benin tribes 477
Grebo, &c. 478
The Yarriba 479
The Tapua ibid.
Haussa ibid.
Fulahs 480
Cumbri ibid.
Sungai 481
Kissour ibid.
Bornú, &c. ibid.
Begharmi ibid.
Mandara ibid.
Mobba 483
Furians ibid.
Koldagi ibid.
Shilluk, &c. ibid.
Qamamyl 484
Dallas, &c. ibid.
Tibboo 485
Gongas ibid.
Kaffre Atlantidæ 487-494
Peculiarities of Kaffre language 487
Western Kaffres 489
Southern Kaffres 490
Eastern Kaffres ibid.
Kazumbi, Mazenas, &c. 491
Pocomo, Wanika, Wakamba, &c. 492[Pg xxvi]
Hottentot Atlantidæ 495-498
Hottentots 496
Saabs 497
Dammaras ibid.
Overlapped peripheries 498
Nilotic Atlantidæ 499-506
Gallas 499
Agows and Falasha 500
Nubians ibid.
Bishari 501
The M'Kuafi, &c. ibid.
Amazirgh Atlantidæ 507, 508
Ægyptian Atlantidæ 509, 510
Semitic Atlantidæ 511
Syrians ibid.
Syriac literary influence 512
Assyrians ibid.
Babylonians ibid.
Beni Terah 513
Edomites 514
Beni Israel ibid.
Samaritans ibid.
Jews ibid.
Arabs 515
Æthiopians 517
Canaanites, &c. 518
Malagasi 519
Question to the single origin of alphabetical writing 520
On the accumulation of certain climatologic influences 524[Pg xxvii]
Occidental Iapetidæ 528
Kelts ibid.
Indo-Germanic Iapetidæ 531
European Class 531-543
Goths 531-535
Teutons 532-534
Mœso-Goths ibid.
High Germans 533
Franks ibid.
Low Germans 534
Batavians ibid.
Saxons ibid.
Frisians ibid.
Scandinavians ibid.
Sarmatians 535-541
Lithuanians 536
Slavonians 538
Russians ibid.
Servians ibid.
Illyrians 539
Bohemians (T`sheks) ibid.
Poles ibid.
Serbs ibid.
Slavonians of the Germanic frontier ibid.
Mediterranean Indo-Germans 541
Hellenic branch ibid.
Italian branch 542
Iranian class 543
The Sanskrit language ibid.
Population of Persia 546
Siaposh 547
Lughmani ibid.
Dardoh ibid.
Wokhan ibid.

[Pg xxviii]
Armenians 549
Iberians 550
Finnic hypothesis 552
Albanians ibid.

Pelasgi 553
Etruscans 554
Populations of Asia Minor 555
Hybridism ibid.
Apophthegms on the nature of the Science of Ethnology 559-566
[Pg 1]


Fig. 1.


Previous to entering upon the details connected with the varieties, and affinities of the human species, it is advisable to explain the meaning and full import of certain terms that are likely to be of frequent occurrence. It is only, however, so far as an explanation is required, that[Pg 2] any remarks will be made. The questions themselves, although necessary and preliminary, are well capable of being isolated from the properly descriptive portions of the subject, and of forming separate sections of ethnological science; a separation which is fully justified by their great range and extent.

A. Terms descriptive of differences in the way of physical conformation.—If we were to take three individual specimens of the human species, which should exhibit three of the most important differences, they would, I think, be—1. A Mongolian, or a Tungús, from Central or Siberian Asia; 2, a Negro from the Delta of the Niger; and 3, a European from France, Germany, or England. At the first view the Negro would seem the most unlike of the three; and, perhaps, he would do so after a minute and careful scrutiny. Still, the characteristic and differential features of the Asiatic would be of a very remarkable kind. In the general profile, in the form of the eye, in the front view of the face, he would differ from both. In the colour of his skin, in the character of his hair, and in the lower part of his profile, he would differ from the Negro. In the upper portion of the profile, and in the outline of the head, he would differ from the European.

The Mongolian's, or Tungusian's, face would be broad and flat, with the cheek-bones prominent. The breadth of the head from side to side would be nearly equal to its length from the forehead to the occiput; the nose would be flat, and, almost certainly, neither arched nor aquiline; the eyes would be drawn upwards at their outer angle, the skin would be of a yellowish-brown, the hair straight, the beard scanty, and the stature undersized.

The Negro, besides his black complexion and crisp hair,[Pg 3] would exhibit a greater depth of head measuring from before backwards, and the upper jaw would be much more projecting. Possibly it might be so prominent as to give the head the appearance of being placed behind the face rather than above it.

The European would be characterized by negative rather than positive qualities. His face would be less broad, and his head would have greater depth in proportion to its breadth than would be the case with the Mongol. As compared with the African he would differ most in the parts between the nose and chin. The mouth of the Negro, instead of lying under the nose and forehead, projects forwards, in a slightly elongated shape, so as, in extreme cases, to be a muzzle rather than a mouth; the effect of which, as already stated, is to throw the upper part of the face and head behind the jaw. In the European profile, on the other hand, the general direction is vertical. The upper jaw does not project, and the forehead does not retire; so that the forehead, nose, and mouth are, comparatively speaking, nearly in the same line.

Now these distinctions we find in looking at the face only; those of the Mongolian being best shown in a front view, those of the Negro and European in profile. They are also those that would be drawn by a painter or a sculptor; i.e. such as we can detect by merely examining the outline and surface of the head and face. They are external. Differences in the colour of the eyes and the form of the limbs might also be easily discovered.

Important as these are, they are not the points which the ethnologist most looks to. Although the colour of the skin and eyes and the texture of the hair may be determined by external influences, the real reasons for[Pg 4] the differences of outline lie in the differences of the skull and the bony parts of the face: and as, in addition to this, the skull is the receptacle of the brain, and the brain is the organ wherein the human species most differs from others, anatomists have long been in the habit of determining the different varieties of the human race, by the difference in the conformation of their skulls. With this view, the particular bones of most importance are the following:—

The Frontal bone, forming the forehead.—The more the frontal bone retires, the lower is the forehead, and the more prominent the face. The more it is vertical or arched, the more the brain seems to be in superposition over the face; rather than lying behind it. By drawing one line from the opening of the ear to the base of the nose, by drawing a second from the most prominent part of the forehead to the insertion of the teeth, and by measuring the inner angle at which these two lines bisect each other, we have the famous facial angle of Camper; in other words, we have a measure for the extent to which a forehead is retreating or vertical.

The Occipital bone.—This forms the back of the head. The distance between the frontal and occipital bones is the occipito-frontal diameter. It constitutes the length or depth of the head, in contradistinction to its breadth.

The Parietal bones, forming the sides of the skull.—The distance between the two parietal bones is the parietal diameter. It constitutes the breadth of the skull, in contradistinction to its length or depth. The ratio between these two diameters has been most studied by Professor Retzius, of Stockholm. Nations where the development is in the occipito-frontal diameter are called dolikho[Pg 5]kephalic.[1] Nations where it is in the parietal diameter are called brakhykephalic.[2]

The Zygoma.—Formed by the union of two processes, one from the malar, and one from the temporal bone, and enclosing a space, within which the muscles pass from the temporal bone to the lower jaw. It constitutes the ridge that can be felt through the skin, between the cheek-bone and the ear. When the zygomatic space is large, the arch of the zygoma itself projects laterally outwards.

The Malar bones, i.e. the cheek-bones.—It is unnecessary to say that the prominence of the cheek-bone affects the physiognomy. When, over and above this prominence, the zygoma has a lateral and outward development, the breadth of the face becomes remarkably and characteristically broad and flat. It is upon the effect of a great zygomatic development on the form of the skull that Prichard has founded one of his primary divisions.

Fig. 2.

Fig. 3.

Distance between the zygomata gives breadth to the face. Distance between the parietal bones, to the head.

The Nasal bones.—The flatter the nasal bones the flatter the nose. They are generally flat in tribes of Central Asia and Africa; prominent, or saddle-shaped, in those of Europe.

The Upper Maxillary bone.—In this are inserted the teeth of the upper jaw. In the European it is nearly perpendicular. In the Negro it projects forwards; hence, in the European, the insertion of the teeth is perpendicular, in the African oblique. The effect of a projecting maxilla is a character upon which Prichard has founded one of his primary divisions. When the insertion of the teeth is perpendicular, or nearly perpendicular to the base of the nose, the skull is orthognathic;[3] when projecting forwards, prognathic.[4]

[Pg 6]

Fig. 4.

Upon these distinctions are founded the following forthcoming terms: occipito-frontal diameter, parietal diameter, [Pg 7]occipito-frontal[5] profile, frontal profile, nasal profile, maxillary profile, zygomatic development.

Next to the head, the bony structure of the pelvis has drawn most attention; the importance thus given being natural and reasonable. The form of the pelvis determines the erect posture of man. These, however, and other numerous minor details will be noticed as occasion requires.

Notwithstanding the anatomical character of the principles upon which the varieties of the Human Species have been arranged, the terms denoting the chief divisions have not been given upon anatomical grounds. Hence we do not talk of the zygomatic or the occipito-frontal tribes, but of the Negro, or the Mongolian, &c. In other words, the term is taken from that particular variety which has the most characteristic conformation.

How many of such terms are necessary is a disputed point; the number of the primary divisions being undetermined. My own opinion is in favour of it being limited to three,—the Mongolian, the African, and the European. To these, many would add a fourth, and fifth, the Malay and American; whilst others would raise the Australian and Hottentot (and many other) conformations into separate and primary types. As terms, these will be retained. Their value, however, as the names of groups and divisions, will be subordinate to that of the three great types first named; a circumstance which brings us to the terms, typical, sub-typical, transitional and quasi-transitional.

A Malay and an American, although different, agree between themselves much more than either of them would with a Negro. Furthermore, each of them differs from the Mongolian and Chinese; less, however, than from the African and European.

[Pg 8]

Now, so far as this difference is concerned, the terms typical and sub-typical, in their usual sense, are sufficient; the Mongolian being the type of the variety which he represents, whilst the Malay and American each illustrate a sub-typical modification.

But this is not all. In departing from one type, an individual, a tribe, or a nation may approach another. This is the case when the hair of the African becomes straight, his complexion brunette, and his lips thin. It is also the case when a Mongol becomes light-haired or blue-eyed. In each of these changes the effect is the same. The original conformation has become Europeanized. Hence we have—

1st. Simple sub-typical deviation.—This occurs in the Eskimo. His face is broader than that of the Mongolian; but, as this increased breadth merely makes him somewhat unlike the natives of Central Asia, without approximating him to the African or European, the deviation is simple.

2nd. Deviation with Transition.—The Finlander has a Mongoliform skull, but (very often) blue eyes and light hair; so that he agrees with the European where he differs with the Kalmuk. This is deviation and something more. It is deviation accompanied with the phenomenon of a transition in form.

Transitions in form, however, are of two kinds—a. those in which descent plays a part; b. those in which causes other than descent play a part.

a. The light-haired Finlander is probably one of three things—

1. The descendant of Mongolians passing into Europeans.

2. The descendant of Europeans passing into Mongolians.

[Pg 9]

3. The descendant of the common stock from which the Europeans on one side, and Mongolians on the other, originated. In all these cases his differential characters are accounted for by the doctrine of descent.

b. Contrast, however, the case of an Australian Black. He has Mongol characters and he has Negro characters; so that, looking to his form only, he presents the phenomenon of transition; yet he is in none of the predicaments of the Finlander, since few ethnologists believe that, in the way of descent, he has any but the most indirect relationship to the African.

Hence, transitional forms are of two kinds, the first indicates descent, affiliation, and historical connexion; the second, the effect of common climatologic, alimentary, or social influences. This last will be called quasi-transitional.

B. Terms descriptive of differences in the way of language.—At the present moment, there are three methods by which the relation between the different words that constitute sentences is indicated:—1. The method of which the Chinese is a sample; 2. The method of which the Greek and Latin are samples; 3. The method of which the English is a sample.

In the way of illustration, though not in the way of history, it is best to take the second first.

1. The Classical method.—In a word like homin-em, there are two parts, homin-, radical; -em, inflectional. In the word te-tig-i, there are the same. The power of these parts is clear. The tig- and homin- denote the simple action, or the simple object. The te- denotes the time in which it takes place; the -i the agent. In the proposition te-tig-i homin-em, the -em denotes the relation between the object (the man touched) and the action (of touching). Logically, there are two ideas, e.g., that of the[Pg 10] action or object, and that of the superadded conditions in respect to time, agency, and relation. In Latin and Greek, as in many other languages, these superadded conditions are expressed by altering the form of the original word. Sometimes this is done by the addition of some sound or sounds, sometimes by simple change—(a,) homin-is, homin-em; (b,) speak, spoke. Now this method of expressing the relation between the different words of a proposition by changes in the form of the words themselves is called the method of inflection, and languages which adopt it are called inflectional.

2. The English method.—The English language possesses inflections. Words like father-s, touch-ed, spoke, are instances of it. Nevertheless it has such important non-inflectional methods, that it may fairly be put in contrast with the Latin and Greek. Where a Roman said te-tig-i, we say I have touched, or I touched; using I, a separate word, instead of the incorporated syllable -i. Where a Roman said patr-i, we say to father; where a Roman said tang-am, we say I will (or shall) touch. In other words, we make auxiliary verbs and prepositions do the work of inflections, expressive of case and tense.

3. The Chinese method.—The Chinese method agrees with the English in expressing the different conditions and relations of actions and objects by separate words rather than by inflections; and it carries this principle so far as to have even a less amount of inflection; according to some writers, none at all. Wherein, then, does it differ? Even thus. The English is non-inflectional because it has lost inflections which it once possessed. The Chinese is non-inflectional because inflections have never been developed. This involves a great difference between the nature of the words which, in the two languages (English and Chinese)[Pg 11] do the work of the Greek and Latin inflections. In English they are, generally speaking, so abstract, as to have a meaning only when in the context with other words. In Chinese they are often the names of objects and actions, i.e. nouns and verbs. If, instead of saying, I go to London, figs come from Turkey, the sun shines through the air, we said, I go, end London, figs come, origin Turkey, the sun shines, passage air, we should discourse after the manner of the Chinese.

But what if the inflectional parts of inflected words (nouns and verbs) were once separate words, which have since been incorporated with the radical term? In such a case, the difference between languages of the Chinese, and languages of the classical type would be a difference of degree only. Nay more, in languages like the Chinese the separate words most in use to express relation may become adjuncts or annexes. In this case, inflection is developed out of mere juxtaposition, and composition. Is this a hypothesis or a real fact? It is thus much of a fact. The numerous inflectional languages fall into two classes. In one the inflections have no appearance of having been separate words. In the other their origin as separate words is demonstrable.

The nomenclature arising from these distinctions, and requiring notice in the present preliminary remarks, is as follows:—

1. Languages of the Chinese type.—Aptotic.[6]

2. Inflection which can generally be shown to have arisen out of the juxtaposition and composition of different words.—Agglutinate.—Here the incorporation has not been sufficiently complete to wholly disguise the originally independent and separate character of the inflectional addition.

[Pg 12]

3. Inflection, wherein the existence of the inflectional elements as separate and independent words cannot be shown.—Amalgamate.—Here the speculator is at liberty to argue from the analogy of the agglutinate inflections, and to suppose that, owing to a greater amount of euphonic influences, the incorporation is more perfect.

4. Languages of the English type.—Anaptotic.[7]

c. Terms descriptive of differences in social cultivation.

1. The hunter state.—The full import of this term, which always implies a low degree of civilization, is to be inferred from the extent to which it indicates migratory habits, precariousness of subsistence, and imperfect property in the soil. Changing the land for the sea, the fisher state is essentially the same.

2. The pastoral state.—Precariousness of subsistence less than in the hunter state. Migratory habits, in many cases, much the same. Higher in the scale of civilization; since the breeding of animals gives moveable property. Property in the soil improved but still imperfect.

3. The agricultural state.—Migratory habits rare. Precariousness of food but slight. Property in the soil—except in the cases of migratory[8] cultivation—perfect.

4, 5. Material and moral influences in the history of the world.—The first term means changes effected by physical force only; the second, the influences of religion, literature, science, and political and social morality.


[1] From dolikhos=long, and kefalæ=head.

[2] From brakhys=short, and kefalæ=head.

[3] From orthos=upright, and gnathos=jaw.

[4] From pro=forwards, and gnathos=jaw.

[5] The outline of the hairy scalp.

[6] From a=not, and ptosis=a case.

[7] From ana=back, and ptosis=a case. Falling back from inflection.

[8] As that of some of the sub-Himalayan and Indo-Chinese tribes.

[Pg 13]


The Primary Varieties of the Human Species.

The questions connected with the Natural History of the Human Species are so thoroughly questions of descent, affiliation, or pedigree, that I have no hesitation in putting the names of the primary divisions in the form of Greek patronymics; the supposed ancestor (or eponymus) being, of course, no real individual, but an ethnological fiction.

To have used, instead, the words stock, race, tribe, or even the more scientific terms—order, class, sub-order, preceded by an adjective, and to have spoken of the Mongolian stock, race, tribe or order, &c., would, apparently, have been the correcter method. It is not, however, so convenient. Every word of the sort in question is either required for the expression of the minor divisions, or is objectionable on other grounds.

I am also aware that this use of the forms in -idæ to express the divisions of a species, rather than those of an order, is at variance with the nomenclature of the[Pg 14] zoologists. Still, the terms are less embarrassed with inconveniences than any I have hit upon.

I. Mongolidæ.—Face broad and flat from either the development of the zygomata, or that of the parietal bones; often from the depression of the nasal bones. Frontal profile retiring, or depressed, rarely approaching the perpendicular. Maxillary profile, moderately prognathic or projecting, rarely orthognathic. Eyes often oblique. Skin rarely a true white; rarely a jet black. Irides generally dark. Hair straight, and lank, and black; rarely light-coloured; sometimes curly, rarely woolly.

Languages.—Aptotic, and agglutinate; rarely with a truly amalgamate inflection.

Distribution.—Asia, Polynesia, America.

Influence upon the history of the world.—Material rather than moral.

II. Atlantidæ.—Maxillary profile projecting, nasal generally flat, frontal retiring, cranium dolikhokephalic, the parietal diameter being generally narrow. Eyes rarely oblique. Skin often jet-black, very rarely approaching a pure white. Hair crisp, woolly, rarely straight, still more rarely light-coloured.

Languages.—With an agglutinate, rarely an amalgamate inflection.


Influence on the history of the world.—Inconsiderable.

III. Iapetidæ.—Maxillary profile but little projecting, nasal often prominent, frontal sometimes nearly vertical. Face rarely very flat, moderately broad. Skull generally dolikhokephalic. Eyes rarely oblique. Skin white, or brunette. Hair never woolly, often light-coloured. Irides black, blue, grey.

Languages.—With amalgamate inflections, or else anaptotic; rarely agglutinate, never aptotic.


Influence on the history of the world.—Greater than that of either the Mongolidæ or the Atlantidæ. Moral as well as material.

These characters have been framed to meet the typical, sub-typical, and quasi-transitional, but not the true transitional forms. The reason of this is clear. Where the transition is real, and where the affiliation in the way of descent coincides with similarity of conformation, the tribe thus situated belong to two divisions, rather than to any single one.

[Pg 15]



The term Altaic is taken from the Altai mountains in Central Asia, these being a convenient geographical centre for the different nations and tribes comprised in this division. It contains the following sub-divisions:—

1. The Seriform Stock.

2. The Turanian Stock.


Physical conformation.—Mongol.

Languages.—Either wholly aptotic, or with only the rudiments of an inflection.

Area.—China, Tibet, and the Indo-Chinese, or Transgangetic, Peninsula, as far as Malaya; the Himalayan, and parts of the sub-Himalayan, range of mountains.

Chief Divisions.—1. The Chinese. 2. The Tibetans. 3. The Anamese. 4. The Siamese. 5. The Kambojians. 6. The Burmese. 7. The Môn. 8. Numerous unplaced tribes.

I have begun with the nations and tribes represented by the Chinese, Tibetans, and Indo-Chinese, on the strength of the primitive condition of their languages. This represents the earliest known stage of human speech; by[Pg 16] which I mean, not that it was spoken earlier than the other tongues of the world, but only that it has changed, or grown, more slowly. I should also add, that over and above the fact of these languages being destitute of true inflection, the separate words generally consist of only a single syllable. Hence the class has been called monosyllabic. This latter character, however, has no essential connection with the aptotic form. A language of dissyllables or trisyllables may, for any thing known to the contrary, be as destitute of inflections as a monosyllabic one. Still, it must be admitted that no such tongue has yet been discovered.


Locality.—China; bounded by the countries of the Koreans, Mantshu, Mongolians, Tibetans, and the hill tribes of the Transgangetic Peninsula and Assam.

Religion.—Modified Buddhism, or the religion of Fo.

Mode of Writing.—Rhæmatographic, i.e. the written signs represent whole words;[9] not merely the parts of words, single articulate sounds or syllables.

Physical Conformation.—Mongoliform. According to Prichard the maxillary profile projects. According to Retzius, the maxillary profile projects, and the cranial development is elongated, or occipito-frontal. That the jaw, in some degree, projects, and that the forehead also retires, is shown by a remark of Tradescant Lay's,—e.g.: that the Chinese profile slopes upwards from the chin to the beginning of the hairy scalp.

No country in the world of equal magnitude with China has so homogeneous or so dense a population. From the ocean to Tibet, from Korea to Cochin-China, the language is one, and the physiognomy is one; and it is only when we reach the mountain-ridges of the west and south, that we find, in the ruder and more imperfectly civilized tribes that inhabit them, any material variation from the general uniformity of the most populous empire in the world. This is the case whatever be the test that is applied. The language varies from the refined speech of the Mandarins[Pg 17] to the comparative rudeness of certain provincial dialects; the complexion and contour of the face vary also; and the civilization is less characteristic in some districts than in others; but all these deviations lie within narrow limits.

In China, the steppe-land of High Asia slopes downwards to the North Pacific. Hence we have a sea-board of average proportion as compared with the inland area. It faces, however, one ocean only; and that the Pacific. Of this no island larger than Hainan is inhabited by a Chinese population; Formosa not being Chinese. No mountain-ranges are of sufficient magnitude to be compared with the systems of Tibet or those of the Transgangetic Peninsula. Still, there are three well-marked watersheds—that of the Hoang-ho on the north, that of the Canton River on the south, and that of Kiang-Ku between them: and there are the fertile alluvial valleys corresponding.

Upon the whole the physical geography of China is that of an agricultural and industrial population. This the Chinese are to a preeminent degree: and when we come to the Malay Archipelago we shall find that they are also traders. I am much more inclined to measure their civilization by this test, than by their pretensions to an indigenous literature of an almost unfathomable antiquity; a point which will be noticed in the sequel.

In physical conformation the Chinese have a yellow-brown complexion, a broad face, and a scanty beard, lank black hair, dark irides, and a stature below that of the European. This is what we expect, as part and parcel of the common Mongol characteristics. Harshness of feature they have in a less degree than the true Mongolians; a tendency to obesity in a greater. In this respect, they have been called Mongols softened down. This is what they really are. One point of physiognomy, however, is[Pg 18] more peculiarly Chinese than aught else,—viz. the linear character, and oblique direction of the opening of the eyes. This is narrow, so that little of the eye is seen. It is also drawn upwards at its outer angle, and so becomes oblique in its position. Sometimes in addition to this the upper eyelid hangs heavy and tumid over the eyeball; and sometimes the skin forms a crescentic fold between the inner angle of the eye and the nose; as may be seen in individuals out of China, and which is not uncommon in England.

Now the peculiarity that I have just attempted to describe, is one of the minute points of difference between the Chinese and several other Mongol nations. The oblique eye will often be noticed in the following pages; sometimes from the fact of its presence, sometimes from that of its absence. It is not exclusively Chinese: but it is found in its most marked form in China.


Localities.—Tibet, Bután, Ladakh, Bultistan, or Little Tibet.

Political relations.—Tibet, subject to China, Ladakh a part of the Sikh empire, Bultistan and Bután, independent.

Divisions.—1. The Bhot of Tibet. 2. The Bhután Tibetans. 3. The Ladakh Tibetans. 4. The Bulti.

Conterminous.—Taking the family altogether, with the Chinese, Mongolians, Turks, Northern tribes and nations of Hindostan, North-Western tribes of the Burmese empire, and certain tribes akin to the Persians.

Religion.—Chiefly Buddhism. Brahminism on the Indian frontier. Shia Mahometanism in Little Tibet.

Language.—Dialects, in some cases, perhaps, independent languages, of the Tibetan.

Alphabet.—Derived from the Pali of India.

Physical appearance.—Mongol.

1.—The Bhot.—These are the inhabitants of Tibet Proper, and Tangut. They are all Buddhists in the more exaggerated form; and it is in the Tibetan monasteries where the greatest abundance of Buddhist literature is to[Pg 19] be found. This is almost wholly religious, and in a great measure a translation from either the Sanskrit or the Pali. The first century after Christ is generally considered as the epoch at which the religion was introduced into Tibet: and this epoch is a likely one.

2.—The Tibetans of Bután.—Although Buddhists, the Tibetans of Bután have been modified by Hindu influences. Their government is that of a Rajah, and many of their outlying tribes are extended to the south of the Himalayan range.

3.—Ladakh Tibetans.—With the exception of the southern frontier of Bután, Ladakh is the portion of the Tibetan area which is best known, and where the proper Tibetan type is most subjected to foreign influences. Although the religion be the religion of Buddha, there was a short interval of Mahometanism. Originally dependent upon the Guru Lama of Hlassa, Ladakh subsequently became one of the extreme points of the Chinese empire, retaining its own princes. In the reign, however, of Aurungzeb, it was overrun by the Turks. These, however, Aurungzeb expelled at the request of the fugitive Rajah, who promised to become Mahometan in return; and kept his promise. It was broken, however, by his successor, so that the religion of Mahomet was professed for a time only. It was, however, tolerated afterwards. The last conquest of Ladakh was by the Sikhs under Runjeet Singh; and it now follows the fortunes of the Sikh dynasty. This has opened a door to the Indians of the Punjâb. To these elements of intermixture may be added, the presence of numerous settlers from Cashmir. Lastly, there is a settlement of Shia Mahometans from Little Tibet.

4.—The Bulti of Bultistan, or Little Tibet.—The most differential characteristic of the Bulti Tibetans, is that[Pg 20] they are no Buddhists, but Mahometans, of the Shia persuasion, their conversion having come from Persia. It has been already stated that the Bulti enjoy a political independence.

Kunawer.(?) I have not examined how far the Kunawer tribes, located where the Sutlege breaks through the Himalayas, deserve to be classed as a separate division. At all events their language is monosyllabic (probably closely allied to the Ladakh), as may be seen in the Theburskud, Milchan, and Súmchú vocabularies of Gerard.[10]

The Polyandria of Tibet.—The current doctrine respecting the so-called Polyandria of Tibet, is that it is the common polygamy of the east reversed; i.e., that one woman marries several husbands, who may all be alive at the same time.

What is most certain upon this obscure point is that the surviving brother inherits the wife of the one that died.

It is not so certain, although highly probably, that the wife is the property of two or more brothers at the same time.

At any rate the marriage, if so it may be called, is confined to the circle of the brothers-in-law. Perhaps the truth is that every brother-in-law is a husband.


Locality.—Tunkín and Cochin-China.

Conterminous with the Chinese; and, except so far as they are partially separated by mountain-tribes, with the Kambojians and Siamese.


Language.—Different from, but allied to, the Chinese.

Physical Appearance.—Like that of the Chinese, except that the average height is somewhat less. Upper extremities long, lower, short and stout. Form of the skull more globular than square. Eyelids less turned than that of the Chinese. [Pg 21]Mouth large; lips prominent, but not thick; moustache more abundant than beard; beard scanty, though encouraged. Colour more yellow than either brown or blackish. Clothing abundant.—Finlayson from Prichard.


Locality.—From the Gulf of Siam and the neck of the Malayan Peninsula to the frontiers of China. Part of Assam. Conterminous on the east, except so far as they are separated by mountain tribes, with the Anamese, and Kambojians; on the west, subject to the same limitation, with the Môn of Pegu, and the tribes of the Burmese empire. On the south with the Malays of the Malayan Peninsula.

Synonym.—T'hay, the native name.


Alphabets.—Of Indian origin, rounded forms of the Pali. Chief Divisions.—Laos, Shyán, (Ahom?) Khamti.

Physical Appearance.—Average height of twenty men, taken indiscriminately, five feet three inches, the tallest being five feet eight inches, the shortest, five feet two inches. Limbs and trunk robust. Complexion, light brown, lighter than the Malay, darker than the Chinese. Hair, black, lank, coarse and abundant. Hairy scalp descends low. Nose small, but not flattened; nostrils divergent. Sclerotica yellowish. Outer angles of the eye turned upwards. Cheek-bones broad and high. Lower jaw square, so as to look as if the parotid gland were swollen.—Crawford and Finlayson from Prichard.

In the history of the Siamese Tribes, the conquest of Assam is, perhaps, the most important event; and this is connected with their wide distribution.

In the lower part of the valley of Assam the language is Bengali, or nearly so; but only in the lower part. The upper half is peopled by different small mountain tribes, one of which is the Khamti.

The Khamti.—In the North Eastern corner of Assam, the Khamti are conterminous with the Singpho, Mishimi, and Miri, and are traditionally reported to have emigrated from the head-waters of the Irawaddi. In physical appearance they are middle-sized, more resembling the Chinese than any tribe on the frontier. Perhaps, a shade darker in complexion. Their alphabet is Siamese; and their language, far north as it is spoken, when compared with the Siamese of Bankok, closely resembles that dialect.[Pg 22] In Brown's[11] Vocabularies the proportion of words, similar or identical, in Khamti and Siamese, is 92 per cent.

Still it is by no means certain that the Khamti represent the original conquerors. These were Ahoms; their alphabet was Ahom, and the language Ahom. The Ahom, however, was Siamese; and probably the Khamti was a dialect of it.

The Ahom literature, preserved in the books of the Assam priesthood, is said to be remarkable for the negative fact of there being in it no traces of the Hindu religion—either Buddhist or Brahminical. This speaks much either in favour of the antiquity of the conquest, or for the recent date of the Hindu influence.

In A.D. 1695, the Brahminical religion was established in Assam: how much earlier is uncertain.


Locality.—Lower course of the Mekhong river. East of the Siamese, west of the Anamese, except so for as they may be separated by isolated mountain tribes, conterminous with these nations.

Our knowledge respecting the Kambojians is not sufficiently definite to enable us to say how far they differ, or how far they agree with certain tribes of the interior, which have been described separately. In Prichard I find that they were supposed by the Portuguese to have been derived from a warlike nation of the interior, called Kho, or Gueo; who are still represented as painting and tattooing their bodies.

Now these Kho, or Gueo, are probably the Ka described along with the Chong, as a separate people. If so we are enabled to dispose of three unplaced tribes; since, by Crawfurd's Ka and Chong vocabularies we can connect, perhaps identify, them with the Kambojians.

[Pg 23]

Sun tangi tańgi tangai.
Moon kot kang ke.
Stone tamoe tamok tamo.
Water dak tak tak.
River dak-tani talle tanle.
Fire un pleu plung.
Fish tre mel trai.
One moe moe moe.
Two bar bar pir.
Three peh peh bai.
Four puan pon buan.
Five chang pram pram.

Most of the Ka, and Chong words which are not Kambojian are either Anamitic or Môn.

Furthermore, in Crawfurd's Embassy to Siam, a vocabulary representing a fourth Kambojian dialect is given; the Khomen.


Locality.—Valley of the Irawaddi. Conterminous, save so far as interrupted by mountain-tribes, with Assam, China, Siam, and Pegu.

Divisions.—1. The Myamma, or Burmese of Ava. 2. The Rhukheng, or people of Arakan.


Alphabet.—Of Indian origin, a rounded form of the Pali.

Physical appearance.—More beard, more prominent features, and darker complexions than the Siamese, Anamese, and Chinese. Beard also more abundant. The darkness of complexion increasing towards the confines of Bengal.


Locality.—The Delta of the Irawaddi; Pegu.


The notices hitherto given have applied only to the great political divisions of the variety speaking monosyllabic languages; and have referred to nations of a known and similar degree of civilization. It would be an error, however, to suppose that they supply a complete enumeration. Hardly an empire mentioned will not exhibit some instance of a new series of phenomena standing over[Pg 24] for investigation. The Chinese, the Burmese, and the Siamese, represent merely the dominant tribes of their several areas; those whereof the civilization and territorial power have given their possessors a certain degree of prominence in the history of the world. The intermixed tribes, sometimes imperfectly subdued, always imperfectly civilized, inhabiting barren tracts or mountain fastnesses, have a value in ethnology which they cannot command in history. In these we see the original substratum of the different national characters, as it may be supposed to have shown itself, before it was modified by foreign influences. In a more advanced stage of our knowledge, these tribes will probably be brought under one of the sub-divisions already noticed. At present, even when in some cases they may be so placed, it is best to take them in detail; premising that, the list does not pretend to be exhaustive, that, from the fluctuations of the geographical nomenclature, the same tribe may be mentioned twice over, and, lastly, that partly from imperfect knowledge, and partly from changes of locality, arising from migrations of the tribes themselves, the geographical position is, in many cases, difficult to fix.

The notice, however, of the minor representatives, real or supposed, of the great division of the human race speaking monosyllabic languages now commences.


The word[12] Si means west, whilst Fan means stranger; so that Si-fan means western strangers. The term means one or more of the wilder tribes on the Tibetan or Mongolian frontier.

Nothing is less likely than that the Si-fan should differ in kind from the Chinese—unless it be that they are Turk, Mongol, or Tibetan.

[Pg 25]


These are the so-called aborigines of China. It were, perhaps, more accurate to call them the Chinese in their most aboriginal form. The term means children of the soil. Their localities are the mountains of Southern and Central China. They seem to consist of a number of tribes rather than to constitute any particular people; so that it is possible that many varieties of the primitive Chinese may be comprised under the general appellation. Those of Ping-sha-hwang are divided into the white and black Miaou-tse; from the difference of their complexion. Both the Abbé Gosier and Tradescant Lay[13] speak to their indomitable courage, and to their spirit of independence, their subjection being still imperfect. Their weapons are the bow and cross-bow. Their employment agriculture. The following is an account of their religious rites from the author last named.

"Religious Rites.—When a man among the Miaou-tse who inhabit the Ping-sha-shih hills, marries, he sticks five small flags into a bundle of grass fastened together by about seven different bands. Before this strange pageant he kneels, while the rest of his friends fold their arms and bow; after this they make merry with music and dancing. At the death of father or mother, the eldest son remains at home for forty-nine days without washing his face; when this period has been completed, he sacrifices to a divinity which is called Fang-kwei, and seems to correspond in office with Mercury, who, according to the views of ancient mythology, conducted the spirits of the dead to the abodes of happiness. If the eldest son be poor, and cannot afford to lose the labour of so long a time, the grandson or some other descendant performs this[Pg 26] duty in his stead. Among the mountaineers styled the Hea-king, when a man is sick, his friends offer the head of a tiger to the prince of divinities. The head is placed upon a charger, with a sword; three incense-sticks and two candles behind it, and three cups of wine in front. Before this curious oblation the worshippers fold their hands, or cross their arms and bow themselves. Another tribe, when they would propitiate the good-will of the powers which influence the weather, appoint ten companies of young men and women, who, after dressing themselves in robes made of felt, and binding their loins with an embroidered girdle, dance and play the organ with every suitable demonstration of joy and festivity. This gay ceremony is kept up for three days and three nights, at the end of which they sacrifice an ox, to obtain, says the Chinese writer, a plentiful year. A father among the same people, when his son is ten months old, offers a white tiger, and accompanies the oblation with such rites of merriment as his circumstances can afford. At this time a name is given to the child. This reminds us of a modern christening, when the solemnities of religion are straightway followed by the mirth, good cheer, and gaieties of a festival. When a tribe called the Chung-king mourn for their dead, they kill an ox, and place the head and feet upon an altar, with basins filled with food, lighted candles, and cups of wine by way of drink-offering. The altar resembles a table, and explains a phrase used in Isaiah, "Ye have prepared a table for that number." The bridal ceremonies with another tribe are attended by the sacrifice of a dog, at which the relatives of husband and wife are present.

"A people called the Western Miaou-tse, in the middle of autumn offer a sacrifice to the great ancestor or founder of their race. For this purpose, they select a male ox or buf[Pg 27]falo which is well covered with hair, and has its horns quite perfect; that is, in other words, an animal without blemish. To put it in good condition, they feed it with grass and water till the rice or corn is ripe, when the animal is fat. They then distil a certain quantity of spirit from the grain, and slay the ox. Being thus provided for a feast, they invite all their relatives, who come and carouse with them amidst plays, singing, and the loud challenges of jolly companions. In the first-fruits which the Chinese present at the close of harvest, we have a representative of Cain's offering; but in the ceremony just described, there are some traces of that which Abel brought to the altar. The aboriginal Chinese retain the rite, but the object worshipped is disguised under an equivocal name,—equivocal, because the Creator has a claim to the title of original ancestor by way of eminence, as well as the common parent of mankind. When the mind of man was darkened, he confounded Adam with his Maker, and worshipped the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed for ever.

"With the White Miaou-tse, a rite is observed somewhat in character like the last, but for a different purpose. These select an ox well-proportioned and carrying a perfect pair of horns. This animal they feed carefully to prepare it for sacrifice. Each cantonment keeps an ox in this way in readiness to be offered to the great ancestor, whenever, in any of their contests, victory shall declare in their favour. After the sacrifice has been performed by the master of the sacrifice, or priest, the relatives of the sacrificer join in a regular festivity of singing and drinking. A tribe commended for the purity of their disposition and their obedience to the magistrate, at the death of a person collect a large quantity of fuel together, and, I[Pg 28] suppose, make a great burning for him. When a man is about to marry among a particular race of mountaineers, he allows two of his teeth to be knocked out with a hammer and hard chisel, to avert the mischiefs of matrimony. These, too, cut off the forelocks and spread the hair behind; they also, like the Chinese, bestow some attention upon the beauty of their eyebrows."


Probably these belong more to Siam[14] than to China. Mutatis mutandis, they are on the southern frontier what the Si-fan are on the west.

They are so far civilized as to have taken their religion (Buddhism), and an alphabet from Ava or Pegu.


The Quanto inhabit[14] the range of mountains between Anam and China. They represent the original civilization, or want of civilization, of Cochin-China and Tonkin,—i.e. of Cochin-China and Tonkin before the influence of China.

They are in possession of an alphabet.


Inhabitants of the southernmost[14] coast of Cochin-China. Their language, of which I have not seen a specimen, is said to differ from both the Chinese and the Kambojian. They are a civilized people, and were so in the time of Marco Polo. According to Crawfurd, their civilization was, to a certain extent, due to Indian influences. At present there is a Malay settlement on their coast.


The southern part of the mountains which form the watershed between Cochin-China and Kambojia is the residence of the Moy. According to Chapman, they are eminently dark-complexioned; an observation which will be found in the sequel to apply to several other of the minor tribes of the division in question.[14]

Sub-divisions of the Laos branch of the Siamese.—As laid down in the maps, the Laos fill up the whole area between China on the north, Siam on the south, Cochin-China and Kambojia on the east, and Ava on the west; of this area, however, little is known in detail.

One of the divisions of the Laos is called Lau[14]-pang-[Pg 29]dun, or the Black Laos, from the darkness of their complexion.

Tribes, too, called Pa-y and Pa-pe,[15] are said to be Laos.

Lastly, the relations between the true Laos, and the Ahom, Khamti, and Shyán, have yet to be made out in a satisfactory manner.


Distribution.—Irregular; from the eleventh to the twenty-third degree of north latitude; from the Mergui Province in Tenasserim to the borders of China, between the Burmese on the west and the Siamese on the east. On the river Salwin, are the so-called Red Karien.

Name.—Burmese. Called Kadun in Pegu.

The Kariens, unless they are Siamese, have next to that nation the greatest extension, north and south. Ground down by the oppression of the Burmese, they are, with the exception of the red Kariens, who still preserve an imperfect independence, a decreasing race. Of their language we have specimens[16] in more than one dialect, viz., the Passuko, Maplu, and Play. They are agricultural tribes, clearing the land for the cultivation of rice, and then leaving it to migrate elsewhere.—Arva in annos mutant, et superest ager.


Locality.—Islands of the Mergui Archipelago.

Numbers.—Said to be about one thousand.

Language.—Said to be peculiar.

Authority.—Dr. Helfer's Third Report on the Tenasserim Provinces.—Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. viii.

The details now forthcoming apply to the districts lying north of a line drawn from the southernmost point of Arakan to the Irawaddi; and they comprise the eastern extensions of the Arakan tribes, the parts about Manipur, and the complex, but important line of frontier between [Pg 30]the Indo-Chinese kingdoms, and the Indian portions of Bengal and Assam.

The first tribes that will be noticed are those which are most closely related to the inhabitants of Arakan.


Locality.—South-east Assam, in the north-eastern portion of the mountain range between Assam and the Burmese empire. Conterminous with the Singpho on the north-east.


Locality.—Mountains of Tipperah, Sylhet and Chittagong. A south-western prolongation of the Nagas.

Synonyms.—Lunctas, Koung-thias.(?)


Locality.—The same mountains as the Kuki, only on a lower level. The word means villagers, Khúm=village.

The Naga, Kuki, and Khumia, are tribes of one family. Their ethnographical position is certain. They have long been known to be part of Rhukheng division of the Burmese tribes, speaking the same language with the inhabitants of Arakan, and connecting themselves with that people in their traditions respecting their own origin.

I may also add that the similarity of manners between them and the Garo is very manifest.


Locality.—The Yuma mountains between Ava and Arakan. Independent Pagans.

Name.—Burmese. Native name Koloun. Buchanan, in Asiatic Researches, vol. v.

Authority.—Lieutenant Trant in Asiatic Researches, vol. xvi.

The faces of the Khyen women are tattooed. That the following reason, however, for the practice is valid, is more than I will venture to vouch.

One of the forms of tribute to one of the conquerors of the Khyens, was the payment of a certain number of[Pg 31] the most beautiful women of the country. In order to do away with the danger to which their unmutilated charms exposed them, the whole generation tattooed themselves; and their descendants have done so since.


Synonyms.—Kathi or Kassay, Moitay.

Locality.—Bounded on the east by the right branch of the Irawaddi, on the north and west by the Naga and Kachari countries, on the south by the Khyen.

An idea of the extent to which the language, for these parts varies within a small geographical area, may be collected from Captain Gordon's notices of the dialects spoken in the neighbourhood of Manipur.

Besides the Manipur proper, the following eleven dialects are illustrated by his vocabularies,[17] and are said to be spoken within the limits of a very inconsiderable circle, of which Manipur is the centre.

1. The Songpú. The most western. Per-centage of Manipur words, 21. Brown.

2. The Kapwi. A very small tribe. Ditto, 41. Brown.

3. The Koreng. Ditto, 18. Brown.

4. The Maram. Ditto, 25. Brown.

5. The Champhung. Thirty or forty families. Ditto, 28. Brown.

6. The Luhuppa. Ditto, 31. Brown.

7. The North Tankhul. Ditto, 28. Brown. Said to be mutually unintelligible.
8. The Central Tankhul. Ditto, 35. Brown.
9. The South Tankhul. Ditto, 33. Brown.
[Pg 32]

10. The Khoibú. Per-centage of Manipur words, 40. Brown.

11. The Maring. Ditto, 50. Brown.


Locality.—Arakan, banks of the river Koladyng. A single village.

Religion.—Worship of Nats (Spirits).

Physical Appearance.—Contrasted with that of their neighbours, being so dark as to suggest the idea that they are of Bengal origin. No traditions, however, to that effect.

Language.—Monosyllabic, as ascertained by two vocabularies.—Lieut. Phayre's Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and Lieut. Latter, ditto.


Locality.—Between the Kasia county, with which it is conterminous on the east, and Manipur.


Locality.—Southern border of Lower Assam. Conterminous with the Kachari on the east and the Garo on the west.

A better knowledge of the wild tribes in these parts than we possess, will, probably, enable us to ascertain the nature of the most primitive Indo-Chinese religion. It seems in these parts to be the worship of Nats or spirits.

In the Kasia country the occurrence of erect pillars, evidently objects of mysterious respect, if not of adoration, is frequent. These are explained by similar ones in the Khyen district. They are depicted by Lieutenant Latter—accurate magis quam verecunde—and are lingams.

Stout legs, thick lips, and angular eyes, are marked characters in the Kasia conformation. They burn their dead. Their ceremonies are few or none. Like the Garo, they drink no milk. Like the Garo, also, they are said to have no beast of burden. Like many of the tribes around them they chew pawn; and like many of the tribes around them they obtain, for drink, a liquor fermented from millet. Millet or rice are the usual sources for the stimulant beverages of this section of the Seriform tribes;[Pg 33] and, it may be added, that the art of distillation as well as of simple fermentation is widely spread. I am not aware that the former is practised by the present tribe; it is common, however, in the Sub-Himalayan range.—Lieutenant Yule, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, xiii. 3.


Locality.—A tract of about one thousand four hundred square miles in the north-eastern corner of Assam. Conterminous with the Khamtis and Mishimis on the north. Bounded on the south and east by the Patkoe range; which divides Assam from the Burmese empire.

Population.—Calculated in 1838 at six thousand.

Government.—Clans under chiefs called Gaums.

Religion.—Imperfect Buddhism. Worship of dead chieftains.

Alphabet.—Shyán or Ahom.

Physical Appearance.—Body long, legs short, complexion tawny.


Locality.—The Burmese side of the Patkoe range. Conterminous with the Singpho, by whom they have been nearly extinguished.

Language.—Seven-tenths of the Jili vocabulary is Singpho.


Locality.—North-east extremity of Assam. Conterminous with the Khamti on the south, and the Abors on the west. Mountaineers. Tibet on the north.

Mishimi Tribes.—The Chool Kutta=crop-haired, the Meahu, the Tairi, or Digaru. According to Brown, the Maí Mishimi, the Taron Mishimi, and the Maiye or Meme Mishimi.

Probable Population.—Four hundred and sixty.

Physical Appearance.—Stature short. Limbs small, but active, and well-knit.

The Mishimi country produces, and the Mishimi collect, a poison called the Bikh Mishimi. This is used both for the purposes of hunting and of war. So poisonous is it that a single wound is said to kill an elephant. The flesh, however, of the animal so killed is eaten with impunity.


Locality.—The loftiest portion of the mountains to the north of Assam.

[Pg 34]


Locality.—The lower range of the mountains inhabited by the Bor Abors.


Locality.—The foot of the Abor and Bor Abor range. Speaking generally, the Bor Abors, Abors, and Miri are conterminous with the Khamti, and Mishimi on the north-east.


Locality.—South-west of the Abors, on the same mountain range. No less than one hundred and eighty petty chiefs are said to rule over the numerous disunited Dufla tribes of the Char Dwán; and this is only one of their localities.


Locality.—The south-western prolongation of the range inhabited by the Abors and Dufla. Conterminous with the latter.

Language.—Half the words in an Aka and Abor vocabulary are alike.


Locality.—North-east Assam, south of the Burramputer. Conterminous with the Singhu, Khamti, and Miri.

Synonym.—Muamaria, or Moa Mareya.

Religion.—Imperfect Brahmanism.

The Muttuck persecution is one of the most important facts in the history of Assam. Prior to the Ahom invasion, said to have taken place 1224, A. D., the Muttucks had been converted to Hinduism; but to a form of it which denied the divinity of Durga, and would not admit the worship of her image. A violent persecution on this account, between A.D. 1714 and 1744, brought about a resistance which did much to weaken and disorganise the Assam empire.


Locality.—The Garo hills, at the south-western entrance of the valley of Assam.

No tribe hitherto mentioned is of the ethnographical importance of the Garo.

If we call them Indian, they are the most northern[Pg 35] tribe that has been described as having Negro elements in their physiognomy.

If we call them Tibetan, or Burmese, they are equally remarkable for this peculiarity.

Taking their physical appearance as a test, it is the Garo that seem the likeliest to exhibit a transition between the type already illustrated, and the type of the aborigines of Hindostan, supposing such a transition to exist.

Taking their language into consideration, something of the same intermediate character is, perhaps, to be found. It has been referred to each class; by some to the monosyllabic tongues of Tibet, or the Burmese empire; by others to the Indian group of dialects and languages.

The first description of the Garo is to be found in the Asiatic Researches. Here it is where they are described as approaching the Negro type. Endued with great physical strength, at least as compared with the Bengali, they are pagans and savages: their manners, as stated above, agreeing in many points with those of the Kukis.

It is, however, by their language that their ethnographical position will best be determined.

The present writer, who had not then seen Mr. Brown's Vocabularies, placed this, in 1844, in the Tibetan division; being satisfied of its monosyllabic character.

Mr. Brown's Vocabularies confirm this view (so far as it goes) of the monosyllabic character of the Garo; and I think that the following table—Mr. Brown's also—shewing the per-centage of words in any two languages, does the same.

[Pg 36]

Khamti, Siamese, A'ká, A'bor, Mishimi, Burmese, Karien, Singpho, Jili, Garo, Manipurí, Songpú, Kapwi, Koreng, Maram, Champhung, Luhuppa, N. Tángkhul, C. Tángkhul, S. Tángkhul, Khoibú, Maring, Anamese,
Khamti, 92 1 1 5 8 8 3 10 3 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Siamese, 92 0 0 3 6 8 3 10 1 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
A'bor, 1 0 47 20 17 12 15 15 5 11 3 10 3 8 8 8 5 6 10 8 10 0
A'ká, 1 0 47 20 11 10 18 11 6 15 6 11 5 8 6 8 8 8 10 10 18 0
Mishimi, 5 3 20 20 10 10 10 13 10 11 0 11 0 3 5 6 8 6 13 10 8 1
Burmese, 8 6 17 11 10 23 23 26 12 16 8 20 6 11 11 11 10 13 13 16 16 1
Karien, 8 8 12 10 10 23 17 21 8 15 10 15 8 12 4 12 8 12 12 10 15 2
Singpho, 3 3 15 18 10 23 17 70 16 25 10 18 11 11 13 15 13 25 13 20 18 5
Jili, 10 10 15 11 13 26 21 70 22 16 10 21 13 11 11 18 20 20 13 20 20 3
Garo, 3 1 5 6 10 12 8 16 22 10 5 6 5 8 5 8 13 11 5 5 5 3
Manipurí, 3 3 11 15 11 16 15 25 16 10 21 41 18 25 28 31 28 35 33 40 50 6
Songpú, 1 1 3 6 0 8 10 10 10 5 21 35 50 53 20 23 15 15 13 8 15 6
Kapwi, 0 0 10 11 11 20 15 18 21 6 41 35 30 33 20 35 30 40 45 38 40 5
Koreng, 1 1 3 5 0 6 8 11 13 5 18 50 30 41 18 21 20 20 10 15 3
Maram, 0 0 8 8 3 11 12 11 11 8 25 53 33 41 21 28 25 20 16 23 26 3
Champhung, 0 0 8 6 5 11 4 13 11 5 28 20 20 18 21 40 20 20 16 15 25 3
Luhuppa, 0 0 8 8 6 11 12 15 18 8 31 23 35 21 28 40 63 55 36 33 40 5
N. Tángkhul, 0 0 5 8 8 10 8 13 20 13 28 15 30 20 25 20 63 85 30 31 31 3
C. Tángkhul, 0 0 6 8 6 13 12 25 20 11 35 15 40 20 20 20 55 85 41 45 41 1
S. Tángkhul, 0 0 10 10 13 13 12 13 13 5 33 13 45 11 16 16 36 30 41 43 43 5
Khoibú, 0 0 8 10 10 16 10 20 20 5 40 8 38 10 23 15 33 31 45 43 78 3
Maring, 0 0 10 18 8 16 15 18 20 5 50 15 40 15 26 25 40 31 41 43 78 3
Anamese, 5 5 0 0 1 1 2 5 3 3 6 6 5 3 3 3 5 3 1 5 3 3

In the face of this, however, the author writes 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 connects the Garos with the Bodo, not, indeed, as a sub-division of that group, but as a class with a common origin; adding, that fifteen out of sixty words in Brown's Vocabulary are the same in Garo and Bodo.

This involves the position of the Garo with that of the Bodo; whilst, in respect to the Bodo, it is convenient to consider them along with the Dhimál.

We are now in that part of the Indian side of the Himalayan range, which lies between Assam on the east,[Pg 37] and Sikkim on the west, and which is bounded on the north by Bhután. This is the area where the aboriginal Indian and the Tibetan most intermix.


Locality.—Mixed with the Bodo, in their most westerly locality, i.e. between the Konki and Dhorla.

Numbers.—According to Mr. Hodgson, about 15,000.

Authority.—-Hodgson's Dissertation on the Kocch, Bodo, and Dhimál.


Locality.—The forest belt (not the mountains) in a circle round the Valley of Assam, from Tipperah S. E. to Morung, N.W. Mixed, in their most westerly localities with the Dhimál.


Name.—Native; the Mécch call themselves Bodo, and so do the Kachari.

Authority.—Same as for the Dhimál.

The Bodo are the rudest division of the present group whereof we possess anything like a sufficient amount of detailed information; Mr. Hodgson's Dissertation being, perhaps, the best ethnological monograph existing. Hence, it is in the Bodo nation that, in the present state of our knowledge, we must study the general phenomena of the wilder Seriform tribes.

In respect to their social development the Bodo are good examples of a very peculiar form. They are tillers of the soil, and (as such) agriculturists rather than hunters, fishers, or feeders of flocks and herds. But their agriculture is imperfect, and quasi-nomadic; since they are not fixed but erratic or migratory cultivators. They have no name for a village, no sheep, no oxen, no fixed property in the soil. Like the ancient Germans, arva in annos mutant, et superest ager. They clear a jungle, crop it as long as it will yield an average produce, and then remove themselves elsewhere.

"They never cultivate the same field beyond the second[Pg 38] 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, 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."[18]

It is a fact of some importance that erratic agriculture, a rare and exceptional form of industrial development, is probably more general among the Seriform tribes than elsewhere. It has already been stated to be the habit of the Karien, and there is little doubt as to its being far more general than it has hitherto been described to be. Contrast with this imperfect form of agricultural industry the cultivation of the soil in China. The Bodo villages are small communities of from ten to forty huts. The head of these communities is called the Grá. It is the Grá who is responsible to the foreign government (British, Tibetan, or Nepalese), for the order of the community, and for the payment of its tribute. In cases[Pg 39] of perplexity the Grás of three or four neighbouring communities meet in deliberation. Offenders against the customs of the community may be admonished, fined, or excommunicated.

This last term suggests a new series of ideas. The Bodo religious ordinances are apparently very simple; so that they form a remarkable contrast with the numerous details of Hinduism. The birth, the weaning, and the naming of children are all unattended with ceremonies requiring the presence of a priest. At funerals and marriages, however, the priest presides. This he does, not so much as a minister to the essential ceremony, as for the sake of the feast that accompanies it. No Bodo or Dhimál will touch flesh which has not been offered to the gods: and this offering a priest must make. Such being the case, notwithstanding the statement of Mr. Hodgson, who describes in somewhat flattering terms the negative merits of the simple Bodo creed, and who especially affirms that the priesthood is no hereditary office, I cannot but suspect that the influence of the spiritual power is greater than he admits. If not, the Bodo must have but few meals of meat.

Marriage is a contract rather than a rite. Polygamy or concubinage is rare: the adoption of children common. All the sons inherit equally; daughters not at all. A Bodo can only marry to one of his own people. Divorce, though practicable and easy, is rare; the wife and daughter have their due influence. No infanticide, no suttí. Children are named as soon as the mother comes abroad, which is generally four or five days after her confinement. The idea that the delivery involves a temporal impurity is recognised; so that all births (and deaths also) necessitate a temporary segregation and certain purificatory forms.[Pg 40] The one, however, is short, and the other simple. The infant "is named immediately after birth, or as soon as the mother comes abroad, which is always four or five days after delivery. There are no family names, or names derived from the gods. Most Bodo and Dhimáls bear meaningless designations, or any passing event of the moment may suggest a significant term: thus a Bhótia chief arrives at the village, and the child is called Jinkhap; or a hill peasant arrives, and it is named Góngar, after the titular or general designation of the Bhótias. Children are not weaned so long as their mother can suckle them, which is always from two to three years—sometimes more—and two children, the last and penultimate, are occasionally seen at the breast together. The delayed period of weaning will account in part for the limited fecundity of the women. When a Bodo or Dhimál comes of age, the event is not solemnized by any rite or social usage whatever. Marriage takes place at maturity, the male being usually from twenty to twenty-five years of age, and the female, from fifteen to twenty. Courtship is not sanctioned: the parents or friends negotiate the wedlock."

In this the commercial element is predominant. A price—Jan—must be paid by the bridegroom elect for the intended bride. If the former have "no means of discharging this sum, he must go to the house of his father-in-law elect and there literally earn his wife by the sweat of his brow, labouring, more Judaico, upon mere diet for a term of years, varying from two as an average to five and even seven as the extreme period. This custom is named Gabóï by the Bodo—Ghárjyá by the Dhimáls."

When the preliminaries have been arranged, the bride[Pg 41]groom proceeds to the house of the bride, in procession with his friends. Two females attend him. The business of these is "to put red lead or oil on the bride elect's head, when the procession has reached her home. There a refection is prepared, after partaking of which, the procession returns, conducting the bride elect to the house of the groom's parents. So far the same rite is common to the Bodo and Dhimál—the rest is peculiar to each. Among the Dhimáls, the Déóshi now proceeds to propitiate the gods by offerings. Dáta and Bídata who preside over wedlock are invoked, and betel-leaf and red lead are presented to them. The bride and groom elect are next placed side by side, and each furnished with five pauns, with which they are required to feed each other, while the parents of the groom cover them with a sheet, upon which the Déóshi, by sprinkling holy water sanctifies and completes the nuptials. Among the Bodo the bride elect is anointed at her own home with oil; the elders or the Déóshi perform the sacred part of the ceremony, which consists in the sacrifice of a cock and a hen, in the respective names of the groom and bride, to the sun: and next, the groom, rising, makes salutation to the bride's parents, and the bride, similarly, attests her future duty of reverence and obedience towards her husband's parents; when the nuptials are complete. A feast follows both with Bodo and Dhimáls, but is less costly among the former than among the latter—as is said, because the higher price paid for his wife by the Bodo incapacitates him for giving so costly an entertainment. The marriage feast of the Dhimáls is alleged to cost thirty or forty rupees sometimes, the festivities being prolonged through two and even three days; whereas four to six—rarely ten rupees suffice for the nuptial banquet of a Bodo.

[Pg 42]

"The Bodo and Dhimáls both alike bury the dead, immediately after decease, with simple but decent reverence, though no fixed burial ground nor artificial tomb is in use to mark the last resting place of those most dear in life, because the migratory habits of the people would render such usages nugatory. The family and friends form a funeral procession, which bears the dead in silence to the grave. The body being interred, a few stones are piled loosely upon the grave to prevent disturbance by jackals and ratels, rather than to mark the spot, and some food and drink are laid upon the grave; when the ceremony is suspended, and the party disperses. Friends are purified by mere ablution in the next stream and at once resume their usual cares. The family are unclean for three days, after which, besides bathing and shaving, they need to be sprinkled with holy water by their elders or priest. They are then restored to purity and forthwith proceed to make preparations for a funeral banquet, by the sacrifice of a hog to Mainou or Timáng, of a cock to Báthó or Pochima, according to the nation. When the feast has been got ready and the friends are assembled, before sitting down they all repair, once again, to the grave, when the nearest of kin to the deceased, taking an individual's usual portion of food and drink, solemnly presents them to the dead with these words, '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.' And thereupon the whole party break and cast on the grave a bracelet of thread priorly attached, to this end, to the wrist of each of them. Next the party proceed to the river and bathe, and having thus lustrated themselves, they repair to the banquet, and eat, drink, and make merry[Pg 43] as though they were never to die! A funeral costs the Dhimáls from four to eight rupees—something more to the Bodo, who practise more formality on the occasion, and to whom is peculiar the singular leave-taking of the dead just described."

The details relating to the priesthood, and to the festivals of the Bodo tribes, will best indicate the nature of their religion. The list of the Bodo gods is very nearly the list of the Bodo rivers. Báthó, however, the chief god, is no river but a plant; one of the Euphorbeace. Mainon is Báthó's wife. All diseases are referred to preternatural influence. Oaths and ordeals are very general.

Rites and ceremonies.—The rites of the Bodo and Dhimál religions are entirely similar and "consist of offerings, sacrifices, and prayers. The prayers are few and simple, when stript of their mummery; and necessarily so, being committed solely to the memories of a non-hereditary and very trivially instructed and mutable priesthood. They consist of invocations of protection for the people and their crops and domestic animals; of deprecations of wrath when sickness, murrain, drought, blight, or the ravages of wild animals, prevail; and thanksgivings when the crops are safely housed, or recent troubles are passed. The offerings consist of milk, honey, parched rice, eggs, flowers, fruits, and red lead or cochineal: the sacrifices of hogs, goats, fowls, ducks, and pigeons—most commonly hogs and fowls. Sacrifices are deemed more worthy than offerings, so that all the higher deities, without reference to their supposed benevolence or malevolence of nature, receive sacrifices—all the lesser deities, offerings only. Libations of fermented liquor always accompany sacrifice—because, to confess the whole truth, sacrifice and feast[Pg 44] are commutable words, and feasts need to be crowned by copious potations! Malevolence appears to be attributed to very few of the gods, though of course all will resent neglect; but, in general, their natures are deemed benevolent; and hence the absence of all savage or cruel rites. All diseases, however, are ascribed to supernatural agency. The sick man is supposed to be possessed by one of the deities, who racks him with pains, as a punishment for impiety or neglect of the god in question. Hence, not the mediciner, but the exorcist is summoned to the sick man's aid. The exorcist is called, both by the Bodo and Dhimáls, Ojhá, and he operates as follows. Thirteen leaves, each with a few grains of rice upon it, are placed by the exorcist in a segment of a circle before him to represent the deities. The Ojhá, squatting on his hams before the leaves causes a pendulum attached to his thumb by a string to vibrate before them, repeating invocations the while. The god who has possessed the sick man, is indicated by the exclusive vibration of the pendulum towards his representative leaf, which is then taken apart, and the god in question is asked, what sacrifice he requires? a buffalo, a hog, a fowl, or a duck to spare the sufferer. He answers (the Ojhá best knows how!) a hog; and it is forthwith vowed by the sick man and promised by the exorcist, but only paid when the former has recovered. On recovery the animal is sacrificed, and its blood offered to the offended deity. I witnessed the ceremony myself among the Dhimáls, on which occasion the thirteen deities invoked were Pochima or Waráng, Timai or Béráng, Lákhim, Konoksiri, Ménchi, Chímá, Danto, Chádúng, Aphóï, Biphóï, Andhéman (Aphún), Tátopátia (Báphún), and Shúti. A Bodo exorcist would proceed precisely in the same manner, the only difference in the ceremony[Pg 45] being the invocation of the Bodo gods instead of the Dhimál ones.

"The great festivals of the year are three or four. The first is held in December-January, when the cotton crop is ready. It is called Shúrkhar by the Bodo, Haréjata by the Dhimáls. The second is held in February-March. It is named Wágalénó by the Bodo, who alone observe it. The Bodo name for the third, which is celebrated in July-August, when the rice comes into ear, is Phúlthépno. The Dhimáls call it Gávi púja. The fourth great festival is held in October, and is named Ai húnó by the Bodo—Pochima páká by the Dhimáls. The first three of these festivals are consecrated to the elemental gods and to the interests of agriculture. They are celebrated abroad, not at home (generally on the banks of a river), whence attendance on them is called Hagrou húdong or madai húdong, "going forth to worship" in contradistinction to the style of the fourth great festival, which is devoted to the household gods and is celebrated at home. The Wágalénó, or bamboo festival of the Bodo, I witnessed in the spring of this year, and will describe it as a sample of the whole. Proceeding from Siligori to Pankhabárí with Dr. Campbell, we came upon a party of Bodo in the bed of the river, within the Saul forest, or rather, were drawn off the road by the noise they made. It was a sort of chorus of a few syllables, solemnly and musically incanted, which, on reaching the spot was found to be uttered by thirteen Bodo men, who were drawn up in a circle facing inwards, and each carrying a lofty bamboo pole decked with several tiers of wearing apparel and crowned with a Chour or yak's tail. Within the circle were three men, one of whom with an instrument like this in his hands danced to the music, waving his[Pg 46] weapon downwards on one side and so over the head, and then downwards on the other side and again over the head. He moved round the margin of the circle in the centre of which stood two others, one a Déóshi or priest, and the other an attendant or servitor called Phantwál. The priest, clothed in red cotton but not tonsured or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the party, muttered an invocation, whereof the burden or chorus was taken up by the thirteen forming the ring above noticed. The servitor had a water-pot in one hand and a brush in the other, and from time to time, as the rite proceeded, this person moved out of the circle to sprinkle with the holy water another actor in this strange ceremony and a principal one too. This is the Déódá, or the possessed, who when filled with the god answers by inspiration to the questions of the priests 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 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—a circumstance which must be ascribed to the presence of the sceptical strangers; for it is faith alone that[Pg 47] worketh miracles and only among and for the faithful. This ceremony is performed annually by the Rajah of Sikim's orders, or rather with his sanction of the usages of his subjects; is addressed to the sun, the moon, the elemental gods, and, above all, to the rivers; and is designed to ensure health and plenty in the coming year, as well as to ascertain, beforehand, its promise or prospect through the revelations of the Déódá. With regard to the festival sacred to the national or homebred (noöni) gods, called Aihuno[19] by the Bodo, and Pochima páká by the Dhimáls, it is to be observed that the rite, like the separate class of deities adored thereby, is more distinctively Bodo than Dhimál. With both people the pre-eminence of water among the elements is conspicuous; but whereas the river gods of the Dhimáls have nearly absorbed all the rest, elementary or other, the household gods of the Bodo stand conspicuously distinguished from the fluviatile deities. The Pochima and Timáng of the Dhimáls are one or both rivers: the Bátho and Mainang of the Bodo are neither of them rivers, and their interparietal rites are as clearly distinguished from the rites performed abroad to the fluviatile and other elemental gods. However, the rites of Báthó and Mainou are participated by deities of elementary and watery nature, and, on the other hand, the Dhimáls assert that Pochima and Timai have a twofold character, one of river gods (Dhorla and Tishta), and one of supreme gods; and they that are adored, separately, in these two characters, the Pochima páká, or home-rite of October, being appropriated to them in the latter capacity of that of supreme gods. I have not witnessed the Pochima páká, and therefore speak with[Pg 48] hesitation. The Ai húnó is performed as follows. The friends and family being assembled, including as many persons as the master of the house can afford to feast, the Déóshi or priest enters the enclosure or yard of the house, in the centre of which is invariably planted a Sij or Euphorbia, as the representative of Bátho who is the family as well as national god of the Bodo. The Báthó, thus represented, the Déóshi offers prayers, and sacrifices a cock. He then proceeds into the house, adores Mainou, and sacrifices to her a hog. Next, the priest, the family, and all the friends proceed to some convenient and pleasant spot in the vicinity, previously selected, and at which a little temporary shed has been erected as an altar, and there, with due ceremonies, another hog is sacrificed to Agráng, a he-goat to Manásho and to Búli, and a fowl, duck, or pigeon (black, red, or white, according to the special and well known taste of each god) to each of the remaining nine of the Noöni madai. The blood of the sacrifice belongs to the gods—the flesh to his worshippers, and these now hold a high feast, at which beer and tobacco are freely used to animate the joyous conclave, but not spirits, nor opium, nor hemp. The goddess Mainou is represented in the interior of each house, by a bamboo post, about three feet high, fixed in the ground, and surmounted by a small earthen cup filled with rice. Before this symbol is the great annual sacrifice of the hog above noted, performed; and before this, the females of the family once a month, make offerings of eggs. For the males, due attention to the four annual festivals is deemed sufficient in prosperous and healthful seasons. But sickness or scarcity always begets special rites and ceremonies, suited to the circumstances of the calamity, and addressed more particularly to the elemental gods,[Pg 49] if the calamity be drought, or blight, or devastations of wild animals—to the household gods, if it be sickness. Hunters, likewise, and fishers, when they go forth to the chase, sacrifice a fowl to the Sylvan gods, to promote their success; and lastly, those who have a petition to prefer to their superiors, conceive that a similar propitiation of Jishim and Mishim, or of the Chiris, will tend to the fulfilment of their requests. And this, I think, is nearly the whole amount of rites and ceremonies, which their religion prescribes to the Bodo and Dhimáls. And anxious as I am fully to illustrate the topic, I will not try the patience of my readers by describing all that variety of black victims and white, of red victims and blue, which each particular deity is alleged to prefer; first, because the subject is intrinsically trifling; and second because the diverse statements of my informants lead me to suspect, that the matter is optional or discretionary with each individual priest prescribing these minutiæ. I have mentioned the rude symbols proper to Báthó and Mainou. None of the other gods seem to have any at all, though a low line of kneaded clay attached to the Thalí that surrounds the sacred Euphorbia in the yards of the Bodo is said to stand for the rest of the divinities who, as I have already said, are wont to be worshipped collectively rather than individually; and thus the sun, the moon, and the earth, though adored by Bodo and by Dhimál, have no separate rites, but are included in those appropriated to the elemental gods. Witchcraft is universally dreaded by both Bodo and Dhimál. The names of the craft and of its professors, male and female, will be found in the vocabulary. Witches (Dain and Mháï) are supposed to owe their noxious power to their own wicked studies, or to the aid of preternatural beings. When any person is afflicted, the elders assemble[Pg 50] and summon three Ojhás or exorcists, with whose aid and that of a cane freely used, the elders endeavour to extort from the witch a confession of the fact and the motives. By dint of questioning and of beating, the witch is generally brought to confession, when he or she is asked to remove the spell, and to heal the sufferer, means of propitiating preternatural allies (if their agency be alleged) being at the same time tendered to the witch, who is, however, forthwith expelled the district, and put across the next river, with the concurrence of the local authorities. No other sorcery or black art save that of witches is known; nor palmistry, augury, astrology, nor, in a word, any other supposed command of the future than that described in the 'Wa galéno' as the attribute (for the nonce) of the Déódá or vates. The evil eye causes some alarm to Bodo and to Dhimál who call it mogon nángo and mí nójó respectively, and who cautiously avoid the evil-eyed person, but cannot eject him from the community. The influence of the evil eye is sought to be neutralised by offerings of parched millet and eggs to Khoja Kajah and Mansha Rajah—Dii minores who find no place in my catalogue, ample as it is. Moïsh madai, I am told, likewise claims a place in the Bodo Pantheon, and a distinguished place, too, as the protector of this forest-dwelling people from beasts of prey, and especially the tiger.

"Priesthood.—The priesthood of the Bodo and Dhimáls is entirely the same, even to the nomenclature, which with both people expresses the three sorts of clergy by the terms Déóshi, Dhámi and Ojhá. The Dhámi (seniores priores!) is the district priest. The Déóshi the village priest; and the Ojhá the village exorcist. The Déóshi has under him one servitor called Phantwál. There is a Déóshi in nearly every village. Over a small circle of villages one Dhámi[Pg 51] presides and possesses a vaguely defined but universally recognised control over the Déóshis of his district. The general constitutions and functions of the clerical body have already been fully explained. Priests are subject to no peculiar restraints, nor marked by any external sign of diverse dress or other. The connexion between pastor and flock is full of liberty for the latter, who collectively can eject their priest if they disapprove him, or individually can desert him for another if they please. He marries and cultivates like his flock, and all that he can claim from them for his services is, first, a share of every animal sacrificed by him, and second, three days' help from each of his flock (the grown males) per annum, towards the clearing and cultivation of the land, he holds on the same terms with them, and which have already been explained. Whoever thinks fit to learn the forms of offering, sacrifice, and accompanying invocation, can be a priest; and if he get tired of the profession, he can throw it up when he will. Ojhás stand not on the same footing with Dhámis and Déóshis: they are remunerated solely by fees; but into either office—priests or exorcists—the form of induction is similar, consisting merely of an introduction by the priests or exorcists of the neophyte to the gods, the first time he officiates. One Dhámi and two Déóshis usually induct a Déóshi—three Ojhás, an Ojhá; and the formula is literally that of an introduction—'this is so and so, who proposes, O ye gods! to dedicate himself to your service: mark how he performs the rites, and, if correctly, accept them at his hands.'"

These remarks will conclude with the notice of an ethnological question of primary importance, but not yet laid before the reader, viz.: the extent to which certain varieties of the human species can live and thrive in localities[Pg 52] which are either deleterious or deadly to others. Some rough facts of the kind in question are generally known; such, for instance, as the tolerance on the part of the Negro of the heat and malaria of the tropical climates. A similar tolerance of climatologic influences otherwise deleterious is shewn by the Bodo, and its allied tribes. According to Mr. Hodgson, none but themselves can live in their own localities; since "the Saul forest everywhere, but especially to the east of the Kósi, is malarious to an extent which no human beings can endure, save the remarkable races, which for ages have made it their dwelling-place. To all others, European or native, it is deadly from April to November. Yet the Dhimál, the Bodo, the Kíchak, the Tharú, the Dénwár, not only live but thrive in it, exhibiting no symptoms whatever of that dreadful stricken aspect of countenance and form which marks the victim of malaria."

The converse of this position, or the incapacity of the Bodo, &c., for living elsewhere, is also mentioned by Mr. Hodgson, but with an expression of doubt as to its accuracy. "The Bodo and Dhimáls, whom I communicated with, alleged that they cannot endure the climate of the open plains, where the heat gives them fevers. This is a mere excuse for their known aversion to quit the forest; for their eastern brethren dwell and till like natives in the open plains of Assam, just as the Kóls of south Bihár (Dhángars) do now in every part of the plains of Bihár and Bengal, in various sites abroad, and lastly in the lofty sub-Himálayas."

The Bodo tribes will again be brought prominently forward when the ethnology of the peninsula of India is discussed.

[Pg 53]


Each of these countries, although south of the Himalayas, and although to a great extent Hindu in religion, government, and language, must be looked upon as countries of which the aboriginal population is an extension of that of Tibet. The tribes of Sikkim and Nepal are Cis-Himalayan Tibetans; the word Tibetan being used in its general sense.

1. The Magars.—Imperfectly Braminical in their religion, with a separate monosyllabic language, and remains of their old Paganism. Their priests were called Damis.[20]

2. The Gurungs.—Adherents to Buddhism. Inhabitants of the same localities with the Magars; only higher in the mountains.

3. The Jariyas.—Indianized.

4. The Newars.—Probably the oldest inhabitants of Nepal. Adherents to Buddhism; alphabet derived from the Devanagari.

5. The Murmis.—Buddhist. Language like, but different from, that of the Newars.

6. The Kirata.—Eastern Nepal; Buddhist.

7. Limbu.—Same localities as the Kirata: differing in language.

8. The Lepchas.—Inhabitants of Sikkim. Have a tradition that they lately migrated from Tibet, crossing the mountains; also that they then had a native alphabet, since lost.


Locality.—Forests of Nepaul, west of the Great Valley.

Tribes.—Chépáng, Kusunda, and Haiyu.

Vocabularies.—One only known, i.e. that of the Chépáng.

Authority.—B. H. Hodgson, Journal of the Asiatic Society, Dec. 1848, No. CXCVIII.

[Pg 54]

Respecting the, ethnology of these tribes (or rather of the Chépáng, the one best known), Mr. Hodgson's observations are as follows:—

1. That their form and colour is the form and colour of the aborigines of India.

2. That their language is closely allied to the language of Bhután.

The Garo, the Bodo, the Dhimál, and Chépáng, will come under consideration again; these being the tribes which will supply the chief facts connected with the question as to the affinity or non-affinity between the great Tibetan and Indian families. At present it is sufficient to draw attention to the state of opinion upon this point. With few exceptions amongst the English (Dr. Bird and Mr. Hodgson being the most decided), both philologists and physiologists consider the line of demarcation to be an exceedingly broad one.

Tribes supposed to be essentially monosyllabic, although speaking a language admitted to be Indian.—These are the Assamese of the Lower part of the valley, and the Raibansi Kooch.

1. Assam.—That the languages of Upper Assam are those of a variety of rude tribes, speaking a monosyllabic tongue, has already been seen. The Lower Assam language is Bengali. Were the Bengali the aborigines of Lower Assam? I believe that no one holds this doctrine. Is the present language that of Bengalis, who have displaced an aboriginal monosyllabic population? Perhaps. Or has an original monosyllabic population adopted the Bengali? No person is better capable of forming an opinion on this point than Mr. Hodgson; and his opinion is for the last of these views.

2. The converted Kooch.—Residents, in contact with[Pg 55] the Bodo and Dhimál, of the Sub-Himalayan range, between the north-west corner of Assam and Sikkim. The higher class of the converted Kooch are Brahminists: the lower Mahometans. Both call themselves Raibansi. The notice of the Kooch kingdom of Hájo, explains this term.

Towards the close of the fifteenth century, Hájo founded a Kooch empire, which extended beyond the limits of the Assam valley, into Morung and Bengal. His daughter, for he left no sons, was married to a Bodo chief, the Bodos being Pagans. These two divisions of the aborigines held their own against the Moslem and Hindus equally; but only for a while. Visva Sinh, the conqueror's grandson, became a convert to Hinduism, the majority of his subjects to the religion of Mahomet; renouncing, at the same time, their original name. A portion, however, remained unconverted, and remain so; and these agree with the Bodo in appearance, manners, and customs, and are said to do so in language also.

If so, and if the Raibansi Kooch be so closely allied to them as they are described to be, they must, although speaking a dialect closely allied to the Assam Bengali, be monosyllabic in origin.

The whole details, however, of the Kooch may be found in Mr. Hodgson's Dissertation.

The Chinese civilization must be taken as the measure of the moral development of the monosyllabic nations; a form to which the non-culture of the tribes represented by the Bodo and Garo, stands in prominent contrast. I do not think it necessary to tell the reader what Chinese civilization is. It is sufficiently known in itself; its affinity with that of the Indo-Chinese nations is known also; and[Pg 56] equally well-known is its distinct character, as compared with the other civilizations of the world—Asiatic as well as European.

A point of more ethnographical importance, is the question as to its antiquity; since this involves the higher question still—as to the extent to which it is a self-developed phenomenon, or one effected by influences from without. I am prepared to admit without much criticism, the statements of travellers as to the possession, on the part of the Chinese, of several of the most important arts and discoveries belonging to the civilization of Europe—of the art of printing, of paper-money, of a certain amount of astronomical knowledge, of the mariner's compass, and even of gunpowder. There is no reason why the Chinese, when once civilized, should not have worked out an average amount of discovery in the way of detail. The point upon which I doubt is the antiquity of that civilization, and still more the self-evolution of it; a necessary consequence of such antiquity.

Within the historical period, three civilizing influences have, at different times, been introduced into China, and each has had time to do its work in.

I begin with the latest, the European.

1. The Portuguese, Dutch, English, and American.—This may be disposed of briefly. It has not changed the Chinese cultivation in anything essential.

2. The Nestorian Christians.—Date between 600 and 1200 A.D. The extent of the influence of these early missionaries will be examined in the section upon the Syrians. It is the second of the great external civilizing influences that have acted upon China. Without carrying my scepticism so far as to limit the antiquity of the Chinese history to the epoch of the Nestorians, I cannot[Pg 57] but put a high importance on the introduction of Syrian literature, Syrian theology, and Syrian science.

3. The Buddhism of India.—This is generally believed to have been introduced into China in the first century after Christ. I have not seen the translation of the Annals of the Han Dynasty by the Archimandrite Hyacinth; so that I cannot say at what period they profess to represent cotemporary events. Whatever, however, that period may be, it is the extreme date of Chinese history: now this cannot be earlier than B.C. 200; that being the epoch when the Han dynasty began to reign.

Viewed in respect to our reasons for concluding that such or such a fact took place, there are five grounds of belief:—

1. Historical grounds.—Here the facts are believed on testimony; the testimony of men who had means of knowing them. That such witnesses should have lived at the time when the facts in question took place, is the great and essential condition of their credibility.

2. The belief ex necessitate.—A fact which, at the time of its first announcement could only have been known from having been witnessed by a cotemporary, but which at some later period is shown from other facts to have been real, is to be admitted unreservedly; the evidence in its favour being of the highest kind. Of this sort are such astronomical facts as, in the present state of our knowledge, can be ascertained independently of experience, but which, when first notified, could only have been ascertained by experience.

3. Traditional Grounds.—Here the immediate authority to the person who is informed of a real or supposed fact, is some one who had not the possibility of knowing the facts in question from being contemporary with them; but who[Pg 58] heard it from some one who was so contemporary—or else heard it from some one who heard it from some one, &c., ad infinitum. Here the statements are possible or impossible, probable or improbable. If possible, they may be true; if probable, they are likely to be so. In neither case, however, are they historical facts; that is, there is no testimony founded upon a knowledge of the event.

4. The true elements in unreasonable traditions.—A series of necessary and connected antecedents to a given effect, inductively obtained is an ethnological ground of belief, or an ethnological fact; and it is based on inductive reasoning. A series of unnecessary and unconnected antecedents, derived from the imagination, is a false ground of belief, and in most cases this takes the form of mythological tradition. It does not, however, necessarily follow, that, because a body of tradition may, on the whole, be unreasonable, or even impossible, it is therefore wholly deficient in grounds of belief. The doctrine ex nihilo nihil may here apply. It may fairly be argued, that, absolute invention is so difficult, that in all error there is some truth. Granted. It may, then, be argued, that a criticism analytical enough to evolve the residuum is a scientific (or literary) possibility. Granted. But who is the critic? I fear that his appearance is optandum magis quam sperandum.

5. The inductive method consists in the assumption of certain causes as the necessary antecedents of a known event; and they are good or bad according to their scientific or unscientific character. To take as the first fact in the history of Greece, the existence of a poem like the Iliad in the ninth century B.C., to ascertain the state of society that it implies, and to appreciate the civilization involved therein, is an ethnological argument; whilst, to assume a certain amount of time for such to have grown up[Pg 59] in, is an argument from effect to cause, and is good or bad, according as it assumes no more than is absolutely necessary.

Now, if we ask upon which of these five principles we believe in the antiquity of the Chinese civilization, it will certainly not be the first.

I am not prepared to wholly exclude the second; indeed, I have not the means of forming an independent one on the subject. At the same time I know that, in respect to the Chinese astronomical calculations many good judges are incredulous, and many of those who are not so are at variance in their opinions.

The third is essentially admissible for a limited period only.

The fifth remains open for consideration.

In the application of what may be called the doctrine of necessary antecedents, I believe, for my own part, that we must take the China as described by Marco Polo in the fifteenth century; and if we put the development there exhibited on a level with that of the China of the present century, we are giving to the advocate of antiquity full as much, perhaps more, than he can fairly demand. I submit that the time necessary for the growth of such a phenomenon need not exceed a few centuries.

The residuum, then, of truth that is capable of being evolved out of unreasonable tradition, is all that the present writer can leave to the advocates of a Chinese antiquity. He would willingly, however, find that their astronomy and history will bear a more severe criticism than he imagines they are likely to do.

At present, he believes that whatever is older than their religion, is reasonable tradition for a limited period (say a century), and unreasonable tradition beyond it.

[Pg 60]

In confining the growth of Chinese civilization to the last eighteen hundred years, and in expressing my dissent from the doctrine that it was an indigenous, self-developed phenomenon, I by no means underrate the import of certain undoubted facts. The archæology of their alphabet is too little known to enable us to connect it with any foreign one; as well as too scanty to exhibit its evolution as a home growth. Still it is a remarkable phenomenon. Still more so is the phenomenon of their government and political organization. To deny to China a great influence upon the history of the world, simply because its civilization has been confined to its own immediate sphere, and its movements have been limited to the pale of its own dominions, is erroneous. China alone is a great section of the world. Hence the circle, though limited, is large; and the simple, single fact of so much sameness over so large a country, is a great one. How is this to be accounted for? Was the original area occupied by the first possessors of China so great, whilst the changes that have set in since the time of possession have been so small? or has the uniformity been purchased by the assimilation of a multiplicity of small and distinct tribes? Or has it been by their annihilation?

Whatever may be the answer to these questions supplied by future researches, the Chinese are one of the great historical influences, and, if we contrast the peaceful habits of an agricultural population with the unsettled condition of a nation of nomads, and the security of a large consolidated government with the slave-dealing warfares that exist between thickly congregated petty tribes, we must allow that influence to have been a beneficial one.

[Pg 61]


Physical conformation.—Mongol.

Languages.—Not monosyllabic.


Area.—From Kamskatka to Norway, and from the Arctic Ocean to the frontiers of Tibet and Persia—nearly but not wholly continuous.

Countries included.—The northern parts of the Chinese empire, greater part of Siberia, Mongolia, Tartary, Eastern Turkestan, Asia Minor, Turkey, Hungary, Finland, Esthonia, Lapland.


The reader is now asked to prepare himself for the transition from languages of a monosyllabic type, to languages other than monosyllabic; and from aptotic tongues to tongues where the inflections are numerous.

He is also asked to prepare himself for a transition, in the way of physical conformation, from a structure approaching the Mongol type, to one essentially and typically Mongol.

In the former case the change is greater than in the latter.

Why is this? Why do not the changes go pari passu, so that the two tests should coincide, and so that it should be a matter of indifference which of the two we started with?

[Pg 62]

We get at the answer to this by remembering that physical changes and philological changes, may go on at different rates.

A thousand years may pass over two nations undoubtedly of the same origin; and which were, at the beginning of those thousand years, of the same complexion, form, and language.

At the end of those thousand years there shall be a difference. With one the language shall have changed rapidly, the physical structure slowly.

With the other the physical conformation shall have been modified by a quick succession of external influences, whilst the language shall have stayed as it was.

With an assumed or proved original identity on each side, the difference in the rate of action on the part of the different influences, is the key to all discrepancies between the two tests. The language may remain in statu quo, whilst the hair, complexion, and bones change; or the hair, complexion, and osteology may remain in statu quo, whilst the language changes.

Apparently this leaves matters in an unsatisfactory condition; in a way which allows the ethnologist any amount of assumption he chooses. Apparently it does so; but it does so in appearance only. In reality we have ways and means of determining which of the two changes is the likelier.

We know what modifies form. Change of latitude, climate, sea-level, conditions of subsistence, conditions of clothing, &c., do this; all (or nearly all) such changes being physical.

We know, too, (though in a less degree) what modifies language. New wants gratified by objects with new names, new ideas requiring new terms, increased inter[Pg 63]course between man and man, tribe and tribe, nation and nation, &c. do this; all (or nearly all) such changes being of a moral nature.

Hence in some cases we can ascertain upon which of the two elements of our classification, the physical or the moral, the greatest amount of influences has been at work.

It is necessary to remark upon these points because it is only physically that the tribes of the present division are nearest akin to those of the previous ones. Had similarity of language been the test, a different and a more distant class of nations would have formed the subject of the present section.


Distribution.—High Asia. East and West, from the Altai Mountains to the Wall of China; North and South, from the Tungús boundary to Tibet; conterminous with the Turks, southern Samöeids, Tungús, Chinese, and Tibetans.—The Volga, by migration.

Political Relations.—Subject to, a. China; b. Russia.

Religion. Chiefly Buddhism.

Particular Divisions. Mongols Proper, Buriats, Olot of Dzungaria; the Kalmuks of Russia; the Eimak of Persia.


Localities.—1. Buriats. Parts about the lake Baikal, chiefly in the Russian territory, conterminous with the Samöeids, and Manchus.

2. Olot, Dzungarian, or Kalmuk Mongolians. a. The most western of the family, conterminous with the Turks of Yarkend, and Independent Tartary. b. Kalmuks of the tribes Dürbet and Torgod, who in 1662 crossed the Yaik, and settled on the Volga. The majority of them returned to Mongolia in 1770. These belonged to the Olots.

3. Mongolians Proper, of the Desert of Shamo, and the Kalkas. Conterminous with China.

4. Eimaks, Northern Persia; isolated tribes.

The extent to which the Mongolian physiognomy is the type and sample of one of the most remarkable divisions of the human race, is one of the facts which gives this division prominence.

[Pg 64]

The extent to which its tribes are the type and sample of a pastoral and nomadic race, is another.

Their part in the history of the world is a third. This alone will be enlarged upon. The two other points are merely indicated.

The great part played by the Mongolians, as devastating conquerors, begins and ends with Zingiz-Khan and his immediate successors. It begins with him; because although fragmentary and obscure notices of their Mongolian neighbours are said to be found in the Chinese annals, it is only in the thirteenth century that we find definite and cotemporaneous historical evidence. It ends with his successors in the fourth or fifth generation, notwithstanding the appearance which it takes of being continued further; inasmuch as the conquests of Tamerlane are Turk rather than Mongolian, and the Great Mogul empire of India was Turk rather than Mongolian also.

To this confusion between the share taken by the two great pastoral nations of Central Asia, in spilling the blood of their kind, and in devastating the world, the indefinite use of the term Tartar has done much to contribute. Few writers when they heard of Tartar victories, asked whether the particular warriors were akin to the Mongolians who conquered China under Kublai-Khan, or to the Turks, who terrified Europe under Suliman. Yet such is the difference between these two divisions of the great Turanian stock. For the sake of avoiding any such further ambiguities, I have forbidden myself the use of the word Tartar from this time forwards, throughout the present work.

Other probable reasons for the confusion are of a real character. I believe that, in some cases, the soldiers were Turk, whilst the captains were Mongolian; and that, some[Pg 65]times, descent from the high blood of Zingiz-Khan was claimed by Turk chieftains of another stock and pedigree. At any rate, the careful examiner of any history of this people—excepting for the times of Zingiz-Khan, and his immediate successors—will find it very difficult to disengage the Mongolian exploits from the Turk; and will, probably after some trouble, come to the conclusion that the greater share belongs to the latter.

I shall let an eye-witness, Marco Polo, describe the Mongols of the fourteenth century, in the third generation from Zingiz-Khan, and before they had taken up the Buddhist religion of their conquered subjects.

1. Translation by Marsden,—Chapters XLV-XLVIII.

"It has been an invariable custom, that all the grand kans, and chiefs of the race of Chingis-kan, should be carried for interment to a certain lofty mountain, named Altai; and in whatever place they may happen to die, although it should be at the distance of a hundred days' journey, they are, nevertheless, conveyed thither. It is likewise the custom, during the progress of removing the bodies of these princes, for those who form the escort to sacrifice such persons as they chance to meet on the road, saying to them, 'Depart for the next world, and there attend upon your deceased master!' being impressed with the belief that all whom they thus slay do actually become his servants in the next life. They do the same also with respect to horses, killing the best of the stud, in order that he may have the use of them. When the corpse of Mongù was transported to this mountain, the horsemen who accompanied it, having this blind and horrible persuasion, slew upwards of ten thousand persons who fell in their way.

"The Tartars never remain fixed, but, as the winter[Pg 66] approaches, remove to the plains of a warmer region, in order to find sufficient pasture for their cattle; and in summer they frequent cold situations in the mountains, where there is water and verdure, and their cattle are free from the annoyance of horse-flies and other biting insects. During two or three months they progressively ascend higher ground, and seek fresh pasture; the grass not being adequate in any one place to feed the multitudes of which their herds and flocks consist. Their huts or tents are formed of rods covered with felt, and being exactly round, and nicely put together, they can gather them into one bundle, and make them up as packages, which they carry along with them in their migrations, upon a sort of car with four wheels. When they have occasion to set them up again, they always make the entrance front to the south. Besides these cars, they have a superior kind of vehicle, upon two wheels, covered likewise with felt, and so effectually as to protect those within it from wet, during a whole day of rain. These are drawn by oxen and camels, and serve to convey their wives and children, their utensils, and such provisions as they require. The women it is who attend to their trading concerns, who buy and sell, and provide every thing necessary for their husbands and their families; the time of the men being entirely devoted to the employment of hunting and hawking, and matters that relate to the military life. They have the best falcons in the world, and also the best dogs. They subsist entirely upon flesh and milk, eating the produce of their sport, and a certain small animal, not unlike a rabbit, called by our people Pharaoh's mice, which, during the summer season, are found in great abundance in the plains. But they likewise eat flesh of every description, horses, camels, and even dogs, provided[Pg 67] they are fat. They drink mares' milk, which they prepare in such a manner that it has the qualities and flavour of white wine. They term it in their language kemurs.

"Their women are not excelled in the world for chastity and decency of conduct, nor for love and duty to their husbands. Infidelity to the marriage bed is regarded by them as a vice not merely dishonourable, but of the most infamous nature; whilst on the other hand it is admirable to observe the loyalty of the husbands towards their wives, amongst whom, although there are perhaps ten or twenty, there prevails a degree of quiet and union that is highly laudable. No offensive language is ever heard, their attention being fully occupied with their traffic (as already mentioned), and their several domestic employments, such as the provision of necessary food for the family, the management of the servants, and the care of the children, which are amongst them a common concern. And the more praiseworthy are the virtues of modesty and chastity in their wives, because the men are allowed the indulgence of taking as many as they choose. Their expense to the husband is not great, and on the other hand the benefit he derives from their trading, and from the occupations in which they are constantly engaged, is considerable; on which account it is, that when he receives a young woman in marriage, he pays a dower to her parent. The wife who is the first espoused has the privilege of superior attention, and is held to be the most legitimate, which extends also to the children borne by her. In consequence of this unlimited number of wives, the offspring is more numerous than amongst any other people. Upon the death of the father, the son may take to himself the wives he leaves behind, with the exception of his own mother. They cannot take their sisters to wife, but upon[Pg 68] the death of their brothers they can marry their sisters-in-law. Every marriage is solemnized with great ceremony.

"The doctrine and faith of the Tartars are these. They believe in a Deity whose nature is sublime and heavenly. To him they burn incense in censers, and offer up prayers for the enjoyment of intellectual and bodily health. They worship another likewise, named Natigay, whose image, covered with felt or other cloth, every individual preserves in his house. To this deity they associate a wife and children, placing the former on his left side, and the latter before him, in a posture of reverential salutation. Him they consider as the divinity who presides over their terrestrial concerns, protects their children, and guards their cattle and their grain. They show him great respect, and at their meals they never omit to take a fat morsel of the flesh, and with it to grease the mouth of the idol, and at the same time the mouths of its wife and children. They then throw out of the door some of the liquor in which the meat has been dressed, as an offering to the other spirits. This being done, they consider that their deity and his family have had their proper share, and proceed to eat and drink without further ceremony. The rich amongst these people dress in cloth of gold and silks, with skins of the sable, the ermin, and other animals. All their accoutrements are of an expensive kind.

"Their arms are bows, iron maces, and in some instances spears; but the first is the weapon at which they are the most expert, being accustomed from children to employ it in their sports. They wear defensive armour made of the thick hides of buffaloes and other beasts, dried by the fire, and thus rendered extremely hard and strong. They are brave in battle, almost to desperation, setting little value upon their lives, and exposing themselves without[Pg 69] hesitation to all manner of danger. Their disposition is cruel. They are capable of supporting every kind of privation; and, when there is a necessity for it, can live for a month on the milk of their mares, and upon such wild animals as they may chance to catch. Their horses are fed upon grass alone, and do not require barley or other grain. The men are habituated to remain on horseback during two days and two nights without dismounting, sleeping in that situation whilst their horses graze. No people upon earth can surpass them in fortitude under difficulties, nor show greater patience under wants of every kind. They are perfectly obedient to their chiefs, and are maintained at small expense. From these qualities, so essential to the formation of soldiers, it is that they are fitted to subdue the world, as, in fact, they have done in regard to a considerable portion of it.

"When one of the great Tartar chiefs proceeds on an expedition, he puts himself at the head of an army of a hundred thousand horse, and organises them in the following manner:—He appoints an officer to the command of every ten men, and others to command a hundred, a thousand, and ten thousand men respectively. Thus, ten of the officers commanding ten men take their orders from him who commands a hundred; of these, each ten from him who commands a thousand; and each ten of these latter from him who commands ten thousand. By this arrangement, each officer has only to attend to the management of ten men, or ten bodies of men; and when the commander of these hundred thousand men has occasion to make a detachment for any particular service, he issues his orders to the commanders of ten thousand to furnish him with a thousand men each; and these, in like manner, to the commanders of a thousand, who give their[Pg 70] orders to those commanding a hundred, until the order reaches those commanding ten, by whom the number required is immediately supplied to their superior officers. A hundred men are in this manner delivered to every officer commanding a thousand, and a thousand men to every officer commanding ten thousand. The drafting takes place without delay, and all are implicitly obedient to their respective superiors. Every company of a hundred men is denominated a tuc, and ten of these constitute a toman.

"When the army proceeds on service, a body of men is sent two days' march in advance, and parties are stationed upon each flank and in the rear, in order to prevent its being attacked by surprise. When the service is distant, they carry but little with them, and that, chiefly, what is requisite for their encampment, and utensils for cooking. They subsist for the most part upon milk, as has been said. Each man has, on an average, eighteen horses and mares, and when that which they ride is fatigued, they change it for another. They are provided with small tents made of felt, under which they shelter themselves against rain. Should circumstances render it necessary, in the execution of a duty that requires dispatch, they can march for ten days together without dressing victuals: during which time they subsist upon the blood drawn from their horses, each man opening a vein and drinking from his own cattle. They make provision also of milk, thickened and dried to the state of a hard paste (or curd), which is prepared in the following manner. They boil the milk, and skimming off the rich or creamy part, as it rises to the top, put it into a separate vessel, as butter; for so long as that remains in the milk, it will not become hard. The latter is then exposed to the sun until it dries. Upon going on service, they carry[Pg 71] with them about ten pounds for each man, and of this, half a pound is put, every morning, into a leathern bottle or small outre, with as much water as is thought necessary. By their motion in riding, the contents are violently shaken, and a thin porridge is produced, upon which they make their dinner.

"When these Tartars come to engage in battle, they never mix with the enemy, but keep hovering about him, discharging their arrows first from one side and then from the other, occasionally pretending to fly, and during their flight, shooting arrows backwards at their pursuers, killing men and horses, as if they were combating face to face. In this sort of warfare the adversary imagines he has gained a victory, when in fact he has lost the battle; for the Tartars, observing the mischief they have done him, wheel about, and renewing the fight, overpower his remaining troops, and make them prisoners in spite of their utmost exertions.

"Their horses are so well broken-in to quick changes of movement, that upon the signal given they instantly turn in every direction; and by these rapid manœuvres many victories have been obtained. All that has been here related is spoken of the original manners of the Tartar chiefs; but at the present day they are much corrupted. Those who dwell at Ukaka, forsaking their own laws, have adopted the customs of the people who worship idols, and those who inhabit the eastern provinces have adopted the manners of the Saracens."

It may now be well to examine the term conquerors of the world, and to limit it. By following Gibbon,[21] we may ascertain what the true Mongolians did conquer, and what they did not.

[Pg 72]

Death of Zingiz-Khan, A.D. 1227.—The work done by the great founder of the Mongolian empire, was, in the first instance, the consolidation of separate, and previously disunited, tribes. As a conqueror, he rather overran countries and showed the ease with which victories might be gained than established permanent empires. In this way he ravaged and subdued:—

1. Northern China.—The southern empire was first subdued by his grandson.

2. Bokhara, Persia, Kharizmia (the parts between Balk and the Caspian).—I think it likely that, considering the great number of Turkish tribes that lay between Mongolia and Persia, the natural hostility they bore to the last-named country, and the easy terms on which they offered their swords and valour, there was a considerable Turk element in the Mongolian army of Persia. Still, I have nothing beyond the mere probability to allege.

The greatest and widest conquests were effected in the generation after Zingis: by the nephews of his sons, i.e., Zingis's grandsons.

Southern China.—Conquered, and permanently conquered, by Kublai-Khan. The effect of China upon its subjugators was that which the Romans attributed to the conquest of Greece upon themselves. The victors were moulded to the fashion of the vanquished. The religion, the dress, and the luxury of China, were adopted by the Mongolians even during the lifetime of Kublai-Khan; to whom Korea, Anam, Pegu, Tibet, and Bengal were tributary.

Persia.—By Persia, is meant the half-restored empire of the Kalifs, so that it includes the whole country from Bokhara to Arabia, from Samarcand to Bagdad. Holagou is the grandson identified with this series of conquests;[Pg 73] which embrace Syria, Asia Minor, and Armenia, and do not embrace Ægypt. There the Mongolian was met and repulsed by the Mameluke.

Siberia.—Compared with the foregoing one, this was an ignoble conquest. Still it was made; and in 1242, the Samöeids were tributary to the Mongolians.

Tartary, Russia, Poland, Hungary.—The extreme point westward reached in this, the most distant of the invasions and conducted by Batoum, was Silesia. Here also I imagine that some portion of the interjacent Turks easily lent their help to the conqueror, and joined with him against such common enemies as the Slavonians. Still I have no historic evidence to this effect.

To conclude—one hundred and forty years after the death of Zingis, a revolt of the Chinese expelled the Mongolian dynasty. Previous to this, the conquerors of Tartary, Russia, Bokhara, and Persia had become Tartars, Russians, Bokharians, and Persians; in other words they had renounced or forgotten their original ancestors of Mongolia.

The Mongol religion is Buddhist; yet their alphabet is not of either Chinese or Indian origin. The earliest Mongol conquerors understood the value of literature, and soon after the death of Zingiz-Khan the language was reduced to writing; the alphabet, which was subsequently extended to the language of the Mantshu nation, having been adopted from that of the Uighur Turks. Amongst the Uighur Turks it was introduced by the Nestorian Christians, an influence of which the importance in these parts has yet to be duly appreciated. As such, its original source is the Syriac. Of the Syriac alphabets it is most like the Palmyrene.

[Pg 74]


Distribution.—East and west, from the sea of Okhotsk, and the peninsula of Kamskatka to the Yenisey. North and South (South-East), from the coast of the Icy Sea, between the Yenisey and Lena, to the Yellow Sea. Conterminous with the Samöeids, Ostiaks, Yakuts, Turks, Mongols, Chinese, Koreans, Aino, Koriaks, and Yukahiri.

Political relations.—Subject to a, China, b, Russia.

Religion.—Buddhism, Imperfect Christianity, Paganism.

Particular divisions.—The Tshapojirs on the Lena, the Lamuts on the Sea of Okhotsk, the Mantshu rulers of China.

Dialects known by vocabularies.a, Western—Yeniseian, Tshapojirs, Mangaseiesk, Orotong; b, Southern—Nerchinsk, Barguzin, Upper Angara, Yakutsk; c, Eastern—Okhotsk, Lamut; d, The Mantshu. Add to these the Niuji, an ancient dialect known from a Chinese vocabulary, and closely allied to the Mantshu.

Alphabet.—Mongolian; applied to the Mantshu dialect only.

General name.—None. Some particular tribes call themselves beye=men; some, donki=people.

Authority.—Klaproth's Asia Polyglotta and Sprachatlas.

A more northern position, a greater range of climate, an approach in some cases to the hunter and fisher, rather than to the pastoral states, a more partial abandonment of the original Shamanistic Paganism, and a later literature are the chief points which differentiate the Tungús tribes from the Mongol. Add to this, that the influence of the Tungús upon the history of the world is limited to the conquest of China by the present Mantshu dynasty. In other matters—indeed in these—the difference between the two branches is a difference of degree rather than of kind. I limit my remarks upon the Tungús tribes—whose civilization is represented by that of the Mantshus—for the sake of leaving time and space for a more important branch of the Turanian stock—the Turk.

Some of the Tungús tribes—e.g. the Tshapojirs—tattoo their faces.

[Pg 75]


Distribution.—1. As a continuous population—East and west—from the neighbourhood of the lake Baikal, 110° E. L. to the eastern boundaries of the Greek and Slavonic countries of Europe, about 21° E. L. North and south; from the northern frontiers of Tibet, and Persia, about 34° N. L., to the country north of Tobolsk about 59° N. L.

2. As an isolated population—Along the lower course of the Lena, and the shores of the White Sea, chiefly within the Arctic Circle. These are the Yakut Turks. They are wholly disconnected from the other Turkish tribes; and surrounded by Tungús and Yukahiri tribes.

3. As portions of a mixed population—In China?, Tibet?, Mongolia?, Persia, Armenia, the Caucasian countries, Syria, Ægypt, Barbary, Greece, Albania, and the Slavonic portion of Turkey in Europe. Turk blood in most of the royal families of the East.

Religion.—Preeminently, though not exclusively, Mahometan; generally of the Sunnite doctrine. Shamanism amongst the Yakuts. Buddhism amongst the Turks of the Chinese Empire, Christianity amongst those of Siberia.

Language.—Spoken with remarkable uniformity over the whole area; so much so that the Yakut of the Icy Sea is said to be intelligible to the Turks of Central Asia, and even of Constantinople.

Physical Conformation.—In some cases almost identical with that of the Mongolians, in others almost European. Generally speaking, it partakes of the character of the non-Turkish natives of the numerous countries with which the Turk area is in contact.

In Turkey, Ægypt, and the Persian frontier much intermixture.

As the Mongol character departs, the face becomes oval rather than square, the features prominent rather than flat, the beard develops itself, and the complexion becomes brunette rather than swarthy.

Conterminous.—1. Beginning at the most north-eastern point, and going round from north to south—with the Tungús. 2. Mongols 3. Tibetans. 4. Iranians (i. e. Persian tribes, and tribes allied to them). 5. Armenians. 6. Dioscurians (i. e. the tribes of Caucasus). 7. Arabians. 8. Greeks. 9. Slavonians. 10. Finns. 11. Yeniseians. 12. Samöeids.

Chief particular Divisions—taking the round as before—

1. Uighurs.—-On the Mongol frontier. Belonging to China. The Uighurs were the first Turks that used an alphabet. Little known.

2. Turks of the Sandy Desert.—Conterminous with Mongolia and Tibet. Do. Do.

3. Turks of Khoten, Kashgar, and Yarkend. Do. Do.

4. Kirghis.—Independent Tartary. The Kirghis form a portion of the population of the highest table-land in Asia—perhaps in the world—Pamer, and the source of the Oxus.

5. Uzbeks.—The Turks of Bokhara.

6. Turkomans.—The Persian frontier of Independent Tartary from Balk to the Caspian. Pastoral robbers.

[Pg 76]

7. Ottoman or Osmanli.—The Turks of the Turkish Empire.

8. Nogays.—The Turks of the parts between the Black Sea and the Caspian, north of Caucasus.

9. Turks of the Russian Empire.—Bashkirs(?), Teptyars, Baraba, &c. With all these, although the language is Turk, there is good reason to believe that the original substratum is Finn. With the Bashkirs this is generally considered to be the case.

10. The isolated Yakuts of the Lena.

Such is the great Turk area, the extent of which is, in itself, an ethnological study; equally remarkable for its positive and its negative peculiarities.

Laying aside the Yakuts as isolated, and the Turks of Asia-Minor and Thrace as recent settlers, we have in Turkish Asia an enormous steppe, mountains of all but first-rate magnitude, the head-waters of many rivers, but the embouchures of none, a salt-water lake but no communication with the ocean. Yet, given the central point of a large continent, this is what we expect à priori. If any influence that shall affect the fate of the world at large is to be developed in such an area, it must, surely, be an influence strongly and typically contrasted with the influence which such relations of land and water as the Mediterranean supplies to Greece, and in a less degree to every country that abuts on it, are calculated to develop. The dispersion of the Turkish race is essentially the dispersion of a race over a continent. I do not know who first used the illustration, but the manner in which Othman's all-conquering host was arrested by the Hellespont, has been well compared to the check that a running brook puts to the Scotch witches and wizards. What Leander and Lord Byron swam across, the conqueror of Asia was checked by.

The relations to the pole on one side and the equator on the other, are remarkably parallel between the two[Pg 77] great conquering nations of the world—the Turks of Asia, and the Goths of Europe. The latitudes 47—55 enclose, the nations who, on the one side, displaced the aborigines of Asia Minor and Thrace, on the other, those of Keltic Britain and of North America.

One condition necessary for a race that thus spread themselves abroad, occurs in a remarkable degree with the Turk. In the Yakut country we find the most intense cold known in Asia; in Pamer, the greatest elevation above the sea-level; in the south of Ægypt, an intertropical degree of heat. Yet, in all these countries we find the Turk. In their physiognomy the Turks have in many instances departed from the Mongol type; and, hence, the agreement between the two cognate families is less manifest in their physical conformation than in their languages. The nature and extent of this deviation is well worth more investigation than it has met with; and next in importance to the fact itself, is the reason that may be assigned for it.

Whether it may be from the Osmanli Turk of Constantinople, with his un-Mongolian length of beard, his regularly formed eye, and his other European points of physiognomy, being the standard by which we measure the other divisions of the family, or whether we have unnecessarily restricted the term Mongol to the inhabitants of Mongolia, it is certain that a great majority of travellers are in the habit of describing a Mongol cast of countenance when found in a Turk, as an exceptional phenomenon; just as if the Turk had one character and the Mongol another, and as if a deviation either way was an anomaly.

Now, the notice of all differences, however small, between the tribes of the Turk, and those of any other divi[Pg 78]sion of the human kind, is so far from being exceptionable, that it is particularly desirable.

Neither is the assumption of the Turk in his most European form as a standard of comparison, rather than that of the more Mongoliform Turks, objectionable. One writer is as fully at liberty to treat all deviations from the type of a Constantinopolitan Osmanli as anomalous, as another is to apply a Mongol standard. Provided that facts are accumulated, ethnology is the gainer.

It is only when the idea of the Turk type being one thing, and the Mongol another, has so far taken possession of a writer, as to make him overvalue the import of such differences, that evil arises. Then a fact which should even be expected à priori, becomes an anomaly; and the assumption of some extraordinary cause—generally the mixture of race—is assumed. I say assumed, because in many cases it is taken for granted, simply and solely because it will explain the phenomena. Where this is not the fact, where there are other grounds for believing that intermixture has occurred, it is not only legitimate, but it is necessary to admit it.

Rule.Intermixture of race solely for the sake of accounting for varieties of physical conformation is not to be assumed, except in extreme cases.

Practically I consider that the Mongoliform physiognomy is the rule with the Turk rather than the exception, and that the Turk of Turkey exhibits the exceptional character of his family. Both these facts are what we should expect. Ethnological affinity, as proved by language, exists in a very close degree between the Turks and the Mongolians. Common conditions of climate exist also. Either implies similarity of physical conformation. On the other hand, where the Turk is least like the Mongol,[Pg 79] we know that intermixture has taken place; intermixture like that of the Circassian and Georgian blood in Europe, and that of the Persian in Asia. Hence, if I allowed myself to assume at all, I would assume an intermixture to account for the difference between the Turk and Mongol—not to account for the similarity.

Extract from Burnes's description of the Uzbek chief of Kunduz.—"Moorad Beg is about fifty years of age, his stature is tall, and his features are those of a genuine Uzbek; his eyes are small to a deformity; his forehead broad and frowning; and his whole cast of countenance most repulsive."—Vol. ii. 358.

Extract from Khamikoff respecting the Uzbeks of Bokhara.—"The exterior of the Uzbeks reminds us strongly of the Moghul race, except that they have larger eyes and are somewhat handsomer; they are generally middle-sized men; the colour of their beards varies between a shade of red and dark auburn, whilst few are found with black hair."—Translation by the Baron de Bode.

Statements of this kind might be multiplied, particularly in respect to the Uzbeks.

Descent of certain portions of the Turk Branch—Epoch of its present extension.—The Turk Branch of the Turanian stock introduces a series of ethnological questions, which have, as yet, presented themselves only in a rudimentary form. Few of the tribes hitherto described, were known to the ancients sufficiently to make the question of descent between the present nations and their real or supposed representatives in classical antiquity, a matter of much—although, of course, it is always of some—importance. With the Turk nations it is otherwise: a large, perhaps a very large, portion of the ancient Scythia must have been Turk; and, if so, it is amongst the Turks that we must[Pg 80] look for some of the widest and fiercest of ancient conquerors.

At what time did the present enormous diffusion of Turk tribes take place? The answer to this question is the answer to many others. By knowing this we know also the probable ethnological position of such famous peoples as the Kimmerii, Sakæ, Massagetæ, Alans, Avars, Huns, Nephthalites, Bulgarians, and others—peoples whereof the records are written in the annals not only of Rome and Greece, but of Lydia, Media, and Assyria.

At what epoch did the diffusion of the Turk tribes take place? If at a period anterior to history, their frontier must have been the same in the time of Herodotus as at present; and, consequently, their geographical relations to Persia and Europe, the same.

At what time, then, did it take place? For two areas the question is answered at once; for European Turkey and for Asia Minor it has certainly taken place within the historical period. With these two exceptions, I believe, that, at the beginning of the historical period, the great Turk area was much the same as at present; less, perhaps, by a degree or two, on this frontier or that; but still essentially the same in kind. By in kind I mean ethnographically, i. e. that (subject to the aforesaid exceptions) the Turk tribes were conterminous with the same non-Turk tribes as at present. Let us apply this view in detail.

Siberian Frontier.—From Kasan to the Lake Baikal, the frontier is Finnish, Yeniseian, and Samöeid. I admit that the southern limits of all these families are likely to have been curtailed;—indeed I would argue that such has been the case. This, however, is a mere difference of degree.

There is no proof of any nations other than those[Pg 81] belonging to the Finn, Yeniseian, and Samöeid divisions having ever been in contact with the Northern Turks, and vice versâ.

Mongolian and Tibetan frontier.—There is not the shadow of historical evidence, nor even a tradition, which should induce us to believe that these two nations were ever less conterminous with each other, and with the Turk, than they are at present.

Persian frontier.—Reasons for supposing that tribes other than those of the Turk division ravaged Persia as early as the time of Cyrus, would lie in the incompatibility of any accounts of such invaders with the known facts concerning the Turks. I am not aware, however, that any such incompatibility exists. The names are different. No Sakæ or Massagetæ are known, under such denominations, as Turk tribes. Yet this scarcely constitutes even the shadow of an objection; since native names, and names by which tribes are known to nations other than their own, oftener differ than coincide.

The Caucasian frontier—the frontier of the Don.—Here the reasoning becomes more difficult. An invasion of Persia along the frontier from Bokhara to the Caspian, is an invasion which no existing nation could claim, except the Turk; since it is a rule in ethnological reasoning to consider every nation as indigenous to the country where it is first found, unless reason be shown to the contrary.

For the parts, however, between the Volga, Caucasus, and the Don (or even Dnieper), there is no such present unity of nation as between the Caspian and Bokhara; and an invasion that burst upon Persia from the north-west, or upon Greece from the north-east, might well be claimed for no less than four great ethnological sections.—1. The Turk. 2. The Slavonic. 3. The Circassian. 4. The Hungarian.

[Pg 82]

I will apply general principles to get at the different probabilities here involved.

1. The nation that invades both Persia and Europe is most probably the nation most intermediate to the two. This is in favour of the Cimmerians having come from the present country of the Nogays, rather than from the Ukraine, or from the Bashkir country, i.e., in favour of their being Turk rather than Slavonic or Hungarian.

2. A nation that, within the historical period, has always encroached upon others is more likely to be the invader, in a given instance, than a nation which has not been known so to be in the habit of extending itself. This is in favour of the Cimmerians having been Turks from the Nogay country, rather than Circassians.

This is the geographical view. Another method is to take the names of certain invading tribes mentioned in history, and to consider how far they belong to the Turk division, or are to be distributed elsewhere. Here the ethnological method is to begin with the most recent:—

Uzi, Petchenekhi, and Komani of the later Byzantine Empire, Turk.—From A.D. 1050 to about 1500.—It is believed that the term Cumani is only a fresh name for the Uzi (Οὐζοι), who disappear from history as the Cumani appear. There is the special evidence of the Empress Anna Comnena that the Cumani and the Petchenekhi spoke the same language. Their first attack upon the Slavonian tribes was A.D. 1058; and the name by which the Slavonians speak of them is Polowci=inhabitants of the plains. This the Germans, in speaking of them, translate; so that they call the Cumani Falawa, Valui, Valwen. Hence comes the present name of one of the Cumanian European localities—Volhynia.

[Pg 83]

There are three districts in Europe where the descent is, in part, Cumanian but the language not Cumanian.

1. Volhynia.

2. Between the Dnieper and Volga.—Here Cumani were found by Carpin and Rubriquis.

3. Hungary.—The proof of the Cumanian habitation of part of Hungary, is a matter of some literary interest. The last Cumanian[22] who knew even a few words of his original tongue, was an old man of Karczag, named Varro, who died A.D. 1770; and an incomplete Paternoster, preserved by Dugorics and Thunmann, is all that remains of this dialect. Of the Cumanian of Asia, we have a remarkable vocabulary, from a MS. belonging to the library of the celebrated Petrarch. This is the Turk of the parts between the Caspian and Aral.

The Avars.A.D. 465 to about 900. In A.D. 465, the Saraguri,[23] the Onoguri, and the Urugi sent an embassy to Constantinople, to complain of the inroads of the Avars. We may guess beforehand the locality, and we may guess beforehand the cause. In the countries between the Mæotis and the Caspian, the Sabiri are pressed upon by the Abares, the Abares being pressed upon by some tribe from behind, and the primum mobile being probably in the centre of Asia. Such is the general history of these movements. We then learn from Gibbon,[24] how, in A.D. 558, these Avars themselves appear as suppliants to the Alani, requesting their good services at the Byzantine Court; and we learn, also, how they afterwards appeared before Justinian, more as sturdy beggars than as suppliants, requesting aid against the Turks; and how that monarch played fast and loose between the runaway slaves [Pg 84]and the indignant masters. He turned them upon his enemies in the west; the Slavonians, and the Germans. And these they overran until checked on the Elbe, by a bloody victory gained over them by Sigisbert. The next victory, however, was the Avars', and peace followed. But the Avars remained like locusts in the land. This they had exhausted, or helped to exhaust; when either the intrigues of the King of the Lombards, or the pressure of famine, induced them to agree with Sigisbert upon the terms of their departure. These were a supply of meal and meat for their expedition. To the King of the Lombards, Alboin, whom they then turned eastwards to join, they proffered their assistance against the Gepidæ, on condition of Pannonia, if evacuated, being ceded to them. The destruction of the Gepidæ of Pannonia was followed by the bright period of Avar history, the reign of Baian. The pride of this barbarian inflamed the anger of the Emperor Maurice, who broke his power by the arms of his general Priscus,—broke, but not annihilated. On the 29th of June, A.D. 626, thirty thousand of the vanguard of the Avars insulted the patricians of Constantinople under their own walls, strong in their own barbarian valour, and strong in an even-handed alliance, against the common enemy, with the great king, Chosroes, then at war with Heraclius. "You see," was his answer to the standing patricians, "the proofs of my perfect union with the great king; and his lieutenant is ready to send into my camp a select band of three thousand warriors. Presume no longer to tempt your master with a partial and inadequate ransom; your wealth and your city are the only presents worthy of my acceptance. For yourself, I shall permit you to depart, each with an under-garment, and a shirt, and, at my entreaty, my friend Sarbar will not refuse a[Pg 85] passage through his lines. Your absent prince, even now a captive or a fugitive, has left Constantinople to its fate; nor can you escape the arms of the Avars and Persians, unless you could soar into air like birds, or unless like fishes you could dive into the waves."

Fortunately for the empire of the east the crown was worn by Heraclius; and in the eleventh hour, the Avars and the Persians were repulsed. The next century was a century of internal quarrels, whilst their enemies—and this means every tribe of European origin—became stronger. The baptism of one of the Avar kings, took place in A.D. 795; the conquest of Hungary by Charlemagne the year following. What the great German left half done, the Slavonians of the parts around consummated,—and when the first Russian historian composed the annals of his nation, the expression, they have been cut off, son and father, like the Avars, was the bye-word most expressive of utter annihilation.

Now the whole history of the Avars, as well as their locality and alliances, is Turk; and their ruler is regularly spoken of as the Khaghan, or Khan, of the Avars.

The Turk affinity of the Avars has never been doubted.

The Alani.—The locality, the history, and all à priori evidence make the Alans Turkish;—two facts only, that I know of, militate, even in the smallest way, against their being so.

1. The well-known alliance between the Alani and Vandals; a fact of value only in the eyes of him who believes that none but ethnologically related tribes enter into offensive and defensive alliances.

2. The accredited identity between the Alani and the Oseti of Caucasus; a tribe undoubtedly not Turkish. Let us analyze the grounds of this belief. The Oseti name[Pg 86] themselves Irôn, but are named by the Turks and Georgians, Osi; by the Russians, Yassy; by the Arabians, As. This is the first fact.

The second is a pair of quotations from Carpin and Barbaro:—

a. Alains ou Asses.—Carpin.

b. La Alania è derivata da populo delli Alani, liquali nella lor lingua si chiamano As.—Barbaro.

Now the most that this proves is, that the same name which the Alans gave to themselves, the Georgians, &c. gave to the Irôn; a fact which is by no means conclusive. On the other hand, it shows that the two indigenous names, As and Irôn, were different. This subject will be noticed again when speaking of the Oseti. At present it is not unnecessary to add, that the name Uz (Οὐζ) has already been mentioned as a name of a tribe in this locality; and that, possibly, it may=As. If so, the Alans, Uzi, and Cumani, are the same people at different times. Nothing is more likely than this, especially as we know that Alani was not a native name, and have good reasons for thinking the same of the term Cumani.

Again, the Oseti, a limited mountain tribe of the Middle Caucasus, with all its supposed affinities in Media and Persia—since the same writers who identify the Alans with Oseti, identify the Oseti with the Medes—could never have passed as Scythians. Now the Alans did so pass, as is shown by a remarkable passage in Lucian:—"so said Makentæs, being the same in dress and the same in language as the Alani (ὁμόσκευος καὶ ὁμόγλωττος τοῖς Ἀλανοῖς ὤν); since these things are common to the Alani and the Skythæ; except that the Alani are not altogether so long-haired as the Skythæ. In this respect, however, Makentæs was like a Skythian, inasmuch as he[Pg 87] had shaved himself to the extent to which an Alan head of hair falls short of a Skythian one."[25]

The Khazars and Huns.—The evidence derived from the use of the term Khaghan, or Khan, so diagnostic of the Turk and Mongol families, is wanting in respect to the Huns of Attila. Neither he nor his brother is anywhere so designated.

On the other hand, it is erroneous to suppose that the Huns of Attila are the only Huns of history. The Byzantine historians—even writers who say little or nothing about Attila,—deal with the name Hun, as a well-known and recognised geographical or ethnological term, applied to the tribes between the Don and Volga. Hence they speak of sections of the Hun nation.

The most satisfactory of these is the identification of the Akatir with the Huns—Ἀκατίροις Οὔννοις—Priscus.

Now the Akatir are, undoubtedly, the Khazars, since the intermediate form Ἀκαζίροι occurs; the Greek form of Khazars being Χάζαροι.

Hence, the reasoning runs thus—that the Huns of Attila were what the Huns of Priscus were;—that one of these Hun tribes was the Khazar tribe. What were the Khazars? The Khazars were Turks from the East. Τούρκοι ἀπὸ τῆς ἑώας, οὓς Χαζάρας ὀνομάζουσι, Theophanes, the first author who names them, denoting them thus. In respect to their history, the Khazars appear as the Avars wane in importance. It was by an alliance with the Khazars, indeed, that Heraclius, as stated above, freed himself from those formidable enemies. From A.D. 626, until the tenth century, the Khazars and Petchinakhi (Πατζινακῖται) are the most formidable enemies to the Goths of the Crimea, and to the Russians of the Dnieper.

[Pg 88]

If these affiliations be correct, the Turks are one of the oldest material influences that have acted on the history of the world, as well as one of the greatest; the Turk division being the probable ethnological position for the Massagetæ, Sakæ, Cimmerii, Alani, Huns, and Avars, and other less important conquerors. To distribute the still older tribes of Scythia is a matter of minute ethnology, for which the present work will not allow room. The usual notices, however, of the Turk nations, taken from the Chinese records, should not be omitted.

The Hiong-nou.—Under this name a conquering nation, conterminous with China, and against which the Chinese wall had been built, appears in the annals of the dynasty of Han; between B.C. 163 and A.D. 196. These are the Hiong-nou of De Guignes and Gibbon.

The Hiun-yu.—Under the dynasty of Shang, which is supposed to have reigned from B.C. 1766 to B.C. 1234, Klaproth finds notice of a people thus denominated. He considers that they were ancestors of the Hiong-nou.

I give these two names for what they have been believed by better judges than myself to denote—not for what I believe myself. The only fact which to me seems incontestible is that, at an early period in the Chinese history, a non-Chinese nation was known under the name of Hiong-nu.

If these be the Huns of the Classics, the evidence as to their being Turk rather than Hungarian, is nearly conclusive; the Turk division being the only one which is, at one and the same time, conterminous with Europe, and almost conterminous with China.

Moreover, if the Hiong-nou be the Huns, we may infer that the name Hun was a native name, in the way that Deutsche is the native name of what we call the Ger[Pg 89]mans; since it is not likely that the Greeks and Chinese would use the same appellation, unless it were also the indigenous appellation of the people to which it was applied.[26]

The Thú-kiú.—These are the proper Turks of the Altai mountains under a Chinese name. They are mentioned as being powerful about A.D. 545.

1. If the word Thú-kiú be the Chinese form of Turk, we learn that the name was native.

2. If the Hiong-nu and Thú-kiú be the same people, we fix the former as Turk rather than aught else.

Now, both these suppositions are highly probable. Several Thú-kiú glosses have been collected by Klaproth from Chinese writings, and they are all Turk, more especially the Turk of Central Asia; whilst, on the other hand, the Chinese writer, Ma-túan-in, derives the Thiú-kiú from the Hiong-nou.

Such of my readers as know that Niebuhr considered[Pg 90] the Huns to be Mongols, and that Humboldt insists upon their Finnic origin will excuse the length to which these remarks on their ethnographical position have been extended.

Additions to the Turk area made within the historical period.—This means Asia Minor (Anatolia), and Turkey in Europe; additions of a true ethnological character; additions whereby the Turk division came in contact with other divisions of our species wholly new, e.g., the Greek, the Arabian, and the Armenian. The points to be considered are—the direction, the date, the rate, the completeness or incompleteness of the ethnological change effected.

a. The direction.—From south-east toward north-west; i.e., from Persia; and the parts south of the Caspian and Caucasus, rather than from the parts between the northern Caspian and the Black Sea; so as to be a prolongation of the Turcoman and Uzbek frontier, rather than of the Nogay.

b. Date.—From A.D. 1038 to A.D. 1063, the reign of Togrul Beg, grandson of Seljuk; a Turk of either Turcomania or Bokhara—The Arabian kingdom of Persia is now disorganized; chiefly by Turks, who have raised themselves from the governors of provinces to the founders of empires, e.g., Mahmúd of Ghizni. The power of the Kalif of Bagdad, at best but nominal, is reduced still more by Togrul. The Seljukian Turks (or rather Turkomans), are the sultans of Persia, now become a consolidated empire.

Togrul's successor conquers Armenia and Georgia. Here, however, the ethnological effects of the Turk were, and have continued to be, limited.

About the same time the Arabian princes of Aleppo[Pg 91] and Damascus are expelled. Here, also, the ethnological effects were, and have been, limited.

A.D. 1074. Now began the conquest of Asia Minor by Seljukian Turks, a conquest by which one ethnological division of the human species has been replaced by another. It ended in the establishment of the kingdom of Roum; won from the degenerate Romans of Constantinople.

In its due turn the kingdom of Roum breaks up; partly from internal disorganization, partly from attacks from without, the chief of these being those under the leaders of the house of Zingiz. There was also a partial re-conquest by the Romans. Hence in A.D. 1229 there is room for the ambition of Othman. Othman and his successors reconsolidate the kingdom of Roum, Anatolia, or Asia Minor, now Turk.

In A.D. 1360 the Turks of Asia begin to become the Turks of Europe under Amurath I.; during whose reign Anatolia was a great centre of conquest, of which the Asiatic extension was limited by the parallel centre of conquest—Bokhara under Tamerlane. On the side of Europe, however, all was free. A.D. 1453, is the date of the taking of Constantinople. Since then the Turk area in Europe has been formed.

Rate, completeness or incompleteness of the ethnological change effected.—These two questions are connected. We can scarcely tell how long it took to transform the non-Turk countries like Asia Minor and Thrace, into the Turk countries of Roum, unless we also know how far the transformation is real or apparent. Now upon this point we want information. No man can say how many ethnological elements other than Turk may be present amongst the Anatolian and Rumelian speakers of the Ottoman language. Still the conquest of the two areas is spread over a period[Pg 92] of not less than three hundred and seventy nine years; beginning with the invasion of Asia Minor, by Togrul's successor, and ending with the taking of Constantinople by Mahomet II.

Turk elements of intermixture in families other than the Turk.—These must be noticed briefly. The facts connected with the question falling under the three following heads:—

1. Turk blood in the ruling families of the East.—The Ghiznivide and Seljukian dynasties of Persia, the Uzbek rulers of Bokhara, the Pasha of Ægypt, the Great Mogul, &c.

2. Turks living in separate communities in countries beyond the Turk area.—Turks of Persia, Armenia, Bokhara, &c.

3. Localities where the Turkish language has been spoken and become extinct.—Parts of Hungary, for which see the notice of the Cumani. Other localities, of which by far the most important is Bulgaria. At present the Bulgarian language is Slavonic; and, such being the case, the primâ facie evidence is in favour of the people being Slavonic also. Reasons, however, for the contrary will be found in the notice of the Slavonians.

By adding, to all this, the statement that at least one nation, the Bashkirs, although speaking Turk, are supposed to be Finnic, and, by recollecting at the same time, the great extent of Turk conquests, like some of those of Tamerlane, less permanent than those enumerated, as well as the effects of the trade in female slaves (preeminently supported by Turk nations), we may arrive at a valuation of the importance of the Turk family as a physical influence in the way of intermixture.

The influences of the Turk family have been material rather than moral.—No portion of the Turk division[Pg 93] has ever passed for one of the preeminently intellectual sections of mankind. The steady monotheism, however, of the Koran, they have taken up so generally, that Turk and Mahometan are almost as synonymous as Arab and Mahometan. Their literature is founded on that of Persia. No great idea has ever originated from them, and none but those of the simpler and more straightforward kind been adopted. At the same time the Syriac alphabet of the Nestorian Christians was introduced amongst the Uighur Turks, earlier than in any other quarter equally remote; and fragmentary forms of ancient Turk poetry, anterior to the influences of the Persian, and Arabic, are to be found in Von Hammer.

The verbal truthfulness of the Turk has been praised by most who have had the means of observation. Lying is the vice of the weak; and no nations have so little been slaves, and so much been masters, as the Turk.

The Yakuts.—The isolated Turks, or Yakuts, still stand over for notice. Their centre is the river Lena, whereon they extend at least as far southward as the Aldan. Eastward they are found on the[27] Kolyma, and westward as far as the Yenisey. Here the Yakut tribe is that of the Dolganen, an outlying portion of the section first noticed by Von Middendorf.[28]

That the Yakut are Turk, is placed beyond reasonable doubt; although the only test has been that of language. Respecting this the two most extreme statements which I have met with are the following:—

1st. That it is intelligible at Constantinople.

2nd. That not less than one-third of the words (and [Pg 94]some of them the names of very simple ideas) are other than Turk.[29]

The truth will probably be known when the recent researches of Von Middendorf are published. In either case, however, the language is Turk.

Fig. 5.

With the evidence of language, the evidence of physical confirmation is said to disagree. The Yakuts are essentially Mongolian in physiognomy. The value of the fact must be determined by what has been already said upon the subject.

The locality of the Yakuts is remarkable. It is that of[Pg 95] a weak section of the human race, pressed into an inhospitable climate by a stronger one. Yet the Turks have ever been the people to displace others, rather than to be displaced themselves. On the other hand, the traditions of the country speak expressly to a southern origin.

In respect to the social development of the Yakut, Von Middendorf's distinctions are the most suggestive as well as the most critical. The southernmost Yakuts have the horse, the middlemost the rein-deer, the northernmost the dog. The manners of the southern ones are best known; and these are essentially pastoral. Besides the breeding of herds of horses, the Russian fur-trade has developed an industrial form of the hunter-state; so that, amongst the Yakuts, property accumulates, and we have a higher civilization than will be found elsewhere in the same latitude; Finland and Norway alone being excepted.

Other circumstances make the Yakuts an ethnological study. They are not only Turks who are not Mahometan, but their Christianity is still imperfect: hence they represent the Shamanism of the Turk before he became Moslemized. The details of the Yakut creed, sufficiently numerous to form, along with those of the still pagan Ugrians and Samöeids, an elaborate picture of an old religion, which, in its essential characters, was common to all the families of High Asia and Siberia, may be best found in Ermann.[30] The simple fact of its representing an early religion, is all that can here be noticed.


1. Present distribution—continuous.—West and East—From Norway to the Yenisey. North and South (South-East)—From the North Cape to the Russian governments of Simbirsk, Saratof, and Astrakhan. The Volga south of its confluence with the Kama.

[Pg 96]

2. Isolated portion.—Hungary.

3. Ancient distribution.—Further southwards along the whole frontier, i.e., in Scandinavia, Russia, and Siberia. The Eastward extension probably less than at present.

4. As portions of a mixed population beyond their proper area—In Sweden and Norway.

Religion.—Lutheranism, Romanism, Greek Church, Imperfect Christianity, Shamanism.

Physical conformation.—Chief departure from the Mongol type, the frequency of blue eyes, and light (red) hair.

Conterminous with.—1. Goths of the Scandinavian group in Norway and Sweden; 2. Slavonians in Russia; 3. Lithuanians in Esthonia; 4, 5, 6. Turks, Yeniseians, and Tungús in Siberia. In Europe, in contact with the North Sea. East of Archangel, separated therefrom by the Samöeids.


Locality.—The northern part of the Uralian range, and the country to the east as far as the Irtish, and Tobol, and as far north as the Soswa a feeder of the Obi. Tradition says that they extended as far westward as the Dwina. Probability that they extended further south.

Name.—The Voguls call themselves and the Ostiaks Mansi. They are called by the Siranians Yograyess, and Vagol.

Conterminous with.—The Siranians on the west, the Obi Ostiaks on the east, the Bashkirs on the south.

Dialects.—The northern Vogul of the Sosva, the southern of the Tura, a tributary of the Tobol.

Population.—According to Schubert, one hundred thousand.

Religion.—Shamanism, or imperfect Christianity.

Physical appearance.—Stature small, complexion light, face broad and round, beard scanty, hair long, black, or brown, sometimes red. The Kalmuk (i.e. Mongolian) character of the Vogul physiognomy is noticed by Pallas.

The Voguls are very nearly on the low level of a tribe of fishers and hunters. Except towards the south, where they are partially Russianized, and where they have also partially adopted the manners of the Bashkirs, there is but[Pg 97] little pasturage, and no agriculture. The horse is not in use amongst them—the rein-deer being the nearest approach to a domestic animal. Their tribute is paid in its skins.


Locality.—Valley of the Obi—Eastwards to the Yenisey.

Name.—Russian, probably originally Bashkir. The native name—Kondycho, Tyakum, or Asyakh. Called by the Samöeids, Thahe; by the Voguls, Mansi.

Conterminous with.—The Voguls on the west, the Samöeids on the north, the Barabinsky and other Turkish tribes, and (probably) with the Yeniseians on the south.

Numbers.—About one hundred thousand.

Dialects.—Numerous.—The Southern mixed with the Vogul, the Northern with the Samöeid.

Physical appearance.—Stature short, bones small, muscular strength little; face flat, hair red, or reddish.

Religion.—Shamanism in the north, imperfect Christianity in the south.

The Ostiaks are almost wholly a nation of fishers.

That their limits originally extended farther south than at present is highly probable. A tradition concerning their migration from the west will be noticed in the section upon the Samöeids.

Notwithstanding the close affinity between the Ostiaks and the Voguls, the two nations were, at the time of the Russian conquest, in continual warfare against each other: the Ostiaks being under the government of petty hereditary chiefs.

In the pagan parts of the Ostiak country polygamy is the custom.


Locality.—The government of Perm; of which they form less than a quarter, the rest being Russians or Russianized Finns.

Name.—-Russian, probably taken from the Scandinavian term Bjarma. The native term is Komi-uter, or Komi-murt.

Population.—According to Schubert, about thirty-five thousand.


Locality.—North of the Permians, about the head-waters of the R. Kama, and R. Vytchegda, a feeder of the Dwina.

[Pg 98]

Native name.—Same as the Permian.

Population.—According to Schubert, thirty thousand.

Dialects.—Four. The Siranian, itself, however, is rather a dialect of the Permian than a substantive language.


Locality.—The R. Viatka.

Religion.—Imperfect Christianity. Probably some remains of Shamanism.

Of all the Finnic tribes the Votiaks are the most like the Finlanders of Finland; indeed Müller states that there is a tradition among them to the effect that their original country was Finland, and that they are immigrants from thence.

On the other hand, the extent to which they differ from their south-western neighbours, the Tcheremiss, is said to be remarkable.

In respect to the physical conformation of the Votiaks, the evidence of Ermann is favorable, that of Pallas less so. The latter describes them as slight and undersized: the former as strongly built. In no Finnic tribe—perhaps in no other tribe in the world,—is fiery red hair so common as amongst the Votiaks.

They are an agricultural population, not fishers and hunters.

They are also, most probably, an unmixed population; since none of their neighbours live so exclusively to themselves, (i.e. not in mixed villages, half Russian, or half Bashkir,) as the Votiaks.

The government under petty chiefs, or the heads of tribes, still continues; and it is a privilege of the Votiaks to elect their own village judges or arbiters.

[Pg 99]

Their population seems on the increase. At the end of the last century it was forty thousand: in 1837 it was one hundred thousand.


Locality.—The left bank of the Middle Volga; fewer on the right. Governments of Kasan, Simbirsk, and Saratov. Recently, settlements in the Government of Astrakan, Conterminous with the Votiaks.

Name.—Russian. Native name, Mari=men.

Numbers.—According to Schubert, two hundred thousand.

Religion.—Imperfect Christianity. Greek Church.

Physical appearance.—Stature, middle; hair, light; beard, scanty; face, flat.

Habitations.—Small villages, smaller than those of the Votiaks, and Tchuvatch. Habits, agricultural; lately nomadic.


Locality.—The most South-Western of the Finnic tribes, on the right-bank of the Volga, between the R. Sura and R. Oka.


Divisions.—The Morduins of the Oka, are called Ersad; the Morduins of the Sura, Mokshad. A third division, called Karatai, inhabits the neighbourhood of Kasan.

Numbers.—In 1837, ninety-two thousand.

Dialects.—Two or more—the Ersad and the Mokshad.

Religion.—Imperfect Christianity; Greek Church; Shamanism.

Physical appearance.—Hair, brown and straight; beard, thin. More Slavonic than any other Finnic tribe. The Ersad oftener red-haired than the Mokshad.


Locality.—Right bank of the Volga, opposite the Tcheremiss, in the neighbourhood of Kasan, in the Government of Simbirsk and Saratov. Recent settlements in the Government of Astrakan.

Native Name.—Vereyal, and Khirdiyal, and Vyress:

Numbers.—According to Schubert, three hundred and seventy thousand.

Religion.—Imperfect Christianity. Greek Church. Remains of Shamanism.

Physical Appearance.—Height, middle; complexion, light; face, flat; beard, thin; hair, black, and somewhat curled; eyes, grey; eyelids, narrow.

Habitations.—Like those of the Turk tribes in their neighbourhood.

Dialects.—Two: a. of the Vereyal of the Gornaya; b. of the Khirdiyal of the Lugovaya.


Localities.—Finland; settlers in Sweden and Norway.

[Pg 100]

Native Name.—Suomolaiset.



Dialects.a. Finlandic Proper; b. Savolax, spoken in Savolax, and Carelia.


Finnish words.—Kanguri=weaver, seppa=smith, wapa=freeman, orya, palvelya=slave, myyda, ostaa=buy and sell, yuoma=ale, kalya=beer, kandele, youhe-kandele=musical instruments, keria=book, raamattu=writing.

King, Kunengas, Konung.
Prince, Ruhtinas, Thruhtin.
Judge, Duomari, Dömare.
Cheese, Yuusto, Ost.
Wine, Saxan wiina,[31] Viin.[31]
Rye, Ruis, Rug.
Oats, Havra, Haver.

Two lists, one of Finlandic, and one of Swedish, words have been placed at the head of the present section, for the sake of serving as an introduction to some of the questions contained in it. They are all taken from Rühs' work on Finland and its inhabitants, where the analysis of the language serves instead of historical testimony. By observing what terms are native, and what are Swedish, we separate the early native civilization of Finland, from the civilization introduced from Sweden. Thus, on looking over the preceding glosses, we find that the only terms applicable to a social or political constitution, are those for slave and freeman; king, ruler, judge, &c., being expressed by Swedish words. So also with the industrial trades; weaving was Finnic from the beginning, and so was smith's-work; but the carpenter, the builder, the ship-builder, are importations, and so on. There are native terms for buying and selling, for ale and beer, and for more than two musical instruments; but there are no native terms for wine, and none for dancing.

For the metals, and agriculture, the terms are almost[Pg 101] always native. Cheese, however, on the one side, and gold, tin, and lead, on the other, have Swedish names. So have oats and rye.

Music, and songs, and a mythology belonged to the early Finlanders; the second being always accompanied by the first, and the three illustrating each other.

The great foreign influence that has affected the Finlanders of Finland, is the Swedish, and this may be considered to have been in steady and continuous operation, from the reign of Eric the Holy, in the A.D. 1156. This king, bent upon conquest and conversion, landed in South Finland, and founded what was then a new mission or colony, in the present province of Nyland (Newland). From this point, the power of Sweden gradually spread towards the inner portions of the country; northwards and eastwards: not unopposed, but opposed ineffectually, by the heathens of Tawastaland and Carelia.


Locality.—South of the Baltic, in Esthonia, Livonia, and part of Courland. Conterminous with the Russians, and the Courland Lithuanians.

Dialects.—Two: the common Esthonian, and the Esthonian of Dorpat.

Native Name.Rahwas; of the country Marahwas.



Religion.—Imperfect Christianity of the Greek Church with the Russian; imperfect Protestantism with the Swedish and Norwegian Laplanders.

Native Name.—Same, Sabome.


Locality.—Hungary; mixed with German, Slavonic, and Wallachian tribes.

Native Name.—Majiar.

The Majiars are Ugrian, the country from which they descended being that of the Bashkirs, conterminous with the southern limits of the present Ugrian area, of which it was once a part. The date of their migration is about A.D. 900.

[Pg 102]

From extending farther than Hungary they were prevented by the two great victories of Henry the Fowler in 935 A.D.

Those who would connect the present Hungarians with the Huns of Attila, must also make the Huns Ugrian; since no fact is more undeniable than the Ugrian character of the Majiars. The reasons against this have been given already. They are, undoubtedly, scanty. Still they preponderate over those of the other view; which consist only in inferences from the term Hungary.

Lest these be over-rated, two facts should be remembered:—

1st.—That the name is Russian and not native.

2nd.—That the -n- is no original part of the word; the older Slavonic forms being Ugri, Uhri, and only in the later dialects, Ungri.

The Majiars must necessarily be a very mixed race; their country having been that of the old Pannonian population (probably Slavonic); of the Romans of both the eastern and western empire; of the Goths, the Huns, the Avars, the Gepidæ, and the Comanians.

This is what history suggests. To have assumed an intermixture, for the sake of accounting for the physical and moral difference between such extreme Ugrian forms as the Majiar and Laplander, would have been illegitimate.

In reality, however, the difference between the Majiar and Lap, is less remarkable than that between the Lap and Finlander; since, in this latter case, the contrast is nearly as great, whilst the climatologic conditions are less dissimilar.

The Majiar is the only member of the Ugrian family, which has effected, within the historical period, a permanent conquest over any portion of the Iapetidæ.

[Pg 103]

The Ugrians supply a good example of what may be called a receding frontier. Their area has at one time been greater than at present. Southwards and westwards it was once prolonged. Hence, the Ugrian has been displaced, or encroached upon by others. It is well to note this. It is better still to take it in conjunction (or contrast) with the Turk area. There the frontier has encroached. At an earlier period it was less extensive than at present.

In one quarter, perhaps in others, the Ugrian frontier has encroached, i.e. on that of the Majiars.

In one quarter, perhaps in others, the Turk frontier has receded, i.e. the Comani have become either extinct or a mixed breed in Hungary.

Nevertheless, as a rule, the Turks frontier has encroached; the Ugrian receded. The practical application of this distinction is wide. When we know whether a given family habitually extends, or habitually contracts its area, we know what will be the probable distribution of the unfixed ancient tribes on the frontier.

In the critical ethnology of the classical writers many problems must be worked in this way; the inferences in the two alternatives being diametrically the reverse of each other.

1. In a people with an habitually encroaching frontier, no tribe described by earlier writers as lying beyond its present geographical area, is to be considered as having formed part of it (i.e. the family with an encroaching frontier).

2. In a people with an habitually receding frontier, many tribes described by earlier writers as lying beyond its present geographical area may (and often must) be considered as so doing.

Hence, in the present pair of instances, many localities[Pg 104] once other than Turk are now Turk;[32] whilst, on the other hand, many localities once Ugrian are now other than Ugrian.[33]

What, then, was the maximum extension southward of the Ugrian area before its frontier receded under the triple encroachments of the Turks of Russian Asia, the Russians of Russia, and the Norwegians and Swedes of Scandinavia? Possibly over the whole Scandinavian peninsula, possibly as far as the lower Don, Volga, and Dnieper. These, however, are geographical frontiers; frontiers less important, and less capable of solution than the ethnological ones. Were the Ugrians ever conterminous with other divisions of the human race than those which they come in contact with at present? There is no evidence that they were.

What ancient nations were Ugrian? Omitting, for the present, the tribes of Scythia, we may answer that the following were certainly so.

1. The Æstii.—Modern Esthonians.

2. The Finni and Skrithifinni.

3. The Sitones.—The Ugrians of the Baltic were known to the classical writers through the Germans. The names prove this. The Æstii were the people east of those who described them. The term Finn is known to no Ugrian, but to their Gothic neighbours only. The notice of Tacitus as to the Sitones is similarly capable of explanation.

The Finland word kainu=a low country. A portion of the Finlanders call themselves Kainulainen (Singular), Kainulaiset (plural).

Now this sectional name in Finland is the general name in Scandinavia; so that the Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians [Pg 105]call the Finlanders Kwæn. In Scandinavian, however, Qvinde=women. Hence, Tacitus was persuaded by his direct or indirect German informants that the Sitones were subject to female government.—"Suionibus Sitonum gentes continuantur. Cætera similes, uno differunt, quod fœmina dominatur."[34] Lest any doubt should remain as to Tacitus having been told of a country of women, I may add that—

a. Alfred[35] speaks of a Cvenaland=land of Kwæns.

b. The Norse[35] Sagas of a Kænugard=home of Kwæns.

c. Adam[35] of Bremen of terra fœminarum, and Amazons.

The first two facts prove the name, the second the false interpretation of it.

Far more full, however, than the classical writers are the old Norse Sagas in respect to the Ugrians. Of these the Beormas, or Permians, were wealthy and commercial; men sometimes to be dealt with, sometimes to be robbed. The Laps, on the other hand, were feared as magicians, or as men skilled in metallurgy; and, according to those who have studied the philosophy of mythologies, they have supplied many supernatural elements in the way of dwarfs and goblins.

In the ethnology of Scandinavia—in the skilful and industrious hands of Retzius, Eschricht, Nilson, Kaiser, and others—Ugrian archæology, and Ugrian craniology, are preeminently prominent. The numerous barrows of Scandinavia are attentively studied; and observation has shown that the older the tomb, and the greater the proportion of instruments found within it not made of iron (but of greater antiquity than the art of forging that metal) the less dolikhokephalic, and the more brakhykephalic, (or Ugrian,) is the skull. Hence comes the inference that the southward [Pg 106]extension of barrows, containing remains of the sort in question, is a measure of the southward extension of the Ugrian family.

Two other matters are of importance in Ugrian ethnology—the remains of their ancient Shamanism, and the Finland Runot.

In respect to the former, the Ugrians are the first people wherein we find the original Paganism in more tribes than one; so that it can be studied in its minute differences, as well as in its general character. Its essential identity, however, is remarkable. The Supreme Deity is Yumel, Yubmel, Yumala, or some slightly modified name; and that from the Morduin country to Lapland. Except this notice of the extent to which similarity of creed, as well as similarity of language, connects the Ugrians, no further remarks will be made at present.

The Runot is the name for the popular poems of Finlanders. In few nations are they more numerous. In none more carefully collected. I believe that the chief one partakes of the nature of an epic, and relates the wars between the Laps and Finlanders. Others are short, lyrical, and adapted to music. The term Runot (the plural form) is suspiciously similar to the Scandinavian word, Runa, with a not dissimilar meaning (furrow, carving, letter, spell, verse, poem). Finland archæologists, however, repudiate this, and claim it as an indigenous word, on the strength of certain derivative forms, like runionecka=poet. This is not conclusive. Nor is it necessary for the main fact, which is the existence of a home-grown poetical literature of more than average merit, and implying musical taste for the Finlandic portion of the Ugrian branch—of the Turanian group—of the Altaic Mongolidæ.


[9] In Greek, Rhæmata=words.

[10] Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

[11] Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. vi. part 2.

[12] Prichard, vol. iv.

[13] "The Chinese as they are," p. 319.

[14] Prichard, vol. iv.

[15] Prichard, vol. iv.

[16] Buchanan, Asiatic Researches.

[17] Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. iv. part 2.

[18] Such are the primitive habits, still in use from the Konki to the Monash and which are most worthy of study and record, as being primitive and as being common to two people, the Bodo and Dhimál, though abandoned by the Kámrúpian and most numerous branch of the Bodo.

[19] Ai or Aya is the goddess Kámákyá of Kanirup, vis genetrix naturæ, typed by the Bhaga or Yoni.

[20] Dhámi, in Bodo. Dom, in other allied dialects.

[21] Decline and Fall, vol. viii.

[22] Klaproth, Memoires relatifs à l'Asie, iii.

[23] Zeuss, v. Avari.

[24] Decline and Fall, vol. v.

[25] Lucian, Toxaris 31. From Zeuss, v. Alani.

[26] 1. The determination of the language to which the name of any nation mentioned in history belongs is of primary importance. Perhaps there is not one fourth of the tribes described by writers, either ancient or modern, whereof the name is native; e.g., the terms Welsh and German are unknown in Wales and Germany; whilst an Englishman is a Saxon in the Principality and in Ireland. For ascertaining whether a name be native or not the two following rules are useful.

Rule 1. When two different nations speak of a third by the same name the primâ facie evidence is in favour of that name being the native one.

Rule 2. When one nation speaks of two others under the same name, the primâ facie evidence is against that name being the native one.

Thus, according to Rule 1, if a Chinese and a Greek each call a tribe which invades their country, Hun, it is nearly certain that the invading tribe called itself Hun also. Of course, in cases, where the two nations using the common term might have borrowed it one of another, or from a third language, the probabilities are modified. Still the general rule holds good.

The second rule may be illustrated by the term Welsh. It is given by the nations of the Gothic stock to the Cambrians of Wales, the Italians of Italy, and the Wallachians of Wallachia. We know that with none of these it is native. I consider, however, that, given the geographical position of Germany, Wales, Italy, and Wallachia, the same might have been inferred.

[27] Wrangell, from Prichard, vol. iv.

[28] Transactions of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1846.

[29] Ermann, from Prichard, vol. iv.

[30] Reise um der Erde.

[31] Saxon (German) wine.

[32] Asia Minor and Thrace.

[33] Many parts of Russia.

[34] Germania, 45.

[35] Zeuss, v. Finni, and p. 157.

[Pg 107]


The term Dioscurian is taken from the ancient sea-port Dioscurias. Here it was that the chief commerce between the Greeks and Romans, and the natives of the Caucasian range took place. According to Pliny,[36] it was carried on by one hundred and thirty interpreters, so numerous were the languages. Without raising the number thus high, the great multiplicity of mutually unintelligible tongues is still one of the characteristics of the parts in question. And this fact has determined the application of the term. To have used the word Caucasian would have been correct, but inconvenient. It is already mis-applied in another sense, i.e., for the sake of denoting the so-called Caucasian race, consisting, or said to consist, of Jews, Greeks, Circassians, Scotchmen, ancient Romans, and other heterogeneous elements. In this sense it has been used in more than one celebrated work of fiction. In such, and in such only, it is otherwise than out of place.


Physical Conformation.—Modified Mongol.

Languages.—Paurosyllabic,[37] agglutinate; of all the tongues not Seriform, the nearest approaching to an aptotic state.

Area.—The range of Mount Caucasus.

Chief Divisions.—1. The Georgians. 2. The Lesgians. 3. The Mizjeji. 4. The Irôn. 5. The Circassians.

In few, perhaps, in no part of the present volume, am [Pg 108]I on more debateable ground than the present. So long has the term Caucasian been considered to denote a type of physical conformation closely akin to that of the Iapetidæ, (i.e., preeminently European,) that to place the Georgians and Circassians in the midst of the Mongolidæ, is a paradox. Again, the popular notions founded upon the physical beauty of the tribes under notice, are against such a juxtaposition; the typical Mongolians, in this respect, having never been mentioned by either poet or painter in the language of praise.

Lastly, it so happens that some of the latest researches in comparative philology have been undertaken with the special object of making the philological position of the Dioscurians coincide with their anatomical one, i.e., of proving that the languages of the Georgians and the Irôn are to be connected with that of the Greeks and Latins, just as was the case with their skeletons.

For the sake of laying before the reader the amount of fact and argument, in contradistinction to the amount of mere opinion, that is opposed by the position here assumed for the Dioscurians, I will analyse the grounds for the current belief under two heads:—

1. The connexion of the Dioscurian nations with those of Europe, as determined by the evidence of Physical Conformation.—The really scientific portion of these anatomical reasons consists in a single fact; which was as follows.—Blumenbach had a solitary Georgian skull; and that solitary Georgian skull was the finest in his collection: that of a Greek being the next. Hence it was taken as the type of the skull of the more organized divisions of our species. More than this, it gave its name to the type, and introduced the term Caucasian. Never has a single head done more harm to science than was[Pg 109] done in the way of posthumous mischief, by the head of this well-shaped female from Georgia. I do not say that it was not a fair sample of all Georgian skulls. It might or might not be. I only lay before critics the amount of induction that they have gone upon.

2. The connexion of the Dioscurian nations with those of Europe as determined by the evidence of language.—Here I can only give a sample of the philology which would connect the Georgian with the Indo-European tongues. It consists in the proof that the Georgian numerals are the same as the Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Gothic, Slavonic, and Lithuanic.

English. Georgian. Mingrelian.[38] Suanic.[38] Lazic.[38]
One erthi arthi es`gu ar.
Two ori shiri jeru dzur.
Three sami sumi semi dshumi.
Four othchi otchi wors`tcho atch.
Five chuthi chuthi wochus`i chut.
Six ekhwssi apchs'ui usgwa as`.
Seven s'widi 'sqwithi is`gwit s`kit.
Eight rwa ruo ara ovro.
Nine zehru c`choro c`chara c`choro.
Ten athi withi je`st wit.

One=Es`gu, Suanic=êka, Sanskrit; jek, Persian, the ἑκα- in ἑκά-τερος, and ἕκ-αστος, Greek.

One=erthi, Georgian; arthi, Mingrelian; ar, Lazic. Here the forms are different from the Suanic esg`u, and have a different origin. Esgu is a true cardinal, just as one is a true cardinal. The Georgian, Mingrelian, and Suanic forms, are not originally cardinal, but derivative from the ordinal, just as would be the case in English, if, instead of saying one, two, &c., we said, first, second, &c. Now the root of the ordinal cardinal of the Georgian, Mingrelian, and Lazic ar, is the πρ- in the Greek, πρῶ-τος,[Pg 110] the p-r- in the Lithuanic pir-mas, the fr- in the Mœso-Gothic, fr-ums, and the pr- in the Sanskrit pr-atamas; the initial p having been lost, just as the initial s in the Sanskrit sru,=to flow, is lost in the Greek ῥέω, and the Latin ruo. Hence, arti=, by rati metathesis, just as the Lithuanic pirmas=the Latin primus. The t is the τ of πρῶ-τ-ος.

Two=Ori, Georgian; dva, Sanskrit; δι-, Greek; duo, Latin, &c.

Three=sami, Georgian; dschumi, Lazic; tre, Sanskrit; τρία, Greek; tres, Latin; three, English, &c. Here t becomes s, r is ejected, and m is added, upon the assumption of reflected ordinal.[39]

Four=wors`tcho, Suanic. A transposition of tchowors=the Sanskrit ćatvâras.—Here, remember the Gothic and Welsh forms, fidvôr, and pedwar, respectively.

Five=wochus`i, Suanic. The wo- of this form is the pa- of the Sanskrit pa-nća, whilst the -chu- is the ća of the same word. The -t- is the t of the Slavonic forms, fya-tj=five; ses-tj=six; devja-ti=nine, and desja-ti=ten.

Six=ekhwssi, Georgian=sas, Sanskrit; csvas, Zend; achses, Trôn.

Seven=swidi, Georgian. A transposition of siwdi=supta, Sanskrit; septem, Latin; ἕπτα, Greek, &c. It is stated of the numbers six and seven that "their Indo-European origin is preeminently capable of proof."

Eight=rwa, ruo, &c.=as`ta, Sanskrit. Here the s is lost, as in Hindostani, and Bengali, ât`, and ât; t becomes d; and d is changed to r.

The numeral nine is let alone.

[Pg 111]

Ten=jest, Suanic=das`a, Sanskrit.

I do not say that there may not be letter-changes which make all this feasible. There may or may not be. I only lay before critics, the amount of change assumed.

In 1845, I announced, at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, that the closest philological affinity of the Dioscurian languages was with the Aptotic ones. This I had brought myself to believe from a comparison of the words only. Soon afterwards, Mr. Norriss, of the Asiatic Society, instead of expressing surprise at my doctrine, said that, upon grammatical grounds, he held the same opinion.

How far these views are founded on fact, may be seen from the forthcoming samples of two Dioscurian grammars, and of a short Dioscurian vocabulary, compared with those of the Seriform tongues. The two together form but a small fraction of the evidence that can be adduced. It is as much, however, as is admissible in a work like the present.

Physiological objections, based upon the symmetry of shape, and delicacy of complexion, on the part of the Georgians and Circassians, I am, at present, unable to meet. I can only indicate our want of osteological data, and remind my reader of the peculiar climatologic conditions of the Caucasian range; which is at once temperate, mountainous, wooded, and in the neighbourhood of the sea—in other words, the reverse of all Mongol areas hitherto enumerated. Perhaps, too, I may limit the extent of such objections as a matter of fact. It is only amongst the chiefs where the personal beauty of the male portion of the population is at all remarkable. The tillers of the soil are, comparatively speaking, coarse and unshapely.

[Pg 112]


Divisions.—1. Eastern Georgians. 2. Western Georgians. 3. South-western Georgians. 4. Northern Georgians.


Locality.—The head-waters of the Kur.

Name.—Cartulinian, from the Province called Carthueli, the ancient Iberia. The Cartulinian dialect is the Georgian of Teflis, and the Georgian of the Georgian literature.

Alphabet.—Peculiar. Probably derived from the Armenian.


Localities.—Guriel, Imeretia, and Mingrelia, i.e., the valley of Phasis.


Language.—More like the Lazic than it is to either the Cartulinian or the Suanic.



Geographical Limits.—From the promontory of Kyemer-Burnu, east of Rizeh, east of Trebizond to the mouth of the Tchorok, south of Batoum. Not further than the Tchorok inland.

Political Relations.—Subject to Turkey.

Religion.—Mahometan; converted about 1580, A.D. Previously (at least in the reign of Justinian) Christians of the Greek Church.

Alphabet.—Arabic. Native literature none or scanty. Sub-dialects numerous, according to Rosen one for almost every valley. Greek words intermixed; some, probably, of considerable antiquity.


Locality.—The head-waters of the Tzchenistoquali, or Lasch-churi; the Hippus of the ancients.


Conterminous with the Northern Mingrelian dialects of the Georgian, and the Absné dialect of the Circassian. Less like any of the other Georgian dialects than they are to each other. The Suanians call—

Descent.—As the Georgians may reasonably be considered to be the aborigines of the locality which they, at[Pg 113] present, inhabit, they come before us as an ancient people. The Greek poet, who first sung of the Argonauts, knew, at least, enough of Colchis to make it a local habitation for his heroine—though that was not knowing much. The earliest navigator of the Euxine knew more; for, possibly, at a period anterior to the colonization of Asia Minor, he knew it as a real land. The Ægyptians, at the time of Herodotus, knew enough of it to claim it as a conquest of the great Sesostris. With this claim the question of purity of the Georgian race commences.

Two separate and definite immigrations have been supposed to have introduced into Colchis new ethnological elements.

1. The settlement from Ægypt under the reign of the Great Sesostris.

In §§ 103-105, of his Second Book, Herodotus writes thus:—Sesostris "overturned both the Scythians and the Thracians; and here, in my mind, the Ægyptian army reached its furthest point. Thus far the pillars in question appear; beyond, there are none. From these parts he turned back, and when he came to the river Phasis, I am unable to say truly, which of two things occurred; whether the King himself, having separated a portion of his army, left it as a settlement in the country, or whether some of his soldiers, harassed by their wanderings, stayed behind on that river. For the Colchians are evidently Ægyptians. I say this, having observed it myself, before I heard from any one else. And, whilst I was considering it, I asked both; and the Colchians remembered the Ægyptians better than Ægyptians the Colchians. The Ægyptians said, that they thought that the Colchians were from the army of Sesostris. This is what I guessed myself, from the fact of their being both[Pg 114] black-skinned and curly-haired. This, however, goes for nothing. Others are so also. The main reason is that the Colchians, the Ægyptians, and the Æthiopians are the only men who originally practised circumcision: since the Phœnicians and the Syrians of Palestine confess that they learned it of the Ægyptians; whilst the Syrians about the rivers Thermodon and Parthenius, and the Macrones, who are their neighbours, say that they learned it recently, from the Colchians. Come, now, I must mention another fact concerning the Colchians, wherein they resemble the Ægyptians. They and the Ægyptians are the only ones who work flax in the same way. And the whole manner of life and language are mutually alike. The flax from Colchis is called by the Greeks, Sardonicon: that from Ægypt, Ægyptian."

As no external evidence will make it probable that the Georgians, as a nation, are of Ægyptian origin, and as, on the other hand, Herodotus speaks from personal observation, the exact truth is not easily attainable. Probably, there was an Ægyptian colony on the Black Sea. Possibly—though not probably—the Colchians were not Dioscurian aborigines, but immigrants.

2. The Orpelian settlement from China.—In the thirteenth century, according to those who are most willing to allow a comparatively high antiquity to Armenian literature, a work was composed in Armenian, by Stephen, Archbishop of Siounia. In this, it is stated that a noble family, called Ouhrbélêan, or Orpelian, entered Georgia, settled on the frontiers of Orpeth, and became the founders of one of the great families of Georgia; to which family the historian himself belonged. Finally, it is added, that this family came from Djenasdan or China. This is probably a mere tradition; one which, even if true, would[Pg 115] denote an immigration wholly unconnected with the real ante-historical relations between Caucasus and the Seriform area.

The true elements of intermixture with the Georgian family have been Greek, Persian, Armenian, Turk, and Russian; as may be collected from the history of the country. The amount of Lesgian, Irôn, Mizjeji, and Circassian blood is uncertain.

The safest view to be taken of the history of Georgian civilization is to remember that, different as may be the languages of Georgia and Armenia, the political history and the local relations are alike, and have generally been so. The Christianity of Georgia was from Armenia; so was its literature; so also its alphabet—although in their present rounded form its letters are very unlike the square and angular characters of Armenia.


Locality.—Eastern Caucasus, or Daghestan.

Name.—No native general name. Called by the Circassians Hhannoatshe; by the Tshetshentsh, Suéli.

Dialects.—1. Avar, spoken by the tribe who call themselves Marulan,=mountaineers, from Marul=mountain. Falling into the Anzukh, Tshari, Andi, Kabutsh, Dido(?), Unso(?) sub-dialects. 2. Kasikumuk. 3. Akush—sub-dialect Kubitsh. 4. Kura of South Daghestan.


Locality.—West and north-west of the Lesgians.

Name.—Not native.

Divisions.—1. Galgai, Halha, or Ingúsh. 2. Kharabulakh or Arshte. 3. Tshetshentsh. 4. Tushi.


Locality.—Central Caucasus; conterminous with the Mizjeji on the East, the Georgians on the south, the Circassians on the north, and Imeretia on the west.

Name.—Called by themselves Irôn, by the Georgians, Osi (Plural Oseti).

As the single skull of the Georgian female did all the mischief in the physiological ethnography of Caucasus, an Irôn vocabulary has been the prime source of error in[Pg 116] the way of its philology. Klaproth considered that the number of words common to the Irôn[40] and Persian languages was sufficient to place the former amongst the Indo-European languages. More than this, there were historical grounds for believing that the Irôn was the ancient language of Media[41]—also of the Alani of the later Roman empire. No man believed all this more than the present writer until the appearance of Rosen's sketch of the Irôn (Ossetic) grammar. He now believes that the Irôn is more Chinese than Indo-European.

Assuming, however, that Klaproth's position is correct, it follows that as the Georgian is undoubtedly akin to the Irôn, it may be Indo-European also. This is the view taken by Professor Bopp, from whose work, in favour of this position of the Georgian, the criticism relating to the numerals was taken. The method is as exceptionable as the result. If the Georgian be Indo-European, the Chinese is Indo-European also; and if the vaunted laws concerning the permutation and transition of letters lead to such philological leger-de-main as is to be found in more than one work of the German school, our scholarship is taking a retrograde direction.

However, the character of the Irôn grammar is as follows:—

The declension of nouns is simple; being limited to two numbers and four cases. Herein the inflection expressive of number can be separated from the inflection expressive of case—as fid-i=of a father, fid-t`-i=of fathers. Furthermore, the sign of case follows that of number. Such is the structure of case and number in Irôn, and such the sequence of the respective inflections expressive of each.

[Pg 117]

Singular. Plural.
Nom. fid[42] fid-t`-a
Gen. fid-i fid-t`-i
Dat. fid-én fid-t`-am
Abl. fid-éi fid-t`-éi.
Nom. moi[43] moi-t`a
Gen. moi-i moi-t`i
Dat. moi-én moi-t-am
Abl. moi-éi moi-t`-éi.

The comparative degree is formed by the addition of -dar; as chorz=good, chorz-dar=better. This has an Indo-European look. Compare it with the -τερ of the Greek comparatives. No superlative inflection.

The true personal pronouns (i. e., those of the two first persons) are as follows;—


1. Az=I. Defective in the oblique cases.

2. Man, or ma—Defective in the nominative singular.

Sing. Plural.
Nom. —— mach
Gen. man-i mach-i
Dat. man-an mach-én
Accus. man mach
Abl. man-éi mach-éi.
Nom. di si-mach
Gen. daw-i[44] si-mach-i
Dat. daw-on si-mach-én
Accus. daw si-mach
Abl. da-wéi si-mach-éi.

The signs of the persons are considered to be eminently Indo-Germanic. They are -in, -is, -i; -am, -ut`, -inc`; e. g.

[Pg 118]

Qus-in = aud-io Qus-am = aud-imus
Qus-is = aud-is Qus-ut` = aud-itis
Qus-i = aud-it Qus-inc` = aud-iunt.

I am as little prepared to deny as to affirm the likeness.

The addition of the sound of t helps to form the Irôn preterite. I say helps, because if we compare the form s-ko-t-on=I made, with the root kan, or the form fé-qus-t-on=I heard, with the root qus, we see, at once, that the addition of t is only a part of an inflection. Nevertheless, I am as little prepared to deny as to affirm its identity with the Persian d.

Beyond this, the tenses become complicated; and that because they are evidently formed by the agglutination of separate words; the so-called imperfect being undoubtedly formed by affixing the preterite form of the word to make; thus used as an auxiliary. The perfect and future seem similarly formed, from the auxiliary=be.

This may be collected from the following paradigms.




Root, kus = hear.

Sing. Plural.
Present, 1. Qus-in Qus-am.
2. Qus-is Qus-ut`
3. Qus-i Qus-inc`.[Pg 119]
Imperfect, 1. Qus-ga-k`o-t-on Qus-ga-k`o-t-am
2. Qus-ga-k`o-t-ai Qus-ga-k`o-t-at`
3. Qus-ga-k`o-t-a Qus-ga-k`o-t-oi
Perfect, 1. fé-qus-t-on fé-qus-t-am
2. fé-qus-t-ai fé-qus-t-at`
3. fé-qus-t-a fé-qus-t-oi
Future, 1. bai-qus-g'in-an bai-qus-g'i-stam
2. bai-qus-g'in-as bai-qus-g'i-stut`
3. bai-qus-g'én-i bai-qus-g'i-sti
Present, 1. qus-on qus-am
2. qus-ai qus-at`
3. qus-ai qus-oi
Imperfect, 1. qus-ga-k`an-on qus-ga-k`an-am
2. qus-ga-k`an-ai qus-ga-k`an-at`
3. qus-ga-k`an-a qus-ga-k`an-oi
1. —— bai-qus-am
2. bai-qus bai-qus-ut`
3. bai-qus-a bai-qus-oi

Infinitive, qus-in.

Participles, Qus-ag, qus-gond, qus-in-ag.

It may safely be said, that no Dioscurian language is more Indo-European than the Irôn.


Locality.—West Caucasus.

Divisions.—1. True Circassians, calling themselves Adigé. 2. Absné.

Sub-divisions of the Absné. 1. Absné. 2. Tepanta (or Altekesek).

It may safely be said that no Dioscurian language is less Indo-European than the Circassian. Such being the case, its grammar forms a proper complement to that of the Irôn.

In respect to its sounds, it has the credit, even in Caucasus, of being the most harsh and disagreeable language of the Caucasian area; consonants being accumulated, and hiatus being frequent.

The declensional inflections are preeminently scanty.[Pg 120] In English substantives there is a sign for the possessive case, and for none other. In Absné there is not even this—ab=father, ácĕ=horse; ab ácĕ=father's horse, (verbally, father horse). In expressions like these, position does the work of an inflection.

Judging from Rosen's example, the use of prepositions is as limited as that of inflections, sara s-ab ácĕ ist`ap I my-father horse give, or giving am; abna amus`w izbit=wood bear see-did=I saw a bear in the wood; awinĕ wi as`wkĕ=(in) house two doors; ácĕ sis`lit=(on) horse mount-I-did.

Hence declension begins with the formation of the plural number. This consists in the addition of the syllable k`wa.

Acĕ = horse; ácĕ-k`wa = horses.
Atsla = tree; atsla-k`wa = trees.
Awinĕ = house; awinĕ-k`wa = houses.

In the pronouns there is as little inflection as in the substantives and adjectives, i. e. there are no forms corresponding to mihi, nobis, &c.

1. When the pronoun signifies possession, it takes an inseparable form, is incorporated with the substantive that agrees with it, and is s- for the first, w- for the second, and i- for the third person singular. Then for the plural it is h- for the first person, s`- for the second, r- for the third: ab=father;

S-ab = my father; h-ab = our father.
W-ab = thy father; s`-ab = your father.
T-ab = his (her) father; r-ab = their father.

2. When the pronoun is governed by a verb, it is inseparable also; and similarly incorporated.

3. Hence, the only inseparable form of the personal pronoun is, when it governs the verb. In this case the forms are:

[Pg 121]

Sa-ra = I Ha-ra = we
Wa-ra = thou S`a-ra = ye
Ui = he U-bart` = they.

In sa-ra, wa-ra, ha-ra, s`a-ra, the -ra is non-radical. The word u-bart` is a compound.

The ordinal=first is achani. This seems formed from aka=one.

The ordinal=second is agi. This seems unconnected with the word wi-=two; just as in English, second has no etymological connection with two.

The remaining ordinals are formed regularly, by prefixing to the radical part of their respective cardinals, -a, and affixing -nto.

Cardinals. Ordinals.
3, Chi-ba[46] A-chi-nto
4, P`s`i-ba A-p`s`i-nto
5, Chu-ba A-chu-nto
6, F-ba F-into
7, Bis`-ba Bs-into
8, Aa-ba A-a-nto
9, S`-ba S`b-into
10, S`wa-ba Sw-ento.

In the Absné verbs the distinction of time is the only distinction denoted by any approach to the character of an inflection; and here the change has so thoroughly the appearance of having been effected by the addition of some separate and independent words, that it is doubtful whether any of the following forms can be considered as true inflections. They are compounds; i. e. forms like can't, won't, I'll (=I will), rather than forms like speaks, spoke, τέ-τυφ-α, &c.

Root, C'wisl = ride (equit-o).
1. Present, C'wis`l-ap = I ride[47] (equit-o).
2. Present, C'wis`l-oit = I am riding.
[Pg 122]Imperfect, C'wis`l-an = equitabam.
Perfect, C'wis`l-it = equitavi.
Plusquamperfect, C'wis`l-chén = equitaveram.
Future, C'wis`l-as˙t = equitabo.

The person and number is shown by the pronoun. And here must be noticed a complication. The pronoun appears in two forms:—

1st. In full, sara, wara, &c.

2nd. As an inseparable prefix; the radical letter being prefixed and incorporated with the verb. It cannot, however, be said that this is a true inflection.

Sing. 1. sara s-c'wisl-oit = I ride
2. wara u-c'wisl-oit = thou ridest
3. ui i-c'wisl-oit = he rides.
Plur. 1. hara ha-c'wisl-oit = we ride
2. s`ara s`-c'wisl-oit = ye ride
3. ubart r-c'wisl-oit = they ride.

Original area.—The northward extension of the present Circassian area is limited by the Russians and the Nogay Turks. Now, as each of these areas has encroached, it is reasonable to believe that, at an earlier period, Circassian tribes may have extended further northward than at present. At the same time we must be careful not to carry them too far; otherwise we infringe the area of the Scythians, Sarmatians, and other nations of antiquity; who, whatever else they were, were not very likely to have been Circassian. Some point between the Cuban and the Don is the likeliest limit for the most northern Circassians. The old line of frontier on the Caucasian side is incapable of determination.

Amongst the ancestors of the present Circassians are, most probably, the Zychi (Achæi), Abasgi, Heniochi, Cercetæ, Makropogones, Sindians, &c.

[Pg 123]

The question as to the original population of the country which now separates the nearest point of the Dioscurian area from the Seriform, will be considered in the section upon the distribution of the Iranian portion of the Indo-European division of the Iapetidæ. The following is a selection of words common to the Dioscurian and Aptotic languages:—


[36] Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 52.

[37] From pauros=few, and syllabæ=syllable.

[38] Dialects of the Georgian.

[39] It is a general accredited fact, that in some cardinals we have the sign of the ordinal. Thus the -m in dece-m, as compared with δέκα, is reasonably supposed to be the -m- in deci-m-us.

[40] Quoted under the name Ossetic.

[41] Asia Polyglotta, vox, Osseti.

[42] Fid=father.

[43] Moi=husband.

[44] Or dachi.

[45] Or fa-ko-t-on, &c.

[46] Non-radical.

[47] Or, am in the habit of riding.

[48] The different dots denote the different classes of languages—the first the English, the second the Dioscurian, the third the Aptotic dialects.

[Pg 129]


The epithet Oceanic is applied to this group because, with the exception of the Peninsula of Malacca, the tribes belonging to it are the inhabitants of islands exclusively.


The ocean is the highway between tribe and tribe, or nation and nation, just in proportion as there is the skill, the experience, the courage and the necessary equipment for using it. As long as the mariner's compass was undiscovered the New World was isolated from the Old. To the Turk on the Hellespont, in the deficiency of even the rudest elements of water-transport, the narrow stream was an obstacle. Hence the unscientific character of all a priori generalizations respecting the influence of land or water as the means of national intercommunication, or as elements of ethnographical dispersions. The desert, the prairie, or the ocean, are boundaries that limit, or paths that extend, the diffusion of tribes and nations, just in proportion as there is the camel, the horse, or the ship to make them available.

How nations may effect an extension over continuous tracts of land, has been seen in the examination of the Great Turk area; how nations may effect an extension[Pg 130] where the land is disconnected, and where the ocean alone is the means of communication, will be seen in the examination of the great Oceanic area. These two forms of extension stand in strong contrast to one another.

The best way to appreciate the magnitude of the great Oceanic area, is to state that with the exception of the Mauritius, the Isle of Bourbon, Ceylon, the Seychelles, the Maldives, and the Laccadives in the Indian Ocean, and the Japanese empire with the islands to the north thereof, in the Chinese Sea, every inhabited spot of land in the Indian and Pacific Oceans is inhabited by tribes of one and the same race.

Or taking the localities more in detail, we may say that from Madagascar, on the west, to Easter Island, half way between Asia and America, and from Formosa to the north, to New Zealand southwards, in the great islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and New Guinea, in the almost continental extent of Australia, in groups like the Philippines and the Moluccas, and in scattered clusters like the Mariannes or the other islands of the South Sea, the race is one and the same—and that race Oceanic.

Add to all this, that those tribes which are found so widely spread over the face of the ocean, are so spread almost exclusively. They are not only everywhere in the islands, but they are well-nigh nowhere on the continent. In the Peninsula of Malacca, and on no other part of the main land of Asia, is an Oceanic tribe to be detected.

In an ethnographical distribution such as this, so remarkable for both its negative and positive phænomena, there is ample ground for speculation; and of this there has been abundance. I prefer, however, at present, to suggest a distinction between the Oceanic area of dispersion and the Turk.

[Pg 131]

In respect to the former, the later the date we assign to it the more explicable are the phænomena; in other words, the more advanced the art of navigation the easier the extension from island to island.

The converse is the case with the latter. The earlier a land migration takes place, the less is the resistance of the nations around it, and, consequently, the greater the facilities of its propagation.

Divisions of the Oceanic Mongolidæ.—I think that if we base our primary divisions of the great Oceanic stock upon difference of physical form, they will not be more than two; although, by raising the value of certain sub-divisions, the number may be raised to three, four, five, or six.

Now as the value of the members of the Oceanic groups is a point upon which there is a variety of opinion, and as the opinion of the present writer as to its unity as a whole, is at variance with the systems of ethnologists, with whom he is diffident of disagreeing, it will be well to take more than usual pains to give prominence to the leading facts upon which the current opinions are based; and for the sake of fuller illustration to carry the reader over the subject by two ways.

A. One class of the Oceanic islanders is yellow, olive, brunette, or brown, rather than black, with long black and straight hair; and when any member of this division is compared with a native of the continental portions of the world, it is generally with the Mongol.

B. Another class of the Oceanic islanders is black rather than yellow, olive, brunette, or brown; and when any member of this division is compared with a native of the continental portions of the world, it is generally with the Negro. As to the hair of this latter group, it is always long, sometimes strong and straight; but, in other[Pg 132] cases, crisp, curly, frizzy, or even woolly. Upon these differences, especially that of the hair, we shall see, in the sequel, that sub-divisional groups have been formed.

The social, moral, and intellectual difference between these two classes, in their typical form, is, certainly, not less than the physical—probably more. The continuous geographical area is,—for the black division, New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, New Ireland, and the islands between it and New Caledonia. For the brown division, all the rest of the Oceanic area,—Sumatra, Borneo, Java, the Moluccas, the Philippines, the South Sea Islands, the Carolines, &c.

Now this is one way of viewing the subject, and it is the way which gives us the contrast in the most marked manner; the typical instances of each group being put forward.

But another point of view limits the breadth of difference.

It may have been noticed by the reader, that in speaking of the area occupied by the black and brown nations respectively, I used the word continuous. This was done for the sake of preparing the way for a new series of facts. In many of the countries proper and peculiar to the brown or straight-haired occupants, there are to be found, side by side with them, darker complexioned fellow-inhabitants; blackish and black tribes; tribes with crisp hair; tribes with woolly hair; and tribes with hair and hue of every intermediate variety. Furthermore, wherever the two varieties come in contact, the black and blackish tribes are the lower in civilization; generally inhabiting the more inaccessible parts of their respective countries, and, in the eyes of even cautious theorists, wearing the appearance of being aboriginal.

[Pg 133]

1. Names.—For the lighter-complexioned, straighter-haired type—Malay.

2. For the type that partakes of the character of the African Negro inhabiting New Guinea, Australia, and what may be called the continuous localities for the unmixed Black—Negrito.

3. The tribes with any or all of the Negrito characters, dwelling side by side with Malays in Malay localities, or in localities disconnected with the true Negrito area—the Blacks of the Malayan area.


Physical Conformation.—Modified Mongolian. Complexion, different shades of brown or olive; rarely black. Hair black, and straight; rarely woolly; oftener (but not often) wavy and curling. Stature from about five feet three, to, perhaps, five feet ten.

Languages.—Generally admitted to contain a certain proportion of Malay words.

Area.—The Malayan Peninsula, the Indian Archipelago, Polynesia, Madagascar. (?)

Chief Divisions.—1. The Protonesians. 2. The Polynesians. 3. The Malegasi.(?)


Physical Conformation.—Colour—-different shades of brown and yellow. Face, flat; nose, short; eyes and hair, black and straight; beard, scanty; stature, short. Frontal profile, retiring; maxillary, prognathic; occipito-frontal, brackykephalic; orbits, angular.

Area.—Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Timor, Borneo, Celebes, the Moluccas, the Philippines, &c.

Distribution.—With the exception of the Malayan Peninsula, insular. Islands, large as well as small.

Religion.—Paganism, Hinduism, and Mahometanism.

Social and Physical Development.—Maritime, commercial, and piratical; imperfect agriculture; never nomadic; partially industrial. Foreign Influences—Arabic and Hindu.


Locality.—The extremity of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula.

Population.—Mahometan Malays; Blacks of the Malay area; tribes of intermediate character, both physically and morally.

Dates (real or supposed).—The foundation of Singhapura (Sincapore) 1160[Pg 134] A.D. The foundation of Malacca, 1252 or 1260 A.D. The introduction of Mahometanism, 1276 A.D.

Alphabet.—Arabic. Limited to the Mahometan Malays.

Respecting the Peninsula of Malacca, the most important point is the fact of its being the only continental occupation of any Malay nation. This so naturally suggests the notion of it also being the original country of the numerous and widely-dispersed Malay tribes, that any refinement upon the current doctrine seems, at the first view, out of place. Nevertheless, there is so much room for the question as to whether Sumatra was peopled from Malacca, or Malacca from Sumatra, the island from the peninsula, or the peninsula from the island, that the claims for Malacca to be considered as the birthplace of the Malays will stand over until the details of Sumatra have been considered.

Whatever, however, may be the case with the antiquity of the people, the language of the peninsula is the standard Malay. According to Leyden, it is spoken in the greatest purity in the states of Kedah, Perak, Salangore, Killung, Johore, Iringano, and Pahang. At Patani it becomes conterminous with the Siamese. The alphabet is Arabic: the literary influences are Arabic also; and the highest degree of antiquity that can be assigned to any proper Malay work is the epoch of the introduction of Mahometanism, i.e. the thirteenth century. In stating this, I by no means imply that any extant is thus old: I only imply that none is likely to be older.

The proper Malays themselves, however, are not only a new people in the peninsula, but they consider themselves as such. All the inhabitants older than themselves they call Orang Benua, or men of the soil.

I will first give the names of the particular tribes, and afterwards introduce the more general terms expressive[Pg 135] of the class; premising that, as a general rule, the Orang Benua population live apart from the Malays, are found more in the interior than on the coast, are darker complexioned, and are wilder in their manners.

Halas.—Tattooed, inhabiting the interior of Perak.

Jokong, Belandas, Besisik.—Somewhat shorter than the Malays, although like them. Hair black, often with a rusty tinge; sometimes lank, generally matted and curly, but not woolly. Eye brighter and more active than that of the Malay, with the internal angle but little depressed. Forehead low, not receding. Beard scanty. Legs sturdy. Chest broad. Nostrils diverging.

The Benuas are divided into tribes, each under an elder, called Batin, there being under each Batin two subordinates, a Jennang and a Jurokra. The punishments are bloody, murder being punished by drowning, impaling, and exposure to the sun; adultery also being punishable, under certain circumstances, with death.

In the inheritance of property the custom of primogeniture prevails.

The sun, moon, and stars receive much of their regard; perhaps worship. The two superior spirits of whom they have the most definite conceptions, are named Dewas and Bilun.

A spirit has his abode in the loftiest mountains. The priests, whose power is proportionate to the superstition of the natives, are called Poyangs. The soul of a Poyang after death is believed to enter into the body of a tiger. They are adepts in the magic arts of Besawye, Chinderwye, and Tuju; this last enables them to kill their enemies by the force of spells, however distant. The Besawye consists in burning incense, muttering spells, and invoking, by night, the spirit of the mountains.

[Pg 136]

Their food is the product of the hunt, not of agriculture.

Udai.—The inhabitants of the forests of the northern part of the peninsula.

Semang.—The same. Complexion dark; hair curly and matted, but not frizzled. This is what Mr. Newbold relates; premising that he had no opportunity of personally judging. Mr. Anderson and Sir S. Raffles describe this darkness of complexion in stronger terms.

The Semang of Quedah has the woolly hair, protuberant belly, thick lips, black skin, flat nose, and receding forehead of the Papuan.

The Semang of Perak is somewhat less rude, and speaks a different dialect.

More than one Malay informed Mr. Newbold that the Semangs were essentially the same as the Jokong; having the same hair, but a somewhat blacker skin.

They live in rude moveable huts, constructed of leaves and branches, scantily clothed, and fed from the produce of the chase, at which they are expert. Their government is that of chiefs or elders. The Malays accuse them of only interring the head, and of eating the rest of the body, in cases of death.

They dip their weapons in blood when ratifying a solemn oath.

White is the favourite; perhaps, the holy colour.

They are fond of music, and have two native instruments—one like a violin, one like a flute.

They use the sumpitan, having three modes of preparing the poison.

Their dead are buried, sometimes in a sitting posture; generally with their arrows, sumpitan, and their most familiar utensils in the same grave.

[Pg 137]

The remaining aborigines belong to the southern parts of the peninsula.

Rayet Laut, or Orang Akkye.—Differing from the tribes last described, only in so far as they are residents of the sea-coast, not of the interior.


The divisions political rather than ethnological—the most important being the kingdom of Atchin, the Batta country, the kingdom of Menangkabaw, Rejang, Lampong, and Palembang.


Locality.—The Northern or North-Western parts of Sumatra; conterminal with the Batta country.



The Atchin stand apart from the other Sumatrans, from the extent to which the Arabs have modified them. The Atchin kingdom, which was powerful when first visited by the Portuguese, was of Arabic foundation, and it was through Atchin that the Mahometanism of the Mahometan Malays was propagated.


Locality.—South of the Atchin country, and nearly covering the northern third of Sumatra. Conterminous with the Atchin and Menangkabaw.


Alphabet.—Of Indian origin.

The Battas are somewhat shorter and fairer, than the other Sumatrans; polygamists; writing, according to Leyden, from the bottom of the page to the top; accredited cannibals.


Locality.—The centre of Sumatra; the kingdom being at one time extended over almost the whole island.



Language.—Malay of Malacca, or nearly so.

[Pg 138]

In its widest extent, the kingdom of Menangkabaw is a political rather than an ethnographical division. To make it ethnographical, it must be limited. In this sense it is conterminous with Atchin and the Battas on the north, extended from east to west, across the whole island in (at least) some portions of it, in others, probably interrupted in certain mountain localities of the centre, and probably interrupted between the river Jambi and Palembang.

Politically speaking, the minor kingdoms of Indrapura, Anak-sungei, Siak, and Passamang, have grown out of the breaking up of the great Menangkabaw kingdom. At present, its pure and almost typical Malayan character—at least as far as resemblance in language to the Malay of Malacca is concerned—is all that will be noticed.


Locality.—South Sumatra; conterminal with the Menangkabaw country and Palembang.

Alphabets.—Of Indian origin.

Of all the Sumatrans, writes Marsden, the Lampongs have the strongest resemblance to the Chinese, particularly in the roundness of the face, and the form of the eye. They are the fairest people on the island, and the women are the tallest and best looking; they are also the most licentious. The Mahometanism of the Lampongs is imperfect; much of the old superstition remaining.

The native Sumatran alphabets.—The alphabets of the Batta, Rejang, and Lampong tribes, are generally called native, although really of Indian origin. It can scarcely be said that they embody a literature; still their existence is an important fact. A Sumatran manuscript is made of the inner bark of a tree, prepared and made smooth, and[Pg 139] cut into long strips of several feet in length. These are folded up afterwards so as to be square, when each square answers to the page of a book. For commoner purposes the outer rind of the bamboo is scratched with a style; often in a remarkably neat manner. The lines run from left to right, like the lines of the Hindus, and unlike those of the Arabs.

The preparation of the bark is to shave it smooth and thin, and then rub it over with rice-water.

The style is used for scratching bamboos. The pen is used for the more important writings on bark; this is a delicate twig, or the middle of some leaf. The ink is the root of the dammar pine, mixed with the juice of the sugar cane.


Locality.—North of Lampong, on the eastern side of the island.


Political relations.—Subject to Java; and in a great degree, a Javanese settlement.

The central parts of Sumatra are little known; the mountain chain, however, that runs from north to south in (about) 2° south latitude, has been visited by two Englishmen, Mr. C. Campbell and Lieutenant Dane. Their observations, which are to be found in Marsden's Sumatra,[50] apply to three elevated valleys—the Korinchi country, Serampei, and Sungei Tenang. I find in them no traces of any tribe different from those already mentioned in any important circumstance.

Just south of Sungei Tenang, and east of the Rejang country is Labun, a mountain district; whilst north of Palembang, and south of the River Jambi, on the eastern coast, is a flat country covered with wood and but thinly inhabited. Now, for those who look for the wildest[Pg 140] varieties of the Sumatran tribes, these are the most likely localities. Accordingly, when Marsden made his inquiries as to the aborigines of the island, he heard of the Orang Gugu, and the Orang[51] Kubu.

Of these the Orang Gugu, from the parts about Labun, are the wildest and scarcest, being described as having their bodies covered with hair, and as being more orang utan than human beings.

The Orang Kubu are said to be pretty numerous, belonging to the other district; i.e. the parts between the Jambi and Palembang. The worst that is said of these is, that they have a peculiar and unintelligible language, and that they feed indifferently on elephants, rhinoceroses, snakes, and monkeys.

A few small islands on the further side of Sumatra require notice.

Enganho Island.—Natives described by Mr. Miller, in 1771, A.D., as taller and fairer than the Malays.

Poggi Islanders, or people of Si Porah and Si Biru.—The manners of these people are those of the Battas, except that they are more rude; and that their custom of disposing of the dead is different. The Poggi Islanders deposit the corpse on a sort of stage in a place appropriated for the purpose, and strewing a few leaves over it, leave it to decay. Tattooing is common.

The Pulo Batu, or Nias Islanders.—These are lighter in complexion and smaller in stature than the Malays. The custom of stretching the ears so as even to flap upon the shoulders, is general here. Every district, and there are upwards of fifty of them, is at war with its neighbour, and the export of slaves is the consequence.

Orang Maruwi.—The small islands of Pulo Nako, close[Pg 141] upon the western side of Nias, also Pulo Babi, and Pulo Baniak.—These are merely noticed for the sake of saying that their dialect is said to be unintelligible to the Nias and Poggi people, and that a minute distinction between them has been recognized.

We may now consider some of the moral attributes of the Malay race; and in doing this there is no better a division of the different forms of their civilization than the one indicated and illustrated by Dr. Prichard. The two areas which we have just considered—the peninsula of Malacca, and the Island of Sumatra—have sufficiently shown that there are, at least, two degrees in the civilization of their occupants.

The civilization of the kingdom of Atchin, and of the proper Mahometan Malays in general, is a derived civilization, introduced by the conquerors, the traders, or the missionaries of Mahometan Arabia; in which we have a literature consisting, to a great extent, of annals, an Arabic alphabet, and no very prominent traces of any original paganism.

At any rate we have Mahometan culture as the result of Mahometan influence, the propagators having been Arabs.

The civilization of the Jokong, and of tribes still wilder, like those of Korinchi country, and other mountaineer districts both of the Peninsula and Sumatra, is the primitive civilization—such as it is—of the unmodified Malays. Without saying, that it is nowhere tinctured by Mahometan elements, it is still an indigenous, and an inferior culture. Hence, even without reckoning the Samangs as Malay, we have two types of moral character, and two types of social development—the Jokong type, or the type of the unmodified Malay, and the proper Malay type of the Mahometans of Malacca, Menangkabaw and Atchin.

[Pg 142]

But these two types are not the only ones. Savage as are the Battas, and nearly as they approach in this respect to the unmodified Malays, they exhibit signs of a second influence. Notwithstanding their imperfect Mahometanism, the influence alluded to is not Arabic. The same influence appears in the Rejang and Lampong Sumatrans as well. I allude to their alphabets. These are Indian in origin.

For Sumatra, then, and Malacca, we have in different degrees of development—

1st. The original Malay civilization, if so it can be called.

2nd. The same as modified by Indian influences.

3rd. The same as modified by Arabic influences, engrafted, in some cases, perhaps, on the original Malay rudeness; but more frequently upon an Indian modification of it.

This order is chronological; i.e. the primitive stage was (of course) earlier than the Indian, and the Indian earlier than the Arabic.

Another principle of arrangement is the relation which the three developments bear to each other. In Malacca and Sumatra the Indian development is the most insignificant, the Mahometan the most important.

To observe how far the ratio between these types varies in different portions of the Malay area, is one of the chief points in our future investigations.

Dr. Prichard would study the three forms of Malay development in Sumatra, in Java, and in the Philippines. In Sumatra for the Mahometan aspect, in Java for the Indian, and in the Philippines for the phenomena of indigenous growth and progress. In the main, this view is a right one. A Philippine language, of all the Malay[Pg 143] language, is the richest in inflections, perhaps also in vocables; and the Philippine civilization, as found by the first Spanish missionaries, was on a level with that of any other non-Mahometan or non-Indianized tribe. It was also essentially Malay. Marsden remarks upon the great similarity between the few facts known of the early Philippine Mythology and that of the Battas. So that thus far the Philippines are Malay; and Malay in its most developed form; also in its more indigenous form. Still they are not wholly Malay; at least their development is not wholly independent of extraneous influences. Though there is little about them Mahometan, their alphabet is Indian in origin.

Borneo, perhaps, is the most unmodified Malay island of the Archipelago.

Hence, such remarks as require to be made upon the moral characteristics of the Malays in general, as well as the necessary notices of their manners and customs, must be taken from these two islands, as they are supplied by them respectively.

The primitive mythology of the Battas.—One of the few and fragmentary accounts which we possess of any of the primitive creeds, is the following one of the Batta theology:—

"The inhabitants of this country have many fabulous stories, which shall be briefly mentioned. They acknowledge three deities as rulers of the world, who are respectively named, Batara-guru, Sori-pada, and Mangalla-bulang. The first," say they, "bears rule in heaven, is the Father of all mankind, and partly, under the following circumstances, Creator of the earth; which from the beginning of time had been supported on the head of Naga-padoha; but growing weary at length, he shook his head, which occa[Pg 144]sioned the earth to sink, and nothing remained in the world excepting water. They do not pretend to a knowledge of the creation of this original earth and water; but say that at the period when the latter covered every thing, the chief deity, Batara-guru, had a daughter named Puti-orla-bulan, who requested permission to descend to these lower regions, and accordingly came down on a white owl, accompanied by a dog; but not being able, by reason of the waters, to continue there, her father let fall from heaven a lofty mountain, named Bakarra, now situated in the Batta country, as a dwelling for his child; and from this mountain all other land gradually proceeded. The Earth was once more supported on the three horns of Naga-padoha; and that he might never again suffer it to fall off, Batara-guru sent his son, named, Layanglayangmandi (literally "the dipping swallow"), to bind him hand and foot. But to his occasionally shaking his head they ascribe the effect of earthquakes. Puti-orla-bulan had afterwards, during her residence on earth, three sons and three daughters, from whom sprang the whole human race.

"The second of their deities has the rule of the air, betwixt earth and heaven; and the third that of the earth; but these two are considered as subordinate to the first. Besides these, they have as many inferior deities as there are sensible objects on earth, or circumstances in human society; of which some preside over the sea, others over rivers, over woods, over war, and the like. They believe, likewise, in four evil spirits, dwelling in four separate mountains; and whatever ill befalls them they attribute to the agency of one of these demons. On such occasions they apply to one of their cunning men, who has recourse to his art; and by cutting a lemon ascertains which of these has been the author of the mischief, and by[Pg 145] what means the evil spirit may be propitiated; which always proves to be the sacrificing a buffalo, hog, goat, or whatever animal the wizard happens on that day to be most inclined to eat. When the address is made to any of the superior and beneficent deities for assistance, and the priest directs an offering of a horse, cow, dog, hog, or fowl, care must be taken that the animal to be sacrificed is entirely white.

"They have also a vague and confused idea of the immortality of the human soul, and of a future state of happiness or misery. They say that the soul of a dying person makes its escape through the nostrils, and is borne away by the wind; to heaven, if of a person who has led a good life; but if of an evil-doer, to a great cauldron, where it shall be exposed to fire until such time as Batara-guru shall judge it to have suffered punishment proportioned to its sins; and feeling compassion shall take it to himself in heaven: that finally the time shall come when the chains and bands of Naga-padoha shall be worn away, and he shall once more allow the earth to sink; that the sun will be then no more than a cubit's distance from it, and that the souls of those who, having lived well, shall remain alive at the last day, shall in like manner go to heaven, and those of the wicked be consigned to the before-mentioned cauldron, intensely heated by the near approach of the sun's rays, to be there tormented by a minister of Batara-guru, named Suraya-guru, until, having expiated their offences, they shall be thought worthy of reception into the heavenly regions."[52]

Cannibalism.—Of all the tribes of the old world those of the Oceanic stock have most generally, and, I fear, most justly, been accused of cannibalism. For the sake, how[Pg 146]ever, of giving the full benefit of any modified form of this horrible habit to nations that have been improperly charged with feeding on the flesh and blood of their fellow-creatures, it must be remembered that the simple fact of human flesh being tasted, does not constitute cannibalism—i.e., habitual cannibalism. It has been tasted by savage tribes under three different influences.

1. As a mark of honour—Sir Walter Raleigh writes of the Arawaks, that this was showing posthumous respect.

2. Don Ruy de Guzman, writes of the Charruas, that they were not cannibals; and what Don Ruy de Guzman states has not been definitely contradicted. Nevertheless, it has not been denied that after their discoverer and enemy, Solis, had been killed in war, his body was tasted, if not eaten. This, however, was exceptional; and was done, not for the gratification of appetite, but in the way of revenge. Charles II. disinterred the judges of his father on the same principle; that is, he did a thing against his own nature and against the usage of his compatriots, under a violent stimulus.

3. Human flesh is eaten, as food, in some cases under incipient famine only; in others, from absolute appetite, and with other food to choose from. This last is true cannibalism.

Of cannibalism so gratuitous as to come under the last of these categories, I know of no authentic cases: that is, I know of no case where the victim has been other than a captured enemy; but then I believe that the feast is one of the certaminis gaudia.

The evidence is, in my mind, in favour of the Battas of Sumatra being cannibals in the most gratuitous form in which the custom exists.

Head-hunting.—No trophy is more honourable, either[Pg 147] among the Battas of Sumatra, or the Dyaks of Borneo, than a human head; the head of a conquered enemy. These are preserved in the houses as tokens; so that the number of skulls is a measure of the prowess of the possessor. In tribes, where this feeling becomes morbid, no young man can marry before he has presented his future bride with a human head, cut off by himself. Hence, for a marriage to take place, an enemy must be either found or made. To this subject I shall return when treating of Borneo.

Running-a-muck.—A Malay (and with the exception of the old Berserks, of the heroic ages of Scandinavia, I know of no one else with whom the same is said to occur in an equal degree) is capable of so far working himself into fury, of so far yielding to some spontaneous impulse, or of so far exciting himself by stimulants, as to become totally regardless of what danger he exposes himself to. Hence, he rushes forth as an infuriated animal, and attacks all who fall in his way, until having expended his morbid fury he falls down exhausted. This is called running-a-muck. It is evidently, if real, a temporary form of maniacal excitement; but probably, so much under the control of the will, if strongly exerted, as to be capable of being either checked or guarded against; a so-called uncontrollable impulse, to which, if men yield in England, they are either hanged or locked up.

Gambling.—This habit, or rather passion, is shared by the Malays, the Indians, the Chinese, and the Indo-Chinese; quail-fighting and cock-fighting being the forms in which it shows itself. A Malay will lose all his property on a favourite bird; and, having lost that, stake his family; and after the loss of wife and children, his own personal liberty: being prepared to serve as a slave in case of losing.

[Pg 148]

Slavery.—Although recognised by the Mahometan religion, and part and parcel of a social system like that of even the most advanced Malays, this, in its worst forms, is less general than we are prepared to expect. Where there are savage tribes in the inland parts of large districts, and where there are small islands in the neighbourhood of large ones, where—in other words—the normal condition of society is a state of war, slavery exists, with a slave-trade superadded. In settled islands, however, like Celebes and Java, it is generally from debt, and the consequent forfeiture of personal liberty, that the supply arises. As such it is limited both in degree and severity.

Maritime Habits.—Nothing would be expected, a priori, more than that tribes like the Oceanic should be essentially nautical in their habits. Their insular position,—their wide dispersion equally indicate this. And such is the reality. With the exception of the Negrito portion, all the Oceanic islanders in contact with the ocean, are maritime in their tastes: many, indeed, of the Negritos are so. None, however, are more so than the natives of the Indian Archipelago; and, of these, the proper Malays are the most. The Phœnicians of the East is a term that has been applied to them; and it has been applied justly. The primitive vessel is a prahu; a long canoe, rowed sometimes by fifty rowers. In the pirate localities this takes the form of junk with sails, netting, and brass guns. Of the piracy, however, of the Indian Archipelago, more will be said hereafter.

Narcotic stimulants and masticatories.—Chewing the betel-nut is almost universal in some of the Malay countries; the use of opiates and tobacco being also common.

The nut of the Areca catechu, is wrapped in the leaf of the piper betel, the first being astringent, the second[Pg 149] pungent. The addition of lime completes the preparation. This stimulates the salivary glands, tinges the saliva red, and discolours the teeth.

Bodily disfigurations under the idea of ornament.—Of the well-known stories of the little pinched-up feet of Chinese women I said nothing; waiting until I came to a ruder stage of society, before I noticed any of those numerous imaginary improvements upon the human form, which are almost invariably found amongst the lower tribes of our species. The Malay dress is becoming; but the Malay habit of permanently disfiguring parts of the body under the idea of ornament, is of sufficient prominence to take place amongst the characteristics of the branch.

a. Tattooing.—This is sometimes limited, sometimes general: sometimes over the whole body, sometimes confined to the arms only. In Africa the patterns vary with the tribe. In certain Malay districts, an approach to this distinction may be found; for instance, we hear in Borneo of some tribes that always tattoo, of others that partially tattoo, of others that do not tattoo at all. Nay more; the habit of tattooing seems in some cases to go along with certain other habits—by no means naturally connected with it. Thus certain of the Borneo non-tattooed tribes never use the Sumpitan, or blowpipe; whilst others are tattooed, and use it. So at least Sir J. Brooke was informed; although I think the careful peruser of his journal will find that the coincidence is not always complete.

b. Depilation.—Malay, but continental as well.—Depilation is effected either by quick-lime or tweezers. Generally, I believe, the parts of the body which are meant to be kept smooth are rubbed with quick-lime; and the isolated hairs that afterwards appear, are plucked out carefully by tweezers in detail.

[Pg 150]

c. Filing the teeth, dyeing the teeth.—A Malay habit. There are not less than three varieties of this operation.

1. Sometimes the enamel, and no more, is filed off. This enables the tooth to receive and retain its appropriate dye.

2. Sometimes the teeth are merely pointed.

3. Sometimes they are filed down to the gums. This is the case with many of the Sumatran women of Lampong.[53]

It may be doubted whether this last be wholly due to the process of filing down.

Dyeing may follow filing, or not, as the case may be.

In Sumatra, where a jetty blackness is aimed at, the empyreumatic oil of the cocoa-nut is used. Even, however, if no dyeing follow, the teeth will become black from the simple filing, if the chewing of the betel-nut be habitual.

d. Distension of the ears.—Many of the tribes that file their teeth, also distend their ears. Both are Malay habits. In some parts of Sumatra, when the child is young, the ear is bored, and rings are put in. Here the process stops in England, and the civilized world. In other parts, however, the rings are weighted, so as to pull down the lobe; or ornaments, gradually increased in diameter, are inserted; so that the perforation becomes enlarged.

Simple perforation may extend to a mere multiplication of the holes of the ear. In Borneo, the Sakarran tribes wear more earrings than one, and are distinguished accordingly; "when you meet a man with many rings distrust him" being one of their cautions. Mr. Brooke met a Sakarran with twelve rings in his ear.

e. Growth of the nails.—In Borneo, the right thumb-nail is encouraged to grow to a great length. So it is in parts of the Philippines.

[Pg 151]

Such are some of the more prominent Malay customs, others will present themselves, as other islands come under notice.

Was Sumatra or Malacca the original country of the Malays?—The primâ facie is in favour of the island having been peopled from the continent.

The traditions, perhaps, indeed, the histories of the Mahometan Malays complicate this view. According to the earliest accounts, Malacca and Singhapura were built by settlers from Menangkabaw. The two commonest accounts of the Mahometan Malaccan settlement, although disagreeing in certain details, agree in this. In one sense then, at least, Sumatra is probably the parent state: it is probably the quarter from which the more civilized Malays of the coast invaded Malacca; and, if so, is also the earlier civilized locality. But this may be the case, without invalidating the primâ facie evidence in favour of the continent being the birthplace of the stock. The Malays of the Jokong type have never been derived from Sumatra; on the contrary, it is very probable that the earliest Sumatrans were offsets from Malacca.

At any rate, the Malaccan origin of the earlier Sumatrans, and the Sumatran origin of the later Malaccans, are perfectly compatible doctrines.

As to the presumed date of the Malaccan settlements, it has already been placed in the thirteenth century. Whether this be an historical fact or not, it is certain that when Marco Polo, anterior to any Portuguese voyager, visited Sumatra, and described it under the name of Java Minor, the kingdom of Atchin, at least, was powerful, flourishing, and Mahometan.

[Pg 152]


Languages.—1. Sunda, spoken by one tenth of the population, and limited to the western side of the island.

2. Javan proper, falling into

Culture of Indian origin; which, after attaining its full development, was replaced by Mahometanism, is the leading fact in the ethnography of Java.

Or—changing the expression—of the three forms of development the proper Malay, the Indian, and the Arabic, it is the second which is paramount in Java.

The details of its displacement by Mahometanism are historical rather than ethnological. Neither are they well ascertained even as historical facts. The date, however, is some part of the fifteenth century.

So exclusively have the Indian elements of the Javanese history and archæology riveted the attention of scholars, that the Mahometan influence on one side, and the remains of the primitive Malay development, have been thrown in the back ground.

The Indian elements still extant, are referable to the three following heads. 1. Language. 2. Literature. 3. Art.

1. Language.—Notice has been taken of the existence in Java of a court dialect, the Bhasa Krama or Bhasa Bhilem. This, perhaps, is a phenomenon more redolent of Hindostan, than of the proper Malay kingdoms. The Bhasa krama, however, is by no means the preeminently Indianized portion of the Javanese language. The Archaic Javanese is the famous Kawi language. The Kawi language was described by Sir Stamford Raffles as Sanskrit, that had taken a Javanese form in respect to its grammar; and it is from the notices of Raffles and Crawford that the details of the Kawi language were first made known. This view has been reversed by Wilhelm von Humboldt. His great work on the Kawi language supplies reasons for considering the Kawi, as ancient Javanese, loaded with Sanskrit vocables.

[Pg 153]

2. Literature.—The Kawi language, an Indianized archaic, or poetical dialect, is the vehicle for that portion of the older Javanese literature which is most based upon Sanskrit models. The great poem in Kawi is the Bhrata Yuddha, an imitation of the Mahabharata. The Javanese annals, whether in Kawi, or Javan, in all probability deserve the low opinion that Mr. Crawford entertains of them; as there is no department in literature where a Sanskrit model would be more out of place, than for historical composition.

3. Remains of ancient art.—Palaces, tombs, images of Hindu gods, are all numerous in Java, and all evidence of a previous Hinduism. Some of the inscriptions are not only Kawi, but Sanskrit.

To these may be added, the still living witnesses to the original Hindu worship. The Bédui of Bantam, and the people of the Teng'ger mountains still retain it, although in a corrupted form. Of the latter, the following is a description taken from Sir S. Raffles' History of Java.

"To the eastward of Surabáya, and on the range of hills connected with Gúnung Dasar, and lying partly in the district of Pasúruan, and partly in that of Probolingo, known by the name of the Teng'ger mountain, we find the remnant of a people still following the Hindu worship, who merit attention, not only on account of their being (if we except the Bédui of Bantam) the sole depositaries of the rites and doctrines of that religion existing at this day on Java, but as exhibiting an interesting singularity and simplicity of character.

"These people occupy about forty villages, scattered along this range of hills, in the neighbourhood of what is termed the Sandy Sea. The site of their villages, as well as the construction of their houses, is peculiar, and differ[Pg 154] entirely from what is elsewhere observed on Java. They are not shaded by trees but built on spacious open terraces, rising one above the other, each house occupying a terrace, and being in length from thirty to seventy, and even eighty feet. The door is invariably in one corner, at the end of the building, opposite to that in which the fire-place is built. The building appears to be constructed with the ordinary roof, having along the front an enclosed veranda or gallery, about eight feet broad. The fire-place is built of brick, and is so highly venerated that it is considered a sacrilege for any stranger to touch it. Across the upper part of the building rafters are run, so as to form a kind of attic story, in which are deposited the most valuable property and implements of husbandry.

"The head of the village takes the title of Peting'gi, as in the low-lands, and is generally assisted by a Kabâyan, both elected by the people from their own village. There are four priests who are here termed Dúkuns (a term elsewhere only applied to doctors and midwives), having charge of the state records and the sacred books.

"These Dúkuns, who are in general intelligent men, can give no account of the era when they were first established on these hills; they can produce no traditional history of their origin, whence they came, or who entrusted them with the sacred books, to the faith contained in which they still adhere. These, they concur in stating, were handed down to them by their fathers, to whose hereditary office of preserving them they have succeeded. The sole duty required of them is again to hand them down in safety to their children, and to perform the púja (praisegiving), according to the directions they contain. These records consist of three compositions, written on the lontar-leaf detailing the origin of the world, disclosing the attributes of the[Pg 155] Deity, and prescribing the forms of worship to be observed on different occasions. When a woman is delivered of her first child, the Dúkun takes a leaf of the alang grass, and scraping the skin of the hands of the mother and her infant, as well as the ground, pronounces a short benediction.

"When a marriage is agreed upon, the bride and bridegroom being brought before the Dúkun within the house, in the first place bow with respect towards the south, then to the fire-place, then to the earth, and lastly, on looking up to the upper story of the house where the implements of husbandry are placed. The parties then, submissively bowing to the Dúkun, he repeats a prayer, commencing with the words, 'Hong! kendága Bráma ang'-gas siwang'ga ána ma siwáha sangyang g'ni sira kang,' &c.; while the bride washes the feet of the bridegroom. At the conclusion of this ceremony, the friends and family of the parties make presents to each of krises, buffaloes, implements of husbandry, &c.; in return for which the bride and bridegroom respectfully present them with betel-leaf.

"At the marriage-feast which ensues, the Dúkun repeats two púja. The marriage is not, however, consummated till the fifth day after the above ceremony. This interval between the solemnities and the consummation of marriage is termed by them úndang mántu; and is in some cases still observed by the Javans in other parts of the island, under the name, únduh mántu.

"At the interment of an inhabitant of Teng'ger the corpse is lowered into the grave with the head placed towards the south (contrary to the direction observed by the Mahometans), and is guarded from the immediate contact of the earth by a covering of bambus and planks. When the grave is closed, two posts are planted over the body: one erected perpendicularly on the breast, the other on the[Pg 156] lower part of the belly; and between them is placed a hollowed bambu in an inverted position, into which, during seven successive days, they daily pour a vessel of pure water, laying beside the bambu two dishes, also daily replenished with eatables. At the expiration of the seventh day, the feast of the dead is announced, and the relations and friends of the deceased assemble to be present at the ceremony, and to partake of entertainments conducted in the following manner:

"A figure of about half a cubit high, representing the human form, made of leaves and ornamented with variegated flowers, is prepared and placed in a conspicuous situation, supported round the body by the clothes of the deceased. The Dúkun then places in front of the garland an incense-pot with burning ashes, together with a vessel containing water, and repeats the two púja to fire and water; the former commencing with, 'Hong! Kendága Bráma gangsi wang'ga ya nama siwáha," &c.; the latter with, "Hong! hong gang'ga máha tirta ráta mejil saking háti, &c.; burning dúpa, or incense, at stated periods during the former; and occasionally sprinkling the water over the feast during the repetition of the latter.

"The clothes of the deceased are then divided among the relatives and friends; the garland is burned; another púja, commencing with, "Hong! áwigna mastúna ma sidam, hong! aráning," &c., is repeated; while the remains of the sacred water are sprinkled over the feast. The parties now sit down to the enjoyment of it, invoking a blessing from the Almighty on themselves, their houses, and their lands. No more solemnities are observed till the expiration of a thousand days; when, if the memory of the deceased is beloved and cherished, the ceremony and feast are repeated; if otherwise, no further notice is taken[Pg 157] of him: and having thus obtained what the Romans call his justa, he is allowed to be forgotten.

"Being questioned regarding the tenets of their religion, they replied that they believed in a Déwa, who was all-powerful; that the name by which the Déwa was designated was Búmi Trúka Sáng'yáng Dewáta Bátur, and that the particulars of their worship were contained in a book called Pángláwu, which they presented to me.

"On being questioned regarding the ádat against adultery, theft, and other crimes, their reply was unanimous and ready—that crimes of this kind were unknown to them, and that consequently no punishment was fixed, either by law or custom; that if a man did wrong, the head of the village chid him for it, the reproach of which was always sufficient punishment for a man of Teng'ger. This account of their moral character is fully confirmed by the Regents of the districts, under whose authority they are placed, and also by the residents. They, in fact, seem to be almost without crime, and are universally peaceable, orderly, honest, industrious, and happy. They are unacquainted with the vice of gambling and the use of opium.

"The aggregate population is about twelve hundred souls; and they occupy, without exception, the most beautifully rich and romantic spots on Java; a region in which the thermometer is frequently as low as forty-two. The summits and slopes of the hills are covered with Alpine firs, and plants common to an European climate flourish in luxuriance.

"Their language does not differ much from the Javan of the present day, though more gutturally pronounced. Upon a comparison of about a hundred words with the Javan vernacular two only were found to differ. They do not marry or intermix with the people of the low[Pg 158]-lands, priding themselves on their independence and purity in this respect."


As in Java, the people of Bali took a civilization from India. Unlike the Javanese, they have retained it to the present day.


At Bali and Java, the type is unequivocally Malay. At Timor it is Malay also, but altered. The Timorians are considerably darker than the Javanese; their features are coarser, their lips are sometimes thick, and their hair often frizzy. In the islands between, occur numerous transitional forms; both in feature and language.

In respect to this last, the islands at the head of this section afford three remarkable vocabularies. 1. The Timbora, from a district of Sumbawa; 2. The Mangarei, from a part of Endé, or Floris; 3. The Ombay, from the island so called; the inhabitants of which are described by Arago as black cannibals with flattened noses and thickened lips.

In each of these vocabularies, Malay words form the greater proportion. In each of them, however, are also found Australian vocables.

The following, from the three very short vocabularies of these three languages, are what I published in the Appendix to Mr. Jukes' Voyage of the Fly.

1. Arm=ibarana, Ombay; porene, Pine Gorine dialect of Australia.

2. Hand=ouine, Ombay; hingue, New Caledonia.

3. Nose=imouni, Ombay; maninya, mandeg, mandeinne, New Caledonia; mena, Van Diemen's Land, western dialect: mini, Mangarei: meoun, muidge, mugui, Macquarie Harbour.

[Pg 159]

4. Head=imocila, Ombay; moos (= hair), Darnley Island; moochi (= hair), Massied; immoos (= beard), Darnley Islands; eeta moochi, (= beard) Massied.

5. Knee=icici-bouka, Ombay; bowka, boulkay (= forefinger), Darnley Islands.

6. Leg=iraka, Ombay; horag-nata, Jhongworong dialect of the Australian.

7. Bosom=ami, Ombay; naem, Darnley Island.

8. Thigh=itena, Ombay; tinna-mook (= foot), Wioutro dialect of Australian. The root, tin, is very general throughout Australia in the sense of foot.

9. Belly=te-kap-ana, Ombay; coopoi (= navel), Darnley Island.

10. Stars=ipi-berre, Mangarei; bering, birrong, Sydney.

11. Hand=tanaraga, Mangarei; taintu, Timbora; tamira, Sydney.

12. Head=jahé, Mangarei; chow, King George's Sound.

13. Stars=kingkong, Timbora; chindy, King George's Sound, Australia.

14. Moon=mang'ong, Timbora; meuc, King George's Sound.

15. Sun=ingkong, Timbora; coing, Sydney.

16. Blood=kero, Timbora; gnoorong, Cowagary dialect of Australia.

17. Head=kokore, Timbora; gogorrah, Cowagary.

18. Fish=appi, Mangarei; wapi, Darnley Island.

It is considered, that this list, short as it, is calculated to contract the broad line of demarcation, implied in the following extract from Marsden:—

"We have rarely met with any Negrito language, in which many corrupt Polynesian words might not be[Pg 160] detected. In those of New Holland or Australia, such a mixture is not found. Among them no foreign terms that connect them with the languages, even of other Papua or Negrito countries, can be discovered; with regard to the physical qualities of the natives, it is nearly superfluous to state, that they are Negritos of the most decided class."


The multiplicity of languages, or dialects, spoken on the island Timor, has been noticed by most voyagers. Some have put the mutually unintelligible forms of speech as high as thirty. Unfortunately the details of this variety are not known. Such Timor vocabularies as we possess, represent the language of Koepang; the locality where the contact with the trading world both of the East and West, is greatest, i.e., with the Dutch and with the Malays. This makes the language Malay—though less Malay than the Malay of Sumatra, Celebes, and Borneo; the points wherein it differs being, frequently, points wherein it agrees with the Bima, Savu, and Endé, and other intermediate islands. Nevertheless, it is highly probable that the Timor of Koepang no more exactly represents the languages of some of the wilder mountaineers of the interior, than the Malay of Kedah exactly represents the languages of the Samang or Jokong.

When the wilder inhabitants are represented at all, they are represented as approaching the character of the Negro.

On the other hand some are fairer than the generality. Both these are phenomena that we have either seen before, or shall see in the sequel—in the Samang of Malacca, and the Dyaks of Borneo, as well as in Durville's Arafuras of Celebes.

[Pg 161]

In one particular village, near the north-eastern extremity, Mr. Earle found red hair, a specimen of which was in the possession of Dr. Prichard. In noting this, we must also note the habit of colouring the hair, which will be shown in the sequel to be a Papua custom.

Curly hair also was met with by the same observer; and so was coarse bushy hair; those tribes where it was found being the tribes that suffered from the oppression of the others, and which supplied them with slaves.


From an English sailor who lived sometime in Timor Laut as a prisoner and a slave, I had the opportunity of collecting a few facts concerning Timor Laut, or Timor of the Sea. The numerals, which was all he knew of the language, were Malay. The people he described as dark, but not so dark as some of the slaves, whom they were in the habit of either purchasing or stealing. He knew of no second race, nor of any second language in the island.


For the Serwatty and Ki Islands, the best, indeed, nearly the only information, is to be collected from the voyage of the Durga, and from subsequent observations by Mr. Earle, the translator of the Voyage, and himself an independent investigator. Here, with one exception, the personal appearance was that of the Javanese and Bugis.

The language throughout, which was particularly investigated, is Oceanic, i.e., approaching the Malay or the Polynesian. The Kissa dialect, the one best known in detail, exhibited some letter-changes, which will be found frequent in the Polynesian, viz., h for s, k for t, w for b, along with the ejection of the final ng.

[Pg 162]

Stone wahku bahtu.
Heavy werek beret.
Heart akin ati.
Dead maki mati.
Slave ahka ata.
Yam ubi uwi.
Feather huhu bulu.
Milk huhu susu.
Hard kereh keres.[54]

Moa is one of the Serwatty group; and it forms the exception just noticed. In Moa, and in Moa alone, did Mr. Earle find the coarse bushy hair, the dark complexion, and the muddy sclerotica that suggested the idea of a Papua[55] intermixture. The Moa people are oppressed and kidnapped by the natives of the neighbouring island of Letti.

Subsequent enquiry showed that they had migrated from the south side of Timor.


Like the last, the Arru Isles are known to us, from the voyage of the Durga, and Mr. Earle's notices. He especially excepts them from the category of the Ki and Serwatty groups. In the Arru Islands, he recognised Papua characters, and refers them to Papua intermixture. In the southern part of the group this is most conspicuous.

Timor, and the Arru Islands bring us to Australia, and New Guinea, parts of Kelænonesia, or true Negrito areas. How far the transition from the Oceanic tribes of the Protonesian to the Oceanic tribes of the Negrito type, both in the way of language and physical confor[Pg 163]mation, is abrupt or gradual, is to be studied in the islands last enumerated. At present we will return to Java, and follow the Malay population in a different direction, i.e. from south to north, rather than from east to west.


Of all the portions of the Indian Archipelago, the vast island of Borneo, the greatest in the world after Australia, and lying under the Equator, presents us with the Malay development on the largest scale.

In the exceeding paucity of the elements of Indian culture it stands in remarkable opposition to Java, and even to Celebes and the Philippines, whilst the Mahometan influences are extended but little beyond the large towns and the coast. Hence the central parts are Malay in the most unmodified form; even as the Batta districts of Sumatra are Malay.

Our knowledge, however, has by no means been proportionate to the number and variety of facts capable of being elicited. Indeed, with the exception of New Guinea, Central Africa, and parts of South America, Borneo has been, to the ethnologist, the darkest area in the world. That there were Mahometan Malays in the towns, that there were pirates on the coast, and that there were Dyaks in the interior has, until lately, been the sum of our information. As far as it goes this is true. In addition, however, there has been (and continues to be) a belief in the existence of Blacks in the more inaccessible parts of the mountains, especially the Kenebalow range.

As to the vocabularies, scanty as they were (and are), they have always been sufficient to prove a Malay origin, for such tribes as they represented. Whether, however, the population was homogeneous throughout, or whether[Pg 164] there was a second (so-called) race, analogous to the Samangs of Malacca was uncertain.

The publication of the observations of the Rajah of Sarawak, and of his visitors, has dispelled much darkness. Still the light is imperfect; or, rather, it is partial. What we now know we know in detail, and on authoritative evidence; our knowledge being, chiefly, for the north-western coast, from Pontianak, on the Equator, to the parts round the Kenebalow mountain on the northern extremity of the island.

I shall just give so much of Sir J. Brooke's observations as bear upon those points wherein the ethnology of Borneo either explains or differs from that of Sumatra.

The Borneo equivalents to the Battas of Sumatra are the Dyaks; a term applied by the Mahometan Malays to the non-Mahometan portion of the population. The utter absence of an alphabet is the first point of distinction. The comparative absence of a Hindoo mythology is the second. Fragmentary and distorted as is the Hindu Pantheon in Sumatra, it has had still less influence in Borneo. However, it exists in the terms Jowata and Battara (at least), and in certain real elements of the Dyak creed as well. These names are connected with the cosmogony—when Jowata took the earth in both hands, and the right handful became man, the left, woman. Below the earth is Sabyan; where the houses are fitted up with moskito curtains, and where there are other creature-comforts besides. Euhemeristic elements are superadded. The memory of great chieftains is held in superstitious reverence; Beadum being one of them. Numerous details in the way of superstitions, regarding charms and omens, and the ceremonies attendant upon births, deaths, and marriages, fill up the picture of the paganism of[Pg 165] Borneo. I am not aware, however, that any of them, curious as they are, are of sufficient importance to indicate either new ethnological affinities in respect to the tribes that adopt them, or to induce us to refine upon old ones. Indeed, the customs, as between tribe and tribe, are far from being uniform; as, for instance, in regard to the burial of the dead. Some burn the corpse, but without any ceremonies. Others place it in a light coffin, suspended on the bough of a tree, and so leave it. In some cases the forms are few or none. In others they are preeminently elaborate.

As a mark of distinction between different tribes, two customs take a prominent place: the habit of tattooing, and the use of the sumpitan.

The first is either general, or limited to certain parts of the body. In some tribes it is not adopted at all.

The second is a pipe, about five feet long; with an arrow made of wood; thin, light, sharp-pointed, and dipped in the poison of the upas-tree. As this is fugacious, the points are generally dipped afresh when wanted. At least five arrows can be discharged in the time required for loading and firing a musket. For about twenty yards the aim is so true, that no two arrows shot at the same mark will be above an inch or two apart. The utmost range is one hundred yards. The poison is virulent, but not deadly.

In many cases the use of the sumpitan (which is by no means universal) and the habit of tattooing go together.

Numerous other differentiæ, equally important (or unimportant), may be collected from any of the recent works on Borneo.

Head-hunting.—This is one of the Malay habits, which is better studied in Borneo than elsewhere. The earliest[Pg 166] writers describe the Dyaks as being cannibals, and something more; as being hunters of their kind, not merely for the sake of an unnatural feast, but simply for the sake of collecting heads as articles of virtù. Something of this sort, in the way of gratuitous bloodshed, we have seen in Sumatra, and something of the sort we shall find in the Philippines, and (I fear) elsewhere also.

In Borneo it is one of the essential elements of courtship. Before a youth can marry he must lay at the feet of his bride elect, the head of some one belonging to another tribe, killed by himself. According, then, to theory, every marriage involves a murder. I believe, however, that the practice is less general than the theory demands. Still a morbid passion for the possession of human heads is a trait of the Dyak character. Skulls are the commonest ornaments of a Dyak house, and the possession of them the best primâ facie evidence of manly courage.

There is, then, a continual cause of bloodshed on land, and there is piracy by sea; the northern parts of Borneo, and the Sulu Archipelago, being the chief seats of the latter. Indeed the corsairs that give a dangerous character to the Indian Archipelago are almost all from these parts.

These two forms of warfare, the chronic state of hostility for the parts inland, and the system of robbery on the high seas, supply some of the elements of an explanation of the system just noticed; to which may be added the division of the population into a multiplicity of distinct tribes. Still, it is so good a rule to receive with scepticism all accounts that violate the common feelings of human nature, that I allow myself to believe that causes, as yet imperfectly understood, modify and diminish a practice so[Pg 167] horrible as the one in question. That it should be so general as the theory demands is incompatible with the proportions between the male and female population, which are much the same in Borneo as elsewhere. So it is, also, with the express statement of Sir J. Brooke, who says, that the passion for heads has much diminished amongst certain of the Sarawak tribes. In one case, an offer of some was refused; the reason alleged being that it would revive fresh sorrows. The parties who thus declined, gave a favourable account of some of the customs by which the horrors of a Dyak war were abated:—

"If one tribe claimed a debt of another, it was always demanded, and the claim discussed. If payment was refused, the claimants departed, telling the others to listen to their birds, as they might expect an attack. Even after this, it was often the case, that a tribe friendly to each mediated between them, and endeavoured to make a settlement of their contending claims. If they failed, the tribes were then at war. Recently, however, Parimban has attacked without due notice, and often by treachery, and the Sow Dyaks, as well as the Singè, practise the same treachery. The old custom likewise was, that no house should be set on fire, no paddy destroyed, and that a naked woman could not be killed, nor a woman with child. These laudable and praiseworthy customs have fallen into disuse, yet they give a pleasing picture of Dyak character, and relieve, by a touch of humanity, the otherwise barbarous nature of their warfare.

"Babukid, bubukkid, or mode of defiance.—I have before mentioned this practice of defiance, and I since find it is appealed to as a final judgment in disputes about property, and usually occurs in families when the right to land and fruit-trees comes to be discussed. Each party then sallies[Pg 168] forth in search of a head; if one only succeed, his claim is acknowledged; if both succeed, the property continues common to both. It is on these occasions that the Dyaks are dangerous; and perhaps an European, whose inheritance depended on the issue, would not be very scrupulous as to the means of success. It must be understood, however, that the individuals do not go alone, but a party accompanies each, or they may send a party without being present. The loss of life is not heavy from this cause, and it is chiefly resorted to by the Singè and Sows, and is about as rational as our trials by combat."

This babukid must be a check of a permanent sort.

Houses.—With certain of the Dyak tribes the houses are not huts, nor yet mere dwelling-houses of ordinary dimensions. They hold from one hundred to two hundred persons each; and are raised above the ground on piles. This form of domestic architecture is important in itself; and it is also important, because it appears again in New Guinea, and has already been found in Java.

The conclusion which we come to from our present data in respect to Borneo is, that the whole population is Malay, in the way that the Sumatran population is Malay; i.e. within comparatively narrow limits.

a. There is no tribe so different from the Mahometan Malays as the Samang are from the Malays of Malacca.

b. Still less is there any representative of a lower form of humanity; such as the fabulous Orang Gugu and Orang Cúbu of Sumatra are said to be; although, as in Sumatra, there are reports of the kind.

The tribes described by Mr. Brooke are chiefly the Lundu, Sakarran, the Sarebas, the Suntah, Sow, Sibnow, Meri, Millanow, and Kayan; also the Bajow, or Sea-Gipsies, who live as wanderers (pilots or pirates, as the case[Pg 169] may be) on the ocean, and are found on Borneo, the Sulu islands, Celebes, and elsewhere.

The vocabularies given by Sir J. Brooke are—1. the Suntah; 2. Sow; 3. Sibnow; 4. Sakarran; 5. Meri; 6. Millanow; 7. Malo; 8. Kayan. These last are extended very nearly to the centre of the island.

In the way of intermixture, the nations that are most in contact with the Borneans, especially the Mahometan Malays, are the Arabs and Chinese.


Languages or dialects.a. The Bugis.[56] b. The Macassar. c. The Mandhar. d. The Harafura of Durville (Qu. the Turaja of Crawfurd and Raffles).

Alphabet of the Bugis.—Like, but probably formed independently of the Tagala alphabet of the Philippines; Sanskrit in origin.

Although the Mandhar and Macassar languages, or dialects, are less developed as the instruments of literature than the Bugis, and although the area over which they are spoken is less, whilst their commercial importance is inconsiderable, there is no reason to believe that they represent a civilization different in kind from that of the Bugis.

This is not the case with the fourth dialect. I have called it the Harafura of Durville, because the only vocabulary known to me has been collected by that voyager. It is Malay, as truly as the Dyak of Borneo is Malay; whilst those who speak it, although called Harafuras, are Dyaks in frame and complexion. They were seen by Durville; and especially described as being fairer in complexion than the other inhabitants of the island. I have little doubt but that the Harafuras of Durville are the Turajas of Crawfurd and Raffles.

The Bugis, however, represent the learning, and the commercial activity of Celebes.

[Pg 170]

At present they are Mahometans. In A.D. 1504, when they were visited by the Portuguese, they were beginning to be so; their missionaries being the Mahometans of Sumatra and Malacca, and the religion, which was displaced, being Hinduism.

How far this came direct from India, or how far it came by way of Java, is uncertain. The results were the same for the two islands—in kind, but not in degree. An alphabet, and a literature, indicative of Indian influence, are common to both Java and Celebes. In the first island, however, they are the more developed. Inscriptions have hitherto been found in Java alone. The remains of temples have been attributed to Celebes, but they have not been described, and they have not been seen by Europeans.

The safe inference is, that the Hindu civilization extended itself somewhat later to Celebes than it did to Java; and that it took root less generally.

The Bugis are essentially maritime and commercial; and their name in the latter department is a good one; they being active, enterprising, and men who consider themselves bound by what they say.

Bugis approach to a constitutional government.—I am following, implicitly, both the facts and the deductions of Sir J. Brooke, who writes from personal knowledge of the island of Celebes, which he visited from his Rajahship of Sarawak, in giving prominence to what may be considered the nearest approach to a constitution, that is to be found in any Malay area.

One of the kingdoms into which the southern limb of Celebes is divided is the kingdom of Wajo. Beginning with the lowest ranks, the so-called constitution of Wajo is as follows:—

[Pg 171]

Servitude.—This is of a mild form, and of the domestic kind. Although so extensive in respect to its numerical dimensions, as for one freeman to have, sometimes, upwards of fifty slaves, an export or import trade is unknown. Debt creates the usual supply; since by incurring an amount which he cannot discharge by means of his property, the debtor forfeits his personal freedom. As this forfeiture extends to his family, bondsmanship becomes hereditary.

Freeman not of noble birth.—The lowest sort of political power exercised by a freeman not of noble birth, seems to be the power of holding meetings, where opinions may be stated, but where resolutions can not be passed. The practical bearing of this seems to be, that the higher magistrates have a means of knowing the feelings of the population at large upon any particular measure. Such meetings are convened by the special representatives of the people, i.e. of the not noble portion of the state—the Pangawas.

The Pangawas.—These are rude analogues of the tribunes of the Roman constitution. They are elected by the people. They, alone, can convene certain councils. They have a veto upon the appointment of the aru matoah, or sovereign magistrate. The details as to the state of the towns and villages, and the number of the population is in their hands. No summons to military service is valid without their consent. The number of pangawas is three.

The Council of Forty.—A council of forty arangs, or nobles of inferior rank, is appealed to in cases of importance and difficulty by the—

Six hereditary Rajahs.—Of these, three are civil, and three military. With these rests the election of the—

Aru Matoah, or chief magistrate.

[Pg 172]

Reversing the view here taken, and looking at the Wajo constitution from its highest elements downwards, the form becomes as follows:—

I must confess, that in the details both of the Wajo and Boni Constitutions, as given by Sir J. Brooke, I find several difficulties and inconsistencies. I presume, however, that each is accurate in the main points, and also that it is (so to say) more of a constitution than could easily be found in any Malay parts elsewhere.

The Boni Constitution, just mentioned, is that of another of the Bugis kingdoms. It is the same in principle as that of Wajo, but less attended to in practice.

I agree, too, in the comparison between these constitutions and those forms of European feudalism wherein the right of free citizens first began to be respected. I am also well prepared to believe that, however much the written constitution may have in it the elements of self-developed political freedom, the details of its working may be unsatisfactory; as we are especially informed is the case. When I find that each rajah is said to possess the power of life and death over his retainers, I find a statement that requires much explanation before it can be made compatible with the asserted freedom of the people at large. So also I observe, that the office as pangawa is, practically, hereditary—a great limitation to a true tribunicial authority.

An element of confusion, rather than a restraint upon individual freedom, is to be found in the principle upon which the aru matoah is elected. The six rajahs must be[Pg 173] unanimous. Failing this, one of them, the aru beting, with the support of the pangawas, and the council of forty, may nominate. Furthermore, during the vacancy, the aru beting acts as the locum tenens, but only within certain limits. He is no aru matoah in the eyes of the other Bugis kingdoms, so that he is no aru matoah for any matters of what may be called foreign policy.

As unanimity is rare, and as the aru beting has an interest in keeping the tenure of supreme power in abeyance, disputed elections continually interfere with the peace of the Bugis states; from whence it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the powers of the six hereditary rajahs increase at the expense of the powers of the aru matoah; a process by which the government becomes a close oligarchy, rather than an elective monarchy.

As a foundation for a constitution like the preceding, tenacity of the purity of blood must, necessarily, be a leading element. It exists in Celebes to the fullest extent. Though men may marry in a caste below the one they belong to, women are limited to their own. The practice here is more equalizing than the rule.

In Bugis polygamy, separate wives have separate establishments, and years may elapse without husband or wife having any communication with one another. Still, unless a divorce—procurable on light grounds—be effected, the marriage continues.

To the highest offices of the state, even to that of aru matoah, women are eligible; so much so that, at the present moment, four out of six of the hereditary rajahs are females.

"The strangest custom I have observed (i.e. among the Bugis) is, that some men dress like women, and some[Pg 174] women like men; not occasionally, but all their lives, devoting themselves to the occupations and pursuits of their adopted sex. In the case of males, it seems that the parents of a boy, upon perceiving in him certain peculiarities of habit and appearance, are induced thereby to present him to one of the rajahs, by whom he is received. These youths acquire much influence over their masters. It would appear, however, from all I could learn, that the practice leads among the Bugis to none of those vices that constitute the opprobrium of Western Europe."[57]

By allowing ourselves to argue from the sanctity attributed by many ancient nations (e.g. the Greeks and Germans) to the female character, and by comparing the form which this strange custom takes in Borneo, where it is connected with the sacerdotal office, we arrive at a plausible explanation. Among the Sea Dyaks "their doctor, or magician, or both combined, is a man set apart for that office, who is thereafter considered as a woman. She, or he marries a husband, adopts children, dresses as a female, and lives amongst the women, performing the domestic duties peculiar to the sex. The principal occupation is curing people by divers charms, driving away the devil and evil spirits. It must be allowed that the whole constitution of this office is an example of gross superstition; but the ceremonies attendant on it are in themselves inoffensive. A branch of a tree is fixed on the house; around it white cloth is wrapped; and near this spot the spathe of the betel or areca tree is placed (the spathe being indispensable); then the people assemble, and with unseemly noises rattling shells and beating gongs proclaim their joy and satisfaction.

"The office itself is called 'Manang;' and no particular[Pg 175] age is specified, the 'Manang' being young or old, as chance may determine. The present occupier of this important post became so when quite a child, and he is now well stricken in years, and much respected by his tribe."[58]


First Group.—Ternati, Tidor, Mortay (or Morintay), Gilolo.

Second Group.—Banda, and other small islands.

Third Group.—Amboyna, Ceram, Buru, Saparua, &c.

The inhabitants of these groups, or clusters, fall under the three heads which we are now prepared to expect.

1. Mahometan Malays.—The influence of the Mahometan Malays had organized rajahships in the Moluccas anterior to their discovery, A.D. 1521. Of these, the most important was that of Ternati; the territory of which extends over Tidor, Gilolo, Mortay, and part of Celebes.

2. A population of the character of the Bugis, i.e. the population of the Archipelago, as developed by the influence of the sea-coast and the commerce that it evolved.

3. A population of the interior of the Dyak(?) type.—Respecting these last I have not the definite information I could wish for. Small as are some of the islands—Amboyna and Tidor—tribes inferior and subordinate to the natives of the coasts and town, have been ascribed to the interior. Forrest states that these are Papua. This they are likely enough to be. Still it would not be surprising if they were light-coloured, and of the Dyak type.

Since the publication of Sir Stamford Raffles' tabulated vocabularies for these parts, I have looked in vain for any vocabulary representing a language other than the Malay. The Guebé vocabulary of Durville is Malay, and the Amboyna and Ceram vocabularies of Roorda van Eysingen are Malay.

[Pg 176]

The European influences have been Portuguese in the first instance. Afterwards and, at present, Dutch. Chinese settlements also are numerous.

Eastward of the Molucca Islands we come to New Guinea and the islands in its immediate neighbourhood. These belong to another department of the subject. The division at present to be noticed is the Philippine portion of the Malay area. This lies northward to the parts already described, and may have received its population by any one (or more than one) of the following lines of connexion.

1. The Long island of Palawan.—Luçon, Mindoro, Busvagaon, Calamian, Palawan, Balabac, North-western Borneo.

2. The Sulu Archipelago.—Mindanao, Basilian, the Sulus, North-eastern Borneo.

3. Sangir and the islands to the north and south of it—Mindanao, Serangani, Sangir, Siao, the Guning Tellu country in the North-east of Celebes.

4. Mindanao, Serangani Salibabo, Gilolo: Gilolo being equidistant between Celebes and Papua.

The first of these lines is the most probable.


Palawan, or Paragoa, is mentioned more from its prominence as a continuity of Borneo than for the sake of description. It is little known: partially under the Spaniards, partially independent.


These are also stepping-stones from Borneo. They are Malay; and the headquarters of a Malay power; the most piratical of these seas. The Sultan of Sulu is the terror of the Dyaks of Borneo. He is also the sovereign of part of that island, of part of Palawan, and of the Cayagan group. I only know the short Sulu vocabulary of Rienzi.


Divisions.—1. The southern island of Magindano, or Mindanao. 2. The northern island of Luçon, or Luçonia. 3. The Bissayan Archipelago between[Pg 177] the two. Of this last, the most important islands are Mindoro, Samar, Leyte, Panay, and the Isola de Negros.

Population.—Malay and Negrito.

Although at the present moment the aboriginal population of the Philippines may be studied in detail, such detail will be avoided; and no more than four leading points will be noticed.

1. The Blacks of the Philippine group.—The existence of tribes darker coloured than the generality, is one of the earliest of the observations on these parts; and its confirmation one of the latest facts in modern ethnology.

Beginning at the island of Mindanao, we find, in Mallat,[59] the names of the following tribes—Dumagas, Malanaos, Manabos, and Tagabaloys. These are not described in detail, but are said to belong to the same type with the Negroes of the Bissayan Archipelago and Luçonia. They constitute the still savage tribes of the forests and mountains.

In the Archipelago our knowledge becomes more distinct, though still imperfect. The Blacks of Lasso were visited by Lafond Lurcy. They were nearly naked, with hair like cotton, very slim, and very undersized. Dr. Prichard makes these Negritos members of a group which he calls the puny Negroes of the Archipelago.

What Lafond Lurcy writes coincides with the statements of Mallat; who speaks of the Blacks of the type in question as being very Negro in feature, with the nose peu épaté, and with the hair crépu.

The Isola de Negros takes its name from the greater proportion of the population being of this character, i.e. black, after the manner of the African.

In Luçonia, however, a second type appears.

[Pg 178]


Taller than the southern Blacks; more copper-coloured than black; eyes oblique; frontal sinuses much developed; hair harsh, hard, lank, and bright-black. Painted; tattooed on their hands with a figure like the sun.


More agricultural than the Igorots. Tattooed.


Milder in temper than the Igorots; tattooed on the arms only; pierced and enlarged ears.


Small, and short; black; flat-nosed; eyes less oblique than those of the Igorots; hair straight.

All this verifies the statement of the Abbate Bernardo del Fuente,[60] according to which there are two varieties of Philippine Blacks, one with long, fine, and glossy, and one with crisped hair.

2. The Philippine languages.—Of these the most important are the Tagala, the Bissayan, the Pampango, the Iloco, and the Abac. Of the Bissayan there are several dialects: the Mindanao, the Samar, the Iolo, the Bohol. The structure of the Tagala has been particularly studied by Humboldt. It represents the Malay in its most complex form; and is essentially agglutinate in respect to its inflection.

All the numerous Philippine dialects and languages are fundamentally Malay. Those of the Blacks are but little known. Still, as far as our knowledge extends, the philological phenomenon is the same as with the Samang of the Malayan Peninsula. The difference in language is less than the difference of form and colour.

3. The Extent of Hindu influences.—These are less in the Philippines than in Celebes, and much less than in Java[Pg 179] and Bali. Still the Philippines have a native alphabet, and this native alphabet has the same origin with the alphabets of Sumatra, Java, and Celebes; viz. the Hindu Devanagari.

4. The remains of the original mythology.—I give what I know of this in the following note from Marsden's Sumatra,[61] where it is inserted from Thevenot, for the sake of illustrating that of Sumatra.

"The chief deity of the Tagalas is called Bathala mei Capal, and also Dinata; and their principal idolatry consists in adoring those of their ancestors who signalised themselves for courage or abilities; calling them Humalagar, i.e. manes. They make slaves of the people who do not keep silence at the tombs of their ancestors. They have great veneration for the crocodile, which they call nono, signifying grandfather, and make offerings to it. Every old tree they look upon as a superior being, and think it a crime to cut it down. They worship also stones, rocks, and points of land, shooting arrows at these last as they pass them. They have priests, who, at their sacrifices, make many contortions and grimaces, as if possessed with a devil. The first man and woman, they say, were produced from a bamboo, which burst in the island of Sumatra; and they quarrelled about their marriage. The people mark their bodies in various figures, and render them of the colour of ashes; have large holes in their ears; blacken and file their teeth, and make an opening, which they fill up with gold. They used to write from top to bottom, till the Spaniards taught them to write from left to right. Bamboos and palm-leaves serve them for paper. They cover their houses with straw, leaves of trees, or bamboos split in two, which serve for[Pg 180] tiles. They hire people to sing and weep at their funerals; burn benzoin; bury their dead on the third day in strong coffins, and sometimes kill slaves to accompany their deceased masters. They held the caiman, or alligator, in great reverence, and when they saw him they called him nono, or grandfather, praying with great tenderness that he would do them no harm; and, to this end, offered him of whatever they had in their boats, throwing it into the water. There was not an old tree to which they did not offer divine worship, especially that called balete; and even at this time they have some respect for them. Beside these they had certain idols inherited from their ancestors, which the Tagalas called anito, and the Bissayans, divata. Some of these were for the mountains and plains, and they asked their leave when they would pass them. Others for the corn-fields; and to these they recommend them, that they might be fertile, placing meat and drink in the fields for the use of the anitos. There was one of the sea, who had care of their fishing and navigation; another of the house, whose favour they implored at the birth of a child, and under whose protection they placed it. They made anitos also of their deceased ancestors, and to these were their first invocations in all difficulties and dangers. They reckoned amongst these beings all those who were killed by lightning or alligators, or had any disastrous death, and believed that they were carried up to the happy state, by the rainbow, which they call balan-gao. In general, they endeavoured to attribute this kind of divinity to their fathers, when they died in years; and the old men, vain with this barbarous notion, affected in their sickness a gravity and composure of mind, as they conceived, more than human, because they thought themselves commencing anitos. They were to be interred at places marked out[Pg 181] by themselves, that they might be discovered at a distance and worshipped. The missionaries have had great trouble in demolishing their tombs and idols; but the Indians, inland, still continue the custom of pasing tubi sa nono, or asking permission of their dead ancestors, when they enter any wood, mountain, or corn-field, for hunting or sowing; and if they omit this ceremony, imagine their nonos will punish them with bad fortune.

"Their notions of the creation of the world, and formation of mankind, had something ridiculously extravagant. They believed that the world at first consisted only of sky and water, and between these two, a glede; which, weary with flying about, and finding no place to rest, set the water at variance with the sky, which, in order to keep it in bounds, and that it should not get uppermost, loaded the water with a number of islands, in which the glede might settle and leave them at peace. Mankind, they said, sprang out of a large cane with two joints, that, floating about in the water, was at length thrown by the waves against the feet of the glede, as it stood on shore, which opened it with its bill, and the man came out of one joint, and the woman out of the other. These were soon after married by consent of their god, Bathala Meycapal, which caused the first trembling of the earth; and from thence are descended the different nations of the world."


Locality.—Due north of Luçon.


Locality.—Due north of the Babyanis.

I have no details respecting the Babyanis and the Bashis. They have been noticed, however, as forming the tract from Luçon to—

[Pg 182]


Name.—Chinese Taï-ouan, originally Toung-fan.

Political Relations.—Western side, subject to China. Eastern side independent.

Languages.—Numerous dialects. The only known vocabulary, Malay.

Authority.—Klaproth. Description de Formose, Melanges Asiatiques, p. 195.

The knowledge of the island of Formosa on the part of the Chinese begins no earlier than the year 1430 A.D.; and its oldest name in Chinese, Toung-fan, means barbarians of the East. The later name means the Bay of Heights.

This term is explained by the geological structure of the island. It is bisected from north to south by a line of mountains, upon which snow lies during November and December. This range is a line of demarcation in ethnology as well as politics. West of it we have the district that pays tribute to the Chinese, and in which there is a standing Chinese army, and a number of Chinese immigrants—chiefly employed in the rice cultivation. In the mountains themselves, and to the east of them, are the Aborigines. These are said to approach the Negro type, and to differ from one another in language—a fact that we are now prepared to expect rather than to discredit. Their arms are the dart and bow; and their swiftness of foot is described by the Chinese as being equal to that of the swiftest dogs.

They are Malayan in stock, and apparently but little mixed. The Japanese, and the Lúchú on the northern part of the island, and the Dutch on the present Chinese locality seem to have been their chief visitors. Neither held their ground permanently.

That an island so near as Formosa should have been so long unknown to the Chinese, surprises Klaproth; who reasonably thinks that it was known at an earlier period, but known under a different name. The more so, as the Pes[Pg 183]cadores islands, half-way between, are within sight of the mainland.

It is safe to consider that the population of Formosa is a continuance of the population of Luçon, and the Bashi islands. Of the island Lang-khiao, at the southernmost end of Formosa, I find, in Klaproth, an express statement that it is inhabited, and that its inhabitants are great breeders of sheep.

Of the Pescadores the original population is unknown. From what I collect from Klaproth, the natives were removed in 1387, A.D., by the Chinese, and transplanted elsewhere. How far this was, partial or complete, is uncertain. At present they are inhabited—probably by the Chinese, who replaced the exiles of 1387.

There can be but little doubt that Formosa was peopled from the northern part of Luçonia; in which case its inhabitants represent the stock of the Igorots, Busiks, &c., as modified by a more northern position, and by Chinese rather than Malay elements.

With Formosa we reach the northernmost limits of the Malays in this direction. The Lúchú islands, north of Formosa, have their affinities with Japan, and Japan has its affinities with the North and West, rather than with the South and East.


Area.—From the small islands to the west of the Pelews to Easter Island, west and east. From the Mariannes and the Sandwich Islands north, to New Zealand south.

Physical Conformation.—Modified Protonesian. Stature, perhaps, taller; tendency to corpulence more common; colour oftener approaching that of the European; hair often waved or curling; nose frequently aquiline.

Nutrition.—But little azotized; saccharine and amylaceous.

Aliment.—Preeminently vegetable, the coco-nut, the taro, the banana. Fish.

Negative Characters.—Little, or no, use of the bow and arrow; considered to be a differential point between Polynesia and Kelænonesia.

[Pg 184]

Conditions of Social and Physical Development.—Absence of large animals, either as beasts of burden or as food. Nearly general absence of rice and pulse. Intercourse entirely by means of canoes. Between Polynesia and Protonesia little or none. Between the different portions of Polynesia limited or partial. Malay and Hindu influences obscure. Present influences European; of recent date.

Religion.—Paganism, apparently indigenous. Uniform in its general character over a great extent.

Languages.—Allied to each other, and mutually intelligible over large areas. Grammatical structure akin to the Tagala. Malay words numerous and evident.

Divisions.—1. Micronesian Branch. 2. Proper Polynesian Branch.

Reasons will now be given for drawing a distinction between the Micronesians and the Proper Polynesians, and also for taking the Micronesians first in order. In the former I follow Prichard. In the latter I believe my arrangement is singular.

1. MM. Dumont Durville and Lesson, to whose observations on this, as in many other portions of oceanic ethnology, much of our information is due, have agreed in disconnecting the natives of the Western Oceanic Islands from those of the Eastern; insisting upon a difference of language, and a difference in physical conformation. Nay more, they would connect them with the Mongols of the Continent. To give prominence to this difference of opinion on the part of judges so well qualified as the two investigators in question, was Pilchard's reason for thus separating the Archipelago of the Pacific into two sections.

For my own part I consider that the grounds of difference set forth by MM. Lesson and Dumont Durville, although insufficient to establish the double position of an affinity with the Mongolians, and of a no-affinity with the Polynesians, are sufficient to justify the sub-division of the kind in question. The absence, in Micronesia, of certain Polynesian customs, and the modified form of others are additional reasons.

[Pg 185]

2. The reason for taking the Micronesian branch before the Proper Polynesian, involves the following question—What was the line of population by which the innumerable islands of the Pacific, from the Pelews to Easter Island, and from the Sandwich Islands to New Zealand became inhabited by tribes, different from, but still allied to, the Protonesian Malays?—That line, whichever it be, where the continuity of successive islands is the greatest, and, whereon the fewest considerable interspaces of ocean are to be found.

This is the general answer, à priori; subject to modification from the counterbalancing phenomena of winds, or currents unfavourable to the supposed migration.

Now this answer, when applied to the geographical details regarding the distribution of land and sea in the great Oceanic area, indicates the following line—New Guinea, New Ireland, the New Hebrides, the Figis, and the Tonga group, &c. From hence the Navigators' Isles, the Isles of the Dangerous Archipelago, the Kingsmill, and other groups, carry the frequently-diverging streams of population over the Caroline Islands, the Ladrones, the Pelews, Easter Island, &c.

This view, however, so natural an inference from a mere land-and-sea survey, is complicated by the ethnological position of the New Guinea, New Ireland, and New Hebrides population. These are not Protonesian, and they are not Polynesian. Lastly, they are not intermediate to the two. They break rather than propagate the continuity of the human stream; a continuity which exists geographically but fails ethnologically.

The recognition of this conflict between the two probabilities, has determined me to consider the Micronesian Archipelago, as that part of Polynesia which is the part[Pg 186] most likely to have been first peopled; and hence comes a reason for taking it first in order.


Area.—The Pelew, Caroline, Marianne Islands. The Tarawan group. As far south as about 7° S. L.

Physical Conformation.—More Mongolian, in the limited sense of the term, than the proper Polynesian. Varieties both of hair and complexion.

Language.—Dialects, probably, mutually intelligible. Probably unintelligible to the Proper Polynesians.

Political relations.—Partly independent; partly subject to Spain.

Religion.—Paganism and Romanism.

European intermixture.—Chiefly Spanish.

Negative characters.—Absence of the tabu under the form in which it appears in Polynesia. Use of the drink called kava either restricted, or modified. Considered to be differential points between Micronesia and Polynesia.

In these negative characters (of which, however, it is doubtful whether the exact extent has been ascertained), superadded to the fact, of the Micronesian dialects forming a separate language unintelligible to the Polynesian, and to the difference—real or supposed—in their physical appearance, lie good and sufficient reasons for considering the Micronesians to form a separate division. To which may be added, considerable differences in the way of creed and mythology.


Locality.—Latitude 3° 2´ N. Longitude 131° 4´ E.

Population.—About three or four hundred.

Physical conformation.—Complexion, light copper, lighter than that of the Malays or Pelew islanders. Face broad, cheek-bones high, nose flattened.

Pantheon.—Chief deity Yaris. Progenitor Pita-kat.

The account of Horace Holden,[62] an American sailor, who, with eleven others, reached the island of Tobi, in a boat, and who was detained there two years, is our only source of information for this important locality—the nearest point of contact between Polynesia and Protonesia.

[Pg 187]

No tribes have a harder struggle for existence. During the whole of Holden's residence, only five turtle were taken; fish being also scanty. Hence coco-nuts and the taro formed the chief food. It is reasonable, as well as charitable, to refer the churlishness of their tempers to this state of indigence. Perhaps, also, it is the reason why the men, as compared with the women, take a fair share of the labour of cultivation—a custom rare in other parts of Polynesia.

The effects of hunger in reducing the population are seconded by those of war. And here, the only weapons are the spear and club—no bows and no arrows.

The houses "are built of small trees and rods, and thatched with leaves. They have two stories, a ground-floor, and a loft, which is entered by a hole or scuttle through the horizontal partition or upper floor.

"For ornament they sometimes wear in their ears, which are always bored, a folded leaf; and round their necks a necklace made of the shell of the coco-nut, and a small white sea-shell."

All this merely connects them with the Micronesians. The tradition respecting Pita-kat is more important. He "came many years ago from the island of Ternati, and gave them their religion, and such simple arts as they possessed."


Locality.—West of the Pelews. Nearest point to the Philippines.



Chief Islands.—Corror, Babelthouap, Pelelion.

Native quadrupeds.—Rats.

Vegetable products.—Coco-nut, bread-fruit, yam, batata, taro, ebony, sugarcane, orange, banana, bamboo, paper-mulberry. Rice and pulse wanting.

The paucity of quadrupeds, and the abundance of tro[Pg 188]pical vegetables is common to the Pelew Islands, and the whole of Polynesia. Hence, it is mentioned once for all. The chief exception, however, is an important one. The hog will be found to be partially distributed; and the partial character of its distribution has been one of the instruments of ethnological criticism (especially in the hands of the French naturalists), by means of which the order of succession in which the different islands have been peopled has been investigated.


Direction.—North-east from the Pelews.

Locality.—Between the Pelews and the—



Name of Natives.—Chamorros.

Chief islands.—Guam, Rota, Tinian.

Physical appearance of Natives.—Stature higher than that of the other islanders, tendency to corpulence greater.

Intermixture.—Considerable, i.e. with Polynesians, Philippine islanders, Spaniards.

Rota and Tinian are remarkable for containing the remains of massive stone buildings; the original use of which is wholly unknown to the present natives. The same phenomenon will be repeated in Tonga-tabú and Easter Island.

The Mariannes form the most northern portion of Micronesia. The direction will now be due east from the cluster of Goulou; about mid-way between the Pelews and Yap.


Synonym.—Egoy Islands.


Direction.—West to east.

Extent.—From 140° to 15° E. L. from Paris. Under 5° N. L.

[Pg 189]

Particular islands.—Lamoursek, Satawal, Faroilep (the most northern), Aurupig (the most southern).


Direction.—From the Lamoursek and Satawal group fifteen degrees westward.

Particular islands.—Hogoleu, Lougounor, Pounipet, Ualan.

A distinction which will often be applied in Polynesian ethnology may now be made. It is the difference between the geological structure of the different islands. Whether they are what is called high or low is important. In the high islands, where the structure is primitive, metamorphic, or volcanic, the conditions for social development are more favourable than in the low islands, of a coralline structure. In these last the food is less abundant, the sun more scorching, and, generally, the complexion of the inhabitants darker.

Again, the inhabitants of the low islands are generally at peace amongst themselves: those of the high islands at war.

In the ethnology of the Paumoto Archipelago, this distinction will be repeated. So it will elsewhere.


Synonym.—Lougoullos. Mortlock island.

Physical conformation.—Stature, above the average; colour, chestnut, lips thick, beard long but thin, hair black, long, thick, slightly curling (un peu crépu), sometimes frizzy—Lütke, from Prichard.

Language.—Allied to, but different from, the Ualan.



Population.—About two thousand.

Physical Appearance.—Face broad and flat, nose flat, lips thick, hair crisp. Colour, between chesnut and olive. Height, average.—Lütke from Prichard.


The chief island of the Central Caroline group, or of the Caroline Islands in the more general sense of the term.


Physical conformation of the natives.—Stature average, hair black, beard[Pg 190] scanty, only in some cases thick, forehead narrow, eyes oblique, nose somewhat flattened, face broad, complexion clear yellow (citron), lightest in the case of the chiefs.—Lesson.

As the succession of islands now becomes less regular, and as the interval of sea between Ualan and the Archipelagoes east of it is considerable, it is necessary to consider the lines of passage between the proper Carolines and the Ralik and Radak chains to the north-west. These are two.

1. From Pounipet to the Isles of Brown; with Providence Isles half-way between.

2. From Ualan to the Radak chain, or Mulgrave's Islands.


Synonym.—Marshall's Islands.


Synonym.—Mulgrave's Islands.

The Radack and Ralik people are dark.

The direction is now south, and south-west, to an Archipelago lying under the Equator.


General name.—The Tarawan group.

Latitude.—North and south of the Equator.

Longitude.—Nearly that of the Fiji islands.

Population.—Perhaps sixty thousand. In Drummond's Island six thousand.

Physical appearance.—Complexion dark copper. More Protonesian than Polynesian. Cheek-bones projecting, nose slightly aquiline. Average height five feet eight inches.

In Pitt Island, the most northern of the group, the natives are lighter in colour than the other islanders, taller, stronger, and better-limbed; with smooth bodies, oval faces, and regular and delicate features.

[Pg 191]


Area.—The Navigators, Society, Friendly, and other groups of the Pacific. The Marquesas; the Dangerous Archipelago; Easter Island; the Sandwich Isles; New Zealand, &c. With the exception of the Sandwich Isles and New Zealand, south and east of Micronesia. Nearer to Kelænonesia than to any part of Protonesia.

Physical conformation.—Maximum and, perhaps, average stature higher than in Micronesia. Aquiline nose commoner. Varieties both of hair and complexion. The former wavy and curled as well as straight; sometimes chestnut-coloured. Skin, often fairest in the parts nearest the Equator; becoming darker as the distance increases. Oftener, also, darker in the coralline than in the volcanic islands.

Face oval. Ears generally large.

Zygomatic development moderate. Occipito-frontal profiles truncated behind, elevated at the vertex.

Nostrils generally spreading.

Language.—Dialects mutually intelligible; probably unintelligible to the Micronesians.

Political relations.—Wholly independent, colonized, or protected.

Religion.—Paganism, Romanism, Protestantism, Imperfect Christianity.

European intermixture.—Chiefly English, American, and French.

Habits.—The superstition of the tabu; the use of kava as a drink. See the notice of Micronesia. Cannibalism, tattooing, circumcision, more or less, common.

With the view of saving repetition, a notice of the Polynesian mythology will precede the enumeration of the islands; for each and all of these the creed being, in its general principles, as truly one and the same as is the language, the same divinities appearing with the same functions and under similar, or but slightly-changed, denominations. Hence, sometimes the difference between two Pantheons is merely verbal. Generally, however, it is real. Even then, however, we find no new element; but one of two things. Either the same story appears in a varied form; or else some portion of the mythology which is but slightly prominent in one group of islands, takes unusual importance in another; the fundamental identity of character being manifest throughout.

Of the common elements of the general Polynesian creed[Pg 192] the following are the most important; those which are most special, and least general or abstract, being taken first in order.

The supernatural spirits that interfere directly with human concerns.—Mischievous beings, imps or goblins, that play so prominent a part in the superstitions of all countries, play a prominent part in those of Polynesia. These may appear under any out of a multiplicity of forms. There may be the spirit protective to a certain family; the spirit protective to a certain pursuit; the god of the sailor, the fisherman, or the tiller of the soil. Good they may do and mischief they may do—either in a material or an immaterial form, in their own shape or in the shape of sharks, lizards, storks, snipes, or any other dumb animal. From a belief of this kind to the superstition of omens is but a single step, so that rats that squeak, and comets that show their beards, and noses that sneeze, and birds that fly the wrong way, all become the expositors from Powers beyond those of mortality. Then the rock, and glen, and above all the volcano and earthquake, become palpable objects to be connected with a presiding divinity.

To these and to the like of these all the islanders look. Some look beyond them.

Múoi (Mawi) is more man than God; the supporter, or rather the support, of the earth. This lies on the gigantic extension of his body; and earthquakes result from its movements. Where he is either more or less than the comparatively passive substructure of all things material, he is a wise wizard who foretells events; or else the maker rather than foundation-stone of the world. Just as Tangaloa did in the other parts of Polynesia, Mawi did in New Zealand. What this was will be soon seen.

The Cosmogony.—The Polynesian world—how much[Pg 193] beyond it is uncertain—was fished up from sea by Tangaloa; Tahiti was the first part that appeared. Just as its rocks showed above water, the line broke. However, the rock in which the hook stuck can still be seen in the island of Hoonga; and the family of Tuitonga, until very lately, were in possession of the hook. There was enough land, however, to be worth filling with human beings and human food. And this was done by Tangaloa.[64]

Such is the Tonga account. In New Zealand, as already stated, the artificer is changed; and Mawi does the work of Tangaloa. In Tahiti, and Samoa, the workman is the same, but the work different. The Tahitian Tangaloa formed the ocean from the sweat of his brow—so hard did he work in making the land. The Samoan sent down his daughter Tali, in the shape of a snipe, to survey the world below. As she saw nothing but sea, her father rolled down a stone which became one island, and another which became a second, and so on. The first growth of such islands were wild vines. These were pulled out of the ground, and heaped up to rot, so that worms were produced. Out of these worms grew men and women.

The Happy Island.—In an island like their own, only more beautiful, live the higher gods, and the souls of chiefs, kings, and councillors. In Tonga this island is Bolotoo. It was once visited; but those who visited it died, having breathed its air.

The residents and visitors of the Happy Island.—First amongst these are the gods themselves and their servants; not, however, Mawi—

The souls of the chiefs after death—

The souls of the councillors after death—

[Pg 194]

Caste-system.—The list of the inhabitants of Bolotoo stops at a certain line of nobility. The people are the servants of the chiefs, and the servants of the chiefs have no share of enjoyment after death.

At this point, the mythology and the social constitution of the Polynesians act and react upon each other. Those who have no political rights in life, have no existence after death (or vice versâ); and the result is a system half caste, and half feudalism.

Whether the king or priest be paramount, depends upon their respective individual characters. There is room for the subtle brain as well as for the strong hand. So it is, as between king and chief. The vassalage is perfect or imperfect according to the strength of the parties. Whatever, however, may be the relative position of the king, the priest, or the chiefs, the people are sure of their thraldom; a thraldom to their immediate superior, the chief.

Add to these elements of social subordination and insubordination, the existence of tribes and the influence of descent. A family may be descended from some god that took an earthly island for his residence. This will give it a precedence even over the kings.

From the feeling of pedigree, and from the belief that the nobler families become spirits after death, we have the belief in ghosts, and the reverence for the dead. Whoever studies the details of the Polynesian creeds and traditions will find abundant instances of this; and in such detail they should be studied. To exhibit them (as has just been attempted) in a general point of view, can only be done by applying terms adapted to a different system, and, as such, only partially appropriate. It can only be done at the sacrifice of those special elements which give life and individuality to a description. Such, however, as it is, the[Pg 195] previous sketch is the only one that could be admitted into a work like the present.

Beginning with the fourteenth degree S. L., the distribution of the Polynesian islands runs off in three different directions.

1. From west to east; i.e. from the Navigators' Islands to Easter Island.

2. North-east; to the Sandwich Islands in 20° N. L.

3. South-west; to New Zealand in 35° S. L.


Synonym.—Archipelago of Samoa.

Islands.—Opoun, Leone, Sanfoue, Maouna, Oiolava, Pola.

Complexion.—Dark bronze.

Numbers.—According to Captain Wilkes, 56,000: of which 14,850 are Christians. Majority of the remainder attending the missionary schools.

Pantheon.—Tangaloa-lagi, Tamafaiga, Sinleo, Onafanna, Mafuie, Salefu, Merua Fuana, Tinitini, Lamanau, Tuli, &c.

Real or supposed peculiarities.—Use of the bow; which is used also in De Peyster's island. Rare elsewhere.


Synonym.—The Hapai Islands; the Friendly Islands.

Eooa 200
Hapai 4,000
Vavao 4,000
Keppell's Islan 1,000
Boscawen's Islan 1,300
Tonga-tabú 8,000
Total 18,500

Said to be on the increase. Number of Christians, about 4,500.

Pantheon.—Múoi.—The Hotooas, Táli-y-tobú, Higooléo, Tooboo-toti, Alaivaloo, Ali-ali, Tangaloa—Tangaloa's sons, Toobó, and Váca-ácow-ooli, &c. Bolotoo=the Happy Island.

Term for the Tonga chiefs—Egi.
" " councillors—Mataboulai.
" " king—How.
" " lower classes—Mooa.
" " lowest—Tooa.
[Pg 196]

Real or supposed peculiarities.—Infant sacrifices; the cutting off of a finger on the death of relatives; domestic architecture on a scale approaching that of Borneo. Remains of stone architecture; probably the tombs of the chiefs.


Names.—Rarotonga, Atiu; Mangaia, Aitutaki, Mauke, Mitiaro, Manuai.

Population.—About fourteen thousand; of which one-half belongs to Rarotonga.


Names.—Rimatara, Rurutu, Tupuai, Raivavai.

Population.—About one thousand. Decreasing.


Locality.—South of any island yet named, and isolated.


Synonym.—The Society Islands.

Islands.—Ulietea, Otahá, Bolabola, Huaheine, Tabai, Maurua.

Pantheon.—The Tii Maaraauta=the spirit reaching toward the land. The Tii Maaraatai=the spirit reaching toward the sea. Eatooa=gods in general. Tii Hina, Taaroa (= Tangaloa). Maui Raiatea (the analogue of Bolotoo).

Terms for the Tahiti chiefs—Eree, or Tiara.
" " councillors—Manahounis.
" " lower classes—Toutous.

Meaning.—Cloud of islands.

Synonym.—The Low Islands. Dangerous Archipelago.

Structure.—Generally coralline.

Particular islands and groups—


Locality.—S. L. 15° 40´ W. L. 146° 30´ The most savage of all the islands of the Archipelago, and the one that has most rarely been visited with impunity.


Locality.—S. L. 17° 30´ W. L. 45° 30´ Described as being like Aura, to Captain Fitzroy, by Mr. Middleton, who had passed some time on the island. Cannibals. Conquerors of the rest of the Archipelago, except Aura. The first ship they had manned by a black crew.


Names.—Mangareva, Akena, Akamaru, Tarawari, &c.


Population.—About two thousand.


Locality.—South of the Gambier group.

[Pg 197]


Locality.—West of the Gambier group.

There is a great difference in physical conformation between the inhabitants of different members of the Paumotu group. Some are well-made, nearly on a level with the measurements of European, and with a "fine Asiatic countenance, with beards and mustaches, but no whiskers—men who might pass for Moors."[65] Others approach the character of the Negroes.

We know now the doctrine that this difference will engender; and we know the exception that it will call for. More than one writer have seen in Paumotu islanders specimens of a second race. More than one have seen only the same race under different conditions.

Now, Captain Beechey has found that this difference in the inhabitants coincides with the difference of the islands. The well-grown tribes of the Polynesian type are the tribes of the volcanic Islands, Pitcairn's and the Gambier group. The blacker variety is found on the low islands.



Locality.—The most eastern island of Polynesia. Solitary.

In Easter Island there stood in the year 1722, and there stand now, statues of colossal proportions, sometimes on the level ground, sometimes on platforms of hewn stone, representing (or misrepresenting) the upper half of the human figure, with enormous ears, shapen out of lavas, some soft, and some too hard for any tool known to the present natives, objects of wonder to them, but not objects of worship.

That they are not objects of worship is inferred from the extent to which they are neglected. When fallen, or[Pg 198] broken they are not repaired; neither are they connected with the burial-places.

These seem to have an existence in another form, in that of cylindrical heaps of stone; the meaning of which a native explained to M. de Langle by laying himself down on the ground, and then lifting his hands towards the sky.

The mystery of these statues is increased by a remark of Captain Beechey's. He had seen the like of them elsewhere; but he had seen them on uninhabited islands.

The eastern extremity of the Paumotu Archipelago points towards Easter Island; the northern line is the nearest point to—


Names.—Hivaoa, Tahuata, Fatuhiva, Easter=the south-eastern group. Nukahiva, Uahuka, Uapou=the north-western.

Population.—Perhaps two thousand.

The natives of the Marquesas are considered as the handsomest men of Polynesia.

The natives of the Marquesas are most at war with one another of all the Polynesians. Their chief island is intersected by a mountain-ridge; and the mountain-ridge (like most mountain-ridges) supplies a fierce body of quarrellers.

The natives of the Marquesas speak a greater variety of dialects (or sub-dialects) than the natives of any other group. This has engendered the doctrine that they were colonized from more quarters than one.

Distant though it be the Nukahiva group is the nearest point to—


Names of islands according to the dialect or orthography followed by Prichard.—Hawaii, Maui, Tahaurawe, Morokini, Ranai, Morokai, Oahu, Tauai, Niihau, Taura.

Names of the islands according to the dialect or orthography followed by[Pg 199] Simpson.—Hawaii, Mowee, Kakoolawe, Lanai, Molokoi, Woahoo, Kanai, Niihau.


Physical appearance of the natives.—Height above the average. Mouth square and heavy.

Extract from M. Chloris: "Les enfans, en venant au monde, sont complêtement noirs; la jeune fille la plus jolie, et la plus delicate, qui s'expose le moins à l'action de l'air et du soleil, est noire; celles qui sont obligées de travailler constamment à l'ardeur du soleil, sont presque de couleur orangée." This orange tint is noticed by Mr. Simpson, who describes the Hawaiians as intermediate to the black Negro and the Red American—more, however, red than black.

The majority of the Polynesian islands present the phenomenon of an imperfect and recent civilization engrafted upon a state of comparative barbarism; and none more than the Hawaiian group. No area is, at once, so European and so Polynesian. Neither in any area are the influences more mixed. The population is mixed also. White and half-breeds constitute a large and increasing proportion of the population; the white being from England, from America, and from France.

This is the way in which the admixture of foreign blood takes place within the island itself. But it is not the only way. The Sandwich Islanders are themselves emigrants, and they are found upon the opposite coast of America; thus giving admixture to the Californian and Oregon Indians. They do the same in South America on the coast of Peru and Ecuador.

It is this determination of the Sandwich Islands to America, that gives us the phænomenon of the American and Oceanic admixture—a new and imperfectly studied form of union.

This dispersion of the Sandwich Islanders tells a story on more matters than one. It speaks to their enterprize, maritime capacity, and value as industrial assistants. This is what they are at home, and this is what they are abroad.

[Pg 200]

Since the discovery of the Sandwich Islands by Cook, the three great influences that have been at work, are—

  1. The wars, and policy of Kamehamehu.
  2. Missionary influences.
  3. Commercial and political influences.

1. At the accession of Kamehamehu, as now, the system of caste that determines the social state of New Zealand, Tahiti, and other parts of Polynesia, regulated that of the Sandwich group. The chiefs, however, held but nominally under the sovereign. Each in his own island, was practically an independent ruler. The wars of Kamehamehu coerced the chiefs of the smaller islands, and left him the sovereign of a consolidated empire. This he administered in the spirit of a Pagan, and a conqueror. Of the god of the volcano and earthquake that had helped him to his early victories, he lived and died the constant worshipper and support.

By the further favour of the same, he hoped to reduce the Tahitian group; an idea that raises his assemblage of canoes to the dignity of a fleet. At any rate, the force for land, and the force for sea underwent an incipient organization in the reign of Kamehamehu.

Then again, he was not only a great merchant, but the only great merchant in his dominions. The chief export was the sandal-wood, which, bearing a high price in the China market, and growing chiefly on the more inaccessible mountains, could only be collected at the expense of grinding labour, and fatal suffering as the portion of the helot population. This decimated the islands as much, or even more, than his wars.

At the death of Kamehamehu a weak tyranny succeeded a strong one. The monopoly of the sandal-wood was divided between the chiefs; and the multitude of masters[Pg 201] increased the amount of suffering. I am writing from what I find in Sir G. Simpson, and add that the extremes of bloodshed and oppression brought with them their own remedy. The coercion was too successful to leave an enemy to fight against; and the sandal-wood became too nearly exhausted to command its previous price of life and labour.

In 1819, the great father of his dynasty died; and his idols died with him. Pagan as he was himself, his nation had outgrown Paganism; and there was a tabula rasa for any better creed.

2. With the reign of Liho-Liho began the influence of the missionaries—American, English, and French; the American and English with their respective forms of Protestantism, the French with Romanism. I have no inclination to meddle with the distasteful details of these mischievous contests. The ethnological result is the triple character of the influence now in operation. In politics, Hawaii is independent; independent and semi-constitutional; with its independence guaranteed by England, America, and France. In religion it is Protestant—with Romanism tolerated and something more; tolerated and making way amongst the people.

3. The improvement of the agriculture of the Sandwich Islands is going on steadily. Silk and sugar are beginning to be grown; and a healthier trade is replacing the sandal-wood monopolies.

I have admitted the previous notice of the character of Hawaiian civilization for the sake of comparing it with the present state and actual prospects of the islands. Cook, when he visited them, put the population at four hundred thousand—an exaggeration. Perhaps it came to half as much. In 1832 and 1836, there were censuses; of which the result was as follows:—

[Pg 202]


NAME. AREA. 1832. 1836.
Hawaii 4,600 45,792 39,364
Mowee 620 35,062 24,199
Lanai 100 1,600 1,200
Molokoi 190 6,600 6,000
Kakoolawe 60 80 80
Woahoo 530 29,755 27,809
Kanai 500 10,977 8,934
Niihau 90 1,047 995
Whole group 6,090 130,313 108,579

This gives us a reduction; a reduction which has increased by 1840. This, I suppose, is the one from which Prichard takes his numbers, for two of the islands—

For Maui 18,000
—— Woahoo 20,000

Emigration will not account for this decrease. This we may see at once, from the proportion in 1840—the figures and reasoning are Sir G. Simpson's—in the single island of Kanai, between that part of the population which was under, and that part which was above, eighteen years of age.

Under eighteen 706 309 372 685
Above eighteen 2,229 1,043 1,178 2,134
Total 2,935 1,352 1,550 2,819

"Here," Sir G. Simpson continues, "is an average of one person under eighteen, to rather more than three persons above it—a state of things which would carry depopulation written on its very face, unless every creature, without exception, were to attain the good old age of seventy-five." To this we add a remark upon the bearing of the early period of marriages throughout Polynesia. Not one—but two—generations are included in the[Pg 203] population under eighteen years; since before that time boys and girls have begun to have boys and girls of their own.

This disproportion accounts for the decrease. But what accounts for the disproportion?

In 1824, Mr. Stuart wrote that—"in those parts of the islands where the influence of the mission had not extended, two-thirds of the infants born perish by the hands of their own parents before attaining the first or second year of their age."

In 1840, there were found in Kanai out of 5,541 adults, only sixty-eight, and sixty-five women who had more than two children each, and that with a bounty, in the shape of an exemption from certain taxes, upon a number to that amount; whilst in Woahoo the births were sixty-one, the deaths one hundred and thirty-two.

Distant though it be, the Tahitian group is the nearest point to—


Native name of northern island.—Ikana, Mawi.

Native name of southern island.—Tavai, Punamu.

Native name of the language.—Maori.


Locality.—Twelve degrees east of New Zealand.

Appearance of the natives.—Colour dark; so much so as to be called by the New Zealanders, Blafello=Black-fellow, a term adopted from the English.

Such are the larger islands and archipelagoes of Polynesia. To these must be added the following smaller groups.


Locality.—Five degrees due north of the Navigators' Islands.

Names.—1. Bowditch Isle, or Fakaafo. 2. Duke of York's Island, or Oatafu. 3. Duke of Clarence's Island, or Nukunono.

Population.—About one thousand.


Language.—Intelligible to the Samoans.

Food.—Coco-nuts, pandanus-nuts, fish.

[Pg 204]

Although so near the Equator, the Fakaafo people are the fairest of the Polynesians.


Language.—Intelligible to the Samoans.

Real or supposed peculiarity.—The bow used in De Peyster's Island. Except in the Navigators' Isles; rare elsewhere.

These islands have importance as connecting Northern Polynesia with Southern Micronesia. The people are dark-coloured and bearded.


Locality.—Midway between the Marquesas and Union Isles. Inhabitants numerous as compared with the size of the island.


Synonym.—Granville Island.

Locality.—Lat. 12° 30´ N. Long. 177° 15´ E. Three hundred miles from any other land.


Locality.—North of the Friendly Islands. Lat. 15° 50´ S. Long. 174° W. i.e., between the Tonga and Samoan groups.


Locality.—Between Rotuma and the Samoan Archipelago.


Locality.—Four degrees east of the Friendly group; i.e., between the Tonga Isles and the Hervey and Austral groups.


Locality.—-Lat. 12° 30´ S. Long. 169° E.

Population.—About five hundred.

In Tikopia the locality is nearly Kelænonesian; whilst the physiognomy and language are Amphinesian; and of the two Amphinesian branches, most probably Polynesian.

On the other hand, they use the bow and arrow, and[Pg 205] raise cicatrices by burning—both of which habits are Kelænonesian.


Synonym.—Erronan. A few miles east from Tanna, a Kelænonesian Island.


Synonym.—Muia. Ditto.

The locality creates the interest for these two islets. They are not only isolated from the other parts of Polynesia, but are portions of another geographical area.


Locality.—Fifty minutes north of line, to the west (or north-west) of New Guinea.

Natives.—Copper-coloured, with long black hair.—Carteret from Prichard.

The natives of Free-will Island require further description. It is nearly certain that they are Amphinesian—but whether Protonesian or Micronesian is uncertain. Laying aside, for the present, Madagascar, and the Fiji Islands, we shall find that the more important questions connected with the ethnology of Polynesia are as follows—

1. The affinities with Protonesia.

2. The differences between Polynesia Proper and Micronesia.

3. The extent to which one of these last-named divisions is more Protonesian than the other.

4. The details of the dispersion within the limits of a single division; Micronesia or Polynesia, as the case may be.

5. The general dispersion and distribution.

6. The inferences arising from the existence of the darker coloured, and more Negrito-like population.

7. The date of the Polynesian dispersion.

1. The affinities with Protonesia.—Much has to be done in this department; especially in regard to the indication[Pg 206] of similar habits and customs; and in respect to the explanation of undoubted and important points of difference. Indeed, at the present moment, the proof of the Protonesian affinities with Polynesia is almost wholly philological. Still, of its kind, it is satisfactory and scientific. That isolated Malay words were to be found far beyond the proper Malay area was known as early as the time of Reland. By Marsden, Crawfurd, and others, the list was enlarged. The evidence, however, that the grammatical structure of the South-Sea languages was equally Protonesian with the vocabularies, forms the most valuable part of a late publication—the posthumous dissertation of W. Von Humboldt on the Kawi language of Java. In this the Tagala of the Philippines is taken as the sample of a Protonesian grammar in its most elaborate and complex form; a starting-point which explains the structure of the Polynesian and Malagasi tongues in a manner far beyond any amount of elucidation that could have been drawn from the comparatively simple structure of the proper Malayan.

For all questions of this sort the great work just named is the thesaurus and repository. It is also the thesaurus and repository for all facts connected with the history of the Hindu influences on Protonesia.

The other ethnological phænomena, not philological, that naturally belong to this part of the subject, will be noticed under the third head.

2. The differences between Polynesia and Micronesia.—Some of these have been noticed. None, however, have been of equal importance with the difference of language. The exact appreciation of their import is difficult.

The fact of the bow and arrow being either not used at all, or used but little (according to the American explorers[Pg 207] in their games, but not in their wars), must be taken as relative, rather than as a simple negative, fact.

a. It is used in Kelænonesia.

b. The parts of Polynesia where it is used (Samoa, De Peyster's Islands, and Tikopia) are the parts nearest to Kelænonesia.

The absence of the tabu in Micronesia is, probably, less of an unqualified fact than it seems to be. In the Proper Polynesian form, and with the Polynesian name, it has probably no existence. In more than one Micronesian island, however, certain objects are held sacred, certain objects are generally prohibited, and certain objects are prohibited under certain conditions.

The Polynesian custom of drinking kava not Micronesian.—What applies to the tabu applies here. Kava, under the name of kava, and prepared, as in Polynesia, from the fermentation of the root of the piper methusticon, is not drunk in Micronesia. Shiaka, however, is a beverage at Ualan (and probably elsewhere); and shiaka is a fermentation of the leaves of the piper methusticon.

The differentiæ, then, between Polynesia Proper and Micronesia are subject to criticism; so much so that instead of saying that a Polynesian custom is wanting in Micronesia (or vice versâ), we should rather say that the Polynesian habit takes a modified form. Above all, the criticism applicable to all negative statements is preeminently applicable here.

Facts of the same sort with the kava, and tabu observations, are to be found in other matters, e.g. the Micronesian sails by the stars, the Polynesian by the flight of birds. The Micronesian canoe is an amphisbæna, i.e. it can be paddled either way, and it is generally simple. The Polynesian, on the other hand, is often double, and[Pg 208] almost always an outrigger: so much so that the appearance of Cook's vessels, on the discovery of Tahiti, was hailed by the natives as a fulfilment of one of the prophecies of Mawi; which was to this effect:—That a canoe such as never had been seen by any native before—a canoe without out-riggers, should at some future time visit the island. Now so impossible a thing was a canoe without out-riggers in the eyes of the Tahitians, that the prophecy was laughed to scorn. So in order to gain credence, Mawi launched his wooden dish upon the waters, which swam as he said the strange canoe should swim. Afterwards, when Cook sailed towards the islands, his ship was held to be the prophesied canoe; and at the present moment English vessels have been called Mawi's canoes.

The sum, perhaps, of all the distinctions of the sort already indicated, will give between Polynesia and Micronesia, the difference between a Dutchman and an Englishman; certainly not less—probably more. Probably more, because the very considerable difference in the details of the two mythologies has yet to be added. A brief notice of these may be found in Prichard's chapter on the Marianne Islanders; and this reference is all that our space allows. That the difference, however, of the superstitions is not less (probably greater) than the difference between the languages is a safe conclusion.

The differences in the general moral character of the two divisions lie within a small compass. Coldness of manner in general, less tendency to bloody warfare, less laxity amongst the female part of the population, and less cannibalism, are points wherein the Micronesian character has the advantage. The Micronesian domestic arts also, such as dyeing and weaving, are in advance of the Polynesians.

3. Distribution of Protonesian characteristics.—Which[Pg 209] of the two divisions has the most of these? This is partially answered by some of the observations which have just preceded: two other facts answer it more fully.

a. The opinions of MM. Durville and Lesson, as to the connexion of the Micronesians with the Mongolians—without being evidence in favour of the Micronesian branch being the more Protonesian, of the two, this is, certainly, a fact in favour of its being the more continental.

b. The opinion of Le Gobien, one of the early Missionaries, "that the Caroline Islanders came from the Philippines."

4. Details of the distribution within the limits of a single division.—The question as to the particular part of Micronesia, or the particular part of Polynesia, from which the rest of the respective areas was peopled, is so much a part and parcel of the broader question as to the origin of the population en masse, that it belongs, in its entirety, to a latter stage of our inquiries. Still there are a few facts which may be noticed at once; and these apply to Polynesia Proper.

Assuming as a postulate, that the direction of the line of population is from east to west (or vice versâ), from north to south (or vice versâ), &c., it is reasonable to suppose that each isle has been peopled from the one nearest to it, and that exclusively. Hence no second source of population is to be assumed gratuitously. Upon reasonable grounds, however, it may be assumed; e.g. in the Marquesas, it is said, that the difference of dialects for the different islands is scarcely consistent with a population from the Paumoto group exclusively. So also, in the Sandwich Islands, although Nukahiva is the primâ facie source of the population, Tonga elements occur in a degree beyond that in which they are found in Nukahiva itself. Here, also, the inference of a second element is legitimate.

[Pg 210]

Missionaries and ethnologists, who have applied a sagacious criticism to the problem of the immediate population of Polynesia, have found good reasons for believing that the first archipelago of Polynesia Proper that received a population from some other quarter, and which transmitted it, in different streams elsewhere, was the Samoan or Navigators' Islands. This opinion, the grounds of which may be found in full in the ethnological portion of the United States Exploring Expedition, is, probably, the right one; at any rate it is the proper inference, from the facts known to the investigators.

The last three questions will be better considered after the notice of the Oceanic Negritos of the Kelænonesian area.


The consideration of the Malegasi Amphinesians is deferred until we treat upon the ethnology of Africa.


Physical conformation.—Modified Amphinesian Negrito. Skin rough and harsh, black rather than brown or olive. Hair crisp, curly, frizzy, and woolly(?) rather than straight; black. Stature from five feet, or under, to six(?).

Languages.—Not generally admitted to contain a certain proportion of Malay words—but really containing it.

Distribution.—Wholly insular; islands often large.

Area.—New Guinea, New Ireland, Solomon's Isles, Louisiade, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Australia, Tasmania.

Aliment.—Mammalian fauna considerable. In parts, deficient in ruminants and pachydermata.


Social and physical development.—Maritime habits rare and partial. Industrial arts limited. Foreign influences of all sorts inconsiderable.

[Pg 211]

Divisions.—1. The Papua Branch. 2. The Australian Branch. 3. The Tasmanian Branch(?).

The first question which may present itself to the reader is one as to the difference between the tribes that are now about to be described as Kelænonesian, and those which have already been described as Blacks of the Malay area. Both are really Negrito; and it has already been stated that both may be called so. The answer is—that Negrito is an ethnological, Kelænonesian, a geographical term. The first denotes black, or Black-like oceanic tribes wherever found; the latter black or Black-like tribes when found in definite areas, wherein they form the bulk of the population. Thus, in Amphinesia the Negrito is exceptional, in Kelænonesia normal, and vice versâ.


Latitude.—Southern tropic.

Area.—The islands off the north-west corner of New Guinea(?), New Guinea, New Britannia, New Ireland, Admiralty Isles, Louisiade, Solomon's Isles, Vanikoro(?), New Hebrides, New Caledonia, The Fiji Archipelago(?).

Direction.—South-east from New Guinea.

Physical conformation.—Kelænonesians with crisp, curly, frizzy, and woolly(?) rather than straight hair.

Probable origin.—North-eastern Protonesia.

Whether we take the Protonesian islands in the line from Timor to Moa, Sermatty, Timorlaut, the Keys, and the Arrus, or begin with the Northern Moluccas, Gilolo, and Morty, we equally reach the great island of New Guinea; and in each case the ethnological change coincides with the geographical one.


Extract from Mr. Earle.—"I do not here" (i.e., in the Timor group), "include the Arru isles, for there I have no doubt a considerable mixture of Papuan will be found."

The probable source, however, of the Papuan population must be sought for in the parts about Gilolo. Here the distinction between those islands which consti[Pg 212]tute the more eastern and northern portions of the Moluccas, and those which are considered to belong to New Guinea, is difficult to be drawn. In Guebé, for instance, the natives are described by M. Freycinet as having flat noses and projecting lips. To this it may be added, that their colour is dark. On the other hand, however, the facial angle is from ten to twelve degrees higher than that of the Negrito of New Guinea. Mr. Crawford, who rarely either overlooks or undervalues physical distinctions, adopts Freycinet's notice as descriptive of a second variety of the true Malay type, and suggests the likelihood of there being an intermediate race between the lank and the woolly-haired families.

More immediately, however, in the neighbourhood of New Guinea, we have the islands of Waigiú and Rawak. These are so thoroughly considered by the French geographers as belonging to the Negrito area, that they are called the Isles des Papous. With these, then, the proper Kelænonesian or Negrito area begins.


Physical appearance.—According to M. Pellion, in Freycinet—Forehead flat, facial angle 75°, mouth large, nose flattened, beard scanty, lower extremities slender. Hair frizzed and spread out.

According to MM. Quoi and Gaimard—Face broad, frontal and occipital profile flat, vertex elevated, cheek-bones prominent, temporal bones convex, the coronal suture farming a ridge. Nasal bones broad and flat, and alæ nasi spreading. Frontal and maxillary sinuses largely developed. Molar portion of the alveolar arch thick. Transverse diameter of the palate large; anterior palatine foramen large.—Voyage sur L'Uranie et La Physicienne: Zoologie, par Quoy et Gaimard.

Such are the details. An opinion, however, often gives a better notion than a description; and it is the opinion of the French naturalists that the islanders in question are a hybrid breed between the Papua and Protonesian. This speaks to the intermediate character of the physical appearance.

[Pg 213]

On the other hand, Mr. Earle, admitting both the difference and the likeness, denies that intermixture is the cause of it; the real and undoubted hybrids (which he has seen and describes) being different from the Papuas of the islands.

Under either case, however, we have the phænomenon of a transition in form.


Physical appearance of the natives of the north-west extremity, i.e., from Waigiú to Dorey.—1st Variety—Undersized, slender, with oval features, and skin more brown than black, hair elaborately frizzed.

Fig. 6.

Fig. 7.

2nd Variety.—Form squat, faces square and angular, cheek-bones prominent, lips thick, skin rough and black, hair simply tied up.

South-western coast.—Portions of the south-western coast of New Guinea were visited by H.M.S. Fly, in 1842-1846, under Captain Blackwood. The notices of Mr. Jukes upon the natives thus seen are short, and chiefly limited to the points wherein they differed or agreed with the islanders of Torres Straits—a portion of the human species that has been described fully for the first time by that writer. Tall and muscular, with the hair tied back behind, sometimes with the head shaved,[Pg 214] the skin dark brown or copper-coloured, with ornaments like the people of Erroob, and without out-riggers to their canoes, or with out-riggers on one side only, they spoke a language different from that of the Torres Straits islanders.

In appearance, however, they agreed. Their huts were raised on piles, of moderate dimension, and with small plots of imperfectly-cleared ground around them. The coast was low, and intersected by numerous freshwater channels; and the name given to the country by the Erroobians was Dowdee.

In Darnley Island, a female from the Dowdee coast was seen and described by Mr. Jukes, she was lighter coloured than the Erroobians, being of a yellowish-brown; had the septum narium pierced, and was tattooed, which the females of the island are not.

Masseed.—The natives were "a well-made, fine-looking people, of a different type from the Australians, with muscular limbs and frizzled hair. They had the oval epaulet-like mark on the shoulders, but no other scars. Their hair was dressed into long, narrow, pipe-like curls, smeared with red ochre and grease, and they wore a band round the forehead."—Vol. 1. p. 159.

Murray Island.—Native name maær—Volcanic. Covered with cocoa-nuts, and having a language almost identical with the Erroob.

Darnley Island.—Native name, Erroob—Volcanic. The natives here "were fine, active, well-made fellows, rather above the middle height, of a dark brown or chocolate colour. They had frequently almost handsome faces, aquiline noses, rather broad about the nostril, well-shaped heads, and many had a singularly Jewish cast of features. The hair was frizzled, and dressed into long,[Pg 215] pipe-like ringlets, smeared sometimes with red ochre, sometimes left of its natural black colour; others had wigs not to be distinguished from the natural hair, till closely examined. The septum narium was bored, but there was seldom anything worn in it. Most of their ears were pierced all round with small holes, in which pieces of grass were stuck, and in many the lobe was torn and hanging down to the shoulder. Their only scars were the faint oval marks on the shoulder. The hair of their bodies and limbs grew in small tufts, giving the skin a slightly woolly appearance. They were entirely naked, but frequently wore ornaments made of mother-of-pearl shells, either circular or crescent-shaped, hanging round their necks. Occasionally, also, we saw a part of a large shell, apparently a cassis, cut into a projecting shield-shape, worn in front of the groin. The women wore a petticoat round the waist, reaching nearly to the knees, formed of strips of leaves sown on to a girdle. These formed a very efficient covering, as one or two were worn over each other. The grown-up woman's petticoat, or nessoor, was formed, we afterwards found, of the inside part of the large leaves of a bulbous-rooted plant, called by them teggaer, of which, each strip was an inch broad. The girl's nessoor was made of much narrower strips from the inside of the leaf of the plantain, which they call cabbow.

"The younger women were often gracefully formed, with pleasing expressions of countenance, though not what we should consider handsome features. The girls had their hair rather long, but the women had almost all their hair cut short, with a bushy ridge over the top, to which they, singularly enough, give the same name as to pieces of tortoise-shell, namely, kaisu. Many of the elder women[Pg 216] had their heads shaved quite smoothly, and we never saw a woman wearing a wig, or with the long ringlets of the men. At our first landing, all the younger women and girls kept in the back-ground, or hid themselves in the bush. On strolling to the back of the huts, we found a small native path, along which we went a short distance till we came to a rude fence in front of a plantain-ground, where the men objected to our going further, and we heard the voices of the women among the trees beyond.

"There were four huts at this spot, all bee-hive shaped, sixteen feet in diameter, and as much in height. They stood in small court-yards, partially surrounded by fences formed of poles of bamboo, stuck upright in the ground, close together, and connected by horizontal rails, to which they were tied by withies. Inside the huts were small platforms covered with mats, apparently bed-places; and over head were hung up bows and arrows, clubs, calabashes, rolls of matting, and bundles apparently containing bones, which they did not like our examining. Outside the huts were one or two small open sheds, consisting merely of a raised flat roof, to sit under in the shade, and a grove of very fine cocoa-nut trees surrounded the houses."

The arms of the natives were the bow and arrow, and in holding the former, especial care was taken that the part of the wood which was uppermost as the tree grew, should be uppermost when used as a weapon. Rough imitations of the human figure were common; but whether they served as idols or not was uncertain. The use of tobacco was general. The language was different from that of the Australians, and the willingness of the people to communicate, greater, also. On the part of[Pg 217] the females, the reserve and decorum of manner formed a striking contrast with the very different habits of the Polynesians.

Turtle-backed Island.—Primitive—Cocoa-nut trees; no gum trees—"We came one day on the first symptoms of cultivation of the ground we had ever seen among the aborigines of this part of the world. This was a little circular plot of ground, not more than four or five yards in diameter; but it had evidently been dug, though in a rude manner, and in it were set several young plantain-trees, one or two other plants, and two trailing plants, somewhat like French beans in appearance, which we afterwards found were a kind of yam. The huts on this island had the appearance of a first attempt at a house, having side walls about two feet high, and a gable-shaped roof rising four feet from the ground. They were about ten feet long and six feet wide, made principally of bamboo and thatched with grass and leaves."

Mount Ernest.—Primitive—Cocoa-nuts—Captain Blackwood "landed upon Mount Ernest (807 feet high), and found a group of huts much superior to any we ever saw in Australia, a small grove of cocoa-nuts and another of large bamboos. The natives did not show themselves till after he left the island; and though he spent a night on it he did not suspect their presence at the time. In the huts were found parcels of human bones, ornamented with red ochre, a mask or hideous face made of wood and ornamented with the feathers of some struthious bird, and one or two bundles of small wooden tubes, eight inches long and half an inch in diameter, the use of which we never could discover. The feathers so abundantly used as ornaments on their canoes and other articles by all these islanders, were at first taken by us for emu feathers,[Pg 218] as a matter of course, and supposed to be procured from the mainland of Australia. I was afterwards, however, induced to doubt the correctness of that supposition; and on comparing them (in company with my friend Mr. George Bennett, of Sydney,) with the feathers of the emu, in the Sydney Museum of Natural History, we found them to be totally distinct from any emu feathers. They are probably, therefore, feathers of the cassowary or some similar bird, and are derived from New Guinea instead of Australia."

Of all the islands of Torres Straits, this is the one nearest to Australia, whereof the population is apparently derived from New Guinea.

Dalrymple Island.—Native name, Damood—"The huts were by far the neatest and best erections of the kind we had yet seen. Each one occupied a quadrangular space, six to eight feet wide, and from ten to fifteen feet long. They had gable-shaped roofs, eight feet high in the centre, and sloping on each side nearly to the ground. The frame of the house was made of bamboo, and thickly covered or thatched with grass and palm-leaves; the front and back walls were also made of small bamboo sticks, upright and fastened close together, the front wall having a small triangular opening for a door, over which hung loose strips of palm leaf. The door looked into a little court-yard, of about ten feet square, in front of the house, strongly fenced with stout posts and stakes, interlaced with palm leaves and young bamboos, and accessible only by a very narrow opening between two of the strongest posts. In this court-yard was the cooking fire. The different huts and fences were rather irregularly disposed, but placed closely together, so as to leave only narrow winding passages between them. They occupied a space[Pg 219] fifty or sixty yards long by ten or fifteen broad. Behind them was the open place of meeting, on the other side of which, against an old tree was a semicircular pile or wall of dugongs' skulls about three feet high, many of which were quite fresh, but others rotting with age; in the middle of this was a conical heap of turtles' skulls in a similar state. There must, altogether have been some hundreds of skulls of each kind of animal.

"When they had conducted us into this open space, several of them seated themselves on small well-made mats, like those used by the Malay nations; and two or three went and brought a large roll of matting, at least twelve feet by six, which they spread for us to sit down on. These really well-made fabrics greatly surprised us after being accustomed to the non-manufacturing Australians. They then brought us young cocoa-nuts, tortoise-shell, and ornaments, and a great barter commenced. They gave us cocoa-nut water without waiting to receive anything for it, but for the other things they would only accept tobacco and iron implements, paying no regard to our beads and gaudy handkerchiefs. They brought us two small bananas or plaintains, but we could not see the trees on which they grew. They suffered Captain Blackwood and myself to stroll about the huts unattended, while they bartered with the boat's crew. We found in the court-yard of one hut, a ship's cabin-door, painted green, and not very old; in another a quaker gun, set upright in the ground, and the men said they saw pieces of 'Queen's line' among them. They had used pieces of iron hoops, and a long iron spike, to open the cocoa-nuts, but these they might have procured from passing vessels. The door and the wooden gun, however, must have come from a wreck.

[Pg 220]

"At the south end of the huts we came to a building much superior to, and differing from, any of the rest. It was like a Malay house unfinished, or one of their own smaller huts raised on posts to a height of six or seven feet. The point of the gable was at least fifteen feet from the ground, the roof being supported at each end by two stout posts about a yard apart, having their tops ornamented by carved grotesque faces, painted red, white, and black, with much carving and painting below. The lower part, or ground-floor, of this building was open all round except at one end, where a broad, rudely-constructed staircase led to a platform, from which went the entrance to the upper story; this was floored with stout sticks, and at this end covered with mats; this part was also partitioned off from the other by a bamboo screen. Under the roof hung old cocoa-nuts, green boughs, and other similar things, but nothing to give a decided clue to the object of the building. Whether this was their temple, their place for depositing the dead, or a chief's house, we could not make out. We, however, saw no appearance of any chief, or of one man exercising authority among them, neither could we discover any traces of religious belief or observance.[67]

"We now struck off for a walk across the island, one of the natives coming with us as a guide. Many narrow paths crossed in all directions, among shrubs and bushes, some of which resembled laurels and myrtles, in their leaves and modes of growth. Groves of lofty forest trees occurred here and there, with matted creepers and thick[Pg 221] jungle. Several trailing briars, with thorns like the European bramble, were observed; and in short, the whole vegetation had a totally different aspect from that of Australia, and a much greater resemblance to that of Europe or Asia."

These minutiæ, in the way of description of particular localities, have a value for two reasons. In the first place they are the only (or nearly the only) notices of the parts in question. In the next, the parts themselves are important as belonging to the quarters where Australia and New Guinea are nearest each other.

In the north of New Guinea, the fact that has most struck inquirers has been the apparently peculiar style of the buildings. These are of vast size, capable of containing whole families, and often raised on piles. Hence, as long as the existence of similar erections in Borneo[68] was unknown, this form of domestic architecture passed for one of the characteristics of the Negritos in opposition to the Malays. At present, its diagnostic value is considerably lowered.

Another industrial art exercised by the Kelænonesians, and (according to most writers), not exercised by the unmixed Amphinesians, is the art of pottery. How far, however, it is general on the one side, or non-existent on the other, remains for further investigations to prove. The qualification denoted by the word unmixed, will be explained when we come to the ethnology of the Fiji Islands.


[Pg 222]

These islands have been mentioned in detail for the sake of indicating the probable line of population—first towards the east, and next (backwards) to the north-west. Where any of the natives of these islands differ from one another, or from the New Guinea people, it is in having stronger limbs, lighter-coloured skins, hair more or less woolly, and faces more or less angular. All the differences, however, lie within a small compass. All the tribes, too, seem to agree in chewing the betel-nut, going naked (or nearly naked), and painting their bodies.


Natives.—Heads large, faces flat, chin prominent, mouth large, lips thin. Muscles well-marked.—Labillardière.[69]


Vocabulary.—From Port Praslin.—Voyage de l'Astrolabe.



Synonyms.—Santa Cruz, Egmont's Island.

Direction.—Nearly due east (not south) of Christoval, the most southern of the Solomon Isles.


Description from Durville.—"We have already said that the inhabitants of Vanikoro belong to the black race of the Great Ocean. They may be considered as a variety of that race of blacker colour than others, and of a conformation approaching more nearly to that of proper Negroes. They are generally small and rather meagre. What is most remarkable in their shape is an appearance of lateral compression of the temples, produced by a very arched forward protuberance of the middle part of the [Pg 223]forehead. The hair does not advance low on the forehead, and the care taken to throw it back renders all these parts very visible. The cheek-bones being salient give the face a greater developement than that of the cranium. Another character not less remarkable is the small projection of the nasal bones, which gives the nose an appearance of being flattened at its root, and to the countenance a singular resemblance to that of the orang utang. Owing to this the orbital arch, itself prominent, appears still more projecting. The nostrils are wide, and are rendered still more so by the custom of wearing a stick fixed transversely through the septum narium. The lower jaw is not remarkable. The form of the forehead causes the facial angle to be not particularly acute. The lobes of the ears are perforated by a hole large enough to pass the hand through it. The eyes are large, oval, and deeply set; the balls salient, round, and resembling in form and colour those of the Negro. The lips are large, the chin small. The lower extremities are in some instances very lean, but tolerably fleshy in others. The calf is rather high, and the heel is in many individuals remarkably projecting, a character not existing in the Polynesian race to the same extent. This is another approximation to the Negro. The hair is crisp, but although not cut, it never becomes bushed and matted. They are nearly naked. The use of the betel-nut destroys their teeth, and gives them a red tinge round the mouth. The women are horribly ugly; the old men are bald."

The position of Nitendi and Vanikoro gives them interest.

a. Although not lying due south-east of the Solomon Isles, and due north-east of the next Archipelago, they form the insular continuity between the two groups.

b. Vanikoro is the Kelænonesian Island, which, by its[Pg 224] vicinity, gives to[71] Tikopia, which is Polynesian, its peculiarity of distribution.

Lastly, although the fact be not ethnological, the Vanikoro cluster is the locality where La Perouse perished.


Particular islands—


Synonym.—Australia del Espiritu Santo.


For each of these islands we have special evidence—that of Bougainville and Cook—to the general Negrito character of the natives. In the voyages of the latter the ill-favoured monkey-like appearance of the Mallicollese is prominently mentioned.


Direction.—Continuation from Mallicollo to—


Direction.—Continuation from Api to—


Erromango Native as described by Hales.—"He was about five feet high, slender and long limbed. He had close woolly hair, and retreating arched forehead, short and scanty eyebrows, and small snub-nose, thick lips (especially the upper), a retreating chin, and that projection of the jaws and lower part of the face, which is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Negro race. His limbs and body were covered with fine short hairs, made conspicuous by their light colour. On his left side were many small round cicatrices burnt into the skin, which he said was a mode of marking common amongst his people. Placed in a crowd of African blacks, there was nothing[Pg 225] about him by which he could have been distinguished from the rest."—Vol. 6. p. 44.


A grammar of the Tanna language, the only one of the Papua division that has ever been sufficiently known to Europeans, was seen by Dr. Prichard—

"I have seen a grammar of the language of Tanna in manuscript, written by the Rev. T. Heath, a missionary, who resided in that island. It is much to be regretted that this work has not been published. From this grammar it appears that the language of Tanna is entirely distinct in character from the Polynesian. It abounds with inflections and has four numbers, viz. singular, dual, trinal, there being a particular form in the verb when three persons are spoken of, which is distinct from the plural."


The direction of the Kelænonesian Islands now changes from south-east to south-west.


With a general character like that of the islanders already mentioned, Cook states that they are better-looking than the Tanna people, and that they bury their dead like the Australians. La Billardière adds, that they are like the Van Diemen's Land natives.

The whole of the Papua area will not have been exhausted until we return to the parts described by Mr. Jukes, on the south-eastern side of New Guinea. These lead, in the way of geographical continuity, to—


Of this Island I have seen no definite account. Such notices, however, as I have met with, make the popu[Pg 226]lation what we should expect it to be—Papua-Kelænonesian.


Situation.—Eastward of the New Hebrides, the most eastern part of Kelænonesia. Westward of the Tonga Isles, the most western part of Polynesia.

The physical conformation of the Fiji natives is Negrito as well as Polynesian.

The language of the Fiji natives is more Polynesian than Negrito.

The social institutions, manners, and customs of the Fiji natives are partly Polynesian, partly Negrito, and partly neither one nor the other.

These statements, combined with their geographical position, give importance and prominence to the Fiji group of islands. Fortunately our information concerning them is not altogether disproportionate to the difficulties that they introduce. The language has been investigated by Mr. Norriss, whose trust-worthy opinion, adopted in the present work, may be found, in extenso, in the 5th volume of Prichard.

The moral and physical features are exhibited in the following extract from the American Exploring Expedition:—

"The Feejeeans are a people of the medium stature, with nearly as great variety of figure as is found in nations of the Caucasian race. The chiefs are usually tall and well formed, owing probably to the care taken of their nurture, and to the influence of blood. The common people are somewhat inferior, yet there are fewer small and ungainly figures among them than among the lower orders of Europeans. On the other hand, the Feejeeans contrast very unfavourably with their neighbours of the Polynesian stock. They lack the full rounded limbs and swelling muscles which give such elegance to the forms of the[Pg 227] Friendly and Navigators Islanders. They are generally large-jointed, and the calf is small in proportion to the thigh. The neck is also too short for due proportion, and the whole figure wants elegance and softness of outline. Their movements and attitudes are, consequently, less easy and graceful than those of the Polynesians. They are, nevertheless, a strong race; their war-clubs are ponderous, and are wielded with great power, and they can carry very heavy burdens.

"The Feejeean physiognomy differs from that of the Polynesians, not so much in any particular feature, as in a general debasement of the whole, and a decided approximation towards the forms characteristic of the Negro race. The head is usually broad in the occipital region (which they consider a great beauty), and narrows towards the top and in front,—the forehead, though often of good height, appearing compressed at the sides. The eyes are black and set rather deep, but never obliquely. The nose is not large, and is generally a good deal flattened; the nostrils are often larger laterally than forwards, and the nose is then much depressed at the upper part between the eyes. The mouth is wide, and the lips, particularly the upper one, thick. The chin varies, but is most commonly short and broad. The jaws are larger, and the lower part of the face far more prominent than in the Malay race. The cheek-bones, also, project forwards as in the Negro, and not laterally, as in the Mongol variety; notwithstanding which, the narrowness of the forehead at the temples gives a greater width to the face at the malar portion than elsewhere. The whole face is longer and thinner than among the Polynesians. The hair is neither straight nor woolly, but may be properly designated as frizzled. When allowed to grow without interference, it appears in nume[Pg 228]rous spiral locks, eight or ten inches in length, spreading out on all sides of the head. Sometimes these curls are seen much longer, falling down to the middle of the back. It is, however, very seldom allowed to grow naturally. The young boys have it cut very close, and sometimes shaved to the skin, like the Tahitians. In girls, before marriage, it is allowed to grow long, and is coloured white by washing it with a solution of lime, except a portion around the crown, which is plastered with a black pigment. After marriage, it is either cut to the length of one or two inches, or frizzled out like that of the men: in both cases it is frequently soaked in colouring liquids, either red or black. The men in general have their hair dressed so as to form an immense semiglobular mass, covering the top, back, and sides of the head. The arrangement of this chevelure is performed for the chiefs by professional barbers, and is a work of great labour. Six hours are sometimes occupied in dressing a head; and the process is repeated at intervals of two or three weeks. It is probably to guard against disarranging this work that the piece of bamboo which is placed under the neck in sleeping is employed, instead of the ordinary pillow. For the same purpose the natives usually wear, during the day, a sala or kerchief, of very thin gauze-like paper cloth, which is thrown over the hair and tied closely around the head, so as to have very much the appearance of a turban.

"The colour of the Feejeeans is a chocolate-brown, or a hue mid-way between the jet-black of the Negro, and the brownish yellow of the Polynesian. There are, however, two shades very distinctly marked, like the blonde and brunette complexions in the white race; besides all the intermediate gradations. In one of these shades the brown predominates, and in the other the copper. They do not[Pg 229] belong to distinct castes or classes, but are found indiscriminately among all ranks and in all tribes. The natives are aware of the distinction, and call the lighter coloured people, Viti ndamundamu, "red Feejeeans;" but they do not seem to regard it as anything which requires or admits of explanation. These red-skinned natives must not be confounded with the Tonga-Viti, or individuals of mixed Tongan and Feejeean blood, of whom there are many on some parts of the group."

Their ferocious and suspicious character is described in very unfavourable terms; to which it may be added, that their cannibalism is undoubted, and that they are skilful in the art of pottery—a fact of which the import has already been noticed.

The problem that is suggested by the intermediate character of the Fijis is manifest: it is the question as to whether we have intermixture or transition. Further notice, however, of this point, will stand over until the next divisions have been disposed of.



Physical appearance.—Kelænonesians with hair generally straight, or waved, sometimes frizzy.

Fauna.—Absence of ruminants and pachydermata.

Divisions.—1. Australians. 2. Tasmanians(?).

The differences between the different Australian languages have long been known and definitely insisted upon.

Less marked differences in frame and physiognomy between the different Australian tribes, have also been long known and definitely insisted upon.

Differences of customs and manners have been similarly noticed and considered. Notwithstanding all this, however, there is no opinion more generally admitted than the fundamental unity of the Australian population from[Pg 230] Swan River to Botany Bay, from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Bass's Straits. Captain Grey, Schurman, Teichelman, and all who have devoted average attention to the language, have given their evidence to this; and they have supplied facts of various kinds, of their own collection, towards the proof of it. No man is less inclined to disturb this view than the present writer. In the Fourth Number of the Philological Transactions,[72] he enumerated the whole of the vocabularies then known to him, and added some short lists of the words wherein the more distant ones agreed with each other. Thus a scanty vocabulary from the Gulf of Carpentaria, which had seventeen words in common with one from Endeavour River, had three (perhaps four) identical.

Eye meal meul.
Hair marra morye.
Fingers mingel mungal bah.

As the Endeavour River was the nearest point to the Gulf of Carpentaria from which we possessed a vocabulary, the circumstance that no more than three words out of seventeen coincided, was a good measure of the extent to which the Australian dialects exhibited the phænomenon of difference. Still the likeness, as far as it went, was a fact to be admitted on the other side. Now, if we go round the whole coast of Australia, and compare the vocabulary from one point with the vocabulary of the next known locality to it, we shall find that, allowing for difference of distance, the similarity or dissimilarity is, there or thereabouts, the similarity or dissimilarity between the two vocabularies just mentioned, i.e., that the former is shown by the identity between a few funda[Pg 231]mental terms, the latter by a discrepancy between the majority.

The comparison, however, of contiguous dialects—gives but one series of facts. It merely shows that we can go all round the island, and find that, of three dialects compared, the last shall have a partial agreement with the second; by no means showing that such (or, indeed, that any) similarity shall exist between the third and first. Nevertheless, for philological reasoning, such a similarity as the last is required. This we get at by two methods,—firstly, by comparing the vocabularies of distant points; secondly, by taking one, or more, particular vocabularies, and comparing them with some, or all, of the others en masse. By each of these processes, applied to Australian languages, we arrive at the same conclusion. The second will be considered in the sequel. A simple instance of the first is, that out of sixty words from Jervis's Bay, compared with sixty from Gulf St. Vincent, the following coincide:

Forehead holo ioullo.
Man mika meio.
Milk awanham ammenhalo.
Tongue talen talein.
Hand maramale malla.
Nipple amgnann amma.
Nails berenou pere.

Premising now, that (as all the published grammars exhibit an agglutinate structure) the evidence taken from the grammatical character of the Australian languages is confirmatory rather than derogatory to the evidence taken from the comparison of vocabularies, we come to a fourth class of facts, viz., the extent to which two or more Australian dialects agree or disagree with some third language or class of languages; and as this involves the still more general question of the external relations of the[Pg 232] Australian languages as a class, its consideration will be deferred for the present. At present it is sufficient to say that it is affirmative to a fundamental unity of tongue.

The kind of evidence from which we predicate this unity, is evidently of a cumulative kind; and it is merely the statement of its being of this sort that has been laid before the reader: the details would require either a larger volume than the present, or a special monograph. It may also be added, that as the Australian tribes differ more from one another in language than in any other respect, it is the philological portion of their ethnography that presents the most difficulties.

In respect to their manners, morals, and social customs, the similarity, lying less below the surface than it does with respect to their languages, has drawn less attention on the part of investigators. Still the way in which it shows itself is the same. Two neighbouring tribes shall differ more than two distant ones: so that similar customs shall re-appear in distant localities.

As to the physical conformation of the Australians, I believe that it is so uniform throughout the island, that it has never been made the basis of a division;—indeed I am inclined to believe that (like the dissimilarity of language) the similarity of external appearance has been over-rated; nevertheless, it is certain that there are deviations from the general slim and underfed condition of the body; and (what is of more importance), from the usual straight character of the hair. Such is the case, according to Mr. Earle, with the trepang fishers of Arnhem Bay who are bulky men, with broad chests, the lower extremities being but indifferently formed, and the crooked shin being common. Then as to the hair—with the Jaako, or Croker Island tribe, it is coarse and bushy (the whiskers being thick,[Pg 233] and curly) and so short, crisp, and abundant about the breast and shoulders as to conceal the skin; whereas on the other hand, the Oitbo, or Bidjenelumbo, have straight silky hair, arched eyebrows, fair complexion, and occasionally the oblique eye.

The lowest form of humanity has been sought for in Australia, whilst the physical condition of the country and the absence of those animals and herbs that supply human food, have made it a likely quarter to exhibit it. Whether, however, so low a rank in scale of human development be, upon the whole, a fact or exaggeration, it is certain that, upon several points, there has been considerable overstatement. One sample of this sort is the accredited opinion as to the absolute incapacity of the Australian of forming even the rudest elements of a mythology—an opinion which engenders the notion that their intellects are too sluggish for even the evolution of a superstition.

That this was not the case was indicated some years back by Captain Gray, and that there is some exponent of the religious feeling in the shape of a rude form of shamanism, has been shown in the account of the American Exploring Expedition; where the first[73] published details of the Australian mythology, if so it may be called, are to be found—"It is not true, however, as has been frequently asserted, that the natives have no idea of a Supreme Being, although they do not allow this idea to influence their actions. The Wellington Tribes, at least, believe in the existence of a Deity called Baiamai, who lives on an island beyond the great sea to the East. His food is fish, which come up to him from the water when he calls to them. Some of the natives consider him the maker of all things, while others attribute the creation of[Pg 234] the world to his son Burambin. They say of him, that Baiamai spoke, and Burambin came into existence. When the missionaries first came to Wellington, the natives used to assemble once a year, in the month of February, to dance and sing a song in honour of Baiamai. This song was brought there from a distance by strange natives, who went about teaching it. Those who refused to join in the ceremony were supposed to incur the displeasure of the god. For the last three years the custom has been discontinued. In the tribe on Hunter's River, there was a native famous for the composition of these songs or hymns; which, according to Mr. Threlkeld, were passed from tribe to tribe, to a great distance, till many of the words became at last unintelligible to those who sang them.

"Dararwirgal, a brother of Baiamai, lives in the far west. It was he who lately sent the small-pox among the natives, for no better reason than that he was vexed for want of a tomahawk. But now he is supposed to have obtained one, and the disease will come no more. The Bálumbal are a sort of angels, who are said to be of a white colour, and to live on a mountain at a great distance to the south-east: their food is honey, and their employment is to do good 'like the Missionaries.'

"It is possible that some of these stories owe their origin to intercourse with the whites, though the great unwillingness which the natives always evince to adopt any customs or opinions from them, militates against such a supposition. But a being who is, beyond question, entirely the creation of Australian imagination, is one who is called in the Wellington dialect, Wandong; though the natives have learned from the whites to apply to him the name of devil. He is an object not of worship, but merely of superstitious dread. They describe him as going about under the form of a[Pg 235] black man of superhuman stature and strength. He prowls at night through the woods around the encampments of the natives, seeking to entrap some unwary wanderer, whom he will seize upon; and, having dragged him to his fire, will there roast and devour him. They attribute all their afflictions to his malevolence. If they are ill, they say Wandong has bitten them. No one can see this being but the núrjargir, or conjurors, who assert that they can kill him, but that he always returns to life. He may, however, be frightened away by throwing fire at him (though this statement seems inconsistent with that respecting his invisibility), and no native will go out at night without a firebrand to protect him from the demon.

"There is some difference in the accounts given of this character. By the tribe of Hunter's River he is called Koin or Koen. Sometimes, when the Blacks are asleep, he makes his appearance, seizes upon one of them and carries him off. The person seized endeavours in vain to cry out, being almost strangled. At daylight, however, Koin disappears, and the man finds himself conveyed safely to his own fireside. From this it would appear that the demon is here a sort of personification of the nightmare,—a visitation to which the natives, from their habits of gorging themselves to the utmost when they obtain a supply of food, must be very subject.

"At the Muruya River the devil is called Túlugal. He was described to us, by a native, as a black man of great stature, grizzled with age, who has very long legs, so that he soon overtakes a man; but very short arms, which brings the contest nearer an equality. This goblin has a wife who is much like himself; but still more feared, being of a cruel disposition, with a cannibal appetite, especially for young children. It would hardly be worth while to[Pg 236] dwell upon these superstitions, but that they seem to characterise so distinctly the people, at once timid, ferocious, and stupid, who have invented them.

"Their opinions with regard to the soul vary: some assert that the whole man dies at once, and nothing is left of him; others are of opinion that his spirit still survives, but upon this earth, either as a wandering ghost, or in a state of metempsychosis, animating a bird or other inferior creature. But the most singular belief is one which is found at both Port Stephens and Swan River, places separated by the whole breadth of the Australian continent. This is, that white people are merely blacks who have died, passed to a distant country, and having there undergone a transformation, have returned to their original homes. When the natives see a white man who strongly resembles one of their deceased friends, they give him the name of the dead person, and consider him to be actually the same being."

It is difficult to take an exact measure of the extent to which one superstition is grosser than another;—hence, all that can be said respecting the Pantheon, of which Baiamai and Wandong are portions, is that it is as low in the scale of mythologies as any that has fallen under the notice of the writer. Still, those of the Blacks of the Malaccan Peninsula, of Madagascar, and of parts of Africa, are much on the same level.

No sound of s in the Australian languages.—The distribution of the different elementary articulations over the different languages of the earth, has not been sufficiently studied to enable us to predicate anything concerning the absence or presence of particular sounds, as a measure of the perfection or imperfection of human speech; nevertheless, it is clear that the power of pronouncing a number of[Pg 237] elementary sounds sufficient to allow of that difference between word and word, which is necessary for clear and precise language, is one of the great conditions of articulate and distinct speech; and hence, a language of which the elementary sounds are too few, or one wherein the power of combining them to their full extent, is wanting, is the exponent of a low degree of humanity. Still more so would one be wherein a large proportion of the sounds is inarticulate—like the sound of the letter h in English, which is a mere breathing rather than a true articulation. In respect to this latter class of facts, the admission of inarticulate elements of speech, there are two only in the whole range of language; one of which is so common as to occur in almost all the dialects of the world, the other is so rare as to be found in one class of tongues only. These are, the power of h as already stated, and the peculiar click which will be noticed in the languages of Southern Africa.

The inability to combine articulations, which, when taken singly, are sufficiently easy of pronunciation, is another sign of deficiency of power over language, as an instrument, or medium, and, in some form or other, it is a common phænomenon; e.g., the sound of s, and the sound of[74]tsh, are pronounceable enough when taken singly; since we can say shest, and we can say tshest. The combination, however, of stsh is difficult—at least to English organs. There is none such in our language; yet it is a favourite juxtaposition in the Slavonic tongues. Again, to a person unused to comparative philology, it may seem strange to be told that in the Finlandic dialects the combination of any two consonants in the same syllable, is rare: and that such words as stab, &c., in order to become pronounceable must be converted into setab, or estab, &c. Yet this[Pg 238] inability to combine consonants with one another is, perhaps, the rule rather than the exception in language.

Again, without admitting the notion of an aristocracy amongst the elements of the alphabet, and calling sounds like r and s the noble letters, just as gold and silver are designated as the noble metals, we may ask whether their absence in some of the more uncivilized languages, is not a fact of some import in the natural history of Man. It seems so to the present writer.[75]

These episodical observations, however, form a long prelude to a very simple fact, viz.: that, as far as we are enabled to make a negative statement, the sound of s, wanting in many of the Polynesian dialects, is wanting in all the Australian ones.

Incomplete numeration of the Australians.—The import of an Australian having no more than the three, four, or five first numerals, and being thereby as unable to count the number of the fingers of his hands, as that of the hair of his head, is less equivocal. It speaks, at once, to a minimum amount of intellectual power. Nevertheless, the same inability occurs elsewhere; especially in certain languages of South America. The only vocabulary of Australia, where the numerals run beyond five, is that of King George's Sound, as given in Mitchell's Australia.

The political constitution (if so it can be called) of the Australians is preeminently simple, exhibiting a society of families rather than of tribes; and one of the facts connected with the evidence in favour of the unity of the Australian division of mankind is the remarkable distribution of families bearing the same name. The principal of[Pg 239] these are the Ballaroke, the Tdondarup, the Ngotok, the Nagarnook, the Nogonyuk, the Mongalung, and the Narrangar.[76] Now, persons bearing one or the other of these names, may be found in parts of the country five hundred miles apart. Nor does this appear to be the effect of migration, since each tribe is limited by the jealousy of its neighbours to its own hunting-ground, beyond which it seldom passes.

Polygamy, in Australia, is what we find and expect to find. The practice of circumcision is what we find, perhaps, without expecting it. The habit of the children taking the name of the mother, will occur again in the south of India. The rule that a man cannot marry a woman of his own family-name will also re-appear, and that amongst the Indians of North America.

The Kobong[76]—"Each family among the Australians, adopts some animal or plant, as a kind of badge or armorial emblem, or, as they call it, its kobong. A certain mysterious connection exists between a family and its kobong, so that a member of the family will not kill an animal, or pluck any plant of the species to which his kobong belongs, except under particular circumstances. This institution again, which in some respect resembles the Polynesian tabú, though founded on a different principle, has its counterpart in the customs of the native Americans. Captain Gray observes, citing Mr. Gallatin, that among the Hurons,[77] the first tribe is that of the bear; the two others, those of the wolf and turtle. The Iroquois have the same divisions, and the turtle family is divided into the great and little turtle. The Sioux are named on a similar principle. According to Major Long, one part of the superstition of these [Pg 240]savages, consists in each man having some totem, or favourite spirit, which he believes to watch over him. The totem assumes the shape of some beast, and therefore they never kill or eat the animal whose form they suppose their totem to bear."

"The ceremony of initiation.—When the boys arrive at the age of puberty (or about fourteen), the elders of a tribe prepare to initiate them into the duties and privileges of manhood. Suddenly, at night, a dismal cry is heard in the woods, which the boys are told is the Bubu calling for them. Thereupon all the men of the tribe (or rather of the neighbourhood) set off for some secluded spot previously fixed upon, taking with them the youths who are to undergo the ceremony. The exact nature of this is not known, except that it consists of superstitious rites, of dances representing the various pursuits in which men are engaged, of sham fights, and trials designed to prove the self-possession, courage, and endurance of the neophytes. It is certain, however, that there is some variation in the details of the ceremony, in different places; for among the coast tribes, one of these is the knocking out of an upper front tooth, which is not done at Wellington, and farther in the interior. But the nature and object of the institution appear to be everywhere the same. Its design unquestionably is, to imprint upon the mind of the young man, the rules by which his future life is to be regulated; and some of these are so striking, and, under the circumstances, so admirable, that one is inclined to ascribe them to some higher state of mental cultivation than now prevails among the natives. Thus, the young men, from the time they are initiated, till they are married, are forbidden to approach or speak to a female. They must[Pg 241] encamp at a distance from them at night, and if they see one in the way, must make a long detour to avoid her. Mr. Watson told me that he had often been put to great inconvenience in travelling through the woods, with a young man for his guide, as such a one could never be induced to approach an encampment where there were any women. The moral intent of this regulation is evident.

"Another rule requires the young men to pay implicit obedience to their elders. As there is no distinction of rank among them, it is evident that some authority of this kind is required, to preserve the order and harmony of social intercourse.

"A third regulation restricts the youth to certain articles of diet. They are not allowed to eat fish, or eggs, or the emu, or any of the finer kinds of opossum and kangaroo. In short, their fare is required to be of the coarsest and most meagre description. As they grow older, the restrictions are removed, one after another; but it is not till they have passed the period of middle age that they are entirely unrestrained in the choice of food. Whether one purpose of this law be to accustom the young men to a hardy and simple style of living may be doubted; but its prime object and its result certainly are to prevent the young men from possessing themselves, by their superior strength and agility, of all the more desirable articles of food, and leaving only the refuse to the elders.

"2. The ceremony of marriage, which, among most nations, is considered so important and interesting, is with this people one of the least regarded. The woman is looked upon as an article of property, and is sold or given away by her relatives without the slightest consideration of her own pleasure. In some cases she is betrothed, or rather[Pg 242] promised, to her future husband in the childhood of both; and in this case, as soon as they arrive at a proper age, the young man claims and receives her. Some of them have four or five wives, and in such a case, they will give one to a friend who may happen to be destitute. Notwithstanding this apparent laxity, they are very jealous, and resent any freedom taken with their wives. Most of their quarrels relate to women. In some cases, the husband who suspects another native of seducing his wife, either kills or severely injures one or both of them. Sometimes the affair is taken up by the tribe, who inflict punishment after their own fashion. The manner of this is another of the singularities of their social system.

"3. When a native, for any transgression, incurs the displeasure of his tribe, their custom obliges him to "stand punishment," as it is called; that is, he stands with a shield, at a fair distance, while the whole tribe, either simultaneously or in rapid succession, cast their spears at him. Their expertness generally enables those who are exposed to this trial to escape without serious injury, though instances occasionally happen of a fatal result. There is a certain propriety even in this extraordinary punishment, as it is very evident that the accuracy and force with which the weapons are thrown will depend very much upon the opinion entertained of the enormity of the offence.

"When the quarrel is between two persons only, and the tribe declines to interfere, it is sometimes settled by a singular kind of duello. The parties meet in presence of their kindred and friends, who form a circle round them as witnesses and umpires. They stand up opposite one another, armed each with a club about two feet long. The injured person has the right of striking the first blow, to[Pg 243] receive which the other is obliged to extend his head forward, with the side turned partially upwards. The blow is inflicted with a force commensurate with the vindictive feeling of the avenger. A white man, with an ordinary cranium, would be killed outright, but, owing to the great thickness of their skulls, this seldom happens with the natives. The challenged party now takes his turn to strike, and the other is obliged to place himself in the same posture of convenience. In this way the combat is continued, with alternate buffets, until one of them is stunned, or the expiation is considered satisfactory.

"4. What are called wars among them may more properly be considered duels (if this word may be so applied) between two parties of men. One or more natives of a certain part of the country, considering themselves aggrieved by the acts of others in another part, assemble their neighbours to consult with them concerning the proper course to be pursued. The general opinion having been declared for war, a messenger or ambassador is sent to announce their intention to the opposite party. These immediately assemble their friends and neighbours, and all prepare for the approaching contest. In some cases, the day is fixed by the messenger, in others not; but, at all events, the time is well understood.

"The two armies (usually from fifty to two hundred each) meet, and after a great deal of mutual vituperation, the combat commences. From their singular dexterity in avoiding or parrying the missiles of their adversaries, the engagement usually continues a long time without any fatal result. When a man is killed (and sometimes before), a cessation takes place; another scene of recrimination, abuse, and explanation ensues, and the affair commonly terminates. All hostility is at an end, and the two parties[Pg 244] mix amicably together, bury the dead, and join in a general dance.

"5. One cause of hostility among them, both public and private, is the absurd idea which they entertain, that no person dies a natural death. If a man perishes of disease, at a distance from his friends, his death is supposed to have been caused by some sorcerer of another tribe, whose life must be taken for satisfaction. If, on the other hand, he dies among his kindred, the nearest relative is held responsible. A native of the tribe at Hunter's River, who served me as a guide, had not long before beaten his own mother nearly to death, in revenge for the loss of his brother, who died while under her cure. This was not because he had any suspicions of her conduct, but merely in obedience to the requirements of a senseless custom."[78]

In the notice of the physical appearance of the natives of Waigiú and Rawack (p. 212), the statement that the molar portion of the alveolar arch is thick, is printed in Italics. This was for the sake of preparing the reader for an observation of Professor Owen's upon a peculiarity of the structure of the teeth of the tribes in question.

a. In the second upper molar, the connate character of the lateral fangs, which is common in Europeans, is extremely exceptional in Australians.

b. In the third upper molar three separate and well-developed fangs, exceptional with the European, are normal with the Australian.


Area.—Van Dieman's Land.

Physical appearance.—Negritos, with curly, frizzy, or woolly hair; i.e., with the character of the Papua, but not within the Papua geographical area.

[Pg 245]

The native population is nearly extinct; and but few specimens exist of their language.

Fig. 8.

It fell into, at least, four dialects—mutually unintelligible: probably into more.

Writers who are not, otherwise, over-prone to exaggerate differences, have separated the Tasmanians from the Australians; and this arrangement is followed in the present work. The physical difference is chiefly that of the hair. The language, as far as the imperfect vocabularies have allowed me to examine it, has fewer affinities with the[Pg 246] southern dialects of Australia than even the known amount of dissimilarity between fundamentally allied languages prepares us for.

Furthermore—it was my impression, that such philological affinities as existed were with New Caledonia rather than Australia. If so, the philology and the physical appearance go together; and the Tasmanian population came round Australia rather than across it.

The present position, therefore, of the Tasmanians is provisional.

Necdum finitus Orestes.—There are two other Negrito localities; which, geographically speaking, are scarcely Amphinesian, and not at all Kelænonesian. From the latter area they lie wholly apart. With the Protonesian portion of Amphinesia they are less disconnected; indeed they seem, at first, to form a prolongation of the northern extremity of Sumatra.

I allude to two groups in the portion of the Bay of Bengal, on the Siamese side, almost parallel with the line of the continent, and forming a series of stepping-stones from Cape Negrais, in the Môn country, to the Malay island of Sumatra.

These are—1. The Andaman Islands. 2. The Nicobar Islands.


Native name of the inhabitants.—Mincopie.

Nearest point of the Continent.—Cape Negrais.

Language.—Apparently not monosyllabic. Not considered to be Protonesian.

Native Fauna.—Rats, hogs, dogs.

Religion and habits.—Pagan cannibals.—Lieutenant Colebrook's Asiatic Researches, vol. iv.

Physical appearance.—Colour extremely dark, perhaps black. Heads woolly, lips thick, noses flat. Stature small, limbs ill-formed and slender, bellies prominent.

[Pg 247]

Little as the Andamans, from the ferocious character of the inhabitants, are known, they are noticed by the Arabian travellers of the twelfth century, and also by Marco Polo; the early accounts being quite as unfavourable as the late ones. "Angaman is a very large island, not governed by a king. The inhabitants are idolators, and are a most brutish and savage race, having heads, eyes, and teeth resembling those of the canine species. Their dispositions are cruel, and every person, not being of their own nation, whom they can lay hands on, they kill and eat."—Marco Polo, Marsden's Translation.


Locality.—Between the Andamans and Sumatra.

Nicobar.—Inhabitants copper-coloured, with oblique eyes, yellowish sclerotica, small flat noses, large mouth, thick lips, and black teeth; undersized. Hair strong and black; beard scanty. Ears large and perforated. Occipito-frontal profile brakhykephalic, the hinder part of the head being flat and compressed.

The Nicobars are the people who, from the year A.D. 1647, until a recent period, had the credit of having tails, like those of cats, which they moved in a similar manner. This arose from a mistake of Keoping, a Swede, who mistook for a caudal appendance a stripe of cloth hanging down behind. That there is no real prolongation of the os coccygis is expressly stated by Fontana. The people now supposed to present this anatomical peculiarity are a tribe from the interior of Africa.

The evidence of Keoping as to the cannibalism of the Nicobarians is more conclusive than his assertion as to their tails. Having "sent a boat on shore with five men, who did not return at night, as expected, the day following a[Pg 248] larger boat was sent, well manned, in quest of their companions, who, it was supposed, had been devoured by the savages, their bones having been found strewed on the shore, the boat taken to pieces, and the iron of it carried away."

Their huts are raised from the ground, and entered by a ladder; inhabited by more families than one, and ornamented with boar-skulls. Marriages are easily formed, and easily dissolved.[79] The dead are buried; and for every person that dies a cocoa-nut tree is cut down; and his name is never afterwards mentioned.

The changes of the moon are productive of their great festivities; and it is by these only that they reckon; seven to each monsoon. At the beginning of the north-east monsoon a brisk trade, carried on by means of large canoes, begins with the other islands. The extent of this, and the amount to which it has introduced European articles of commerce is considerable; indeed, in the Carnicobar Island the Portuguese has partially become a lingua franca.

The habit of artificially flattening the back of the head is of more importance. It is a custom "to compress with their hands the occiput of the new-born child, in order to render it flat. By this method the hair remains close to the head; as nature intended it, and the upper fore-teeth very prominent out of the mouth." This is, apparently, so exclusively an American custom that its presence here is remarkable; and it is equally remarkable that the only other approach to it, is to be found in these parts. It is mentioned as being a practice of certain Arakan tribes.

The most characteristic disease is the Cochin-leg, a form[Pg 249] of elephantiasis; arising, perhaps, from the extent to which their aliment is either fish or pork, to the exclusion of other sorts of animal food. Instances, too, of longevity, are said to be rare.

Malabar and Bengal settlers to a considerable extent make the Nicobarians a mixed, rather than a pure population.

Carnicobar.—Inhabitants well made, but undersized, with Malay features.

Chowry.[80]—South of Carnicobar. Trade between the Chowrians and Carnicobarians; the former selling canoes, the latter cloth.

Nancowry is described by Marco Polo, as being under the government of no king, the people being "little removed from the condition of brutes, all of them both males and females going naked, without a covering to any part of the body. They are idolators."[81]

One of the most remarkable of their customs is the way in which they celebrate the anniversary of the burial of any near relation, when "their houses are decorated with garlands of flowers, fruits, and branches of trees. The people of each village assemble, dressed in their best attire, at the principal house in the place, where they spend the day in a convivial manner; the men, sitting apart from the women, smoke tobacco and intoxicate themselves, while the latter are nursing their children, and employed in preparations for the mournful business of the night. At a certain hour of the afternoon, announced by striking the coung, the women set up the most dismal howls and lamentations, which they continue without intermission till about sunset; when the whole party gets up, and walks in procession to the burying-ground. Arrived at the place, they [Pg 250]form a circle around one of the graves, when the stake, planted exactly over the head of the corpse, is pulled up. The woman who is nearest of kin to the deceased, steps out from the crowd, digs up the skull, and draws it up with her hands. At sight of the bones, her strength seems to fail her; she shrieks, she sobs, and tears of anguish abundantly fall to the mouldering object of her pious care. She clears it from the earth, scrapes off the festering flesh, and laves it plentifully with the milk of fresh coco-nuts, supplied by the bystanders; after which she rubs it over with an infusion of saffron, and wraps it carefully in a piece of new cloth. It is then deposited again in the earth, and covered up; the stake is replanted, and hung with the various trappings and implements belonging to the deceased. They proceed then to the other graves, and the whole night is spent in repetitions of these dismal and disgustful rites."[82]

By referring to p. 209, the reader will find that three questions connected with the distribution of the Polynesians—and, through them, with that of the Oceanic tribes, altogether stand over for consideration; these being—

A. The general question, as to their origin and distribution in respect to their connection with the Continent, and with each other. B. The date of the migrations. C. The inferences to be drawn from the existence of a darker-coloured population in areas more especially belonging to the brown and olive-coloured tribes.

A. Connection with the Continent of (1) The Kelænonesians, (2) The Polynesians.

1. A. Of the Papua Kelænonesians.-The Papuans of New Guinea are, more probably, a continuation of the popula[Pg 251]tion of the Eastern Moluccas than aught else. This is what their geographical position indicates; and (such being the case) it is the primâ facie doctrine. At the same time, they are a continuation of the black or black-like portion of the Moluccan area, rather than of the Mahometan Malays. The chief difference lies in the texture of the hair, a difference which has, most likely, been over-rated.

B. Of the Australian Kelænonesians.—The a priori view as to the source of the Australian population is complicated, as may be understood by looking at the distance between Cape York and New Guinea on one side, and that between Cape Van Dieman and Timor on the other. The difference in breadth between the interspaces of ocean in these two parts is nearly the same: that, however, of Torres Straits is the smaller;—besides which, there is a numerous series of islands which would serve as stepping-stones to emigrants from New Guinea; assuming that to be the line. Now as it is a general rule to derive the population of islands forming part of a series from the nearest inhabited point between the area under consideration and the Continent, unless reasons can be shown to the contrary, the apparent primâ facie view is in favour of the south of New Guinea having peopled the north of Australia. Nevertheless, it not only is highly probable that such is not the case, but it is by no means certain that, all conditions considered, it is a correct view even a priori. In many instances those reasons for believing that one particular island has supplied a population to another, which are based on the principle of simple contiguity, are modified by the relations of the supposed immediate source of population to the supposed remote one; in which case, although the land and sea conditions between the two[Pg 252] last links of the chain may be of the most favourable kind, those between the last link but one and the first, may be the contrary. Thus, in the case before us, the fact of Torres Straits being the narrowest portion of Ocean between Australia and the inhabited land, on the side of the continent next to it, taken by itself, constitutes a reason for deriving the Australians from the Papuans. It is complicated, however, by the circumstance of the line between New Guinea and the Continent being by no means of the most direct and straightforward sort. Hence, if there were any other point of inhabited land which should at one and the same time be not much farther from some part of Australia than New Guinea is from Cape York, and much nearer the remote source (assumed to be on the Continent) of the Australian population, such a locality would divide with New Guinea the claims for having been the immediate origin of the occupants of the great island in question; inasmuch as the slight difference between the favourable conditions of one kind, would counterbalance the preponderating conditions of another.

Now such a locality is really found in the case before us in the relations already noticed between the north-east point of Timor and Cape Van Diemen; so that, upon the whole, the a priori views are as much in favour of the Timor range of islands, being the connecting link between Australia and the Continent, as they are in favour of New Guinea being so.

The distinction just indicated is of more importance, as illustrative of a general principle, than as a fact affecting the particular point in question. The special facts of the case are, in the mind of the present writer, in favour of Timor and not New Guinea, having been the quarter[Pg 253] from whence Australia was peopled, the particular part of the Timorian stock being, of course, the darker, wilder, and, apparently, more ancient tribes of the west and of the interior.

2. Of the Polynesians.—In investigating the relations between Polynesia and the Continent, with an exclusive view to the land-and-sea conditions between the different portions of the connecting series of islands, we should at once derive the population of the Eastern Archipelagoes from the islands which lay nearest to them on the west, and so proceed until we came to the Samoan Archipelago, to the Tonga group, or to the Fijis. These we should connect with the New Hebrides, or Solomon's Isles, and these last with New Guinea, the Moluccas, and the Continent. We should then assume a spread of the population, as far to the North and East as it had been found to occur westwards; and so derive the Micronesians from the northern Polynesians. We should not be afraid of even deriving the people of the Pelew Islands from the same quarter; the similarity of language and habits having already been recognised, and the distance between the Pelews and the nearest portion of Protonesia being greater than (or at least as great as) any interspace of ocean between Polynesia and the Continent. I say that this is what we should do if we looked exclusively to the discovery of that line of connexion where the land-and-sea conditions should be the most favourable; in other words, where the interspaces of sea should be the smallest. Nevertheless, in so doing we should, probably, commit an error in our inference, and certainly violate a principle in our method; a principle which has been suggested in a previous[83] part of the present Volume, and[Pg 254] which is founded upon the circumstance of the population of the line of the Papuan Islands, being not Amphinesian but Negrito: so that the ethnological continuity, and the geographical continuity, disagree; a fact which throws us upon a line of greater geographical, but of less ethnological complexity; and in favour of which the probabilities arise out of a composition of the conflicting difficulties. This is the line from either the Philippines, or the northern Moluccas to the Pelews (via Lord North's Isle, Sonsoral, or Johannes I.), the cluster of Goulou, the cluster of Yap, the Egoy Isles, the Lamoursek and Satawal groups; the Proper Caroline group, the Chains of Ralik, and Radak, the Tarawan group, the Navigators' Isles or Samoan Archipelago.

Now the Samoan Archipelago is very nearly the point from which we should have derived the proper Polynesian population, had we taken the course of the Papuan islands; so that it constitutes a point wherein the two lines meet. Hence, if upon historical, philological, or any other points of external evidence, we gave a preference to the Samoan Archipelago, over the Tonga group, as the source of the population for other parts of Polynesia Proper, we should reduce the general question as to the original of South Pacific islanders to that of the origin of the Samoans. This, however, is a matter of detail, of less importance than the recognition of the necessity of making the geographical continuity of the chain which connects the Polynesians with the Continent, agree with the ethnological. This can only be done by deriving the Polynesian population from Micronesia. In this case the stream of migration goes round the Kelænonesian area, and not across it.

The rule of taking, as lines of insular migration, those[Pg 255] series where the maximum interspaces of ocean are the smallest, has already been twice insisted on, and in both cases it has been qualified by the indication of particular reasons, which might, in certain cases, lead us to depart from it. These reasons have not been exhibited in detail. Two sorts, however, of them have occurred, as it were spontaneously, i.e., in the natural course of our investigations. These showed themselves, first in the preference given to Timor over New Guinea, as the origin of the Australian population; and next, in the case of Polynesia, just discussed. A third sort will now present itself, i.e., the effect of winds and currents; since it is clear that it is easier to pass over a large interspace of sea with wind and current (one or both) in your favour, than over a small one with either one or both against you.

The prevailing winds in the Pacific are against a line of insular migration, being from west to east, at all; since for three fourths of the year they blow from America towards Amphinesia rather than from Amphinesia to America.

Valeat quantum. All that can possibly be got would be a chance of three to one in favour of an American origin for the Polynesians, provided that all other conditions were equal. But this is not the case; the a priori probabilities are neutralized by a vast difference in the maximum interspaces of ocean, and by the non-American character of both Micronesia and Polynesia.

It is most likely, then, that Polynesia Proper was peopled from Micronesia, and Micronesia from either the Philippines or the Moluccas.

C. The date of the migrations. This is either relative or absolute: relative when we ascertain whether one division of the Oceanic populations migrated before or[Pg 256] after another; absolute when we fix the chronological date of a migration. As a general rule the latter is unattainable—Iceland and a few other areas, peopled within the historical period, forming the exceptions.

Respecting, then, the absolute date of the Polynesian migration, there is no reason why it should not be known in particular islands; for instance, in the Dangerous Archipelago, where only a small proportion of the clusters is peopled even at present, any given island may receive a population so late as this, the eleventh hour of the extension of the human species; yet it is evident that the knowledge of such a migration would throw but little light upon the broader question of the date of the Polynesian population en masse. Of this it may safely be said, that no important group has received its first occupants within the Polynesian historical period. This, however, is but a short one.

Will the longer range of the traditionary period supply any such information? I think not. Nevertheless it must be added, that in Nukahiva pedigrees run up to the eighty-fifth generation, the founders of them being connected with the first occupancy of the island. Even, however, if we admit so long a genealogy as an historical fact, it only gives the date for one particular island.

Proper ethnological reasoning is, from its very nature, inapplicable to the investigation of a definite epoch in chronology; since it only begins where the evidence of testimony ends. Furthermore, it is only approximate, since it simply calculates, by means of an imperfect induction, the minimum period required to account for differences; and the maximum period that will account for resemblances; e.g. for the Polynesians to differ as they do from the Micronesian, a certain time must have[Pg 257] elapsed; and for them to differ no more than they do, that time must have a limit.

Applied to the relative date of the Oceanic migrations, ethnological reasoning gives for even the most recent of them, a geological rather than an historical epoch; and this is as much as it is safe to say. Its other probable conclusions are more definite.

1. Occupancy had begun in Australia before migration across Torres Strait had commenced in New Guinea.

2. Occupancy had begun in New Guinea before Polynesian migration had commenced in Protonesia. The first of these facts we infer from the physical differences between the Australian and the Papuan, taken with the fact that it is scarcely likely that the Papuans of Torres Straits would have failed in extending themselves to Australia had that island been unoccupied.

The second is an inference from the diversion of the Protonesian population from New Guinea to the Micronesian line, since the best reason that can be assigned for the Protonesians not having taken possession of the Papuan isles, is to be found in the assumption that they were previously inhabited.

This brings us to the third question, as to the import of the darker coloured populations in areas more especially belonging to the brown and olive-coloured tribes.—I do not see how we can consider these as aught else but the lighter-coloured populations in a ruder stage of society; since unless we take this view we must look upon them as the representatives of a separate section of the human kind; a supposition against which there are the two following objections.

a. That the difficulties respecting the population of the Polynesian area are just doubled by such an assumption;[Pg 258] since instead of having to account for the undoubted Polynesians alone (a matter quite difficult enough of itself) we should then have to account for an earlier migration of Negritos as well.

b. That if such a previous migration had taken place, we should expect to find—considering the vast number of Polynesian islands—at least one island where the blacker race remained unmixed, and (as such) speaking the original non-polynesian language, which is implied in the assumed independence of origin; since it is exceedingly unlikely that a second migration should have so nearly coincided with a former one as to people and leave unpeopled exactly the same areas. Now out of all the isles of the South Sea none presents the phenomenon of a pure black population, as determined by the double test of colour and of language.

On the other hand, it may be urged—a. That, although it may be a matter of doubt with competent judges whether improved physical and social conditions have so great an influence upon the colour of the skin and the texture of the hair as is imagined by some extreme thinkers on the point, it is generally admitted that they have some influence.

b. That in some groups (and sometimes in particular islands) the identity of the darker and lighter-coloured population is beyond a doubt; coinciding, as it does, with such differences.

c. That transitional forms occur where it is wholly gratuitous to assume the influence of intermixture.

With this opinion our view of the relations between the continuous Kelænonesian areas and the areas of the mixed population would be as follows:—

a. That at a period anterior to the development of the[Pg 259] proper Malay and Polynesian characters of the typical Protonesians, New Guinea and Australia were peopled from the Moluccas and Timor respectively; the immigrants having a type which might lose or gain Kelænonesian characters according to circumstances.

b. That the conditions of Protonesia and Polynesia favoured the change from dark to fair; those of New Guinea and Australia from fair to dark.

I will now add a remark of Mr. Blaxland from Mr. Jukes's Voyage of the Fly, which will further illustrate this position:—"The geographical boundary of the Papuan islander is precisely coincident with that of the north-west monsoon. This wind, from the months of November to March inclusive, is the prevalent one over all the space extending from the equator to 10° or 15° south latitude, and in longitude from Sumatra to the Fejee Islands. It is sometimes experienced to the west of Sumatra as far as the north of Madagascar, and it sometimes also extends to the east of the Fejee Islands into the Pacific Ocean; but these extensions are irregular, and its usual eastern boundary is precisely that of the Papuan race before described. Mr. Blaxland deduces from this fact, coupled with the little skill of that race in navigation, the inference, that they have travelled from the west into the Pacific Ocean, and extended their migration only as far as the monsoon allowed them."[84]

This gives us the following theory:—

1. That Kelænonesia was peopled when navigation was so much in its infancy as for the Protonesians to be limited in their migrations by the north-west monsoon.

2. That Polynesia was peopled when it was sufficiently advanced for the same people to be independent of it.

[Pg 260]

3. That the differentiæ between the lighter and darker Protonesians is referable to the influences of Asiatic civilization.

The observations of Mr. Blaxland, taken along with the colour of the people, lead to the inference that the Fijis were peopled from Kelænonesia. The language, however, is against this. The conflict of difficulties is best reconciled by considering them a mixed race; of which the older element belongs to the line of population which supplied Kelænonesia with its inhabitants, the newer to the Polynesian system.

If this view be unsatisfactory we must consider them as members of the darker Polynesian population, with its differential characteristics at their maximum—a view probable enough of itself, but rendered suspicious by the fact of its occurring so precisely in the neighbourhood of Kelænonesia.

That they form a true transition between the Kelænonesians and Polynesians, as a continuation of a line of population from the New Hebrides to Polynesia, is of all views the most improbable.

In the opinion of the present writer, the Fiji Islands are the localities where the stream of population which went round New Guinea met, and amalgamated with the extremity of the line that came across that country; the antagonism between the evidence of the language, the evidence of the physical conformation being the effect of the intermixture.

Respecting the ethnological relations of the Andaman and Nicobarian islanders, I am not prepared with an opinion.

The following facts connected with the Polynesian lan[Pg 261]guages, are laid before the reader, less for the sake of enlarging the list of Polynesian peculiarities than as a preparation for certain philological phænomena, which will occur in the ethnology of America, and with the view of showing a process by which language, over and above the changes which are brought about by natural changes, may be modified artificially—a point upon which we have few data, but plenty of extreme opinions.

Ceremonial language of parts of Polynesia.—The Samoans, ceremonious to each other, are preeminently so towards their chiefs; one of their methods of showing respect being to eschew certain words in common use, when addressing a superior, and to substitute for them others, which are considered more refined. Hence, a careful speaker will never address a higher personage in the terms appropriate to an inferior one. To a common man, on entering a house, the salutation is ua mai=you have come.

To a householder, ua alala mai.

To a low chief, ua malui mai.

To a high chief, ua susu mai.

To the sovereign, ua afio mai.

In Tonga there are traces of a second order of ceremonial synonyms; i.e. over and above those ordinarily in use, there is a series for the particular divine chief Tiutonga.[85]

Fofonga langi mata face.
Ilo taumafa kai eat.
Mamata taka tio see.
Ofai hala mate dead.
Tengitangi buluhi mahaki sick.
Toka tofa moe sleep.
[Pg 262]

In Tahitian, an excessively figurative manner of speech is said to supersede the proper system of ceremonial synonyms, the houses of the chief being the clouds of heaven; his canoe, the rainbow; his voice, the thunder, and so on.

The names too of the chiefs are almost always significant, and almost always compound, and, in some cases, they run to a very considerable length, as Tai-ma-le-langi=sea and sky; Tau-i-te-ao-bu=suspended in the blue heavens; Ta-lana-tupu-a-pai-ta-lani-nui=the sky increasing and striking the great heaven. Now the owners of any such names as these are supposed to be complimented by the Tahitians ceasing to employ, in the language of their daily intercourse, one, or more, of the words which formed parts of them; so that, in the case of Tai-ma-le-langi, the syllables tai, mai, le, or langi, are lost to the common language, until the death of the chief, so designated. After his decease, however, they return to the language. In this way, between the voyages of Cook and Vancouver, no less than forty or fifty words had been superseded by new ones: indeed, of the first ten numerals, four are now different from what they were in Cook's time.

Original form. Present form.
2. Rua piti.
4. Ha maha.
5. Rima pae.
6. Ono fene.

Note 1.—Since the notice of the Fiji Islands was written a youth of that group—i.e. from the island of Lafu—has been brought over to England by Mr. James Boyd, been presented at the Ethnological Society, and is now in London. The most remarkable point is a reddish tinge, clearly perceptible under a cross light, in his otherwise[Pg 263] black and frizzy hair. If I am right in referring this shade to the use of alkaline washes used in youth for the purposes of whitening the hair, it shows the unsafeness of talking about naturally red hair for any of Oceanic islands; since, in the case in question, it was upwards of five years since any alkaline wash had been applied.

Note 2.—In p. 184. I have overstated the extent to which the notion that Polynesia Proper was peopled from Kelænonesia rather than from Micronesia was general. Although not found (as far as I know) in any of the systematic works on the subject of human migration, it is by no means singular. It is the opinion of Mr. Norriss, and—subject to an alternative—the recorded opinion of Mr. Jukes, who writes,—

"The Papuan race exclusively possesses the islands on the north-east of Australia, namely, New Guinea with New Britain and New Ireland, the Solomon Islands, the islands called Tierra Austral del Espiritu Santo, and the New Hebrides, and New Caledonia. It extends also to the Feejee Islands, where it is more or less mingled with the Polynesian race, and where the language appears to be of Polynesian origin. It is probable that from New Caledonia proceeded the colony, or whatever it was, that reached Tasmania, and there mingled with the Australian race. To the westward of New Guinea scattered tribes, apparently of Papuan race, are said to occur in the interior of many islands as far west as that called Endé Flores or Mangeray, and as far north as the Philippine Islands. It has even been said that the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal, are inhabited by a people much resembling the Papuans, and I have been struck with the similarity of many of their customs to those which are[Pg 264] said to characterize some of the wild hill tribes in the centre of India. I believe, however, that many of the stories of tribes of people being found in the various parts of the Archipelago, must be received with much caution, and that most of the wild people so described will be found, like the Dyaks of Borneo, or the wild tribes of the Malacca Peninsula, to be really of Polynesian race. A mingling of the Papuan race with the Australian, probably takes place at the present day in the neighbourhood of Torres Strait, but not, perhaps, to so great an extent as might be expected, for I am inclined to think that the Australians give way and retreat before the islanders. * * * * Whatever may have been the origin of the Polynesians, it is certainly most probable that their reason for going round these Papuan islands (whether from the east or west), and not taking possession of them, was the fact of their being previously inhabited by the Papuans."[86]


[49] Terms applied to geographical distribution rather than to physical conformation; Malay and Negrito being terms expressive of physical conformation rather than of geographical distribution.

[50] History of Sumatra, p. 383.

[51] History of Sumatra, p. 41.

[52] Marsden's, History of Sumatra.

[53] History of Sumatra, p. 53.

[54] Prichard, vol. v.

[55] A division of the Kelænonesians.

[56] The g- pronounced as in get.

[57] Rajah Brooke's Journal, vol. i. p. 83.

[58] Brooke, vol. ii. p. 65.

[59] Description des Isles Philippines.

[60] From Prichard, vol. v. p. 220.

[61] Page 302, &c.

[62] United States' Exploring Expedition.

[63] According to the map and nomenclature of Dumont Durville.

[64] In Tahitian, Taaroa.

[65] Beechey.

[66] Amphi-nesian, from amfi=around, and næsos=island; Protonesian, from protos=first; Kelino-nesian, from kelainos=black. This last term is Prichard's. I am aware that all these forms are, etymologically, incorrect. The first part is Greek, the termination, -an, Latin; so that they are impossible words in the language from which they are supposed to be taken. Still the forms Polynesian and Peloponnesian, establish a convenient, though exceptionable, precedent.

[67] "This house resembled the smaller houses we afterwards saw in New Guinea, and it may have been erected merely in imitation of those the islanders have seen in that country. We afterwards saw, on Masseed, a solitary house like those of Darnley and Murray Islands."

[68] See page 168.

[69] Prichard. Vol. v., p. 232.

[70] Denoting that by some writers the Vanikoro tribes have been placed in another class. Their language has been considered as Polynesian rather than Papua.

[71] See p. 204.

[72] February 10, 1843.

[73] Vol. vi. p. 110.

[74] As the ch in chest.

[75] A work of Purkinje on the distribution of the sounds in different languages, I know only from the reference to it in Müller's Physiology. The beautiful application of this by Professor Graves, of Dublin, will be noticed when speaking of the ethnology of Ireland.

[76] Captain Gray; from Prichard. Vol. v.

[77] Qu?—Delawares.

[78] United States' Exploring Expedition, vol. vi.

[79] Parum fecundæ mulieres; apud quas quinta Lucina rarissimum. Viri inculpantur; quorum Venus plerumque præcox et effræna, ebrietas perpetua.

[80] Zoffany; Asiatic Researches, vol. ii.

[81] Marsden's Translation, p. 619.

[82] Asiatic Researches, vol. iv. p. 131.

[83] Page 185.

[84] Vol. ii. p. 251.

[85] See p. 193.

[86] Voyage of the Fly, p. 251.

[Pg 265]


We are now in Siberia rather than in Central Asia; along the courses of large rivers rather than at their head-waters; and in a region of tundras, or flat barren morasses, rather than on elevated steppes. We are also in the country of the rein-deer and dog rather than the horse and sheep. Fishing and fur-hunting, too, will form a portion of the occupations of the Hyperborean Mongolidæ. These conditions, different as they are in many respects from the general conditions of the Turk and Mongolian Turanians, have still been met with before, i.e. with the Northern Ugrians, the Northern Tungusians, and the Yakuts. One of the nations about to be enumerated, occupies the most northern portion of the inhabited world, i.e. the Samöeids of the Northern promontory of Asia.


Physical conformation.—Undersized Mongols.

Languages.—-Agglutinate; neither monosyllabic nor pauro-syllabic.

Political relations.—Subject to either Russia or China.

Religion.—Shamanism or imperfect Christianity.

Distribution.—The coasts of the Arctic Ocean; the courses of the Yenisey and Kolyma. Area discontinuous.

Divisions.—1. The Samöeids, 2. The Yeniseians. 3. The Yukahiri.

The discontinuity of the Hyperborean area is to the following extent:—

a. The Samöeid class falls into two divisions, a northern and a southern; and these are separated from one another by Turk, Yeniseian, and Ugrian tribes.

[Pg 266]

b. The Yeniseians are surrounded by Ugrians, Turks, and Tungusians, with which they have less affinity than with the Samöeids, from whom they are separated.

c. The most western Yukahiri are separated from the most eastern Samöeids by Yakut Turks and Tungusians.

This discontinuity of area must be taken along with two other facts.

a. That the Hyperborean nations are nations of a receding frontier.

b. That the Turks, Tungús, and (in relation to the Hyperborean), the Ugrians, are nations of an encroaching frontier. These give, as an inference, the probability of the three separate divisions having once been continuous; so that the original Hyperborean populations must be considered to have been broken up, and partially superseded by the Turks and Tungusians, and to exist, at present, only in the form of fragments.


Localities.a. The parts around Lake Ubsa, within the limits of the Chinese Empire; the river Bashkus, which expands into the Lake Altin, or Teleakoi, and becomes one of the sources of the Obi.

b. Tunkinsk, on the south-west extremity of the Lake Baikal, within the Russian territory.

c. Abakansk on the left branch of the Upper Yenisey. From Abakansk, they moved eastwards in A.D. 1618.

d. The River Uda between the two branches of the Upper Yenisey.

Tribes.a. Of the Lake Ubsa, the Uriangchai or Soiot.

b. Of the Uriangchai, the Bagari, the Matlar, the Tozhin, the Ulek.

c. Of Abakansk; the Matorzi, or Motori, and Koibal. Probably now extinct; since in 1722, only ten families of the Modori remained. The Kamash.

d. Of the Uda; the Karakash.

Conterminous with the Mongols, Tungusians, Yeniseians, and Turks. Separated by the last two from the Northern Samöeids.

Vocabularies.—Of the Motori, Koibal, and Kamash.


Area.—From the Mezene, between the Petchora and Archangel, and falling into the White Sea, to the Chatunga in 105° east longitude, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean, and on the lower courses of the Petchora, Obi, and Yenisey.

[Pg 267]

Southwards; on the Yenisey to Turokansk, on the Obi, as far as Tomsk. This is their nearest point to the Southern Samöeids.

Conterminous with the Yakuts and Tungusians(?) on the east, the Yeniseians and Turks on the south, and the Ostiaks and Russians on the west.

Name.—Of the northern Samöeids on the River Tas, between the Yenisey and the Obi, Mokase. Of those of the Lower Obi and White Sea, Khasovo=men.

Some of the Samöeid tribes are improperly called Ostiaks.

Called by themselves Nyenech=men.
" —————— Khasovo=men.
" the Obi Ostiaks Jergan-yach.
" Tungusians Dyândal.
" Syranians Yarang.
" Woguls Yorran-kum.
" Russians Samöeid.

Vocabularies.—1. From Pustoserk, at the mouth of the Petchora. The north-westernmost locality.

2. From Obdorsk, at the mouth of the Obi.

3. From the River Tym, on the right side of the Obi.

4. From the River Ket, ibid.

5. From Narym between the two.

6. From Pumpokolsk north of the Tym.

7. From Tomsk, the southernmost locality.

8. From the parts between the Obi and Yenisey, the Yurass, the Tas, Mangaseia vocabularies.

9. From Turuchansk.

10. From the east of Turuchansk. The Karass vocabulary.

11. From the parts about the Chatunga. The Tawgi vocabulary. These the most easterly specimens.

12. The Laak vocabulary.

Of all the tribes of Siberia the Samöeids are nearest to the Eskimo, or Greenlanders, in their physical appearance. Varieties, however, have been described; some tribes having been called tall, others fair. The general character is that of the Laplander, and the Eskimo—the other circumpolar divisions of the human species.[87]

The Koibals are in all probability the most advanced of[Pg 268] the Samöeids—being the owners of herds, flocks, horses, and camels(?).

Fig. 9.

As early as A.D. 1096, the term Samöeid appears in the Russian chronicles, and it is to be found again in the Travels of Plan Carpin, a hundred and fifty years later.


Locality.—Each side of Yenisey, limited by the Northern Samöeids between Inbask and Turuchansk, and by the Southern Samöeids and Turks, in the neighbourhood of Krasnoiarsk. On the west are the south-eastern tribes of the northern Samöeids. On the east Tungusians and Turks.

Native name.—Könniyüng.

Vocabularies.—1. Inbask. 2. Pumpokolsk. 3. Assan. 4. Kott. 5. Arinzi. 6. Denka.

[Pg 269]


Native name.—Andon-Domni. Called by the Koræki Atal=spotted, from wearing rein-deer skins.

Locality.—Valley of the Kolyma, originally of the Yana and Indijirka also.

Particular tribes.—1. Tsheltiere, on the River Omolon. 2. Omoki, on the Atasey. 3-4. Tshuvantsi and Kudinski on the Anisey. 5. Konghini, on the Kolyma. 6. Shelagi, on the promontory of Shelagskoi Noss.

Conterminous with the Yakut Turks, the Lamut Tungusians, and the Koriaks.

The Yukahiri, although said to have been, even as late as the beginning of the last century, a powerful people, are at present rapidly diminishing. The Omoki and Shelagi are either extinct, or nearly so. So also, most probably, are the Tseltiere, the Kudinski, and the Konghini. Laying out of the account the influence of Russia, the northern Koriaks on the east, the Yakuts on the west, and the Lamut Tungusians on the south, have been the chief encroaching tribes.

The writer who has paid most attention to the language of these three divisions of the Siberian population is Klaproth; who, I believe, was also the first who separated the Yeniseians from the Ugrians. With these they were confounded, from the fact of their being denominated by the Russians, Ostiaks; a term, which from being already applied to the Ugrians of the Obi, was equivocal. To obviate this ambiguity, it was necessary to speak of two kinds of Ostiaks, those of the Obi, and those of the Yenisey; and so the nomenclature became confused. All this, however, is remedied by adhering to Klaproth's term Yeniseian. And such is the present custom of philologists.

Respecting the extent to which the Yeniseian, the Samöeid, and Yukahiri, are isolated languages; the classification of the present writer is opposed to that of the Asia Polyglotta. Klaproth raises each to the rank of a[Pg 270] separate family, and neither admits any definite relationship between the three, as compared with each other, nor yet between any one of them and any of the neighbouring languages. Still he indicates some important general and miscellaneous affinities; and Prichard does the same. The following table helps to verify the present classification.


The Yeniseian of the Asia Polyglotta, and the Yukahiri of the Asia Polyglotta.

[Pg 271]


The Yeniseian of the Asia Polyglotta, and the Samöeid of the Asia Polyglotta.

Nevertheless, the present class is provisional. All that is at present asserted, is that the three divisions which it contains, are not sufficiently distinct to be separated. Whether, however, the whole section may not, hereafter, become a sub-division of either the Turanian, or the Peninsular Mongolidæ, is doubtful. Most probably it will.


[87] Mammarum summitates apud Samöeidas nigerrimæ. Sic apud authores reperi; quos, suspicor, aut gravidas, aut viragines fusciores vidisse. Idem de Lapponibus traditur. Præcox, quoque, pro borealibus, puellarum Venus; catameniis ante duodecimum annum accedentibus.

[Pg 273]


This division comprises tribes which, I believe, have not hitherto been thrown in the same class, tribes separated from each other by considerable breaks in the geographical, and even in the ethnological continuity. Some of these lie within the Arctic Circle; others as far south as 26° north latitude. Not less distant are the two extremes of their social development; one section of the group partaking of the civilization of China, another exhibiting the rudeness of the Samöeid, and Yeniseian.


Physical conformation.—Mongol.

Languages.—Agglutinate. In some cases excessively poly-syllabic.

Area.—Islands and peninsulas of the north-eastern coast of Asia.

Divisions.—1. The Koreans. 2. The Japanese. 3. The Aino. 4. The Koriaks. 5. The Kamskadales.

After indicating the points of difference, it is necessary to justify the present classification by showing in what way the divisions of the Peninsular Mongolidæ agree.

1. They agree in their land and water relations—being, as is expressed by the epithet applied to them, the inhabitants of either peninsulas or of islands that form an extension of them; a fact wherein we have, to a certain extent, common conditions in the way of physical, and common conditions in the way of social development.

2. They lie within a few degrees of the same longitude.[Pg 274] This, however, is a mere consequence of their position on the same side of the same continent.

3. They are more maritime in locality than in habit; the Japanese being the chief navigators of the group. Compared, however, with the Chinese and Malays, the Japanese are but moderate navigators.

4. Although at present interrupted, there is good reason for believing that the original area was continuous. The parts that are broken are the tracts between Korea and the mouth of the Amur, and the south-west coast of the sea of Okhotsk. Now this interval is filled up by the Tungusian tribes; tribes whose area has certainly been an encroaching one.

5. As compared with the Chinese, the Japanese and Korean languages are not monosyllabic.

6. As compared with the Yakut Turk, and the Lamut Tungusian, the Kamskadale and Koriak are not Turanian.

7. What applies to the language of the Peninsular tribes applies to their physical appearance also.

All this, however, may be the case without affording the least proof of a true ethnological connection, i.e. of a connection in the way of descent and affiliation; since even the similarity of physical appearance, which, making allowance for differences of latitude and civilization, is, from all accounts, very close, may merely be the effect of common climatologic conditions, wholly independent of relationship.

To prove this a fresh set of facts is required. Nor are they wanting.

1. The Peninsular languages have a general glossarial connection with each other; the grammatical structure of only one of them (the Japanese) being known.

2. The Peninsular languages have a general glossarial connection with a third class.

[Pg 275]

In the opinion of the present writer the Peninsular languages agree in the general fact of being more closely akin to those of America than any other; and this, of itself, he considers to be a sufficient reason for placing them in a separate division. It also, to a certain extent, removes the evidence of their mutual affinity to another part of the work, i.e. that which treats of the origin of the American population; inasmuch as the same tables which connect the American languages with the Peninsular ones, connect these last with each other. In a series of monographs these proofs could have been given separate; in a systematic work, however, it is necessary to economise space by making the same lists prove two points at once. Hence, they will appear in the sequel.


Locality.—The peninsula of Korea; in Chinese, Kao-li.

Political relations.—Subject to China.

Religion.—That of Fo, modified.

Alphabet.—Not rhæmatographic.

Chief foreign influences.—Chinese, Mantshu, and Japanese; in the thirteenth century, Mongolian.

Physical appearance.—"The Kooraïan is superior in stature to the Japanese; yet his height seldom exceeds five-and-a-half Parisian feet: he is of strong, vigorous make, his figure well-proportioned, active, and full of life. The shape of his features bears in general the impress of the Mongolian race: the coarse broad countenance; the projecting cheek-bones; the strong under-jaw; the nose depressed at the root or upper part, and broadly-spread alæ; the large mouth, with broad lips; the peculiar position of the eyes, apparently angular in the direction of their opening; the rough, thick, black hair of the head, often inclined to a red brown colour; thick eyebrows; thin beard; with a reddish-yellow, wheat-coloured (weitzen-farbich), or straw-coloured complexion, announce him at once and at the first look, as an inhabitant of the north-eastern parts of Asia. This type is common to most of the Kooraïans observed by us, and they recognise it as that which is most distinctive of their nation."—Siebold.[88]

The political relations towards China, the great amount of Chinese influences upon the civilization of Korea, and the physical likeness between the Koreans and the Chinese[Pg 276] have had, in many instances, the effect of diverting the attention of ethnologists from the true affinities of this division of the Peninsular Mongolidæ; and it should be added that the last of the three facts just enumerated is a legitimate ground for looking, in the first instance, to China.

It is one which the present writer has no wish to conceal. The question, however, must be viewed in all its bearings; in which case we meet with the important fact that the Korean language is anything rather than monosyllabic. Siebold, as I learn from Prichard, thought that he perceived some analogies between the Japanese, the Korean, and the Aino. He might have done more. He might have been sure of their existence—and that to an extent sufficient to throw the three tongues in the same category.

According to Klaproth,[89] speaking on the authority of Chinese writers, the present inhabitants of Korea represent the mixture of two separate populations; the true aborigines being the Koreans of the south, called by the Chinese, the Sam Han=the three tribes of Han. The northern are a people who came originally from a country lying to the northward of the Chinese province of Tshy-li, called by the Chinese writers Sian-pi. Whether this mixture, supposing it to be real, represents the juxtaposition of tribes, widely different or different in little more than name, is uncertain. Prichard, however, has truly remarked that the physical characters of both must have been nearly alike, inasmuch as they were each within the region where the Turanian type prevails. It may also be added that no traces of a second philological element in the difference between the Northern and the Southern Korean dialects have yet been pointed out. In a language, however, so imperfectly understood, this is not saying much.

[Pg 277]

In regard to the physical difference between different Korean individuals no such negative statement can be made. Dr. Siebold[90] writes as follows:—"In the countenances of the Kooraïans we may recognise the characteristics of two different races of people. The nose pressed down near the inner angle of the orbit and expanding itself into broad alæ; the eyes obliquely placed, with the inner angles widely separated from each other; the greater projection of the cheek-bones; are marks of the race first described. But when the root of the nose is more raised and the nose more straight, the configuration of the countenance approaches to the stamp of the Caucasian type, and the form of the eyes is more like that of Europeans; the cheek-bones, too, are less prominent, and the sharp profile, which is wanting to the Mongolian race, now makes its appearance. The more the countenance belongs to the former cast the less beard does it display, whereas, in persons of a sharp profile, the beard is often rather strong. The skull is in these instances less compressed, the forehead, which elsewhere retreats, is straight, and the whole aspect of the countenance displays a certain noble expression which is looked for in vain in the rough traits of the Mongolian type."

As evidence, however, to the presence of a foreign element of the kind implied in the Chinese account, this is imperfect—indeed I have no reason to believe that it is meant to be such—since it is not said by Dr. Siebold that this difference of feature coincides with the northern and southern portions of the population.


Localities.—From south to north—the Lú Chú Islands, Kiúsiú, Sikoko, Nipon, the southern part of Jesso.

Political relations.—Independent.

[Pg 278]

Alphabet.—Not rhæmatographic.

Religion.a. Of Chinese origin—1. That of Fo, modified; 2. The philosophical system of Confucius, modified.

b. The original Paganism.

Physical Appearance.—"The people of this nation are well made, active, free, and easy in their motions, with stout limbs, although their strength is not to be compared with that of the northern inhabitants of Europe. The men are of the middling size, and in general not very corpulent; yet I have seen some that were fat. They are of a yellowish colour all over, sometimes bordering on brown, and sometimes on white. The lower class of people, who in summer, when at work, lay bare the upper part of their bodies, are sun-burnt, and consequently brown. Ladies of distinction, who seldom go out in the open air without being covered, are perfectly white. It is by their eyes that, like the Chinese, these people are distinguishable. These organs have not that rotundity, which those of other nations exhibit, but are oblong, small, and are sunk deeper in the head, in consequence of which these people have almost the appearance of being pink-eyed. Their eyes are dark-brown, or rather black, and the eyelids form in the great angle of the eye a deep furrow, which makes the Japanese look as if they were sharp-sighted, and discriminates them from other nations. The eyebrows are also placed somewhat higher. Their heads are in general large, and their necks short; their hair black, thick, and shining, from the use they make of oils. Their noses, although not flat, are yet rather thick and short."—Thunberg.[91]

"The population of Fizen, as well as that of the whole island of Kiúsiú, is divided between the dwellers on the coast, and those of the interior and of the towns, who differ from each other in their physical aspect, language, manners, and character.

"The coasts, and the numberless islands which border on them, are inhabited by fishers and seafaring people, men small but vigorous, of a deeper colour than those of the other classes. Their hair, more frequently black than of a red brown colour,—brun-rougeâtre,†—is crisped in some individuals who have also the facial angle strongly marked,—très prononcée,—their lips puffed,—enflées,—the nose small, slightly aquiline, and depressed at the root,—renfoncée à la racine.

"Address, perseverance, boldness, a frankness which never amounts to effrontery, a natural benevolence and a complaisance which approaches to the abject; such are the characteristic qualities of the sea-coast people.

"The natives of the interior of Kiúsiú, who devote themselves chiefly to agriculture, are a larger race, and are distinguishable by a broad and flattened countenance; by the prominence of their cheek-bones, and the distance between the inner canthi; by their broad and very flat nose, their large mouth; by their hair, which is of a deep brown colour, inclining to red-brown, tirant sur le brun-rougeâtre,—and by the clearer colour of their skin. Among the cultivators, who are perpetually exposed to the air and sun, the skin becomes red: the women, who protect themselves from the influence of the atmosphere, have generally a fine and white skin, and the cheeks of the young girls display a blooming carnation.

[Pg 279]

"This agricultural race is laborious, sober, pious, cordial, and consequently hospitable. The savage nature, tempered from infancy by the constant observance of the forms of politeness and the etiquette of the country, does not exclude a certain nobility, and never degenerates into grossness as among the peasantry of Europe. The husbandmen of Fizen are even too ceremonious."—Siebold.[92]

Of the nobles of Japan, Kæmpfer says, they "are somewhat more majestic in their shape and countenance than the generality, and are more like Europeans."[93]

The notices of tribes darker in colour than the dominant part of the population, of which we have seen so much in the oceanic area, re-appear in the history of Japan. They are stated to belong to either the interior or to the southern portion of the empire. This, however, may be the case without involving the necessity of assuming a second source for the population; at the same time such a second source is no ethnological improbability. The darker Amphinesians of Formosa, may possibly have tended farther northward.

The Japanese Alphabet is of Chinese origin; changed from a rhæmatographic to a syllabic form. Indeed the great civilizing influence in Japan has been from China. This, according to the doubts expressed in a previous[94] part of the present work, limits the antiquity of the Japanese history, and the value of the Japanese traditions.

The original paganism of Japan is probably to be studied in the Kurile Islands. Siebold's notice of it (extracted from Prichard)[95], is as follows:—

"The Kamis or gods of the original Japanese, were, according to a collection of the national traditions, not eternal. The first five gods originated at the separation of elements in which the world began: they are the Amatsukami. A bud, similar to that of the Asi, the Erianthus Japonicus, expanded itself between heaven and earth and [Pg 280]produced Kuni-soko-tatsino-mi-koto, or the 'Maker of the dry land,' who governed the world, as yet unfashioned, during an immeasurable space of time, which was more than a hundred thousand millions of years. This kami had many successors whose reigns were nearly as long. Their temples are still places of worship in Oomi and Ise, districts of Japan. There were seven dynasties of celestial gods. The last, Iza-na-gi, standing on a bridge that floated between heaven and earth, said to his wife, Iza-na-mi, 'Come on; there must be some habitable land: let us try to find it.' He dipped his pike, ornamented with precious stones, into the surrounding waters and agitated the waves: the drops which fell from his pike when he raised it thickened and formed an island, named 'Ono-koro-sima.' On this island Iza-na-gi and his wife descended, and made the other provinces of the Japanese empire. From them descended the five dynasties or reigns of earthly gods. From the last of these originated Zin-moo-teu-woo, the ruler of men, who, as above mentioned, founded the empire of Japan, and conquered the aboriginal tribes. From Zin-moo's reign is dated the first year of the epoch of Japanese chronology, coinciding with the seventh year of the Chinese emperor Hoéï-wâng, B. C. 660. Such is the cosmogony of the Japanese. Their highest adoration is given to the deity of the sun, offspring of Iza-na-gi and Iza-na-mi: to him are subordinate all the genii or demons which govern the elements and all the operations of nature, as well as the souls of men, who after death go to the gods or to an infernal place of punishment, according to their actions on earth. Sacred festivals are held at certain seasons of the year and at changes of the moon. The whole number of kamis or gods worshipped by the Japanese amounts to three thousand one[Pg 281] hundred and thirty-two. These gods are worshipped in different temples without idols."


Name.—Chinese, Lieou-Khieou. Native, Oghii.


Political relations.—Tribute paid both to China and Japan.

Language.—Akin to the Japanese.

Alphabets.—Chinese and Japanese.

Physical appearance.—"Their hair, which is of a glossy black, is shaved off the crown. Their beards and mustachios are allowed to grow. They are rather low in stature, but are well formed, and have an easy, graceful carriage. Their colour is not good, some being very dark, and others nearly white, but in most instances they are of a deep copper. This is fully compensated by the sweetness and intelligence of their countenance. Their eyes, which are black, have a placid expression."[96]


Locality.a. On the Continent.—1. The mouth of the Amur. 2. The southernmost extremity of Kamskatka. b. The Kurile Islands, and the northern part of Jesso. c. The island, or peninsula of Saghalin.

Political relations.—Subject to China, Russia, and Japan.

Religion.—Imperfect Buddhism. The doctrine of Siúdú. Paganism.

Physical appearance.—Skin darker than that of the Japanese, but, probably (from the iris being lighter) this is through being more exposed.

An Aino tribe occupying the banks of the Amur, and noticed by Timkowski,[97] under the name of Kileng, or Kilerzi, is probably the same with the Gilacken[98] of Von Middendorf. Of these the appearance is varied, sometimes Japanese, sometimes Caucasian.

The moral character of the Aino has generally been described in highly favourable terms. Their religion is probably allied to the original paganism of Japan.

"The sun, the moon, the sea, and other striking objects of nature, are the divinities of the Aino: they represent them under rude symbols and offer sacrifices to them. The men of Karafto burn upon the shore the heads of animals [Pg 282]which they have caught, as a gift to the sea. Daily the Aino addresses the following words to the divinity who protects his cabin:—'We thank thee,[99] Kamoï, for having dwelt here in our coast and watched for us,' and he repeats after the prayer, 'Kamoï ever take care of us.' They believe likewise that there is a God of heaven and of hell; this is the residence of Nitsul Kamoï. They have also little wooden temples containing images of their idols carved in wood. Yearly they have a festival termed Omsia, when all the family regale themselves with saké and bear's flesh. In their marriages the Aino are careful to avoid too near relationship. In Karafto, the inhabitants of the north take wives from the southern part. The chief of the village confirms the marriage, which is concluded on the dowry or price being paid to the father of the betrothed. The women are free, and in Karafto rule their husbands.

"Before funerals the Aino puts on a new coat made of fine bark. The Smerenkow burns the body and collects the ashes which are kept in a little chapel, makes offerings to the presiding idol, and covers with branches the spot where the body was consumed. They erect stakes in honour of the defunct, from the wood of the house, which is always pulled down. Bodies of the rich receive honours of a different kind: they are embalmed, filled with odoriferous herbs, and dried during a year, then placed in a sepulchre, where they are annually visited by their relatives. Yet the Aino have no calendar and reckon time by the fall of the leaf. They have neither letters nor money. They apply two remedies in case of all sickness, a 'boletus laricis' and the root ikeme, supposed to be a sort of asclepias."[100]

[Pg 283]

Two statements have been made concerning the Aino, which are curious if true.

1. That of all men they are the most covered with hair; even their backs being covered with it. I am inclined to class this with the tails of the Nicobar islanders.

2. That they ride upon bears; which the females suckle when young, and so tame; a fact, when verified, of equal novelty in zoology and ethnography.

The Peninsula of Sagalin, and the island of Jesso are the probable lines by which Japan was peopled; at least so far as the simple land-and-water conditions are concerned. And I know nothing that counteracts them.

The Kachhall.—This is a tribe mentioned by Von Middenorf as inhabiting the south bank of the Amur. He knows it, however, only from the description given by the Ainos. Their stature is short; the lower extremities disproportionately so.


Present area.—The parts between the Omolon, an eastern branch of the Kolyma, the Arctic Ocean, Behring's Straits, and the Gulf of Anadyr, except only a tract of coast in the two latter localities, inhabited by the Namollos. Southwards, to the middle of the Peninsula of Kamskatka, across the northern portion of which it extends. The head of the Gulf of Penjinsk, in the Sea of Okhotsk. Conterminous with the Yukahiri, Lamut Tungusians, Kamskadales, and Namollos.

Supposed ancient area.—As far west as the Kolyma, possibly farther. Probably also farther south. On the other hand, not so far east as at present; the Namollos being believed to have extended so far as Shelagskoi Noss.

Divisions.a. Northern Koriaks, or Tshuktshi; b. Southern Koriaks, or Koræki. The two divisions separated by the river Anadyr.

Habits.—Nomadic. Kora, which is said to mean a rein-deer, is held to be the root of the term Koræki, a name which, for the southern Koriaks, is stated to be indigenous.

Religion.—Shamanism. In some cases an imperfect Christianity.

Political relations.—The Southern Koriaks tributary to Russia; the Northern, (or Tshuktshi) independent.

Physical appearance.—The Koræki are taller, and with eyes less sunken, and noses less depressed than the Kamskadales; differential points which are still more marked in the Tshuktshi.

[Pg 284]

The southern Koriaks have probably encroached upon the Kamskadales, and been encroached upon by the Lamut Tungusians. The Tshuktshi have, in like manner, receded in one quarter and encroached in another. Before the Russians they have retreated towards the east and north. The Yukahiri tribes, however, they have displaced and, in some cases, exterminated. They still hold their independence.

This, in some measure, accounts for our imperfect knowledge of them, little being ascertained except their uncivilized, nomadic character, their political independence, the Shamanistic nature of their religion, and their general resemblance in respect to physical conformation to the American Indians.

Polygamy is general amongst them, and according to Von Matiushkin, the chief authority upon the subject, the women, although certainly slaves, are allowed more influence, and are subjected to less labour than is the case amongst most other rude tribes. Deformed children are destroyed, and so are those which, for other reasons, are likely to become difficult to rear. So also are such aged and infirm persons, as have become unfit for wear and tear of a nomadic life within the Arctic circle.

So great is the influence of the Shamans, or so low is the value set upon human life, that in 1814, after a terrible storm, followed by a fatal epidemic, and by a murrain among the cattle, the result of a general consultation having been, that one of the most respected of the chiefs, named Kotshen, must be sacrificed, to appease the irritated spirits, the sacrifice took place accordingly. In the first instance, indeed, the commands of the Shamans were rejected. The plague, however, continued, when Kotshen at last declared his willingness to submit. No[Pg 285] one, however, could be found to be his executioner; until his own son plunged a knife in his heart, and gave his body to the Shamans.

The Tshuktshi habitations consist of an outer and larger tent, under which are two or three smaller ones; these last being made of skins stretched over laths, and so low, that the persons inside can only sit upon the ground. It has no opening for air or light, and is entered by an aperture barely large enough for the body of the owner. An earthen vessel filled with train oil, and with a wick of moss, serves as a lamp rather as a fire; and so close is the atmosphere, that the heat which it affords is sufficient. Here the family sit, during the intense cold of an Arctic winter, either wholly naked, or with the very scantiest clothing.

They call themselves Tshekto=people. "They are distinguished from the other Asiatic races, by their stature and physiognomy, which appears to me to resemble that of the Americans,[101] but the language is different."


Locality.—The southern half (or third) of the Peninsula of Kamskatka, with the exception of the extreme point of the peninsula; which is inhabited by the Aino.

Native name.—Itülmen.

Dialects.—Four. That of Tigil, so much mixed with Koriak, as to be sometimes quoted as the Koriak of Tigil.

Physical appearance.—Undersized Mongols, with little beard, sunken eyes and depressed noses.

The true Kamskadales are a nearly extinct race. Amongst the causes of their rapid diminution a kind of death, rare amongst savage nations, is enumerated—suicide.

"According to Steller, the Kamtschatkans have no idea of a Supreme Being, but this must have been true only in some peculiar sense of the expression, for he adds an[Pg 286] account of their mythology, which in part contradicts the above statement. They believe, as he says, in the immortality of souls. All creatures, even to the smallest fly, are destined, as they believe, to another eternal life under the earth, where they are to meet with similar adventures to those of their present state of existence, but never to suffer hunger. In that world there is no punishment of crimes, which, in the opinion of the Kamskadales, meet their chastisement in the present life, but the rich are destined to become poor and the poor here are to be enriched. The sky and stars existed before the earth, which was made by Katchu, or, as others say, brought by Katchu and his sister Katligith with them from heaven and fastened upon the sea. After Katchu had made the earth he left heaven and came to dwell in Kamtschatka. He had a son, Tigil, and a daughter, Sidanka, who married and became parents of offspring: the latter clothed themselves with the leaves of trees and fed upon the bark, for beasts were not yet made, and the gods knew not how to catch fish. When Katchu went to drink, the hills and valleys were formed under his feet, for the earth had till then been a flat surface. Tigil finding his family increase invented nets and betook himself to fishing. The Kamtschatkans have, like other pagans, images of their gods."[102]

Now Tigil is the name of the chief river of Kamskatka; the one which divides the Kamskadales from the Korki; so that, in Tigil the god, we have the eponymus of what in the Bodo, as in many other countries besides, is a common object of reverence.[103]


[88] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 522-3.

[89] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 497.

[90] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 526.

[91] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 521-2.

[92] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 527-8.

[93] Id. vol. iv. p. 528.

[94] See pp. 55-60.

[95] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 496.

[96] Captain Hall's Voyage to the Great Loo-choo Island, p. 71.—Prichard, vol. iv.

[97] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 451.

[98] Transactions of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 1846.

[99] Kami=God in Japanese.

[100] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 455-6.

[101] Von Matiushkin.

[102] Prichard, vol. iv. p. 449-50.

[103] Apud hanc gentem agarici cujusdam succus potui, inter convivia inservit. Ebrietatem inducit; quodque magis mirum est, urina ebriorum, quæ ipsa ab aliis potatur, idem pollet. Neque vim amittit per tertiam vel quartam vesicam transmissa.

[Pg 287]


The phænomena which occur in Asiatic ethnology, in Caucasus and High Asia, prepare us for those of the ethnology of America. In Asia we found, on one side, the Turk tribes spread over a space nearly as large as Europe, and that with but little variation—a typical instance of what constitutes a large ethnological area. Then, on the other hand, were the fastnesses of Caucasus, where we found, packed up within a very limited area, a multiplicity of mutually unintelligible languages, languages that were counted by the dozen and the score—the Circassian, Georgian, Lesgian, Mizjeji, and their subordinate dialects. So that within a small geographical range we had, in juxtaposition with each other, the maximum of extension and the maximum of limitation.

Now this is what we shall find in America—large areas, like the Turk, in contact with small ones, like the Ossetic.

But, in America, there are two points of difference—

1st. The multiplicity of languages within a limited area is the rule rather than the exception.

2nd. There is not always so peculiar a class of physical conditions as is to be found in the mountain fastnesses of Caucasus to account for it; since in America we find steppes and prairies, like those of Turkestan and Mongolia, inhabited by tribes as different from each other as those of the most isolated and isolating mountain-valleys.

Furthermore—when the American languages differ from[Pg 288] one another, they differ in a manner to which Asia has supplied no parallel.

Also—when the American languages agree with one another, they agree in a manner to which Asia has furnished no parallel. This, however, is at present only indicated. Its explanation will find place when we have treated of the Eskimo, Kolúch, and certain other families.


Unimportant as are the Eskimo in a political and historical view, their peculiar geographical position gives them an importance in all questions of ethnology: since one of the highest problems turns upon the affinities of this family.

It has long been known that the nation which inhabits Greenland and Labrador is the nation which inhabits the North-western parts of Russian America as well. It is found on the American side of Behring's Straits, and it is found on the Asiatic side also. So that the Eskimo is the only family common to the Old and New World; an important fact in itself, and one made more important still by the Eskimo localities being the only localities where the two continents come into proximity.

Now, if these facts had stood alone, unmodified by any phænomena that detracted from their significance, the peopling of America would have been no more a mystery than the peopling of Europe. Such, however, is not the case. They neither stand alone, nor stand unmodified.

The reasons that lie against what is, at the first blush, the common sense answer to the question, how was America peopled? are, chiefly, as follows—

1. The distance of the north-eastern parts of Asia from any probable centre of population—cradle of the human race—so-called. For these parts to have been the passage, Kamskatka must have been full to overflowing before the[Pg 289] the Mississippi had been trodden by the foot of a human being.

2. The physical differences between the Eskimo and the American Indian.

3. The difficulties presented by the Eskimo language.

It is only these two last reasons to which I attribute much validity. The first of the three I put low in the way of an objection; i. e., not much higher than I put the systems founded upon the Icelandic and Welsh traditions, the drifting of Japanese junks, and the effects of winds and currents upon Polynesian canoes. Without, at present, doubting whether the occurrences here alluded to have happened since America was peopled by the present race, I limit myself to an expression of dissent from the doctrine that by any such unsatisfactory processes the original population found its way: in other words, I believe that our only choice lies between the doctrine that makes the American nations to have originated from one or more separate pairs of progenitors, and the doctrine that either Behring's Straits or the line of Islands between Kamskatka and the Peninsula of Aliaska, was the highway between the two worlds—from Asia to America, or vice versâ. I say vice versâ, since it by no means follows that, because Asia and America shall have been peopled by the same race, the original of that race must, necessarily, have arisen in Asia; inasmuch as the statement that the descendants of the same pair peopled two continents, taken alone, proves nothing as to the particular continent in which that pair first appeared. Against America, and in favour of Asia being the birthplace of the Human Race—its unity being assumed—I know many valid reasons; reasons valid enough and numerous enough to have made the notion of New World being the oldest[Pg 290] of two a paradox. Nevertheless, I know no absolutely conclusive ones.

Omitting, however, this question, the chief primâ facie objections to the view that America was peopled from North-eastern Asia, lie in the—

1. Physical differences between the Eskimo and the American Indian.—Stunted as he is in stature, the Eskimo is essentially a Mongol in physiognomy. His nose is flattened, his cheek-bones project, his eyes are often oblique, and his skin is more yellow and brown than red or copper-coloured. On the other hand, in his most typical form, the American Indian is not Mongol in physiognomy. With the same black straight hair, he has an aquiline nose, a prominent profile, and a skin more red or copper-coloured than either yellow or brown. Putting this along with other marked characteristics, moral as well as physical, it is not surprising that the American should have been taken as the type and sample of a variety in contrast with the Mongolian.

2. Philological arguments.—Few languages, equally destitute of literature, have been better or longer known than the Eskimo. For this we have to thank the Danish missionaries of Greenland—Egede, most especially. From the grammar of Fabricius, the Eskimo was soon known to be a language of long compound words, and of regular, though remarkable, inflections. It was known, too, to be very unlike the better-known languages of Europe and Asia. Finally, it has been admitted to be, in respect to its grammatical structure at least, American.

So much for the ethnographical philology of the Eskimo language as determined by its grammatical structure; upon which we may notice the remarkable antagonism of the two tests. Physically, the Eskimo is a[Pg 291] Mongol and Asiatic. Philologically, he is American—at least in respect to the principles upon which his speech is constructed.

And now we may examine the details of the geographical area occupied by the Eskimo. Its direction is double.

From east to west (or vice versâ) it runs along the shores of the Arctic Sea, in a line of irregular breadth; a line which is either wholly continuous or else broken at one point only—a point which will be noticed in the sequel. On the coast of the Atlantic the line widens, and in Greenland it attains its maximum breadth.

From north to south it equally keeps the line of coast, extending to irregular distances inland, but rarely very far.

However, between the direction in latitude, and the direction in longitude, as this distribution of the Eskimo area may be called, there is a difference which is a very important one. The Eskimos of the Atlantic are not only easily distinguished from the tribes of American aborigines which lie to the south or west of them, and with which they come in contact, but they stand in strong contrast and opposition to them—a contrast and opposition exhibited equally in appearance, manners, language, and one which has had full justice done to it by those who have written on the subject.

It is not so with the Eskimos of Russian America, and the parts that look upon the Pacific. These are so far from being separated by any broad and trenchant line of demarcation from the proper Indians or the so-called Red Race, that they pass gradually into it; and that in respect to their habits, manner, and appearance, equally. So far is this the case that he would be a bold man who[Pg 292] should venture, in speaking of the southern tribes of Russian America, to say here the Eskimo area ends, and here a different area begins.

Whenever this has been done, it has been done on the strength of an undue extension of the phenomena of the Eskimo area on the Atlantic; it being supposed that as the Eskimo and Indians differ unequivocally on one side of the continent, they must needs do so on the other also—a natural, but a hasty and incorrect assumption.

Beginning with the Eskimo of the parts between Asia and America, the first we meet with are—

The Aleutians.—The inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands, properly so-called (i.e., of Behring's and Copper Islands), of the Rat-Islands, of the Andreanowsky Islands, of the Prebülowüni-Islands, of Unalashka, and of Kadiak, are all Eskimo; a fact which numerous vocabularies give us full means of ascertaining. In respect to the difference of speech between particular islands, there is external evidence that it is considerable. The people of Atcha have a difficulty in understanding the Unalashkans, and vice versâ. Again, the Kadiak vocabulary, as found in Lisiansky, differs very notably from the Unalashkan of the same author; indeed, I doubt whether the two languages are mutually intelligible.

The Namollos.—These are the Asiatic Eskimo of the Continent. The distribution is along the coast from Tshuktshi-Noss to the mouth of the Anadyr; from each of which we have vocabularies in Klaproth's Asia Polyglotta. In respect to their position in Asia, two views may be taken.

1. That they are the aborigines of the country which they inhabit, and, consequently, that they are an older stock than those of America.—This is favoured by the[Pg 293] fact, that habitations of a Namollo character have been found in the country of Tshuktshi, and even in that of the Yukahiri.

2. That they are of comparatively recent date as Asiatics, and, as such, but offsets from the parent stock in America.—This is favoured by the similarity of language; since the differences between the Namollo and the American Eskimo are not such as indicate a very long separation.

The Konægi.—Occupants of the Island of Kadiak, and of the Peninsula of Aliaska.

The Tshugatsi.—These are the natives of Prince William's Sound, closely allied to the Kadiaks. According to tradition, they came from the North.

This is the proper place for noticing an element in the traditions, or rather in the mythology, of the Eskimo of these parts. All or most of them agree in deriving their origin from one or two animals—the raven or dog. Now the Tshugatsi take their descent from the dog.

The name Tshugatsi is so like that of the northern Koriaks (Tshuktshi) that it is unlikely that both are native. In which quarter it is applied correctly, is a point that some future investigator must decide.

The Kuskokwim.—Locality from Cape Rodney to the Peninsula of Aliaska. Numbers, according to Baer, about 7,000.

Such is the direction of the Eskimos of the Asiatic side of America. It is, however, inconvenient to say that they form the eastern branch of the stock, because, when we begin with the Atlantic side of America, we find that they become western; indeed, they are either one or the other, according to the point from which we begin to describe them.

[Pg 294]

We now take the other extremity of the Eskimo area, which is the southernmost point of Greenland, Cape Farewell, within a few days' sail of the European island of Iceland. Doing this, we move from east to west, and determine where the two divisions meet.

Greenlanders.—The language of the natives of Greenland, and those of the coast of Labrador, is mutually intelligible; the similarity in physical appearances and in manners being equally close.

Proper Eskimo.—These are the inhabitants of the shores of Hudson's Bay, and the coast of Labrador. Their dialect is understood at least as far as the Mackenzie-river, in 137° W. L.; where Captain Franklin's interpreter, who came from Hudson's Bay, found no difficulty in being understood by the natives of the parts last mentioned. About three degrees westward, however, the Eskimo of Greenland and Labrador comes to be understood with difficulty at first. Here, then, it is, where the two divisions of the Eskimo dialects meet.


I adopt this term in deference to the usage of ethnologists, without professing to give a value to it in the way of classification, since I think it much more likely that the so-called Kolúch languages form a sub-division of the Eskimo than a separate substantive class of their own. Geographically, however, the term means the languages spoken along the coast of the North-Pacific from Cook's Inlet to the parts immediately north of Queen Charlotte's Islands; languages which are distinguished from the Eskimo to the north, the Athabascan to the east, and the Nas and Haidah to the south, and languages which politically belong to Russian America; since the Tung[Pg 295]aas, which is the southernmost (so-called) Kolúch dialect, is the most northern with which the traders of the Hudson-Bay Company come in contact. The extension towards the interior seems limited. The particular Kolúch dialect best known is that of Sitka, which, in Lisiansky's Voyage, is compared with the Kenay, Kadiak, and Unalashkan. Now it is a fact upon which the present author lays considerable stress, that the affinities between the Sitka and Kenay, which are both considered as Kolúch, are but little more numerous than those between the Sitka and Kadiak, the Kenay and Unalashkan, &c., where only one is considered as Kolúch. The chief Kolúch dialects are as follows:—

The Kenay of Cook's Inlet.—These are about 460 families strong. They assert that they are derived from the hills of the interior, whence they moved coastwards. In the way of mythology, they are descended from the raven.

The Atna of the Copper River.—Here the reader must be cautioned against being misled by the name; as it will appear again, applied to another division of Indians, the Atnas or Shushwap, who are a distinct people from the Atnas of the Copper River. These last occupy the river last-named; where they work in iron, as well as in copper, burn their dead, and derive their descent from the raven.

The Koltshani.—These are the Kolúches of the interior, falling into two divisions; the language of one of which is intelligible to the Atnas, and the Kenays equally. The more distant one is savage and inhospitable, with the credit of indulging in cannibalism. The name seems to belong to the Atna language; where Koltshani=stranger. It also seems the word on which the scientific term, Kolúch, has been founded.

[Pg 296]

The Ugalents, or Ugalyakhmutsi.—About thirty-eight families. Locality, King William's Sound, and the parts around Mount Elias.—The Ugalyakhmutsi are conterminous with the Tshugatsi Eskimo, and as (on the sea-coast at least) the Kenays lie to the north of these last, there is a partial discontinuity of the Eskimo area. The difference between the Ugalyakhmutsi, and the Eskimo tongues is exhibited in the Mithridates. The present writer considers that it is exceedingly over-rated. Indeed, from the first investigations which he made upon the subject, where he compared the Ugalyakhmutsi of the Mithridates with the Sitka, Kenay, Kadiak, and Unalashkan of Lisiansky, he was inclined to place the Ugalents in the Eskimo class at once—and that in its more limited extent. Nevertheless, the tables of Baer's Beyträge sufficiently show that it has a closer resemblance to the Atnah and Kolooch. At all events, its transitional character is undoubted. In manners and appearance the Ugalentses are Kolúch, and in their manner of life, migratory nomades and fishers.

The Sitkans.—Of the Sitka dialect we have numerous vocabularies; one by Cook, under the name of the Norfolk Sound language. The number who speak this, is put by Mr. Green, an American missionary, at 6500.

The Tungaas.—Of this we have only a short vocabulary of Mr. Tolmic, which is stated by Dr. Scouler, to exhibit affinities with the Sitkan. This is the case. Whether, however, these affinities with the languages to the north of the Tungaas localities, are so much greater than those with the tongues spoken southwards, as to justify us in drawing a line between the true Kolúch dialects and those that will soon be enumerated, has yet to be ascertained. Assuming, however, that this is the case,[Pg 297] and, again, insisting upon the conventional character of the present class, and the transitional nature of the Kolúch languages, I consider that the undoubted Kolúch dialects end in the neighbourhood of Queen Charlotte's Islands.

Still there are tribes to the back of those on the coast which have yet to be noticed:—

The Inkhuluklait.—Dwelling on the river Chulitna, and allied to the—

Magimut.—who are allied to the—

Inkalit.—These, in one village alone, are 700 strong; their language has been said to be a mixture of the Kenay, Unalashkan, and Atna. The Inkalit are neighbours of the Kuskokwim, with whom they are continually at war.

It is highly probable that the Inkalit language, when better known, will present the same phenomenon of transition with the Ugalyakhmutsi.



Locality.—The Peel River, a feeder of the M'Kenzie.

The ethnological position of the Dígothi, Loucheux, or Squinters, is uncertain. Mr. Isbister, who in 1847 laid before the British Association for the Advancement of Science a short notice of them, stated that their language was soon learned by the Eskimo, and vice versâ. It was also soon learned by the Chippewyans, and vice versâ. This was primâ facie evidence of its intermediate or transitional character. More important, however, is the following short vocabulary; which is Mr. Isbister's also. Here the closest affinities are with the Kenay, itself a language of so doubtful a position, that although the present writer considers it to be Kolúch, most others isolate it.

White man Manah-gool-ait
Indian Tenghie[104] teena=man.
Eskimo nak-high "
Wind etsee "
Head wind newatsee "
Fair wind jeatsee "
[Pg 298]Water tchon[105] thun-agalgus.
Sun shethie channoo.
Moon shet-sill tlakannoo.
Stars kumshaet ssin.
Meat beh kutskonna.
Deer et-han "
Head umitly aissagge.
Arm tchiegen skona.
Leg tsethan "
Coat chiegee "
Blanket tsthee "
Knife tlay kissaki.
Foot jetly "
Yes eh "
No illuck-wha "
Far nee-jah "
Near neak-wha "
Strong nehaintah "
Cold kateitlee ktckchuly.
Long kawa "
Enough ekcho, ekatarainyo "
Eat beha "
Drink chidet-leh "
Come chatchoo "
Go away eenio "
I see su
Thou nin nan.
(My) father (se) tsay stukta.
(My) son (se) jay ssi-ja.
(My) daughter (se) zaa ssx-za.
(My) wife (te) chiliquah "
(My) brother-in-law sundayee "

In physical appearance the Dígothi are athletic fine-looking men, considerably above the average stature, most of them above six feet high, and well-proportioned. They have black hair, fine sparkling eyes, moderately high cheek-bones, regular teeth, and a fair complexion. Their countenances are handsome and expressive.


Extract from Mr. Isbister.—These range the country between the Russian settlements on the Stikine River and the Rocky Mountains, where they are [Pg 299]conterminous with the Carriers of New Caledonia on the south, and the Daho-dinnies of M'Kenzie's River on the west. They are a brave and warlike race; the scourge and terror of the country round. It is a curious circumstance, and not the less remarkable from the contrast to the general rule in such cases, that this turbulent and ungovernable horde were under the direction of a woman, who ruled them, too, with a rod of iron, and was obeyed with a readiness and unanimity truly marvellous. She was certainly a remarkable character, and possessed of no ordinary share of intelligence. From the fairness of her complexion and hair, and the general cast of her features, she was believed to have some European blood. Whether through her influence or not, the condition of the females among the Nehannies stands much higher than among the American Indians generally. The proper locality of the Nehanni tribe is the vicinity of the sea-coast, where they generally pass the summer. In the winter they range the country in the interior for the purpose of bartering, or plundering, furs from the inland tribes; acting as middlemen between them and the Russian traders. They agree in general character with the Koloochians, having light complexions, long and lank hair, fine eyes and teeth, and many of them strong beards and moustaches. They are not generally tall, but active and vigorous, bold and treacherous in disposition; fond of music and dancing, and ingenious and tasteful in their habits and decorations. They subsist principally on salmon, and evince a predilection for a fish diet, which indicates their maritime origin. Like all the north-west tribes, they possess numerous slaves; inhabitants, it is understood, of some of the numerous islands which stud the coast, and either taken in war or bought of the neighbouring tribes.[106]

The languages which now follow are known but imperfectly; so that the classes which they form are all provisional, and of uncertain value. It is certainly not safe to call them Kolúch, although they all contain a notable per-centage of Kolúch words; nor yet is it advisable to throw them all together as members of a separate division—equivalent to, but distinct from, the Kolúch. For this, they are hardly sufficiently like each other, and hardly sufficiently unlike those spoken to the north of them. In other words we are now in one of those difficult ethnological areas, where we have no broad and trenchant lines of demarcation, but the phenomena of intermixture instead. This is the coast and a little beyond the coast of the Pacific, where the common climatologic conditions presented by a deeply-indented[Pg 300] sea-board, make this arrangement natural as well as convenient.


Locality.—Queen Charlotte's Islands, and the southern extremity of the Prince of Wales's Archipelago.

Spoken by.a, the Skittegats; b, Massets; c, Kumshahas; d, Kyganie.


Locality.—N.L. 55°, sea-coast and islands.

Divisions.—1. Naaskok, inhabiting Observatory Inlet; 2. Chemmesyan, in Dundas's Island, and Stephenson's Island; 3, 4, Kitshatlah and Kethumish, in Princess Royal Islands.


Locality.—The mouth of the Salmon River.

In M'Kenzie's Travels we find a few words from a tribe on the Salmon River. Their locality is called by M'Kenzie the Friendly Village. By the aid of Mr. Tolmie's vocabularies we can now place this hitherto unfixed dialect. It belongs to the Billechoola tongue.

Salmon zimilk shimilk.
Dog watts watz.
House zlaachle shmool.
Bark mat yemnez "
Cedar-bark blanket " tzummi.
Beaver couloun couloun.
Stone aichts quilstolomick.
Water ulkan kullah.
Mat gitscom stuchom.
Bonnet ilcaette kayeete.

Locality.—Sea-coast from Hawkesbury Island to Broughton's Archipelago; the northern part of Quadra's and Vancouver's Island(?).

Tribes.—Hyshalla, Hyhysh, Esleytuk, Weekenoch, Nalatsenoch, Quagheuil, Tlatla-Shequilla, Lequeeltoch.

The language of Fitz-Hugh Sound, of which we find the numerals in the Mithridates, seems to be Hailtsa. On the other hand, the termination, -scum, reappears in the Blackfoot numerals.

[Pg 301]

F. Sound malscum.
Haeltzuk malook.
English three.
F. Sound utascum.
Haeltzuk yootook.
English four.
F. Sound moozcum.
Haeltzuk moak.
Billechoola moash.
English five.
F. Sound thekaescum.
Haeltzuk skeowk.
Billechoola tzeiuch.
English six.
F. Sound kitliscum.
Haeltzuk katlowk.
English seven.
F. Sound atloopooskum.
Haeltzuk malthlowsk.
English ten.
F. Sound nighioo.
Haeltzuk aikas.

By Mr. Hales, the Hailtsa, of which he gives a vocabulary, differing in some several points from the Haeltzuk (although the two words are most likely the same), is placed, along with the Chemmesyan and Billechúla in a single section, called the Nas class of languages, and probably this is the right view. The difficulty, however, in these parts is not to connect one tongue with another, but to disconnect it from others. The Hailtsa has certainly affinities with the Chemmesyan, &c., but whether these are greater than those with the Atna, Skittegat, or Wakash tongue is doubtful. Probably, however, it is as Mr. Hales' tables make it.


Localities.a. The greater portion of Quadra and Vancouver's Island; b. The parts about Cape Flattery, on the continent.

Divisions.a. Insular. 1. The Naspatle; 2. Proper Nutkans; 3. Tlaoquatsh; 4. Nittenat. b. Continental.—1. Klasset; 2. Klallems. General name for the language.—Wakash.

Such is the line of languages from Behring's Straits to the parts opposite Quadra and Vancouver's Island, as they are spoken along the sea-coast as far south as Frazer's River; concerning which it may also be predicated that they are spoken along the sea-coast almost exclusively—i.e. that none of them extends far inland.

[Pg 302]

Of those spoken inland, the distribution is very different. It is, at first, over large areas.


The geographical distribution of the Athabaskans should be studied along with that of the Eskimo; since, like this last, it has an east-and-west, or (if the expression may be allowed) a horizontal extension. It has, however, an extension from north to south, or what may be called a vertical one as well. As a general rule, the southern limit of the Eskimo is the northern limit of the Athabaskan area.



Divisions.—Northern and southern.


Conterminous with the Algonkins on the south-east, the Shushwap on the south-west, the Kolúches and Hailtsa west, and the Eskimos north.

Area.—From Hudson's Bay to about 100 miles from the Pacific in 50° 30´ N.L.; on the Misinissi (Churchill) Peace, Fish, and M'Kenzie's Rivers; on the Athabaska, Slave and Bear Lakes; on the northern portion of the Rocky Mountains, and on each side of them.

Political Relations.—Hudson's Bay Company—Russia(?).

Divisions (according to Mr. Isbister).—1. The Chippewyans Proper. 2. The Beaver Indians. 3. The Daho-dinnis. 4. The Strong Bows. 5. The Hare Indians. 6. The Dog-ribs. 7. The Yellow Knives. 8. The Carriers.

The Chippewyans Proper.—From Hudson's Bay to the Lake Athabaska; speaking a harsh and meagre dialect, and calling themselves See-eessaw-dinneh=Rising Sun Men. These were the first Athabaskans known to Europeans. The name Chippewyan is probably misapplied; at any rate, the See-eessaw-dinneh are a different people from the Chippeways or Ojibbways. In even the early Chippewyan vocabularies of Dobbs and M'Kenzie there is a sufficiency of Eskimo words to throw suspicion over the current doctrine as to the great breadth of the line of demarcation between the Athabaskans and Eskimos.

[Pg 303]

The Beaver Indians.—The valley of the Peace River, from the Lake Athabaska to the Rocky Mountains. Their dialect is the softest and most copious of the Athabaskan tongues. It is also most mixed with words from the Cree dialect of the Algonkin.

The Daho-dinnis.—Called from their warlike disposition the Mauvais Monde, and inhabiting the head-water of the Rivière-aux-liards.

The Strong Bows.—Mountaineers of their upper part of the Rocky Mountains; slightly differing in dialect from the Daho-dinnis, and still more slightly from the—

Hare, or Slave Indians.—Occupants of the valley of the River M'Kenzie, from Slave Lake to Great Bear Lake. These extend to the Arctic Circle, and consequently, along with the Dog-ribs, are the most northern of the Athabaskans. "Their condition is the most wretched and deplorable that can be imagined. Cannibalism, almost justified by the extreme necessity of the case, exists to a frightful extent. It is but just, however, to say, that this practice is looked upon with horror by the tribe generally; and many, rather than resort to this dreadful expedient, put an end to their own lives. Instances have been known of parents destroying their own families, and afterwards themselves, to avoid this fatal alternative.

"They are almost entirely clothed in the skins of rabbits, tagged together after the rudest fashion with the ends of sinew; hence the name of Hare Indians applied to the tribe. They have neither tents nor huts of any kind, living all the year round in the open air. As might be expected, they are a puny and stunted race, and are rapidly decreasing in numbers, and must soon disappear altogether."

The Dog-ribs.—Due-east of the Hare Indians.—[Pg 304]"They live upon the rein-deer, which frequent their lands in great numbers, following the migrations of these animals as closely as if they formed part and parcel of the herd. They are almost entirely independent of the whites, and present a marked contrast with their neighbours of the Hare Tribe. They are well-clothed in the skins of the rein-deer, and have all the elements of comfort and Indian prosperity within their reach. They are a healthy, vigorous, but not very active race, of a mild and peaceful disposition, but very low in the mental scale, and apparently of very inferior capacity. There is no reason to think that they are decreasing in numbers. They receive the name of the Dog-ribs, from a tradition that they are descended from the dog."

The Yellow Knives.—Called also the Copper Indians, from occupying, like the Dog-ribs, a portion of the river so called.

The Carriers, Tahkali, or Taculli.—These occupy the greater portion of New Caledonia, and, of all the Athabaskans, they are those that are best known. They are divided into "eleven clans, or minor tribes, whose names are, beginning at the south, as follows:—(1) the Taūtin, or Talkótin; (2) the Tsilkótin, or Chiltokin; (3) the Naskótin; (4) the Thetliótin; (5) the Tsatsnótin; (6) the Nulaáutin; (7) the Ntshaáutin; (8) the Natliáutin; (9) the Nikozliáutin; (10) the Tatshiáutin; and (11) the Babine Indians. The number of persons in these clans varies from fifty to three hundred. All speak the same language, with some slight dialectical variations. The Sikani (or Secunnie) nation has a language radically the same, but with greater difference of dialect, passing gradually into that of the Beaver and Chippewyan Indians.

"The Tahkali, though a branch of the great Chippewyan (or Athabascan) stock, have several peculiarities in their[Pg 305] customs and character which distinguish them from other members of that family. In personal appearance they resemble the tribes on the Upper Columbia, though, on the whole, a better-looking race. They are rather tall, with a tendency to grossness in their features and figures, particularly among the women. They are somewhat lighter in complexion than the tribes of the south.

"Like all Indians, who live principally upon fish, and who do not acquire the habits of activity proper to the hunting tribes, they are excessively indolent and filthy, and, as a natural concomitant, base and depraved in character. They are fond of unctuous substances, and drink immense quantities of oil, which they obtain from fish and wild animals. They also besmear their bodies with grease and coloured earths. They like their meat putrid, and often leave it until the stench is, to any but themselves, insupportable. Salmon roes are sometimes buried in the earth and left for two or three months to putrefy, in which state they are esteemed a delicacy.

"The natives are prone to sensuality, and chastity among the women is unknown. At the same time, they seem to be almost devoid of natural affection. Children are considered by them a burden, and they often use means to destroy them before birth. Their religious ideas are very gross and confused. It is not known that they have any distinct ideas of a God, or of the existence of the soul. They have priests, or doctors, whose art consists in certain mummeries, intended for incantations. When a corpse is burned, which is the ordinary mode of disposing of the dead, the priest, with many gesticulations and contortions, pretends to receive in his closed hands something, perhaps the life of the deceased, which he communicates to some living person, by throwing his hands towards him, and at the[Pg 306] same time blowing upon him. This person then takes the rank of the deceased, and assumes his name in addition to his own. Of course the priest always understands to whom this succession is properly due.

"If the deceased had a wife, she is all but burned alive with the corpse, being compelled to lie upon it while the fire is lighted, and remain thus till the heat becomes beyond endurance. In former times, when she attempted to break away, she was pushed back into the flames by the relations of her husband, and thus often severely injured. When the corpse is consumed, she collects the ashes and deposits them in a little basket, which she always carries about with her. At the same time she becomes the servant and drudge of the relations of her late husband, who exact of her the severest labour, and treat her with every indignity. This lasts for two or three years, at the end of which time a feast is made by all the kindred; and a broad post, fifteen or twenty feet high, is set up, and covered on the sides with rude daubs, representing figures of men and animals of various kinds. On the top is a box in which the ashes of the dead are placed, and allowed to remain until the post decays. After this ceremony the widow is released from her state of servitude, and allowed to marry again. The Carriers are not a warlike people, though they sometimes have quarrels with their neighbours, particularly the tribes of the coast. But these are usually appeased without much difficulty."[107]

The Tsikanni, or Sikani.—The evidence that these are Athabaskan is taken exclusively from their language. In the United States Exploring Expedition, the same sentence which speaks to the similarity of tongue, speaks also to the difference of manners and customs.—

[Pg 307]

"The Sikani, though speaking a language of the same family, differ widely from the Tahkali in their character and customs. They live a wandering life, and subsist by the chase. They are a brave, hardy, and active people, cleanly in their persons and habits, and in general agreeing nearly with the usual idea of an American Indian. They bury their dead, and have none of the customs of the Tahkali with respect to them."

A tabulated vocabulary of Mr. Howse, publishing by the Philological Society, is further evidence to the Athabaskan character of the Tsikanni language.

The Sussees, or Sarsees.—On the head-waters of the Saskatchewan.

It is not certain that the previous list is exhaustive of the northern Athabaskans. In Gallatin's enumeration we have, besides those enumerated—

1. The Northern Indians on Hudson's Bay.—As these are mentioned in addition to the Chippewyans Proper, it is fair to suppose that they constitute a variety under that division.

2. The Birch-rind Indians, living near the Slave Lake, and probably most closely akin to the Hare Indians.

3. The Thickwood Hunters.

4. The Sheep Indians.

5. The Brushwood Indians.

6. The Nauscud-dennies of M'Kenzie's River.

7. The Slaoucud-dennies of M'Kenzie's River.

8. The Naotetains to the west of Tacullis.

9. The Nagail, or Chin Indians; are probably Tacullis under another name.

In the Athabaskan language, dinne=man; so that we now understand the prevalence of that termination.

The Chippewyans Proper are called Saweesaw-dinneh.

[Pg 308]

The Birch-rind Indians are called Tan-tsawhot-dinneh.

The Dog-ribs are called Thlingeha-dinneh.

On the other hand, the Thickwood, Sheep, and Brushwood Indians are called Edch-tawoot, Ambah-tawoot, and Tsillaw-awdoot, respectively; whilst the Hare Indians are called Kancho.

Lastly, it should be added that, although Mr. Isbister makes the Nehannies Kolúch, Gallatin places them amongst the Athabaskans. A vocabulary of their language would probably settle the point. Such, however, is yet wanting.


Area.—A narrow strip at the mouth of the river Columbia, and along the sea-coast to the river Umkwa.

Divisions.—1. Kwalioqwa. 2. Tlatskanai. 3. Umkwa.

1. The Kwalioqwa, north of the river Columbia, from which, and from the Tlatskanai, they are separated by the Tshinúks. Number, about 100.

2. The Tlatskanai, south of the river Columbia, from which, and from the Kwalioqwa, they are separated by the Tshinúks. Number, about 100.

3. The Umkwa, occupying the upper part of the river so-called, about lat. 43°. Number, about 400.

The first vocabulary of this section (one of the Umkwa language) was collected by Mr. Tolmie. The notice, however, of its affinities with the Tlatskanai and Kwalioqwa, and the more important discovery of its Athabaskan character, is one of many valuable additions made to Ethnographical Philology by Mr. Hales. I consider, for my own part, that the following table[108] justifies his classification.

Man dinnie khanane titsun.
Woman chequois tseukeia ekhe.
Father yitah (my) mama stanli.
Mother yinah (my) naa unla.
Son yiayay (my) sikute-teintsu nusla shashai. [Pg 309]
Daughter yilengai (my) slku-tsukaisla éte.
Head edthie khustuma sugha.
Hair thiegah khotsusea zugha.
Ear " khotskhe tshigha.
Eye nackhay khonakhai naghe.
Nose " khointsus mintshesh.
Mouth " khokwaitshaále ta.
Tongue edthu khotshutkhltshikhltsaha lásom.
Tooth goo (pl) khotsiakatatkhltsin uo.
Hand law kholáa shláa.
Fingers " tkhlakhakhatesa schlatsune.
Feet cuh (sing.) khoakhastlsukai shke.
Blood dell tutkhl shtule.
House cooen kuntukh ma.
Axe thylne katstun senutl.
Knife bess tekhe natlmi.
Shoes kinchee ke khe.
Sky " ishtshi.
Sun sah tause sha.
Moon sah tause ighaltshi.
Star " " khatlatshe.
Day " khautkhlkante shaitltiti.
Night " kleakut khutli.
Fire counn tkhlkane khong.
Water tone to tkho.
Rain thinnelsee natkakh natkhlhika.
Snow yath yakhs tatkhliyitkhl.
Earth " neé nanee.
River tesse taseke khanee.
Stone thaih tshetse seh.
Tree " tukun sintshunata.
Meat bid tsutsun isung.
Dog sliengh tkhlin tkhli.
Beaver yah " sha.
Bear yass tulsunu shtetkhlshu (black).
Bird " tsheuse naake.
Great unshaw wane mintshaghe.
Cold edyah kwatsakhutowa skais.
White " itesina halukai.
Black dellzin tkhlsune huldji.
Red delicouse tkhltsohwe tutkhl.
I ne sik shi.
Thou nee nannuk na.
He " ianuk hatake.
One slachy tkhlie aitkhla.
Two naghur natuke nakhuk.[Pg 310]
Three taghy tage tak.
Four dengky tuntshe tuntshik.
Five sasoulachee tsukwalae shwullak.
Six alkitarhyy kwustanahe wusthane.
Seven " shostshita hoitahi.
Eight olkideinghy tshanivaha nakanti.
Nine cakinahanothna tkhleweet aitkhlanti.
Ten canothna kwunéshin kwuneza.

We now come to a series of languages which, like the Kolúch, and unlike the Athabaskan and Eskimo, have no great extension from west to east, and which are spoken on the western side of Rocky Mountains only. Hence we get a great geographical line of demarcation; whilst the river systems with which we deal are those of Frazer's River and the Columbia, rather than of the Peace, the M'Kenzie, the Saskatchewan, and the Missinissi rivers.

West of the Rocky Mountains, the ethnological affinities run from north to south (or vertically) until we reach the area of the great Paduca family; one, in respect to its direction and distribution, of the most remarkable in America.

The ethnology of the parts between the Pacific, the Rocky Mountains, the Northern Athabaskan, and the Paduca area, is very nearly the ethnology of Oregon. Here we find two great families; and by their sides four or five isolated, or nearly isolated, languages, a phenomenon for which we are now prepared.

The first of the great divisions is one that is conveniently called—


Synonym.—Tsihaili-Selish. Hales.

Area.—Discontinuous. Chiefly the lower part of Fraser's River, and the parts between that and the Columbia.

Divisions.—1. Tribes to the north of the Columbia, continuous. 2. Tribes to the south of the Columbia, either wholly or nearly isolated.

Sub-divisions.—Value of the classification unascertained. a. Continuous[Pg 311] Tsihaili. 1. Shushwap. 2. Salish. 3. Skitsuish. 4. Piskwaus. 5. Kawitchen. 6. Skwali. 7. Checheeli. 8. Kowelits. 9. Noosdalum.

b. Isolated, or nearly isolated, Tsihaili.—The Nsietshawus, or Killamucks(?).

Conterminous, with the a. Hailtsa, b. Nass, c. Athabaskan Taculli and Tsikunni on the north; d. Kitunaha, on the east; e. Sahaptin; f. Tshinúk on the south. The isolated Tsihaili surrounded by Tshinúks, Tlatskanai (discontinous Athabaskans) and Jakons.

The Shushwap, or Atnahs, are the northernmost of the Tsihaili, and are conterminous with the Taculli. Their number, according to Mr. Hales, is about 1200, increased from 400.

The Salish.—The Salish language falls into three dialects; those of a, the Kullelspelm or Ponderays (Pend' oreilles), b, the Spokan, improperly called Flat-heads (since they have no such habit as the one suggested by the name), and c, the Okanagan.

A fair sample of the Salish traditions is the following. A ceremony called by them (the Salish) Sumash, "deserves notice for the strangeness of the idea on which it is founded. They regard the spirit of a man as distinct from the living principle, and hold that it may be separated for a short time from the body without causing death, or without the individual being conscious of the loss. It is necessary, however, in order to prevent fatal consequences, that the lost spirit should be found and restored as quickly as possible. The conjuror, or medicineman, learns, in a dream, the name of the person who has suffered this loss. Generally there are several at the same time in this condition. He then informs the unhappy individuals, who immediately employ him to recover their wandering souls. During the next night they go about the village from one lodge to another singing and dancing. Towards morning they enter a separate lodge, which is closed up, so as to be perfectly dark; a small hole is then made in the roof, through which the conjuror, with[Pg 312] a bunch of feathers, brushes in the spirits in the shape of small bits of bone, and similar substances, which he receives on a piece of matting. A fire is then lighted, and the conjuror proceeds to select out from the spirits such as belong to persons already deceased, of which there are usually several; and should one of them be assigned by mistake to a living person he would instantly die. He next selects the particular spirit belonging to each person, and causing all the men to sit down before him, he takes the spirit of one (i.e., the splinter of bone, shell, or wood, representing it), and placing it on the owner's head, pats it, with many contortions and invocations, till it descends into the heart and resumes its proper place. When all are thus restored the whole party unite in making a contribution of food, out of which a public feast is given, and the remainder becomes the perquisite of the conjuror.

"Like the Sahaptin, the Salish have many childish traditions connected with the most remarkable natural features of the country, in which the prairie-wolf generally bears a conspicuous part. What could have induced them to confer the honours of divinity upon this animal cannot be imagined; they do not, however, regard the wolf as an object of worship, but merely suppose that in former times it was endowed with preternatural powers, which it exerted after a very whimsical and capricious fashion. Thus, on one occasion, being desirous of a wife (a common circumstance with him), the wolf, or the divinity so called, visited a tribe on the Spokan River and demanded a young woman in marriage. His request being granted, he promised that thereafter the salmon should be abundant with them, and he created the rapids which give them facilities for taking the fish. Proceeding further up, he made of each tribe on his way the same request, attended with a[Pg 313] like result; at length he arrived at the territory of the Skitsuish (Cœur d'alène); they refused to comply with his demand, and he therefore called into existence the great falls of the Spokan, which prevent the fish from ascending to their country."[109]

In the Salish tribes we have the best sample of a true inland Oregon family, a section of the American Indians distinguished by certain negative as well as positive characters which require notice.

a. As contrasted with the Indians to the north of them they have a milder climate, are south of the true fur-bearing countries, and below the line of the rein-deer.

b. From the islanders and coast tribes of the Pacific they are distinguished by the necessary absence of maritime habits, and a diet consisting to a great extent of sea fish.

c. To the families on the east of the Rocky Mountains they stand in the remarkable opposition of being imperfect agriculturists rather than hunters. In other words, in getting beyond the range of the Rocky Mountains we get beyond the country of the prairie and the localities of the buffalo; as a set-off to which, although the botany of the Oregon is at present but imperfectly known, the whole district is described as being preeminently productive of edible roots; not, however, in respect to the number of individuals (for the land is poor), but in respect to the variety of their species.

Oregon, then, at least in its central parts, is the area of an undeveloped agriculture; and (probably like other tribes besides) the Salish look to the returning seasons not, as in Siberia, Arctic America, and the parts to the east of the Rocky Mountains, with a view to the migra[Pg 314]tions of the buffalo and the rein-deer, but with respect to the production of their successive vegetable esculents; added to which their river-system gives them, in its season, a supply of fish.

Upon this point, even if external evidence were wanting, we might find proof in the Salish names of the seasons (with which the Piskwaus agree), a list which gives us in the months of the camass-root and the exhausted salmon the extreme seasons of want and plenty.

Skwusús Siistikwo December and Jan.
Skiniramun Skwusus cold January and Feb.
Skuputskiltin Skiniramun a certain herb February & March.
Skasulku Skaputru snow gone March and April.
Katsosumptun Spatlom bitter-root April and May.
Stsaok Stagamawus going to root-ground May and June.
Kupukkalotltin Ittlwa camass-root June and July.
Silump Saanttllkwo hot July and August.
Tshepomtum Silamp gathering berries August and Sept.
Parpattllitlen Skilues exhausted salmon September and Oct.
Skaai Skaai dry October and Nov.
Siistkwu Keshmakwaln snow November and Dec.

The Piskwaus.—"On the main Columbia, between the Salish proper, and the Wallawallahs below Fort Okanagan. A miserable, beggarly people, great thieves. Their country very poor in game and roots."—Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, p. 13.

The Skitsuish.Cœur d'alène.—"About 400 souls live on the lake of that name above the falls of the Spokan, have no salmon, raise potatoes, and have a tendency to cultivate."—Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, p. 13.

The Kawichen, Skwali, Checheeli, Kowelits, Kwaintl, Kwenawitl and Núsdalum.—The exact relations of these[Pg 315] tribes to each other, as well as their position in the Tsihaili family, is unascertained.

Geographically they agree in forming the south-western division of the stock, and in occupying the peninsula (or acté) between the mouth of the Columbia, Puget's Sound, and Cape Flattery; where, in the latter locality, they are in contact with the Wakash Klassets and Klallems, and, in the former, with the Tshinúks.

Philologically the Atna, as tested by the first known vocabulary of the language, a short one of M'Kenzie's, is closely allied to the Núsdalum. But, then, on the other hand the Núsdalum, Kawichen and Skwali (or Squallyarnish) are by no means so like each other as are the two vocabularies first mentioned.

Again, Dr. Scouler gives reasons against disconnecting this branch of the Tsihaili from the Wakash dialects of Quadra and Vancouver's Island, with which he shows that they have at least the following words in common.

Plenty haya aya.
No wake wik.
Water chuck tchaak.
Good closh hooleish.
Bad peshak peishakeis.
Man tillicham tchuckoop.
Woman cloochamen tlootsemin.
Child tanass tannassis.
Now clahowiah tlahowieh.
Come sacko tchooqua.
Slave mischemas mischemas.
What are you doing? ekta mammok akoots-ka-mamok.
What are you saying? ekta-wawa au-kaak-wawa. .
Let me see nannanitch nannanitch.
Sun ootlach opeth.
Sky saya sieya.
Fruit camas chamas.
To sell makok makok.
Understand commatax commatax.
[Pg 316]

For the particular dialect spoken by another Tsihaili tribe, and placed by Dr. Scouler in the present section, we have no vocabulary, viz.: the Commagsheak in the northern part of the Gulf of Georgia.

ISOLATED (or nearly Isolated) TSIHAILI.(?)

The Nsietshawuss.—Occupants of the sea-coasts to the south of the Columbia. Numbers in 1840 about 700. Conterminous with the Tshinúks, on the north, the Jakon on the south, and the Tlatskanai on the east.—Appearance and manners of the Tshinúks.


The elements of doubt denoted by the note of interrogation(?) consist in the discrepancy between the evidence of the Killamuk language, and the evidence of the Killamuk physiognomy; the former being Tsihaili, the latter Tshinúk. Hence, whilst Mr. Hales makes them the former, Dr. Scouler classes them with the latter.

Now comes a small family, falling into no minor divisions, and spread over an area of but third-rate magnitude.



Locality.—Banks of the Kútani River, one of the feeders of the Columbia.

Conterminous.—with the Blackfoots, Ponderay, Salish, Shushwap, and Carrier Athabaskans.

The Kútanis are described by Simpson as undersized, irregularly fed, poor, and squalid; the women being plainer than the men. Irregularly fed upon fish and venison, they dig up the kammas and mash it into a pulp. This, in times of unusual scarcity, they flavour with a sort of moss or lichen collected from the trees. On the other hand they are sharp-sighted in making bargains, prudent enough to be the best economisers in their district of the fur-animals, steady in their fidelity to the whites, and so brave, under[Pg 317] attacks, as to hold their own against the powerful Blackfoots of the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains.

According to Mr. Hales their numbers are about 400; they are great hunters, furnishing much peltry, and in appearance and character resembling the Indians east of the Rocky Mountains rather than those of the Oregon.

These accounts agree; whilst the evidence of language as known from the vocabularies of the American Exploring Expedition, and a MS. vocabulary of Mr. Howse's disconnect them from the tribes around them.

In physical appearance they are contrasted by Simpson with the Salish Ponderays. These last struck him with the stateliness of their manners; and so much did they show to advantage, that he considered them as the finest-looking men he had seen, next to the Indians of the plains.


Locality.—Mouth of the Columbia.

Divisions.—1. Chinúks Proper, on the southern bank of the Columbia, at its mouth. 2. Klatsops, at Point Adams, south of the Chinúks. 3. Kathlamut, on the south bank of the Columbia, above the Chinúks. 4. Wakáikam. 5. Watlala, or Upper Chinúk, farthest up the river. 6. Nihaloitih.

Physical Appearance.—"The personal appearances of the Chinook differs so much from that of the aboriginal tribes of the United States, that it was difficult at first to recognise the affinity. Taking them collectively, they are even inferior in stature to the tribes of Interior Oregon; the general form is shorter and more squat, and the face is rounder and broader when viewed in front. Instances occurred of a fairness of complexion, which I have not seen in other parts of aboriginal America; and in young children, the colour was often not strikingly deeper than among Europeans.

"The oblique eye I have scarcely noticed in other parts of America; nor such frequent difficulty in distinguishing men from women, whether in youth or age. The arched nose, was, however, very prevalent among the Chinooks. The beard was not always absolutely wanting, but it occasionally attained the length of an inch or more. One man had both beard and whiskers, quite thin, but full two inches long; and in other respects he much resembled some representations I have seen of the Esquimaux." * * * "The head is artificially flattened in infancy; but as the children grow up, the cranium tends to resume its natural shape, so that[Pg 318] the majority of grown persons hardly manifest the existence of the practice. One effect, however, seemed to be permanently distinguishable, in the unusual breadth of the face."—Pickering, p. 27.

We have already, in speaking of the Salish, met with the word Flat-head, and, although in that particular case, it was misapplied, it is still an important term in American ethnology, since more than one family of American Indians has the practice of artificially flattening the head. This we meet with, for the first time, amongst the Tshinúks, the true Flat-heads of those parts.

The process itself was witnessed by Pickering. In one of the stockaded villages of the Chinúks, where the influence of the missionaries had so far found its way as for some of the houses to stand in a small cultivated enclosure, of about a quarter of an acre in size, an infant was confined to a wooden receptacle, with a pad tightly bandaged over the forehead and eyes, so that it was alike impossible for it to see or move. He also observed that when the child was suspended according to usage, the head was actually lower than the feet.

So much for the children. The adults improve upon Nature by piercing the septum of the nose and putting a ring through it, by earrings, and by painting the face—in default of paint, by smearing it with soot, the marks being after a pattern. A black and dull red paint, with which they ornament their canoes, hats, and masks, are aboriginal, the others procured from traders. A sail, also, seen in one of the larger boats was considered not native, but copied from the Russians. In other respects the management of their canoes, as well as the construction, was skilful; so were some of the contrivances both for fowling and fishing. For the former purpose tall masts were set up to intercept by means of connecting nets(?) the water-fowl at night.[Pg 319] Sturgeon were speared or noosed; the darts used for killing fish being double-headed. The capture of whales, an exploit never attempted by even the most enterprising of the Polynesians, is attempted by the Chinúks.

The art, however, of platting, or weaving, seems to be that wherein the Chinúks have the best claim for excellence. Still it is doubtful whether, in this respect, they are above the level of the American tribes in general. The mats are made of the scirpus lacustris placed side by side, and strung at intervals. The wool of the mountain goat is woven into blankets, marked, in the way of pattern, with angular figures, coloured black and red. The former seem to be made by changing the material, and substituting the black hair of the dog for that of the goat.

Carving in claystone is another Chinúk art. So many, however, of the specimens in museums are made in imitation of imported articles that the original patterns, consisting generally in the representation of grotesque imaginary quadrupeds, are nearly extinct.[110]

I shall close the account of the Tshinúks with a notice of the Lingua Franca, taken from Mr. Hales, which is now in the actual process of formation in the parts about the mouth of the Columbia. It first began to be developed in the harbour of Nútka Sound; from the language of which district a few words were adopted by the early English traders. When the intercourse with the inhabitants of the Columbia began, these Nútka words became transferred to the Chinúk country; and the three languages which then contributed elements to the so-called jargon, were the Nútka, the Chinúk, and the English. From the second of these tongues were taken, besides certain substantives and adjectives, the first ten numerals, the[Pg 320] word for a hundred, twelve pronouns, and about twenty adverbs and prepositions. Additions were also supplied from the French of the Canadian voyageurs.

Some of the processes by which this medium of communication has been formed deserve study; and they have been well exhibited in the philological portion of the United States Exploring Expedition, the source of the present information.

1. For a language to be spoken by three different nations it is convenient to admit only such articulations as are common to the three languages. An approach to this occurs here. The harsh Chinúk sounds are modified. The French nasal is dropped. The English tsh becomes dzh; perhaps, in the mouth of a Frenchman, zh.

2. In names of objects common to both languages, the choice seems to be determined by the hardness or easiness of the pronunciation. For man, sun, moon, stick, snow, warm, &c., the terms are English; although the equivalents were part and parcel of the Chinúk and Nútkan, equally. They were, however, preeminently unpronounceable, being kottllelikum, ottllatl, &c. On the other hand where the Indian is moderately adapted to European organs terms from both languages become current, e.g.

Water tsok and wātā
Cold tsis " kol
Fire olapitski " paia.

3. Grammar is, as we should expect it to be, at its minimum amount.

a. b. There are no signs of either the possessive case or the plural number. The former is determined by the construction only—kata nēm maika papa=what name thou father=wh(-at) is (the) name (of) th(-y) father. The latter is sometimes denoted by haiu=many.

[Pg 321]

c. In general the tense of verbs is to be discovered by the context. When it is absolutely necessary to fix the time, certain adverbs are resorted to; as, now, formerly, tomorrow. The future sense is expressed by tuké=wish.

d. The notion of condition is expressed by the Chinúk klunas=perhaps, or by the English pos=suppose. The only other conjunction in the language is pi =the French puis=and, or, then, &c.

e. The substantive verb is generally (as in the normal state of the Semitic languages) omitted—maika pilton = thou art foolish.

The changes that European words undergo may be collected from the following vocabulary.


The power of combination is greatly developed. Almost every verb and adjective may receive a modification in its meaning by the prefixion of the word mamúk=make or cause. Thus—

Tsháko[117] = come mamúk tsháko = bring.
Klátawa[117] = go " klátawa = send.
Kikwili[118] = below " kikwili = bury.
Pepa = paper " pepa = write.

That of composition is equally so; e.g. ship-man=sailor, ship-stik=spar, stik-skin=bark, sél-haus (sail-house) = tent, &c.

"The place at which the jargon is most in use is at Fort Vancouver. At this establishment five languages are spoken by about five hundred persons—namely, the English, the Canadian French, the Tshinúk, the Cree or Knisteneau, and the Hawaiian. The three former are already accounted for; the Cree is the language spoken in the families of many officers and men belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, who have married half-breed wives at the posts east of the Rocky Mountains. The Hawaiian is in use among about a hundred natives of the Sandwich Islands, who are employed as labourers about the fort. Besides these five languages there are many others—the Tsihailish, Wallawalla, Kalapuya, Naskwali, &c., which are daily heard from natives who visit the fort for the purpose of trading. Among all these individuals, there are very few [Pg 323]who understand more than two languages, and many who speak only their own. The general communication is, therefore, maintained chiefly by means of the jargon, which may be said to be the prevailing idiom. There are Canadians and half-breeds married to Chinook women, who can only converse with their wives in this speech; and it is the fact, strange as it may seem, that many young children are growing up to whom this factitious language is really the mother tongue, and who speak it with more readiness and perfection than any other."


Locality.—From the Falls of the Columbia to Wappatoo Island, falling into a number of small tribes.

The third of the larger divisions of the Oregon Indians is that of the—


Area.—The northern bank of the Columbia from the Tshinúk country, at the mouth, to the junction of the river Lewis. The valley of the river Lewis (or Snake River). As far east as the Rocky Mountains.

Conterminous with the Salish Tsihaili to the north, the Upsaroka (Crows) to the east, the Paducas and Wailatpu to the south, the Skwali Tsihaili and the Watlala Tshinúks to the west.

Divisions.—1. Wallawallas, Kliketat. 2. Proper Sahaptin or Nez-percés. 3. Pelús. 4. Yakemas. 5. Cayús(?).

Numbers.—About 4000.

Aliment.—Roots, salmon.

Extract from Mr. Hales.—"Both the Sahaptin and Wallawallas compress the head, but less than the tribes on the coast."

The Kliketat are distinguished by having the lower part of the septum of the nose cut away.[119]

The imperfect industry of the Sahaptin tribes is considered to be on a higher level than that of either the Tshinúks or Tsihaili; so that, in this respect, they stand the first of the Oregon aborigines.

[Pg 324]

The same applies to their susceptibility of religious influences. With no family have the efforts of the missionaries been more successful than with the Nez-percés.

In physical appearance they are more like the Indians to the east of the Rocky Mountains, than any tribes hitherto described.

Lastly, the easternmost Sahaptin are on the limits of the buffalo area; and as such are partially hunters, as well as common to the two sides of the Rocky Mountains.

It is now convenient to return to the Pacific, and to follow from west to east the tribes that lie south of the area already described.


Locality.—A strip of sea-coast between the Nsietshawus (Tsihaili) the Tlatskanai, the Kalapuya, the Umkwa, and the Saintskla.

Numbers.—About 700.


Locality.—Valley of the Upper Willamet.

Conterminous with the Watlala Tshinúks, the Molele, the Tlatskanai and Umkwa Athabaskans.

Numbers.—About 500.

Dialects.—1. Proper Kalapuya. 2. The Tuhwallatie or Follatie. 3. Yamkallie of Mr. Tolmie.—How far are these the same?


Locality.—Parts about Mount Hood and Mount Vancouver, south of the Columbia.

Conterminous with the Watlala Tshinúks, the Kalapuya, the Cayús, and the Lutuami.

Numbers.—"Reduced in 1841, by disease, to twenty souls. Probably now extinct."—Hales.

Divisions.—1. Molele. 2. Cayús(?)


Locality.—South bank of the Columbia, between the Molele and the Paduca Shoshonis.

Numbers.—About 500 good warriors, with extensive pasturage and large droves of horses, one chief having 2,000.—Hales.

The note of interrogation denotes that the ethnological position of the Cayús is ambiguous. Mr. Hales makes them Molele, Dr. Scouler, Sahaptin.

[Pg 325]


Synonym.—Tlamatl or Clamet.

Locality.—Head-waters of the river Clamet, due south of the Molele, and conterminous with the Umkwa on the west, the Wihinast Shoshonis on the east, and the Palaiks and Shastis on the south.

We are now approaching a series of tribes known by little more than their names. Beginning at the sea-coast to the south of the strip occupied by the Yakon, and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Umkwa country, we find in proceeding from west to east—


Locality.—South of the Yakon, between the Umkwa and the sea.


Locality.—Sea-coast south of the Saintskla.


Locality.—Mouth of the Umkwa.


Locality.—Middle course of the Umkwa.


Locality.—Between the river Umkwa and the river Clamet, or (ethnologically) between the Killiwashat and the Lutuami.


Locality.—South-west of the Lutuami.


Locality.—South-east of the Lutuami, and conterminous with the Shasti.

The list of the tribes and families of the Oregon territory, is now, with one exception, complete, at least according to the present state of our knowledge; whilst the section that still stands over for notice, extends so far beyond it, and is in other respects so remarkable in its distribution, that it forms an ethnological break.

Hence, although in a purely descriptive ethnography it would be advisable to take the tribes of California in immediate succession to those of Oregon, and those of Mexico next in order to the Californian, the present arrangement will be different, and the transition will be[Pg 326] from the Oregon Indians to the Indians on the east of the Rocky Mountains. This departure from the strict line of ethnological continuity, is demanded in the present volume; because the question as to the origin of the American population, being considered of so much more importance than the mere description of different tribes, the arrangement follows the order, in which the reader requires facts as a basis for his reasoning, rather than the absolute sequence of ethnological relationship. This accounts for certain departures, which may possibly have been noticed, from the form and method of description adopted in the ethnology of Asia; it also is a reason for sometimes placing together groups on the score of difference rather than likeness. Such is the case here. The classes about to be noticed follow those that have already been considered, not because they are closely related, but because they present marks of disconnection which are necessary to be known and appreciated previous to any argument upon subjects like the unity or non-unity of the American population, or its connexion or non-connexion with the population of the Old World. In other words, as the nearest affinities of the Oregon tribes are with the Californian, the present order of sequence is artificial rather than natural.

As to the line itself which thus diverts our inquiries from the true ethnological sequence, it is the area of a family already[120] mentioned—the area of the Paduca tribes. Of this the peculiarity is as follows. It begins with the country of the Wihinast, is separated from the Pacific by the comparatively small areas of the Wailatpu, Molele, Kalapuya, and Yakon, and extends in a south-east direction as far as the Gulf of Mexico. Hence, with the[Pg 327] exception of a narrow tract on the Lower Columbia, it runs from sea to sea; so separating all the numerous sections of the Indians of the United States and Canada from those of Spanish America, i.e. from those of Mexico wholly, and from those of California partially.

This gives us a limit for the parts about to be noticed, which, roughly speaking, constitute—

Politically.—the United States and Canada—

Physically.—the river-systems of the St. Lawrence, the Red River, and the Mississippi, and also of those rivers which, like the Potomac, fall into the Atlantic—

Ethnologically.—the country included between the Eskimo, Athabaskan, Kútani, Salish, Sahaptin, and Paduca areas.

Concerning this it may be said that the ocean on one side is hardly a more definite boundary than the Rocky Mountains on the other, so truly do they, as a physical division, coincide with the ethnological one,—at least for the parts between the Athabaskans and Paducas.

The climate of the area may be measured by the fact of its containing Florida on the South, and Labrador on the North, the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, and the coasts of Hudson's Bay.

The east-and-west conditions are less self-evident; the two most important differences being that between the parts east, and that between the parts west of the Mississippi. Speaking roughly, the former is the country of the forest, the latter of the prairie; the former the seat of an incomplete agriculture, the latter the range of the buffalo.

The divisions of the American population that occupy, or occupied, this area, are of unascertained value; I shall give them, in the first instance, nearly according to the classification and nomenclature of Gallatin's standard[Pg 328] dissertation in the Archæologia Americana. Some of these will be large, some small; some like the Turk, some like the Dioscurian; phænomena for which we are now prepared. The first in the list, single handed, takes up more than half the whole area.


Synonyms.—Lenapian, Wapanachki=men of the east. This is said by Heckewelder to have been their national and collective name. Probably, however, it was so only for the tribes on the Atlantic.

Distribution.—East and west from the Rocky Mountains to Newfoundland; north and south, from Labrador to the Carolinas. Breadth greatest in its northern part, decreasing towards the south.

Area.—Newfoundland, part of Labrador, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, south-eastern part of the Hudson's Bay territory, the boundary line between British North America and the United States, the north-western part of the Missouri territory, part of the Wisconsin territory, parts of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, &c., the New England States, Virginia, Kentucky(?), North Carolina.

Divisions.a. Bethucks. b. Central Algonkins. c. Shiennes. d. Blackfoots. Classification provisional.

a. Bethucks.—Locality Newfoundland. Probably extinct. Not hitherto recognised as Algonkin.

b. Central Algonkins.—1. The Crees, Knisteneaux, Klisteno, or Kilistheno. Native name, Nĕhethowuck=exact people. Situation, the river-system of the rivers Nelson, Salmon, and Albany, falling into Hudson's Bay.

2. Ojibways, on the south and west sides of Lake Superior, south of the Crees.

3. Algonkins Proper.

4. Nipissing.—Closely allied tribes on the sides of the Lake of the Two Mountains, in the district of Montreal.

5. Ottawas.—On the river Ottawa, in the islands of Lake Superior. Northern part of Michigan, Closely allied to the Proper Algonkins.

6. Montagnards, Mountaineers.—The French name and its translation, of the name of the tribes between Montreal and the mouth of the St. Lawrence.

7. ScoffisNascopies.—The Algonkins of Labrador. Conterminous with the Eskimo.

8. Sheshatapoosh.—Ditto.

9. Abenakis.—In the state of Maine, in the valley of the Kennebec.

10. Etchemin.—-From whom the state of Maine, took its name. A tribe of these occupy the valley of the St John's River, in New Brunswick.

11. Passamaquoddy.—Maine. A branch of the Etchemin.

12. Micmacs.—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, parts of Labrador and Newfoundland.

13. Penobscot.—Maine.

[Pg 329]

14. Messisaugis.—North of Lake Ontario, at its junction with the St. Lawrence.

15, 16. Pequod and Mohicans.—Extinct. In 1674, in Connecticut.

17. Narraganset.—Extinct. In 1674, in Rhode Island.

18. Massachusetts.—Extinct. In 1674, in the state so called.

19, 20, 21, 22, 23.—The Pawkunnawkuts (or Wampanoag), the Pawtucket, the Pennakuk, the Nipmuk, the Montaug.—Extinct. In 1674, in Long Island. The language of these Indians is represented by Jonathan Edwards' Grammar of the Mohican, and by Eliot's translation of the Bible.

24. Lenni-Lenapi or Delawares.—Three tribes, a. the Unami, or Turtle. b. The Minsi or Wolf. c. The Unalachtigo, or Turkey.

25. The Monakans(?)—Extinct. Virginia, one day's journey beyond the Falls, at Richmond. People of the high country as opposed to the Powhattans of the low—said to build stone houses.

The Indians of Virginia, especially the Powhattans, will be noticed in the sequel as affording a measure of the civilization of the Algonkins.

26. The Pamticoes (Pamticoughs).—South Carolina. This is the southernmost limit of the Eastern Algonkins.

The list is now continued from the south-eastern boundary of the Ojibways, and from the parts south of Lake Superior, and west of Lake Michigan.

27. The Menomeni.—Due south of Lake Superior, from which they are separated by the Ojibways.

28, 29. The Sauks=white-clay and the Ottogami=foxes. These last are also called Musqkuakuik=red-clay.

30. The Kickapoos.—Southern part of Illinois. Closely allied to the Sauks and Foxes.

31. The Potawotomi.—South of Lake Michigan.

32. The Shawno.—The most south of the Western Algonkins, being south of the Ohio, in the state of Kentucky. Now removed to the west of the Mississippi, to a reserve immediately south of that of the Delawares.

33, 34, 35, 36, 37.—Illinois Indians=the Miami, Piankeshaws, Kaskkaias(?)[121], Cabokias, Tamaronas, Peorias, and Mitchigami.

c. Shyennes.—Between the head-waters of the Yellow-stone River and the River Platte. Conterminous with the Upsaroka, Pawnees, and probably the northern Shoshonis. As such, isolated from the other Algonkins.

d. Blackfoot Algonkins.—Head-waters of the south branch of the Saskatchewan, and extended as far west as the Rocky Mountains, by which they are divided from the Kútanis. Bounded on the north by the Athabaskans, the south by the Upsarokas (Sioux), the east by the Ahnenin and Crees. The Blackfoots have been but recently recognised as Algonkin.

The numerous details of this great division prevent anything beyond the doubtful points of the classification being noticed. These apply to three members of it, the Bethuck, the Shyennes, and the Blackfoots.

[Pg 330]

1. The Bethuck.—The particular division to which the aborigines of Newfoundland belonged, has been a matter of doubt; some writers considering them to have been Eskimo, others to have been akin to the Micmacs, who have now a partial footing in 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, of the Ethnological Society. This makes them a separate section of the Algonkins,[122] and such I believe them to have been.

2. The Shyennes.—It has been already stated that the present Shyenne area is isolated. This had a tendency to mislead inquirers and to originate the notion that the Shyennes were Sioux.

Again,—in a treaty between the United States and the Shyennes, in 1825, the names of the chiefs who signed are Sioux. This misled also.

Still, on the evidence of Mr. Kennet M'Kenzie, of the St. Louis Fur Company, who informed Mr. Gallatin that "there was not at that time any European interpreter for the Shyenne, that the treaty was carried on through the medium of some Sioux, and that he had reason to believe that the names subscribed to it were Sioux translations of those of the Shyenne chiefs," their position was left as doubtful by that philologist.

However, a vocabulary of Lieutenant Abert has since settled the matter, "in which no affinity whatever is discovered with the Sioux. Although from its nature it contains but a small number of primitive words, or of those for which we have equivalents in other languages,[Pg 331] there are enough to establish the fact that the Shyennes are, like the Black-feet, an Algonkin tribe. Out of forty-seven Shyenne words for which we have equivalents in other languages, there are thirteen which are indubitably Algonkin, and twenty-five which have affinities more or less remote with some of the languages of that family. Of these last I would have rejected more than one half had they stood alone, but they corroborate, to some extent, the evidence afforded by the words, the etymology of which is clear. The nine remaining words (out of the forty-seven), which have no apparent affinity with the Algonkin, are hill, mountain, stone, little, white, and the numerals VI, VII, VIII, IX, on comparing the vocabulary with those of other families, I could discover no other words which had any resemblance but the following:—little=nakee, Shyenne, okeye, Wyandott; fire=sist, Shyenne; ojishta, ojista, Seneca, Oneida."[123]

Furthermore, the evidence of Lewis and Clarke, confirmed by that of M'Kenzie and Gallatin, shows that the separation of the Shyennes from the other Algonkins, took place within the historical period. "They were originally settled on a stream called Chayenne, or Cayenne, an upper branch of the Red River of Lake Winnepeg, from which they were driven away by the Sioux; an account which is confirmed by Alexander M'Kenzie. They retreated west of the Missouri, below the river Warreconne, where their ancient fortifications still existed in 1804. Thence they were again compelled to retreat farther west, near the Black Hills, on the head branches of the river which now bears their name."[124]

That the evidence of the Shyenne numerals, the only [Pg 332]part of Lieut. Abert's vocabulary then known to him, made the Shyennes Algonkin, was also stated by the present writer at the meeting of the British Association, in 1847, at Oxford.—Transactions of the Sections, p. 123.

3. The Blackfoots.—Until lately all that was known of the Blackfoot language was from two short vocabularies, one of Humphreville's and one of Mr. Catlin's.

The addition of a third in MS. has fixed the language as Algonkin; such being the opinion formed independently by both Mr. Gallatin[125] and the present writer, who was favoured by Dr. Prichard with the MS. It is further confirmed by a tabulated vocabulary of Mr. Howse's, now in the press.[126]

With the exception of the Shyennes, who seem to have moved within the historical period, the Algonkin area is continuous; but though continuous, it is not uninterrupted. The important class of the Mohawk, or Iroquois, tribes, is different from the Algonkin. It lies within the Algonkin area, surrounded by Algonkins, but not itself Algonkin.


Measured by the extent of ground that it covers the Iroquois class is of less importance than the Algonkin. Measured by its prominence in history it is equal or greater. The Five Nations were Iroquois. The once formidable Mohawks were Iroquois. Before the arrival of the Europeans the Five Nations were dominant over their Algonkin neighbours; and after the arrival of the Europeans the Iroquois warriors were more feared than those of the Algonkins. At one time the head of the Algonkin confederacy was an Iroquois chieftain.

[Pg 333]

It has been stated above that the Iroquois are, at present, encompassed (or nearly encompassed) by Algonkins; so as to have become isolate in respect to the other classes of Indians, and cut off from contact with them. This, and more than this, is the case. Portions of the Iroquois family are cut off from each other, so that in coming to the details we shall expect to hear of the Northern division of the Iroquois, and of the Southern division of the Iroquois. At present it is sufficient to state that such a division exists, and that the localities for the Northern Iroquois are the parts about Lake Huron; for the Southern, North Carolina. In the latter locality alone are they in contact with tribes other than the Algonkin.


Divisions.a. Northern Iroquois. b. Southern Iroquois.

Sub-divisions.a. Northern Iroquois. 1. The Five Nations=The Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagoes, the Senecas, and the Cayugas. 2. The Confederacy (?) of the Hurons (or Wyandots), the Erigas, the Andastes, and the Attiondarons, the Tionontates, the Anies(?), &c.

b. Southern Iroquois.—The Tutelo, Nottoway, Meherrin, and Tuscaroras.

Localities.a. For the Northern Iroquois the parts about and between Lakes Huron, Ontario, and Erie. b. For the Southern Iroquois.—North Carolina. Separation effected by tribes of the Algonkin division, especially the Delawares.

The Iroquois and Algonkins exhibit in the most typical form the characteristics of the North American Indians as exhibited in the earliest descriptions, and are the two families upon which the current notions respecting the physiognomy, habits, and moral and intellectual powers of the so-called Red Race are chiefly founded.


Area.—Central North America, between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, east and west. Between Lake Winebago and the Arkansas, north and south. The valley of the Missouri. The water-system of Lake Winebago. One division east of the Mississippi.

Divisions.—1. Winnebagoes, Hochungohrah=Trout Nation. 2. Dakotas, Sioux, or Nadowessiou. 3. Assineboins, or Stone Indians. 4. Upsaroka, or Crows. 5. Mandans. 6. Minetari. 7. Osage.

Sub-divisions.a. Of the Dahcota—1. Yanktons. 2. Yanktoanans(?) 3. Tetons. 4. Proper Sioux.

[Pg 334]

b. Of the Osage.—1. Konzas. 2. Missouris. 3. Ottos. 4. Omahaws. 5. Puncas. 6. Ioways. 7. Quappas. 8. Osage Proper.

The Sioux is the third great division of the North American Indians, and it is the division which comprises the tribes of the interior, of the Far West in opposition to the sea-coast, of the prairie country in opposition to the tracts that are or have been forest, and of the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The country of the buffalo is shared between them and the Western Algonkins.

Broadly speaking, we may say between these three nations the basins of all the feeders of the Upper Mississippi are distributed: the exceptions being insignificant. This they have and more; since the Canadian population is, in great part, Algonkin.

The Sioux tribes are essentially inland or continental.


Locality.—The Santee, or Catawba River, in North Carolina.


Locality.—North Carolina. Extinct.

The Catawba and Woccoon languages, which are allied to each other, probably represent those aboriginal languages of North Carolina, which were not of the Algonkin class.

Besides these, however, there occur the following names, concerning which we only know that they belonged to North Carolina. The extent to which they spoke mutually unintelligible dialects is uncertain. 1. Cheraws; 2. Waterees; 3. Congarees; 4. Enoes;(?)[127] 5. Sewees; 6. Santees; 7. Wyniaws; 8. Waxsaws; 9. Esaws; 10. Toteros; 11. Keyauwees; 12. Sissispahaws; 13. Machapanga; 14. Connamox; 15. Coramines; 16. Chowans; 17. Wyanokes; 18. Sawara.

Add to these for South Carolina:—1. The Saluda; 2. Stonoes; 3. Edistoes; 4. Westoes; 5. Yamassees.

[Pg 335]

This indicates a new branch of research, viz.: the ethnology of the extinct tribes; and the extent to which it may be carried in the way of minute investigation is shown by the length of the list of the divisions or sub-divisions of the population of the Carolinas alone. It is nearly as long for the original colony of Virginia, where the first settlers mention amongst others—

1. Kecoughtans.—At the mouth of James River. A colony of this people was transplanted by Powhattan in 1608 to the banks of the Montgomery.

2. Paspaheghes.—James River, just above the Kecoughtans.

3. Arrohatecks.—James River, just above the Paspaheghes.

4, 5, 6, 7, 8.—Appamatucks, Quiyoughcohanocks, Warraskoyacks, Nandsamunds, Chesapeaks.—All on the south-east side of James River. On York River we find the names of Youghtamund and Mattapament; but whether these be the names of districts, or of tribes, is uncertain.

9. The Bocootawwonaukes.—So called by the Powhattans, situated to the north-east of the Falls, and said to smelt copper and other metals.

10, 11, 12.—Indians of the Rappahannock.—In the high-country at its head-waters the Mannahoacks, the Cuttatawoman(?), the Nandtaughtacund; these last numbering 150 men.

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.—Indians of the Potomack.—The Wighcocomoco with 100 fighting men; the Cekakawwon with 30; the Onawmament with 100; the Satawomeck with 160; the Taxenent with 40; the Potapoco with 20; the Pamacoack with 60; the Moyoones with 100; and, lastly, Nacothtank with 80.

22, 23, 24.—Indians of the Pawtuxunt.—The Aquinta[Pg 336]nacsuck, the Pawtuxunt, and Mattapament. Number of fighting men about 200.

Besides the following are mentioned as surrounding the Powhattan's territories—

1. The Chawonocks, bounded on the north by

2. The Mangoangs.

3. The Mannohocks conterminous with the Mannoacks.

4. The Acquanachuk.

5. The Tockwoghs.

6. The Nuskarawaok.

Of all these there is the special evidence of Strachey, from Captain Smith, that none understand each other except by interpreters; an observation which applies to the Monacans and Susquehannas as well.

Besides these names we collect from the map the additional ones of the (1) Massawomecks, and (2) Kuskarawaoks.

Some of these spread northward, and represented part of the population of the Northern States (which, however, was chiefly Minsi), just as some of the Carolina tribes reached into Florida. Still, the great number of sub-divisions, for comparatively small areas, constitutes one of the difficulties of American ethnology. For none of these lost families do we possess vocabularies; so that, although from external evidence we are sometimes able to give them an ethnological position, the evidence is not conclusive. That conclusive evidence is necessary, and that we can by no means at once assume any given tribe to be Algonkin, simply because it is within the Algonkin area, is well known to every investigator for these parts.

Again, not only have whole tribes become extinct since the settlement of Europeans, but at the very beginning of the American historical period, tribes were found mutually[Pg 337] exterminating each other. The empire of Powhattan was founded upon the annihilation of some tribes, and the incorporation of others. The Huron Iroquois were nearly extinguished by the Five Nations. The Mandans, within the last decennium, after being thinned and weakened by the small-pox, were, as a separate tribe, destroyed by the Sioux, who incorporated with themselves those who were not killed in the attack.

The Catawbas and Waxas are said to have flattened the head.


Locality.—Valley of the Tennessee River.

Conterminous with the Southern Algonkins, the Southern Iroquois, the Catawbas, and the Choctahs.

The Cherokee is one of the few so-called savage nations which is increasing, and not decreasing, in numbers. It is, also, the most industrial of all the American families; the Cherokee landholder having, in some cases, as much as five hundred acres under tillage, and possessing slaves as well. Lastly, a native Cherokee has reduced the language to writing—the alphabet (which will be noticed in the sequel) being syllabic.


Area.—Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, parts of Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Bounded by the Mississippi, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, the Catawba, the Cherokee, and the South Algonkin areas.

Divisions.a. Choctahs b. Muscogulges, Muskohges, or Creeks.

Sub-divisions.a. Of the Choctahs, the Chikkasahs. b. Of the Creeks, the Hitchittee and Seminoles.

The Choctahs flatten the head.

The Choctah civilization is partially industrial, differing but little from that of the Cherokee.

The Choctah family has, probably, been a family of[Pg 338] encroaching area, the population which it displaced being represented by—


Locality.—The Coosa River.

Synonym.—Probably the Apalaches of De Soto.

Language.—as known from a single vocabulary, peculiar.

Also by—


Conterminous with the Uché, and said to speak a peculiar language, but which is not known from any vocabulary.

Also by—


Conterminous with the Uché, and said to speak a peculiar language; but which is not known from any vocabulary.

We now see that a separate group of tribes or families, aboriginal to Florida, but now replaced by Creeks, has existed within a recent period.

We also see that these groups may have been as many as three in number; since it by no means follows that, because the Uché, Coosadas, and Alibamons are different from the Choctahs, they must be allied to each other.

Again,—one or more of the extinct tribes of South Carolina may have been an element (and a fresh one too) in the population of Florida. That such was the case with the Yamassis is almost certain, since they were destroyed by the Seminoles during the last century.

Hence, when we hear that the Creek confederacy was formed upon either the extermination or incorporation of fifteen families, we have a measure of the multiform character of the ethnology of Florida and Alabama.


Locality.—Between the rivers Mississippi and Sabine.

Language.—Known by a vocabulary. Not closely connected with any other. Most like the Cherokee.

The provisional character of all these groups has been[Pg 339] noticed. This is so great that scarcely two inquirers would give the same answer to the question, "What is the difference between a member of (say) the Algonkin and one of (say) the Cherokee, Choctah, or Iroquois class?" The most extreme opinions are, perhaps, those of Gallatin, as expressed in the Synopsis, and the present writer. According to the former, the Algonkin, Iroquois, Sioux, Catawba, Cherokee, Choctah, and Caddo, and Uché languages differ from one another, as the English and Turkish, or the Greek and Lapplandic, i.e. as languages reducible to no common class, a view which makes divisions so large as the Algonkin, and so small as the Uché, equally equivalent to the great class denominated Indo-European—a doctrine by no means improbable in itself, since it differs in degree rather than in kind, from the similar juxtaposition of large and small, simple and sub-divided classes, which we find in Europe; where the isolated Basque and Albanian are, in the present state of our knowledge, co-extensive in the way of classification with the wide and varied Indo-European, Semitic, and Ugrian groups.

The present writer allows a value, equal to that expressed by the term Indo-European to three groups only, the first of which contains the Algonkin, which is apparently more different from the others than they are from each other; the second, the Uché, which, although it has several miscellaneous affinities, is not at present subordinated to any other class; and the third, the remainder, i.e. the Iroquois, Sioux, Catawba, Cherokee, Choctah, and Caddo, or (probably) the Iroquois, Sioux, and Cherokee, as primary divisions, to the last of which the Catawba, Choctah, and Caddo are subordinate. This is the very utmost he would do, in the way of recognising differences. He will, however, hereafter give reasons for[Pg 340] doing less. At present the notification of fresh divisions of the population is continued.


Locality.—Banks of the Mississippi, in the parts about the present city of the same name. Extinct, or incorporated. The last remnant of the Natchez occupied a small village on the River Talipoosa, in Alabama.

Language.—Known through a single vocabulary. Not closely connected with any other; but with miscellaneous affinities.

Great prominence in Indian history has been given to the Natchez from the destruction, at their hands, of the first French colony planted within their territory, in 1729, followed by an almost exterminating revenge on the part of the French, in the following year.

And great prominence is no more than is required for them in Indian ethnology.

They flattened the head.—There is evidence to this in the account of Du Pratz; and there is evidence to it in the fact of the disinterred skulls from the Natchez area, examined by Morton, bearing marks of compression. This, however, is what we have already seen, to the east of them, i.e. amongst the Choctahs.

They practised human sacrifices on the death of their chief.

They not only worshipped the sun, but (like the ancient Romans) kept burning an eternal fire.

Their religion so far acted upon their social or political constitution, as to develop a sort of caste-system, the principal chief being the Great Sun, and his children, suns; whilst the portion of the tribe not supposed to be so descended, were destitute of civil power.

Their nobility was transmitted through the female.

Such is a brief notice of the customs of the Natchez, which more or less differentiate them from the neighbouring tribes, with which (the Chetimachas excepted) they are said to have had but little intercourse.

[Pg 341]

Competent investigators consider that more than one of these peculiarities point to a Mexican origin, a view which is considered to be confirmed by the Natchez traditions doing the same; these being to the effect that their nation migrated from Mexico at two different periods.


Locality.—Originally conterminous with the Natchez. If the same as the Tensaws, they are, at present, on the west of the Mississippi. Special evidence to their temples being of the same kind with those of the Natchez in A. D. 1682.—Gallatin's Synopsis, p. 115.


Locality.—Red River of Louisiana; originally on the River Pascagoula. If the same as the Bayagoulas, there is special evidence to their worship of the sun and fire.—Gallatin's Synopsis, p. 114.


Locality.—In 1721 near the present site of New Orleans. Extinct or incorporated.


Present locality.—Below Natchitoches. Originally east of the Mississippi. Probably in the same class with the two preceding.

The notion that the Taensas, Pascagoulas, Colapissas, and Biluxi, belong to the Natchez family, is favoured by certain facts and traversed by none. This is not the case with—


Conterminous.—with the Natchez, from whom they differed in language, and (probably) in customs as well, but with whom they were united in the way of political confederation. Extinct or incorporated.

Language.—Known through a single vocabulary. Not closely connected with any other, but with miscellaneous affinities.

Of two skulls exhumed from a cemetery within the Chetimacha area, and examined by Morton, neither gives evidence of artificial compression.


Original locality.—East of the Mississippi, above New Orleans, "of whom a few are said to remain below Manchac, and others to be found in the vicinity of the Attacapas."—Gallatin, p. 115.


Original locality.—Opposite the mouth of the Red River.

[Pg 342]

Present locality.—Avoyelle, on the Red River.


Present locality.—West of the Mississippi.

Original locality.—West Florida.

There is the special evidence of Dr. Sibley, the chief authority for the Indians west of the Mississippi, that the Humas, Tunicas, Biluxas, and Pascagoulas, each speak (or spoke) a different language.

The tribes which now follow are considered by Dr. Sibley to be indigenous to the country west of the Mississippi; those last-mentioned having moved thither from the present states of Mississippi, Alabama, and West Florida, within the memory of man, or at least within the period of authentic history.

They chiefly lie to the east of the River Sabine; (i.e. between that river and the Mississippi), so as to belong to the original area of the United States, rather than to Texas, a distinction of importance; inasmuch as, whilst the ethnology of the parts which belonged to the United States in A. D. 1836,[128] is, comparatively speaking, well understood, that of Texas is still fragmentary and imperfect.

As far, however, as the Sabine, Dr. Sibley is the chief first-hand authority.


Divisions.—1. Natchitoches. 2. Yatassis.

Numbers.—In 1836, about 150, together.

Language.—Stated by Dr. Sibley to be different from any other.—Gallatin, p. 116.


Conterminous with the Natchitoches and Yatassis.

Language.—Known by a vocabulary. With no particular, but with miscellaneous affinities.—Gallatin's Synopsis.

Numbers.—In 1836, about fifty.


Numbers.—In 1836, about 40. Said by Dr. Sibley to speak a distinct language.

[Pg 343]

Locality.—The district so called.


Numbers.—In 1836, about 50. Said to have been cannibals and flat-heads.

Language.—Known by a vocabulary. With no special but with miscellaneous affinities.

Divisions.—1, Attacapas; 2, Carankuas. At least this latter tribe, according to Dr. Sibley, speaks the same language with the Attacapas.—Gallatin, 116.

Now if the Karanchuhuas of Texas be the Carankua Attacapas, the extension of that family is remarkable, since the locality of the Karanchuhuas is sea-coast about Matagorda Bay. Again,—the Cokes are a branch (extinct or nearly so) of the Karanchuhuas.

Having reached the River Sabine, we may look both west and east. Eastward the question lies as to the extent to which the present list has been exhaustive—if not of individual tribes, at least of families and groups. Now the Creeks and Choctahs have been tribes of an encroaching area; whilst as special fact, we find that in A.D. 1763, the Colooses retreated before the Creeks: first to the extremity of Florida, and afterwards to the Havannah. Upon good grounds, then, it has been believed that the natives of Florida, anterior to the spread of the Creeks, were other than Creek or Choctah. Into how many divisions this Floridian population fell, and amongst what known families (if any) it was divided, is unascertained. It might be one. It might be distributable amongst many—Uché, Catawba, Natchez, &c. It might, too, be represented by a wholly extinct family. Probably it was Uché on the south-west, and Catawba on the north. The Yamassis may have been the latter, the Colooses the former. Still the question is wholly open.

Westward we come to Texas. Now the imperfect and fragmentary character of our information makes the consideration of the Texian Indians (known by little beyond[Pg 344] their names) most conveniently follow the enumeration of the tribes to the north and west of them—besides which, four unplaced families have still to be enumerated as belonging to, and interrupting the great Algonkin and Sioux areas.


Synonym.—Arrapahoes(?)—Fall Indians, from their locality.

Locality.—The Falls of the River Saskatchewan.



A tribe of this name is placed in Mr. Catlin's map, in California, on one of the eastern feeders of the Colorado, in the latitude of Santa Fé.

The Arrapahoes, again, according to Gallatin, are a detached tribe of the Ahnenin, who have wandered as far south as the Platte and Arkansas Rivers.

The identity, when ascertained, of name, is primâ facie of this. Still it is not much more. On the other hand the fact is by no means improbable. A vocabulary of the southern Arrapahoes has yet to be collected.


Locality.—The Missouri, about 150 miles below the Mandans.

The Riccarees have been classed in the section next following. The scanty vocabulary, however, of the two languages, by no means justifies us in making this affinity a very close one. On the other hand, they are kept distinct in the present work, provisionally.


Locality.—-Valley of River Platte, extending as far west as its sources, and as far south as the Arkansas.

Divisions.a. The Loup Pawnees. b. The Republican Pawnees.

The Towiatch[129] of Texas are also called Pawnees; probably improperly.

[Pg 345]

Conterminous with the Pawnees are the Paducas. Paduca is a name given to a division of the Indians, but imperfectly known, and concerning which the information found in Prichard seems to be chiefly from Pike. It is the name given, collectively, to those tribes who, on the almost unexplored parts about the head waters of the River Platte, succeed the Sioux on the south, and the Pawnees on the west. That they are conterminous with this last-named family is inferred from the name; Paduca, being no native designation, but the one given by the Pawnees.

As great extension is now given to the tribes represented by those of the parts in question, the word will be used as a general name of a class.

The most important fact, however, connected with the Paducas, is their distribution, or the configuration of the area which they occupy. The inland projection of the Gulf of Mexico so narrows the southern part of North America, that the phenomenon of a family extending, like the Eskimo and Athabaskans, across the continent, may now be expected.

Farthermore, a family thus spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, would be of greater ethnological significance than even the similarly extended Athabaskans and Eskimo; since from its central position (central in respect to its north and south relations) it would disconnect the northern and southern populations.

Still more remarkable would be the distribution if the parts thus separated geographically, were also separated by marked contrasts in the way of language, manners, or civilization.

Now all this is the case with the great Paduca area.[Pg 346] Spreading from the Pacific to the Atlantic, it has to the north developments like those of the Oregon and the valley of the Mississippi: to the south those of Mexico, Guatimala, and Yucatan.

The physical geography of the northern part of the Paduca area is as remarkable as is its ethnology; since it is a table-land from which four great rivers rise, to run their course in four opposite directions. There, within a small distance of each other, are the sources of the Saptin, a feeder of the Columbia running in a north-westernly direction, of the Colorado running south-west, of the Yellow-Stone branch of the Missouri, and of the Rio del Norte of Texas. This latter running in an elevated narrow valley, from about 41° N. L., through the whole of New Mexico, is preeminently the river of the Cumanch tribes; tribes of which the exact east and west direction is not ascertained, but of which the north and south area is one of the longest in America.


Direction of the Paduca area.—Oblique; i.e. from N.W. to S.E., or vice versâ.

Longitudinal Extension.—From the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico; from the water-system of the River Columbia to that of the River Sabine; from north of 45° N.L. to south of 25° S.L.

Conterminous.a. On the north with the Tototune(?), Shasti(?), Palaiks(?), Lutuami, Molele(?) Wailatpu, Sahaptins, Sioux (chiefly Upsarokas), Pawnees, Sioux (chiefly Osages), Towiach, and the non-Paduca Indians of Texas. b. On the south, with the non-Paduca Indians of California and Mexico.

Divisions.—Value undetermined.—Wihinast, Bonaks, Diggers, Utahs, Sampiches, Shoshonis, Kiaways, Kaskaias(?), Keneways(?), Bald-heads(?), Cumanches, Navahos, Apaches, Carisos.

Wihinast.—Called by Mr. Hales, Western Shoshonis, and unequivocally members of that division. Locality 45° N.L. 117° W.L., on the southern bank of the Snake or Lewis River, and conterminous with the Wailatpu. Of the Northern Paducas, these are the nearest to the Pacific, from which they are separated by the Lutuami,[Pg 347] Umkwa and Saintskla. The evidence that the Wihinast are Shoshoni is derived from a vocabulary of their language.—Philology of the U.S.E.E.

Bonaks.—Classed with the Shoshonis on the strength of external evidence only.—Between them and the Wihinast.

Diggers.—Classed with the Shoshonis on the strength of external evidence only.—They are a poverty-stricken tribe of the Californian Desert, who live by digging for roots.

Utahs.—Classed with the Shoshonis, &c.—Occupants of the parts about the Utah Lake.

Sampiches.—Classed with, &c.—South of the Utahs. Manner of life like that of the Diggers.

Shoshonis.—These are the Paducas which are at once the most northern and the most eastern of the group. They also are remarkable for occupying both sides of the Rocky Mountains, and are bounded on the north by the Sahaptin, and on the east by the Sioux, west by the Bonaks and Wihinast, and south by the Proper Paducas of Pike.

Kiaways, Kaskaias, Keneways, Bald-heads.—Of these I know little, except that they seem to fill up the area between the Shoshonis and the—

Cumanches.—The chief Indians of Texas.—It is the ethnological position of the Cumanches that determines the extent of the Paduca group. That the Kiaways, &c., are Cumanche is believed on external evidence, and on the a priori probability. That the Cumanche are Shoshoni is believed upon external evidence by those Americans who have had means of forming an opinion, and also upon the evidence of a short MS. vocabulary of the Cumanche, with which the present writer was favoured by[Pg 348] Mr. Bollaert, compared with an equally short one of the Shoshoni in Gallatin's Synopsis. This was in 1844;[130] since which time, although the data for the Shoshoni have greatly increased, those of the Cumanche are as imperfect as ever. Still the author has but little doubt as to the truth of the opinion of the Shoshoni affinity with the Cumanche, or (changing the expression) of the common Paduca character of the two.

Navahos.—Considered Paduca, because they are stated to be akin to the—

Apaches.—who are stated to be akin to the Cumanche, and who are widely spread both westward and southward of the area of the Proper Cumanche, between the River Puercos and the Rio Del Norte. In Chihuahua, and Cohuahuila (especially in the Bolson de Mapimi), we find tribes under the names of Apaches Farones, and Apaches Mescaleros, extending—in their incursions at least—as far as the interior of Durango. Of the Apaches, the—

Carisos.—are said to be a branch.

Such are the members of the great Paduca family, to which it is safest, in the present imperfect state of our knowledge, to give an ethnological position, subject to correction from future investigations; which, necessary in most departments of the science, are preeminently necessary here.

How far the prominence thus given to a section of the American population, which is generally disposed of in a short notice, is necessary, is to be found in its geographical relations to Mexico and California on the one hand, and to the Indians of Oregon and the Mississippi on the other.

The Cumanches are the chief Indians of Texas; hence,[Pg 349] from the north and west of that state they form an ethnological boundary. The names (all that the author can give) of the Texian tribes not already included in the several extensions of the Cumanche, Pawnee, Sioux, Cherokee, Choctah, Natchez, and other smaller families, are—


Knowing of no vocabulary of the Coshatta language, I am unable to say what it is or is not. The tribe is a member of the Creek confederacy. It is not indigenous to its present locality, having immigrated from the east of the Mississippi. In a notice of the earlier Creek confederation we find mention of Cussetahs, and in connection with the Alibamons, Coosadas on the River Coosa. The former of these facts suggests a Creek, the latter a Uché, affinity. Still, it gives nothing more than a suggestion.


Divisions.—1. Towiach; 2. Tawakenoes; 3. Towecas(?); 4. Wacos.

Localities.—1. Of the Towiach,—two villages, Nitehata and Towahach, on the Red River; 2. Of the Tawakenoes,—200 miles of Nacogdoches, south of the Red River. Said by Dr. Sibley to speak the same language as the Towiachs; 3, 4. The Towecas and Wacos are in villages north of Red River.

The Towiachs of Texas are sometimes called Pawnees,[131] probably improperly. Perhaps they form a branch of the Paducas rather than a separate substantive family; since there is the express statement of Kennedy, that the Texian Towacanis, or Tahuacanos, are Cumanche; and that the Wacos on the upper River Brazos, are the same.


Locality.—Between the River Aransas and River Grande.

Numbers.—In 1845 about 500.



Locality.—Near Nacogdoches. Name only known. Enumerated in the Mithridates.

[Pg 350]


Locality.—West of the Red River, 200 miles from Nacogdoches. Name only known. Enumerated in the Mithridates.


Of the Navaosos, I only know that they are said to be a branch of the Lipans. If so, and if also they are Navahos, we are enabled to fix the Lipans as Paduca. They are extinct in Texas.


Locality.—St. Bernard's Bay. Name only known. Enumerated in the Mithridates.


Locality.—Ditto, ditto.


The Toncahuas, or Tonkeways, are mentioned by Kennedy as being, like the Lipans, the hereditary enemies of the Cumanches, and as retreating before them from the hunting grounds of the upper country.

On the other hand, I find that Mr. Bollaert makes them an offset of the Cumanches. In 1845 they numbered about 300 souls.


The Tuhuktukis are members of the Cherokee confederacy; within, but not considered indigenous to, Texas.



The Unataquas are members of the Cherokee confederacy; within, but not indigenous to, Texas.

IAWANIS (Ionis).

Each of these divisions (of which the value is unascertained) are members of the Cherokee confederacy.

[Pg 351]


Locality.--Head waters of the upper Red River, conterminous with the Kioways and Cumanch.


Original Locality.—West of the Mississippi. Extinct or incorporated.




Locality.—Middle part of Trinity River. Numbers.—In 1845, ten families only.

A MS. of Mr. Bollaert's, and the work of Kennedy, on Texas, have been the chief authorities for the previous. The notes of interrogation show the extent to which it may be amended. Data for doing this are probably more abundant in America than here.

For the whole area between the three oceans—(Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic)—and the break formed by the Paducas, the chief groups have now been enumerated—perhaps exhaustively, or nearly so.

Not, however, finally. Although the details of even the wider groups have been so numerous as to make the present notice of them classificational rather than descriptive, there are still a certain series of facts which, from having a significance beyond that of their mere occurrence, require notice.

Whatever has an important bearing upon the following two great problems comes under this category—

1. The unity or non-unity of the American populations, one amongst another.

[Pg 352]

2. The unity or non-unity of the American populations as compared with those of the Old World.

1. The unity or non-unity of the American populations one amongst another—a short history of the different opinions upon this point will give two things at once—a, the history itself, and, b, the chief facts by which changes in it were brought about.

The broad differences between the American Indians, as a body, when compared with even the most anomalous of the tribes of the Old World, were such as would naturally engender on the part of the earliest investigators—those of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—an opinion in favour of a general fundamental unity amongst the several sections of them. This was the effect of the natural tendency of the human mind to connect with each other those things which disagree with certain others rather than the result of any definite series of comparisons. The Brazilian and the Mohawk equally agreed in disagreeing with the Laplander, or Negro; and this common difference was enough to bring them within the same class.

The observed facts which first had a tendency to disturb this notion, were, most probably, those connected with the languages. These really differ from each other to a very remarkable extent—an extent which to any partial investigator seems unparalleled; but an extent which the general philologist finds to be no greater than that which occurs in Caucasus, in the Indo-Chinese frontier, and in many parts of Africa.

The phænomena, however, which the multiplicity of mutually unintelligible tongues spoken within limited areas exhibited, were first made known in the case of the languages of America; and, as new facts, they were not likely[Pg 353] to be undervalued. On the contrary, another natural tendency of the human mind, viz., a readiness to exaggerate difference in cases where similarity had been expected, was allowed full play; and not only were the really remarkable phænomena of philological diversity overstated, but the inferences from them rather exceeded than fell short of their legitimate compass. A measure of the extent to which this was carried may be collected from the following extract from Prichard,—"We owe the earliest information respecting the languages of America to the missionaries sent from time to time by the kings of Spain at the instigation of the Pope, with the view of converting the native inhabitants to the Christian religion. Many of these persons devoted immense labour to the acquisition of the idioms of various tribes, with the intention of qualifying themselves for the effectual performance of their duties. They represent the number of distinct languages spoken in the New World as very great. Abbé Gilii, who wrote a history of the Orinoco and collected specimens of the languages spoken in different districts with which he was acquainted, says that if a catalogue were formed of all the idioms of the continent, they would be found to be 'non molte moltissime,' but 'infinite, innumerabili.' Abbé Clavigero declares that he had cognisance of thirty-five different idioms spoken by races within the jurisdiction of Mexico. Father Kircher, a celebrated philologer of his time, after consulting the Jesuits assembled in Rome on the occasion of a general congregation of the order in 1676, informs us that those missionaries who had been in the New World supposed the number of languages, of which they had some notices in South America, to be five hundred. But the Abbé Royo, who had made diligent inquiries about[Pg 354] the language of Peru, where he had dwelt, asserts that the whole people of America spoke not less than two thousand languages. The learned Francisco Lopez, a native of South America, who had extensive knowledge of that country as well as of the northern continent, a great part of which was traversed by the Jesuits, thought it no rash assertion to say that the idioms, 'notabilmente diversi,' of the whole country were not less than fifteen hundred."

It is difficult to say what would have been the natural growth, in the way of opinion from these strong (and not much overstated) phænomena, as to the apparently radical differences between the languages in question if they had come down to the present generation of scholars in an unmodified and unqualified form. This, however, was not the case. A most important disturbing element was soon indicated, which I follow Prichard in ascribing to Vater.

It was this—viz.: that different as may be the languages of America from each other, the discrepancy extends to words or roots only, the general internal or grammatical structure being the same for all.

Of course this grammatical structure must, in and of itself, be stamped with some very remarkable characteristics. It must differ from those of the whole world. Its verbs must be different from other verbs, its substantives other than the substantives of Europe, its adjectives unlike the adjectives of Asia. It must be this, or something like this—otherwise its identity of character goes for nothing; inasmuch as a common grammatical structure in respect to common grammatical elements is nothing more than what occurs all the world over.

At present it is enough to say, that such either was or[Pg 355] appeared to be the case. "In Greenland,"[133] writes Vater, "as well as in Peru, on the Hudson river, in Massachusetts as well as in Mexico, and as far as the banks of the Orinoco, languages are spoken, displaying forms more artfully distinguished and more numerous than almost any other idioms in the world possess." "When we consider these artfully and laboriously contrived languages, which, though existing at points separated from each other by so many hundreds of miles, have assumed a character not less remarkably similar among themselves than different from the principles of all other languages, it is certainly the most natural conclusion that these common methods of construction have their origin from a single point; that there has been one general source from which the culture of languages in America has been diffused, and which has been the common centre of its diversified idioms."

"In America," says Humboldt,[133] "from the country of the Eskimo to the banks of the Oronoco, and again, from these torrid banks to the frozen climate of the Straits of Magellan, mother-tongues, entirely different with regard to their roots, have, if we may use the expression, the same physiognomy. Striking analogies of grammatical construction are acknowledged, not only in the more perfect languages, as that of the Incas, the Aymara, the Guarani, the Mexican, and the Cora, but also in languages extremely rude. Idioms, the roots of which do not resemble each other more than the roots of the Sclavonian and Biscayan, have those resemblances of internal mechanism which are found in the Sanscrit, the Persian, the Greek, and the German languages. Almost everywhere in the New World we recognise a multiplicity of forms and tenses in the verb, an industrious artifice[Pg 356] to indicate beforehand, either by inflection of the personal pronouns which form the terminations of the verb, or by an intercalated suffix, the nature and the relation of its object and its subject, and to distinguish whether the object be animate or inanimate, of the masculine or the feminine gender, simple or complex in number. It is on account of this general analogy of structure; it is because American languages, which have no words in common, the Mexican for instance, and the Quichua, resemble each other by their organisation, and form complete contrasts with the languages of Latin Europe, that the Indians of the missions familiarise themselves more easily with other American idioms than with the language of the mistress country."

Lastly, definitude was given to these and similar somewhat too general expressions as to the difference in grammatical structure on the part of the American languages from those of the Old World, and their likeness to each other by the analytical investigations of Du Ponceau,[134] whose term polysynthetic, as descriptive of the characteristic and peculiar complicated grammar of the American idioms from Greenland to Cape Horn, has been generally received.

We now see in a general way (and this is as much as in a work like the present can be shown), the meaning of a statement made in a former page,[135] viz.: that "where the American languages differ from each other they differ in a manner to which Asia supplies no parallel," whilst when they "agree with each they agree in a way to which Asia supplies no parallel"—i. e., whilst they agree [Pg 357]grammatically they differ glossarially; so exhibiting what may be called a philological paradox.

At present we are neither doubting the reality nor measuring the amount of this paradox; we are only asking in which of two ways it has been interpreted. What has been the effect of the antagonism between the philologico-grammatical and the philologico-glossarial test? Which has told most? the difference or the likeness? Has the first determined investigators to separate what the latter unites, or has the latter united what the former separates?

The answer to this is—that the likeness in the grammars has been generally considered to over-ride the difference in the vocabularies; so that the American languages are considered to supply an argument in favour of the unity of the American population stronger than the one which they suggest against it.

The evidence of language, then, is in favour of the unity of all the American populations—the Eskimo not excepted.

The evidence, however, of language, forms but a fraction of the argument; indeed, it is only one part of the great division which contains the moral elements of ethnological difference or likeness in opposition to the physical. The complementary question as to the unity or non-unity of the general social or mental development of the aboriginal American still stands over.

What are the facts which chiefly influence opinion here?

In which direction is their influence?

The facts are of two kinds—

1. Those which disconnect the Eskimo—

2. Those which disconnect the Mexicans and Peruvians from the other Americans—the former on the strength of an inferior, the latter on the score of a superior civili[Pg 358]zational development. What is their value? This will be best ascertained when all the sections of the American population involved in the question have been noticed. At present the Eskimo only have been dealt with; the Mexicans and Peruvians still remaining to be described. Enough, however, has been said to show that the question has taken a complication; since the evidence of the non-philological moral and mental phænomena is against the unity of the American population—the Mexicans and Peruvians on one side, and the Eskimo on the other being isolated.

The evidence, however, of the moral and mental phænomena (philological and non-philological combined), is but one division of the argument. The complementary question as to the unity or non-unity of the physical conformation of the aboriginal American still stands over. What are the facts which chiefly influence opinion here?

Mutatis mutandis, the statements which have just been made may very nearly be made here. The test of physical conformation is considered to exclude the Eskimo; and the test of physical conformation is considered to exclude, if not the Mexican, at least the Peruvian.

Notwithstanding the convenience of deferring the more general discussion of the question until the Peruvians—indeed, until the whole of the American tribes have been considered—the present is, nevertheless, a convenient time for taking in, by means of a retrospect, some of the more material facts connected with the social and civilizational capacity of the Indians which have last been described—i.e. the non-Eskimo tribes of the parts between the Rocky Mountains and the Paducas. This is to be measured by what is called the Indian biography of their men of mark[Pg 359] like Thyandeeeya (Brandt), Tecumseh, or Powhattan, by the history of the Indian wars and confederations, and, better still, by an exponent which, because it has a special application upon the problems last indicated, will find a place amongst our present investigations—their architectural archæology.

The Trustees of the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge have broken ground with the publication of a careful, elaborate, and critical description of the ancient monuments of the Mississippi Valley, the result of original surveys and explorations, by Mr. Squier and Dr. Davis; and it is only the contemporary publication of the Ethnology and Philology of the United States Exploring Expedition, that makes this the second of the great contributions to ethnological science, which have been supplied by the same country within the same year.

And first, as to the area over which these remains are spread.—West of the Rocky Mountains,[136] the most that has hitherto been found is a few mounds, tumuli, or barrows. They will be called mounds. North, too, of the Great Lakes, the remains are but few, and imperfectly described. On Lake Pepin, on Lake Travers (in 46° N.L.), we find notices of them; so we do for the Missouri, as much as 1000 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. Eastward, they decrease as we approach the Atlantic; i.e. on the Atlantic aspects of Pennsylvania, New York, and[Pg 360] Virginia, they become scarcer. They become scarce, too, on the other side of the River Sabine; not that they are wanting in Texas, but that they either fall off in number or change in character as we approach Mexico.

The great centre of their development is the vast valley of the Mississippi, and amongst the valleys of its feeders—that of the Ohio preeminently. Here the accumulation is at its maximum. In Ross country alone, 100 enclosures and 500 mounds have been noticed; whilst the whole amount for the state of Ohio has been reckoned at 10,000 of the former, and 1,000 or 1,500 of the latter.

This indicates their locality and distribution. It has also indicated their nature and character. Oftener earthworks than buildings of stone, they are generally (but not exclusively) either raised mounds or embankments forming enclosures,—mounds in some cases 70 feet in height, and 1000 in circumference at the base, and embankments (with ditches corresponding) enclosing spaces of 300 acres. Such are some of the greatest measurements.

[Pg 361]

In form both the mound and embankment are very varied. The enclosure may be a square, a circle, a parallelogram, an ellipse, a polygon, or a wholly irregular outline, following the inequalities of the soil or the configuration of the country in which it occurs. The ditch may be either exterior or interior to it; the entrance simple or complex. Sometimes the square and circle are combined; so that a round inclosure leads into a quadrangle, or vice versâ. Sometimes a quadrangle is enclosed with a square.

The mounds are sometimes simple cones; sometimes (an important difference) truncated pyramids; often simple slopes; often terraced. More remarkable, however, than any others, is "a succession of remains, entirely singular in their forms, and presenting but slight analogy to any others of which we have an account, in any portion of the globe. The larger proportion of these are structures of earth, bearing the forms of beasts, birds, reptiles, and even of men; they are frequently of gigantic dimensions, constituting huge basso-relievos upon the face of the country. They are very numerous, and in most cases occur in long and apparently dependent ranges. In connection with them are found many conical mounds and occasional short lines of embankment, in rare instances forming enclosures."[137]

[Pg 362]

The reader anticipates the object for which these works were undertaken—the purposes of war and the purposes of religion. This is the most general way of stating it; those for the latter purposes falling in the divisions of sepulchral and sacrificial.

Besides the usual human remains which are found in the sepulchral mounds, works in stone, earthenware, and metal are frequent; relics which, taken along with the vast and numerous works which contain them, give us the elements of the ante-historical civilization of the northern section of the North American Indians.

The prevalence of works of a certain type varies with the area. The animal bas-reliefs are chiefly characteristic of Wisconsin, the truncated pyramids of the southern States, the simple mound and enclosure of Ohio, and the midland parts.

It should now be added, that where a square is attempted, it is truly rectangular, and that the circles are generally perfect; also that, in several cases, either the sides or the entrances accurately coincide with the east, west, north, and south points of the compass.

Other customs, such as the Indian council of war, the Indian calumet of peace, the stoic fortitude of the Indian[Pg 363] warrior, the patient bearing of the Indian squaw, their scalpings during war, their probationary tortures during peace, preeminently interesting objects of description, have a subordinate value in ethnology. Value, however, they have. The list of them is a long one, and out of it may be selected numerous characteristics of a twofold import.

1. American, or general characteristics, viz.: those which (without being universal) are general in the new world, whilst (without being absolutely non-existent) they are rare in the old.

2. Sectional characteristics, or those which distinguish one American tribe from another.

Of the first series, there are two divisions, the positive and the negative. In respect to the positively characteristic practices of America, the use of the scalping-knife is, perhaps, the most typical. Horrible modes of mutilation are common in Asia and Africa (in Africa most especially); but the exact method in question I have not found except in America. Next to this, the habit of artificially flattening the head deserves notice. It is not, however, wholly unknown in the old world; since in Arakan we find traces of it.

The negative characteristics are, perhaps, more important than the positive ones—preeminent amongst these being the utter absence (with the exception of a partial approach to it in the care bestowed by the Peruvians upon the llama and vicugna) of the true pastoral state throughout the whole length and breadth of America. Agriculture there is, and hunting there is,—the former developing an approach to an industrial development, and the latter determining a semi-nomadic form of life—but the absence of a true pastoral state wherein horses are used for riding,[Pg 364] oxen for draught, and cows, ewes, or mares, for milking, is a remarkable negative characteristic which distinguishes the aboriginal American from the Arctic Sea to Cape Horn.

That the appreciation of differentiæ of this kind is wholly incapable of being arrived at à priori, but that it must be the result of a special induction by which we historically determine how one (or more) of certain undoubtedly allied divisions of the human species may want characteristics which occur in the others (and vice versâ) is a truth which requires a fuller recognition than it has found; since it is far easier for a writer to show in what customs two great sections of a population differ from one another, than to ascertain what that discrepancy imports. Whilst one, therefore, makes it a difference in kind, another considers it as one in degree only. The present writer, who has bestowed some pains on the special question of valuation or appreciation, generally speaking puts them low.

As the criticism respecting the general characteristics, has its bearing upon the relations of the American aborigines to those of the world at large, so that of the sectional ones determines our views as to their unity or non-unity among themselves. It is the same in both cases. It is an easy matter to say that the Athabaskans (for instance) burn their dead to ashes, whilst the Peruvians desiccate them into mummies; that the Nehannis treat their women with respect, whilst servitude, on the part of the female, is the rule elsewhere; or that (enterprise and industry being exceptional phænomena in the western hemisphere), the Waraws are navigators, and the Haidah islanders tradesmen; and easier still is it to discover that in populations which live on fishing, we miss certain elements of the social state of the hunter or agriculturist.[Pg 365] The real difficulty is to take the exact measure of their value. Failing the data for doing this, the parallel statement of the points of agreement becomes a duty on the part of the ethnologist.

Now, in this respect, the phenomenon which has been noticed in Australia, reappears in America, viz.: a habit or custom, which shall not be found in more than one or two tribes in the neighbourhood of each other, shall appear, as if wholly independent of mutual imitation, at some other (perhaps some distant) part of the island. Such, in Australia, was the case of similar family names; and such in America is the remarkable distribution of the habits of flattening the head, and burying on elevated platforms; to say nothing of the two parallel forms of semicivilization in Mexico and Peru, so concordant on the whole, yet differing in so many details, and, evidently, separate and independent developments rather than the results of an extension of either one or the other as the original.

The same reasons which prevent us, in the present state of our knowledge, from drawing any inferences into the higher problems of ethnology from those manners and customs of the American Indians, which in the mere way of simple description give so much interest to the writings of the adventurous traveller, save us the necessity of exhibiting them in detail. No such economy, however, of time and paper is allowed in respect to a question which has already been more than once alluded to, viz.: the peculiarities of the American languages; peculiarities which are as remarkable in respect to the points wherein they agree, as they are in respect to the points wherein they differ—peculiarities, however, which, remarkable as they are, may easily be over-rated.

[Pg 366]

No preliminary is more necessary for this question than the distinction between a, the American languages as considered in respect to their roots or words, and b, the American languages as considered in respect to their grammatical structure. The clear perception of this is required on the part of the reader. On the other hand, the writer must remember that he is composing a work not on philology in general, but only upon such points of that science as illustrate ethnography. Hence the peculiarities of the American languages will not be considered in full; but all that will be done with them will consist in the selection of those phænomena which explain what has already been called the philological paradox of the American grammars being alike, whilst the American vocabularies differ.

1. And first in respect to the facts which account for the difference between the vocabularies. Here arise two questions—the determination of the extent to which such a difference really takes place, and the reasons for its reaching that extent whatever it is ascertained to be.

What follows, is a table representing the degree in which languages lying within so small a geographical area as the Uché, Natchez, and Adahi, may differ in their vocabularies.

Man cohwita tomkuhpena haasing.
Woman wauhnehung tahmahl quaechuke.
Father chitung abishnisha kewanick.
Mother kitchunghaing kwalneshoo amanie.
Son tesunung (my) akwalnesuta tallehennie.
Daughter teyunung (my) mahnoonoo quolasinic.
Head ptseotan tomne apoo tochake.
Hair ptsasong etene calatuck.[Pg 367]
Ear cohchipah ipok calat.
Eye cohchee oktool analca.
Nose cohtemee shamats weecoocat.
Mouth teaishhee heche wacatcholak.
Tongue cootincah itsuk tenanat.
Tooth tekeing int awat (pl.)
Hand keanthah ispeshe secut
Feet tetethah hatpeshé (sing.) nocat (sing.)
Blood wace itsh pchack.
Sky houpoung nasookta ganick.
Sun ptso wah (fire) naleen.
Moon shafah kwasip nachaoat.
Star yung tookul otat.
Day uckkah wit nestach.
Night pahto toowa arestenet.
Fire yachtah wah nang.
Water tsach koon holcut.
Rain chaāh nasnayobik ganic.
Snow stahae kowa towat.
Earth ptsah wihih caput.
River tauh wōl gawichat.
Tree yah tshoo tanaek.
Meat colahntha wintsé hosing.
Bear ptsaka tso kohp solang.
Bird psenna shankolt washang.
Fish potshoo henn aesut.
White quecah hahap testaga.
Black ishpe tsokokop hatoua.
Red tshulhuh pahkop pechasat.
He coheetha akoonikia (this here) nassicon.
One sāh witahu nancas.
Two nowāh ahwetie nass.
Three nokah nayetie colle.
Four taltlah ganooetie tacache.
Five chwanhah shpedee seppacan.
Six chtoo lahono pacanancus.
Seven latchoo ukwoh pacaness.
Eight peefah upkutepish pacalcon.
Nine 'tah'thkah wedipkatepish sickinish.
Ten 'tthklahpee ōkwah neusne.

Furthermore, had the two other conterminous languages of the Attacapas and the Chetimachas been added, the difference between the five would have been just the same[Pg 368] as that between the three, i. e., they would have all differed from each other, as much as the Natchez and Uché, the Uché and Adahi, the Adahi and Natchez differ.

This is a fair measure of the glossarial separation between contiguous languages as determined by what may be called the simple comparison (inspection or collation) of vocabularies; and it is by no means strange that, such being the case, writers should have regarded it with something approaching to surprise.

I am not aware that much has been done to bring down this feeling to a reasonable limit; a result which might easily have been brought about by one or both of the two following processes.

a. The value of the mere simple comparison of vocabularies may be tested by seeing what would be the result of placing side by side two languages known to be undoubtedly, but also known to be not very closely, allied. Such, for instance, might be the German and Greek, the Latin and Russian, the English and Lithuanic, all of which are Indo-European, and all of which, when placed in simple juxtaposition, by no means show themselves in any very palpable manner as such. This may be seen from the following table, which is far from being the first which the present writer has compiled; and that with the special view of ascertaining by induction (and not a priori) the value of comparisons of the kind in question.

Man homo yúant atshánggo.
Woman mulier pintkhlkaiu pummaike.
Father pater píntet sima.
Mother mater penín sinni.
Son filius wái tawakhai.[Pg 369]
Daughter filia wái tshitapinna.
Head caput talsh tamutkhl.
Hair crinis tkhlokomot amutkhl.
Ear auris taksh pokta.
Eye oculus hăkamush kwalakkh.
Nose nasus pitkhloken unan.
Mouth os sumkhaksh mandi.
Tongue lingua push mamtshutkhl.
Tooth dens tenif púti.
Hand manus epip tlakwa.
Fingers digiti épip alakwa.
Feet pedes tish puüf.
Blood sanguis tiweush méënu.
House domus nisht hammeih (—fire.)
Axe securis yengthokinsh khueshtan.
Knife culter shekt hekemistāh.
Shoes calcei taitkhlo ulumóf.
Sky cœlum adjalawaia amiank.
Sun sol huewish ampiun.
Moon luna katkhltóp utap.
Star stella tkhlitkhlish atuininank.
Day dies eweiu umpium.
Night nox ftalp atitshikim.
Fire ignis tetsh hamméih.
Water aqua iskkainish mampuka.
Rain pluvia tishtkitkhlmiting ukwíï.
Snow nix poi nukpeik.
Earth terra lingsh hunkhalop.
River rivus lushmi mantsal.
Stone lapis ápit andi.
Tree arbor lauik huntawatkhl.
Meat caro pithuli umhók.
Dog canis náapang mantal.
Beaver castor pieka akaipi.
Bear ursa limeaksh alotufan.
Bird avis tianiyiwa pōkalfuna.
Great magnus yaúmua pul.
Cold frigidus shunga pángkafiti.
White albus tkhlaktkhláko kommóu.
Black niger shkupshkúpu maieum.
Red ruber lakaitlakaitu tshal.
I ego ining tshii.
Thou tu niki máha.
He ille nip kak.
One unus na wáän.
Two duo leplin kéën. [Pg 370]
Three tres matnin upshín.
Four quatuor piping táope.
Five quinque táwit húwan.
Six sex nóiná taf.
Seven septem nóilip pshinimua.
Eight octo nōimát kēëmúa.
Nine novem tanáuiaishimshin wanwaha.
Ten decem ningitelp tínifia.

Again—the process may be modified by taking two languages known to be closely allied, and asking how far a simple comparison of their vocabularies exhibits that alliance on the surface, e.g.:—

One it la day ittla hē.
Two onk shay day nank hay.
Three ta day ta he.
Four dini day dunk he.
Five tlat zoon e de ay sa soot la he.
Six int zud ha l'goot ha hé.
Seven ta e wayt zay tluz ud dunk he.
Eight etzud een tay l'goot dung he.
Nine kala gay ne ad ay itla ud ha.
Ten kay nay day hona.
A man taz eu dinnay you.
A woman iay quay tzay quay.
A girl id az oo ed dinna gay.
A boy taz yuz é dinnay yoo azay
Interpreter nao day ay dinnay tee ghaltay.
Trader meeoo tay ma kad ray
Moose-deer tlay tchin tay tunnehee hee.
Rein-deer may tzee ed hun.
Beaver tza tza.
Dog tlee tlee.
Rabbit kagh kagh.
Bear zus zus.
Wolf tshee o nay noo nee yay.
Fox e yay thay nag hee dthay.
I hunt na o zed naz uz ay.
Thou huntest nodzed nan ul zay.
He hunts nazin zed nal zay.
We hunt naze zedeo na il zay.[Pg 371]
Ye hunt nazin zedeo nal zin al day.
They hunt owadié tzed na hal zay.
I kill uz éay gha zil tir.
Thou killest uz éay ghan zil hil tir.
He kills ud zeay gha tla in il tir.
We kill uz ugho-ghay uzin tla in il dir.
Ye kill uz ugho ghay uzin zee ool dir.
They kill utza ghay agho tla in il tay.
I laugh utzay rad lotsh naz-lo.
Thou laughest utlint lotsh na-id-lo.
He laughs utroz lotsh nad-lo.
We laugh utlo wod lotshay tlo a-ee-el-tee.
Ye laugh tlodzud udzee tlo gha ee-ol-tee.
They laugh tlodzud udzee tlo-gha-ee-el-tee.
I trade mata oz lay naz nee.
Thou tradest mata an eelay na el nee.
He trades kita od eenla na el nee.
We trade mata ad oz id la na-da-ell nee.
Ye trade mata a la ozayo na ool nee.
They trade ma ta a leeay la eghon a el nee.

Now there is no doubt here as to the difference appearing to be considerable. Yet the two languages—or, rather, dialects—are mutually intelligible.

b. The method of indirect comparison—although by some considered illegitimate—supplies us with another means of checking the tendency towards over-valuing glossarial differences as tested by simple collation; since, a language of which the isolation goes beyond a certain point must not only be unlike any single given language, but unlike other languages altogether. Now, taking the Adahi as an illustration, the following table shows its miscellaneous or general affinities.

Now the Adahi is so far from being a singular instance of an American language having miscellaneous affinities that there are not half-a-dozen vocabularies for either North or South America for which I have not similar lists.[138]

Such is the imperfect sketch of my reasons for believing that any statement which places the glossarial differences between the American languages, as ascertained by the simple inspection of their vocabularies, so high as to involve the idea of a unique and unparalleled philological phænomenon is an over-statement.

In thus limiting the extent of a remarkable characteristic I am not denying its existence. That the difference, even when cut down to its proper dimensions, is still more considerable than the usual investigations of philologists prepare them to expect, is shown by the necessity (which I freely admit) of resorting in America to the indirect method of comparison, where in many (perhaps most) other parts of the world, simple collation would suffice.

Why is this? The following facts help us to an answer—fragmentary and partial though it be.

The paucity of general terms.—What shall we say to a language where a term sufficiently general to denote an oak-tree is exceptional; a language where the white-oak[Pg 376] has one specific name, the black-oak another, the red-oak a third, and so? Yet such is the ease with the Choctah;[139] where, a fortiori, the still more general name for tree is more exceptional still. This is the case with a noun.

Verbs, however, are equally specialized. Where we in England talk of fishing, the Eskimo has a distinct name for every mode of fishing; and this is only part and parcel of the system which "designates with a peculiar name animals of the same species according to their age, sex, or form."

This is a character, which, though illustrated from two languages, is common to all the American ones.

Now the more specific the name the less extensive its application, and the less extensive its application the smaller the probability of its appearing in more languages than one. No one would expect the word brother to occur in the Gaelic (brathair), and in the Latin (frater), if Gaels, Englishmen, and Romans, without any name for brother in general, had merely known an elder brother by one separate single name, and a younger one by another, as is really the fact in America. What we should look for in such a case would be the equivalents to words like cadet, and these might differ in languages otherwise allied.

Names, then, for common objects are often of so specific a kind in the American languages, that they differ in cases where, if more general, they would agree.

The numerals.—Another class of words, which in many languages agree, differs in the American, viz., that of the numerals. In the Indo-European tongues these agree even where other words differ.[140] The converse, however, takes place with the tongues in question. Languages, alike in [Pg 377]other points, shall count differently. Can this be explained? I submit the following doctrine, based upon the difference between absolute numerals like two and three (words which mean two units, and three units exclusively and irrespectively), and concrete numerals like brace and leash.

Between these two classes of words there is the following difference. Absolute numerals give no choice, concrete numerals do. Out of two tribes, wherein the intelligence of each is so little capable of generalization as not to have evolved abstract and absolute numerals like those of the Indo-European nations (one, two, &c.), the only way of counting is by the adoption of some material object in which the number of its parts is a striking characteristic; in which case there is so much room for arbitrary selection that allied languages may take up different words. It is not to be supposed that unless the English, Greeks, Gaels, Slavonians, and the members of the Indo-European stock in general, had broken off from the common stem at a period subsequent to the evolution of absolute numerals that their names for the first ten units would be so like as they are. On the contrary, there would most certainly have been a difference; two being expressed in one quarter by a word like brace, in another by such a term as couple, in a third by pair, and so on. Now this latitude exists and bears fruit with the American languages. One takes the name for (say) two from one natural dualism, another from another—one calls it by the name for a pair of hands, another by that of a pair of feet, a third by that of a pair of shoes, &c.

Names, then, for numerals in the American languages differ as much as the natural objects from which they may be derived, the separation from the parent-stock of the[Pg 378] tongues in which they occur having taken place before the evolution of fixed absolute and abstract terms.

The verb-substantive.—In the Indo-European languages the verb-substantive agrees even where other words differ; the English be is the Latin fu-; the German ist is the Greek ἐστ-ι; the English am is the Latin sum, and the Greek εἰμι. This induces us, in languages where there is no such agreement, to argue in favour of a fundamental dissimilarity. And naturally. Tongues as far apart as the English and Sanskrit agree, where tongues as close to each other as the Adahi and Chetimacha differ. But to expect likeness on this point simply because we find it in Europe and Asia, is to make bricks without straw. In most of the American languages, an idea so abstract as that conveyed by the verb-substantive has yet to be evolved; in other words, there is no verb-substantive at all in the generality of them: according to some writers, it is wanting in all.

Such are some of the facts and suggestions which help to account for the glossarial difference between the American languages, a phænomenon which, even though occasionally overstated, is still a reality to a certain degree. I am fully aware that, at the first view, they seem to prove too much; i.e. they seem, by accounting for the differences, to admit them; just as, in common life, the person who excuses himself for an imputed action, admits the truth of the imputation. How far this is the true view will be seen after the notice of some of the antagonistic phænomena of agreement in the way of grammatical structure.

Negative points of agreement.Case-endings, properly so called, are either rare or wanting throughout the American tongues. Possession is expressed by the pronouns; just as if we said, father his, or pater suus instead of patri-s,[Pg 379] ather-'s. In like manner the pronoun expresses the objective relation; I strike him horse=ferio equu-m.

Signs of number, properly so called, are wanting. The general American equivalent for such a form as the -s in patre-s, or father-s, is a word signifying number, as father many=father-s.

Signs of gender, properly so called, are wanting. This, however, is no more than what occurs in the English adjective.

Signs of the degrees of comparison are wanting. This, however, is no more than what occurs in the French adjective.

Notwithstanding, however, this list of negations—a list capable of being considerably increased—the American grammar is complex; a fact which brings us to the positive characteristics of the language in question. These, also, are very general.

a. The distinction between animate and inanimate objects.—The plural of the name of such an object as a star is of one form; the plural of the name of such an object as a sheep, another. In some languages this distinction extends farther, and applies to the rational and irrational divisions of the animate class.

b. The incorporation of the possessive pronoun.—Certain words like hand, father, son, express, all the world over, objects which are rarely mentioned except in relation to some other object to which they belong—a hand, for instance, is mine, thine, his, and so is a father, a son, a wife, &c. In other words there is almost always a pronoun[141] attached to them. Now in the American languages this is almost always incorporated with the substantive; so that an American can only talk of my father, thy father, [Pg 380]&c., being incapable of using the substantive in a sense sufficiently abstract to dispense with the pronoun.

c. The incorporation of the objective pronoun with the verb. The Latin word a-ma-nt contains, beside the part which represents the action, a second element representing the agent. An American verb would, besides this, contain an element representing the object, so that what the Latin expressed by amant illas (two words) would be denoted in most Indian tongues by a single form. Now when we remember that the name of the object is thus reduced to an inflection, and also that the pronoun expressive of it, varies with the sex, we see how American tongues may be both copious in the way of grammar and complex as well. And such, notwithstanding many facts to the contrary, is really the case.

Inclusive and exclusive plurals.—A word like we in English, is a much more abstract word than it appears to be at first sight. What should we say if instead thereof we only said I+thou, or I+they? What if both these expressions were used? In such a case we should have two plurals one exclusive of the person spoken to (I+they), and one inclusive of him (I+thou). Now the phænomenon of the exclusive and inclusive plural is very general throughout the aboriginal languages of America.

Such are the chief points wherein languages differ in respect to their lexicons, and agree in respect to their grammars.[142]

The Californias, New Mexico, and the provinces of Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Cohuahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, and the northern part of the Anahuac, will now conduct us to the centre of the Aztek civilization—or semi-civiliza[Pg 381]tion of the city of Montezuma. And here the enumeration of the divisions and sub-divisions of the population must be almost exclusively geographical, i.e. we must take the tribes as they come in their order on the map, and not in the order wherein they are related to each other. The reason of this lies in the unsatisfactory character of our knowledge. Preeminently scanty, it is unsystematic as well. What follows then is but little better than an undigested list of references, more than one of which may refer to the same tribes under different names, and more than one of which may be incorrect. Still it is a contribution towards a monograph, the necessity of which gives it place in a systematic work, which it would not have otherwise; and lest the value of such a monograph, if properly drawn up, be undervalued, the reader is reminded that most of the elements of our criticism in regard to the civilizational phænomena presented by Mexico, Guatimala and Yucatan, depend upon the facts known concerning the Californias and the parts to the south of them.

New California.For the parts between the mouths of the rivers Clamet (or Lutuami) and Sacramiento.—Physical geography gives us for these parts three divisions: a, the coast and western boundary of the valley of the Sacramiento; b, the valley of the Sacramiento itself; c, the eastern watershed of the Sacramiento.

a. For the coast we have a notice as to the miserable condition of the natives about Trinity Bay in N. L. 41° with the special statement that they file their teeth. Probably they constitute an extension of the Southern Tototunes. On the other hand, the later writers have remarked, that the boundary between the Oregon and California is not only a political but an ethnological one as well; in other words, that the physical appearance of[Pg 382] the Indians changes as soon as the frontier is passed. Except so far as there is a difference in the physical geography, this coincidence is unlikely.

b. In respect, however, to the valley of the Sacramiento, such a difference exists. The Desert of California, like that of the Sahara, has its oases, and these are the valleys of its rivers. However narrow these may be, the conditions of physical and social development which they afford, are always improvements upon those of the desert table-land. Here our only data are Mr. Dana's, which consist of—

1. A vocabulary of the occupants of the river about 250 miles from its mouth, and 60 miles south of the Shasti, whom they resemble, being a mirthful race, with no arms but bows and arrows, and with little intercourse with foreigners.

2, 3, 4. Four vocabularies from the occupants of the river, about 100 miles to its mouth, i.e. of the Puzhune, Sekumne, and Tsamak dialects. Allied to these and like them occupants of the western bank, are the Yasumnes, the Nemshaw, the Kisky, the Yalesumnes, the Yuk, and the Yukal.

5. A Talatui vocabulary. Captain Suter, a settler in these parts, informed Mr. Dana, that the Talatui and the Indians just named, resembled each other in every thing but language, and that the Talatui was spoken by the following bands:—The Ochekamnes, the Seroushumnes, the Chupumnes, the Omutchumnes, the Secumnes(?), the Walagumnes, the Cosumnes, the Sololumnes, the Turealemnes, the Saywaymenes, the Nevichumnes, the Matchemnes, the Sagayayumnes, the Muthelemnes, and the Lopotalemnes. Probably the Chochouyem tribe of the Mithridates belongs to this quarter. Probably, also, the Youkiousme of Mofras(?)

[Pg 383]

6. A notice of Major Sand's, in Gallatin,[143] carries us over the eastern watershed of the Sacramiento to one of the streams of the great Californian Desert, which have no outlet to the ocean, called Salmon-trout River. Here the chief sustenance is of a lower order than that of tribes on the Sacramiento. With the latter it is nearly exclusively acorns made into a not unpalatable bread; with the former grass-hoppers or locusts dried and pounded, mixed with the meal of grass-seeds, and baked.

Parts about San Francisco.a. A Youkiousme(?) Paternoster of Mofras, seems to belong to the same division with—

b. A vocabulary of the language of San Rafael in the United States' Exploring Expedition. If so, and if also the position of the Youkiousme just suggested be correct, further information will bring the languages enumerated by Dana, to the neighbourhood of San Francisco; for which parts we also find in Mofras—

c. A Tularena Paternoster.

d. A notice of a MS. Tularena grammar by Arroyo.

e. f. The Santa Inez, and Santa Barbara, Paternosters of Mofras.

g. h. The Severnow and Bodega vocabularies (apparently representing mutually unintelligible languages) of Baer's Beiträge.

Lastly, in the Mithridates[144] we find enumerated, as inhabitants of these parts, the Matalan, the Salsen, and the Quirotes, followed by the statement of Lasuen, that between San Francisco and San Diego seventeen languages are spoken, which cannot be considered as dialects of a few mother-tongues. On the other hand, however, [Pg 384]in respect to the three sections just mentioned, Humboldt expressly states that, whilst they are separated as peoples (Völkerschaften), their speech is from a single source.

Parts about Monterey.—The vocabularies of the Mithridates, taken from the Voyage of the Sutil and Mexicana of—

a. The Eslen or Ecclemachs.

b. The Rumsen—East of the Eslen. To which add a notice of—

c. The Achastlier probably a section of the Rumsen, or vice versâ.

Parts about N.L. 35°.—Vocabularies of the American Exploring Expedition for—

a. La Soledad.

b. San Miguel, about fifty miles south-east of La Soledad.

c. The San Antonio of Dr. Coulter. Published in the paper of Dr. Scouler's, already quoted.

d. The San Luis Obispo.—Ditto.

e. The Santa Clara of the Mithridates.

For the parts between N.L. 35° and N.L. 32½°.—Here, as hitherto, our knowledge is limited to the tribes on the coast.

a. The Santa Barbara, of Dr. Coulter.—Journal of Geographical Society.

b. c. The San Juan Capistrano, the same as the Netela of the United States' Exploring Expedition.

d. The San Gabriel of Dr. Coulter, the same as the Kij of the United States' Exploring Expedition.

e. The San Diego of Dr. Coulter.

The SS. Gabriel and Juan Capistrano, are more closely allied than any other two of Dr. Coulter's. Besides which there seems to be between them, a regular letter-change[Pg 385] of the l and r. In San Juan Capistrano, whilst but one word ends in r, maharr=five, several end in l; as shul=star, ul=arrow, nol=chief, amaigomal=boy, shungal=woman; whereas, the San Gabriel has no terminations in l, but many in r, as touarr=arrow, tomearr=chief, tokor=woman, &c.

Moon. mioil. muarr.
Water. pal. paara.
Earth. ekhel. ungkhur.
Salt. engel. ungurr.
Hot. khalek. oro(?).

South of San Diego, the land narrows itself into the peninsula of Old California. Here we have—

1. The Cochimi.—If the area of the Cochimi dialects (of which there are four, said to differ from each other as much as the Spanish and the French) extend as far north as N.L. 33°, the San Diego vocabulary most probably represents one of them.

2. The Waikuru.—called also the Monk[145] or Moqui(?), and of which the following dialects are enumerated—

a. The Cora(?)[145]. Extinct, or nearly so.

b. The Uchitee, or Utshi. Extinct.

c. The Aripe. Probably extinct.

d. The Layamon of Loretto, known to us by a vocabulary.

3. The Pericu.—Probably extinct. Spoken at the southern extremity of the island from N.L. 24°, to Cape St. Lucas.

4(?). The Ikas.—By the unknown author of the "Nachrichten von der Amerikanischen Halbinsel Kalifornien" (Mannheim, 1773), who was a Jesuit missionary in the Peninsula, the Ikas, a fourth family, is enumerated amongst the Old Californians.

[Pg 386]

5(?). The Picos, too, or Ficos, of Bägert, may possibly represent a separate family. More probably, however, they are Ikas, or sections of some better known division of the Old Californian population.

If we now take a review of what has been investigated, it is only a coast and a peninsula. What, however, is the state of the interior of that great tract which, politically, lies between Mexico, the United States, and the Pacific, and of which we have the ethnological limits in the areas of the Tototune, the Shasti, the Palaiks, the Paducas, and lastly the Indians of Sonora—for thus far south must we go before we get clear of the terra incognita of California?

I am better prepared with suggestions as to the method of investigating these parts than with facts concerning them.

1. In the way of physical geography it is convenient to draw a distinction. The great interior basin (or table-land) of California is one division; the great triangular watershed between the rivers Gila and Colorado another.

2. In the way of new facts we must expect the phænomena of stone architecture, as manifested in the ruins of ancient buildings.

3. In the way of inference we must guard against over-valuing the import of them. They are not upon light grounds to be considered as the measures of a civilization so different from that of the tribes hitherto enumerated, as to suggest the machinery of either unnecessary migrations, or unascertained degradations or annihilations of race.

The difference between the great interior basin of California, and the valleys of the rivers Gila and Colorado, with their feeders, is that of a desert and the oases that lie within it. The tribes that inhabit the former are[Pg 387] under some of the most unfavourable conditions for sustenance in the world. Some of them, such as those to the east and north, are known to be the more miserable members of the Paduca class. Those of the west are probably extensions of the imperfectly known tribes of the coast, and their analogues in the way of physical influences are to be sought for in Australia rather than in America.

It is not surprising that the water-system of two considerable rivers should furnish strong elements of contrast to those which exist in what is either a table-land or a basin, according as the attention of the investigators is struck by its elevation above the sea, or by its depressions forming salt-lakes—Dead Seas in the way of ethnology. Nor yet is it surprising that such contrasts should have full justice done them in description. Ruins in stone, too, in districts where the most we expect is the embankment or tumulus, strike even the cautious observer with surprise; and fragments of art, however imperfect, create wonder when they represent an industry different from what is found amongst the existing populations of their locality. Whatever may be the exaggeration as to particular descriptions, however, the ethnological deduction is well summed up in the following extract. In describing the tribes of the Gila, the Colorado, and of New Mexico, Gallatin writes, "At the time of the conquest of Mexico, by Cortes, there was northwardly, at the distance of 800 or 1,000 miles, a collection of Indian tribes, in a state of civilization, intermediary between that of the Mexicans and the social state of any of the other aborigines."[146]

What was the civilization? what the tribes? It is[Pg 388] best to express both these facts in as general a way as possible. The Casas Grandes represent the first. The Pimos Indians the second.

The Casa Grande, or Great House.—On the south bank of the Gila, in the midst of a large and beautiful plain, are the ruins of what was called by its discoverers, Fathers Garcias and Font,[147] the Casa Grande, a building 445 feet in length, and 270 feet in breadth, with three stories and a terrace; the walls being built of clay, and a wall interrupted with towers investing the principal edifice.

Fig. 13.

Later descriptions of Casas Grandes, by eye-witnesses, are those of Lieutenant Emory and Captain Johnston. That of the latter, of one on the River Gila, is as follows:—

"Still passing plains which had once been occupied,[148] we saw to our left the 'Casa de Montezuma.' I rode to it, [Pg 389]and found the remains of the walls of four buildings, and the piles of earth showing where many others had been. One of the buildings was still quite complete, as a ruin; the others had all crumbled, but a few pieces of broken wall remaining. The large casa was fifty feet by forty, and had been four stories high; but the floors and roof had long since been burnt out. The charred ends of the cedar joists were still in the wall. I examined them and found they had not been cut with a steel instrument. The joists were round sticks about two feet in diameter. There were four entrances—north, south, east, and west,—the doors about four feet by two; the rooms as below, and had the same arrangement in each story. There was no sign of a fire-place in the building. The lower story was filled with rubbish, and above it was the open sky. The walls were four feet thick at the bottom, and had a curved inclination inwards to the top. The house was built of a sort of white earth and pebbles, probably containing lime, which abounded on the ground adjacent. The walls had been smoothed outside, and plastered inside; and the surface still remained firm, although it was evident it had been exposed to great heat from the fire. Some of the rooms did not open to all the rest, but had a hole a foot in diameter to look through; in other places were smaller holes. About two hundred yards from this building was a mound, in a circle one hundred yards around the mound. The centre was a hollow, twenty-five yards in diameter, with two ramps or slopes going down to its bottom. It was probably a well, now partly filled up. A similar one was seen near Mount Dallas.

"A few yards further, in the same direction, northward, was a terrace one hundred yards by seventy, about[Pg 390] five feet high. Upon this was a pyramid about eight feet high, twenty-five yards square at the top. From this, sitting on my horse, I could overlook the vast plain lying north-east and west, on the left bank of the Gila. The ground in view was about fifteen miles—all of which, it would seem, had been irrigated by the waters of the Gila. I picked up a broken crystal of quartz in one of these piles. Leaving the casa I turned towards the Pimos, and travelling at random over the plain (now covered with mezquite), the piles of earth and pottery showed for miles in every direction. I also found the remains of a zequia (a canal for irrigation) which followed the range of houses for miles. It had been very large."

The Pimos.—Without at present fixing their locality, it is sufficient for the sake of showing the character of their civilization, to make the following extracts, directly from Mr. Squier's paper on New Mexico and California, but indirectly, or in the way of first-hand evidence, from Lieutenant Emory:—

"At the settlement of the Pimos, we were at once impressed with the beauty and order of the arrangements for irrigating and draining the land. Corn, wheat, and cotton are the crops of this peaceful and intelligent race of people. At the time of our visit, all the crops had been gathered in, and the stubble showed that they had been luxuriant. The cotton had been picked and stacked for drying in the sheds. The fields are sub-divided by ridges of earth into rectangles of about 200 feet by 100, for the convenience of irrigation. The fences are of sticks wattled with willow and mezquite, and in this particular give an example of economy in agriculture worthy to be followed by the Mexicans, who never use fences at all.

[Pg 391]

"The dress of the Pimos consists of a cotton serape, of native manufacture, and a breech cloth. Their hair is worn long and clubbed up behind. They have but few cattle, and these are used in tillage. They possess a few horses and mules, which are prized very highly. They were found very ready to barter, which they did with entire good faith. Capt. Johnson relates that when his party first came to the village they asked for bread, offering to pay for the same. The bread was furnished by the Pimos, but they would receive no return, saying, 'Bread is to eat, not to sell; take what you want.'

"'Their houses,' says Lieut. Emory, 'were dome-shaped structures of wicker-work, about six feet high, and from twenty to sixty feet in diameter, thatched with straw or corn-stalks. In front is usually a large arbour, on top of which is piled the cotton in the pod for drying. In the houses were stored water-melons, pumpkins, beans, corn, and wheat, the three articles last named usually in large baskets; sometimes these baskets were covered with earth and placed on the tops of the domes. A few chickens and dogs were seen, but no other domestic animals except horses, mules, and oxen. Their implements of husbandry were the axe (of steel, and obtained through the Mexicans), wooden hoes, shovels, and harrows. The soil is so easily pulverized as to make the plough unnecessary.'

"Among their manufactures is a substance which they call pinole. It is the heart of Indian corn, baked, ground up, and mixed with sugar. When dissolved in water it is very nutritious, and affords a delicious beverage. Their molasses, put up in large jars, hermetically sealed, is expressed from the fruit of the pitahaya.

"In manufacturing cotton they display much skill, although their looms are of the simplest kind. 'A woman[Pg 392] was seated on the ground under one of the cotton sheds. Her left leg was turned under, and the sole of her foot upwards. Between her large toe and the next was a spindle, about eighteen inches long, with a single fly of four or six inches. Ever and anon, she gave it a twist in a dexterous manner, and at its end was drawn a coarse cotton thread. This was their spinning machine. Led on by this primitive display, I asked for their loom, pointing first to the thread, and then to the blanket girded about the woman's loins. A fellow stretched in the dust, sunning himself, rose up leisurely, and untied a bundle which I had supposed to be a bow and arrows. This little package, with four stakes in the ground, was the loom. He stretched his cloth and commenced the process of weaving.

"They had salt among them, which they obtained from the plains. Wherever there are 'bottoms' which have no drainage, the salt effloresces, and is skimmed from the surface of the earth. It was brought to us both in the crystallized form, and in the form when first collected, mixed with earth.

"The plain upon which the Pimos village stands, extends fifteen or twenty miles in every direction, and is very rich and fertile. The bed of the Gila, opposite the village, is said to be dry, the whole water being drawn off by the zequias of the Pimos for irrigating their lands; but their ditches are larger than necessary for the purpose, and the water which is not used returns to the river, with little apparent diminution in its volume.

"It is scarcely to be doubted, that the Pimos are the Indians described by Father Garcias and Pedro Font, as living on the south bank of the Gila, in the vicinity of the Casas Grandes. They lived in two villages, called Utu[Pg 393]icut and Sutaquisau, and are described by these explorers to have been peaceable and industrious cultivators of the soil. When Father Font tried to persuade them of the advantages which would result from the establishment of Christian missions, where an Indian alcalde would govern with strict justice, a chief answered that this was not necessary for them. 'For,' said he, 'we do not steal, we rarely quarrel; why should we want an alcalde?'"[149]

This is enough for a characteristic; to which it should be added that the area of the Casas Grandes, and that of the agricultural (or semi-agricultural) industry of the Pimos and other tribes coincide.

So little, however, are these parts known, that our evidence comes almost exclusively from two quarters—the early Spanish explorers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the very recent American surveyors, the circumnavigators (to use an expression of Gallatin's) of the Californian Desert of the last decennium.

Some of the most western of the tribes that have any (though not all) of the elements which make the Pimos the representatives of a provisional ethnological division, are:—

1. The Yumas.—These are placed near the junction of the rivers Gila and Colorado, and although at enmity with, are stated to speak the same language as, the—

2. Coco-maricopas.—Except that the Coco-maricopas are the taller, that their noses are more aquiline, that their intelligence is, perhaps, superior, and that their language is different, they agree in all respects with—

3. The Pimos.—Both the Pimos[150] and the Coco-maricopas are on the south bank of the River Gila, bounded [Pg 394]on the south by Apaches. The former are considered as aboriginal to their present locality. Not so, however, the Coco-maricopas, whose immigrations are said to be recent, and whose language is akin to the Californian of San Diego.

Horse quactish ——
Man apache epatch
Woman seniact seen
Child comerse jacuel
Corn tarichte ———
Water ha-ache kha.
Fire house ———
Foot ametche ———
Hand issalis eshall.
Eyes adoche ———
One sandek siha.
Two haveka khahuac.
Three hamoka khamoc.
Four champapa tchapap.
Five sarap khetlacai.
Six mohok khentchapai.
Seven pakek ———
Eight sapok tchapap-tchapap.
Nine humcamoke sinhtchahoi.
Ten shahoke namat.

4. The Moqui.—The peculiarities of the Moqui have had full prominence given to them; being, though not the best authenticated, some of the first described. No living writer seems to have seen them; whilst the evidence of Mr. Gregg, and Lieutenant Emory, which in both cases is especially stated to be founded on the communications of others, simply places them in the same category with the tribes which have preceded them. By more sanguine writers, however, they have had attributed to them white skins, long beards, towns containing from 2000 to 3000[Pg 395] inhabitants, public squares, parallel streets, and stone houses.

5. Zuni.—East of the Moqui, in numbers from 1,000 to 1,500 souls, and about 150 miles west of the Rio del Norte. Evidence modern. "They profess the Catholic faith, cultivate the soil, have manufactures, and possess considerable quantities of stock."—Gregg. "The Soones build houses in the solid rock. Many of them are Albinos, the probable origin of the report of a race of white Indians in this quarter. They resemble the Pimos in habits."—Lieut. Emory, from the communication of a Coco-maricopas Indian.

The Zuni, or Soones, bring us out of California, and into New Mexico. The character of the civilisation is, however, the same. So are the difficulties of the ethnography.

Conterminous with the Zuni, and amongst the most western, though not the most northern of the New Mexican aborigines, are—

6. The Indians of the Rio San José.—-This is a feeder of the River Puerco, itself a westernly feeder of the upper part of the Rio del Norte. Their villages are seven in number—1. Cibólleta,[152] 2. Moquino,[152] 3. Poquaté, 4. Covero, 5. Laguna, 6. Rito (now deserted), and 7. Acomo.

7. The Indians of the parts about Abo and Quarra.—South-east of the Indians of the San José, and on the opposite bank of the Rio del Norte, lie the seven villages of 1. Chititi, 2. Tageque, 3. Torreon, 4. Mansana, 5. Quarra (deserted, and with ruins), 6. Abo (the same), 7. Quivira.[152] The ruins, both of Quarra and Abo, are of stone, with foundations above 100 feet in length, and in the shape of crosses. One of the easiest passages across[Pg 396] the ridge that divides the prairie country belonging to the water-system of the Mississippi is along the stream on which Abo is situated.

North of these, and nearer the head-waters of the Rio del Norte (or Rio Grande) come—

8. Indians speaking the Piro language.—These are the Taos, Picuri, and others.

9. Indians who speak (or spoke) the Hemez[153] (or Yemez) languages.—The Pecos, Cienega, and others in the highlands east of the Rio del Norte, and between that river and the River Pecos. These were anciently known as Tagnos, whilst their language is said to be that of the Hemez.[153]

Now the names Taos, Tagnos, Tigue, and Tegua, create a difficulty. Gallatin remarks that the last two are forms of the same words. I think so, too. But then I also think that all four words are the same, or, if not, that Taos and Tagnos are, at least, so. If this be true, the Taos are made to speak the Piro language and the Hemez as well. Nay more, a third language distinguished from both (the Piro and Hemez) is mentioned, viz., the Tegua, spoken by a large portion of the others, all of whom had, originally, this general name, though some seem to have been distinguished as Queres, probably the Quivix or Quirix of Castañeda.

Be this, however, as it may, the northernmost Indians of New Mexico bring us in contact with a section of the Indians of the Mississippi system already mentioned, the Arrapahos, whilst the southern are in contact with the ill-ascertained tribes of Texas. In Texas, however, we have traces of the Casas Grandes; in the high-land between[Pg 397] New Mexico and Texas we have the famous Llano Estocado. This means a trail or line of road marked out by stakes placed in nearly a straight line, and at intervals to indicate its course. Under the name of the Cross-Timbers, this has attracted the notice of several travellers, and has been especially described in a paper laid before the Geographical Society, by Mr. Catlin.

The reason why certain names have been printed in italics, a fact to which the reader's attention was directed by notes,[153] will now be explained. They all agree in introducing complications in the ethnology from the fact of their occurring elsewhere. Thus—

a. The term Moqui, as a synonym to Waikuru, appears as the name of the Monki of the Gila.

b. The name Moquino does the same.

c. The Cora, of California, is the name of a language in New Galicia.

d. The Yemez of New Mexico reappears in California. And—

e. Lastly, the word Cibólleta, the name of a village on the Rio del Norte, is inconveniently, like the term Cibola, expressly applied by the early Spanish writers to a country on the Rio Colorado.

This last remark suggests a new train of facts, viz., the comparison between the early Spanish and the recent American accounts. Upon the whole they agree. At any rate, the former bear evidence that the civilization—such as it is—which is under notice, is of home growth, rather than European in its origin, a view that cross-shaped ground-plans, as well as other circumstances, might suggest.

Finally, we find by comparing one account with another either real additions to our divisions of the popula[Pg 398]tions, or else new names. Such are, probably, amongst others—

1. The Nijoras.—Mentioned by Sedelmayer, in 1748, as occupying the River Azule(?) a feeder of the River Gila.

2. The Tompiras.—Mentioned by Benavides, Superior to the Franciscan mission in New Mexico, in a work printed in 1630, and stated to amount to 10,000 souls, in fifteen villages. Conterminous with the Taos and—

3. The Pecos.—On the head-waters of the river so-named, inhabitants to the amount of 2000, of a single village. This also is on the authority of Benavides.

4. 5. 6. The Xumana, Lana, and Zura.—Mentioned by Prichard, whose list is taken from Hervas rather than from the Mithridates, as being New-Mexican languages.

We are now free to return to the south of the Gila, or rather south of the Pimos and Coco-maricopas of its southern bank.

Due south of these come an irregularly distributed branch of the Paducas—the Apaches.

South of these, and engendering a complication which arises from the name, come

The Pima.—Of these we find, in the Mithridates,[154] notice of three dialects or languages—a. The Pima Proper, b. the Opata, c. the Eudeve. Said to be allied to—


Locality.—New Biscay, Eastern part of Sinaloa, north part of Durango, Chihuahua as far as 30° N.L., i.e. the upper portion of the Sierra Madre, or the watershed to the western feeders of the Rio Grande and River Yaqui, and others falling into the Gulf of California.

[Pg 399]

Casas Grandes occur in the Tarahumara area. The following descriptions, probably applying to the same building, certainly apply to a very remarkable one.

"This edifice is constructed on the plan of those of New Mexico, that is, consisting of three floors, with a terrace above them, and without any entrance to the lower floor. The doorway is in the second story, so that a scaling ladder is necessary; and the inhabitants of New Mexico build in this manner, in order to be less exposed to the attacks of their enemies. No doubt the Azteks had the same motives for raising their edifices on this plan, as every mark of a fortress is to be observed about it, being defended on one side by a lofty mountain, and the rest of it being defended by a wall about seven feet thick, the foundations of which are still existing. In this fortress there are stones as large as a mill stone to be seen: the beams of the roof are of pine, and well-finished. In the centre of this vast fabric is a little mount, made on purpose, by what appears, to keep guard on, and observe the enemy. There have been some ditches found in this place, and a variety of domestic utensils, earth pans, pots, jars, and little looking-glasses of itztli (obsidian)."

"Casas Grandes is one of the few ruins existing in Mexico, the original owners of which are said to have come from the north, and I, therefore, determined to examine it. Only a portion of the external walls is standing; the building is square, and of very considerable extent; the sides stand accurately north and south, which gives reason to suppose that the builders were not unversed in astronomy, having determined so precisely the cardinal points. The roof has long lain in the area of the building, and there are several excavations said to have been made by the Apache Indians to discover earthenware[Pg 400] jars, and shells. A specimen of the jars I was fortunate enough to procure, and it is in excellent preservation. There were also good specimens of earthen images in the Ægyptian style, which are to me at least so perfectly uninteresting, that I was at no pains to procure any of them. The country here, for an extent of several leagues, is covered with the ruins of buildings capable of containing a population of at least 20,000 or 30,000 souls. Casas Grandes is, indeed, particularly favourable for maintaining so many inhabitants. Situated by the side of a large river which periodically inundates a great part of the low surrounding lands, the verdure is perpetual. There are ruins also of aqueducts, and, in short, every indication that its former inhabitants were men who knew how to avail themselves of the advantages of nature, and improve them by art; but who they were and what became of them, it is impossible to tell. On the south bank of the Rio Gila there is another specimen of these singular ruins; and it may be observed, that wherever these traces are found, the surrounding country invariably possesses great fertility of soil, and abundance of wood and water."[155]

The Papagos, or Papabi-cotam.—These speak the same language as the Pimas, by whom they are, nevertheless, despised.

The Tahu, Pacasca, and Acasca.—Mentioned by Castelnada, writing about A.D. 1560, as being spoken near the Culiacan.


Locality.—The coast of Sinaloa, north of the Cora area.

Dialects(?)—Tepeguana, Topia (Tubar), Acaxee(?) Xixime, Sicuraba, Hina, and Hiumi.

[Pg 401]

The Tubar occupied the head-waters of the River Sinaloa; as such they were conterminous with the western Tarahumaras.

The Acaxee is, probably, the Acasca of Castelnada.


Locality.—Coast between the River Sinaloa and River Yaqui.

Language.—Spoken by the natives of the River Yaqui, Zuaque(?), and Maya.

Guazave.—The Guazave language is mentioned as being that of the coast of Sinaloa. Whether it was different from the Maya dialects is doubtful.

The Ahome was a dialect of the Guazave.


Probably the same as the Huite, stated by Hervas to speak a different language from the—


Locality.—Southern part of Sinaloa; i.e. the valley of the Culiacan.


The Cora and Tarahumara have each been recognized as presenting signs of philological affinity with the Astek of Mexico.




Locality.—Parts about the present city of Vera Cruz.

Although lying nearly within the same latitude as Mexico, the Totonaca area is that of the low coast, rather than of the lofty table-land, consequently it is part of the Sierra Calida, with a tropical climate, rather than of the Sierra Templada or Fria, where the elevation of the Anahuac mountain-range effects a change in the physical conditions within the same latitude, which has doubtless been a considerable ethnological influence.

[Pg 402]

The Huasteca, spoken between the Totonaca area and the Texian frontier, in the parts about the present town of Tampico, has yet to be noticed. It is, however, a language whereof the geographical and ethnological positions are at variance; its affinities of the latter kind being with a language spoken far south of it, and separated from it by the Totonaca area.

Is the preceding list exhaustive, i.e. for the parts between Mexico Proper and California, for Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Cohuahuila, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, and Durango? I am not able to say. The following may be, a. the names of mere dialects; b. of separate substantive languages; c. or, finally, synonyms for some tongue already noticed.

The Guaima.—Mentioned by Prichard—whose list of the Mexican languages is taken from Hervas, rather than the Mithridates—as being spoken in Sinaloa.

Pame.—Mentioned by Prichard, &c., as being spoken in Huastecapan, or the country of the Huasteca language. If other than the latter, it has a place in the present part of the work. If not, it comes, more properly, amongst the Maya tongues.

Matlazinga.—Mentioned by Prichard as being spoken in the valley of Toluca in Mexico.

Cuitlateca.—Mentioned by Prichard as being spoken in the diocese of Mexico.

The Mokorosi.—This term is noticed because I find, in Jülg, a "Vocabolario de la Lengua Mocorosi. Mexico, 1599."

The Capita.—This term is noticed because an Arte de la Lengua Capita (Mexico, 1737), is mentioned in Jülg, accompanied with the notice that it represents a language (or dialect) of the north of Mexico.

[Pg 403]


Localities.—N.E. parts of Mechoacan, Head-waters of the River Santiago.

Dialects.—1. Otomi Proper. 2. Mazahui.

Casas Grandes occur in all the parts lately enumerated.

A great complication in the philological ethnography, is introduced by the Otomi dialects.

In a dissertation of Don Emmanuel Naxera's,[157] the author gives reasons for considering the Otomi to be a remarkable exception to the general character of the American languages. It is so far from being polysynthetic that it is monosyllabic. A fact like this was not likely to be underrated. The vicinity of the Otomi area to the Aztek, the semi-Asiatic character of the Mexican civilization, the analogies between it and the Japanese, were all circumstances likely to bring the populations of the Chinese type into the field of comparison. Hence the Otomi, after being in the first place disconnected with the American family of languages, ran the chance of being specially, and to the exclusion of the other tongues of the New World, connected with the Asiatic; and, herein, with those of the Seriform tribes and nations.

With his accustomed caution, Gallatin satisfies himself with saying what others have thought upon the matter, more especially the author of the dissertation in question; evidently, in his own mind, admitting no more than an analogy, not an affinity, with the Chinese.

The present writer doubts much whether even the facts of the case are yet ascertained, much less the true appreciation of their import.

1. He thinks that it has yet to be determined whether the comparative absence (if real) of inflections has arisen from the loss of forms previously existing, or from the non[Pg 404]development of them in toto. In the latter case only the language would be in the predicament of the Seriform tongues, or aptotic; whereas in the former its parallel would be the English, an anaptotic language.

2. He thinks that the whole aspect of the question might be materially altered by changing the manner of putting it; i.e. by asking not whether the Otomi differs from the other American languages in being monosyllabic rather than polysynthetic, but by inquiring whether the other American tongues may not agree with the Otomi in being more monosyllabic than is generally supposed.

This latter point is one of great importance;—the fact of two such extreme forms of language as the monosyllabic and polysynthetic meeting has been shown by Schoolcraft in his remarks upon the structure of the Algonkin languages; the à priori likelihood of such a phænomenon being very great. The details of the transition itself, however, we see but imperfectly. That they are to be found, however, in the comparative philology of the Seriform tongues is undoubted. Here, even the difference, so important in the American tongues, between the animate and inanimate plural is foreshadowed; whilst the other so-called peculiarity of the polysynthetic tongues—the incorporation of the pronoun expressing the object with the verb, is only a fuller development of the principle which gives us, in the common languages of Europe, the reflective and middle forms. In the Icelandic kallast (=kalla sig=calls himself, originally kalla-sc), the incorporation of the name of the object is as truly a part of the grammar as it is in any American tongue whatsoever.

Again, more than one philologist has suggested that many American agglutinations are (like such forms as je l'aime, if written jelaime), instances of what may be[Pg 405] called a mere printer's polysyntheticism, i.e. points of spelling rather than of real language.

Such are fragments of the criticism which breaks down two classes of differences at once; those between the Otomi and the other languages of America, and those between the American and non-American tongues in general.

On the other hand, it should be added that if, irrespective of such criticism, the Otomi language be, in its vocables, wholly un-American, the evidence in favour of its philological isolation is just as good as if, over and above the fact of its being monosyllabic, the transition from monosyllabicism to polysyntheticism were a philological impossibility; still more so, if its affinities are with any other language, e.g. the Chinese.

Now, upon this point I have made three series of comparisons.

1. The Otomi with the Seriform languages, en masse.

2. The same words from another American language (the Maya) with the same Seriform languages.

3. The Otomi and a variety of other American languages.

Of these the first two are as follows:—



The third, so far from isolating the Otomi from the other languages of America, exhibits more than an average number of miscellaneous affinities, especially with the languages of California.

As to the Chinese and the other Seriform tongues, the question is not how like they are to the Otomi, but how much[Pg 408] more like they are to the Otomi than to the Maya. And here the difference in favour of the Otomi is even less than we expect; since (merely from the doctrine of chances) two (or more) languages with short words will have a greater number of similarities (real or accidental) than two (or more) dissyllabic or polysyllabic languages.

So far, then, from isolating the Otomi as much as Naxera has done, I am disinclined to adopt, to their full extent, the far more moderate views of Molina and Gallatin; admitting at the same time that, of all the tongues of the New World, its structure, from being either anaptotic or imperfectly agglutinate, is the most remarkable.

The rude and imperfect civilization of the Otomis has often been contrasted with the better developed character of the—


Strictly speaking, this is a geographical rather than an ethnological term; perhaps it is more political than geographical. It means, as nearly as can be, the kingdom of Montezuma, as it was found by the Spanish conquerors of the fifteenth century. This seems, historically speaking, to have consisted of several states, more or less incorporated with that of the sovereign city; incorporated either in the way of confederation, as was the case with Tescuco, or as subject nations like the more distant dependencies. In the consolidation of the Mexican empire, I see nothing that differs in kind, from the confederacies of the Indians of the Algonkin, Sioux, and Cherokee families, although in degree, it had attained a higher development than has yet appeared; and I think that whoever will take the trouble to compare Strachey's[158] account of Virginia, where the empire of Powhattan had, at the time of the colonization, attained its[Pg 409] height, with Prescott's Mexico, will find reason for breaking down that over-broad line of demarcation which is so frequently drawn between the Mexicans and the other Americans.

I think, too, that the social peculiarities of the Mexicans of Montezuma are not more remarkable than the external conditions of climate, soil, and land-and-sea relations; for it must be remembered that, as determining influences, towards the state in which they were found by Cortez, we have—

1. The contiguity of two oceans.

2. The range of temperature arising from the differences of altitude produced by the existence of great elevation, combined with an intertropical latitude, and the consequent variety of products.

3. The absence of the conditions of a hunter-state; the range of the buffalo not extending so far as the Anahuac.

4. The abundance of minerals.

Surely these are sufficient predisposing causes for a very considerable amount of difference in the social and civilizational development.

South of Mexico we have several languages of a small and one of a large area. The former are as follows:—

Mixteca—Spoken in Oaxaca.



Chiapa—Spoken in Chiapa.

Zoques—Spoken on the sea-coast, about Tobasco.

Tzendales—Spoken from Comitan to Palenque.




The Mam—Guatemala, in the province of Vera Paz.

[Pg 410]

The PochonchiChortiQuiche—Spoken in Guatemala. Allied languages, or dialects.—Gallatin.


Sinca—Guatemala, on the Pacific, from Escuintla to the Rio des Esclavos.






Respecting the locality of the last three languages there is, at least, a tradition that, over and above the original population, there was also, at the time of the conquest, a colony of Mexicans in Nicaragua. I say, at least a tradition, because it is stated that the so-called Pipil Indians, on the coast of the Pacific, speak a Mexican dialect, and also that the remains of Mexican art in Nicaragua are both numerous and definite; in which case the evidence is improved: still it is by no means conclusive.

Such are the minor groups, all of uncertain value, for central America, i.e. for the parts between Mexico and the Isthmus, with two exceptions.


Divisions.—1. The Maya Proper. 2. The Huasteca.

Localities.—1. The Maya Proper in Yucatan. 2. The Huasteca, in the parts about Tampico.


The discontinuity of the Maya area is effected by the interposition of Totonaca and other languages; the discovery of the community of origin between populations so different as those of Yucatan and country round Tampico being one of the valuable notices of the Mithridates.

The value of the Maya-Huasteca (or Huasteca-Maya) group, is wholly undetermined. Probably it should[Pg 411] extend to the inclusion of the Poconchi and several other tongues of Guatemala.

The further we approach the narrowest part of the Isthmus the more fragmentary is our ethnology. It loses, however, none of its importance, since it is by the way of the Isthmus that we find the most direct geographical transition from North to South America.

And here the division must be made between—a, those Indians who seem to have partaken of a civilization of the Mexican type,—and b, those who do not.

The former alternative was probably the case (more or less) with all the divisions already enumerated; the latter with the Indians of Panama, the islands, and the Moskito Coast.

The following is a notice of a tribe on the sea-coast, at present either extinct or incorporated with some other, but well known to the old buccaneers. [159] "The next day we got ashore in one of them [the islands] in hopes of getting some corn, but met with none but a few poor wretches, who had been stripped of all by the privateers, who also frequently made them their slaves; for they are very fit for that purpose, being of a low stature but strong limbed; for the rest they are of a dark olive colour, with round faces, black hair, and small eyes of the same colour: with eyebrows hanging over their eyes, low foreheads, short, thick, and flat noses, full lips, and short chins. They have a peculiar fashion of cutting holes in the lips of the boys whilst yet infants, which they keep open with small pegs till they are fourteen or fifteen years of age; then they put in them something resembling a long beard made of tortoise-shell. Both boys and girls have holes[Pg 412] bored in their ears, which by degrees they stretch to the bigness of a crown-piece, and wear in them round and smooth pieces of wood, so that their ears seem wood, unless only in a small skin. As they have very little feet (notwithstanding they are bare-footed), so the females take a great pride in their legs, which they tie very hard from the ankle to the beginning of the calf with a piece of calico, which renders their calfs very round and beautiful. They have no other clothing but a clout about their middle."

The nearest remaining representatives of the aborigines thus described are the—


Locality.—The Moskito Coast.


Like the Indians of the original territory of the United States and Canada, the Europeans with which the Moskito Indians come in contact are of English, rather than Spanish, extraction; besides which, there is a considerable intermixture of Negro blood.

The language, for which we have a fair amount of data, has fewer miscellaneous affinities than any hitherto examined. Still, this is nothing more than what its geographical position leads us to expect. The nearest languages of which we have specimens are those of Guatemala on one side, and the northern part of South America on the other. For the contiguous areas of Honduras, San Salvador, and Costa Rica we have no specimens.

The Isthmus of Panama leads us from North to South America. Here the first tribe of importance which presents itself is—


Locality.—New Granada. Extinct.

Language.—Peculiar; known, however, only from a few words collected by the Abbate Gilii.—See Mithridates.

Civilization.—The same (or nearly the same) with that of Mexico and Peru.

[Pg 413]

1. Besides the Muysca, however, there were, most probably, two or three mutually unintelligible languages spoken in the Isthmus of Darien, and the following ten (all now extinct), in New Grenada. 1. The Agnala; 2. the Caivana; 3. the Chimeca; 4. the Kurumene; 5. the Gorrane; 6. the Guaraepoana; 7. the Guarica; 8. the Natagaima; 9. the Cueca; and 10. the Chiaczake.—Mithridates.

We now follow the line of the Andes, omitting for the present the consideration of their eastern declivity, and limiting ourselves to the mountain-range itself and the narrow strip between it and the Pacific. This brings us, probably, through the districts of the 1. Masteles; 2. Chorri; 3, Pichilumbuy; and, 4. Quillacingæ, to the country of the ancient



At the present moment, and even in the sixteenth century, the language of Quito was the Quichua. It is considered, however, although I have not investigated the evidence, that the aboriginal languages of the country, spoken before the conquest of the Incas, belonged to a different class of tongues; and that the Quiteno dialect of the Peruvian is a recent introduction.

Be this as it may, the population which now comes next is—


Locality.—From the Equator to 28° south latitude discontinuously; the Quichua area being interrupted about 15° south latitude by the Aymaras. Limited almost exclusively to the plateau of the Andes and to its western slope.

Numbers, according to D'Orbigny, 934,707 pure, 458,572 mixed.


Locality.—From 15° to 20° south latitude. The parts around the Lake Titicaca, and the ruins of Tiaguanaco. Conterminous with and (almost?) surrounded by the Quichuas.

Numbers, according to D'Orbigny, 372,397 pure, 188,237 mixed.

[Pg 414]


Locality.—The valley of Cincha, in the diocese of Truxillo. Extinct.

Synonym.(?)—Mochika. Perhaps the name for a separate dialect.


Locality.—The diocese of La Paz. Extinct.

Probably these, with the Quixos, may represent the earlier population of the Andes anterior to the spread of the Peruvian Incas of the Quichua stock.


Locality.—The Provinces of Taracapa and Atacama. Conterminous with the Aymaras, Quichuas; and Moluché.

Synonyms.—Olipes, Llipi.

Numbers, according to D'Orbigny, 7348 pure, 2170 mixed.


Locality.—The Coast of Peru, from 22° to 24° south latitude, conterminous with the Moluché.

Numbers, according to D'Orbigny, 1000.

Thus far we have followed the line of the Western Andes in the direction from north to south, along a tract forming the narrow line between the Cordilleras and the Pacific, a tract that, politically and historically speaking, nearly coincides with the empire of the Peruvian Incas, as it was found by the Spanish conquerors under Pizarro. For the history of this remarkable empire the reader is referred to Prescott's History of Peru; the criticism that applies the facts therein found, being, in a great degree, the criticism which applies to similar civilization of Mexico.

In Chili we find the north-western branch of one of the great and definite divisions of the South American population, which may be called Chileno, Patagonian, Fuegian, Chileno-Patagonian, &c. as seems most convenient; the main fact requisite to be remembered being, that it comprises the population of three areas. 1. Chili; 2. Patagonia; 3. Tierra del Fuego.

[Pg 415]

Although for this group of Indians we have no general and collective names, the subordinate branches are conveniently denominated, Moluché, Puelché, Huilliché.


Locality.—(roughly speaking)—Chili. The word Molu=Western,. Molu-che=Western People.

Synonym.—Chileno, Araucanian.


Locality.—(roughly speaking)—south of the Chaco, and east of the Andes, as far as the Atlantic. The parts east of Chili. The word Puel=Eastern. Puel-che=Eastern People.

Synonym.—Pampa Indians.


Locality.—Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Divisions.a. Patagonians. b. Fuegians.

Extracts respecting the physical appearance of the Patagonians:—

1. "One of them, who afterwards appeared to be chief, came towards me; he was of gigantic stature, and seemed to realise the tales of monsters in a human shape; he had the skin of some wild beast thrown over his shoulders, as a Scotch Highlander wears his plaid, and was painted so as to make the most hideous appearance I ever beheld. Round one eye was a large circle of white; a circle of black surrounded the other, and the rest of his body was streaked with paint of different colours. I did not measure him; but if I may judge of his height by the proportion of his stature to my own, it could not be less than seven feet."—Byron.

2. "They have a fine shape; among those whom we saw not one was below five feet ten inches and a quarter (English), nor above six feet two inches and a half in height. Their gigantic appearance arises from their prodigiously broad shoulders, the size of their heads, and the thickness of all their limbs. They are robust and well fed; their nerves are braced, and their muscles strong, and sufficiently hard, &c."—Bougainville.

3. "The medium height of the males of these southern tribes is about five feet eleven inches. The women are not so tall, but are in proportion broader and stouter: they are generally plain-featured. The head is long, broad and flat, and the forehead low, with the hair growing within an inch of the eyebrows, which are bare; the eyes are often placed obliquely, and have but little expression; the nose is generally rather flat and turned up, but we noticed several with that feature straight and sometimes aquiline; the mouth is wide, with prominent lips, and the chin is rather large; the jaws are broad, and give the face a square appearance; the neck is short and thick; the shoulders are broad; the chest is broad and very full; but the arm, particularly the forearm, is small, as are also the foot and leg; the body long, large, and fat, but not corpulent. Such was the appearance of those who came under my observation."—King.

The previous extracts have been given because the great[Pg 416] size of the Patagonians has been noticed by most of the voyagers who have described them—in some cases with considerable exaggeration. Illegitimate inferences, moreover, have been drawn from their supposed contrast to the Fuegians. These last, more undersized than over-sized, and ill-fed fish-eaters, like the Eskimo and Hottentot, have been separated too far from the populations nearest to them, and have been considered, by even good writers, as sufficiently distinct from the Indians of the Continent to form a separate division. Nay more, so much has been made of their sallow complexion that, in some cases, the Fuegian has been placed among the Black sections of the human species, i.e. amongst the Kelænonesians.

Nevertheless, it is doubtful whether the extreme sections of the group in question exhibit greater contrasts in physical appearance than those which the difference of their physical and social conditions would lead us to expect; since the mountain range of the southern Andes, the nomadic extension of the Pampas, and the insular localities of the Chonos Archipelago, and the Tierra del Fuego, account for full as much difference as we find—to say nothing of the difference of latitude between Cape Horn and the Peruvian frontier of Chili, in the way of climate. Add to this the opposition between the vicinity of a semi-civilized kingdom like that of Peru on the north, and the absolute isolation of the Tierra del Fuego on the south, as influences which seriously affect the phænomena of the social and civilizational developments. That the typical features of the so-called copper-coloured Indian of America become lost as we approach Cape Horn, is a fact of more importance than the height or size of individual families. The Fuegian is Eskimo in appearance, and the Patagonian approaches the Fuegian.

[Pg 417]

In Chili we find special notice of a preeminently light-haired and blue-eyed population—the Boroanos.[160]

Fig. 14.

Having now reached the Ultima Thule of the New World we may look back and ask how far the general phænomena and problems connected with the ethnology of South, resemble those of North America: they do so in many respects. There are the same physical divisions of elevated table-land, of open pasture, of steppe, and of forest; the same low levels along similar large rivers, and the same swamps[Pg 418] on the sea-shore. And so it is with the distribution of tribes and races. Large areas, like those of the Algonkins and Iroquois, are conterminous with groups of unfixed and almost isolated languages: so that what we have found in Mexico, as opposed to Canada, we shall find in Central South America, as opposed to Brazil and Peru.

Still there are important points of difference. South America, like Africa, lies not only between the tropics, but under the equator. Like Africa, too, only farther than Africa, it extends towards the Antarctic Circle; so that hence we may call the natives of Tierra del Fuego either the Eskimos of the south, or the Hottentots of the west.

In respect to the abundance and value of its ethnological materials, South America, especially for its interior, is one of the dark spots of the world—it is better known than Central Africa, and better known than New Guinea: and saying this we have said all.

And here it may be well to indicate an ethnological method. In Tierra del Fuego we have one of the six extreme points of population; i.e. points from which no population has been supposed to have been determined elsewhere; Easter Island, Van Dieman's Land, the Cape of Good Hope, Lapland, and Ireland, being the other five. In working the problem as to the original centre of population—the birthplace of the human kind—it is these six points with which we should begin, and so seek their point of convergence. This is of two kinds, geographical and philological. The first is that part of the earth's surface where the distance from each is equal (or where it nearest approaches equality); the second, the locality of that language which has, at one and the same time, the greatest likeness to the Teapi,[161] the Tasmanian, the Fuegian, the Hottentot, the[Pg 419] Lapponic, and the Gaelic. Of course such centres would be conventional, and liable to the influence of disturbing causes. Still they involve a principle that is both safe and scientific; and, if the land were one vast circular island, in the midst of the ocean, and the changes that affect language had taken place at a uniform rate throughout the domain of speech, such a state of things would supply a conventional ethnological centre.

Such a conventional centre would be the mean point between the geographical and the philological ones.

That the Chileno, Patagonian, and Fuegian populations are sections of a single stock I have no doubt. Whether, however, this stock may not contain other branches is uncertain.

There are three frontiers to the northern part of the area in question—the western, the central, and the eastern. The western has been already noticed: it is the country of the Changos, Atacamas, and other portions of the old Peruvian empire. Nevertheless it is probable, that the population may be Chileno, and still more likely that it may be transitional to the Peruvian and Moluché groups.

The central division has yet to be studied in detail; since we have yet to learn at what part of Central South America the Pampa population changes for that of the Gran Chaco,[162] and of what nature this change is. Nay, the Southern Indians of the Gran Chaco may, like the southern members of the Peruvian empire, be either Patagonian (or Pampa-Patagonian) or transitional.

The eastern portion of the division in question is the parts about the mouth of the River Plata.

[Pg 420]

The population, which I suppose to have been conterminous with the Patagonians (i.e. the Puelché portion of them) is that of—


Of the language I have seen no vocabulary. In physical appearance the Charruas approach the Patagonians; and equally akin are they to the fiercer tribes of that division in their habits and characters.

The Charrua population—for we are now within the territory of the Spanish Republic, and in areas where the displacement of the aborigines has been the consequence of contact with the European—is known only in fragments; whole sections of it being, at the present moment, either extinct or incorporated. The original divisions, however, were as follows:—

1. The Charruas Proper; 2. the Chayos; 3. the Chanás; 4. the Guenoas; 5. the Martedanes; 6. the Niboanes; 7. the Yaros; 8. the Minoanes; 9. the Caaiguas; 10. the Bagaez; 11. the Tapés. Of these the Chanás and Niboanes inhabited, at the arrival of the Spaniards, the islands of the Uruguay, at the junction of the Rio Negro. The Guenoas and Martedanes connected themselves with the Portuguese of the Colonia del Sacramiento, and were at enmity with the Yaros and Minoanes. The Chayos are the first that disappear from history, probably from having become amalgamated with the Yaros.

The Charruas proper, from the time of Solis to the year 1831, have lived the life of a nation of warriors, with their hand against every man, and every man's hand against them. Uninterrupted as was their hostility to the Spaniards, it was equally so against the other aborigines; so much so, that in no case do we find a common alliance against the[Pg 421] common enemy to have existed;—on the contrary, the war against the Mamaluco, the Tupi, and the Arachanes, were wars of extermination. And so was the war against the Spaniards; except that the Spaniards were the exterminators. In 1831 the President of Uraguay, Rivera, destroyed the Charruas root and branch; so that at the present moment a few enslaved individuals are the only remains of that once terrible nation.

From eighty to one hundred families lived under the direction of a Tubicchó, or semi-hereditary chief, and when danger threatened, the Tubicchós met and chose amongst themselves a leader. Whoever is chosen commands the obedience of the rest—the election is half counsel, half feast. Chicha is drunk; wounds are exhibited; exploits are recounted: the most worthy is selected from his peers.

After this fires are lighted as beacons, and the warriors of tribes meet from all parts. When they can make the attack, they do it by night, and at the full-moon. How they treat their captives is a matter upon which there is a conflict in the evidence. Ruy Diaz de Guzman denies that they are cruel to their prisoners. I have no wish to disturb Ruy Diaz de Guzman's evidence. Others, however, have controverted it. Against the fact of their being cannibals there is the same, and (perhaps) better testimony. Where they taste human flesh at all, it is done in the spirit of vengeance, and not to satisfy appetite. They tasted of the body of Solis; and they had good reason to hate him.

Their chief ornaments are the tattoo and the feathers of the ostrich; and the favourite colour for their incisions is blue.

Now I believe that this savage semi-heroic character of the Charruas is a fair sample of the wilder and more unsubdued Indians of Chili, Patagonia, and the Gran[Pg 422] Chaco; also, that it is equally true of the Araucanians as described by Ercilla, and the Pampa Indians of Sir E. Head. And what is this but a repetition of the same features which we see in the corresponding part of North America? Here, when we have got beyond the tropics, we find the Algonkin, Sioux, and Iroquois warriors, conterminous with, and (as the present writer believes) passing into the feebler Eskimo—these latter bearing the same relation to their southern neighbours as the Fuegians do to the northern ones.

Like the Paduca area for North America, the Pampas and the parts to the north of them are preeminently the country of the horse—so that the ethnology of Mongolia and Tartary partially reappears here.

In looking back to consider what parts of South America have been described, we find that the long but narrow strip of the western coast bounded by the Andes and the Pacific, has been nearly (perhaps wholly) distributed between three stocks—the Muysca, the Peruvian, and the Chileno-Patagonian. I say perhaps wholly, because the Atacamas and Changos are probably referable to one of these two latter divisions. Again—it is likely that future researches may throw these three great groups into one; at least such is the inference to be drawn from a comparison of the Patagonian and Peruvian languages.

To a certain extent, the southern part of the peninsula is disposed of along with the western; since it is safe to say that as far as 30° south latitude (perhaps farther) the Chileno-Patagonian stock, like the Eskimo and Athabaskan, stretches across the breadth as well as along the side of the continent.

The parts still standing over—two-thirds or more of[Pg 423] the whole peninsula—are those bounded by the ocean, the Andes, and 30° south latitude.

Premising that of these three boundaries the last is artificial and conventional, whilst the two former are natural, I shall take first in order those areas which, being geographical or political rather than ethnological, exhibit the phænomenon, so often met with already, of numerous groups within narrow compasses. This being done, the remaining part of the continent will exhibit the contrast of the wide extension of single families.

For the miscellaneous and imperfectly described sections of the South American population about to be noticed, the chain of the Andes, in its extension from Panama to Cape Horn, and in its remarkable parallelism to the coast of the Pacific, taken along with the three great water-systems of the Orinoko, the Amazons, and the La Plata, is the great geographical point of prominence.

Herefrom, about 20° south latitude, a western extension of mountains and highlands separates the water-system of the Amazons on the North from that of the Rio de la Plata on the South.

Distinguishing, then—

1. The Indians of the water-system of the Amazons, from—

2. The Indians of the water-system of the Plata, and both from—

3. The Indians of the water-system of the Orinoco—the first section of the first division consists of the—


The distinction here is so far from being ethnological that it is scarcely geographical. Political, however, as it[Pg 424] is, it is convenient—since the term itself indicates what we shall find, viz., a more or less imperfect Christianity throughout.

Indians of the Mission of Moxos.

Localities.a. Missions of Carmen de Moxos, Concepcion de Moxos, San Joaquin de Moxos.

b. Loreto de Moxos, Trinidad, San Xavier, San Ignacio.

c. To the east of the Missions of Concepcion and Carmen, near the river Guaporé.


Muchojéonès of Carmen 230
Christian Baurès 4,178
Pagan Baurès 1,000
Moxos 8,212
Total 13,620

Locality.—North-east of the province of Moxos. Missions of Magdalena and San Ramon.


Numbers in 1830.—At Magdalena, 2,831, at San Ramon, 1,984. Total, 4,815. All Christian.

Conterminous with the Iténès, Baurès, Canichanas, Moxas.


Present locality.—The Mission of San Pedro.


Numbers in 1830, 1939. All Christian.


Present locality.—Mission of Santa Anna.

Original locality.—Banks of the Yacuma.

Conterminous with the Moxos, Canichanas, and Cayuvavas.


Numbers in 1830, 1238. All Christian.

Language.—Between the Movima and the Moxas the language is the only important distinction.

[Pg 425]


Present locality.—Mission of Exaltacion, at the northern part of the river Mamoré. Originally conterminous with the Movimas, Iténès, the Maropas, and Pacaguaras.

Numbers in 1831, 2073. All Christian.

Language.—Between the Cayuvava and the Moxas the language is the only important difference.


Locality.—The junction of the Iténès and Mamoré.


Probable number.—From 1,000 to 1,200.


Locality.—The junction of the Beni and Mamoré.


Locality.—The province of Moxos.

The Sapiboconi are mentioned by Hervas, and, from him, in the Mithridates. They are not, however, mentioned by D'Orbigny, and are probably extinct. Their language is evidently different from any known tongue of either Moxos or Chiquitos; and judging from the comparison of the Mithridates, consisting only of seven words, it seems to be Quichuan rather than aught else.

Head emata matti
Lightning ilapa illapo.
Stone tumu rumi.
Year mara mara.
Indians of the Mission of Chiquitos.

Locality.—Centre of the Province of Chiquito.


Tribes, both existing and extinct, numerous.

Numbers in 1830, 14,925. All Christianized.

Conterminous with the Samucos, Guanos, Guatos, Tobas, Siriones, Guarayos, Saravecas, Otukés, Tapiis, Covarecas, Paioconecas, Tapacuras.


Present locality.—The Mission of Santa Ana, and Casalvalco.

Original locality.—North-eastern limits of the Chiquito tribes.

[Pg 426]

Numbers.—At Santa Ana, 250; at La Reduction de Casalvalco, 100. All Christianized.

Except by language, scarcely distinguishable from the Chiquitos.


Present locality.—The Mission of Santo-Corazon.

Original locality.—North-eastern parts of Chiquitos, on the frontiers of Brazil.

Numbers.—150. All Christians.

Except by language, scarcely distinguishable from the Chiquitos.


Present locality.—The Mission of Santa Ana.

Original locality.—The neighbourhood of the Saravecas and Curuminacas.

Numbers.—About 50.

Language.—Extinct, or almost extinct. Out of a few words collected by D'Orbigny, one-third Otuké.


Original locality.—North-east of the province of Chiquitos, between the Saravecas and the Otukés.

Present locality.—With Saravecas, at Santa Ana and Casalvalco.

Numbers.—100 at Santa Ana, 50 at Casalvalco. All Christian.

Language.—Almost or wholly extinct. Out of a few words collected by D'Orbigny, five out of fourteen resembled the Otuké.


Present locality.—The Mission of Santa Corazon.

Original locality.—The neighbourhood of the Saravecas and Curuminacas.


Language.—Extinct. Said to have been peculiar. If so, the only important distinction between them and the other Chiquitos.


Present locality.—The Mission of St. Jago de Chiquitos.

Original locality.—The neighbourhood of the Otukés.


Language.—Extinct. Said to have been peculiar. If so, the only important distinction between them and the other Chiquitos.


Present locality.—Mission of San Rafael.

Original locality.—That of the Saravecas, Otukés, &c.

Numbers in 1832, about 50.

Language.—Extinct. Said to have been peculiar. If so, the only important distinction between them and the other Chiquitos.


This nation was conducted by the Jesuits to the Mission of San Rafael; its original locality having been to[Pg 427] the south of that settlement, on the borders of the Gran Chaco. Here they became unmanageable, and escaped to the woods—it is supposed to those of their original home. At present, the numbers were put by D'Orbigny's informants at 100: their language being said to be peculiar.


Present locality of the Christian Paioconecas.—The Mission of Conception.

Original locality.—The head-waters of the Rio Blanco and Rio Verde; 16° south latitude, 63° west latitude from Paris. Hither, it is supposed, some of the more intractable Paioconecas of Concepcion have escaped.

Conterminous with the Chiquitos, Saravecas, and the Chapacuras of Moxos.

Numbers of the Paioconecas of Concepcion, 360.

Particular Tribe.—Paunacas, 250 in number.


Localities.—South and south-east portions of the province of Chiquitos, on the limits of the Gran Chaco.

Conterminous with the Guanos, Guatos, Curaves, Xarayes, Otukés, Saravecas, Curuminacas, Paunacas, and Paioconecas.

Name.—That of a particular tribe extended to the whole nation. Other Samucu tribes, still existing, are the Morotocos, the Potureros, and the Guaranocos.

Habitat.—Forests, subject to inundations, when they retire to the hills.

The last three or four families have illustrated a common phænomenon in the ethnology of these parts; indeed, of many other parts of America as well, especially the United States.

It by no means follows that the existing locality of any section of the aboriginal population is the real natural and original one. On the contrary, wherever we find them Christianized, or semi-civilized, the chance is in favour of their having been moved from the original habitat to some so-called Reserve or Mission, and vice versâ. Now the Indians of the Reserves and Missions are almost always modificated in character as well as frequently mixed in blood. On the other hand, although less typical in the way of ethnological characteristics they are the best known, on account of the greater opportunities of[Pg 428] intercourse; the laborious and successful Jesuit Missionaries of Spanish America being the chief authorities.


Politically the Chaco, or Gran Chaco, is the tract nominally belonging to the inland and northern republics of the so-called Argentine Confederation, rather than to Bolivia; whilst geographically it is the water-system of the Paraguay and Upper La Plata, rather than of the Amazons. Ethnologically it is characterized by being the area of a civilization, which even when compared with that of Moxos and Chiquitos, is imperfect,—of a still more imperfect and partial Christianity, and of tribes which are at once nomadic, warlike, and independent; approaching, in their moral characters, the Charruas and Patagonians rather than the Peruvian.

The Indians of this part are either equestrian and nomadic, or else partially settled in villages; this latter being generally the case where the forests are densest, and where the river-sides afford tracts of alluvial (and often half inundated) soil. Our knowledge of them is preeminently scanty; still such vocabularies as are known exhibit miscellaneous affinities with the languages of other tribes of South America in general.


Divisions.—1. Abiponians Proper. 2. Mbocobis and Tobas. 3. Lenguas. 4. Payaguas. 5. Mataguayos. 6. Mbayas.

Sub-divisions.—Of the Mataguayos. The Chaès (Qu.? Guanas), the Yoes, the Matacos, Begosos, Chunipis, and Oeolis.

Localities.a. Of the Abiponians, the central parts of the Chaco, conterminous with b, the Mbocobis and Tobas conterminous with the Araucanians of Chili. c. Of the Lenguas, the central parts of the Chaco. d. Of the Payaguas, the banks of the Paraguay as far as its junction with the Parana, e. Of the Mataguayos, the parts between the Pilcomayo and Vermejo. f. Of the Mbayas, the eastern shore of the Paraguay.

[Pg 429]

The Guayanas.—I am unable to say how far this is the same tribe as the Chanès and Guanas.

The Calchaquis.—In the time of Dobrizhofer, nearly extinct at present, most likely wholly so.—Equestrian.

Malbalaes, Mataras, Palomos, Mogosnas, Oregones, Aquilotes, Churumates, Ojotades, Tanos, Quamalcas,—probably extinct; at least they are placed by Dobrizhofer in the same category with the Calchaquis. Like the Calchaquis, also, they were equestrian.

Natekebits.—Equestrian. Probably Abiponian.




The Lules.—Pedestrian; speaking the same language with

The Vileles and—

The Ysistines.—Pedestrian.

The Tonocote.—Converted and partially settled in towns.

The Homoampas, the Ocoles, the Pazaines,—Christianized.

The Caypotades and the Ygaronos, like the Zamucus, removed to the Missions.


Explanatory of the words not Guarani, it is necessary to state that in Brazil begins a distribution of nations and tribes which, tested by the evidence of language, present the same phænomenon which is exhibited by the Algonkins of North America, i.e. a single area of language covering a vast space, in contrast with numerous areas covering a small one; a phænomenon which will be repeated when we[Pg 430] reach Guiana and Essequibo. To clear, therefore, the ground, the non-Guarini Brazilians will be disposed of first.


Synonym.—Aimorés, Guaymarés.

Native name.—Engcraecknung.

Locality.—The Sierra dos Aimorés, between the rivers Pardo and Doce, from 18° to 20° south latitude.

Divisions.—1. The Gherens. 2. The Kinimures.


Inhabitants of shady forests, the Botocudos are light-coloured or yellow-coloured cannibals, with oblique eyes.


Locality.—A small tribe very little known, between the river Mucury and the river Caravellas, in the Comarca de Porto Seguro.


Synonyms.—Goyatacaz, Waytaquases.

Called by the Portuguese.—Coroados=tonsured. By the Coropos—Chakwibu.

Divisions.—1. Coroados or Goïtacas Proper. 2. Puris. 3. Goaïnases(?) 4. Cariyos(?).

Sub-divisions.—Of the Goïtacas. a. Goitacamope. b. Goïtaca-asu. c. Goïtacá-Iacorito.

Locality.—The rivers Macabé, Cabapuana, and Xopoti for the Goïtacas. The upper part of the river Paraiba, and the interior of the province of Esperito Santo for the Puris.

The evidence that the Goaïnases, inhabitants of subterranean caves, and more incompletely known than the partially-civilized Goïtacas, belong to this group is inconclusive. So is the evidence as to the Cariyos. That the Puris speak a language closely akin to the Coroados may be seen in the Atlas Ethnologique.

The unsubdued remnants of the Cariyos, "still wander about in small bodies in the woods of Sierra dos Orgaos and in the meadows of the province of San Paulo. Descendants of them, settled in villages, are probably found in the Mission of Aldea da Escada, in the environs of[Pg 431] Macabé, Ilha Grande, and the islands of San Sebastian and San Catharina."—Von Martius.


Divisions.—1. The Machacari. 2. The Patacho. 3. The Camacan. 4. The Malali.

Sub-divisions.—(?) a. Of the Machacari—the Machacari Proper and the Macuari. b. Of the Camacan—the Camacan Proper, the Menieng, and the Cutachós.

Localities.—Of the Machacaris, the Rio Belmonte, formerly the Rio Mucury.—Of the Macuani (Maconi), originally the woody mountains on the boundaries of Minas Geraes, Porto Seguro, and Bahia; at present, the neighbourhood of Caravellas.—Of the Patacho, the river Mucury, and the head-waters of the rivers Pardo and Contas.—Of the Camacan, Bahia, between the rivers de Contas and Pardo.—Of the Menieng, a domiciled section of the Camacan, the Villa de Belmonte.—Of the Malali, Minas Geraes, on the Rio Senchy Pequeno, a northern tributary of the river Doce.

Synonyms of the Camacans—Mongoyós, Mongxocos, or Mangajas.

This is a class taken from the Atlas Ethnologique of Balbi, wherein we find a short specimen of the language or dialect of each nation enumerated as belonging to it.

Besides these, however, there is, in the same area, i.e. the parts about the watershed of the rivers Doce, Pardo Da Contas, &c., on one side, and that of the river San Francisco on the other.


Locality.—Living along with the Coroados, on the river Xipoto.

Language.—Placed by Balbi with the Coroados, by Spix and Martius with the Macuani.

The discrepancy between the evidence of the two authors just named, explains the note of interrogation, and induces me to leave the Coropos as an unplaced tribe.


Original locality.—The river Preto, in Pernambuco.

Present locality.—In the district of Desemboque, in Goyaz.

Numbers in 1830, about 800.

In the paper of Von Martius, the Chacriabas, although[Pg 432] placed geographically in the province of Goyaz, are stated to be, "probably at first a part of the same nation with the Malali."


Divisions.—1. Kiriri Proper. 2. Sabujah.

Locality.—Formerly in the interior of the province of Bahia, now settled in villages in Caranqueyo, and Villa de Pedra Branca.


Locality.—Mountains between Minas Geraes and Porto Seguro. Migratory.


Locality.—Head-waters of the river Mucury, on the Sierra das Esmeraldas. Migratory.


Locality.—Conterminous with the Capojos.


Locality.—Minas Geraes, on the Sierra Mantiquiera. Probably either extinct or incorporated.


Locality.—Minas Geraes, on the river Preto. Probably either extinct or incorporated.


Locality.—Rio de Janeiro, at Valença. Present existence doubtful.


Locality.—The province of San Paolo. Probably conterminous with the Charruas and the tribes of the Chaco.

The next area which will be noticed is the province of Goyaz, lying to the west of the watershed which separates the system of the river Tocantins from that of the river San Francisco, a tract watered by the first-named of these two rivers, and also by the river Araguaya; its southern part belonging to the system of the river Plata.

[Pg 433]


Probable divisions.—1. The Gés Proper. 2. The Crans.

Sub-divisions, a. of the Gés.—The Norogua-Gés, the Apina-Gés, the Canacata-Gés, the Mannacob-Gés, the Poncata-Gés, the Pacacab-Gés, the Ao-Gés, the Cricata-Gés.

b. Of the Crans.—The Saccame-Crans, the Corrume-Crans, the Crurecame-Crans, the Aponegi-Crans, the Poni-Crans, the Purecame-Crans, the Paragramma-Crans, the Macame-Crans, the Sape-Crans, and the Jocamè-Crans.

Area.—Northern part of Goyaz, on each side of the river Tocantins.

Synonym.—Of the Crans.—Timbiras, Embiras, or Imbiras.

Other tribes of the province of Goyaz, wholly unknown in respect to their ethnological affinities, are—

1. The Goyaz(?).—These gave the name to the province. Extinct, or incorporated.

2. The Anicun.—Extinct, or incorporated.

3. The Cayapos(?).—In 1830, about 800 in number, on the river Grande, a feeder of the river Parana.

4. The Bororos.—On the head-waters of the Araguya. Falling into two divisions, the Coroados and the Barbadoes of the Portuguese.

5. The Aroes.

6. The Tapirakés.

7. The Chimbiwás.

8. The Guapindayás.

9. The Javaés.—Extinct.

10. The Chavantes.

11. The Cherentes(?)

12. The Pochetys.—Cannibals.

13. The Carayas(?).

14. The Cortys.

15. The Tapacoas.

The watershed of the rivers San Francisco and Parahyba, comprising part of the provinces of Piauhy, Maranham is the area of—1. The Acroas; 2. the Masacaras; 3. the Jaicos; 4. the Pimenteiras (Pimento Indians,[Pg 434] the native name being unknown); 5. the Garanhuns; 6. the Ceococes; 7. the Romaris; 8. the Acconans; 9. the Carapotos; 10. the Pannaty.

The whole ethnography here is most obscure. The Acroa, probably represent a large class. In Martius's paper they fall into two divisions, the Acroa-assu (Great), and the Acroa-ming (Little) Acroa. Besides this, however, separate mention is made of the Acrayás, with the remark that they are probably the same as the Acroa. If so, three fresh tribes become Acroa; viz., the Aracujás, the Pontás, and the Goghés—these being specially stated to be Acrayá.

Again, in the "Atlas Ethnologique" we have a Ge or Geic vocabulary. It is marked, however, with a note of interrogation(?), which casts a shade over the light it would otherwise give. As it is, however, it has considerable affinity to the Timbiras, a fact which, perhaps, identifies it with the Gés, though it complicates the ethnology still more.

The table-land which contains the head-waters of the river Tabajos, amid the primeval forests of the Mata Grosso, is the Campos dos Parecis, or the Plain of the Parecis. This is a convenient centre for the complicated ethnology of the area next in question, an area bounded (there or thereabouts) by the rivers Amazons, Madera, and Xingu, with the Tapajos in the middle of it.

Southward and Westward.—Here the Brazilian populations come in contact with those of Paraguay, the Chaco, and the Mission of Chiquitos; so that probably the ethnology is, partially at least, the same as for those areas.

Here, too, the list of tribes (all unfixed in respect to their ethnology) is as follows:—1. The Caupeses; 2. the Pacalekes (Flat-heads); 3. the Guaxis; 4. the Cabijis;[Pg 435] 5. the Red Cabijis; 6. the Ababas; 7. the Puchacas; 8. the Guajejus; 9. the Mequens; 10. the Patitins; 11. the Aricorones; 12. the Lambys; 13. the Tumarares; 14. the Coturiás; 15. the Pacas.

Eastward and Northward.—1. The Maturares; 2. Mambares; 3. the Uyapas; 4. the Mambriacas; 5. the Tamares; 6. the Sarumás; 7. the Ubaivas; 8. the Jacuriunas; 9. the Juajajas; 10. the Bacuris; 11. the Camarares; 12. the Quariteres; 13. the Baccahyris; 14. the Junienas; 15. the Cuchipos, probably extinct.

The Parecis formerly the predominant nation of the Mata Grosso is now nearly extinct, and from want of data, its ethnological import is undetermined. It is probable, however, that at least, the Cabijis, the Mambares, and the Baccahirys, a tribe of Goyaz, are, or were, Pareci.

The southern bank of the Amazons, including the lower portions of the rivers Tocantins, Xingu, and Tabajos, a line coinciding with the northern boundary of the province of Para, is even more of a terra incognita than the Mata Grosso, the list of tribes whereof contain no less than fifty-two names. Of these, but three will be noticed.


Locality.—Between the rivers Mauhé and the Tabajos.

Synonym.—Paighize=Decapitators; so-called by their neighbours.

Language.—Known by a vocabulary, with general, but without particular, affinities.


Locality.—The rivers Mauhé and Furo Trana.

Divisions.a. The Tatus (=Armadillo Indians) b. The Tasiwas. c. The Jurupari Pareira (Devil's Indians). d. The Mucuings (named from an insect). e. The Jubaras. f. The Writapwuas. g. The Guaribas (Roaring Ape Indians). h. The Inambus (from a bird so-called). i. The Jawareté (Ounce Indians). j. The Saucanés. k. Pira-Pereiras (Fish Indians).

[Pg 436]

The Caribunas are placed by V. Martius in this list, with the remark that they are probably Caribs. If so, the rest are, probably, Caribs also.

The Caribunas are also said to be monorchides, but whether artificially or naturally, is unexplained.


Original locality.—The upper part of the river Madera.

Present locality.—The lower part of ditto. Migratory.

Language.—Known by a vocabulary. With general, but without particular affinities.

And now come the parts over which hangs a darker obscurity than that which envelopes the ethnology of the rest of Brazil, viz. the water-system of the river Negro, and that part of the Amazons which lies east of the Madera. Geographically, this falls into three divisions—

1. The parts between the Rivers Madera and Ucayale.

2. The parts north of the Amazons, and west of the river Negro.

3. The parts north of the Amazons, and east of the river Negro.

1. The parts between the Rivers Madera and Ucayale.—Here the known frontier westwards is that of the Quichua area.

The Puru-Purus.—Not known in detail, but said to have pie-bald skins. Settled on the Lower Puru.

The Yameos.—Speaking a language which, from a Paternoster in Hervas, seems to be peculiar. Inhabitants of the river Yavari, and conterminous with a tribe which politically belongs to Peru, and which (perhaps) brings the Brazilian tribes in contact with the Quichuan. This is—

The Mainas.—Speaking a language which, from a Paternoster in Hervas, seems to be peculiar.

The Chimanos.—On the upper Yavari, speaking an[Pg 437] apparently peculiar language, but one with miscellaneous affinities.

Thirty-three other tribes are enumerated as inhabiting the area.

2. The parts north of the river Amazons and west of the river Negro.—Here the known frontier northwards is that of the tribes of the water-system of the Orinoko, hereafter to be noticed.

For one of these, out of forty, we have a vocabulary of the


Locality.—The Upper Apuré.

Language.—With general, but without particular affinities.

The Yupuas, on the Totá, a feeder of the Apuré, are said, by V. Martius, to be Coretu.

3. The parts north of the river Amazons, and east of the river Negro.—Here, as far as the politico-geographical division which gives a boundary to the empire of Brazil is concerned, we have nothing but the names of upwards of a dozen unknown tribes. By remembering, however, that the eastern frontier of this area is British Guiana, and by learning that some of the tribes are common to the two territories we derive some light; since, for British Guiana, the researches of Sir Robert Schomburgk have converted a (comparatively speaking) terra incognita, into an area as well understood as some of the better known parts of North America.

In British Guiana, the tribes not of Carib origin will be first enumerated; since in British Guiana the words not Carib have the same import as the words not Guarani have in Brazil. Like this last-named language in South, and the Algonkin and others in North America, the Carib