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EXHIBITION of PHOTOGRAPHS of NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS. By H. W. SETON KARR, Esq.

THESE photographs are mainly of an Indian tribe called by the French Canadians Montagnais, though why is notclear, the only mountains they inhabit or visit for purposes of trapping furs being part of the Laurentides, which at that particular point are by no means lofty. This tribe inhabits the country north of Quebec, in the vicinity of Lake St. John and Lake Mistassini, and the Mistassini, Ashoupmouchouan and Peribonca Rivers.

Unlike the American tribe of Indians in New Mexico, the Montagnais are quite ready, and even eager, to submit to being photographed. In Mexico and Arizona they are sometimes bribed to stand, but often hide their faces just as the cap is removed from the lens of the camera.

These Montagnais, according to the Hudson Bay officers at Blue Point, are rapidly dying out, from unaccustomed food and change in their habits, owing to the lack of game, and the necessity of their taking up agricultural or at least industrial pursuits in order to make a living with any certainty.

I heard them coughing, and was informed that phthisis and pulmonary affections chiefly carried them off.

Although this tribe is dying out (which is a relic of the famous Iroquois tribe), other Indians are by no means doing so, as the statistics show.

Thus the population of Indians in Quebec Province

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The Indian Industrial Exhibition near Quebec in 1884 was wonderfully successful.

Indians in Canada now have quasi-municipal privileges and a separate Department of State for the management of their affairs.

EXHIBITION of ETHNOLOGICAL OBJECTS from BORNEO.

By W. M. CROCKER, Esq.

THE inhabitants of Borneo consist of Mohammedan Malays on the sea coast, and numerous aboriginal tribes in the interior: these are divided into some hundreds of families or small tribes, but so great a resemblance do they bear to the Malays that they are undoubtedly equally the offspring of the great Polynesian race. I shall not attempt to enter into the theory of the origin of

these people, but I may remark that some writers say they came originally from the West (Java and Sumatra) and the remains ..of Hinduism, such as stone-shaped balls and other stone utensils, found amongst them, would seem to support this theory. At the mouth of the Sarawak River, for instance, many articles of gold and pottery of unmistakable Hindu workmanship have continually been found, indicating that this was once the site of an important Hindu settlement. Mr. Carl Bock, who travelled from Coti, on the east coast of Borneo, to Banjer on the south, found numerous Hindu remains amongst the natives of the interior. Mr. Wallace is of opinion that Borneo once formed a part of the mainland of Asia, and that it was originally peopled from the north. Curiously enough I found the belief in good and evil spirits existing amongst the Milanows of the north-west coast of Borneo exactly similar to that found amongst the Cochin Chinese, and there are not wanting other evidences in support of Mr. Wallace's theory. But we have more to do with the curious and striking customs found amongst the people. When residing on the north-west coast amongst the Melanows I made a vocabulary of some fourteen different tribes, and although in many instances before they came under the influence of a settled government, the people of one river could not converse with those of another, yet the similarity of language is so great that it proves unmistakably that all these tribes are branches of one great family; and yet their manners and customs are in some instances so different that one is almost led to doubt whether this inference is a correct one. For instance, in one tribe only I found the parents flattened the heads of their children; ' I believe this practice is confined entirely to the Milanows.

It is considered a sign of beauty to have a flat forehead, and although chiefly practised on female children, boys are occasionally treated in the same manner. When a child is a few days old an instrument (shown at the meeting) is applied to the forehead, a small cushion being placed underneath, and under that again some green banana leaves. By an ingenious arrangement of strings equal pressure is brought to bear on the forehead, and the final tightening is done in front by a contrivance which has the same effect as a torniquet. I have often watched the tender solicitude of the mother who has eased and tightened the instrument twenty times in an hour, as the child showed signs of suffering. The chief object is to get the child to sleep with the proper amount of pressure on the instrument. Before the child is twelve months old the desired effect is generally produced, and is not altogether displeasing, as it is not done to the extent of disfigurement, which I believe to be the case amongst some of the American Indians.

Then, again, a curious and isolated method of obtaining a light is found amongst the Saribus Dyaks only. (Instrument exhibited.) Here we have a small brass tube lined with lead-no other metal, the natives say, would produce the same result. A small wooden plunger is made to fit the tube, the end of which is hollowed out in the shape of a small cup, in which is placed the tinder (I forget the nature of the tinder, but think it is procured from the inside bark of a tree). The end of the plunger is then slightly inserted in the tube, and by a sharp blow of the hand driven smartly to the bottom of the tube and then quickly extracted, when the tinder is found to be ignited. This we all know is caused by the forcible exhaustion of the air, but how such an idea should have occurred to the savage mind is beyond my comprehension. The natives rarely fail in obtaining a light, and many of them still stick to their tube and tinder in spite of Bryant & May's matches, which are now found all over the country.

Another remarkable specimen from Borneo is the Parang elang (sword) manufactured by the Kyans of the interior.

The blade is concave on one side, and convex on the other, and is manufactured from native iron ore. It is so finely tempered that it will cut through a nail without turning the edge.

The blade is inlaid with brass, the handle being of carved deer horn decorated with human hair. Altogether the weapon is very superior, and is very highly prized by all the tribes in Borneo.

I then alluded to the interesting collection of specimens made by that promising young explorer, Frank Hatton, in North Borneo, the story of whose life is so pathetically told by his father in a book styled "North Borneo," recently published, in which will be found an interesting description of the arms, &c.

In conclusion, I said I believed Borneo offered a richer field than perhaps any other portion of the globe to all those interested in the study of primitive races, peopled as it is by hundreds of tribes showing every graduation of imperfect civilisation, from men living absolutely in a state of nature-who neither cultivate the ground nor live in houses, but who roam the woods in search of plants and fruits, and in quest of game, which they kill with their blowpipes and poisoned arrows-up to the polished Malay gentleman who affects European dress and gives champagne dinner parties to his English friends.

EXHIBITION of PHOTOGRAPHS of NICOBARESE.
By Professor R. MELDOLA, F.C.S.

PROFESSOR MELDOLA remarked that before offering any account of the expedition which led to his visiting the Nicobar Islands in 1875, he should like to call attention to the extreme interest of the fire-producing contrivance from Borneo exhibited by Mr. Crocker. It had long been known that sudden compression of air gave rise to the development of heat, and a common form of lecture illustration was to take a stout glass tube closed at one end and provided with a tightly fitting plunger acting as a syringe. A fragment of tinder or a piece of wool moistened with carbon disulphide is placed at the bottom of the tube and the piston forcibly and suddenly pushed down, when the tinder is ignited or the carbon disulphide vapour caused to flash into combustion. It seemed hardly credible that the apparatus exhibited could have been invented by the Borneans, as the outcome of any elaborate chain of reasoning, and at the same time it was not apparent that any observation of natural phenomena could have originated the contrivance. It therefore appeared to him highly desirable, as an anthropological question of great interest, to endeavour to trace this custom to its origin, and he hoped that those having any opportunities for so doing would not fail to take advantage

of them.

With reference to the photographs of Nicobar Islanders, Professor Meldola stated that he brought them in the hope of their being of interest in connection with the paper by Mr. Man announced for that evening, although he was not aware at the time of receiving the notice of the meeting that Mr. Man had himself sent over the fine collection of photographs which they now had the opportunity of inspecting. He did not feel it advisable to make any remarks respecting the anthropology of this interesting people, since his own visit to the islands had been extremely short (only about fourteen days), and he was occupied during most of that time in fitting up and taking down astronomical instruments. He was of opinion that a great deal of bad anthropology had resulted from travellers paying hasty visits to certain places and then writing papers about the natives. It was only observers qualified, like Mr. Man, by actually residing for some time among the people themselves, who were in a position to furnish substantial contributions to anthropological science, and all who had followed this author's previous work on the Andaman Islanders would agree in the opinion that the present subject could not have fallen into more competent hands. The expedition which had led to Professor Meldola's

visiting the Nicobar Islands was equipped by the Royal Society in 1875 for the purpose of observing the total solar eclipse of that year, the station selected having been the Island of Camorta, because this place happened to be near the line of greatest totality, and at the same time the fact of its being a penal settlement . enabled the observers to have the benefit of convict labour.

The Director read the following paper:

A BRIEF ACCOUNT of the NICOBAR ISLANDERS,

with special reference to the Inland Tribe of GREAT NICOBAR. By E. H. MAN, F.R.G.S., &c.

[WITH PLATES XVII TO XIX.]

THE Nicobar group, situated in the Bay of Bengal between the 6th and 10th parallels of N. lat., comprises twelve inhabited and a few uninhabited islands and islets whose entire area is estimated to contain about 738 square miles, nearly one-half of which is included in Great Nicobar.1

As in the course of this paper it will be necessary to make mention of the government settlement in these islands, a brief account must first be given of the causes which led to their occupation by the British-Indian Government.

It had been long more than suspected that the natives in the vicinity of Nancowry Harbour had at intervals from 1839 (if not even prior to that date) committed a series of unprovoked murders and outrages on the crews of vessels visiting these islands for purposes of trade, many of their victims being under the protection of the British flag. It was not, however, until 1867, when a flagrant case was brought prominently to the notice of the Straits Government, that the authorities, decided to deal summarily with the miscreants.

An expedition was accordingly despatched consisting of two gunboats ("Wasp" and "Satellite") with instructions to visit the suspected villages and, after inquiry into the circumstances, to take fitting steps for the prevention of a recurrence of such atrocities. As a result of the investigation, two or three only of the accused offenders were captured and conveyed to Penang, where conviction was obtained in the case of one alone named "Francis," who was sentenced to imprisonment. In order to

1 The area of Great Nicobar is 362 square statute miles.
2 Situated near the centre of the Nicobar group.

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