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ERHAPS nothing is more certain to create astonishment
than the first sight, in his native haunt, of a barbarian -of man in his lowest and most savage state. One's mind hurries back over past centuries, and then asks, Could our forefathers have been men like these ? — men whose
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signs and expressions are less intelligible to us than those of the domesticated animals; men who do not possess the instinct of those ani. mals, nor yet appear to boast of human reason, or at least of arts which result from that
I do not be. lieve it is possible to describe or paint the difference between savage and civilized
It is the difference between a wild and a tame animal (only greater, because in man there is a greater power of improvement); and part of the interest in beholding a savage is the same which would make every one desire to see the lion in his desert, the tiger tearing his prey in the jungle, or the rhinoceros wandering over the wild plains of Africa.
The Fuegians of Good Success Bay are a very different race from the stunted, miserable wretches farther westward; and they seem closely related to the famous Patagonians of the Strait of Magellan. Their only garment consists of a mantle made of guanaco skin, with the wool outside. This they wear just thrown over their shoulders, leaving their
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persons as often exposed as covered. Their skin is of a dirty coppery.red color. Their chief spokesman, an old man, had a fillet of white feathers tied round his head, which partly confined his black, coarse, and entangled hair. His face was crossed by two broad bars: one, painted bright red, reached from ear to ear, and included the upper lip; the other, white like chalk, stretched above the first so that even his eyelids were thus colored. His two companions, younger and powerful men, about six feet high, were ornamented by streaks of black powder, made of charcoal. The party altogether closely resembled the devils which come on the stage in plays like “Der Freischütz.”
Their very attitudes were abject, and the expressiou of their countenances distrustful, surprised, and startled. After we had presented them with some scarlet cļoth, which they immediately tied round their necks, they became good friends. This was shown by the old man patting our breasts and mak. ing a chuckling kind of noise, as people do when feeding chickens. I walked with the old man, and this demonstration of friendship was repeated several times, ending in three hard slaps, which were given me on the breast and back at the same time. He then bared his bosom for me to return the compliment, which being done, he seemed highly pleased.
The language of these people, according to our notions, scarcely deserves to be called articulate. Captain Cook has compared it to a man clearing his throat; but certainly no European ever cleared his throat with so many hoarse, guttural and clicking sounds. They are excellent mimics: as often as we coughed, or yawned, or made any odd motion,