Page:EB1911 - Volume 03.djvu/373

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356
BANTIN—BANTU LANGUAGES

are found, while the north-western corner is occupied by the isolated Gede Mountain. The southern portion is covered by the Kendang (Malay for "range") Mountains extending into the Preanger. The rivers are only navigable at their mouths. Various geysers and cold and warm sulphur springs are found in the centre of the residency, and on a ridge of the Karang Mountain is the large crater-lake Dano, a great part of which was drained by the government in 1835 for rice cultivation. Pulse (kachang), rice and coffee are the principal products of cultivation; but in the days of government culture sugar, indigo and especially pepper were also largely grown. The former considerable fishing and coasting trade was ruined by the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, a large stretch of coast line and the seaport towns of Charingin and Anjer being destroyed by the inundation. The prosperity of the residency was further affected by a cattle plague in 1879, followed by a fever epidemic which carried off 50,000 people, and except in the rice season there is a considerable emigration of natives. Bantam contains five native regencies or territorial divisions, namely, Serang, Anjer, Pandeglang, Charingin, Lebak. The principal towns are Serang, the capital of the residency, Chilegon, Pandeglang, Menes and Rangkas Betug. The chief town, Serang, is situated 2½ m. from Bantam Bay on the high road from Batavia. The port of Serang is Karangantu, on Bantam Bay, and close by is the old ruined town of Bantam, once the capital of the kingdom of Bantam, and before the foundation of Batavia the principal commercial port of the Dutch East India Company. The ruins include the remains of the former pepper warehouses, the old factory, called Fort Speelwijk, belonging to the company, the fortified palace of the former sultans and a well-preserved mosque thought to have been built by the third Mahommedan ruler of Bantam about 1562-1576, and containing the tombs of various princes of Bantam. Before the Dutch conquest Bantam was a powerful Mahommedan state, whose sovereign extended his conquests in the neighbouring islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In 1595 the Dutch expelled the Portuguese and formed their first settlement. A British factory was established in 1603 and continued to exist till the staff was expelled in 1682. In 1683 the Dutch reduced the sultan to vassalage, built the fort of Speelwijk and monopolized the port, which had previously been free to all comers; and for more than a century afterwards Bantam was one of the most important seats of commerce in the East Indies. In 1811 after Batavia had surrendered to the British, Bantam soon followed; but it was restored to the Dutch in 1814. Two years later, however, they removed their chief settlement to the more elevated station of Serang, or Ceram, 7 m. inland, and in 1817 the ruin of Bantam was hastened by a fire.

For "Bantam" fowls see Poultry.


BANTIN, or Banting, the native name of the wild ox of Java, known to the Malays as sapi-utan, and in zoology as Bos (Bibos) sondaicus. The white patch on the rump distinguishes the bantin from its ally the gaur (q.v.). Bulls of the typical bantin of Java and Borneo are, when fully adult, completely black except for the white rump and legs, but the cows and young are rufous. In Burma the species is represented by the tsaine, or h'saine, in which the colour of the adult bulls is rufous fawn. Tame bantin are bred in Bali, near Java, and exported to Singapore. (See Bovidae.)


BANTRY, a seaport, market-town and seaside resort of Co. Cork, Ireland, in the west parliamentary division, 58 m. S.W. of Cork by the Cork, Bandon & South Coast railway, on the bay of the same name. Pop. (1901) 3109. It is an important centre both for sea fisheries and for sport with the rod. It is the terminus of the railway, and a coaching station on the famous "Prince of Wales" route (named after King Edward VII.) from Cork to Glengarriff and Killarney. The bay, with excellent anchorage, is a picturesque inlet some 22m. long by 3 to 6 broad, with 12 to 32 fathoms of water. It is one of the headquarter stations of the Channel Squadron, which uses the harbour at Castletown Bearhaven on the northern shore, behind Bear Island, near the mouth of the bay. It was the scene of attempts by the French to invade Ireland in 1689 and 1796, and troops of William of Orange were landed here in 1697. There are several islands, the principal of which are Bear Island and Whiddy, off the town. Ruins of the so-called "fish palaces" testify to the failure of the pilchard fishery in the 18th century.


BANTU LANGUAGES. The greater part of Africa south of the equator possesses but one linguistic family so far as its native inhabitants are concerned. This clearly-marked division of human speech has been entitled the Bantu, a name invented by Dr W. H. I. Bleek, and it is, on the whole, the fittest general term with which to designate the most remarkable group of African languages.[1]

It must not be supposed for a moment that all the people who speak Bantu languages belong necessarily to a special and definite type of negro. On the contrary, though there is a certain physical resemblance among those tribes who speak clearly-marked Bantu dialects (the Babangi of the upper Congo, the people of the Great Lakes, the Ova-herero, the Ba-tonga, Zulu-Kaffirs, Awemba and some of the East Coast tribes), there is nevertheless a great diversity in outward appearance, shape of head and other physical characteristics, among the negroes who inhabit Bantu Africa. Some tribes speaking Bantu languages are dwarfs or dwarfish, and belong to the group of Forest Pygmies. Others betray relationship to the Hottentots; others again cannot be distinguished from the most exaggerated types of the black West African negro. Yet others again, especially on the north, are of Gala (Galla) or Nilotic origin. But the general deduction to be drawn from a study of the Bantu languages, as they exist at the present day, is that at some period not more than 3000 years ago a powerful tribe of negroes speaking the Bantu mother-language, allied physically to the negroes of the south-western Nile and southern Lake Chad basins (yet impregnated with the Caucasian Hamite), pushed themselves forcibly from the very heart of Africa (the region between the watersheds of the Shari, Congo and western Nile) into the southern half of the continent, which at that time was probably sparsely populated except in the north-west, east and south. The Congo basin and the south-western watershed of the Nile at the time of the Bantu invasion would have been occupied on the Atlantic seaboard by West Coast negroes, and in the centre by negroes of a low type and by Forest Pygmies; the eastern coasts of Victoria Nyanza and the East African coast region down to opposite Zanzibar probably had a population partly Nilotic-negro and partly Hottentot-Bushman. From Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa south-westwards to the Cape of Good Hope the population was Forest-negro, Nilotic-negro, Hottentot and Bushman. Over nearly all this area the Bantu swept; and they assimilated or absorbed the vast majority of the preceding populations, of which, physically or linguistically, the only survivors are the scattered tribes of pygmies in the forests of south-west Nile land, Congo basin and Gabun, the central Sudanese of the N.E. Congo, a few patches of quasi-Hottentot, Hamitic and Nilotic peoples between Victoria Nyanza and the Zanzibar coast, and the Bushmen and Hottentots of south-west Africa. The first area of decided concentration on the part of the Bantu was very probably Uganda and the shores of Tanganyika. The main line of advance south-west trended rather to the east coast of Africa than to the west, but bifurcated at the south end of Lake Tanganyika, one great branch passing west between that lake and Nyasa, and the other southwards. Finally, when the Bantu had reached the

  1. Bantu (literally Ba-ntu) is the most archaic and most widely spread term for “men,” “mankind," “people,” in these languages. It also indicates aptly the leading feature of this group of tongues, which is the governing of the unchangeable root by prefixes. The syllable -ntu is nowhere found now standing alone, but it originally meant “object," or possibly “person.” It is also occasionally used as a relative pronoun-“that." “that which," “he who.” Combined with different prefixes it has different meanings. Thus (in the purer forms of Bantu languages) muntu means "a man,” bantu means “men," kintu means “a thing," bintu “things,” kantu means “a little thing," tunm “little things," and so on. This term Bantu has been often criticized, but no one has supplied a better, simpler designation for this section of Negro languages, and the name has now been definitely consecrated by usage.