Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/694

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678
PYGMY


(Tiky-Tiky) of the upper Nile, and of the Niam-Niam country; the Wambulti (Mbuti, Mambute, Bambute) of the great Ituri forest, and the Batua (Watwa) living to the south of the great curve of the Congo river. In the vast forest tract lying between the region of the great lakes and the Atlantic Ocean there are other scattered tribes of pygmies differing in no essential particulars from these, and severally known as Ahfii (of the Momfu country); Obongo, Wochua, Akua, Achango (of the French Congo), Ba-Bengaye (of Sanga), Boyaeli and Bayago (of the Cameroons). Negrilloes have also been noted outside these limits, e.g. in the basin of the upper Kasai, as far east as Lake Tanganyika, and even to the north ok Lakes Stefanie and Rudolf in British East Africa. There has been considerable mixture of the Negrilloes with the neighbouring Bantu peoples, e.g. Adumas, &c.

b. The distribution of the Asiatic pygmies is mainly Oceanic. The following are the three principal tribes. (1) The Aétas (Philippine Islands). The name “ Aetas" is derived from the Malay word hitam, meaning black. These little folk dwell in small groups in the interior of Luzon Island, and are to be met with also in the islands of Mindoro, Panay and Negros, and in the north-east of Mindanoa. The total number of Philippine Negritoes is about 20,000. (2) The Andamanese (Andaman Islands). These live in isolated groups of fifty to eighty persons. They appear to be dying out, and in 1891 numbered less than 4000. The term Mincopis has sometimes been applied to these Negritoes. (3) The .Sakai (interior of the Malay Peninsula). Some of these Malay Negritoes are also known as Semangs, Menik, Sen-oi and jembe. They live for the most part in small groups of from two to three families. In the Ulu-Papung district alone the pure Negritoes in 1890 numbered over 5000. There is much mixture, however, with the surrounding Malay population. Thus the Mintra and Iakhuns are Sakai-Malay cross-breeds. In Malacca the Pangyans of Kelantan and Petani and the neighbouring Tumiors are pure Negritoes, while the Belendas are probably cross-breeds. Some anthropologists believe that the Sakas of the islands on the north-east coast of Sumatra are also derived from N egritoes. A group of Negritoes-the Karons-has also been discovered in a small area in the north-west coast of New Guinea! Here also there are Negrito-Papuan cross-breeds. There is much diversity of opinion as to whether the recently extinct Kalangs of Javain some respects the most ape-like of all human beings-did or did not belong to the true Negrito race.

There seems little doubt that at one time the Negritd element was fairly widespread throughout Malaysia, though there is no positive evidence in support of de Quatrefages's contention that the Negrito race once inhabited a vast domain in Indo-oceanic Asia, extending from New Guinea up to the Persian Gulf, and from the Malay Archipelago to Japan. The Malay Peninsula, and possibly some parts of India, are the onl portions of the Asiatic mainland where traces of a distinct negroid/ substratum have been discovered. A passing reference may here be made to the Bushmen of South Africa, whose average height (4 ft. 8 in.) approximates to that of the true pygmies. Some authorities believe that there is a distinct ethnical relationship between the Negrilloes and the Bushmen, though in many respects the forest pygmies seem more closely allied to the West African Bantu negroes than to the Bushmen-Hottentot group. Professor Elliot-Smith is, indeed, of opinion the pygmies of Central Africa are essentially dwarfed negroes. Schweinfurth, who rediscovered the Akka py mies of equatorial Africa, believed that they and the Bushmen of South Africa were the remnants of the aboriginal population of the continent, now becoming extinct. The Bushmen have totally different characteristics from the true pygmies. The steatopygia, the, dolichocephalic cranium, the lozenge-shaped face with its deep wrinkles, the high protruding check-bones, the narrow oblique eyes, the peculiar speech with its marvellous “ clicks, " the fawn-yellow skin. the absence o f downy hair on the body, and other characteristics of the Bushmen, sharply differentiate them from the true forest pygmies. Consideration of the distribution and general characteristics of the existing pygmy races-Negrilloes and Negritoes-has induced many anthropologists to conclude that we are dealing with the but little modified descendants of an extremely ancient race—the ancestors possibly of all the negro tribes. Sir W. H. Flower himself, as far back as 1880, stated that he was inclined to regard the Negritoes as representing an infantile, undeveloped, or primitive form of the type from which the African negroes on the one hand, and the Asiatic Melanesians on the other, with all their various modifications, may have sprung. If this View be COFYGCB if Seems probable that the members of the pygmy races are the existing human beings which most closely resemble primitive man. On the other hand, there are those who regard In The T imes of June 3, 1910, was reported a discovery, made by an expedition organized by the British Ornithologists' Union, 0 a tribe of pvgmy people (probably Negritoes) in the great snow mountains of Dutch New Guinea, at an altitude of about 2000 ft. The average height of these pygmies is about 4 ft. 3 in. the pygmies as a retrograde and degenerative type of the negro race and therefore of comparatively recent growth. Though the balance of evidence seems in favour of the former hypothesis, the question must still be regarded as sub judice. The first hypothesis would certainly go far to explain the present distribution of the pygmy races. If we regard, as many authorities do, the Indo-African continent, submerged in comparatively, recent geological times by the waters of the Indian Ocean, as being the original home of primitive man, then it is easy to understand how he migrated from the subsiding Indo-African continent westward into the heart of Africa, and eastward to the Malay Peninsula by way of the Eastern Archipelago, at that time forming part of the mainland. Those members of the primitive race who migrated westward are supposed to have spread over the larger portion of the continent of Africa. They appear to have divided off into two main branches, the N egrillo pygmies of central Africa and the Bushmen of the southern portion of the continent. These two sub-races appear to have been the aboriginal inhabitants of the country, though their direct descendants have now been driven into the great forest fastnesses by the more powerful Bantu races which sprang from the parent stem at a later date. A. H. Keane, who considers the recently extinct Kalang pygmies as the aborigines of java, thinks it probable that this island was the first region reached by primitive man and his Miocene precursor during the eastward migration from the subsiding Indo-African continent.

General Characters of the Pygmy Races.-As regards stature, the smallest are the African Negrilloes, their average height being I-38 m. (4§ ft.). One of the six Mambute Negrilloes brought to England by Colonel Harrison in 1906 measured just over 3% ft. Individuals not exceeding 3 ft. are met with, though the midgets of one or two pygmai in height, whose existence is indicated in the early Greek writings, must be relegated to the realm of mythology. The Philippine Aetas measure 1-47 m., while the average height of the Sakai and Andamanese is I-49 m.

The present writer estimated the weight of six adult Mambute pygmies (four males and two females) rom the Ituri forest, and ound the average weight to be seventy-seven ounds. Two of these, one man and one woman, each weighed) only fifty-three potmds. All the pure pygmy tribes-whether Negrilloes or Negritoes Z-in addition to their small size have certain well-marked characters 1n common. The most notable of these are cris, closely-curled hair, flattened nose, broad at the base, deeply depressed at the root and with exaggerated development of the alae nasi, long upper lip with the mucous membrane moderately everted, large ape-like mouth, receding chin, pronounced prognathism, abundant fine woolly hair on the body, brachycephalic cranium, proportionately long arms and short legs, and a general simian appearance. The colour of the skin shows considerable variation. The pure blooded African Akkas are of a peculiar dirty reddish-yellow colour, the Mambute pygmies of the Ituri forest have a skin of a deep chocolate-brown hue, while that of the Oceanic Negritoes is of a dark brown or blackish colour, differing but little from that of the surrounding Papuans and Melanesians. The eyes of the pygmies are often large and staring, giving a characteristic “ wild appearance.” The abdomen is protuberant in the case of the African pygmies, but not so in the case of the Oceanic Negritoes. The mid-point of the bodfy 1S above the umbilicus, instead of being below as in the case 0 Europeans and Asiatics. There is no definite steatopygia, though in a few individual cases among the black Negrillo women the buttocks attain considerable dimensions. The feet are large and turned slightly inwards, while the toes are relatively longer than those of Europeans. In some there is a tendency for the four smaller toes to diverge from the great toe. Being wonderfully adroit climbers, they sometimes make use of tlgepli; fiet by grasping branches between the great toe and the rest o e oes.

Their clothing is chiefly conspicuous by its absence. The African pygm 1es go about, for the most part, quite naked, except for the occasion presence of a small covering over the pudemla, the men wearing a small piece of deer-skin, and the women one or two bunches of -green leaves, which they renew daily. The resemblance to the traditional fig-leaf covering is obvious. The Andamanese wear practically no clothing. The Karons of New Guinea wear a few strips of bark dangling from a string round the loins. The Negrilloes seldom, if ever, tattoo their body. They are fond of beads and other articles of adornment; the upper lips are often pierced with holes, through which quills are thrust. They cut their short curlg hair into all sorts of fantastic patterns, and often twist some of it into peaks into which they plait feathers. PY§ mY dwellings are extremely primitive structures. In Africa they are Simply arbours constructed of bent interlaced branches and plantam leaves, about 7 ft. in diameter and 4 ft. high. with 3