Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/695

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679
PYLE—PYLOS

small hole near the bottom, through which the pygmy crawls on all fours. Ten or twelve of these arbours constitute a village. These arbours are only temporary habitations, as the pygmies are always moving on to different portions of the forest in pursuit of game. The Philippine Aetas show the same nomadic tendencies. The dwellings of the Malay Semangs are mere lean-to's, constructed of matted palm-leaves, while the Karons of New Guinea live in wretched hovels of foliage and branches, and in some districts have no habitations whatever.

The pygmies are seldom if ever tillers of the soil. The African forest dwarfs live mainly on the flesh of birds, deer and other animals, which they shoot with bows and arrows. They eat white ants, bee grubs and the larvae of beetles, also honey, wild beans and mushrooms. They are fond of fruits, particularly bananas, which they obtain from their bigger neighbours by barter or by plunder. They eat the vegetables raw, while the meat is broiled in the ashes of the fire until quite dry. Their utensils consist solely of a few clay cooking-pots and gourds for water. There is no record of cannibalism among the pygmy races. The six Mambute pygmies brought to England in 1906 soon became acclimatized. They took most kindly to European diet and clothing. At the expiry of eighteen months they went back to the lturi forest much improved in health, having each gained on an average 9½ lb in weight. They are most daring hunters, and marvellously skilful archers. Though of small size they are well made and agile, and are able to dart in and out with the greatest of ease amongst the tall tangled vegetation of the tropical woodlands. The Batwa, from the south of the Congo, successfully attack elephants, shooting them with their tiny poisoned arrows. The poison is obtained from the juice of certain plants, and also from decaying animal matter derived from the putrefaction of ants. The Andaman pygmies live exclusively by hunting and fishing.

The African pygmies marry at a very early age, often when only nine or ten years old. Marriage is simply a question of the purchase of the girl from her father; the purchase-price being from ten to fifteen arrows, occasionally supplemented, in the case of a desirable wife, by one or two spears or some tobacco. A man may have as many wives as he can afford to buy. A mother gives birth to her offsprin in the forest, severing the navel-cord with her teeth, and burying the placenta in the ground. The families are usually small, rarely exceeding three in number. There is great re'oicing when a boy is born, while the unlucky girl baby is beaten by her father with plantain leaves. The boys are often circumcised. There is great affection between the husband and the wife and be the parents and the children. The duration of life is short tween in the equatorial forests, death usually taking place before the age of forty. The dead are buried in graves, the chief's wives being sometimes killed and buried along with him.

The African pygmies have little if any belief in life after death. They say death is the end of everything. They have a vague belief in “ Oudah, " a sort of pygmy devil, who is responsible for sudden death and such-like calamities. There is no trace of spirit or ancestor worship. The Andaman Islanders have a vague belief in a sort of god-“ Piiluga ”-an invisible being who lives in a large stone house in the sky, and who made all things. They also believe in an evil one, to whom they attribute sickness and death. There is no hereditary chief. In many cases a group of pygmies simply cluster round a skilful hunter. In the case of the Mambute pygmies, a chief is succeeded, not by his son, but by his best friend. There are no governmental laws. Murder in the lturi forest is punished by the next-of-kin lying in wait for the culprit and killing him.

The Negrilloes are fond of music and have numerous folk-songs. They also twang on stringed bows, and beat drums made of hollowed out tree trunks covered in at the ends with antelope skin. They are also great dancers, keeping perfect time to the beating of the drums their bodies going through the most extraordinary contortions. They all dance together in a long line, which twists about like a snake.

The forest dwarfs have some idea of drawing, each arrow shaft having its distinctive carving. The Andamanese display a considerable degree of intelligence. The Karons of New Guinea, on the other hand, seem to be of a low type of intelligence. The Negrilloes have acquired a great reputation among the neighbouring tribes for their knowledge of poisons and their antidotes. Their treatment of all pains and inflammations consists in linear scarification of the skin of the affected part. They invariably use sharpened arrow-heads for this purpose.

Close observation has convinced the present writer that the African pygmies are endowed with a high degree of intelligence. Sir Harry Johnston believes them to be the intellectual superiors of the big negroes. They exhibit vivacity and adroitness, quickness in picking up information and lan uages, and surprising readiness in grasping the salient points ofga subject. They are wonderful mimics, and have a marked sense of humour, making witty remarks which set the others off into peals of laughter. They are as a rule bright and cheerful in disposition, will sometimes fly into sudden fits of ill temper and as quickly recover their good humour. They are cleanly in their habits, have a natural sense of modesty and refinement, and punctiliously observe the ordinary decencies of life.

The pygmies of the Malay Peninsula have a perfectly distinct language of their own. A glossary and grammar with phonetic rules of the Sen-oi dialect has been published, showing no connexion with any other known language.

The African pygmies, for the most part, speak a more or less corrupt form of the language of the adjacent negro tribes, e.g. Keswahili, Bantu, Momfu. They have some words, however, peculiar to themselves, which may be the fragments of their own original language. (R. M. L.)


PYLE, HOWARD (1853-), American artist and writer, was born at Wilmington, Delaware, on the 5th of March 1853. He was a pupil of the Art Students' League, New York, and first attracted attention by his line drawings after the manner of Albrecht Dürer. His brilliant work as an illustrator made him one of the foremost of American artists, his drawings to illustrate American colonial life, particularly in New England and New Amsterdam, being especially noteworthy; and he published a number of books of fiction, written and illustrated by himself. He also became prominent in decorative painting, his works including “ The Battle of Nashville ” for the capitol at St Paul, Minnesota, and “ The Landing of Carteret ” for the Essex county court house, Newark, New Jersey. At his home in Wilmington, Delaware, he established a school of art, instruction being gratuitous, and many successful American illustrators were educated there. In 1907 Howard Pyle was elected a member of the National Academy of Design.


PYLOME, in Zoology, the name given to the principal opening (or openings) of the shell (theca, test) of such Protozoa as possess one. (See FORAMINIFERA, RADIOLARIA.)


PYLOS (mod. Navarino), in ancient geography a town and bay on the west coast of Messenia, noted chiefly for the part it played in the Peloponnesian War. The bay, roughly semicircular in shape, is protected by the island of Sphacteria (mod. Sphagia), over 2½ m. long from N. to S., and is entered by two channels, that on the S., some 1,400 yds. wide, and that on the N., 220 yds. wide and now almost silted up. To the north lies an extensive shallow basin, called the lagoon of Osman Aga, originally part of the great harbour but now cut off from it by a narrow sandbank. North of Sphagia is the rocky headland of Pylos or Coryphasium, called in modern times Palaeo-Navarino or Palaeokastro, from the Venetian ruins on its summit. Originally an island, this headland was in classical times, as now, connected by a narrow bar with the lower promontory of Hagios Nikolaos on the north; it is now united to the mainland also by the sandbar already mentioned. Most scholars, ancient and modern, have identified this with the Homeric Pylos, the home of Neleus and Nestor, and a cave on the north slope of Coryphasium is pointed out as that in which Hermes hid the stolen cattle of Apollo. But this view presents considerable difficulties, and Strabo (viii. 348 sqq.) argued that the Pylos of Nestor must be the place of that name in Triphylia. After the Dorian migration Pylos declined, and it is referred to by Thucydides (iv. 3) as a deserted headland in 425 b.c. In May of that year, the seventh of the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians sent an expedition to Sicily under command of Eurymedon and Sophocles. With them was the general, Demosthenes, who landed at Coryphasium with a body of Athenian troops and hastily fortified it. The Spartans, who were then invading Attica, withdrew their forces and attacked them vigorously by sea. and land, but were repulsed, and the Athenians were enabled by the arrival and victory of their fleet to blockade on the island of Sphacteria a body of 420 Spartiates with their attendant helots. A truce was concluded, but peace negotiations were defeated by Cleon (q. v.), who was himself appointed to conduct operations with Demosthenes. A large body of light troops was landed and drove the Spartans from their encampment by a well in the middleof the island to its northern extremity. Their heroic resistance was overcome by a rear attack directed by a Messenian, who led a body of men by a difficult path along the cliffs on the east, and the 292 Spartan survivors laid down their arms 72 days after the beginning of the blockade. Their surrender made a deep impression on the whole Greek world, which had learned to regard