Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/342

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such as Jemmy, and how much I miss his pretty little ways as I sit in the “Monkey-room” writing this memoir of my little pet.—Land and Water.



IN endeavoring to subject this question to a brief examination, it must be previously understood that we only refer to those migrations which explain the distribution of existing and contemporaneous races and peoples, and such as can be deduced with some certainty from acknowledged facts. Neither will we consider migrations of individual races from some hypothetical ethnic center, nor those which many tribes have made that at present no longer exist. Except the aborigines of Australia, every people has undertaken migrations of greater or less extent, and many weighty reasons can be given to explain why the Australian has not ventured outside of his primitive abode. In the first place, from the very character of his country, through the absence of those animals and plants which contribute to enjoyment and prosperity, he had not raised himself to a knowledge of the pleasures of living incident to an advancing culture; and, in the second place, the country was itself large enough to contain the limited number of inhabitants, and to satisfy their simple wants. Whether the immediate neighbors of the Australian—the Papuans—have ever undertaken migrations is questionable; on account of the circumstance that they universally inhabit islands, and their dwellings built along the coasts resemble the pile-villages discovered in central Europe, it is easier to say they did migrate than to deny it. Yet the whole question is most intimately united to another, viz.. Shall we consider that the ancient continent, of which the islands of the Indian Archipelago are fragments, was already peopled before its submergence, or were these separate islands successively occupied by expansion from some center?

None of the known races has undertaken so extended a migration as the Malayan. The distribution of this race from Madagascar in the west to Easter Island in the east, and from the Sandwich Islands in the north to New Zealand in the south, illustrates this. Notwithstanding its extent, this dispersion is traced from an ascertained point to the several islands as the traditions of each and the related character of the idioms of the individual branches unanswerably demonstrate,

Africa shelters at present five races distinct from one another, viz., the Hottentot in the extreme south and southwest, the Caffre, spread northward from the Hottentot, as far as and beyond the equator,

  1. Translated from the “Allgemeine Ethnographie,” by L. P. Gratacap.