Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/737

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NOTES.

regards as post-Pliocene, and which may be compared with the Cro-Magnon and Steeten skulls, is in the geological collection of this city. Mantegazza has founded an anthropological and ethnological museum in Florence, with Miloni in charge of the Etruscan and Schiaparelli of the archaeological departments. Perugia, too, has Etruscan antiquities, and Belluci is collecting prehistoric stone implements there. Pigorini has established a prehistorical and ethnological museum at Rome, where Michael St. de Rossi has won much honor by his researches. Nicolucci, who has founded an anthropological collection at the University of Naples, has examined about a hundred skulls, and has found them to be mesocephalic Grecian skulls, very like those still typical in the region.

 

Two East African Tribes.—Some interesting information respecting East African tribes has been obtained by the London Geographical Society from the notes of the Rev. T. Wakefield, missionary at Ribé, near Mombasa. Kavirondo appears to be the most important country on the eastern shore of the Victoria Nyanza, and is described as a great grass-clad plain, with a few detached hills and clumps of trees, but altogether without forests. The people are tall and powerfully built, of a deep black, and with thick lips and flat noses. They wear their hair short, or dress it elaborately, or shave it all off but a tuft on the crown, or shave half the head, or a few patches only, according to their taste. The women tattoo the stomach and the back, but the men do so only rarely. Dress is almost unknown. The women are content with a string worn round the waist, to which they attach a tail-like appendage made of bark. They wear no ornaments, but smear themselves with disagreeable (to whites) substances. The men wear iron bracelets on their fore-arms, and above their elbows. Their spears are long and have short blades, and their shields are made of buffalo-hides. Neither swords nor knives are in use. Both sexes work in the fields. Millet, beans, bananas, and large crops of sweet-potatoes are grown, and two harvests are gathered in the year. A thick porridge, on festive occasions, made with milk, constitutes the staple food, and is eaten with the hands. Cattle, sheep, and goats are raised. The huts are circular and roomy, and high enough for a man to stand upright within them. Another people, the Wa-Ukara, are likewise tall and muscular, and have a similar variety of tastes about their hair, They paint their bodies red, with clay mixed in oil, and their arms and legs with white; tattoo their stomachs and upper arms and have few ornaments. Women wear kilts of bark-cloth and skins, and men a longer garment of like material. They live in circular huts, built over pits three feet deep, and covered with conical roofs. They marry only when full-grown, and pay the dowry for their wives in cattle and goats. They grow a variety of crops, and pound their corn or millet in a wooden mortar, or grind it on a flat stone, beneath which a cowhide is spread out to receive the flour. Their domestic animals are cattle, goats, sheep of a superior kind, dogs, and fowls, but cats are not known. Their blacksmiths manufacture hoes, axes, and spears; and they produce cooking-pots of clay and baskets of wicker-work. Ukara contains a large number of populous villages.

 


NOTES.

Near Mandan, in the neighborhood of the junction of the Hart and Missouri Rivers, are what appear to be two large cemeteries of an ancient race. One of them is composed of what are described as trenches filled with bones of man and beast, and covered with several feet of earth so as to form considerable mounds. With the bones are associated broken pottery, vases of flint, and agates. The pottery is described as being of a dark material, handsomely decorated, delicate in finish, and very light, pointing to the existence of a considerable degree of civilization.

The death has been announced of Mr. Robert B. Tolles, of Boston, the distinguished maker of American microscopes and telescopes of great powers.

Dr. Grassi is said to have made the important discovery that flies are active agents in the propagation of disease. They take the ova of parasitical worms into their mouths and discharge them unchanged in convenient places, often upon substances to be used as human food. Dr. Grassi is so deeply impressed with the magnitude and seriousness of the consequences that he hopes some effectual means may soon be found of destroying flies.—Science Monthly.