Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/584

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568

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ests in existence, its effect being heightened by contrast with the neighboring deserts, from which it must be entered. It is also a very important timber resource. The San Francisco Mountains, in which it rises, have an elevation of about nine thousand feet, or some twenty-five hundred to three thousand feet above the general level, and give strikingly apparent evidence of their volcanic origin. Everywhere through the forest we encounter beautiful open parks, from a few acres to several miles in area; and in these the permanent water-supplies are usually found. The soil underlying the forest consists, for the most part, to a great depth, of loose volcanic rock, upon the surface of which no stream can form a permanent bed. The water-courses, therefore, are far beneath the surface, but reappear occasionally to form living pools of water, often a hundred yards or more in diameter. But during the heavy rains even this porous soil is not sufficient to absorb the entire fall of water, and it runs off through the hollows, washing out the loose material to form ravines and small canons.

Ancient Peruvian Cloths.—Some textile fabrics of ancient Peru, in the collection of Mr. E. A. Barber, of Philadelphia, as described by Mr. W. Holmes, attest the high standard of taste and mechanical art which that people had reached. Most of the cloths and ornamented garments were wrapped around the dead, and may now be unfolded from the mummies. Others are contained in rolls, baskets, nets, and vases. The articles were chiefly of wearing apparel, and included caps, richly colored bands, and pendent ornaments for the head; mantles, shirts, girdles, sashes, and a variety of wraps for the body; braided sandals for the feet; blankets, hangings for doors and walls, shelter-cloths, ceremonial fabrics and banners, mats, baskets, bags, slings, nets, and other articles. Elaborate ornamental figures were woven into the cloths, and many were furnished with textile appendages. Some of the articles were woven whole, but it was customary to weave a garment in parts which were afterward stitched together. There was no cutting and fitting, or "weaving by the yard." All the specimens are purely American in character, with no suggestions of Spanish or other foreign influence. Animal and vegetable forms appear in the decorations, but animal forms predominate. The colors of the figures usually bore no reference to the colors of nature, but were chosen for their effect in the decoration. Great cleverness was shown in introducing the irregular forms of nature into geometric outlines without destroying them. A human figure "decked in plumes and clothed in garments of elegant patterns and varied colors" introduced in; "a magnificent piece of gobelins," "is a triumph of skill and taste." In many pieces the figures were shown as transparencies when held up to the light. The people were exceedingly fond of fringes, "and some of their tasseled garments are marvels of elaboration." Great skill was shown in the manufacture of very attenuated articles, such as bands and cords. Animal figures were woven or knitted in the round, and colored in fair and close imitation of nature. Embroideries have been found of excellent quality and most pleasing design. Devices were used in dyeing, by means of which spots arranged in simple patterns were left uncolored; and painting on fabrics was extensively practiced.

Nursing as against Artificial Feeding.—Soxhlet remarks that, according to Lister's experiments, cow's milk, while in the udder, is free from those organisms which cause its decomposition after milking. The substances which cause fermentation of milk come from the outside, from the air or from matters with which it comes in contact. So, likewise, human milk, while in the mother's breast, contains no generators of fermentation. By suckling, the mother's milk is transmitted almost directly into the digestive organs of the child. In natural nursing, then, the child is fed germless milk; but, by the artificial method, with milk tainted by substances causing fermentation, and which frequently has already entered into a state of decomposition. The difference in the nature of this food as directly and as indirectly given is illustrated by the fact that calves fed from the pail, whether on the milk of the mother cow or on mixed milk, frequently suffer from diarrhœa during the first weeks, the best remedy against which is to allow them to suck the cow directly. We are