Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/878

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quire. Every track in the trail, mark in the grass, scratch on the bark of a tree, explains itself to the "untutored" Apache. He can tell to an hour, almost, when the man or animal making them passed by, and, like a hound, will keep on the scent until he catches up with the object of his pursuit.

The Pine Belt of New Jersey.—The "pine belt" of New Jersey is described by Dr. I. H. Piatt as a strip of land about sixty miles long by from eight to twenty miles wide, reaching from a few miles south of Freehold almost to Vineland. Its soil varies from a light, sandy loam to clear beach sand. Its streams, which are sufficient for drainage, have good banks which they rarely if ever overflow, and there is no wet meadow. There are a few peat-bogs, some marl-beds, and occasionally a cedar swamp, but these features are all of very limited extent. The belt comprises in all about five hundred and seventy square miles, and has a population of 14,475 persons. The region has long enjoyed a local reputation for healthfulness, and some parts of it have been mainly settled by people who have sought it for that reason. According to the reports of the State Board of Health, its average death-rate during the six years, 1883 to 1888, inclusive, was 12·65 per thousand, against 18·65 per thousand for the whole State, or 15·07 for the State excluding cities; and the death-rate from consumption was 1·60 against 2·53 and 2·12. The comparatively low mortality from consumption is the more striking when we recollect the extent to which the region is sought by persons in feeble health.

The Mouth-slitting Botocudos.—A monograph on the Botocudos of Brazil and their ornaments has been published by Dr. John C. Branner, in a reprint from the papers of the American Philosophical Society. It is illustrated by photographs showing the manner of wearing the ear-and mouth-plugs from which the tribe derive their name (botogue lip-ornament), the appearance of the slits when they have been torn, and the younger members of the tribe who have ceased to practice the mutilation, or have reduced it to the simple wearing of earrings. Mr. John Stearns said, in a paper before the Royal Geographical Society, on the Exploration of the Rio Doce and its Tributaries, that the custom of these Indians of slitting the lower lip for the purpose of inserting a wooden ornament in it has been described by visitors to the American coasts from Cabral down. When Cabral sent a boat ashore in Brazil to investigate the country, the men told him on their return that they did not believe the natives were men, though they were dressed up in feathers and painted in colors, for they had two mouths. The Indians were accustomed to take out the lip ornaments, and, while the teeth were grinning from the upper mouth, to push out the tongue from the lower one. Cook, two hundred and eighty years later, at Prince William's Sound, Alaska, heard one of his sailors say to another, "Come here, Jack, look at the men with two mouths." A writer of that period tells of the wife of a great chief at Sitka, that by a singular motion of the lower lip she could raise it in such a way as almost to cover the whole of her face. Mr. Colin Mackenzie has cursorily followed out the geographical line of this singular custom, and has found that it could be traced, with very few breaks, from Alaska to the coast of Brazil.

Medicinal Plants.—The pamphlet of Mr. Charles Mohr, on The Medicinal Plants of Alabama, besides the list of the plants, with notes on their distribution and the proper time of collecting the parts used, contains some facts of interest respecting the flora of the State and the home of its medicinal plants. The flora of Alabama includes a majority of the plants noted for their remedial value which are found in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. The plants furnishing drugs of the greatest importance have their home principally in the woodlands of deciduous-leaved trees in the northern section of the State. With the enormous decrease of the forest area north of the Ohio River that has taken place during the last thirty-five years, the supply of crude drugs furnished by that territory has been correspondingly reduced. The resources existing in the more elevated regions of the South have consequently been resorted to. Within the past ten or fifteen years North Carolina has become the center of the most active trade in this line, which is gradually