The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes
Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

Part 10 out of 11

tortoise-shell, and wax; but there is no great quantity of these
articles to be obtained, perhaps not more than two or three cargoes
during the season. The trade requires great knowledge of the articles
purchased, for the Chinese and Sulus are both such adepts in fraud,
that great caution and circumspection are necessary.

[Customs dues.] The duties on importation are not fixed, but are
changed and altered from time to time by the Ruma Bechara. The
following was stated to me as the necessary payments before trade
could be carried on:

A large ship, with Chinese on board, pays $2,000
A large ship, without Chinese on board, pays 1,800
Small ships 1,500
Large brig 1,000
Small brig 500
Schooners from 150 to 400

This supposes them all to have full cargoes. That a difference should
be made in a vessel with or without Chinamen, seems singular; but this,
I was told, arose from the circumstance that English vessels take them
on board, in order to detect and prevent the impositions of the Sulus.

Vessels intending to trade at Soung should arrive before the Chinese
junks, and remain as long as they stay, or even a few days later. In
trading with the natives, all operations ought to be carried on for
cash, or if by barter, no delivery should be made until the articles
to be taken in exchange are received. In short, it is necessary to
deal with them as though they were undoubted rogues, and this pleases
them much more than to appear unsuspicious. Vessels that trade engage
a bazaar, which they hire of the Ruma Bechara, and it is advisable to
secure the good-will of the leading datus in that council by presents,
and paying them more for their goods than others.

There are various other precautions necessary in dealing with
this people; for they will, if possible, so act as to give rise to
disputes, in which case an appeal is made to their fellows, who are
sure to decide against the strangers. Those who have been engaged
in this trade, advise that the prices of the goods should be fixed
upon before the Sultan, and the scales of the Datu of Soung employed;
for although these are quite faulty, the error is compensated by the
articles received being, weighed in the same. This also secures the
Datu's good-will, by the fee (some fifty dollars) which he receives
for the use of them. Thus it will be perceived that those who desire
to trade with Sulu, must make up their minds to encounter many
impositions, and to be continually watchful of their own interests.

Every possible precaution ought to be taken; and it will be found,
the treatment will depend upon, or be according to the force or
resolution that is displayed. In justice to this people it must be
stated, there have been times when traders received every kindness and
attention at the island of Sulu, and I heard it even said, that many
vessels had gone there to refit; but during the last thirty or forty
years, the reigning sultans and their subjects have become hostile
to Europeans, of whom they plunder and destroy as many as they can,
and this they have hitherto been allowed to do with impunity.

Although I have described the trade with Sulu as limited, yet
it is capable of greater extension; and had it not been for the
piratical habits of the people, the evil report of which has been
so widely spread, Sulu would now have been one of the principal
marts of the East. The most fertile parts of Borneo are subject to
its authority. There all the richest productions of these Eastern
seas grow in immense quantities, but are now left ungarnered in
consequence of there being no buyers. The cost of their cultivation
would be exceedingly low, and I am disposed to believe that these
articles could be produced here at a lower cost than anywhere else.

Besides the trade with China, there is a very considerable one with
Manila in small articles, and I found one of our countrymen engaged
in this traffic, under the Spanish flag. To him I am indebted for
much information that his opportunities of observation had given him.

The materials for the history of Sulu are meagre, and great doubt
seems to exist in some periods of it. That which I have been able to
gather is as follows:

[History.] The island of Sulu is generally believed to have been
originally inhabited by Papuans, some of whom, as I have already
stated, are still supposed to inhabit the mountainous part. The first
intercourse had with them was by the Chinese, who went there in search
of pearls. The Orang Dampuwans were the first of the Malays to form
settlements on the islands; but after building towns, and making other
improvements, they abandoned the islands, in consequence, it is said,
of the inhabitants being a perfidious race, having previously to
their departure destroyed as many of the natives as they could.

The fame of the submarine riches of this archipelago reached Banjar
or Borneo, the people of which were induced to resort there, and
finding it to equal their expectation, they sent a large colony,
and made endeavors to win over the inhabitants, and obtain thereby
the possession of their rich isle. In order to confirm the alliance,
a female of Banjarmassing, of great beauty, was sent, and married to
the principal chief; and from this alliance the sovereigns of Sulu
claim their descent. The treaty of marriage made Sulu tributary to
the Banjarmassing empire.

After the Banjars had thus obtained possession of the archipelago,
the trade in its products attracted settlers from the surrounding
islands, who soon contrived to displace the aborigines, and drive
them to the inaccessible mountains for protection.

When the Chinese took possession of the northern parts of Borneo,
under the Emperor Songtiping, about the year 1375, the daughter of that
prince was married to a celebrated Arabian chief named Sheriff Alli,
who visited the shores of Borneo in quest of commerce. The descendants
of this marriage extended their conquests not only over the Sulu
Archipelago, but over the whole of the Philippines, and rendered
the former tributary to Borneo. In three reigns after this event,
the sultan of Borneo proper married the daughter of a Sulu chief, and
from this union came Mirhome Bongsu, who succeeding to the throne while
yet a minor, his uncle acted as regent. Sulu now wished to throw off
the yoke of Borneo, and through the intrigues of the regent succeeded
in doing so, as well as in retaining possession of the eastern side
of Borneo, from Maludu Bay on the north, to Tulusyan on the south,
which has ever since been a part of the Sulu territory.

This event took place before Islamism became the prevailing religion;
but which form of idolatry, the Sulus pretend, is not now known. It
is, however, believed the people on the coasts were Buddhists, while
those of the interior were Pagans.

The first sultan of Sulu was Kamaludin, and during his reign one Sayed
Alli, a merchant, arrived at Sulu from Mecca. He was a sherif, and soon
converted one-half of the islanders to his own faith. He was elected
sultan on the death of Kamaludin, and reigned seven years, in the
course of which he became celebrated throughout the archipelago. Dying
at Sulu, a tomb was erected to him there, and the island came to be
looked upon by the faithful as the Mecca of the East, and continued
to be resorted to as a pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards.

[Tawi Tawi.] Sayed Alli left a son called Batua, who succeeded him. The
latter had two sons, named Sabudin and Nasarudin, who, on the death
of their father, made war upon each other. Nasarudin, the youngest,
being defeated, sought refuge on Tawi Tawi, where he established
himself, and built a fort for his protection. The difficulties
were finally compromised, and they agreed to reign together over
Sulu. Nasarudin had two sons, called Amir and Bantilan, of whom the
former was named as successor to the two brothers, and on their deaths
ascended the throne. During his reign another sherif arrived from
Mecca, who succeeded in converting the remainder of the population to
Islamism. Bantilan and his brother Amir finally quarrelled, and the
latter was driven from Sulu to seek refuge in the island of Basilan,
where he became sultan.

On the arrival of the Spaniards in 1566, a kind of desultory war was
waged by them upon the various islands, in the hope of conquering
them and extending their religion. In these wars they succeeded in
gaining temporary possession of a part of Sulu, and destroyed the
tomb of Sayed Alli. The Spaniards always looked upon the conversion
of the Moslems to the true Catholic faith with great interest; but in
the year 1646, the sultan of Magindanao succeeded in making peace,
by the terms of which the Spaniards withdrew from Sulu, and were to
receive from the sultan three cargoes of rice annually as a tribute.

In 1608, the small-pox made fearful ravages, and most of the
inhabitants fled from the scourge. Among these was the heir apparent,
during whose absence the throne became vacant, and another was elected
in his stead. This produced contention for a short time, which ended
in the elected maintaining his place.

This tribute continued to be paid until the flight of Amir to Basilan,
about the year 1752, where he entered into a secret correspondence
with the authorities at Zamboanga, and after two years a vessel was
sent from Manila, which carried him to that capital, where he was
treated as a prisoner of state.

[The English treaty.] In June, 1759, an English ship, on board of
which was Dalrymple, then in the service of the East India Company,
arrived at Sulu on a trading voyage. Dalrymple remained at Sulu
for three months, engaged in making sales and purchases. The Sultan
Bantilan treated him with great kindness, and sought the interest of
Dalrymple to obtain the liberation of his brother, who was now held
prisoner by the Spaniards at Manila, by telling him of the distress
of his brother's wife, who had been left behind when Amir quitted the
island, and had been delivered of twins, after he had been kidnapped
by the Spaniards. Dalrymple entered into a pledge to restore Amir,
and at the same time effected a commercial treaty between the East
India Company and the Sulu chiefs. By this it was stipulated that
an annual cargo should be sent to Sulu, and sold at one hundred per
cent. profit, for which a return cargo should be provided for the China
market, which should realize an equal profit there, after deducting all
expenses. The overplus, if any, was to be carried to the credit of the
Sulus. This appears to have been the first attempt made by the English
to secure a regular commercial intercourse with this archipelago.

In the year 1760, a large fleet of Spanish vessels sailed from Manila,
with about two thousand men, having the Sultan Amir on board, to
carry on a war against Sulu.

On their arrival, they began active operations. They were repelled
on all sides, and after seven days' ineffectual attempts, they gave
up their design. They returned to Manila, it is said, with a loss of
half their number, and without having done any injury to the Sulus. Not
discouraged with this failure, the Spaniards, about two years after,
organized a still larger force, which is estimated by some accounts as
high as ten thousand men. Although this failed in its attempts on the
fort at Soung, the Spaniards obtained possession of Tanjong Matonda,
one of the small ports on the island, where they erected a church and
fort. Here they established a colony, and appointed a governor. The
inhabitants upon this deserted their habitations in the neighborhood,
and fled to the mountains, which, it is said, excited the mountaineers,
a host of whom, with their chief, whose name was Sri Kala, determined
to rush upon the Spaniards, and annihilate them. Having to contend
against disciplined troops, it was not an easy task to succeed. But
Sri Kala had a follower, named Sigalo, who offered to lead the host
to battle against the Spaniards, and to exterminate them, or die in
the attempt. The chief accepted his offer, and Sigalo, with a chosen
few, marched towards the fort, leaving the rest of the mountaineers
in readiness to join them at an appointed signal, and rush into the
fort en masse.

[Victory over Spaniards.] Sri Kala and Sigalo, in order to lull
the watchfulness of the Spaniards, took with them a young woman, of
exquisite beauty, named Purmassuri. The lustful Spaniards were thus
thrown off their guard, the signal was given, and the host, rushing
forward, entered the fort, every Spaniard within which was slain. A
few only, who were on the outside, escaped to the vessels, which set
sail, and after encountering various mishaps, returned to Manila.

Some time after this the Sultan Bantilan died, and his son Alim-ud-deen
was proclaimed sultan. Dalrymple did not return until 1762, with a
part of the appointed cargo; but the vessel in which the larger part
had been shipped, failed to arrive, from not being able to find Sulu,
and went to China. Thence she proceeded to Manila, and afterwards
to Sulu. The captain of the latter vessel gave a new credit to the
Sulus, before they had paid for their first cargo; and on the arrival
of Dalrymple the next time, he found that the small-pox had carried
off a large number of the inhabitants, from which circumstance all
his hopes of profit were frustrated. He then obtained for the use of
the East India Company, a grant of the island of Balambangan, which
lies off the north end of Borneo, forming one side of the Straits of
Balabac, the western entrance to the Sulu Sea. Here he proposed to
establish a trading post, and after having visited Madras, he took
possession of this island in 1763.

In October, 1762, the English took Manila, where the Sultan Amir
was found by Dalrymple, who engaged to reinstate him on his throne,
if he would cede to the English the north end of Borneo, as well
as the south end of Palawan. This he readily promised, and he was,
in consequence, carried back to Sulu and reinstated; his nephew,
Alim-ud-deen, readily giving place to him, and confirming the grant
to the East India Company, in which the Ruma Bechara joined.

After various arrangements, the East India Company took possession of
Balambangan, in the year 1773, and formed a settlement there with a
view of making it an emporium of trade for Eastern commodities. Troops
and stores were sent from India, and the population began to increase
by settlers, both Chinese and Malays, who arrived in numbers. In the
year 1775, the fort, notwithstanding all the treaties and engagements
between Dalrymple and the Sultan, was surprised by the Sulus, and many
of the garrison put to death. [Victory over English.] This virtually
put an end to the plans of the English, although another attempt was
made to re-establish the settlement by Colonel Farquhar, in 1803;
but it was thought to be too expensive a post, and was accordingly
abandoned in the next year. This act of the Sulus fairly established
their character for perfidy, and ever since that transaction they
have been looked upon as treacherous in the highest degree, and,
what is singular, have been allowed to carry on their piracies quite
unmolested. The taking of Balambangan has been generally imputed to the
treacherous disposition and innate love of plunder among the Sulus,
as well as to their fear that it would destroy the trade of Sulu by
injuring all that of the archipelago. But there are strong reasons
for believing that this dark deed owed its origin in part to the
influence of the Spaniards and Dutch, who looked with much distrust
upon the growth of the rival establishment. Such was the jealousy
of the Spaniards, that the governor of the Philippines peremptorily
required that Balambangan should be evacuated. The Sulus boast of the
deed, and admit that they received assistance from both Zamboanga and
Ternate, the two nearest Spanish and Dutch ports. These nations had
great reasons to fear the establishment of a power like that of the
East India Company, in a spot so favorably situated to secure the
trade of the surrounding islands, possessing fine harbors, and in
every way adapted to become a great commercial depot. Had it been
held by the East India Company but for a few years, it must have
become what Singapore is now.

The original planner of this settlement is said to have been Lord
Pigot; but the merit of carrying it forward was undoubtedly due to
Dalrymple, whose enterprising mind saw the advantage of the situation,
and whose energy was capable of carrying the project successfully

Since the capture of Balambangan, there has been no event in the
history of Sulu that has made any of the reigns of the Sultans
memorable, although fifteen have since ascended the throne.

Sulu has from all the accounts very much changed in its character
as well as population since the arrival of the Spaniards, and the
establishment of their authority in the Philippines. Before that
event, some accounts state that the trade with the Chinese was
of great extent, and that from four to five hundred junks arrived
annually from Cambojia, with which Sulu principally traded. At that
time the population is said to have equalled in density that of the
thickly-settled parts of China.

The government has also undergone a change; for the Sultan, who
among other Malay races is usually despotic, is here a mere cipher,
and the government has become an oligarchy. This change has probably
been brought about by the increase of the privileged class of Datus,
all of whom were entitled to a seat in the Ruma Bechara until about
the year 1810, when the great inconvenience of so large a council
was felt, and it became impossible to control it without great
difficulty and trouble on the part of the Sultan. The Ruma Bechara
was then reduced until it contained but six of the principal Datus,
who assumed the power of controlling the state. The Ruma Bechara,
however, in consequence of the complaints of many powerful Datus,
was enlarged; but the more powerful, and those who have the largest
numerical force of slaves, still rule over its deliberations. The whole
power, within the last thirty years, has been usurped by one or two
Datus, who now have monopolized the little foreign trade that comes
to these islands. The Sultan has the right to appoint his successor,
and generally names him while living. In default of this, the choice
devolves upon the Ruma Bechara, who elect by a majority.

[Piracies] From a more frequent intercourse with Europeans and the
discovery of new routes through these seas, the opportunities of
committing depredations have become less frequent, and the fear of
detection greater. By this latter motive they are more swayed than
by any thing else, and if the Sulus have ever been bold and daring
robbers on the high seas, they have very much changed.

Many statements have been made and published relative to the piracies
committed in these seas, which in some cases exceed, and in others
fall short, of the reality. Most of the piratical establishments are
under the rule, or sail under the auspices of the Sultan and Ruma
Bechara of Sulu, who are more or less intimately connected with
them. The share of the booty that belongs to the Sultan and Ruma
Bechara is twenty-five per cent. on all captures, whilst the Datus
receive a high price for the advance they make of guns and powder,
and for the services of their slaves.

The following are the piratical establishments of Sulu, obtained
from the most authentic sources, published as well as verbal. The
first among these is the port of Soung, at which we anchored, in
the island of Sulu; not so much from the number of men available
here for this pursuit, as the facility of disposing of the goods. By
the Spaniards they are denominated Illanun or Lanuns pirates. [273]
There are other rendezvous on Pulo Toolyan, at Bohol, Tonho, Pilas,
Tawi Tawi, Sumlout, Pantutaran, Parodasan, Palawan, and Basilan,
and Tantoli on Celebes. These are the most noted, but there are many
minor places, where half a dozen prahus are fitted out. Those of Sulu,
and those who go under the name of the Lanuns, have prahus of larger
size, and better fitted. They are from twenty to thirty tons burden,
and are propelled by both sails and oars. They draw but little water,
are fast sailers, and well adapted for navigating through these
dangerous seas. These pirates are supposed to possess in the whole
about two hundred prahus, which usually are manned with from forty to
fifty pirates; the number therefore engaged in this business, may be
estimated at ten thousand. They are armed with muskets, blunderbusses,
krises, hatchets, and spears, and at times the vessels have one or two
large guns mounted. They infest the Macassar Strait, the Celebes Sea,
and the Sulu Sea. Soung is the only place where they can dispose of
their plunder to advantage, and obtain the necessary outfits. It may
be called the principal resort of these pirates, where well-directed
measures would result in effectually suppressing the crime.

Besides the pirates of Sulu, the commerce of the eastern islands is
vexed with other piratical establishments. In the neighboring seas,
there are the Malay pirates, who have of late years become exceedingly
troublesome. Their prahus are of much smaller size than those of Sulu,
being from ten to twelve tons burden, but in proportion they are much
better manned, and thus are enabled to ply with more efficiency their
oars or paddles. These prahus frequent the shores of Malacca Straits,
Cape Roumania, the Carimon Isles, and the neighboring straits, and
at times they visit the Rhio Straits. Some of the most noted, I was
informed, were fitted out from Johore, in the very neighborhood of
the English authorities at Singapore; they generally have their haunts
on the small islands on the coast, from which they make short cruises.

They are noted for their arrangements for preventing themselves
from receiving injury, in the desperate defences that are sometimes
made against them. These small prahus have usually swivels mounted,
which, although not of great calibre, are capable of throwing a shot
beyond the range of small-arms. It is said that they seldom attempt
an attack unless the sea is calm, which enables them to approach their
victims with more assurance of success, on account of the facility with
which they are enabled to manage their boats. The frequent calms which
occur in these seas between the land and sea breezes, afford them many
opportunities of putting their villanous plans in operation; and the
many inlets and islets, with which they are well acquainted, afford
places of refuge and ambush, and for concealing their booty. They
are generally found in small flotillas of from six to twenty prahus,
and when they have succeeded in disabling a vessel at long shot, the
sound of the gong is the signal for boarding, which, if successful,
results in a massacre more or less bloody, according to the obstinacy
of the resistance they have met with.

In the winter months, the Malacca Straits are most infested with them;
and during the summer, the neighborhood of Singapore, Point Rumania,
and the channels in the vicinity. In the spring, from February to
May, they are engaged in procuring their supplies, in fishing, and
refitting their prahus for the coming year.

[Suppression of pirates.] I have frequently heard plans proposed
for the suppression of these pirates, particularly of those in the
neighborhood of the settlements under British rule. The European
authorities are much to blame for the quiescent manner in which they
have so long borne these depredations, and many complaints are made
that Englishmen, on being transplanted to India, lose that feeling of
horror for deeds of blood, such as are constantly occurring at their
very doors, which they would experience in England. There are, however,
many difficulties to overcome before operations against the pirates
can be effective. The greatest of these is the desire of the English
to secure the good-will of the chiefs of the tribes by whom they are
surrounded. They thus wink at their piracies on the vessels of other
nations, or take no steps to alleviate the evils of slavery. Indeed
the language that one hears from many intelligent men who have
long resided in that part of the world is, that in no country where
civilization exists does slavery exhibit so debasing a form as in her
Indian possessions. Another difficulty consists in the want of minute
knowledge of the coasts, inlets, and hiding-places of the pirates, and
this must continue to exist until proper surveys are made. This done,
it would be necessary to employ vessels that could pursue the pirates
everywhere, for which purpose steamers naturally suggest themselves.

What will appear most extraordinary is, that the very princes who
are enjoying the stipend for the purchase of the site whereon the
English authority is established, are believed to be the most active
in equipping the prahus for these piratical expeditions; yet no notice
is taken of them, although it would be so easy to control them by
withholding payment until they had cleared themselves from suspicion,
or by establishing residents in their chief towns.

[The Bajows.] Another, and a very different race of natives who
frequent the Sulu Archipelago, must not be passed by without
notice. These are the Bajow divers or fishermen, to whom Sulu is
indebted for procuring the submarine treasures with which her seas
are stored. They are also very frequently employed in the beche de
mer or trepang fisheries among the islands to the south. The Bajows
generally look upon Macassar as their principal place of resort. They
were at one time believed to be derived from Johore, on the Malayan
peninsula; at another, to be Buguese; but they speak the Sulu dialect,
and are certainly derived from some of the neighboring islands. The
name of Bajows, in their tongue, means fishermen. From all accounts,
they are allowed to pursue their avocations in peace, and are not
unfrequently employed by the piratical datus, and made to labor for
them. They resort to their fishing-grounds in fleets of between one
and two hundred sail, having their wives and children with them,
and in consequence of the tyranny of the Sulus, endeavor to place
themselves under the protection of the flag of Holland, by which
nation this useful class of people is encouraged. The Sulu Seas are
comparatively little frequented by them, as they are unable to dispose
of the produce of their fisheries for want of a market, and fear the
exactions of the Datus. Their prahus are about five tons each. The
Bajows at some islands are stationary, but are for the most part
constantly changing their ground. The Spanish authorities in the
Philippines encourage them, it is said, to frequent their islands,
as without them they would derive little benefit from the banks in
the neighboring seas, where quantities of pearl-oysters are known
to exist, which produce pearls of the finest kind. The Bajows are
inoffensive and very industrious, and in faith Mahomedans.

The climate of Sulu during our short stay, though warm, was
agreeable. The time of our visit was in the dry season, which lasts
from October till April, and alternates with the wet one, from May
till September. June and July are the windy months, when strong
breezes blow from the westward. In the latter part of August and
September, strong gales are felt from the south, while in December
and January the winds are found to come from the northward; but light
winds usually prevail from the southwest during the wet season, and
from the opposite quarter, the dry, following closely the order of the
monsoons in the China seas. As to the temperature, the climate is very
equable, the thermometer seldom rising above 90 deg. or falling below 70 deg..

Diseases are few, and those that prevail arise from the manner in
which the natives live. They are from that cause an unhealthy-looking
race. The small-pox has at various times raged with great violence
throughout the group, and they speak of it with great dread. Few of
the natives appeared to be marked with it, which may have been owing,
perhaps, to their escaping this disorder for some years. Vaccination
has not yet been introduced among them, nor have they practiced

Notwithstanding Soung was once the Mecca of the East, its people
have but little zeal for the Mahomedan faith. It was thought at once
time that they had almost forgotten its tenets, in consequence of
the neglect of all their religious abservances. The precepts which
they seem to regard most are that of abstaining from swine's flesh,
and that of being circumcised. Although polygamy is not interdicted,
few even of the datus have more than one wife.

Soung Road offers good anchorage; and supplies of all kinds may be
had in abundance. Beef is cheap, and vegetables and fruits at all
seasons plenty.

Our observations placed the town in latitude 6 deg. 01' N., longitude 120 deg.
55' 51'' E.

Having concluded the treaty and other business that had taken me to
Sulu, we took our departure for the Straits of Balabac, the western
entrance into this sea, with a fine breeze to the eastward. By
noon we had reached the group of Pangootaaraang, consisting of five
small islands. All of these are low, covered with trees, and without
lagoons. They presented a great contrast to Sulu, which was seen behind
us in the distance. The absence of the swell of the ocean in sailing
through this sea is striking, and gives the idea of navigating an
extensive bay, on whose luxuriant islands no surf breaks. There are,
however, sources of danger that incite the navigator to watchfulness
and constant anxiety; the hidden shoals and reefs, and the sweep of
the tide, which leave him no control over his vessel.

[Cagayan Sulu.] Through the night, which was exceedingly dark, we
sounded every twenty minutes, but found no bottom; and at daylight
on the 7th, we made the islands of Cagayan Sulu, in latitude 7 deg. 03'
30'' N., longitude 118 deg. 37' E. The tide or current was passing the
islands to the west-southwest, three quarters of a mile per hour;
we had soundings of seventy-five fathoms. Cagayan Sulu has a pleasant
appearance from the sea, and may be termed a high island. It is less
covered with undergrowth and mangrove-bushes than the neighboring
islands, and the reefs are comparatively small. It has fallen off in
importance; and by comparing former accounts with those I received,
and from its present aspect, it would seem that it has decreased
both in population and products. Its caves formerly supplied a large
quantity of edible birds' nests; large numbers of cattle were to be
found upon it; and its cultivation was carried on to some extent. These
articles of commerce are not so much attended to at the present time,
and the beche de mer and tortoise-shell, formerly brought hither,
are now carried to other places. There is a small anchorage on the
west side, but we did not visit it. There are no dangers near these
small islands that may not be guarded against. Our survey extended
only to their size and situation, as I deemed it my duty to devote
all the remainder of the time I had to spare to the Balabac Straits.

[Balabac straits.] After the night set in, we continued sounding
every ten minutes, and occasionally got bottom in from thirty to
seventy fathoms. At midnight, the water shoaled to twenty fathoms,
when I dropped the anchor until daylight. We shortly afterwards had
a change of wind, and a heavy squall passed over us.

In the morning we had no shoal ground near us, and the bank on which
we had anchored was found to be of small size; it is probable that
we had dropped the anchor on the shoalest place. Vessels have nothing
to fear in this respect.

At 9:00 a.m. of the 8th, we made the Mangsee Islands ahead of us, and
likewise Balabac to the north, and Balambagan to the south. Several
sand-banks and extensive reefs were also seen between them. On seeing
the ground on which we had to operate, of which the published charts
give no idea whatever, I determined to proceed, and take a central
position with the ship under the Mangsee Islands; but in order not to
lose time, I hoisted out and dropped two boats, under Lieutenant Perry,
to survey the first sand-bank we came to, which lies a few miles to
the eastward of these islands, with orders to effect this duty and join
me at the anchorage, or find a shelter under the lee of the islands.

At half-past two p.m. we anchored near the reef, in thirty-six fathoms
water. I thought myself fortunate in getting bottom, as the reefs on
closing with them seemed to indicate but little appearance of it.

The rest of the day was spent in preparing the boats for our
operations. I now felt the want of the tender. Although in the absence
of this vessel, great exposure was necessary to effect this survey,
I found both officers and men cheerful and willing. The parties were
organized,--the first to proceed to the north, towards Balabac Island,
to survey the intermediate shoals and reefs, under Lieutenant Emmons
and Mr. Totten; the second to the south, under Lieutenants Perry and
Budd; and Mr. Hammersly for the survey of the shoals of Balambangan and
Banguey, and their reefs. The examination of the Mangsee Islands, and
the reefs adjacent, with the astronomical and magnetic observations,
etc., devolved on myself and those who remained on board the ship.

The weather was watched with anxiety, and turned out disagreeable,
heavy showers and strong winds prevailing; notwithstanding, the
boats were despatched, after being as well protected against it as
possible. We flattered ourselves that these extensive reefs would
produce a fine harvest of shells; but, although every exertion
was made in the search, we did not add as many to our collections
as we anticipated. Some land-shells, however, were found that we
little expected to meet with, for many of the trees were covered
with them, and on cutting them down, large quantities were easily
obtained. Mr. Peale shot several birds, among which was a Nicobar
pigeon; some interesting plants and corals were also added. On the
island a large quantity of drift-wood was found, which with that
which is growing affords ample supplies of fuel for ships. No fresh
water is to be had, except by digging, the island being but a few
feet above high-water mark.

Although the time was somewhat unfavorable, Lieutenant Emmons and
party executed their orders within the time designated, and met with no
other obstructions than the inclemency of the weather. This was not,
however, the case with Lieutenant Perry, who, near a small beach on
the island of Balambangan, encountered some Sulus, who were disposed
to attack him. The natives, no doubt, were under the impression that
the boats were from some shipwrecked vessel. They were all well armed,
and apparently prepared to take advantage of the party if possible;
but, by the prudence and forbearance of this officer, collision was
avoided, and his party saved from an attack.

[Balambangan.] The island of Balambangan was through the
instrumentality of Mr. Dalrymple, as heretofore stated, obtained
from the Sulus for a settlement and place of deposit, by the East
India Company, who took possession of it in 1773. Its situation off
the northern end of Borneo, near the fertile district of that island,
its central position, and its two fine ports, offered great advantages
for commerce, and for its becoming a great entrepot for the riches
of this archipelago. Troops, and stores of all kinds, were sent
from India; numbers of Chinese and Malays were induced to settle;
and Mr. Herbert, one of the council of Bencoolen, was appointed
governor. It had been supposed to be a healthy place, as the island
was elevated, and therefore probably free from malaria; but in 1775
the native troops from India became much reduced from sickness, and
the post consequently much weakened. This, with the absence of the
cruisers from the harbor, afforded a favorable opportunity for its
capture; and the wealth that it was supposed to contain created an
inducement that proved too great for the hordes of marauding pirates
to resist. Choosing their time, they rushed upon the sentries, put
them to death, took possession of the guns, and turned them against
the garrison, only a few of whom made their escape on board of a small
vessel. The booty in goods and valuables was said to have been very
large, amounting to nearly four hundred thousand pounds sterling.

Although Borneo offers many inducements to commercial enterprise,
the policy of the Dutch Company has shut themselves out, as well
as others, by interdicting communication. In consequence, except
through indirect channels, there has been no information obtained of
the singular and unknown inhabitants of its interior. This, however,
is not long destined to be the case.

Mr. Brooke, an English gentleman of fortune, has, since our passage
through these seas, from philanthropic motives, made an agreement
with the rajah of Sarawack, on the northern and western side of
Borneo, to cede to him the administration of that portion of the
island. This arrangement it is believed the British government will
confirm, in which event Sarawack will at once obtain an importance
among the foreign colonies, in the Eastern seas, second only to that
of Singapore.

The principal inducement that has influenced Mr. Brooke in this
undertaking is the interest he feels in the benighted people of the
interior, who are known under the name of Dyack, and of whom some
extraordinary accounts have been given.

A few of these, which I have procured from reputable sources, I will
now relate, in order that it may be seen among what kind of people
this gentleman has undertaken to introduce the arts of civilization.

[The Dyacks.] The Dyacks are, by all accounts, a fine race, and
much the most numerous of any inhabiting Borneo. They are almost
exclusively confined to the interior, where they enjoy a fine climate,
and all the spontaneous productions of the tropics. They are believed
to be the aborigines of the island. The name of Dyack seems to be
more particularly applied to those who live in the southern section
of Borneo. To the north they are called Idaan or Tirun, and those so
termed are best known to the Sulus, or the inhabitants of that part of
the coast of Borneo over which the Sulus rule. In personal appearance,
the Dyacks are slender, have higher foreheads than the Malays, and are
a finer and much better-looking people. Their hair is long, straight,
and coarse, though it is generally cropped short round the head. The
females are spoken of as being fair and handsome, and many of those
who have been made slaves are to be seen among the Malays.

In manners the Dyacks are described as simple and mild, yet they are
characterized by some of the most uncommon and revolting customs of
barbarians. Their government is very simple; the elders in each village
for the most part rule; but they are said to have chiefs that do not
differ from the Malay rajahs. They wear no clothing except the maro,
and many of them are tattooed, with a variety of figures, over their
body. They live in houses built of wood, that are generally of large
size, and frequently contain as many as one hundred persons. These
houses are usually built on piles, divided into compartments, and
have a kind of veranda in front, which serves as a communication
between the several families. The patriarch, or elder, resides in
the middle. The houses are entered by ladders, and have doors, but
no windows. The villages are protected by a sort of breastwork.

Although this people are to be found throughout all Borneo, and even
within a few miles of the coast, yet they do not occupy any part of
its shores, which are held by Malays, or Chinese settlers. There
is no country more likely to interest the world than Borneo. All
accounts speak of vast ruins of temples and palaces, throughout the
whole extent of its interior, which the ancestors of the present
inhabitants could not have constructed. The great resemblance these
bear to those of China and Cambojia has led to the belief that Borneo
was formerly peopled by those nations; but all traditions of the origin
of these edifices have been lost; and so little is now known of the
northern side of Borneo, that it would be presumption to indulge in any
surmises of what may have been its state during these dark ages. Even
the Bugis priests, who are the best-informed persons in the country,
have no writings or traditions that bear upon the subject; and the
few scattered legends of Eastern origin, can afford no proof of the
occurrence of the events they commemorate in any particular locality.

The accounts of the habits of the Dyacks are discrepant. Some give them
credit for being very industrious, while others again speak of them
as indolent. They are certainly cultivators of the soil, and in order
to obtain the articles they need, will work assiduously. Many of them
are employed in collecting gold-dust, and some in the diamond mines;
and they will at times be found procuring gums, rattans, etc., from
their native forests for barter. They are a people of great energy
of character, and perseverance in the attainment of their object,
particularly when on war-parties, or engaged in hunting.

Their food consists of rice, hogs, rats, snakes, monkeys, and many
kinds of vermin, with which this country abounds.

Their chief weapon is the parang or heavy knife, somewhat like the
kris. It is manufactured of native iron and steel, with which the
coast of the country is said to abound. They have a method of working
it which renders it unnecessary for them to look to a foreign supply;
the only articles of foreign hardware that they are said to desire,
are razors, out of which to make their cockspurs. One thing seems
strange: although asserted upon good authority, that the iron and
steel of the coast are thought to be superior by foreigners, they
are not to be compared with that which is found in the interior,
and manufactured by the Dyacks. All the best krises used by the Malay
rajahs and chiefs, are obtained from the interior. Some of these are
exquisitely manufactured, and so hard that, without turning the edge,
they cut ordinary wrought iron and steel.

Among their other weapons is the sumpit, a hollow tube, through
which they blow poisoned arrows. The latter are of various kinds,
and those used in war are dipped in the sap of what the natives term
the "upo." The effect of this poison is almost instantaneous, and
destroys life in four or five minutes. Those who have seen a wound
given accidentally, describe the changes that the poison occasions
as plainly perceptible in its progress. Before using the arrow, its
poisoned point is dipped in lime-juice to quicken it. The range of
the sumpit is from fifty to sixty yards. Although the arrows are
poisoned, yet it is said they sometimes eat the games they kill
with them, parboiling it before it is roasted, which is thought to
extract the poison. Firearms, respecting which they have much fear,
have not yet been introduced among them; indeed, it is said that so
easily are they intimidated by such weapons, that on hearing a report
of a gun they invariably run away. Each individual in a host would
be impressed with the belief that he was the one that was to be shot.

[The diwatas.] They address their prayers to the maker of the world,
whom they call Dewatta, and this is all the religion they have. There
are many animals and birds held by them in high veneration, and they
are close observers of the flight of birds, from which they draw
prognostics. There is in particular a white-headed eagle or kite, upon
whose flight and cries they put great reliance, and consult them in war
or on any particular expedition. For this purpose they draw numbers
of them together, and feed them by scattering rice about. It is said
their priests consult their entrails also on particular occasions,
to endeavor to look into future events.

In the performance of their engagements and oaths, they are most
scrupulous. They seem to have some idea of a future life, and that
on the road to their elysium they have to pass over a long tree,
which requires the assistance of all those they have slain in this
world. The abode of happy spirits is supposed to be on the top of Kini
Balu, one of their loftiest mountains, and the portals are guarded
by a fiery serpent, who does not suffer any virgin to pass into the
celestial paradise.

Polygamy does not exist among them, but they have as concubines slaves,
who are captured in their wars or rather predatory expeditions. If a
wife proves unfaithful to her husband, he kills several of his slaves,
or inflicts upon her many blows, and a divorce may be effected by
the husband paying her a certain price, and giving up her clothes and
ornaments, after which he is at liberty to marry another. The women,
however, exercise an extraordinary influence over the men.

[Headhunting.] But of all their peculiar traits, there is none more
strange than the passion they seem to indulge for collecting human
heads. These are necessary accompaniments in many transactions of
their lives, particularly in their marriages, and no one can marry
unless he has a certain number of heads; indeed, those who cannot
obtain these are looked upon with disdain by the females. A young man
wishing to wed, and making application to marry her for whom he has
formed an attachment, repairs with the girl's father to the rajah
or chief, who immediately inquires respecting the number of heads
he has procured, and generally decides that he ought to obtain one
or two more, according to his age, and the number the girl's father
may have procured, before he can be accepted. He at once takes his
canoe and some trusty followers, and departs on his bloody errand,
waylaying the unsuspecting or surprising the defenceless, whose head
he immediately cuts off, and then makes a hurried retreat. With this
he repairs to the dwelling of his mistress, or sends intelligence
of his success before him. On his arrival, he is met by a joyous
group of females, who receive him with every demonstration of joy,
and gladly accept his ghastly offering.

Various barbarous ceremonies now take place, among which the heads
undergo inspection to ascertain if they are fresh; and, in order to
prove this, none of the brain must be removed, nor must they have been
submitted to smoke to destroy the smell. After these preliminaries,
the family honor of the bride is supposed to be satisfied, and she is
not allowed to refuse to marry. A feast is now made, and the couple
are seated in the midst naked, holding the bloody heads, when handfuls
of rice are thrown over them, with prayers that they may be happy and
fruitful. After this, the bridegroom repairs in state to the house of
the bride, where he is received at the door by one of her friends,
who sprinkles him with the blood of a cock, and her with that of a
hen. This completes the affair, and they are man and wife.

[Cremation.] Funerals are likewise consecrated by similar offerings,
the corpse remaining in the house until a slave can be procured,
by purchase or otherwise, whom they design to behead at the time the
body is burnt. This is done in order that the defunct may be attended
by a slave on his way to the other world or realms of bliss. After
being burnt, the ashes of the deceased are gathered in an urn, and
the head of the slave preserved and placed near it.

In some parts, a rajah or chief is buried with great pomp in his war
habiliments, and food and his arms are placed at his side. A mound
is erected over him, which is encircled with a bamboo fence, upon
which a number of fresh heads are stuck, all the warriors who have
been attached to him bringing them as the most acceptable offering;
and subsequently these horrid offerings are renewed.

The Dyacks are found also in the Celebes island, but there, as in
Borneo, they are confined to the interior. I have already mentioned
that they were supposed to have been the original inhabitants of the
Sulu Archipelago. The Sulus speak of the country of the Dyacks as
being exceedingly fertile and capable of producing every thing. The
north end of Borneo is particularly valuable, as its produce is easily
transported from the interior, where much of the land is cultivated. I
have obtained much more information in relation to this people, in
a variety of ways, from individuals as well as from the published
accounts, which are to be found at times in the Eastern prints; but
as this digression has already extended to a great length, I trust
that enough has been said to enable the reader to contrast it with
the natives who inhabit the islands that dot the vast Pacific Ocean,
and to make him look forward with interest to the developments that
the philanthropic exertions of Mr. Brooke may bring to light.

Having completed our duties here, the boats were hoisted in, after
despatching one to leave orders for Mr. Knox of the Flying-Fish,
in a bottle tied to a flagstaff.

On the afternoon of the 12th, we got under way to proceed direct to
Singapore, and passed through the channel between the reef off the
Mangsee Islands, and those of Balambangan and Banguey. We found this
channel clear, and all the dangers well defined.

As the principal objects of my visit were to ascertain the disposition
and resources of the Sulus for trade, and to examine the straits
leading into the Sulu seas, in order to facilitate the communication
with China, by avoiding on the one hand the eastern route, and on
the other the dangers of the Palawan Passage, it may be as well to
give the result of the latter inquiry, referring those who may be
more particularly interested to the Hydrographical Atlas and Memoir.

The difficulties in the Palawan Passage arising from heavy seas
and fresh gales do not exist in the Sulu Sea, nor are the shoals so
numerous or so dangerous. In the place of storms and rough water,
smooth seas are found, and for most of the time moderate breezes,
which do not subject a vessel to the wear and tear experienced in
beating up against a monsoon.

The Balabac Straits may be easily reached, either from Singapore,
or by beating up along the western shore of Borneo. When the straits
are reached, a vessel by choosing her time may easily pass through
them by daylight, even by beating when the wind is ahead. Once
through, the way is clear, with the exception of a few coral lumps;
the occasional occurrence of the north wind will enable a vessel to
pass directly to the shores of the island of Panay. A fair wind will
ordinarily prevail along the island, and, as I have already mentioned,
it may be approached closely. The passage through to the eastward of
Mindoro Island may be taken in preference to that on the west side
through the Mindoro Strait, and thus all the reefs and shoals will
be avoided. Thence, the western coast of Luzon will be followed to
the north, as in the old route.

I do not think it necessary to point out any particular route through
the Sulu Sea, as vessels must be guided chiefly as the winds blow,
but I would generally avoid approaching the Sulu Islands, as the
currents are more rapid, and set rather to the southward. Wherever
there is anchorage, it would be advisable to anchor at night, as much
time might thus be saved, and a knowledge of the currents or sets
of the tides obtained. Perhaps it would be as well to caution those
who are venturesome, that it is necessary to keep a good look-out,
and those who are timid, that there does not appear to be much danger
from the piratical prahus, unless a vessel gets on shore; in that
case it will not be long before they will be seen collecting in the
horizon in large numbers.

[Advantages of Sulu treaty.] The treaty that I made with the Sultan, if
strictly enforced on the first infraction, will soon put an end to all
the dangers to be apprehended from them. To conclude, I am satisfied
that under ordinary circumstances, to pass through the Sulu Sea will
shorten by several days the passage to Manila or Canton, and be a
great saving of expense in the wear and tear of a ship and her canvass.

On the 13th, we passed near the location of the Viper Shoal, but saw
nothing of it. It is, therefore, marked doubtful on the chart. As
I had but little time to spare, the look-outs were doubled, and we
pursued our course throughout the night, sounding as we went every
fifteen minutes; but nothing met our view.

On the 14th, although we had the northeast monsoon blowing fresh, we
experienced a current of twenty-two miles setting to the north. This
was an unexpected result, as the currents are usually supposed
to prevail in the direction of the monsoon. On the 15th. we still
experienced it, though not over fifteen miles. On the 16th, we found
it setting west, and as we approached the Malayan Peninsula it was
found to be running southwest.

On the 18th, we made Pulo Aor and Pulo Pedang, and arriving off the
Singapore Straits, I hove-to, to await daylight. In the morning at
dawn, we found ourselves in close company with a Chinese junk. The
19th, until late in the afternoon, we were in the Singapore Straits,
making but slow progress towards this emporium of the East. The number
of native as well as foreign vessels which we passed, proved that we
were approaching some great mart, and at 5:00 p.m. we dropped our
anchor in Singapore Roads. Here we found the Porpoise, Oregon, and
Flying-Fish, all well: the two former had arrived on January 22nd,
nearly a month before, and the latter three days previously. Before
concluding this chapter, I shall revert to their proceedings since
our separation off the Sandwich Islands.

The instructions to the brigs have been heretofore given; but it may
not be amiss to repeat here that the object in detaching them was,
that they might explore the line of reefs and islands known to exist to
the northward and westward of the Hawaiian Group, and thence continue
their course towards the coast of Japan. Had they effected the latter
object, it would have given important results in relation to the force
of the currents, and the temperature of the water. It was desirable,
if possible, to ascertain with certainty the existence on the coast of
Japan of a current similar to the Gulf Stream, to which my attention
had been particularly drawn.

The first land they made was on December 1, 1841, and was Necker
Island. Birds, especially the white tern, had been seen in numbers
prior to its announcement. Necker Island is apparently a mass of
volcanic rocks, about three hundred feet high, and is destitute of
any kind of vegetation, but covered with guano. It is surrounded by
a reef, three miles from which soundings were obtained, in twenty
fathoms water. The furious surf that was beating on all sides of the
island, precluded all possibility of a landing being made. By the
connected observations of the vessels it lies in longitude 164 deg. 37'
W., and latitude 23 deg. 44' N.

The French-Frigate Shoal was seen on the 3rd; the weather proved bad,
and they were unable to execute the work of examining this reef. The
sea was breaking furiously upon it.

On the 7th, the Maro Reef was made in latitude 25 deg. 24' 29'' N.,
longitude 170 deg. 43' 24'' W. Bottom was found at a distance of four
miles from the reef, with forty-five fathoms of line. On the 8th,
they passed over the site of Neva Isle, as laid down by Arrowsmith,
but no indications of land were seen.

[Arrival at Singapore.] On the 11th, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold
determined, on account of the condition of the brigs, and the
continuance of bad weather, it was impossible to keep their course to
the northward and westward towards the coast of Japan; he, therefore,
hauled to the southward, which was much to be regretted, and followed
so very nearly in the same track as that pursued by the Vincennes,
towards the China seas, that nothing new was elicited by them.

After a passage of fifty-six days from the Sandwich Islands, they
dropped their anchors in Singapore on January 19, 1842, all well. Here
they found the United States ship Constellation, Commodore Kearney, and
the sloop of war Boston, Captain Long, forming the East India squadron.


Manila in 1819 [274]

By An American Naval Officer.

[Coral.] " * * * The fine bay of Manila, thirty leagues in
circumference, is situated near the middle of the west side of the
island, and has good and clear anchorage in all parts of it, excepting
on a coral ledge, called the Shoal of St. Nicholas, which is the only
visible danger in the bay. The dangerous part of it is, however, of
small extent, and with proper attention easily avoided; the least
of water found on it at present is eleven feet, but its summit is
constantly approaching the surface of the sea, as has been ascertained
by surveys made at different periods by orders of government, which
circumstance seems to indicate the presence of Zoophytes, that compound
of animal and vegetable life, whose incessant and rapid labors, and,
as we are told by naturalists, whose polypus-like powers of receiving
perfect form and vitality into numberless dismembered portions of their
bodies, have long excited much curiosity and admiration. These small,
compound animals, commence their operations at the bottom of the sea,
and proceed upwards, towards the surface, spreading themselves in
various ramifications; the older members of the mass become concrete,
petrify, and form dangerous shoals; the superior portion of these
little colonists always being the last produced, in its turn generates
myriads of others, and so on, ad infinitum, till they reach the surface
of the ocean. These coral reefs and shoals are found in most parts of
the world, within the tropics; but the waters of the eastern hemisphere
seem to be peculiarly congenial to their production, and, indeed, there
appear to be certain spaces or regions in these seas, which are their
favorite haunts. Among many others may be mentioned the Mozambique
channel, and that tract of ocean, from the eastern coast of Africa,
quite across to the coast of Malabar, including the Mahe, Chagas,
Maldive and Laccadive archipelagos; the southeastern part of the China
sea; the Red sea; the eastern part of Java; the coasts of all the Sunda
islands; and various places in the Pacific ocean. These shoals, when
they begin to emerge from the sea, are frequented by aquatic fowls,
whose feathers, and other deposits, combined with the fortuitous
landing of drifts of wood, weeds, and various other substances from
the adjacent lands, in the course of time form superaqueous banks,
of considerable elevation; and the broken fragments of coral thrown
up by the waves, slowly, but constantly increase their horizontal
diameter. Coconuts are frequently seen floating upon the sea in these
regions, some of which are no doubt thrown upon the shores of the
new created lands; from which accidental circumstance this fruit is
there propagated. Vagrant birds unconsciously deposit the germs of
various other productions of the vegetable kingdom, which in due
season spring up and clothe their surfaces with verdure; and the
natural accumulation of dead and putrid vegetation serves to assist
in the formation of a rich and productive soil, and to increase the
altitudes of these new creations. As I have been always much amused
and interested by this subject, and had frequent opportunities,
during many years' experience, to observe and examine these shoals in
their various stages of subaqueous progress, and subsequent emersion
I am convinced that not only many considerable islands, but extensive
insular groups, owe their existence to the above origin."

[The people.] [275]"* * * The natives of these islands are generally
well made, and bear strong marks of activity and muscular vigor;
they are in general somewhat larger than the Javanese, and bear some
affinity in the features of their faces to the Malays; their noses
are however more prominent, and their cheek bones not so high, nor are
their skins so dark. Their hair is of a jet black, made glossy by the
constant application of coconut oil, as is the custom in all India,
and drawn together and knotted on top, in the manner of the Malays. The
women display great taste in the arrangement and decorations of their
hair, which they secure with silver or gold bodkins, the heads of
which are frequently composed of precious stones."

[Mixed blood.] [276]"* * * A very considerable proportion of the
population of Manila is composed of the mestizos; they are the
offspring of the intermarriages of the Spaniards with the native
women, and these again forming connexions with the whites, or with
the native Indians (the latter, however, less frequent), combine
in stamping upon their descendants a great variety of features and
shades of color; a general resemblance is, however, to be traced, and
waiving color and manners, a mestizo could not easily be mistaken for
a native. This class of the inhabitants is held in nearly the same
estimation as the whites. They are very cleanly in their persons,
and neat in their dress, which, among the males, consists generally
of a pair of cotton trousers of various colors, as fancy dictates,
and shoes in the European manner, a frock, or tunic, of striped grass
manufacture, worn outside the trousers, in the manner of the Asiatic
Armenians (but without the sash, or girdle), the collars of which are
tastefully embroidered, and thrown back on their shoulders; a European
hat completes their costume, which is light, cool and airy, and after
a stranger has been a short time accustomed to see what he at first
would call a perversion of dress, his prejudices subside, and he has
no hesitation in pronouncing it very proper and graceful. They are
remarkably fine limbed, and well built, the females especially, who
are really models of the most complete symmetry; their hair and eyes,
which unlike their skins, seldom vary from the original jet black of
their native parents, bestow upon them the primary characteristics of
the brunette. This people, unlike the generality of mixed colors in
the human race, have been improved by their intermixture, they are more
industrious and cleanly than the Spaniards, possess more intelligence
and polish than the Indians and are less malicious and revengeful than
either. The men are employed mostly as writers, brokers, agents and
overseers; many of them hold lucrative offices under government, and
they not unfrequently arrive at wealth and consideration. The women
are also industrious, and capable of great intellectual improvement;
they have a natural grace and ease in their manner, and make excellent
wives and mothers. This character must not, however, be taken in an
unlimited sense, for we cannot expect this rule to be without its
exceptions, and it is true that some of these females do degenerate,
and copy after the manners of the creoles, or white natives; but
this is only the case when, by their intercourse with the whites,
their Indian blood is merged and lost in the European. That part
of the population in which is blended the blood of the Chinese and
Tagalogs is named the Chinese mestizos.

The natives are not unapt in acquiring knowledge, neither do they
want industry, when efforts are made, and inducements displayed
to call their powers into action. They are excellent mechanics and
artisans, and, as horticulturists, their superiority over many of the
Asiatics is acknowledged. They are polite and affable to strangers,
but irascible, and when excited are very sanguinary; their natural
bias to this revengeful and cruel character, is strengthened and
rendered more intense by the ... doctrines of the Roman catholic
religion as dictated to them by the designing and interested priests
who reside among them. The culprit always finds a sanctuary in the
nearest church, till by the payment of some pecuniary mulct, he
satisfies the demands of the priests, obtains absolution, appeases
the resentment of the relations of the deceased, and eludes the arm
of justice; he grows hardened by impunity, repeats his offences,
and again escapes as before."

[A Filipino foundry.] "* * * All the necessary works for a garrisoned
city are within its walls; extensive magazines were erected in 1686,
besides which are a hall of arms, or armory, a repository for powder,
with bomb-proof vaults, and commodious quarters and barracks for the
garrison. There is also a furnace and foundry here, which, although
their operations were suppressed in 1805, is the most ancient in
the Spanish monarchy; this establishment was founded in 1584, in
the village of St. Anna, near Manila; to the latter of which places
it was transferred in 1590. The first founder was a Pampango Indian,
named Pandapira. When the Spaniards first arrived at Manila, in 1571,
they found there a large foundry, which was accidentally burnt,
in consequence of the combustibility of the building and effects,
which character applies to all the houses of that period."

[Language.] [277]"* * * Their colloquial language, like that of the
natives of Java, Borneo, Sumatra, and many other islands in these seas,
is a dialect of the peninsular Malay from whence it is thought they
originated; and so striking is its similarity among all these islands,
that the natives of each can, in a greater or less degree, understand
that of all the others. The characters of their written language
differ widely, and great varieties of arrangement exist among them. The
Tagalogs write from top to bottom on palm leaves and strips of bamboo;
and many of the Moros or Mahomedans use the Arabic characters."

[Difference of days.] [278]From the circumstance of the Spaniards
arriving in these seas by Cape Horn, and the general route being by
the Cape of Good Hope, a consequent difference in time of one day
is produced in the different reckoning; the Spaniards losing, and
those who steer eastward gaining, each in the proportion of half a
day in completing the semi-circumference of the globe. Consequently,
the time at Manila, being regulated by their own reckonings, is one
day later than that of those who arrive there by steering eastward
from America or Europe; as for instance, when by the accounts of the
latter it is Sunday, by theirs it is only Saturday.

[English in Manila.] In the year 1762, the city of Manila was taken
by the English, where, and at Cavite, immense quantities of naval and
military stores, brass and iron ordnance, and several fine ships, fell
into their hands. It was, however, soon delivered up to the Spaniards,
on a promise of the payment to the English of four millions of
dollars as a ransom, which, however, never has been paid. This breach
of faith and promise has been loudly complained of by the latter,
and as pertinaciously excused by the Spaniards, who complain that
the British plundered the city, and committed many other excesses,
contrary to the express conditions of their engagements, by which
they were virtually rendered nugatory.

[Galleon trade.] The inhabitants of Manila have long enjoyed the
privilege of sending two annual ships to Acapulco called Galleons,
Navios, or Register-Ships, with the produce of the Philippines, of
China, and other parts of Asia; in return for which, they receive
various articles of the production of South America; the principal
of which are cochineal, merchandise of different descriptions of
European origin, and silver in Spanish dollars and ingots, which
compose the principal part of the value of their return cargoes,
amounting annually to about three million five hundred thousand
Spanish dollars. A large proportion of this property belongs to the
convents in Manila, whose great revenues not only enable them to
engage in extensive mercantile operations, but to lend considerable
sums to the merchants on bottomry. For the indulgence in this trade,
the proprietors pay a large sum of money to the crown.

These ships were of the burden of from twelve to fifteen hundred
tons, and were numerously manned and well appointed for defense; but
of late years, since the revolt of the Spanish colonies, which has
rendered the navigation of the intermediate seas dangerous to these
enterprises, the trade has been greatly interrupted, and instead
of risking it in large bodies, private ships of smaller burden have
been hired for the purpose of dividing the risk; some of these have
been put under foreign colors, though formerly the galleons wore,
by instruction, the royal flag, their officers were commissioned
and uniformed like the officers of the navy, and the ships were
under the same regulations and discipline. The object, however, of
the trade in smaller ships has not been obtained; for so great are
the fears of the owners and agents of their being captured, and so
many restrictions laid upon the commanders that they lie in port the
principal part of the time; so that in September, 1819, the ships of
the preceding year had not arrived at Manila; neither had any been
dispatched from the latter place for Acapulco during that time. These
interruptions, and in fact, the virtual suspension of this commerce,
will undoubtedly, if a liberal and enlightened policy is pursued,
result greatly to the advantage of these islands and the mother
country. Already since the establishment of the cortes, permitting
foreigners to settle permanently at Manila, great improvements have
been made in the productions of the island, and important additions
to the revenue. The failure of the annual remittance of dollars from
South America to defray the expenses of the colonial government, of
which their revenues from the islands were not adequate to meet one
half, has been severely felt, and has stimulated them to make some
very unusual exertions. Foreign commerce has been more countenanced in
consequence of this state of things, and greater encouragement has been
given to the growers and manufacturers of their staple exports; and if
the affairs of these islands should in future be properly conducted,
the revenue arising from the impost on the single article of coffee,
will in a few years be amply sufficient to support the government,
and leave a net income of the revenue arising from the imposts on all
other articles, besides what would accrue from the taxes and numerous
other resources. A free commerce with other nations would create a
competition, and a consequent reduction in the price of imports, and
their articles of export would increase, in proportion to the demand
for them. In short, nothing is wanting in these beautiful islands,
but ability to direct, and energy to execute the most extensive
plans of agriculture and commerce, which the bounties of the soil,
and its excellent climate and situation, would most certainly render
completely successful; and, instead of being, as at present it is,
a burden to Spain, it would become a source of great wealth to her."

[Spirit of independence.] [279]"* * * It is to be hoped that
the narrow and illiberal policy which has heretofore retarded the
prosperity of these fine islands, will necessarily be superseded
by more expanded views, and enable them to maintain the rank and
importance to which their intrinsic worth entitles them. The spirit
of independence which has recently diffused its influence through
the Spanish colonies on the American continent, has also darted its
rays across the Pacific, and beamed with enlivening lustre upon those
remote regions and the sacred flames of liberty which have been kindled
have in the bosom of that country, though for a period concealed from
the view of regal parasites and dependents, burned clear and intense;
and the time is perhaps not very remote, when it shall burst forth,
and shed its joyous light upon the remotest and most inconsiderable
islet of this archipelago.

[Opportunity for a republic.] Perhaps no part of the world offers a
more eligible site for an independent republic than these islands;
their insular posture and distance from any rival power, combined
with the intrinsic strength of a free representative government,
would guarantee their safety and glory; their intermediate situation,
between Asia and the American continent, their proximity to China,
Japan, Borneo, the Molucca and Sunda Islands, the Malay peninsula,
Cochin China, Tonquin, Siam, and the European possessions in the East,
would insure them an unbounded commerce, consequently great wealth and
power; and their happiness would be secured by religious toleration
and liberal views of civil liberty in the government. It must be
confessed, however, that the national character of the Spaniards is
not suitable to produce and enjoy in perfection this most desirable
state of affairs; it is to be feared that their bigotry would preclude
religious toleration, their indolence continue the present system of
slavery, so degrading in a particular manner to a republic, their
want of energy paralyze the operations of enterprising foreigners
among them. No change, however, can be for the worse, and if all
the advantage, cannot be reaped by them, which the citizens of our
republic would secure, it will be better for them to seize and enjoy
such as their genius and talents will enable them to."

[Health.] [280]" * * * The health of the city and suburbs is
proverbial, and the profession of a physician is, perhaps, of all
others the least lucrative. A worthy and intelligent Scotch doctor,
who had come to Manila, while I was there, to exercise his profession,
and who lodged in the same house with me, was greatly annnoyed at
the want of practice which he experienced there, although he had his
full share of patronage, and often jocosely declared that the "dom
climate" would starve him; in fact he did not long remain there;
I afterwards met him in the Isle of France, where he was still in
pursuit of practice."

[A barbarous execution.] [281]" * * * Impelled by a very common and,
perhaps, excusable curiosity, I rode out with some friends one day
to witness the execution of a mestizo soldier for murder. The parade
ground of Bagumbayan was the theater of this tragic comedy, for such
it may be trully called, and never did I experience such a revulsion
of feeling as upon this occasion. The place was crowded with people
of all descriptions, and a strong guard of soldiers, three deep,
surrounded the gallows, forming a circle, the area of which was about
two hundred feet in diameter. The hangman was habited in a red jacket
and trousers, with a cap of the same color upon his head. This fellow
had been formerly condemned to death for parricide, but was pardoned
on condition of turning executioner, and becoming close prisoner for
life, except when the duties of his profession occasionally called him
from his dungeon for an hour. Whether his long confinement, and the
ignominious estimation in which he was held, combined with despair of
pardon for his heinous offense, and a natural ferocity of character,
had rendered him reckless of "weal or woe," or other impulse directed
his movements, I know not, but never did I see such a demoniacal visage
as was presented by this miscreant; and when the trembling culprit
was delivered over to his hand, he pounced eagerly upon his victim,
while his countenance was suffused with a grim and ghastly smile,
which reminded us of Dante's devils. He immediately ascended the
ladder, dragging his prey after him till they had nearly reached the
top; he then placed the rope around the neck of the malefactor with
many antic gestures and grimaces highly gratifying and amusing to the
mob. To signify to the poor fellow under his fangs that he wished to
whisper in his ear, to push him off the ladder, and to jump astride
his neck with his heels drumming with violence upon his stomach, was
but the work of an instant. We could then perceive a rope fast to each
leg of the sufferer, which was pulled with violence by people under
the gallows, and an additional rope, to use a sea term, a preventer,
was round his neck, and secured to the gallows, to act in case of
accident to the one by which the body was suspended. I had witnessed
many executions in different parts of the world, but never had such
a diabolical scene as this passed before my eyes."

* * * * *


The Peopling of the Philippines

By Dr. Rudolf Virchow

(Translated by O. T. Mason; in Smithsonian Institution 1899 Report.)

Since the days when the first European navigators entered the South
Sea, the dispute over the source and ethnic affiliations of the
inhabitants of that extended and scattered island world has been
unsettled. The most superficial glance points out a contrariety in
external appearances, which leaves little doubt that here peoples of
entirely different blood live near and among one another.

["Negritos and Indios."] And this is so apparent that the pathfinder
in this region, Magellan, gave expression to the contrariety in his
names for tribes and islands. Since dark complexion was observed
on individuals in certain tribes and in defined areas, and light
complexion on others, here abundantly, there quite exceptional,
writers applied Old World names to the new phenomena without further
thought. The Philippines set the decisive example in this. Fernando
Magellan first discovered the islands of this great archipelago in
1521, March 16. After his death the Spaniards completed the circle
of his discoveries. At this time the name of Negros was fixed, which
even now is called Islas de los Pintados. For years the Spaniards
called the entire archipelago Islas de Poniente; gradually, after the
expedition of Don Fray Garcia Jofre de Loaisa (1526), the new title
of the Philippines prevailed, through Salazar.

The people were divided into two groups, the Little Negros or Negritos
and the Indios. It is quite conceivable that involuntarily the opinion
prevailed that the Negritos had close relationship with the African
blacks, and the Indios with the lighter-complexioned inhabitants of
India, or at least of Indonesia.

However, it must be said here that the theory of a truly African
origin of the Negritos has been advanced but seldom, and then in a very
hesitating manner. The idea that with the present configuration of the
eastern island world, especially with their great distances apart, a
variety of mankind that had never manifested any aptitude for maritime
enterprises should have spread themselves over this vast ocean area,
in order to settle down on this island and on that, is so unreasonable
that it has found scarcely a defender worth naming. More and more the
blacks are coming to be considered the original peoples, the "Indios"
to be the intruders. For this there is a quite reasonable ground,
in that on many islands the blacks dwell in the interior, difficult
of access, especially in the dense and unwholesome mountain forests,
while the lighter complexioned tribes have settled the coasts. To
this are added linguistic proofs, which place the lighter races, of
homogeneous speech, in linguistic relations with the higher races,
especially the Malays. Dogmatically it has been said that originally
these islands had been occupied entirely by the primitive black
population, but afterwards, through intrusions from the sea, these
blacks were gradually pressed away from the coast and shoved back
into the interior.

[Complicated Pacific problem.] The problem, though it appears simple
enough, has become complicated more and more through the progress
of discovery, especially since Cook enlarged our knowledge of the
oriental island world. A new and still more pregnant contrast then
thrust itself to the front in the fact that the blacks and the
lighter-colored peoples are each separated into widely differing
groups. While the former hold especially the immense, almost
continental, regions of Australia (New Holland) and New Guinea, and
also the larger archipelagos, such as New Hebrides, Solomon Islands,
Fiji (Viti) Archipelago--that is, the western areas--the north and
east, Micronesia and Polynesia, were occupied by lighter-colored
peoples. So the first division into Melanesia and Polynesia has
in latest times come to be of value, and the dogma once fixed has
remained. For the Polynesians are by many allied to the Malays,
while the blacks are put together as a special ethnological race.

For practical ethnology this division may suffice. But the scientific
man will seek also for the blacks a genetic explanation. The answer
has been furnished by one of the greatest ethnologists, Theodor Waitz,
who, after he had exposed the insufficiency of the accepted formulas,
came to the conclusion that the differentiation of the blacks from
the lighter peoples might be an error. He denied that there had been
a primitive black race in Micronesia and Polynesia; in his opinion
we have here to do with a single race. The color of the Polynesians
may be out and out from natural causes different, "their entire
physical appearance indicates the greatest variability." Herein the
whole question of the domain of variation is sprung with imperfect
satisfaction on the part of those travelers who give their attention
more to transitions than to types. Among these are not a few who have
returned from the South Sea with the conviction that all criteria
for the diagnosis of men and of races are valueless.

Analytical anthropology has led to other and often unexpected
results. It has proved that just that portion of South Sea
population which can apparently lay the strongest claim to be
considered a homogeneous race must be separated into a collection
of subvarieties. Nothing appears more likely than that the Negritos
of the Philippines are the nearest relatives to the Melanesians, the
Australians, the Papuans; and yet it has been proved that all these
are separated one from another by well-marked characters. Whether
these characters place the peoples under the head of varieties,
or whether, indeed, the black tribes of the South Sea, spite of all
differences, are to be traced back to one single primitive stock,
that is a question of prehistory for whose answer the material
is lacking. Were it possible to furnish the proof that the black
populations of the South Sea were already settled in their present
homes when land bridges existed between their territory and Africa,
or when the much-sought Lemuria still existed, it would not be worth
the trouble to hunt for the missing material. In our present knowledge
we can not fill the gaps, so we must yet hold the blacks of the Orient
to be separate races.

[Hair as a race index.] The hair furnished the strongest character
for diagnosis, in which, not alone that of the head is under
consideration; the hair, therefore, occupies the foreground of
interest. Its color is of the least importance, since all peoples of
the South Sea have black hair. It is more the structure and appearance
which furnish the observer convenient starting points for the primary
classification. Generally a two-fold division satisfies. The blacks,
it is said, have crisped hair, the Polynesians and light-colored
peoples have smooth hair. But this declaration is erroneous in its
generality. It is in no way easy to declare absolutely what hair is
to be called crisp, and it is still more difficult to define in what
respects the so-called crisp varieties differ one from another. For
a long time the Australian hair was denominated crisp, until it was
evident that it could be classed neither with that of the Africans
nor with that of the Philippine blacks. Semper, one of the first
travelers to furnish a somewhat complete description of the physical
characters of the Negritos, describes it as an "extremely thick,
brown-black, lack-luster, and crisp-woolly crown of hair." Among
these peculiarities the lack-luster is unimportant, since it is due
to want of care and uncleanliness. On the contrary, the other data
furnish true characters of the hair and among them the crisp-woolly
peculiarity is most valuable.

On the terms "wool" and "woolly" severe controversies, which have not
yet closed, have taken place among ethnologists during the last ten
years. Also the lack of care, especially the absence of the comb,
has here acted as a disturbing cause in the decision. But there is
yet a set of peoples, which were formerly included, that are now
being gradually disassociated, especially the Australians and the
Veddahs, whose hair, by means of special care, appears quite wavy
if not entirely sleek and smooth. Generally it is frowzy and matted,
so that its natural form is difficult to recognize. To it is wanting
the chief peculiarity, which obtrudes itself in the African blacks so
characteristically that the compact spiral form which it assumes from
its root, the so-called "pepper-corn," is selected as the preferable
mark of the race. The peculiar nappy head has it origin in the spiral
"rollchen." As to the Asiatic blacks this has been for a long time
known among the Andamanese; it has lately been noticed upon the Sakai
of Malacca, and it is to be found also among the Negritos of the
Philippines, as I can show by specimens. Therefore, if we seek ethnic
relationships for the Negritos of the Philippines, or as they are
named, the Aetas (Etas, Itas), such connections obtrude themselves
with the stocks named, and the more strongly since they all have
brachycephalic, relatively small (nannocephalic) heads and through
their small size attach themselves to the peculiar dwarf tribes.

I might here comment on the singular fact that the Andaman Islands
are situated near the Nicobars in the Indian Ocean, but that the
populations on both sides of them are entirely different. In my
own detailed descriptions which treat of the skulls and the hair
specially, it is affirmed that the typical skull shape of the
Nicobarese is dolichocephalic and that "their hair stands between
the straight hair of the Mongoloid and the sleek, though slightly
curved or wavy, hair of the Malayan and Indian peoples;" their skin
color is relatively dark, but only so much so as is peculiar to the
tribes of India. With the little blacks of the Andamans there is not
the slightest agreement. In this we have one of the best evidences
against the theory of Waitz-Gerland that the differences in physical
appearance are to be attributed to variation merely. I will, however,
so as not to be misunderstood, expressly emphasize that I am not
willing to declare that the two peoples have been at all times so
constituted; I am now speaking of actual conditions.

In the same sense I wish also my remarks concerning the Negritos to
be taken. Not one fact is in evidence from which we may conclude that
a single neighboring people known to us has been Negritized. We are
therefore justified when we see in the Negritos a truly primitive
people. As they are now, they were more than three hundred and
fifty years ago when the first European navigators visited these
islands. About older relationships nothing is known. All the graves
from which the bones of Negritos now in possession were taken belong
to recent times, and also the oldest descriptions which have been
received, so far as phylogeny is concerned, must be characterized
as modern.

[Negritos a primitive people.] The little change in the mode of life
made known through these descriptions in connection with the low grade
of culture on which these impoverished tribes live amply testify that
we have before us here a primitive race.

* * * * *

(The question whether we have to do with older, independent races
in the Malay Archipelago or with mixtures is everywhere an open

Whoever would picture the present ethnic affiliations of the
light-colored peoples of the Philippines will soon land in confusion
on account of the great number of tribes. One of the ablest observers,
Ferd. Blumentritt, mentions, besides the Negritos, the Chinese and
the whites, not less than 51 such tribes. He classifies them in one
group as Malays, according to the plan now customary. The division
rests primarily on a linguistic foundation. But when it is noted that
the identity of language among all the tribes is not established and
among many not at all proved, it is sufficiently shown that speech is
a character of little constancy, and that a language may be imposed
upon a people to the annihilation of their own by those who belong
to a different linguistic stock. The Malay Sea is filled with islands
on which tarry the remnants of peoples not Malay.

For a long time, especially since the Dutch occupation, these old
populations have received the special name of Alfuros. But this
ambiguous term has been used in such an arbitrary and promiscuous
fashion that latterly it has been well-nigh banished from ethnological
literature. It is not long ago that the Negritos were so called. But
if the black peoples are eliminated, there remains on many islands at
least an element to be differentiated from the Malay, chiefly through
the darker skin color, greater orthocephaly, and more wavy, quite
crimped hair. I have, for the different islands, furnished proof,
and will here only refer to the assertion that "a broad belt of
wavy and curly hair has pressed itself in between the Papuan and the
Malay, a belt which in the north seems to terminate with the Veddah,
in the south with the Australian." One can not read the accounts
of travelers without the increasing conviction of the existence of
several different, if not perhaps related, varieties of peoples thrust
on the same island.

[Theory of Negrito and three Malay invasions.] From this results the
natural and entirely unprejudiced conclusion, which has repeatedly
been stated, that either a primitive people by later intrusions
has been pressed back into the interior or that in course of time
several immigrations have followed one another. At the same time
it is not unreasonable to think that both processes went on at the
same time, and indeed this conception is strongly brought forward. So
Blumentritt assumes that there is there a primitive black people and
that three separate Malay invasions have taken place. The oldest,
whose branches have many traits in accord with the Dayaks of Borneo,
especially the practice of head-hunting; a second, which also took
place before the arrival of the Spaniards, to which the Tagals,
Bisayas, Bicols, Ilocanos, and other tribes belong; the third,
Islamitic, which emigrated from Borneo and might have been interrupted
by the arrival of the Spaniards, and with which a contemporaneous
immigration from the Moluccas went on. It must be said, however, that
Blumentritt admits two periods for the first invasion. In the earliest
he places the immigration of the Igorots, Apayos, Zambales--in short,
all the tribes that dwelt in the interior of the country later and
were pressed away from the coast, therefore, actually, the mountain
tribes. To the second half he assigns the Tinguianes, Catalanganes,
and Irayas, who are not head-hunters, but Semper says they appear to
have a mixture of Chinese and Japanese blood.

Against this scheme many things may be said in detail, especially that,
according to the apparently well-grounded assertions of Mueller-Beeck,
the going of the Chinese to the Philippines was developed about the
end of the fourteenth century, and chiefly after the Spaniards had
gotten a foothold and were using the Mexican silver in trade. At any
rate, the apprehension of Semper, which rests on somewhat superficial
physiognomic ground, is not confirmed by searching investigations. So
the head-hunting of the mountain tribes, so far as it hints at
relations with Borneo, gives no sure chronological result, since
it might have been contemporaneous in them and could have come here
through invasion from other islands.

The chief inquiry is this: Whether there took place other and older
invasions. For this we are not only to draw upon the present tribes,
but if possible upon the remains of earlier and perhaps now extinct
tribes. This possibility has been brought nearer for the Philippines
through certain cave deposits. We have to thank, for the first
information, the traveler Jagor, whose exceptional talent as collector
has placed us in the possession of rich material, especially crania. To
his excellent report of his journey I have already dedicated a special
chapter, in which I have presented and partially illustrated not
only the cave crania, but also a series of other skulls. An extended
conference upon them has been held in the Anthropological Society.

The old Spanish chroniclers describe accurately the mortuary customs
which were in vogue in their time. The dead were laid in coffins
made from excavated tree trunks and covered with a well-fitting
lid. They were then deposited on some elevated place, or mountain,
or river bank, or seashore. Caves in the mountains were also utilized
for this purpose. Jagor describes such caves on the island of Samar,
west of Luzon, whose contents have recently been annihilated.

The few crania from there which have been intrusted to me
bear the marks of recent pedigree, as also do the additional
objects. Unfortunately, Dr. Jagor did not himself visit these
interesting caves, but he has brought crania thence which are of the
highest interest, and which I must now mention.

[Study of a giant skull.] The cave in question lies near Lanang, on
the east coast of Samar, on the bank of a river, it is said. It is,
as the traveler reports, celebrated in the locality "on account of its
depressed gigantic crania, without sutures." The singular statement
is made clear by means of a well-preserved example, which I lay
before you. The entire cranium, including the face, is covered with
a thick layer of sinter, which gives it the appearance of belonging
to the class of skulls with Leontiasis ossea. It is, in fact, of
good size, but through the incrustation it is increased to gigantic
proportions. It is true, likewise, that it has a much flattened,
broad and compressed form. The cleaning of another skull has shown
that artificial deformation has taken place, which obviously was
completed before the incrustation was laid on by the mineral water
of the cave. I will here add that on the testimony of travelers no
Negritos were on Samar. The island lies in the neighborhood of the
Bisayas. Although no description of the position of the skull is at
hand and of the skeleton to which it apparently belonged, it must be
assumed that the dead man was not laid away in a coffin, but placed
on the ground; that, in fact, he belonged to an earlier "period." How
long ago that was can not be known, unfortunately, since no data are
at hand; however, the bones are in a nearly fossilized condition,
which allows the conclusion that they were deposited long ago.

The deformation itself furnishes no clue to a chronological
conclusion. In Thevenot is found the statement that, according to
the account of a priest, probably in the 16th century, the custom
prevails in some of the islands to press the heads of new-born babes
between two boards, also to flatten the forehead, "since they believed
that this form was a special mark of beauty." A similar deformation,
with more pronounced flattening and backward pressure of the forehead,
is shown on the crania which Jagor produced from a cave at Caramuan in
Luzon. There are modes of flattening which remind one of Peru. When
they came into our hands it was indeed an immense surprise, since
no knowledge of such deformation in the South Sea was at hand. First
our information led to more thorough investigations; so we are aware
of several examples of it from Indonesia and, indeed, from the South
Sea (Mallicolo). However, this deformation furnishes no clue to the
antiquity of the graves.

(Chinese and Korean pottery are said to have been found with
the deformed crania. Similar deformations exist in the Celebes,
New Britain, etc. Head-shaping has been universal, cf. A. B. Meyer,
Ueber Kunstliche deformirte Schaedel von Borneo und Mindanao and ueber
die Verbreitung der Sitte der Kunstlichen Schaedeldeformirung, 1881,
36 pp., 4. deg.--Translator.)

I have sawed one of these skulls in two along the sagittal suture. The
illustration gives a good idea of the amount of compression and of the
violence which this skull endured when quite young. The cranial cavity
is inclined backward and lengthened, and curves out above, while the
occiput is pressed downward and the region of the front fontanelle
is correspondingly lacking. Likewise, a considerable thickness of
the bone is to be noted, especially of the vertex. The upper jaw is
slightly prognathous and the roof of the mouth unusually arched.

For the purpose of the present study, it is unnecessary to go
further into particulars. It might be mentioned that all Lanang
skulls are characterized by their size and the firmness of bone,
so that they depart widely from the characteristics of the other
Philippine examples known to me. Similar skulls have been received
only from caves, which exist in one of the little rocky islands east
from Luzon. They suggest most Kanaka crania from Hawaii, and Moriori
crania from Chatham islands, and they raise the question whether
they do not belong to a migration period long before the time of
the Malays. I have, on various occasions, mentioned this probable
pre-Malayan, or at least proto-Malayan, population which stands in
nearest relation to the settling of Polynesia. Here I will merely
mention that the Polynesian sagas bring the progenitor from the west,
and that the passage between Halmahera (Gilolo) and the Philippines
is pointed out as the course of invasion.

At any rate, it is quite probable that the skulls from Lanang,
Cragaray, and other Philippine Islands are the remains of a very old,
if not autochthonous, prehistoric layer of population. The present
mountain tribes have furnished no close analogies. As to the Igorots,
which Blumentritt attributes to the first invasion, I refer to my
description given on the ground of chronological investigations;
according to the account given by Hans Meyer the disposal of the dead
in log coffins and in caves still goes on. Of the skulls themselves,
none were brachycephalous; on the contrary, they exhibit platyrrhine
and in part decidedly pithecoid noses. On the whole, I came to the
conclusion, as did earlier Quatrefages and Hamy, that [Indications of
pre-Malay invasion.] "they stand next in comparison with the Dayaks
of Borneo," but I hold yet the impression that they belong to a very
old, probably pre-Malay, immigration.

When, on the 18th of March, 1897, I made a communication on the
population of the Philippines, a bloody uprising had broken out
everywhere against the existing Spanish rule. In this uprising a
certain portion of the population, and indeed that which had the
most valid claim to aboriginality, the so-called Negritos, were not
involved. Their isolation, their lack of every sort of political,
often indeed of village organization, also their meager numbers,
render it conceivable that the greatest changes might go on among
their neighbors without their taking such a practical view of them
as to lead to their engaging in them. Thus it can be understood how
they would take no interest in the further development of the affair.

Since then the result of the war between Spain and the Americans has
been the destruction of Spanish power, and the treaty of Paris brought
the entire Philippine Archipelago into the possession of the United
States of America. Henceforth the principal interest is centered
upon the deportment of the insurgents, who have not only outlived
the great war between the powers, but are now determined to assert,
or win, their independence from the conquerors. These insurgents, who
for brevity are called Filipinos, belong, as I have remarked, to the
light-colored race of so-called Indios, who are sharply differentiated
from the Negritos. Their ethnological position is difficult to fix,
since numerous mixtures have taken place with immigrant whites,
especially with Spaniards, but also with people of yellow and of
brown races--that is, with Mongols and Chinese. Perhaps here and
there the importance of this mixture on the composite type of the
Indios has been overestimated; at least in most places positive
proof is not forthcoming that foreign blood has imposed itself upon
the bright-colored population. Both history and tradition teach, on
the contrary, as also the study of the physical peculiarities of the
people that among the various tribes differences exist which suggest
family traits. To this effect is the testimony of several travelers
who have followed one another during a long period of time, as has
been developed especially by Blumentritt.

[All immigrations from the West.] In this connection it must not
be overlooked that all these immigrations, howsoever many they be
supposed to have been, must have come this way from the west. Indeed,
a noteworthy migration from the east is entirely barred out, if we
look no farther back than the Chinese and Japanese. On the contrary,
all signs point to the assumption that from of old, long before the
coming of Portuguese and Spaniards, a strong movement had gone on
from this region to the east, and that the great sea way which exists
between Mindanao and the Sulu islands on the north and Halmahera
and the Moluccas in the south was the entrance road along which
those tribes, or at least those navigators whose arrival peopled
the Polynesian Islands, found their way into the Pacific Ocean. But
also the movement of the Polynesians points to the west, and if their
ancestors may have come from Indonesia there is no doubt that in their
long journeys eastward they must have touched at the coasts of other
islands on their way, especially the Philippines. Polynesian invasions
of the Philippines are not supposed to have closed when a migration of
peoples or of men passing out to the Pacific Ocean laid the foundation
of a large fraction of the population of the archipelago. It is known
that now and then single canoes from the Pelew or the Ladrone Islands
were driven upon the east coast of Luzon, but their importance ought
not to be overestimated. The migration this way from the west must
henceforth remain as the point of departure for all explanations of
this eastern ethnology. (These statements are well enough for working
hypotheses, but actual proofs are not at hand. Ratzel, Berl. Verhandl.,
etc., Phil. Hist. Class, 1898, I., p. 33.--Translator.)

Now, how are the local differences of various tribes to be
explained, when on the whole the place of origin was the same? Is
there here a secondary variation of the type, something brought
about through climate, food, circumstances? It is a large theme,
which, unfortunately, is too often dominated by previously-formed
theories. The importance of "environment" and mode of life upon
the corporeal development of man can not be contested, but the
measure of this importance is very much in doubt. Nowhere is this
measure, at least in the present consideration, less known than in the
Philippines. In spite of wide geological and biological differences on
these islands, there exists a close anthropological agreement of the
Indios in the chief characteristics, and the effort to trace back the
tribal differences that have been marked to climatic and alimentary
causes has not succeeded. The influence of inherited peculiarities
is also more mighty here, as in most parts of the earth, than that of

If we assume, first, that the immigrants brought their peculiarities
with them, which were fixed already when they came, we must also accept
as self-evident that the Negritos of the Philippines do not belong
to the same stock as the more powerful, bright-colored Indios. As
long as these islands have been known, more than three centuries,
the skin of the Negritos has been dark brown, almost black, their
hair short and spirally twisted, and just as long has the skin
of the Indios been brownish, in various shades, relatively clear,
and the hair has been long and arranged in wavy locks. At no time,
so far as known, has it been discovered that among a single family
a pronounced variation from these peculiarities had taken place. On
this point there is entire unanimity. In case of the Negritos there is
not the least doubt; of the Indios a doubt may arise, for, in fact,
the shades of skin color appear greatly varied, since the brown is
at times quite blackish, at times yellowish, almost as varied as is
the color of the sunburnt hair. But even then the practiced eye easily
detects the descent, and if the skin alone is not sufficient the first
glance at the hair completes the diagnosis. The correct explanation
of individual or tribal variations is difficult only with the Indios,
while no such necessity exists in the case of the Negritos. But among
the Indios these individual and tribal variations are so frequent
and so outspoken that one is justified in making the inquiry whether
there has not developed here a new type of inherited peculiarities. If
this were the case, it must still be held that already the immigrant
tribes had possessed them.

[Assistance from history.] Now, history records that different
immigrations have actually taken place. Laying aside the latest
before the arrival of the Spaniards, that of the Islamites, in
the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries, there remains the
older one. If ethnologists and travelers in general come to the
conclusion concerning Borneo--and it is to be taken as certain--that
the differences now existing among the wild tribes of this island are
very old, it ought not be thought so wonderful if, according to the
conditions of the tribes which have immigrated thence, there should
exist on the Philippines near one another dissimilar though related
peoples. This difference is not difficult to recognize in manners and
customs--a side of the discussion which is further on to be treated
more fully. We begin with physical characteristics.

[Hair differences.] Among these the hair occupies the chief
place. To be sure, among all the Indios it is black, but it shows
not the slightest approach to the frizzled condition which is such
a prominent feature in the external appearance of the Negritos and
of all the Papuan tribes of the East. This frizzled condition may be
called woolly, or in somewhat exaggerated refinement in the name may
be attributed to the term "wool," all sorts of meanings akin to wool;
in every case there is wanting to all the Indios the crinkling of the
hair from its exit out of the follicle, whereby would result wide
or narrow spiral tubes and the coarse appearance of the so-called
"peppercorn." The hair of all Indios is smooth and straightened out,
and when it forms curves they are only feeble, and they make the
whole outward appearance wavy or, at most, curled.

But within this wavy or curled condition of the hair there are again
differences. In my former communication I have attended to examinations
which I made upon a large number of islands in the Malay Sea, and in
which it was shown that a certain area exists which begins with the
Moluccas and extends to the Sunda group, in which the hair shows a
strong inclination to form wavy locks, indeed passes gradually into
crinkled, if not into spiral, rolls. Such hair is found specially
in the interior of the islands, where the so-called aboriginal
population is purer and where for a long time the name of Alfuros
has been conferred on them. On most points affinity with Negritos or
Papuans is not to be recognized. Should such at any time have existed,
we are a long way from the period when the direct causes therefor are
to be looked for. In this connection the study of the Philippines is
rich with instruction. In the limits of the almost insular, isolated
Negrito enclave, mixtures between Negritos and Indios very seldom
surprise one, and never the transitions that can have arisen in the
post-generative time of development. (The island of Negros, on the
contrary, is peopled by such crossbreeds.--Translator.)

If there are among the bright-colored islanders of the Indian Ocean
Alfuros and Malays close together there is nothing against coming upon
this contrast in the Philippine population also. Among the more central
peoples the tribal differences are so great that almost every explorer
stumbles on the question of mixture. There not only the Dayaks and the
other Malays obtrude themselves, but also the Chinese and the Mongolian
peoples of Farther India. Indeed, many facts are known, chiefly
in the language, the religion, the domestic arts, the agriculture,
the pastoral life which remind one of known conditions peculiarly
Indian. The results of the ethnologists are so tangled here that one
has to be cautious when one or another of them draws conclusions
concerning immigrations, because of certain local or territorial
specializations. Of course, when a Brahmanic custom occurs anywhere
it is right to conclude that it came here from India. But before
assuming that the tribe in which such a custom prevails itself comes
from Hither or Farther India, the time has to be ascertained to which
the custom is to be traced back. The chronological evidence leads to
the confident belief that the custom and the tribe immigrated together.

[Ancestor worship.] Over the whole Philippine Archipelago
religious customs have changed with the progress of external
relations. Christianity has in many places spread its peculiar customs,
observances, and opinions, and changed entirely the direction of
thought. On closer view are to be detected in the midst of Christian
activities older survivals, as ingredients of belief which, in
spite of that religion, have not vanished. Before Christianity, in
many places, Islam flourished, and it is not surprising to witness,
as on Mindanao, Christian and Mohammedan beliefs side by side. But,
before Islam, ancestor worship, as has long been known, was widely
prevalent. In almost every locality, every hut has its Anito with
its special place, its own dwelling; there are Anito pictures and
images, certain trees and, indeed, certain animals in which some
Anito resides. The ancestor worship is as old as history, for the
discoverers of the Philippines found it in full bloom, and rightly
has Blumentritt characterized Anito worship as the ground form of
Philippine religion. He has also furnished numerous examples of Anito
cult surviving in Christian communities.

Chronology has a good groundwork and it will have to observe every
footprint of vanishing creeds. Only, it must not be overlooked that
the beginning of the chronology of religion has not been reached,
and that the origin of the generally diffused ancestor worship, at
least on the Philippines, is not known. If it is borne in mind that
belief in Anitos is widely diffused in Polynesia and in purely Malay
areas, the drawing of certain conclusions therefrom concerning the
prehistory of the Philippines is to be despaired of.

[Tattooing.] Next to religious customs, among wild tribes fashions
are most enduring. Little of costume is to be seen, indeed, among
them. Therefore, here tattooing asserts its sway. The more it has
been studied in late years the more valuable has been the information
in deciding the kinship relations of tribes. Unfortunately, in the
Philippines the greater part of the early tattoo designs have been
lost and the art itself is also nearly eliminated. But since the
journey of Carl Semper it has been known that not only Malays but
also Negritos tattoo; indeed, this admirable explorer has decided
that the "Negroes of the East Coast" practice a different method of
tattooing from that of the Mariveles in the west, and on that account
they attain different results. In the one case a needle is employed
to make fine holes in the skin in which to introduce the color; in
the other long gashes are made. In the latter case prominent scars
result; in the former a smooth pattern. But these combined patterns
are on the whole the same, instead of rectilinear figures. Schadenburg
has the operations commence with a sharpened bamboo on children 10
years of age. Among the wild tribes of the light-colored population
tattooing is not less diffused, but the patterns are not alike in the
different tribes. Isabelo de los Reyes reports that the Tinguianes,
who inhabit the mountain forests of the northern cordilleras of Luzon,
produce figures of stars, snakes, birds, etc., on children 7 to 9 years
old. Hans Meyer describes the pattern of the Igorots. There appears to
exist a great variety of symbols; for example, on the arms, straight
and crooked lines crossing one another; on the breast, feather-like
patterns. Least frequently he saw the so-called Burik designs, which
extended in parallel bands across the breast, the back, and calves,
and give to the body the appearance of a sailor's striped jacket. It
is very remarkable that the human form never occurs.

What is true concerning tattooing on so many Polynesian islands
holds also completely here. But reliable descriptions are so few,
and especially there is such a meager number of useful drawings,
that it would not repay the trouble to assemble the scattered data. At
least it will suffice to discover whether among them there are genuine
tribal marks or to investigate concerning the distribution of separate
patterns. Those known show conclusively that in the matter of tattooing
the Filipinos are not differentiated from the islanders of the Pacific;
they form, moreover, an important link in the chain of knowledge
which demonstrates the genetic homogeneity of the inhabitants. The
tattooings of the eastern islanders are comparable only to those of
African aborigines, with which last they furnish many family marks,
made out and recognized. It is desirable that a trustworthy collection
of all patterns be collected before the method becomes more altered
or destroyed.

[Teeth alterations.] Next to the skin, among the wild tribes the
teeth are modified in the most numerous artificial alterations. The
preferable custom, common in Africa, of breaking out the front
teeth in greater or less number has not, so far as I remember, been
described among the Filipinos; I only mention that while I was making a
revision of our Philippine crania, two of them turned up in which the
middle upper incisors had evidently been broken out for a long time,
for the alveolar border had shrunk into a small quite smooth ridge,
without a trace of an aveolus. It is otherwise with the pointing of
the incisors, especially the upper ones, which, also is not common. I
must leave it undecided whether the sharpening is done by filing or by
breaking off pieces from the sides. The latter should be in general
far more frequent. In every case the otherwise broad and flat teeth
are brought to such sharp points as to project like those of the
carnivorous animals. I have met with this condition several times
on Negrito skulls and furnished illustrations of them. On a Zambal
skull, excavated by Dr. A. B. Meyer and which I lay before you,
the deformation is easy to be seen. I called attention at the time
to the fact that among the Malays an entirely different method of
modifying the teeth is in vogue, in which a horizontal filing on the
front surface is practiced and the sharp lower edge is straightened
and widened. Already the elder Thevenot has accented this contrast
when he says:

"These cause the teeth to be equal, those file them to points, giving
them the shape of a saw."

This difference appears to have held on till the present; at least
no skull of an Indio is known to me with similar deformation of the
teeth. This custom of the Negritos is so much more remarkable since
the chipping of the corners of the teeth is widely spread among the
African blacks.

[Skill flattening.] The other part of the body used most for
deformation--the skull--is in strong contrast to the last-named
custom. Deformed crania; especially from older times, are quite
numerous in the Philippines; probably they belong exclusively to
the Indios. If they exist among the Negritos, I do not know it; the
only exception comes from the Tinguianes, of whom I. de los Reyes
reports their skulls are flattened behind (por detras oprimido). Such
flattening is found, however, not seldom among tribes who have the
practice of binding children on hard cradle boards--chiefly among those
families who keep their infants a long time on such contrivances. A
sure mark by which to discriminate accidental pressure of this sort
from one intentionally produced is not at hand; it may be that
in accidental deformation oblique position of the deformed spot
is more frequent; at any rate, the difference in the Philippines
is a very striking one, since there not so much the occiput as the
front and middle portions suffer from the disfigurements, and thereby
deformations are produced that have had their most perfect expression
among the ancient Peruvians and other American tribes.

I have discussed cranial deformation of the Americans in
greater detail, where I exhibit the accidental and the artificial
(intentional) deformation in their principal forms. The result is that
in large sections of America scarcely any ancient skulls are found
having their natural forms, but that the practice of deformation
has not been general; moreover, a number of deformation centers
may be differentiated which stand in no direct association with
one another. The Peruvian center is far removed from that of the
northwest coast, and this again from that of the Gulf States. From
this it must not be said that each center may have had its own, as
it were, autochthonous origin. But the method has not so spread that
its course can be followed immediately. Rather is the supposition
confirmed that the method is to be traced to some other time,
therefore that somewhere there must have been a place of origin for
it. On the Eastern Hemisphere, and especially in the region here
under consideration, the relations are apparently otherwise. Here
exist, so far as known, great areas entirely free from deformation;
small ones, on the other hand, full of it. There are here, also,
deformation centers, but only a few. Among these, with our present
knowledge, the Philippines occupy the first place.

The knowledge of this, indeed, is not of long duration. Public
attention was first aroused about thirty years ago concerning
skulls from Samar and Luzon, gathered by F. Jagor from ancient
caves, to furnish the proof of their deformation. Up to that time
next to nothing was known of deformed crania in the oriental island
world. First through my publication the attention of J. G. Riedel,
a most observant Dutch resident, was called to the fact that cranial
deformation is still practiced in the Celebes, and he was so good as to
send us a specimen of the compressing apparatus for delicate infants
(1874). Compressed crania were also found. But the number was small
and the compression of the separate specimens was only slight. In
both respects what was observed in the Sunda islands did not differ
from the state of the case in the Philippines. Through Jagor's
collections different places had become known where deformed crania
were buried. Since then the number of localities has multiplied. I
shall mention only two, on account of their peculiar locality. One is
Cagraray, a small island east of Luzon, in the Pacific Ocean, at the
entrance of the Bay of Albay; the other, the island of Marinduque,
in the west, between Luzon and Mindoro. From the last-named island I
saw, ten years ago, the first picture of one in a photograph album
accidentally placed in my hands. Since then I had opportunity to
examine the Schadenberg collection of crania, lately come into the
possession of the Reichsmuseum, in Leyden, and to my great delight
discovered in it a series of skulls which are compressed in exactly
the same fashion as those of Lanang. It is said that these will soon
be described in a publication.

It is of especial interest that this method has been noted in the
Philippines for more than three hundred years. In my first publication
I cited a passage in Thevenot where he says, on the testimony of a
priest, that the natives on some islands had the custom of compressing
the head of a newborn child between two boards, so that it would be
no longer round, but lengthened out; also they flattened the forehead,
which they looked upon as a special mark of beauty. This is, therefore,


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