WILD RACES OF THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS.
return he made an exhaustive report to the Interior Department, from which a correspondent extracts the following rather startling opinions regarding the origin of man, and his first appearance in the Philippines. Dr. Becker believes that the ape-like creature, termed the missing link, may have had its earliest haunts in those isles of the sea at a time when, not less than three hundred thousand years ago, they were connected with the mainland of Asia by a sort of land-bridge, via Borneo.
In this opinion Dr. Becker coincides with the late Prof. O. C. Marsh, of Yale University, who expressed a belief that the Philippines were, at all events, among the earliest localities inhabited by the human species, even if the latter did not actually start there. The time may have been half a million years ago, but science always wishes to be conservative. There are excellent reasons, however, for believing that homo sapiensa the true human being, as distinguished from the typical apea existed on the island of Luzon, or in that immediate neighborhood, in the epoch called the Pliocene, along toward the end of the Tertiary period. Now, the Tertiary ended about two hundred thousand years back, with the great Ice age, and thus one gets a notion of the extreme antiquity assignable to the first families of the Philippines.
WALLACE separates the natives occupying Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, the Celebes, the Philippine Islands, New Guinea, Borneo, and a number of smaller islands embraced within these limits, into two great primary races, the Malays and the Papuans. He claims that all the other tribes and races, including those that we have already described in the Northern Philippines, are offshoots or combinations of these two. Other writers believe that the Negritos were the original inhabitants of these vast regions, and that they were dispossessed by the Papuans, who in turn yielded to the Malays. All such discussion, however, is pure speculation; like the origin of the North American Indians, for no one can tell
where these people came from or which particular race preceded the other. Our purpose is to treat of the people as they now exist on the islands, and to describe their
CHURCH AT MALOLOS.
This photograph was taken during the time that Malolos was occupied as the capital of the Philippine Republic, and the men who appear in the picture are
officers and guards of the native army.
customs and peculiarities. At the present time the Malay predominates everywhere in the Philippine Islands. Even the Moros, or a Moors,a of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, have a preponderance of Malay blood in their veins. The same is true of the Tagalogs and Visayans, the Christian tribes of the northern Philippines, for they are nothing more than partly civilized Malays, differing slightly from the original stock on account of education and environments.
Next to the Malays, the Papuans are the strongest and most numerous race to be found in these islands, and Wallace is doubtless correct in reducing the original inhabitants to these two primary races. In many respects the Negritos strongly resemble the* Papuans, and we are inclined to believe that they are a degenerate people sprung from this original stock.
However, there are other opinions, and one of these comes from no less a distinguished source than Dr. Geo. F. Becker, the eminent geologist, who was recently sent to the Philippines by the Government to investigate the origin of the Archipelago. On his
Dr. Becker surmises that the black dwarfs of Luzon and other islands of the group, known as Negritos, are actually descended from the primitive human stock in question. These black pygmies, now nearly extinct, who have not advanced even as far as the Stone age, are astonishingly monkey-like in aspect and in their ways, the sounds they utter in lieu of language resembling the short and sharp shrieks of those animals. Apparently, they are not distinctly related to certain savages discovered in the interior of Borneo, not exceeding four feet in stature, whose wrinkled skins are covered with hair, and who sleep in caves or in trees, living on mice and such other small mammals as they can catch. These wild people of Borneo can neither be tamed nor employed for any work, and their speech is the gabble of brutes.
All through the larger island groups of the Southwest Pacific are found, more or less differentiated, tribes of monkey-like dwarfs. There is no question of the fact that most of that part of the world, now called Oceania, was inhabited by these little black people long before bigger races came in boats and began