OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
In the company of men they area silent, and are generally quiet and obedient. When alone, the Malay is taciturn; he neither talks nor sings to himself. When several are paddling in a canoe, they occasionally chant a monotonous and plaintive song. He is cautious about giving offense to his equals. He does not quarrel easily about money matters; dislikes asking too frequently even for payment of just debts, and will often give them up altogether rather than quarrel with his debtor. Practical joking is utterly repugnant to his disposition; for he is particularly sensitive to breaches of etiquette, or any interference with the personal liberty of himself or another. As an example, I may mention that I have often found it very difficult to get one Malay servant to waken another. He will call as loud as he can, but will hardly touch, much less shake his comrade. I have frequently had to waken a hard sleeper myself when on a land or sea journey.*
a The higher classes of the Malays are exceedingly polite, and have all the quiet ease
pared to do all manner of wickedness, and ready to sacrifice their lives.a The intellect of the Malay race seems rather deficient. They are incapable of anything beyond the simplest combinations of ideas, and have little taste or energy for the acquirement of knowledge. Their civilization, such as it is, does not seem to be indigenous, as it is entirely confined to those nations who have been converted to the Mohammedan or Brahminical religions.a
Mr. Wallace then gives a similar sketch of the Papuans, and the two together will enable any one to form a clear understanding of the peculiarities of these two great races. It may be remarked in this connection that the experience of our soldiers with the Malay Tagalogs and the Moros has developed all of the characteristics mentioned by Mr. Wallace, both good and bad; and in reading his descriptions one sees these people as in a mirror. Of the Papuans he says:
a The typical Papuan race is in many respects the very opposite of the Malay, and it has hitherto been very imperfectly described. The color of the body is a deep sooty brown or black, sometimes approaching, but never quite equaling, the jet black of some negro races. It varies in tint, however, more / t a than that of the Malay, and is some-
ANOTHKR VIEW OF THE a SAN ROQUE OVERLAND.a
Showing a gay party of officers and soldiers laboring earnestly for such enjoyment as the country affords. The officer with the glasses and the Rooseveltian smile could
easily be taken for a vice-presidential possibility.
and dignity of the best bred Europeans. Yet this is compatible with a reckless cruelty and contempt of human life, which is the dark side of their character. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that different persons give totally opposite accounts of them a one praising them for their soberness, civility and good nature; another abusing them for their deceit, treachery and cruelty. The old traveler, Nicolo Conti, writing in 1430, said: a The inhabitants of Java and Sumatra exceed every other people in cruelty. They regard killing a man as a mere jest; nor is any punishment allotted for such a deed. If any one purchases a new sword, and wishes to try : t, he will thrust it into the breast of the first person he meets. The passers-by examine the wound, and praise the skill of the person who inflicted it, if he thrust in the weapon direct.a Yet Drake says of the south of Java: a The people (as are their kings) are a very loving, true and just-dealing people;a and Mr. Crawford says that the Javanese, whom he knew thoroughly, are a peaceable, docile, sober, simple and industrious people.a Barbosa, on the other hand, who saw them at Malacca about 1660, says: a They are a people of great ingenuity, very subtle in all their dealings; very malicious, great deceivers, seldom speaking the truth; pre-
peculiar, being harsh, dry and frizzly, growing in little tufts or curls, which in 3routh are very short and compact, but afterward grow out to a considerable length, forming the compact frizzled mop which is the Papuana s pride and glory. The face is adorned with a beard of the same frizzly nature as the hair of the head. The arms, legs and breast are also more or less clothed with hair of a similar nature.
a In stature the Papuan decidedly surpasses the Malay, and is perhaps equal, or even superior, to the average of Europeans. The legs are long and thin, and the hands and feet larger than in the Malays. The face is somewhat elongated, the forehead flattish, the brows very prominent; the nose is large, rather arched and high, the base thick, the nostrils broad, with the aperture hidden, owing to the tip of the nose being elongated; the mouth is large, the lips thick and protuberant. The face has thus an altogether more European aspect than in the Malay, owing to the
* This peculiarity is due, not to diffidence, as Mr. Wallace supposes, but to a peculiar belief of these people, as quoted elsewhere from Senor Lala, that the soul is absent from the body in sleep, and that if the sleeper be suddenly or violently awakened it may prevent the soul from returning. It seems strange that Mr. Wallace was not familiar with this poetic superstition, for it is a very beautiful fancy, and we believe it is found among no people except the Malays, whose customs and superstitions he thoroughly studied.a Editor.