676 Our islands and their people.
MANGYANS OF MINDORO MAKING SAGO.
The trees are felled with machetes and cut into convenient sections. These sections are then split into halves and the fiber pounded out of the sago with wooden mallets, as represented in the photograph.
show. Women are usually in demand and the market is so lively that children are frequently betrothed before their birth, the result depending on the sex of the child. It is not uncommon for Tagbanua girls to be married at the age of ten or twelve years; and, in fact, the same may be-said of Tagalog girls, while the maiden of Spanish descent in the Philippines, as well as in Cuba and Porto Rico, does not hesitate to accept a partner at the tender age of thirteen to sixteen. Both men and women reach maturity at a much earlier age in those warm climatesa and they likewise grow old and fade in the same early proportion. The Tagbanuas, as a rule, treat their women well, sharing the burdens of life equally with them, and performing many domestic duties that civilized men contrive to shirk as derogatory to their dignity.
Their funeral customs are very peculiar. When a death occurs, the family and relatives set a time for the funeral and notify their acquaintances.
At the appointed time the house of the dead person is torn down, to prevent the dreaded a balbala from wreaking his vengeance on the living, and the corpse is borne to the woods and buried, the spot being marked by breaking the domestic utensils that belonged to the deceased and scattering fragments over the grave. A custom very similar to this prevails among our Southern negroes, as any one can see by visiting one of their cemeteries. The a balbala is a mythical creature corresponding
to our devil, who is supposed to come, on the occasion of a death, from the Moro country. He has the form of a man, with crooked nails and a long tongue, and sails through the air like a bat or the flying squirrel. With his crooked nails he tears up the thatch of houses where the dead are, and licks up the bodies with his long tongue. The Tagbanuas deserve credit for the gruesome fancy of their evil spirit. The gentleman with cloven feet and trident tail might take a back seat. We have become so well acquainted with him that he seems like an old friend, and he no longer inspires terror; but the a balbala makes onea s flesh creep. As a corrector of bad little boys in Sunday school, the a balbala ought to be an instantaneous success.
The Tagbanuaa s idea of the future state is unique and highly interesting. Prof. Worcester has told us more about these people than any other writer, and we are indebted to him for the following description of their theory of heaven:
a They scouted the idea of a home in the skies, urging that it would be inaccessible. Their notion was that when a Tagbanua died he entered a cave, from which a ro^d led down into the bowels of the earth. After passing along this road for some time, he came presently into the presence of one Taliakood, a man of
PAPUANS AND VILLAGE BUILT ON POLES.
Papua* or New Guinea, is a he original seat of these people, but they are an enterprising race and are found in nearly 4II of the Asiatic
islands, where they have contended for centuries with the Malaya*