OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
gigantic stature, who tended a fire which burned forever between tvvo tree trunks without consuming them. Taliakood inquired of the new arrival whether he had led a good or bad life in the world above. The answer came, not from the individual himself, but from a louse on his body.
a I asked him what would happen should the man not chance to possess any of these interesting anthropoda, and was informed that such an occurrence was unprecedented ! The louse was the witness, and would always be found, even on the body of a little dead child.
a According to the answer of this singular arbiter, the fate of the deceased person was decided. If he was adjudged to have been a bad man, Taliakood pitched him into the fire, where he was promptly and completely burned up. If the verdict was in his favor, he was allowed to pass on, and soon found himself in a happy place, where the crops were always abundant and the hunting was good. A house awaited him. If he had died before his wife, he married again, selecting a partner from among the wives who had preceded their husbands; but if husband and wife chanced
and the tide ebbs; at night when he goes to bed again he pushes the water out, and the tide flows! Could anything be clearer or more convincing? And yet, learned men have wasted the midnight oil studying the theory of the tides!
The Tagbanuas reverse the usual belief regarding the supposed relationship of man and the monkey. They do not believe that man ascended from the monkey, but that the monkey was originally a man and fell from his high estate in consequence of a simean trick. They say that he was lazy, and neglected his work in the rice fields to play monkey tricks on other animals, whereupon a companion threw a stick at him, which stuck fast in his rump and became a taila and this was the origin of the monkey! We shall feel obliged if science will adopt this theory, for it will relieve our race from the stigma of a very undesirable ascending relationship.
The Tagbanuas have a singular custom of weighing evidence in lawsuits or criminal prosecutions. In such cases the defendant and the chief witness against him are required to dive simultaneously into a deep pool, and the one who remains under water the greater length of time is presumed to have told the truth, and the
DRYING SUGAR CANE STALKS FOR FUEL-
After the cane has been run through the presses, it is spread out and dried, to be used as fuel for cooking and other purposes. It is also employed as fuel in the boiling furnaces. The singular-looking house on a pole at the left is a sentinel tower to guard against sudden attacks from Igorrotes.
to die at the same time, they remarried in the world below. Every one was well off in this happy underground abode, but those who had been wealthy on earth were less comfortable than those who had been poor. In the course of time sickness and death again overtook one. In fact, one died seven times in all, going ever deeper into the earth and improving his surroundings with each successive inward migration, without running a second risk of getting into Taliakooda s fire.a
These people have not advanced far enough to form any theories regarding astronomy, or the cause of things, or the laws governing the universe. The sun, moon and stars are in the sky; they see them, and their ancestors have seen them for centuriesa and that is all they know or care about the matter. The planets give light and heat, and govern the seasons, and that is sufficient. Perhaps the Tagbanua is wiser than the savant. To him the cloud is a the breath of the wind,a and the cause of the ebb and flow of the tide is the simplest thing imaginable. In a far distant sea there lives a gigantic crab, who sleeps in a hole in the rock. In the morning when he comes out of his hole, the water rushes in
judgment is rendered according to his evidence. Such a system of jurisprudence might be fatal to justice in our civilization, but it does away with the proverbial uncertainty of the jury system and enables litigants to estimate with some degree of certainty the probable outcome of their contentions, based on their respective abilities at breath-holding.
The Tagbanuas are spread all over the southern islands, except those given up to the Moros. They are not a distinct tribe, but a mongrel combination of the Negrito and the Malay; yet their customs, which are similar wherever these people are found, are so peculiar as to make them worthy of racial classification.
Their principal industry, as previously stated, is the gathering of gum, or dammar, an oily resin used in making varnishes. It is obtained from a species of pine indigenous to the East Indies. The tree also grows abundantly in the Philippine Islands, and its product is very valuable. The gum is conveyed from the forests to the coast in large baskets, each man carrying two of these vessels lashed together and swung across his back and shoulders by means of a strap or cord passing over the forehead. They