OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
NEGRITOS OF THE SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES.
Showing merchant boat with outrigger, loaded with pottery of native manufacture.
carry immense loads in this manner. The tree which yields the dammar is very large, and the gum exudes and settles in deep deposits around the roots.
These reservoirs, or mines, as they are called, are abundant in Palawan, Mindanao and other southern islands, but have never been systematically worked, and will undoubtedly constitute a large industry in the near future.
Near the dammar deposits the natives build temporary huts, which they occupy during the dry, or working, season. They are merely rude leaf shelters, supported by bamboo poles, and not high enough to enable a man to stand upright beneath their grass roofs. Low fires are kept burning in them constantly to drive away insects, and whole families squat contentedly in the smoke of these fires and blink away the idle time. They have no domestic utensils, except a few earthen pots, and their food is of the most meager and uncertain character, consisting mostly of jungle fowls and porcupines which they snare. Judging by their low state of civilization, and the customs of other tribes, it is probable also that they eat reptiles, locusts, snails, etc.
Foreman, who visited some of these people on the island of Negros, gives an interesting account of his experiences. He ascended one of the small rivers in a boat rowed by five natives, who became alarmed as they penetrated the gloom of the surrounding forest. They feared the asuang (spirits of the forest), and preferred the open sea. At length they came to some canoes and children playing in the water, who scampered off in alarm to apprise 'their elders of the approach of strangers. A little further
up the stream they found a small village, consisting of five little shanties of bamboo with grass roofs, inhabited by fourteen men and women and a number of children. These were Tagbanuas. The floors of the shanties were composed of the boughs of trees with a few split bamboo poles laid crosswise to form a surface on which they could walk. Around the huts were some plantain trees, and on the bank there were three canoes and several large nets made of vegetable fiber. The people were friendly, but very inquisitivea the women especiallya and they eagerly handled all the trinkets and every article of clothing that the white man showed them. He gave them some pocket handkerchiefs, with which they were greatly delighted. The men were almost naked, but the
women wore a few rags tied around the loins and extending almost to the knees. All that they possessed was obtained in barter with the traders for rattan and dammar. Through one of the boatmen, who acted as interpreter, they informed the traveler that they lived by fishing in the river, collecting succulent roots in the mountains, and occasionally they planted a little rice in the woods. They were all more or less afflicted with a cutaneous disease which left ugly scars on their legs and other portions of their bodies. Leprosy also is common on these islands, and the Spaniards never made any systematic effort to control it. The group of huts stood in the midst of a cleared piece of land, which sloped down to the river and was surrounded on the other three sides by
GROUP OF PAPUANS WEARING CHARMS OF WILD BOARS* TUSKS.
The Papuans are larger and more finely developed than any of the other native races of the archipelago, and they are found
on nearly all of the islands of Oceana.