OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
fact that but few Mangyans die of snake-bite. These savages occupy the interior regions, and are said to be head-hunters and cannibals; though the best information obtainable concerning them appears to refute these charges. It seems incredible that the Spaniards should have lived so near these people for so many centuries and know so little about them.
The men of the Mangyan tribes wear the traditional breech-cloth as their only article of clothing; but the dress of the women is unique. Doubtless its counterpart does not exist among any other people on the globe. It possesses several commendable features, among which are cheapness, coolness and good lasting qualities. Under ordinary circumstances, one gown will wear a lifetime, and laundry bills are unknown. Neither buttons nor thread are needed and the fashion never changes. The Mangyan belle or matron is not required to a go shoppinga to secure the wherewithal for her robe. She merely hies herself to the woods and cuts a few rattan switches, which she braids into a girdle that extends from the waist to the upper part of the thighs. A breech-cloth made of pounded bark is then attached to the basket-girdle
leaves together and throwing them over a bamboo ridge-pole. This pole usually rests with one end on the ground and the other leaning against a tree or supported by a stake, at an angle of forty-five degrees. The hut is of the rudest imaginable description, a mere temporary roof of leaves to shed the rain or heavy dews. Entire families herd together under these miserable hovels, sleeping like animals, often in a sitting posture, and remaining only during the night or while it rains. When day approaches or the rain ceases, they wander on into the woods in quest of food, building another shelter at night similar to the one that was deserted in the morning. A rough iron machete is their sole tool, and a few earthen pots constitute their only domestic utensils. Their food is of the most primitive and disgusting character. Some of the mountain tribes, who are a little more advanced than those living in the lowlands, raise a few yams and a little rice; but the principal food of these people consists of jungle roots and tubers, toadstools, rats, civet cats, monkeys, snakes, lizards, fish, and crows or other birds that they may snare or shoot with their arrows, or find deada for the Mangyans do not hesitate to devour
NATIVE HOUSES, ISLAND OF CEBU.
The Visayans, who are the dominating race in the islands south of Luzon, are Christians, and stand next to the Tagalogs in civilization and intelligence. The
photograph represents a characteristic village of these people.
before and behind, and the a outfita is complete, except for a few savage ornaments hung on strings around the ladya s neck. Her hair falls in waving masses like the mane of a lion, down over her shoulders and back, and is kept out of her face and eyes by means of a string tiara bound around the forehead. This is the dress of the married women. Maidens and unmarried women wear the same dress, but they also cover their bosoms with a girdle two or three inches wide, composed of the soft bark of plantain trees. Children run the woods like wild animals, destitute of all clothing, except that the little girls bind a strand or two of rattan about their waists. These are increased from year to year, until, by the time the young ladies are ready to a come out,a they have constructed for themselves a dress similar to that worn by their elders. The rattan switches are dyed in various bright colors, so that when plaited together they produce an agreeable plaid or particolored effect.
The Mangyans living in the lowlands are homeless and houseless savages, sleeping wherever night overtakes them, under arbors or improvised shelters formed by binding a few palm or plantain
carrion food that a well-bred buzzard would almost disdain. They use bows and poisoned arrows in hunting, and occasionally bring down a wild hog with these weapons. Rats and other small animals, as well as fish, are caught in traps and snares. They regard crocodile meat as a great delicacy, but this food is rare with them on account of the difficulty that they experience in trapping or killing the reptiles. The finding of a dead tamarau or python is an event long to be remembered. They gorge themselves on this disgusting food to the limit of their capacity, whereupon they run about and exercise until they make room for another course; and this process is continued as long as the supply lasts, or until they can swallow no more, when they lie down on the ground and sleep off the effects of the feast.
A special delicacy with the Mangyans is a large, white grub which bores into the trunk of the sago palm and fills itself with starch. In the process of digestion it is presumed that the starch turns to sugar, and forms a confection that is very agreeable to the taste of these people. They also prepare the sago for food, by a process similar to that employed by other savage races. The
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