OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
beasts that they imitate in their wandering and aimless mode of life. They have a singular dread of their own sick and dead, and this is the only instinct they seem to possess regarding a spiritual existence. It is also a sufficient refutation of the charge of cannibalism which has been made against them. The Mangyans of the mountains carry their dead into the thick forests, and leave them to be devoured by vultures or wild beasts, or to decay by natural processes, but those who inhabit the lowlands abandon their sick as soon as they perceive that their condition is critical. They appear to have no understanding of medicinal remedies, and while they manifest natural affection for one another in life, the approach of death so terrifies them that they flee in dismay, forgetting all the ties of kindred and association. But as soon as they recover from their fright they steal back to learn the result of the sickness, and if the sufferer manifests symptoms of recovering they do what they can to relieve him. But if death has intervened, they seem to be entirely overcome by an instinct of fear, and flee in a panic to
the forest, leaving the corpse and all their domestic utensils undisturbed in the house, and closing all the avenues of approach to it with brush. The relatives then change their names, as they say, to bring better luck, and remain hidden in the jungle for some time afterward. In traveling through their country it is a common thing to find these deserted houses, with the skeleton inside, all the riesh beinp- soon cleaned off by swarms of ants and insects.
This remarkable and peculiar dread of death prevents the Mangyans from inflicting the extreme penalty on their own people, for any cause whatever; but if one is killed by another tribesman they all combine in an effort to slay him or any of his relatives whom they may encounter. If one Mangyan kills another, in anger or by accident, the survivor is required to forfeit all his property to the widow or relatives of the deceased.
Their mode of taking evidence is as peculiar as any of their other customs. The accused is placed before a fire in which a piece of iron has been heated and covered with live coals, He
then lifts his hands toward heaven and solemnly asseverates, a May this hot iron pierce my heart if I am guilty,a whereupon he brushes the coals aside, grasps the iron and endeavors to hold it in his naked hand. If he fails, he is adjudged guilty, and is required to pay a fine in proportion to the character of his crime.
Polygamy is a recognized institution. A man may have as many wives as he chooses, or as many as he can contrive to live with at the same time. They are painfully practical in all their affairs of the heart. No unnecessary romance enters into their forms of courtship and marriage. The old folk^ simply a get together and talk,a and that is the end of it. They apparently have no conception of modesty, because, like the animals, they do not understand the meaning of immodesty. Their innocence is Edenic, and without knowledge there can be no sin. The Mangyan Eve has not yet presented the apple to her Adam, and those who desire to see a modern exemplification of the life of our first parents should visit these innocent savages of the Philippine
Islands. No similar people have been found in any other part of the world. The Spaniards have made numerous ineffectual efforts to convert them to Christianity, but they persistently decline, on the ground that religion is too expensive! It would cost money, they say, to be baptized, to get married, to die, and to be buried; and why should they assume this unnecessary burden when they can get along just as well without it? The Mangyan is a philosopher, and we leave the missionaries to settle his future state for him. Perhaps in.the end he may conclude that the expense of becoming a Christian might have been a good investment. However, up to the present period of his career he has seen only the Spanish variety of Christianity, and that, it must be confessed, is not enticing.
Meanwhile, the Mangyan loves his wives, his children and his neighbors; is honest above the average in his dealings with his fellowmen; eats his dead alligator, sleeps on the ground in his leaf hut, fears nothing but death, and imagines that his civilization is
VIKW IN SANTA ANA, ISLAND OF LUZON.
In some of the Tagalog towns of Central and Northern Luzon, there are many well-built and comfortable houses, of which the above is a good example. The roof is tiled, the squares on the second story are made of a mosaic of shells, while the floors and frame of the house are mahogany and rosewood.