696 OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
TEMPORARY STREET BARRICADE. AT MANILA.
piece of hardwood, just as our grandfathers used to pound hominy. The winnowing is done by tossing the rice in the air with a tray or other vessel, the chaff being blown away by the wind. This pounding of rice goes on all over the country, and has occasionally been mistaken for the firing of musketry. In this connection Mr. Carpenter tells the following amusing story at the expense of General Wheeler:
a Speaking of threshing rice reminds me of an incident which created quite an excitement in General Wheelera s brigade some weeks ago. The pounding of the pestle in the rice mortar makes a boom, boom, boom, which in its irregularity sounds like the firing of musketry.
a The insurrectos were supposed to be very close to General Wheeler one day, when Captain E. V. Smith, of the Generala s staff, thought he heard firing. It seemed to be about two miles off, and it came in irregular shotsa boom! boom ! boomety ! boom ! He was standing by General Wheeler at the time and asked: a General, do your hear that?a
a a Yes, sir/ replied the General, a it sounds to me as though they were firing over at Baco-lar. I think we had better go to the a lookouta and find whether anything can be seen/ The lookout was a tall tree, in which a man was stationed with a pair of glasses to scan the country and guard against surprise. Upon being asked as to whether he saw anything, the sentinel replied that he did not, but that he was certain there was firing about two miles off.
a Upon this the General and his staff started with the regiment in that direction. As they came nearer the sound they were able to locate it, and they found that the shots came not from muskets, but from the pounding of rice. There were a half dozen women and one man at work, and that was all. Since then the incident has been known in Wheelera s brigade as a the battle of the rice pounders.a a
Not only do all tropical fruits flourish, but also the cereals and plants of the temperate zones, especially wheat, barley, corn and potatoes. Corn grows as well in large areas of the Philippines as it does in the United States, but at present it is produced only for home consumption.
The best tobacco grows in the north of Luzon, in the province of Isabella, and the south of Cagayan, the most northern province of that island, in the valley of the Rio Grande de Cagayan. The northern provinces of Luzon,
bamboo green. Upon this as a background the Filipinos stand, or rather stoop, more picturesque than even their surroundings.
There are hundreds of women dressed in queer clothes, in which bright red often forms the principal color. They have great round hats like bread-bowls turned upside down, short jackets which ahvays seem to be just about to fall off from their shoulders, baglike skirts which are often tucked up so that half a leg shows, and bare feet. The men wear their shirts outside their thin cotton trousers and many of them have on great hats like the women. There are also children of all ages, some dressed much like their parents and a few with almost no clothing at all. See that boy over there! He has a white shirt, the tail of which just touches his hips, writh a black belt around his waist. The rest of his body is as bare as when he was born.a
Rice is the national cereal, and, in conjunction with bananas and pork, constitutes the staff of life in the Philippine Islands. It is a laborious crop, but doubtless supplies a larger amount of food to a given area than
any other grain. Like everything else in the Philippines, the manner of threshing and hulling rice is peculiar. Having but little machinery, nearly everything is done by hand. In threshing rice, a man and a woman, or two women, facing each other, hold fast to a bamboo pole fixed just above their heads, and jump up and dowrn on the straw until the grain is threshed out. The operation is peculiar. Imagine a large scope of open farming land with hundreds of men and women jumping up and down in this manner. One not accustomed to such scenes would imagine he had come into a land of lunatics. This is the final threshing, _____ by means of which all the grain is
WeSSr**'' separated from the straw. The hull-
ing is done by pounding the grains with mauls or mallets in a mortar made by hollowing out the end of a
Some of the Southern Philippine tribes dispose of their dead in the manner represented in the photograph. The flesh is qnickly consumed by the ants and other insects that swarm in mvriads. leaving only the dry bones.