OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
enforced labor, and the slaves receive the same food and attention as the children of the master. The slave child is brought up much the same as a child of the family. Slaves eat with their masters, and in most cases they do not work without the master works with them. It is considered disgraceful for a man to sell a slave whom he has raised in his family, although the man and his children are subject to sale if the master so desires. He also possesses the unquestioned right of life and death over them, and it is asserted by numerous authors that this right is exercised by the bloody-minded Moros to the extent of chopping a slave to pieces whenever the eccentricity of their desire for blood possesses them.
Under our treaty with the Sultan, which has been the subject of so much discussion, we cannot restrain his people in the treatment of their slaves. Our jurisdiction extends only to cases of dispute and trouble between Moros and Christians, while the Sultan and his datos are to settle all matters relating to the natives themselves.
While the Moros are Mohammedans and fanatics in their belief and practice of the precepts of the Koran, they differ widely in many respects from
the right to as many concubines and female slaves as he wishes to take, and as a rule the number is only limited by his means. It is said that our fellow-citizen, Dato Utto, has sixty wives, while His Excellency, the Sultan of Sulu, has but thirteena an unlucky number. The Sultan of Mindanao is not quite certain as to the number of his better halves, but he thinks he has about a dozen. In addition to the precepts of the Koran, their perpetual wars and vendettas have so reduced the proportion of the male population that polygamy is a necessity, if every woman is to have a husband. Each householder, therefore, has two or more wives, according to his ability to care for them, or live under the same roof with them. Only the poorest and most insignificant of the Moro men restrict themselves to but one wife. The husband has the right to whip his wife, if he can, and if she is untrue to him, he can slay her with impunity. Divorces are easily obtained, the only formality required being that the husband shall exclaim three times, a I divorce you! I divorce you! I divorce you ! a He is then absolved from the marriage relation, and the woman must return to her parents.
A VISAYAN VILLAGE, ISLAND OF PANAY.
These houses belong to the better class, having windows composed of transparent shells, and possessing other conveniences not usually found in native houses.
their Asiatic and Arabian brethren. They do not pray with the fervor and regularity that characterize the orthodox Mussulman, and they are not so exclusive in their customs relating to the harem. The women do not hide their faces like those in Turkey and Arabia. They go upon the streets unveiled, and there are no separate apartments in the houses for the women. But in some other respects the Moros are as strict as the Turks with regard to their women. No man is allowed to touch a woman unless she is a member of his own family. The man who rubs against or lays his hand on a woman outside his family is subject to a fine of $9, and if the woman so touched be married, the fine is $105. The woman who is so insulted must complain at once to the authorities, for if she allows the matter to rest over night the Moro law provides that she must pay half the fine.
According to the Koran every Mohammedan has the right to four wives. He is taught that he should keep that number if he can support them, and that when he goes to heaven a part of his bliss will consist of numerous and beautiful houris. He has also
It is said that on account of this convenient arrangement some Mussulmans have adopted the habit of marrying a fresh lot of wives just before each annual harvest, and divorcing them as soon as the harvest is over. Divorces may also be obtained by mutual consent, and in spite of their abominable laws and customs degrading women to the level of a brute, some of the more strong-minded of the sex frequently assert themselves and rule the household. This is true of the present dowager Sultana of Sulu, who is the real power behind the throne of the weak Sultan.
A Moro wedding is an important affair. When a girl reaches a marriageable age, which is usually about twelve years, she advertises the fact with as much eclat as the average American society belle. She bangs her hair, shaves her eyebrows, and grinds and blackens her teeth, which are polished into the most approved shape of Moro beauty, by grinding them off square at the bottom and cutting them into the form of a hollow groove in front, so that they protrude like fangs or the edge of a scoop-shovel. In addition to the betel nut stain, they use a tooth blacking made by
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