OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
estimated at about 140,000 square miles, which is a little larger than the twro States of Missouri and Arkansas. The important islands are less than a dozen in number, and ninety per cent of the civilized or Christian population live on Luzon and the five principal islands of the Visayas group.
The natives, like all the Polynesians, are a branch of the Malay race, intermixed with the Papuans and other tribes that occupied the islands before the Malays came. They are a dark peoplea some are distinctively blacka and our soldiers have fallen into the habit of calling them a niggersa (negroes), but there is probably less African blood on these islands than in almost any other part of the world. Many of the people resemble the negro in appearance, but that is as far as the similarity goes. For all the practical purposes of civilization, the mirthful, easy-going African is superior to these treacherous and blood-thirsty hybrid Malays. They have been pirates from the earliest eras, and their vengeful disposition is written indelibly on their sullen faces. No civilized nation has anything to gain by associating with them or endeavoring
whose history will appear in the progress of this work. Some of these people build their houses in trees, like the birds, or, rather, like wild beasts; others elevate their abodes on poles in shallow lakes or lagoons along the seashore, and live by fishing, as the seals and otters doa or by piracy, as occasion may arise. In the interior of Luzon, Mindoro, Panay, Negros, Samar, Mindanao, and some of the other larger islands, there are people less advanced in civilization than the wild tribes of Central Africa. They are not even abreast of the apelike dwarfs that Stanley discovered in the wilds of the Dark Continent, for these little people understood the art of building houses and villages, while some of our prospective citizens in the Philippines wander houseless and homeless in the woods of their dense forests, sheltering themselves under the branches of trees, in the crevices of shelving rocks, or, when these are not convenient, under a slanting thatch of leaves barely large enough to cover their naked bodies. It is estimated that there are nearly a million of these lower orders of savages occupying the various islands of the archipelago. The total population, including
THE MASCOT a MAINE.a
This celebrated dog has an exciting and romantic history, which is given in full in the text matter. The photograph was taken at Cavite, near Manila, and
embraces a representative view of the natives of that locality.
to govern them. Spain tried the experiment for four centuries, and smiled broadly when she sold the hot tamale to us for twenty millions of dollars. The lamented General Lawton knew them well; a green mound in Arlington Cemetery attests his intimate acquaintance with these people, and he declared that the only good Filipinos were the dead ones. But are we ready to go into the business of national extermination? That is a question for the people of America to answer for themselves. It is not our place to advise. We have undertaken the more agreeable task of showing them the kind of people they have to deal with, in order that they may see their way clearly before proceeding with the slaughter.
The present natives of the islands may be divided into three distinct groupsa the Tagalogs, the Visayans and the Sulus, with sundry divisions and ramifications in each group. There are eighty-two distinct tribes inhabiting the archipelago, among whom are Malays, Aetas or Negritos, Igorrotes, Mangyans, Tinguianes, Moros, Moors, Indios, Papuans, Macabebes, Tagbanas, and others
Europeans, Asiatics, and all the members of the various tribes, has been estimated at from 5,000,000 to 12,000,000 of people; but nothing approximating an accurate census has ever been taken, and all the estimates are nearly pure guesswork. But the most reliable data indicate that the population of all the islands numbers between 8,000,000 and 10,000,000 people.
The Tagalogs inhabit Luzon and some of the other northern islands of the archipelago. They are the dominant race and the highest type of natives. Spanish civilization has made them what they are, and it is doubtful if their capacity will admit of much further advancement. The masses of the people belonging to this tribe are educated in a superficial way. Many of them are wrealthy and refined in their manners, while some of their leaders are highly educated, shrewd and polished. General Aguinaldo is a fair representative of this latter class.
The Tagalogs undoubtedly possess the qualifications for self-government, and they are more capable of governing the other