OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
The Women of the Philippines.
This is a subject that cannot fail to interest all classes of readers; for woman, regardless of her social position, always exercises a vast influence over her race and people. There are many grades and classes of women in the Philippine Islands. Some are as highly cultivated and perhaps almost as beautiful as the divine creatures wrho impart so great a charm to American society; but a majority of the women of this archipelago belong to a low grade of civilization, and some are but little above the condition of beasts of field and forest. Civilized women are very much alike the world over, in their refining and elevating influence. They are poetic by instinct and are always looking for the beautiful and the good. In this connection, and. with reference to the better class of Filipino women, we cannot refrain from copying the following elegant fancy from Senor Ramon Reyes Lalaa even at the risk of being charged with making too free a use of his delightfully interesting volume. He says:
a The women of every class are far more industrious than the men, and also more cheerful and devout. Adultery is almost
away are the rice fields. Bamboo grows about in abundance, and nearly everything is made of it. This is a much better hut than some, as the frame is made of mahogany instead of bamboo, but the sides and roof are thatched with leaves. The native men and women are short and very dark, have straight, black hair, and are quite intelligent. Those from the mountains are more of the negro type, but these are a combination of natives, Chinese and Spanish, and are called Filipinos. The women wear a skirt of calico or some light stuff, generally something colored, and a gray or black piece of cloth drawn around the waist, tucked in. The waist consists of some light material, generally made of cocoanut fiber. It is quite short and very loose, and has short, large, loose sleeves. The neck, or, rather, opening at the top, is so large that usually the waist hangs from just below the shoulders. This completes the dress, except wooden shoes, with places for the toes.
a The Filipina usually has a cigarette or cigar in her mouth. Sometimes she wears a straw or bamboo basket-shaped hat, turned upside down. The men wear light, white trousers and light underwear around the waist outside the trousers. When Sunday
GATLING GUN IN THE STREETS OF CAVITE.
This is one of Mr. Dottera s war photographs, representing an American battery going iato action at Cavite.
unheard of. The men, however, are exceedingly jealous. The natives believe that during sleep the soul is absent from the body, and they say that if one be suddenly awakened they fear the soul may not be able to return. Therefore, they are extremely careful not to awaken any one rudely or suddenly, but always call with softly rising and falling tones, to bring the sleeper gradually to consciousness. a
But the fact that all men do not look through the same spectacles has a new demonstration in the following description of some of the Filipino women, by Dr. R. V. Witter, formerly surgeon attached to the hospital corps of the 51st Iowa Infantry, near Manila. When the doctor wrote, he was stationed in a little bamboo towrn called Pasay, about seven miles out from the capital, and he describes the houses and the surroundings precisely as they are photographed in this work.
a The hospital,a ne says, a is a native school house, surrounded by banana trees, betel shrubs and indigo plants, and a little further
comes the man generally wears a white shirt, and this is out at the waist all around. The womana s Sunday dress is the same as on other days, only of better goods, and sometimes she has a handkerchief tied around her neck. The baby is generally carried astride the mother's hip. There are very few horses here, and what they have are about the size of our Shetland ponies, but they are strong and are good workers. To see a four-wheeled cart (no wagons here) or carriage is rare. Everything is two-wheeled, because the Spanish taxed their wheels, and, finally, each spoke. So, nearly everything, except when they ride, is carried on the ends of a bamboo pole by the men or on the heads of the women. From one hundred to five hundred pounds is carried either way quite easilya which an American cannot do. It is a sight to see going along the main road to Manila every morning, hundreds of native women (not men, as they are insurgents generally) carrying wagon loads of vegetables in baskets upon their heads, and maybe with a child on one hip too. On account of the habit of carrying