Puslapio vaizdai

human skin, and formed into lagoons where the violence of the surf is broken. Here the savage learns an amphibious life, becomes active in swimming, trusts himself to a simple log, defies the fiercest waves in a catamaran, or by a grooved trunk of a tree with a rude outrigger and sail. Before Forster and Cook visited the Society Islands, its natives were accustomed to make voyages to the Marquesas on the north-east, and even to the Samoan (or Navigator's) and Feejeean groups eastward; of which they constructed maps that have proved intelligible. One of the headlands of Hawaii has been found to bear the name of “the starting-place for Tahiti :” and, according to the account of the natives, the canoes used in former times to leave at a certain season of the year, and direct their course by a particular star to this very distant northern goal. Dr. Pickering believes that the Papuans, who reach from New Guinea to the Feejee islands, are (from unknown peculiarities in their past history) wholly indisposed to migration; while the inhabitants of the cloud of little islands to their north,—the Caroline Archipelago,—have all the enterprise and roving seamanship of the Polynesians. The Carolines therefore seem to be the bridge connecting the Philippines with the Central Pacific.

The Malay race, in Dr. Pickering's view, extends from Sumatra eastward into Polynesia. In fact, the natives of Hawaii, as well as of Tahiti and the islands south of the line, and the New Zealanders, are included in it by him. The Californians also approximate remarkably to the Malays, so that no one need doubt by what route America was primitively peopled. The Atlantic is in apparent extent very inferior to the Pacific; but it is far less passable by barbarous man, in consequence of its want of islands. From Hawaii to California is indeed a vast gap, unbroken by islands in our best maps ; yet the distance is considerably less than from Tahiti to Hawaii. Not the countenance only, but the softness of skin in the Californians, is regarded by Dr. Pickering as strikingly similar to that of the Polynesians. To the same race he refers the primitive Mexicans on that side of the Pacific, and on the other the Japanese, the Philippinensians, the Cochin Chinese, Siamese, and Madegassians; possibly also the Cingalese, and a part of the population of India and Arabia. On the whole, he regards the Malay race as the most widely diffused, though not absolutely the most numerous.

Where and how the MONGOLIAN race branched off from the Malay, we do not find in him any very precise hypothesis : but from the Cochin Chinese, who are Malays, we pass to the Chinese, who are Mongolians. This same race spreads northward over the whole terrace-land of eastern Asia, and reaches out over the wide levels of Siberia. It crosses the Pacific by the Aleutian islands, and is found to people north-western America, where the Chinooks, who abound on its shores, and the whole population of interior Oregon, have a most decidedly Mongolian character. The Chinooks are rather more advanced in the arts of life than the Polynesians : their canoes are more elaborate, their mode of fishing more enterprising: while in most points they are superior to the hunting tribes of North America. In Oregon, from some unexplained cause, game is wholly wanting ; so that hardly a wolf can live. The multiplicity of languages in that single country testifies to a wonderful isolation in human families, and perhaps implied a rapid dispersion across the breadth of the continent. The Aztecas (or native invaders of Mexico from the North) are referred by Dr. Pickering to the Chinook race; also in Yucatan, he believes the aboriginals to have been decidedly Mongolian. Those of the United States excel the Chinooks greatly in size; yet appear “in every respect physically identical” with their brethren west of the Rocky Mountains. We thus trace the Mongolians from China to Virginia. Dr. Pickering indeed avows the conviction which he had formed before his voyage, that the aboriginals of North America were fundamentally of the Chinese variety: and he informs us that a Feejee Polynesian whom they took with them in their roamings at once identified the Chinese at Singapore with the Chinooks of N.W. America. On the quick observation of savages, Dr. Pickering thinks much stress may justly be laid. —The great similarity of the Hottentots to the Mongolians of N. Eastern Asia has been much insisted on by some writers. Dr. Pickering complains, that, during his very short stay at the Cape, he was unable to get a sight of a Hottentot whose purity of breed he could trust : and he abstains from giving an opinion as to the


relations of this race, which seems once to have spread over the breadth of all Southern Africa.

The PAPUAN race is a third, of very marked character, but of very limited diffusion. They may seem to have been made for a continental life, as indeed their principal home (as far as hitherto known) is in the greater islands, New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, New Caledonia,

to which Borneo and Van Dieman's Land were probably once to be added. They are very indisposed to migration. Eastward, they reach only as far as the Feejee islands, which, in many respects, form a meeting place between the Papuan and the Malay races. The Papuans are characterised by Dampier, as tall, bottle-nosed, mopheaded negroes. The hugeness of their forms, the enormous size of their periwigs, which are often three feet in circumference, and the deep blackness of their skin, make it impossible for voyagers to describe them inaccurately. Their hair is so wiry and massive, that they cannot sleep comfortably without a wooden neck-pillow. Every filament has a spiral twist like a corkscrew, and will grow, if not cut, to the length of a foot. Their beards are long and bushy

In the Papuans of Borneo (who are not numerous there) Captain Brownrig ascertained, what is probably true of this whole race, that the hair grew in small tufts separated from each other; so that when it was cropped close, the head looked like an old shoe-brush. The same peculiarity is attested concerning the hair of the Hottentot, who is, in most respects, very unlike the Papuan. The great quantity of hair on the lower limbs of the Papuan are thought to assimilate him more to the European than to the Negro race.

It was only in the Feejee islands that the expedition fell in with the Papuans; and to these accordingly Dr. Pickering limits his account. The hugeness of size attributed to this race might be received without wonder, if details were not given; but when Dr. Pickering adds, that the measure of a Feejeean's leg was found" to encircle three united of three of our men,” we are set questioning whether American crews have preternaturally spindle shanks, or how the heart, stomach and lungs of the Feejeeans can, without exhaustion, feed limbs so uselessly big. We wish Dr. Pickering had given us the measure in inches, and aided our weak imagination by a drawing of such a pair of legs. The tallest Feejeean whom he saw, was, he says, 6 feet 6 inches high. D’Urville remarks that in this people there is no obesity :“ they are tall, well made, active, and muscular.” Our author describes the tinge of their skin as showing purple in the sun, their countenances as apparently vertical like ours, and highly impressive, notwithstanding something negro in its outlines. The painting which he exhibits of Kombeti, a Feejee native, unites indeed immense physical energy with something intellectual, majestic, and morally fearless : and in spite of the slaughter of parents, cannibalism, and human sacrifices existing among them, their extreme ferocity, and the desperately bad opinion formed of them by the missionaries, - yet the entire account seems to show that they are, after all, the noblest race of

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The loyalty of Europe feebly represents the devotion of the Feejees to their king. At his simple word the bravest warrior resigns himself to death without resistance, or obeys the mandate to become the executioner of his friend. Yet a time generally arrives, when this loyalty is overstrained and suddenly snaps ; so that the king ordinarily dies at length by assassination. Indeed, as no old people are allowed to live when their strength fails, but it is the duty or privilege of every son to kill his aged parents,--the king, who ought to be their leader in battle, could hardly expect exemption from this common law. The wars of the different islands are often horrible in slaughter; but certainly not to be criticised by the European races. The skill of the Feejeeans in all the arts strikes every resident as far surpassing that of the Polynesians in general. “In architecture they have made no mean progress,” says Dr. Pickering: they excel in domestic economy, (having an infinite number of ways of cooking human flesh!) cultivate a far greater variety of esculent plants, and are more skilful in navigation. They use the bow, and are dextrous with the javelin; but the club of Hercules is their favourite weapon. They play the panpipes and "nose-flute," and appear to have taste in all the fine arts. Indeed Dr. Pickering is persuaded that


they form the centre, from which the cultivation of Polynesia has spread. Every village has its temple, from which women are excluded; but in which strangers are entertained and lodged, and public feasts held, with

grace,” toasts, and compliments. At Levuka is a highpointed building, containing an Oracle. They have a fixed system of mythology, and a regular series of priests. Circumcision is practised by them. Everything appears to indicate an older and more consolidated state of the whole national institutions, than is generally found through Polynesia. D'Urville first observed that the Feejeeans are “ the common limit of the copper or Polynesian, and of the black Oceanic race.” Since then, the conclusion has been independently reached, as well by the resident missionaries, as by the highly accomplished and acute Secretary of the London Asiatic Society, Mr. Edwin Norris, that the Feejee is properly a Polynesian language. Mr. Norris believes that Tonga blood is mixed in the Feejee islands; but the order in which the population was introduced, remains as a problem for future inquirers. That the Papuans are an eminently improvable people, capable also of originating a various civilization, seems to us clear from this account.

Next to the Papuans, Dr. Pickering ranges the Negrillo race, or “puny blacks" of Prichard. They dwell in the New Hebrides, New Guinea, Luzon, the Andaman and other islands, and are of all human races the most monkeylike. Mr. Drayton has given us an amusing countenance of an Aramanga lad, as a specimen of this race. The moral expression is decidedly pleasing, and he is described as active, intelligent and docile. To distinguish between this race and African negroes, appears to us a work of great superfluity : nor does it appear that any chasm can be established between Negroes and Ethiopians on the one hand, or, on the other, between Ethiopians and Western Indians.

Dr. Pickering proposes a scheme of eleven races, as a minimum: viz., a. (White) Arabian, Abyssinian; b. (Brown) Mongolian, Hottentot, Malay; 6. (Blackish Brown) Papuan, Negrillo, Indian (or Telingan), Ethiopian; d. (Black) Australian, Negro. The objections to this, as a scientific scheme, appear to us most obvious and decisive : but we


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