Puslapio vaizdai

a command from the head-man, other clapping their hands above their heads in natives emerged from the shelter; a few unison. As the throbbing tones of the loungers standing by began to shake off yemnga grew louder, heads, hands, and their lethargy and arouse the sleepers feet began to gyrate and whirl. Faster and basking in the sun. One of the party had faster they went round and round; then a long clay pipe in his mouth, and another came wild leaps into the air, with arms a cigar I had given him; two women, half and legs swinging wildly. Louder and hidden by bushes, were coaxed out (the louder rose the intoxicating twang and women are all very timid), and joined the throbs of the music, and the faces of the line that was forming, the clay pipes still blacks became wilder than before, and they in their mouths; while up from the jungle began to shout and utter unearthly cries, came several others, men and women, with which echoed through the jungle. Intense their bodies decorated with clay until they excitement took possession of them, and all had all the appearance of being clad in control was lost. They would leap and fancy tights, looking highly theatrical in fall and rise and sway and whirl until their fantastic and grotesque array.

nothing was clear but a vision of black At a signal from the leader, a droning bodies and arms and legs and feet in a sound, which surged into a throbbing cloud of dust. twang, came from the yemnga as several One by one the frenzied dancers colplayers began tapping it. This primitive lapsed and fell to the ground, the throbmusical instrument consists of a shield- bing sound of the music died away, and shaped piece of wood, the point sticking in the dance was over. the ground. The players, skilfully thrum- When the exhausted dancers had reming on it with their feet, produce weird covered sufficiently, they gave an exhibicadences that vibrate in monotones.

tion of their skill with bow and arrow. A Two lines had been formed; the leader section of a log about five feet, six inches advanced and retreated, the others follow- high, placed two hundred yards away, ing. As they moved, they bent their bodies was used as a target.

Their aim was gracefully and in time, at first slowly, true, and the weapons deadly. They took

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the greatest delight in hitting the log up, it cast gorgeous tints of rose and gold and felling it. They use three kinds of over the quiet Andamanese Sea, the waarrows, one for shooting fish and turtle, ters of which were so clear that fish could another for hunting wild pigs and iguana be plainly seen sporting in the depths, and for food, which are plentiful, and another a fresh breeze from the northeast filled the for warfare. This latter is composed of a air with the fragrance of the forests, and shaft and arrow-head connected by a fiber brought new life after the excessively hot taken from a creeper found in the jungle. days and nights that had preceded. As the point imbeds itself in the body, the It was now time to let go the tow-line, shaft falls away of its own weight, and if so heading for the mouth of a creek, we the victim is running, which is most likely, proceeded as far as Dumla Churog, a desothe shaft, being still connected to the im- late spot in the jungle, bedded arrow-head by the fiber, soon The trip up the creek was strenuous, for brings the unfortunate to the ground. I the heat was now intense (135° Fahrensecured several good pictures of this group heit in the sun). Each man worked siof Andamanese, who were singularly nat- lently, while backs ached, arms grew tired, ural and unaffected in having their photo- perspiration ran down their brown bodies, graphs taken.

and by the time we made the landing it At dawn the next morning we put our was easy to see that the men were losing outfit aboard the boat, secured a tow to courage. They were just beginning to the lighter which was conveying prisoners realize what they were "up against.” to the other side of the island, where they Dense underbrush came down to the slugwere engaged in felling padouks, and asked gish waters of the creek on each side, and the officer in charge of the tug to be on the save for the gentle swish of the paddles and lookout for us upon his return, as the con- the occasional rustling of the leaves and victs are taken back every night. We the flap of wings in the jungle, there was coasted for thirty miles, and through the

no sound. Middle Straits, dividing the South from Finally we reached the clearing and the Middle Andamans. As the sun came waded to the muddy bank. It was here my bearers showed the first signs of fear. fight and song of birds being the only They were reluctant to leave the boat, and sounds to break the stillness as we proI did not blame them much, for a more ceeded. There are, however, many inuninviting outlook could hardly be imag- sects, and the bare legs of the bearers ined. We were completely shut in on all were viciously attacked by ticks, and knife sides by the thick undergrowth, and the and pinchers were not always successful in silence was profound. However, with removing them. They were also endansome show of force on my part and prom- gered by the presence of venomous snakes, ises of reward, they finally gathered up though we enjoyed some security through their burdens and we proceeded to march, the presence and knowledge of Kumali. or rather scramble, through the thick We had not gone very far before he deunderbrush.




tected a cobra. We were moving IndianThe spreading branches of the trees file through the tangle as best we could, partly protected us from the scorching sun. Kumali being in the lead. Suddenly he The trees are beautiful and varied; many darted forward to a clump of bushes, of them are valuable. The padouk, re- armed with a forked stick he was carrying, sembling mahogany, is profitably used. I and as he circled about the bushes, I saw secured specimens of many rare woods, his black eyes glisten and almost stand out and, in cutting into the trunk of a tree as he kept them fixed on an object in the called the “iron tree,” found it was well leaves which I could not discern. He named, as it turned the edge of the ax. danced wildly about the bush for a mo

There is no animal life to speak of, the ment, and, with a warning hiss, the occasional grunt of a wild pig and the hooded head of a cobra revealed itself.



Kumali evidently enjoyed the fun, for he Children, as a rule, are buried in shalcontinued to prance about and distract the low graves in the huts, and occasion slight reptile by waving the stick at it. Finally,

Deaths of adults, however, cause with a sinuous, gliding motion, the cobra loud lamentations from all connected with prepared to strike. Watching his oppor- the deceased, and mourning is observed by tunity, Kumali approached, and with a smearing the body with clay and by refraindeft movement of his arm he pinned the ing from dancing. Some of the dead, nosnake to the ground with the forked stick, tably chiefs, are disposed of by placing the at the same time seizing the body behind bodies on platforms erected in the forks of the head. Having discarded the pronged suitable trees. After the corpse has destick, with his other hand he brought out composed, the bones are cleaned and made a small glass bowl covered with India into souvenirs, which are distributed rubber. He held this in front of the among relatives and friends, who prize cobra. The snake made an eager lunge them highly. It was with difficulty that at the bowl, the fangs puncturing the rub- I managed to secure some of these ghastly ber, at the same time ejecting the poison, relics. which was caught in the bowl. After In the middle of the hut was a large the poison is exposed to the air, the water fireplace, and about the sides were smaller is evaporated, and it is used as an antidote, fireplaces, indicating the occupancy of the it being albuminous in character. I am hut by a large group of Jarawas. Comglad to say that I did not have to use it, munal life is the rule. Previous to marbut I kept the antidote with me throughout riage, unchastity is common with both the trip.

Once married, conjugal fidelity After tramping for some hours, though until death is the rule, and bigamy, polygwe had made little progress, we came upon amy,

and divorce are unknown. Husa native hut, apparently deserted. In front band and wife may eat together but widows of it were heaps of refuse, pigs' bones, fire and widowers, bachelors and maidens, may pots, and remnants of a recent feast. The eat only with their own sex. The women habit of throwing all offal about the place show a disposition to herd together, and a where food is cooked obliges a frequent custom of suckling one another's babies change of residence on the part of the na- prevails. tives.

The Andamanese have no words for The hut stood on the top of a little hill ordinary salutations, greetings, or for exwhich had been cleared by the Jarawas pressing thanks; relatives, however, sit in with the axes and other implements stolen one another's laps at meeting, huddled from convicts they had surprised and killed close together, weeping loudly if the sepain the forests. Leading up to the shelter ration has been a long one. from different directions were cleared Numerous superstitions exist, the fear of paths, overhung with wild creepers, and evil spirits of the wood, the sea, and the air along the sides of the clearing were slight prevailing. “Puluga,” who is fundamensentry-posts.

tally to be identified with some definiteThe hut itself was merely eight upright ness with the storm (Wuluga), mixed up posts of ordinary timber, with cross-beams with ancestral chiefs, has so many attricovered over with leaves of palms. The butes of deity that it is reasonable to roof came down low on all sides, there translate the term by God. There is also a were no doors or windows, and the walls host of minor devils, who are self-created. offered poor protection. Inside we found In and about the islands are to be found strung upon the walls pig skulls, a number many kitchen-middens, rising from twelve of honey-pots done up neatly in wicker- to fifteen feet and more in height, which in work, armlets, anklets, girdles, trophies of some cases have fossilized shells at the base, the chase, ornaments, yemngas, and a quan- proving the little black sun-gods to be tity of trepang, which, when dried, re- among the aristocrats of earth and that sembles a petrified banana. Apart from they lived much as they do now when the the other furnishings, there was a collec- shells contained living organisms. tion of human bones and skulls, all highly The only sign of life about the hut was polished and well-cared-for, the jaw-bones a fire burning under a small pot in a corbeing separated from the skulls.

ner. We had not long to wait, however,



before we learned that our intrusion was there for the weather and voracious inknown. Two black figures appeared, com- sects. When thoroughly dried, she cleans ing up one of the paths. They were Onge it, and, after decorating it with shells and women, and one carried a baby in a sling“ beads, wears it constantly about her neck, made from the bark of trees. The other between the shoulders, even when working woman, by comparison, was overdressed, or engaged in cooking. as her shoulders were strung with beads After a year of mourning in this realisand ornaments, and a fiber apron hung tic manner, the widow begins to look from the girdle of shells at the waist. She about for another partner, making her also wore armlets, leglets, and anklets, and wishes known to her neighbors. The chief her hair was long and matted. The wo- man of the tribe selects a warrior and preman carrying the child was a hideous old sents him to the widow. She usually aphag, fat and shiny;

proves on sight, her body was

and thereupon rescarred all over.

moves to a lonely The natives

spot, takes the dear quartz to tattoo

dead man's skull their figures, which

from her shoulders, leaves little raised

and buries it, covdots over the en

ering it well. She tire body.

then returns to the The pair shyly

camp, where feastapproached, and

ing and dancing Kumali attempted

await her. Later, to reassure them.

retiring from the He was not as suc

scene of the festivicessful in charm

ties she spends a ing them as he

week or more in had been with the

fasting and vigil by cobra, however, for

the lonely grave of despite the tempt

the skull. ing offers of beads

At the end of and bright-colored

that period the cloth, they gave


emerges only a few curious

into festive life glances before their

again, this time fear prevailed and

bringing the skull they bolted, much

with her. This is to our disappointA JARAWA WARRIOR

placed upon a long ment. As the

bamboo pole and younger woman turned to flee, I noticed a borne before her by one of the head-men skull hung between her shoulders. This of the community, who leads a procession proclaimed her a widow in mourning. of women. The natives follow the skullHowever, we got a good picture of the pair. bearer and the widow, singing and danc

The custom of mourning mentioned ing to the music of the yemnga. In the above is generally observed by women space in front of the communal hut the pole after the death of their husbands. His is set up. The men then come forward, and skull - the jaw always separated - is car- the poor old skull looks down on a wild ried about continually. Just why the jaw revel of feasting and dancing. The fesis detached is not clear. It may be that tivities continue until the food is dethey have had quite enough of it during voured and the dancers drop from sheer the lifetime of the deceased, though I no- exhaustion. ticed that the women did most of the As the bride and bridegroom retire from talking.

the scene, pigskins and mats are thrown at Immediately after the death of her hus- them by way of wedding-presents. The band, the head is placed on a crude plat- guests then depart, the men carrying the form in the trees by the widow and left skull, which is again buried and forgotten.

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