Department of the Interior, The Ethnological Survey,
Manila, March 3, 1904.
Sir: I have the honor to transmit a study of the Negritos of Zambales Province made by Mr. William Allan Reed, of The Ethnological Survey, during the year 1903. It is transmitted with the recommendation that it be published as Part I of Volume II of a series of scientific studies to be published by this Survey.
Chief of the Ethnological Survey.
Hon. Dean C. Worcester,
Secretary of the Interior, Manila, P. I.
Department of the Interior, The Ethnological Survey,
Manila, March 1, 1904.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my report on the Negritos of Zambales.
William Allan Reed.
Dr. Albert Ernest Jenks, Chief of The Ethnological Survey, Manila, P. I.
This report is based on two months' field work pursued during May and June, 1903. Accompanied by Mr. J. Diamond, a photographer, the writer went in the latter part of April to Iba, Zambales, where a few days were spent in investigating the dialects of the Zambal people and in preparation for a trip to the interior.
After a journey of 25 miles inland a camp was established near Tagiltil. During the three weeks we were there the camp was visited by about 700 Negritos, who came in from outlying settlements, often far back in the mountains; but, owing to the fact that most of them would remain only as long as they were fed, extended investigations had to be conducted largely among the residents of Tagiltil and the neighboring rancheria of Villar.
From Tagiltil a trip was made southward behind the low mountain chain, which marks the limit of the plain, and through a hitherto unexplored territory, very broken and next to impassable except in the dry season. The trail, known only to Negritos and but little used, followed for the most part the beds of mountain streams. Four little rancherias were passed, the people of two of which had already visited us. A hard two-day trip brought us to Santa Fé, a barrio of San Marcelino. After a week with the Negritos at this place a trip was made toward the Pampanga boundary to Cabayan and Aglao, the former locality inhabited by several small groups of Negritos, the latter an isolated Ilokano barrio in and near which the Negritos live. A visit to the rancherias near Subig and Olongapo concluded the investigation. In all, more than a thousand Negritos were seen.
With only a short time at a place it is evident that an exhaustive study of the people of any particular locality could not be made. But the culture plane of the entire area is practically the same, and the facts as here presented should give a good idea of the customs and the general condition of the Negritos of Zambales Province. The short time at my disposal for the investigation is my only excuse for the meager treatment given some lines of study—as, for example, physical anthropology and language.
Inasmuch as nothing has yet been published by The Ethnological Survey on the Negritos of the Philippines, I have thought it not out of place to preface my report with an introductory chapter on their page 10distribution. The data contained therein have been compiled by me from information gathered by the Survey during the past two years and are sufficiently authentic for the present purpose.
The photographs of the Zambales Negritos were made by Mr. J. Diamond and those of the Bataan Negritos are from the collection of Hon. Dean C. Worcester, Secretary of the Interior. Credit for each photograph is given on the plate as it appears.page 11 page 12 page 13
Probably no group of primitive men has attracted more attention from the civilized world than the pygmy blacks. From the time of Homer and Aristotle the pygmies, although their existence was not absolutely known at that early period, have had their place in fable and legend, and as civilized man has become more and more acquainted with the unknown parts of the globe he has met again and again with the same strange type of the human species until he has been led to conclude that there is practically no part of the tropic. zone where these little blacks have not lived at some time.
Mankind at large is interested in a race of dwarfs just as it would be in a race of giants, no matter what the color or social state; and scientists have long been concerned with trying to fix the position of the pygmies in the history of the human race. That they have played an important ethnologic rôle can not be doubted; and although to-day they are so scattered and so modified by surrounding people as largely to have disappeared as a pure type, yet they have everywhere left their imprint on the peoples who have absorbed them.
The Negritos of the Philippines constitute one branch of the Eastern division of the pygmy race as opposed to the African division, it being generally recognized that the blacks of short stature may be so grouped in two large and comprehensive divisions. Other well-known branches of the Eastern group are the Mincopies of the Andaman Islands and perhaps also the Papuans of New Guinea, very similar in many particulars to the Negritos of the Philippines, although authorities differ in grouping the Papuans with the Negritos. The Asiatic continent is also not without its representatives of the black dwarfs, having the Sakai of the Malay Peninsula. The presence of Negritos over so large an area has especially attracted the attention of anthropologists who have taken generally one or the other of two theories advanced to explain it: First, that the entire oceanic region is a partly submerged continent, once connected with the Asiatic mainland and over which this aboriginal race spread prior to the subsidence. The second theory is that the peopling of the several archipelagoes by the Negritos has been a gradual page 14spread from island to island. This latter theory, advanced by De Quatrefages,1 is the generally accepted one, although it is somewhat difficult to believe that the ancestors of weak and scattered tribes such as to-day are found in the Philippines could ever have been the sea rovers that such a belief would imply. It is a well-known fact, however, that the Malays have spread in this manner, and, while it is hardly possible that the Negritos have ever been as bold seafarers as the Malays, yet where they have been left in undisputed possession of their shores they have remained reckless fishermen. The statement that they are now nearly always found in impenetrable mountain forests is not an argument against the migration-by-sea theory, because they have been surrounded by stronger races and have been compelled to flee to the forests or suffer extermination. The fact that they live farther inland than the stronger peoples is also evidence that they were the first inhabitants, for it is not natural to suppose that a weaker race could enter territory occupied by a stronger and gain a permanent foothold there.2 page 15
The attention of the first Europeans who visited the Philippines was attracted by people with frizzly hair and with a skin darker in color than that of the ruling tribes. Pigafetta, to whom we are indebted for page 16an account of Magellan's voyage of discovery in 1521, mentions Negritos as living in the Island of Panglao, southwest of Bohol and east of Cebu.3 If we are to believe later historians the shores of some of the islands fairly swarmed with Negritos when the Spaniards arrived. Meyer gives an interesting extract from an old account by Galvano, The Discoveries of the World (ed. Bethune, Hakluyt Soc., 1862, p. 234):4
In the same yeere 1543, and in moneth of August, the generall Rui Lopez sent one Bartholomew de la torre in a smal ship into new Spaine to acquaint the vizeroy don Antonio de Mendoça, with all things. They went to the Islands of Siria, Gaonata, Bisaia and many others, standing in 11 and 12 degrees towards the north, where Magellan had beene. * * * They found also an Archepelagus of Islands well inhabited with people, lying in 15 or 16 degrees: * * * There came vnto them certaine barkes or boates handsomely decked, wherein the master and principall men sate on high, and vnderneath were very blacke moores with frizled haire * * *: and being demanded where they had these blacke moores, they answered, that they had them from certaine islands standing fast by Sebut, where there were many of them.
Zúñiga5 quotes the Franciscan history6 as follows:
The Negritos which our first conquerors found were, according to tradition, the first possessors of the islands of this Archipelago, and, having been conquered by the political nations of other kingdoms, they fled to the mountains and populated them, whence no one has been able to accomplish their extermination on account of the inaccessibility of the places where they live. In the past they were so proud of their primitive dominion that, although they did not have strength to resist the strangers in the open, in the woods and mountains and mouths of the rivers they were very powerful. They made sudden attacks on the pueblos and compelled their neighbors to pay tribute to them as to lords of the earth which they inhabited, and if these did not wish to pay them they killed right and left, collecting the tribute in heads. * * *
One of the islands of note in this Archipelago is that called Isla de Negros on account of the abundance of them [negroes]. In one point of this island—on the west side, called “Sojoton”—there is a great number of Negritos, and in the center of the island many more.
Chirino has the following to say of the Negritos of Panay at the end of the sixteenth century:7
Amongst these (Bisayas) there are also some negroes, the ancient inhabitants of the island of which they had taken possession before the Bisayas. They are page 17somewhat less black and less ugly man those of Guinea, but are smaller and weaker, although as regards hair and beard they are similar. They are more barbarous and savage than the Bisayas and other Filipinos, for they do not, like them, have houses and fixed settlements. They neither sow nor reap, and they wander through the mountains with their women and children like animals, almost naked. * * * Their sole possessions are the bow and arrow.
Meyer,8 who has given the subject much study and has conducted personal investigations on the field, states that “although at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards in the country, and probably long before, the Negritos were in process of being driven back by the Malays, yet it appears certain that their numbers were then larger, for they were feared by their neighbors, which is now only exceptionally the case.”
Of the vast amount of material that has been written during the past century on the Negritos of the Philippines a considerable portion can not be taken authoritatively. Exceptions should be made of the writings of Meyer, Montano, Marche, and Blumentritt. A large part of the writings on the Philippine Negritos have to do with their distribution and numbers, since no one has made an extended study of them on the spot, except Meyer, whose work (consisting of twelve chapters and published in Volume IX of the Publications of the Royal Ethnographical Museum of Dresden, 1893) I regret not to have seen. Two chapters of this work on the distribution of the Negritos, republished in 1899, form the most recent and most nearly correct exposition of this subject. Meyer summarizes as follows:
It may be regarded as proved with certainty that Negritos are found in Luzon, Alabat, Corregidor, Panay, Tablas, Negros, Cebu, northeast Mindanao, and Palawan. It is questionable whether they occur in Guimaras, Mindoro, and the Calamianes.
This statement would be more nearly correct if Corregidor and Cebu were placed in the second list and Guimaras in the first. In this paper it is possible, by reason of special investigations, to give more reliable and detailed information on this subject than any yet published.
This paper concerns itself chiefly with the Zambales Negritos whose distribution in Zambales and the contiguous Provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, and Tarlac is treated in detail in the following chapter. But Negritos of more or less pure blood, known variously as Aeta, Agta, Baluga, Dumagat, etc., are found in at least eleven other provinces of Luzon. Beginning with the southern end of the island there are a very few Negritos in the Province of Sorsogon. They are found generally living among the Bicol population and do not run wild in the woods; they have probably drifted down from the neighboring Province of page 18Albay. According to a report submitted by the governor of Sorsogon there are a few of these Negritos in Bacon and Bulusan, and four families containing Negrito blood are on the Island of Batang near Gabat.
Outline map of the Philippine Islands, showing distribution of Negritos.
Eight pueblos of Albay report altogether as many as 800 Negritos, known locally as “Agta.” It is not likely any of them are of pure blood. In all except three of the towns they are servants in Bicol houses, but Malinao, Bacacay, and Tabaco report wandering groups in the mountains.
Meyer, who makes no mention of Negritos in Sorsogon or Albay, deems their existence in the Camarines sufficiently well authenticated, according to Blumentritt, who places Negrito half-breeds in the neighborhood of Lagonoy and around Mount Isarog. Information received by The Ethnological Survey places them in the mountains near Baao, Bulic, Iriga, Lagonoy, San José, Gao, and Tigaon, as well as scattered over the Cordillera de Isarog around Sagnay. All of these places are in the extreme southeastern part of the province contiguous to that part of Albay inhabited by Negritos. In neither province is the type pure. In the northern part of the province a few Negritos, called “Dumagat,” are reported near Sipocot and Ragay. The towns of San Vicente, Labo, Paracale, Mambulao, and Capalonga along the north coast also have Negritos, generally called “Aeta.” These are probably of purer blood than those around Mount Isarog. More than a hundred families of “Dumagat” are reported on the Islands of Caringo, Caluat, and Jomalic.
Farther to the north the Island of Alabat was first stated by Blumentritt to be inhabited by Dumagat, and in his map of 1882 he places them here but omits them in the map of 1890. Meyer deems their occurrence there to be beyond all doubt, as per Steen Bille's reports (Reise der Galathea, German ed., 1852). Reports of The Ethnological Survey place Aeta, Baluga, and Dumagat on Alabat—the former running wild in the mountains, the latter living in the barrios of Camagon and Silangan, respectively. On the mainland of the Province of Tayabas the Negritos are generally known as Aeta and may be regarded as being to a large degree of pure blood. They are scattered pretty well over the northern part of the province, but do not, so far as is known, extend down into the peninsula below Pitogo and Macalelon. Only at Mauban are they known as Baluga, which name seems to indicate a mixed breed. The Island of Polillo and the districts of Infanta and Principe, now part of the Province of Tayabas, have large numbers of Negritos probably more nearly approaching a pure physical type than those south of them. The Negritos of Binangonan and Baler have received attention in short papers from Blumentritt, but it yet remains for someone to make a study of them on the spot.
Meyer noted in 1872 that Negritos frequently came from the mountains page 19to Santa Cruz, Laguna Province. These probably came from across the Tayabas line, as none are reported in Laguna except from Santa Maria, in the extreme northern part. Even these are probably very near the boundary line into Rizal Province; perhaps they are over the line. Tanay, Rizal Province, on the shore of Laguna de Bay, reports some 300 Negritos as living in the mountains north of that town. From descriptions given by natives of Tanay they do not appear to be pure types. There is also a small group near Montalbán, in Rizal Province, not more than 20 miles from Manila.
Going northward into Bulacan we are in possession of more definite information regarding the whereabouts of these forest dwellers. Zúñiga in 1803 spoke of the Negritos of Angat—in those days head-hunters who were accustomed to send messages by means of knotted grass stalks.10
This region, the upper reaches of the Angat River, was visited by Mr. E. J. Simons on a collecting trip for The Ethnological Survey in February, 1903. Mr. Simons saw twenty-two little rancherias of the Dumagat, having a total population of 176 people. Some of them had striking Negroid characteristics, but nearly all bore evidence of a mixture of blood. In some cases full- blooded Filipinos have married into the tribe and adopted Negrito customs entirely. Their social state is about the same as that of the Negritos of Zambales, though some of their habits—for instance, betel chewing—approach more nearly those of lower-class Filipinos. A short vocabulary of their dialect is given in Appendix B.
Negritos are also found in northern Bulacan and throughout the continuous mountain region extending through Nueva Ecija into Isabela and the old Province of Principe. They are reported from Peñaranda, Bongabong, and Pantabangan, in Nueva Ecija, to the number of 500. This region is yet to be fully explored; the same may be said also of that vast range of mountains, the Sierra Madre, of Isabela and Cagayan. In the Province of Isabela Negritos are reported from all the towns, especially Palanan, on the coast, and Carig, Echague, Angadanan, Cauayan, and Cabagan Nuevo, on the upper reaches of the Rio Grande de Cagayan, but as there is a vast unknown country between, future exploration will have to determine the numerical importance of the Negritos. It has been thought heretofore that this region contained a large number of people of pure blood. This was the opinion set forth by Blumentritt. He says:
This coast is the only spot in the Philippines in which the original masters of the Archipelago, the Negritos, hold unrestricted possession of their native land. The eastern side of the Cordillera which slopes toward this coast is also their undisputed possession. However, the western slopes they have been compelled to share with branches of Malay descendants. Here they retain the greatest purity of original physique and character.
These statements stand much in need of verification. Inquiries pursued by The Ethnological Survey do not bear them out—in fact, point to an opposite belief.
There is a small body of what may be pure types near the boundary between Isabela and Cagayan, west of the Cagayan River, but the coast region, so far as is known, does not hold any Negritos.
As many as sixteen towns of Cagayan report Negritos to the total number of about 2,500. They are known commonly as “Atta,” but in the pueblo of Baggao there are three groups known locally as “Atta,” “Diango,” and “Paranan.” They have been described by natives of Baggao as being very similar to the ordinary Filipinos in physical characteristics except that they are darker in color and have bushy hair. Their only weapons are the bow and arrow. Their social status is in every way like that of the Negritos as distinguished from the industrious mountain. Malayans of northern Luzon. Yet future investigations may not associate these robust and warlike tribes with the weak, shirking Negritos. Negritos of pure type have not so far been reported from Cagayan.
At only two places in the western half of northern Luzon have Negritos been observed. There is a small group near Piddig, Ilokos Norte, and a wandering band of about thirty-five in the mountains between Villavieja, Abra Province, and Santa Maria, Ilokos Sur Province, from both of which towns they have been reported. It is but a question of time until no trace of them will be left in this region so thickly populated with stronger mountain peoples.
Although Negritos were reported by the early Spanish writers to be especially numerous in some of the southern islands, probably more of them are found on Luzon than on all the other islands in the Archipelago. Besides Luzon, the only large islands inhabited by them at present are Panay, Negros, Mindanao, and Paragua, but some of the smaller islands, as Tablas and Guimaras, have them.
Negritos of pure blood have not been reported from Mindoro, but only the half-breed Manguian, who belong in a group to themselves. It is questionable whether the unknown interior will produce pure types, though it is frequently reported that there are Negritos in the interior.
There is a rather large colony of Negritos on the west coast of Tablas near Odiungan, and also a few on the Isla de Carabao immediately south of Tablas. These have probably passed up from Panay. All the provinces of the latter island report Negritos, locally known as “Ati” and “Agta.” They seem to be scattered pretty well over the interior of Panay, being especially numerous in the mountainous region where the Provinces of Antique and Iloilo join. In Antique there page 21are about 1,000 Negritos living in groups of several families each. They are reported from nearly all the towns, being more numerous along the Dalanas and Sibalon Rivers. The number of pure types is said, however, to be rapidly decreasing on account of intermarriage with the Bukidnon or mountain Visayan. They are of very small stature, with kinky hair. They lead the same nomadic life as the Negritos in other parts, except that they depend more on the products of the forest for subsistence and rarely clear and cultivate “ca-ĭng-ĭn.”11 They seem to have developed more of religious superstitions, and believe that both evil spirits and protecting spirits inhabit the forests and plains. However, these beliefs may have been borrowed from the Bukidnon, with whom they come much in contact. From a mixing of the Ati and Bukidnon are sprung the Calibugan, who partake more of the characteristics of their Visayan ancestors than those of the Ati, and generally abandon the nomadic life and live in clearings in the forest.
About ten years ago there was a group of about 200 Ati at a place called Labangan, on the Dalanas River, governed by one Capitán Andres. They made clearings and carried people across the river for a small remuneration. Many of them are said to have emigrated to Negros to escape public work to which the local authorities subjected them without compensation.
There is a small, wandering group of Negritos on Guimaras, probably emigrants from Panay. They have been reported from both Nagaba and Nueva Valencia, pueblos of that island.
Investigation does not bear out the statements of the historian previously quoted in regard to the early populations of Negros. At least it seems that if the southwestern part of that island known as Sojoton had been so thickly populated with Negritos early in the eighteenth century more traces of them would remain to-day. But they seem to have left no marks on the Malayan population. While in the Isio region in August, 1903, I made special investigation and inquiry into this subject and could find no trace of Negritos. Expeditions of the Constabulary into the interior have never met with the little blacks except a single colony near the boundary line between the two provinces just north of Tolon. A few Negritos have also been seen scattered in the interior of southern Oriental Negros back from Nueva Valencia, Ayuquitan, and Bais. From there no trace of them exists until the rugged mountains north of the volcano of Canlaon are reached, in the almost impenetrable recesses of which there are estimated to be a thousand or more. They are especially numerous back of Escalante and formerly made frequent visits to that pueblo, but recent military operations in the region have made them timid, as scouting parties have fired on and killed several of them. The sight of a white man or native of the page 22plain is a signal for an immediate discharge of arrows. Also in the mountains behind Sagay, Cadiz, and Manapla live a few scattered families. I was fortunate in securing photographs of a Negrito captured by the Constabulary near Cadiz. (See Pl. XXVI.) He was much taller than the Negritos of Zambales, but with very little muscular development. He spoke Visayan, and said he knew no other dialect. While in Negros I also secured photographs of a small colony of Ati, who emigrated from Panay about twenty years ago and now live on a mountain hacienda on the slope of Mount Canlaon.
So far there is no evidence that Negritos exist on Cebu, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte. In Mindanao they are found only in the extreme northern part of Surigao, not having been reported below Tago. They are called “Mamanua,” and are not very numerous.
We have detailed accounts of both the Tagbanua and Batak of Paragua, by señor Manuel Venturello, a native of Puerto Princesa, who has lived among them twenty years. These interesting articles, translated by Capt. E. A. Helmick, Tenth United States Infantry, and published in pamphlet form by the Division of Military Information, Manila, are especially full as to customs, religion, language, etc., of the Tagbanua who inhabit the central part of Paragua from the Bay of Ulugan south to Apurahuan. However, the Tagbanua, although perhaps having a slight amount of Negrito blood, can not be classed with the Negritos. But, in my opinion, the Batak who inhabit the territory from the Bay of Ulugan north to Caruray and Barbacan may be so classed, although they are by no means of pure blood. They are described as being generally of small stature but well developed and muscular. They have very curly but not kinky hair, except in rare cases. Their weapons are the bow and arrow and the blowgun or sumpitan, here called “sumpit.” Their only clothing is a breechcloth and a short skirt of flayed bark. A notable feature of their customs is that both polygyny and polyandry are permitted, this being the only instance of the latter practice so far observed among the tribes of the Philippines. The Batak are not very numerous; their villages have been decimated by ravages of smallpox during the past five years.
This rapid survey leaves much to be desired, but it contains about all that is definitely known to-day concerning the whereabouts of the Negritos in the Philippines. No attempt has been made to state numbers. The Philippine census will probably have more exact information in this particular, but it must be borne in mind that even the figures given by the census can be no more than estimates in most instances. The habits of the Negritos do not lend themselves to modern methods of census taking. page 23
After all, Blumentritt's opinion of several years ago is not far from right. Including all. mixed breeds having a preponderance of Negrito blood, it is safe to say that the Negrito population of the Philippines probably will not exceed 25,000. Of these the group largest in numbers and probably purest in type is that in the Zambales mountain range, western Luzon. However, while individuals may retain in some cases purity of blood, nowhere are whole groups free from mixture with the Malayan. The Negritos of Panay, Negros, and Mindanao are also to be regarded as pure to a large extent. On the east side of Luzon and in the Island of Paragua, as we have just seen, there is marked evidence of mixture.
The social state of the Negritos is everywhere practically the same. They maintain their half-starved lives by the fruits of the chase and forest products, and at best cultivate only small patches of maize and other vegetables. Only occasionally do they live in settled, self-supporting communities, but wander for the most part in scattered families from one place to another. page 24
1 Les Pygmées, 1887.
2 However, when one attempts to fathom the mysteries surrounding the origin and migrations of the Negrito race he becomes hopelessly involved in a labyrinth of conjecture. Did the Negritos come from somewhere in Asia, some island like New Guinea, or is their original home now sunk beneath the sea? In the present state of our knowledge we can not hope to know. We find them in certain places to-day; we may believe that they once lived in certain other places, because the people now living there have characteristics peculiar to the little black men. But the Negrito has left behind no archaeological remains to guide the investigator, and he who attempts seriously to consider this question is laying up for himself a store of perplexing problems.
It may be of interest to present here the leading facts in connection with the distribution of the Negrito race and to summarize the views set forth by various leading anthropologists who have given the subject most study.
The deduction of the French scientists De Quatrefages and Hamy have been based almost entirely on craniological and osteological observations, and these authors argue a much wider distribution of the Negritos than other writers hold. In fact, according to these writers, traces of Negritos are found practically everywhere from India to Japan and New Guinea.
De Quatrefages in Les Pygmées, 1887, divides what he calls the “Eastern pygmies,” as opposed to the African pygmies, into two divisions—the Negrito-Papuans and the Negritos proper. The former, he says, have New Guinea as a center of population and extend as far as Gilolo and the Moluccas. They are distinguished from the true Papuans who inhabit New Guinea and who are not classed by that writer as belonging to the Negrito race.
On the other hand, Wallace and Earl, supported by Meyer, all of whom have made some investigations in the region occupied by the Papuans, affirm that there is but a single race and that its identity with the Negritos is unmistakable. Meyer (Distribution of Negritos, 1898, p. 77) says that he and Von Maclay in 1873 saw a number of Papuans in Tidore. He had just come from the Philippines and Von Maclay had then come from Astrolabe Bay, in New Guinea. With these Papuans before them they discussed the question of the unity of the races, and Von Maclay could see no difference between these Papuans and those of Astrolabe Bay, while Meyer declared that the similarities between them and the Negritos of the Philippines was most striking. He says: “That was my standpoint then regarding the question, neither can I relinquish it at present.”
Although they defended the unity of the Negritos and the Papuans they recognized that the Papuans were diversified and presented a variety of types, but Meyer regards this not as pointing to a crossing of different elements but as revealing simply the variability of the race. He continues (p. 80): “As the external habitus of the Negritos must be declared as almost identical with that of the Papuans, differences in form of the skull, the size of the body, and such like have the less weight in opposition to the great uniformity, as strong contrasts do not even come into play here, and if the Negritos do not show such great amount of variation in their physical characters as the Papuans—which, however, page 15is by no means sufficiently attested—it is no wonder in the case Of a people which has been driven back and deprived of the opportunity of developing itself freely.”
Thus it remains for future investigations to establish beyond doubt the identity of the Papuans.
De Quatrefages divides all other Eastern pygmies into two divisions—insular and continental—and no authors find fault with this classification. Only in fixing the distribution of the Negritos do the authorities differ. The islands admitted by everybody to contain Negritos to-day may be eliminated from the discussion. These are the Philippines and the Andamans. In the latter the name “Mincopies” has been given to the little blacks, though how this name originated no one seems to know. It is certain that the people do not apply the name to themselves. Extensive study of the Andamans has been made by Flower and Man.
The Moluccas and lesser Sunda Islands just west of New Guinea were stated by De Quatrefages in 1887 (Les Pygmées) to be inhabited by Negritos, although three years previously, as recorded in Hommes Fossiles, 1884, he had doubted their existence there. He gave no authority, and assigned no reason in his later work for this change of opinion. Meyer thinks this sufficient reason why one should not take De Quatrefages too seriously, and states that proofs of the existence of the Negritos in this locality are “so weak as not to be worth discussing them in detail.” From deductions based on the examination of a single skull Hamy inferred that pure Negritos were found on Timor, but the people of Timor were found by Meyer to be mixed Papuans and Malays, resembling the latter on the coasts and the former in the interior.
Likewise in Celebes, Borneo, and Java the French writers think that traces of an ancient Negrito population may be found, while Meyer holds that there is not sufficient evidence to warrant such an assumption. In Sumatra he admits that there is an element not Malayan, which on account of the nearness of Malacca may be Negritic, but that fact is so far by no means proved.
In regard to Formosa Meyer quotes Scheteleg (Trans. Ethn. Sec., n. s., 1869, vii)
“I am convinced * * * that the Malay origin of most of the inhabitants of Formosa is incontestable.” But Hamy holds that the two skulls which Scheteleg brought were Negrito skulls, an assumption which Meyer (Distribution of Negritos, 1898, p. 52) disposes of as follows: “To conclude the occurrence of a race in a country from certain characters in two skulls, when this race has not been registered from that country, is, in the present embryonic state of craniology, an unwarrantable proceeding.”
In like manner Hamy has found that a certain Japanese skull in the Paris Museum resembles a Negrito skull, and he also finds traces of Negritos in Japan in the small stature, crisp hair, and darker color of the natives of the interior of the Island of Kiusiu. But Meyer holds that the facts brought forward up to the present time are far from being established, and objects to the acceptance of surmises and explanations more or less subjective as conclusive.
There is no doubt of the occurrence of Negritos in the peninsula of Malacca, where both pure and mixed people have been found. These are reported under a variety of names, of which Semang and Sakaí are perhaps the best known. Meyer (Distribution of Negritos, p. 62, footnote 2) says: “Stevens divides the Negritos of Malacca into two principal tribes—the Belendas, who with the Tumiors branched off from the Kenis tribe, and the Meniks, who consist of the Panggans of Kelantan and Petani and the Semangs of the west coast. Only the Panggans * * * and the Tumiors are pure Negritos. A name often recurring for the Belendas is Sakeis (Malay: ‘bondman,’ ‘servant’), a designation given them in the first instance by the Malays but which they often also apply to themselves when addressing strangers.”
In their efforts to find Negrito traces in the Mao-tse, the aboriginal peoples of the Chinese Empire, De Lacouperie and De Quatrefages have, in the opinion of Meyer, even less to stand on than had Hamy in the case of Japan. In like manner it remains to be proved whether the Moií of Annam are related to Negritos, as the two French writers have stated, but whose opinions have been vigorously opposed by Meyer and others.
The question of the aboriginal inhabitants of India is one of even greater importance and presents greater difficulties. If it can be shown that this aboriginal population was Negrito, and if the relations which researches, especially in philology, have indicated between the peoples of India and those of Australia can be proved, a range of possibilities of startling importance, affecting the race question of Oceania in general and the origin and distribution of the Negritos in particular, will be opened up. In regard to the Indian question there is much diversity of opinion. De Quatrefages and Hamy, as usual, regard page 16the Negritos as established in India, but Topinard and Virchow are opposed to this belief. Meyer holds that “this part of the Negrito question is in no way ripe for decision, and how much less the question as to a possible relationship of this hypothetical primitive population with the Negroes of Africa.” (Distribution of Negritos, 1899, p. 70.)
In anthropology a statement may be regarded as proved for the time being so long as no opposition to it exists. With the exception of the Philippine and the Andaman Islands and the Malay Peninsula, as we have seen, the presence of traces of Negritos is an open question. The evidence at hand is incomplete and insufficient, and we must therefore be content to let future investigators work out these unsolved problems.
3 English edition of Stanley, 1874, p. 106.
4 Distribution of Negritos, 1899, p. 6, footnote.
5 Zúñiga, Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas. Reprint by Retana, vol. I, p. 422.
6 By this is meant Fr. San Antonio's Chronicas de la Apostolica, Provincia de San Gregorio, etc., 1738–1744.
7 Relación de las Islas Filipinas, 1604; 2d ed., 1890, p. 38.
8 Meyer, Distribution of Negritos, 1899, p. 4.
10 Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas. Ed. Retana, 1893, I, p. 421.
11 Ca-ĭng-ĭn is a Malayan word for cultivated clearing.
This little-known and comparatively unimportant province stretches along the western coast of Luzon for more than 120 miles. Its average width does not exceed 25 miles and is so out of proportion to its length that it merits the title which it bears of the “shoestring province.”1
The Zambales range of mountains, of which the southern half is known as the Cordillera de Cabusilan and which is second in importance to the Caraballos system of northern Luzon, forms the entire eastern boundary of Zambales and separates it from the Provinces of Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Pampanga. A number of peaks rise along this chain, of which Mount Pinatubo, 6,040 feet in height, is the highest. All of the rivers of Zambales rise oil the western slope of these mountains and carry turbulent floods through the narrow plains. Still unbridged, they are an important factor in preventing communication and traffic between towns, and hence in retarding the development of the province. Another important factor in this connection is the lack of safe anchorages. The Zambales coast is a stormy one, and vessels frequently come to grief on its reefs. At only one point, Subig Bay, can larger vessels find anchorage safe from the typhoons which sweep the coast. The soil of the well-watered plain is fertile and seems adapted to the cultivation of nearly all the products of the Archipelago. The forests are especially valuable, and besides fine timbers for constructional purposes they supply large quantities of pitch, resin, bejuco, and beeswax. There are no industries worth mentioning, there being only primitive agriculture and stock raising.
The following opinions of Zambales set forth by a Spanish writer in 1880 still hold good:2
There are more populous and more civilized provinces whose commercial and agricultural progress has been more pronounced, but nowhere is the air more pure page 25and transparent, the vegetation more luxuriant, the climate more agreeable, the coasts more sunny, and the inhabitants more simple and pacific.
According to Buzeta, another Spanish historian, it was Juan de Salcedo who discovered Zambales.3
This intrepid soldier [he says], after having conquered Manila and the surrounding provinces, resolved to explore the northern part of Luzon. He organized at his own expense an expedition, and General Legaspi gave him forty-five soldiers, with whom he left Manila May 20, 1572. After a journey of three days he arrived at Bolinao, where he found a Chinese vessel whose crew had made captives of a chief and several other natives. Salcedo, retook these captives from the Chinese and gave them their liberty. The Indians, who were not accustomed to such generosity, were so touched by this act that they became voluntary vassals of the Spaniards.
It seems that nothing further was done toward settling or evangelizing the region for twelve years, although the chronicler goes on to say that three years after the discovery of Bolinao a sergeant of Salcedo's traversed the Bolinao region, receiving everywhere the homage of the natives, and a Franciscan missionary, Sebastian Baeza, preached the gospel there. But in 1584 the Augustinians established themselves at the extreme ends of the mountain range, Bolinao and Mariveles. One of them, the friar Esteban Martin, was the first to learn the Zambal dialect. The Augustinians were succeeded by the Recollets, who, during the period from 1607 to 1680, founded missions at Agno, Balincaguin, Bolinao, Cabangan, Iba, Masinloc, and Santa Cruz. Then in 1680, more than a hundred years after Salcedo landed at Bolinao, the Dominicans undertook the active evangelization of the district.
Let us now examine [continues the historian4] the, state of these savage Indians whom the zealous Spanish missionaries sought to convert. Father Salazar, after having described the topography of this mountainous province, sought to give an idea of the political and social state of the pagans who formed the larger part of the aboriginal population: “The principal cause,” he said, “of the barbarity of these Indians, and that which prevents their ever being entirely and pacifically converted, is that the distances are so great and communication so difficult that the alcaldes can not control them and the missionaries find it impossible to exercise any influence over them.”
Each village was composed of ten, twenty, or thirty families, united nearly always by ties of kinship. It was difficult to bring these villages together because they carried on wars continually, and they lived in such a state of discord that it was impossible to govern them; moreover they were so barbarous and fierce that they recognized only superior power. They governed through fear. He who wished to be most respected sought to inspire fear by striking off as many beads as possible. The one who committed the most assassinations was thus assured of the subordination of all. They made such a glory of it that they were accustomed to wear certain ornaments in order to show to the eyes page 26or all the murders they had committed. When a person lost a relative either by a violent or a natural death he covered his head with a strip of black cloth as a sign of mourning and could take it off only after having committed a murder, a thing which they were always eager to do in order to get rid of the sadness of mourning, because so long as they wore the badge they could not sing or dance or take part in any festivity. One understands then that deaths became very frequent in a country where all deaths were necessarily followed by one or more murders. It is true that he who committed a murder sought to atone for it by paying to the relatives of the deceased a certain quantity of gold or silver or by giving them a slave or a Negrito who might be murdered in his place.
The Zambal had nevertheless more religion than the inhabitants of other provinces. There was among them a high priest, called “Bayoc,” who by certain rites consecrated the other priests. He celebrated this ceremony in the midst of orgies and the most frightful revels. He next indicated to the new priest the idol or cult to which he should specially devote himself and conferred on him privileges proportionate to the rank of that divinity, for they recognized among their gods a hierarchy, which established also that of their curates. They gave to their principal idol the name of “Malyari”—that is, the powerful. The Bayoc alone could offer sacrifice to him. There was another idol, Acasi, whose power almost equaled that of the first. In fact, they sang in religious ceremonies that “although Malyari was powerful, Acasi had preëminence.” In an inferior order they worshiped also Manlobog or Mangalagan, whom they recognized as having power of appeasing irritated spirits. They rendered equal worship to five less important idols who represented the divinities of the fields, prosperity to their herds and harvests. They also believed that Anitong sent them rains and favorable winds; Damalag preserved the sown fields from hurricanes; Dumanga made the grain grow abundantly; and finally Calascas ripened it, leaving to Calosocos only the duty of harvesting the crops. They also had a kind of baptism administered by the Bayoc with pure blood of the pig, but this ceremony, very long and especially very expensive, was seldom celebrated in grand style. The sacrifice which the same priest offered to the idol Malyari consisted of ridiculous ceremonies accompanied by savage cries and yells and was terminated by repugnant debaucheries.
Of course it is impossible to tell how much of this is the product of the writer's imagination, or at least of the imagination of those earlier chroniclers from whom he got his information, but it can very well be believed that the natives had a religion of their own and that the work of the missionaries was exceedingly difficult. It was necessary to get them into villages, to show them how to prepare and till the soil and harvest the crops. And the writer concludes that “little by little the apathetic and indolent natives began to recognize the advantages of social life constituted under the shield of authority and law, and the deplorable effects of savage life, offering no guarantee of individual or collective security.”
A fortress had been built at Paynaven, in what is now the Province of Pangasinan, from which the work of the missionaries spread southward, so that the northern towns were all organized before those in the south. It is not likely that this had anything to do with causing page 27the Negritos to leave the northern part of the province, if indeed they ever occupied it, but it is true that to-day they inhabit only the mountainous region south of a line drawn through the middle of the province from east to west.
The friar Martinez Zúñiga, speaking of the fortress at Paynaven, said that in that day, the beginning of the last century, there was little need of it as a protection against the “infidel Indians” and blacks who were very few in number, and against whom a stockade of bamboo was sufficient.
It might serve against the Moros [he continues], but happily the Zambales coast is but little exposed to the attacks of these pirates, who always seek easy anchorage. The pirates are, however, a constant menace and source of danger to the Zambal, who try to transport on rafts the precious woods of their mountains and to carry on commerce with Manila in their little boats. The Zambal are exposed to attack from the Moros in rounding the point at the entrance of Manila Bay, from which it results that the province is poor and has little commerce.5
Everything in the history of the Zambal people and their present comparative unimportance goes to show that they were the most indolent and backward of the Malayan peoples. While they have never given the governing powers much trouble, yet they have not kept pace with the agricultural and commercial progress of the other people, and their territory has been so steadily encroached on from all sides by their more aggressive neighbors that their separate identity is seriously threatened. The rich valleys of Zambales have long attracted Ilokano immigrants, who have founded several important towns. The Zambal themselves, owing to lack of communication between their towns, have developed three separate dialects, none of which has ever been deemed worthy of study and publication, as have the other native dialects of the Philippines. A glance at the list of towns of Zambales with the prevailing dialect spoken in each, and in case of nearly equal division also the second most important dialect, will show to what extent Zambal as a distinct dialect is gradually disappearing: page 28
|Town||Primary dialect||Secondary dialect|
Of twenty-five towns Zambal is the prevailing dialect of less than half. As will be seen, the Ilokano have been the most aggressive immigrants. As a prominent Ilokano in the town of San Marcelino expressed it, when they first came they worked for the Zambals, who held all the good land. But the Zambal landowners, perhaps wanting money for a cockfight, would sell a small piece of land to some Ilokano who had saved a little money, and when he ran out of money he would sell a little more land, until finally the Ilokano owned it all.
This somewhat lengthy and seemingly irrelevant sketch of the early history of Zambales and of the character of its inhabitants to-day is given to show the former state of savagery and the apathetic nature of the people who, in the days before the arrival of the Europeans, were in such close contact with the Negritos as to impose on them their language, and they have done it so thoroughly that no trace of an original Negrito dialect remains. Relations such as to-day exist between the people of the plains and those of the mountains would not change a dialect in a thousand years. Another evidence of a former close contact may be found in the fact that the Negritos of southern Zambales who have never personally come in contact with the Zambal but only with the Tagalog also speak Zambal with some slight variations, page 29showing, too, that the movement of the Negritos has been southward away from the Zambal territory.
Close study and special investigation into the linguistics of this region, carried also into Bataan and across the mountain into Pampanga and Tarlac, may throw more light on this very interesting and important subject and may reveal traces of an original Negrito dialect. Prominent natives of Zambales, whom I have questioned, and who are familiar with the subject, affirm that the Negritos know only the dialect of the Zambal. Indeed those are not lacking who believe in a blood relationship between the Negritos and the Zambal, but this belief can not be taken seriously.6
Very little mention is made by the early writers of the Negritos. In fact they knew nothing of them except that they were small blacks who roamed in the mountains, living on roots and game which they killed with the bow and arrow. They were reported to be fierce little savages from whom no danger could come, since they did not leave their mountain fastnesses, but whose territory none dared enter. page 30
As has been stated, the present range of the Negritos of this territory embraces the mountainous portion of the lower half of Zambales and the contiguous Provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga, extending southward even to the very extremity of the peninsula of Bataan.
This region, although exceedingly broken and rough, has not the high-ridged, deep-canyoned aspect of the Cordillera Central of northern Luzon. It consists for the most part of rolling tablelands, broken by low, forest- covered ridges and dotted here and there by a few gigantic peaks. The largest and highest of these, Mount Pinatubo, situated due east from the town of Cabangan, holds on its broad slopes the largest part of the Negritos of Zambales. Many tiny streams have their sources in this mountain and rush down the slopes, growing in volume and furnishing water supply to the Negrito villages situated along their banks. Some of the larger of these streams have made deep cuts on the lower reaches of the mountain slopes, but they are generally too small to have great powers of erosion. The unwooded portions of the table-lands are covered with cogon and similar wild grasses.
Here is enough fertile land to support thousands of people. The Negritos occupy practically none of it. Their villages and mountain farms are very scattered. The villages are built for the most part on the table-land above some stream, and the little clearings are found on the slope of the ridge at the base of which the stream runs. No use whatever is made of the grass-covered table-land, save that it offers a high and dry site for a rancheria, free from fevers.
Practically all of the Negrito rancherias are within the jurisdiction of the two towns of Botolan and San Marcelino. Following the winding course of the Bucao River, 15 miles southeast from Botolan, one comes to the barrio of San Fernando de Riviera, as it is on the maps, or Pombato, as the natives call it. This is a small Filipino village, the farthest out, a half-way place between the people of the plains and those of the uplands. Here a ravine is crossed, a hill climbed, and the traveler stands on a plateau not more than half a mile wide but winding for miles toward the big peak Pinatubo and almost imperceptibly increasing in elevation. Low, barren ridges flank it on either side, at the base of each of which flows a good-sized stream. Seven miles of beaten winding path through the cogon grass bring the traveler to the first Negrito rancheria, Tagiltil, one year old, lying sun baked on a southern slope of the plateau. Here the plateau widens out, is crossed and cut up by streams and hills, and the forests gradually become thicker. In the wide reach of territory of which this narrow plateau is the western apex, including Mount Pinatubo and reaching to the Tarlac and Pampanga boundaries, there are situated no less than thirty rancherias of Negritos, having an average population of 40 persons or a page 31total of more than 1,200. Besides these there are probably many scattered families, especially in the higher and less easily accessible forests of Mount Pinatubo, who live in no fixed spot but lead a wandering existence. And so uncertain are the habits of the more settled Negritos that one of the thirty rancherias known to-day may to-morrow be nothing more than a name, and some miles away a new rancheria may spring up. The tendency to remain in one place seems, however, to be growing.
The mountainous portions of the jurisdictions of the two towns of Botolan and San Marcelino, themselves many miles apart with three or more towns between, are contiguous, the one extending southeast, the other northeast, until they meet. The San Marcelino region contains about the same number of Negritos, grouped in many small communities around five large centers—Santa Fé, Aglao, Cabayan, Pañibutan, and Timao—each of which numbers some 300 Negritos. They are of the same type and culture plane as those nearer Piñatubo, and their habitat is practically the same, a continuation of the more or less rugged Cordillera. They are in constant communication with the Negritos north of them and with those across the Pampanga line east of them. The Negritos of Aglao are also in communication with those of Subig, where there is a single rancheria numbering 45 souls. Still farther south in the jurisdiction of Olongapo are two rancherias, numbering about 100 people, who partake more of the characteristics of the Negritos of Bataan just across the provincial line than they do of those of the north.
Here mention may be made also of the location of rancherias and numbers of Negritos in the provinces adjoining Zambales, as attention is frequently called to them later, especially those of Bataan, for the sake of comparison. Negritos are reported from all of the towns of Bataan, and there are estimated to be 1,500 of them, or about half as many as in Zambales. They are more numerous on the side toward Manila Bay, in the mountains back of Balanga, Orion, and Pilar. Moron and Bagac on the opposite coast each report more than a hundred. There is a colony of about thirty near Mariveles. Owing to repeated visits of tourists to their village and to the fact that they were sent to the Hanoi Exposition in 1903, this group has lost many of the customs peculiar to Negritos in a wild state and has donned the ordinary Filipino attire.
Cabcabe, also in the jurisdiction of Mariveles, has more than a hundred Negritos, and from here to Dinalupijan, the northernmost town of the province, there are from 50 to 200 scattered in small groups around each town and within easy distance. Sometimes, as at Balanga, they are employed on the sugar plantations and make fairly good laborers. page 32
The Negritos of Bataan as a whole seem less mixed with the Malayan than any other group, and fewer mixed bloods are seen among them. Their average stature is also somewhat lower. They speak corrupt Tagalog, though careful study may reveal traces of an original tongue. (See Appendix B for a vocabulary.)
In the section of Pampanga lying near Zambales Province more than a thousand Negritos have been reported from the towns of Florida Blanca, Porac, Angeles, and Mabalacat. There are estimated to be about 1,200 in Tarlac, in the jurisdiction of the towns of O'Donnell, Moriones, Capas, Bamban, and Camiling. There are two or three good trails leading from this province into Zambales by which the Negritos of the two provinces communicate with each other. It is proposed to convert the one from O'Donnell to Botolan into a wagon road, which will have the effect of opening up a little-known territory. Across. the line into Pangasinan near the town of Mangataren there is a colony of mixed Negritos somewhat more advanced in civilization than is usually the case with these forest dwellers. According to Dr. D. P. Barrows, who visited their rancherias in December, 1901, it seems to have been the intention of the Spanish authorities to form a reservation at that place which should be a center from which to reach the wilder bands in the hills and to induce them to adopt a more settled life. A Filipino was sent to the rancheria as a “maestro” and remained among the people six years. But the scheme fell through there as elsewhere in the failure of the authorities to provide homes and occupations for the Negritos. The Ilokano came in and occupied all the available territory, and the Negritos now hang around the Ilokano homes, doing a little work and picking up the little food thrown to them. Dr. Barrows states that the group contains no pure types characterized by wide, flat noses and kinky hair. In addition to the bow and arrows they carry a knife called “kampilan” having a wide-curving blade. They use this weapon in a dance called “baluk,” brandishing it, snapping their fingers, and whirling about with knees close to the ground. This is farther north than Negritos are found in Zambales but is in territory contiguous to that of the Tarlac Negritos. The entire region contains about 6,000 souls. The groups are so scattered, however, that the territory may be said to be practically unoccupied. page 33
1 The province has recently been divided by act of the Philippine Commission, the northern part above Santa Cruz being joined to Pangasinan.
2 Francisco Cañamaque, Boletin de la Sociedad Geografica do Madrid, vol IX, 1880.
3 Diccionario Geográfico, etc., de las Islas Filipinas, vol. II, 1850.
5 Zúñiga, Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas, 1803.
6 This was evidently the belief of some of the old voyagers. Navarette, whose account of his travels in 1647 is published in Churchill's Collection of Voyages, 1704, said that the people called “Zambales” were great archers and had no other weapons than the bow and arrow. Dr. John Frances Gemelli Careri, who made a voyage around the world, 1693–1697, says in his report (Churchill's Voyages, vol. IV): “This mixing [that is, of Negritos] with the Wild Indians produced the Tribe of Manghian who are Blacks dwelling in the Isles of Mindoro and Mundos [probably Panay], and who peopled the Islands de los Negros, or of Blacks. Some of them have harsh frisled hair like the African and Angola blacks. * * *
“The Sambali, contrary to the others, tho' Wild have long Hair, like the other Conquer'd Indians. The Wives, of these Savages are deliver'd in the Woods, like She Goats, and immediately wash themselves and the Infants in the Rivers, or other cold Water; which would be immediate Death to Europeans. These Blacks when pursu'd by the Spaniards, with the sound of little Sticks, give notice to the rest, that are dispers'd about the Woods, to save themselves by Flight. Their Weapons are Bows and Arrows, a short Spear, and a short Weapon, or Knife at their Girdle. They Poison their Arrows, which are sometimes headed with Iron, or a sharp Stone, and they bore the Point, that it may break in their Enemies Body, and so be unfit to be shot back. For their defense, they use a Wooden Buckler, four Spans long, and two in breadth, which always hangs at their Arm.
“Tho' I had much discourse about it, with the Fathers of the Society, and other Missioners, who converse with these Blacks, Manghians, Mandi and Sambali, I could never learn any thing of their Religion; but on the contrary, all unanimously agree they have none, but live like Beasts, and the most that has been seen among the Blacks on the Mountains, has been a round Stone, to which they pay'd a Veneration, or a Trunk of a Tree, or Beasts, or other things they find about, and this only out of fear. True it is, that by means of the Heathen Chineses who deal with them in the Mountains, some deformed Statues have been found in their Huts. The other three beforemention'd Nations, seem'd inclin'd to observing of Auguries and Mahometan Superstitions, by reason of their Commerce, with the Malayes and Ternates. The most reciev'd Opinion is, that these Blacks were the first Inhabitants of the Islands; and that being Cowards, the Sea Coasts were easily taken from them by People resorting from Sumatra, Borneo, Macassar and other Places; and therefore they retir'd to the Mountains. In short, in all the Islands where these Blacks, and other Savage Men are, the Spaniards Possess not much beyond the Sea Coasts; and not that in all Parts, especially from Maribeles, to Cape Bolinao in the Island of Manila, where for 50 Leagues along the Shear, there is no Landing, for fear of the Blacks, who are most inveterate Enemies to the Europeans. Thus all the in-land Parts being possess'd by these Brutes, against whom no Army could prevail in the thick Woods, the King of Spain has scarce one In ten of the Inhabitants of the Island, that owns him, as the Spaniards often told me.”
The characteristics which serve more than any others to distinguish the true Negrito from other inhabitants of the Philippines are his small stature, kinky hair, and almost black skin. His eyes may be more round, his nose more short and flat, and his limbs more spindling than is the case with peoples of Malayan extraction, but these features are usually less noticeable. Perhaps undue emphasis has been given by writers on the Negrito to his short stature, until the impression has gone abroad that these primitive men are veritable dwarfs. As a matter of fact, individuals sometimes attain the stature of the shortest of the white men, and apparently only a slight infusion of Malayan blood is necessary to cause the Negrito to equal the Malay in, height.
The Aeta of Zambales range in stature from 4 to 5 feet. To be more exact, the maximum height of the 77 individuals measured by me, taking them as they came, with no attempt to select, was 1,600 millimeters (5 feet 2 inches); the maximum height for females was 1,502 millimeters (4 feet 11 inches); the minimum height for males was 1,282 millimeters (4 feet 2 inches), for females, 1,265 millimeters (4 feet). The average of the 48 males measured was 1,463 millimeters (4 feet 9 inches); of the 29 females, 1,378 millimeters (4 feet 6 inches). There is perhaps no greater variation between these figures than there would be between the averages of stature of as many individuals selected at random from any other race. Yet it should be remembered that some of the Negritos included in this list are not pure types—in fact, are no more than half-breeds.
The abnormal length of the arm of the Negritos has been regarded by some writers as an essentially simian characteristic, especially in the case of the pygmy blacks of Central Africa. With the Aeta this characteristic is not so marked, yet 7 out of 8 males had a reach or span greater than the height. The proportion was not so large among the females, being only 2 in 3. The maximum span for males was 1,635 millimeters, for females 1,538 millimeters, but in neither case did page 34the individuals having the greatest span also have the greatest height. The average span of 48 males exceeded the average height by 37 millimeters; the difference in the case of the females was only 16 millimeters.
Length of arm was taken on only 19 individuals, 16 males and 3 females. The longest arm measured 675 millimeters (2 feet 3 inches), which is not so long as the average Caucasian arm, though more out of proportion to the height, in this case being nearly half the latter measurement. The shortest arm, that of an adult female, was 539 millimeters (21 inches).
So far from being ape like in appearance, some of the Aeta are very well-built little men, with broad chests, symmetrical limbs, and well-developed muscles hardened by incessant use. This applies of course only to the young men and boys just approaching manhood, and is especially noticeable in the southern regions, where the Aeta are generally more robust and muscular. The younger females are also as a rule well formed. In the case of unmarried girls the breasts are rounded and erect, but after marriage gradually become more and more pendant until they hang almost to the waist line. With advancing age the muscles shrink, the skin shrivels up until an individual of 40 to 50 years usually has the decrepit appearance of an octogenarian; in fact, 50 is old age with the Aeta. (See plates.)
Anthropometric observations fall naturally into two groups, dealing with the proportions of the head and body, the latter of which have already been discussed. Great interest attaches also to the relative proportions of the different dimensions of the head and especially to the cephalic index obtained by multiplying the maximum breadth by 100 and dividing by the maximum length. Heads with an index of 75 or under are called dolichocephalic; those between 75 and 80, mesaticephalic; and those over 80 brachycephalic. The beads of the Aeta are essentially brachycephalic. Owing to the lack of proper calipers during the greater part of my stay among them, I was able to measure only 19 individuals, but of those all but 5 were in the brachycephalic group, one instance being noted where the index was as great as 92; the lowest was 78. The average of the males was 82 and of the females 86.
Considerable importance in anthropometry is attached to the study of the nose. The typical Aeta nose may be described as broad, flat, bridgeless, with prominent arched alæ almost as high as the central cartilage of the nose and with the nostrils invariably visible from the front. The nasal index obtained by dividing the nasal breadth by the height from the root of the nose to the septum and multiplying the quotient by 100 serves to indicate the group to which the individual belongs. Thus it will be seen that races with a nasal index of more than 100 have a nose wider than it is long. This is a marked characteristic of the Aeta. Of the 76 Aeta I measured, 25 were ultraplatyrhinian—that is, had a nasal index greater than 109. One individual, a page 35female, showed the surprising index of 140.7, the greatest so far recorded to my knowledge. The greatest nasal index among the males was 130.7. Only one example of a mesorhine nose was noted, also of a female, and but 7 platyrhine. The most of them belonged in the hyperplatyrhine group. The following table will show the proper classification of the individuals measured by me:
|Group||Sex and number|
|Ultraplatyrhine (109 and over)||51||10|
The shape of the eye varies from the round negroid of the pure bloods to the elongated mongoloid in the case of mixed types. The color of the eyes is a very dark brown or black. The lips are medium thick, far less thick than the lips of the African negro, and are not protruding.
The hair of the Aeta is uniformly kinky in the case of the pure types. Individuals were noted with other negroid features but with curly hair, showing a probable mixture of blood. The hair grows low on the forehead and is very thick. Eyebrows are not heavy, save in particular instances, and beard is very scanty, though all adult males have some beard. There is very little body hair on adults of either Sex, except in the axillary and pubic regions, and it is scant even in these places. The northern Negritos have practically none in the armpits. Two or three old men were seen with a coating of hair over the back, chest, and legs. The head hair is uniformly of a dirty black color, in some instances sunburned on top to a reddish brown. It turns gray at a comparatively early age, and baldness is frequent. (See Pls. XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI.)
In the case of women the hair is generally allowed to grow long, and in this tangled, uncombed state furnishes an excellent breeding place for vermin. However, if the vermin become troublesome the hair is sometimes cut short. (See Pl. XVII.) The cutting is done with the ever-useful bolo or sharp knife and is a somewhat laborious and painful process. Sometimes the hair may be cropped behind and left long on top. This is a favorite style of wearing it among the men, and is frequently followed by the women. Attempt is seldom made to comb the hair, but frequent vermin-catching onslaughts are made, the person performing the work using a sharp piece of bamboo to separate the tangled kinks and to mash the offending parasite against the page 36thumb nail. In Bataan the Negritos sometimes shave a circular place on the crown, but I am not informed as to the reason. The practice is not followed in Zambales.
The color of the skin is a dark chocolate brown rather than black, and on unexposed portions of the body approaches a yellowish tint of the Malayan. The loathsome skin disease common in the northern region of Luzon gives it a mottled appearance.
The Aeta have practically no prognathism. The hands are not large, but the feet are larger in proportion to the size of the body than those of Filipinos. The toes are spreading, and the large toe frequently extends inward so much as to attract attention, though this can not be said to be a marked characteristic of all individuals. It may be caused by a constant practice of the tree climber—that of grasping a branch between the large toes and the other toes. I have seen Negrito boys who would use their feet in this respect as well as they used their hands.
The custom prevails throughout the entire Negrito territory of sharpening the teeth. Usually only the upper teeth are so treated, but numerous cases were noted where the teeth were sharpened both above and below, and still there were others where they were not sharpened at all. This sharpening is not performed at any certain age, and it is apparently not obligatory; I do not believe parents compel their children to submit to this practice. The object seems to be largely for the sake of adornment, but the Negritos say that sharpened teeth enable them to cat corn with greater ease. The sharpening is done by placing the blade of a bolo against the part of the tooth to be broken away and giving it a sharp rap with a piece of wood. The operation, called “ta-li-han,” is a somewhat delicate one, requiring care to prevent breaking through into the soft part of the tooth and exposing the nerve, and is no doubt practiced by only one or two persons in a group, though this fact could not be ascertained. Notwithstanding this mutilation, the teeth seem to be remarkably healthy and well preserved except in old age.
In like manner each group of people possesses its scarifier, who by practice becomes adept. Scarification simply for purposes of ornamentation is not practiced to any great extent by the Negritos around Pinatubo. They burn themselves for curative purposes (see Chap. VI) and are sometimes covered with scars, but not the kind of scars produced by incisions. Only occasionally is the latter scarification seen near Pinatubo. In regions where it is common the work is usually done at the age of 15 or 16, although it may be done at any age. The incisions are made with a knife or a very sharp piece of cane, and generally follow some regular design. Scarification is called “ta-bád,” and it page 37has no other significance than adornment. The parts of the body usually marked are the breast, shoulders, and back, although scars are occasionally seen on the legs.
The clothing of the Negrito consists simply of the breechcloth and an occasional cast-off shirt given him by some Filipino in exchange for articles. Sometimes in cases of extreme prosperity he may possess a hat and a pair of trousers. The latter garment is usually worn, however, only by the chief man or “capitán” of the tribe, and the rank and file wear only the breechcloth.
A strip of cloth fastened around the waist and extending to the knees serves a woman for a dress. With unmarried girls this strip may be wound under the arms and so cover the breast. Rarely a short camisa is worn, but seldom do the camisa and the saya, or skirt, join. Sometimes, owing to the scarcity of cloth, a narrow strip will be worn over the breast, leaving a broad expanse of dark skin between it and the saya. (Pls. XXIX et seq.)
If given their choice among a variety of colors the Negritos always select black for their breechcloth and saya, because, they explain, the black will not show dirt as will other colors. Gaudy colors seem to attract and will be readily accepted as gifts if nothing else is at hand; yet I had some difficulty in disposing of a bolt of red cloth I had taken among them, and finally had to take the greater part of it back to the pueblo and exchange it for black. So far as I could learn the breechcloth and saya are never washed, and any cloth other than black would soon lose its original color. The cloth used by Negritos is procured in trade from the Christian towns.
In the less easily accessible regions where the wilder Negritos live the breechcloth and saya are made of the inner bark of certain trees which is flayed until it becomes soft and pliable.
The Negrito takes little pride in his personal appearance, and hence is not given to elaborate ornamentation. The women wear seed necklaces, called “col-in′-ta,” of black, white, and brown seeds, sometimes of a single solid color and sometimes with the colors alternating. I have also seen necklaces of small stones, hard berries of some sort, pieces of button or bone, and little round pieces of wood. Some women possess glass beads secured in trade from the Christianized natives. Often two or three white or black beads are used for ear ornaments, though it is not a very common practice to puncture the ears for this purpose as in Bataan, where leaves and flowers are often worn stuck in a hole through the lobe of the ear. What appears to be a necklace and really answers the purpose of such is a string of dried berries, called “a-mu-yong′,” which are said to be efficacious for the pangs of indigestion. (See Pl. XXXV.) When the Negrito feels a pain within page 38him he pulls off a berry and eats it. One may see a string with just a few berries, and again a complete necklace of them, evidently just put on. These are worn by both sexes and are so worn for the sake of convenience as much as with the idea of ornamentation, for the Negrito has no pocket. Necklaces of fine woven strips of bejuco or vegetable fiber are sometimes seen but are not common. These strands are woven over a piece of cane, the lengthwise strands being of one color, perhaps yellow, and the crosswise strands black, giving a very pretty effect and making a durable ornament which the Negritos call “la-lao′.”
Hair ornaments are not generally worn, but nearly every Negrito, male and female, especially in southern Zambales and Bataan, possesses one or more of the so-called combs of bamboo. A single style prevails over the entire Negrito territory, differing only in minor details. A section of bamboo or mountain cane, varying in length from 5 to 10 inches, is split in thirds or quarters and one of these pieces forms the body of the comb. Teeth are cut at one end and the back is ornamented according to the taste of the maker by a rude carving. This carving consists simply of a series of lines or cuts, following some regular design into which dirt is rubbed to make it black. The combs may be further decorated with bright-colored bird feathers fastened with beeswax or gum to the concave side of the end which has no teeth. The feathers may be notched saw-tooth fashion and have string tassels fastened to the ends. In lieu of feathers horsehair and a kind of moss or other plant fiber are often used. The most elaborate decorations were noticed only in the north, while the combs of the south have either no ornamentation or have simply the hair or moss. These combs, which the Negritos call “hook′-lay,” are made and worn by both men and women, either with the tasseled and feathered ends directly in front or directly behind. (See Pl. XXXVI.)
Leglets of wild boars' bristles, called “a-yá-bun,” are more common in the south than in the north. These are made by taking a strip of bejuco and fastening the bristles to it so that they stand out at right angles to the leg of the wearer. They are used only by men and are worn on either leg, usually on the right just below the knee. The Negritos say these leglets give the wearer greater powers of endurance and are efficacious in making long journeys less tiresome. “For is not the wild boar the most hardy of all animals?” they ask. This idea is further carried out in the wearing of pieces of boars' skin with the hair attached, which may often be seen tied around the legs or wrists. Deerskin, which is quite as common among the Negritos, is never used in such fashion. Metal rings and bracelets are entirely unknown among the Negritos except where secured from the coast towns. (See Pl. XXXVII.) page 39
The general condition of the Negritos, although not one of extreme misery, is indeed pitiable. Their life is a continual struggle for sufficient food, but their efforts to provide for themselves stop short at that; clothing and houses are of secondary importance. The average Negrito takes little pride in his dwelling place. A shelter sufficient to turn the beating rains is all he asks. He sees to it that the hut is on ground high enough so that water will not stand in it; then, curled up beside his few coals of fire, he sleeps with a degree of comfort.
The most easily constructed hut, and therefore the most common, consists simply of two forked sticks driven into the ground so they stand about 8 feet apart and 4 feet high. A horizontal piece is laid in the two forks, then some strips of bamboo are inclined against this crosspiece, the other ends resting on the ground. Some cross strips are tied with bejuco to these bamboos and the whole is covered with banana leaves. With the materials close at hand a half hour is sufficient for one man to construct such a shelter. Where a comparatively long residence in one place is contemplated more care may be given the construction of a house, but the above description will apply to many dwellings in a rancheria two or three years old. Instead of two upright pieces make it four, somewhat higher, and place a bamboo platform within so the occupants do not have to sleep on the ground, and you have an approved type of Negrito architecture. Sometimes as an adjunct to this a shelter may be erected in front, provided with a bamboo seat for the accommodation of visitors. The more prosperous Negritos in the long-established rancherias have four-posted houses of bamboo, with roof and sides of cogon grass. The floors are 4 feet from the ground and the cooking is done underneath the floors. A small fire is kept burning all night. The inmates of the house sleep just above it, and in this way receive some benefit of the warmth. If it were not for these fires the Negrito would suffer severely from cold during the night, for he possesses no blanket and uses no covering of any sort. page 40
For two reasons he never lets his fire go out; first, because he likes to feel the warmth continually, and second, because it is something of a task to build a fire, once it has gone out. (See Pls. XXXVIII, XXXIX.)
The method of making fire used universally by the Negritos of Zambales is that of the flint and steel, which apparatus they call “pan′-ting.” The steel is prized highly, because it is hard to get; it is procured in trade from the Christianized natives. Nearly every Negrito carries a flint and steel in a little grass basket or case dangling down his back and suspended by a fiber string from his neck. In the same basket are usually tobacco leaves, buyo, and other small odds and ends. Sometimes this pouch is carried in the folds of the breechcloth, which is the only pocket the Negrito possesses.
The flint-and-steel method of fire making has almost entirely supplanted the more primitive method of making fire by rubbing two sticks together; but in some instances this method is still followed, and everywhere the Negritos know of it. They do not know whether the method is original with them or, not, but they admit they borrowed the flint-and-steel idea from the Filipinos. When the friction process is employed a piece of bamboo with a hole in it, in which are firmly held some fine shavings or lint, is violently rubbed crosswise against the edge of another piece until the friction ignites the lint. It is called “pan-a-han′.” When two men are working together one holds the lower piece firmly while the other man rubs across it the sharpened edge of the upper piece. If a man is working alone the piece with the sharpened edge is held firmly between the ground and the man's waist; the other piece of bamboo with the slit in is rubbed up and down on the sharp edge. (See Pls. XL, XLI.)
In lieu of other vessels, rice and similar foods are cooked in joints of green bamboo, which are placed in the coals and hot ashes. When the food is cooked the bamboo is split open and the contents poured out on banana leaves. This is by far the most common method employed, though not a few Negritos possess earthenware pots, and some few have a big iron vessel. Meats are always roasted by cutting into small bits and stringing on a strip of cane. Maize is roasted on hot coals. Everything is eaten without salt, although the Negritos like salt and are very glad to get it.
It has already been noted that the Negrito has a hard time to get enough to cat, and for that reason there is scarcely anything in the animal or vegetable kingdom of his environment of which he does not make use. He never has more than two meals a day, sometimes only one, and he will often start early in the morning on a deer hunt without having eaten any food and will hunt fill late in the afternoon. In addition to the fish, eels, and crayfish of the streams, the wild boar and wild chicken of the plain and woodland, he will eat iguanas and page 41any bird he can catch, including crows, hawks, and vultures. Large pythons furnish especially toothsome steaks, so he says, but, if so, his taste in this respect is seldom satisfied, for these reptiles are extremely scarce.
Besides rice, maize, camotes, and other cultivated vegetables there is not a wild tuber or fruit with which the Negrito's stomach is not acquainted. Even some that in their raw state would be deadly poisonous he soaks and boils in several waters until the poison is extracted, and then he eats them. This is the case with a yellow tuber which he calls “ca-lot′.” In its natural form it is covered with stiff bristles. The Negritos peel off the skin and slice the vegetable into very thin bits and soak in water two days, after which it is boiled in two or three waters until it has lost its yellow color. In order to see if any poison still remains some of it is fed to a dog, and if he does not die they themselves eat it. In taste it somewhat resembles cooked rice. This was told me by an old Negrito who I believe did not possess enough invention to make it up, and is in part verified by Mr. O. Atkin, division superintendent of Zambales, who says in a report to the General Superintendent of Education, October, 1903, concerning the destitution of the town of Infanta, that the people of that town were forced by scarcity of food to eat this tuber, there called “co-rot′.” He was told that it was soaked in running water five or six days before cooking, and if not prepared in this way it would cause severe sickness, even death. In fact, some cases were known where persons had died eating co-rot′.
A white, thin-skinned tuber, called “bol′-wi,” which is found in the forests, is highly prized by the Negritos, although it grows so deep in the ground that the labor of digging it is considerable. Among the cultivated vegetables are the common butter beans, called “an-tak′,” and black beans, known as “an-tak′ ik-no′” or “sitting-down beans” from the fact that the pods curl up at one end. Ga-bi and bau′-gan are white tubers, and u′-bi a dark-red tuber-which they eat. Other common products are maize, pumpkins, and camotes.
The Negrito has ordinarily no table but the bare ground, and at best a coarse mat; he has no dishes but banana leaves and cocoanut shells, and no forks or spoons but his fingers. He brings water from a stream in a piece of bamboo about three joints long in which all but one joint has been punched out, and drinks it from a piece of cocoanut shell. If he needs to cut anything to eat he has his ever-ready bolo, which he may have used a moment before in skinning a pig and which is never washed. He is repulsively dirty in his home, person, and everything he does. Nothing is ever washed except his hands and face, and those only rarely. He never takes a bath, because he thinks that if he bathes often he is more susceptible to cold, that a covering page 42of dirt serves as clothing, although he frequently gets wet either in the rain or when fishing or crossing streams. This is probably one reason why skin diseases are so common.
The Negrito can not by any stretch of imagination be called a worker. His life for generations has not been such as to teach habits of industry. But for the fact that he has to do some work or starve, he would spend all his days in idleness except that time which he devoted to the chase. Yet when under pressure or urged on by anticipation of gain from the white man, whose wealth and munificence appear boundless, he is tireless. He will clear ground for a camp, cut and split bamboo, and make tables and sleeping platforms, which he would never think of doing for himself. He can get along without such things, and why waste the time? Yet when the camp is abandoned he will carry these things to his house. Most Negritos have seen the better style of living followed by the more civilized Filipinos in the outlying barrios; yet they seem to have no desire to emulate it, and I believe that the lack of such desire is due to a disinclination to perform the necessary manual labor.
By far the greater part of the Negrito's energies are directed to the growing of tobacco, maize, and vegetables. He does not plant rice to any extent. All planting is done in cleared spots in the forest, because the soil is loose and needs no plowing as in the case of the lowland. The small trees and underbrush are cut away and burned and the large trees are killed, for the Negrito has learned the two important things in primitive farming-first, that the crops will not thrive in the shade, and second, that a tree too large to cut may be killed by cutting a ring around it to prevent the flow of sap. The clearings are never large.
Usually each family has its clearing in a separate place, though sometimes two or more families may cultivate adjoining clearings. The places are selected with a view to richness of soil and ease in clearing. In addition to preparing the ground it is necessary to build a fence around the clearing in order to keep out wild hogs. A brush fence is constructed by thrusting sticks in the ground a few inches apart and twining brush between them.
All work of digging up the soil, planting, and cultivating is done with sharpened sticks of hard wood, sometimes, but not always, pointed with iron, for iron is scarce. This instrument is called “ti-ad′,” the only other tool they possess being the bolo, with which they do all the cutting.
Men, women, and children work in these clearings, but I did not see any division of labor, except that the men, being more adept with the bolo, do whatever cutting there is to be done. Once planted, the page 43weeding and care of the crops falls largely on the women and children, while the men take their ease or hunt and fish.
The piece of ground for planting is regarded as the personal property of the head of the family which cleared it, and he can sell it or otherwise dispose of it at his pleasure. No one else would think of planting on it even though the owner has abandoned it, unless he declared that he had no more use for it, then it could be occupied by anyone else.
An instance of the respect which the Negritos have for the property rights of others was given me by a native of the town of Botolan. His grandfather had acquired a piece of land near Mount Pinatubo from a Negrito who had committed some crime in his rancheria and fled to the pueblo to escape death. In return for protection the Negrito had given him the land. This fact became known to the other Negritos, but although the new owner made no use of the land whatever, and never even visited it, it has never been molested or cultivated by others. Now two generations later they have sent down to the grandson of the first Filipino owner asking permission to buy the land. Land may be sold to others, but of course there exists no record of such transactions other than that of memory.
The Negrito knows little of the art of making things. Aside from the bows and arrows which he constructs with some degree of skill he has no ingenuity, and his few other products are of the most crude and primitive type. The bows of the Negritos of Zambales are superior to any the writer has seen in the Philippines. They are made from the wood of the well-known palma brava and are gracefully cut and highly polished. The strings are of twisted bark, as soft and pliable and as strong as thongs of deerskin. Although made from the same wood, the bows of the Negritos of Negros are not nearly so graceful, and the strings consist simply of one piece of bejuco with a small loop at either end which slips over the end of the bow, and, once on, can neither be loosened nor taken up. The Negritos of Panay generally use a bamboo bow, much shorter and clumsier than those of palma brava.
Also, while the Negritos of the southern islands generally use arrows with hardwood points and without feathered shafts, those used in Zambales are triumphs of the arrow maker's art. In either case the shafts are of the light, hard, and straight mountain cane, but instead of the clumsy wooden points the Zambales Negritos make a variety of iron points for different purposes, some, as for large game, with detachable points. (See Pl. XLII.) The shafts are well feathered with the feathers of hawks and other large birds. Three feathers are placed about the arrow and securely wrapped at each end with a thin strip of bejuco or some strong grass. page 44
The war arrows, in addition to having more elaborately barbed points, are further embellished by incised decorations the entire length of the shaft. These incisions consist simply of a series of lines into which dirt has been rubbed so that they offer a striking contrast to the white surface of the arrow.
The women weave some coarse baskets out of bamboo, but they are neither well shaped nor pretty. Sometimes to adorn them one strand or strip of bamboo is stained black and the other left its natural color. Other objects of manufacture are their ornaments, already described in Chapter III, and musical instruments. (See Chap. VI.)
The Negrito knows that the people of the lowlands for some reason have more food than he. He can not go down and live there and work as they do, because, being timid by nature, he can not feel secure amid an alien people, and, besides, he likes his mountain too well to live contentedly in the hot plains. He makes nothing that the lowlands want, but he knows they use, in the construction of their houses, bejuco, of which his woods are full, and he has learned that they value beeswax, which he knows where to find and how to collect. Moreover, there are certain mountain roots, such as wild ginger, that have a market value. His tobacco also finds a ready sale to the Filipinos.
The bolo is the only tool necessary to cut and strip the bejuco, which he ties into bunches of one hundred and takes into his hut for safety until such a time as a trade can be made. These bunches never bring him more than a peseta each. He collects the beeswax from a nest of wild bees which he has smoked out, melts it, and pours it into a section of bamboo.
It is not always necessary that he take his products down to the town, for the Filipinos are eager enough to trade with him to go out to his rancheria carrying the little cloth, rice, iron, or steel that he is willing to take for his bard- gained produce. Perhaps the townspeople go out because they can drive better bargains. However that may be, the Negrito always gets the worst of the deal, whether in town or at his own home.
The Negrito is by instinct, habits, and of necessity a hunter. Although he has advanced somewhat beyond that stage of primitive life where man subsists wholly from the fruits of the chase, yet it is so necessary to him that were he deprived of it the existence of his race would be seriously threatened. Since the chase has furnished him a living for centuries, it is not strange that much of the ingenuity he possesses should be devoted to the construction of arms and traps and snares with which he may kill or capture the creatures of the woods and streams. His environment does not supply a great variety of game, but there are always deer and wild boars in abundance. Then there page 45are wild chickens and many birds which none but the Negrito would think of eating, and the mountain streams have a few small fish.
It is the capture of the deer which makes the greatest demands on the Negrito's skill. Doubtless his first efforts in this direction were to lie in wait by a run and endeavor to get a shot at a passing animal. But this required an infinite amount of patience, for the deer has a keen nose, and two or three days might elapse before the hunter could get even a glimpse of the animal. So he bethought himself of a means to entrap the deer while he rested at home. At first he made a simple noose of bejuco so placed in the run that the deer's head would go through it and it would. close on his neck like a lasso. But this was not very effective. In the first place it was necessary that the run be of the right width with underbrush on either side, because if the noose were too large the deer might jump through it and if too small he might brush it to one side.
FIG. 1.—“Belatic,” trap used by Negritos.
(A, The run of the animal; B, Spear; C, Bejuco string which the animal strikes; D, Support for spear: G, Ring to which string is tied; F, Spring; K, Strip of cane fastened to end of F, bent over and held down by G; I, String fastened to K and hence holding spring; f, Upright to which I is tied; H, Brace; E, Crossed sticks to drive animal through opening; L, Pegs to hold spring in place.)
The results of this method were so uncertain that the practice has fallen into disuse. Recourse is now had to the deadly “belatic.” I do not believe that this trap, which is common nearly all over the Philippines, is original with the Negrito. It is probably the product of the Malayan brain. A trap almost identical with this and called “belantay” is described by Mr. Abraham Hale1 as belonging to the Sakai of the Malay Peninsula, whom the Philippine Negrito resembles in many ways. The similarity between the two words “belatic” and “belantay” is apparent. In Ilokano and Pampanga this trap is called “balantic,” accented, like the Sakai term, on the last syllable. In Tagalog and Bisayan the letter “n” is dropped and the word is pronounced “be-lat′-ic.” Mr. Hale does not state whether the word is Sakai or is borrowed from the Malay. But according to Clifford and Swettenham's Malay Dictionary the pure Malay term is “belante,” which, as it is even more page 46similar to the terms in use in the Philippines, puts an end to the doubt concerning the origin of the word.
The belatic consists of a long arrow or spear, which is driven, with all the force of a drawn bough or other piece of springy wood, across the path of the animal which strikes the cord, releasing the spring. (See fig. 1.)
When the string C is struck it pulls the movable ring G, releasing K, which immediately flies up, releasing the string I and hence the spring F. The spear, which is usually tied to the end of the spring, though it may simply rest against it, immediately bounds forward, impaling the animal. The spring is either driven into the ground or is firmly held between the two uprights L. This trap is almost invariably successful.
Wild chickens. and birds are caught with simple spring traps. The hungry bird tugging at an innocent-appearing piece of food releases a spring which chokes him to death. The noose snare for catching wild chickens invented by the Christianized natives is also used to some extent by the Negritos. This trap consists of a lot of small nooses of rattan or bejuco so arranged on a long piece of cane that assisted by pegs driven into the ground they retain an upright position. This is arranged in convex form against a wall or thicket of underbrush so that a bird can not enter the space thus inclosed except by way of the trap. In this inclosed area is placed a tame cock whose crowing attracts the wild one. The latter, spoiling for a fight, makes for the noisy challenger and runs his head through a noose which draws the tighter the more he struggles.
The Negrito, as has been said, is remarkably ingenious in the construction of arrows. Those with which he hunts the deer are provided with cruelly barbed, detachable iron point. (Figs. 8, 9, Pl. XLII.) When the animal is struck the point leaves the shaft, unwinding a long woven coil with which the two are fastened together. The barbs prevent the point from tearing out of the flesh and the dangling shaft catches on the underbrush and serves to retard the animal's flight. In spite of this, however, the stricken deer sometimes gets away, probably to die a lingering death with the terrible iron point deeply imbedded in its flesh. A similar arrow is mentioned by De Quatrefages as having been found by Alan among the Mincopies of the Andamans.2
The arrows which are used to kill smaller animals and birds have variously shaped iron heads without barbs. (Figs. 10, 11, 12, 13, Pl. XLII.) However, in shooting small birds a bamboo arrow is used. One end is split a little way, 5 or 6 inches, into three, four, or five sections. These are sharpened and notched and are held apart by small wedges securely fixed by wrappings of cord. If the bird is not page 47impaled on one of the sharp points it may be held in the fork. (Figs. 2, 3, 4, Pl. XLII.) The fish arrows have long, slender, notched iron points roughly resembling a square or cylindrical file. The points are from 4 to 8 inches in length. Sometimes they are provided with small barbs. (Figs. 5, 6, 7, Pl. XLII.)
The Negritos of Zambales are not so expert in the use of bows and arrows as their daily use of these weapons would seem to indicate. They seldom miss the larger animals at close range, but are not so lucky in shooting at small objects. I have noticed that they shoot more accurately upward into the trees than horizontally. For instance, a boy of 10 would repeatedly shoot mangoes out of a tree, but when I posted a mark at 30, yards and offered a prize for the best shot no one could hit it.
The Negritos usually hunt in bands, and, because they have little else to do and can go out and kill a deer almost any time, they do not resort much to the use of traps. A long line of thirty men winding down the path from their village, all armed with bows twice their height and a handful of arrows, their naked bodies gleaming in the early morning sun, presents a truly novel sight. They have with them five or six half-starved dogs. When the haunts of the deer are reached, a big gully cutting through the level table-land, thick with cane and underbrush through which a tiny stream finds its way, half a dozen boys plunge into the depths with the dogs and the rest walk along either side or lie in wait at runs. The Negritos in the thicket yell continually and beat the brush, but the dogs are silent until game is scented. Then the cries of the runners are redoubled and the din warns those lying in wait to be alert. Presently from one of the many runs leading out of the ravine a deer appears and, if there happens to be a Negrito on the spot, gets an arrow. But, unless vitally wounded, on he goes followed by the dogs, which never give up the chase of a wounded deer. When a deer is killed it is hung up in a tree and the hunt proceeds.
Sometimes the thick canebrakes along the river beds are beaten up in this way, or the lightly timbered mountain ravines; for the Negrito knows that the deer lie in a cool, sheltered place in the daytime and come forth to browse only at night. On clear, moonlight nights they sometimes attempt to stalk the deer while grazing in the open field, but are not usually successful. Quite often in the chase a long rope net, resembling a fish net but much coarser and stronger, is placed in advance of the beating party in some good position where the deer is likely to run if started up. These are absolutely sure to hold the deer should the unfortunate animal run into them—a thing which does not happen often.
The Negritos are tireless in the chase. They will hunt all day without eating, unless they happen to run across some wild fruit. Women page 48frequently take part, especially if dogs are scarce, and they run through the brush yelping to imitate the dogs. But they never carry or use the bows and arrows. This seems to be the especial privilege of the men. Boys from an early age are accustomed to their use and always take part in the hunt, sometimes performing active service with their little bows, but girls never touch them. Not infrequently the runners in the brush emerge carrying wild pigs which they have seared up and killed, and if, by chance, a big snake is encountered, that ends the hunt, for the capture of a python is an event. The snake is killed and carried in triumph to the village, where it furnishes a feast to all the inhabitants.
This sketch of hunting would not be complete without mention of a necessary feature of every successful hunt-the division of the spoils. When the hunt is ended the game is carried back to the village before the division is made, provided the hunters are all from the same place. If two or more villages have hunted together the game is divided in the field. A bed of. green rushes or cane is made on which the animal is placed and skinned. This done, the bead man of the party, or the most important man present, takes a small part of the entrails or heart, cuts it into fine bits and scatters the pieces in all directions, at the same time chanting in a monotone a few words which mean “Spirits, we thank you for this successful hunt. Here is your share of the spoils.” This is done to feed and appease the spirits which the Negritos believe inhabit all places, and the ceremony is never neglected. Then the cutting up and division of the body of the animal takes place. The head and breast go to the man who first wounded the deer, and, if the shot was fatal, he also receives the backbone—this always goes to the man who fired the fatal shot. One hind quarter goes to the owner of the dog which seared up the deer, and the rest is divided as evenly as possible among the other hunters. Every part is utilized. The Negritos waste nothing that could possibly serve as food. The two hunts I accompanied were conducted in the manner I have related, and I was assured that this was the invariable procedure.
The mountain streams of the Negrito's habitat do not furnish many fish, but the Negrito labors assiduously to catch what he can. In the larger streams he principally employs, after the manner of the Christianized natives, the bamboo weir through which the water can pass but the fish can not. In the small streams he builds dams of stones which he covers with banana leaves. Then with bow and arrow he shoots the fish in the clear pool thus formed. Not infrequently the entire course of a creek will be changed. A dam is first made below in order to stop the passage of the fish, and after a time the stream is dammed at some point above in such a way as to change the current. Then, as the water slowly runs out of the part thus cut off, any fish remaining are easily caught. page 49
1 Journal Anth. Inst. Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 15.
2 Pygmies, p. 111.
A gambling game was the only thing observed among the Negritos of Zambales which had the slightest resemblance to a game. Even the children, who are playful enough at times, find other means of amusing themselves than by playing a systematic game recognized as such and having a distinct name. However, they take up the business of life, the quest for food, at too early an age to allow time, to hang heavy, and hence never feel the need of games. Probably the fascination of bow and arrow and the desire to kill something furnish diversion enough for the boys, and the girls, so far as I could see, never play at all.
The game of dice, called “ sa′-ro,” is universal. Instead of the familiar dots the marks on the small wooden cubes are incised lines made with a knife. These lines follow no set pattern. One pair of dice which I observed were marked as shown in fig. 2. The player has five chances, and if he can pair the dice one time out of five he wins, otherwise he loses. Only small objects, such as camotes, rough-made cigars, or tobacco leaves, are so wagered. A peculiar feature of the game is the manner in which the dice are thrown. The movement of the arm is an inward sweep, which is continued after the dice leave the hand, until the hand strikes the breast a resounding whack; at the same time the player utters a sharp cry much after the manner of the familiar negro “crap shooter.” The Negritos do not know where they got the game, but say that it has been handed down by their ancestors. It might be thought that the presence of a negro regiment in the province has had something to do with it, but I was assured by a number of Filipinos who have long been familiar with the customs of the Negritos that they have had this game from the first acquaintance of the Filipinos with them.
FIG. 2.—Marks on dice used by Negritos.
In their love for music and their skill in dancing Negritos betray other striking Negroid characteristics. Their music is still of the most primitive type, and their instruments are crude. But if their notes are few no fault can be found with the rhythm, the chief requisite for an accompaniment to a dance. Their instruments are various. The simple jew's-harp cut from a piece of bamboo and the four-holed flutes (called “ban′-sic”) made of mountain cane (figs. 6, 7, Pl. XLVI) are very common but do not rise to the dignity of dance instruments. Rarely a bronze going (fig. 1, Pl. XLVI), probably of Chinese make, has made its way into Negrito hands and is highly prized, but these are not numerous—in fact, none was seen in the northern region, but in southern Zambales and Bataan they are occasionally used in dances. The most common instrument is the bamboo violin. (Fig. 2, Pl. XLVI.) It is easy to make, for the materials are ready at hand. A section of bamboo with a joint at each end and a couple of holes cut in one side furnishes the body. A rude neck with pegs is fastened to one end and three abacá strings of different sizes are attached. Then with a small bow of abacá fiber the instrument is ready for use. No attempt was made to write down the music which was evolved from this instrument. It consisted merely in the constant repetition of four notes, the only variation being an occasional. change of key, but it was performed in excellent time.
Rude guitars are occasionally found among the Negritos. They are made of two pieces of wood; one is hollowed out and has a neck carved at one end, and a flat piece is glued to this with gum. These instruments have six strings. If a string breaks or becomes useless it is only a question of cutting down a banana stalk and stripping it for a new one. These guitars and violins are by no means common, though nearly every village possesses one. The ability to play is regarded as an accomplishment. A stringed instrument still more primitive is made from a single section of bamboo, from which two or three fine strips of outer bark are split away in the center but are still attached at the ends. These strips are of different lengths and are held apart from the body and made tight with little wedges. (Figs. 4, 5, Pl. XLVI.) Another instrument is made by stretching fiber strings over bamboo tubes, different tensions producing different tones. (Figs. 8, 9, Pl. XLVI.) These simpler instruments are the product of the Negrito's own brain, but they have probably borrowed the idea of stringed violins and guitars from the Christianized natives.
The Negritos of the entire territory have but two songs, at least so they affirmed, and two were all I heard. Strange as it may seem, at least one of these is found at both the extreme ends of the region. An extended acquaintance with them might, and probably would, reveal page 52which are performed oil any occasion such as the setting up of my tent, there are several mimetic dances having a special character or meaning. Such are the potato dance, the bee dance, the torture dance, the lover's dance, and the duel dance. (See Pls. XLVIII, XLIX.)
Only one person takes part in the potato dance. At first the performer leaps into the open space and dances around in a circle, clapping his hands as if warming up, the usual preliminary to all the dances. Presently in pantomime he finds a potato patch, and goes through the various motions of digging the potatoes, putting them in a sack, and throwing the sack over his shoulder, all the time keeping close watch to prevent his being caught In the act of stealing. He comes to the brush fence which surrounds every “caiñgin,” draws his bolo, cuts his way through, and proceeds until he comes to a river. This is significant as showing that the potato patch he is robbing does not belong to anyone in his own village but is across a river which he must pass on his way home. He sounds for deep water with a stick. It is too deep, and he tries another place. Here he loses his footing, drops his sack, and the swift current carries it beyond his reach. While going through the various motions necessary to depict these actions the movement of the dance is kept up, the body bent forward in a crouching position, the feet leaving the ground alternately in rapid motion but never out of time with the music. Such agility and tirelessness one could scarcely find anywhere else.
This dance is also performed by one person and in a similar manner as the potato dance. A piece of cloth tied to a pole serves as a nest of bees. The performer dances around the circle several times; presently he spies the nest and approaches slowly, shading his eyes for a better view. Having satisfied himself that he has really made a find, he lights a smudge, goes through the motion of climbing the tree, and in holding the smudge under the nest he is stung several times and has to retreat. This is repeated until all the bees are smoked out and the honey is gathered. Then comes a feast in which, drunk with honey, he becomes hilarious.
This dance, which commemorates the capture of an enemy, is performed in much the same manner as the “talbun” except that there is no song connected with it. The captive is bound to a stake in the center and a dozen men circle slowly around him, in the same manner as already described, one hand over the mouth and uttering long-drawn notes. page 53more songs, but they are reluctant to sing before white men. One of these songs, called “du-nu- ra,” is a kind of love song. Owing to the extreme embarrassment of the performer I was able to hear it only by going into my tent where I could not see the singer. It consisted of a great many verses-was interminable, in fact.
The second of the two songs was called “tal-bun′.” This is sung on festive occasions, especially when visitors come. The words are improvised to suit the occasion, but the tune and the manner of rendering never vary.
Five or six men, each holding with one hand the flowing end of the breechcloth of the one in front or with the hand on his shoulder and the other hand shading the mouth, walk slowly about a circle in a crouching posture, their eyes always cast on the ground. Presently the leader strikes a note, which he holds as long as possible and which the others take up as soon as he has sounded it. This is kept up a few minutes, different tones being so sounded and drawn out as long as the performers have breath. The movement becomes more rapid until it is nearly a run, when the performers stop abruptly, back a few steps, and proceed as before. After they have about exhausted the gamut of long-drawn “O's” they sing the words, usually a plea for some favor or gift, being first sung by the leader and repeated after him by the chorus. I did not get the native words of the song I heard, but it was translated to me as follows:
We are singing to the American to show him what we can do; perhaps if we sing well he will give us some rice or some cloth.
The words are repeated over and over, with only the variation of raising or lowering the tone. At intervals all the performers stop and yell at the top of their voices. Sometimes a person on the outside of the circle will take up the strain on a long-held note of the singers. This song also serves for festive occasions, such as weddings. (See Pl. XLVII.)
Dancing forms the chief amusement of the Negritos and allows an outlet for their naturally exuberant spirits. I had no more than set, up camp near the first rancheria I visited than I was entertained by dancing. Among the Negritos helping me was one with an old violin, and as soon as a place was cleared of brush and the tent was up he struck up a tune. Whereupon two or three youngsters jumped out and performed a good imitation of a buck-and-wing dance. However, dancing is not generally indulged in by everybody, but two or three in every rancheria are especially adept at it. Aside from the general dances, called “ta-li′-pi,” which consist of a series of heel-and-toe movements in excellent time to the music of violin or guitar, and the movement becomes faster and faster until it consists wholly of frenzied leaps, and the performers, worked up to the proper pitch draw their bolos, close in on their victim, and slash him to pieces.
When executed at night in the light of a bonfire this dance is most grotesque and terrible. The naked black bodies, gleaming in the fire, the blood-curdling yells, and the demoniacal figures of the howling, leaping dancers, remind one of the Indian war dances.
The dance seems to be a relic of more barbarous days when the Negritos were, in truth, savages. They say that they never kill a prisoner in this manner now, but that when they find it necessary to put a man to death they do it in the quickest manner possible with a single blow of the knife. (See Pl. L.)
As might be expected, a man and a woman take part in the lovers' dance. The women are not such energetic and tireless dancers as the men, and in the lovers' dance the woman, although keeping her feet moving in time to the music, performs in an indolent, passive manner, and does not move from the spot where she begins. But the man circles about her, casting amorous glances, now coming up quite close, and then backing away again, and at times clapping his hands and going through all sorts of evolutions as if to attract the woman. This sort of thing is kept up until one or both are tired.
The duel dance is by far the most realistic and interesting of any of the Negrito dances. Is the name suggests, the dance, is performed by two men, warriors, armed with bows and arrows and bolos. An oblong space about 8 feet in width and 15 feet long serves as an arena for the imaginary conflict. After the musician has got well into his tune the, performers jump into either end of the space with a whoop and a flourish of weapons, and go through the characteristic Negrito heel-and-toe movement, all the time casting looks of malignant hate at each, other but each keeping well to his end of the ring. Then they advance slowly toward each other, swinging the drawn bow and arrow into play as if to shoot, then, apparently changing their minds or the opportunity not being good for a death shot, they withdraw again to the far ends of the ring. Advancing once more each one throws the drawn bow and arrow upward, then toward the ground, calling heaven and earth to witness his vow to kill the other. Presently one gets a favorable opportunity, his bowstring twangs, and his opponent falls to the ground. The victor utters a cry of triumph, dances up to the body of his fallen foe, and cuts off the head with his bolo. He beckons and cries out to the relatives of the dead man to come and avenge the deed. Nobody page 54appearing, he bears aloft the head of the enemy, shouting exultingly and triumphantly as if to taunt them to respond. Still no one comes. Then alter waiting and listening for a time he replaces the head with the trunk and covers the body over with leaves and dirt. This ends the dance. Ordinarily it requires fifteen minutes for the full performance. During this time the one who by previous arrangement was to be the victor never for a single instant pauses or loses step.
I was unable to learn anything in support of Montano's statement that immediately after the birth of a child the mother rushes to a river with it and plunges into the cold water.1 On the contrary, the child is not washed at all until it is several days old, and the mother does not go to the stream until at least two days have elapsed. It is customary to bury the placenta. The birth of a child is not made the occasion of any special festivity. The naming is usually done on the day of birth, but it may be done any time within a few days. It is not common for the parents of the child to do the naming, though they may do so, but some of the old people of the tribe generally gather and select the name. Names of trees, objects, animals, places near which the child was born, or of certain qualities and acts or deeds all furnish material from which to select. For instance, if a child is born under a guijo tree he may be called “Guijo;” a monkey may be playing in the tree and the child will be named “Barac” (monkey); or if the birth was during a heavy rain the child may be called “Layos” (flood). Usually the most striking object near at hand is selected. Like most primitive peoples, the Negritos use only one name. If the child is sickly or cries very much, the name is changed, because the Negritos believe that the spirit inhabiting the place where the child was born is displeased at the choice of the name and takes this means of showing its displeasure, and that if the name is not changed the child will soon die.
Apparently no distinction is made between the names for the two sexes. The child may be given the name of the father, to whose name the word “ pan,” meaning elder, is prefixed for the sake of distinction. For instance, if a man named Manya should have either a son or a daughter the child might be called Manya, and the father would henceforth be known as Pan-Manya. This practice is very common, and when names like Pan-Benandoc, Pan-Turico, and Pan-Palaquan′ are page 56encountered it may be regarded as a certainty that the owners of these names have children of the same name without the prefix. Although one may change his name at any time of life, if the years of infancy are safely passed, no change is likely to be made.
It is regarded as a sign of disrespect to address elders or superiors by name. The word “pan” alone is frequently used. Relatives are addressed by the term which shows the relationship, as “anac” (son), and names are used only when speaking of persons and seldom if ever when speaking to them.
Parents seem to have great affection for their children, but exact obedience from them. Punishment is inflicted for small offenses, striking with the hand being the usual method. I have never seen a switch used. Sometimes, as in cases of continual crying, the child is severely pinched in the face or neck. Children also exhibit great affection for their parents; this continues through life, as is shown in the care which the aged receive at the hands of their juniors. (See Pls. LI et seq.)
Whatever differences there may be in the manner of conducting the preliminaries to a wedding and of performing the ceremony, there is one feature that never varies, the gift of some articles of value from the prospective bridegroom to the parents of the girl he wishes to marry.
With the Negritos a daughter is regarded as an asset of so much value, not to be parted with until that price is paid, and, while she is allowed some freedom in the choice of a husband, parental pressure usually forces her to the highest bidder.
The following is the customary procedure: The young man who wishes to marry and has found a girl to suit him informs his parents of the fact. He has probably already talked the matter over with the girl, though not necessarily so. The affair is discussed in the family of the suitor, the main topic being how much the girl is worth and how much they can afford to pay. Then either the suitor or some relative acting for him goes to the parents of the girl to ask if the suit will be favorably considered. If it will, they return and a few days later go again bearing presents of tobacco, maize, bejuco, knives, cloth, forest products, or anything else they may happen to have. If these gifts are of sufficient value to compensate the father for the loss of his girl, he gives his consent. Value is determined by the attractiveness of a girl and hence the probability of her making a good match, also by her health and strength, as women are good workers on the little farms. If the first gifts do not come up to the demands of the girl's parents the wedding can not take place until the amount lacking is made up. As to the money value of these gifts I have been told different things by Negritos in different villages, the values given ranging from 25 pesos to 500 pesos.As a matter of fact this means page 57nothing, for the Negrito's idea of value as measured by pesos is extremely vague; but there is no doubt that the gifts made represent almost all the wealth of which a young man and his family can boast.
This system of selling girls, for that is what it amounts to, is carried to an extreme by parents who contract their daughters at an early age to the parents of some boy, and the children are regarded as man and wife, though of course each remains with the parents until the age of puberty is reached. Whether or not the whole payment is made in the beginning or only enough is paid to bind the bargain, I do not know, but I do know that cases of this kind may be met with frequently among the Negritos of Pinatubo, who give as an excuse that the girl is thus protected from being kidnapped by some neighboring tribe, the relatives of the boy making common cause with those of the girl in case anything like this should happen. It seems more likely, however, that the contract is simply a desire on the part of the parents of the girl to come into early possession of the things which are paid for her, and of the parents of the boy to get her cheaper than they could by waiting until she was of marriageable age. This practice is not met with in southern Zambales and Bataan, where marriage does not seem to partake so much of the nature of a sale but where presents are nevertheless made to a girl's parents.
If it happens that there is a young man in the girl's family who is seeking a wife in that of the boy, an even exchange may be made and neither family has to part with any of its possessions. I was told also that in lieu of other articles a young man might give a relative to the bride's family, who was to remain as a sort of slave and work for his master until he was ransomed by payment of the necessary amount; or he might buy a person condemned to death and turn him over at an increased price, or sell children stolen from another barrio. As a bride may be worth as much as 500 pesos and a slave never more than 40 pesos, it would seem necessary to secure several individuals as payment. This was told me more than once and in different villages, but I was unable to find any examples, and am forced to conclude that if it ever was the practice, it is no longer so, at least among the “conquistas.” As to the true savages, still lurking in the inmost recesses of the Zambales mountains, I am unable to say. The question of slavery among Negritos is reserved to another chapter.
All the preliminaries having been satisfactorily attended to, it remains only to perform the ceremony. This proceeding varies in different sections from practically no ceremony at all in the Pinatubo region to a rather complicated performance around Subig and Olongapo. In some of the northern villages, when the matter of payment has been page 58arranged, a feast and dancing usually follow, in which all the relatives of both families participate, and after this the couple go to their own house. There may be two feasts on succeeding days, one given by the parents of the boy to the relatives of the girl, and vice versa. If only one feast is given both families contribute equally in the matter of food. No single act can be pointed out as constituting a ceremony. In other places, especially at Cabayan and Aglao, near Santa Fé, an exchange of food between the pair is a necessary part of the performance.
A mat is placed on the ground, and in the center is set a dish of cooked rice or some other food. The pair seat themselves on either side of the dish, facing each other, while all the relatives and spectators crowd around. The man takes a small piece of the food and places it in the mouth of the girl, and she does the same for the man. At this happy conclusion of the affair all the people around give a great shout. Sometimes the girl leaps to her feet and runs away pursued by her husband, who calls after her to stop. This she does after a little, and the two return together; or they may take a bamboo tube used for carrying water and set off to the river to bring water for the others to drink, thus performing in unison the first act of labor of their married life.
I was fortunate enough to witness a ceremony where the exchange of food was the important feature. In this instance a piece of brown bread which I was about to throw away served as the wedding cake. It seems that the girl had been contracted by her parents when very young to a man old enough to be her father, and when the time for the wedding arrived she refused to have anything to do with it. For two years she had resisted entreaties and threats, displaying more force of will than one would expect from a Negrito girl of 15. The man had paid a large price for her—200 pesos, he said—and the girl's parents did not have it to return to him. It was suggested that if we made her some presents it might induce her to yield. She was presented with enough cloth for two or three camisas and sayas, a mirror, and a string of beads, and she finally gave an unwilling assent to the entreaties of her relatives, and the ceremony was performed in the manner already described. At the conclusion a yell went up from the assembly, and I, at the request of the capitán, fired three pistol shots into the air. Everybody seemed satisfied except the poor girl, who still wept furtively over her new treasures. Some days later, however, when I saw her she appeared to be reconciled to her fate, and was happy in the possession of more valuables than any other woman in the rancheria.
In the southern rancherias a bamboo platform is erected 20 or 30 feet high, with a ladder leading up to it from the ground. On the day fixed for the marriage the groom, accompanied by his parents, goes page 59to the house of the bride and asks for her. They are usually told that she has gone away, but some small gifts are sufficient to have her produced, and the whole party proceeds to the place of marriage. Here bride and groom mount the ladder—some accounts say the bride is carried up by her prospective father-in-law.
An old man of the tribe, and, if the platform be large enough, also the parents of the pair, go up and squat down in the rear. The bride and bridegroom also squat down facing each other, and the old man comes forward and knocks their heads together. I was told at Subig that only the bride and groom mount the platform and seat themselves for a talk, the relatives remaining below facing each other with drawn weapons. If by any chance the pair can not agree, it means a fight. But if they do agree, they descend from the platform and the head bumping completes the ceremony. This is an extremely unlikely story, probably the product of Malayan imagination.
After the ceremony has been performed the newly wedded pair return to the home of the girl's parents where they remain a few days. When the husband possesses enough gifts for his bride to fulfill the requirements of the leput that important event takes place.
Although the writer heard repeated accounts of this ceremony in southern Zambales he never had an opportunity to witness it. However, the leput is described as follows by Mr. C. J. Cooke, who saw it in Bataan:2
The bride had already left the home of her mother and formed the center of a group passing through a grove of heavy timber with very little underbrush. The evening sun cast strange shadows on the weird procession as it moved snakelike along the narrow path.
Occasionally there would be short stops, when the bride would squat to receive some bribes or tokens from her husband, his relatives, or friends. Nor would she move until she received something each time she elected to stop.
Clad in a bright-red breechcloth and extra-high silk hat was the capitán who headed the procession. He carried a silver-headed cane. Next in order came some of the elders of both sexes. Then came the bride attended by four women and closely followed by her husband, who also had a like number of attendants. Last came the main body, all walking in single file. Two musicians were continually executing a running dance from one end of the procession to the other and always keeping time with their crude drums or copper gongs, the noise of which could be heard for miles around. Whenever they passed the bride they would hold the instruments high in the air, leaping and gyrating at their best. When the bride would squat the dancers would even increase their efforts, running a little way to the front and returning to the bride as if endeavoring to induce her to proceed. It did not avail, for she would hot move till she received some trinket.
In crossing streams or other obstacles the bride was carried by her father-in-law; the bridegroom was carried by one of his attendants. Presently they page 60arrived at a critical spot. This is the place where many a man has to let his wife return to her mother; for here it is the bride wants to see how many presents are coming to her. If satisfied, she goes on. In this case there was a shortage, and everybody became. excited. The husband huddled to the side of his bride and looked into her face with a very pitiful expression, as if pleading with her to continue. But she was firm. In a few minutes several people formed a circle and commenced dancing in the same way as at their religious ceremony, and chanting low and solemnly an admonition to the husband's parents and friends to give presents to the bride. This was repeated several times, when there came a lull. The bride was still firm in her opinion that the amount offered was insufficient. I had supplied myself with some cheap jewelry, and a few trinkets satisfied her desires; so the “music” again started. Louder it became—wilder—resounding with a thousand echoes, and as the nude bodies of the Negritos glided at lightning speed from the glare of one torchlight to the other, with no word uttered but a continual clangor of the metal gongs, one thought that here was a dance of devils.
In due time we came to a place in the path that was bordered on either side by small strips of bamboo about 3 feet long with both points sticking in the ground, resembling croquet arches, six on either side. When the bride arrived there she squatted and her maids commenced to robe her in a new gown (à la Filipina) over the one she already had on. She then continued to another similar place and donned a new robe over those already on. This was repeated twice, when she arrived at a triumphal arch. There she donned a very gaudy dress consisting of red waist and blue skirt, with a large red handkerchief as a wedding veil.
Rejoicing in her five complete dresses, one over the other, she passed through the arch and again squatted. Meanwhile a fire was built midway between the arch and a structure specially prepared for the couple. All present except those waiting on the groom and bride joined in a dance around the fire, chanting gleefully and keeping time with hands and feet.
All at once the circle divided just in front of the arch; two persons on opposite sides joined bands overhead. The bride now stood up, immediately her father-in-law caught her in his arms, ran under the human arch, and deposited her gently in the house of his son. When the husband, from where he was squatting under the arch, saw his bride safely laid in his house his joy knew no bounds. With a yell he leaped up, swinging his unsheathed bolo over his head, and in a frenzy jumped over the fire, passed through the human arch, and with a final yell threw his arms around his wife in a long embrace.
The ceremony as above described contains many details which I did not meet with in Zambales, but the main feature, the sitting down of the bride to receive her gifts, is the same.
As might be expected among the Negritos, a man may marry as many wives as he can buy. His inability to provide the necessary things for her purchase argues against his ability to provide food for her. Hence it is only the well-to-do that can afford the luxury of more than one wife. Visually this practice is confined to the capitán or head man of the tribe, and even he seldom has more than two wives, but one case was noticed in the village of Tagiltil, where one man had seven. At Cabayan the capitán had two wives, a curly-haired one, and a straight-haired one, the latter the daughter of Filipinos who had taken up page 61their abode with the Negritos. (See Pl. LV.) Polygamy is allowed throughout the Negrito territory. It is not uncommon for a man to marry sisters or a widow and her daughter. Marriage between blood relatives is prohibited.
Divorce is not very common with the Negritos in Zambales. There seems to be a sentiment against it. If a man is powerful enough he may divorce his wife, but if he does so for any other reason than desertion or unfaithfulness her relatives are likely to make a personal matter of it and cause trouble. A man and his wife may separate by mutual agreement and that of their families. In such a case whatever property they may have is divided equally, but the mother takes the children.
A more frequent occurrence than that, however, is the desertion of her husband by a woman who has found some one of greater attractions elsewhere, probably in another rancheria, but even these cases are rare. If it is possible to reach the offender the new husband will have to pay up, otherwise it is necessary for the woman's parents to pay back to the injured husband all that he has paid for her. But if the offender is caught and is found to be unable to pay the necessary price the penalty is death. In any event the husband's interests are guarded. Ile can either recover on his investment or get revenge.
Notwithstanding the repeated statements of travelers that Negritos bury their dead under their houses, which are then abandoned, nothing of this kind was met in Zambales, and Mr. Cooke did not see it in Bataan. He says that in the latter province the body is placed in a coffin made by hollowing out a tree, and is buried in some high spot, but there is no regular burying ground. A rude shed and a fence are built to protect the grave.
In Zambales any spot may be selected. The body is wrapped up in a mat and buried at a depth of 3 or 4 feet to protect it from dogs and wild boars. With their few tools such interment constitutes an arduous labor.
I was unable to learn of any special ceremony performed at a burial. Montano says they have one, and Mr. Cooke states that all the relatives of the deceased kneel in a circle around the coffin and sing a mournful monotone. The Negritos of Zambales repeatedly affirmed that they had no burial ceremony.
I believe that many of the vices of the Negrito are due to contact with the Malayan to whom be is, at least in point of truthfulness, honesty, and temperance, far superior. It is rare that he will tell a lie unless he thinks he will be greatly benefited by it, and he seems not to indulge page 62in purposeless lying, as so often do his more civilized neighbors. So far as my acquaintance with him goes, I never detected an untruth except one arising from errors of judgment.
In their dealings with each other there seldom occur disputes among the Negritos, which in itself is an evidence of their natural honesty. With Filipinos, they are inclined to accept and respect the opinions of their more knowing, if less honest, patrons, and take what is offered for their produce with little protest. It is to be feared, however, that as they realize the duplicity of the Filipinos they themselves may begin to, practice it
Alcoholism is unknown among them, but they drink willingly of the native drinks, “tuba” and “anisado,” whenever it is offered them. They do not make these beverages. Nowhere does it seem to have gotten a hold on them, and there are no drunkards.
The practice of smoking is followed by Negritos of both sexes, old and young, although they are not such inveterate smokers as are the Filipinos. The custom prevails of smoking roughly made cigars of tobacco leaves tied up with a grass string, always with the lighted end in the mouth. After smoking a few whiffs, the cigar is allowed to go out, and the stump is tucked away in the breechcloth or behind the ear for future use. One of these stumps may be seen somewhere about a Negrito at almost any time. Pipes are never used.
Very few Negritos chew betel nut, and their teeth, although sharpened as they are, offer a pleasing contrast to the betel-stained teeth of the average Filipino.
While one can not speak authoritatively in regard to relation of the sexes without a long and close study of their customs, yet all the evidence at band goes to show that the Negritos as a race are virtuous, especially when compared with the Christianized natives. Their statement that death is their penalty for adultery is generally accepted as true, and probably is, with some modifications. Montano mentions it twice,3 and he asserts further in regard to the Negritos of Bataan that “sexual relations outside of marriage are exceedingly rare. A young girl suspected of it must forever renounce the hope of finding a husband.”
In Zambales the Negritos continually assert that adultery is punishable by death, but closer questioning usually brought out the fact that the offenders could buy off if they possessed the means. Montano makes the statement that in case of adultery it is the injured husband who executes the death sentence. However, the injured husband is satisfied if he recovers what he paid for his wife in the beginning. In case of a daughter, the father exacts the payment, and only in case he is destitute is it likely to go hard with the offender.
It has been asserted also that theft is punishable by death. The page 63Negritos say that if a man is caught stealing and can not pay the injured person whatever he considers the value of the stolen article and the fine that is assessed against him, he will be put to death. But, as a matter of fact, it is never done. He is given his time in which to pay his fine or someone else may pay it; and in the latter case the offender becomes a sort of slave and works for his benefactor.
Murder is punishable by death. The victim is executed in the manner already described in the torture dance. But murder is so rare as to be almost unknown. The disposition of the Negrito is peaceable and seldom leads him into trouble.
Cooke4 states that as a punishment for lighter offenses the Negritos of Bataan use an instrument, called “con-de-mán,” which is simply a split stick sprung on the neck from six to twenty hours, according to the degree of the crime, and which is said to be very painful. Nothing like this was seen in Zambales.
Notwithstanding the statements of Montano that the Negritos have no slaves and know nothing of slavery, the reverse is true, in Zambales at least; so say the Negritos and also the Filipinos who have spent several years among them. The word “a-li′-pun” is used among them to express such social condition. As has been stated, a man caught stealing may become a slave, as also may a person captured from another rancheria, a child left without support, a person under death sentence, or a debtor. It was also stated that if a man committed a crime and escaped a relative could be seized as a slave. It will take a long acquaintance with the Negritos and an intimate knowledge of their customs to get at the truth of these statements.
The countenance of the average Negrito is not dull and passive, as might reasonably be expected, but is fairly bright and keen, more so than the average Malayan countenance. The Negrito also has a look of good nature—a look usually lacking in the Malayan. His knowledge of things other than those pertaining to his environment is, of course, extremely limited, but he is possessed of an intellect that is capable of growth under proper conditions. He always manifests the most lively interest in things which he does not understand, and he tries to assign causes for them.
Natural phenomena he is unable to explain. When the sun sets it goes down behind a precipice so far off that he could not walk to it, but he does not know how it gets back to the east. Rain comes from the clouds, but he does not know how it got there except that thunder and lightning bring it. These things are incomprehensible to him and page 64he has apparently invented no stories concerning them. While thunder and lightning are good because they bring rain, yet if they are exceedingly violent he becomes afraid and tries to stop them by burning deer's bones, which, he says, are always efficacious.
The mathematical knowledge of the Negritos is naturally small. They count on their fingers and toes, beginning always with the thumb and great toe. If the things they are counting are more than twenty they go through the process again, but never repeat the fingers without first counting the toes. To add they use rice or small stones. They have no weights or measures except those of the civilized natives, but usually compare things to be measured with some known object. Distance is estimated by the time taken to walk it, but they have no conception of hours. It may take from sunrise until the sun is directly overhead to go from a certain rancheria to another, but if asked the number of hours the Negrito is as likely to say three or eight as six. They have no division of time by weeks or months, but have periods corresponding to the phase of the moon, to which they give names. The new moon is called “bay′-un bu′-an,” the full moon “da-a′-na bu′-an,” and the waning moon “may-a′-mo-a bu′-an.” They determine years by the planting or harvesting season. Yet no record of years is kept, and memory seldom goes back beyond the last season. Hence the Negritos have no idea. of age. They know that they are old enough to have children or grandchildren, and that is as far as their knowledge of age goes. To count days ahead they tie knots in a string of bejuco and each day cut off one knot.
In regard to units of value they are familiar with the peso and other coins of the Philippines and have vague ideas as to their value. But one meets persistently the word “tael” in their estimate of the value of things. A tael is 5 pesos. If asked how much he paid for his wife a mail may say “luampo fact.” Where they got this Chinese term I do not attempt to say, unless it points to very remote commercial relations with the Chinese, a thine, which seems incredible.5
The Negritos have developed to a high degree a sense of the dramatic, and they can relate a tale graphically, becoming so interested in their account as to seem to for get their surroundings. For instance, a head man was giving me one night an account of their marriage ceremony. He went through all the motions necessary to depict various actions, talking faster and louder as if warming up to his theme, his eyes sparkling and his face and manner eager.
They are much like children in their curiosity to see the white man's belongings, and are as greatly pleased with the gift of a trinket. Their expressions and actions on beholding themselves in a mirror for the page 65first time are extremely ludicrous. One man who had a goatee gazed at it and stroked it with feelings of pride and admiration not unmixed with awe.
It will also take a close acquaintance to learn much of the superstitious beliefs of the Negritos. Some hints have already been given in regard to feeding the spirits after a hunt and reasons for changing names of children. Other superstitious were mentioned, as the wearing of bracelets and leglets of wild boar's skin and the burning of deer's bones to scare away thunder.
The basis of all the superstitious beliefs of the Negritos, what might else be termed their religion, is the constant presence of the spirits of the dead near where they lived when alive. All places are inhabited by the spirits. All adverse circumstances, sickness, failure of crops, unsuccessful hunts, are attributed to them. So long as things go well the spirits are not so much considered. There seems to be no particular worship or offerings to gain the good will of the spirits, other than the feeding already noted, except in one particular. On the Tarlac trail between O'Donnell (Tarlac Province) and Botolan (Zambales Province) there is a huge black bowlder which the Negritos believe to be the home of one powerful spirit. So far as I could learn, the belief is that the spirits of all who die enter this one spirit or “anito” who has its abiding place in this rock. However that may be, no Negrito, and in fact no Christianized native of Zambales or Tarlac, ever passes this rock without leaving a banana, camote, or some other article of food. If they do, bad luck or accident is sure to attend the trip.
Señor Potenciano Lesaca, the present governor of Zambales, when quite young, once passed the rock and for amusement—and greatly to the horror of the Negritos with him-spurned it by kicking it with his foot and eating part of a banana and throwing the rest in the opposite direction. The Negritos were much concerned and said that something would happen to him. Sure enough, before he had gone far he got an arrow through both legs from savage Negritos along the trail who could have known nothing of the occurrence. Of course this only strengthened the belief. There is nothing unusual about the shape of the stone. It is merely a large, round bowlder.
Disease is usually considered a punishment for wrongdoing, the more serious diseases coming from the supreme anito, the lesser ones from the lesser anitos. If smallpox visits a rancheria it is because someone has cut down a tree or killed an animal belonging to a spirit which has invoked the aid of the supreme spirit in inflicting a more severe punishment than it can do alone.
For the lesser diseases there are mediquillos or medicine men or women, page 66called “mañga-anito,” who are called to exorcise the spirit creating the disturbance. Anyone who has cured patients or belongs to a family of mediquillos can follow the profession. There is an aversion to being a mediquillo, although it pays, because if a patient dies the medicine man who treated him is held accountable. As a rule they are treated with respect, and people stand more or less in awe of them, but they have sometimes been killed when they failed to effect a cure.
Señor Benito Guido, a native of Botolan, who accompanied me to the barrio of Tagiltil as interpreter, became slightly ill while in a camp. The Negritos were much worked up over it. They said it was caused by cutting the bamboo for our camp, the spirits that owned the bamboo being offended.
In order that we might witness their customs in such cases, an old woman who practiced as “mañga-anito” was called and offered to relieve the patient for a little money. A peso was given her and she began. Upon being asked how he was affected Señor Guido said that he felt as if something was weighing him down. Of course this was the spirit, which had to be removed before a cure could be effected. The Mañga-anito danced around the patient and bad him dance and turn somersaults. This was to make the spirit sorry he had chosen such an unstable abiding place. Finally she took hold of his hands, gave a mighty tug and then dropped back stiff. The spirit had passed from the body of the patient into her body.
During all these gymnastics the other Negritos had preserved a most solemn mien, but at this juncture they set to work to restore the stricken woman, rubbing and working her arms and legs until the spirit was gone. All disease is caused by spirits, which must be expelled from the body before a cure can be effected.
Use is also made of other remedies to supplement the ministrations of the mañga-anito. Attention has been called to the string of dried berries, called “a-gata,” which the Negritos of Pinatubo wear around their necks for convenience in case of pains in the stomach. In southern Zambales what seem to be these same berries are used as a charm against snake bite. Here for pains in the stomach they boil a piece of iron in water and drink the water hot. Pieces of certain woods are believed efficacious for rheumatism, and old men especially may often be seen with them tied around the limbs. This superstition is not far removed from the belief entertained in certain rural districts of the United States that rheumatism may be prevented by carrying a horse chestnut in the pocket. The Negritos also wear such pieces of wood around the neck for colds and sore throat.
In cases of fever a bed is made from the leaves of a plant called “sam′-bon,” which much resembles mint, and leaves are bound to the affected parts. The action of these leaves is cooling. For fractures they use bamboo splints and leaves of a plant called “ta-cum′-ba-o.” page 67
A bad cut is also bound up in these leaves or with the sap of a tree called “pan-da-ko′-kis.”
The Negritos do nothing for skin disease, a form of herpes, with which a great many are afflicted. They probably do not regard it as a disease. (See Pls. LVI et seq.) In case of centipede bites, if on a finger, the affected member is thrust in the anus of a chicken, where, the Negrito affirms, the poison is absorbed, resulting in the death of the chicken.
Goiter is quite common. It is said to be caused by strain from carrying a heavy load of camotes or other objects on the head.
Smallpox, as has been said, is believed to be a visitation of the wrath of the supreme spirit, and if it breaks out in a rancheria the victim is left with a supply of food and water and the place is abandoned. After several days have elapsed the people return cautiously, and if they find the patient is dead they go away again never to return, but if he has recovered they take up their abode in the rancheria. A great many of the Negritos seen in Zambales have scars of smallpox.
The practice of blistering the body in case of sickness is very common in the Pinatubo region. The belief prevails with some individuals that in the healing up of the sore thus produced the sickness with which the body is afflicted will go away. Others affirmed that blistering was done only in case of fevers, and that the pain inflicted caused the patient to break out in a profuse perspiration which relieved the fever. This seems a more rational belief. Individuals were seen with as many as twenty scars produced in this manner.
Aside from the anito belief, the Negritos have other superstitions. Cries of birds at night are especially unlucky. If a person is starting out on a journey and someone sneezes just as he is leaving he will not go then. It is regarded as a sign of disaster, and delay of an hour or so is necessary in order to allow the spell to work off.
A certain parasitic plant that much resembles Yellow moss and grows high up in trees is regarded as a very powerful charm. It is called “gay-u-ma” and a man who possesses it is called “nanara gayuma.” If his eyes rest on a person during the new moon he will become sick at the stomach, but he can cure the sickness by laying hands on the afflicted part.
Señor Benito Guido says that when a young man he was told by Negritos that this charm would float upstream. Arid when he offered to give a carabao for it if that were so, its power was not shown. In spite of this, however, the Negritos are firm believers in it, and, for that matter, so also are the Christianized Zambal and Tagalog. It is likewise thought to be of value in attracting women. If it is rubbed on a woman or is smoked and the smoke blows on her the conquest is complete. page 68
1 Montano, Mission aux Philippines, p. 316.
2 MS. Coll. of The Ethnological Survey.
3 Voyage aux Philippines, p. 71; Mission aux Philippines, p. 315.
4 MS. Coll. of The Ethnological Survey.
5 In the footnote on page 29 is given an extract from Careri's Voyages, in which the following occurs: “True it is, that by means of the heathen Chinese who deal with them in the mountains, some deformed statues have been found in their huts.”
The attention of the Spanish Government was early attracted to the Negritos and other savages in the Philippines, and their subjection and conversion was the subject of many royal orders, though unfortunately little was accomplished. One of the first decrees of the Gobierno Superior relating especially to the Negritos was that of June 12, 1846. It runs substantially as follows:
In my visits to the provinces of these Islands, having noticed, with the sympathy that they must inspire in all sensitive souls, the kind of life and the privations that many of the infidel tribes, and especially the Negritos who inhabit the mountains, are forced to endure; and persuaded that it is a duty of all civilized Governments and of humanity itself to better the condition of men, who, hidden thus from society, will in time become extinct, victims of their customs, of the unhealthfulness of the rugged places where they live, and of our negligence in helping them; and desirous of making them useful, that some day, influenced by the benefits of social life, they may enter the consoling pale of our Holy Mother, the Catholic Church, I hereby decree the following:
ARTICLE 1. The alcaldes and military and political governors of provinces in whose district there may be tribes or rancherias of the aforesaid Negritos or of other infidels shall proceed with the consent of the devoted curas parrocos, whose charity I implore for them, through their head men or capitanes, to induce them to take the necessary steps to assemble in villages, lands being given for that purpose, in places not very near to Christian pueblos, and seeds of grains and vegetables being furnished that they may cultivate the land.
* * * * * * *
ART. 3. Two years after the pueblo shall have been formed the inhabitants thereof shall pay a moderate tribute, which shall not for the present exceed one real per head, the youths and children being excepted, obtaining in compensation the usufruct of the lands which they may hold as their own property so long as they do not abandon the cultivation, being able to sell to others under the same conditions with the knowledge of the authority of the district.
ART. 4. Said authorities and also the priests shall maintain the greatest zeal and vigilance that the Christian pueblos do not intrude on those of the infidels or Negritos, neither that individuals live among them nor that they harass or molest them on any pretext whatsoever under penalty of being punished. * * *
ART. 5. As I have understood that if the Negritos refuse social life it is on account of their being warned by the Christians who employ them in cutting wood, bamboo, and bejuco, and in the collection of other products of the woods page 69which they inhabit, the chiefs of the provinces and the justices of the peace shall take care that no one enters into such contracts with the Negritos without competent authorization, leaving his name in a register in order that if he fail to pay the true value of the articles satisfactory to the Negritos or mistreats them it will be possible to fix the blame on him and to impose the proper penalty.
Article 6 states that—
It shall not be necessary for the Negritos to embrace the Catholic faith, but the priests shall go among them to examine their condition and learn their needs and teach them the advantages of civil life and the importance of religion.
Article 7 provides for a report every three months from those officers in charge of such districts.
This all sounds very well, and if carried out might have succeeded in improving the condition of the unfortunate Negritos, but we can not find that the provincial officials showed great zeal in complying with the executive request.
On January 14, 1881, a decree very similar to this was issued. The first part of this decree related to the newly converted or “sometidos.” But article 7 authorized the provincial authorities to offer in the name of the State to Aetas and other pagans the following advantages in exchange for voluntary submission: Life in pueblos; unity of families; concession of good lands and direction in cultivating them in the manner which they wished and which would be most productive; maintenance and clothing during one year; respect for their usages and customs so far as they did not oppose the natural law; to leave to their own wishes whether or not they should become Christians; to buy or facilitate the sale of their crops; exemption from contributions and tributes for ten years and lastly, government by local officials elected by themselves under the direct dependency of the head of the province or district.
These provisions were certainly liberal enough, but they bore little fruit so far as the Negritos were concerned. Being sent out as circulars to the chiefs of all provinces, such decrees received scant attention, each provincial head probably preferring to believe that they were meant for someone else. Although it sounded well on paper, the difficulties in the way of successful compliance with such an order were many. But in one way and another the authorities sought to reach the hill tribes, though it must be confessed they were actuated rather by a desire to preserve peace in their provinces and to protect the plainsmen from the plundering raids of the savages than by motives of philanthropy in improving the condition of the latter.
The Negritos of Zambales were classed as conquistados and non-conquistados, according to whether they lived in amicable relations with the Filipinos or stole carabaos and killed the people whenever they had the opportunity. The Guardia Civil made many raids into the mountains for the purpose of punishing the predatory Negritos, and many page 70are the stories related by old members of that military organization now living in the province concerning conflicts which they had with the little black bow-and-arrow men, who always got the worst of it. Gradually they came to see the futility of resistance. As a matter of fact these raids were only for the purpose of securing food and not because of enmity toward the Filipinos. When a group expressed their desire to live peaceably in their hills they were dubbed “conquistados” and left alone so long as they behaved. The number of conquistados grew and the “unconquered” retreated farther into the mountains. Carabao raids are very infrequent now, for the people disposed to make them are too remote from the plains and would have to pass through territory of the settled and peaceable Negritos, who would inform the party sent in pursuit. But the Constabulary has had two or three raids of this kind to deal with during the past two years.
Those Negritos still living in a wild state have very simple government. They simply gather around the most powerful man, whom they recognize as a sort of chief and whom they follow into raids oil the plains or neighboring tribes of Negritos. But when living peaceably scattered through their mountains each head of a family is a small autocrat and rules his family and those of his sons who elect to remain with him. When he dies the oldest son becomes the head of the family. Usually, however, a group of families living in one locality recognizes one man as a capitán. He may be chosen by the president of the nearest pueblo or by the Negritos themselves, who are quick to recognize in this way superior ability or greater wealth. The capitán settles disputes between families.
The next step in the civilizing process is the gathering together to form villages. This was the end to which the Spaniards worked, but the process was retarded by the Christianized natives who profited by trade with the Negritos in forest products and who advised them to avoid coming under Spanish rule where they would have to pay tribute. If a community became sufficiently large and bade fair to be permanent it was made a barrio of the nearest pueblo and given a teniente and concejales like other barrios. This was the case with Aglao and Santa Fé, in the jurisdiction of San Marcelino, but Ilokano immigrants settled in these places and the Negritos gradually withdrew to the hills and settled in other places, until now there are very few Negritos actually living in these towns. One old man in Aglao, who once went to Spain as a servant to an officer, speaks very good Spanish.
In spite of the reprisals made by the Guardia Civil and other means employed by the Spaniards, Negrito raids went on without much cessation until 1894. In that year the authorities induced a head man named Layos to come down to the town of San Marcelino for an interview. Layos came down about as nature had provided him and was page 71received with much ceremony by the town authorities. They dressed him up from head to foot, made him presents, and feasted him for several days. Then with the customary Spanish pomp, parade of soldiery, and flare of trumpets, they presented him with a gaudy sash and named him Capitán General del Monte. He was given charge of all the Negritos in the district and charged to keep them under control. The sash was a cheap print affair, but it answered the purpose. The effect of all this on an untamed savage can be imagined. Layos was impressed. He went back to the hills with his new treasures and an experience worth relating. It is said that the robbing and killing of Christian natives lessened materially after that.
When I was at Cabayan in that district I saw Layos. He was a heavy-set man of about 38, harelipped, an old ragged shirt and breechcloth his only apparel, and with nothing of his former grandeur but the memory. The sash, his badge of office, he said had long since gone in breechcloths.
In the same year (1894) all Negritos in the Botolan district who would come down from the mountains were fed for five or six months in hope that they would settle down and remain. But they were given nothing to do and were not shown how to work, and when the feeding stopped they all went back to the hills, the only place where they knew how to secure sustenance. Although this experiment did not result as desired, it probably had good effects, for the people of this region are the farthest advanced to-day and are most inclined to live in villages. I am informed that since my visit some of the Negritos have moved down to the Filipino village of Pombato and there are several Negrito children in the native school. The people of Tagiltil have even expressed a desire for a school. The presence of several Zambal and halfbreeds in this village and its nearness to the Filipinos probably account for its being ahead of other villages in this as in other respects. page 75
The paucity of measurements has already been explained, but those that were taken are given here for what they are worth. I do not attempt to draw any conclusions from them or undertake any discussion other than that already given in the chapter on physical features.
In the following tables it should be noted that where the age is given the number indicates only an estimate, as no Negrito knows his age. It has been thought better to give these approximate ages than to leave them out entirely, in order to distinguish the very young from the middle aged and old:
|No.||Sex||Age||Standing height||Span of arms||Length of nose||Breadth of nose||Nasal index||Length of ear|
|No.||Sex||Age||Standing height||Height of shoulders||Span of arms||Width of Shoulders||Length of hand||Length of arm||Height sitting||Length of foot||Length of head||Breadth of head||Cephalic index||Length of nose||Breadth of nose||Nasal index||Length of ear|
As has been pointed out already, the Negritos of Zambales seem to have lost entirely their own language and to have adopted that of the Christianized Zambal. A study of the vocabularies here given will show that in various sections of the province Zambal is to-day the language of the Negritos. Differences will be found, of course, in the dialects of regions which do not come much into contact with each other, and contact with other dialects creates different changes in different localities.
The chief difference between the Bolinao dialect and that of the region south is the substitution of the letter “r” in the former for “l;” as “arong” for “along,” nose; “dira” for “dila,” tongue. Yet not a few words are entirely different. These differences may arise from the use of synonyms or from misinformation, as I was able to take the Bolinao vocabulary from only two individuals. This dialect is spoken in the towns of Bolinao, Anda, Bani, and Zaragoza, although I am informed that there are even slight differences in the speech of the people of some of these towns. The towns from Infanta to Iba have the second dialect.
When the Aeta element enters the differences become more apparent, although the relationship between the differing words may often be seen; for instance, “sabot,” hair, becomes “habot;” “along,” nose, becomes “balongo.” But the number of words which bear no relationship is greater than in the case of the first two dialects. It is possible that here we find traces of an original Negrito language, but I believe that all these words can be traced to Malay roots. It will be noticed also that the two following vocabularies taken from Negritos at Santa Fé and Subig do not differ materially from the Zambal-Aeta—in fact, they may be regarded as identical.
The writer can not vouch for the vocabularies from Bataan and Bulacan, but gives them for the sake of comparison. The words collected by Montano are mostly Tagalog and differ somewhat from Cooke's. The latter states that he verified his seven times. The two sets are probably from different parts of the province. The Dumagat vocabulary from Bulacan Province, while offering greater differences, is plainly of Malay origin like all the others.
|English||Zambal of Bolinao||Zambal of Iba||Zambal—Aeta||Aeta of Santa Fé||Aeta of Subig||Aeta, Bataan Province||Dumagat, Bulacan Province|
|Daughter||a′-nak||a′-nak||a′-nak||a′-nak||a′-nak||a′-nak*||anak na mowna|
|To fight||mi-a-wa′-y, raban||la′-ban||mi-a-wa′-y||mi-awa′-y||ina-ki′-a-wa′-y||sullo-sum-to-yan|
|To eat||mañg′-an||mañg′-an||mañg′-an||mañg′-an||mañg-an||caïn*||mumunganpage 82|
The words marked (*) were taken from Montano's vocabulary in his Mission aux Philippines. The others were collected by C. J. Cooke, MS. of The Ethnological Survey, and E. J. Simons, MS. of The Ethnological Survey.
Outline map of Zambales, showing distribution of Negritos.
Negrito women of Bataan on a rock in a stream.
Photo by Worcester.
Negrito man from Nangsol, near Subig, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man from Aglao, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito woman of Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
View near Santa Fé, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Capitán of Villar.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Showing the relative height of American, mixed blood and pure Negrito.
Photo by Diamond.
Group of Negritos and Constabulary at Cabayan, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Old man of Zambales (pure Negrito).
Photo by Diamond.
Old man of Zambales (pure Negrito), showing hair on face and chest.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito of Zambales, showing hair on the chin and skin disease on the arm.
Photo by Diamond.
Pure Negrito of Zambales, showing hair on the chin.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito Man of Zambales, showing hair on the face.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito girls. (One with hair clipped behind to eradicate vermin.)
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales (pure blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales, (mixed blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales (pure blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales (mixed blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito girl of Zambales (pure blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito woman of Zambales (mixed blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Old Negrito woman of Zambales (pure blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales (pure blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Negros (mixed blood).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Negritos of Maao, Occidental Negros (emigrants from Panay, Mixed bloods).
Photo by Reed.
Group of Negrito men at Santa Fé, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Principal men of Tagiltil, Zambales (pure Zambal and mixed Negrito).
Photo by Diamond.
Negritos of Zambales (mixed bloods).
Photo by Diamond.
Group of people called Aburlin (non-Christian Zambal and Negrito mixed bloods).
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito women of Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Group of Negrito women at Santa Fé, Zambales, showing dress.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito girls of Zambales, one wearing necklace of dried berries.
Photo by Diamond.
Combs worn by Negritos of Zambales.
Ornaments worn by Negritos of Zambales.
Negrito man, wife, and hut, Bataan.
Photo by Worcester.
Better class of Negrito hut, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Bataan making fire with bamboo.
Photo by Worcester.
Negrito men of Bataan making fire with bamboo.
Photo by Worcester.
Bows and arrows used by Negritos of Zambales.
Position taken by Negritos of Zambales in shooting.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Bataan drawing a bow; hog-bristle ornaments on the legs.
Photo by Worcester.
Negrito man of Negros (emigrant from Panay) drawing a bow.
Photo by Reed.
Musical instruments used by Negritos of Zambales.
Negritos of Zambales singing the “talbun.”
Photo by Diamond.
Negritos of Zambales dancing.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito men of Bataan beating gongs and dancing.
Photo by Worcester.
Negritos of Zambales dancing the “torture dance.”
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito woman and daughter, Bataan.
Photo by Worcester.
Pure Negrito woman and mixed blood, with babies, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito women and children, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito children, Santa Fé, Zambales.
Photo by Diamond.
Capitán of Cabayan, Zambales, with Negrito and Zambal wives.
Photo by Diamond.
Boys of Zambales, showing scars made by blistering for fevers, etc.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito woman of Zambales, pure blood, showing scars made by blistering for fevers, etc.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito woman of Zambales, pure blood, showing skin disease.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales, mixed blood, showing skin disease.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito boy of Zambales, mixed blood, showing skin disease.
Photo by Diamond.
Negrito man of Zambales, mixed blood, showing skin disease.
Photo by Diamond.
“Capitán-General del Monte,” Negrito of Zambales.