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one of their tribes, presented themselves regularly on September 6th, for three successive years, at a Brazilian settlement, to be entertained, according to agreement, at an annual carousal; they must, therefore, have adopted some means of calculating time. 65
Possibly we are altogether mistaken in considering the races just described to be lower than all others. Their languages are very imperfectly known, and until these have been investigated, it is impossible for anybody to understand their mental conceptions. It has always been passing travellers who have drawn the most doleful pictures of so-called savages, and especially have asserted the poverty of their language. This, for instance, had been the fate of the Carib language until Alexander von Humboldt declared that "it combines wealth, grace, strength, and gentleness. It has expressions for abstract ideas, for Futurity, Eternity, and Existence, and enough numerical terms to express all possible combinations of our numerals." 66
As the tribes above mentioned live by hunting or fishing, and reside mainly on islands, they will, before long, become extinct. We do not mean to imply that pastoral tribes will not also die out, as is the certain fate of the Hottentots and all the nomads of Northern Siberia. The North American hunting tribes, in the territory of the Hudson's Bay Company, have continued to thrive under the protection of favourable laws, but now that the privileges of the Company have been abolished, these tribes will probably meet with the general fate. The opening of the great western railroads to California will greatly accelerate the extinction of the Bison tribes and the other remnants of the Indian race, and the next century will not find any Redskins in the United States, or at most as domesticated curiosities they may drag on a miserable existence for a few years. This process by which the beings of a past age pass away ought to be no mystery to us.
Above all, the idea of sanguinary suppression must not be entertained. The Spaniards are very frequently reproached for special barbarity. We have no intention of denying that they were deeply
65 J. J. von Tschudi, Reisen durch Südamerika. 1860.
66 Alex. von Humboldt, Eine wissenschaftliche Biographie. Herausgegeben von Karl Bruhns.
Extinction of Barbarous Nations.
stained with Indian blood, but this was caused by greed and not by cruelty; the extermination was always lamented, and an attempt to counteract it was made by lenient though powerless laws. The transatlantic history of Spain has no case comparable in iniquity to the act of the Portuguese in Brazil, who deposited the clothes of scarlet-fever or small-pox patients on the hunting grounds of the natives, in order to spread the pestilence among them; 67 and of the North Americans who used strychnine to poison the wells which the Redskins were in the habit of visiting in the deserts of Utah; 68 of the wives of Australian settlers, who, in times of famine, mixed arsenic with the meal which they gave to starving natives; 69 or, finally, of the English colonists in Tasmania, who shot the natives when they had no better food for their dogs.70 Yet neither cruelty nor oppression have anywhere entirely extirpated a human race, nor have even new diseases, including the small-pox, annihilated nations; still less is it due to the brandy epidemic: a far more powerful angel of destruction now acts on races once joyous and happy, and this is, weariness of life. The unfortunate inhabitants of the Antilles killed themselves wholesale by mutual agreement, partly by poison and partly by the halter. A missionary at Oaxaca told the Spanish historian Zurita, that whole tribes of the Chontals and Mijes had agreed to renounce all intercourse with their wives or to destroy the unborn progeny by poison.72 The true cause of the extinction of so many various races of mankind is that no new generation springs up among them. It is the decrease of births in the Sandwich Islands 73 and Tahiti which is bringing about the disappearance of the tribes. The inhabitants of Taio-Hae, an island of the Mendana group,
67 Prince of Vied, Reise nach Brasilien, vol. ii. p. 64. Tschudi, Reisen durch Südamerika.
68 R. Burton, The City of the Saints, p. 576.
69 Waitz (Gerland), Anthropologie, vol. vi. Eyre, Central Australia, vol. ii. p. 175. 1845.
70 Bonwick, The Last of the Tasmanians, p. 50. 1870.
71 Las Casas, Hist. de las Indias.
72 Zurita, Chefs de la Nouvelle Espagne.
73 In the first census in the Sandwich Islands in 1832, 130,315 individuals were counted, in 1853 they had diminished to 73,138, and in 1872 to 49,044. Globus, June, 1873.
* See the fallsity of this statement demonstrated en Invelis "Rep. of Bureau of Ethnicity: 1879-80, p. 25.
diminished from 400 to 250 inhabitants in the course of three years, during which period only three or four births took place.74
Certain misunderstood instances help to explain this fact. A young Botocudo boy was brought up by a Brazilian family at Bahia, attended the schools and the university, obtained a medical diploma, and for a time practised as a physician at Bahia. Profound melancholy had always been the chief feature of his character. One day he disappeared, and years afterwards his adopted parents received intelligence that he had discarded clothes and education, and was roaming about the forests with his tribe.75 A similar case was witnessed by Dobrizhoffer among the Abipones; and he also relates the story of a Spanish lady who, with her children, fell into the hands of this warlike tribe, and remained with them till a ransom was obtained. Her son Raymond and her daughter, who had grown up among the Redskins, entirely refused to return.76 The late Admiral Fitzroy brought a Fuegian to England, where he was christened and brought up under the name of Jemmy Button, and was for a time made much of as a pet in good society. He was taken back to his native country in the expedition in which Charles Darwin went round the world. On his return to his own home, Jemmy Button, who in Europe had always worn gloves and polished boots,77 at once became a naked, unwashed, unkempt Fuegian, as he had formerly been, and in 1855 no longer differed from his fellows. 78 Another well-known case of this sort is that of an Australian named Bungari, who was educated at Sydney, where he gained prizes at the college, and spoke Latin well, but who afterwards escaped from civilization into the bush, and declared that education had been of no use but to make him conscious of his misery.79 The hydrographer Neumayer also relates that, having lost his way on the Lower Murray in 1861, he was taken by
74 Quatrefages, Rapport.
75 J. J. von Tschudi, Reisen in Südamerika.
76 Geschichte der Abiponer. Wien, 1783.
77 C. Darwin, Journal of Researches, p. 207.
78 Philipps, The Missionary of Tierra del Fuego, 1861; and Parker Snow, Off Tierra del Fuego, vol. ii. p. 29.
79 Bonwick, The Last of the Tasmanians, p. 359.
Extinction of Barbarous Nations.
the natives to a naked black man, who noted in his pocket-book, in faultless English, the names of the most important localities through which he was to pass on his return. This literary Australian, who was at that time twenty-four years of age, had been educated at a missionary school in Adelaide.80
Unsympathetic anthropologists have endeavoured to prove by such cases as these that men of a different colour from their own belong to other species. These examples show principally that the measure of mental capacity is not unequally distributed, but we are also surprised to see that the so-called savage prefers a life of freedom to all the advantages and conveniences of civilization. The difficulty of accustoming hunting tribes to a sedentary life, is not that they are incapable of living in our way, but that they choose to live in their own way. They look upon all labour as degrading, and on hunting as the only dignified and manly occupation.81 "The black man does not work," say the Australians, “for he is of high birth." 82 When the English and Dutch colonists settled on the eastern shores of the United States, a native was here and there observed watching from an elevation how the farmer followed his plough, not in order to learn his secret, but first to gaze in wonder, and then to turn away in pity, as if he silently thought, with the Latin poet, that life could not possibly be worth more than the pleasures which render it desirable (non propter vitam vivendi perdere causas). That this is the final impression of the native. we may perceive from another trait. The Red Indians of North America imagine the next world to be a continuation of the present existence. The Great Spirit, as they hope, will transplant them to regions abounding in game.83 Thus the warlike Maori of New Zealand imagine life after death as a constant series of skirmishes and battles in which the blessed are always victorious. Our Germanic forefathers cherished the same hopes. The life of the
So Neumayer, at the meeting of the Anthropological Society at Berlin, April 15th, 1871.
81 According to Charlevoix this is the case with the Algonkins and Iroquois (Nouvelle France. 1744). They show great industry, however, in the preparation of their hunting and fishing tackle.
82 "White fellows work, not black fellows; black fellow gentleman.” Hale, United States Exploring Expedition; Ethnography, p. 109.
$3 Charlevoix, Nouvelle France. 1744.
uncivilized man appears to him so full of enjoyment that he can think of another life only as an enhancement of the same. Now let us ask ourselves whether we should be satisfied with an enhancement of our present existence; whether an artisan would like to imagine the life after death as a cotton mill a mile in length. Or can we suppose that a Londoner, who goes into the country a very few times during the year, and some years not at all, could imagine the next world to be an exaggerated London? We must therefore conclude that in the lowest social grades the sense of physical ease is far greater, the appreciation of life far smaller; that the so-called savage prefers to renounce existence rather than undergo the burdens of civilization. Had the home of the ancient Teutons, as Tacitus describes them, been in North America, they would in all likelihood have succumbed, after the discovery by Europeans, to the same fatality which has destroyed the Algonkins and the "Five Nations." The transition from hunting to careful husbandry must be slowly effected during several generations, or the extinction of the race is inevitable. We therefore see that those natives of the New World who had already reached a higher grade of civilization, such as the natives of Mexico, Yucatan, Central America, Ecuador, Peru, and Chili, not only do not die out, but that now, after about three hundred years, are again becoming the dominant races in their own country, although in a less advanced state of civilization.
When comparing hunting tribes with literary nations, there is one circumstance which we ought never to forget. We are all slaves of society, laboriously tutored from our youth upwards to perform the work of a wheel, or often enough of a mere peg or a screw, in the machinery of civil life. Freedom is enjoyed only by the Botocudo, the Australian, or the Eskimo. We never feel the loss of natural liberty, for it is impossible to lose what has never been possessed. But, lest these words should be deemed a lamentation over a lost Paradise, we will add that on the other hand civilized man enjoys one liberty which coloured hunting tribes may well envy him, namely, intellectual liberty. It has frequently been asked whether all savages have religious feelings. No ethnologist will put this question. He knows that the nearer the state of nature, the greater is the belief in Nature. The sway