Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Affinities and Origin of the Australian and
Polynesian Races (S583: 1900)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: This greatly expanded version of a chapter in Wallace's 1893 book Australasia was published in his Studies Scientific and Social in 1900. The various figures Wallace refers to are to be found in the original, but I have not reproduced them here. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S583.htm


[[p. (461)]] CHAPTER XXI

AFFINITIES AND ORIGIN OF THE AUSTRALIAN AND POLYNESIAN RACES1

     THE aborigines of Australia differ remarkably from those of all the surrounding countries, while they agree so closely among themselves in every part of the continent that they evidently form a single race. To summarize their main characteristics, they may be described as men of medium stature, muscular, but with slender arms and legs, rather large heads, with broad foreheads and overhanging brows, the nose thick and very broad at the nostrils, as in most of the lower races, the mouth large and lips thick, but less so than in many negro tribes. In colour they are a deep copper or chocolate, never sooty black as in the negro; the hair is long, glossy black or very deep auburn, usually wavy or curled, and very abundant, and the face is adorned with a luxuriant growth of moustache, beard, and whiskers, usually with an auburn tinge. These characters in their combination give the face, as a whole, a familiar appearance, resembling that of the coarser and more sensual type of Western Europeans, while they are thereby totally removed from any of the beardless Malayan and Polynesian tribes, or the woolly or frizzly-haired Papuans. (The reproduction of the photographs of the man from North Australia, and the woman from [[p. 462]] Queensland, kindly lent me by the Council of the Anthropological Institute, show these characteristics, especially [[p. 463]] that of the wavy, glossy hair, equally removed from the frizzly mop of the Papuan as from the straight, coarse hair of the Malay.) They have sometimes a considerable [[p. 464]] growth of hair on the body, especially on the chest and back, while the infants are much lighter in colour than the adults, and are clothed with a soft fur on the neck and back.

     If we turn to habits and customs for some light as to the probable derivation of the Australians, we find equally clear proofs that we must go far beyond the limits of all the immediately surrounding peoples. While Malays, Papuans, and Polynesians all cultivate the ground and all build good permanent houses, the Australians never do one or the other. The pottery of the Malays and Papuans, the bows and arrows of the Papuans and other Melanesians, and the well-made and often elaborate canoes of all these races are equally unknown to the Australians, who must thus be classed among those savage peoples which have made the very smallest advance towards material civilization.

Supposed African Affinities.

     In Mr. Curr's important work on "The Australian Race," an attempt is made to show that there is a great resemblance in language and in many of their customs, between the native races of Australia and Africa. By comparing words chosen among the numerous languages of Australia with words having the same meaning in some of the still more numerous African languages and dialects, a considerable number of curious resemblances are found. But it is not improbable that an equal number of resemblances could be found if the languages of any other equally extensive portion of the world were taken for comparison, because many words in all languages are either onomatopťic--that is, sound-imitations, or, what may be called functional. Thus, words for the lips, mouth, or head often contain labial sounds; those for the teeth or for things that resemble teeth, contain dentals--that is, sounds which are only produced when the tongue touches the teeth, as d and t; while the nose, and things supposed to resemble it, are named by words containing such nasal sounds as n, ng, or ˝y; hence names of these parts of the body and words derived from them will often [[p. 465]] resemble each other in the most remote parts of the world, and in languages which in most respects are quite unlike each other. So, the words for father and mother--the infantile ba, pa, ma--occur in every part of the world, though sometimes transposed in their meaning. Similar resemblances to the Australian have been found by other writers among the languages of the hill tribes of India, and with these peoples there is much more agreement in physical characters.

     Mr. Curr also adduces a number of curious customs which are common to Australia and Africa, such as the great importance attached to sorcery; the forming raised scars on the body; the habit of knocking out the front teeth; the practice of a form of circumcision; the prohibition of marriage within certain class-divisions; the forms of burial, and a few others. But some of these customs are very widespread among savages, and unless it can be shown that a considerable number of them are strictly limited to Australia and Africa they can afford no proof of a common origin of the two races. More interesting is the fact that the peculiar Australian weapon, the boomerang, finds its nearest representative among the Abyssinians and the ancient Egyptians, though it is doubtful whether it had with these people the same peculiarities of returning and erratic flight. It is possible that the weapon was more widely spread in early times, but was gradually superseded by the bow and other superior weapons; but it can hardly be held to prove any identity of race.

Resemblance of Australians to the Ainos.

     If we look broadly, and without prejudice or prepossession at the physical features of the Australians, it is evident that they cannot be classed either with the Negroid or the Mongolian types of man. There remains only the Caucasian, and, though of a very low type, in all essential features they agree with these; and if we look abroad for other isolated fragments of the same race, we find one of them in the Ainos, or hairy people, of Japan. These curious people agree in many respects with the best types [[p. 466]] of Australians, but they are somewhat more hairy, of a much lighter colour, and with more refined features. Some of the old men resemble handsome European peasants. They are also much more advanced in material civilization than the Australians.

     [[p. 467]] (The two photographs, of a man of the Arunta tribe in Central Australia, and of a typical hairy Aino, show a [[p. 468]] remarkable similarity in this respect, and though the Aino is of a more refined type, there is nothing to indicate any radical diversity of race between them.)

     Other fragments of the same great primitive type are to be found in the Khmers of Cambodia, as well as in some of the wild tribes of the same country and of Western China, who have long been recognized as of Caucasian type. The language of the Khmers is said to have some affinities with that of the Mahoris, who are, as we have stated in the last chapter, now generally recognized as of Caucasian affinity, as are some of the tribes of Micronesia.2

The Australians are low Caucasians.

     Of all these widely scattered Caucasian fragments we must look upon the Australians as the lowest and most primitive. Their antiquity is, in all probability, very great, since they must have entered their present country at a time when their ancestors had not acquired the arts of making pottery or of cultivating the soil, of domesticating animals, of constructing houses, or of fabricating the bow and arrow. They thus afford us an example of one of the most primitive types of humanity yet discovered; and if, as I believe, they really belong to our own stock, we are led to the conclusion that the differentiation of the three great races of mankind took place at so remote an epoch that we cannot expect to find any of the earliest connecting links, while the amount of intermixture that has taken place wherever two of these races come into contact renders their actual delimitation still more difficult.

     The uniformity of the low stage of material civilization in the Australians, though spread over so wide an area differing considerably in climate and vegetation, and in some parts very fertile, is the more remarkable, because [[p. 469]] they must again and again, have been brought into contact with more advanced races. There are clear signs of intermixture in the north both with Malays and Papuans, yet this has had little or no effect on the customs of the people. But some higher race has evidently at one time formed a settlement on the north-west coast, as indicated by the very remarkable cave paintings and sculptures discovered by the late Sir George Grey in his earliest exploration of that country. They were found in the valley of the Glenelg River in North West Australia, about sixty miles inland and twenty miles south of Prince Regent's River, in a very rugged tract of country. The paintings consist of representations of human heads and bodies, apparently of females clothed to the armpits, but the faces are without any indication of mouths. The heads are surrounded with a broad head-dress or halo, and one of the figures wears a necklace. They are executed in red on a white ground, the clothing being marked with a red pattern, and the broad hat or halo in some of the figures is coloured blue, red and yellow. These designs are nearly life-size, and the largest is on the sloping roof of a cave thus appearing to look down on a visitor. There are also some drawings of kangaroos, more finished than any of the work of modern Australians. On the roof of another cave there was a full-length figure, ten feet high, dressed in a loose red garment from neck to ankles, the hands and feet being well executed and the latter apparently, covered with shoes. The white face is mask-like, showing the eyes only and around it are circular concentric bandages, the inner one yellow, the outer red, looking something like a broad cap and outer bonnet. On the upper part of this are five letters or characters, having an oriental aspect. Although poorly executed, these figures have a refined character, as utterly out of place among the Australian natives as would be any modern work of art. Very near one of these caves there was found on a large vertical sandstone rock a well-executed human head, hollowed out to about an inch and a half deep in the centre, the whole head being two feet in length and sixteen inches broad. The singularity of it is that it is perfectly European in type, both in form of [[p. 470]] head and features. The only other paintings which appear to have a similar character are those discovered by Captain Flinders in Chasm Island on the North East Coast, and which have been preserved in a sketch by W. Westall, A.R.A., who accompanied Flinders as artist. These form a long procession of human figures of a pale red colour, rudely executed, but all apparently clothed in long robes. Near the head of the procession is a much taller male figure, with arms outstretched and holding a stick, and towards the middle is an equally tall female figure. There are also a turtle and a sword-fish, pretty well drawn.

     Whoever were the people who executed these singular paintings, they were, probably, also the makers of the two large square mounds found by Sir George Grey in the same district. These were formed of loose stones, but were perfect parallelograms in outline, and were placed due east and west. From the drawing given of them they must have been heaped up with great care, since they are finished to a sharp ridge, with triangular ends just like the roof of a building. Both were exactly the same length, twenty-two and a quarter feet, but they differed somewhat in width and height. One was opened, but nothing was found inside but a quantity of fine mould.

     In the same district Sir George Grey noticed among the dark-coloured natives a few individuals who were very much lighter in colour--he says "almost white;" and he thinks that these lighter people exercised authority; and he also describes the native houses or shelters as being better constructed here than in other parts of Australia.3

     A good deal further south, on the Upper Gascoyne River, Mr. Giles met with some natives who were exceptionally good-looking. He says: "Some of these girls and boys had faces, in olive hue, like the ideal representation of angels; how such beauty could exist among so poor a grade of the human race it is difficult to understand, but there it was."

     These various indications compel us to believe that one or more colonies have formerly existed on the north-west [[p. 471]] coast, either of shipwrecked Europeans or of some of the higher and more civilized Malays, with possibly Arabs or Chinese among them, and that, after maintaining themselves for some time and leaving behind them the curious paintings, carvings, and symmetrical stone heaps here described, they have either been able to escape or have been exterminated by the natives, leaving however behind them some mixed descendants to puzzle the traveller by their superior appearance. The remarkable costume of the persons represented in the wall-paintings should give a clue to the designers, and there is, so far as I know, only one not very remote locality where a similar costume is in use--the islands of Siau and Sanguir north of Celebes--but as these people were converted to Christianity by the Portuguese, those I saw at Menado perhaps wore an imitation of the cassock of a Romish priest. It is just possible that some Chinese Christians, converts of the early Jesuit missionaries, may have been wrecked on this coast, and that the figures may be due to their recollections of the images or pictures of saints with haloes round their heads. But whoever the people were who executed these drawings it is quite certain they were not Australians.

     The conclusion here reached, that the Australians, though usually classed as one of the lowest forms of mankind now surviving, are really one of the primitive types of the great Caucasian race to which we ourselves belong, will appear to many of my readers to be improbable, or even absurd. But I venture to think that it, nevertheless, most nearly accords with all the facts of the case; and since it has been admitted that some of the darkest Hindoos are nearly allied to Europeans, there is less improbability in the existence of some more archaic and less developed forms of the same fundamental type. It also accords with all we are now learning of the vast antiquity of the human race, since if all the peoples now living upon the earth can be classed in one or other of the three great divisions of mankind--Negroid, Mongolian, and Caucasian--or as probable mixtures of them, we are impressed with the conviction that we must go back to periods as [[p. 472]] compared with which the earliest historical dates are but as yesterday, in order to arrive at an epoch when the common ancestors of these three well-marked types alone existed. Even then we shall have made no perceptible approach to the missing-link--the common ancestor of man and the higher quadrumana.

     It has been estimated that when Australia was first colonized by Europeans, the native population could not much have exceeded 150,000. They have since greatly diminished, owing to the occupation and settlement of all the more fertile parts of the country, as well as from the diseases and vices introduced among them by the convicts and lower class of settlers. Notwithstanding all these causes of depopulation, great numbers still roam over the interior, and it is believed that they now amount to from 30,000 to 40,000; and as so much of the country they inhabit is not of a nature to invite occupation by the white race, it seems not improbable that the degraded Australians may continue to exist long after the much higher Mahoris of New Zealand and Eastern Polynesia have disappeared as completely as have the lower Tasmanians.

Mental and Moral Characteristics.

     The intellectual status of the Australian native has been greatly depreciated by many writers, but more particularly by those who are most ignorant of him in his native wilds, or who judge his mind solely by a reference to his low state of material advancement. Those who have lived much among the natives, however, often express a different opinion. Sir Thomas Mitchell did not think them by any means the lowest in the scale of humanity. Mr. Eyre found them to be frank, open, and confiding, and easy to make friends with; and he declares that they have been greatly misrepresented and traduced, and that much of their assumed treachery and bloodthirstiness is the result of the cruelty and ill-treatment of the settlers. They often show great affection for their male offspring, giving up to them the choicest food, carrying them when they are weary, and lamenting their death for months, or even for years.

     [[p. 473]] Mr. Curr, who for more than forty years was in constant communication with them, and having been for many years "Protector of the Aborigines" in Victoria had excellent opportunities for observation, thus describes them: "The black, especially in his wild state, is quicker in the action of his mind, more observant, and more self-reliant than the English peasant. . . . Socially the black is polite, gay, fond of laughter, and has much bon-homie in his composition. . . . Touching the moral feelings of the blacks, observation has convinced me that they are not without them, though they are much blunted by constant repression, and that they discriminate between right and wrong."

     It has been observed that the natives are very strict in obeying their laws and customs, even when alone among Europeans, where the offence would be unnoticed, and even under great temptation. The horror of marrying a woman within the prohibited degrees of relationship, the extreme grief they manifest at the death of children or relatives, and sometimes even for white men, as illustrated by the native boy who was the sole companion of the unfortunate Kennedy when he was murdered, are sufficient to indicate that they possess affections and a sense of right and wrong not very different from our own.

     (The photograph on the next page (Fig. 76) of a family group at their ordinary occupations, with the two children watching their father at work, may serve to illustrate the foregoing observations as to their character and family affections.)

Australians and other Eastern Caucasians.

     The preceding account was written about the year 1892, at which time I had seen no good photographic portraits of the best types of Australians, the majority of travellers appearing to select the most hideous old people they could meet with as illustrations of the race. Having now had the opportunity of examining the fine series of photographs obtained by Professor Spencer for his work on Central Australia, and others from the collection of the [[p. 475]] Anthropological Institute, and of comparing these with the portraits in Mr. Romyn Hitchcock's monograph on the Ainos of Yezzo, Japan, and of Todas from the Nilgherries in Captain Marshall's work on those people, and also in Professor Keane's "Man, Past and Present," I have become more satisfied of the correctness of the view then put forth, I believe for the first time. Professor Keane considers that there are several fragments of primitive Caucasian peoples to be still found in South-Eastern Asia. Such are the Khayems, near the sources of the Irawaddi, who are described as having oval faces, pointed chins, and aquiline noses, and as being sometimes so light in colour as almost to pass for Europeans. Among the Shans of Upper Burma there are also found families or small tribes having distinct Caucasic affinities. But it is in Cambodia where the most striking examples are found in the Khmers and several other tribes, which are believed to be the remnants of an ancient Caucasic race of Hindu or S. Indian affinities which once occupied much of South-Eastern Asia, and were the builders of the grand cities and temples whose ruins exist in the interior forests. So little is known in this country of these interesting peoples, and the idea is so prevalent that all Eastern Asia, from Burma to China and Japan, to Java and the Moluccas on the south-east and to the extremity of Manchuria and Siberia on the north-east, is wholly peopled by men of Mongolian race, that some further account of these Caucasian tribes will be of interest, especially as they help us to a solution of the problem of the origin of the two great races--Polynesians or Mahoris and Australians, which we are here discussing.

     Although ancient temples of Eastern Asia may seem out of place in a chapter dealing with the origin of the Australians, yet, from the point of view of the theory here suggested, they will be found to have a direct bearing upon the problem. And as the works containing descriptions and plates of these wonderful ruins are unknown to most readers, no further apology is needed for their introduction here.

[[p. 476]] The Ancient Civilization of the Khmers.

     Although a Chinese traveller described this civilization, in all its grandeur only a short time before its destruction about six hundred years ago, the wonderful ruins of its cities and temples were first made known to Europe by Mr. Henri Mouhot, a French traveller and [[p. 477]] naturalist, who visited Cambodia in 1858 and died there in 1861. His plans, sketches, and descriptions of them were, however, published in France, and an English translation in 1864. Later on Mr. J. Thomson photographed some of the ruins, and the more important of these were engraved in Ferguson's "History of Architecture," one of the fragments of the great temple in the deserted city of Ankhor-Thom being here reproduced. (Fig. 77) It was not, however, till Garnier and Delaporte made their careful explorations, the results of which were published in Paris in 1873 and 1880, that, we obtained any adequate idea of the vast extent, great artistic talent, and wonderful mechanical skill of this interesting people, by means of the accurate plans, photographs and restorations of these ancient monuments given in their works.

     Delaporte, in his Voyage au Cambodge informs us that the ruins of Anchor Thom, the ancient capital of the Khmers, show that it occupied a space of about eight square miles, and was surrounded by a wall thirty feet high, backed by a thick earthen rampart. Outside the wall there was a deep and wide ditch crossed by several bridges whose parapets were supported by five hundred statues of giants. A special gate, profusely ornamented, led to the great temple of Baio˝, which was so buried in tropical vegetation at the time of Delaporte's visit that he had to employ over sixty workmen for two weeks in clearing away the undergrowth, etc., so as to enable him to draw plans and obtain clear views of the whole structure.

     He describes this temple, the centre of the Brahminical religion of ancient Cambodia, as being about 340 feet square, but surrounded by a highly ornamented double cloister, upwards of 500 feet square. The central tower of the temple is 165 feet above the platform of the outer court and its surrounding cloisters, which are themselves considerably elevated, so that the temple was about 200 feet above the adjacent parts of the city.

     Captain Delaporte, who was a student of architecture and excellent draughtsman, thus sums up the main impression produced by it. Speaking of the hundreds of [[p. 478]] gigantic faces of Brahma which form the unique and characteristic feature of the temple, he says:--

     "There is upon these faces--which are somewhat strange but yet regular in their characteristics--an air of force and half-smiling serenity which has a very original air of nobility. Whether near or far off they take their place naturally in the curves of the whole design, and combine in an architectural whole which, notwithstanding the abundance of decorative accessories, still remains true in outline, harmonious in proportion, and grand in general effect."

From the elevation of the temple drawn to scale these faces appear to be about twelve feet high, and as there are fifty-one towers thus ornamented, the centre one having ten, the others four each, there must be in all 210 of these huge portraits.

     The great temple of Baio˝ is the best designed, the most complex in its forms, and the most original of all the sacred buildings of ancient Cambodia. It at once astonishes and charms, and affords a striking example of the exceptional talent of the bold architects of Khmer. The imposing effect of the whole--as well shown in the view opposite, greatly reduced from an engraving in the atlas to Garnier's work--depends upon the skilful grouping of the fifty-one massive yet highly enriched towers and turrets of a tapering conical outline; while the profusely decorated galleries and cloisters connecting and surrounding these, now mostly in ruins, contained on the inner surfaces of their walls nearly a mile in length, about eleven thousand figures of men and animals. The temple was also decorated with a great number of statues of gold, silver, copper, stone or wood, the latter usually gilt.

     The great palace in the same city was equally large, perhaps as beautiful, but in a somewhat lighter and less highly decorated style. These are both very ancient. According to old native history the temple was built 250 B.C.: not very long after the conquest of the country from India; the palace about three hundred years later. Their marvellous preservation is due partly to their mode of construction, partly to the fact that they were only abandoned about three hundred years ago, so [[p. 479]] [[p. 480]] that the destroying effect of tropical vegetation has only been acting on them for that short period.

     The mode of construction of these buildings is thus described by Ferguson, whose long-continued personal study of Indian architecture constitutes him an authority of the first rank. He says:--

     "Nothing can exceed the skill and ingenuity with which the stones of the roofs are joggled and fitted into one another, unless it is the skill with which the joints of their plain walls are so polished and so evenly laid without cement of any kind. It is difficult to detect their joints even in a sun-picture which generally reveals flaws not to be detected by the eye. Except in the works of the old pyramid-building Egyptians, I know of nothing to compare with it. When we put all these things together, it is difficult to decide whether we ought most to admire the mechanical skill which the Cambodian architects displayed in construction or the largeness of conception and artistic merit which pervades every part of their designs."

     The stone used in the construction of these temples and palaces is a fine grained sandstone, so hard and compact as to take a polish; and as no lime or cement was used, and the joints are so wonderfully close, there was little opportunity for seeds to vegetate except in the hollows of the ornamental carving of the numerous turrets, where the view shows a considerable growth of dwarf vegetation. Some of the surrounding cloisters and perhaps other parts of the building seem to have been wilfully destroyed, perhaps at the time of the Siamese conquest, and in such broken portion forest trees have grown, and their roots penetrating among the foundations, have so loosened them that some of the towers have been destroyed. Delaporte tells us that one turret fell while he was encamped there, and he thinks that unless protected the whole building will soon be irretrievably ruined. It is to be hoped, however, that the French government will see that this magnificent ruin is carefully preserved for future generations. Great numbers of other ruins in about fifty distinct sites, are scattered over a district extending for 400 miles in a north and south direction and 200 miles east and west, occupying nearly all of Cambodia with portions of Siam and Cochin China. [[p. 481]] Among these are numerous low pyramids, often surmounted with lofty towers, and a great variety of other buildings now mostly in ruins. Other temples are of much later date, and exhibit an architectural style which seems a combination of Cambodian and Roman.

     The people who built these magnificent temples and cities, and also made great lines of roads equal to those of the Romans, with bridges which, in some cases, are still in perfect preservation, are the Khmers, who still live in the country and preserve their nationality, though surrounded by Siamese, Chinese, and other Mongol races, and partly intermixed with them. They possess an ancient literature, and alone among the surrounding peoples have preserved some of the artistic tastes and powers of their ancestors: in painting, sculpture and music they stand high above any people of Mongolian race. They have distinctly Caucasian features, the hair black and often somewhat curled or wavy, while in middle age they are often well bearded though the beard is usually extirpated. They are tall and well made, but are very dark in colour as compared with the Siamese or even the Malays. The modern Khmers do not build or carve in stone like their ancestors, but they imitate the old designs very skilfully in wood. Every article of furniture and all household utensils are more or less ornamented with carved designs; boats, pagodas and houses are carved wherever there is room for such decoration. They also make great figures of gods or of Budha in masonry, wood, or bronze, constructed in several pieces, and having the same general characteristics as those of the old temples.

     The two portraits here given (Fig. 79) are copied from La Royaume de Cambodge by J. Moura, and are stated to be from photographs of two Cambodians, one being a native doctor, and although very coarsely engraved they well show the marked Caucasian features. In the Atlas to Garnier's work there are some coloured portraits of these people, as well as of savages from the forests and mountains of the interior, which have even more pronounced European features. It seems therefore not improbable that the civilized Indian type, which invaded [[p. 482]] and conquered the country more than four hundred years before the Christian era, found it inhabited by two races, one dark and more allied to themselves, others lighter coloured of Mongolian type. The former would probably become partially civilized and intermingled with their conquerors, while both may have been trained to constructive work under the teaching of the superior race. The wide area over which the ruins are spread, as well as the enormous labour that must have been expended on them, show that the whole area of the south-eastern Asiatic peninsula must have been densely peopled by a civilized nation, although consisting of distinct tribes only partially amalgamated. It is interesting to note that some of the sculptured figures in the ruins bear a considerable resemblance to the existing Khmers (Fig. 80). The radical difference from the Mongolian races around them is also indicated in the Khmer language, which [[p. 483]] differs fundamentally from all the languages from Burma to China in being polysyllabic, in the absence of intonation, and in grammatical structure.

     We thus see that for a period of more than two thousand years there was, in the great south-eastern peninsula of Asia, a dense population of various races ruled over by a highly civilized superior race of undoubted Caucasian type. But there are still existing the remains of several other tribes, now in a savage state, which are more or less closely allied to those. Such are the two figured in Garnier's Atlas as inhabiting the mountains of Se-don and the valley of Se-cong, both having fine aquiline noses, good features, and long wavy hair with a dark brown skin; while the Chreans inhabiting the frontiers of Cambodia and Annam are light in colour but with equally Caucasian features. The Khayems near the sources of the Irawaddi have already been mentioned as Caucasic; and I have been recently informed by a gentleman in the service of the Chinese government that, on [[p. 484]] the western frontier he has seen very fair people with European features and a quite distinctive costume, especially a peculiar head dress closely resembling in its form the Grecian helmet, and quite unlike anything used in other parts of the East. It is therefore highly probable that at some remote period the whole of eastern and south-eastern Asia was inhabited by Caucasian races in various stages of development, before the incursions of the more hardy Mongols of the north broke them up and largely exterminated them.

     For more than a quarter of a century it has been recognised by anthropologists that some of the savage and semi-civilised peoples of southern and eastern Asia really belong to the Caucasian type. One of the most interesting of these isolated fragments is the curious hairy race called Ainos, inhabiting the island of Yezo in Japan, and the southern part of Sakhalin, now belonging to Russia. They are believed to be the aborigines of the country, and to have once spread over the whole of the islands, being the barbarians found there by the early Japanese invaders who exterminated them from the more southern and fertile islands. They are a fine people physically and of a mild disposition, but very low as regards material civilization, and extremely conservative of their old customs and mode of life. Mrs. Bishop describes them as about the middle height, broad-chested, the arms and legs short and muscular, the hands and feet large. The bodies of many of them are covered with short bristly hair, as shown in the portrait on p. 467. The forehead is high, broad, and prominent, giving the appearance of intellectual power. The nose is straight but short, the cheek-bones not high. The eyes are large, rather deep set, and very beautiful owing to their soft expression and rich brown colour; and the skin is of an Italian olive tint, and light enough to show the changes of colour in the cheeks. In character they are truthful; infanticide is unknown, and aged parents receive filial reverence, kindness, and support, while in their social and domestic relations there is much to admire. They are treated as barbarians and inferiors by their Japanese rulers, yet it is impossible [[p. 485]] to avoid a suspicion that they are fully the equals of their masters, when we see the refinement and beauty of their best representatives as shown in the photograph here reproduced (Fig. 81), a type which is very similar to the man figured, with his wife, in Captain Marshall's [[p. 486]] Phrenologist among the Todas--a tribe in southern India--under the title "Adam and Eve."

     The fact that a complete state of savagery is quite compatible with elevation of type is shown by the Veddahs of Ceylon, believed to be the aborigines of the island and still living in the dense forests in a completely savage state. They are looked down upon by the other inhabitants as little removed from wild beasts, yet their physical characteristics show them to be a fine race, with all the essential characteristics of the Caucasian type. The reproductions of three very beautiful photographs of these interesting people (Figs. 82, 83, and 84) show them [[p. 489]] to be the equals of the Ainos and Todas in perfection of form and features, and to be unmistakably of the same fundamental type as ourselves.

Probable Origin of the Brown Polynesians.

     We are now in a position to explain, with some probability, the presence of so high a type (of undoubted Caucasian affinities) in the Pacific, from the Carolines to Easter Island and from Hawaii to New Zealand. At a time then the whole eastern coast of tropical and sub-tropical Asia was occupied by varieties of this race, which extended also to Japan and to its outlying islands, canoes would be occasionally carried out to sea by tempests, and in this way population would spread farther and farther from the continent. Taking Japan as a probable starting point, owing to the enormous extent of its coast line and its inland seas and straits leading to the development of bold navigators, first the Bonin Islands, then the Ladrones and the Carolines would be thus peopled, since for at least half the year north-westerly winds and gales are prevalent between Japan and the northern tropic. Having once reached thus far, slowly but surely, perhaps after hundreds of years, when these small and unvaried islands became overpopulated, further eastward migration would occur, either by accident or design, to the Marshall group, whence an almost continuous series of groups and islets extends south-eastward through the Gilbert and Ellice Islands to Tonga and Samoa, the first large mountainous and fertile islands in this direction adapted to supply all the conditions for an enjoyable existence. These last formed the centre from which, at a later period when they had become fully peopled, the race spread to the Sandwich Islands and to New Zealand.

     This migration from temperate Asia will avoid all the difficulties of the ordinary view of an origin from the Malay Islands, since in them there is no indication of an early occupation by a Caucasian race, while the distances to be traversed are far greater, and there are on the route abundance of islands, thinly inhabited either by people [[p. 490]] of Papuan or Malayan race, among whom the primitive Caucasians could have settled; and, if they ultimately passed on eastward, they would certainly have carried with them some indication of such a residence in their language, in the use of the bow-and-arrow, and in the art of making pottery. The deficiency of the whole of the Mahoris in this latter particular is well explained by the theory of their migration step by step through Micronesia from the coasts of Japan or China. In these small islands, mostly of coral with occasionally some basaltic rock, the materials for making pottery would rarely exist, even if among the immigrants there were any persons who knew how to make it. And as it might be a dozen generations, or even much more, before their descendants reached such large islands as those of the Tonga or Samoa groups, all idea of such utensils would have long died out, and the people would be quite content with the modes of cookery they had learnt during their long eastward migration.

     One other outlier of these brown Caucasians is found in the Mentawi islands, the southernmost of the long chain that lies off the west coast of Sumatra. These people are described as being like Polynesians, but unlike all the true Malayan tribes. Their language in its abundance of vowels is like that of the Mahoris, and the people resemble them also in the mildness of their disposition and their love of floral decoration. Professor Keane regards them as the last remnant in this direction of the ancient Caucasic people that once occupied south-eastern Asia and perhaps what are now the larger Malay Islands, but who were elsewhere driven out or exterminated by the Mongolian invasion.

Comparison of Australians and the Lower Caucasians.

     Returning now to the Australians let us see how far they will bear comparison with the remote outposts of the Caucasian race, as illustrated by the reproductions of a few of Professor Spencer's beautiful photographs of the Central Australian tribes. The man of the Arunta tribe (Fig. 85), with his fine beard, his wavy locks and good- [[p. 491]] looking pleasant face, though a little coarser is not very far removed from the man of Samoa (at p. 413), or even from the Tonga man (at p. 411), the very handsomest I have yet seen a portrait of. The two old men guarding the sacred "Churinga" (Fig. 86) are hardly less good looking; but I have nowhere been able to obtain a good portrait of a young Australian of pure type and in the prime of life. [[p. 493]] The nearest approach is the accompanying portrait of a native of the Northern Territory, from Admiral Maclear's collection (Fig. 87). This shows us a similar type to that of the old man figured at p. 462, and the lank slightly wavy hair indicates that there is no admixture of Papuan. The face is very similar to that of some of the Hill tribes of the Indian peninsula--the so-called Dravidians--most of whom are probably Caucasians of low type.

     Again, the two Australian women here represented (Figs. 88 and 89) are but little inferior in type to the woman of Samoa (at p. 414), or even to the Hawaiian girl [[p. 494]] (at p. 409). In all these cases the Australians have somewhat coarser features of a slightly more negroid type, but in essential characteristics they agree fairly well. The Queensland woman (p. 463) is so much more negroid that [[p. 495]] she most likely has some ancestral cross of Papuan, Negrito, or even true negro blood, since during the last century negro slaves were to be found on many European ships.

     [[p. 496]] From the existence of a different and very low type in Tasmania, apparently allied to the Negrito more than to the Papuan, it seems probable that they may have been the primitive inhabitants of Australia or some portion of it, and that they were partly absorbed partly exterminated by the Australians, who themselves must have entered the country at a very remote epoch. Such an intermixture might explain the coarseness of features which removes the Australians so far from all other remnants of the Caucasian type, with which they yet, in their best examples, unmistakably accord. Our general conclusion is, therefore, that both Polynesians and Australians belong to the same fundamental division of the human race as ourselves--the Caucasian. The Polynesians are considerably advanced intellectually and of a higher type physically, and, although somewhat coarser in features, are in both respects the equals of average Europeans. The Australians are far coarser physically and lower mentally and morally. They are distinctly nearer to the animal progenitors of man, and must be of immense antiquity in their present abode. Yet, as they possess the main features of the Caucasian type very well marked, they carry us back but a very few steps towards the primitive man before he was differentiated into the three great races--the Mongoloid, Negroid, and Caucasian.


Notes Appearing in the Original Work

     1. The first portion of this article (to p. 473) forms the concluding section of my chapter on "The Aborigines of Australia" in Australasia, vol. i., and is reprinted here by the kind permission of Mr. Edward Stanford. [[on p. 461]]

     2. In Mr. Richard Semon's work on Australia (p. 237) he compares the Australians to the Veddahs of Ceylon and some of the Dravidians of Central India, and he considers that the Caucasians have descended from these races. He adds:--"Several observers have already stated that the physical features of the Australians, in spite of their so-called ugliness and coarseness, may be decidedly compared to the lower Caucasian type." I published this view in 1893, and have not myself seen it alluded to at any earlier date. [[on p. 468]]

     3. See Journals in North-West and West Australia, by Lieutenant George Grey (afterwards Sir George Grey) 1841. [[on p. 470]]


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