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CURIOSITY OF THE NATIVES.

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comfortable rattan-chair for a seat. A line across one corner carried my daily-washed cotton clothing, and on a bamboo shelf was arranged my small stock of crockery and hardware. Boxes were ranged against the thatch walls, and hanging shelves, to preserve my collections from ants while drying, were suspended both without and within the house. On my table lay books, penknives, scissors, pliers, and pins, with insects and bird-labels, all of which were unsolved mysteries to the native mind.

Most of the people here had never seen a pin, and the better informed took a pride in teaching their more ignorant companions the peculiarities and uses of that strange European production-a needle with a head, but no eye! Even paper, which we throw away hourly as rubbish, was to them a curiosity; and I often saw them picking up little scraps which had been swept out of the house, and carefully putting them away in their betel-pouch. Then when I took my morning coffee and evening tea, how many were the strange things displayed to them! Tea-pot, tea-cups, tea-spoons were all more or less curious in their eyes; tea, sugar, biscuit, and butter were articles of human consumption seen by many of them for the first time. One asks if that whitish powder is "gula passir” (sand-sugar), so called to distinguish it from the coarse lump palm-sugar or molasses of native manufacture; and the biscuit is considered a sort of European sago-cake, which the inhabitants of those remote regions are obliged to use in the absence of the genuine article. My pursuits were of course utterly beyond their comprehension. They continually asked me what white people did with the birds and insects I took so much care to preserve. If I only kept what was beautiful, they might perhaps comprehend it; but to see ants and flies and small ugly insects put away so carefully was a great puzzle to them, and they were convinced that there must be some medical or magical use for them which I kept a profound secret. These people were in fact as completely unacquainted with civilized life as the Indians of the Rocky Mountains or the savages of Central Africa-yet a steam-ship, that highest triumph of human ingenuity, with its little floating epitome of European civilization, touches monthly at Cajeli, twenty miles off; while at Amboyna, only sixty miles distant, a

European population and government have been established for more than three hundred years.

Having seen a good many of the natives of Bouru from different villages, and from distant parts of the island, I feel convinced that they consist of two distinct races now partially amalgamated. The larger portion are Malays of the Celebes type, often exactly similar to the Tomóre people of East Celebes, whom I found settled in Batchian, while others altogether resembled the Alfuros of Ceram. The influx of two races can easily be accounted for. The Sula Islands, which are closly connected with East Celebes, approach to within forty miles of the north coast of Bouru, while the island of Manipa offers an easy point of departure for the people of Ceram. I was confirmed in this view by finding that the languages of Bouru possessed distinct resemblances to that of Sula, as well as to those of Ceram.

Soon after we had arrived at Waypoti, Ali had seen a beautiful little bird of the genus Pitta, which I was very anxious to obtain, as in almost every island the species are different, and none were yet known from Bouru. He and my other hunter continued to see it two or three times a week, and to hear its peculiar note much oftener, but could never get a specimen, owing to its always frequenting the most dense thorny thickets, where only hasty glimpses of it could be obtained, and at so short a distance that it would be difficult to avoid blowing the bird to pieces. Ali was very much annoyed that he could not get a specimen of this bird, in going after which he had already severely wounded his feet with thorns; and when we had only two days more to stay, he went of his own accord one vening to sleep at a little hut in the forest some miles off, in order to have a last try for it at daybreak, when many birds come out to feed, and are very intent on their morning meal. The next evening he brought me home two specimens, one with the head blown completely off, and otherwise too much injured to preserve, the other in very good order, and which I at once saw to be a new species, very like the Pitta celebensis, but ornamented with a square patch of bright red on the nape of the neck.

The next day after securing this prize we returned to Ca

MY COLLECTIONS.

jeli, and, packing up my collections, left Bouru by the steamer. During our two days' stay at Ternate I took on board what baggage I had left there and bade adieu to all my friends. We then crossed over to Menado, on our way to Macassar and Java, and I finally quitted the Moluccas, among whose luxuriant and beautiful islands I had wandered for more than three years.

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My collections in Bouru, though not extensive, were of considerable interest; for out of sixty-six species of birds which I collected there, no less than seventeen were new, or had not been previously found in any island of the Moluccas. Among these were two kingfishers (Tanysiptera acis and Ceyx Cajeli); a beautiful sunbird (Nectarinea proserpina); a handsome little black and white fly-catcher (Monarcha loricata), whose swelling throat was beautifully scaled with metallic blue; and several of less interest. I also obtained a skull of the Babirúsa, one specimen of which was killed by native hunters during my residence at Cajeli.

CHAPTER XXVII.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE MOLUCCAS.

THE Moluccas consist of three large islands, Gilolo, Ceram, and Bouru, the two former being each about two hundred miles long, and a great number of smaller isles and islets, the most important of which are Batchian, Morty, Obi, Ké, Timorlaut, and Amboyna; and among the smaller ones, Ternate, Tidore, Kaióa, and Banda. These occupy a space of ten degrees of latitude by eight of longitude, and they are connected by groups of small islets to New Guinea on the east, the Philippines on the north, Celebes on the west, and Timor on the south. It will be as well to bear in mind these main features of extent and geographical position, while we survey their animal productions and discuss their relations to the countries which surround them on every side in almost equal proximity.

We will first consider the Mammalia, or warm-blooded quadrupeds, which present us with some singular anomalies. The land mammals are exceedingly few in number, only ten being yet known from the entire group. The bats or aërial mammals, on the other hand, are numerous-not less than twenty-five species being already known. But even this exceeding poverty of terrestrial mammals does not at all represent the real poverty of the Moluccas in this class of animals; for, as we shall soon see, there is good reason to believe that several of the species have been introduced by men, either purposely or by accident.

The only quadrumanous animal in the group is the curious baboon-monkey (Cynopithecus nigrescens), already described as being one of the characteristic animals of Celebes. This is found only in the island of Batchian; and it seems so much out of place there-as it is difficult to imagine how it could have reached the island by any natural means of dispersal, and yet not have passed by the same means over the narrow

OF THE MOLUCCAS.

strait to Gilolo-that it seems more likely to have originated from some individuals which had escaped from confinement, these and similar animals being often kept as pets by the Malays, and carried about in their praus.

Of all the carnivorous animals of the Archipelago the only one found in the Moluccas is the Viverra tangalunga, which inhabits both Batchian and Bouru, and probably some of the other islands. I am inclined to think that this also may have been introduced accidentally, for it is often made captive by the Malays, who procure civet from it; and it is an animal very restless and untamable, and therefore likely to escape. This view is rendered still more probable by what Antonio de Morga tells us was the custom in the Philippines in 1602. He says that "the natives of Mindanao carry about civet-cats in cages, and sell them in the islands; and they take the civet from them, and let them go again." The same species is common in the Philippines, and in all the large islands of the Indo-Malay region.

The only Moluccan ruminant is a deer, which was once supposed to be a distinct species, but is now generally considered to be a slight variety of the Rusa hippelaphus of Java. Deer are often tamed and petted, and their flesh is so much esteemed by all Malays that it is very natural they should endeavor to introduce them into the remote islands in which they settled, and whose luxuriant forests seem so well adapted for their subsistence.

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The strange Babirúsa of Celebes is also found in Bouru, but in no other Moluccan island, and it is somewhat difficult to imagine how it got there. It is true that there is some approximation between the birds of the Sula Islands (where the Babirúsa is also found) and those of Bouru, which seems to indicate that these islands have recently been closer together, or that some intervening land has disappeared. At this time the Babirúsa may have entered Bouru, since it probably swims as well as its allies the pigs. These are spread all over the Archipelago, even to several of the smaller islands, and in many cases the species are peculiar. It is evident, therefore, that they have some natural means of dispersal. There is a popular idea that pigs can not swim, but Sir Charles Lyell has shown that this is a mistake. In his

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