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NOBODY, thirty years ago, believed in the existence of African dwarf tribes, although, as I shall afterwards show, various reliable reports about them existed before that time. But it needed an authority like Dr. Schweinfurth to prove that pygmies actually exist in Africa. Since his discovery of the Akka in 1870, most of our travellers who have penetrated into the forests of Equatorial Africa have brought home reports about these and other pygmy tribes, and although our information may still be incomplete in various respects, yet we have -- as will be seen -- many facts at our disposal which enable us to treat the whole question critically, and to do this is the object of the present paper.
Immediately after Dr. Schweinfurth's discoveries the attention of geographers was directed to the fact (Note 1: Petermann’s Geographische Mitteilungen, 1871, p. 139, sqq.) that as early as 1865 Du Chaillu had found dwarfs in West Africa between the Congo and Ogowe; and Drs. Bastian (Note 2: Bastian, Die deutsche Expedition an der Loango Küste, 1. Band, 1874, pp. 136-145.) and .Falkenstein (Note 3: Falkenstein, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, vol. vi. 1874, Tafel 2.) photographed and described representatives of those who were living on the Loango coast. In the face of this, Professor Hartmann, the celebrated ethnologist, came forward with particulars about pygmies east of the Nile, (Note 4: Westermann, Deutsche Monatschefte, vol. xxxvi. pp. 388-390.) and Schweinfurth pointed out the remarkable similarities which exist between his dwarfs and the genuine South African Bushmen,(Note 5: Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. 1874, pp. 139-144.) whom Fritsch had then just proved to be an entirely different race from the Hottentots.(Note 6: Fritsch, Drei Jahre in Südafrika, 1868, p. 295; Fritsch, Die Eingeborenen Südafrikas, 1872, pp. 394, 397, 408.) Stanley, as is well known, on his great journey, 1874-77, heard much about dwarfs inhabiting the forests of the Upper Congo, and he has described one whom he met with at Ikondu.(Note 1: Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, vol. ii, pp. 172-173.) The correctness of his views regarding the pygmies has since been substantiated by the great explorer himself, as well as by Wolf, Wissmann, and several others. Serpa Pinto found natives similar to the more northern dwarfs under the 15th degree of S. lat.; (Note 2: Serpa Pinto, How I crossed Africa, vol. i. 1881, pp. 319-325.) and I have previously pointed out that the Bushman-like Mossaro of Schulz and Hammar, who live still more to the south, are in some way connected with the Equatorial dwarf tribes.(Note 3: Scottish Geographical Magazine, Oct. 1991.)
Thus it has been proved indisputably that in various parts of Africa native tribes exist which are far below the average height of our species, and belong to the most diminutive representatives of the human race.
In dividing the different pygmy tribes geographically we find that four great groups may be distinguished, viz.:-- the dwarfs of West Africa; those of the Central Regions; the East African dwarfs; and the tribes which live south of the Congo Basin. This classification is purely geographical, and future discoveries will probably show that there exist various connecting links between these groups, as can be partly proved even at the present time.
FIRST GROUP -- Dwarfs of West Africa: Obongo, Akoa, Babongo. – The regions which these tribes inhabit are the forests between the Gabun, Ogowe, and Congo rivers, where they live scattered among various Bantu tribes. Lenz, who had good opportunities of studying them, says (Note 4: Lenz, Skizzen aus Westafrika, 1878, pp. 114-115.) that the Obongo (or Abongo) are found living among the Okanda, Okota (Note 5: It must ne noted that De Compiègne (L’Afrique équatriale, Okanda, 1875, p. 83) describes the Okota near Edibe on the Ogowe, as ‘un vilain peuple; les hommes sont petits et ont l’air faux et méchant, comme ils le sont en réalité.’ He further states that, according to Walker’s information, dwarfs exist in the neighourhood of the first Okanda village (Obombi).), Apinshi, Akelle, Ashira, and other tribes on or south of the Ogowe. They are, however, not found among the Pahuin. Du Chaillu met them near Yengue and Niembue in Ashangoland (Note 6: Du Chaillu, A Journey to Ashangoland, 1867, pp. 270 and 316.), and, according to the information which he obtained there, they are likewise found in the Nshavi country, and still further inland to the east. (Note 7: Du Chaillu, Adventures in the Great Forest of Equatorial Africa and Country of the Dwarfs, 1890, p. 448)
Other undersized people, the Akoa or Okoa, were found by French explorers ill the immediate neighbourhood of the coast as well as more inland. Touchard, as far back as 1861,(Note 8: Revue maritime et coloniale, tome iii. 1861, p. 9) reported that they were exterminated on the Gabun by the M'Pongoe tribe. But to assume that they were at that time entirely annihilated (Note 9: Hamy Bulletins de la Société d'Anthropologie, 3e, série, tome ii. p. 86.) is incorrect, as Marche, in 1876, found them near Lope, on the Middle Ogowe,(Note 10: Marche, Trois voyages dans l'Afrique occidentale. 1879, p. 342-344. Lope, however, is an Okanda village (compare Walker, Proceedings R. G. S., vol. xvii., 1873, p. 354).) and Fleuriot de Langle describes an Akoa dwarf whom he met in 1868 (Note 1: Le Tour du Monde, 1876, No. 799. pp, 279. 280. and 283.). Both tribes, Akoa and Obongo, are closely allied to each other, and it follows from Lenz's (Note 2: Leuz, Westafrika, p. 110.) and Marche's (Note 3: Marrche, Trois Voyages, p. 342.) observations that the natives on the banks of the Ogowe regard the Obongo and Akoa as identical, an opinion which is, however, not quite proved at the present stage of our knowledge.
Quatrefages describes another coast tribe, the M'Bulu, or Bulu, as relatives of the Akoa.(Note 4: Quatrefages, Les Pygmées, 1887, pp. 240-242. He describes the Bulu (or Chekiani) as ‘étouffés entre les Fans et les Pougoués.’ But Iradier, Africa, Viajes y Trabajos, 1887, tome ii. found the same tribe further inland on the Utamboni river, which proves that on the coast we have only a portion of them, as is the case with the Akoa.) This is evidently an error, as neither Touchard (Note 5: Touchard, Revue maritime et coloniale, 1861, pp. 10-14.) nor Marche, (Note 6: Marche, Trois Voyages, p. 106.) who studied them, has given any proofs that they should be regarded as a dwarf race similar to the Obongo, although they doubtless differ from the M'Pongoe, as the latter explorer states.
The German Loango Expedition furnished information about a third tribe of dwarfs, who live a little more to the south, and are called Babongo, and although Dr. Bastian did not succeed in reaching their encampments and settlements, (Note 7: Bastian, Deutsche Loango Expedition, vol. i. pp. 139•140.) yet the great number of itineraries which he collected (Note 8: Eodem loco, vol. i. pp. 136, 143-146.) leaves no doubt that many of these dwarfs live among the Bantu tribes in the 'Hinterland' of Loango. As indicated by the name of Babongo, and proved by photographs and measurements, they differ but little from their more northern relatives, the Obongo.
These West African dwarf tribes are in many respects similar to each other, but differ greatly from the surrounding Bantu population. Their stature is considerably below the average of the human race. Lenz, who has measured many Obongo, states that the height of adult men is 4.3, to 4.7 feet, while that of the women is much less. (Note 9: Lenz, Westafrika, p. 112.) The majority of the Obongo whom Du Chaillu measured (mostly women) were between 4 and 5 feet. (Note 10: Du Chnillu, Ashangoland, p. 319) Marche found the Akoa somewhat taller, viz., 4.9 to 5.0, and the women 4.6 to 4.7 feet.(Note 11: Marche, Trois Voyages. 342-343.) In spite of their small stature they are well proportioned, strong and nimble. Their skin is usually of a dirty yellow or yellowish-brown colour, and the men, in many cases, have a very peculiar growth of thick hair on various parts of the body. (Note 12: Du Chaillu, Great Forest, p. 446.) Thus Du Chaillu observed that the young Obongo whom he measured near Niembue had an unusual quantity of hair on his legs and breast, growing in short and curly tufts similar to the hair of the head. He noticed this growth of hair on several other Obongo whom he came across, and all the accounts of the Ashango agreed that the Obongo men were thickly covered with hair in the described manner. Of their language and some further anthropological details I shall speak later on. As regards their mode of living they do not differ much from the other African dwarfs. The almost impenetrable forests between the Ogowe and the Congo are their home. Here they dwell in temporary shelters and huts -- a migratory population who never remain at the same place for any length of time. Whenever game becomes scarce they change their abodes, but do not, as a rule, wander out of their own district, e.g., those of the Ashango country remain there, whilst the Obongo who live among the Nshavi always confine themselves to Nshaviland. Hunting and fishing are their only occupations, and, although in every other respect they are savages of the very lowest type, their cunning and skill as hunters are most remarkable. Bows and poisoned arrows are their chief weapons, and the woods near their encampments and villages are full of traps, snares, and pitfalls, in which they catch not only the smaller animals, but also elephants, pythons, gorillas, etc. In exchange for vegetable food, knives, and other articles, they give dried flesh and fish to their Bautu neighuours, and it is for this reason that they are generally well treated by the Apinshi, Ashango, Nshavi, and other Bantu tribes, who, however, very rarely intermarry with them. They are entirely ignorant of agricultural and pastoral pursuits, and in many cases even unable to cook their food properly, although acquainted with the use of fire. Occasionally, however, as Lenz tells us,(Note 1: Lenz, Westafrika, p. 109.) the Obongo have learnt the use of cooking utensils from the Okanda.(Note 2: Jephson, Emin Pasha and the Rebellion at the Equator, 1890, reports the same of the Akka.) Though brave und plucky as hunters, they are very shy in their intercourse with other people, and it was only with great difficulty that the fragmentary information which we at present possess about them could he obtained.(Note 3: Crampel on his journey to the river Djah found pygmies in about 2º N. lat. Cf. Le Tour du Monde, 1889, vol. i. p. 419).
But as early as in the seventeenth century some reports about these dwarf tribes reached Europe. At the end of the sixteenth century an Englishman, with the name of Andrew Battel, was sent a prisoner by the Portuguese to Angola, and lived there and in the adjoining regions for nearly eighteen years. On his return all account of his travels was published by Purchas in his Pilgrims, London, 1625. Battell is the first discoverer of the gorilla, and he further states that north-east of the Loango coast, more than eight days' journey from Mayumbe, little people called Matimbas are found, who are not bigger than boys of twelve years. They are hunters who kill even elephants and gorillas. They pay tribute to a neighbouring chief whom Battell visited. Dapper's great work about Africa,(Note 4: Dapper collected his information chiefly from Blomert, Bruno, Lopez, Linschoten, Purchas, Pigafetta, and Jarrick.) published in 1670, contains several passages about West African dwarfs. He reports that dwarfs with big heads are found at the court of the king of Loango, and that a tribe of these dwarfs, called Bakke-Bakke or Mimos, are living as elephant-hunters and ivory-traders in the wilderness belonging to the territory of the Great Makoko, to whom they are tributary.(Note 1: Dapper, Um?ständliche und eigentliche Beschreibung von Afrika, 1670, pp. 527, 571, 572-573.)
There can be no doubt whatever that Battell speaks of the same region in which Du Chaillu discovered the Obongo. As regards Dapper's reports, which refer to a country much further inland, I have to make the following remarks. It is a mistake to suppose that the geographers of the sixteenth and seventeenth century knew nothing at all of the Lower Congo and of the interior of the adjoining territories. Tuckey's Furthest was, until Stanley's discoveries, generally regarded as the last-reached point inland, and the maps and information of former centuries were disregarded as entirely untrustworthy. But only a few years back Savorgnan de Brazza (Note 2: Conférences et Lettres de P. Savorgnan de Brazza sur ses trois Explorations dans l’ouest africain, 1875-1886; Paris, 1887, p. 157.) re-discovered the kingdom and capital of the Great Makoko, which is frequently found on the old maps, and mentioned already in the fifteenth century by Diaz and Cada Mosto. This kingdom is situated west of the Congo, some distance above Stanley Pool, and according to Brazza it is laid down tolerably correctly on the maps of the sixteenth century. It is therefore in the neighbourhood of this country that we have to place the Bakke-Bakke dwarfs of Dapper.
SECOND GROUP. -- Dwarfs of the Central Regions: Akka, Wambutti, Batua.
-- This group represents the most important tribes of the African pygmies. It is impossible at the present stage of our knowledge to divide this group into two parts, because, geographically and ethnographically, so many similarities are noticeable, that such a division would not be justifiable, although it must not be overlooked, on the other hand, that considerable differences exist between the most widely separated members of this group. A glance at the map proves that our present knowledge of them can be but incomplete, because it is impossible that they should only exist at a number of isolated spots without connecting links.
The Akka are the most northern tribe of this group. Dr. Schweinfurth did not see them in their own country, for those whom he met with at Munza's court were only a small colony in the special service of this chief.(Note 3: Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. pp. 84, 128, 131.) But south of the Niam-niam country, in Monbuttu and Makraka, and between the Medje, Maigo and Mabode tribes, there are numerous colonies of independent Akka (Note 4: Jephson, Emin Pasha, 1890, p. 367.) This name, Akka, is given to them by the Monbuttu, whilst they call themselves Efe, Atshua, or Wotshua.(Note 5: Casati, Ten Years in Equatoria, 1891, vol. i. p. 156; .Junker, Reisen in Afrika, vol. iii. 1891, p. 88.) The Niam-niam call them Tiki-Tiki; the Momvu, Voshu or Vorchu; and the Mabode, Afifi. Casati remarks, however, that by the name of Tiki-Tiki a second and different tribe of dwarfs in the Monbuttu country is meant,(Note 6: Casati, Eodem loco, p. 156.) who are taller, have a darker skin, more vigorous limbs, and arc covered with stouter but fewer hairs than the Akka; they inhabit the lofty parts of the Monbuttu country, whilst the Akka live in the forests. Akka. and Tiki-Tiki are, according to this information, often at open war with each other. Arguing from similar descriptions of other tribes, and from the fact that they frequently intermarry with other natives, (Note 1: Jephson, Emin Pasha, p. 373.) I think there can he no doubt that these Monbuttu Tiki-Tiki are merely half-breeds between the Akka and the Monbuttu. As regards the true Akka, they are described by the various travellers who have now seen and measured them as being on an average not higher than 4 to 4 3/4• feet.(Note 2: Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. p. 140; Emin Pasha, Eine .Sammlung von Reisebriefen und Berichten, 1888, p. 316; Junker, Reisen, vol. iii. p. 88 ; Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 156.) The women seem to be equal in stature to the men. Their colour is of a reddish (or sometimes yellowish (Note 3: Emin Pasha, Reisebriefe, p. 315; Jephson, Emin Pasha, p. 372.)) light brown, but Emin correctly remarks that owing to their dirty appearance it is difficult to define it.(Note 4: Emin Pasha Eodem loco, p. 316.) Their bodies are covered with a thick growth of greyish hair. (Note 5: Casati, Ten years, vol. i. p. 156; Jephson, Emin Pasha, p. 373; Emin Pasha, Reisenbriefe, p. 316; Junker, Reisen, vol. iii. p. 91, states that the bodies of the Atschua are only partially covered with hair, but the information of the other explorers is so distinct that this can only refer to a local variety.) The hair of the head is of a reddish-brown or rusty-brown colour, and this is one of the characteristic features of this dwarf race, as in the case of all other negro races, even those of a light colour, the hair of the head is always of a deep black. This is so even with the Egyptians.(Note 6: Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 156; Junker, Reisen, vol. iii. p. 91.) The beard seems to grow much stronger than is usually the case with other African races; (Note 7: Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. p. 140, says that the hair and beard of the Akka are but slightly developed. Also in this case we have to do with a local variety.) and Jephson, who studied the Akka in Emin Pasha's province, says that the dwarfs have often very long beards, (Note 8: Jephson, Emin Pasha, pp. 373, 374.) hereby confirming a report of Koelle, whose Betsan are likewise described as bearded dwarfs.(Note 9: Koelle, Polyglotta Africana, 1854, p. 12) The Akka generally give the impression of well-proportioned and strong men, but Schweinfurth described those whom he saw as having huge hanging abdomens, which gave them, although adult, the appearance of Arabian or Egyptian children. (Note 10: Schweinfurth, The Herat of Africa, vol. ii. p. 141.) But this deformity seems only local, as neither Junker nor Casati has noticed it, except among children. They are a nation of hunters, who live chiefly upon game, but they eat almost anything they come across, viz., all sorts of flesh and fish, as well as reptiles and white ants. They are very fond of vegetable food, but being entirely ignorant of agriculture they often raid upon their neighbours, carrying off corn, bananas, sweet potatoes, maniac, and beans. In districts where the neighbouring tribes are afraid of them, they order the chiefs to provide them with the necessary vegetable food, giving, however, skins, etc., in exchange for it. (Note 11: Emin Pasha, Reisebriefe, pp. 315-316.) Bows and arrows are their characteristic weapons, which they use very skillfully, but they have also acquired the use of lances and shields, in imitation of the neighbouring tribes. They kill the elephant and buffalo by first blinding them with arrows, and then spearing them to death.(Note 1: Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 159.) Then they encamp near the spot, and remain there till the flesh is consumed. As a rule they have no fixed settlements, but build their temporary huts wherever convenient.(Note 2: Jephson, Emin Pasha, p. 369; Emin Pasha, Reisebriefe, p. 315.) But, like the dwarfs of West Africa, they always remain within certain districts, so that, e.g., the Akka of the Mabode country do not go into the Medje territory. It must be noted as an exception that near the river Teli, south of Monbuttu, a colony of Akka has become stationary, forming several villages, under a chief called Magalima.(Note 3: Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 157; Jephson, Emin Pasha, pp. 371-372.) But the wandering tribes also acknowledge chiefs, who rule according to traditional usages, directing the hunting and commanding the warriors in action. As regards warfare, Junker (Note 4: Junker, Reisen, vol. iii. p. 92.) and Casati (Note 5: Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 159-160.) affirm that they are much appreciated as warriors on account of their dexterity as archers, their nimbleness, and their bravery. The chiefs of the surrounding tribes are said to compete with each other in securing them as subsidiaries. Also Stanley and Emin describe the dwarfs as warlike and dangerous; (Note 6: Stanley, In Darkest Africa, or, the Quest, Rescue and Retreat of Emin Governor of Equatoria, 1890, vol. ii. pp. 95, 248; Emin Pasha. Reisebriefe, pp. 315•316.) and the former heard the same from Arabs who had fought with Batua tribes between the Lomami and Congo. This proves that the pygmies are not always as shy and timid as they are described by many travellers who met them in small numbers in the Equatorial forests.
Stanley, on his last journey across Africa, had ample opportunity to study the dwarfs inhabiting the great Equatorial forest, which extends south of the Niam-niam and Monbuttu countries. As is well known, he followed the course of the Aruwimi river, and, strangely enough, met with no dwarfs between Yambuya and the Ngaiyu, (Note 7: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. ii. p. 92.) whilst they were numerous east of the 28th degree of east longitude. It is at present impossible to account for their absence on the Lower and Middle Aruwimi, the natural features of this great primeval forest being alike in all its parts. They extend up to the edge of the forest, about five days' march from the Albert Nyanza; (Note 8: Jephson, Emin Pasha, p. 369.) whilst a little more to the south they were found still further east, on both banks of the Semliki River.(Note 9: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. ii. pp. 96, 241, 248, 250, 262; Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 157.) Stanley's Zanzibari men called them Wambutti; (Note 10: Jephson, Emin Pasha, p. 369.) and he himself distinguished two different kinds of them, viz., the Batua and Wambutti, the former inhabiting the northern and the latter the southern districts of the traversed territory.(Note 11: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. ii. p. 96.) I must confess that I found it no easy task to classify these two tribes ethnographically, but after carefully comparing them with their northern relatives, the Akka, as well as with their southern ones, the Batua south of the Congo, I came to a conclusion which tallies with certain remarks which Stanley himself made, (Note 1: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. i. p. 352.) viz., that his Batua are identical with the most southern branch of the Akka; whilst the Wambutti, who differ greatly from them, belong to the Batua group, which Grenfell, Bateman, Wolf, Wissmann, and François discovered south of the Congo. Junker's Atshua (or Watshua) are Stanley's Batua, and therefore are Akka, and Junker no doubt is correct in saying that Atshua and Batua are synonymous terms.(Note 2: .Junker, Reisen, vol. iii. p.88.) It follows that the word "Batua" signifies two different kinds of dwarfs, viz., those belonging to the Akka group found north of the Congo, and those who live south of the Congo and are near relatives of the Wambutti. Moreover, also, the Bushmen and other South and East African tribes are called Batua (Note 3: Fritsch, Die Eingeborenen Südafrikas, ethnographisch und anatomisch beschrieben, 1872, p. 304.) and Watua,(Note 4: Cust, Modern Languages of African, vol. ii. 1883, p. 448.) which is therefore quite a general name, probably of Bantu origin. To prevent confusion, I propose to avoid the word Batua as much as possible, or to limit it to that pygmy group for which no other name is known, viz., the Batua south of the Congo.
Life in the forest has to It certain extent modified the appearance and customs of this branch of the Akka. Their bodies are not so well proportioned,(Note 5: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. i. p. 352.) and, although still daring and warlike, they are somewhat less active in this respect than the Akka of the open country to the north. They migrate less frequently, and their dwellings arc larger and much better built than the very small and miserable huts of the Monbuttu Akka.(Note 6: Jephson, Emin Pasha, pp. 369-370; Casati, Ten Years, vol. i. p. 157.) As regards the Wambutti, they are decidedly superior, both bodily and mentally, to the southern Akka. For instance, the latter are entirely ignorant of the use of nooses and nets for hunting purposes,(Note 7: Casati, Eodem loco, p. 159.) whilst the Wambutti have devised ingenious methods for catching the chimpanzee and other monkeys,(Note 8: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. ii. p. 93.) and arc very skilful in constructing nets, sometimes 100 yards long, of grass and bark fibres.(Note 9: Parke, My Personal Experiences in Equatorial Africa, pp. 251, 397.) Their greater intelligence is further proved by the many tricks and precautions which they employ in their intercourse with their neighbours and with foreigners, (Note 10: Eodem loco, p. 252; Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. ii. p. 95.) and Parke's servant is an instance of how quickly they are able to pick up languages. (Note 11: Parke, Experience, p. 398.) As a special characteristic of the Wambutti, Stanley mentions their large and beautiful eyes, whilst the Akka have small and malicious-looking eyes, which add greatly to their ugliness.(Note12: Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. i. p. 352; vol. ii. p. 96.) In Ikondu, on the Upper Congo, Stanley found a specimen of the Watwa dwarfs,(Note 13: Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, vol. ii. p. 172.) of whom the Arabs near Nyangwe had told him much. Some years later both Dr. Wolf, on his journey in the Bakuba country,(Note 1: Wissmann, Wolf, François, Müller, Im Innern Afrikas, Erforschung des Kassai, 1888, pp. 256-262.) and Bateman, during his exploration of the Kasai,(Note 2: Bateman, The First Ascent of the Kasai, 1889, pp. 23, 68, 145.) discovered Batua tribes in about 5° S. lat. At the same time Grenfell found other Batua 011 the Lomami; and Grenfell and François on the Tshuapa and its tributary, the Bussera; (Note 3: François, Die Erforschung des Tschuapa und Lulongo, 1888, pp. 111-115, 146-148, 155-160.) whilst Wissmann, on his two journeys across Africa, proved their existence, not only in the Bassonge and Batetela countries, but also east of the Congo, in Ubudshwe, and in Goma close to the western shore of Lake Tanganyika.(Note 4: Wissmann, Unter Deutscher Flagge quer durch Afrika von West nach Ost, 1889, pp. 210-211; Meine zweite Durchquerung Aequatorialafrikas vom Congo zum Zambezi, pp. 129-132, 190.) Thus we see that these Batua tribes extend over the whole southern part of the Congo basin, and doubtless many more reports about them will be brought home by future travellers. Except the fact of their existence, very little is at present known of them; for, unlike their more energetic relatives in the north-east, they are usually very shy and timid in the presence of foreigners, which makes observations almost impossible. From a somewhat detailed report by Dr. Wolf,(Note 5: Im Innern Afr., pp. 258-261.) as well as from the information of the other above-mentioned explorers, we gather that they have an average height of 4.4 to 4.7 feet, are of a dark brown colour, somewhat lighter than their Bantu neighbours, and present the appearance of a well-developed, and not at all degenerate, race. They are hunters like all the other pygmy tribes, and frequently intermarry with the surrounding Bantu population, except within the most secluded districts of the primeval forest, where pure Batua may still he found.
As regards their mode of living, the different pygmy tribes inhabiting the great Equatorial forest region, viz., the southern Akka, Wambutti, and southern Batua, are so exactly alike that it is impossible to treat of them separately. As nomadic hunters, they wander about the forests, building their huts in the clearings wherever game is plentiful. Like the pygmies of the Monbuttu and Ashango countries, they are experts in killing even big game, such as elephants and buffaloes, either with spears and poisoned arrows or by means of traps and pitfalls. Their intercourse with the various Bantu tribes among which they live is usually of a friendly nature, partly because the pygmies are afraid of them and their poisoned arrows, and partly because the pygmies supply these Bantu tribes with flesh and skins in exchange for vegetable food, spears, knives, and sundry articles, e.g., cooking pots, which may be regarded as belonging to the luxuries of African pygmy life. Moreover, they are thoroughly at home in the forest, and are therefore indispensable to their Bantu friends as spies and scouts in times of feuds and warfare. The sites of their villages and encampments are always carefully selected to avoid surprise, and Stanley describes their daily life as being similar to that of the Bantu population. The women do all the domestic work. They erect the beehive-like huts, covering them with skins or Phrynium leaves, they collect wood and vegetable food, watch the fires, and dry flesh. When the families and the tribes change their quarters, they carry the provisions and the few utensils which have to be transported from one encampment to another. The men, on the other hand, spend most of their time in hunting or bartering with the neighbouring tribes. They seem to be fond of smoking, and, like other savages, of discussing the interests of the community in long palavers. They usually speak the dialects of their Bantu neighbours, but all travellers inform us that they also possess a distinct language of their own. About this language, of which we have at present but a very slight and imperfect knowledge, as well as about some anthropological details, I shall speak afterwards.
THIRD GROUP. -- East African Pygmies. -- This forms one of the most interesting parts of our present investigation. Long before Du Chaillu's and Schweinfurth's discoveries, travellers in Kaffa, Shoa, Southern Abyssinia, and other East African countries, heard of pygmy tribes in the Interior, and the information was in several cases so distinct and definite, that it could hardly be regarded ail entirely without foundation. Nevertheless, all these reports were ignored, until the existence of other pygmies was proved, and, as far as I know, up to the present time no critical view of this question has been attempted, although Cust, Quatrefages, Hartmann, Hamy, and others are inclined to believe in the existence of these East African pygmies. I have, therefore, collected and compared all the reports about them, and shall try to give a correct reply to the question: -- Do pygmy tribes exist in East Africa, and if so, where ? As far back as 1826 Captain Boteler brought information about East African dwarfs.(Note 1: Boteler, Narrative of Voyage of Discovery to Africa and Arabia, vol. ii., 1835, p. 212.) When staying at Mombasa, he found that immediately inland of the Wanika live the Meric Mungoan. These people stated that in a certain district, between their country and that of the Wanika, there was a race of pygmies, scarcely three feet in height. They called them Mberikimo, and stoutly affirmed the fact of their existence. They asserted that the journey from Mombasa to their country took six weeks. That this story is based upon some actual facts, is proved by Leon des Avanchers, who, thirty-three years later, obtained exactly the same information while on the Zanzibar• coast.(Note 2: Avanchers, Esquisse d'une carte des pays Oromo ou Galla: Bulletin de la Société de Géographic, 4e série, tome xviii. p. 154 and 163.) On his map, issued in 1859, he places a pygmy tribe with the name of Wa-Berikimo in 34° E. long. and 1º N. lat., and from numerous reports he draws the conclusion that these pygmies really exist somewhere in the regions indicated. This information -- as has just been mentioned -- was obtained on the Zanzibar coast, but when travelling in Abyssinia, Shoa and Kaffa, Harris, Krapf, d' Abbadie, Hartmann, and several others, heard much about the existence of pygmies in the unexplored southern territories. Harris says: (Note 3: Harris, The Highlands of Ethiopia, 2d edition, 1884, vol. iii. p. 63.) -- "Beyond the extensive wilderness which bounds Kaffa to the south are the Doko, an exceedingly wild race, not much exceeding four feet in height, of a dark olive complexion." Krapf gives very detailed information about them.(Note 1: Krapf, Reisen in Ostafrika, vol. i. 1858, pp. 76-79; vol. ii. 198.) He states that he heard of these pygmies not only in Shoa, but also in Barawa and Ukambani. In the latter country he heard of the Wa-Berikimo of Boteler and Avanchers. In Shoa, Krapf obtained his information from a native of Enarea whom he, as well as Dr. Beke, found intelligent and reliable. This man travelled with the slave-hunters from Kaffa to Tuffte, from there to Kullu, and then in a couple of days to the Doko country, which he described as a swampy region full of bamboo forests, and inhabited by pygmies who are about four feet in height. Their colour is of a dark olive-brown, and they are perfect savages. They have no chiefs, no weapons, are ignorant of agriculture and other occupations, and their food consists of wild fruits, roots, honey, serpents, and smaller animals. They wear no clothing, have thick and protruding lips, flat noses, and small eyes. Their hair, however, is not woolly. They do not know the use of fire, and eat the flesh of serpents and other animals raw. Their only ornaments are the vertebral of serpents, which they wear round their neck. The slave-hunters of Susa, Kaffa, Dumbaro, and Kullu often make raids on them, and, in spite of their low and savage customs, the Doko slaves are said to be intelligent and docile. Krapf met one of these slaves on the east coast at Barawa, and found that he fully corresponded to the descriptions current in Shoa about the dwarfs. He was about four feet high, of a dark colour, and very active. The Barawa people confirmed the reports that there was a race of pygmies in the interior, inhabiting a country to the north-west of Barawa.(Note 2: Bulletin de la Soc. de Géogr., 3e série, tome ii.; Note sur le Haut Fleuve Blanc: Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr. 3e série, tome xii, pp. 144-161.) D'Abbadie, another well-known traveller in these regions, has, on various occasions, spoken about the dwarfs south of Kffa.(Note 3: D'Abbadie, Bulletins de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, 3e• Série, tome ii.; Note sur le Haut Fleuve Blanc: Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr. 3e série, tome ii.; pp. 144-161.) He does not actually regard them as "pygmies," but, at the same time, he describes them distinctly as dwarfs. I have found this incongruity in various authors, the oldest of whom is Strabo.(Note 4: Géogr. vol. xvii, c. 2.) The name "pygmy" seems to imply to them some mythological qualities or characteristics of which an ordinary dwarf is devoid. But I shall afterwards show that the majority of ancient geographers simply regarded the pygmies as undersized people, and there is no scientific reason whatever, either in ancient or in modem geography, to make a distinction between pygmies and dwarfs. Now, d'Abbadie states that the Doko country (which he places between 36° and 38° E. long. Greenwich, and 4º and 5° N. lat.) is inhabited by different nationalities of black, or almost black, colour, forming more than thirty communities, and speaking several languages (Note 5: D’Abbadie, Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr., 3e série, tome xii. Map; 4e série, tome xvii. p. 172.). Some other tribes more to the north he likewise regards as belonging to the Doko. From this it is evident that the Doko embrace a variety of different tribes, some of which d'Abbadie describes as strong and stout like the Swahili (Note 1: Athenaum, 1845, p. 243.) and others as being only 5 feet high, a fact which he ascertained personally (Note 2: Eodem Loco, p. 360.). Moreover, to the west of the Doko country he places another diminutive tribe, the Maze Malea, who are only 4.9 feet high, and speak the Suro language (Note 3: Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr., 5e série, tome xii. Map.); and, while staying at Bonga in Kaffa, he obtained authentic information that to the south, of the countries of Kullu and Mekan Sukoro tribes exist beyond the river Gojab whose stature is that of boys of about fourteen years of age, viz., between 4 and 5 feet(Note 4: Bull. de la Soc. d’Anthroplogie, 3e série, tome ii. p.100.). Hence these different reports of d'Abbadie strongly corroborate Krapfs statements. Leon des Avanchers, who, as we have seen, collected information about these dwarfs on the Zanzibar coast, furnished further valuable material about them while living at Gera, a district to the south of Enarea (Note 5: Avanchers, Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr., 5e série, tome xii. p. 171.) He reports that in the neighbourhood of the Doko there live very short people, the Areya, and still more to the south a tribe called Cincalle, who are about as tall as boys of ten or twelve years of age. He adds that many of these dwarfs are met with in Gera. They have large heads, are ugly, and not more than 4 feet high, Professor Hartmann gives further proof of the existence of the Doko pygmies. During his stay at Fazoklo he collected a number of reliable reports (Note 6: Hartmann, Die Nigritier, 1876, pp. 495-496.), which describe them as dwarfs of 4 to 4 1/2 feet in height, living to the south of Susa, Kaffa, and Gurague. This information also in other details tends to confirm that of Krapf, d'Abbadie, and Avanchers. They are of a dark-brown or dark yellowish-brown colour, with short hair, and are extremely ugly in physique. They go entirely without clothing, and build most primitive huts, which they cover with skins or leaves. Hunting is their only occupation, and they are experts in catching the animals of the forests in traps and pitfalls. They use only wooden weapons, and according to some reports, poisoned arrows. They never remain long at one place, but change their quarters as soon as game becomes scarce. They are entirely ignorant of agriculture, but collect all sorts of wild fruits. Their full-sized neighbours fear and avoid them as strange and dangerous beings (Note 7: Compare also Cecchi, Da Zeila alle Frontiere del Caffa, vol. ii. 1885, p. 463; --“ Da un’altra parte poi abitano degli nomini piecolissomi.”) Summarising the different reports, we see that Avanchers met with many of these dwarfs in Gera, Krapf saw one of them in Barawa, and d'Abbadie came across several while travelling in Kaffa: hence we have three distinct instances in which European travellers of acknowledged authority, independently of each other, bear witness to their existence. But in many respects still more important is the indirect information which we are in possession of Professor Hartmann's reports were published at a time when little was known about the Akka and Abongo, and nothing at all about the Watwa, Wambutti, and Batua., and yet his description of the Doko pygmies, which he obtained from reliable persons at Fazoklo, is word for word the same as one may find about the just-mentioned Equatorial dwarfs in the works of Stanley, Wolf, Wissmann, Lenz, and others. Harris, Krapf, and Hartmann, as we have seen, call these pygmies Doko, a name which occurs with all authors who have written about the countries south of Kaffa, whether they have heard about pygmies or not (Note 1: Compare, beside the above-cited authors, Dr. Beke, Journal of the R. G. S., vol. xii. p.87; vol. xvii. p. 66 and map; Borelli, Ethiope Méridionale, 1890, pp. 437, 440, 444. Borelli’s picture of a Doko child (p. 313) and Schweinfurth’s picture of an Akka (The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. p. 134), are similar in many respects.) That people called Doko exist is therefore beyond dispute. It seems, however, that this name does not signify a special tribe, but is a collective name, applied, according to d'Abbadie, to different people who speak various languages. This explains the varying accounts which several travellers gave about the Doko. But all agree in this, that they inhabit the country south of the river Omo. D'Abbadie placed them between 4° and 5° N. lat.(Note 2: Krapf and M’Queen placed them in 3º N. lat., which is a good deal too far south.) But the recent explorations of Cecchi, Borelli, Teleki, and Höhnel have proved that the course of the Omo is different from what it was supposed to be, and it is now generally assumed that this river turns to the west in about 6º N. lat. and flows into the Basso Narok. The Doko country is therefore, in all probability, situated between this river and the Basso Naebor, between 5° and 6º N. lat. and 36° and 38º E. long. Greenwich. The other dwarf tribes of which we have heard, the Maze Malea, the Areya, and Cincalle must all be looked for in the neighbourhood of this locality, and I feel confident that I shall not be committing any serious error in affirming that these regions are inhabited by pygmies, who are probably scattered among other tribes of different race and customs, similarly to their relatives in West and Central Africa.
A glance into Schweinfurth's celebrated work, The .Heart of Africa, will prove that this distinguished traveller never studied the Akka pygmies in their own country, that he never saw their domestic life and settlements, and that he had not even found them in their usual mode of living. All his information was derived from a number of Akka whom he met at the court of the Monbuttu chief, Munza (Note 3:Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. p. 131.). :What Dr. Schweinfurth reported about the Akka did not amount to more than what we have learnt from Harris, Avanchers, Krapf, d'Abbadie, and Hartmann about the Doko and other East African pygmies, and in the face of this I think we have some good right to say that east of the Nile and to the south of Kaffa, in the yet unexplored territories to the south of the river Omo, there exists a pygmy race similar in size, appearance, and habits to the dwarfs of the Upper Nile and Congo regions.
P. 345 (Continued from page 301)
FOURTH GROUP. -- Dwarfs sunth of the Congo Basin: Bushmen and their relatives. – Investigation on the genuine Bushmen have become much more difficult than they were at the beginning of this century, because the rapid progress of European civilisation has driven this aboriginal race of South Africa to the north and north-west, and the genuine Bushmen have almost entirely disappeared from Cape Colony as well as from the Orange and Transvaal territories. In Griqua-, Nama-, and Bechuanaland they are still to be met with, but in very small numbers, whilst certain parts of the Kalahari desert and of the surrounding regions are the only territories where small hordes of genuine Bushmen may now he found in their original state. Half-breeds of Bushmen, Hottentots, Hill-Damara, and Bantu are met with in considerable numbers,(Note 1: Such half-breeds are, e.g., the Barwa Masara of the eastern Kalahari, whom Holub regards as a mixture of Bakalahari and Bushmen. They are of medium height, of brown or black colour, and lead a life similar to that of the real Bushmen. Serpa Pinto says that they are usually regarded by European as Bushmen; and we have, therefore, here one of the instances where the term ‘Bushmen’ is used in an entirely misleading sense. Other half-breeds of this kind are the Madenassana, south of the Zambezi, the Hottentot-Bushmen of Great-Namaland, and various tribes and hordes which live among the Ovambo and Ovaherero. Whether the Gogoro, Kasarere, Bakangnla, and others are genuine Bushmen or not I am unable to say, as we have no sufficient descriptions of them. Cust thinks that the Bakangala and the Kasekere, Kasekel, and Mucassequere are probably identical.) and many travellers have studied these, taking them for real Bushmen; and it is for this reason that we have many ethnological and linguistic accounts of the Bushmen which are often greatly at variance. This, of course, makes a critical investigation very difficult, and but little remains (ethnologically and linguistically) which can be regarded without suspicion or doubt. I have endeavoured carefully to limit myself to this class of observation; and I trust that the information thus obtained, although fragmentary, will form a reliable nucleus for further critical and comparative investigations.
Previous to the investigations of Fritsch and Hahn, it was generally assumed ttat the Bushman was merely a modification of the Hottentot, although Cuvier, more than seventy years ago, showed that this is not the case. (Note 1: Cuvier, Mémoires du Musée d’Histoire Naturelle, tome iii., 1817. p. 260.) In the first place, we have to prove that the Bushmen are actually a dwarf race -- a fact which is disputed by those who still hold the former opinion. Barrow, one of the best authorities on South Africa, describes them as a pygmy race of extremely diminutive stature. (Note 2: Barrow, An Account of Travels into the interior of Southern Africa in 1797 and 1798, vol. i. pp. 277 and 279.) He found the average height of the men to be 4.5 feet and that of the women than 4 feet. The tallest Bushman whom he met with measured not more than 4.8 feet. Lichtenstein, an equally well known traveller, states that the Bushmen are extremely small in stature, and gives the height of an average-sized adult as•4.3 feet (Note 3: Lichtenstein, Reisen im südlichen Afrika, vol. i., 1811, p. 187; vol. ii., 1812, p. 71.) Desmonlins regards them as the smallest branch of the human race, (Note 4: Desmonlins, Histoire naturelle des Races Humaines, 1826, p. 309.) Daniell describes them as diminutive persons, (Note 5: Daniell, Sketches Representing the Native Tribes of Southern Africa. 1820, p. 30.) and Arbousset says that their ordinary stature is a little above 4 feet. (Note 6: Arbousset et Daumas, Exploration au nord-est de Colonie du Cap de Bonne Espérance, 1812, p. 487.) Kretzschmal, who studied them for many years, found that their average height is between 3 and 4 feet,(Note 7: Kretzschmar, Südafrikanische Skitzen , 1853, p. 225.) and adds that they are nevertheless, well-proportioned. Waitz remarks they average about 4 feet (Note 8: Waitz, Anthropologie der Naturvölker, vol. ii. 1860, p. 328.) and Fritsch, who compared a number of them living in different regions, came to the conclusion that the average size of the various Bushman tribes is about 4.7 feet. (Note 9: Fritsch, Die Eingeborenen Südafrikas, 1872. p. 397.) Schinz gives their average as 5.15 feet. (Note 10: Schinz, Deutsch Südwest-Afrika, 1891. p. 393.) but this refers to only one or two small tribes living west of Lake Ngami, and his figures arc therefore not of general application. Based upon these and other• measurements, I have already determined the average height of the Bushmen of different tribes to be 4.5 feet. (Note 11: Schlichter, The Geography of South-West African in the Scottish Geographical Magazine, Oct. 1891.) It follows from this that the Bushmen are a pygmy race, similar in similar in stature to the dwarfs of Equatorial Africa. But also in other respects the Bushmen show a great resemblance to the other pygmy tribes of Africa. Like the latter, they belong to that interesting group of the human race which Fr. Mueller and others have described as “tufty-haired,” (Note 12: Fr. Mueller, Allgenuine Ethnographie, 2 Autlage, 1879, p. 93; Haeckel, History of Creation, 1876, vol. ii. p. 311.) the hair of the head growing in curly tufts separate from one another. Their skin is of a more or less yellowish-brown colour, (Note 1: Daniell, Sketches, p. 30: Fritsch, Eingeborenen, p. 401: Schinz, Südwest-Afrika, p. 395; Mollat, Missionary Labours in Southern Africa, 1842, p. 4.) their hands and feet are small, (Note 2: Fritsch, Eingeborenen, p. 406.) and their ears large, (Note 3: Fritsch Eodem loco, p. 410; Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa vol. ii. p. 143.) all these features corresponding to those of the Akka. and other Equatorial pygmy tribes. Also, their mode of living is in many respects similar. The genuine Bushmen are without exception nomadic hunters, who have not the least idea of agriculture and cattle-rearing -- their chief means of subsistence being the produce of the chase, the smaller animals, and the roots and fruits of the desert. (Note 4: Schinz, Südwest-Afrika, pp. 391 and 395.) Unfortunately, they do not confine themselves to the more or less barren plains of the Kalahari, but trespass on the pastures of the cattle-rearing Bantu and Hottentot tribes, as well as of the European colonists, (Note 5: Chapman, Trends in the Interior of South Africa, 1868, vol. i. p. 8) and their frequent raids upon the cattle of their neighbours have produced the deeply-rooted hatred Bantu and Hottentots against these dwarfish aborigines of South Africa. Their dexterity and cunning in hunting equal those of the dwarfs in the forest region. They catch large and small animals in cleverly-arranged pitfalls and traps, or wound them with their deadly-poisoned arrows. Livingstone states that they kill many lions with their insignificant-looking arrows. (Note 6: Livingstone, Journal R. G. S., vol. xxi., 1851, p. 23.) It is well known how they disguise themselves in an ostrich skin, in order to get within how-shot of these shy birds. They form no communities, but live in families or in hordes, (Note 7: Fritsch, Eingeborenen, p. 386.) usually ruled over by a chief, whose power is, however, very limited. As nomadic hunters, they have no fixed settlements, and never remain long at one place; but, as a rule, they confine themselves to certain districts, and carefully avoid intruding into the territory of the neighhouring Bushmen, (Note 8: Schinz, Südwest-Afrika p. 389.) a custom likewise observed by the Equatorial dwarfs. The characteristic weapons of the Bushmen are bows and poisoned arrows, which are foreign to all other nations inhabiting these parts of Africa. (Note 9: I have already pointed out that the word Batua, as a designation of the pygmies, is used not only by the natives of the Great Equatorial Forest region, but also by other South and East African tribes. For instance, the Bushmen are called Batua by the Kafirs, Baroa by the Sasuto, Basaroa by the tribes north of these, and Ovatua by the Ovaherero. It is not quite clear what the word Batua actually means. Hahn says that it signifies ‘bowmen,’ on account of their characteristic weapons, which are greatly dreaded by Bantu. Schinz translates it by ‘foreigners,’ and says that European are just as much Ba ua to these Bantu tribes as the Bushmen are. I quite agree with the latter scientist that the existence of the name Batua is no proof of the relationship existing between the Equatorial dwarfs and the Bushmen. Compare also: Hahn, Die Boschmänner, Globus, vol. xviii. 1870, p. 66; Fritsch, Drei Jahre in Südafrika, 1868, pp. 96-97.) Their temporary huts consist of bushes or sticks set up against each other, :tnd covered with grass, grass-mats, brushwood, etc. (Note 10: Chapman, Travels, vol. i. p. 60; Barrow, Travels, vol. i. p. 275.) Schinz says that the only vessels which he found in these primitive households were the shells of ostrich eggs, (Note 1: Schinz, Südwest-Afrika, p. 389.) used for keeping water in, but Chapman states that some of them know the use of cooking utensils. (Note 2: Chapman, Travels, vol. i. p. 60.) Their morals are said to be superior to those of the surrounding tribes, and although at first very shy of Europeans, they are afterwards found to be intelligent and trustworthy. We see that in most respects the Bushmen are exactly similar to the dwarf tribes of Equatorial Africa, but it must not be forgotten that certain differences also exist between the groups. Stanley and Schweinfurth describe the eyes of the Wambutti and Northern Akka as large and beautiful, whilst those of the Bushmen are small, deeply set, and restless, imparting to their countenance a savage expression. This difference is, however not universal as the Southern Akka whom Stanley discovered in the Great Forest have the same small, deeply-set, and malicious-looking eyes as the Bushmen. Moreover, the latter show no development of the lanugo, whilst many of the forest dwarfs, as we have seen, are covered with a thick growth of greyish hair; but also this distinction is only a partial one, as Schweinfruth describes the hair of the Akka as but slightly developed. The peculiar clicking sounds of the Bushman languages were not found by Lenz, Wolf, and other travellers in the languages of the Obongo and Batua, and Mr. Stanley informed me that the same is the case with the languages of the pygmies of the Great Forest. Certain differences in their mode of living, clothing, etc., are the direct consequences of the varied geographical and climatological characters of the countries which they inhabit, and other peculiarities of the Bushmen, e.g., the steatopygy of the women, seem to he, as Fritsch correctly remarks, a sign of Hottentot mixture. Summing up, we cannot fail to recognise the fact that the differences between the Bushmen and the Equatorial pygmy tribes are of much less importance than the similarities existing between these groups, and Schweinfurth is perfectly correct in saying that, where the general similarity is so great, all minor discrepancies sink into insignificance.(Note 3: Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, vol. ii. p. 142.) About some anthropological details, as well as about our knowledge of the languages of both groups, I shall speak afterwards. The chief argument against the relationship between the more northern dwarfs and the Bushmen is that the two groups are geographically separated by widely extending territories, inhabited by a great number of tribes and nations of different origin. But this objection is untenable, as the existence of certain tribes has been proved which connect, geographically and ethnographically, the Bushmen with the other African dwarf,;. Professor Ratzel points out that such connecting links cannot be looked for in the eastern parts of South and Equatorial Africa, where for centuries past numerous ethnological changes have taken place. (Note 4: Ratzel, Perermann’s Mitteilungen, 1890, pp. 295-296.) But he regards the Mucassequere, a peculiar tribe which Serpa Pinto discovered between the Cuando and Cuanavare, in about 20º E. long. and 15º S. lat., (Note 5: Serpa Pinto, How I crossed Africa, map. and vol. i. pp. 319-326.) as a connecting link between the Bushmen and the other dwarfs. The Mucassequere are nomadic hunters, living among the Ambuella in the forests between the Cubando and Cuando. They are of similar colour to the Hottentots and Bushmen; their hair is crisp and woolly, growing in separate patches on their heads; their eyes are small; and their whole appearance is excessively ugly. Their only weapons are bows and arrows; they are entirely ignorant of agriculture: they have no dwelling-houses or settlements, but live in encampments, where branches of trees, bent downwards and interlaced in front, constitute their only shelter. They speak a language of their own, quite unintelligible to all the surrounding tribes. Serpa Pinto regards them as the lowest type of savages he ever met with on his journeys, and classifies them in the so-called Hottentot-Bushman group. Although his information is but very fragmentary, there can be little doubt that we have the connecting link between the Bushmen and the more northern dwarfs before us. This opinion is confirmed by Schulz' and Hammar's discovery of the Mossaro or Mossakere, a similar tribe more to the south -- a fact to which I have already drawn attention in my paper .about the geography of South-West Africa. The Mossaro were met with in about 17° 30' S. lat. and 22° E. long. (Note 1: Schulz, Erforschung der Chobe und Cabango Flüsse, Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin, vol. xii., 1885, p. 384.). They are of a yellowish-brown colour, and are described as hunters of Bushman-like appearance and habits. The Mucassequere and Mossaro are therefore ethnologically of the utmost interest and importance.
Other African Dwarfs. -- Besides the previously described four great groups, other dwarfish or semi-dwarfish tribes must he mentioned, of whom we have a number of more or less trustworthy reports. Of some of them we cannot at present tell to which group they actually belong, or whether they are only local modifications of other African races Mollien, in 1818, found the district of Tenda Maie, in the Western Sudan, inhabited by a variety of tribes, which he describes as the only remaining representatives of former African races, suppressed and well high annihilated by the conquests of the Mandingo and Fulbe.(Note 2: Mollien, Voyage dans l(intérieur de l’Afrique, 1829, tome ii. pp. 209-210.) Among these tribes, he discovered at Faran, on the Rio Grande, a small colony of undersized people, whom he regards as the real pygmies of Africa. About their customs and language nothing is stated, except that Mollien remarks that the inhabitants of Tenda Maie speak a different language from that of the surrounding tribes. It is impossible to say whether we have here the last survivors of the pygmy tribes, which in all probability lived twenty-five centuries ago on the banks of the Niger, or of some other river of the Sudan, or whether the inhabitants of Faran form only a local modification of one of the other Sudan nations. However that may be, Mollien's statement is of the highest interest to ethnologists.
I can attach hut little importance to a remark of Escayrac de Lauture's about pygmies who are said to exist to the west of the hypothetical lake Koei-Dabo, a two months' journey to the southeast of Massena in Bagirmi.(Note 3: Mémoire sur le Soudan, Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr, 4e série, tome x. 1855, pp. 108 and 135.) They are called Mala Gilage, and are described as small-sized people of a reddish colour, and covered with a growth of hair. The natives say that they are men with tails. On account of the latter part of the statement the information must be rejected as unreliable, although the reddish colour of the skin and the growth of hair seem to indicate that the report may refer to some genuine observation.
Much more trustworthy are the reports of Koelle, which he obtained from natives while preparing his admirable Polyglotta Africana at Sierra Leone. (Note 1: Polyglotta Africana, p. 12.) In the country of Lufum, and also on the shores of a lake called Liba, is said to exist a tribe of dwarfs called Kenkob, who are described as being 3 or 4- feet high. They are said to live on the produce of the chase and to be excellent marksmen. In the Rufum country and on the river Riba, flowing through the countries of Bansa and Bambongo, there is a small tribe of bearded pygmies, from 3 to 5 feet in height, called Betsan, who are hunters like the Kenkob. They lead a nomadic life and do not cultivate the ground. Riba and Liba, as well as Rufum and Lufum, an, evidently synonymous terms which refer in all probability to the Congo or one of its tributaries, where the country of these dwarfs must be looked for.
Another small group of natives, the Watua or Wata, who are not actual dwarfs, but closely allied to them, must be mentioned here. They are found in two widely-separated countries of East Africa, viz., near Delagoa Bay, and also more to the north on the Swahili coast, where they live among the southern Galla tribes in the districts near Tagaungu.(Note 2: Cust, Modern Languages of Africa, vol. ii. p. 448.) According to New, the Watua and Wasania are identical. (Note 3: New, Life, Wanderings and Labours in Easten Africa, 1874, p. 278 sqq.) This interesting group about the northern branch of which we possess some reliable information --reminds us in various respects of the Central African pygmies. Like them they are expert hunters, and live exclusively on the produce of the chase. Their weapons are bows and arrows, and, although they have some few fixed settlements, yet they generally lead a migratory life, dwelling in temporary encampments where they build beehive-like huts. Ethnologically they are totally different from the Galla among whom they live. They speak the Galla language, and, according to New, they know no other, but Krapf asserts that they have also a language of their own which is entirely different from all Galla dialects.
Cust speaks of another tribe belonging to the pygmy group which, according to Last, lives about three months' march north-west of Nguru. Last gives them the name of Wamdidikimo (Note 4: Last, Proceedings R. G. S., 1882, p. 226; Cus, Modern Languages, vol. ii. p. 451.) On Stanley's map of 1878 a pygmy tribe called Wabilikimo is placed in 3° S. lat. and 35° 30' E. long. This reminds us at once of the Waberikimo of Boteler, Avanchers, and Krapf, whom we have mentioned in connection with the Doko and other East African pygmies. The few observations, however, which we possess at present about them, are not sufficient to authorise us to speak definitely about this tribe as a more southern branch of the East African pygmies (Note 1: Other tribes, like the Wandorobbo, Wanena, and Wapangwa, are in all probability ethnographically identical with the tribes among whom they live.)
Quite recently a pamphlet was published, entitled The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas; statements of natives of Morocco and of Europeans residents there as to the existence of a dwarf race south of the Great Atlas, by R. G. Haliburton. As the author of this pamphlet has informed me that he is in possession of further material concerning this question, I shall suspend my judgment till after• the publication of this new evidence. (Note 1).
Some Anthropological, Anthropogenetic, und Linguistic Remarks. – Professor Flower, in an admirably-written paper, (Note 2: Flower, Descriptions of two Skeleton of Akka, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, vol. xviii., 1889, pp. 3-19; compare also Flower, The Pygmy Races of Men, Endem loco, pp. 73-91.) gives a full description of the two Akka skeletons which Emin Pasha sent to London some years ago, thereby definitely settling the dispute which, since Schweinfurth's discovery of the Akka, had been going on about the osteological peculiarities of these pygmies. He has proved that the cranium of the Akka is shorter and rounder than is generally the case with Negroes, and although a tendency towards brachycephalism exists, Schweinfurth's opinion that the cranium is almost spherical is incorrect. Further, the cranium shows a considerable degree of prognathism. The skeletons also prove that the Akka belong to the smallest representatives of mankind, and that they show in all essential characteristics the type of the Negroid branch of the human race. But I cannot agree with Professor Flower in his comparative remarks about the Akka and Bushmen, as his observations about the latter differ so greatly from those of Fritsch -- who, as is generally acknowledged, is our best authority upon the genuine Bushmen -- that I have been greatly puzzled how to explain Professor Flower's differing statements. However, having studied the Bushman skeletons in the Royal College of Surgeons, to which Professor Flower refers, I have found that none of these, (Note 3: Compare the catalogue of the Royal College of Surgeons, Part I., 1879, pp. 246-247.) and, moreover, none of the crania, etc., in the Barnard Davis Collection, (Note 4: Davis, Thesaurus Craniorum, 1867, p. 216-217.) can be proved to have belonged to genuine Bushmen, as no information whatever about the tribe or country where they came from is forthcoming. All that we know about the origin of these specimens is that two of the skeletons were sent from a hospital in Capetown, a fact which makes it very doubtful whether we have the skeletons of genuine Bushmen before us. The crania of the Bushmen are described by Fritsch as large and broad, and showing a high degree of prognathism, whilst Professor Flower speaks of their peculiar oblong form and the absence of prognathism. Again, speaking of the external appearance and the osteological characters of the Bushmen, Professor Flower says that their only near allies are the Hottentots, whilst Fritsch has conclusively proved that the genuine Bushmen differ in these respects altogether from the latter. It is further stated that the yellow complexion of the Bushmen is unlike that of the Akka, whilst we know from various travellers that the colour of the skin is in both cases of a characteristic yellowish-brown shade. About steatopygy, etc., I have spoken above, and as regards the assertion that although individual Bushmen were found to be very small in stature, yet the Akka are considerably shorter than the Bushmen, I have to reply that many travellers, e.g., Barrow. Lichtenstein, and others, have based their view about the dwarfish size of the Bushmen upon a great number of measurements, and by no means upon single individuals. All this leads me to the conclusion that Professor :Flower is not describing the genuine Bushmen, but rather a Hottentot mixture. Therefore, his conclusion that the Akka differ from the Bushmen is by no means justified, and the existing similarities between the Equatorial dwarfs and the genuine Bushmen are, as we have seen, so striking, that, in spite of our fragmentary osteologicai knowledge of the latter, the relationship of the groups can hardly be doubted.
Various authors have brought forward the hypothesis that the pygmy tribes of Africa are the remnants of the original population of that continent, but I must emphatically state that such an assumption is at the present time unsupported by any direct observations, although this hypothesis recommends itself strongly by the fact that it is most unlikely that the various scattered pygmy tribes immigrated into territories already occupied by the Bantu, Nuba, and Hottentot races. On the other hand, it has been said that the pygmies are merely degenerate specimens of the tribes among which they live, the Obongo, for instance, being degenerate Ashango, the Akka degenerate Monbuttu, and the Bushmen degenerate Hottentots. It is, however, utterly impossible to uphold this latter view, as the anthropological and ethnological differences between the various pygmies and their full-sized neighbours are far greater than the differences which exist between the pygmies themselves. Our best authorities on the pygmies, viz Stanley, Wolf, Schweinfurth, and others, have strongly objected to the assumption that we have in the pygmies degenerate Bantu and Nuba, but it is of course quite natural that frequent intermarriages with these races should have produced half-breeds showing in some respects the characteristics of the pygmies, and in others those of other• races. Such a race are Casati’s Monbuttu Tiki-Tiki, as already mentioned, and many difficulties which puzzle us at present about the Bushmen, Akka, and other, are doubtless the result of this fact. That the degeneration hypothesis is incorrect is further proved by the wide extension of the pygmy tribes over the greater part of Africa, as well as by the fact that more or less similar tribes, which belong to the same branch of the human race, are the aborigines of certain islands lying in the Indian Ocean, or still more to the east. Professor Haeckel in his Anthropogenic and History of Creation (Note 1: Haeckel, Anthropogenie, 3. Auflage, 1877, p. 521; History of Creation, 1876, vol. ii. p. 326.) suggests that the primeval home of man was a continent, now sunk below the surface of the Indian Ocean, which extended from Africa and .Madagascar to Further India, the Sunda Islands and .Melanesia. Various problems of natural history and anthropology would find an easy solution, if this suggestion could be conclusively proved. One of these problems is the origin of that peculiar branch of the human race which includes not only the Bushmen and the Hottentots, but also the Melanesians, Andamanese, and the now extinct aborigines of Tasmania. (Note 1: Compare Flower, The Aborigines of Tasmania, Manchester Science Lect., series 10, p. 49 sqq.; Two Akka Skeletons, Anthrop. Inst., 1889, p. 3-19; Pygmy Races of Men, Eodem loco, pp. 73-91.) Besides the Bushmen we have to add to them the other African pygmy tribes. The Andaman islanders are a dwarfish race, differing, however, considerably from the African pygmies, as Professor Flower has proved. Another pygmy race, the Kimo, are said to exist in Madagascar, but we know very little about them, and the extinct Tasmanians are described as having been on the average a little above 5 feet high. Hence, we see that the small-sized tribes of this branch of mankind are not limited to Africa, and Hamy appropriately gives to the African pygmy tribes the collective name of Negrillos (Note 2: Hamy, Essai de coordination des matériaux récemment recueillis sur l’ethnologie des négrilles ou pygmées de l’Afrique équatoriale, Bull. de la Soc. d’Anthr. de Paris, 3e. série, tome ii. pp. 79-101.) analogous to Negritos, the small, rounded-headed race more to the east. Darwin’s, Huxley's, and Haeckel’s investigations about the origin of man point to the antiquity of these races, and although our information is at present too meagre and fragmentary to warrant us to compare the Negrillos and Negritos with the anthropoides, yet the diminutive size, and especially the development of the lanugo with many African pygmies, e.g.,•the Obongo, Wambutti, and Akka, are of the highest interest in this respect.
We know but very little about the languages and dialects of the Bushmen and of the other African dwarf tribes. A few short vocabularies of the latter, collected by Stanley, Wolf, Du Chailluand Lenz, are all that we can compare at present with the equally incomplete Bushman vocabularies of Hahn, Bleck, Lichtenstein, Schinz and Arbousset. Many words which the Equatorial dwarfs use are adopted from their bantu neighbours, but all travellers affirm that the dwarfs have also languages of their own, and the vocabularies show that the characteristic pygmy words are different from the languages of the surrounding Bantu population. After eliminating the Bantu elements, I had less than thirty words left for a comparison with the very incomplete vocabularies of various Bushmen dialects. This was quite insufficient to draw any reliable conclusions, but as some of these words are evidently identical. I shall give them in the accompanying footnote. (Note 3: ).About click I have spoken already. Those linguists who regard exclamations, interjections, and the like, important in the study of languages, I may refer to Du Chaillu's observations among the Obongo.
African Pygmies of Antiquity. -- Already in the course of my investigations about Ptolemy (Note 1: Schlichter, Ptolemy’s Topography of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Proceedings R. G. S., Sept. 1891.) I have pointed out that I attach no scientific importance to the numerous legends which have been current from the earliest times about these inner African dwarf tribes, (Note 2: Monceaux (La Légendd des Pygmées et les Nains de l’Afrique Équatoriale, Revue Historique, vol. xlvii., Sept. – Oct. 1891, pp. 1-64) has recently give a complete account about the pygmy legends of antiquity. His careful investigations are a valuable contribution to the historical part of the pygmy question.) but that, on the other hand, we should not ignore what several trustworthy ancient authors wrote about them. Herodotus tells us that Sataspes, at the farthest point of his journey on the west coast of Africa, found the coast occupied by a dwarfish race who wore a dress made from the palm tree. (Note 4: Rawlinson’s ed. of Herodotus, vol. iii., 1875, p. 35.) I do not venture to connect this report with the undersized inhabitants of Faran whom Mollien met on the Upper Rio Grande. But, nevertheless, this information is not without interest, especially when we compare it with another report which is likewise contained in Herodotus, viz., of the well-known journey of the five Nasamonians into the interior of Africa. (Note 5: Eodem loco, Vol. II. PP. 50-51.) Vivien de Saint Martin believes that these Nasamonians never crossed the Sahara, but only reached Wargla (Note 6: Vivien de St. Martin, Le Nord d’Afrique dans l’Antiquité, 1863, pp. 18-19.). His arguments, however, are not convincing, and the report, as given by Herodotus, can only refer to the Sudan, the great river Howing eastward being either the Niger or one of the rivers in connection with Lake Chad, e.g., the Bahr-el-Ghazal. On the banks of this river lived dwarfish men, under middle height, who spoke a language unintelligible to the Nasamonians. Of this pygmy race no trace has been found in modern times. We know that for centuries past numerous ethnographical changes have taken place among the savage and the semi-civilised inhabitants of the Western Sudan, and it is therefore probable that the dwarfish aborigines whom the Nasamonian travellers met on the banks of the said river have disappeared long ago, whilst their more southern relatives found refuge in the impenetrable forest regions of Equatorial Africa.
Pomponius Mela, (Note 7: Pomponius Mela, De Chorographiâ libritres, lib. iii. c. 8.) a Roman geographer of the first century of the Christian era, speaks of other pygmies, whom he places in the interior of East Africa to the west of the Gulf of Aden. Between them and the coast he places a tribe called l'anchai, who are no doubt identical with a tribe mentioned by Ptolemy and dwelling in the same locality, viz., the Pechini. According to the latter geographer, the Astapus (Blue Nile) flows to the west of the country of the Pechini, and the pygmies of Pomponius Mela must, therefore, be looked for beyond this river – i.e. either west or south of it. This brings us into the neighbourhood of those territories which, according to Harris, Avanchers, Hartmann, and others, are inhabited by an East African dwarf race, as above explained. Although we are thus able to fix approximately the locality of the pygmies of Pomponius Mela, and although his statement seems perfectly trustworthy, yet there is no corroborative evidence or them to be found, and therefore I simply state the facts without drawing any conclusions therefrom.
I have proved in a previous publication that the Ancients had not merely it vague knowledge of the Upper Nile regions, but were acquainted with the course of the Nile far beyond the confluence of the White and Blue Rivers. It is, therefore, not difficult to understand that they might have had either direct or indirect information about the pygmy tribes living in the source region of the Nile. That this was actually the case follows plainly from the words of Aristotle, who states that the pygmies live near the lake from which the Nile flows; “and this is no fable, for there is really as it is said, a race of dwarfs, both men and horses, which lead the life of troglodytes.” (Note 1: Aristotle, Hist, Animal., viii. 2.) Pliny affords corroborative evidence in saying that, according to different authors, the Nile has its origin in several lakes, between which is the country of the pygmies. (Note 2: Pliny, Hist, Nat., vi. 35.) Strabo also has a passage on this subject. He says: -- “The mode of life (of the Ethiopians) is wretched; they are for the most part naked, and wander from place to place with their flocks. Their flock and herds are small in size, whether sheep, goats, or oxen; the dogs also, though fierce and quarrelsome, are small. It was, perhaps, from the diminutive size or these people that the story of the pygmies originated, whom no person worthy of credit has asserted that he himself has seen.” (Note 3: Hamilton and Falconer’s ed. of Strabo (Bohn’s Classical Library), vol. iii., 1857, p. 270.) Now, it is a curious fact that the natives in the neighbourhood of Gondokoro and Lado, on the Upper Nile, have small-sized domesticated animals, and Sir Samuel Baker, in his book about the discovery of the Albert Nyanza, describes them as follows:-- “The cattle are very small; the goat; and sheep are quite Lilliputian.” (Note•4: Baker, The Albert Nyanza, 1866, vol. i. p. 91.) I have already pointed out that Strabo's denial of the existence of the pygmies is merely an objection to the name, as he speaks about small-sized tribes immediately afterwards, and this, as well as Aristotle's and Pliny's information, can leave no reasonable doubt that the Ancients had some knowledge about the existence of that branch of the dwarf tribes of Inner Africa which the greatest of all African explorers, Stanley, discovered on the banks of the Semliki Nile, near the Mountains of the Moon and the sources of the Nile of antiquity.I must add a few words about a geographical fragment (Note 5: Compare Cooley, Ptolemy and the Nile, 1854) which belongs to the fifth or a later century of the Christian era. It contains a description of the source region of the Nile. I cannot here enter into a discussion how far the unknown author of this fragment has copied or amplified Ptolemy and other geographers; but if we regard, as Ganzenmüller correctly does, the Crocodile Lake as identical with the Victoria Nyanza, we find that the pygmies who are mentioned in two passages of the fragment are placed in the same localities as those of Aristotle and Pliny, Dr. Felkin (Note 1: Felkin-Wilson, Uganda and Egyptian Sudan 1882, vol. ii. pp. 141-142.) reports that he met with a dwarf at Rohl, who told him, that he came from a far country inhabited by pygmies, who live among mountains the tops of which are always white; and the late Captain Stairs, who carefully studied the pygmies on the Upper Aruwimi and Nile informed me that in every large tribe of Central Africa dwarfs are kept, either as curiosities or for their powers of tracking and bush craft, and that, he believes, they found their way in ancient times to Egypt, and may have given some information about the Mountains of the Moon and the sources of the Nile. I have no doubt that this is correct, especially in the face of a highly important discovery which Mariette made, who found on one of the old Egyptian monuments the picture of a dwarf and the name of Akka by the side of it. (Note 2: Hamy, Essai de coordination etc., Bull. de la Soc. d’Anthr. de Paris, 3e série, tome ii. p. 97.) I may be permitted to remark that the more I study and criticise the still extant information of the Ancients, the more I am surprised how great -- in spite of many errors and inaccuracies -- their actual knowledge of Africa was. Of course we must be very careful and critical, but I think I have proved that in many cases we are in possession of facts wllich no reasonable critic can disregard or deny. The African pygmies are an example of this, and besides, it is very pleasing for me to see that, at least in this instance, Calliope is in harmony with dry nineteenth-century science, finding some truth in the words of the greatest of Greek poets who sang many century ago: (Note 3: Iliad, iii., Pope’s translation.)
I cannot conclude without tendering my most sincere thanks to our greatest African authority, Mr. H. M. Stanley, for his kindness in giving me many valuable hint concerning the ethnology of the pygmies living in the Great Forest and on the Semliki Nile.