On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands

(Part I)

By E. H. Man, Esq., F.RG.S., &c.

[With Plates VI and VII.1]

[Extracted from Journal of Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 12 (1883): 69-116, 117-175, 327-434.]


When I last had the honour of addressing you (vide "Journ. Anthrop. Inst.," vol. xi, p. 268), I endeavoured to give an outline of various points of ethnological interest concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of the Andaman Islands. I propose this evening, and, with your permission, on some future occasion, to enter more into detail, both with regard to their physical characteristics and their culture; merely remarking by way of preface that on those points in regard to which I am compelled, in the interests of truth and science, to contradict the accounts of previous writers, I have been especially careful to corroborate all my statements, in which endeavour I have been greatly assisted, and would here acknowledge gratefully the invaluable help afforded me, by the small volume published a few years ago by the British Association for the Advancement of Science with the object of aiding travellers and others in their researches among savage and uncivilised nations,—indeed I may say that I have worked almost entirely upon the lines therein laid down.

As mentioned in my previous paper, read in May last, I succeeded in acquiring a fair knowledge of the South Andaman dialect, and, during the eleven years I passed at the Andamans, had charge, for a period extending over four years, of the government homes established with a view of reclaiming these people, as far as possible, from their savage state. I was thus thrown much in contact with them, and had special opportunities of observing each peculiarity, whether of physique, or of habits, customs, &c., to some of which I shall be able to direct your attention by means of the photographs which I have brought for your inspection, and by the lime-light illustrations with which I purpose to conclude my remarks this evening.

Before speaking of our recently acquired knowledge regarding the race, let us glance back for a moment to our earliest information as to the islands, and to the probable origin of the name "Andaman."


In the records of certain Arabian travellers of the 9th century we appear to find the first mention that is made of these islands being inhabited by negritos, and Marco Polo, some four hundred years later, bears out their statement, while it would seem that the islands themselves were known to Ptolemy, who speaks of a group in the Bay of Bengal as Instulæ bonæ fortunæ.

As regards the derivation of the name "Andaman," there seems to be some uncertainty. Colonel Yule, in his well known work on Marco Polo, mentions that, to his knowledge, Nicolo Conti, who calls it the "Island of Gold," is the only person who has attempted to give it a meaning. Colonel Yule's suggestion is that Angamanain (the name used by Marco Polo) is an Arabic (oblique) dual indicating "The Two Andamans," viz., The Great and The Little, which the origin of the name (Angaman) may be traced to Ptolemy's reference to these islands, which he describes as those of Good Fortune, [Greek], whence may have sprung the forms Agdaman, Angaman, and ultimately Andaman.

With regard to the origin of the race, many conflicting opinions have, from time to time, been entertained; but, from the knowledge we now possess, the questions raised on the following points may, I think, be considered as more or less satisfactorily set at rest, viz.:—

I. That they are Negritos, not Papuans.2

II. That they are the original inhabitants, whose occupancy dates from pre-historic times; and that racial affinity—if there be any—may possibly some day be found to exist between them and the Semangs of the Malayan Peninsula,3 or the Aetas of the Philippine Islands.4

III. That all the tribes, as at present known to us, undoubtedly belong to the same race, and are of unmixed origin, the differences which occur among them being attributable as much to their constitutional peculiarities of jealousy and distrust in all dealings with strangers as to the natural barriers [p.71] presented by their densely wooded and hilly country, which facts have combined to isolate the various communities, and to check freedom of intercourse among them; further, in the case of Little Andaman, it may fairly be assumed that the peculiar beehive form of their huts, as well as certain modifications of their domestic habits and customs, have been borrowed from their neighbours, the Gar Nicobarese, upon whom, in the last century, they made some hostile raids.

IV. That, in spite of all our endeavours to protect them, contact with civilisation has been marked with the usual lamentable result of reducing the aboriginal population; indeed, the death-rate, among those within the area of our influence, during the past twenty years has so far exceeded the birth-rate, as to compel the belief that before many decades have passed, the race, at least that portion of it which inhabits Great Andaman, will be well nigh extinct.

In view of their probable early extermination, and the rapidity with which they are being meantime reduced to the standard of civilised manners, it seems very desirable that, ere it be too late, all possible information respecting their habits, customs, physical characteristics, etc., should be obtained, more especially as many of the errors which, excusably enough, found their way into the early accounts, having been allowed to pass unchallenged, are accepted as trustworthy, and false ethnological theories are built on these most imperfect bases.

Almost all accounts which have been written regarding these islanders speak of them as Mincopies, in explanation of which it is asserted that it is thus "these people style themselves;" but this is far from being the case, for not only is the name, or any at all resembling it, unknown to the .bo-jig-ngi-.gi,5 i.e., the inhabitants of South Andaman, but the other six tribes with which we are acquainted are in a like state of ignorance as to its origin and significance. The only sounds at all approximating it in the South Andaman dialect at the present day being min kaichi! (come here!) and ka'min ka'pi! (stand here!). The former of these being in common use may have given rise to the term (Mincopie) as a nickname, to which, indeed, it may possibly have borne a more striking similarity of sound in the language spoken at the period when this name was first adopted; for each generation cannot fail to produce changes more remarkable, and even of greater importance in the phonology of an unwritten language, such as this, depending as [p.72] it must entirely on the delicacy of ear, and correctness of individual articulation.

The following remarks, except where otherwise specified, must be understood as referring to the eight tribes of Great Andaman, for the continued and inveterate hostility with which the inhabitants of Little Andaman, known as jarawa, have hitherto met all our advances and attempts to establish an entente cordiale has rendered it extremely difficult to obtain, much less substantiate, any information concerning them.

Form and Size.—1. Those here present who have studied the various accounts which have appeared regarding the physical characteristics of the Andamanese, cannot fail to have been struck with their divergence. For the sake of those, however, to whom the race is comparatively unknown, I trust they will bear with me while I quote, on the subject of their form and size, a few writers, commencing with the Mahomedan travellers of the ninth century, already mentioned, who stated that "their complexion is black, their hair frizzled, their countenance and eyes frightful, their feet very large and almost a cubit in length, and they go quite naked;" while Marco Polo (cir. 1285) appears to have been still less favourably impressed, for he says "the people .... are no better than wild beasts, and I assure you all the men of this island of Angamanain have heads like dogs, and teeth and eyes likewise; in fact, in the face, they are all just like big mastiff dogs!" Next we find Colonel Colebrooke, towards the close of the last century, describing "their limbs as ill-formed and slender, their bellies prominent, and, like the Africans, as having woolly heads, thick lips, and flat noses." In opposition to the foregoing we have Dr. Mouat, than whom no better judge could be desired, giving it as his opinion, that "they are the most perfectly formed little beings in existence. In proportion to their size, their general frame-work is well constructed, and their limbs present a remarkably good muscular development, and .... the whole form is as elegant as that of any European," in which opinion he is supported by the eminent craniologist. Dr. J. Barnard Davis, recently deceased, who, after careful study of a number of Andamanese skulls and skeletons, affirmed that they were "most beautifully proportioned."6

2. From my own observations I would remark, that though it is quite true that there are found among them individuals whose "abdomens are protuberant,7 and whose limbs are dispropor- [p.73] tionately slender," such persons no more represent the general type of the race, than the sickly inmates of a London hospital can be regarded as fair specimens of the average Englishman; in point of fact the remark which is commonly made by strangers who see them for the first time, is, "how well these savages are developed." In confirmation of this I would refer you to the photographs, and table of weights and measurements of forty-eight male, and forty-one female adults, which I have prepared,8 being persuaded that more correct information can be obtained by such means than from any verbal description, however minute and careful.

3. Although the Mahomedan travellers, a thousand years ago, described their feet as "very large, and almost a cubit in length," my observations and measurements go to prove that their feet, as well as their hands and ears, are small and well-shaped; the heel in some cases projects slightly, but never to the extent peculiar to negro races.

4 Dr. Dobson, in his valuable paper "On the Andamans and Andamanese," which was published in this Institute's Journal (vol. iv, p. 464), alleges the existence of a "remarkable contrast between the size of the males and females;"9 but the example, which he cites in proof, of mai'a m'ra and his wife, was quite exceptional, for this man, whom we nicknamed "Moriarty," like many of the Andaman chiefs, was as much above, as his ebon consort was below, the ordinary stature of the race. From the illustrations and lists of measurements, to which reference has already been made, it will be found that the average height of the men is 4 feet 10½ inches, and of the women 4 feet 7½ inches,10 while their average weight is 98½ lbs. and 93½ lbs. respectively—results which cannot be said to indicate a striking disparity between the sexes.


5. The old statement, so often repeated, that their stature never exceeds 5 feet, must also be noticed, as the list in question shows that fourteen of the forty-eight males who were measured were slightly above that height I would add, that on a visit paid to North Andaman, about two years ago, by Colonel Cadell, V.C, the present Chief Commissioner, an Aka cha'riar- was seen whose height was estimated at about 5 feet 8 inches; but this must be regarded as very remarkable and exceptional, for the tallest specimen of the race, that had till then been met with, was a chief standing 5 feet 4 inches.

6. In consequence of their early marriages, the cares of maternity, and the nature of the duties which devolve upon them, the women soon lose the graceful figures which many of them possess in their youth, and they often, in their maturer years, become so obese as to be objects of wonder to Europeans.11

Anatomy and Physiognomy.—1. With the view of forming some idea of the average temperature and rates of pulse and respiration per minute, five youths, fair representatives of the race, were examined, with the following results:—

No. Age Temperature
under the axilla*

Rate per minute


of pulse. of respiration.




The subjects were at rest and in the shade,  
and had not eaten for several hours previously.

* The bulb was left undisturbed for five minutes.

Colour.—1. Their skin is naturally smooth, and greasy to the touch, and there is little or no hair or down over the surface,12 and, with regard to its colour, by the aid of reflected light it has been found that not only are there several shades of colour among this race, ranging between bronze or dark copper colour, sooty, and black, but also that in individuals the complexion of the face and body are different. The distinctions are, however, so slight as to be unnoticed by the people themselves.

2. The results of careful observation go to prove that these [p.75] variations in colour are not confined within certain tribal limits, but are alike found in all, whether living inland or on the coast; and it would therefore appear that the cause is not attributable to diet, habits, or, indeed, to any external circumstance.

3. The opinion expressed on this subject by Dr. Mouat was that "their hue is remarkably black and lustrous;" while Surgeon-Major Hodder13 describes them as "extremely black, more so than the African negro, and some have a dull leaden hue like that of a black-leaded stove." In this latter remark I fully concur; indeed, the simile strikes me as an exceedingly happy one, and as exactly expressing the predominating colour of their skin.

4 On examining a number of individuals, and comparing the colour of their skin and eyes with the standard tables prepared by the late M. Broca, it was found that the skin of the face and shoulders of the majority corresponded most nearly with No. 42, the variations tending towards 27 and 28, while that of the trunk, in the generality of cases, agreed with No. 27, and in certain others with No. 49. The prevailing hue of the eyes was found to be most closely represented by No. 16, one exception, which had to be classed under No. 1, being found among those tested.

Odour.—1. The ammoniacal, rancid, goat-like exhalations of the negro are not found among them, and the peculiarity of odour which attaches to their persons is chiefly due to the unguents called koi'ob-da14 composed of red oxide of iron mixed with either turtle or pig's fat, with which they delight to paint themselves. When in health, and under ordinary circumstances, their breath is sweet.15

Anatomy and Physiognomy (continued).—2. Their powers of abstinence from solid food have never, to our knowledge, been severely tested; but it has been noticed that, on rare occasions, when forced to make a long day's journey through the jungles without a halt, they are in the habit of binding a strip of bark or other substance round their waists, to reduce, as much as possible, the inconvenience and pain which are caused by what they consider a long fast. Whether in exercise or repose they [p.76] cannot apparently abstain from food without inconvenience for more than eight hours at a time.

3. When exerting themselves in any way they perspire freely, which may account for their inordinate thirst. So great, indeed, is their inability to endure any privation in respect to drink, that they seldom leave home on the shortest expedition, whether by land or sea, without providing themselves with one or more bamboo vessels, called gob-, containing a supply of fresh water.

4. Loss of sleep they can bear well only when under the influence of strong excitement, as in turtle hunting, or at festive gatherings, where singing and dancing are kept up for many successive hours16; they have even been known to spend forty-eight hours at such times without taking any rest.

5. What little cool weather there is in the latitude of their islands, during December and January, they dislike extremely; in striking evidence of this they are found, as I will elsewhere mention, unconsciously concurring with the great Italian poet in depicting the region of punishment, for the souls of the wicked, as one of intense cold. After this, it will appear somewhat strange to say that, in spite of their aversion to what they consider cold weather—which never registers less than 69° F. on the highest elevation in South Andaman—they are careful, during the hot season, to avoid any lengthened exposure to the direct rays of the sun, and endeavour to lessen the discomfort caused by the heat by smearing their persons with a white-wash of common white clay and water.17 It has long been erroneously believed that they have recourse to this expedient in order to allay the inconvenience which they would otherwise suffer from the bites of mosquitoes and other jungle pests; but the true reason for the practice is, I am well assured, that which I have above given, for the various insects which might annoy them are, for the most part, kept away by the smoke of the hut fire beside which a great portion of their time is spent when at rest, or when engaged in any sedentary occupation.

6. The voices of the men are usually clear without being deep, while those of the women, especially when raised, are very shrill.

7. The mucous membrane of the mouth is stained with pigment to a greater degree than was found to be the case with such of the natives of India as were compared with them.

8. The general excellence of the teeth strikes one as remark- [p.77] able, for not only are no precautions taken for their preservation, but they are used roughly, small bones being broken by them, and food commonly eaten at almost boiling point. The grinding surface of the molars is generally much abraded: five or six tubercles are occasionally observed in the posterior molars, but are not all marked with equal distinctness; in some cases, indeed, they are scarcely distinguishable. The crowns of these teeth frequently present one long and comparatively even surface, and the peculiarity is of course due to the practice above referred to, of grinding hard substances with them. The canines are not longer or more prominent than the other teeth; caries appear to be rare, except with those well advanced in years. The front teeth of the lower jaw are generally the first cut: the first dentition is complete apparently at an earlier age than is usual among ourselves.

Hair.—1. Dr. Allen Thomson, F.R.S., who has kindly examined some of the hair microscopically, gives it as his opinion that the form of the transverse section is oval. Having, however, only a small quantity at his disposal, he has not been able to make a sufficient examination as yet, so he adds that, "it may be that some sections are oblique, but a number are certainly transverse, and none of them have a circular outline." In appearance it is extremely frizzly and seems to grow in spiral tufts,18 but examination proves that the roots are uniformly distributed over the scalp: it is fine in texture and fairly abundant, but lustreless, and seldom more than two or three inches long, or five inches if the actual length when untwisted be measured; in a few instances it has been found to be eight or ten inches long, but the ends were matted, dead-like, and easily broken.

2. The majority of the women every week or ten days shave their heads almost entirely, leaving only two narrow parallel lines of hair, termed gor-, from the crown to the nape of the neck. The gor- is never allowed to exceed one-eighth of an inch in length; therefore, as they have no means of clipping it, it is constantly shaven off, and a fresh gor- is made with the hair which has grown since the last operation.19


3. Though many of the men were and are in the habit of having their heads shaved like the women, the style of hair-dressing most affected by them before our arrival left only a circular patch of hair, about six or eight inches in diameter, like a skull cap, on the top of the head. Of late, however, they have indulged in many fanciful modes, such as shaving a piece about two or three inches broad between the forehead and the nape of the neck, or making a large tonsure. From this it will be seen that the Andamanese cannot be instanced as a tribe that "goes bald always," as has been asserted.20

4. Men will sometimes shave each other's heads, but only when the services of a woman are not available; for it is one of the duties of the fair sex in these tribes to act as barbers, regarding which fact I shall have occasion to make further reference at another time.

5. When, in consequence of its having attained an unusual length, the hair is found to be oppressively hot and difficult to clean, it is shaved off entirely or in part, clipping, as already mentioned, being impracticable, owing to the lack of a suitable instrument. On these occasions the eyebrows are generally removed, which explains Dr. Day's remark, that "they rarely have eyebrows."

6. With the exception of the eyelashes and eyebrows, which are of slight growth, hair is only occasionally seen on the face, and then but scantily and in patches on the upper lip and chin, where it has a tendency to grow in spiral tufts: as it is esteemed a decoration it is never shaved or depilated.

7. It has been rumoured21 that there are tribes of a long-haired race on Interview and also on Rutland Islands; but, with regard to the former, none of the Northerners who have been to Port Blair have possessed this characteristic, or will allow that it is to be met with amongst their communities, while our relations with the inhabitants of the latter enable us to contradict the assertion, which, indeed, can only be explained by supposing that runaway convicts, who have frequently escaped thither, must have been mistaken for aborigines.

8. That baldness has been known among them may be assumed from their having a word in their language to express it, but such cases would appear to be of very rare occurrence since none have come under my notice.

9. It has been asserted that "they are in the habit of dyeing their hair with red ochre"; but, whatever may have been the custom in former times, this is certainly not now the case, as they never intentionally interfere with the natural colour, but [p.79] some of the pigment, koi-ob-, with which they so frequently paint their persons sometimes accidentally adheres to their curly wigs, these being often used for wiping or drying their hands.

10. The colour of the hair among different individuals varies between black, greyish-black, and sooty, the last perhaps predominating; it is apparently uninfluenced by, and does not correspond with, the hue of the eye or skin; it commences to turn grey about the fortieth year, but the number of those who exceed that age being small, white hair is seldom seen.

Development and Decay.—1. The average length of life, owing to excessive infant mortality as well as to the small number that attain old age, can hardly be reckoned as much, if at all, beyond 22 years. Not more than three generations of the same family have ever been known to be alive at the same time.

2. Fifty years is believed to be the extreme limit of age among them, and the majority of those who attain it are women.

3. Judging from those whose births have been registered by us, it would seem that physical development takes place at a late age as compared with natives of India, the males not attaining puberty till about the 16th year, and the females not before the 15th,22 while the maxima of stature and bulk are not reached till two or three years later; should the opinion thus formed be confirmed by further observations, the fact will serve to weaken the theories that have been advanced by some anthropologists to account for the phenomenon hitherto assumed to be of universal application, that ''the period of immaturity is curtailed in inverse proportion to the approximation to the equator or the polar circle;"23 but, as the same writer goes on to say, "probably the latitude of the abode has no reference to this phenomenon; it may more probably have some connection with the darkness of the skin."

4. Among the Andamanese, when the head is in the customary position, the line taken by a horizontal plane drawn through the meatus auditorius would, in most cases, pass through the apex of the facial angle, or, in exceptional cases, somewhat lower. I cannot entirely concur in the opinion expressed by Dr. Brander regarding the variety of the facial type found among them, as he says that "some faces seem to resemble the Negraic, some the Malayan, and some even the Aryan in character;" it is, however, a curious physiognomical fact, of which there can be little or no question, that a remarkable diversity in this respect does exist among them, though it is [p.80] hardly sufficient to account of the inference, which might be drawn from the passage just quoted, and on which the incorrect theory might be based, as to their being of mixed descent I would add that I observed, like Dr. Brander, that these differences are more noticeable among the males than among the females of the population.

Crosses.—1. In a footnote to his interesting paper on the Andamanese, Dr. Day mentions that "some have entirely smooth hair," and he suggests the probability of a portion of the race being of African origin or of mixed African descent.

2. With the exception of three children of mixed parentage,24 none of whom survived more than seven or eight years, no examples are known of the existence of a cross-breed among these tribes; and, as none but these three children have been known to have had other than the frizzly hair which is one of the distinctive characteristics of the race, I have no doubt that Dr. Day either observed, or was informed of, the peculiarity occurring in their case, and his remarks must, therefore, be taken as applying only to them.

3. Not only would it have been impossible for us to have continued so long in ignorance of the existence of any individuals of this race who differed so widely from their fellow countrymen as to have smooth hair, but additional evidence is afforded by the denial of the Andamanese to every inquiry instituted on this point.

4. Another statement has been published which is also calculated to mislead; it is as follows:—"I agree with Mr. Day that the chief of Rutland Island is probably a native of India."25 The chief here referred to, by name maia bi'ela, but generally called by us munshi bi'ela26 (vide Plate VIII, fig. 2), was one of the best known, as he certainly was the most useful of all our aboriginal acquaintances. He was not only a thorough, though superior, specimen of the race, but his parents were so well known to be of pure Andamanese blood that his intimates were surprised to learn that a doubt regarding the purity of his descent should even for a moment have been entertained, and certainly I, and others who have for many years been associated with the man and his friends, see no grounds for regarding their statements on this point with the least suspicion.

5. Judging from the exceptional cases above mentioned of a cross-breed occurring among them, it seems improbable that the existence of a mixed race in their midst would be tolerated, for all three of the children met their death by violence or neglect, [p.81] not at the hands of their mothers, but of the male members of the tribe.

Reproduction.—1. Marriages never take place till both parties have attained maturity, and generally not till a few years later; the usual age of the bridegroom varies from 18 to 22, and of the bride from 16 to 20. The result of inquiries tends to show that there is a slight predominance of female over male births; three or four is the average number of children born of the same parents. The largest family known consisted of six, three only of whom attained maturity.27

2. Twins are rare, and as no instance can be recalled of both surviving infancy, notwithstanding all possible care being bestowed on them, they are not favourably regarded. No case of triplets has been known to occur. Births out of wedlock are considered discreditable, and in the one known instance of the kind, the parents were married immediately after the event; no difference was made in the treatment which the child received.28

3. The limited fecundity of the women may in some measure be due to the circumstance that they never wean their babies, so long as they are able to suckle them, and it not unfrequently happens that the two youngest children are seen together at their mother's breast.29

4. The ill success in rearing their offspring is doubtless owing in most part to the injudicious management and petting which each of the mother's friends considers right to bestow on the infant. It is looked upon as a compliment for every woman who may be nursing, to relieve the mother of this duty at frequent intervals; it is, therefore, no matter of surprise that the little one ails and dies.

5. The proportion of deaths from violence and accident, is believed to amount to four or five per cent.

6. Barrenness is rare, as are also cases of stillborn children. No drugs or other contrivances are employed in order to increase or limit reproduction.

Abnormalities.—1. Excessive development of fat about the gluteal region is frequently observable among the adult women. [p.82] Dr. Dobson, in noticing a marked case of this kind, drew attention to the fact of its differing from steatopyga, thereby distinguishing them in this respect from Hottentots.

2. Albinism and polydactylism are unknown, and only one case of erythrism, and that of a faint type, has been observed, or is known to the natives of our acquaintance.30

3. No instance appears of obliquity of vision, of cleft palate, absence of teeth, or of supernumerary teeth, and only one of prognathism and hare-lip respectively. Cases of "Darwin's point" in the ear are constantly met with.

Pathology.—1. No idiots, maniacs, or lunatics have ever yet been observed among them, and this is not because those so afflicted are killed or confined by their fellows, for the greatest care and attention are invariably paid to the sick, aged, and helpless. Two or three cases of hunchback and lateral curvature of the spine have come under notice, but instances of the kind are evidently very rare.

2. It has often been observed, that though the Andamanese waste away very rapidly in sickness, they regain flesh with equal facility when convalescent; but, nevertheless, they possess so little vital power, that they readily succumb to diseases against which others usually struggle successfully31: indeed, they appear to suffer as much, if not more, than individuals of alien races from the febrile disorders—mainly attributable to malaria, so prevalent throughout these islands—which frequently lay the foundation of chest complaints, from which they rarely recover.

3. Pulmonary consumption and other forms of pectoral disease are among the chief causes of mortality among these tribes.32 These disorders do not appear to be confined to, or to be more prevalent in, certain districts, but there is little doubt that they have been most frequent amongst those living in the homes provided for their benefit in and near our settlements in South Andaman.33


4. Epilepsy is a recognised form of malady, and is considered as peculiar to certain individuals, but the fits are not regarded in a superstitious light. Cutaneous diseases of a scaly character occasionally occur, but do not appear to be of a serious kind. Leprosy is as yet unknown among them. The physical pain caused by injuries seems less acute than that suffered under similar circumstances by Europeans, and all wounds, as a general rule, heal rapidly.

5. A few years ago (1877), an epidemic of ophthalmia occurred, principally among the people of South Andaman, and, during the few months it lasted, about fifty persons were attacked, many of whom suffered entire or partial loss of sight. The origin of the outbreak was obscured in doubt, and it does not appear that the disease was previously known to the aborigines.

6. They have never yet been afflicted with small-pox, and only once with measles, viz., in 1877, when it was computed that nearly 20 per cent, of the sufferers, who comprised a large proportion of the population, succumbed. This disease was introduced by a batch of convicts from Madras, who, in spite of all the precautions that were taken, communicated it to others in the settlement, from whom it spread to the Andamanese. The contagion spread to the people of Middle and North Andaman, but only those patients who were living within a few miles of our settlement could be attended to by our medical officers; the treatment to which the remainder had recourse, was that commonly adopted among them in fever cases.34 The ravages committed by this epidemic among the unfortunate aborigines can only be compared, though on a small scale, to the effects of a similar outbreak among the Fijians, shortly after the annexation of their islands to the British Crown.35


Medicine.—1. The diseases most common among these tribes are:—

1st, malarial fever (diddirya-),
2nd, catarrh (ngi'rith).
3rd, coughs (odag-),
4th, rheumatism (mol-).
5th, phthisis.
6th, pneumonia.
7th, heart disease.36

2. In febrile complaints the treatment adopted by those living in the interior, and less frequently by the coast dwellers,37 is the following:—A bed is made for the patient of the leaves of the Trigonostemon longifolius (gu'gmor-), and his body is rubbed with these leaves, which are sometimes first boiled, while he sniffs at some crushed pieces of the same; after a time chu'ln-ga-38 is given him to drink, and then with some of their patent ointment, koi'ob-39 which is not used internally, as has been supposed,40 the upper lip is painted and also the neck, if the invalid be married. When the fever is accompanied by pains in the chest or head, a chawga-ta-41 is tied tightly round the part affected, as this is believed to act as a charm, internal pains being always ascribed to the malign influence of evil spirits. During the course of the fever, the patient is constantly rubbed with gu-gma- leaves by one or more friends who insist also upon his swallowing large quantities of chulnga-; scarifying is never practised at such times. As only a small proportion of cases of this kind have a fatal result, great faith is placed in the treatment above described, and, at all events, it is certain that no injurious effects are caused by it.

3. The first half of the rainy season is usually the most sickly time with them, as with ourselves, in regard to fever and bowel [p.85] affections. Those natives who have been long with us, have great faith in our medicines, especially in the efficacy of quinine for curing fever, from which, as exposure is very trying to their constitutions, they suffer greatly when living in the clearings we have made at Port Blair.

4. For a cold in the head they merely remain at home and nurse themselves, crouching over the fire; for a cough, sea-water is often drunk, or they will chew the thick portion of the long leaves of a plant called ji-ni- (of the Alpinia species), and when the bitter juice has been extracted and swallowed, tie the chewed fibre round the neck; if benefit be not derived from this, they then take a piece of the upper portion of the stem of the Cala-mosagus laciniosus, called por-, and, removing the bark, chew the rest, and swallow the sap. Many cures having been attributed to the wonderful properties of the two descriptions of chulnga-, one or two quarts daily are prescribed to the unhappy patient, until the cough leaves him.

5. In cases of rheumatism and paralysis, a chauga-ta is tied round the parts affected, and chu'lnga-, moist, as found, is rubbed into them: if no relief is experienced within a day or so, warm water is poured over the suffering members, which are then shampooed; should no improvement result, even after these measures, recourse is had to scarification; this is done with a quartz or glass flake, by a woman, generally the wife or one near of kin to the sufferer. It has been noticed that but few of those who have been attacked by rheumatism in the jungle even regain the full use of their limbs.

6. In phthisis, or when any internal, organ is diseased, steps are taken by the friends of the patient to defeat the machinations of the evil one, to whom the victim's sufferings are attributed; to this end, one or more chawga-ta are first fastened tightly over the seat of pain, a lump of black beeswax, to'bul-pid-,42 is then held over a fire till it begins to melt, when it is instantly applied, being passed rapidly over the flesh; the wax which adheres is not removed, but wears off in a few days. The patient is also subjected to pressure with the hands by a relative or friend of the same sex, while an attendant frequently sucks the skin. Scarification is the dernier ressort when the bad symptoms increase.43

7. Every attention is paid to the wants and wishes of the sick, and the friends do all in their power to effect recovery, but no charms, excepting the chau'ga-ta-, are employed in the hope of [p.86] averting or curing illness; after recovery, no ceremonies of purification take place.

8. With respect to these necklaces of human bones, it should be stated that it is not considered necessary that the bones used for this purpose should have belonged to an adult, those of a child or of one long since dead, are considered equally efficacious; the belief is that they cure diseases, and shield the wearer in some measure from the machinations of evil spirits, through the intervention of the disembodied spirit, who is supposed to be gratified by, and aware of, the respect thus paid to his memory. Loose teeth, obtained from human skulls and jaw bones, are sometimes strung together as necklaces, or, if too few for such a purpose, they are included among the pieces of bone which are broken up to form the chauya-ta-; turtle bones are also sometimes added under similar circumstances.

9. The skull and jawbone are carried, either separately or together, merely as mementoes, and are not accredited with any peculiar virtues.

10. During pregnancy, the women eat in moderation, but delight in as great a variety of food as possible, telling their husbands day by day what to procure for them44; they are also in the habit of taking as much active exercise as possible, as they believe it conduces to an easy accouchement, and the same reason is given for the custom, common among them, of consuming small quantities of tala-og-45 from time to time; but this practice may be traced with more probability to the fact that the appetite of persons in an anaemic condition is generally fanciful and depraved, such substances as "lime, chalk, or slate pencil being sometimes greedily devoured by them."

11. When about to be confined, the custom is for the husband, and some of the woman's female friends, to attend on her; she is placed in a sitting posture, the left leg is stretched out, and the right knee brought up, so as to enable her to clasp it with her arms. Her husband supports her back and presses her as desired, while her female friends hold a leaf screen, ka'pa- ja'tnga- over the lower part of her person, and assist her, to the best of their ability, in the delivery and in the removal of the after-birth; the umbilical cord is severed by means of a Cyrena shell (now a steel blade is often used), and when the infant has been washed in cold water, its skin is gently scraped with the shell. Publicity is not courted on these occasions, as has been asserted,46 but all, save those whose services are required, continue their occupations as usual. Soon after the delivery, some warm [p.87] water is given to the woman to drink; she is also fed with meat gravy, and the water in which shell or other fish have been boiled; after a time, should she desire it, fish, shell-fish, yams, or fruit are given her, but no meat.47 During the first two or three days, she remains in a sitting posture, propped up by articles arranged so as to form a couch. As might be supposed, from the active habits and unsophisticated manners of these people, their women rarely suffer much during labour and childbirth; in fact, no instances of difficult delivery are known.48

12. For ear-ache, head-ache, and tooth-ache, recourse is had, in the first instance, to the chawga-ta', then to scarification, should the pain continue and cause swelling,

13. In cases of skin disease, they afford relief, at least from irritation, by applying to the parts affected a large smooth stone, previously warmed over a fire.

14. When a wound is inflicted by a thorn, flint, shell, &c., hot water is poured over it from a Cyrena shell, which is then heated and applied to the part as hot as it can be borne; or, if the injury be slight, sea-bathing is prescribed, as it is said to expedite the healing process. In treating a boil, they scarify all round the swelling in order to reduce the inflammation, and afterwards bathe it with chu'lnga- "lotion." This substance is also taken internally when suffering from dysentery, while for diarrhoea they swallow small quantities of a whitish clay, called kotre'o-.

15. The larvae of bees found attached to honeycombs is eaten to correct constipation, or, if in season, the fruits of two trees, oropa- and chab, which are much relished, and not without reason.

16. Their method of treating a case of epilepsy is to sprinkle the patient with cold water, and then to scarify his brow.

17. When bitten by a snake (especially a venomous one), if they succeed in killing it, they cut it open, and apply the kidney fat to the wound, rubbing it in for some time; should they fail in capturing the reptile, a ligament is tied above the bite, and the surrounding flesh is scarified. Deaths from snake bites, though not unknown, are rare. The late chief of the Middle Strait community died in a few hours from the bite of a certain tree snake called ta'ga-jobo-49 in September, 1878, and another [p.88] case of a similar land occurred a few years since in McPherson's Strait. When bitten by a centipede on the leg or hand, urine is applied; less inconvenience seems to be caused by these injuries to the Andamanese than to the natives of other countries, although the insects are here larger than in many districts, measuring sometimes as much as eight inches. The scorpions, on the other hand, are small and comparatively innocuous; no attention is therefore paid to the bites they inflict.

18. Elephantiasis appears never to have occurred among them; but since seeing cases of this complaint among the Nicobarese, they have given it a name, lapi-, from lapike, to swell (as a bruise).

19. Bandages of leaves are applied to gunshot wounds, ulcers, fractures, sprains, or bruises.

Physiognomy.—1. When an Andamanese is in good spirits, his eyes sparkle and the surrounding skin is slightly wrinkled, while the comers of the mouth, which is partially opened, are drawn back; if he be in low spirits the eyes are directed to the ground, the forehead is transversely wrinkled in the centre, and the lips are closed, but the comers of the mouth are not depressed; under the influence of great grief the nostrils are observed to dilate.

2. In thinking deeply, or while endeavouring to understand the construction of some object, the eyes are fixed intently on it, and a slight elevation of the lower lid is noticeable.

3. Astonishment is expressed by the eyebrows being raised, the mouth opened a little, and covered with the left hand, while the right hand is brought smartly to the left side just above the heart; a man will also, on being reminded of an unintentional omission to fulfil some promise, act either in this manner, or he will slap his thigh and then place the hand over his opened mouth. Women show their surprise (and also joy) by striking the thigh, which is raised for the purpose, with the open hand. To this practice may be attributed the mistaken notion entertained by an early writer,50 that "their salutation is performed by lifting up a leg and smacking with their hand the lower part of the thigh."

4 Indications of slyness, guilt, and jealousy can be detected in the eye only,

5. Disgust is shown by throwing the head back, dilating the nostrils, drawing down the comers of the mouth, and slightly protruding the lower lip: no expiration is, however, made.

6. Shame is evinced by the head being averted, the eyes lowered, and the hands raised so as to conceal the portion of the face exposed to view.


7. Defiance is expressed by raising and slightly averting the head, and slowly uttering the word artalog-ba, which is equivalent to "try it on."

8. Women and children, when too frightened to run away, throw themselves on their faces on the ground and raise shrill cries, while men, under similar circumstances, show their alarm by falling backwards, with their hands uplifted, and their eyes rolling. Laughter is sometimes carried to such an extreme as to bring tears.

9. When very angry a man does not stamp his foot, but he places his left hand, palm uppermost, between his teeth, and glares fiercely at some object on the ground near the offender; he, at the same time, raises some weapon with his right hand, and utters, as well as the position of the other hand permits, words of terrible import

10. A man, if threatening another, does not clench his fist, but will seize some weapon or missile, and express his intention of inflicting an injury with it.

11. A dogged or obstinate expression is indicated by averting the head, closing the lips, lowering the eyes, as if ignoring the presence of others, and frowning slightly.

12. When sneering, the teeth are clenched, the upper lip slightly curled, and the eyes are fixed on some object near the person addressed.

13. Children, when sulky, behave much as those in other lands, for they pout, frown, and utter noises which betoken discontent.

14 When a man wishes to show that he cannot prevent something being done, or cannot himself do something, he averts his head and pouts his lips, but does not shrug his shoulders.

15. In beckoning, the head is nodded vertically and a band outstretched, the fingers with the knuckles uppermost being waved towards himself.

16. In affirmation the head is nodded vertically, in negation it is shaken laterally.

Motions.—1. The attitudes of these savages are usually easy; the body when in motion is fairly balanced, the leg, if standing, is straightened; the foot is usually evenly planted, with the toes turned slightly outward; when stalking game they go on tiptoe, but, as a rule, the gait is energetic only under momentary excitement. The average length of a man's pace on level ground is 29-30 inches, and of a woman's about 24 inches. The arms (which they swing when walking) are habitually held with the palms turned inward. If pointing to any object, they usually do so with one finger, and not with the open hand.

2. In climbing up a rope or large creeper they proceed hand over hand with great rapidity, assisted by the big and second [p.90] toes of each foot; if a tree is branched they will scramble up it almost as quickly as if scaling a ladder, and though when "swarming" a mast or cocoa-nut tree they clasp the trunk in the usual manner with the arms and legs, their movements are more rapid, and they are less easily fatigued, than are the generality of natives of India; in descending also they display the same activity.

3. I have observed a peculiar trick among young men and women, after a lengthened rest or after engaging in some sedentary occupation, of twisting their bodies from side to side in order to stretch the muscles of the back. In doing this they produce a succession of sounds like that caused by cracking the joints of one's fingers.

4. Their favourite position in taking temporary rest after any violent or prolonged exertion is the ordinary Oriental posture between sitting and standing, i.e., squatting on their heels; if very much exhausted they either sit or lie down.

5. The usual attitude in sleep (vide Plate IX, fig. 2) is to lie on one side, preferably the right, with the knees bent so as to allow of the hand of the upper arm being placed between the thighs and the other hand under the head, which is raised on some impromptu pillow, such as a bundle or a roll of sleeping mat.

6. Many are able to shut one eye without closing the other, but they do not appear to possess the power of moving the ears or scalp. They can extend one finger without opening the hand. No tricks of sleight of hand are known to, or attempted by them.

7. Much use is made of the feet in holding and in picking up light objects, and the great toe is in a considerable degree opposable. When a heavy load has to be moved they prefer pushing to dragging it.51

Physical Powers and Senses.—1. Though for a short distance heavier loads are often borne, the maximum of a man's burden is about 40 lbs.; this he will on occasion carry for as much as 15 miles through the jungles between sunrise and sunset, a distance rarely exceeded in one day under any circumstances, or for more than two or three days in succession. This has been particularly remarked when they have been in pursuit of runaway convicts, for, if they fail in coming up with them within the third day, they are wont to take a long rest, unless strong inducements are offered by way of inciting them to further efforts.


2. Unlike the natives of India, the men allow scarce any weight to rest on the head; the entire strain is thrown on the shoulders and back by passing the cord to which the load is attached across the chest. As this mode would with women be attended with inconvenience on account of the chip-,52 besides causing injury to the breasts, the cord is in their case brought over the head,53 and the back is bent in order to reduce the pressure.

3. In his account of a visit to the Naga Hills, about ten years ago,54 Mr. S. K Peal makes allusion to the "peculiar noise, like a whistle or note on a flute, clear and plain, and seeming to come from the chest, made by Naganis when carrying loads and distressed." The same peculiarity is noticeable under similar circumstances among the Andamanese of both sexes.

4 Running is seldom practised by them except for a short distance when hunting, &c., and four or five hundred yards appears to be the greatest extent of ground they can cover without halting or slackening speed. Though in running or walking on a good road they are generally passed without difficulty by natives of India, their superiority in the jungles is at once manifest when the beaten track is left; and, in the ease and rapidity with which they are able to bound over rocks, fallen trees, mangrove roots, and other obstacles, few, if any, would care, or be able, to compete with them.

5. Both coastmen and "junglees" are, as a rule, gifted with extremely keen sight It was, however, found impossible to gauge their powers by the test papers55 in consequence of their inability to count; but many satisfactory proofs of their acuteness of vision have been afforded, as, for instance, by the manner in which, while coasting along the shore or when threading their way through the jungle, they detect birds or other objects, so hidden by the dense foliage of their forests as to be hardly distinguishable, even when pointed out, to more than ordinarily sharp-eyed Europeans and others.

6. The inland tribes have especially keen scent, and are able from an almost incredible distance to specify, and direct their steps towards, any particular tree that may happen to be in blossom; their sense of taste is also strongly developed, enabling them to discriminate between the various flowers from which the bees have produced their honey.

7. On the other hand, while the coastmen are not deficient in [p.93] these points, they are found to surpass the natives of the interior in their sense of hearing, which is so acute that they commonly spear turtles on the darkest nights, though able to direct their aim only by the slight sound made by the animal when rising to the surface to take breath, "ng'ab-mulwa-" (you deaf person!) is a term of reproach often applied by the coast people to those dwelling inland, in allusion to the admitted inferiority of the latter in this respect.

Psychology and Morals.—1. It has been remarked with regret by all interested in the race, that intercourse with the alien population has, generally speaking, prejudicially affected their morals; and that the candour, veracity, and self-reliance they manifest in their savage and untutored state are, when they become associated with foreigners, to a great extent lost, and habits of untruthfulness, dependence, and sloth engendered.

2. Though there are some grounds for the opinion hitherto held regarding their fearlessness, our more recent relations with them prove that the surprising courage and apparent utter recklessness of life which they manifested in their early encounters with us were due rather to their ignorance of, and disbelief in, any foe more powerful than themselves, or with means of destruction more deadly than their own. Probably nothing short of despair or uncontrollable rage would ever induce any of them to make an attack in which they have not a decided advantage, real or imaginary. All is regarded as fair in war, and cunning and treachery are considered worthy of commendation; in short, the high type of courage common among most civilised, and a few savage, nations appears to be totally lacking among the Andamanese; nevertheless, those who evince courage are much admired, and poltroons are objects of general ridicule.56 When apprized of the existence of danger, they usually evince extreme caution, and only venture upon an attack when well assured, that, by their superior numbers, they can put the enemy to flight, or will be able, by stratagem, to surprise and overpower him.

3. At the same time certain traits which have been noticeable in their dealings with us would give colour to the belief that they are not altogether lacking in the sense of honour, and have some faint idea of the meaning of justice. An amusing incident is related by Dr. Day on this point. It appears that on a certain [p.94] occasions they brought in some escaped convicts, whom, however, they first plundered, besides removing every bit of iron from the boat in which they had escaped. On being taxed with this they at first pleaded surprise, then said they would make restitution, and brought a canoe as an exchange for the mischief they had done to the government boat. At first this was not quite understood and the canoe was sent back, but they returned it next day, explaining that they desired it to be kept as a reimbursement for the injury they had done to the government boat, so no longer considered the canoe theirs.

4. As another example of the same kind:—when the present penal colony at Port Blair was first established, the aborigines were observed to refrain from shooting at any of the chain-gang prisoners, evidently judging that they at least could not be voluntary invaders of their territory, and to confine their hostility to the petty officers and others not in chains, till these at last, finding themselves in constant danger, sought and obtained permission to carry on their duties in fetters.57

5. Much mutual affection is displayed in their social relations, and, in their dealings with strangers, the same characteristic is observable when once a good understanding has been established.

6. It is a noteworthy trait, and one that deserves high commendation, that every care and consideration are paid by all classes to the very young, the weak, the aged, and the helpless, and these, being made special objects of interest and attention, invariably fare better in regard to the comforts and necessaries of daily life than any of the otherwise more fortunate members of the community.

7. Andamanese children are reproved for being impudent and forward, but discipline is not enforced by corporal punish- [p.94] ment; they are early taught to be generous and self-denying, and the special object of the fasting period, regarding which I shall hope to speak to you on another occasion, seems to be to test the fortitude and powers of endurance of the lads and lasses before entering upon the cares and responsibilities of married life. The duties of showing respect and hospitality to friends and visitors being impressed upon them from their early years, all guests are well treated; every attention is paid to their wants, the best food at their host's disposal is set before them, and, ere they take their leave, some tokens of regard or goodwill are bestowed, or, to speak more correctly, interchanged. Strangers visiting an encampment for the first time are welcomed if introduced by some mutual friend.58

8. It has been observed by ethnologists who have described certain other primitive races, that modesty and morality are not dependent on, or to be gauged by, the amount of covering which is deemed requisite by either sex. The Andamanese present another instance in point; and in the esteem in which they hold these virtues, and the self-respect which characterises their intercourse with each other, may even be said to compare favourably with that existing in certain ranks among civilised races.59

9. In the manufacture of their weapons, utensils, and other articles, they habitually display a remarkable amount of perseverance and industry, spending hour after hour in laboriously striking pieces of iron with a stone hammer for the purpose of forming spear or arrow-heads, or in improving the shape of a bow, &c., even though there be no necessity, immediate or prospective, to stimulate them to such efforts. The incentive is evidently a spirit of emulation, each one priding himself on being able to produce work which will excel, or at least compare not unfavourably with, that of his neighbours.

10. Selfishness is not among their characteristics, for they frequently make presents of the best that they possess, and do not reserve, much less make, weapons, &c., of superior workmanship for their own private use; at the same time it must be [p.95] confessed that it is tacitly understood that an equivalent should be rendered for every gift.

11. Certain psychological affinities between them and the Papuans having been pointed out in my last paper renders it unnecessary for me again to draw your attention to these points.

12. When out of temper with anyone they never defame his relatives or use improper expressions, as is so common a practice among natives of India, but merely indulge in mild terms of abuse, such as the following:—

ngab-ted'inga ta'paya! (You liar!)
ngun-la maya! (You duffer!)
ngun-ja-bagya! or ng'ab'-mugutiga-chaya! (You fool!)
ngi-chona! (You long head!)
ng-ig-cha'ronga-d'nta! (You long nose!)
ng-ig-pa'namaya! (You sunken-eyed one!)
ng'id-ki'nabya! or ngi-go'robya! (You skin and bone!)

A quarrel, as may be supposed, generally results from this style of address.60

13. With the exception of those who have lived with us away from their friends from birth or early childhood, not a case can be cited in which a preference is not manifested for a jungle life, even after a sojourn of many years at the Orphanage or Homes at Port Blair.

14 Opportunities for comparing the mental capacity of the children with those of other races have been few but these have tended to show that, up to the age of 12 or 14, they possess quite as much intelligence as ordinary middle-class children of civilised races when competing in subjects in which they have been instructed in common; but the precociousness of intellect which has so often been remarked in the very young does not appear to be long maintained. Dr. Brander, who was for some time in charge of the Andaman Hospital, gave it as his opinion, that as a race "they are not deficient in brain power; it rather lies dormant and unused in their savage state;" and he mentions the case of an aboriginal patient of 12 years of age, who had been educated in the Boss Orphanage School, and who, in spite of his tender years, could yet read English and Urdu fluently, as well as speak and write in both these languages, retaining also a knowledge of his mother tongue. He had, besides, acquired a fair knowledge of arithmetic I may add that this is not an exceptional case, for I could instance others, and one lad in particular, who was his superior.

15. More lengthened observations than have hitherto been [p.96] possible are required before we can speak with certainty regarding the extent, limits, and conditions of heredity among the race; but it has been noticed that, as a general rule, they have excellent memories, especially on those subjects in which the intellects of their ancestors have been consciously or unconsciously exercised or cultivated in the savage state. The following passage will afford an illustration of the intelligence displayed by these people on such subjects. It is taken from the late Mr. Kurz's Report on the Vegetation of the Andaman Islands: "While I was in the Andamans I was in the habit of consulting people (convicts) from the most different parts of India for the native names of the plants. As a general result, I may state that the Burmans were best acquainted with the flora of the Andamans, but they are by no means equal to the Andamanese in accuracy and certainty of determination. While the Burmans were obliged continually to cut into the bark to recognise the trees, the Andamanese readily gave their names, and I could rely upon their statements, which was not the case at all with those of the Burmese."

16. Instances have been observed among them of individuals possessing strong wills and vivid powers of imagination: as a race they do not appear to be subject to trances, illusions, or somnambulism, but, like many other savages, they place implicit faith in dreams, shaping their conduct in superstitious conformity to the warning or advice supposed to have been conveyed therein.

Magic and Witchcraft.—1. There are, however, as I mentioned in my last paper, certain individuals in these tribes, known as oko-paiad- (lit, a dreamer), who are credited with the possession of supernatural powers, such as second sight, expressed by the term aramuga'tarabanga-, and of a mysterious influence over the fortunes and lives of their neighbours. It is thought that they can bring trouble, sickness, and death upon those who fail to evince their belief in them in some substantial form61; they thus generally manage to obtain the best of everything, for it is considered foolhardy to deny them, and they do not scruple to ask for any article to which they may take a fancy.

2. These quasi-seers are invariably of the male sex, and it sometimes even happens that a young boy is looked upon as a "coming" oko-paiad-, their position being generally in the first instance attained by relating an extraordinary dream, the details [p.97] of which are declared to have been borne out subsequently by some unforeseen event, as, for instance, a sudden death by accident.

3. In order to maintain his status it is necessary for an oko-pai'ad- to give fresh evidences of his powers from time to time, for, so long as his companions have faith in him, he is the constant recipient of presents of all kinds, which are unblushingly given62 and accepted as bribes to curry favour.

4. Sometimes, owing to the multiplicity of these gifts, it is inconvenient to the oko-pai'ad- to take charge of them; he then enters into an arrangement with the donors that such articles as he does not at present need shall be available for his use or appropriation whenever he may require them; hence many individuals possess property which is said to be ra'dare (i.e., bespoken) by a certain seer, and which is, therefore, not available for presentation to anyone else.

5. If a disaster occur which they think might have been averted had the oko-paiad- chosen to exercise his powers, they are said sometimes to conspire to kill him, but so greatly is he feared that not a single instance is known of anyone having ventured to carry such a plan into execution.

6. The position and influence possessed by a seer are not affected by his falling ill, but if some serious misfortune occur to him, such as the death of a child, it is looked upon as a sign that his power is waning, or that he has at least lost a portion of it; they, however, continue to stand in awe of him unless, as time passes, he fails to afford further proof of his supposed superiority. His wife enjoys no distinction, nor is she treated with more respect and consideration than any other woman of the like age in the tribe.

7. The oko-pai'ad- is credited with the power of communicating in dreams with the invisible powers of good and evil, and also of seeing the spirits of the departed, or of those who are ill. On the occurrence of an epidemic in an encampment, he brandishes a burning log, and bids the evil spirit keep at a distance; sometimes, as a further precaution, he plants stakes a few feet high in front of each hut, painted in stripes with black beeswax (to'bul-pid'), the smell of which being peculiarly offensive to this demon, called .e'rem-chau'gala, insures his speedy departure from their midst.

8. Though we may be disposed to question the belief of the oko-pai'ad-s themselves in the supernatural powers they profess to possess, it is quite possible that they, like sorcerers in other [p.98] savage tribes,63 imagine themselves gifted with superior wisdom, and can hardly be blamed if they endeavour to turn their talents to account by imposing a little on the credulity of their neighbours.

Tribal Distribution.—1. As I stated in my previous paper, the inhabitants of these islands are divided into at least nine tribes,64 linguistically distinguished, even if we reckon as one those communities to which I have already alluded under the title of .jdraulir', among whom it is not improbable further divisions and dialects may eventually be discovered.

2. The conjecture that they are one is merely based on the assertions of the people of South Andaman, and on the circumstance that all the weapons, utensils, huts, &c., of the ja-awa-, which we have been able to examine, appear to be constructed invariably on the same model, while all such members of the various scattered communities as we have had the opportunity of observing, resemble each other in abstaining from the practice, so general among all the eight Great Andaman tribes, of shaving their heads and tattooing their persons. Still, these outward similarities are manifestly insufficient, affording as they do mere negative evidence, whereas our present knowledge, so tardily acquired, of there being inland communities, called e'rem-ta'ga-, dwelling in the heart of South and Middle Andaman, who are allied in all respects, save in their mode of life, with the aryato', or coast communities of their respective tribes, would seem to justify the belief that hereafter the aborigines of Little Andaman will be found to present not only distinctions of this nature but differences also of dialect, as is the case with the inhabitants of both North and Middle Andaman, which are known to be divided into no less than six tribes.

3. As to the numerical strength of these several tribes it is impossible to speak with any degree of certainty, for, as you are aware, there is no part of the country which is not covered with jungle, more or less impenetrable to any but the aborigines themselves, while their capacity for estimating and expressing numbers is wholly inadequate to assist us in forming any conclusions on the subject. The surmise that the entire group contains about 4,000 souls is based on the calculation that the bo'jig-ngi-ji' tribe with whom we are most intimate do not at the present day exceed 400, though at the time of our advent in 1858, they are believed to have numbered about 1,000.

Topography.—1. The chief geographical landmarks of these islands are:—


1st. Saddle Peak, a massive hill rising to the height of 2,400 feet, situated in North Andaman, and visible at a distance of 60 miles.

2nd. Narcondam,65 a small hilly island, containing an extinct volcano, with an elevation of 2,150 feet, lying about 70 miles east of North Andaman.

3rd. Barren Island, 75 miles S.S.W. of Narcondam, and about 42 miles east of the nearest island of the Great Andaman group, from no portion of the coast of which is it visible. It contains an active volcano, the height of which is about 800 feet.

2. Until recent years66 the first only of these was known to the aborigines, probably owing to the circumstance that they, at least the natives of Great Andaman, have never been seen to venture far out to sea in their frail and clumsy canoes. The name borne by this hill is pu.luga la.ka bang- (lit. Creator his mouth), referring apparently to its size and inaccessibility, and to a large ravine running down its side. There is also a belief that Saddle Peak was the place of Puluga's residence prior to the deluge.

3. The formation of rocks, valleys, hills, &c., they attribute to the will of Puluga-, but they assign the sources of the streams containing oxide of iron, koi.ob-chu'luga-, and the olive-coloured mineral, chu'lnga-, to the action of a poisonous snake, called la'raba-, well known to them.67

4. The names they give to the natural forms of land and water are as follows:—

Cape (point)—tako-cha'ronga- [cha'ronga- = nose].
Isthmus—td'iol'nab- [k'tioh- = waist].
Coast (shore)—[gara-, iga'ra- = strong].
Fore-shore—kewad- and ba'roga-.


Arithmetic.—1. The utter hopelessness of obtaining from the aborigines any correct idea of the population of the tribes individually and collectively will be readily understood when it is stated that the only numerals in the language are those for denoting "one" and "two," and that they have absolutely no word to express specifically any higher figures, but indulge in some such vague term as "several," "many," "numerous," "innumerable," which seem to convey to their minds an approximate idea of the number intended, but fail to satisfy the requirements of the statistician.69

2. When anxious to express a certain small number with exactness, as, for example, nine, the nose is tapped with the tips of the fingers in successive order, and, commencing with the little finger of either hand, "uka-iul-," (one) is said; with the next finger "upar-" (two), after which with each successive finger "ai-id" (and this) is uttered. When the forefinger of the second hand is reached both are held up, and, the thumb of the second hand being clenched, the necessary number of digits is exposed to view, whereupon the word "arauru-" (all) is pronounced.

3. If ten be the number in question—and this is the highest numeral they attempt to indicate by this or any other method—on reaching the thumb of the second hand, both hands, before being held up, are brought together and then is said, as in the former case, "arauru-."

4. To express "one," they hold up the forefinger of either hand and utter the word u'ba-tu'l- or uha-doga-; to denote "two" they hold up the first two fingers and say "ikpar-!"

5. The toes are never used in counting, nor are pebbles, grains, or notches in a stick ever so employed. When it is stated that only the more intelligent are in the habit of computing by even the primitive method I have here described, it is somewhat remarkable to find that their system of denoting ordinals is more comprehensive, as will be seen by reference to Appendix E.

6. Before their comparatively recent acquaintance with us, they had not the faintest knowledge of the existence of even the [p.101] neighbouring coast of Burmah, much less of the world at large, and consequently imagined that their islands formed almost the entire terrene area, and that they themselves comprised the bulk of the inhabitants.

7. The few voyagers who from time to time ventured near their shores were regarded as deceased ancestors, who, by some dispensation, had been permitted to revisit the earth, and who were supposed to live on some small island in the vicinity of their erema-, i.e., world. In confirmation of this may be cited the name by which natives of India are to this day called, viz., chawgala- (lit, departed spirits).

Etymology.—1. From the following list of some of the numerous encampments of the natives of South Andaman,70 it will be observed that the names are usually derived from some circumstance peculiar to the spot, or from some tree overshadowing the site:—

.tarba'roga-, coral (tar), shore (baroga-).
.tigbang-, rock-hole, there being at that place a hole in a large rock through which a canoe can pass.
.tarmugu-71 West (island).
,yu'keda-hig-, grassy (yu'keda-), camp (chang-).
.duhorpatcha-mg-, anchorage (dog-), in neighbourhood (paicha-), of the (la), Dum-tree.
ilkerorbarngo-, a row (bartiga-) of Zekera-trees.
.u'dala lar chulnga-, the spring (chulnga-), at the (lar, lit, of the) li'dala-tree (Pandanus verus),
.che-la-daknga-, the dragging (dakngor-) of the ship (che'lewa-). A ship was once wrecked there.
.bud lot degranga-. Defeat camp; the defeat (degranga-) at the (loi, lit of the) camp (bud-). There was once a severe fight there.

2. There are a few place-names which are unintelligible to the present inhabitants, e.g., .lin.wa-, .tu'rubun-, though it is believed that they conveyed a meaning to former generations. Many of the names show an old, but unmistakeable form of the present language, while others, again, might be judged to be of recent adoption, but they are not so in point of fact.

Tribal communities.—1. It is no matter of surprise that, during the first years of our present occupation, when our acquaintance with the aborigines was so limited, we should [p.102] have failed to learn that there are permanent encampments and kitchen-middens in the heart of the jungles of Great Andaman; but, since it has been recently asserted in a paper72 by one of the officers long resident at Port Blair, that, to quote his words, "No tribe of Negritos in the same stage of existence .... as the Andamanese could exist in the Andaman jungles," it is very necessary to expose his error, for repeated inquiries and personal observation prove the accuracy of the account given by one of the inhabitants of the interior of Middle Andaman, named Woi, that during the entire year the jungles afford them ample sustenance.73

2. All the tribes with which we are acquainted possess terms denoting—1, a coastman; 2, a fisherman; 3, a creek man; and 4, a jungle-man; the two former being applied to those living by the shore, aryato-, and the two latter to those living inland, e'remtaya-, whose subsistence depends on the spontaneous products of the jungle, which they all agree in describing as amply sufficient for the support of many times their present population.

3. The coastmen are divided into two classes, viz., those who are chiefly employed in constructing canoes, turtle-lines, &c., and those who are engaged in fishing and turtling, but each acquires a certain knowledge of the duties of the other, and also of hunting the Sus Andamanensis: in the latter accomplishment, as well as in finding their way through trackless portions of the jungle, they are naturally surpassed by the natives of the interior, who display in these, as in other respects, all the dexterity and intelligence peculiar to savages similarly situated in other tropical regions.74

4. Although these two distinct sections (aryato- and e'remtaya-) still exist in a measure among the .bojig-ngl'ji-, as among the people of Middle Andaman, many of their more marked characteristics have become so blended or modified, in consequence of the establishment of the homes, that it is difficult in many cases to determine to which class certain individuals originally belonged. This, it will be understood, is because those of the e'remtaya-, who have accompanied parties of the coastmen in [p.103] fishing and turtling expeditions, at one or other of the homes, for several years, have become sufficiently skilled in these pursuits to escape the ridicule of the genuine aryato-, while these in their turn have made themselves almost as well acquainted with the interior of the jungles as were the original occupants, from whom they are, therefore, scarcely distinguishable.

5. It will be of interest to note in this place the nicknames employed by the "junglees" and the coastmen when quizzing each other, as they serve to indicate the peculiarities which are held to be their distinguishing characteristics. The e'remtaya- sometimes chaffingly address an aryato- as er-cha'taknga-,75 i.e., one who loses his way; er-lo'inga-ba, i.e., one who cannot find his way in the jungle; or, un-pag-uknga-ba, i.e., one who cannot follow tracks; while the terms which the coastmen will, under similar circumstances, employ towards the jungle men are ab-mulwa-ei.ndgu'gma-tang-, the first implying a deaf person, for only the practised ear of an dry&to can judge of the distance of a turtle so correctly as to be able to harpoon it in pitch darkness; the second meaning "leaf of the Trigonostemon longifolius" in allusion to the practice, current among the inland tribes,76 of using these leaves for the cure of fever, but to which the aryato-, rarely have recourse, as they believe the scent prevents turtles from approaching a canoe in which there are any persons who have recently employed this remedy.

6. As I have before stated, the intermingling of the members of the inland and coast communities in and near our settlement has naturally resulted in such a marked modification of many of the characteristics which distinguish them in their primitive condition that, for reliable information respecting the same, it is necessary to seek among the more distant encampments, where similar influences have not as yet been at work.

7. Amongst those who have now for some years resided at the principal home at Port Blair, there is a young eremtaga-, named Woi, of the .ako-ju'wai- tribe, who, till the end of 1875, had been living in the depths of the Middle Andaman jungle, and who then, with a few others of his village, received a message from maia .lypa, chief of barld'kanl-, an encampment on the coast, inviting them to accompany him in a trip he was about to make, by way of Port Mouat, for the purpose of seeing the officer in charge of the home, and procuring some presents from him. Wo'i and his friends gladly availed themselves of the opportunity of visiting what must have been to them a new [p.104] world: on their arrival at Viper Island, they saw, for the first time, Europeans, and a mode of living of which they could have previously formed no idea. Wo'i's companions returned to their tribe after spending a few months with us, but he, having lost his heart to one of the South Andaman houris, was without difficulty induced to remain behind, and settle down in our midst as a married man. As he speedily acquired a knowledge of the bo'jig-ngl'ju- dialect, we were enabled to question him on various points, besides those referred to in the statement of which I read you a translation last year,77 and thus learned much that was before unknown concerning the habits of the inland branch of the aako-ju'wai-tribe: the information thus obtained, when compared with the result of our own observations of the customs and mode of living of the communities in the vicinity of our settlement, afforded commanding proof of the universality of the customs and practices of the respective classes of aryato- and e'remtaya- throughout Middle and South Andaman.

8. In Dr. Mouat's book mention is made of the capture of a youth, nicknamed "Jack," after a hostile encounter with some of the natives of Interview Island, from which circumstance it may be inferred that the lad belonged to the Akai-kede-tribe, only one member of which had, till 1879, stayed amongst us, and he is an e'remtaya-, who had travelled out of curiosity as far as Middle Strait, and from thence had been persuaded by the chief of that district to accompany him to Port Blair. He proved himself very intelligent and active in all jungle accomplishments, but was entirely ignorant of fishing and turtling. After remaining with us a few months he was taken (in March, 1879), at his own request, to a point on the north-west coast of Middle Andaman, and landed with a heap of presents: his home, he informed us, was situated midway between that place and the east coast.

Nomadism.—1. Nomadism appears to be almost, if not entirely, confined to the .aryato-, and even among them there are hamlets which are only abandoned temporarily, as with the eremtaga-, in consequence of a death, or of a jeg- (i.e., "corroboree"), at some neighbouring encampment.

2. The nature of the temporary migrations which take place among the eremtaga- during the dry season, as well as of those necessitated by a death, was explained in my rendering of Woi's statement. In the case of the aryato-, migrations are occasioned by a variety of circumstances, as, for instance, fishing operations being rendered impossible by a change in the wind, [p.105] the suitability of a particular spot for fishing and turtling during certain phases of the moon, on account of the character of the foreshore, or the configuration of the coast, and the hope of meeting with better luck elsewhere—to these might be added the love of a change, and the prospect of seeing some of their friends; but it must not be supposed that a long journey is thereby involved, the move being generally made to a spot only a mile or two further on, and thus, by short stages, they sometimes proceed along the entire coast-line of their tribal territory, spending a few days or weeks at each halting place, according to the special attractions it may happen to possess in affording good sport on land or sea, or in supplying a rich harvest of fruit, honey, &c.

3. The necessity of a migration is also frequently forced on them by the consequences of their neglect to sweep away the refuse of their meals, it being regarded by these insouciant and unclean creatures as not worth their while to take so much trouble, when only a short stay is contemplated.

4. That the necessity for observing some sanitary measures has long since been recognised by the Andamanese is evident from the existence of numerous kitchen-middens throughout their territory, many of which are doubtless of remote origin. These refuse-heaps are still in course of formation by communities living at a distance from Port Blair, and are invariably found near camping grounds which have been, or are still more or less, permanently occupied. In those sites, where they are not seen, evidence is at once afforded of the temporary nature of the occupancy: the rubbish and refuse of food in these latter places is only swept aside if the ground be needed for a dance, wedding, or other ceremony, so that injury may not befall the revellers through inadvertently treading on a bone, flint, or shell. Crows, hermit-crabs, and, of late years, dogs, are the principal scavengers of these ill-ordered and dirty habitations, the two former performing their useful office as soon as a migration takes place.

Habitations.—1. As in my last paper I only attempted to speak in general terms regarding the appearance and character of the three varieties of huts in ordinary use among the tribes of Great Andaman, it is necessary that I should here, at the cost of a little repetition, enter into a more detailed description regarding them.

2. To commence with the chang-tepinga-, which is made by men, and erected in all permanent encampments as being the most durable. No particular kind of wood is used for the posts, which are four in number, two in front and two in rear, the former varying from six to nine feet in height, and the latter from two to three feet; upon these, slender rafters, and two [p.106] light transverse poles, are secured so as to form the framework of the roof, which is thatched with palm leaves—the variety called changta-. These are neatly plaited together, and fastened with cane, pidga-, and then placed in rows and tied, so that, when complete, the whole forms a capital roof impervious to the heaviest shower of rain.

3. The second variety, chang-tamga-,78 are erected when temporary homes are required, which will last for a few months, as during the period of mourning79, they are made by men, and differ only from the chang'te'pingo- in being generally somewhat smaller, and less neatly thatched; another variety of palm leaf, called am-, is sometimes substituted fur the changta-.

4 The chang-daranga-, or the third variety being only intended to serve as shelter during a halt or short visit, is constructed in a yet more simple manner. The duty of erecting dwellings of this class devolves on the women, and from the following description it will be seen that the labour required is not excessive: two slender posts, about five feet long, are driven into the ground about five or six feet apart, and connected by means of a light pole or stick, which is secured to their upper ends. The roof is then formed by placing, stem downwards and firmly fixed in the ground, large palm leaves, which are made to overlap each other in such a way as to provide a fairly rain-proof shelter for one or two persons. The leaves used for the purpose are either the changta-t kapa-, or dpara- (Areca triandra).

5. Above the small fire, without which no hut is complete, a small wooden platform or shelf, called chapa li taga-, or yat leb id'ga-, is placed on one or more sticks. On this they deposit their spare food, so that it may be preserved by the smoke from the attacks of insects, &c.80 By way of adornment, trophies of the chase, such as the skulls of pigs,81 turtles, dugongs, &c., are suspended from the front of the roof.82

6. It seems desirable to draw attention to the following passage in Dr. Dobson's paper, lest, if left unnoticed, some misapprehension should arise on the subject. He states that "the Andamanese, at least the inhabitants of the southern island, erect no kind of house whatever .... When walking along the beach in the vicinity of Port [p.107] Mouat, I have often come across one of their temporary habitations, which consists of a hole scooped out in the sand, beneath an over-hanging rock, large enough to contain a single person." As these savages are never in the habit of sleeping on the sand, or in holes scooped in the ground, but on a mat, or leaves spread under one or other of the three varieties of huts described above, it is difficult to account for what Dr. Dobson saw, unless they were the resting places of ticket-of-leave fishermen or convict runaways. No other explanation than this could be given when some aborigines, and an experienced attendant at the homes, were questioned by me on the subject. One other solution only is possible, and that is, that the "holes scooped out in the sand" were the result of a game of mock burial, which, as I shall mention under "Games and Amusements," is rather a favourite recreation of the aryato-children.

7. The majority of the Great Andaman huts83 partake of the character of a lean-to, the only respects in which the three varieties differ being—as I explained to you last year84—size and durability. They are found either standing alone, or, as is more especially the case in permanent encampments, so joined together as to form (at least, in their owners' eyes) a commodious as well as a weather-proof dwelling; and, constructed, as they usually are, in well-sheltered localities, away from the prevailing wind, they fulfil all the requirements of a savage home.

8. Permanent encampments vary in size, and consist of several huts, which in all are rarely inhabited by more than from 50 to 80 persons, though they are capable of affording accommodation, of a kind, to a much larger number if necessity arise as happens not unfrequently when festive tribal gatherings are arranged in honour of a wedding or other occasion of rejoicing.

9. The permanent encampments of the aryato- are established in those sites which offer special advantages for fishing and turtling at all seasons. Wherever there is a fine stretch of sandy beach, with an extensive foreshore, they will be invariably found, for, at such places, throughout the year the women are able at low tide to catch fish in pools with their hand-nets, and to collect large quantities of shell-fish; while, during the flood tides, [p.108] the men enjoy exceptional facilities for shooting fish and harpooning turtles, &c.

10. Although the sites selected for occupation are usually well-sheltered, it is not always found possible in tempestuous weather, even in the dense jungle which covers every portion of their country, to obtain shelter sufficient to allow of their huts being so placed as to face inwards towards the bulum-, or dancing ground. The primary consideration being naturally to secure as much comfort as possible, the sloping roof is at such times presented towards the prevailing wind.

11. The following diagram will give a general idea of the plan commonly adopted in laying out an encampment consisting of several huts, though the form depends much on the nature of the ground, and on the relative position of the surrounding trees, for they do not consider it worth their while to fell these, or to clear away anything but the lightest brushwood for the mere purpose of providing space for their huts, and dancing ground. Another point to be taken into account is the possibility of accidents being caused by falling branches, and, therefore, when erecting their frail dwellings, they are careful to guard against this danger as far as possible, and so much judgment do they display in this matter that accidents of this nature are comparatively unknown.

a. Married persons.85

b. Bachelors.85

c. Spinsters.85

d. Public cooking place.

e. Dancing ground (bu'lum).

Government.—1. The entire country is apportioned among the various tribes, and the territory occupied by each is considered the common property of all its members, and not as belonging exclusively to the chiefs.

2. Their domestic policy may be described as a communism modified by the authority, more or less nominal, of the chief. The head chief of a tribe is called mava-igla'-, and the elders, or sub-chiefs, i.e., those in authority over each community, consisting of from 20 to 50 individuals, mai'ola.

3. The head chief, who usually resides at a permanent [p.109] encampment, has authority over all the sub-chiefs, but his power, like theirs, is very limited. It is exercised mainly in organising meetings between the various communities belonging to his tribe, and in exerting influence in all questions affecting the welfare of his followers. It is the chief alone, as may be supposed, who directs the movements of a party while on hunting or fishing expeditions, or when migrating. It is usually through his intervention that disputes are settled, but he possesses no power to punish or enforce obedience to his wishes, it being left to all alike to take the law into their own hands when aggrieved.

4. The aryato- and eremtaga- in each tribe have their own head chief, who are independent the one of the other.

5. As might be assumed from the results of observations made of other savage races, whose sole or chief occupation consists in hunting or fishing, the power of the chiefs is very limited, and not necessarily hereditary, though, in the event of a grown-up son being left who was qualified for the post, he would, in most instances, be selected to succeed his father in preference to any other individual of equal efficiency.

6. At the death of a chief there is no difficulty in appointing a successor, there being always at least one who is considered his deputy or right-hand man. As they are usually, on these occasions, unanimous in their choice, no formal election takes place; however, should any be found to dissent, the question is decided by the wishes of the majority, it being always open to malcontents to transfer their allegiance to another chief, since there is no such thing as forced submission to the authority of one who is not a general favourite.

7. Social status being dependent not merely on the accident of relationship, but on skill in hunting, fishing, &c., and on a reputation for generosity and hospitality, the chiefs and elders are almost invariably superior in every respect to the rest. They and their wives are at liberty to enjoy immunity from the drudgery incidental to their mode of life, all such acts being voluntarily performed for them by the young unmarried persons living under their headship.

8. Though females, like minors (that is to say youths under 18), cannot be chiefs, the former have a similar position relatively among the women, to that held by their husbands among the men of the tribe. A chief's wife enjoys many privileges, especially if she be a mother, and in virtue of her husband's rank rules over all the young unmarried women and such also of the married ones as are not senior to herself. Should she become a widow she continues to exercise the same rights, unless she re-marries, when her social status depends on that of [p.110] her husband. In the event, however, of the widow of a chief being young and childless, she returns to the home of her maiden days, and is in a measure lost sight of, as she sinks to her former position.

9. It is believed by the people themselves that the system above described has prevailed among them from a remote period.

Covenants, Oaths, Ordeals.—1. No forms of covenant are to be traced in their dealings with one another, nor is there to be found among them anything of the nature of an oath or of an appeal to a higher power—as Heaven or the Sun—to punish breach of faith, or to bear witness to the truth.

2. They are in too primitive a state to possess any form of trial, or even to have any belief in the efficacy of an ordeal for discovering a guilty person; nor does it appear that any such practice existed in times past.

Laws.86—1. Justice, as I have already said, is administered by the simple method of allowing the aggrieved party to take the law into his own hands, which he usually does, either by flinging a burning faggot, or discharging an arrow at, or more frequently near, the offender, while all who may be present lose no time in beating a retreat, and—taking with them as much of their property as their haste will allow—remain in concealment until sufficient time has elapsed for the settlement of the quarrel. When such an affair seems imminent, and likely to be serious, friends often interpose, seize the disputants, and remove their weapons, which are not restored so long as there appears any risk of their misusing them.

2. Should a man kill his opponent nothing is necessarily said or done to him, though it is permissible for a friend or relative of the deceased to avenge his death; in most cases, however, the murderer succeeds in striking such terror in the minds of the community that no one ventures to assail him or even to express any disapprobation of his conduct while he is within hearing: as conscience, however, makes cowards of us all, the homicide, from prudential motives, not unfrequently absents himself till he is assured that the grief and indignation of his victim's friends have considerably abated.

3. These remarks do not now-a-days apply, to the same extent, to those living near us, for the terror inspired by the punishments inflicted in all cases of murder brought to our notice has resulted in materially diminishing crimes of this nature among them. In May, 1880, an Andamanese youth was hanged [p.111] at Port Blair for the murder of one of his countrymen. He had previously, in 1878, been sentenced to imprisonment for the murder of two children of his tribe, and he committed his last crime soon after his discharge. This has hitherto been the only occasion on which any of these savages has suffered the extreme penalty of British law. It may be added that this last step was not taken until the unhappy wretch, as well as all his fellow-countrymen in South Andaman, had been repeatedly warned that no other than a capital sentence would in future be passed on those convicted of murder.

4. It is by no means an uncommon occurrence for a man, or even a boy, to vent his ill-temper, or show his resentment at any act, by destroying his own property as well as that of his neighbours, sparing only the things belonging exclusively to the chief, or other head man. The amount of damage done at such times, to canoes and other articles of more or less value, will often give occasion for several weeks' employment in repairing, and replacing to himself and his companions; but as these outbreaks are looked upon as the result of a temporary "possession," and the victim considered, for the time being, dangerous, and unaccountable for his actions, no one ventures to offer any opposition, or impose any restraint upon him.

5. Women, when in a rage, occasionally act in a similar manner towards one of their own sex, or even to all the females of the encampment, injuring or destroying their nets, baskets, and other articles; at other times they will seize a burning log, and, banging it furiously on the ground, vent their feelings by some such exclamation as ngigmu'gu jahagike! (May your face become hideous!); or they will struggle and fight till they are forcibly separated by the wife or daughter of their head man. They do not, however, attempt to settle their differences with the stronger sex, but leave it to their husbands or male relatives to obtain redress for their real, or fancied grievances.

6. When a chief or elder so far forgets himself as to lose his temper, those of his own standing betake themselves to their huts, while the other members of the community, male and female, beat a hasty retreat to some secluded spot, for no one would venture to find fault with one in authority, and with some reason, for little or no harm usually results to the community, while his own reputation is sure to suffer. Should he, however, wantonly cause loss or injury to any of his people, they would be pretty certain to take an early, though secret, opportunity of repaying him in kind.

Crime.—1. That outcome of civilisation, suicide, is unknown among them; but, since they have seen cases of self-murder among the alien population, they have coined a lengthy com- [p.112] pound word (a'yuur-te'mar'taganga-) in order to express the nature of the act.

2. That they are not entirely devoid of moral consciousness may, I think, in some measure, be demonstrated by the fact of their possessing a word, yubda-, signifying sin or wrong doing, which is used in connection with falsehood, theft, grave assault, murder, adultery, and—burning wax (l)87 which deeds are believed to anger Puluga-, the Creator, of whom more will be said hereafter.88

3. Cases of adultery in their own villages are said to be of rare occurrence. If detected, the injured husband would probably inflict condign punishment on the guilty parties, but at the risk of retaliation on the part of the male offender and his friends; there appears, however, to be an understanding, that the greater the provocation offered the less is the risk incurred by the injured person or his friends in avenging the wrong, but no appeal to the chief for redress is ever made.

4. If an offence, such as an assault or theft, be committed by one or more members of another tribe during a visit or by stealth, it is regarded as premeditated, and generally resented as a tribal affair, resulting in a feud and more or less bloodshed.

5. Intercourse with Europeans and other foreigners has, it must be confessed, unhappily opened their eyes to the existence of some vices of which they had formerly no knowledge;89 notably is this the case with regard to drunkenness, for, being, till the time they made our acquaintance, "blessed in the ignorance of spirituous liquors," they had no conception of its effects, and, to express an inebriate, have invented a word (le'lekanga-) signifying "staggerer." It must, however, be added, that in consequence of the extreme partiality for rum and other intoxicating drinks which they manifest, much care has to be taken to prevent them from gratifying the easily acquired taste.

Narcotics.—1. Prior to our advent they were also entirely ignorant of narcotics in any form; but one of the evil results of their intercourse with us has been the introduction of the practice of smoking, and so rapidly have they (both men and women) acquired the habit, that, when at a distance from the homes and unable to obtain tobacco, they have been seen to fill their short clay pipes, which, it is scarcely necessary to say, have been obtained from us, with pan leaves rather than endure entire deprivation.


2. I have used the word "evil" advisedly, for there can be no doubt, from observations extending over many years, that the result of their excessive indulgence in smoking has been seriously to impair their constitutions. The attempts that have been made to check the mischief have hitherto failed, as it has been found difficult, if not impossible, to induce them to do a stroke of work without the accompaniment of the "fragrant weed."

Cannibalism.—1. The early stories regarding the prevalence of cannibalism among these savages do not at the present day require refutation.90 No lengthened investigation was needed to disprove the long credited fiction, for not a trace could be discovered of the existence of such a practice in their midst, even in far-off times.

2. It is curious, however, to note, that while they express the greatest horror of the custom, and indignantly deny that it ever held a place among their institutions, a very general belief has been entertained by the tribes living in South and Middle Andaman as to its prevalence in other races, and even among their own countrymen inhabiting North and Little Andaman; and to this cause is chiefly ascribed the dread which they and their fathers have, from a distant period, evinced of their neighbours, and the animosity displayed towards strangers who have approached or landed on their shores; but these sentiments are now confined to those individuals who have had but scant opportunity of becoming acquainted with ourselves and other aliens, or with the results of the visits paid by us to the dreaded yerewa- and jarawa- territories.

Communications, Chirography, and Drawing.—1. The density of the Andaman jungles, and the unsuitability of their canoes for long expeditions by sea, would of themselves be serious hindrances to free intercourse between the various tribes, even were there not the further difficulty—due in great measure to the above circumstances—of difference of language to contend with.

2. There are no marked boundaries between the various tribal districts, but a general understanding exists between neighbouring tribes regarding the limits of their respective domains, which are usually defined by such natural barriers as a range of hills, a creek, or even a belt of dense jungle. So careful are they to respect these boundaries, that, before even travelling through, and particularly before hunting or fishing in, the territory of a [p.114] neighbouring tribe, an express invitation or permission is required, unless, indeed, the party entering happens to be accompanied by one or more members of the district visited, or when, from long and friendly intercommunication, a right of way has been tacitly sanctioned. In cases where there has been a breach of this observance sharp retribution has generally followed, causing sometimes serious loss of life, and resulting in a long-standing tribal feud.

3. Those communities of eremtaga- and aryato-, living within a few miles of each other and speaking the same dialect, arrange from time to time large gatherings—generally numbering about a hundred persons91—for purposes of barter, or for the celebration of some particular event. Though not unfrequently on these occasions old enmities are healed and friendships formed, fresh tribal feuds and personal quarrels sometimes originate in consequence of a misunderstanding or dispute over some comparative trifle.92

4. There are numerous paths intersecting each territory, the result of continuous traffic over the same ground. When, for some reason, a new course is taken through the jungle, the route is indicated to those following by bending the twigs of the brushwood in a reverse direction at intervals along the track. This is especially the case during the dry season, when, owing to the parched condition of the soil, there is some difficulty in distinguishing footprints.93

5. No marks on rocks, trees, or other objects, made for purposes of record, are believed by them to exist, and, with the exception of the supposititious hieroglyphics,94 hereafter to be mentioned, nothing of the nature of writing is to be found among these tribes, nor have they any method of recording the name and exploits of a deceased chief or other individual who may have gained distinction during his life, save the narration—more or less garbled—of the same by their admiring descendants. The messenger who conveys intelligence to a distant encampment bears no outward token with him to testify to the authenticity or character of the communication he has to make.

6. Although no method of signs exists, such as tying knots in a string, making notches in a tally, or figures on wood, bark, or stone, they have means of distinguishing arrows and spears belonging to one another, by certain differences peculiar to each [p.115] individual in the method of tying and knotting the string employed in the manufacture of these missiles95; these, however, are often so slight that, even when pointed out, they are scarcely to be detected by a stranger, unless he be one who has bestowed careful attention to the subject.

7. In their savage state they never attempt to represent any object, and, though they do not appear to possess any natural taste for drawing, they differ from the Australians96 in the intelligence they display in recognising any familiar form depicted in a sketch; and while no such method for indicating the situation of any place is known or employed among themselves, some of them are quick in understanding a chart of their own country, and are able to point out the sites of their various encampments.

8. It is hardly necessary to state that they have nothing answering to mile-stones or roadside marks. Swamps are never crossed, but in all cases avoided by circuitous routes; experience seems to have taught them the natural line of fords from salient to salient banks, and, when a creek has to be crossed, they always avail themselves of the advantages thus afforded, even making a detour in order to do so.97 This applies, however, to those occasions when they are not heavily laden, or are carrying articles liable to be damaged by immersion, or which would hinder them from swimming.

Swimming.—1. With the exception of some of the eremtaga-,98 a knowledge of the art of swimming is common to members of both sexes; the children even, learning almost as soon as they can run, speedily acquire great proficiency. In this accomplishment the Andamanese greatly surpass the majority of Europeans, but it is probable that, in competition with an experienced English swimmer, their best men would be distanced in the first few hundred yards, it being not so much for speed, as for the length of time they can remain in the water, that they are remarkable.


2. The "frog-stroke" is the one in general use; in diving they invariably leap feet foremost into the water, and their skill in recovering any small object, which has been thrown into the sea, or which is lying at a considerable depth, equals that displayed by Somali boys.

3. The younger people delight in disporting themselves in the sea, and in displaying their skill in capturing a harpooned turtle or fish by diving after it; but, while they surpass most races in this respect, they are by no means equal to the astounding feat of catching fish—not to mention any larger than themselves—by merely plunging into the sea after them, as was alleged by the ex-sepoy convict, Dudhnath, in one of his many Munchausen-like statements. His allegation, according to Dr. Mouat, was that he had "seen three or four of them dive into deep water, and bring up in their arms a fish six or seven feet in length, which they had seized." A well known work having been lent me in which the Andamanese are referred to, I took advantage of an opportunity to show them some of the illustrations, amongst others one in which two of their race are represented as rising to the surface with an enormous fish in their arms, while a third person, standing on the shore, is endeavouring to despatch it by repeated blows with a log. Great was the amusement of my Andaman friends, and also of those natives of India, who, from long residence among them in the homes are well aware of the degree of skill they are capable of manifesting in their various pursuits, to learn the wonderful prowess attributed to them, and a hearty laugh was indulged in at the artist's expense, who, however, it will be seen from the foregoing, did not draw entirely upon his fertile imagination for the incident.

Explanation of Plates VI and VII.

Plate VI.

Map of the Andaman Islands, showing distribution of the nine tribes, and the extent of territory occupied by each. Reproduced (with modifications) from the "Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society," by permission of the Council.

Plate VII.

Two Andamanese canoes with a group of aborigines and jemadar Ahmed (head petty officer of the homes). The nearer canoe is a large specimen of the out-rigger description, styled cha'rigma-, and the further one represents an ordinary size "dug out," called gi'lyana-, such as has been commonly made for some years past by the South Andamanese (ba'jig-ngjg).

On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands

(Part II.)

By E H. Man, Esq., F.R.S., &c.

[With Plates VIII and IX.]

In the paper which I had the honour of reading here a few weeks ago I endeavoured to give you as much information as my time allowed relative to the physical characteristics of the race, and then touched briefly upon certain points connected with their culture. I propose this evening to speak of their marital relations, and to tell you of certain of their customs, superstitions, traditions, and beliefs; but before doing so I wish to say a few words in reference to the dialects or languages spoken by the various tribes, more especially the language spoken by the bojig-ngi'ji', or South Andaman tribe. As I shall presently show, the people themselves have a legend99 to account for the linguistical distinctions existing in their midst, but, on a subject of such importance as the origin of an unwritten language, the traditions current among the savages who speak it have rarely, if ever, I believe, been known to throw any light

Language.—1. A few short lists of Andamanese words have been prepared from time to time, commencing, I think, with Colebrooke, who visited the islands nearly a century ago; but [p.118] owing to a variety of circumstances, not the least of which was the absence of any system of representing the sounds in the language—each author having chosen to employ a phonetic code best understood by himself and capable of varying interpretation by others—the result has been, to say the least, unsatisfactory, and the words for the most part are, in their printed form, either wholly unrecognisable by the people themselves, or possess a meaning differing very much from that given.

2. I do not make these remarks with a view of depreciating the efforts of others, for I fully recognise the difficulties with which they had to contend, and am aware that these exceeded any I have had to overcome, consequent on the improved relations which have subsisted between ourselves and the aborigines in recent years.

3. It must also be borne in mind that time necessarily works vast changes in all savage languages, which depend so entirely upon the oral correctness of the whole population for their accurate transmission.

4 As my knowledge of the other dialects is not as yet sufficient for me to be able to describe them comparatively at any length—leisure having failed me to obtain more than a few hundred words of five of the seven remaining tribes of Great Andaman—I wish it to be understood that, except where otherwise stated, my remarks refer to the bojig-ngi'ji'-, or South Andaman dialect.

5. The Andamanese are, as a rule, very conservative, and prefer to coin from their own resources rather than to borrow from aliens, words expressing ideas or objects which are new to them. To give only one of many examples:—having themselves no forms of worship, they had no word for "prayer," but since seeing the Mohammedans at their daily devotions, and learning that they are addressing an Invisible Being, they express the act by a compound word, a-rlalik-ya-b-, signifying "daily repetition" (viz.: arla daily, and ik-ya'b- repetition).

6. They have also a distinct poetical dialect, and in their songs subordinate everything to rhythm, the greatest liberties being thereby taken not only with the forms of their words, but even with the grammatical construction of the sentences. For instance the chorus of one of their songs runs thus:—

cheklu ya laku mej'ra?

which means "who missed the hard (backed) turtle?" the prose construction of the sentence being mifa ya'al che'baien la kachure? It will be at once noticed how great is the difference between the two versions, for in this, as in most of their songs, [p.119] the words in their poetic form are so mutilated to suit the metre as to be scarcely recognisable; indeed, it not unfrequently happens that the composer of a new song has to explain its meaning in the ordinary vernacular to his chorus100 as well as to the audience in general

7. It may perhaps interest some of my readers to see a comparative table which I have prepared of the various forms of the possessive pronominal adjectives in most frequent use among five of the eight tribes of Great Andaman.

  bojig-ngi-ji- bojig-ya'b .a'ka-ko'l oko'ju'wai- .bal'awo-
ngachd^po fia-ya

8. There are in each dialect several other forms of possessive pronominal adjectives, each of which must be used with its own class of nouns, but time will not permit me to enter into particulars regarding these. The form which, roughly speaking, is of general application among the bo'jig-ngiji- is, as I have just shown, that of dva-, ngla-, &c. Ex.—dva ka-rama-, my bow; me'ta ya'di-, our turtle; the exceptions to its use being, (a) those nouns denoting human objects, (b) those indicating the various parts of the body,101 and (c) certain other nouns denoting degrees of relationship. To be as brief as possible, I will give but one or two examples of each.


di'a, my
ngi-a-, thy
i.a-, his
mrtat, our
e'tat, your
o'ntat, their
io'iat, s'
Ex.: di'a abu'la-,
my man.
mi'tat at-pail-,
our women.



I. Used with words indicating the head, brain, occiput, scalp, neck, nape, chest, lung, heart, &c.

dot, my
oyo-, thy
ot, his
nt, 's
mo'toi, our
ngo'tot-, your
oiot, their
l'otoi, s' 
Ex.: dot cheta-,
my head.
o'tot lo'ngoto-,
their necks.
II. Used with words indicating the hand, finger, wrist, knuckle, nail, foot, toe, heel, ankle, &c.
dong, my
ngong, thy
ong, his
l'ong, 's
mbi.ot, our
ngbi'ot, your
bi'ot, their
l'bi'ot, s'
Ex.: ngong id'go-,
thy wrist.
olot pag-,
their feet
III. Used with words indicating the shoulder, arm, breast, face, temple, cheek, nose, ear, eye, gum, teeth, tooth, &c.
dig-, my
ngig, thy
ig, his
l'ig, 's
mitig, our
ngii'ig, your
it'ig, their
l'itig, s'
Ex.: ngigto'go-,
thy shoulder.
moi-ig tog-,
our teeth
(N.B.—The words for eye, eye-lid, and eye-lash, generally take the abbreviated form, di, ngi, i, mit'i, ngiti, it'i.)

IV. Used with words indicating the body, back, spine, thigh, calf of leg, elbow, knee, rib, stomach, spleen, liver, shoulder-blade, &c.
dab, my
ngab, thy
ol, his
l'ob, 's
mat, our
ngat, your
at, their
l'at, s'
Ex.: dab chau,
my body.
at pa'reta-,
their ribs.
V. Used with the words indicating leg, hip, loin, bladder, &c.
dar, my
ngar, thy
ar, his
l'ar, 's
marat, our
ngar'at, your
ar'at, their
l'arat, s'

Ex.: dar ekag-,
my 1eg.
arat cho'rog-,
their hips.


VI. Used with words indicating mouth, chin, lip, throat, palate, tongue, gullet, jaw-bone, collar-bone, breath, &c.
do'ka, my
nga'kha, thy
al-ala, his
la'a'ka, 's
mak'at, our
ngak'ta, your
ak-at, their
l'ak'ot, s'
Ex.: nga'ka bang-,
thy mouth.
ak'ot ekib-,
their jaw-bones.
VII. Used apparently only with the word indicating waist.
da'to, my
nga'to, thy
o'to, his
ma'to, our
nig'to, your
a'to, their
l'o'io, s'
Ex.: doto kinab-,
my waist.
ma'to ki'nab-,
our waists.


dab, my
ngab, thy
ab, his
l'ab, 's
mat, our
ngat, your
at, their
l'at, s'
Ex.: dab med'ola-,
my father.
dab e-tinga-,
my mother.
ad ka, my
mgaka, thy
aka, his
l'a-ka, —'s
malna, our
ngahat, your
akat, their
l'ak'at, s'
Ex.: da'ka ham-,
my younger brother.
dor or dar, my
gor or mgar, thy
or or ar, his
l'ar or lar, —'s

marat, our
ngarel, your
arat, their
l'arat, s' 

Ex.: datr o'dire,
my son.
dai, my
ngai, thy.
ai, his
l'ai, —'s
mi'iat, our
e'iat, your
d'niat, their
lo'niat, s'
Ex.: dai ik-yate-,
my wife.
their wives.
ad, my
ang, thy
a, his
l'a, —'s
mriat, our
i'tat, your
a'niai, their
l'o ntat, s'

Ex.: adik-ya'te-,
my husband
c tat bu-la-,
your husbands


ad-en, my
ang-en, thy
a-en, his
l'a-en, —'s
am-et, my
ang-et, your
a-et, their
Ex.: ad-en td'bare,
my elder brother.
ang-et ta'batre-pail-,
your elder sisters.
doi, my
ngot, thy
ot, his
mo'toi, our
ngo'tot, your
o'tot, their
l'o'tot, s'
Ex.: dot okd'inga-,
my adopted son.
deb, my
ngeb, thy
eb, his
l'eb, —'s
meb.et, our
ngeb.et, your
eb.et, their
l'eb.et, s'
Ex.: deb adenire,
my stepson.

9. Lieutenant R. C. Temple, in his Notes on my translation of the Lord's Prayer into bojig'ngi'ji- quotes some of the remarks made by Dr. Caldwell on the Australian languages, which he considers can with perfect truth be applied to the Andamanese dialects. The grammatical structure exhibits a general agreement with the languages of the Scythian group; in both we find the use of post positions instead of prepositions; they also agree in the formation of inceptive, causative, and reflective verbs by the addition of certain particles to the root, as well as generally in the agglutinative structure of words and their position in a sentence.

10. In the same work, six sentences in bojig-ngi-ji- and bojig-ya'b-,102 such as would occur in daily conversation, are given as examples to illustrate the diversity of speech in two adjacent tribes. Only three out of some thirty words are there [p.123] shown to be the same in both languages, while they differ in every inflection, from which fact it will readily be understood that, apart from the great difficulties of inter-communication, the task of acquiring a knowledge of the dialects of the remaining eight tribes must be one involving considerable sacrifice of time and labour, such as, I fear, it is hopeless to expect any government officer unless specially deputed for the work will be able to accomplish during his term of service.

11. Before concluding this part of my subject I will read an extract from a letter received last August from my friend and fellow-worker in this branch of my studies, Lieutenant R C. Temple (cantonment magistrate at Ambala), which he authorises me to publish as embodying his opinion after a careful study of the vocabularies and other data which I have collected and forwarded to him: "The Andaman languages are one group; they are like (i.e., connected with) no other group; they have no affinities by which we might infer their connection with any other known group. The word-construction (the etymology of the old grammarians) is two-fold, i.e., they have affixes and prefixes to the root of a grammatical nature. The general principle of word-construction is agglutination pure and simple. In adding their affixes they follow the principles of the ordinary agglutinative tongues; in adding their prefixes they follow the well defined principles of the South African tongues. Hitherto, as far as I know, the two principles in full play have never been found together in any other language. Languages which are found to follow the one have the other in only a rudimentary form present in them. In Andamanese both are fully developed, so much so as to interfere with each other's grammatical functions. The collocation of the words103 (or 'syntax,' to follow the old nomenclature) is that of the agglutinative languages purely. The presence of the peculiar prefixes does not interfere with this; the only way in which they affect the syntax is to render the frequent use possible of long compounds almost polysynthetic in their nature, or, to put it another way, of long compounds which are sentences in themselves, but the construction of these words is not synthetic but agglutinative, and they are as words either compound nouns or verbs taking their place in the sentence, and having the same relation to the other words in it as they would were they to be introduced into a sentence in any other agglutinative language. There are of course many peculiarities of grammar in the Andamanese group, and even in each member of the group, but these are only [p.124] such as are incidental to the grammar of the other languages, and do not affect its general tenor. I consider, therefore, that the Andamanese languages belong to the agglutinative stage of development, and are distinguished from other groups by the presence in full development of the principle of prefixed and affixed grammatical additions to the roots of words."

12. With so wide a range of subjects as I propose including in my present paper, I must not detain you with any further remarks on the Andamanese dialects, however interesting they may be to many here present. I have the less scruple in dealing thus cursorily with this important point in the study of this race, as I trust we may hope shortly to see a paper from the able pen of Mr. A. J. Ellis, F.RS.,104 whom I have been so fortunate as to interest, and who has kindly consented to examine my dictionary, containing probably about 6,000 words105 with examples of their use, together with a copious treatise on the Grammar prepared by Lieutenant Temple from my notes.106

Adoption—1. I have already pointed out to you several instances in which we find, on closer acquaintance with the race, that mistaken views have been entertained, and that both astonishment and merriment were evoked from the aborigines by the narration of certain of the habits and customs attributed to them, especially in connection with their social and marital relations.

2. It is generally admitted that one of the surest tests of a man's character may be found in the treatment women meet with at his hands; judged by this standard these savages are qualified to teach a valuable lesson to many of the fellow-countrymen of those who have hastily set them down as ''an anomalous race of the most degraded description."

3. I have already mention that self-respect and modesty characterise their intercourse with one another, and that the [p.125] young are early instructed in the duties of hospitality, while the aged, the suffering, and the helpless are objects of special attention; that their moral code is not confined within these limits will be seen as I proceed.

4 The curious, but by no means uncommon,107 savage custom of adoption prevails among them, from which, however, it must not be inferred that love of offspring is a characteristic in which they are at all deficient, for this is far from being the case.

5. It is said to be of rare occurrence to find any child above six or seven years of age residing with its parents, and this because it is considered a compliment and also a mark of friendship108 for a married man, after paying a visit, to ask his hosts to allow him to adopt one of their children. The request is usually complied with, and thenceforth the child's home is with his for her foster-father (mai-ot'ch'lnga-): though the parents in their turn adopt the children of other friends, they nevertheless pay continual visits to their own child, and occasionally ask permission (!) to take him (or her) away with them for a few days.

6. A man is entirely at liberty to please himself in the number of children he adopts, but he must treat them with kindness and consideration, and in every respect as his own sons and daughters, and they, on their part, render him filial affection and obedience.

7. It not unfrequently happens that in course of time permission to adopt a foster-child is sought by a friend of the soi-disant father, and is at once granted (unless any exceptional circumstance should render it personally inconvenient), without even the formality of a reference to the actual parents, who are merely informed of the change in order that they may be enabled to pay their periodical visits.

8. Foster-parents constantly manifest much opposition to any desire they may observe on the part of the lads they have brought up, to make a home for themselves, for the selfish reason that they are useful in a variety of ways, above all, when they have acquired skill in hunting, turtling, &c.; over the maidens little or no restraint is imposed, as their marriage entails but a trifling loss in a material sense on those who have reared them.

9. Human nature, however, is the same all the world over, and boys will be boys even in the Andaman jungles, so it is not surprising that, in spite of all the precautions taken by their [p.126] seniors, a good deal of flirtation, and often something more, is carried on by the young people without arousing any suspicions as to their sentiments for one another, until the affair has become too serious to be broken off, and has to end, sooner or later, in their marriage and start in life on their own account In some cases, when the guardians have reason to believe that a lad has, notwithstanding his assurances to the contrary, a sub silentio attachment, they adopt the following method for testing the truth of his asseveration; on a given day it is arranged by the friends of the suspected couple that they shall (without the knowledge of either) be painted respectively with the red oxide of iron unguent, kbiob-, and the white clay tdla-ag-, for, as they would not meet till night-fall, the risk of their discovering the trap laid for them is reduced to a minimum, while a glance on the following morning would suffice to betray them if guilty, and the guardians' object would be attained, for, from shame at his secret being known, and his falsehood exposed, the youth feels in honour bound to break off his connection with the girl, at least for some time.

Relationships.—1. In all the relations of life the question of propinquity is, in their eyes, of paramount importance, and marriage is only permissible between those who are known to be not even distantly connected, except by wedlock, with each other; so inexorable, indeed, is this rule, that it extends, and applies equally, to such as are related merely by the custom of adoption to which I have just referred.

2. A first cousin, actual or by adoption, is regarded as a half-brother or half-sister, as the case may be, and nephews and nieces almost as sons and daughters, while the terms used to denote a grandfather, grandmother, grandson, and grand-daughter are equally applied to indicate respectively a grand-uncle, grand-aunt, grand-nephew, and grand-niece.

3. Parents, when addressing, or referring to their children and not using their names, employ distinct terms, the father calling his son dar o'dire, i.e., he that has been begotten by me, and his daughter dar o'dire-pail-; while the mother makes use of the word dab e'tire, i.e., he whom I have borne, for the former, and dab e'tire-pail- for the latter; similarly, friends in speaking of children to their parents say respectively, ngar o'dire or nigab e'tire (your son), ngar o'dire-pail-, ongab etire-pail- (your daughter).109

4. Uncles and aunts on the father's are not distinguished from those on the mother's side; relationships are traced in both lines, and the system with reference to either sex is identical.


5. In consequence of the shortness of their lives, their ignorance of any method of maintaining accurate records, and last, not least, the unavoidable complications arising from their system of adoption, it naturally follows that they fall in tracing, and therefore in recognising, relationships beyond the third generation.

6. In addressing a senior male relative, the term mai'a or mai'ola is employed; if of equal standing, and a father, the same; but if not a parent, the term mar is prefixed to his name; if junior, he would be addressed by his name only. The same system applies to the females, with whom chawa110 or chan'ola takes the place of mai'a and mai'ola, and the "flower" name, of which I can now make but a brief allusion,111 the place of mir; these terms, mai'a, choma, &c., are equivalent to Mr., Sir, Mrs., Madam, &c.112 Sir John Lubbock, in his well known work "On the Origin of Civilization,"113 points out the existence of a similar custom among the Telugus and Tamils.

7. In a table I have prepared,114 and which I believe to be fairly complete, there are about sixty terms, exclusive of equivalents, employed to denote the various degrees of relationship recognised by this race. It will there be seen that, as among the Australians near Sydney, mentioned by the Rev. W. Ridley,115 brothers and sisters speak of one another by titles that indicate relative age; that is, their words for brother and sister involve the distinction of elder or younger, and that a like system is adopted in respect to half-brothers, half-sisters, cousins, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law.

8. In addressing the relatives of a wife or husband, or a brother's wife, or sister's husband—provided such be senior to the speaker—the term mam is used.

9. A man or woman may not marry into the family of their brothers- or sisters-in-law, but there is no rule against a man marrying a girl bearing the same name as himself, either in another tribe or in his own community, the only bar being that of consanguinity or adoption.

10. The nearest of kin to a widow or widower are, (1) the grown-up children, (2) the parents, and (3) the brothers and sisters.

Proper Names.—1. One of the alleged116 peculiarities of the [p.128] Andamanese is that they have no proper names, whereas their system of naming is, on the contrary, somewhat elaborate, and commences even prior to the child's birth.

2. When there is reason to expect an increase to the family,117 the parents decide what name the child shall bear; as a compliment they not unfrequently select one which is borne by a relative, friend, or chief; and, since all their proper names118 are common to both sexes,119 no difficulty arises on this score.

3. In illustration of this let us suppose the name chosen in advance to be dara; should the infant prove to be a boy he is called darata-, or, if a girl, ilra-ata-. These terms (ata- and kd'tor120) are used only during the first two or three years, after which, until the period of puberty, the lad would be addressed as .da'ra-da'la-, and the girl as darapd'ola until she arrived at womanhood, when she is said to be un-la'm- or akil-layn-, and receives a "flower" name121 as a prefix to her proper or birth name. By this method they are apparently able to determine when their young women become marriageable. There are eighteen prescribed trees122 which blossom in succession, and the "flower" name bestowed in each case is taken from the one which is in season when the girl attains maturity; if, for example, this should be about the end of August, when the chd'langa- (Pterocarpus dalbergioides) is in flower, dila-pdilola would become chagara123.do'ra, and this double name would cling [p.129] to the girl until she married and was a mother,124 then the "flower" name would give way to the more dignified term chawa (madam or mother) bra; if childless, a woman has generally to pass a few years of married life before she is called chan'a,125 after which no further change is made in her name.

4 In consequence of this system, as it rarely happens that in one community two women are found bearing the same ''flower" and birth names, there is little chance of confusion arising.

5. Since no equivalent custom exists with regard to men,126 nicknames are given which generally indicate some personal peculiarity, as, for instance, bva-pag- (bga-, foot, he having large feet), bal'o-jd'bo- (Bala-, snake, he having lost a hand from a snake-bite), pu'nga-da'la (Punga-, good-looking), and so on. All these names cling to the bearer for life, especially if they refer to some physical deformity.

6. Seniors often address young married persons in a (to us) strange fashion, i.e., calling the husband by the wife's name and prospective designation; for example, in speaking to a man whose name is .tra, and who had married a woman called .tu'ra, they would say chana .tu'ra; if the wife were enceinte the child's name would be used beforehand to denote its parents; thus, assuming .tuologa to be the name of the yet unborn child, the father would be called by that name, and the expectant mother .tpo'loga-bud'127 until after the birth of the infant, when, for several months, the former would still bear the same appellation among his seniors, but would receive from his juniors the more dignified title of mai'a .wo'loga; while the latter would be addressed by her seniors as .waloga-d'ta' (or ka'ta- in the case of her child being a girl), and by her juniors as chana .waioga-d'ta- (or kd'ta-).128

Initiatory Ceremonies.—1. On or soon after reaching puberty, the fast129 which has been kept during the few previous years (or in some cases, months) is broken; and instead of the affix da'la, the prefix gu'ma130 (denoting in this connection a neophyte or [p.130] novice) is attached to the boy's birth-name; he is also addressed as mar131guma (master novice) if senior to, and alone with the speaker: this term gu'ma is retained until the lad is married and is a father, after which mai'a132 (Mr.)—or, if a chief, mai'ola—is adopted in its place, and by this title he would be known for the rest of his life. A young chief, however, attains the honorary designation of mai'a as soon as the novitiate terminates.133

2. The d'ka'ya'ba-, or fasting period (during which turtle, honey, pork, fish, and a few other favourite articles of food134 are chosen endues), commences between the 11th and 13th year, and varies in length from one to five years; it is observed by both sexes, but lasts longer in the case of girls, with whom, indeed, it is not terminable till some time after matrimony. As em a'kdr-yah- makes up for these restrictions by eating a larger quantity of other food, he (or she) does not ordinarily suffer in physique during the probationary period. It does not rest with the youth or maiden to determine when he, or she, will resume eating the various articles above mentioned, but with the chief, who decides when each individual's powers of endurance and self-denial have been sufficiently tested. Exceptional cases are cited in which the probationer has expressed a desire to prolong the time of abstinence, it being a cause for boasting when the average period has been exceeded.

3. As at present understood, the d'ha-ya'ha- is regarded as a test of the endurance, or, more properly speaking, of the self-denial of young, persons, and as affording evidence of their fitness and ability to support a family. It is divided into three periods: 1st, the ya'du- (turtle) gu'mui-; 2nd, the dja- (honey) gumul'; and 3rd, the reg-jiri- (kidney-fat of pig) gu'mil-.135

4. When the youth is permitted, and agrees, to break his turtle fast, a feast is arranged by his friends, consisting entirely of that delicacy. The chief, or headman present, first boils in a pot (buj-136) a large piece of turtle-fat, which, when sufficiently cool, he [p.131] pours over the head of the lad, who remains seated and perfectly still in the midst of his friends while the oil streams over his body. The men present remove any ornaments that he may be wearing, and rub the grease into his person; the women and children meantime occupy themselves with crying, the idea being that, after abstaining from turtle for a long time, madness, illness, or even death, may result from partaking of it again.137 After this the novice, who may not wash off the oil with which he has been anointed at least until late on the following day, is fed with the flesh of the turtle,138 of which a certain quantity is reserved for his consumption on the ensuing two or three days, and the remainder is distributed among those assembled. He is then led to his hut and directed to sit cross-legged on a spot covered with leaves of the Myristica longifolia, with a support behind him against which he may lean. The turtle flesh, previously cooked and set apart for him, is deposited at his side, and one or more of his friends take it by turns to sit with him, it being their duty to enjoin silence, to supply his wants, and to prevent him from falling asleep by singing from time to time as the night wears away. The following morning his mother, sister and other female relatives, come and weep139 over him, and paint, first, his ears and the adjoining parts with ya'al-kai'ob', and afterwards his entire person with alternate stripes of this compound and tdia-og-. Some large leaves140 made into two broom-like bundles are placed in his hands, and other leaves are placed in his waist belt. Thus provided he rises and dances frantically,141 swinging his arms at the same time, for an hour or more, while the women, who are seated with legs outstretched, keep time for him by slapping the hollow between their thighs with the palm of the right hand, which is held at the wrist by the other hand; the males look on, or, if they have gone through the ceremony themselves, accompany him in his performance.

5. After an hour or so, when, fatigued with his exertions, the youth stops dancing, the yadl-gu'mul- is considered at an end, and the new gu'ma mingles with his friends, who, nevertheless, [p.132] continue to watch him carefully for two or three days, lest harm should result from his recent feast, and also because they think evil spirits are not unlikely to do him some injury by taking advantage of his supposed helpless condition to make him deaf, or cause him to forget his way, and thus meet the fate which, on the faith of their traditions, they believe to have overtaken two of their antediluvian ancestors.142

6. All that has been said of youths in respect to the ya'din gumul' applies equally to young women, except that matrons remove the novice's ornaments, and all but one or two of her bod-s (waistbelts143), and her o'bunga- (leaf apron144), which are left for the sake of decency. As, while performing the concluding dance, some difficulty is experienced in regard to the dhunga-, girls are provided on these occasions with a more substantial apron of leaves, so that the feelings of the most prudish are not violated.

7. The origin of the term gumul-le'ke is obscure, and inquiries have failed to elicit any satisfactory explanation regarding it; the literal translation is "rainy monsoon devour-does," and though the ya-di-gumul- is always celebrated at that season of the year, the term is also applied to the honey feast, which can only take place during the dry months. The same equivalents are found in the other tribal dialects, so that the peculiarity is not confined to the bojig-ngi'ji-. The only reasonable explanation offered is that the expression is in allusion to the sweaty (gu'mar-), or rain-like (yum-), appearance of the novice when the melted fat or honey has been poured and smeared over his person.

8. Lengthened intercourse with the alien population in their midst has naturally led to their occasionally betraying some indifference in regard to customs, such as that above described; especially is this the case with those who have been brought up in the orphanage at Boss Island. A few years ago one of these youngsters, who had been named Martin, refused to accede to the wishes of his friends in the jungle home to which he had returned, and persisted in partaking of the articles of food proscribed to all of his age; as he happened shortly after to fall sick and die, they were fully persuaded that he had incurred his fate by failing to comply with the ancient rites and ceremonies as handed down by their fathers.

9. On the conclusion of the ya'di-gu'mul-, the youth is said to be an aka-gumul-, and, as before stated, is addressed as guma; but this is not the case with the girl, possibly because she, at [p.133] this period of her life, receives a "flower" name,145 and does not, therefore, require any additional designation to denote that she has attained maturity. If more than one become guma on the same day they call each other gu'ma larjo'pinga-.146 After the ya'dar-gu'mul- turtles' eggs and the kidney-fat of the ray-fish and turtle may, at the bidding of the chief, be again eaten by the novice, and in the first ensuing dry season edible roots, and the heart of the Caryota sobolifera, may be added to the bill of fare without further ceremony than the observance of strict silence on the first occasion of partaking of them.

10. Between the ya'di-gumul- and the a'ja'gumul- no fruit may be eaten by the novices, who have, moreover, to abstain till after the reg-jiri-gumul- from pig's flesh of any kind.

11. When the honey fast is to be broken a quantity of honeycombs, according to the number assembled, are on the appointed day procured: the aka-yab- being placed in the midst of the group, the chief or other elder goes to him with a large honeycomb wrapped in leaves; after helping the novice to a large mouthful, which he does by means of a bamboo or iron knife, he presents the remainder to him, and then leaves him to devour it in silence: this he does, not, however, by the ordinary method, for it is an essential part of the ceremony that he should not use his fingers to break off pieces, but eat it bear-fashion, by holding the comb up to his mouth and attacking it with his teeth and lips.147 After satisfying his present requirements, he wraps what is left of the comb in leaves for later consumption.

12. The chief then takes another comb and anoints the youth by squeezing it over his head, rubbing the honey well into his body as it trickles down. The proceedings at this stage are interrupted by a bath, in order to remove all traces of the honey, which would otherwise he a source of considerable inconvenience by attracting ants. Beyond the observance of silence, and continued abstention from reg-jiri-, the youth is under no special restrictions, being able to eat, drink, and sleep as much as he pleases.

13. Early the following morning the lad decorates himself with leaves of a species of Alpinia, called jini-,148 and then, in the presence of his friends, goes into the sea (or, if he be an eremtaga-, into a creek) up to his waist, where, locking his thumbs [p.134] together, with open hands he splashes as much water as possible over himself and the bystanders, occasionally ducking his head under the surface as well. This is considered a safeguard or charm against snakes, and the on-lookers cry a'to-ped-, ki'nig .wara-ja'bo'tike (Go and splash yourself, or Wara-jabo149 will get inside you), for they imagine that unless they go through this splashing performance, this snake will by some means enter their stomachs and so cause death.

14. The only difference between the sexes with respect to the a'ja-gu'mul- is that with females it cannot take place until after the birth of the first child; they are also required to abstain from honey during each subsequent pregnancy; in their case, too, a chief or elder (preferably a relative) officiates, and not a woman.

15. A year is generally allowed to elapse between the ya'di-gumul- and the reg-jiri-gumul-. When this final step is determined on, the friends and relatives of the a-ka-yab- start on a pig hunt, and, if unsuccessful, the gumul- has to be postponed, for, in tie case of a young man, it is necessary that the ceremony be performed with a boar, while for females a sow must be procured.

16. When all is ready, and the party assembled, the chief presses the carcass of the boar heavily on the shoulders, back, and limbs of the young man as he sits on the ground,150 silent and motionless, this is in token of his hereafter becoming, or proving himself to be, courageous and strong. The animal is then cut up, and when the fat has been melted, as in the previous cases, it is poured over the novice, and rubbed into his person; he is then fed with reg-jiri, and if he makes signs for water it is given him, but, until the following day, he may not utter a word, rise, or even sleep. Two or three friends generally remain with him to attend to his requirements, which he makes known to them by gestures.

17. In the morning fresh leaves of a tree called reg la'ka chal-—the fruit of which is much eaten by the Sus And,—are brought, and a quantity of them are placed in the hands of the youth, and some more in his waistbelt; he then rises and, as at the turtle feast, dances until fairly exhausted. During the month following the reg-jiri-gumul-, the young persons are called aka'goi-.

18. It should be added that, whatever may have been the intention and practice in former years, it is not necessary at the present day for a youth to undergo these several ordeals before [p.135] he is permitted to marry,151 although many remain single until they have undergone these various rites, it is considered almost as binding on those who marry, before doing so, to comply with these time-honoured usages at some early opportunity.

Marriage.—1. It has been asserted that the "communal marriage," system prevails among them, and that "marriage is nothing more than taking a female slave,"152 but so far from the contract being regarded as a merely temporary arrangement, to be set aside at the will of either party, no incompatibility of temper or other cause is allowed to dissolve the union, and, while bigamy, polygamy, polyandry, and divorce are unknown, conjugal fidelity till death is not the exception, but the rule, and matrimonial differences, which, however, occur but rarely, are easily settled with or without the intervention of friends.

2. It is undoubtedly true that breaches of morality have occasionally taken place among a few of the married persons who have resided for any length of time at Port Blair, but this is only what might be expected from constant association with the Indian convict attendants at the various homes; justice, however, demands that in judging of their moral characteristics we should consider those only who have been uninfluenced by the vices or virtues of alien races.

3. As in various other savage tribes, unchastity153 is apparently universal among the unmarried of both sexes, and is indeed so entirely disregarded that no reproof is administered, even by the nearest relatives, to those who offend in this manner; notwithstanding this laxity, the girls are strikingly modest and child-like in their demeanour, and when married are good wives and models of constancy, while their husbands do not fall far short of them in this respect. It should, however, be mentioned that the freedom which exists between the sexes prior to wedlock, is confined to those who are not within the prescribed limits of affinity, as their customs do not permit of the union of any who are known to be even distantly related;154 the fact of our allowing first cousins to marry seems to them highly objection- [p.136] able and immoral, which is turning the tables on us with a vengeance.155

4. In consequence of the lax code of morality prevailing among the unmarried, it not unfrequently happens that a marriage is brought about by the circumstance of the young woman being found enceinte. When this is the case, the guardians ascertain from her companions or herself who is the cause of her being in such a condition, and, whether it is an easy matter or not to decide this question with certainty, there never appears to be any difficulty in persuading the youth whom she names as her lover to become her husband. It thus happens that children are very rarely born out of wedlock.

5. Parents and foster-parents have the power of betrothing their children in infancy, and though subsequently, during childhood, they may be parted, the contract must be fulfilled soon after they attain a marriageable age; it is even alleged that, like the Yorubas,156 the Andamanese look upon a girl betrothed by her parents as so far a wife that with her pre-matrimonial unfaithfulness is accounted a crime.

6. As soon as the betrothal has been agreed upon, the girl is taken to the hut of her future father-in-law, or foster father-in-law, and the children remain together for several months, in order that the fact of their engagement may become generally known; after this the girl returns to her old home, or is adopted by one of her father's friends. Should either of the betrothed pair die young, the survivor is not called upon to take any part at the obsequies, and is at liberty to form another alliance.

7. Until a man attains middle age he evinces great shyness in the presence of the wife of a younger brother or cousin, and the feeling is invariably reciprocated; it is, however, otherwise in the case of the elder brother's (or cousin's) wife, who, moreover, should she be many years his senior, receives from him much of the respect accorded to a mother. In the first of the above cases all communications are made through a third person, though under no circumstances would marriage be permissible between them; while in the latter it is almost obligatory, unless the disparity between the ages be very great.

8. It is not customary for lovers to intimate their desire of being married, but it is the duty of the guardian, or, in the case of widows and widowers, of the chief of the community, to [p.137] arrange matters for those between whom he observes there is something more than a passing attachment.

9. Although nearly all marriages are brought about by one or other of the above-mentioned modes, it remains to be added that an individual is now and then met with who is regarded as married though he (or she) has not conformed with the prescribed ceremony; this occurs when a bachelor or widower is found asleep in one of the huts occupied by unmarried females; he and the woman beside whom he was seen are then said to be tigwa-nga-, which means that their union has been contracted irregularly. In such cases no ceremony or entertainment takes place, for a certain amount of discredit attaches to a couple thus united; but if their after conduct towards each other be considered satisfactory no unpleasant allusions are made to the past.

10. As they have no idea of invoking the aid or blessing of a Supreme Being, nothing of a religious character attaches itself to the marriage ceremony, which may be briefly described as follows:—On the evening of the eventful day157 the bridal party assemble at the chiefs hut or in one of those occupied by unmarried women. The bride (whether spinster or widow) sits apart, attended by one or two matrons, and the bridegroom takes his place among the bachelors until the chief or elder approaches him, whereupon he at once assumes a modest demeanour and simulates reluctance to move; however, after a few encouraging and re-assuring remarks he allows himself to be led slowly; sometimes almost dragged, towards his fiancée, who, if she be young, generally indulges in a great display of modesty, weeping and hiding her face, while her female attendants prepare her by straightening her legs; the bridegroom is then made to sit on her thighs, and torches are lighted and brought close to the pair that all present may bear witness to the ceremony having been carried out in the orthodox manner, after which the chief pronounces them duly married, and they are then at liberty to retire to the hut which has been previously prepared for their occupation.

11. Unless they have made arrangements to settle158 elsewhere, [p.138] the newly married couple do not leave the encampment in order to get food, or anything else that they may require, as the friends consider it a duty or privilege to supply all their needs until the shyness, consequent on the marriage, has worn off.

12. Wedding presents being as much de rigueur among these savages as in Mayfair, the happy pair invariably find themselves enriched by their relatives and acquaintances with the various articles of ordinary use, such as nets, buckets, bows, arrows, &c., in honour of the event.

13. On the morning following the marriage the bridegroom's mother, or other near female relative, decorates his person by painting him with tala-og-, while the bride is similarly ornamented by her friends. It often happens that a young couple will pass several days after their nuptials without exchanging a single word, and to such an extent do they carry their bashfulness that they even avoid looking at each other: in fact their conduct would lead a stranger to suppose that some serious quarrel had caused an estrangement.

14. When a few days have elapsed, and they are in some measure accustomed to the novelty of their position, they enter upon the duties of life, and conduct themselves like their neighbours: the marriage is then celebrated by a dance, in which all, save the bride and bridegroom, take part.

15. A certain amount of jealousy usually exists between young people during the first year of their married life159; indeed, complete confidence and genuine affection are never entirely established until they become parents or, at least, till the wife is found to be enceinte, and even their relationship to each other is not regarded as being so close prior to the birth of a child as it is after that event. Confirmatory evidence on this point will be given when describing the funeral rites,160 where it will be noticed that the survivor of a childless couple is not looked upon as chief mourner.

16. There is no prohibition against second marriages, but greater respect is entertained for those who show their love and esteem for the deceased by remaining single and leading chaste lives (oyun-temar-barminga-). It is by no means unusual for a man, even though he be young at the time of his wife's death, to remain a widower161 for her sake for many years, or even till death; [p.139] but widows generally many again when the prescribed term has passed: this is not altogether due to inconstancy on the part of the fair (!) sex, but to the custom, to which allusion has before been made, which all but compels a bachelor or widower to propose to the childless widow of his elder brother or cousin (if she be not past her prime),162 while she has no choice beyond remaining single or accepting him; should she have no younger brother-in-law (or cousin by marriage), however, she is free to wed whom she will.163

17. A young widow who is childless usually returns to the home of her girlhood, but, if elderly, she lives in one of the huts set apart for spinsters, and those who, situated like herself, are eligible for matrimony; during the period of her widowhood it devolves on one of her senior male relatives to act as her guardian; it is not considered decorous that any fresh alliance should be contracted until about a year has elapsed from the date of bereavement.

18. In the case of a widow who has children, it is customary for her to remain in the same community and keep house for her family; during widowhood—if her husband had been a chief or elder—she continues to enjoy the privileges accorded him in his lifetime. Should she re-marry and her husband happen to be a bachelor, or widower "without encumbrances," it is usual for him to join her community, and live in her hut, but if they both have families it becomes a matter of arrangement between them which establishment shall be given up.

19. Some idea of the erroneous views formerly held respecting their marital relations will be gathered from the following extracts:—(a) "There is promiscuous intercourse save with the parent which only ceases in regard to the woman when she is allotted as wife to a man, but is retained as the prerogative of the male sex."164 (b) "Marriage, as we understand the word, is unknown to them, and there seem to be few restrictions of consanguinity, a mother and her daughter being sometimes the wives of the same husband.''165 A similar statement appears in Dr. Brown's work, and the source of both is probably to be found in the following passage in Dr. Mouat's book, in which he publishes several extraordinary stories told by an escaped [p.140] convict Sepoy, named Dtidhndth,166 who had apparently spent about thirteen months with the aborigines, during the first two years of our settlement at Port Blair (1858-59):—"A man named Pooteeah, who doubtless considered him (Dudhnath) a desirable match, offered to bestow upon him, in what they called wedlock, his daughter Hessa, a young woman of twenty years of age, whose attractions were doubtless regarded as considerable among her native tribe, and a mere girl named Zigah, a daughter of Hessa, who, in that eastern part of the world, was considered quite old enough167 for the state of marriage. As they were by no means troubled with an uneasy amount of virtue they made no objection to being assigned to the Brahmin soldier in the most unceremonious manner. The two, mother and daughter, at once recognised him as their husband."

20. The main feature of interest in this story is, however, somewhat marred when it is discovered that the woman (lipa168) who was well known to us for many years subsequent to the establishment of the homes, was a girl of not more than seventeen at the time of Dudhnath's escape, and that she had never been a mother prior to her marriage with him.169 The child (ye-ga, not Zigah) was merely living under Lipa's protection, and was employed, like all children, in helping to supply the wants of her guardians. The fact of child marriages—not to mention bigamy and concubinage—being quite unknown among them, affords additional support to this statement, which is the result of careful inquiry.

21. Dudhndth being of course aware of the ignorance which prevailed at the time regarding the habits and customs of the Andamanese, appears to have availed himself of the opportunity thus afforded him of drawing largely on his imagination, probably with the object of exciting as much interest as possible in his adventures, and perhaps also of amusing himself with the wonder created by his narrative. Some of his unrecorded170 stories seem, however, to have been still more [p.141] highly coloured, and failed, therefore, in imposing on the almost excusable credulity which existed at a time when next to nothing of a trustworthy nature was known concerning these savages.

22. With regard to a deceased husband's property, the widow disposes of everything, which she does not require for her personal use, among his male relatives.

23. It seems superfluous to add that no such custom as suttee prevails or has ever been known to exist among them.

Death and Burial.—1. Amongst other erroneous opinions held regarding these tribes is that which declares that "no lamentation is publicly made at death," whereas, in point of fact, the demonstrations of grief on such occasions are generally excessive, and are shared, in a greater or less degree, by every member of the community in which the melancholy event occurs.

2. In the case of an infant, the parents and relatives remain weeping for hours beside the corpse; afterwards they smear their persons with a wash composed of og- (the common olive-coloured clay) and water, and, after shaving their heads, place a lump of the same, called dela-, just above their foreheads171 where it hardens and is left, much to the individual's discomfort, until the expiration of the days of mourning172; should it fall off in the meantime it is renewed.

3. The burial usually takes place within 18 hours of the decease, which time is spent by the mother in painting the head, neck, wrists, and knees of her dead child with koiob- and ta'la- og-; she also shaves off the hair, and folds the little limbs so as to occupy the least possible space,173 the knees being brought up to the chin and the fists close to the shoulders; the body is then enveloped in large leaves, called kapa-174, which are secured with cords or strips of cane. The father meantime employs himself in digging a grave with an adze) (wolo-175), in the place where his hut fire usually burns; when all is prepared the little head is uncovered, and the parents gently blow upon the face [p.142] two or three times in token of farewell;176 then, replacing the leaves, they put the corpse into the grave in a sitting posture, and fill in and level the earth; next, having procured a quantity of the young leaves of the common jungle cane, they split them and make long fringe-like wreaths, called ara-,177 which they fasten to the trees surrounding the hut, or encircling the entire camping ground, the object being to apprise any stranger or friend who might chance to visit the spot, that a death has recently occurred, and that they would therefore do well to keep away.

4. After suspending the ara- the fire is rekindled and the mother places a shell containing some of her own milk beside the grave, obviously in order that the child's spirit, which is believed to haunt its late home for a few days, may not lack nourishment. All in the encampment then pack up those things which are mostly needed and depart to some other camping ground,178 generally not less than two or three miles distant, where they at once construct huts, usually of the description called chang-tarnga-,179 to serve as shelter during the mourning period, which as a rule lasts about three months; and during which the parents and relatives, naturally enough, refrain from taking any part in the festivities occurring among their neighbours. While mourning it is customary for the eremtaga- to abstain from pork, and for the aryato- to deny themselves turtle as well as other luxuries, in token of the sincerity of their grief, but they never mutilate themselves by cutting off joints of their fingers, &c., as do the Hottentots and the Papuans of the Fiji Islands, nor have they, as has been erroneously asserted in Dr. Day's paper, daily, during periods of deep sorrow, to throw honeycomb, if obtainable, into the fire.180

5. At the expiration of the time mutually agreed upon, they all return to the deserted encampment and remove and destroy the ara-. The parents then exhume the remains, which are taken by the father to the seashore, or the nearest creek, there to be cleansed181 from all putrefying matter: this done, he brings [p.143] the skull and bones back to his hut and breaks up the latter into small pieces suitable for necklaces.182 The mother, after painting the skull with koiob-, and decorating it with small shells attached to pieces of string, hangs it round her neck with a netted chain, called rab-.183 After the first few days her husband often relieves her by wearing it himself. Infants' skulls, being fragile, are generally preserved carefully from risk of injury by being entirely covered with string, but (except temporarily as when travelling, fishing, &c.) these souvenirs are not carried about in a basket. The next few days are spent by the mother in converting the bones into necklaces, called chawga-ta-, and when several have been made, she and her husband pay visits to their friends, among whom they distribute these mementoes, together with any of the pieces that may remain over, in order that they may make additional necklets for themselves.

6. Before this distribution takes place, it should be mentioned that the mourners remove from their heads the lump of clay placed there on the day of the child's death; the wife also paints her husband's neck, waist, wrists, and knees with koiob- and further adorns him with a stripe of the same compound from his throat to his navel, and afterwards decorates herself in a similar manner.

7. All due preparations having thus been made, the friends assemble round the hut to pay their final visit of condolence; whereupon the bereaved father sings some old song of his, which he last sang, perchance, with his little one alive and well in his arms, on which all except himself express their grief and sympathy by breaking out into loud lamentations. The chorus of the song is chanted by the women while the parents perform a dance which goes by the name of ti-to-latnga- (lit., the shedding of tears); when wearied with their exertions they retire to their hut, and cease from any further display of sorrow, whereupon their friends generally take up and continue the melancholy dance and song for many hours, the women being then joined by the men, who, till this stage of the proceedings, have merely acted the part of spectators. It should be explained that the character of this dance does not differ from that which is customary at a wedding or other occasion of rejoicing, except in the doleful appearance of the performers.

8. On the death of an adult and others, the relatives (as in the case of an infant) smear themselves with og- and place a lump of the clay on their heads, where it must remain until the ti-to-latnga-; any necklaces, waist belts, &c., which the deceased was wearing are removed; women then paint the [p.144] corpse, whose limbs are folded and enwrapped in the manner above described.

9. What the true significance of this practice may be is not quite clear, as such of the aborigines as have been questioned assert that it is merely for convenience in removal; but since the custom is also observed in infant burials which, as I have mentioned, take place in the very hut wherein the death occurred, it seems probable that a deeper meaning underlies the act; and the real reason may be that which Peschel supplies in his reference to the Hottentots who observe the same custom, "that the dead will mature in the darkness of the earth in preparation for a new birth."184

10. As it is not customary for females to attend the funeral, when their part is done, they gently blow upon the face, and take their last farewell look.

11. None save infants are buried within the encampment, all others being carried to some distant and secluded spot in the jungle, and there interred or placed upon a "machan," or platform; it is generally arranged beforehand whether of these two methods shall be employed, but the latter is considered the more complimentary, apparently because it involves a little more labour.185

12. Arrived at their destination, the corpse, which has been carried by one of the men on his back, is put down, while the final preparations are being made. A spot is selected where there is a boulder or large tree,186 to mark it, and there, if a grave has been decided on, they dig a hole about 4 or 5 feet deep, with an adze (wolo-), into which the body is lowered in a sitting posture, facing the east; all present then raise the leaf covering the head, and take leave of their friend by blowing upon his face. Before the grave is filled in the cords or canes are cut, the object being to hasten the process of decomposition by loosening the leaves; a fire is lighted over the spot and a gob-,187 or nautilus shell, filled with water, as well as some article which belonged to the deceased, is placed beside it: then the surrounding brushwood for some little distance is cleared away, and a'ra- are suspended between the trees in the manner and for the purpose before stated.

13. Should it, however, have been determined to dispose of the corpse by the alternative method, a small stage is constructed [p.145] of sticks and boughs, about 8 to 12 feet above the ground, generally between the forked branches of some large tree,188 and to it the body is lashed. The head is raised slightly, looking eastward, and, though the position of the arms is not altered, the cords are loosened to allow of the legs being straightened, after which the leaves are re-adjusted, so as to cover the entire form, in order to protect it from the attacks of hawks, crows, and vermin.

14 Two reasons are given for the practice of placing the corpse with the face towards the rising sun: one being that dissolution may thereby be hastened, the other that jereg- or Hades, whither the souls of the departed flee, is situated in the east.

15. The mourners take a last farewell in the manner before described, and fulfil the remaining duties, as related in the former case. The spirit of the deceased being supposed to haunt not only the spot where he has been buried, but also the encampment where the death occurred, the community migrate temporarily to another camping ground immediately after the return of the funeral party, leaving the a'ra- to witness to casual visitors of the cause of their absence.

16. When the period of mourning has expired the men who assisted in the funeral rites return to the place of burial, destroy the ara-, and remove the remains of the deceased to the sea-shore, or to a creek, where the bones are cleaned and afterwards conveyed to the old encampment, whither they all return and restore their camp to its normal condition.

17. As all that has been related regarding the distribution of the bones of a child and the subsequent dance applies equally to all cases, further account of these ceremonies here is unnecessary; for fuller information about the manufacture of the necklaces, &c., I would refer you to the interesting paper by Dr. Allen Thomson, F.R.S., read before this Institute by the author in May last.189

18. Although in the majority of cases the display of grief is thoroughly sincere, there is no doubt that they hope, by testifying to their sorrow in the various ways mentioned, to conciliate the spirits of the departed, and to be by them preserved from many misfortunes which might otherwise befall them.190

19. In the case of a young married couple who are childless, if either die, the survivor is not the chief mourner, and does not even assist at the obsequies, which are performed solely by [p.146] the relatives of the deceased, one of whom subsequently takes possession of the skull, and wears it until he (or she) chooses to part with it, or is asked to do so by another member of the family. It should here be stated that it is by no means obligatory upon the survivor of an elderly couple, or any relative, to carry the bones or skull of the deceased for a lengthened period except in the event of marrying a brother, sister, or cousin of the deceased, these relics can be given at any time to a friend who may ask for them; thus it not unfrequently happens that the remains of one who was a chief or a favourite in his day, are scattered far and wide among his admirers, but when in course of time they get mislaid or broken, the owner is often easily reconciled to his loss, or makes it good by procuring similar mementoes of another and more recently departed friend.

20. It may be said that as a rule no adult is without at least one chabwga-ta- (i.e., a human bone necklace), and the skulls, which are generally to be found in every encampment, are worn by each in turn, if only for a few hours.

21. The only difference made on the occasion of the death of a chief, his wife, or one of his near relatives, is that all the men and lads of the encampment smear themselves with og-, and attend the funeral; the relations alone, however, are the mourners during the succeeding weeks or months which intervene before the ti-to-latnga-, though, as a token of respect for the deceased, and of sympathy with the mourners, other members of the tribe often abstain from some favourite article of food, and take no part in festivities during the same period.

22. If a member of another tribe happen to die while on a visit, the body would be disposed of in one of the modes I have endeavoured to describe, after which intimation would be sent to the friends of the deceased, so that they might know where to seek for the skeleton when the time for disinterment should arrive.

23. The body of an enemy, stranger, or captive child would be thrown into the sea, or buried sans ceremonie, as the bones would never be in request.

24 A sudden death is at once attributed to the malign influence of .erem-chawgala, if the deceased had been recently in the jungles, or to ju'ru-win-191 if he had been on the sea; in either case one of the male relatives of the victim, representing the feelings of the community, approaches the spot where the body [p.147] is lying, and shoots several arrows in rapid succession into the surrounding jungle, only taking care to avoid injury to the by-standers, and then, seizing a pig-spear, er-du'tga-,192 if ,e'rem-chaugala be the demon suspected, or a turtle-spear, kowai'a loko dutnga-193 if it be .juru-win who is accounted guilty, he pierces the ground all round the corpse, hoping thereby to inflict a mortal injury upon the unseen enemy; while so engaged he vents his grief and indignation in no measured terms of imprecation.

25. When a death which is attributed to .e'rem-chaugala's malignity occurs so late in the day that the burial has to be deferred till the following morning, those who are not mourners sing in turns throughout the night, in the belief that this demon will thus be deterred from doing any further harm in the encampment.

26. At death they say that .e'rem-chaugala and his sons feast upon the blood and soft tissues of all who die on land, and that their leavings, excepting of course the bones, are disposed of by worms, wen-, but ju-ru-win- is supposed to consume every portion of those who fall into his clutches.

Meeting and parting.—1. Contrary to the customs of most races, no salutations194 pass between friends, even after a more or less lengthened separation, such as rubbing noses, kissing,195 shaking hands, &c.; but on meeting they remain silently gazing at each other for, in our eyes, an absurdly long time—unless of course one or both be buried; the younger then makes some common-place remark which apparently has the effect of loosening their tongues, for they at once commence hearing and telling the news.196

2. Relatives, after an absence of a few weeks or months, testify their joy at meeting by sitting with their arms round each other's necks,197 and weeping and howling198 in a manner which would lead a stranger to suppose that some great sorrow had befallen them; and, in point of fact, there is no difference observable between their demonstrations of joy on these occasions and those of grief at the death of one of their [p.148] number. The crying chorus is started by women, but the men speedily chime in, and groups of three or four may thus be seen weeping in concert until, from sheer exhaustion, they are compelled to desist; then, if neither of the parties are in mourning, a dance is got up, in which the females not unfrequently take part, but the style of their performance differs from that of the males.199

3. A husband who is childless, and has been absent from his home for some time, on his return to the encampment visits first a blood relation (if any), and when they have wept together he goes to his own hut, not in order to shed more tears, but to see and talk to his spouse. The same remark applies to a wife similarly circumstanced. But in the case of married couples who are parents, the meeting takes place first between them; the wife hangs round her husband's neck sobbing as if her heart would break with joy at their re-union; when she is exhausted with weeping, he leaves her, and, going to one of his relations, gives vent to his pent-up feelings of happiness by bursting into tears.

4. It is usual for friends at meeting to give each other something which may happen to be in their hands at the time, and these gifts are regarded as tokens of affection.

5. Strangers introduced by mutual friends are always warmly welcomed by the whole community: they, in common with all guests, are the first attended on, the best food in the encampment is set before them, and in every way they are well treated; presents also are often given them, especially when about to take their leave.

6. "Speed the parting guest" is an axiom upon which these people invariably act: the departing visitor is accompanied by his host to the landing-place, or, at all events, some distance on his way; when bidding each other farewell the guest takes the hand of his host and blows upon it; when the compliment has been returned, the following dialogue ensues:—

Departing visitor: kam wai dol, I am off (lit,. Here indeed!).
Host: o, u'chik wai on; tain talik kach on ya'te? Very well, go; when will you come again?
Departing visitor: ngatek do ngat min ikke, I will bring away something for you one of these days.
Host: jo'bo la ngong cha'pikok! May no snake bite you!
Departing visitor: wai do er-gelepke, I will take good care of that (lit,, I will be watchful).

Afterwards they again blow upon each other's hands, and part, [p.149] shouting invitations and promises for a future date until beyond earshot.

7. When nearing home, after an unusually successful hunting or fishing expedition, the men raise a shout200 of triumph in order to apprise their friends of their good fortune, and the women take up the cry and express their delight by yelling201 and slapping their thighs; but when the encampment is entered, these sounds of rejoicing almost invariably cease for a while, and, after depositing their spoils, the hunters remain speechless for some time are recounting their adventures and exploits: for this strange practice they appear unable to account.

8. No matutinal greetings pass between friends or between husband and wife, and inquiries relating to health are unusual unless addressed to an invalid.

9. When a man is thirsty and wishes also to wash his hands, he first, if alone, stoops down and drinks from the stream, or raises the water to his lips in a leaf or vessel; then, filling his mouth with water, he squirts it over his hands, using his unkempt locks as a towel. Should any one else be present, he would pour the water over his friend's hands as well, not from his mouth, but from a leaf.

10. They do not bathe daily, but at irregular intervals, when oppressed with the heat, or when, from some cause, as, for instance, in gathering honey,201 their persons become sticky and unpleasant, and ablutions, consistently with comfort at least, cannot be dispensed with. It will be understood that these remarks apply to the eremtaga-, rather than the aryato-, who, from the nature of their pursuits, are on the whole fairly clean.202

11. During the hot weather they smear their bodies with common white clay, called og-,203 dissolved in water, and avoid, as far as they are able, any lengthened exposure to the direct rays of the sun. If compelled to leave the shelter of the jungle, they are in the habit of holding a large leaf screen, ka'pa-ja'lnga-,204 over their heads as a protection (this is also done during a shower); should they be travelling by boat they lessen the discomfort caused by excessive heat by pouring water over themselves, or by plunging overboard and swimming alongside the canoe for some part of the way.


Fire.—1. It would seem that the Andamanese, like the quondam aborigines of Tasmania, have always been ignorant of the art of producing fire.

2. The assertion205 that these tribes when first discovered, assuming that this refers to either the second or ninth century,206 were ignorant of the use of fire may or may not be correct; but if any faith can be placed in the traditions held by them on the subject, their acquaintance with it dates from no later period than the Creation!207

3. The most satisfactory conjecture as to the source whence they first obtained fire appears to me to be based on the fact of there being two islands attached to the group, one of which (Barren Island) contains an active volcano, and the other (Narcondam Island208) a now extinct one.

4. Being strangers to any method of producing a flame, they naturally display much care and skill in the measures they adopt for avoiding such inconvenience as might be caused by the extinction of their fires.

5. Both when encamped and while journeying, the means employed are at once simple and effective. When they all leave an encampment with the intention of returning in a few days, besides taking with them one or more smouldering logs, wrapped in leaves if the weather be wet, they place a large burning log or faggot in some sheltered spot, where, owing to the character and condition of the wood invariably selected on these occasions, it smoulders for several days, and can be easily rekindled when required. Decayed pieces of the Croton argiratus, and two species of Diospros,209 and a fourth, called by them char-, but not yet identified, are chiefly used as fuel. As may be inferred, all labour of splitting and chopping is saved, as it is only necessary [p.151] to beat a log of this description on a stone or other hard substance a few times before it breaks up into as small pieces as are needed.

6. In each hut that is occupied there is invariably a fire, the object of which is to keep the owner warm, to drive away insects, and to cook food, while the smoke is useful in preserving the store of provisions, which are placed about two feet above it for that purpose.210

7. Council fires, or fires burnt on special occasions, are not among their institutions; even the household fire is not held sacred, or regarded as symbolical of family ties, and no rites are connected with it; there are no superstitious beliefs in reference to its extinction or pollution, and it is never employed literally or figuratively as a means of purification from uncleanness, blood, death, or moral guilt.

8. Fires are generally kindled by fanning the embers with a frond of the Asplenium nidus (jad'tla-), and they are extinguished by pressing the burning logs against some such object as a tree, canoe, or stone.

9. Reference must here be made to the mis-statement which has found its way into several papers concerning the existence of so-called "oven-trees" among the Andamanese. The belief appears to have originated in the practice which prevails among them of taking advantage, during brief halts, of the natural shelter afforded by the peculiar formation of the roots of the Pterocarpus daihergiaides, and trees of the Ficus genus, so common in these islands, and which, extending like buttresses on all sides of the trunk, are, especially when roofed over with a light thatch such as these people are accustomed to make in a few minutes, capable of accommodating small parties suddenly overtaken by a storm, or needing a temporary resting-place: the traces of tires lighted by successive parties against these trees, and the hollows thus caused, having been noticed, the opinion was formed, and without sufficient corroborative evidence, promulgated, that they were "purposely charred," and that "great pains is taken in their preservation."211 As a matter of fact, the Andamanese no more employ oven-trees than do the gypsies in Bulgaria, alluded to by General Pitt-Rivers, F.R.S.,212 who, using constantly the same trees, have formed a semi-cylindrical chimney, which might reasonably be regarded, by one unacquainted with their habits, as an attempt to form an oven.

10. While it is the women's business to collect the wood, the duty of maintaining the fires, whether at home or while travelling [p.152] by land or sea, is not confined to them, but is undertaken by those of either sex who have most leisure or are least burdened.

11. Probably nothing introduced by us so impressed them with the extent of our power and resources as matches; that we should be able to produce fire with such ease and by such means was not unnaturally regarded as evidence of our being superhumanly gifted.

Superstitions.—1. Fire is supposed to possess the power of driving away evil spirits: when, therefore, at night they hear in imagination the approach of the dreaded .erem-chawgala,213 they throw burning logs into the jungle surrounding the encampment. Again, should any of the community have occasion to leave their huts at night, no matter how short the distance, he (or she) invariably takes some fire as a protection against any demons that may be in the vicinity; a torch is also taken if it be very dark at the time.

2. Of darkness they assert that it was instituted on account of the misconduct of two of their ancestors, as will shortly be mentioned.214

3. From fear of displeasing maia .o'gar-215 (Mr. Moon), during the first few evenings of the third quarter, when he rises after sundown, they preserve silence, cease from any work on which they may be engaged—even halting should they be travelling—and almost extinguish any light or fire which they may be burning. This is owing to the belief that he is jealous of attention being distracted to other objects than himself at such a time, or of any other light being employed than that which he has been graciously pleased to afford so abundantly. By the time the moon has ascended a few degrees, however, they restore their fires and resume their former occupations, as they consider they have then sufficiently complied with mai'a .ogar's wishes and requirements. The glowing aspect of the full moon on its first appearance above the horizon is supposed to indicate that mai'a .ogar- is enraged at finding some persons neglecting to observe these conciliatory measures; there is also an idea that, if he be greatly annoyed, he will punish them by withdrawing or diminishing the light of his countenance.

4 Regarding meteorolites they appear to possess no superstition. Shooting stars and meteors they view with apprehension, believing them to be lighted faggots hurled into the air by .erem-chaugala in order to ascertain the whereabouts of any unhappy wight in his vicinity; if, therefore, they happen to be away from [p.153] their encampment when the phenomenon occurs, they invariably secrete themselves, at the bottom of a boat, for example, if fishing, and remain silent for a short time before venturing to resume their interrupted employment.

5. Between dawn and sunrise they will do no work, save what is noiseless, lest the sun should be offended, and cause an eclipse, storm, or other misfortune to overtake them. If, therefore, they have occasion to start on a journey or hunting expedition at so early an hour, they proceed as quietly as possible, and refrain from the practice, observed at other periods of the day, of testing the strength of their bow-strings, as the snapping noise caused thereby is one of those to which the sun objects.

6. They invariably partake of a meal soon after rising, as it is believed that no luck can attend any one who starts to his day's work on an empty stomach.

7. They dare not use the wood of the tree called al'dbar- (the bark of which supplies the fibre used in making harpoon lines and turtle nets) for cooking turtle, for, as will be found elsewhere,216 this is an act so abhorrent to maia .o'gar- that he visits the offenders with summary and condign punishment.

8. In tempestuous weather the leaves of the Minusops indica are constantly thrown on the fires, as the popping sounds thus produced are thought to have the effect of assuaging Puluga's fury and causing the weather to moderate.

9. When they see a dark cloud approaching at a time when rain would prove very inconvenient, as when hunting, travelling, &c., they advise Puluga- to divert its course by shouting "Wa'ra- jo'bo kapke, koyke, koypke" [Wa'ra-jobo217 will bite, bite, bite (you)]. If in spite of this a shower falls they imagine that Puluga- is undeterred by their warning.

10. This practice of menacing Puluga- is probably that to which Colonel Symes alluded when he wrote that "they confess the influence of a malignant Being, and, during the south-west monsoon, when tempests prevail with unusual violence, they deprecate his wrath by wild choruses."

11. Storms are regarded as indications of Puluga-'s anger; winds are his breath, and are caused to be blown by his will; when it thunders Puluga- is said to be growling at something which has annoyed him; and lightning, they say, is a burning log flung by him at the object of his wrath.

12. There is an idea current that if during the first half of the rainy season they eat the Caryota sobolifera, or pluck and eat the seeds of the Entada purscetha, or gather yams or other edible [p.154] roots, another deluge would be the consequence, for Puluga- is supposed to require these for his own consumption at that period of the year; the restriction, however, does not extend to the fallen seeds of the Entada purscetha, which may be collected and eaten at any time with impunity.

13. Another of the offences visited by Puluga- with stones is the burning of beeswax,218 the smell of which is said to be peculiarly obnoxious to him. Owing to this belief it is a common practice secretly to bum wax when a person against whom they bear ill-will is engaged in fishing, hunting, or the like, the object being to spoil his sport and cause him as much discomfort as possible; hence arises the saying among them, when suddenly overtaken by a storm, that some one must be burning wax.

14. The rainbow is regarded as .e'rem-chawgala's dancing or sounding board, which is only visible at certain times; its appearance is said to betoken approaching sickness or. death to one of their number, and is, therefore, inauspicious.219

15. There are no superstitions about hills, valleys, rocks, &c., which, as stated in my last paper,220 Puluga- is believed to have formed for some purpose of his own. The formation of creeks is attributed to a fortunate accident, the account of which being connected with their traditions must be reserved for that section.221

16. They imagine earthquakes to be caused by some mischievous male spirits of their deceased ancestors, who, in their impatience at the delay in the resurrection, combine to shake the palm-tree on which they believe the earth to rest, in the hope thereby of destroying the cane bridge222 which stretches between this world and heaven, and alone maintains the former in its present position. These selfish spirits are, however, said to be careful never to indulge in such practices during the dry months, as they imagine that, in consequence of the surface of the earth being then much cracked with heat, there would be considerable risk of its tumbling about their ears and crushing them instead of toppling over in one solid mass. They are said, therefore, never to play at earthquakes except during, or shortly after, the rainy season. But for the intervention of female spirits, who do their utmost to dissuade or prevent their male companions from continued enjoyment of this dangerous pastime, they are persuaded that there would be much cause for alarm on every occurrence of an earthquake.

17. They believe that every child which is conceived has had a [p.155] prior existence, but only as an infant. If a woman who has lost a baby is again about to become a mother, the name borne by the deceased is bestowed on the foetus, in the expectation that it will prove to be the same child born again. Should it be found at birth that the babe is of the same sex as the one who died, the identity is considered to be sufficiently established, but if otherwise the deceased one is said to be under the rau- (Ficus lacafera) in .chata'n- (Hades).223

18. They have no peculiar ideas in reference to yawning, hiccoughing, spitting, or eructating, and hissing224 is unknown.

19. To sneeze is auspicious, and therefore regarded with favour. When any one sneezes the bystanders ask, "Who is thinking of you?" to which the person replies by naming some absent friend, or, should he be alone when he sneezes, he says, "Here I am at" (naming the place).

20. If they have a dream which they regard as bad, as, for instance, that a canoe was dashed on a reef, or that an accident occurred while pig-hunting, or even if, when awake, they hear two canoes bumping against each other while at anchor, they consider it essential to accept such as a warning, and act accordingly, viz., by taking steps to incur no risk of a misadventure: this is generally accomplished by remaining at home for two .or three days.

21. A small striped snake called lardba- is supposed to produce the streams of the red oxide of iron, kot'ob-chu'lnga-, and olive-coloured clay, chuingor, so much employed by them; the ground for the belief is the alleged fact that this snake, when disturbed, ejects from its tail a whitish fluid, which is of a deadly nature. They declare that the poison is such that it cannot be removed by washing or other means, and that it causes intense pain to the victim, who invariably dies within a few hours.

22. There is a small bird, not yet identified, called by them pi'chrol-, the meeting with which is looked upon as ominous of an approaching death in their midst. When a woodpecker is heard tapping on a tree he is said to be giving warning of the approach of uch-,225 so they proceed in fear and trembling until the danger is supposed to be past. The notes of the pai- and rategi- (two birds not yet identified) are regarded as a sign that there are enemies in the vicinity. When, therefore, either of these are heard, they at once retrace their steps, if they happen to be on the move, or, should they be in an encampment, they [p.156] temporarily vacate their huts and remain on the alert with their weapons ready for immediate use. The cry of another bird, called che'ra-, informs them of the approaching visit of a friend. Finally, if while travelling they hear the cawing of a crow, they say they must be near some occupied, or recently abandoned encampment. This belief is doubtless traceable to the fact that these birds are among the principal scavengers of their camping grounds.

23. It has been noticed that they will never whistle between sunset and sunrise, and the reason they give is that this sound, more than any other, attracts .e'rem-chawgala during those hours. When animals behave in an unaccountable manner, especially at night, it is said to be because they see this demon.

Religious Beliefs and Demonology.—1. I have several times mentioned the Supernatural Beings, Puluga- and, e'rem-chau'gala, and must now enter more into detail regarding the beliefs held by the Andamanese concerning these and other spirits.

2. Though no forms of worship or religious rites are to be found among them, yet are there certain beliefs regarding powers of good and evil, the Creation, and of a world beyond the grave, which show that even these savages have traditions more or less approximating the truth, but whence derived will ever remain a mystery.

3. It is extremely improbable that their legends were the result of the teaching of missionaries or others who might be supposed to have landed on their shores in by-gone years; for not only have they no tradition of any foreigners having settled in their midst and intermarried with their ancestors, or even of having so far established amicable intercourse as to be able to acquire a knowledge of any one of their languages, but our own records, so far from differing from theirs on these points, tend clearly to show that, from the earliest times till so recently as 1858, these islanders have been more or less universally regarded as cannibals, in consequence of which they were much dreaded by all navigating the adjacent seas. The persistency with which they resisted with showers of arrows all attempts to land on their shores,226 precludes the belief that any one, prior to our settlement,227 would from choice have visited these islanders in the vain hope of reclaiming them from their savage state, and in order to teach them the Biblical, Mohammedan, or other versions of the Creation, Fall, Deluge, &c.; while it may surely be [p.157] assumed that if any shipwrecked persons had ever been cast on their coast, they would, in the improbable event of their lives being spared, have left some traces of the tact, such as might be looked for among the customs, in the culture, or physical characteristics of these savages, but these are vainly to be sought in any section of the race.

4. Moreover, to regard with suspicion, as some have done, the genuineness of such legends as those in question argues ignorance of the fact that numerous other tribes,228 in equally remote or isolated localities have, when first discovered, been found to possess similar traditions on the subjects under consideration.

5. Further, on this subject as well as on all others in which there appeared any risk of falling into error, I have taken special care not only to obtain my information on each point from those who are considered by their fellow-tribesmen as authorities, but who, from having had little or no intercourse with other races, were in entire ignorance regarding any save their own legends: I have, besides, in every case, by subsequent inquiry, endeavoured to test their statements, with the trustworthiness of which I am thoroughly satisfied. I may also add that they all agree in stating that their accounts of the Creation, &c., were handed down to them by their first parent Tomo- (Adam), and his immediate descendants, while they trace all their superstitions and practices to the "days before the Flood."

6. I shall presently speak of the legends current anent the Creation, and also the Fall and Deluge: the latter will there be seen to have been, selon eux, consequent on the former.

7. In spite of their knowledge of, or belief in, a Supreme Being,229 whom they call Puluga-, they live in constant fear of certain evil spirits, whom they apprehend to be ever present, and on the watch to do them some bodily injury.

8. Of Puluga- they say that—

I. Though His appearance is like fire, yet He is (now-a-days) invisible.
II. He was never born and is immortal.
III. By him the world and all objects, animate and inanimate, were created, excepting only the powers of evil.
IV. He is regarded as omniscient while it is day, knowing even the thoughts of their hearts.
V. He is angered by the commission of certain sins,230 while to [p.158] those in pain or distress he is pitiful, and sometimes deigns to afford relief.
VI. He is the Judge from whom each soul receives its sentence after death, and, to some extent, the hope of escape from the torments of jereg-lar-muyu- (regarding which anon) is said to affect their course of action in the present life.231

9. Puluga- is believed to live in a large stone house in the sky, with a wife whom he created for himself; she is green in appearance, and has two names, chan'a aulola (Mother Fresh-water Shrimp), and chana palak- (Mother Eel); by her he has a large family, all, except the eldest, being girls; these last, known as moro-win- (sky spirits or angels), are said to be black in appearance, and, with their mother, amuse themselves from time to time by throwing fish and prawns into the streams and sea for the use of the inhabitants of the world. Puluga-'s son is called ,pij-chor-: he is regarded as a sort of archangel, and is alone permitted to live with his father, whose orders it is his duty to make known to the moro-win-.

10. Puluga- is said to eat and drink, and, during the dry months of the year, to pass much of his time in sleep, as is proved by his voice (thunder) being rarely heard at that season; he is the source whence they receive all their supplies of animals, birds, and turtles; when they anger him he comes out of his house and blows, and growls, and hurls burning faggots at them—in other words, visits their offences with violent thunderstorms and heavy squalls; except for this purpose he seldom leaves home, unless it be during the rains, when he descends to earth to provide himself with certain kinds of food; how often this happens they do not know since, now-a-days, he is invisible.

11. Puluga- never himself puts any one to death, but he objects so strongly to seeing a pig badly quartered and carved that he invariably points out those who offend him in this respect to a class of malevolent spirits called ,ch6l-, one of whom forthwith despatches the unfortunate individual.

12. Puluga- has no authority over the evil spirits, the most dreaded of which are .erem-chaugala, .ju-ru-win-, and .nila-; they are self-created, and have existed from time immemorial. The first of these, the evil spirit of the woods, has a numerous progeny by his wife chawa .badgilola, who remains at home with her daughters and younger children, while her husband and grown-up sons roam about the jungles with a lighted torch [p.159] attached to their left legs, in order that the former may injure any unhappy wights who may meet them unprotected,232 and in the dark; he generally makes his victims ill, or kills them by wounding them internally with invisible arrows,233 and, if he is successful in causing death, it is supposed that they feast upon the raw flesh234; .e'rem-chawgala, indeed, appears to be to the Andamanese much what "Arlak"235 is to the aboriginal Australian: in both cases these evil spirits are represented as afraid of light; .e'rem-chawgala is said to be also afraid of, or to avoid, the demon nila-.

13. This spirit, nila-,236 is supposed to live in ant-hills, and to have neither wife nor child; he is not regarded as such a malevolent personage as .e'rem-chawgala, and, though he is always armed with a knife, he rarely injures human beings with it, or, when he does do so, it is not in order to feed upon their bodies, for he is said to eat earth only.

14 As regards ju'ru-win-, the evil spirit of the sea, they say that he too is invisible, and lives in the sea with his wife and children, who help him to devour the bodies of those who are drowned or buried at sea; fish constitute the staple of his food, but he also occasionally, by way of variety, attacks the aborigines he finds fishing on the shores or by the creeks. The weapon he uses is a spear, and persons who are seized with cramp or any sudden illness, on returning from, or while on the water are said to have been "speared" by juru-win-. He has various submarine residences, and boats for travelling under the surface of the sea, while he carries with him a net, in which he places all the victims, human or piscine, he may succeed in capturing.

15. Besides these three chief demons, there is a company of evil spirits who are called .chau, and who are much dreaded They are believed to be descendants of mai'a .chal-,237 who lived in antediluvian times. They generally punish those who offend them by baking or roasting pig's flesh, the smell of which is particularly obnoxious to them, as it is also to Puluga-, who, therefore, often assists them in discovering the delinquent; the same risk does not attend boiling pork,238 which the olfactory nerves of the fastidious chol- are not keen enough to detect.


16. While the Andamanese say that they are liable to be struck by e'rem-chawgala or .juru-win- at any time or in any place, the chol- strike those only who offend them, and that during the day while they are stationary, this being necessitated by the distance from the earth of their abode, whence they hurl their darts: an invisible spear is the weapon they always use, and this is thrown with unerring aim at the head of their victims, and is invariably fatal. As these demons are considered especially dangerous on the hottest days, they are apparently held accountable for the deaths from sunstroke which happen from time to time.

17. The Sun, chan'a ,bo'do, is the wife of the moon, mai'a .o'gar-, and the stars, .cha'to-, which are of both sexes, are their children: the latter go to sleep during the day; the whole family have their meals near Puluga-s house, but never enter it. chan'a .bo'do' is like fire and covered with thorns, but mai'a .ogar- is white skinned, and has two long tusks239 and a big beard; their home is situated somewhere below the eastern horizon, and while the former, after setting, rests till dawn, the latter, probably in consequence of the cares of his numerous family, is obliged to keep very irregular hours. During their passage under the earth to their home, they are believed to afford the blessing of light to the unfortunate spirits in Hades, and also, while sleeping, to shed a "dim religious light" over that region: it is by Puluga-'s command that the celestial bodies, while crossing the sky, bestow their light

18. The phenomena of the waning and waxing of the moon is explained by saying that they are occasioned by "his" applying a coating of cloud to his person by degrees, after the manner of their own use of koiob- and ta'la-ag-,240 and then gradually wiping it off.241

19. Reference has already been made to their superstition regarding the cause of a lunar eclipse, but in case maia .o'gar- should be so ill-advised as permanently to withhold his light or render himself in other ways still more disagreeable, whenever the moon is eclipsed some persons at once seize their bows and twang them as rapidly as possible, thereby producing a rattling sound as if discharging a large number of arrows, while others commence at once sharpening their ra'ta-.242 Of course this hostile demonstration is never lost upon the moon, who does not venture to hurt those who show themselves ready [p.161] to give make so uncomfortable a reception. Their immunity from harm on these occasions has given rise to some joking at the expense of the luminary in question, for, during the continuance of the eclipse, they shout in inviting tones to the hidden orb as follows:—,o'gar-, la den balak ban le'be ngido'ati! do'ati! doati!243 (O moon, I will give you the seed of the balak! show yourself! appear! appear!)

20. This seems to explain the custom which Colonel Symes describes as adoration to the sun and moon, for, as has been stated, no traces of worship or forms of religion, in the common acceptation of the term, exist among these tribes.

21. A solar eclipse alarms them too much to allow of their indulging in jests or threats, &c.: during the time it lasts they all remain silent and motionless, as if in momentary expectation of some calamity.

22. The world, exclusive of the sea, is declared to be flat and to rest on an immense palm-tree (Caryota sobolifera) called ba'rata-, which stands in the midst of a jungle comprising the whole area under the earth. This jungle, .cha'itan- (Hades), is a gloomy place, for, though visited in turn by the sun and moon, it can, in consequence of its situation, be only partially lighted: it is hither the spirits (chdwga-) of the departed are sent by Puluga- to await the Resurrection.

23. No change takes place in cha'itan- in respect to growth or age; all remain as they were at the time of their departure from the earth, and the adults are represented as engaged in hunting, after a manner peculiar to disembodied spirits. In order to furnish them with sport the spirits of animals and birds are also sent to .cha'ita'n-, but as there is no sea there, the chawga- of fish and turtle remain in their native element and are preyed upon by .juruwin-. The spirits (chawga-) and souls (ot-yo'lo) of all children who die before they cease to be entirely dependent on their parents (i.e., under six years of age) go to .cha'ita'n-, and are placed under a rau-tree244 (Ficis laccifera) on the fruit of which they subsist. As none can quit cha'itan- who have once entered, they support their stories regarding it by a tradition that in ages long past an okopaiad-245 was favoured in a dream with a vision of the regions and of the pursuits of the disembodied spirits.

24. Some of their legends, as will be seen elsewhere,246 appear to bear out the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, as [p.162] certain of their ancestors (,ta'mola) are stated to have vanished from earth in the form of various kinds of animals and fish. The spirits of those not thus transformed, although in Hades are believed occasionally to assist them in performing tasks of unusual difficulty; and it is thought that all the departed are to some extent conscious of what transpires in the world they once inhabited, and are able to promote the welfare of those who bear them in mind.247

25. Between the earth and the eastern sky there stretches an invisible cane bridge (plaga'lar'chaga-) which steadies the former and connects it with jer'eg- (paradise); over this bridge the souls (ot-yolo) of the departed248 pass into paradise, or to .jereg'lar-mu'gur, which is situated below it: this latter place might be described as purgatory, for it is a place of punishment for those who have been guilty of heinous sins, such as murder. Like Dante, they depict it as very cold, and therefore a most undesirable region for mortals to inhabit. From all this it will be gathered that these despised savages believe in a future state, in the resurrection, and in the threefold constitution of man.

26. In serious illness the sufferer's spirit (chauga-) is said to be hovering between this world and Hades,249 but does not remain permanently in the latter place until some time after death, during which interval it haunts the abode of the deceased and the spot where the remains have been deposited.250 In dreams it is the soul which, having taken its departure through the nostrils, sees or is engaged in the manner represented to the sleeper.

27. The Andamanese do not regard their shadows251 but their reflections (in any mirror) as their souls. The colour of the soul is said to be red, and that of the spirit black, and, though invisible to human eyes,252 they partake of the form of the person to whom they belong. Evil emanates from the soul, and all good from the spirit; at the resurrection they will be re-united and live permanently on the new earth, for the souls of the wicked will then have been reformed by the punishments inflicted on them during their residence in .ereg-lar'mu'gu-.

28. The future life will be but a repetition of the present, but all will then remain in the prime of life, sickness and death will be unknown, and there will be no more marrying or giving in [p.163] marriage. The animals, birds, and fish will also re-appear in the new world in their present form.

29. This blissful state will be inaugurated by a great earthquake,253 which, occurring by Puluga-s command, will break the pi'dga-lar-chaga' and cause the earth to turn over: all alive at the time will perish, exchanging places with their deceased ancestors.254

30. There is no trace to be found of the worship of trees, stones, or other objects, and it is a mistake to suppose255 that they adore or invoke the celestial bodies. There is no salutation, dance, or festival of any kind held in honour of the new moon: its appearance does not evoke anything more than an exclamation such as yelo! .o'gar lolad'atire. (Hurrah! there's the moon.)

Mythology.—1. In other sections mention has been made of Puluga-, the Creator of all, and it has also been stated that no reason is given for the formation of the earth's surface, except that it was according to His will, and the same hypothesis is held to account for the varying seasons.

2. Until recent years it was supposed256 that the Andamanese were without traditions, and had no idea of their own origin, but since we have been enabled to become better acquainted with them it has been ascertained that such is not the case. While I have been extremely careful as to the source whence I obtained my information, I would at the same time mention that much that is found under these last headings has been obtained from the older and more intelligent members of distant communities, and is probably little, if at all, known to many of the rising generation in our immediate vicinity.

3. Certain mythic legends are related to the young by oto-paiad-s257 parents and others, which refer to the supposed adventures or history of remote ancestors, and, though the recital not unfrequently evokes much mirth, they are none the less accepted as veracious. The personages figuring in these tales are believed to be real and historical, but, beyond the fact of a very general acceptance and agreement of the traditions respecting them, no satisfactory traces are to be found of their existence except in the lively imaginations of their descendants.

4. There are a few discrepancies in their accounts of the [p.164] creation and origin of the human species, but in the main features all are agreed. The following tradition appears to be the most generally received, and, as far as possible, it is given in the words in which it was first taken down:—

5. In the beginning, after the world had been made, Puluga- created a man whose name was .tomo-258; he was black, like the present inhabitants, but much taller and bearded. Puluga- showed him the various fruit-trees in the jungle, which then existed only at wotaem'i-259 (the "Garden of Eden"), and, in doing so, told him not to partake of certain of them during the rains: he then taught him how to obtain and use fire; this he did by first stacking in alternate layers two varieties of wood known as char- and her-, and then bidding chana .bodo- (Mother Sun) to come and sit on or near the pile until she had ignited it, after which she returned to her place in the sky. .to'mo- was then taught how to cook pigs, which were easily caught, as they had in those days neither ears nor noses.

6. Another version relates that Puluga- came with a spirit or angel called lach'i260 punga a'blola to instruct .tomo-, who, at his direction, prepared a pyre and then struck it, on which the fire was kindled, and .punga A'blola proceeded to teach him how to cook food.

7. About the origin of the first woman, whose name was chan'a elewadi, there is a diversity of belief: according to some, Puluga- created her after he had taught .tomo- how to sustain life; others say that .tomo saw her swimming near his home and called to her, whereupon she landed and lived with him; while a third story represents her as coming pregnant to Kyd Island, where she gave birth to several male and female children, who subsequently became the progenitors of the present race.

8. These legends ascribe the name .tomola to all the descendants of their first parents until the period of the Deluge. tomo- had two sons and two daughters by chan'a .e'lewadi; the names of the former were birola and bo'rola, and of the latter riela and chormila.

9. As time went on, the pigs multiplied to such an extent that they became a nuisance, so, with woman's ready wit, chan'a .e'lewadi drilled holes in their heads and snouts, thereby giving them the powers of hearing and smelling, and enabling them to avoid danger and procure food for themselves. Puluga- then covered the whole land with jungle, into which the pigs [p.165] wandered in various directions.261 But this change was found to have its disadvantages, as it became next to impossible to catch the now wily sun. Puluga-, however, again came to the rescue, and taught .to'mo- how to construct bows and arrows, and to hunt, after which he taught him to manufacture canoes and harpoons, and to fish. On a subsequent visit262 he instructed chan'a .elewadi in the art of basket and net-making, and in the use of red-ochre (koi'ob-) and white clay263 (ta-la-ag-), and thus by degrees he imparted to their first parents a knowledge of the various arts which have ever since been practised among them.

10. .to'mo and .elewadi were also told that, though they were to work in the wet months, they must not do so after sundown, because by doing so they would worry the bu'tu-,264 which are under Puluga-'s special protection. Any noise, such as working (ko'pke) with an adze, would cause the butu-'s heads to ache, and that would be a serious matter. During the cold and dry seasons work may be carried on day and night, as the butu- is then seldom seen, and cannot be disturbed.

11. As soon as the first couple were united Puluga- gave them the .bo'jig-ya'b- dialect, which is the language spoken to this day, according to their belief, by the tribe inhabiting the south and south-eastern portion of middle Andaman, in which district .wotaem'i- is situated. It is, therefore, regarded as the mother tongue, from which the dialects of the various other tribes have sprung.

12. The canoes used in those days are said to have had no outriggers, and were made by scooping out the trunk of the Pandunus, which is believed to have been much larger than it is now-a-days, and well adapted for the purpose.

13. The formation of creeks is attributed to a fortunate accident: it happened that one day .to'mo- harpooned a large fish, called karo-ngid'i-chau, which had a projecting snout wherewith it lashed the shore in its frantic efforts to escape; so violent were the blows that the land was broken each time they fell, a result which proved of great benefit and service to the redoubtable harpooner and his descendants.

14 .tomo- lived to a great age, but even before his death his offspring became so numerous that their home could no longer accommodate them. At Puluga-'s bidding they were furnished with all necessary weapons, implements, and fire, and then [p.166] scattered in pairs all over the country. When this exodus occurred Puluga- provided each party with a distinct dialect.265

15. After the dispersion of the surplus members of his family, .tomo, one day while hunting, fell into a creek called .yavartig-jig-, and was drowned. He was at once transformed into a cachalot (lira-diku-), and from him have sprung all the cetaceans of this class.266 chan'a .elewadi, ignorant of the accident that had befallen her husband, went in a canoe with some of her grandchildren to ascertain the cause of his continued absence; on seeing them, karaduku- upset their skiff, and drowned his wife and most of her companions. She became a small crab, of a description still named after her, .elewadi-, and the others were transformed into iguanas.267

16. Consequent on the disappearance of .to'mo- and his wife, the duties of headship over the community at .wotaemi- devolved upon one of their grandchildren, named kolwo't-, who was distinguished by being the first to spear and catch turtles. The .to'mola remained on the islands long after .tomo's transformation, but after kolwo't-s death, according to one legend, they grew disobedient, and as Puluga- cease to visit them, became more and more remiss in their observance of the commands given at the Creation. At last Puluga-s anger burst forth, and, without any warning, he sent a great flood which covered the whole land,268 and destroyed all living. Four persons (two men, .loralola and .po'ilola, and two women, .kalola and .timalola), who happened to be in a canoe when the catastrophe occurred, were able to effect an escape. When the waters subsided, they found themselves near .wotaemi-, where they landed and discovered that every living thing on earth had perished; but Puluga- re-created the animals, birds, &c. In spite of this, however, they suffered severely, in consequence of all their lives having been extinguished, and they could devise [p.167] no means of repairing their loss. At this juncture one of their recently deceased friends appeared in their midst in the form of a bird named .lu'ratut-269 Seeing their distress he flew up to mo'ro-, the sky, where he discovered Puluga- seated beside his fire; he thereupon seized270 and attempted to carry away in his beak a burning log, but the heat or weight, or both, rendered the task impossible, and the blazing brand fell on Puluga-, who, incensed with pain, hurled it at the intruder; happily for those concerned, the missile missed its mark and fell near the very spot where the four survivors were deploring their condition. As .luratut- alighted in their midst at the same moment, he gained the full credit of having removed the chief cause of their distress.271

17. Being relieved from anxiety as to their means of subsistence, lorola and his companions began to entertain sentiments of anger and resentment against Puluga- for his wholesale destruction of their friends, and, accordingly, when they met him one day at tolo-kotimi-, they determined to kill him, but were deterred from their purpose by Puluga- himself, for he assured them that, whereas he was as hard as wood and could not be injured by their arrows, any attempt they might venture to make on his life would cause him to destroy them all. Having reduced them to submission by these assurances, Puluga- explained that they had brought the Deluge upon themselves through their wilful disobedience of the strict injunctions he had laid down, and which had always been observed by their forefathers, and he intimated that a repetition of their transgressions would inevitably lead to their utter destruction.

18. This is said to be the last occasion on which Puluga- rendered himself visible, or held any communication with them, but the warning he then gave them has not been forgotten, and the islanders are to this day strict in their observance of his commands.

19. Another legend regarding the origin of the Deluge states that one day, at the commencement of the rainy season, a tomola named be'rebi- came to visit kolwo't-s mother, chan'a .e'rep-, with the express intention of seeing her son, of whom he [p.168] was extremely jealous. When he appeared, berebi- treacherously bit him in the arm, but his teeth became fixed in the flesh and he was therefore unable to detach himself from his victim, whose friends promptly avenged his murder, and disposed of the corpses by throwing them into the sea.272 The bereaved mother, in her rage, grief, and despair, committed various acts, against which .tomo- had been warned by Puluga-, and while so doing incited others to follow her example by the following words:—

ē,ē,ē, dia ra-an'mul lab dala,
ē,ē,ē, ngul ka'ja pij pu'gathen,
ē,ē,ē, ngul choakan td'aiken,
ē,ē,ē, ngul bod'rato a'ka-kola'ken,
ē,ē,ē, ngul go'no bo'angken,
ē,ē,ē, ngul tong chodra baangken,
ē,ē,ē, ngig a'rlot pu'laijohen.

The translation of which is:—

"ē,ē,ē,273 (sobbing)—My grown-up handsome son,
    Burn the wax,274
    Grind the seed of the chd'han-275
    Destroy the ba'raia-,276
    Dig up the go'no',277
    Dig up the cha-tir,
    Destroy everything."

Thereupon Puluga- was exceeding wroth, and sent the flood which destroyed all living things with the exception of two men and two women.

20. This tradition is preserved in the following lines:—

Keledoat ibd'i lar cha'ra,
Ra-gu'ravl abgorka en igbod'di,
Ra-gu'mul le lig'a ko'amga,
Ra-gu^mvl abgarka.
Toa'lo a'rbo eb ad'kan choarpo.

The meaning of which is:—

"Bring the boat to the beach
I will see your fine grown-up son,


The grown-up son who threw the youths (into the sea),278
The fine grown-up son,
My adze is rusty, I will stain my lips with his blood."

21. In this, as in all their songs and chants, a good deal is left to the imagination, but from the explanations which have been given by the aborigines, the following appears to afford some light on the subject:—berebi, being jealous of the renown kolwo't- had won for himself by his numerous accomplishments and great strength, took advantage of meeting him and his mother one day on the water to ask them to let him enter their boat. On their complying with his request, he provided himself with a rusty adze and a hone, and joined them; approaching near to kolwo't', he put down the adze and bone, remarking on the rusty condition of the former; then taking kolwot- by the arm he sniffed it from the wrist to the shoulder, as if admiring the development of the muscles; while doing so he muttered the threat of staining his lips with blood, which he shortly after fulfilled in the manner already described.

22. lach'i279 .loralola, the chief of the survivors from the Deluge, gave, at his death, the name of .chauga-ta'banga-280 to their descendants. When, for the second time in their history, their numbers had increased to so great an extent that it became impossible for them to remain together in one spot, an exodus, similar to the first, took place; each party, being furnished with fire and every other essential, started in a different direction, and on settling down adopted a new and distinct dialect. They each received a tribal name, and from them have sprung the various tribes still existing on the islands.

23. The .chauga-ta'banga- are described as fine tall men with large beards, and they are said to have been long-lived,281 but, in other respects and in their mode of living they did not differ from the present inhabitants. The name seems to have been borne till comparatively recent times, as a few still living are said to remember having seen the last of the so-called .chauga-ta'banga-.

24. After the Flood the Pandanus was found to have deteriorated so greatly as to be unfit for its former uses; their canoes were consequently thenceforth made by scooping the trunks of the Sterculia villosa, and other trees of a similar description.282

25. The story regarding certain ,tomola, who failed to [p.170] observe the rules laid down for neophytes, states that, on the day after they broke their fast of reg-jvri-283 (kidney fat of pig), they left the encampment without giving notice of their intention to their friends, and the result was that, when they were missed and searched for, it was found they had gone to the shore to fish, and had there met a sad fate; the body of one was discovered adhering to a large boulder, and turned into stone, while the other, likewise in a state of petrifaction, was standing erect beside it.

26. maia .duku-, who appears to be identical with .tomo-284 is said to have been the first to tattoo himself. One day, while out on a fishing expedition, he shot an arrow; missing its object it struck a hard substance which proved to be a piece of iron, the first ever found. With it duku- made an arrow-head and tattooed himself, after which he sang this ditty:—

"Tong ma lir pi'renga? tong yitiken! tong yi'tiken!
tong ma lir pi'renga? tong yi'tiken!"

the interpretation of which is "What can now strike me? I am tattooed! I am tattooed!" &c. (Da capo).

27. It would seem that after the Deluge they had to feel their way again to the necessary arts and manufactures in which Puluga- had vouchsafed to instruct their first parents:285 especially is this declared to be the case with the pigments used in painting their bodies, one of which, viz.: ta'ta-og-,286 is said to have been accidentally re-discovered by a to'mola female, named chom'a .chatid-, while she was engaged in searching for the much-relished edible root known as go'no-; another woman, chan'a ,te'liu, is credited with finding, about the same time, kbi'ob-chu'lnga-.287 Like true daughters of Eve they were not long at a loss in turning their knowledge to some (?) profitable account.

28. Another of their antediluvian ancestors was famous for propagating yams. This was mai'a bumroag-, who, in shooting an arrow, struck the creeper belonging to the favourite variety called gono-; his curiosity being excited he dug up the root, and tasted it: the result being satisfactory, he informed his friends of his discovery, and they all feasted upon it; when they had had sufficient, he scattered the remains in different directions; this [p.171] apparent waste so angered his mother that, on pretence of shaving him, she split his head open with a flint. After his death it was found that the act for which he suffered had tended to the spread of the plant which is now plentiful.

29. To explain the origin of certain fish, they say that one day before the deluge, mai'a kolwo't- went to visit an encampment of the .tomola situated in the Archipelago. While engaged in his song,288 the women, through inattention to his instructions, marred the effect of the chorus, so, to punish them, he seized his bow, whereupon the whole party in terror fled in all directions; some escaping into the sea were changed into dugongs, porpoises, sharks, and various other fish which till then had not been seen.289

30. Only two geological legends have hitherto been discovered: the one refers to a large block of sandstone lying at .wotaem'i-, and the other relates to two boulders of elephantine proportions, situated within a mile of the same place, which convey the idea that they once formed part of a narrow neck of land which jutted out into the sea, but which has been gradually demolished by storms and by the action of the waves. The belief current regarding the first is that the deep incisions visible on its surface are hieroglyphics inscribed by .to'mo, the first man, giving a history of the Creation, which event, as already mentioned, is believed by all the tribes of our acquaintance to have occurred at this very spot .wotaemi-. The art of deciphering the supposed record has, it is said, been lost for many ages, and no attempt is made to assign a specific meaning to any of the marks which form the mythical inscription. Many of the legends regarding their ancestors picture the scene of their exploits at .wotaem'i-; hence the special interest of the spot to all the tribes of Middle and South Andaman and the Archipelago. In regard to the two boulders, tradition declares that one day, in the years before the Deluge, maia du'ku- and some of his friends, seeing two animals swimming near the shore, shouted to them, whereupon they came out of the water and showed themselves to be two enormous creatures such as had never before been seen or dreamt of by [p.172] the .tomola, who were so terrified that they fled precipitately; .du'ku- with difficulty escaped, but a few of his companions were less fortunate, being captured and devoured by these monsters, who are known by the name of u'chu-. Consternation filled the minds of the scanty population then inhabiting the "world," when their deliverance was unexpectedly and speedily effected by the uchu-, who, in attempting to ford the shallow water near .wotaem'i-, stuck fast in the deep mud, and, being unable to extricate themselves, met a lingering death.290

31. The manner in which the world was illuminated at the beginning is not clearly to be ascertained from their legends, for one story states that the sun and moon were subsequently created at .tomo's request, as he found that, under the then existing circumstances, it was impossible to catch fish by night or to hunt by day; while, in direct disagreement with this, another story tells us that night was a punishment brought upon mankind by certain individuals who angered Puluga- by killing a caterpillar. The tale informs us that the sun, one day, burned so fiercely as to cause great distress. Two women named chana limi- and chana .jara-ngud-, became exceedingly irritable, and while in this unhappy frame of mind they discovered a caterpillar (gurug-), and a certain plant called u'tura-. By way of venting their spleen, one crushed the hapless grub, and the other destroyed the plant. These wanton acts so displeased Puluga- that he determined to punish them, and to teach them to appreciate the privilege of daylight, which they had hitherto uninterruptedly enjoyed. He accordingly visited the earth with a long-continued darkness, which caused every one much inconvenience and distress. At last their chief, maia kolwo't-, to whom reference has already been made, hit upon a happy expedient of inducing Puluga- to restore the former state of things by trying to assure him that they were quite unconcerned, and could enjoy themselves in spite of light being withheld from them. To accomplish this, he invented the custom of dancing and singing, the result of which was that Puluga-, finding that they had frustrated his intention, granted, as a first concession, alternate periods of day and night, and subsequently, moved by the difficulties often occasioned by the latter, created the moon to mitigate their troubles. It is in this way that they account for the fact of the same word being used to denote a caterpillar and night.

32. With regard to the at'oba-, which tree they value greatly, in consequence of the fibre produced from its bark being [p.173] used in the manufacture of their turtle-harpoon lines, nets, &c, it is said that Puluga- commanded .tomo never to make use of it as fuel when cooking a turtle, though he might burn it when pigs or other animals were being prepared for food; a warning was also given him that a severe punishment would follow disobedience in this particular, for the males found transgressing would have their throats cut, while the females would be deprived of their breasts; if the offence were committed by day, the carrying out of the sentence rested with chan'a .bo'do-, or, if by night, with mai'a .a'gar-. On one occasion, at night, shortly before the Deluge (when the .tomola appear to have been a very depraved set), they were guilty, among other enormities, of disregarding this injunction, whereupon maia .diar- descended and inflicted the threatened penalty.

33. The legend regarding the origin of the evil spirits known as .chol- is as follows:—Their ancestor, maia chol-, one day stole a pig which had just been captured by maia kol'wot-, and climbed up into a gurjon-tree with his prize. Now mai'a ko'lwo't' was remarkable for his great strength, and being enraged, determined to revenge himself; he thereupon planted a number of spikes all round the tree in which the thief had taken refuge, and then proceeded to force it into the ground. On finding that, if he remained where he was, he must inevitably be buried alive, mai'a chol- sprang off the tree, and thereby met a more terrible fate, for he was impaled on the spikes, and perished miserably. His disembodied spirit did not pass to .cha'itan- (Hades), but took up its abode on the invisible bridge, where, by Puluga-s orders, numbers of his descendants were afterwards sent to join him, in the form of black birds with long tails.

34. Another curious fable is told to account for a drought from which their early ancestors suffered: it relates that once upon a time, in the dry season, a woodpecker discovered a black honeycomb in the hollow of a tree; while regaling himself on this dainty he observed a toad eyeing him wistfully from below, so he invited him to join the feast; the toad gladly accepted, whereupon the woodpecker lowered a creeper, giving instructions to his guest to fasten his bucket (dd'haT-291) thereto, and then to seat himself in it, so that he might be drawn up. The toad complied with the directions, and the woodpecker proceeded to haul him up; but just when he had brought him near the comb he mischievously let go the creeper, and his confiding and expectant guest experienced an unpleasant fall The trick so exasperated him [p.174] that he at once repaired to the streams far and near in the island and drained them, the result of which was that great distress was occasioned to all the birds, as well as to the rest of the animate creation. The success of his revenge so delighted the toad that, to show his satisfaction, and to add to the annoyance of his enemies, he thoughtlessly began to dance, whereupon all the water flowed from him, and the drought soon terminated.292

Explanation of Plates VIII and IX.

Plate VIII.

Fig. 1.—Male and female adults, showing profiles, together with the mode of wearing the bone, wooden, and other necklaces, &c., and the character of the ordinary tattooing marks on trunk and limbs.

Fig. 2.—The late Chief of Rutland Island (maia, alias "munshi" bi'ela), who died in April, 1877. To the very last he proved most useful to us in recapturing runaway convicts, and in exerting his influence on our behalf with his countrymen, whenever called upon to do so.

Plate IX.

Fig. 1.—Five youths equipped for a journey: commencing at the left; No. 1 is carrying a bucket (dakar-), holding a pig-arrow (e'la laka lu'pa-) and wearing a garter (ta-changa-), Dentalium octogonum waistbelt (garen-pe'ta-), and Pandanus leaf head-dress or chaplet (ij'i-ga'nga-). Near his feet is lying a bundle consisting of food, wrapped in large leaves; near No. 5, who is holding a pig-spear (er-du'tnga-), and carrying a nautilus-shell cup (ornamentally painted) in his hand, and a bundle on his back, is a cooking pot (buji-) in its wicker-work cover (ra'mata'). A sleeping mat (parepa-) is suspended behind the two centred figures who, with No. 2, are holding bows (kar'ama-) and pig-arrows (e'la-). No. 1 is a member of the .oko-juwai tribe, Nos. 2, 3, and 4 belong to the .o'ka'bojig-ya'b-, and No. 5 to the .bal'aiua- tribe. (Vide Plate VI).

Fig. 2.—The same five individuals in front of a chang-ta'ranga- (hut). The recumbent figure shows the ordinary posture [p.175] in deep. Those above him are shooting and dancing respectively, and the two on the right who are in mourning attire, represent the attitude of relatives on meeting and weeping together after a more or less lengthened separation. The first three mentioned are ornamentally painted. Just above the heads of the two figures on the right is the small grating called chapa il ta'ga- (or yat leb ta'ga-), on which spare food is preserved above the fire. The various implements and utensils in ordinary use are also shown, e.g., bows, arrows, pig-spear, bucket, basket cooking-pot, hand-net, sleeping-mat, &c.


On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands

(Part III.)

By E H. Man, Esq., F.R.G.S., &c.

(With Appendices A to M).

On former occasions we have considered at some length the physical and mental peculiarities of the Andamanese, and have discussed their various beliefs, traditions, superstitions, and customs. This evening I propose to follow them into their daily life, and to tell you of the occupations, amusements, manufactures, &c., in which they are ordinarily engaged.

Social Relations, Education, and Infanticide.—1. Although it is true that the performance of most of the domestic duties falls to the lot of the women and children, it would be a great mistake to suppose that any compulsion is used by the head of the family; he usually leads quite as active a life as any of the females, and often shares certain of their labours, when necessity arises in consequence of sickness or other cause. As I have already stated,293 it is quite incorrect to say of these savages that with them "marriage is nothing more than taking a female slave," for one of the most striking features of their social relations is the marked equality and affection which subsists between husband and wife;294 careful observations extending over many years prove that not only is the husband's authority more or less nominal, but that it is not at all an uncommon occurrence for Andamanese Benedicts to be considerably at the beck and call of their better halves: in short, the consideration and respect with which women are treated might with advantage be emulated by certain classes in our own land.

2. The duties of the husband,—varying in the case of his being an eremtaga- or an aryato-,—consist chiefly in hunting, fishing, turtling, collecting honey, &c., constructing canoes, building the better kinds of huts,295 and manufacturing the bows, arrows, and other implements needed in his various pursuits; he must also assist his wife in looking after the children, in keeping up the fire, and in providing the materials [p.328] required in making their various weapons, utensils, &c.; but though he has no hesitation in sharing and lightening his wife's labours up to this point, it is only in cases of stern necessity that he will condescend to procure either wood or water for the family requirements; the supply of these essentials of daily life being considered as peculiarly feminine duties and derogatory to the lords of creation.

3. Every woman is supposed to be a proficient in shaving,296 tattooing,297 and scarifying; she has also to prepare the ali'c-, ta'la-og-, and ka'ngata-buj-,298 which are needed on so many occasions. The erection of the chang-darangor-299 and the manufacture of personal ornaments,300 and various other objects in constant use,301 is also confined to the fair (!) sex, and when to these are added their daily duties of procuring certain kinds of food, cooking and providing the water and fuel required for the family, it will be seen that the Andamanese materfamilias—who has not several children old enough to give her material assistance—has her time fully employed, or at least sufficiently so to prevent her getting into much mischief.

4. It is the duty of those men and women who remain at home to attend to the sick, infants, and others who are in a dependent position, to look after the fires in the various huts, and, of course if needs be, to protect the property of absentees: for all those who are not physically incapable are supposed to employ themselves in some way, either for their own benefit or that of the community to which they belong.

5. It is customary for every family to maintain a supply of provisions in excess of its own requirements for the use of friends who may chance to visit the encampment; but in the storage of their food—owing probably to the ease with which it is generally procured—much is often wasted which might without difficulty be preserved. The seeds of the Artocarpus chaplasha, and of a species of Semecarpus, are alone kept for any length of time. The manner in which this is effected will be described in the section treating of "Food.''302

6. Migrations and other events affecting the movements of a whole community are arranged by the chief and elders; women in such matters are not consulted, though while on the march [p.329] they who are expected to carry the heaviest loads: this arises from no want of consideration for the weaker vessel, but simply because, if unnecessarily encumbered, the men would be unable to shoot or pursue any animal which might cross their path.

7. Such training as the children receive is undertaken by their parents or guardians; in the case of boys it consists merely in providing them with miniature weapons suitable to their age, and instructing them in their use: as they advance in years they accompany the men in their hunting and fishing expeditions, and, being by nature intelligent and emulous, they speedily acquire sufficient skill to enable then to afford material assistance to their elders.

8. The girls, similarly, are taught by their mothers, or other female guardians, how to fulfil the various duties which are regarded as essentially pertaining to their sex, and which I have described in the foregoing.

9. It seems hardly necessary to add that the unnatural custom of infanticide is unknown to the Andamanese,303 and though the mortality among infants is excessive,304 it is traceable to no want of affection, but to the injudicious treatment and lavish attentions bestowed upon the little ones by their ignorant though well-intentioned elders.305

10. For the better security of their babies, when travelling, women are in the habit of hanging round their necks a string the ends of which have been previously fastened to the infant's wrists; the child being then placed in a chvp-306 cannot by any accident meet with a serious fall.

Attire.—1. Madame de Stael speaks of certain children being "vetu du climat:" the same expressive remark may be applied to the Andamanese, for no clothing, as we understand the word, is worn by either sex; there are, however, certain so-called ornamental circlets, garters, bracelets, cinctures, and necklaces of bones,307 wood, or shell, which are its substitute308 and serve to [p.330] remove in some measure the impression that they are naked;309 these appendages are not worn as symbols of rank or (if we except the rogun-) of status, and their manufacture devolves always upon the females of the community.

2. When fully attired310 the men are seen with peculiar shredded bunches of Pandanus leaves attached to their knees and wrists (termed ta-cha-nga- and tagchcha-nga-), and a folded Pandanus leaf round their heads (called ij'i-ga'nga-311), which, as well as the belt (bod-'312) is common to both sexes; if, however, they (i.e. the men) were denuded of one and all, they would be in no way distressed, and in point of fact, often, as while hunting, when perfect freedom of action is needed, they strip themselves of all except the bod-, or other still lighter cincture, in which are inserted any portable objects, such as arrows and knives, that might be required at a moment's notice during the chase.

3. It is otherwise with women, who never313 appear without an datrnga-,314 or small apron of leaves, which is kept in position by the lowest bod-; while men are usually content with one bod- women almost invariably wear four or five, and have been seen with as many as eight round their waists: in addition to the o'binga- and sort-s married women315 wear the rogun-.

4. It seems probable that Colonel Colebrooke's remarks on the want of decency shown by the Andamanese women referred to the .ye'rewa-316 or to the tribe we now know as .jarawor317 for they alone answer to his description in going about perfectly nude: all my experience tends to prove that the females of the tribes of South Andaman are strikingly modest; indeed so particular are they [p.331] in this respect, that they will not remove or replace their o'bimga-318 in the presence of any person, even though of their own sex.319

Tattooing.—1. With regard to the practice of tattooing320—so general among the eight tribes321 of Great Andaman, and which, as Peschel remarks, "is only another substitute for raiment,"—it has been erroneously asserted that its object is to ''harden the skin against the stings of mosquitoes, sand flies, &c., and also for jungle travelling;" but so far from any such benefit being derived therefrom the aborigines aver that the skin becomes more sensitive after undergoing the ordeal, which is considered, primarily, as ornamental, and secondly, as proving the courage of the individual, and his (or her) power of enduring pain.

2. There are no special ceremonies connected with the operation, which, except in the northern tribes, is almost invariably performed by women, who, however, receive no remuneration, but rest satisfied with the honour of being considered competent to fulfil the task; all the sex are not equally skilled, and therefore, those who have gained distinction by former successes are, it may be said, the recognised practitioners, though no special status, or profit, in a material sense, is gained thereby.

3. Very few children322 of either sex are allowed to remain untattooed after about the eighth year, and the final operation is often not attempted until the sixteenth or eighteenth year, the process being carried on gradually during the intervening period.323

4 The instrument used on these occasions is a flake of quartz, or, now-a-days, glass,324 which is not "inserted in a stick," but held between the forefinger and thumb; the markings are found chiefly on the back, shoulders, nape of the neck, chest, [p.332] sides, abdomen, and also on the upper part of the feet and back of the hands.

5. Cicatrices are often observed on the persons of both sexes, but these are due to scarification (tu'pke-325) or some accidental circumstance whereby the cut has been obliterated, or has failed to heal in the same manner as the others forming the design.326

6. The a'kar-, cha'riar-, a'kar-jar'o-, a'ka-kede-327 are most given to tattooing their persons, and may be specially distinguished by three rows of cuts down the back and chest: these latter marks are ordinarily much fainter than the former. Though women do the greater part of this work, the three lines down the back are almost exclusively made by some male friend with the ela-,328 or pig arrow; except the three lines in front, the women of these tribes have no special marks, but are covered, like the females of South Andaman, with small raised cuts, which are inflicted by their own sex, with the ordinary glass or quartz flake, and not with the ela-.

7. The AkA-kol- differ from the four tribes just mentioned, only in that they omit the centre row of the three down the back.

8. The .bojig-ngi'ji-, bojig-yab-, and balawar- are covered with plain tattooing consisting merely of perpendicular and horizontal incisions all over329 the person, thus:

— — — | | | | — — —
— — — | | | | — — —
— — — | | | | — — —
— — — | | | | — — —
— — — | | | | — — —
    — — — | | | | — — —

9. There is no distinction made in the mode of tattooing a chiefs child and the other children of the tribe; the marks have no special significance, being merely regarded as ornamental; [p.333] no coloured pigments or other preparations are rubbed into the wounds, which are left to heal of themselves: before leaving this subject I would mention that the face is never tattooed.

Painting.—1. Besides the permanent tattooing decorations, these savages employ three kinds of pigments for the further adornment of their dusky persons; and from the mode of their application it can be at once ascertained whether the individual be sick, or sorry, or whether he has taken, or is about to take, part in a merry-making.

2. No distinction with regard to rank or sex is made in the designs executed, yet, though these are not very numerous, no two persons are ordinarily painted exactly in the same way, as the pattern traced may be in one case on the chest, in another on the arm, in a third on the face, and so on; a temporary restriction is, however, laid upon the unmarried, who are not permitted to use the paint to their necks, either by way of ornament, or to relieve their pains.331

3. We have seen that according to their traditions332 this was one of the arts in which Puluga- instructed their first parents, and though temporarily lost after the Deluge it was revived by the accidental re-discovery of the necessary pigments: it might, therefore, be reasonably inferred that the practice is a very ancient one among these tribes.

4. The materials used are og-, tala-og-, and koiob-, which are applied, respectively, as a wash and in designs, more or less minute, with the nail or the tips of the fingers.

5. The first (ojr-), is a pale "olive-coloured" clay,333 which is mixed with water and smeared thickly over the entire person with the palms of the hand, to denote mourning;334 a lump of the same compound (del'a-) is also placed on the head at these times: hence the term aka-og-, a mourner.

6. After eating pork or turtle they are also in the habit of smearing og- over their bodies with their fingers, in the belief that it affects their breath, and that evil spirits will be unable to detect, and therefore will not be attracted to, them by the savoury smell of the food of which they have partaken. Again, when heated by travelling, or by hunting or dancing, they have recourse to the same wash, but in these cases it is applied thinly.335


7. tala-og- is a pure white clay, which, being comparatively scarce, is more prized than og-, and consequently more sparingly used; it is applied ornamentally, usually with the nail of the forefinger, in fine tattoo-like patterns, to the cheeks, body, and limbs; the designs are invariably executed by women, who, when adorning their relatives336 for a jeg- or other festivity,337 vie with one another, both as regards the variety and the neatness of their work.

8. koiob- consists of burnt yellow ochre mixed with the melted fat of the pig, turtle, iguana, or dugong, and occasionally with oil obtained from a species of almond called e'mej- ; this unguent is much used338 in decorating both the living and the dead339 and is also employed as a remedy in certain forms of suffering,340 but it is never applied to the person when in mourning, or, as has been so often asserted, in order to protect the body from the stings of insects.341

9. Both talorag- and koiob- are used to adorn their weapons and various utensils, &c., in daily use.

10. With koiob-, of course, no delicate patterns can be worked, but rough zigzags and stripes are made with the finger tips all over the body: judging from the appearance of a person who had been shortly before painted with koiob-, one might easily suppose that the unguent had been smeared over his person, but this is not the case, for it is always applied in some sort of design, which, however, is speedily effaced, as the heat of the body causes the oleaginous pigment to liquefy.

Shaving.—1. Under an earlier section342 shaving was necessarily, to a great extent, included; it remains, however, to be here added that it is commenced at a very early age: indeed, within a few hours of its birth the Andamanese baby has its head shaved and painted with koiob-,343 while its diminutive face and body are adorned with a design in ta-la-og-344 this latter, as may [p.335] be supposed, is soon obliterated, and requires therefore to be constantly renewed.

2. Only in very exceptional cases, when the services of a woman are not obtainable, will men consent to operate upon one another, for among these savages shaving is regarded as essentially a feminine occupation:345 the instrument used for this purpose is effective, if rude, and consists merely of a flake of quartz, or now more generally of glass; the manner in which these primitive razors are made is described under "Stone Implements."346

3. Previous to shaving an infant, the mother usually moistens the head with milk which she presses from her breast, but when operating upon bigger children and adults, water only is used.

Deformations.—1. Unless tattooing can be so regarded these savages do not intentionally produce any deformities, or practice artificial deformations in any way.347 No attempt is made to alter the shape of the nose by flattening or pinching it, nor is the cartilaginous septum ever perforated for the purpose of inserting ornamental bars or rings.

2. In this, as in many other respects, the Andamanese differ greatly from their neighbours, the Nicobarese, who not only flatten the occiputs of their children in infancy, but, from the period of puberty, blacken their teeth,348 and perforate the lobes of their ears to such an extent as to enable them, by the time they are full grown, to insert a wooden cylindrical instrument three-quarters of an inch thick.

3. There is, however, a deformity of the skull observable in most Andamanese women, but it is caused unintentionally, and arises from the practice, to which allusion has already been made,349 of placing the cane or cord by which a load is borne across the anterior portion of the cranium: this habit, especially when commenced at an early age, cannot fail to produce a more or less deep indentation.350


Weights and Measures.—1. When speaking of their physical powers I stated that 40 lbs. is ordinarily the maximum of a man's burden; but this is, of course, only an approximate estimate, for among these savages there is no recognised standard of weights or measures, corresponding to the nail, finger-joint, thumb, span, or pace.

2. In referring to the size, shape, or weight of a small object, they would, if possible, liken it to some seed, such as that of the Sniadapurscetha, or fruit, such as mangosteen, jack-fruit, or cocoanut; of larger weights they would say, "as much as" or "more than one man could carry" or "lift"; for expressing capacity or quantity they would say "a bucketful," "basketful," "handful," "canoe-load," as the case might be.

3. There is no prescribed or uniform size for any mat, tool, weapon, or utensil, the dimensions of each and all being dependent on the will of the maker, and on the material at his disposal.

4. No tallies are kept of numbers of articles, nor are counters such as seeds, stones, &c., employed in counting.

5. In speaking of a short distance, as, for example, 50 yards, they would compare it to "a bowshot," but in describing the distance of a certain spot it would be defined as equal to that separating two places, well known to the speaker and the person addressed; any distance over 15 miles would be said to "exceed a days journey."

Astronomy.—1. It has been stated by Dr. Day that the Andamanese "divide the day into three portions, sunrise, mid-day, and sunset, recognising no subdivisions"; this is, however, incorrect, for though they are naturally content with a, to us, rough method of reckoning time, there are no less than thirteen periods of the day and night distinguished by definite terms, viz.:—

wa'ngala-, the first appearance of dawn.
dorwa'nga-, between dawn and sunrise.
bo'do-la-doatinga-, sunrise.351
lili-, or dilma-, from sunrise to about 7 a.m.
tado-la-ka'galna-, forenoon.
bo'do-la'ka'gnga-, or forenoon.
bo'do-chanag-, forenoon.
bo'do-chau-, noon.


bo'do-layla'ringa-, from noon till 3 pm.
bo'do-lat-lyanga., or, dar-diyanga-, from 3 pm till 5 pm.
dila-, from 6 pm. till sunset.
bo'do-la-la'tinga-, sunset.
ela'ka'dawya-, twilight.
dar-'tinga-, after dark till midnight.
gurug-chau-, midnight.

2. Of the property of the sun-dial they possess no knowledge, nor can they indicate short intervals of time, such as fractions of an hour, save by some such vague term as—"wait a little" (laha!), "it will soon be finished" (kanya!), "it is close at hand" (loai lagila!).

3. As they have no method of numeration, it of course follows that they are unable to denote the number of lunations occurring during a solar year, which with them consists of three main divisions, viz.: pa'par-, the cool season; yere-bo'do-, the hot season; and gu'mul-, the rainy season. These again are sub-divided into twenty minor352 seasons, named, for the most part, after various trees which, flowering at successive periods, afford the necessary sources of supply to the honey bees that are so numerous in these islands.

4. They have distinct terms for indicating the four phases of each lunation, i.e.:

o'gar-de'reka-yad-, new moon (lit., moon-baby-small);
o'gar-chanag-, first quarter (lit., moon-big);
o'gar-chau-, full moon (lit., moon-body);
o'gar-ki'nai-, last quarter (lit., moon-thin);

and that they further recognise the influence of this luminary upon the tides may be gathered from their words denoting high and low tide at full and new moon, viz.:

o'gar-'ka'la-353 high tide at the springs at full moon.
yechar-kala-354 high tide at the springs at new moon.
ogar-pa-di-,355 low tide at the springs at full moon.
yechar-pa'di- low tide at the springs at new moon.
tarba'rwig-ka'la-, flood tide at full and new moon (in the evening) from 3 to 9 pm.
gu'mul-ka'la-, flood tide at full and new moon (in the morning) from 3 to 9 am.
el'a-bu'nga-, or ka'larbunga-, flood tide.


ela-e'rnga-, or ka'la-e'rnga-, ebb tide.
noro-, neap tide.
toya-356 low tide at daybreak.

6. The four cardinal points of the compass are distinguished; the names indicating these are not derived from prevalent winds, but, as far as the east and west are concerned, have reference to the sun, the word for the former signifying "the appearing face place" (elarmu'gu-), and for the latter "the disappearing face place" (tar-mugu-); the term for south is the "separate place" (el-igia-), while the meaning and derivation of that denoting north (elar-jan'a-) is unknown to the present inhabitants.

6. For the winds, too, they have distinctive names, viz.:

chai-ja'tana-, north-west wind.
Puluga-ta-, north-east wind (lit., "The Creator His wind").
de'ria-, south-west wind.
chila-ta-, south-east wind.

Of these the second (Puluga-ta-) only, now-a-days, possesses any special significance; it is called "The Creator's (or God's) wind," because it proceeds from that part of heaven where the connecting bridge357 between this world and the next is supposed to be situated.

7. They identify three forms of clouds, and indicate them thus:

ta'wiol-, cumulus.
ara-mu'ga-barnga-, stratus.
yum-li'diya-, nimbus.

8. Of all the stars and constellations Orion's belt alone is found to bear a name (beia-), but this is not to be wondered at, as they never venture upon any distant voyages, and do not therefore experience any necessity for studying the bearing of the various planets and constellations at different seasons, or for distinguishing them by name. Their astronomical observations have, however, extended to the discovery of the milky way, which they call ig-yo-lowa-358, and poetically describe as the road used by the angels (morowin-).359

Trade, Exchangeable Values and Property.—1. It is evident, from the accounts of various writers, that for many years prior to our present occupation, these islands were visited by trading vessels manned by Malays, Burmese, and Chinese, who were said to traffic with the Andamanese for edible birds'-nests and beche de [p.339] mer-360 but it seems more than probable that they obtained their supplies without any assistance from the aborigines; their visits were, moreover, in later years attended with considerable risk, owing to the malpractices of some of the traders in kidnapping such of the race as they could entice on board their vessel, for the purpose of carrying them away into captivity.

2. Even at the present day, with the exception of procuring turtles, shells, honey, bows, arrows, and a few other articles which are sold, for their own benefit, by the inmates of the homes in and near the harbour, to visitors and residents at Port Blair, the natives attempt nothing in the way of trade, and this much is only done by dint of constant inducements being offered in the shape of presents of tobacco, files, &c.361

3. Of our imports they prize chiefly:—dogs, iron, bottles, tobacco, pipes, and matches, all of which have for many years past been freely distributed among the coast people throughout Great Andaman, by whose means they have, doubtless, either by barter or in the form of presents, reached many of the communities inhabiting the interior.362

4. In respect to barter, in their transactions with each other, some weapon, utensil, or other common article, such as koi'ob-, or tala-og-363 (used for painting364 their persons and for general decorative purposes), serves as the medium of exchange.


5. They set no fixed value on their various properties, and rarely make or procure anything with the express object of disposing of it in barter. Apparently they prefer to regard their transactions as presentations, for their mode of negociating is to give such objects as are desired by another in the hope of receiving in return something for which they have expressed a wish, it being tacitly understood that, unless otherwise mentioned beforehand, no "present" is to be accepted without an equivalent being rendered.

6. The natural consequence of this system is that most of the quarrels which so frequently occur among them originate in failure on the part of the recipient in making such a return as had been confidently expected.365

7. All iron-pointed weapons, tools, or shell ornaments are eagerly accepted by the eremtaga- in exchange for such things as are more easily procured by them than by the aryato-:366 for instance, an adze would generally be considered worth two ordinary bows, or a bundle of wooden-pointed arrows; or a man might undertake to make a canoe or bucket for one who would give him an adze.

8. But little care is taken of the utensils, weapons, canoes, &c., in daily use, and consequently new ones are often required, the old, when no longer serviceable, being thrown aside; as all their possessions consist of goods which need to be more or less frequently replaced, it is hardly necessary to explain that there is no accumulation of the labours of former generations; hence also it arises that they are not tied by any laws of inheritance; more as a matter of sentiment than for any other reason, the nearest of kin takes possession of all the effects left by a deceased person, and as often as not they are distributed ere long among such friends as may be in need of any of the articles in question.

9. The weapons, tools, and other property pertaining to one member of a family are regarded as available for the use of his or her relatives, but such articles as a cooking-pot, canoe, or sounding-board, when not required by the owner, are looked upon somewhat in the light of public property by members of the same community; in short, the rights of private property are only so far recognised that no one would without permission appropriate or remove to a distance anything belonging to a friend or neighbour.

Agriculture.—1. Before the arrival of strangers in their midst, [p.341] the Andamanese were entirely ignorant of agriculture, and to this circumstance is primarily to be attributed their degraded condition, while it also affords evidence of the same.

2. Notwithstanding the ample opportunities that they have now had of observing the benefits derived from cultivation, and though they undoubtedly prefer such products to the spontaneous vegetation of their jungles, they still consider that the exertion necessary to obtain the former far outweighs every advantage; in short, it is their opinion, that "le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle."

3. We must not, however, lose sight of the fact that, as they have hitherto seen only prisoners engaged in tillage, they cannot but be strengthened in the objections entertained by most savages to all such labour, regarding it as a degrading occupation, and fit only for such as have forfeited their freedom.

4 Further, to quote from Peschel, "it must be remembered that hunting affords supreme enjoyment, and that agriculture has nothing to offer in compensation for the excitement and delights of the chase."

Training and Domestication of Animals.—1. Prior also to our occupation of these islands, the Andamanese, as will have been already inferred, possessed no dogs, and it was some time (1865) before they became aware of their usefulness in the chase; but now that the intelligence of certain breeds has been proved, they prize them highly, and eagerly accept any we have to give them; at the same time, though treated with every intentional kindness, and allowed to sleep, and even to eat and drink out of the same vessel as their masters, the training to which the dogs are subjected is very severe, and their attenuated condition bears witness to the state of semi-starvation in which they are commonly kept in order to render them the more keen in hunting. The custom of summoning dogs by whistling has of course been borrowed from ourselves, as is also the practice of naming them; "Jack" or "Billy"367 are the names generally bestowed by these people upon their canine companions, whom also they address as lig.ala (children), and who in their turn seem greatly attached to their new owners, and testify their affection by attacking all strangers, not being aborigines, who approach the encampment to which they belong.

2. It is regarded as a good omen to meet certain birds, while of others the contrary belief is held, in the absence of migratory [p.342] species at certain seasons is now accounted for by saying that they are visiting some of the adjacent isles.

3. Of mythological animals,368 such as dragons and unicorns, they have no knowledge, nor do they venerate or regard as sacred any quadruped, bird, or fish, even though the names of several are identical with those borne, according to tradition, by their antediluvian ancestors, who are supposed to have been transformed into, or to have assumed the forms of, such creatures. Beyond the instances already mentioned, no trace can be found of a belief in transmigration, and, now-a-days at all events, the souls of animals and men are not considered by these savages as interchangeable.

4. The names of four animals only appear to have originated in their cries, viz.: dukur iguana, mu'rud- pigeon, bibi- dog, rogo- pig; of these the dog only is trained, or in any way domesticated, and they do not, as has been supposed, keep poultry.369

Food.—1. Among the many erroneous statements regarding the life and habits of these islanders, none seem at the present day so devoid of foundation as that which declared that they are constantly reduced to want and even to starvation.370

2. It has been conjectured by some writers that these savages "glean a miserable subsistence," judging, it would seem, merely from the fact of their eating the larvae of beetles,371 and certain other articles, the predilection for which seems, to civilised palates, equally revolting;372 but evidence is not wanting to disprove this assumption, for during the season, when such things are obtainable, they may frequently be seen enjoying a handful of cooked larvae when a quantity of pork or turtle is lying beside them, and, if questioned, they declare that they regard the former as dainties (aka'ra'mga-), and eat them as [p.343] such, not because they find any difficulty in procuring other food.373

3. Both aryato- and eremtaga- find ample374 provisions for their simple wants in their immediate surroundings, without exerting themselves to any great extent, and their eagerness in the chase is induced almost as much by actual love of sport as by the necessity of obtaining food: were this not the case they would hardly be found spending so much time in dancing and singing, in personal decorations, and in the preparation of their meals, while they reject with aversion anything that has become at all tainted. Further, it may be fairly estimated that one-third of the food daily consumed by them consists of edible roots, fruits, and honey, and the remaining portion of the flesh of one or more of the following, viz.: pig, paradoxurus, iguana, turtle, fish, and molluscs, with rare additions of pigeons and jungle fowls;375 Flying-foxes, bats, rats, sea- (not land-) snakes, the larvae of the Great Capricornis beetle (Ceranibyx heroi) called oiyum-376 as well as two other insects, called butu- and 'pirigi-377 are, it is true, also eaten, but they are partaken of by way of variety, and the latter are regarded as luxuries (aka-ra'mga-, tid-bits) to supplement (not substitute) other fare.378

4. The Andamanese are nominally content with two meals a day, viz.: breakfast (aka-na-) and a heavy supper (a-kan-golajnga-) after sun-down; they will, however, often help themselves to small quantities of food from time to time in the course of the day when engaged on any work; and; when leaving on a [p.344] day's hunt, they usually provide themselves with some fire and a gob- of food, which they warm up and enjoy about midday:379 no difference is made between the sexes, but all fare alike.

5. The average amount eaten by an Andamanese adult appears to exceed that of a native of India, and to average three or four pounds daily, while, like many other savages, after a successful hunt, or on some special occasion, when dancing is carried on through the entire night, the consumption of food is surprising, and has, in some instances, been estimated at upwards of ten pounds of pork, or turtle, in the twenty-four hours, helped out by mouthfuls of some one or more of the delicacies above enumerated.380

6. As may be assumed from foregoing sections, caste distinctions are unknown; while, however, all members of a family take their meals together, a married man is only permitted to eat with other Benedicts and bachelors, but never with any women save those of his own household, unless indeed he be well advanced in years. Bachelors as well as spinsters are required to take their meals apart with those of their respective sexes.

7. Their mode of eating meat is to cram a large piece into the mouth, and then to cut off whatever is in excess381 with a bamboo or cane (now-a-days generally a steel) knife. The same custom, carried to a more disgusting extreme, is found among the Esquimaux.382 Speaking generally of the Andamanese it may be said that water is their only beverage, for though the aborigines in the vicinity of Port Blair have acquired a strong liking for rum, &c., they have not been permitted to gratify it; if very thirsty while on a fishing expedition, and all the fresh water supply be exhausted383 the aryato- pour water over their [p.345] heads or jump overboard, and even at times try to alleviate their sufferings by swallowing salt water.

8. In opening certain shell-fish384 the adze is not employed, but one of the valves of the Cyrena is dexterously inserted between the lips, which are thus forced apart, after which the fish is killed with a knife or bladed arrow, and boiled; the Tridacna crocea and Tridacna squamosa are opened by inserting a piece of wood as a wedge between the valves,385 afterwards the fish is despatched by stabbing it with an arrow point or blade; the various Area species and the Mytilus smaragdinus are, however, not so treated, but are placed among a heap of burning logs for a few moments, the object being merely to part the valves, which would otherwise be a matter of some difficulty: when this is accomplished the shells are removed by means of the bamboo tongs (kai-), and their half-cooked contents are transferred to a pot386 (buj-) in which a little water has been placed; after being boiled a short time the gravy and flesh are eaten with the help of the shells. In former times oysters were eaten cooked,387 but now their consumption appears to be confined to the inhabitants of North (and possibly also Little) Andaman: they give no reason for this change, but it may be due to their having occasionally suffered by feasting unconsciously on the poisonous, or at least indigestible, variety so commonly found in the mangrove swamps.

9. Dr. Day remarked that the mullet was their favourite fish, and "one day, having placed a quantity of different species before them, they helped themselves in the following order: ... Chorinemus, Platycephalus, horse-mackerel or Caranx, Chrysophrys calamara, and lastly Tetrodon or frog-fish, which latter has generally the credit of being poisonous." My experience is that there are apparently no fresh-water, and but few salt-water, fish388 which they will not eat.

10. It is a mistake to suppose that pigs are ever scarce in these islands, for though it was formerly more difficult than at the present day to shoot them, there is no lack of evidence to [p.346] prove that they are, and always have been, fairly numerous.389 The pig hunts are most frequent during the rains, not only because these animals are then more plentiful and in better condition, but because it is no longer the rap-wab-, or season of abundance of jungle fruit and honey; from this, however, it must not be inferred that scarcity is then experienced, for those who choose to help themselves need never be in want.

11. During the cool season, pa'par-wab-,390 the people themselves are alleged to become noticeably thinner: this they attribute not to a deficiency of food, but to the meagre condition of the pigs, which are then breeding, and to the fact that the edible roots (or yams), and other fruits then in season are not fattening. There are six varieties of esculent roots, viz.: the go'no-, cha'ti-, kad-,391 boto-, malag-, and tag'i-, which are eaten alone (preferably cold), and not with meat; their chief difference consists in the extra care in preparation which some require, in consequence of their very acrid flavour.

12. The go'no' is cooked in three ways: (a) it is placed on the fire in the condition in which it is found until it is soft, when it is freed from the burnt earth and eaten; (b) the root, after being washed, is cut up into small pieces and boiled in a pot; and (c) after being washed and cut up the pieces are wrapped in large leaves and baked on burning logs.

13. The chati- is cooked in the first of the above-mentioned methods, or by surrounding it with hot stones, and covering the whole with leaves and weights, in order to confine the heat as much as possible.

14 The kad- is first cooked as found, the skin is then peeled off, and a number of thin slices are cut and placed in water for a couple of days, so as to lessen the bitterness of its flavour; afterwards it is either baked in leaves or boiled, as already described in speaking of the gono-.

15. The other three varieties are never boiled, but are placed on the fire without leaves, and the outer skin is removed before they are eaten.

16. The seed of a species of seaweed, known to them as tano- tang-, on which turtles and dugongs feed, and which can only be obtained in small quantities, is carefully cooked and eaten as a relish.


17. The fruit of three varieties of mangrove,392 known to them as jumu-393 nga'tya-, and ba'taga-, are occasionally eaten, but only by way of change; they are prepared like the kad- (vide above).

18. The following table contains a fairly complete list of the different kinds of food eaten by the Andamanese during the varying seasons of the year; their ordinary diet, as will be gathered from the foregoing, consists of pigs,394 paradoxurus, iguanas,395 eggs of the hawkbill turtle, turtles, shell and other sea-fish and prawns, with occasional treats of dugong and porpoise,396 and for married persons certain birds, already named: the fruit of the Pandanus and black honey must also be added, besides which, during the dry season, fresh-water fish, shell-fish, eggs of the green turtle, honey, the bee-bread, and that portion of the comb in which the larvae are found, as well as the Caryota sobolifera, yams and numerous fruits, about to be named, are eaten with great relish; while during the rains they vary their fare with preserved seeds of the Artocarpus chaplasha, Semtcarptis, and the fallen seeds of the Entada pursodha, with three grubs, viz.: the bu-tu-, pi'rigi-, and the larvae of the Great Capricornis beetle (diyurri'), and certain fruits. Although on one occasion I saw a man (a member of the .aka-.kede- tribe) actually eat an di'yum- alive (!) their usual practice is to collect a quantity of the above-named insects and to wrap them up in leaves and place them on the burning embers, turning the bundle from time to time, so that its contents may be thoroughly cooked, whereupon, in the case of the bu'tu-, after breaking off the tails, they are consumed with evident gusto.397

19. The native names398 of most of the fruits in season during the dry (a), wet and cool (b) months are:—


(a) (b)
mang- or itil- either cooked or uncooked.

(N.B.—The best fruits, and those which are most abundant, are in season during these months and at the commencement of the rains.)


During the pa'par-wab- (cool season) and yi're-bodo- (dry months) the six varieties of edible roots mentioned above are also eaten.

(It will be understood that those fruits that are unmarked in the above list are eaten in the ordinary way).

20. Many fruits they merely suck for the sake of the flavour; others are eaten with fine wood ash, taken from the hut fires in lieu of sugar, to diminish their extreme acidity,401 while a few are cooked, and the stones of several are cracked for the sake of their kernels. The favourite fruits are dogota-, dropa-, kan-, chalh, ja-, pa-, kai'ta-, karega-, chakan-, jimu-, ngaiyo-, haiago-, figeber-, pulia-, and pulain-.

21. The fruit of the figeber-, cha'kan-puna-, pu'lain-paitla-, gadim-, logaj-, and the seeds of the three above-named varieties of mangrove (i.e., jumur-, ngatya-, and bataga-), are freed from their husk or rind and boiled in water until quite soft; when cold they are cut in slices, and left to soak for two days or more in salt or fresh water, after which they are baked in leaves, or again boiled in a buji-.

22. The Andamanese are, now-a-days at least,402 extremely particular over the cooking of their food, and will not eat certain [p.349] fruits and vegetables, much less fish, flesh, or fowl that is raw,403 or, as far as I could ascertain, even underdone.404

23. On ordinary occasions the meals are prepared by these estimable wives in the absence of their lords, but when their labours in procuring wood and water are exceptionally heavy, as on gala days, or after a very successful hunt, the cooking is performed in the special fire-place405 set apart for the purpose in each community, by some male volunteer, who, when the meat is partly done, distributes406 it among those present, leaving them to complete over their own fires the necessary preparation of their several shares.407

24. Sometimes it happens that the animal is cut up and distributed without being even partially cooked, but the person undertaking this duty is under a tacit obligation to help the slayer of the animal and himself to the last two portions.

25. Small pigs, if caught alive, are sometimes kept and fattened up (chiyuke-) for slaughter;408 with these, as with others killed while hunting, the same system is observed: the entrails, lungs, liver, kidneys, &c., are first removed (jado-dichrake-), and replaced by leaves (kaktar-ramke) to which they set fire—care is always taken to select such as, being entirely free from scent and taste, will not affect the flavour of the meat—the object of this is that all parts may be equally heated when the carcass is placed on the burning logs, where it is left, not until thoroughly [p.350] cooked, but until the bristles have been singed and the skin dried sufficiently to allow of the dirt adhering to it being scraped off; this done, the remains of the charred leaves are removed, and the tendons at the joints being severed (punuke), the carcass is cut up (waratke) and distributed; while thus engaged, the operator not unfrequently helps himself to choice morsels which he may chance to find done to a turn, as his perquisite. The lining and flesh of the stomach are usually first disposed of;409 the skin of the entrails, after being thoroughly cleansed, is also frequently consumed.

26. From the account given under "Initiatory Ceremonies" it will be seen that the kidney-fat and omentum (reg-jin-) are considered as luxuries from which the young of both sexes must abstain during a certain period. The lungs, liver, and eyes are also eaten, and they are quite of a mind with the Chinese in their estimation of "crackling"410 (ot-agam-, also at-ga-ma-), which they consider one of the choicest parts, and enjoy so much that they are even willing to run the risk of offending the chol- by baking their pigs, rather than eat them boiled.

27. When, from some circumstance or other—such as possibly a death from sunstroke—the dread of these demons is paramount, and they boil their pork, it has been observed that, as their pots are small, they remove each piece when partially cooked to make room for others, which afterwards, in the same way, are in turn replaced until thoroughly done; the reason given is that the flavour of the whole animal is thus equally distributed in every portion. On other occasions, when the pig is not broiled whole on burning logs, or apportioned among the several families of the community for cooking in their own huts, the flesh is baked in leaves by means of heated stones (la-), which are placed between alternate layers of the meat; in every case the chief concern appears to be that the whole should be so wrapped in leaves that none of the juices be dried up, though every portion be thoroughly well done.411


28. For brains and marrow they have a great penchant, and, in order to extract the latter, will often crush the smaller bones with their teeth, while they break up the larger ones with a stone hammer.

29. The blood of the turtle only are they careful not to spill,412 and this, though not preferred to the flesh, is considered a dainty, and is eaten separately, after it has been boiled in its own shell until quite thick.

30. They do not preserve the carapace of either description of turtle, but, having removed the flesh, place the shell over the fire, that all the remaining fat may be melted, when—with an appreciation worthy of a City alderman—they ladle it into their mouths with Cyrena shells, which thus serve as spoons. So great a delicacy do they consider this that the shell is finally broken up and divided, that no particle may be lost! This fat is largely used in the manufacture of koiob-, and it may be judged how highly they prize the unguent since they are willing to deny themselves this dainty rather than allow their supply to run short

31. Food is preserved by placing it on the small grating (jat-leb-ta-ga-), above the hut fire,413 or in the following rather peculiar fashion:—having procured and cleaned a length of bamboo (fern, sp.), they heat it over a fire that the juices contained in it may be gradually absorbed. When this is satisfactorily accomplished, half-cooked pieces of pork, turtle, or any other food,414 are packed tightly into it, and the vessel is again by degrees put over the fire, in order to heat it slowly, lest the rapid expansion of the meat should cause a crack; when steam ceases to issue forth, the bamboo is taken off the fire, and, after the opening has been closed by leaves, is set aside with its contents until a meal is required, when it is replaced on a fire, for, as I have remarked in another place, it is a peculiarity of these savages to eat their food in an almost boiling state. As soon as the meat has been once more thoroughly baked, the bamboo is split open with an adze or other [p.352] implement, and all take a share in the feast. Meat thus prepared will keep good for several days.

32. I alluded just now to their method of preparing the seeds of the Semecarptis and Artocarpus chaplasha for consumption during the rains; it is as follows:—The outer husk, or skin, having been removed, a quantity of the fruit is placed on a wooden platter, and each person present renders assistance by partially sucking (!) the various pieces, which, after this preliminary process, are half boiled in water, and then wrapped up in large bundles of leaves, and buried in moist soil; no mark is made over the spot, but there appears to be no fear of forgetting it, though several weeks usually elapse before the monsoon breaks, and these decaying deposits are dug up, when the smell,. as may be supposed, is most offensive to all but those who are to the manner born; by them, however, strange to relate, it is evidently highly appreciated. The next stage through which the seeds have to pass consists in freeing them in water from the decaying matter, and drying them in the sun, or over the fire, where they are left in nets ichapanga- or leaves until required for use, when they are again baked. With this exception no food is dried in the sun, nor is anything salted or intentionally smoked, though this last cannot fail to be, to some extent, the result of their mode of storing food, as described in the previous paragraph.

33. Besides the various fruits already mentioned as in season during the dry months, yams and honey are very abundant; as their method of treating both fruits and yams has been already described, it now remains for me to notice the ingenious way in which they procure honey, and to name the special trees which, flowering in succession, afford ample material from whence the bees produce a more or less abundant store.

34. At the close of the monsoon one of the large jungle trees, called by them rar- (Eugenia sp.), comes into bloom, and though no honey is made from its flowers, it is said to act beneficially on the bees as a purgative, and to prepare them for the commencement of the honey season.415 The lekera- (Leguminoscs sp.), blossoming a little later, is the first honey-yielding flower; the dumla-,416 chilib- (Diospyros densiflora), aro- (Chickrassia tabularis), and chadak- (Rubiacae) coming next into season, enable the bees to produce large combs, but the finest are found after the pa- (Semecarpae), bd'ja- (Stercidia (?) villosa), yere- (Sterculia sp.), jidga-,416 have [p.353] blossomed: this is considered the height of the honey season, and is called lada chau-.417 It appears that on moonlight nights just at this time the bees consume a great portion of their honey, so that the "junglees" declare it to be useless to go for combs, either by day or night, until the moon has sensibly waned.

35. When about to make a raid on the hives, the Andamanese procure a certain plant, believed to be of the Alpinia species, called yim-, and having stripped off the leaves, chew the stem and smear the essence thus extracted over their bodies; the mouth is also filled with the same juice, and thus armed cap-a-pie they proceed to disperse the bees, who, on attempting to attack them, are at once repelled by the obnoxious odour of the jini-, emitted in a fine spray from the mouths, and also attaching to the persons of their desposers, who sometimes make further use of the chewed stalks of the offensive plant in driving off the last remaining defenders of the hive.

36. Small combs418 of both the white and black honey are commonly obtainable till about September—i.e., so long as the Dipterocarpus kevis, the Pterocarpus dalbergioides, and a few other trees continue to blossom.419

37. While I had charge of the homes (and probably ever since), a large sum was annually realised by the aborigines towards their support from the sale of honey thus obtained to the free residents at Port Blair. So much indeed did they collect that we were able to store it in barrels and bottles, and generally found we had sufficient to meet all demands until the approach of the following season.

Tabu.—1. Besides the articles of food from which all abstain during the akarap- we have seen that there are certain fruits, edible roots, &c., which, in supposed obedience to Puluga-s commands, are not gathered at prescribed seasons of the year, and that mourners420 (aka-ag-) also deny themselves by refusing to partake of their favourite viands until after the titalatnga-, but beyond these restrictions, which are of general application, [p.354] every Andamanese man and woman is prohibited all through life from eating some one (or more) fish or animal: in most cases the forbidden dainty is one which in childhood was observed (or imagined) by the mother to occasion some functional derangement; when of an age to understand it the circumstance is explained, and cause and effect being clearly demonstrated, the individual in question thenceforth considers that particular meat his yat-tub-,421 and avoids it carefully. In cases where no evil consequences have resulted from partaking of any kind of food, the fortunate person is privileged to select his own yat'tub-,422 and is of course shrewd enough to decide upon some fish, such as shark or skate, which is little relished, and to abstain from which consequently entails no exercise of self-denial.

2. No one who has not attained the dignity of guma, by passing through the rites of initiation, is permitted to eat the flesh of either the dugong or porpoise; and further, it is necessary that the novice should be fed, on the first occasion of tasting either of these meats, by some friend or relative, who, having previously passed through the prescribed ordeal, is qualified thereby to admit others to the like privilege.

3. Except during the initiatory ceremonies, no prohibitions exist with regard to persons feeding themselves, or touching the food of others; after marriage the husband and wife only may eat together;423 childless widows and widowers usually take their meals with the unmarried of their respective sexes.

4. When an Andamanese woman finds that she is about to become a mother she abstains from pork, turtle, honey, iguana, and paradoxurus; after a while her husband follows her example with respect to the two last-named meats, in the belief that the embryo would suffer were he to indulge in such food.424


5. When a man wishes to address a married woman who is younger than himself he may not venture to do so directly, but must find some third person to be the medium of his communication; it is also not selon les regles for a man to touch his younger brother's (or cousin's) wife, or his wife's sister; and women are restricted in the same way as regards their husband's elder brother (or male cousin) or his brother-in-law.

6. All titles such as mai'a, maiola, and chawa cease to be applied after death; and inquiries ignorantly made after one who has recently died are replied to in a subdued tone, thus: wai iate (he or she "was") or wai o'kokre (he or she "is dead"). As little allusion as possible is ever made to deceased persons, especially for the first year or so after their death, during which period they are indicated only by reference to the tree or place where their remains are, or were, deposited; after a while the word lach't, answering to "the late," is prefixed to their defunct countrymen's (and women's) names.425

Warfare.—1. Reference has already been made to their want of true courage or daring, and it has been stated that the Andamanese seldom, if ever, venture to make an attack unless satisfied of their superiority over their foes; it will, therefore, be hardly necessary to enlarge upon their mode of carrying on hostilities, or to say that they are ignorant of the most elementary rules of warfare.

2. Should a dispute arise between members of different communities in the course of a visit or jeg- the affair often grows in importance and becomes a tribal question, which may not be settled without more or less serious consequences; those wounded on such occasions generally fare badly unless speedily removed, as they stand great risk of being shot dead or receiving the coup de grace in some other form; they are not, however, in the habit of mutilating the bodies of their victims, save in exceptional cases, where there has been very grave aggravation.

3. The assailants generally approach stealthily upon their enemies, and, though availing themselves of every advantage afforded by the density of the jungle, do not take further precautions or devise stratagems whereby to conceal their trail as they proceed on their way. They wear no breastplate,426 nor do [p.356] they use shields,427 and the idea of throwing up earth-banks, or constructing any species of defence for the better protection of their numerous encampments, does not seem to have occurred to them.

4. Night attacks have been made now and again, but the favourite time is the break of day, when the unsuspecting enemy are sound asleep; or at a late hour when they are likely to be engaged in the preparation or consumption of their evening meal.

5. Women and children incur a like risk with men on these occasions, but it would not be considered a matter for boasting should any of them fall victims in the strife, while a child which might be captured uninjured would meet with kindly treatment, in the hope of his (or her) being induced ultimately to become a member of the captor's tribe.

6. The property of the vanquished is of course treated with little ceremony: everything portable is appropriated, and all else is injured or destroyed.

7. No confirmatory evidence is required to prove the truth of a statement declaring a man to have slain one or more foes, but if, in hunting, he should kill at a distance from home an animal too heavy for him to carry back unassisted, he would cut off the tail or some other portion which would afford ocular demonstration of its size, and serve as an inducement to his friends to assist him in bringing in the carcass.

Hunting and Fishing.—1. As I stated in an earlier section, the Andamanese are, for the most part, keen huntsmen, and their eagerness in the chase is one of the chief hindrances in the way of their becoming agriculturists, for a great portion of their time being thus spent, the sites of their temporary (as of their permanent) encampments are to a great extent determined by the advantages which they offer for the pursuit of their favourite pastime.

2. There do not appear to be any omens or superstitions in this connection, nor are there special ceremonies observed previous to the start or on the return of the party, save the somewhat peculiar custom, to which I have elsewhere alluded, of maintaining a glum silence for some time at the close of the day's sport.428


3. Females take no part in these expeditions, and boys seldom accompany their elders until after their twelfth year.

4. If more than a few hours' absence is anticipated, besides a supply of provisions, a smouldering log is entrusted to some one member of the party, whose duty it is to prevent its extinction, and to kindle it into a blaze whenever a fire is required. No immediate honours are conferred upon the successful sportsman, but stories of feats of extraordinary prowess are related, with more or less embellishment, from time to time for the benefit of the young and the edification of strangers. No record is kept of the game killed, but, as those distant tribes who are not yet possessed of dogs (or only of a very few) still retain the primitive custom of suspending the skulls of their victims from the eaves or on poles round their huts, a fair idea of their success can be formed by themselves and others from the number thus displayed.

5. Whether in hunting game or in attacking an enemy, the bow (karamar) and arrow are employed, and these are almost429 identical in form among all the eight tribes of Great Andaman. For spearing turtles and large fish a harpoon (kenvava ako du'tnga430) is used: as a description of this serviceable weapon and of the mode in which it is employed, has been given in Appendix B, it is unnecessary to repeat the information in this place.431 The only other weapon in use is the pig-spear [p.358] (erdu'tngar-432), which is of comparatively recent introduction, its adoption being due to the abundance of iron obtainable for some time past by the .bojig-ngi-ji- and other tribes near our settlement at Port Blair.

6. To an untrained eye no difference is noticeable in the appearance of the weapons of similar style and construction, but the aborigines are quick in detecting individual peculiarities in the manner of knotting the strings of bows, arrows, &c.433

7. As has been remarked by General Pitt Rivers,434 the bows of the Great Andaman tribes, especially those of the southern half, known to the islanders as the .bojig karamo-, resemble those in use in Mallicollo, one of the New Hebrides, and in New Ireland, being of a "peculiar flattened S-shaped form, curved towards the firer in the upper part as held in the hand, and to a slight extent the reverse way at the bottom."435

8. Except in the case of boys living on or near the coast, whose toy bows are often made of the Rhizophara conjugata, the wood of the mangrove is rarely, if ever, used, and the bamboo never,436 for they find that certain other trees,437 are more suitable for their purpose.

9. No whalebone or sinews are used for the purpose of imparting additional elasticity to the bow, and no evidence is forthcoming to show that they ever applied poison to their arrow or spear-heads—in fact, the only poison known to them appears to be the Nux Vomica, and this they merely avoid as a noxious or useless plant.

10. It is true that certain passages in Dr. Mouat's book438 convey a contrary impression, for, from the observations made during his short trip round the islands, he seems to have entertained no doubt that these savages habitually applied poison to their arrow-heads,439 but, in the sense in which I understand his [p.359] remarks, I am persuaded that he has credited them with more intelligence on this point than they possess.

11. The origin of the belief appears to be traceable to the fact that they generally in former times tipped their arrow-heads with fish-bones,440 more particularly the serrated tail-bone of the sting-ray, which, as is well known, is capable of inflicting a very serious wound in consequence of the liability of the fine brittle spikes to break off and remain in the flesh after the extraction of the arrow, thereby causing, in the majority of cases, bad ulcers, which, in the absence of skilful treatment, frequently resulted in the sufferer's death.

12. The maladroitness of strangers who have failed even to bend the Andamanese bows441 has apparently been due to their having held the wrong end uppermost, for, so far from there being any difficulty in using even their strongest bows, it has been proved that after a little practice Europeans are able to compete almost on even terms with all but the few "crack" shots among the aborigines, provided at least that the object aimed at be stationary, but they less readily acquire the skill which the Andamanese display in rapid shooting, and in discharging the arrow with the full force of which it is capable.

13. The large bows (from 5 to 7 feet long) are constructed chiefly for ornament and presentation to friends, and are seldom used except for shooting fish and pigs along the shore. The smaller kinds are preferred in jungle expeditions, and on most other occasions, as they are more convenient and also more easily replaced in case of accident, less time and trouble being required for their manufacture.

14. One of the chief drawbacks to the bows used by these tribes is that they cannot be fired in silence,442 in consequence [p.360] of the string striking the lower or convex portion of the weapon.

15. There are five varieties of arrows, viz. the rata-, the tirle'a-, the ta'lbo'an-, the e'la-, and the ela'lakdlupa-, none of which are provided with more then one point or blade.

16. The first of these (rata-) is used in their games, and is the first form which their fish arrows take; it consists of a shaft made of Bambusa nana, to the end of which is fastened a piece of hard wood, which is rendered harder and less liable to split by being gradually heated over a fire: this foreshaft also gives the necessary weight to ensure accuracy of flight, and to increase the force of penetration. The tirle'a- is merely a rata- with its point sharpened for use, in shooting the smaller varieties of fish. The talbo'a- is a rata- with an iron point, and generally a barb as well, secured to the head: it is chiefly used in fishing. The above three arrows usually measure 4 feet 6 inches to 4 feet 9 inches in length, while the remaining two, of which a sufficient description will be found in Appendix B, do not generally exceed 3 feet 6 inches.

17. The Andamanese take especial pride in keeping the bladed heads of their arrows and spears as bright as possible: the shafts are straightened by dint of pressure with teeth and fingers, but no feathers or other devices are employed to increase the velocity of flight. As illustrations of their arrows and other weapons appeared in vols. vii and xi of the Institute's Journal, and as, in Appendix B, I have described their manufacture, it is unnecessary for me here to repeat the information which can be obtained by reference.

18. There are one or two points connected with the iron-bladed arrows to which, I believe, attention has never yet been drawn. I allude to the position of the barbs and the object of the seam. In the ela- the blade is so fixed as to be in a line with the seam of the fastening at the end of the shaft, and, whether provided with one or more barbs, these are always placed in a line with the blade, the seam above referred to being used as a "sight." In the e'la-lakalupa-, which has no seam, the barb which is most in a line with the blade is used as a "sight," and accordingly placed uppermost. In forming these blades they shape them so as to allow of a small portion being inserted in the foreshaft (see fig. above), and it is then fixed as firmly [p.361] as possible by means of string,443 which is protected with a coating of kangatahil-?

19. It is a singular fact that the mode in which the tribes of Great Andaman discharge their arrows differs from that in vogue among the jarawa-. While the latter are said to adopt the plan usual among ourselves of holding the nock of the arrow inside the string by means of the middle joints of the fore and middle fingers and drawing the string with the same joints, it is the practice among the former to place the arrow in position between the thumb and top joint of the forefinger, and to draw the string to the mouth with the middle and third fingers. The feet are only used in stringing and unstringing the bows, and never for bending the bow in shooting, as was at one time supposed to be the practice among the .jarawa-, whose long and clumsy karamor- have puzzled the .bojjg-ngi-ji-, as well as ourselves, to use with any effect.

20. In Great Andaman the waistbelt (bod-) or other cincture often does duty as a quiver while fishing and hunting, and the arrows are placed behind, with the heads upwards, both in order to avoid causing injury or inconvenience by hindering freedom of action, and to be readily seized and brought into position for firing.

21. Their pointed arrows carry with considerable effect to a distance of 40 or 50 yards. A taiho'a- has been found to pierce a deal plank 1 inch thick at the former range, and probably up to 100 yards one of these arrows is capable of inflicting a serious wound, but an accurate aim is scarcely possible beyond less than half that distance. In the case of the two varieties of pig-arrow much less can be attempted, as these ill-balanced, though formidable, missiles will not carry with certainty further than 12 to 15 yards, and if fired at wider ranges usually fly very wildly.


22. It is not found that they have any inclination to adopt civilised weapons or tools in lieu of their own, but they have not been slow to avail themselves of the facilities afforded them in recent years for substituting iron for shell, bone, and (?) stone,444 in the manufacture of their various implements.

23. The blow-pipe, which is used so generally by the Negritos (Semangs) of the Malayan peninsula, finds no place among the weapons of these savages. Its absence may be readily accounted for, firstly by their ignorance of poison, or at least of any method of utilising such knowledge as any of them may possess, and secondly by the fact that they are so well able to supply all their wants with the implements already referred to in the foregoing, that their inventive faculty has not been sharpened by the pangs of hunger to devise other or more effective means of destruction. It may be added that slings, throwing sticks, clubs, bird-bolts, or blunt-headed arrows for stunning animals or birds, are likewise not in use among them.

24. Although the pig is the object of their chase in their hunting expeditions, they invariably take a few of their pointed arrows, preferably the ta'tboa-, on the chance of coming across some smaller game, such as an iguana or paradoxurus.445 To facilitate rapid shooting a man will often hold a number of arrows in the hand which grasps the bow.

25. From constant practice they are, as might be supposed, very skilful at shooting fish under water. Dr. Brander has correctly observed that "they seem intuitively to have calculated with great accuracy the difference of direction to be allowed for oblique aqueous refraction"; but these shots are almost always, if not invariably, made at a distance of a few yards only, and never so far as "30 yards,"446 or "with three-pronged barbed arrows," such missiles being neither made nor used, at least by any of the Great Andaman tribes.447

26. Boys soon learn to practice at near objects with the small bows and arrows to which allusion has already been made, and many of them often contribute materially to the family larder by their early prowess. It is a common sight to see youths and children (and even their elders), when travelling, wantonly shoot at small passing objects, both on land and in the water, by way [p.363] of practice or to display their skill. No reproach is offered by the bystanders to one who wounds an animal without killing it.

27. Pigeons, waterfowl, ducks, and flying-foxes are sometimes shot, but never while on the wing, or when perched in such a position as to risk the recovery of the arrow.

28. In addition to the bows and arrows, their hunting gear consists generally of a hone (talag-448), a Cyrena shell (itto-449), an adze (wolo-450), and often now-a-days a spear (er-dutngo-451); sometimes a knife (cha- or kano-452) is also taken, but as the blade of the pig-arrow or spear can be made to serve this purpose, it is not regarded as an essential part of their equipment.

29. They employ no stratagems for deceiving or decoying game, nor do they prepare snares or pitfalls for it.

30. When unaccompanied by dogs the hunters usually follow the pig's tracks, evincing while doing so their accurate knowledge of its habits. Immediately the object of their search is sighted they endeavour to surround it as noiselessly as possible—taking no precautions, however, against approaching it from windward—and, finally rushing forward and yelling vociferously, discharge their arrows. This practice of driving is generally adopted near the coast and in the vicinity of a belt of Rhizophora conjugata where the animals, becoming entangled among the roots or sinking into the soft soil, are easily captured or despatched. The ownership of the carcass is decided in favour of the person who inflicted the first serious wound, and he is exempt, if he please, from carrying home his prize or from any further trouble in connection with it; the cleaning, cooking, and quartering of the animal is undertaken by any one who chooses to volunteer his services, during which interval the day's adventures are narrated: those who have remained at home share equally with the hunters453 in the spoil, for they are supposed to have been engaged in contributing to the general wants of the community.

31. There are, of course, some in every encampment who, from laziness or want of skill, are of very little use in this respect, but, since any ill-natured remarks at their expense would inevitably result in a more or less serious quarrel, they are rarely twitted with the circumstance, but are permitted to partake of the feast.


32. At the conclusion of the repast, the sportsman who has most distinguished himself during a more than ordinarily successful chase is expected to entertain the company, while they dance, with an impromptu song, in the chorus of which the women join.

33. Much of the foregoing applies to the hiato-, as well as to the eremtaga-, except of course that, with the former, hunting expeditions are less frequent than turtling and fishing operations.

34. Turtle-hunts take place during the flood-tide, both by day and night; the favourite hour of all is that between sunset and the rising of the waning moon,454 for then, with the aid of the phosphorescent light, called pewo'i-, caused by the movements of the canoe, they are often able to discover and harpoon the turtle before it is at all aware of their approach; on these occasions they select, if possible, a rocky portion of the coast, where there is little or no foreshore, giving it as their reason that turtles frequent such places on dark nights in order to lay their eggs, and are then easily captured. At other times, the localities preferred for these expeditions are those styled yiwlor, where there is a fine stretch of sand with an extensive foreshore, the reason, of course, being that every dark object is so easily seen in shallow water against a clear sandy bottom.

35. The green or edible turtle (Chdonia virgata), called yadi-, is hunted both by day and night, but the hawkbill (Caretta imbricata), called tabu-, only by day, as they declare the latter is never seen on dark nights.455 The flesh of the former is of course preferred, and no use being made of the tortoiseshell obtainable from the latter, it is treated after the feast with as little consideration as the valueless shell of the yadi-.456

36. The practice of capturing turtles by "turning" them when on shore is unknown among these savages; whether this be due to their regarding it as mean and unsportsmanlike, as the disdainful looks and remarks of those I questioned on the subject would lead one to suppose, or whether it be because they so thoroughly enjoy their own methods of procedure, which so fully answer their requirements, I am not prepared to determine, but it is, nevertheless, certain that although well aware, from their knowledge of the animals habits, that it could be easily surprised [p.365] and captured when frequenting the shore, they never take advantage of the opportunities thus presented.

37. Even on the darkest nights many turtles are speared at the moment when they rise to the surface in order to breathe. The sound which they then make, though slight, is sufficient at once to attract the attention of the keen-eared aryato- standing on the projecting prow, and to enable him to direct his harpoon with unerring aim; he usually jumps into the water after his victim, lest the barbed head should, in the act of dragging the line, slip out of the wound and the animal escape. When the turtle is in such deep water as to render spearing it from the canoe an impossibility, the harpooner leaps into the water feet foremost, with the spear in his hand, and frequently succeeds at once in transfixing the animal. After spearing a sting-ray, they drag it by means of the harpoon to the boat, whereupon one of the party seizes it by its tail, and holding it firmly between his teeth, knocks off, with a piece of wood or other instrument, the formidable spike or spikes which project from the root of the tail; after thus disarming their victim, they proceed to drag it into the canoe or to the shore.457

38. From the accounts of some writers respecting the prowess of the Andaman Islanders in the water, it might be inferred that they rival or even excel the "finny denizens of the deep" in their own element. This is, of course, incorrect, and due to misapprehension; the secret of their "invariably returning to the surface with some scaly prize" finds its explanation in the fact that they never think of diving458 after a fish that has not been first transfixed (according to its size) by an arrow or harpoon.459

39. The art of fishing with a hook and line was unknown to, and has not found favour among them, as they are far more successful than ourselves in catching fish by their own methods,460 which are as follow:—at low water the women and children with hand-nets capture such fish and shell-fish461 as are left by the [p.366] receding waves in the rocky hollows on the foreshore, and at the turn of the tide the men are usually to be seen standing up to their waists in water, or poling along the shore in their canoes, and shooting with their bows and arrows at the fish as they dart part.462

40. The seeds of a plant called ta'rog-463 are sometimes crushed and thrown into creeks where fish and prawns are likely to be, as it has the effect of driving the fish from their hiding place, and leads to their easy capture in hand-nets held in position for the purpose.

41. In former times, and even now in the more distant communities, large nets of about 80 feet in length and 15 feet in depth, with meshes of several inches in diameter, were spread at the mouth of creeks for catching turtles and big fish, but since iron has been so easily obtained and canoes and harpoons have become more numerous, the aryato- usually carry on their trade by these means in preference to the older method, which entailed much labour in the manufacture. The following is the mode employed when nets are used:—one side is sunk by means of stones, and the other is kept up by floating sticks called ia'tag-, of the alaba-tree (Maochia veltuina), to each of which a cane-leaf is attached; the ends are then drawn across such parts or creeks into which fish may easily be driven by beating the water with the bamboo shafts of their turtle spears. When any turtle or fish is driven into the net, the exact spot is at once indicated by the disturbance of one of the logs, with its tuft of leaves, whereupon they generally find little difficulty in despatching their captive.

Navigation.—1. It is a subject of surprise to all who, during the past fifteen or twenty years, have come in contact with the Andamanese, and have observed the style and capabilities of their canoes, to read the high encomiums that have been bestowed on the skill with which they are constructed, and to find that they are credited with such extraordinary speed as to distance easily a cutter, as well as a gig, manned respectively by picked crews of blue-jackets and Chinamen,464 the former of whom said, in their own usual exaggerated style of remark, they nearly killed [p.367] themselves in their effort to maintain the credit of their ship, their cutter, and their flag."

2. Nowhere on Great Andaman, at all events at the present day, have any aborigines been found capable of propelling a canoe at more than half the speed of one of the ordinary gigs in common use at Port Blair; moreover, in respect to the extreme buoyancy of their skiffs, but little [Greek] seems due to the Andamanese boat-builder, for having had, until quite lately, no other implement than a rude, though tolerably effective, adze with which to form them, he was compelled to select for, his purpose the lightest and softest woods that were procurable. At the same time there is no doubt that if they possessed the requisite knowledge, and the means were available for constructing stronger and more seaworthy craft, they would lose no time in employing them; for they fully recognise the inferiority of their boats, both in regard to workmanship and speed, to those used by Europeans, or by their neighbours the Nicobarese. In one respect only do they consider that their own canoes surpass all others, and that is in the projecting prow, which enables them to spear fish and turtle with more ease than is possible in boats of a different construction.465

3. The current tradition of the escape of four persons in a boat when the world was submerged, may be fairly considered as affording some evidence that this mode of transit is not regarded as of recent introduction.

4. Many conflicting opinions have been expressed by different writers under this head, and the form of canoe originally manufactured by the Andamanese has been much discussed. They themselves declare that the outrigger (cha'rigma-) was adopted immediately after the Deluge, in consequence of the deterioration of a species of Pandanus tree, called mang-466 of which, prior to that catastrophe, they had been able to make large plain "dug-outs.'' Until recently467 the outrigger continued [p.368] in use, and is still to be seen in North and Middle Andaman, bat the possibility of obtaining unlimited supplies of iron has enabled those living near Port Blair to return once more to the traditional "dug-out" of antediluvian times; it also seems that this description of canoe is gaining in favour among the tribes of Middle Andaman and the Archipelago, though it had not, in 1879, when I visited that part, penetrated as far as North Andaman.

5. As is correctly stated by Dr. Mouat (p. 316) the Andamanese never venture far from the coast: this was conclusively proved by their ignorance of Barren Island468 and Narcondam, until taken past them in the settlement steamer.469

6. The safety of either the outrigger or "dug-out," and their adaptability for use as lifeboats,470 is more than doubtful, while the confidence which is reposed in them by their owners may be judged from the fact that they never venture far from land, and when crossing from one island to another do their utmost to lessen the passage through deep water as much as possible by keeping close in shore and coasting along until the narrowest part of the channel is reached.

7. A glance suffices to show the most casual observer that it would be impossible471 to preserve the equilibrium of these frail barques without their outriggers, which, being attached to three or four pieces of wood passing through the interior of the canoe are, moreover, not easily removable.

8. The advantages possessed by the large plain "dug-outs" over the outriggers are twofold: for in the first place they can breast a fairly rough sea, while the others are fit only for use in perfectly calm weather; and in the second place, while the former can accommodate a party of from fifteen to forty persons, [p.369] the latter are seldom large enough to carry more than four or five, and usually not more than two adults.

9. The chief excellence of both these descriptions of canoes is that they cannot sink, owing to the nature of the wood of which they are constructed, and when, as not unfrequently happens, they capsize or are filled by a heavy wave, their occupants skilfully contrive, with but little delay, to right them and bale out the water, while clinging to the sides.

10. Most of the canoe-making is carried on during the months of August, September, and October, and the average time and labour expended is that of about eight men for a fortnight in hollowing out a canoe or "dug-out," and forming the much esteemed prow; for this purpose a trunk is selected varying in length from 10 to 30 feet, and when the bark has been removed, the exterior of the proposed canoe, with its important prow, is shaped with an adze (wolo-472), afterwards the interior is scooped out with the same implement; fire is not now-a-days employed; to expedite this latter process, whatever may have been the custom in past generations,473 though I may add that there do not appear to be any traditions in support of such a theory.

11. At the bottom and water-level, canoes, though sometimes more, are never less than 1½ to 3 inches thick, and indeed, if this were not the case, it would be impossible for them to stand, even for a few days, the rough treatment to which they are subjected, or to bear the spoils of a successful turtling expedition.

12. Though the result of the builders' labour might, by making every allowance for the rudeness of their tool, be termed "creditable," it seems passing strange that any writer should especially commend the "finish," "perfection," and "elegance" of the work, and maintain that it surpasses that which could be wrought by Chinese carpenters, whose skill in all handicrafts is so well established.

13. The Andamanese anchor consists merely of a heavy stone, or large lump of coral, fastened securely to a stout line of a few fathoms' length. Rafts are quite unknown to them at the present day, and no evidence of their use in bygone years has been discovered.474

14 The canoes are propelled along the shore475 by means of the haft of the harpoon spear (kowaia lako dutnga-), or, in deep [p.370] water, by paddles (waligma-) the size of which is not determined by custom, but varies according to the whim of the maker and the size of the piece of wood (generally of the Myristica longifolia) at his disposal;476 all, whether small or large, are used indiscriminately, either with the outriggers or simple "dug-outs"; paddles are never made by women, to whom, however, their ornamentation with koi'ob- and ka'ngata-buj- is afterwards entrusted.477

Ornamentation.—1. While the Andamanese habitually ornament their various utensils, weapons, &c., they never attempt to show their talent or originality by representing natural objects, or by devising a new pattern, but slavishly adhere to those which custom has prescribed for each article.478

2. These designs are executed by means of a Cyrena shell, or are painted in koi'ob-, ta'la-og-, or kangata-buj-; occasionally they content themselves with smearing the entire surface of the object with either of the two first-named pigments, but more often a background is thus formed for the better display of further embellishments.

3. These three substances supply their only colours, i.e., brick red (karob-), white (ta-la-ag-), and brown (ka-ngata-buj-).

4. Small land and sea shells479 (especially the Dentalium octogonum), certain seeds and bones are much prized, not only for making personal ornaments, but also for the adornment of weapons and implements, as well as the human skulls and jawbones which they often wear and carry about with them.

5. It may be added that the details of ornamentation are in most cases subordinate to the general form and outline of the object in question

6. The following is believed to be a complete list of the designs,480 both carved and painted, which are in use:—

I. Chevrons (jo'bo'tctrianga-).

Painted with koi'ob- or ta'la-da- on bows, buckets, canoes, and paddles.


II. Cross Lines (ig-yi-tinga-).

Cut by means of a Cyrena shell on the ragun- and ij'i-ganga- and painted with talaag-, between parallel lines, on the sounding board (pu'kuta-yem'nga).

III. Cross Lines (ig-bar-nga-).

Painted on the outer surface of baskets, the vertical lines with koi'ob-, and the oblique ones with tala-ag-.

IV. Parallel Lines (ig-a-inga-).

Painted with koi'ob- or la-la-ag- across handle of paddle.

V. Parallel Lines and Zigzag (jd'bo-tari'nga or tananga-).


Painted with tala-og- on ragun- and ij'iga'nga-.

VI. Lozenge Pattern.

(a) ja-bo'tarta-nga- (b) igi'unga-.


Painted with tala-ag- or kangaid'bu-, on ro-gun-, ifi'gd'nga-f d'do-i, and pu'kuta-.


VII. Plait Ornament or Guillochh (polibinga-).

Painted with id-la-dg- on bows and eating trays.

VIII. Fish-Bone (bar-nga-).

Painted on chip-.

IX. Cross Incisions (igeunga-) (? ig-yitinga).

Cut by means of a Cyrena shell on bows (karama-), and handles of adzes.

X. Loop Pattern (ot'enga-).

Painted with tala-ag- on the chi'di-.


XI. Vandykes with Scolloped Bands and Cross Lines (? ig-phinyaknga).

  Painted with kangata-buj- on ado-.481

Pottery.—1. These savages evince a superiority over the Australians, Tasmanians, Fuegeans, and many of the Pacific Islanders, in possessing some knowledge of the art of making pots.

2. It was formerly believed that they had "no vessel capable of resisting the action of fire,"482 but careful examination of their kitchen-middens has proved, beyond all doubt, that their present manufacture was equalled—if indeed it were not surpassed—many generations ago by their ancestors; the traditions current among them on the subject may also be mentioned, in passing, as pointing to a like conclusion.

3. The late Dr. Stoliczka, in his interesting paper on the Andamanese kitchen-middens,483 writes as follows:—"In submitting the rude fragments of pottery ... to an archaeologist in Europe, no one would long hesitate in referring them to the [p.374] stone age, at least to the Neolithic period; for, indeed, they are almost identical with the fragments of pottery found in the Danish kitchen-middens, though here fragments of pottery are comparatively very rare."

4. The manufacture of pots (buj-) is not confined to any particular class, or to either sex, but the better specimens are generally produced by men, and though the result is in neither case very satisfactory as regards appearance, they yet answer the purpose for which they are intended very fairly, and frequently serve as objects of barter among the various communities.

5. They invariably use, unmixed with any other substance, a particular description of clay called by them buj-pa-, which is only found in a few places, where, of course, the work is usually carried on: the method pursued is similar to that practised by the Kaffirs, and the only implements employed are a short pointed stick, an Area shell (the variety called parma-), and a board, which is generally either a sounding board (plikuton yem'nga-), or, if sufficiently large, an eating tray (pu'kuta' yat-matnga-).

6. As nothing of the character of a potter's wheel is known among them, the shape of the vessels depends upon the skill of the operator and upon the correctness of his eye. The first step in the process of making a pot is to remove any stones that are in the clay, which is then moistened with water and kneaded until it is of a proper consistency; several lumps are next rolled out in succession on the board, by means of the fingers and palms, into strips of about fifteen inches long and half-an-inch thick: one of these is now twisted by the artist into a cup-like shape,484 in order to form the base of the pot, which he proceeds to build up, taking care the while to exert sufficient pressure to ensure a uniform thickness, by adding one roll above another, each one commencing where the last ended, until the required dimensions are attained; then, if it be sufficiently firm and consolidated, an Area shell is carefully passed (nga'tanga-) over the inner and outer surfaces, which are thus rendered smoother, and are at the same time freed from any minute bits of stone that had previously escaped observation; the serrated edges of the [p.375] shell also impart a more finished appearance to the vessel ere it is further engraved (oinga-) on both surfaces,485 in wavy, checked, or striped designs,486 not, as has been assumed,487 by the finger-nail, but by means of the pointed stick before mentioned. The potter then places the utensil in the sun to dry, or, if the weather be wet or cloudy, before a fire, taking care to alter its position from time to tune so that all parts may be equally subjected to heat. When sufficiently hardened, he bakes it thoroughly by placing burning pieces of wood both inside and around the vessel;" occasionally during this process the pot cracks, which of course lenders it useless, but if this does not happen it is allowed to cool, and is then considered ready for use.

7. With good management a pot is ordinarily fit for use by the close of the day on which it is made. They may be said to be all of one quality and to differ only in size so as to be suitable for the use of a single family or a large party. The largest description is usually only to be seen in permanent encampments, the smaller kinds being taken when occasion arises for a migration, as for instance on account of a death, or because arrangements have been made for an entertainment at some other place. The medium size is almost invariably provided with a rough basket-work casing, which not only renders it more portable but also serves to protect it, in some measure, from the many accidents to which it is liable.

8. The pots ordinarily made will hold about nine pints, but the larger kinds possess double this capacity, while others again are no larger than half an ordinary cocoanut-shell; these last are employed in making katigata-buj-, and also when using it;488 with this exception none of the vessels are reserved or manufactured for any special purpose, but serve alike for all times, whether for festivals, migrations, or ordinary occasions. No substitutes for [p.376] pottery are in use, as has been supposed,489 unless the fact of certain molluscs,490 being cooked in their shells can be so described. Broken pottery is not buried in graves or beneath landmarks, but is cast aside as rubbish.

9. No kind of painting or varnishing is ever attempted, and models of men or animals are never made. They are also ignorant of glazing and of making porous pottery for cooling vessels.

Natural Forms and Miscellaneous Manufactures.—1. The natural forms of stones are employed by the Andamanese, as by other savage tribes, as anvils and hammers. like the natives of New Guinea,491 they always carry with them, or keep ready for use, one or more Cyrena shells (u'ta-), as these serve them in a great variety of ways: for example, in dressing and preparing the wooden portion of their arrows; in sharpening their bamboo and cane492 knives, and the inner edge of the boar's tusk, in order to adapt it for use as a plane; as a spoon,493 in eating gravy, &c.; as a knife, in cutting thatching leaves, &c., and in severing the joints of meat; and as a scraper in separating the pulp from the fibre of the Anadendron paniculatum and other plants, from which they manufacture their various descriptions of string and cord; these shells are likewise employed in making the ornamental incisions in their weapons, implements, leaf-ornaments, &c., in preparing the peculiar uj- appendage (worn when dancing); and they are also frequently used for planing purposes.494 Indeed, I think I may fairly say that among their savage arts there is probably nothing so calculated to surprise and interest a stranger as the many and clever uses to which necessity has taught them to put this simple but highly effective tool.


2. Arca shells, on account of their serrated lips, serve the double purpose—when a pot is being manufactured—of removing pieces of stone from the outer surface, and of imposing a more finished appearance to the vessel. Pinna shells are kept as receptacles for tala-ag-, and as plates for food, while Nautilus shells do duty as drinking vessels. No evidence can be found in support of Mr. St John's statement,495 that human skulls are used as boxes to contain small objects, for neither these nor the skulls of animals appear to have been ever so employed;496 the former are kept and carried, as I have elsewhere explained, merely as mementoes of the departed, and the latter are stuck on poles, or hung round the eaves of their huts, as trophies of the chase. Pinna and other shells are said to have been used in former times as adze blades, but this is no longer the case, for quantities of iron are always obtainable. Strange as it may seem to some of my readers, there is no trace or tradition of stone having been utilised for this purpose.

3. The only instances in which these tribes appear to have had recourse to the natural defences of animals in the manufacture of their weapons are—(a) in the use of the serrated bone at the root of the tail of the sting-ray for their fish-arrows; and (b) of the valves of Pema ephippium, which were formerly—after being ground and shaped—fastened to their wooden-headed arrows, for use in hunting, and in hostile expeditions. Since, however, they have found themselves able to procure ample supplies of iron, these shell arrow-heads, like the shell adze-blades, have been discarded in favour of iron wire, nails, hoop-iron, &c.

4. The bamboo, although not employed by the Andamanese in such a variety of ways as it is by many savages, is yet in constant use in one or other of the following modes, viz.—of the ordinary medium size (male species) they form the shafts of their turtle-harpoons;497 of the female species498 they make water-holders, and receptacles for cooked food when travelling (gob-); knives (po-cho-), which are narrow pieces hardened [p.378] over a fire, and sharpened by means of a Cyrena shell; netting-needles (patakla-) and tongs (kai-), which last consist merely of a strip of bamboo, bent double, with pointed ends;499 the slender Bambusa nana, called ri'di-, is generally selected for forming the hooked pole (ngatangor-), and it is likewise invariably employed for the shafts of their wooden and iron-pointed arrows.

5. Although there are materials ready to hand wherewith they might easily construct a few such simple musical instruments as are made and used by the Nicobarese, no attempt seems to have been made by them in this direction, for the rude sounding board (pukutayem'na-) can hardly be included under this head. This circumstance seems to find its explanation in the fact that though they are good timists their talent for music is (as will be presently shown, on the testimony of more than one competent authority) of the lowest type.

6. A brush, suitable for painting the stripes on their baskets (job-), baby-slings (chip-), &c., is obtained from a drupe of the small fruit of the Pandanus Artdamanensium (mang-), the pulp having been first extracted by means of a Cyrena shell.

7. Skins of animals, thorns, or spines of trees are not made use of by these people in any way, nor do they have recourse to caves, rock-shelters, or tree-tops for their dwellings, though they occasionally, as I have before mentioned, avail themselves of the buttress-like formations of the roots of such trees as the Ficus laccifera, Bombax malbaricum, Sterculia villosa, &c., when travelling in bad weather, or when suddenly overtaken by a storm. Palm-leaves, as I explained when describing their habitations, are employed for thatching purposes.

Leather-work.—From the last sentence it will be correctly inferred that there is no evidence of their having ever possessed a knowledge of the art of dressing and preparing skins for use in any form: this may be due as much to the limited number and variety of those animals500 whose hides might be turned to account in this way as to the equable temperature of the climate, which renders such, or indeed any covering unnecessary.


Metallurgy.—Having been, till comparatively recent times, ignorant almost of the existence as well as of the uses of iron, it is not to be wondered at that smelting and forging have been to them unknown arts. Now that they are better informed, and are able to procure pieces of hoop-iron, keel-plate, &c., they apply them to the manufacture of their blades and adzes, reducing them to the required thinness by continually striking the cold metal with a hard smooth stone (tai'li-ban'a) on a rude anvil (raraj-) of the same substance; such portions of the iron as are then found to exceed the dimensions requisite for the weapon or tool under construction are placed over the edge of the anvil and broken off by dint of repeated blows: the new edge thus formed, being more or less jagged, is then ground on a bone till the blade assumes the desired shape. Many of the aborigines who have been living for some time at Port Blair have, however, advanced a stage beyond this, for, by using such old chisels as they may succeed in procuring, they contrive to make their arrow-heads and other implements much more speedily than by the old method. The pointed weapons, e.g., the kotoai'a- and taibod-, are made from pieces of stout wire, large nails, &c., by dint of laborious and patient hammering on the ra'tap- and grinding on the talag-.

Stone implements.—1. Although a great portion of the inhabitants of Great Andaman have for some time past been able through us to procure iron in sufficient quantities to substitute it for stone (not to mention bones and shells), still they can by no means be said to have passed out of the stone age; indeed, the more distant tribes still retain the use, with scarcely any modification, of most of the stone and other implements which served their ancestors. Even the inmates of the homes at Port Blair may still often be seen employing one or other of them, evidently therefore from choice: this more especially refers to the first three in the following list,501 which comprises the small number of stone implements in ordinary use among the present aboriginal inhabitants of the islands:—

rarap-, the anvil
tai'lina-, the hammer (probably a smooth round piece of dolerite or fine-grained basalt).
talag-, the whetstone (consisting of slightly micaceous sandstone).
talma lakoiug-502 (lit. quartz tooth), chips or flakes for shaving, tattooing, &c.


la-, cooking stones; common pebbles, about a couple of inches in diameter, which are heated, and then placed on all sides of the food which it is intended to cook.

2. When a new whetstone is required—as no method of cutting stone is known to them—a block of soft sandstone is chosen, which, if too large, is placed on a fire till it breaks; the piece best adapted for the purpose is then taken and shaped according to fancy, by the aid of one of the bard smooth stone hammers; after being used a short time the edges wear down, and it answers as a hone for several months.503

3. Chips and flakes are never used more than once; in fact, several are generally employed in each operation: those having a sharp blade-like edge are reserved for shaving, while others with a fine point being kept for tattooing or scarifying; when done with they are thrown on a refuse heap, or otherwise disposed of, lest injury should befall any one by inadvertently treading on them. Flaking is regarded as one of the duties of women, and is usually performed by them.504

4. For making chips two pieces of white quartz are needed; the stones are not pressed against the thigh, nor are they bound round tightly so as to increase the line of least resistance to the blow of the flaker; but one of the pieces is first heated and afterwards allowed to cool, it is then held firmly and struck at right angles with the other stone: by this means is obtained in a few moments a number of fragments suitable for the purposes above mentioned. A certain knack is apparently necessary in order to produce the kind of chips which are at the time required: the smallest flakes are obtained in the same manner and never by pressure.

5. Glass chips are now generally used by all who are in communication with ourselves, in preference to those of flint, as they are sharper and more effective; the method in which they are obtained is the same, the thick lump of glass forming the bottom of beer and wine bottles being selected for the purpose, and never the thinner portions.

6. It has been stated505 that formerly, for tattooing, a ''sharpened flint bound to a stick" was used, and that the present instrument is a bit of broken bottle "inserted into the split extremity of a stick"; no instance has, however, been found confirmatory of the words quoted, and the Andamanese [p.381] themselves declare that they never haft the stone chips or glass flakes, and that the former are never "sharpened," but produced in the manner already described.

7. Quartz is commonly met with throughout the country occupied by the tribes with which we are in friendly intercourse; no difficulty, therefore, is ever experienced in obtaining all, or, indeed, any of the other varieties of stone which they use. It is employed for no other purposes than those here indicated, as has been assumed,506 and the art of producing fire by its means is unknown to them.

8. The whetstone and hammer only are offered as mediums of exchange, but no great value is attached to either of these objects, nor is any superstition associated with their usage: they are therefore—when no longer serviceable—cast aside.

9. Stones are not used by them for cutting wood or bone, the latter being usually crushed by a hammer for the sake of the marrow. Before the introduction of iron, small holes were bored with bone or pieces of shell, but rarely, if ever, with stone, and no implement has been found which might be supposed to have served as a stone saw or scraper, for which purposes shells apparently have been generally employed.

10. In his "Note on the Kjokken-Moddings of the Andaman Islands" the late Dr. Stoliczka also refers to a celt found in one of these refuse heaps as "a small but typical arrow-head," and describes it as of Tertiary sandstone. The Andamanese, however, maintain that they never, even when iron was scarce, made arrow-heads, axes, adzes, or chisels of stone; they also affirm that the fragments which have been found in the kitchen-middens, and which have given rise to the impression of having formerly served one or other of the above purposes are merely quartz flakes or broken pieces of cooking stones or bones which, in former times as now, were thrown among the rubbish when no longer of use.507

11. Stones are not regarded as thunderbolts or worn as amulets: they are not placed in water previous to their being worked, and holes are never bored in them, nor is the surface ever ground or polished.


Basket-work.—1. Among the few remaining industries of these savages on which I have a few words to say is that of basket-making: these baskets are invariably made from the best specimens of the common cane called paga- which is similar to, if not identically the same as that ordinarily used by our basket-makers and chair-menders.

2. After removing the leaves, part of the cane is cut into lengths of 3 or 4 feet, and the "skin" or cuticle is shredded off into strips 1 or ½ inch wide; the remainder of the cane is split into as long pieces as possible, and the "skin" is cut into strips somewhat narrower than the others; shorter lengths of the canes form the "ribs" or "stakes," in and out of which the strips are woven or "slewed."

3. In order that the basket may stand steadily508 it has always a "kick" like our bottles, and to construct this is of course the first object; when the stakes have been firmly secured in the centre, they are placed over a small hole scooped out of the ground, and the heel of the basket-maker is placed on them while the weaving is commenced; when it has been carried on to a breadth of 2 or 3 inches the heel is removed, the canes reversed, and the work proceeds in the ordinary way until within an inch of the required depth, where, for the sake of appearance, the interweaving is omitted: the handle is then formed out of a strip of the bark of the Melochia velillina (alaio-); stripes of talorag- and koiob- are usually added by way of ornamentation; no method of rendering them waterproof is known. Baskets are not converted into moulds for pottery; but sometimes, when travelling, earthen vessels are placed in a loose wicker casing, in order to protect them, and at the same time to facilitate their removal.

4 There is a marked difference509 between the baskets made by the five bojig- tribes and those manufactured by the ,ye'rewa-; with the latter the work is more neatly finished, and the opening is small instead of being wide, as is the case among the former.510

5. Baskets are used for all sorts of purposes by men, women, and children, and, considering the rough usage to which they are subjected, last fairly well, for they seldom require to be renewed for several months: they are not used as strainers or colanders, the fine net (chapanga-) serving this purpose.

String, &c.—1. The Andamanese do not produce their stout cord (betma-), string (b'tmabar-), or twine (mata-), from animal [p.383] substances, but from the bark fibres of trees and shrubs, known to them by the names of alaba- (Melochia veltilina), pa-utar- (Gnetum edule), and yolba- (Anadendron paniculum). The first of these is found growing near the shore, where it seldom attains a height of 20 feet; it is from fibre obtained from the bark of this tree that their cinctures (betmaba-), harpoon-lines (betma-), and turtle-nets (yato'ti'pinga-) are manufactured. When any of the articles have to be made or replaced, it becomes the duty of some member of the male sex to procure a smooth clean branch—one which is also fairly straight and free from gnarls being preferred—and to remove the bark; the cellular integument is next scraped with a Cyrena shell (u'ta-) until the fibres which it encloses are laid bare: these are then placed in the sun, or before a fire, to dry; when ready for use (i.e., when thoroughly dry) the ropemaker ties several of the filaments to his toe and proceeds with his work by winding another strand spirally round them, adding a fresh length from time to time. When special strength or durability is needed, a coating of black wax (tabtil-pla-) is finally applied. The yam thus produced is termed be'ima-maianga-. When a long piece of this has been made (say 30 yards), a large portion of it is wound round the two cross-sticks forming the ku'tegbo-.511 The operator, having then seated himself with legs outstretched, places a stick or cane between the big toes of his feet, and over this bar he passes the ku'tegbo-, thus enabling him to wind it continuously round the other half-length of the yam, which, for convenience sake, he has previously placed by his right side, so that it is drawn behind his neck and over his left shoulder as the work proceeds. After the first foot or so of the cord has been thus made, the operator holds or clutches that portion with his toes. It will be understood that in employing the ku-tegbo in the above manner, it becomes necessary at frequent intervals to unwind a certain quantity from that implement, in order to enable the work to progress. The cord thus made is called be'ima-, and this it is of which their harpoon-lines and turtle-nets are made. The beima-ba- (lit, small be'ima-), mentioned above, is made in the same way, but of course less fibre and a smaller ku-tegbo- are used.

2. For making hand fishing-nets (kudr-) and sleeping-mats (parepa-), the fibre of the Gnetum edule (pi'lita-) is used; in the preparation and manufacture of these, women exclusively are concerned; the first process is to cut a number of the trailers into lengths which are determined by the distances between the knots and joints: these are held against the [p.384] thigh, and the cuticle is removed by means of the Cyrena shell; the underlying white fibres are left for a week or ten days in the sun until thoroughly dry, when they separate readily, and are easily worked up into fine or coarse twine, as may be required by the manipulator.

3. The fibre of the Anadendron paniculatum (yolba-) is chiefly used for making bowstrings, reticules (chapanga-), necklaces, and twine for arrow fastenings; its manufacture is accordingly not restricted to either sex. When the bark has been stripped off, in lengths of 8 to 15 inches, the operator presses the inner portion upon his (or her) thigh, and then rapidly but carefully passes a Cyrena shell along the outer surface until the fibres done remain; these are then, as in the previous cases, dried in the sun, or before a fire; when a sufficient supply of material has been thus obtained, it is made into fine twine, or, if not required for immediate use, wrapped in leaves in order that it may be kept fresh. Although apparently free from any obnoxious properties, this plant, as well as the fibres obtained therefrom, until it is converted into twine or bowstrings, is believed by the Andamanese to render the flesh of a turtle uneatable if placed near it; consequently this meat, when inadvertently so contaminated, is thrown away; further, no one who has been collecting yo'lba-, or who has been engaged in preparing the fibre, can (for a period extending to three days) be allowed to cook a turtle, or even to accompany a party engaged on a turtling expedition! Sharks and other dangerous fish are also credited with having so wholesome a horror or detestation of !this plant (and also of Cyrena shells!) that the aborigines are in the habit of attaching some yolba-, or Cyrena shells (or both), to their cinctures as a safeguard when about to swim in parts believed to be infested by these creatures.

4. The yellow skin of the root of a certain orchid, called rd-, which is commonly found on trees near the shore, is often seen intertwined with their yolba- string, in personal ornaments, and occasionally in the decoration of weapons, but where strength is a requisite it is of course not used.

5. Bowstrings of pi'lita and yolba- are made in the manner described in the manufacture of aloha- rope, but ordinary string is made in the following manner:—a few of the prepared filaments are twisted into a yarn on the thigh with the palm of the hand; when two lengths have been obtained, they are together rolled into string of the desired strength, and beeswax is smeared over it to make assurance doubly sure.

6. Twine, made from the yolba-, is used in netting the fine chains (rax-) and the reticules (chapanga-); for turtle- [p.385] nets the stronger aioba- is employed, while for the hand fishing-nets (kud-) string, made from the pi-lita, is almost exclusively reserved. In this handicraft the Andamanese are especially skilful, and regulate to a nicety the size of the mesh by using the little or forefinger; it should be mentioned that their rude netting needles of bamboo (patakla-) are not very dissimilar to those used in Europe. Sewing is to them an almost unknown art, but they describe needlework by the word jatke, which expresses their manner of uniting the large liya-leaves, to form a screen, with the pliable stem of this leaf, and also their mode of repairing a canoe, holes being bored and strips of cane (pi'dga-) threaded above and below the crack, which has been previously filled in on both sides with toba-pid-.

Games and Amusements.—1. And now, having passed in brief review their various arts and manufactures, I will bring my account of Andamanese life to a close with a brief description of their games and amusements.

2. Unlike many Eastern races they evince from their earliest years a partiality for active pursuits in which monotony or great bodily exertion are not entailed, and great was the delight of the children in the Orphanage when they were instructed in some of our English games, especially kite-flying, and see-saw;512 it is at the same time curious to note that, though not borrowed from aliens, their pastimes, in many instances, bear close resemblance to those in vogue among children in this and other lands; notably is this the case with regard to those known to us as blindman's buff,513 leap-frog,514 and hide-and-seek.515

3. With respect to the first-named of these, large leaves, in lieu of a handkerchief, are fastened over the eyes, and the difficulties of the "blind man" are greatly increased by its being obligatory for him to catch the person who blinded him while being pulled about, and jostled by the rest of the players.

4. In "leap-frog," instead of stooping, one man squats on his heels while his companion bounds over him without touching him and takes the same position, to be in his turn jumped over.

5. Mock pig-hunting516 after dark is another very favourite amusement; one of the party undertakes the role of the pig, and, betaking himself to a distance, runs hither and thither, [p.386] imitating the grunting of that animal, while his comrades shoot off harmless arrows,517 and the direction from whence the sounds proceed until one hits its intended mark.

6. Another variety of this game is as follows:—one man leaves the encampment after dark armed with litara-arrows, which, on his return after a brief absence, he fires off into different huts, while the occupants hide themselves or run away screaming as if attacked by an enemy.518

7. Similarly in the sea they play at turtling: one end of a long line is held firmly by some one in the canoe, the other being fastened to the arm of the man who is to represent the turtle. Diving suddenly into the water, he is at once followed by the rest, who try to capture him, while he does his utmost to elude them by swimming, doubling, and diving, till fairly exhausted.

8. Sometimes when they are assembled together in the evening one of the men will get up and exclaim, "I will go after the Evil Spirit of the Woods" (wai do ,erem-chau'gala judke-.)519 Taking nothing with him but a lighted log, he goes off into the jungle and is soon lost to sight; his friends then call to him and inquire if he has caught the demon, whereupon he begins to rush about shouting and hitting about him as if in pursuit of, or struggling with some one; he is next asked "Who are you?" (mij-a ngol)—apparently to suggest the idea that during his combat with the evil one he has been transformed, or rather, has lost his identity—the reply is given in a feigned voice, "I am" (naming some person long since deceased) "and have come for such and such a purpose." Something being then thrown at him he threatens them with annihilation unless they desist; still remaining in his hiding-place he amuses himself, and presumably also his friends, by singing, until at last two or three of the company search him out and bring him back to the camp, where, with a view of keeping up his assumed character, he remains silent and feigns sleep, often for the rest of the evening.

9. An impromptu swing is sometimes devised out of one of the long stout creepers, commonly found overhanging a bough perpendicularly from a height of 40 to 50 feet: clinging firmly to this they swing each other520 as far as possible, just as we swing children.


10. Young men often compete with one another in swimming, diving feet foremost into the water from an overhanging rock or branch with shouts of delight. Sometimes they will race together in their canoes,521 but this only happens on chance occasions, when the idea has been suddenly suggested by one of the party, and not by pre-arrangement.

11. In parts, where trees of the Alpinia species abound, they now and then vie in seeing who amongst them can force his way with greatest rapidity through the dense barrier of leaves and smooth stems which it presents,522 and thus probably they acquire, in great measure, the skill which in an early section I mentioned they invariably display when threading their way through the jungles.

12. At times they compete in throwing upwards a short piece of string, weighted at each end with a stone,523 the object of course being to see who can fling highest. Similarly Cyrena shells are occasionally sent skimming through the air, to test their powers in throwing long distances.524

13. While wandering along the coast they may sometimes be seen playing at ducks-and-drakes525 with any small flat stones they may chance to pick up.

14 They are all especially fond of showing their skill in shooting a moving object, and for this purpose select the round root of a creeper called go'dam-, or the pod of the Carapa obovata, which they roll along the ground or down a slope, aiming at it while in motion.526

15. No special amusements are indulged in by women527 whose chief delight seems to consist in the laudable endeavour to surpass one another in adorning the persons of their relatives with the best design in tala-og-.

16. Young boys sometimes amuse themselves with wrestling (ad-lenga-) on the sand, where also they may not unfrequently be observed playing at mock burials.528 On these occasions one [p.388] of their number has to submit to be covered with sand until the head only is visible; fire is then placed near the spot after the custom of their race; for the like reason these sports usually take place near some landmark, such as a conspicuous tree, boulder, or overhanging rock: when the semi-interred child has had enough of it he jumps out and another companion is chosen to take his place.

17. Children may also sometimes be seen diverting themselves by tying a fine string to the leg of a toad or tree-lizard;529 this cruel sport, unless their elders interfere, is only ended by the death of the unfortunate captive.

18. They are fond of searching for small crabs and fish, and having them cooked for a sham banquet,530 the earnestness they display in "pretending" on these occasions is irresistibly entertaining, and would be heartily appreciated by European children who have experienced the delight of preparing a "doll's feast."

19. Boys also play at seizing each other under the surface of the water, or amuse themselves with making tiny canoes and floating them towards one another; they are, as I have before mentioned, early provided with miniature bows and arrows, and encouraged to become good marksmen.

20. While the foregoing amusements are of frequent occurrence among the juvenile members of a community,531 the chief diversion of the adults consists in entertainments resembling the Australian "corroboree," when dancing and singing are kept up for many successive hours by moonlight, or by the blaze of the camp fires.

21. Any passing event, such as a successful hunt, an unexpected visit from distant relatives or friends, the commencement of a new season, the recovery of some member of the community from illness, a marriage, and even the termination of the mourning period, is made the excuse for one of these entertainments.

22. Besides these smaller festivities, large gatherings of a tribe are also organised from time to time by the head chief, who generally receives an offer, in the first instance, from the members of some far-off community to give ae- at his encampment. As these offers are only made when it is known to be convenient they are always accepted, and invitations for a certain day are at once sent to all living within an easy distance.


23. The intervening days are spent by the proposers of the entertainment in perfecting a song and chorus, which it is intended to perform, and which generally has been composed expressly for the occasion, by some volunteer532 upon whom also devolves the responsibility of singing the solo and training the so-called chorus. As a considerable amount of distinction among his fellows may be gained by the manner in which he acquits himself in his onerous undertaking, it will be readily understood that the improvisatore spares no pains over the preparation and rehearsal of anew song, which, as he fondly hopes, will render his name, if not immortal, at all events famous for many a year. The subject is chosen in reference to some recent personal or tribal exploit or adventure, and is embodied in a distich, followed by a chorus, or rather refrain, which as often as not consists merely in a repetition of the couplet forming the solo; in this refrain women alone are instructed; the main point aimed at is apparently accuracy of time, for, as I have said in my last paper, everything, even sense, is sacrificed in their songs to rhythm.

24. In order to combine pleasure with profit, sundry implements or articles, which are more common in their community than in that of their hosts, are taken by the visitors on these occasions for purposes of presentation, or, to speak more correctly, of barter.

25. It is the duty of the hosts to make all necessary preparations, to provide torches, as well as food and water, for the expected guests, and to sweep the bulum-, clearing it of all rubbish, lest inconvenience or injury should be occasioned by the stones, shells, bones, &c., which gradually accumulate, in spite of the "Kitchen-middens" so invariably found in the vicinity of all permanent encampments of long standing.

26. When nearing the scene of their festivity the visitors pause, for the double purpose of a rehearsal and that the women may have time to adorn the party in their holiday suits of paint, as these would have lost their beauty and freshness if donned previous to leaving home.

27. That a weird and dramatic effect should be produced on a civilised mind by one of these entertainments, especially when occurring at night, will be readily understood if one pictures the scene:—in a small clearing in the midst, or on the border of a dense jungle are gathered a hundred or even more painted [p.390] savages of both sexes; the moon sheds a soft light on all, while from each hut the lurid glare of a wood fire throws its fitful shadows across the scattered groups; on one side, seated in a row, are the women who are to join in the refrain; on the other, in dark relief within their several huts, are seen the audience, many of whom assist in marking time by clapping their hands or by slapping the hollow between their outstretched legs with their open palms. In a conspicuous position stands the composer and conductor: with one foot on the pointed end of a sounding board,533 and supporting himself on a spear, bow, or pole, he gives the time to the singers and dancers by kicking the board with the sole or heel of the other foot; in this wearying duty he is from time to time relieved by one of his male friends and, occasionally, even by a woman. During the solo, which partakes of the character of a "recitative," all other voices are hushed, and the listeners remain motionless, but as soon as the signal is given for the refrain, a number of men emerge suddenly from the gloom surrounding the encampment, and rushing excitedly into the arena, perform their part with frantic energy, generally adding their voices to those of the women to swell the volume of sound. Save at the titolatnga- women only occasionally take a share in the dances, but their performances are considered by some foreigners as rather suggestive of impropriety—with what justice I am not prepared to say, for modesty, at least, is satisfied by the wearing of a larger leaf apron than usual.

28. There is now-a-days534 but one description of dance in vogue with either sex, but it differs somewhat in the two sexes, and therefore must be dwelt upon briefly.

29. A man, when dancing (as in Plate IX, fig. 2), curves his back, and throws all his weight on one leg, the knee of which is bent; his hands are raised to a level with his chest, and outstretched before him, the thumb of one hand being held between the forefinger and thumb of the other, while the remaining digits are separated and extended upwards;535 he then advances by sudden jerks and hops [p.391] taken with the leg on which he is resting, and taps the ground after every second movement with the sole of the other foot; in this manner he crosses and recrosses the entire bulum-, joining in the chorus as he proceeds, each step being taken in time with the thuds on the sounding-board, and the singing of the refrain. When fatigued, the performer makes a little variation by marking time in a rather odd manner, for the knees are bent, and the heels are raised alternately off the ground, the chief point of importance being to maintain the same time throughout.

30. Women, in dancing, swing their arms backwards and forwards; at the same time the knees are bent, and they make a succession of short bobs up and down, in perfect time; every now and then a few steps in advance are taken, and then the action is repeated.

31. To convey an accurate impression of the exact step, or of the effect of the respective performances of the two sexes, is not easy, but I trust that the above descriptions will convey a fair idea of their general character and peculiarities.

32. The alternating of solo and chorus continues for many hours, and generally only ceases with the first faint streaks of dawn, when those of the hosts who have managed to keep awake during the long night revel, lead the visitors to the huts they are to occupy, and then themselves sing and dance as a return compliment.

33. To a stranger not gifted with a keen ear for music, there is at first a certain amount of attraction in the oft-repeated cadence, but it must be confessed that, after a residence in the neighbourhood of one of the homes, one learns to wish that their musical performances were characterised by a little more variety, and were rather less protracted, though some compensation may be found at night, as the steady continuance of the monotonous sounds has a most soothing and somniferous effect.

34. It seems hardly necessary to say that all their songs are sung in unison, for they have no idea of choral or part-singing. They appear, however, able to distinguish between various kinds of music, and especially appreciate the performances of our regimental bands.

35. Dr. Brander gives a specimen of their monotonous chant—the compass of which will be found to include only three notes—in the following stave of our musical notation:—


36. Every now and then, as the refrain ends, the soloist cries—

aba eboyu-he'date,536 (a)

to which the singers respond by shouting—

tedre'd're-a'red,536 (b)

which seems equivalent to Tra-la-la, for it has no meaning per se.

37. When the guests have sufficiently rested from their night's exertions, they visit their special friends or relatives, and, if' within the prescribed limits of affinity, indulge537 in weeping together;538 these visits are usually followed by an interchange of gifts, the hosts taking the initiative, and a, fracas not unfrequently ensues, for donor and recipient are not always of a mind as to the respective values of their "presents." Should all, however, pass off smoothly, the assemblage breaks up into various small parties for hunting or fishing, according to the situation of the encampment.




Oral Vowels and Diphthongs

a idea cut al'aba kind of tree
ã cur (with untrilled r) ba small, ya'ba not
à Ital. casa ela-ka region
â father da ke don't (imperative)
ä (1) fathom jarawa name of a tribe
e (2) bed emj name of a tree
  chaotic re bom-did
e (3) pair e'la pig-arrow
i police ya'di turtle, pid hair
o indolent boi-goli European
ō (4) pole job basket
ò pot pol'i-ke dwell-does
ó awful togo wrist, shoulder
u influence hu'kwa name of a tree
u pool pu'd-re burn-did
oi bite dai'ke understand-does
ou house chopawa narrow
òu Germ. haus chau body
òi boil boi-goli European


b bed bud hut
ch church chak ability, mich-alen why
    ruch Ross Island
d dip daga large
g gap gob bamboo utensil
h hay he ho! dwe'h (h sounded, see note 5) etcetera
j judge ja'bag bad, e'mej name of a tree
k king ka-gal-ke ascend-does
l lap log navigable channel
m man mugu face
n nun nau-ke walk-does, ro'pan toad
n Fr. gagner otnd'ba another, one more
ng bring ngi-gi friend, erkedang-ke in-trees, search (11)
ng (6)   nga more
p pap pid hair
r (7) rest rab necklace of netting, rata wooden arrow
r (8) torrent ra.ta sea water
s sad not found (9)
t ten ti blood
t   t'i tear (from the eye) (10)
w wet wo'lo adze, .bal'awa name of a tribe
y yolk yaba a little



The syllable under stress in any word is shown by placing a turned period (·) after a long vowel, or the consonant following a short vowel, in every word of more than one syllable.

When no stress is marked, it should be placed on a long vowel and diphthong in a word, or if there are none such, on the first syllable.

As it is not usual to find capitals cast for the accented letters, the capital at the beginning of a word is for uniformity in all cases indicated by prefixing a direct period, as .bal'awa.

Substantives, adjectives, and adverbs generally end in "da," which is usually dropped before post positions and in construction; hence when I write a hyphen at the end of a word, I mean that in its full form it has "da."


(1) a accented before a consonant, is the English a in mat, as distinguished from à which is the short of à or Italian a in anno.

(2) e accented in closed syllables, as in bed; in open syllables unaccented, as in chaotic, or Italian padre, amore.

(3) No vanishing sound of i as in English say.

(4) No vanishing sound of u as in English know,

(5) h is sounded after a vowel by continuing breath through the position of the mouth, while remitting the voice.

(6) ng is a palatalised ng, and bears the same relation to it as ñ bears to it. To pronounce n attempt to say n and y simultaneously; to pronounce ng do the same for ng and y.

(7) This r is soft and gentle with no sensible ripple of the tongue, as very frequently in English, but not merely vocal.

(8) This r is strongly trilled, as r in Scotch or Italian r, or Spanish rr.

(9) The Andamanese cannot hiss, and hence they substitute ch for s, thus Ruch for Rus, the Hindi corruption of Ross.

(10) This t' is a post-aspirate t, like the Indian th, quite different from English thy and hence to prevent confusion, the Greek spiritus asper is imitated by a turned comma. The sound t' is common in Irish-English, and may often be heard in England.

(11) When ng is followed by a vowel, it must run on to that vowel only, and not be ran on to the preceding vowel, either as in "finger" or in "singer," thus be-ri-nga-da "good" not be'-ring-a-da, be-ring-god-a, or be-rin-ga-da. It is only when no vowel follows that ng is run on to the preceding vowel.



1. karama-. Bow of a flattened S-shaped form, as made and used by the tribes of South and Middle Andaman, and the [p.395] Archipelago, viz.: .bod'jig-'ngi-ji', .bojig-d'b-, .akch.ju'wai-, ahar-bil-, and .bal'am-,541 and called by them bojig karama-542 (our style of bow), to distinguish it from the bows used by the inhabitants of North and Little Andaman: it is made of a hard wood, generally of a variety called chai-, or—though less frequently—of the bad'ama-, yarla-, paud-, or cha-dak-.543 For hunting in the interior, the usual length of these bows, for the sake of convenience, is about 4 feet; the same or somewhat larger bows are used in the open jungle, along the coast, or when shooting fish; when made for presentation rather than for use, they are elaborately ornamented and carefully prepared in every way, and measure 6 or 7 feet in length. It is customary to ornament both sides of every bo'jig bow, first by cutting a rough X-like pattern along the edge from end to end with a Cyrena shell, and then with grass or leaves smearing koiob- (item 60) over both surfaces, to form a background, upon which they finally paint a design in tala-og- (item 58); the upper end, or nock, of the bow is also frequently decorated with a piece of fine netting called rab- (item 42); the bowstring is made of the bark fibre of the Ariadendron paniculatum (Andam., yalba-, item 64), to which, to increase its strength, a coating of black beeswax (tobul-pid-, item 57) is frequently applied. Children's bows544 only are ever made of mangrove wood, and then the Rhizophora conjugata is usually preferred.

[Note.—The North Andaman bows, called chokio-, which are generally, if not always, made from the tree they call had'oma- differ somewhat in design from those just described: they are also more neatly made, and are never painted or otherwise ornamented, and are almost invariably of a uniform size, 5 to 5½ feet in length. The Little Andaman and other jarawa- bows are of a totally different form, and appear to be commonly made of wood of the tree known to them as lokoma.]

2. rata-. The common blunt wooden-headed arrow, used when practising at an object: the shaft consists of a reed-like variety of bamboo (Bambusa nana) called ridi-, and the foreshaft is generally a piece of the hard portion of the wood of the [p.396] Areca, or less frequently of the root of the Rhizaphara canjugata: the point is usually hardened over a fire, and straightened by means of their teeth.

3. tirled-. The ordinary fish arrow, which differs from the ra'ta- only in that the point is sharpened.

4. talta-. Fish arrow, about 4 feet long, made like the preceding varieties, but provided with an iron head and barb; the string fastenings attaching the same to the foreshaft are covered with hangata-buj- (item 62). In former times the head of this arrow consisted of a fish-bone; the serrated bone at the root of the tail of the sting-ray (item 53) was often employed for this purpose.

5. ela-. Pig arrow, about 3 feet in length: the foreshaft consists of a triangular piece of flattened iron fastened to the end of a small stick about 4 inches in length; at the base of the head one or two (rarely three) iron barbs are fixed to the stick, the end of which is fitted into a socket (a-ka-elango-) provided for it in the shaft; the head and shaft are connected by a flattened thong about 8 inches long, made from the fibre of the Anadendran paniculatum, and which, before the arrow is fired, is always wound round the wooden portion of the foreshaft by twisting the latter when placing it in its socket; when an animal is struck the head of the arrow is retained in the flesh by the barbs (archa'ga-), and as the foreshaft slips out of its socket by reason of the struggles and movements of the animal in its efforts to escape, the trailing shaft quickly becomes entangled in the brushwood, thereby detaining the victim and ensuring its capture.

6. ela laka lupa-. This, as indicated by its name, is merely a plain pig arrow, having no foreshaft like the more elaborate ela-: it is less effective than the latter, but more easily made.

7. tolbod lartan-.

7a. ela lartam-. (lit, ancient). Fish and pig arrows, headed respectively with fish bone (nip lar bul-, item 63) and the Perna ephippium shell, which are said to have been used in former times when iron was unobtainable.

8. cham-paligma-. Plain wooden arrows, about 3 feet in length, made of the wood of the Areca palm: it is said that when iron was scarce these were shaped somewhat like the ela- (item 5) or tirled- (item 3), and used as pig and fish arrows, [p.397] but now they are never so employed, being apparently made only for the "sake of auld lang syne," or to display the skill of the maker.

[Note.—The .jarawa- are only as yet known to employ the two varieties of arrows, viz., the ela- and the ti'rled-; the latter much resembles those bearing the same name and made by the eight Great Andaman tribes, but the former is a more formidable weapon, being larger and more strongly made.]

9. er-du'tnga- or galain-. Pig spear, generally 6 or 7 feet long; the haft consists ordinarily of a piece of ground rattan (bol-), and a large double-edged blade forms the head. This weapon is rarely used, the ela- (item 5) being preferred.

[Note.—It appears that none of the North Andaman or .jarawa- tribes hare over been seen with such a spar; probably this is partly due to the difficulty they experience in obtaining iron.]

10. kowava lako dutnga. Turtle spear: the shaft545 is a bamboo (male species preferred), often 18 feet or more in length; for the reception of the harpoon a socket is prepared at the small end, which is strengthened by pieces of mangrove wood, over which strips of cane are neatly tied. The harpoon consists of a strong barbed iron head fastened to a short piece of wood to which a long line (beima-) is attached. When a turtle or large fish is struck the harpoon detaches itself from the shaft, which floats and is picked up after the capture has been effected.

[Note.—A harpooner almost invariably follows up a successful cast by plunging into the water, lest in the act of dragging the line the harpoon should slip out of the wound and his victim should thus escape.]

11. rako-. Generic name of the various kinds of canoes made in recent years by the aborigines of South Andaman and adjacent parts, where, owing to the facility of obtaining iron tools, large dug-outs, called gilyanga-, capable of accommodating twenty to forty persons, are constructed in place of the small outrigger canoes (charigma-) with which the other tribes have still to content themselves. They are usually made of the Sterculia villosa (Andam., boja-), and are often ornamentally painted.

[Note.—The outrigger is called tel-, and is always made of the wood of mau- (one of the Sterculia), which is soft and light.]

11a. wal'igma-. Paddle: these are not made by women, nor are they of any prescribed size, this being regulated merely by the fancy of the maker, and the material at his disposal; they [p.398] are frequently adorned by women with chevrons, (ja'bo'tarta'nga-) of koi'ob- (item 60) or tata-og- (item 58).

12. yoto'tepinga-, Turtle-net, made by men, of a stout cord (beima-), which is prepared from the bark fibre of the Melochia velutina (Andam., alaba-); the meshes vary in size according to the fancy or skill of the maker.

13. dakar-. Bucket made by the Great Andaman tribes of the wood used in constructing canoes, i.e., Sterculia villosa, with a loop of cane to form the handle; the implement used in hollowing out these vessels is the blade of the adze (walo-, item 15), which is detached from its handle and fastened to a straight piece of wood so as to form a sort of chisel.

[Note.—The Little Andaman and other jarawa- buckets are made in the same manner, but are much larger and superior in every way; they are, moreover, neatly ornamented round the sides with strips of cane, evenly laid on and fastened at the rim by plaiting.]

14. odo-. Nautilus shells painted with kangata-buj- (item 62), and used as drinking vessels.

15. wo'to-. Adze: this tool is used not only in making canoes, buckets, bows, &c., but in digging graves. The handle consists of an L-shaped piece of mangrove wood, Rhizophora conjugata (Andam., bad'o-), and the blade is generally made of such pieces of iron as the keel-plate of a boat; formerly Finna and such like shells are said to have been used, but strange to say it does not appear that stone celts were ever so employed.

16. lakca-. Along pointed stick of the Memecylon parmflora, (Andam., pe'taing-) or Rhizophora conjugata (Andam., bada-), which is used as a hoe in digging up yams and other edible roots.

[Note.—A similar implement is found in use among the Australians.]546

17. nga'tanga-. Pole, 12 to 15 feet long, of Bambusa nana (Andam., ridi-), to which a short piece of bamboo is securely fastened, with a strip of cane (Andam., pl'aga-), or stout cord, to form a hook; it is used in gathering fruit—especially jack-fruit (Artocarpus chaplasha)—and is the only object of the nature of a hook made by the Andamanese.

18. buj-. Cooking pot: these are made of various sizes by [p.399] members of both sexes, and are shaped by the hand and eye only; after being sun-dried they are surrounded with, and filled by pieces of lighted wood in order to complete the process of baking. When needed for travelling they are fitted with light wicker frames (buj-ramata-) to facilitate their removal, and to protect them from injury. The capacity of an average-sized pot is 9 or 10 pints.

[Note.—The .ye'rewa- and jarawa-pots have a conical base, and in this respect differ from those made by the tribes of South Andaman.]

19. pukuta-yem'nga. Sounding-boards—used for marking time during a song or dance—which are scooped out of the fallen trunks of the Pterocarpus dalbergioides (Andam., cha'- langa-) the wood of which is very hard; they are always of the same shield-like shape, and are frequently as much as 5 feet long and 2 feet wide; the concave side is generally ornamented with designs in white clay (tala-ag-, item 58). When in use the convex side is uppermost; the pointed end is stuck in the ground, and kept in position with one foot; a stone is then placed under the board to enable the performer to make more noise when keeping time, which he does by thumping or kicking the board with the heel of the other foot

20. kud-. Hand fishing net constructed from the prepared fibre of the Gnetum edule (Andam., pilita-) by women and girls, who also by its means catch large quantities of fish and prawns, both in streams and among rocks along the coast at low tide. It is about the size of an ordinary butterfly-net; the frame is made of a length of a creeper known to them as orta- tat-, the ends being bound together to form a handle.

21. joo-. Baskets used by all the Great Andaman tribes for carrying food and various other articles: they are generally made by women.

[Note.—The baskets made by the .ye'rewa- or North Andaman tribes, differ from those found among the .bojig tribes in having a wider base and a smaller mouth.]

21a. The .jarawa- baskets differ from those in use among the Great Andaman tribes in having no firm base.

22. chapango-. Netted reticules made and used by women for carrying small objects: the string used for this purpose is [p.400] generally prepared from the fibre of the Anadendron paniculatum (Andam. yoiba-, item 64), but as this is not always attainable the less-valued fibre of the Gnetum edule (Andam., pilita-) is sometimes employed as a substitute.

23. parepa-. Sleeping mat made by women of strips of a species of Calamus fastened securely in the ordinary manner with string made from the fibre of the Gnetum edule (Andam., pilita-, item 66). When in use the rolled-up portion of these mats—which are generally 15 to 20 feet long—serves as a pillow.

23a. The .jarawa-. sleeping mats hitherto found have always been of short lengths, but as wooden pillows similar to those in use among the Nicobarese have been found in their huts, it is probable that the specimens obtained represent full sized mats.

24 chip-. Sling or band made by women from the bark of the Melochia velutina (Andam., al'obar), which is worn like a sash over one shoulder by women, and sometimes by men, when carrying infants.

The plain specimens are called chip-lu'pa.

Those ornamented with netting chip-rab-.

Those ornamented with shells chip-ya'mnga-.

25. bod-. Waistbelt made from the leaves of the young screw-pine (Pandanus Andamanensium); the bunch of leaves or tail is worn at the back.

[Note.—These specimens are of the kind worn by women and girls of the eight Great Andaman tribes; the females of the ,jarawa- tribes appear to go entirely nude.]

25a. bod-. Waistbelts of similar description, but having a less bushy tail, are worn more or less generally by men and youths of the eight Great Andaman tribes.

26. rogun-. Belt made from the leaves of the young screw-pine, which is worn by adult married women only.

27. ta-cha'nga-. Garters, which are frequently worn by men and youths: they are made in the same way as the bod- (item 25.)

28. ta'go-changa-. Bracelets, also worn by men and youths, much resembling the last-named object.


29. garenrpe'ta-. Ornamental waistbelt of Dentalium octogonum, which is worn occasionally by both sexes.

30. Jeria- .jarawa- waistbelts, necklets, and armlets, which are believed to be worn by men and youths only.

31. ijiga-nga-. Head-dress of Pandanus-leaf, worn occasionally by young men and women.

The following ten articles are worn by both sexes as ornaments either round the neck or head:—

32. ina-dia-ta- ... made of fresh water-shells.

33. perta- ..... cane or wood.

34. yadita- ..... turtle bones.

35. bavan-ta- ..... paradoxurus bones.

36. du'ku-ta- .... iguana bones.

37. be'wa'ta- ..... red coral.

38. ra'ta'ala-ta- ..... small sea shells.

39. reketo-ta- ...... Hemicardium unedo shells.

40. nga'tya-ta- .... mangrove seed tops.

41. garen len pi'd- ... Dentalium octogonum and children's hair.547

42. rab-. Fine netting, plain or ornamented with shells, worn occasionally by both sexes as necklaces, armlets, &c. Baby-slings (item 24), bows, pig-spears, &c., are sometimes ornamented with pieces of this netting.

43. ra-. Ornamental cord, made by men from the yellow skin of an orchid root, and worn round the waist intertwined sometimes with fibres of the Melochia velutina (Andam., ai'aba-). It is also occasionally interwoven with fibres of the Anadendron paniculatum (Andam., yo'lbor), in order to make ornamental fastenings for arrows, turtle harpoons, and personal adornments.

44 chairgar-ta-. Human bone necklaces sometimes ornamented with Dentalium octogonum. These are worn as charms during illness by friends or relatives of the deceased, and may be often seen tied tightly round the part in pain; they are also worn when in health to ward off disease.


45. chauga lot cheta-. Human skull, carried in memoriam by relatives of the deceased.

46. chauga laka ekib-. Human jaw, which is carried in a similar manner.

47. pilicha-. Boar's tusk, used for planing bows, paddles, &c.: as it answers this purpose, in their hands, admirably, it is much valued; when required for use the inner edge is sharpened with a Cyrena shell.

48. tailibana-. Stone hammer, which the men now use principally in beating out iron for arrow-heads, &c., and the women when making bone necklaces.

49. chidi-. Pinna shell, used as plates for food, or as receptacles for pigments.

50. tolma lako tug- and bijma lako tug-. Quartz and glass flakes and chips used for shaving, scarifying, and tattooing.

51. uta-. Cyrena shell: great use is made of this, and of other varieties of this class, viz., as knives for cutting thatching leaves, for making the ornamental incisions on bows, paddles, &c., for planing, for sharpening the boar's tusk (item 47), for dressing and preparing arrows, for making the uj- (item 76), for preparing the fibres obtained from the Melochia velutivia (Andam., alaba), Gnetum edule (Andam., pilita-), and the Anadendron paniculatum (Andam., yotba-); they are also used as spoons in eating the gravy of pork, turtle, &c., and are in fact so constantly in demand that a supply is always kept and carried about ready for use.

52. talag-. Hone or whetstone, which when in use is held in the right hand and applied to the edge of the blade, which is generally held over the inner side of the left foot, the operator being seated on the ground; pointed weapons are sharpened on it in the usual way.

53. nip lar bu'l-. Serrated bone at the root of the tail of the sting-ray; in former times their tolbod- arrows (items 4 and 7) were headed with these bones, and it is believed that the early reports of the poisoned arrows of the Andamanese are entirely [p. 403] due to this circumstance; for, owing to their fragile spikes, these bones are apt to cause very serious flesh wounds.548

54. gar en-. Dentalium octogonum used in the manufacture of various personal ornaments.

55. rim-. Resin obtained from a large tree (Celtis or Ginmniera) of that name, which is used in making ka'ngalabi, (vide item 62).

56. ajorjna-. Wax of the white honeycomb: it is one of the ingredients in kangata-buj- (item 62), and is also used in the manufacture of the ebapanga- (item 22).

57. tabul-pid- or lire-. Wax of the black honeycomb, made by a small description of bee in the hollows of trees: it is generally procured by men, and is applied to bowstrings, arrow fastenings, and the kud- (item 20) is used for caulking cracks in canoes and buckets.

[Note.—The honey is eaten, but is not so much relished as that from the white combs.]

58. tala-og-. White clay, used mixed with water, for ornamental painting of the person and of various articles, e.g., bows, baskets, buckets, trays, &c: the work is done by women: when painting their relatives they spare no pains in executing neat designs with their finger-nails.

[Note.—Women daring pregnancy are in the habit of nibbling small quantities of this substance from time to time, in the belief that it is beneficial to their condition.]

59. og-. Common whitish clay, lumps of which are found somewhat plentifully in various parts of the islands. It is used, mixed with water, for smearing over the body when the heat is oppressive. A lump of it is placed on the top of the forehead as a symbol of bereavement, and kept there generally until the expiration of the mourning period. It is also sometimes used by way of ornament on the person, by smearing the trunk and limbs with the wash and then, before it has had time to dry, passing the outspread finger-tips over the surface so as to form some pattern.

60. koiob.549 Red-ochre paint, which is made by mixing red [p.404] oxide of iron, upla- (vide next item), with some greasy substance, the fat of the pig or turtle, sometimes of the iguana, dugong, &c., and occasionally the oil of an almond, called emej-, is used. This pigment is applied to the person either ornamentally or otherwise. It is accredited with hygienic properties, and from its mode of application it can be readily determined whether the wearer is suffering or rejoicing. The nostrils and centre of the upper lip are occasionally painted with it, as the smell of the fat is agreeable to them. Before a corpse is removed for burial it is smeared over the face and neck with this paint as a mark of respect, and in order to please the departed spirit.

61. upla-. Red oxide of iron after it has been dried and baked. It is principally used in making the pigment described in the preceding paragraph. It is also employed in the manufacture of the red wax, called kangaul-buj- (vide next item).

62. kangata'buj-. Red wax, generally prepared by men, composed of dja-pla-, rim-, and nyla- (items 56, 55, and 61); in the absence of the last-named ingredient koiob- (item 60) is substituted. These three substances are melted and stirred over a fire until of a proper consistency; the pigment is then poured into small pots or large shallow shells, where on cooling it soon hardens. When required for use the pot or shell is placed on the fire and the melting wax applied according to fancy. The string fastenings of fish and pig arrows (items 4, 5, and 6) the turtle harpoon (item 10), and pig spear (item 9), are protected with a coating of this wax, and it is applied ornamentally to the food trays (item 72), nautilus shells (item 14), and the outside of buckets (item 13); it is also used for closing cracks in buckets, and in canoes if not too large.

63. chu'lnga-. Blue-black clay found in small springs in the jungles: in its liquid form it is applied medicinally after the manner of koiob-chu'lnga- (vide footnote, p. 403).

64. yoiba-. (Anadendron paniculatum), the fibre of which is much valued on account of its excellence; string made from it is used for bowstrings and arrow fastenings, for netting the cha'pango- (item 22), and rab- (item 42), for making their various necklaces and other personal ornaments, and also for the fastenings of knives and turtle harpoons.

65. pilita- (Gnetum edule), from the fibre of which string is prepared and used almost exclusively by women, chiefly for the manufacture of the kud- (item 20), and parepa- (item 23); it is [p.405] not sufficiently strong to serve as arrow fastenings, though on an emergency it is sometimes used for this purpose.

66. ala.ba- (Melochia velutina). From fibre obtained from this tree rope is made for turtle-lines (be'ima-), nets, and cables, the preparation and manufacture of which devolve on men; the bark of this tree also furnishes the material of which the chip- (item 24) or baby-slings are made.

67. potokla-. Netting-needles, made in two sizes of bamboo, and used in making nets.

[Note.—The turtle-net (item 12) is not made with netting-needles, bat with two sticks called ku'tegbo-.]

68. pa-ba-. Bamboo knives, which are shaped into form while green and then dried and charred over a fire to render them sharp and fit for use; formerly they were employed for cutting meat and other food.

69. wai-cha- and por-cha-. Two varieties of cane550 knives, but similar to item 68.

70. to'ug-. Torch, made by women, of resin wrapped in a large leaf (Crinum lorifolium); it is used when fishing, travelling, or dancing by night: the resin is obtained from a large tree called by them Tnaiv-, which also is often employed in the construction of their largest canoes. A larger description of torch is made by men, and used when fishing by night.

71. la-pi-. Gurjon wood torch, obtained from the heart of rotten logs of the Dipterocarpus laevis (Andam., d'rain-): as these do not burn so readily as the to'ug- (item 70) they are rarely used outside their huts.

72. pu.kuta-yat-mango-. Food tray, made by men of some soft wood, generally of the large flat buttress roots of the trees (Sterculiacecæ) of which their canoes are made.

73. ara-. Long fringe-like cane-leaf wreaths, which are made by women, and suspended from trees, &c., round an encampment or hut where a death has occurred, and round the spot where the corpse is deposited in order to warn off persons inadvertently approaching the place, which is believed to be haunted by the spirit of the deceased.

74. kapa-jatnga-. Fan-like screen, made by women, of a description of palm-leaf (Andam., kaya-), two of which are fastened together with leaf stems: it is used for many purposes, amongst others as a protection from rain and from the direct rays of the sun in hot weather; in the absence of a paripa- (item [p.406] 23) it is often used as a sleeping mat, and it serves also as a wrapper for bundles of various kinds.

75. kaya. Leaf wrappers, as described above, are employed for storing and packing the red oxide of iron.

76. uji-. Long brush-like shavings of the Tetranthera lanceo folia, prepared by men with the sharp edge of a Cyrena shell. When dancing these are often held (by both sexes) in their hands, or are stuck in their waistbelts or other personal ornaments.

77. kono-. lion knife used in cutting up food; to some a wooden or iron skewer is attached, they are then called cham-cho-.

78. 551

79. o'bunga-. Species of apron, consisting of one to six leaves of the Minusops Indica (Andam., do'gota-), which are fastened to the lowest bodr- by women from motives of modesty; the leaves are not spread out so as to cover a wide surface, but are laid one above the other, and removed separately as each becomes stiff and shrivelled: the reason given for the selection of this particular leaf is that it keeps green and fresh for a longer time than any other.

[Note.—The women of the North Andaman tribes, until recent years, appear to have worn no o'bunga-, or only in a very modified form; the change which is now observable among them in this respect is doubtless to be traced to their intercourse with the people of South Andaman.]

80. kai-. Bamboo tongs, made by women, and used for any purpose which would involve a risk of burning or scalding the fingers, such as lifting a pot or piece of cooked food off the fire.

81. ko'pot-. Bucket made from a single joint of the Bambusa gigantea, pieces of which are sometimes found on the coast, having floated ashore from the neighbouring continent or from wrecks; they are much valued on account of their lightness and the labour saved in making a wooden bucket (dahar-, item 13), which being, as before described, scooped out of a single piece of wood, is a laborious undertaking.

[Note.—The origin of the dahar- is doubtless to be traced to the kopot-.]

82. gob-. Bamboo vessel, of which there are two varieties, viz., (a) for use as a water-holder: this is often 4 or 5 feet long, the partitions at the points being broken through with a spear head or other suitable instrument, the lowest one only being left to form the bottom of the vessel; and (b) for use as a cooking pot and food-holder: its length consists of a single joint of [p.407] bamboo, into which—after it has been cleaned, washed, and dried over a fire—food is packed and cooked; as will be seen by reference to Part III, these vessels are only capable of serving on a single occasion, the handle is formed with a piece of be'ima-.

83. la-. Cooking stones: the mode in which they are used is described in Part III.

[A few other objects, omitted from this list, will be found described in "Journ. Anthrop. Inst." vol. vii, pp. 457, 65.]






MALES (Continued)






FEMALES (Continued)



This Appendix consists of a long extract from a paper by Mr. J. E. Calder, descriptive of the Native Tribes of Tasmania, published in the "Journal of the Anthropological Institute," vol. iii, 1874, p. 7. The extract was introduced for the purpose of illustrating the many points of striking similarity, both in physical constitution and in culture, between the extinct Tasmanians and the Andamanese. But as the members of the Institute can readily refer to the back volume for the original paper, it has been considered unnecessary to reprint the extract in this place. It is proposed, however, to issue Mr. Man's papers in the form of a separate monograph, and the extract in question will then be printed in full.







1. wai dal ikojuwai i'remta'ga, di'a er lot limg la'lo-hoi-cho. ju'ru oh elupa'lada, mo'da elawd'ngaya hud teh toiga'ra len ngi'nga he'dig tu'ik di'la len ka'galke, med-grau'ru o'gar ji'haha e'kan er len pal'ike liga taro'lolen leg leda-re cagd'io lia fai'ekellen gau'gake, i'na u'cha nai'kan jeg-i'kke a'rlain igal' ledare nun toluke kich-ikan reg-darn'o, ed-te reg- koi'ob, ed-te rat- ed-te job, ed'te cha-panga, ed'te kid, ed'te rab, ed'te ta-lag, ea'te ta'lag, ea'te pur'ipa, ea'te ka'pa-ja'tngn, dwe'h.

indeed I (name of tribe) jungle-dweller, my village of name (name of village), sea from far. If daybreak at Home from coast to walking by perhaps evening in reach-will we all moons several own villages in live-do then afterwards one for sake of coastmen of midst-in go-do. when this like dance-go-do always baiter for things take-do namely pork (lit., pig-flesh), also pig's fat paint, also wooden-pointed arrows, also baskets, also reticules, also hand-nets for fishing, also necklaces of fine net-work, also white-clay, also hones, also sleeping-mats, also leaf-screens, etcetera.

2. med'a ka'galnga he'dig kianwai' o'tolar ra'midod'guke oube'dig ko'ike taro'lolen idu'ru min igchike, liga med-tipa'r du'tnga len igha'dignga ledd're cud'to ila pai'chalen o'dam len d'kangai'ke, mar'at-dil'u aryato-ngi'ji nutriknga erem-del'eke.

we arriving on according-to-custom first sing-do and dance-do afterwards all things barter-do, then we two (i.e.., some of us) spearing to seeing for coastmen of (i.e., with) possession bottom (of boat) in go in boat-do our rest (i.e., the rest of us) coastmen-friends accompanying in jungle-hunt-pigs-do.

3. a'rla ikpi'r taro'iken med'a nun idu'ru, kich'iketn i'la, e'lata, oba, wo'lo, li'jma, ga'di-koi'ob, ga'di'dam'a, ado, cai'di, goren- re'keto-ta, dwe'h, igal'nga len o'rok ya'te en'inga-he'dig che'lepa'ke nga wi-jke,

days two (a few) afterwards we things all, such as pig-arrows iron, knives, adzes, bottles, turtle-unguent (red paint made with turtle-fat), turtle-flesh, nautilus-shells, Pinna shells, Dentalium octogonum Semicardium unedo, etcetera, bartering in received which having-taken take-leave-do then return (home).

4. ignu'rum ilato len arrlago- a'ko-del'enga tek, ouhe'dig lo'hinga tek. ouhe'dig yat-dil'ch tek eb'a-ka'ohya a'ka-we'lah ya'hada, cha met i'rem-ta'ga len he'dig wah dil'u-re'oiek yat dral'ruda.

Just as coastmen to (always) hunting by, and poling by and means-rest (i.e., other means) by ever food-difficulty not so we jungle-dwellers to also season every food all (sorts).

5. med-e'rem-ta'gahralim gu'mul ya e'kan had len a-rtiteg'ike o'gmn [p.415] rap-todb ten yum pi'tainga l'eda're ir-tal-ie, mat ngiji ih'di'ru ighardignga ledd're, ogov u'batu'l an ihpa'r ten med'a tbi'jke otpag'i bai'la}-wab lem kai'ta-han? ju'ranga leb kud tek mat'ta-ji'dlke. o'gar u'batu'l ten erkan er lat un'jke,

We-jungle-men all rainy season during own homes in remain only fruit-season in absence because-of pay-visits-do our friends all seeing because-of moon one or two in we return-home-do again (name of tree) -season in jack-fruit-seed burying for homes from we shift-our-quarters-do moon one in own villages to return-home-do.

6. mit'ig-hu'dioa ten aryato tek eremtaga at-u'baha .ba'rla' kctbil tek .td'lo-bdi'cho bo'dtada do'na e'rem kokta'r lea ,to'lo'bdi'cho tek er do'ga bo'dtada mi'tat bud aryato ila bud tek ehanagdata-likfi'baba med'a ga'i te'pike ya'ba.

Our-tribesmen among coastmen from (than) jungle-men numerous (name of village) than (name of village) large but jungle interior in (name of village) than villages many large our huts coastmen of huts than large years many we fresh thatch-do not.

7. td'lik u'ma ten med-ardu'ru e'kan e'kan er lag'iba ifat do'gaya o'roke, nga'tek'agd'tek yat te-pnga be- dig me'tat du'ruma(da). med'a dko-jdranga ko'ike olibe'dig ra'mid-ta'yuke.

year whole in we all own own villages near food plenty find-do. now and then food getting for for us sufficient we constantly dance and sing.

8. ana me'tat barai'j ten u'ekim d'kolike nga med-arau'ru hud-larlu'a lenjd'lake, kd'to ch-ng-ta'mgc? an darangt- ten eka'ra nai'kau o'gar ikpa'r pbl'ike, idro'lolen id o'roknga be'dig lihtalatnga ten .ta'lo-bai'cho lat wi'jke.

When our village in any one die-does then we-all camping-ground vacant to migrate, there hut or in custom like moons few (lit., two) live-do, afterwards bones obtaining on tears-shedding (dance) for (name of village) to return (home).

9. mo'da d'kounga ya'boien med-rem-ta'ga u'a barai'j ten at-jamg'gu lig'ala beag arlalen pbl'ike, o'gun rap-wab len me'tat pai'ekaleu atpail- i-ga'tnga-be'dig bar'mike ki'nig o'uardu'ru at-jang'gi lig'ala nai'kan e'kan barai'j len bu'duke,

If dead without we jungle-dwellers of villages in old persons children also always &c. only fruit-season in as with women paying-visits-for pass-night-do-away-from-home otherwise they-all old people children like own villages in live-do.

10. gu'mul len reg-del'enga jedd're mat bu'la ij'i'lo'inga a'rla ikpo'r bar'mike.

Rainy-season in pig-hunting because of we men often days few pass-night-do-away-from-home.

11. med-e'rem-ta'ga dry&to nai'kan d'rla-re'atek ja'langa li'a htanwai' ga'ba ledd're mal'dickik d'ruen me'tat bi'ra oube'dig d'kci-kt'challag'iba ka'rkeyd'ba- kianeha' me'tat barai'j len ot-u ja'bag yi'bada,

We-jungle-people coastmen like constantly migrating of custom not because of we always our rubbish and food-refuse near scatter not therefore our villages in smell bad not.


12. me'tat aryato len be' dig harai'j ikpe'r hat'o bl'htk aj'i'la'inga o'garthpar plike- artli-dil'u d'ho-jar'angaji'lake.

Our coast people among even villages tern there they often moons few dwell-do, their rest (i.e., the rest of them) constantly migrate.

13. med-eremtaga ouhe'dig aryato ila er lag'iba bad-lariam do-gada. ju'ru ligra'klik len a'rlaga e'rem tahoda da'na i'rem kokta'r len id'ho ya'ha,

Us jungle dwellers and coast-dwellers of villages near kitchen-middens many sea vicinity in always jungle dense, hut jungle middle in dense not.

14. .ad'kd:ked'e ua i'rem kokta-r len u'mga-hedig wed dol eremtaga atuhaha igha'digre, med'a lu'ake all'a kato mardu'ru tek at'lhaha. e'rem len dilu-re'atek chuga-ta'hanga li'dal tek tinga-ba be'ringa. wai dol d'chitik lijig-ngt'li aram'm igbd'digre it'ig bu'dwa drap-iek yabd'da.

(name of tribe) of jungle middle in going indeed I jungle-dwellers numerous see-did. we consider that there us-all than numerous, jungle in everywhere ancestors (this side of the Deluge) time since paths (lit., roads small) good indeed I now (name of tribe) all have seen, their tribesmen now-always few.

15. med'-trdu'ru a'kd.bo'jig-ga'b ol-be'dig .a'ka-.kdl u'a kiamoai' idai'ke; ant ekd'ra mak'at pa'ra; et be'dig .ma'ko-ju'wai nel'kan aryato ol-be'dig eremtaga. ka'to be'dig eremtaga o'gar t'baba en len o'ko-jdr'anga bi'duke e'kan ekan bud len bedig a'rtiteg'ike. .aka-, bo'jig-ga'b il'a din ke'tia ledd're ka'to eremtaga goha'da,

We all (name of tribe) and (name of tribe) of customs know-do their customs ours similar; among-them also us (name of tribe) like coast people and jungle people, there also jungle-dwellers moons several heart-of-jungle in habitually dwell-do own own encampment in also remain-do. (name of tribe) of heart-of-jungle small because of there jungle-dwellers few.








che'ta-, head; mun-, brain; ya-, occiput: ilk'kik-, scalp; lo'ngota-, face; lapta-, nape; chal'ma-, chest; awa-, lung; ne-, prostate gland; tu'lepo-, phlegm; kug-, heart (the seat of the affections and passions), the bosom; ku'kti-ban'a-, heart (the organ).
Ex.—et che'ta bo'dia-.
        His head large,
His head is large.


 koro-, hand or finger; ka'ro-mu'gu-chal-, large (lit. middle) finger; i'ti-pu-, little finger; ko'ro-do'ga-, thumb; el'ma-, palm of handy also sole of foot; lo'go-, wrist; ku'tup-, knuckle; bodo-, nail of finger or toe; pag-, foot; ro'koma-, toe; tu'chab-, large toe, ilam-, small toe; gu'chul-, heel; tar-, ankle, chag-, kidney; ta'banga-, small intestine taga-, peritoneum.
Ex.—dong koro ngong tek ketia
  my hand thy from (than) small.
My hand is smaller than thine.


bang-, mouth; de'liya-, palate (of mouth); adal-, chin; pai-, lip; paila-pid-, moustache; armti-, throat; e'tel-, tongue; del'ta-, gullet; a'rma-ba-, windpipe; e'kib-, jawbone; ekib-pid-, beard; ted'imo-, uvula; go'dla-, collar-bone; chaga-, side; tu'bal-, saliva; chai'ad-, breath.
Ex.—kato .boigoli titrdutu takat ekib-pid upanga-.    all those Europeans have long beards.
         Those European all their beard long,


ohkli, body; gu'dur- and un-, back; go'pob-, spine; podikma-, shoulder-blade; pai'cha-, thigh (also lap); pe'ke-,groin; cha'lta-, skin; chaita-dama-, calf of leg; kapa-, elbow; kapa-dam'a-, fleshy part of fore-arm; ku'pupi-dama-, fleshy part of upper arm; le-, knee; apita-, hough; pk'reia-, rib; a'pa-chku-, belly (abdominal walls); er-, navel; upta-, stomach proper; jado-, entrails, bowels; ji'ri-, supra-renal fat and omentum; mug-, liver; prima-, spleen; i'jnga-, uterus; a'wa-, arm-pit; yi'lnga-, tendon Achilles; ne'ma-, gall-bladder.


dig (or di)
ngig (or ngi)
ig (or i)
l'ig (or ri)
tmt'ig (or mi'ti)
ngit'ig (or ngit'i)
it'ig (or iti)
Tifig (or riti)
dal- or dol-, eye; dalar pid-, or dol arpid-, eyelash; dal ot ed-, or dal ot ed-, eyelid; pimiyur-, eyebrow; mu'gu-, face (also fore-head); pu'ku-, ear; chronga-, nose; ti'mar-, temple; ab-, cheek; dkb-pid-, whiskers; togo-, shoulder; tug-, tooth; gud-, arm; ku'rupi-, upper arm; id'ika-, fore-arm; ga'ra-, biceps; kam-, breast; kam lot che'ta-, nipple of breast; de'riya-, gum; ti-, tear,
Ex.—ol ab-gora dogada, ig gora
 He strong very, his biceps see
He is very strong; see his biceps


chag-, leg; charog-, hip; e'te-, loin; mal'wit-, large intestine; kolam-, mesentery; gu'dwin-, os coccygis; ulu-, urine; ulu liaer-, bladder (er - abode); d'ta-, testicle; ta-, odo-, and dam'a-, buttocks; mu'ga-, rectum; tu'mur-, anus.
Ex.—mar'at chag-, our legs  


dato ..
a'to ..
rato ..
thy, your
his, their
—'s, —s'
ki'nab-, waist.
   This appears to be the only part of the body with which this
   form is used.

N.B.—In the case of the following words, the possessive adjective peculiar to the part referred to is taken:—pid-, hair; ed-, skin; ti-, bone; ti-, blood; mu'rudi-, gore; gu'mar, sweat; yailnga-, vein, muscle; wai'nya-, cuticle; mun-, pus; de'kia-, pulse.

Ex.—mo'tot pid-, the hair of our heads;
         ngak'at ed-, the skin of your lips;
         dig ta-, the bone of my arm;
         ngar ti-, the blood of thy leg; &c.;

i.e., the above would be understood to represent mo'tot che'ta pid-; ngak'at pai ed-; dig gud ta-; ngar chag ti-.







my father (male or female speaking) dab mai'olaj daocha'bil-; daro.dinga-, dab chabi-:
my step-father
my mother dab cha'nola; dab i'tinga dab ioe'jinga-; dab we'jeringa-; dab cha'nola.
my step-mother
my son (if under 8 years of age, either parent speaking) di'a 'ta-
my son (if over 8 years of age, father speaking) dar o'dire; dor o'did'te-
my son (if over 8 years of age, mother speaking) dab e'tire: dab e'la'te-: dab waire; toe'jeri-d'te-
my daughter (if under 8 years of age, either parent speaking)  
my daughter (if over 8 years of age, father speaking)  
my daughter (if over 8 years of age, mother speaking) dab reail-; dab e'ti-yd'te-pail-; dab we'jire-pail-; dab we'i-ya'te-pail-; dab we'jerir-pail-; dab we'jeri-ya'te-pail-
my grandson (either grand-parent speaking) dia ba'lola
my brother's grandson (male or female speaking)
my sister's grandson (male or female speaking) ta'kare; ad-en ta'banga-
my grand-daughter (either grand-parent speaking)
my brother's grand-daughter (male or female speaking) dia ba'lokhpail-;
my sister's grand-daughter (male or female speaking) ad-en ta'bare-pail-; ad-en ta'banga-pail-; ad-en ta'kare-pail-; ad-en ta'kanga-pail-
my elder brother (male or female speaking) ad-en ta'bare; ad-en ia'banga-; ad-en
my younger brother (male or female speaking) dar da'otmga-; da'ka katu-; dar we jingo-; dar we'jeringa-
my younger sister (male or female speaking) dar ad'aiinga'pail-; da'ka, kam-pail-; dar we'jinga-pail-; dar jeringa-pail-
my elder brothers (male or female speaking) am-et ta'bare; am-et ta'banga-; am-et ta'kare; am-et ta'kanga


my younger brothers (male or female speaking) mar at da'otinga-; mak'at kam-; mar'ai we'jlnga-; mar at toe'jeringa-.
my elder sisters (male or female speaking) am-et te bare-pail-; am-et ta'hanga-pail-; am-et ta'kare-pail-; am-et ta'kanga-pail-,
my younger sisters (male or female speaking) mar'at adatinga-pail-; mak'at kam-pail; marat we'jinga-pail-: mar'at we'jeringa-pail-
my father's brother (elder or younger) } di'a mai'a.
my mother's brother
my father's sister's husband
my mother's sister's husband
my father's father's brother's (or sister's) son
my mother's mother's brother's (or sister's) son
my husband's grandfather
my wife's
my wife's sister's husband (if elder)
my husband's sister's husband (if elder)
my father's sister (elder or younger) } di'a cha.ola
my mother's sister
my father's brother's wife
my mother's brother's wife
my grandmother, my grand-aunt
my father's father's sister's daughter
my mother's mother's sister's daughter
my husband's grandmother
my wife's
my husband's sister (if senior and a mother)
my elder brother's wife (if a mother)
my brother's son (male or female speaking) } dar ba-
my sister's son (male or female speaking)
my half-brother's (or half-sister's) son, or my first-cousin's (male or female)
    son (male or female speaking)
my brother's son's wife (male or female speaking) } dar ba lai ik-ya'ta-
my sister's son's wife (male or female)
my half-brother's (or half-sister's) son's wife, or my first cousin's
     (male or female) son's wife (male or female speaking)
my brother's daughter (male or female speaking) } dar ba-pail-
my sister's daughter (male or female speaking)
my half-brother's (or half-sister's)
daughter, or my first-cousin's (male or female) daughter
     (male or female speaking)
my brother's daughter's husband (male or female speaking) } dar ba la ik-ga'te-
my sister's daughter's husband (male or female speaking)


my half-brother's (or half-sister's) daughter's husband, or my first-cousin's } dar ba la ik-ya'te-
   (male or female) daughter's husband (male or female speaking)
my father's brother's son, if older (male or female speaking) } dar cha'hu etud'kare-
my father's sister's son, if older (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's son, if older (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's son, if older (male or female speaking)
my elder half-brother, whether uterine or consanguine
     (male or female speaking)
my father's brother's son, if younger (male or female speaking) } dar da'atinga-
my father's sister's son, if younger (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's son, if younger (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's son, if younger (male or female speaking)
my younger half-brother, if uterine (male or female speaking) da ka kam
my younger half-brother, if consanguine (male or female speaking) dar do-atinga-; dar wignga-; dar we'jeringa-
my father's brother's son's wife, if older (male or female speaking) } dar cha'bil enid'hare lai uk-gd'te-
my father's sister's son's wife, if older (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's son's wife, if older (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's son's wife, if older (male or female speaking)
my elder half-brother's wife, whether uterine or consanguine
       (male or female speaking)
my fathers brother's son's wife, if younger (male or female speaking) } dar do'tuinga lai ik-ga'te-
my father's sister's son's wife, if younger (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's sons wife, if younger (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's son's wife, if younger (male or female speaking)
the wife of my uterine half-brother, if younger (male or female speaking) da'ka kam-
the wife of my consanguine half-brother, if younger } dar ad'atingo- or dar we'jinga- or dar we'jeringa- or lai ik-ga'te-
     (male or female speaking)
my father's brother's elder daughter (male or female speaking) } di'a eba'nol et-enid'ha ya'ie-
my father's sisters elder daughter (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's elder daughter (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's elder daughter (male or female speaking)


my elder half-sister, whether uterine or consanguine } di'a chdrnol d-enta'ba yate-
    (male or female speaking)
my father's brother's younger daughter (male or female speaking) } dar da'alinga-pail-
my father's sister's younger daughter (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's younger daughter (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's younger daughter (male or female speaking)
my younger half-sister, if uterine (male or female speaking) da'ka kam-pail-
my younger half-sister, if consanguine (male or female speaking) dar da'atingo-pail-; dar jinga pail-; or dar wejeringa-pail-
my father's brother's elder daughter's husband (male or female speaking) } di'a cha'nol a-entd'hatfa'te lalk-ya'te-
my father's sister's elder daughter's husband (male or female speaking).
my mother's brother's elder daughter's husband (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's elder daughter's husband (male or female speaking)
my elder half-sister's husband, whether uterine or consanguine
    (male or female speaking)
my father's brother's younger daughter's husband (male or female speaking) } dar ad'atinga-pail-; ik-ya'te-
my father's sister's younger daughter's husband (male or female speaking)
my mother's brother's younger daughter's husband (male or female speaking)
my mother's sister's younger daughter's husband (male or female speaking)
the husband of my uterine half-sister, if younger (male or female speaking)
the husband of my consanguine half-sister, if younger (male or } da'ka kam pail- la ik-ya'te-
  female speaking)
my grandfather (male or female speaking) } di'a mai'ola
my grandfather's brother (male or female speaking)
my grandmother's brother (male or female speaking)
my elder sister's husband (male or female speaking)
my husband ad ik-ya'te
my wife dai ik-ya'te
my husband's brother } di'a ma'mola
my husband's mother
my wife's father
my wife's mother
my husband's elder brother
my wife's brother (if older)
my husband's sister's husband (if older)
my wife's sister (if older552 and a mother)


my husband's brother's wife (if older) } di'a ma'mola
my wife's brother's wife (if older)
my husband's brother (if of equal standing) } di'a ma ma
my wife's brother (if of equal standing)
my son-in-law (male or female speaking) } di'a ata'mifa
my younger sister's husband (male or female speaking)
my daughter-in-law (male or female speaking) } di'a nya
my husband's sister, if younger (male or female speaking)
my husband's brother's wife, if younger (male or female speaking) } di'a tin
my wife's brother's wife, if younger (male or female speaking)
my step-son (either speaking) deb aden'ire
my step-daughter (either speaking) deb aden'ire-pail-
my adopted son dot cha'lnga-
my adopted daughter dot cha'lnga-pail-
my parents dab mat'ol-cha'ol
my foster-father dab mai ot-cha'lnga
my foster-mother dab chan at'cha'lnga-
the relationship subsisting between a married couple's fathers-in-law } d'ka ya kai-
the relationship subsisting between a married couple's mothers-in-law
my husband's brother (if younger) da'ka ba-bu'la-
my younger brother's wife da'ka ba'pail-
my wife's sister's husband (if younger) } mar, or (if a father) mot'o
my husband's sister's husband (if younger)
twins (whether of the same sex or not) ahdi'dinga
widow chan arl.'biu
widower mai arle'ha-





During the first year
During the second year
During the third and fourth years
From four till ten years of age
During the eleventh and twelfth years
From twelve to fifteen years of age
   (the ordinary "fasting" period)
After breaking the probationary "fast"
   (for first month)
From then till he becomes a father or bachelor only
Single whether bachelor or widower
Full grown (whether married or single)
Newly married (during first few days only)
Newly married (during first few months only)
Married (while still out a child)
Married (having had a child)
Married (more than once—not applied during widowhood)
kwal'aganga- or dtoal'agare-
d'ka-hd'daha do'go-


arwe'red-; dug-tag-go't-
cha'hil-: cha'hil'chu-; maia
ahjang'gi-; ahchdroga-
The term dbia-panga- (long) is applied to a boy who is tall for his age.

Until the commencement of the probationary "fast" (as well as after its completion) he is called bo'tiga-.

During such portion of this period as he "fasts" he b called a'ka-gab-,
  or a-ka-ya'ba;

He now breaks the "fast," and is called gu'ma until he becomes a father.

He is addressed as gu'ma from the time of his breaking the "fast" till his wife's first pregnancy, when he becomes fnai'a. Should he never have a child he is called nud'a a little later in life.

Only applied to young persons.
{While his wife is enceinte he is called pij-jd'bag-,
{During the first two or three months after the death of his child he is called mai'ao'koU'nget-.
The survivor of an old couple who have been united since their youth is called ahra-ji-ga't:



Daring the first year
During the second year
During the third and fourth years
From four till ten years of age
During the eleventh and twelfth years
From twelve till about sixteen years of age
  (her ordinary "fasting" period)
After breaking the probationary "fast" first month
Full grown
if unmarried
if married
(but not yet a mother)
if married! (but with no child alive)
Newly married (during first few days only)
Newly married (during first few months only)
Married (while still without a child)
Married (having had a child)
Married (more than once—
   not applied during widowhood)
awalagango-554 or dwal'agare-


anoi'red i- dag-tag-ga't-
una'ti'go'i' i- dug-tag-
cha'nre; chan chau-; chan'a; cha'nola-



abjang'gi; abcha'togo-

The term a ka ta ng- (tree) is applied to a girl who is tall for her age.


As in the case of males, both before and after the probationary "fast" she is called botiga.

She commences her "fast" during this period, and which so doing is called aka-yab-, or a'ka-ya'bo-.

As soon as she attains maturity she is called unla'wi-, or a-ka-awi-, and then receives her ''flower" name (vide Appendix H).

Only applied to young persons.

While enceinte she is called pij'jd'bag:

During the first two or three months after the death of her child she is called cha na o'kol'nga





Andamanese name. Botanical name.555 Remarks.
A'baga- (a)
am- (b) (c)
a'para- (d) (k)
   Also d'had- d'rago-
a'rain- (m)
bad'a- (o)
bad'ar- (a)
bui'la- (a) (b)
baja- (y)
ba'fatii- (c)
bataga- (c)
bol- (v)
ba'rowa- (u)
bo'to-ba'ko- (a) bubbu'kuro- (i)
chab- (a)
Dillenia pilosa.
Dipterocarpus alatus
Melochia Telutina
Calamus, sp. No. 1.
Ptychosperma Kuhlii

Rhizophora conjugata
Sometia tomentosa (?)
Terminalia procera
Sterculia (? villosa)

Carjota sobolifera.
Geriops Gandoleana
Natsatium herpeetes.
Albizzia Lebbek (?)
Glycosinis pentaphylia.
Claoxylon affine (?)
Terminalia (? citrina).
Planchonia valida

Sophora sp.
Claoxylon sp.
Mjristica longifolia
Sabia (?)
Ancistrocladus extensus (?)
Diospjros (?) nigricans.

Paratropia Tenulosa.

(Burm.) Kanyin ngi
(vide Appendix B, item 6)

(Hindi.) Palawa,
(Burm.) Bebia,
(Burm.) Kanyin bgu-
Gurjon oil tree.
(Burm.) Byuma,

(Burm.) Bambway bgu,
(Burm.) Sabu-batri,
Vide Part II, "Religious Beliefs," paragraph, 19.

(Burm.) Madamd.

(Burm.) Kuk'ko.

(Burm.) Bambwag ngi.

Ground rattan.

(Hindi.) Jaiphal,
(Burm.) Za'dipho,
Bastard ebony, or marble wood (superior variety).
Extensively used in the manufacture of arrows.

(Hindi.) Baddm,

Bows made from this tree.


Andamanese name. Botanical name. Remarks.

chaij- (a) (b)
chakan- (h)
cha'langa- (q)
clim- (f)
cha'ngara- (a)
cha'pa- (a)
chab- (a)
char- (i) ..
do'gota- (a) (f)
do'mto- (p)
emej- (b)
engara- (a)
gad-gel'dim- (a)
gereng- (n)
jangma- (a)

Seroecarpus anacardium
Entada purscetha.
Pterooarpus dalbergioides
Areca laxa of Hamilton
  (a variety of Areca triandra).
Cynometra polyandra.
Calamus sp.
Terminalia sp.
Albizzia Lebbek (?)
Hopea odorata
Leea sambucina.
Diospyros densiflora (?)
Atalantia sp.

Calamus sp. No. 2
Goniothalamus Griffihii.
Hypolytrum trinerium.
Celtis cinnamonea.
Hydnocarpus (?)
Xanthophyllum glacoum.
Myristica Irya
Mimusops Indica (or littoralis)
Guettarda speciosa.
Barringtonia racemosa.
Terminalia bialata.
Strychnos nux vomica.
Calophillum spectabile.
Legummose sp.
Bombax malbaricum.
Trigonofttemon longifolius
Pandanus (?)
Gluta longipetiolata
Stephania hemandifolia.
(Hindi.) Bilawa.

(Hindi.) Siris.
(Burm.) Padduk.

Leaves used in thatching huts, and for making the warning wreaths round a grave or deserted encampment.

(Hindi.) Siris,
(Burm.) Tsit.
(Burm.) Thingam-byu-.

(Burm.) Maukaraung.

The fruit somewhat resembles a medlar in flavour.

(Hindi.) ? Lal chini.
(Burm.) ? Chandu.

Sometimes used for paddle making.

(Hindi.) Mowa.
(Burm.) Kapdli thit.
(Burm.) Fishum.

Wild plantain.
(Hindi.) Sembal.
(Burm.) Didu.
Leaves used medicinally as a febrifuge.
(Burm.) Thip-pyu.


Andamanese name. Botanical name. Remarks.

jni- (a) ..
ju'mu- (a)
kain- (a) ..
kai'ta- (a) (b)
ka'pa- (a) (h)
kared- (a)
kar'ega- (a)
karkan- (r)
ken- (a)
lo-gaj- (a)
man- (x)
mang- (a) (b) (l)
mu'twin- (a)
ngatia- (a)
ngeber- (b)
o'dorma- (a)
o-li- (a)
oropa- (a) (b) (i)
oria-tat- (a) (g)
pa- (b)

Alpinia gp.
Odina Woodier
Dendrolobium umbellatum
Bruquiera gjmnorliiza or Rhizphora mucronata
Ficus hispida.
Mangifera sylvatica
Artocarpus chaplasha
Hicuala (probably peltata)
Sterculia (or Sanadera Indica)
Diospyros Sp.
Pajanelia multijuga.
Diospyros sp.
Griffithia lonsiflora.
One of the Rubiacess.
Bracontomelum sylvestre.
Lactaria salubna
Leguminosa sp.
Angiopteris eyecta.
Atalantia sp.
Steroulia (?)
Pandanus Andamanensium.
Messua ferrea.
Heritiera littoralis.
Bruquiera sp.
Cacas Bumphii.
Fious sp. No. 1.
Eugenia sp.
Ficus (probably macrophylla).
Chickrassia tabularis
Baocaurea sapida
Ilyaria micrantha.
Semeoarpus (?).

Part I "Medicine," para. 4, and Part III, "Food," para. 35.

(Burm.) Nubbhi.

(Burm.) Byubo.

Wild mango.
(Hindi.) Kathar.
(Burm.) Toung-peng.

The fruit contains a nut which after being sucked is broken, when the shell is eaten and the kernel thrown away.

'The fruit being large and round is often used as a moving target by being rolled along the ground or down a slope and shot at while in motion.

(Burm.) Auk yenza.
(Hindi.) Keora.

(Hindi.) Sal.
(Burm.) Gangua.

(Burm.) Thiunawe,
(Burm.) Ngazu.
(Hindi.) Khatta phal.
(Burm.) Kanato,

(Burm.) Thikadoe.


Andamanese name. Botanical name. Remarks.
pai'tla- (b)
peli- (a)
pi'cha- (t)..
pi'dget- (c)
por- (a) ..
pu'lain- (b)
pu'lia- (b)
pull- (b)
reg la'ka chal-
rim- (s)
Clausena (probably lichii).

Lagentrosmia regina (? hypolenca)
Leguminosae sp.


Meliosma simplicifolia.

Gnetum soandeus.
Memecylon parriflorum.
Diospyros sp.
Gnetam edule.
Afzelia bijuga.
Derris scandexis.
Bambusa Audamanica.
Korthalsia (or Calamagaus) scaphigera.
probably Schmeidelia glabra
Mucona sp.
Memecylon (probably capitellatum).
Nipa fruticans.
Dendrobium secondum.
Phoenix sp.
Eugenia (?)
Ficus laccifera.
Eugenia sp.
Poljalthia Jenkinsii.
Celtis or Gironniera
Syzygium Jambolanum.
Antaxis calocarpa.
Terminalia trilata (?).

(Burm.) Pima.

Leaves sometimes used as aprons by women (vide do'gota-), The kernel of the seed is eaten.

Bastard ebony or marble wood (inferior variety).

Common cane.
Fibre extensively used
(vide Appendix B, item 65).

(Burm.) Kimberlin.

Used for making the shaft of the turtle spear and for poling canoes.

(Burm.) Nga'zu sp. No. I.
Dhunny leaf palm.

(Hindi) Kajur.
(Hindi.) Chandan,
(Burm.) Tau-ngim.
(Hindi.) Bargat.
(Burm.) Ngidu.
(Burm.) Mai ambu.
Used for making the shafts of the ra-ta-, tirled-, and to'lbod- arrows.
(Burm.) Timgam.
(Burm.) Gangua nges.
(Hindi.) Chuglam.
(Burm.) ? Ngagu sp. No. 2, or Kyu na lin.


Andamanese name. Botanical name. Remarks.
tatib- (a)(i) ..
tol- (b)
Erycibe coriacae.
Croton argyratus (Blyth)
Amomnm dealbatum (or sericeum).
Barringtonia Aeiatica.
Pandanus yenu.
Tetranthera lancoefolia.
Carapa oborata.
Maranta grandis (or Phinium grande).
Pterospemum acerifolium.
Podocarpus polystaohia.
Anadendron paniculatom.

(Burm.) Chaunu.

(Bonn.) Kiatalung.

(Burm.) Pyu.
(vide Appendix B, item 176.)

(Burm.) Penleong.
(Hindi.) Jungli taigon.
(Burm.) Panu.
(Burm.) Thit min.

Additional Notes

(a) Fruit is eaten.
(b) Seed is eaten.
(c) Heart of the tree is eaten.
(d) Pulpy portion of spathe is eaten.
(e) Leaf stems used in manufacture of sleeping mats. Leaves used for thatching purposes.
(f) Leaves used by women as aprons (d'hunga-); rotten logs used for fuel (see also "Superstitions," para. 8).
(g) Stem of this plant used for the frame and handle of the hand-net (kud-) (vide Appendix B, item 20).
(h) Leaves used for thatching, for screens (vide Appendix B, item 74), for bedding, for wrapping round corpse, for packing food for journey, &c, and prior to cooking.
(i) Rotten logs used for fuel.
(j) Used in manufacture of the foreshaft of the ra'ta-, ti'rled-, to'lbod-, and cham- arrows (vide Appendix B, items 2, 3, 4, 8), and sometimes also the skewer.
(k) Leaves used for thatching and for bedding.
(l) Leaves used in the manufacture of articles of personal attire (vide Appendix B, items 25 and 28).
(m) The middle portion of rotten logs used for torches.
(n) Rarely used for making canoes.
(o) Used for adzes, sometimes for foreshafts of arrows, and for making children's Bows.
(p) Leaves used for flooring of huts.
(q) Buttress-like slab roots used for making the sounding-boards employed when dancing.


(r) Used for making canoes.
(s) Resin used in manufacture of karngata'huj- (vide Appendix B, item 62).
(t) Used in making the gob-, kai-, and sometimes the tog- (vide Appendix B, items 82, 80. and 10).
(u) Generally used for making paddles, and the leaves for bedding,
(v) Used for making shaft of hog-spear.
(w) Used for making baskets, fastening of adze, turtle-spear, torches (tong-), and of bundles; also for suspending buckets, for stitching cracks in canoes, and in thatching.
(x) Used for making canoes; the resin is employed in making torches.
(y) Used for making canoes, pails, and eating trays.



Andamanese name. Scientific name.556 Remarks.
badala- (a) ..
badgi'ala- (a)
cha-pata- (b)
chan-am chiknl-
che- (also chola-)
cha'di- (b)
chorom- (a)
chu- (a)
gar'en-d'la- (a) . .
ina-o'la- (a)
jrawa-ala- (a)
jorol- (b)
juru-win laka ban-
li'ta- (a)
mal'to- (a)
mared- (a)
mar'eno- (a)
Monodonta (? labeo).
Belphinula laciniata.
Pecten (?) Indica
Pteroceras chiragra
Murex tribulus.
Pinna (? squamosa)
Pinna (?)
Conus ebumeus.
Scolymus comigerus.
Murex (? palma-ros).
Pema ephippium.
Turbo (?)
Nassa (? toenia).
Purpura Peraica.
Cyrena (?)
Cerithidea telescopium.
Solen vagina.
Trochus (? obeliscus).
Turbo marmoratus.
Omsis glaucus.
Venus (?)
Venus meroe.
Patella yariabilis.

Scorpion shell.

Bouquet-holder shell.

Rose-bud shell.



Is eaten by the balawa-tribe only

Pattern-shot Venus


Andamanese name. Scientific name. Remarks.
ola- (a)

pai'dek- (a)
pail- (b)
pai'lta- (h)
pap-ola- (a)
pete- (a)
porma- (a)
pu'luga lar a'lang-
re'kta- (h)
ta'ra-o'la- (a)


tua- (a)
u- (a)
wail- (b)
wangata- (a)
wop- (b)
ya.di.lar ete- (a)
Mitra adusta
Nautilus (? zic-zac)
Gerithium (? nodulosum)
Strombus (? pudlis)
Arca (? barbata)
Mytilus smaragdinus
Pharus (?)
Turbo porphyreticus
Circe (?)
Arca (?)
Dolium latelabris (? also galea).
Hemicardium unedo
Cyrena (?)
Natica albumen
Conus (? nobilis)
Bulla naucum
Cypraea Arabica
  "  Mauritiana
  "  Talpa
  "  Tigris
  "  Vitellus
Cassii Madagascariensis
(? also tuberosa)
Ostrea (?)
Trochus Niloticus
Cyrena (?)
Conus textile
? Turbinella pyrum, or Pyrula (? ficus)
Spondylus (?)
Arca (? granosa)
Ostrea (?)
Haliotis glabra, also asininus.




Eaten many yean ago but not now

Cone shell.
Shank shell
Thorny oyster