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of Japan. Relics of a pygmy race are supposed to exist in Sicily and Sardinia, “along the highroad between Pleistocene Africa and Europe”; fifteen per cent of the men of South Italy and Sardinia are rejected for military service because less than sixty-one and one half inches high. South of Salamanca in western Spain, the valley called Las Jurdes is peopled by men and women said to be little more than three feet high, whose shrunken stature is attributed to unwholesome surroundings.
No true pygmy race has developed a pronounced nose bridge, and only the lozenge-faced Bushmen have salient chins. Among nearly all of the tribes there is a deficiency in the fatty tissues which affect the skin, so that, even before old age comes, they present a wrinkled appearance as if the skin fitted too loosely. This is true even of the Lapps. The countenances of these northern dwarfs are mongoloid, but without the slanting eyes of the Chinese and Tartars, and their heads are the roundest of any race of men. The negrito and negrillo tribes have rounder heads than the tall negroes. The bodies of many of the little people in Central Africa and New Guinea are covered with a downy growth. Pygmy complexions show olive in the Lapps, light yellow in the Bushmen, yellow brown in the Indonesians, dark brown in the negritos of the Andamans and Philippines, and among the Akkas, as Schweinfurth puts it, the color of coffee slightly roasted.
Small hands and in some cases small feet characterize these tribes, and grown girls of the Bushmen show, under measurement, feet but little more than four inches long. Their bodies are long in proportion to their legs, and the legs are slim. The mid-point of the body is above the navel instead of below, as it is in the tall races. The pygmies of Africa are pot-bellied; this is due to diet, and is corrected by regular and wholesome food.
In other respects the pygmies differ from the rest of mankind chiefly in what they lack. Save in the case of the Semangs of the Malay Peninsula they may have no separate language; and they use always the speech of their taller neighbors. There is no pygmy state, or king, and often no tribal organization; even among the Lapps there was a nomad tribe called the “twice and thrice tributary Lapps,” because its members paid tribute to two, sometimes to three states—Russia, Denmark, and Sweden. The Andaman negritos and the Akkas of the West African Rain Forest are the only races that never devised a means of making fire, though both know its use. The Andamanese are also the only people that never made a musical instrument and the only people that never domesticated a food animal or cultivated a plant.
One or two things, however, may be said for the culture of the little folk. There are no pygmy cannibals. Although the Bushman houses, mere mats suspended on stakes, are the most primitive known, yet these are the most skilled artists in South Africa, and some of their figures suggest that they may have known hieroglyphic writing. All the little peoples treat their women kindly, and reverence gray hairs. The Andamanese are monogamous and believe in an omniscient deity. On the other hand, the highest religious concept among the polygamous Akkas is of a pygmy devil. The Bushmen l'ive in a state approaching sexual promiscuity; it used to be the custom, when a man wished a temporary mate, to kidnap a small child, and the mother would follow the child into his home. The Andamanese have the peculiar custom of manifesting joy by weeping, and it is said the Veddahs never laugh.
No certain statements may be made as to the aggregate numbers of the dwarf nations. There are about 50,000 Bushmen, 27,000 Lapps, 20,000 Aetas, 2,000 Mincoupies, 2,000 Veddahs. It
may be that the equatorial pygmies are half as numerous as the Aetas. Everywhere the number of these people is diminishing.
As to their origin and the cause of their shrunken stature, there is no agreement among ethnologists. The small blacks may have come into existence in South India and spread thence east and west, peopling Melanesia and Africa. Once they formed a belt of population clear across equatorial Africa. On the evidences of crania which he examined, Professor Kollman believes that, about B.c. 5000, they dwelt as far down the Nile Valley as the Thebaid. The Oriental branch of the race, pure or mixed, extends, says Quatrefages, from the extreme southeast of New Gu'inea to the archipelago of the Andamans and from the Sunda Islands to Japan, and on the Asiatic continent from Annam and the peninsula of Malacca to the western Ghauts, and from Cape Comorin to the Himalayas. This grandiose geography is challenged by later scholarship.
Yet over all these wide spaces, and over the Dark Continent, pygmies may have been the first settlers. Once it was surmised that the tall negritoes sprang from them; but this is a moot point. To accept it would be to assert that short stature is a primitive trait, and that all the tall races are in this respect abnormal. British anthropologists hold that the Bushmen are a distinct people, but that the Congo pygmies, though of livelier intelligence than the tall blacks, are yet special groups of the Nilotic or Bantu negroes, arrested or degenerated by the inhospitable forest. Their diminished stature, Stanley urges, is the result of "three thousand years of isolation, intermarriage, and a precarious diet of fungi, wild fruit, lean fibrous meat of animals, and dried insects; în a word, of the utter absence of sunshine and the lack of gluten and saccharine bodies in their food.”
Handicapping conditions may have produced the Lapps of the Arctic Circle, the vanished Indian dwarfs of the Andes, the enigmatic Bushmen, and the little black men of Africa, the Malay Peninsula, and various isles of the eastern sea. But in old fables pygmyland is hard by the country of the giants. It happens that the diminutive Lapp is neighbor to the tall Karelian, the Bushman and Akka to the stalwart Bantu. There are little people of the frigid zone, the tropics, and the south temperate. There were dwarfs of rich ocean littorals as well as of the tundra, the mountain glen, the desert, and the equatorial forest.
“I believe mankind was originally a dwarf,” says Leland. Churchward, in his Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, holds that paleolithic man was a pygmy, "the first little earth man or red man,” and that he was evolved near the Nile springs, and thence overspread the earth. Sign language and articulate sounds, the Masonic writer thinks, were worked out by these little folk. After talking with representatives of their race, he concludes that they have a monosyllabic speech, and words with the same sounds as the Egyptian hieroglyphs. The resemblance of living pygmies to the long-armed, short-legged, paunchy dwarf-gods of Egypt and Phænicia, and notably to Bes, has been remarked. These squat divinities may have owed their being to ancient fear of small men, the elder brothers of historic man. Sir Harry Johnston thinks it possible that the little blacks once overspread Europe and, by their prankish good nature and curious power of becoming invisible in herbage and behind rocks, gave rise to folk-tales of gnomes, kobolds, and fairies. Kollman, the Basle anatomist, contends that the pygmies were the child race of mankind, and that each tall race was preceded by a small one. The common opinion, that healthy dwarf tribes have been produced by degeneration from men of larger mold, is not fully satisfying. Yet the oldest human skeletons found thus far are of men of normal size.
Chapter XII. The Amazons of Legend
Men gave up with regret, and not so long ago, and not until they had ransacked all the horizons of geography, the belief that somewhere in the world there is a state of warrior women. They are reluctant to admit, nor have they quite admitted, that there never was such a state; and still they ransack the horizons of history and folk-lore for proof that at one time Amazons
Myth has mapped the woman's commonwealth in western Africa, 'in Armenia on the Black Sea, in the Caucasus, in Russia along the lower Don, in islands of the Baltic, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean, and upon the River of the Amazons. There is report of it in Greek, Turanian, Arab, Negro, and American legend. It figures in the poetry of Arctinus, the history of Herodotus, the mendacities of Maundeville, the narrative of Marco Milioni, the visions of Columbus, the journal of Orellana and the Guiana prospectus of Raleigh.
Unlike other ancient tales, the Amazon story, instead of slowly fading, has grown in definiteness of outline as it approached to-day. The men who d'iscarded utterly the belief that there is a woman state lived not long after the men who thought the state had at last been found.
The Amazons—so runs tradition everywhere substantially the same were a tribe of women ruled by a queen and subsisting by the chase and by wars of pillage. They fought both on foot and on horseback, using the bow, the spear, the javelin, and the double-headed ax. Their garb consisted of a short tunic clearing the knee and fastened over the left shoulder, leaving the right breast bare. Their outlines were powerful and beautiful. There was a dispute, never composed, between art and etymology, as to their bosoms. The word Amazon, though of barbarian origin, was thought to derive from alpha, privative, and mazos, the Greek for breast. On this derivation the gram