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WILD MEN OF THE WOODS

Tbe following interesting letter from tbe pea of Count Jouffroy D'Abbans, tho French Consul at Wellington, has been published m tbe *' Evening Press " : — Si fj — For tbe Information of your correspondent " Baboon," allow me to supply you with come particulars concerning the jyild human tribes be inquires about. These tribes are now to be found, not m Burmab, bat a little more south, m the Malay Peninsula. Their number is rapidly decreasing, but at tho present date, I think, two or three thousand of them are estimated to exist, according to the census m the Straits Settlomeut Tho Malaya call these peoplo the " Orang-Outan," literally " men of the woods." They are quite different frofn the kind of monkey which ia Improperly named " Orang. outang. 0 Thfl word ' 4 outang," m Malty language, moans "a dobtpr." Tbe savage people called " Orang outan " are rather hairy, aa tboj are cearjy nudo I saw many of them, mpn and wpmon, without any dress at all. Some hvra a bolt of bark or old clothes given them by Malays or white men. For dwellings thoy adopt some trees m the bush, make ' some rough stepson the trunks, and arrange a sort of floor with branches and creepers oQt fit the reaoh of the tigers and other ferooioos beastp. Tbeir language is hardly articulated, and amormts to less than a hundred sounds. They etnuof count more than up to four or five. It you entire (of oours* by signs) from them how many 6b|ldron they have, m oaee they have more than foyr, tbpy gnswor, plenty, by great demonstrations of thely hands. Their food consists mainly of roots, fruit, fish, birds' op snakes' eggs, generally eaten raw. Bat they know the use of fire. With B box of vestas you pould obteln anything you wish from them. Tbe only Malay word they know generally is " Apl ' (fire). The tribe of the • Onng-Oitan " Is certainly the link whloh separates tbe genus man from the genus monkty, These wjld people sometimes dwell tn canoes made from bark or from a hollow trunk. Then they are oalled " Orang-Ltkut," /men of water) Tbef are born, they live and they di« ID Ihelr Vjanoea, jfrblch cnu!d not live at aaa. You moot t{>..w lo f-ha rlvera and rarely In the belch's uf the PwtoiuU. The ♦'Qr»Dg-OaUft i : ,fod

"Likut" are b-archcoof tho aamo f*ra'ly the la'.tcr looking ra'.her Icaa wild, owing to the faot that fcholr wandarlcg Hfo brings them morj into contact with the Malays and white p-oplo. Their food is exclusively fish and Bhelta. No doubt these fellow-oroatures of ours ere tho aboriginals of the southern part of Asia, having been drlvea away by tho Invading Tartar* aud others. I hnvj Lean told that a few of them exist now at Sumatra, hat I never I mat any of them thore. The Negritos of Mindano lalaad, one of the PhlUJplnea, ; are of the aarno opeolcu ; maybe they form a link o r the chain, a little nonrer t ) the civilised man and very little farther removed from tho monkey than tho Ornng-Outan. I mot also In Borneo, not far from Brunol, aborigines, rather hairy, nndroased and treated with the utmost disgust by the wild and uncivilised Dyaks, who wear belts and largo hats made of dried leavoa They dwell on trees like their brother of Malacca, aod are disappearing m the same way. The Sultan of Borneo, npoaking with me about them, said : " Thore wild fel'ows generally count np to five ; but if I order them to bring mo, as a tribute, five rattan basketa, they cannot then count even up to two." That ahowr that the last representatives of the primitive man are not absolutely devoid of cunning — I am, etc , Ohab. Joukjtroy D'Abbans

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881117.2.28

Bibliographic details

WILD MEN OF THE WOODS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1999, 17 November 1888

Word Count
632

WILD MEN OF THE WOODS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1999, 17 November 1888

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