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Native Life at the Solomons.

The Solomon Islands were visited m 1886 '87 and '88 by Mr Woodfofd, a geologist and naturalist, who gives a very deplorable account of the rapid depopulation now going on—a result entirely due to the quarrelsomeness of the people themselves and their head-hunting propensities, and not to the presence of Europeans, except m so far as the traders supply them with firearms and ammunition. The numerous distinct tribes live m a state of chronic warfare, and as they are now armed with Snider rifles and steel tomahawks they make short work of each other, entire Villages and tribes being sometimes.... mag? ■acred. -This wholesale destruction,aided by infanticide and stimulated by cannibalism, threatens to reduce the islands to desert wildernesses. According to the Germans the population of th«| Bismarck Archipelago is" 280;000, wh%. jbhyat of German New- Guinea is< only j.l(XQ(l|l), although much reliance cannot be placecl on the figures. T^ie natives 'are typical Papuans, hardly distinguishable physical^r. from those of the. western and central portions of New Guinea. < They are by 1 no means irreclaimable' savages, although Jifc is, n puzzle to discover how thefijifluenpqß of progressive civilisation, jCa^n be brought to bear upon them. Their most hopeful characteristic is a disposition to cultivate the soil assiduously, and they keep dogs, pigs and fowls m a state of domestication. They'build excellent canoes of large size, and might achieve a civilisation of their own if they could only be induced to live peaceably together. But there is not much hope of that.—"CEdipus" Melbourne '" Leader." '^ A A ■ •

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Bibliographic details

Native Life at the Solomons., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2465, 12 July 1890

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Native Life at the Solomons. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2465, 12 July 1890

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