Ibis, Paul. "Auf Formosa: Ethnographische Wanderungen" [On Formosa: Ethnographic travels] Globus 31 (1877): 149-52, 167-71, 181-87, 196-200, 214-19, 230-35. Translated by Christian Buss. Edited by Douglas Fix.
I. Geographic overview of the island: Location.-- Geological structure.--Earthquake.-- Coastline and bays.-- Rivers.-- Climate.-- Flora and fauna.--The products of the island.-- Its people.
At the beginning of the year 1875, the Russian majesty's corvette "Ustold" lay at anchor for a longer period of time in Hong-kong, and as the crew on the ship could easily do without me, I used the months of January and February to travel through the island of Formosa, for whom, or rather for whose inhabitants, my Japanese expedition had inspired a considerable interest. The purpose of this travel was: first, wherever possible to become better acquainted with this so incredibly notorious people and their situation, and also to determine their nationality, which I had often heard doubts about. Second, it was to find the solution to the question as to whether or not a dark race exists in inner Formosa, a Papua tribe, as Fr. Mueller in his ethnography ("Norvara-Travel") claimed.
The time frame in which my travel fell could not have been more advantageous: The Japanese had just left Formosa; there reigned complete peace on the island; and the Chinese, who by contract had assumed the responsibility for the goings on of the natives, planned for things, at least for the time being, to remain firmly in the same position, as was proper. Their friendly conversations with the chiefs of the various tribes also promised the best success. On the part of the natives, nothing was to be feared: In the south they still suffered too much under the alarm that the Japanese weapons had hung over them to commit new outrages/crimes against foreigners. In other parts of the Island, moreover, the natives gratify themselves with a better reputation than their ancestral relations in the south. Besides, January and February are just the nicest months on Formosa--dry and not hot-- so that some natural impediments, like slippery paths, stream crossings and fever attacks are excluded from the number of difficulties that would otherwise have to be overcome. Outfitted with measuring-compass, meter stick and notebooks, and taking as little luggage with me as possible, I walked across the island from the south to the north. As often as the situation and time allowed it, I made diversions to the outlying areas, in order to search out the natives in their territories, who usually received me kindly. In this manner I came into contact with thirteen tribes, measured them, made sketches of them, observed their manners and customs, and collected words from their languages; in short I had the satisfaction of reaching my goals.
However, before I approach the actual object of this work, "The natives of Formosa," I want to take a glance at the island itself and its Chinese part, in order to subsequently develop its ethnography more clearly.
Formosa stretches from 21° 55' up to 25° 18.5' northern width and from 120° 8' to 122° eastern longitude from Greenwich. It measures over 200 nautical miles in length and 75 miles at its widest spot and has a surface area of approximately 1060 geographic square miles. Although only 20 to 100 miles distant from the mainland, it differentiates itself significantly from that place, in its geological structure as well as in its flora and fauna; it is much more easily compared with the Philippines. Just as in the Philippines, the island of Formosa's formation was purely volcanic. Its actual core consists of a sharp mountain range with peaks from 11,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level, that with a ridge height of 8000 feet stretches for 115 miles in north-northeasterly direction (from 22° 34' To 24° 44' northern width and from 120° 44' to 121° 15' eastern longitude), forms a strict divide, then quickly decreases in altitude to the south. But to the north it abuts an equally high, but only 15 mile long mountain range that is perpendicular to it (Dodds range), and ends in a chaotic jumble. This main chain is composed of slate whose striations fall off steeply to the east.
Parallel to it on the west side a few comparatively small mountain ranges of sedimentary slate stretch out with a much less steep striation; these compose the actual middle of the island. Moving westward, there are terraces of clay and sand layers with an almost imperceptible decline towards the east, and finally the plain, which contains almost all of the third part of the island, its west side; only slowly declining to the sea, it forms a shallow coast only accessible at a few places.
Noteworthy and helpful in explaining the formation of the west side of the island are those great coral formations that are to be found on the southwestern coast, and not only directly by the ocean, but also quite a distance from the same. The largest of them are: the "Ape Hill" by Ta-kao, an atoll-like coral mass of 1100 feet in height; the "saddle hill" between Ta-kao and Tang-kang, which reaches 468 feet; and a few mountains by Long-kiau at the southern point that cannot be much lower. Smaller blocks of coral reefs rising several feet above the water surface are often seen.
East of the main range the land appears altogether rugged and mountainous, and everything indicates that these mountain ranges run parallel to the divide also. The shore usually rises directly out of the ocean up to several thousand feet in height. The north of the island is with few exceptions also mountainous. The ranges here lie parallel to the Dodds range and lose height to the north. At the coast they are composed of sandstone, whose layers fall to the south. At Kelong they contain coal. Between Tamsui and Kelong, in the extreme north, are some volcanoes, named the Tatun group, whose highest point lies around 4000 meters above the ocean. From their craters sulfur recently is being recovered successfully. It is said that there are no other volcanoes on the island. A few petroleum sources in the Dodds range must also be mentioned.
The south end of the island, the part that comes together to a peninsula-like point at 22.25° north, is although not high, a rugged and torn up mountainous terrain that on the whole rises directly out of the ocean. This short mountain range consists of sandstone at the shore and slate in the inner region, and everywhere the layers fall steeply to the east. Coal reserves were noted nowhere. At the western shore one recognizes here and there several terrace-like beach fronts lying over one another, of whom the highest are already covered with grass and scrub. From this it can be concluded that this shore is still advancing, which has also been noticed to the north by Tai-wan-fu; in particular, at Fort Zelandia, which at the time of its construction by the Dutch 200 years ago stood right by the coast, but now lies a half mile inland. Furthermore, the old harbor of Tai-wan-fu does not exist anymore.
Earthquakes are frequent on Formosa, but are rarely strong enough to do any harm. The two earthquakes that I experienced during my stay on the island announced themselves in several light rumbles that quickly followed one another, without being accompanied by any underground tumult.
The coast of Formosa is deficient in bays. On the west side only Ta-kao (22° 37' north) has a good, but unfortunately too small, harbor. This harbor is formed by a long coral reef reaching above the water surface that runs parallel to the coast, and was probably once connected to Ape-Hill but is now separated from this formation by an 11-foot deep and around 300-foot wide passage. The bay that is in such manner separated from the sea measures approximately six miles in length and one mile in width but only has enough depth for ships in its northern part, where a small river joins it. Protected from the prevailing winds by Ape-Hill and the relatively high reef, Ta-kao is a safe anchorage at all times of year. The anchorage at Tai-wan-fu is entirely exposed and unsafe; the ships there must anchor far from shore, and the landing can only be reached by raft because the beach is too shallow even for smaller boats. On the east coast of the island there are two small bays, which by the assertions of several mandarins would easily be transformed into good harbors. They are Sau-o-ban (24° 37.5 ' north) and Tschok-e-dan (24° 7 ' north). In the north of the island, cut deeply into the mountains and protected from all winds, there is the bay of Kelong (25° 7' north), which is in all aspects an excellent anchorage for ships of middle depth, but as of now she has little importance for trade, as the coal mine that is located there is run in a far too primitive manner to offer much for export. Moreover, Tamsui lies much more comfortably for the exportation of the other products of the north, such as tea, camphor and indigo. The harbor, or rather the delta of the Tamsui River, is inferior to the bay of Kelong in no way except that there lies a sand bar at the entrance that has only 7 feet of water above it at low tide (by high tide, meanwhile, it has 21 feet). In the southwest of the island, the bay of Long-kiau (22° 7' north) is suitable as an anchorage during the northeastern monsoons.
Of the rivers, only two are of importance for the island: The Tamsui River in the north and the Tang-kang River in the southwest. The first spills into the ocean at 25°11' latitude and consists of two forks, the Tok-sham and the Sam-quai, that converge about 10 miles before the delta and then also take up the water from the Kelong River. Both forks are navigable to boats for approximately 30 to 40 miles of their course and are, therefore, important for trade, especially for the trade of camphor, whose main source lies in the mountains where these rivers' sources are. The Tang-kang River originates from the mountains of mid-Formosa, also in two forks, which, while separated by a mountain chain, travel parallel to the plain in a southerly direction. Below 23° north, where I crossed both forks in the middle of their course, they were already significant flows and, despite it being the dry time of year, were still navigable for boats. Therefore, one has to search for their sources at least 30 to 40 miles further north. On the plain they join and then, while still taking up several minor rivers, form a wide, although unfortunately light, current that pours into the sea by the town of Tang-kang (22° 28' north ). During the rainy season, the Tang-kang River overflows its banks and floods a strip of land from 4 to 5 miles wide in the plains that has been transformed into a desert from the sediment that is deposited yearly. As these sand masses concurrently block up the river bed, the river gets wider every year due to the floods, as a result of which a row of houses is washed away every year in Tang-kang, which lies right on the left bank of the river. The remaining rivers of the island are irrelevant for trade; they are mostly mountain streams that almost dry out in the winter but quickly swell up and prevent all travel during the rainy period.
The climate of Formosa is tropical up to 24° north. There are only two seasons, a wet one and a dry one. The first begins in May with the southwestern monsoon and ends in September with the arrival of the northeastern monsoon. It brings strong heat and colossal rain clouds that discharge themselves in regular showers every afternoon. In July the rain is at the maximum of its power, after which it fades in strength considerably. The dry season lasts from September to April; not a single drop of rain falls; no clouds even darken the sky; and the heat is bearable at least until March. North of 24° north, this pattern ends. Instead, the winter there brings a lot of rain, while the summer can be called comparatively dry. I was told that it often rains weeks without interruption in Tamsui, and that the sun is not to be seen for months at a time, which is not at all improbable when one remembers that it is northern Formosa that sends its thick fog out over the entire Formosa Straits during the northeastern monsoon.
In response to these downpours, there is ample vegetation on Formosa: the mountainous parts of the island are covered with impenetrable jungle in the south, a fantastic labyrinth of a multitude of Liana-covered tree species, giant ferns and fern trees. In the north, impressive camphor forests that have their equal nowhere spread themselves out. The plain is one of the most fruitful and cultivated strips of land that I have ever seen: wheat, corn, rice and sugar provide rich harvests; pineapples, bananas, ginger, mangoes, oranges and lemons, in short most of the tropical and subtropical fruits, flourish admirably; the bamboo shoots up to a height of 80 to 90 feet and the fine areca palm grows here as large as on the Sunda-Islands; the coconut tree is lacking, however.
In addition, the fauna of Formosa appears bountiful and in good health, and there are a few exclusive species, for instance a Formosan deer, an ant-eater, and a pheasant. Snakes and poisonous insects are poorly represented, the latter only appear during the rainy season. There appear to be several types of bats and flying dogs. The west coast is especially rich in fishes. It appears that buffaloes, pigs and dogs have been introduced from China. Horses are missing entirely.
The products that Formosa delivers for trading have up until now been sugar, tea, rice, fruits and vegetables, indigo, camphor, oil, hemp, animal skins and horns, fish, sesame, curry, seaweed and Agar-Agar, various types of wood (especially hard types-- "hard wood"), and coal. The export amounts to 2,000,000 taels, the import to approximately 1,750,000 taels (3 taels = 6 and 2/3 Thaler); both are considered to be growing.
Formosa is inhabited by two different peoples: by Chinese and Melanesian people. The former, by far the most numerous, are immigrants (mostly out of the nearby province of Fu-kiang). They inhabit the plain on the western side of the island and the north. The latter, about 150,000 to 200,000 people, are by far the earlier inhabitants of the island and can, therefore, be considered natives. They live in small independent clans in the mountainous parts of the island, therefore inhabiting the east side and southern point. Between these free natives, called by the Chinese "Ka-te" (the wild ones), and the Chinese, a few half civilized tribes live that have more or less become dependent on the Chinese government. A Papua race, or one comparable to it, does not exist in inner Formosa; neither the Chinese nor the natives themselves know anything of them. Probably one assumed that the ugly and more darkly colored inhabitants of the southern peninsula were these people. It is possible, however, that these Malanesians, when taking possession of the island, found a different and darker people and rooted them out through war and intermixed with them, whereby the uncountable tribes and almost as many clan types that differentiate themselves primarily through lightness and darkness of their skin could have developed.
II. The Chinese property on Formosa: The colonization of Formosa by the Chinese during the 15th century.-- The Dutch on Formosa.-- Coxinga and the conquest of Tai-wan-fu.-- Division of the Chinese properties into five prefectures.-- The cities.-- Tai-wan-fu.-- The administration of the island.-- The Chinese military Forces on Formosa.-- The beginning and development of the turmoil in southern Formosa in the year 1875. The position of the Chinese government towards the natives: Their relationship to the same before and after the Japanese expedition.-- Negotiations with the tribal elders.-- Road building through the mountains.-- The Christian missionaries on Formosa.
When, in the beginning of the 15th century, the first Chinese people landed on the western coast of Formosa, they found in the natives a good people that gladly ceded their land and engaged in active trade with them. However, the friendly relations between both groups did not endure: the all too large influx of foreigners, their greediness, and their aggressive ways soon bred divisions that set the stage for bitter racial hatred that continues up to the present day. As a result of these conflicts, which not infrequently degenerated into bloody battles, the Chinese government delayed recognition of the island as a colony for a long time; therefore, they also had few qualms about offering Formosa to the Dutch in exchange for the evacuation of the Pescadores Islands, when the Dutch unexpectedly occupied the islands in 1622 and began to fortify them. The Dutch accepted the terms of this trade and landed at Tai-wan-fu in 1624, where they immediately began the construction of the stronghold Fort Zelandia. After ten years had passed, they had also established themselves in Takao, Tam-sui and Kelong; they were then the masters of the whole western and northern coast. With the Malanesians, they stood on better ground than the Chinese did; they introduced the laws of the motherland, established schools, preached Christianity to them, and primarily married with native women, most likely in order to bind these people more closely to the Dutch. Meanwhile, towards the Chinese immigrants, who streamed in in large numbers during the fall of the Ming dynasty, the Dutch practiced a politics of hostility, primarily out of fear of being displaced by them.
During the confusion that the fall of the Ming dynasty and the surrender of the throne to the Manchus in China precipitated, some popular governors in outlying regions of the empire declared their independence. This the governor of Annam did also. I don't know the reason, but this Tschin-tschin-kung, or rather Coxinga, a brave, energetic man, was called the "pirate Coxinga." In proper recognition of the fact that he would not be able to defend himself against the Manchus for long, he turned his attention to Formosa, which was known well enough to him due to his trade relations with the Dutch. It is also said that his mother was Formosan. After he secretly ensured himself of the Chinese inhabitants' aid, he landed with 25,000 men at Tai-wan-fu, blockaded the harbor, and occupied the city. After a nine-month occupation, during which the Dutch had to endure all kinds of privations, the city surrendered and Coxinga declared himself to be the king of Formosa (1662). After his death, which followed soon after his rise to power, the island declared its independence for some time, and only in 1683 became a willing subject of the Chinese ambassadors.
Since then Formosa, or rather northern and western Formosa, has been incorporated into the Chinese regime. The Malanesians have, with few exceptions, disappeared from the plains; in part they may have died out, in part they may have retreated to the mountains, where the Chinese authority does not go far. The plain now nourishes a population as thickly settled as in the richest provinces of China and has a layout that could not have been planned any more meticulously; in fact every spot has been built on. There are numerous cities that have over 10,000 inhabitants, and blossoming villages with more than 1,000 souls lie right next to one another. If one takes 4 million as the Chinese population of Formosa, that is in my opinion not excessive; Chinese statements that assess a population of more than 10 million are, however, strongly exaggerated.
The Chinese government on Formosa is partitioned into five prefectures. They are: in the north, Tamsui, with the capital city of Töck-tscham (with approximately 30,000 inhabitants), a rich area where in recent times tea production, in particular, is taking off. Next to this prefecture lies the valley of Kamolan-ting, which stretches south towards Sau-o Bay. It was just recently colonized by the Chinese.
After this, on the plain, lie Tschang-hwa-hien with the city Tschang-hwa (approximately 15,000 inhabitants), Kagi-hien with Kagi (10,000 to 15,000 inhabitants), and Tai-wan-hien with Tai-wan-fu, the capital city of the island (75,000 inhabitants). The last also incorporates the mountainous terrain of the middle of Formosa, the area of the Pepo-hwan, a civilized Malanesian tribe. Sugar production is flourishing in all three regions.
The southern prefecture is Fung-shan-hien with the capital city of Pitau (15,000 inhabitants), the most fruitful and, as it appears, most populated part of the island; next to areca, rice and lots of sugar is produced. To Fung-shan-hien, Long-kiau on the southern peninsula now also belongs-- an area of unrest that was, although inhabited by the Chinese before the Japanese expedition, not recognized as its property. The contract closed with the help of the Japanese obligates them to fortify the town in order to assure the peace of the tribes in adjoining areas. With the occupation of Long-kiau (on the 24th of December 1874), several smaller fishing villages to the north that had not stood under the control of the government were concurrently fortified. Through this a safe link was to be established through the territory of the natives between the southern peninsula and the plains. In addition, Tang-kang, Takao, and Tai-wan-fu are occupied to protect them from external enemies, as for example the Japanese expedition of 1874. To the north of Tai-wan-fu this is unnecessary, as the whole coast is too shallow for ships to come within shooting range.
The cities mentioned are all well fortified (they are surrounded with a wall of enormous thickness). Besides Tai-wan-fu, none of these cities deserves to be described in more detail: they are ordinary Chinese cities, with small, light houses, well suited to the climate, with narrow, not quite clean streets, of which one almost exactly matches the other. With the so often described colorful, but numbing lives being lived inside, they can only interest a foreigner. Someone who has traveled in China longs either to be out in nature or to remain hidden in his poor lodgings. The guest-houses in these cities are at the same time opium dens-- holes in the wall that arouse disgust.
In Tai-wan-fu, however, one can stay for a day without being troubled by boredom, but not any longer. Amongst the few sights worth seeing stands first and foremost the ruin of the mighty Fort Zelandia, which lies two miles outside of the city in the neighborhood of An-ping harbor. It is a solid piece of work, built to last hundreds of years, like all of the Dutch buildings on Formosa. (As in Takao, Tamsui, and Kelong several Dutch buildings are preserved in more or less good condition, for instance the present English consulate in Tamsui.) Unfortunately the Chinese government tore down a significant portion of Zelandia in order to use its extremely strong materials to build two new forts, which disturbs the full impression of the ruin considerably. In the middle of the city one can also find the remnants of a small Dutch castle that is far too difficult and expensive to ever have the chance of being removed. The practical Chinese have instead turned some of its vaults into living spaces, some into pigsties. The temples in Tai-wan-fu are hardly worth viewing; they distinguish themselves neither through their opulence, nor through their architectural design, and are also quite unclean. Most temples are devoted to Confucius, whose teachings are the ruling ones on the island.
The city itself spans a considerable surface area; the wall that surrounds it measures 4 miles in circumference and has eight gates, each of which has a high watchtower. The streets are only 8 to 10 feet wide, straight, paved with cobblestones and, as is rare in Chinese cities, kept clean. Larger trading streets are covered overhead with wood; in evenly spaced sections of this cover, slices of mother of pearl are inlaid so that the streets are adequately bright during the day. The illumination by night leaves nothing to be desired, innumerable paper lanterns that burn tightly next to one another are hung in and outside booths and diffuse a soft light that does the eyes well and gives the streets and their undulating masses of people a rather fantastical appearance. At 8 o'clock in the evening the gates to the city close, and somewhat later even the individual streets-- the largest even at several places-- are closed with bamboo gates, a practical measure by the police that exists in all of the larger cities in China.
On the western and southwestern side of the city walls there is a large suburb with broader streets and better houses than inside the wall. It is the quarter of the city inhabited by the richer salesman, whereas much smaller traders and craftsmen live within the city walls. Under the latter, silversmiths that have built up a good reputation in all of China for their solid and cheap work are to be found; however, they cannot compare themselves with the silversmiths of Canton, whose taste, purity and grace is the measure of excellence in their industry.
As Tai-wan-fu lies one and a half miles from the coast, the businessman of the European trading companies and the customs house are in An-ping. The Europeans themselves have their residences in the city and mostly in Chinese houses. Their community is limited to 8 to 10 people; in the three other harbor cities there are not many more of them, so that the total number of Europeans on Formosa is not much more than 50 (only two women live there). The majority of Europeans are businessman, agents of rich buyers in Annam, who have the trade of the island almost exclusively in their hands.
Chinese figures estimate the population of Tai-wan-fu to be 200,000. I do not know what the grounds for this estimate are, as no such count has been carried out as long as the city has stood. In the opinion of the British consulate there, it is not higher than 75,000 and that appears to me to be much more reasonable.
The garrison of this city has approximately 10,000 foot-soldiers; on the entire island there are approximately 20,000 of these. What these 20,000 people are and what one can expect from them is obvious when one contemplates that they are composed of all types of vagabonds and petty thieves; morally they stand on a low level. The decent Chinese man who can find work never becomes a soldier and whenever possible avoids all contact with these persons, whose only occupations and past times are cards and opium. On top of this, the Chinese soldier is here, as in China, poorly disciplined, outfitted with sorry muskets, spears and similar antediluvian rubbish, and, as was frequently shown to be the case, easily gives in to the privations and hardships that a field march into the mountains against the natives brings with it.
The administration of the island is as in all of China: every prefecture stands under a mandarin of third or fourth class, whose post is associated with great responsibility and relatively little independence. In every relatively exceptional case he must provide a report to the governor in Tai-wan-fu and wait for [that official's] suggestions before he can implement any response. The governor of the island himself, a mandarin of the second class, is similarly dependent on the governor-general of the province of Fu-kiang, to which Formosa belongs. How circuitous and time wasting this practice is, is clear. The horrible consequences that this reporting, questioning and waiting can have is shown by the following case, which at the same time leads up to the relationship that the Chinese government has with the natives:
In the middle of January 1875, just as the peace discussions with the leaders of the tribes of southern Formosa promised the best success, several Chinese soldiers were attacked and murdered by natives on the wild way to Long-kiau. The commander of Long-kiau, who led over 2,000 men, could do nothing other than notify the prefect of Fung-shan-hien, who for his part brought the matter to the governor of the island. From this person the information went on to Fu-tschau to the general governor, and from there to Peking. The business of the new year and the death of the king that soon followed was so disruptive to the Peking court that the decision on the Formosa question was considered unimportant and pushed back until calmer times came. Under these conditions one month was wasted. The natives, who wanted to have little knowledge of the importance of the Chinese new-year nor of the death of the king, explained the hesitation on the part of the Chinese solely through their cowardliness. Because of this they gathered their strength with all stealth and one night took by surprise the camp of Hong-kong (22° 11' N.), where 90 Chinese people lost their lives, under them also mandarins. Once again reports were made and questions posed until finally an answer came from the court; it stated: "The natives are to be punished with weapons." This the commandant of Long-kiau could have done with his 2,000 men on the night of the murders, and as much as I personally know him and learned to notice his healthy, clear understanding, he could have executed it with more success than the entire troops of the island now did. Because at that time the punishable tribe stood by itself; an energetic attack would have shattered the unit apart, and peace would have been restored as most of the tribes had not recuperated from the blow that the Japanese had given them. Now, however, they all raised up their heads. Out of the inactivity of the Chinese and the resulting appearance of weakness and cowardliness, they believed that they were strong enough to banish the Chinese from the coast, destroy Chinese-occupied cities, and defend their independence for the future. One tribe after the other joined this group of agitators and, although apparently entering into contracts with the Chinese and putting on a show of peace, armed themselves fervently for battle. The ambush of Hong-kong showed clearly what their aims were; it was a provocation intended to incite war. When the Chinese troops finally pushed into the mountains in March, they were pushed back or skillfully lured into canyons, trapped, and pitifully battered. On top of this the warm season drew near, and fever broke out under the soldiers, which stole more lives than the bullets or arrows of the enemy. The troops of Formosa did not prove themselves to be satisfactory; a company of 10,000 men had to be sent to them from Fu-kiang as reinforcements. Even these could not significantly change the state of affairs, and as I heard last in Hong-kong (February 1876), peace has not been restored yet.
And whether or not it will be restored soon is a question that it is difficult to answer. The tribes of southern Formosa are the most warlike and venturesome of all; they are adamantly committed to defend their freedom at all costs. Although they do not number more than 2,000 men, they still have the advantage of the northern portion of the countryside, a raw, completely wild region, only accessible at a few spots, where every river, every mountain path and every canyon is in and of itself a stronghold. Also, they never engage in open battle that could put them at a disadvantage, but rather follow the enemy by foot, unseen, unsuspected, and then shoot at him from the bushes, or weaken him through surprise attacks, or lure him into their hiding places, from which retreat is not possible without substantial losses. When one considers, then, that energy, cunning, and natural advantages are on the side of the attacker, it is easy to conclude that, on average, ten Chinese soldiers will not be enough against one native. Therefore, it is only through a large buildup of strength that southern Formosa will be subdued by the Chinese government.
As is evident from the preceding story, it was the natives themselves who called for the war; it never lay in the intentions of the Chinese government, neither in the south, nor in any other part of the island. Before the Japanese expedition, that government never even thought much about bringing its authority to bear in the mountains, least of all through violence with their weapons. Why should it anyway? The island belonged to it in title; no one had until then wanted to dispute the issue, no one had ever concerned themselves with the nature of their relationship with the natives, nor for accountability over the thefts on the beach that occurred in the south and on the southeast coast. Meanwhile, the Japanese expedition changed this state of affairs: the discussions that were the consequence of this expedition made it clear to the Chinese government how groundless their claims on the island were and would remain if the natives did not acknowledge their authority. The expedition furthermore showed how real the risk was that under these circumstances they would have to endure the presence of a different force on Formosa. For now this risk has luckily passed with the contract of November 1874, by which the Japanese gave up Long-kiau, while the Chinese assumed responsibility for the actions of the natives, although they also had to concede that it was possible that the Japanese would return. The natives, therefore, had to be brought under Chinese control, especially the tribes that lived on the coast, who could most easily cause unpleasantness for foreign powers. The project with which this was to be accomplished was as humane as it was clever in theory. It was to occur in a most peaceful fashion and had to be, at least in part, self-fulfilling. The chiefs (taurangs) of the various tribes were looking for yearly contributions that would make it beneficial for them to be obedient in some aspects to the government in order to accede then to a mild dependency upon it. With their support, some villages on the coast that were inhabited by Chinese people were to be occupied. Finally, and this was the crux of the project, good roads should be built through the mountains and along the eastern coast that would connect all places inhabited by the Chinese and the plains as well. This was a project that the natives could have nothing against. The negotiations with the chiefs began in January 1875. In the south, as we have seen, they were unfortunately derailed; further to the north however, they appear to have taken a very good course; during my stay on the island a road from the plain to the east coast (under 22.5° north L.) had already been completed, and the construction of another road going along the entire east coast progressed rapidly, without there being anything heard of conflicts with the natives.
These roads will over time have a powerful influence on the natives. Like all Malanesians, the Formosans love trading to the point of it being a passion; next to the most embittered hatred, there exists between the natives and the Chinese countrymen an active trading business. They travel all day to reach the nearest villages on the plain in order to exchange the bounty of their hunt for weapons, gunpowder, alcohol and other bric-a-brac. They even put up with entire towns that are their worst enemies within their region, as in the south and on the eastern coast, merely out of respect for trade. These roads will then enliven trade very much; the natives will be brought more often onto the plain to be amongst civilized people, where they, as bright and knowledgeable about nature as they are, will see much that is of use to them. They will then slowly assimilate themselves. Moreover, the more frequent peaceful interaction with the Chinese would weaken their hatred against these people and would dissolve the sad racial hatred that is such a disadvantage for both sides. Enterprising Chinese people would also, with time, settle on the roads or even amongst the Malanesians themselves, as it has already occurred in parts of the south. Culture and industry would have to follow them, and the hunt would make way for agriculture until finally the chiefs would have nothing against it if they were called village-mandarins instead of taurang. The example of the Sek-hwan, a strong tribe northeast of Tschang-hwa that just recently fell willingly under Chinese rule, shows that this chain of events does not belong to the realm of fantasy. This other mandarins are also hoping for.
As an aside, I have read somewhere that a prize has been provided by the government for the head of a wild one in Formosa. I have often tried to find out the truth of this claim and have never found it confirmed. Given the explanation just now given of the humane and peace-willing plans of the government, such a silly and gruesome measure is not conceivable. In earlier times it may well have been so, in times when one did not think about the possibility of an insurrection by the Malanesians, but rather saw them as a wild hoard who made the land unsafe through robbery and murder.
In closing, a few words about the work of the missionaries on Formosa.
The Catholics' five stations are found exclusively in the south of the island, under the Pepo-hwan, with whom the Christian church is supposed to have found a more facile acceptance than under the pragmatic Chinese.
The missionaries have not yet pushed into the mountains; it should also be difficult for them to find followers for their elevated thoughts as the wild ones have almost no religious beliefs. They know nothing of a higher being, a creator and guide of people, nothing of a hereafter. Their accidents and misfortunes are ascribed to bad ghosts that live in the air, the forest and in the water, and who, in order to be appeased, must have some food and drink sacrificed to them every day. Temples, idols, priests or magicians did not make an appearance for me anywhere. As doctors, these missionaries could, with a few deft treatments, find their inroads to these people, as they appear to have some notions of the healing arts. However, I hardly believe that it will be possible for anyone to succeed in converting a wild one to Christianity without betel nuts and samshu (rice liquor). As for those Chinese and Malanesians who have already been made Presbyterians, I do not wish to discuss whether they are real Christians or only apparently so. Model prayers they are in any case. However they should, I think, during their hours of worship, stop the gruesome screeching and squawking that they call "singing," which bores right through me. One always feels oneself deeply insulted when one hears such a prayer group scream a well known choral and thereby sees the completely warranted scornful chuckle on the faces of the non-Christians, whom this disturbing sing-song does not please either. The missionaries really should not have taught them singing.
III. Expedition in south Formosa: Leaving Ta-kao.-- Tang-kang.-- Pong-liau.-- The coast between Pong-liau and Long-kiau.-- The Pilám tribe.-- With the Saprêk.-- The trip into the territory of the Saprêk.-- Welcome Ceremony.-- Meal with the Taurang.-- Long-kiau.-- The Japanese camp.-- Excursion to the Sabari and to the eastern coast.-- The Taurang Issek and Tschutok.-- The village where the stranded Japanese were murdered by the wild natives.-- A deer hunt.-- Travels into the territory of the Sutang tribe.--The stone gate.
After I made a few safe inquiries about the island in Ta-kao, where I landed, I formed the plan to first travel through south Formosa. Long-kiau, at that time easy to reach, promised to be a good starting point for this.
On the 23rd of January I left Ta-kao. The first night I rested in the missionary house of Tang-kang, a town of 20,000 inhabitants, of whom a third occupy themselves only with fishing. Fishing is prevalent on the whole southwest coast, and it not only provides the inhabitants of the island with food, but also allows a rather lively trade with Annam and Swatow. Hundreds of junks and catamarans (seaworthy rafts made out of bamboo outfitted with rudders and grass sails) cover the ocean on calm days, and one can see thousands of people occupied with the cleaning, packing, salting and drying of fish; one can smell the stench emitted from such places from miles away.
Something entirely unique that Tang-kang has is the condition that the houses here are primarily made of woven bamboo, even though it is quite cool at night. However, this comes as a result of the yearly flooding of the river, which always places the town at risk of being swept away; the Chinese person, who knows this, takes this into account and, therefore, does not build a stone building, which is just as likely to be swept away in the next year as the cheapest bamboo house.
In Tang-kang the horrible rumor of a wicked murder that the Kale inflicted on a few Chinese soldiers on the way to Long-kiau came to us. This in time proved itself to be true. My people, who took the matter very seriously, went further only with serious reservations, and when, after two days, I entered Pong-liau, a fishing village (or if you will, a town of 5000 inhabitants), where along with the flat countryside, the Chinese power finds its end, all of their bravery left them; a few strong words, but more importantly their trust in the power of my double barreled shotguns and my revolvers, brought them back in line.
After Pong-liau, the character of the area changes quickly: the blooming fields and shadowy gardens disappear, and with the final sound of Pong-liau, with the final impoverished potato field behind us, all signs of human life and activity stop, and an oppressive quietude surrounds the traveler. The ragged, wild, and chaotically overgrown mountain ranges push themselves ever more closely onto the shoreline until they finally rise steeply and directly out of the ocean; the path, a barely visible footpath, sometimes nears the water, disappears in sand and boulders, and sometimes heads steeply uphill and downhill.
Between Pong-liau and Long-kiau there are only three small fishing villages; they are Lam-sio, Tsche-tong-ka, somewhat further south, and Hong-kong at 22º 11' northern longitude. The few Chinese inhabitants of these villages are tolerated by the natives, as they are necessary as the importers of weapons, ammunition, clothes, tobacco, brandy, and all kinds of jewelry. New immigrants, however, are not to be allowed any longer. An old, honorable Chinese man in the village of Hong-kong, under whose roof I slept, told me of the following example from his own experiences: When he was still a young, enterprising man and, in part, also driven by need, he made the plan to settle himself between Hong-kong and Long-kiau, where he hoped to improve his riches quickly and easily. The neighboring tribe of natives had nothing against this. He therefore calmly built himself a house, planted fields and a garden, and when he believed his relationship with the Kale to be stable enough, brought his wife and child with him. For a time it all went reasonably well; and even though the natives often treated him quite arrogantly, and sometimes took advantage of him quite badly when trading, he was smart enough to avoid all serious fights with them; for he was in his business here far better endowed than he had been in the plain, where he owned nothing. However, through an unfortunate trade agreement, wherein the natives saw, or rather believed themselves to have been insulted, everything was changed. First his fields and his garden were damaged, and then his livestock was stolen from him, and when he still did not leave, his house was ambushed in the night and destroyed. He saved himself and his child, but his wife became a victim of this gruesome act. A few ruins that I saw here and there on the path confirmed the truth of this story, and showed also that my host was not the only one who had made this attempt.
In Lam-sio I met the first natives. They were men and women out of the tribe Pilám, who had descended from the mountains in order to trade furs and peanuts for gunpowder. The happiness I found when seeing them was even greater than the shock of my companions, and I immediately brought my tobacco, betel, and samshu to them, which all in all allowed them to overcome their shyness, so that they eventually allowed me to draw them. With the measurements of the body, however, it did not go well at all; the measuring compass scared them so badly that they hurriedly ran away from me whenever I reached for it. I had to pack it away to calm them down and get them to stay with me. In the future I approached this differently: if I wanted to measure a rascal, I first placed a bowl of samshu, some gunpowder, or something otherwise appealing next to me, and let him know that he would be given all of these things if he tolerated the whole procedure calmly. If he still hesitated, fearing bad magic (which, however, only happened rarely, as samshu is too appealing an enticement), I tried to make clear to him that I was a doctor, and in order to practice good medicine, I needed to know the people that I wanted to help well and, therefore, had to measure them; this usually helped. I then carefully began the procedure with the measuring tape and measured first the hands, feet and the body, and then the head, and at the very end with the dangerous measuring compass that, despite samshu and powder, still made some people flee. Along with the body measurements, my attempts to enter the interior were not successful here; their taurang (tribal leader) was an angry man, they believed, and without his permission they could not take any foreigners with them, no matter what gifts he may promise. To wait for his permission would take four days, which is why I considered it better to continue on my way south.
On the following day I also had better luck. In the village of Hong-kong I encountered men from the tribe Saprêk, who, once I had willingly provided them with supplies, agreed to take me to their village and to recommend me to the taurang as their brother. Only I should throw the tribe a party, as was appropriate for a big white taurang; in other words I should take so much samshu and betel nut with me that everyone could benefit from it. That was not difficult to arrange, as the whole tribe consisted of no more than 150 people. My new traveling partners-- numbering about a dozen-- therefore packed with them as much liquor in gourds, pouches, and bamboo pipes that were the height of a man, as they could carry and we were on our way. Of my people I only took the translator with me, as a few of the natives spoke a little bit of Chinese.
It was the middle of the day when we left the town. The few rice fields, the Japanese camp and the last huts of the village lay behind us, and one mile further in, we were completely surrounded by the wilderness. The mountains and the shore of the river, along which our path traveled, were covered with thick, uninterrupted forest; a deep silence surrounded us, which was only interrupted once in a while by the shrill cry of a scared bird or the monotonous mumbling of a cascade. One closely following the other, we walked on silently along the narrow path that at times wound through the jungle, followed the river banks, or meandered through heathers. After about two hours my companions stopped at a small field. One of them let out a loud, drawn-out whistle, to which distant voices responded out of the bushes; upon this one heard the breaking of thin branches, the rustling of leaves and voices that came ever closer, until the bushes were finally parted and a few female figures stepped into the open. They were the wives of my companions, who waited in hiding for the return of their husbands in order to help them carry their burdens home with them. This consideration proved itself not to be superfluous, as the path now began on its way directly uphill with such steepness that one had to hold onto branches in spots in order not to slide backwards. I and my Chinese helper were quickly out of breath; my partners and their wives, however, moved along lightly and sprightly, as if they were on a flat plain, and merely chuckled when I leaned, exhausted, against a tree trunk in order to catch my breath. After we had gained more than one and a half thousand feet we finally crossed over the mountain ridge, and in front of us, or rather under us lay a narrow, gloomy valley, the hunting grounds of the Saprêk. Dark, jagged mountains enclosed it, and as far as the eye could see there was nothing but forest; no hut, no smoke chimney indicated the presence of human beings; only the river, which wound itself through the valley floor in a narrow silver band, brought some variety, a little life, into this serious, frightening, silent picture. Our path now slowly went a few hundred feet downhill, and then traveled along horizontally about 1,000 feet above the valley floor. Around evening the forest became lighter, and felled and burnt tree trunks, still-glowing piles of ashes along the path, and the distant barking of dogs indicated the proximity of human beings. Finally we stepped out of the forest and into a large clearing that reached down into the valley and caught sight of the few scattered huts of the Saprêk village in front of us.
By the entrance into said village my companions stopped, a bamboo pole was set up about 30 paces in front of me, and a sign was given that I was to fire upon this target. After this occurred and after my shot was given approval as a good one after rigorous inspection, I was guided into the village with some festivity. I can only explain this practice shot, which I also had to take for a few other tribes, by noting that the Saprêk, who are known as a hunting tribe, judge a man by his hunting skills and, therefore, only consider a good marksman as an equal. If I had missed, then I would probably have been humiliatingly laughed at and only with difficulty received by the tribal leader, the best huntsman and warrior of the tribe.
At the courtyard of the first house one told me to take a seat on a little bench in order to wait for the taurang, who was to welcome me here. My twelve companions and the remaining men of the village, who had rushed over on occasion of the shot, sat around me in a semi-circle. The women quickly brought a large container, and once they had filled it with the brandy that I had brought with me, retreated to the hut.
Soon the taurang came as well-- a man of middle age, of pretty unattractive external appearance, but with an exceedingly important, affected stature. Giving both myself and the whole silent community a brief glance, he seated himself across from me on the chair that had been placed there for him. A youth swinging a yellow flag attached to an arrow stepped closer to him, and with a deep bow laid said flag and a garishly painted oil cloth quiver at his feet. Upon a brief glance from the ruler, the youth disappeared into the hut. No one stirred now, no one spoke a word; on all faces lay the expression of a deep purpose, of celebrated seriousness: all awaited the welcoming ceremony. The longer this deathly silence lasted, the darker became the expressions of the tribal leader, and I, at first greatly amused by the scene, began to find my position less cozy. Apparently they awaited the first step from my side; how I was to make it without acting against the, by all appearances, so strict etiquette? A well-wishing lad finally helped me out of my embarrassment, in that he let me know that it was time to bring my gifts to the taurang. I therefore got up and stepped in front of the gloomy sir, who sternly and questioningly turned his glance on me. A piece of yellow silk, a chain, and a few rows of glass beads that I laid on his knees lifted the dark cloud from over his head. He stood up, placed his left arm on my right shoulder, and indicated that I was to do the same, upon which one passed me a bowl of samshu, which we alternatingly sipped from and drank down to the very bottom. Now I was the brother of the taurang, as my translator let me know, and the welcoming ceremony was at its end. The silent company then stood up and made itself excitedly to the container of samshu, and soon my worthy brother was no longer missing from their company. His affectedness disappeared altogether-- he became talkative, laughed and screamed like a wicked Saprêk-- and as he finally left, tottering alarmingly, forgetting all decency, he made such disturbing use of his vocal chords that the dogs of the village began howling.
With the fall of night, I was taken into the tapau (hut) of the leader that lay in the middle of the village and differentiated itself from the other huts only by having slightly more space. The sign of his dignity, the flag in the quiver, was carried high in the air in front of me. At the courtyard of the tapau, the villagers had already assembled for the celebration and chattered away excitedly. With my entrance the discussion stopped, and all of the faces took on such a festive expression that it took some effort to keep from laughing. At the entryway the taurang, apparently wearing all of his jewelry, stepped in front of me: he wore two jackets, one over the other; the innermost one simply made of red flannel and simply bordered with yellow rope, the outermost one of blue color with red decorations on the arms and different colored ropes, covered with a few rows of Japanese coins (10-cent pieces) in the chest area. Two black aprons covered with the same decoration were wrapped around the hips, barely covering half of the loins. The hair was tied together with blue bands, pearls and chains, and around the neck one saw a true burden of large and small glass beads of colors. Round dowels covered with fragments of a mirror glistened in the ear lobes, and bracelets of silver and brass were worn on the arms. In opposition to this overload of all kinds of trinkets, his wife and his daughter, who welcomed me with him, were very simply dressed. Besides round pieces of porcelain in the ears, a pearl necklace around the neck, and bracelets, they did not wear any other finery. Their hair was light, pulled together around the neck, and wrapped coquettishly with a blue and white striped cloth, and the costume of the Chinese here, which they had with a few changes adopted, surrounded flatteringly their not poor figures.
After the taurang respectfully guided me into the house and handed me a hand-packed pipe, he began a long speech and turned to the men who were assembled here. They were mostly honorable-looking fellows, upon which samshu had to be consumed again. Then the whole party moved into the second partition of the hut, a high, broad room that was sufficiently lighted by the happily-cracking fire on the stove. On the floor a form of dinner table was laid and covered with steaming bowls and plates. The women still arranged this and that on the table, pushed up a number of small (less than three inches high) benches, and then asked us to take a seat. The leader showed me to a place by his side, whereupon the remainder of the guests seated themselves also, strictly according to age and honor. Once everyone had been given rice, chopsticks and samshu, the host stood up and, while sprinkling wine around him, mumbled something that was, I found out later, an entreaty to bad ghosts; the same occurred also with the rice. As long as I sat at the table, none of those present ate; all attention was directed to the judgment of my character. Only when I stood up, when one brought me tea and warm water to wash my hands and rinse my mouth, did they begin to eat and drink with enviable appetite. Their cuisine is, by the way, not entirely bad, at least it tastes better, to me, than the Chinese. A few recipes, like sour deer meat for example, would bring honor even to a European kitchen.
After the mealtime one allowed the youths to enter, who had until then waited patiently in the courtyard. The leftover samshu was brought out, and with it life came into the stiff group. The conversation became louder and louder until finally there was no stern taurang, no honorable old ones or restrained youths, but instead just happy, boisterous lads. A long time after midnight the party separated and I lay myself to rest completely content with the day; neither my hard bed, nor the grunting of the pigs, from which I was separated only by a straw wall, prevented me from sleeping.
The next morning I viewed the village and its surrounding, drew some things, gathered some words from the Saprêk dialect, in short, I went about my usual occupations. When I said good-bye to the taurang and his family in the afternoon, I was given an excellent deer loin and, as I made a reciprocating gift, was also given a bag of roasted peanuts. My Chinese helper, upon whose back all of this came, asked me from here on out, to stop the giving of samshu, as the wild ones would burden him with another sack for every little thing.
A few lads accompanied me to Hong-kong, and as it was by then too late to return home, became my guests for the night.
That was my first visit to the so called "horribly wild" natives of Formosa, whom one has, God knows why, even accused of cannibalism; and I must say that they made a better impression than some other peoples who consider themselves to have reached a high level of civilization. Neither here by the Saprêk nor anywhere else where I blindly trusted the natives was this trust abused in the slightest. Everywhere they came up to me with the same openness and honorable hospitality, and I was never given a reason to complain about impudence or intrusiveness. It was only difficult to gain their trust and to gain access to them at first, which is incidentally very natural, when one takes into account their position and the bitter experiences that they themselves and their forefathers have had in their activities with the Chinese; it is no wonder that they view foreigners with mistrust.
On my further travels I had an unexpected meeting with people from the tribe Quajan (or Quai-hwan?), slimy, suspicion-arousing beings who, by the logic of my Chinese helpers, planned to fire upon us. For this reason they threw their luggage from them with the serious intention of running away; my revolver, for which they had incredible respect, prevented them from doing this. The adventure ended when I lit my cigarette on the knife of the next wild one and placed a cigarette in the mouth of each of them, and finally sketched one of them.
On the 28th of January I reached Long-kiau. Here there are again 20 square kilometers of fruitful flat land ( the western part of the southern point) that is cultivated and inhabited solely by the Chinese. They number, by official figures, 10,000 people. Amongst the villages in the proximity of the ocean, Long-kiau is the most significant and engages in trade with Ta-kao and Tai-wan-fu. In the area around this village the Chinese have three forts, whose construction had by that time been finished. The foundation for a fourth has been laid in the mountains, although I cannot say if it has been finished. The town was supposed to obtain occupying forces numbering 4,000 and 2,000 were already there. The Japanese camp, which was turned over to the Chinese for a large sum of money, does not exist anymore; it was burned down the day after the Japanese troops left because, as a mandarin explained it, the buildings were too poor and uncomfortable for Chinese soldiers. Now, in my opinion, the Chinese clay huts, which are tightly packed next to one another and surrounded by a wall, are decidedly worse than the light and roomy straw buildings of the Japanese that I saw in the camp by Hong-kong. A Chinese camp, or fort, if you want to call barracks surrounded by a thick clay wall that, is precisely the place where fever, pox and other epidemic diseases must develop, especially given the lazy way of life of the soldiers, who stay in the oppressive barracks all day long, lying around smoking opium or playing cards.
Most of the inhabitants of Long-kiau had never seen a European before, so I was generally seen as a Chinese person and welcomed with joy; they have made a favorable impression with the county people through the disbursement of a lot of small coins that are now in circulation in all of south Formosa.
I did not find it easy to escape the fearful watchfulness of the mandarin in Long-kiau in order to make an excursion to the eastern shore. These persons are, within their region, responsible for every foreigner. What this responsibility can cost, the English have made clear enough to them.
By all of the means that politeness allowed, such as, for instance, the invitation to dinner and the announcement of visits a few days in advance, they tried to keep me from using any other excuses that I might have used. But, as I have said, I slipped away the very next morning without any company, without having told my people a word about it. The paths which the Japanese artillery made had to take me somewhere. I therefore embarked on the one that would bring me the most quickly into the mountains, where I soon had the luck of meeting up with a few hunters from the Sabari tribe, who surprisingly greeted me as Dsipún (Japanese) and gladly took me back to their village. The Sabari, you see, belong to that group of tribes that submitted themselves without any resistance to the Japanese and remained on friendly terms with them during the length of their expedition. In the village, at which I arrived around mid-day, the people wondered quite a bit when they learned that I was neither Japanese nor shipwrecked, but came directly and on my own from the West. Who I actually was, I could explain to them even less than I could to the Chinese, with whom I was almost everywhere considered a missionary, a doctor, or an English consul.
My luck on this tour was especially in my favor: Issek, the taurang of the Sabari, was going on a large deer hunt, to which many tribal leaders and hunters of the neighboring tribes were invited. As I saw all of them here, the effort to visit them in their own villages was saved, and through which I also gained several days. On the very same afternoon I made my visit to the taurang, whose tapau is located a half hour from the village in a charming valley. I met him while he was eagerly cleaning his weapons, while his wife and the remaining female population of the house had its hands full with all kinds of preparations for the upcoming celebration. Issek welcomed me without any sort of ceremony and, without calling for gifts, served me tea and a relatively tasty brew made of millet, asked me what the purpose of my visit was, and then invited me to take part in his hunt the next day. With one word, he had nothing in his manner or his appearance that would allow anyone to justifiably call him a "wild one." On the whole, I noticed that one goes around using this word without much thought. As a people that have a permanent residence, cultivate land, have needs and means that far outpace those that nature alone offer them and, therefore, make trade a necessity and even allow for a certain measure of luxury, such a people I cannot call "wild" anymore, even if they cannot read, write, count above ten, and have no understanding of government as a whole. On Formosa this word can therefore only be used to describe the smallest number of tribes. But back to Issek. This friendly man can best be compared with a wealthy land owner, who, loving comfort and companionship, lives entirely within his means but also knows to live like this without letting the economics out of his sight. His fields and gardens are well planted, his buffalo are well fed, and his tapau, an expansive, solid building, is comfortably furnished. The room in which I was welcomed was furnished with chairs, tables and cases well crafted by the Chinese, and on the walls there was hung on deerskins a whole arsenal of guns, knives, spears and other hunting gear, a collection of which the host was not just a little bit proud. The cookware and household supplies were mostly Chinese and not of the worst sort. One sees, therefore, that the head of the Sabari knows how to live comfortably, which his contented, well-fed appearance and his affable demeanor demonstrated. His clothing is simple and he wears his hair in a ponytail, the first step towards Chinese civilization.
From there I went to the village of Tuarsók, four miles to the northeast of Sabari. Here the taurang of Tohutok lives, a person who, it was told to me, was the head of a confederation of 18 tribes. (This confederation, however, appears to me to be rather loose, if not merely in name only). I found Tohutok to be entirely intoxicated and fighting heavily with his other half, wherefore my visit was only a short one.
That night I slept in the village Sabari in the house of an old Chinese man who is well respected by the natives; the Sabari like the Tuasók and a few other tribes just tolerate the Chinese and do not appear to mix with them at all.
As the hunt with Issek would only begin at midday and would take the whole day long, I used the morning to execute my plan to push on to the east coast. At an early hour the next morning I got on my way, once again without a guide, even though people shook their heads and warned me of the tribe Kuarút, whose territory I had to cross through. The dry river bed in which I traveled brought me to a village within an hour as it came to pass Bakurut, where the inhabitants rose up with quite a row upon my arrival. Women and children ran away crying, the men tumbled out of their huts armed, and soon I saw myself encircled by a heap of dirty and suspicious looking figures, who endeavored to determine, through all kinds of pantomime where my ship was stranded. There was nothing else I could do except to point to the east, wherein I gained more guides than I was happy with. With some comfort I saw amongst them a Chinese person, with whom I could communicate with somewhat in case of an emergency. They almost forced me physically to end my break. The rice and potato fields that had until this time spread out from the banks of the river disappeared and made way for the forest, which became ever higher and thicker until it finally turned into completely impenetrable jungle. We followed the riverbed, wading at times through the river, clambering over rocks, boulders, and giant tree trunks; then my guides embarked upon a narrow path into the forest. Avoiding every small branch, listening for every sound, we sneaked onwards as we were now passing through the region of the Kuarút, with whom the Bakurut were in enmity. The muffled roar of the breakers became more and more clear, until we could finally see the ocean surface shimmering through the trees. After the natives had carefully reconnoitered the area and found nothing suspicious, we left the forest and stepped onto the shore that was, by the mouth of this river, a small sandy bay. A few straw huts in the shadows of the trees, out of which small smoke columns billowed, captured my attention. The young Chinese man, who stood beside me the whole time, made haste to explain that from here the Kuarút watched the ocean and the ships during storms and that this was the village where they killed the Liu-kiu islanders from the Japanese ship. (This is known to have had the consequence of bringing the expedition here, or rather served as its pretext. Then the whole Formosa affair, over which Japan had screamed so much and made such a big deal of, basically had no purpose other than to interrupt ominous things that were brewing with the inhabitants and thereby avoid a revolution; it was then a success.) The Japanese ship was stranded somewhat further south. A lack of water had probably brought the shipwrecked people here. Planks from this and other unlucky ships can be seen deep into the interior, used as stakes over graves and bridges over streams. My companions were irritated enough when they realized that they had made their strenuous walk for nothing. I had neither suffered from a shipwreck nor did I have a boat here but rather wanted to see the Japanese wreck that no longer existed. They did not become seriously enraged as I had feared; the Chinese man placed himself successfully between us, and when on top of everything, I gave each person a little tamako (tobacco), peace was quickly established. With doubled care we had to go to work on our return as the gleaming fires in the huts allowed us to deduce the closeness of the feared Kuarút.
The hunt by Issek, which, by the way, was quite exciting and went well, deserves no closer description; it was an ordinary chase-hunt, as they are held in every area in Europe that abounds in game. Only one must picture, instead of uniformed hunters, elegant gentleman, and women sitting gracefully on horses, slimy, half-naked lads, and instead of the piquant brunch following it, somewhat frightening carousing in the house of the taurang.
On the following night I returned to Long-kiau, where some had already begun to become seriously worried about my incomprehensible disappearance. My people, who had almost given up on me, were most happy to have found me and to see me cheerful again. They told any and everyone, when they had the occasion and often at my expense, of their wonderful adventures, as I deduced from the astonished and shocked faces of their listeners.
A different tour to the north into the territory of the Bútang, the strongest and most feared of the tribes of south Formosa, failed entirely. Already in the first night in the forest under open skies, a strong fever took hold of me, probably due to my wet clothes, as I had to wade across a river many times over the course of the day. I was found the next morning in a quite helpless state by a few people from the tribe Kuskút along the path and, after a long and earnest discussion, was brought back to the so-called stone gate, from which I dragged myself to the next Chinese colony.
The so-called stone gate, which gets its name from the Japanese, is formed of two mighty, almost vertical slate walls, between which the river is squashed. It is, so it appears, the only entrance into the land of the Bútang and Kuskút. The Japanese had a heated meeting with the natives here, who defended themselves in frustration and, although covered by the growth and the forest, could not prevent the enemy from pressing forward. To the north of this gate, the land is completely wild and raw, possibly even more wild than the territory of the Saprêk. To the south the mountains are lower and gentler; the valleys are wider and cultivated here and there. The first Chinese colony, as all of the new buildings indicate, was just founded recently and can be found an hour further south of the stone gate.
After taking several suitable medicines, the fever quickly left me, and soon I was strong enough to leave Long-kiau, to the complete satisfaction of the mandarins.
IV. The natives of south Formosa: A. The tribes Sabari, Whang-tschut, Tuasók, Bakurút, Liongrúan, Kantáng and Quajan: Appearance, Clothing, Supplies, Housing, Tools and Weapons, Food and Drink, Work and Trade, Spiritual Development, Life, Habits and Traditions. B. The Saprêk and Pilám.
In south Formosa I came in contact with natives from, all told, nine tribes; the Sabari (about 200 men strong) in 24° 4' northern longitude and 120° 48' eastern latitude; a few miles north of these, the Wang-tschut; and in their neighborhood, the Kantáng; northeast of the Sabari, the Tuasók (around 100 men); in the east ,the Bakurút (about 150 men); in the south, the Liongrúan; then between Hong-Kong and Long-kiau, the Saprêk (approximately 150 men); and finally the northernmost of all, the Pilám, a large tribe, whose territory stretches out to the east coast.
Besides these, there are still a large number of other tribes, whose names and locations I only became partially aware of. I calculated the total number of natives on south Formosa as not more than 3,000 men.
Even here one can make the observation, in a relatively small space, that the differences between tribes are not determined merely through external conditions, such as the fertility of the land or types of work amongst others, but that there are also some innate characteristics within their type that cannot be explained by anything other than their different ancestors or some cross-breeding with different races. Although the inhabitants of the southern point, the aforementioned seven tribes, can be considered only one tribe--maybe they were at one point, or their intercourse with one another has minimized their innate differences-- a Pilám and a Saprêk cannot be mistaken for one of them by even the most careless observer, so harsh is the difference in their appearance. The former are actually on average ugly, lank figures, of dirty-yellow skin color, while the latter, especially the Pilám, are built good and strong and have a pretty bronze colored skin. In their language there exists a similar difference, although both, like all speeches of Formosa, can be traced back to their Tagalog roots.
Let us first examine the inhabitants of the southern point.
They have, as I said, small, ugly, poorly proportioned figures, either lank or squat. Calves, loins, and arms are scrawny and the muscles weak. The shoulders stand straight, the neck is usually short, and the chest flat. The head is small, sometimes narrow, sometimes short; the face wide, with prominent cheekbones and jaws; the nose is wide, flat; and the mouth large with fat fleshy lips. The eyes are narrow dark brown and often a little slanted. The ears are not large, although the ear lobes are enlarged significantly by dowels that are pierced through them. The hair is black, slick, and not especially thick; the beard growth, like the hair on the rest of the body, is especially weak. The skin color is dark but not brown, rather a dirty yellow-- in some circles with a touch of green. The facial expression is usually stern, and awakens little trust; the gaze is melancholy. The mouth is always strictly closed and opens itself rarely, even when laughing. The posture is solemn, the walk measured and strong, and every movement is like the countenance calm and composed. Their usual position is sitting on the ground or on a low bench, the arms wrapped around the knees.
Their women are not prettier but are similarly small and weakly built. The chest is poorly developed, the breasts small and conical, and the hair is not rich. They usually look depressed and indifferent, and neither their clothing nor their behavior indicate coquettishness or a natural sense of beauty, which is relatively well developed at least by some other tribes. Incidentally, I saw a few better female figures than the ones just described with the Wang-tschut and Bakurút tribes.
The clothing of these tribes is that of the Chinese but better fitted to their bodies through select modifications and additions. The men wear a short black or dark brown jacket, which is usually lined with red or white rope, and short pants of the same color, which only reach halfway down the calves and are held onto the body with a colored belt. The front of their hair is cut short, and the rest is either knotted or twisted into a tiny ponytail, which they usually wear wrapped around their head. Some of them wear leggings made of boar's hair, just like the ones the negritos from Luzon have (see Globus XXIII, p. 247 for a picture of such a Negro of Mariveles with a ring of wild boar's hair around his legs). They also wear shoes of deer skin. The headpiece consists of a narrow blue band or a cloth. The costume of the women consists of blue or white pantaloons and a blouse over it, only this is much shorter than that worn by the Chinese women. The hair is not braided but is rather swathed in a red band, a chain, or string of pearls and is wrapped around the head in a ponytail. Over the hair a cloth is wrapped.
In contrast to other natives, they decorate themselves with relatively few baubles, probably because they, more developed than the other tribes, don't lay any value on such things anymore. The ugly habit of enlarging the earlobes by piercing them with round dowels of wood or porcelain is, however, very common. These dowels of Chinese fabrication have a diameter of one inch or more and are crudely enameled or encrusted. Mutilations of the teeth, or other such things, I did not see; they do not tattoo themselves either.
Their living spaces are on the whole better fabricated than the smoky huts of the Saprêk and are furnished with more comfort. The villages Sabari and Tuasók are not much different from the Chinese in the area. They lie quite pleasantly in the valley by the water, surrounded by high bamboo enclosures, gardens and fields. They consist of independent large homesteads, of which each is inhabited by one family with all of their relatives. The houses are made of raw bricks and usually form a long row of rectangular rooms without any internal connection although they are connected through a walkway, created by a light bamboo wall that runs along the whole house front. Every door opening has a corresponding one in the bamboo wall; there are no windows. In the middle of the house is the room of the family head, a roomy construction that also serves as the communal dining room. On both sides are sleeping chambers of the different family members, as well as kitchen, pantry and the like. The floor is made of clay or rock. The side walls of the rooms are decorated with weapons and deer antlers; the back wall is, however, covered up to the top with millet, whose ears are carefully organized, for what purpose I was unable to determine; perhaps it's simply to always have the millet relatively dry. A few low benches and seats, which also serve as pillows for the neck, and, by the more well off, also Chinese chairs, beds and chests make up the furniture. The courtyard in front of the house, a rectangular somewhat elevated place, is carefully evened out and kept clean, as the corn is threshed and dried here and as some of the other work is done here. In front of the house there are pens for buffalo, which they, as farmers, raise in profusion. The village Bakurút has a more individual appearance. It consists of low rectangular huts with very steep roofs (made of rice hay and bamboo poles). The walls are only 3 to 4 feet high and are woven of bamboo and covered with clay. The minimally lit interior forms only one room, which is quite poorly furnished; one sees that they do not trade with the Chinese much. Every hut stands in the middle of an open space. Between them are pens for the animals and small vegetable gardens. The household utensils, such as pots, crockery, bowls, and cups, as well as farming tools are of Chinese construction. Only benches, mats and countless dishes made of gourds are fabricated by the natives themselves.
Domesticated animals are, as already stated, the buffalo, the pig, the dog and the cat. Ducks, geese and chickens are also raised.
They have their weapons, like all of the tribes, similarly obtained from the Chinese. They are: 1. an uncomfortable musket of about 4 feet in length with a very short butt; 2. spears, usually a 6 inch long blade attached to an 8 to 10 foot long shaft; 3. a straight knife ( about 2 feet long and 1 1/2 inches wide) in a sheath of wood, which only covers one side of the knife but is on the other covered with rope or wire; 4. a bow of about 3 to 4 feet in length, and along with that arrows of bamboo with iron tips (with or without barbs). The bullets, powder poured roughly into bamboo sticks, and lead-pieces are carried in a fine net on the back. A neat horn with fine powder for the pan hangs on a chain at the neck. The musket is wrapped around the upper body, the knife is always stuck under the belt, and the spear rarely leaves the hand, so that a troop of natives presents a rather picturesque image. Their travels into the Chinese settlements or even into a neighboring village always occur in the full outfit.
They eat three times a day: in the morning at 7 o'clock, at noon, and in the evening around sunset. The foundation of every meal is, as with the Chinese, cooked rice; to this one adds sweet potatoes (cooked or baked), roasted peanuts, peas, cabbage and other vegetables, sometimes pork (boiled or grilled, a much loved dish), game, innards of animals, poultry, and fish (also cooked in different ways and always chopped into pieces). Millet is eaten less frequently than in other tribes that themselves do not grow rice. Salt is missing in the meals and appears to be viewed as a snack, as I saw them eat it like sugar without any ado.
Drink is Chinese rice-wine (samshu or tsiu), wawa or bawa, a local mildly intoxicating drink brewed from millet; tea is an alternative to this, the hot water left over from the cooking of rice or potatoes. The dinner table itself is made of boards and is set up right on the floor, and the table manners are the same as I described it on occasion of my visit to the Saprêk. The dishes and drinks are consumed readily, and the otherwise so closed off, taciturn people become excited and talkative during the meal. Loud burping appear to be taken as a compliment, as in the Orient. After the meal tea is distributed as well as hot water to wash out the mount and clean the hands, and finally a pipe of tobacco, upon which everyone makes themselves as comfortable as possible on the mats and benches. The women do not eat with the men but serve at the table. On the whole they satisfy themselves with little; I have never seen a woman drink samshu or wawa or eat pork; t almost seems as if there is laid upon them a sort of taboo; I alone cannot say so definitely, however.
As a narcotic, betel nut is used very heavily; men women, and even children chew it. Both genders also smoke tobacco heavily; the pipes they get from the Chinese.
Next to agriculture, which is the main occupation of the natives, thanks to the nature of the soil on this part of the island, hunting occupies the second rank. The woods are rich in deer, goats and other wildlife, whose meat, skins and horns are used both in the house and for trade. All men are marksmen and can handle bow and arrow just as well as the rifle, but as powder and lead must be paid for dearly, they almost always prefer the bow.
Rice, millet, wheat, yams, bataten, peanuts, vegetables, bananas, the areca palm and betel pepper are cultivated.
Exchange between the natives and Chinese (money has no value) appears to be quite lively, and how beneficial it is for the latter is shown by the fact that despite their fear of the Kalé, the Chinese have not shied from settling in their vicinity and even amongst them. The trade itself usually occurs in the Chinese villages. When they want or need to, the natives come in droves to Long-kiau. There they have their specific clients, who give them in exchange for the wood, skins and similar things that they have brought, what the native desire, of which a large part is always samshu and tobacco. There is a significant amount of deception, and every item is subjected to a detailed test and criticism. At the time of my trip, wherever the locals in Long-kiau held open house for the natives, so that they could fill themselves with food and could rest, they were always paid well. The friendly treatment of the mandarins as well as the offered benefits are supposed to develop a trust of the government by the natives and to secure the already developed peaceful relationship. However, the unrest of the last summer will have brought an end to this.
I will not attempt to develop an accurate picture of the character of these tribes, having stayed amongst them for only a few days. I can only speak of the impression that they made upon me; and this was, as I on occasion have already noted, not so bad. The horror stories about them that one person told me I found to be strongly over-exaggerated. They were, on the whole, good, hospitable, and honest people, even if they were somewhat closed off, mistrusting, and easily irritated-- but just as easy to calm down and win over. The robberies on the beach that they engaged in and that must have developed as a result of the frequent shipwrecks, do not present sufficient reason for one to view them as a corrupt, degenerate people. Reasonable control and treatment, I am know convinced, would quickly turn them into peaceful and hard working farmers because the assets and good will to learn something is not missing. For the foreign and incomprehensible, they show great interest and are childishly happy when one explains it to them, which is never difficult. Furthermore, many of them can make themselves understood passably in Chinese and are even comfortable in the Chinese script, to which a significant amount of patience and memorization is required. They do not have their own script or numbers, and their counting system does not go over 10. Musical instruments or a regulated singing is also missing. In addition, their carvings are rough; they appear to primarily consist of copies of those of the Chinese. On the whole they have certainly not brought it very far.
Having said this, the course of their lives is highly simple and can be told in a few words. Even in earliest youth, the children are expected to work: the boys help the father, depending on their strength, in the fields, accompany him on the hunt and into the Chinese villages, where there are enough opportunities to demonstrate and develop their skill, intelligence and boldness. Then just these characteristics are the ones that nurture him as a man and are to give him his position in the tribe. The women grow up under the eyes of the mother and give their assistance in all sorts of household tasks and womanly work. When the young man reaches puberty, his father chooses for him a bride and sorts out all of the wedding arrangements with her parents. Usually the bride is bought clothing and jewelry and follows the groom into the house of his father; in the alternative case, the young groom must go into the service of his father-in-law. The wedding is a festival that the whole tribe takes part in. Likewise the birth of a child; the more children a family has, the higher it stands in the general esteem of the tribe. From this has developed that altogether too tender love of parents towards their children, which may have the consequence that the children do not show enough respect and piety for the older ones. Polygamy is never to be found. Their dead are to be mourned for one day and then are to be gotten rid of in the forest without any sort of ceremony; no stone nor no sign is laid on the burial site.
Every village stands under a leader, called taurang, whose might is not significant and is not associated with any special privileges or responsibilities. In conflicts, he has the right to speak; in more important cases, however, he calls the counsel of all of the family heads, who decide the matter. A few neighboring villages have also associated themselves with a mutual head-taurang, like Tohutok is.
These same traditions, this same self-governing I found with few changes in the other tribes. The difference between them, as already noted, lies primarily in their type, then in their dress, and [finally in] the lower cultural level upon which they stand.
Although not tall, the Saprêk, whom we have not yet examined more closely, are still larger than the tribes that live further south (the average height is 62.8 inches by my measurements) and are better built than these. Not infrequently one sees under them strong forms with strong musculature, especially in the legs. Their faces are similarly wide, the cheekbones and jaws prominent, but their expression more noble, steady. The eyes are straight but not large; the color of the iris is a nice brown. The lips are thick, but the mouth is not wide. The color of the skin is a pure dark brown. The hair is usually black, often with a touch of brown, tight and thick. It is cut off up at the neckline, heavily oiled and held together with a blue or red band, a string of pearls, or a chain. Some even carry small shells or yellow flowers in their hair. Their clothing has already been described above (upon the occasion of my visit).
Their women have strong, appealing figures with well formed waists and chests. They look happy and content, and one often sees pretty young faces with lively, impish eyes. Old women, however, are completely hideous. Their clothing is extremely simple, although not without taste or lack of benefit for their figures. The tight Chinese blouse and the short wide pantaloons fit them admirably. Besides a mass of pewter and brass rings on the arms, they hardly have any ornamentation on them.
The village of Saprêk, which lies high in the mountains, consists of individual huts separated from one another by 50 to 100 paces but connected by a narrow path. The low walls are woven out of straw and are without windows or doors; both are replaced by an open wall that is covered with mats by night. The conical, pointed roof rests on a strong bamboo frame. The inside of the hut is divided into two parts: the front, light half one inhabits by day and the dark back, where the stove is located, by night. Often a small portion is cordoned off for the pigs. The housewares are mostly Chinese but are of lower quality than those of the Sabari. As they do not grow any rice, they do not raise any buffalo, nor do they have chickens, ducks or geese because they abhor all poultry in their dishes (even eggs). They live primarily from hunting, as nothing is cultivated, with the exception of a few yams, potatoes and vegetables. Their weapons are the same as with the earlier tribes, only better built and taken care of; they are kept very clean. The Pilám differentiate themselves from the Saprêk only by being taller and by having darker facial features. Their women are on the whole not pretty and wear more things on their body. On the whole these two tribes can be viewed as the transition from the natives of south Formosa to the tribes of middle Formosa.
V. In mid-Formosa: Through the Province of Fung-shan-hien.--The Chinese Village People.-- Arrival in Bankimtsung at the Catholic Mission.-- Excursion to the Katsausán.-- Over Takao and Tai-wan-fu to Lakuli.-- The Territory of the Pepo-hwan.-- The Hakka.-- The Tribes Bantauráng and Katsausán: Appearance, clothing, housing etc.
On the second of February I turned my back on Long-kiau. Until Pong-liau I followed the old path, without coming into contact with new tribes; then I traveled northeast diagonally through the thickly settled, outermost and most fruitful province of Fung-shan-hien. This is decidedly the nicest part of Formosa and one of the most appealing landscapes that I have ever seen. Like a large garden, it stretches from the ocean shore up to the base of the blue mountain giants, which with their jagged peaks and sharp cliffs provide a powerful background to the mild-green fields, bamboo and palm leaves. Countless villages lie hidden in the shadow of giant bamboo and banana and fruit trees and show themselves through their purity and neatness to be as I had never expected from the prosaic Chinese. The people themselves, especially in areas where no Europeans have ever been, are well tempered, hospitable and honest, a stark contrast to the Chinese that we had come into contact with in the trading cities of the mainland, upon whom it appears the general judgment of the whole people has been made. On the whole one considers the Chinese people to be, in short, lazy, rotten, degenerate and other such things. It always angers me to hear an entire people dammed in a lightly thrown-around word, especially when it does not just come from people who have for years sat at a government office in Hong-kong or Shanghai and, therefore, believe themselves to be justified in passing judgment on the Chinese, even though they have only had to associate with traders or shop owners or chair-coolies the whole time. Space constraints prevent me from raising my objections more precisely and to express my views about China and the Chinese people; but I do want to take the farmer into my protection, at the risk of jumping off the straight path.
The more I associated with the peasants of Formosa, and settled into their location, lifestyle and views, the better my opinion of them became. Ultimately I was ashamed of the mistrust with which I originally treated these people. Wherever I put up at, I was always a welcome guest, and the whole house went to great lengths to make sure that I was missing nothing. I could easily leave my things and my money lying around when I went out; they were inspected and admired in my absence, but nothing ever when missing. For the place to sleep, for my board and that of my people nothing was asked; money was never accepted; I could only show my thanks through small gifts. So much for the hospitality and honesty in their everyday dealings with me; but also in trade the Chinese man is a reliable person who holds his word once it is given. He does not manipulate his wares, and never delivers them of worse quality than the sample. From the words of a notable European in Takao, who in the purchase of sugar has associated with the peasants for years, all contracts between them are made orally, and never has such a contract been broken, no matter how advantageous it would have been for the farmer or trader, who is obligated only by his word. As one can see, he understands the saying, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you," and lives by it. The same is expected, as is proper, of others. As he is honest, polite and forthright in his dealings, so one must approach him also. A disrespectful treatment, as the Europeans in China are all too often guilty of, insults him, and then he understands no jokes. In most cases where Europeans in China were stoned or beaten by the locals, they had deserved no less, and one does not have to think immediately of political hatred or barbarism when a preachy brother or salesman has once again been hit in a Chinese village; the newspapers will of course have horror stories to tell. The family life of the farmer is a peaceful one and mostly happy. Man and woman have equal rights in the home, are equally hard working and equally engaged in raising their children to be honest, useful people. Of locking up women or girls there is nothing to be said; who has hands should work. Prostitution occurs only in the cities and never more open or audaciously than in Europe; here in the villages, where everyone marries early, it cannot even occur. In addition, the peasant does not have concubines; that would be too expensive. If his wife is unfruitful, the law gives him the right to divorce her. On the whole he is measured in his way of life, drinks little, and rarely smokes opium, whose damaging consequences he is sufficiently aware of, and that would soon bring him to beggary anyway. Other than that, he loves socialization; with a cup of tea and a pipe of tobacco he will chatter away the whole night with a neighbor or in the temple, which appears to have the significance of a club in the villages. Furthermore, the Chinese peasant is far more independent and, despite the strict laws, freer than in many other countries. Because he knows the laws exactly, knows what they require of him and what they forbid him, and lives by them, not one of them comes too close to him. His taxes are not exorbitantly large, so he can soon come to be well off with some hard work. One does not see any beggars, as every village takes care of its poor and old because everyone of means sees honor in helping the needy and willingly gives up clothing, food, medicine, and even coffins that are stored in the temple and given to everyone who is really needy. This is what the Chinese villager is like. Can one call him degenerate? I only see a brave person.
But back to my travels.
After a harsh march, I reached Bankimtsung on 4 February, where I was warmly taken in by the Catholic missionary, Father S. This father, one of the most personable and noblest people with which one can come into contact, has been on Formosa for 12 years and has settled down so well that the thought of his return to Europe no longer comes into his mind at all. Simple and always genial in his manner, he has the full trust and love of his community, and that, as he says, replaces all of the privations of a lonely life far from home.
Bankimtsung, the easternmost village of the plain, lies right at the foot of the mountains, which climb at this point to significant heights. It is inhabited by Pepo-hwan and by Malanesians, who have adopted Chinese civilization and live under Chinese protection. These people live with their independent tribal relations in the neighboring mountains in fairly good relations. Therefore, it was not difficult to organize a visit to the Katsausán tribe from here. A guide and a supply bearer, who had samshu and betel nut as well as a pig to take with them were easy to find, even more so since the village mandarin, an old Malanesian, brought the required number of people to me and took upon himself all of the drudgery of shopping and planning.
The Katsausán live in 22° 35' northern longitude across the water divide in a raw area completely unsuited for farming or raising animals. Their villages lie high up in the mountains and are only reachable on tiresome paths; they stand under a single leader, who is still a young man. The village that I visited is called by the Chinese Tau-sia; It lies about 10 miles from Bankimtsung. On the whole I heard little good of the Katsausán. They are considered raw, fierce alcoholics, and greedy; although it appears to me that the Pepo are a little too harsh with the errors of their neighbors. Lazy and short-tempered, though, I did find them, especially when drunk, when they can then easily create problems. However, in a sober state of mind they were agreeable, lively people, whom one did not have to fear. Intrusive one could still call them, although they are so in a far too childish manner to be truly annoying. They ask for everything that they see though they are also content if one does not give it to them.
Once I had successfully taken this trip, I returned to Takao in order to rest up for several days and to renew my exhausted supplies.
On the 9th of February I went out again, first to Tai-wan-fu, where I looked around for two days, and then directly east up to Lakuli (22° 2' northern longitude and 120° 47' eastern latitude from Greenwich), where I once again met up with an independent tribe. The whole country between Tai-wan-fu and Lakuli is a fruitful and pretty mountainous land. Making a gradual transition from the flatlands to the high mountains, it is rich in scenery of the most varied kind, which makes the strenuous trip through canyons and over mountain ridges very comfortable. From every height a new panorama opens up before one's eyes, each one more wonderful and spectacular than the last. The path goes in a zigzag: now through a narrow canyon or between vertical, naked slate malls, now through rice and sugar fields or shadowy gardens, then once again steeply uphill, downhill, over rivers, and through the jungle. The further east one goes, the narrower the valleys become, and east of Lakuli, the last of the villages inhabited by the Pepo-hwan, the territory is uninterrupted by mountains; this is the territory of the feared tribe Bantauráng. The western part of the mountain terrain between Tai-wan-fu and Lakuli is inhabited by Chinese, the eastern primarily by Pepo-hwan, who have retained their ethnicity better than in the plain. Both Chinese and Pepo live in the valleys where the fruitful ground makes cultivation extremely advantageous. Up high, however, and especially in the highest mountain terrain, I met an exceptional mass of people that were similar to neither the Chinese nor the natives; the Chinese call them Hakka. In their appearance there is nothing Mongolian nothing Malanesian about them, but rather something that might mislead one to hypothesize that they are gypsies, that they belong to an Indo-Germanic race then. Others claim (probably more correctly, see Ratze Chines, Auswanderung s.124) that they are aborigines of the mountains of south china, who have for a long time come with the Cantonese to Formosa. Which view is the correct one is difficult to determine as the Hakka have become completely Chinese in their way of life, have forgotten their language, and know nothing of their past. Judging merely from their physical appearance is also somewhat risky. The Hakka are mostly strong muscular figures, darker than the Chinese and Malanesians. Their face is oval, the forehead high, and the nose straight and appropriately flat. The lips are energetically formed but not thick, and the mouth is not large. Eyebrows and eyelashes are thick, and beard growth is strong; men of 20 years already have a very stately mustache. Chin and jaws are in contrast diligently shaved. Their facial expression is energetic and understanding, and in their comportment lies the serious, noble quiet as marks a true Indian. The women, too, are better and more pretty than the Chinese and are in size in the proper proportion to the man; they do not bind their feet. The Hakka have no villages; they live scattered in quiet retreats in the mountains, where they farm a little land but primarily, it appears, raise livestock, as I saw many cows and goat herds. For trade they bring wool, camphor and indigo. That is all that I have to say about the Hakka.
In Lakuli, as I have said, I once again met an independent tribe. They were the Bantauráng from the neighboring villages, who came with women and children to Lakuli for the new years market. Their relations with the Pepo are limited to this single day-long yearly trading visit. Otherwise, one never sees them in the valley, and to search them out in their own villages even the Pepo consider too risky. To travel with them further to the east was not worth the effort, as by all accounts their villages and homes are similar to those of the Katsausán. The same can also be said of their appearance only they are one shade lighter than the Katsausán. Both tribes differentiate themselves from the natives of south Formosa more significantly than I assumed, but if one wants to compare them with a different Malanesian people, they are far more similar to the Tagalog or the Danaks and Sulu islanders that I saw on Labuan than the Malanesians of Malaga or the south-sea islanders. Their language is also far more similar to Tagalog than the dialects of south Formosa. The men are on average about 5 feet tall and are well built and strong. The face is almost oval, almost round, and the cheekbones like the jaw do not stand out significantly. The eyes are large, full and dark brown, while eyebrows and eyelashes are thick. The nose is not overly wide but often straight and well formed. Though somewhat fleshy, the lips are still of good shape. The skin color is not darker than that of the Tagalog. The hair is more dark brown than black; they cut it only above the forehead, while the rest is wrapped under a turban. Their women can be called pretty on the whole, only they tend towards largesse and, in comparison with the men, too tall. However, noticeably attractive are their large shining eyes and their wonderfully thick and long hair.
The men dress themselves quite picturesquely in blue, yellow and all types of flashy colors; yellow is especially popular. They wear one or more light jackets, a large black (by the Katsausán also red) turban, and instead of pantaloons, an apron around the hips (although that only on expeditions); at home they are satisfied with a wrapping around the loins. On longer trips the legs are wrapped in cloth strips that are cut in the manner of the pants. The Bantauráng dress themselves especially colorfully. I saw young ones whose jackets were sewn out of many different colored pieces or had one red pant leg and another that was green or yellow. In their ears they do not wear any dowels like those in the south but rather long earrings of Chinese craftsmanship that usually end in pearls. A number of rings on the arms and fingers, necklaces, and colored glass pearls, especially large ones, are very popular but are worn more by the women than by the men. In their costume the women also wear more modest colors than the men. The foundation of their clothing is blue, white or black; the adornments consist of colored ropes or embroidery and are very simple. They wear a long dress and over that a blouse or a white jacket, the latter being so short that is leaves half of the chest naked. The feet are covered from the ankle to the knee with decorated cloth strips so that it looks as if they wear pantaloons. Over the lightly pulled-together hair a large cloth is thrown, which falls down the back in pretty folds. Over this one lays a wide ring of leaves (by the Bantauráng more yellow flowers), a piece of finery that suits their mostly attractive faces quite admirably. A light rectangular cloth of blue or black completes the outfit of both genders; it is worn over the shoulder in such a way that it leaves the right arm free but covers the back and the left side. Furthermore, men and women tattoo five or six lines of bright stripes along the outside of the arm and a few stripes along the back of the hand. The rest of the body and the face are not marked.
Their weapons, (primarily the spears) are decorated with the hair of conquered enemies, and I must admit that few were missing this ornament.
The houses in the village of the Katsausán are primarily built out of slate; even the windows and door locks are made out of tables of slate, and only the roof rests on a bamboo frame. The living house always shows its back to the mountain wall. The wall is barely 4 feet high in the front; however, the roof is angled up steeply so that the inside is relatively roomy. The entrance to the house is usually on the right-hand side; one first enters a sort of vestibule, from which one goes into the living room on the left, a broad room, though adequately lit through a couple of window openings. Around the walls there are foot-high sleeping spaces, which are covered with blankets and furs and at the same time replace all other furniture. In one corner stands the oven. The household items are Chinese. In front of every house is an open space, upon which the pantry stands; this a high straw-roofed hut that rests on 4- to 5-foot-high posts that end at the top with broad slate circles in order to keep the rats and the mice out.
In their way of life and their development they stand on the same level as the Saprêk. It is said of the Bantauráng that they bury their dead within their homes. What I also never heard in the south was a decently regulated harmonious singing with chorus and soloist; the melancholy theme reminded me of the old songs of the Sandwich islanders.
As the Bantauráng left Lakuli in the night after my arrival, there was thus nothing left for me to do, so I hiked to the northwest through the area of the Pepo-hwan and reached the county town Kagi on the 20th of February, and from here I once again planned to make a side trip into the mountains.
VI. The Pepo-hwan: their villages, religion of the Pepo.-- Dance.--Appearance, clothing of the Pepo.-- From Kagi to Tschang-hwa.-- With the Sek-hwan: the placement of this tribe to the Chinese and the other natives.-- The character of the Sek-hwan.-- On the north of the island.-- Departure.-- hypotheses on the ancestry of the natives of Formosa.-- A few words from the languages of Formosa.
Although one reaches villages of the Pepo-hwan or the Pepo the entire way from Bankimtsung to Kagi, and always in the proximity of the mountains, one can identify their actual territory as the already discussed mountain terrain to the east of Tai-wan-fu, especially the easternmost portion of this, where the countryside takes on a definitively mountainous character. Their villages, like Lakuli, Poe-ting-loe, Tau-sia and others, are significant towns of 200 to 300 inhabitants and are in no way less attractively placed, nor inferior in inner appointments than the Chinese villages in Fung-shan-hien. There are, moreover, ample gardens, under whose shadow and coolness these people have retreated. Areca palms, papayas, bananas, mighty bananas, mangos and other fruit trees vie with one another in strength and plenty of growth, sometimes making beautiful groups between houses, sometimes overwhelming the entire view. Around the village there is an avenue made up of giant bamboo bushes, dominating everything else. One feels oneself so well and comfortable in the quiet retreat of such a town, as well as amongst the simple, warmhearted people, that one almost turns one's back on it with sorrow, like a familiar place from which one is always departing.
The Pepo are at present little different from the Chinese; along with the Chinese civilization, they have adopted the Chinese language and hold themselves, with one exception, the village of Tau-sia, to the teachings of Confucius. Whether they are a single tribe, or the leftovers of many who once populated the whole plain, I do not attempt to decide. If the latter is the case, then they have mixed heavily with one another and probably also foreign blood (Chinese and Dutch), which by necessity would have had the consequence that their tribal differences were equalized. By the way, their traditions would, on top of many other things, also provide information on this question, which should not be difficult for Chinese-speaking Europeans located here. For the traditions and sayings of the Pepo still live on: I heard them sing songs in the Malanesian language, which, as they said, were sung by their wild forefathers and whose meaning old people still understand. As much as I could take out from my poor translator, these people sing of the moon and sunshine, forests and freedom, and the heroic deeds of different great tribal leaders.
In the village of Tau-sia (approx. 23° 12' northern Long. and 120° 32' eastern Lat.) I found the religion of the Pepo being kept alive. It consists of the worship of ancient animal skulls and deer antlers, which are stored in a special hut. The people themselves do not know where these skulls and antlers came from; they have inherited them from their ancestors, for whom they brought protection and health; why shouldn't they do so anymore? The missionaries have not yet been successful in subverting their belief in the powers of these holy relics, as they have not baptized many. I saw two such skull huts. In the one, in the village itself, there were a pair of skulls, one deer antler, and two old spears, which were attached symmetrically to an altar wall and hung with colorful stones. A few water jugs and pots with samshu and areca branches stood or were laid in front; they were the sacrifices that the people bring to the holy relics in important moments of their lives. The other hut, in the fields, was already in a half-ruined condition. Twice a month each Pepo must sacrifice something to the skulls, usually rice, samshu, areca nuts or similar things. When he enters the building he bares his head and spatters the altar with a mouthful of samshu, during which he bows down and claps his hands, and then lays his offerings in front of the altar. This is the extent of the entire worship. Before important ventures, marriages, and the birth of children, and in all important moments of one's life, the same thing must be done. There are no priests.
Something else that Chinese civilization has not yet displaced is their dance, a wild circle-dance with singing, which is only performed on moonlit nights. The people congregate in front of the house of the village elders, and while the old one's chatter, drink tea, smoke and chew betel, the younger people give themselves up to the pleasure of the dance: colorfully mixed up, the young women and boys make a tight chain. The singing begins, a pensive, perpetually repeating phrase. Gracefully setting their feet, they put one step backwards and two steps in a diagonal direction forwards, wherein the circle slowly revolves around itself. The singing becomes louder little by little, the tempo faster and faster, and the graceful steps turn into a wild jumping and stamping until finally the chain breaks, and the dancers either fall apart or with general laughter tumble into the grass. The young ladies give themselves up especially passionately to the dance; with their fluttering clothes, wild-glowing faces, and their freed hair they make an almost eerie impression on the uninvolved. For the dance they change their costume somewhat in that they wrap a light, black cloth around their hips; this and the loose hair makes them almost deceptively similar to the Tagalog women.
From their type they are most similar to the Bantauráng, only they are built more weakly than these and are somewhat taller. (The average of their size is by my measurements 65 English inches.) The exceptionally peaceful facial expression, as well as their Chinese dress, also makes them not unlike the Chinese. Most of them do not have pony-tails but wrap their deeply oiled hair around the head, which they, like all of the Chinese on Formosa (and in the province of Fu-kiang), cover with a large black turban. Their women are not as nice as the women of the Bantauráng; their movements are usually irregular though they stand appropriately tall in comparison with the men. Their dress consists of the short jacket of the women of Bantauráng, short black or dark blue pantaloons, which are usually rolled up over the knees, and also the already mentioned black cloth, which as with the Bantauráng falls down to their left side. The edges of the clothes are embroidered with red, white or blue rope. On their head, they wear a black turban of often adventurous size. Glass beads, bracelets, and ear rings are only infrequently worn. On the plain they dress themselves in the Chinese attire.
On the whole the Pepo are considered peace loving, hard working, and cheerful people. Both the Chinese and the missionaries cannot say enough about the good in them. The latter claim that they are also very skilled in gaining new knowledge and are eager to learn new things. These conditions are also the reason that the Christian teachings have found such a ready acceptance, more so than they had earlier found among the Pepo-hwan.
Neither in Kagi nor in the northern villages was I able to find a guide into the mountains. Violent acts that the Kale have recently allowed themselves against the Chinese made the trip unsafe, and no one wished to accompany me. This is what one told me, although it appeared to me that the mandarins, who by now were aware of my plans, which were also a thorn in their eye, probably had their hand in the game as their agreeable and accomodating tendencies alone could not account for the fact that I now had several soldiers with me at all times, who were supposed to be at my command with their lives and souls but would not fulfill my first command that they go home. It was not possible to press on into the mountains alone, as it was always required that one carry gifts for the natives as well as some luggage, and that therefore requires people. In addition, the fever that I had already had in the south during the tour of the Bútang territory, took hold of me again and convinced me of the futility of such a venture.
Only at Tschang-hwa could I deviate from the straight and narrow path and pay a visit to the tribe of the Sek-hwan. As this same most intelligent and civilized of all tribes had recently placed themselves under Chinese protection and had also enjoyed the reputation of being a peaceful, serious and hospitable group of people for quite some time, even the frightened Mandarin could let me travel there.
The Sek-hwan live about 20 miles northeast from Tschang-hwa (under the tropical region) in the mild terrace and hilly country with which the mountains here begin. They have several villages, whose construction and layout is very similar to that of the Chinese, and are overlooked by their former tribal leaders, who are now village mandarins. In one of these villages, Toa-sia, I arrived on the 24th of February and was taken in pleasantly at the Presbyterian mission house. The village mandarin himself took on the responsibility of my meals, and every lunch time and evening I was taken in a sort of procession to him, where I had to consume his boiled chickens, ducks, and pork roasts. It was not easy to get used to the serious and ceremonial ways of the Sek-hwan and to sit there strangely enough, being festively fattened all by myself.
The Sek-hwan diverge more radically from the Malanesian type than all of the other tribes, so that some might even question their Malanesian heritage if their language, as not their whole manner, did not contradict this conclusion. In the mature male, one hardly recognizes the Malanesian type, so sharp and energetic are their facial expressions, so tall are they (on average 67 inches tall; however, many are over 70 inches tall), so strong are their bodies, and so light is the skin. The head is oval, the forehead high, the eye's large and straight. The eyebrows are thick and the eyelashes long. Hair and beard, like the hair on the rest of their bodies, are stronger than that of other Chinese or Malanesians. The nose is, although thick, not flat; mouth and teeth are uncommonly large. The mature male is like this, but children, even youths under 20 years of age, and mostly the women leave no question as to their type: they are pure Malanesian, if one does not take into account their light skin and the large, full eyes. Incidentally, this location was not the first place that I made the observation that after cross-breeding the women retain their ancestral type with much more purity than the men. That the Sek-hwan have taken on a good amount of foreign blood cannot be questioned for it belonged to the Dutch colonization system to marry with the natives of the conquered lands in order to link the natives more closely to the Dutch. This also happened on Formosa. On a small island in the bay of Kelong, a small group of people (most commonly also called Pepo-hwan) have settled whose appearance leaves no question as to the strong cross-breeding with the Caucasian race. The same can also be assumed of the Sek-hwan. A few old Dutch documents that have been found with them, as well as their high cultural level, which they had already attained before they came under Chinese influence, do not contradict this hypothesis, even if they are too weak to affirm it. The cultivation of tobacco they surely learned from the Dutch and not the Chinese; it is called in their language tamako, whereas the Chinese word for it is hun or tscha-hun. Furthermore, they fabricate out of a type of hemp a strong drapery that is used throughout north Formosa because of its strength and durability, but is not woven by the Chinese anywhere.
The Sek-hwan shave the front of their heads and wear their hair in a ponytail. Their clothing consists of Chinese pantaloons, shoes, and a tightly fitting blouse made of unbleached linen, which is often decorated with finery on the arms and back (horizontal stripes in red, blue, white quite tastefully executed). Women wear Chinese dress, only their hairstyle is different. Namely, a part of the hair is combed over the forehead and cut off right at the height of the eyebrows; the rest is tied in a tight knot around the back of the head. On their head they wear a rectangular, black cloth whose two peaks are lightly pulled together at the neck so that a sort of hood is constructed, which strongly shades the face.
The Sek-hwan occupy themselves primarily with farming. Besides rice, sugar, areca and various fruits, the also cultivate indigo, tea, and, as mentioned above, tobacco. Besides this they also grow camphor and deliver camphor wood to Tschang-hwa.
The Sek-hwan were the last tribe with which I came into contact. From Toa-sia one would have to go east to get to the Tsui-hwan, who live on the shores of a little mountain lake somewhat further south and are also considered a peaceful tribe. However, time did not allow me to do this; I had to hurry to get to Tamsui, so that I would not miss the rare opportunity to travel by steam ship to Hong-kong.
The tour from Toa-sia to Tamsui was a horrible one. Rain clouds covered the sky already on the evening of the first day, and the next morning the rain that followed me the whole time (for five days) began. The slippery path, heavily flooded rivers that I had to wade through, and a thousand other difficulties made the trip through the northwest coastal stretch of Formosa, which was dreary anyway, exceptionally offensive and boring. The camping places were poor, neither wind- nor rain-proof, as the coastal population appears to live in great poverty. One night I even had to sleep in a ruined chapel only after I had improved the roof with the help of my rain jacket and had cleansed the interior of bones and skulls. Day and night I was drenched, and against the cold wind and rain I put back 18 to 20 miles daily, and I believe that only because of this hard activity did I not get sick. One can imagine how comfortable I felt myself after such a trip at the house of Mssrs. Brown & Company in Twa-tu-tia, whose hospitality I again, as in Tai-wan-fu, enjoyed.
Twa-tu-tia is a village located a few miles upstream from Tamsui in the close proximity of the tea plantations. The agents of European trading houses in Tam-sui stay here, where they buy the tea, dry it and pack it. In the spring, during the tea harvest, it is quite a lively village, but in the winter most of the Europeans stay in Tam-sui.
After I became somewhat familiar with the Tea business in Twa-tu-tia, there was only enough time to travel up the Kelong river in order to view the coal mines of Kelong. I found the mines to be in a very primitive state. There is no thought of a regulated order of affairs; everyone who wants to work drills a hole himself wherever he desires and abandons it similarly as he sees fit. This is even easier as the coal layer reaches to the surface everywhere, so there are no obstacles to the development of new paths. The layer has a thickness of 25 to 40 inches and drops off to the south at an angle of 15° to 25°. The passages go diagonally and are about three to four feet high and two to three feet wide so that not more than two people can take the coals up to the surface in a cart, where they are brought to Kelong in a small barge. The Chinese government has the intention of developing the coal business, but the opinion of an English engineer, who was brought there for that reason, was that the layer was too narrow to justify the expenditure for machines and a railroad that was to travel from the mine to the harbor. The situation would be different if there was more coal to be found in the neighborhood. The coal of Kelong is good, with only 10 percent is slag, and costs only 4 to 5 dollars per pound. I left Kelong on the 7th of March on a Chinese gunboat for Tam-sui, where I shipped off to Hong-kong the very same night.
With this my travels through Formosa and my acquaintance with the natives ended. For travelers and naturalists there is, however, much left to be done, much in every branch of the natural sciences. The actual center of the island, the high mountains, are still un-researched, and it will still take a long time for it to be, as dilettantes like myself and others who have up to now traveled through Formosa have neither the time nor the required knowledge to study this portion of the island with great success. What little I have reported, nonetheless everything that I could do in two months, has only the purpose of raising the awareness of this pretty and so little visited region of eastern-Asia to scientifically minded travelers. At the same time I would recommend that you not press into the interior from the west but rather begin the trip from the east side of the island-- either from Sau-o Bay or Pilám-- so as not to come into contact with the Chinese government. Moreover, one must not have Chinese guides and luggage carriers; their cowardliness can destroy much; one is safer with many things in the hands of the natives.
Given what I have seen of the natives of Formosa, I have become convinced that although we are dealing with descendants of Tagalogs, we are not dealing with one particular branch of the large Tagalog-family. Their speech probably indicates the truthfulness of their Tagalog origin, but as we have seen with the Pepo-hwan, it is easy for a tribe to forget its own language and to adopt a foreign one. If the dialects of Formosa are related only to one another and the language of the Tagalog, this does not necessarily mean that the island was populated only from Luzon. The proximity of Formosa to the Philippines, the prevailing winds and currents, as well as the string of small islands that connects Formosa and Luzon, all of this does suggest that most of the tribes come from the Philippines, but still they could have been the Prahus who came from Borneo, or the Sulu islands, or the Carolinas, as a catamaran with 30 Palau islanders recently arrived in Kelong. From families brought here by chance such as these there developed with time particular tribes, and where they sooner or later mixed with newcomers, they formed new tribal types. If on top of this one admits that a Papua tribe lived in the interior of Formosa that was in part destroyed by wars and, in part, mixed with the Malanesians and disintegrated in this manner, then it is no wonder that we have so many tribal types of the most varied skin color on the island, each of which have sustained themselves due to the deficient intercourse between them for so long. This is my view of the ancestry of the Malanesian tribes of Formosa; to reject or confirm it is the responsibility of future researchers, who are better prepared and can devote more time to their work than I could.
Finally I want to note, that the natives of Formosa are neither on the verge of dying out nor can they be considered at all on the decline, with the exception of the southern region, where the endless, bloody battles give rise to such beliefs. They are physically and mentally an uncorrupted people. Signs of degenerating diseases like syphilis and pox I found nowhere. As the marriages are consummated early enough, there can be no talk of marital infidelities, which is confirmed by the large number of children that one sees in every house. Spry old dotards whose mouths are full of teeth are nowhere to be seen. Also, they cannot have the same fate as the Tasmanians or New Zealanders, even when they come under Chinese control and adopt Chinese civilization; the Chinese government does not intend to eradicate any tribe.