Dr. Warburg: On his travels in Formosa. (October 12, 1889)
The purpose of my almost 4 year long journey through the peripheral regions of East and Southeast Asia was almost exclusively botanical; the scientific results will of course only come out after a revision of my collections, which will take a long time. If I still undertake to lecture shortly on one stage of my journey here, it is because on one hand the botanic is often forced to visit small side-valleys and side roads due to his profession, which lie far from the stream of all-levelling culture, so that he is easily struck by some new thing or another. Especially Formosa's great Military roads, on the other hand, offer extraordinarily much of interest right now, namely not for the natural scientist and ethnologist, but rather for the politician and economist.
Already in late summer of 1887 I was close to Formosa - on the southern Riukiu-Islands, which, as is generally known, constitute the connecting string of islands between Japan and Formosa. I sailed from Mieiakoshima (or Typinsan), known from the shipwreck of captain Hernsheim with his schooner, by way of Ischtkagi as far as Iriomotte, an island only 25 German miles from the east coast of Formosa. But, sadly enough, I had to give up the hope to reach Formosa directly from there. First of all, because there is no direct traffic at all between these islands, as the inhabitants of Riukiu have a superstitious fear of the savages and the terrible climate of Taiwan; secondly, because the inhabitants of the Riukiu islands are appalling sailors. Their boats are so terrible, with the exception of the few junks from the main island built in Chinese fashion, that even had I been able to charter a boat, I would not have risked the passage to Formosa in these typhoon-rich months.
Thus, there was nothing left for me to do but to return to Japan, by means of which I however found the rare opportunity to visit the Bonin Islands, by joining a kind of government expedition. On Christmas [Eve] 1887 I then reached Amoy, which constitutes the hub of trade with Formosa.
From here, there exists a double steamship connection with the island, one to Tamsui (more correctly called Hobe), the harbor of the northern capital Taipefu, and another one to Amping, the harbor of the southern former capital Taiwanfu. Apart form these two harbors, there are two more licensed harbors, namely Takau, a day's journey from the southern capital, and a day's journey from the northern capital, Kelung.
All four harbors are quite inadequate. Amping is an open reede; the boats anchor two English miles form the coast, besides, in the summer months the communication with the mainland is often interrupted. While Takau has a well-protected inner basin, the access, however, is so bad, that any larger ships have to anchor outside. Tamsui is the mouth of a greater river, which unfortunately is blocked for any ships that go deeper because of a bar. The steamship of the Douglas line, conveying the traffic to Amoy, had to be built with a flat keel for this reason. Kelung is not so bad as a harbor, but only has moderately good anchor ground, small dimensions and is not well protected against the northeast winds.
In spite of all these obstacles the greater export and import trade is of course not much influenced by this, what with the current achievements of European ship making technique, but is -- here as in other places -- merely dependant on price and production relations.
Tamsui possesses only few European inhabitants, next to the English consul and the staff of the, as everyone knows -- European -- Chinese tax administration. Among them especially the head of the Canadian Presbyterian mission is worth mentioning, Dr. Mackay, one of Formosa's oldest inhabitants, also among those with the most knowledge of Formosa. He boasted extraordinary successes, working almost without assistant missionaries. He already at that point owned 46 chapels in northern Formosa, namely among the Pepohwans, among whom he owned 36 congregations. Let it be said at once that the Pepohwans are nothing more than the chinesified [chinesierten] aboriginal inhabitants. They are not, as still often presumed, specific tribes, or even the race of the tribes of the plains. Also the mountain tribes, as far as they have let themselves become civilized respectively sinologized [sinisiert], are called Pepos. That they often differ physically from the neighboring mountain tribes is on one hand due to the strong mixing with the Chinese. On the other hand, they have often been ascribed different living territories. Finally because, as in other places, so here too the less isolated and higher civilized inhabitants of the plains had taken up a more universal middle type, in contrast to the more isolated mountain tribes.
Dr. Mackay decidedly advised me, and all experts on the circumstances agreed with him, to refrain from the intended attempt to penetrate the interior of the non-Chinese mountains of the north alone. Just then, the strained relations and numerous frictions between the Chinese and the mountain tribes augmented the anyhow great troubles. Murderous attacks and destruction of intermediary trade stations were nothing unusual. Dr. Mackay himself had had a chapel among the mountain tribes and visited it yearly, but he had to give it up already several years ago. It is something completely different to visit the closest villages of the border tribes, by letting oneself be led there by the members themselves, with the promise of having a liquor feast upon return. Many have already done that, but that of course was of little appeal to me.
All the more, Dr Mackay advised me to accompany him on an expedition to the northeast side of Formosa, where apart from him no European had been before. There he promised me magnificent passes and forest gorges with 30 feet high bulltrees, where I should get to know the Chinese colonization methods, and with genuine Pepohwans and Savages in abundance to measure and take photographs of. This was a plan that was to my liking especially because of the possible botanical relationship of the close Riukius to east Formosa.
The next day I sailed upwards to this city on one of the small river steamships, which for the most part belong to the Chinese and undertake the traffic with Taipefu. This is the place to fit in some words about Taipefu. Not to long ago there was only one bigger town upstream, namely Banka, which 30 years ago already was inhabited by about 40,000 Chinese. When the tea trade experienced such a great revival, and the green Formosa tea found such a ready market in America, European firms tried to furnish factories in Banka, close to the production places of the tea, in order to process fresh tea matching the taste of the Americans. However, Banka refused them the permission for that; thus they settled in a small fishing village, Swatutia, beneath Banka. And soon one Hong followed another and the village turned into a real Chinese city with all its little winding lanes and smells. Banka stayed hostile for a long time out of envy, and it is Dr Mackay's biggest triumph that he succeeded, after immeasurable difficulties and even danger for his life and the demolition of his old chapel, in breaking the opposition and to be able to set up a stately new building. He is not to the least part answerable that one, like through all of Formosa, thus also can wander through this city without having to hear the in China so frequent nicknames, that, usually translated with "foreign devil," more or less correspond to that what the Greeks called "Barbarian."
A few years ago once again a change occurred through the founding of a new capital, namely because of the command of one of the more important Chinese of the present times, namely the current governor of Formosa, Liu Ming Chuang. We usually imagine that the period of the founding of cities belongs to the past, that they possibly are able to develop in lightening speed from nothing, but not obeying the orders of the powerful. Here we have a good example of how a lush green rice field, situated between Banka and Swatutia, after classical example was, while not surrounded with bull's hide stripes, fenced in with walls 15 feet high and 10 feet wide, and from now on was regarded as capital. The governor made them build an extensive Yamen for him that even was provided with electricity. Construction speculation was animated in a fitting manner, and the already jubilant and profiteering peasants were told by an Ukas to either build themselves, or sell the property to a fixed price to possible bidders within a few months. And so already then there were nice broad streets close to the furrows of the fields inside the walls, enclosed to the right and left by houses that at least to the front side were built with tidy bricks. On the street side they even possess arcades. In the streets there romp around, like in the European concessions of Chinese harbors, the wagons pulled by men so well-known under the name of Jinrikscha; all this a completely unusual sight for a real Chinese city.
If we ask ourselves, why this man executes such revolutionary plans on this quiet island, we receive the answer that he is the famous general who defended Formosa so valiantly against the French in 1884, even put the French to flight. The matter really was not that important, even if it after all was a great accomplishment for the Chinese.
The French had taken Kelung, after they had destroyed the small fortified batteries. They had also stormed some of the first hills, while the Chinese continually kept fortifying the rows of hills lying behind those again. With great persistency the Chinese molested the French chains of sentries, and even sometimes proceeded aggressively against the fortifications of the French, a very unusual phenomenon for Chinese war craft. But mostly they relied on scalp hunting in the still of the night, and names for outpost stations like for example la cage aux lions are rather characteristic. As it seems, the French at the same time wanted to advance from Tamsui and Kelung towards Banka, in order to take hold of the dominating position of north Formosa from two sides, and in order to have the water traffic to Tamsui for the provision train open at the same time. Presumably they underestimated the Chinese too much, because after they had shot fire into a fortification and into the fortified camp of the Chinese near Tamsui, they were actually put to flight by a disembarkation of about 650 landing troops. Many officers fell and many scalps were captured during the action. By the way, one cannot think that these great deeds can be ascribed to the regular Chinese troops; it was mainly the armed mountain and frontier population, the descendants of the aborigines, then the Hakkas, a tribe from south China. Its origin is still mysterious, but it is completely sinologized [sinisiert], which, tough and energetic, mostly constitutes the pioneer chain, not fearing the neighborhood of the wild tribes. The whole art of warfare, the scalping, the nightly cunning raids, the aggressive procedure point to the share that the Malay-Polynesian blood of the former aborigines had in the defense.
Famous because of these successes, the general now became independent governor of the island, while he had formerly only been commander-in-chief of the military colony Formosa. As such he has developed activity in reformations that cannot be acknowledged enough. That Peking did not put more difficulties in his way would on one hand be due to his significant reputation. But on the other hand they probably also saw Formosa as a suitable outpost on which they could in a harmless way try out the possibilities of such reforms. Also, the resistance of the population was not to be feared as much, because it had not yet become so consolidated and conservative, as it mainly consisted of colonists. Thus, he could dedicate himself to the reforms undisturbed.
He connected Formosa with the continent by a telegraph from Tamsui to Futschau, as well as Tamsui with Taipefu, Kelung with Taipefu, Taiwanfu with the Pescadores, the island group between Formosa and the mainland, and he recently built a line vertically through Formosa from Taiwanfu to Taipefu. A quite difficult train, between Taipefu and Kelung, with three iron bridges and a larger tunnel has to be nearly complete by now, the material for it was mainly delivered by German businesses. Also a train between Taipefu and Taiwanfu has been tackled, the vertical length of Formosa. However, it was still unsure at the time of my stay whether the deliveries would be given to German or other businesses. Large fortifications, too, were built and planned in Kelung, in order to secure the harbor, likewise in Takau and as I very recently read, also on the Pescadores.
An arsenal in Taipefu was close to completion, consisting of a patron and a bullet factory. A former Bavarian officer acted as the director, Count Butler, in whose hospitable house I stayed. In Chinese he held the incontestable title of Director of all Arsenals on Formosa. Also there were magnificent stone quays in construction on the Tamsui river close to Taipefu; saw machines had come from England, 18 boring machines had been delivered by German businesses, in short, wherever one looked, there was life and encouraging work.
That such costly works had to lead to the need to augment the means of income, is self-evident. The governor therefore devoted his attention to the governmental coal mines in Kelung. They were made more profitable with European machines and an English engineer. Further, a land tax was introduced (until then Formosa as a military colony of the province Fukien had been exempt from it), which provoked such serious turmoil that the introduction even had to be delayed in some cities. Especially the south, which rightfully believed itself stood back made much opposition. Great troop transports that then came over from Nanking to reoccupy the stations in the south that had been left years ago in favor of the north were brought into contact with the mood of the population. Also, camphor was monopolized, whereby again European, especially German interests were marred, which then also gave reason for complaints all the way to Peking. Finally there was even talk of a wood monopoly. The governor found his main support in an extremely wealthy Chinese named Lin, who supposedly owns half Formosa, and who had played an important role in the defense of the island through his money, which is why he was awarded the honorary title of second governor.
But what the governor has not yet accomplished despite the best of intentions is to set an end to the corruption of the officials. Especially the soldiers, who were employed in the construction of the railroad there supposedly were under abominable conditions. Of the about 2000 soldiers at that point 500 had allegedly already died, the provisions and the sanitary care was supposedly horrifying, only the smallest part of the pay came into the hands of the soldiers, and they had to provision themselves. If someone was sick beyond a certain period of time, then he received an invalid pension of 5 dollars and could leave. At times one saw these unfortunates beg on the roads in droves, and then after some days sit down to die. I even heard from eyewitnesses how a soldier, still alive, was carried out in the coffin, and the lid followed.
Later the governor received me in the most amicable manner, inquired closely and with unexpectedly great interest about the relationship between Russia and England, and even ordered a map to be brought for it. He asked me what kind of an impression the country made on me, and when I indicated that both the processing of nettle fiber and of indigo still was too primitive, and what importance both plants could have for the country, he at once offered to freely support any of my wishes presented to him pertaining to that. He dismissed me with valuable gifts of the best Chinese teas from his own plantations and a fine Formosa mat. I owed this distinction, as generally was claimed, only to the factor that I had been the first European that had asked for an audience without demanding employment from the governor nor wanting to sign a delivery contract with him. In any case, the visit showed me what an important man the governor is, and how he uses every opportunity to inform himself and to raise the country in economic aspects.
But now enough on this topic. I deliberately dwelled on it for a longer period of time, because the whole culture stream, which reveals itself here seems to me to be of the greatest importance. Small, more or less profound excursions in more or less unknown and uncivilized countries are often made, but that a huge empire counting hundreds of millions, begins to allow European culture, modern facilities and modern techniques to enter, that can not be repeated often and is retroactive even for the European peoples. It is of such far reaching, in detail undeniable importance, that I saw it as my duty to briefly draw up the specific symptoms and to swiftly sketch the first beginnings, as they to this extent sure enough only have revealed themselves in a province lying on the outside.
Now some words about my excursions. One day's hike brought me to Kelung, where I among other things also visited the coal mines, whose export nearly doubled in the year 1888. It amounted to over 40 000 tons, the Australian strike of the miners sure enough contributed considerably to the augmented demand. The coals are rather mediocre, but therefore cheap, the production except for the governmental mines still the very most primitive. The great coal mountain is especially interesting; 130 000 tons were set on fire with 500 crates of petroleum in the French war, to not let the French lay hands on them. The fire glimmed on in the interior for three years, and after each rainfall one could see the steam rise from it. But on the top there already thrive Alang Alang grass and Ruderal herbs.
In Kelung I then also met Dr. Mackay, and we then wandered in a four-day hike to the remotest valleys of the Kapsulan plain. Two days over magnificent, up to 1700' high passes and forest groves, first through sand stone mountains, in which a spot with foot prints of a labyrinthodote like animal is regarded as holy by the Chinese, then towards the sea, where slate stone almost reaches the beach. The last two days through the lushly fertile, well-irrigated plain, where sugar, rice, indigo, nettle fibers, beans, peanuts and sweet potatoes are cultivated as main staples. Every evening and often every noon there were sermons, one way in the cities of the Chinese, differently in the villages of the Pepohwan. In Chinese towns Dr. Mackay preached on sentences of Confucius, for example against superstition and idolatry and proved that these sentences are only carried into effect by Christianity. The sentences were hung there in Chinese letters, mostly there were also pictures to demonstrate, as the Chinese being a man of writing really needs the eye to think. I too was on various occasions used as a demonstration object. With the much simpler, plainer Pepos he acted through analogies, and didn't seek to convert them by way of proofs, but much rather tried to reach their morals. He especially campaigned against the unstableness of their characters. Because most of these 6000 Pepohwans of the Kapsulan plain were Christians, but on the other hand also his students, he by the way has also counteracted somewhat their mixing with the Chinese.
In the remoter valleys the relationships with the aborigines are unfortunately very bad; some valleys the Chinese penetrate, in others they are so strongly decimated by the Savages, that they give up their dwellings. Everywhere on the border one sees the graves of the murdered. We were thus received by the Christian Pepohwans by salute shots on the fields. In order to visit one of the pallisaded yards, which serve as abode for the pioneers in the endangered areas, two villages gave us escorts armed with well-kept muskets and spears. On the fields the people always work with spears stuck into the ground, and when they have plowed some further, they first get their guns, a lovely idyll of pastoral peace! Likewise a row of armed people, on the lookout in all directions, had to accompany me, when I wanted to botanize in the beautiful camphor growths. The colonization happens in the way that the government sells the land, the valleys of the Savages that maybe really once were conveyed for liquor, to rich Chinese. These then hire Pepohwans and Hakkas as colonists and furnish them with guns. In the last village south of the Saobay even the church has needed to be fortified some. In order to reach this village, we had to make a detour, because the direct way was too endangered by the Savages.
To cut a tree, the whole village set out armed together. As I didn't feel like botanizing around one tree the entire day, the only choice left for me was to take a round tour with my revolver and the children of the village around the rice fields, while the old people, standing on the field with their muskets, watched our moves. I wanted to pursue a small footpath, but was energetically pulled back by the boys. However, because I saw nothing suspicious, I went back, but then they called my attention to a thread that was hidden in the grass, and was connected with a piece of lead, which, if I had walked against it, would have triggered a broken musket hidden in the bushes. A not very gentile, but necessary manner of village defense. Here I found more graves of women (who were murdered while digging sweet potatoes) than of men. But whether the scull of a woman is cherished as a morning gift by the brides of the Savages as much as that of a man, I have not been able to find out. The Chinese attempt to construct a road all the way around Formosa already failed at this village. Still, there exists a kind of traffic between the Pepos and the Savages; even the chief of the just mentioned pallisaded yard still has the tattoos of his tribe. In the same way many women in the frontier villages still have, the lower half of their face covered with fine, dense tattoo lines from the time of their stay in the mountains. Also, the Savages often come to the plain to certain detached houses to trade, but I cannot find that they, at least in these areas, differ physically from the Pepohwans. On the other hand, in the frontier village the furthest to the south there were only three people, however, who still understood the language of their Savage neighbors. Here I noted a beautiful young woman in church, whose brown hair had a special nuance of blond. In enquiring I found out that she indeed was the daughter of a Dutch captain, who formerly traded with the Saobay; her mother later was murdered by the Savages. She, as well as the pictures from the Illustrated London News, that always hung in the back chambers of the churches, was next to powder and lead and some red and blue yarn the only proof of European influence that I was able to find here. Unfortunately the whole gorgeous plain is extraordinarily unhealthy. Next to the tooth drawing tongs, that has come to be of the furthest reaching importance for the popularity of my mentor among the practical Chinese, nothing was occupied more than the Chinin bottle.
After five days I was back in Taipefu, from where I undertook excursions in two other direction into the mountains. As the rain season now had thoroughly begun, I had to give up the planned, but not very interesting train to Taiwanfu over land because of my herbariums, and sailed back to Amoy. There I again reequipped myself with new collecting material, and then went to south Formosa, to Taiwanfu.
Plant-geographical considerations predestined me to go to the south cape, a trip, depending on the circumstances, of four to six days. I partly went by boat and there could make the perception that security was in a pretty bad case. They always sailed around boats coming towards them in a great arch. Even the German captain of a small steamboat, which sails between Amping and Takan, saw it as his duty to carefully beware of every junk crossing there, as he coincidentally had a larger money shipment aboard. At the south cape itself, which was formerly rightfully feared so much, such exquisite relationships to the Savage tribes have developed that one can make visits to the chiefs of the Paihwans, Amias and even the formerly so feared Kuluts without weapons. This is due to the construction of a large fortified lighthouse through the presence of three Europeans, specifically of one of the most knowledgable men on Formosa, Mr Taylor. The alliance of the 18 tribes, which however together are hardly bigger than Lippe-Detmold, seems to have lost much importance since the death of the mighty chief Toketok. The equipment of the since the year 1883 completed lighthouse is already now as good as superfluous: 72' high and with almost one half inch [foot?] deep armor, with a crew of 16 men and two eighteen-pounders, two Gatling machine canons and a 5 inch mortar, furnished with provisions and water tanks for three months. The military department stands under the command of a German military commander (the lot cost over 300 000 dollars). A Chinese detachment lies next to it, in order to protect the lighthouse, but in reality the lighthouse, or the three unarmed Europeans protect the whole Chinese force.
However, where the old Chinese economy comes into it's own, like on the so-called military road south, the conditions are again hair rising. Every half kilometer there is a stone military house furnished for defense, but of the ten soldiers that are supposed to be stationed there, at least nine are on leave, for which they have to deliver three of six dollars of their monthly pay to the mandarin. One also sees the latter with his savage woman and his not very confidence inspiring brothers-in-law, sunbathing in front of the house comfortably. Raids are common. Hardly half a mile away from me during my trip, an unfortunate buffalo driver was beheaded thereat in the night, without the soldiers even thinking of moving. Shortly before even the postman had fallen victim to the Savages, because of a silver shining steel can of evaporated milk, as one claims. Therefore the prohibition was proclaimed in the Chinese cities of south Formosa, not to give the postman to the south cape anything of worth. Kulis were hardly to be found by me, and I would still sit there today, if the chief of staff of the military post chain had not been so hard-pressed for money, and this had driven him to Takau, and he therefore lent me his accompanying soldiers as Kulis. Our train temporarily swelled up to a whole caravan, by people who trusted my revolver more than their spears. A single European officer, who knows how to connect justice with strictness, would suffice to create prosperous conditions here, given that the nervus rerum for his subordinates doesn't fail to appear.
Returned from the trip I undertook another excursion into the mountains of central Formosa, where especially the 4000' high, wooded Tangtim pass attracted me. From there I then saw as the second parallel range the 13000' high Mount Morrison in front of me, that I had already seen earlier from Taiwanfu in significant distance, with the entire mountain range enshrouded in snow; a glorious sight. What a pleasure it must be to be able to climb this giant of Formosa for the first time. I was disappointed by the so-called fire creek, which the Chinese describe as a great marvel of nature; as a creek, which supposedly exhales fire. It turned out to be a simple gas emanation from a limestone in different places, of which some had to pass through a small runnel. The yellow light hardly affected photographic plates, the slightly asphalt-like smell, the carbonization of the rock faces, even if slight, point to hydrocarbons. But I had brought along in vain funnel, tube and bottles, because the water was too shallow to absorb the gas, and my servant and I almost fainted in the attempts because of the heat of the flame.
Only the priests exploit the creek in that they have constructed a splendid Buddha temple nearby, for which they collect diligently in the countryside. The wonderful mountain scenarios however, with the magnificent Longan groves, the bamboo forests, the curcuma and ginger plantings will remain unforgettable to me. Longan fruits, ginger and curcuma form next to the sugar staple the main export from south Formosa. In north Formosa camphor, camphor wood, the famous rice paper, extracted from the pith of the Aralia papyrifera, rottang, sulphur, magnificent oranges and indigo are also an option, next to tea and coal.
Finally some general comments.
To a high degree conspicuous to me was the difference between the vegetation of north and south Formosa. This is not the place to point to the differences in detail and to illustrate the climatic causes, only some few well-known plants will be quoted. Whereas in the North there are willows, alder trees, oaks, pines, peach, mulberries, camphor, tea, nettle fiber and the rice paper tree, I have not perceived all these plants in the south. And even if they may in parts appear, then in any case much less commonly than in the north. In the South one sees cultivation of papayas, bethel pepper (the bethel palm tree however, grows throughout the island), giant bamboo, sugar cane, Longan, ginger, and curcuma, thus all tropical and south Chinese plants, while north Formosa points over to central China and south Japan. The wild Formosan Liquidambar tree goes through the whole island. But above all I found a very curious plant, a true acacia with unfeathered leaves, whose relatives are almost entirely limited to Australia. The rest appear on the south sea-islands, namely up to a line, which is hinted at with the Sandwich islands, New Britain, and Timor. What one should think of it, I do not want to decide yet. That there was an opossum-like marsupial by the south cape, as the people there assured me, would be a valuable analogy, if it is affirmed. But even then it does not supply evidence that Formosa had ever stood in direct contact to the Philippines. The fauna seems to argue very much against it, and the flora of south Formosa in general, too, even though plants are not suitable for such proofs.
So much for the flora. How is it now with the ethnological circumstances? That the greatest blood addition to the current tribes points to Malay-Polynesian origin can be seen as certain. Nothing indicates direct communication with the Filipino tribes. Their language, as well as their customs and type have echoes now of this and now of that tribe of the widely spread family of peoples. The scalp hunting, the blood money, the council of the old, the reverence for old age, the club houses of the bachelors, taboo by-laws, that formerly existed to a far spread extent in Pepohwan tribes, maybe also the consummation of the heart of the enemies point southwards. I want to point to an interesting passage in the oldest book on Formosa, that seems to me to have remained fairly unnoticed, concerning the preparation of a liquor made from rice. The diastatic enzyme that transports the starch into dissolvable forms is produced by the women chewing a certain quantity of it. Who does this not reminded of the preparation of the Kawa on the South Sea islands. Whether this immigration really occurred from the south, or from the Chinese continent, or from both sides, cannot be decided form the above mentioned. That Negrito and Papua-like tribes are involved in the composition of the current tribes, I would like to decidedly contend. The climatic circumstances, the vegetative products of the island do not allow the assumption that hunting tribes such as the Negritos, so adversary towards any culture, could have suffered to remain in the interior after they had been crowded out from the plains and the low valleys. Had they already become half sedentary, there would have necessarily appeared a type in the border tribes pointing to a commingling. For a caste system, race nobility and ancient tribal hatred doesn't exist in Formosa. As the aborigines mix with the Chinese, as they descend from the mountains to the Pepohwans, likewise the tribes connect among each other, and the woman is considered to be the hallowed intermediary person, under whose escort one is protected. When the Kuluts in the South had murdered an American captain together with his wife in the early seventies, they repented bitterly when she turned out to be of the female sex, and they then cut up the corpse of the woman in order to conserve her body, as I was assured. As we now in Micronesia and Melanesia see mixtures of Papuas and Polynesians, as I was able to discern intermixture of curly haired tribes through the wavy hair in the mountain tribes of Sumbawa, this would have already been noticed in Formosa by some traveler or the other. The true white spot of Formosa about which we not even indirectly find out anything, is really not very big. But that there existed an aboriginal population before the Polynesian-Malay immigration with all its replenishments is to a high degree probable. One is suddenly amazed to find an absolutely un-Malay type; with a high bridge, often almost aquiline noses, energetic features, eyebrows close to the eye and standing on sharp ridges, slenderer relatively tall figures, not figures as broad-shouldered and massive as the Malays. They reminded me of a type that I perceived, even though infrequently, in Japan and the Riukiu islands. But I had seen too little of it to be able to express a confirmed view about it. By the way, this type supposedly occurs as far as the south cape, while it is most common in northern Formosa, where different researchers already have become adverted to it. Sure enough the women have the Malay type again. But whether it will succeed to find a tribe in the interior, which has retained this type more purely, only the future will show. For this, it is urgently necessary that the tribes between the Dodd range and Mount Morrison are visited, and if possible as far as the east coast.
Whether there existed an overland connection between Japan and Formosa by way of the Riukiu is a question on which I do not want to elaborate here.
In contrast, a direct connection between the aborigines of Formosa with the population of Riukiu is not verifiable. Apart from the just now quoted certain similarities between certain types they by all means differ. The Riukiu islanders are associated with the Japanese as much as the greater part of the Formosan aboriginal population with the Malay-Polynesian or respectively maybe also the south Chinese peoples. This of course does not debar that the Japanese maybe also carry Malay-Polynesian elements in themselves. I only want to warn against seeing the Riukiu as an ethnological bridge, that is to say seeing the Riukiu islanders as the intermediary agent between Japanese and Formosans. Except for the just now depicted curious type of northwest Formosans I only have one fact to report which points northwards, that is the formerly common custom, according to old sources, of bone burials. First the corpse was seared for nine days, then they layed it on a rack for three years and finally buried the bones. If only weakly, this still reminded me of customs of the Riukiu islanders and Koreans, in other respect sure enough again of Halmaheira and southern islands like Timor.
In any case, the way the circumstances are, the current political arrangement is the right one, Riukiu for the Japanese, Formosa for the Chinese. Of course both would most prefer to be left alone. But as the modern colonial views do not know the word "leave alone" anymore, we can only hope that Formosa keeps to the Chinese the promise that it seems to give after the splendid beginning, namely a useful experimental field for a newly closing in cultural period.