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supported by twenty or more upright poles planted irregularly about the interior, a thick covering of large mats is laid. The mats are made by fastening the stripped mid-ribs of a species of fern-palm side by side with a rattan lashing after the style of a “chick," and then securing at right angles to the foundation thus constructed a thick layer of the pinnæ of the same plant. For doors, several of the lower mats are arranged to roll up, and leave an opening about 4 feet square. Sleeping platforms are formed by laying split bamboos lengthwise on a framework, measuring about 5 feet by 4 feet, which is raised above the ground on legs 6 to 18 inches high. Each hut contains a number of such bed-places, and beside each of them were the ashes of a small fire.*
Near the hut lay a nearly completed dug-out canoe (of the wood of Sterculia campanulata), about 28 feet long by 3 feet wide and deep, of the usual Andamanese form, with sawedoff ends, and projecting platforms at bow and stern, forming convenient places to stand on when spearing turtle and fish. The sides were left about it inches thick; and although the canoe was constructed from soft wood, even now, when they possess a few iron tools, such as small axes and files, the work must be one of painful slowness.*
* “The hut was of the usual type of Little Andaman dwellings, having raised platforms for the married people to sleep on; several large baskets were slung up to the roof, and two rows of pigs' skulls ornamented the walls, showing from their numbers (about 500) that there was no lack of food.”—M. V. Portman.
Their bows and arrows were like those from Rutland Island : many of the former, however, were only 5 feet in length, while of the latter some, in addition to the hardwood tip, had a bent nail lashed on in such a way as to form both point and barb, and the butts of all were left smooth.
By the time we had finished at the encampment, night was drawing near, but fifteen or twenty men accompanied us when returning. In the growing darkness the journey back was far from easy: now we were ploughing through loose sand and climbing over fallen trees, now dodging among mangrove roots, or splashing thigh-deep through the water, which had risen with the incoming tide. In such circumstances the natives showed their superiority to ourselves by their agility in making a way amongst roots and fallen trees, and by either their better eyesight in the dark or familiarity with the path. Evidently they had come with the intention of accompanying us on board; for when the boat was reached, all got into it, and we had some trouble in persuading them to leave. The coral bottom at the anchorage was very bad holding-ground, and had it come on to blow, we might have been compelled to put to sea, in which case we did not wish to return. The natives were perfectly harmless, as they had no weapons; but we had no desire to leave an unpleasant impression for the benefit of future visitors, so had recourse to gentle measures only. All, however, clung to the sides and thwarts of the boat, and gave vent to a chorus of refusal, “Nai, nai," and the childish behaviour continued, until one, more hardly pressed than the
* The canoes are sometimes fitted with an outrigger, and it has been supposed that this has been adopted from some point de Galle fishing-boat wrecked on the islands, for early writers never mention its existence (Sir H. Yule, Encyclopædia Britannica); but it is much simpler to conjecture it to be a copy of the same feature from the Nicobarese canoe. On the other hand, there is no argument against it being original, for the aborigines of New South Wales and Queensland have a canoe that is in every way almost the exact counterpart of the Andamanese vessel.
WE LEAVE THE ANDAMANS
43 others, jumped overboard with a yell of rage, when the rest immediately followed suit. We then found that a rowlock had been carried off; but when we turned towards the shore with the momentary idea of recovering it, the natives all disappeared into the jungle, so we rowed off with three oars, and reached the schooner about 7.30 P.M.
Next morning, on landing to shoot, we found the little contretemps of the night before entirely ignored, for a party of natives was waiting for us at the creek.
Although, probably, not collected on before, the island, during the few hours we spent on it, produced nothing fresh in the way of birds. Abbott, however, bagged the pig peculiar to the group (Sus andamanensis), which, like the human inhabitants, is diminutive in stature. Our specimen, although a fullgrown boar, stood only 20 inches high at the shoulder, and was just double that in length of head and body. He was skinned on the spot, and the carcase, together with a viviparous shark we had caught during the night, and a quantity of red cotton, we presented to the natives as a parting gift, and then, shaking hands with them all round, we said farewell to the Andamans and put to sea.
To the Nicobars-A Tide-Race-A Change of Scene—Sáwi Bay—Geological
Formation-V. Solomon-Mūs Village-Living-Houses-Kitchens-Fruit-
“21st January 1901.—The American yacht Terrapin anchored at Sáwi Bay about 7 P.M. I sent men to inquire about the vessel, and the gentlemen on board informed me that they had come via Port Blair, and would land early next morning.
“ 22nd January 1901.—Early this morning Dr Abbott and Mr Kloss landed and came to ‘Temple Villa,' and gave me to understand the object of their visit. They remained here till the 27th inst., and I gave them every possible help. They left the island well pleased with their visit. Many Nicobarese came from other villages with articles in the hope of purchasing rum, but they were sadly disappointed : as I had begged the gentlemen not to encourage the people with spirits, and they complied with my request.”—From the diary of Catechist V. Solomon.