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washington post pazzeh - 8 THE WASHINGTON POST: SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 1910. H...
8 THE WASHINGTON POST: SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 1910. H EAD HUNTERS ON JAPANS HANDS Dance of tbe devils, Formosa. Skull collection of a Fonnosan chief. Fonnosan warrior and bis boat. A Formosan devil in costume. More Than 700 Tribes in Formosa to Be Killed Off or Civilized Within Twelve. Months Because Stivdgcs Are Interfering Interfering With the Camphor Trade of the Mikado's I* to pie. F y.-ars had been allowed, '!i,- pl.ut contemplated, ; n ; i ^ i n , t or pacifying the ; -; f i-'nrmosa. But now j · ' f - arrompMshed insido '!. i i i i ' i the Japanese gov- u l i - ,i spe'-lal appropria- tion of J7,175,000 to pay the military expenses. expenses. * This Is on account of the camphor business. Until recently the entire world has practically depended for Its supply of camphor upon Japan, which has held almost almost a monopoly of the production of that necessary drug. But the Germans have begun to manufacture artificial (synthetic) (synthetic) camphor on a large scale, and thus are competing In, the market to an alarming extent. It is necessary under the circumstances that the supply from Japanese sources shall be malntaine'd. lest It be replaced and crowded out by synthetic camphor. The camphor trees, which formerly grew plentifully In southern Japan, have been to a great extent destroyed, owing to neglect of a regulation that used to require require the planting of one seedling for every tree cut, and so the Japanese are obliged to look to Formosa, where the camphor laurel flourishes over a great extent of territory In virgin forests. Formosans as Head Hunters. Unfortunately It is In the mountainous Interior of Formosa, that the camphor laurel grows--that Is to say. In a region which has been since prehistoric times and Is today under savage dominion. The savages who occupy this territory aro very fierce and earnestly addicted to head-hunting. Hitherto the camphor of their forests ban been obtained only with their consent, and It has been customary to pay money to their chiefs as an inducement inducement to refrain from destroying the distilling outfits. Nevertheless, trouble has been frequent, and the stills have been constantly destroyed. An unlimited number of laborers can be "hired In Japan for 10 cents a day, · but not for any such -price, nor for many times that much, 'can men be obtained to go Into the forests of Formosa, cut down the camphor trees, and distill the gum, at the serious risk of losing their heads. I-t is well known that the Japanese do not lack bravery, but head-hunting to the Formosan savage Is a religion. Nothing, from his point of view, Is so Important, and he will lie In wait for many days at a time near a lonely path in the woods for the sake of getting one chop at a passing camphor seeker. Formosa is a · big Island--as large as Sardinia and Corsica put together. It Is 235 miles long and 75 mile's wide. More than half of Its entire area Is today in the possession of the savages. For some years Japan has pursued-a rather interesting interesting method for the purpose of bringing bringing about'their eventual subjugation. She has established a "guard line" all around the mountainous Interior, with small military military outposts at intervals along it,' and has pushed this: artificial frontier steadily forward, so as to restrict the wild people to a slowly but surely diminishing domain. domain. 723 Tribes in Hills. By this means It was expected that within fifteen years of the present Time the entire Island would be brought under civilized control. But commercial necessity necessity has made necessary a change of plan. Camphor must be had, and it has been decided to wipe out or pacify all the savages within the coming year. They can take their choice.which It shall be. Thejr numbers are not accurately known, of course, but It understood that they are split up Into no fewer than 723 tribes, whose villages' comprise from three to upward of 300 houses. The tribes are divided Into nine groups, which are mutually hostile, and which differ from one another In customs and languages. Some of them, particularly at the south end of the island, have already already been partly civilized, and there Is even established among them a sort of rural free delivery mail service, by native native letter carriers. In the central range of mountains dwell the tribes of the Vo- nuum group, which are very fierce and enterprising head-hunters. In 1906 they became so troublesome that a military attack was made upon them, resulting in their partial pacification. The Atayal, or northern savages, are the largest and most, powerful . group. They look upon head-hunting as the chief end and aim of existence. A human nead is necessary as an offering ih' L all their religious ceremonials. When a dispute arises .between individuals, decision Is awarded to the one who first secures a head. ' A lad is not recognized as adult until he has taken a head. But it must be the head of a Japanese or a Chinaman. Chinaman. - Their customary method Is to lie in wait In the'jungle, near a frequented Jpath,, sev«ral r ;bf -them together, In the ^hope of i obtaining the much-coveted trophy. '· Thus: clyjllzed, existence anywhere near to the. savdge border Is beset with' no little peril. T,'At·'· the same tlnie the land of the Atayal;Is particularly tempting on account dt its'richness; In "forest products, especially : camphor. It also contains much gold. It should be added that the Atayal tattoo their faces elaborately, and bulm elegant huts of'bamboo, over the doorways doorways of whtch areihung, as trophies, the skulls of wild'boars and apes, and sometimes sometimes those- of Japanese and Chinamen-^- the latter with pigtails still picturesquely attached. Chief Had Taken 94 Heads. The Atayal tribesmen make bags of a peculiar network ^expressly to carry human human heads. One' chief, when captured and about to be executed, said: "1 have no fear of death. I have taken U4 heads, and wanted only 6 more to make the hundred." hundred." , ' · History tells that the- Spaniards took possession of Formosa Jn the year 152B. They were expelled by the Dutch In 1642. Nineteen years - later a Chinese pirate chjef named Koxlnga drove out A Formosan .belle, showing'tattooed lips, and cheeks. the butch and proclaimed himseJt king of the Island; but In 1682 the Chinese dethroned dethroned his successor, and Formosa remained remained a--province of the Middle Kingdom Kingdom up to the war,, between China and Japan, as a result of which It passed into the possession of the mikado's empire. empire. A glance at the map will show that .Formosa is really the northernmost island of the group which we call the Philippines, Philippines, being situated only a short distance distance to the north of Luzon. Its wild people are undoubtedly of Malay origin. But Its earliest inhabitants were black dwarfs, belonging to the same race as the pygmy negritos who still survive in small numbers in Luzon. Many of their Skeletons have- been found in the mountainous, mountainous, interior, and it is reasonable to suppose* that' they were exterminated by the savages who .now occupy their .territory. .territory. From ,an ethnological point of view, the savages are more thari ordinarily interesting. interesting. Their garb ranges from nudity to gay-colored garments of their own weaving, made from the fibers of banana and ramie. The women, are kindly treated, treated, and have equal rights with the men. But if a wife loses her husband after the birth of a child, she is not allowed to marry again, the idea "being that her business .thereafter -is.to. attend- to the upbringing of her offspring. Twms are a bad omen, and among some of the tribes it has beencustomary to tie them to a tree and permit them to perish. Sickness Is supposed to be a punishment punishment inflicted by the spirits of the dead. Dreams afford a medium through which the spirits of the dead communicate with the living. The Atayal and Paiwan groups believe the virgin forests to be j the'abode of the spirits of their ances- [tors, and on this account trees within I certain designated areas are never disturbed. disturbed. Old men and -women have supernatural supernatural powers of the kind usually | attributed to witches, and for this reason i they perform the religious rites for the tribes. Spirits of dead persons other than ancestors ancestors are dangerous and .possibly malevolent. malevolent. The Atayal consider that the ghosts of their forebears will not be satisfied satisfied unless a human head is part of the offering made at ceremonials. Likewise, in the case · of a dispute between two persons, the, spirits of his ancestors will guide and protect the one whose cause is Just, so that he may obtain the first Head, and thereby win. The soil of Formosa is exceedingly rich, and nowhere is a finer quality of tea produced.' The eastern half of the island is covered with jungle, in which grows the valuable creeper known as rattan. Barbaric Tribes, Hiding in the Fastnesses of Island Island Forests,Have Successfully Successfully Defied Demands Demands of Commerce for Many Years--Some Queer Customs and Beliefs. But the most precious vegetable product is camphor, which is the resin of a* trea that grows to huge size, sometimes attaining attaining a diameter of 12 feet. The only way to get the camphor is to chop the tree, into chips, which are subjected subjected to a crude process of distillation, the vapor, when condensed, being deposited deposited in crystals on bamboo screens. This is crude camphor, which comes to m a r l o in wooden tubs. It is refined by reiiis- tiliation. At the present time Japan exports exports about 5,000,000 pounds of amphor annually, one-fourth of it being shippod to the United States. It used to lie. refined refined in Europe and America, but now the^Japanese refine their own camphor and. ship the finished product. REXE BACHE. Honduras to Have Auto Line. According- to the report of the Belgian minister at Honduras, Central America, the Hondurnn government is b u i l d i n g ~.: miles of macadam road from San Lorenzo Lorenzo (on the Pacific) to FoKuripr-lpa. and intends to establish a regular automobile automobile transportation of passengers and freight on this road.

Clipped from
  1. The Washington Post,
  2. 26 Jun 1910, Sun,
  3. Page 42

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