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The Saint Paul globe. (St. Paul, Minn.) 1896-1905, September 11, 1904, Image 33

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;(I : Three of the. (pygmies ftrouyht toAmej-ica. 2?y2sr. Verner
Among Them Are Cannibals
and One Little Fellow Who
Narrowly Escaped Being the
Central Attraction at a Can
nibal Feast
rTIHE Rev. S. P. Fewer, a Presbyterian
m missionary, has recently arrived a!
the St. Louis Exposition with a collec
tion of pygmies from the jungles of
Equatorial Africa, and the little men from
one of the most interesting features of the
great ethnological exhibit there.
Mr. Verner also brought four Africans of
ordinary size from the tribes that surround
the dwarfs, in order to show the striking com
parison between people living as neighbors in
the tropical forests. The larger men are from
the Batetela Baluba and Bakuba tribes, while
the dwarfs belong to the Chirl-Chiri and Ba
tava peoples. Of these, the Batetela and
Ch':ri-Chiri tribes are man-eaters.
Just to Make his collection complete, Mr.
Verner has two genuine born, but now reform
ed, cannibals in his entourage. One of them Is
of ordinary size, the other a dwarf.
The pygmies are purely of the negro
type, but are abnormally stunted, being from
four to four and a half feet tall. No explana
tion of the curious past has yet been discover
ed, unless the pygmies may be accounted for
on the theory that at some time in the distant
past the negro race developed a tendency to
generate families of stunted stature.
Mr. Verner went to the West Coast of
Africa last fall to secure his anthropological
exhibit. He has made other trips there, and
has encountered numerous adventures and
not a little hardship.
FOR nearly a month after the band of pygmies ar
rived at the Exposition, they lived quietly in an
ordinary canvas tent, and attracted only pass
ing attention. In fact, visitors who sought them
out at first went away considerably disappointed. To
them they were just common little negroes, after all.
There seemed to be no special interest attached to
them beyond the fact that they had left their tropical
Jungles across the Atlantic and had traveled many
thousand miles to come to the World's Fair. They mani
fested none of the ingenuity and enterprise of the Lili
puts; Gulliver would not have noticed them, probably.
It was only when the Rev. Mr. Verner r.rrived and told
the story of the little men ttat interest in them was
aroused. Now they are among the most sought after of
the anthropological freaks.
When Mr. Verner reached New Orleans with his
charges, on the trip from Africa, he succumbed k& a
bad attack of tropical fever, and was ill there for several
weeks. He sent the pygmies on to, St. Louis, however,
in charge of an African who had been elucated in this
country. They were having a good time when he re
joined them, having plenty to eat, and just "lazytng"
around, but were contributing 1 little to the education of
visitors upon the subject of ethnological curiosities.
The first thing he did was to build them their own
typical houses. At home they live principally by the
chase, and inhabit about the meanest huts in Africa
temporary structures of boughs and leaves that serva
their purpose for a few days until they follow their game
to other places.
Then it was learned, too, that the party included
two genuine cannibals—or, rather, reformed cannibals, as
their natural instincts are gently, but firmly suppressed
at St. Louis. When this fact became icnown the crowds
nearly broke down the fence about the pygmy camp in
their eagerness to see these man-eating savages. It is not
every day that one can look upon and talk to—or at—a
real live cannibal, even at a world's fair.
One of these is Otabena, the smallest of the party,
and a member of the Chlri-Chiri tribe (to the Rev. Mr.
Verner, by the way, belongs the honor of discovering
this tribe). Otabena is only three feet eight inches tall,
and, as Artemus Ward would put It, "is an amusin* little
cuss." He is about the happiest individual on the ground,
and is usually laughing when he isn't asleep.
Otabona has every right to be happy, although not
all who are amused by his extravagant smiles know it.
He once narrowly escaped being served as the piece de
resistance at a cannibal banquet.
It is related thut when this particular little African
was about 5 years old, his people were at war with a
neighboring tribe, and Otabena was taken prisoner. His
captors were about to prepare him for a sumptuous meal
when he was rescued by his friends. He has never for
gotten his good fortune; hence his rippling, overflowing,
continuous joyousness. At least, that Is what Mr Verner
Otabena Is supposed to be between IS and 20 years old.
TJze <Re.v
: the Explorer*
One of the dzseoyerec? hyrJnr,
Vez-72 er, ZJowiny a tt/ar A 0^22.
"It is difficult to tell the ages of "these people," said Mr.
Verner, "for they have no way of counting- time—not
even to the same degree as the American Indian. The
Africans count only such important events as the sea
sons, and these are the only records or notes to be found
in their calendars. An unusually wet or dry season is
recorded, an eclipse, a famine or flood. These events are
recorded by marks made on the bark of a tree or on
skins, which often serve as a substitute for our gen
Otabena has confided to his people that he is excep
tionally taken with America and would like to remain
here nnd go to school, but this is said to be impossible
unless the personal consent of King Leopold, of Belgium,
who has direct jurisdiction c . these people, can be
Mr. Verner tells how he discovered the Chiri-Chiri
tribe and Otabena:
"Our ship anchored one night at a new port which
had Just been opened up. While it vras waiting to trans
fer the cargo and passengers to the incoming steamer, I
thought I would make a little tour into the interior. I had
not gone far when I came upon Otabena and a few other
members of his tribe. They told me I was only a few
miles from their settlement. I had not the time to visit
It just then, but made arrangements with one of the
chiefs to bring Otabena with me. He was willing and
even anxious to join me, for the memory of his awful
escape from the hungry cannibals had not been forgotten
by him."
The Chlri-Chirl tribe was found by Mr. Verner near
•the Gantshia river, which is a tributary to the Kasal,
along which stream most of the pygmy tribes have been
discovered. The country is a dense forest, which is the
WHEX American troops occpied the town of Taal,
in the Province of Batangas, Luzon, Philippine
Islands, most of the inhabitants promptly took
to the woods. Some were induced to return in
a short time, but the majority flatly refused to do so
until the image of the Virgin of Caysasay was restored
to its place in the village church.
Upon inquiry it was found that the image, which
was held in deep veneration by the people, had been
carried off and hidden by the local priest, because he
feared it might come to harm at the hands of the in
vaders. American officers assured the natives that the
image would be perfectly safe on the church altar, and
searching parties were sent out to locati the apprehen-
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A ii^VPaee of Afj%san Vmmzs
a^OTveita and brmgnfta
lair of fine specimens of jungle beasts, the ...--pliant, lion
and tiger.
The other former cannibal is Konucla, who belongs
to the Eatetela tribe when at home. Kondola, however,
Is not a dwarf, nor is he now a savage. He was brought
to this country six years ago by Mr. Verner and educated
In the South. He acts as interpreter for the party, and is
in charge of it wiien the missionary is away. Kondola,
like not a few others in his adopted country, does not
care to discuss his ancestry and his past with visitors.
"Cannibalism is dying out to a great degree," sa.J Mr.
Vc-rner, "although I know of places where it still exists,
and is frequently practiced. Only a few years ago I
sive priest. The troops joined fc- this search, and had
many a weary "hike" through the forests before the
missing ecclesiastic and image were found.
The story of the image -.-as told by the Presidents
or Mayor of Taal.
It seems the original town, which stood on the shore!
rt I^ke Taal, was destroyed almost 200 years ago by the)
eruption of a volcano. It was i large and flourishing
community, but nearly all its inhabitants perished. Those
that escaped built a new town not far distant from the
old, near where the Pansipit river empties into the sea.
About fifty years after ancient Taal —as destroyed, a
fisherman, haulm*- his n»t s in the river one day, brought
up a : mall image, about ten
inches long; it was carved
of wood, of curious work
manship, and apparently
The finder took the little
wooden object to the village
» priest, telling him that at the
time of its finding a flock ot
Ik birds called caysasay had
hovered about him, crying
loudly and showing great ex
citement. After some delibe
ration, the priest declared
the image to be that of the
Virgin of Caysasay, especizl
patron of sailors and mari-
Feasts were held and
special services were con
ducted in the church. The
Image was duly blessed, set
upon a pedestal, placed upon
a large gilded car and car
ried about the streets, fol
lowed by a long procession.
Halts were made in front of
the principal houses, and of
ferings in coin were tendered
the Virgin with which to
supply her with suitable
gowns and jewels.
Every year since, in Feb
ruary, a similar celebration
in tonor of her discovery has{
been held, large sums o.'J
money collected and the
town decorates and illumin
ated from end to end. The
Virgin is usually placed upon
a barge and rowed some dis
tance down the river, fol
lowed by dozens of canoes
lighted with torches and
filled with young and old.
This imasrs of the Virgin
of Caysasay is held In the
greatest veneration by the
Filipinos. Her picture is .o
be found upon the altar of
nearly every home and in the
cabin of nearly every native
water craft, >
knew cf a poor woman who gave her child as security for
a debt The child died, and thinking it was the only way
to collect payment of the debt, the cannibals ate the
Mr. Verner expressed regret that he was unaole to
bring with him any of the pygmy women or old people.
"The tribes are constantly at war with each other,"
he said, "and at such times it is difficult to find any of
the women or old people on the borders. As soon as war
is declared, they immediately make a rush for the forests,
and do not return until members of their family come to
notify them of a cessation of hostilities. These frequent
wars and internal troubles are usually caused by the
theft of another's-slaves or the carrying off of a woman
member. O f some other tribe."
The Rev. Mr. Verner served for sorao years as a
medical missionary in a large district to the south of th©
Congo river, where one of the largest groups of African
dwarfs is found. He knows a great number of their lead-
Ing men and has treated them in srickness. This intimacy
and service contributed largely to the success of his mis
He was compelled, however, to brave many dangers,
and to undergo hardships of various kinds. It is rot a
pleasant trip under the best of conditions—to journey
into the tropical jungle inhabited by savages and canni
bals, to face fever and other forms of sickness, to suffer
hunger and thirst, and to risk life among the wild beasts,
even if unmolested by the natives. The enterprising mis
sionary had a number of stirring- adventures and some
hairbreadth escapes, but now that he is safely back in
America with his prizes, he does not care to talk about
his experiences on the African coast, and in the forests.
The existence of these African pygmies was known to
tlje ancient Egyptians, although it is not recorded that
any of them ever graced a world's fair on the banks of
the Nile. No Ramcses liked a cannibal, as they preferred
Symbolic Flower of Japan Beckons Soldiers
THROUGHOUT Japan the tegashwi, or beckoning
plant, is now the most popular of tho many
prophetic garden flowers of that strange land
where civilization and superstition go so curiously
hand in hand.
Shaped something like the fingers of the human hand,
the leaves of the tegashwi wave to and fro in the breeze,
as if to call back the absent ones and presage their safe
return. This the plant does, so the Japanese confidently
believe, and one can readily imagine the devoted wives
and mothers of the Island Empire placing the leaf of the
tegashwi above the doors of the homes, with many a
prayer for the safe homecoming from the war of the
s>oldier to his beloved garden.
For these Imaginative little brown people see far more
in their tiny, well-kept gardens than simple bushes and
trees. Many of the plants so carefully tended have for
them each its peculiar portent for good or eviL
Their gardens are mites of things, anyway, the dwarf
trees and shrubs pruned into fantastic shapes, while
fairy-like streams purl beneath bits of rustic bridges, and
settle in little pools about which the lotus lifts its pink
The fern is revered by the Japanese as symbolic of a
large posterity. As its leaf divides and sub-divides into
numerous branches, so may the master of the liti.e
garden hope to live to see himself anrrounded by a large
flock of children and grandchildren. At New Year's, a
festival much celebrated in Japan, leaves of a kind o£
laurel called the yuzurl-ha are placed with those of
the fern above the door of the house, the fern foretelling
a large family, while the yuzuri-ha gives the added as
surance that the father will live un.J he has seen h*3
son grow up to manhood and able to succeed him in main
taining the family honor.
The pine holds oat promise of endurance and success,
and also symbolizes a sturdy old age.
The willow tree possesses a peculiar power over
toothache. The person attacked by that painful malady
eticks a few fine needles Into the bark of the willow
by the stream, with the firm belief that the pain thus
to be preserved as mummies for the edification of later
generations, and Cleopatra's tastes ran toward Roman
soldiers. Herodotus mentions the little people In his
history, but they were lost sight of afterward for twenty
centuries, and the modern world, until recently, refused to
give credence to stories of their existence. Up to forty
five years ago there was no good evidence that there
were any tribes of dwarfs in Africa.
In 185S the American explorer, Dv Chaillu, discovered
the Babongo dwarfs in the forests near the Atlantic. A
larger group was found by the German explorer,
Schwelnforth, in Central Africa, along the northeastern
tributaries of the Congo, not very far from the Nile.
Stanley, Sir Harry Johnston, A. B. Lloyd and other ex
plorers found the little men widely scattered through this
densely forested part of the Congo basin and extending
far south and over into the basin of the Nile.
Everybody who has encountered these dwarfs has
been astonished by their sturdiness, their remarkabia
agility, and their skill as hunters. They are physically
perfect specimens of men and women, except that they
are only from four to four and a half feet high. They live
solely by the chase, and attempt none of the industries of
the husbandman.
Although the bands of pygmies in Equatorial Africa
are widely scattered, they have the same habits and
characteristics, and seem to be the dispersed fragments
of a large family.
Some anthropologists believe that they have discover
ed resemblances between the languages spoken by dwarfs
living far apart, but Sir Harry Johnston, as the result of
long study, has arrived at the conclusion that these Congo
pygmies no longer have an original language of their own,
but speak, in a slightly corrupted form, the languages of
the taller tribes In whose neighborhood ti*ey dwelL
The Batava tribe, from which come four of the diminu
tive specimens at St. Louis, lives along the southern
tributaries of the Congo, and were discovered by th«
missionary traveler Grenfell. As he pushed his little
steamer up the rivers the dwarfs -would clamber out on
the branches of trees overhanging the watjr and shoot
their poisoned arrows at the vessel. It was protected,
however, by wire netting, and no harm was done.
Still another group was discovered in the northeast,
south of Abyssinia, by the American explorer, Dr.
Donaldson Smith, and there is a curious story connected
with the finding of these people.
For about forty years missionaries and traders along
the Indian Ocean had heard from natives who came to
the coast from the interior that dwarfs were living far
from the ocean south of Abyssinia. Dr. Henry Schlichter,
of the British Museum, collected all these stories and
gave much labor to the task of trying to ascertain from
the various accounts the region in the interior where the
dwarfs would be found. At last he fixed upon a small
region, and published a map on which he marked this
place as the pygmies' probable nome.
Donaldson Smith bad never heard of these dwarfs or
of Dr. Schlichter, and his work, and when he discovered
the pygmies in the exact territory where Schlichter had
said they would probably be found, he thought he had
made a wholly original find. He was very much surprised
when he returned home to see Schlichter's map.
The last group of dwarfs to be discovered was found
in IS9S by a German expedition in the Cameroons, along
the Atlantic coast north of the French Congo. They differ
in no respect from the little folks found In other parts of
Attempts made to take these pygmies away from their
forests and sun-burned plains for the study of anthro
pologists, have not been very successful. A few have
been taken to Italy and Germany, but they have either
died in the strange countries or have been sent back to
Africa to save their lives. They seem unable to live long
away from their native haunts. Rev. Mr. Verner may have
better success with his little band.
caused to the spirit of the tree will indue 3 that spirit to
ease the sufferings of the invalid, and insure the with
drawal from the tree of the irritating needles.
' The nnnten, or lucky shrub, has the power of pre
venting evil dreams from coming true. Little Japanese
maids are especially impressed with the potency of thl3
plant. They have but to steal down the garden path to
the nanten bush, whisper the dream to its shining leaves
and bright red berries, and lo! the power of the dream is
Japanese women have a peculiar fondness for the
cherry blossom, and it ia seen In decorations almost more
than any other flower. To say that a Japanese girl rivals
the beauty of tho cherry bloom is the llm.. of comparison
in female beauty.
Those who scoff at the superstitions of these poetic
people must admit that reverential tribute to a flower or
tree is, at least, a prettier sentiment than makes an
American to treasure the left hind leg of a graveyard
rabbit, to carry a horse chestnut in the pocket, or to
nail an old horseshoe over the door.
Scared Dog's Long Run
HOW far will a scared dog run?
We ail have seen the sizzling flight of the canine
that is urged to record-breaking efforts by the
bounding tin can tied to ..Is tail an- the encour
aging shouts of boyish tormentors. Few there are who
have seen or known the llnish of these cross-country
dushes. Here, however, is the autnenunited account of
a run of 385 miles made by a North Dakota pointer It
appears to make a record.
The dog had been shipped from Kenville, Minn., oy
L. D. Barnard to H. F. Larson in Kuderlin, North Dakota
for the purpose of being trained to hunt prairie chickens '
The flrst time .Larson took i- out a big four-horsa
mowing machine happened along. That •: urted the pup.
With a prolonged howl it stretched itsel/ flat upon the
landscape and lit out for the place of Ita birth.
Six days later it trotted weakly into »-i lormer mas
ter's home in Renvllle, wagged its tail feefcly and went
to sleep. It was footsore and evidently liad made tha
entire journey of 335 miles by road.

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