The albatross is a wonderful flyer. It is the largest of the web-footed birds, being four feet long and with a wing spread of from ten to seventeen feet. It seems to float or glide on the air rather than fly, hardly moving its long wings except when rising from the water.
It often follows ships for a long time; day after day, some people say, but this is doubtful. No ship can outsail it and it is said to be able to fly as much as eight hundred miles in a day. Sailors often fish for it with a baited hook, but find it hard to haul in, as it often draws out the hook or breaks the line. But a bait of blubber is very attractive and in a few minutes the same bird will take the hook again. Only by catching a fish in some such way as this could a message tied to its legs by shipwrecked sailors be found.
The cormorants are great fish-eaters, so much so that it is common to call any large eater a cormorant. There are many species, some small, some large, living on the shores of islands and in some cases along rivers.
The way in which this bird is of service to man is in its being tamed and trained to catch fish for him. This used to be done in England and is still done in China. How it is done may be told in a few words.
The bird is easily tamed by the Chinese fishermen and is trained by them for its new duty. While being trained a string is tied to its leg so as to control its movements. Then small fish are thrown out and it springs after them. In time it learns to go into the water when a whistle is given and to come back when it hears a different whistle. After three or four weeks of this training the bird is ready for duty and no longer needs a string to hold it.
While it is not strange that the seal can be easily tamed, we should not look for such a thing in so savage an animal as the alligator, the most feared and hated of the animals found in the waters of our Southern States. Yet even this ferocious reptile can be tamed, as the following story will show.
The alligator in question was taken when very young, before its wild nature had shown itself, and was fed and attended to by its master, of whom it became very fond. It grew so tame that it would follow him about the house like a dog, even scrambling up and down stairs after him.
But the funny thing about this comical pet was that its chief friend was the cat, and that pussy returned its friendship. When the cat lay drowsing before the fire, the alligator would crawl up, lay its head on her back, and go to sleep in this position. It seemed happy whenever the cat was near, but grew very restless if its furry friend was away.
Raw flesh was fed to it and sometimes milk, which it liked very much. At night, in cold weather, it slept in a box, with wool for it to nestle in. But one night there came a sharp frost and the little guest was forgotten. The next morning the native of warm climates was found frozen to death.
It is called Hawking or Falconry, and is a very old sport in which the falcon or the hawk was used to take game. It is still in use in some countries, but in old times falconry was the favorite sport of kings and nobles, many of whom spent much of their time in the field, hunting smaller or weaker birds by aid of the strong and swift falcon or hawk.
This kind of sport began very long ago, no one can say how long, it being common in Asia long before it was known in Europe. And it is common in some parts of Asia still.
The armadillo is an American animal, and is found in our country in the state of Texas. It goes south from there through Mexico and on to South America, where it is found everywhere. It lives in large numbers in the woods and on the great grass plains. In its food and habits it is much like the hedgehog, and like it burrows in the ground. To do this it has very strong claws, and these it can use to defend itself when it takes a fancy to fight.
The hedgehog is about a foot long and six inches high, with small black eyes and sharp-pointed head. The odd thing about it is the fact that where most animals are covered with hair this one is covered with spines, hard and sharp, like little thorns. These grow to be about an inch long and there are muscles in the back that cause them to stand up and stick out in all directions.
When a dog gets busy about a hedgehog, it does not try to run away. All it does is to roll itself up into a ball, its head and tail meeting over its lower parts and its spines sticking up all around. When the dog gets these into his nose a few times he is apt to lose his taste for hedgehog meat. He may roll the animal about with his paws, but that does no good, and he soon goes away with sore head and paws, leaving the hedgehog to unroll and make its way back to its burrow.
When taken home and fed it soon becomes very tame and friendly. It can be handled with safety, for when it is not rolled up its spines lie flat along its back, so that its friends can stroke its back and scratch its nose without harm. These it likes to have done. When it is put on a table it does not a bit mind taking a dive to the floor, for it rolls up so to fall on its spines and thus is not hurt.
A tame hedgehog is a good thing to keep in a garden or kitchen, for it helps to clear the one of worms and the other of roaches and sometimes will catch and kill a rat. It is not afraid to attack snakes, even poisonous ones like the viper. The poison does not seem to do it any harm.
Have you ever seen a Starling and heard one talk? If not you have missed a treat, for this bird has fine powers of speech. He can whistle, croak and talk and is one of the choice delights of many a cottage home in Europe. He has lately been imported into this country.
The common starling is a very pretty creature, clad in brown, with purple and green hues, and a buff-colored tip to each feather which gives the bird a fine speckled appearance. In its wild state it has a soft and sweet song, and in a cage is a pert and friendly house pet, one that mocks the songs of others, learns to whistle tunes, and can talk as clearly as many of its keepers. I must tell the story of a pair of very cute and lively starlings, as it is told us by the gentleman in whose house these birds were born and brought up
Best known among them as a cage-bird is the Gray-parrot, the ablest talker of the family, the amusing Poll-parrot seen in so many homes. Though a cage is provided, they become such home-bodies as to be given all the liberty they want, being often free to go about the house, though they look upon the cage as their special dwelling place.
For an American nightingale we have the mocking-bird, a sweet night singer which, as I have said, is given that name in the West Indies. Another is a variety of the Grosbeak, called the Cardinal Bird from its red color. This is called the Virginia Nightingale in England and is one of the finest American song-birds. Its loud, clear, sweet song is heard chiefly in the mornings and evenings and the beauty of its plumage adds to its attraction.
There is also a black swan found in Australia, and now to be seen in a tame state. It is deep black in color, except the main feathers of the wings, which are white. It is not nearly so pretty as the white swan, but when black and white are kept in the same pond the contrast is very fine.
The other wool-yielder is the Angora goat, well known in this country. This yields a thick and fine wool, soft and silky and slightly curled. The color is mostly snow-white, though at times there are dark patches. It is shed in great locks in summer, but soon grows again. During the hot weather the goats are constantly washed and combed, to add to the beauty of their wool. The finest Angora wool, called Mohair, comes from goats a year old. All its value is lost at six years of age.
A well-known wild goat is the Ibex of the Alps. This is a splendid fellow, with long and strong horns but no beard. It used to be very common, but has been shot at so much that very few are left.
This animal has a thick coat of long, silky hair, which hangs nearly to the ground. Ropes and cloth are made from it. The tail is just a great bunch of long hair. The Yak does not bellow like the ox but gives a short grunt. Its milk is very rich, and fine butter is made from it.
The Zebra, one of the most beautiful of animals, from its handsomely striped skin, is a member of the horse family, but one of which we do not need to speak, since it is found only in a wild state. It has in some cases been tamed and trained to harness, but it is an obstinate and hot-tempered brute, so that few have tried to tame it.
The Weasel has also been tamed and been found a lovable little animal. The Otter is another tamable creature and can be taught to catch fish and bring them to its master. Dr. Goldsmith tells us of one that would go to the fish pond when told to do so, drive the fish into a corner, seize the largest and carry it in its mouth to its master.
Horus, the son of Isis, leading the scribe Ani into the presence of Osiris, the god and judge of the dead; before the shrine of the god Am kneels in adoration and presents offerings.
1. Isis suckling her child Horus in the papyrus swamps.
2. Thoth giving the emblem of magical protection to Isis.
3. Amen-Rā presenting the symbol of "life" to Isis.
4. The goddess Nekhebet presenting years, and life, stability, power, and sovereignty to the son of Osiris.
5. The goddess Sati presenting periods of years, and life, stability, power, and sovereignty to the son of Osir
The god Nu rising out of the primeval water and bearing in his hands the boat of Rā, the Sun-god, who is accompanied by a number of deities. In the upper portion of the scene is the region of the underworld which is enclosed by the body of Osiris, on whose head stands the goddess Nut with arms stretched out to receive the disk of the sun.
The Elysian Fields of the Egyptians according to the Papyrus of Ani (XVIIIth dynasty)
The Elysian Fields of the Egyptians according to the Papyrus of Nebseni (XVIIIth dynasty)
The soul of Rā (1) meeting the soul of Osiris (2) in Tattu, The cat (i.e., Rā) by the Persea tree (3) cutting off the head of the serpent which typified night.
The weighing of the heart of the scribe Ani in the Balance in the presence of the gods.
Anhai bowing before her father and mother. The Elysian Fields. From the Papyrus of Anhai (XXIInd dynasty)
In Central Mexico water is precious, and in the cities special men make it a business to sell water from house to house. The water-carriers of different towns greatly differ in the form and size of the jars they use and in the mode of carrying them. In the city of Mexico, where they are becoming an uncommon sight, the man carries two water-jars of metal, one in front, one behind, hanging by straps from his shoulders and cap; in Guadalajara a number of round pottery water-jars are set into a sort of a frame mounted on a cart or barrow; in San Luis Potosi there are four oval jars set into a wheelbarrow with an enormous wheel; in Guanajuato they use great slender jars nearly as tall as the man himself, with a ring of wood at the bottom to hold them when they are set on the ground.
When a Dalai-lama dies, search is made for the new one. Prayers are said in all the lamaseries, processions are made, incense is burned. Even the common people everywhere pray. There are certain signs by which a baby shows that the spirit of a lama has entered him. All parents who think their baby the one send word to Lhassa and bring their babies there. All are carefully examined, and the three 86who best show the signs of being Buddha are taken. After fasting for six days, the priests who decide the matter take a golden urn containing three little fish of gold, upon each of which is engraved the name of one of the three babies. The urn is shaken and one of the fish is drawn. The baby whose name is engraved on it becomes the Dalai-lama. To the unlucky babies before they are sent home a present of five hundred ounces of silver is given.
We have spoken only of the mestizos. The Indians are also interesting. There are many tribes, all with their own customs, and many with their old languages still in use. In the State of Oaxaca alone there are fifteen languages still spoken. Among the many Mexican Indian tribes perhaps the Aztecs, Otomis, Tarascans, Zapotecs, and Mayas are the best known.
The old Peruvians were great potters and thousands of their old water vessels and food dishes, which were buried with the dead, have been dug up. These had curious forms and were often adorned with colored patterns. Some of these jars were shaped like human faces, human figures, or animals. Sometimes they were “whistling jars,” which were so made that they whistled when water was poured in or out of them. The old Peruvians were skilled in working copper, silver, and gold, and made many ornaments and figures in these metals.
Tattooed New Zealander
The most important thing in Tibet is religion. Their religion, which is called Lamaism, is a sort of Buddhism peculiar to Tibet. Tibet might be called a theocracy, or a land where a god rules. For the ruler of Tibet, called the Dalai-lama, is considered no common man, but a real god on earth. Many centuries ago, in India, there lived a man named Gautama or Sakyi-muni. He was wise and good, and the new religion which he taught was a great improvement upon the Brahmanism of India. On account of his wisdom and goodness, he was called Buddha, but he never claimed to be himself a god. Since his death, however, many millions of people in many lands have worshipped him as a god.
Mr. Lummis has written of the Apache warrior and described the war led by Geronimo. It was a daring thing. There was but a handful of the Indians. “Thirty-four men, eight well-grown boys, ninety-two women and children”—that was all. Only forty-two who could be called fighters. On May 17, 1885, the little band broke forth from their reservation and headed for Mexico. It took the United States a year and a half of useless trouble and expense to pursue them. Time after time, when it seemed certain that the Indians were trapped, they 14vanished. They never stood for a pitched battle. But anywhere, concealed behind rocks or hidden in brush, they picked off the soldiers sent to capture them. The forces of the United States and Mexico were both kept constantly upon the move. When a year had passed about sixty of the Indians returned home. Twenty warriors, with fourteen women, kept up the battle, when they too went home. During the year and a half of fighting more than four hundred whites and Mexicans were killed; only two of the Indian band were destroyed. During that time Arizona and New Mexico and all the northern part of Mexico were kept in constant terror. These Apaches were truly “wild Indians.”
Much of his hunting is done from his canoe or kayak. This is narrow, sharp-pointed at both ends, and light. It consists of a slight framework over which skins are tightly stretched. The opening above is but large enough for him to get his legs and body through. When he has crept in, he ties a collar of skin, that surrounds the opening, about his body, below his arms, to prevent the water dashing into the kayak, and paddles away. His different weapons are all fastened in their proper places on top of the canoe, where he can seize them when wanted. The Eskimo are wonderful boatmen and drive their kayaks over the waves like seabirds. If they tip over, they easily right themselves.
In the northmost part of the Scandinavian Peninsula and Finland live the Lapps. There are probably not more than ten or twelve thousand, all told. They have had much contact with the Finns, and speak a language related to Finnish. In many customs they resemble them. This is not strange, as the land they live in is much the same.
The women tattoo, beginning in girlhood. The patterns are cut in the flesh with a razor and soot is rubbed into the lines; to render the 96color permanent, water in which ash-tree bark has been steeped is rubbed over the part tattooed. The tattooing first done is at the centre of the upper lip; later the lower lip. The marks are added to from time to time until they cover the upper lip and reach from ear to ear. Such women appear to have a great moustache. After marriage a woman’s forehead may be tattooed, also patterns may be made up the backs of the hands and on the arms, and rings may be tattooed around her fingers.
Ainu clothing is generally made of elm bark, and that worn by men and women is much alike. The bark is stripped from the tree in spring, when it is full of sap. It is soaked in water to separate the inner and outer bark. Fibres are secured from the inner bark, which can be woven like thread into cloth. The men’s garments of this fibre cloth are adorned with patterns embroidered with colored threads; those of women are generally plain.
East of British India and south of Cochin-China in the Bay of Bengal are the Andaman Islands, on which the Mincopies live. They are small in stature, black or dark brown, with broad round heads, and crinkly or woolly hair. They are often called negritos, or little negroes.
The Basques, especially those living in the mountains, are proud, happy, and independent. They are easily angered and quick to fight. They love their old life and customs and dislike changes. They still use many old-fashioned things such as the clumsy ox-cart, with great, solid wooden wheels and heavy wooden axle. The old dress has disappeared in many places, but is picturesque. Men wear rather loose and baggy trousers, a close-fitting vest, a sort of blouse or jacket that reaches only to the waist, a wide, white collar turned down over the neck of the blouse, and a loose necktie with streaming ends. They wear a loose cap jauntily on the head. Men and women both delight in bright colors.
A crowd of boys running in such shoes [wooden] over the hard paved roads makes a great clattering. On Sunday the wooden shoes of men and boys are usually fresh whitened; if their owners enter a house, they leave the shoes outside the door. I am sure you cannot guess what little Dutch boys do with old wooden shoes. They make capital little fishing boats out of them, which they sail on the canal. The real big fishing boats are really shaped very much like shoes too.
Many of these wild tribes delight in bright feathers. They make necklaces, head-dresses, arm-rings, bracelets, leg-bands, aprons, and capes from them. Not that a single tribe makes all of these many ornaments; some will use the feathers in one way, others in another. Among the tribes of Brazil, the Botocudo are famous for the ornaments they wear in their lips and ears. These ornaments are mere disks or plugs of wood, which are inserted in holes pierced in the ears and lower lip. Some Botocudo lip plugs are three inches in diameter. Such a lip ornament holds the lip out almost like a shelf.
The fifth day of the fifth month is the Boys’ Festival. Then they are selling bows and arrows and other toy weapons everywhere. Everywhere they hang out great paper fishes, shaped like carp, and brightly painted. These are hung to tall bamboo poles of which there is one set in front of every house where they have a boy in the family. One fish is hung for each boy, and it is a gay sight to see the hundreds of bright fish waving and tossing in the wind. The reason 92why the carp is represented is because it swims up the river against the current; so it is hoped “the sturdy boy, overcoming all obstacles, will make his way in the world and rise to fame and fortune.”
Camel and palanquin [covered canopy - usually refers to a covered litter carried by men ]
The Turkomans live in large, round, wall tents: the light framework of poles is covered with great pieces of felt. This felt is beaten by the women 63from sheep’s wool and camel’s hair. They are comfortable within. The floor is often covered with fine rugs or skins, and handsome woven stuffs are hung upon the wall or thrown over the sitting places. These fine articles are partly woven by the women and partly stolen from passing caravans—for the Turkomans are dreadful pillagers.
There are many curious customs regarding Chinese children. One takes place when a little boy is one year old. A great bamboo sieve, such as farmers use, is placed upon the table. Upon it are spread many articles—money-scales, shears, a measure, a mirror, a pencil, ink, paper, inkstone, books, the counting-board, objects of gold or silver, fruits, etc. The baby, all dressed in his best clothes, is then set in the midst of the objects, on the sieve. His parents and friends watch anxiously to see which of the articles he will grasp. They believe it will show what he will do when he is a man. If he takes the money-scales or the gold or silver, he will become a rich merchant; if he takes the book or pencil, he will be a great scholar, and so on.
But the most curious part of Corean dress is the hat. There are many different kinds. There are hats for young and hats for old, hats for out-doors and hats for the house, hats for people of different occupations. The commonest out-door hat is round, square-topped, and with the wide, flat, brim halfway up the crown. The hats worn at the royal court are like high skull-caps, with wide flaps or wings projecting at the sides. The straw hats worn by drovers and people in mourning are shaped like the top of a parasol and measure two feet and a half across.
The Finns love song and poetry. It is said that every village has one poet, or more, and that he prepares a new song whenever aught of importance occurs. Besides these new songs they have many ancient songs, of which they never tire. When they sing the songs of the olden time, two men seat themselves face to face upon a bench, join hands, and rock backward and forward in time to the song. First one sings a line or passage, and then the other repeats the same, and so they continue, rocking back and forth and singing the whole night through. Sometimes a third man plays upon the kantele, while the others sing. This kantele is somewhat like a zither; it has a flat sounding-body upon which are strung from three to eight strings of different lengths. It is usually picked with the fingers like a guitar. It is said that the first kantele was made of fish-bones, though it is not easy to see how that could be.
The fishing towns of Holland are interesting. Every traveller wants to see Vollendam and Scheveningen and the hamlets on the Island of Marken. The men and women in these towns are kind-hearted, simple people, who are proud of their own village and think their own dress finer than that of other towns. Each of these fishing villages has its characteristic costume. The men of the Island of Marken wear a close-fitting jacket which ends at the waist and great, baggy, knee pants. Marken women wear round, white caps, fitting the head closely, with an open-work border, and a bright waist, with striped sleeves, over the front of which is a square of handsomely embroidered cloth. Little girls all through Holland dress exactly like women. But for her child face you would take the little girl from Scheveningen to be a grown person. She wears a dainty white cap pinned on with two great round-headed pins. Her ample dress quite reaches the ground; her white apron is neatly tied, and her purple shawl, tightly wrapped about her shoulders, is demurely crossed, and the ends are tucked under her apron strings. She wears the common wooden shoes of the country
The home-land of the Eskimo is dreary. They live in Labrador, Greenland, and the Arctic country stretching from Greenland west to 7Northern Alaska. Generally, it is a land of snow and ice, where it is impossible to raise even the most hardy plants. The people are forced to live chiefly on animal food. Not only is the weather usually cold, but for a large part of the year the Eskimo do not see the sun, and for the rest of it they see the sun all the time.
The Eskimo eat the flesh of seals, whales, birds, hares, bears, dogs, foxes, and deer. In that cold country they like fat meat. Sometimes meat and fish are eaten raw, but they may be boiled or fried. Fresh, raw blubber is much loved. The skin of whales, seals, and halibut is favorite food. Travellers tell astonishing stories of the quantities of candles and oil that Eskimo eat and drink when they are supplied to them. The supply of plant food is small: stalks of angelica, dandelion, sorrel, berries, and seaweed are used.
In the “hill country” of India live many curious brown peoples whose languages are different from the Aryan tongue of the Hindus. These peoples, called Dravidians, are considered the earliest occupiers of India. Among them no tribe is more curious than the Todas. In some ways they are like the Ainu. Though brown, they are probably really white or Caucasic. They have the features, strong beards, and hairy bodies of whites, and in these respects are like the Ainu.
The Todas live on a tableland whose surface is covered with hills and rolling prairies. The hills are clad with coarse grass, and in some of the valleys are deep forests. The sunshine is bright and warm, and the dry season is long.
The Todas think only of their cattle. They 108do not hunt—in fact, they have no weapons; they do not cultivate any fields, getting what plant food they use from the Badagas and other neighboring tribes. But they do raise cattle—buffalo. Their villages are located in the midst of pasture land. No village is occupied for a whole year, but the people have always at least two villages and live first in one, then in the other. This is to have fresh pasture for their cattle and to be secure in the wet season.
The Hindus love amusements. They are fond of music and have many curious instruments. Dancing girls dance for the amusement of guests at feasts given in the homes of the wealthy. They usually take their own musicians with them; one of these plays upon a little drum, the other on a kind of guitar. Street exhibitions are frequent.
Almost as wonderful as these juggler’s tricks are the performances of the snake charmers. They carry the dreaded, poisonous cobras around in baskets and handle them, playing at the same time on their little flutes, quite as if the creatures were entirely harmless.
Among the dark whites of Europe the Portuguese, Spanish, Italians, and Greeks are conspicuous. In speech they are kin to each other, and to the fair whites. How different they are otherwise! They are handsomer in face, more lithe and graceful in body, more quickly aroused, more changeable in purpose, than the fair whites. Their faces, their gestures, their movements, more emphatically betray their emotions. They live more in the present than the somewhat sober and sombre northern peoples.
Japanese Girl with Baby
They have caps on their heads, and fishermen and herders may be distinguished by the style of these. Fishermen’s caps are pointed, while those of herders are square. In going out over the snow in winter, Lapps have long, narrow runners of wood fastened to their feet, and carry a pole in their hand. These runners are five feet or more in length, and only a few inches wide, and on them—aided by their poles—the Lapps glide along finely over the hard snow.
Wherever there are real roads in Mexico, there you may see the quaint old-fashioned ox-carts with wheels often made from solid blocks of wood cut to shape. Two oxen are generally yoked to each, but when heavy loads are to be dragged, four, six, or even more are used at once.