Amongst both Filipinos and Negritos it has the reputation of being the cleverest of all birds, and, as Vic expressed it, "like a man." It hops away into the thickest undergrowth and hides at the least sound. Certainly no bird has ever given me such a lot of worry and trouble.
I signed that statement, and signed it in good faith; nevertheless, it is untrue. The Filipino forces never controlled the territory now known as Ifugao, Bontoc, Kalinga or Apayao, much less that occupied by the Negritos on the east coast of Luzón, but this is not all.
It may here be remarked that the stature of the Dravidian races exceeds that of the purer Negritos, a fact due, no doubt, to the influence of crossing. Both are weak and dwarfish, the latter especially so.
This custom of the Negritos is so much more remarkable since the chipping of the corners of the teeth is widely spread among the African blacks. Deformed crania; especially from older times, are quite numerous in the Philippines; probably they belong exclusively to the Indios.
This is especially the case in Polynesia and India, where the Negritos appear to shade off into the full-sized blacks through an intermediate series of half-breeds. Yet one fact of ethnological importance needs to be mentioned. The Negritos and Pygmies are everywhere brachycephalic, or short-headed, with the exception of the Bushmen, who are dolichocephalic, or partially so.
Finally I dropped unconscious on the trail. After several hours I was able to proceed to the top of the mountain, where the Negritos were camped. We got there about two o'clock and had lunch. As we ate about fifty Negritos swarmed about us. They were a horrible looking crowd; stark naked, filthy with dirt; starved to skin and bones; and animal-like in every look and move.
I myself soon arrived at a similar conclusion, as a regular epidemic of malaria now set in among my pigmy friends, the Negritos, and the old chief told us that his favourite son was dying with it; next my neighbour and his wife were prostrated with it, and when they had slightly recovered, they left their hut and returned to Florida Blanca.
On the other hand, certain anthropologists, of whom we may name Quatrefages, take an opposite view, and believe that the negroes migrated from Asia or the Eastern islands to Africa, being, like the negro-like Papuans, descendants of the sable or dark brown Negritos of the East. In this case agriculture may have originated in Asia and have been brought by migrants to Africa.
But the most instructive example of the fallacy which may attach to merely philological reasonings, is that afforded by the Feejeans, who are, physically, so intimately connected with the adjacent Negritos of New Caledonia, &c., that no one can doubt to what stock they belong, and who yet, in the form and substance of their language, are Polynesian.
Unfortunately it was not till the close of our stay that I learnt that there was a colony of negritos in the mountains; and it was not till just before my departure that I got a chance of seeing and sketching a couple of them, male and female. The inhabitants of Mariveles have not a very good reputation.