Further note on the Phi Tong Lu'ang. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Mb. D. Bourke-Borrowes, l. f. s.   







                            Further note on the Phi Tong Lu'ang.

                               by Mr. D. Bourke-Borrowes, l. f. s.



       The article on  the  Khā  Tong  Lu'ang  also  known  as  the  Phi
Tong Lu'ang published in  Volume XX, Part I, of  the  Journal  of  the
Siam Society, compiled by  Major  Seidenfaden  from  observations
personally made by Mr. T. Wergeni about 50 kilometres North-east
of Muang Prae, is of great interest.

       It seems most remarkable  that  there  should  exist,  scattered
over a large area in the northern portions of Siam, small groups or
tribes containing some of the most  primitive  people  in  the  world,
hitherto quite unknown to science, and who only come into contact
with the local villagers on rare occasions. Mr. Wergeni  is  much  to
be congratulated on being the first European observer to meet with
some of these people and  to  record  definite  observations  about
them ; it is much to be hoped that he will  continue  this  interesting

       As  regards   Majo r  Seidenfaden's  remark  that  the  Phi  Tong
Lu'ang are "perhaps the only existing tribe on the earth (or  at  least
in Asia) whose members really go entirely naked," without  wishing
in any way to deny this statement, I  should be  inclined  to  doubt  it.
I believe, for instance, the Jarawas who inhabit the densest forests
of  the  Andaman  Islands are quite unclothed. Moreover, in spite of
all the travel and  exploration  that  has  taken  place  there  are  still,
even nowadays, large tracts of  the  earth  still  quite  unknown  and
inhabited by many very primitive tribes, as for instance, in the basin
of the Amazon River.

       As   very   little   is   yet   known  about  the  Phi  Tong  Lu'ang  of
Siam, I send herewith a short note on a few of the Phi Tong Lu'ang
met  by   Khun Wilas Wanawitaya of the Siamese Forest Service in
May 1925. It is rather  unfortunate  that  this  official  did  not  realize
at the time the  great  interest  of  such  an  occurrence, and  conse-
quently made no special notes nor observations.But,he has kindly
written down all that he could remember about it.

       The following is the account given by Khun Wilas :








       "On  May  22nd  1925, while  on  tour, I  marched  from  Ban   Den
Lek  to  Ban  Siew  in  the  Amphur   Saantaw, Changwad  Utradit. On
entering the latter  village, I  saw 6 or 7 wild  people  whom  the  local
people call Phi Tong Lu'ang.

       They  were  all  males, some  young  and  some  old. They   each
held a long  lance  in  their  hand  and  they  all  had  a  double-edged
dagger in a  sheath  stuck  into  their  waists  at  the  back. They  wore
only shabby  little  pieces  of  cloth  round  their  loins  which  scarcely
concealed   their   persons.  Their   complexion   was   very  dark,   the
pupils   of   their   eyes   were  of  bluish  colour, their  teeth  were  very
white, their noses were of the  Mongolian  type and  I  was told  locally
that  their  hair  was  fairly  curly  and  of  brownish  colour, but  on  this
occasion  when  I  met them,  they  had  cut their  hair  so  short  that  I
could   not   possibly   distinguish   whether   it   was  straight  or  curly.
Their finger-nails and toe-nails were curved and projected to a length
of not less than one inch, like  claws. Their  bodies  were  of  ordinary
size covered with soft brownish-coloured hair.

       A   most   horrible  odour   emanated    from   their   bodies,  which
made me feel quite  sick  on  approaching them, so  that  it  appeared
that they were never in the habit of bathing nor washing.

       They   all   appeared   to   be   timid   and  shy.  They   did  not   talk
to one another, but no doubt they have their own dialect. My
elephant-man started to ask them some questions in Siamese,which
only two older men among them  with  greyish  hair could  understand,
but   these  two  men  were  able  to  give  us  perfectly  clear  answers.
They said they had come to  the  village  to  get  matches  and  shabby
torn  clothes, that   they  had  no  use  for  money, nor  for  new  clothes
nor for anything else; that   they  lived  on  some  kinds  of  forest  roots
and bulbs and  especially  on  the  flesh  of  wild  animals  which  they
usually   killed   with   their   lances,  while  beating  the  jungles.  They
also informed us that they used bamboo-culms  as  cooking  utensils.

        On  being  asked  where  they  lived  they  pointed   to   some   dis-
tant mountain ranges; thus  ended  our  interview  and   they  went  off
into  the  village  on  their   own  business. About   dusk   they   left,  ex-
pecting to spend the night in some distant place, as they could  in  no
way be persuaded to stay over-night in the village








       Some  of   the   villagers   told   me  that   they   used  to  bring  in
honey and bees-wax and barter these in exchange for matches and
old clothes. They also told me that these people  sometimes  came
into the village wearing apparel made of leaves."



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