The Colonization of Primitive Peoples with special Consideration of the Problem of the Selung. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik.   

BERNATZIK, HUGO ADOLF. THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES WITH SPECIAL CONSIDERATION OF THE PROBLEM OF THE SELUNG. JSS. VOL.31. (pt.1) 1939. p.17-28

 

 

17 

           THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES WITH SPECIAL
                  CONSIDERATION OF THE PROBLEM OF THE SELUNG.

                                                             by

                                         Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik.

            Translated (with the addition of footnotes) by H. H. Prince
                                          Devawongs Varodaya.

Ethnology  is  a   science   which   has   for   its   object   the   study   of
the   peoples   of   this   earth. It  goes  without  saying  that  it  is  devoted
above  all  to  a  study  of  the  so - called  primitive peoples, or  rather,  to
peoples living in a  state  of  nature. For  these  alone  are  able, at  least
to  a   certain   extent,  to   clear   up   the   obscurity  of  the  history  of  the
development of the human race, its associations and its migrations ; for
we here still find remnants  of  otherwise  long  since  past  ages. Hence
we ethnologists see with regret that, in consequence of  the  penetration
of   European  -  American   civilisation,  these  peoples  are  everywhere
about   to   become  extinct. Just   to  pick  out  one  example,  the  fate of
the Indians in America has become a byword.

In    Africa,  the  oldest  strata   of  human  civilisation, even  the  highly
civilised,  have  become  either  quite  eradicated, or  heavily  decimated.
I  myself  was  in  West  Africa  in  the  year  1930  in  search  of  the  Kas-
sanga, a people about whom only the  first  Portuguese  discoverers  in
the   17th   century   give   any   account.  At    that    time    they    were   a
powerful nation and  one  could  estimate  at  over  30,000  the  number
of   their   warriors.  The   district   is   still   to-day   called   Kassamanco
after   their   great   King   Kassa. After   many   months   of   search   we
found  at  last  a  few  dilapidated  huts, which  were   inhabited  by  204
demoralised,  half  -  civilised   natives. It   was  all  that  was  left  of  the
once powerful tribe.

On the gigantic Australian continent,  which  to  -day  is  inhabited  by
only   about   six   million   odd  people, but   which, without  any  special

 

 

 

 

 

18                                 Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik                             [VOL. XXXI

 

improvement,   could   easily  provide  living  room  for  far  over  thirty
millions, the case is much  sadder still. Of  the  many  hundred  thou-
sand, perhaps even million members of the black population, whom
the first discoverers found, only a little more than a few thousand are
left.

In Tasmania  the  original  inhabitants  disappeared  within  a  few
decades so quickly and thoroughly that the Museum in Sydney to-day
cannot so much as show a complete  collection  of  the  relics  of  the
material culture of these  natives.The  British  part  of  the  Solomons
is inhabited  to - day  by  about 80,000  natives. A  few  decades  ago,
however, this number was many times as great. These sad examples
may be continued in an endless succession.

A few months ago a thoughtless official  said to  me : We  should
extirpate all the peoples living in a state of nature, in order  to  make
more room for us. These words are characteristic of a wide-spread
erroneous  idea. The   extinction  of   the   peoples  living  in  a  state
of nature would mean not only  an irretrievable loss  to  science, but
also, irrespective of ethical motives, bring about  serious  economic
injury to the colonists.

How are these peoples now to remain protected and preserved, and
what rôle in this process falls to the science of ethnology ?

In every colonisation the following fundamental rule is  observed,
namely, that every specialisation(1) has been at  the expense of  the
capacity for adaptation. This  holds  good  not  only  for ontogenesis,(2)
but also for phylogenesis(3) Hence if the environment of such a people
were suddenly, either in a natural or artificial way, to  be changed, it
dies out without the cause becoming evident. In such cases one finds
generally only a slight resistance against certain  diseases,  which  to
other   peoples  are  not  at  all  dangerous. This  law  of   the  failing
capacity for adaptation, besides, holds good only for certain groups
of  peoples. It   holds  not  only  for  all  primitive   peoples, such   as
hunters and gatherers, but  also  for peoples of a higher sphere  of

 _________________________________________________________

(1) Biology.—Adaptation in the structure of  an  entire  organism  for  life  in
particular surroundings, or for particular habits.

(2) —the   history   of  the  individual,  development  of  a  organised  being
as distinguished from phylogenesis.

(3) —a biological term applied to the evolution or genealogical history of a
race or tribe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                 THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES                   19

 

civilisation,  and   above   all   for   nomadic  cattle - rearers,  who  in  the
course of time have extensively adapted themselves to nature and  with
whom   one   cannot,  therefore,  without  serious  injury,  forcibly  bridge
over between to-day and to-morrow what  would  require  thousands  of
years   in   their   development. It   does   not   hold   good,   however,  for
peoples  of  higher  culture  as,  for  instance, Indians, Tamils, Burmese,
Siamese,  Chinese,  Japanese,  etc. The  relinquishment    of    the   old
culture   and   their   assimilation   of   European  -  American   forms   of
civilisation have brought on no such consequences with these peoples,
because they have already extensively made  themselves  independent
of nature in the course of   a  natural  development , as  it  were,  without
losing their capacity for adaptation.

That it is, however, also  possible  to  colonise  specialised  peoples
without   destroying   them,  Sweden   offers   an   excellent  example  by
way of evidence.

A few decades ago  the  Swedish  Government  was of  the  opinion
that   it   was   their   mission   to   civilise  and  to  settle  the  people  of
Lapland,  who   were   leading   a  nomadic  life  with  enormous  herds
of  reindeers  in  northern  Sweden. The  Laplanders  were  with  some
difficulty prevailed upon  to  settle  down,  and  the  children  were  sent
with the Swedish children to the village  schools.  These  schools  had
the disadvantage  that  the  children  were  excluded, just  in  the  most
impressionable age, from every  task  which  devolved  upon  them  as
future   breeders  of   reindeers.  They  learnt,  it  is  true, a  good  many
things,   the  knowledge  of   which  is  quite  advantageous  in  Europe :
they  did  not  learn,  however,  to  look  after  reindeers  nor  to  throw  a
lasso, and  they  acquired  no  knowledge  about  the  breeding  of rein-
deers or  anything  else  belonging  to  the  life  of  a  nomad. Many  got
accustomed to the settlements to such a degree and picked up in their
intercourse with the settlers  so  much  of  the  nature of  the  peasants,
that   they   lost   the   desire   to  know  anything  more  of  the  life  of  a
reindeer  and  gave  up  their  racial  character. In  spite  of  that  it  was
not possible for them  to  adapt  themselves  suddenly  to  the  new  re-
lationship and they died by the  hundreds  of  tuberculosis,  a  disease
from which  they  had  remained  fully  spared  during  their  wandering
life.

And the reindeers, for the breeding  of  which  a  nomadic  existence
is presupposed, went astray and fell a victim in great  numbers  to  the
wolves and bears. Wide lands, which  in  consequence  of  their  north-

 

 

 

 

 

20                                 Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik                               [VOL. XXXI

 

ern   situation   or   height   lay   outside   arable   limits,  thus  lost   their
unique inhabitants and the  Swedish  Government  had  soon  to admit,
that the farming of reindeers was  the  only  possible  way  of using  the
waste land to  the  best  advantage  economically.  From  that  consider-
ation the policy with regard to  the  Laplanders  was  radically  changed.
Ethnologists  established  the  conditions  and  presuppositions of  life
among the Laplanders, the settlement was  forbidden  and  in  the year
1925 new school regulations for the Laplanders were drawn up, which
have   become  a  foundation  for  the  preservation  of  a  nomadic race.
The nomadic schools of Sweden,established on the basis of  these re-
gulations,  can   immediately   be   taken   as   a   model. They  are  fully
adapted   to   the   life  of  the  Laplanders. The  children  learn, besides
reading, writing, calculating and domestic  duties,  everything  that  they
must  subsequently  know  as  breeders   of   reindeers.  Wherever  any
families of Laplanders camp for a long time, so-called "abode-schools"
are erected. Besides, there are  also  the  proper  travelling  schools, in
which the instruction is given in tents and which change their  stopping
places continually with the  wandering  of  big  families.  Carefully  train-
ed women teachers, who are always of Laplander origin, give lessons
in seminaries of their own;  for  parents  and  children  bestow  only  on
a member of their own people the confidence that is so  necessary  for
beneficial work. Besides, Swedes could hardly endure in  the long  run
the primitive life of a peat cottage or a wandering tent.

In the " abode-schools " the children are put under the care of one of
their own "  housekeepers,"  whilst  the  parents  move  further  into  the
mountains  with  their  herds. The  parents  are  glad  that  the  children
need not join in some of these hard wanderings  and  that  they  are  in
good keeping.

At the same time the Government  has  created  an  organisation  in
order to render possible  for  the  Laplanders  the  fullest  utilisation  of
the reindeers. To-day  the  Laplanders  pay  their  taxes  to  the  Govern-
ment in reindeers and the skin and meat  of  many  thousands  of  rein-
deers  are   exported   to   all  parts  of  the  world. The  number  of  rein-
deers in Sweden has  again  multiplied  in  these  few  years,  and  the
state   of  health  and  the  standard  of  living  of  the  Laplanders  have
vastly improved.

Such experiences have caused the English to employ professional
ethnologists   in   certain   colonies,  who  observe  the   Government's

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                   THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES                   21

 

measures with regard to the natives and give advice as to their expe-
diency. By this means excellent results have been obtained.

I myself had the opportunity  of  observing a  most  interesting  ex-
periment in Papua under British - Australian  suzerainty.  Sir  Hubert
Murray, the Governor,  desired  to  preserve  the  environment  of  the
Motu,a race of the Melanesian coast.He tried to insert them,together
with their environment, into a  European - American  sphere  of  civili-
sation. For this purpose he was induced to issue a regulation,which
prohibited the natives from wearing European  clothes  and  forbade
the traders to provide them  with  European  means  of  subsistence
and   comfort,  This  called   forth   a  storm  of  indignation  amongst
traders as well  as  missionaries  : the  former  were  of  the  opinion
that such  regulations  would  ruin  their  business,  whilst  the  latter
asserted  that  the  very scanty dress of the natives was immoral. Sir
Hubert  Murray,  however, remained firm  and  up  to to-day  one  can
indeed see in Port Moresby, the chief town of Papua, by the  side  of
the elegant automobiles of the white residents, the members of  the
Motu race wandering about the streets naked except  for  a  tiny  loin-
cloth.

Perhaps it will now be asked, what is  the  use  then  of  colonisa-
tion ? The colonist needs markets for the sale of goods  and  it  cannot
be his mission to keep the people to be colonised from  buying  his
wares. On the south coast of  New  Guinea  the  circumstances  are
quite   different.  The  land   is   very   sparely   settled, and   an  extra-
ordinarily fertile soil renders possible  the cultivation  of  all  tropical,
and in the mountains, of many useful European plants. The tropical
damp climate, however, hinders members of the white race from doing-
physical   work   to   any   great  extent. Sir  Hubert  Murray  has  now
altogether renounced the creation of a market for the sale of goods,
but in its place has preserved for the  land  the  labour  which  it  ab-
solutely  needed  for  the  carrying  on  of  its  plantations. For, as  a
matter of fact, it may be asserted that in Papua the  number  of  the
Motu, if it has not actually increased, has at least not decreased. And
if one considers the catastrophic extinction of all the older races of
people in the South Seas and  in  the  rest  of  Guinea, this  should
already be appreciated as a success.

I should like now to give an account of my observations concerning
a people, whom the Siamese call Tshaonam, the Burmese, Selon or
Selung, and the  Malays,  Orang  Laut  or  Orang  Louta ; but  they  call

 

 

 

 

 

 

22                                    Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik                              [VOL. XXXI

 

themselves Moken, and I shall therefore  retain  this  name  in  my
discussion of them.

Accompanied by my wife,my mission was to investigate ethnolo-
gically the Moken and to clear up the conflicting statements  in  the
literature concerning their origin and migration. We visited  for  this
purpose a great many islands, made  an  exhaustive  study  of  the
Moken and their  language,  investigated  them  psychologically  accord-
ing to the tests of development worked out by  the  Buhler  Institute
in Vienna and ensured a complete museum collection, illustrating their
material culture. I should  like  now  to  single  out  from  this  study
certain points which appear to me to be of  special  importance  for  the
problem broached at the beginning of this paper.

The Moken inhabit the islands of the Mergui Archipelago, islands
of the west coast of the Peninsula of Siam, and of the Malay  Penin-
sula. Their   number   in   Burma  is  given  in  the  census  of  India
of the year 1901 as 1,325, and in the census of 1911,as 1,984.The
number  in  Siam  is  estimated  by  Credner  at  a few hundred. No
estimate from the Malay Peninsula is known to me.

From old literature and from reports of English officials it is known
that the Moken had to suffer from slave-hunts, which were organised
chiefly   by   Malays,  in   the   most    breezy   manner.  Robbing   the
Moken seemed to be partly life's business, partly  downright    sport.
An  attempt  at  colonisation  by  the  English was after a  short  time
given up on account of its complete failure. An attempt  on  the  part
of the mission under the leadership of White, who  brought  over  to
Moulmein a few Moken in order to learn their  language, also  failed
altogether. So it happens that even to - day  the  overwhelming  part
of the Mergui Archipelago is not administered by the British  Govern-
ment and numerous islands have not  been  once  mapped  out. In
Government circles there is a general disinterestedness, which  by
reason of the experiences just described seems quite comprehensible.
A high Government official once said  to  me : Why  should  I  trouble
myself  with  the  Moken ? Often  have  I  tried to approach these peo-
ple, but they have always run away from me.

On  the  other  hand I was surprised at the great number of expen-
sively  furnished  villas  of  the traders in Mergui, who owe their great
wealth to the sea-products collected by the Moken. Herein appeared
to me to lie a certain discrepancy with the experiences of the Govern-
ment circles just described,

 

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES                    23

 

We equipped ourselves in Mergui, hired  a motor sailing-boat  and
visited different islands, but soon, however, convinced ourselves that
the   statements    about   the   difficulty   of   an   approach   were   not
exaggerated. Although   we   were  accompanied  by  a  Moken  in  the
service of a Chinese trader, who served us as interpreter, we did  not
succeed in approaching the inmates  of  the  various  Moken vessels,
which we several times  sighted.  In  every  case  the  natives  took  to
flight and disappeared into the  wide  mangrove  swamps.  When we
once, however, surprised twelve boats  on  the  beach, which had  no
time to  flee,  the  inmates  left  their  boats  in  the  lurch, seized  their
children and as much household - stuff  as  they  could  carry  on  the
shoulders and disappeared into the thick jungle. Attempts  for  hours
to get them to come back with the  help  of  our  interpreter  remained
quite ineffectual.

We determined, therefore, to try our luck  with  the  help  of  one  of
the Malay traders who buy the sea-products collected by  the  Moken.
On Lampi Island we at  last  succeeded  in  getting  to  know  one  of
them.

There were there about a hundred and twenty Moken—the  inmates
of twenty-one boats who, as was their custom, had erected just before
the rainy season temporary huts  on  the  beach. The  trader  bought
from  them  tin  ore,  which   they   extracted   in   the   most   primitive
manner not far from the beach and  in  the  shallows  bordering   the
shore, and other products of the sea,which he received in exchange
for opium and provisions, chiefly  rice  and  sugar. With  the  help  of
this Malay it was now possible for us to convince  the  Moken  of our
harmlessness. When I had succeeded in curing a series of  illnesses,
the confidence of the Moken was obtained and soon, upon excursions
extending further and further, we could seek out  a  greater  number
of temporary settlements and wandering groups  and  stay   among
them,  without   their   ever   thinking   of   taking   to   flight.  Now   on
the basis of personal observation we could make  the  following  state-
ments.  The   insecurity   with   regard  to  their  rights, by  which  the
Moken, according  to  ancient  records  used  to  be threatened, has
hardly   changed   even  to-day. The  reports  of  robberies  from  the
fishermen, even   to   the  theft  of  women  and  children, by  Malays,
Chinese and Burmese, were numerous. The singular fact  that  the
Moken never defend themselves, and from olden times have possessed
no defensive-not to mention offensive-weapons but  seek  their  salvation

 

 

 

 

 

24                                 Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik                               [VOL. XXXI

 

solely in flight, facilitates for the  aggressors  their  rapacious  activity
and makes the Moken a coveted prey, to whom no  mercy  is  shown.
To our repeated questions why they did not bring these  facts  to  the
knowledge   of  the  Anglo-Indian  Government, who  would  certainly
make amends, we received from the Moken the stereotyped answer :
they would onl y put  us  in  prison  or  sell  us  as  slaves. Surprised,
we investigated further how the  people  came  to  entertain  this  cer-
tainly  unjust  idea  and  it  turned  out  that  it  was  the  traders   who,
through the spreading of such false rumours, were thus successfully
preventing the Government from shaking their privileged position.

In explanation of this privileged position I must, to be sure,  enter
into particulars with regard to  the  foundation  of  this quite singular
trade.  Each   trader   first   of   all   exerts  himself   to   the  extent  of
" marrying " a Moken maid whom he treats well and whom he trains
as a sort of decoy-bird  for  the  rest  of  her  tribe, as  the  family-ties
are the strongest ties of the Moken.  Then  he  accustoms  his  new
relatives to the pleasure of opium, which is not smoked but eaten, and
tells them afterwards that they would die, if they  were  to  try  to  free
themselves from the vice. The Moken are  very  easily  influenced. If
one of them cannot obtain the drug and feels the clinical symptoms
of deprivation, he begins already to think that he must die.

As soon as the Moken are accustomed to the pleasure of opium,
they are defrauded by the trader in an absolutely incredible manner.
Officially the Moken working for the trader as  divers  and  collectors
of birds-nests receive one rupee—about  two Austrian shillings—a
day. By far the greater part of the wages, however, is as  a rule paid
out in opium, for which the traders calculate ten  to  fifteen times the
price which they themselves have to pay as duty in the  opium  shops
licensed by the Government. Since, moreover, the Moken  know  no
higher numerals, no calculating and no standard of values, it is easy
for the traders to get into their hands really  extraordinarily  valuable
products such as pearls  and  amber for a  minute  fraction of  their
value. The sources of  the  riches of the Mergui traders began to be-
come clear to us.

We were further able to establish why the spreading of cholera is
not    unjustly  attributed  to  the  Moken. That  is  to  say, when  mem-
bers of a community are taken ill with an epidemic such as cholera
or small-pox, they, being animists, think that only speedy  flight  can
protect them from the wrath of the gods who have been insulted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                  THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES                 25

 

The   corpses  are  thrown  in   all  haste  on  the  beach,  often  in  the
neighbourhood  of  the  rare fresh-water springs, and in wild flight the
natives  disperse  over  the whole region,  taking  with  them  the  sick
and thus preparing further death and destruction.

Moreover we were able to establish that  the  number  of  the  Moken
given in the census is not  in  accordance with   the   facts. This   is   pro-
bably because the Moken successfully concealed themselves from the
census officials in their hiding places, into which the motor  vessels  of
the    Government    could   not   follow   them . I  think  that  in  Burmese
territory     alone    one    must    reckon    over   5,000   inhabitants.   Still
less  can  I  believe  in  the  increase  of  the  population, as  it   appears
from   a   comparison   of   the   two  numbers  of  the  census. All  signs
point  on  the  contrary  to  a  decrease  in  the  population.  Already   the
last cholera epidemic alone claimed numerous victims  and, in  survey-
ing the family history  of  our  protégés, we  met  again  and  again  with
the   stereotyped   statement  :  Died   a  short  time  ago  of  cholera  or
fever. And the sight  of  many   fresh  skeletons  on  the  burial  grounds
(the Moken even to-day still make use of platforms  on  remote  islands
to deposit their dead) makes this s upposition  appear  to  be  the right
one. This  is  all  the  more  noteworthy  as  the  vitality,  the  number  of
children and the state of health  of  the  Moken  in  general  are  all  that
one could wish. Besides  cholera  and  small - pox  they  have to suffer
chiefly  from  scabies,  ringworm,  hook-worm  and, not   least, malaria.
Now  and  then  tropical  ulcers, yaws  and  venereal  diseases  play  a
rôle, and  other  generally  prevalent  diseases,  over  which  European
medicine   has  now  fully  gained  control.  Even  the  most  dangerous
contagious diseases  can  be  almost  eliminated  without  difficulty  by
means of prophylactic inoculation.

It  is  furthermore  important  to  recognise  that  the Moken, although
they are dependent  on the  products of the sea, have no knowledge of
highly  developed  fishery. Fishing-traps and fishing-fences are just as
unknown to them as fish-hooks and  every  method  of  fish-preserving.
They  catch  a  small  number  of fish with harpoons or dive after  them
with  fish-spears ; for  the rest, the  various snails and mussels, which
they collect during the  ebbtide, and  the  tubers  of  roots  and  fruits of
the forest form their chief source of nourishment.

The  social  organization  is  built  upon the authority of a father. The
unit  is  the  big  family, which  for  the  time  being  lives  in a boat. The
inmates   of   from  five  to  ten  boats  form  a  community. Only  before

 

 

 

 

 

 

26                                 Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik                                   [VOL. XXXI

 

the   beginning   of   the  Monsoon  storms  do   they  unite  into   bigger
groups in order to erect  temporary  huts  on  bays  protected  from  the
storm, which  after  a  few  months are again mostly abandoned. Each
big family lives in such a hut for a time.

The  personal  liberty  of  the  individual  is  extensively  guaranteed.
Some old people, especially  the  Shamans,(4) enjoy  a  special  popu-
larity and considerable authority.

From the psychological examinations there was  revealed  an  early
and sound development of the sensitive faculty, an excellent control of
the body as well as outstanding social qualities : on the other hand an
inferior ability to learn,  which  is  based  in  no  wise  on  the  failing  of
the   imitative   instinct,  which   on  the  contrary   is   well   formed,  but
rather on their weak retentive power, which also comprises the lingual
retentive  power.  The  faculty  to  prove  oneself  practical  almost  com-
pletely failed, but  not  the  perseverance  to  accomplish.  Likewise the
revelation of intellect and indeed the understanding of the  association
of  sense and  form, as in the use of tools, failed almost entirely. From
further   investigation   there   resulted   the   interesting   fact   that   the
majority  of  the  Moken  of both sexes were not able to pass the qualifi-
cation  test  for  admission  to  the  schools.And  the  work done by the
women was somewhat below that of  the  men. That  means, in  other
words, that   a   great   part   of   the   Moken   do   not  reach  that  quali-
fication  standard, which  is  presumed  of  a  six  year  old    European
child attending the first class of a public elementary school.

From these ethnological  and  psychological  facts  we  can  clearly
deduce the kind of colonisation which, for the  Moken  alone,  appears
to be appropriate and possible.

  1. It would be well to leave out of consideration every  attempt at a
    permanent settlement. For the giving of any  instruction, regard
    should be paid to the wanderings of the Moken, which are dependent
    on the season.

  2. As the Moken are amenable to treatment  by  European  doctors
    and gladly submit to it, one should first consider the way to treat
    them. To begin with, those places where a primitive   tin-mining

_____________________________________________________________ 

(4) Shamanism — Primarily,  the  primitive  religion   of   the  Ural  -  altaic   peo-
ples   of   Northern   Asia   and   Europe,  in  which t he  unseen  world  of  gods,
demons and ancestral spirits is conceived to be responsive only to the Shamans,
mediumistic   magicians.  Hence   also,  any  similar   religion,  especially  that   of
some American Indians, where the medicine - man performs  the  same  function,

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                   THE COLONIZATION OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES                      27

 

industry offers an easy approach to the Moken, should  be  made  easy
of access. In these places, also, measures could be taken against the
false rumours  spread  by  the  traders.  According  to  our  experiences
there  is  no  difficulty  in  winning  over  the  Shamans  or chieftains, as
soon as they see that the European docto r is  able  to  cure  diseases
against which they themselves stand defenceless.

To  carry  out   the  work,  a  moderately  sized  motor boat with good
medical equipment would suffice for  the  present.  In  a  comparatively
short time a number of assistants would be found amongst the Moken
themselves, and it would not be   long  before  the  Moken  would  have
lost their absolutely morbid fear of Government officials.

3. The   sale  of   opium   by    the  traders  to  the  Moken  should  be
entirely forbidden and the treatment of  addicts  should  be  introduced,
which, owing   to   the   fact   that  these  people  are  easily  influenced,
should  no t be  difficult. I,  myself, made  an  interesting  experiment.  I
asked  one  of  the  worst  addicts  of  the  Moken  whether  he  wished
to  be  free  of   his  vice.  When  he  joyfully  answered in the affirmative,
I gave him pastiles  of  common  soda  and  described  to  him  exactly
how  he  had  to  reduce  the  daily  dose  of  his  opium. I  warned  him
not to take any  more  of  his  drug, as  my  medicine  might   otherwise
kill   him. As   a   result   the   man   entirely   got   rid   of  his  bad  habit
of   eating   opium  in  an  astonishingly  short  time and, so  long  as  I
could observe, suffered no relapse at all.

The sale of opium should be allowed only direct from  Government
agencies and only to such opium addicts as  are  to  be  found  in  the
registers. The delivery of  opium  would  have  to  be  discontinued  in
the course of the year, as otherwise up till  then  the  organisation  for
sale, mentioned below in section 5, would replace the depleted supplies.

     4. As  seen  from the above  psychological  investigations, it  would

be   quite  futile to attempt to bring up and instruct  the  Moken   accord-

ing t o  European fashion. It would be,   however,  quite  possible  and

advisable to teach the Moken how to improve their methods of fishing.

The setting up of wheels and traps, they could easily learn, as well as

the manufacture, and use of fishing-nets. It would be most   desirable

to teach the Moken further the manufacture of fish and shrimp  pastes,

as well as the preserving of fish by smoking and drying.

     5. At the  same  time  an  organisation  unde r Government  control

should superintend the sale of the products  of  the  Moken. The carry-

ing    out   of   this   work   with   the  active  participation  of  the  Moken

 

 

 

 

 

28                                  Dr. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik                           [VOL. XXXI

 

would be all the more easy as the social organisation as  well  as  the
social qualities of the Moken are on the  whole  very  conducive  to  the
success of such an organisation.

The disposal of goods would offer no difficulties,  as  for  almost  all
the products, such as edible birds-nests, pearls, amber, fish-pastes and
dried fish the demand to-day greatly exceeds the suppty.

Moreover it should be the object of the sales organisation to recover
the loss which the  British - Indian  Government  has  suffered  through
the suppression of the revenue derived from the  trade concessions in
sea-products.

6. The last, and, if I may  say  so,  obvious  obligation  would  be   the
granting of State protection for the life and property of the Moken.
The results of these efforts would be :—

a. The preservation of  the  inhabitants of  an  otherwise  almost  unin-
habited, and for other peoples uninhabitable, territory.

b. The  keeping   within   bounds   of   the  severely  endemic   cholera
epidemics   in   the  neighbouring  Burmese  and  Siamese  frontier-terri-
tories.

c. The utilisation of  sea - products, for  the  acquisition  of  which  the
Moken as no other people appear  peculiarly  fitted  in  consequence  of
their physical and psychical disposition.

To  sum  up,  the  economic  yields  of  a  territory  now  almost   worth-
less would be very considerably  increased  and  at  the  same  time  the
original   inhabitants   would  experience a  substantial  improvement  of
their   circumstances   within   the   bounds of  ethnological  possibilities.
The gain consequently would be for the good of  the  colonising  as  well
as of the colonised peoples,—a principle,the observance of which alone
not only justifies colonisation morally, but  also  guarantees  its duration !

 

 

  

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