The Southeast Asian Negrito พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย John H. Brandt   




                         THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO

            Further Notes on the Negrito of South Thailand


                                      John H. Brandt


          Professor  Carleton  S. Coon  wrote  in  his  recent  publication
" The Origin of Races ", " One of the  most  controversial  subjects  in
human taxonomy is the classification of Pygmies, including principally
those  of  Africa,  the  Andaman  Islands, the  Semang  of  the  Malay
Peninsula, and the Philippine Negrito."  In  his  reclassification  of  the
races he has placed the Asiatic Negrito in a grouping with the  Austra-
loid  proper,  including  as  an  additional  race  within  the  Australiod
subspecies of man, the Tasmanian and Papuan-Melanesian.
          Negroids however, in the more traditional  racial  classifications,
are usually divided into African Negroids and Oceanic Negroids, which
include the Papuan-Melanesian and the South  East  Asian  Negroids.
Among the Asian Negroids are the pygmoid Aetas of  the  Philippines,
the various tribal groups of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal
and the Semang Negrito of the Malay Peninsula.
          Although a pygmoid type of being, the Tapiro  and  the  Aiome
Pygmy of Central New Guinea, the Bismark Mountains and the upper
Jimmi River, related by physical appearance and  blood  relationships
to the Papuan has evolved, only the African Negro and  the  Negroids
of Asia  have  produced  true  pygmoid  versions  of  themselves. The
former in the Bambuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in  the  Congo  and
other pygmoid groups extending into the forests of West Africa  com-
prising some five known groups.
           The Asian Negrito are today represented by surviving members
of some twelve tribal divisions consisting  of  approximately 2,000  in-
dividuals of the Andaman Islands where several  tribes  have  already
ceased to exist or have been reduced to such low numbers that their
survival as a cultural entity is doubtful. The  Andamanese  Negrito  is
probably one of the only pure examples of this  subrace  surviving  to-
day since the Andamans till very recent times have been completely




28                                        John H. Brandt
isolated from contact with  the Asiatic  Mainland. In  the  Philippines,
roughly 25,000 Negrito live on  several  of  the  larger  islands  of  the
archipelago. Some 3,000 Semang Negrito, divided into seven  known
bands, today inhabit  the  jungled  interior  of  Northern  Malaya  and
northward on the Peninsula of Thailand as far as 8? N. Latitude.(See
Brandt 1962 ). Currently dwelling only in  remote  jungled  mountains,
the Negrito seem to have in the past also been lowland  and  coastal
dwellers who were pushed into the interior by encroaching Malays or
Thai. The surviving tribes of the Andamans still are  adept  fisherman
and use canoes in coastal waters.
           At times the pygmoid bushman of the Kalahari desert of South
Africa is also classified among true pygmies.
           The now extinct  inhabitants of Tasmania have been  described
as Negrito of medium  stature with  broad  noses, thick  lips,  medium
facial protrusion, frizzly  black hair and brachycephalic  skulls  in  con-
trast   to  the  present  long  headed,  dolicocephalic,  Australoid.  For
Negritos to have reached Tasmania  from the  Australian  continent, a
crossing of water at the Bass Straits would have been required by boat,
assuming a late  migration   southward  from  Asia  proper. Even  here
islands of the Furneaux, Curtis and Kents would have facilitated  such
a passage. Earlier migration from Asia could have been accomplished
by a short boat trip across the straits seperating the Sunda and Sahul
shelves of present Indonesia which joined  Borneo,  Malaya,  Sumatra
and Java in the former and Australia,  New  Guinea  and  Tasmania  in
the latter, for some million years during the  Pleistocene. An  alternate
theory of Tasmanian origins by simple  craft  from  the  New  Hebrides
exists. However, more reasonable speculation is that  Australia   itself
was originally inhabited by Negrito  people  later  replaced  by  Austra-
loids pushing south from the Asian Mainland. Further support is given
this proposition by the  fact  that  the  Australian  aborigine  of  today,
are themselves divided into what appear to  be  three  sub-types. One
a southern type with profuse body hair; a sparse haired dark  northern
variety and a frizzly  haired  negroid  stock  from  the  rain  forests  of
Queensland, which intermixed and was largely replaced  by  the  two
others. This Negritic element, it is suggested, is  the  remaining  rem-
nant of the original inhabitants.





                       THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                       29

           Further east, the Sahul shelf continued on to include several  of
the larger Melanesian  islands  of  the  western  Pacific. In  tracing   the
migrations of the Polynesians across the Pacific, Dr.  Robert C.  Suggs,
points out that there  is  reason  to  believe  that  some  of  the  islands
reached by the Polynesians as early as 800 BC were already occupied
by   Negrito  Pygmy  or  Negroid   groups. The  place  of   "Menuhenes",
or small black forest  dwarfs,  armed  with  long  bows  dwelling  in  the
mountained interior of the islands  is  a  living  part  of  Polynesian  and
Micronesian   mythology  and  folk  lore. The  Negrito  in  all  likelihood
moved into the island  area  on  foot  during  the  Pleistocene  crossing
short distance of water with primitive craft where necessary.
        During this early period, much of  southeast  Asia  was  occupied
by  Negroids  and  primitive  Paleo-Caucasoid   people.  Which  of   the
principle world races developed  first  is  an  unanswered  question  but
many authorities lean towards the Pygmy or Negrito as  being  one  of
the earliest examples of primitive  man  although  this  is  still  not  too
well documented by  fossil  remains.  Contemporaneous  development
or a perhaps slightly later origin is  well  supported  for  the  Australoid
who has been described by Prof. E.A. Hooton as "an archaic  form  of
modern   white man", or  Paleo-Caucasoid.  Mongoloid  intrusion  into
Southeast Asia is of a rather recent vintage and the area seems to have
been largely inhabited by  a  primitive  caucasoid  who  derived  wooly
hair and dark pigmentation from whatever Negroid elements, probably
Negrito, that existed in the area at that time.
        Evidence of an Australoid  existence  on  the  Asiatic  Mainland
has been purported by many  physical  relationships  between  these
people and the remaining Veddahs of Ceylon as well as among several
hill tribes of southern  India.  It  would  be  reasonable  to  include  in
the  Australoid  classification  all  autochthonous Dravidian people of
south India. The Senoi ( Temiar and Semai ) of Central  Malaya  have
suggestions of certain primitive Australoid characteristics as  do  the
Moken or Selung Sea Gypsies of Thailand's west coast centering  in
the Mergui Archipelago of south Burma. Farther north such physical
types are found in the Hairy Ainu of Hokkaido,Sakhalin and the Kuril
Islands of Japan and in certain  bearded  Ainoid  tribes of  the  Amur
River in Siberia.  All of these are marginal people who seem to  have




30                                           John H. Brandt

been pushed by an internal pressure to the outer  periphery  of  the
Asian land mass, all remaining individuals of the type disappearing
at the vortex except for isolated examples.
          The southern Australoid  variant, with  considerable  Negroid
blood, quite probably developed  into  the  present  Papuan.  These
physical types roughly classed as Oceanic Negroid are characterized
by a very dolicocephalic skull,with a cephalic index well below 75,a
deeply depressed nasal root, prognathism and a skull with  straight
sides. Skulls similar in shape have been found in America  and  the
contention gaining in favor is that the first primitive hunters to  enter
North America via the Bering Straits were of this  mixed  Australoid-
Negroid type. These were replaced at  a  much  later  date  by  the
Mongoloid race when it had developed to it's  later  stage  of  Asian
           Both Jos? Imbelloni and Harold Gladwin in their writings on
the populating of the American continent suggest the possibility of
Pygmies having entered the new world. The presence  of  pygmoid
characteristics in some South American Indian groups vaguely indi-
cated possible early pygmoid visitation.While the remaining Austra-
loid-Negroids were gradually being pushed into the outer edges of the
continent, or absorbed, the much later Mongoloids replaced them not
only in Asia but migrated on to become the  American  Indians  of
           Pocket remnants of the early mixed Australoid-Negroid remains
are in evidence on several of the Indonesian Islands such as  among
the Toala in the Celebes and also in Java. Negritic traces are evident
in several remaining Indonesian jungle people on east  Sumatra  and
Borneo as well.
           On the island of Flores in Indonesia, Dutch anthropologists in
1955 discovered several fossilized skeletons identified as Negrito and
gave undocumented evidence of an estimated age of 30,000 to 40,000
           An ancient Negrito skull, which unfortunately  could  not  be
properly dated, was discovered before 1921 under ten feet of alluvial
deposit beneath the Rio Pasig in Manila.   Whatever the arrival date




                       THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                      31

of the Negrito in this area may eventually prove  to  be  it  appears  his
extremely early presence seems indicated.
           Going north into Southeast Asia, several  Neolithic  skulls  and
fragments have been found indicating the  early  presence  of  Negritos.
At Tam Hang and Lang-cuom in Indochina a series of skeletal remains
excavated by French archaeologists  have  been  identified as  Negrito.
Some indications are that these people had started mixing  with  early
Mongoloids which  apparently  began  filtering  into  the  area  in  early
post-glacial times.
           Dr. M. Abadie in 1924 wrote  that  the  Ho-Nhi  tribes  of  Tong-
king had Negrito hair and a  dark  skin  color. A  skull  found  at  Minh-
cam Cave in Annam has been identified as Negrito.
           Early Chinese chronicles identify many  of  the  dark  skinned
jungle people of Indo-China as Negrito and called the people of Funan
(Cambodia)   Negritos.  Natives  of  the  island  of  Pulo  Condore, off
Vietnam, were identified as Negrito  and  ancient  references  identify
Negrito slaves in South China during the Seventh  Century.  Although
such evidence of Negritos is questionable due to loose  interpretation
of   the  word  "Negro"  the  substantiated  apparent  intermingling  of
Negroid, Paleo-Caucasoid and Mongoloid types in the Annamese area
seems to account for the dark skinned types which appears to  have
remained as late as the T'ang Dynasty (700 A.D.).
          On  the Thailand-Cambodian border,  in  the  Cardamon  Moun-
tains,  dwell  dark   skinned  jungle  tribes  called  Porr  or  Chong. Dr.
Jean Brengues classified ulotrichi hair types among these people indi-
cating quite possibly the absorption of a Negrito group  into  the  now
predominantly   Mongoloid  population.  Similar  evidence  of  Negroid
phenotypes throughout Southeast Asia indicate intermixture  with  an
earlier negroid type which existed in the  area. Little  actual  physical
evidence exists in Thailand and Burma of the existence of early Negrito
distribution patterns since little actual field exploration  has  been  done
here. However, in many rural areas a strong  negritic  cast  is  evident
in remote communities of the western part of Thailand and  continuing
south on the Peninsula through the isthmus of Kra.




32                                         John H. Brandt

         The May, Cuci and Ruo tribes of the  mountains  of  Quang-binh
in Vietnam, though racially mixed, show pygmoid elements in  stature,
cephalic and nasal indices, suggesting a possible Negrito relationship.
          In south India, the Kadar of the  Anamalai  Hill  of  Cochin  and
Coimbatore, a short dark pygmoid aboriginal group show strong  negri-
tic characteristics. Based on physical and cultural characteristics the
anthropologists Ehrenfels and  Guha  have  suggested  their  affinities
with the Negrito of Malaya.Some suggested characteristics have also
been observed among the Naga of the Burma-India frontier area.
         Still further afield in  Taiwan, the  researcher  Tadeo  Kano, has
uncovered interesting traditions among Paiwan and Saisat aborigines
regarding former dark skinned dwarfs  on  Taiwan. Certain  areas  are
identified as Negrito burial sites and carry strong local taboos.
         The question of whether a Negrito  is  a  separate  sub-specific
race or a mutated  Negro  undergoing  parallel  development  in  both
Africa and  Asia  is  still  unresolved. Certainly  adverse  living  condi-
tions and ill nourishment  will  produce  individuals  of  short  stature
with examples the Mabri or Phi Tong Luang  of  north  Thailand  who
average for males 152.9 Cms. in height or just over  the pygmy  standard
of 150 Cms. The Veddahs,Lapps, some Eskimos and several jungle
tribes of Asia, Af rica and South America might be so categorized where
because of poor food  and  climate, through  long  selection, the  tall
hereditary lines have gradually been  eliminated  producing  a   short
pygmoid type. However, it is also to be remembered that this  is not
always true and equally unfavorable  environmental  conditions  in  other
instances have permitted continuation of normal sized individuals.
         The other possibility  is  that of a specific mutation  which  was
then, through  selective  breeding  or  adaptability,  developed  to  the
complete extirpation of  the  original  normal  size  factor. This  would
lead to the ultimate development of a pygmy  genotype. There  is  no
indication that a pygmy raised in normal surroundings would become
anything but a pygmy. Yet it seems peculiar that of all the  divergent
varieties of man that only the Negroid would have produced  a  dwarf
version of itself. Perhaps others occured which proved  unsuccessful
although no current evidence of such other  experimentation  on  the
part of nature exists.




                        THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                    33

           Of man's relations among the primates,  the  African  Chimpan-
zee also interestingly has produced a pygmy variety of itself.
            The possibility of ateliotic or achondroplastic development due
to pituitary mal-function has been suggested as a reason  for dwarfing.
Certain   pygmoid  groups,  particularly  the  Bambuti  of  Africa, show
certain features associated with pituitary d?ficiences  such  as  dispro-
protionately large heads, flattened faces and distorted limbs. The  fact
that the pygmy groups are related by blood  gene  frequencies  to  the
non-negroid people around them rather than to each other, has led  to
the speculation that pygmies have come about  due  to  parallel  gene
mutations bringing on such characteristics. By contrast, however, the
Asian Negrito, generally exhibits normal  body  conformation  and  ba-
lance. Yet if parallel gene mutation is considered it  must  be  remem-
bered that there is no evidence that full  sized  negroids  ever  existed
on the Asiatic Mainland nor areas of  the Philippines  and  Andamans
where pygmies exist. The brachycephalic pygmies of the Congo  also
it has been shown do not  bear  much  physical  relationship  to  their
dolicocephalic neighbors in spite of a demonstrated blood similarity.
           Similar environments may produce similar characteristics over
a period of time due to natural selection. Kinky  negroid  hair  is  such
a mutation having adaptive value although  what  this  adaptation is, is
not   fully  understood. Yet  such  mutations, if  adaptive, will  become
rapidly established in small populations such as existed among  primi-
tive  man. It  appears  evident  however  that   whatever   genes   were
responsible for producing pygmy stature types seem oddly connected
with  the  genes  which  produced  wooly  hair. There do not appear to
be any known pygmy types in which this characteristic  is  lacking  to
one degree or another. Since there is no evidence that any  full  sized
Negroes existed east of Central Asia in early times  little  relationship
between  Asiatic  and  African  Negroids  is postulated. Consequently,
whatever Negroid characteristics exist in Southeast Asia seem due to
an archaic negritic strain that developed within  the  Negroid  sub-type
along lines parallel to equatorial Africa having become  established  at
a very early time in the development of primitive man.





34                                               John H. Brandt
            Little recent work has been  done  among the  Semang  Negrito
with the exception of the publications of  Father  Paul  Schesbesta  who
worked among these people in the mid-1920's, Prof. Dr. Hugo Bernatzik
who visited the Tonga  Negrito  of  Trang-Pattalung  Provinces  of  South
Thailand   in   1924;   Mr. I.H.N.   Evans  who  published  his  numerous
studies  on  the  Negrito  in  the  mid  1930's and Brandt in 1961, Other
references  to  the  Negrito  are  included in various publications dealing
with Malayan aborigines, very few of which are of recent date.
          Two groups of Negrito seem  beyond  the  possibilities  of  study.
The  Paya  Semang ( Low  Country  Negrito )  reported  living  in  South
Kedah and the Upper Krian River in Malaya now appear extinct.
            In 1901-1902 Nelson Annandale and Herbert Robinson reported
Negrito   called  Suku  or  Hami  living  in  what  is  now  Yala  Province,
South  Thailand. A  brief  description  of these people given at that time
indicated  a  unique  cultural  group  unrelated  to  the  Jahai, Kintak  or
Kensiu  living  in  adjoining  areas  to  the  south  and  southwest.  Dart
cannisters similar to those made among the Tonga   to  the  Northwest
were described. This group has also  ceased  to  exist  since  the  first
early reports.  
            In 1955, Rodney Needham, made reference in the Bulletin of the
International   Committee  on  Urgent  Anthropological  and  Ethnological
Research, No. 3, 1960,  that  reports  had  been  received  of  an  as  yet
uncontacted   group  of   wild   Negrito   reported  living  on  the  Kenyam
tributary   of    the  Tembeling  River, running  south-east  from  the  flank
of Gunong (Mt. )  Tahan,  Malaya. They  had  been  seen  once  in  1930
and although a search for them  proved  unsuccessful, evidence  of  their
existence in the area was supported by finding abandoned  windscreens
and holes where the women had  extracted  tubers  not  more  than  two
months earlier. What   the  so  called  Tahan  Negrito  are  or  their  rela-
tionship to other known Negrito in the area is still undetermined.
         During   my  studies  of  the Jahai  Negrito  living  in  Rengae  Dis-
trict, Naratiwat  Province, South  Thailand, I received  reports of  another
band which ranged the  drainage  of  the  upper  Saiburi  River  in  Wang
District, Naratiwat.   This  band  is  reportedly  in  contact  with  Thai  or




                             THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                           35

Malay villagers near Tambon Mamung which is about a six hour walk
over a 300 meter divide from Amphur Wang. Earlier reports of this  or
another band reported living near Kampong Balar or Kampang Lukae
which were reported to have  moved  across  from  Kelantan, Malaya
near Kampong Jeli, could not be substantiated. Material  articles ob-
tained from this band through village headmen in Wang, now   in  the
American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  included  a   blowpipe, dart
cannister, poison spatula, tobacco purse, women's hair  combs  and
plaited pack basket. On the basis of decorative patterns,on the  blow-
pipe, in particular, I hesitate to identify  this  group.  Design  patterns
are similar to those found on  Temiar  Senoi  bamboo  pieces  a  con-
siderable distance to the south. Whether  these  items  were  traded
north to the Saiburi River Negrito, as often happens, or if these  were
Malayan Negrito who moved north into Thailand during  the  Malayan
Communist insurrection   is  still  unknown. Some  aspects  of  their
material culture are distinctly  different  from  adjoining  Negrito  and
the possibility exists that these are a distinct previously  unreported,
band.   Further investigation is called for.
         On the other side of the Malay Peninsula,  in  Thailand's  Satun
Province, previously unrecorded Negrito were located during  the 1961
investigation. The location of Negrito bands  identified  as  the  Tonga,
(Mos, Chong) has been established for some time in the Kau Ban Tat
Mountains   which   is   the  southern   hill  extension  of  the  Central
Mountain range running south from Burma and  continuing  on  to  the
mountains of Malaya. These nomadic bands  wandered  in  the  forest
separating Trang and Pattalung Provinces and have  at  various  times
been reported living  near  Ga-Chong  Falls, Trang  and  earlier  in  the
century near NaWong. Reports have also placed  them  on  Mt. Rawn,
Mt. Mamtow and Mt. Mai Dam. They trade now near  a  village  called
Lujangla, Tambon Tamot, Kauchaison District, Pattalung, on the east
drainage of the mountains.
           Bands of what appear to be Tonga are  reported  near Toentek
Falls on Pu Kau Luang, Trang Province and near Pu Kau  Sam  Ngam
in Balien District, Trang, as well as near Pha Ban Taket and Ban Trak,
near the west coast of Satun Province.   These people appear to  have




36                                                   John H. Brandt

little communication with the bands living  on  the  Pattalung  side  of
the mountains.
            In 1961 Negrito were reported to me near the Malay village of
Ban Doan, Tambon  Tung Nui  in  Satun.  Investigation  revealed  that
this band which had reportedly  numbered  thirteen  individuals  as re-
cently as the past ten years was now reduced to one surviving family,
an adult man, a woman and her child.
            This band ranged in the Dong Chuok Chang Forest which ex-
tends  east-west  along  the  Thai-Malay  frontier. The  Negrito  came
regularly  to  the  village  to beg for rice, old clothes and salt in return
for  which  the  Negrito  brought  in rattan or other jungle products. In
return for food, the Negrito would climb coconut palms to collect  the
copra nuts. None of the Ban  Doan  villagers  had  ever  been  to  the
Negrito's camp although the walking distance was not great since the
Negrito's usually arrived by  8:00 AM  in  the  morning at  the  village
every two or three  days. The  Negrito  were  extremely  reluctant  to
point out their camp area and  would  refuse  to  enter  the  village  if
strangers were about. I learned later that local Thais  had  offered  to
buy the Negrito's child and the Negrito had been  told  that  it  would
be stolen from them. The mother  was  extremely  frightened  in  the
village of this possibility and carried the child on her hip at all times.
            Through the assistance of Mr. Harold G. Lierly who resided at
Ban Doan during 1963 and early 1964 we were able to  establish  con-
tact with  this  group  and  gather  some  basic  information  regarding
them. Communication problems existed since the Negrito spoke only
very poor southern dialect Siamese. Due  to  the  fact  that   the  man
was the last male survivor of his group he had  certain  limitations  as
a good source of information. There was of course  no  way  to  cross
check or verify the information received. Contact with  the  band  was
sporadic for about a four months period  during  early  1964.  The  fol-
lowing information was obtained from the  informant,  Hew, a  Negrito
male about thirty years of age, with a badly  crippled  leg  due  to  an
early  accident  which  caused  extreme atrophy  of  the lower  left  limb.
            The band we were told had originally came from  the  vicinity
of Kau  Krai  some  15  miles  to  the  west. The  band  had  however


























































                                THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                           37

wandered in it's  present  locality  for  over 20  years. The  remaining
female of the group,a 22 year old woman named Wa,was born in the
vicinity of Ban Doan and  villagers could  remember  her  as  a  child.
The couple had one female child about 2 years old named Samoi. A
male child called Yiya had died.
          The band had formerly consisted of nine others that could be
recalled; all now dead.
               Name    Sex       Name      Sex
       1.    I-Khaj     Male    6. Isah       Female
       2.    Auan      Male    7. Timah    Female
       3.    Aloj        Male    8. Lamba   Female
       4.    Sinang    Male    9. Diwa     Male Child
       5.    Iya         Female
            If the four couples had any  other  children  they  were  not
remembered or reported. The Negrito advised us that they had had
no contact with other Negrito for this  entire  period  although  they
were aware of the existence of other bands  to  the  north. At  one
unspecified time other Negrito of undetermined origin had come to
Ban Doan to contact this family but had been apparently unsuccessful.
           The Negrito called themselves " Monik " which conforms  with
other  Negrito  deviations  of  the  word  which  refers  to "The People",
themselves. The words Mos, Chong, Tonga which  had  been applied
as Band names to this group were apparently unknown to them.None
of them had ever been to the main Thai trading  centers  at  Satun 39
Kls. to  the  south or  Rattapoom  in Songkhla Province 65 Kls. north.
Negrito formerly traded at Rattapoom but it is assumed  these  came
from Tonga living to the west of the settlement.
           Although reported by villagers to camp in caves near Tung Nui
as had been reported by Skeats and King Chulalongkorn  among  the
Tonga,  our  informant   denied  this. The  Negrito  camp  was  visited
after considerable bribing and after confidence had  been  established.
The crude wind screen of Bamboo and Palm  fronds  was  located  35
minutes walk from the settlement  near  a  small  jungle  stream. The
camp was on a rather percipitous  slope.   The   horizontal   sleeping




38                                            John H. Brandt

platform   met   diagonally  with  the  slope  of  the  mountain. A  small
sheltering fence of palm branches  surrounded  the  platform. This  had
not been reported for other Negrito  and  may  have  been  designed  to
protect the infant  since  no  other  persons  were  in  the  camp  which
might normally have been  available  to  watch  the  child. Leaves  were
used as bedding. Skeats had earlier reported green  leaves  on  Negrito
sleeping platforms but Schebesta questioned whether Negritos ever did
this as he had never seen this during his long residence  among  them.
             The Negrito had a small swing built on a branch of a tree which
is a previously unreported recreational device. It  was  also  reportedly
used during courtship at which time love songs were sung. The camp
had dried salted river fish  hung  up  which  had  been  caught  in  the
stream. The preservation technique may have been learned  from  the
Malays since  food  preservation  of  any  kind  is  not  typical  of  the
Negrito. Shortly after this visit the  Negrito  broke  camp  and  moved.
Attempts to visit the new camp site were unsuccessful.
            Drinking water was stored in a joint of bamboo and  cooking
was done in an old metal pot that had been obtained by  barter. The
small storage baskets at the camp had also been obtained from the
Malay.  The   Negrito   claimed   food   taboos  against  Tiger,  Bear,
Elephant, Frog, Lizard, Duck, Pig and  Deer. Villagers said  the  Ne-
grito refused beef  as  well.  Pork  was  of  course not  offered  in  a
Moslem  Malay  village. The   food   taboos   conform   with    those
reported  for  the  Tonga  who  also  will  not  eat  Rhino. The  group
maintained no special food taboos during pregnancy and both sexes
ate together.
           Both  Negrito  wore  discarded  clothing  obtained  from   the
Malays and the woman had a black sarong which she  wore  to  the
village. The predilection  of  the  Tonga  for  discarded  clothing  was
reported as early as the turn of the century. The child was naked ex-
cept for a necklace of old Chinese coins. A necklace of seed  beads
was also worn at times. The  Negrito  attributed  magical  properties
to monkey bones as do other  Negrito  bands. The  Negrito  claimed
not to know how to make bark cloth from the Ipoh tree.




                                THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                         39
          The informant stated that the dead were buried approximately
15 inches under-ground wrapped in cloth or Banana leaves. The
head faced the west and the body was placed with the arms extended
at the sides. Mourning lasted for 5 days. A windscreen was built
over the grave and food offerings were made. This follows the
burial practice of the Jahai and Lanoh Negrito in Malaya. The grave
is not revisited. Ghosts were reported to appear white and human
although they did not eat. Ghosts also reportedly wore clothing.
The Tonga had reported to me that a spirit's face shines in the dark
but our informant could not confirm this. The Tonga concept of
heaven in the western sky to which a "soul" goes by climbing a Nipa
Palm and then jumping over a stream was not understood by these
Negrito although their "heaven" did lie in the west. This "heaven"
had no Tiger and Elephant as in the Tonga belief but the Negrito ad-
vised us that men and women go to separate heavens. No children
are born in heaven and families are not reunited after death. This
lack of reunification differs from the Tonga.
             Although the Tonga normally pay a bride price of cloth or
trophies of the hunt the band claimed no bride price was necessary
and that residence was matrilocal. Children are delivered in a lying
position in contrast to typical Negrito parturition which is in a squat-
ting position. The informant stated that incestuous relations between
brother and sister were permitted.
            The items of material culture were extremely limited. The
man carried a short stabbing spear with a heavy metal blade which
had been obtained from villagers. The blade was about 10 inches
long and the shaft about 4 feet long. A short stout digging stick
with a spatula shaped metal blade was used to dig out edible jungle
tubers and other roots.
            Weapons made by the Tonga Negrito are rather crude compa-
red to the beautifully decorated blowpipes produced by the Kensiu
and Jahai. The blowpipes made in Satun are undecorated as is
characteristic of the Tonga. Three blowpipes collected measured 4'
10?", 5' 7" and 7' 2". Each was made of a two piece inner bore
joined with a sleeve of bamboo covered with a hardened pitch.   In





40                                                John H. Brandt

blowpipe, Th-1390, the inner bore pieces measured 53" and 33? in-
cluding a 4?" mouthpiece. The outer protective covering was made
of three pieces 38", 16" and 8?" long. The last 19 inches of the inner
bore was uncovered but had apparently been covered at one time by
another extension of the outer covering. The joints were tightly
lashed with rattan and covered with hardened pitch. The ends of
the covering were similarly bound to prevent splitting. The joints
were made of extremely thin lightweight yellowish cane or undeter-
mined species of bamboo. The Negrito in the area do not have
access to a good grade of bamboo with long joints such as are ex-
tensively traded about among the Negrito in Malaya. The bore
diameter of the weapons ranged from 9/16 to 11/16 inches. The
outer bore diameter on blowpipe Th-1930 was 1 inch and on Th-1319
1 1/4 inches.
         The mouthpiece was carved from bamboo and had a crown
built up of gummy pitch with a semi soft consistency similar to
modeling clay.
          A unique instrument found among the band was a bore clean-
ing rod. This has been, I believe, previously unreported among any
Negrito. It consists of a 1/4 inch stick 55" in length. The head has
a backward bound tassel of split rattan fibres lashed fast with rattan
          The poison container was a joint of bamboo 17" x 1 1/4".
The top was stoppered with a wad of leaves and contained a long
thin spatula. The Tonga made use of sap from the tree, Antiaris
toxicaria, for poisoning their darts. The hard chocolate brown sap
is collected by slashing the trunk of the tree and catching the sap
in a bamboo joint. The sap, originally a milky gray, turns dark
and hard upon drying. It becomes very brittle but can be softened
again by heating. The Tonga frequently mix this poison with cooked
sap from a creeper belonging to the genus Strychnos and add chicken
gall and bird fat to increase it's potency. The Satun band claimed
they added "other items" to the poison but would not elaborate on
what the "other" ingredients were.
          Three dart containers were obtained from the group. These
measured 16? x 3?, and 144 x 2?",   Another was 12 inches long.  



















                                THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                       41

All were made from large joints of bamboo. The first was a  polished
joint bound near the top with rattan lashings to which were attached
a fibre cord and a piece of rag for binding the  cannister  around  the
waist. The cannisters of the Kensiu and Jahai are  normally  tucked
into a waistband without a separate strap. The  bottom  of  the  can-
nister on the outside had a heavy coating of the same soft  gummy
material of which the blowpipe mouth pieces were built up.
         Inside the larger of the cannisters were 22 individual tubes of
cane, each containing one poisoned dart. These were arranged around
the walls of the container. The core  was  packed  with  plant  fibre
flocculence probably Caryota or Calamus. This is used  as  an  air
seal behind the dart in the breech so in expelling the projectiles no air
is lost. The medium sized cannister contained 17 dart  tubes.  This
cannister was also of Bamboo from which the glazed  outer coating
had been scraped. Both the Tonga and the now extinct Hami made
cannisters bound about the waist in which each dart was in a separate
container. Other Negrito bands use small narrow cannisters without
tubes. The Tonga cannisters and blowpipes are also unique in  that
they   are   without   decoration. Among   other  Negrito, decorative
patterns have important significance as attractants for game  or  to
prevent animals from being afraid of the hunter  through  it's  magic
properties.Most Negrito consider undecorated blowpipes as ineffec-
          On the outside of the larger cannister were two sharpened bone
awls, 5 3/4" and  4 1/4" long  placed  under  the  rattan  binding.  Al-
though their utilitarian purpose  was  quite  probably  otherwise,  the
informant said they were used for removing  splinters  from  his  feet.
          The rather heavy darts were 14" long  and  made  of  what ap-
peared to be palm wood. 3 1/4" from the tip the  darts   were  deeply
notched so as to break off in the wounded animal. On the upper end
was a conical cap of light pithy wood which was cut  to fit  the  bore
diameter. The darts are considerably heavier  than the  light  splinter
like darts made by the Kensiu from Bertam Palm rib.
         The Negrito claimed not to make musical instruments although
Jews Harps have been reported among the Tonga.




42                                            John H. Brandt

            With only one informant, with whom communication and con-
tact was limited, the accuracy of acquired information is questionable.
The intelligence of the informant and his familiarity with  some  of  the
aspects of his culture could not be ascertained. His long isolation from
others of his kind may have dulled his  recollection  of  some  cultural
matters. The items of material culture described may be crude due to
poor craftsmanship rather than being typical of the group, recognizing
that all persons are not  equally gifted  craftsman. His  lack  of  know-
ledge, i.e. regarding musical instruments, may be  due  to  the  same
          The last contact with Hew, Wa and Samoi was on May 24, 1964.
          Note: On April 17, 1964 a Malay woodcutter  from  Ban  Doan
was approached in the forest by a powerfully built bushy haired nude
Negrito man carrying a blowpipe,dart cannister and a long sword like
machete. The Negrito asked in southern dialect Siamese for food and
clothing. The badly frightened Malay guided him to the village  where
he was given a pair of old Khaki  shorts. The  Negrito  did  not  know
apparently how to put on  trousers  and  was  instead  given  an  old
pakoma (short wrap around sarong). He asked  that  food be placed
upon a rock  in  mid stream above the village for him. This was done
and the  food  was  gone next morning. I visited  Ban  Doan  on  this
particular day and  found  the  villagers  extremely  excited  by  their
jungle visitor.   The Negrito did not return after the initial contact.
         Ten days later an entire new band of Negrito,all nude,emerged
from the forest guided by the former visitor who had acted  as  recon-
naissance scout. This group consisted of three adult  females, three
adult males, one male child of approximately 11 years and one male
child of 8 or 9. All asked for clothing and food and  then  returned  to
the forest. The women wore head bands of twisted grasses over closely
cropped   hair. The  male  scout, a   powerfully  built  unusually  tall
Negrito, wore long bushy hair. All members of  the  band  wore  red
dyed fibre neck cords called " gasai ", worn  to  prevent  illness. No
earrings or bracelets were seen.
         The new band soon joined the Negrito family of Ban Doan and
established a joint camp with Hew acting as group leader.  The new















                               THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN NEGRITO                         43

comers were uninhibited and aggressive around the  village  in  contrast
to the normal shy retiring character  of  Negrito. The  two  Negrito  boys
particularly delighted in  grimacing  at  the  Malay  children  fully  aware
of the fears that the  villagers  had  of  the  jungle  people. All  the  men
were armed with blowpipes and poison darts. No permission  could  be
obtained to accompany them to their camp and they advised that  they
would run away if any attempt was made to follow them.
         The band informed us they had formerly  lived  near   Kau  Krai
(where Hew's band had also  originated)  but  had  been   away  from
contact with villages for over six years. On May 24, 1964   the  group
visited Ban Doan and said they were tired  of  eating  rice   and  were
going back into the forest to  live.  Apparently  Hew  and   Wa  joined
the new group which was the first of their race  they  had  seen  in  a
decade. No Negrito has been seen in the village since their departure.
Where they have gone or where from the huge forests they will  again
emerge, and when, no man knows.



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