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"The next thing which attracted my attention, was the wall which surrounded the whole settlement, for the protection of the gardens from the intrusions of the wild beasts.
"A place of worship has also been erected, capable of seating two hundred persons. On the Lord's day, I was delighted to see the females coming into it, clothed neatly in white and printed cottons; and the men dressed like Europeans, and carrying their Bibles or Testaments under their arms; sitting upon benches instead of upon the ground, as formerly, and singing the praises of God with solemnity and harmony from their Psalmbooks, turning in their Bibles to the text that was given out, and listening to the sermon with serious attention. I also found a church of Christ, consisting of about forty-five believing Hottentots, with whom I had several times an opportunity of commemorating the death of our Lord.
and likely to be instrumental of good to his fellowcountrymen on his return; but God, whose thoughts are not as ours, saw fit to call him to an eternal world, professing, as a sinner, his sole dependence on the Saviour. I bow to his holy will, saying, Amen.
"Thus, sir," says Mr. Campbell to the late Rev. George Burder, " have I given you, as well as I could, chiefly from memory, a circumstantial account of that Hottentot town, in both its states, of barbarism and civilization; the latter effected by the introduction of Christian doctrines and duties, of both of which they were as ignorant as brutes only six years before. The facts I have stated were seen and heard by myself when present with them, while in both conditions. I remember my worthy colleague, Dr. Philip, who was with me on this visit to the kraal, while we were viewing these improvements, more than once whispered into my ear, What exquisite pleasure this sight must give you, having seen them in their barbarous state!""
"On the week-days I found a school, consisting of seventy children, regularly taught in the place of worship. The teacher was a Hottentot lad, who was actually a young savage when I first visited Is not here then abundant proof that the great the Kraal, and who, perhaps, had never seen a instrument of civilization is the Gospel? We say printed word in his life. When I first looked in then to all to whom these remarks may come,at the door of the school, this lad was mending a the missionary is the great instrument for the civipen, which a girl had brought him for that pur-lization of the world; be it yours to act in a manpose; this action was such a proof of civiliza- ner worthy of such a conviction. tion, that, reflecting at the moment on his former savage condition, I was almost overwhelmed.
"I found a considerable extent of land outside the wall, which the Hottentots plough and sow with wheat every year, though a portion of it is destroyed annually, by the cattle getting into it, while the herd-boys are fast asleep; and from which no punishment could altogether deter them. An officer of the Hottentot regiment told me, that had they shot all the Hottentot soldiers who were found asleep upon their guard, they must have shot the whole regiment; and what would have been the use of officers, then?' said he.
"Indolence and procrastination of labour are almost universal among the Hottentots. At all our stations they endeavour to put off digging their gardens, and ploughing their fields, as long as possible, with this apology—' It is time enough yet?
"Soon after the death of Mr. Pacalt, the government of the Cape colony, in order to perpetuate the memory of that excellent and laborious missionary, was pleased to alter the name of the settlement from Hooge Kraal, to Pacaltsdorp (or Pacaltstown); which spontaneous act was equally creditable to the government, and to the excellent man whose memory will thus be perpetuated.
"Dikkop, who was chief of the kraal, and who petitioned for a missionary on my first visit, was also dead before my return; and Paul Dikkop, whom I brought with me to England, and who lately died (we hope in the Lord,) was a son of his, and was making considerable progress in his education,
THE INDIANS OF BRITISH GUIANA. Or the various races of mankind none better deserves the attention of every inquiring mind than that which constitutes the aboriginal population of the Western Continent-the American Indian. The Indians would merit attention, ¡if merely from the fact that their ancestors were the original possessors of that new world to which so much of the intelligence, the activity, and the enterprise of the inhabitants of the other half of the globe has been directed during a period of three centuries and a half; excited either by the desire of conquest, the cravings of avarice and rapacity, or the more useful and enduring pursuits of commercial industry; but they derive a still stronger claim to it from the consideration that they are the representatives of a people, whose land has been taken from them and possessed by the more powerful white man, and that upon the justice or injustice of the future treatment which they may experience from him, depends their gradual extermination from the face of the earth, or their advancement in Christianity and civilization. Every fresh accession of information, therefore, with regard either to the present condition of the Indian population of America, or to their habits and wants, is to be regarded as important, inasmuch as it assists in developing the means by which their
the English, Venezuelan, and Brazilian govern- | porgress, and the Berbice, to the latitude of ments, by the former of which it is prolonged as 3° 58', at which point a path leads across to the far south as the chain of mountains called the Essequibo and another to the Corentyn. In a Sierra Acarai, which, in about the first parallel of subsequent expedition between September, 1837, north latitude, forms the natural separation be- and June, 1839, he succeeded in reaching one of the tween the rivers which flow by a northerly course sources of the Essequibo; afterwards (departing into the Atlantic, and those which run in the oppo- from Fort San Joaquim on the River Branco) he site direction into the Amazon-the great river of visited the Roraima mountains, whence, proceeding the southern half of the American continent. The westward, he arrived within less than fifty miles counties of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice, of of the probable sources of the Orinoco, which he which it consists, were finally taken by the British was only prevented from reaching by dissensions from the Dutch in the year 1803, and were, in among the Indian tribes in the vicinity. Embark1831, united into one colony under the name of ing on the Orinoco he descended its stream as far British Guiana. The most important geographical as the village of Esmeralda, which had, thirty-nine feature of the country consists in the succession of years previously, been reached by Humboldt from rivers-the Essequibo, the Demerara, and the Ber- the westward, and where that traveller had found a bice, by which it is traversed throughout from Christian settlement, numbering in population south to north, and the Corentyn, which forms its eighty persons. "The cross before the village," eastern boundary. All of these afford easy and says Mr. Schomburgk, "still showed that its inhaextensive means of internal communication; and bitants professed to be Christians; but their numthe largest of them, the Essequibo, is brought, ber had dwindled to a single family, a patriarch through its tributary streams, almost into connec- and his grand-children." A few miles below Esmetion with the affluents of the great river Amazon; ralda the Orinoco divides into two great branches, furnishing thereby the means of intercourse with one of which pursues its circuitous course to the the whole of the immense tract of country drained Atlantic, while the other, called the Cassiquiare, by the latter river. The chains of mountains by flows in a different direction to the River Negro, a which the colony is crossed or bounded, do not, in tributary of the Amazon, forming a remarkable general, attain a greater height than from 3000 to connection between two of the largest river-systems 4000 feet above the level of the sea; the highest is of S. America. Our traveller passed by the Cassithe group called Roraima, in the Pacaraima moun- quiare into the River Negro, descended that stream tains, which Mr. Schomburgk estimates at 5000 to the point where it receives the River Branco, feet above the table-land, or 7,500 feet above the and, thence passing up the latter river, returned to sea. In regard to soil, climate, native productions, Fort S. Joaquim; since his departure from which and capability for supplying in abundance the he had made a circuit of about 2200 miles, through most valuable plants and vegetables of the torrid a country almost unknown to Europeans, and inzone, there is abundant evidence to show that habited by tribes who were not unfrequently hostile British Guiana surpasses all the other possessions to the objects of the expedition. The fullness and of Britain in the western hemisphere, and is not in- completeness of Mr. Schomburgk's observations, ferior to any part of the globe. The whole popula- both astronomical and physical, upon the position, tion of the colony, exclusive of the aboriginal or In- the climate, soil, natural productions, and capabilidian inhabitants, is estimated to amount to 98,000 ties of the country through which he passed, can persons, more than five-sixths of whom consist of only be appreciated (and that but in a small denegroes, who were in the condition of slaves until gree), by those who will take the trouble of perusing the recent act of emancipation. The only towns his detailed reports upon his progress. They exhiworthy of mention are George-town (formerly called bit geography, as it had only previously been exhiStaebrock), the capital, on the eastern bank of the bited by Humboldt, as allied with almost the entire Demerara River, with a population of 20,000; and circle of the physical sciences; and they prove him New Amsterdam, near the mouth of the river to be the worthy successor of that great explorer Berbice, containing 2900 inhabitants. The princi- of the regions of tropical America. pal article of cultivation and of export is sugar, besides which coffee and cotton are grown in large quantities, and their produce is capable of extension to an indefinite amount.
In the course of his expeditions into the interior, during the years 1835, 6, and 7, Mr. Schomburgk successively ascended the Essequibo as far as the falls named by him William the Fourth's Cataract, and its tributary, the Rupununy, to 21° of north latitude, the Corentyn, as far as the parallel of 4o 21', where a series of falls impeded his farther
Throughout the whole of Guiana are thinly scattered tribes of native Indians, the relics of the once powerful possessors of the continent. Mr. Schomburgk enumerates ten of these, the most powerful among whom are the Macusies and the Arecunas, who dwell on the southern and southwestern borders of the colony. The former of these numbers about 3000 individuals, about half of whom dwell within the limits of the British territory; the greater number of the Arecunas live within the Venezuelan borders. The Warraus
THE INDIANS OF BRITISH GUIANA.
and Arawaaks, whose settlements extend along | the coast region, do not exceed 3150; and the whole number of native Indians dwelling within the limits of British Guiana is estimated at about 7000.
Guiana there is much that shows them to be still the untutored children of nature, as well as much that evinces their capability for exertions of a higher order than those which they are at present called on to bring into action. They are exceed
large numbers, on account of their dread of evil spirits, which is so great as to lead the Indian to subject himself to almost any inconvenience rather than venture on a journey alone. This feeling leads them to regard any remarkable object of nature as the abode of beings endued with supernatural powers, and to attribute any difficulties which they may encounter, or misfortunes which may befal them (such as a failure in their crops, or the sudden occurrence of sickness among their tribe), to the agency of the evil spirit. The same cause sometimes induces them to abandon their places of abode, even when no other objection can be urged against them. "Let death,” says Mr. Schomburgk, "have taken place among the more influential
will leave his hut ; the fields may be ripe for crop, or may just have been planted,—nothing can conquer the fear that their further abode at that spot is displeasing to Kanaima, the arch-enemy of the human race."
These Indians congregate together in small set-ingly superstitious; preferring always to travel in tlements, numbering in general about fifty or sixty individuals, including the women and children; their dwellings consist of a few huts, usually built of mud or clay, and thatched with palm-leaves, although they are sometimes quite open at the sides. These erections are, however, different among various tribes; thus the dwellings of the Wapisianas (a tribe who inhabit the banks of the upper Rupununi and Parima) consist of domeshaped huts, without any walls of clay,-the entrance only being plastered, and all the rest being formed of palm-leaves, plaited neatly together. The interior of one of these is described as "resembling entirely a cupola or dome, supported by three beams and several oblique posts. Around it the hammocks were slung, and the different imple-members of the settlement, and every individual ments of the kitchen and chase ranged along the walls. The middle was occupied by a wooden trough, carved and painted after the Indian fashion, and so large that it might contain sixty gallons." This trough is used for the purpose of holding a liquor called piwarrie, formed from the burnt cassada bread, which is chewed for the purpose by the women and children, and subjected to the process of fermentation. This liquor constitutes the favourite beverage of the Indian; and, upon occasions of rejoicing, it is drunk to an excess which is only limited by the capabilities of those present; while, during its consumption, old deeds of valour and tales of dangers encountered form the topics of conversation. The Indians in general cultivate a few provision-fields around their huts, in which are grown cassada, maize, plaintains, sweet potatoes, and other fruits; but the fertility and natural productiveness of the soil is so great that these require but little labour, and even that little is often performed by the women; the men merely clearing the ground, while their wives cultivate it and bring in the crop. A great part of the time of the men is spent in hunting and fishing, and a still larger portion is passed in their hainmocks. Some of the tribes practise tattooing; instead of this, however, the Caribbees (of whom the whole tribe does not exceed 300 in number) stain their bodies, and especially their legs, with a dye obtained from one of the native plants. The females of this tribe also perforate the lobes of their ears with bamboo, and their under lip with wooden pins. In all the tribes the women are generally occupied in preparing the bread made from the root of the cassada plant, or in spinning cotton for the hammocks. The Caribbees excel in making a rude sort of pottery from the clay which abounds on the banks of the rivers. In the customs and feelings of the Indians of
They are also equally fond of expressing their emotions of joy at overcoming any temporary difficulty, or meeting with any unexpected success ; and on such occasions they generally resort to the amusement of dancing, of which they are excessively fond. Their dance is usually accompanied by a monotonous and dirge-like song; and the unvaried and regular movements of the hands and feet, together with the absence of animated expression in their countenances, give them, in the eyes of a stranger, the appearance rather of automata than human beings. When the dance is finished, the leader sets up a shout, which is echoed by all the dancers.
The Indian is emphatically the creature of impulse; thus he sometimes rashly exhibits a degree of courage amounting almost to fool-hardiness, and on occasions when his superstitions or prejudices are excited, manifests an equal amount of timidity; the absence of any consistent principle of action is evident in almost everything that he does. One great failing which prevails among all the tribes is, the neglect shown to aged and sick persons these are often thrust into a corner of the house, neglected and left to themselves; and if confined to their hammocks through weakness, are often left in want of even the necessaries of life. Yet this conduct does not proceed from the absence of the kindly feelings and affections of human nature. Mr. Schomburgk exonerates them from the charge sometimes unjustly brought against them, of want of affection towards their children : "It was a pleasure," he observes, in speaking of a
Wapisiana who had returned from a few days' | prospect of temporal advantage. In this respect journey, "to see his children flock around him, the welfare of the Indian has been more disrehang about his neck, and put a thousand questions garded than that of the natives of almost any to him. He took some cashew-nuts out of his other country; with the exception of a Protestant basket, which caused them great joy, though they mission at Bartika Point (at the junction of the might have got as good at a few yards' distance. | Mazaruny with the Essequibo), and of one or two His wife brought him the youngest child, a baby; private establishments, the colony does not contain he caressed it with the same fondness that a civi- any institution for his instruction and conversion lized being would do." They show, also, more to Christianity. This can only be efficiently acattention to their wives than is generally supposed, complished by the active interference of governparticularly the Caribees, among whom the women ment for the protection of any missions which are regarded more in the light of companions than might be formed in the interior, or near the yet slaves. undetermined boundary between the possessions of Britain and the adjacent states; and it is fervently to be desired, that some plan may be adopted for the furtherance of objects so essential to the welfare of the Indian population, and so closely allied to the general interests of humanity.
One great fault charged against the Indians, and not without justice, is that of indolence; but this, as well as the unsettled and wandering habits by which they are characterised, proceeds from the want of a perception of any advantages likely to accrue from the settled pursuits of industry more than from natural disinclination to labour. Their few wants in a state of nature are supplied almost without labour, by the fertility of the soil; and, not being attached to any particular locality by the necessity for regular exertion, they desert their settlements on the slightest occasions, and wander from one place to another with the most capricious disregard of the social benefits to be realised from the demands and habits of settled life. But where just means have been used to obtain their services as labourers, and a fair remuneration has been afforded them in return, they have shown themselves both industrious and trustworthy; and, with the adoption of more regular habits, a desire for the comforts and enjoyments of civilized life has been awakened in them, and a degree of self-respect engendered thereby, which is one of the surest safeguards against their relapsing into the practices of barbarism. Numbers of the Indians near the coast-regions have been engaged in the employments of felling and squaring timber, splitting staves and shingles, and occupations of a similar nature, which have proved both their capability and their willingness to labour. It is the opinion of the most experienced wood-cutters, who have had the best opportunities of judging of the comparative value of the Indians and negroes as labourers, that the former possess a decided superiority in this respect. The Indian labourer sets to work with good heart, and continues at it until his task is finished; besides which, he often remains working after the usual hours of labour; and nothing but good treatment and fair dealing is wanted to make him an invaluable assistant in the cultivation of the soil.
But it is not merely the means of exercising his industry fairly that the Indian requires, and has a right to expect, from the colonists of British Guiana; he stands in need also of that moral and religious instruction which will supply higher incentives to improvement than can be inspired by the mere
We cannot conclude this brief notice of the Indians of British Guiana better than in the words of Mr. Schomburgk, their able and eloquent advocate. He justly observes, that "their forlorn situation engages all our sympathy. Their present history is the finale of a tragical drama ;—a whole race of men is wasting away; but heartless is the assertion, unworthy of our philanthropic age, that the indigenous race of the new world is unsusceptible of elevation, and that no power of princes, philosophy, or Christianity, can arrest its gloomy progress towards certain destruction. Such a heartless idea could not have been adopted by him who had lived with them, who had studied their character. I speak from experience when I assert that the Indian is as capable of progressive improvement, and the establishment among his tribe of social order, European arts, and Christian morals, as were the Teutonic races in their infancy, who emerged progressively from the greatest barbarism to the bright station which they at present occupy among the most civilized nations of Europe. Let us compare their present condition with the picture which Tacitus drew of the social state and manners of these Germans; and we may yet hope, that if proper measures were adopted to raise the Indian from his forlorn situation, these efforts would be crowned equally with success *."
It is good to know the disposition of the counsellor, that we may the better judge of his counsel; which, if we find good, we shall do well to follow, whatever may be his motives.-Feltham.
*The information contained in this paper has been chiefly drawn from Mr. Schomburgk's "Reports" of his several expeditions, contained in the sixth, seventh, and tenth volumes, of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, for the years 1836, 1837, and 1840; and from his "Description of British Guiana, geographical and statistical," &c-London, 1840.