OUR RACE AND ITS ORIGIN:
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REV. RICHARD TAYLOR, M.A., F.G.S.,
AUTHOR OF "NEW ZEALAND AND ITS INHABITANTS."
THE why and the wherefore form one of the characteristic features of the age we live in. Man is no longer satisfied to take the world as he finds it; he must know how it became what it is--through what changes, alterations, convulsions, it has passed before it acquired its present state. So with organic matter. How did life first arise on the naked and barren surface of our globe?--how did it increase, until the present varied orders of animal and vegetable existence clothed and beautified its surface?
Recent as the consideration of our own race and its origin is, it has almost become the study of the day. It is indeed a subject of the deepest interest to us, and one which must continue to increase in interest in the same degree that the human mind becomes enlarged. The chief sources of information which we have to draw upon in this enquiry are:--First, human speculations; second, geological evidence; third, Scripture records. In reference to the first, I shall not mention any of the traditions and myths of the heathen of old, nor yet of the heathen of the present day.
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The Hindu and Chinese have each peculiar traditions of their origin, and so likewise have the natives of these islands, which are no more puerile than those of other heathen nations; but none of them offer anything to satisfy the enquiring mind as to the origin of his species.
We must turn, then, at once to the speculations of the present age.
In "The Vestiges of the Creation"--a work embodying the opinions of a large number of our modern philosophers--we find the theory of development advocated; that animal life commenced with the simplest form; that the Protozoa was a pure gelatinous substance, such as is often seen on our shores. By some means or other--the way is not very clearly explained--this jelly, from being so constantly cast up on dry land, gradually acquired the power of living upon it, and thus by degrees changed its nature; and, advancing to something else in the course of myriads of ages, passing from one form to another, until at last from the monkey emerged the man; and in the gorilla we are thus taught to behold one of our grand progenitors.
It is said to have been a matter of doubt to some men how they are to discover the difference between themselves and the ape. The following remarks recently made by a celebrated naturalist may serve to decide the question:--"The brain of an adult man is similar to that of an ape; and nevertheless it is developed in some respects in an entirely different manner. Thus, for instance, the folds in the brain of an ape appear first in the inferior lobes, and lastly in the frontal ones. In man, the inverse of this takes place, the frontal folds are the first to appear. From this result perpetual differences during foetal life; and man, in this respect, presents an irresolvable exception to the general rule. Thus at no epoch is this human brain,
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typically so like an ape, actually an ape's brain. One can make of a material man neither a kingdom, a division, a class, an order, nor a family of an order. He is apart from the beings which most resemble him. He appears, pardon the expression, to the eyes of the naturalist, who would class him with the apes, as an anomaly.
In the struggle for life, general experience proves that the most perfect forms survive, whilst the imperfect perish. As a general rule, the malformed perish; but there may be, it is true, exceptions. Where the malformation does not injure the natural strength of the individual, it may survive; but it is not probable even in that case that it will perpetuate the peculiarity of its malformation; but the strongest forms, being the most perfect, live to perpetuate similar perfect forms to their own.
Darwin, on "Species," accounts for this trans mutation of form by what he calls "natural selection," and a "struggle for life."
But, however many and great may be the varieties obtained of the pigeon, the changes which the dog has undergone are far more remarkable; yet it is generally allowed by the zoologist that all have originally sprung from one. Whether we compare the size, external form, shape of skull, or diverse habits, the dog is a striking proof of what great changes they are capable of undergoing--the large hairy Newfoundland; the delicate Italian greyhound, and hairlip dogs of India; the bold bulldog; the timid poodle; the spaniel, delighting in water; the pointer, who will not enter it. The habits, too, so diverse; the natural instincts--one to point, another to carry; one to guard, another to assemble and watch over what has been entrusted to it; and yet, with all these varieties, the genus canis is still the same. We cannot mistake it any
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more than we can the pigeon, with all its artificial acquisitions.
By close observation of the pigeon, and noticing the many and great varieties which have been obtained by selection, he supposes that through similar means one species has thus in time passed into another and a more advanced kind, until at last the perfect form of man appeared; but he candidly owns that whilst it is natural to expect in support of his theory, we should meet with cases of this transition from one species to another, that neither does experience nor geology lend any support to this idea.
Therefore these philosophic speculations, ingenious as they undoubtedly are, do not afford any satisfactory information on the origin of our species, and I doubt not we shall all agree that it is quite as well they do not, for few will be found envious to establish their relationship with lower forms of life.
But even by Darwin's own theory of natural selection and struggle for life, we have a cause assigned which will account for all the varieties of the human race which now exist, and which his warmest supporters cannot deny.
The evidence obtained from geology on this point of inquiry is satisfactory as far as it goes. The oldest human remains which have been discovered, clearly attest the fact that man was the same then that he is now, his frame has undergone no change, from his first appearance on the earth's surface to the present day, he has continued essentially the same.
Therefore we learn two grand truths from geology:--Firstly, that the epoch of man's creation is comparatively recent, in fact that there has not been any later form of animal life discovered, that he was the last and termnating link in the creation.
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Secondly, that he was created a perfect man, not an approximation to one, and as easily to be identified as any of the preserved remains of our race, which are still found in the catacombs of Egypt, are to those of the present day.
But what geology affirms, God's holy word declares, and in plain and simple terms gives an account of man's creation, which is both consonant with reason and geology.
The Bible is by far the most ancient record existing, whatever may be affirmed to the contrary by the advocates of Egyptian, Hindu, or Chinese literature. None of their writings can claim an antiquity at all approaching that of Scripture, and in their puerile myths we can trace few vestiges of truth, and nothing to invalidate the scriptural account of man's creation, that after all the grand convulsions which had shattered our globe, and destroyed its earliest inhabitants, had ceased, and the Creator's fiat had again cemented its fissures and dispelled the darkness which shut out the light of the sun, and likewise caused beauty and order to arise, clothing the renewed surface of the earth with fresh forms of vegetation, and peopling it with new races of inhabitants, over which, man, made in the Divine image, was called forth to preside.
That thus he was the last formed being of an infinitively superior order to the rest of the creation, being endowed with the distinguishing gifts of speech and reason. The Creator breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul; and in token of his higher rank, he was appointed God's vicegerent on earth, the Lord of the Creation, and that power he still wields.
Thus we learn, in opposition to the doctrine of progressive advancement, that man was made perfect; indeed, every species of animal is declared to have been so likewise, each after its kind, and
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therefore one could not have passed into another; and experience proves that none have done so, for each order of creatures continues the same it ever was, and still retains all its peculiar and distinctive features.
But this scriptural account does not at all invalidate the fact that there is a certain amount of resemblance between the human frame and that of many creatures far lower in the scale of the creation, as, for instance, Owen states that in the head of a codfish, 95 per cent, of its bones agree with those of the human skull, are found in the same places, and are called by the same names. It only amounts to this, that out of all the previous creations a superior being has been made whose admirably formed frame embraces some part of each, which in combination tends to render it the perfection of all preceding it, and a suitable receptacle for an immortal spirit.
From this statement of the commencement of our race, we next proceed to consider the many varieties which now people the world.
There are some ethnologists of the present day who deny the Mosaic declaration, that our race originated with a single pair. The great diversity of colour and form found to exist in remote parts of the globe, lead some of them to suppose there were at least three original pairs, others again affirm these are not sufficient, there must have been five of these original pairs, and yet there are others who far exceed these ethnologists in their demands.
At one of the recent meetings at the Ethnological Society, a paper on this subject was read by Mr. Crawfurd in which the assertion was made "that there are distinct varieties in the human species, as there are in the species of other animals, and that it is impossible by change of climate, or food, or circumstances, to produce those marked differences
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which are perceptible amongst mankind, that he considered there are sixty varieties of the human race," and so must have as many original pairs to begin with.
There is one thing at least very evident in this opinion of Mr. Crawfurd, that he is no convert to Darwin's theory of natural selection, and the passing of one species into another, as he evidently implies his belief in the human race having been transmitted from its first parents to the present day unaltered.
It is not contrary, however, to scripture, that the present race of men began with four original pairs. When the antediluvian world perished, the inmates of the ark became the parents of the existing families of men.
But this will not satisfy the president of the Ethnological Society. He affirms "it is impossible for a negro to become white, or a white man to become black by change of food or climate, and the few instances of albinos that are known can only be regarded as monstrosities." Supposing however, such a statement to be true, what does it amount to beyond declaring that one of the primeval pairs must have been white and another black, and that these extremes of colour cannot change, which is by no means agreeable with experience as he himself strangely acknowledges in apparent contradiction of his own assertion, by mentioning some curious cases of monstrosities, such as of a man who had quills like a porcupine, and another who was completely covered with hair, whose children also possessed the same strange peculiarity.
Climate we well know has a decided influence in altering the form and features of man, as a general rule the colour of the inhabitants of a country will have a close connection with its latitude. The colder climates being inhabited by fairer races than the
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warmer ones, and the hottest being the abode of the black.
"Franklin placed different coloured pieces of cloth in the sunshine on the snow, they were so arranged that the rays should fall on them equally; after a certain time he examined them, and found that the black cloth had melted its way deeply into the snow, the yellow to a less extent, and the white not at all. The conclusion Franklin drew was, that surfaces become warm in exact proportion to the depth of their tint, because the darker surface absorbs the greater amount of rays." Hence we see that whilst light coloured persons are less susceptible of the effects of the sun's rays, the dark coloured on the contrary are more so, and thus that each race has naturally tended to acquire the extreme of its own colour, viz., pure white or black, and "explain it as we may there is no fact more certain than that a habit once firmly fixed, once organised in the individual becomes almost as susceptible of transmission as any normal tendency."
What was the original colour of man at his creation? We have no proof that it was white or black, these must rather be regarded as the extremes, and considering that man was in all probability created in a warm climate, without needing artificial means to protect his person, his colour would be more likely to have been either red or brown; but in later ages when the family of man was dispersed and compelled to depart under different leaders from their common abode, who were men selected for superior energy and bravery of character, and often distinguished by strongly marked features which would in some measure be impressed upon their several tribes or clans. As was the case with Jacob and Esau, who, though twin brothers, greatly differed in person and character, one being hairy the other smooth, one being a man of war, the other one of peace, and these were perpetuated in their descendants.
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At the dispersion of the human family, each section would go in that direction which either fancy or circumstances might lead. Thus these embryo nations would have their beginning under as many heads as even the most fastidious of our ethnologists could desire, and whilst some of these bands would most probably still continue to inhabit a similar climate to that of Chaldea, and thus preserve their own peculiar features and colour; others gradually working their way to the north and south, to the colder and hotter regions of the globe. It is highly probable that the one would in process of time, become as much lighter as the other would be darker, according to the increased degree of heat or cold they would be severally subjected to, and the consequent change of habit thus acquired. For whilst the resident of the torrid zone would cast off every garment as an incumbrance, and so expose his skin to the tanning influence of the sun, the other would be compelled by the increased cold of the climate to add to his artificial clothing, and carefully envelop his person in the skins and furs of animals. The body therefore would thus, from two causes, decrease of climatic heat, and increase of clothing gradually acquire an increased lightness of colour, and the same causes continuing to operate through a lengthened period, this distinction of colour would become more marked and fixed, until at length the present extremes would be attained.
It must likewise be remembered, with the climate we have not only the extremes of black and white, but of every intermediate shade as well--the yellow, the red, the brown, and olive. Supposing, therefore, that the red or brown were the original colours of our race. Radiating from them, we should have towards the south the copper, chocolate, and finally the black; in the contrary direction, the olive, the yellow, and lastly the white. And
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with these we should have the following agreement of climate:--That of Chaldea being taken as the primary one, since all view it as the cradle of our race, would be warm; further south it is hot; and, at the equator, burning. To the North of Chaldea it is temperate; still further north it is cold and glacial.
Local circumstances, also, in some instances, materially affect the climate. The sandy deserts of Africa, where there is neither water, grass, or trees to modify the heat of the sun's rays, materially add to its scorching effect on the human skin.
In opposition to this theory, it is asserted that we do not find any race which has greatly changed since we have any historical record; but, it may be answered, what do we really learn from history? Is it anything more than a record of wars and murders; of the setting up and pulling down of kingdoms; of their greatness and grandeur? Anything else is merely incidental. We literally learn nothing of the social state of ancient races from their histories which have reached us.
It is thus taken for granted, as a matter of course, that the black were always black, and the white always white; but surely this remains to be proved.
Of all ancient nations, we seem now to know the most of the social state of the Egyptians, although we are probably the least acquainted with their history. Still, from their pictured walls, fragments of their manufactures, varied implements, preserved in the deep recesses of their catacombs, what an amount of insight have we acquired into the manners and social life of a race which lived nearly three thousand years ago. Compared with these, even the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum are of minor interest, as they are of far inferior
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antiquity. The ruins of Nineveh, indeed, are opening up a page of history of almost equal interest.
The knowledge thus gained of the domestic state and probable appearance of the ancient Egyptians, leads to the conclusion that they were not black, but rather of a red or copper colour. To the ancients very few colours were known, or, more properly speaking, were distinguished by names. It was with them, most likely, as it was amongst the Maori: every dark colour was spoken of as black; even the blue sky was called "pango;" so with red and brown. Any light colour, as yellow, was white; thus the daughters of Jerusalem, though yellow, would be considered white, or fair; and the daughter of Pharoah called herself black, though evidently, from the description given of her in the Song of Solomon, she could not have been so. The declaration of Pharoah's daughter, Solomon's spouse, was, "I am black and yet comely." She bids the daughters of Jerusalem not to look upon her with disdain, for the sun in all his glory had looked upon her, and placed his impress on her cheeks; and although in their estimation she might appear black, yet to Solomon she was "the fairest among women," and he had selected her as his wife. The king speaks of her lips as being like "a thread of scarlet"--so delicate and thin, and compares her temples to "a piece of pomegranite;" thus her lips could not have been thick like the negro's, or her cheeks black, for they are likened to the rich colour of the pomegranite. Hence we may gather that the ancient Egyptian more nearly resembled that of the red race of North America (see Song of Solomon); and this opinion is corroborated by ancient Egyptian paintings, still to be seen in all their temples, tombs, and catacombs. Since that time, however, how much darker have their descendants become?
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This, however, is not a mere surmise, it is a fact of which there is the clearest proof.
Of all races not one has preserved its distinctive nationality more perfectly than the Jew. His strongly marked features of the present day agree with those portrayed by the ancient Egyptian artist and the sculptures of Nineveh. Dispersed and scattered amongst all nations of the world during many ages, the Jew is at once distinguished from all others. But has he been equally uninfluenced by the varied climates he has sojourned in?--has he not become in a great measure assimilated to the colour of those he has lived amongst?
The English and German Jews are many shades lighter than the Spanish and Portuguese, and these in their turn are much lighter than those of Morocco, and still they have all preserved the characteristic features of their race.
But there is still an ancient colony of Jews in India, who are supposed to belong to one of the ten tribes which were carried into captivity by Shalmanazar, who have thus been banished from Israel between two and three thousand years. These have become assimilated to the inhabitants of the torrid zone in colour.
The Malabar Jews are black. The tanning power of the sun is well known, and how soon it tells upon the skin in the beginning of summer. It is the sun that gives the nut-brown shade which all admire and regard as the glow of health.
If the sun has this power in temperate climes, can we be surprised that the European when exposed to the heat of a tropical clime, should become several degrees darker than he was formerly? And if this be the case with him, can we see any improbability in a servile race, such as that of Ham was prophetically doomed to be, becoming black, when their
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hard lot compelled them constantly to endure the heat and burthen of the day? The delicate European in India who carefully defends himself from the heat of the sun, and only dares to stir out after sunset or before sunrise, and never willingly lets it shine upon him, may to a certain extent be viewed as an exception, but we cannot regard him even with his yellow skin as a naturalized inhabitant of that region of the sun, or his sickly offspring who from being thus reared in the shade, look like blanched plants, which soon run up, fade, and die away, unless speedily transferred to a colder clime.
This however would not be the case if they were to be more exposed to the heat, many indeed would never live to be acclimatised, but those who did would gradually acquire the hue of the climate they lived in. This would especially be the case with their children, if their bodies were exposed to the sun in infancy, as those of negro children are, for then the marks of his rays would be indelibly stamped upon their tender skin.
In 1834, the 'Charles Eaton' was wrecked in Torres Straits, and all the crew were murdered by the natives, with the exception of a boy named John Ireland, and the infant son of Captain Doyley, who were afterwards rescued. A brief narrative was published by the former, in which he states that they were both stripped of their clothing, and the effect of the sun on his (the child's skin) became very apparent. In a few months he was not to be distinguished by his colour from the other children, his hair being the only, thing by which he could be known at a distance from its lighter hue. He states also that a dark chocolate is the colour of the inhabitants of those isles.
Can it be doubted, had that poor child been doomed to pass his life amongst those natives, that he would have become nearly as dark as the natives
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themselves, for when once the sun has darkened the rete mucosum, or mucous network of the skin, it does so permanently, and every subsequent shade it gives, assists in perpetuating a still darker hue, for the blacker the dye, the more it absorbs the heat, and thus renders the colour almost indelibly stamped.
The mucous membrane, when once so coloured, must necessarily take a far longer period to remove than it first did to acquire the shade. Still even the negro in process of time may acquire a lighter hue.
Du Chaillu, speaking of the Hill natives states, "in colour they are rather a yellowish black. Indeed, I have remarked, that in all parts of the Continent, from the bounds of the Sahara to the Apingi, the natives of mountainous regions of the interior are much lighter than the people of the sea board and the plains or desert."
I have also noticed a decided difference in the colour of high chiefs and of inferior men; those who have constantly kept their persons covered and not engaged in field labour are much fairer than the rest.
In the New Zealand race there is a decided admixture of the negro, as the woolly hair and facial angle clearly indicate, still, though several shades darker than others, they have evidently lost much of their original colour.
The same may be said of the gipsies, so generally scattered over Europe. They were once without much doubt nearly black, as it is now pretty well ascertained that they are of East Indian origin; they too have lost much of their nominal colour.
Bishop Heber, sailing up the Ganges, states that he came to one of their encampments, and some of them came out of their booths as he passed--"a race that no man can mistake, meet them where
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he may; though they are, as might be expected from their latitude and their exposure to the climate, far blacker here than in England, or even than the usual race of Bengalese.--(Library of Useful Knowledge, vol. ii., p. 149.)
The same may be said of the Esquimaux, who most probably were originally of much darker hue than they now are. "Common experience proves that men who are kept in darkness for a large portion of their lives lose colour, and exhibit an unhealthy palor. Contrast the miner with the mountaineer; the former seems to be blanched, as a plant raised in darkness; the latter glows with health, as though he had absorbed the sunbeams."
The characteristic marks and peculiarities of the various sections of the human race are, perhaps, owing in no small degree to their peculiar circumstances and customs.
The commencement of a tribe is generally occasioned by the hostility of those they secede from, it is in fact a kind of banishment. They wander to a fresh locality, in general inferior to the one they have left, and thus become separated from those they have left, and for a long time from those they, become neighbours too, until they gradually are acquainted with each other, and cease to be viewed with suspicion by them. They are fewer in number, and by constant intermarriages they acquire an identity of features as well as other peculiarities.
Dr. Devay, professor of medicine at Lyons states that polydactilismora (multiplicity of fingers) amongst other things is found where intermarriages of relatives are common. He relates that in a secluded spot where the inhabitants had no communication with other populations,
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the being born with six fingers had become quite common; and that this strange anomaly disappeared some time after a new road had been cut through the place. The same is common in other secluded localities, as also the being web-fingered and toed.
In northern regions where tribes wander exposed to intense cold, having few means of resisting it, dwelling in badly constructed huts, in constant smoke and filth, often in subterranean abodes, it is easy to imagine that in process of time this must be stamped on their features. The oblique eye of the Tartar reminds us at once of smoky hovels. As long as this isolation exists, however numerous the race, these peculiarities must remain.
The negro has hair, properly so termed; and not wool. One difference between the hair of a negro and that of an European consists in the more curled and frizzled condition of the former. This, however, is only a difference in the degree of crispation, some European hair being likewise very crisp. Another difference is in the greater quantity of colouring matter or figment in the hair of the negro. It may be worth while to remark that if this cuticular excrescence of the negro were really not hair but a fine wool, if it were precisely analogous to the finest wool, still this would by no means prove the negro to be of a peculiar and separate stock, since we know that some tribes of animals bear wool, while others of the same species are covered with hair. It is true that in some instances this peculiarity depends immediately on climate, and is subject to vary when the climate is changed; but, in others, it is deeply fixed in the breed, and almost amounts to a permanent variety. (Prichard's "Natural History of Man," p. 104.) This is the case with the sheep in the Brazils; their wool is there converted into coarse hair.
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In the Negro race, the practice of exposing the person to the fierce rays of the sun, and their copious unction of oil must tend to render, not only the body black, but the hair of the head crisp and woolly.
The universal practice of the European, of clothing the person and covering the head, accounts for both the fairness of skin and for the straightness of hair.
Some tribes view a certain form of head as being most becoming. In America there is a tribe which has the practice of pressing the skull of the poor infant between two boards to render it flat, hence they have acquired the sobriquet of Flat Heads. The same custom prevails at the island of Malicolo.
The Maori admires a flat nose as a mark of beauty, and to acquire this, the poor infant must have the bridge of the nose pressed in and broken. To the Chinese a small foot is the grand object of beauty; and to obtain this the infant's shoe is made the measure of the full-grown woman's foot.
Thus each nation has some custom or other which tends to impart a peculiar feature to that section of the human family, and so aids in puzzling ethnologists in accounting for these apparently unaccountable differences, and compels him to demand an increased number of parents for the human race.
The variety of colour in the human hair must likewise be noticed; it is almost as wonderful and difficult to account for, as even the different shades of the skin.
To a certain extent the complexion corresponds with the hair. The bright red is generally accompanied by a freckled skin, the flaxen by the contrast of the lily and the rose in the face, the black by the absence of the latter.
Races may be distinguished by their hair. The
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prevailing colour of the Dane is red, of the Saxon flaxen, and of the Spaniard black. The eye of one is grey, of another blue, and of the last black. The hair of the Dane is curly, of the Saxon wavy, and of the Spaniard straight; and widely separated as the red haired inhabitant of northern Europe is from the Polynesian Isles, yet even there we find his counterpart in the native of Fiji and of some other isles.
The general colour of the New Zealander's hair is black, but instances of brown, flaxen, and red are far from being uncommon.
Climate seems to have a decided influence in determining the colour of the hair. The colonial children of Australia are generally to be distinguished by their white curly locks, as the horses of Normandy are by being so frequently white, whilst those of Australia are chestnut.
The colour of the eye is also a test of its strength. The brown and dark coloured are weaker, and more susceptible of injury from various causes, than the grey or blue eyes. The light blue are generally the most powerful, and next to those are the grey. The lighter the pupil, the longer and greater is the degree of tension the eye can sustain.
The colour of the European is white, but there is almost as much difference between the fair-skinned Saxon and the swarthy Spaniard, as between the Arab and the Negro. The Maori, too, can show as fair a skin as the Spaniard or Portuguese; and proud as the American Spaniard is proverbially of his pure descent, it is rather to be proved by his ancestral pedigree than by the fair complexion of his skin.
It may likewise be remarked that the feelings of the different sections of the human family towards each other are greatly influenced by colour. Each
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race views any difference of colour from his own as a sign of inferiority, and a departure from the law of nature.
The darker races thus distinguish themselves by names which imply both that their colour was originally black, and that they were of the primitive stock. The native of northern Africa calls himself a Moor, the New Zealander, a Maori, and the East Indian, a Hindu; they pride themselves on their pure descent, and severally view other men as their inferiors, as in ancient times the Polish Greek regarded the Persian as a barbarian, and the Jew, too, entertained the same idea of the Gentile world. Paul, wrecked on the isle of Malta, styled its inhabitants barbarians.
Whilst the white has a feeling of abhorrence when he first sees the black, he in his turn experiences a similar one towards the other.
Nor can this be more strongly exemplified than by the fact that each makes the opposite colour to his own to be that of the evil one. With the white, Satan is thought to be black, but with the black, he is supposed to be white. The Maori and Chinese paint him red, and the latter have distinguished our countrymen by the name of red devils. A similar feeling is detected in their respective ideas of mourning, the sign of grief and sorrow with one, black, with the other, white.
It seems natural that each should transfer to the opposite that which he dislikes.
The red Indian speaks with contempt of the pale skins. The white expresses a like feeling towards the niggers and blackamoors. And even the Maori does not conceal his contempt for the "papatea"--the untattoed colourless faced, "waitai"--sons of the ocean.
Nothing is more repulsive to the feelings of the white than the naked figure of his own race. He
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turns from it with disgust; and yet the most delicate and refined do not experience similar feelings in viewing the naked forms of the brown; the colour of the skin being more subdued and less striking to the eye, it seems the most natural. The shark often allows the black and brown swimmer to escape, but darts at once upon the white.
Living as we are at the antipodes of Britain, amongst a section of the brown race, it becomes an interesting subject of inquiry, whence did this section of mankind arise and reach its present remote and isolated position? It has undoubtedly long inhabited these isles, and it will be a fair subject of examination, whether the progressive development theory will apply to it. According to that theory, man has gradually advanced from the monkey, and then from the lowest stage of barbarism, to his present high state of civilisation; but does this hold good with experience? Have we any proof of man being originally in that low and degraded state in which the progressionists would have placed him?
We have in the Mosaic history of the patriarchs an account of the early progress of the arts. Cain built a city, and named it Enoch after his son; Jabal was the father of those who dwelt in tents; Jubal, his brother, was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ; Tubal Cain was the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron; and, in Seth's time, the public worship of God was established. It is therefore evident that, even from the commencement, man was capable of using the distinguishing gift of reason which was bestowed upon him, and of applying it to the same uses which he does now. It is true thai he is a progressive being, capable of the highest state of advancement; that he has always held the highest position, and was never in his commencement the savage pos-
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sessing only the stone celt and arrow-head to gain him a scanty subsistence. Still, it is also true that he is liable to retrograde. He did so when he first fell; he has done so since in many instances.
The Maori is an example; he has retrograded every step in his migratory wanderings. As it cut him off more and more from the rest of the family of man, it diminished the stock of civilised habits he had to draw upon, and made him so much the more destitute--as the man whose pecuniary resources through mismanagement or misfortune gradually fail, is compelled to resign those luxuries and comforts which he formerly enjoyed; so, many sections of the human family have thus fallen from civilisation to barbarism.
The Polynesian, from whatever part of Asia he originally came, was evidently once a civilised member of society. His ancestors appear to have passed to America. The vestiges of his steps there are to be traced in the ruins of cities, in the remnants of customs, and in the relics of language. He is seen later in Mexican and Peruvian civilisation, but of a lower grade. Again is he to be traced in some of his oceanic wanderings--in the huge stone images and massive platforms of squared stones of Easter Island, which attest their connection with the Teocalli, the pyramidical erections of Mexico and Peru, as well as with the morai, or marae, of the Sandwich and Society Isles; whilst in New Zealand the name only of these platforms is preserved, in the marae or sacred court fronting the priest's abode, where all their solemn rites were celebrated. Still further is the connecting link with the Maori to be traced in religion, in language, and in arts. But in each of these steps a receding civilisation is clearly marked.
When Captain Cook visited New Zealand, he saw double canoes, with houses erected on them.
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capable of carrying a large number of men. It is now about fifty years since the last was seen. When Mr. Marsden first visited the North end of this island, he found the yam cultivated there; it has since been lost. Relics of a former civilisation are to be traced in the finely-wrought mats and elaborate embroidery, in their houses, canoes, and power of working the greenstone. The heitiki worn round their necks is remarkable for its Indian form, which closely accords with the figures sculptured in the rock temples of Salsette and Elephanta. Many of their words are Sanscrit, and much of the character of the language as well. So, likewise, are some of their customs to be traced to India, as the immolation of widows on the death of their husbands. In the tradition of the creation are traces of the myth of the mundane to be observed. The complicated tapu, evidently instituted to enable the higher to control the lower classes, marks deep design and wisdom, beyond that of the present day. Even the debased inhabitants of Australia and Tasmania retain some few marks of ancient knowledge and civilisation. They possess the bomerang, which is now viewed as a scientific missile which could only have been invented by a civilised people; and the idea is supported by its being found on the pictured walls of Egypt, and even preserved in its tombs. The mystic rite of corrobory also betokens that their ancestors once had a more complicated system of religion, somewhat corresponding with that of ancient Egypt.
There is not only a great diversity of colour amongst the different sections of the human family, but likewise of feature and size as well. The high cheek bones of the Tartar, and oblique eye of the Calmuck are characteristic of those races.
The diminutive size of the Samoede and Esqui-
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maux, tenants of the frigid zone, and of the Azteck, the inhabitant of tropical America, compared with the gigantic specimens of the Celtic, Saxon, and Patagonian races, must be attributed not only to the effects of climate, but to other causes as well, for if much be owing to extreme of cold, scarcity of food, and discomfort of life, as hinderances to the proper development of the human form, still when the same defects are found in races living in more genial climes, and not subjected to the same evils, it is evident other causes must be sought to account for this peculiarity. As a general rule, the mountaineer excels in size the inhabitant of the plain; but this seems only to apply to man. If the Highlander be tall, his horses and cattle of the neighbouring isles are dwarfs. The Shetland pony and black cattle are perhaps the smallest of their race, it is, however, remarkable, and a proof that every rule has its exception, that whilst they are the inhabitants of cold and stormy isles, the Timor pony belongs to a luxuriant and tropical one.
Whatever may be the difference of colour, form, or feature of the various families of men, there are two grand proofs of their having all radiated from one common centre; and the first of these is the general consent of antiquity. The scriptural account of the dispersion from Chaldea is confirmed by local histories. The gradual moving of the descendants of Ham westward from Babel and Nineveh, where they first located themselves, and from whence they seem to have early emigrated south to Canaan, Arabia, India, and Egypt, and spreading out over that vast continent. The name of their founder seems to have been preserved in that of their god Am or Ammon.
The word Ham signifies head. If we may form an idea of the complexion of the Egyptians from the numerous paintings found in their temples and
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splendidly decorated tombs, in which the colours are quite fresh, we must conclude that this people were of a red copper or light chocolate colour, and that they resembled the reddest of the Fulah and Kafir tribes now existing in Africa.--(Prichard's "Natural History of Man," p. 155.)
Japhet migrated northward and westward, occupying Europe, and perhaps a portion of America. His name being preserved by the Greeks in that of Japhetus.
Shem dwelt in many of the parts vacated by Ham in Arabia, Syria, and Chaldea, but placed his chief abodes on the banks of the Euphrates, Tigris, Indus, and Ganges, hence perhaps the allusion to these rivers chiefly in the Mosaic account of paradise creation. The Chinese appear to claim Noah as their great progenitor, and his name seems to be recognized in that of their reputed founder Fo or Foah.
After these grand and primitive heads of nations, come several smaller migrations. The ten tribes carried to Assyria, and thence dispersed eastward through Asia, southward through India, and from the eastern coast of that continent proceeding to America, and the innumerable Isles of the Pacific ocean, where they are met by other migrations of the same stock from India. The Malay or Polynesian must be viewed as radiating from the same source, but in different lines.
Nor have the descendants of Ham been satisfied with peopling Africa. They are to be traced in the southern extremity of America, in Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and in the East India Isles. At a later period European races stock America, and are now rapidly peopling all those parts which Shem and Ham first colonized,
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and thus at this moment, the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japhet are meeting together in these remote islands of the sea.
But one strong evidence in support of the original unity of our race, is language. The identity of words, the power of tracing them up to one source, has become a study of much interest and one from which great results may be expected, races are now being classed by the affinity of language, rather than by peculiarities of person. The amount of Indian words and roots in European tongues is great, the same may be said of the Polynesian and Malayan. Thus the sancrit radiates N.W., even to Britain, and S.E., to New Zealand and Polynesia. Much too, might be said of the identity of manners, customs, and religious rites, which are similar in the most remote parts of the globe; thus the sacred groves of the Druid may be followed from Canaan to India, and thence through America and Polynesia, to the Wahi Tapu of New Zealand, so encircling the entire globe. In all these we behold the several links of one vast chain, which binds together the whole family of man.
The character of language too is greatly affected by climate and local circumstances. It is not the skin only which changes colour with change of place, but the voice its tone as well. The milder climate and the more euphonious the language. The harsh gutturals and double consonants seem to bring fogs and cold to the mind, while the soft flowing tongues full of vowels betoken a warm climate and sunny skies.
The evidence of language is irrefragable, and it is the only evidence worth listening to with regard to ante-historical periods. It would have been next to impossible to discover any traces of relationship between the swarthy natives of India and their conquerors, whether Alexander or Clive,
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but for the testimony borne by language. What other evidence could have reached back to times when Greece was not peopled by Greeks, nor India by Hindus? What authority would have been strong enough to persuade the Grecian army that their gods and their hero ancestors were the same as those of King Porsus, and convince the English soldier that the same blood was running in his veins and in the veins of the dark Bengalese? And yet there is not an English jury which, after examining the hoary documents of language, would reject the claim of a common descent and a legitimate relationship between Hindu, Greek, and Teuton. Many words still live in India and in England that have witnessed the first separation of the Northern and Southern Aryans. The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, son, daughter, for dog and cow, for heart and tears, for axe and tree, identical in all Indo-European idioms, are like the watchwords of soldiers.--(Max Muller's "History of Ancient Sanscrit Literature," p. 13.)
When it is considered how many causes are continually working together to change and alter everything in nature, the chemical processes and combinations which are ever going on, the great wonder is that man is not more changed and diverse one from another than he is, and, therefore, in spite of difference of colour and other peculiarities, there is still such a wonderful amount of identity between man and man, from whatever part of the globe he may come, and of whatever colour he may be, as plainly proves all have originally sprung from one and the same source. That widely separated and dispersed as he is, cut off from those advantages in one part which are possessed in another, still the outward form, however variously fashioned, is a casket containing a spirit which is alike capable of enlargement in all. This is seen in the early history
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of the coloured race, which is so generally regarded as being greatly inferior to the white.
It is only within the present generation that enlightened England severed the chain of the slave. Even in the Northern States of America the repugnance for the negro is seen on every occasion. The white will not eat with the black, or even travel in the same carriage with them, nay he will not suffer him even to worship God with him in the same temple. During the late revivals in New York, it was stated in one of the public prints, that when a lady, who had some slight shade of colour, presented herself at the door of one of those revival meetings she was politely told that their coloured brethren met together in another place, at the same time apologising and saying "that whatever distinction was made on earth, there would be none in heaven;" and neither should there be on earth. Narrow is the mind that cannot own as brother, the man who has obtained like grace with ourselves, merely because there may be a difference in the respective colour of the skin.
It may appear difficult at first to assign a sufficient reason for that strong feeling of aversion which the white entertains for the coloured races. It does not appear that this feeling altogether depends upon colour, but upon other circumstances as well. In the case of the Maori, many are scarcely a shade darker than the European, still this difference exists; it may, perhaps, be in some measure owing to the Maori being naturally as highly mentally endowed as ourselves, and from this natural strength of mind not being counterbalanced by a corresponding social position. Thus, whilst the first leads him to regard himself as the European's equal, the second causes the European to disallow the claim he sees in the Maori--a savage who does not pay that regard to outward
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appearances which he does, or one who possesses the comforts or conveniences of life which belong to the lowest European; and, therefore, he will not allow him to be his equal, any more than he would allow a wandering gypsy in his native land to be of equal rank with himself, however great his mental endowments might be, so long as he lived like a gypsy. When this unfortunate war commenced, both soldiers and sailors looked with contempt upon the "niggers," as they called the Maori; but when they beheld the calm and undaunted way they resisted superior European force, armed with infinitely superior weapons, and unlimited supplies of food and ammunition; and at the same time witnessed the skill with which the Maori laid his plans and raised his means of defence, so as to equalise as much as possible his means of resistance to those brought against him. Then his best and proper natural feelings were drawn out; he forgot the half-clad savage in the brave and skilful warrior; and even when he fell into the soldier's hands a prisoner, these feelings of admiration led him to fraternise with the man he had before warred with and viewed as a nigger.
Again, much of this feeling arises likewise from the number of the natives being less than our own. In former times, when it was the contrary, and the European felt he was dependent in a great measure on the native for protection, he was constrained to acknowledge him as his equal if not superior; but now, the contrary being the case, the feelings flow back in the contrary direction. His Maori defender, chief, and landlord--one feared, treated with respect, and even fawned upon, is now only looked on as a nigger, clad in loathsome garments. Still, this is not altogether the case. The highest caste of East Indians, Jugam natives, are viewed in a similar way by our countrymen--a sad proof of
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their own ignorant and neglected ideas, coming early to the country without more knowledge than usually belongs to striplings just emerging from the nursery.
But the time will come when succeeding generations will trace back their ancestry with pride to the Maori chief, as the American in many instances now do to the Red Indian warrior; and the deeds, and wisdom, and bravery, of those now reviled will be remembered with respect, and their wonderful efforts to maintain their supremacy of race as proof of the highest kind of patriotism.
After the dispersion of mankind, it is probable that the children of Ham first represented the civilization of the world, and that they continued to do so, and to maintain their ascendancy for many ages. They founded the oldest kingdoms, they first originated laws, and submitted to regular government, they early gave their attention to the various departments of science, they invented hieroglyphics, and afterwards letters, they also turned their attention to painting, sculpture and architecture, nor were the more abstruse sciences unknown, their knowledge of astronomy is a subject of wonder even in the present day. It is remarkable that nearly all the most ancient, enduring, and surprising monuments of human industry and skill now remaining, were reared by the children of Ham; whether we look to Egypt, Babylon, or Nineveh, the imperishable pyramids, built in a form which indicates knowledge of the most enduring shape, the gorgeous temples, the gigantic statues, still existing, attest the departed greatness of their erection. Even in Europe the most surprising colossal and ancient works known as cyclopean, must be attributed to the same.
Whilst the coloured races were living in their highly polished palaces of phorphory, with most if
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not all the comfort of modern civilization, clothed in the finest raiment of dazzling hues, the white was then but a wandering savage, haunting the forest and the plain, living in hollow trees, caves, or wretchedly contrived huts, and deriving a precarious subsistence from the chase, or the indigenous products of the soil, roots, nuts, and acorns.
It is to the coloured race we are chiefly indebted for all those artificial means of support which we now possess.
They first cultivated the cereal grasses, selected those producing the largest grain, ground the wheat in mills which they invented, and made the flour into bread which is now the staff of life. They first found out the art of fermentation and made beer, which still preserves its original Egyptian name, and I believe the same may be said of wine. They found out the art of weaving cloth from the fleece and flax, and clothed themselves with these artificial products instead of skins, writing on the leaves of papyrus, from whence we derive the word paper, even printing too was commenced by them on blocks. Every art of common life was carefully studied, the preparing of food in the most palatable form, became as much a professional study with the ancient Egyptian cook, as the cuisine is now with the polished French. Indeed the progress made in every department of civilized life, extending even unto death itself, as is still to be seen in the carefully preserved mummy, and its elaborately prepared coffin, is such as to excite our astonishment. Nor can there be much doubt on the subject, as both the pictures of ancient Egypt, and the numerous relics of its former days still preserved in its tombs plainly attest. The architect of the celebrated temple of Jerusalem was of the race of Ham, and the very fact of Solomon being obliged to employ Hiram, King of Tyre, is a proof of his superior civilization.
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Commerce, too, originated with the same race. Long before the celebrated ship 'Argo,' the first effort of the white, ploughed the deep, the merchants of Tyre and Carthage had even then visited the remote shores of Britain, and given it its present name, Prit-tan, island of tin.
They had perhaps circumnavigated Africa, they had penetrated the regions of the East, and, with their caravans, had passed the burning deserts, which, with all their fiery dangers, could not arrest their enterprising course.
We cannot, therefore, but regard the Hametic race as the fathers and founders of much which elevates and enlarges the mind of man, and renders him the lord of the creation.
More might be said of their subduing animals to man's use, the horse, the camel, and the bulky elephant, as well as the dog and cat, making the latter the sharer of his hearth. The cow, the sheep, and domestic fowl, he rendered subservient to his will. In a later day the Peruvians tamed the llama and alpaca, and so with the Egyptian share the honour of domesticating animals. Even their wars were made to aid the purpose of civilization, by instructing those they subjected to their rule.
Cadmus and Pelops were coloured missionaries to the white, they carried the arts and sciences of Egypt into Greece, and the first dawn of regeneration to the children of Japhet came from the children of Ham. The barbarous Pelasgi received their rudiments of civilization from Egyptian teachers.
It is interesting to try and form some idea of the probable range of influence exercised by the coloured race in ancient times. Commencing with Ham, we have his four sons, Cush, Misraim, Phut, and Canaan. Ham appears to have been the builder of Babel, but his descendant, Nimrod,
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became the grand founder of that earliest kingdom, and builder of many of its celebrated monuments. Hence the Hametic race may have extended by Cush into India, and there laid the foundation of Indian civilization, which certainly cannot be of an earlier date, whatever its advocates may assert to the contrary. Radiating from Babel, Egypt on the one side, and Canaan on the other were occupied.
The early state of civilization in Canaan is seen from the references made to it in the Bible. Its colonies carried its arts and sciences thence to Carthage. From Ham, therefore, may Africa and a large portion of Asia have become enlightened; idolatry, too, may have originated with his descendants, and the early abandonment of the worship of the true God. Hence, though its first rise was rapid, yet, having attained the summit of human knowledge, without possessing the ability of extending it to spiritual things, its fall became inevitable.
There is a certain bound which human wisdom unaided from above cannot pass; it has been the case with Indian civilization, it was so with that of the race of Ham; professing themselves wise, they became fools, and thus gradually sunk. It erected its noblest temple, it reared its loftiest obelisk, it raised its highest pyramid; and, unable to do more, it gradually subsided until it could build nothing beyond the clay hovels which now form the only shelter of Ham's degenerate descendants; and wherever they are found, there the curse of Noah seems to have followed them. The sons of Shem and Japhet have alike conspired to place the brand of slavery upon the children of Ham; and even the brown race of New Zealand has done the same with the first sable colonists of these islands. Shem early steps into his brother's inheritance, expels him from Asia, confines him to
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Africa, and even there robs him of his chief abodes, leaving him to wander over the desolate portion of his ancient patrimony.
The children of Shem were more warlike, but it is questionable whether they have ever been more civilised. Their empires were larger, but, with one exception, their intellectual powers were not more developed, and that exception was Israel. Enlightened with a knowledge of the true God, of His will, and the way of life eternal, they became a light shining in surrounding darkness. Long inferior to the children of Ham in the arts of civilised life, they were still superior in true wisdom, and this gave them a degree of sanctity and moral supremacy in the sight of their neighbours which became their safety. When Joshua led Israel into Canaan, they found the inhabitants more civilised and powerful than themselves; and although, under Solomon, Israel made great progress in the arts, yet it was Hiram who built the temple, and manned his fleets. But, whatever progress was made in his reign, it was soon lost in succeeding ones.
The spiritual knowledge of Solomon was so extraordinary as to render him conspicuous amongst the surrounding nations. The Queen of Sheba herself, the sable monarch of the children of Ham, came to hear his wisdom. So, likewise, when God honoured that race which alone continued to worship him, by sending his Son to take human form and dwell amongst men, it was as one of the seed of Abraham; and, again, we find the representative of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia, coming to worship at Jerusalem. Shem became a teacher to his brethren in Africa and in Europe. Widely as they were separated, he brought the true light to both. The chief teachers of the world arose from him: Zoroaster, as well as Moses; Christ the Messiah, the true light; and Mahomet, the false prophet.
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The powerful kingdoms of Shem were scarcely set up and made conspicuous, before the despised sons of Japhet, who were once viewed as barbarians, overturned them. Alexander destroyed the powerful empire of Darius, and established his own in its place. The Greek gave way to the Roman, and, in that empire's decline, other powers arose amongst the sons of Japhet, who extended their enterprise beyond the limits of the old world. A new one is opened to their wondering gaze, and the white then first meets the red section of our race; and, in the distant East, he encounters the yellow--the long-hidden Chinese, with his quaint civilisation; and the brown, the inhabitant of India and the innumerable islands of the sea.
God is pleased to restore Japhet to his birthright; makes him the keeper of His Word; and, enlightening him with it, he sends him abroad to the uttermost bounds of the earth, to teach his benighted brethren. He fulfils the prophecy of Noah, and dwells in the tents of Shem as his friend and teacher; he makes his his agent in giving freedom, spiritual as well as temporal, to the children of Ham. The sons of Japhet attain a deeper knowledge of nature and its laws, and a loftier view of God and his attributes, with a more correct estimate of man's mission on earth; and thus, with the highest degree of civilisation yet attained, arising from the knowledge of God and its humanising tendency, he becomes admirably adapted for the office of the world's teacher, the grand dispenser of God's will, and the usherer-in of that perfection which man is to attain when all the glorious designs of Providence shall receive their full consummation; and the three sons of Noah shall again be united as the members of one family, ever more to live in peace and harmony together.
PRINTED BY ROBERT J. CREIGHTON, AUCKLAND.