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They have always received Europeans hospitably, but it have often cut their throats. The Portuguese, Dutch, Fate te and French have all been massacred in their turns; but with a I firmly believe, that the Madagascans would never have a stris) been carried to such an excess of cruelty, had they not tani been driven by intolerable oppression to overstep their train natural character. They are kind and hospitable: and eval it is certainly a very short-sighted avarice which leads "licare the Europeans to force these people to take in exchange Zeit i fox their commodities, muskets, powder, and ball, staten which they afterwards employ against them, instead in mod of piastres which they would willingly accept. Money see is not, indeed, amongst them a representative of all.com other commodities; they put it to more useful purposes, na by making it into rings, (for they have goldsmiths and in other metal workers), bracelets, ear-rings, and thin plates, with which they adorn themselves, their wives, children, and their arms. A strong proof of the mildness, humanity, and kind dispositions of these islanders is, that, at a time when they and the Europeans found it necessary to be mutually on their guard, the naturalists traversed all parts of the country without arma and every where met with a favourable reception. • There are four very distinct races of men in Mad
gascar: the first are very black, with short curly ha and appear to be aborigenes of the island. The sec inhabit the interior provinces. They are tawny, withl straight hair, and are called Matamboos. They are tinually at war with the first race, and are less este because they are not so strong, and are in genera indolent: in features they much resemble the M The third race inhabit the south, and part of th
coast. They are descended from some Arabs, who, in ancient times settled themselves there after a shipwreck. They have preserved the features, and some of the customs of their ancestors, but have no knowledge of them. They only say that that they are not natives of the country, and consider themselves as children of the sea, which threw their forefathers on this coast. They write the Madagascar language with Arabie characters on a coarse kind of paper, which they manufacture themselves from the bark of a tree, by beating. They likewise write on the leaves of a tree of the banana kind, tracing the letters with a bodkin in the Indian manner. At first they are not very distinguishable, but, on drying become extremely black. These men are regarded as sages by all the inhabitants of the coast, who do not fail to have recourse to them, when they are in any difficulty, and have auguries or sacrifices to perform. . The fourth race inhabit the high mountains, and are remarkable for their littleness. These dwarfs are called Kimos or Quimos, and are distinguished by a pale colour, and by arms so long that they can reach their knees without stooping,
The aborigenes of Madagascar are clever and intelligent, but abandoned to the most profound indolence, The Quimos are accounted the most intelligent, active, and warlike people of the island. They have a double portion of courage compared to their size. Never have they suffered themselves to be oppressed by their neigh
bours, who have often attempted to subjugate them. • What makes their bravery more conspicuous is, that that they are not acquainted, like their enemies, with the use of fire-arms, and are very inferior in number, It must, however, be acknowledged, that they are ; greatly indebted for the preservation of their liberty to their rocks, among which it would be equally dangerous and difficult to pursue them..
They live on rice, legumes, roots, and various kinds of fruit that grow upon their mountains. They breed cattle, among which may be observed some oxen with ? humps, and sheep with thick tails; these animals likewise make part of their food. They have no commu-' nication by commerce or alliances with the various ? tribes of men who surround them, and supply all their wants from the land they cultivate." ... The object of all the petty wars between them and the blacks is reciprocally to plunder each other of cattle and slaves. The littleness of the Quimos, however, protects them, in a considerable degree, from this latter injury; and when they are convinced that their enemies having nothing in view but to carry off their flocks and herds, they are often induced, by the love of peace, to yield up a part of them. As soon as they perceive, from the tops of their mountains, a formidable order of battle advancing along the plain, they tie up such of their cattle as they can spare, at the entrances of those narrow passes through which alone their country can be approached, which they voluntarily sacrifice, as they say, to the indigence of their elder brothers, declaring, at the same time, their resolution to defend themselves to the last extremity, should any attempt be made to advance farther into the country in a hostile manner, They
thus prove that it is not from a sense of their weakness, still less from cowardice, that they send out their presents before their warriors.
Their weapons are the zagay and the bow and ar. row, which they discharge with the truest possible aim. It is said, that if they could once get access to the Europeans, which they greatly desire, they would soon proceed from defensive to offensive war, against neighbours, who would then, perhaps, esteem themselves very happy to be able to remain at peace with them. . - The dress of the Madagascar men is only a straight piece of cloth, three ells long, which they put over their shoulders, so that the two ends fall down before. . The chiefs wear silk or cotton, ornamented at the ends with fringe and beads, or grains of tin: they cover their heads with a hood made of cane.... The women wrap round their waist six or seven yards of blue cloth, which has the effect of a petticoat; under this they always wear a piece of white cloth; they have also a kind of waist, coat which comes only half way down the breast, and is adorned in front with several gold or silver clasps. They wear ear-rings, rings of silver or glass for brace-, . lets, and chains round their necks, of gold or silver; manufactured in the country. .. , · Their common food is rice, which they eat, boiled in water, with fish or fowl cut small. They put into the broth the leaves of a certain plant and a little sea water, for they are ignorant of the use of salt. Banana leaves supply the place of table-cloths and disbes, They use banana leaves, twisted up like a horn, to take up their rice and broth, with. They boil their drinking water; before they use it, in the vessel in which the rice has
been cooked; a very useful precaution in this country, where the water is generally very bad, almost always brackish, and leaves a sediment on boiling.
Their houses are only of a single room, in which the whole family sleeps; the roof is supported by thick stakes driven into the ground; the walls are of ravenala leaves joined together, and fastened to laths of bamboo; within they are hung with mats. The floor is commonly raised a foot or two; it is made of strong hurdles of bamboo, covered with mats, except in one corner, which is left for a hearth. .
The houses of the chiefs are not more ornamented: The only thing by which they are distinguished is a palisade surrounding them, with a mat higher than the building itself, which is placed before the house, and on which are hung the horns of all the oxen sacrificed at public festivals.
Their furniture consists of a few earthern-ware ves. sels for culinary purposes, bamboos or calabashes to draw water in, and little fiag baskets to keep their clothes in.
The arts have made no great progress in this country. The women of the southern parts weave stuffs, both of silk and cotton; those of the north, of the leaves of the raphia. Their looms are very simple, consisting · only of four sticks set in the ground.
Agriculture is not in a more advanced state than the · arts; they have neither gardens nor fruit-trées. The
inhabitants of the north cultivate nothing but rice; and as this plant does not succeed in the southern parts, its place is there supplied by small millet. They never break up their land after burning the marsh plants ;