THE Tunguse, Mongolians, and a great part of the Turkish race, formed originally, according to all external organic tokens, as well as the elements of their languages, but one people, closely allied with the Esquimaux, the Skräling, or dwarf of the Norsemen, and the races of the New World. This is the irrefutable result to which all the more recent inquiries in anatomy and physiology, as well as comparative philology and history, have conduced. All the aboriginal Americans have those distinctive tokens which forcibly recall their neighbours dwelling on the other side of Behring's Straits. They have the four-cornered head, high cheek-bones, heavy jaws, large angular eye-cavities, and 'a retreating forehead. The skulls of the oldest Peruvian graves exhibit the same tokens as the heads of the nomadic tribes of Oregon and California. The different American languages, as has been already proved by Albert Gallatin in his minute researches, have such an identity, that we can, however varied the vocabulary, at once reduce them to
one original source. 1 In fact, all researches as to the manner in which America was first populated lead to one inevitable conclusion. Since the earth has been inhabited, these rude tribes dwelt in their separate divisions of Asia and America. This rough mass has, however, during the course of centuries, been separated by different corporeal and mental formative influences into different nations, each with peculiar bodily distinctions, the natural consequence of higher mental influences; and various languages have been developed; yet all of these distinctions, whether of body or of language, of manner or custom, present internal evidence of an original unity. This unity manifests itself in their genealogies, the oldest historical system of all nations by which the identity of the Turks, Mongolians, and Tunguse is clearly proved. Among these Tartaric hordes we find absolutely the same relation as that which existed among the German nations. The Ostrogoths and Visigoths, the Westphalians, the northern and southern nations, belonged originally, notwithstanding their different destinies and culture, to the internal being of one and the same German race.
All the numerous Tartaric hordes dwelling about the north-east of the Central Empire were termed by
the civilised natives of the South "Tonghu," "Eastern Red Men," or savages, from which appellation we derive our word Tunguse, 1 which has been subsequently applied to an extremely limited portion of the entire race. Among these Mongolian nations, many centuries before Zenghis Khan (Tschinggs Chakan), the Mongolians proper were distinguished by the differently-written name of Wog or Mog, and divided into seven hordes, dwelling in different places, extending from the Corean Peninsula to the distant north, over the river Amo to the eastern sea; that is to say, to the Gulf of Anadir or Behring's Straits. The nomadic tribes dwelling more directly to the north they termed Peti, or Northern Savages, and many tribes were reckoned by them as belonging either to the Tunguse or Peti. During the course of many centuries the Chinese acquired a surprisingly accurate knowledge of the north-east coast of Asia, extending, as their records in astronomy and natural history prove, to the sixty-fifth degree of latitude, and even to the Arctic Ocean. 2 Among other accounts, they tell us of a land very far from the Central Kingdom, whose inhabitants, termed Kolihan or Chorran, sent during the latter part of the seventh century ambassadors to the Court at Singan. This land lay on the North Sea; and still further to the north, on the other side of that sea, the days were so
long, and the nights in proportion so short, that the sun set and rose again "before one could roast a leg of mutton." 1
The Chinese were well acquainted with the customs of these tribes, and describe them to us as resembling the Tsohuktschi or Koljuschens 2 of the present day, and other tribes of North-eastern Asia and North-western America. They had neither oxen, sheep, nor other domestic animals, but there were tribes among them which employed deer, which were there very numerous. These deer of which they speak were undoubtedly reindeer. They knew nothing of agriculture, but lived by hunting and fishing, as well as on the root of a certain plant which grew there in abundance. Their dwellings were constructed of twigs and wood, their clothes were made of furs and feathers. They laid their dead in coffins, which they placed in trees in the mountains. 3 They were ignorant of any subdivisions of the year. The Chinese were also as well acquainted with those dwelling more directly to the east, as with these inhabitants of the north.
The limits of the Chinese Empire extended, under the
dynasty of Tschen, in the time of David and Solomon, to the Eastern Ocean. They knew and frequented the numerous groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean, for the sake of trade. The natives inhabiting these islands sent, on their part, messengers to the coast with presents, which are registered in the Chinese annals. It also frequently happened that China sent a portion of its discontented or superfluous population to these thinly-inhabited islands, as well as to Japan, Lieu-kuei, and Formosa, of which we have accurate historical proofs. The tribe of the Ainos, or Jebis, extending from Japan to Kamtschatka, over the Kurilean and Aleutian, or Fox Islands, to the distant north, where it touched upon the nearly-allied Esquimaux, must naturally have astonished the occasional colonists and merchants who found their way thither, by a singular distinctive bodily phenomenon, namely, an exceeding growth of hair on their bodies. Such was the case, and they were termed Mau-schin (or, according to the Japanese mode of pronouncing Chinese writing, Mosin)--i.e., Hairy People, and also, from the great number of sea-crabs found in their region, Hi-ai (in Japanese, Jeso), or Crab-Barbarians. 1 And as these barbarians, like the inhabitants of the southern islands, were in the habit of tattooing figures upon their skin, they were also termed by the Chinese Wen-schin, or Painted People. In the course of time other names were also added, but any one acquainted with the nature
of that part of the world and its inhabitants, readily recognises, despite the varied appellations, the same race of men in the Ainos. We are indebted to the numerous embassies which in earlier times passed between China and Japan for the greater part of the information contained in their Year-Books, relating to the north and south-easterly islands and nations. These embassies brought back with them many traditionary accounts, which were strongly tinged with fable, and yet not entirely devoid of truth. For instance, when they speak of the land of Tschutschu, or dwarfs, very far to the south of Japan, whose inhabitants, black and ugly and naked, kill and devour all strangers, we readily recognise the natives of Papua or New Guinea.
The Ainos were first described, under the name of Hairy People, in "The Book of Mountains and Seas," a Chinese work, written in the second or third century, and richly adorned with wonderful legends. They dwelt, according to this book, in the Eastern Sea, and were completely overgrown with hair. 1 Some of these people came, A.D. 659, in company with a Japanese embassy, to China; they are termed in the Year-Book of Tang, "Crab-Barbarians," 2 after which this note fellows:--"They had long beards, and dwelt in the
north-east of Japan; they laid bows, arrows, and deer-skins as presents before the throne. These were the inhabitants of Jeso, which island had, not long before, been subdued and rendered tributary by the Japanese." The report of the Japanese embassy, in their own domestic returns, is, however, much more copious and satisfactory. The queries of the Heaven's Son of Tang, and the replies of the Japanese ambassador, are there narrated as follows:--
The Ruler of Tang.--"Does the heavenly Autocrat find himself in constant tranquillity?"
The Ambassador.--"Heaven and earth unite their gifts, and constant tranquillity ensues."
The Ruler of Tang.--"Are the Government officers well appointed?"
The Ambassador.--"They have the grace of the Heavenly Ruler, and are well."
The Ruler of Tang.--"Is there internal peace?"
The Ambassador.--"The Government harmonises with heaven and earth--the people have no care."
The Ruler of Tang.--"Where lies the land--this Jeso?"
The Ambassador.--"To the north-east."
The Ruler of Tang.--"How many divisions has it?"
The Ambassador.--"Three; the most distant we call Tsgaru, the next Ara, and the nearest Niki. To the last belong these men here before us. They appear yearly with their tribute at the court of our king."
The Ruler of Tang.--"Does this land produce corn?"
The Ambassador.--"No; its inhabitants live on flesh."
The Ruler of Tang.--"Have they houses?"
The Ambassador.--"No; they live in the mountains, under trunks of trees."
This extract is from the Nipponki, or Japanese Annals, from 661 until 696, which were collected in the year 720. They embrace thirty volumes octavo. The portions translated by Hoffman are to be found in vol. xxvi. p. 9; of Siebold's "Japanese Archives," viii. 130.
Since this time, in the seventh century, many wars have been undertaken against these northern border barbarians by their more civilised neighbours, and generally with success. But the inhabitants of Jeso always rose again after a short time, drove forth the Japanese invaders from the land, and gave themselves up again to their wild, original freedom, like their ancestors on the neighbouring island. Even at the present day the Japanese govern only a very small portion of Jeso, i.e., the gold district of this remarkably rich island. Jeso readily leads to an acquaintance with Kamtschatka, which country was also described about the same period, in the following manner: 1--
Lieu-kuei (Loo-choo), or Hing-goci, as the Kamtschadales of the present day term their fellow-countrymen dwelling on the Penschinisch Bay, is situated, according to the Chinese Year-Books, fifteen thousand Chinese miles distant from the capital, which, according to the measurement of the celebrated astronomer Ihan, in the time of Tang, gives about three hundred and thirty-eight to one of our grades--the Chinese grades being rather smaller than our geographical. Now, Sigan, the capital of China during the dynasty of Tang, lies in the district Schensi, 34° 15´ 34″ north latitude, and 106° 34´ east longitude from Paris. Peter and Paul's Haven, on the contrary, according to Preuss, lies 53° 0´ 59″ north latitude, and 153° 19´ 56″ east longitude from Paris. These are differences which the accounts of the Chinese Year-Books establish in an astonishing manner, and leave no doubt whatever as to the identity of Kamtschatka with Lieu-kuei; for it is certainly satisfactory if estimates of such great distances, drawn in all probability from the accounts of half-savage sailors or quite savage natives, should agree within two or three grades with accurate astronomic results.
"This land lies exactly north-east from the Black River, or Black Dragon River, and the Moko, and the voyage thither requires fifteen days, which is the time in which the Moko generally effect it."
The Moko here alluded to are, beyond doubt, the Mongolians, who governed in earlier ages, and even in the time of Tang as far south as Corea, and in the north as far as the other side of the Amur. The western limits of this people are unknown. In the east they dwelt, as our chronicle expressly remarks, as far as the ocean, or the Pacific, from whence they could very easily pass to the islands and to the American Continent. That this was in reality effected, is evident from their external appearance, as well as the affinity between the Mongolian language and that of the American Indians. The distance from Ocho-tock to the opposite peninsula is about 150 German miles, and, in fact, the natives generally require from ten to fifteen days to make the voyage.
"Lieu-kuei lies to the north of the North Sea, 1 by which it is on three sides surrounded. To the north this peninsula touches upon the land of Jetschay, or Tschuktschi, but the exact limits are not easy to determine; it requires an entire month to make the journey from Kamtschatka to Jetschay. Beyond this the land is unexplored, and no mission has as yet come from thence to the Central Kingdom. Here are neither fortified
places nor towns; the people dwell in scattered groups on the sea-islands and along the shore, or on the banks of rivers, where they live by catching and salting fish.
Steller also assures us that the dwellings of the Itölmen, or native Kamtschadales, are always situated on rivers, bays, or the mouths of the lesser streams, and especially in places which are surrounded by woods. Fish in incredible quantities, and in great variety, are found there, serving during the long winters as pro-vender for both men and cattle. These they prepare in many ways, but principally by salting. Those living still more to the north subsist almost entirely on the same food, from which they receive the name Eskimantik or Eskimo, i.e., "raw-fish-eating."
"They dwell in caves, generally dug tolerably deep in the earth, around which they lay thick, unhewn planks."
This is applicable only to their winter dwellings; their summer habitations are built high in the air, on posts like our dovecots. The Itölmen dig out the earth to the depth of three or four feet in the form of a brick, and to such an extent as the number of their family may require. The excavated earth they pile to the height of two or three feet around the pit thus formed, and then roof it with pieces of bark or willow sticks, five or six feet long, which they drive deep within the pit into the earth, so that the tops are all equally high. Between these sticks and the earth they
generally lay dry straw, so that none of the earth may fall through, nor any of the articles in the dwelling become rusty or mouldy by direct contact with it; then they leave a shelf of earth around, about a foot broad, and lay great beams thereon in squares, which they support on the outside with planks and sticks stuck into the ground, so that they may not give way externally. Then they place over them four posts cut in the form of forks, as high as they wish to have the lodging in the middle.
Over this they lay again crosswise four beams, and fasten them with thongs to the posts, upon which they lay on every side the rafters. Between these rafters they put thin sticks, and across these small pieces of wood, quite close together; this entire wooden roof they cover to the depth of six inches with straw, shake over it the remnant of the excavated earth, and tread it down firm. In the middle of the house they make the hearth between four thin posts; of these posts, two form the entrance, which is at the same time the chimney. Opposite the fireplace they dig out an air-passage from eight to twelve feet long, according to the size of the house, which passes beyond the limits of the dwelling itself. This is kept closed, except when they are making a fire. To facilitate the admission of air they build the roof of the air-passage in such a manner that the wind continually strikes against it, and is drawn in. If any one would enter, he must naturally descend the door-chimney, which is done either by
means of a ladder, or the notched trunk of a tree. The smoky atmosphere is very oppressive to a European, though the natives support it without inconvenience. The little children generally creep through the draft, which also serves as a repository for cooking utensils. In the interior, cubes of wood are placed, to indicate the divisions of the separate sleeping-places.
"The climate, owing to fogs and heavy snows, is very severe. The natives are all clothed in furs, which they obtain by hunting. They also prepare a sort of cloth from dog's-hair and different species of grass. In winter they wear the skins of swine and reindeer; in summer, those of fish. They have great numbers of dogs."
We know that the climate of Kamtschatka presents remarkable differences. Districts situated at no great distance from each other have at the same season a different temperature. The southern part of the peninsula is damper, darker, and more exposed to terrible storm-winds, on account of its vicinity to the sea; but the farther north we ascend on the Pensiuischen Bay, so much the milder are the winds in winter, and so much the less rain falls in summer. In no land are the fogs so frequent and so thick as in Kamtschatka, nor is any country known where deeper snows fall than between 51° and 54° of the peninsula. The natives, therefore, naturally require the heavy sea-dog (seal) and reindeer fur-clothing spoken of in the Chinese chronicle. The women prepare from dried nettles and other grasses a sort of linen which serves for all domestic purposes.
[paragraph continues] Reindeer, black bears, wolves, foxes, and other animals are found here in abundance, and are caught by a variety of ingenious methods, which the Chinese have also described. Dogs, which they use instead of horses to draw their sledges, are their only tame animals. It is an error of the Chinese writer when he speaks of swine; they would indeed succeed in this country, but in the time of Steller they were as yet unknown. Even at the present day several of the north-easterly Mantchou tribes clothe themselves in fish-skins, for which reason they are termed by the Chinese Jupi, or Fish-skins.. These, like the Chadschen, belong to the Aleutes.
"The people have no regular constitution; they know nothing of officers and laws. If there is a robber in the land, all of the inhabitants assemble together to judge him. They know nothing of the divisions and courses of the four seasons. Their bows are about four feet long, and their arrows are like those of the Middle Kingdom. They prepare from bones and stones a sort of musical instrument; they love singing and dancing. They place their dead in the hollow trunks of trees, and mourn for them three years, without wearing any mourning-clothes. In the year 640, during the reign of the second Heaven's Son of Tang, came the first and last tribute-bringing embassy from the land of Lieu-kuei to the Middle Kingdom."
Before the conquest of their land by the Russians, the Kamtschadales lived in a sort of community, such
as is generally found among all primitive tribes, as, for example, the early Germans. Every one revenged his own wrongs with the readiest weapons--such as bows, arrows, and bone-spears. In war they chose a leader whose authority ceased with it. In case of theft, where the offender was unknown, the elders called the people together, and advised them to give him up. When this proved unsuccessful, death and destruction were generally invoked upon his head by means of their Shamanic sorcery. They divide the entire solar year into summer and winter, but are ignorant of any division of time into days and weeks, and few are able to count above forty. They pass their time principally in dancing, singing, and relating tales and legends. Their songs and melodies, several of which are given in Steller, are remarkably soft and agreeable. "When I compare," says this excellent writer, "the songs of the great Orlando Lasso, with which the King of France was so much delighted after the Parisian Bloody Marriage, with these airs of the Itölmen, I am compelled, so far as. agreeableness is concerned, to give the latter the preference." The Chinese account of the three years of mourning is groundless; at least, when the Russians first discovered Kamtschatka, nothing of the kind existed. The sick were thrown, when beyond all hope of recovery, to the dogs, even while yet alive, and anything like mourning or lamenting from their surviving relatives was seldom even thought of. It is, however, possible, if not probable, that since the seventh century,
the manners of the Kamtschadales have much changed, or deteriorated.
The situation of the Wen-schin, or Painted People, if we are to credit the account regarding their distance from Japan, must be sought for to the east of Kamtschatka, and within the Aleutian group of islands. "The land of Wen-schin," says the Year-Book of the Southern Dynasty, "is situated about 7000 Chinese miles (or twenty of our geographical degrees) to the north-east of Japan," 1 a direction and distance which places us in the midst of the Aleutian or Fox group of islands. It is not readily intelligible how Deguignes could seek and find these Painted People on the Island of Jeso. 2
"Their bodies are usually covered with a variety of figures of animals and the like. On the forehead they have three lines: the long and straight indicate the nobles, the small and crooked the common people." 3
The Aleutian or Fox Islanders, before their conversion to Christianity, not only cut, as is well known, a variety
of figures upon the body, but also bored the cartilage of the nose, and through it stuck a pin, upon which they placed, on festive occasions, glass beads. The women, for a similar purpose, bored the ear. Moreover, they made cuts in the under lip, in which they wore needles of stone or bone, about two inches long.
8:1 Vide Memoires de la Société des Antiquaires de l’Amerique du Nord, Partie linguistique rapport fait a l’Institut Historique, par M. Antonio Renzi, Paris, 1842, 8vo.
9:1 In the "Shajrat ul Atrak," or Genealogical Tree of the Turks and Tartars, translated by Colonel Miles, London, 1838, Tung or Tungus is rendered "son of a Tartar."
9:2 Gaubil: Observations Mathematiques, Paris, 1732, ii. 110.
10:1 Mantuanlin, bk. 348, p. 6.
10:2 Koljustchi, or Koljuki, signifies the peg or pin which those savages wear in the under lip, and from which the name is derived. They were subsequently termed by the Russians, who possess the land, Galloches, from the French word, merely in jest. In the course of time this name supplanted the earlier term Koljuken, so that all are now known as Kaloschen.
10:3 This is similar to the custom of many North American Indians of the West.--C. G. L.
11:1 Description of the Kurilean and Aleutian Islands (translated from the Russian), Ulm, 1792, p. 16.
12:1 Shan-hai-king, quoted in the "Histoire des Trois Royaumes, traduite par Titsingh." Klaproth has, according to his custom, passed off the translation, as his own. Paris, 1832, p. 218.
12:2 Tang-schu, or, "Year-Books of Tang," bk. 220, p. 18, v. Mantuanlin, bk. 326, p. 23, v., where the report as usual is given. Titsingh: Annales des Empereurs do Japon, Paris, 1834, p. 52. This is a remarkable coincidence in the Chinese and Japanese Year-Books.
14:1 Vide Steller's Description of Kamtschatka, Leipzig, 1734, p. 3. All that occurs here in quotation marks has been literally translated from the Year-Books of Tang (Tang-schu, bk. 220, p. 19, v.) The part not thus marked is drawn principally from Steller, and is added for explanation. The article of Mantuanlin (bk. 347, p. 6), may be compared with the Year-Books of Tang. The article is indeed evidently borrowed from the Tang-schu, but is much better arranged, and contains many original incidents, on which account I have freely availed myself of it. The compiler of the "Encyclopædia of Kang hi" (Juen-kien-hui-han) satisfied himself (bk. 241, p. 19), as he frequently did, with merely transcribing from Mantuanlin.
16:1 In Tang-schu an error of transcription occurs. Instead of Pe-hai, North Sea, we have Schao-hai, "little sea." The correct reading is to be found in the two encyclopædias already quoted. Jetschaykno, a kingdom, here "an excellent country;" the Jetschay is only to be found in the encyclopædias. The arrogant Chinese love to write the names of foreigners with names which indicate scorn and contempt. Lieu-kuei, for example, signifies "the devil who runs through," and Jetschay, "the devil's companion."
22:1 Nausse, i.e., History of the Southern Dynasties, bk. 79, p. 5. The same article is to be found in Leang-schu, i.e., in the Year-Book of Leang, bk. 54, p. 19, and by Mantuanlin, bk. 327, p. 2.
22:2 Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, xxxviii. 506. This is not the only error which this writer, so excellent in other respects, has made in this treatise.
22:3 While engaged on this re-edition of Professor Neumann's work (London, March 1874), I have frequently seen two very curious Chinese figures, carved from wood, representing Aleutian Islanders. The faces are smooth, but the garment, or external figure, ingeniously adapted from some wood covered with a long fibre, gives them a very wild, hairy appearance.--C. G. L.