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North Africa and Spain 






Q.C, D.C.L., Medallis of Ninth Congress of Orientalists (1891), F.R.G.S., Fellow of the Royal Society 
of Northern Antiquaries, Copenhagen ; Fellow of American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science; Cor. Mem. of Canadian Institute, the Giographical Society 
of Lisbon, and La Sociiti: Kidiviale de Geographic, Cairo, Egypt. 

Printed for Private Circulation by The Arbuthnot Bros, Company, Limited. 


Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand 

eight hundred and ninety-seven, by Robert Grant Haliburton, 

in the office of the Minister of Agriculture. 





By Professor Virchow. 

"the dwarf races of morocco and SPAIN. 

" The writings which have come to my hand consist of a somewhat large num- 
ber of shorter and longer communications, which in a somewhat varied manner, 
partially in clironological order, partially in the order of matter, give the testi- 
monies obtained respecting the existence of dwarf races, or, as the writer says, of 
' racial dwarfs,' in the Atlas country. A copious re-statement of these testimonies, 
which must have been of great value, since the writer had yet to combat with the 
unbelief of his countrymen, appears for the present unnecessary, since a large number 
of unexpected testimonies have come up to vouch for the correctness of his state- 
ments. Of course it was long before a kind of certainty had been acquired, for 
after the writer first learned through a man from Sus of the existence of ' a small 
people ' in southern Morocco, it was almost ten [six ?] years before a European 
became convinced, through autopsy, that the question related not merely to a few 
scattered dwarfs, but to a whole tribe. Many a credible statement had already 
drawn attention to a desert district situated on the south side of the Great Atlas, 
between the Dra Valley and the Sahara, separated from Sus by the Lesser Atlas, 
and which is called by a peculiar name, 'Akka.' The people there were also called 
by that name long before Schweinfurth's attention had been drawn to the Akka 
on the Upper Nile. Here it may be added that, according to other statements, the 
western Akka belong to the tribe Ait Wakka. . . . The small Haritin are 
called Baraka, also Ulad Mebrok, while the name Nezeegan is said to be used only 
in connection with the dwarf tribe which inhabits the town Nezeeg, near Sus. 

" Mr. Halibufton did not go into this region, which seems to be inaccessible on 
account of the turbulent character of its population. Mr. Harris, with Mr. Cun- 
ninghame Graham, followed up the statements of the Scotch Mission (at Morocco 
City), and he succeeded in getting sight of fourteen dwarfs in Amzmiz. His report 
in The Morocco Times of 26th January, 1893, is reproduced in The Academy of 19th 
August, of the same year. Amzmiz is a town on the way to Mogador, only two 
days' journey distant from the capital. In the neighborhood is found the tomb of a 
saint, Mulai Ibrahim, to which the people resort from, a distance. Here some 
explorers saw the small folk, men and women, who were bathing naked in the holy 
stream. It appears, however, that not a single European has entered the land of 
the dwarfs yet. 

" The statements of all eye-witnesses as to the physical condition of these dwarfs 
agree. Their height is given as 4 ft. 6 in. from 4 ft. 2 in. ; also ' not higher than 
four feet.' 'The women are the size of a little girl; men with beards, that of a 
small boy.' They have a peculiar reddish complexion ' like that of the Redskins 
of America'; quite different from that of the Moors, Arabs, blacks, etc., according 

(i) Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellsehaft fur Anthropologle, Etbnologle und Urgeshlchte ; Redlget 
von R. Virchow, SItzung von so Jull, 1895. 




•• Extracts from Mr. Haliuurton's Writings." 

t«» others of a ' mahog.iny color.' They arc broad and muscular ; tlicir hair is 
■ crisp and curly.' ' short, woolly, like that of the blacks.' In appearance they are 
so much alike that it is dil)icult to distin({uish one from the other. They speak 
tlie Shilhach lanRUaRC of southern Morocco (Schloh), but with klicks. A cording 
to one statement there arc said to be more than 1,000 of them at the River Uora 
(or Didu): in other places 1,500, etc. As Leo Africanus calls Ura ' Dara,' the 
writer thinks that the Darae, or Gaetnli Darao. who are said lo have live' on 
the Steppes of the (ireat .Xtl.'is, and who were regarded as bclonKinp to the Libyan 
race, may have been related to them. 

" I pass over the statements respecting names of places and tribes, which nearly 
every witness has given somewhat ^liflfercntly. The f.ict that south, and to some 
extent on the heights of the Atlas a dwarf race is living, that has woolly hair and a 
reddish complexion, seems to be beyond doubt ; and we must certainly give the 
credit of that discovery to Mr. Haliburton, who first proved the existence of these 


" A special interest is due to the discovery of these dwarfs through the manifold 
references which the writer has tried to harmonize with old Egyptian traditions, 
an endeavor in which no less an authority than Professor Sayce stands by him. 

" Mr. Haliburton found that the old Egyptian god ' Didoo,' which Brugsch is 
said to have called a Nubi-Libyan Deity, must have originated south of the Atlas, 
where rivers and tribes bear the name (the River Dirt, or Didan, Ait Didi, .\it 
Hedidoo. .\it Doodoon, Did, a source river of the Dra, and the River Didoo, or 
Dora). The god Didoo-Osiris is said to be known in that region as Didoo-Isiri, 
and in the Dra Valley are said to be found the ruins of an old town of image-wor- 
shippers called by the natives Ta-Pount, also Anibna Didoo (the Town of Didoo). 
Thus the query arose : Should ' the Holy land of Fount ' of the Egyptians be looked 
for here, and not at the Indian Ocean ? 

"The statements of Mr. Haliburton about Ta-Punt (Arab, Tabount) are some- 
what obscure. It appears that the ruins lie m the upper Dra Valley, in the district 
of Warzazat. In them are found small figures with horse or bull heads, which arc 
called Beni Mahkerbu, Beni Hazor, and Beni Kerbu ; and also Patiki, just as the 
small people are called. These figures are said to be 18 inches to 2 feet high, half 
human, half animal, some with the body of a human being, and the head of an ape, 
or dog. The small people adore Didoo-Isiri. In ancient times there was a treasure 
of gold buried in Fount. 

" Professor Sayce reminds us that Schiaparelli discovered a grave near 
Contra-Syene. in which an inscription says that Hurkhuf. therein buried, had been 
sent by Pepi II. (sixth dynasty) on ah expedition to the south, and that he had 
brought back from the king of Ammaan, among many other kinds of gifts, ' a 
Dcnga dwarf from out of the Land of the Holy Spirits, who could dance divinely, 
like the Denga dwarf which the late Chancellor Urdudu brought from the Land of 
Fount in the time of King Assa (sixth dynasty).' This expedition was one thou- 
sand years earlier than that of Hannu, which itself is to be placed one thousand 
years before the celebrated expedition of Queen Hatasu. The latter, however, took 
quite a different direction from that of Hannu, which was towards the west, ' The 
Holy West.' ' The Land of Truth.' (2) 

"Already Bunsen searched for this Put or Fount in Mauritania. (3) Mr. Halibur- 

(2> A very malformed dwarf, named " Wambutti," which was reported to be a Mogrebin, aeeompanled 
the KToap of Denka blacks exhibited In Berlin In 1889. 

((3) Until Ebers suijgested that Fount was situated in the far East, Fount, Fut, or Phut, was held to be 
connected with Libya, and, according to Bunsen, "is admitted to mean, in the strictest sense, Mauritania." 
J. G. Matter, in hit Die Semiten, says, " The old suggestion that Put refers to the Libyans Is confirmed by 
ChampolUoo, mod also by Bunsen (L, 572)."— R. G. H.] 



ton brings also the story of Jonah and the Perseus Mytluis in connection witli that 

" In Ta-l'unt is said to be tlie grave of ' the l-'at gueen ' lileina, or Ulenia Mcna. 
Kvcn now the dwarfs of llie Dra Valley are called i'uiii, or (Ju Meiia (' Mena 
piM.i)lc'). Two Uafur blacks, whom the writer saw in Cairo, spoke of Tu I'ount 
and lllcMia Mcna ; and the name Uidoo inspired them with dread. (He docs not 
recall the Carthaginian Dido). 


" Finally, Mr. Ilaliburton also claims that survivals of dwarfs exist in Spain, both 
in the Pyrenees and in oilier parts. He appeals to explorations of the British 
consul at Barcelona, Mr. Macpherson, who found in the eastern Pyrenees, in the 
Val de Ribas, people of i m. to 1.17 m. in height, copper-colored, with broad, tlat 
noses, and red hair, who are .ictive and robust, 

'■ Previous to that some similar statements had been made. An accurate descrip- 
tion of the people of the Val dc Ribas (Province of Gerona) is to be found in 
' Kosmos," May, 1.S.S7. Macpherson found them, especially in the Collado de 
Tosas ; and he lays stress on the fact that they have often been considered to be 
cretins, but that both cretins and dwarfs arc found in that district. Their hair is 
described as bein^; ' maiiogany-colorcd wool.' 

"Unfortunately Mr. Ilaliburton from ill-health was prevented from confirming 
his conclusions as to them by personally en(|uiring on the spot as to these matters. 

" Prom the comments in the preccdiiiK paper, written by Herr von Lushan (on 
Mr. David Mac kitcliie's paper on • Pygmies in .Spain," in the International 
Archive for Ethnography) it seems very desirable that a specialist well versed in 
such matters (cretinism and dwarfism in the Pyrenees) should carefully enijuire 
iiUo this subject on the spot." (4) 

r(4) Mr. MacRltchle's visit only lasted two ortiiree days, as it was cut short by the state of the weather 
and of the roads. For the same reason he was unable to visit the village of Aledo, on the summit of a moun- 
tain near the railway from Carthagena to Grenada, which is inhabited by "little people" and Gypsies. The 
dwarfs live in houses resembling " weems," and built of large stones covered with earth. Their Industry, like 
that of some of the Atlas dwarfs, consists of making mats from Esparto grass. In 1892-3, Mr. Walter B 
Harris, author of " Tafilet," and other books of travel, was urged by me to make enquiries at the Val de 
Ribas, and I offered to pay the expenses of such a visit ; but he declined.— R.G.H.] 


[An extract from " The i'ygmy Kacos of Men," North American Keview, Mar., itiijC.I 

" When De Quatrelagcs wrote his work in 1887, a presentation of the views of 
the ancients and a stiuly of African itigrillos and Asiatic iicgrilos was exliaustive mi 
tlie s'lbject of tlie pygmies. But now the (|uestion presents other phases. In 
1888 and i8yi, in papers by Air. R. G. iiahburton, tlie existence of a race 
of dwarfs in tiie Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco was announced. A 
strangely acrimonious and personal discussion followed, which was prolonged 
through a number of years, it seems that now we must add a fifth — a Northern or 
Moroccan group to the four groups of .\frican pygmies already known. Mr. 
Ilaliburton, prevented by ill-health from journeying to these pygmies, lost no 
opportunity of securing information. From sixty-five diflferent persons he has se- 
cured a considerable mass of evidence. Villages or tribes of these Atlas dwarfs have 
been located in the districts of Akka and Sus, in the Dra Valley, in places to the 
south-east of Dra and at other points. A number of different names are applied to 
them — the Little Har.-»een, Akkas, Nezcegan, etc. They are reported to be about 
four feet high, with a reddish (" mahogany ") complexion and short woolly hair. 
They are active and brave. They often perform as acrobats, are ' good at single- 
stick,' and are ' skilled in hunting ostriches, the feathers and eggs of which they 
sell to Arab traders of the Sahara. They are not diligent at manual labor, but 
know cobbling, tinkering, etc. They are reported to use in ostrich hunting small, 
swift horses that are called " those that drink the wind.' These are fed on dates and 
camels' milk, and are lean and look worthless. These pygmies are said to use 
poisoned arrows. When at home they wear a woollen shirt embroidered at the 
front and back; red leather leggings that nearly come to the knee, and a knife with 
a curious crescent-shaped handle. They live on milk and camel-flesh ; the meat 
is pounded, salted, and packed away in go.atskins. A handful of this will suffice 
for a man's subsistence two days. Authorities differ in regard to the religious be- 
lief of these dwarfs ; quite possibly the populations really differ among themselves. 
Some are reputed to worship Didoo Osiri ; most of them are considered Christians 
or half-Christians, ' as they shave their faces and the front of their heads.' 
. . . The big neighbors of all these little people look upon them with curi- 
ously mingled feelings of reverence, dislike, and fear. ' They bring good luck 
and are not to be talked about.' They largely get their living by writing 
charms and telling fortunes; 'they know the sta's well'; and find money for 
people by writing on wooden slates. Such are the dwarfs of the Atlas. Is it not 
likely that their ancestors — and not those of the Akkas of Central Africa — 
are the dwarf Troglodytes, who, according to Herodotus, captured the five young 
Nasamonians ? On an Egyptian monument, peihaps four thousand years old, is a 
quaint picture of a dwarf with the word 'Akka'; before that picture was painted, 
perhaps a thousand years before, an inscription (discussed by Professor Sayce) 
tells of a Denga dwarf ' who danced divinely' like one that had been brought still 
earlier to King Assa of the fifth dynasty. These thre? dwarfs of Egyptian picture 


Comments uf Professor Frederick Starr. 


and inscription prubably came from this Atlas region, perhaps irom the very dis- 
trict calkU Akka to-day. 'i'iic rccurrcnci; ul tiiis iiami: Akka in two widely sepa- 
rated regions in connection witii dwarf peoples is interesting, and suggests ancient 
relationship between Scliweinfurtli's Central African and lialiburton's Moroccan 

" The iiuestion of dwarf races in Europe is now under discussion. The Roman 
anthropologist, Sergi, has found small skulls and skeletons in the old Kungaas of 
Russia, from the Chersonese to Novoladoga, and from Kasan and Astrakhan to 
Minsk. Remains of this same pygmy race have been found by him in ancient graves 
in bicily, Sardinia, and about Naples. This population was certainly shorter than 
the Mincopics of the .\ndanians, and was more like the nigrillos than the uegritos. 
Still more, both in Russia and in Italy he finds evidence of this pygmy folk in the 
living population. In this connection ne emphasizes the fact that in certain district! 
oi Italy from thirteen per cent, to sixteen per cent, of the persons examined by the 
recruiting officers fall below the required stature. He describes this European 
pygmy race as from 1.25 metres to 1.5 metres in height, with a brain capacity from 
300 to 400 cubic centimetres less than the Italian average. Sergi suggests a theory 
in regard to this Italian and Russian population. lie believes in an early migra- 
tion of pygmies from Africa northward into the Mediterranean islands, Italy and 
eastern Europe, in May, 1894, Dr. Kollman, of Basel, Switzerland, called attention 
to little .skelttons and skulls found at Schweizerbild, near SchafFhausen. The skele- 
tons were apparently of Neolithic Age. Two kinds were found, some of ordinary 
sized individuals presenting the types still represented in Europe ; others were o( 
little people, averaging perhaps 1.4J4 metres in stature. Out of thirteen skeletons 
of adults found, four were small. Kollman believes these were the same as Sergi 
found further south. 

" Some years ago a Prof. Morayta wrote a paper concerning the Nanos of the 
Pyrenees. The paper attracted no attention, and perhaps was never printed in 
full. Mr. Ilaliburton learned of it, and has looked into the matter. 

" Morayta's description of Nanos is at times, almost word for word, the same 
as the description of cretins, as given by Baillarger and Krishaber in the Diction- 
naire Encyclopcdiquc des Sciences Medicales. It is not then strange that many have 
believed the Pyrenean dwarfs to be not a pygmy race, but cretins. It was neces- 
sary that some competent person should look into the question on the spot. Ac- 
cordingly, in May, 1894, Mr. David MacRitchie visited the region to look for 
Nanos. Bad weather compelled a short trip, but in four days he found eleven cases. 
Some of these were plainly cretinous. In concluding his article (Archiv. fur 
Ethnographie , Vol. VIII.), he says: ' I am inclined to regard them as the remnants 
of a race. Undoubtedly cretinism and goitre enter into the question. But of the 
eleven dwarfs whom I saw in the Ribas neighborhood, only two were affected with 
goitre. It is hard to believe that the little woman who figures first on my list owes 
her small stature and her other characteristics to the working of disease. .And if 
those peculiarities are simply the outward signs of cretinism, and if cretinism is due 
to environment, how comes it that other people, living exactly the same life, are 
absolutely free from any such defects of mind or body ?' Mr. Haliburton calls the 
cretin theory "hasty." He says: 'The Dcnga dwarfs are the same now as five 
thousand years ago. We do not hear of goitre' (which is curiously relpted to 
cretinism ; the children of goitrous parents are likely to be cretins ; cretinism is 
never found in regions or among populations where goitre does not exist) ' among 
the robust and warlike pygmies of the Great Lakes and Congo, who are flesh- 
eaters pnd hunters. T am persuaded that if a child of a Pyrenean cretin were to 
be fed on tiesh food and made to lead an active lite, he would never show any 
trace of goitre on arriving at manhood.' The paragraph shows a lack of clear 
knowledge regarding goitre and cretinism, but the line of argument is clear. He 

a>> CoMMI'.NTS ()|- I'KOl'KSSOU I'^RUUKKICK StaRU. siiys: ' NrilluT iirliiiiMii nor any idlur ilisiasc laii lum niiliiiaiy Iuirt)|)cans 
iiiti> |)y({iiiii's, vvitli bioaii, Hal ii('.s, a cuiipii loloiitl i(iiii|)k'xii)ii, and nialuiK->iiy 
I'lilorcd wool.' . . . ' L ii'Uni.sni ilufh nol attack lliLir laixcr ni'iKlilioi's, who 
for lUiiiiy ccnttiiics liavo livril near tlicin. LiTliniiini in tlic I'yrciiccii and Alps, it 
svi-ms to nil', is ranal in its iliariulir, and is not a disiasi', l)nt a symptom ol 
(Icciulcticc in a nii>ril>und raco ol dwarls, who in the nci-SKCs ol monntams aii' 
slowly K^>i)*K tliroii«h llu' pioic^^ ol dym^ ont throtiKh (;iiliiiK vitality, just as many 
(.'(.'nttn'ics a^o ihi'U' race nnist havi- dud onl on tlu- plains of I'^nropc and Asia.' 
. . , ' I'lic niicstioii ol the ryiciUMii dwarls is a dcliiati' one. 'A'"' nci'd nuuli 
further study before liicy can be admitleil into the list ol line pynniics. Just now 
Mr, Ihddiintoii has sciiired liii'ts ol dwarf pfojdes in liie ItlacU I'nrcst, the Vtisnes, 
and in I'risiaii districts. In Ana article we do not pretend to ^o outside the soni.i 
toloKiciil held, otherwise we should i)reseiit tiie very interestiiiK matter drawn by 
Air. MacKilehiv and Mr. llaliburton, liom linguistics, ii'^end and lidU lore, rela- 
tive to i'iuropean pygmies or " little people." ' 

"At the last two meelniKs ol the American Association for the Advancement ol 
Science, Mr. llaliburton lias broUKhl up the (|iieslion of pyK<>)y peoples in Amerie.i. 
Hints uf such are not wanting. .Some limits alioiit the iiimed lnnldiuKS of Yucatan 
and Central America : ugK*.'-'>l that they wete linill by little people. .\t Ll.\inal there 
is a ' house of the dwarl,' ,md at (.'o/.iiniel are little biiildiiiKS. lu iWy lirigham 
wrote in his ' Ciuateinala ': ' It would cctainly be inlerestiiiK to le.iiu why in.uiy 
of liic temples have doors, passa^ses, and even rooms, that .1 man id ordinary 
stature cannot stand erect in.' I'he I'cabody Museum e.\plor,ilions in I'liitr.d 
America liuvc broiii^ht to light a number of representations of dwarfs, ilalibiir- 
lou describes one ol these as having 'a sipiarc, broad, and llat face : MoiiKoliaii 
eyes ; bulging cheeks, more prominent than the broatl and llal nose." Various 
writers tmvc cuinineiited upon little Mexicans. In iK8.> a baud of little people in 
vaded llritish Honduras. They were from four leet to lour leet six iuclies in 
stature, and are said to be warlike, to make human sacrilices, to use the blow ^un 
and poisoned arrows, and to be makers of I'aiiania hats. Mrs. Le I'longeon nicn- 
lions a dwarf woman captured in Yucatan. Dwarf tribes are said to live, or to 
have lived, in ilrazil, Uruniiay, and other parts of South America. 

"At Mr. Ilalibiirton's siiKKCstioii our party last siiminer looked in Mexico for 
evidence of pyK"iy (leoples there. No very delinite information was secured. At 
A^uas C'alientes, with a population of perhaps .(o.cmk), we saw seven adults, none 
more than four feet eiKlit inches in stature, in a single half hour. An Indian at 
Lak*' L'hapala declared thai there were little jteople in the motiiitaiiis somewhere 
in Jalisco or C'oliinn. Near Aytzcapatzaleo, .i suburb of the City of Mexico, are 
some full-blooded Indians who retain their old dress and are very conservative, 
and of little stature; they are probably Otoniis. Little people live near 
Cliolulu. All of tliese bints may lead to somethiiiK; when followed up. Meantime 
the (piestion whether there are pynniy tribes in America seems to be really 




By R. G. Haliburton. 

[From the ProceedinRS of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vol. XXXI., Montreal 

Meeting, August, 1882.] 

In December, r88i, to while away the time at Tangier, where continuous east 
winds for weeks kept invalids within doors, I turned my attention to the traditions 
and folk-lore of the natives of Morocco. The field was represented as a barren one. 
I was told that the country was inhabited mainiy by the Berbers (or Barbars, 
whence the name Barbary) ; that, though composed of different tribes, they spoke 
substantially the same language ; and that, having adopted the religion of Islam, 
they had forgotten their old traditions and superstitions. The Rifilians, known 
still in history as the Riff pirates, inhabit the northern portions of Mount Atlas. 
To the south of that mountain is a tribe of excellent artificers in brass and copper, 
called Shelluhs, Shilhas or Shilhachs, who inhabit the Province of Sus, and are 
therefore, called Susis. There arc other tribes still farther south. 

It soon leaked out that the faith of Islam sits very lightly on some of the 
Susis, and that many of them really have no religion, or have some ancient super- 
stitions which they preserve in secret. WI.ether they really believe the myths and 
traditions which they repeated to me, or merely regard them as our peasants do 
their fairy tales and folk-lore, it is hard to decide. One of them told me he was 
not sure that he was not as much of a 'CRristian as of a Mohammedan— a state- 
ment that, if overhead by the Moors, might have cost him his life. 

I made careful enquiries from several Rififians, a Maltese who had travelled 
in the interior of Africa, disguised as a Moor, the town time-keeper or astronomer 
at Tai.gier, some Jews of Casablanca and Ophran, two Susis at Tangier and one 
at Mogador, nearly all of whom, though illiterate, and unable to read Arabic, were 
learned in oral tradition and Berber folk-lore. 

The results of my enquiries proved that there is a marvellous collection of 
ancient myths, legends, etc., among the Susis, which carry us in succession to 
Britain, Greece and Rome, Phoenicia and Egypt, and even to Babylon, whdle one 
very remarkable festival seems as if it had reached them from the Aztecs, or 
vice versa. 



24 Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 

The Great Mother of the Greeks, Daiuater, appeared as Ta Mala, " the mother, 
who presides over the corn fields." Apalo, " a good god, who comes and plays on 
a harp," suggests the ciuiuiry, is not Apftlo the original form of the name of the 
god Apollo ? (i) 

At certain intervals, as the Greeks believed, Apollo used to desert his shrines, 
and go far off to the blessed Hyperboreans of Mount Atlas, with whom he danced 
and sang until the rising of the Pleiades. 

The ancient Greeks themselves .seem to have regarded tlic Atlas country as 
the favorite abode of Apollo. Atlas was a Hyperborean, and the western Ethio- 
pians who inhabited that country were also Hyperboreans, a semi-divine nice, 
from whom the Greeks derived many of their most ancient rites. It is supposed that 
they were called Hyperboreans from their enjoying a climate where the cold north 
wind was unknown, (2) but the same name would be even more applicable to the 
people of the interior of Africa. 

A Susi described to me a staff ornamented with ribbons, which is called a 
fhurosis ! The names, too, of Mata, Kera and Zerea recall that of Ceres. The 
" Great Mother's " image is bathed at the end of her festival, ;is it was in the holy 
island of the Germans, at the River Almon, and in Athens at a feast of Minerva, 
which was, therefore, called Plynteria. We are even reminded of a similar rite at 
the end of the feast of the god of agriculture of the Fijians. 

The god Adon is still believed to have been slain by a boar, and heaven and 
earth all weep for him. " He was greatly beloved by Tachal and Isai." It seems 
that Some festive dirges, like the Maneros of the Egyptians and the Linus of the 
Greeks, which were sung at their banquets, can still be traced in the Accasili Maneros 
and the Walinas of the Susis. Diodorus Siculus tells us that in the Atlas country 
a divine youth, Hesperus, went up at night to the summit of a mountain to study 
the stars, and a great wind carried him away. To this day (I am told by the Susis) 
" the women go up on the mountains with music, weeping, in their search for 
Walinas. He was the brother of Panis, an old god who invented pipes called 
Kraf or Kalifer, and who was also called Itada." 

One of the Susis asked me if I would like to hear " the story of the man who 
wished to steal the cows," and, upon being asked to proceed, retailed a familiar bit 
of classical mythology : " There is a great mountain in the sea, where there were 
three hundred cows, the property of Geryon, (3) and when the sun set they used 
to appear. It was a very rich place, and a navigator, who wished to steal the cows, 

(i) Apio is the Etruscan name for Apollo. 

(2) The ancients believed in tiiree zones, the highest of which was above the winter winds, and was the 
abode of the gods. Olympus was such a paradise. 

(3) There is a tribe in the Atlas called Ait Gerouan. 

Notes on Mount and Its Tkaditions. 


sailed thither and entered a ^reat cave, from which ho never came out ; and his 
name was Herakles." 

There can be no r|UCStion that this mountain, tlie true Mount Atlas, was the 
Peak of Tcneriffe, in which there is a vast cave that has never been fully explored. 
The Atlas country was the scene of" the labors of Hercules and of the feats of 
Perseus, who turned Atlas into a mountain by showing him the Gorgon's head. 

Herodotus says that the dress of the statue of Minerva was borrowed from the 
Atlas country, where clothes of kid-skin were made and colored with great skill. 
Such dresses may still be seen in the Museum of Las Palmas, taken from the 
mummy caves of the Guanches. He also suggests that the story of the head of 
Medusa being encircled with snakes, arose from the head having been placed on a 
shield ornamented by the Atlantes with a fringe consisting of long strips of 
leather, which at a distance might well look like snakes. These fringes arc still 
used by the Susis. 

Even the Greeks admitted that one of their most unintelligible myths, that of 
the fifty daughters of Danaus, who were doomed in hell to the task of filling 
sieves with water, came from Africa, and they, therefore, gave the brother of the 
Uanaides the name of Egyptiis, though modern Egyptologists have failed to meet 
with the myth in the religion of the ancient Egyptians. Many years ago a devout 
believer in "Arkite lore " detected an allusion to the deluge in the name of Danaus, 
which he traced to da)i, " water " or " rain." If he had called the fable a " rain 
myth," he would perhaps have been nearer the mark. It was evidently carried by 
the natives of the Atlas to Greece, where in time its original meaning was for- 
gotten, for we still find it in the folk-lore of the Susis, one of whom told me that 
" there is an old king in the stars of rain, who has many dancing women, who 
hold sieves filled with water ; and when he wishes them to dance, he thunders. 
The louder grow the peals, the quicker grows the dance, during which the sieves 
are emptied, and the water falls to the earth in a thunder shower." (4) 

These are a few only of the traditions and beliefs that carry us to Greece and 
Rome. We meet with Phoenician traditions also as to " Isiri, who taught the 
three letters"; while the belief in an imperfect creation, in which the forms of 
animals and men were blended together, recalls a similar tradition of the old 
Chaldeans (s). Of Egyptian ideas there are perhaps traces in a belief as to seven 
brothers who sail in their ship across the sky, and carry with them the spirits of 
the dead. 

(4) Grimm sajrs that the Pleiades (those stars of rain) were called in European mytholoRy "The 
Sieves." This myth may explain why throughout Africa, when it thunders, it is said " heaven beats, "ii.r., beats 
time to the dancers. 

(5) According to one of my Susi informants, the Aiissawa rites synibolire this idea by men represent- 
ing wild beasts, while the fat Moor on horseback represents the Good Spirit who civilized primeval man. 
This was the origin of mumming among the ancients and modern savages. 

a6 Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 

The Susis have a May Day festival, at which the " pole of Mala " is set up, at 
the summit of which is a doll composed of heads of wheat. Saints climb up the 
tree and scatter the wheat among the people, calling it " our life," " our susten- 
ance." The Mexicans used to erect an enormous cross, the symbol of rain, and 
on its summit was placed a similar doll, which, when reached by those climbing 
the pole, was scattered among the people, who treaiured the fragments as some- 
thing sacred, while the deity represented was called " our life," " our support." 
The coincidence is certainly very remarkable, for precisely the same words were 
addressed by the Iroquois to the three beneficent maidens who brought each her 
gift to mortals, the maize, the squash and the bean. 

Herodotus has mentioned that the peculiar cry of the women at the rites of 
Minerva, called ololuzein, was borrowed from the Libyan women, " who sing it 
very sweetly." I have Jicard this peculiar chorus or cry, which consists of a quick 
repetition of the word alo — alo alo alo alo. I am told that it is raised at the end 
of the feast of Mata.when water is poured over the image of the goddess ; and 
am reminded of the shout that resounded throughout Fiji at the close of the feast 
of Ratimaimbulu, who no doubt was the same as the god Alo-alo of the adjacent 
Friendly or Tongr. Islands. It would be exceedingly interesting if it should prove 
that the cry raised and carried from town to town in Fiji was, like that at the 
feast of Mata, alo alo alo alo. 

If there is any foundation f ir the belief of the earliest nations, and of the Susis 
themselves, that that co'-.ntry was once the seat of an ancient civilization, how can 
we account for the early rise of a great commercial and maritime people near 
Mount Atlas ? The answer may be given in one word — gold. One of the natives 
examined at Mogador was Mordecai Rhibo, a Jew from Ophran, which he de- 
scribed as a very ancient town, which from remote ages has been the entrepSt of 
the Timbuctoo gold trade. At that point the caravans separate, and go in different 
directions, one to the city of Morocco, and the other beyond Tripoli. 

There are very ancient Jewish tombstones there. There is also a vague tra- 
dition there that there is somewhere in the interior a tribe of Jews who are war- 
like and independent, and who have no knowledge of th'^ Second Temple, 

I ventured to suggest, when I rea3 my paper, that we have good reason to 
believe that the Ophir of the Bible and Saba or Sheba may yet be traced to that 
part of Africa. This has since been confirmed by my finding it. Procopius that 
one of the two great divisions of Mauritania was called Zaba. He also states that 
there was in his day (circ. A.D. 550) a very ancient city in Numidia, on the borders 
of Mauritania, called Barium, which from the most remote times had been 
inhabited by Jews, who had never paid tribute to any one. There was there, too, 
a very remarkable Jewish temple, which the Jews believed had been built by King 


Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 9f 

Solomon. As the adjoining country was called Zaba, and as no trace of the first 
temple has ever been found in Jerusalem, it is not impossible that this was the 
temple to which the Queen of Sheba paid her famous visit. 

It is probable that nomad Berbers, known as Sabaeans, hcid, in the days of 
Abraham, as they still have, the monopoly of the gold and ivory trade of central 
Africa, and with their caravans carried its products, including slaves, parrots and 
incense, to central Asia. (6) The Sabaeans were, like the Susis, astrologers, necro- 
mancers, traders and robbers, believing in the seven heavens, and worshipping 
the seven stars. It has been conjectured that in the Puranas traditions of an 
earthly paradise differing from that of the general Hindoo system seem to point 
to Africa (see Smith's Dictionary of Bible, tit. " Eden "). But the place to which 
we must turn cannot be, as Smith's article suggests, in southern Africa, but rather 
in north-western Africa, where the garden of the Hesperides and the Islands of 
the Blessed were situated. 

The Susis have a belief in seven heavens called Saba Samagwats. Saba means 
seven ; the other word, by the aid of a pre-Malayan language in Malacca, can be 
interpreted, as it is the same as samangats, " the spirits of the blessed," who 
reside in Pulo Bua, " the fruitful island in the west." I have also been shown a 
diagram of the mystic ladder for the descent and ascent of souls, called Acacol, 
representing " the path of the spirits " (Asero). It is like the ladder with seven 
lamps that typified the seven " houses " or " gates of heaven " in the rites of 
Mithra. These Susis are necromancers and astrologers, resembling the gypsies in 
looks, habits and ideas. One of them at the outset offered to bring up any spirit 
that I might wish to do my bidding, an offer that recalled the question of the 
Witch of Endor, "And the woman said, whom shall I bring up unto thee ?" 

To show how indestructible the peculiar traditions of these people are, I may 
mention that a Susi told me gravely of a remarkable race at the River Byblah 
(Byblus ?), " which is near the centre of the world, somewhere between us and the 
Soudan," who have the faces of dogs. Herodotus, 2,500 years ago, was told pre- 
cisely the same story, a belief in which among the Egyptians can be traced in 
their mystic cynocephali. (7) 

It may seem premature to endeavor to account for this strange collection of 
myths from apparently all parts of the world. A few facts connected with the 
history of Mount Atlas may be suggestive of interesting enquiries. 

(6) There Is a priestly tribe near the northern limits of the Sahara, called Oulad-hti-Saha, or Sabarrn, 
who guide caravans to Timbuctoo, steering by the Pleiades, not by the Pole Star. When a SusI Is In great 
peril, he ejaculates " Oulad-bu-Saba," just as an Italian peasant In a like case Invokes the saints. 

(7) Mr. Walter B. Harris (see " Dwarfs of Mount Atlas," p. 3) says : " I have often been asked by 
Moors whether it was true that there was a race of people In the south known as BenI Kerbou, with dogs' 
heads; and also a race with one eye (Cyclops). Benl Kerbou means 'the sons of dogs'" (see "Dwarfs of 
Mount Atlas," pp. 28, 29, 30). At Pount, In southern Morpcco, there are little Images with heads of dogs, 
called " Makerbu." There was a people there called by the Greeks " Macrobu " (the long-lived), for the 
Greeks, like many of our college professors, derived everything from Greek, 

a8 Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 

The earliest traditions of Greece point to Mount Atlas and to the garden of 
the Hesperides, which was on the flank of that mountain. The Susis told me that 
their people is the most ancient in the world. Diodorus Siculus says that the 
Atlantes claimed to be the most ancient of nations, and that their country was 
" the birthplace of all the gods of antiquity." Solon was told by the Egyptian 
priests the same tale, that the Atlantes were the first great commercial and mari- 
time people, and exceeded in wealth all the great nations of later times, and that 
they extended their concjuests as far as Greece ; but in consequence of a udden 
irruption of the sea, the great island they inhabited was buried under the waves 
in a single night. History proves, too, that the Berber race was once dominant 
over northern Africa, and it is probable that they supplied the Hycsos, or Shepherd 
dynasty, that ruled over Egypt for centuries, and who have been connected with 
the Moors and Berbers by Movers. 

One of the names of the Atlantes was Maxyans, which is possibly derived from 
a word in Arabic meaning " sheep." Atlas, who, as a daring navigator, 
" knew all the depths of the " ocean," and who taught Hercules astron- 
omy, was also called " a shepherd." The Susis (at least the nomiad portion of 
them) are still called by the Arabs Dcni Baccar, " the sons of the cow," the pastoral 
people. Even the word " Sos," according to Herodotus, meant in the sacred 
language of Egypt " cattle." 

It has been conjectured that the light-haired race, that from the most remote 
ages occupied the Atlas country, lost their language and adopted the Berber tongue. 

That Tarshish was a port in the Atlas country seems exceedingly probable. It 
is admitted that it was situated either in Spain or somewhere on the Atlantic sea- 
board. It was apparently the Birmingham of early ages, for its brazen dishes were 
an extensive article of export even to Phoenicia. We have now no trace of such an 
industry in Spain, but we have the clearest evidence that from the most remote 
times it flourished in Sus, the people of which seem to be a survival from the 
Bronze Age, for their principal trade is the manufacture of brass dishes, which they 
chase with marvellous taste, and which are perhaps known to us as the " beaten 
dishes" used in the Temple of Solomon. Leo Africanus says that Ifran was in his 
time (A. D., 1550) a seat of this industry, from the existence of extensive copper 
mines near that place. Though it is only known throughout Morocco as Ephran, 
its inhabitants call it Ophran, and such is the name given to it in the latest English 
map of that country. (8) 

To the ancient Jews it was probably known as Ophir, that mysterious city which 
tradition says was the capital of the Sabaeans, and connected with Tarshish. That 

(8) The far-famed " brazen gates of the wall of Agloo " were made at Ophran, sometimes called Ophiraa. 

Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 29 

tlie latter was u port of or Ophran, and situated on the coast of Sus (9). 
seems probable from some curious incidents in the history of Jonah, who instead 
of Koing eastward from Jerusalem to Nineveh, went to the remotest west, in a ship 
bound to Tarshish. 

To my surprise one day, u Susi told me that a great prophet was swallowed 
I)y a large fish and cast up by it on the coast of Sus, and 1 at iirst assumed that 
he had picked up this story from some Jew ; but I have since discovered thaX it 
is an ancient local tradition as to Hercules, the hero of the Atlas, who must have 
sailed from a port in western Morocco, for on ancient maps we find a harbor there 
called " the port of Hercules." The two stories (whichever may have been the 
original one) point to a tradition connected with the Atlantic and the coast of Sus. 

Many myths have a local origin in some natural phenomenon that primitive 
races cannot explain, except by the supernatural. We may find the key to this 
venerable tradition of antiquity as to Hercules in the existence, near the place in 
(lucstion, oi .sharp pointed rocks, which are fatal to whales that may be driven on 
them by a storm. Hercules, we are told (see Took's Pantheon, Part H, ch. i ; Ovid 
•Met., 11) "delivered Hesione, the daughter of Laomedon, King of Troy, from 
the whale in this manner ; ho raised, on a sudden, a bank in the place where 
Hesione was to be devoured, and stood armed before it ; and when the whale came 
seeking his prey, Hercules leaped into his mouth, slided down his throat, destroyed 
him, and came away safe." 

The tradition, which I had heard from a Susi, also existed in the days of Leo 
Africanus, who tells us that in the town of Messa, the name of which means " Lord," 
and at which the native^ believe that the promised Messiah will appear, is a very 
ancient and sacred temple, the rafttrs of which all consist of the bones of whales, 
in commemoration of a prophet having been cast up by a whale on the adjacent sea- 
shore ; and that in confirmation of this belief, the Moors pointed to the fact that 
all the whales immediately die that pass to the right of the temple. The historian 
was inclined to think that there might be something in the story, from his seeing 
at the time a dead whale floating near ; but a Jew ridiculed the superstition of the 
Moors, and explained the origin of it — by the existence and effects of the reef in 
question— that bank, no doubt, that Hercules raised suddenly for the destruction 
of the whale. I think there can be little question that this ancient whalebone temple 
of Jonah was originally built in honor of Hercules, the hero of the Atlas country ; 
and it is possible that the story connected with it may have been carried back to 
Palestine by the Jews of Ophir, and have been preserved by them in the history 
of the prophet Jonah. 

(9) Sus, a country bounding on the Atlantic, and south of the Atlaa, is called TaSus ("the Sus"). The 
River Sus is called Assi/ na Ta-Sm (" the liver of the Sus "). 

30 Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 

May not they also have brought back from Ophir the Book of Job ? That 
work is a singularly laithful picture of the productions, animals, traditions, man- 
ners and astronomical ideas that are still to be found south of Mount Atlas (lo). 
There to this day wandering bands from the desert sweep down upon the herds- 
man and the shepherd, and rob them of their herds and flocks ; and the ostrich, the 
hippopotamus, the nionsters of the ocean, the birds, the beasts, the treasures of the 
mine, and the stars that are described by the patriarch, are still familiar to its in- 
habitants. Even that auspicious constellation whose " sweet influences " are cele- 
brated by him, is known by the same name to the Susis, who call it Kimah (" a 
furrow" or " cornhill"), or "the stars of tillage" as it is termed by the far distant 
Bechuanas of South Africa (Silemcla). 

The people of Sus also believe that there is a certain night in the year when 
the stars hold a solemn festival, in which all the angels and the spirits of the great 
kings of old take part. The very words of the song of the Pleiades, who are known 
in the New World as well as in the Old as " the dancers," " the Celestial chorus " 
of the Greeks, "the Heavenly Host" of the Hebrews, and "the seven dancers" 
of the North American Indians, are familiar to ears that can catch " the music of 
the spheres," and have been repeated to mc by one of those favored mortals, a Susi 
wanderer from the Sahara : 

" Oh Moon, oh Mother, we hold our feast to-night, 

We are dancing before God, between heaven and earth," 

words that recall Milton's allusion to those " morning stars that sang together with 

joy" at the creation, 

" And the Pleiades before him danced, 
Shedding sweet influences." 

also <■* • »- 

" The gray dawn and the Pleiades, 
Shedding ' sweet influences '." 

This celestial festival evidently takes place on that night in November, when 
the full moon and the Pleiades are on the meridian together, for there is a Susi 
love song, 

" Oh come to me my love, and long remain. 
For the Pleiades are meeting the moon to-night." 

On that very night in November some tribes of the Australians still celebrate " the 
sweet influences of the Pleiades," and hold a grand corroboree in their honor, for 
" they are the children of the Sun and Moon," and " are very good to the black- 

(lo) Job is held In great reverence In southern Morocco, and Is the patron saint of more than one 
Kibe. We meet with one called Beni JoHb (" the sons of Job "). 



Notes on Mount Atlas and Its Traditions. 



Even the early Egyptians seem to have borrowed many of their religious ideas 
from an older civilization in the Atlas country, for it ha* been conjectured that all 
the niaRical features of the ritual of the Egyptians, and their belief as to the dangers 
attending the passage of the soul to Hades, were derived from the people south of 
the Atlas (see Smith's Diet, of the Bible, tit., " magic "). 

It is surprising to find that a country, venerated in the days of Homer as 
peopled by " the just Ethiopians " who were nearer to the gods than other men, 
and at whose banquets even Jupiter was sometimes a guest, a country, too, asso- 
ciated with paradise and the abodes of the blessed, should, a few hundred years 
after his time, have been lost sight of by the world, (ii) Herodotus does not refer 
to its past history, and learned little of the country south of the Atlas. Strabo says 
that in his time it was a terra incognita, for armies and even travellers had seldom 
reached it, and the few natives that visited Greece either invented fables about it, 
or were unwilling to tell what they knew about it. To this day it is closed against 
Europeans, none being able to visit it except by the hazardous experiment of pass- 
ing for a Moor. 

Leo Africanus, however, himself a Moor, who has described that country as it 
appeared in his day, and has told us how the Arabs had ravaged it, destroying the 
cities, and burning the ancient books of the Berbers, states that near the walls of 
one town, the stones of which, as large as those employed in the construction of 
the Coliseum at Rome, had defied the fury of the invaders, gold and silver medals 
are to be found, with characters which he had in vain endeavored to decipher ; 
and that everything indicates that at a former period these cities must have been 
the homes of a prosperous people. 

This paper is the first attempt that has been made to draw attention to the tra- 
ditions of a country that must once have played an important role in history. It 
is possible that future and more careful enquiries as to it may throw much light 
on the commerce, and perhaps on the origin of the Jews, and on many obscure 
points connected with early civilizations and mythologies ; and that they may even 
prove that the belief of the Susis and of the old Atlantes, that their land was " the 
birth-place of all the gods of antiquity " was not a baseless one. 

I intend, if my health permits me, to revisit that country, and to follow up 
these researches. 

(ii) Ionian and Carian mercenaries were largely employed not only by the Pharaohs, but also by the 
Libyans, thousands of years before the time of Homer, who must have been familiar with the history, the 
traditions, and the position of the Atlas country. The lonians divided the world into four quarters, one of 
which was not Egypt, but Libya. In time these mercenaries ceased to be employed In North Africa, and as 
the Carthaginians kept all strangers out of that country, the later Greeks lost almost all knowledge of the 
geographical position of Mount Atlas, and even transferred it and its myths to the Danube, and to the 
Caucasus. Hence we have the Amacons of Libya and of Asia, and an African and an Asiatic Herculet, 
etc., etc. 


(Keatl befora the NInib CoiiKresi of UrlentalliU, Seplembtr a, iHgi.) 


The singular, and at first siglit incredible, fact, that the existence of a race of 
dwarfs, under four feet IukIi, in the Atlas Mountains, only a few hundred miles from 
the Mediterranean, lias fur tlirce thousand years at least been kept a profound secret 
by the natives, was first brought to the notice of the scientific world by a paper of 
mine, read, in my absence, at the Bath meeting of the British Association in 1888. 
The information which had been collected by me was confirmed by that subsequently 
obtained at TIemcen, Algeria, by Miss Day, and at Tangier by the Kight Hon. Sir 
John Drummond Hay ; but it seemed prudent to defer publishing the paper until 
the point could be cleared up— why do so many of the Moors dread strangers know- 
ing about this pygmy race ? 

After a lapse of two years I was able to visdt that country early in November 
1890, and remained until June 13, i8yi, seven niontiis in all, and during that period 
managed to collect very conchisive evidence both from natives and from Europeans 
who resided in that country. 

In Equatorial Africa it has been observed with interest that the larger races 
near the dwarfs resemble them in color. In the Dra Valley, south of Mount Atlas, 
the dwarfs are called " the Little Haratin." " The Large Haratin " (or, mor- 
properly, "the Larger"), who were known to the ancients as the Melano-Gaetuli, 
or the Gaetuli-Darac, i.e., Dra-Gaetulians, have a reddish-black comolexion from 
intermarriages between the dwarfs and a Nigritian race, or a yellowish color from 
a cross between the dwarfs and light-colored tribes. 

The larger Haratin are generally about five feet high, though many tall men 
among them are to be found. In Sus, which lies between the ocean, and Dra and 
Akka, the dwarfs are called Aglimen, and their half-breed offshoots are rather a small 
race with a light red complexion, a tribe of acrobats called Ait Sidi Hamed Ou 

(I) Portions of my paper read before the Congress of Orientalists (1891), which appeared in The Times 
of September 3rd, 1891. and for which a medal was awarded by the Congress. The parts which referred to 
early dwarf races in America and the West Indies were not reported, nor that portion which traced the 
wide-spread belief In the Old World and In the New that the first Creation produced only monstrous or 
malformed mortals, to the existence of early dwarf races. The evidence whicli was relied on as to the 
existence of dwarfs in the Atlas, and which was submitted in MSS. to the Congress, Is printed for the use 
of those who may be Interested in the subject. (Sti " Dwarfs of Mount Atlas.") 


DwAKF Racks anu Dwarf Worsiiii'. 3j 

Moussa ("the tribe of our Lord llaiiu-d. the son of Moses"), The dwarfs some- 
times iicrform with them, avoidinR the coast towns where Europeans arc. These 
acrobats from Morocco, who are smiths and tinkers, are, according to Brugsch 
Bey (" Egypt imder the Pharaohs," Vol. I, p. 5). represented on the monuments 
of the Fourth Dynasty as performing in llgypt ! How long previously they had 
been known to the Egyptians cannot be conjectured. No doulit centuries, perhaps 
thousands of years ; nor is it likely tliat they limited their wanderings to l-'gyi)!. 
They prfibably found their way to the southern and northern shores of the Medi- 
terranean. Troy then did not exist. The Greeks wero savages. 

The Sidi Hamed On Moussa, who is referred to by Mr. Ilunot. told me an 
amusing story of an unprofitable performance of his troupe near a village of Daggata 
(Mhuk Jews), not far from Timbuctoo. The acrobats were surprised at nobody 
coming to see their performance. Birt they were still more surprised when they 
discovered that the whole population of the place had run away, believing that the 
acrobats were jins and imps who were amusing themselves. This will show what 
a profound impression must have been made by these acrobats, if they found their 
way to Greece at the remote period when they were depicted on the monuments 
of I-lgypt. 

The dwarfs of Mount Atlas, called Patiki, may be the dwarfs whose grotesque 
images were called by the same name — Pataeki, and the Cabeiric worship of which 
may have been an importation from the Phoenician colonies south of Mount Atlas. 

It is worthy of note that the scenes of nearly all the earliest myths of Greece 
are laid in Mount Atlas (called by tlu' natives Ida-na-Dauran or Ida-Dran — i.e., 
Mount Taurus), or in the Island of Crete, the first landing place for immigrants 
from Libya. Many are the traces of that migration in Crete and its myths. For 
instance, Ida is not a Greek but a Shilhach word, the eciuivalent of the Latin Mons. 
There arc scores of Idas in southern Morocco, though few, if any, north of the 
Great Atlas. The Greeks may have mistaken the Shilhach word for a " mountain " 
for a name, and thus have made their mythology centre in Mount Ida — i.e.. Mount 
Mons. The caves at its base became the workshops of mysterious cave dwellers, 
who established there their magic forges, and were called Idaei Dactyli (i) ; and 
were so revered that they were included among the great gods, the Cabeiri, some- 
times called in Greek Apataeki (2). It is somewhat startling, in this late age, to 
meet south of Mount Atlas with original versions of familiar Greek myths. Wc 
may from many others select one which was a very notable one among mytholo- 
gists. Mohammed-ben-Ibrahim, a Bent Bacchar, of Massa in Sus, says, " Theba is 
to the east of Paradise Mountain " (a hill near the source of the River Did). " It 

(0 The name Dactyl (literally "a finger"! may have meant a "dwarf," and have been a synonym of 
Pygmy (literally " a fist "). A dwarf is " a Hop o' my Thumb " ; in Kaffir, " a Thumb.' 

(a) This is an instance of the use of a, or la, before Berber names. Sus is always TaSiis," the Sus." 


DwARi' Racks and Dwark Woksiiu'. 


!|!l! ; 

was bnill oriKiiially l)y Kadinoii ; Kadiuoii is 11k> man who IoiikIU tin- Kiotind l)y 
the size of a cow's skin, and wlio hinuKlit lu-oplo in lioxcs to Ta I'lint, and took 
others hack. Ho was in tlio hahit of hiding the cows nndcr the ^ronnd." 

Prohahly on l)oth sides of llie Atlantic llie ancient dwellinRS cut in cliffs were 
made hy dwarfs. The little race to the west of " the sandy ridge " south of the 
Atlas, who captnrcd the Nasanionian explorers, are cilleil iiy Herodotus Troglodytes, 
The cliffs of the Atlas Mountains are fre(inently dotted with cave dwellings which 
must have hecn used hy a small, as (hey are not more than live feet high. 
Tliey are now no longi-r used, though 1 am told some of these dwarfs on the river 
Dora, or Didoo, in the Hani Mountains, near Tinzone, arc still Troglodytes. They 
were proh.ihly the trihe of dwarfs which ancient writers say owned a reiuarkahly 
small hreed of horses. The ponies of the dwarf? near the Sahara are famed for 
their endurance and speed, and are therefore used hy them in hunting ostriches. 
Rahhi Juda, a .Shilhach Jew, of Ternata, in the Dra Valley, says, " the little people 
are not Moslems. It is supposed that they worship Oidoo Kiri. They kce|) th.-ir 
feast hy themselves. There are many of them near the Soudan ; the Arahs fear 

them and i);iy to he allowed to pass througli tlu-ir country. Pheir horses can 

do without water for four days and are called dwiminagh (they that drink the 

The dwarfs are very holy men, tliough they shave their faces, and do not love 
the Prophet as much as they should. Some say they are fhristians ; others 
.issert that they are idolaters and " worship Didoo Isiri." Sometimes I had little 
dilliculty in getting the Moors to s|>eak of them, though they have exclaimed with 
.surprise, " How do you come to know .iiiything ahout them ?" Mnt superstitious 
natives, and C!*peiially the Haratin living Tamanart in the Dra Valley, have 
often cut short the conversation on my pressing them to tell me as to the nunihers 
and place of residence ot the dwarfs, etc. One said, " It is a sin to speak ahout 
them to you. I shall say nothing." Others say, " God has sent them to us. We 
must not talk ahout them." A young Jew now living in Manchester, hut a native 
of Mogador, said that the Moors worshipped these Harakers, and would not talk 
freely ahout them to the Jews. He had trie<l to find out ahout them, hut without 
success. He had constantly, when a hoy, seen an old llar.iker who died at .\logador 
ahout eight or ten, years ago, who was looked on as a great saint, and as such 
was kissed on the shoulders hy the Moors as they passed him in the street. These 
dwarfs are supposed to hring good luck to the towns where they reside, and arc 
guardians and protcctorsi, resemlHing in this respect the Palladium of the Trojans. 
If strangers were to succeed in carrying them out of the country, good luck would 
depart with them. It is prohahlc that some such superstitious helief at the 
hottom of the difficulty which puzzled and baffled Schwcinfurth in his attempt to 

UwAKF Racks anu Dwari' Worsiiii'. 


get a sinhl of tlic dwarf Akkas i)f tlic Monbutto country, tlic kinff of wliiili sent 
away by iiinbl bis roKimciit oJ dwarfs so as to kcci) tboin out of tlie way of liis 


In I'.iiiDpc :iii(l Ilritain tlic dwarfs of i-arly agos art- ri'inoinl)crcd as sniitbs. 
artitiiors and inaKii-ians, l)Ut no oiu> ba» conjoctured wlu'ri- tboy can bavo come 
from. If the Ura was, as it is believed by some to bave been, a great prebistoric 
workshop, the nirniingliani of tlie Rronze Age, tbe problem could be easily 
settled. The little and tbe larger Haratin are stil! creat worker.-^ in metal, magi- 
cians and potent (b)ctors, whose staple remedy seems to be safe if not sure. Tbcy 
make little books, which .ire canied .ibont as cb;irms or are placed in water, which 
has marvellous virtues that cm cure all tbe ills that llesb is beir to. Wherever 
the Ilaralin went they nnist ha\'e "astonished tbe natives," as they wear a pecidiar 
baik, which has a large eye on its back, about a yard in lei\gtb. It is prol)able 
that the earliest Ir.iditions of Greece described wandering bands of masons .ind 
smiths ;is " tbe men with tbe eye," which in time may bave become " the men with 
only one eye "—the Cyclopes. A kbanif such as they is now in my pos- 
session. Tbe skill of the modern Cyclops is devoted to siidving deep wells. Tbe 
wdl-sinkers of Morocco come from tbe Dr.i to the cities north of tbe .'\tlas, and 
are still to be .seen wearing their Cycloi)e;m baik. (,0 In northern Morocco there 
is a belief that there is under the ground a race of little nu-n who can be beard at 
work. Two centuries ago it was said that this belief existed also in Wales. 
" Robert Kirk, minister of Aberfoyle," in bis work pid)lisbed in i^xji on " Tbe 
Secret Commonwealth," which treats exhaustively of " tbe subterranean people," 
their appearance, habits, dwellings, etc., says (p. 14), " b'ven fuiglisb atitbors rel.ite 
<if Barry Isljind, in (ilamorganshire, tb'.t laying your ear mito a clift' of the rocks, 
blowing of bellows, striking of hammers, clashing of armor, fding of iron, will be 
heard distinctly ever since Merlin enchanted those subterranean wights to .i solid 
forging of iirms for Aurelius And)rosius and bis Ibitons till be returned. Which 
IMerlin, being killed in baltell, and not coming to loose the knot, those active 
Vulcans .ire ly'd to a perpetual labor." The mention of little Vulcans reminds 
us the father of the gods, the oldest of all, Vulcan or Patab, tbe eighth of the 
earliest .system of I-lgyptian deities, was a Pataecus, and was represented as a 
dwarf. Classical mythology has made Vulcan lame and deformed, while his work- 
men, " tbe seven Cyclopes," were supposed to represent tbe earliest race of men, 
those progenitors of mankind whom the Hindoos worship as the Pitris. If he, the 
greatest, was a dvva.f, the other seven must also bave been dwarfs. What a begin- 
ning for the gods of anti(|uity— seven dwarf masons with their pygmy ma.ster- 
mason ! Well may tbe Haratin boast, as their ancestors, tbe old Atlantes. did, 

(3) Dr. Oliver sayi that the " all-seeing eye " It a Masonic tymbol I 




Dwarf Races and Dwarf Worship. 

that they are the oldest people in the world, and that all other nations got their 
gods from them. 

Professor Sayce, in his excellent note on Herodotus, B. III., Chap. 2,T, says 
that Ptah is represented as a dwarf (see also Rawlinson's and Kenrick's notes) ; 
and Egyptologists admit that the oldest type of the divinity in Egypt was that of 
Ptah. " the Creator " (identified by the Greeks with their Hephaistos, " the Architect 
of the Universe "). 

He also points out, what I think is a new idea, that from the name Ptah, or 
Patah, is derived tnat of Pataeki ; and that those little-known groups of divinities 
called Pataeki or Cabeiri were sometimes classed together. But there is a con- 
firmation of his view of the connection of names between Patah and Pataeki in the 
remarkable fact that Patah and the Pataeki were dwarfs. Nor was this earliest 
form of the Godhead, the deification of pygmies, confined to Egypt, for Selden 
says that all the greatest gods of Palestine and Syria were Pataeki, and he shows 
that little images of them were supposed to bring safety and good luck, and were 
placed on prows of ships by the Phoenicians, while the presiding genius and pro- 
tector of the banquet table of the Greeks was an image of a pygmy Hercules. 

Probably in Rome they were the venerated Penates, who were cla9sed among 
the Cabeiri, and were household gods, which, under different names, were wor- 
shipped among so many nations of antiquity. It was, perhaps, a feeling that it was 
unlucky to speak of these pygmy deities that has thrown a cloud of mystery over 
the CabirJc divinities of antiquity. Movers, in the first chapter of his Phonizier, 
says that that group of deities called Dactyls, Cabiri, Corybantcs and Cyclopes 
were similar to those old Germanic divinities now known as Kobolds. I had not 
read this passage when I suggested that they were like our Fairies and Brownies 
The Monbuttoo regard the Akkas " as a sort of benevolent spirits or mandrakes, 
who are in no way detrimental." (See " Heart of Africa," II., 145.) A reference 
to Mr. MacRitchie's interesting little work, "The Testimony of Tradition" (Paul, 
Trench & Co., 1890), pp. 131-137, shows that the memory of a dwarf race of smiths 
was once reverenced by the Irish, whose old " God of the Bru of the Boyne," seems 
to have been a Vulcan. 

The seven companions of Vulcan, his masons or workmen, the Seven Cyclopes, 
who, as we have seen, are included among the dwarf Pataeki, derived their name 
from their having had only one eye each. The same myth is related about the 
Arimaspi, and they, too, strange to say, were workers in metals or a mining race ; 
and is still told, as we have already seen, respecting the dwarfs both of Equa- 
torial Akka and of Akka in the Southern Atlas. Writers on the Isle of Man 
and the Highlands seem to agree that the fairies represent an extinct dwarf race. 
Mr. Mac Ritchie seeks for existing representatives of it among the Eskimo, Lap- 

Dwarf Races and Dwarf Worship. 




landers, and even the distant Ainos. It is possible that we may find some survivals 
of this race of dwarfs without going as far north as the Arctic regions, or as far 
south as the Albert Nyanza or the Congo. 

We need not regard with incredulity, or " with a disdainful smile," the ven- 
eration of the Moors and of the Monbuttoo for these dwarfs, for the very same 
superstition still exists among some of our peasantry, though it is now between 
one and two thousand years, at least, since the dwarf race in Britain died out, and 
was represented by ' the Little People," that haunt the fairy " knowes" or mounds 
of Wales and Ireland. " I am a Welshman," writes Professor Sayce, September 
27th, " and was brought up in a Welsh village, so I know that the Kelts do not 
like to mention the fairies. My own nurse's brother had been carried off to fairy- 
land for a year. Do not forget that the Basques have a Cyclops myth of the one- 
eyed Tartaroa. You will find the picture of a dwarf from the twelfth dynasty tombs 
of Beni-Hassen, given in Wilkinson's "Ancient Egyptians " (Birch's edition), 
II., 70." 

If any practical joker were to visit (after due notice of his coming and its 
professed object), all the "fairy mounds" in secluded districts in Wales and Ireland, 
and were to pretend to go through a form of exorcising and banishing " the Good 
People" from their ancient homes, he would create a storm among the peasantry 
that would rather astonish him. 



The paper read on this subject at the Oriental Congress on September 2, has 
attracted so much attention, and created so much discussion, that it is desirable to 
[[ have the statements of natives and others on the subject placed within the reach of 

:i those who arc interested in such questions, especially as The Times has summed 

j up the proof of the existence of a dwarf race south of Mount Atlas as consisting 

of the statements of " two or three stray Englishmen," while another paper has 
asserted that only " two or three natives could be found " who would admit that 
they had any knowledge of such a race. The best way to comment on such reck- 
less criticism is to publish the evidence. 

But before going into the testimony in support of the existence of this race of 

I dwarfs, I may refer to an unwillingness on the part of many natives to speak of 
;j them, arising probably from the belief that it is not lucky to do so, which prevents 

hjl an Irish peasant from mentioning the name of the " fairies," who are only called 

Ihj the little people," "the good people," "the gentry," etc., a vestige of the in- 

fluence in the earliest ages of a worship of a dwarf race 

In 1881, I commenced investigations into the beliefs, traditions, and ethnology 
of the races that inhabit the country south of the Great Atlas, many of whom come 
to northern towns in caravans, or as acrobats, or wandering fortune-tellers, or cun- 
ning workers in silver, brass and leather. Up to that date, and for several years 

II afterwards, I was the only person who had made these people a subject of study. 
The Moors north of the Atlas seemed to know as little as Europeans do of that 
southern land. While jotting down some of the legends which I was told by a few 

j |j j of the people of Sus or Dra whom I examined in 1882 (for many of them would 

lllj 1 11 I tell me nothing, or were timid or stupid), mention was made of the " little people" 

jjljl I jl|! by a Susi that I met at Tangier, and also by a Taleb that was examined at Mogadon 

ii* ' According to the first, " Ayusa or Idyl is the name of the small people that bring 

down Isiri and take him back." The second said, " On that day the Adusal (a small 
people) will appear." I never suspected that these expressions referred to a dwarf 
race, but assumed that they alluded to cherubs or fairies. 

The next time that I heard of these " little people " was while in Algeria, early 

in 1888. A remarkably intelligent Susi, who had lived as a valet or cook in England 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 


for some years, was engaged by me as a servant. He spoke English as fluently as 
an Englishman, and had become a Christian, and notliing delighted him more than 
to talk about his country and its people. His native place was loo miles east of 
Massa, i.e., about two days from Akka. (i) 

One day he volunteered an account of the feast of Ashura, where the people 
that attend the fairs are personated with great skill. Among the persons repre- 
sented he named "Akkas," and Jews, and was proceeding to describe the peculiar 
dress and look of the Sus Jews, when I asked him " Who are these Akkas ?" He 
then described them as a race of little people not higher than four feet, and of a 
peculiar reddish color, " like that of a Red Indian of America," and differing from 
the complexions of Moors, Arabs, negroes, etc. According to him they were very 
brave and active, and dressed more like the French than the Moors, as they wore 
a woollen shirt embroidered at the neck in front and on the back. They had red 
leather boots or leggings coming up nearly to the knee, and their knife or dagger 
had a peculiar crescent-shaped handle. They made spindles and other small 
articles, which they sold at the markets. Their name was derived from their living 
in Akka, the country adjoining his own. 

The story seemed so utterly incredible that I did not believe it, for I felt con- 
vinced that if there was a dwarf race so near the Mediterranean, the world would 
long ago have heard of them. He himself did not seem to think they would in- 
terest me, and merely mentioned them casually; and had I not brought him back to 
the Akkas by my wish to know who they were, ha would have passed on to other 
subjects, and I would never have suspected that he had alluded to a dwarf race. 
On one point I knew he was correct, viz., that there is a district, a very barren 
one, between Dra and the Sahara called Akka. 

The conversation was forgotten, and probably never would have been recalled 
to my mind but for my seeing in The Times and other English papers, about two 
months afterwards, that Emin Pasha had sent to the Royal Society skeletons of two 
Akkas, a dwarf race living at Akka, in the Monbutto country, who are the smallest 
people in the world, as they are not much over four feet in height. The com- 
plexion of these Akkas was described as " like the color of slightly roasted coffee." 

Hamed was sent for, and was asked to repeat his description of the small peo- 
ple about whom he had spoken to me. His account in no way varied from that 
which he had previously given. He could not read, and therefore could not have 
heard of the Albert Nyanza and its district of Akka with its dwarfs, for up to that 
time but little had been known about these Akkas in England, except through the 
works of one or two travellers. I had, unfortunately, when I was reading " The 
Heart of Africa," and had reached the amusing picture of a Bongo native in the 

(i) The Lesser Atlas divides Akka firom Sus, but there are several roads through passes, nblch connect 

40 The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 

second volume, been interrupted by somebody, and had never read the rest of the 
book. The discussion about the dwarf skeletons, and the description of Stanley's 
dwarfs, have made everyone familiar with the name of the Akka dwarfs near the 
Albert Nyanza. 

I immediately wrote what had occurred to several persons In different towns 
in Morocco and Algeria, and asked them to hunt up some natives of Akka or Dra, 
or a Jew from Ophran, and to find out whether they had ever heard of a very 
small race cf Jvvarfs in that country. 

The first to reply to the letter was the Right Hon. Sir J. Drummond Hay, who 
was spending the winter at Tangier, and who had for many years been connected 
with Morocco as our minister to that country. His first letter, dated May loth, was 
as follows : 

" The information you had received regarding the race of men dwelling at 

Akka, a barren district adjoining the Dra country, is quite correct. They are 

i|i}l': described to me as a race about four feet high, broad and muscular. They are 

Ij called Nezeegan. The Moor who gave my informant this account oT these people, 

said they live on milk and camels' flesh. They pound the flesh and salt it. The 

pounded meat is put in goat skins, and a handful of this stuff will suffice as the 

sustenance of a man' tor two days. They are renowned for strength and courage. 

jili^ljlll "The Dra Moor said that a European, dressed as a Mohammedan, and calling 

himself a Sliereef, visited Akka, and found there a slab with an inscription on it, 
and carried it off. The Akka inhabitants did not discover, until after he left, that 
he was not a Shereef, but a Christian disguised as a Mohammedan. I have no 
notion who this traveller may have been." 

The second letter is dated June 6th, 1888: 

" With reference to the queries put in your letter of the 26th ultimo, the only 
further information I can obtain is that the small race arc of a mahogany color, 
i ji}]! with hair like that of negroes, and that they use the Shilhach language, but that there 

is a slight difference in the dialect from that spoken by the population of Sus. 
Berber and Shilhach are as alike as the Portuguese and Spanish languages. My in- 
formant now tells me that the tribe to which the Akka people belong is called ' Ait 
Wakka,' and that they live in a district adjoining the Dra country. 

" My informant says that the Akkas have all a similar cast of countenance, and 
that a stranger can hardly distinguish one adult male from another." 

Again, oni the 23d June, 1888, he wrote: "My informant says that the dwarf, 
or small race, were not negroes, but dark, with features so alike that it is hard to 
know one from the other. Hair crisp and curly." 

After my paper was read before the Congress of Orientalists, he wrote me: 

" During my long residence in Morocco, upwards of half-a-century, I ought, 





The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 


as may be expected, to be well acquainted with that country and its inhabitants. 
Though I have travelled frequently in the interior where the Moors and Arabs re- 
side, I have never ventured to penetrate into the mountainous districts inhabited 
by wild Berber races, except on the northern slopes of the Atlas. The Berbers of 
the south differ from the northern people as much as gypsies do from the Eng- 
lish peasantry. 

" They are an intelligent race, skilled as smiths, tinkers, well-sinkers, makers 
of leather, acrobats, jugglers, fortune-tellers, and professional seekers for buried 
treasure, and are in possession, as it has come to my knowledge sometimes, of 
documents and oral traditions about treasure hidden by their forefathers. You 
were the first to make the Berbers dwelling on the southern slopes of the Atlas a 
special subject of study, when you commenced researches ten years ago, and since 
then you have, in a great measure, been alone in enquiries regarding their legends 
and beliefs, and have devoted, to my knowledge, much time to patient research, and 
have taken infinite pains, at some considerable expense, to obtain information as 
to this unknown field. With regard to the present controversy raised regarding 
the existence of a dwarf race, I remember in 1888 you wrote to me, from Algeria, 
about your servant, a native of Soos, having stated that there was in Akka, the 
country adjoining the Soos district he came from, a race of dwarfs about four feet 
high, having a reddish complexion, differing from that of the Moors, Arabs, 
Berbers, or negroes. It is, as you are aware, a fact that there is a district 
called Akka near the Albert Nyanza with a precisely similar race of dwarfs, a coin- 
cidence which we can hardly suppose to be a chance one. I had also a late oppor- 
tunity of questioning a native of Dra on the subject of dwarfs, and he gave without 
hesitation, and as I am led to believe truthfully, the same account as my previous 
informant, whom he did not know I had examined ; but he said that the Dra 
dwarfs are called the Little Harateen. He described them as being about four 
feet high, with a red complexion and short woolly hair. He said ' they are very 
active, and are more ancient than the larger Harateen, who are sprung from them 
and resemble them in color and ways, but are taller from intermarrying with other 
races. The small people are called Baraka or Oulad Mebrok, the Blessed Tribe, 
or Sons of the Blessed, and are supposed to bring good luck, so we do not like 
to talk about them.' 

" It does not appear that the dwarfs are as numerous in North as in Equatorial 
Africa, but of their existence I have little doubt. I have met individuals occasionally of 
this race, as described, before I knew of the interest which is at present attached 
to these people, and so had not taken an opportunity of conversing with them. 

" I regret to have seen articles and letters addressed to public journals calling 
m question the accuracy of the interesting account you gave of the Dwarf Race in 


Thb Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 


Morocco at the Oriental Congress. T hope you will ere long publish for the 
benefit of the literary world the result of your researches regarding the history of 
the people dwelling un the southern slopes of the Atlas." 

Miss Lena Day, belonging to the ^fission to the Berbers at Tlenicen, in reply 
to my queries, wrote : '" In reply to your letter, I have done my best to obtain in- 
formation in answer to your questions, but as the time you have given me is rather 
short, I have only been able to find one man from Sus, but he told me that the 
Akkas are not dwarfs, but on the average five feet high ; that the word you men- 
tion, Nezeegan, is the name of a tribe of dwarfs living in a town called Nezeeg, 
thence their name ; that the town Nezeeg is very near Sus, whereas the tribe of Ait 
Atta (not Akka) is some distance from Sus, though its people do frecjuent Sus for 
commerce. The NezecRan resemble the Arabs in every particular, but their height 
IS less than four feet. Their liournous is made of three and-a-half yards of material. 
According to this man's account the Ait Attu resemble the French nation in ap- 
pearance and dress, and it is said that they were once Christians, but are now 
Mohammedans, governed by a Cadi, and under the power of the Sultan." 

Again on the 29th June, 1888, she wrote : " I hav delayed answering yur let- 
ter, hoping to get more reliable information, but I have only succeeded in seeing 
one man from Sus who has been at Nezeeg. Both men are agreed that the dwarfs 
are not negroes." 

This information obtained by separate enquiries at Tangier and TIemcen strongly 
confirmed the story told me by my Susi servant. It was clear that the dwarf natives 
of Akka, near the Victoria Nyanza, must belong to the same race as the little natives 
of Akka in the southern Atlas, as they were precisely alike in every particular, ex- 
cept that the one race is savage and the other is civilized. As they are both red- 
complexioned, it is possible that their name may be derived from "akka" (red). 
HI It was evident that the subject ought not to be neglected, but that somebody 

|S ought to look into it in Morocco. From the state of my health I did not feel 

p disposed to engage in an investigation which would need many months of steady 

:i\i work. Therefore, while passing through Paris, I called on a well-known Egyptolo- 

!!! gist. Professor Maspero, and urged him to take up the archaeology and ethnology 

lliil|fi of the southern Atlas, and I offered to meet him at Mogador, and to bring the 

Ipj natives to him who could tell him the legends and folk-lore of that region. 


lifj He was told that the god Didoo (called by Brugsch Bey a " Nubi- Libyan 





divinity"), one of the oldest of Egyptian gods, must have come from the country 

south of Mount Atlas, for rivers and tribes bear his name, viz.: The district of Did 

j!!; or Didan; the Ait Didi, or Didoo; Ait Hedidoo, and Ait Doodoon; the River Did 

(which by its junction with the Idermi forms the Dra), and the River Didoo or 

Dora, in the Black Mountains, near Tinzone, a range of the Bani Mountains ; 



The Dwakfs of Mount Atlas. 


while the name of the god Dichio is known south of the Atlas as Didoo 
Isiri. It has since transpired tiiat "'an ancient city of idolaters" in the Dra Valley, 
now in ruins, and called Ta-Punt by the natives, is also called " Anibna Didoo" 
(" the town of Didoo "). It was pointed out tiiat the traditions and beliefs of 
the people of that country had never been studied by anyone except by myself, 
and that we must seek there for that Cradle Land of the ligyplians, " the Holy 
Land of Punt," and not " somewhere on the shores of the Indian Ocean." 

A point of less importance, but of a good deal of interest, was also suggested to 
him, that evidence as to the existence of a dwarf race in the district of Akka, a 
country bounding to the south on the Sahara, had come to light. 

As far back as i88.^, a copy of a paper on " Mount Atlas and its Traditions," 
read at Montreal in 1882, was sent to Professor Sayce, and he was urged to spenj 
a winter in Morocco and to look into the archaeology of that country. 

For the first time, then, in November last I took part in investigations as to 
the dwarfs. As previous to that the enquiries were made by others and at a great 
distance from me, I may state what others have learned and know as to these 
dwarfs before giving an account of my enquiries and their results. 

We have seen what was gleaned by Sir J. Drummond Hay's cnciuiries and also 
by those of Miss Day. 

The late Mr. Aissa Farar, a colporteur, was visited at Beni Miskeen by a dwarf 
not over four feet high, who wished To buy an Arabic copy of the Gospels, and 
who, on being told the price, went away and returned with poultry, etc., equal in 
value to the price named, and on receiving the book kissed it reverently and hid 
it away in a fold of his dress. He was much more cordial and friendly than any 
of the Moors had been, a circumstance that lends some color to the statements 
often made as to these dwarfs, that some of them are Christians. The dwarf said 
he came from a very wild and inaccessible country to the eastward, where his 
tribe lived secluded from other people ; and he told a curious story as to the crea- 
tion of a dwarf race, and why the Creator allowed them to be so small, and so 
many other races so tall. 

Mr. Farar was on a long excursion this summer in northern Morocco, and 
was determined to find this little man, and get him to act as a guide to where his 
tribesmen live. I have but little doubt that he obtained some further information 
before he returned to Tangier. Arabic was his native language, so he had special 
advantages for seeing much of the natives. It is to be regretted very much that a 
fever (probably caught on his journey) proved fatal to him a few months :<go. It 
is likely, however, that his family or friends may know what were the results of 
his enquiries as to these dwarfs. 

The fourth person who made enquiries as to whether there was really a race 

44 The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 

of dwarfs as alleged, was Miss Hcrdman, at that time residing in Fez in connec- 
tion with the Mission to the Berbers. Her abilities and l<nowlcdKC of the Moors, 
and of their language and customs, are spuken must iiiKhly "i by all who know 
her. Unfortunately, I had, soon after writing to her, mentioned these dwarfs to a 
retired leader of a troop of acrobats (2) called Sidi Hamed Ou Moussa, and sug- 
gested to him that it would pay him to take a dwarf to England to be shown to 
scientific societies, and exhibited to the public. He professed never to have heard 
of such a race ; and on my laughing and saying that I would And the dwarf, as 
there was one at Fez. he oflFcred to write to him, which I did not wish him to do, 
as he would, no doubt, write forbidding the dwarf to be seen by Europeans. I 
wrote again to Miss Herdman, and told her she would probably not be able to 
get a sight of the dwarf. My anticipations were realized. In a few days he was at 
the point of death I 

Her letter dated at Fez, February 4th, 1891, says: 

" Tkfre is a tribe of dwarfs inhabiting a part of Sus, called Oulad Sidi Hamed 
Ou Moussa, or Sidi tiamed ben Muussa. Some of them arc acrobats, and come 
occasionally to For.. They are expected in the spring. As the court is at Morocco, 
I think they are more likely, however, to go there, as there is more money going 
there. There is s man living at Fez of the tribe. I know persons who know 
him. Unfortunately he is too ill to leave his bed at present, I am told, and is likely 
to die, having been nilitiR some time. They are about four feet high. Various 
persons from Sus have described them to me, and say that a woman is the size of an 
ordinary little girl, and a man with a beard is like a little boy. They are never 
I called Akkas or any name but that which I have mentioned. Some are larger 

than others.. Write to Morocco City, as they will be almost certain to be there for 
the festivities of the wedding of the Emperor's son. 

" You may rely on the information I have given you, as I have it from various 
sources. There are no dwarfs between Fez and Morocco, as far as I know." 

"Our man-servant, a well-read Moor, did his best to bring correct news. The 
dwarfs arc said to be ratlicr expert thieves, for they climb on each other's shoul- 
ders, and so scale high walls. Others say that they can climb like cats without any 

It will be seen that everybody that so far has described them, agrees with Miss 
Herdman in her account of the height of these dwarfs, who, with their distant 
kinsmen of Equatorial Akka, are the smallest race in the world. 

Mr. Walter B. Harris, the well-known tiaveller in Morocco, and author of 
"The Land of an African Sultan," whom I met for a few minutes at Tangier in 

(s) The dwarts often perform with these acrobats, but avoid the coast towns, where Europeans are. 
Tliey hare probably the same relationship with the Sidi Hamed Ou Moussa that the liule Harateen have with 
tlie larger Harateen. Many outsiders are allowed to join the troupes for a time. 

The Dwarfs ok Mount Atlas. 45 

November last, told me that he had seen a dwarf at Fez about (our feet high, 
and he promised to make enquiries as to this race, and to get .1 photoi^raph, if 
possible, of one of tiiem. 

In September, 1891, he wrote to tnc: 

" I am intensely interested in the dwarf <|Ucst1on, and intend leavinK (or Morocco 
in November, when I shall make every possible cncjuiry about the subject, and I 
hope to meet with success. Of the existence o( dwar( tribes I have absolutely no 
doubt. While in the interior I made the acquaintance o( a leadinR Moor, who told 
me that such dwar( tribes existed, and that he was yearly visited by three or (our 
dwarfs on business." 

The following extracts from a letter from him in The Times of September 14, 
1891, are in accord with the preceding accounts of these dwarfs: 

" Mr. R. G. Haliburton, in an interesting paper read before the Congress of 
Orientalists and reported in The Times of Tiuirsday, September 3, gives an ac- 
count of the dwarf tribes of southern Morocco and Mount Atlas. 

" I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Haliburton in Morocco in November last, 
and of conversing with him on this subject. I left Tangier the day after this con- 
versation, and, excepting for a short visit, did not find myself again in that port 
until ten months later, at the end of August, when I left for England, arriving ten 
days ago. This fact alone prevented me couiniunicating my notes to Mr. Hali- 
burton on the subject before his paper was read, and, as I feel sure that the ex- 
istence of these hitherto almost unknown dwarfs will not fail to interest the public, 
I take the liberty of writing to your paper as the best means of adding a few ad- 
ditional facts to Mr. Haliburton's most interesting account. 

" The first time I chanced upon one of these dwarfs was in the early months of 
1887, in Fez, but except noticing him as a peculiarly, nay remarkably, small man, 
it little struck me that he might belong to a tribe uniform in stature. This man, 
by name 'Rebber, I afterwards became tolerably well acquainted with on several 
subsequent visits to Fez, but in spite of my being on speaking terms with him I 
found it difficult to persuade him to put aside his reserve and speak freely of his 
people, and impossible to measure him. However, I estimated his height at about 
four feet two inches. He is in, or past, middle life, the father of a family, and the 
husband of a Moorish woman of normal size. The fact that his children are the 
average height of the Arabs and Moors of Fez might lead one to suppose, did I 
not know positively to the contrary, that this dwarf is only a stray case of under- 
growth, and not coming of a dwarf people. He is sharp in wit, lithe in limb, and 
most active, by no means unskilled with the single-sticks, and a capital rider. In 
color he is a light dusky brown. He grows a short scrubby grey-black beard. Un- 
til this year this much-petted and well-known dwarf of Fez was the only specimen 


Thb DwARfs uf Mount Atlah. 

I liad clianced ii|ion, but during this laM spring fortune put another in my way, 
this time a younger man. As I was travelling in native costume, he seemed much 
less reserved and suspicious than his (ellow-tribfsmen, and ci\tcred into conversa- 
tion tolerably freely, tiiongh he again refused to be nieasiircd or to allow mc to 
take his photograph or measurements of his sicull and limbs, flis tribe he stated 
to be Mohanmiedans, living in caves and tents in a range of mountains situated 
to the southeast of Wad Draa, but he did not know the name ' Bani' applied to 
these mountains by Mr. Ilaliburton, nor did he describe the Akkari, (j) or in 
habitants of Akkar, as being dwarfs, though a tribe of them is resident among 
them. However, the evidence of Mr. Haliburton, and the strange coincidence of 
Schwcinfurth's Akka of Central Africa lead me to discredit this statement, or 
r.ithcr perhaps to believe that he was unaware that the name Akkari is used for 
the dwarfs as well as for a larger people. He continued to say that his people are 
keepers of goats and herds, and in tiuir own country do but little manual work, 
though one and all have some knowledge of trade, such as tinkering and mending 
old shoes, etc., which they practise should they migrate or travel from their native 
lands. Arabic and Slileh arc alike spoken by them, but I could discover nothing 
of a distinctive language. They are skilled, he said, in hunting ostriches, the fcith- 
ers and eggs of which they sell to the Arab traders of the Sahara. Their country 
can be reached either by Tafilet, or Tafilclt, as it is called by the Arabs and Ber- 
bers, or by Tarudant, in the Soos Valley. 

" Mr. Ilunot also mentions that the natives of the Atlas Mountains arc desirous 
of discovering the ancient treasure-houses of the ' Ronii,' as they call their pre- 
decessors in that part. At Inimintelleh, above Amzmiz, a small town situated to 
the southwest of Morocco City and at the northern foot of the Atlas, I was con- 
stantly (|ue.stioned about a treasure-house of the ' Christians,' said to exist at the 
bottom of a curious deep pool, into which the water flowed by a subterranean 
channel far beneath the surface. Of this spot I gave a short description at one of 
the meetings of the Royal Geographical Society (' Proceedings,' January, 
1889). An Akkari, or inhabitant of Akkar, I came across at Wazan, a 
man by name Abdurrahman, who did not deny the existence of tha 
dwarfs, as so many do either from ignorance or superstition, but denied 
that the name Akkari applied to them, stating, as did the second dwarf 
I interviewed, that they were large people, as he himself was, but 
that many of the dwarfs were living amongst them, and that more till inhabited 
the mountains to the southeast of Wad Draa. In questioning him as to ruins, etc., 
in the neighborhood, he mentioned to me the existence of a ruined and unin- 
habited town, in good preservation, by name ' Osuru,' a name that will no doubt 

(3) This name should be Akkoui. 

The Dwarfs uf Mount Atlas. Af 

interest Mr. Ilaliburton ns being connected with the worship of ' Diiloo Osiri.' 
' Osuru' and ' Osiri" can be easily cxplainc<| to be one. owinR to the probablo 
omission of the two latter vowels in the Arabic spcllinK. This Abdurrahman EI 
Akkari is a man of medium height, light brown in color, of pleasing features ; he 
is :i worker and mender of old shoes. He denied that the dwarfs arc ' worshipped 
by the Moors,' and could in no ways explain the extraordinary reticence of Mo- 
hammedans in speaking of them. That they arc supposed to bring good luck he 
frankly acknowledged, and in taking advantage of this idea many earn a liveli- 
hood by writing charms and telling fortunes. The reverence that is paid them I 
believe to hv merely the remains of a superstition far older than Mohammedan times." 
Mr. Harris questions the idea as to these fJarakcrs not being Moslems, but 
the evidence on this point is very strong. He docs not agree with Miss Herd- 
man and a good many witnesses as to there being a tribe of acrobats. 

" The Daggata, or ' black Jews;' are not in reality Jews, but arc so classed by 
the Arab traders and slave dealers, just as other black tribes are classed as ' Chris- 
tians'; I have come across many of these Daggata, who are easily recognizable by 
the three deep scars on their cheeks— a tribal mark. They are sai(! by the other 
Soudan tribes to be cannibals, and are generally despised on this account, and on 
account of the general belief in their being Jews. As far as I could discover in 
conversation witli such of them as I have met in slavery, and who had lea'ned 
Arabic, they are pagans, but adopt Mohammedanism very readily. 

"Mr. Haliburton again calls attention to Hanno's Troglodytes. A large city 
of these strange cave dwellings I visited at Ain Torsil, in the Atlas Mountains, 
in 1887, and a somewhat full description written by myself was published in The 
Times of September -'2nd of that year. I quite agree with Mr. Haliburton that 
these caves were the work of the dwarfs, the low ceilings, seldom over live feet 
two inches in height, alone going far to prove this theory. 

" In another portion of his paper Mr. Haliburton mentions the ' Iiaik' bearing 
the ' eye.' Does he not mean the Berber 's'lham' or ' bernous' of black woven 
goat hair, with the ' eye' in red and slightly decorated ? The writer had one which 
he bought off the back of a Berber in the Atlas Mountains, for they are not by 
Any means confined to the dwarf tribes, but arc worn all through the Atlas Moun- 
tains. The theory that this ' eye' is the origin of the ' Cyclopes' is by no means far- 

" It is to be hoped that if any reader possesses any knowledge of these dwarf 
tribes he will take this opportunity of putting it before the world, for with a col- 
lection of notes on the subject it would be far easier to follow up the study of 
one of the most interesting and least known races of the globe." 

We find on looking over the preceding accounts of this race of dwarfs, that 


48 The Dwarfs oi' Mount Atlas. 

' 1:1 

tlicy .igrce not only as to the main facts, but also as to details. Mr. Carlcton, of 
Tangier, a nephew of the late Sir Wm. Kirby Green, tells nie that he has seen 
three of these dv/arfs, and has often talked with them. There arc two dWarfs at 
Fez, one of them not much over three feet high. He was in Tangier for some 
months, and used to play chess with Mr. Carleton, who was then a boy. The 
dwarf is called Abdallah-bcn-Saleh. He also saw the larger dwarf at Fez, and one 
near Alcazar, the shepherd of the Kaid of Ramoosh, who told him that he came 
from the district of Ouisda, in the country of the Beni Znassen, which cannot be 
very far from the French frontier. 

The two following letters were received after I had handed in my paper on 
" Dwarfs and Dwarf Worship." The first, written at the Grosvenor Club, August 
15th, is from Captain Rollc.ston, a well-known writer on Morocco, a country in 
which he has resided for many years: 

" Relative to your queries as to the dwarfs of Morocco, I saw one of them 
about six years ago, when residing at Tangier. He appeared' to be about 35 to 40 
years of age, between three feet and four feet high, and well i)roportioned. In color 
he was no darker than an ordinary Spaniard, and, unlike the generality of the 
Moors, was clean shaven." 

The next is from Mr. George Hunot, our consul at Saffi, who has more than 

once, in recent works on Morocco, been pronounced the highest living authority 

on the Moors. His clerk, Mr. Harry Broome, a native of Mogador, had promised 

I !Jj to get me a Shilhach version of an ancient poem on Karoun and the River Stoucha 

(Charon and the Styx). Stoucha is the name of a tribe, an extensive district, and 
also a river that flows into the ocean at Massa, and finds its way to Paradise, (i) 
Karoun, however, like Noah or Osiris (called Isiri), is also a divine instructor. 
God at his request gave him a plow, and he taught men agriculture, but wherever 
he went a woman followed him and undid his good w .1,-. She may, perhaps, be 
the original Pandora. Mr. Hunot also refers to son. 'istions which I wished 
him to put to Dra people who attend the Saffi market, as to " an ancient city of 
idolaters" called Punt, or Ta-Punt. Mr. Hunot wrote to me from Saffi, August 
8th, 1891: 

" With regard to the old song about Karoun and the Stoucha, I have been 
at Broome to get the man to have it translated into Arabic. My man docs not 
know the song, but his friend, a Soos Taleb, does. It will yet reach you. Broome 
is trying to get it, and I will urge him to forward it as soon as it is ready, and 
will assist also with the translation. I recollect the dwarf you allude to as living 
and dying at Mogador, and I think there is one also here at Saffi. The Mogador 
man was about the size of a boy of ten or eleven years of age. I do not think 

(4) Rabbi Mardochee, when he reached the extensive district of Stmicha, entered a vast forest 
called after a man of the name oC'Himmou Karroum." (See Bulletin ite Geog., x., 365.) 



The DwAKi's oi- Mount Atlas. 49 

what you have found out is imaginary. I saw sonic Arab gypsies tlic other day- 
fortune-tellers ; two or three of them were haiulsomc-lookiiig young women of 
about 18 or iQ. They were from the tribe ol Oulad Bu Sebah (' Sons of the 
Father of Lions '). I know from experience that there are hundreds of names of 
places in the Atlas Mountains which we have never heard of. There are local 
names (|uitc unknown to the natives living in the adjacent districts to those named. 
1 hear from some of the natives that you must have got hold of valuable old 
chronicles belonging to the races of Europeans or ' Romi,' that they know once 
occupied their country. What they all want to know is where are the treasures and 
springs of water hidden by those races, who are believed to have had the power 
of the genii of that epoch ? I am sorry you could not have the song ready fo 
your visit to CardilT. I should like to have Sir John's note, stating that important 
results followed your researches." 

Mr. Broome speaks of having often seen an old dwarf at Mogador, who lived 
there for many years, and was called Sidi Baraker. and, as a saint, was kissed on 
the shoulder by tlie Moors in passing him in the street. This superstitious rever- 
ence can hardly be wondered at when we remember Chdnier's account of the 
Sultans horse which had gone with H.idjis to Mecca, and was therefore sacred, 
the Sultan occasionally kissing the horse's tail and mane in the fervor of his 
reverence I 

Considering how few of these dwarfs are to be found in northern towns, it is 
surprising to note that so many Ruropeans have seen them, and that they all con- 
firm the statements of natives as to the peculiar look, size, complexion, etc., of 
these dwarfs. I may mention, among those who have testified to the existence of 
these dwarfs, the evidence of Caille (one of the few Europeans who ever travelled 
with a caravan from Tinibuctoo to Dra, and reached that place alive), who en- 
dured an amount of hardship and ill-treatment that broke his health, and ulti- 
mately shortened his life. 

Caille had never heard that a race of dwarfs southeast of Dra are slave-traders 
and ostrich hunters, who are so much alike that they cannot be distinguished from 
eacli other, and who go iiUo the Sahara to meet caravans on their w.iy from 
Tinibuctoo, and to buy slaves ami ostrich feathers, which they sell again in the 
markets of Sus. He noticed, as the caravan was approaching Akka, a dwarf who 
met them at a stopping place, and was long engaged with the leader of the 
caravan in business negotiations. The dwarf was left behind, but, to Caill^'s sur- 
prise, reappeared at another stopping place, for Cailld supposed that the second 
dwarf was the same as the first. He very naturally remarked, "ce petit homme 
m'apparaisait comnne un nain mysterieux." 

We have also the indirect testimony of Rohlfs, a renegade, who spoke Arabic 


The Dwarfs oh Mount Atlas. 

imperfectly, and was robbed and left for dead by some of the lawless inhabitants 
of the River Dra. He did not go down the Dra Valley, but crossed the river far 
down on his way from Sus to Tahlelt, and must have been near a Baraker town, 
as he speaks of a place of some importance, being not far distant, called Zaouia 
Sidi Baraker (which he spells " Barca"). Although a renegade, he was looked on 
with suspicion as being a Christian, and the natives, therefore, would not have 
made the dwarfs a subject of conversation with him, for even among themselves 
fhey say little about them. 



Had I never made any enquiries myself, the testimony of so many natives and 
Europeans, in so many different localities, all agreeing in their descriptions of this 
race, would be very conclusive evidence of there being tribes of such dwarfs in the 
southern districts of Morocco ; the coincidence, too, that the Akkas of the Albert 
Nyanza are precisely similar to the little natives of Akka, south of Mount Atlas, 
is so remarkable, that, coupled with the evidence which I have referred to, it 
precludes the possibility of a mistake as to the existence of the Atlas dwarfs. 

If. however, any doubt on the point exists, the confirmatory results of my 
own recent investigations, begun in Tangier in November, 1890, and concluded at 
Saffi in June, i8gi, will be sufficient, I think, to settle it. Having unsuccessfully 
for two years tried to induce others to take up this subject, it was my duty to do 
my best to clear up the two points at issue, first, as to the existence of these 
dwarfs, and secondly, as to why so many Moors make such a mystery about them. 

The results of my enquiries at Tangier during the first few days of my stay 
there are described by me in a letter, which has already been published. 

"As a good deal of interest has been excited by the subject of the existence of 
a dwarf race within a few hundred miles of the Mediterranean, I may state for the 
information of winter migrants to Tangier that they can see a dwarf at that place, 
as he is always to be found near the gate of the large Soko. He is a donkey-man, 
and is ibout four feet six inches in height, as tall as an Andaman Islander* OT 
bushmaii, but six inches taller than an ordinary Atlas dwarf, and nearly a foot and 
a half taller than Abdallah-ben-Saleh, the smaller of the two dwarfs that live at Fez. 
His comparatively large size is the result of his father, an Akka dwarf, having 

The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 31 

married a Moorish woman of ordinary size. Most of the followinK extracts from 
the beginning of my journal in Morocco, November, 1890, refer to him. 

" On arriving at Tangier, my first thought was to hunt up two natives, whf) 
were there in 1887. They proved to be still there. One of them an Akkoui, a 
native of Akkairi, in Akka, and the tithcr a Susi. VViien asked if they had ever 
heard of a race of small men, they at once replied that they had often seen dwarfs 
who inhabit Akka. The Akkoui said that a town of them was near Akkairi, and 
that ' they are called Taata Tajakants. They find money for people. They live at 
Akka-Igan, and are called Akka-Guil. Guil is the name of a place. They are about 
four feet high.' The Susi said that he had often seen them when in the Dra Valley, 
and that he had ' seen one that was not much over three feet in height.' They write 
on a wooden slate in order to find money." 

The following is an entry in my journal a week later : 

" Having heard that there was a dwarf always about the Soko, I repeatedly 
asked the Akkoui and the Susi to bring him to me, and offered to pay them well 
for doing so ; but they evidently had some reason for not letting me sec him, as 
they never brought him to me. While walking to-day through the Soko (the 
market-place) with S. we saw the little man, who resembled an Akka. S. had 
previously ofifered him a job, but the dwarf did not turn up. We, therefore, hired 
his donkey, and he came with us to the International Hotel, and we induced him 
to come with us into a room there, but he was evidently in a great fright. He was 
very broad shouldered, and had a peculiar reddish complexion, good features and 
long-shaped eyes, a little slanting up at the side like the Chinese eye. His expres- 
sion was honest, intelligent, and good-humored. I got him to let me mark his 
height on the wall, but he was in a tremor, evidently fearing the ' evil-eye.' He 
would not remove his fez ; the edge of it was, therefore, included in taking his 
height. I made it four feet eight inches, but S. said that the dwarf raised his 
heels at least two inches. Therefore, allowing for the fez, we can 
make his height about four feet six inches. His name is Jachin-ben-Mahommed. 
He is thirty years of age, and a native of Wadnoon. His father is a native of Akka, 
and one of the small race there, and is, he says, much smaller than he himself is. 
Jachin is larger than any of his brothers or sisters. His mother is an ordinary 
sized Moorish woman. The dwarfs, he says, are very brave and active, and great 
hunters of ostriches, having small, swift horses that are called by a name meaning 
' those that drink the wind,' and that are fed on dates and camels' milk, and are 
very lean, and, if judged by their looks, would be set down as worthless. The 
dwarfs, he says, are so active that one of them can jump over three camels standing 
side by side. They wear a blue shirt embroidered on the breast and back, and iiave 
leggings that come up nearly to the knee, and wear a haik with a large yellow eye 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 

on its back. Their knife is different from those used by the Moors. They put 
ground camels' tlesh into a bag when they travel. They weave cloth and make 
spinning wheels and spindles, which they sell. They go into the Sahara to a fair, 
and buy slaves and ostrich feathers, and bring them to the fair at Tazzawalt (a 
town near the sea, about three days north of Wadnoon. where the tomb of Sidi 
Hamed Ou Moussa is, and where the chief of the acrobats reigns as a king). They 
are called Sahara people, and live about eight days to the east of Wadnoon. 
They are about four feet high, and attend the fairs in Sus, and are different from the 
Moors, negroes and mulattoes, as they have a peculiar reddish complexion. They 
use firearms, and sometimes bows and poisoned arrows. 

He said there is a man like himselT in Tangier, and he promised to bring him to 
me. I doubt his doing so. as the Moors evidently have a dislike to having any- 
thing known about these dwarfs. I subsequently told him I would give him a new 
fez. but he never canne for it. It will be seen that he repeats almost verbatim the 
account given me of the dwarfs by my Susi servant in 1888. (S.'s native language, 
as well as that of the manager of the hotel, who was present, is Arabic). I used 
often to try to get Jachin to come to see me. He shaves his face, which is always 
taken as a sign that a man is not a true Moslem. The Ait Atta, who extend from 
Akka to Tafilelt, and are found to the east of Demnat. are said to have been once 
Christians. They shave their faces." 

It is hard to imagine stronger evidence than that of a kinsman of the dwarfs, 
whose native place was on the borders of the Sahara, and who described a tribe of 
dwarf ostrich hunters. The criticism on it is very significant— a quibble ! I had 
remarked that the description of the ostrich hunters was precisely like that that 
had been previously given of them by my servant in Algeria in 1888. When I left 
that country he remained there. The Times quite gratuitously assumes a series of 
facts— that the Susi remained in my service; that I brought him with me to Tangier; 
that he was present at the examination; that he sat at the elbow of the dwarf: and 
that he suggested, and was allowed by us to suggest, unfounded statements to him; 
and that, therefore, the evidence oF the dwarf was entitled to no weight ! The 
animus of such criticism is so plain, that further comment on it is needless. 

It will be noted that the ostrich hunters wear the khanif with " the all-seeing 
eye" on the back, a peculiar kind of bournous that is worn from Glaoua, near 
Morocco, to the Sahara, and from the Atlantic nearly to Tafilelt, by a majority of 
the population. 

A Moor whose father was connected with the Emperor's army during its raid 
into Sus, says, " An Akka at Morocco lives on the funds of the Mosque of Sidi 
Abbas. There are others living there. I know two dwarfs at Fez. One is called 
Suldan El Baraka ('The Lord of Blessing'). I know two or three at Mequinez." 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. «« 

A native of Warzazat, in the Dra Valley, says that Taurirt in that district is a 
place where tlie small people live. A tribe of small people live at Garnata, and arc 
called from its name Egarnan. A Moor, a native of Tafilelt (several days to east- 
ward of the last-named place), says. " The little people live near the River Dora, near 
Tinzone in the Black Mountains, and trade with Tinzone. There are more than 
a thousand there. They shave their faces and the front of their head; color red- 
dish; lips something like those of a negro; but they are diflerent from other peo- 
ple. They are about four feet." 

It has come to light in the course of these investigations that the people of 
the Dra are known as the Little Haratins, and also as the Larger Haratins. who are 
the descendants of dwarfs, who have intermarried with black, or with white tribes. 
The first have a reddish-black complexion, and the latter a yellowish tint. It may 
be well to mention that Leo Africanus spells Dra " Dara." In Smith's " Dictionary 
of Ancient Geography" we are told of the Darae or Gaetuli-Darae, on the 
Steppes of the Great Atlas, and of " the Melano-Gaetuli. a race from a 
mixture of the Gaetuli and the Nigritians. The pure Gaetulians were not an 
Ethiopic (negro), but a Libyan race, and were probably of Asiatic origin. They 
are supposed to have been the ancestors of the Berbers." The Haratin, according 
to De Foucauid, are looked down upon and are anxious to marry among the 
whites. When a man wishes to marry, the first question as to the lady is. with 
the Arabs. " is she of an old family ?" with the Shilhach, " has she money ?" and 
with a Haratin. " is she white ?" 

The first Haratin whom I saw was evidently not an ordinary Moor, and looked 
much more like an Englishman, and I asked him if he was not descended from an 
European. He brought to me the son of the governor of a district of Akka near 
Sus. of which Tazounin-Akka is the principal town, who said that " The Haratin are 
the tall and the short, the latter are living in three towns, Tamzrat, Atouayli, and 
Tadakoust; their faces are generally broad with a dark and yellowish complexion, 
their old language is forgotten, and is called Tagnawot or Mizgitin. They are con- 
stantly fighting with each other, and the governor has to make peace between 
them." He subsequently said, that " The little men are the oldest people. The 
Haratin who come from them are larger from intermarriages with other tribes. 
They speak the same language and are alike in looks and ways. They and the 
Zenegar also speak Hedah, Haidah or Tinker." He also said that Ait Wabili was 
one of the towns of the dwarfs. " About 400 always there. They are called 
Tajakant; another name is Aglimen. They make good dresses, and are fortune tell- 
ers, and know the stars well." 

The Haratin was subsequently examined and said, " The Ait Tinker, the Ait 
Souk, and Ait Sheltar, are near me, and there are towns also of those names ^vhere 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 

there are little people. We are called Haratin, Hartani, and Haidah or Heden. 
The whole country above Punt used to be called Heden. The Bani Mountains are 
called the mountains of the Christians, and are considered to belong to them. I 
do not think a Christian would be molested if he could get there. The Ilaiden, 
Haratin, or Tinker are different from the Zencgar, and know more than they do, 
but resemble them. We have a habit of mixing up words, and putting the ends of 
words first so that no one else can understand us." 

A large Haratin (about five feet six inches in height), a native of Tamanart, 
one of the headquarters of the dwarfs, was next examined. He said there were the 
remains of ancient buildings there, and that the following were the names of their 
towns in the Bani Mountains, a range bordering on the Sahara: Asa, Atoumribet, 
Tashker-Yekn-ishet, and Bani-Youssi. 

He refused to say anything when closely questioned as to the dwarfs. Asked 
who the Tinker were, he said, " they are people who do not say all that they know." 

When he first came into the room, he became very much excited when he was 
shown the frontispiece to Vol. I of Brugsch Bey's " Egypt under the Pharaohs," 
copied from the monuments, and representing the Rutennu offering tribute, and 
exclaimed, "this is what we see at Tamanart"; but he afterwards denied that he 
had said this, and would say nothing more about the dwarfs and Tamanart. It has 
since transpired that the most interesting remains that survive in the Dra Valley, 
are at Tamanart, but what they consist of is not known to outsiders. 

The next man that was examined was from the Sahara, a trader in dates, who 
spoke only Arabic and Fellatah. He was a stranger in Tangier, and could not find 
his way about the town. My servant, who spoke English and Arabic fluently, 
brought him to me. He said he had been at Ta Punt (called by the Arabs Tabount). 
There are a small modern town, and, two or three miles distant, the ruins of the 
old town, where there are " little figures, some with horses' heads, some with 
those of bulls. The people call them Ait Mahkerbu, and Ait Hazor. 
Have heard them called Patiki. That is the name of the small people." After 
describing a remarkable feast called " the Night of Confusion," he said, " the peo- 
ple from the Sahara have nothing to do with the feast. They go there to sell dates. 
The large Haratin are called Ait Brahim; the small. Ait Bar Hamed. The Haratin 
are the big and the small." 

At Saffi, a man who had just arrived in the market-place with dates was ex- 
amined. He described the old ruins near the town of Ta Punt. "There are many 
small figures there about eighteen inches or two feet high, but not of men. They 
are mixed, part men and part animals, some with the body of a man, and the head 
of a monkey or a dog. They are called Ait Mahkerbu. There are small and large 
Haratin. The small are about four feet high." 

The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. m 

A rabbi from Ternata, below Mezgita, on the Dra, was examined, and said, 
" The Ait Atta are half Christians. The little people are not Moslems. They keep 
their feast by themselves. It is supposed they worship Didoo-Isiri, but they keep to 
themselves. There are many of them near the Soudan. The Arabs fear them, and pay 
to be allowed to pass through their country. Their horses can do without water 
for four days, and are called ' dwiminagh' (they that drink the wind). They and 
the little people are the same. The Arabs call them Baraker. They are also called 

Another Jew from Agadir was examined, and said, " They call a dwarf Taleb 
el Elsir (' the little Taleb'). The Moors do not like to talk about them to strangers. 
When tliey are in a town it is lucky. Some of the small people do not like the 
Prophet Mohammed. There are small people at Ait Tinker, called by that name." 

Hearing that there were Hadjis in town at Tangier, I sent the mother of my 
servant (a Jewess from Mogador), to see if there was a dwarf among the Hadjis, 
She met a Moor among them whom she had known at Mogador, who told her 
that there were no dwarfs among them, for " most of the Barakers do not believe 
in the prophet, for their ancestors were Christians, so they seldom go to Mecca. 
They shave their faces like Christians." 

Three men from the towns of Tazagora, Tatta, and Warzazat, said that at Ta 
Punt " there are some small figures with the heads of wolves and dogs, etc. They 
call them Beni Kerbu. Okillam is the name of the language of the Haratin." An- 
other Draoui examined the day previously described these figures as " some were 
mixed, part animals and part men, about eighteen inches to two feet in height." 

A native of Ait Psech, in Akka, says: " There is a language called Tinker, which 
is a mixture of Shilhach topsy turvy. The Haratin speak it, also the Zeneghar." 
He said that at Ta Punt there are, in a ruined temple called " Abniat Didoo" (" the 
Temple of Didoo") (i), "small figures inside the building, some eighteen inches, 
some three feet, very odd looking, no one can understand them. They are called 
Patiki; and so the little people are. The little men are very ugly, and have no 
eyebrows, and have smooth faces. People are afraid of them." 

I also tried to examine a native of Sakiat Hamra ("The Red River"), a large 
black saint, probably a Haratin, who, as a diviner and fortune-teller, was all day 
long kept busy in the Soko, telling people how to find stolen goods, etc., which 
he professed to do by writing columns of figures on a wooden slate. When first 
asked to come to my hotel, he said he did not care to have anything to do with 

(i) This has been singularly coniirmed by ray meeting with the description by Scyiaz of a similar 
temple south of Mount Atlas, with representations of animals and men on its altar, which was built by 
Dicstalus (Didoo ?). There must, however, be many such ruins in that country, for Rabbi Mardocbee met near 
Wadnoon with wonderful ancient remains, a high wall connecting two mountains and guarded by towers, old 
temples, and stones inscribed with figures of men and animals. It is a pity his journal has not been published, 
ISee BullttindeGeog. ,Deci.,iS75.) 

i: ! 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 


cither Christians or Jews; but he subsequently thought better of it, or rather of the 
possible shilling, and came to see nie. At first he gave me information as to his 
country very freely, until he was (lueslioned about " the Little People," when he 
admitted reluctantly that there were some hundreds of them living near the Sakiat 
Hamra, at four towns, named Toubold, Oulad Kador, Oulad Haboub, and Moul 
Okaz; but when pressed to give further information as to them, he became very 
angry, and said that to do so would be against his religion ! 

A Haratin saint of Zaouia Baraka, near Tamanart (the place mentioned by 
Rohlfs), was examined. He had refused some months previously, as he still did, to 
speak about the dwarfs. He seemed surprised at my knowing that there were 
dwarfs where he lived, and said, " how do you come to know anything about 
them ?" but he did not deny that they lived near Zaouia Sidi Baraker, and Tam- 

A Beni Bacchar from near Massa, said, " louzia or Idyl is the name of the 
small people (four feet high), who live in the mountains of Kaieez, in the countrv 
of Akka. The small people worship Didoo Isiri, and they are the people who let 
Didoo Isiri down and take him back with a rope." 

Ali Ben Mohammed from Warzazat, said, " My tribe, the Haratin, is the oldest 
people in the world, and all the gods came from there. There is a saying for 
riches, ' you have all the gold of Punt.' The story is, that in the olden time, there 
was a lot of gold and treasures, and it is all buried in Punt. The Mountain of the 
Christians (Jebel el Nasara), is in the country of Akka; near the bottom of the 
mountain is a town called Taskadeer. and near it there is another mountain called 
Ben Touhad. It is said that Christians were living there once. To the soutlj of 
the town of Imini the short people live, and were Christians in the olden times; 
they live in the Valley of Imini, and are known by the name Imini." (He refused 
to speak further about the dwarfs, or to answer any questions. He said he did 
not know where the River Dra was 1). 

A man belonging to the tribe of Sidi Hamcd Ou Moussa, which he had dis- 
owned in consequence of some quarrel, was examined by Mr. Harry Broome, a 
native of Morocco, and said, " the name of the dwarf that died at 
Mogador nine or ten years ago was Had] Brahim Adousal, from the 
town of TIata Wahaz, in the district of Ait Baha ou Dra. The 
name of the other dwarf was Aderdour, from Tifshrar. Have seen many small 
men at Wadnoon. Adousal is their name. Hazora also is the name of the small 
people. You cannot tell one from the other. Some of the little people perform 
with the Sidi Hamed Ou Moussa. One of them was sent to Saffi to reconcile me 
to my tribe, but did not succeed." 

A native of Ait Seribu, Beni Amral, an Ait Atta, said, " At Idautanan, not far 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 57 

from Dra, there are people who put up a cross before them when they worship. 
Tliey are whiter than tiie other people around them. The Ait Atta generally shave 
the face, as the small people do too. Those who shave their faces are called !)>( 
the others Christians. There are dwarfs at Ahdeed, in the Ait Messad, about 1,500 
and about 1,000 at Ait Messal, also at Ait Bcnsid, but fewer, about 500. We, the 
Ait Atta, do not reverence the small people very much, thouKh when we meet (me, 
and do not know his name, we call him Sidi Baraker. Haratin is the name of men, 
and Hartaniat of a woman." 

Mohammed el Akoui, who belong-s to that part of the Ait Atta who live in 
Akka, says his home is one day from Akairi, and that " there are villages of the 
small people near my country." 

A native belonging to the Oulad Willal of Tafilelt said that "the Madid 
Sabaeen are neither Christians nor Mohammedans. The little men live near the 
River Dora, near the town of Tinzoni, which they trade with. They have hair like 
that of a negro. Their color is reddish, and they are called Touwata. Iguilmim 
is another tribe of small men, near the sea, who are looked upon as saints. They 
are neither Christians nor Mohammedans." 

A native of Warzazat said, " Many of the tribes of the Sahara have no religion, 
unless it be a worship of Didoo Isiri. The Zeneghar are not Moslems, but are 
people who sacrifice sheep." 

In the steamer in which I came to England from Morocco, among my fellow 
passengers were two Jews who were natives of Mogadon There were also two 
Moors on board, one a merchant now living in Manchester. One of the Jews, a 
young man who has been living in Manchester for several years and speaks Eng- 
lish fluently, said freely, without being questioned, that he had often seen the olcj 
Baraker that died at Mogador eight or ten years ago. " Have often heard of these 
dwarfs, and that they come from near Ot>hiran [spelled by Mardochee, Ofaran], 
but the M jors would not talk about them. ' God has sent them to us. We must 
not talk about them,' they have said to me, when I wished to find out something 
about this race. The Moors worship the dwarfs, and are very superstitious about 

The other Jew, a wealthy oil merchant, said that he remembered the dwarf at 
Mogador. " He was a great saint among the Moors." A Moor from Fez, a mer- 
chant, who was on his way to Manchester to reside there, said he knew two 
dwarfs at Fez very well, and that one of them was but little over three feet in 
height. He would not admit that the dwarfs are looked on as saints by the Moors. 

A few days ago I called on a gentleman in the city, who is well known in 
connection with Morocco trade, and who said that he was a busy man, and had 
not had time to read what had appeared in the papers as to the Atlas dwarfs, but 


The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas. 



he said he had a Moorish servant whom he would send to me. He, however, did 
not do so, but subsequently explained his neglect by the fact that the Moor, when 
questioned, had proved very unsatisfactory; for the man, who is a native of northern 
Morocco, when asked by him if he had ever heard of a small sized people in 
Morocco, said that there were tribes of them in the Atlas; but he added, "There is 
a saying among us about them, that they have only one eye." (2) It therefore 
seemed useless to him to have any more conversation with the Moor on the subject. 

The gentleman in question remembered that there was a clerk, a native of 
Mogador, in the oilice, and called him in, and asked him if he had ever heard of a 
race of dwarfs in Morocco. The clerk replied that he had often seen, several years 
ago, an old dwarf saint at Mogador, and had heard that there were tribes of such 
people somewhere in the Atlas. 

The following is the statement of a Moor made October ist, 1891, in presence 
of H. W. Bates, Esq., Assistant Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society: 

" I am 32 years of age ; about seventeen years, as a seaman, I visited Eng- 
land. I married in England ; have been at Tazzawalt ; I went there when I was 
g years of age for a short visit. Have been at Mogador about four years. There 
are some small people in Haha, about four feet high ; reddish people, different 
from others. They (the dwarfs) are Akka people, but it is not lucky to call them 
by that name. There are thousands of them to the south. They call them Sidi 
Baraker. The people like to have them in towns, as they are lucky and bring good 
luck. Have seen them at Schedma, Terudant and Tazzawalt; have been forward 
and backward, to and from Morocco. I often saw and spoke to an old Sidi Baraker 
who died at Mogador ten years ago. People passing him often kissed his hand 
or his shoulder. The Moor.s think it unlucky to talk about these Barakers, who 
tell you how to find money, and know more about the stars than other men. The 
Dra dwarfs are called Hartani or Haratin ; also Jed-jedi (' The Fathers of our 
Fathers'); in Shilhach, 'Jed-ibwa.'" 

When again examined by me he said, that " the outside people who perform 
with the Sidi Hamed Ou Moussa do not belong to that tribe, who are acrobats 
from father to son. There are dwarfs on the Dra. There must be many thousands 
of these dwarfs altogether. One of the ostrich hunters U" \ often to come to Mog- 
ador to sell ostrich feathers. He lived east of the Dra. Some of the dwarfs are 
shoemakers and good smiths. They know more about the stars and hidden treas- 
ures than other men." 

(s) See Ur. W. B. Harris' letter. The Nubians apply the same myth to the Akkas of Equatorial 
Alrks. (Sce"Heatt''ofAfrica,"n., 123) 


"With the precision of Herodotus before us . . . we must admit that the little race of men 
seen by the Nasamonians exists to-day to the north of the Niger, but has not yet been discovered, 
or that it has disappeared from those regions." — Quatrefages, Les Pygmdes, p. 25. 

On the 2nd of September, 1891, a paper on " Dwarfs and Dwarf Worship," 
referring to some of the proofs that had come to liglit that there must be dwa'-f 
tribes in southern Morocco, was read by myself at a meeting of the Ninth 
Oriental Congress in London. In October following a pamphlet embodying the 
paper read before the Congress, with statements of numerous informants (three 
of them dwarfs) (2) as to the localities in which they reside, their probable num- 
bers, etc., was published by Mr. David Nutt, bookseller, London, a some months 
afterwards was specially reviewed in a paper by the President of the Khedivial 
Geographical Society, Cairo, H. E. Abbate Pacha. 

A new light was subsequently thrown on the subject of dwarfs by Sir George 
Humphrey, Professor of Medicine in the University of Cambridge (sec " British 
Medical Journal," Dec. 5, 1891). Dealing merely with European, i.e., non-racial 
dwarfs, he divides them into two classes, " true dwarfs," who only differ from their 
race in size, and " dwarfs from rickets," who are stunted, and generally malformed 
and feeble. His statement that neither of these classes transmits its small size to 
the children, disposes of the theory that the dwarfs met with in Morocco are merely 
a few families of ordinary dwarfs. Far from being stunted and deformed through 
rickets, they are very strong, extremely courageous, and wonderfully active, and 
are, it is stated, feared by the other Moors. Nor can they be " true dwarfs," a class 
so rarely met with that though for more than half a century medical and other 
museums have been multiplied in France and England, those of the former coun- 
try only possess one skeleton of a " true dwarf," while the only one to be seen in 

(i) A French version of this paper was read before La SoeitU Kidiviale tie Giographit, Cairo, Egypt, 
April 8, 1892. 

(2) See "Dwarfs of Mount Atlas " (David Nutt, London), 1891, pp. 14, 18, 24. 



60 SoMB Further Nutes on thk Existence op 

KnRland is that prcspntrd to the Medical Museum .M Cambridge by Sir George 
Humphrey himself in December, i8»jo. Tiio liianccs of course of meetiiiK with a 
"true dwarf" in a very sparsely pupulritfd coumry lil<c Morocco would be in- 
linitely more remote than amotiK the many iiiiliions of inhabitants of l-'runcc and 
Great Britain, if, then, a dozen dwarfs, not stunted or deformed by ricicets, have 
found their way to northern Morocco, the inference is conclusive that they cannot 
lie what Sir Cicorgc calls " true dwarfs," but must be racial, and connected with 
some dwarf tribe. 

But any doubt that iniKlit at first sight seem to exist on tliis point is settled 
when i mention that the dwarfs seen in Morocco are not diminutive Moors, re- 
sembliiiK their countrymen in everything except size, but are so strikingly distinct 
from the otlier people of Morocco, that even if they were not dwarfs we should 
have to set them down as belf)nging to a different and peculiar race. Among the 
points which distinguish them from the Moors, Arabs, Berbers. Jews, Negroes, and 
Mulattoes of Morocco, are the following : their wonderful agility; a rcddisli com- 
plexion which is char.ictcristic of almost all dwarf races, and which one of my 
informants describes as " like that of the Ued Indians of America," or according 
to Schweinfurth in his account of the Akkas of the Albert Nyanza, " resembling 
the color of sligiitly roasted coffee"; and the peculiar woolly hair growing in tufts 
which generally distinguishes dwarf races and their offshoots. (3) Tiiey differ even 
in dress, etc.. and shave their faces — an abomination to Moslem Moors. In all 
these particulars as well as in size they arc precisely similar to the dwarfs of 
Equatorial Africa. 

Should we meet in Kurope with Mongolian-looking dwarfs, only about four 
leet high, with a yellow complexion, flat, broad faces, high cheek bones, and 
" pigtails," we should be disposed to suspect that a race of Chinese dwarfs must 
have found their way West, and that these peculiarities could not possibly be the 
result of ordinary European dwarfism. 

So far at least as early ages are concerned, the idea is not a new one that 
dwarfs once existed south of Mount Atlas ; for it has for some years been a sub- 
ject of contention between French geographers and some French anthropologists. 
The former maintain that the place described by Herodotus where the Nasanionian 
explorers were captured by dwarf Troglodytes must have been an oasis in the 
north-western part of the Sahara, not far to the south or south-east of Morocco. 
French geographers, the highest, if not the only, authorities on the ancient and 
modern geography of northern Africa, have for over half a century devoted much 
' attention to the subject, and are therefore the best guides we can have as to the 

(3) I made no note of, as I did not credit, the statements of several natives of Morocco, that the 
bodies of the dwarfs are covered witii liair, a peculiarity whicli I have since found Is a characteristic of the 
dwarfs both of Central Africa and of Keltic tradition. 

DwARK Tribes South of Mount Atlas. bi 

accuiils KJvcTi hy llirodotus of tlic mainly rcnion cxtcndiiiK wistwanlly frotii the 
Nile to the Atlantic, and of the races that inhabited it. One of liis descriptions (4) 
(.tart* front Thebes, and includ'S whit is now called the I.ihyan dcsiTl. the Sahara, 
and the Sahel, the term "the l'ill;ir» of Hercules" heing uied for "the Atlantic," 
or rather for " the farthest west." 

The country of the Nasamonians, called hy Procopius Zab.i, is now known as 
the Oasis of Mzab. West of them were the Garaniantes, now known as the 
Touarcgs, who, he says, foURht in four-horse charirjts with the swift-footc<l Ethio- 
pian Troglodytes. The cave-dwellers must have iniiahitcd that rocky region, the 
soutiiern flanks of the Atlas, which forms a harrier to the sands of the desert, and 
many of the spurs of which jut far out into the Sahara, and arc sometimes called 
" the Saharan Atlas." These cave-dwellers no doubt beionKe<l to the race of 
swift-footed TroRlodytcs seen by Manno on the western coast of what is now called 
Morocco. The numerous chambers cut in the face of inaccessible cliffs in Morocco, 
and especially to the south of the Gnat Atlas, were i)robably made by these 

Another description (5) which Herodotus gives us of that rcKioii begins at 
Cyrenc, or rather at Mzab, and tells us of " the sandy ridge " lying to the south 
of the wooded country inhabited by wild beasts, and extending westward to Cape 
Solois, now known as Cape Cantin, on the west coast of Morocco. He, in fact, 
describes the present Timbuctoo caravan route from Tripoli to Dra. According 
to him, some young Nasamonian explorers went west for many days until they 
reached as oasis, where they were captured by a dwarf race of Troglodytes, who 
were all necromancers, and lived on a river which ran frf)m west to east. Three 
large rivers, that rise near each other in Mount Atlas, nin tor a great distance in 
a south-easterly direction, the Ghir, the Zis and the Dm. Though the exact 
locality in i|uestion must remain a matter of conjecture, it must h ivc been situated 
on one of these rivers, and must have been to the south or south-east of Morocco. 
It will be seen in "The Dwarfs of "Mount Atlas" that several natives of that 
country describe a race of dwarf o.strich-lmtiters living iti that part of the Sahara (.ft). 
who are Marabouts, astrologers, magicians, and finders of hidden treasures, and 
who own a very small breed of remarkably swift ponies, and arc called Tcata 
Tajakants to distinguish them from the larger Tajakants living farther west, near 

The dwarfs mentioned by Aristotle cannot have lived in Equatorial Africa, as 
they possessed a remarkably small breed of horses. 

(4) B. IV., ch. 181, 170, 43, 44 ; B. II., ch. 31, and 3J. 

(5) B. II., oh. 31. 

(6) According to Herodotus, Sataspes, while sailing south from the Pillars of Hercules, saw a " nation 
of little men." 


Some Further Notes on the Existence oi' 


The rock-cut chambers in the Atlas, whether intended for storehouses or for 
residence or refuge, are so uniformly about live feet high tiiat tliey most probably 
were made by dwarf Troglodytes. 

yuatrcfages says {7) that " with the precision of Herodotus before us, and the 
agreement which his narrative shows with material facts of a permanent nature, 
we must admit that the little race of men seen by tiic Nasamonians exists to-day 
to the north of the Niger, but has not yet been discovered, or that it has disap- 
peared from those regions." 

The views of French geographers on this point have been contested in an able 
article on the " Pygmies of Anti(|uity " in iIk' last October number of The Kevue 
flistorique on the ground that we can find no trace of there ever having been 
dwarfs north of the Sahara. (8) By an odd coincidence a letter was received by 
me in that very month from Mr. Thomas Martin, nowi living at Crowborough, 
England, in which he said that, having become familiar with the pc.uliar klicks in 
vogue in the speech of South African tribes, who 'lave iidierited or borrowed 
them from the dwarf Bushmen, he was surprised in i^, ;t hearing at Mogador, a 
port on the south-west coast of Morocco, some natives from Sus and the Sahara 
using klicks similar to those of South African races. lie naturally came to the 
conclusion that the Bushmen must have in early ages found their way as far north 
as Mount Atlas. 

The President, in the course of his paper on my pamphlet, drew attention to 
the peculiar indentation in dwarf skulls at the base of the nose. If this is confined 
to the skulls of African dwarfs, it would seem to indicate that it may possibly be 
connected with South African klicks, either as a cause or as an eflect. (9) There 
cannot be a doubt that there is an extensive district to the south of Morocco, 
bounding southerly on the Sahara, which is called Akka, and is said to be the 
headquarters of the Atlas dwarfs; and also that there is another Akka on the 
shores of the Albert Nyanza, which is also inhabited by a dwarf race called Akka. 
Which was the original Akka ? Quatrefagcs mentions a tradition among some 
dwarfs of Equatorial Africa, that the ancestors of their race came from the north- 
west, i.e., from the direction of Morocco ! 

(7) / ri Vygmt'es, p. 25, 

(8) The learned writer of that article, M. Paul Monceaux, on the gth June, 1X92, wrote to Mr. David 
MacRltchle as follows : " La brochure de votre anil, Mr. Haliburton, est line contribution trds ciuleiise et 
trds neuve a la question des Py^ni^es. . . . Apr^s avoir pris connaissance des falts precis et des 
temoignes dans " The Dwarfs of Mount Atlas " II me paralt difficile de cunteiter les conclusions de I'auteur ; et 
je ne doute pas qu'un jour une nouvclle exploration methodique du Maroc ne vieniie les confirmer." 

(9) A resident for some years In the Andaman Islands says the natives have neither this Indentation, 
nor klicks In their speech; and that they shave their faces and heads with sharp-cdRcd shells. It Is worthy of 
note that the names of their tribes are prefaced with a-ka. Why was the Sphinx (so venerably ancient a 
monument that it seems to connect the present with the dawn of Creation— the era of the tiwarf god, Plah, 
the Creator, and of the " first-created," half-animals, half-men) called "Akka " ? Some of my South Morocco 
Informants say that in the Dra Valley the name Patalkl (^ fathers of our fathers, or ancestors) is applied both to 
dwarfs and to little monstrous images, part animal, pan man. May not Akka, like " PataIki," have once been 
applied to both ? 

DwARi' Tribes South of Mount Atlas. 63 

When Schwcinfurtli. aiul after him Miani, described tiie dwarfs of the Moiii- 
butto country, and wore denounced as iinpostcrs, they had but Hlllc confirmatory 
evidence which they could rely on. As respects tlie ([uestion of the Atlas dwarfs, 
it is fortunate tliat sixty-five informants have testified to tlieir iiaving seen one or 
more of thcni, tliirty-two (some of tliem dwarfs) Iiaving been able to describe 
dwarf tribes and villages south of the Atlas. Before a year elapses further definite 
information will, I iiopc, be obtained that will put an end to all question on this 
point. I may, meanwhile, mention that a few weeks ago I received from the Right 
Hon. Sir John H. Drummond Hay some notes in Shilliach (the Berber dialect, 
spoken gcncrilly soi th of the Atlas), written by a Sus Taleb of Safti respecting 
the localities in Sus and the Sahara where ancient ruins arc to be found. Of 
several of them the Taleb says, " These arc places where the little people live. 
Their occupation consists in making mats from Esparto grass." 



Part 1. 
(From The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review, July, 1893.) 

In my "Dwarfs of Mount Atlas" (David Nutt, October, 1891), a letter from 
Mr. Walter B. Harris appeared, which stated that early in November he would visit 
Morocco, and clear up the subject of Atlas dwarfs. Had he carried out his intention, 
it is now plain that he would have put an end to all discussion on the (piestion 
before the end of December, 1891; but when the time for his leaving for Morocco 
had arrived, he was on his way as " special correspondent" to Yemen. 

A year later members of the Scotch Mission to Southern Morocco discovered 
that there were, beyond question, in the Great Atlas, and .ilmost in sight of that 
city, tribes of dwarfs such as I had described ; and one of the Mission subseeiuontly 
gave an account in The Times of Morocco of pygmies that had been seen, men and 
women, bathing together in the sacred waters at the tomb of Mulai Ibrahim. 

Mr. Harris, who accompanied Mr. Cuuninghan'c Graham on a round trip through 
northern Morocco, heard from the Scotch Mission that there were dwarf tribes in 


Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 

the Atlas, a statement wliicli the Moors fully confirmed ; and he subsequently met 
with fourteen of these dwarfs at Amzmiz, and other places, height 4 ft. to 4 ft, 6 in., 
with a reddish-brown complexion. 

There is now no question raised by anyone as to the existence of dwarf tribes 
in the Atlas ; but The Times of Morocco, in admitting the fact, tried to account 
for it by a theory which no anthropologist will accept, namely, that these dwarfs 
are stunted descendants of big rebel Berbers, who, driven by tax-collectors to inac- 
cessible mountain ranges, had become dwarfed by cold and hard living. No instance 
of mountaineers being dwarfed by cold into pygmies smaller than Andaman Isl- 
anders is known to science ; and as the southern slopes of the Atlas and the se- 
cluded country below oflfcrcd a safe home and refuge to these people, they must 
have lived in the Atlas voluntarily. Mr. Silva, an engineer formerly in the employ 
of the Moorish government, several years ago discovered in some high ranges of 
the Great Atlas an independent and warlike race of Jews, who, so far from being 
stunted, were much larger and more robust than other Barbary Jews. 

While the fact of there being dwarf tribes in ..le Atlas wa« being conclusively 
established, a similar discovery was made of the existence of precisely similar racial 
dwarfs in the Pyrenees and other parts of Spain. Mr. Macpherson, our consul at 
Barcelona at my re(|uest caused careful enquiries to be made in the eastern 
Pyrenees, the results of which he stated were conclusive as to there being racial 
dwarfs there, principally in the Val de Ribas, i metre to im. 17 c. in height, copper- 
colored, with flat, broad noses and red hair, active and robust. 

Some years ago a writer in Kosmos described them in similar terms, and spoke 
of their hair as woolly, and their eyes as slightly Mongolian-looking. 

An Austrian merchant has informed me that he saw in the market-place in 
Salamanca similar dwarfs, " with maiiogany-colored hair." 

My attention was attracted last winter by an old Murcian peasant-woman, who 
had very decided " dwarf klicks," similar to those that are in use in South Africa 
v.nd southern Morocco, and T suspected fliat she must have got the habit of " eating 
words " from dwarf ancestors. On enquiry I found that I was right ; she said that 
Jiesc klicks came to her from some " Nano" or dwarf ancestors. In four out 
of six generations, a "nano" had appeared. Her daughter and grand-children 
were under three feet eleven inches in height. In other half-breed Nano families 
dwarfs sometimes appear that look in every respect like African dwarfs. 

We find in the Palaeolithic and Neolithic ages traces of two dwarf races ; that 
of the first era of an inferior type with a head projecting behind, and with oddly- 
curved thigh-bones. The dwarf on the monuments described by Wilkinson is one 
of them evidently, as he has a head projecting behind, in a singular way, and a flat 
forehead, probably the result of artificial flattening, such as is seen among Amer- 


Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 65 

ican Indians. The Egyptian artist has also tried to give a full-face portrait showing 
how the dwarf turned in his toes in walking. 

The old Murcian half-breetl Nano woman says that there are also two species 
of Nanos in Spain; one, a bad lot of a low type, who are Gitano-Nanos, and live 
in caves, and who arc called Tartari, and walk in a ludicrous way, with toes turned 
in. The other, who are fetter-looking, arc Castillano-Nanos, "who came to Spain 
originally from an ancient city beyond Morocco, called Poun, where their business 
WPS washing sand for gold and silver. Their queen was very fat and was called 
Mena, and they were called Pouni, and Ou Mem (Mena's men)," names still ap- 
plied to dwarfs in the Dra Valley. Berber women are often called Menu. 

In Ta- Fount is the tomb of " the fat qu.en Hlema," or " Hlema-Mcna," where 
ill times of drought offerings are still made. The ruins of the old city are called by 
the people of southern Morocco Poun or Pount, or Ta-Pouitt. 

Two Dafour dwarfs, whom I found in Cairo lately, and who had dwarf klicks in 
their speech, spoke of Ta-Pount and of Hlema-Mena, both of which they connected 
with the Dra Valley and Ta-Pount. One of the dwarfs would not come to see me 
a second time, she was so horrified at my mentioning the awful name of Didoo 
(" Didoo-Osiris ") ; " anyone who does that is sure to swell up and die, or to wake 
up dumb, or blind I" (i) 



Part II. 

[From The Academy (London), August 5, 1893. J 

A dwarf is a very little thing to get into a rage about. It was, therefore, some- 
what of a surprise to me to learn from The Spectator, during the discussion on 
my paper on " Dwarfs and Dwarf Worship" in September, 1891, that there were 
persons in London who could not hear the subject of dwarfs mentioned without 
flying into a rage. Also, in January last, referring to the substantial support which 
recent discoveries in the Atlas had given to my views. The Spectator said that my 

(i) A Beni-Bacohar, at Tangier, when asked If he knew the name of Duloo, exclaimed in surprise 
" How is it possible that the gentleman ever heard of Didoo ? The name is old, old, very old." From that time 
forth he Itept away from me. He was a magician and fortune-teller, and very superstitious. 


Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 

theory had been " met with an acrimony of dissent which could not have been 
stronger if it had advocated unlimited dynamite." 

Of this " acrimony of dissent" — which found vent in epithets not generally used 
in such discussions, such as " Gulliver," " Munchausen," etc. — we are reminded, at 
this late day by Mr. Stuart Glennie's letter to The Academy, with its significant 
heading, " Mr. Haliburton's Dwarfs." In it he conveniently ignored the fact that 
the question as to the existence of dwarf tribes in the Atlas had been practically 
settled by the discovery of rebel pygmies in the mountains near Morocco City by 
members of the Scotch Mission, an account of which appeared in The Morocco 
Times of January 26, 1893, describing the little men and women that frequented the 
sacred waters near the tomb of Mulai Ibrahim in the Atlas. Mr. Harris, who had 
heard of«these dwarf tribes from the Mission enquired at Amzmiz — a town at the 
foot of the Atlas, on the road to Mogador, and only two days from Morocco City, 
and a place well known to him, and visited by scores of Europeans every year — 
and was told by everyone, from the governor downwards, that there were such 
dwarfs in that district who would not recognize the Sultan or pay taxes; and he 
afterwards met fourteen of them, in all, who had a reddish complexion, and were 
from four feet to four feet six inches in height. His letter describing them ap- 
peared in The London Times of January 10. The only question now raised is as 
to how they became so small. The highest living authority on such subjects, 
Schweinfurth Pasha, whom I met in Egypt last spring, told me that he had no 
doubt that they were ordinary African " racial" dwarfs. 

The discussion as to them in 1891 probably arose from the fact (no doubt a 
singular one) that the editor of The Morocco Times, who was then residing in 
London, had never heard of such dwarfs, though he had lived at Tangier for six 
years. His scepticism was confirmed by the statement made to him by a merchant, 
who had resided in Morocco City for a quarter of a century, that he, too, had 
never heard of these dwarfs. Yet this " old residenter" was, to his surprise, told 
by members of the Scotch Mission that, on enquiry, they had learned that dwarf 
tribes are to be found not far from the city. He afterwards mentioned the fact 
to Mr. Harris. It is, of course, vefy singular that I was the first European that 
had heard of these dwarfs; but no one but myself had ever asked about them, and 
the natives never thought of volunteering, unasked, to give any information as to 

The lesson which this Amzmiz incident teaches us is that it is safer to trust to 
enquiries on the spot, or to the statements of natives of the locality in question, 
than to rely on the infallibility of competent authorities who have never specially 
looked into the matter. 

As respects the existence of racial dwarfs in the Val de Ribas, in the Province 

Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 


of Gerona, Spain, where Catalan is spoken, a minute description of them was pub- 
lished in Kosmos for May, 1887. I wished to verify it, if possible; but I enquired 
in Spain — not in France, as Mr. Glennie has done. There is no English consul in 
France nearer to the Val de Ribas than the one at Bordeaux. I made enquiries 
in Madrid among scientific bodies there, and wrote to Mr. MacPherson, H.B.M. 
Consul at Barcelona, which is only a few hours by rail from the place in question. 
I did not think of asking him if he knew anything about these dwarfs in the 
Pyrenees, as I assumed that he had never heard or thought of them; but I asked 
him to make careful enquiries as to their existence. After a month or two he 
wrote to me that, after very careful enquiries, he was certain that there were such 
racial dwarfs, especially in the CoUado de Tosas; and his full description of them 
fully confirmed that which had appeared in Kosmos, and also agreed with the ac- 
count of similar dwarfs, with " mahogany colored" woolly hair, which an Austrian 
merchant, who had seen them in the market-place at Salamanca, had given me. 
Mr. MacPherson said that he found that the dwarfs were often confounded with 
cretins, but that he had fully satisfied himself that there were both cretins and 
dwarfs in the district in question. 

Mr. Stuart Glennie has supplemented his letter by one to Nature of July 27, 
stating that he wrote to Mr. MacPherson, but received no reply. He probably 
wrote to him in substance what he has written to The Academy, that he and his 
French friends (none of whom probably have ever been in the Val de Ribas or 
can speak Catalan) might, could, would, and should have heard of these dwarfs if 
they really existed there. It is to be regretted that ignc.ance as to the existence 
of these dwarfs on the part of his informants, and Mr. MacPherson's avoidance 
of a correspondence with him, deterred him, while in the south of France, from 
making the easy journey he speaks of. A few hours in the Collado de Tosas would 
have been more useful than weeks spent with his French friends. We must hope 
that he will bear in mind hereafter the lesson taught by the unexpected discovery 
at Amzmiz ; and that he will also remember that neither cretinism nor any other 
disease can turn ordinary Europeans into pygmies with broad, flat noses, a cop- 
per-colored complexion, and mahogany colored wool, peculiarities which can only 
be racial and the result of heredity. 

When the argument, or rather retort, was used two years ago, " Why did you 
not yourself visit the country of the dwarfs ?" I did not reply; but now that Mr. 
Glennie has revived it, I may point to it as a sample of the style of argument 
adopted by my critics. A year ago only I recovered my health, and partly my 
strength; but for ten years previously I had been an invalid, who could not "rough 
it" in any way, or stand the fatigue of long journeys even by rail. But under the 
circumstances I did as much as Mr. Glennie, perhaps, would have done ; I offered 


Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 

iioo to an explorer if he would visit Fount in the Dra Valley, and I also offered 
to pay his expenses if he would visit the Val de Ribas. I much regret that his en- 
gagements prevented him from accepting my oflfers. 

If Mr. Glennie can give us any new information on this subject, by all means 
let him do so; but it is full time that his "acrimony of dissent," so unusurd in such 
discussions, should be dropped. 



Part III. 

(From The Academy, August ig, 1893). 

It is amusing to note the great anxiety which Mr. Stuart Glennie evinces to 
destroy my credibility. For that purpose The Academy did not suffice as a medium 
for adequately circulating his acrimonious criticism, and he has also utilised Na- 
ture. As he no doubt has a profound respect for Mr. Budgett Meakin, who has been 
my ablest and most persistent critic, I quote the following extracts from his paper, 
The Morocco Times of January 26, 1893: 

"An English resident, speaking Arabic, who has just come from the 
foot of the Greater Atlas, gives us important and valuable information about the 
stunted mountaineers who inhabit certain portions of that range hitherto unvisited 
by Europeans. . . Messrs. W. B. Harris and Cunninghame Graham have also, 
without reaching the hmits of our present informant, met with traces of the same 
most interesting people [He then tries to account for their small size by a theory 
new to science, that living up in the mountains had dwarfed big Berbers into 
pygmies a good deal smaller than Andaman Islanders ! Mr. Cunninghame Graham 
writes to me he believes they are racial; and, as I have stated, Schweinfurth Pasha 
thinks they are merely ordinary African dwarfs]. They may yet prove to be con- 
nected with Mr. Haliburton's little friends of the Dra Valley, some hundreds of 
miles away on the other side of the Atlas chain. 

" The traveller whose story we have to tell was within two hours of the holy 
shrine of Mulai Ibrahim, the patron saint of southern Morocco, a shrine where 
it is believed by the credulous Moors that many miracles are daily wrought on the 
bodies of the sick and ailing. . . . Being in the neighborhood of this cele- 

Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 


brated saint's tomb, our friend naturally made enquiries from the natives around, 
and requested them to guide him to the place. This he found them unwilling to 
do, notwithstanding tempting offers, the Kaid of the district with his soldiers 
being on the alert to prevent any further advance into the mountains. Checked 
thus, he made other enquiries, and found the facts elicited harmonious, although 
coming from widely different and independent sources. One of the facts most in- 
teresting to him was that a number of small men and women were constantly to 
be seen in and about the saint's tomb, which they visited from a distance of one, 
two, or even more, days' journey from the other side of the mountains. When he 
(luestioned the truth of this, many natives around him swore by Allah that they 
had seen them with their very eyes. Our informant, on asking the reason why, if 
there were such people, they were never to be seen on the plains, and why the rest 
of the world was ignorant of their existence, was promptly told that a fine of $100 
was imposed upon every unfortunate dwarf who was caught out of his recognised 
district. . . . This naturally aroused his curiosity to a high pitch; and upon his 
servant — a trustworthy and intelligent Moor, who speaks English and is well known 
to us personally — volunteering to go and spy out the land in company with one of 
the Kaid's servants, arrangements were made that the two should start early next 
morning. It was about noon next day when these two spies returned. They 
brought with them some of the sacred dust from the tomb of Mulai Ibrahim, and 
also the following wonderful story: 

" They reached the tomb after crossing the line of mountains just above their 
employer's camp, and a level plateau on the other side, situated about half-way up 
the grand and majestic mountain at the back . . . They had also seen there 
little men dressed in ordinary mountaineer garb, with women small and pretty, 
handsomely dressed and decked out with jewelry and other ornaments. These they 
afterwards saw bathing together promiscuously in the sacred stream o la nature. 
They brought back with them a string with a knot tied in it, by which they had 
taken the height of one of these interesting little men, which, on being measured, 
proved to be about four feet six inches in length. The height and build of the 
women were declared to be proportionately smaller and lighter." 

Mr. Meakin kindly sent the Moor to me, and I found the interview an inter- 
esting one. 

Mr. Harris, in December last, met at Amzmiz with a very remarkable and ex- 
ceptional instance of little rebel tribesmen, whose ancestors had probably inhabited 
that district before the arrival of the Arabs, and had been for more than a thou- 
sand years in contact with Islam. Most probably a majority of them are Moslems. 
Some of them wore beards as Moorish Moslems do. Mr. Harris, who found them 
hated and dreaded by the Moors, came to the conclusion that he had before him a 

70 Racial Dwarfs in the Atlas and the Pyrenees. 

type of the rest of the dwarf tribes in Morocco, though nearly all of the latter live 
in very isolated and secluded localities, where they are safe from Moslem in- 
fluences. In 1890-91 a large mass of evidence was given by natives of southern 
Morocco, that these dwarfs generally are not Moslems, and do not go to Mecca; 
but that they worship Didoo Isiri, a statement incidentally confirmed last spring by 
my finding at Cairo two Darfur dwarfs, who seemed to be horrified at my men- 
tioning the awful name of Didoo, just as the Irish and Welsh and some Spanish 
peasants shudder when they hear anyone pronounce the name " fairy." 

Mr. Harris, in a letter to The London Times of September 14, 1891, said of a 
native of Akka, " He could not in any way explain the extraordinary reticence of 
the Moors in speaking of them" (the dwarfs). 

In his letter of January 10, 1893, speaking of the mass of statements of natives 
on these points (which in no way aflfectcd the main question at issue, as to the 
existence of tribes of dwarfs in the Atlas), Mr. Harris says: "Although perhaps 
our visit to the Atlas may tend to prove the existence of small people, it will cer- 
tainly have a damping effect on the many romances woven up with their existence." 
I felt on reading this that, if it should meet the eyes of my critics, they would not 
hesitate to apply the word "romances" to my statements; but Mr. Harris pro- 
tested against such an idea, and assured me that he did not think of me when he 
wrote the sentence. 

Mr. Harris's closing remarks clearly show what he thinks of my labors and 
myself, and Mr. Stuart Glennie therefore takes care not to quote them. 

" Having now clearly shown that tribes of abnormally small stature inhabit the 
upper peaks of the Atlas, there yet remains to be proved the question of the 
pygmies of Wad Dra, and many most interesting subjects pertaining to their ex- 
istence. The fact that Mr. Haliburton's statement of the existence of a small race 
in the Atlas Mountains met at the time with much denial and a considerable amount 
of scoffing, and has noiv been shown to be true, renders it not improbable that in 
time the rest of his researches into the questions of southern Morocco may equally 
be confirmed." 



[From Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vol. XLIII., 1894.] 

In 1888, only a few months after my hearing of the Atlas dwarfs, I was told 
by the governor of St. Helena of a Chinese-looking little race that invaded Britisli 
Honduras in 1882. I subsequently tried in vain to get some further information as 
to them, until I asked a Guatemalan general, with whom I crossed the Atlantic, 
if he knew anything about them. He informed me that he had commanded an ex- 
pedition against them; that they were Pagans, and very savage, and would neither 
give nor accept quarter; and that Tn consequence of the danger of keeping them 
prisoners, they were always shot when captured by his men, that they were from four 
feet to four feet six inches in height, had human sacrifices, and used poisoned ar- 
rows, and blow-pipes. A point of special interest relating to them deserves men- 
tion: There seems everywhere to be an hereditary aptitude for plaiting, or weaving 
mats, etc., in dwarf races, such as the Andaman Islanders of the Indian Ocean, the 
dwarfs of southern Morocco, and in some places the Nanos of Spain, whose occu- 
pation is " making mats of Esparto grass." The best " Panama hats," of world- 
wide fame, are not made at Panama, but on the River Garrion, on the frontier of 
British Honduras, by dwarfs. 

A dwarf tribe in southern Morocco is called Ait Gerouan. In 1882, in a paper 
read before the A. A. A. S. by myself, on " Mount Atlas and its Traditions," I 
mentioned that the story of Hercules stealing the flocks of Geryon came from 
southern Morocco. It is interesting to note that the Egyptians and the Greeks 
often represented Hercules as a dwarf, and that the Spanish Nanos principally re- 
side in the province of Gerona, and not far from the district and the head waters 
of the Garonne. The scene of this myth is supposed by some ancient writers to 
have been in the eastern Pyrenees. 

After my Guatemalan informant reached Europe I endeavored in vain' to get 
further information from him. Last year, however, on making enquiries as to these 
dwarfs at the Colonial office, I was told of a gentleman, named Mr. Blancaneaux, 
who had lived among them, and who afterwards wrote me a long letter giving me 
much information, but, unfortunately, when I wished to get further details, I found 

he had returned to his home in the interior of British Honduras. 


72 Survivals oi' Dwarf Races in the New World. 

He said that lie had heard of the expedition of my Guatemalan informant, but 
that he bchevcd that tlie origin of the trouble had been in promising the savages 
too much, and performing too little. Me gave them a very high character, and 
said that there need be no difficulty with them so long as they arc justly and truth- 
fully dealt with. He described the height of the Mayagan as " for the most part 
five feet and under," but he did not specify the exact height of the Laconton. though 
he spoke of them as " of the same stamp." 

As my Guatemalan informant described the Laconton as from four feet to 
four feet six, and Sir William Flower says that a race that does not exceed five feet 
three inches in height may be classed as a dwarf race, and as apparently none <jf 
these people are larger than the Andaman Islanders or the Bushmen, there can be 
no question that they arc true dwarfs. 

The Mayagan, so called from their having come from the Maya country, Yuca- 
tan, cultivate the soil and use firearms, but the warlike Laconton, of whom the 
Guatemalan general spoke, use only poisoned arrows and blow-pipes. They are 
also called Masewal. (A dwarf tribe of the Kalahari Desert, South Africa, is also 
called Masawar). They are redder in complexion than the Mayagan. Mr. Blan- 
caneaux says that all the tribes that he has seen are more or less mixed with the 
blood of the Laconton, who are of the same stamp as the Mayagan. They live 
near the dividing line between Guatemala, Yucatan, and British Honduras. Like 
other dwarf races, they have a prominent abdomen, and have eyes resembling those 
of the Chinese, a peculiarity whicfi is observable in very many dwarf races. They 
have, too, a knowledge of plants, and of the healing art, which also is a part of 
the traditionary lore of pygmy races. The incantations and dances of the 
Cinghalese Veddahs (called " Devil dancers") are almost precisely the same as those 
practised by South African dwarfs. 

Are M. de Charnay's " Lacondon" of Yucatan, whom he describes as of 
medium height, the same as the Laconton of British Honduras ? The description 
of them by the Guatemalan general has been indirectly confirmed, in more than 
one particular, by the account given by Mrs. Le Plongeon, in her " Up and Down 
Yucatan," of the capture by woo<lcuttcrs, " near the frontier of British Honduras,'' 
of a very small dwarf woman, (oddly enough) described by them as " wearing a 
large hat." In the hope of getting a sight of her tribesmen, the woodcutters sent 
her back to them with presents, (i) 

" The buildings on the eastern coast, and on the Islands of Mujeres and Coz- 

'.') Instead or spending my winter, as usual, in Egypt, I am intending to go to Belize ; and I wrote to the 
GoTcnior in August, inquiring as to tlie precise heigtit of the Laconton, and as to whether Mr. Blancansauz is 
in tbe colony, and what are the best time and route for visiting Belize. A letter to Mr. Blancaneaux was also 
enclosed. Unless a reply is received before the end of October, my proposed visit must be given up. Tbe 
Secretary of State for tbe Colonies has been good enough to give me an Introduction to tbe Governor, Sir 
AftliiiT Holony. Since the above was written I have in vain tried to get some further information as to these 
people, aUliougfa they are British subjects, within the limits of the Colony of Honduras 





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Survivals of Dwarf Races in the New World. 73 

umela give evidence of habitation by a diminutive race. ' Tradition among the In- 
dians refers frequently to the Aluxob (pygmies), and they ascribe ail the monu- 
ments to them.' " (See Proc. of American Antiq. Socy., Ap. 24th, 1874, p. 71.) 

The " Illustrated American" (N.Y.), of Sept. 22, 1894, announces that that cm 
terprising paper is about to send a party to explore those curious ruins on the Andes 
known as " the city of the pygmies." 

Mr. A. H. Gatchett, in his " Ethnographic Sketch of the Klamath People" (con- 
tributions to N. A. Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Vol. II. p.i, xcix.) says: 
" Miraculous dwarfs are mentioned under the name of ' Nahnias,' whose footprints, 
as small as a child's, are sometimes seen on the snow-clad slopes of the Cascade 
Mountains. But the dwarfish creatures who make them can only be seen by those 
who are initiated into the mysteries of witchcraft, and who by such spirit-like 
beings are inspired with a superior knowledge, especially in their treatment of 
diseases." " Another dwarf genius, about four feet high, lived on Williams River. 
The Klamath appear to know certain spirits of diminutive size, but the character- 
istics of such are not distinct enough to permit identification with the fairies, 
Erdmannchen, or Kabeiroi, of European mythology." These, however, I have 
shown were originally dwarfs. The oldest and most venerable institutions of an- 
tiquity were " the mysteries of the Cabiri," and the oldest God of Egypt, the Crea- 
tor, Ptah, was a dwarf, and is called " the Revealer." 

It cannot be a mere coincidence that at Uxmal, only a few hundred miles from 
the region to this day inhabited by the dwarf Laconton, and Mayagan, we find that 
one of the finest specimens of American architecture is called " the House of the 
Dwarf." The legend connected with the building carries us back to the Egyptian 
dwarf God Ptah, for in it we are told of a dwarf Deity, who was born of an egg. 
Ptah, however, gives " the egg of creation" to Knum, who out of it fashions the 

All this points to the existence of a dwarf race in early ages in the New World, 
who were objects of veneration, as was the case in the Old Wjrld. This view is 
confirmed by numerous representations of dwarfs recently brought to light by the 
explorations conducted by the Peabody Museum. 

One of these is so remarkable that it is deserving of note. The face is square 
.'ind broad and flat. The eyes arc Mongolian; the cheeks bulge out so that they arc 
more prominent than the nose, which is broad and flat. It is a curious coincidence 
that Professor Putnam, in sending me a photograph of this dwarf (a sculptuic in 
linestonc;, calls its subject " a dwarf woman." 

It will be noticed that the familiar sign of the T (Tau) cross is on the forehead. 
It was a symbol of safety and of healing, and it is still the badge of " the medicine 
man " in north-western America. Ezekiel uses the word " tau " when he says that 

74 Survivals of Dwarf Races in the New World. 

those will be saved from the destruction which he predicts who have the " tau " (in 
f»ur version " sign ") niarl<cd on their foreheads. The early Dutch writers on the 
Cape of Good Hope, describing a species of worship among the Hottentot Bushmen, 
said that they retired into a cave and marl<ed each other on the forehead with the 
sign of the cross. Among the Tarahuniari, " with a firebrand the medicine man 
malces three crosses on the child's forehead, if it is a boy, and four if a girl." (See 
Scribner's Magazine, September, 1894, p. 298.) 

There can be but little doubt that before long dwarf tribes will also be found 
to exist in South America. Two years ago I was informed by Mr. Cunninghanie 
Graham, who had lived for years and travelled much in the Argentine provinces, 
that it was believed there that there are dwarf tribes living on islands in a vast 
lake in Uruguay at the head waters of the La Plata. I am reminded of this by the 
statement of a friend, that about 1869 he saw an article in a magazine which de- 
scribed that lake, and stated that occasionally portions of floating islands have 
drifted down the La Plata, bringing sometimes wild animals with them, and on one 
occasion a dwarf family. 

The description given by a traveller at the World's Fair of a pygmy race of 
hunters whom he had met to the south of Brazil, and the persistent rumors, that 
have reached the archaeologists of the Peabody Museum of the existence of dwarf 
tribes and dwarf buildings on the east side of the Andes, give some confirmation 
to these stories. 

Dwarf Klicks. — A few observations on the existence of klicks, and their 
connection with dwarf races, may be of interest, as it is a subject which no one 
has looked into except myself. Until my discovery of these klicks in southern 
Morocco, and subsequently in Spain, it had been assumed that they were 
peculiar to South Africa. They are simply defects of articulation, the sound 
of which is so peculiar that it cannot properly be described in writing. One 
of them, however, which is the most common, is somewhat simple. I first 
heard it without suspecting what it was, when I endeavored to write down the 
name of the tribe to which a native of the Dra Valley, south of the Atlas, be- 
longed. I wrote it down " Psecht"; it ought to have been " Pecht." The klick 
introduced a sound like " s" or "ts." I supposed that the odd spasmodic action of 
the tongue, with which the sound was accompanied, was the effect of some nervous 
affection of the throat or tongue. 

Klicks in South Africa are sometimes called " Bushman klicks," for the Bush- 
men and Hottentots have a large variety of them, a few of which have been in- 
herited or borrowed from them by the Kaflirs. My revered friend, the late Dr. 
MoflFat, the father-in-law of Livingstone, and a missionary in South Africa for half 
a century, and one of the few Europeans who could pronounce them, often amused 
me by repeating them to me. 

Survivals of Dwarf Races in the New World. 


A few years ago a friend who had lived in South Africa, and also at Mogadnr, 
the most southerly place in Morocco accessible to Europeans, casually remarked 
that he had often wondered how the Bushmen had in early times found their way 
as far north as southern Morocco, the people of which he was convinced used 
" Bushman Iclicks." My discovery of racial dwarfs, very similar to those of Soutii 
Africa, in the vast region between the Great Atlas and the Sahara, solved the mys- 
tery. I have since that found that these klicks are in general use there, and are 
known as "eating words," but arc quite unknown north of the Atlas. 

But unexpectedly the range of these klicks was found to extend as far north 
as the Pyrenees. 

While I was residing in a coast-town in Morocco, a Barbary Jewess from 
Mogador, who understood Spanish, and the dialect of southern Morocco, told nic 
that she had been surprised at finding an old Spanish woman who " ate her words 
just like a Susi." I told her to find out where the old woman had got her klicks, 
for though she was above the ordinary size, I suspected that she must have dwarf 
blood in her veins. When asked the question by my informant, she said that she 
had got them from her " Nano ancestors." Dwarfs are called in Spain Naiw or 
Natiu, and sometimes (incorrectly) Enano. It turned out that she had the eyes and 
face of a Chinaman, or a Tartar, and that her only child and her grandchildren 
were Nanos, none of which much exceeded four feet in height, while several were 
less than that. At that time one of her granddaughters, only three feet ten and a 
half inches high, was playing with children at the door of my hotel, and looked 
like a child of 8 years of age, though she was over 14, and therefore a woman, for 
children at 12 or 13 years of age marry in that country. She died in May last, and 
I was told that she had not grown any taller since I had seen her in 1891. 

In Spain they have the same phrase that we find in Morocco for klicks — "eat- 
ing words." That klicks are not caused by any physical defect is clear from the 
fact that the old woman, who was brought up in the mountains of Murcia, has 
these klicks, while her little daughter and grandchildren, who have been brought 
up at a seaport, " 'aga, with ordinary Spanish children, have no trace of them. 

The belief of the Klamath people in the existence of mysterious dwarfs in the 
Cascade Range, and the occurrence of klicks in the language of a northwest tribe 
described in the Smithsonian "Contributions to N. A. Ethnology," lead us to sus- 
pect that this tribe has inherited dwarf blood, or has resided in the vicinity of a 
dwarf klick-using people at some period of its existence. 

Of course, if klicks only exist in North and South Africa and Spain, in the 
Old World, and yet are found in a part of the New World in connection with a 
dwarf race or its offshoots, it might point to an Eastern origin for the latter. But 
that klicks are not known to exist elsewhere is not the slightest evidence that they 



76 Dwarf Survivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Races. 

iDay not really exist, for nothing is more remarkable in the history of scientific in- 
vestigation than the ignorance of even competent observers as to wayside truths 
that have not been sought for by them, or brought to their notice. Now that at- 
tention has been drawn to dwarf klicks, it is probable that they will be found in 
many ancient dialects, and especially in the languages of the dwarfish tribes that 
are found in northeastern Asia. (2) 

Are klicks of dwarf origin, and entitled to be called "dwarf klicks"? But 
for my having adopted this assumption, I should never have known that my 
large-sized, Mongolian-looking Spanish informant was a half-breed Nana. 

The name Nahnias for the legendary dwarfs of the Cascade Mountains is no 
doubt a corruption of the Spanish Nano (fern. Nana). 



ITraosactions of American Association, 1897.] 

When it became clear, in 1890, the range of African dwarfs reached as far 
north as the Great Atlas, I naturally inferred that in prehistoric times their range 
extended even far to the north of the Straits of Gibraltar. That the Atlas dwarfs 
had klicks in their speech, similar to those of the Bushmen, was subsequently 
established, the people of southern Morocco, among whom they are in vogue, 
calling them " eating words," a term applied in Spain to a peculiarity in the speech 
of Andalusians. 

Folk-lore has also preserved in northern Europe distinct traditions of an early 
race of dwarfs, who were magicians and cunning artificers in the bronze and later 
ages. " Balor of the Blows," the Vulcan of the Irish, " appeared at the forge as 
a red-headed little boy." The Dactyls (the " Tom Thumbs" of Crete) worked .it 
their magic forges in the caves of Mount Ida. Little dark-complexioned smiths 
and magicians are still remembered in Scotch folk-lore as " the Brownies," and 
the Welsh l)elievc in Merlin's band of dwarf smiths, who are still to 
be heard busily at work making and mending armor and weapons. Taata, a 

(2) This conjecture, since ttils paper was read, has been singularly contirnied. Dr. I'ranz Boaz tells me 
he has noticed klicks in the speech of the Chlnooks and the Western Eskimos. Another informant has heard 
them among the Mayas ; and a Hindoo says that he was greatly surprised at bearing the odd sound produced 
by kllcki In the speech of a dvarf tribe in the Punjaub.— R. G. H. 

Dwarf Survivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Races. 77 

Berber name for dwarfs, reminds us of those dwarf magicians, the Tuatha de 

It seemed most likely that there must be thousands of survivals in Kurope of 
a small prehistoric race, and that there must be references to such survivals in 
periodical literature, or the publications of scientific societies. A very laborious 
search for days in the Parliamentary Library at Ottawa was rewarded in July, 189J, 
by my finding in a back number of " Kosmos" (May, 1887) a paragraph of only 
a few lines, entitled " The Pigmies of the Val de Ribas," mentioning a paper by 
Professor Miguel Morayta on a dwarf community in the Val de Ribas, in the 
province of Gerona, Spain. They were described as having red hair, Mongolian 
eyes, broad, flat noses, wide, flat faces, and prominent lips; but the paragraph 
neither stated where the paper had appeared, nor gave ♦he author's address. Un- 
fortunately the editor of " Kosmos" was dead, and " Ko. nos" itself had come to 
an end. Dr. Leitner did his best to assist me, and wrote, but without success, to 
a scientific man at Barcelona. The British Minister in Spain also had an en(|uiry 
made at Madrid, but no one knew of these dwarfs, or of the paper or its author. 
Later on, I found a half-breed Spanish Nana woman who had decided klicks, 
which she said she had inherited from Nano ancestors. She gave much interesting 
information about the Nanos, many of whom resided in the mountains of Murcia. 
Although a large woman herself, her daughter and her grandchildren were all 
dwarfs — some of them not exceeding four feet in height. 

Early in May, 1894, Mr. MacRitchie visited the Val de Ribas in order to verify 
the statement of Mr. MacPherson, lately British Consul at Barcelona, that there 
were racial dwarfs in the eastern Pyrenees; and simultaneously I received from Mr. 
MacPherson a copy in Spanish of the long-.sought-for paper of Professor Morayta, 
which, however, did not state whether it had been published or not. The gist of 
the professor's paper, therefore, will be read with interest, (i) 

These people (he says) live among a larger population of ordinary Catalans, 
who have resided there from a remote time, and who regard the dwarfs as a dis- 
tinct race, calling them " extranys" (foreigners), and also " fenomenus," and look i 
down upon them as laughing-stocks. A good many of them, he says, suffer from 
" paperas" (goitre), which is phenomenal in some, and is called " goll," and the 
persons aflfected are called " Golluts." 

A medical man who has attended such cases tells him that these golls can be 
successfully treated by iodir.e. 

The idea that arsenical waters cause the Nanos to become Cretins and dwarfs 

(■) As much of this paper was written for piihlicatinn in an Knglish prricdical a year ago, some of my 
quotations from Professor Morayla's paper are the same as those that appeared in my paper of i8<)4, " Survivals 
of Dwarf Races in the New Worid." 

78 Dwarf Sukvivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Racks. 

is refuted by the fact, that their Catalan neighbours do not suffer thus. In early 
youth Cretinism docs not appear, but on their reaching maturity the " golls" 
begin to show themselves, increasing with years to the size of a small melon. " If 
all these Nanos had ' golls,' I should infer that the ' goll' was the cause of their 
low size and of their limited intellectual development." He thinks that those of 
the Nanos who have poor and scanty food die out. He adds all this " shows that 
the Nanus (2) are a peculiar race with all the characteristics of such." Some of 
these people who live comfortably are intelligent enough to carry on business suc- 
cessfully. " These and many other instances show that their stupidity is the result 
of the way they live. ... It may turn out that the existence of this race at 
Ribas may end in showing that in very remote ages there existed in Europe a 
Tartar race, which hitherto has not been discovered." 

Professor Morayta's paper shows that Cretinism is racial; but he does not ex- 
plain very clearly the cause. That a dwarf Turanian population once existed 
throughout .Asia and Europe we can hardly doubt, though survivals are only to 
be found in the recesses of mountains. All over the world dwarfs are born 
hunters, and therefore flesh-eaters. When their game is destroyed, or they arc 
driven from their hunting grounds, they, no doubt, lose their wonderful strength 
and agility, and gradually becoming moribund, go through the long process of 
dying out, just as many plants have died out when the soil or the air no longer 
supplied them with the necessary nutrition. 

Those who suppose that Cretinism is the cause of dw.arfism and of the 
peculiarities in looks, colour, etc., of the dwarfs of the Pyrenees and the Alps, are 
mistaking the effect for the cause, and are " putting the cart before the horse." 
In my paper on " Dwarf Survivals," read .it the Association last year, I suggested 
that Cretinism was not a disease, but a symptom of decadence among a racial 
dw . ' pulation. I have met with a singular confirmation of this view. Last 
spring I visited some Acadian districts in Louisiana, and learned that in the old 
French spoken there " Cretin" simply means a " stupid dwarf," and has no refer- 
ence in any way to any disease. 

The Denga dwarfs are the same now as they were five thousand years ago, 
yet we do not hear of goitre among the robust and warlike pygmies of the 
Lakes and the Congo, who are flesh-eaters and hunters. I am persuaded thcit if a 
child of a Pyrenean Cretin were to be fed on flesh food, and made to lead an 
active life, he would never show any trace of goitre on arriving at manhood. May 
not " Cretin" be a very ancient name for a dwarf ? The little Dactyls, as we have 
seen, were Cretans. 

(a) Tbit ending in u is probably Catalan. In Spanish a male dwarf it a Nana, and a female Nana. The 
people call themselves A'anos, not Enanos. 

Dwarf Survivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Races, 


The Nano is about four feet liiKh, and is well formed ; " liis foot is very small 
and well shaped ; and so is his hand, but its palm is much developed, whence the 
finders seem shorter and fatter than they really are. They are very broad-cheeked, 
which makes them seem stronger than is actually the case. They look like small 
men. In general they all walk Inclined forward." This peculiarity appears also in 
the Ainos, and is ridiculed in the Japanese illustrations of Mr. Mac Ritchie's work. 
Professor Huxley, in describing " Iberian man " of glacial eras, states that he must 
have walked thus, a conjecture which, even if nothing more than a lucky guess, is 

Th« men and women have a well-shaped calf and leg. Their features are so 
characteristic that to see one of them is to sec all. Their hair he describes as red, 
"like that of a ^oasant who does not comb or take care of his hair." "They 
have a round face is as wide as it is long; the cheek bones are very promi- 
nent, and the jaw bones strongly developed, which makes them look scpiare. To 
this square look the nose contributes. It is flat and even with the face, which 
makes it look like a small ball, and the nostrils are rather high up. The eyes are 
not horizontal, the inside being lower than the outside, and they look like the 
Chinese, or rather like the Tartar race." 

I lent Mr. MacRitchie a photograph which I had taken of a half-breed 
Murcian Nana, with her granddaughter. The people of the coast town in Morocco, 
where she now lives, all noticed her Chinese look. Mr. MacRitchie has 
returned the photograph, and writes that a person not interested in dwarfs in any 
way remarked, on looking at it, that he would take it for ;i likeness of a Chinese 

Professor Morayta says that the Nanos have only half a dozen straggling 
hairs on their face, which is discoloured and flaccid to such an extent that it seems 
to have no nerves. Hence, even when they arc very young, they have many 
wrinkles. " In short, they have the face of ;in old woman. If the Nanos alf 
dressed alike it would be difficult to tell the men from the women. Their odd 
look is increased by their large mouth, which does not cover their long and strong 
teeth. Their incisors are remarkably long ;in(l strong, and their lips are always 
wet with saliva, as if from water-brash. The brutalized life they lead may explain 
their being so ignorant that many of them do not remember the name of their 
father or of the place where they live." 

In 1894 a dwarf about four feet high, a native of Darftir, who has for years 
been living in Cairo, was brought to me. He resembled, in many respects, the 
dwarfs of the Pyrenees. He had the same large teeth, open lips, and excessive 
saliva, but his walk was a roll from side to side. I did not notice his bending for- 
ward. His walk was precisely like that of " Gitano-Nanos," which the old Murcian 


Dwarf Survivals and Traditions as to I'vomy Races. 

• H:H> 

woman described and imitated. His colour was a reddish brown. At the Hotel 
Metro|)ole, Cairo, there was anotlier, but somewhat difTcrent dwarf, from the upper 
Nile region, who was quite black, and had thici<cr lips. I did not notice anything 
peculiar in his walk. The natives of the Atlas say that there are black dwarfs there 
who are larger than the other dwarfs. Zebehr Fasha told me in i8<;j that the 
dwarfs of the upper Nile region arc called " Dcnga," and arc greatly superior to 
their larger neighbours in intelligence. On the monuments two " Dcnga" or 
" Deng" dwarfs arc described as having been brought to Egypt, who " danced 
divinely," and were more prized by the Pharaohs than the products of Fount. 
One is described as from the Holy Land of Fount, and the other from " the Land 
of the Blessed Spirits," probably another name for Fount. Maspero, in his Origin 
of Civilization (1894), calls these dwarfs " Danka," but the Report of the 
Egyptian Exploration Fund, October, 1894, calls them " Denka," or "Denk." One 
of the names of the dwarfs of the Atlas is Ait Tinker, or Dinka. 

Mr. MacFherson, late British Consul at Barcelona, who kindly made enquiries 
into the statements of Frofessor Morayta, fully confirmed them. He said that 
smallpox carried oflf hundreds of these Nanos a few years ago, and that they are 
rapidly dying out. and he thinks that more of them are to be found at the Col 
de Tosas than anywhere else. He was satisfied that there are many Nanos who 
are Cretins, and many who are not. Mr. Mac Ritchie spent a few days in that 
country, but the weather and the roads were very bad, and prevented his remain- 
ing there longer. There is also a village called Aledo on the summit of a high 
mountain between Carthagena and Granada, " inhabited by small people," which 
I wished him to visit, but he was unable to do so. Many weeks, or rather 
months, would be re(|uired to explore thoroughly the regions where it is said the 
Nanos are to be found. The British Vice-Consul at Carthagena intended to visit 
Aledo in 18Q3, but I have no tidings yet of his having made the excursion. We 
must hope that he will yet visit that place. Mr. Mac Ritchie has published an in- 
teresting paper on these Fyrenean dwarfs, in the " Internationales Archiv, fiir 
Ethnographic," Lcyden, in which some kodak photos of them have been given 
by him. 

Since my paper on " Survivals of Dwarf Races in the New World" was read 
at the meeting of this Association at Brooklyn, many things have come to light 
fully confirming my conclusions. In " The Academy" (London), January 12, 1895, 
Mr. M.1C Ritchie says, "Captain Foxc, in i86i, discovered an island cemetery in 
the northwest corner of Hudson Bay, in which the longest corpses were not over 
four feet long. Whereupon Foxe says, ' They seem to be a people of small stature. 
God send me better for my adventure.' " He has also drawn my attention to a 
list of the Indian tribes of the Valley of the Amazon, by Clement R. Markham, 


DwARi' Survivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Kaces. 8i 

rccfiitly piihlislicd l>y the Aiitliropological Institute of Great Britain ami Irelaii<l, 
wliicli ineiitions two dwarf tribes there, tlic Guayazis and the Catianas, citing as 
his authorities Acuna, Castehiau, Spix and Martius, and others. But for the most 
important confirmation we are indebted to the ul)i(|uitous press correspondent. 
WritiuK from the City of Mcxiio to Tlie ChicaRo Tribune, October 15, i8(>4, its 
correspondent, describiuK the various races to be seen in the streets of the city, 
inchides " Indians from the liills, and (|uccr little dwarfish savages, clad in two 
coarse woollen garments, who have tiicir Uottentot-iike lia!)itations within the 
gates of the city, living in their huts of adobe, in settlements often found behind 
respectable blocks of houses, . . . those strange dwarf people, who glide in 
and out of the crowd like gnomes." 

A casual authority of this sort, who only describes what he sees, and does not 
trouble himself about scientific theories, is really more conclusive than the obser- 
vations of a specialist, however candid he may be as to his favourite study. The 
testimony of this correspondent has been borne out by Mr. Robert Clarke, the 
Cincinnati publisher, who informs me that he also has seen these dwarfs. Mr. H. 
V. Wills, of Boston, Mass., tells me that his attention was attracted at a repre- 
sentation of a Passion Play near the City of Mexico, by soinc very small Indians, 
whom he " at first took to be overgrown children. They looked more like S(iuaws 
than men, and their faces were broad, flat, puffy and wrinkled." 

This is the description that M. Charnay gives of the Lacondon, on the frontier 
of British Honduras. He does not describe their height, but says that he could 
not tell the men from the women, and that they had broad, flaccid, puffy faces — 
almost the very same words as those used by Professor Morayta as to the Nanos 
of the Pyrenees. Mr. A. Glaspell, an American who has had business engagements 
in Mexico, says that on the 12th of December, the fiesta of our Lady of Guada- 
loupe (the old feast of " the Mother of the Gods"), he saw many dwarfs, who were 
not much over four feet in height, and who had come in from the country. 

Professor Frederick Starr, on his return from Mexico, in a letter dated j6th 
of September, 1895, wrote me as follows: 

" Aguas Calientes is a city of perhaps inhabitants. In a single half-hour 
in the market we saw seven adults who were not more than 4 ft. 8 in. high. Of 
one of these we have a photograph which I shall be glad to send you presently. 
The people of Mexico generally are small. There is an unusual amount of differ- 
ence between the males and females in stature. The women therefore are gener- 
ally small. But the cases mentioned above were far below the ordinary stature. 
The little people you mention, quoting from The Tribune reporter, are certainly 
from Aytzcaputzaico, which is connected with the City of Mexico by street cars. 
They are very small, retain their old dress, are reserved and very primitive. I am 



83 Dwarf Survivals anu Traditions as to 1'yomy Kacus. 

told that many of them live in hnIeK in the soft tepctatc rock. These are opecial 
topics which I shall study hereafter. I have Indian authority for dwarf populations 
near Lake Chapala in Western Mexico. . . . Several Indians at Chapala tell 
me that there was a fiesta there nine years ago which was very well attended. 
Among the people were about twenty little people, representing a dwarf race living 
in the mountains. They are described as about a yard high. All wore knives, and 
were very fiery tempered. They stood no teasing from the people of the region. 

" I noticed an unusual number of little people going from Pucbla to their homes. 
We saw a hundred, perhaps, go from market past us as we sat at a bridge. The 
little stature was marked in both sexes, and most so in the women. Many adults 
could not have been more than thirty-five to thirty-eight inches high. . . . These 
little people probably came from Cholnla, or near there. Most of them were primi- 
tively dressed. This I find commonly among the little people. They are conser- 
:':i vative and reserved. 

"Cretinism occurs in the Barranca, near Guadalajara. I have not looked into it. 

■\l A dwarf race among the Chontales are reported to me. They are said to live in 

I holes in the ground." Writing about the Little God. at Lake Chapala, he says : 

" There are found, in the bed of the lake, very many curious little vessels of clay, 

and. strange to say, spoons and ladles of the same material." The schoolmaster 

fi, there said: 'The people that used to live here, unlike their neighbors, had a god 

I' who was little: therefore the gifts that were made to him were little.'" 

; I That once there was a numerous dwarf population throughout Mexico is 

,ji proved, he thinks, by the small size of the Mexicans. 

Mil From what Professor Starr has observed, it seems plain that the Mexicans are 

a mixed race, with a large infusion of dwarf blood. Not only is their stature small 
l!|i — in some localities notably so — but their women are still smaller. "The women in 

i many towns would warrant us in calling the place a town «)f pygmies. The men 

of those towns would not warrant the term. In many families where both parents 
!i are little, the children of ten or twelve years are larger than either parents." 

ti This is what occurs among the Spanish half-breed Nanos, as is plainly shown 

by a photograph which I have of a large Chinese lookmg half-breed Nana from 
Murcia. and her dwarf grand-daughter. 

It seems that the most important authority on the existence of dwarf races in 
Mexico is President Dias. " The word Chontales has two meanings. It is used to 
designate a race of people, and it is also used to indicate anything strange or foreign. 
So when President Dias, on a military excursion into wilder Mexico, saw some 
anusually small people, and asked who they were, the reply was ' Chontales.' He 
accordingly concluded that the Chontales were a race of dwarfs, and so informed 
the Archbishop of Oaxaca." It is to be hoped that before long some explorer will 



1' I 


DwARi' Survivals and Traditions as to I'ycjmy Races. 83 

ascertain where this pyK>«y tribe was seen by President Dias, and will visit thciii. 

I rcKret that all my efforts have (ailed to KCt iiiformution from British IIondtiraH 
as to the correctness of General Granada's estimate of the height of the Lacondon 
tribe of hunters, some of whom live in Guiitemaia, while others arc within the 
limits of British Honduras My correspoiidiiit there, Mr. Blancaneaux, did not 
reply to my letter askiuK for further information on that point; so, backed up by a 
letter from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, I wrote, in 1894, to Sir Alfred 
Molony, the Governor, stating what I wished to find out, and enclosing an open 
letter for Mr. B., to be forwarded to him. Since then I have heard nothing on the 
subject— though I subse(|uently sent Mr. B.. by post registered, a letter and my 
paper on " Dwarf Survivals in the New World." This will show how much trouble 
I have taken, and how much dilticulty I have sometimes had in getting precise data 
on this subject. 

Another important confirmation by a press correspondent is that unconsciously 
supplied by one who interviewed, at Ciiuinnati, last autumn, the German Dwarf 
Operatic Company, and who stated tliat he had found that these Liliputians all 
came from a district in the Black Forest, and were racial dwarfs, and not mere 
accidents or freaks of nature. Professor Edwards, of the Cincinnati University, drew 
my attention to this subject, as to which, no doubt, further information will come 
to light. 

I was fully prepared for some such discovery. Thirteen years ago my attention 
was attracted by the name of some cliff dwellers in Abyssinia, which Jean Tem- 
poral, in his translation of an earty Portuguese book on that country, calls "Vosges." 
As I had, in 1863, suggested (j) that there must have been a migration from .Africa 
to Europe in early ages, I made a note of these facts, intending some day to 
enquire whether there are not traces of cliflf-dwellings, or clifT-dwellers, in the moun- 
tainous country of Alsace, "the Vosges." In 1892, as .\dmiral Blomfield Pasha. 
of Alexandria, and Mrs. Blomfield, were about to spend six weeks in the Vosges, 
I asked them to look into the question. In a few weeks I received a local guide- 
book> whiqh more than bore out my anticipations. In the Guide Joanne. Geradmer 
(Paris, Libr. Hachctte & Cic. p. 26). we are told that La Schaume of Nisheim. 
which surrounds Wurtzelstein, it is believed, is inhabited by a kindly disposed race 
of dwarfs, who. when the herdsmen descend to the lower valleys with their herds 
in the autumn, pasture their cattle, which are of very small size, in the upper pas- 
tures, and make cheese till the spring. Among different authorities cited is the Foyer 
Ahacicn, by Charles Grad. Admiral Blomfield Pasha wrote me that a very intelli- 
gent fellow-traveller, a Frenchman, believed that there were many racial dwarfs in 
that part of Europe, and that a careful search would put this beyond question. I 

(3) Sm Hallburton, " New Matetiali for the History of Man" (1863), pp. 14, 23 and note, 41, 74. 




Dwarf Survivals and Traditions as to rvuMv Racks. 

alio made en(|uiries as to the " tlwarfn of Sylt." which, it in !tuppo<icd, were exter- 
minated by the Frisians. My infurninnt K<>t fur me the folhiwinR information from 
the head of the ArchaeoloKical Institute of Kiel: "The people call traditionary 
dwarfs Die Vnttrirdeschcn. Alben, If'iV/i/c, </ir Kleiiw I.eule |the Undcrnronml People. 
the Albs, the WiKhts, the Little IVoplej, and there i> i\o end of SaKa> telling about 
them. Our coui try and Sylt are full of them, and I heard some quite new to me 
on this occasion. They have been ditiKinK lately in several places for skclctoni, 
and the villaKem said, 'Yonder, under that villaKe, the Little People used to live '^. 
and in another village the people said that uncler a certain moniit five sets of the 
' UnderKround Folk' live<l, Inn they only had one cauldron (caaldron) betwc.'n 
them, and when one party was invited by the »»ther the cauldron had to be taken 
for cooking. The mount was opened, an<! a Iuikc cauldron was found. Now you 
hear of kind acts done by these little men. and aKain of wicked, revengeful, spiteful 

Fifty years ago that intellectual Riaiil, Jacob (irimm. was far in advance of 
scientific men of our day as to this (|uestion. He seems to have assumed tiiat there 
was once a widely difTused dwarf population in northern luirope, and he K>ves in 
his German Mythology nn immense amount of references and traditions as to dwarfs, 
as will be partially seen on referring to the inde.x of that work. 

In 1892-J, Professor Sergi published in the liulletin of the Royal Medical 
Academy of Rome an important i)aper. showing that in early ages there must liuve 
been a migration of African dwarfs to the Furopean countries bounding on flie 
Mediterranean, and as far east at least as Moscow. He has made a comparison of 
the numerous dwarfs he met with in Sicily anil Italy with skeletons of dwarfs found 
in Etruscan tombs, and near Moscow — all re.Mnibling the dwarfs of the Congo. 

Atavism is very enduring and far-reaching ; and generations, or rather cen- 
turies, are not able to efTacc the traces of racial, or even fainily traits, as can be 
seen in family portraits. The leading family in a district in Andalusia were sur- 
prised and shocked at finding one of their number grow up in all respects a typical 
Congo dwarf. No doubt they had inherited a remote Nano strain, which, though 
long forgotten, had at last asserted itself. 

Size, cotnplexion, etc., point out the places where a dwarf race must have once 
existed. The Black Forest is probably one of these, ff)r the manager of the Germ.nn 
Dwarf Operatic Company says he was able there to secure the services of several 
very small dwarfs. Their relatives were generally of large stature. In Sicily, and 
parts of Italy, Professor Sergi discovered and measured a surprisingly large number 
of dwarfs, many of which were as small as Congo dwarfs. 

The name, " Little Father," for the dwarfs of the Atlas, and sometimes in Spain 
for the Nanos, must have drifted as far east as Moscow, when that prehistoric 


iniKration uf African dwarf* took plni-p, of which I'rofcsHor Scrni ha* t()I«I u«, for 
ie still survivi's in tiiat slranKi" title l)y which the- Czar is i)ftcn atldrcHncd— LiM/r 

I have liccn frc(|ucntly lt>l<l liy licrhi-m tliat I'ari wa* a naniv for mining dwarfit, 
who wash Koid and ttilvcr itand. I did not notice any superstitioiiH dread among 
the Berhcrs as to using the name, hut among the Spanish half-breed Nanos it seems 
to excite the t>anie horror that it does among the Irish, Welsh and Highland 
peasants. My Murcian informant nearly rushed from the room .it the sound of the 
name, and liegircd of mc never to use it again. It is evidently an " unpronoimccable 
name." This may he a superstition connecte<l with the belief that if you can get 
hold of the name of an enemy who is .i magician, you can destroy his power over 
you. A Highlander was ai)le once to capture a fairy wife by tinding out her name. 
The Irish peasants will speak of "the good people," "the gentle f<dk," or "the 
gentry," or " the little people," but you cannot get them to use the wt)rd " fairy " 

There is a town ur hamlet in the Sahara, some days to the south-east of Tafilet, 
called .liiii'tirfi (a corruption of Ait-Warrt, " the good petiple," " the excellent folk "), 
of whom the place is a centre. (A'acr/ tcarfi tneans "a fine man"). 
In Spain the Nanos are called Adwarfi. lUii the old Murcian woman used 
the name unwillingly. Many names and subjects among the Nanos are sacred or 
■■ tabooed." She t(dd me she knew much about the Cabrillas (or " the kids ")— the 
I'leiades; l)Ut it was not lawful t<j speak about those stars. 

Iloth in Scotland ;ind southern Morocco wc meet with artificial mounds, in 
which there are chambers. In southern Morocco they are inhabited by dwarfs, who 
lake into them at night their little cattle. One of my informants, a Berber Jew, 
told me that, when a boy, he ventured once to sleep in one of them; but that the 
Berbers generally are afraid to enter the small, dark passages that lead to the central 
chamber; and call the little entrances " rat holes." 

The name I'cchI, which is used in Scotland for a dwarf, and is more familiar to 
us as " Pict," is to be found south of the Atlas. A " Large Haratin " (a native of 
the Dra, who is descended from dwarfs) told me that he belonged to the Ait-Pecht. 
His dwarf klicks m.ide the name sound like Psecht. On one occasion, without 
having been questioned on the point, my Spanish informant, in presence of Mr. 
MacKitchie, gave me an account of the dwelling-places of the Nanos of Aledo, 
which, she said, were built of large stones, covered with earth, and which were 
evidently similar to those of the Adwarfi and to the Weems of Scotland. 

The head of a branch of my family for centuries went by the name of Pitcur, 
from owning Pitcur Castle, in Forfarshire, Scotland, now a ruin. Mr. MacRitchie, 
at my request, visited a place near the castle, in which I heard that there was a small 
passageway leading into a hill, for I fanch d it must be a Pict-cur, a dwelling-place 


DwARi' Survivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Races. 


or oiiclosiirc of dwarfs. The idea proved to have been well founded, and he wrote 
to nie that it was one of the best speiiniens of a Picts-Ilouse that he liad ever seen, 
lie afterwards learned that he was not the first antiquary who had explored it. If 
there is any foundation for the wonderful legends that tell of the oldest castles in 
the Nor.h Country haviiiK been built by dwarf masons, Titcnr Castle must have 
been their handiwork. 

Grinirii, in Lis " German Mythology," (4) shows how widespread was the belief 
that the first created rr"e were dwarfs, ilesiod says the first race of men died out, 
and became blessed spirits, who were the guardians of mankind. In the West 
Indies (5) there was a very similar belief. The mothers of the first generation ail 
fell in love with a primev.-"! Lothario, and tleserted their children, who grew up 
stunted, and ultiin.-itely died, and became Toiia (guardian spirits), and were wor- 
shipped by men. 

Among the Zuni and other Pueblo Indians the first generation of men are 
called " child ancestors" (their name being written variously, Koko, Koka, or Kaw- 
kaw). They arc intercessors for rain, and initiate youths, aiu. take an important 
part in certain rites. They are represented as dwarfs, and are evidently liable to 
hunger, judging from the amount of provisions with which they have to be sup- 
plied when they visit their descendants. Among the Klamath Indians there is a 
belief that there are certain dwarfs whose little footprints can be seen in the snows 
of the Cascade Mountains, but who are only visible to the medicine men, whom 
they instruct in the mysteries of the medicine-lodge. The Micmacs have a very 
similar belief in little men wlu.- live in the woods, and who, if conciliated success- 
fully by a Micmac, will give hir.i magic lore, .'\mong the Choctaws there was a 
belief that little "Men of the Woods" catch the young men, and. after putting 
them through an ordeal of good-natured teasing, initiate them. Bopuli, a mischief- 
loving Robin GoodfelU)w, is the Kolcol^uli of the Pueblo Indians. 

Mr. J. A. Watkins. of New Orleans, an old gentleman whose father lived 
among the Choctaws, and who when a boy learned their language, writes me that 
in the first half of the century a deputation of Choctaw chiefs waiter 1 the Gov- 
ernment agent, and begged him, as they were fe.iring the efTects of a drought, to 
let his two .sonj, young boys from eight to ten, visit them and bless their crops 
Willing to humor them, he let his sons go. When they h.-id been t.iught the proper 
rites, they went through the ceremony so well that a heavy shower fell next day, 
and they returned home loaded with presents. Dwarfs could no longer be procured 
to pray for rain, and the nearest appro.ich to a dwarf was a young boy ! 

Others pr.ictise this pious raud. Our little May Queen, and the Lord of 

(4) Sec Sulybrata Trans. U., 563-9. 

(3; " Kerr'i Voyagea anH Traveli," III., 134. 

Dwarf Survivals and Traditions as to Pygmy Kacbs. 87 

Misrule of inciliacval festivities were no iloiibt oticc dwarfs. At the heKinnitiK of 
May the Japanese have a little kinK and i|ueeii, who are to be seen also at St. 
Michael, in the A/ores, where at Whitsuntide, amid an iniiuense erowd of spec- 
tators, a little king and i|ueeii aie carried in state to the cathedral, where they are 
in great pomp crowned by the el.Tgy. A procession then takes place to some 
tables at the market place, where they preside over the feast, in which the poor 
participate. In China a little ,<irl receives the olTerinns to the dead. In India (i>) 
Durga. or Kali, is represented by a little girl, who sits in a " bower of leaves." In 
a similar bower a little child-wife in the western Soudan receives the nod Sokar, 
no doubt the same as the ancient dwarf-god of the Egyptians, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. 
In Kgypt there was a great feast at Pithom at the beginning of May. at which 
two little girls olliciated. who were called Urti (" the two Queens "). Possibly 
they may have been two little brides for .\nuk. who is so venerable a divinity that 
be may be only another type of the dwarf-god. Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. In the Tonga 
Islands, Alo-Alo, the god of rain, when he visited the earth, was wdconieJ by a 
little child-wife, who presided during the festival in a leafy bower. 

We find that the Atlas dwarfs and the Nanos predict the future by watching 
the relK'ction of " the Seven Stars " in a bowl. The famous cup of Nestor, sup- 
j)osed to have been a divining cup. had two groups of Pleiatles on its handles. In 
modern Kgypt the person who tries divination by a bowl is always a boy. The 
.Atlas dwarfs, who " know more about the stars than other men." drive a good 
business in the HaLiam line by blessing (if not by cursing). A little Ait Atta. from 
near Adwarti. who was stolen from his parents and sold as a slave, but ran away 
and found his way to Tangier, told me in iS(;.j that the Little People are greatly 
feared by his tribe, who address a dwarf as Sidi Baraker ("our Blessed Lord"). 
" When we see them coming, we lay down our presents before us, and bow down; 
and they put their hands on our heads, and bless us and our crops, and take our 
presents, and go away." 

The Hushmen claim that their primordial mothers were th.' Pleiades, a star 
group which the ancients regarded as " Royal Stars." According to Grimm, dwarfs 
were supposed to be of " royal birth." Wherever we find dwarf tribes, or their 
descendants, there we find vestiges of the Year of the Pleiades nd of a worship of 
those stars. 

There is a marvellous and puzzling vmiformity in the ideas of primitive r.ices 
as to festivals, magic, healing by incantations, etc., which can only be accounted 
for l)> -issuming that, in the most remote prehistoric times there must have existed 
an era, in wh'ch was developed a rude system o( initiations, that diffused, p ^served, 
and at the same time stereotyped, the scan'.y stock of star-lore, beliefs and domestic 
arts of those early days. 

(6) sir Wi" Jonet' Worki, IV., 13*. ».-i. 


i* I 


Professor Saycc, as we have seen, in his note to Herodotus (B. Ill, Ch. 37), 
connects the name of " the Creator" of tiic Egyptians, I'tali, with that of the 
Palaihi. The philoloKicai argument is cunfirnted by the fact, that both Ptah and 
the I'ataiki were dwarfs. Not only in ICgypt, but also in Greece, the oldest of the 
jfods were pygmies. Venus of Cyprus was a dwarf; her son was Pygmaeus, and her 
husband, \ ulcan, was iu> dcjubt a Dactyl, uiie ot the dwuri siiiillis and magicians of 
Crete. Selden says that the Great Gods of Palestine and Syria were pygmy tleities 
(I'ataiki;. Movers, in tiie tirst chapter ui his I'hoenizier, says that "that group of 
deities called Dactyls, Corybavtes and Cyclopes, were similar to those old Germanic 
divinities, now known as ' Cobbolds.' " I had not seen that passage when I sug- 
gested in my paper on " Dwarfs and Dwarf Worship," that they were " like our 
Fairies and Brownies." 

The name, Pataiki, is still to be heard. In parts of North Africa, and probably 

in Syria, the Jews hold a festival towards the end of April, called " the Great 

}^ Play," and also Pataiki ! When I asked an old Syrian Jew who lives in Alexandria, 

Egypt, what was the meaning of the name Pataiki, he replied, " Kabir in God; 
Kabiri means a lirge angel, and Pataiki means a little angel." and that the name, 
Cabiri, is connected with the last day of the eight-day Feast of Tabernacles. 
Pausanias identities the I'ataiki with the Cabiri. But the oldest sources of religious 
thought among the ancients were the Mysteries, and these, it is admitted, all 
sprang from the venerable Mysteries of the Cabiri (or dwarfs). 

When i asked natives of southern Morocco, ' f4ave you ever heard of the 
name Tiki f" I carefully avoided using the reduplication. They all said, " Yes, 
Tiki-Tiki, Tiiki-Tiiki; that is a name for the IJttle People"; and subse(|uently a 
half-breed Spanish Nana gave me the same reply. The range of Tiki-Tiki extends 
to Polynesia, where it is used for ancestral dwarf-gods, one of which, the dwarf 
Creator, Tiki, resembles the dwarf Creator, Ptah, of the Egyptians. " Tiki" and 
" Tiiki," seem to be a shortening of thoi,e names for dwarfs and dwarf-gods, so 
familiar to the ancients, and still used in Morocco— Pfl/i*i, and Pataiki, The Tiika- 
Tiika (a name not hitherto known to anthropologists) are very small dwarfs in 
South Afric?, who, the Kaffirs say, ate a perfectly distinct race from the Bushmen. 


The Tiki-Tiki. 89 

Through his tutor, Dinuzuhi informed mc that the Zulus have killed them nearly 
all off, as " they arc not fit to live." The Kaflirs greatly dread them as most 
dangerous wizards and magicians. 

Tiki wc can trace even to Peru, where, according to Santa Cruz (see Markliam's 
Narrative of the Kites and Laws oi the Viicas pp. 8j, 84 and pliUc, and y8), the 
Supreme Cjod, " thu Creator," was called I'icci Ccapac (sometimes softened into 
Ticsi Ccapac), and Tica Ccapac, and was represented by an egg-shaped symbol. 
He was born of a condor's egg, and was, no doubt, the same as the primordial 
dwarf (jod of the Mayas, whose temple at Uxmal was " the House of the Uwarf," 
and who was born of an egg (see pp. 124, 125, 135 and 142). 

Far north of Spain we find the Tiuke-Kobbolds of Germany; and still fartlu-r 
north, we read of Tlu-kr and Nain, two of the primordial dwarfs (forty-nine in 
number, or 7%7), that, according to the Icelandic Voluspa, were created before 

In America, too, (he range of Tiki is wider than I had supposed. Thus two 
of the most important little Ko-ko, or Child-Ancestors of the Pueblo Indians, are 
called Soo-tiki. The Araucanians (Chili), who, like the Peruvians, worshipped 
the Pleiades, called the Supreme Being "To<|ui." .\mong the Kaftirs he is "Ti(|Uo," a 
name borrowed from the Bushmen, whose i»rimordial mothers were the Pleiades, 
and who at the rising of those stars dance and sing, " Oh, Tiipia, F.ither above 
us, send us rain !" 

Many years .igo, Professor Tylor, in his valuable work, " Primitive Culture. 
I p. 28.?, identified the dwarfs of northern folk-lore with a prehistoric dwarf popu- 
lation; and Professor Wyss has taken a similar view of the traditionary dwarfs of 
the Alps, who he supposes were dwarf tribes forced to take refuge there by larger 


" Tor then also in the country 

The goud dwarflin^s still kept house; 
Small in form, but highly gifted. 
And so kind and K^nerous." — M tiller. 

(See Keightley's Fairy Mytliy.. Holm's Antiq. Library, p. 264-5.) 
Professor Wyss' conclusions have recently been confirmed by Professor Kohl- 
mann's discovery of the bones of Pygmies there, and by Professor Sergi's con- 
clusions as to a migration of African dwarfs to southern Europe and to Russia, 
who resembled the Tiki-Tiki, or Akka of fMiuatorial Africa. 

In America we meet with traditions as to similar dwarf races. My inference 
that Ticci, one of the names of the Creator of the Peruvians, showed that he was 
a Dwarf God, has been confirmed by a point which Mr. Stansbury Ilager has 
suggested, that "the Indians of Chincha (Peru) believed that their country had 




90 The Dwarf Domestic Animals of Pygmibs. 

hcen previously inhabited by a population of dwarfs, wlioso l>ones they found in 
tombs (Cicza dc Leon, chap. 74. quoted in Spencer's Socioloffy.)" 

The Iro(iuois say that in their former raids on the Cherokces, tiiey met witii 
a tribe of dwarfs, very numerous, and living in caves, and, though small, stronger 
than ordinalry men. (See Erminnic J. Smith's paper on the Iroquois, Report of 
Bureau of Rthnol., 1880- '81.) 


(Kead before ihe Canadian Institute, November 14, 11196.) 

For years I have enjoyed the honor of being a corresponding member of the 
Institute, but up to the present I have contributed nothing to its Transactions. If 
I have not shared the fate of the proverbial " unproductive fig tree," it is due to the 
forbearance of the Institute, and their charitable hope that, if spared by them, I 
might do better in future. 

It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I offer my first instalment, a paper 
of interest, not on account of the way it.s subject is dealt with, but because it opens 
up for the first time an untrodden field of science that is likely, in proper hands, to 
yield important results. Whatever will hereafter account for the diminutive size of 
the domestic animals of pygmies, will also explain the origin of the dwarf races of 
men; and, possibly, this may be true vice versa. 

One of my most persistent critics was, among my friends, called " fascinating 
subject." as this was a pet term of hts. Judge my dismay in June last, on reading 
in an article on " l'yti»>y Kacvs," the following ominous sentence, with which it 
begins : " Professor Starr's article on ' Pygmy Races of Men ' in The North 
American Review contains much interesting information regarding a curious and 
fascinating subject." To my relief I found that he admitted most fully all my 
contenti,on!>. • The existence of dwarf tribes in the Atlas, similar to the Akkas of 
Equatorial Africa, "had been demonstrated"; that there are diminutive Nanos in 
the Pyrenees wsis also admitted ; and also that strong evidence had been adduced as 
to the existence of dwarf survivals in America. I could h.irdly believe that the 
writer was my old friend but for a significant omission. He fully accepted my 
discoveries, but forgot to mention my name in connection with them. Still, to 
have converted him to that extent was eminently satisfactory. 

The Dwarf Domestic Animals of Pygmies. 91 

He concludes with some very sensible remarks, which are especially interesting 
in connection with an even still more fascinating subject. " The Dwarf Domestic 
Animals of. Pygmies." " It is evident that the existence of pygmy races has passed 
out of the region of myth and fable into that of history and science. Our infor- 
mation regarding these strange races is still incomplete and inexact, but if is being 
steadily augmented and brought in line with accepted results in biology and 
anthropology. The facts already adduced suggest many interesting reflections, 
but, perhaps raise more problems than they solvo. It seems clearly impossible (?) 
to regard the pygmy races as owning a common origin, although their tendency to 
conform to a single fairly well-defined type is very curious. 

" Is their case one of degeneration, owing to some special circumstances of 
climate and environment, or do they represent a remnant still remaining in a stage 
of development long since left behind by the rest of the human species ? We cannot 
say with certainty, but such questions may yet become capable of solution, when our 
information on the subject has become more extensive and exact." 

In !8<x), when I visited Morocco to look into the subject of racial dwarfs there, 
one of my first informants as to their small animals was a halfbreed dwarf at Tangier, 
about four feet high, who is to be seen in the Soko, or market place there. In my 
" Dwarfs of Mount Atlas " (p. JS), we find him say. " The dwarfs arc very brave, and 
great hunters of ostriches, having small, swift horses, that arc called by a name, 
meaning ' those that drink the wind,' and that are fed on dates and camels' milk, 
and are very lean, and, judged by their looks, would be set down as worthless. 
This description of ithese ostrich hunters agreed with that given me by iny Berber 
servant in 1888." A rabbi from Ternata, on the Dra, also said (see p. 29), " There 
are many of them (the dwarfs) near the Soudan. The Arabs fear them, and pay to 
be allowed to pass through their country. Their horses can do without water for 
four days, and are called dTvimiuagh ('they that drink the wind')." 

Thtre is a place called Adwarfi, two or three days to the south-east of 
Tafilet, which is a great resort of the dwarfs, and a part of the Saharan 
Atlas is called the Black Mountains, where is the River Dora, iiinl 
where there are many caves, in which the dwarfs live with their cattle, They have 
an Arabic name, meaning " the people that own cattle." A little .Ml .Xtta from near 
Adwarfi, and also afterwards a Jew from that region, described the dwarfs there as 
living in hillocks, in which there are very small entrances, leading to a central 
chamber, into which, at night, they drive their cattle, which are very small. Mr. 
MacRitchie, in his " Testimony of Tradition," speaks of the " weems " of Scotland, 
which are precisely similar structures to the hillocks of the Sahara ; and in one of 
them, he says, in its central chamber were found the bones of a small ox. 

In i8o.1 Mr. Carlo Bru7eau, of the Villa de France Hotel at Tangier, told me 



92 The Dwarf Domestic Animals of Pvgmibs. 

that twenty years ago. diirinR a time of famine, he " saw a man bringing into 
Mogador for sale a string of shaggy ponies. When asked whence they came, the 
Moor replied, ' From the mountains (tlie Saharan Atlas) ; there, horses, shcip, 
guut.s, cows, men, all are very small.' " 

In the same year the dwarf tribe that inhabits the Great Atlas, not much mor^ 
than a day's journey from the City of Morocco, were described to me as owning 
little sheep, donkeys, goats and cows ; and a Moor offered to bring some to 
Mogador. should I wish to buy some of them. 

The Barbary donkey is well known, a pretty, tiny specimen of the breed, gen- 
erally black, and very active and strong for its size. 

Nearly always, wherever pygmy tribes exist, or must have once existed, we 
find very small domestic animals. Bent, in his " Mashonaland," says that they are 
very diminutive throughout South .Africa. This even extends to the poultry. A 
hen's egg there is hardly larger than a pigeon's egg. 

This is also the case in Europe. Wh»*rever there arc survivals or very distinct 
traditions of early dwarf races, there we invariably find small breeds of domestic 
animals. In Brittany we not only have occasional survivals of very small people, 
but also very diminutive cows and ponies. In Shetland and the Hebrides wc have 
very conclusive tradhions as to dwarfs, and there, too. we find little Shetland ponies, 
small '■ black-faced sheep. " etc. In Wales, too. with its undersized, dark-com- 
plexioned people, wc meet with little Welsh sheep and cows. In the same way in 
Kerry, where the tales of the Skillimilinks. and " the little red-headed blacks " are 
to be met with, there we have the .same types of animals. The little Kerry cows 
are famed for their good <|ualities. In Galloway, too. in South-western Scotland, 
where history tells ua of the warlike, small-sixed Pechts. who claimed the right to 
lead the van in armies, we find the well-known ponies called " Galloways." as well 
as small cows. 

The popular belief of the herdsmen and cbeesemakers (Macaires) of the 
Vosges Mountains, not only that there are pygmy henlsnien there, who dwell in 
c."nes in the precipitcms cliffs of that region, but also that these dwarfs have dwarf 
cattle, is most interesting. On this point I ni.iy ijuote the following passages from 
my paper on " Dwarf Survivals an<l Traditions as to Pygmy Races." 

" Thirteen years ago my attention was attracted by the name of some cliff 
dwellers in Abyssinia, which Jean Temporal, in his translation of an early Portu- 
guese book on that country, calls ' Vosges.* As I had. in 1863. suggested (see 
Haliburton, ' New Materials for thd History of Man' (1863). pp. 14. -'j. and note, 
41. 74) that there must have been a migration from Africa to Europe in early ages. 
I made a note of these facts, intending some day to enquire whether there are not 
traces of cliff dwellings, or cliff dwelhrs. in the mountainous country of Alsace. 

The Dwarf Domestic Animals ok Pvgmies. 93 

' the Vosges.' In 1802, as Admiral Blomfield Pasha, of Alexandria, and Mrs. 
lilomficld. were alxitit to spend six weeks in the VosKes, I asked them to look into 
the (|Hestion. In a few weeks I received a local Ruide-book, which more than bore 
out tny anticipations. In tiic tinide Joanne, Cieradmer (I'aris, Libr Ilachettc & 
Cie, p. j6), wc are told that La Schaume. of Nisheim, which surrounds Wurtzelstcin. 
it is believed, is inhabited by a kindly-disposed race of dwarfs, who, when the 
herdsmen descend to the lower valleys with their herds in the autumn, pasture their 
cattle, which are of very small size, in the upper pastures, and make cheese till 
the spring. Among different authorities cited is 'The Foyer Alsacien.' by Chas. 
Grad " " In iHij.i (i.e., after I had heard frcni Blomfield Pasha), I learned in 
Morocco that, two days south of the Great Atlas, there is a high mountain called 
Voshe, the inhabitants of which are dwarf cave-dwellers who are calle<l Ait Voslie 
(the Voshe Tribe). Professor Schlichter says that the Akka dwarfs of E(|u.itorial 
Africa are known to their neighbors as Voshu, and also Tiki-Tiki, n.iines con- 
nected with the Akka dwarfs of southern Morocco, who are also called Jed-ibwa 
' the Father of our Fathers.' " 

The range of the name for dwarfs. Tiki, or Tiki-Tiki, is almost world-wide, (i) 
When the Akka, or Tiki-Tiki of Ivjuatorial Africa wandered north to Fnrope, 
they must have brought their diminutive cattle with them, for in Baker's " Albert 
Nyanza " (i8f)(), p. yi). a region where the widespread Akka, or Voshu. are to be 
found, we ;ire told that " the cattle there :ire very small. The goats and sheep arc 
(|uitc Liliputian." 

In Ceylon, the original inhabitants of which arc the little Veildahs (called 
often '■ Devil-dancers"), there is a very diminutive breed of sacred oxen, whose 
small size is put down to some wonderful myth about Buddha. These oxen are 
very nimble-footed, and are used in carriages by the natives, as they can easily travel 
eight miles an hour. A friend of mine told me recently that in a part of Bengal 
wliere he lives, there is a similar breed of oxen, and that it is considered by 
the rich Hindoos the correct thing to have a carriage drawn by six or eight of them. 

But all this was known to the ancients over 2,000 years ago. Ctesias, a physi- 
cian of Artaxerxes. who travelled in Asia, and described the i>ygmy race that he 
there saw. says that they owned diminutive flocks, sheep the size of a lamb, small 
donkeys and oxen, and horses and mules not larger than a ram is in Greece. (See 
Ctesiae fragmenta, No. 57, 11, Didot). 

Aristotle states that the Pygmies live near the lakes from which the Nile Hows, 
" .and this is no fable, for there is really, it is said, a race of dwarfs, both men and 
horses, which lead the life of Troglodytes." (See Hist. Animal. VIII. 2). 

Strabo, who was a sceptic as to the pygmies, though he described small races of 

(I) S«e " The Tlkl-Tlkl." page 88. 

(>4 The Uwakf Domestic Animals uh Pygmies. 

men, says of ihc Western Ethiopians (evidently the ilwarfs of the l)r:i atwl the 
nortiiern Sahara, whom I iiavc alhuled to), "their nuule of hfe is wretched. They 
are, for tlie most tiart, naked, and wander from place to place with their Hocks. 
Their flocks and herds arc small in size, whether sheep, t(oats or oxen ; th' do^s 
also, thonKli tierce and ((uarrcUunie, are small." (Sec Dohn's Classical Library, 
Vol. III., p. ,170. i«57.) 

It was puinle«l out in iKi;i. in my " Dwarfs of Momit .\tlas," that pyKinies are 
supposed in northern Morocco and in Nuhia to he Cyclops, and, as the dwarfs 
of the Atlas, like other natives ol southern Morocco, wear a siiiKnlar houmous, 
on the h.irk of whicli is worked an immense eye, a yard in leni;th, " the people with 
the eye " nnist in time have hecome " the people with only one eye." This view, 
as well as my contention that the dwarfs of the Atlas have little domestic animals, 
arc confirmeil hy Kohert Hrown, Jr., who in his " Neptune," says that the Cyclops 
of the Odyssey were an aKricultnral people of North Africa, who had diminutive 
cattle, the milk of which yielded very rich cream. 

I have omitted to refer to two curious points : that there are in several isolated 
and inaccessible localities in the Southern States little commututies composed of 
survivals of those pyumy tribes that have disappeared from the west coast of Africa : 
and also that there arc on the Atlantic seaboard little ponies, the descendants, 
probably, of a small breed that belonRed to these dwarfs, and thut were shipped 
with them to America. Stranne to say, iluir name is " Tcki horses." 

Dr. Weir's inten^tinj; article in The I'ni)nlar Science Monthly for June. iSqfi, 
on "The PyRmy in the United States" (which, however, docs not refer to these 
small horses), will well repay a perusal. 

I invite the attention, not only of anthropoloRists, but also of zooloRists, to this 
subject: Arc these little breeds the oriRin.d stock, and have domestic animals 
Rradually become larRcr .ind stronRer. just as cultivated plants have ; or have 
scores of thotisands of years of privation dwarfed them and their pygmy owners ? 

It is very desirable that zoologists shotdd circfn'ly study and api)ly the investi- 
(^ations of Yale naturalists and palaeontologists as to the origin of the horse in 
America, which would seem to indicate that the ordinary horse had an even smaller 
prototype than the little " drinkers a( the wind " of the Sahara, in a fox-like animal 
with five toes, developing in later ages into a larger, horse-like animal with a cloven 
foot. " After that the deluge " — some catastrophe that put a final stop to horse- 
raising in .America in primf)rdiaf tmies. 

I also suggest a point which zoologists may follow up with good results. 

Mr. Cunninghame Graham, three or four years ago, in an article on Argentina, 
said that the horse of the Pampas diflfcrs from the ordinary horse, the lumbar 
vertebrae of which are one more in numbeir than those of the Pampas This, 
he said, also applies to Barbs, and he thought that the Spaniards must have brought 

The Dwarf Domestic Animals oi' I'vomies. 95 

out Moorish horses with them to ArRcntina. I tried, when last in Morocco, to 
get a skeleton of ,t narl»ary horse examined by a veterinary Hurge<m, but did not 
succeed. If the Harl) tiilTcrs also from ordinary horses, it probably Kot its peculiarity 
from the little breed <if ponies in the Sahara. It is very important to ascertain 
whether the latest type of fossil horses in .America resembled the Harbs or the com- 
nmn horse in this respect, (j) 

Henceforth we have immensely Improved chances of solving the problems of 
the origins of small breeds of ilomestic animals, and of |)yKmy races of men— for 
what will explain the one, will also settle the other. 

As respects the latter, the tendency ot scientific thought is to regard dwarf 
races of men as having been the original and earliest specimens of humanity on the 
earth, and to yield to them the so long occupied by a supposed " missing 
link." The latest traveller in Africa, Professor Doii,'ddson Smith, writing last 
summer to The World an account of Abyssinian dwarfs discovered by him, says : 
" Although they live among «)ther native tribes, they difTer totally from them as 
respects their principal ethnological features. This fact strengthens the theory that 
the African pygmies are not degenerate specimens of the tribes among whom they 
live, bill arc the remnants of the first ami original population of the Dark 

Mgr. Lerey, Papal Nuncio to Fast Africa, says the >ame thing, and asserts th.nt 
the dwarfs think so, too, and despise all the larger races as fanrtius. They claim 
to be the first, and ohiest, and n(d)!est inhabitants of Africa. 

It may be worthy of mention that a review of the l,itest book on .Anthropology, 
Hutchinson's "Prehistoric Man and Beast" (Applelons, N.Y.). says: "Certain 
analogies lend weight to the idea possibly Stonehenge was erected by the 
dwarfs or fairies, who, in a previous chapter, are shown to have been a real people. 
Various writers have come to the conclusion that a dwarf population akin to the 
Laps were the actual inhabitants of the ' fairy knowes.' or underground megalithic 
structures, and became in time the elves and fairies of folk-lore." 

The following is an extract from a letter received from Professor Putnam, 
President of the American Assticiation for the Advancement of Science, dated 
September .1, 1897 : 

(a) After thl> p.iper wm wrillen tl was found thai the fossil horse resrnihled the Itarb In this 
rnpeei. The followlnR paragraph appeare<l in The New York Kvenlnic I'osI, July inlh. iSg;: "A enrlosltjr 
recently seen al the Salt Lake stock yard* was an 'AzIrc' horse, .16 Inches hl^h, and waighlnR 190 lb*. Il 
was caught In Arizona. " ('an II be ponsible that the American horse has left ■ pony representative ? The odds 
analnst Its eiislence arc very Kreat. The probability is thai the little horse Is the descendant of a " lekl " pony 
ihal had been brouxbt west by some Immigrant. The point, however, Is worth enquiry. 

ft Thk Dwarf Dumestic Animals of Pygmies. 

" I have tiMt forKottcn my prDniJKc to send you a nicmoraniltiiii about the horse's 
t>'4>ih found at the ruins of Cnpan. I hoikI you liy this mail, aildres^ed the same as 
thi» letter, a copy of the .Memoir glviiiK tlu- report of the museum explorations in 
CofMin. On page Jl you will lind a mention of the horse's tooth which was dis- 
covered in an ancient tomb in the ruins of Copan. Mr. Saville. who excavated 
the tomb, docs not see any possibility of the tooth haviuK K"t into the tomb after 
h was made : and it seems hardly probable, although some burrowiuK animal miKht 
have carried it into the tomb. This tooth is either that of the well-known post- 
pliocene horse of America, the Hquus fraternut of Lcidy, or it is the tooth of the 
introduced /:. cahallus of Europe. It is impossible from the tooth alone to deter- 
nimc which animal it l>elonK!« to. The similarity is so close that Dr. Wortman, who 
i» the l>est authority ()i\ this subject, is not willinK to risk his reputation by saying 
to which species this tooth belon(;s. 

" Of course, if there is no doubt about this tooth having been buried in pre- 
Columbian times, it settles the ijucstion of the co-existence of the horse with the 
early inhabitants of Copan, unless they obt.iined a fossil tooth belonging to the 
po»t-pliocene period and put it in this tomb. 

" Some authors are of the opinion that the horse was in existence on this con- 
tinent at the time of the advent of tTie Knropeans. You will find a statement made 
by Scliastian Cabot after his expedition to the Rio la Plata in 15.27, where he says 
be saw horses at a distance. The fact that the remains of horses have been found 
in post -pliocene deposits in the southern portions of America certainly makes it 
possible that the horse may have co-existed with early man in i\\a\ region. Still, 
if this is the case, it is very strange that we have not found the remains of the horse 
abundant in phehistoric sites, and we do not find the horse represented in the 
sculpture and drawings of any of our early peoples. Again, if the horse was in 
exiMence in America, it hardly seems possible that the Mexicans would have been 
•o wonder-struck by the appearance of Cortes and his men mounted on horses. 

" So you see the (|Ucstion is regarded as an open one. I hope you may settle it." 

fThc above letter suggests the <iuery : May not the horse have existed in pre- 
Columbian limes without having been utilized as a of burthen or for the 
saddle ? Whence did the breed of Indian ponies come ? R. G. H.) 







I:; 1 2.8 

ISO ■^~ 









^ ^> 













[From The Academy (London), July 8, 1893.] 

The following are extracts from a very interesting letter received by me lately 
from Prof. Sayce : 

" What will especially interest you is the discovery made at Contra-Syene by 
Prof. Schiaparelli in a tomb which was discovered last year, just before his visit 
to Assouan. An inscription in it states that Hurkhuf, who was buried in it, had 
been sent on an exploring expedition to the south by Pepi II. (of the sixth dynasty), 
and that he brought back many gifts from the king of Ammaan, including a Denga 
dwarf from the Land of the Holy Spirits, which danced divinely (i) like the Denga 
dwarf which the deceased Chancellor, Urdudu, brought back from the land of Pun 
in the time of the king Assa (of the fifth dynasty). 

" Leon des Avenchers, speaks of dwarfs on the upper Yuba called Dokos, or 
Dongos (Bulletin de la Societie de la Geographic de Paris 1866, v. ii., p. i)." 

The expedition of Hannu to Punt has been hitherto supposed to have been 
the earliest. But that of Hurkhuf dates back between 5,000 and 6,000 years. 

A thousand years separates it from the second expedition — that of Hannu— 
which in its turn was a thousand years earlier than the mission of Queen Hatasu, 
so boastfully avowed to be a wonder to gods and men. As her mission went in 
an entirely diflferent direction from that taken by Hannu, it must have gone to a 
different country. If the Periplus of Hanno (the date of which no one can even 
conjecture) was a record of the voyage of Hannu to Pount, it is clear that, in order 
to reach that country, he sailed towards the far West, through the Straits of Gibral- 
tar and down the west coast of Morocco. This inscription is important as con- 
necting Poun with dwarfs and with the West, for Amenti (the Egyptian " Land of 
the Blessed") simply meant "the West" {ement), as Erebus {ereb) also did. "The 
Holy West," says Bunsen, " was the Land of Truth." But the East was regarded 
as " the filthy East." In the Book of the Dead we read, " I have not eaten food 
where Osiris is in the filthy East." 

Bunsen says Put of the Scriptures (Punt) " is admitted to mean in the strictest 
sense Mauritania." Nowhere are there to be found fuller authorities as to Put or 

[(i) Probably this meant, not " divinely," but " like the dance of the god," which was represented by 
the dwarf.— R. G. H.] 


loo The Holy Land of Pount. 

Fount than in that learned work. " Die Semiten," by J. G. Miiller, whose references 
are well worthy of attention: 

" The old suggestion," he says, " that Put refers to the Libyans was confirmed 
by Champollion and Bunsen (Bgyl't I., 5"J). This was opposed by Rbers. who 
placed Put or Fount in the East. ... As for the Lubu or Lehabiiu, both are 
there (Gen. x.) mentioned as sons of Mizraini, but Put as brother's sons of Ham, 
and the former were by the Greeks field to be the Egyptian Libyans in the nar- 
rowest sense. Therefore, in Nahum 3 : 9, Put and Lubim. though mentioned to- 
gether, are distinguished — the former (i. e., the people of Put or Punt) as in the 
West, and the latter as the eastern. In the land of the Western, to the west of the 
Triton Lake, are the city of Putaea (Ptol. iv., 3, 39) and the River Put (Jos. Anti(|. 
i. 6, 2); yet both are assimilated, and the F.gyptians gave them the general name 
of Tamahu, Tamhu, and Tehennu." (See also Pliny's Hist. Nat. v. 1.) 

But there is an interesting bit of evidence on the point which has hitherto 
escaped attention. It is admitted that Put was connected with Tarshish. Now 
there can be no doubt that Jonah sailed to a Tarshish in the far West — a port either 
on the coast of Spain or in Bus (2) on the Atlantic seaboard of Morocco. Berber 
folk-lore comes in here with singular weight. In the ancient seaport of Massa (a 
name which occurs in Genesis) there is a venerable temple, which Leo Africanus 
says was partly built of whales' bones, 10 commemorate the f.ict that a prophet was 
swallowed by a whale, and was cast up alive on the seashore there. He discusses 
the subject at some length, and the people of Sus are all familiar with the tale. 
The temple is so sacred that, although it is now covered with sand, the Sultan, dur- 
ing his late raid into Sus, paid it a visit. 

In The Asiatic Quarterly for July is a letter from myself on " Racial Dwarfs in 
the Atlas and the Pyrenees," in which there is an allusion to my discovery of the 
existence of very ancient and greatly venerated ruins, called Foun or Fount, in the 
district of Warzazat, at the head of the Dra Valley, south of the Atlas. Assuming 
that Queen Hatasu's mission to Fount was historical, between three and four thou- 
sand years have elapsed since any attempt has been made to reach the cradle land 
of the Egyptian race, that birthplace of their oldest gods, " the Holy Land of 
Punt," " the brightest of all the divine lands." 

In a subsequent letter Prof. Sayce says: 

" I discovered the name of the Biblical ' Phut' in an inscription of Nebu- 
chadnezzar three years ago, which led to some correspondence in The Academy. 
It is mentioned in connection with Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Egypt, and was 
garrisoned by the ' Ionian' troops of Amasis. I suggested that it might he Felusium 

(2) Sus, like other Berber names, was preceded by the definite article, Ta-Sus (" the Sus "J, like 
the French L'Angleterrt. 

The Holy Land of Pount. loi 

or n.irka. The Germans, however, preferred some place on tlie Arabian coast. All 
that is clear is that it was part of the dominions of Amasis." 

Prof. Sayce niixht have safely ^j;one farther west than Barka, as far as the Did 
and the Dra, where there are still to he seen puzzling citadels or castles, evidently 
built by some great military power, not the Romans, for they knew nothing of 
southern Morocco, otherwise we should have heard from them of Punt and the 
dwarfs of the Atlas. 

But there is a curious proof in our constellations of the early history of that 
country. The story of the Yone (the Gaunche for "a prophet"), who was 
swallowed by the whale, came to Greece in two ways. One story told 
how Hercules went to Atlas to learn astronomy from him, and how he 
leaped in ful. armor down the throat of a sea monster, slew it, and 
afterwards escaped, after having been, like Jonah, three days in its belly. 
The name of Hercules (Herkla) is still a household word near Massa. An- 
other, and a later tradition may possibly have come through Persian sources. 
F'Tseus delivers Andromeda by slaying a sea monster, and turns Atlas into a 
tnountain by showing him the Gcgon's head. A native of the country near Massa, 
who was my servant in 1887-8, often told me wonderful tales of the petrifying 
effects of the stare of a dubbhali (a hyena) — a belief that is widespread, but nowhere 
so prominent as in Sus. At Joppa, from which Jonah sailed, there were preserved 
interesting memorials, not of Jonah, but of Perseus— the bones of the sea monster 
slain by him, and the chain that had bound Andromeda. It is a curious fact that 
the word Yone, in the ancient Berber of the Canary Islands (opposite Massa), 
means a Magus or prophet. The most convenient access to the sea from Poun or 
Fount in the Dra Valley is at Massa. 

I am disposed to think that this story of Perseus came to Greece after the 
Persian occupation of North Africa, and was preserved in the names of stars and 
constellations. This would show that most of our northern constellations came 
from the land of Atlas, the astronomer, and identifies Mount Atlas as the seat of 
the earliest civilization. The fact that Homer knew so much more of the Atlas 
country than later Greek writers, may be due to traditions of it brought back by 
Ionian mercenaries, who were employed by the Libyans, as well as by the Egyp- 

Referring to the discussion as to the dwarfs of Mount Atlas, Prof. Sayce says: 

" I return you your book with many thanks. Your name will henceforth be 
attached to the discovery of dwarf races in North Africa, as Schweinfurth's is to 
that of the dwarfs of Central Africa. It is one of the most important discoveries 
that have been made for a long time. I wonder if your dwarfs have anything to 
do with the Neolithic people who carved the forms of animals, birds, and men on 
the sand.stone rocks of North Central Africa, when the Sahara was a fertile plateau." 


[Proceedings of British Association, 1887.] 

It has been shown by French and other writers that the myth of Hercules and 
Geryon came from the Gauls and Kelts, and that it was borrowed by the Greeks 
and Romans from them. The Keltic Hercules is fully described in Smyth's " Dic- 
tionary of Greek and Roman Mythology." There is clear proof that the natives 
of Europe derived these myths from the people of Mount Atlas, which was the 
scene of them. Hercules visits Atlas, and studies astronomy with him; resides 
among the Hyperboreans of Mount Atlas; makes the Straits of Gibraltar, and sets 
up the Pillars of Hercules. He sails west to the Island of Erytheia, and steals 
the cows of Geryon; finds his way to the Eden (i) of those daughters of Atlas, the 
Hesperides, or the " Western ones," and steals the famous Golden Apples. 

It is interesting, therefore, to have, if possible, local legends which connect 
him with that country. Ancient maps represent near Mogador "the promontory 
of Hercules." Why was it known to the Greeks by that name, for the natives 
call it "the Mountain of Iron"? An explanation has been found by me in tales 
of Hercules told by many of the natives of Sus. A Beni Bacchar, or Bcs Came 
(the name of a tribe on the coast, near Massa), said that "Bacchar, or Biba-ween 
(the drunken) made Ben Cantin's enemies drunk, and took them pr jners, and 
Ben Cantin lived forty years in the temple at Massa; but, in consequence of an 
outbreak, sailed away with all his treasures to the Mountain of Iron, and hid 
them there. Du Karnaiin, or Herge, a great freebooter, hearing of this, sailed there 
to find them, but without success. He then sailed to the Canaries in search of 
the 366 cows of Geryon, an'' went into a cave there, in which was a large dog 
with feet like those of a camel. The cave looked towards the sea, and was at the 
foot of a great mountain. He never came out, and the people closed the cave 
with stones." 

Another gave me a still more ancient tradition. " Du Karnaiin, called Herk- 
lein, or Herkla, made the Straits of Gibraltar. In his time Sus and the Canaries 

(i) Some years after the above was written, I found that a part of Mount Atlas is called " Dmim Kiel 
Eden " (the Holy Land of Eden), and that there is a tribe called "Alt Heden." 

Berber and Guanche Traditions. 103 

were one country. He went to a large mountain to steal the flocks of Geryon, 
that came out always to pasture at sunset, and were watched by a dog named 
Terras. There was a great cave at the foot of the mountain, called Hebcr, or 
Kafoun Herger. He went into that cave and was never seen again; and the cave 
was closed up with stones and lime, and cannot be found by men. There is a 
prophecy, that when it is opened the world will be changed." 

That time arrived a hundred years ago, when an earthquake exposed a vast 
mummy cave in the peak of Teneriflfe. In the far end of it is an opening in the 
face of a perpendicular cliff, which is hundreds of feet above the sea. 

The Guanches (natives of Teneriffe) must have once had a similar tradition, 
as they still call it (no one knows why) " the Cave of Herke." It is now evident 
why Hercules never came out of that cave. He went into it as a mummy ! 

How was it that that secret cave, closed thousands of years ago, was known 
to the Susi, and even the fact that there was an opening in it that looked out 
towards the sea ? 

Thousands of mummies were scattered over Europe in public and private col- 
lections, and it is possible that to this hour Hercules, as a mummy, grins neglected 
on the shelves of a museum. 

It is difficult to imagine that this story of the Beni Bacchar is not an his- 
torical tradition. It must have been known to the Greeks that Hercules sailed to 
the Peak of Tenerifife from the Mountain of Iron, for they named it " the Prom- 
ontory of Hercules," and the Guanches must have h^ard that he was buried in a 
secret mummy cave in the Peak of Teneriffe, when they called it " the Cave of 



i Transactions of Brliisli Associaiion, Section H., 1887,1 

The Province of Sus, as respects the customs of it:, people, is, and always has 
been, a terra incognita. Excepting a few lines by Herodotus, nothing has ever been 
written about them; and this is the first attempt to describe them. 

The Susi speak a dialect of Berber called Shilhach. and many of them re- 
semble different descriptions of Gypsies. Some ate skilful bellfounders, others make 
ornaments and arms, others saddlery, others dishes. Others are silver and gold- 
smiths, and arc famous for their skill as artificers. Most of them tell fortunes, 
some by sand (who are called Amlad or Kemliien), others by beads, others by a 
flower ; some by watching a fowl after its head has been struck oflf ; some by a 
shoulder blade. The women, in some tribes, tell fortunes by the hand, and are 
called Guessani, or De Guessan. Some indulge in a sort of magic, and profess 
to call up spirits, or to make a person at a distance appear, using a powder on 
the fire which stupefies the enciuirer. They also make charms for finding inoney, 
curing illness, or calling back vagrant husbands, or for the production of olive 
branches, and for supplying all the wants of humanity. 

These people, no doubt, have been for thousands of years connected with the 
Timbuctoo gold trade, and have picked up wandering habits that have become 
hereditary. They have secret signs and passes among themselves, called " the 
words of the Kafila" (tent or lodge), which perhaps may be connected with the 
well-known Jewish name, the Cabala. 

It was shown that the Hyperboreans were the people to the south of the 
Great Atlas or Riffian mountains, called in Greek mythology Ripaean mountains. 
Beyond the Hyperboreans are, according to Herodotus, " the one-eyed Arimaspians." 
He showed that there are vestiges of the Osirian cult lingering among these 

There is an ancient Jewish town near the Sahara, an entrepot of the gold 
trade, called Ophran, on the River Ophrar ; not far from it arc the Oulad bu Saba, 
or Sabaeen. The latter guide the caravans by the Pleiades, and are, he contended, 
the old Sabaeans, whose caravans wandered all over the ancient world. They are 
superior to the other tribes, and are looked up to very much, as they possess 
secret lore not known to others. Heeren conjectures that the gold trade of Africa 

must always have been in the hands of a religious guild. 


Gypsies and an Ancient Hebrew Kace. 


A bracelet from the Sahara was exliibited. It was of horn, in the form of a ser- 
pent, with twelve divisions representing the months. In each of the twelve divisions 
there were two Krf>iips of seven stars, making twenty four Ki"onps in all. 

iikrher jews. 
Ancient writers, referred to by Joscplnis, and an eminent authority. Tacitus, 
contend that Libya was the cradle of the Hebrew race. An old author, quoted 
by Josephus, describes a race that were in wcslern Ethiopia before the days of 
Abraham, the Judadeans. They were probably the Jews of Libya and the Sahara, 
differing from what are known as the Coast Jews, the descendants of fugitives 
from Spain and Portugal. They arc not often seen in the coast towns, living with 
the Riffs and Susis as their tradesmen and business men. and securing protection 
by a small annual payment. But there are independent tribes that own no master; 
some on the southern Atlas; some far east, near the desert of Touareg; some 
also called Daggata in the Sahara, and as far south as the Niger. Tribes were 
described, one of which is protected " by the Tomb of our Beloved Lady." 
that Joan of Arc of the Berbers, a Jewish woman called Kahina. who headed 
them, and became their queen. The Arabs were compelled to make peace with 
her followers; and so great was her sanctity, that the district around her tomb is 
a safe asylum for the Jews. Some of the Jews are black, with woolly hair ; but 
most of the Berber Jews are very good-looking, and their women have the reputation 
of being the most beautiful in the world. The Berber Jews look down upon the 
Jews of the coast towns as schismatics, and arc very rigid in their discipline. 
differing from the others in their dress and rites. 


The writer showed that, from a remote period, there must have been in Libya a 
temple which was claimed to be " the Temple of Solomon." In Smith's Dictionary 
of the Bible (Tit. " Onias ") is something on the subject of this temple. Procopius 
also says it existed in his day. What has become of it since it fell into the hands 
of the Moslems is not known. 

The writer pointed out a singularly large number of the names of places in 
Sus which can be traced in Genesis, and suggested the enquiry. Has there been 
a migration of Hebrews from Palestine to Libya, or vice versa ? 

The Jews and the Gypsies must have been cast in the same mould, but must 
have been made of very different material. That would naturally be the result 
of thousands of years of a life in common, in connection with the gold trade and 
caravans of that country. They are equally unchangeable, and distinct from the rest 
of mankind, — Siamese twins, like, and- yet in some respects utterly unlike. We are 
almost tempted to call the Gypsies "the other peculiar people"! 


liY Bu Bacchar. 

Part I. 

(From the Journal of the Gypsy-Lore Society, 1890. | 

" To the west of it (the Nile) dwelt the group of tribes wiiich bore the general 
name of Kibu or Libu, th" ancestors of those Libyans who are so often men- 
tioned in the historical works and geographical descriptions of the ancients. In- 
habiting the north coasts of Africa, they extended their abodes eastward, as far as 
the districts along the Canopic branch of the Nile, now called that of Rosetta or 
Rashid. From the evidence of the monuments they belonged to a light-colored 
race, with blue eyes and blonde or red hair. According to the very remarkable re- 
searches of the French General Faidherbc, they must have been the earliest rep- 
resentatives of that race (perhaps of CeUs ?), who emigrated from the north of 
Europe to Africa, making their way through the three Mediterranean peninsulas, 
and gradually taking possession of the Libyan coasts." (i) Such is the sketch which 
Brugsch-Bey gives of the Berber race ; but they have a far wider range than he 
seems to suppose, as they not only inhabit North Africa and the Soudan, but are 
also, as they have been for thousands of years, the terror of West Africa far be- 
yond the Niger, where they are known as active ivory traders and merciless slave 
hunters, and are erroneously called Arabs from ♦heir being Mohammedans and 
able to read the Koran. 

Brugsch-Bey does not refer to the existence of two very distinct branches of 
the Berbers, (2) who seem to have sprung originally from very different races, one 
to the north-west, inhabiting Mount Atlas, who generally have red or light-brown 
hair, and are frequently almost giants in stature, and the other, a smaller, darker, and 
more vivacious race, who are to be found south of Mount Atlas, and especially in 
the province of Sus, and are the.^efore known to us as Susis. The former, named 

(i) " HUtory of Egypt under the Pharaohs," by Henry Brugsch-Bey. 2 vols., 1879. John Murray : 

(2) How little Is known by scholars as to the Berbers is shown by the fact that two of the most 
competent authorities on the early races of Europe and Africa differ in toto from each other on that subject ; 
one. Canon Isaac Taylor, asserting that the Berbers are a swarthy race, while his critic. Professor Sayce, denies 
that they are dark, and holds that they are fair, with blue eyes and light hair. 


GypsY AcRouATs IN Ancient Africa. 107 

by us Rirt'ians, or Riffs, call themselves " Ribi," or " Riphi " (3) (in the plural 
" Riphai-in "). The Susis differ from them as much as the Gypsies do from the 
Scottish Highlanders. The Barbary Jews, who substitute an " m" in the plural for 
the Berber " n," call these two races "Riphai-im" antl "Susini," familiar names that 
are strangely suggestive of those puzzles to commentators on Genesis, the giant 
" Riphaims," and their neighbors " the Zuzims in Mam." 

It is probable that the fair-skinned Libyans are much less numerous now than 
they once were, in consequence of intermarriages with the darker Susis and with 
negro slaves or their descendants. The Susis, who were known to the ancients as 
Getulians, are generally a Gypsy-like, nomadic race, and are evifl.L uly referred to 
as such on the monuments of the fourth dynasty. 

" It is a noteworthy phenomenon," says Brugsch-Bey, "that as early as the 
remote times of the fourth dynasty of Egyptian sovereigns, some people belonging 
to this race (the Ribu, or Libu), men, women and children wandered into Egypt 
to display their dexterity as dancers, combatants and gymnasts, in the public games 
which delighted young and old ; just as at the present day tho Egyptians still 
amuse themselves with the buffooneries and skilful tricks of wandering Mogrcbins. 
The Libyans, however, who appear on the walls of the sepulchres from the fourth 
to the twelfth dynasty, are distinguished from the reddish-brown Egyptians by their 
light-grey or light-brown complexion, suggesting the probability that they may not 
have had a very close relationship to the white Libyans of later times." 

The visits of Mogrebin acrobats to Egypt were not confined to that period, 
for Brugsch-Bey, referring to the close commercial connection that existed between 
Egypt and the people of Palestine and Libya, says: "The arrival in Egypt of the 
representatives of these nations is a fact which is proved by numerous paintings 
and inscriptions in the mortuary chapels. The light-colored Libyans frequently 
visited Egypt to show their address in warlike games and dances." 

Remote as may seem the era which dates back (according to Brugsch-Bey) 
6,000 years, or 2,000 years before the Exodus, and to which we have traced the con- 
nection of Moorish acrobats with Egypt, yet if E. Stanley Poole's views in his 
original and most valuable article on " Magic" in " Smith's Dictionary of the Bible" 
are correct, long before the date of the earliest monuments the wandering ma- 
gicians and fortune-tellers of the Soudan and the southern Atlas must have had an 
even greater influence on prehistoric Egyptians than they now have on the ignorant 
and superstitious savages of " Darkest Africa," to whom they sell their charms and 

" Magic, as we have before remarked, was inherent in the ancient Egyptian 

(3) To the south there meets us a tendency to change the final t Into u. Beni Haml (the Sons of Ham) 
liecomes Bern* Haml, which is abbreviated into Bu Haml : Susi becomes Susoo. Hence Rlbl and Libl become 
Rlbu and Libu. 

io8 Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Afkka. 

relJKioii. The ritual is a Hystem of incantations and divinations for making amulets, 
with the object of securing the future happiness of the disemhodied soul." " It 
eannot l)e doubted that the knowledRe and use of the maKical ainidets and incan- 
tations treated of in the ritual were held to be necessary for future happiness." The 
later chapters of the ritual "contain mystical names not lnariuK on [Egyptian 
etymology. These names have been thought to be Ethiopian. Ihcy either have no 
signification, and are mere inagieal gibberish, or else they are mainly, at least, of 
foreign origin." 

'■ The regions of terror traversed, the mystic portals that open alone to magical 
words, and mon.sters whom magic can deprive of their power to injure, are here 
already in the book that was found in part by King Mencheres 4,000 years ago. 
Hearing in mind the Nigritian nature of ligyptian magic, we may look for the 
.sources of these ideas in primeval Africa. There we find the realities of which the 
idea is not greatly distorted, though greatly exaggerated. The forests that clothe 
the southern slopes of the snowy Atlas, full of fierce beasts, the vast deserts unten- 
anted save by harmful reptiles, swept by sand-storms, and ever burning under an 
unchanging sun, are the several genii of the Egyptian Hades. The creatures of 
the desert, flic plains and slopes, the crocodile, the pachydermata, the lion, per- 
chance the gorilla, are the genii that hold the land of fear." " No wonder that the 
|<rimitive race imagined the evils of the unseen world to be a recurrence of those 
ag linst which they struggled while on earth." 

He considers that the fact that the name for Hades (Rrebus) came from Ereb 
(the west) points to the west as the country from which the Egyptians derived their 
ideas of the journey of the soul to Paradise. He might have strengthened his 
argument by referring to Amenti, the Egyptian name for Hades, which is derived 
from Ement (the west). 

Tataren is a name for Gypsies not only in Sweden and south Germany, but also 
in .Africa, where it is met with as far south as Timbuctoo as Tatari, Karkari, or 
Gargari. Tatari is also the Berber name for the morning star, " the holy morning 
star, that rises to the West of the land of Punt," that " land of the gods." With 
us Lucifer, " the prince of the morning," is suggestive of Tartarus, and of the 
Gypsy name for God — Dyvel ! May not the name for the Gypsies, Tatari, have had 
the same meaning as " Arab," which is derived from Ereb. the west, i.e., " the 
western people"? The Berber Ataram (the west), with the common prefix ta or /, 
gives us Tataram. May not the name Helebis also come from Ereb (the west) — 
Hercbis .' (4) 

Who are these Mogrebin acrobats and jugglers which Brugsch-Bey says still 
aniiuse the Egyptians by their skilful tricks or performances ? It is possible that 

(4) Urub Is the name for a Gypsy at Smyrna. 


Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. log 

they are Gypsies who are to be loniu! in pKypt. I>"t wlio. acconlinR to Captain 
Newbolil, do not bi-ionK to that country, for " one tliinK is cirtain. that iIkm- 
Gypsies are strangers in titc land of KKypt." He describes them as bein« tif three 
classes. Heleijes. I<ha«arin (pi. Gargar). and Nuris or Nawas. "The lielebes deal 
in horses, and have a bad character for honesty; their women, called Feheniis. are 
the only ones who practise fortune-tellinn and sorcery. The I'Vheniis are noleil 
for their chastity. The Uhanarin are not. The men of the khaKariii are tinkers 
.and blacksmiths, and sell cheap jewellery and instruments of brass ami iron, and 
many of them are athletes, mountebanks and monkey e.shibitors. The women are 
rope-dancers and musicians. They are divided into two classes The Nuris are 
hereditary thieves." 

As one of the classes of the KhaKarin bears a distinctly Moorish name, licit 
cr Rifai, it is clear that they must have come from the KifT country, but that they 
cannot be Riffians, who are not nomads, and have fair skins and linht hair, and do 
not indulge in ma^ic or fortunc-tellinK. It would be hasty to assume that horse- 
raising was confined to the Helebes. Denham describes a line race of Gypsies 
whom he saw in Burnu, and who have a very fine breed of horses, and resend)le 
the bcst-lookin>{ of our Gypsies. He calls theitl Shouas. Cooley (in his " Negro 
land of the Arabs," p. io«), after trying to prove that the Karkari are a tribe to 
the east of Timbuctoo, who belong to a large town called Karkar (corrupted, he 
says, to Kaukau), which is situated on a river of that name, (piotes Dupuis ("Two 
Years' Residence in Ashanti," App. s.O as saying : " Some of these rivers open 
communication with a tribe t)f heathens called Gargari, who live in tents, and arc 
not black, but ? red-skinned race, yet they are not of Arabian stock. The best 
breeds of horses and mules come from these parts." They no doubt belong to the 

people whom Denham speaks of. Cooley says that "this extract from Dupuis is j|||| 

evidently a description of a Berber tribe, whose loose observance of Mohammedan 

rites have caused them to be considered as Pagans." He gives an authority for the |fi j 

assumption that ' Beni-Gurgar is probably the chief place of the Karkari." Ibn 'f, 

Batutah speaks of a "Sultan el Karkari"; Karkari, Gargari, are probably cor- 
ruptions of Tartari. 

In the country south of Mount Atlas there are many tribes that practise fortune- 
telling and magic ; some of them are jugglers, others musicians, others tinkers, 
others workers in leather, or brass, or iron ; bellfounders. makers of caldrons, 
brass dishes which are ornamented with marvellous skill by repoussi' work, sad- 
dlery and horse-trappings. They are also gold and silver :>miths. snake-charmers, 
etc., and generally betray a Gypsy cast more or less. They have been for thousands 
of years famous as horse-breeders. Leo Africanus, who wrote long before the 
days of " Darley's Arabian," or " Flying Childers," says that these people south of 

no Gypsy Acrobats in Anc r Africa. 

Mount Atlas, in his day had careful pedigrees of their stock extending back two 
hundred years. 

We must await the results of future enquiries before we can say who of the 
races inhabiting that region arc Gypsies and who are not. One of them, how- 
ever, that resembles the Gypsies is the Bciii Dacchar, wlio are found near Massa 
on the Atlantic coast, and who call themselves by a name which sounds like Bcs- 
Carne. They have at times been proscribed and persecuted by Mohammedan 
fanatics, and, although they are not now molested, their name seems to be men- 
tioned with hesitation by the Moors. I have seen many of them, and have, as far 
as I could, fou'-.d out their modes of life, traditions, etc., but, like most Gypsies, 
they are very reticent, and it is only when you know something about them 
already, and gain their confidence, that you can get them to speak freely. It is 
probable that when I first heard the name of Beni Bacchar it wp.s not known to 
more than two or three Europeans, even in Morocco. I have since found that the 
ancient inhabitants of one of the Canary Islands were called Beni Bacchar or Bent 
Bacchos. In early ages, therefore, these people must have found their way from 
Sus to the Canaries. They still have a tradition that the two countries were once 
one, but that the sea broke through and separated them. It is clear, therefore, 
that if the Beni Bacchar or Bu Bacchar are of Gypsy descent, we must assign an 
enormous antiquity to the presence of the Gypsies south of Mount Atlas, a country 
which would be best described by its ancient name, Getulia. There are no doubt 
different classes there, one of which at least seems to represent a higher degree or 
order — the Oulad bu Saba. According to a Susi, Hammed Azue, almost 
the only native from the country near Massa who could speak English 
fluently, they are greatly reverenced as a superior caste, and as being saints. 
They reside a day's journey or more in the Soudan, and guide caravans or accabars 
to Timbuctoo. A little farther south is a somewhat similar tribe called Shanghit, 
but inferior to them in status and attainments. Mahomed Alemi, one of them, 
stated to me, as to the Saba-een or Shebuyan, that they wear a black or dark blue 
haiik and dress differently from others. He says in his language bulobara (a word 
which Leland says is connected by Gypsy tradition with Stonehenge) means a 
sheik of architects (or master mason ?) (s) " The women of the Sahara tell for- 
tunes by the hand. There are people called Tinghars (tinkers ?) whose women 
tell fortunes." In eastern Europe the Gypsies are called Atinghars. A is the common 
Berber prefix. 

Mahomed ben AH, of Twat, says that the women of his trib; "tell fortunes by 
sand, and are called Remliien and Romni. There are people living in caves who are 
called Tinghar, and mend pots. They find tin in the mountains. Kasder is the 

(S) A well-known word among the Gypsies of eastern Europe, some of whom are called Calderari. 

Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. hi 

word for tin. He knows the word tin, but thinks it is Arabic." Hadji Ali ben 
Taleb Sinjik says that " at a large town tlie people speak Shilhach, and the women 
tell fortunes by the hand. We tell fortunes by the hand, and the women by killing 
a cock, and by stones. There are caldron makers who go by themselves, marry by 
themselves, and have a language of their own. Globali is a bell ; kulehin, a crucible : 
spitiri, a tin-man ; augari, gold. Head ornaments arc daga or mlaga. They repre- 
sent something — some stars. There are dishes hung up on trees to divine by the 
sound. They call it tannakas." 

Hadji bu Zima, from Tazawalt, between Sus and Ephran, says that his tribe 
is " Ida ou Tills. The Oulad bu Saba tell fortunes. There are people called Gues- 
sani. Amongst the Oulad bu Sidi Bounu, Shangit and Ait Amaran, the women 
tell fortunes by the hand ; also Adgoots and Bu Salem, near Ophran, tell fortunes 
by the hand and shoulder." 

Hadji Mahommed (already examined) here stated that " the women of his 
tribe tell fortunes by the hand and the men by sand. They have a feast called 
Adah, which lasts forty days, the same as that of Aiissawas. It takes place at the 
beginning of the cold weather." There is a tribe in the Sahara called Naiil, the 
women of which are prostitutes, also Azlia, and one called the Oulad our Abah. 
Among the Barimiken (6) and Bcni Izracl (Moors, not Jews) women tell fortunes. 
Such people are called Gargar. Among the Helebes the men only tell fortunes, 
some by beads and some by stones, among which is a black and a white one ; 
some by a flower. Kaiton, among the Beni Bacchar is a tent ; paniali, a strong 
drink from dates ; manuch is a man. A rami is a man ; also gudjo; gor, a boy ; 
chavo, a child ; rakler, a girl ; lacho, good ; puro, old ; turno or turro, a young 
man ; purno is white ; kalo, black. The people who speak this language are called 
Romani. Ktirbat, a Cabyle ; ainval or loh, an anvil ; koraki, a hammer ; kubala, 
tongs ; pukil, bellows ; diklo, a woman's kerchief. We are called Zigani, and came 
from the Soudan." 

Hadji bu Zima, who was present, said that he did not understand what had been 
said, as he did not know the language of the Beni Bacchar. 

" Mahomed ben Ali bu Gerar lives near Massa ; knows the Tureiia (' the 
seven stars ') and the belt of Orion, which is called Imanah. The Tureiiah go with 
the caravans and guide them. They are called ' The Seven Whistlers,' because they 
whistle for one of them that is lost." (This is a Gypsy name in England for those 

Mahommed ben Mahomed el Susi says : " The Saba (the Tureiia) are repre- 
sented in the middle of the tent (of secret rites ?), hanging like a bunch of grapes. 
There is a hole there called Bast, through which the stars can be seen dancing." 

(C) Newbold says that In Egypt the Barimiken are a branch of the Gargar. 

112 Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. 

These stars were " the dancers " among the Greeks and the North American Indians. 
Hast is the name given to " the di.nce of the stars " by some Berbers, and evidently 
points to that ancient Libyan goddess whom the Egyptians borrowed — Bast, the 
goddess of dancing. 

Hadji Omar Ait bu Gerar, of Afassa. district of Ru Amaran, says that " the 
Reni Bacchar, or Bci: Cam, Hve in a country of serpents, beyond Agadir. They can 
(nul gold in the night. The Susis are afraid of them. They take the fangs from 
snakes ;uh! sell them. They tell fortunes— the women by the hand. They get 
crazy in their dances. One of them tried to eat his own child." " They are called 
in Arabic Rcmliicn, and Ainhal in Shilhach, from their telling fortunes in sand." 

If we recall the various names by which the Gypsies are known in Europe, we 
shall find that, almost without exception, they can be traced to North Africa. Rom 
in Coptic means a man, and Romi is used by the Moors to express " the Ancients " 
(the Romans), while Romani is one of the many names of some North African 
fortune-telling tribes. It has often been conjectured that Gitaiw, the Spanish 
name for Gypsies, comes from Tingitania, the ancient name of the north-west part 
of Africa, derived from Tingis or Tinghis (Tangier). Zlotar reminds us of Shil- 
hach or Shilhachte, a language extensively used south of Mount Atlas. Calderari 
(caldron-makers) reminds us that among some North African nomads caldera 
means a caldron, .\tingar is met with in North Africa, and has the common Berber 
Ijrefix a before tiiigar (a tinker). Zigani or Sigcuiicr suggests a very common name 
of places in North Africa, Sig, which appears in the name of a small tribe west of 
the Draah, called Nezigen or Anzigen. Cingari or Zingari is the name of the most 
widely-spread race of nomad Berbeis. They are, according to Leo Africanus, to 
be found in the south-west of Sus, and as far south as the Niger. Their language, 
which can be traced as far as the borders of Abyssinia, and is that used by the 
Mandingoes and the people of Timbuctoo, is called Sangai, Sagiii, or Zagai. The 
tribe is called Singhanah, by El Bekri, and is also known as Zenegar (no doubt the 
origin of the name Senegal). " The Morabites," says Cooley, " who were all of 
the Zenagah nation, as soon as they felt their strength, rushed at once from their 
own deserts to the conquest of Barbary and Spain." They became for a time a 
polished and settled race ; but when they were driven from power they " went 
gypsying," and once more returned to the desert and became nomads. The same 
thing occurred in the history of the Zenatah, their rivals. 

The Beni-Hanii (the sons of Ham) are a numerous tribe of the Zenagar, who 
practise fortune-telling and magic. One of them, examined by myself, has already 
been referred to. We have seen that Tataren comes from Tartar! (corrupted in 
Africa into Gargari or Karkari). It will be a curious fact if even their old Hun- 
garian name, the " children of Pharaoh," was suggested by the Gypsies having 

Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. 113 

brought from the west of Sus the name by which the people there were known to 
tlie ancients, Pharussii. 

It is possible that a philologist well acquainted with Gypsy languages may dis- 
cover much which is hidden from an ordinary enquirer like myself. What has 
been already accomplished by scholars in the field of Gypsy lore represents an 
enormous amount of patient research under great difficulties, and shows that we 
have much to hope for from their labors in the future. 

These extracts from my note-book will amply suffice to establish that Getulia 
(as I may call that country bounding on the Atlas to the north, and on " Darkest 
Africa " to the south) was, and still is, saturated with fortune-telling and magic. 
I have visited Morocco five or si.x times, mainly to enquire about these people, of 
which Europeans, and even the Moors to the north, know but little. I have a good 

deal more as to these nomads, but the extracts given for the present will suffice. \\ 

As they talk sometimes Arabic, sometimes Shilhach, sometimes Susi (a dialect of ^ 

the latter), sometimes perhaps Romani. it is difficult not to miss much that could 

have been found out by more competent enquirers. But I spared no trouble, and , 

employed English, Maltese, French. Moorish and Susi interpreters, and also pos- i; 

sesscd later on the advantage of having a remarkably intelligent native of Sus for '■:] 

a servant, to whom I could always refer. If any mistakes have occurred from the '] , 

meanmgs or sounds of words having been misunderstood, this will not affect the li ' 

mam pouit which I wish to establish. {.;'! 

The most striking instance of the antiquity of the Susis and of their being the same 
now that their ancestors were when the earliest pyramids were built, is to be found in 
some chance remarks made to me by Mr. Y., a merchant living lately at Mogador, 
the most southern port accessible to Europeans. Nearly a score of years ago, while 
in London, he heard much of "Arab acrobats," who were delighting English sight- 
seers, and accordingly went to see them. After the performance, to his surprise, 
one of them came up to him and said in Arabic, " I am glad t'< see you, Mr. Y. I 
know you very well, though you do not know me." On being asked who he was. 
he said that he had often seen Mr. Y. in Mogador ; that the troupe had been 
organized from young men belonging to tribes south of Mogador, and that they 
had been travelling through Europe, and had been very successful. They were 
able to call themselves Arabs, as they could speak Arabic. 

I subsequently met in North Africa the head of the troupe, who had retired 
from the business, as he had been injured by an accident. He had organized his 
troupe from young men south of Mount Atlas, and had been in St. Petersburg, 
Vienna, Constantinople, Berlin, Paris, London. Boston, New York, Chicago, San 
Francisco, Montreal, etc. He was a polished man of the world, who spoke English 
tolerably well, and lived on a competence that he had laid by. I have one of his 

114 Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa, 

printed circular letters, which shows that he had kept abreast with the spirit of 
the age. He heads it in an impressive manner : " Compagnie Imperiale Ottomane 
de la Tribu du Bagdad, conij.o^ce de 30 personnes, 30 homnics et fenimes, sous la 
direction du Chev. Sidi-Hadj-Ali-Ben-Mahommed de la Tribu Beni-Zoug-Zoug, 
Decoree du Sultan de la Turquie." He adds a facsimile of the Sultan's seal, and 
also the Turkish symbol, the cresent and the morning star. 

Of course much of the above is proof of the Chevalier's inventive genius, for 
neither he nor his people ever saw Bagdad, though it is probable he may have 
received some recognition from the Sultan. He has as much of the Arab about 
iiini as our Romanis have. 

It almost makes one giddy to try to bridge over the vast abyss of nearly 6,000 
years that separates this chief of a hand of Gypsy acrobats from him who led his 
troupe 'to ancient Egypl in the days of the fourth dynasty. But a more startling 
tact regarding these ancient and modern Roniani showmen is in reserve for us, 
viz., that their patron saint now is (and probably always was) Moussa, or rather his 
descendant, Sidi Hamed Ou Moussa, whose tomb in Sus is annually visited by these 
acrobats and jugglers. The saint enables them to handle snakes and work wonders, 
such as he himself worked when on earth. The tomb of the " original Moussa " 
was nevei* found. The negtoes from the Soudan worship Sidna Moussa Barra, 
Suldan el Bahar (our Lord Moses, the Lord of the Sea !) Barra is the Soudanese 
name for the sea, meaning the same as Bahar. They dance and behave somewhat 
like Aiissawas at their feasts. When they worship Moussa, they stick a staflf in the 
ground, and, wrapping ribbons round it, pray, " Help me, O Sidna Moussa !" 
They seem quite a different sect from the pious pilgrims to the tomb of Sidi Hamed 
Ou Moussa. 

The Gypsy is, as respects his superstitions, his traditionary beliefs and his 
habits (some of which might be improved), the most conservative and unchange- 
able of mortals. Even his half-brother, the Jew, in that respect is left far behind 
by the Romani. But the most singular and amusing trait of the Gypsy, which 
Leland has well described, are his cynical cosmopolitanism and his contemptuous 
toleration of all faiths, as equally useful and equally false. He adopts the creed of 
those he is among as easily as he does their clothes or their poultry. He never 
allows his new religion to even become skin-deep, for it never gets beneath his shirt. 
When he leaves a country, he leaves it his old faith and his old clothes as a legacy, 
and is ready for new creeds and " pastures new." 

If these acrobats of the fourth dynasty were Romanis, is it likely that two 
thousand years later they adopted, and. what is more marvellous, ever after retained 
as their patron saint, a wonder-working prophet of a strange race ? Is it not more 
likely that Moses (Moussa) may have been, not a ttame, but a venerable, time- 

Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. lit 

honored title of office, a heritage from an ancient race of wonder-workers that then 
existed, and that— probably under a degenerate form— still exist ? 

I was delighted to find that one European at least beside mysp'f has heard of 
the venerated Hamed Ou Moussa, for our able Vice-Consul at Mogador says that 
he has often been told of the pious pilgrims, snake-charmers, rope-dancers, jugglers, 
etc., who kneel at the tomb of the saint. 

As these nomad showmen six thousand years ago were probably as enter- 
prising as they now are, it is not likely that they limited their wanderings to the 
land of Egypt. Probably from time to time they may have visited, and have 
amazed and amused our savage ancestors, and ultimately may havo brought with 
them the bronze age to prehistoric Europe, leaving behind them, from Ireland to 
the Black Sea, traditions of a race of marvellous magicians and cunning workers 
in metals who dwelt in caves— the Wayland Smiths of European folk-lore. 

I shall in a future article try to show that they gave to the Greeks, and even 
to the Egyptians, some of their oldest gods and oracles, and that northern savages 
owed to them many of the earliest germs of civilization. 


By Bu Bacchar. 

Part II. 

[ From the Journal of the Gypsy-Lore Society, 1890.) 

A visit to Morocco has recently brought to light a remarkable fact for which 
I was hardly prepared, that the Sahara— not Sus— is looked upon by the Moors 
as the cradle of magic and divination, (i) A chief of one of the most notable 
tribes of these nomads of the desert, whom I have already described, has lately 
distinguished himself by a most amusing bit of impudence. In 1885 a small 
Spanish exploring expedition, which had ventured into the Sahara, was robbed by 
the Oulad bu Saba of everything— camels, money, clothing, etc., and was left to 
find its way out of the desert or to perish. It would seem that some of the party 
in their fright must, in order to save their lives, have promised to pay something 
in addition to the considerable sum that had been looted, for the chief of the Oulad 

(i) Wandering Saharans often find their way to Syria, Persia, and even India. The magicians of 
" The Arabian Nights " all came from Sus and the Sahara. 

ii6 Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. 

bu Saba has lately travelled all the way from the Sahara to Mogador in order to 
claim the amount which, he contends, is honestly due him. The Tangier news- 
paper which refers to this matter suggests that he ought to be rewarded by a very 
warm reception. 

I find that the name Segani, or Singari, is very generally applied to fortune- 
telling tribes of the Moors. 

Leo Africanus (2) calls the Sungai of limbuctoo a black, vile people, but civil 
to strangers ; and he adds that he cannot conjecture to what race they belong. He 
gives an interesting description of the diviners, enchanters, cabalists, alchemists 
and serpent-charmers of his day, (3) and draws an unpleasant picture of the vices 
which female fortune-tellers introduce among Moorish women. 

If the view advanced in the appendix to Hooker & Ball's " Morocco and the 
Great Atlas" is correct, that the Zenegah language has no connection with the 
Berber, a careful comparison of the former with Gypsy dialects might lead to 
important results. (4) 

The name of a Zulu chief who is now a captive in St. Helena, Shingani, is in- 
teresting, as no one can imagine that Kaffirs or their ancestors can ever have been 
Gypsies, and it is worthy of note that Shingani, who is a heathen, claims that Moses 
was an ancient hero of his race. Mr. Borrow, who met some of the Oulad Sidi 
Hamed Ou Mousse, did not consider that they were Gypsies ; but there is much 
conclusive proof that their Saint Sidi Hamed, and also the original " Moussa," were 
veritable Romanis. Mr. Joseph Thomson (in his " Travels in the Atlas and Southern 
Morocco, p 366) says, in his description of the city of Morocco, " Farther on is 
a juggler, who has shown his skill in European circuses, and by virtue of his 
master. Si Hame:! n Musa, has astonished the Nazarene. His dress and manners, 
and the English and French phrases which he shouts at us, make the matter cer- 
tain." But the saint, vhile he gave him a deftness in sleight-of-hand tricks, also 
bequeathed to him a less enviable heritage. " Abdul Aziz, besides being the saint 
of Morocco, holds that position also in relation to the blind, the crippled, and per- 
sons otherwise deformed. It is reported of him that on one occasion, on meeting 
a rival saint. Si Hamed u Musa. and, being in an irritable mood, he cursed him, 
and swore that all his descendants should b- beggars. Si Hamed u Musa was at 
once put on his mettle, and swore that the children and children's children of Ab- 
dul Aziz should be all deformed. Hence the fact that all beggars claim the one as 
their ancestor or saint, and the presence of the crowds, of the diseased that gather 
around the shrine of the other" (p. 357) • 

(a) De L'Afrique, Traduction de Jean Temporal (Paris, 1830), liv. ii. 7. 

(3) Liv. I. p. 3 

(4) The general opinion now seems to be that the Zenegat language is a branch of Berber. 

Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa. 117 

Hence we must make allowances for that weakness for begging which the 
Gypsy race too often exhibits. The great centre of the tribe of Sidi Hamed Ou 
Moussa is at Tazzawalt, which is to the south of Massa. and near the sea coast. 
There the representative of the Saint reigns practically as a king, and is, no doubt, 
the most powerful man, next to the Sultan, from the Mediterranean to the Sahara. 
During the recent raid of the Sultan into Bus, the ruler of Tazzawalt merely sent his 

son as his repiesentative, to wait upon His Majesty. His wealth is very great, and .: 

his influence extends over all the races of southern Sus, who annually frequent the 
great fair at Tazzawalt, and for a time consent to lay aside their tribal wars. 

My Susi servant used to tell me often about Sidna Moussa the ancestor of the 
Saint, who, if his account of the Saint be true, must have had some connection with 
one of the old Libyan gods who came from " The Land of the Gods" to Egypt, 
"Bes (5) or Bas, the oldest form of the godhead in the land of Punt, which wandered 
far, and gained a footing not only in Egypt, but also in Arabia, and other lands 
of Asia, as far as the islands of the Greeks. The misshapen Bes, with apish coun- 
tenance, is no other than the beneficent Dionysos, who, as a pilgrim through the 
world, dispensed with hand rich in blessings, mild manners, peace, and jollity to 
the nations." (6) According to Susi tradition, Sidna Moussa was wholly given to 
mirth and frolic, and to nmsic and dancing, travelling from place to place in order 
to make fun and to enjoy it, and always conspicuous by a remarkable coat, the 
patches and holes of which were affectionately preserved by him. He ultimately 
wandered far away, and was never heard of more, and it has been supposed that 
he was killed in some battle, but his burial-place no man knows to this day. His 

famous descendant Sidi Hamed was, no doubt, a much more dignified personage. \ 

Sidi Hassan was, according to my Susi, a bitter enemy of Christians, and is remem- 
bered by, among other things, his possession of a white horse which was remark- 
able for its beauty as well as for its docility, and which would stand motionless i |8 
with an apple placed between its ears, while Sidi Hassan would advance several 
paces ahead of it, and fixing his gun over his shoulder backwards, would hit the 
apple with a bullet. This trick, even with the aid of a mirror, was beyond ques- 
tion a notable one, and excited, no doubt, unbounded admiration among his fol- 

(5) The Bent Baeohar were also called Bez Game, Bes Carne, or Bes Comu. The first (Beni Baeehar 
or BenI Bacobos) means ' ' the sons of the Bull," or perhaps " the sons of Bacchus," and the second " the homed 
beast," a survival of the name, perhaps, of the old Libyan god, Bes. 

(6) Brugsch-Bey's " Egypt Under the Pharaohs," vol. I. chap. vllU 


By Hu Hacchar. 

(From the Journal of the Gypsy Folk-Lore Society, January, r'u>.| 

If there is anything dear to the Gypsy and to the Susi, it is hedgehogs, but the 
hitter has a far higher appreciation of tTiat animal than the former has. He looks 
upon the meat as not only pleasant to the taste, but invigorating and stimulating in 
its effects on the blast's. Nay, more, the hedgehog is the embodiment of wisdom, and 
takes the place which the rabbit dots with the negro, or the fox does in German folk- 
lore. I have six Moorish fables before me which have been already published, and 
nut of these three are in praise of the sapient hedgehog. The favorite mode of 
hunting hedgehogs is at night with dogs, when the sight of a torch blinds him, 
and he can be easily killed. To make him tender you must put him alive into 
boiling water, or if this cannot be done, as soon after his throat is cut as possible. 

But I have not told all the wonders that a hedgehog can accomplish. Th'^re 
are ninety-nine cures which it can effect; one of my informants writes that, " it gives 
forces to the human bones." 

There can be but little doubt that our '" Morricc" dancers were originally 
Moorish dancers, and that our " Christmas boys" came from Morocco. Four years 
ago I was surprised at a Moor, who was telling me about the customs of the coun- 
try, describing a play where two men fight (one of whom, I remember, is called 
Medi). One is killed, and a doctor comes with a magic phial, and puts it to the 
lips of the defunct, who immediately becomes very much alive, and begins dancing.(i) 
One of the characters is like one that is familiar to any one who has seen our 
" Christmas boys " — a clown who has a bladder inflated, with pebbles in it, which 
is fastened on the end of a stick, and comes down on the heads of bystanders. With 
us he appears as " Little Devil Doubt" with a broom in his hand. These games 
are called Marocaines by the French in Algeria, and by the natives Maracusa. 

There is also a fight between two other men about a well. One is knocked 
down the well, and is brought up dead, when the " leech" comes and revives hiiTi, 
and a dance ensues. If the man's face is covered with mud. there will be a 

(i) The Soldan of the Morrloe dtnoeri it killed, and revived by the magical content! of a " leech's " phial. 


Gypsy Folk-Lore as to Stonehenge. iig 

good year for crops ; but if he comes up bleeding, and free from mud, there is 
trouble in store. 

This fciist took place last month, and was, no doubt, a sort of harvest-home 
and "All Souls," for, my informant says, the feast is " called Buharri, Builman, or 
Assher, and is for the dead peop!' ." 

It is to be feared that the history of the Gypsy will to some extent remain a 
mystery to us, as the connection of Roni:\ni with Ifindostani cannot be ignored. 
The utmost that we can assume is, that tlic African and the European Gypsies 
originally belonged to the same race, one branch of which, long residing in India, 
must have made their appearance in Europe five hundred years ago. 



Leland, in his " English Gypsies and their Language" (Trubner & Co., 1872), 
p. 5, says on being asked by an English Gypsy what was the name for the seven 
stars in foreign Gypsy, and he told him that " There were once seven sisters, but 
one of them was lost. They are called seven to this day, though they are only six, 
and their right name is the Pleiades." " That story," said the Gypsy, " is like the 

one about the Seven Whistlers (which you know is in the Scriptures, at least they |! 

tell me so), that are said to be seven spirits of ladies that fly by night high in the 
air, like birds. Once upon a time one got lost, and never came back again, and i 

now the six whistle to find her. But people call them the seven whistlers, though 
there are only six; exactly the same as your story about the stars." " It's queer," 
resumed the Gypsy, " how they tell these stories by sevens. Were you ever at Salis- 
bury Plain ? There are great stones t'here, hori-bars, and many a night I've slept 
there, and listened to my father telling me about the baker, for there is seven great 
stones there, and they say that hundreds of years ago a baker used to come with 
loaves of bread, and wasted it all in trying to make seven loaves remain at the 
same time on each stone; and to this day he has never been able to get all seven 
on the seven stones." " I think," adds Leiand, " that he told this story in con- 
nection with ' the Seven Whistlers,' because he was under the impression that 
it was also of scriptural origin." 

Does Leland's Gypsy refer to vestiges of Druidical or pre-Druidical folk-lore, | 


that had hngered anintiK the British peasantry down to the time of the arrival of 
the Gypsies in England ? I am disposed to think that they broii({ht it with them. 
and that an en<|uiry into the point may supply a clue to some of the early wander- 
ings of the Gypsy race and may show that folk-lore can be u light to our steps, 
where the lamp of history and of the monuments fails us. If they hrouKlit this 
folk-lore with them, and applied it to Stonehengc, it is manifest that they must 
have once lived in a country where similar megalithic remains existed. Where 
can this region be ? They certainly did not come from Morbihan or Carnac in 
Brittany : but, farther south we have a head(|uarters of the Gypsies in Spain, in 
the south of which, especially near Malaga, there are many such vestiges of a re- 
mote past. Still farther south, we find in Morocco similar remains, while in the 
Sahara among the Beni-Mzab, megalithic monuments are still annually visited, 
and feasts of the dead are held there, long rows of earthen-ware bottles and plat- 
ters being left on them (probably for the use of the dead), till the next feast 
comes round. 

In the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society of Edinburgh for i8go and 1891 ap- 
peared two papers on " Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa," written by myself, un- 
der the iioiit de plume of " Bu Bacchar." Though that Society brought to light 
a large amount of new data as to Gypsy races, the mystery as to their origin is 
ds profound as ever, for the undoubted connection between Romani and Hin- 
dostani seems to upset all theories as to an origin for them west of India. It is, 
however, possible that the Gypsy tongue is now spoken and has been for thou- 
sands of years, by ancient races in Africa, but this remains to be proved. 

No doubt the present race of Gypsies reached Europe in the fourteenth or 
fifteenth centuries, and claimed that they came from a part of Africa, which they 
called ■■ Little Egypt"; and I have shown that there are tribes in Africa that 
strangely resembled the Gypsies in name, looks and habits, and who employ many 
words which are in use among the Gypsies. In my two papers I described several 
strange races of fortune-tellers in Sus and the Sahara. There are different classes 
there, one of which, at least, seems to represent a higher degree or order — the 
Oulad bu Saba. They reside a day's journey or more in the Soudan, and guide 
caravans or " accabars" to Timbuctoo. A little farther south is a somewhat sim- 
ilar tribe, called Shanghit, who are inferior to them in status and attainments. One 
of the Shanghit, Mahomed Alemi, told me that in his language bulo-barz (a word 
which Leiand says is connected with Stonehenge) means " a sheik of architects" 
(a Master Mason !). 

Leiand does not seem to have known the meaning of " bori-barz," but I 
found, on enquiry, that in some of the Gypsy dialects of eastern Europe, bulo-barz 
(not bori-barz) means a Master Builder. 

GyI'SV FoI.K-LoKK as to StONEHKNQK. 121 

It is evident that Lolaml's Gypsy informant, who called seven stones at Stone- 
hcnge " the Seven Whistlers," did not connect the name with any stars, as he re- 
n\arkcd that the story of the seven I'lciades, told him by Lehmd, was very Ukc 
tliat of the Seven Whistlers. But when wo i|uestion the (jypsy-like trihes of 
southern Morocco, we find that the story clearly relates to the Pleiades. In niy 
first paper on " Gypsy Acrobats in Ancient Africa," it is stated we must awaii 
the results of future cncjuiries before we can say who of the races that inhabit 
that region are Gypsies, and who are not. (Jne of them, however, that is of 
a Gypsy type, is tlio neni-Bacchar, who are found near XUissa on the At- 
lantic Coast, and who call themselves also " Bez-carnc." The statements of sev- 
eral of that tribe are given. " Mohammed hen Ali bu Gerar lives near Massa; 
knows the Turiia (the Seven Stars), and the Belt of Orion, which is called 
' Imanah.' The Turiia k<> with the caravans, and K'lide them. They are cilled 
the Seven Whistlers, because they whistle for one of them that has been lost." 

That name for the Pleiades has, I believe, a very limited ranne. Whence did 
it come ? Early Greek mythology tells us that the Pleiades daily visited an island 
in the western ocean, bringing ambrosia to the infant Zeus; and that every day, 
in passing between the two rocks called " the Planctae," one of the Pleiades was 
lost; but daily Zeus supplied another Pleiad to take its place. 

I need hardly say that the Planctae are generally supposed to refer to the two 
Pillars of Hercules at the Straits of Gibraltar. It may be suggested that in early 
ages the Greeks knew nothing about Spain, or of the Atlantic Ocean. But such 
an idea we now know would be a very mistaken one. Thousands of years before 
the days of Homer, the Kingdom of Libya, that great civilized power in the West — 
as to the existence of wlucii in early ages the Mirage Oricntale has so long blinded 
archaeologists — was able to supply thousands of men with arms and armor for 
the invasion of Egypt ; and was rich enough to be able to employ a large force 
of Carian and Ionian mercenaries, who no doubt carried back with them an 
accurate knowledge of the geography of western and south-western Libya, which 
must have lingered down to the time of Homer. So highly did they appreciate 
the extent and importance of Libya, that Herodotus says that the lonians made 
Libya (not Egypt) one of the four quarters of the world. But Libya ceased to 
employ Carian and Ionian troops, and the Phoenicians, and after them the Car- 
thaginians, monopolized the trade of that country, and kept the outer world 
in profound ignorance as to it. Hence, in time, the Greeks lost all knowledge of 
Libya and the Atlantic, and transferred the scenes of early myths as to that part 
of the world to the Danube or the Caucasus. Ionian mercenaries must have carried 
back with them a bit of Libyan folk-lore connected with the Straits of Gibraltar, 
which must have survived among their descendants until the days of Homer. 


Anyone who has licard. nt iiiKlit the HIkIiI of wildfowl. iniHt have been struck 
with till- ptHuli.'ir whistliiiK sound caused l>y the wiuK!* of the birds, and which, 
unless explained, seems very uiy»tcrious. Now the wildfowl and other niiKratory 
birds by a stranKC instinct avail themselves of the shortest route across the 
Mediterranean, and cross nt iiiKht over the Straits of Gibraltar. Men may chanRc. 
but the birds do not, .uul to this day vast hosts of wiuKed nii^raiitH iwice every 
year cro>s ilie Straits ; and the Moors at Tangier, wlicii in the stillness of the 
niKht they listen to a mysterious whistliiiK in the air, connect it with the Pleiades, 
and l)elieve that they hear " the Seven Whistlers" whistling? for one of them that 
lias been lost. 

Gypsy folk-lore as tr the baker and StonchenKC is also plainly connected with 
the myth of the lost Pleiad. When the baker came to the seventh stone, one of 
the loaves would invariably fall off. Mr. liager informs mc that a peasant on 
Salisbury Plain told him that no one could count the same number of stones there 
twice. .'Ml this reminds us of the West African account of the lost Pleiad. " Why 
do you call the Pleiades 'the Seven Stars'? Can you count seven ?" " No, Massa. 
Yon count one, two, three, four, five, six, then todder one hide herself; no let 
you count her." 

The Micmacs to this day believe that it is wrong to count the Pleiades; and 
an old Murcian woman, a half-breed Nana, said to ine, " I know a ({ood 
about the Seven Cabrillas' (the Kids), but it is not lawful to talk about them." 

But how and where does the Baker come in, and what possible connection has 
he with the Pleiades ? Leiand's only reason, as we have seen, for suspecting such 
a connection between them, is that the Gypsy believed that the two stories as to 
the Seven Whistlers and the baker came from " the Scriptures." A most curiou«. 
bit of hitherto unsuspected star-lore and tradition, however, lies at the bottom of 
the connection of the baker with the Pleiades, stars that ate widely cuiiiiccled wiili 
the gift of cereals, and also with a paradise in the West. The Greeks called thein 
the Hesperides (Stars of the West). Hence their paradise, " the Garden of the Tles- 
perides," was in the West. Everywhere among p'^imitive races the Pleiades are 
believed to bring rain, and to be " stars of plenty." In Peru they were called " the 
Granary" (Colica). In Borneo, an ancestor of the Dyaks brought down rice from 
the Land of the Pleiades. In the Indian Archipelago we are told of Pulo Bua, 
"the fruitful island in the West"; while in Polynesia, the Land of Makalii (a 
name which means "the Pleiades"), was no doubt that western paradise from which 
the god Tao brought to mortals the blessed gift of the breadfruit tree. Holi-Yava 
is also a name in the Indian Archipelago for a western paradise; and Pomander 
points out how widely throughout Polynesia that name (appearing also as 
" Hawaii") was connected with a land of plenty and bliss in the West. Long ago. 

(ivHSV i''()|.K-L(>KK AS TO StoNKIIUNGI'.. Ift 

too. Max MiilUr. in hi* "Chip* from a German Workshop." poitiu.l (.ut (thoiiKlj 
not in reference to this subject) how widely spread was the meaniiiK of " wheat" 
altachc«l to Vova. Fie also mention* (but docs not explain why) that ' Yuvuna*' 
it the iiaiiii' in Ilindostan for " West cm people." 

It may be well liere to mention the Hebrews called ilie extrente west and 
the " Isles of the Sea" Juvan. Why was Yava connected with the West ? I think 
I have already supplied lui answer. As cereals can>c from tliv West, the names for 
the West and for cereals became convertible terms. Saba (seven in Berber) means 
also the Seven Stars, as well as the 'Seven Heavens." and "com." Nemendi, also 
a Uerber name lor wlicai. |.u.lMbl> like ilic ICKyptian iiaiiic lor tln' abode oi the 
Blessed. " Ameiiti." came from " Rmcnt " (the West). 

But German folk-lore has something to s.ny on the subject ..f the Pleiades ami 
llie Kift of cereals. Kelly, in his work on Indo-Kuropean Myths, tells us of a baker 
who rudely refused to kIvc a loaf of bread to our Lord. The baker's wife and 
dauKhter. however, hurried after Him with a present of several loaves, which was 
accepted. As a reward for their charity, they were turned into the Pleiades, while 
the churlish baker was changed into a cuckoo, who, as long as those stars are vis- 
ililc. is heard calling to his wife and dauKhter. But there is some slight blunder in 
Kelly's star-lore, for the Pleiades are invisible from the beginning of May for forty 
days, the very time when the cuckoo is most often heard. We m.ay, therefore, read 
the myth, " as long as he cannot see those stars in the sky. he is heard calling for 
his wife and daughter." 

According to a writer in " Globus." a very similar story is to be found among the 

Dyaks. But is the cuckoo found so far south, :uul is May there the season for 

spring ? For only then is the cuckoo heard. When summer cornes he tal a wing. 

Bruce, in his famous ode, describes the cuckoo as following the spring around 

the globe : 

" Sweet bird, thy bower is ever bright. 
Thy sky is ever clear ; 
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song, 
No winter in thy year. 

" Oh. could I fly, I'd fly with thee ; 
We'd make, with joyous wing. 
Our annual circuit of the globe, 
Companions of the Spring." 



|l''r»iii rnxienilliiKS of Urlllah Ailoolalluii, iHMb. | 

The autlior had nu-t witli a tirvm mass of priniitivt- It-m-iids aiiioiiK savaKi's as 
to a iiriiiifval paratlisc, willi its Trii- of l-ifi- and of KiHiwIcdRf, boinK situated in the 
stars of Taurus, tho Pleiades. As far l)aik as iH<).< hi' privately piiiilitl a papoi, 
entitled " New Materials for the History of Man, derived from a iomparisoi> of 
the Calendars and I'Vstivals of N;itions." In the i-onrse of these astroiioniiial 
rescarehes, he had in-.-t, to his surprise, with eurions traditions as to a p:ira<lise 
and deluKe, the cross, a tree or hon»;h, and a bird eoiinected with the iiriniitive 
year and its festivals. He had sinee devoted much eareful study to this eiUKin.i, 
and the present paper niwv only a portion of these invesliKati(nis, for the snhjeet 
was to«) wide to he outlined in a paper. Half a lentury aRo many learned works 
were <levoted to eoineideiues in the religious ideas, traditions aiul symbols i>f 
nations ; and it was by some supposed that they were distorted vjstini's of the 
sacred narrative, but this view had been al)andoned, and .ill these learned iiivcsti 
nations had been <liscrctlited. We now cut the (iordiau knot, which we cannot 
solve, as to these conunon traditions and beliefs, and stippose them to be of indite 
nous growth. But, while this conclusion iniKht in many instances be rinht, there were 
many coincidences too arbitr.iry ami widely spre.ul to a<lmit of the solution that 
the beliefs and reliRious ideas of primitive races were all the eman.itions of dark- 
ness, stagnation and decay. The author then selected some American traditions 
as to the Tree of Life and Paradise. The symbols of a cross and a bough or tree, 
he thought, were suggested by the form of the Pleiades, which when they set have 
a remarkable resemblance to a prostrate tree. The Kiowas of the prairies believe 
that in the shape of the IMeiades and of some adjoining stars can be seen the form 
of their great Father in heaven, the great Kiowa. Once upon a time he went far 
to the west and met with a prostrate tree or trunk, which he struck three times. 
At the first stroke human beings of misshapen, monstrous forms came forth. These 
he put to rights, placed them back in the tree and struck it a second time, when 
perfect men and wc.nen came forth from this tree of life. Ife placed them again in 
the tree, and struck it a third time, when men and women, and children that had 
been born, came out of it. He instructed the men and women in the rude arts of 
savage life, and then went up to the Pleiades. This belief in our having sprung 
from a tree is well known in the Old World, in Britain, Lapland, Germany. 
Greece, Persia and other countries. An Indian tribe of the Pampas, the Abipones, 




lu'Iiovc lliiit tlioir Kreat KatluT rcsidi's in the PIfiadcs, and wlioii tlu'sr stars 
<lisa|)|)far from tin- licaviMis for a tiiiu-, it is lu-licvi-d tlial lu- dies or is ill, and wiion 
thdsi- stars ri-appfar Ids revival is haili'd with joy. This xivcs a ilnc to the death 
and revival o( the ^ods of antiijuity. These people nse the synd)ol of those " stars 
of rain," the prehistoric eross. as an ornament or sacred si^n There is also a 
enrions tradition of seven niant lirothers, who fishetl otT the west coast of Canada. 
'They strnck a IniRe monster with a harpoon. .'\s the rope coidd not he loosened, 
they weri' draRKcd far into the ocean towarils a vast whirlpool. Jnst as they 
neared it the rope hroke, and they sailed np to the I'leiades, where they arc now 
visihle as the seven stars. 'TiiC'.e seven hrothers wive lis a cine to the seven 
C'aheiric hrothers, of Phoenician tradition, who sailed in the tirst ship, and who 
have been identified with the Pleiades hy Movers. Ihit the story of tin- whirlpool 
is especially important, for we meet il in the traditicnis of the Dyaks of Hnriieo, 
some of the ,inceslors of whom, as they were sailing in a hoat, saw near a ureat 
waterfall the hoiiKhs of a tree totichiiiK the waters, and loaded with fruit. A 
Dyak climhed up the lice to sec where its roots ^rew. He toimd out the enigma, 
which is described in the " Son^ of Odin." who liim« nine days Irom a mystic tree, 
"of which iiv> one knows where its roots Kr<iw." 'The Dyak re.iched a heavenly 
country, "the land of the Pleiades," where he was taiiKhl auricnltnre and olhi-r 
arts liy a kind heiiiK who dwells there, and then, hrin^iiiK with him from the 
Pleiades the ndl of rice or corn, he was let down hy a rope from the seven stars, 
and imparted to his conntryiiicii the mystic lore which he learned hy cliinhiiiK 
that tree of knowledge. This walerf.ill recalls the waterfall of llu' Uiver Styx and 
the whirlpool of the llaida tradition ; also the whirlpool of Scylla and Charyhdis, 
over which hiniK a urcat (ik tree. A ^-reat niimher of int<'restin>f points were 
adduced comiecliiiK liic primitive tra<lilioiis of the n.ilivcs of .America ,'ind Pidynesi.i 
with those of the ( >1(1 World. 'The llnec (iiact's were, .inionK the Iroipiois, three 
loviiiK sisters, the spirits of the lieaii, the sipiash and mai/e, their nifts to nnntals. 
They are called " ( )iir l-ife, onr Supporters" the very words addressed to the 
spirit of .inriciiltnic in Mexico, ,ind to this day in the .^llas country. 'The Lyciaii 
W(Mnen of old invoked the hull to come and hrin^ the (ir.ices with him ; and the 
hnll of (he Mysteries is reinesenled with the three (iraces <m its head, and the 
I'leiades followiiiK them. 'This referred to the constellatitm Tanriis, or the hnll, in 
which the Pleiades were placed. When " the hnll with its white horns opened the 
year," il hroiiKht, all over the world, a kindly New N'ear's of f.imily love. 
I'.ven ainoiiR the hcad-hnntinn Dyaks of Borneo Rishop Chalmers was asked on 
New Year's Day to ro out to the assemhled people and to ^ive them his wishes 
for a happy New Year. In many parts of the world it is followed by visits, gifts 
and good wishes. This is <nie of the oldest and most nnivers il of festivals. 


(April 10, 1897.) 

Had the natives of Jamaica any connection with the races of North or South 
America ? This is a question which we cannot discuss in tlic limited state of 
our knowledge of West Indian natives. This arises partly from the fact that the 
cruel power that is now deluging Cuba with blood, succeeded in little more than 
a century in exterminating the friendly and peaceable natives of the West Indies. 

No page in the history of our race presents such a blank as that which refers 
to those people. The Spaniards said that the natives reminded them of the people 
of Majorca ; but that race was a small one, and no doubt an offshoot of the dwarf 
stock that, according to Professor Sergi, migrated from North Africa to the islands, 
and to the Northern shores of the Xlediterranean. The Spaniards probably referred 
to the little Caribs. In the Atlas region of Morocco the dwarfs and their large off- 
shoots are called " the littie Haritin " and " the large Haritin." When I first, in 
1890, saw one of the latter, I said " that man must be a Carib." The dwarfs range 
from 4 feet to 4 feet 10. Their larger kinsmen are from 4 feet 10 to 5 feet 4 inches, 
and both have that peculiar, bright-reddish complexion, that so generally charac- 
terizes dwarfs. My Berber servant (thanks to whom I became their discoverer) 
said, " they have a red complexion, quite different from that of other races in 
Morocco. It is like that of the red Indians of America." A recent color chart by a 
German anthropologist makes the Tupi Guarani and most other races of South 
America have the same tint as the Berbers. The fact that their names for spirits, 
or ghosts, Cetnis, and Toiia, are to be met with in Central America, and as far 
north as the Pueblos, leads us to suspect that the people of the islands, and of 
Central America must have sprung from the same stock. 

Brasseur de Bourbourg's idea that the Popul Vuh was historical, even though 
he was backed up in it by Max Muller, he had to abandon in his old age. It was 
a mythical work, containing astronomical legends that are as wide-spread as the 
wanderings of our race. Within the past two years cave deposits and inscriptions 
have been found in Yucatan, that lead to the idea that the Mayas, when they arrived 
there, were already a semi-civilized people. 

We must be patient, and must collect in properly managed museums all that 


Indian Ghosts and Concii Feasts. 127 

can be gathered together as to the aborigines of the West Indies. In time this 
great blank in anthropology will be filled up, but we now have tantalizing glimpses 
of affinities, that serve only to stimulate and baffle our curiosity. 

Shell moimds are to be found from the icy North to the Straits of Magellan. 
At a suitable time of the year the Indians used to pic-nic for weeks on the seashore. 
In New England they bequeathed their indigestible but tempting " clambake " to 
the Pilgrim Fathers and their descendants : and their memory will bo preserved 
green as long as " clam-chowder " endures. 

On the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, where oysters took the place of the ven- 
erated clam, there are many " shell-islands'' where there nrc enormous deposits of 
oyster shells. I spent the winter of 1882-3 on one called Tiger-tail Island, where 
that terrible Seminole Chief, Tiger-tall, was wont to roast and bake oysters, in place 
of Yankees. 

In the Caribbean Sea the conch took the place of the oyster. I chartered a 
schooner in 1870 and explored the network of little islands and inlets in the British 
and Foreign Leeward and Virgin Islands, which no one ever visits. As Pere Labat 
speaks of heaps of shells left by the Caribs at Anegada, I thought I would take 
a look at them. The island is surrounded by a network of coral reefs extending 
ten miles to the seawaid, and but few strangers reach it except those that have 
been washed ashore. I found the people there (about two hundred in number I 
should think), much disturbed by my visit, and they refused at first to come with 
me. But the next morning the whole population seemed to turn out to'ald me. I 
afterwards learned that on my arrival they had held a meeting, at which it was 
resolved that, as no man in his senses would think of opening a heap of old conch 
shells, I must be in search of Captnin Kydd's treasure. They then generously re- 
solved that I be permitted to open these mounds, but at my own expense ; and they 
further resolved, that while they would help me to find the treasure, they would 
never allow me to carry off a penny. Anxious to have a hand in the " find," they 
flew upon the shell mounds like demons ; but I did not wish to pay all the people 
of the island, and therefore selected three or four, who opened half a dozen shell 
mounds, watched with intense anxiety by the rest of the people. We found only 
.shells and ashes, nothing of interest, and, sad to say, no vestige of Captain Kydd 
and his hoards. 

I encouraged that idea about Captain Kydd by looking very mysterious, con- 
sulting my notebook, pacing off the distance between certain objects, and behaving 
generally like a truant land-surveyor. My benevolent object was, I subsequently 
learned, most fully accomplished, for the people there are now the highest living 
authorities on the subject of Carib shell mounds. For a fortnight after I left, the 
whole population turned out, and overhauled all the numerous shell mounds in the 

128 Indian Ghosts and Conch Feasts. 

island ; but, unfortunately, they found nothing. They then concluded that I had 
inherited some invaluable notebooks and maps from my worthy ancestor, Captain 
Kydd, and that I had slipped ashore in the night, and had carried off millions 
of " pieces of eight" and " Spanish . os." 

A friend, Chief Justice Semper of St. Kitts, warned me never to venture near 
that island again, and I have taken his advice. It was the cheapest bit of archaeo- 
logies exploration on record. 

This fish diet must have greatly contributed to the vitality and vigor of the 
Indians. The prevalent idea that fish is so little nutritious that to dine on fish is 
equivalent to fasting, was a little shaken by the fact, that communities that live on 
fish are very prolific. A gentleman, whom I met recently at the Toronto Club, and 
who had spent some winters at Hudson's Bay, told me that it was a favorite amuse- 
ment there to pit the fish-eating against the flesh-eatmg Indians in trials of strength, 
and that in every case the former came off victorious. 

Bishop Hanna was right in his conjecture, that aboriginal remains would proba- 
bly be found, if sought for, in Pedro, Jamaica. The contents of the caves there are 
well-known, although it is possible that treasure-seekers, or even antiquaries, may 
a century or two ago have; carried away or destroyed much in them that would have 
been of interest. On the top of a hill at Malvern Chase, it was said, when I was 
there eleven years ago, that there was an Indian burial place. I employed a couple 
of men for one or two days in opening some places that seemed promising, but 
the results were on the whole disappointing. On digging down in some places 
there, we found an almost solid mass of little shells, about two inches thick, in a 
regular layer. But we found no skeletons or human bones, although we came across 
a large quantity of broken pottery, which seemed to have been an offering to the 
dead, for when an article is broken, it belongs to the spirits. On Haugmena night, 
New Year's Eve (for " Haug " means a " ghost," and the spirits then pay the earth 
a visit, as they do also at Hallow-eve, and the Eve of May-Day), it is a custom 
among Highlanders to drink a toast, and then to thiow the wine-glasses over the 
left shoulder, no doubt once a mode of making an offering to ancestral ghosts. 
The Maori used to always offer a grace to ancestors by throwing a little food over 
the left shoulder. On spilling salt, many people, to avert ill-luck, throw salt over 
the left shoulder. All this dates back to an era when our ancestors were some- 
what like the old aborigines at Pedro. 

The ashes and a few bones were quite consistent with funeral, or memorial 
feasts. There were indications that the place had been opened before, and it is 
possible that skeletons may have been carried away. 

The pottery we found was of singular interest. There were some dishes about 
six inches long, very shallow and graceful in shape, with handles formed of frogs' 

Indian Ghosts and Conch Feasts. 129 

lieads most artistically executed. I have not seen anything of the sort to equal 
them in the Peabody Museum collection from Central America. 

The frog was the symbol of rain and of the rain-god in Mexico and in Central 
America. The pottery was evidently intended to be hung up, as it was pierced, or 
had handles for that purpose, like Guanche pottery. The Gypsies, who, like the 
Berber tribes on the coast opposite the Canaries, hang up their drinking cups, believe 
that if they are allowed to touch the ground they are thereby consecrated to the 
dead, and must be broken in pieces. 

Before I dismiss the subject of destioying articles as a mode of offering them 
to spirits, I may mention a singular custom of the Spanish Gypsies, who at a cer- 
tain feast collect many bushels of confections made (if I remember right) of white 
powdered sugar. These are thrown on the floor of the dancing room, until it is 
covered with a layer two or three inches deep. Of course the cost of this pro- 
ceeding is a very heavy one. The Gypsies then, men and women, commence a 
weird, frenzied dance, in which they work themselves up into a delirium and then 
sink down exhausted. The sugar clogs their feet, and covers their legs and 
garments, and when they cease dancing, they present a most singular and sorry 

Though archaeologists cannot conjecture the origin of this custom, we may 
form a shrewd guess as to what this dance means. The ghosts are in for a big 
candy frolic, and the sweetmeats must be destroyed before the spirits can own the-n. 
The rationale of these ideas is. I think, capable of a very simple explanation. With 
primitive races of men everything in nature has its spiritual double. The soul of 
the hunter's dog goes to the Land of the Blessed and hunts game there for his master, 
just as he did on earth ; and the warrior fights, loves, and feasts as heartily as he 
did when in the flesh, (i) 

In the Peabody Museum of Anthropology there is to be seen half a bushel of 
pearls, some of large size, that have been subjected to the action of fire. They 
have not been destroyed ; they have only been translated to the necks and arms '| 

of tawny warriors. Who knows that the only pale-faced ghost, that of the late 
George Washington, that ever found its way into the Red Man's Paradise, may 

not have often seen and admired them ? t 

All this serves to explain the meaning of the Mysteries, or initiations of pre- | 

historic man, and of antiquity. With Christians admission to the society of the 

(0 Maspero In " The Struggle of the Nations," a translation of which has just been published by Appleton 
& Co. (N. Y., 1897), since the above paper was read, says (p. 523) of the mummies of pets of the deceased placed 
in Egyptian tombs, " A few of the principal objects were broken or damaged, In the belief that by thus 
destroying them their double would go forth and accompany the human double, and render him their accustomed 
service during the whole of his posthumous existence." 

This is a singular confirmation of my conjecture, and shows bow much of prehistoric man survived In 
the Egyptian. 

130 Indian Ghosts and Conch Feasts. 

blessed must be obtained through the Atonement. With primitive man this was 
accomplished by initiation. To become a blessed spirit, a man must die. Hence 
" the death of the Mysteries," or " Cabeiric death," which was brought about by 
exhausting ordeals, long fastings, and the use of narcotics, under the effect of which 
the aspirant lost consciousness, and fell into a death-like trance. He was then 
buried and resurrected, but he returned a blessed spirit. An American Indian who 
has been initiated indulges in the boast, " I am a spirit." Death thenceforth has no 
spiritual terrors for him (2). 

This was the Egyptian belief. The deceased worshipper of Osiris, who had 
been initiated into "the Mysteries oflsis," himself became an Osiris, and, as a 
" Blessed Osirian," reigned with the gods. These ideas can be detected in the 
Apocalypse, a work permeated by the astronomical imagery, the symbolism of 
numbers, and the allegorical spirit of the venerable Mysteries. Read by the light 
of primitive cults, the following significant passage becomes a little more intelli- 
gible than it has hitherto seemed. 

" Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the 
second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall 
reign with Him a thousand years " (Rev. 20 : 6). 

In 1888 I mentioned to Professor Maspero verbally, and afterwards by letter, 
that the "Osirian cult " still existed in America. Osiris is the Greek form of Haesari 
in Egyptian, which in Phoenician and in the traditions of southern Morocco and 
the western Soudan is Isiri. Among the Caribs and the Abipones of South 
America the name is Hoscheiri, or Ischeiri, and the initiated becomes an Ischeiri 
after death. 

I shall hereafter bring out these points in a paper on '" Vestiges of the Osirian 
Cult in the New World." 

(2} The iollnwing passage, from Mr. Lyman Abbott's article in The Outlook (Mar. 1897), is applicable to the 
belief of prehistoric man: "What is God's way of doing things according to evolution? It is to develop life by 
successive processes, until a spirit akin to His appears in a bodily organism, akin to that of the lower animals 
from which it had been previously evolved. This bodily organism is from birth in a constant state of decay and 
repair. At length the time comes when, through disease or old age, the repair no longer keeps pace with the 
decay. Then the body returns to the earth, and the spirit to God who gave it. . . . But every death is a 
resurrection of the spirit. What we call death, the New Testament calls ' an exodus,' or an emancipation from 
bondage, an ' unmooring,' or setting the ship free from its imprisonment. The spirit is released from Its confine- 
ment, and the release is death. Death is, in short, not a cessation of existence, not a break in existence : It is 
simply what Socrates declared It to be, ' the separation of the soul and body ; and being dead Is the attainment 
of this. When the soul exists in Itself, and is parted from the body, and the body is parted from the soul, that 
it death.' " {Tht Phaedo, Jowett's Trans.) 


[From Tlie Canadian Magarlne, October, i8g7.J 

On those three ill-omened days of rest of prehistoric man. which were connected the dead, and •' stained with tlie shadow of death," no work cm,ld be done and 
prosper. They were i.itensifications of the sailor's Friday. Why those monthly Sab- 
baths were connected nearly all the world over with the number, three, it is difficult 
to conjecture. The Peruvians, and probably other races, believed that the moon every 
."onth died for three days and rose again ; but if this suggested the number, three 
we should expect the days of the dead to occur then, whereas they were generally 
held at the beginning, instead of at the end of " the dark half of the moon " Hence 
the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth days of the moon were nearly every- 
where regarded as unlucky. 

How singularly the number three is connected with mourning and " days of the 
dead" W.11 be apparent fro„, the followi.ig paragraphs, to the language of which I 
specially invite attention : 

" Have they any belief in the immortality of the soul ? To this I cannot reply 
with certainty. But what is the meaning of the tears and lamentations of the poor 
mother, who for three days and three nights lies stretched on the grave of her little 
son, callmg him by his name, and repeating in broken sobs. 'Oh. come back be- 
loved one come back to thy mother !' ' It is not for thee to hear her greetings until 
she has freed herself from her consecration to the gods below, and the third day 
arrives.' " 

This reads as if it were continuous, and referred to some one person Yet the 
interval in time and space indicated by the first part and the last suggests an abyss 
of of perhaps scores of thousands of years, and a distance in space equal to 
that of half the circuit of the globe. The first part is a quotation from D'AI- 
bert.s' description in his " New Guinea " (Vol. i. p. 143) of a Papuan mother's mourn- 
ing for her son. while the last part is a quotation from the Alcestis of Euripides 
(line 1 138, Trans. Simpkin and IVfarshall, 1881). 

graph of 1863 on "The Festival o The dLh" m! » very few copies of my privately-printed mono- 
Tradifon, w?th the .^ei^^'t^ ^l^t ^^'^ Z.fT^C.Z': ^:,T''''' " "°''-'^' '""-' 


13* The Days of Rest op Prehistoric Man. 

The author of " Five Years in the West Indies" gives a curious negro super- 
stition about the three days of the dead. "'We go dead one day; next day we 
shiver in de cofHn, and de next day we go dead again till all things come quite 
down.' I need hardly say I endeavoured to remove this belief, but I found it to 
be an almost universal opinion among the negroes." 

Among that primitive race, the Nagas of India, we meet with these three days 
of the dead. Godden, in his " Naga and other Frontier Tribes " (Journ. Anthrop. 
Inst. No. 90, 1896, p. 190), says : " The old accounts of funeral rites evidently refer 
to a ' death genna,' where it is stated that after the death of a man of any standing, 
none of the inhabitants of a village quitted it for three days; and that for three or 
four days after a death the relatives do not leave the village, neither do the other 
villagers resort to a village in which a death has occurred during that period " 
(Ibid. 171). 

In the valuable report on the Aborigines by a Committee of the Legislative 
Council of Victoria (Session 1858-9), we find Mr. Hull states respecting the natives : 
" Their grand corroborees are held only in the spring when the Pleiades are most 
distinct; and their corroboree is i worship of the Pi nades as a constellation which 
announces spring. Their monthly corroboree is in honour of the moon " (p. 9). C. 
J. Tyres, also says : " They sing and dance to gain the favour of the Pleiades (Mor- 
modellick), the constellation worshipped by one body as the giver of rain." I need 
hardly add that the southern spring is about November. In my " Festival of the 
Dead," (i) I state, "We are told that 'all the corroborees of the natives are con- 
nected with a worship of the dead, and last three days.' In confirmation of this a 
member of the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science, who had been at these 
annual corroborees, tells me that, as the natives for these occasions paint a white 
stripe on their arms, legs and ribs, they appear, as they dance by their fires at night, 
like so many skeletons rejoicing." 

We are told by another person who was examined by the committee, that at 
all the corroborees the natives " make offerings to the dead, when after three days 
of continued dancing their bodies are cleared from all appearance of mourning, 
and there i» rejoicing in its stead." 

Substantially the same calendar is found among the Polynesians who divide 
their year into two seasons. The one is " the Pleiades above," and the other, " the 
Pleiades below." The Australian mode of watching the time when the Pleiades 
are to be seen all night long is a little more accurate than the division of the year 
by the Polynesians into the two seasons of the Pleiades, and is a perfect calendar 
for primitive races, which regulates time by the aid of moons, instead of months, 
the beginning of the year being at the full moon, which is nearest to the time when 

(I) Hallburton,'"The Festival of the Dead," 1863, p. 10. 

The Days of Rest of Prehistoric Man. 133 

the Pleiades are overhead at nu<lnight, i.e., in November. Where we find clear traces 
of early Negrito or Nigrillo influences, there we meet with distinct vestiges of the 
year of the Pleiades, and of the three " Days of Dead." As there are fewer indi- 
cations of a primitive dwarf population having existed north of the Rio Grande 
than elsewhere, we hear but little among northern tribes of the Pleiades and of 
Days of the Dead. One Indian tribe in British Columbia, however, for three days 
commemorates the dead in November. 

Among the Polynesians and the Papuans nearly all festivals are of three nights' 
duration, and funereal. Ellis tells us that the Society Islanders regard the seven- 
teenth, eighteenth and nineteenth nights of the moon as seasons " when spirits wan- 
der more than at any other time." 

Nearly everywhere we find traces of these ideas, but especially as respects the 
seventeenth day of the moon. Bishop Chalmers says of the Dyaks of Borneo, 
" During the farming season, the day after the full moon, and the third day after 
it are ' Pamali' and no farm work can be done." 

In India these three unlucky days of the moon can be traced, and are called 
Dagda ('■ stained" or " burned" by death). Dubois speaks of a festival " called by the 
Hindoos 'Mahanavami,' which is devoted principally to the hbnour of deceased 
ancestors. It is celebrated in the month of October during a period of three days; 
and is so religiously kept that it has become a proverbial saying that those who 
have not the means of celebrating it should sell one of their children to procure 
them." Sir Wm. Jones says that the Hindoos in every lunar month, on Mahacala, 
make " offerings to the manes of the Pitris, or certain progenitors of the human 
race, to whom the darker fortnight is peculiarly sacred " (Vol. iv., p. 129). He also 
says, referring to a Hindoo work, " Many subtle points are discussed by my author 
concerning the junction of two, or even three lunar days in forming one fast or 
festival." The three days of the dead, the " Dewali (the spirits), are observed in 
northern and western India almost simultaneously with those fossil survivals in our 
calendar, Oct. 31st, Nov. ist and 2nd — All Hallowe'en, All Saints and All Souls. The 
English peasant still goes " a-souling""on All Souls' Day, praying from house to house 
for " a soul cake for all Christian souls," while the Hindoo is offering his funeral 
cake to the manes of deceased ancestors. A Hindoo often adopts a boy as a son 
when he is childless so that he may have some one surviving him, who will an- 
nually offer him a funeral cake when he is no more. 

Even when primitive races tried to advance a step beyond their rude star-lore 
into astronomy, and divided the year into 360 days, and the month into 30 days, 
inventing a week of five days, six of which made a month, and seventy-two a year, 
they still retained the three days' corroboree at the end of the year, though in a fossil 
state. It was necessary to add five days in order to make up the 365 days, but 

ij^ The Days of Rbst of Prehistoric Man. 

these were not included in the days of the year, but constituted a month of five 
dayi, which, however, was not counted. They were ili-onu-ne<l. and tlie ttiird day 
was specially connected with the dead, as well as the two days following it. 

Don Juan Fio Perez, of Yucatan, speaking of the Yucatan calendar, says : " Five 
supplementary days were added at the end of each year, which made part of no 
month, and which, therefore, they called ' days without name.' They called them 
alto ' Yuab.' or ' Yuab Jaab." The word Yuab may be derived from Yua, which 
means to be destroyed, wounded, corroded by the caustic juice of plants, or with 
ley. or other strong liquids (i.e., ' stained with death '). On this account." he 
adds, • the Indians feared those days, believing them to be unfortunate, and to 
carry danger of sudden death, plague and other misfortunes. For this reason these 
five days were assigned for the festival of the god Mam (the grandfather)." 

The feast of the dead is indicated by the first of the three last days being 
called Cemis (spirits of the dead). 

The name Typhon (the principle of evil) was by the Egyptians applied to 
this day in their calendar, and it was looked on as an evil day, " for which reason." 
says Plutarch. " the kings of Egypt would transact no public business on it, nor 
even attend to the care of their persons on that day." 

Before the great festival, about November in Samoa, a herald walked through 
the villages announcing, " Thou shall not work ; thou shalt rest, doing no work." 
Everyone not taking part in the procession or sacred rites, had to remain within 
doors, or death was the penalty. 

Admiral Erskine refers to this Sabbath, which continues throughout the month 
of November in Fiji. " There is a month in the year, about November, in which 
the god comes from Bulu, the world of spirits, to make the bread fruit, and other 
fiuit trees blossom and yield fruit. He seems to be a god of peace, and cannot 
endure any noise or disturbance, and his feelings in this respect are most 
scrupulously regarded by the natives. They, therefore, live very quietly during 
this month, it being tapu to go to war, or to sail about, or plant, or build houses, 
or do most kinds of work, lest Ratumaimbulu should be offended and depart again 
to Bulu, leaving his important work unfinished." (" Islands of the Western Pacific." 

P- 244-) 

The Persians preserved traces oT the monthly corroboree, for in each month 
there were three ill-omened days. The 17th day of the month of Murdad (No- 
vember in their ancient calendar), on which the angel of agriculture and death 
(Murdad) came up to earth, was peculiarly unlucky, and no work could be done 
on it. and rulers could not refuse any favours asked of them then. 

At that time, in Rome, Pluto, the god of agriculture and death, also came up 
to earth, and that period was " stained with the shadow of death," for no work 
could be done then, no war declared. 

The Days ov Rust op Prbhistokic Man. 135 

The Romans regarded day;) uf the dead as ntfasti, and the Greeks looked un 
them as " stained," or " ill-omened. " 

That the God of Kain visited the earth in November we have living testimony 
probably ten times as old as the oldest Uabyloniari monuments discovered lately 
at Nippur. Those venerable survivals from a primordial Negrito race, the isolated 
pygmies of the Andaman Islands in the Uay of Bengal, have a deity like Pluto 
and the god from Puloto of western Polynesia, who is called Puluga. Pul, Bui. Bel, 
Pulo, I'luh, arc names signifying " rain," and remind us of the word " pool" in 
English. Up to the time of the buiTding of the Temple the Hebrews called No- 
vember the month of Bui (or " rain"). The deluge is called Mabul (" the great 
rain"). Dr. MofTatt says that in Hechuanaland the dead send rain, and the only 
prayer over the dead is the mournful wail, pulo I pulo I (rain t rain !) If the rain 
<loes not come, the recently buried corpses are reinterred in a new place, in hopes 
that it may be acceptable. Pluh is the heaven of the Karens, and both Pluto and 
Puluga evidently mean " the God of Rain." The latter, who thunders, and sends 
riin, and judges the spirits of the dead, dwells in a great stone mansion in the 
sky. He eats and drinks a great deal, for in the rainy season he comes to gather 
food, being especially fond of certain fruits, and roots and seeds. To touch any 
of these during the first half of the rainy season (November) would so ent;age 
Puluga that he would again destroy the world by water. This is no doubt the 
earliest history of the sanctity of " first fruits." 

Those three ill-omened nights (not of the month, but of the moon), the 17th. 
18th and igth, survive in fossil form in ancient calendars. The Attic Anthesteria, 
and the Roman Feralia (both funereal in character), were held on the 17th, 1 8th and 
19th of February. On the 17th, i8th and 19th days of Athyr (November) the great 
feast of I sis took place, a festival of grief, which Plutarch says was held " when the 
Pleiades were most distinctly visible "; and he also says that the 17th, i8th and 19th 
days of every month were unlucky. 

But the most striking of the survivals of this primeval feast is found in the 
Eleusinian Mysteries. Ancient Greek authorities assert that, " It was the Pleiades 
who taught the sacred dances, and the nightly festival days " (Pannychida, i.e., held 
all night long). At the Eleusinia, the most venerable of the Greek Mysteries, the 
three most sacred and mysterious days were the three Pannychida, which were 
observed all night long, and were connected with the dead. 

That oiTerings to the dead were made on the five intercalary days, is shown by the 
monuments (see Bunsen's "Egypt," iii., 63, 70. Leipsius Ein, 91, 92). The Hindoos 
have a fable as to the gods playing at dice in November (Sir Wm. Jones' Works, 
iv. 113). The same myth is preserved by the Berbers of the western Soudan. In 
my journal, January, 1882, I Bnd the following entry as respects Hamed ben 

tyS Thb Days of Rkst oh Prfhistoric Man 

Mahtmuned. a native o( Ma*hana«. in the Sahara, six day* farther than Su«. 
" I lamed here inninted on telling me a «tory about some old women, seated on a 
carpet, playinK at dice, and winning five days from the moon." 

The followinK passaRe from my " Festival of the Dead" will be of intcrert: 
" It is not a little remarkable that to a curse similar to that which the 
Patriarch Job uttered against the day of his birth, the Egyptians attributed the 
very origin of these five unlucky days. Plutarch tells us (de Is. et Os. c. la): 
'The Sun. enraged at Chronos (Saturn, Time, or the Year), and Rhea (the 
starry heaven), for having begotten the five planets, for whom there was no 
space in the year or in the heavens, uttered a curse, that they should neither be 
born in a month nor in the year. Therefore, Hermes, as a return to Rhea for 
past favors, played at dice with the moon, and won back the 72nd part of 
each day of the year of 360 days, i.e., 5 days, which, thenceforth, constituted 
those five cpagomanae, or " days without name," which neither formed a part 
of the months nor of the year' 

" To show how striking is the identity between the imprecation that forms 
the basis of this myth, and that of Job against the day of his birth, let us imagine 
the Sun using the very words of the Patriarch to curse those ill-omened birth 
days of the planets: ' Let the days perish wherein they are born.' ' Let darkness 
and the •shadow of death stain them.' ' Let them not be joined unto the days of 
the year. Let them not come into the number of the months.' " 


" The evening and the morning were the first day," for the primitive day began 
not at sunrise or sunset, but with the first signs of star light. Wherever we meet 
with a festival preceded by a vigil or commencing at nightfall, we can safely assume 
that it dates back to prehistoric times. So widely spread are the vestiges of this 
primitive cycle of night and day that a learned Oxford writer, Greswell (Fasti 
Catholici I., 219), says : 

" The matter of fact, then, which enquiry into the rule of reckoning the cycle 
of day and night in all quarters of the globe and at all periods of human history 
brings to light, being everywhere the same, the conclusion deducible from it rests 
on the broad basis of an almost universal k..duction, viz., that there must have been 
from the first a simple and universal rule of this kind, everywhere observed, a rule 
coeval with the origin of time itself, and as widely extended as the compass of the 
habitable globe, a rule from which every other is to be derived. , . . none having 
existed from the first, and none having been universal but this." 

The Days of Kbst of 1'rkhistukic Man. 137 

Thrriunlimit the Pacific Islandi (e«tival» begin at twiliKht. and generally lait 
three (liiys ; and we tind traces of tliiit system in Africa, Asia and Europe. No 
night was so nacred in I^gypt as that which preceded the great feast of Isis in 
Novcnihcr. Apuleius makes Isis say. "The day that begins with (is born of) 
that night, eternal religion has c.)nsecratcd to mc." (Mctam. 11., J57 ; also v. Athyr 
in Volmer's IVorterbuch der Afylhologie.) 

Though the Persians at a remote date changed the beginning of the year from 
November to F'\'bruary. the ancient New Year's day still survived. It is called by 
some writers " the Nouruz of the Magi." becaus. the Magi still adhered to it. It 
began in the evening with a halloweve which, we are told, was peculiarly sacred 
(Hyde, Dc Religionc lelerum I'ersarun, pp. 3J7, 238. 249), and was called by the 
name (>hrisla/>h. 

In the old Persian calendar, in its three unlucky days every month we have 
traces of the monthly corroi)orce. 

Kverywherc at an autumnal festival bonfires were lighted, as they still arc in 
nritain. Its connection with spirits of the dead is shown by the rustic divinations 
and superstitions of the Scotch, while in parts of Ireland a table with food on it 
is left for the spirits of the dead, who are allowed to visit their old homes on that 
night. The family, having opened the doors or windows, retire to rest early, and 
leave the house in the possession of its former owners. 

The names of the next two days. All Saints' and All Souls', tell their own 
tale. The Italians call them " the days of the dead." 


When prehistoric man attempted to divide the years into days, weeks, and 
months, and took a first and a long step in advance by exchanging his simple star- 
lore for the first beginnings of astronomy, he entered upon a stage of develop- 
ment that is beyond the scope of my paper. A few words, therefore, on the origin 
of the week must suffice. 

We find that the earliest and most widely spread form of the week was that 
of five days (i) which is still in existence in parts of Asia and Indonesia, and was 
found in Mexico and Central America by the Spaniards. The week of seven days, 
which was much later, no doubt, dates back before the days of Moses, who, in 
dealing with the calendar, pursued the same prudent course which was in later 
ages resorted to by the early Christians, who adopted the feasts of the heathen 

(I) In some few Instances the month w» divided into ten weeks of three days eaeh; and sometloies 
thouRh rarely, into three division.* of ten days each. someiimes. 

138 The Days of Rest of Prehistoric Man. 

gods, substituting Christian saints for those divinities. They could not prevent 
tliese feasts being observed, so they gave them a new raison d'etre, and divested 
them of their heathen cliaractcr. But with the vigils or nightly feasts they would 
have nothing to do. These were so thoroughly saturated with superstitions con- 
nected with the spirits of the dead and ancestor worship that they were not al- 
lowed a place in the calendars of Christendom. Hence, we do not see in them 
All Halloweve, the Eve of Saint John, or the Eve of May Day; but they are still 
preserved by the people, survivals of the nightly corroborees of a prehistoric past. 

Moses was met as a reformer by the same problem. On all hands, even among 
the highly civilized Egyptians, he found the worship of the spirits of the dead, 
with its attendant necromancy, magic, divination, all forms of superstitions. Fie, 
therefore, gave up the old nightly festivals, and made one day in seven a " Day 
of Rest," connecting it with the seven days of creation; though another explana- 
tion calls it a memorial of the passage of the children of Israel through the Red 

The Hebrew Scriptures are a marvel in one, and a very important respect. 
While dead, and even living men were worshipped in early times, there is no 
vestige in the Scriptures of hero worship, or of any toleration of the idea of 
human perfectibility. The greatest characters depicted are true to nature, and 
have their shady side; from first to last there is not the slightest suggestion .' 
adoring or consulting the dead, except in the scene at Endor, the results of which 
were not encouraging to any one inclined to try such an experiment. 

Well was it that the burial place of Moses was a secret; had it been otherwise 
there would have been pilgrimages to his tomb, and he would have been wor- 
shipped as a saint, and ultimately, no doubt, as a God. 

To judge of the superstitious material that he had to deal with we may per- 
haps find an example among existing Barbary Jews, a race that claims that they 
date back long before the days o' i\;oses. They reverence the Cabalistic Zohar 
more than the Pentateuch, and say .-'. they know of the first temple of Solomon 
which is in North Africa, but that they never heard of the second temple. Though 
the Alexandrian Jews hated the Libyan Jews, Josephus admits that there was a 
temple of Solomon in Libya, and that it was built before the destruction of the 
first temple; but he accounts for it by a foolish story about nephew of a High 
Priest, called Onias, who went to Libya and built it. As it now appears that the 
Palestine Exploration Fund have found no traces of the first temple in Jerusalem, 
it is interesting to know that Procopius saw the Libyan temple during the time of 
the Vandal invasion, and says that the Libyan Jews claimed that it was the original 
temple of Solomon. 

The Barbary Jews are very superstitious, and look down on other Jews as 

The Days of Rest of Prehistoric Man. 139 

heretics. In many respects they seem to have traces of an early Cabeiric cuU. 
With them, too. the Sabbath is a " Day of the Dead." I have spent mucli time 
in that country, and have devoted much attention to these people, and their pe- 
culiar festivals. I was surprised at finding that when an old woman, whose family 
I knew very well, died, they almost seemed to worship her. and I felt sure that 
their intense mourning was rather the efTcct of fear than of affection. For eight 
days after her death no one in her family could cook or work. It is a custom 
in that country, in case of n death having occurred during a year past, to pre- 
pare on Friday for a visit on the Sabbath from the spirit of the deceased, which 
gets out of Gehenna on a ticket-of-leave which expires at the end of the Sabbath. 
After sunset the sitting-room is clean swept and prepared, and in a corner they 
place a lamp with some flowers and other articles. It is believed that the spirit 
will go there and remain till the close of the Sabbath, provided that it is not driven 
fiway by noise or work; for the Sabbath nuist be a day of rest, and there must be 
no noise, or work carried on, and, above all things, there must be no fire kindled 
or extinguished, otherwise the poor ghost must hurry back to Gehenna. Hence 
I could not get the servant, a Barbary Jewess, to light my lamp, or to kindle n.y 
fire until on the Sabbath night the necessary four stars put in an appearance. On 
one occasion she became annoyed at something, and. forgetting that it was the 
eve of the Sabbath, brought in the lamp. I was sorry that I told her of her mis- 
take, for she was very nnich distressed, and for days did not seem to be able to 
forget her sin against her poor mother. 

If a Jew's house catches fire on the Sabbath, he will not put it out, but he 
straightway rushes into the street, shouting " My house is on fire !" and the Moors 
take up the cry. " A Jew's house on fire: come and put it out !" Not that the 
Moors care for the house being burned, but a fire is apt to spread, so the Moors 
are accustomed, as a matter of course, to come to the rescue. 

For a year the spirit of the dead spends its Sabbaths in its former home. At 
the end of that time its lamp is placed in the synagogue, and is regularly supplietl 
with oil. Where the family of the deceased is very poor, the synagogue supplies 
the oil. 

These ideas are not confined to Barbary Jews. An interesting article on the 
superstitions of some Jews of eastern Europe appeared some years ago in The 
Spectator (London), which gave a story that passed muster among them. A 
Rabbi, an elotiuent man, was preaching in the synagogue, when he found the air 
become very close, although the congregation was not very large. Suddenly the 
gift of sight came to him. and he beheld scores of the spirits of the dead, many 
of them well known to him, who crowded the synagogue to such an extent that 
it was almost impossible to breathe. They had been allowed to come to earth on 
the Sabbath Day I 

140 The Connection of November Flood Traditions 

The subjects of Moses, the Hebrew Sabbath, and the religious obligation on 
Christians to observe Sunday are outside the scope of a paper on prehistoric 
man; but in view of the use of electric cars on Sunday having been a "burning 
question" at the polls in some of the principal towns in Canada, I may venture 
to state that, in my opinion, so important is it to have one day of rest in seven, 
that the State may be justified in making the observance of such a day a matter 
of legislation. It would, however, be wise to punish a breach of a law regulating 
the observance of Sunday as an oflfcnce not against God, but against the State. 


Nothing is clearer than that the Aztecs associated tlie time of the midnight cul- 
mination of the Pleiades with a dread of the destruction of the world. Prescott 
never wrote anything more striking and graphic than his account of the great 
secular festival of the Aztecs, none of which can be omitted here. 

" I shall conclude^" he says (Book I., chap. IV.), " the accourrt of Mexican science 
with that of a remarkable festival celebrated at the termination of the great cycle of 
fifty-two years. We have seen in the preceding chapter their description of the 
destruction of the world at four successive epochs. They looked forward confidently 
to another such catastrophe to take place, like the preceding, at the close of a cycle, 
when the sun was to be effaced from the heavens and the human race from the 
earth, and when the darkness of chaos was to settle on the habitable globe . . . 
and on the arrival of the five ' unlucky ' days that closed the year they abandoned 
themselves to despair. They broke in pieces the little images of their household 
gods, in whom they no longer trusted. The holy fires were allowed to go out in 
the temples, and none were lighted in their houses. Their furniture and their 
domestic utensils were destroyed, their garments rent in pieces, and everything 
was thrown into disorder for the coming of the evil genii, who were doomed to 
descend on the desolate earth. 

" On the evening of the last day a procession of priests, assuming the dress 
and ornaments of the gods, moved from the capital towards a lofty mountain about 
two leagues distant. They carried with them a noble victim, the flower of their 
captives, and an apparatus for kindling the new fire, the success of which was an 

WITH THE Pleiades. j^i 

augury of the renewal of the cycle. On reaching the summit of the mountain the 
procession paused till midnight, when, as the Pleiades approached the zenith, 
the new fire was kindled by the friction of the sticks placed on the wounded breast 
of the victim. The flame was soon communicated to a funeral pile, on whicii the 
body of the slaughtered captive was thrown. As the light streamed up towards 
heaven, shouts of joy and triumph burst forth from the countless multitudes who 
covered the hills, the terraces of the temples and the housetops, with eyes anxiously 
bent on the mount of sacrifice. Couriers, with torches lighted at the blazing beacon, 
rapidly bore them over every part of the country, and the cheering element was 
seen brightening on altar and hearthstone for the circuit of many a league long 
before the sun, rising on his accustomed track, gave assurance that a new cycle 
had commenced its march, and that the laws of nature were not to be reversed for 
the Aztecs. The following thirteen days were given up to festivity. The houses 
were cleansed and whitened ; the broken vessels were replaced by new ones ; 
the people dressed in their gayest apparel, and crowned With garlands and chaplets 
of flowers, thronged in joyous procession to offer up their oblations and thanks- 
giving in the temples. Dances and games were instituted emblematical of the 
regeneration of the world. It was the carnival of the Aztecs, or rather the national 
jubilee ; the great secular festival, like that of the Romans and ancient Etruscans, 
which few alive had witnessed before, or could expect to see again." 

In a note to the words " as the Pleiades approached the zenith " (the meridian ?), 
Prcscott adds : " At the actual moment of their culmination, according to both 
Sahagun and Torquemada. But this could not be," he add.s, "as this took place 
in November as late as the great secular festival whicli was early in Montezuma's 
reign, in 1507." (See " Humboldt's View of the Cordilleras," pp. 181, 182.) 

Humboldt, puzzled by the secular festival taking place in November, while the 
Mexican year began in February, dropped the subject, alleging that there must 
have been some blunder on the part of the Spanish authorities on the point. But 
had he taken a little more trouble and inquired more fully into the subject, he 
would have discovered that he had before him vestiges of a primitive calendar 
regulated by those stars. His apparent difficulty was really imaginary. The same 
sort of thing was to be found in the Egyptian calendar, in which, though the or- 
dinary year began near the end of August, the cyclical year began on the 17th 
day of Athyr (November). 

A learned Oxford writer on the Calendar was much puzzled by the connection 
of the Pleiades with the great Aztec secular festival : 

"IVe recommend this point to the notice of astronomers. The fact is certain that 
the culmination of this particular constellation was one of the phenomena presented 
by the heavens to which the Aztecs in particular, for some reason or other, looked 

r49 The Connection of November Flood Traditions 

with peculiar interest and attached sfccial importance. It was attached to the cere- 
mony of the secular fire, and apparently from the first ; the moment prescribed 
for the stated sacrifice, followed by the rekindling of the extiiignished fires . . . 
being precisely that when the Pleiades were in the middle of the sky." (See 
Greswell's " Fasti Catholici," i. 362.) 

Most Australian savages can solve this enigma very easily, for in November, 
all the world over, those stars are visible all night long, the time when the annual 
corroboree of the Pleiades is held, a rude feast lasting three nights, which it has 
been shown by me survived in the great mournful anniversaries held by the 
Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and other nations. 

Prescott is evidently mistaken in supposing that only once in fifty-two years 
the new fire was kindled by the Aztecs. Their calendar, to a large extent, survives 
in fliat of the Pueblo Indians, who kindle the new fire at the end of every period 
of four years, two such periods making an eight-year period. This problem, when 
looked into, will be found to be so simple that even the lowest type of savage can 
master it if he can count four, and especially if he can count eight. 

After an annual feast is held in honor of those stars, at the time of the full 
moon of November — i.e., when they are visible all night — it is found that thence- 
forward in subsequent years the moon ceases to mark the night of the annual 
festival ; but after four years have elapsed it is discovered that the Pleiades cul- 
minate at midnight on the night of the new moon of November; and after another 
period of four years— i.e., after a period of eight years in all— it is found that on the 
night of this feast the full moon and the Pleiades once more rise together in the 
evening, culminate together at midnight, and set together at early morning, or 
are visible together all night long. 

We need not be surprised, therefore, at traces of this primitive period of eight 
years, meeting us all over the world, or that the ancients regarded it as a very 
venerable heirloom that had come down to them from a very remote antiquity. It 
was borrowed from Greece by Rome in the days of the Decemviri, aind was a 
prominent feature in the calendar of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors. 

That the four-year and the eight-year periods were used by the Aztecs is shown 
by Mrs. Zelia Nuttall. who says, in her "' Mexican Calendar," p. 16 : " Beside these, 
Sahagun describes the great feast held every four years on a fixed day, and another 
held every eight years." 

Not being aware how much the Pleiades were used by primitive races in 
regulating their year, that most careful of observers, Dr. Fewkes, was as much 
puzzled as Greswell had been by the subject, and used respecting it almost precisely 
the same words as Greswell had employed. In the valuable paper which he read in 
1892 before the Natural History Society of Boston, Mass., on " The New Fire Fes- 

WITH THE Pleiades. 143 

tival of the Tusayan Indians," he says : " Atlcnlion is drawu to the importance attached 
to the midnight culmination of the Pleiades in certain rites, especially the invocation of 
the six world-quarter deities among the Tusayan Indians. I cannot explain its siRnifi- 
cance. Why, of all stellar objects, this minute cluster of stars of a low m.-ignitude 
is more important than other stellar groups is not clear to me. Its culminations, 
however, is often used to determine the proper time to begin a sacred rite." 

He also refers to the same subject in " A Tusayan Initiation Ceremony " (Am. 
Folk-lore Journal, July-Sep., 1892). 

Thirteen being a prominent number in the Aztec calendar, was used for the 
purpose of manufacturing long an3 imposing periods. Hence, thirteen four-year 
periods made one of fifty-two years ; and thirteen eight-year periods made one 
of one hundred and four years, the great cycle on which, it is said, the Mexican 
calendar was based. Nor was the eight-year period in the New World confined to 
the Aztecs and Pueblo tribes, for the great tribal funeral games of American Indians 
were in many instances held at the end of every eighth year. 

Exa,ctly the same thing occurred as respects the great games and festivals 
of Greece, many of which were tribal and funereal in their origin. More than 
half a century ago Karl Ottfried Miiller pointed out that they were in early times 
regulated by the moon and the Pleiades ; and he thus described the cycle of eight 
years that was used for that purpose. ("^The Religion and Antiquities of the Doric 
Race," translated by Tufnull and Lewis, 1.337.) 

" It is not difficult to observe, " he says, " that after ninety-nine lunar months 
the setting of the Pleiades coincided pretty exactly with the same phase of 
the moon. From this circumstance arose the period of eight yea,rs, called 
'Ennaeteris, in conformity with which the great festivals of Apollo at Delphi, Crete, 
and Thebes were arranged from the earliest times." 

He also says that the Olympiad (a four-year-period) once formed part of thU 
eight-year cycle, and that there was in early times a sacred calendar, the festivals 
of which were regulated by the Pleiades, but that in time it fell into disuse. 

These exceedingly important points brought to light by him either failed to 
attract the attention of scholars, or were lost sight of by them. Hence it was a 
matter of surprise to the learned when Penrose, in 1892, discovered, in the course of 
his explorations on the Acropolis at Athens, that the earliest foundations of the 
Parthenon were oriented not to the rismg sun, but to the rising of the Pleiades, (i) 

That the Egyptians, like the Mexicans, connected the time of the midnight 
culmination of the Pleiades with an idea as to a destruction of the world will be 

(i) By a very curious but chance coincidence, on reading in November, 1S91, while at the Mena 
House, near Cairo, a report in "Nature" of some interesting lectures delivered before worlcing men on the 
subject of the orientation of ancient temples by Sir Norman Lockyer, I wrote to him suggesting the probability 
that ancient temples were in some cases oriental to the Pleiades. 

144 The Connection of November Flood Traditions 

found to be beyond doubt. Up to i86j the exact date of that great landmark of 
the Egyptian calendar, the Great Feast of Isis, was not known to Egyptologists. 
They were aware that it was the 17th of Athyr, but when that month occurred was 
uncertain. This troublesome point I succeeded in settling in 1862 by finding, in a 
description of the Egyptian months by a Greek epigrammatist, that " Athyr indi- 
cates the shining season of the Pleiades." I also found that Plutarch (de Isid. et Os.) 
states that the Great Feast of Isis, which we have seen was held on the 17th day 
of Athyr, took place, like the Thesmophoria of the Greeks, and the other great 
mournful festivals of nations, " when the Pleiades ivere most distinctly visible." I have 
shown in my " Days of Rest of Prehistoric Man " (Can. Magazine, October, 1897), 
that all these great autumnal celebrations were merely survivals of " the corroboree 
of the Pleiades " of the Australian savages, held in November, when those stars 
are to be seen all night, and that they marked two primitive divisions of the year. 
The Great Feast of Isis in November marked the beginning of " the Pleiades Above," 
and the Lesser Feast, in April, that of " the Pleiades Below." At the Great Feast 
of Isis Osiris was placed in an ark or cofTer ; and there can be little doubt that 
the 17th day of Athyr was the birthday of Typhon, whose name meant, according 
to Volney, " a Deluge " (Touphan). 

In like manner those seasons are still marked by the Hindoo calendar. " The 
three great days " of the Feast of Durga (the Dtirga Pujah) occur in the autumn, 
and the Lesser Feast is held in April, a fact at which Prof. Max Muller naturally 
expressed his surprise. No doubt the Great Feast of Durga, like that of Isis, was 
a migrant from southern latitudes, and was held originally where November was 
a vernal month. 

In the Hebrew calendar the same two divisions of the year of prehistoric man 
can be traced. The earliest beginning of the year was autumnal. The Feast of 
Tabernacles even now completes the cycle of the yearly festivals, while in April 
there is held a second festival. In " Dwarfs and Dwarf Worship " I quoted Prof. 
Sayce as saying that there was a connection between those mysterious beings, the 
Kabiri and the Patiki; and it may be mentioned here that Syrian and North African 
Jews have told me that Kabiri means " a large angel," and Patiki " a little angel." 
Strange to say, they call the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles Kabiri, while the 
festival in April is known as " the Great Play," Patiki. 

On turning to the Hebrew account of the Deluge, we find its daites and inci- 
dents very similar to those of Egyptian tnadition. 

It is conjectured that the earliest Hebrew months corresponded with the 
Egyptian, though the year began a month later. Hence the 17th day of the second 
Hebrew month probably agreed with the 17th day of Athyr (the third Egyptian 

WITH THE Pleiades. ,.- 


The Hebrew narrative three times refers to the ,7th day of the month (the 
pecuhar signifieanee of which number, in connection with ancient calendars has 
been fully pointed out in - Days of Rest of Prehistoric Man "). The Flood began 
on the 17th day of the second month (the .7th of Athyr. when the Great Feast of 
Isis took place, and when th. corroboree of the Pleiades is still held, a date too 
wth the Aztecs connected a destruction of the world); and the ark rested 
on Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the seventh month. .•... towards the end of 
Apr.I, when the Lesser Isia took place, and when the Jews hold their " Great Play " 
the Pattk,. The dove returned with the olive branch on the 17th of the eleventh 

No doubt the flood traditions of nations have come down to us from a common 
source, for, though greatly dififering i„ details, they often exhibit traces of a sym- 
bohsm of numbers which evidently relates to time and the calendar. Sir VVillian, 
Jones tells us that there are frequent references in Oriental mysticism to ".he 
Deluge of Time"; and Aristotle even goes so far as to say that - the winter of 
every great year is a Deluge." 

The .story of Menu sailing in the ark with his seven Rishis is but another 
version of our history of Noah and his seven companions. To men that lived four 
thousand years ago these Flood legends no doubt revealed some mystical story 
To us they are dumb. In time some patient scholar may succeed in solving this 
problem. Meanwhile it may be wise to look on them as ancient cryptograms, the 
key to which has yet to be found. 

Why. then, were the end of cycles, the Pleiades and the month of November 
so closely connected with an idea as to the end of the world ? 

The ends of cycles were so generally marked by the midnight culmination of 
the Pleiades that one of the meanings of taur is "a period." "a great year" The 
Ludi Secularcs in Rome were also called Ludi Taurii. The midnight culmination 
of those stars occurs in November, and that month is marked by "the November 
Meteors" (the Taurids), and also every thirty-third year by that terrific phe- 
nomenon, the periodic shower of meteors known as the Leonids. 

In a very interesting and eloquent paper on " Meteors," read before the \ Society of Toronto by E. A. Meredith, LL.D., who as a schoolbov 
wnnessed the Leonid meteoric showers of 1833. we arc told tha. " Those wh. are 
watchmg for Leonids in November must not forget that there is another group of 
nnd-November meteoric showers beside the Leonids, viz.. //,. Taurids [or meteors 

^46 Thk Connection of Novumher Flood Tkaditions 

that radiate from Taurus, the constellation in which are the Pleiades] . These are 
often in ordinary years more numerous than the Leonids." 

By an odd coincidence, the very time of the midnight culmination of the 
Pleiades is that of the maximum of the Taurids. One can well imagine that 
when the great annual festival of prehistoric man tQok place, and he watched 
the fateful moment when those stars annually crossed the meridi<-in at midnight, 
it must have filled him with awe and dread to see meteors from time to time 
darting from that part of the heavens. But it is held that annual meteoric displays 
were once periodic, and much more brilliant ; and one can believe that thousands 
of years ago brilliant periodic showers from Taurus at the time when its stars are 
seen all night long must have greatly impressed prehistoric races, and created that 
profound reverence for those stars, traces of which everywhere meet us. 

While preparing my monograph of 1863, giving the results of "a Comparison 
of the Calendars and Festivals of Nations," 1 was thoroughly puzzled by finding 
that the times of the year that were marked by the southings of the Pleiades at 
midnight and sunrise, i.e., November and August, were connected with a dread of 
the destruction of the world. Had my work been written four years later, the 
great November meteoric shower (the Leonids of 1886 would have sug- 
gested that in the occurrence of the Leonids, Andromedes, and Taurids in Novem- 
ber, and of the Perseids in August, we have a key to the mystery, and my present 
paper would have been written thirty-one years ago. 

Did these meteoric showers take place thousands of years ago, as they now 
do, at times of the year when the Pleiades culminate at midnight, and at sunrise, 
for they culminated at the beginning of our era nearly a month earlier than 
they now do? 

Very prolonged and laborious investigations in 1862 showed that the calendar 
must have been moved forward nearly a month too much by Julius Caesar, an error 
which has been gradually set right by the slow onward movement of the fixed stars 
in relation to the seasons (about one degree in every seventy-two years). Hence 
about a century ago the Pleiades culminated at midnight on the 17th day of Novem- 
ber, just as they did on the 17th day of Athyr. 2,000 years ago. 

Has the precession of the eqinoxes had the same effect on November and August 
meteoric showers that it has had on the Pleiades ? 

" In 1898, between November 23rd and 27th, there will probably occur a splendid 
display of the Andromedes. while on November 14th of 1899 and 1900 we may expect 
magnificent returns of the Leonids " (Webb's " Celestial Objects for Common 
Telescopes," 1. 227). 

" Since 1833, Olmsted and Newton, of Yale, and Olbers, of Berlin," says Dr. 
Meredith, "have traced the wanderings of these showers through space, and have 

WITH THE Pleiades. ,.7 

fixed the very date when the November meteors, a compact cluster rushing towards 
our system, were caught by the gravitating influence of the planet Uranus, and were 
drawn into a closed orbit, the one in which they now move." 

Some phenomenon, like November meteors, may have suggested the myth 
of the hapless Phaeton being helplessly carried by the runaway horses ot the Sun 
through the starry heavens. But the idea of meteoric, fire-breathing steeds, while 
rushing wildly through space, being cauglit. and harnessed, and driven round a 
celestial chariot-course so vast that, even with their terrific speed, they needed 
thirty-three years to complete its circuit, was beyond the wildest dreams of astro- 
nomical mythology. 

In the November meteoric showers we have a key to the mystery, why ancient 
races, and especially the Aztecs, connected the time of the midnight culmination of 
the Pleiades with a destruction of the world, and why November was known to 
some Asiatic nations as " the Month of Fear."