Page images

The special fitting out of the Adria with cable appliances, as well as spare cable, the work of the St. Louis in cutting cables, the operations of the Marblehead, Nashville, and Windom at Cienfuegos, and of the Mangrove, are too well known to be repeated here. It will be more valuable to endeavor to draw the correct conclusion from these operations, and thereby make proper provision for the execution of similar operations in time. of war.

It appears that the searching for deepsea cables in the high seas in time of war, without an accurate chart of the location of the cable, is a difficult and very doubtful operation; also that submarine cables must in general be interrupted near their landing places, where their exact location can be determined with certainty. From the experience of the Spanish-American War, operations of this kind are extremely dangerous, as the cable landing will be protected and defended by the enemy.

Supply of spare cable and suitable instruments for working the same must be available with every naval fleet-in order to supply the necessary communications. with the shore, in case of the landing of either a coöperating army, or of temporary forces from the ships. Cable-ships engaged in either laying, cutting, or repairing cable near the shore, must either be provided with their own means of defence, or else convoyed by war-ships.

These facts make it clear that a new type of naval ship is to make its appearance as a necessary adjunct to every naval fleet. Just as the naval repair-ship, such as the Vulcan, has been found useful and necessary, so will the new cable cruiser be an essential part of the navy of the near future. It is not intended here to enter into the question of the proper design of such ships, but it would seem that a specially designed cable-ship, with comparatively large coal capacity and high speed, and an armament of the lighter cruiser class, making her capable of defending herself and protecting her

small-boat parties, would be best adapted for the purpose. She must carry a moderate supply of spare cable and machinery for laying and picking up cable, as well as instruments for testing and operating a cable, and the necessary buoys, suitable, if necessary, for buoying the cable, and operating the ship as a floating cable station. It is unnecessary to state, also, that her personnel must be specially trained in the highly technical duties required, and from actual practice in all the operations necessary, be made ready for the performance of their duties efficiently under the conditions of war.

Although these naval cable cruisers in time of peace could be profitably employed in maintaining and repairing both cables belonging exclusively to the government, and those subsidized by the government, under suitable arrangements, yet, at the outbreak of war they should be absolutely and exclusively under the control of the government. It may be said at present that no modern fleet is complete without a cable-ship, especially adapted for cable operations in time of


Since submarine cables are so important a factor in national defence, they should be protected both at their shore landings and on the high seas by military and naval force.

In this connection it would seem advisable in case of government cables, or of cables subsidized by the government, to keep the exact route of important cables a secret, and prevent the publication of maps for general distribution, showing their exact location in the deep sea. The location of the shore ends, however, is certain to be known.

A cable landing, for the future, should partake of the character of a fort, and be provided with adequate means for preventing an enemy from locating and destroying the cable within the marine league, or, until it has reached deep sea, where its accurate location is not known.

The sea is usually considered as the great international highway, belonging equally to all nations; this, however, is no longer true. The real political boundaries of states are no longer defined and restricted by the land, but involve such portions of the high seas as a nation can, by her commercial and naval vessels, and her submarine cables, reach out and secure. In this great sea division, which is so surely taking place, probably there are no better guides to boundaries than the submarine cable net-works which lie in its great depths. Since each in general uses the shortest path between two points, the general commercial sailing lines are also the general direction of cable lines.

The United States will be wise if, in the great Pacific where she has such para

mount natural advantages, both for commerce and for maritime strength, she pursues a broad, vigorous, and even lavish "cable policy." We should be able at the earliest date to manufacture upon American soil deep-sea cables of the first class; be able to lay, maintain, and repair them in time of peace or war by ships flying the American flag, and be prepared to adequately protect them upon the high seas, and at their landing places by military and naval force.

The cable question is one of the most important of the present hour, unique in that American commerce, diplomacy, and sea-power-in fact the most efficient means of advancing and securing the benefits of civilization itself-happily conspire in demanding its early solution.




Carnegie Museum, Pittsburg

T is the purpose of this paper to record some observations made by the writer among the Indian tribes of Southern South America, during the three years of exploration conducted by him in that region in behalf of Princeton University. The country occupied by the people under discussion embraces that part of South America lying beyond the forty-sixth parallel of south latitude, including the mainland and the adjoining islands as far south as Cape Horn. The people living in this region belong to four distinct tribes, each inhabiting a certain limited area and differing from the others in language, customs, physical development, and especially in the activities nec

essary to, and the mechanical appliances employed in, the gaining of a livelihood.

Owing to the natural barriers to social or commercial intercourse, presented by the topography of the region, communication between the different tribes is now and always has been extremely limited. This long period of comparative isolation. has, with one exception, permitted each tribe to remain practically uninfluenced. by the others, and has doubtless contributed to produce those linguistic and sociologic features at present so distinctive of each.

Commencing with the mainland we shall first consider the Tehuelches, that so-called race of giants, made famous

by the exaggerated accounts of them brought home by the earliest travellers from Magellan's time to the beginning of the present century. Of splendid physique, they are abundantly able to withstand the rigorous climate of the bleak, treeless plains of Eastern Patagonia, where they live and find ample sustenance and wholesome employment in the pursuit and capture of the guanaco and rhea; both of which are extremely abundant throughout the entire extent of this region.

As a people, though not the race of giants they were commonly reported to be by most early writers, the Tehuelches are, nevertheless, decidedly above the average size.

Of the three hundred Tehuelches living between the Santa Cruz River and the Strait of Magellan, I should place the average height of the men at not less than five feet eleven inches, with an average weight of one hundred and seventy-five pounds. While the fully grown women (those above twenty-four years of age) I should estimate at five feet seven inches, and of an average weight of but little, if any, short of that of the men. This lack of disparity between the physical development of the sexes is paralleled also in their mental development. It is noteworthy, and is due very largely to the division of labor among them. The labor necessary for the support of the family is more equally divided between husband and wife, among the Tehuelches, than is common with the Indian tribes of North America.

That these Indians are muscular and well proportioned, is seen by a glance at the illustrations accompanying this paper. There is a tendency to obesity rather than angularity. Conscious of their physical strength, like most persons of great physique even among the more civilized nations, they exhibit a kindly manner and gentle disposition. Accustomed to the free life of the plains, and living in the midst of an abundance of those animals

that for centuries have supplied all their simple wants, they display that homely hospitality so characteristic of well-fed and well-clothed savage and semi-civilized people in sparsely settled countries. The frank, open countenance of the Tehuelche at once allays any uneasiness and establishes a feeling of confidence in the mind of the solitary traveller who, in the course of his lonely wanderings. throughout Patagonia may, by chance or necessity, be thrown among them.

The Tehuelches were formerly a considerably more numerous people than at present, though it is hardly possible that they at any time numbered more than 5,000. It is doubtful if there are more than five hundred of them remaining in all Patagonia, and this small number is being rapidly reduced by diseases introduced among them through contact with the whites. That they are not a prolific people is strikingly evidenced by the small number of children common to pure-bred Tehuelche families. In cases where both parents were of pure Tehuelche stock, I do not remember to have seen more than three children in any one family, while one or two were much more generally the number, and frequently there were families with no children. On the other hand in those families where a Tehuelche woman was married to a husband of Spanish, French, or Portuguese descent, such unions were, as a rule, ordinarily productive of offspring, there being frequently six or seven children to the family.

Firearms are quite unknown among the southern Tehuelches. They rely entirely upon their skill with the bolas, aided by their horses and dogs, for the capture of the guanaco and rhea, from which they derive not only their chief sustenance, but also the skins employed in the construction of their clothing, bedding, and tents or toldos. Formerly they used the bow and arrow, but with the introduction of the horse at the advent of the Spaniard, the bola entirely supplanted the bow and

arrow, and at present the latter weapon is no longer seen among them.

The changes wrought upon the Tehuelches by the advent of the horse, is a subject well worthy of the attention of the anthropologist. To this professional capacity I lay no claim, but I wish to mention some observations made by myself bearing directly upon this subject. Not only was the advent of the horse the determining factor in supplanting the bow and arrow by the bola among these Indians, but the introduction of that useful animal produced other most decided changes in the life and habits of the Tehuelches. Prior to the introduction of the horse they were dependent upon the bow and arrow not only for securing their food and clothing, but also for protecting themselves from the more numerous and warlike Indians who inhabited the country to the north, and with whom they were constantly at war. Greatly outnumbered by a deadly enemy and deprived of any rapid means of escape if attacked by a superior force, their favorite camping places were then chosen with reference to concealment and defence, quite as much as, or even more than, for their convenience to natural food supplies. In those pre-equine days, if I may use the term, the Tehuelche was wont to select for his encampment a secluded place in the bottom of some deep basalt cañon, adjacent to a stream or small spring, or if living on one of the larger rivers, the encampment would be situated not in a conspicuous place in the bottom of the valley, convenient to an abundance of grass and water, as at present, but would be hidden away in some bend of the stream or placed high up among the débris of basaltic rocks that encumber the slopes of most of the more important streams of the Patagonian plains. In such positions their low, box-like toldos, made of guanaco skins of a dull brown color, would not be easily detected.

Many such old camping places may now be seen, strewn with pieces of broken

pottery, worn out and discarded stone scrapers, stone chippings, arrow points, drills, mortars, etc. A site of one of these old-time Indian villages I examined very carefully. The bottom of the cañon bears unmistakable evidence of having been long used as a favorite camping ground of the Tehuelches. The soil over a considerable area is literally filled and covered with stone chippings, scrapers, broken pottery, broken and charred fragments of bones of mammals, birds and fishes, the latter taken from the stream which still flows between the village site and the high bluff beyond.

At this place I picked up about two hundred arrow points and drills, most of them imperfect, but did not find a single bola. Is it not possible that the introduction of the horse brought about the abolition of the bow and arrow and the adoption of the bola as a weapon of offence and defence? The bola, considering the limit of its effective range, and the time necessarily consumed in attaining a sufficient impetus before discharging it, certainly does not appear to be especially well adapted for the capture, by a man on foot, of animals possessed of such speed and endurance as are the guanaca and rhea. Whether the bola was in use among these Indians prior to the advent of the horse, can perhaps never be definitely determined, but there can be little doubt that as an implement for the capture of game, it came into far more general use after the introduction of the horse, when it began gradually to displace the bow and arrow, finally resulting in the total disappearance of the latter weapon. Throughout my travels in Patagonia I was struck by the almost total absence of bola stones about the old village sites, where arrow points were as a rule found in unusual abundance. The place just referred to was evidently long occupied as a favorite encampment. That it has been long abandoned is evident from the fact that over considerable areas implement-bearing strata are buried beneath several feet

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

Channel Indians of the West Coast and Western Part of Strait of


companied as each band invariably is by several hundred horses, thus necessitating the selection of a site near abundant grazing lands.

the bow and arrow. Scattered about the old village sites are numerous pieces of broken pottery, though the manufacture of pottery is now a lost art with the

« PreviousContinue »