Sacred Texts  Asia  Index  Previous 

p. 186



THE Andamanese have a number of stories which are told to the younger people by their elders and relate to the doings of their ancestors in a time long ago. Some of these stories are recorded in the present chapter. A difficulty in the way of giving any clear and readable account of them is the fact that there are many slightly different versions of one and the same legend. To some extent the variations are local, each tribe, and even each portion of a tribe having its own set of legendary stories. Besides these local variations there are also individual variations. Two men of the same tribe may relate what is substantially the same story, yet each chooses his own words and gestures, and to some extent they may even arrange the incidents differently.

In the last chapter it was mentioned that there are certain individuals, known as oko-ǰumu in the North Andaman and oko-paiad in the South, who are believed to have special knowledge as to the spirits and as to the magical efficacy of remedies for sickness. It is these oko-ǰumu also who are the authorities on the legendary lore of the Andamanese. In the case of magical remedies there is a certain common stock of beliefs as to the efficacy to be attributed to different substances, such as leaves of different plants, and on the basis of these beliefs the oko-ǰumu elaborates the remedies that he uses in particular cases. Each oko-ǰumu, however, prides himself on being, to some extent, original. An example of this has been already mentioned. When a great storm arose an oko-ǰumu of one of the Northern tribes succeeded in stopping it (in the belief of

p. 187

the natives) by placing a piece of the crushed stem of the Anadendron creeper under a particular stone in the sea. On a later occasion another storm arose, and the successor of the first-mentioned oko-ǰumu was appealed to that he might exert his powers. He did not simply imitate his predecessor, but he placed a piece of crushed bark and twigs of the Ficus laccifera in the sea under a different stone. In very much the same way there is a common stock of beliefs as to the events that took place in the time of the ancestors, but each oko-ǰumu builds up on this basis his own particular set of legends, so that it is rarely that two of them tell the same story in the same way. An oko-ǰumu may obtain for himself a reputation by relating legends of the ancestors in a vivid and amusing way. Such a man would be able to invent new stories by combining together in his own way some of the traditional incidents. The desire on the part of each oko-ǰumu to be original and so to enhance his own reputation is a fertile source of variation in the legends.

This lack of traditional form, which is a very important characteristic of the Andamanese mythology, may be compared with their lack of traditional songs. Just as every man composes his own songs, so, within certain limits, every oko-ǰumu relates in his own way the legends of his tribe. But whereas every man is a composer of songs, only a certain number are regarded as having authority to speak on the legends.

Underlying the legends of any tribe there are a certain number of beliefs or representations with which every native is familiar. It is on the basis of these that the oko-ǰumu elaborates his own doctrine, if we may call it so, which he hands on to his followers, who in turn may become oko-ǰumu and produce further slight modifications of their own. Thus the legends are continually being changed, though in any one generation the changes introduced are slight, and it would take a long time for important changes in belief to be brought about. There is evidence, however, that a succession of leading men in the A-Pučikwar tribe have succeeded in introducing a new doctrine as to the weather, making Bilik the name of a class of beings instead of the name of a single being, and that this

p. 188

doctrine, while it has not entirely ousted the former beliefs, has yet succeeded in gaining currency not only in the A-Pučikwar tribe, but also in the Aka-Kol and Oko-J̌uwoi tribes.

At the present time it is only possible to recover a small part of the many different legends with their variants. The introduction of many new interests into the lives of the natives, through the European settlement and the many changes it has produced, has caused the ancient legends to be neglected. Most of the old oko-ǰumu have died without leaving any followers to take their place. Many of the legends recorded here are merely what some of the men not specially skilled in legendary lore can remember of the stories told them in former days by oko-ǰumu who are now dead.

One feature of the legends that must be pointed out is their unsystematic nature. The same informant may give, on different occasions, two entirely different versions of such a thing as the origin of fire, or the beginning of the human race. The Andamanese, to all appearance, regard each little story as independent, and do not consciously compare one with another. They thus seem to be entirely unconscious of what are obvious contradictions to the student of the legends. It is necessary to emphasise the fragmentary and unsystematic nature of the Andaman mythology because Mr Man, in his work on the Andamanese, has brought together a number of legends from the tribes of the South Andaman and has combined them into a continuous and fairly consistent narrative, and has thus, undoubtedly not intentionally, given a wrong impression to the reader of what the nature of the disconnected stories really is. While each of the stories included in Mr Man's account is derived directly from the natives, it would seem certain that the arrangement of them into a more or less consistent narrative is due to Mr Man.

In recording the legends in this chapter, only the English translation is given. In some cases the legends were translated on the spot and written down in English. In other cases they were written down in the native language and then translated. When I was recording the legends I very frequently had to ask what was meant by a particular statement, the meaning of

p. 189

which might be quite clear to a native, but which was obscure to one not accustomed to thinking in the same way as the natives. In some cases I could obtain no satisfactory explanation, and such legends are given in this chapter in as nearly as possible an exact literal translation of the original. In other cases the explanations given by the natives have been incorporated in the translation itself.

In order to give the reader a fair idea of the nature of the legends as they are told, one is here given in the native language (Aka-Čari) with a word-for-word translation.

A Maia Dik iǰokoduko;

o konmo teč inǰuktertoia;

Sir Prawn makes fire;

yam leaf catches fire;


konmo teč bi ikterbie;

kete uiǰoko;


yam leaf is dry;

that one it burns;

he makes a fire;


Maia Dik ubenoba;

Maia Totemo emato;

uǰokil uektebalo;

Sir Prawn slept;

Sir Kingfisher takes;

he fire with he runs away


Maia Totemo ǰokobiko;

Maia Totemo taǰeo ubiko;

Sir Kingfisher makes a fire;

Sir Kingfisher fish (food) cooks;


upetil ubeno;

Maia Mite ǰuktebalo uemato.

his belly in he sleeps;

Sir Dove runs away taking.

The above translation is hardly comprehensible without a little explanation. The word iǰoko means "something burns," the word ubiko means "he cooks (by roasting)." The compound iǰokobiko may mean either "he makes a fire and cooks something at it" or it may simply mean "he makes up a fire (by adding firewood)." The word iǰokoduko has a quite different meaning, "to produce fire." The derivation of inǰuktertoia is uncertain, as I am not sure of the proper use of er-toia; it is translated on the basis of the explanation given me by the man who told the story. The word ikterbie is descriptive of the dryness of dead leaves.

A free translation would be as follows: "It was Sir Prawn who first produced or obtained fire. Some yam leaves, being shrivelled and dry by reason of the hot weather, caught fire and burnt. The prawn made a fire with some firewood and

p. 190

went to sleep. The kingfisher stole fire and ran away with it. He made a fire and cooked some fish. When he had filled his belly he went to sleep. The dove stole fire from the kingfisher and ran away." It is implied that it was the dove who gave the fire to the ancestors of the Andamanese.

Versions of legends of the origin of fire are given by Mr Portman, in each of the languages of the Southern group of tribes 1.

All the legends relate to events that are supposed to have happened in the past, and deal with the doings of the ancestors of the Andamanese. In the North Andaman the ancestors are sometimes called Lau t’er-kuro, i.e. the big spirits, "big" being used in the sense of our word "chief." Another term for them is N’a-mai-koloko, from n’ or nio = they, aka-mai = father, and koloko = people, so that the phrase literally means "the father people," or the ancestors. In the South Andaman the ancestors are sometimes called Čauga tabaŋa, which is the equivalent of Lau t’er-kuro. Mr Man seems to have misunderstood the exact meaning of this term. He writes: "Lači Lora-lola, the chief of the survivors from the Deluge 2, gave, at his death, the name of Čauga tabaŋa to their descendants......The Čauga tabaŋa are described as fine tall men with large beards, and they are said to have been long lived, but, in other respects and in their mode of living they did not differ from the present inhabitants. The name seems to have been borne till comparatively recent times, as a few still living are said to remember having seen the last of the so-called Čauga tabaŋa  3."

Mr Man has evidently not realised that the term čauga cannot be applied to any living Andamanese, but may be applied to every dead one. The Čauga are the spirits of dead natives, and new Čauga are continually coming into existence by death. Any person who is of such importance when alive as to form the subject of legends or stories after his death may be distinguished (after his death only) as a Čauga tabaŋa. The name may thus be applied to the purely mythical ancestors of the legends, and also to the spirits of men recently dead

p. 191

whose memory is preserved owing to fame acquired in some way when they were alive. It is thus possible that some of the natives with whom Mr Man formerly conversed are now Čauga tabaŋa, i.e. big spirits, having been " big men " when they were alive.

Another name sometimes used in the South Andaman to denote the ancestors is Tomo-la 1. This word, however, is sometimes used in the singular to denote the mythical first man. Its use is thus similar to that of the name Bilik in the A-Pučikwar tribe, which is used both as the name of a single mythical being and also as the name of a class of beings. Only the early ancestors of the Andamanese, i.e. those about whom the legends are related, can be called Tomo-la.

Among the ancestors who appear in the legends there are a few who bear names that are used as personal names of men and women at the present time, and who appear in the legends simply as men and women. The larger number of the ancestors, however, bear names that are those of species of animals. In each case the ancestor is identified with the species which bears the same name. Yet others of the mythical ancestors have names that are neither personal names at the present day, nor names of animals. It may perhaps be supposed that in all such cases the name has some sort of meaning, but in many instances it was not found possible to discover the meaning with certainty.

When speaking of the ancestors, the natives generally add to the name the appropriate title. These titles are, in the North Andaman Maia (Sir) and Mimi (Lady), in Akar-Bale Da (Sir) and In (Lady), and in Aka-Bea Maia and Čana.

There are legends as to the origin of mankind, i.e., of their own race, for they did not recognize, until recently, the existence of any men of other races than their own, calling aliens Lau (spirits). There is, however, no unanimity in their beliefs as to how mankind originated, even in any one tribe. An Aka-Bo legend is as follows:

p. 192

"The first man was J̌utpu 1. He was born inside the joint of a big bamboo, just like a bird in an egg 2. The bamboo split and he came out. He was a little child. When it rained he made a small hut for himself and lived in it. He made little bows and arrows. As he grew bigger he made bigger huts, and bigger bows and arrows. One day he found a lump of quartz and with it he scarified himself. J̌utpu was lonely, living all by himself. He took some clay (kot) from a nest of the white ants and moulded it into the shape of a woman. She became alive and became his wife. She was called Kot. They lived together at Teraut-buliu. Afterwards J̌utpu made other people out of clay. These were the ancestors. J̌utpu taught them how to make canoes and bows and arrows, and how to hunt and fish. His wife taught the women how to make baskets and nets and mats and belts, and how to use clay for making patterns on the body."

The same story was told me by Aka-J̌eru men, the only difference being that they gave the name of the place where J̌utpu lived differently, mentioning a spot in the Aka-J̌eru country.

From the Aka-J̌eru I also obtained what is really another version of the same legend, though the name of the first ancestor is given differently. "The first man came out of the buttress of a poičo (Sterculia) tree, and was called Poičotobut (Sterculia buttress). He had no wife, so he cohabited with an ant's nest (kot) and thus obtained a large number of children. These were the first Andamanese, and Poičotobut taught them all their arts and customs. Poičotobut lived at Boroŋ Buliu (in Aka-J̌eru country)."

The association between the origin of the Andamanese and an ant's nest (kot) is retained in another legend, told by an Aka-J̌eru man. "Tarai (the south-west monsoon) was the first man. His wife was Kot. They lived at

p. 193

[paragraph continues] Tarai-era-poŋ 1. Their children were Tau (the sky), Boto (wind), Piribi (storm), and Air (the foam on a rough sea)."

An entirely different legend, of which, however, I could not obtain a detailed version, is also found in the Aka-J̌eru tribe. This is to the effect that the first living being was Maia Čara 2. He made the earth, and caused it to be peopled with inhabitants. He also made the sun and moon. In the last chapter Čara was mentioned as a mythical being associated with the sun, with daylight and with fine weather. One of my informants of the Aka-J̌eru tribe said that Čara had a wife named Nimi (a common personal name), and that his children were Čeo (knife), Ina (water), Loto, and Luk. It is Maia Čara, according to one commonly received account, who makes the daylight every day.

I could not obtain any Aka-Kede legend as to the origin of mankind. One informant of that tribe said that it was Bilika (the north-east monsoon) who made the world and the first men and women, but he could give me no detailed legend.

In the Aka-Kol and A-Pučikwar tribes there are several versions of a legend that makes the monitor lizard (Varanus salvator) the progenitor of the Andaman race. In all the versions there is no mention of how the lizard himself originated. The following was told me by an Aka-Kol man. "When Ta Peti (Sir Monitor Lizard) was aka goi (i.e. unmarried, but having completed the initiation ceremonies), he went into the jungle to hunt pig. He climbed up a Dipterocarpus tree, and got stuck there 3. Beyan (civet-cat, Paradoxurus) found him there, stuck in the tree. She released him and helped him to get down. The two got married. Their children were the Tomo-la (i.e. the ancestors)."

Another legend telling how the monitor lizard obtained a wife was related to me on more than one occasion by A-Pučikwar men. "The first of the ancestors (Tomo-la) was Ta Petie (Sir Monitor Lizard). He lived at Tomo-la-tog. At first he had

p. 194

no wife. One day, when he was out fishing, he found a piece of black wood of the kind called kolotat (Diospyros sp.). He found it in the creek, and brought it to his hut, where he put it on the little platform over the fire 1. He sat down by the fire and set to work over an arrow that he was making. As he bent over his work he did not see what was happening. By and by he heard some one laugh, and looked up. Then he saw that the piece of wood had turned into a woman. He got up and took her down from the platform. She sat down with him and became his wife. They had a son named Poi (a species of small bird, possibly a woodpecker), and afterwards many other children. They lived together for a long time at Tomo-la-tog. One day Ta Petie went fishing and was drowned in the creek. He turned into a kara-duku."

There is some doubt about the translation of the word kara-duku. It is an Aka-Bea word, although it was used as given above, by an A-Pučikwar man. Mr Man translates it "cachalot." Mr Portman says that kara-duku is "crocodile," but that the cachalot, the proper name of which is biriga-ta, is also sometimes called kara-duku 2. The only authority for the existence of crocodiles in the Andamans is the statement of Mr Portman, who says that the natives killed one in the Middle Andaman and brought the bones to him. Although I was in many of the creeks of the Andamans at different times I never saw a crocodile, and none of the other officers of the Settlement, who have repeatedly explored a large part of the islands, ever seems to have seen one, so that the one recorded by Mr Portman may possibly have been a single one that had come oversea from the mainland of Asia.

Another A-Pučikwar account of the origin of the first woman Kolotat, is as follows: "At first there were no women, only men. A man called Kolotat came to live in the A-Pučikwar country. Ta Petie (Sir Monitor Lizard) caught him and cut off his genitals and made him into a woman. She became his wife. Their children were the first of the ancestors (Tomo-la)."

p. 195

Another account given by members of the A-Pučikwar tribe is that the first man was Tomo, or Tomo-la. One version that I heard is that Tomo made the world and peopled it with the ancestors. He made the moon (Puki) who is his wife. Tomo and his wife invented all the arts of the Andamanese and taught them to the ancestors. After his death Tomo went to live in the sky, where he now is. It is Tomo who sends the fine weather, while Bilik sends the bad weather. In the world where Tomo now lives it is always daylight and is always fine. When men die their spirits go up to the sky and live with Tomo. The man who gave me this version said that he did not know how Tomo originated, but was quite sure that he was not made by Bilik. Tomo came first and Bilik came afterwards. The Andamanese are all the children of Tomo 1.

In disagreement with this story, another man of the same tribe said that Tomo was made by Bilik. He (i.e., Tomo) had a wife Mita (Dove), and they were the ancestors of the Andamanese. Yet another informant said: "Ta Tomo was the first man. He made bows and arrows and canoes. His canoes were made of the wood of the Pandanus tree. Mita (Dove) was his wife. It was she who first made nets and baskets and discovered the uses of red paint and white clay." When I asked how Tomo and his wife originated my informant replied that he did not know.

A species of bird (perhaps a woodpecker), called Poi in A-Pučikwar and Koio in Aka-Kol, is often said to have been the son of Tomo. I was once told that Koio was the first of the Andamanese, from whom they are all descended, and that his wife was Mita. Another informant said that Petie (Monitor Lizard) was the first man and Mita was his wife, while still another stated that Ta Mita (Sir Dove) was the progenitor of the race, making the dove male instead of female. These different versions will give some idea of the

p. 196

contradictory nature of the statements of the Andamanese. All of them come from only two tribes, the A-Pučikwar and the Aka-Kol.

From the Akar-Bale tribe I obtained the following legend. "Puluga made the first of the ancestors. He made one man and one woman called Nyali and Irap 1. He gave them fire, and taught them how to hunt and fish, and how to make bows and arrows and baskets and nets. The place where they lived is called Irap because they lived there 2."

Another Akar-Bale version is that the first man was Da Duku (Sir Monitor Lizard), and that his wife was In Bain (Lady Civet-cat).

Mr E. H. Man, in his account of the South Andaman, says that there are a few discrepancies in their accounts of the creation and origin of the human species, but in the main features all the natives with whom he spoke are agreed. The world was created by Puluga, who then made a man named Tomo, the first of the human race. Tomo was black, like the present Andamanese, but was much taller and bearded. Puluga showed him the various fruit-trees in the jungle, which then existed only at Wota-emi, a spot in the country of the A-Pučikwar tribe. The wife of Tomo was Čana Elewadi (Lady Crab), and as to her origin there are different legends. According to some, Puluga created her after he had taught Tomo how to sustain life; others say that Tomo saw her swimming near his home and called to her, whereupon she landed and lived with him; while a third story represents her as coming pregnant to Kyd Island, where she gave birth to several male and female children, who subsequently became the progenitors of the present race. Tomo had two sons and two daughters by Čana Elewadi; the names of the former were Biro-la and Boro-la, and of the latter Rie-la and Čormi-la.

A story that tells how Tomo came to his end states that

p. 197

one day, while hunting, he fell into the creek called Yara-tig-ǰig and was drowned. He was at once transformed into a kara-duku (which Mr Man translates as "cachalot"). Čana Elewadi, ignorant of the accident that had befallen her husband, went in a canoe with some of her grandchildren to ascertain the cause of his continued absence; on seeing them, Kara-duku upset their skiff and drowned his wife and most of her companions. She became a small crab, of a description still named after her, elewadi, and the others were transformed into lizards (duku). Another version of this story is that, wearied with an unsuccessful day's hunting, Tomo went to the shore, where he found a čidi (Pinna) shell-fish; while playing with it, it fastened on him, and he was unable to free himself until a baian (Paradoxurus) seized the čidi and liberated him at the expense of one of his members. Shortly after this he saw his wife and some of their children coming after him in a canoe; unwilling that they should become aware of the misfortune that had befallen him he upset the canoe, drowning its occupants and himself. He then became kara-duku, and the others duku, which are now plentiful in the jungles 1.

In some of the preceding legends reference is made to Biliku or Puluga. There is a very general belief, in all parts of the islands, that in the time of the ancestors, Biliku or Puluga lived on earth. Each tribe has at least one spot in its territory that is pointed out as the place where Biliku (or Puluga) lived. In some tribes there are three or four such places, each of which is claimed as the original home of Biliku by the people living in the neighbourhood. In many cases the name of the spot contains a reference to the legend, as Puluga l’od-baraiǰ (the village of Puluga) in Akar-Bale or Biliku era-poŋ (the cave of Biliku) in the North Andaman.

I was able to obtain a few legends relating to the time when Biliku lived on earth, though there were probably many more that I was not fortunate enough to hear.

The following is an Aka-J̌eru legend:

"In the time of the ancestors Biliku lived at Ar-kol. One day the people caught a turtle and brought it to the camp.

p. 198

[paragraph continues] Biliku was sitting there. They asked her if she would eat some of it. She said 'No.' They put the meat in the roof of the hut and went away. When they had gone Biliku ate the whole turtle. Then she went to sleep. The people came back and found the turtle gone. They said 'Biliku has eaten it.' They left the camp and all went to Tebi-čiro. They left Biliku asleep. Some of the people went to hunt for turtle. Their canoe passed near Ar-kol. Biliku saw the people in the canoe. She called to them and asked to be taken with them. The people refused saying 'You ate up all the turtle.' Biliku had a round stone and several be shells (pearl shells). She threw the shells at the people in the canoe. The first shell did not hit them but came back and fell at her feet; and so also with the second. Then Biliku got very angry and threw a third time. The shell struck the canoe and killed all the people in it. The canoe and its occupants became a reef of rocks that is still there. The other people at Tebi-čiro called across to Biliku saying 'Come over here.' She answered 'Very well! I am coming.' She took the stone that she had and put it in the sea, and it floated. She got on to it to cross over. When she had got half way across Biliku and her stone sank in the sea. They became two big rocks that are there still." This legend refers to the west coast of the North Andaman. The pearl shells that Biliku throws seem to be lightning, and the round stone the one that she rolls about to make thunder.

A few other statements about Biliku and Tarai from the four tribes of the North Andaman are given below just as they were taken down in my note-books.

(1) "Biliku lived at Pura-’ra-poŋ in the time of the ancestors. Her husband was Perǰido and her children Totaimo, Mite (cicada) and Tarai. She made the sun and the moon. It was she who first invented all the things that are now made and used by women, such as baskets, nets, etc., and it was she who discovered fire, and who first discovered the use of edible roots such as konmo and mino (two species of Dioscorea)."

(2) "Biliku used to live at Čaura. She had a husband

p. 199

Tarai and a son Perǰido, and a daughter Mite. She used to live only on certain vegetable foods, loito, pata, bui, čo, konmo and mino and others. It was Biliku who made the earth (the forest, ti-miku). She began at Čaura."

(3) "Biliku lived at Ar-Kol in the time of the ancestors. Her husband was Tarai and their children were the birds, Toroi, Taka, Čotot, Poruatoko, Kelil, Mite, Čopčura, Benye, Biratkoro, Čereo, Milidu, Bobelo, Kolo, and Teo." (Aka-J̌eru.)

(4) "Biliku lived at Poroket. She was unmarried. She had a son Perǰido, and her other children were Toroi, Čelene, Čotot and Čerei. (These four are the names of birds.) It was Perǰido who invented all the arts of the Andamanese such as their bows and arrows, etc." (Aka-Bo?.)

(5) "Biliku used to live at Peč-meo with her husband Toroi (a bird). She used to eat loito, and when anyone else ate that root she was angry. Tarai lived at Čaroŋa with his wife Kelil (a bird). He ate only mikulu." (Aka-Kora.)

(6) "Tarai has very long legs and a short body. He used to live on a small island beyond Interview Island, which is now submerged. When Tarai goes to sleep he breathes very heavily and this makes the wind."

The next is an Aka-Kede legend. "In the days of the ancestors Bilika lived at Purum-at-čape in the Aka-Kede country, with her husband Porokul. One day Porokul was out hunting. He returned with a pig that he had killed and came to the creek on the other side of which was his home (Coti-ter-buli Buliu). Laden as he was with the pig he could not swim across the creek. Bilika was sleeping, but her children were playing near and saw their father on the other side of the creek. They ran and told their mother that their father was coming but could not cross the creek. Bilika went and lay down on one bank of the creek and stretched out her leg so that it reached the other bank. Porokul walked across her leg and so reached home."

While it is clear from this legend that Bilika was of super-human size, the same was also true of her husband, if we may judge from another legend. "Porokul made for himself a bow (of the large southern pattern), with which to shoot pig. At

p. 200

this time the sky was low down near the earth, only just above the tops of the trees. When Porokul had finished his bow he lifted it upright. The top of it struck the sky and lifted it up to its present position where it has remained ever since."

In another legend from another part of the Aka-Kede tribe Bilika is spoken of as being male. "Bilika lived at Poroŋ-et-čo with his wife Mite. They had a child. The ancestors ate Bilika's food, loito and kata and other plants. Bilika was very angry. He used to smell their mouths to see if they had eaten his food. When he found a man or woman who had done so he would cut his throat. The ancestors were very angry with Bilika, because he killed the men and women when they ate his foods. They all came together and killed Bilika and his wife Mite. Maia Burto (a species of fish) took the child (of Bilika) away to the north-east."

Owing to my lack of knowledge of the Aka-Kede language there are some points of the above legend that remain obscure. I think that the child of Bilika is also named Bilika, and that it is he (or she) who now lives in the north-east and sends the storms. The plants (loito, kata, etc.), called here the "food" of Bilika, are those mentioned in the last chapter as specially belonging to Bilika, who is angry when the natives eat them. As regards the name, Mite, of Bilika's wife, I do not know whether this is the name of the bronze-winged dove, or of the cicada. In some of the Andamanese languages the names of these two are very similar, the only difference being a very slight one in the way of pronouncing the two vowels.

The A-Pučikwar people who live on the east coast of Baratang Island say that in the beginning the ancestors lived at a place called Wota-emi, and Bilik lived opposite to them across the strait at a place called Tol-l’oko-tima. In a rock at Wota-emi there is a large peculiarly shaped hollow. This is said to be where Bilik used to sit when he was on earth.

An Akar-Bale legend is as follows. "In the days of the ancestors Puluga lived at J̌ila off the east coast of Henry Lawrence Island and the ancestors lived at Puluga l'od-baraij (the village of Puluga) on the main island just opposite to J̌ila. Puluga was always getting angry with the ancestors,

p. 201

because they dug up yams and ate čakan (Entada scandens) and barata (Caryota sobolifera). When he was angry he used to destroy their huts and property. So the people sent him out of the world, saying 'We do not want you here. You are always angry with us.' Puluga went away to the north-east."

It is worth while to note that J̌ila is north-east from Puluga l’od-baraij, just as Tol-l’oko-tima is north-east from Wota-emi. In both cases there is a narrow strait between the place where the ancestors lived and the home of Puluga or Bilik.

There are a number of different legends that relate how the ancestors first obtained fire 1. In many of these legends there is a reference to Biliku or Puluga. A common statement in the North Andaman is that "Fire was stolen from Biliku by Maia Tiritmo (Sir Kingfisher)." Some of the legends give further details. An Aka-Čari legend is as follows:

"Biliku had a red stone and a pearl shell (be). She struck them together and obtained fire. She collected firewood and made a fire. She went to sleep. Mite (the bronze-winged dove) came and stole fire. He made a fire for himself. He gave fire to all the people in the village. Afterwards fire was given to all the places. Each village had its own."

The next is an Aka-J̌eru version.

"In the days of the ancestors they had no fire. Biliku had fire. While Biliku slept Maia Lirčitmo (Sir Kingfisher) came and stole fire. As he was taking the fire Biliku awoke and saw him. Lirčitmo swallowed the fire. Biliku took a pearl shell (be) and threw it at Lirčitmo and cut off his head. The fire came out (of his neck). The ancestors got the fire. Lirčitmo became a bird."

The next is also, I believe, an Aka-J̌eru story. "Maia Tiritmo (Sir Kingfisher) lived at Tolepar Buruin. He had no fire. When he caught fish he had no fire with which to cook it. He went to the place where Čokčura (heron) lived. There was no fire there. Tiritmo took some rotten wood of the piń 

p. 202

tree and hit it on a rock, and thus made fire. He gave fire to Čokčura. Čokčura gave fire to Totemo (a species of kingfisher). Totemo gave it to all the others.

A slightly different and less detailed version of the same story is as follows:

"Tiritmo made fire. Totemo stole fire (from Tiritmo) and gave it to Moičo (Rail). Moičo gave fire to all the people."

The next version, which was taken down in Aka-J̌eru, I did not fully understand.

"Some one shot an arrow. The arrow hit the hill of fire. Tiriń (a species of kingfisher) found the arrow. It was on fire. He took the fire to his camp. He would not give fire to any one. The others asked him. They went to their homes. At night they came to Tiriń's hut and stole fire. They went away, each to his own place."

There is a certain amount of obscurity about two other versions, which are given in a translation as nearly literal as possible. "Maia Dik (Sir Prawn) made fire. Some konmo (yam) leaves caught fire, being dry. Maia Dik made a fire. Maia Dik slept. Maia Totemo (Sir Kingfisher) stole fire and ran away. Maia Totemo made a fire. He cooked fish. When he had eaten, he slept. Maia Mite (Sir Dove) stole fire (from Totemo) and ran away.

The other is as follows. "Piribi got fire from a stone. He threw fire at Bilika. It set some konmo (yam) leaves on fire. Čorolo (Parrot) got fire (from the burning leaves). He gave it to the ancestors."

These two legends were taken down in Aka-Čari, but they are perhaps really Aka-Kora or Aka-J̌eru stories. I have the word piribi in my notes as meaning a storm, but the translation is doubtful.

The next is an Aka-Kede version of what is the most widespread of the legends.

"The ancestors had no fire. Bilika had fire. The ancestors tried to steal fire from Bilika. Lirtit (Kingfisher) went one night while Bilika was sleeping and stole fire. Bilika awoke and saw him going away with the fire. She threw a pearl shell (ba) at him, which cut off his wings and his tail. Lirtit dived

p. 203

into the water and swam with the fire to Bet-’ra-kudu and gave it to Tepe. Tepe gave fire to Mite (the bronze-winged dove). Mite gave it to the others 1."

An Aka-Kede legend of the origin of the sun may conveniently be given in this place, as it is connected with the possession of fire by Bilika. "Bilika made fire of purum wood. One day, when she was very angry, she started throwing fire about. One large fire-brand she threw into the sky, and there it became the sun." This legend explains the name of the place Purum-at-čape, at which Bilika is said to have lived when on earth. Purum is the name of a tree, not identified; at means either "fire" or "fire-wood," and čape means a village or a hut. The whole word therefore means "Purum fire village."

I did not obtain any legend of the origin of fire from the Oko-J̌uwoi and Aka-Kol tribes, but a version from each of these tribes has been given by Mr Portman. A translation of Mr Portman's Oko-J̌uwoi story is as follows 2. "Mom Mirit 3 stole a fire-brand from Kuro-t’on-mika while Bilik was sleeping. He gave the brand to the late Leč, who then made fire at Karat-tatak-emi."

Mr Portman's Aka-Kol story is somewhat obscure. "Bilik was sleeping at Tol-l’oko-tima. Luratut (Kingfisher) took away fire to Oko-emi. Kolotat went to Min-toŋ-ta (taking with him fire from Oko-emi). At Min-toŋ-ta the fire went out. Kolotat broke up the charred firewood and made fire again (by blowing up the embers). They (the people there) became alive. Owing to the fire they became alive. The ancestors (Jaŋil) thus got fire at Min-toŋ-ta village."

From the A-Pučikwar tribe I only obtained one version of the fire legend. "When the ancestors lived at Wota-emi, Bilik lived at Tol-l’oko-tima across the strait. In those days the ancestors had no fire. Bilik took some wood of the tree called perat and broke it and made fire for himself. Luratut (Kingfisher) came to Tol-l’oko-tima while Bilik was sleeping and stole some fire. Bilik awoke and saw Luratut. He (Bilik) took

p. 204

up a lighted brand and threw it at Luratut. It hit him in the back of the neck and burnt him. Luratut gave the fire to the people at Wota-emi. Bilik was very angry about this and went away to live in the sky."

The kingfisher of the story (Alcedo beavani?) has a patch of bright red feathers on its neck. This is where it was burnt by the brand thrown by Bilik.

Mr Portman gives a slightly different version from the same tribe 1. "Bilik was sleeping at Tol-l’oko-tima. Luratut went to bring fire. He caught hold of the fire, and in doing so burnt Bilik. Bilik awoke and seized some fire. He hit Luratut with the fire. Then he hit Tarčal (a fish) with the fire. Čalter (another species of kingfisher) caught hold of the fire. He gave it to the ancestors at Wota-emi. The ancestors made fires."

From the Akar-Bale tribe I obtained the following legend: "The people had no fire. Dim-dori (a fish) went and fetched fire from J̌ereg-l’ar-mugu (the place of departed spirits). He came back and threw the fire at the people and burnt them, and marked them all. The people ran into the sea and became fishes. Dim-dori went to shoot them with his bow and arrows, and he also became a fish." This story is supposed to account for the bright colouring of certain species of fish.

Mr Portman gives a somewhat similar version from the same tribe 2. Dim-dora (a fish), a very long time ago, at Keri-l’oŋ-tower, was bringing fire from Puluga's platform (fire-place). He, taking the fire, burnt everybody with it. Bolub and Tarkor and Biličau fell into the sea and became fishes. They took the fire to Rokwa-l’ar-toŋa village and made fires there."

Another Akar-Bale legend is that fire was given to the first ancestors (Da Duku and In Bain) by Puluga. Still another is that fire was obtained by the ancestors from Aga, the skink (Mabuia tytleri). The mist that is often seen hanging over the jungle in small patches, after rain or at dawn, is said to be the smoke of Aga's fire. An island in the Archipelago is called Aga l’od-baraij, Aga's village.

p. 205

Mr Portman gives an Aka-Bea legend, which, however, relates that the events took place at Wota-emi in the A-Pučikwar country 1.

"Puluga was asleep at Tol-l’oko-tima. Luratut came, stealing fire. The fire burnt Puluga. Puluga awoke. Puluga seized some fire. Taking the fire he burnt Luratut with it. Luratut took the fire. He burnt Tar-čeker (another kind of kingfisher) with it in Wota-emi village. The ancestors lit fires. They (the ancestors) were the Tomo-la."

Mr Man gives three different versions of legends as to the origin of fire. According to the first of these, Puluga, after he had made the first man, Tomo, gave him fire and taught him its use. Puluga obtained fire by stacking in alternate layers two kinds of wood known as cor and ber, and then bidding the sun to come and sit on or near the pile until she ignited it, after which she returned to her place in the sky 2. The second version is that Puluga came to Tomo with a spirit named Lači Puŋa Ablola to instruct Tomo, who at his direction, prepared a pyre and then struck it, on which the fire was kindled and Puŋa Ablola proceeded to teach him how to cook food 3. This legend contains an obvious contradiction. Lači Puŋa Ablola, as is shown by the name itself (Lači = the late), is the name of some one who is supposed to have lived and died and so become a spirit. Yet at the same time Tomo is supposed to have been the first of the Andamanese. There is the possibility, however, that this inconsistency is due not to the natives themselves, but to Mr Man's transcription. It is possible that the legend is that fire was discovered and was given to the ancestors (the Tomo) by a person who, being dead, is now Lači Puŋa Ablola, but who was then alive and one of the ancestors (Tomo) themselves.

A third legend about fire given by Mr Man is associated by him with another legend about a flood that once overwhelmed the ancestors. According to Mr Man's version the fires were all extinguished by the flood, so that the few survivors were left without fire. "At this juncture one of their recently deceased

p. 206

friends appeared in their midst in the form of a bird named Luratut. Seeing their distress he flew up to Moro, the sky, where he discovered Puluga seated beside his fire; he thereupon seized and attempted to carry away in his beak a burning log, but the heat, or weight, or both, rendered the task impossible, and the blazing brand fell on Puluga, who, incensed with pain, hurled it at the intruder; happily for those concerned, the missile missed its mark and fell near the very spot where the survivors were deploring their condition. As Luratut alighted in their midst at the same moment, he gained the full credit for having removed the chief cause of their distress 1."

We may now consider a group of legends that relate how a great catastrophe overwhelmed the ancestors. In many of the versions the legend relates how the ancestors were transformed into animals. Some of the legends are connected with Biliku or Puluga and others are connected with the first discovery of fire. Beginning with the North Andaman, the following is, I believe, an Aka-J̌eru version. "Mimi Čara once broke some firewood in the evening (while the cicada was singing). A great storm came and killed many people, who were turned into fishes and birds. The water rose up till it covered the trees. Mimi Čara and Mimi Kota took the fire and want up the hill to the cave Ŋaram. They carried the fire under a cooking-pot. They kept the fire alight in the cave, until the storm was over."

Another Aka-J̌eru legend was taken down hurriedly and the full details were not obtained. "The people made a noise in the evening when Mite (the cicada) was singing. Mite went to see her mother Biliku. Her mother saw her eyes and face. She looked bad. Her eyes were red (with weeping). Biliku was very angry. There was a big storm and heavy rain. Biliku threw her pearl shells (lightning). She went mad. She destroyed the whole world. Biliku went up to live in the sky. The earth was bare (literally, empty). One day Biliku dropped a Dipterocarpus seed from the sky. Out of this all the different kinds of tree grew, and the earth was again covered with

p. 207

forest." There was more of the legend, which I was unable at the time to understand, and which I did not hear again. My informant added "It was on this occasion that Maia Taolu saved the fire."

An Aka-Čari legend relates how the birds and beasts and fishes arose. "Maia Dik (Sir Prawn) once got angry and threw fire at the people (the ancestors). They all turned into birds and fishes. The birds flew into the jungle. The fishes jumped into the sea. Maia Dik 1 himself became a large prawn which is still called by the same name." In connection with this legend it must be remembered that it was Maia Dik, according to one legend, who first discovered the use of fire. One version of the story said that he made fire by striking a piece of paraŋo wood. Then he threw the burning wood about amongst the ancestors and they turned into birds and fishes.

An Aka-J̌eru version is very similar. "The people were all asleep. Maia Kolo (Sir Sea-eagle) came and threw fire amongst them. They awoke in a fright and all ran in different directions. Some ran into the sea and became fishes and turtle; others ran into the jungle and became birds."

The Aka-Kede version of the catastrophe that overtook the ancestors is as follows. " It was at the place called Čilpet. The people collected a lot of honey. They refused to give any to Kopo-tera-wat (a bird, not identified). The latter got very angry, and in the evening, when the cicadae were singing he made a great noise and disturbed their song. Then there arose a great storm, and it rained very heavily, and the sea rose over the land. It rose very rapidly till only the top of a big Dipterocarpus tree showed above the water. The people took refuge in the branches of this tree. Mima Mite (Lady Dove) managed to rescue some fire and keep it alight under a cooking pot. The waters at length subsided. Then the people did not know how to get down from the tree. Mima Čarami-lebek made a long piece of string and with this she lowered the people

p. 208

safely to the ground." The čarami-lebek, which was not identified, is a species of bird that lives, so the natives say, only at the top of the very tallest trees of the forest.

An Aka-Kol version of the same legend is as follows: "At first there were no birds in the jungle and no fish in the sea. The ancestors were playing one evening and making a noise while the peti (cicada) was singing. Then Bilik got angry and sent a great cyclone. All the people were turned into birds and fishes and turtles and jungle beasts."

There is an A-Pučikwar legend that, in the days of the ancestors, there was a big cyclone. There was a flood at Wota-emi and the water rose up over the trees. Some of the ancestors climbed up into a big Dipterocarpus tree and remained there till the waters had subsided. I was not able to hear any more detailed version of the legend.

The following legend explaining how the ancestors were turned into animals was told me by an A-Pučikwar man, but it is probably really of Akar-Bale origin.

"It was in the days of the ancestors. Ta Kolwot (Sir Tree-lizard) went over to a big meeting at Teb-ǰuru (in the Archipelago). There was a lot of dancing. Kolwot decided to give a big dancing party of his own. He invited everybody and they all came to his place. Kolwot danced a great deal. He began to get wild. All the people were afraid, because he was very strong. They caught hold of him by the arms. Kolwot got very angry. He threw the people from him. He threw them so violently that some fell in the sea and became fishes and turtle. Others fell on different islands and became birds and animals. No one could hold Kolwot. At last Berep (a species of crab) caught hold of his arm and would not let go. And thus Berep stopped him. Before this there had been no birds in the jungles nor any fish in the sea."

A more complete version of this story was obtained from the Akar-Bale tribe. "Da Tigbul (Sir Dugong) took all the people to dance at Kwaičo. In Bain (Lady Civet-cat) told Da Kwokol (Sir Tree-lizard) that people were coming from Tar-mugu to dance and that Da Karami 1 would quarrel with

p. 209

him. Da Kwokol replied 'Oh! I don't care. I can fight all those people easily enough.' All the people came together for the dance and Karami quarrelled with Kwokol. The latter got very angry. The people were afraid. Tigbul (Dugong) caught hold of Kwokol by the arm. Kwokol threw him from him with such force that Tigbul fell into the sea and became a dugong. Then Kočurag-boa caught hold of Kwokol and Kwokol threw him into the jungle 1. Kwokol threw all the people into the sea or into the jungle and they became birds and beasts and fishes. No one could hold him. Da Kwokol went away to Teb-ǰuru. The people told Da Berag (Sir Crab) what had happened at Kwaičo and how no one could hold Da Kwokol. Da Berag went after him to Teb-ǰuru. Da Kwokol had covered himself with koiob (red paint) 2. Da Berag pretended that he wanted some paint to put on his upper lip, saying that he was sick. There was no more red paint in the place, so Da Kwokol said 'You had better come and take some off me.' Da Berag put his nose to Kwokol's arm as though to get some paint, and bit deeply into Kwokol's shoulder. Kwokol could not get loose, and so he died. The people at Teb-ǰuru attacked Da Berag and beat him. They could not kill him, because his skin was too hard, so they threw him into the sea. When Kwokol's mother, Kegŋa, came and found her son dead she was very angry. She wept for a long time. Then she went into the jungle and cut the plant tokul which belongs to Puluga. Puluga was angry because the tokul was cut and sent a big storm which killed Kegŋa and all the other people in that place."

Mr Man records another version of this legend.

"To explain the origin of certain fish, they say that one day before the Deluge, Maia Kolwot went to visit an encampment of the Tomola situated in the Archipelago. While engaged in his song the women, through inattention to his instructions, marred the effect of the chorus, so, to punish them, he seized

p. 210

his bow, whereupon the whole party in terror fled in all directions; some escaping into the sea were changed into dugongs, porpoises, sharks, and various other fish which till then had not been seen 1."

Mr Man gives still another version of the same story. "One day, at the commencement of the rainy season, a tomola named Berebi came to visit Kolwot's mother, Čana Erep, with the express intention of seeing her son, of whom he was extremely jealous. When he appeared Berebi treacherously bit him in the arm, but his teeth became fixed in the flesh and he was therefore unable to detach himself from his victim, whose friends promptly avenged his murder, and disposed of the corpses by throwing them into the sea. (Kolwot, after death, was transformed into a species of tree-lizard, which is still named after him, and Berebi became a fish called Koŋo, which is armed with a row of poisonous barbs in its back.) The bereaved mother, in her rage, grief and despair, committed various acts, against which Tomo had been warned by Puluga, and while so doing incited others to follow her example by the following words:

e, e, e, dia ra-gumul l’ab-dala,
e, e, e, ŋul kaǰa piǰ pugatken,
e, e, e, ŋul čoaken toaiken,
e, e, e, ŋul boarato aga-kolaken,
e, e, e, ŋul gono boaŋken,
e, e, e, ŋul toŋ čoara boaŋken,
e, e, e, ŋig arlot pulaiǰoken

The translation of which is:

e, e, e (sobbing)--My grown-up handsome son,
    "        "            Burn the wax,
    "        "            Grind the seed of the čakan (Entada),
    "        "            Destroy the barata (Caryota),
    "        "            Dig up the gono (yam),
    "        "            Dig up the čati (yam),
    "        "            Destroy everything."

Thereupon Puluga was exceeding wroth, and sent the flood, that which destroyed all living things with the exception of two men and two women.

p. 211

"This tradition is preserved in the following lines:

Keledoat ibaji lar čora,
Ra gumul ab-gorga en ig-boadi
Ra gumul be liga koarna
Ra gumul ab-gorka
Toala arbo eb dagan čoarpo

The meaning of which is:

Bring the boat to the beach
I will see your fine grown-up son,
The grown-up son who threw the youths (into the sea)
The fine grown-up son,
My adze is rusty, I will stain my lips with his blood.

In this, as in all their songs and chants, a good deal is left to the imagination, but from their explanations which have been given by the aborigines, the following appear to afford some light on the subject:--Berebi, being jealous of the renown Kolwot had won for himself by his numerous accomplishments and great strength, took advantage of meeting him and his mother one day on the water to ask them to let him enter their boat. On their complying with his request, he provided himself with a rusty adze and hone, remarking on the rusty condition of the former; then taking Kolwot by the arm he sniffed it from the wrist to the shoulder as if admiring the development of the muscles; while doing so he muttered the threat of staining his lips with blood, which he shortly after fulfilled in the manner already described 1."

As the songs given in this legend are in the Akar-Bale language (Southern dialect), it is probable that the legend is an Akar-Bale one. It is really another version of the legend already given.

Another Akar-Bale story tells how the first ancestors Duku, the monitor lizard, and Bain the civet-cat, managed to keep the fire alight when a flood overwhelmed them. "One day in the time of the ancestors there came a great storm, and the water rose over the land. The rain put out the fires. Da Duku (Sir Monitor Lizard) took a smouldering log and tried to climb up a tree with it. He could not climb with the fire in his hand. His wife In Bain (Lady Civet-cat) took the fire from him and took it

p. 212

up to the top of a hill and there kept it alight till the rain stopped and the water went away. The hill is called Bain l’it-čapa (Bain's fire) to the present day." The hill is a rather steep-sided hill of no great height in Havelock Island.

Mr Portman 1 connects the story of the flood with the story of the dispersion of the ancestors over the islands. Referring to the names of the tribes he says, "The Andamanese state that these names were given to the different tribes by Maia Tomo-la when they were dispersed after a cataclysm. They have a tradition that this group of tribes was once all one tribe, and that the Andaman Islands were much larger than at present. Some great cataclysm occurred during which part of the islands subsided and many aborigines were drowned, the remainder being separated into different territories as at present by the orders of Maia Tomo-la, apparently the chief at that time of the collected tribe. (The above is of course a matter-of-fact version of the fanciful and impossible legends of the Andamanese.)"

The dispersion legend in the South Andaman is connected with the name of the A-Pučikwar tribe. The name (of which the Aka-Bea equivalent is Aka-Boǰig-yab) means "those who talk the original language," it being believed that the A-Pučikwar language was the one originally spoken by the ancestors.

The only version of the dispersion legend that I heard was from the Aka-Kede tribe. It was to the effect that Bilika once seized all the ancestors and put them in a netted bag (such as the natives use for carrying small objects of various kinds). She (or he) took them out a few at a time and put them in different parts of the country, where their descendants have been ever since.

Mr Man speaks of a legend of how the tribes came to be dispersed over the islands. From his account it would seem that there were two different dispersions, one before the Deluge, and a second after it. Mr Man's account is as follows. "Tomo lived to a great age, but even before his death his offspring became so numerous that their home could no longer accommodate them. At Puluga's bidding they were furnished with all necessary weapons, implements, and fire, and then scattered in

p. 213

pairs all over the country. When this exodus occurred Puluga provided each party with a distinct dialect. It would almost seem that, without straining the legend to suit facts, we might discern in this a faint echo of the Biblical account of the confusion of tongues and dispersion at Babel 1."

"Consequent on the disappearance of Tomo and his wife, the duties of headship over the community at Wota-emi devolved on one of their grandchildren, named Kolwot, who was distinguished by being the first to spear and catch turtles. The tomola remained on the islands long after Tomo's transformation, but after Kolwot's death, according to one legend, they grew disobedient, and as Puluga ceased to visit them, became more and more remiss in their observance of the commands given at the creation. At last Puluga's anger burst forth, and, without any warning, he sent a great flood that covered the whole land, and destroyed all living. Four persons (two men, Lora-lola and Poi-lola, and two women, Ka-lola and Rima-lola), who happened to be in a canoe when the catastrophe occurred, were able to effect an escape. When the waters subsided, they found themselves near Wota-emi, where they landed and discovered that every living thing on earth had perished; but Puluga re-created the animals, birds, etc. 2."

"When, for the second time in their history, their numbers had increased to so great an extent that it became impossible for them to remain together in one spot, an exodus, similar to the first, took place; each party being furnished with fire and every other essential, started in a different direction, and on settling down adopted a new and distinct dialect. They each received a tribal name, and from them have sprung the various tribes still existing on the islands 3."

In the Southern tribes there is a legend to account for the origin of night. The following version was obtained from the A-Pučikwar tribe. "In the early days of the world, in the time of the ancestors, there was no night; it was always day. Ta Petie (Sir Monitor Lizard) went into the jungle to dig up yams. He found some yams. He also found some resin (teki), and a cicada (roto). He brought them to the camp of the ancestors at

p. 214

[paragraph continues] Wota-emi. He sat down and the people came round him. Ta Petie took the cicada and rubbed it between his hands and crushed it. As he did this the cicada uttered its cry. Then the day went away and it was dark. It remained dark for several days. The ancestors came together and tried to get back the day. They made torches of resin, and danced and sang songs. First Kotare (a bird) sang a song, but he could not get back the daylight. Then Bumu (a beetle?) sang, but the day would not come. Then Pecerol (the bulbul, Otocompsia emeria) sang, and after him Koio (a bird), but both in vain. Then Koŋoro (a species of ant) sang a song and morning came. After that, day and night followed one another alternately."

A similar legend was obtained from the Akar-Bale tribe. "Da Teŋat 1 lived at Golugma Bud. He went fishing one day and got only one small fish of the kind called čelau (Glyphidodon sordidus?): He turned to go home, and as he went he shot his arrows before him into the jungle 2. Then he went after his arrows to find them again. As he went he spoke to the fruits of the jungle, asking them their names. In those days the ancestors did not know the names of the fruits and trees. First he asked the puiam, and then the guluba, and then the čakli, but none of them replied to him. Then he found his first arrow. It was stuck fast in a big yam (gono). He took the arrow and said to the yam 'What is your name?' At first the yam did not answer. Teŋat turned to go away. He had gone a few steps when the yam called him back, saying 'My name is gono.' Teŋat replied 'Oh! I did not know. Why did not you say so before?' He dug up the yam, which was a very big one. He went off to look for his second arrow. As he went he spoke to the stones of the jungle, asking their names, but none of them replied. Then he found his second arrow fixed in a large lump of resin (tug3. He took the arrow, and as he was going away

p. 215

the resin called him back, saying 'Here! my name is tug; you can take me along with you.' So Teŋat took the resin. Then Teŋat found a cicada (rita), and he took that also. When Teŋat got to the hut (bud), everyone came to look at the things he had brought. He showed them the yam. He told them its name and showed them how to cook it. This was the first time that the ancestors ate gono. Then Teŋat took in his hand the cicada and squashed it between his palms. As he killed it the cicada uttered its cry and the whole world became dark. When the people saw that it was dark they tried to bring back the daylight. Teŋat took some of the resin and made torches. He taught the people how to dance and sing. When Da Koŋoro (Sir Ant) sang a song the day came back. After that the day and night came alternately."

Mr Man records a different version of this story.

"The manner in which the world was illuminated at the beginning is not clearly to be ascertained from theft legends, for one story states that the sun and moon were subsequently created at Tome's request, as he found that, under the then existing circumstances, it was impossible to catch fish by night or to hunt by day; while, in direct disagreement with this, another story tells us that night was a punishment brought upon mankind by certain individuals who angered Puluga by killing a caterpillar. The tale informs us that the sun, one day, burned so fiercely as to cause great distress. Two women named Čana Limi and Čana J̌araŋud, became exceedingly irritable, and while in this unhappy frame of mind they discovered a caterpillar (gurug) and a certain plant called utura. By way of venting their spleen, one crushed the helpless grub, and the other destroyed the plant. These wanton acts so displeased Puluga that he determined to punish them, and to teach them to appreciate the privilege of daylight, which they had hitherto uninterruptedly enjoyed. He accordingly visited the earth with a long-continued darkness, which caused every one much inconvenience and distress. At last their chief, Maia Kolwot, to whom reference has already been made, hit upon a happy expedient of inducing Puluga to restore the former state of things by trying to assure him that they were quite unconcerned, and could enjoy

p. 216

themselves in spite of light being withheld from them. To accomplish this, he invented the custom of dancing and singing, the result of which was that Puluga, finding that they had frustrated his intention, granted, as a first concession alternate periods of day and night, and subsequently, moved by the difficulties often occasioned by the latter, created the moon to mitigate their troubles. It is in this way that they account for the same word being used to denote a caterpillar and night 1."

From the Akar-Bale tribe I obtained a legend about the origin of death. No other version of the same legend was obtained.

"At oŋo-l’ar-boŋ lived In Kalwadi with her sons Yaramurud and Toau 2. Yaramurud went to hunt pig for his mother, but was unsuccessful. When he came home his mother brought him some pork that was in the hut. As he took his knife from the back of his neck to cut the meat with it, he cut himself 3. Then his mother knew that he was dead. She said to him 'You are dead now. You had better go away. We do not want you here any more.' She took him up and carried him into the jungle and buried him, returning home. Very soon Yaramurud returned. His mother exclaimed 'Oh! I thought you had gone.' He replied 'Mother, I did not die. Why did you bury me?' But she knew he was dead, so she took him and buried him again. He came back again. This happened three times. Then Kalwadi took him into the jungle to a big dumla tree (Pisonia excelsa), in which there was a big hole. She kicked the tree with her foot and said 'You go in there.' Yaramurud went inside. 'Well! Have you gone?' his mother asked. He answered 'Yes!' 'Tell me how the spirits (čauga) talk' she asked him, and he replied 'To kit 4.' Then his mother knew that he was with the spirits, and said 'Oh! my child, you are

p. 217

finished now. You will never come back again.' After a few days Yaramurud came back (as a spirit) to see his brother Toau. Toau was busy building a hut. When Yaramurud saw him he killed him. Before this there had been no death. But In Kalwadi told the people, saying 'You see what has happened; well, we shall all of us die like this, like these two have done'."

There is a widespread legend to account for the origin of creeks and islands. The following is an A-Pučikwar version.

"At first there was only one big island with the sea all round it. There were no small islands and no creeks. Koŋoro (a species of ant) made a turtle net and went fishing. He caught a very big fish of the kind called koro-ŋiti-čau in his net, and dived down and attached a rope to its tail. The fish got very angry and made furious plunges to get away, striking the land in its struggles, and each time knocking off a bit of the land or making a long split. This is the origin of the smaller islands and the creeks."

Mr Man records the same legend, but says it was Tomo who caught the fish 1. In an Akar-Bale version it was Da Pečerol who caught the fish (koroŋadi). Pečerol is the bulbul (Otocompsia emeria). I have the name koroŋadi in my notes as being Sphyraena acutipinnis, but the identification is a doubtful one. In the Aka-Kede tribe there is a version in which it is stated that one of the ancestors captured a fish called talepo. This does not seem to be the same species of fish as that called koro-ŋiti-čau or koroŋadi in the South. In the North Andaman the legend is that Perǰido, the son of Biliku, shot a large eel (bol) with an arrow, and in its endeavours to get free from the arrow the eel wriggled about till it made all the creeks.

In the Southern tribes there is a legend that relates how the pig first got its senses. A version from the A-Pučikwar tribe is as follows.

"Ta Mita (Sir Dove) went into the jungle and found a lot of pigs. They did not run away when he came because they had no eyes to see him, no ears to hear, and no nostrils with which to smell. They had no mouths. Mita made mouths for them and gave them tusks which he made of tobur wood. He made

p. 218

eyes and ears and nostrils in their heads and taught them how to grunt and how to sneeze 1."

Another version from the same tribe is as follows.

"At first the pigs had neither nose nor ears nor eyes. They used to stand about at Wota-emi when the ancestors lived there. The people ate a great many of them. They were such a nuisance that Mita (Dove), the wife of Tomo, thought of a plan to get them out of the way. She bored holes in their heads, two for eyes, two for ears, and two for nostrils. The pigs ran off into the forest where they have been ever since."

I did not obtain any version of this legend from the Northern tribes. The Aka-Kede have a different legend about the pigs.

"At first there were no pigs. One of the ancestors, Mimi Čau (Lady Civet-cat), invented a new game, and made the ancestors run on all fours and grunt. Those playing were turned into pigs, and went to live in the jungle. Mimi Čau became a civet-cat (čau)."

In the North Andaman there is a legend connected with the pig which explains the origin of the dugong.

"Perǰido was the first man to catch a pig. He went into the forest and found a pig. Perǰido was hungry. He caught the pig and took it home. The pig had no eyes nor ears nor mouth. Perǰido did not disembowel the pig, nor did he sever the joints of its legs 2. He made a fire and put the pig on it. The pig swelled up in the heat of the fire and burst. This made holes in the pig's head, two for ears, two for eyes, two for nostrils. The pig perceived that it was being burnt. It jumped up from the fire and ran away. Perǰido threw a kobo (Licuala) leaf at it. The pig ran into the sea and became a dugong. The leaf became its flipper."

In the Aka-Čari tribe there is a legend describing the origin of turtles.

"At first there was only one big turtle. He came to the camp of the Aka-Čari people and called them, saying 'Bring your canoes and catch me.' They got into their canoes and

p. 219

followed the turtle. They could not catch him. The turtle swam away and the canoes followed. When the canoes were far from land the big turtle came and upset the canoes. The men were all turned into turtles of the same kind and size as those that are seen now. The canoes (and the big turtle?) were turned into a reef."

In the South Andaman it is supposed that the custom of scarifying the skin was invented by the first ancestor of the Andamanese, the monitor lizard. An Akar-Bale version of the story is as follows.

"Duku (Monitor Lizard) lived with his wife Bain (Civet-cat). Duku said 'I am going to scarify myself' His wife tried to dissuade him. He would not listen to her. He went into the jungle and found a piece of tolma (quartz) and scarified himself all over. His wife was very angry and asked him why he had done it. Duku replied 'I look very well like this, and you will see, all the other people will do the same'."

Mr Man gives a version of the same legend.

"Maia Duku, who appears to be identical with Tomo, is said to have been the first to tattoo himself. One day, while out on a fishing expedition, he shot an arrow; missing its object it struck a hard substance which proved to be a piece of iron, the first ever found. With it Duku made an arrow-head and tattooed himself, after which he sang the ditty:--

Toŋ ma lir pireŋa? toŋ yitiken! toŋ yitiken!
toŋ ma pireŋa? toŋ yitiken

the interpretation of which is

'What can now strike me?
I am tattooed, I am tattooed!' etc. (Da capo) 1."

It would seem that Mr Man, or else his informant, was not very clear about the details of the legend. In the South Andaman scarification is never performed with an arrow-head, nor with any instrument of iron, but with a flake of quartz or glass. It is only in the North and Middle Andaman that an arrow-head is used for such a purpose, and even then it is only so used to make the big scars on the back and chest, the ordinary scarification

p. 220

being performed with a flake of stone or glass. The legend is certainly a Southern one, and the song given is in the Aka-Bea language. The accuracy of the transcription of the legend therefore seems very doubtful.

Yams and honey, being two of the most important foods of the Andaman Islanders, are the subject of several legends. A common belief about yams is that they were made, or their qualities were first discovered, by Biliku or Puluga. We have already seen that there is a special connection between Biliku (or Puluga) and the yams and other edible roots. There are also other legends, however, on the same subject. An account of the first discovery of the yam called gono is contained in the Akar-Bale legend of the origin of night, already given 1.

In the North Andaman the following tale is told about the discovery of one kind of yam.

"Maia Dik (Sir Prawn) discovered konmo (Dioscorea sp.). He was very hungry and went to look for something to eat. He found a very large konmo. There was only one konmo. He cooked it in the fire and ate as much as he could. He dashed the remainder on a rock, and the fragments scattered everywhere and grew into fresh plants. After this there were plenty of konmo everywhere."

A legend is also told in the North Andaman about the first discovery of another kind of yam.

"Maia Pulimu (Sir Fly) and Maia Moičo (Sir Rail) went to hunt pig. They killed one pig. There was nothing to tie up the pig (to carry it home). Maia Pulimu went to look for a creeper (with which to tie up the pig). He caught hold of a creeper and pulled it and found it was a mino (Dioscorea sp.). Maia Pulimu was a long time away. Maia Moičo went and found some creeper for himself and tied up the pig and carried it home. When Maia Pulimu came back he found that Maia Moičo had gone and taken the pig. He followed him and went home. He showed the ancestors how to cook and eat mino."

I believe that there is a fuller version of this legend, which I was unable, however, to obtain. Another of my informants told me the story as follows.

p. 221

"Mimi Moičo (Lady Rail) had a son Pulimu (Fly). Pulimu found a mino in the forest and brought it to his mother. They roasted it in the fire."

Mr Man gives a story from the South Andaman.

"Another of their antediluvian ancestors was famous for propagating yams. This was Maia Bumroag, who in shooting an arrow, struck the creeper belonging to the favourite variety called gono; his curiosity being excited he dug up the root, and tasted it: the result being satisfactory, he informed his friends of his discovery, and they all feasted upon it; when they had had sufficient, he scattered the remains in different directions; this apparent waste so angered his mother that, on pretence of shaving him, she split his head open with a flint. After his death it was found that the act for which he had suffered had tended to the spread of the plant which is now plentiful 1."

In the North Andaman it is supposed that honey was discovered by Perǰido the son of Biliku.

"Perǰido was the first to eat honey. One day he went to shoot fish. He saw a nyuri (Plotosus sp.). The nyuri disappeared amongst the roots of the mangrove trees. Perǰido was looking for the fish. There was a honeycomb in a mangrove tree. Perǰido saw its reflection in the water. He took some fire and tried to get the honey out of the water 2. The water put out the fire. He could not get the honey. He went home and told his mother what he had been doing. She went with him and saw the honey. 'What a fool you are' she said, 'don't you see that it is in the trees.' Perǰido took some fire and smoked out the bees and took the honey. After that Perǰido used to go and collect honey. He ate it all himself. He did not tell the others (the ancestors) about it. Maia Porubi (Sir Frog) found out that Perǰido was getting honey and eating it. He went in to the forest to look for some. He found five or six combs. He ate them all and brought none home to his children. Beret (a smaller species of frog) was the child of Porubi. One day Beret said to his father 'Bring us some honey.' The children went with their father and showed him the combs in the trees.

p. 222

[paragraph continues] Porubi went up the tree, and each time he ate the honey in the tree and did not bring any of it down for his children. Then Beret saw another honeycomb in a very tall tree. He pointed it out to his father. Porubi went up to get it. Beret cut the creeper up which his father had climbed 1. Porubi wrapped up the honeycomb to bring it down. Beret said 'Father, this creeper is bad. How will you come down?' Porubi replied 'How can it be bad, when I have just climbed up it?' Beret made some sharp stakes of cone (Areca) wood, and put them round the tree. Porubi jumped (or fell) from the tree on to the stakes and was killed. Beret took the honey and ran away home."

In the Aka-Čari tribe there is another legend connected with the frog (porubi) which may conveniently be given here.

"The ancestors were at enmity with Maia Porubi. They went to kill him. They shot him with their arrows, but they could not kill him. Maia Porubi caught hold of them all in his arms, and jumped into the sea. He jumped from the hill called Čauanara. He found a big round stone (boulder) and put the people under it and left them there. All the people turned into stone, and may be seen there now. The next night some more of the people went to hunt turtle near Maia Porubi's place. They caught a turtle and shouted 2. Maia Porubi heard them shouting. 'They are coming again to kill me,' he said. While they were catching turtle he threw a round stone at them. The stone sank the canoe. The canoe and the people in it were turned to stone."

A story in which there is a connection between honey and a toad is given by Mr Man.

"Another curious fable is told to account for a drought from which their early ancestors suffered: it relates that once upon a time, in the dry season, a woodpecker discovered a black honey-comb in the hollow of a tree; while regaling himself on this dainty he observed a toad eyeing him wistfully from below, so he invited him to join in the feast; the toad gladly accepted, whereupon the woodpecker lowered a creeper, giving instructions to

p. 223

his guest to fasten his bucket (dakar) thereto, and then to seat himself in it, so that he might be drawn up. The toad complied with the directions and the woodpecker proceeded to haul him up; but just when he had brought him near the comb he mischievously let go the creeper, and his confiding and expectant guest experienced an unpleasant fall. The trick so exasperated him that he at once repaired to the streams far and near in the island and drained them, the result of which was that great distress was occasioned to all the birds, as well as to the rest of the animate creation. The success of his revenge so delighted the toad that, to show his satisfaction, and to add to the annoyance of his enemies, he thoughtlessly began to dance, whereupon all the water flowed from him, and the drought soon terminated 1."

One of the incidents of the North Andaman story of the frog (Porubi) and his son (Beret) appears in a different story from the South and Middle Andaman. The following is an Aka-Kol version of this legend.

"Ta Mita (Sir Dove) and Ta Koio (a species of small bird) went hunting together and got a great number of pigs. Ta Koio told Ta Mita to get some canes to tie up all the pigs. As soon as Ta Mita had gone to look for the cane, Ta Koio went up a big Dipterocarpus tree, taking half the pigs with him. He came down and took the rest of the pigs. He stayed up in the tree with the pigs. When Ta Mita came back he found that the pigs had disappeared. He was very angry and went home. As there was nothing to eat, Mita and his two children, Čada and Čoda (two species of fish) went fishing. Koio was still up the tree. He was cooking the pigs up there. Mita and his children passed under the tree and some burning resin 2 fell on them. In this way they discovered that Koio was in the tree. Mita planned to punish Koio. He cut a great number of sharp stakes of Areca wood and fixed them all round the tree, pointing upwards. Koio was asleep. Mita made the tree sink into the ground. As soon as it was low enough he took some water and threw it into the

p. 224

ear of the sleeping Koio, who awoke in a fright and jumped from the tree. He was impaled on the stakes of wood and so died."

Another version of the same tale was obtained from the Akar-Bale tribe.

"Da Bumu (a species of bird) went hunting pig with Da Berakwe (another species of bird), and they got a large number of pigs. Then Berakwe said to Bumu 'We want some cane to tie up all these pigs. You go and get it.' When Bumu had gone Berakwe climbed up into a big Dipterocarpus tree, taking all the pigs with him, except one very small one which he left behind. When Bumu came back with the cane he found only one small pig, and he was very angry. He went home with the pig. Bumu's wife Yakoŋ (a species of fish) said 'I am very hungry. We will go and get some fish by night.' At night Yakoŋ went out to get some fish and she passed under the tree where Berakwe was cooking his pigs. Some burning resin fell on her and burnt her. She looked up and saw Berakwe and said 'Oh! there you are; you stole all my husband's pigs.' She went home and told Bumu. In the morning Bumu got up very early and cut a number of pointed stakes of Areca (čam) wood, and fixed them all round the tree where Berakwe was, with the sharp points upwards. Then Bumu made the tree sink gradually into the ground. Berakwe fell from the tree on to the stakes and so was killed. Bumu and his wife got the pigs."

Mr Man records a version of the same story.

"The legend regarding the origin of the evil spirits known as Čol is as follows:--Their ancestor, Maia Čol, one day stole a pig which had been captured by Maia Kolwot, and climbed up into a gurjon-tree with his prize. Now Maia Kolwot was remarkable for his great strength, and being enraged, determined to revenge himself; he thereupon planted a number of spikes all round the tree in which the thief had taken refuge, and then proceeded to force it into the ground. On finding that if he remained where he was, he must inevitably be buried alive, Maia Čol sprang off the tree, and thereby met a more terrible fate, for he was impaled on the spikes, and perished miserably. His disembodied spirit did not pass to Čaitan (Hades), but took up its abode on the invisible bridge, where, by Puluga's orders, numbers of his

p. 225

descendants were sent to join him, in the form of black birds with long tails 1."

In reference to this version it may be noted that the Col are not "spirits" if that word is used to translate the native term čauga or lau. Čol is the name of a species of bird, which I believe is the racket-tailed drongo. These birds, though according to Mr Man they live on the rainbow, are to be seen every day in the jungle, and may be heard calling čol! čol! čol!

Throughout the Great Andaman there is a belief in a huge animal that haunts the jungles, or that haunted them in the days of the ancestors. In the North Andaman this beast is called J̌irmu. In the days of the ancestors it is supposed to have lived at Ulibi-taŋ, where it attacked and killed any men and women who came in its way. No detailed legend about the J̌irmu was obtained.

In the Akar-Bale language Kočurag-boa is the name of the same or a similar monster. In the A-Pučikwar language it is called Uču. This is the name applied to two rocks of limestone which are situated about two or three miles south of Wota-emi, one being in a mangrove swamp, and the other some little way out in the sea. The following legend is told about these rocks.

"In the early days of the Andamanese, Ta Petie (Sir Monitor Lizard), the first ancestor, went into the jungle and found a čoti tree, up which he climbed to eat the fruit. The other people (who lived with him at Wota-emi) came and found him, and Ta Petie threw down some of the fruit to them, which they ate. The people began to bully Petie to make him throw down more of the fruit. Petie got angry and said 'If you bully me like that I will call the Uču, and they will kill you all.' The people only laughed at him. Petie called the Uču, calling 'Dire! dire!' The Uču came, one male and one female. They caught all the people and ate them. Only Petie they did not eat because he was up in the high tree. The Uču went off to cross the strait to Tol-l’oko-tima. They had eaten so much that they were very heavy and stuck in the sand and mud at the edge of the man-grove swamp. When Petie came down from the tree he found all the people gone. He said 'Hallo! the Uču must have eaten

p. 226

them all.' He went to look. He found the Uču stuck fast at the edge of the mangrove swamp, so that they could not move. He cut open their bellies and all the people came out, for the Uču had swallowed them whole. The Uču are there to this day."

When elephants were first introduced into the Andamans for the use of the Forest Department, they were named Uču by the natives, and have ever since retained that name. Similarly the natives of the Northern tribes call them J̌irmu.

In the Akar-Bale tribe there is a legend to account for the origin of a rock standing in the sea at a place called Kwaičo-bur.

"Ra-gumul Kwokol went fishing with his bow and arrows in the sea. His bow and arrows and he himself were turned into stone, and may be seen there to the present day."

Kwokol is the common tree-lizard. Ra-gumul is the term applied to a youth or girl who has just passed through the pig-eating ceremony described in Chap. II. A youth is not permitted to handle a bow for some days after the ceremony in question. A version of the same legend is recorded by Mr Man.

"The story regarding certain Tomola who failed to observe the rules for neophytes, states that, on the day after they broke their fast of reg-ǰiri (kidney-fat of pig), they left the encampment without giving notice of their intention to their friends, and the result was that, when they were missed and searched for, it was found that they had gone to the shore to fish, and had there met a sad fate; the body of one was discovered adhering to a large boulder, and turned into stone, while the other, likewise in a state of petrifaction, was standing erect beside it 1."

A reef on the east side of Ritchie's Archipelago is said to have originated as follows.

"The people of Kwaičo went to J̌ila to hunt turtle, taking two canoes. While they were away their wives made up a big fire in the evening at Kwaičo. The hunters and their canoes were turned to stone, and formed the reefs that are now there."

I believe that the explanation of this story is the belief that the moon is angry when a bright fire is visible at the time when he rises in the evening shortly after sunset 2.

p. 227

There seems to be a legend relating to a large snake called or-čubi in the North Andaman, but I was not able to obtain a detailed version. The following was told me in Aka-J̌eru.

"At Dalamio, in the time of the ancestors, there used to be a big snake of the kind called or-čubi. He used to catch men and women when they were gathering honey, and kill them and eat them."

An Akar-Bale version is a little fuller.

"There was a man named Biča who went to look for honey in the jungle. He saw a big snake (wara-ǰobo) and from its neck was hanging a honeycomb. The snake was as big as a tree. 'Why don't you make your honey in the trees?' Biča said to the bees. He went home and called several of the men. They took their bows and arrows. They found the snake, and shot it with a great many arrows. They could not kill the snake, which ran away and was never seen again."

An Akar-Bale story relates how the first murder came to pass.

"Da Ko (Sir Crow) was the first of the Andamanese. He lived at Kared-čar-buaro with his wife In Mud (Lady Dove). He had a friend, Badgi-beria (Hawk). Badgi-beria had no wife and was jealous of Da Ko and wanted to get his wife. When Da Ko knew this he was very angry. He went into the jungle and hid himself. By and by he saw Badgi-beria and Mud coming along the path together. He took his bow and arrows and killed them."

Another Akar-Bale story about the dove is as follows. "Mud and Kulal were cooking pig and got very hot. They went to bathe and were turned into birds."

Mud is the bronze-winged dove, Chalcophaps indica, and kulal is the teal, Nettium albigulare.

In the North Andaman there are tales about the sea-eagle (kolo). One is to the effect that at first he used kobo (Licuala) leaves to fly with. This was before he had wings of his own. Another story is as follows.

"Maia Kolo (Sir Sea-eagle) lived at Čona in Tau-’ra-miku. He had a hut in the top of a toroktato tree. He was unmarried.

p. 228

[paragraph continues] When the men went fishing he used to steal their wives. He would only take good-looking girls. He would call out to a girl to come and catch hold of his foot, saying 'I have a fish for you.' If an old or ugly woman came, he would say 'No! not you; go away.' When a young woman came and caught hold of his foot he flew away with her to his hut in the tree."


190:1 Portman, Notes on the Languages, etc. p. 97.

190:2 The legend will be given later.

190:3 Man, op. cit. p. 169.

191:1 The suffix -la is added to personal names and to terms of address in order to express respect.

192:1 The name seems to mean "alone."

192:2 The giant bamboo does not grow in the Andamans, but pieces of it are often drifted ashore, having come from the coast of Burma. The natives pick up these drift-wood bamboos and make buckets of them. It is possible that the bamboo from which the first man was born was just such a piece drifted up from the sea. Unfortunately I neglected to enquire on this point when taking down the legend.

193:1 The meaning of the name is "the cave of Tarai"; I believe that this is the name of a spot in the Aka-J̌eru country.

193:2 The meaning of the name was not discovered.

193:3 The lizard was caught in some way by his genital organs, but I was' unable to understand the story completely.

194:1 This is the small platform of sticks placed near or above the fire, on which the natives keep their food, and on which they often place objects that they desire to dry.

194:2 Notes on the Languages, etc. p. 227.

195:1 When an old man of the A-Pučikwar tribe was giving me the information repeated above, an Andamanese man was with us who had been brought up as a Christian and had some knowledge of the doctrines of that faith. He explained to me that Tomo is the equivalent of the Christian God. This man belonged to the Akar-Bale tribe.

196:1 These names are common personal names among the aborigines of the present day. Mr Portman derives Nyali from nam-da, the name of a tree, and Irap from pira-da meaning "scattered," but these derivations are far from being authenticated. (Portman, Notes on the Languages of the South Andaman Group of Tribes, p. 70.)

196:2 The place called Irap is at the north end of Havelock Island.

197:1 Man, op. cit. p. 164.

201:1 Until the settlement of Europeans on the islands the Andamanese had no knowledge of any means of producing fire. It is necessary to remember this to understand some of their legends which relate how in the time of the ancestors the fire was very nearly lost in a heavy storm.

203:1 I understood that Lirtit, by the loss of his wings and tail, became a man.

203:2 Portman, loc. cit.

203:3 Mom is a title indicating respect, and Mirit is the imperial pigeon.

204:1 Portman, loc. cit.

204:2 Ibid.

205:1 Portman, loc. cit.

205:2 Man, op. cit. p. 164.

205:3 Ibid.

206:1 Man, op. cit. p. 167.

207:1 Dik was one of the ancestors. He was a giant and was so big that he could go into the deepest water and never needed a canoe. He used to shoot dugong and porpoise with his bow and arrow. (The natives shoot small fish with a bow and arrows, but large fish and dugong and porpoise they take with harpoons.)

208:1 Karami is the name of a bird that was not identified.

209:1 Kočurag-boa is the Akar-Bale name for a huge legendary animal.

209:2 When a man has killed another, either in a personal or a tribal quarrel, he has to observe several customs of which one is to keep himself painted with red paint for several weeks.

210:1 Man, op. cit. p. 171.

211:1 Man, op. cit. pp. 167-169.

212:1 Notes on the Languages, etc. p. 27.

213:1 Man, op. cit. p. 166.

213:2 Ibid.

213:3 Man, op. cit. p. 169.

214:1 This is the name of some creature that I did not identify, perhaps a kind of spider.

214:2 An Andaman Islander will often, when walking along the shore, shoot his arrows before him, either aiming at some object, or trying to send each one as far as possible. I have never seen them do this in the jungle, for they might easily lose the arrows.

214:3 The Andamanese classify resin as a "stone" although they know its vegetable origin.

216:1 Man, op. cit. p. 175.

216:2 Kalwadi is a small crab, yaramurud is the crow pheasant (Centropus andamanensis), and toau is the hawksbill turtle.

216:3 Knives are generally carried slipped into a string that is tied round the neck, the knife, with a skewer of sharpened wood that is attached to it, hanging at the back of the neck, where it is easily accessible and not likely to get lost.

216:4 I could obtain no explanation of the phrase, or word, to kit. My informant only said "That is the way the spirits talk."

217:1 Man, op. cit. p. 165.

218:1 The sneezing (the word is translated literally) is a sort of whistling noise that the wild pigs make when they suspect danger.

218:2 The Andamanese always disembowel a pig and sever the joints of its legs before they place it on a fire.

219:1 Man, op. cit. p. 170.

220:1 Page 214.

221:1 Man, op. cit. p. 170.

221:2 In taking a honeycomb the natives often drive away the bees with fire or smoke.

222:1 In climbing a tall tree the Andamanese choose a stout cane or other creeper depending from one of the branches of the tree, and climb up it.

222:2 The natives express their joy at a success in hunting by shouting.

223:1 Man, op. cit. p. 173.

223:2 The narrator said "resin." The Dipterocarpus tree does not produce resin, but a sort of oil. The marks on the two fishes owe their origin to this incident.

225:1 Man, op. cit. p. 173.

226:1 Man, op. cit. p. 169.

226:2 Vide supra, p. 142.