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Formosa

chinese, tribes, women and malay

FORMOSA, called Tai-wun by the Chinese, is a large island in the China Sea, separated from China by a stormy strait, 80 or 90 miles wide. It stretches as far north as lat. 25 N., and this is the most northerly limit of the Malay language, Malay words being found in the language of the aborigines, and the inhabitants of the interior, who are supposed to be of Malay origin, are in several groups, each speaking a dialect of their own. On the easterly side of the island is a belt of level land near the sea, but it is rugged and mountainous in the interior. The Chinese occupied it about A.D. 1430. The Dutch took pos session of it in A.D. 1634, but were dispossessed by a Chinese adventurer in 1661, though a small body of men claim to be their descendants. The Chinese colonies are mostly on the N. coast. The central and southern districts are inhabited by the ab origines. The Formosa tribes are Favorlong, Jakih, Pepukhwan or Peppohoan, Sideia, Tilloi, Yukan.

The barbarian tribes worship a good and evil spirit, with women priestesses termed Inib. They are, fond of out-of-door merry-makings, and dur ing the annual nine days' festival, they drink and play and give themselves up to sensual pleasures. Marriage of men is not allowed until they be 21 years of age. Libations to the earth and sky are

poured out, and they are married, but the wife remains in her father's house, and until the hus band reach the age of 40, be can only visit the wife by stealth at night, and daylight sees the signal for his quitting it. It is said that divorces are very frequent, and children born before the mother is 37 years of age are allowed to live..

The Peppohoan race of this island are descend ants of the savage tribes who inhabited the plain country, and, being conquered by the Chinese, have mixed with them to a great extent. They are a promising race, and accept Christianity readily. The Chinese residents prefer Peppohoan women for wives, being finer and stronger women, prettier and more useful, than those of the Chinese. The savage tribes of Formosa tattoo their faces ; the men wear a tunic of coarse grass-cloth, and the fighting women' a tunic and a short petti coat or piece of grass-cloth. Their huts are neatly built of bamboo and palm leaves. Over some of the doors are seen rows of the skulls of wild animals, the deer, the boar, the monkey; and one of them displayed the tails of six Chinamen tied up in a bunch, which he said had belonged to men he had killed.