Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

and have been aping Spanish manners and tapioca root, fowls, turtles, and shell-fish, customs for a century or two, and while intermingled with which were hairy

Borneo by these means and the mixture of Span- apes, crimson parrots from the Celebes, ish and Asiatic blood they have been gaudy turban squares, jabuls, sarongs, tinctured with civilization and thus lost palm-leaf hats and mats, spears, shells, brass most of their original characteristics, the betel-boxes, and other curios. But the Sulu islands, having been but recently people themselves were of chief interest. . occupied and never dominated, are still in An incongruous crowd it was ; a curious every sense Suluan. Spanish influence display of silks and rags, jeweled hands has robbed the Christian Filipino of the and bare feet, barbaric magnificence and Oriental charm which stamps, each in a personal filth; the women in baggy troudifferent way, the Japanese, the Chinese, sers and tight jackets so ingrained with the Siamese, and even the British Indian ; dirt that the original hue was indistinbut in Sulu one meets it

guishable; the men strutting again, more crude, more bar

and posing in garments baric than ever; and for this

which for variety of crude reason more than any other,

color would have put the Sulu is the most interesting

historical coat of Joseph to part of the Philippines.

shame. One fellow I sawMy first close view of the

he was indolently watching Joloanos was in the native

his wife selling buyo-was market at Bus-Bus, which

decked out in a pair of skinis held every morning in the

tight trousers embroidered dirty street running along the

with silk in stripes of orange, shore parallel with the water

red, and green, and buttoned village. Here one can see

from ankle to calf with small the Sulu islander in all his

pearl discs. His waist was gorgeousness of raiment and

encircled many times by a all his dirtiness, and here

flaring sash, also of many one can buy any of the

colors, which held in posiisland products, from a sil

tion, ready for instant use, ver-handled kris to a shark's

a small kris dagger (puñal), fin, from a peal to those

and a splendid ivory-handled greatest of delicacies, half

barong in a carved narra hatched eggs. Great quan

scabbard. A tight Eton tities of brilliantly colored

jacket of apple green, with fish were for sale, and an

sleeves reaching to the unusually large variety of

knuckles, partially covered fruits; of the latter I noted

his upper half; and a howlmangosteens, nancas, lang

ing yellow and red turban sats, two kinds of mangoes,


crowned the costume. Scarbananas, lancones, cocoas, and, for the first let jackets, however, seemed to be more time in the Philippines, that ill-smelling, generally favored, and the red Turkish medley-flavored, and most fascinating of fez, a sure sign of the Mussulman, often tropical fruits, the durian. Alfred Russel took the place of the turban, so that Wallace calls the durian the“ king of fruits," red, either solid or in a mixture, was and I think all those who, like him, have the dominant color of the crowd. One acquired the taste, will second the appella- of the most noticeable and disgusting tion ; but for the average man, whose sense things in a Moro congregation is their of smell prevents him from making a fur- betel-chewing. Not content with the usual ther acquaintance, the durian is a lost buyo, bonga, and lime mixture, the Moro delight. I fear a description of the flavor adds mastic and tobacco, thus making is impossible, but if you can imagine a five ingredients for one chew. Both men mixture of onions, apricots, nuts, custard, and women file their teeth concave in strawberries, honey, and gooseberry fool, front and sharpen them at the edges, and you may form a faint idea of it. Other edi. the tobacco seems to be used mainly to bles spread upon the ground were camotes, rub into the teeth and keep them ebony


MY MORO BOAT-KEEPER character was wrongly figured. The hills, and visited the datus, not only unSpaniards began by giving the Moro attended but unarmed ; and, while the credit for being a born warrior and a Spaniards gasped, the Americans taught brave man; and, having been victims of the bloodthirsty savage to shake hands. treachery on not a few occasions, they At first the savage was naturally suspistraightway encompassed themselves by cious; he said, “What kind of people are walls and forts, disarmed every market- these Americans, who come among us withman who entered the gates, limited the out soldiers or guns? They must carry number who might enter, and in a hun- some deadlier weapons hidden under their dred ways showed their savage enemies clothes.” In one case, that of Lieutenant that they feared them. Evidences such Kobbe, when he went into Datu Jaukaas these make the greatest coward brave. nine's village, the chief asked the officer This resulted in Spain being perpetually if he objected to being searched. The at war with the Moros. When American Lieutenant laughingly replied that he had forces came to relieve the Spanish garri- not the slightest objection; and after the son at Jolo, they found the little town suspicious crowd had satisfied themselves nightly mounting a guard of one hundred that he had no concealed arms, they showmen, the disarming station outside the ed the greatest friendliness. This show gate wired like a cage, and the general of confidence, and above all fearlessness, conditions of a besieged town. Our officers on the part of the American officers imwere regaled with blood-curdling stories pressed the Moros far more than any disof Moro treachery, and warned not to play of arms would have done ; they saw leave the walls without a strong force. In that they no longer had a timid enemy spite of these stories and warnings, how- to deal with, but a race evidently their ever, our officers did leave the walls; they superiors and yet friendly; and they passed out into the country, climbed the changed ground at once. Since that


time, contrary to the opinion of all those Christian Filipino I have yet known. who claimed to know the Moros, the these reasons I do not feel, as many do friendly relations between them and the that the Moro is either a formidabl Americans have grown steadily stronger, enemy or a menace to Philippine peac and, at the time I visited Jolo, after nearly If the same tact be used with this race i a year's travel in the Philippines, the Sulu the future that Generals Bates and Kobb group was the first part I had found have exercised and the latter is still exe which was wholly at peace with the cising, the Moro will soon become intensel United States, and the only island in American, and in time be as good a sul the archipelago through which a white ject as one can expect a dyed-in-the-wo man might travel alone in safety.

Malay-Mohammedan ex-pirate to become The Moro, to my mind, is at once an In thus helping to destroy traditions s overrated and a much-inaligned person; picturesque and so tempting to enlarg overrated as to his fighting qualities and upon, I feel that I owe my fellow-writer bravery, maligned in the matter of char- an apology; but the Moro needs a goo acter. Notwithstanding much opinion to word said in his behalf. the contrary, I have yet to find it substan- There a word, too, to be said concerr tiated that the Moro ever seeks an opening that greatest of Moro bugaboos, th hand-to-hand conflict, or that he fights in juramentado. The idea has gone abroad anything but a treacherous and, from our and is, I think, generally believed, tha standpoint, a cowardly manner. In the juramentados are Moslem fanatics wh petty wars which are constantly being deliberately prepare themselves for deat! waged between rival datus, the combat for the sole purpose of slaying Christians ants seldom come together, but generally and that their appearance is almost ar intrench themselves at a very safe distance every-day affair. Most writers of the Phil apart, and while the main body keeps up ippines, whether through error or not an intermittent fire, small parties endeavor cannot say, certainly give this impression to capture their enemies' wives, slaves, and if they do not actually say so. Foremar cattle. But though the Moro avoids meet- in one place describes them as a “class ing his foe face to face, he never misses and in another place as a sect;" Wor an opportunity to spear him from the long cester says, “ From time to time it happens grass, to cut him down from behind, or to that one of them (the Moros] wearies o slay him while asleep. The significant this life, and, desiring to take the shortes fact that Moro weapons are made without road to glory, he bathes in a sacred spring hand-guards is sufficient evidence that shaves off his eyebrows, dresses in white they are not intended for dueling or fenc- and presents himself before a pandita to ing, but rather for assassination. One of take solemn oath (juramentar) to die the little Moro wars was in progress on killing Christians;” and Mr. Lala, a the south side of the island of Jolo during Philippine gentleman, devotes several my stay there. It continued some six pages of lurid word-painting to the "faweeks, and was finally ended by American natic.” Now, running amok is one of the interference, with a total loss of two men. Malay peculiarities; it is known throughout Cruel, cunning, treacherous, and cowardly Malaysia, and the Moro is no exception. as the Moro undoubtedly is, he is not, He has a habit of running amok when he however, without some good points. Com- wishes to commit suicide, and then he dies paring the Mohammedan Moro with the not only killing Christians, but every living Christian Tagalog or Visayan, I am con- thing that comes in his path, no matter of strained to believe that the Mohammedan, what race, creed, or sex. It is true, howthough less intelligent and, as we view it, ever, that the Moro, after he has made up wholly uncivilized, has more honesty, more his mind to amok, goes before a pandita constancy, and a higher sense of honor or priest and swears to give his life to the than the Christian ; he makes a worse destroying of Christians, but he does not enemy but a stancher friend, and is, on keep his oath; it is taken with the purthe whole, decidedly more of a man, pose of his being guaranteed future life in Personally, I would put myself in the the heaven of Mohammed. A recent inhands of a Moro friend with far greater vestigation made by Major J. N. Morrison, confidence than I could ever do with any Judge Advocate for the Department of



« AnteriorContinuar »