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The Island Of St. Malo

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Cincinnati Times-Star. It is remarkable that there slioulc have existed in the United Statos for nearly half a oentury a little indeperul ent state or comniunity about whicl practicallj' nothing liad been known until witliin a few days. A recent exploration of the mysterious islaud of St. Malo, situated at the iiioutl of a small bayou running into Lakp Borgue, in Louisiana, resultedinrevelations that read like a story from the Aleutian Islands or the Spanish Main The population of St. Malo is about 150. They are natives of Manila, one of the Philippine Islands, north of Java. They have an automony of their own, hole allegiance to no power or potentate, and, though within the the geographical boundary of Louisiana, are beyond the reach of its laws - at least, they have never yet been disturbed. A peouliarity of this Malay colony is thal the female sex is not represehted. The community bas an ordinance, rig!dit enforced, excluding women from St. Malo. The inhabitants aro described as a mixture of Chinese and Japanese, with the ugliness of both and the better features of neither. The cheek bones are high, the jaws broad and the chin pointed. The nose is short, the nostrils large, and the thick upper lip 8 rendered more unsightly by short, bristly tufts of wiry mnstaches. They are chiefly deserters from Manila - men who left that island to -avoid heavy laxes and forced enlistment. The only industry of the colony is catching fish, whioh are sold at New Orieans. Spanish ia the language commonly spoken. The form of governnient is extremely simple. There is noregiilai'ly selected chief, but all the colony regard an old Malay named Hilario as the virtual head. Arbitrators settle disputes concerning property. All the houses in St. Malo are built on the same model, which is not unlike the hiits in the Philippine Islands. They are square, with low roofs running up with a concave curve to the top, and are built on piles, some nine feet from the water. Furniture is entirely unknown. Kough benches take the place of chairs. Boards on trestle3 serve as tables, and wooden bunks, built one above the ot lier, are the bedsteads. There is only one chimney in the place, and that runs only from the rafters of a hut through the roof, being ubout eight feet in length, and is never used, but is pointed out with considerable pride bytheManila men as an evidence of their ad vaneed civilization. The average Manila man swears like a trooper in Euglish - which he probably regards as another ividence of his advanced ci.vilization. St. Malo is undoubtedly the most unique community in America. We always like those who admire us, we do not always like those whom we admire.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News