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Natives Of The Nicobars

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Charged with a frieadly message from ono'of the Port Blflil officials, and duly ; bulen with a gift of' wheuten loaves, I j proaclied the principal hbuse of " Capt. ! London," a good-natured, drink-craving Nancowrio, who supplies cocoanuts to the traden. On this occasion he is dressed liko au admiral from the waistto the hat, bat like a Kavage bolow. Bftob : house is raisocl from eix to eight feêt on i polea, o placed below liigli-water mark thftt fcbo tide acts as the general puriñev. A platform, half way ap, forms the ! house of cocoanuts, uncooked pandanus, oocoanut shells polished quite black and ' containiug water, hencoops, and odds i and ends. Here tho housewife daüy feeds the fowls, pigs, and dogs. The elevated house is domo-shaped, and carefully thatched witli palm leavos to resist ; the heavy rains and ands. It is roached by a ladder or trunk of a tree, which can be drawn up wheu necessary. I was ! preparing to ascend tlio ladder to pay a visit of ceremony to the lady members of the family, when two of them presented themselvcs at the top in so primitivo a state that it needed all the hospitable sncouragement of the "Captain" to induce me to push my head up into the family sleeping-place through the square hole in the floor. The house was rilled with smoKe from tho fire place right opposite this doorway, so that the eye liad hardly ! become familiarized to the darkness when the effect of the grecn-wood smoke called forth copious teai's. We present our lady friends to our readers in vcry different garments from that homely suit from which they received our party. With the old mother and the J'oung wife we managod to exchange ideas through Hindostauce, aided occasionally by the head of the household himself, who, remaining below, ivas frequently appealed to by both tho ladies and their visitor to act as interpreter. The house, to which 1 there is no chimney, had with this ti )n all the (ileanly and tidy appcirance of a well-kept Highland shanty. A mat of pandanus fiber is plaeed at tho dooiway, Ou either side of the cookingplace are the black niahoje, already doscribed, or water-shells. Eithor sitie, of the entrance is adorned with largo jaws i and tusks of pigs, of whieh the wife is duly proud. All round are spenrs, , boxès, and mats, so that only the center [ of the floor is available for sqTiatting of Meeping. Most prominent of afl is a tife-sizo wooden image or images, sometimes representiiig a man, occasionally a fiül-riggod ship, with captain and j ing-trumpet, tho whole resting on a fish which has the head of an aligátor. These images are not, indeed, worshiped, but are doubtless considered a protection against tho spirits, which alono cause terror to the genorally simple and happy


Old News
Michigan Argus