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we shall find the key to the mystery that has veiled the origin of the affinity of the Malayo-Polynesian languages; these extend round more than one-half of the globe, from Hawaii and Easter Island to Madagascar. To the ocean they have kept, by the ocean they have spread, and out of the great ocean they must have come. Oceanic sailors and no others could have borne this wonderful linguistic affinity over such a vast oceanic space. That this is the key I have not much doubt, now that I have compared and analyzed large sections of the vocabularies of those languages and found the simple primeval and perfectly transparent form in Polynesian, and away west a dozen or more mutilated or beclouded and enigmatical transformations of it.


An imperial organization that produced such architectural results as the great city of the southeast of Ponape must have had a powerful unifying and amalgamating influence on the fragments of the three great sections of mankind that had found shelter on its archipelagoes. Had its empire remained above the water alongside of the great Polynesian empire to the east it might have carried racial amalgamation to a pitch that no land empire in the world has ever reached. There would have been no besprinkling of fragmentary Malayo-Polynesian tongues over more than half of the round of the world. But there would have been fewer unmalleable racial fragments in the Pacific Ocean. The world was nearer to racial unification in these neolithic days than ever since. The farther we have receded from them, the more racial barriers have we erected and the more racial taboos we have come to think insuperable. Let us hope the day may come again when the Pacific Ocean will become the intermediary for bringing together the innumerable racial globules that seem past amalgamation.



By Berthold Laufer, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Asiatic Ethnology, Field Museum, Chicago

Of all the numerous problems with which the scientific research of China is concerned, the problem of the early origin and development of Chinese civilization is the most important, and at the same time the most fascinating. In former times, when the exploration of China was still in its infancy, two main theories, in strong contrast with each other, were advanced in regard to the origin of the Chinese. In the eighteenth century, when both China and Egypt were imperfectly known, it was almost inevitable that the two should be linked together by a common source of origin; and in more recent times the romantic school of sinologues, headed by T. de Lacouperie, stamped the Chinese as emigrants from Babylonia, bringing from there all the essential elements of West-Asiatic civilization. The French Count Gobineau is responsible for the not very serious hypothesis that the culture of China in its total range may have been derived from India. Other scholars endowed with a lesser degree of imaginative power insisted on the independence and originality of Chinese culture, and vigorously stood on the platform of a Monroe doctrine, "China for the Chinese." But this theory of perfect seclusion and isolation of ancient Chinese culture can no longer be upheld; for we begin to recognize more and more its historic and prehistoric connection with other culturegroups of Asia, and to understand that also the Chinese were a people among peoples.

Indeed, no culture on this globe was ever exclusive or singled out, or had a purely internal development prompted by factors wholly within itself. The growth and diffusion of culture are due to historical agencies, and must be

comprehended in connection with the universal history of mankind. No historical problem can be understood and solved with any hope of success by limiting the attention to one particular culture-sphere to the exclusion of all others, and even in the minutest specialization of our work we must never be forgetful of the universalistic standpoint. Aside from the lack of critical methods, the principal error of those who simply reduced Chinese culture to a loan received from the west, was that the antiquity of the fundamental elements of civilization was far undervalued, and that a purely imaginary drama of migration of tribes was staged which has no basis in fact. Beyond any doubt, the foundations of civilization are far older than the period to which the oldest extant documents of the Egyptians, Sumerians, and Chinese, carry us back; and the impression even prevails at present that they are still older than we are now inclined to assume on the ground of archæological facts and internal evidence. The acquisition of cultivated plants, their wide distribution over immense geographical areas in Asia and Europe, the introduction of agriculture, the domestication of animals, the mining and working of metals, the conception of the important technical inventions, in order to come into being, must have taken, even within the boundary of reasonable calculation, not centuries but millenniums of human labor and exertion, and are removed far beyond the bounds of all historical remembrance. As to the question of migrations, it is not tribes but the very ideas of culture which have constantly been on the path of migration, which were transmitted from people to people and fertilized and advanced the life of nations. In the earliest records of the Chinese we meet no tradition pointing to an immigration from abroad. All that the conservative historian may safely assert is, that they inaugurated their career in the fertile valley of the middle and lower course of the Yellow River and its affluents, and gradually expanded from this centre of their early habitat eastward toward Chili and Shantung, and in a southerly direction toward the Yangtse. In their onward march they encountered a large stock of an aboriginal population of most varied tribes,

partly related to them in language, with whom they struggled many centuries for the supremacy in China. The comparative study of Indo-Chinese languages has brought out the fact that the Chinese are a member of an extensive family of peoples, the best-known representatives of which are the Siamese, the Burmese, and the Tibetans. In early historical times all these peoples lived in close proximity to and relationship with the Chinese, in the western and southwestern part of China; and we are able to trace from their records and tradition the history of their migrations into the countries which they now occupy. The Tibetans designate themselves Bod (Sanskrit Bhota), and Ptolemy knows them by the name Bautai inhabiting the river Bautisos, identified with the Upper Yellow River. The present territory of Western Kansu and Szechuan was the cradle of the Tibetan branch which moved from there westward into the present territory of Tibet, probably during the first centuries of our era. The province of Yünnan is the home of the forefathers of the modern Siamese formerly known as Shan or Ai-lao (the modern Laos), who formed the highly organized kingdom of Nanchao. Their state was destroyed by the Mongols in 1252, and the Mongol invasion gave the incentive to an emigration of the Shan from Yünnan down into the peninsula, where they founded the Kingdom of Siam in about 1350.

In the extreme southeast of Asia, scattered over the mountains and littorals of Indo-China, we meet another large group of peoples whose languages show no affinities with Chinese, and who form a distinct family. The most prominent members of this stock are the Annamese, the Khmer of Cambodja, the Mon of Pegu in the delta of the Irawaddy, the Khasi, and the Colarians, whose remnants are dispersed over the hill tracts of Central India. In prehistoric times this group extended also into southern China, and it is due to the expansion of the Chinese that they were subsequently driven back farther toward the south. These ethnical movements render it clear that the present Chinese territory is in the main composed of two distinct culture-areas, a northern one, decidedly Chinese;

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and a southern one, originally non-Chinese, but later colonized, absorbed by and assimilated to Chinese rule. Present-day China is a political, not a national or ethnical unit. The antagonism that still prevails between the people of northern and southern China, and which nearly resulted in a partition of the country during the recent revolution, has come to the notice of everybody. It amounts not only to a question of racial differences, but to a far-reaching divergence of culture and economy as well. The farmer of the north grows wheat, barley, and various species of millet, and tills the ground with the ox as the draught-animal of his plough. The south is engaged in the cultivation of rice, and the peasant avails himself of the water-buffalo, an animal domesticated in southeastern Asia. His method of farming, corresponding to the subtropical flora characterized by palms, evergreen shrubs, fragrant woods, and tropical fruits, consists essentially in gardening, where that primitive system of hoeculture still partially survives in which not the plough, but only the hoe, is employed. The north is traversed by highways, and the two-wheeled cart drawn by mules is the usual means of conveyance; besides, the horse, the donkey, the camel, are in evidence as pack-animals and for riding. The south is densely intersected by rivers and a net of skilfully laid out canals connecting rivers and lakes, so that boats are the favorite method of journeying and transporting goods; on land, the sedan-chair carried on the shoulders of bearers is the means of transportation, whereas horses and mules are almost absent or scarce. The northerners are typical children of the soil, conservative, and somewhat heavy; the southerners, more alert and quick tempered, are sons of the watery element, river boatmen, bold seafarers, enterprising merchants, emigrants and colonists. The Chinese, of course, are by origin a purely continental race; and one of the most attractive chapters of their history is the one telling how they gradually extended from their inland seats toward the seacoast, how their naïve astonishment at the grandeur of the ocean produced a marine mythology and legends of

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