National Geographic : 1904 Aug
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE The Gems of the East. Sixteen Thou sand Miles of Research Travel Among Wild and Tame Tribes of Enchant ing Islands. By A. Henry Savage Landor. 8vo. Pp. 13 + 567. Pro fusely illustrated. New' York and London: Harper & Brothers. 1904. $4.00. In his account of 250 days' travel in the Philippines, Mr Landor has given the most complete and accurate descrip tion of these beautiful islands, their climate, people, and customs, which has yet been published in popular form. In following him through his various adventures in the islands, one is occa sionally asked to believe that only an Englishman could have escaped with his life from savage, crafty natives, cholera epidemics, storms, and starva tion; but, upon the whole, there is ap parently little exaggeration, and the story of his trip is unusually entertain ing and instructive. While he probably traveled over little ground which had not been previously covered by American soldiers or pros pectors, he, being a keen, trained ob server, saw far more than they, and he came in closer touch with the people. To the ethnologist his book is especially valuable, careful attention having been given to the characteristics of each tribe with which he came in contact. Many measurements among the different tribes are given, and the book is well supplied with excellent illustrations. Mr Landor lays great stress upon the agricultural wealth of the islands and the need of instruction in the best meth ods of farming. This, he thinks, should take the place of some of the other teaching which the people are receiving in the public schools. He deprecates the teaching of English, while at the same time advocating means of gen eral communication among the different tribes. It is somewhat difficult to see why he should not consider it an ad vantage to them to have a common tongue. In their dealings with other nations, English would unquestionably be more useful than Spanish,with which language, by the way, less than one tenth of the people are acquainted. If any fault can be found with this interesting volume, it is that so little is said about the civilized people of the islands. It is not surprising, however, that Mr Landor devotes most space to the wild tribes, as his travels have gen erally been among little-known, savage people rather than among the more civ ilized; but it must be borne in mind that the wild tribes of the Philippines comprise only about one-eleventh of the whole population. It is to be hoped that Mr Landor's readers will be fortunate enough to meet some of the educated, cultivated Filipinos who are now visiting the United States. They will then appre ciate that there are as great differences among the people of the Philippine Islands as between our own educated classes and the wildest Indians of the West. Mr Landor has many good words for the American army officers and civil ians from whom he received much kind ness and hospitality, for he is keenly alive to the fact that what the islands need more than anything else (except free trade with the United States) is men of the highest character in both public and private life. The changes which have taken place since American occupation and which are still going on are treated in an impartial manner. In concluding the 567 pages of his book Mr Landor says: " In some eigh teen years of travel I never enjoyed more than I did in this journey over these enchanting islands, really and truly the 'gems of the East.' " M.C.G.