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scraped himself with an old case knife, after which he would sit or lie
for hours basking in the sun. It was currently believed that he never
took a bath — but this must be a libel, as he was owner of a temescal or
sweat house (an Indian modification of the hammam) on the banks of
the Carmel river.

For thirty-six years before his death he was too feeble to do any hard
work, but earned a livelihood by weaving zarapes and cinches or braid-
ing reatas out of rawhide. Bent nearly double he hobbled along leaning
on a short stick. His coat was covered with bright bits of cloth sewed
on by his trembling old fingers. A red handkerchief was tied about his
head ; and crowning that, a high hat — sometimes two or three jammed
one upon the other. His picture does not do justice to his picturesque
appearance, which is due perhaps to his old vanity — for he would not be
photographed in bis everyday dress.

His hair was white, but comparatively thick to the day of his death.
His skin was black and from out the mummified old face his eyes glowed
like two smouldering coals.

Old Gabriel's portrait, sent by Father Sorrentini to the Pope, was
hung in the Vatican, as that of the oldest Catholic in the world. His
latter days were very lonely, for he had forgotten what little Spanish and
English he knew and for many years there was no one to speak his own
tongue. He died in the Monterey county hospital March 16, 1890. A
cloud of reporters and newspaper men settled on the little town like a
plague of grasshoppers ; and fearful and wonderful were the tales they
told. But the simple truth was quite marvelous enough.

It was a matter of pride with us, nearly all Californians born and bred,
to point to our old Indian, the oldest man in the world ; and to know that
our kindly clime had nourished one who lived to a century and a half.

Would that a benevolent Landmarks Club could have preserved him
to us !

Los Angeles.


2 3 6

A Chinese Feud.


ANTZE stood behind the counter in her father's store, list-
lessly rolling up and down the balls in the counting machine ;
she was thinking ofthe feud between the Sam Yups and the
See Yups.

Fautze was an American born, and though she wore the
Chinese dress and ate with chopsticks, she was in many
respects an American girl ; for her mother had died when she
was in swaddling clothes and her father had allowed the ladies
of the Mission to have much to do with the bringing up of his
little daughter.

And Fantze had a lover — just as any American girl might
have had — and he, too, was an American Chinese, having
been brought to the States when but nine years of age. His
father, a boss laundryman, had returned to China but a short
time since, leaving his business in charge of his son, who
managed it so successfully that he bade fair to make his "pile" in a
much shorter time than his father before him.

But Wong On had no intention of following his parent to China.
Degenerate Chinaman ! He preferred the land of his adoption to that
of his forefathers, and cherished the hope of building a little home for
himself and Fantze in America.

Wong On and Fantze were engaged — not betrothed as boys and girls
in China are without having anything to say themselves in the matter,
but engaged just like ordinal Americans who pledge themselves to
marry the one (they believe at the time) they love the best.

Wong On was never seen with Fantze on the street, and he dared not
venture to ask for permission to visit her in her rooms, but he was for-
ever finding excuses to call at her father's store, behind the counter of
which she spent much time, poring over her picture books, sewing
and at the same time keeping an eye on any customers who might enter
during her father's frequent absences. The two young things had been
very happy in one another's companionship, and Fantze's father had
smiled and approved. But happ3 j days go by.

There are ten districts in the Province of Kwangtung. When the
Chinese say "a Sam Yup man," they mean a man from the Third
District, and when they say "a See Yup," they mean one from the
Fourth District, and so on.

Some time ago in Southern California a Sam Yup murdered a See
Yup. All the See Yups knew that one of their number had been killed
by a Sam Yup ; but though they thirsted for revenge, they could not
discover the murderer. It therefore became a case, not of man against
man, but of district against district, and as a result a Sam Yup man soon
went the way of the murdered See Yup. The See Yups, however,
proved better detectives than their enemies, and traced the crime so that
the actual murderer, a man belonging to one of the See Yup's secret
societies, was convicted and punished by the law of the land. At this
the See Yups became so bitterly incensed that notice to boycott all Sam
Yups was sent by their chiefs to the See Yups all over the continent.
The boycott spread and became a serious matter, for the See Yups are
much more numerous than the Sam Yups, the See Yups being chiefly
laundrymen and laboring men, and the Sam Yups merchants, who
depend for the success of their business upon the trade ofthe See Yups.
Any See Yup seen in the store of a Sam Yup after the issuing of that
notice was regarded with suspicion by his clan. Indeed, his life was
not safe, for it was whispered that trusted emissaries of the Brotherhood
were on the keen lookout for delinquents, who would be dealt with
summarily and secretly.


So Fantze had good cause to feel sad. Supplies being now ordered to
be sent direct to the chief laundries in the city where her father did
business, her father's trade was ruined, and her lover, though he visited
her as often, did so at great risk.

The door bell rang. It was Wong On ; he stepped across the store and
stood by Fant/.e's side.

" My pearl is misty today," said he, taking her hands and looking into
her face.

"Ah, Wong On," she replied, " I fear for you — visit me no more, I

Wong On's face became stern. "Am I a cur ? " he made answer.

She shook her head, and a quaint little smile nickered around her
mouth as she said : " In my eyes you are a superior man."

"Then how can you expect me to leave you when you are in trouble
and need me? "

" Because, Wong On, your life is precious, and for my sake you must
be discreet." .

" Look," said he, turning over the leaves of a bound British Workman
which lay on the counter.

The girl peeped over his shoulder and saw a picture of Queen Victoria
presenting some soldiers with medals.

"Those men," explained Wong On, "are receiving a reward for
bravery. So some day shall I be rewarded, and my medal will be you."

Long and earnestly Fantze gazed — then the words came slowly : " The
bravest soldiers receive no reward — they do not live long enough."

It was a wretched night. The wind blew in wild gusts and drove the
rain savagely. Wong On emerged from his warm room and started for
Fantze 's home. He pulled down his cap and turned up his collar and
walked quickly along, not noticing the footsteps behind him, muffled in
the downpour.

He had made up his mind to marry Fantze without further waiting,
for she and her father were almost destitute, and the lover in him yearned
to take care of the girl. That very evening did he intend to persuade
old Lee Fee to allow the Presbyterian minister to perform the ceremony.
Though the old man burnt sticks of incense to Chinese gods and wor-
shipped before an ancestral tablet, both he and Fantze were Christians.

The To-Come appeared before Wong On — the wonderful To-Come.
He saw therein the most beautiful little woman in the world moving
about his home, pouring out his tea and preparing his rice. He saw a
cot ; and kicking and crowing therein a baby — a boy baby with a round,
shaven head and Fantze's eyes. He saw himself receiving the con-
gratulations of all the wifeless, motherless, sisterless, childless American
Chinamen. "Ah!" thought he, with a pitying thrill, "I will invite
them by the half dozens to spend evenings with me, and Fantze shall
entertain them as I have sometimes seen the wives of my American
friends entertain their husbands' company. How very happy I shall be!"

A fire kindled in his heart. Just a few more steps and he would be
with Fantze. But then there was a swish. Long, skinny arms threw a
bleeding body against the door, on the other side of which sat Fantze
dreaming of someone. Then Quong Sin, agent of one of the See Yup's
secret societies, thrust a bloody blade up his sleeve and slunk silently away.

Time brings changes. In time the feud between the Sam Yups and
See Yups died out, and Fantze became the wife of a proud old Con-
fucianist who took her home to China. She renounced Christianity ;
but the last heard of her was that she had shown to some travelers as
her most precious possession a picture torn from a Christian book.
Underneath the picture is said to be written in Fantze's round hand :
"These are brave men, but where are the bravest? "

Montreal, Can.

2 3 8

Songs of the Navajos.



ROM the stand-point of the scientific student of folk-
song, all these Navajo songs which I have had the op-
portunity to study are extremely interesting. This
interest, too, is of several different kinds. The Navajos,
like all other makers of folk-music, use their songs as a
medium of poetic and emotional expression ; and it is
very interesting to note the quality of melody they em-
ploy for this purpose. One may note the range and
kind of intervals, the kind of rhythm and metre and the
quality of tone which these people find appropriate to
the expression of certain ideas and feelings in song. A comparison of
the Navajo songs, in these particulars, with the corresponding songs of
other tribes and races would be a most interesting ethnological study ;
especially as the innermost life of all our aboriginal tribes is embodied
in their music. So far as I know, all their prayers and expressions of
religious feeling find outlet in song ; so do all the deeper social emotions ;
and the historical records of the tribes, the traditions of noble deeds, the
memories of good and bad fortunes received at the hands of the gods, all
are recorded and handed down in the songs of the various societies.

In Dr. Matthews's paper (printed last month in these pages,) account
is given of the poetic contents of some of the songs. Before proceeding
to discuss any of them from the musician's point of view, I desire to add
a word concerning three of the songs, the music of which I have trans-
cribed from the records of Dr. Matthews's phonographic cylinders. I
give the account from notes sent me by Dr. Matthews.

The two songs recorded on cylinder No. 3S are " songs of the War-
gods sung in a ceremony where men, dressed to represent the wargods,
enter the medicine lodge." Dr. Matthews translates the songs as fol-
lows, premisingthat "SLAYER-OF-THE-ALIEN-GODS" and "CHILD-
OF-THE-WATERS " are the principal Navajo wargods.


2. Above, among the peaks, he advances.

3. Now CHILD-OF-THE-WATERS advances.

4. Below, among the foot-hills he advances.

The one on cylinder No. 49 is called the Finishing Song. " It is the
last song sung during the great nine- days' ceremony of the Night-chant.
It is sung at daybreak, after a long night of song and vigil. To explain
the meaning, even if I gave you the text and translation, would require
a chapter, so I will not attempt it. The song refers to mysteries con-
nected with the ceremony."

The song on cylinder 62 " is a song sung by a dozen male voices while
the singers dance, out of doors, on the last night of the ceremony of the
Night-chant. There are only two words in the song to which any










meaning is assigned, and these are archaic; one of them means 'The
Corn grows up,' and the other ' The Rain descends.' These songs are
sung loudly and may be heard a mile off on a still autumn night."

All the Navajo songs I have heard, either in Dr. Matthews's phono-
graphic records or from the Indians themselves, have been sung with a
quality of tone that suggests that they must be very primitive in charac-
ter. Some of them are howls rather than songs, and the emphatic notes
are sometimes grunts quite indefinite in pitch. Others, like that on
cylinder No. 62, are sung in falsetto and with a peculiar tremolo impos-
sible to describe and difficult to imitate. Evidently these people have
not yet begun to pay any attention to beauty of tone quality ; they sing
in tones more like those of wild animals than those of human voices.
But the curious thing, to a musician, is this : that all this shouting,
howling and whining proceeds along chord-lines. I have elsewhere
pointed out the vital significance of this fact.* It shows, I think,
plainly enough, that the line of least resistance for a voice making folk-
melody spontaneously is the' fine of a major or minor chord. I ought to
premise, however, that what is true of the songs of these Navajos is
equally true of the folk-music of all races, so far as I have yet studied
them. My work in this field has included the songs of several of our
own Indian tribes besides the Navajos; viz. Omahas, Poncas, Pawnees,
Sioux, Otoes, Winnebagos, Zunis, Iroquois, Coahuia, Pomo and Esqui-
maux, besides two remote tribes in the mountains of Mexico, the Tara-
humar and Tepehuan tribes, whose songs were given me by the ethnologist
Carl Lumholtz. Further, I made a very thorough study of the songs of
the Kwakiutl Indians from Vancouver Island when they were at the
World's Fair in Chicago and have studied many of their songs since in
phonographic records taken by Dr. Franz Boas, who had them in
charge. My studies have also included songs of the Australian canni-
bals given me by Mr. Carl Lumholtz, songs taken down at first hand
from South Sea Islanders, Javanese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, Turks
and Dahomeyans at the World's Fair, and of course the folk-music of
ail the European races, including the Russian.

In all folk-music, everywhere, I find unity of the principle on which
it is constructed. Folk-melody, everywhere, the world over, is harmonic
melody; it has a key-note or Tonic and tends to move along the line of
the Tonic chord, adding afterwards the tones which belong to the
chords most nearly related to the Tonic. These are no other than the
tones which make up our major and minor diatonic scales. In some of
these races the tendency appears to be strong to add to the Tonic chord
only the second and sixth of the major scale, sometimes laying the

•See "A Study of Omaha Indian Music" by Alice C. Fletcher and John Comfort
Fillmore, published by the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology
of Harvard University, 1893; "Primitive Scales and Rhythms," published in the Mem-
oirs of the International Congress of Anthropology. Chicago, 1893; "A Woman's Song
of the Kwakiutl Indians,' in the Journal of American Folk-lore, Oct.— Dec, 1893; also
a paper in the same magazine for April-June, 1895; and various papers in the magazine
Music, published in Chicago by W. S. B. Matthews, besides one on "Some Tigua
Songs," published in the Land of St nsiiini: for May, 1896.


principal stress on the first ( Do ) and sometimes on the sixth ( La ). In
the former case the key is major and in the latter minor. The same
tones are used for both keys and the question of key is simply a question
of the location of the centre of gravity. These five-toned scales are
not only exceedingly common as a basis for the old Scotch and Irish
folk-songs, but almost equally so for peoples as widely separated as the
Omaha Indians, the African Negroes and the Chinese.

The Navajo songs I have here transcribed are illustrations of melody
so primitive as to bring us very near to the beginning of music-making.
Number 1, on cylinder 38, is in C minor. C is plainly the key-note and
the song is confined mainly to that tone and its minor third, E flat. G,
the remaining component of the Tonic chord, does not appear at all,
but B flat comes in at first so decidedly as to suggest E flat major as the
Tonic chord. It also appears later as a bye-tone. The implied harmony
of the song is plainly the chord of C minor as Tonic and its relative
major, E flat. The second song on the same cylinder, after a prelimi-
nary flourish, settles down to the interval D — F sharp, suggesting D as
the key-note, but not making it absolutely decisive.

The two songs on cylinder 41, a part of one of which I give here,
embody a complete major Tonic chord and nothing else. Dr. Matthews
thinks this is the Bluebird song referred to in his paper, (he had not the
cylinder by him when he wrote). The song on cylinder 49 also contains
a complete major chord and nothing else. The one on cylinder 62 is in
F major. It embodies the Tonic chord F-A-C and adds the second (G)
and the sixth (D) of the scale. That is to say it is built on precisely the
same five-toned scale which characterizes most of the ancient Irish and
Scotch folk-music and is found all over the world at a certain stage of
musical development.

Such coincidences as these are not the result of accident but of law.
There is unity of folk-music the world over, no matter how widely sep-
arated in blood, habitat and customs may be the peoples who make it,
simply because there is unity in human nature as regards the structure
of the ear and of the vocal chords, and also as regards the correlation of
these with acoustic laws on the one hand and with physical laws on
the other. It has taken us a good while to find this out, simply because
competent musicians have not hitherto had their attention directed to
the phenomena. Indeed, an examination of Richard Wallascheck's
book entitled Primitive Music, an exhaustive summary of what was
known on the subject up to the spring of 1893, when his book was pub-
lished, will show that up to that time there was a great paucity of
authentic material. Even now there are students (not musicians, how-
ever) who are working at the problem of folk-music on the assumption
that every accidental aberration from the chord-line on the part of the
untrained savage is made with deliberate intention and implies a new
form of scale. This is, of course, quite as absurd as it would be to assume
that a new scale is required every time our own singers sing out of tune.
But I have dealt with this question minutely in the various publications
heretofore referred to.

Pomona College .Claremont, Cal.


Our November.


The little nomads of the air
On Autumn's pilgrimage set forth ;
Out of the rigors of the North

They come to find our meadows fair.

We, newly alien from the East,
Mark quickly the access of song,
Happy to have by this new throng

The Summer's merry choirs increased.

We watch the coming of the showers
And see the first faint emerald stain
Grow deeper in the lush young grain,

And see the tapestries of flowers

Spread quickly on the sunny slopes.

Strange lessons these ! Unlearn the past !
Winter is here, is here at last,

A time of blossoming, birds and hopes !

Fires in the Sierra*


FOREST fire creates a feeling of resentment in the
lover of nature. The destruction of beauty, the
deterioration of scenery and the long-enduring
ugly scars are all a source of pain to a decent man.
The sportsman is hurt by the forest fire. Such
fires destroy animal food, kill the young, and re-
duce the game. Fires kill fish in three ways — by
actual boiling (as recently in the North Fork of the
San Gabriel), by reduced or dried up streams in-
efficient to hold them, and by floods, from burned
water-sheds, full of mud which suffocates the fish.
These things are quite enough to warrant a reasonable system to pre-
vent such injuries. Every year our mountains and their forests, fish,
game and tonic climate are more and more sought. Their beauties are
an attraction to the tourist and a valuable asset to the community. But
this is by no means all. We do not have to appeal to the lover of Nature
or the lover of sport or to the hotel keeper, real estate man or climate
seeker on this forest fire question. The forest fire is of the first import-
ance as an economic danger to Southern California. The destruction of
wood and timber is in some sections important, as standing forests of
dead, white skeleton trees testify on Graj'back and San Bernardino. But
this is not the great danger of damage of our forest fires. The dauger
is to the water-sheds. A forest fire burns brush, trees and, what is more
important to the water-shed, the humus or forest soil. The water-hold-
ing capacity of the steep mountain sides is reduced. The rainfall can-
not be so well retained and absorbed on a devastated, fire-swept mount-
ain as on the same area forest- covered.

•Seepage 231.


Consequently the water is delivered suddenly in floods. Mud, sand
and boulders are carried down to the valleys. These are left on good
lands or aid in the erosion of banks and the eating up by the torrent of
fertile fields. Sometimes the detritus of mud and stones is so great that
as soon as the grade is reduced (from the mountain to the valley) it is
dropped in the channel, this becomes choked, and the flood takes a new
and still more devastating course. The great forest fires on the water-
sheds of the Santa Ana, San Gabriel and Tejunga (Los Angeles) will
surely increase the flood action of these streams during the rainy season.
The flood water is gone after the flood is over. What the forest would
have held back from a too sudden delivery and given out slowly and
beneficently in the dry season, is dissipated in the torrent-rush from the
burned district.

I visited the mountains this summer immediately after the great fire
on the south side of the Santa Ana water-shed. The south side alone
was burned. A heavy summer rain had put the fire out. Kvery gully
and canon from the burned district showed marked flood action. The
Santa Ana had been so filled with mud that many of the trout had been
smothered. Sand, roots, cinders and rubbish were in strong evidence.
I saw no marks of flood action on the north or unburned side. The
streams on that side were clear, while those on the south were mere
muddy dribblets. Nowhere could there be a stronger illustration of the
power of a forested area to hold back a given rainfall to an even and
unsullied delivery, and of the destructive power of a burned-off mountain
to give from the same rainfall a torrent charged with mud and rocks.

These forest fires are with us largely the result of campers' careless-
ness. The laws against fire are ample. The government has also re-
served its mountain forest land. The trouble is that there is no one to
enforce the laws and no one to manage the forest reserves. These devas-
tating fires should be stopped. What is required is a manager and a
patrol. An intelligent manager could take a company of cavalry in the
dry season and, with a few miles of extension of present telephone wires
to signal points, prevent most of the fires that now occur and put out
those that did start within the first 24 hours. The lull of the wind at
night almost everywhere offers facilities for putting out mountain fires,
if you can only bring up a force to attack the fire at that time. Such a
system would contemplate regulations for the Reservations. Rules and
advice would be printed on cards and handed to persons going into the
mountains on the roads and trails. One of these rules would impose a
penalty and fine on anyone leaving a fire burning or for setting any fire
-not necessary for heat or cooking. This single rule, enforced, would
prevent nine-tenths of our mountain fires. The signal points would
give notice of even every campfire smoke and the patrols would visit
camps and further freshen the rules on fires and demonstrate the force
to punish criminal carelessness.

Forest fires on the steep mountains of Southern California are a men-
ace to the productive capacity of the country. The resulting floods will
destroy much of our good lands. The resulting drouths will deprive
us of necessary water, and the denuded mountains will deteriorate our

Online LibraryArchaeological Institute of America. Southwest SocOut west (Volume 5) → online text (page 30 of 34)