Hawaiki: The Original Home of the Maori; with a Sketch of Polynesian History
Chapter V. The Gangetic Race
Chapter V. The Gangetic Race.
In various places in his voluminous papers Mr. J. R. Logan thus refers to the Gangetic Race that occupied a considerable portion of India prior to the intrusion of the later Aryan race:—
Ethnology of the Indo-Pacific Islands, by J. R. Logan, part ii., p. 1.—"I was especially struck with the constantly accumulating evidence of the derivation of the leading races of the islands (Indonesia) from Ultraindia and India, and was led to the conclusion that the basin of the Ganges and a large portion of Ultraindia were occupied by tribes akin to the Malayan-Polynesians* before the movement of the Aryan or Indo-Germanic race into India. The combined and consistent evidence of physical conformation, language and customs placed this beyond doubt."
* I infer that Logan here refers to the Polynesians still remaining in Malaysia (or Indonesia), not that he considers the Malay to be connected with the Polynesians,—his subsequent remarks contradict the latter idea.
Page 51.—"The Western Burmans more often resemble the handsomer Asianesian (Indonesian) tribes found in Borneo, some parts of East Indonesia, and Polynesia.Similar tribes appear to have preceded the Malayan race in Sumatra,* for they have left their impress, to a certain extent, on the Nias and some of the Batto tribes. Even in the Peninsula, neater, lighter and handsomer men than the ordinary Malay are not infrequent amongst some of the Binua tribes.
* As I write I have before me a picture of a woman of Mantawai, an island off the coast of Sumatra. If the name of her abode had not been given, she would certainly be set down as a Polynesian, even to the dress and mode of carrying a basket.
* This word Maurya, has been used by some writers as asynonym for Maori. But those who think so have first to show that Maori was a racial name for the whole of the Polynesians. As a matter of fact it is only New Zealanders and Rarotongans who use the word as descriptive of themselves.
"A survey of the character and distribution of the Gangetic, Ultraindian, and Asianesian (Indonesian, as we now call it) peoples, renders it certain that the same Himalayo-Polynesian race was at one time spread over the Gangetic basin and Ultraindia. As this race is allied to the Chinese and Tibetan, it is probable that it originally spread from Ultraindia into N.E. India, I will afterwards show reasons for believing that the race itself is a modified one."
"From its position and character India must have been peopled from the earliest Asiatic era. As soon as any of the adjacent countries were first occupied it could not fail to receive a population from the north. While navigation remained in its infancy, many accidental immigrants by sea would be absorbed into the mass of the native population and produce no perceptible effect on its physical character. But from the time when the adjacent shores of the Indian Ocean began to be the seats of commercial and maritime nations, the Peninsula must have been exposed to the regular influx of foreign traders and adventurers. From the antiquity of the Egyptian civilization, it is probable that the earliest commercial visitors were Africans (? not necessarily negros) from Eastern Africa and Southern Arabia. It is certain that the subsequent Semitic navigators of the latter country, at an early date established that intercourse with India which they have maintained to the page 71present day. The trade between India and the west appears to have been entirely in their hands for about 3000 years. During this period the Arab navigators not only remained for some months in Indian ports, between the outward and homeward voyages, but many settled in them as merchants."
"The influence of African and Arabic blood must have preceded that of Aryan in the Peninsula. In the times of Menu, perhaps 1000 years B.C., the Aryans had not spread as conquerors into the Peninsula. But they had begun to pass into it as settlers and propagandists at an earlier period."
Page 42.—"I conclude that the basis of the present population of the Dekhan was of an African character and that it was partially improved by Turanians or Irano-Turanians and Semitico-Turanians from the N.W., and afterwards by the more advanced N.E. African and Semitic settlers (i.e. Coasts of the Red Sea, etc.). * * The E. African tribes of the Red Sea and for some distance to the southwards as well as the S. Arabian, must, at a very archaic period, have been intimately connected with the southern and original seat of Egyptian development. It may, therefore, be considered as in a high degree probable that the pre-Aryan civilization of Southern India had a partially Egyptian character and that the Himyarites and their maritime precursors on the coasts of the Indian Ocean, whether Semitic or African, carried the influence of this Civilization to India."
Page 54.—"The Ultraindian races in their fundamental" characters, physical and mental, and in all their social and national developments, from the lowest or most barbarous stages in which any of their tribes are now extant, to the page 72highest civilization which they have obtained in Burma, Pegu, Siam, and Kamboja, are intimately connected with the Oceanic races. The tribes of the Niha-Polynesian family, who appear to have preceded those of the Malayan, resemble the finer type of the Mons, Burmans, and the allied Indian and Himalayan tribes. The Malayan family approximates closely to the ruder or more purely Mongolian type of Ultraindia. The identity in person and character (of the Niha-Polynesian) is accompanied by a close agreement in habits, customs, institutions and arts, so as to place beyond doubt, that the lank-haired population of the islands (Oceania) has been received from the Gangetic and Ultra-indian races. The influx of this population closed the long era of Papuan predominance and gave rise to the new or modified forms of language which now prevails. The ethnic distance between the Polynesians and the Javans or the Mons, and the mere language and geographical position of the former, attest the great antiquity of the period when the Ultraindian tribes began to settle in Indonesia."
Such in brief are J. R. Logan's ideas as to the ancient Gangetic-Polynesian race, and his remarks as to the admixture of races from very early times, seem to offer an explanation of many peculiarities that have been observed in the Polynesian race as we know it. The influence of the Ancient Egyptian and Semitic civilizations on the race during the period it occupied India are apparent at this day—not so much of the former, but more particularly of the Semitic—which would seem to indicate that the ethnic connection of the Semitic race was later in time and of longer duration. It has frequently been pointed out that the Egyptian sun-god Ra finds an equivalent in Polynesian in the name—Ra—for the sun; page 73whilst there are indications that in ancient days the cult of the sun prevailed to a certain extent. But so ancient is it, and so little known about it, that it seems never to have prevailed to any large extent—that this cult in fact was learned from some outside race influencing the more ancient cult of Rangi and Papa—the Heaven and Earth cult, traces of which are found in the most ancient of races.* The influence of a Semitic connection, on the Polynesians, is very obvious to anyone who will study the language and the customs. Nearly all those who have dealt with the grammars of the various dialects of Polynesia have been struck with the many similarities in structure to be found between them and Semitic forms, but perhaps Dr. A. Macdonald of the New Hebrides has shown this most clearly in his papers published in the "Journal of the Polynesian Society." But the number of Semitic customs to be found prevailing among the Polynesians, is, perhaps, more striking than the lingual connection. The Rev. R. Taylor in his "Te Ika-a-Maui" mentions many of these, and his list might be very considerably augmented.†
* A possible connection between the Egyptian God Horus may be suggested in the Polynesian (Maori) name Horu, for clay coloured by, and impregnated by iron. "L'Anthropologie," August 1891, says, "There is no doubt that in certain myths of Egypt, there is a connection between Horus and iron.
† As a suggestion to Philologists I offer the following: Tāne, was probably at one time the principal god of the Polynesians, superseded, with some branches, at a later date by Tangaroa, There is a strong accent on the letter "a" of Tāne, denoting that a consonant has been dropped, or that it is a compound word with a prefix Ta. The word would then become Ta-ane. Now "n" and "1" are transposable letters in many languages, of which numerous illustrations from the Polynesian language might be adduced. Therefore, the root word may be "Ale," the Hebrew for the oak, and "Ta" is god, in more than one language. With the Maoris Tane is essentially the god of trees and all matters connected with wood work. Hence it may be, that the very ancient tree worship—of which there are evident signs in Maori mythology—finds a lingering home in the word Tāne. Compare also the Ninē belief of the origin of mankind from a tree—"Journal Polynesian Society;" Vol. xi., p. 203. If this is so, it shows a Semitic connection.
Of the other ethnic element mentioned by Logan, the Sanskrit speaking Aryan, it seems now quite clear from the researches of Tregear, Dr. John Fraser, and Fornander* (not to mention European writers) that that language has largely influenced Polynesian. So much does this appear to be the case, that it cannot be accounted for unless we allow of the lengthy sojourn of the two peoples in close proximity with a constant communication and probable intermarriage, as indicated in Logan's remarks on the Gangetic race.
|The Aryans beginning to appear north of Kakasia||2200 B.C.|
|The Indo-Aryans in the Panjab||1080 "|
|The Skuthi or Sacoe from Oxiana invade N.W. India||950 "|
|The Aryans begin to settle in Lower Panjab||850 "page 75|
|The Aryans reached Mid-Ganges||800 "|
|The Aryans moving down the Granges||620 "|
|Sanskrit ceased to be spoken||500 "|
|Gotama (the Buddhist) born 557 "||477 "|
|Time of great disturbances in India||500-400 "|
|The Chinese heard of Indian Foreigners south of the Annam Peninsula||460 "|
|Probable date of the Phoenician inscription South Sumatra||450 "|
|Javan traditions say Java uninhabited, but cared for by Vishnus||400 "|
|Magadha empire founded in India||325 "|
|Nearchus supposed to have sailed to Sumatra||323 "|
|Javan traditions state that about this time Arishtan Shar led to the Archipelago from N.W. India 20,000 families most of whom dispersed en route, probably in Malabar, Maladiva and Malagassar (Madagascar)||300 "|
|A second Indian invasion of Java from the Kling coast of 20,000 families, who established Vishnuism||290 "|
|Buddhism had reached the Indian Archipelago||223 "|
|A large body of Desa Sagala from Panjab went to Java||200-150 "|
|Indian Malas, or Malays, Yauvas or Javans, Bali and others, were all over the Peninsula and Archipelago||125 "|
If the hypothesis is right to the effect that the Polynesians are a branch of the ancient Gangetic race, it is obvious from the above table that they must have had several centuries of communication with the Sanskrit page 76speaking race, from the period when the latter occupied the mid-Ganges in B.C. 800, down to the probable time of the Polynesians leaving India about the fourth or fifth century B.C., which is the date we arrived at by aid of the Rarotonga traditions.
It is highly probable that some remains of the Polynesian Race may still be traced in parts of India that have not been so much influenced by the later Aryan and other ethnic waves. Indeed a long correspondence between the late S. H. Peal, F.R.G.S. of Assam and myself of some years ago, seems to prove that the tribes occupying the hill country of Eastern India have many Polynesian customs, and moreover a few words of the language seem to have survived the many linguistic invasions they have been subject to. As these pages are being written, I notice in Dr. W. H. Furness's paper on the "Ethnology of the Naga Hills,"* a reference to several customs that are closely allied to Polynesian; the tatoo marks on the face of the Sema division is apparently just like the old Maori moko-kuri, whilst the description of the ceremonies connected with tatooing, and the tools used, might be taken as descriptive of those of the Polynesians to-day. In plate No. xl. of the same volume is shown an old Siamese man, who is to all intents and purposes an old Maori.
* Journal, "Anthropological Institute," Vol. xxxii.