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SECTION III.

ON THE ABORIGINES OF NORTH-EASTERN

INDIA.

PURSUANT to my plan of furnishing to the readers of the Journal a glance at the Ethnic affinities of the Aborigines of India, from the snows to Cape Comorin, I have now the honour to submit a comparative vocabulary, uniform with its precursors, of the Dhimál, Bódó, and Gáró tongues, preceded by the written and spoken Tibetan, for a reason that will presently appear.

I regret that I could not on a recent occasion, nor can now, give the Chépáng vocables on this model. But it is many years since I have had access to that secluded people, and I cannot now calculate on having it again.

As I have already, in a separate work, given the Dhimál and Bódó languages upon a scale much ampler than the present one, and as I have, moreover, in that work demurred to the sufficiency of summary vocabularies, it may be asked why I repeat myself on the present occasion, and in the very manner I have myself objected to ? My answer to this question is ready, and I hope will prove satisfactory. Three years have now elapsed since I published the work alluded to, and in that time I have had ample opportunity to observe the general indisposition to enter the field of Indian Ethnology, bent upon serious labour like the author of that work. Now, general co-operation is the one thing needful in this case: and since I feel certain that there is no want of mental vigour in this land, I am led to ascribe the slackness I have experienced in obtaining co-operators according to the suggested model, to the novelty of the subject, whence it happens

VOL. IJ.

A

that few persons can perceive the extensive bearings and high interest of that subject.

By the present series of summary vocabularies I hope to make these points apparent, when I confidently anticipate that many able men who could not be won to give their time and attention to the elucidation of the barbarous jargon of this or that insulated and petty tribe of aborigines, will yet be stimulated to efficient exertion upon being made aware that the question, in fact, relates to the fate and fortunes, the migrations and improvement or deterioration, of the largest family of human kind. No question of ethnology is insulated. It is quite the contrary, and that by its very nature. So that wherever we begin, even with the humblest tribe, we must soon find that we are dealing with the history, and with a material portion of the history, of some great mass of the human race. Thus, the latest investigators of the general subject of human affinities include in the great Mongolian family not merely the high Asian Nomades, or the Túrks, the Mongols and the Tangús, but also (with daily increasing, though not yet conclusive, evidence) the Tibetans, the Chinese, the Indo-Chinese, and the Tamúlians. The Tamúlians include the whole of the aborigines of India, whether civilised or uncivilised, from Cape Comorin to the snows; except the inhabitants of the great mountainous belt confining the plains of India towards Tibet, China, and Ava. These last are, in the North-West, derived from the Tibetan stock; and in the South-East, from the Indo-Chinese stock: the 92° of east longitude, or the Dhansri river of Assam, apparently forming the dividing line of the two races, which are each vastly numerous and strikingly diversified, yet essentially one, just as are the no less numerous and varied races of the single Tamúlian stock. Thus, we cannot take up the investigation of a narrow and barren topic like that of the Kúkí, the Chépáng, or the Gónd tribe without presently finding ourselves engaged in unravelling some, it may be, dark and intricate, but truly important, chapter of the history of one of those large masses of human kind, the Indo-Chinese, the Tibetans, or the Tamúlians. Nor can one prosecute this investigation

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