I11] FORESTS 125
the first instance such villages are self-supporting even to the
smallest detail of domestic requirements, yet in time many
savage customs and arts no longer necessary in a settled life
will entirely disappear.
Probably the most primitive of all forest tribes are the Jara- Typical
was of the Andaman Islands. They are true forest folk, who tribes.
never leave the deep shade of the evergreen forest and subsist
solely on the vegetation and animal life around them. Totally
ignorant of agriculture, they have only recently made acquaint-
ance with the value of metals and are now ready to take life, or
to risk their own, in order to acquire an iron implement which
shall make its possessor superior to his fellows. With them it
has hitherto been impossible to open up friendly relations, and
the armed escort that must accompany the workers in their
forests is not always successful in protecting men and elephants
from their arrows.
Numerous tribes, such as the Chins and NAgps, still exist in
the wild hill forests of Burma and Assam, who though warriors
and hunters yet have permanent villages, more useful as tribal
strongholds than as centres of agriculture. It is but a few
years since entry into their territory meant death or slavery,
and still more recently their well-organized raids were a terror
to the surrounding country. To-day they are gradually re-
nouncing their savage life; for a knowledge of the power to
punish followed by confidence, first in the individual and then in
the Government, works wonders even in a single generation.
More directly under these restraining influences are the
Kachins and Karens of Burma. The former possess no written
language, they are worshippers of demons with whom imagina-
tion thickly peoples the forests, hospitable but revengeful and
unforgiving, and delighting in the most persistent blood feuds;
the latter are more advanced, reserved, and suspicious, yet
mixing with the people around them and tending largely to
Christianity in the place of a lost religion. Both practise
shifting cultivation; both are hunters who also hold human
life of small account.
Other tribes, less in number and of smaller importance either
politically or to the Forest officer, are found surviving in almost
every Province in India. Under a less gentle rule they would
long ago have disappeared; at the present time their protection
and maintenance is often a first charge on the forest estate of
the Empire, and in many localities the extension of forests and
their management must continue to depend to some extent
on the treatment and requirements of these jungle dwellers.