Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Formosa. 1. An island of the Chinese Sea and province of the Chinese Empire, is separated by a strait of 80 miles and upward in breadth from the mainland province of F'okien. It is 250 miles long by 70 miles broad, and contains 15,000 square miles. The western part of it consists of wide fertile plains, which produce bananas, oranges, rice, corn, pepper, sugar, tea, tobacco, cinnamon, and camphor. The principal exports are camphor, coal, hemp, indigo, sugar, tea, and timber. There are four treaty ports, among them being Taiwan, the capital. A railway runs from Port Ke-lung to the tea-fields. The eastern part of the island is claimed by Japan. Formosa is inhabited by two distinct races, the uncivilised aborigines of the central and eastern uplands, who are of Malay stock, and the civilised Chinese intruders, chiefly from the province of Fokien, on the western plains. Intermediate between these two are the Pepohoans, that is, the semi-civilised natives of the western slopes, some of whom, such as the Tsuihoans of the Leeke Tsui-sia-hai district and the Sekhoans of the Posia valley, have attained a somewhat, high degree of culture, placing them on a level with their Chinese neighbours. But the Sang-fan ("wild men") of the interior and the east coast are almost unanimously described by the few travellers that have come in contact with them as exceedingly fierce and treacherous savages at a very low stage of culture. T. L. Bullock, who visited the Boo-hoans and others in 1876, speaks of them as ferocious head-hunters, like the Bornean Dyaks, who attack stealthily in bands, kill for the mere love of bloodshed, and carry off as trophies the heads of their victims. The Song-miau, Hu-lu, and Mow-tau are also mentioned by J. H. Gray as "fierce and inhuman tribes," and the same character is borne by the Kwejjing, Tailokok, Komalan, Peplos, Kali, and other east coast tribes, who are much dreaded by mariners wrecked on that dangerous seaboard. Christianity has made considerable progress amongst the Pepohoans, and the people of the Posia valley are now nearly all converted, though the neighbouring Chinese settlers still remain Buddhists.

2. An Atlantic island off the west coast of Africa. 30 miles long by 18 miles wide, fertile and well-wooded.