They are skilful hunters, however, catch fish by in geniously constructed traps, and live almost entirely on jungle-roots of these people is found in Upper Perak, and the members of this clan have acquired some knowledge of the art of planting, &c. They they have been raided by the latter, and many Negritos are to be found in captivity in some of the Malayan villages on the eastern side of the peninsula.
Few Negritos live to be fifty years of age.
Keane, is that the Negritos, still found in the Philippines, are the true aborigines of Indo-China and western Malaysia, while the Melanesians, probably their kinsmen, were the earliest occupants of eastern Malaysia and western Polynesia.
Whether the two families have a common ancestor in the negritos of Malaysia and the Indian archipelago, or whether Papuan and Negrito are alike branches of an aboriginal African race, is a problem yet to be solved.
But on the borders of the region, often without real boundary lines, are grouped other peoples, the true Malays, the Indonesians or pre-Malays with the Negritos to the westward and the Australians, who are generally admitted to be a distinct race.
Of the black race 23,511, or 97.8%, were Negritos, who are believed to be the aborigines of the Philippines.
Later scientists have endeavoured to identify the Papuans with the Negritos of the Philippines and the Semangs of the Malay Peninsula.
Meyer, who spent several years in the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea, developed a contrary conclusion in his Die Negritos der Philippinen (1878), holding that the Negritos and Papuans are identical, and that possibly, or even probably, the former are an offshoot of the latter, like some other Polynesian islanders.
C. Haddon, discussing, in Nature (September 1899), a later paper by Dr Meyer in English on the same subject (The Distribution of the Negritos, Dresden, 1899), practically adopted Meyer's views, after an independent examination of numerous skulls.