The Semang, as they are most usually called by the Malays, are Negritos - a small, very dark people, with features of the negroid type, very prognathous, and with short, woolly hair clinging to the scalp in tiny crisp curls.
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.
The Negritos appear to be derived from a mixture of the true Negro with the Australoid type.
The New Guinea native is usually of a negroid type with fine physique, but in the Arfak mountains in the north-west, and at points on the west and north coasts and adjacent islands, the very degraded and stunted Karons are found, with hardly the elements of social organization (possibly the aboriginal race unmixed with foreign elements), and resembling the Aetas or Negritos of the Philippines, and other kindred tribes in the Malay Archipelago.
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.
Few Negritos live to be fifty years of age.