The Periplus of Hanno/Chapter 10

The Periplus of Hanno - Dwarfs of the Southern Countries acting as temple guards.png

"Dwarfs of the Southern Countries" acting as temple guards.
From a relief in the Temple of Bubastis.

PYGMIES

Homer, Iliad III, 6—Chapman's translation:

"At all parts like the cranes that fill, with harsh confusion.
Of brutish clanges all the air and in ridiculous war
(Eschewing the unsuffer'd storms, shot from the winter's star),
Visit the ocean, and confer the Pygmei soldiers' death."

Aristotle: "The cranes go up as far as the lakes above Egypt, where the Nile originates; there the pygmies are living; and this is not a fable, but pure truth; men and horses are, as they say, of small stature, and live in grottoes."

Karnak temple, Ptolemaic era—of the nome of Nubia:

"The dwarfs of the southern countries come to him, bringing their tributes to his treasury."

H. M. Stanley, In Darkest Africa, Vol. ii, passim: On pages 40-42, describing a couple of pygmies, one of whom, a man about 21 years old, measuring 4 feet in height, he observes:

"This was the first full-grown man we had seen. His color was coppery, the fell over the body was almost feathery, being nearly half an inch in length. His head-dress was a bonnet of priestly form, decorated with a bunch of parrot feathers; . . .

"Twenty-six centuries ago his ancestors captured the five young Nassamonian explorers, and made merry with them at their villages on the banks of the Niger. Even as long as forty centuries ago they were known as pygmies, and the famous battle between them and the storks was rendered into song. On every map since Hecatæus' time, 500 years B. C, they have been located in the region of the Mountains of the Moon. When Mesu led the children of Jacob out of Goshen, they reigned over Darkest Africa undisputed lords: they are there yet, while countless dynasties of Egypt and Assyria, Persia, Greece and Rome, have flourished for comparatively brief periods, and expired. And these little people have roamed far and wide during the elapsed centuries. From the Niger banks, with successive waves of larger migrants, they have come hither to pitch their leafy huts in the unknown recesses of the forest. Their kinsmen are known as Bushmen in Cape Colony, as Watwa in the basin of the Lulungu, as Akka in Monbuttu, as Balia by the Mabodé, as Wambutti in the Ihuru basin, and as Batwa under the shadows of the Lunæ Montes."