The Little People


On the 28th October 2004, an announcement was made world-wide by Australian archaeologists that a cave had been discovered on the remote island called “Flores” to the north of Australia in Indonesia containing the preserved skeletal remains of what may have been a family of “little people” surrounded by many artefacts relating to their daily lifestyles. The unique discovery proving the existence of a race of “little” humans (always regarded as a figment of myth and imagination by many) also revealed they were still in existence until recent times. As a result, archaeologists and anthropologists from around the world are now in the process of revising “human” evolution theories.

The scientists believe these “hobbits”, the smallest species of human, descended from homo erectus just as modern man did. They were hairless, dark-skinned “dwarfs” with small heads and knee-length arms and grew to about a metre or more in height. It is believed in theory they “morphed” into dwarfs over the course of hundreds of thousands of genetic isolation on the island.

The scientists describe the island of “Flores” as a “kind of lost world” of bizarre extinct species such as a dwarf form of the primitive elephant Stegodon as well as giant rats, full-sized Komodo dragons and an even larger species of giant lizard. Conditions on the island were perfect for smaller animals to get bigger as well as for larger animals and humans to become smaller because they were so isolated from competition from other mammals and have no genetic need to remains large. These “hobbits” are believed to have become extinct in a volcanic eruption c.12,000 years ago but it is possible some may have survived even until several hundred years ago. Local island stories even suggest that they were still living on “Flores” up until the Dutch arrived there in the 1500’s.

The past existence of “Negritos” (a descendent race?) has been known for some time in New Guinea (extinct c.1920 due to inter-tribal wars and “head-hunting” practices as far as it is known) and in the Cairns region of North Queensland. The noted historian and anthropologist Norman B. Tinsdale was in fact the last person to see the remnants of such a race alive (c.1930) before the last of these peoples walked off into the northern jungles – never to be seen again. Some academics have even stated that the now extinct Tasmanian “natives” because of their unique culture, language and characteristics were also descended from the “Negritos” of old – driven into isolation by earthly changes and invading northern “natives”. In the 1400’s and 1500’s, Dutch and Portuguese sailors sighting the Western Australian coastline noted “tall natives in warfare chasing and killing hordes of “little” native peoples”.

When the subject is mentioned in conversation that “little people” once roamed the rugged forest regions of the coastal hinterland that formed part of the ancient Ka’bi lands, one is usually scoffed at by such a “daft” suggestion. However people view the proposal, “little people” did at one time exist in the Cooloola (Kin Kin) region up to the mid-1860’s. It is fortunate that when the last of the South East Queensland “pygmy” clans faded into extinction without any proper and due recognition of their past existence, some fractionalised records still survive of “pygmy” encounters by the early settlers – and of their demise. Little else is known of them, their culture and their origins. This sparse knowledge has led to many theories and suppositions regarding their lifestyles.

An early 1858 report states:

"… this was the land of the left-handed little people called the Dhin’dherri-dha’pen… legend tells that this is where the little people came to originally… the jungle place of great ferns and mosses called Wu’bpong’dha… “

Another early report from June 1861 states:

"… did not sleep well for there were many strange noises within the night… felt as though I was being watched… many figures stepped forth from the foliages… report there is a great difference between these mountain dwellers… took away people never to be seen again… these people… much shorter stature… rather smaller than all other natives… more stockiere yet remaining wirely thin… stomachs bulged prominently… pronounced body hair… long chest-length beards… deep-sunk eyes with large foreheads… mystical personage… golden-haired, fine in feature… bare of skin hair even to the face… resembled children. Were these the little people of the old legends of the Kgai’ya?”

“… their strange speech came forward in very soft tones… almost a whisper… a most unusual observance… took to conversation in (known) tongues… they commenced to converse with each other not using language… communication was in hand gestures and tongue “clicking”… tried to communicate with their hand signals… could not take to their unclear meanings… spoke again in (Mary River) Ka’bi language… response came forward finally… learnt that the ancient ones of Dha’muri… taught their ancestors the sign language… found all of this most unusual… able to record that these people were not in size a large clan group only numbering near one hundred and were scattered in the forests… they gave signals to follow them to an area on the shoreline… took to amazement on witnessing a stone structure of columns and an archway of great age… a state of collapse near four ceremonial rings… stonework lay on the ground and in the waters… the name Dha’muri was mentioned… took to quick artistry of the scene and the writings on the pinnacles... made contact with the remaining clan at a place called War’pbunga… the Place of the Frogs…”

"… the hand conversation was most visible during the hunting expedition for not a sound was made... commands were performed by hand signage… their movements were silent - rarely a leaf rustle was heard…observances recorded… the Dhi’lumi people seemed to be of trance-like appearance after consuming some species of vegetation between our rest periods and while of the hunt. Their teeth were heavy with stain and in bad arraye… these are the first peoples I have seen breathing smoke by the mouth from burning a thin dried tree root… comes from the tree with the red honey flower… the Ngam’bura tree… opinion if the trance-like appearance is gained from this root or whether it is attained in the same manner of my previous experience with the Dha’kgulu by soaking with the secret liquid of the Man’ngur… smoking seemed a quite common activity with no ceremonial activity to its cause."

The following (edited) report of June 1864 tells of the “little people’s” shocking demise:

"… awoke to the sound of much gunfire… came across a most despicable act of humanity... as if a great war had been fought… bloodied native corpses covering the grounds and in the stream waters… recognised these were the Dhi’lumi little peoples of … previous acquaintances… peppered with gunshot… his woman bearing signs of harsh raping… throat slashed… their daughter and son… killed part decapitated and hanging over a tree branch – the son less his manly wares… slaughter appears to have been immediate without warning… cooking fires were still burning… their shantys and possessions lay strewn about the ground… utter disgust that these shy, ancient and good people had been shot to their deaths… Who could have done such an evil and dastardly deed?”
"… viewed the bloody scene with much contempt… none had survived. This last group of the Dhi’lumi were all quite dead… 43 members of the clan as I had counted… five old men and eleven other males were shot… their scrotums cut away… five old women and six young women… staked, tied down and then brutalised… signs of virginity lost or rampant bodily attacked then shot in the head… found six young boys and six young girls of the near ages of 9 to 12 years… brutalised in a most cruel manner similar to their mothers… blood seeping from their front and rear orifices. Bastards! Bastards! … The last were found in the tall water bushes of the stream… 4 young babies (2 boys and 2 girls)… their small throats cut open to dye the waters and left to die… lone act with the small children emptied my churning stomach of its full contents. What manner of animal could do such atrocities to another human being?”

With the shocking demise of the Dhi’lumi “pygmy” clans of the Kin Kin-Cooloola Hinterland region, the last links to an ancient past faded away. As far as it is known, no other recorded histories have ever been found for these “little peoples” of South East Queensland.

A sample from the Photo Gallery:





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