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Edward Horace Man (and his sister) correspondence Tylor papers PRM ms collections, Box 13

Tylor papers PRM ms collections Box 13

E.H. Man papers Man 1

6th June / 81

2 Palace Road,


Dear Sir

By this post I am writing to the Director of the S. Kensington Museum requesting him to be so good as to forward to your Museum the Nicobarese image which I have brought to England at Prof. Rolleston's request.

I was obliged to saw the image into 3 or 4 pieces in order to pack it, but no difficulty will be found in re-connecting the parts.

I append a note which I would suggest for the label for this object.

I am sorry to learn from your note that Prof. Rolleston is still on the Continent on account of his health. 

I am

Yours very truly

E.H. Man

Wooden image (called Karêau) used by the natives of the central & southern islands of the Nicobar group & placed inside the entrance of their huts for the purpose of frightening away evil spirits. These charms are of various sizes & descriptions, sometimes paintings or carvings on thin planks  or Areca spathes, representing men & women, animals, fish, birds, the sun & moon &c and are kept suspended in their huts (specimens are to be seen at the S. Kensington Museum Anthropological Dept.) [1]

To Chas. Robertson Esq.

Anatomical Dept.

Museum, Oxford.


[1] 1887.11.93 see here for more information


E.H. Man papers Man 2

[In Tylor's handwriting: [illegible] Feb 12 '86]

Dec 30th. [?1884]

2 Palace Road,


Dear Sir

I have been desired by Mr. E.H. Man--whose collection of Andamanese & Nicobarese objects presented to Gen. Pitt Rivers is now in the Oxford Museum--to enquire whether the authorities wld. permit him to complete the collection from the Nicobar group & whether they would undertake to defray the expenses of freight & insurance of the objects to this country.

Mr. Man is at present resident at the Nicobars & proposes to send photographs of canoes & such objects as are too large for easy transport.

I should add that Mr. Man estimates the probable cost of the case he is desirous of forwarding at less than £5. 

I am Sir

Yours truly

A.F. Man [1]


[1] Man's younger sister, Amy Frances Man (1853-?) who lived with her brother after his retirement from India in India and later in Preston Park, Brighton. [van der Beek and Vellinga, 2005: 139]


E.H. Man papers Man 3

14 St Giles


Jan 2  85 [actually probably 1886][1]

My dear Tylor

The paltry cost of £5 for carriage is very small and does not matter. It is the cost for room and cases which will probably come to a great deal more that is the important matter. We have already far too much Andamanese & Nicobar things more than any local but a National Museum ought to have [insert] and even more than Franks [2] would stow [end insert] You will remember there was in the Pitt Rivers one whole gallery full of scarcely anything else. They quite swamped the rest. Now I hope to reduce their effect by distributing them but even then there are too many. At all events we must get an idea of how many cubic yards there are to come and calculate the expense for cares [insert] before we plunge [end insert]. I dont know whether Mr Man is prepared for the distribution of his [insert] present [end insert] things such as is going on now [insert] and he probably would insist on the others being kept together [end insert]. He is the sort of man who might send four or five entire Nicobar villages with all the inhabitants [illegible ...ld] If we take the things it must be a matter of separate estimate.

The door is being made now I suppose under direct orders from the Chest I have not been consulted about it since it was decided to be in the middle. [3] From what I can see I fancy the [insert] geological [end insert] cases will abut unequally on either side of it but I may be mistaken. What we ought to do is to get rid of a lot of N & Andamanese duplicates instead of getting more. unless a very select few agreed to by catalogue. It will never do to lumber ourselves up at the outset ... *

Yours faithfully

H.N. Moseley

[* NB '...' is Moseley's]


[1] The references to the Pitt Rivers Collection and Man 4 letter below make it likely that Moseley wrote the wrong date on this letter and it was actually written in January 1886.

[2] Augustus Wollaston Franks, Keeper of Ethnographic collections etc at the British Museum

[3] The front door of the new Pitt Rivers Collection [later, Museum] at Oxford, the door which is still the front door of the museum.


E.H. Man papers Man 4


Wellington Somerset

Jan 2 1886

Dear Sir

Your letter has been sent on to me here & I am in communication with Professor Moseley abut the Nicobar specimens. The question is whether case-room [insert] can be provided for them [end insert] in the Musuem. [insert] I will write again in a few days, in the mean time [end insert] If you happen to have any particulars of the objects which Mr EH Man kindly proposes sending to Oxford, will you be good enough to communicate them to me as they [insert] the information [end insert] might decide the matter. There is no difficulty about the expenses. which the Museum would willingly defray on receiving. 

Believe me

Yours truly



E.H. Man papers Man 5

University Museum


Feb 12 1886

Will you head and send back with any remarks?


Dear Sir,

With reference to our correspondence of some weeks ago as to Mr E.H. Man's kind offer of additional specimens, you will remember that I was unable to write quite conclusively. Since then I have been into the matter with Professor Moseley, in whom department the Pitt-Rivers Museum is. Considering the excellent selection of Mr Man's Andaman and Nicobar objects already in the Museum, we shall be glad to make an effort to find exhibition-room for the supplementary set now proposed to be sent, so far as it consists of objects [insert] implements &c [end insert] not already shown, and especially objects from the little-known people of the interior of the Nicobars [insert] islands [end insert]. The extreme limitation of the space at our disposal prevents us from accepting duplicates, which we regret, being well aware of the value of Will you kindly be good enough to communicate this to Mr EH Man & also to mention to him [insert] in reply to his question [end insert] that this Museum will gladly meet the charges for freight &c.

I am Dear Sir

Yours ... [illegible]


AF Man Esq

[I think these are drafts rather than the letter which was sent out AP]


E.H. Man papers Man 6

Nancowry Nicobars

via Port Blair

Andaman Islands

[another hand, probably Tylor's: [illegible] drawings to be made for 1 April 1887

27th October / 86

Dear Sir,

With reference to the correspondence which took place between us a few months ago on the subject of a further collection of Nicobarese objects in order as far as possible to complete the set commenced by me a few years ago & now transferred from Sth Kensington to Oxford I beg to inform you that I am now despatching to your address a case measuring about 7 feet by 4 ft by 1 3/4 ft. containing the objects numbered in black ink in the accompanying Catalogue (Volume 1) which I am sending with a packet of photographs under registerered cover.

The case will be transhipped at Calcutta by Messrs Twiner Morrison & Co to whom I am sending instructions to forward to you the Bill of Lading & advice. I am also requesting them to insure the case for £15.

I think you would be pleased to receive a henta or picture on an Areca spathe. These are quite works of art for people such as the Nicobarese, but they are so fragile that I shd have to pack one separately or in a large partition if packed with other objects. Should you wish for one & would like me at the same time to send fresh specimens of any Nicobarese object [insert] such as any [end insert] that may have reached you in a broken or damaged state I shall be happy to do my best in the matter on hearing from you. The wooden henta wh. I presented to Genl Pitt-Rivers [1] (figured in A.I. journal vol XI Pl XV fig 1.) is an insignificant one compared to many that are made in this portion of the group.

As I thought you wd. prefer that the Catalogue I have prepared on this occasion shd. contain all the objects previously supplied I have adopted this plan & have also included mention of several other objects wh. are either too bulky to send or wh. can be sufficiently illustrated by means of photographs or a written description. [2]

As I am preparing a monograph on the Nicobar Ids. on the lines of my Andaman monograph, pubd. by the A-I-journal in 1881/2, [3] I shd. be glad if Mr Emslie could be engaged to prepare say a couple of plates to illustrate some of the most interesting of the objects now sent in the style of those he prepared for vol XI & VII of the A-I journal. I enclose a list of those wh. strike me as the most suitable for selection for this purpose & if necessary I wd. be prepared to share the expense of the work with the Institute.

I have taken the liberty of enclosing in the case 2 Nicobarese skulls for Prof. Flower, Sth Kensington. [4] May I ask you kindly to direct them to be sent to him when the case reaches the Museum. [this para is crossed out perhaps to mark that the job has been done?]

Trusting that all the objects I have collected will reach you in good order.

I am, Dear Sir,

Yours truly

E H Man

Dr E.B. Tylor ESq

P.S. In the first line of the Catalogue I shd like the ma... [illegible] in length of a Nic. canoe corrected to 50 ft substituted for 60 ft. I have posted the packet or would make the correction myself


[1] There are 3 'henta' in the founding collection, see 1884.56.83, .84 or .85.

[2] This catalogue is now in the Pitt Rivers Museum (accession registers). Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-weight: bold; color: #006ab1; text-shadow: #ffffff 0px 2px 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 21px; text-align: -webkit-auto;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to see this catalogue.

[3] Man is referring to Man, E.H. 1882. ‘On the Andamanese and Nicobarese objects presented to Major General Pitt Rivers FRS’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute ..., 11 (1882), pp. 268-294. His Nicobarese work was published in 1932, The Nicobar Islands and their people. Guildford: Billing and Sons for RAI. He also published The Arts of the Andamanese and Nicobarese. London: Harrison in 1878.

[4] William Henry Flower (1831-1899) Director of the British Museum (natural history). 


E.H. Man papers Man 7


via Port Blair

Andaman Islands

26th June / 87

Dear Sir,

By this month's mail I received your kind letter of 20th April. I was glad to hear that the packages containing the supplementary series of Nicobarese objects had duly reached you n good order & that you are pleased with the collection.  [1]

I am also glad to hear that you have been able to kindly arrange with Prof'r Moseley & Mr Galton [2] regarding the proposed illustration of certain of the objects, so that in the course of time (say next year) when I hope to have my Nicobarese ms ready for publication, the places may be available for illustrating my remarks on the objects figured therein.

Since despatching the above-mentioned packages to you I have furnished two similar collections of Nicobarese objects--viz one to the Imperial & Royal Mus'm of the Court at Vienna & the other to the British Mus'm (London). The former was supplied at the special request of the Captain of an Austrian man-of-war who, visiting this harbour last October & seeing the collection about to be packed & sent to you, begged me to send a similar collect'n to the Vienna Museum.

With regard to the collection sent to the British Museum wh. was despatched on the 11th inst & wh. will I trust reach Mr Franks about the same time this letter is delivered to you, I should be glad if you could obtain a copy of the Catalogue which I sent with it & substitute it for that I prepared for you, as it embodies my latest information regarding the objects in question & I found it necessary to correct my description of a few of the principal objects, viz the fetish-like "Kareau" & "henta" &c

I am Dear Sir,

yours very truly

E.H. Man


Dr E.B. Tylor


[1] See this PDF [Objects sent by EH Man to OUMNH from Nicobar Ids 1886-7] for more information about the objects that Man sent. 

[2] Francis Galton (1822-1911) 


E.H. Man papers Man 8

Port Blair

Andaman Islands

6th March / 89

Dear Sir,

As promised in my letter by last month's mail I send you by Foreign parcel post a box containing objects found in 2 or 3 old kitchen middens near this harbour. [1] Mollusc shells, potsherds, & bones were the most common objects, stones of various shapes & sizes were less frequently met with & none of these were of the arrow-head shape. in fact they resembled those in use at the present day & had apparently been employed only as hammers, anvils, cooking-stones & possibly as wedges & chisels. Some chips were also seen which were evidently used for tattooing, shaving & scarifying. I take the opportunity of enclosing some specimens of sand from the Andamans & Nicobars, also some of the Polycistina clay for which several of the Nicobar Ids are remarkable. I believe it resembles the clay found at Barbadoes.

Dr F. von Hochstetter ("Novara" expedition 1857-59) [2] wrote:

"The whitish yellow clay marls of Camorta & Nancowry being entirely free from lime have become famous since Prof. Ehrenberg [3] by an examination of the samples brought by Dr Rink [4] has shown that they are true Polycistina marls, like those of the Barbadoes."

Trusting that the box will be found to contain something of interest to you.

I am, Sir,

very truly

E.H. Man

Dr E.B. Tylor F.R.S.

&c &c


[1] The kitchen midden items are not listed in the accession books for the Pitt Rivers Museum and were either never received, or were not accessioned.

[2] Ferdinand von Hochstetter (1829-1884) German geologist. The Novara expedition is described here

[3] Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (1795-1876) German naturalist

[4] Hinrich Johannes Rink (1819-1893) served on the Galathea expedition


Man 9 letter is to Tylor answering a query about the 'S. Andamanee word for Hades' and has not been transcribed


At the end of the Man correspondence is a single typewritten letter from Maurice Vidal Portman:

Port Blair. Andaman Islands. INDIA

24th January. 1899.

Dear Dr. Tylor

I send you by this mail a copy of my "Notes on the Languages of the South Andaman Group of Tribes", [1] which has just been published by the Government of India. It forms part of the Record of the Andamanese I am making for the British Museum.

Man is very much hurt at the way he thinks I have criticised him, although I allowed him to see the M.S.S. and publish a Note, and he will not understand that I criticise more the use Mr. Ellis made of his writings than what Man actually wrote. [2]

At the same time, after nearly 20 years experience with the Andamanese, I adhere to my opinion that much of the Notes on their Anthropology published by Man is incorrect, and the language he knew was a hotch-potch of three or four dialects. His work is chiefly written on the information of a few boys of different tribes, and two convict Jemadars. This is not my idea of accurate scientific research, and the results, though good for 1881, will not do for 1899.

I have the "History of our relations with the Andamanese" [1] in the Government Press, a large work which given nearly everything of importance which has ever been written or done with the people; here again I have criticised the writings and actions of others freely, though I hope not viciously.

Yours sincerely

MV Portman. 


[1] See 'Notes of the Languages of the South Andaman Group of Tribes' (Calcutta, 1898) and 'A History of our Relations with the Andamanese' (Calcutta, 1899). 

[2] Alexander John Ellis (1814-1890) 'Report of researches into the language of the South Andaman Islands' in E.H. Man's 'On the aboriginal inhabitants of the Andaman Islands' 1885


van der Beek, Zita and Marcel Vellinga, 2005 ‘Man the collector: salvaging Andamanese and Nicobarese culture through objects’, Journal of the History of Collections 17 (2005) pp. 135-153

Transcribed by AP April 2013

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