Cesare Federici, in Ramusio, speaks of the terrible fate of
crews wrecked on the Andamans; all such were killed and eaten by the
natives, who refused all intercourse with strangers. A. Hamilton mentions
a friend of his who was wrecked on the islands; nothing more was ever
heard of the ship's company, "which gave ground to conjecture that they
were all devoured by those savage cannibals."
They do not, in modern times, I believe, in their canoes, quit their own
immediate coast, but Hamilton says they used, in his time, to come on
forays to the Nicobar Islands; and a paper in the Asiatic Researches
mentions a tradition to the same effect as existing on the Car Nicobar.
They have retained all the aversion to intercourse anciently ascribed to
them, and they still go naked as of old, the utmost exception being a
leaf-apron worn by the women near the British Settlement.
The Dog-head feature is at least as old as Ctesias. The story originated,
I imagine, in the disgust with which "allophylian" types of countenance
are regarded, kindred to the feeling which makes the Hindus and other
eastern nations represent the aborigines whom they superseded as demons.
The Cubans described the Caribs to Columbus as man-eaters with dogs'
muzzles; and the old Danes had tales of Cynocephali in Finland.