Pugmaioi

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Gond tribe, India

Ὅτι μέσῃ τῇ Ἰνδικῇ ἄνθρωποί εἰσι μέλανες (καλοῦνται Πυγμαῖοι) ὁμόγλωσσοι τοῖς ἄλλοις Ἰνδοῖς. μικροὶ δέ εἰσι λίαν· οἱ μακρότατοι αὐτῶν πηχέων δύο, οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι, ἑνὸς ἡμίσεος πήχεος. κόμην δὲ ἔχουσι μακροτάτην μέχρις ἐπὶ τὰ γόνατα καὶ ἔτι κατώτερον, καὶ πώγωνα μέγιστον πάντων ἀνθρώπων. ἐπειδὰν οὖν τὸν πώγονα μέγα φύσωσιν, οὐκέτι ἀμφιέννυνται οὐδὲν ἱμάτιον, ἀλλὰ τὰς τρίχας, τὰς μὲν ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὄπισθεν καθίενται πολὺ κάτω τῶν γονάτων, τὰς δὲ ἐκ τοῦ πώγωνος ἔμπροσθεν μέχρι ποδῶν ἑλκομένας, ἔπειτα περιπυκασάμενοι τὰς τρίχας περὶ ἅπαν τὸ σῶμα, ζώννυνται χρώμενοι αὐταῖς ἀντὶ ἱματίου. αἰδοῖον δὲ μέγα ἔχουσιν ὥστε ψαύειν τῶν σφυρῶν αὐτῶν, καὶ παχύ. αὐτοὶ δὲ σιμοί τε καὶ αἰσχροί. τὰ δὲ πρόβατα αὐτῶν ὡς ἄρνες, καὶ οἱ ὄνοι καὶ αἱ βόες σχεδὸν ὅσον κριοί. καὶ οἱ ἵπποι αὐτῶν καὶ ἡμίονοι καὶ τὰ ἄλλα κτήνη πάντα οὐδὲν μείζω κριῶν. ἕπονται δὲ τῷ βασιλεῖ τῶν Ἰνδῶν τούτων τῶν Πυγμαίων ἄνδρες τρισχίλιοι· σφόδρα γάρ εἰσι τοξόται. δικαιότατοι δέ εἰσι καὶ νόμοισι χρῶνται ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ Ἰνδοί. λαγοὺς δὲ καὶ ἀλώπεκας θηρεύουσιν οὐ τοῖς κυσὶν ἀλλὰ κόραξι καὶ ἰκτίσι καὶ κορώναις καὶ ἀετοῖς.
(Ctesias, Ind. fr. 45.21-24)

In the middle of India live black men called Pygmies who speak the same language as the rest of the Indians. They are very small; the tallest is two cubits while most are one and a half cubits in height. They have very long hair that reaches their knees and even lower and their beards are the longest of any man. Since they grow such a long beard, they wear no clothes at all but comb the hair from their head down their back well below their knees and pull their beards down the front to their feet and then gird the hair around their entire body using it in place of clothing. Their penises are so large that they reach their ankles and are thick too, while they themselves are snub-nosed and ugly. Their sheep are like lambs, their asses and oxen are nearly the size of rams, and their horses, mules, and all other livestock are no larger than rams. Three thousand of those Pygmies accompany the king of the Indians, for they are excellent bowmen. They are very just and follow the same laws as the Indians. They hunt hare and fox not with dogs, but with ravens, kites, crows, and eagles. (tr. Andrew Nichols)

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