Wales rounded, treeless hills, brown heather

In Wales there is a fourth repetition of the same bare, rounded, treeless hills, brown heather, green grass, boggy moors, gray crags, deep valleys, waterfalls, sheep, and the stone huts of shepherds. In some places there are lakes, although these are not so numerous as in the northern Highland and the Lake District. As is usual in such areas the people live mainly on separated farms and not in agricultural villages as is the habit in England and most of the European lowlands. In Wales there is not room for many farms within easy reach of any one spot.

One of the most interesting features of Wales, as of the other highlands, is the persistence of old types of people and old customs. Almost everywhere in Wales a few people understand the old Welsh language, and in the most rugged and inaccessible parts the percentage rises to 80 or even 100. A revival of the old language takes the form of competitions in singing and poetry. Old racial varieties of man also survive here to an unusual degree, especially a small, dark, rather long-headed, smooth-featured, and slender type much like the Mediterranean race. "Old rocks, old stocks" seems to be the case here, as Principal Barker well says. Thanks to their isolation these people go their own way in many things. That is one reason why nonconformist sects such as the Methodists are especially strong and relatively conservative in Wales.

In spite of all this, Wales is far from being a unit. Partly on this account this little country with only two and a half million people has four universities. Moreover, three fifths of the people are in the little southern county of Morganshire where the coalmines and Cardiff are located. There a different type of geology and of human life prevails, as will soon be shown. Most of the remaining two fifths of the Welsh live along the west coast and in the lower land toward England. The higher and more rugged regions here, as in the other British highlands and in regions like New England and New York, are losing population. In many areas, however, tourism, to use the European word, is creating a new means of livelihood. The fate of the highlands illustrates the very important geographic principle that the growth of human culture tends to cause people to leave less-favored regions and concentrate in those that are most favorable.

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