The Kei Islanders are skilful in carving and celebrated boat-builders.
There are few indigenous fruits; the kei apple is the fruit of a small tree or shrub found in Kaffraria and the eastern districts, where also the wild and Kaffir plums are common; hard pears, gourds, water melons and species of almond, chestnut and lemon are also native.
From East London the railway rises loon ft.; at Kei Road, 46 m.
The China Sea on the north has a maximum depth of 2715 fathoms off the Philippines, the Sulu Basin reaches 2550 fathoms, and the Celebes Basin 2795 fathoms. Some of the channels between the islands are of very great depth, Macassar Strait exceeding 1000 fathoms, the Molucca Passage exceeding 2000 fathoms, and the Halmahera Trough sinking as deep as 2575 fathoms. The deepest of all is the Banda Basin, a large area of which lies below 2500 fathoms and reaches 3557 fathomsin the Kei Trench.
East of the Breede the following rivers, all having their rise on the inner mountain chain, are passed in the order named: - Gouritz (200 m.),' Gamtoos (290 m.), Sunday (190 m.),GreatSalt (230 m.), Kei (150 m.), Bashee (90 m.) and Umzimvuba or St John's (140 m.).
There is the true Kei Islander, a Polynesian by his height and black or brown wavy hair, with a complexion between the Papuan black and the Malay yellow.
The Kaffirs wrought great havoc, and Sir Benjamin D'Urban, the governor, in order to secure peace, extended the boundary of the colony to the Kei river.
The history of the Cape the Kei plays an important part as long marking the boundary between the colony and the independent Kaffir tribes.
But the Torres Straits islanders are employed by Europeans in the pearl shell fishery, and are good labourers; and in some of the Kei and Aru Islands the Papuan inhabitants form orderly Christian communities.
When however at the close of the Kaffir War of 1834-35 D'Urban annexed the country up to the Kei River, Philip's hostility was aroused.